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How To Style Your Wedding for Great Photographs

Your wedding decorations and ideas create the backdrop to your wedding photography. How you set the scene is crucial. Julia from Modern Photographic is a contemporary wedding photographer and has been Art Directing at Wedding Magazine for several years. So if she doesn't know how to style a wedding, who does? Here is today's blog from Julia, originally published on her site at Modern Photographic, with some key tips on how to style your wedding with a view to having the photography published in a magazine.

Julia writes:

"The biggest thing to remember is that your wedding day is probably the most important in your life. Whether your wedding is published or not, it will always be special.

Bride with parasol
(Our wedding published in WEDDING December/January 2011)

So here's my top tips on how a magazine picks wedding photography:

Bride and groom letter names
TIP ONE

Starting at the beginning - the venue. Dark venues tend to create dark casts on photos, whereas venues with large windows and airy light create the perfect canvas. I am biased but when I picked my own wedding venue I picked Beauberry House for this very reason, the rooms are all white and light.
Bride and groom on pink staircase

TIP TWO

Co-ordinate. Again this has a lot to do with the venue, choose a colour theme that compliments the venue. If they have green carpets, red is unlikely to look right. If you have a marquee or a neutral venue you can have a free rein with colour. Beauberry House has a bright pink staircase, which dictated our colours. Although the main rooms are white.
Wedding decoration idea
TIP THREE

Research your details. The weddings we tend to feature have lots of lovely details to inspire brides to be. Spend time looking at blogs and magazines to get inspired yourself. Modern weddings for us tend to have the edge. If you can't afford to go to town on every table, dress the top table only (just make sure your photographer knows!). Borrow bits and pieces from friends and family. Vintage is massively popular, a crafty relative might be able to make you bunting, or lend you an old typewriter for an alternative guest book, or even just lend you old photoframes to place table numbers in.
rose floral heart decorationPink dahlias
TIP FOUR

Flowers are expensive but do tend to make a big difference, a good florist should have clever modern ideas of how to create maximum impact. Again you can borrow vases from relatives, different tables can have different displays on them instantly creating more ideas. Be imaginative in your flower choice, roses are very popular and look lovely but less unusual than tightly packed carnations, balls of gyposphilia on their own or one of my personal favourites spikey dahlias. If you can't pick one- have a different flower on each table! Or small vases each with a different variety of flower.

TIP FIVE

Probably the most important tip, pick the right photographer. Photographers with experience and a good kit know how to light and how to get the best from your wedding. A student photographer or budget photographer might be good at getting reportage shots but they might not get the right shots. Equally remember no photographer, no matter how good they are, can guarantee you will get published, but they will guarantee you get photographs you will cherish forever.

For this feature (as it is from the bride's point of view) I used my own wedding photographs by Emily Quinton. She was an absolute star, especially shooting a wedding of two photographers in a room full of photographers, which is never easy!

With thanks to Julia for sharing these tips. Watch out for Part II coming up with tips for photographers on how to get published in a wedding magazine.