Last weekend, I was talking with my assistant about some of our favorite and least favorite wedding venues to photograph, and I realized, most couples probably don’t think about venues the same way we do. When touring venues, you may think about the decor, the guest count, the pricing, etc., but if you want to walk away from your wedding with stunning wedding photos, it helps to think about your photography when choosing a venue. To help you out, I’ve summarized a few of things photographers want you to think about when choosing a wedding venue!
My name is Madeline, and I’m a wedding photographer in Dallas, Texas, that has photographed dozens of wedding venues over my career. If you think I might be the wedding photographer for you, I would love to connect with you here! You can also read more about me here and my business here. But anyway, let’s dig into some tips for choosing a wedding venue (from a photography perspective)!
One of the top things that makes photographers love or hate a wedding venue is the lighting at the ceremony site. Couples often tour venues in the morning or mid day and don’t get to see what the lighting will look like for their ceremony. Then when it comes to their wedding day, one of them is left staring directly into the sun for the entire ceremony. Or maybe there’s a harsh, uneven shadow across their faces, there’s speckled lighting, etc.
Bad lighting at your ceremony is something your photographer simply can’t fix, and it will make your photos look less high-end. So make sure you view your ceremony site in the late afternoon to ensure the lighting is nice, even and in no one’s eyes!
This fall has been the season of rain!! I’ve photographed more rain weddings in the last three months than I have in years, and it breaks my heart to see brides feel disappointed that the wedding is being moved inside. So make sure you love the indoor ceremony option just as much as the outdoor one (and make sure the venue has a backup location at all!)
When looking at an indoor ceremony location, you want it to have a nice, clean backdrop. So no cords, dj booths, or odd signs on the walls. Make sure there’s plenty of space for your guests and for your photographers to walk around during the ceremony and set up lights if necessary. And be sure it feels like a beautiful ceremony location and not just a backup spot that was an afterthought for the venue.
Besides the ceremony and reception space, it’s important to take a look around the venue for good photo spots. Ask the manager during your tour where photographer’s usually take photos and see if you like the spots. If you have a large wedding party, be sure there’s a beautiful spot big enough to accomodate all of you.
Some places that make good photo spots are fields, large trees, pretty landscaping, the front of your venue, and covered patios. And again, be sure you like the indoor locations as well just in case it’s raining!
Getting ready photos can be one of the toughest parts of the day if a venue doesn’t have a good suites. Looks for rooms that have large windows with good natural light, and PLENTY of space to store things out of the way. If it’s a small room, it will be tough to get everyones stuff out of the way for photos.
Same goes for the groom’s suite. Venues often focus on the bride and overlook the groom, shoving him and the guys in a tiny, closet-sized space. You want the groom’s suite to have great natural light and a big enough area for photos.
This is one of the easiest ways to get an idea of how your wedding photos will look. Viewing a photographer’s blog from the venue will show you how well the venue photographs and give you an idea of some popular spots around the venue to take photos.
Some things to look for in these photos are:
I hope this gives you some things to think about as you’re touring wedding venues. Picking a venue with photos in mind can make a world of difference for your wedding photographer and the photo memories you’ll have from your big day. If you want more wedding planning advice, I share so many resources and information on my blog. If you are ready to hire the perfect photographer to document your day, I would be honored to be considered. You can read more about my services here, or contact me here!
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