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Photography Credits

Five Quick Tips with Wedding Photographer, Gia Canali

Wedding Planning Tips

Photo credit: Matthew Manus

Southern California photographer, Gia Canali, captures memories for couples all over the state of California, as well destination weddings.

Gia shares her Five Quick Tips from both a bride and photographer’s point-of-view:

1. Don’t rush! These are the moments we live to savor (both in anticipating them before the wedding and in remembering them afterwards). Having too ambitious of a schedule, or too harried of a pace — when everything already feels like it’s on fast-forward — makes it so much harder to take in the hugeness of what’s happening to you. Plan the day you want to have, pad your schedule, take some time to breathe, pause, laugh, cry (or both laugh and cry!), and look around while it’s all happening.

2. With respect to timing, take the most important photos of the day in the best light (but don’t forget to pay attention to lighting throughout the day and night). Usually, the intimate portraits of the couple are the most important photos. And usually the best light of the day is during that time just before (and even just after) sunset.

3. Plan to keep your loved ones close by and involved. Sharing real moments with the people who are important to you is not only meaningful, but also makes for great candid photographs (and candid memories!). If you’re not nearby one another at various points throughout the day, you won’t be in frame together. I can’t tell you how often I hear brides say to me at the end of the night “I hardly saw my mom” or “I didn’t really get to spend any time with my bridesmaids.”

4. Let yourself be wrapped up in the moment. In other words, don’t be too camera aware. The loveliest and most telling photographs are possible when you’re completely absorbed with one another. Forget about us.

5. Ask your vendors what they need from you to do the best possible job for you and then try to give it to them. Do this well ahead of your wedding. The answer won’t be the same for every vendor, and you might be surprised by what they say. In fact, your vendors might even be surprised to be asked. But the results will be well worth that little bit of extra effort.

And a few more questions for Gia…

What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
Seeing my very-soon-to-be husband right away! I didn’t want to spend my entire day waiting to see him. And I didn’t want to miss any of the party once it started (not even to take photos!). Those few moments Matt and I had together when we saw each other for the first time that morning, at the beginning of what was otherwise an absolute whirlwind of a day, are some of our keenest memories of our wedding.

If you could change one thing about your wedding, what would it be?
I’m going to cheat and say two things. We’ve been married for seven years and we’ve seen (probably) a couple hundred weddings together in those years. So we’ve had a lot of time to think of answers to this question, and earlier in our marriage might have answered it differently.

Now, though, I can say unequivocally that the thing we’d change in a heart beat is that we would have made our parents a much more important part of our day. I wish we could have honored them more. And I wish we could have spent more time with them.

Secondly–and I realize that this might come across self-serving–but I say it because it is true: we wish we’d hired a wedding planner, for no other reason than we think we would have had more fun. It seemed like an unnecessary expense at the time and we were paying for almost everything ourselves. But there are so many decisions to make and so many questions asked of us and so, so many things to do (I got a to-do list from The Knot for DIY brides and unhappily it somehow always had 108 things left to do … no matter how many things I did … even when I looked at it for one last time the night before the wedding!). Like a lot of DIY planning couples I see (and photograph!) now, we were so busy trying to pull off the event that we didn’t have very much time to enjoy it.

Thank you for your great advice, Gia! 

If you would like to be featured in Five Quick Tips, please contact me at info AT amynichols DOT com.

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