Picture-Perfect Rehearsal Dinner: Photography Tips for Planning and Preparation 

So, you’ve been hired as a Indianapolis wedding photographer. Kudos! This means you’ll be doing all the events, including the rehearsal dinner photography. A rehearsal dinner has it all: the laughter, the intricate setting, the beautiful environment, the toasts, and so much more. Rehearsal dinners are there so everybody can walk through the main event and make themselves comfortable with the settings in the hopes that everything goes according to the plan.
A wedding is one of the most important events in any couple’s lifetime, and the rehearsal dinner ensures it goes exactly as it was supposed to. This is where you (the photographer) come in. It’s not just a rehearsal for the bride and groom and their guests, but for you too, and it is equally important. Not only because you’ll be preparing for the main event but also because you can get some candid, unadulterated moments that deserve to be captured.
Now, if it’s your first time, no need to panic. We’re here for you. Here are some tips that’ll get you through the rehearsal dinner with ease and make your job easier.

1. Dress to Impress
It’s not your wedding, so why should you dress to the T? Fair question. The answer is simple. This is where you’ll meet almost everybody for the first time. You’ve already met the bride and the groom and some of their family members. Here’s where you meet the cousins, the uncles, the friends, colleagues, and more. Dressing sharp can help you look professional and make connections. Don’t know how to dress? Black is the way to go.

2. Familiarize Yourself with the Area
This is one of the most crucial tips for you. You have to make sure you not only know the area but also what it’s going to be used for. You have to know where the bride and groom will stand, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and more. You also have to know where the flower girls and the ring bearers will approach and where they will stand. Then, you have to find a good spot for yourself so you can perfectly cover the entire area without any blockage. A lot is going on at a wedding, and sometimes, you might have to move to another spot, so keep an eye out for a backup place. This way, you’ll be prepared to handle all the action and move if you want.
What you can do is go to the venue and scout it out in advance. Learn about all the ins and outs, and you can even talk to the officiant. Ask for any rules that need to be followed. Also, check the lighting and see what you need and where you need to stand and move. This will tell you if you need any extra lighting equipment or not. With all this information in your head, you can plan and prepare for any eventuality like any good wedding photographer.

3. Meet the Family
Have you ever been to a wedding where you forgot to take a family member’s photograph? It happens sometimes, but you have to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Don’t wait for the actual day. Introduce yourself to the family at the rehearsal as you’ll get more time. Get to know their names and relation to the groom and the bride, and familiarize yourself. This includes grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, and other important people. Use the time to catch their interactions with each other—a hug, the clink of two glasses, laughter, dance, or a group photo. It’ll help you for the main event, and maybe you can get some good shots at the rehearsal, too. This will also help you with the portraits later on.

4. Guide The Couple
There are two ways you can do this as a wedding photographer: you can follow the couple as they make their way through the wedding, or you can guide them through it all. One way is trouble for you, and the other one ensures seamless operation and great photos. And the best time to do that is during the rehearsal dinner. You already know the timeline, you’ve been to the venue and scouted your positions, and you know where to stand for the best lighting.
Now, you need to coordinate it all. Most couples are doing this for the first time, so they might not know exactly what to do. You can help them out with it. Make sure you have their ear throughout the rehearsal process. Talk to them about it and guide through it all. They might be feeling a little awkward in front of the camera or when they’re posing, and you can help them get comfortable. Once you’ve taken them through the entire process, they’ll be more prepared for the main event, and so will you.

5. Be Prepared for Surprise Moments
You’ve planned it all and are ready for anything, but sometimes, there are surprises that you just couldn’t have planned better. An emotional speech, a laugh, honest feelings, expressions, and so much more. So keep your eyes peeled, and you just might capture a photograph that the couple will thank you for.

Tell Stories That People Fall in Love With
As a wedding photographer, it’s your job to capture all the extraordinary moments that tell stories. For this purpose, you need to be prepared and have a plan, but also to observe and find that unplanned moment that takes the cake. Don’t worry! You’ll do great.
At 2.0 Photography Co., we love to tell love stories. Telling wedding stories is exactly what we want to do. We capture moments that live on forever and create magic with our lenses. So, what are you waiting for? Contact 2.0 Photography Co., and let’s make some magic.