5 Common Wedding Mistakes

5 Common Wedding Mistakes

5 Common Wedding Mistakes with Melanie Anderson

Want more information on this article? Get access to video content and additional supporting images. Launch the May issue of the magazine by logging in or signing up for a free account by clicking here. Shutter Magazine is the industry’s leading professional photography magazine.

This month, we look at how to keep your gear lightweight, items to pack for care kits for your bride and you, one of the most important mistakes that wedding photographers make, and how to showcase images and create suggestions of products at the sales session.


A preconsultation is so vital in wedding photography. This is the only genre where I meet with potential clients before doing business with them. This is the opportunity to find out if we are a good fit, to learn their needs and personality, and to educate our clients on the importance power of the print. Showcasing albums and wall portraits allows us to presell products and create an awareness that not only are you there for the day of the wedding, but that you actually care about creating heirloom products for them. Explain how important it is, that years from now the investment will be one they will not regret.

I pour everything into the wedding day—this is a day that I too cannot get back—so I want to know that my investment in time is worth it. I also want to ensure that I actually get along with the potential clients.

Occasionally I learn that our product prices are too expensive for a potential client. This is a perfect time to suggest a gift registry for the after-the-wedding sales. We create a custom link with graphics for the couple to share on social media via their custom website if they have one. Most couples create these so their friends and family can keep up to date on wedding plans. Brides use the for journaling their experience. These custom sites are a great place to link a registry directly or via a link. We can link to our website and create a shopping cart in any denomination. This money is tracked and used for their albums and wall portraits. It’s a win-win for your studio and your bride and groom.

Encourage parents of the bride and groom to join in on consultations. They are often the ones paying for the wedding, and if you can make a connection with them, chances are they will be willing to increase their budget and include parent albums in post sales.


The gear musts for me include the Spider Camera Holster. I use the strap as well as the holster system. I had the company create a dual unit for me so I can carry two camera bodies at the same time. I don’t shoot without it. The Holster is an extension of me. Having my gear at my hips saves my lower back, shoulders and neck, and allows me to be hands-on with my clients. I can fix their hair and position them more easily. It alleviates having to set down my camera or having it swing from my neck all day.

Having two camera bodies lets me keep a 24–70 lens on one and a 70–200 on the other, giving me versatility throughout the ceremony and reception. The other lenses in my bag are a macro to capture the detail shots, a wide angle or fisheye for more create and cinematic imagery, and an 85mm for portraits. I like the 85mm, which I shoot wide open, allowing me to photograph anywhere.

I bring speedlights, which are portable, lightweight, durable and dependable. I like to have three speedlights so I can capture depth; I set up two or three side by side to overshadow the sun, creating more cinematic images and allowing the sky to shine through. Some lightweight stands, extra batteries and MagMod systems round out all that you need for any lighting conditions.

One last piece of equipment I always bring is a stepladder. It’s useful for special dances and cutting of the cake, where I might want a higher angle.


Lack of self-care is one of the most important mistakes photographers make. We stay so focused on the bride and groom along with everything around us that we might forget to eat and hydrate. You are no good to anyone if you don’t feel well. I keep Pepto and Advil in my arsenal. An extra set of clothing is a good idea. Accidents happen. Someone could spill something on you, clothing could rip or you could sweat through. Changing before the reception keeps you looking and feeling professional. I also keep water, soda and small snacks on hand.

I also keep a mini notepad and pen for any last-minute changes that I need to remember, such as a family member requesting special shots that the bride and groom had not mentioned, and that I will do my best to accommodate if time permits.

Bridal Care

I keep a bridal care kit with me that includes bobby pins, safety pins, clear nail polish and hairspray. I also pack small snacks and water for the bride.


This is the most common mistake wedding photographers make. Always invite your bride and groom and their parents to come back to your studio to view the art prints and album options. Otherwise, you are leaving money on the table. You can make more money from product sales than the wedding coverage. It starts with educating your client at the consultation, where you explain your process and the importance of printing their images and creating heirloom products.

Action Plans

  • Create a gift registry.
  • Create a self-care kit.

Create a bridal care kit.

Want more information on this article? Get access to video content and additional supporting images. Launch the May issue of the magazine by logging in or signing up for a free account by clicking here. Shutter Magazine is the industry’s leading professional photography magazine.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. mizcaliflower

    Dual Spider holster! Wow. The wild wild west! I LOVE it!

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