A wedding photo is meant to preserve your fabulous day for the rest of your life -- it's not just your new profile pic on Facebook after all! But nuptial shots can look stiff and boring if you're not careful -- or worse, just like everyone else's. How can you make them unique? Here are new wedding photography ideas that'll take you from pre- to post- "I do."
Before the Reception...
1. Become the Center of Attention
Instead of flowers, fill photo cubes with different shots from your dating history or world travels and then use them as table centerpieces. It's a great conversation-starter and a nice way for guests to learn more about the early stages of your relationship. And unlike fresh blooms, you can decorate your home with these afterward.
2. Be the Favors
Have your photo imprinted on cookies and leave one at each place setting. Opt for a black-and-white, vintage-looking image so it doesn't come out cheesy. Wrap the cookie in wax paper and tie with a ribbon. Then let wedding guests
eat their hearts out -- and your faces off! 3. Head to the City
Engagement cityscape shoots are popular because of the iconic quality of posing by recognizable landmarks. No skyline? Shooting against an urban brick wall can convey the same message. Use your favorite image in your save-the-dates or, for instant reception decor
, blow up one of the pictures, mat it, and set it on an easel near the escort cards. Display other shots in your table cards.
4. Ditch the Formality
During the Reception...
Try some casual shots, like the bride sitting on a staircase right after the wedding ceremony
, breathing a sigh of relief, with champagne at her feet. Or consider finding an "unofficial" setting. If your reception is at a country club, take pics on the golf course. Ask your photographer to get candids of your group making their way there. It's those between-the-moments photos that always turn out best.
5. Go Behind the Curtain
Rent a photo booth and a technician to troubleshoot. Have guests tape wacky shots next to their messages in the guest book. Or create a DIY photo studio in a section of the reception room. Hang a nine-foot-wide seamless paper for a backdrop and bring a printer so guests can take photos home.6. Let it Slide
Run a slideshow of images from the ceremony and cocktail hour from your photographer's laptop and project them on a screen during dinner. Guests will love looking at what they just experienced, and they'll have plenty to talk about at the tables.
7. Go Digital
After the Reception...
Instead of mounting a few photos on a wall in traditional frames, display a bunch in a single digital frame. Upload multiple images from a memory card or your computer and watch a slideshow of your day. You can even add music. It makes a great gift too.8. Book 'Em
Skip the traditional album (the one with thick-as-cardboard, single-photo pages) in favor of high-quality coffee table books, like AsukaBooks. The images are printed on paper, and the layout is more like what you'd see in a magazine. Opt for a leather-bound or Lucite-covered book for a classic look that's less stuffy than a traditional album.9. Learn to Preserve
Enlarging some final prints on museum-quality, fiber-based, silver paper will definitely be worth the purchase down the road when your precious memories are still intact. "A photograph on this paper could last for several hundred years," says Jen Kroll, a photographer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When archiving your photos and negatives, choose acid-free boxes, negative-sleeves, and binders. They're pricey, but the absence of acid prevents your photos from yellowing or deteriorating.
-- Stephanie Emma Pfeffer
Photos from top: Almasy Photo; Modern Wedding Photography; Kristin Spencer Photography