Guest post: Amy Vitrano Creatives weighs in on weddings

Four Factors to Consider While Planning a Wedding…from my side of the lens

Here in the peak of wedding season, Amy Vitrano, a seasoned photographer, videographer, and stylist (and an all-around doll) weighs in on a few key pieces to ensure wedding success. Also, a special offer awaits readers of below.


Amy says:

A wedding is one ceremony, one party, one day, one chance to make all of your wedding dreams come true. So many brides and grooms agree that this one pivotal day passes in a blur. Enter: the wedding photographer/videographer to preserve memories for a lifetime.

Most couples choose to have at least one photographer to capture their special day, but more often than not we are seeing 2 + photographers and 2 + videographers at a single wedding. According to The Knot, the average wedding costs $27,800. If your photography budget is even a fraction of that amount, you should be able to look back at the pictures and videos and be pleased with how your money was spent.

From my view, here are three major factors to consider while planning your wedding that can make or break the outcome of your photos and video:

1. Lighting

Lighting is crucial to crisp, clear, and beautiful images. The best way to achieve ideal lighting is to carefully choose lights. Outdoor ceremonies are best in the evening during the “golden hour,” about an hour before the sunsets to give you that gorgeous glow you often see in romantic movies. Using the sun and other natural light is also the cheapest lighting on the market. The problem with your ceremony being at sunset, however, is that your reception is after dusk, when darkness falls. I have shot numerous weddings where the ceremony had perfect lighting, but by the reception it was too dark to even see into my camera bag, let alone produce clear images. Remember: flash or external lighting can often produce effects that are harsh, distracting, and deter from the romantic glow of the environment.

If you want to follow your ceremony with an outdoor reception here are a few suggestions:

  • A canopy of twinkle lights over the reception site
  • Twinkle lights, or dainty bulb lights ( overhead light on you and your guests)
  • Candles - another pretty way to add illumination. But go big or go home. Large candelabras in the centerpieces of the table will illuminate the faces of your guests; tea lights won’t quite cut it.
  • Tiki torches, lanterns, or even under-the-table lights to add an extra glow

For indoor events: Remember- What may look good to the eye is usually too dark on camera, so it’s a good idea to bring a camera with you while choosing your venue, or even invite your photographer along. If you plan to get married in a church, but do not want to use the harsh overhead lights, be sure that you can afford to properly light the chapel with candles and lanterns. Trust me, he/she will greatly appreciate it.

2. Location

If you are one of the lucky few who have a friend or family member with gorgeous property that you can use free of charge, that’s great. For most people, the venue is a huge investment that should be chosen with care.

Outdoor weddings are becoming more and more popular, but the biggest downfall of an outdoor wedding is that most outdoor venues do not offer a viable back up plan in case of rain. I don’t care what month of the year you are getting married, or how many days and nights you spend praying for nice weather, you ALWAYS NEED A GOOD PLAN B. I don’t mean to yell, but wedding after wedding, I have seen disappointed brides forced to change their wedding plans at the last minute to an option that is sub par to the one they have dreamt about for months. And trust me, as many encouraging words as your family and friends will offer you, your experience, memories and especially pictures will negatively reflect the lack of preparation and change of location.


3. Coordination

Be sure and choose wisely the person you elect to be in charge of your day.

Many wedding coordinators are strong-headed, organized individuals who are great at executing tasks, but not so great at going with the flow. I have worked so many weddings where the coordinator takes charge of situations that are not under his/her control. Your media crews are their own coordinators; they know what needs to happen to give you the best images possible; this is not necessarily the case for wedding coordinators. They need to know their boundaries, be courteous of other hired help, and be able to alter the plan as needed. It’s a good idea to introduce your coordinator and other help before the day of the wedding, even if it’s as simple as having your coordinator email your media crew and offer a friendly introduction.

4. Aesthetic

If you cannot afford a professional decorator, be sure and approve of all the decorations and ideas far in advance. Many friends and family members tend to start putting their own “two cents” in at the last minute, which can quickly alter all of your ideas. Make sure you have chosen people who will stick to the plan and not decide at the last hour to change the fabric on your tables and add fake flowers to the arbor that you’re saying your vows under. Professionals are paid to do exactly what you instruct them to do and are used to working in teams, friends and family mean well, but don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to creative collaboration.

Take it from a gal who dabbles in event videography and photography: there’s only so much your media team can do to make your day look good, the rest is up to you.

To find out more about Amy’s services, visit her site at Also, an exclusive offer for readers of Amy is offering a book one portrait session (family, friends, senior portraits, individuals) by August 1 and get the second portrait session half-off. Mention you read this post on when you contact Amy to take advantage of this discount.


Here are a few pix of our fambam that Amy took in our yard this past fall. How talented is she??