I am writing this post to tell my clients how to get the best out of their wedding day photos. Particularly, I would like to focus on reception center choices. You have probably seen some beautiful weddings on my blog. If you want your wedding to turn out just as beautiful, I recommend taking the advice below.
The details of your reception could be as beautiful as possible, but if the reception location is not beautiful, then I can only do so much to make the photos turn out. There are a couple of things to look for when choosing a location. Lighting and background are the most important to me. I strongly recommend choosing an outdoor location, but this is not always possible. So, below is advice on indoor locations.
Lighting: When choosing an indoor location, seriously consider the lighting. Any location that is dark will cause issues for the pictures. Natural lighting is ideal—choose a location that lets in as much natural light as possible. If it doesn’t let in very much natural light, consider hanging bistro lights. When a location is dark, it makes it very difficult for me to get good detail shots, candid shots, and group shots.
Backdrop: When choosing an indoor location, seriously consider the backdrop. I do not recommend choosing locations that have hosue-like walsl. Tan colored walls is something I see a lot and it really is not a very good backdrop—it looks like your reception is at your house, and it reflects the lighting in a strange way. I see these types of walls in restaurants and golf courses a lot. I can only do so much to correct something like this. When picking a location, look at the walls because they will be the backdrop to my photos.
Some great places for indoor photos are below.
Greenhouses (La Caille, Red Butte Gardens, and Le Jardin have beautiful greenhouses)
Barns (Sundance, the SLC Hardware building, or a family-owned barn)
Lighting: Outdoor locations usually have the best lighting. Luncheons can be difficult at times for lighting, because the sun is at the highest point in the sky during lunch, and the lighting is definitely not ideal. It’s best to choose an outdoor location that has lots of trees when choosing a luncheon location. For receptions, the lighting is usually good starting at 5pm.
Backrop: There really is no limit on outdoor locations. I STRONGLY recommend my clients to not hold back when it comes to outdoor locations. If you dream of it, make it happen. I love weddings that are done at unique outdoor locations. This is the best way to get a beautiful wedding. Some people shy away from non-conventional locations because they fear it will be too difficult. However, these are the locations that get the best results. I have done a lot of backyard weddings. Although these can be pretty, it is sometimes difficult because there are things like trampolines, swing-sets, white modern fences, and of course houses in the background. If you are going to have a backyard wedding, do your best to choose a location where the house is not incredibly visible, and where the backyard looks more natural, rather than like a backyard.
Here are some ideas I’d love to see next year for reception locations:
A reception in the woods (There are some beautiful woods locations up Provo Canyon)
A reception in an orchard (I know of an orchard that would allow this for a small party of 50)
A reception on a dirt road (I think it would be cool to have long rectangle tables going all the way down the road.. I have a road in mind for this that I think would be beautiful)
A reception in a valley with mountains in the background (I know of a beautiful spot like this up Provo Canyon)
A rooftop reception (I’ve done one like this but I’d love to see more!)
A reception in a super green park (I like the idea of making this a sort of whimsical wedding—cotton candy, bistro lights hanging, etc.)
Under a big tree (I think it would be gorgeous to have round tables surrounding the tree, and lights and things hanging from the tree)
Here are some outdoor reception centers that I like:
Conrad Ranch (I recommend having your wedding in the cow pasture, that’s where I had mine)
Young Living Farms (the lavender fields--there is a dirt road that runs alongside the fields, it could be cool to run tables along that road as well if they'd allow it. I know they do allow weddings at the farm)
Sundance (they have some beautiful fields that would be great for an outdoor wedding)
Somewhere Inn Time
Louland Falls (formerly Rose Sachs Gardens)
Red Butte Gardens (they have a really pretty path where the trees arch over, it could be cool to run tables down that path)
The Springville Art Museum (I would love to see a reception in the actual courtyard. There is a fountain there, I think it would be beautiful to have the tables surrounding the fountain
Details: Details are extremely important to a wedding. When thinking of details, consider how they will photograph. Lots of details will add interest to your wedding. One detail that I feel is the most important is the flowers. I do not recommend using fake flowers, I always recommend using real ones.
Food: When choosing your food, I recommend choosing food that will photograph well. Cupcakes, donuts, pies, hot chocolate, milk, cakes, cookies, and fancy treats all photograph well. Sandwiches, salads, and things like that don’t always photograph well. Also, plastic plates don’t photograph well.. go for brown, natural colored plates. Also, sometimes food is just plopped where works, but always consider the backdrop of the food tables. I would say that food is normally not put up against the best backdrop, so it can be difficult to get good shots of the food. If the food is put up against a good, solid backdrop, the shots will e much better.
To get the best photo results out of your wedding, always be thinking about the photos.. think about what will photograph best. Don’t hold back, go for super unique concepts and ideas to make the wedding stand out.
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