The number one most important thing is to do your home work on your ceremony, reception, scenic and formal picture taking locations. If you are not from Hawaii, you could go to a bookstore or online, and read up on locations that you might have in mind, and consider other locations as well. It's nice to look at photos, but we recommend that you actually read about locations more in depth, and speak with people who have intimate knowledge of specific locations. This can be difficult, but your hard work will definitely be worth it. Understand that everyone has differing perceptions, so take the time to perhaps get a second opinion if you can.
Pre-planning is key
The planning stages are where you lay down a solid foundation for excellent wedding photos and video. Location is very important. Does your ceremony site have a nice area for formal shots, ie is the altar area inside the church pretty, and is the background dark or well lit? Is the outside area nice, and is the lighting good? Are there strong bright spots in the area that you want to shoot at the TIME OF DAY you will be shooting? Is the area in deep shade? What you want ideally is light shade with a background that is hope- fully not brighter than where the people are standing. That can be a tall order when your ceremony is outdoors at 1pm, but do your best to make the most out of your location. You don't generally want to situate yourselves with the sun behind your back, that can be disasterous for photos and especially video. There are times when back lighting can be very dramatic, hence the need for professional advice for tricky situations. Are there nice flowering plants that will be in the shots? Red torch ginger is a very beautiful and striking background. Many hotels have nice tall red ginger for that purpose. The green and red goes very well with traditional black and white dress. There are many gorgeous outdoor locations available to you for no charge, and many elegant locations that cost a considerable amount.
Do you have time to shoot at a scenic location? That is highly recommended. So, if possible, leave enough time in between, before or after your ceremony & reception for a different location with either seascapes or a waterfall or gorgeous foliage and beautiful landscapes The effort is worth it. You might consider shooting pre-nuptial photos so you are not feeling rushed on your wedding day. Hopefully the weather and lighting is nice on the actual day. That is an uncontrollable factor, and hence the value of pre-nuptial photos before the actual day. If the weather is bad on the day of your wedding, it is nice to have an optional backup location that is workable on a rainy day. Arrangements must be made in advance for hotels. If there is no need that day, some hotels will not charge you anything, or charge only a nominal fee for the backup reservation.
Advice on indoor ceremony & reception
Be aware of any restrictions against flash &/or lighting and movement of videographer/photographer if your ceremony is at a church. This is extremely important. Also, if having your reception at a hotel or other formal facility, you should let your emcee know they need to forwarn your videographer whenever he or she is going to launch into the program, or say anything that you want videotaped. Give your photographer and videographer a copy of your program as far in advance as possible. Give them specific instructions in writing, highlighted, on their copy of the program. Ask them if they have questions, and if you make sudden changes, let them know as soon as you can. You need to create a pleasant relationship with both, and you should choose them not only for their work, but also for their "bedside manner", and ability to communicate and articulate.
It is so important to feel completely comfortable, especially with your photographer. This is not a day to leave to chance. Once you have chosen your photographer and videographer, it is advised to relax, and trust them. You need to maintain your own energy level, stay centered and allow it all to happen. Choosing the right people to capture your wedding gives you the freedom to really enjoy a wedding day that is spontaneous and elegant, with the least amount of stress possible.
Article by John Rogers - http://videohilites.com/special