This is a list of things you can do to spoil and pamper your wedding photographer.


Just kidding, that's somewhat a joke (:


All joking aside, I’m taking a minute to get all sappy on you. I already feel spoiled by you - thank you, thank you for choosing me to document your day. I'm so genuinely stoked to get to know you and create these memories for 50 years down the road when you’re old and saggy.


I’m sure you already know it, but you are FREAKING AWESOME. Here are a few tips and ideas for your wedding day to also be freaking awesome.

Getting Ready

With the hustle & bustle going on of everyone preparing, it can become a bit cluttered with bags, hair tools, etc. This is just a friendly reminder to ask your friends to help keep the area a bit tidy - plastic water bottles don't look great in the background of your photos. Getting ready in a well lit room also plays an important part! If you’re still deciding where to book, consider looking into an airbnb / hotel. You can find some really cute, well lit places! If you're unsure, feel free to ask me and I'd love to help.

If you're planning to have your bridesmaids or mom help you into their dress, it's usually a good idea for them to already be dressed so they're ready and excited to be photographed while helping you.

One of the first things I like to photograph when I arrive are your accessories. If you would like them photographed make sure to have your dress, veil, bouquet, shoes, jewelry, stationary, and both his & hers rings (if possible).  

First Look

A first look is just a few minutes out of the day where you and your love get to hang out and see each other in a more private setting before the ceremony. I love first looks, and you might too…


  1. If you’re nervous, a hug and a quick hang out with your future spouse helps a lot.

  2. Sharing that moment of anticipation and joy is awesome! Take some time to relax and take it all in - to step back and admire your beautiful bride.

  3. It can make your timeline flow smoother. Having a first look allows for wedding party portraits and bride & groom portraits to happen before the ceremony, meaning less time between the ceremony and reception. That in between time can often be difficult for your guests if they don’t have anything to occupy them. This way you can go and enjoy cocktails with your friends and family right away!


If you’ve always dreamed of seeing each other for the first time while you walk down the aisle, then high five, you’re the boss, lets do that (:


Hey this is a fun time! We get to spend a half hour with all your bffs (the wedding party). We’ll photograph a variety of groupings and make sure to get one of you + each individual. If you have any silly or untraditional ideas, bring it on!


After the wedding party portraits, it’ll just be the two of you. Why just the two of you? Your friends are a lot of fun, but it can be distracting and difficult to coordinate with everyone else during this part of the day. So many of my favourite images are from just the quiet time with two of you together - madly in love and so stoked to be married. I also love and recommend setting aside 10-15 minutes during the reception to step out for some beautiful sunset photos.


I know being in front of the camera can be awkward at first, but don’t worry 99% of you aren’t professional models. Just think of it as a little mid day hang out sesh or nature walk with your favourite third wheel.


Take it slow. If that means skipping instead of running down the aisle after you've been wed; or  smooching a little longer, do it! When you slow down and enjoy these moments, it gives me an opportunity to grab a few extra frames! & honestly, feel free to kiss at the altar 2 to 3 or twelve times haha. It gives me a chance to change angles and document different reactions, etc., plus, your guests love it.


Let’s talk about lighting. If you’re planning for an outdoor ceremony, a few things to think about is the direction and quality of light. If you’re ceremony is happening at midday, optimal lighting will be backlit - this means the sunlight is behind your officiant. In terms of quality, by that I mean avoiding harsh or spotty light. If you’re concerned about this, you could consider having your ceremony later in the day.


If you’re planning an indoor ceremony, generally there won’t be as much light as the great outdoors. That’s okay! I’ve worked in extreme low light conditions, even candle lit ceremonies. Here are some things to consider. I prefer to shoot without flash to produce images that look & feel the most like what you saw; however, in some occasions it’s necessary and my lighting setup will be used. Secondly, if there are lots of light sources with different temperatures, think about sticking to one light source to avoid mixing light temperatures. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Family Photos

Our family photos are often our most treasured photographs. Here are my two pieces of advice for these "formal" family photos:


1. If possible, keep your list short. To make sure all your loved ones are included, I suggest one big family photo with both the groom & bride's family (including your grandma, uncles, cousins, etc., if you want!); one photo of each family with the bride & groom; a few photos with just the parents, siblings, etc. Remember, there will also be additional time throughout the day for more casual photos with your guests.


Here is a sample of what an inclusive & small list looks like:

 - Bride & groom; grooms extended family; brides extended family

 - Bride & groom; bride's grandparents

 - Bride & groom; groom's grandparents

 - Bride & groom; grooms immediate family

 - Bride & groom; groom's parents

 - Bride & groom; bride's immediate family

 - Bride & groom; bride's parents


2. Please give a thorough list of groupings to the wedding coordinator or a close friend to gather the family. They will be the family herder for that 20 minute period. This is a huge help to keep the day moving and make sure everyone who needs to be in a photo, is in one!


For reception lighting, string lights and candles are great for a romantic mood! If you have enough, they provide pretty good light for photos too. If you’re unsure, just ask me and I’m happy to help. DJ Lights: While coloured and flashy lights that your DJ might use are fun for dancing and partying, they can easily kill the romantic mood of your first dance. If you are planning on having a DJ and a few special dances, I like to ask that they be turned off.

Please remember to include me for dinner, I am still a human and I get hungry too (: Most people don't love photos of themselves with a face full of food anyway. The ideal time for me to eat is at the same time with your guests. This allows me to be done when you are, and ready when something is happening!

PS. See you on the dance floor!

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Unplugged Ceremony

This just means asking your guests to tuck their phones away so they can fully enjoy and experience the ceremony. Personally, I don’t mind and I think it’s really sweet that your grandparents are so proud of you, holding up their little camera. If you’re not planning to have an unplugged ceremony, the only thing that I would recommend is asking your guests to remain seated and keep large cameras and iPads to a minimum.


Receiving Lines


Everyone is so happy and excited for you, however, it can be very time consuming and tiring when a few quick hellos become a 30 minute event. Of course this is totally up to you, and I’ll work around whatever you plan for your day.

Have a snack, drink lots of water, & have fun.

It's your freaking 

wedding day, enjoy it and stay hip hop healthy! 

If you need recommendations for florists, DJs, videographers, etc., give me shout,

I’ve got a list of

awesome people

up my sleeve!

What is my wedding day photography philosophy?

Well, wedding photography is not for me.


It’s for you, and for your family and friends and your future grandchildren. Listen, it’s true, I do love and am so excited about making an epic portrait at sunset, but in reality, it’s not sunset the entire day, and not every picture is going on my Instagram feed.

My commitment to you is to create beautiful portraits; genuine, joy filled candids that will make you giggle, family portraits to hang on your wall, emotion filled moments that may bring a tear to your eye, & etc. that will reflect who you are, and to document your wedding day as it is.

I want these to photograph your day not only by how it looks, but also by how it feels.

An Important Note

Planning can be stressful, friends' & family's expectations can be stressful, weather can be stressful. But hey, no matter what may go wrong or right, at the end of the day if you & your love said I do then got married, I would say that was a pretty successful wedding!


Email me directly at

Making pictures, documenting moments, telling stories.

Danika is a lifestyle portrait & wedding photographer based in Kelowna + Vancouver BC. 

C O P Y R I G H T 


© Danika Lee Photography 



  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • mail