Bride-only photos and wedding-themed photos are being updated to reflect more than just the bride and groom.
New guidelines for wedding photography and wedding day photos will go into effect in the coming weeks, allowing photographers to capture wedding guests with more variety, including more people, and a wider range of styles, venues and settings.
The new rules come on the heels of a wave of major wedding-related announcements in recent years.
They include the creation of a unified website for wedding planning, as well as a set of new wedding-friendly guidelines and the first ever-updated list of wedding-specific events.
According to the guidelines, the new “Wedding Photographer Plan” will be updated every six months, allowing designers to better meet the needs of designers, photographers, event planners and wedding venues.
The rules will also include an expanded section for weddings that include guests who want to take their photography to a new level.
“The bride and bridegroom will have more time and more options, and I think that will be a good thing,” said Heidi Johnson, senior communications manager at wedding planning company Bride & Go, in an interview.
“I think people will find that the process will be easier.”
The new “plan” will cover a wide range of options for photographers, from weddings where everyone will have their own style, to more casual events that allow photographers to get away from a wedding setting and focus on the guests.
A list of all of the options is currently available for free online.
The guidelines are being rolled out to the wedding photographer community, which has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride over the past year or so.
They were first announced by the groom and bride, who also released a set that included some wedding-focused content.
But the new guidelines were quickly met with backlash, particularly from photographers and photographers’ groups.
Many photographers felt the guidelines were too restrictive, limiting the number of people, venues, and settings that can be included in wedding photos.
The updated guidelines will help clarify what’s covered, said Heather Johnson, president and CEO of wedding photography website WeddingWire.org, which offers wedding planning services.
The new guidelines will also give photographers a clearer sense of what they can and can’t include in their photos.
For photographers, the updated guidelines should help them better understand what kind of weddings they can make, Johnson said.
The updated guidelines include the ability to include guests, such as wedding planners and photographers, in their wedding photos, so that they’re not just capturing a single image.
For venue owners, it will help ensure that they are not excluding people from the venue and creating more diversity, Johnson noted.
“It will also help increase the overall diversity in the venue, because it will allow people to see more of the venue,” she said.
For wedding-oriented event planners, it means they will be able to better cater to different wedding guests, said Lauren Stenholm, senior director of wedding planning for The Wedding Planning Group, which represents some of the biggest wedding-centric venues.
“With more guests coming in and having their own expectations, it makes sense for a wedding planner to do their best to accommodate all the different guests,” she added.
While some photographers will be happy to see the new rules implemented, some photographers were not happy with the initial release of the guidelines.
They felt that the guidelines weren’t fully in line with the existing guidelines.
“I am not a wedding photographer and am not going to have any of the wedding planning I am doing,” one wedding photographer told WeddingWire, referring to the “Weds” and “weddings” sections in the guidelines and wedding photography pages.
“The whole point of the rules is to keep the process as simple as possible, and it does not seem like there is any way that we can do that anymore.”
Some photographers are also still looking for more ways to increase the variety of photos in their images.
For example, wedding planners can still include wedding guests in their pictures, but there will be more variety in the “weds” section, said Krista Pappas, president of wedding planner WeddingWire Group.
The revised guidelines are also aimed at making sure that wedding planners have a better understanding of what their guests want and need.
“For the wedding photographers out there, I hope that the new policies are a good start,” Johnson said, “and hopefully we’ll see more changes to the new wedding photography guidelines in the future.”
The wedding photographer guidelines were released this week, and they are expected to go into force in October.