Wedding photo editing has a certain feel to it. Not everyone gets it right, and not everyone even knows what they're supposed to do. Many brides have a certain look they want for their images, and it can be very specific. Here are a few tips that should make your wedding photo editing pop:
Good Photos First
It's all about the photo. It doesn't matter if your wedding photo editing is on point if the photo is terrible. Weddings are often a "one shot" event and if you don't get it right then and there editing won't salvage it, and there's no "do over". It's hardly a secret but it's definitely a must know before shooting any wedding that your work is up to the challenge.
Don't be afraid of the Dark
Weddings are often full of bright sunlight and joy, yet some of the best wedding photos are taken in poorly lit areas. It's expected that some of the photos will end up dark so don't be afraid to use creative lighting, and always have a Speedlight with you. When editing, you'll need to address this issue either with graduated filters, radial filters, or improving the exposure in camera and dialing down the noise. You can also add your own lighting improvements this way even if you couldn't get it perfect in camera.
Black and White isn't a Fix
Many people feel that black and white wedding photo editing is more effective at conveying powerful images. The problem is that other photographers use it to hide poor or faulted images because it's more forgiving. Do give it a try if you're unsure whether color is right but don't use it just to hide a poor image.
Many brides want a vintage or dreamy feel to their wedding photo editing. There are lots of ways to go about this including adding an adjustment layer that lowers contrast or radial filters which expose and add warm tones to simulate sunlight. Haziness can also hide an unsightly background and help bring the focus back to your subject, and it can also help to give a warm, happy feel to photos.
Edit the Same
One of the key elements to wedding photo editing is not to get overly creative with your edits. Your bride wants all her images to have the same "Feel" so sticking to the same actions, presets, and editing techniques is essential to get that. If you're not sure of your editing process, then write it down with the numbers set. You can also refer to the history log to see what you did.
Many brides choose cool colors for their wedding, but it's well documented that cold colors evoke different feelings than warm ones so keeping skin tones and photos warm will help make the occasion seem happier. Wedding photo editing is about capturing the joyousness of the moment, so you don't want glum, blue colors everywhere. This will also affect your white balance if you're not sure so be sure to tweak that to keep everything slightly warmer for weddings.
Many photographers hire professional editing services. Just because you hired a photographer for your wedding, it doesn't mean they're the ones editing the pictures. Wedding photo editing takes time, and the best photographers simply don't have that to be editing because they're busy shooting weddings. If you're a photographer, don't hesitate to contract out your wedding photo editing if the need arises, since this rarely costs a lot and can free up your time for more bookings. This is one of the biggest secrets in wedding photography and is usually what differentiates pros from intermediates.