First things first- Congratulations, & thank you so much for choosing me!
I'd love for you to consider me your friend because we'll be spending a lot of time together on your wedding day!
This guide is packed with helpful tips that are aimed to assist you throughout your wedding day;
Over the years, I've picked up a few tricks that will help ensure that your images are simply stunning, because you deserve nothing less. Allow me to give you the lowdown on what you may expect!
The wedding timeline!
Depending on your individual wedding, you'll want to create a detailed, hour-by-hour wedding day timeline to guarantee your day runs smoothly. This will help you stay organized, stress-free, and on time. Share your wedding day timetable with your wedding party, wedding coordinator/planner, photographer, caterer, florist, and other vendors once you've completed it so that everyone is on the same page.
While most weddings follow the same format, the order in which these events occur may differ based on your preferences. It’s not a one size fits all! Whether you're having a traditional wedding, a super laid back wedding, eloping, etc. Please feel free to talk to me about the specifics of your day and I can help you work anything out if needed!
You have most likely spent lots of time carefully picking various details for your wedding- I thoroughly enjoy photographing them as part of your story! Please gather all of your wedding details and have them available for me to shoot when I arrive. After greeting you, I'll begin taking detail photographs while your hair and makeup are being done. I suggest gathering these items in a box ahead of time!
After your venue and ceremony area, the getting ready place is the most important space on your wedding day. It's where you'll spend the morning with your wedding party, get ready and have photographs taken. When picking a location for getting ready, look for an open space with plenty of natural light. You can see the difference between the photographs below; The first one being taken in a room with white walls and a ton of natural light- the second having basically no natural light which added moodiness!
(photos will differ depending on lighting. decor, overall vibe of the space, etc)
I like to capture your excitement and emotion while you prepare. Those priceless moments with your bridesmaids, mother, sister, or anyone else who is assisting you.
There's something about the jitters leading up to the wedding, the small moments of "this is it," and the often booze-induced laughs with your best friends!
This part is primarily candids. However, I try to make sure everyone is generally ready before I start photographing them. You probably don't want a photo of yourself with half-done makeup or hair, haha. When it comes to what to wear, you'll want to ensure that you're getting ready in a way that you'd want to be captured on photos. It's absolutely up to you how you go about doing so; For some brides, having her bridal party wear matching outfits is the way to go. Others would think of it as giving everyone a customised shirt or robe to wear while getting their hair and makeup done. After all, you're not just making memories on your wedding day, you're preserving them! By the time I enter the room, you should all be looking and feeling fantastic.
After capturing the getting ready process we'll snap a few shots of you all together before you get your dress on, and of course shots of your gown being put on/buttoned up!
Let's face it: your wedding is both the best and most stressful day of your life. I usually advise my couples to do a first look since it allows you to have a quiet moment with your partner away from the crowds at the ceremony. You get to take take a break from the hustle and bustle to spend some quality time with each other and soak up the love and excitement.
You want to see that teary and emotional reaction from your partner when you first see each other. However, when you're up in front of a large crowd, for some it's difficult to concentrate on anything other than the faces staring at you. What I've discovered is that taking a first look gives you a safe space to be emotional and enjoy the moment. After seeing each other for the first time, you can hug, kiss, twirl, and get a good look at each other without feeling rushed. First look photos give you a moment in your crazy day to tell each other how much you love each other in private.
*Another option is to have a first look with your dad, I'm a sucker for these first looks, so it goes without saying that I adore them*
But if you prefer to stick to the traditional way, that's totally fine! I never want my couples to feel like I'm pressuring them to have a first look, but I do want you to be informed!
After the first look, (if you plan to have one) we'll capture some photos of just the two of you. We'll do this section straight after the ceremony if you don't do a first look. In either case, you're overflowing with joy and love, and these images will prove it! It's time for the wedding party photos after your first look and couple's photos (if you're not doing a first look, we'll take these after the ceremony) I'll take some shots of just one partner's side, then the other’s, and then group shots of everyone. I'll also make sure to grab individual shots of the two of you with members of your party. I know you want your wedding to be a blast for all of your best friends. So, similarly to the couple's shoot, I avoid stiff poses. Some of my favorite wedding party prompts are to have the couple kiss while everyone else cheers loudly, popping champagne, or the famous "beer run!"
And we’re finally here! This is the moment you've been looking forward to. It's easy to get caught up in all the preparations and stress. However, remember the most important thing is that this is the beginning of your lives together. Savor these moments! When you marry the love of your life, you ask all of your closest friends and family to be there with you; You want them to be there to share this special moment with you; you want to see their faces, their grins, their tears of joy and excitement as you walk down the aisle. You don't want to glance back down the aisle and find people taking shots of you with cameras and phones covering their faces. I've witnessed many situations where a guest's phone is sticking out into the aisle, obstructing not just the moment but also the images I'm capturing as your photographer. I strongly recommend having an unplugged ceremony to avoid phones dangling down the aisle and to allow guests to be more present.
There are a few ways to inform your guests if you decide to have an unplugged wedding. Tell them early through the invite by adding a line that says, ‘We would love you to be there, so we are having an unplugged wedding, please no photos during the ceremony.’ You can also request that the officiant make a brief announcement requesting guests to turn off their phones and refrain from taking photos.
The usual ceremony lasts around 30 minutes or less, but if you want to include any specific traditions, I'd recomend more time.
Two important tips that I have are asking your officiant to move out of the way before the first kiss so they aren't in the background of the photo, and holding your kiss longer than usual for lots of shots! Something a little less traditional would be having the officiant stand at the opposite end of the alter!
My goal is for you to have the most enjoyable and efficient family photos possible! While they may appear daunting, I am here to make them go smoothly. Here are some tips: Make sure the family members who will be in your group shots are aware ahead of time. You can also have your officiant make an announcement asking family members to meet for photos after the ceremony in a designated location, though typically we would do them at your ceremony space.
Before your wedding, prepare a shot list so that you know all of the family photo combinations you want. This way, someone can call out who is up next and we won't forget any shots that you listed. It can be a huge help to have a friend or family member who knows your families to assist in making sure everyone in the family photos is there and ready to go. I suggest starting with the largest group and working your way down to smaller groups so that any visitors who are no longer required can be dismissed. I also recommend taking photos of grandparents or older guests first so that they can be dismissed earlier as well. When a guest takes a photo over my shoulder, it can confuse folks as to where to look and slow down the process. Please ask guests to refrain from taking photos with their phones until I've gotten my shots first.