PLANNING A WEDDING CAN BE SUPER FUN
You’re planning your dream party with the love of your life! Your friends and family will be there to cheer you on and partake in the things you adore (did someone say cookies?) This is your time to showcase who you are as a couple and have fun with it! Get creative. Make new traditions. Bend the rules and do it together.
PLANNING A WEDDING CAN BE STRESSFUL
When things get a little hectic just always remember to stay true to who you are. It’s easy to get pulled into trends and demands, so I’m here to remind you that it’s going to be ok! You’ve got fancy vendors like me to help you through!
I’M HERE TO HELP!
I ain’t no wedding planner but your timeline is super important to me. Planning your day around the best light is going to get you the most authentic images. Pretty photos don’t just happen by showing up and taking some pics. So!— This guide is here to help you plan for epic ambiance and to make the most out of your celebration (and photos!)
01. GETTING READY
Getting ready is super important for me to photograph. There’s a lot of soft moments to capture that set the tone for the day. I suggest one to two hours for photographing getting ready.
Make sure your getting ready location has plenty of window light. Don’t forget about your partner’s getting ready space as well!
Consider an AirBnB or boutique hotel. They’ll usually have more natural light and character than hotels or bridal suites do. Check out my AirBnB code to get a discount!
Clean up before I arrive. Clutter like water bottles, suit cases, and trash laying around will be eyesores in your photos.
Make sure your getting ready location isn’t more than 20 minutes away from your ceremony location. Traveling can take away precious photo time.
Tell your hair and makeup to be finished 30 minutes before you actually need them done. This will help to keep us on time.
02. YOUR ‘FIRST LOOK’
A ‘First Look’ is when you and your partner see each other all dolled up before the ceremony. It’s a private moment that I quietly ‘third wheel’ for pictures. I suggest 15 to 30 minutes for your first look followed by some couple photos.
I’ll be able to photograph your wedding party before the ceremony as well.
A ‘First Look’ can help you relax before the ceremony and you get to tell each other how F-I-N-E you look!
Consider private vows at your first look. Just add water and you have tears that photograph beautifully.
If you’ve always wanted to see each other for the first time at the aisle, it’s totes ok! We’ll take all of your family and wedding party photos at cocktail hour (just after your ceremony).
03. GROUP PHOTOS
I’ll need 20-30 minutes for wedding party photos and 20-30 minutes for family photos.
I suggest doing at least your wedding party photos just after your ‘first look’— Everyone is fresh and no one will miss cocktail hour.
Family photos usually include immediate family only. If you have cousins, college buddies or larger groups that you’d like to include, cocktail hour/reception is the best time. Every family is different, check in with me and I’m happy to help with your family shot-list. Here’s an example;
You & your fiancé with both sets of families
You & your fiancé with your parents and siblings
You & your fiancé with your parents
You & your fiancé with your siblings
You & your fiancé with your partner’s parents and siblings
You & your fiancé with your partner’s parents
You & your fiancé with your partner’s sibling
Consider an ‘Unplugged Ceremony.’ This means, no cell phones or cameras (except me, duh) during your ceremony. It gets electronics out of your photos and allows everyone to be present.
For your ceremony lighting, SAY NO to harsh light & weird shadows on your face.
‘Backlight’ where you are standing for your ceremony (place the sun shining on your officiant’s back).
Consider doing a fun ceremony exit with confetti or flowers! It makes for super lovely photos and then I don’t have have to organize tipsy guests for a fire-frenzy ‘sparkler exit’ at the end of the night. LOL! Hooray!
*Rehearsal Tips & Tricks
Mark tape or little rocks where you want everyone to stand (don’t forget your placement too so that you’re nicely centered for the photos.
Stay clear from microphone stands, podiums, wire etc. at the alter. Things like this can be an eye-sore and tricky to crop out.
Ask your officiant to step to the side when he announces your kiss. You don’t want a third wheel in your first smooch as a married couple.
Don’t be shy with your smooch! A little peck may mean I won’t catch the moment.
05. COUPLE PHOTOS
I’d love to get some photos of just the two of you at your first look, just after the ceremony and during sunset. If we don’t have enough room in your timeline to do all three, let’s do at least 15 minutes after the ceremony and 20 minutes at sunset.
Sunset is the most crucial time for couple photos because it’s ‘the golden hour,’ aka that good-good light. If we have a rainy day, no worries, we’ll still get some drama-goodness for the photos.
BE PRESENT! I can’t say this enough. It’s super important that you guys get a moment to take in the day together and majority of my couples say that sunset photos were their favorite part of the day.
06. COCKTAIL HOUR & RECEPTION
Cocktail hour is awesome for getting more group photos in; College buddies, cousins, work friends etc. Just give me a general list and I’ll do my best to make it happen.
Lighting = ambiance. I recommend romantic string lights, and candles all over the place.
Plus they just photograph so dang beautifully!
Say NO to DJ lights!! Especially for speeches & first dances. DJ lights make the weirdest color spots in photos that are super hard to edit out.
Sparkler exits— Don’t wait until the very end of the night to round up 100+ tipsy people to play with fire (you won’t want me for 3+ hours of dancing anyhow). If you have your heart set on a sparkler exit, I’m happy to organize your wedding party for some sparkler photos about 20 minutes before I depart.
07. YOUR RAIN PLAN
First things first, embrace it! You’ve hired me because you like how crazy I am and I will stomp around in the rain to get epic photos for you. So, if it's a hurricane we’ll make the best of staying dry, but if it's just a drizzle, I’ll most likely take you outside.
Some of my most romantic ceremony shots were in the rain. Prepare your guests to bring umbrellas if it’s just a light drizzle. Hold a clear umbrella for you and your fiancé to stand under as you get married. It’s beautiful I promise!
Clear tents & umbrellas are the best for photos! A white top tent will do as well, just make sure that your rain cover has plenty of natural light, string lights, candles etc.
08. JUST A FEW MORE TIPS
Feed me! Include me in your guest count or check with your caterers on their vendor meal options. Make sure your caterer feeds us as soon as you are fed. If we eat after the guests, we’ll most likely miss your toasts and first dances. No one wants photos of themselves eating anyways, right?
Enjoy your wedding day! You’ve worked so hard to get to this day and now is your time to celebrate with your loved ones. Kick back, be present and trust that I’ve got the moments covered.
HIGH FIVE YOURSELF FOR READING ALL THAT.
Reach out if you have any questions at all! I’m here to help.