I get asked a lot about the planning process! It's understandable. So I've put together my two-cents about what I recommend and think about the wedding day timeline and details. The key take-aways though would be 1. this is YOUR day, regardless of what I recommend- we do what you want! 2. I love LIGHT and 3. When in doubt, add 10 minutes.
DAY OF DETAILS
If capturing details are important to you (and I hope they are!) I ask that you pack all of your details together on the day of your wedding day. I do this for a few reasons, 1. it will help you pack up ahead of time so you don't forget anything the day of and 2. it makes photographing them a breeze and I won't have to bother you tracking everything down. I will do my best to track down all of your details but can not guarantee everything will be captured if I don't know about it! One thing that is often forgotten during a wedding is the invitations. If you don't want to worry about bringing a copy of your invite, feel free to mail me one in advance and I'll be sure to bring it!
- Dress + Hanger
- Rings + Ring Boxes
- Notes or Vows
- Bridesmaid / Groomsmen gifts
- Other things to let me know about are family heirloom items, special dress details, etc.
The place where you and your bridesmaids get ready is SO important in regards to photography and is often overlooked. We want rooms with lots of natural light and windows for the best photos. If possible, try to position yourself facing windows during make up and getting into your dress. If you have the option to be outside or on a patio, this is always a great option as well. Additionally, asking your girls to keep clutter to one spot in the darkest part of the room can help prevent unwanted details in the back of photos. I’ll be there to help position you for the best photos but this is just one small thing to think about during your wedding planning!
GROOM + GROOMSMEN
Often times when working with a second shooter, I will spend my time shooting the bride and her ladies getting ready and my second shooter will be with the other group. A lot of the weddings I shoot, the guys are given a dark little windowless room to get ready in and spend about 4 minutes getting ready. We can't always do much about the room, though if its an option and these shots are important to you I would consider looking into alternatives if needed. Additionally, waiting until the second shooter arrives to get dressed ensures we can get great shots of the details (tie, socks, cuff links, watches, etc) before they're already on.
THE FIRST LOOK
If I had one piece of advice, it would be to STRONGLY consider doing a First Look. Do I require it? Absolutely not! But there are amazing benefits to doing one. The best reason is that is sets up the timeline for the day in a way that allows you to enjoy more time with your family, friends and guests who have come to celebrate with you. By doing a first look, we are able to do family photos ahead of the ceremony which frees up time for you to enjoy cocktail hour and not feel rushed after your ceremony. It's also a great opportunity to spend some uninterrupted time together, say a prayer together, exchange gifts, read through your vows or just affirm each other. With that said, this is YOUR wedding and if this is something you and your fiance are not interested in, hakuna matata!
As your start to get into the nitty gritty of your wedding day and building out your timeline, be sure to share that timeline with not only me, but other vendors, coordinators and even family members who it concerns. Please also share a timeline with family members who need to be there for family photos. We will have an allotted time block for these photos and if family members are late or not present there is nothing I can do to ensure we get a photo with them.
If I could have one super power on a wedding day it would hands down be the ability to slow time. The more we work through your timeline together, the better. Don't forget to account for transportation time if we will be moving to various locations. Ideally, I’d love an hour with you while getting ready to give me enough time to shoot your details, make up and getting into the dress. Group shots are notorious for taking longer than you’d expect. A safe guess is about 5 minutes per shot. I will probably not take 5 minutes to get the shot, but between getting the right people in the frame and positioning them, it’s best to have more time than be out of time. We need about 45 minutes for Bride and Groom portraits (another reason that first looks absolutely rule!) Lastly, usually 10-15 minutes around sunset I like to steal you for some dreamy sunset photos if possible! Here are some great articles you can also check out that talk more about timelines and planning!
I am a light chaser. Light can make or break a photo. As a photographer, it’s my job to educate you on this because you’ve hired me for a reason and I want to make sure you’re as happy as a clam with these photos! Know that for family photos, portraits, and other super important images, the better the light the better the photo. What is good light? We're going to be looking for big, open spaces with soft shade on sunny days. If we are indoor we want big open rooms with lots of windows. Bright and harsh sunlight overhead casts shadows on faces and can be unflattering so to combat bright days we will try to shoot in even shade.
- We will shoot outside whenever possible for the best lighting
- We will shoot near a window whenever possible for best lighting
- If its sunny, we will look for shade or position your backs towards the sunlight to prevent harsh shadows
- Overhead and fluorescent lights are also generally unflattering.
- String lights can create an amazing ambiant light for dancing and evening photos.
- Flash photography is usually required for dark spaces
LAST BUT NOT LEAST!
My last piece of advice. And it’s a good one. Keep in mind what’s really important- the marriage! The marriage is what’s forever! Can I get a HECK YES?! As a photographer, photos are important to me. I’ll never forget amist my own wedding planning, I made the following statement, “photos are the most important part of the day!” My dear husband, bless his big and forgiving heart, put his giant paws on my shoulders and looked me straight in the eyes and said “No, the marriage is the most important part” HE WAS SO RIGHT. Brides- we have a tendency to get so wrapped up in the details, sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. This is YOUR day. Your special, magical and glorious day where you’ll be marrying your best friend. Soak it all up and enjoy it!