wedding planning tips
I'm so happy to be here with you to not only photograph your big day, but to help along the way so that you to get the most out of your photography investment! I have put together a list to help get the best photos possible (keep in mind, some of these tips may not apply to your specific wedding day)!
1. If you can't get ready at your venue, try looking at your airbnb/VBRO options that are close by. Typical hotel rooms (Marriott, DoubleTree, etc) all tend to have poor light and small spaces. Choosing an airbnb/rental home will give you more space and a more unique look for photos! Try looking for airbnb's/homes with lots of windows and lighter toned features. If this isn't an option, then please don't fret. I have shot in my fair share of tiny hotel rooms but if we can avoid them - I promise it's worth it :) In the past, when it's easier for my couples to book a hotel, I still try to do as much as I can at the venue to provide you with the most cohesion in your final gallery. I can always take some getting ready images and detail images at the hotel and we can have you two get dressed at the venue and take all preliminary photos at the venue.
2. Assign a bridesmaid and groomsman to keep the room tidy. I can/will help clean up the spaces I need but having a tidy area makes everything run smoother.
3. Have your details ready 30 minutes before our start time. Having the details already available allows us to start right away and keeps you in the hair and makeup chair. We always start with the little details to begin the story of your day. The bride usually includes things such as, the dress, the rings, the full invitation suite, jewelry, cute shoes, cute perfume bottle, garter, family heirlooms, etc. The groom typically has shoes, jacket, cuff links, watch.
4 - Have your bridesmaids wear cute robes! The light, floral ones photograph best (and don't show wrinkles as much)! Here are some good sites for bridal party robes: Plum Pretty Sugar, BHLDN, Show Me Your Mumu
5 - Cute ring boxes are always fun to use as a wedding keepsake, and for detail photographs! Check out The Mrs. Box or Lace Byrd!
6 - Don't be surprised if I take you outside to finish up your getting ready photos (such as putting on jewelry, finishing touches on the dress, putting on shoes, etc - It's all about the light and often times the lighting is just better outside :)
1. If you're having a first look, I encourage you to have just us and you two in the area. Take this time to hug, kiss, talk, relax, and ignore us! We love the real emotion so take this time to just be together!
2. This one might sting a little bit but is SO important to remember - YOUR DRESS MAY GET DIRTY. I know, the dress it's a staple, a style statement, the most precious piece of white, ivory, or blush that you have laid your eyes on but you will be walking around, having fun with guests, taking killer portraits and it is all worth it! Enjoy your day - don't worry about the bottom of the dress and what it picks up or gets on it - none of it will ever show up in your photos! It is more important to be in the moment rather than worrying about the dress getting a little dirty.
1. Keep your bouquet at your belly button. Many times we see the bride and bridesmaids bouquets rise up near their faces but we love to see your face as you go down the aisle.
2. Walk slowly, enjoy the moment!
1. When you fill out our wedding day questionnaire before the wedding day, this will help formals run so smoothly! This is the toughest part of the day for couples but together we can make it quick and painless so we can get to taking more photos or get you two to the party!
2. Family formals should only include immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents). I want the best light for you two but we can do some larger extended groups at the reception. I can always have the DJ make an announcement and get some big group shots for you.
3. Per our contract, I cannot be responsible for tardiness or absence during the time set for family photos. It is suggested that you have one person that you can put in charge to wrangle up any missing family members. We typically do immediate family photos right after the ceremony to prevent anyone from leaving since we will already be in that space.
1. Enjoy this time together. Much like the first look (if you do one), just have fun, get close, laugh, have some quiet time. We'll guide you through everything but remember to be close and have some quality time together before the reception.
2. Make time for golden hour, even if it's just 15 minutes! Sunset offers the best lighting of the day and you'll love to have those extra romantic photos.
3. This will be the most quiet time you'll get on your wedding day to really soak it in!
4. Don't ever be a afraid laugh, smile, and share some quiet moments. A great mix of both is perfect for photographs!
1. If your dj offers colored lights on your dance floor, please know that your photos will have some interesting color casts at the reception. If uplighting/dj lights are a must, try to use white. It looks classy, elegant, and photographs well! For open dancing the crazy lights aren't an issue, it's really just for the formal parts of the reception such as the dances.
2. White dance floors look AMAZING in photographs
3. Chairs make all of the difference in the images
4. Grab us if you'd like a photo with ANYONE! With a large group of people it's hard to know who goes with who (while I do scope out couples and guests), so let us know if you'd like a quick, fun photo with ANYONE at the reception! Those are always great images to look back on :)
1. Check out silk table runners and ribbons! Companies such as Tono & Co., Silk and Willow, and Frou Frou Chic, and Adorn Company have beautiful silks for styling your tables and bouquet!
2. Bridesmaid dresses can be fun! Try different places such as Lulu's, Morning Lavender, or Show Me Your Mumu, and more for dresses.
3. Lighting is everything! Natural light is the best for photos during the day, so when choosing locations think of places that will have a lot of natural light.
4. The Mrs. Box is a great keepsake for your ring! They have plenty of different colors and monogramming options and they photograph beautifully!
My number one tip: Hire at minimum a "day of coordinator". I have so many that will take good care of you. Having a coordinator (not a "venue" coordinator) will help you keep on track and give you peace of mind. Hiring a coordinator for full planning will not only keep your wedding running smoothly, but it could also save you time and money! They know exactly what you NEED, they have great styling/design tips, they keep you on budget, and their vendor referrals are the best! Definitely something to look into because having a stress free wedding day is the key to everything :) In the past I have worked weddings without a planner/event designer and when this happens I have to become the person who is keeping us on time, running errands around on the wedding, and more rather than being with you to capture the beautiful moments.
Lastly, Martha Stewart hosts one of my FAVORITE articles: https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/399809/things-your-wedding-photographer-wishes-you-knew There is some great advice in there and worth checking out!
Again, these are just tips that I have thought about over the past few years, please don't feel like you absolutely have to do any of these things, it is YOUR day and I want it to be everything that you have ever dreamed of!