A guide to having effortless
and love-filled wedding images.
I care about you + your experience. It's important to me that I capture your wedding in a way that feels unique and special to you.
What to expect:
DONE! - You signed the contract and paid the retainer.
IN-BETWEEN - Engagement photos. We set up a time and place to capture your love and get the word out: you're getting married!
1 MONTH BEFORE - Final payment is automatically withdrawn and I reach out to get a final schedule of events + a family groupings list for family photos.
DAY OF WEDDING - Marry your best friend and celebrate!
ONE WEEK AFTER - I share some sneak peeks.
6 TO 8 WEEKS AFTER - You get your images!
When planning your wedding timeline, consider how much time I typically need to photograph each event.
*chaNGE FOR ELOPEMENTS*????
more tips: no need to stress over details and the opinions of loved ones. do YOU.
if a certain tradition or detail doesn't feel quite right, don't give it a second thought! Ditch it and do something that feels authentic.
have a family member or friend officiate your wedding. you may regret sharing such an intimate, personal moment in your lives with a stranger and having them in all your most important images. Instead, replace that stranger with someone you love and who personally supports your marriage. you can become ordained online and it's totally legitimate!
have your officiant move to the side when it's time to kiss. it makes for a more beautiful, well-composed photo that can hang on your wall without another head bobbing around in the background and distracting from the moment.
consider setting up the chairs in a circle, giving all your guests a chance for front-row seating. it can be so powerful to feel that love completely surround you during the most important moment of your lives.
- getting ready photos + details (30 mins to 1 hr)
- putting on the dress + first looks with parents (10 mins)
- first look (10 mins)
- portraits (30 mins to 1.5 hrs)
- bridesmaids (15 mins)
- groomsmen (15 mins)
- family photos (20 mins)
- ceremony details (10 mins)
- ceremony (10 to 15 mins)
- reception details (10 mins)
- cocktails (30 mins to 1 hr)
- dinner and toasts (30 mins)
- cake cutting (10 mins)
- special dances (10 mins)
- guest dancing (up to 1 hr)
- special exit (10 mins)
details & vendors
Tip no. 2
Create emotional opportunities throughout your wedding day.
This is where the magic happens.
Ideas: Write personalized vows. Invite a close friend or family member to officiate your wedding. Have your mom, sister, and/or best friend help you into your wedding dress. Have a first look with your dad. Write notes to one another and read them while getting ready. Give a meaningful gift to your bridesmaids and groomsmen. After getting ready, have your bridesmaids / groomsmen surround you and shower you with words of support, encouragement, and well wishes. Consider an emotion-packed, private first look before your ceremony. Read vows privately after your first look. If you want to save your first look moment for when you walk down the aisle, consider reading notes or vows to each other from opposite sides of a wall. Involve some of your family and friends in the ceremony by having them share a poem, some lyrics, or personal advice that offers guidance and encouragement. Involve your in-laws in the ceremony by having them share how they feel about your partnership and expanding their families. During the ceremony, have all guests surround you for a group prayer. For small weddings, go around and personally thank each guest for being there. Ask those closest to you to give toasts during dinner.
There are so many opportunities for you to feel and witness the immense love and support your family and friends have for you.
Take advantage! I know from experience that these are the kinds of moments that cannot be topped and are most memorable.
Tip No. 3
Don't stress over family photos. Keep it simple. Make a list of must-have groupings. Have family members come together after the ceremony and I'll quickly call out each grouping on the list and we'll breeze right through it.
TIP NO. 4
Plan for your officiant to move to the side while exchanging vows during the ceremony. Have the officiant move to the side for your kiss as well. This simple change makes for much cleaner, more intimate, and more meaningful imagery of the single most important moment of the day. (This is especially great if you don't personally know the officiant.)
If you want dreamy, wow-factor wedding images, lighting should be a major factor in planning your wedding.
Bonus! Images may arrive more quickly because they need less post-processing.
- If indoors, natural window light is what you want! Choose a light and bright venue for getting ready. Choose a ceremony spot by how naturally well-lit the space is. Same goes for a reception space. I want nothing more than to give you images that you absolutely cherish from a day you'll never want to forget (after all, that's what you've invested in!) so do what you can to provide the best environment for the outcome you're after. Trust me! Natural light is your best friend now.
- If outdoors, have your ceremony at sunset or sunrise (especially in the summer). Not only can the midday heat make you and your guests incredibly uncomfortable, midday light is far less flattering (squinting, sweating, miserable expressions - it happens! I've even seen a bridesmaid faint during a ceremony!). To avoid the harsh shadows on your faces and much-too-bright light, have your ceremony in complete shade or, better yet, have it at sunset. Sunrise is a great option as well! You want the sun to the side or behind you to get those great sun rays and magical, dream-like imagery.
- At receptions, plan your first dance and any other special dances while we still have natural light. Flash photography is less dreamy and, therefore, I believe you'll love those special images more if flash isn't used. This is less of a problem if you have a well-lit reception hall with even fluorescent lighting or if you're standing under bistro lights (or something similar) that light your faces.
- I also suggest planning your special traditions (cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc.) for times when natural light is still available. If it works best in your schedule to have these events take place after dark, plan to do these things next to a light source. Don't put your cake in a dark corner. Instead, set it under some bistro lights or next to a well-lit wall.
- This next one might seem obvious but often I find couples could have benefited from the advice: for the portion of the night where the guests are supposed to dance, definitely turn the lights off! Do something unique to light your dance floor: disco ball, disco lights, bistro lights, floor lights, candles, spotlights, or even strobe lights. To get the kinds of dance photos where you can practically hear the music and feel the movement, darkness is key!
- Ask for help and guidance, if you need it! I'm more than happy to help you plan your day around lighting. I have a lot of experience in this area and I feel it's really so important. I believe you'll be happier with your photos if you follow these tips.