We’ve put this guide together not only to help you plan your wedding day, but also to ensure you get the most amazing photos possible! Each section will have tips and suggestions based on different parts of the wedding day:
Getting ready photos are so much fun. We love getting to hangout with couples early in the day and capturing the sweet moments of excitement and anticipation. Here are a few tips that can help with choosing a getting ready location, and then making the most your space!
-Try to Eliminate Clutter! Wedding days are so busy, and often times people don’t realize how quickly the getting ready room will fill up with peoples bags, trash, shoes, and so many other things! Try to keep all those things in a different room, closet, or in the cars!
-We love some good window light! A room that has great natural light coming in from the windows is best if possible! We will probably turn the lights off and use only the natural window light if we can!
-Details! Try and keep all of your details in a small box/bag so they’re together! This can be anything from shoes, veil, invitations, rings, perfume, or whatever else you’d like documented! Also throwing in some extra floral pieces always helps!
For those of you that don’t know, a First Look is when you and your love see each other before the ceremony. Some of you guys might be thinking, why would we want to do that? Here’s a few reasons why we would encourage you to consider it! This choice is 100% up to you two, we know you might be dreaming about that moment when the groom sees the bride for the first time walking down the aisle, and we want your wedding day to be perfect for you. These are just reasons to help you decide if a first look is right for you!
-It means you will have time together, just the two of you. Wedding days are so busy and they go by so fast! Doing a first look allows you to slow down a little bit, and spend some time alone with each other. You also get more time to hangout with your friends and family all together before the ceremony!
-It’s intimate! This moment is shared between just the two of you, which is really sweet. It’s a lot harder to take in the moment when there are tons of people looking at you, so it takes some of the pressure off! Lots of couples who are nervous about the ceremony, or being the center of attention, will decide to do a first look!
-It makes an easier timeline! If you do a first look we will do most of the photos before the ceremony even starts! Which means you’ll have more time during cocktail hour and the reception to spend with friends and family!
Family + Bridal Party Portraits are some of the most fun photos of the day! It’s a time when you get to be having fun surrounded by all of your people, but that can also mean that you have to coordinate lots of different people! So here are some ways to make these portraits go as smoothly as possible!
-Pre-Ceremony is best! If you do a first look we will do all the photos of your wedding party and immediate family before the ceremony! The more we can get done before the ceremony happens, the sooner you’ll be off to the reception! (If you decide not to do a first look we will do these after the ceremony.)
-Assign someone to help! Having a bridesmaid or groomsmen (someone that is not a family member) that knows your families is always really helpful. We will have a list of all the different combinations and everyones names, but it’s always great to have someone who knows peoples faces to help up!
-Make sure you let family members know if they need to be there early or stay after for photos! Even though it may seem silly to tell them they’re in photos, over communication on a wedding day is always a good idea!
Your ceremony is the most sentimental part, and the core of your wedding day! Getting stuck staring at the sun or being blinded by a flash could be a distraction to you and your guests. Here are a few steps to take that could definitely help the flow and intimacy of your wedding.
-Lighting is so important! Try to be mindful of where the sun will be during your ceremony. You don’t want to be standing in really harsh light or staring into the sun during the ceremony, so put the sun behind the officiant if possible!
-Consider having an unplugged ceremony! This is where you ask your guests not to take any photos, or have their phones out during the ceremony. It not only allows your guests to fully experience the moment, but also ensures there won’t be a ton of phones/ipads being held up in all the wedding photos. You might be surprised at what some of your guests might try and do to try and get a blurry cell phone photo of you!
Our favorite part! We absolutely love doing these. They will be some of your favorite moments and wedding photos from the day! There are a few different times where we recommend couple portraits.
-Pre-Ceremony: If you choose to do a first look we will do some portraits immediately after! These photos normally capture the intimacy and nervous excitement you have after seeing each other for the first time!
-Post-Ceremony: Also a great time for some photos, since you two will have so much energy and excitement right after you exit the Ceremony!
-Sunset: The best time for portraits is normally sunset, as this is when the lighting is normally the best! These photos are warmer, more epic, and normally our favorites of the day. If possible, we would recommend trying to create your timeline in a way that allows for at least 20 minutes of portraits right before sunset! If there is only time in your wedding day timeline for one couple portrait time, choose sunset if you can!
-The last thing is that we strongly suggest that it is just the two of you! There might be family members or bridal party members who want to come watch, but the best way for us to get the most natural and honest photos is to let you two have some time alone together to focus on only each other.
One of the most important things to think about for your reception is light! We love to capture the reception without interfering with the natural ambiance, so ensuring there is plenty of light is important! Using lots of string lights helps, but we can always use a flash! We definitely will use flash during the dancing, but during dinner and the first dances if there is enough light we will opt for no flash so that we can capture those times the way they really felt!
One of the questions we get the most is how long will everything take? Every wedding day is different, so there will probably need to be some adjustments made, but this should give you a pretty good idea!
Getting Ready/Detail Photos: 1-2 hours
Bridal Portraits/Groom portraits (these are individual photos of you both): 30 minutes (We normally spend a lot more time on Bridal than Groom)
First Look: 20-30 minutes
Bridal Party Photos: (groomsmen, bridesmaids, everyone together) 45-60 minutes
Bride and Groom photos: 20-30 minutes (depending on when we do these!)
Family photos: 30-45 minutes (depending on size of families and how we split it up before ceremony or after!)
You don’t want to be shooting up until the ceremony! Usually guest will start to arrive 30 minutes early. So you won’t want to be out taking photos while all of your guests show up, so give yourself an hour to 30 minutes of time before the ceremony to be resting and waiting!
We usually work together on wedding day timelines with our couples,so that we can create a day that works perfect for you two! This is just to give you an idea of where to start!
We hope that this will help you with your planning, and give you a better idea of what your day will look like! If you have any more questions about planning we are here for you. We would love to walk you through different options and make suggestions if you need help! We truly want your wedding day to look and feel exactly like you envision, and for you to have the most beautiful photos of your day.
xx, Taylor + Allie