You’re engaged?! Wooohoooo! Let the wedding planning begin!
Sis, let’s be honest! Wedding planning can be a bit overwhelming at times; however, I’m offering you this blog to help you. Within my many years of photography, I’ve photographed so many weddings that I’ve lost count.
I show up and I see what is working and what is not working.
Even if you hire someone else, you deserve an amazing experience and photos!
Whether you’re a bride-to-be, maid-of-honor, day-of coordinator or a momma looking to help the day go as smoothly as possible, feel free to use this information to help your photographer create beautiful wedding day images, whether that’s myself or someone else! So grab a cup of coffee (or let’s be real.. glass of wine) and let’s dig in together.
Space: Those beautiful, emotion-filled moments on the morning of a wedding day can be a little less beautiful with fast food leftovers, gym bags and a pile of shoes in the background. When it comes to making the most of your getting ready photos, it’s important that you’re getting ready location is as clean as possible when I arrive! Please make sure bags, shoes, garbage and general clutter is put away to provide a clean space for your photos.
Lighting: The first thing I’ll do when I arrive in the morning (besides all the hugs, of course), is turn off all the lights in the space you’re getting ready. This may seem counterintuitive, especially if you’re getting ready in a dark room. However, working with the cleanest lighting possible will make your photos turn out best! This means no orangey hues from lamps and room lighting. Choosing a location with lots of windows and natural light will be best.
Room Aesthetics: When it comes to a getting ready space, lots of windows and natural light is most important! Clean decor and white or light walls are also ideal, but if I have natural light to work with, almost any space will do! If you’re not able to find a space that’s clean with natural light, you may consider bringing your dress to the ceremony location, renting out a space such as an airbnb, or you could always get ready outdoors! It sounds crazy, but once you have your dress on, you could do finishing touches outdoors with gorgeous natural lighting. Room aesthetic is equally important both for the bride as well as the groom, so don’t forget about the guys when choosing a getting ready space!
Consider getting ready together: Some of the sweetest moments I’ve captured on wedding and elopement days are when a bride and groom chose to get ready together the morning of their wedding. Her tying his bowtie, him zipping up her dress. Sharing all the laughs and excited anticipation of the day. Just the two of you in a beautiful space preparing to commit your lives together.
Family + Bridal Portraits:
While most the day is focused on capturing emotion and unplanned moments, I realize that family photos are just as important and I take them very seriously.
We’ll chat to come up with a list closer to your date, but I recommend limiting to 10 family formal groupings. I know it can sometimes be difficult to get your list down to 10 groups, however, I’d encourage you to think about which arrangements are most important to you and stick with no more than 10 groupings. Family photos are often the most exhausting portion of the day, and instead of tiring yourselves out with dozens of family groupings, I recommend allowing for more time with family during cocktail hour and reception while I capture all the candid moments along the way.
Both bridal party and family photos work best prior to the ceremony.
Corralling everyone during cocktail hour is often difficult. Grandma is likely to get lost in the crowd and it’s easy for the best man to find himself at the bar instead of lining up for bridal party photos. This corralling can really eat into the time we have for portraits and for you to enjoy your reception! Prior to the ceremony, the family and bridal party are already together to prepare/decorate/get ready, which makes it so much quicker to get everyone in the same place.
Less is More: When it comes to group photos, having a clean, simple background is best. If you’re getting married in a gorgeous location with a stunning backdrop, please keep in mind family photos might be done in front of a grove of trees or against a clean, simple background instead. While I realize you chose your venue for the backdrop and location (and trust me.. we’ll get plenty of photos there!), having soft, even light with a clean background is most important for beautiful family photos!
Where to put the money?!: Years from now all that you’re going to have left from your day, are the photos and the film. I feel as though priorites when wedding planning and budgeting, here are some of the important items that you want your money to go!
This is just the base of information I have to offer you for planning your wedding. Do you have questions?! Let’s chat!
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