[Photography] details to consider while you're planning your wedding!
Dear bad ass, really in love, over the moon excited WEdding couple,
I've been a bride. I've photographed a lot of weddings. There are parts of this wedding process that are stressful. There are parts that are unforgettable. There are parts that are surprising. My service to you as your photographer falls under the "unforgettable" category.
I take time to care about who you are as a couple so that your wedding truly is unforgettable.
And by taking the time to care about you, we build a trust relationship (and oftentimes a friendship).
Let's talk about that.
Our relationship is a trust relationship. You've trusted me with your most memorable wedding visuals, and I've trusted you to let me know how I can best serve and photograph you. Just like friendships and husband/wife relationships, the more trust we build between us, the more relaxed and creative we can be. The more I know you, the more your pictures will reflect who you really are and how I interact with you on your wedding day.
I've put some serious thought into the guide below as well as the detailed wedding questionnaire I sent you. And I know you've put some serious thought into your wedding day.
My service to you is simply to provide wedding photographs that will hep your marriage stand the test of time. And I want to do that the best way possible-- the way that fits your unique love story and your unique wedding day needs.
Take or leave the thoughts I've included below-- they are meant to help you think through your day from a photographer's POV.
I’ve discovered couples are happiest with their pictures and more patient with themselves when we are not rushed. So I recommend taking pictures before the wedding of: Bride and Groom together (first look and a few styled/posed pictures ahead of time), Bride and Groom with families, and B + G with bridal party.
If you prefer to not have a first look, we can do a quick family and bridal party session after the wedding. I ask for 30 minutes for family pictures specifically! Communicating to your family who needs to stick around or show up early for family photos is REALLY helpful for keeping family pictures to only thirty minutes.
No first look? No problem.
If you are choosing to not have a first look, please let me know ahead of time so we can schedule some time to steal you away during the reception for pictures of just the bride and groom. This short time away from your guests just you two getting to enjoy a second with each other—— this might be some of the time you cherish most from your wedding and pictures you cherish most from the entire day. I’ve never had a wedding couple sad about spending a little time away from everyone for some awesome pictures of themselves.
Ideally, I like to steal the wedding couple for ONE to TWO hours of relaxed, romantic, un-rushed pictures on the day of. Yeah, you read that right. HOUR(S). Using that time for pictures on and near the venue. That’s a long period of time, but the pictures are worth it. Plus, you get to slow down to spend extra time love’n and squeeze’n on your honey before your “I Do’s.
If you're working with a super tight timeline, I would encourage you to consider a fun more laid back time to schedule your portraits, the day before or after your wedding.
Maybe this sounds absolutely crazy, but I've found couples really enjoy slower, less-rushed, laid back time with one another while taking their wedding portraits. More than any pictures of your wedding details, bridal party toasting champagne, or your reception, you'll value your wedding portraits the most thirty to fifty years from now. The pictures of just you two. In love. Holding one another close. So why not give those portraits time? Why not give yourselves time to enjoy hanging out together on your wedding day? Or the day before? Or the day after? Why does it all have to be crammed into one day?
While this idea might sound crazy, if your dream is to have really amazing wedding portraits and you have a super tight timeline, you might seriously consider adding portraits into a different day entirely.
Guests taking pictures during your ceremony:
Bless Aunt Mildred for needing to take all the blurry pictures she can. Not sure if you’ve seen the articles floating around on the internet, but a lot of Brides and Grooms have begun to ask their family and friends to keep their phones and cameras off and away during the ceremony. Mainly so the photographer doesn’t get the perfect alter kiss set up and Aunt Mildred jumps into the alter kiss shot all of a sudden so she can get a crappy picture on her iphone. And what does the photographer end up with? No wedding kiss picture and a picture of Aunt Mildred’s back. If you are interested in having your guests without their phones or cameras, please ask the ceremony officiant to address this at the beginning of the wedding or make a sign that communicates that to your guests.
On the complete opposite side of that, some couples REALLY want their own Instagram hashtag and they REALLY want their guests to take pictures with their iphones. Some couples even have their guests video their wedding, then drop those videos into a public drop box so the couple can put together a wedding video later.
Whatever decision you make, is TOTALY COOL— as your photographer I want to get the best shot possible, it helps if I know what your plan with your guests is ahead of time so I can avoid any accidental Aunt Mildred moments. :)
Providing a TImeline and list of family pictures before the ceremony:
These are the two BIG things I need from you the week of your wedding.
While this is your wedding day and the opinions of others might or might not matter to you, I highly recommend asking your family a month or two in advance what they envision for family photos.
Family photos can get awkward REAL quick if the list I receive isn’t specific. These pictures can also take A LOT longer if you, the sweetest couple, are trying to figure out who you want to take picture with in the moment, while your whole family is staring at you waiting for you to decide who needs to be in what--- I find most couples regret not making a list because they leave someone off (I never got a picture with my brother at my own wedding! So sad! It's because I didn't make a list!).
Because of that, I won't move forward with a wedding day until I've been given the family list of pictures.
Having a timeline is also helpful for myself and my second photographer. We divide and conquer your Big Day so we can give you the best pictures you dreamed of. The best way for us to coordinate