We always try to take a photo of the dress hanging before the bride puts it on. Please bring or buy a hanger that is photogenic. There are places on Etsy and Amazon you can get a custom hanger, but anything wooden, floral, etc. (just not bright green or plastic) will work.
If you ask the photographer(s) to be somewhere capturing “getting ready” photos please make sure the dresses, accessories, shoes, and rings will be present so they can be photographed during this time. If you'd like photos of the program and invitation, please also have them ready with your accessories.
It’s your big day, every moment will become a special memory. Please be mindful of the space you’ll be getting ready in; we want those moments to be beautiful too. Look for a space with no clutter and great window light. Be creative in the hunt, and don’t hesitate to ask a friend or family member to use one of the rooms in their houses or establishments if you are having trouble finding a good space. Also, please designate an area for the bridal party's stuff to be kept; otherwise there will be a lot of clutter in the background for your pictures.
Be mindful of what everyone wears while they get ready. Really, you can wear whatever you’d like but just know we’ll be there documenting everything. The ladies sometimes order robes for the occasion, although it is not necessary. We generally start taking pictures of the bridal party “getting ready” when they are more than half way ready since these are the most flattering.
We always take family pictures right after the ceremony at a place nearby IF our couple is NOT doing a first look. If you are doing a first look, check with the family members you want photographed and make sure they are there and ready at the time we have planned before the ceremony. We generally find a place people can easily walk to from the ceremony. Please think through this one ahead of time and come up with a list of family groupings you want on your wedding day, and we will be happy to help direct these.
Next, we take bridal party photos. Depending on the ceremony location we will either take them there or somewhere nearby (or a little of both). (If these are before the ceremony, make sure the guys have their boutonnieres and the ladies have their bouquets by this time).
These are our recommendations for posed pictures when planning out your day:
35 min. - portraits of bride and bridesmaids (We'll take group shots and individuals of you with each bridesmaid before the ceremony, if you do a first look)
20 min. - portraits of groom and groomsmen (Same as above)
35 min. - family portraits (if you're doing a first look, it would be best to take these before the ceremony). Here is an example of what we normally take for family photos:
1) Bride/ groom and bride's side (Every family member you want to be in a group portrait, it can be as big or small as you want. If you're doing a first look, you can save this one for right after the ceremony).
2) Bride/groom and bride's parents (and Bride with each parent)
2) Bride/groom and bride's parents and siblings (and spouses, if any)
3) Bride/groom and bride's parents and grandparents
4) Bride/ groom with groom's side (This can also be taken right after the ceremony if it's a big group).
5) Bride/groom and groom's parents (and Groom with each parent)
6) Bride/groom and groom's parents and siblings (and spouses, if any)
7) Bride/groom and groom's parents and grandparents.
Please let us know if you'd like to add more arrangements to this list. Most people don't use or print group shot arrangements other than the ones we have listed above.
15 min. - group bridal party portraits (before ceremony, if you do a first look)
30-45 min. - portraits of just the two of you (just the two of you and us, please). Even if you do a first look, we recommend saving this for in between the ceremony & reception when you are really married, and you can reflect on what just happened
Let’s think of somewhere EPIC and perfectly fitting to take couple photos at between the ceremony and reception! We could go to a dune, a body of water, a park, etc.. These are the pictures you will cherish from the moment we take them and for the rest of your lives. We can take up to 1-2 hours to get these taken, (depending on what the couple wants) factoring in the driving time in between the ceremony, reception, and the place you choose to do your photos. If you are concerned about the wait, consider making guests a little list of activities they can do in the area while they wait (go to a local coffee shop, visit a lake, etc.). Many couples have told us that getting away from all the noise was their favorite memory of the whole wedding day.
*Please let everyone know when they are expected to be ready & in pictures. This awareness helps SO MUCH. Also keep in mind that the time we listed is the actual time of us shooting portraits. This will only work if everyone is where they need to be. To be on the safe side, I would factor in more time so you can be calm and not in a rush.
To ensure that we're ready to take pictures as quickly as possible after you're done eating, please make sure we are released for food or served directly after the bridal party and immediate family.
Your friends and family are important. After all, they are the reason you are having a reception. While capturing every face is important, we’ve found that going around taking pictures of every table isn’t the best method. More times than not, one to three guests will not be sitting at the table at a given moment and the ones who are present will be eating. We suggest either getting polaroids for guests to take of themselves or a photo booth (with someone responsible for taking the photos) and announcing it so that all guests participate. This helps us not miss any special moments of your day and entertains your guests at the same time.
Please let us know of anything special or sentimental we could possibly photograph. Do you have a locket with pictures of loved ones in it, a gift or a letter you got on or right before the day that means THE WORLD to you, etc.? On my wedding day I brought my grandmother and my mother’s wedding dresses, and my photographer got a picture with all three hanging up. It’s one of my favorite pictures, not just because of how beautiful it is but because of what it represented. Let us know of all the special things!
We are not looking for a printout of your Pinterest board, BUT we would LOVE for you to talk to us about any and everything that is important to you or you have been DREAMING about.
IF YOU WANT, now is the time to tell us anything you’re either self-conscious or concerned about. We want to calm your nerves, inform you, and be aware of ways we can help while capturing you and the love of your life.
While planning out your wedding day schedule (especially the morning!), always leave WAY MORE TIME than you think you’ll need for things. Because it is such a special day, you want to leave enough time to calm your nerves and let every moment be special by not having to be in a rush.
One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give you is that SOMETHING IS BOUND TO GO “WRONG” or “not as planned,” but it doesn’t have to take away from your day at all. You’ve spent countless hours, MONTHS (at least) planning your special day, and then you just watch it unfold (and surprise you at times). If you wake up knowing all that matters is that you marry the love of your life, then you will have THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE!
We can’t wait to share it all with you!
Kaity & Stephen