Hey there, bride-to-be!
I know you’ve got about a zillion decisions in front of you right now, and oh how I hope that the excitement of this season way outweighs the potential stress. Most of life is spent pouring our energy into work, school, or family, but make sure you give yourself permission to be celebrated while you can – it’s important!
But as this inevitable mountain called “wedding planning” faces you, I’d like to give a little insight from a photographer’s perspective.
Now this advice may seem biased because I am a photographer, but I was once a bride, too – and way before I was paid once to take anyone’s photos!
Your marriage certificate and your wedding photos are the ONLY part of your wedding that you will likely still have when you’re 60 years old. You can’t keep the cake or centerpieces, you likely won’t still have your dress, and sadly many of the details of the day will be long forgotten by then, even by you.
BUT… thank goodness for photos, right?! Because photos are a way to preserve not only evidence of all the stylistic effort, monetary investment, and hours of planning you put into your wedding day, but most importantly the people you spent it with.
So even though pouring over every detail of the day may make for a magical experience in the moment, don’t you want to be able to make that moment last a few more decades in your memory?
Investing in photography isn’t just an addition to your wedding day – it’s a way to support, uplift, and multiply the worth of all of the other things you’re doing.
So, here’s the big question…
How can you make decisions during wedding planning to prioritize getting those photos that reflect all of the other important aspects of your big day?
1) It starts with the venue.
If you look closely at our galleries, you may notice that wedding photos with that “light and airy” style have a few consistent factors. Most importantly, they’re usually at venues that have ample natural light!
When you’re choosing a wedding venue (or an Air B&B to get ready at), check out the bridal suite and make sure it has windows, and make sure the ceremony space does, too. A huge bonus is if the venue also has walls or areas that are light-colored… aka, is the whole place dark, or light? Are the walls brown or wooden, or do we have some pretty marble or white walls that could reflect light well?
This can change EVERYTHING about your gallery, guys. It’s tough for light and airy photographers to create that feel in their images when the space they’re shooting is dark and moody.
2) Let us help with the timeline.
Time of day is EVERYTHING for portraits, and portraits are so worth planning the day around! Don’t get me wrong – I understand that some things really are impossible to change about the day-of schedule, but golly is it worth it to do everything you can to let us shoot your individual and couple’s portraits either in the morning or in the evening golden hour. I whimper a little bit when I see a schedule that requires us to do your portraits really anytime from 11am-4pm, because it usually just means I have to confine you to a shaded area in order to keep you out of the harsh sun. And we want to be able to capture all the pretty places around that gorgeous venue you booked!
Many wedding planners are professionals at timeline making, and you’ve likely been churning over your day-of plans in your head already – but we’d so love to be included in the process. It’s SO important to us to help you minimize your stress and (most importantly) be able to soak in every moment of your wedding day, all the while still keeping your photos up there on your list of priorities.
Another timeline struggle I often see is not leaving enough time for portraits. We need at least 20, if not 30 minutes for your couple’s photos. Which leads me to my next note…
3) Do a first look (just hear me out!).
This one was important enough to earn it’s own blog post… so take a look here!
In the end, we’re here to be as flexible as you need us to be in order to carry out every dream you’ve ever had of your wedding day, and you’ll definitely never hear anything but support coming from me. I was never a cheerleader, but I do consider that part of my profession now. :)
But I wanted to write this from the perspective of someone who’s seen a whole bunch of weddings and wedding timelines – both the ones that have gone flawlessly, and the ones that left us reeling. We’re going to be there no matter what, and whether you consider these tips doesn’t really affect us all that much – but they’re things that we are convinced will help you have the best wedding experience and photo gallery possible. :)