It’s not my first rodeo - I’ve shot a LOT of weddings. As one of the first vendors you book, I’m happy to give some tips and tricks so that you have a day that runs smoothly - and of course, the best photos possible.
HIRE A COORDINATOR
If I could give one piece of advice to my brides, it’s hire a day-of coordinator. It may seem like a good idea to have a friend or family member help run the logistics of the day as a way to cut wedding costs. But there’s just no substitute for a coordinator who has actual experience with events, because even small events are can be overwhelming!
Even if you’ve done a lot of planning on the front end, there are still a hundred little questions that pop up on the day of. You, as the bride, don’t want to waste your emotional energy answering silly questions like, “when are the groomsmen supposed to be ready?” or "where is the gift table supposed to be set up?” A good coordinator will be the one to field these questions (not to mention handle any unforeseen crises) so that your energy can be saved for the big, beautiful task of getting married.
Plus, it will protect your relationships with them so that there are no frustrations or expectations weighing on your loved ones to handle extra tasks. Having a coordinator is a win-win!
FIRST LOOKS FOREVER
First looks (where you and your babe see each other BEFORE the ceremony) are becoming more and more common in wedding tradition - and I’m SUCH a fan! More traditional folks might want to have that big moment coming down the aisle, but here are some first look pros you may want to consider:
Seeing your person truly helps ease your nerves. Weddings are inevitably stressful, and there’s nothing as calming as being able to squeeze your partner’s hand for reassurance.
It’s much more intimate than seeing each other at the ceremony. There’s no one around staring at you, which frees you up to enjoy that first moment with each other even more. If you consider yourself shy or are worried you’ll have stage fright, this helps take the pressure off.
First looks help the structure of your photo timeline run in the smoothest way possible. It allows us to knock out photos with you and your partner, wedding party, and families BEFORE the ceremony, so that afterwards you’re free to get the party started. Otherwise, there’s a gap of time between the ceremony and reception in which your guests are waiting around for you while we take photos.
It allows you to maximize time with your partner on your big day! Weddings are about two people coming together, but the actual day involves very little time for you and your partner without distractions or onlookers. First looks restructure the day so that you can actually have a breath and real conversation with the person you’re going to marry.
First looks allow me as the photographer to be more in control of how the image turns out. During the ceremony, I’m working around restrictions that are out of my control: the length of the aisle, the lighting of the space, etc. First looks allow me to take creative charge of the moment so that it looks as beautiful as possible.
Coming down the aisle will STILL be a big moment because all of your guests are seeing you for the first time. And even if you’ve seen each other, it’s still so special to be in that space, walking towards the person you’re going to spend your life with.
CONSIDER STAGING YOUR EXIT
It might sound untraditional, but staging your exit is becoming more and more common! This can happen in two different ways: immediately after the ceremony or some time earlier during the reception. So why stage your exit?
It allows ALL your guests to take part of such a fun moment and be in the photos before they begin to trickle out of the reception.
Staging your exit may just be a better idea aesthetically. It’s no secret that lighting for photos is much more preferable in the day/at dusk than when it’s pitch black outside. This is a question I can totally help answer as the details of your day are coming together.
I’m going to be real with you: there are only so many dancing photos you really need at your reception. If you stage your exit, it means you can use my contracted hours to get the most bang for your buck instead of having an excess of photos from the dance floor.
Your venue is a HUGE part of how your photos come together. When you’re touring spaces, here are some things to consider: