wedding Guide: tips, tricks, & extra tidbits that will help you along the way
I want you to have a laid back stress free day. I help build the timeline of your day, I help calm you down and remove things (and people) that may cause you stress. I help you with what needs to be communicated with family and friends. But more than anything, I’m your cheerleader. I want you to have the best freaking day ever! I mean it. On the wedding day, I will help you stay on schedule and if anything runs behind, you won’t feel the stress because…we’ve already built the timeline together and planned for it!
Engagement sessions are included with every full wedding day. I believe that this is the best way to feel comfortable in your wedding photos. Most couples want to look their best on their wedding day and would prefer to not think about how to pose or if they will feel awkward. The engagement session can be whatever you love to do. If you like to get all fancy and go out on date nights, let’s photograph that! Play board games or do brewery tours, that’s cool too. I’m ready to hike a mountain and explore a new city with you. I encourage my couples to embrace the awkward, silly, weird, cute, and ridiculously real versions of themselves during the engagement session. Because then, when the wedding day comes, all they need to do is be themselves. Here are examples of what that looks like.
Tips for the best engagement session
Think about what the two of you like to do together for fun. Let’s do that. and yes, if your mind went there, we can do boudoir too ;)
Wear what makes you feel cuddly. Wear something that you can sit, stand, be silly in. Need help with outfits? Just ask! I am happy to help narrow down options as well as tell you what will work best.
Bring a spare outfit. Sometimes we think we know what we want to wear, but then we put it on and ten minutes later are really wishing we went with something else. Bring that something else.
Stay away from props. Look, I know there’s this magical place on the internet that is full of cute, trendy ideas, but I want your photos to look like you. Here’s an example of a purposeful prop; you both love to read Harry Potter : then we take photos of you cuddling at home with coffee and a good book:)
Be you. Be YOU. BE YOU!! talk in the weird voices, tell inside jokes, pinch a butt, be weird and awkward, I promise you are perfect just being yourself.
Starting the day
Surround yourself with the ones you love. The ones who support you. The ones who will help make your day the best ever. Never feel obligated to be around anyone just because they are family or it’s tradition. Want to have the best day ever? Start it off surrounded by right people.
Tips for the morning schedule
Ladies: Plan 45 minutes for hair. 45 minutes for makeup MINIMUM. Per person. Wanna have even less stress, plan for an hour. We never want Hair and Makeup artists to be rushed, you are being pampered, let them work their magic.
BRIDES: Plan for your Hair & Makeup in the middle of the line. Quickest way to be a stressed out bride, wait till everyone else is done before you begin your hair and makeup. To avoid having everything wait on you to begin, be ready early.
Stress reducing Pro tip. If you have your hair and makeup done earlier, and say your robe messes it up or you cried and rubbed your makeup off, well guess who is still around for touch ups?? That’s right Hair and Makeup.
Guys: Watch the HOW TO TIE A BOW TIE video before the morning of. Please.
Ask for help. Take a breath. Go for a walk. Eat breakfast. It’s going to be a FABULOUS day!
The little things. If you want photos of your details, set them out in a clutter-free area. That way I can get a quick shot of the details that bring the day together. Details include: dress/suit/outfit, rings (all of them), jewelry, shoes, invitations, programs, announcements, Borrowed & Blue items, cufflinks, ties, letters & gift to each other, etc.
First Look, a time for just the two of you
A lot of couples are unsure if a First Look is right for them. here is what I think.
Functionally, sure it helps the day move along, because you can get most of the photos out of the way.
I think of a first look as the most romantic part of the day. The two of you standing back to back. You can hear each other, pinch each other’s butts, hold hands. You can take it all in. You’ve spent the morning getting ready and now you are about to do this! You two are getting married!! For a moment, it’s just you. When you are ready to turn around, you do so together. You BOTH get to see each other for the first time. The nerves begin to fade away and you laugh and cry and can’t believe the day is finally here, together. After the First Look, we can start the formal photos, family photos and breathe before the ceremony begins.
Before the ceremony, you separate, just long enough that the nerves begin to come back but this time, you know that you are in this, together.
That is my view of what first looks mean to my couples, however if you are sticking to tradition , that’s perfect too! Your day will be equally as magical!
Tips on Group photos
(Family & Wedding Party)
Family photos can be a bit much sometimes. Let’s keep it simple.
Immediate family: Parents. Grandparents. Siblings (Siblings Spouses & children)
Immediate family, let them know what time (see timeline) they need to be and where. They are in charge of themselves and will be the priority.
Extended family: Cousins, aunts, uncles, mom’s best friend from HS that’s your second mom.
Extended family. Let everyone know that immediately after the ceremony, the big group shot will happen. If they move they lose their chance to be in the photo.
Keep your list of group shots short and simple. If you want to have a photo with every guest, get a photobooth!
I want you to interact and be present with your family AND also provide you with a family portrait that you will cherish forever.
All group photos, family and wedding party, happen fast. We won’t rush, but we won’t take hours either. I want you to experience the day with your family and friends. Your wedding day is more than a photoshoot. So let’s make sure that we schedule enough time to get through photos and have time leftover to enjoy.
I’ve included a bunch of group photos below. There’s still more info to help you through your day below.
Extra tips: how to have the best day ever!
Schedule extra time. Think it takes 15 minutes to get someplace, double that.
If there is something to get stuck behind, it will happen. Tractors, scooter gangs, ducks crossing the road.
Ask your caterer if it’s possible for the two of you to be fed separately from the guests.
This helps make sure that you EAT without people coming at talking to you with your mouth full.
PLAN FOR IT TO RAIN. PLAN FOR IT TO RAIN.
Yes, I said that twice. If you plan for it to rain on your wedding day and it rains, then there is no added stress. If you plan for it to rain and it’s sunny skies all day, then BONUS to you!
Feed your photographer. They are with you your entire day, make sure they eat what you eat.
Pick a photographer that you want to be around all day, you love their work and you trust in their ability to create images you will love forever. When you hire a professional that is the right fit, let them do their magic. No need to micromanage, you focus on being YOU and they will do the rest!
Only do traditions YOU want to do. Have you dreamed of dancing with a parent or loved one? Make it a priority! Then go ahead and skip the bedding ceremony if you wish. (JK. I watch too much Game of Thrones, do people still do this? Please don’t.)
What ever you want people to pay attention to, do before dinner. If you want guests to pay attention to all of your dances and speeches, make sure that they were given lots of snacks at cocktail hour. Grown ups get hangry too and we want your party to be one to remember in the best way!
Stay together throughout the night and on the dance floor as much as possible. Your guests came to celebrate your union, so for this day, try to stick together.
Have fun. All of your planning has come to life. Take a moment and look around at your people.