RISE + SHINE
You want to start hair and makeup extra early, you would much rather have too much time with them than not enough. In order to relieve some of the wedding morning stress, have the hair and make-up team come to your house or hotel room the morning of the wedding if possible. It takes away the stress of traveling to or from the salon. Be sure to go first or second (especially if you have a large bridal party). The hair and make-up team will stick around to do finishing touches before you leave the salon or after you put your dress on if they are at your hotel. Going first allows you the opportunity to drink a mimosa, relax with your bridesmaids and have ample time for bridal portraits. Consider the location that you will be getting ready, the morning is best captured if you're in natural light. If your make-up artist is coming to you set up a table and chairs where there is lots of light, and plenty of room for you and your bridesmaids to prepare. Plan to dress near a bright window and have all accessories such as shoes, rings, jewelry, flowers and dresses available as early as possible for photos.
Everyone should be dressed and ready about a half hour before you, this allows for great photos of you getting into your dress.
Outdoor weddings in the summer are stunning, scheduling your day around light is critical for these weddings! Try to avoid the mid-day sun during the time of your ceremony the best you can. The harsh light directly overhead during the afternoon hours will cause you to squint and guests to swelter in the heat. Instead, choose a ceremony just before sunset. This will create beautiful, much softer lighting, less heat for your guests, and more evenly lit photos with less shadows.
Make sure you have good light available outside at portrait time. One thing to keep in mind is what time the sun will be setting and if you plan to do photos before or after your ceremony. If you have an evening ceremony I suggest opting for a “first look” and doing couple, bridal party, and family photos before the ceremony to allow sufficient daylight photo opportunities. With that in mind, an exceptionally amazing time for photos is just before sunset, if you're able to sneak away with your groom for additional photos at this time you will love the outcome.
If your wedding will be on the water and you have access to a boat always consider this option for photos! If you have the luxury of having two boats it's ideal to have me in one and you and your groom in the other.
If possible order extra flower petals for photos, I typically find a balcony and ask someone to sprinkle them over you as I shoot.
By doing a first look, you will be able to enjoy your moment alone together. Many couples ask their families and bridal parties to keep their distance for this moment. I use a long lens to give you ample privacy while capturing this experience. As a photographer, I want to create the best possible images. With a first look, I am able to have the amount of time I prefer with a bride and groom.
If you plan on seeing each other for the first time at ceremony we will use your cocktail hour for photos of the wedding party, family photos, and photos of the bride and groom.
Select a close family member preferably one that is not in the wedding party to help round up family for photos, this is a huge help on your day. Click here to view a sample portrait list.
More often than not bridal parties as well as the bride and groom are not standing where they are supposed to. It makes it extremely difficult to get great photos. I strongly suggest placing tape or some type of marker on the ground for each person that will be involved in your ceremony.
OFFICIANTS - PASTORS - FRIENDS
Whoever it happens to be who will be presenting your ceremony please ask them to step away after pronouncing you're married, this will allow for optimal photos of your first kiss as newlyweds. Another important tip to remind them of is to tell your guests when they may be seated after your walk down the aisle, it's surprising how often it occurs where guests are not told to be seated creating an awkward few moments for guests.
SOAK IT UP
Nerves always seem to get the best of couples when they are standing in front of their family and friends, they race down the aisle, and have a short first kiss, this makes it extremely difficult to get a ton of great photos. Enjoy the moment, soak it in and take your time. Prevent this by assigning your escort to be in charge of making sure you walk slow, allowing sufficient time for photos. The same applies for your celebratory walk down the aisle post ceremony.
Remind your bridal party to really celebrate this moment! Tell them to throw their arms in the air and cheer loudly!
Additional sessions to consider
This is such an intimate and fun evening to capture with your closest friends and family.
A great idea is to give these photos to your groom at first look. This session can take place anytime up until the day before your wedding!
I love to photograph brides and grooms in their wedding day attire jumping into water, riding horses, or even just rolling around on the ground. These make for extremely fun sessions and amazing photos.