What to Expect and Things to Consider
I understand that planning your wedding can be overwhelming as there are many details to consider and organize. To help make your day a little easier, I have created an outline of my workflow throughout the day. This way you know what to what to expect from me, your photographer, as well as details for the two of you to consider to help things move smoothly throughout the day.
Things to Consider
:: Schedule - This is a big one. A schedule of the day and events helps me know where to be and when. This can be helpful during the reception as well so I have an idea of when meals, toasts, dessert, dancing, and departure will be happening. I know weddings don't always go exactly as planned but knowing when to expect things to happen as well as having proper time frames set aside will help ensure the day goes smoothly.
- Side note - pad all scheduled events by at least 20 minutes.
- If you would like advice or help creating this schedule, I am happy to do so.
:: Coordinator/ Keeper of the Schedule - Having someone in charge of directing vendors, guests, and checking the schedule is tremendously helpful. There is always the option of hiring someone, otherwise maybe consider asking a friend or family member that is good at organizing and managing people.
- Once you have selected someone, it is very helpful if you can connect that person to me so that I can be kept informed and also assist in coordinating the schedule.
:: First Look Photos - I adore doing first look photos. It can be such a special and intimate time for the two of you to have before the ceremony. It does wonders for those jitters during the lead up to the ceremony. It is also allows a window of time for the majority of your photos to be done before the ceremony which means less time taken away from your guests and enjoying your reception. While I strongly recommend a First Look, it is entirely up to the two of you to make this decision and I will respect your wishes.
- If you do not wish to see one another before the ceremony, be sure to allow an hour and a half window of time after the ceremony for all of the photos to take place.
:: Getting ready together - While a bit unconventional, getting ready together allows for you and your partner a window of time for just the two of you. I find these photos to be quite intimate as it removes the chaos of many people around, creating a special space for the two of you to connect and prepare for the union and celebration of your lives together.
-Note: getting ready together also removes the option of a first look and allows us to begin your portraits in a more timely manner.
:: Gift Exchange - This is a lovely option to consider if you want to pass on the first look. A gift exchange between the bride and groom can be a nice opportunity for the two of you to take a moment to feel connected before the ceremony without actually seeing each other.
:: Requesting guests to refrain from camera phone use during the ceremony - I completely respect the use of the smartphone camera, its just so handy sometimes! But when it comes to your wedding photographer, it can hindergetting the best photos possible when so many of those little LCD screens are popping up in the air among your guests. I have no problem working around it if this is not a priority for you, but I feel its a detail to shed light on.
:: Ceremony Officiant - Make sure to clear any photographer restrictions they may have. It is sometimes preferred that photographers not be moving about during a ceremony and find a place to be stationary. If this is the case, I will need to know about it.
:: A formal sendoff for the Bride and Groom at the end of the reception - Knowing this helps determine if its important for me to still be present for the Bride and Groom departure.
:: I typically arrive at the venue an hour before I am “on the clock” to the to scout spots, get a feel for the layout and begin taking detail shots. This is at no charge to you, it is simply a practice for me to feel better prepared when we start the day.
:: I begin with doing photos of the Bride and Groom as they are getting ready. This is optional. I understand that sometimes this cannot be done simply because of location or is just not desired to be photographed.
:: After the Bride is done getting ready, this would be a time when I would ask for some privacy with the Bride alone to do portraits.
- Pending schedule, this is also when I would take the time to do photos of the bridesmaids with Bride and groomsmen with the Groom (these can also be done after bridal portraits).
:: Approximately 2 - 1.5 hours before the ceremony we would do the First Look photos, if desired. This is a time for the Bride and Groom to see each other for the first time. This is also when we would do the majority of the portraits as well as the bridal party all together.
:: At the ceremony venue, I will be taking photos as guests are arriving. During the ceremony I will be moving about to get varying angles and perspectives. I understand that your guests that have traveled from many parts of the world to be a present for this momentous event in your lives. I do my best to be as discreet as possible. And more often than not, no one seems to notice anyways!
:: Immediately after the ceremony (typically a cocktail hour and transition to the reception) I like to suggest for the two of you to take a 10 minute break to hide away and have some alone time. This is also a good opportunity to take care of the marriage license signing (You will need your officiant and two witnesses present for this piece).
:: At this point, depending whether or not you decided to do a first look, is when we would do the portraits of the two of you, the bridal party photos, and then the group photos with family.
:: Once you decide if we are doing your portraits before or after the ceremony, it is helpful to set a time to let family members know when they will be needed for group photos. This is when that handy list you created will come into play. If we know exactly who needs to be there, it can help me move through the group photos quickly.
:: From there on out I will be shooting candids throughout the reception and am open to requests.
:: If the opportunity arrises, I may request to pull the two of you aside to do a few photos during the sunset or later evening.
:: While we have a predetermined time that I will wrap up my photo duties, I try to be present until the time of your exit or until it seems that the events of the day have all been documented in full.