I believe that the key to a successful client/photographer relationship is communication. I’ve put this guide together for your wedding day to help you plan and to make sure you have all of the information you need to ensure a stress free and fun experience! One of the most important documents you can read is our FAQs section. This ensures that all of your wedding day questions are answered, your expectations are met and discussed BEFORE the big day, and that you have timeless photographs to cherish for generations to come.
We are so happy to work with you, and genuinely hope that this guide helps to make your experience as stress free and enjoyable as possible!
In order to make sure that all of your wedding photography dreams are met, we recommend the following time allotments for photos. If you do not have a wedding coordinator and need assistance developing a timeline of your day, please reach out and we would be happy to help with that!
Groom Prep: Up to 60 minutes
Bride Prep: 90 minutes
First Look: 15 minutes
Family Portraits: 30 minutes
Bride & Groom Portraits: 30 minutes
If you’d like to attend part of your cocktail hour, consider an extended cocktail hour (roughly 15 minutes or so)
Detail Shots of your reception hall, BEFORE your guests are allowed to enter: 10 minutes
Sunset Portraits (optional): 15-20 minutes
Sunset: Make sure you check sunset times for your wedding day, and how that will affect the timeline of your day.
Portrait Hour: Portraits should ideally be scheduled for optimum lighting times whenever possible. Anytime after 2:00pm as long as there is a nice shaded area or trees to work with is the best time to plan your portrait hour. The most beautiful golden light happens about 60-90 minutes before sunset.
Hair & Makeup: Hair and makeup artists will often give you an estimated completion time, but we recommend adding 20-30 minutes onto that in case your schedule is running behind. Hair and makeup should be complete 30 minutes after we arrive at the bridal prep location.
Travel Time Between Locations: Whatever the travel time is from one location to another, we recommend adding a 15-20 minute buffer to allot for any traffic, accidents or delays.
You’ve hired a professional and spent a significant amount of time, money and energy in making this day memorable. You’ve spent time researching your photographer and selected them based on a number of things. So I cannot stress this enough – leave the photography to us. Rest assured that we will find the best location while also considering light and backgrounds for your photographs. My second and I make sure to capture all of the moments that happen on your day that we can. We know where to stand to get the perfect shot and, chances are anticipated the moment before you were aware it was happening. I am confident in our ability to do an amazing job for you, so relax, enjoy your day and let us do our job for you. We do our best work when we know you are enjoying yourself and that you trust our abilities!
I am totally onboard with whatever photo requests you have! Our request is that when you ask “can we do a fun bridal party photo?” you follow it up with an a specific request or idea. The reason: because we aren’t sure of your idea of “fun”, and we don’t want to put you or your bridal party in a moment which will LOOK awkward in photographs. If you do have specific photo requests, please be sure to send those at least two weeks before your wedding. Some of these specific shots may require a tweak to your timeline or special lighting, so we need to be sure we are prepared.
This one is HUGE. Please do NOT change your timeline or make changes to your portrait locations without giving us a heads up first. Timing and locations are SO important in photography, and we want to make sure you are making informed decisions about where and when to take your photographs so you get the best images possible.
I really encourage all of my couples to at least consider having an “unplugged” ceremony. Guests in the aisle with phones or cameras prevent us from doing the job you’ve hired us to do, and we miss what would be a special image. If possible, have your officiant announce before the ceremony begins that guests should put away all phones, tablets and cameras during the ceremony. You have hired professionals to take the photographs so your guests can sit back and enjoy the moment, being truly present with you!
I will gladly photograph just your rings if that is all you have on hand during the preparation portion, but we request that you have ALL of the wedding rings at the bridal location to photograph. These shots can take up to 10 minutes to set up, so I like to do these shots first thing. Also have a copy of the invitation, program, your shoes, garter, jewelry, bouquet and any other significant details set out for us when we arrive at the bridal prep location. We will work to photograph all of these details FIRST before any getting ready shots.
Please let us know via your questionnaire if there are any unique detail shots that you would like us to photograph. For example, not every bride has a monogrammed robe or special imprinting on the bottom of her shoes. If this is something you want photographed, please let us know before the wedding day and we would be happy to do so.
A huge timesaver for me is having all of the dresses ready to go when we arrive. If you have time, designate a bridesmaid or friend to remove all of the plastic and cardboard from the dresses and have a pretty hanger ready (please no plastic or wire hangers). We always bring a spare wood hanger, so if you don’t have one we will use the one in our bag.
Something to think about while planning your day is the vibe around you when you are getting ready. Would you prefer a quiet, peaceful morning getting ready alone, or would you prefer to have all of your bridesmaids, family members and friends around you? Either situation is perfectly fine with us – it just depends on your personality and demeanor as each situation results in an entirely different energy and environment.
We want to be able to photograph you having your veil and jewelry put on, so please wait for us before putting on accessories.
We will never take any half nude photographs of you putting on your dress – we simply want to photograph the final touches. We may ask you to stand in a specific spot while you are dressing to utilize the best light or use a window. Either myself or my assistant will remove any distracting objects or clutter from the background. We may also dim the lights or turn off any lamps . It may seem dark, but we want to create the perfect lighting situation to capture the moment beautifully!
Please ask that anyone helping you put on your dress are present when they need to be, and are dressed before you. We will ask any bridesmaids and parents to get ready approximately 30 minutes before you put your dress on.
Once you are fully dressed, we will take photos of JUST you near a window or other source of light. To put you at ease, we ask everyone to step out and give you a few moments alone to breathe.
We need to know ahead of time if you are expecting a gift from your groom before the ceremony. Please note – we ask in your questionnaire if this is taking place. We want to make sure you are dressed, seated and looking your best before this special moment.
Good Reception Lighting
Many DJ’s or event planners offer a lighting package with their services, which can transform your reception space. We want to help you determine the good lighting, as both can help or hurt your photographs. For up-lighting hues, we recommend red, pink, purple or blue. Avoid orange or green hues! Also avoid disco lights, spot lighting or laser lights.