Bridal Guide

Some helpful Tips to consider

Getting married is no easy task. It takes a lot of work and planning into making your event magical. Let's just girl talk about it all for a sec!


Thoughts from your Photographer...

Have a

Wedding Planner


They make sure your wedding day not only looks pretty but they also take stress away from you on your wedding day. They bring your vision into reality with a smile so that you can focus on your partner and enjoying your experience. Plus they help make sure you stay fed and hydrated throughout the day. They do a lot behind the scenes to make sure your experience is perfect. I list a few of my favs down below.

Keep reading.

Engagement Session


This is the first chance for me to get to know you on a personal level. It is a fun and silly at times session. My goal is to get you to laugh, embrace, to feel comfortable with each other being in front of my camera lens. How the engagement session feels is very similar to how the day of the wedding will feel for you. I try to get my couples to play with each other because it's the best way to get natural, candid, "lovidove" moments. I also do some poses mixed in to make sure we are getting all the great shots of the day covered. I look forward to these sessions because it is such a great way to get to know my clients and build that friendship and trust with one another, that is so important.

What are Flatlays?


A flatlay is simply an image shot directly from above – a bird's eye view of an array of carefully arranged objects.

These objects include your wedding invitation suite and other personal objects:

rings, shoes, jewelry, perfume, notes to each other, bouquet, boutonnieres, bow ties, cufflinks, anything sentimental to you that you would like photographed.

Flatlays bring a level of elegance to your album and image gallery.


If you do not send out mailed invitations to your guests, I encourage you to purchase a single invitation suite from a local calligrapher. You will be so happy you did! I have recommendations below if you need a place to start. J and J Calligraphy in SD is amazing!


Flatlays take Time


Flatlays are beautiful and take a lot of time to create. Make sure to have all of your details together in one spot. This will help give me plenty of time to think of creative stylings for you. Also, I love getting flatlay details ahead of time. This could be the weekend before the wedding. Then I can really play!

Ask for Styling Florals


Flatlays come to life when there are styling flowers to dress them up. Make sure to ask your florist for styling flowers. They are usually a small collection of the florals used in your bouquet and centerpieces that I can cut and trim to add detail and romance to your invitation suites and details.

Light & Airy Does Not Just Happen

If you like light and airy you have to create it. When choosing a venue look for lots of big windows, open spaces and light colored walls and fixtures (white is ideal). Make sure your floral & decor colors are light and romantic. Pops of dark blue and red will not photograph light and airy. The best colors are whites, creams, blushes, and pastels. A small pop of a bright color can be beautiful and exciting.

Make your Guests Comfortable


Guests remember when the couple takes the time to think of their needs as well. This could be umbrellas on a hot summer day, flip flops for the dance floor, blankets on a chilly outside night. It is the little details, even those which are guest focused that make your wedding memorable for everyone.

Mix It Up


Bridesmaids look their best when they are showing off their best features. This could be with the shape and cut of a dress or (my favorite) the use of different patterns and textures. I recently sent my soon to be daughter-in-law a picture of a cute bridesmaid wearing a strapless corset with a short tool skirt and cowgirls boots! I am all about that sass! When your girls look and feel great they are going to want to make you look and feel great too.

The Greatness of a First Look


What's so great about it?

  • It allows you to get out your wedding day jitters together. You become more relaxed and calm once you see each other.
  • Gives you the ability to have your bridal and family portraits done right after your first look and before the ceremony.
  • Frees your time later in the day to participate and enjoy your guests at the cocktail hour.


-Usually these are done early in the afternoon so having a venue with some shady areas is perfect for creating glowing skin and soft romantic images.

Remind Your Bridal Party To Smile

Your wedding party is being photographed too! I have seen many bridal parties look bored, uninterested... until that one funny moment the officiant cracks a joke. But those are not the moments I am usually taking pictures of the bridal party. That is when I am focusing on the couples reactions. Let your party know you would like them to be mindful of smiling during the entire ceremony so that when I am snapping images of the party and when I am not, all of your images feel joy-filled and happy.

Have your Officiant

MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!!!


I have seen time and time again where the couple go in for that deep first kiss and all my eyes are drawn to are the bits of body pieces sticking out from behind the couple, from the officiant. A good tip is to remind the officiant at the dress rehearsal that you would like them to move off to the side before they announce the kiss. It makes a world of difference.

Greeting Guests


Your guest are important to you. Some of them flew in a long way to see you and you would like to have a moment one on one with them. This can be done a lot of different ways. I will give you two of the most common ways and give my opinion on each.

One way is after cocktail hour at the entrance to the dinner reception, you can greet your guests at the door. This gives you a chance to hand shake and hug but also your guests know that they can't linger because there are more people ready to go sit down behind them.

Another way is to go table to table once you are done eating and usually while they still are. This can be a little more time constraining because guest don't feel rushed to let you move on the the next person, so your time can be eaten up depending on the amount of guests you have. That said plenty of guests will just appreciate the hello and let you move on with out getting up from their seats. You know your guests and what is right for you.


If this is important to you make sure to let me know if you do want a picture with each guest so I can make sure to leave time for that in your time line.

Tip Your Vendors


After a long day of helping you make your dreams come true it speaks volumes of thankfulness to receive a tip at the end of the night. If you tip for your nail and pedi technician, your wedding vendors are no different. They spend time and take great care to take care of your needs, wants & wishes. Even a thank you note will be appreciated. Show them love.


SPEAKING OF VENDORS....

HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITES

Venues

Planners

FLORISTS

HAir & Makeup artists

Calligraphers

DJ's

Bands

Single musicians

Cake & More

Drinks

Videographers

Photo Booths




Example #1 Wedding with a First Look

THE WEDDING OF NAME 1 + NAME 2

Day, Date, Year Location 

M/H contact info B/M contact info


TIME ACTIVITY NOTES

12:00-1:00 PM Arrive at Getting Ready Suite

(ADDRESS HERE) Shoot details and final hair & makeup

1:00-2:00 PM Client #1 to get Dressed & Portraits 2nd Shooter shoots Client #2 in Getting Ready Suite

2:00-2:15 PM Travel to First Look

2:15-2:30 PM First Look

2:30-3:00 PM Couple Portraits (Locations here if known)

3:00-3:30 PM Bridal Party Portraits SEE LISTS

3:30-4:00 PM Family Formals SEE LISTS

4:00-4:30PM Couple Refresh Shoot Ceremony Decor + Guest Arrivals

4:30-5:00 PM Ceremony

5:00-6:00 PM Cocktail Hour 2nd Shooter Decor + Guests

5:00-5:15 PM 1st Shooter with Couple

5:15-5:45 PM 1st Shooter shoots Reception Decor Room + Cake Details Ready at this time

5:45-6:00 PM Couple Sunset Photos SUNSET at 6:10 pm

6:00-6:20 PM Guests Invited to Dinner Couple Refresh

6:25 PM Introductions Followed by First Dance

6:40 PM Welcome Toasts Followed by Parent Dances

7:00 PM Dinner

7:00-7:30 PM Vendor Hot Meal

7:30 PM Dancing

8:30 PM Cake Cutting

8:45 PM Bouquet + Garter Toss

10:00 PM Photo Coverage Concludes



NOTES: 

Please have all rings, copy of invitation, wedding attire in getting ready suite. All flowers should be delivered no later than 12:30 pm. SUNSET 6:10 PM. Package includes up to 10 hours of continuous wedding day coverage and 2 hours of rehearsal dinner coverage on DATE from TIME to TIME at LOCATION. 


CONTACT INFO: 

Client: (123) 456-7890 | Client: (123) 456-7890 | Planner: (123) 456-7890 



Example #2 Wedding with No First Look

THE WEDDING OF NAME 1 + NAME 2

Day, Date, Year Location 

M/H contact info B/M contact info


TIME ACTIVITY NOTES

12:00-1:00 PM Arrive at Getting Ready Suite

(ADDRESS HERE) Shoot details and final hair & makeup

1:00-2:00 PM Client #1 to get Dressed & Portraits 2nd Shooter shoots Client #2 in Getting Ready Suite

2:00-2:15 PM Travel (Location)

2:15-2:30 PM Couple Refresh Shoot Ceremony Decor + Guest Arrivals

2:30-3:00 PM Ceremony (Locations here if known)

3:00-5:00 PM Cocktail Hour 2 1st shooter ALL Portraits 2nd Shooter Décor+ Guests + Portraits

3:00-3:30 PM Couple Portraits 2nd Shooter Décor + Food + Guests

3:30-4:00 PM Family Formals Both Shooters SEE LISTS

4:00-4:30PM Bridal Party Portraits Both Shooters SEE LISTS

4:30-5:00 PM Couple Mingle with Guests Both Shooters shooting Reception Decor

5:00-5:20 PM Guests Invited to Dinner Couple Refresh

5:25 PM Introductions Followed by First Dance

5:25-5:45 PM Welcome Toasts Followed by Parent Dances

5:45-6:30 PM Dinner Announced + Couple Sunset Photos SUNSET at 6:10 pm

6:30-7:00 PM Vendor Hot Meal Couple eating

7:00 Dancing

8:00 PM Cake Cutting

8:30 PM Bouquet + Garter Toss

10:00 PM Photo Coverage Concludes


NOTES: 

Please have all rings, copy of invitation, wedding attire in getting ready suite. All flowers should be delivered no later than 12:30 pm. SUNSET 6:10 PM. Package includes up to 10 hours of continuous wedding day coverage and 2 hours of rehearsal dinner coverage on DATE from TIME to TIME at LOCATION. 

CONTACT INFO: 

Client: (123) 456-7890 | Client: (123) 456-7890 | Planner: (123) 456-7890 



Tips from the BIG WIGS

Biggest Tip EVER

Don't sweat the small stuff & just keep smiling. If you have a great team that has your back trust in them to handle any issues that may come up. Delegate, delegate, delegate and then trust them with your vision. They've got you!!!!