The Welcome Guide
Welcome! I am so excited to be your photographer for your special day! I have created this guide to help you during the wedding photography process. This guide will provide you with information regarding the engagement session, wedding day timeline information, tips and more so that you will have an amazing wedding experience.
The Engagement Session
To help you prepare for your engagement session, I have created an Engagement Session Guide filled with detailed information regarding what our session will be like together, as well as attire & style tips so you can look and feel your absolute best!
The Bridal Session
A bridal session is a portrait session for the future bride. My bridal sessions are currently an hour session with the bride-to-be dressed completely in her wedding attire. This is the perfect opportunity for you to have extra photos of yourself in the gown that you have invested hundreds to thousands of dollars on.
I encourage brides to have their hair & makeup professionally done for their bridal sessions as well as having a mock bouquet made. The bridal session allows you to see exactly how you will look on your wedding day. I have had brides to make changes to their hair & makeup for the wedding day because they were not 100% satisfied with how their hair & makeup looked during the bridal session. This is the perfect opportunity for you to see how you will look on the actual wedding day and determine IF you would like to make any changes to your appearance.
Another reason why I love a bridal session is because it allows you to have the opportunity to have so many extra poses in your gown that you may not have time for on the typical wedding day. Finally, I have had brides to use a large (16×20 or larger) sized image from the bridal session in their reception!!
The bridal session is for the bride only. Unless you would like for your groom to see you in your attire BEFORE the actual wedding day, do NOT bring him to the session.Get your hair & makeup professionally done by the person who will do it for you on the wedding day.
Do not forget to have a bouquet made for your bridal session.
Bring someone to your session to help you get in and out of your wedding gown.
Schedule your session at least 30 days before your wedding so that you will have adequate time to order professional prints.
Bridal Session Tips
Published Bridal Session
Kimberly's Stunning Bridal Session was published on Munaluchi in print and web. Click the link below to view her bridal session!
What Is A First Look?
During my wedding consultations, I have had so many couples and even mother of the brides to ask me what a first look really is. As you are planning for your big day, there may be some aspects of the day that you are completely unfamiliar with. The First Look is one of those things that I get asked about a lot.
A First Look is when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. Before you say, "I would never want to do that," let me explain the details and advantages of having a First Look. First, a first look is a private, intimate moment for the bride and groom. No one is around during the first look except for the bride & groom and the photographer & videographer.
Advantages of A First Look
One. It is an intimate moment between the bride & groom! When having a first look, you will have that opportunity to hug & embrace and tell each other how great one looks (something you would not normally do when walking down the aisle). This is the time to breath and take in just how great you two look to each other. I have witnessed couples gleaming with excitement and even shedding a few tears because they were so happy during that moment.
Two. More Photos! Couples who have opted to have a first look have had 50% more bride and groom portraits than couples who have opted out. The reason is, after the first look, I immediately photograph the bride and groom. I am able to spend anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour photographing the lovely couple without being rushed and pressed for time. When you choose not to have a first look, all of your bride and groom photos will be photographed after the ceremony. The Wedding Day can be a long day and sometimes couples are so tired and eager to get to the reception, that they cut the time for their bride and groom portraits.
Three. All of your wedding party, bride & groom, and some family portraits can all be taken before the ceremony! This allows you to leave the ceremony and immediately go straight into the reception without having to wait an hour or so for portraits. I have had so many brides to tell me that they were so happy that they did a first look and got all their portraits out the way. As soon as the ceremony was over, they were ready to enjoy their cocktail hour & party!
Four. Your nerves will be calm! The wedding day is a big moment for the bride & groom and it is completely normal to be nervous. I have had couples to feel 100% better after seeing their love during the first look. It brings about a sense of peace and makes the remainder of the day completely at ease.
At the end of the day, I have never had a couple to say that they wish they had NEVER done a first look. In fact, I have had more couples to come back and say that they wish they had done a First Look instead of opting out. I have even had grooms who were not so sure about the whole idea of having a first look to come back and tell me that they are so happy that they did it. The intimate moment between the bride & groom, the stress of not having to take hundreds of photos after the ceremony, is worth considering a First Look.
Choosing Your Wedding Start Time
When choosing a time for your wedding, please be mindful of your wedding portraits. Then idea of having a sunset wedding sounds good until you realize that it will be dark when it is time to take bride & groom portraits. Trust me, because of your investment in photography, this may not be what you want. You want to have enough natural light for your family, wedding party, and most importantly - YOUR Bride & Groom Portraits. Unless you are having a first look, I would not recommend a sunset wedding.
If are not having a first look, but you want those pretty, outdoor photos that you have seen on my website & social media, my advice would be to start your wedding AT LEAST 2 hours BEFORE sunset. Please keep this in mind when Daylight Savings Times Ends. If you need help choosing a time for your wedding, let me know and I will help guide you though the process.
Custom Wedding Photography Timeline
My Wedding Photography Timelines are designed to allow the most important parts of your wedding day to be captured. I will work with you (and your planner) to make sure there is plenty of time on the timeline for me to capture all the important details of your wedding. My goal is to make sure you are getting the MOST out of your investment.
As a future bride, you will put so much time and effort into planning such a special day. Think about all the details that will surround your wedding day – the beautiful decor, the breathtaking details, the yummy cake. Allowing me to have the right amount of time to photograph all the important details will allow you the opportunity to relive your wedding story over and over through the beautiful photos that are documented.
My Wedding Timelines are designed to allow me to have adequate time to document all the important parts of your wedding day. It is so important to me that I capture all the lovely details and special moments because they play such a big part in telling the overall story of your day.
When Designing a Timeline, Keep a Few Things in Mind:
Allow enough time for all the pretty details you have worked so hard to include on your wedding day to be photographed.
Allow enough time for all the pretty details you have worked so hard to include on your wedding day to be photographed. Details such as the dress, shoes, rings, invitations, and decor all play an important part in your wedding. You have spent a great deal of time and money making sure that the details are exactly how you have envisioned them to be. It is important to allow time for these things to be photographed so you will have a visual reminder of them after the wedding is over. I have even had brides to be so surprised at the details that were included in their gallery because the day goes by fast and sometimes you might not be able to take in everything at that moment.
Allow extra time for getting ready on your the big day.
Plan for hair and makeup to take a little longer than expected. 50% of the weddings I have photographed, the hair and makeup lasted longer than what the bride had originally planned and anticipated for. This caused major delays on the wedding day that resulted in weddings starting 30 minutes to an hour late, which caused a major lost of time for portraits.
Allow enough time for bride & groom portraits.
These are the photos that you WILL want professionally printed and displayed in your home. I recommend reserving at least 30 minutes for bride & groom portraits on the wedding day. The more time you allow for this part of the day, the more photos you will have to cherish years from now!
Wedding Questionnaire: As we get closer to the wedding day, you will receive A Wedding Questionnaire to fill out. This will also allow me to have all the details for your big day & for possible publishing!!
Your bridal details help tell the story of your wedding day. As soon as I arrive, I will begin photographing all of your beautiful bridal details! Below is a checklist of items that I typically photograph during this time. Please have the smaller items that are included on this list, in a box (your shoe box will work great), so I can grab them when I arrive and immediately begin photographing.
Bridal Prep Details
Invitation Suite (please include an extra invitation suite in your box to be photographed. I love photographing the formal invitation along with your other details)
Rings (all three)
Custom Ring Box (if desired) Jewelry
Veil / Hair Pieces
Hanger (if you do not have a custom hanger for your dress, I will bring one for photography purposes)
Extra Floral Stems (6-7) from Florist
If there is anything else that is important to you, please include it in your box to be photographed. For example: your grandmother’s ring/jewelry, special keepsake(s), etc.
Getting Ready Portraits
Once I finish photographing your details, I will return all items and begin photographing you getting ready.
For the first set of getting ready photos, consider wearing a beautiful "Getting Ready" robe. Some of the photos taken during this time will include "faux" makeup application, and photos with your beautiful bridal gown.
Once you are dressed in your bridal gown, I will photograph your mom (or whomever you choose) as they help you with your last important details of getting ready – such as buttoning the dress, and helping you put your jewelry and/or veil on. I will find a clutter free area with great light for these shots.
More Tips for Amazing Bridal Prep Photos
If possible, make sure there is natural light in the room where the bride will be getting ready (window light). This makes such a HUGE difference in your images. I promise!
Keep the area near the window (if there is one) free of trash, bags, snacks, etc. This will be where you (the bride) will be putting on your dress. We want this area to be as clutter free as possible for photos!
The Groom Details
If the groom is getting ready in the same location as the bride, I will step in to photograph his details too. Here are some details for the groom to have on the wedding day:
Tie or Bow Tie
Family Formal Portraits
Please allow 30 minutes for Family Portraits to be taken before or after the wedding ceremony. Family Portraits may be done in 20 minutes if we are well organized beforehand. Below is a list of standard family formal portraits that are typically taken at the wedding. As we get closer to the wedding day, I will send a Family Formal Questionnaire for you to fill out.
Bride's Family Portraits
Bride & Groom with Bride's Parents, Siblings, Grandparents
Bride & Groom with Bride's Parents, Siblings
Bride & Groom with Bride's Parents
Bride & Groom with Bride's Siblings
Bride & Groom with Bride's Grandparents
Bride with Bride’s Grandparents
Bride with Bride’s Siblings
Bride with Mother
Bride with Father
Bride with Mother & Father
Groom's Family Portraits
Bride & Groom with Groom's Parents, Siblings, Grandparents
Bride & Groom with Groom's Parents, Siblings
Bride & Groom with Groom's Parents
Bride & Groom with Groom's Siblings
Bride & Groom with Groom's Grandparents
Groom with Groom’s Grandparents
Groom with Groom’s Siblings
Groom with Mother
Groom with Father
Groom with Mother & Father
Family Formal Portrait Tips
Please note that larger photo groups (15+ people), require more time to gather and photograph. Photos of aunts, uncles, cousins, and distant relatives can also be taken during the reception to save time during the Formal Portrait Time.
If you are having a first look, Bride and Groom Portraits as well as all Bridal Party Photos will be taken before the ceremony. Many of your family photos can also be taken BEFORE the ceremony as well if time allows. Please make sure relatives who are being photographed before or after the ceremony know the time they are to arrive for portraits.
If you are not having a first look, Family Portraits, Bride & Groom Portraits as well as the entire Bridal Party Portraits together will be taken after the ceremony. Please allow at least 1 hour for these photos.
Please indicate groupings for step parents and step siblings to be included in photos.
Please indicate any persons who may be in a wheel chair or cannot walk far (I want to make sure everyone is properly accommodated for during photos).
Tips to Help Family Portraits Go By Faster:
Indicate someone from the bride and groom’s family to help gather people during portrait time. I will provide them with a copy of the portrait list via email.
Contact family members before the wedding and let them know they will be taking portraits. Remind them to stick around after the ceremony for portraits.
Have a designated area for guest who are not taking pictures to go to (cocktail area, reception area). It is so much easier & faster for me to navigate & photograph portraits when there are not crowds of people around.
The Wedding Exit
I absolutely love a wedding exit! The bride and groom are surrounded by all their family and friends, and everyone is so excited to see the newlyweds off!
Custom Designed Albums
Wedding exits are sometimes done at the very end of the reception, but I have had so many brides to partake in a “faux” exit. A faux exit is a wedding exit that is done before the actual reception ends. I love a “faux” exit because it allows all of your guest the opportunity to participate. Sometimes guest will have to leave the reception before it actually ends and a “faux” exit allows everyone the chance to participate in wishing and seeing the bride & groom off. This is also a great option when you have a limited amount of photography hours and you still want this special moment documented.
Tip: If you are planning a wedding exit, make sure everything is ordered a month prior to your wedding. You do not want to wait until the week of the wedding to order items. If you are opting to have a “sparkler” exit, make sure you order the long sparklers (36 inch) instead of the short ones. The longer sparklers will allow you enough time to complete the exit.
CUSTOM DESIGNED ALBUMS ARE A PERFECT WAY TO REMEMBER & SHOWCASE YOUR WEDDING DAY
Client Albums that are included in the Wedding Collections are sized at 10X10 and include 20 pages (10 spreads) and 30 “must have” images of your choice. Additional images may be included in the design process to help tell your wedding story.
Thank you again for choosing me to be your wedding photographer! I look forward to working with you and capturing your big day!