I find that an engagement session always helps my couples feel more at ease on the big day. An engagement session is the perfect chance for us to get to know each other, for you to feel comfortable in front of the camera, and for you to experience being photographed together. Engagement sessions are a lot of fun and give us an excellent opportunity to create some amazing and adventurous images without the restrictions that a wedding day can bring.
The first hour or two of your wedding photography typically takes place as you get ready. Whether you choose a bridal suite, hotel room, or other location to prepare for the wedding, I recommend choosing a spacious, open location with lots of natural light. I also recommend asking your bridesmaids, family, and anyone else who will be joining you in the room to do their best to keep their personal items out of the way and as organized as possible since this will be the backdrop for many of your detail photos and initial portraits.
While it's not for everyone, I love this modern twist on the traditional wedding that gives you and your fiancé the opportunity to see each other for the first time in a more private setting. A first look also gives us the chance to create beautiful portraits of you and those who matter to you most while you are fresh and looking your best. Couples often become impatient and frustrated when they are forced to spend their entire cocktail hour taking pictures, as they would rather enjoy the party with friends and family (I totally get it!) This is why I advise leaving only the absolutely necessary group portraits for right after the ceremony, giving you time to enjoy more of the festivities!
While unplugged ceremonies certainly make my job easier, that alone is not the only reason that I advocate for them. Cell phones, iPads and other devices will ultimately end up in your photos creating unsightly distractions while blocking the faces and emotions of you and your guests. I find that asking your officiant to make a quick announcement just before the start of the processional requesting that guests put away their cameras and devices and be present during the ceremony tends to work best.
I work with all of my couples to ensure that they have a timeline that reflects all of their important wants throughout the day, as well as extra time for them to soak in the special moments. Adding a little buffer time around the important elements of your wedding preparation allows for unexpected delays, and I'm of the mind that it's always better to be early rather than late! After all, no one will be sad if they have an extra moment to savor a glass of champagne before the ceremony!
Now that the big day has arrived, it’s time to relax and enjoy – be yourselves and leave the rest to me! The day will go by in a whirlwind and my wish for you is to live each moment as fully as possible. Your enjoyment will make for the best photos and memories to keep forever!
Don't be afraid to ditch stale traditions and do things your own way. This day is all about the two of you, and not just doing things because you're "supposed to." Want to cut up a wheel of cheese instead of a cake? Wear a colorful wedding dress? Skip the bouquet toss? I'm all for it! The more carefully you consider these details that make the day about your own unique story, the better it will be!