Wedding Day Photo Guide
Thank you so much for taking the time to fill out the Wedding Information Form. We look forward to setting up a time to go over all of the information in your pre-wedding meeting. Below we've put together a simple guide explaining our wedding day photo-taking process and what to expect. Please read through this guide thoroughly with your fiancé!
Do I need to provide a list of all the photos I want taken on my wedding day?
The short answer is, no, you don't have to. And we wouldn't want you to add that to the list of endless tasks you must complete before the big day! We have photographed over 200 weddings and consider ourselves to be "wedding experts"! We understand wedding timelines, customs and traditions, so you can trust that we know to photograph your walk down the aisle, your first kiss, cake cutting, special dances, toasts, bouquet & garter toss, and your grand exit. In between all of those traditions are the emotional, fun, happy moments - "candid" photos of your day as it unfolds. However, we know every couple is different and may have something unique up their sleeves. If you are planning anything non-traditional, we most certainly need to know! Having a surprise choreographed first dance? Will there be a special decor element you want to make sure we don't miss? Will there be special readers or singers/performers during your ceremony? These are the things we'll want to be aware of, and there's a spot in the Wedding Information Form for you to list them.
Tip: most of us have parents who were married during a time when wedding photographers took posed photographs of every "table" at a wedding reception. If this is something you or your parents expect or desire, please let us know. While we do take informal group photos of wedding guests at the reception who ask for them, posed "table shots" during dinner are not part of what we would typically take.
What about the details and decor?
We love the details and decor and pay special attention to photograph everything you've planned and put together! This includes everything from your dress, shoes and jewelry, to your bouquet, centerpieces, favors, place settings, cake, champagne flutes, cake cutting set, table numbers - everything! Even the monogrammed napkins. We highly recommend bringing your invitation set as well as your Save the Date and having it ready for us as soon as we arrive so we can photograph them as well. Also, if you want that gorgeous shot of your wedding rings, it's best to have both wedding bands and your engagement ring ready in the bridal suite as soon as we arrive. Once they've been photographed, they can be given to the important folks who will be carrying them during the ceremony. If you've gifted your bridesmaids or groomsmen with something special to be worn on the wedding day (jewelry, cuff links, ties, etc), please make us aware of that ahead of time!
Tip: please give us some time in the timeline to ensure we can photograph all of your details. We know you've worked hard to put together all of your beautiful decor, and we want to make sure you have lasting, beautiful images to remember it all by.
Which family photos do you usually take?
We have a standard list of family photos we refer to, but we will consult with you in your pre-wedding meeting about the extended family photos as well as any family situations we need to know about. We highly recommend consulting both sets of parents on what their desires and expectations are for family photos so as to ensure everyone is on the same page come wedding day. Our standard list:
Bride & Groom + Groom's Extended Family (maternal and paternal, separately)
Bride & Groom + Groom's Immediate Family (parents and siblings) & Grandparents
Bride & Groom + Groom's Grandparents
Bride & Groom + Groom's Immediate Family (parents and siblings)
Bride & Groom + Groom's Parents
Groom + Groom's Immediate Family (parents and siblings)
Groom + Groom's Parents
Groom + Mom
Groom + Dad
Groom + Siblings
Bride & Groom + Bride's Extended Family (maternal and paternal, separately)
Bride & Groom + Bride's Immediate Family (parents and siblings) & Grandparents
Bride & Groom + Bride's Grandparents
Bride & Groom + Bride's Immediate Family (parents and siblings)
Bride & Groom + Bride's Parents
Bride + Bride's Immediate Family (parents and siblings)
Bride + Bride's Parents
Bride + Mom
Bride + Dad
Bride + Siblings
If there are informal group shots you want taken during the reception (i.e. with high school friends, fraternity brothers or sorority sisters, work friends, etc), please let us know. On the wedding day we will not only bring the exact list of family formal portraits, but we'll also make note of the informal group photos you want us to take during the reception and we'll be sure to coordinate them.
Tip: this is simply a guide. Some clients prefer to remove the extended family photos altogether, while other clients prefer to add more. Formal family portraits take anywhere from 3-7 minutes per group, so please keep this in mind when deciding how many different family formals you'd like to include.
I've been to weddings before and it seems like photos take FOREVER. How can we avoid that?
We get this comment from brides & grooms-to-be quite often. We work very hard to make this part of the day as easy and effortless as possible, but we do need your help. The best way to keep it quick is to keep the formal portrait list as short as possible. We understand that may not be an option for you if you have a big family, so there needs to be a solid plan in place to coordinate the large number of people usually involved in extended family photos. Communicate with all family members before the big day and reiterate to them (a few times, if need be) that they will need to stay close by after the ceremony to have their photo taken. Let them know again at the rehearsal. Give an assertive family member or friend the task of being in charge of rounding people up and keeping them in the designated area for photos (this helps a ton since we won't meet any of your family until the day of the wedding!). The biggest time drain is when family members have to be tracked down for formal portraits, so this is very important.
Tip: this is your wedding day! You two will be gorgeous and radiant, your family and friends will be all dressed up and looking their best. You've hired us to photograph all of those beautiful faces together in one place just for the two of you, so relax and enjoy the moment.
Can we do a First Look instead?
Yes! We love First Looks! A First Look is not only a sweet and emotional moment, it also opens up the possibility for a big (positive) shift in your timeline. Instead of taking all of your family, wedding party, and bride & groom portraits in the hour immediately following the ceremony, we arrive 2-3 hours prior to your ceremony and get right to your First Look after you've gotten ready. This allows us to take family and wedding party photos before the ceremony while everyone's hair and makeup is fresh, and following the ceremony you are free to either take just a few more bride & groom portraits, or go straight to your reception! I don't think we've ever had a couple regret doing a First Look.
Tip: if doing a First Look, let the wedding party and family members know when they're expected to be ready for photos at the venue.
What do you photograph during the reception?
The fun! Of course we photograph your major reception events - introductions, special dances, toasts, cake cutting, bouquet & garter toss. But we also photograph you and your guests having a great time dancing and mingling. We also photograph any guests who grab us and ask for group photos!
Can I send you my Pinterest inspiration photos?
Absolutely! Your Pinterest inspiration photos give us a good idea of some of the types of shots you prefer, which can help guide us and maybe even come up with our own spin on it! We cannot guarantee that we can replicate any Pinterest photo to a T, but we will give you a version that's unique to you and your wedding.
I would like rehearsal/rehearsal dinner photos. What type of photos do you normally take?
For rehearsal or rehearsal dinner coverage, the majority of what we take will be candid photos as the events unfold - people arriving, guests mingling, the actual rehearsal, decor, toasts and dancing. We also take informal group photos as people request them. If there are specific posed photos you'd like taken at your rehearsal dinner, please let us know.