Wedding season is in full swing in the tri-state area for 2016 (NY, NJ, PA and beyond), which means... time for me to focus on FAQ-style blog posts! :)
One of the questions I hear most often on a consultation or even in a follow up conversation with a prospective bride is: How will the wedding day go as far as photographs? What do I need to consider when planning ahead? What should I expect?
I do start off by sending a Wedding Day Questionnaire to all of my brides about two to three weeks before the wedding. This allows me to confirm and finalize details I already have in my notes regarding the wedding day, as well as get emergency contacts and any final details I may need so that your day runs as smoothly as possible.
There are two sets of answers to these questions and they all depend on your wedding day coverage. So let's start with FULL DAY COVERAGE.
Generally speaking, I am with you for 12 hours. That's a long time! My first consideration for the morning is: where are you (the bride) getting ready? Are your bridesmaids getting ready with you? Is your hair being done first, or make up?
I like to show up a little bit into your hair and makeup time. I like to catch the tail end of your hair preparation (when it's not a tangled mess as it might be early in the morning) and when you are getting your make up on. I love to take this time to take candid shots of your bridesmaids, wedding details like invitation, rings, dress, shoes, jewelry, flowers etc.
This is also the time I like to send my second shooter to check up on the gentlemen of the party. This is entirely the option of the bride and groom and we decide if this is coverage you would want to include during your consultation.
Are you having a First Look? I STRONGLY recommend it! This will allow for as many portraits to be completed before the ceremony and reception, and the day will go by MUCH more smoothy so you can enjoy your events and also not be a sweaty mess when it's photo time!
I also find that couples who do a First Look as opposed to waiting to see each other when they're walking down the aisle feel more relaxed, at ease and thus enjoy the day more! Not to mention that a First Look with just the bride and groom (and photographer. and videographer.) is such an intimate and lovely moment to capture.
Photos done before the ceremony include: bridal party, family portraits and some bride & groom portraiture if time allows. If there's a time crunch, I like to leave the bride & groom shots for right after the ceremony.
*A note about family portraits: I ask all brides and grooms for a list of family portraits they are specifically interested in having so I have this as a checklist on the day of to ensure I get everything covered. However, I advise to keep the family portraits list simple! Do not underestimate how much time it takes to wrangle all extended family members in order to get a very big family shot, even if you give them a specific meet time before hand and send them reminders!
In the event that you do not do a First Look, family and bridal shots will be done separately, but full bridal party shots will need to have an allotted time reserved after the ceremony for photographs. This can get a little bit tricky depending on how close your cocktail hour is to your ceremony, how close in proximity location wise, etc.
CEREMONY & RECEPTION
This is the time of the day where I become a fly on the wall and you just do you, particularly during the ceremony. Reception time, I may pop in to say something to you a time or two, but by all means, forget all about me! Dance your behind off, talk to all of your family and friends and have a grand old time with your new spouse!
I will come bid you adieux before I leave and wish you the very best! :)
PARTIAL COVERAGE runs much the same as Full Day, except that there is no "getting ready" shots for the morning. Instead, before the wedding day, you and I would decide on a meet point to begin the noon portraits and then take it from there.
Other things to consider....
- Choose your locations for getting ready/ceremony/reception wisely! The more natural light your locations get, the more you will love your wedding photos! Neutral wall colors, big windows and limited artificial light are the camera's- and your- best friend.
- Also: it is great for you to be as informed as possible about best case scenarios for your wedding day photographs as these will last you a lifetime, but never forget that it's YOUR special day, and if it's stressing you out? Take it easy and let the stress roll onto me! You are trusting in me and my camera and lighting knowledge to capture your day true to the events as they unfold...and I am ready to take them as they come!
I think that covers it all! Feel free to mention any other details or questions you may have on the wedding day, and if you're a wedding photographer yourself, feel free to add extra tidbits!