Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How to I schedule a wedding day? & other advice from your wedding photographer

My process in working with brides is very interactive and inclusive.  Since engagement season & wedding planning are in full force right now, I wanted to share my process as well as tips to plan your time line for your wedding day.

  • A bride will email about date availability.  If I'm available for the wedding, we schedule a coffee date to discuss her photography needs, budget, etc.  We plan the engagement session, bridal session, the time & date of the wedding, package options, & contract.  I meet each and every bride in person to explain this process, as we will be working together for around a year!
  • Then we shoot the engagement session, bridal session, bridal boudoir, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner.  (This is the time to celebrate, and I've shot it all!)
  • The important part:  about a month before the wedding, the bride (and groom is welcome) and I meet for coffee to go over the day-of time line and family formal shot list.  I ask for names of each family member, shot requests, if you're doing a first look, etc.  Below is a sample of a real wedding time line!

During the time line consultation, I will ask you quite a few questions to  help me to make sure I capture everything you want, put it in writing, and send an email for you and your fiancĂ© to approve or modify, and then give you a final pdf!  If you are able to hire a day-of wedding coordinator to keep everything running smoothly, I absolutely recommend it!  Leslie Herring Events and Amy Ray Events are rock stars.  If not, usually your photographer helps keep the timeline running along.

  • I recommend sending out the timeline to the family who needs to be there for the immediate family formal photos before the ceremony.  Or, sending them your version of when they need to be ready for photos!  (Fib a little for those who are perpetually late.)  Also, please send this information to your mother-in-law/people who should be there before the wedding on the groom's side.  Grooms often forget to notify their families to come early, so this helps share that communication!

  • Bring a Box. Put your mom, coordinator, or friend of charge of giving a box to your photographer while you're getting ready- fill it with important details you want photographed like your invitations, save the date cards, family heirlooms, something blue, accessories you're wearing on your wedding day, wedding rings, parents' wedding photos, flowers, boutonnieres, letters, bridal party gifts, etc. 
  • Often, parents' siblings are in town for the wedding and don't have nice photos of them together/with their parents.  If possible, allot a sibling photo for your parents.  They will appreciate the gesture, and it doesn't take away much time at all!
  • I'm always a fan of doing a generational photo: bride + mom + grandmother and groom + dad + grandfather.
  • Do a father/daughter first look.  Warning:  I'm going to cry!

  • If you are not doing a first look (it's your totally your call on your wedding day, and I have no preference either way) make sure to allot extra time between the ceremony and reception for family formal portraits, full bridal party portraits, & extended family.
  • If you have a shot request, share it during the time line meeting so that way you're not worrying about sharing it with me on your wedding day.

  • I always ask this question during the time line meeting: 
  • Do you have any details of the decorations, jewelry, something special that is important to you that I might not know about?
  • Are you close to your officiant?  (Do you want an individual photo with him/her?)
  • Something is going to run late or go wrong.  (And please don't worry too much when this happens!)  Only 4 weddings I shot last year were perfectly on track.  The break before the ceremony is padded time for this reason.

  • Tell me about special circumstances, like if Aunt Sue and Uncle Bob are divorced and not on speaking terms, or if Grandma is in bad health. If you have parents who are divorced, let me know that too.  I will try to be sensitive to family dynamics and act on your behalf to make sure the day goes smoothly.  Photographers get to be therapists too some times!
  • I am also there to play devil's advocate.  Part of the reason I make my contract for just the bride & groom is so that no one else can interfere with your time line or make requests you don't agree with.  
  • I love bridal night shots!  If you and your groom can slip away for a few moments before your grand exit, we can do a few night portraits that highlight your venue and the day you have shared together.

  • If you have any questions or would like to schedule your own consultation, visit www.brittseye.com and click "Contact" to email me or "Book Now" to schedule!

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