Deciding to do a first look between the bride and groom before the ceremony will direct how the day will flow. If a first look is chosen, all photos (wedding party + family portraits) can be taken before the ceremony. Your day will start a couple hours earlier, but after the ceremony you are free to celebrate immediately. With no first look, your day starts later and after your ceremony we will schedule one hour of portrait time with the wedding party & family.

When your photographer arrives, you want them to get right to work. How do you do that? By preparing ahead of time. What should you prepare? Anything you want photographed…dress, shoes, jewelry, invitation set, rings, family heirlooms and any other bridal details you want photographed gathered in one area. When I start a wedding day, I begin with these details that help tell your wedding story. If these items are not ready, I’ll be taking time to gather them instead of shooting. The more prepared you are, the better – for you and for me.

Need your grandparents at the venue early? Want your wedding party to hang around after the ceremony? Let them know! Make sure you communicate the schedule clearly the day before the wedding (at the rehearsal is a great time) to everyone who is important to you and needs to be somewhere at a certain time. If you plan your portraits after ceremony…Be sure immediate family and the wedding party know to stay close by you and not wander off to the reception. This can be the difference in staying on schedule or running behind. Also, shooting time runs faster and smoother if everyone is present.

I advise my couples to make time for photos of just them at some point during the day, whether it’s the first look before the ceremony or during the reception at sunset. These photos are important because…First, it gives you the chance to soak it in, embrace, and experience the emotions without all eyes on you. Second, these are the photos that will hang on your wall, sit on your office desk, or show off to friends. For the bride and groom portraits, I try to find a location that has an intimate setting with a little privacy away from the onlookers.

Your wedding will be a total whirlwind! Know this as a fact 🙂 Now that you know, be intentional to take moments where you stop, hold each other’s hand and be in the moment. Look around and see all your planning…happening! Look at your friends and family talking and laughing, gathered to celebrate your love.

It’s important to set yourself up for success and eliminate any stress ahead of time so that as you go through your wedding day, you aren’t focused on the decor or flowers but that you are focused on the adventure of marriage that is beginning. I hope these 5 tips will help you be on your way to a stress free day!

If you have questions about your wedding day or timeline, please reach out HERE.