7 Y E A R S
We've been photographing weddings for over SEVEN years now.
Seven years of ceremonies, First Kisses, reception parties... it's been awesome!
You don't have that kind of time under your belt and NOT notice a thing or two that can make a big difference in a wedding day (and the images of it!). So we thought it might be helpful to share the things we've learned as you work to plan the best. day. ever.
Without further ado, here we go!
"The food and the entertainment are what your guests will remember"... you'll hear that 20+ times between your engagement and the day you celebrate your wedding. And while that may be true for your guests, we realize that sometimes your priorities may lie elsewhere - like in the visual impact of your reception room, the talent of your officiant as they guide you through your ceremony, or ::clears throat:: the images you'll be left with to remember the day (we have to include that, natch...).
While it doesn't really matter what tops your priority list, what matters is that you know what does. Take time to daydream about the day you'll say you "do", and pay attention to what stands out the most - is it the moment you have your First Kiss? Think about what can go in to that to make it even more special... maybe it's the design of your floral arch, or the veil you're wearing.
Few things are going to impact your wedding photos like the talent of your beauty team.
It takes a lot of knowledge, experience, and patience to battle our Florida humidity for the long-term (and by that, we mean through the end of the reception). We don't need to work on Wall Street to tell you: invest, invest, invest. Look for the beauty team who has the portfolio you get excited about!
If you have to cut corners, do it somewhere else.
We've loved watching the evolution of weddings that has come about as a result of Pinterest, YouTube, and billions of publications (exaggeration?) geared specifically toward the bride who wants to be different. I mean, where would we be without sparkler exits and custom-monogrammed-everything?!
This tiny tidbit just serves to remind you that a modern wedding doesn't need to mean completely disregarding the ways of the past. Explore old-fashioned wedding traditions, and discover their origins - maybe what you learn will really speak to you. It's rare we still see a bride following that old adage about "something old, something new...", but consider the meaning behind it:
Something old represents continuity - like something your mother wore on her special day; something new is for a hopeful future; something borrowed symbolizes the well-wishes and support of your loved ones; and something blue stands for purity and fidelity.
Just in case you aren't sure, a First Glance is when a bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. It's usually a private reveal staged by the photographer, and it may serve a couple of important purposes: privacy and schedule flexibility.
A First Glance allows the couple a private experience together, when they can relish in each other's company without an audience of 500 guests. You can let all the tears flow without feeling self-conscious. And occasionally, we run in to a schedule that makes a First Glance ideal - once the bride and groom have seen each other, we can get some family or wedding party portraits done before the ceremony begins. It saves time later in the day, so that post-ceremony time can be spent on travel between venues or more couples' portraits or whatever the priorities of the bride and groom are.
Especially in 2018, we've photographed couples who just weren't in to it. They wanted that down-the-aisle, walking-to-my-destiny experience that comes with waiting until the ceremony to see the face of your beloved. So the bottom line? Do what is right for you - we're stoked to capture it either way.
Katie & Greg waited for the aisle at the JW Marriott on Marco Island.
By details, we don't just mean the gorgeous shoes, jewelry, and other accessories you'll be wearing with your bridal gown. We mean the bigger details, too - like who will be in your wedding party and on the guest list. It's broken our hearts more than once to find out that, on the delivery of a wedding gallery, the bride isn't speaking to the Maid of Honor (or some other Wedding Day VIP we have a million photos of!) anymore and hates seeing her in so many images.
We're seeing a shift toward bride-and-groom-only wedding parties, with friends helping and hanging out pre-wedding without the standards of dress and other requirements of being an official bridesmaid or groomsman. That's a pretty cool alternative if you're on the fence about how big your party should be!
But of course, we'll always love the images we get of the gorgeous ladies and handsome men of a more traditional wedding party, like these from Paige & Ember's celebration at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples.
Shadow can be a photo-maker or photo-breaker. When it comes to beautiful outdoor ceremonies in South Florida, it occasionally falls in the later category. When setting your ceremony details, there are a lot of aspects that need to work together: time, location, direction, and decor. If you plan a lawn ceremony during the one month of the year when facing west will cause your floral arch to cast a 3" shadow across your face for 3 hours out of the afternoon, you want to make sure to consider the direction of the sun so everything is positioned to avoid that.
Using Suncalc.net, you can enter the address of your venue and date and time of your ceremony to see where the sun will be. Then make decisions to make sure your site is best positioned to enhance your images.
The question we get asked the most on a wedding day is "What should we do?"
It's a question that can apply to any aspect of the wedding day, and our answer is always the same:
Whatever. You. Want.
This is YOUR day, and it's easy to forget that when you're juggling so many things. We're there to help you remember that whatever you and your beloved want, goes. It doesn't matter what side of the aisle guests sit on. It doesn't matter what order ::enter detail:: happens in/is setup in/etc/etc. Every wedding that came before and every "rule" that wedding history has set don't matter.
What matters is that you're getting MARRIED! On the day, everything else is just noise.
We're here to help you get the very best images possible on your wedding day - especially of the 15-20 minutes where you declare your vows to each other, in front of your nearest and dearest. Whether its a cute sign announcing it or the officiant letting your guests know at the beginning of the ceremony, going "unplugged" is a big thing you can do to ensure you get the images you're dreaming of. A quick Google search can show you tons of important moments lost forever to the blockage of a well-meaning smartphone - we never, ever want that to happen to one of our lovely couples! Plus, an attentive audience just photographs better than a sea of cell phones :)
The best part of going "unplugged"? Your guests will be fully present - witnessing one of the best moments of your life with their eyes, ears, and hearts (instead of through the glass of a teeny tiny lens). "Unplugged" ceremonies aren't new. Your guests will understand, and honestly, probably thank you for it.
Brianna & Joseph basking in love at The Club at the Strand.
There are a LOT of facets to a wedding day. It doesn't matter if you are having a small, intimate celebration or a giant party with 350 guests - you'll want (and need!) help on the big day.
Managing vendors' arrival times, departures, set-up, breakdown...
Keeping the schedule on track, and people where they are supposed to be...
Handling emergencies like a torn dress, unexpected rain...
Not only is that a lot to ask of your mother/aunt/bridesmaid/other guest (who wants to be enjoying the party), but there are also so many unexpected things that can happen. There's a reason "wedding coordinator" made the list of most-stressful careers out there - to be a successful professional, the skill set required is baffling!
The most valuable thing about having a coordinator on your team is knowing that no matter what happens, a professional has your back - their SOLE focus is helping to give you the best day ever. That is peace of mind you can't put a price tag on.
(Well, okay, you technically can...)
All of these tips really boil down to one big, over-arching idea: do everything you can during the planning stages to make sure your wedding day will be as stress-free as possible. Nothing will have a bigger impact on your final image gallery than crafting a plan that will have you feeling relaxed, happy, and focused on the wedding day - every bit of bliss you feel then will show as you scroll through your pictures later :)
We can't wait to see all of your dreams come true!
Lindsay & Jonathan celebrated at the Bonita Bay Club.