5 TIPS FOR GETTING READY PHOTOS
1.) It's all in the details! Gather all the details you want photographed the night before and place them in a box to give to the photographer. Include your wedding rings (hers & his), invitation set, jewelry, shoes, veil, dress, and any other items that you want captured. It's a great idea to also have the bouquet's delivered to the suite your getting ready in so we can include them in these detail photos. Make sure to tell your Maid of honor where this box will be, so I can easily find it and jump right into photographing them as soon as I arrive. This is usually happening while your getting hair and makeup done. *Schedule to have your Mother and Bridesmaids hair and makeup to be done before yours.
2.) Don't forget... your pretty hangers to photograph your dresses on. A steamer for your veil. Wipes or tide stick for any smudges. Needle and thread for any popped buttons or clasps. Your something old, something new, borrowed, and blue. Written vows, bridesmaids gifts, garter, and any gifts you want to send over to your groom.
3.) Cluttered backgrounds. To get those beautiful getting ready photos, you'll want to have a separate clean room, free of clutter. It helps if your bridesmaids get ready in an adjoining room, there they can unload their bags, store their dresses, munch on snacks, etc. Once your hair and makeup ready is completed, when we can move to the clean room to take some photos of the finishing touches -applying lip gloss or final mist of setting spray. This is also where we'll take the cute matching robe/jammies shots with your bridesmaids, photos of your mom tying up your dress, and the first look with your father. Make sure the your mother and bridesmaids are all dressed for the big dress reveal. *To get the best window lighting, ask for the North facing hotel room.
4.) Groom Details. Your groom can get dressed beforehand, just leave off his jacket, tie, shoes, watch and cuff links -so we can photograph those. Have your groomsmen arrive already dressed and ready to go. It helps if you have their boutonnieres at this location, ready to be pinned on them. We capture fun candids of the groomsmen hanging out and helping your groom with his finishing touches.
5.) Add in extra time to each event of the day so you can relax and soak in each moment. Wedding days fly by and there's nothing worse than feeling rushed! Work with your wedding planner and photographer beforehand to create a timeline that will fit in everything you want and make sure there's a little extra cushion of time, so you don't have to worry if schedules happen to run a bit late.
The last thing you want to do is worry on your wedding day! Not only will it put a damper on the mood of the day but it will show in every single one of your images. I want you to feel completely present and enjoying every moment of the day! If you prepare as much as you can in advance, hire a team that you trust, and are ready for anything -you'll be able to sit back and feel like a pampered guest at your own wedding!
Let's give a shoutout to one of the most helpful guests at your wedding, your Maid of Honor!!!
These women are like superheroes in dresses and high heels! There is no task too big or small that they can't handle!
Not only do they plan you an epic bachelorette party, they also...
- Make sure you stay flawless throughout the day
- Carry around your bouquet, stash tissue, hold your train, and fluff your gown
- Gather all the lovely details that you want photographed (your gown, shoes, rings, invitations, jewelry, florals, etc.)
- Help you use the restroom (yes, the struggle is REAL!)
- Make sure you always have a bite to eat and a sip to drink
- Keep the groomsmen in line
- Gather any stragglers for the family formal portraits
- Give a heart wrenching speech
- Dance the night away with you!
These ladies are my go-to gals on the day of (other than the amazing wedding planners, of course). So make sure you show these gals lots of love! CHEERS to all of the amazing Maid of Honors! May we know them. May we be them!
You booked your wedding venue and found all of your dream vendors - now what!?!
Its time to start drafting your wedding day! I love helping my clients create their perfect timeline!
Here are some questions you want to answer before we get started:
1. Do you plan to do a first look? If yes, do you want to document all the wedding party portraits and family formals prior to the ceremony so you can enjoy cocktail hour with your guests?
2. Where will you be getting ready?
3. If you’re not getting ready at the ceremony location, how far are you from the ceremony location?
4. How far is the grooms prep location from the ceremony site?
5. What time is your ceremony and how long will it last?
6. Is your ceremony and reception at the same location? If not, how far apart are they from each other?
7. What time is cocktail hour and reception?
8. Do you want to sneak off after dinner to capture some romantic sunset photos?
Now that you have an idea of what you want captured for your big day, it helps to know how much time is needed document each event:
60 minutes for bride/groom prep photos
30 minutes for bride and groom portraits
30 minutes for wedding party shots
30 minutes for family shots (includes bride & groom's immediate families)
20 minutes - Reception Decor Photos
15 minutes - Ceremony Decor Photos
Don't forget to add in the sweet moments:
10 minutes Grand Entrance
10 minutes First Dance
10 minutes Welcome Toast
50-60 minutes Dinner
15 minutes Toasts
10 minutes Parent dances
5 minutes Cake cutting
10 minutes Bouquet/garter toss
20-30 minutes Photographing Open dancing
Once I have all of the answers, I send my clients a outline of their dream wedding timeline. I strive to make this timeline process as easy and enjoyable as possible. I hope this helps as you plan your big day!
That's right, I said SMILE! Sounds easy, but you'd be surprised how difficult it is when hundreds of eyes are staring up at you on the altar! People tend to get tense and try holding in all emotions so they don't burst! But when we hold in a smile, laugh, or even happy tears we tend to make toad faces! Yes. A Toad that looks like he's holding in a burp or fart. Either way, its bad! And are those really the photos that you want to frame on your wall, show off to your friends and family, or hand down to your future kids. Didn't think so.
So instead of trying to hold in your emotions, let them run free! Be in the moment! This is your doggone wedding day, you're about to marry the most amazing person that you've ever met! Let your excitement show! If you feel the urge to smile, laugh, or cry - DO IT! The only way you can ugly cry is when we're trying to hold it in! We make this tight frown and it turns into a stank face with tears. Not cute!
So stare into your grooms eyes... and just SMILE. It can be as big or as soft and sweet as you feel. And just know that if you happen to shed a few tears, you definitely wont be alone. Tears are contagious.
This doesn't just go for when you're up at the altar, it pretty much goes for the whole day! Hey you hired a photographer to follow you around all day, you better like the way you look in those photos, am I right! So remember to feel the moments. When you're getting your gown on and your mama is zipping you up. Your dad walking you down the aisle and hands you off to the new leading man in your life. When you are staring into each others eyes, exchanging vows at the altar. After they pronounce you as husband and wife for the first time and you guys head back down the aisle hand in hand! For your grand entrance and the first dance. During the toasts and the cake cutting. Simply smile.
Ps. If you're a cryer, like me, then load your maid of honor or best man with plenty of tissue.
If you found this helpful then come back next Tuesday for more Tips and Tricks to make the most out of your wedding experience :)
I'M JANELLE MARINA
Wife, Mama Shark, + Photographer.
Most days, you'll find me in mismatched socks and a top knot, working behind my computer with a smile on my face, listening to Zac Brown Band and R&B
--or, dancing in the kitchen with my 3 littles and hunka husband, seeing who could come up with the coolest dance moves. I'm a wedding photographer, West Elm lover, aspiring advocate for our buddies with special needs, and a Certified Dreamer since 1986. We live in a cozy city in Southern California and are always up for a good adventure. I enjoy telling stories with my camera, grubbing on spicy food, and solving the latest Dateline case.