top 10 tips for your wedding day


We've been to A LOT of weddings and we've picked up some tips along the way to make your day go more smoothly.

 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Wedding

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Wedding

GETTING READY

This isn't a must-do, but getting ready in your house or a vacation home is a great way to go.  When you get ready in your own home, you are the most comfortable.  We can also better capture who you are with all your favorite things readily available, whether it's your pyramid of bowling trophies, your collection of stuffed animal giraffes, or that you just really, really love everything yellow.  If you'd like to get ready outside of your home, a vacation home is better than a hotel room because it lets your wedding party spread out, the bride and groom can get ready in separate parts of the house making things logistically simpler, and homes tend to look less cluttered than hotel rooms. 

 Beltane Ranch Wedding

Beltane Ranch Wedding

HAIR & MAKEUP

Making sure your hair and makeup team is on schedule is the most important way to keep your wedding from starting late.  It's handy to add about 20 - 30 minutes to the amount of time your hair and make-up person tells you it'll take.  This part of the day typically runs over and it keeps things stress free and smooth if there are buffers set in place.  We usually like to show up to start shooting 1.5 hours before the end of your hair and makeup session.  This gives us enough time to get some great candids with you and your close friends.  

First Look in Punta de Mita Wedding

the FIRST LOOK

The first look between the couple is always a special moment.  In the very old days the groom saw his bride to be for the first time ever at their wedding ceremony, because if for some reason he didn't like what he saw, he was most likely unable to run away from the whole crowd of people watching them.  In the 21st century, a groom seeing his bride for the very first time on their wedding day is very rare.  We all know what each other looks like, so why not spend more time together throughout the whole day, by doing a first look.  You'll get a very peaceful ten minutes of alone time, before the craziness of the day begins.  And most importantly, you'll be able to do all your portraits before the ceremony, so that you can spend maximum time with your guests during cocktail hour.  Plus, the magic and butterflies of seeing your partner during the walk down the aisle is never diminished by having already seen each other before.  It's always going to be amazing!  

 Pema Osil Ling, Santa Cruz Wedding

Pema Osil Ling, Santa Cruz Wedding

The wedding CEREMONY

If the ceremony is outdoors, it's best to time it when the sun is lower, about 2-3 hours before sunset, or find a place where the whole ceremony is in shade.  This helps keep the photos looking even so that the guests aren't in blinding light while the couple is in shade, or one of you is in the sun and the other in shade.  It also helps the guests not have to shade their faces with the program during the ceremony.  If you expect there to be sun on the guests, then providing them with nice paper umbrellas is a fine way to keep everyone from getting heat stroke.  Regular nylon umbrellas don't look as good in pictures.  

Dove release after wedding ceremony

getting guests involved

People love to participate in your wedding as much as possible.  Have your parents throw doves into the air.  Or let people throw confetti at you after the ceremony.  Or have guests can send you off at the end of the night with sparklers.  It’s always fun for your guests to participate as much as possible.  For photographers, it always makes for great visuals too!

 Napa Valley Rustic Farm Wedding

Napa Valley Rustic Farm Wedding

CREATIVE PORTRAITS

During this time we can have a lot of fun together creating something beautiful, memorable, and genuine.  It'll take a bit of patience, outside-the-box thinking, and sometimes a little trek, but it'll be worth it!  Make sure to carve out at least 45 minutes for this.  Ideally, we'll shoot these right after your first look.  

 Foreign Cinema Wedding

Foreign Cinema Wedding

FORMAL portrait of family and friends

This usually takes place right after the ceremony.  We do the bridal party together, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and immediate family.  If you have a large shot list of groups, we recommend doing them during the reception.  If there will be a big group of people we have to rally together, it's useful to have a family member or friend who knows everyone to help.  Formal portraits usually take about 20-30 minutes.  

 San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

TRAVEL

Sometimes the sweetest or craziest moments happen en-route to your destination.  If there's an extra seat for us in your car or limo, it would be a great idea for one of us to ride along to capture the action.

Reception_Lighting.jpg

RECEPTIONS

Lighting makes a huge difference!  It creates a festive atmosphere, creates interesting visual elements, and makes your pictures more dynamic.  Some options are up-lights, string lights, candles, chandeliers, fire pits (s'mores!), and colorful DJ dance lighting.  The more the better!  Our own wedding reception was completely open-air and we uplit trees and hung string lights to make the space feel more interesting and cozy.  Otherwise, it would have just been people against a completely black background. 

TIPS-08.JPG

THE UNEXPECTED

Things often don't go exactly as planned.  Remembering that will help you stay open to the magic of surprise, which often leads to good stories you'll be regailing your loved ones with for many years. Expecting the unexpected will also keep you relaxed and in the moment so you can enjoy each minute of the whole day.