Planning a wedding is well….It’s a lot of work. With my experience in the wedding industry as a photographer. I have started to put together some tips for my brides that I have found useful over the years. Tips for choosing wedding colors to have a stress free planning process.
Where are you having your wedding? By this time in the planning process you most likely already have your venue and a photographer. You have most likely decided on an overall vibe of your wedding. Is it a classic, elegant theme at a downtown venue? Maybe its barn wedding with a rustic feel. It could be a simple outdoor wedding with a bright and vibrant theme. Knowing the setting of your wedding will help you choose your colors. If it’s in the mountain look around and draw from the setting. Deep Greens for the Pine Trees and tie in some rich colors with décor and lighten it up with your bridesmaid dresses.
I’m sure you have done some much Pinterest research and gained a vision on the overall theme of your wedding. This overall vision will help you in choosing your colors. Head to the local hardware store and pick up some paint swatches of shades that are the type of colors that you are drawn to. Lay them out next to each other and make sure they complement one another.
Spring, summer, fall, winter each season is unique. The flowers that are present in that season matter. Spring colors are full of light soft colors. Fall colors are rich and warm. Each season brings new colors to light. No matter the season there are always beautiful colors present.
Chances are you have been dreaming of this day a while now and if you are anything like I was I knew that colors that I wanted back when I was 12. Go with what you love and your wedding will be beautiful no matter the colors you choose. What colors set you heart on fire? What goes well with the season?
This is the most important tip. Do not let this consume you, this should not stress you out. There are a lot of colors out there. No matter the colors you choose at the end of the day you are marrying your best friend, your partner in crime. 20 years from now you are not going to look back and remember the stress you went through while picking you’re your wedding day colors.
How to ditch nerves and get an awesome engagement session. Creating an Epic Engagement Shoot We can chat all day about your engagement session. However no matter how much we chat you still get those nerves the day of your session. So many questions racing through your mind. How do I stand? What do I do with my hands? Do I look awkward? These are all common questions. That is where I come in. I have done research and education on posing and helping you create natural portraits while having fun in front of the camera. I can go on and on about the benefits of an engagement session but I have a post for planning your engagement session. You can find it HERE! As for the EPICNESS here are some fun suggestions that will help take your engagement session to the next level.
Planning an engagement lesson should be fun! Do you have a location that screams EPIC to you? Could it be in downtown? Maybe in the mountains somewhere. Location is key and you should think about where you want your photos.
This goes hand and hand with your location choice. Plan your outfits around the colors that will be present with your location choice. Another helpful tip is to bring an extra outfit, one dressy and one casual. Have fun with your outfits but make sure that for the most part they are solid colors without busy patterns.
This should be a fun experience that helps bring out your personalities. Don’t be surprised if I ask your husband-to-be to whisper something in your ear to make you both laugh. Or if I ask you to share a kiss and smile afterwards. All simple tips that help make your photos magical.
Plan to be taking photos for about 90 mins. If we finish early that’s great but there is no reason to rush. Have fun! All this is preparing you for your wedding day. We will most likely do two different locations. To get good variety out of your shoot.
Follow the light. Light is magical and creates beautiful photos. Plan to have your session about 90 minutes before the sun sets. This will allow us to chase the light and create magical portraits. Golden hour gives an incredible glow. It is my favorite time to shoot. Sunrise is always a good time as well.
Getting ready day tips. Did you know that the average bride spends about 4 hours getting ready for her wedding day! Most of you may be thinking 4 hours really?!?! I am not shocked at all! The getting ready part of the wedding day is a fun time for you and your tribe of girls to hangout in a fun non-stressed environment. During this time there are laughs, maybe a few happy tears and most of making memories with your closest girls. It is not all hair and makeup! I have done my research and I have come up with some 5 simple tip for making the getting ready time smooth and less stressful.
Gather your wedding details the week of the wedding and place it all in one place. Things such as shoes, perfume, jewelry (most importantly those wedding rings) and invitation suite. By doing this I can come in and gather them up and begin photographing them as soon as I get there.
Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to eat. It is always a good idea to have lunch or hors d’Oeuvres brought in. I want to make sure the bride and bridal party has something to last them through the big day. I always suggest lots of water and snacks.
Bring a Bluetooth speaker along for the day. It is always fun to have music playing during this part of the day. Music can help lighten the mood. It is fun to create a wedding day playlist of your favorite happy songs that sets to mood for celebration.
This includes gifts to bridesmaids, moms, dads, etc. and exchanging gifts between bride and groom. It’s such a special time and you do not want to be rushed.
As a bride or bridesmaid it’s always nice to bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes for during reception. After being in heels all day, having a comfortable option to change into is ideal. Please have this packed and ready to go so you don’t forgot them because you may want them sooner rather than later.
These are just helpful tips that I have come up with along the way. I know that planning and preparing for a wedding is hard work. Hopefully these getting ready day tips will help ease the stress a little!
Are you or someone you know affected by COVID-19? There is a lot that goes into planning your big day, no matter where the date falls on the calendar. Sadly today’s brides are faced with a whole new level of planning. COVID-19 is stretching across the entire world affecting everyone and everything in its path. It’s causing brides to change every detail or even postpone the day they have been planning for months and months. With the current CDC recommendations and the ever changing virus, there is so much uncertainty during these times. If your wedding is in the next 8 weeks there is so much to think about. Hopefully this post will help you during this stressful time.
I have done a lot of research in writing this blog post so that hopefully it may give you some tips and things to think about if it arises that you need to adjust your plans. Different planners in the industry and travel experts offer their biggest piece of advice. Be prepaid, follow the local new outlets and most importantly maintain an open conversation with your wedding vendors and guests. Also if you are able to you should book a planner to help you navigate this crazy time. My good friend Anna with Fancy that Idaho is offering a free consultation call for all brides that are affected by this pandemic. She is fantastic and very good at what she does. This is a fantastic offer and she is so willing to help. Problems arise all the time, and some way there is always a solution.
If the wedding is planned after mid-May go along and keep planning, but also keep open communication with your vendors and stay current on the news and CDC updates. You can find the CDC updates here.
Speak with your vendors:
Communication is key. They are there to assist you and help you plan for challenges that may arise. My best advice is to be transparent, 100 percent honest about your plans and your feelings. Revisit the contract that you signed (I hope you signed one). Most contracts cover cancellations and rescheduling. Chances are you have built a relationship with your vendors and they want to do anything in their power to help you.
Inform Your Guests:
Do you have a wedding website? Keep your guests current on any updates that you may have to your wedding. Maybe attach the CDC website so they can plan their travel accordingly. If they are worried about travel or you have many elderly that will be in attendance you could think about possibly setting up a live stream of your wedding, so they don’t miss the big moments.
Take Extra Precautions:
Help keep guests germ free by having extra hand sanitizer stations across your venue. Have signs that encourage extra hand washing. Let your guests know that you are taking these steps to help ease their worry.
Think about eloping:
Eloping may not have even crossed your mind. You, your love and your closest family or friends and a wedding officiant, Save the reception until this whole mess is over. Maybe squeeze some extra money into your budget to have someone film your elopement to play at a later date when you are actually able to celebrate with all of your friends and family. This allows them to be a part of your day without actually being there.
Breathe…Take time to de-stress. This is a hard time for everyone around the country. So many uncertainties, you are not alone! Many people are in your shoes as well as so many vendors. Talk with your vendors. Hash out a couple of different outcomes just in case you need to adjust your plans. Know that I am always here even if you just need someone to listen. No one could have seen this one coming….well at least I did not. It’s not ideal but we will move forward and make it past this. If you are affected by COVID-19 things will workout.
Style of Photography Matters! Finding my style. It’s almost like an adventure discovering new places and new restaurants in a place you just moved to. Once I found it, it set my heart on fire. I know kind of silly but a photographer’s style added to her client experience is what sets us apart. Many hours of editing and developing my shooting style has brought me to where I am today. There are so many photographers out there and so many different styles. Dark and moody, light and airy, desaturated, orange tones and so much more. It is important when choosing a photographer that you fall in love with their style. The photos that they post and what is on their website is going to be the type of photos you will be delivered.
TIP ONE: Choose a photographer that sets your soul on fire. Most importantly you love the colors and tones of their photographs
My Style: My style is clean and classic and bright. I like to think of it as romantic. I do not use any filters, actions, or presets you know the magic one button click and done! Nope all the images that my couples receive are hand touched by ME yes Me! I love editing it is one of my favorite parts about photography. Let’s talk a little bit more about editing.
TIP TWO: Editing what I do and what I don’t. This is a very important questions to consider when hiring a photographer. I do color correct. If something isn’t quite right with skin tones or color tones I adjust that in editing. I do take away blemishes. Planning a wedding is stressful let’s face it sometimes you have the unthinkable happen and you have a breakout. I will take care of you. I had the worst one on my wedding and seeing photos still make me cringe. Times are different now and editing is quicker. It’s an easy fix. I DO NOT take away birthmarks, tattoos, or anything that is permanent. I CANNOT make you slimmer. I’m sorry there are services out there that will fix those type of things but I do not. You are beautiful the way you are and I want to capture you that way.
TIP THREE: The last important questions we will chat about is what you should expect in terms of your wedding day photography? What you should expect when hiring me as your photographer in terms of your images from your wedding day! I show up early usually to start with the detail photographs. I am there to fluff your dress and hold your flowers and so on. Let’s talk about the images I deliver 50-100 photos per hour I am shooting. I will let you do the math.
After you leave for the night I head home and upload photos, back them up and usually post one right way. From there I carefully curate a blog post with some of my favorite images throughout the day. You will have a sneak peek the week after your wedding. This consists of the blog photos and a few extras. After that I work on family photos. Once those are done I will then sort your catalog and select the best of the best to represent your day. You will have a finished gallery within 4 to 6 weeks of your wedding.
I hope this explains a little bit more about the photo aspect of your wedding day. Choose a photographer that you love their style! Photography is an investment remember that. That is the biggest take away from this post.
What is in my gear bag? When I first started my journey in photography I thought all it took was the push of a button to create these magical images I would see. Quickly I learned that there is so much more to that. Different camera modes, different lenses that create different looking images. A manual mode that lets you have complete control of your images and the way they look. I learned quickly that in order to create images that will be high quality and last generations I needed to LEARN.
Quickly I learned I needed to devote a mass amount of my time learning not only learning the ins and outs of my entry level DSLR, but learning how to create a perfectly exposed photo in camera. Thank goodness for my Canon Rebel t3i that started it all. It’s harder than you think. The perfectly exposed photo has to fall right in the confusing ISO-Aperture-Shutter speed triangle.
This brings me to the topic of this post. The gear I carry on a typical wedding day. My favorite gear and what lens I love for portraits. First I will start with my camera bodies. You will find me carrying two bodies every wedding and a backup body that never comes out. I carry two cameras because often times I have different situations where I need two different lenses and I do not want to have to stop and change the lens and take that chance of missing a moment of importance. My main camera body is a 5D Mark VI with my second body a 5D Mark iii. Just in case something happens to one of those cameras I have a backup 6D. All of these cameras are full frame and produce wonderful photographs.
My goto lenses! Lenses are my weakness. I have way to many of them, I keep telling myself that each one serves a different purpose. Most used lens is my Canon 85mm 1.4. This lens is a gorgeous portrait lens. The compression this lens offers is amazing. It is a toss up between my Canon 50mm 1.2 and my Canon 24-70 2.8 lens. I would have to say I use my 24-70 more for ceremonies and family formals. For those ceremonies that I have to be pretty far away, I bring out my Canon 70-200mm 2.8. This lens is a BEAST but it really helps me be able to stay away and let the couple have their moment without me taking away from it. My final lens is a Canon 100mm 2.8 macro. The sole purpose of this lens is for ring photos.
Kinda of silly I know but it takes killer ring shots.
Random gear you find me using. I use two flashes, one is for off camera flash. This one is always on a stand with an umbrella. It helps really fill the light on those dark dance floors. The other is always on my camera. You never know when you are going to need it. It usually will have a MagMod diffuser on it. If you are a photographer you should check them out. I carry all of my gear in a Pelican 1510 rolling case. However, I have a bit of a camera bag problem. Almost as bad as my lens problem. My love for The House of Flynn bags is totally noticeable. I have a couple of those as well. On smaller shoots I will typically have one of those.
I also have a styling kit that I carry to aid me in photographing the details. In this kit I have a styling mat, trays and ribbon that I often use when photographing wedding day details. Hopefully this provided some insights on what is in my gear bag
Below are some images with the settings that I used to achieve the look.
My gear most of it anyways….
Last but not least! The most stylish camera bags ever found at The House of Flynn
You said YES what is next? Your brain may be going a million miles an hour trying to figure out what to do next. Hopefully this blog post will help some of the stresses of planning a wedding go away. You Said YES! Now What? 10 helpful tips on what to do right after you say yes to the love of your life.
Make the call! Call your family and share the good news. It’s time to celebrate with your family and friends. Getting engaged is such a big event in your life. Share it with the people you care about most.
Paint those nails! Chances are people are going to want to see your new bling you might as well make those nails pretty! Besides everyone needs a good excuse for a manicure, this has got to be the best excuse a gal can have.
Look into insurance. Chances is that ring cost some serious cash. Most renters or homeowners insurance have jewelry coverage. Look into that soon. I feel like this gets overlooked a lot but is so important that you have the right type of coverage to cover you ring.
Set a date! Decide if you want a long engagement or a shorter one. Surveys have shown that the average engagement is between 12 to 18 months. You’ll want to decide on what season you want your wedding in. Each season offers a unique look to your photos and a different perspective.
Take that famous ring selfie. Let the world know you said YES to the love of your life. Post away! Share with the social world if you’d like.
Decide on your wedding size. Do you want to have an intimate ceremony with your closest friends and family? Or are you thinking a huge celebration with everyone you know. This decision plays a huge part in determining a budget for your big day. Which brings to the next big decision
Set a budget. This is a key component to planning a wedding. I recommend coming up with a budget and then figure out what is most important to you both. Is it a dream venue? Photos that will last generations? Amazing floral arrangements or yummy flood? Once you set a budget it will help you know exactly what you can afford and you can begin looking for vendors that fit your budget and the style of wedding you will have.
Decide on your wedding party size. Do you want equal members on each side. You’ll have to decide together how many you want in your bridal party.
Relax planning a wedding is a stressful process plan an adventure date or a night out on the town to celebrate the season of engagement. Get dressed up and have a nice dinner. You are marrying your best friend! It’s something to celebrate.
Remember planning a wedding does not happen overnight. There is no need to stress about this. Chances are the vendors that you choose will have loads of suggestions to help along the way with different vendors. This is such an exciting time and should not be filled with stress. You will have many months to decide on those wedding colors and who is going to print your invitations.
My suggestions on finding vendors. I would first look at venues, photographers and wedding planners. As a photographer I feel like those are the two vendors that book dates the fastest. Next I would suggest looking for your dress. Chances are you will find the dress you love and it will need to ordered and possibly altered. This can take months. Look into a DJ, find one that fits the style of your wedding you are planning. Find a florist whose work speaks to your soul and schedule that cake tasting and maybe catering too…You can first try the yummy food and then have cake. Lastly, remember there are many many vendors out there to choose from. I suggest you read reviews and get to know the people behind the name. Make sure they fit your personality they will help make your day flow so you can enjoy the moment.
You Said YES! What is Next?
Let’s talk about engagement shoots! Planning an engagement shoot may be a little stressful. I thought I’d pop in an offer my take on them as well, as some tips to make the planning process easier.
Let’s talk about why you should have one with your wedding photographer. This is a great no pressure time to get to know your photographer and also most importantly to feel comfortable in front of the camera with your photographer. They will be spending most of your wedding day with you. It’s also a great way to learn poses and get a feel for the ones that you feel most comfortable doing. Let’s face it I still remember my engagement shoot and it’s been 15 years. The awkwardness not knowing where to put my hands. Was I to smile or not. These are all things that I will help you with. I will provide you with the direction that you need and pose you when needed. Really it’s just an excuse for me to get to hang out and get to know the both of you a little bit better!
Second let’s talk about location! The question that always comes up!!! Where would you like to take your photos? Luckily for me there wasn’t very many options when it came to a location to take engagement photos in the little town that I lived in. However we are in a metropolitan area and there are a ton of locations it just depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want a city feel in your photos? Photos in the mountains with a forest feel? Is there a special place that’s pretty sentimental to the two of you. A coffee shop, a special theater you went on your first date at. These are all things that can play a role in where you may want your engagement photos. It’s something to keep in the back of your mind.
Third! What on do you wear to your engagement shoot? The answer is pretty simple bring a few outfits. Bring a dressy outfit and then a couple casual ones. Wear floppy hat or whatever suits your style and your personality bring it with you. Of course I do have some things to avoid such as loud patterns. You may not want to wear those rainbow striped leggings that you own. Colors that compliment one another work well together. Also take into account where you’re taking your photos. A good example would be if you wanted snow engagement photos you most likely aren’t going to want to wear white because it will blend in with the snow. Instead maybe a dark burgundy or dark green something that makes you pop from the background. If you’re having doubts about your colors Pinterest is an awesome resource and I’ll link you to my outfit inspiration board HERE.
Also I love furry friends. Do you have a dog that special bring it along we’ll put it in a couple pictures. It’s always fun to have them tag along and I’m a huge dog lover.
Below is some outfit inspiration!!
In terms of the photography world and first looks. I find that couples that do a first look get many more bridal portraits I’d say 30 percent more then couples that do not do one. The first look is done before the ceremony allowing ample time to get unrushed bride and groom portraits. It also allows for a majority of the family formals to be done ahead of time as well. This take a lot of pressure off the couple instead of being rushed for your bridal party portraits… you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your BEST friends on your wedding day.
The benefits for the bride and groom are several small things that make a big difference in the overall stress of the day. You actually get to have intimate time on your wedding day with the love of your life. Most brides don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with your gorgeous-ness… he can’t even tell you how amazing you look. He can’t touch you, embrace you or even SPEAK to you. You have to wait until 30 minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance. First Looks allow you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day.
Normally portraits are a little rushed after the family formals, and it can be hard to really get back into that “lovey dovey” mode…. especially with family around! When you have just shared your first look, you’re READY to love on each other, and I always capture some super sweet images during those moments!
Ultimately the decision comes down to what you want as a couple. It is a decision you need to make together. As a bride you need to ask yourself was it always your dream to have your groom see you as you walk down the aisle. I am all for traditions I love them and I love to capture the reactions. If a first look is your thing they are so very special and a very intimate moment to share between the two of you.
One tip I do have for my brides and grooms is if you are choosing to do a first look…Have it be just you and your groom it is such a special emotional time that should be shared with just the two of you. This allows you to show all your emotion freely and express your love for one another. I am curious to your thoughts on first looks….Are you all for it or are you more traditional. Happy Planning!