First of all, let me just say that I am SO EXCITED to be working with you and can't wait to get to know you over the coming months! I know photography is a big investment for your wedding day and I'm absolutely honored you chose me to capture your big day.
Even if you're working with a wedding planner or if you've been planning your wedding since you were in 2nd grade, there's a good chance you may still be stressed about a few things.
That's where I come in!
After photographing many weddings over the past few years, I have picked up on some wedding planning tips that my couples always seem to struggle with. I thought it might be nice to compile some of those answers and tips into one fancy wedding guide.
Scroll through to see ideas for everything from what to wear to your engagement session to how to plan your wedding day timeline.
Let's start with the most important thing about wedding planning... making it FUN and STRESS-FREE!
Chances are, you've never planned a wedding before. Heck, you've probably only been to a few, if any! So I know that wedding planning can feel crazy overwhelming. Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you cut own on the stress and make the experience better for you.
UTILIZE (and stick to) A WEDDING TIMELINE
This is one of the most important events of your life, and you need to fit a lot of things into one day. Start by creating a timeline and make sure you, your family, and your vendors are aware and that they stick to it!
FIGURE OUT YOUR TOP PRIORITIES
Know what needs to be done and when, then create a schedule for yourself. The last thing you want is to be trying to get a marriage license two days before the wedding!
DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE
There is no shame in delegation! I’m sure you’re completely capable of doing everything yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to! Choose someone who you trust completely and let them help you.
ESTABLISH "NO WEDDING TALK" TIME
Wedding planning is stressful and can take over your entire life and relationship. Make sure you have some time to just enjoy each other without the stress of the wedding.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Your wedding is such an important day and you definitely need to spend a lot of time planning, but remember to take care of yourself! Give yourself a day off once in a while for some pamper and get away from planning. You can start the next day refreshed and ready to dive back in!
Okay! Now that you have a few ideas to get you going, let's dive right in!
I am absolutely over-the-moon excited to be working with you, and I want our time together to be amazing! Your engagement session is a great opportunity for us to get to know each other before your wedding. These are some of my favorite sessions because they break the ice and we're able to get some great pictures of you apart from your wedding day. Here are a few little tips to help your engagement photos pop!
First thing's first: coordinate your colors! Don't try to wear the same outfit. Unfortunately, matching blue jeans and white shirts don't make for the greatest photos. Instead, opt for outfits that are different but complementary. Try to avoid highly-saturated colors (such as red, coral, or turquoise) and go for softer tones (such as burgundy, olive, or navy). Below are a few basic outfit examples that might help you!
All that being said, you can still have fun with your clothes. The outfits above are not the end-all be-all of engagement photo outfits. Have a sequin dress hiding your closet? How about a huge, flowy skirt or some amazing shoes? There are so many options out there, so don't be afraid to be creative!
Also, if there is something special that you would like incorporated into your engagement photos, please PLEASE tell me! I'm more than happy to include them because I'm a hopeless sentimental.
Avoid teeny tiny patterns such a pinstripes, small plaid, or little polka dots. These create a weird effect in-camera called "moire" which is almost impossible to get rid of in post processing. Instead, wear solids or larger patterns
Other things to think about:
- Treat yourself. Get the manicure!
-Get your ring cleaned.
- Bring a water bottle with you.
- Moisturize your skin
- PDA makes for amazing photos
- Don't think of it as a photoshoot, think of it as a date!
- Remember to HAVE FUN!
Still unsure of your outfit? Text me pics and let me help coordinate!
I am so lucky to have worked with some absolutely incredible vendors in Southern Utah and Las Vegas. If you're still trying to find your perfect vendors, check out the list below!
TUXES / SUITS
Mary Lou Cake Studio
Sweet Cakes by Karen
The Barn at Cedar Meadows
The Grove Las Vegas*
Holmstead Ranch Resort
Shangri-la Event Center
*Las Vegas Vendor
All other vendors are in Southern Utah.
Okay, don't freak out.
I know the word "budget" gives us all a little bit of anxiety. Money has the tendency to be one of the biggest stressors of wedding planning, but it doesn't have to be!
If you take time to set your budget right from the beginning, it can take a lot of the stress away. Here's a simple pie chart to help you get started - that is, if you haven't already made one!
Wedding Pro Tip
It can be difficult to find time for just the two of you on your wedding day. Sometimes you'll have less than 15 minutes for pictures of just you.
"But Lindsay," you ask, "I always see such beautiful formal photos online! When do couples find time to do them on their wedding day?!"
The secret? Those photos are often NOT on their wedding day! They are taken before or after the wedding day at a separate bridal (or formal) session.
So if you're wanting these beautiful, intimate formal photos, let's talk about a formal session!
My goodness. I looooove formal sessions! Like, oh my gosh. There is nothing better than trekking to a beautiful place with a beautiful couple to create some magic.
Plus? It gives you an excuse to wear your wedding attire again! I mean, why spend all that money on a stunning dress that you're only going to wear once? Let's get that beauty out of the bag, yeah?
Now, let's get to a few tips if you do decide on a bridal session.
1. Consider professional hair and makeup
Seriously. Think about it. You won't regret it.
2. Also, consider bringing a bouquet
Yes, I know you'll have one for your wedding. But.
Colorful bouquets really make your bridal photos POP.
3. Make sure your dress/tux are cleaned and steamed
Wrinkles and dirt can be a little bit distracting in your final photos. Now, I can absolutely do a little bit of re-touching, but there's only so much Photoshop can do!
Now, when to do your session?
That depends on when you want to do your
The first look - meaning, the first time your fiance sees you dressed and ready to go - is a huge part of your wedding experience. It can be done at a few different times: at a formal session before the wedding, before the ceremony on your wedding day, or as you walk down the aisle.
Take a minute to decide when you want your first look to happen. If you're not sure, let's chat! I'd love to help you decide and discuss what might work best for you.
But let me just say - you DEFINITELY want these photos. I mean. You really, really do.
Do you have your wedding party chosen? If not, choose people who:
- Always have your back
- Make you happy each time you see them
- Love you no matter what
- Have supported you through hard times
- Will make your wedding day FUN
These people are your support system. Make sure to include those that are closest to you and who will make your wedding day everything you want it to be.
Wedding Day Timeline
There are SO MANY things to think about on your wedding day, and a huge part of planning is figuring out your timeline. As your photographer, it’s my job to be as efficient as I can with your schedule to make sure I capture as many photos as humanly possible. When shooting a full wedding day, there are many, many photos I plan to capture. Some examples are listed below, though this list is not a catch-all!
Bride getting makeup done
Bride putting dress on
Bride & Bridesmaids
Cute bridesmaids pics in the bridal suite
Bride & mother (first look)
Bride & father (first look)
Bride & siblings/grandparents
Groom getting ready
Groom putting tie on
Groom & Groomsmen
Groom & mother
Groom & father
Groom & siblings/grandparents
Bride walking down the aisle
Individual Famly Pics
Bride & Groom with guests
Overwhelmed yet? It's okay! You don't have to remember all this - that's my job. I’m here to make sure the photos are captured with little to no interruption of your big day. Below is an example timeline for full wedding day coverage. Hopefully this gives you a few ideas of how to squeeze everything in, yet still have time to relax and
enjoy one of the most exciting days of your life.
12:00 PM - PHOTOGRAPHER ARRIVES!
Okay, so obviously this isn't anything eventful. But! By this point you should be in your bridal suite, ready to start preparing for your big day!
GETTING READY - 12:15 PM
Some of my favorite pictures happen in the getting-ready part of the day. We'll capture your hair and makeup getting done, your wedding details, and the moment you put your dress on.
1: 15 PM - BRIDE/BRIDESMAID PORTRAITS
Time for your bridesmaids to see you in your dress! This is the perfect time to get adorable pics with each of your bridesmaids, with your mother, your sisters, your grandmother. Any ladies and special moments you want captured with them.
GROOM/GROOMSMEN PORTRAITS - 2:30 PM
Now for the men! Now I know that men don't have the hair and the makeup and the sparkly dresses, but they're no less important. Cufflinks, shoes, ties, boutonnieres, and pics of the groom with all his most important men really make that photo gallery pop.
4:00 PM - CEREMONY
I mean, this one is self-explanatory. We can also use the first few minutes before the ceremony to capture the groom's first look, or we can. wait until he sees you walking down the aisle.
GROUP PORTRAITS - 4:30 PM
After you're pronounced man and wife (EEEEE!) it's time to get pictures of the two of you together with your family and friends.
5:00 PM - BRIDAL PORTRAITS
Now for the fun part: some beautiful, intimate portraits of the two of you as a new husband and wife. This is when your love truly shines!
RECEPTION - 6:00 PM
Party time! Whether you have dinner or treats, a dance floor or decorated tables, I'm there to capture it all. Your guests will love seeing you cut the cake, celebrate your first dance, and everything in between.
8:00 PM - GRAND EXIT
When your reception is over, it's time for your grand exit! And I definitely won't complain if you want to use sparklers.
Now. This timeline is just an example and may not work perfectly for you. But I can help! If you're worried about how you'll fit everything into your day, I'm happy to work with you to make sure everything is perfect.
I love capturing all the little details you've chosen to be a part of your wedding day! Once I arrive, I usually like to spend about 15-30 minutes styling and photographing details, whether that's before or after we spend time on your getting-ready photos.
It would be amazing if you could put all your details - rings, jewelry, invitations, perfume, and other keepsakes - in one handy spot! That way I can zip through the shots and have more time for you and your wedding party. I'll even hang your dress in a beautiful spot so it can have its own glamour shots
Yes, chances are your rings have gotten dirty if you've worn them at all. A big part of the detail shots is your rings, so consider having them cleaned before your wedding. Or you can even clean them yourselves! Soak your rings in warm water and dish soap for 20 to 30 minutes, then scrub gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. They'll be sparkling clean and ready for their big debut in no time!
Family portraits are a HUGE part of your wedding day. I'll put you both in the center and surround you with about a million family/friend combinations. This includes the entire family group, just the groom's family, just the bride's family, and every little combination in between.
To give you an idea, here's a basic shot list of family groups I will follow on your wedding day. This is just a jumping-off point, and I am always willing to take more or different photos as time allows!
Entire Family Group
Bride & Groom + Bride's Entire Family
Bride & Groom + Bride's Immediate Family
Bride & Groom + Bride's Parents
Bride & Groom + Bride's Siblings
Bride & Groom + Bride's Grandparents
Bride + Bride's Parents
Bride + Mom
Bride + Dad
Bride + Bride's Siblings
Bride & Groom + Groom's Entire Family
Bride & Groom + Groom's Immediate Family
Bride & Groom + Groom's Parents
Bride & Groom + Groom's Siblings
Bride & Groom + Groom's Grandparents
Groom + Groom's Parents
Groom + Mom
Groom + Dad
Groom + Groom's Siblings
I know. It seems like a lot, right? But I've got you. We'll breeze right through your family portraits and we won't miss a thing! It will also be helpful if you communicate with your families beforehand about getting portraits done, such as when you plan on having them done and whom you would like involved.
What does it mean to have an unplugged wedding? It simply means that guests are encouraged to keep their cell phones / iPads / cameras put away during the ceremony.
This not only helps your guests enjoy your ceremony, but it keeps their devices out of the professional photos.
Rest assured that I will take plenty of great photos during your ceremony, so why not encourage your guests to enjoy the day without worrying about capturing every moment themselves?
Now that we've covered all the main points, let's not forget about a few
random things you may not be thinking about.
1. Put together a Wedding Day Emergency Kit. You never know what you'll need, so think of it all: hair ties, lotion, safety pins, floss, bandaids, cotton swabs, scissors, needle and thread, nail files, you name it! Make sure you have someone to be the keeper of the kit to grab something for you at a moment's notice. Also, know that I have my own emergency kit so if you don't have something, I probably do!
2. Absolutely DO NOT forget to hydrate and eat! Especially if you're getting married in the summer months. Keep ice water and snacks on hand for the two of you, and don't forget your family and your wedding party. They'll be thirsty as well!
3. Talk to your family beforehand to see if they have any must-have group shots. If I have a basic requested shot list, we can make it through the group photos quicker and get you back to your guests.
4. If you don't have a planner, it's important to choose your own "coordinator" to be in charge of your wedding day. They will watch your timeline and communicate with your vendors and the venue to keep everything running smoothly. This could be a family member, a member of the wedding party, or a friend who is particularly good at being in charge.
Still have questions? I'm here for you! Feel free to contact me any time to answer them. I'm always happy to help you with planning, timelines, decor ideas... anything! Let me be your backup planner.