I was blessed to have started my photography journey when I was just 18, shooting for a fantastic mentor and owner of a successful photography studio (thank you, Ruth!). She trusted me enough to let me tag along with her before I even graduated high school. I followed in her footsteps to some of the most beautiful weddings in both North Idaho and Spokane, Washington. From the pristine Coeur d’ Alene Resort to the luxurious Davenport Hotel, I was blessed enough to learn and glean every. stinking. thing. I could from my mentor. And boy, oh boy, have I seen it all! Now, thirteen years later, I want to share my experiences so that others can learn what has helped me as a photographer, but also what can help brides on their special day!
- Plan, plan, plan. Think about your timeline months in advance. Give yourself time to actually enjoy your day. A good photographer will be able to help you with this. What I like to do with my brides is to share with them what I have seen throughout my career and give them advice to formulate a successful timeline for not only the bride and groom to be infinitely happy with my photography, but for their guests too. No one likes to have to wait two hours to eat dinner after the ceremony, and they most definitely want to have time to wish the newlyweds their best. Planning out a realistic timeline of your day and sharing it with both vendors, bridal party, and family can alleviate a lot of stress!
- Family formals. Make sure to have all immediate family to stay nearby after the ceremony. This allows for quick and easy set up for family formals. I always shoot our sweet elderly family members first, followed by young children next, so that they don’t have to sit for a long period of time waiting for their portraits with the bride and groom. Once they’re done, the immediate family members have their portraits with the new couple, and lastly, the bridal party. This allows for a smooth and fun way to capture the most important formals of the day. Then everyone is free to enjoy the evening.
- Delegate. Brides and grooms need to be sure to lessen their stress by giving tasks to their bridal party. After all, that’s how and why bridal parties started from the get go, right?! They are there to tend to and help the bride and groom have the best day possible—and be their besties at the same time. Great roles for groomsmen can be setting up the reception tables, chairs, you know…the heavy lifting kinda stuff. Bridesmaids are absolutely amazing at getting things done! Girls after my own heart! These lovely ladies are also grand at holding the bouquet for the bride so she can have her hands free, or simply rounding up friends and family for pictures. The sky is the limit!
- First Glance. This is one of my favorite times of the whole day. If a bride and groom allow me to convince them to see each other before the ceremony, magic happens. A groom patiently awaits his beautiful bride with his back turned and he turns to see her at the touch of her hand…goosebumps! This long-awaited and special moment is just between the couple and I get to capture it! Ah, I love it! Looking back on my own wedding, I sincerely regret not doing the First Glance. With all the excitement, I would have loved to have had this moment with just my husband and I…and the photographer with a telephoto lens…haha!
- Beauty is in the details! I always ask my KV brides to set aside their details for me before I arrive so that when I get there I can get right to work! Setting aside your wedding announcements, rings, earrings, shoes, veil let me have time to specially design an image of all the little things that you don’t want to forget! These are some of my all time FAVORITE shots of each wedding!
All in all, I hope this post helped you or a bride you know! Let’s make this world a better place, together! Cheers!