With experience comes knowledge! We have been blessed enough to have several years and many wonderful experiences, with a variety of great couples. During our "Off Season" we have a chance to reflect on all of our weddings and what has made them each uniquely great. From those experiences we have complied a list of the five things our best brides all have had in common. If you know anything about us, we only work with the BEST couples, so this information in truly golden!
1. They Are Organized.
About a month before a wedding, we begin working with our couples to develop a photography timeline for the entire wedding day. We ask them to give us specific details about what they envision for their day. For us, the photographers, the timeline is our golden ticket. We do our best to fit every request in, while keeping things moving in a timely manner. We try to finalize the photography timeline at least two weeks before the wedding. The timeline details who we need, the time we need them, where we need them, and what they are to have with them. Sharing this information with everyone involved in the wedding, is key to getting all of the portraits the couple wants on their day. This means they not only share it with the wedding party, they are to share it with the parents and grandparents, important family and friends that will be included in formal portraits before or after the ceremony, the officiant, the D.J, the wedding venue, and the stylists doing hair and make-up.
Prior to the wedding, the Bride and Groom give us a detailed list of everyone they would like included in the friends and family portrait time. They also include all of the different combination they want. This list is important for a few reasons: 1. There is nothing more embarrassing to the Bride and Groom then forgetting to have a portrait taken with an important friend or family member. 2. It reduces the amount of time we spend on this portrait time. There is a lot going on and many thing still left to do at this point of the wedding day. The list helps our Bride and Groom quickly get these portraits done in a systematic way. No need to waste time trying to think of who should be included. 3. People that are included in this portrait time know to hang around. No need to chase people around. The Bride and Groom can let them know in advance they will need to hang around a bit. 4. We can enlist the help of other family members to direct all of the different combinations of people. Again, this saves valuable time!
2. They Have Realistic Expectations.
Every woman has their vision of their perfect wedding day. Many spend countless hours planning every detail and possibility. However, life doesn't always go according to our plans. Even the most well planned weddings have something that does not workout quite right. We have seen it all. The cake that tipped while being delivered, the flowers arriving late, guests coming in after the ceremony has started, the flower girl or ring bearer that refuses to be in portraits, the family member that thinks they are in charge, a groomsman drinking a little too much a little too early...on and on the list goes.
However, our BEST Brides have handled any glitch with grace. They have decided that their wedding day is not ruined because of one or many of these unplanned circumstances. They show an understanding that LIFE happens. There are things beyond their control, yet they are still living one of the most important days of their entire life.
3. They Keep Their Focus
The day is ALL about marrying the love of your life. Our BEST Brides have not lost that focus throughout the entire day. I swear, for some of our couples, the world could be ending around them and they are just smiling away unfazed. If the Bride and Groom aren't focusing on something, chances are, not many other people at the wedding will focus on it either. So the drama that a guest brings with them, only becomes an issue when the Bride and Groom give it attention. The same goes for any other mishap. Guests really do not know what all a couple has planned. More and more, couples are doing very unique ceremonies and receptions. Therefore, if the Bride and Groom act like it was always supposed to be like that, very few guests are going to give thought to the idea that something wasn't supposed to be like that.
4. They Have An Awesome Wedding Party
The people that our BEST couples have selected to be in their wedding party are AWESOME! They are there to support the Bride and Groom all day long. They are relaxed and ready to help at a moments notice. They listen to the Bride and Groom and try their best to reduce the stress of anything that occurs. Most importantly they are FUN!
We laugh, we joke, sometimes we even look for mischief together. Honestly, during some of the downtime, you can find us hanging out with your wedding party. After all, you thought they were cool enough to hang out with for the day, we want to hang out with the cool people too! We also hear all of the best stories from the wedding party. For some reason, this is when all of the secrets get spilled!
Working with the wedding party gives us an even deeper understanding of who the Bride and Groom are as a couple. We see them through the eyes of their closest friends. Often times this gives us inspiration for the Bride and Groom portrait time.
5. They Delegate
Our BEST Brides know that they cannot do it all on their own. Therefore they enlist the help of a wedding planner or designate a family member or friend to act as one. There are 10 million things to do on the day of the wedding, including keeping track that everything is getting done and things are arriving on time. The wedding planner or designee is not there to dictate the day, they are there to do all of the running that needs done and handle any changes that need to be made so that the Bride and Groom can simply enjoy their day.