Why are details so important?
Capturing those details before you get into the dress, tux, shoes, etc helps tell the story of your day. It is also the perfect way to start off your album!
Being prepared is important too. So make sure you have the dress(es), rings, tux, tie/bowtie, shoes, jewelry, watch, flowers, invitation, or anything sentimental ready for the photographer so they can start photographing them as soon as they arrive.
Not only does this help us be organized and make sure we are not forgetting anything but it also helps us with time management allowing us to be a bit more creative in capturing your details.
Here at Divine Studios I do not stage getting ready photos. I feel it is important to document your day and not ruin any moments because I am dictating your day. This is your day!
When it comes to the robes photos or champagne popping that is time to have some fun. So, of course, I will give suggestions. However, for the most part, I want you ladies to have fun and just do your thing!
Guys, I didn't forget about you! We love capturing those moments where you are just chilling waiting for the time to start getting ready. So we will chill with you as we document the chillin'
Just remember, we are always watching you waiting for the perfect moment to capture!
First looks are not just with your spouse, it goes beyond that! You can have multiple first looks on your wedding day. In fact, most of the weddings I have shot have been with multiple first looks. And those moments are so important to capture!
Brides have a first look at your girls. Fun suggestion, guys that includes you too! They are super fun photos and hilarious memories to look back on.
First looks with your family, whether that is with your parents, your kids (if you have any), or with Aunts/Uncles. It doesn't matter, those moments should always be special.
I love first looks with the couple as well because let's face it, I can get two reactions! Two you ask? Yup! That private first look and then that first look as he sees you walk down the aisle for the first time. When that music starts playing as you walk down the aisle it is a feeling like no other, whether he has already seen you or not. Even I get emotional and I have been with you all day!
This is where the magic happens! To document all the emotions not only for the couple but your family and friends as well.
It's important to capture all of it! Up close to far away, I will be there to document it all!
Most photographers request an "unplugged" wedding, however, I don't mind cell phones because I know your family and friends want to document memories from their point of view as well.
90% of my weddings the guests have been very respectful with their cellphones. And that 10% who may not be so respectful I either just work around them or respectfully "take charge". Honestly, most of the time they don't even think about what they are doing and immediately apologize.
I am there to document your day and let's face it, cell phones/tablets will never go away, even when you have an "unplugged" wedding.
Yup, let's not sugarcoat this part of the day. Family portraits can be everyones least favorite part of the day.
Tension can get high during this time trying to gather family, however, there is a solution to this! A family list! Prior to your wedding, I will contact you to help you make a family list. Let's face it, if I just asked you for a list and just waited on you, it will be overwhelming and won't get done.
As your photographer, it is key to be fast. I have a routine I usually do prior to evening seeing the family list. Then we go over the family list to ensure we have not missed anyone important.
But family formals don't have to be "boring" photos. It's a time of celebration so let's show it! Doing fun photos keeps the tensions down and makes the process fun!
Together let's make this a "painless" process and have fun!
Bridal Party Portraits
Ok, this part of the day can be super fun or boring.
I don't like boring, never did, and never will. Typically we start off with the "basic" shots. But then it's time to have some fun!
Bridal Party photos are important to showcase everyone's personality. No one wants boring photos!
I also feel it is essential for each and every person to have their own portrait taken! I don't mean with the bride or with the groom. I mean each person that is a part of the bridal party will get their own portrait all by themself. It's not every day you get dressed up like this and they are super special to you which is why they have been chosen to be a part of the bridal party. So let's let them shine too!
Well of course this is my favorite part of the day! It's challenging, under an extreme time crunch, yet the most rewarding part of the day!
Most of the time we have less than 20 minutes to get the portraits. You have to tell a story, take as many photos as you can while being creative and under a crazy time crunch.
This is why it is essential I have a strong team. I couldn't pull off the day without my team!
All of my international award-winning images are done the day of the wedding with less than 20 minutes with the couple.
So it is very important to be quick! Let's face it, you're ready to eat and party! And so am I!
A bit of advice, during cocktail hour, have the cocktail bar outside of the main venue area. This way the photographer and videographer can get gorgeous venue photos and footage with no one in the photo or messing up the tables.
Another suggestion is for the couple to have a private room reveal. This does a few things. For one, it allows you to see the room untouched and you two can enjoy the hard work you have put into your wedding. Second, the photographer and videographer can capture that moment when you see the room for the first time. And lastly, we can create romantic photos and footage of the two of you in the room. Can't get any better than that!
Make sure to take advantage of this time, you have worked so hard leading up to the wedding. It's time to enjoy it!
How special are the first dances?! What I love about the American tradition of the first dances, is it is not just about the couple but also your family.
You are not saying goodbye to your family because you will always be there, however, you are starting a new chapter of your life and now creating your own family. What better way to start your new journey with a special dance with someone in your family?
Think of it as thanking them for always being there for you.
Toast & Cake Cutting
The toast is much much fun to capture! To see family and friends laugh and get emotional as well is so rewarding to capture!
Pro tip: keep speeches short. Especially when having a lot of speeches. As much fun it can be to hear childhood stories, unfortunately, it can drag on for a long time if not kept to a minimum time limit. 3 minutes is a good time frame to tell a quick story and share what special moments you have had together.
After the speeches, it is typically the time for the cake cutting. Oh how I love that anticipation to see if it is going to be a sweet and loving cake cutting or an all-out food fight. Personally, food fights are the best and so much fun to share later. However, I know 90% of the time couples keep it nice and clean.
Pro-tip: Keeping it nice and clean doesn't mean you can't put a tiny bit of icing on the nose.
Bouquet & Garter Toss
So why do the garter and bouquet toss? Well, the tradition is, once the groom takes off the garter from his bride he then tosses the garter to a crowd of bachelors. Whichever bachelor catches the garter, it is said, he will be the next to marry.
Next, the bride tosses her bouquet to all the single ladies and the lucky young lady to catch the bouquet is said to marry next as well.
Now, have you heard of the reverse garter? This is so much fun to do at weddings! So, whoever catches the bouquet is to sit in a chair in the middle of the floor. The bachelor that caught the garter is now to put the garter on the lady that caught the bouquet who is now sitting in the chair. This is just for fun and games, however, if the two are not in a relationship, it is said they will be the next couple and will marry in the future!
Now it's time to party and I will be right there with you to party! I am not afraid to get out on that dance floor with you guys!
I definitely do not sit back and walk on the outside of the dance floor taking photos. My team and I will be in the action!
I mean how boring is it if I just walk around the outside of the dance floor hoping I get good photos?
I want to be in it to win it! It's the only way to get epic shots.
There are so many variations of a grand exit, so here are 15 great ideas you may want to do:
- Sparklers and or Cold Sparklers
- Smoke Bombs
- Rose Petals
- Glow Sticks
- Ribbon Wands
- Silly String
- Paper Airplanes
- Plant Paper Confetti
Now this is my specialty! Most photographers struggle with creating lighting at night or in dark venues, however, not only am I known for my lighting skills, I also teach photographers all around the world on lighting. So lighting is never an issue for me.
So I highly suggest night photography! This does not necessarily have to be done after your grand exit but let me tell you why it is the best option and something you may want to consider.
For one, the only other time this is possible is to pull you away from the dance floor. Definitely not ideal, I'm sure you want to party as much as you can with family and friends and not take photos.
Two, after the grand exit you can still ride in your getaway car to a different destination for some night photos. We will just meet you there! This also gives you guys a little breathing room to enjoy some alone time together.
If you do not have a getaway car and you are staying at the venue, then my team and I will start setting up, allowing you to mingle with the family some, or you can even go into the bridal suite for some alone time.
These images are breathtaking, you do not miss this opportunity. This day only comes once!