, ,

BACKYARD WEDDING IN BROWNSBURG, INDIANA | MEICHI AND CHAD

Meichi and Chad’s rustic, backyard wedding in Brownsburg, Indiana was a dream. Both the ceremony and reception were located at Chad’s childhood home. This intimate location made the day extremely special to their friends and family. Everyone felt so comfortable throughout the wedding which led to a very inviting atmosphere that allowed guests to truly enjoy Meichi and Chad’s big day.
The morning of the wedding was so relaxing and fun for the bride and the bridesmaids. They all spent the early hours getting their hair and makeup done with smiles and giggles filling the room. Once Meichi was completely ready, her mother and bridesmaids helped her put her wedding gown on. The excitement on her face was unforgettable. You could see that this moment was becoming real and that she was so ready to marry her best friend. After her mother buttoned her dress and put her pearl necklace on, she was ready for pre-ceremony portraits.
We started formal portraits by taking images of Meichi and her bridal party. Throughout the portraits, the adoration on each of the bridesmaid’s faces were so telling of their love for the bride. I loved witnessing those special bonds between each of them. Shortly after, the groom and groomsmen arrived at the ceremony site. We finished portraits with the groom’s party because the bride and groom did not want to see each other before the ceremony.
Soon after, guests started trickling into the ceremony. The guests were seated in front of the lake on the property where a beautifully decorated arbor awaited the bride and groom. The tension built as the ceremony started and the wedding party entered the ceremony from the house. And finally, the groom saw his bride for the first time. His face lit up as he smiled down the aisle. A smile that was eagerly returned by the bride. The ceremony was sweet and traditional, and the performance of an original song by the father of the bride was emotional for all of the guests.
After the ceremony, the Meichi and Chad personally greeted each of their guests at their seats. This was such a special and unique way for the bride and groom to see and hug every person in attendance on their big day. It was also a wonderful way for me to capture a picture with every guest at their ceremony. Once the guests had been greeted, we took family and wedding party portraits, and the guests were treated with dinner. Dessert, dancing, and toasts immediately followed dinner. The maid of honor, best man, and father of the bride all made speeches that either left the crowd in tears or fits of laughter.
As the reception continued, the bride and groom snuck off to take “golden hour” portraits at sunset. These were my favorite images from the entire day. The images so perfectly summed up the bride’s infectious smile and their sweet astonishment of being Mr. and Mrs. The night ended with the bouquet and garter toss as the sun crept below the horizon.
Meichi and Chad, your kindness and sincerity was what stood out to me from the beginning. You are best friends and your love is evident. I pray that your marriage is a blissful reminder of how you felt on your wedding day. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be apart of your forever.
Wedding Invitation Suite Styled During Wedding
Indianapolis Wedding Cake with Pastel Flowers
Indianapolis Wedding Dress Lace Detail
Brownsburg Wedding Dress on White Brick
Pastel Florals in Indianapolis Wedding Arbor
Indianapolis Wedding Veil Detail with Bridal Shoes in the Background
Indianapolis Backyards Wedding Dress and Watercan Flowers
Brownsburg Bridal Bouquet of Pastel Flowers
Brownsburg Sparkly Silver Bridal Shoes
Makeup Artist Applies Eyeshadow to Bride
Makeup Artist Applies Lipstick to Bride
Brownsburg Bride Holds Bridal Bouquet
Brownsburg Bride Smiles on Her Wedding Day
Wedding Cake Sits on Silver Stand
Pastel Bridal Party Smiles at the Camera
Lace Detail on Indianapolis Wedding Dress
Indianapolis Wedding Dress on White Brick Wall
Bride and Groom Smile at Each Other During Wedding Ceremony
Bride Smiles at Groom During Wedding Ceremony
Bride and Groom Pray During Wedding Ceremony
Bride and Groom Kiss During Wedding Ceremony
Bride smiles as she puts on her earrings
Family Members Smile During Portraits After Wedding Ceremony
Bride and Groom Sit on Front Porch Swing After Wedding Ceremony
Table Setting at Brownsburg Wedding Reception
Bride and Groom Smile at Each Other During Portraits
Bride and Groom Smile During First Dance
Bride and Groom Dance During Wedding Reception
Mother of the Groom Laughs During Mother and Son Dance
Father and Bride Laugh During Dance at Wedding Reception
Father and Bride Hug During Wedding Reception
Maid of Honor Gives Speech During Wedding Reception
Bride and Groom Laugh During Wedding Speech
Flower Girl with Baby's Breath in Her Hair
Baby's Breath at Wedding Reception
Wedding Cake on Silver Stand During Wedding Reception
Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Topper
Bride and Guest Dance During Wedding Reception
Bride and Groom Smile at Each Other During Sunset Portraits
Bride and Groom Kiss During Sunset Portraits
Bride and Groom Smile During Sunset Portraits
Baby's Breath Bridesmaid's Bouquets
Wedding Guests Dance at Brownsburg Wedding
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
, ,

27 TIPS FOR GORGEOUS ENGAGEMENT PICTURES

You are engaged! Your engagement is such a short and unique stage in your life, I am so excited for you to marry your best friend! Since it is such a special time, many people opt to take engagement pictures. But, sometimes, it is hard to know what to wear and to bring to your engagement session. Check out these 27 tips for gorgeous engagement pictures! These tips will help you figure out which outfits to wear, what styles to choose, and what things to bring with you. I hope that these tips empower you to rock your engagement session and feel more confident in front of the camera!

Get ready to take a ton of screenshots…

 

Clothing

1. Feel Comfortable and Confident

If you don’t feel comfortable and in what you are wearing, you will be able to see that in your images! Once you pick an outfit, go ahead try it on a few times and make sure you are comfortable.

2. Dress It Up

You want to wear an enhanced version of your normal wardrobe, as long as it does not distract from you. Your engagement session is a perfect reason to dress up and look awesome! Wear something nice and flattering.

3. Mix It Up

Try to mix up the color of the clothing you bring for completely different looks.

4. Coordinate, don’t match!

Most people feel like they have to match their fiance in their engagement pictures. However, this is not the case. You can wear different colors, but make sure the colors coordinate with each other! That means that the colors should compliment each other.

5. Plan Your Outfits

Pick out your outfits a few days in advance, and try them on! Make sure that you cannot see any undergarments and that they outfits look good together!

6. Think About Posing

Make sure they are still comfortable and appropriate in various positions: sitting, kneeing, hands-above-your-head.

7. Check White Clothing

If your outfits are lighter in color (which I love!!!), make sure you cannot see through them! Grab a slip or an undershirt if you can see through the clothing.

8. Iron it

All outfits need to be clean and without wrinkles before your session.

9. What to Avoid

Try to avoid overwhelming patterns, large logos, baggy pieces, or horizontal stripes for your session.

10. Accessorize

Scarves, jackets, etc. are great accessories that can be easily added or removed to change an outfit.

11. Outfit Changes

There are not always convenient places to change during an outdoor session. You might want to bring car shades, large blankets, etc. so you can make a changing room.

 

Sleep & Food

12. SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP!

Get as much sleep as possible the night before the session.  You might be tempted to stay up and make last minute changes or worry about the pimple on your face. RELAX. The more rest you get, the better session you will have.

13. Puffy Eyes?

If you have a morning session, you can apply a cold compress to your eyes for a few minutes before applying makeup. This will reduce puffiness and make you feel better.

14. Don’t Skip a Meal

You and anyone accompanying you to the session need to EAT beforehand!!! Being hangry during your engagement session won’t be good for your pictures… I also recommend bringing a snack and water to your session!

 

Skin, Makeup, & Glasses

15. Protect Your Skin

Avoid getting sunburned. If you are red and peeling, you must reschedule.

16. Makeup Tips

Follow your normal makeup routine, but apply your makeup a little heavier than you would on a normal day.

17. Focus on Your Eyes

Be precise when applying eye makeup since this is where I will focus in all your portraits.

18. Plan for Touch-Ups

I highly recommend bringing chap stick, lipstick, foundation, powder, hairspray, etc. Also, bring a few makeup remover wipes, just in case.

19. Avoid the Glare

If you wear glasses, there is a chance that there will be a glare in your images. To lower the chance of glass glare in your images, you can visit your optometrist to see if they will lend you a pair of glasses without lenses, or you can have your lenses removed from your glasses.

 

Hair & Nails

20. Plan Your Hairstyle

Pick your hairstyle a few weeks before your session, and practice! If you are doing your own hair, do not try a new hairstyle the day of the session. You want to try and pick a “classic” hairstyle.  If you need a little extra hold, add some hairspray, but do not too much.

21. Should I get A Haircut?

I advise you to get your haircut at least a month before your session (girls) or a week before your session (guys). A haircut will make your hair more shiny, healthy, and natural for your session.

22. Hair Styles to Avoid

Try to avoid major hair style changes before your session including hair color. Whether you are doing your own hair or having a professional do it, you want your pictures to look like YOU!

23. Don’t forget to shave!

Girls – Remember to shave your legs and underarms if they will be visible during the shoot.

Guys – Shave or trim your beard the day of your session.

24. Clean or Polished Nails

Your hands will be in the majority of your images, so make sure your nails are clean, trimmed, and/or freshly painted.

 

Posing & Props

25. Practice Makes Perfect

Try this: Look in the mirror and smile.  Now, think about what makes you really, really happy and smile again. Do you see a difference in your smile and your eyes???  THAT smile is the one you want at your session. Your eyes light up when you really smile!

26. Bring Props

I love to add props into my client’s sessions to make it more personal. Make sure to tell me what props you would like to use before the session, so I can plan accordingly.

Props can include: bouquet of flowers, family pet, etc.

People

27. Bring A Friend

Not only should you and your fiance be there, but I would HIGHLY recommend bringing a friend or family member to the session! It is a great stress reliever in many ways to have someone with you to help out. Just make sure you are comfortable kissing in front of them! 😉

 

 

Can’t Get Enough of These 27 Tips for Gorgeous Engagement Pictures??

Check out these blog posts for more inspiration:

INDIANAPOLIS ENGAGEMENT SESSION AT WEST PARK | SHELBY AND JARED

MILITARY ENGAGEMENT SESSION AT COXHALL GARDENS | ANDIE AND DREW

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
,

THE 7 EASIEST WAYS TO FIND WEDDING VENDORS

Hey friend!

I get it. You have to hire a ton of people to make your wedding as perfect in real life as it is in your head. And sometimes, you don’t even know where to start. So, this is your starting point. Here are the 7 easiest ways to find wedding vendors. I hope this helps.

1. Ask Your Friends and Family

Did your friend just get married at your ideal venue? Does your mother’s friend own a bakery? Your friends and family can be an invaluable resource when searching for wedding vendors.

2. Social Media

Do a quick search on social media. Instagram has become a great place to find vendors. Most professional vendors have an Instagram page that they keep updated with their most recent work. Use location specific hashtags to help you find them. (Ex: #indyweddingphotography) Facebook is another great social platform for search for your vendors. There are even specific Facebook groups designed to help you locate vendors and decorations! Just search for “bride” or “wedding” along with your location in Facebook to uncover these awesome groups!

3. Blogs

Vendor blogs are a great way to look at a vendor’s most recent work and how they deal with clients! They also usually tag any other vendors that were involved in the event. These tags can give you hints on other vendors that you might like.

4. Google

When in doubt, google it. You will get thousands of results of vendors in your area if you use a general search. Try to narrow the field by being very specific in your search.

5. Other Vendors

Have you already selected a venue? Have you already hired a caterer? Ask the vendors you already have if they can recommend other vendors. Some vendors keep preferred vendor lists and can give you good recommendations on who they have worked with.

6. Wedding Coordinator

If you have a wedding coordinator, use their knowledge! You hired them to give you reputable options, let them help you find your perfect vendors.

7. Wedding Websites

Wedding Websites such as The Knot or Wedding Wire are great resources to check out potential vendors. They usually have lists of specific vendors that you can scroll through along with reviews.

 

And there you have it! Super simple right?! 7 Ways to find wedding vendors that will make your big day less stressful! Good luck, friend! I am here cheering for you!

 

If you are looking for more wedding planning tips, check out these blog posts!

The First Look: Pros, Cons, & Flowcharts

Planning a Wedding Timeline

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
,

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN INDIANAPOLIS WEDDING | RACHEL AND ERIC

Rachel and Eric’s wedding took place in the heart of Indianapolis at the Marott, an extravagant and repurposed hotel. Since the Marott’s renovation, it plays host to events on the main floor, and its’ hotel lodging has transformed into upscale apartments. The atmosphere of the Marott along with the Piper’s event and catering staff beautifully complimented this historic downtown Indianapolis wedding.

Rachel and Eric’s wedding was an extremely special occasion. The two had been waiting for this day for quite a while. Rachel and Eric are highschool sweethearts! They first met in the hallways of Covenant Christian High School, located just outside of Indianapolis. At the end of their Junior year at Covenant Christian, Rachel and Eric started dating. They continued dating throughout their collegiate experience and Rachel’s pharmacy residency.

A semester before Rachel was to graduate with her pharmacy doctorate, Eric dropped to one knee. Rachel, who is not easily surprised, was stunned by the proposal. Once she realized that her best friend was asking to marry her, she whole-heartedly accepted. At that point, they had been together for 6 and a half years and knew that they were meant to be. As they began to plan the wedding that they had dreamed of for years, it only seemed right that the date should have a special significance. So, they decided to get married on June 2nd, the day they started dating seven years ago.

Rachel and Eric’s historic downtown Indianapolis wedding was a perfect testament to their relationship. Eric embodies a quiet strength. He is a man of few words and an intense loyalty. Rachel is hard working, determined, and loves to laugh. Their interactions throughout their wedding day {and engagement session} were either quiet and affectionate or filled with Rachel’s laughter and Eric’s soft smile. In both instances, they held each other’s gaze completely, as they have for so long.

Rachel’s morning started early on their wedding day since she and her bridesmaids were to get their hair done. From there, the bridal party headed for the Marott to finish their preparations and to enjoy the rest of the morning. Rachel’s mother and her bridesmaids helped her put on and fasten her wedding gown in preparation for the morning’s portraits. Rachel’s face started to show her excitement once her dress was on. The groom and groomsmen arrived at the venue shortly after the bridal party was ready.

As soon as Rachel was ready, she wanted to have a first look with her father. I was excited to agree because I love doing first looks with dad! When Rachel’s father saw her for the first time in her wedding gown, the biggest smile brightened his face! He was thrilled to see his little girl and admire her wedding dress! Shortly after, I took Rachel’s bridal portraits and the bridal party photos. While taking the bridal party portraits, Eric had to cross our path! So, we came up with a plan. The groomsmen blindfolded Eric and led him across the venue, so he did not see Rachel! Honestly, I think the groomsmen really enjoyed their new job. After all of the groomsmen were ready, I took their portraits before the bride and groom had their first look.

Once we were ready, I placed Eric first for the first look. He waited patiently as I placed her behind him. The anticipation continued to grow as they waited to see each for the first time that day. When Eric turned around, his reserved expression transformed into an emotional smile. Upon seeing Eric’s smile, Rachel burst into tears of joy. Eric softly held Rachel as they enjoyed this moment on their wedding day. After some time alone to cherish the moment, we shot their portraits and finished our pre-ceremony photos with the wedding party and family portraits.

The ceremony took placed in the Marott’s atrium, a beautiful courtyard with white walls and a glass ceiling. Even though the forecast projected thunderstorms, there was not a cloud in the sky. So, the sun beamed through the glass ceiling to make the ceremony bright and airy. During the ceremony, the Christ-centered message was perfectly complimented by the assembly of a unity cross. The couple’s family was also an important part of the ceremony. Rachel had incorporated her great-great-great-grandmother pin onto her bouquet. And various family members who had passed away, including Eric’s mother, were pictured at the ceremony.

Immediately after the ceremony, the guests enjoyed social hour while the wedding party relaxed for a while. During the second half of the social hour, I snuck the bride and groom across the street to take some golden hour portraits! These are always some of my favorite images! The sunlight was still a little bright that evening, but they were  still beautiful!!

The night continued with dinner and dessert in the crystal ballroom. The toasts from the bride’s sister and father were particularly emotional. {I even teared up behind my camera!} The obvious love and support from both Rachel and Eric’s families was so heart-warming and sweet. After dinner, everyone made their way to the dance floor until the bride and groom’s sparkler sendoff.

All in all, Rachel and Eric’s historic downtown Indianapolis wedding was beautiful. The rain never came, the bride and groom were blissful, and everyone was so excited that, after 7 years, Rachel and Eric were married!

Rachel and Eric, thank you so much for allowing me to capture your wedding day! It was absolutely wonderful to be with you and your families on your wedding day. A photographer couldn’t have asked for anything better! I pray that your relationship with Christ and each other continues to grow for the entirety of your marriage. Congratulations and let’s see where the next 7 years takes you!

Bride's wedding gown is hung from arbor
Bride's personalized hanger for wedding dress
Buttons on blush wedding dress in Indianapolis
Wedding program on old windown outside of wedding ceremony
Neckline Detail on blush wedding gown in Indianapolis
The bride's jewlery and invitations
Closeup of wedding and engagement rings on wedding day in Indianapolis
bridal bouguet made of peach and purple flowers and succulents
Indianapolis bride puts on earrings on wedding day
Belt detail on blush wedding gown in Indianapolis
bride waits to see father for first look
Father smiles during first look
bride and father hug after first look
bride smiles at camera during wedding portraits
Bride smiles off camera for wedding photos
Indianapolis bride looks down shoulder during photos
Bride smiles for formal portrait
Indianapolis Bride smiles during photos
Back of weding dress at Marott in Indianapolis
Groom fastens watch while getting ready
Indianapolis Groom smiles off camera while getting ready
Groom waits to see bride during first look
Bride waits to see groom during first look
Groom smiles at bride during first look
Indianapolis Groom smiles at camera while buttoning jacket
Bride and groom hug after first look

Bride and groom laugh after first look in Indianapolis
Bride and Groom kiss during pictures for their Indianapolis Wedding
Formal Wedding Portrait of smiling bride and groom in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Bride and groom kiss on wedding day during portraits
Bride and groom laugh on wedding day in Indianapolis
Bride and groom touch foreheads during wedding portraits
Bride and Groom Formal Portrait on Wedding Day in Indianapolis
Bride laughs during wedding photos
Bride and groom pose in front of large window
Groom smiles at Bride during wedding photos
Bride and Groom softly smile in front of large window on wedding day
The bride and her bridal party laugh during portraits
bride smiles while standing in front of bridal party
Bride smiles while standing in front of bridesmaids
Wedding Ceremony at the Marott in downtown Indianapolis
Bride and Groom say vows during Indianapolis Wedding Ceremony
Bride and groom say vows during wedding ceremony at Marott
Groom puts ring on Bride during Indianapolis Wedding ceremony
Bride and groom kiss during wedding ceremony at Marott in Indianapolis
Bride and Groom kiss during wedding ceremony in Indianapolis
Bride and Groom are presented during wedding ceremony at Marott
Wedding Cake Detail at the Marott in Indianapolis
Wooden Guest Book with Guest's Names
Bride and groom walk across lawn after Indianapolis wedding
Bride and groom smile during portraits at sunset
Bride and Groom walk across grass after wedding ceremony
Bride and groom dance during wedding reception in Indianapolis
Cream Wedding Cake with M Topper
Groom dips bride under Marott chandelier

 

Ceremony/Reception Venue: Pipers at the Marott

Catering: Pipers Hospitality Group

Florist: Lilly Lane Flowers

Cake Artist: Princess Confections Bakery

DJ: Midwest Sound

Hair Artist: Cass & Company Salon

Bridal Gown: Sophia’s Bridal, Tux, & Prom

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Tuxes: Louie’s Tux Shop

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
, ,

MILITARY ENGAGEMENT SESSION AT COXHALL GARDENS | ANDIE AND DREW

On Friday night, I was privileged to capture an emotional love story during Andie and Drew’s Engagement Session at Coxhall Gardens and Holcomb Gardens in Indianapolis. {Warning: If you do not have tissues handy, go grab some!}

THEIR STORY…

Andie and Drew met at a bonfire. Being shy, Andie didn’t approach anyone naturally. But, for some reason, she felt comfortable around the guy who continuously had a smile on his face. She started a conversation with Drew, something she never did, and the conversation flowed easily. A month later, they started talking again. They saw each other a few times, and the tenor of their conversations remained unbridled and natural. From then on, they saw each other every day. They laughed together, shared stories, and went on adventures for the next year.

On March 29, 2017, Drew asked Andie to spend the rest of her life with him. He dropped to one knee on a sandy beach in St. Thomas while vacationing with his family. He remembers being worried that the ring was going to fall into the ocean while he was proposing. As Andie joyfully accepted Drew’s unexpected proposal, the St. Thomas beach-goers applauded and cheered.

Days later, Drew was sworn into the Army with a leave date in a month’s time. Drew and Andie had a few big decisions to make. They had to figure out if they would have a wedding ceremony and what their living situation would be if they got married. Since Drew would be on active duty for at least four years, they would have to wait if they wanted to have a traditional ceremony.

They decided that they could not wait four years to pledge their lives to each other. Before he left, they wanted to start this new journey with the foundation of marriage. Before he left, they wanted to profess their love to one another. Before he left, Drew and Andie wanted to say, “I do.”

On Friday, May 5, 2017, Andie and Drew had an intimate courthouse ceremony and started their lives as husband and wife. They found an apartment that she could call home while he was gone. They bought a puppy to keep her company. And they could not be happier with their decision.

Andie beautifully described her wedding day by saying, “Most people wouldn’t call this a fairytale. But to me… this was more than a fairytale. It was more than spending a full year figuring out how I’m going to spend thousands of dollars. It was more than trying to find the perfect venue and the perfect flowers and decorations to fit the event. Today was the most amazing day. Today I said “I Do” to my best friend, my partner in crime and the one I get to spend forever with.”

The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. The two were celebrating their one week wedding anniversary when we met for this session. It was a joy to experience this new and exciting time with them. Their wedding / engagement session at Coxhall Gardens and Holcomb Gardens was filled with laughter and love that is evident in their images.

Drew leaves for training on May 23. He will be on away for 4-6 years. Andie is going to finish college while he is on duty. They will desperately miss each other, but they are confident that they can withstand any storm. After all, they are now Mr. & Mrs.

I feel truly honored to have captured their love during our engagement session at Coxhall Gardens and Holcomb Gardens before Drew leaves for training. I hope these are memories that will be treasured for a lifetime. But more importantly, I hope they help them through the next 4-6 years of their marriage.

Couple smiles while sitting on stairs of Holcomb Gardens.
Couple laughs on stairs of Holcomb Gardens.
Indianapolis couple smiles on Holcomb Gardens stairs
Couple smiles at Holcomb Gardens during sunset engagement session in Indianapolis
Bride and Groom laugh during Holcomb Gardens Engagement Session
Close up of bride holding groom's arm
Engagement ring in pink peony during engagement session.
Groom holds Bride at Holcomb Gardens
Couple laughs during Indianapolis Engagement Session
Bride and Groom kiss during Holcomb Gardens engagement session.
Bride and Groom kiss in flowers during Holcomb Gardens engagement pictures.
Bride looks down during Indianapolis Engagement Session
Groom holds bride at Holcomb Gardens during engagement session.
Couple laughs in white flowers at Holcomb Gardens
Couple smiles next to white flowers in Holcomb Gardens.
Couple smiles in white flowers at Holcomb Gardens
Couple kisses at Coxhall Gardens in white flowers.
Bride leans her head on Groom during Indianapolis engagement session.
Couple smiles during Coxhall Gardens engagement pictures.
White peony with engagement ring sitting on petals.
Couple holds hands at Coxhall Gardens in front of weeping willow.
Couple kisses in front of weeping willow at Coxhall Gardens in Carmel, IN.
Groom holds bride at Coxhall Garden Amphitheater
Groom dips bride at Coxhall Garden Amphitheater
Couple hugs at sunset at Coxhall Gardens.
Groom holds bride during Coxhall Gardens sunset engagement pictures.
Couple smiles at sunset engagement session at Coxhall Gardens
Couple smiles on lawn of Coxhall Gardens
Bride smiles during Indianapolis Engagement Session.
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

The First Look: Pros, Cons, & Flowcharts

“Should I have a first look?”

This is a question that almost every bride asks themselves. For some couples, it is an easy choice. For others, it is one of the hardest decisions about their wedding day.

If you are wrestling with this question, this post will walks through the pros and cons of a first look versus a traditional wedding day. Hopefully, it will help you decide whether or not a first look is for you. If you are still undecided, I have made a flowchart to help. When in doubt, follow a flowchart.

THE FIRST LOOK: PROS

The Bride, Groom, and Wedding Party can take most or all of the portraits before the wedding starts. You would spend the morning or afternoon taking pictures, so you would not have to worry about squeezing them all into a small amount of time after the ceremony.

There is no need to have a social hour. After your exit from the ceremony, you can relax with your new spouse and reenter the room whenever you please.

It can be very intimate for the bride and groom. The first look is usually very secluded and allows for very sweet and heartfelt portraits. You can even ask the photographer/videographer to only stay for a few minutes, and then you and your honey can spend a few minutes alone.

THE FIRST LOOK: CONS

You will have to break wedding tradition. It is customary that the bride and groom do not see each other until the bride walks down the aisle. If you do a first look, you have to see each other before the wedding.

The morning may need to start earlier. Hair, makeup, etc. must all be completed at an earlier hour, so pictures can begin. This also means you might have to wake up earlier (if you actually slept that night).

It may not be possible if you are planning a morning or early afternoon wedding. You may not have enough time for all of the portraits needed before the ceremony begins.

TRADITIONAL CEREMONY: PROS

You get to participate in a sweet tradition. By not having a first look, you will not see your spouse until the ceremony starts. In essence, the first look is when the bride walks down the aisle. It is a cherished moment between the bride and groom as they are about to devote their lives to one another.

The wedding day does not have to start as early. If you do not have to take all of your portraits before the wedding, you and your wedding party do not have to be ready so early in the day.

TRADITIONAL CEREMONY: CONS

You cannot have all of your pictures done before the wedding starts. Pictures with the bridal and groom’s party can be taken beforehand. Even some of the family shots can be taken. However, any pictures in which the bride and groom are both present will have to wait until after the ceremony. This will lengthen the time your guests must wait for you to reenter the room.

The time taken for the portraits may be shorter, so you may not get as many poses, pictures, or good lighting. If you have a large wedding party or family, there may not be enough time to get group and individual shots before the cocktail hour ends. Furthermore, if your wedding is at night, your wedding portraits will be potentially be darker and may not turn out as clear as daytime portraits, depending on your photographer.

As promised, here is a lovely flowchart (made by yours truly) if you are still confused.

First Look Flowchart

  Interested in how to plan the entire wedding day based on this decision? Check out this post: Planning Your Wedding Timeline

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Planning A Wedding Timeline

Happy Valentine’s Day! For all of those brides to be, I am answering a serious question today: How do I put together a wedding timeline!?

Planning the Wedding Day timeline might be one of the most challenging parts of the planning process. All of the small details you meticulously picked are colliding into a 6-12+ hour event. As a photographer, I frequently help brides plan their wedding day timelines, and here are a few things that I have learned along the way.

BIG CONSIDERATIONS:

There a few big events that will ultimately help you finalize your wedding day timeline.

1. CEREMONY TIME

The start time of your ceremony will help you determine when to start your wedding day festivities. If you have a 10am ceremony time, you will need to have a condensed pre-ceremony timeline, but you are open to a flexible post-ceremony timeline. If your ceremony starts at 7pm, you will need to plan more things throughout the day leading up to the ceremony.

2. THE FIRST LOOK

The first look is a huge decision when discussing a wedding day timeline. It is one of the first decisions you need to make in order to accurately plan your timeline. Your wedding day timeline can look completely different based on if you include a first look.

Still on the fence about the first look? Check out our post about it! The First Look: Pros, Cons, & Flowcharts

3. WEDDING DAY PACE

This is also based on your personal preference.

  • Situation 1: You may want the wedding day to be relaxing and filled with down time that you can spend with your family and close friends. In this case, you should plan a timeline that schedules events farther apart.
  • Situation 2: You could be the type of person that would like to have an orderly and upbeat schedule (or you want to sleep as long as possible), so all of your events are close together and start/end promptly.
  • Situation 3: You would like your wedding day to be somewhere in between Situation 1 & 2

In the first situation, you would want to start the wedding day earlier. If you like the second situation, you can either start your day later in the day or take more time for each event. If you agree with situation 3, your schedule might have times of constant movement and then times set aside to relax.

TIMING:

This section is devoted to how much time each event in your wedding day will take, so you can accurate plan your big day!

***You may be thinking, “Surely, it does not take that long to take pictures!” You must realize that the allotted “1 hour” is not continuous photography. You must add in extra time to gather/find those who will be in the pictures, pose each group or individual, change poses, convince any children to smile, and possibly change locations for each group/individual. If you have a wedding party of 15 people, the time will add up quickly.***

1. GETTING READY – WOMEN (1-2+ hours)

Hair. Make-up. Dress. Accessories. Usually, hair and make-up take about 0.5-1 hour each. Putting on the dress and accessories could take 5-30 minutes (someone has to fasten all of those buttons….). Add in the time it takes to drive where you need to go, and you are looking at an hour or two at least.

2. GETTING READY – MEN (0.5-1 hour)

(Believe it or not) Men usually take much less time getting ready. They may need to bathe, shave, and put on their wedding attire.

3. THE FIRST LOOK (15 minutes)

The first look is usually quick and leads directly into portraits of the bride and groom.

4. BRIDE & GROOM PORTRAITS (~0.5–1 hour)

This section really depends on your preference. If you are not keen to have fanciful shots of you and your new spouse, it could take 20 minutes. If you would like many different poses and locations, it could easily take an hour.

5. WEDDING PARTY PORTRAITS (~0.5–1 hour)

The size of your bridal party will greatly affect the amount of time you need for portraits before the ceremony. If you have 2 bridesmaids and groomsmen each, the wedding party section of the portraits might only take 15-25 minutes. If you have 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen each, the time greatly increases to accommodate the large number of people to be photographed.

6. FAMILY PORTRAITS (~0.5–1 hour)

This section is very similar to the bridal party section. There are two good questions to ask: “How big are our families?” and “Who do I want pictures with?” If you have extremely large families and you would like pictures with everyone individually, in small groups, and all together, it will take an hour or two. If you do not have many relatives or pick which relative you must have pictures with, it could take 30 minutes. All in all, it is best to decide if you need a pre-ceremony portrait or a reception picture with your great aunt’s second cousin.

7. DETAILS (all day)

The photographer will usually take numerous pictures of the details for your ceremony. These are usually not during a certain time block but are completed throughout the day as the photographer has time and things are ready. However, the photographer will probably ask for your dress, rings, bouquets, invitations, etc.

8. TRAVEL TIME (0-1 hour)

Are you traveling to different locations during the wedding day? Make sure to include those times into your timeline!

9. ARRIVAL OF GUESTS (30 min before ceremony)

Guests will start arriving about 30 minutes before the ceremony begins. So you will need to make sure that you and your bridal party are hidden away!

10. THE CEREMONY (~30 minutes)

Yay!!! You are getting married!!!!

11. SOCIAL HOUR (1-1.5 hours)

If you choose to do pictures after the ceremony, you will need to fit them in between the ceremony and the reception.

12. THE RECEPTION (~2-6+ hours)

Receptions times vary greatly depending on the events you have planned. Here are some common reception events and times:

  • Bridal Party Entrance (5 minutes)
  • Dinner or Hors d’oeuvres (1-1.5 hours)
  • Toasts (15-30 minutes during dinner)
  • First Dances (15 minutes)
  • Cutting the Cake (5-10 minutes)
  • Bouquet Toss (10 minutes)
  • Garter Toss (10 minutes)
  • Dancing (???)

So, how do you put this altogether? I have included four model timelines to help you figure that out! Keep in mind, your timeline will probably look different than this, and that is okay!

  1. First Look Timeline with Dancing
  2. Traditional Timeline with Dancing
  3. First Look Timeline without Dancing
  4. Traditional Timeline without Dancing

 

first look wedding day timeline
traditional wedding day timeline
first look wedding timeline without dancing
traditional wedding day timeline without dancing
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page