Just So You KNow

I wanted a category on this new blog that was all things informative, helpful, tips for brides or anyone planning a photo session. Here are a few of my (personal opinion) little tips and tricks to make YOUR DAY a SUCCESS for the both of us, and actually all parties involved.

1. Plan your time accordingly. You’ve never been married, right? (most of you are first time brides and all this is new to you.) Time management can set the tone for the entire day. If at all possible I HIGHLY suggest a wedding planner/coordinator. They not only help you along the way with all the planning details, but the DAY OF services are a real life saver. Ask any bride who has been fortunate enough to hire a day of coordinator how smoothly her wedding day went. (or better yet, ask her mother, because a wedding planner/coordinator can be a MOB’s best friend that day!)

Speaking of time management, have you ever had to plan for 6 or 8 people to get their hair and makeup done at the same time? Probably not. Ask your stylist about how much time each girl will take and then add on a little extra time. The salon appointments are probably the biggest reason a wedding day will run late, but if you plan ahead there will be no worries. Whenever possible, have the stylist/makeup artists come to YOU. I have recommendations for all of these services providers on the front of the blog page to the right! ——————————–>

2. It’s your wedding day and you know what you are wearing for most of the day: The BEAUTIFUL dress you spent countless years dreaming about and more money than your daddy probably wished you had. But what about before you put the dress on? Most brides just throw on an oversized/crazy colored shirt and sweat pants or jeans. But ALOT of pictures get taken during the getting ready hours, so why not look ‘picture ready’ then, too? I suggest a white or any shade of white outfit. It can even be a sweat suit, as long as its white/ivory/cream/ecru.. you get the point. A strapless romper (yes, now back in style) , white button up shirt, white shorts or linen pants , still comfy but stylish…..etc. You’re the bride. Wear white all day! You will feel pretty, and your makeup artist can really see your true skin tones without a color reflecting on your face from whatever color you are wearing, and you will feel beautiful. Trust me. Even your bridesmaids who will also be in most pictures should wear something flattering. I have seen some parties wear matching robes (if getting ready at a hotel or home) or even a shirt that is the color of the dresses. (again, great for the makeup artist!) And what a cute gift idea from the bride!

What to wear while getting ready
(This is Nicole after seeing her makeup for the first time. Artist : Brandi Marroquin of Beauty by Brandi)

3. Going back to the time thing, did you remember to allot enough time for your PHOTOGRAPHER? Most of the books and samples I use, and even the images that are posted online, shared on the blog or Facebook, are there for a reason. They tell a story, they represent MY style, and the show the relation between a couple. And, that is really why you hired me, right? Because you like my work. Well, I get those great shots when a bride allows enough TIME for me to get them. Can I still tell a story and get great shots in say, 30 minutes?? Yes. But my brides want more than just the traditional shots. You want the ‘lifestyle’, interactive, images that show the relationship between the two of you. I know it is hard to relax in front of a camera at any time, but on a wedding day when things are rush, rush, it’s hot, your bridal party wants to drink the whole time we are supposed to be taking pictures, yadda, yadda… Its hard to give you AMAZING images with limited time. I’m not saying we need three hours, but as much as you can give me so we are feeling rushed, the better :)

rustic Indiana wedding. Barn wedding.
Later I will share a post about doing a FIRST LOOK and the benefits of doing so. Although, not every wedding needs one. Every situation is different (and that’s why I love what I do!)

4. Do NOT skip your engagement session, whether it is included in your package or not. For my clients an engagement session (or Couples Fun Session, as I call them) is included in the package and may not be substituted and no discount offered if not done. The reason for this is this session offers so many benefits. For one, a lot of brides use images from this session for Save The Dates, a wedding website, wedding slideshow, photo montages, etc. I have seen images used to create table numbers in a unique way, used to print on favors such as soda bottles from Jones, water bottle labels with the wedding date, favor bags, etc.

But the BIGGEST reason I insist on these sessions is for a “Get To Know You” time between us. Yeah, we chatted and got comfortable with each other at the consultation, enough for you to hire me, but maybe the fiance didn’t make it, or maybe you booked me online or over the phone (thank you for those who trust enough to do that!). For me, it’s a way of getting to know you better. How you like to be photographed. How you interact with each other. If you are comfortable in front of the camera. Most couples had never been professional photographed before their CFS. This time allows you to see how I work, how I gently direct and guide, and it builds trust so when the wedding day arrives you already know me and how easy going I am so the picture time goes smoothly so everyone is back on the limo bus drinking in no time! Trust me, even if we can fit in a 30 minute engagement session/CFS, it will make all the difference in the wedding day photos!

Maumee Bay State Park Sunset photo session

5. Bring music to wherever you are getting ready. I know some brides who’s fiances have made them a special compilation of music just for that day, or gals who bring their party music. It doesn’t have to be too loud you can’t hear each other talk, but maybe, just maybe that ONE song will come on and make everyone dance in the room (in their matching robes and all) and get the party started!

JP Photography Toledo wedding photographer

If any of you have any tips you’d like to share that may help others out for their wedding day, PLEASE post in a comment below. These are just a few of my tips, but I am sure there are many more you all have learned along the way! Go ahead and share what helped make your day run smoothly!



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Love, Julie