Wedding Tips

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Below are a few ideas we’ve learned along the way that might help you plan for the biggest party of your life.


Decide early on whether you want a quieter morning of getting ready alone; getting ready with just a couple of your closest friends; or having a room full of people around. Each arrangement provides a very different energy and environment. And it’s important to know ahead of time how your own demeanor and personal needs will mix with each situation.


As you’re fleshing out your wedding-day schedule, ask your hair/makeup artist for an estimated time on how long this process will take, and then add at least 30 minutes as a buffer.


Before you book your church, please be sure to ask whether photography is allowed and if there are any restrictions. We are happy to work with anything, but it’s important for your own peace of mind to have realistic expectations in advance.


Generally, the best time for an outdoor ceremony is 2-3 hours before sunset. The later time ensures the sunlight falls more evenly on the skin tones (no harsh shadows), and is consistent for both the bride and groom (so you don’t have one person in the light, and the other in shadow).


Always have your photographers ride with you when possible. In the car on the way to the ceremony; in the limo on the way to the reception. You will get some of the most intimate moments captured this way, and also some of the wildest.


One of the most important parts of your wedding day is taking the time to make creative portraits of the two of you. Make sure to carve out 30 minutes to an hour for this. We will guide you through everything, but it’s important to remember these portraits require patience and tenacity, and occasionally an adventurous endeavor or two.


We recommend doing immediate family only right after the ceremony (parents, siblings, grandparents, wedding party). If you have bigger groups, do them at the reception right after the cake cutting. Just have the DJ or band make an announcement.


This accomplishes three important things for you and for us. 1) Send us an invitation like everyone else; this gives us time to photograph it for you in advance instead of getting a quick shot on the wedding day. 2) If your photographers are on the guest list, they will be seated with the guests, which ensures they are always with you and will never miss a moment of your reception. 3) This also ensures we are fed in a timely manner (instead of a cold sandwich in a back office far away from you when speeches are happening). Food is energy, and energetic, happy photographers are exactly what you want when you have four hours of dancing ahead of you.


The more lighting you can bring in, the better! We love uplighting (orange, red, purple and pink look the best; stay away from green); candles, chandeliers and twinkle lights.


We love tent receptions, because the white canvas works really well with the way we use our flashes. To make it even prettier, add some sparkly chandeliers or lanterns, and lots of candles on the tables.


If you’re having a completely open-air reception, under the stars, we recommend adding as much extra lighting as possible, such as strands of twinkle lights and candles in hurricane vases. The extra lighting will help warm up your photos and add a prettier, more dynamic dimension. Otherwise, you will have a completely black background unless the reception takes place during the day.


Allow your wedding day to simply be what it is. Whether that means inclement weather, forgetting that bracelet you wanted to wear, or events running way off schedule. Keeping an open mind will allow spontaneity and magic to surprise and delight you, and make your wedding uniquely yours.


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How Much Do Wedding Photographers Cost and how much should I budget for wedding photography?

One of the first questions that comes up when couples start planning their wedding is “How much should I spend for wedding photography?” or  “How much do wedding photographers charge?” . There is no one simple answer to these questions, but here I hope to provide some information and tips that may help in your planning process when it comes time to figure out your wedding photography budget.


Tip 1: Factoring in your personal wedding budget

Its customary for ones entire wedding budget to be considered when setting the budget for photography. Traditionally about 10% of your entire wedding budget should be dedicated to your wedding photography. This figure is just a guideline, not a concrete rule of thumb. By using this figure as a starting point, you can then gauge the weight of importance of your photos in comparison to other aspects of your wedding.


Tip 2: Consider what skill level is important to you

Photographers base their fees mainly on their level of experience and size and quality of their portfolio. There are many photographers on the market today, many of which are offering fantastically low prices. Wedding photography is a very complex endeavor, and although uncle Joe, a photography student or a part time house mom may have a great camera and shoot pretty landscape photos, this does not mean they are versed in the ins and outs of shooting a wedding. Timing is everything when capturing a wedding, and hiring a professional that is familiar with the flow of weddings and can think on their fly when mishaps or challenging lighting occurs is imperative! Consider what is important to you when deciding how “professional” you desire and fits your budget, but do be mindful of that timeless saying “you get what you pay for”.


Tip 3: What your getting as a final product

We have discussed how the skill level can vary from one photographer to the next, but equally important is the variance of what you receive after the wedding. There are many services that photographers offer and before you start shopping, perhaps you may want to create a list of what is important to you. Some offerings include:

– High Resolution Photos (Some photographers will only offer the files with a watermarked logo on them, make sure to clarify)

– Prints, Canvas Wraps or Metal Art Prints (If you are wanting to order these from your photographer ask about additional costs)

– Coffee Table Wedding Albums or Wedding Books (The quality of these books vary GREATLY, ask for details about materials used and how many pages & photos are included)

– Web Gallery (Is it password protected and how long will the gallery be hosted)

– Video Slide Show of images (How long will the video be and how many photos will be included)


Tip 4:  Time and location matter

A large factor in wedding photography pricing for most photographers is the time and location of your event. If your wedding is planned for peak wedding season this could mean you will pay a premium price for your photographer (and possibly many other wedding services). To save, consider a time of year that’s not peak season. Another alternative is to hold your wedding on a weekday. Make sure to ask your photographer if they could discount the price for an off season weekday wedding, most will be more willing to discuss a discounted prices for an off season weekday wedding opposed to a Saturday in August. Additionally, the location of your wedding may also be a factor. Destination weddings are beautiful but also often carry a hefty price tag. Many photographers charge a travel fee that can include airfare, milage charges and/or hotel and meal expenses. Make sure if you are planning a destination wedding to get all of the details in advance to see if there are any additional travel costs.


So how much should I pay for a wedding photographer?

The answer is different for every bride and groom. You will find most professional wedding photographers with some experience typically charge anywhere from $2,000 – $8,000  with the average package being about 3-6k. Packages with Albums and prints may be significantly higher. To start I suggest you use the 10% of your wedding budget rule, make a list of whats important to you as an end product and start shopping and see what you find – if needed adjust your budget from there.

One word of advice..a wedding day may come and go but your photos will last a lifetime!!! Happy planning!

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