What To Expect

Hey – you’re getting married! Thanks again for booking me to shoot your wedding day. I hope this page is full of helpful wedding photography related info for you, but if any questions that you have aren’t answered here please don’t hesitate to emial, text, DM, me. The following info will be covered on this page…

  • We found our photographer, now what?

  • My engagement session is coming up, what should I know?

  • I need a wedding timeline and I need help

  • After the wedding, what now?

sunny-10.jpg

We found our photographer, now what?

I’m super excited to be a part of your wedding day – thanks for letting me be the third wheel! Once you have your contract and deposit taken care of, the next step is planning your engagement session. If you aren’t doing an engagement session, I don’t really need any information from you until wedding timeline specifics start getting nailed down. I have examples of wedding timelines, just keep scrolling.

sunny-27.jpg
sunny-45.jpg

My engagement session is coming up! What should I know?

When to do your engagement session:
The answer mostly depends on your schedule. If you want photos for your save-the-dates, we’ll need to get the session done at least a week or two before you plan on making the save-the-dates. If you’ll only be using the photos at your wedding, or don’t plan on using them for any reason besides having great, casual photos of the two of you, we can really do it anytime. Shooting within a few hours of sunset is ideal, but we can also do mornings if you’re a morning person. Contact me and we’ll get a date picked out.

Locations:
If there is a location that’s special to you two, let’s shoot there. If you just have a general location preference (field, urban, etc.) I can definitely take those preferences and run with them. If you have no preferences at all I’m happy to pick locations too. Engagement sessions generally need to happen in the Stillwater/Shawnee Okla area unless discussed otherwise. – my wedding schedule keeps me a bit too busy to be doing engagements out of town. The upside to that is that I know this area VERY well and am able to consistently produce great work here in many different types of locations and weather conditions.

How to dress:
Wear clothes that you love and feel confident in. If you can’t decide, feel free to bring a few different options. Most couples bring a dressy outfit and a more casual one, and change halfway through the shoot. Definitely bring shoes that you can walk off-road in if we’ll be hitting rural locations, since we’ll probably find ourselves walking on a trail or across a field. Keep weather in mind – if it’s going to get chilly that evening, bring something warm. You don’t want to be freezing during your engagement session.

sunny-64.jpg

Whoa, the wedding’s almost here! Can I get some timeline help?

The “first look”:
The first look, or seeing each other before the ceremony, is becoming super common. It’s really the single biggest variable in determining your timeline. I don’t have a preference for whether you do one or not – it’s totally up to you. Here are the most common reasons couples opt for a first look:

A. Some couples find it easier to relax during the ceremony if they’ve had a chance to see each other beforehand.

B. Some couples want more photos of themselves than can be shot during cocktail hour. You can expect between 25 and 40 portraits of you and your new spouse if you DON’T do a first look. Since I tend to lean towards the candid photo style side, that’s usually in-line with what most couples who hire me are looking for. However, if you think you want more bride & groom portraits than that, a first look is probably a good idea. I can also shoot bridals if you want some photos of just you in your dress but these are typically shot on a different date. If you choose not to do a first look I typically take all bride & groom portraits during the cocktail hour. For the cocktail hour to truly be an hour, we need to get family photos, bridal party photos, and bride & groom photos done in about 45-50 minutes. You’ll need about 5-10 minutes immediately post-ceremony get them rounded up for family photos, and another 5-10 minutes immediately pre-reception to line up and have the DJ get your names right before your grand entrance. If 25-40 bride & groom photos sounds about right to you, that’s not a problem. If you think you’ll want more than that, you’d probably need to either extend your cocktail hour (some people opt to go ahead and let guest eat following the ceremony) or do a first look. There’s often the possibility of sneaking you out of the reception for an additional 10 minutes of portrait time, but once the reception gets rolling that’s not always a given.

C. Some couples want to participate in their cocktail hour. When you do a first look we typically only need to do family photos after the ceremony, leaving you with 30-45 minute to spend at the cocktail hour or time to eat with your family and guests.

Again, I have no preference as to whether you do a first look or not. This is totally up to you as a couple.

Timeline templates:
Keep in mind that these are just templates. They often work very well and it’s nice to have a starting point, but if you want to shuffle anything around or shorten/lengthen specific items, that’s totally fine. Don’t forget that travel times need to be factored into these templates if there will be travel between any of the listed events.

If you are NOT doing a first look:

45 minutes: Prep photos with girls (hair, makeup, etc.)
30 minutes: Prep photos with guys
30 minutes: Formal photos with guys
30 minutes: Final prep photos with girls (touchups, zipping up dress etc.)
30 minutes: Formal photos of girls
30 minutes: Done with photos, photographer does photos of venue/details. Sometimes I do this before hair and makeup photos. It really just depends but this will make no difference on your timeline.
(Ceremony)
60 minutes: Ceremony ends, photos begin (family photos, bridal party, bride and groom)

If you ARE doing a first look:

45 minutes: Prep photos with girls (hair, makeup, etc.)
30 minutes: Prep photos with guys
30 minutes: Formal photos with guys
30 minutes: Final prep photos with girls (touchups, zipping up dress etc.)
30 minutes: Formal photos of girls
60 minutes: First look, photos of bride and groom, bridal party photos, first look with parents
30 minutes: Bridal party done with photos, photographer does site photos (again, i sometimes do these before hair and makeup but this will make no difference in the timeline)
(Ceremony)
45 minutes: Ceremony ends, photos begin (family photos and possibly a few more bride and groom photos)

Shot lists:
I’d love a list of the family photos you’d like taken post-ceremony. Line-by-line is great, so that there’s no confusion and I don’t miss anything. Something like this:

Bride, Groom, Bride’s immediate family and grandparents
Bride, Groom, Bride’s immediate family
Bride, Groom, Bride’s parents
Bride and mom
Bride, Groom, Groom’s immediate family and grandparents
Bride, Groom, Groom’s immediate family
…..

The above is just an example – it can be anything you want. Beyond that, if there’s anything that you think wouldn’t naturally occur to me as a wedding photographer to shoot, I’d love to know about it. For example, if your aunt will be wearing a necklace that’s been passed down through 5 generations and you’d like a photo of it, definitely let me know. However, you don’t need to ask me to shoot “The Kiss,” or your first dance, or photos of the bride and groom (for example). I’ve got that stuff by default and I’m there for all those moments.

sunny-55.jpg

Yaaaay we’re married! What happens now?

Receiving your finished photos:
YOU MADE IT! You got married and lived to tell the tale, and I’ve got photos to prove it. Expect your photos within a few weeks of your wedding. You’ll receive an email to a password-protected online gallery that houses all of your photos, and you can share it with whomever you’d like. You can pass the email around to anyone you’d like to for downloading. Sharing all of your wedding photos with your friends and family is as easy as downloading your photos high res and then uploading to any platform you choose. Feel free to share away! Email, facebook, twitter, instagram, whatever…pass those photos around but don’t forget to tag me.

The album design process:
Within a few weeks of receiving your finished photos, you’ll get a first draft of your album from me (if you purchased one). I will design the album from your wedding day and albums arrive 3-6 weeks after being ordered, and boy are they worth the wait!!