I'm sure you spent hours crafting your invitations, save-the-date or other stationary, gifts, favors. I'd love to have a pristine copy to photograph and to immortalize for you.
One of my favorite shot is a creative macro of the rings (wedding bands AND engagement rings). Make sure to let me know where they are during the getting-ready.
Get a make-up trial and hair trial before hand. Book your engagement session (or boudoir/dudoir session ) the same day. And prepare a romantic date that evening (or a girls-out night).
I love to have a clean shot of the dress by itself, without all the cardboard, pins, and stuffing from the store and with a nice/original hanger.
If you opt for 2 dresses (ceremony official and reception casual) first it's a great idea and second I'd love to know.
I know those fashion glittering stilettos are so kick-ass, still, bring some comfy backup option for getting-ready, portraits, and dancing.
Pack an emergency kit: spray deodorant, eyelashes glue, scissors, hairspray, pins, aspirin, hairbrush, tide-to-go pen, band-aids, nail polish, sewing kit, hand lotion, gum...
A wedding day is stressful, and sometimes during hot season. Have a second fresh shirt for the groom to change for the reception. He will thank you.
Floral boutonnieres are lovely, but after a day of hugging and congratulations they don't usually look very fresh. A modern alternative is the pocket square (dozens of color, fabric and folds) or more original (rosemary, ribbons, buttons, fabric flowers...).
You bought a brand new suit, make sure to detach the jacket vents (on the back).
If you have an exchange of special token of affection with your partner (love letters, can't-wait-to-marry-you gifts/cards...) or with your wedding party let me know to document it.
By the way who in your wedding party is in charge of following you with champagne/whisky stash?
Make sure the boys have some alcohol somewhere for the getting-ready. They usually get dressed in 5 min and wait for hours.
Creative Couple Portraits
Things get crazy, and late. If you want those incredible romantic couple shots make sure to pad your timeline to give us enough room to create those. I'm definitely here to help.
Some families have for tradition to use a usher to escort VIPs in the processional. That let their significant other walking behind. In my opinion, having the couple walking together gives better images, get rid of that usher or use someone from your wedding party to escort single VIPs. That will make them feel special.
Too often the officiant gathers their notes in a simple plastic binder and hold it in front of your face during the entire ceremony. That makes the images look cheap. Invest and gift him/her some nice folder.
Make sure you know any particular rules/restrictions the officiant or location/church may have regarding photography. I cannot go over those and images may be affected.
If you are planning to hire a videographer it is important to let me know about it in advance. Videography and Photography need to work as a team to avoid blocking each other or polluting each other's lights. Hiring amateur videographers is likely to endanger both videography and photography.
If it is doable to avoid having the camera guy in the pictures, it's much more difficult to avoid several camera guys.
Things go wrong. Always. Make sure to pad that timeline! It's your day you want to enjoy it and have some buffer zones. Some people are control freaks, they take care of everything (flowers, transportation, guests coordination...). Again it's your day, you should not be in charge of all the logistics. Delegate. That's why you have a best man and a maid of honor. People want to help.
Pack for the honeymoon before the wedding day.
If you use a limo think about saving a seat for the photographer, always nice and fun images.
The Ketubah Signing ceremony is an important part. Make sure you think about a nice place to have it.
Avoid having the sweatheart table or headtable too close from a wall or in front of fire alarm, exit sign, or telephone.
It's always best to have the toast speaker in a good location under enough light and visible by everyone (including me). A wireless mic is a great touch to avoid being stuck at the DJ booth or in front of the speakers.
Keep it magical. Keep it simple. You don't have to entertain with amazing moves. Just follow the slow beat and realize what just happened, together!
It's the 21st century, a groom can do the Parents Dance with his dad (bride/mother) if his mother (father) passed away.
It's in the caterer's interest to get me the prettiest plate possible, and it's best if I can shoot it at the beginning of the dinner, the end is a rush as we usually transition into toasts or dance.
If you go for cupcakes or ice cream you can still share a mini cake and feed each other.
The full tradition is fun and gets good pictures.
- Groom gets the garter (with his teeth?) from the bride- Bride throw bouquet to all female singles (pic winner+groom)
- Groom throw garter to all male singles (pic winner+bride)
- Male winner put the garter on female winner, the higher the better (women bid/scream to get the garter go down, men bid/scream to get the garter go up)
The busiest wedding periods in DC are Spring (May/June), and Falls (Sept/Oct). Consider a less popular month or on a Friday/Sunday to get a much easier access to venues and vendors. In my opinion Winter weddings are the best, zero competition, all the guests are available, and you get several discounts from vendors (me included :))