WEDDING PREP GUIDE

It is almost here! The day you have been dreaming of for long! There is so much planning that goes into making your wedding day the best it can be. Here are some helpful tips to make your day incredible!


BRIDAL PREP

• Have all your details together in one location/box ready to go when I arrive. By having everything in one spot, it saves time and energy trying to track everything down. (Shoes, invitations, keepsakes, jewelry, perfumes)

• RINGS; have ALL 3 rings together when I arrive. Its best to have them all cleaned prior to the wedding date so they look brand new! I can get these shots out of the way before the ceremony!

• It never hurts to have a “nice” hanger on hand for the dress shots! Nothing ruins a dress shot more than a cheap plastic hanger! If you do not have on handy…most time hotels have one I can borrow for a few minutes.

• Have your veil (If you have one) set aside and pressed, ready to go with your dress.

• If you need to steam any wrinkles out of your dress, please do so before I arrive. It’s best to have it hanging out the bag…away from any chaos…to let the fabric “Settle.”

• Do not be afraid to laugh with your besties while getting ready! Have a drink or two to relax, make sure to eat something! It’s going to be long and busy day…hungry tummies = grumpy faces!

• If you are having hair & make up done…be sure to ask your HMUA to be the second to last to go...this ensures your hair and make-up will be the freshest it can be! Use lots of hair spray and make up setting spray to make sure everything stays all day! Request extra bobby pins & some extra lipstick gloss to have just in case!

• If you need to bring bags with you after you leave the hotel/getting ready room…put a “runner” or MOH in charge of gathering items shortly before you leave. This is a HUGE time savor!

• Tidy up the getting ready area as best you can! Pick up any water bottles, solo cups, etc. Its easier to hide things behind doors and under beds...than to try and edit it out later!

• When its time to put the dress on…make sure whoever is helping you (mom, sister, friend..etc) knows how to button/tie/lace up..etc. Bring a crochet needle to button buttons!

• PRACTICE bustling your dress! OR make sure someone goes with you to the bridal appointment and is shown how to do it! This saves time and stress during the reception!

GROOM PREP

• Have all your details together in one location/box ready to go when I arrive. By having everything in one spot, it saves time and energy

trying to track everything down. (Shoes, bowties, keepsakes, jewelry, colognes, cufflinks, etc)

• If you do not know how to tie a bowtie or a tie…LEARN IT! Practice makes perfect…don’t be the guy on his wedding day youtubing how to’s on the morning of the wedding!

• Men, don’t cut your hair the day before. Instead, cut it the week before. Have a beard trim 1-2 days prior. Scrub and clean your fingernails.

• Make sure all your groomsmen and yourself have everything you need as soon as you pick up the tux rentals! There is nothing worse than opening your tux bag to find out they forgot to give you something...like a jacket or shoes!

• Tidy up the getting ready area as best you can! Pick up any water bottles, solo cups, etc. Its easier to hide things behind doors and under beds...than to try and edit it out later!

• Do not be afraid to laugh with your buds while getting ready! Have a drink or two to relax, make sure to eat something! It’s going to be a long and busy day…hungry tummies = grumpy faces!

• If you need to steam any wrinkles out of your tux or iron any shirts ,please do so before I arrive. It’s best to have it hanging out the bag…away from any chaos…to let the fabric “Settle.

THE FIRST LOOK/ COUPLE’S PORTRAITS

Scouting first look locations is key! If the first look takes place early in the afternoon…remember the sun will be brighter in the sky...so finding locations with shade is key. If you venue will not allow you to have the first look there…finding an alternative location close by is best. ( Driving time should be MAX 10 minutes away)

• The groom should arrive first at the first look location, while we get him set up…and scout for the perfect spot...the bride should arrive (hidden away or waiting in the car) Ideally with only the Maid of Honor/best man or parents. Having multiple people around can quickly become distracting and for lack of a better term...ruin the moment you have been waiting for.

• Ensure you will have your flowers before hand for portraits! The groom should have his boutonniere on, and you with your bouquet!

• TAKE IT ALL IN! This is the few private moments you will have together all day! Soak it all in, cry, laugh,and kiss each other! Once you have a few moments of mush..we will step in and begin some quick couples portraits.

• During couples portraits don’t be afraid to laugh together, kiss each other…taking it all in that your are getting married today! It is possible to do more than one location if they are in close proximity to each other..but we aware of driving times.

• If your are comfortable wearing your wedding bands before hand, please have them handy for pictures if we do not have time scheduled for after the ceremony.

• If time allows I will take you out again during golden hour/sunset time. And if we are feeling really good I will set up an epic night shot or two for you as well! I will be quick and efficiently to ensure you can get back to your guest promptly!


NOTE: If you are not having a first look...keep in mind cocktail hour time will be used for all portraits. It is requested 1.5-2 hours total to ensure you receive the best images possible.

FAMILY FORMALS

• Making a list of the MOST important people to have formals with is key. Go over it with your family/those in the pictures PRIOR to the wedding day. Everyone who needs to be present for family formals SHOULD BE THERE when its time to do so.

• Keep the list short if you can. Start with the biggest groups and work down to smaller ones. Keep in mind it takes about 3 minutes to set up each family formal (10 set ups = 30 minutes) We can always try to get additional portraits at the reception if needed.

• I do not know who your family members are. I do not know who Aunt Sally is that she does not like Uncle John…please let me know before the wedding day of any weird family dynamics ( divorced parents/step parents) AND any family deaths ( ie; dad, grandparents…etc)

• Designate a “RUNNER” typically the Maid of Honor or a good friend who will know who everyone is and be able to get them quickly for family portraits. This is person will be the best time saver and helper during this crazy time of day!

• IS this the first time in years grandma has all her kids together in one place?! Or the first time years all your college besties are together?! Let us know! We will do our best to grab that shot!

CEREMONY

• Go over any restrictions of your ceremony with your venue prior to the wedding day. Some churches or religious based venues have restrictions of where photographers can/cannot stand, if flash can be used etc. Its best to know these upfront so I can be best prepared for your ceremony time.

• TAKE YOUR TIME walking down that isle. Tell your bridesmaids to do the same. Look up while walking…not down at the floor...take a look at your soon to be husband standing there waiting for you!

• Don’t be afraid to touch each other during the ceremony… hold each others hands...look at each other…look at your parents (this is their moment too!) Standing too far apart can feel and look awkward.

• After the ceremony if you are having a receiving line...be aware this can take an additional 30+ minutes out of your cocktail hour when additional pictures are to be taking place. It certainly can accounted for….but it is something we need to have in the timeline beforehand.

• If you are not planning on a receiving line, the best course of action is to finding a secluded spot. Typically the event coordinator will wisk you away to a smaller room…while the crowd disperses and we prepare for family formals if we did not take these earlier in the day.

COCKTAIL HOUR & RECEPTION

• Have your “Runner” grab you some quick snacks and drink before family formals begin. Once they are all done its time to go mingle with your guests!

• Communication with your venue coordinator & DJ is key during this point in the day..to ensure everything continues to run smoothly. Ensure everyone is the same page in regards to timing of things ( first dances, dinner services, cake cutting)

• First dances are best done right after the entire bridal party is announced. ( First couples dance > Father/ Daughter > Mother/Son)

• If you are playing any games/special events are happening during the reception ( shoe game, dollar dance, table games, garter/bouquet toss etc.) Please have the DJ communicate them to me/my team to ensure we are ready.

• At some point I will be taking you outside for sunset/golden hour & night shots. Please know that this Is a limited window...and I will be quick!

ALL ABOUT THE EXTRAS

• DO NOT STRESS! Relax before your wedding day. Get good nights rest, have a drink beforehand if you need to or just simply start your day ready to be totally all about each other during your wedding day! Its about the two of you together...the rest is just details!

• Be sure to show your partner/bridal party my blog. If they see what I do, they will know what to expect!

• We don’t say “CHEESE”. Don’t stress about your “actual smile” We want to capture WHO you are at this stage of life. You are unique, and I am in the business of capturing authenticity!

• Be sure to empty your pockets and remove hair ties from wrists.

• Don’t obsess over Pinterest poses... I’m going to create a session that’s 100% unique to you. Trust me, we got this!

• Avoid too much tanning... Professional cameras enhance warm tones making some freshly tanned skin VERY warm, think oompa loompa.

• Ladies, don’t forget to bring along your lipstick or lip gloss for touch ups.

• I often like to incorporate one of your blankets or quilts, so bring one that you wouldn’t mind if it got a bit dirty. More than likely we will be sitting on the ground at some point.

• If you’re going to incorporate a pet into your session, its best to do those at the beginning of the portraits so that you can more easily coordinate a pet handler to take him or her with them soon after they’ve been photographed. Also bring treats or a toy your pet loves to get their attention!

• Don’t worry about carrying all your stuff! Most of the time I do have an assistant with me to help carry coats, bags, etc. Wear appropriate layers for the weather. We will hold onto coats, but bring it so you’re not freezing in winter/spring weather!

• Take into account driving time between locations! Long drives can cause stress and can be tricky to navigate! Choose 1-2 locations, and if possible have everything done in one spot!

• Communication between all vendors is key! Ensuring everyone is on the same page is the best way to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible on your wedding day!

AFTER THE WEDDING DAY

  • It will take me 8-12 weeks to cull, edit, upload images to the gallery, and deliver your images! I will try my best to give you sneak peeks of your images. If I’m shooting a couple of weddings and a couple of engagement sessions right around the time of your session, it may take me closer to the 12 week mark.


  • Once your images are the best they can be and ready for delivery, you will receive an email with a link to your online gallery! The link is shareable to friends and family, who are also able to order prints right within it! You can share your gallery with anyone who you send the link too. Keep in mind YOU are the only one allowed to download images from the gallery for print. A print release will be emailed to you as well as a list if suggested labs to for you to use.


  • After your receive your images, it will be time to start working on your album/ product ordering.While going through your gallery, feel free

    to favorite any images you just adore so I can be sure to include them into the album drafts. You are allowed 2 album drafts/changes

    before the final is ordered for print. We will go into more details about album ordering when the process begins!


    One Final Note

    I know I just gave you a lot to think about! PHEW! This guide was created to help make your wedding day experience something you will

    look back on and smile! At the end of the day, though, the location you choose and the outfits you select won’t matter nearly as much as the

    memories you make together. Your future marriage is the most important thing to me (after all I am your wedding day BFF!!) I want your

    wedding day to be a time for you to just be yourselves and enjoy it! So laugh a lot, soak it all in and I’ll take care of the rest!

    Cannot wait to work with you!


    - Dani Thorn

    Photographer, Dani T Photography

    315-573-8244

    DaniTPhotography@yahoo.com