WEDDING NIKKI KAUZLARICH PHOTOGRAPHY
The Bridal Guide
WELCOME Hello bride to be and welcome! We are Joe & Nikki, husband and wife photography team. We are so excited that you have chosen us to capture one of the most important days in your lives. We absolutely love what we do, capturing the raw, emotional moments that make your wedding day your own story. We also know how much work planning a wedding is. You have vendors to coordinate, a guest list to draft, decorations to plan, and so much more. This is why we created this guide. We want your photography experience to be the most comfortable and easy process you have throughout your wedding. We hope you find this guide useful and informative. We are so excited to get to know you better and help you never forget this time of your life!
joe & nikki
Engagement Session 12 Wedding Day 20 Your Timeline 22 Timing Tips 26 Do’s & Dont’s 30 Details 35 Beauty 39 8
First Look 44 Ceremony 57 Family Formals 60 Romantic Portraits 62 Reception Tips 66 After I Do 69 Favorite Vendors 73 9
any time before your wedding day. It’s really
wedding collections because I truly believe
up to you. Just remember that because our
that the best images of you and your man
weekends can be booked with weddings,
can only come from a photographer who
it’s a good thing to get your session on the
knows you. It is difficult for photographer
calendar! Some weeknights work out well
and couple to connect on the wedding
too! Engagements sessions are normally
held in the evenings, depending on what
beforehand. The engagement session is our
time of year it is. Between 5-7pm during
time to strengthen our relationship through
the warmer months and 3-5pm during the
photography. I get to learn more about your
colder months. As you start to plan for your
story, how you interact as a couple, what
session you will need to start thinking about
you like, and who you are as individuals. You
location ideas. It’s amazing when couples
get to learn how quirky I can be, what types
choose a location that is sentimental to
of poses we'll do on your wedding day, and
them in some way. If for some reason you
how to be comfortable in front of a camera.
can’t think of anywhere specific, I can help
We are going to be spending nearly your
entire wedding day together and I'd like to
Do not shy away from crazy ideas! The more
know you as a person and friend so I can
creative the better!
give you the best images for you. Plus you get some awesome photos out of it, which can be used in so many ways! Your engagement session can be scheduled 12
Be sure to keep reading to find out more about outfit ideas and inspiration!
this is your time... I really want you to look back on your engagement photos and have no regrets, View this time as a opportunity to be creative, to showcase your personalities and have fun! Rent that amazing sparkly Badgley Mischka gown you’ve been dying to wear, buy those heels you can’t take your eyes off of. If you’re anything like me, you have pinterest boards filled with your style wish lists, photo ideas and much more. Don’t be afraid to try something different! Your engagement session is probably one of the few times in your life you will have professional photos taken, aside from your wedding day, so remember to make this time personal when making decisions on your location, outfits and any other details you decide on. Read on for more tips and ideas! 14
THE OUTFITS what to wear
It is always intimidating to have your picture taken
will not only get to see your make up done, but
if your’e not used to it, which can make preparing
you will get to see how it looks in your photos. If
for your engagement session a little overwhelm-
you decide to opt out of having someone do make
ing. Here are a few tips for outfits and accessories
up for you, and you dont tend to wear a lot of it,
that will help make your preparation a little more
make sure to add a bit more make up than your
everyday. Otherwise it will not show up too much in your images.
Don’t try to match. Pick outfits that coordinate in-
Bright and bold lipsticks are always awesome for
Don’t be afraid to acccessorize! This is one of the
Do either have your nails painted or no polish at
best ways to bring your own personal touch and
all. No chipped nails please!
add a pop to your photos! Gents: Don’t automatically throw out patterns as an op-
Do be picky with your shoes. Dirty sneakers, san-
tion. Most are ok, just remember to make sure its
dals with socks, or anything else you (or your fur-
not overwhelming or distracting.
ture wifey) may regret seeing in your photos later.
Don’t forget about bold, bright colors. Pair them
Do empty your pockets. You don’t want to have
with neuturals and it will really add a lot to your
keys, phones or anything bulky showing through
Do set up your make up trial for your eshoot. You
TIPS for your shoot
Most often couples like to have one casual, every-
later you arrive, the less time we have to shoot.
day outfit and than one outfit thats dressier. This
Clean the ring. I love to shoot a few ring shots. The
will give your shoot two totally different “looks”. If
cleaner the better!
you don’t want two outfits thats OK! Relax! You dont have to be a pro at this. Im going Don’t wear something that makes you so uncom-
to help you along the way and we will have fun!
fortable that’s all you can think about.
Enjoy this time together and make a date out of it. Plan a dinner afterwards or something else
BE ON TIME! The sun is only out for so long! The
APPROXIMATE START TIMES
During December through midapril you can plan on your session taking place around 2:30 or 3pm. However, the time changes midMarch which will change the start time to one hour later.
Summer engagaments, just like other seasons, take place two hours before sunset. You can plan around 6:30pm
The sunset time changes throughout the course of these two months and so our shooting times change as well. You can plan on approximately 3-5pm in April and 4-6pm in May.
The sunset time changes again through these three months. In September, you can plan on 4-5:30pm. October, plan on 3-5pm. And after the first week of Novermber, plan on 2-4pm.
WHAT’S YOUR One of my favorite things about today’s fashion culture is how easy it is to express your style. Before, fashion could be described by it’s decade, but now days, there is a little bit of everything mixed in! You can pick what you want to wear and even mix up styles based on your mood or what your doing. As much as I love this, I also know that it is easy to lose yourself and have no idea where you fit in. And when styling your engagement session, you may feel overwhelmed. This is normal! Especially with pinterest and other similar sites that make everything look so good. You may already have the perfect idea in mind for your enagagement session, However, I still suggest that you and your hubby to be try on your outfit(s) together to make sure you like the way it looks. I also suggest that if there is a look you really like but are nervous about doing it, try it anyways before the session. You may find that you are more comfortable in it than you thought and really want to go for it! I am always here to bounce ideas off of or just to answer any questions or concerns. All you have to do is ask! 18
ROMANTIC soft, flowy, sexy and of course sparkles are always a good thing
CLASSIC timeless, clean lines, pearls, olivia palermo and j.crew
FUN AND FLIRTY flirty, relaxed, natural- NOT slouchy, ill fitting or grundgy
URBAN HIPSTER rolled up skinny jeans, hats, high waisted shorts, chunky sweaters, flannel and booties
BOHO CHIC flowy, accessories, hipie influence, knuckle rings, flower crowns and braids
CITY CHIC carrie bradshaw, sleek and sexy
TIMELINE details 1:30-2:15
After the details have been photographed, it’s time for the bride to get into her dress! I usually ask the mother of the bride and all of the brides-maids be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get into her dress. This ensures that everyone will look nice in those images. After the bride is in her gown, she can put on her jewely, veil, shoes, etc and I will shoot
Every bride loves having those
first look 3:00
some additional bridal portraits!
beautiful shots of her bridal details. It’s an important part of the story and I love having some time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, etc. These shots allow me to get warmed up for the rest of the big day. I normally like to allow at least 45 minutes for this part of the day. While I’m shooting details, I;m also capturing some shots of the bride and her girls getting ready! If the groom is getting nearby, Joe will begin photographing the boys getting ready close to 40 min before the first look since it always takes them less time to get dressed!
This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day! I will ﬁ nd the perfect loca-tion for my couple’s First Look prior to the getting ready portion of the day! Don’t stress about that one bit! I will make sure the location is private and as secluded as possible.
Here’s the page that can be somewhat intimidating! The TIMELINE! The next two pages will outline an ideal wedding day working off of a 6pm ceremony timeframe. This ideal timeline is also based off of a wedding day that includes a first look and you can read more about that option a few pages over! Remember that all wedding days are different and your timeline may differ due to travel times and unique situations.
..... great shots of the guys and girls both separately AND together! After bridal party portraits are complete, the bride will go into hiding so that early guests don’t sneak a peek and the ushers will begin their duties.
After the bride and groom take their time with the First Look, I will begin taking a few romantic portraits of the two of them while the initial excitment is still present! I will ﬁ nd the locations for these shots as well! Remember, the LIGHT determines where we shoot and so I can’t decide on portrait
Now it’s time for Bridal Party shots!
locations until the day-of. As we
I buf-fer in extra time throughout
shoot these portraits, the bridal
the day just in case we have some
party can start making their way
unexpected things that hold us up!
to us for Bridal Party portraits!
One way to make sure we stay on
bride in hiding!
schedule for bridal party portraits is to have someone put the boutonnieres on the guys BEFORE they arrive for portraits.During Bridal Party portraits, Michael and I will make sure to take some.....
reception details 4:30-4:50
It’s time to get married! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes
family portraits 5:40-6:10
Family formals normally take
long. If your ceremony is longer
place immediately following the
than 30 minutes, we’ll make
ceremony. It’s best to save all of
adjustments to the timeline!
the family formals until after the
Cherish these moments! Your
ceremony because ALL family
ceremony will pass by so quickly!
members will be present at that time.
If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, I will use this time to shoot the reception decor UNTOUCHED. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, I recommend having a coucktail hour outside of the main reception area if possible so that I can grab some great shots of your reception before the night begins and gyests start
We’ll need about 30 minutes for family formals and I will send a questionnaire before the wedding where you can list out the shots
laying down purses and coats on
that you want. I recommend
shooting portraits outdoors if possible so that they resemble more natural family portraits, especially if the ceremony location is dark.
I include 8 hours of coverage so that I can be present for the main events of the reception
and about an hour of dancing! If you’re interested in having your exit photographed there are several options for this! You can either add additional coverage
7:00 is the BEST time of day for portraits in the late spring, summer and early fall! This is when the sun is glowy and golden. I love having a few extra
This is when the bridal party
or plan a faux exit with just
lines up for introductions and the
your bridal party! We have had
party begins! By this part of the
GREAT success with this and the
day, my timeline isn’t as strict. I
party never stops!
work off the natural light and so
Email me about this!
after the sun is set, my portrait time is over and I begin focusing on the reception events!
minutes with bride and groom to take a few “Just Married” portraits right after family formals!
APPROXIMATE TIMES Details and Prep: 1.5 hours First Look Portraits: 30-45 minutes Bridal Party: 30-40 minutes Family Formals: 30 minutes Extra portrait time: 20 minutes
portrait & timing tips for:
WINTER, SUMMER, FALL & SPRING
Winter weddings are gorgeous! However they do take additional planning simply because of the sunset time. The hard part about your wedding is the sun sets around 4:00pm.This means that all your portraits have to be done before then. This isn’t a problem if you’re having a late afternoon wedding. However, if you’re planning on a late evening wedding, you may have a bit of downtime from 4:00pm until the start of the ceremony. You will also need more coverage as well.
Fall weddings are beautiful. There are so many colors everywhere. The temperature is usually good! Your portrait time will vary depending on your wedding date. We’ll be chatting about this when we go over your timeline!
Summer weddings are awesome! I love that there is so much daylight. In some months, the light can last until 8:30pm. So, if you are having a summer wedding, you’ll need to plan on having a few minutes to slip out of the reception for a few sunset portraits.
Spring weddings are awesome because they are usually a great tempertaure. There are also flowers everywhere! Which always make beautiful backdrops. Portrait times will vary a bit are usually best between 5:30pm- 7:30pm. 27
DO PLAN WHERE YOU GET READY!
DON’T TRY TO SAVE MONEY BY
biggest difference in your pic-
Whether you choose to get ready
GETTING A SMALL HOTEL ROOM
at home, in a hotel room or at
FOR YOUR GIRLS AND YOURSELF.
-Matching hangers for your bride-
your venue, its important to keep
It always ends up stressful and
maids dresses (wooden ones look
it picture ready! Hotel rooms and
way to crowded. If you want
venue areas are usually clean
everyone in one room, invest in a
-Bringing extra details that bring
but its important to keep it or-
suite. You will not regret it!
out the essence of your wedding
ganized. Getting ready means
vision, extra flowers to put in pic-
clothes, make up and everything
DO PAMPER YOURSELF
tures, your perfume, your jewlery,
it takes to make you feel like a
Even if you are so good at doing
extra lace or fabric you used at
bride. It helps to have you and
hair and makeup, allow yourself
your reception. All the little things
your bridesmaids keep personal
to be pampered for your day by
really bring everything together.
items tucked away in one spot to
having hair and makeup done for
- Remember to mention any spe-
keep clutter out of pictures. If you
you. Not only is it less stressful but
cial details so I can capture them.
plan to get ready at home, keep
you feel great when your done!
Something of grandma’s, mom’s or
in mind rooms with less clutterand
DO REMEMBER DETAILS
someone else special.
larger windows are best.
The smallest details can make the
- Are you writing your own vows?
do’s AND don’ts
WHEN PLANNING YOUR DAY...
Handwrite them out to use in
Remember to plan for this. Weath-
enjoy getting ready and preparing
er you bring a pretty coat, a wrap,
for your walk down the asile.
a swaeter or my favorite, a fur DON’T AVOID OR PUT OFF HAVING
covering of some sort. If you plan
DO CONSIDER A CEREMONY EXIT
HAIR AND MAKE UP TRIALS DONE
ahead and prepare it wont be so
Ceremony exits are awesome
This time is so essential to you
bad! If you dont prepare it really
picture oportunities! Either with
perfecting the way you want to
shows in pictures and can make
petals, ribbons, bubbles, or any-
look on your wedding day. You
our portrait time miserable.
thing else you could creatively
want to avoid as much stress as
come up with. They are also a
possible the day off.
DO HIRE OR ASK SOMEONE TO
great alternative to reception
DON’T FORGET IT WILL BE COLD
YOU TO COORDINATE THE DAY OF
exits if you have a late wedding or
FOR PORTRAITS IF YOU HAVE A
It may be hard letting go of con-
if you don’t plan on me staying till
FALL OR WINTER WEDDING
trol on one of the most import-
Many brides want the beautiful
ant days of your life but allowing
fall colors, or even a winter setting
someone else to take the reigns
DO MAKE TIME TO CHAT WITH ME
but sometimes forget portraits will
the day of. This makes a huge
ABOUT YOUR DAY
still be outside if we can help it!
difference and really allows you to
I can only know what is important
to you if you tell me. Meeting and
want to use that time. Are the
sometimes, your beloved family
chatting over details, how the day
getting ready pictures important?
and friends like to get in the way
will flow and important aspects of
Do you want me with you and your
of me trying to capture all those
your day helps me capture your
maids for the whole time or just
special ceremony moments...ahem
day in more detail. I am aware of
when you put on your dress? Are
Uncle Bill standing in the aisle with
the special things that make your
you having an exit at the end of
an ipad. Having friends and family
the reception? These are just a
upload their pictures to your ins-
few questions that help figure this
tagram hashtag is awesome, and I
DONâ€™T FORGET TO MENTION ANY
out. This is deinitely something we
will always do my best to capture
SPECIAL MOMENTS YOU WANT
can work out together!
images without people in them.
But in an uplugged wedding, you
If you want photographs taken of
DO SEND ME YOUR DAY OF TIME-
will always have that chance
your cocktail hour, out of town or
of having an uncle Bill stand up
other specialguests, or if you have
It is so important for me to see
during your first kiss as man and
something special happening
your timeline at least 2 weeks be-
during your ceremony or recep-
fore the wedding. There are times
tion, these are things I do need to
when I have gotten a timeline a
know ahead of time.
day before and had ma jor issues. Donâ€™t let timelines and schedules
DO REMEMBER TO PLAN OUT
scare you. I am here to help!
YOUR DAY FROM A PHOTOGRAPHY STANDPOINT
DO CONSIDER AN UNPLUGGED
You have me for 8 hours on your
wedding day, unless you decide
I know, its hard to imagine ask-
you want to add extra hours. You
ing people to put down their
will need to figure out how you
phones, ipads and cameras, but
let the day begin!
This portion of the wedding guide really sets the stage for the entire wedding day. The next few pages will share tips and tricks that will ensure a seamless morning of bridal preparation and beautiful portraits!
GETTING READY Its the morning of your wedding!
plays a huge rold in your life? Will you
Hopefully all the details are taken
and your groom be exchanging gifts
care of you’re relaxing with your best
during this time? If so, who would you
friends while your hair is being done.
like to deliver them? Are there certain
If certain items haven’t been checked
women in your life that would appre-
off the to do list, it’s time to hand
ciate seeing you get into your gown?
them over to someone else. Dele-
Some brides want very few people
gation is a key part of a stress free
around for this moment. Other brides
wedding day. I know its hard to hand
love having aunts and grandmas
over the decorating duties and all of
present! It’s totally up to you! A few
the last minute things that need to be
other things to consider... as you get
done but it really is important to relax
ready to pt your dress on, refrain from
the orning of your wedding. The rest
putting any jewelry on. I love shooting
of the day is going to be fast pased
all of those final steps when you’re in
and filled with a lot of emotions! Take
your gown! Keep reading along for
advantage of this down time! There
more tips to help you prepare!
are a few things to consider about the “getting ready” portion of the day. Do you want to share a “first look” with your dad or any other man that 34
DETAILS Your Pinterest board is filled with images of the most beauitful tablescapes, ceremony backdrops, special made signs, grogeous flower bouquets with a piece of momâ€™s dress tied around the stems, grandmas pearls, the names you sew into your wedding dress, the perfect favors to wow your guests, and the gifts you just have to get your maids. All these perfect pictures make up the details of your wedding day. You spend countless hours planning and coordinating to make these details come to life. I love this having time to photograph these special details in a way that shows the style of your wedding day. I ask brides to gather any details they have before I arrive so I can walk in, say hi, give you a big hug and then begin photographing all those special items. Please know, I will take GOOD care of the dress!
What to Gather 36
DRESS VEIL/HAIR PIECES RINGS (ALL THREE) SHOES JEWELRY
PERFUME INVITATIONS YOUR SOMETHING BARROWED & BLUE BOUQUET & BOUTS
girls are the prettiest
- AUDREY HEPBURN
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and the day you want to feel and look your absolute best! Not only will you of course will look stunning, but you will also be radiant. You will be glowing from all the joy and love you feel inside and everyone will see it. I always encourage my brides to have their hair and make up done by a professional the day of their wedding. This allows you to relax, enjoy your girls and be as pampered as you wish. There are so many talented hair and make up artists in our area and two of my favorites give their favorite tips on how to prep for the big day!
MAKE UP Tip #1: Prepping the face
day and want to use fake
The cooled cream can help
In order for makeup to wear
lashes, buy the strip lashes-
reduce puffiness and feels
well, you need a good base
-these are much easier to
refreshing under the eyes
to work with. Before applying
apply than individual lashes.
after a sleepless night. Next,
makeup, it is so important to
My go-to strip lashes for a
you want to use a conceal-
prep your face beforehand.
more natural look are the Ar-
er that is a pink-toned color
Cleanse, exfoliate, moistur-
dell’s #110 or #135. Remem-
that will help counter-act the
ize. Applying makeup on a
ber to practice putting them
dark purple/blue tones from
clean, smooth, and moistur-
on before your wedding day.
your dark circles. Don’t put
ized surface will help reduce
Youtube is a great source to
too much concealer under
the look of your makeup
show you step-by-step ways
the eye area to avoid the
looking too “cakey” and dry.
on how to apply fake lashes.
product from creasing into
To avoid breakouts, never
fine lines of your skin. Last,
use new products on your
Tip #3: Reducing the appear-
set your concealer with a
face a few days before your
ance of dark circles
little bit of powder to ensure
wedding. Instead, stick with
A lot of times, I have brides
the product doesn’t slide.
products you know work well
who don’t get enough sleep
Bye bye dark circles!
for your skin and keep your
the night before their wed-
skincare regiment simple.
ding due to all the excitement, jitters, and happy an-
Tip#2: Opt for fake lashes
ticipation for their wedding
I always encourage my
day, which is quite under-
brides to try fake lashes
standable!! But that lack of
because they really do make
sleep can also cause un-
such a difference in photo-
wanted dark circles around
graphs and they really do
the eyes. Have no fear, there
make your eyes POP! Listen
is a solution to this problem
ladies, fake lashes can and
do look natural! The trick is finding lashes that are the
Dab a little bit of your favor-
right shape and length that
ite eye cream underneath
fit well with your eye shape.
your eye area to prep the skin. I usually like to put my
If you’re doing your own
eye creams in the refrig-
makeup on your wedding
erator to keep them cool.
Jackie Davidson Beauty by Jackie
HAIR Weeks Before:
Ashley Chin Glam Bridal Beauty
Haircut: Get your hair
trimmed at LEAST 2 weeks
When you shower the day of
prior to your wedding. Fresh-
your Wedding, clip your hair
ly cut hair is difficult to curl!
up and put a shower cap
Color: Highlights and/or color
over your hair. The last thing
should be done within the
you want to do is re-wet
week of your wedding to en-
your clean dry hair. Try to
sure complete root coverage
avoid using a hair tie at ALL
between the time you blow dry and getting your hair
1-3 Months Before:
styled - hair ties leave hard
Choose your style: Choose
In general, the best hair for
creases in your hair that are
based on your dress style,
Bridal Styling is the “sec-
super hard to get out! If you
face shape, length of hair,
ond-day” hair. Shampoo,
MUST clip up hair aside from
jewelry, veil placement, and
condition, and blow dry your
showering, do a low bun in
any hair accessories you
hair the night before your
the back, secured by a clip
would like to use.
wedding. After washing,
or bobby pin..
Schedule your trial run: Take
blow dry completely. This
your veil and any hair acces-
means leave no hair left be-
Disclaimer: Always always
sories. Expect extra time for
hind. All hair must be dried,
always ask your Bridal Hair
your stylist to achieve your
with a blow dryer. This cre-
Stylist how they would like
results, more than on Wed-
ates the texture needed for
your hair to be prepped. This
ding Day. You will be consult-
styling. Sleeping on wet hair
may slightly vary based on
ing, making any changes,
is a no-no, as it will make
the desired hairstyle. Curly
etc. It’s a trial run. Be honest
your stylists job harder. No
vs. straight, volume vs. tight
with your stylist if there is
products with the blow dry,
may change the way they
anything that you would like
except maybe a light root
want your hair prepped to
differently. If she is a good
boosting spray. NO oils, NO
achieve best results.
stylist, she will NOT get hurt
hairspray. Your stylist will
Follow these Bridal Hair Prep
feelings if you tell her what
have all the products needed
Tips & you will have a hap-
you do not like. As stylists, we
to create your Look. Use a
py Stylist which means your
can change anything, only
paddle brush & brush hair
hair will be FABULOUS!
if we know what you want
away from your roots as you
blow dry to create volume and loosen any curl.
first look EXPLAINED
I absolutely love “First Looks.” I may even get overly
magical moments of a ceremony. But I don’t believe the
excited when you mention you want one. I am aware
magic is lost with a “First Look,” With the pressure off,
that there are those who get cought up in how “un-
both bride and groom can enjoy every aspect of their
traditional” it is and they immediately write it off. It’s
amazing day. The nerves are gone and true emotions
easy to understand the hesitation when it comes to
are free to be expressed. So if I were to sum up what
choosing between seeing eachother at the alter and
I just wrote... basically, grooms normally become
a “First Look.” Every bride wants to feel special, she
incredibly nervous on wedding days... even if they seem
wants to remember that moment when her groom see’s
cool and collected. For most grooms, the nerves set
her, she wants a REACTION.
in before they see their bride because when they see
One of the biggest lies brides and grooms believe is
her, everything because very real. So when the nerves
that if they have a first look, they will not have that
start creeping up, instead of keeping the groom in a
special moment again at the altar. That is not true! In
secluded space until his time to enter the ceremony,
photographing many weddings, I have actually seen
what if you took him to a private place... no people, no
more emotion and more reactions from both bride
on-lookers, no distractions... and you let his beautiful
and groom at the alter when they choose to do a
bride, the love of his life, walk up to him and gently tap
“First Look.” The moments prior to the ceremony are
his shoulder. He would turn around and finally get his
of course exciting, but can also be filled with anxiety,
first look at his stunning bride and not only would he
especially for the groom. He has been sitting in a room,
get to see her... he could embrace her... cry with her...
for what seems like forever, waiting to be called to his
ker her... and enjoy that moment for as long as they
place at the alter where he walks into a room filled with
wanted. As she shows him her dress, twirls a few times
people watching him, who have an expectation for
and then asks him what he thinks... his nerves start to
him to react. Talk about pressure! This moment, your
diminish. After all, the one who can calm him down the
groom, waiting for you, in front of all your family and
most is standing right infront of him.
friends, to take you as his wife, is of course one of the
Because they aren’t on a time crunch, they can casually
move into their romantic portratis. No one is around,
is stunning. He watches her walk towards him, towards
the coordinator isn’t annoucing how many minutes you
their future and the closer she gets, the bigger he
have left, and there is no pressure. It’s just the two of
them and their photographer, capturing the excitement
Please understand, you are not required to do a first
and the joy of their wedding day. This is their time to
look. All this is said, not to place pressure on you. I’ve
be together and to be alone. When does that happen
seen the benefits of a first look and so I only share this
on a wedding day? Without a first look it doesn’t. After
because I want the best for my couples. It is definitely
their romantic portraits are done, they meet up with
ok if you choose not to share a first look.
their best friends. The bridal party joins them and the
side note : Bride’s, if you have never seen your man
bridal party portraits begin and they’re fun. They’re fun because there is time to make them fun. It’s wonderful!
cry or get emotional, you can’t expect him to be
overly emotional on your wedding day. Some guys
After the portraits are done, the girls and guys seperate
just embrace their brides and never cry, and thats OK.
and prepare for the ceremony. The groom takes his
Some guys show very little emotion when his bride is
place at the alter and clasps his hands, which aren’t
coming down the aisle and thats ok too. Just enjoy this
clasped out of nervousness but excitement. He is about
amazing day and try not to put any expectations on
to see his bride, his best friend, his sweetheart and she
from the brides
LUIS & BECKY “I absolutely LOVED doing a first look. At first, I was worried about breaking tradition or ruining the beautiful moment of him seeing me for the first time walking down the isle. However, I know that I tend to easily get stressed. And when I get stressed, he calms me down the best. I knew my day would be better off and more enjoyable if I saw him beforehand. We made the decision to take pictures before the ceremony, and it was one of the sweetest moments that I remember from that day. He was standing with his back to me and covering his eyes and I surprised him! We both cried (don’t tell him I told you) and I knew I made the right decision. I was more at peace and when I walked down the isle, it was like it was the first time we saw each other all over again! We both cried tears of happiness and it was it’s own beautiful moment like I had hoped.” - Becky
BRETT & MANDY “I hadn’t thought much about a “first look” prior to my actual wedding day. I decided to do it based on several people’s recommendations and seeing other people’s photographs from their “first look”. I had been SO stressed and nervous all morning during wedding prep. Not because I was nervous to marry Brett; but because I was nervous about the day going perfectly and as planned. When I saw Brett standing with his back toward me as I walked down a hill to meet him, I had butterflies reminiscent of when we first met. I turned him around and as we shared that private moment of excitement and love, I felt a wave of calm and happiness come over me like I have never felt before. My nerves were gone and that moment felt like the true beginning of the rest of our lives together. When I go back and look at those images, I am filled with those same sacred emotions and am so grateful that they were captured on film thanks to Nikki.” - Mandy
JON & TARA “Making decisions for the wedding was definitely a challenge. One of the hardest decisions for me was deciding between a first look and a traditional look. It was extremely difficult for me to choose, I was starting to drive myself crazy over it! My fiancé didn’t have a preference, so it was ultimately up to me. Deep down I wanted to do a first look but was so worried that it would take away from the experience of walking down the aisle. I will say I couldn’t be happier choosing to do a first look. The first look was very special, and it didn’t take away from the ceremony one bit. The ceremony was every bit just as special- even more than I imagined. Not only was the first look an amazing experience, but some of our favorite photos are from it. We spent a lot more time than I expected taking family portraits after the ceremony, so I would say in my situation we saved a lot of time doing a first look. After family portraits were completed, we were ready to mingle with family and friends during happy hour and relax! Whatever you decide to choose for your wedding, it will be amazing either way! For me, a first look was perfect and worked for our wedding.” -Tara
CHAD & JENNIFER “As we were making plans for our wedding day, Nikki was an enormous help in guiding us in planning for which shots we’d want captured on our big day and during that process, she suggested a “first look”. We could not be happier that we had that special moment, just the two of us, to connect before the ceremony. It truly was a magical moment when I snuck up behind my now-husband, tapped him on the shoulder, and he saw me for the first time in my wedding dress, excited to marry him and I got to see the look on his face reflecting those same feelings. The moment itself was so special for the two of us, and to this day, we love having our “first look” photos to look back on. We feel so fortunate that Nikki was there to capture the first time we saw each other on our wedding day and those memories and photos are priceless.” -Jennifer 51
DEV & SHELBY There are a couple of reasons Dev and I really loved doing the first look- for me, I enjoyed having that intimate time with each other before all of the crazy movement of the day. Weddings go by so quickly, and I loved be able to have a relaxed session with just he and I before everyoneâ€™s eyes were on us. It also gave me a chance to get some good pictures before my make up was ruined during the tears of the ceremony! Dev loved that it gave us more time to share with our family afterward. He fully believes that we had a better turn out on the dance floor because we didnâ€™t make our guests wait for an hour after the ceremony to get the party started! - Shelby
the CEREMONY Here is it! The moment everyone has been waiting for. The music is playing and the guests have been seated. Ushers make their way to the back of the church and the coordinator is lining up the bridesmaids while giving musicians a 5 minute warning. The bride is about to walk down the aisle to the love of her life... and if she’s like most girls, she’s dreamed about this moment for a long time! Vows will be shared and promises will be made... this is what it’s all about!! In a world full of wedding blogs, Pinterest and bridal magazines, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and consumed by the “prettiness” of the event. While details do matter and planning is necessary, it’s important to never lose sight of the real purpose of this amazing day!
Ceremony lighting is really important. If you get married outdoors at 12pm, the lighting will be extremely harsh and not only will there be harsh lines of light on your faces, you will also be squinting. I suggest planning and outdoor ceremony 2 hours before sunset if you are having a FIRST LOOK. If you are not interested in sharing a first look, then I would suggest having your ceremony 3 hours before sunset to ensure that you will have plenty of time for all your portraits afterwords. The lower sun, the more romantic the lighting. If you are having an indoor ceremony, it is always best to have EVEN lighting at the altar. If there are two spotlights on the bride and groom, I will not be able to expose the rest of the the bridal party. It is better to have soft even light across the whole altar. 58
order of service
I have seen so many couples do so many AMAZING things during their ceremony. I’ve photographed couples washing each other’s feet, symbolizing that they want to serve each other for the rest of their life. Some couples share in communion while some light a unity candle. I’ve seen sand ceremonies, rope ceremonies and military ceremonies. The options are limitless! As you plan your ceremony, make sure you design it to be exactly what the two of you envision it to be. This is your day! If you have the freedom to be creative, then by all means, be creative!
The best advice I have for the program making process is to remember that not EVERY guest needs a program. Most families only take one. Also, before ordering your programs, have SEVERAL people check it for spelling and grammatical errors. Programs and the ceremony decor is something that the bride can plan in advance but then deligate the actual job of setting it up to a friend or coordinator. The last thing a bride needs to be doing the morning of her wedding is running around setting up floral arrangements! Which leads me to my next column!
Hiring either a full event planner or just day-of coordinator is SO important! Brides realize very quickly that if they do not have someone in charge of the coordination of the day, that responsibilty will automatically fall on the mother of the bride, the photographer OR the BRIDE! When a photographer is in charge of the timeline and the coordination of the day, the images will suffer. And as the bride, you do not need to be worrying about the details while you should be relaxing and getting ready!
sample list for: FAMILY FORMALS We absolutely love meeting our couple’s families on the wedding day! Family formals are normally our first interaction with them so we love to have a game plan for this part of the day. One month before the wedding, you will receive a questionaire from us that will ask you to list out the family formals you want us to capture. Here is a sample family formal list to help you start preparing what shots you need. We do have to limit the family formal time in order to ensure that we have plenty of daylight for your romantic portraits. However, any large family group shots that we don’t accomplish during family formals, we can be sure to capture at the reception! B&G with bride’s immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents, nieces, nephews) B&G with bride’s parents B&G with bride’s siblings Bride with her parents Bride with mom, bride with dad Bride with bride’s grandparents B&G with grooms immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents, nieces, nephews) B&G with groom’s parents B&G with groom’s siblings Groom with his parents Groom with mom, groom with dad B&G with groom’s grandparents B&G with both bride and groom’s parents
romantic PORTRAITS We understand that all wedding images are important, but the real favorites are from our time with the bride and groom. These romantic portraits of just the two of you will be the images that you frame beside your bed or over your mantle and they will also be the images that will fill your album for generations to come. These images are always my favorite not only because of their beauty but because this is such a sweet portion of the day. For this breif moment in time, you will be alone with your groom on your wedding day. You will have a chance to love on each other and really connect before the craziness begins. Romantic portraits are normally done before the ceremony (after the first look) and then I love shooting just a few “just married” portraits after the ceremony as well. There is always such giddiness and joy after you have said I do! This is also when the light is low and golden. It’s such a romantic time for bride and groom portraits. If you’re not interested in a first look, we will make sure to include a lot of time after the ceremony for these portraits!
reception TIPS The fun has begun! It’s time to relax, dance and celebrate! Your reception should be a blast. The last thing you need to be worrying about is your timeline. Your coordinator and DJ should take care of making sure that everything stays on schedule so that you can enjoy your night. Here are some helpful tips that will help your reception flow smoothly. - Take your guests into consideration when planning your timeline. If you have a lot of elderly guests that will not be staying until the very end, make sure you schedule the cake cutting at a relatively early time so that they can be a part of it. Grandma’s love seeing this sweet tradition! -Keep it moving! Chat with your coordinator about how you can plan your reception in a way that will keep guests engaged and moving all night. - Make it your own. If you want to have a special dance with your grandparents, do it. Make your reception a reflection of who you are and don’t feel tied to traditions. Also, make sure you give your DJ or Band a “Do not play” list if there are some songs you really don’t want to hear during your reception. - Don’t get too caught up in the formalities and the details. Sure, details are pretty and fun to photograph, but they can steal the joy of the day if you get too caught up in them. Plan your centerpieces, welcome table, etc. well before the wedding date and teach your coordinator or family friend how to set them up so that you aren’t even thinking about those things the day of! - If you haven’t purchased enough time for your photography to last until the exit, that’s ok! We have several options. I recommend planning your timeline so that you can have at least one hour of dancing photographed. They guest dance during the first hour will still be dancing in the third. One hour of dancing will be enough time to really capture the joy of your reception! - Exits! If your coverage ends before you exit, you have the option of planning a fauz exit with your bridal party. this is more common than you may think. Instead of saving your exit until the very end, you can plan a fauz exit with just the members of your bridal party and a few family members instead. this allows us to have more control over these shots and the party never has to stop. In most cases, no one even notices that the bride and groom are missing for a few minutes. Another option is to have a special exit planned for the ceremony. Ribbon wands, confetti or even bubbles make beautiful pictures!
One of the most comon thoughts after a wedding is; “I can’t wait to see the pictures!” Though it does take a few weeks for me to send them, I try to get them into your hands as quickly as possible! Here are a few common questions:
a week after the order is placed. If you order any prints off your custom site, this is done
Will I get to see a preview? Yes! I try very hard to get a preview up 1-2 weeks after your wedding day. This preview goes up on my blog and the link is sent to you via email.
How do I order my album? No matter which album you choose, the leather bound, the linen layflat or curl pages coffee table book, the process is the same. I ask you to choose 50-75 of your favorite photographs from the wedding. I know with so many photographs, this can be daunting and I have explained this a little further in pages following. Once you have favorited your images through pixiset, I will go through and create a draft of your album. I will then send you the draft to review and after I will make any changes you asked requested. You will have one final check before it goes to printing. Once the album is ordered, it will take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
When will I get my pictures? My turn around time is usually about 6-8 weeks for you to have your online gallery sent to you. How many pictures do I get? You will receive between 600-800 edited images. Your final delivery number depends on how many hours I will be there, how many details you have, how long the ceremony was, how much time we have for portraits and how much you do during your reception. What is an online gallery? I use an online gallery called Pixieset. It is pretty much a pinterest board for your photos. It is your own custom website, with your own link to share with family and friends. This site also allows you to save favorites for your album, print directly from the site and download original size images right onto your computer with a download code. This website is up for one year and than backed up by their servers. What else will I get? If you chose a collection with an album, this is a sepereate process we go through together. If you decided to add any additional products or prints, this will about
directly through the site and should arrive in only a few days.
Can I print my images myself? Yes, though I highly recommend using my lab, you do have reproduction copy right. This means you may have them printed somewhere else. I do offer my prints at a very low cost because of the value in quality I place on high end images. I spend hours editing your pictures to my exact style and color desire, many labs will not print true to what I edited. If you do decide to print elsewhere, I recommend shutterfly. They do a pretty comaprable job of printing color. Please avoid Walmart, CVS, Target, Walgreens and any other locations such as those. If you have any other questions, dont hesitate to ask!
Make up/Hair Beauty by Jackie website: www.beauty-by-jackie.com Phone: 301.910.1010
DJ Shew-sical Website: http://www.shew-sical.com Phone: 888. 743.9742
Glam Bridal Beauty Website: www.glambridalbeauty.com Phone: 301.471.0048
Videographer Shaking Hands Productions Website: www.shakinghandspro.com Phone: 434.258.1212
Florist Floral Bloom & Deisgns (also does rentals & planning) Website: www.floralandbloom.com Phone: 240.481.1588 Blossom & Basket Boutique Website: www.blossomandbasketboutique. com Phone: 301.829.8300 Vintage Floral Design website: www.vintagefloraldsgn.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Custom Save the Dates and Invitations Ribon & Ink Website: www.ribbonandink.com Bakery Fresh Bakes Website: www.fresh-bakes.com Phone: 240.899.1757 Event Planner Lovebug Weddings Website: www.lovebuggsevents.com Phone: 240.882.9795 A Sweet Affair Weddings & Events Website: www.asweetaffairevents.com Phone: 410.913.173
Thirty1films Website: www.thirty1films.com Email: email@example.com Bridesmaids Dresses Little Barrowed Dress Website: www.littleborroweddress.com Vintage Rentals Rusty Love Vintage Rentals Website: http://RustyLovevintagerentals. com Phone: 443.388.0886 Rent the Runway https://www.renttherunway.com/rtr_home Local DIY/Vintage shops Sweet Clover Website: http://sweetcloverbarn.com The Old Lucketts Store Website: www.luckettstore.com Chartreuse & Co. Website: www.chartreuseandco.com The Vintage Barn Website: http://theoldpaintedbarn.blogspot. com/