This is it… The biggest day of your life so far. The formal attire has been pressed, the guests await with bated breath, and the clock ticks it’s anticipating rhythm while the hustle of the wedding party wash into the background. This is the moment that we step in and help write your story. The final touches of makeup, the boisterous laughter of friends embellishing the poignant moments that helped to shape your connection with one another.
Pre Ceremony Prep
Prior to our arrival, when you first arrive to your getting ready area (Bridal Suite/Groom’s Den), be sure to keep it as tidy as possible. We don’t want to have any distractions with clutter in your getting ready images, so having a clean background is essential in keeping the focus on the important aspects of the day.
Erika and Thomas arrive promptly arrive 2 hours before the ceremony to capture the moments that happen between you and your friends and family in addition to taking the details of your attire aside and create foundational landscapes for your story. This is where we like to have our Brides and Grooms set aside their jewelry, shoes, handkerchiefs, and really any minute detail that has a grandiose story. (A.K.A Grandpa’s watch, embroidered initials, Grandma’s veil, etc.
From there, Thomas will grab some establishing shots with the ceremony and/or reception site and some formal images with the groom and groomsmen, while Erika continues with the bridesmaids dressing the bride and all the finishing touches being applied. Once the bride is ready, Erika will gather all the ladies and capture a few formal images with the bridesmaids and bride. At this point, we’ll take the groom and bride aside for their first look, first touch, or simply a couple of images with the bride and groom reading letters from one another.
IF you are the type of couple that wants the intimate moment of just the two of you seeing each other, we’ll coordinate (prior to the wedding) a schedule that would include group family formals at this time. This helps the time from the wedding to the reception move more smoothly, and also helps to temper the nerves when in front of an audience. At this point, we’ll also ask that for the full wedding party to take their formal images as well.
Then we’ll tuck everyone away for the last hour to half hour prior to the ceremony, when most guests begin to arrive. Erika and Thomas will then bounce back and forth between the Bride and Groom waiting areas to the arriving guests capturing conversations, commiserations, and anticipations.
With the clock winding down on the last 10-15 minutes prior to the ceremony, Thomas will make his way down to the front of the altar (with the officiant’s permission), and wait just off the side of the aisle for the wedding party to walk down. He stays positioned there, until the bride makes her way down with her father or whomever is giving her away. While Thomas is doing all that, Erika is waiting with the bride and her father, capturing those last moments before he gives his little girl away.
When the moment comes for you to walk down the aisle, Erika follows you in to capture the train of your dress trailing down the aisle and a wide image of all of your guests looking at you. As the proceedings unfold and you pledge your lives to one another, Erika and Thomas discreetly move about to capture different angles and highlight the most important moments to give you two points of view. They then reconvene at the back of the room for your first kiss at the altar as a married couple and as your guests watch you both walk arm in arm, smiles brightening the day. Thomas stays behind to capture the rest of your bridal party leaving while Erika follows you two for those first moments after the ceremony where love, laughter, and tears of joy radiate in celebratory fashion for your new union.
IF you’re the traditional couple that wants the surprise moment of everyone seeing you walk down the aisle and your beau’s first time seeing you in your stunning gown at the altar, this is perfectly fine. Erika and I will ask to keep the immediate family, from Great Grand Parents to siblings, after the ceremony for approximately 30 minutes. Uncles, cousins and extended family members can head off to the cocktail hour and we can gather some group pictures with them on the dance floor at the reception. Once family formals have been completed, we’ll take the wedding party pictures at the altar, as well as a secondary location prior to the reception, and then finish with the couple of the hour rounding out the final 15-30 min of your formal image time.
*It’s most important that these times for formals have been allowed and given to your coordinator so that you have the best images of just the two of you, since it will most likely be the last time that you’ll be wearing a bridal dress and tux. Unless you’ve made arrangements with Thomas and Erika for a day after session.
For most couples, the Reception is looked forward to most because the celebration of your new union is shared equally between you, your family, wedding party and the rest of your guests. This is where you get to let loose and shake off the nerves from earlier in the day. It’s a fast paced event that 4 hours flies by in what feels like maybe one hour. Fret not, for Erika and Thomas thrive in this environment where their experience as event photographers heralded back to their times at college sorority and frat parties shine. Snapping the highlights of the first dance and toasts while dodging wild guests, is their specialty.
When the dance floor opens for the party to get started, Erika grabs your rings and some other mementos to create miniature landscapes emphasizing your marriage bling and making them look larger than life. Thomas pounces from table to table getting photos of all your guests who’ve arrived to celebrate with you for the day. While in between the cake cutting and other traditional elements of your wedding day, Erika and Thomas both cover the dance floor capturing all the people performing their show stopping moves.
As the evening winds down to it’s final minutes, Thomas and Erika prep for your final sendoff with guests lining the way to your new beginnings complete with shooting sparklers, floating lanterns, or whichever statement you’ve chosen as your last goodbye to all of your guests.