Months after Melissa and Tyler's wedding day they threw their dream reception. We went back to the church where they tied the knot in White Bear Lake to reminisce on their special day. Friends and family gathered to celebrate at Dellwood Country Club where they were guided by a bagpiper for their grand entrance. It was so badass!
Dominic and Ken met in Laguna Beach where they lived and got engaged. They now have made a home together in Minneapolis where they started their wedding day. Friends and family gathered at FIVE Event Center to witness the two of them tie the knot and celebrate their magnetic love. Mi Mi Design created a beautiful day for everyone that was commemorated over a casual dinner by Chowgirls. The entire day we kept thinking how perfect everything was for Ken and Dominic. Cheers to the newlyweds!
Most of the questions I receive are related to how photography and their wedding timeline can work best together. Getting all the photo events and locations that the couple want into the schedule is important to do before the wedding day. That way the family and the couple are not left wondering where to be or what to do. They can relax more and enjoy the celebration.
Clients ask me what I recommend most.
I think it is a great investment to have a wedding planner. This takes so much stress off the couple on their wedding day and makes everything more enjoyable.
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is about wedding day coverage. For some couples full day coverage is the way to go and for others hourly coverage will depend on what kind of wedding they are having. Every wedding is different and each couple should consider what is important to them when booking a photographer. With full day coverage you will get your photographer from the start of your day to the end of the day with no time or coverage restrictions. With hourly you will have to figure out what parts of your day you will want your photographer to document. Deciding which way to go will depend on budget and the type of wedding you are having!
Ryan is such a gentleman and Christie is extremely down to earth. The Minnetonka Apple Orchard was the most perfect venue to compliment their personalities and mutual love for the outdoors. Christie and Ryan are high school sweethearts and their wedding couldn't have been a better celebration of their forever love!
Amelia and Tom's wedding was held at the Summit Manor Reception House in Saint Paul, MN. It was the same location that Tom's parents had their wedding and in the neighborhood where Tom grew up. There is nothing I love more than the perfect venue and meaning behind the details that go into a wedding day that fit perfectly for the couple. Amelia and Tom kept the tradition going in the family and kicked it off with an amazing celebration of their love!
Chrissi and Eric had their second round of engagement photos with me at the Mill City Farmers Market. There was nothing better than getting up early to grab coffee with these two and photographing their happiness together. Can't wait for their wedding day in October!
My biggest push for clients is to have the engagement session. That way they get comfortable with their photographer and the camera prior to the big day and all the added pressure. Also, having a day of coordinator so that the bride and groom do not have to worry about details and scheduling that day is super helpful to have!
There are a million ways to go about things when planning your wedding and everyone picks what best expresses them as a couple, so giving advice is not something I do often. Getting photographs that can be a lasting heirloom of your wedding day is my sole area of expertise though. So, over the years, I've come up with lots of little ways to help make that happen. The two biggest are time and light - time with the couple for portraits and access to beautiful light in a lovely location. Before the wedding, I work with couples to find these locations, which are usually around their venue, and to find the moments in their day's timeline.
Finding a photographer and vendors that you connect with helps create the energy you are looking to have on the wedding day. Nothing is worse than the couple running around trying to solve problems on the day of. If they have selected vendors they can trust and have everything nailed down ahead of time then couple can truly enjoy the day and stay on track with the itinerary. That also goes along with sitting down and finalizing the details with your vendors. Communication and organization is key to allow everything to run smoothly on your wedding day!
I try to encourage couples to take whatever the day brings and make the most of it. The hard work is finished. Now, sit back and experience everything. Rain or shine, hot or cold, the good and bad. It'll fly by so enjoy it! I'll be there to document it.
One big piece of advice I would give to clients is to let the day happen as it happens! Schedules and timelines are SO helpful and important but at the same time, don't get too worried if you fall behind schedule or get off track. It's so unfortunate to see a timeline stress a couple out when they should be worry free and focusing on enjoying each other and their day. It is YOUR day - enjoy it!
Having a solid timeline and plan for the day is critical. Make sure to communicate with everyone that's involved early on. Include names and numbers of the wedding party and vendors. See Itinerary example below!
Ceremony Location: Address & Phone Number
Reception Location: Address & Phone Number
*Main Contact Phone Number
10:00- Photographers arrive for getting ready photos (Grooms house)
12:00- Arrive and settle at (Venue address)
12:30- First look
12:35- Wedding party photos
1:30- Couple's portraits
2:00- Family formals
2:45- Wedding party takes break & prep for ceremony
3:00- Guests arrive
3:30- Ceremony begins
3:45- Ceremony ends
3:45- Cocktail hour begins // Receiving Line
4:00- Newlywed moment
5:30- Dinner begins (Buffet opens)
7:00- Cake Cutting & Speeches
7:15 - Tom and Amelia first dance
7:20- Party begins!
8:30- Sunset session with newlyweds
Kelly and Chad's wedding day was centered around the support and love of their friends and family. The weather was absolutely beautiful and so was every part of their day. After a not so traditional church ceremony, the wedding party bused it to the Stone Arch Bridge for some quick photos and eventually made their way to the Varsity Theater. Kelly's dance group, "Sole to Soul" performed for the guests and helped set the mood for the night. A sparkler send-off wrapped everything up perfectly!
For this months blog topic we asked our team what their favorite part is about a wedding day. There are so many moments that go into the day that we wanted to know what part our team gets most excited to photograph. This is what they said:
The anticipation, nervousness & anxiety that goes along with the early stages of the wedding day are what I love most. I can relate to the bride and groom and everyone involved. I still vividly remember my own wedding day and how my stomach felt just waiting and waiting to see my bride. As the couples photographer, I feel a similar sense of anticipation and excitement leading up to that first photo I take. I love the family interactions and range of emotions during the first few hours of the day. Usually, preparation locations are accompanied by interesting and dramatic light, which adds to the overall intensity. All of this reminds me of competing in Track & Field. Warming up. Stretching. Eventually, walking up to the starting line, waiting for the gun to go off. The actual race is an absolute blur...but, all that leads up to it is like preparation on a wedding day and its so exciting.
The first part of the day, getting ready, is one of my favorite parts. I love capturing the energy and anticipation as the day begins, like when the flowers are being delivered, the dress is hanging in the closet, and the bridesmaids are drinking mimosas. But, the First Dance can't be beat as far as romance is concerned. I often get swept up with the music, emotion, and movement of those few minutes.
My Favorite part of the wedding day is the time immediately following the ceremony. Everyone is in great spirits, the excitement and mood is wonderful. The couple gets to relax a little and now everyone begins to party! I also really like to run away with the couple right after and grab photos with just the newlyweds!
The excitement and anticipation of the couple seeing each other for the first time in their wedding attire is my favorite part of a wedding day. The moments leading up to a first look creates an energy that is released when the couple finally sees each other and often times will share an emotional moment with their personal vows that no one else witnesses. After the first look it feels as if the wedding day has truly begun!
Lisa and Michael met 6 years ago and instantly became best friends. They say to marry your best friend, and in this case they did! Their wedding and reception was held at Pinstripes in Edina, and right in the back yard sits Centennial Lakes which offered a beautiful landscape for their wedding photos. These two had an awesome night celebrating with their friends and family over bocce ball, bowling, and of course dancing!
This wedding was my first one of the year and a beautiful one at that. Semple Mansion didn't disappoint, as always. I owe a big thanks to these two and their kind families for giving me so much creative freedom and making me feel like a wedding guest!
Our studio may be small, but it is a power house! We have 4 brands under one roof including our Rivets and Roses wedding company. This studio is the glue to our team. It is where we hold meetings, deliver our work, and make shit happen!
For this month's blog topic we asked our team what their perspective is on cell phone use at weddings. Do the guests get a unique perspective other than what the hired photographer takes or is it a distraction?
I'm gonna go old school on this one and say I love it when couples request part of or most of their day be tech free. As much as I love contributing to the unique hashtags throughout the day, I love it more when I get to photograph couples and their friends and families fully engaged and present throughout the day. When multiple professional photographers and videographers are hired for a wedding so much will be photographed and recorded and the results are so much better when everyone's not staring at their phones or trying to be the pro themselves. All this being said, I am never threatened or insecure about people using phones and trying to capture how they see the day. I know their intent is to help document a beautiful day and it's a way for them to personalize the event. If there is a cool Instagram account or hashtag being used I will most definitely contribute!
Last season many couples I worked with chose to ask that guests put their cell phones away during the ceremony. I think during this part of the day, couples want the distraction that phones can create to be put on hold. Their requests seemed to work, and I don't believe their guests felt negatively about it at all. One way to embrace the benefits of social media is to offer a creative hashtag to your guests. It becomes a great way to organize your friends Instagram posts from the wedding event. I think of it as an alternative to the older idea of placing disposable cameras on the reception tables. I've seen couples advertise the hashtag in the invitation or with signage at the event itself.
I think social media can be such a fun way of sharing in the excitement of a wedding! I love the new wedding hashtag trend - it is always so fun to see what couples come up with for their hashtag and I think it's a great way for everyone to look back at a collection of personal photos from the couple's guests. Usually couples wait several weeks to receive their professional photos, so having those cell phone photos from their guests can be a great way to relive their day before receiving their professional photos.
With this in mind, I think it's important to draw a line with when guests are taking those photos. I know that it is so tempting for friends and family to want to get a photo on their own phone or camera during family photos or wedding party photos especially. Keep in mind that there is usually a schedule the couple and photographer are trying to follow, and stopping for guests to take cell phone pictures can eat up a lot of that time! I would encourage couples to communicate this with their family members before the wedding day. It makes photos go a lot quicker and smoother so everyone can get to the important part of the day - the ceremony and the party!
I generally enjoy social media at weddings. I love the idea of using hashtags to track all the photos and post that the guest are posting, this makes finding things easy after the big day! I also like posting images the day of using the couples hashtags. I think social media can provide wonderful guest vantage point of the day.
I am all for people using phones to capture their vantage point of moments with friends and family during the reception. However, the most respectful time to put your phone or camera away is during the ceremony. The couple has spent a lot of time and money into planning their wedding, and they want you to fully experience it without the distraction of taking photos. Leave the ceremony to the photographer, for the rest of the day selfie and hashtag it up respectfully!
Thank you Audrey and Jason for a lovely afternoon. Engagement sessions like this one are always a great chance to get to know a couple even more before the wedding day. I can't wait to take more photos of them this summer at Mill City!