A Note to Our Clients Regarding Our Core Values
Hello and Welcome! This is such an exciting time for you and your fiance!
I’m sure your minds are racing with all that needs to be planned. It’s all very
exciting but it can also be somewhat overwhelming. You’re planning the day
that you’ve been anticipating your whole life and yet you only get one shot
at it! By the time you get the hang of it, the planning is over! But it doesn’t
need to be stressful. Our goal as wedding photographers is to make this one
aspect of the planning process simple.
Hiring a photographer should go beyond looking for someone who takes
We focus on our client’s relationship and capturing those emotions &
feelings. We aim to authentically capture our clients so that when they
look at their photographs, it will make them feel exactly as they felt at that
Life is short. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Let’s capture your story for you &
your loved ones to enjoy for a lifetime.
Wedding Photography is more than just the images we provide, it’s a real
part of your day. It’s one of the few things that you’ll have when the day is
all said and done.
Not only do you deserve beautiful images, you also deserve an amazing
experience. The goal of this guide is to help you plan your wedding day
in a way that will allow us to provide you and your fiancé with the BEST
We started Abigail Gingerale Photography because we are passionate about
building relationships with our clients so that we can create amazing artwork
along with serving and loving on them. We strive to provide the best
experience available to clients today. We believe that natural, REAL moments
are the moments you’ll want to remember the most. When we tell your story,
you will be able to look through the pictures from your big day and feel
every single emotion all over again.
- Abigail & Andy 3
GET TO KNOW ABI & ANDY
You may have already gotten a hint of this already... but
we LOVE our clients and what we do! Capturing your
wedding day is such an honor!! Since we’ll be spending
a lot of time together on the big day, we want to make
sure you really feel like you know us! So, here are some
You may not realize this but every photographer has parts of the wedding day that they favor! Below you can
read through three of our favorite parts of the wedding day and why these moments are close to our hearts!
BRIDE & BRIDE & GROOM NIGHT TIME
GROOM PREP PORTRAITS PORTRAITS
We love starting off the day with Portrait time is hands down our Night time portraits are one of the
beautiful details! We consider this my favorite part of the day! This is most underrated but amazing parts
“warm up” time. These details allow when we produce our best work and of the day. Andy and I love making
me to be creative from the moment when our couples really get to enjoy beautiful images with our couples.
we begin shooting on your wedding their wedding day. We love this time Night time allows us to use our own
day we love having this time to because we can get super creative lighting to be very creative with
prepare for the rest of your day! Prep with our couples. We especially love our surroundings. This also gives a
time is also where a lot of the fun the moment when the groom sees his chance for our couples to step away
moments happen between you and bride for the first time! If we could from the craziness of the day and
your bridal party. We love all those photograph first looks all day long, enjoy each other for a few moments.
candid moments! we would!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
9 Engagement Session Intro
10 Engagement Prep Tips
14 A Boudoir Experience
16 Boudoir Experience Testemonials
18 Preparing for a Boudoir Expereince
22 Sample Timeline Breakdown
26 Weddings through the Seasons
30 Preceremony Prep
34 Bridal Details & Timing Tips
42 The First Look
6 50 The Daddy / Daughter First Look
54 Ceremony Prep & Tips 7
56 The Family Formals List
58 Your Romantic Portrait Time
60 Trusting the Portrait Locations
62 Rainy Wedding Days
64 Night Time Portraits
72 The Controlled Exit
74 The Day After Session
76 Our GIF Photo Booth
78 Creating Your First Heirloom
80 Your Online Gallery Explained
Now that you have picked a date, a photogra- Your engagement session can be scheduled
pher and probably a venue as well, you can anytime before your wedding day. I normally
celebrate! Those are some of the toughest deci- suggest booking it at least 3-6 months in ad-
sions in wedding planning and you can cross vance to avoid stress. Because our weekends
them off your list! Hooray!! Now on to the fun are filled with weddings, we shoot engagements
stuff.... like your engagement session! At en- on weekday evenings, normally from 5-7pm
gagement sessions we are not only able to cap- depending on the light and the time of the year.
ture a beautiful photo of you two together, but In the winter months, 3-5pm is a normal time
also have a chance to capture this exciting new frame for an engagement shoot! As you start
stage of life. During your engagement session, to plan for your session, you will need to start
you’ll have the chance to get to know us, expe- brainstorming about location ideas and activi-
rience how we shoot and how we handle posing ties that you both enjoy. You heard that right,
and lighting. This session will make a HUGE I said ACTIVITY! We want to capture you as
impact on how the wedding day flows. We’ll ar- a couple realistically, and have a good time
rive on your wedding day already knowing how while doing that. In order to capture your true
you two interact, what your best poses are and emotions and show your real personalities, we
how to photograph you in a genuine way! You’ll like to do activities that you would ACTUALLY
feel like such a pro on your big day because of do. Not just frolicking through a random field
the great practice you had during your engage- while gazing into each other eyes (although
ment session and that’s how it should be! there is definitely a time and place for that!).
Do not shy away from crazy ideas! The more
creative, the better! Be sure to keep reading to
find out more about outfit ideas and inspiration!
It’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken .... even if it’s just a photo on
an iphone that is taken by a friend, we still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in
our teeth and that our hair is behaving! We realize that preparing for your engagement
session can be a little overwhelming. Here are some tips for outfits and accessories that
will make the session preparation a little more managable!
- Don’t try to MATCH...try to pick outfits and accessories - We can usually fit 2-3 outfits into your shoot! We start out
that coordinate instead. If everyone wore the same exact doing something fun with a more relaxing outfit, then get
color at their session, how boring would those images be? dressier as we go. But if there’s something sentimental that
you want to throw in for a 3rd outfit, go for it!
- Don’t be afraid to be BOLD! Accessorize and make your
outfits your own! Scarves, bold necklaces and fun shoes are - Make sure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing. If
always welcomed! something doesn’t fit right, you’ll be able to tell on your face
that you aren’t comfortable.
- MOST PATTERNS are actually ok.... however, graphics are
not favorable for portraits. If you’re wearing a pattern, make - BE ON TIME! The sun is only out for so long ! The later
sure it’s not overwhelming and distracting. you arrive, the less time we have to shoot! And nobody
- Be sure to check out my blog for more outfit inspiration if
you’re having trouble! - Clean the ring! We love to shoot a few rings shots while
you change outfits! The cleaner the better!
- Empty your pockets! Literally. You don’t want to have key
chains or phones showing through your pockets. - Relax! You don’t have to be a pro at this! We’re going to
help you along the way and it’s going to be a blast! Enjoy
10 this time together and make a date out of it! Plan dinner
afterwards and celebrate!!
Approximate Start Times :
Dec-Mar 2-5pm Jun-Aug 5:30-8:30pm
During December through Mid- Summer sessions, like all or our en-
March you can plan on your engage- gagements sessions, take place three
ment session taking place around hours before sunset. This will hope-
3-5pm. However, the time chang- fully mean that the shoot will be
es in Mid-March and so that will during the cooler part of the day.
make the start time one hour later.
Apr-May - Varies Sep-Nov - Varies
The sunset time drastically chang- The sunset time changes drastically
es throughout the course of these during these three months. In Sep,
two months and so our shoot- you can plan on 5:00-7:30 until the
ing times change as well. You can third week and then you can plan
plan on approximately 5:00-7:30 on 4:00-6:30 until Mid- Oct. After
in April and 5:30-8:00 in May. the first week of Nov, 3:00-5:00pm.
- We photograph engagement sessions on weekday evenings
because our weekends are dedicated to photographing wed-
- We love shooting at gorgeous locations. We recommend two
to three locations for engagement session.
- We can do sunrise sessions if necessary! We require sunrise
shoots for those who want to take portraits in a very crowded
location like parks that have events.
- We love to travel to our shoots! However, if we have never
been to your desired location, we may need some advice for
where to park!
A Boudoir Experience
I started shooting boudoir photography because I see the beauty in everyone that comes
in our door. I believed I could show any person what I see through my camera. Women
tell me they feel that they can’t look “that beautiful” because they feel too tall, weigh
too much, or have too many stretch marks. I love showing them the photos from their
shoot and showing that they CAN, in fact, feel beautiful. Seeing their reactions to their
pictures changed me. From that moment on, I knew I had found my passion.
It was now my job to be a mirror for my clients. Not the mirror that the world shows
you that shames you, but the one who sees past all of the lumps, bruises, and imperfec-
tions. The one that shows you your sparkle.
Does this sound like something your fiancé would say? Isn’t it funny how they see
past your insecurities too? We like to beat ourselves up and tell ourselves that we are
not beautiful enough, when time and time again our fiancés show us otherwise! Not
only does A Boudoir Experience and album make a great gift for them on the morning
of your wedding, but you also get a new found confidence to help you strut your look
on your wedding day! Not only is confidence sexy, but it’s what your fiancé wants to
bring out in you the most!
When you have your Wedding Boudoir Experience, it makes it so much fun to bring
some of your wedding attire to wear at the shoot! I always have a veil available, and
some white or ivory lingerie are a great place to start! Don’t be afraid to get adventur-
After you’ve had your shoot, you and I get to design your Wedding Boudoir album!
Our albums come in a beuaitful variety of colors and cover lettering options! This part
is so hard to narrow down, so I always give you a sample design first to get you jump
started! We also carry a variety of sizes to fit your print needs perfectly!
What are our clients expereincing at their boudoir shoots?
“Is that me?! That’s not me,”
I kept repeating.
“Yes! That IS you!” they kept saying. I didn’t focus I knew that if I felt this way about myself, there was
on the flaws and imperfections that plagued my daily no way on earth he wouldn’t be surprised. I decided
life. It was so liberating. For the very first time in to get a photo album for my fiancé—20 glorious and
my life, I genuinely didn’t feel weighed down by glossy pages from the boudoir shoot that I flip through
those thoughts. Maybe it took Abigail’s perspective myself every chance I get. I think I look at them more
for me to see myself in a true light. That stunning than he does. It’s a daily reminder that my self-image
woman in those pictures WAS me—looking com- has completely changed after having my boudoir shoot.
pletely and utterly flawless. The pictures weren’t A new level of confidence and acceptance became a
even edited—they came straight from the camera part of my every day life…all thanks to Abigail and
onto the projection screen. I was speechless. Andy, two people who have the very special talent of
Flawless. Me. Used in the same sentence. (I get finding beauty in everyone.
emotional just writing this.) I had never felt that way I feel empowered just being, well…me. I had realized in
before. I felt like I was on top of the world. Is this giving my fiancé this gift, I had unintentionally given
what it felt like to see me through my fiancé’s eyes? myself the best gift of all.
Is this what it felt like to truly love yourself? Love.
“Proof that even the frumpiest among
us can become sexy!
It’s fair to start off by saying that I’m not much of a shy Not only that, but Abigail was suuuuuuper respect-
or modest person, as far as being in various stages of ful of my boundaries, from level of undress, to trying
undress in front of others. However, I am NOT comfort- different poses; if I didn’t want to go braless, she
able in front of a camera, and I definitely don’t like the would not have pushed it. (I totally recommend going
way I look in pictures (and, like most people, there are braless, though - freedom!)
absolutely things I don’t like about my body).
The moment of truth was reviewing the pictures
With that said, my experience with Abigail made me right after my session. I had a flashback to the
forget ALL about those feelings - she made me feel so moment of terror in the middle school locker room
comfortable, and my contorting and posing was over- where I felt like all the willowy, beautiful girls were
lapped and intermingled with talking and laughing. It judging my late-blooming self while we got changed
can feel weird and corny to pose like a model, but Abi- for Phys Ed. But - spoiler alert - in the pictures, my
gail made it fun and acknowledged the “silliness” of it, body looked ROCKIN!!! Abigail has a way of posing
which made it easy and comfortable. you, along with awesome lighting and flattering an-
gles, that accentuates the good and all but erases the
bad. And, let me tell you, if *I* can find something to
love about a picture of my body, YOU definitely can!
Preparing for your Boudoir Experience
Ok, now that you’ve booked your boudoir shoot, what do you have to do to prepare for your bou-
doir session? There are tons of nerves and emotions leading up to a boudoir shoot. Preparing can
be kind of nerveracking, but it doesn’t have to be! I’m here to help! I wanted to write down some
guidelines and suggestions to ease and organize your minds and prepare you for this awesome
experience! Make sure to head over to our boudoir blog and read more tips!
This will be a workout, be mentally prepared to work your butt off!
Your body will be in poses that it normally is not in, which can be a work out! Just trust
that even if it feels uncomfortable, we know how to pose you so that you look amazing!
Pick clothes that you would actually wear, but also what suits your body.
Finding the right clothes to bring can be very difficult and time consuming. You want
everything to be perfect and sometimes that is what is so difficult. When in doubt, bring
something that you already have that you LOVE yourself in! Maybe it’s that bra that you
bought once but never wear because you can see it through your shirts. It could even be
a pair of boxer shorts that makes your butt look amazing. Choose things that accentuate
your curves and makes you feel great!
Bring sentimental items!
If you are doing this shoot for your significant other than it’s always a great idea to
bring something that is important to him/her. Whether it’s his teams jersey or the linge-
rie he bought you for your first anniversary, he will LOVE those pictures.
Don’t wear a bra when you arrive.
If you want to do any shots without a bra, using a button up shirt, or loose sweaters it’s
always good to arrive with no bra because it might give you bra lines.
Sexy doesn’t have to mean lingerie.
Some people don’t wear a lot of lingerie and it might not be your style. If you want a
more laid back style with sweaters, socks, and flower crowns don’t worry about the lin-
gerie. It doesn’t make the session any less sexy or beautiful!
W E D DY O U R I N G
Details After the details have been pho- First Look
12:30-1:00 tographed, it’s time for the bride 3:00
to get into her dress! This is a
Everyone loves having those big moment! We usually ask the This is one of my favorite parts
beautiful shots of their details. mother of the bride and all of of the wedding day! We will
It’s an important part of the story the bridesmaids to be dressed find the perfect location for my
and we love having some time to by the time the bride is ready to couple’s First Look prior to the
shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, get into her dress. This ensures getting ready portion of the day!
invitations, etc. These shots allow that everyone will look nice in Don’t stress about that one bit!
us to get warmed up for the rest those images. After the bride is
of the big day. We normally like in her gown, she can put on her
to allow at least 30-45 minutes jewelry, veil, shoes, etc. and we
for this part of the day. While will shoot some additional bridal
we’re shooting details, we’re also portraits!
capturing some shots of you and
your group getting ready! If the 1:00-2:45
fiance is getting ready nearby, we Prep
will begin photographing them
close to 40 minutes before the
first look since it always takes
them less time to get dressed!
Here’s the page that can be somewhat intimidating! The TIMELINE! We know this isn’t the most exciting aspect of the
wedding day but this is the one thing that can make or break your photography! 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 in-
cludes a first look. 90% of my couples choose to do 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.
Portraits Bridal Party ..... great shots of the brides-
3:15-3:45 Portraits maids/men Groomsmen/maids
both separately AND together!
After the bride and groom take 3:50-4:20 After bridal party portraits are
their time with the First Look, complete, the bride will go into
we will begin taking a few ro- hiding so that early guests don’t
mantic portraits of the two of sneak a peek and the ushers
them while the initial excitment will begin their duties.
is still present! We will find the
locations for these shots as well! Now it’s time for Bridal Party shots! 4:30-5:00
Remember, the LIGHT deter- we buffer in extra time throughout CHoiduipnlge in
mines where we shoot and so we the day just in case we have some
can’t decide on portrait locations unexpected things that hold us up! 23
until the day-of. As we shoot One way to make sure we stay on
these portraits, the bridal party schedule for bridal party portraits
can start making their way to us is to have someone put the bouton-
for Bridal Party portraits! nieres on the guys BEFORE they
arrive for portraits. During Bridal
Party portraits, we will make sure
to take some.....
THE TIMELINE CONTINUED...
Reception It’s time to get married!! Most Family
Details ceremonies are 30 minutes long. Portraits
If your ceremony is longer than
4:30-4:50 30 mins, we’ll make adjustments 5:35-5:50
to the timeline! Cherish these
If the reception is in the same moments! Your ceremony will Family formals normally take
location as the ceremony, we pass by so quickly! place immediately following the
will use this time to shoot the ceremony. It’s best to save all
reception decor & details UN- Ceremony of the family formals until after
TOUCHED. If the ceremony the ceremony because ALL
and reception are in different lo- 5:00-5:30 family members will be present
cations, we recommend having at that time.
a cocktail hour outside of the
main reception area if possible We’ll need about 30 mintues
so that we can grab some great for family formals. We will
shots of your reception before send a questionnaire before the
the night begins and guests wedding where you can list out
start laying down purses and the shots that you want. We
coats on their seats! recommend shooting portraits
outdoors if possible so that they
resemble more natural family
A Few “Just Reception Begins! If you’re interested in having
Married” your exit photographed, there
Portraits 7:00 are several options for this! You
can either add additional cover-
6:00-6:10 age or plan a faux exit with just
your bridal party! We have had
7:00 is the BEST time of day for por- This is when the bridal party lines GREAT success with this and
traits in the late spring, summer and up for introductions and the party the party never stops! Email us
early fall! This is when the sun is begins!! By this part of the day, about this if you’re interested in
glowy and golden. We love having a our timeline isn’t as strict. We will learning more!
few extra minutes with our couples take our couple out for night time
to take a few “Just Married” portraits portraits around cake cutting. Night The Exit
right after family formals! portraits are such an important part
of the night because you get to step 10:30-11:00
APPROXIMATE out of the reception and enjoy each
TIMES: others company for a few minutes, 25
while also getting kick-ass photos!
DETAILS & PREP : 2-3 HOURS
FIRST LOOK & PORTRAITS : 45-60 MINS
BRIDAL PARTY : 20-30 MINS
FAMILY FORMALS: 15-20 MINS
EXTRA PORTRAIT TIME : AS MUCH TIME AS YOU’LL
Portrait & Timing Tips for:
WINTER, SUMMER, FALL & SPRING
Winter weddings are gorgeous! However, they do Summer weddings are amazing! We love that
take some additional planning simply because of there is so much daylight! In some months, the
the sunset time. The hard part about a winter light will last until 8:30pm! So, if you’re having
timeline is the fact that the sun sets around 4pm. a summer wedding, you’ll need to plan on hav-
This means that all of your portraits have to be ing a few minutes to slip out of the reception for
done before then! This isn’t a problem if you’re your sunset portraits! You will NOT regret this!
having a late afternoon wedding. However, if This is the absolute best light of the day and
you’re planning on having a late evening wed- you’re going to want to have portraits during this
ding, you may have a bit of down time from 4pm time period. Usually these portraits happen dur-
until the start of the ceremony. You will also ing dinner or open dancing so that no one even
need more coverage time as well. notices that you’re gone for a few minutes!
Fall weddings are my favorite! This is prob- Spring weddings are wonderful because they
ably because we got married in the fall! We love are the perfect temperature! Spring weddings
the temperature and the colors! Most of our fall normally mean the potential for some blooms! If
couples worry about color and we just want to we happen to find any type of blooming tree or
encourage you that all we need is one tree with plant, it will be worth it to give us a few minutes
some color in order to make it look like fall! A for a few portraits with it! You’ll LOVE the result!
little bit of color can go a long way!! Your portrait
time will vary depending on your wedding date! 27
We’ll be sure to discuss this when we approve
your final timeline!
Let the day begin!
This portion of The Wedding Experience
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 preparation and beautiful portraits!
It’s the morning of your wedding! Hopefully all Will you and your fiance be exchanging gifts
of the little details are taken care of and you’re during this time? If so, who would you like to
relaxing with your best friends while your hair deliver them? Are there certain people in your
is being done. If certain items haven’t been life who would appreciate seeing you get into
checked off of the to-do list, it’s time to hand your gown? Some people want very few people
them over to someone else. Delegation is a key around for this moment. Others love having
part of a stress-free wedding day. We know it’s everyone present! It’s totally up to you! A few
hard to hand over the decorating duties and all other things to consider.... as you get ready
of the last minute things that need to be done to put your outfit on, refrain from putting any
but, it really is important to relax the morning jewelry on. We love shooting all of those final
of your wedding. The rest of the day is going to steps once you’re dressed! Speaking of your
be fast paced and filled with a lot of emotions! outfit, if your clothes are on a plastic hanger, try
Take advantage of this down time! There are a to make a note to bring a wooden hanger along
few things to consider about the “getting ready” for picture sake. If you forget, no big deal, we’re
portion of the day. Do you want to share a “first pros at finding wooden hangers at venues! Keep
look” with your dad or any other person who reading along for more “getting ready” tips to
plays a huge role in your life? help you prepare!
By having just a simple window
in the bridal area, We’re able to
create beautiful portraits with
RINGS, SHOES, JEWELS ...
The whole day begins with the DETAILS! This is one of our favorite parts of the wedding day
because it allows us to prepare and get our creative side warmed up for the rest of the day!
We photograph details in a way that matches and showcases the style of the entire wedding
day. So, in some ways, the details set the stage for the look of the whole wedding and we love
having ample time to stylize and shoot everything from the attire to the jewelry to grandma’s
handkerchief! To the right you’ll find a list of the most common details that we shoot. We ask
couples to gather any details they have before we arrive so that we can walk in, say hello, give
you a huge hug and then begin with all the goodies!
WHAT TO dress
veil / hair pieces
rings (all three)
bouquet & boutonniere
borrowed & blue
letter to your fiance
any sentimental details
GATHER If possible, collect all of your details before we arrive so that we can begin quick-
the goods. ly and have more time for some “getting ready” shots of you and your possy!
EXTRA Sometimes, depending on the theme and “look” of the wedding day, there may
elements. be some extra elements that you could include when you gather your details. For
eample, if you’re having a country themed wedding, you could include a piece
KEEP of burlap or lace. If you’re having a rustic themed wedding that includes some
all three rings. wooden elements, maybe save a small piece of wood for me to use when we’re
shooting your rings and jewerly. This REALLY makes for beautiful, consistent
BRING album spreads!
The most common detail missing when we arrive are the rings! Moms, officiants
and planners will tell you to hand over your wedding band to the best man before
the day begins. However, it’s actually better to hand it over during the bridal
party portraits so that we can shoot some great ring shots in the AM! If you
forget, no worries, we can always shoot the ring shot at the reception if there is
Don’t forget the Bouquet! Have the bouquets and bouts delivered before the first
look so that she can have those included in the portraits. No worries, if it’s hot,
we’ll be sure to keep the bouquets in water as much as possible before the cer-
When you’re planning a wedding day timeline, the best advice
we could give is to ADD CUSHION TIME! Sometimes the
most simple things can take an extra 20 minutes and then
all of a sudden, the whole morning is thrown off. We have
seen “getting the bride in her dress” take almost 40 minutes
because of a button malfunction. It’s a smart idea to add in an
extra ten minutes here and there so that we have some wiggle
room to work with! This way, if one part of the day gets
thrown off by 20 minutes, we can help you compensate that
time in other areas. We specifically build in buffers through-
out the day for this very reason. There are so many different
things to think about when you’re planning a wedding day
and so here are some tips for the pre-ceremony timeline!
We realize that every single wedding day is different and
so not all of these tips will apply to every wedding day
schedule. Something else to consider is that not EVERY-
THING will go as planned, and we promise you, that is
BOUQUETS TRAVEL TIME HAIR &
AND BOUTS MAKEUP
Be sure to think about the
You will need your Bouquet travel time and TRAFFIC to We encourage couples
& Bouts for your First Look! and from your getting ready to have their hair and
Have them delivered to the location and your venue! makeup done second to
room where the bride is get- last, so we don’t miss any
ting ready. moments! Just make sure
38 they start early enough so
we don’t run late!
GETTING IN CREATE A
THE DRESS CUSHION
We’ll instruct you to get into A 10 minute cushion every
your dress close to a window now and then is a GREAT
and it would be fabulous idea! It’s amazing how fast
to have your bridemaids time slips away the day of!
dressed when you’re getting
in your gown! 39
THE BRIDAL BOUQUET
There are so many expenses when it comes to wedding planning.
Many couples have to prioritize what they want to invest in. We just
want to give a little tip that can save money and make a huge impact
on the way your images turn out. If you’re having trouble making a
decision about your florals, here is what we suggest. We recommend
making your bouquet a big priority! When we’re photographing a
wedding, if you have a gorgeous bouquet, we can make the entire
day look like there were beautiful florals everywhere! We can use
the bridal bouquet to spruce up bridal details, reception details AND
even bride and groom portraits as well! The bouquet is a focal point
for us when it comes to your photography and so we highly recom-
mend getting your DREAM bouquet and investing less on the brides-
maids bouquets since they will not be photographed nearly as much!
We LOVE long flowy veils, but dont be afraid to get two lengths for
your weddig day! A lot of people opt out of the veil because they thikn
it might be bothersome throughout the day, but if you use a longer
veil for your portraits, you can always switch to a shorter one for the
cremony and reception!
YOUR FIRST LOOK
Your first look is an amazing part of your wedding day! If you
aren’t sure about this tradition, the next few pages will explain
why it would be a romantic addition to your wedding day celebra-
tion that not only adds to the experience but also reduces stress.
Please know that we would never want any of our couples to feel
pressured to go with this option. However, we do want to make
sure that we share all of the benefits of a first look because there
is a reason 90% of our couples do it and LOVE it!
We have confessed our deep love for “First Looks” nu- It’s before the ceremony and the gravity of what is about
merous times on our blog and we tend to point them out to happen starts to sink in and the calm, collected per-
in every blog post. There is a reason for this. They’re son who was playing golf just a few short hours ago is
AWESOME. However, not everyone is aware of how now starting to feel a little anxious. So what happens
awesome they are because they get caught up in how next? They wait in a little room somewhere for thier que
“non-traditional” it is and they immediately write it off. from the coordinator. It seems like it’s taking FOREVER.
After experiencing our own wedding and shooting over Finally, the coordinator leans her head in and hurries
250 others…. we’ve come to this conclusion. Some peo- them to get ready. With clammy hands, they enter the
ple love “traditions”…. but what a person REALLY wants ceremony and what do they find? …. they find anywhere
when it comes to their fiance seeing them for the first from 80-300 people and they’re all looking where? Right
time is a REACTION. Those who are not interested in at their face… because everyone has expectations and an-
a First Look usually think that by seeing each other be- ticipation about their first reaction. This is the farthest
forehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also thing from a private, intimate moment. Sure, it’s SO
assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as powerful and SO wonderful. It’s magical!! ….. But when I
it would be if they were coming down the aisle. What we walked down the aisle… Andy wasn’t a nervous wreck…he
have found (this is starting to sound like a research pa- had spent the morning with me and our best friends and
per!) is so ironic! Everyone knows that wedding days are the pressure was OFF. By the time our ceremony rolled
a bit stressful for the couple. around he was ready to ENJOY our beautiful day!
The whole day is focused on them, they need to look their The nerves were gone and when the nerves are gone…
best, they need to be on time, no one has any idea what true emotions are free to be expressed. And OH were
side the boutonniere is supposed to go on and little by they expressed! (Seriously, we bawled!). So if we were to
little… the tension grows. condense what I just wrote… basically, couples normally
become incredibly nervous on wedding days…. even if
they seem cool and collected.
For most grooms, the nerves kick in before they see their a little makeup while the boys act like boys. After a few
bride because when they see her, everything becomes minutes the bridal party portraits begin and they’re FUN.
VERY real! So when the nerves start creeping up, instead They’re FUN because there is time to make them FUN.
of keeping the groom in a secluded space until his time
to enter the ceremony, what if you took him to a private There aren’t any guests waiting impatiently at the cock-
place… no people, no on-lookers, no distractions…. and tail hour and there isn’t a DJ coming to find the photogra-
you let his beautiful bride, the love of his life, quietly call pher to get a time check. It’s wonderful!
his name and have him turn around to see her for the
first time. He would turn around and finally get his first After portraits are done, the girls and guys separate and
look at his stunning bride and not only would he get to prepare for the ceremony. The guests begin to arrive and
see her… he could embrace her… cry with her…. kiss her… the ushers are in place. Pretty soon it’s time for the pro-
and ENJOY that moment with her for as LONG as they cessional music to begin and one by one, the bridesmaids
wanted. As she shows him her dress, twirls a few times make their way down to the front of the ceremony. As the
and then asks him what he thinks… his nerves start to groom clasps his hands… they aren’t clasped out of ner-
diminish. After all, she’s the one who can make him most vousness but excitement. The music builds, the mother
comfortable anyway. of the bride stands and all of the guests follow her lead.
The groom looks up and here comes the BRIDE!!! His best
Because they aren’t on a time crunch… they casually friend, his companion, his sweetheart…..she’s stunning….
move into their romantic portraits. No one is around, the ABSOLUTELY stunning. The closer she gets, the bigger
coordinator isn’t announcing “15 minutes left”, and there he smiles.
is no pressure. It’s just the two of them and their photog-
rapher….. capturing the excitement and the joy of their Now let us put a disclaimer on here before we continue…
wedding day. This is their time to be TOGETHER…and to our clients are not required to do a First Look by any
be ALONE. When does that happen on a wedding day? means! We used to feel bad for sharing this option with
Without a First Look…. it doesn’t. After their romantic couples who were against it because we didn’t want to
portraits are done, they meet up with their best friends. push anything on them. However, we’ve seen the benefits
Their bridal party joins them and because they still have of a first look over and over again and so we only share
plenty of time to spare… the bride touches up this because we want the BEST for our couples!! It’s to-
tally ok if couples choose not to share a first look! It’s just
our preference to do one for many reasons.... Keep read-
ing to find out more of the benefits of sharing your first
look privately! For brides not interested in a First Look,
lets start chatting soon about how we’ll create a special
timeline to fit everything in!
F I R S T L O O K | Why it’s Worth It
40% More Portraits
You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography. With a first look, you’ll receive 40% MORE portraits
of the two of you… and those are the images you will decorate your first home with! (Believe us, our house is
PACKED full of our portraits!) With a first look, you make the most out of this large investment and get the
most for your money.
Enjoy the Surprise, Freely
You actually get to have intimate time on your wedding day with each other. Most people don’t realize that
when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with your gorgeous-ness… he can’t even tell you
how amazing you look. He can’t touch you, embrace you or even SPEAK to you. You have to wait until 30
minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 30
minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance.
Extend Your Day by Two Hours
First Looks allow you to extend your wedding day. Normally the wedding day would start when you come
down the aisle, then the ceremony would end, you would rush through portraits so that you’re not late for the
introductions and then it’s reception time. With a first look, your wedding day is extended by almost 3 hours!
Instead of being rushed for your bridal party portraits… you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging
out with your BEST friends on your wedding day. The WHOLE first half of my client’s wedding albums are
filled with images just from this time together before the ceremony.
Your Only Alone Time
First Looks allow you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day. When Andy and I saw each other,
not only was it intimate, it was our only time to be alone the whole day! We cried and laughed and cried some
more… and then that put us in the PERFECT mood for our romantic portraits. Normally portraits are a little
rushed after the family formals and it can be hard to really get back into that “lovey dovey” mode…. especially
with family around! When you have just shared your first look, you’re READY to love on each other and we
always capture some super sweet images during those moments!
Diminishes Pre-Ceremony Nerves 47
You get rid of your nerves! We’d say, literally 1/2 of my couples who have decided to do a first look, one
of them were not fans of it at first. However, because they have never experienced their wedding day be-
fore, they didn’t know how nerve racking it can be. We have testimonials from so many couples, especially
grooms, who initially weren’t a fan of the first look... but afterwards admitted to being SO much more relaxed
and ready for the ceremony!
If you have never seen your fiancé cry or get
emotional, you can’t expect them to be overly
emotional on your wedding day. Some people just
embrace their fiances and never cry.... and that’s
OK. Some people show very little emotion when
their fiance is coming down the aisle and that’s
ok too. Just enjoy this amazing day and try not
to put any expectations on them. If you take this
advice to heart, we could potentially be saving
you a lot of disappointment on your day. One
thing we have noticed after shooting close to 200
weddings is that the stress and nerves that come
with a wedding day can sometimes make it hard
for some people to truly express their emotions.
It’s just a lot to take in all at once. This is a great
reason to share a first look and also a great reason
to give some grace to your fiance! Sure, you de-
serve to feel beautiful, but our encouragement to
you is to enjoy this time together, no matter what
their reaction is like!