What I need for ya big day!
Not long to go until your big day!!
Just touching base to get the last bits and bobs, so when you get a chance, take a read of the information and flick me through the essentials listed below!
- make up/hair time (usually start when it’s your turn for make up)
- groom location (actual street address - not to get ready til I arrive)
- bride location (actual street address)
- ceremony location (actual street address)
- Timetable/run sheet the for days events
- if you guys can have your accessories out for me to photograph eg rings, shoes, perfumes, wedding stationery and anything else important
- vendor list; cake, dress, hair, make up etc
- key contacts; MC, bridal party contact, groom party contact
- names of parents and bridal party
- any surprise/secret moments that are planned eg gifts, hakas
- any family issues or touchy subjects
- finally, if you're having a videographer, let me know who it is so I can get in contact with them before the wedding!
Family Photos after Ceremony
With regards to group/family photos - usually 6-12 combinations is plenty e.g. bride+groom+parents etc if the MC + a helper or two organises and gathers each group for the photos makes them run way smoother (plus it’s easier for them to gather people as I won’t know them and I can just focus on smashing out the photos). Pretty crucial they are assertive, have a loud voice, can read a list and doesn’t go missing during this time. And by starting with the full extended family then dropping off people until we get to your parents is the best way of doing things and also any super old people and kids should be done first too.
Also the way I shoot is candid documentary so I will be floating around during the day getting clumps of candid group photos - so try keeping the family group photos short and simple!
And we won’t rush into them, spend that first 10-20 minutes once you walk back down the aisle to greet and hug ya guests! I’ll tap you guys on the shoulder once I think we’re good to go!
Standard Family Shot List (supply to MC)
Full Wedding Group Shot
B+G + B Parents
B+G + B immediate Family (brothers, sisters etc)
B+G + B Extended Family (Aunties, Uncles, Cousins etc)
B+G + BG Parents
B+G + G Parents
B+G + G immediate Family
B+G + G Extended Family
B +G + B Friends group
B+G + G Friends group
How I usually run a standard day is
>bride (makeup, hair, details)
>reception venue (if it is in close vicinity, details)
>groom (details, getting ready)
>bride (final prep, getting ready)
>then I’m with you both for rest of the day
I’ll usually start once the bride is getting make up on as a guide. If you can do hair + make up onsite rather in the salon/s, even better, makes for a more realxed day and nicer photos. Also if the distance between the bride prep location and groom prep location is more than 30 minutes drive or 50km+ or if you're planning an early first look, I highly recommend adding on a second shooter option :-)
HOW TO PLAN timings on YOUR DAY
There are a couple key points of the day which will dictate timings. First one is the ceremony time and second one is sunset time. For summer weddings, the later in the afternoon you can have your wedding the better, for guests, for temperature and for light.
Once we start getting closer to winter after daylight savings, then sunset time is the next crucial one, as sunsets at around 5pm from May so things will get dark quick!
Not sure when sunset is? Checkout this link and type in your location!
Sunset times in New Zealand
Think about the space you'll be getting ready in. I usually recommend getting ready at home, at your parents homes or an Air BnB. Rather than a tiny hotel room, you’ll have more space, nicer light and you’ll feel a bit more comfortable.
Try to keep the space clear of empty water bottles and make sure the MUA artist sets up in front of a large window with heaps of natural light (not locked away in a tiny dark bathroom!).
Also, if you've got a videographer, that's possible 3-4 people with cameras, so the more space the better!!
If you plan to do a first look pre ceremony!
If you guys are wanting to do a first look/pre ceremony bridal photos - just take into account timeframe (usually a hour per bridesmaid for hair/make up + yourself and then depending on photo locations and travel time needed to get there and back)
Also the bottom of the dress may/most likely get a few marks/twigs/dirty etc just something to think about if you do).
If you’re wanting those sweet sweeping meadow/field shots - your dress will get dirty, it will pick up twigs, grass and scuff marks - they won’t show in the photos, but you’ll notice them - so it’s something to come to terms with haha try not to stress about it - the photos always end up looking awesome. Embrace it!!! PS if you want nice photos of your dress (and bridesmaids ones) in the morning, make sure you have nice coat hangers (but they look way better on people than hanging up).
Do we need to send you a shot list?
Yeah and nah. Nah to a shot list a wedding blog or mag has said to give to your photographer. Trust me to do my thing and I’ll usually cover all the standard stuff anyway. And yeah to important people, like old Popper Joe or Granny Betty that you want photos with.
Oh and if you have a special event happening during the ceremony or something 'out of the ordinary', definitely let me know eg gifts you’ll be giving each other or some dirty dancing flash dance type dealio.
The only official shot list we do need is the family and group list as mentioned earlier for the MC and me!
Golden Hour Photos
Nope these don’t take a hour, but it’s the super magical awesome amazing golden light at sunset. All I need is 5-10 minutes of just you two lovebirds. Depending on daylight savings/season/weather will depend on when golden hour is, but usually before/after dinner/speeches/dessert depending on time of year is usually when it happens!
A/ makes for super sick lovely lit photos
B/ gives you two a little quiet time together for 5 mins, I’ll take my couple snaps then leave you two guys alone to enjoy each others company and soak in the awesome day you’ve been involved in
C/ dunno but if I put C it makes it seem way sweeter
For the first dance, If you guys are doing one. I’ll need to know where you’ll be dancing at the venue so I can set up for the lighting.
A couple minutes heads up before you boogie is what I need chur chur! (The lighting set up from speeches/cake cutting to first dance is quite different - so I really need a couple minutes to set up for it pretty please)
Please feed me at dinner time.
I’ll be hungry haha - usually the caterer has a vendor meal option which is usually way cheaper. If the meals are super duper fancy (I don’t need to eat what you guys are eating, just some type of food and water combo usually does the trick and would be much appreciated). Also don’t feel the need to seat me at a table and I don’t have any allergies or special dietary requirements :-)
the bridal table during speeches
I know bouquets in vases on the head table look nice and you may have a bottle of wine or two on your head table, just think about their placement as they may create a barrier between me and you during photos during speeches - so just keep an eye out for stuff that may be in front of you during that time! (I’ll probably crab walk up and move stuff if needed too!)
If it is summer, cover up the week of the wedding! If your dress shows off a bit of skin e.g. shoulders/back, make sure you avoid getting sunburnt. Unless you want those singlet or t-shirt tan lines in all your photos haha.
"You can photoshop that out right?" Yes and no, I won't make you "skinny" (ps love that body you’re in!) or chuck in a fake rainbow (as you know by looking at my work), but I will remove any pimples or sores that may pop up unexpectedly on ya day. And during the morning prep especially, random empty drink bottles and hair ties on peoples wrists - just get rid of them, help me to help you haha.
Transport & Safety
Time to get serious! I provide my own transport to get around on the day, be it my own vehicle or hire vehicle. If you are providing transport for us to travel to certain locations eg via helicopter or personal driver - they must be a trained, registered qualified pilot/s (no renegade farmer pilots) and if by vehicle, not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol which may impair their judgement - probably the only time I’ll be serious about something! If I don't feel safe, I won’t be doing it, so don’t put us in that situation and we’ll be sweet!
I try to post a pic or two a couple days after the wedding + send you a dozen or so for you to share with friends and family. So make sure you Like + Follow me on my social media and get all ya friends and family to do the same! When I do, tag yourselves in the image with the tag icon, as this will allow the image to show up on your personal page/feeds for everyone to see! Also, just click the social link buttons below to follow me on Facebook and Instagram!
Last minute Prep Talk
Think that’s it, if there is anything you guys want me to clarify or need help with anything give me a buzz too!
Looking forward to your wedding!