Category Archives: 05. Tips for Brides

Friday FAQ-Wedding Day Time Line

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve decided to start a new series called Friday FAQs. Every Friday I will post answer(s) to…you guessed it, Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have a question that you would like to submit please e-mail me! Feel free to also chime in on the questions by leaving a comment (side note-my Google analytics tells me lots of people are ready this blog…please leave a comment and let me know you were here or what you think!!).

Okay-let’s get started with FAQs.

By far the question I get asked the most is, “How much time do we need to take pictures the day of the wedding?”.

Short Answer: Start at least two and half hours before the ceremony and plan for at least an hour and a half between the ceremony and the reception.

Long Answer:
I like to start about two and a half hours before the ceremony. This allows plenty of time for getting ready pictures and documenting the ceremony set-up.

Many couples are now choosing to see each other before the wedding, this is called a “First Look”. This allows more time to get pictures of the two of you before the ceremony (and before family and friends overtake you) and this also cuts down on the time needed after the ceremony to take pictures.

Remember Paul and Sue’s first look…LOVE it!

If you are going to do a first look then I would start shooting approximately three to three and a  half hours before the ceremony.

After the ceremony I like to have an hour and a half to shoot the family portraits and a few more of the bride and groom. Especially if the ceremony is not at the same location as the reception please add travel time plus 15 minutes. For some reason the bridal party always seems to go MIA when we go from the ceremony to the reception location.

If you have decided to do a first look then you only need an hour between ceremony and reception (plus travel time plus 15 min..don’t cheat here!). You may be asking why I only cut the time down by a half hour. Well-I want to get as many pictures of the bride and groom as possible. Plus, you are married now! Let’s celebrate and take more pictures!

You should coordinate your reception time line (toasts, first dance, cake cutting etc) with your DJ. It is very important to let your DJ know how long your photographer is contracted until.  For example, 6 hour package starting at 2:30pm, “Hey Mr. DJ, my photographer leaves at 8:30pm”. They will make sure that all of your events are done before the photographer leaves.

On a side note-I highly recommend hiring a professional DJ. I know it’s tempting to ask a friend to bring their ipod and keep the place rocking, but a professional DJ can make or break your reception. Timing, song selection, and experience makes the difference between an empty dance floor verses a reception people are talking about for years to come!

Paul and Sue hired SKM Entertainment and their reception was crazy fun!

That’s all for today’s FAQ. If you found this helpful or would like to add your own input…leave a comment!!

Making the Most of Your Engagement and Wedding Pictures

This will be a two part series on how to get great pictures at your wedding or engagement session.

Let’s start with engagement pictures.

Understand that 99% of all couples are a little nervous/uncomfortable in front of the camera. This is the main reason why we do the engagement session. This provides me not only a great opportunity to get to know each of you better, but also understand what techniques help keep you relaxed in front of the camera.

I will use some of Sue and Paul’s pictures. You might remember them from my post here.

Step No 1: Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Almost every couple I have ever photographed at one point turned to me and said, “How are we doing?”.

Don’t worry about how you are doing. We will work as a team to get great pictures. Your only job is to not put too much pressure on yourself or your partner.

Especially in the beginning of a session couples are a little more nervous, but by the end of the session I promise that we will have some amazing and fun pictures.

You can see below the difference in body language from a picture taken in the very beginning of Sue and Paul’s session and one taken right at the end.

A picture from the beginning of the session.


Overall a good picture, but compare it to the picture below taken well into the session and see how the body language is totally different. They don’t even remember that I am there.


Step No. 2: Talk, hug, kiss, laugh, smile
You’ve gotten over the paparazzi like attention that you are receiving, but now you are not sure what to do. Stand, walk, sit, kiss…”What do you want us to do?” is another popular question that a lot of couples ask.

The simple answer is talk to each other , hug each other, kiss each other, laugh with each other. The more that you interact with your partner the better the pictures will be. Talk about how you met, how you got in engaged, memories that you share as a couple. This will bring out the natural emotion and playfulness in each of you which makes for great pictures.

Check out the pictures below where Sue and Paul were able to do just this.




And because I love so many of Sue and Paul’s engagement pictures here are a few more of my favorites.






Next week I will talk about how to make the most of your wedding pictures!