How We Shoot Wedding Days That Aren’t Overly Stressful

January 15, 2020

After shooting and experiencing LOTS of different weddings, I started noticing something about ours…

Everyone always talks about how stressful wedding days are, and how brides can turn into “bridezillas”. Part of this is true (not the bridezilla part) but it’s true that most wedding days do include some form of stress – it’s just the nature of it! There’s a lot that needs to come together, and it’s a lot for the couple to process.

But there is a big difference between a normal amount of stress, and complete anxiety and chaos for the couple, bridal party, AND the photographers because things aren’t happening how they should be.

But what I’ve realized is that for us, wedding days tend to go pretty smoothly. There might be small hiccups, hair & makeup get behind, flowers show up a few minutes late, etc. But we ALWAYS have enough time to capture everything we need from the wedding day to deliver an incredible experience and images to our sweet couples.

And that’s not by accident. There are some majorly impactful things that we do as soon as our couple books us in order for this to happen. Trust me, if we were completely “hands off” and didn’t educate our brides and take control in certain parts of the wedding day, it would be a very different story and we would struggle BIG time!

But the planner mindset and servant nature in me knows how important it is to be organized and communicative so that our brides & grooms get the portraits they’ve been dreaming of!

Here are some of the things we do in order to have wedding days that are organized and setup in a way that allows us to create gorgeous images for our couples!!

1.The timeline. This is probably the biggest factor that determines how the day will go. Immediately when our brides book us, we share with them a recommended timeline for their day. We know that this timeline is setup in a way where we have enough time to capture each part of the day (details, getting ready, first look, portraits, etc.) in a way that’s magazine-worthy. Not super rushed. And everything is accounted for.

Almost ALL of our couples use this timeline and it benefits everyone! When I was a bride, I had no idea how to setup my day so that I’d have all the photos I wanted. I never want my couples to feel unprepared or unsure of this part. Giving them that confidence that everything is planned out and we’re all on the same page is so important.

I’m so thankful that our clients TRUST US with this part of the planning process. We’ve followed our timeline over and over again, customizing it for each wedding, and it just WORKS!!

2. We get to know and love our couples. We typically get to meet them during their engagement session. We get to know them, learn about their story, their lives, what’s important to them…. and I also share more of our lives. Basically, we become friends, because we love our couples and it’s pretty impossible not to! This all creates a safe space for photography, and by the time the wedding day rolls around, it feels like we’ve known each other forever. And when you have that feeling of comfort on your wedding day… when you have a trusted friend there that cares JUST as much about your day as you do, it automatically reduces stress!

3. Our Education & Resources. You really can’t be upset that things aren’t going according to “plan” if you aren’t educating your couples. I’m a huge believer in this. Our brides see us as the expert when it comes to their images, and they should! I mentioned this before, but as soon as our brides book us, we start educating them on what they need to do in order to have the beautiful images that they see on our website.

Brides also use our blog as a resource! That’s why I’m always sharing new tips and advice – it’s helpful and brides use it!

4. We prepare and we organize! I’m so thankful for a husband that’s also my second shooter. Together, we tag team different pieces of the process when we are coming up on a wedding day. We have check lists, gear prep, we communicate everything with each other, and we are READY for the day! I’m a planner at heart, so that means I’m double or TRIPLE checking everything months in advance before a wedding, making sure everything is where it needs to be in my workflow, chatting about timeline customizations, and checking in with my brides to make sure they’re feeling good. I like to think that my experience has made me VERY good at catching & troubleshooting issues before they even happen, which only helps me serve my clients EVEN better!

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