wedding guide outline here
What to have ready for us:
wedding invitation suite + envelope
wedding rings + box
hand written vows /vow book
bridal bouquet & extra greenery
get creative, anything small & special,
veil + shoes
Tie or bowtie
watch and cuff links (if wearing)
anything small & special
Clutter free, natural light, cozy
Choosing where you’ll get ready on the morning of your wedding day may not seem like that big of a deal, but a well lit, clutter free space for getting ready photos can make ALL the difference when telling your complete wedding day story.
Have your makeup artist and hair stylist set you up facing a window to allow as much natural light to hit your beautiful little face.
We highly recommend booking an Airbnb for your wedding morning. Not only can you have a massive sleepover with your bridesmaids the night before, they normally come equipped with a kitchen and coffee maker. Speaking of kitchens, have someone drop off brunch or prepare items the day before to snack on while getting ready. Chances are you’ll probably start getting ready pretty early, and getting hangry is real.
We also love the opportunity to capture detail shots of your accessories, smaller items etc that will help tell that story of your wedding morning.
A first look is when you and your partner see each other alone prior to the wedding ceremony. A first look allows you to see your sweetheart before walking down the aisle (but trust us there is still SO much excitement in seeing your babe at the end of that aisle), creates more time for portraits with your wedding party before the ceremony so that you can actually enjoy and participate in your cocktail hour, and provides you with one of the most intimate moments on your wedding day with your significant other.
We recommend first looks for all of the above reasons, plus by doing the majority of your wedding party portraits and a few bride and groom portraits, you’ll be able to visit with all of your amazing guests during cocktail hour, and you’ll get the best bride and groom/ bride and bride/ groom and groom/ human and human portraits together later in the day during golden hour without feeling like you’re not enjoying your wedding day. We also strongly suggest you do a first look if you are having a wedding during the shorter days seasons (Fall/Winter = short and possible darker weather days).
Consider the time of day that your ceremony lands at, where the sun will be hitting you (ie if you are in direct sunlight, you will without a doubt be squinting and probably very sweaty during all of your vows and ceremony, which does not translate super awesome in photos). If possible, have your ceremony either later in the day, or position your altar in the shade.
Unplugged vs plugged
For the love of all things, we ADORE an unplugged ceremony! Having everyone turn their heads and watch you walk down the aisle, to actually see your first kiss and cheer and scream as you walk back down the aisle, without uncle bob trying to open up his camera app on his phone is SO friggen special. We recommend an unplugged sign, and going as far as having your officiant make an announcement prior to the ceremony to deter any degenerates from taking out their ipads for this joyous occasion.
Family formals – 30 minutes
About a month or so before a wedding day we ask all of our couples for a family formal shot list. Once we have this list, we recommend that you (or your mum or has been constantly asking you “how can I help, what do you need help with”), send out a massive Facebook message, text or email to all members on that list letting them know that they will be needed for family formals ASAP after the ceremony. Have your officiant make an announcement as well for family members that have been notified to stay put for family formals. Your family formals will take roughly 30 minutes, depending on the length of your desired family formal shot list.
Please have someone who is familiar with most of your families (or two somebodies) to help collect the crowd and ensure we have all the correct humans in each shot. This will greatly help streamline this part of the day and help make us most effective.
If you aren’t doing a first look with wedding party portraits before the ceremony, then this will land directly AFTER the family formals (which falls directly after your ceremony). We will need everyone in the wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen, no flower girls/ring bearer needed for the entire portrait time), for 30-45 minutes if doing everything in one location. Morgan and I work together to shoot the entire wedding group as a whole, then break the group into the bride squad, and groomsmen. If you are planning on doing wedding party + bride and groom portraits, please factor this driving to the photo location and back to the venue transportation time into your schedule. Morgan and I are always happy to offer suggested photo locations that are nearby to your venue as well.
We love to do the majority of our portraits (this includes both bride and groom and wedding party portraits) as CLOSE to sunset as possible. We normally shoot our wedding party portraits first, then all bridesmaids/groomsmen portraits, then your wedding party is free. We then like to shoot our wedding couple (bride and groom, bride and bride, groom and groom, the married humans) for 20-30 minutes at this same location. The closer we can do these portraits to sunset, the better!
Remember your engagement shoot? That golden delicious glow of sunrise/sunset? Well we want to bottle all of that up on your wedding day for all of your bride and groom/married human portraits. We ask for a minimum of 15 minutes at GOLDEN hour, which lands just as the sun is going down, for our bride and groom portraits. These portraits are some of our most favourite photos/video of the day, the anxiety of the day has worn off, the pressure is off, and you two will look like the most beautiful golden goddesses/gods ever!If you do need to split your wedding portraits into 2 portions on the day, ie the first 20 minutes during cocktail hour and directly after your wedding party, then your remaining 20 minutes after dinner/before first dances.
Morgan and I LOVE meeting up with our couples in person prior to their wedding day and going over every detail of their timeline and offering suggestions/creating a customized timeline depending on where and when you’ll be getting married. These meetings are normally over beers and snacks, and we find are one of the best ways of setting up expectations and being the most prepared for the wedding day from all parties. Side note, if you are getting married at a venue that we’ve never personally shot at before, we are always happy to set up a double date with you and your fiance to do a venue site visit. These double dates allow us to see where your ceremony will be taking place, find the best lighting and location suggestions for any portrait time, and will help us see how you envision your venue on your wedding day.
2:00-3:00pm Photog/Videog start time/getting ready coverage3:00-3:30pm transportation to venue
4:30-5:00 Family formal photos
5:00-6:30 Wedding party + bride & groom portraits off site (cocktail hour)
7:30 – 8:30 Dessert/cake cutting, speeches
8:30 – 8:50 Sunset portraits
8:50 First dances (with spouse, ma & pa)
9:00 Dance floor opens everyone dances
9:30 bouquet & garter toss
10:00 Photog/videog leave
1:00-2:00pm Photog/Videog start time/getting ready coverage
2:30-3:00pm Transportation to wedding portrait location
2:45-3:00pm First Look
3:00-3:45pm Wedding Party Portraits
3:45-4:15pm Bride and Groom portraits
5:15-5:45pm Family Formal Photos
5:15-6:15 cocktail hour
6:30 – 7:30pm Dinner
7:30-8:30pm Speeches + cake cutting + dessert
8:30-8:45pm First Dances 8:45pm Dance floor opens
2:00-3:00 Photog/Videog start time/getting ready
4:30-5:00 Family portraits
5:00-6:30 Wedding party + bride & groom portraits off site (cocktail hour)
7:30-8:30 Dessert/cake cutting & speeches
9:00-9:15 First dances (w/spouse, ma & pa)
9:15 Dance floor opens everyone dances
9:45 Bouquet & garter toss
10:00 Photog/Videog leave
We want to capture how your wedding day felt, how the room felt as you heard all of your speeches, how rich and sweet and delicious your cake was, how hard your MOH was laughing during your uncles impromptu speech and the tears that rolled down your cheeks as your parents reminisced about the sweet little baby you were and the beautiful human you’ve grown into. We find the best way to really encapsulate in photo and video just HOW it felt at your reception is as much natural light as possible and as little of our own artificial lighting. Do your best to really light up the head table especially so we can pop some ultra ninja moves and be as unobtrusive as we possibly can be. Candles, like, a butt load of candles, lanterns, bistro lights all do an amazing job at really making the space feel romantic, cozy, and so intimate.
Dancing Once your dance floor has officially opened up, we recommend that you speak to your DJ in advance about at least 2 killer songs that you know will get a big crowd out onto the dance floor. And get you and your new groom/bride OUT on that dance floor and really RIP IT UP!!! It can be a little awkward for some people, but a little liquid courage can go a long way, and by being on the dance floor yourselves, will really help encourage an amazing dance floor to continue to go until the wee hours of the day. Bonus, we love being there for about 30 minutes of party time, this gives us enough to work with to really tell your entire wedding day story.
Oh my goodness, let’s talk SPARKLER EXITS!!! Sparkler exits make for the PERFECT way to end your album and wedding gallery! They are so magical, really help get more of your wedding party and guests involved in some of the wedding fun, and honestly are such a good way to wrap up the entire day! And no, sparkler exits don’t have to happen when you and your groom/bride are actually LEAVING the venue, but more closer to when Morgan and I, aka The MacLeans are leaving.