In the midst of booking our 2015 weddings, I've been thinking of planning advice to give our couples after we sign a contract. Between contract and consultation, depending on when the wedding is, there are often a few months before couples have enough information ready for us to have our first consultation. We often have couples ask, "is there anything we should do before the consultation?"
The immediate answer is no- you don't need to do anything during that time, especially if you are already stressed with everything else you need to do with planning your wedding. BUT- if you aren't stressed, and you want to get a head start before our first consultation, here are a few tips I give couples:
Think about a photo-friendly schedule: For a wedding rich with real moments, there is often a bit of planning that goes into setting up the potential for those photographs. From a first look, to spending time for a private celebration with your wedding party after the ceremony, there are plenty of extras you can add into your schedule (that cost little time or money!) to ensure for unique photographs.
Look for beautiful places: This isn't limited to the formal portraits! Be conscious of places you'll be photographed beyond the ceremony and reception. The best example is where both the bride and groom will be getting ready. If you can, choose places with lots of window light and clean backgrounds, making sure there aren't shoeboxes and bags thrown about. We can certainly photograph around these things, but there's more potential for beautiful photographs in clean spaces.
Give yourselves time: During formal portraits, we work quickly and efficiently to make sure you have stunning photographs and also are able to get to cocktail hour with time to spend with your dear friends. We suggest about a half hour to forty minutes for family portraits and a half hour for photos of you both together (for one or two locations). It's good to schedule extra "pockets" of time for yourselves- time to take a short walk or just spend a few minutes truly being able to relish the day you've worked months to plan.
Be inspired!: We love looking at the work of other photographers- if you find photographs from another wedding you love, feel free to send them to us for inspiration- it's helpful to know what you particularly are drawn to.
Don't forget to enjoy the planning process- stressful as it often is. Some of my favorite moments of my wedding happened during the planning process. My favorite was the night a few days before our wedding, when we were choosing the reception music with my family at my parent's home in Pennsylvania. We spent hours listening to dance music in the kitchen and ended up dancing into the night, sliding around on the tile floor and singing at the top of our lungs!