wedding planning

We've booked our wedding photography... now what?

you've booked your wedding photography now what?

Congratulations!If you’ve booked me as your wedding photographer, chances are you already have your church and reception site booked as well, so the biggest hurdles are out of the way!You have the bling, the spouse, and the perfect date!  You may even have a few other big decisions or vendors taken care of: the dress, the DJ or band, an amazing color palette, the florist...

perfect-date

perfect-date

 (sorry, I couldn't resist!!)

Since I’ve started my snazzy new Honeybook site to book clients, streamline communication, send questionnaires & proposals, and to take payments, there’s not a lot to do on the photography front until a few weeks before the wedding.About 3-4 weeks out, I will send you a questionnaire that asks all about timing, locations, day-of contact info, vendors, and other specifics.

If at any time throughout the planning process and leading up to your wedding, you need me to field any questions about photography specifics or the timeline, I am happy to help!As an #hbpcouple, you are encouraged to email me or text me with your questions.I would rather get those uncertainties out of the way early, and share my expertise with you when I can.I’ve been to hundreds of weddings, and have seen all sorts of circumstances, so I hope to be a great resource!

rural hand holding engagement session

rural hand holding engagement session

Also, if you have an engagement session included with your collection (or you’ve added one on a la carte), you would most likely want to schedule that out prior to the wedding. If you’re planning to use a photo from the session for your save-the-dates, I recommend doing the session roughly 7 months ahead of the wedding date.Most wedding guides will say to send out your save-the-dates 6 months ahead, so that gives me time to edit and post the images, and for your ordering time.

Watch for another post on preparing for your engagement session coming soon!  Happy wedding planning!!

The Photography "Golden Hour"

Sunset.png
gorgeous red orange sunset wedding photos

gorgeous red orange sunset wedding photos

What’s “golden hour” you ask? It’s the hour just before the sun sets under the horizon, also known as a photographer’s favorite time of day & type of light. I usually will look up the exact sunset time before any session or wedding so I can plan the start time and know how much light I will have to work with as we near the end of the session. When I meet with my wedding clients, I provide them with two versions of a sample timeline — both with and without a First Look or Reveal. (Watch for another blog post coming soon about wedding day timelines!) With input from the reception venue and DJ, I will often help the couple finalize their timeline leading up to the wedding day. I also send out a questionnaire to my couples about 1-2 weeks before the wedding, and one of the questions on it is “What time is sunset?”

sunset wedding day at Pear Tree Estate

sunset wedding day at Pear Tree Estate

sunset by the lake

sunset by the lake

wedding day sunset at Urbana Country Club

wedding day sunset at Urbana Country Club

One of my favorite things on a wedding day is to sneak the couple outside for 5-10 minutes just *after* sunset to maximize the color of the sky and get some gorgeous sunset photos, both with off-camera flash (also another blog post!) and as silhouettes. These techniques work best if there is a good view of the horizon, or access to a rooftop or parking garage. If you are a fan of my sunset photos though, and this is something you *know* you want on your wedding day, you’ll definitely want to take location, sunset time, and reception timeline into consideration as you plan.

classic winter sunset at iHotel wedding

classic winter sunset at iHotel wedding

deep sky sunset at Memorial Stadium Colonnades

deep sky sunset at Memorial Stadium Colonnades

Golden hour beautiful light at Pear Tree Estate

Golden hour beautiful light at Pear Tree Estate

You can use this link to calculate sunset (or sunrise!) times for any date in the future for any zip code. This can be useful for other events too! I find a lot of times that my fall/winter clients don’t always take the sunset time into account when they decide on the ceremony start time and whether or not to do a First Look. It’s easy to forget that it gets dark so early from November through March. For my December weddings, I usually just count on it getting dark at 4:30 to be safe. On the flip side, for my late June/early July weddings, I typically plan for it to be light out until almost 9pm!

Deep blue sunset skies at Orpheum Children's Museum

Deep blue sunset skies at Orpheum Children's Museum

storm clouds rolling in at sunset at Erin's Pavilion in Springfield

storm clouds rolling in at sunset at Erin's Pavilion in Springfield

To wrap things up, my advice to wedding couples is to set your date, book your venue, email Holly about your photography (!), and then check the sunset time for your date. :D Priorities!! Happy wedding planning!!