I’m glad we found each other to be a good fit for your wedding day. Seriously, nothing brings me more joy than being on the same wavelength as my clients. After we’ve met, covered the basics and some logistics, we need to talk expectations about day-of photos. This is something you’ll want to take time to think about and discuss with your partner (and family, if they’re involved). For example, everyone has different expectations about first looks. Let’s make sure we’re clear on these with plenty of time to spare so your day can be worry-free. Here are my general recommendations (based on many years of experience in the wedding photography industry):

prioritize what photos are important to you on your wedding day
Gastler Farm Wedding

Nail down your timeline.

More than any other time in your life, the day of your wedding happens in the blink of an eye. A lot happens in very little time, so it’s important to keep realistic expectations. Unless you have an intimate wedding with less than 20 guests, I suggest doing a first look and formal photos (with family members and the wedding party) before the ceremony. That’s when everybody looks their best (and when your family and friends aren’t too sauced). 

The alternative is taking these shots after the ceremony, which, in my experience, takes away precious time from the excitement of hugging your people and toasting to the person you literally just committed your life to.  At the very least, knocking out your wedding party and couple portraits ahead of time means a lot less formal photos AFTER the ceremony and that you get to join the party a lot faster!

If we’re working on limited time, consider if you want more photos of you and the wedding party getting ready, or more of the reception and dance party. We photographers have been to a LOT of weddings so if you’re unsure on how much time to budget for each event, let us know your priorities and we can help you design a timeline for our coverage that maximizes your money and our experience.

prioritize what photos are important to you on your wedding day

Ask about my second shooter add-on.

If you’re not booking one of my bundled packages (which all come with 2 photographers no matter what), but you’re expecting over 80 guests up to several hundred guests, or if you have multiple events happening in sync, I suggest the second shooter add-on in your custom designed package. Why? It’s a worthwhile investment to have me in two places at once. And by me, I mean a trained eye that I trust with my business—that’s saying a lot. 

For instance, my second shooter can be present at your bustling cocktail hour while I’m focused on busting out those family formals and the intimate moments with your new life partner. Also, a second shooter is helpful if there are particular points of view or angles you’re requesting. At the reception, it means that while I’m focused on you, my second is focused on your friends and family, which makes your gallery more well rounded and provides you with photos of the people you love most.  But, if you want 1200 photos of just you, by all means…… 

West shore Cafe Wedding
Lake Tahoe Wedding

Stick to your plan (as best you can).

You may not want to hear this, but inevitably, something is going to go off-course the day of your wedding. Typically a vendor is late, someone has a little too much to drink too soon, mama drama, a wardrobe malfunction, or a wedding party member is MIA. These things are all common enough that I’m happy to help the timeline along without letting them foil your day. 

When something (or someone) goes off-course, don’t panic and try to change important logistics. Take a deep breath, know that most of the people (save the occasional bad apple) at your wedding are there to support you in any way they can. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to delegate small decisions to your wedding party. I’ve been known to pull strings to work day-of miracles, but let’s do our best to stick to the plan and expectations we set ahead of time. The key is to stay calm and keep moving. 

Camp Sacramento Wedding