Planning the Ceremony | Wedding Tips

By, December 31, 2017

When planning the wedding ceremony, one big decision is, “What time should we start?” Because the ceremony time dictates the schedule for the rest of the day, there are several factors to consider.

1. Sunset. Sunset time is one of the most important things to consider! As a general rule, the ceremony should start well before sunset, and end at least one hour before the sun goes down. This ensures that you will still have quality light after the ceremony, which is important for romantic portraits together, as well as family photos.

2. Reception. Length of the reception is another thing to consider. An earlier ceremony start time gives room for a nice long party afterwards :) You’ll want to leave plenty of time to accommodate dinner, dancing, and any other traditions/event you want to include.

3. Venue Rules. Most venues have a mandatory end time. Your venue may also have a strict ceremony time. If your venue’s required ceremony window is less than one hour before sunset, you might want to consider doing a “first look.” This will allow the majority of the couple’s portraits and wedding party photos to be done before the ceremony, and ensure that you have beautiful photos in the best available light.

If you have specific questions about your wedding ceremony, and how it will pertain to your photography timeline, please feel free to contact us!

Check out more amazing wedding ceremony photos captured by our studio.


Should we do Table Shots at our wedding?

By, November 13, 2017

Table shots enable you to be photographed with all your guests, and provide an opportunity to give a quick hello. We want to capture what is most important for you, including table shots, if these are a priority. The key is to know what is involved, and how to prepare beforehand, so we can achieve successful table shots for you!

To help out, we have included a number of table shoot tips below, along with example photos.

Tip: Plan your Time Accordingly. When setting your timeline, be sure to allot an appropriate amount of time to visit all the tables. Expect to spend about about five minutes per table. Keep in mind that guests will naturally want to chat with you. Even if we move at a quick pace, and you have 10-12 tables, it could take an hour to accomplish full coverage of all your tables.

A Bride and groom have their guest join them at their table for a fun photo.

Joyce Seon Mi and Jong went with the strategy of having groups come to them during their reception at The Prado.

Tip: Stick to the schedule. It will be in your best interest to keep it moving! If you spend too much time with tables at the beginning, it can lead to a decrease in enthusiasm towards the end, as concern for time kicks in. This is especially true for events with higher table counts. Possibly consider just a few of the most important tables to have captured.

Couple having fun with guests during table shots.

Synthia and Yupeng went with the traditional method of going to each table as a couple. During their Estancia reception, they stopped and had some fun with each table.

Tip: Know your ceremony room. To fit each group into a nice composition, the tables need space for some guests to sit, and others to stand behind them. You’ll want to ensure your reception room is spacious enough for this! Also, table shots work best for tables with low centerpieces. If your centerpieces are high, it would be better to photograph at a sweetheart table, or other designated area. Otherwise, it will take extra organization to give your photographer time to adjust your centerpieces.

A newly married couple tour their reception room for photos with guests.

Tip: Two Photographers. Having two photographers at your wedding is useful for couples who want table shots. While one photographer is photographing you and your guests, the other can assist by organizing the next group and moving centerpieces.

Bride and guest pound fists during reception.

Tip: If you prefer not to visit each table, have the tables come to you! Instead of visiting each table, you can have your tables come to you! While one photographer takes photos, the other can help guide the next group over to you. This allows for the most efficiency in capturing a large number of people quickly.

A couple has a silly moment with wedding guests.

 While we set you up in a designated spot, each table can come to you to be photographed, as Joyce Seon Mi and Jong did at their reception at The Prado. This way, you can avoid the messy table tops and extra people in the background, and maintain order.

Tip: Group Photo. If you are looking for a time saver, you can do a large group photo with all of your guests at once! We are always sure to capture a variety of shots. It makes an awesome keepsake :) 

a couple takes a photo with everyone at their ceremony at once.

We took advantage of the beautiful setting of Stephanie and Chris’s ceremony location at Calamigos Ranch, and had everyone remain in their seats for a group picture. 

A wedding group takes a photo in front of a fireplace.

During Alyssa and Jonathan’s wedding at Grand Tradition, we found a beautiful setting with an open area where the newlyweds could hang out. 

A large group squeezes in for a photo op.

If your timeline or venue does not permit a group photo in the ceremony location, another option is to do it during the reception like Teresa and Thomas did at The Prado.

A newly married couple captures the moment with a selfie.

Selfies are fun! After capturing a group photo for Mykaela and Christian at Twin Oaks Garden Estate, we got in nice and close for selfie-style perspective.


Tips for the Perfect Money Dance

By, November 09, 2017

The Money Dance is one of many traditions that may take place at the wedding reception. During the Money Dance, also known as the honeymoon dance, guests are invited to cut in and dance with the bridal couple… for a price. The purpose of the dance is to symbolically contribute to the financial well being of newlyweds, and to celebrate their lives together.

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The Money Dance is a great way to get a few moments with all of your guests, get a photo with them, and thank them for attending your big day.
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It's also an undeniable opportunity to goof around with some of your best friends.
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When planning your Money Dance, make sure you bring pins for the guests to pin the money to your dress and / or suit.
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Try to limit each dance to 15-20 seconds. It sounds fast, but the time will add up quickly when you're dancing with so many people.
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Most importantly, have fun!
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Check out more fun wedding dance reception photos

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