Get Ready to Get Ready | Pre-Ceremony Tips

By, June 23, 2017

To ensure a nice flow throughout the wedding day, it is vital to start the day off right. The more we can accomplish before the ceremony, the more time we will have later to get creative with pictures of the two of you. By being prepared for us, and knowing what to expect, it helps us capture amazing photos for you!

When we first arrive, it is very important that the bride and everyone in the room be hair and makeup ready. We always suggest asking your bridal party and stylists to be finished 15-20 minutes earlier than necessary. The last thing you want to have to do is wait for a person in your bridal party! Only the bride should be putting on finishing make-up touches at this time. The groom and groomsmen should be nearly fully dressed. It will also be a good idea to put your bridal party to work to ensure the room is nice and tidy, as many photos will take place in the getting-ready area.

As you will see below, the “getting ready” portion of the wedding day is a time for many unforgettable photos. The ideal amount of photo time for this part of the day is 1.5-2 hours. If you are doing a first look, typically 2.5 hours is suggested. To maximize photo time, we designate one photographer for each spouse, which enables more coverage during this time period.

Here is a list of what to expect during the getting ready portion of your day, in chronological order:

1. Detail Photos – For the bride, this includes photos of the dress before it is put on, shoes, jewelry, florals, gifts and even invitation suites. Its a good idea to have these items ready when we arrive. For the groom this may include shoes, gifts, boutonnieres etc.

Shoe and floral detail wedding photo
Details photo of Wedding Invitiation Suite
Groom shoes and tie
Hanging wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses
Bride earrings macro shot
Hanging dress and Louboutin Shoes
Wedding dress and shoes at Rancho Valencia
Wedding invitation Suite
Detail photo of Valentino wedding shoes
Details shot of Bridal Style
Groom style at a destination wedding
Colorful red pink wedding shoes
Salvatore Ferragamo Wedding Groom Shoes

2. Candid Getting Ready Photos – For a bride, these include photos of finishing make-up touches, photos in special outfits before the dresses are on and of course putting on the dress. Putting on the dress photos occur about 20 minutes after we arrive, and typically take about 10 minutes, with the understanding that some dresses take longer than others to put on. While these shots are occurring, all of the bridesmaids and immediate family (ex. mother of the bride) should be fully dressed and ready to go.Rather than photographing a bride actually putting the dress, on we typically photograph the final lace up / zip up, along with bridesmaids/family helping with the finishing touches like shoes and jewelry. For a groom, we may photograph moments like friends/family helping with the suit, putting on shoes, and overall fun with the group.

Bride having her makeup touched up
Getting ready photo of bride and groom in their hotel rooms
Candid photo of bridesmaids wearing pjs
Groomsmen having a pillow fight
Bride getting ready pre ceremony
Fun Bridesmaids Getting Ready Photo
Fun groom adjusting hair
Bride getting ready and having fun
Candid Bride Make up Photo
Bridesmaids jumping on the bed
Bride getting ready with mother
Groom getting ready photo
Bride Getting Ready Photo
Silhouette of groom getting ready
Bride and groom finshing touches wedding photos
Bride and proud mother at wedding
Glamor photo of Bride
Getting ready photo at the Machester Grand Hyatt

3. Individual and Group Portraits Next, we will photograph some formal and stylized shots of the wedding couple in the room, and around the property. This is also the time for fun and formal  portraits with each individual bridesmaid /groomsman, along with full group shots. Including family members is optional at this point, as there is usually time (after the ceremony) specifically set aside for family photos.

Stunning bride in glamorous dress
Groomsmen style portrait
Bride with accessories lying down
Portraits of bridesmaids at a wedding
Dapper Groom
Bohemian bridesmaids having fun
Stylized portraits of bride and groom
Groomsmen with American Flag
Portraits of handsome groom and beautiful bride
Groomsmen having fun
Photos of brides pre ceremony
Groomsmen Style on A Playground
Stylized portraits of bride groom
Bride with Maid of Honor and dapper groom
Beautiful bride at a destination wedding
Creative Wedding Photography
Groomsmen being silly before the wedding ceremony
Beautiful Bride in San Marcos, California
Creative Groomsmen Photo
Bride smelling flower
Photos of Bride and Bridesmaids
Glamor photos of stunning brides

4. More Photos! Additional photo opportunities may take place throughout the getting ready portion, such as a gift exchange, a no-look meeting with each other, or even a first look with the Bride’s father. These can make for some unforgettable images. Then, before the ceremony, it’s a good idea to schedule in a 15 minute break. This allows you to decompress, and to get ready for the big moment.

Candid Photo of Bride writing vows
First look with father and bride reading note from groom
Bride and groom prayer
Bride reading card from Groom
Emotional Father and Bride
Boudoir album for Groom
Bride and groom exchange gifts before ceremony
Bride opening gift from Groom
Bride right before the ceremony

With all of this said, it’s important to remember that a wedding is a live event! Even when things don’t go exactly as planned, it is important to be adaptable. Embrace the excitement of the day, and we’ll be right there to capture amazing photos :)

Check out more unforgettable getting ready wedding images.


Wedding Flowers | A to Z Guide (with Photos)

By, February 04, 2016

It’s amazing how much impact florals can have on the wedding day. There are flowers to match every personality and style, from the classic elegance of the calla lily, to the exotic flair of the king protea. With a talented floral designer on your wedding team, you will be amazed at what can be done with bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces.

For a dose of fresh inspiration, and tips for selecting the perfect floral ensemble, check out our extensive A-to-Z floral guide below. As you scroll through the images, make sure to pin your favorites :)

Classic bouquets using anemone flowers
Floral Credit: McCann Florist (image on right)


One of the few flowers to bloom in black and white, Anemone has a classic look perfect for any traditional wedding. Unscented and cost-friendly, these flowers are in season from October to May, and pair well with ranunculuses or eucalyptus leaves.

Billy Button Boutonniere
Floral Credit: Tenfold Style

Billy Buttons

Available all year round, the billy button is a fun, ball-shaped flower that adds a punch of color to your details. Perfect for bouquets of all styles, the billy button is versatile and blends well with spring, summer and rustic themes.

Collage image of calla lily
Floral Credit: Wholesale Flowers and Supplies (on left), Isari Flower Studio (on right).

Calla Lilies

Known for its elegant beauty and distinct shape, the tropical calla lily is available year-round. Although pricy, it is one of the most popular flowers used in weddings. The calla lily is originally from Africa, and comes in a variety of colors such as ivory, yellow, orange, pink and red.

Colorful bouquet of dahlias
Floral Credit: The Flower Shop


Named as Mexico’s national flower in 1963, the Dahlia is a robust flower with a rich history throughout South America and Europe. Discovered in the Aztec gardens by traveling conquistadors, this flower became cherished for its bold colors and unique shape. The intricately patterned petals and fullness make dahlias ideal for centerpieces and bouquets. Diverse in color, they stand out on their own, or when paired with other flowers.

Ways to Use Eucalyptus at wedding
Floral Credit: Rae Florae (on left), Urban Garden & Floral Event Design (on right)


Eucalyptus is a versatile plant used primarily for its leaves and seeds. Because the natural muted greens go well with flowers, it makes a great filler. With over a hundred varieties to choose from, it is popularly incorporated into garlands, wedding arches, bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces. Eucalyptus is great for adding fullness and texture to details, and it pairs well with blush, orange and reds.

Rustic bouquet using false goats beard
Floral Credit: Gaslamp Floral (on left), Jolie Fleur Del Mar (on right)

False Goat’s Beard (Astilbe)

A tough little flower, false goat’s beard (AKA astilbe) is a feathery plume native to the mountain ravines and woodlands of Asia and North America. Coarse in texture, this flower is beautiful in wildflower bouquets, and ranges in color from cream, pink, red and amethyst. This shade-loving flower has a pleasant aroma, and gives an overall romantic feel to the day.

Traditional Wedding Bouquet
Floral Credit: Kathy Wright & Co.

Garden Roses

Garden roses have risen in popularity over the last few years, especially as a reasonably priced alternative to the peony. These roses are lush and full, with a spiral center of tightly wound petals. When in bloom, these beauties open up for a full, ruffled look. Another rose commonly used in place of more traditional varieties is the Juliet Rose.

Hydrangea bouquet
Floral Credit: Root 75 (on left), Organic Elements (on right)


A scentless shrub flower originating in Eastern Asia, hydrangeas are clustered blooms that form one large flower. They make a bold statement on their own, and can also be used to complement other flowers. Hydrangeas are thirsty, so we suggest keeping them well-hydrated to last the whole night through.

Rustic inspired bouquet using wild flower
Floral Credit: Isari Flower Studio

Jasmine Vine

Associated with love and purity, Jasmine Vine is a chic garden floral, and adds great texture to a bouquet or centerpiece. Admired for its fragrant perfume, the vine is often used in trailing bouquets for a bohemian twist.

Exotic wedding bouquet
Floral Credit: Isari Flower Studio

King Protea

A dramatic focal piece in any ensemble, the oversized King Protea demands attention. Adorned with spiky pink petals and a white, fuzzy center, this durable flower is perfect for desert environments. The national flower of South Africa, the King Protea is one of the oldest known flower types, dating back nearly 300 million years.

Lavender bouquet and boutonniere
Floral Credit: Bloomers of La Jolla (on left), Painted Primrose (on right)


Known for its aromatic fragrance, lavender is a rustic flower that can be used dried or in fresh bouquets. Its soft muted colors create a calm atmosphere, and a romantic, timeless look.

Colorful bouquet of nigella flower
Floral Credit: Sharrie Woods


Vibrant and colorful, Nigella is a rich blue garden flower that blooms in early Summer. Its nickname, Love-in-a-Mist, comes from the fennel-like foliage that grows on top of the flower, creating a mist-like appearance.

Colorful orchid bouquetFloral Credit: Trendee Flowers (on left), Artistic Floral Design (on right)


A sexy tropical flower, orchids are a popular choice for Summer brides due to their ability to withstand heat. They can be used alone as a creative boutonnière, or bunched together in a eye-catching cascade bouquet. Coming in over 20,000 various shapes and colors, the most commonly seen types are Cymbidium (usually green), Phalaenopsis (white and purple), Vanda (blue), and Dendrobium (used in Hawaiian leis and cascading bouquets).

Classic pink Peony bouquet
Floral Credit: Adornments Flowers


The quintessential wedding flower, peonies are admired for their classic romantic look. With lush, ruffled petals and a sweet aroma, these flowers are ideal for Spring weddings but can be challenging to find during the off-season.

Rustic bouquet with ranunculus
Floral Credit: Isari Flower Studio


Adorned with lush, dense ruffles and fluffy petals, Ranunculus have quickly become a modern wedding favorite. These beautiful flowers bloom in a variety of colors, ranging from white, orange, pink and burgundy. Popularly used as an alternative to the peony or rose, Ranunculus are extremely versatile, and can be paired with a wide assortment of flowers.

Colorful desert themed wedding succulents
Floral Credit: Sweet Marie Designs (on left), Penny Blooms Floral & Event Design (on right)


Heat-resistant, and therefore perfect for Summer, succulents have become a modern addition to many rustic weddings. When combined with other flowers such as ranunculus or dahlias, succulents provide a beautiful, textured accent. They also make great focal points, and can be incorporated into bouquets, party favors, and creative wedding backdrops.

Colorful orange tulip bouquet


Tall and elegant, with an egg-shaped blossom, tulips add a fun burst of color to the wedding day. You can find tulips in most hues, with shades ranging from white to rich dark purple. Although the traditional styles, such as Big Smile and Menton, are most popular at weddings, there are also many exotic varieties. Our favorites are the Parrot Tulip, with ruffled petals that mimic the feathers of a parrot, and the Double Bloom Tulip, which resembles a peony.

Colorful bouquet incorporating red uva ursi berries
Floral Credit: Adorations Botanical Artistry

Uva Ursi

Also known as Bearberries, Uva Ursi is an evergreen shrub that grows beautiful red berries in the Fall. A perfect accent in bouquets or on boutonnieres, the complementary green and red tones will add a pop of color to your details.

Colorful flower bouquets using veronica flowers
Floral Credit: Splendid Sentiments (on left), Cherry Blossom Floral Designs (on right)


A tall spike of small, bushy petals, Veronica Flower is one of the truest blue flowers on the market. The flower can be found in a variety of colors beyond blue such as purple, pink or white. Available from Spring to Autumn, these flowers radiate a tea-like fragrance that often attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Classic bouquet incorporating yew plant
Floral Credit: Franco’s Flowers


With thin spiky leaves that can bear cones and berries, yew is a coniferous shrub that brings a touch of the forest to the wedding day. It adds texture and greenery for a pop of drama, and is perfect for couples planning winter or rustic weddings.

Bride Zoe holding calla lily bouquet


We know these are lilies. But they are gorgeous lilies, and they are from our bride Zoe‘s beautiful wedding. So we get by on a technicality, right?

For dozens (and dozens) of additional wedding flower photos, to use as inspiration, please click here.


‘Gingham and Lace’ Wedding at The Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe

By, November 11, 2011

Jennifer and Brandon’s September wedding played off of the classic and sophisticated feel of The Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe, while incorporating a DIY (Do It Yourself) vintage flair. Jennifer and her sister Jessica had a blast coming up with unique and intricate details for the wedding, which truly was a labor of love! In fact, the the crafty pair of sisters are now planning to launch a decor company / blog called “Linen, Lace, and Love.” We stopped to chat with Jennifer to get the dish on the details, and the special moments that we captured through our lens. Take a look at what she had to say!

I’m shabby-chic, and Brandon is more traditional and clean. So we met in the middle with a “Gingham and Lace” theme.  He’s gingham and I’m lace and we tied it in throughout.  We wanted it to be clean, classic, and beautiful with a little vintage feel thrown in.  The table numbers took three days because we hand stenciled numbers on them, glued doilies, attached buttons up the backs of all of them, and tied them with a gingham bow. The signs were made by my artist sister as a cute way to direct the crowd across the Crosby to the reception. 

San Diego's Top Wedding Photographer: San Diego wedding had gingham and lace theme with lace runners, candles, centerpieces, gingham pocket squares and lace weddings dress

The Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe is not only beautiful, but it is where my parents live. For many years, The Crosby has felt like a second home.  The location is sentimental to me, as well as breathtaking, so it was an easy choice for our wedding venue.

San Diego Wedding Photography of beautiful wedding at the golf course at The Crosby in Rancho Santa Fe, Califonria

My favorite moment was when my dad saw me for the first time.  Our photographer had me wait in the dressing room and brought my dad into the lobby.  Then I came out and we both almost started crying.  It was really special.

San Diego Wedding Photographer photographs bride and father-of-the-bride before beautiful wedding at The Crosby in Rancho Santa Fe

Brandon’s most memorable moment was when the car pulled up and I stepped out and he saw me for the first time. The car is a 1930 Packard that my dad and his father, Donald Wheeler, restored together.  My grandfather passed away three years ago, and it was our way of including him in the ceremony. The Packard was also in my parents’ wedding, and my sister’s, so it’s become a family tradition.

San Diego Wedding Photographer photographs groom when bride and dad walk down the aisle at wedding at the Crosby

The scripture on the flowers was from my Auntie Mae, who gave me the page of my favorite Bible verse. The page was pulled out of my Great Aunt’s Bible, which she carried down the aisle when she got married. The passage is Ephesians’ 3:20…The cross necklace wrapped around my bouquet was Brandon’s wedding gift to me, and I now wear it every day.

San Diego Wedding Photographer photographs bridal bouquet wrapped with scripture and a cross at a Wedding at The Crosby Club in Rancho Santa Fe

We also had a “frames” theme – the photos, escort card display, and the flower boxes in the reception were all empty frames. We even gave out frames as a wedding favor. We liked the idea of empty frames symbolizing all of our memories yet to come.

San Diego Wedding Photographer: Wedding had a picture frame theme at The Crosby in Rancho Santa Fe

We made the guestbook table by wrapping books with navy paper and then gluing doilies and stamping them with letters. I think it turned out really well. With help from our wedding planners at Amorology and graphic design by Peanut Press, we also created an amazing escort card display. Our original concept was to do a canopy of ribbon with the escort tags woven through the ends that were coming down.  Amorology came up with the giant frame idea and I loved how it tied into our theme.

San Diego Wedding Photographers photograph wedding details inlcuding guestbook table and escort card display

Our experience with True Photography was GREAT! They were very professional, kind (we have both been in weddings where the photographer was yelling at people the whole time), helpful, and prepared. They totally captured our wedding day. Here are a few of our favorite images for the day:

San Diego Wedding Photographers photograph bride and groom at luxury golf course wedding at The Crosby Club in Rancho Santa FeSan Diego Wedding Photographers: Fun and creative wedding photos with reflection, bridal party and sparklers

San Diego Wedding Photographer

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