“I’ve never done this, so I don’t know what to do or what you need from me.”
I hear this so often from my brides, the heroines of their own #kaylaleelovestories, when we are first discussing their big day. As a twenty-year reader of Martha Stewart Weddings, I love nothing more than looking over the large glossy pages of perfectly planned pairings of images.They fit together as a puzzle does, one by one revealing the larger picture of the day. The interest of time, often these are left out of the timeline for the day, which only results in a hole in the images–something seems missing without these there with your portraits and shots of your first kiss, first dance…all the other must-save moments. We can’t let that happen to you; we just can’t.
So, brides-to-be, here are the five items to have with you to guarantee the detail shots that will allow you to have a Martha Stewart Wedding-ish image gallery.
An invitation. Why spend all that money and time putting together an invitation suite, and not get it photographed? I know, I know…there are often so many extras, why take a picture when there is the real thing in a box somewhere? Well, there are plenty of reasons. The physical invite isn’t going to be in the complete photo album of the day; it might not fit into an album of photographs that is put together and it could very easily fall out and go missing (oh no!). Taking a few creative shots will be worth it in the long run.
The flowers. This isn’t just the bouquets, but the boys’ boutonnieres as well. When the photographer sets up for one, it is just as easy to take the rest–the lighting is set up for one floral arrangement, why not be efficient and use it to capture all the flowers at the same time?
The rings. Everyone loves a good ring photo–next to the first kiss and first dance, it is a true money shot of a wedding day. To guarantee this classic photo, it is important for the bride’s side to have these in their possession for the photographer. While the bridal party is waiting for the guests to arrive is the perfect time for the photographer to stage and take these ring shots–the getting-ready portion of the day is done, and since there are only so many moments that can be taken in a conference room, this is a nice use of the time between getting dressed and getting hitched. It takes just a few short minutes for an important memory.
The jewelry and shoes. There is something so moving about watching a bride putting on her wedding day frosting, such as her necklace and earrings. If it is not possible for the photographer to be there while you are getting into your gown, perhaps stall in putting on your jewelry so the photographer can document those details and moments for you.
Family first looks. Brides are always well aware of the groom’s first look (which are the sweetest), but I adore the family first look just as much. This is a personal favorite of mine, because it really captures the pure emotion and essential joy from the day. The moment where Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, even the kids see their mom/daughter/granddaughter for the first time is so emotional, so beautiful, and absolutely a time worth saving. If possible, try to keep those prying eyes away until your photographer is available to catch these in-camera so you can keep them forever.
It’s not hard to have a classic and well-curated wedding gallery, so long as all parties are prepared. Think about having these items ready and waiting for their moment so you can always have all the moments from your big day to cherish and enjoy.