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Wedding Photography 101: What you should know!

A picture is worth a thousand words! So we sat down with one of our favorite photographers, Courtney Price,and got all the essential details for capturing the perfect day!

Q: How far in advance should a bride start her photography plans? Describe a timeline you suggest for brides?

A: Pre covid reschedules were 10 to 12 months but now its more 12 to 15 months, especially if your planning your wedding in super popular months like spring-fall. Wedding photographer should be the first vendor you book after your wedding planner.

Sample Timeline:

Make sure to check with your photographer & planner when choosing ceremony time based on the sunset (traditional rules around ceremony time no longer really apply - lighting is what's most important!) I would recommend scheduling your ceremony 2 hours before sunset.

First Look:

1:30pm Photographer arrives, candids of girls getting ready & bride's details

2:00pm Hair & Makeup complete

2:30pm Bride gets dressed

3:00pm First Look

3:30pm Immediate Family

3:45pm Bridal Party

5:00pm Photos complete; Photographer captures ceremony & reception details

6:00pm Ceremony

6:30pm Extended Family

6:50pm Bride & Groom portraits

7:15pm Reception Introductions, First Dances, Dinner

No First Look:

2:30pm Photographer arrives, candids of girls getting ready & bride's details 3:00pm Hair & Makeup complete 3:30pm Bride gets dressed 4:00pm Bride with Bridesmaids 4:30pm Groom with Groomsmen 5:00pm Photos complete; Photographer captures ceremony & reception details 6:00pm Ceremony 6:30pm Extended Family 6:50pm Bride & Groom portraits 7:15pm Reception Introductions, First Dances, Dinner

Q: What are a few questions you think are essential for a bride to ask a photographer?

A: What is their approach through their work, besides delivering beautiful images? What are their values? Are they legacy-focused?

For Courtney, she says "My values: Life-giving experience, professional, calmness - and timeless, true-to-life photographs using film"

Other things to think about is are they willing to go above and beyond to help you through the planning process?

Are they able to recommend vendors, plan your family groupings with you, asking what's most important to you, collaborating with your planner, helping you coordinate your engagement or bridal session location, hair/makeup, florist?

How long have they been in business, how many weddings have they photographed and do they have experience with all different kinds of situations?

Do they offer bridal portraits, high-quality prints and albums?

Q: How can a bride gage if a photographer has a similar style to hers?

A: They should feel compelled to see more of their work!

Does their work stand out from others? Do they capture skin tones and details well? is it true to life or is it trendy and will look trendy years from now?

Ask them to send full galleries, is their style consistent?

Personality is also very important to feel comfortable on the wedding day!

Q: What are some essentials brides should have on their packing list?

A: invitation suite including envelopes, all wedding rings, jewelry, shoes,

heirlooms - handkerchief, grandmother's ring, pin for bouquet, etc.

any other fun details from the day - name cards, menu, koozies, guest welcome bags

If you have specialty linens, those make a perfect backdrop and bring in an intentional piece of your design!

Your planner will ask your florist to provide blooms to incorporate as well! Extra attention to details and elevating your wedding photos.

Q: Favorite bridesmaids colors to photograph?

A: blue tones, mixing & matching printed and solid dresses is so fun!

Q: What are important things to keep in mind when picking a venue? What is your favorite wedding location?

A: Best things to think about when choosing a venue:

Getting ready space - lot of light. It also makes a huge difference if everything is in one place.

Columbia - Wavering Place, Lace House

Destination - Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, SC

Q: Small details vs big impact details, which goes further?

A: Both! You could have a big floral arch and a sailcloth tent but also gorgeous linens and quality florals in your arrangements, letterpress invitations, gold dinnerware, statement seating, etc.

Your photographer will capture the whole scene, and then zero in on those tiny details - your gallery should reflect this

At Walker's wedding, Alexandra designed the bar with a beautiful blue custom pattern - little details go a long way and set your wedding apart

Q: What are some of your favorite photography trends as of late?

A: Honestly whatever makes it unique and true to you! Don't copy what other people are doing - truly try to think outside of the box!

For Courtney, her favorite trends are currently sailcloth tents, color, florals over ceremony doors or the entrance to the tent, ceremony exit with petals are still so fun, walking as a group from ceremony to reception, and smaller, more intimate weddings.

Q: Tell us your favorite moments from a wedding you photographed?

A: For Walker & Alan's wedding, I asked them on the spot if they would be up for me driving them up the driveway to the row of magnolias for their first look (I drove Walker and my second shooter drove Alan) and it ended up being beautiful and a little more of a private space for them before we met back up with the bridal party and family for portraits.

When Mikayla & Trey decided to have a family-only wedding on their original date and a big reception later on, Alexandra designed a gorgeous intimate dinner at the Airbnb they rented - turned out so beautifully even though it wasn't the plan!

Huge Thank you to Courtney Price for taking the time to give us the rundown on all things Wedding photography!


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