Confessions of a Wedding Photographer

2017 is drawing to a close and it is allowing me time to reflect on this past season. Wedding photography has become my main source of income, and also has simultaneously become the outlet that I enjoy doing the most. Well, that and Newborn shoots because come on, babies.

After having been to so many weddings I am starting to consider myself somewhat of a professional on the subject. There are so many similarities from wedding to wedding, and of course there are so many differences because each couple brings something so unique to their special day and that is their stories. Learning how they met, how they fell in love, how their love has sustained them to this point is one of my favorite things.

A lot of vendors don't love speeches, but I have to say they are one of my favorite parts about weddings. Of course there are the disaster speeches which are usually hilarious, sometimes awkward, but most of the time those closest to the couple share the sweetest moments, little anecdotes of each of them and how they became the two people who hired me. Typically I end up leaving a wedding at the end of the night feeling as if I just made some new best friends, because I am entrusted to spend one of the most intimate days with them and try to capture moments as I see them.

There are things at weddings that tend to be universal and it is refreshing to see some couples breaking the mold and spending the day how they want, not how they think it should be spent. It is difficult because truth be told weddings have a very specific time line to follow, especially when you've never been married before and you don't know what the heck to expect. To each bride and groom, for the most part, it's a new experience and they're just riding the waves of the day. There are bound to be some mishaps, and those are usually the moments that bring us to tears with laughter when we look back years later. But as your photographer, as someone who has been through it time and time again, I feel some sort of responsibility to pass on my knowledge. And you can decide to use it or not and I will not think anything of it if you do not!

1. The first look. There are two common things going on these days - one of them being the classic not seeing one another until the bride walks down the aisle which a lot of people love the idea of, they love the tradition to this. But another great option is doing a first look beforehand. It doesn't have to be much, but I often suggest to my couple that it allows the groom to really show how he feels when he first see's his bride to be. This can also take some of the jitters out of the pressure of walking down the aisle in front of everyone you know.

2. When you stand at the alter feel free to interact with one another. Touch each other, hold their hands, hug them when you want to. I had never seen anyone break this mold until one wedding this fall the commissioner told them that after they shared their personal vows they were allowed to hug and it hit me, why can't you normally do that? It doesn't have to be stiff. You can make it whatever you want, and the camera will love you for it.

3. Speaking of vows - personal vows are seriously the bomb and honestly one of my biggest regrets is not writing them for my own wedding. You don't realize what a difference it makes, but honestly it's huge. And if you don't want to be vulnerable in front of your guests, write a letter to your love to read before the ceremony or share your personal vows with one another in your first look beforehand.

4. Garter toss - this is the funniest tradition to me. And honestly I simultaneously enjoy it as I cringe watching it. Because it's adorable and also awkward as heck. Your husband sticking his head up your dress in front of both of your parents and grandparents is hysterical and it's totally a personal thing but if you choose to do it just know that I'll be there quietly giggling like a child behind my camera.

5. Shoving cake into your spouses face is also a hysterical tradition. Like who on earth started that? "Hey, I know we just decided to spend forever with each other, but I'd really like to cover you in cake in hands down the fanciest clothing we will ever wear." Again, I love watching this but totally don't understand it. Or cake cutting in general really.

6. Food! Wedding food is the worst. It's always the same and it's always expensive. So trust me when I say this, look into your options. A lot of the time venues will make you use their catering, but if not find a caterer that you enjoy. Have a pizza bar, perogies, DIY tacos, heck, burgers! Make this wedding your own. That being said you often don't get to eat you're too busy visiting with everyone, so it doesn't really matter.

I guess the whole point of this post is let my clients know that this day is 100% about you. That wedding planning book you have is so so helpful, but don't forget yourself in the process. Let's make this day truly special and have it reflect the two of you. I can't wait for this coming season and my incredible couples that come along with it, and if you still haven't booked, book fast cause dang so many people got engaged this Christmas!

I love all of my past clients so much and I am so thankful to have been trusted with one of the most important days of their lives. I have grown so much over this past season and that wouldn't have been the case if I didn't have phenomenal clients who hire me to be there with them when they say "I do".

Thank you thank you thank you, and helllllllllo 2018!

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