with spring weddings in full swing, we are reminded of a question we get asked quite often: should we see each other before the wedding ceremony?
are you unsure about whether or not you should see each other before your wedding ceremony? don’t worry, you are not alone. the moment when the bride and groom see each other for the first time can be quite a momentous part of the wedding day. below we have listed the advantages to both options to help you figure out what will work best for your wedding day.
advantages to seeing each other before the ceremony, and/or having a “first look”:
• if a concern, you can flush out any nerves.
• offers you a private moment to digest the significant occasion.
• we can knock out some bridal party and immediate family photos so there are not as many posed portraits after the ceremony. [ curious how to craft your posed portrait list? we have you covered here. ]
• this option is especially advantageous in the late fall to early spring months [ in charleston, october – early march ] when the sun sets earlier in the day moving up the ideal time of day for portraits. [ curious about the best time of day for portraits? we have you covered here too. ] advantages to waiting to see each other for the first time as you walk down the aisle at the ceremony:
• you don’t have to get ready quite as early on the day of the wedding, making it possible for photography coverage to begin later in the day.
• the anticipation to see one another can build to the second you walk down the aisle, and everyone can witness that special moment together.
• still want to knock out some nerves? you can have a first touch, without seeing each other and capture a sweet private moment between the two of you. some couples will read letters they wrote to each other at this time, or just exchange a few words while holding hands.
• family that would otherwise not be present, does not have to come early just for posed portraits.
• this option is especially advantageous in the late spring through early fall months [ in charleston, april – september ] as the heat and humidity can be a big factor. the sun also sets later in the day which is the ideal time of day for portraits outside.
in the end, it is your day and your choice but hopefully these suggestions will help you decide what will work best for you and your wedding.
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leah and jonny are an incredibly kind couple. before meeting their family for the wedding ceremony, we started at philadelphia alley for a sweet first look. we walked through some of the cobblestone streets enjoying the beautiful early spring blooms while leah and jonny made each other giggle. we joined their family at white point gardens for their ceremony at the gazebo. the live oaks arched in the background as jonny’s dad, dick, performed their ceremony and spoke to them about creating a duet with their marriage versus a duel. after saying their i do’s they led their guests to the edmondston-alston house for cocktails and a reception. the cutting of the cake helped prove beyond a doubt that jonny had never done this [a wedding] before. 😉 while giving a toast to their family he said, “my only regret is that i didn’t meet you [leah] sooner in life.” we know these two will be enjoying life together for years to come, and we can’t wait to see how baby g adds to their performance. we are looking forward to the next party in november!
a mutual friend, a party bus and the freefest music festival kicked off lesley and dan’s love story and official best friend status. they both love charleston [how can you blame them?], so they decided to bring their family and friends down to celebrate at their favorite beach destination. not only did they show everyone isle of palms, they also took them to beautiful boone hall plantation where they tied the knot at the cotton dock. although they usually air on the side of laughter, their sweet ceremony and personal vows brought out quite a few happy tears as they officially became best friends for life. the celebration that followed brought a lot more laughs, a couple more happy tears and some pretty epic dance moves. we know lesley and dan will be reminiscing about this amazing weekend for years to come, and we are confident they will travel back and visit us soon! wishing you many more days filled with happy hours, relaxing beach time and teaching your nephews new tricks. 😉 wedding venue . boone hall plantation
wedding coordinator . elm events
bridal gown . pronovias . jennifer’s bridal
bridesmaid dresses . bill levkoff
hair . lashes and lace
makeup . lashes and lace
florist . duvall
officiant . barbara porter
caterer . duvall
cake . ashley bakery
DJ . stephen darby
getaway transportation . lowcountry valet
rentals . duvall
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we are getting geared up for the spring wedding season, and have lots of couples working on putting together their posed portrait list. we put together this handy guide to make the process simple enough to finish while having a glass of wine [or two ;)].
for family portraits, we always request a list ahead of time. below are some more details about how to put together your posed portrait list.
when crafting your posed portrait shot list, we suggest allotting four minutes per pose. it does not necessarily take four minutes per grouping, but this allows for time to shuffle people in and out, line people up and make sure everyone is accounted for and looking in the right direction. larger groups tend to take longer than four minutes, and smaller groups take a bit less time, so four is a nice average to give you an idea of how much time your list may take.
when drafting your shot list it helps to start with your nuclear family and then branch out from there. it is most helpful if you give us everyone’s name and their title or relation to you to limit confusion. we also ask that you indicate whether the photo will be before or after the wedding ceremony.
here is a generic wedding shot list to get you started.
before the ceremony:
groom with best man [colin camp]
groom + groomsmen
bride with maid of honor [reid black]
bride + bridesmaids
bride w/mom [suzy holbrook]
bride and groom + parents of the bride [brad & suzy holbrook]
bride and groom + bride’s side of the family: brad & suzy holbrook, linda holbrook [sister] jeff holbrook [brother]
bride and groom + rebecca phillips [grandmother]
bride and groom + parents of the groom [peter and barb lang]
bride and groom + groom’s side of the family: peter and barb lang, and sarah lang [sister]
bride and groom + bridal party
bride + groom
once the list is finalized we will work on figuring out the best location. for the posed family portraits, the people take precedence over the location. we look for a spot that will work well with the light, and showcase the people in the photograph the best. once we decide on a location, you can share the list with the people involved and let them know where they need to be and when.
for the photographs of the two of you we will have scouted the location, and have various backdrops chosen based on the light and scenery. if there is a spot you really enjoy, please share it with us. these photos usually take 15-20 minutes depending on the location of the event. we do our best to take the majority of these photos within the two hours prior to sunset for the best light. depending on the season and location, we may even take you back out for 5-10 minutes just around sunset.
we will also discuss whether any of the photos need to be moved to the reception time. usually if there are photos you want of high school/college/work friends those will take place later in the day. it is a good idea to have a point of contact or someone in the group that knows everyone and is good at organizing so they can help us round the people up.
general rules: since we are documentary style wedding photographers we spend the majority of the day capturing the moments unfold, so we want to say again that it is very important to have a list of family and bridal party portraits so we make sure to capture the shots you want. we also ask for any special requests, so if there are certain people, events and/or decor unique and special to your day we would love to hear about it. other than that, we work best when you trust us to work our magic so we can really focus on the moments that matter.
feel free to loosen it up, and be silly.
if you happen to forget someone, no worries, we are happy to add them in on the day of the wedding. you can also feel free to grab us at any point on your wedding day, just look our way and smile and we will know what to do.
the list is not an end all be all, but it does ensure we capture the most important posed portraits to you on your wedding day. it relieves stress, so you don’t have to worry about whether there is a photo of you and your parents, and it’s really a time saver. if uncle bob knows when and where to be, you won’t spend 15 minutes waiting for someone to find him and bring him back to the portrait location. 🙂 so get working on that list, and please let us know if you have any other questions.
Happy Anniversary numero uno to Courtney and Tommy, who tied the knot at the gorgeous Historic Rice Mill in Charleston SC! Join us in raising a glass to this happy couple and wishing them many more happy days!
amanda and hamilton live right here in charleston south carolina, but most of their family and friends traveled from afar to celebrate their wedding weekend. they decided to start their day on a trolley with a quick tour of charming downtown charleston. we headed to white point gardens otherwise known as the battery to take some portraits of the bridal party and let all the little ones run around through the live oaks. after a quick stroll down church street, we hopped back aboard the trolley and made our way to the historic rice mill. their children, nieces and nephews quickly made bets on who would win the dance contest and even tested out some moves before walking down the aisle. after a sweet ceremony overlooking the ashley river, guests headed inside the antebellum rice mill to enjoy cocktails and appetizers by good food catering. just as the sun was setting, the clouds parted and made way for a stunning sunset for everyone to view as they sat down for a delicious three-course meal. the dance floor quickly filled as the children [and adults] showed off their best dance moves. it was a rousing affair and we know amanda and hamilton will continue the party for years to come.
as we wrap up our top 10 best wedding venues in charleston south carolina we are heading back in to downtown charleston to the thomas bennett house. you can get ready inside of and have your cocktail hour in the historic antebellum home. the governorthomas bennett house features a large piazza overlooking the fountain and brick courtyard for an overhead view of the ceremony, and a perfect spot to hang out for a cocktail. the gardens display seasonal plantings, a 200-year-old oak tree and an in-ground mosquito spray system. two spiral staircases both inside and outside the home provide excellent locations for photographs, and making grand entrances. the on-site parking for up to 200 guests is quite a feature for a downtown location. since you are already in the city, it makes it that much easier to continue your party in downtown charleston.planning your big day? pin the images you love to your own boards!