Even though it’s technically winter in California, I’m dreaming of gorgeous blooms and intimate weddings. Last year I had the pleasure of shooting at one of my mentor’s workshops at her dreamy Santa Barbara House. Every detail was in a word – poetic, with high attention to detail and an effortless curation of each moment. Congratulations again to these newlyweds!
I love capturing the moments leading up to the ceremony. Yes, sometimes things can be super chaotic but I definitely recommend a “bridal boudoir moment” where you can just focus on being present and capturing the details of simple elegance before putting on something that can sometimes feel restricting and/or limiting. Definitely the perfect time for a quick meditation to clear your mind and find inner peace.
Wedding accessory photos are not for everyone but they are great additions to tell the story and often get forgotten about as the years pass on. You might not have a large print of your shoes (or maybe you would) but I think these are great detail photos to show future generations when asking about your special day.
I would say to have your wedding invitation suite prepared for your photographer in a location that’s well lit by natural light, usually that’s by a window and where they can access it with a top down view. Usually this is on the ground or a writing desk with a chair or stool to get some height. To compliment the image, ask your florist for some loose flowers and include any other elements such as a favor, vintage stamps, wax seal, or a ring dish.
The ceremony is usually the main event of the day and it’s up to your photographer to capture the true emotions. My pro tip is that once it’s time for the kiss, instruct your officiant to step to the side so the photographer can get a clear photo of the two of you. Don’t feel like you’re rude to ask, these are your memories and it’s a small ask that will create better photos for the last few moments of your nuptials.
When it comes to the table setup, less is more. Ideally your guests will have plated meals to accommodate dietary requests, Usually these table photos are taken during cocktail hour or before the ceremony depending on your timeline. I take off any generic items like salt and pepper shakers unless they add a specific look to the photos and focus more on the plate setting and florals.
Bride and Groom portraits can be taken either pre or post ceremony. If you have a tight timeline, I’d suggest taking them pre-ceremony to allow you more time with your guests during cocktail hour and/or more time for group photos. If you have some wiggle room, post ceremony might be best if you want to have a second outfit change and/or you want to shoot during golden hour (right before sunset).
You can opt out of the popular sparkler getaway and do some portraits by a vintage car, or carriage, or whichever vehicle you plan to leave in (maybe a private boat?!) This is also a fun opportunity for any video captures.
Many Thanks to our Vendors:
Creative Director: @jenhuangbogan
Planning & Design: @honourandblessing
Makeup and hair: @chialimengartistry
Bridal gown: @andrewkwon_official
Stationery design: @truffypi
Styling boards: @heirloombindery
Tabletop ceramics: @ericbonninceramics
Oil lamps: @5th26