There are so many special moments to be captured on your wedding day! Family portraits are a great way to remember what loved one’s were there to celebrate with you. Depending on the size of your family, this process may be quick or take a little while. The best way to ensure it goes by smoothly and everyone gets a photography is to be prepared! I’ve put together some tips for how to prepare for fast and organized family portraits.
Once your RSPV’s have come back and you know who will be attending the wedding start by making a list of everyone who will be attending the “family portrait” portion of the wedding. This typically takes place right after the ceremony. It is important to make a list because sometimes it is more than just family who needs to stay. It is also important to let anyone who should be staying that they are on the list, so they don’t leave!
After you’ve made you list it’s time to start organizing it! I recommend starting with one partner’s side of the family and then work your way to the other’s. Write down all the different groupings you’d like photographed. Parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Narrow your groupings down to the exact photographs you want. What I mean by this is if you want photographs with each grandparent, write them down individually (ie. picture with Grandma, picture with Grandpa, and picture with Grandma AND Grandpa). This way there is no confusion between you and your photographer. There will be so much going on that you may not remember that you wanted individual pictures with them and if you don’t write it down you will likely just get a group photo.
When you are done creating all your groupings it is important to share the list with your photographer! If you have a wedding planner or a day of coordinator it is important to share with them, as well. If you want everyone to be informed, you can also share it with anyone who is on your list so they know they need to stay back after the ceremony. When they ceremony is over, have the Officiant make an announcement reminding anyone who is taking family portraits to stay back instead of leaving.
List, or no list, you’re wedding day is going to be perfect! Family members will hang back so they can be photographed with the Newlyweds and then head to the reception. Being prepared just helps move the process along quickly!
I had the opportunity to capture at fall engagement session on a gorgeous day at The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. It was the beginning of November, but the colors on the leaves were still out to play! We were not complaining. The weather was absolutely perfect and the colors added so much warmth and depth to the photographs. They also complimented Kristen and Chris’s outfits wonderfully!
There’s not much that’s better than a fall golden hour engagement session at The Nelson. Catching the sun as it peaks through the trees creates the dreamiest photographs. It is an easy way to romanticize the session!
The Nelson also offers a wide variety of locations to take pictures, which helps create the feeling of a multi-location session. But you only have to do a little walking, instead of taking a drive! As a location, it also offers a good variety of both earthy and industrial/modern backdrops. Multiple areas with trees, plants, and greenery compliment the beautiful structure.
If you are trying to decided where to go for an upcoming session, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art is always a safe choice! Whether it’s a family session, an engagement session, or a senior session. The Nelson has plenty to offer!
A wedding reception offers so many different ways for you to express yourselves as a couple and really make the experience unique. One fun way to do so that continues to grow in popularity is to create personalized wedding reception drink specials! There are plenty of ways you could do this, but I’ll break down a few of my favorites below.
One traditional way to do this is to pick you and your partner’s favorite drinks to serve as a special! It is a fun way for the guests to get to know you both a little better, and to really immerse themselves in the reception experience.
Another great way to create your drink specials is to name them after your favorite furry friends! One cat, one dog; one bunny, one bird; two fish. It doesn’t matter what your combination is. This is a wonderful way to include your pets in your special day without actually having them present.
The Ones Who Couldn’t Be There
There are multiple ways to remember loved ones who sadly cannot be with you on the day of your wedding. Commonly, couples will set aside a table with picture of them with their loved ones who couldn’t be there. You could also dedicate a special drink to them! It could be their favorite old fashioned, or just a drink that reminds you of them. This is another great way to include them in your big day.
I hope these ideas helped you decide on how to customize drink specials for your big day!
Writing your vows can arguably be one of the hardest parts of preparing for your wedding day, especially if you aren’t great with words! It is always a good idea to discuss with your partner what your opinion is when it comes to vows. Do you want to write your own and say them in front of all your guests? Do you want to recite pre-written vows from the officiant? Or do you want a mixture of both? Where you write your own vows and share them in private while also reciting vows from the officiant at the ceremony. In my line of work, I’ve heard a lot of vows recited! I’ve put together a list of tips that will hopefully help you if you and your partner opt for writing your own.
Before you get started it is important to discuss what you want the tone and format of your vows to be so they are similar. Are you going for more light-hearted, or serious? Do you want to tell a story, or make promises to each other? Maybe you both want the same format and maybe you both want to do something different! Either way, it is important to be on the same page before the day of the wedding so you have an idea of how to prepare and what to expect.
Sweet Memories.. Not Embarrassing One’s
You likely know your partner better than anyone else. Which means you’ve seen them at their worst and best. Even if you decide on doing light-hearted vows, it is important not to embarrass your partner in front of all your guests during a serious moment. Save the “spring break” and “drunken night out” memories for the reception speeches!
I know it can be nerve-racking just having to write the vows, but it is also important to practice them. I recommend practicing them by yourself a few times to make sure everything sounds good. Once you’ve done that, ask someone you trust to listen to you practice them out loud once or twice. Not only is it good practice for the wedding, but you can get some feedback about how they read and if you should make any changes or adjustments.
Remember, your wedding is just one day! So, although writing your vows may seem like a huge deal in this moment, what really matters is spending the rest of your lives together. Take a deep breath, grab some paper, and write from the heart. Trash one idea and start all over if you have to. At it’s core, you are promising to love your partner and that is all that truly matters!
There isn’t much quite like a late summer golden hour engagement session in Downtown Kansas City! I had the opportunity to meet up with Victoria and Kody at the library district in Downtown KC. We were able to capture street side and skyline moments for their engagement session.
If you are looking for a good mixture of greenery and industrial vibes for an upcoming session, I can’t recommend the library district enough! There are plenty of plants and trees at the street level that help bring some color and depth into the photographs. With Kansas City being known as the city of fountains, there are also options for elegant fountain backdrops! If you schedule your session right at golden hour you can catch the sun peaking through the buildings at the perfect time for photographs.
One thing about downtown as a session location is that you can quickly change your scenery. We accomplished this by simply taking an elevator up to a rooftop. Kansas City has such a wonderful skyline! The skyline photographs well from many different angles. Which gives you a lot of options when it comes to choosing a location. You can pick a location based on wanting the Western Auto sign in the background, or wanting a neutral background. Once you know what you’re wanting it is easy to decide on a location!
An added bonus of splitting your session between street side and skyline is that you have a good transition point for an outfit change. This can give off the feeling of having two separate sessions. You can aim for one half to appear more elegant and elevated with fancier clothing. Allowing for the second half to appear more casual with relaxed outfits.
Kansas City has a lot to offer when it comes to locations for engagement sessions. One place that isn’t as commonly used is Kauffman stadium! It offers a beautiful industrial style structure as a backdrop that photographs wonderfully during golden hour. It is also surrounded by greenery, plants, and trees, which can add depth and color to the photographs.
I met Emily and Braden at Kauffman Stadium on warm Spring day, just as golden hour was about to hit. We enjoyed walking around and getting a variety of different photographs at different locations around the stadium. Kauffman is large, so there are a lot of options when it comes to where to take pictures!
Our session also included a trip to the Kansas City River Market, where we popped into River Bluff Brewery. I love being able to capture couples in what feels like a natural habitat. Sometimes taking pictures in a field feels foreign and can cause people to tense up. Not only does going out for a drink help calm the nerves, it is a great photo opportunity. We headed inside for a drink.. or two! After, we made our way outside to capture some moments around the River Market.
If you are on the hunt for session locations, Kauffman Stadium and the Kansas City River Market are always good options!
There are a multitude of options when it comes to locations for engagement sessions in Kansas City. Loose Park is not as commonly used but offers beautiful scenery, especially in the Fall! Peak color happens at different times throughout Fall depending on where in the country you live. Here in the midwest it typically happens between October 22nd – 28th. If you really want colorful leaves in your engagement photos, try and get on your photographer’s schedule within that time frame. No guarantees because the weather changes at a different rate every year, but there should be at least some color on the leaves within that time frame!
Alex and Danielle were able to catch the leaves at just the right time during their session at Loose Park! We had a great time walking around the park together. I was able to capture some good laughs, and watch this couple start to come out of their shells in front of the camera! They also had the opportunity to get back to some of those childhood roots and roll around in the leaves together, which is always fun and nostalgic. The vibrant red and orange leaves always add such a unique and beautiful touch to photographs and these didn’t disappoint.
Fifteen minutes Northwest of Kanas City is the quaint town of Parkville. Downtown Parkville is picturesque with it’s small, locally owned businesses, brick front buildings, and small-town feel. Parkville Coffee Shop is a great place to meet up with friends to catch up and grab a cup of coffee. It is also a great location for an engagement session!
I met Hannah and Jake in Downtown Parkville on a beautiful Spring day to capture their engagement session. We had a great time at Parkville Coffee, where I was able to capture them in a cozy environment that really individualized their photographs. I always recommend that the best way to make your session unique is to choose a location that is special to you and your spouse!
Once we were done at Parkville Coffee, we headed outside to capture some street side photographs around town. They brought their dog with them, which was such a special treat! I always love capturing couples with their four-legged, furry friends. We stopped at a few different locations around downtown to get a mixture of backgrounds for the photographs. Between some greenery, the brick fronts, and the coffee shop, I was able to capture a variety of different photographs!
If you are ever at a loss for where to have your engagement session, think about going somewhere special. If you can’t think of anything specific, consider Downtown Parkville!
For some, the idea of planning or attending a bachelorette party can seem like a nightmare. When in reality it should be a stress-free and fun time to get all the Bride’s favorite people together to celebrate her! I’ve put together some tips for planning the perfect bachelorette party, no nightmares involved.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to assign roles for the bachelorette party before planning begins. This lets everyone know who is in charge of what, it also allows people to opt out of taking on a planning role if they don’t have the time. This helps everyone stay organized and keeps things from becoming overwhelming! Once roles have been assigned it’s time to start creating the guest list. Who’s coming? Just the wedding party? Is the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom coming? Is it ALL the bride’s friends? After the guest list is established, it’s time to start planning!
Date, location, and lodging should be the first things on the planning list! Once those three are determined you can start scouting out all the fun things to do in the area. It is important to have a conversation with everyone invited about the cost of the party. If everyone is working with a smaller budget, look at places closer to home. If you have a larger budget you can look at flying with your pals to a new place! After you get your lodging booked, start coming up with an agenda for the party!
It seems like picking a bachelorette party theme is a big deal these days! The truth is, it can be as simple or extravagant as the Bride wants. Simple parties can be just as fun as Extravagant one’s! Once you’ve decided on a theme you can decided how you want to decorate, what kinda of outfits to plan for, and what the overall “vibe” is going to be. It is important to relay this information to everyone invited early on so they have time to plan!
Coming up with a game plan for the party is important, especially if it is a multi-day party! Start by deciding on a rough timeline for each day of the party. This should include where you will be going, when and where you will be eating, and what the weather will be like. Sharing this information will allow everyone time to plan their outfits. It will also give people time to plan for how often they will be eating out and gauge how much money they will be spending on outings and activities! Transparency is KEY when organizing groups of people.
Make sure to plan out what meals you will be eating at where you’re staying so you can write up a grocery list for everyone to chip in on, and send out menu’s for the restaurants to plan on eating at. This allows everyone time to plan ahead. It also gives you the opportunity to call and make any reservations needed for the party!
It is important to have everything planned about four months in advance. At that point you can reach out to everyone on the guest list and let them know what the plan is. You should know how much everyone’s portion of the party will cost. This gives everyone time to decide if they are able to go or will have to sit it out!
There is SO much time and planning that goes into preparing for a bachelorette party. I hope these tips help easy some of that stress! Is there anything I’m missing?? Let me know in the comments!
Some say that tradition rivals romance when it comes to weddings. This past spring I had the opportunity to capture a wedding at Unity Temple and Simpson House that was the perfect blend of tradition and romance. The ambiance, the attire, and the love the bride and groom had for each other was unmistakably romantic. The ceremony and reception were traditional and timeless. It was the perfect day!
The wedding party wore light green, which complimented the greenery in the bouquets beautifully! The pops of yellow in the bouquets made the sun appear to shine brighter and matched the lemon reception decor perfectly. The reception was set up like a quaint afternoon garden party. The Simpson House offered a beautiful space with wonderful amenities.
This day was beyond fun, as the wedding party was so wonderful to be around. The bride and groom were so spunky and I had the best time capturing their laid back moments, along with the serious ones. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. I feel very blessed to have been able to capture all the special moments of the first day of their forever!
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