Your wedding day is a whirlwind of emotions, excitement, and cherished moments that you’ll want to remember forever! While the ceremony and reception are undoubtedly the highlights, there’s a magical part of the day that often goes unnoticed – the getting ready process. As a wedding photographer, I can’t stress enough the importance of capturing these intimate moments through getting ready photographs. Here’s why:

Storytelling

Getting ready photos are the prologue to your wedding day narrative. They set the stage by showcasing the anticipation, nerves, and raw emotions that you and your partner experience separately before coming together. These images help tell the complete story of your wedding day, allowing you to relive every moment from beginning to end.

Emotional Connection

There’s an undeniable emotional intensity during the hours leading up to your ceremony. Taking getting ready photographs allows you to capture the genuine reactions, laughter, and tears as you and your bridal party bond and share in this special time. These images become a cherished reminder of the strong emotional connection between you and your loved ones.

Details Matter

The getting ready process involves meticulously chosen attire, carefully styled hair and makeup, and thoughtfully selected accessories. These details reflect your unique style and personality. Photographing these elements not only preserves the hard work that went into your preparation but also adds depth and context to your wedding album.

Timeless Memories

While you may be focused on the main events of the day, it’s often the candid moments that stand out when you look back on your wedding photos. Getting ready photos capture authentic expressions, hidden glances, and unscripted interactions that are impossible to recreate. These timeless memories become some of your most treasured images.

Bridal Transformation

Witnessing the transformation from casual attire to wedding gown is a momentous experience. Getting ready photographs allow you to capture the stunning before-and-after shots, highlighting the beauty and grace of the bride as she prepares to walk down the aisle.

Family and Friendships

The getting ready process is a unique opportunity to capture candid shots of your closest friends and family members. These images celebrate the strong bonds that surround you and your partner, preserving the joy and excitement of your loved ones as they support you on your big day.

Getting ready photographs can be an essential part of your wedding album. They provide a complete picture of your wedding day, capturing the emotions, details, and unique moments that make your day truly special. So, when planning your wedding photography, don’t overlook the magic of the getting ready process. Trust me; you’ll be grateful for these beautiful memories for years to come!

Why Take Getting Ready Photographs? | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

Some wedding flower trends are timeless and some change with the seasons. Today I’m going to break down what wedding flower themes are trending for the Fall 23 wedding season!

Petite Bouquets

This theme isn’t specific to one color scheme and can be used a wide variety of ways! You can add greenery, or just stick to flowers. Whereas the industry still sees the long and cascading bouquets, there is something powerful about a small, elegant bouquet.

Colorful and Unique Combinations

Bouquets and arrangements full of color are very trendy right now! They add so much dimension and variety to your wedding day, which is great for photographs. It is also a great way to decide on your wedding party colors. If you have a variety of colors in your florals, you can coordinate your wedding party to match!

Large Statement Arrangements

Big beautiful centerpieces and ceremony backdrops are great focal points for your wedding day. Whether you stick to one color, a couple of colors, or a wide variety of colors, these large arrangements are making a STATEMENT this fall!

Carbon Conscious Choices

The carbon footprint weddings leave can be quite large. Some couples are opting to use living arrangements, such as potted plants, as florals at their wedding. This form of greenery can still be incredibly beautiful. When the wedding is over you can send some of the plants home with guests, or take them home and plant them in your yard as a lasting memory of your wedding day!

KC Florist Recommendations

These trends are seen across the US, but if you are in the Kansas City area I will list a few of my recommendations. These local florists can help your floral dreams come to life!!

Wedding Flower Trends for Fall 2023 | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

The night before the BIG day is typically spent rehearsing for the ceremony and celebrating your last evening as an engaged couple. Thankfully, not much thought has to go into the rehearsal because whoever is officiating the wedding works with the venue to put it together for you. It’s your job to show up and practice! Traditionally, there is a dinner after the rehearsal for family members and the wedding party. I’ve compiled 5 things you need to know when it comes to rehearsal dinner basics. 

1. Theme

One fun aspect of your rehearsal dinner is picking a theme! You don’t have to use the same theme as your wedding. You can choose something that represents you and your spouse’s interests, or something fun and unique! 

2. Toasts/Speeches

It’s a good idea to break the toasts up! I recommend asking one set of parents to give the toasts at the rehearsal dinner, and the other set to give the toasts at the reception. I also recommend asking each member of your wedding party to stand up and quickly introduce themselves and explain how they met/know the happy couple. A lot of times, the rehearsal dinner is the first time the entire wedding party has been together, so it’s a good opportunity to get to know each other.

3. Who, What, When, and Where

While everyone is gathered, it’s a good time to go over the schedule of events for the following day. Set aside some time to talk with your wedding party about who needs to be where, at what time, and what they need to have with them. This will hopefully set you up for success!

4. Gifts

After you’ve gone over the schedule for the following day you can give your wedding party their gifts! This step is not necessary, but it is common for the wedding party to get gifts as a “thank you” for being a part of the wedding. 

5. Have Fun!

The most important step of all – have fun! This will be your last evening as an engaged couple. Soak up every single minute of celebrating with your closest family and friends. 

I hope these tips help you in planning the perfect rehearsal dinner. Don’t stress about all the small details, this evening is meant to kick-off your wedding weekend!

Rehearsal Dinner Basics: 5 Things You Need to Know | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

Jacob and Junmo met me for a lovely afternoon at Liberty Memorial and Union Station to capture their engagement session! They have been together for 10 years. I had a wonderful time learning about their story and plans for the future.

The couple met when Jacob first moved to Seoul, South Korea for work. Shortly after moving in, Jacob and Junmo met online and made plans to meet for the first time in person. Jacob had yet to get his first paycheck from his new job. He didn’t have enough money on his transit card to make it back from meeting Junmo. He had his American credit card, but couldn’t use it to get cash out. So he reached out to Junmo and told him that he wouldn’t be able to meet because he didn’t have enough money on his transit card to get back home. Junmo happily offered to make the trip to visit Jacob instead of meeting half way and the rest is history!

They knew marriage in South Korea wasn’t an option because same-sex marriage is still illegal. The idea of getting married came up often when discussing moving to the US! After moving to the US, they decided to make it official on April Fool’s Day to commemorate how foolish it was they couldn’t have married sooner.

I learned that they enjoy going on brunch dates so they can spend the rest of the day at home together. They are looking forward to being boring together. Loads of laundry, doing taxes, and playing walking games are in store for the future! They also plan to go back to South Korea within the next 20 years so they can visit some of their favorite spots together.

I truly enjoyed walking around Union Station and Liberty Memorial while getting to know them. Cheers to a long and happy marriage, Jacob and Junmo!

Liberty Memorial | Kansas City Engagement Photography

Kansas City has a wide variety of wedding venues to choose from. One of the perks of my job is being able to explore what the wedding industry in KC has to offer! Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of capturing multiple sessions at the stunning Longview Mansion in Lee Summit. 

History

Having a vast history, Longview Mansion is deeply rooted in the community! The estate belonged to R.A. Long, a lumber baron and philanthropist from Kansas City. Originally, it consisted of 50 buildings on 1,780 acres. It took 18 months to complete the build! When it was all said and done the estate employed 200 people. Along with barns for housing the livestock, the estate also included greenhouses, a 1,000 seat horse race track, employee housing, a church, a police and fire department, and a newspaper. 

Over the years, Longview became known for producing pasteurized milk from purebred Jersey dairy cattle and prize winning roses from its greenhouses. They were also well known for raising and training show horses.

Renovation

Of all the structures on the estate, the mansion was the biggest and most prized. With 22,000 square feet of space, it holds 48 rooms, 6 fireplaces, 14 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. It was purchased in 2017 by a Kansas City developer who is committed to preserving the region’s history. In 2018 a multi-million renovation began and restored the mansion to its original beauty. They plan to continue to work on the estate to transform it into a modern destination venue. 

As of now, it is a beautiful, spacious, and accommodating wedding and event venue! I’ve had the opportunity to capture both weddings and engagement sessions at the mansion. It never fails to please. The structure itself is breathtaking, but everything inside, down to the small details are what really sets Longview apart. The decorations are all beautiful and give off such a homey and elegant feeling. 

I hope to capture many more sessions at Longview Mansion in the future and watch as it continues to grow and develop into a modern destination venue!

Vendor Spotlight: Historic Longview Mansion | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

This Downtown Kansas City engagement session with Katherine and Cody is giving all the old Hollywood, romantic, and classic vibes. I am here for it! Downtown has so much to offer when it comes to locations for sessions. Katherine and Cody wanted backdrops of the beautiful architecture and streetlights at night.

Their more formal outfits really helped set the tone of the session, with Cody wearing a traditional black suit and white shirt. While Katherine wore two beautiful white dresses, one with lace and another with tule and pearls. But what sets this session apart from others is the use of “props”. I always tell my clients who are looking for an easy way to get a wide variety of photos is to bring some extra “props”. Katherine brought white heart shaped sunglasses, which added a cute pop of fun. She also brought a pearl embroidered clutch that tied in nicely with the pearls on her tule dress! One of my favorite “props” she brought was a stunning bouquet of flowers. Yes, that’s right! It doesn’t have to be your wedding day to bring flowers to your session.

We had so much fun roaming the streets of Downtown Kansas City at sunset. I was able to get golden hour pictures just as the sun was setting and we did some fun flash photography with the streetlights! After that, we headed into one of the bars downtown for their last outfit change into something more casual but still fun! I had such a great time capturing these sweet moment of Katherine and Cody.

Downtown Kansas City | Kansas City Engagement Photographer

Shawnee Mission Park is a wonderful choice when it comes to location for engagement sessions! I met Natalie and Collin for their dreamy session just before the sun set on a beautiful Fall evening. They brought their sweet pup with them who was sporting a cute bandana that said, “My humans are getting married!”

I always recommend using a mixture of different textiles and patterns in outfits choices to help give the photos some depth and differentiation. Natalie and Collin did a great job of this! Collin wore a jeans and a black top. This is very neutral and a great basic outfit that can easily compliment a wide variety of colors and patterns. This allowed Collin to stay in one outfit the whole time even though Natalie had multiple outfits.

Natalie did a great job of picking complimentary outfits that enhanced the colors of their surroundings and Collin’s outfit. She had one casual outfit and then two dresses that were both beautiful and very different from each other! The difference in colors and patterns allowed them to get a wide variety of photos with the easy of a couple outfit changes.

Shawnee Mission Park is stunning in the Fall when the leaves start to change colors! I was so excited to be able to capture the change of the season as Natalie and Collin embraced this new season of life together.

Shawnee Mission Park | Kansas City Engagement Photographer

Izzy and David are high school sweethearts who have been together for 7 years. They met up with me downtown at the River Market to capture their engagement session! I was so excited to meet their yorkie, Wookie, who made an appearance in some of their photographs. 

The name Wookie is fitting for these Disney fans – David popped the question while on a trip to Disney! Izzy said before the trip he took her to get her nails done and made sure she had an outfit picked out for the special day, all the while she had no idea what his plan was. While they were at the park he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him! She was equally surprised and excited. 

I really enjoyed getting to know these two as we explored the River Market on a beautiful evening. Their go-to date night is going out to eat their favorite foods, Italian or street tacos. I also learned about their love of adventure! They hope to spend time in the future traveling together, discovering new places. 

One of the things they are most excited about for the future is to find a home and start building a family. They love to entertain and look forward to hosting in their own home! Board game nights and streaming live boxing matches are regular events they enjoy. 

The love these two have for each other was very evident during our session. They are so smitten with one another and I was happy to have the opportunity to capture them in this special phase of life!

The River Market | Kansas City Engagement Photographer

Michael and Emily braved the cold with me for their engagement session at Union Station and Liberty Memorial. Thankfully, we were able to stay warm in Union Station while we waited for golden hour to begin.

Union Station offers such a classic and timeless backdrop for photographs, with its beautiful marble walls and floors, and art-deco textiles and patterns. It is a great location option for the sessions in the colder months!

After some time at inside we headed over to Liberty Memorial just as the sun was setting. The great thing about photography is you can get beautiful photos any time of the year! Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you can’t get those dreamy, golden photos.

I enjoyed getting to know Emily and Michael as we walked around looking for spots to take photographs. I learned they are both die-hard Fighting Irish fans! Not only did they meet at a bar while watching a game, Michael popped the question while on an annual family trip to watch the team play at Notre Dame. Cheering on the Fighting Irish has played a large role in their story so far and they are excited to continue the tradition as they grow their family in the future.

When they aren’t cheering on their team, you can find them trying out new recipes at home and watching new crime documentaries. They only leave Emily feeling a little paranoid! They are looking forward to what their future holds (hopefully, for Emily, that includes getting some dogs). I had a wonderful time capturing their engagement session and wish them a beautiful future together!

Union Station | Kansas City Engagement Photographer

As a company that’s been in the bridal beauty biz for nearly a decade, we know a thing or two about maximizing the experience for brides and their crew on wedding day. Follow along as we tell you how to keep chill and maintain your bridal glow all day long!

Arrival

Typically your wedding day timeline kicks off bright and early with the arrival of your hair and makeup team. A good rule of thumb is that your beauty team will arrive about 15 minutes before the contracted start time so they can get irons hot and stations set. Have your bridal crew arrive about 30 minutes early, that way the jammies are on and the champagne is flowing by the time your beauty team is ready to begin! Your timeline can run behind very easily, and your beauty team never wants to be the reason that would occur. 

Pro tip: Help your beauty team get set up by leaving a few tables empty, clear space near the brightest windows, and search for a few convenient outlets. 

Preparation

The biggest help in keeping the beauty train rolling is to make sure your bridal crew understands the flow of the day. Bridesmaids must arrive with clean faces and totally dry hair. Having a few inspiration photos of hair and makeup ready to go also helps the consultation process go faster. Keeping someone “on deck” at all times, ready to fill an empty seat makes a big difference in timing.

Pro tip: Prioritize the order of those getting services by who needs to be done first. If mom & sister are helping you in your dress, make sure they receive services before aunt and flower girl.

To the Aisle & Beyond

Your team will take the last 20 minutes or so to provide touch ups before they leave. Your artist will explain the best ways to keep your eye makeup intact through happy tears. They will also go over how to place and secure your veil. Assign a bridesmaid to carry items for touch ups as needed. These could include lip color, oil blotting sheets, and setting powder. 

Pro tip: Gently pat your tears with a folded tissue, never swipe. Try to catch the tear before it falls, and remember to ‘cry pretty’ like you’re giving an interview on the Real Housewives.

Aside from the group photo, the images in this blog were captured by Natalie Nichole Photography!

Wedding Day Bridal Hair and Makeup Tips | Guest Blog – Hello Lovely