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!
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!
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!
The buying of the engagement ring is the first step in the age-old process of getting married! To some, it is one of the most significant parts, for others it is a small token of symbolization. Regardless of how you see it, the styles and trends in engagement rings have changed over the decades. There are a few trends that are making a comeback!
The Roaring 20’s is back in the 2000’s and the trends in engagement rings are mimicking those of the 1900’s. Art Deco style engagement rings are back and they are bigger (literally) than ever! Not only are some people choosing to go vintage and shop art deco style rings from the 1920’s in an effort to support sustainability, others are creating new rings with specific art deco vintage designs in mind.
The pear shaped style of rings actually began in the 1960’s and has grown and faded throughout the ages. Its popularity has grown within the recent years and continues to grow as we head into the new year. If you are on the hunt for the perfect engagement ring and haven’t tried on a pear shape yet, maybe give it a go? You just might surprise yourself!
Whereas the Art Deco Style rings are popular as a whole, the Halo Style specifically has seen a large growth in popularity. The 1920s style art deco engagement ring that is rooted in a cluster rings smaller cut diamonds can help your center stone really shine!
Regardless of what you’re style is, finding a jeweler that values your opinion, budget, and vision is key when searching for the perfect engagement ring!
Including your furry friend in your engagement or wedding photographs can add a unique and heartwarming dimension to your special moments. Pets are family, after all, and having them by your side on such an important day can be incredibly meaningful. As an engagement photographer, I’ve had the pleasure of capturing countless moments with couples and their pets, so I’m here to share some tips on how to prepare for photographs with pets.
Before your photoshoot, have a detailed conversation with your photographer about your pet’s personality, quirks, and any specific shots you have in mind. This will help them plan the session accordingly and ensure they’re prepared to work with your pet.
Select a location that is pet-friendly and safe. Parks, beaches, or any familiar environment where your pet is comfortable can be great options. Make sure the location allows pets and is easily accessible for your furry friend.
It’s essential to have someone (a friend or family member) who knows your pet well and can help manage them during the photoshoot. This person can hold the leash, provide treats, and keep your pet engaged and focused.
If your pet isn’t accustomed to photo sessions, practice some basic commands and posing with them beforehand. This will help your pet feel more at ease during the shoot and improve the chances of getting the perfect shot.
Treats and toys can be excellent motivators for your pet during the shoot. Reward them for good behavior and use toys to capture their attention and create playful moments.
Some of the most beautiful pet photos are candid shots that capture their genuine expressions and interactions with you. Encourage natural moments rather than trying to force specific poses.
Always prioritize your pet’s safety and well-being. Keep them on a leash or harness to prevent them from running off, and be mindful of their comfort and hydration during the shoot.
Including your pet in your engagement or wedding photos can be a heartwarming and memorable experience. By following these tips and working closely with your photographer, you can ensure that the photoshoot is a success and that you capture beautiful moments that reflect the love and bond you share with your furry companion
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!