Check out my other post why Spring Mini Sessions are GREAT here and here. There are a variety of great spots for your mini sessions. You can check out recent photo sessions you can consider by clicking on the links below.
Carrollton Homestead Museum
Flippen Park (Dallas)
Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens (fee depending on which garden you choose)
Dallas Arboretum (possible fee)
Carrollton field (off of Marsh Lane and Hebron)
Myers Park (Celina)
St. Andrew’s Methodist Church (Carrollton)
Use the contact form below to grab one of the spots that are left!
Weddings are stressful! I’m providing some tips to make your day go smooth. This is the 2nd in the series. Be sure to check out the fist about the getting ready shots.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard the term “first look”. It’s basically the same as seeing each other before the ceremony. I am a wedding photographer so this may be a little biased towards prioritizing photography, but there are more reasons than just photography to consider doing a first look. On your wedding day, clients are number one and I really think that by having a first look that your day will go a lot smoother.
Traditionally couples don’t see each other before the ceremony. Have you ever thought where this tradition comes from? The tradition comes from when marriages were arranged and the couple were meeting for the first time at the time of marriage. According to CNN not seeing each other before the ceremony was giving the couple a chance to change their mind about the arranged marriage. This is a nice way of saying they might change their mind about marriage if they didn’t like the way the other person looked! Yikes!
Even though that’s not the reason today (!!) you’ll need to decide if you want to do a first look. Here are just a few reasons I’ve complied for you…
- It makes you less nervous
I was terrified of everyone looking at me when the doors opened at my wedding! In my experience, most couples are really nervous before the wedding. It’s not about if they’re getting cold feet, it’s about having all those emotions all together. I think having a first look calms your nerves because you see each other in a private setting. There are a lot of details that go into a wedding day. Depending on your personality there can be a lot of built up anxiety about all the details working together. Having a first look can organize your day better. This give you more alone special time with your groom. Having a first look and seeing your significant other can help you to calm down and have a special moment. I wanted to see my husband before the ceremony so that we could have a special moment to ourselves and not in front of everyone!
- Less Risky
There are many things that can go wrong on the wedding day! Planning on a first look puts the timing into your own hands. I’ve seen it over and over again after the ceremony the bride and groom are excited and tired and just want to get to the ceremony. Photos they claim they REALLY want beforehand get sidelined and in the end they choose not to do them because they just really want to relax at the reception. If getting to your cocktail hour quicker sounds more appealing to you, then a first look is for you!
- It’s still special
Since you’ve been dreaming about your wedding day for forever you’ll want it to be special! You can still have a special moment with your significant other with a first look AND the moment you walk down the aisle. Many moments of the day will go by in a blur but even if you choose to go a first look, you’ll still remember seeing your significant other when the doors fly open.
- More photos!
If photos are important to you then I highly recommend the first look! You’ll have more photos and time for more of a variety of photos.
- Time of day
You’ll definitely want to aim for the best time of day for your photos! I’ll go more into that in a later post. Typically this means two hours before sun set or 2 hours after the sun rises. If for some reason this isn’t possible, then you’ll want to factor in lighting situations for your photos. In some cases the sun will have already set by the time the ceremony is over and you won’t have any sun for your photos! You’ll definitely want to avoid inside photos so to get around this you might consider a first look so that you’ll have enough daylight.
Enjoy this photos from first looks! The last photo if one of my favorites of a wedding party. The couple did a first look so there was plenty of time to do more wedding party shots.
This is a series that I have. The second in the series (first looks) can be found here!
Weddings can be super stressful to plan! Even now with pinterest there is a feeling of planning the PERFECT wedding. What really matters is planning the perfect wedding for you and your future spouse! I am going to start a series that you can read before you plan anything from a photographers point of view. Just some things to consider. I’ve been to countless weddings and so I hope to impart some wisdom to make your wedding day truly stress-free. If you think about these details before hand, I think it will provide you with a seamless day. Stay tuned for more…
Getting ready shots. These are the time where you and your girls are getting are prepared for the ceremony. This usually happens in hotel rooms, homes, church choir rooms, or somewhere like this. A good general rule to get great photos at this point is to remove clutter. During my wedding day getting ready shots I jokingly told my bridesmaids “ok, ladies the photographer’s coming in soon for photos. Let’s get rid of everything ugly. Millie (my best friend) you get under the table”. ha! I could only tell her that because she literally is drop dead gorgeous.
At this stage you’ll want to put everything that is unsightly out of the way, maybe even delegate someone else to be in charge of this . You can hide things under tables, under beds, or in the bathroom. You can get cute matching containers for your girls to put all their stuff in. This also applies to the guys place they’re getting ready too. I will get some shots of them getting ready and if they can prepare their room to remove any unsightly things that’d be great too! This also factors choosing more aesthetically pleasing rooms for getting ready. If there is a choice between a room with huge windows verses a room in the back of the church that has hand drawn stencils on the walls, then I’d pick the window room. When you’re booking a place, always ask to see the rooms they have for you and the groom to get ready.
In general I try to take things off the walls if it’s disctracting in the getting ready photos. I try to do this as much as I can and there are some exceptions. One exception is in the bride photo below. There is a cool painting on the wall on the right. In general, hotels have ugly things hanging on their walls so for better photos, let’s just remove it. We’ll put it back after! Don’t worry about nails I can remove those later very easily
At this point I also like to take photos of your wedding dress and possibly some part of the groom’s attire. The photos of your dress on a personalized hanger looks so much better than the hanger that your dress comes with. Here are some great options to get something like that. Thank goodness for etsy!
In planning the getting ready stage I’d also suggest planning for at least two and a half in between getting ready and the time the ceremony starts. I’ll go into that later but that would give time for the most perfect wedding shots you’ve dreamed for.
This was SO great! Daryl from dhme Dallas was at Felix and Danielle’s engagement session. He took such a wonderful video of the session! He’s available for DJ service in the DFW area. Thank you Daryl for this!Read More
Felix and Danielle had me at “we will do everything you say”! I loved the communication prior to the shoot of details of what the couple were planning on wearing! They followed my style guide (that I give all my clients) perfectly! I was looking forward to their photo shoot the moment they both stepped into the Starbucks and I saw how awesome they looked…even in their Saturday morning Starbucks attire! They totally rocked their engagement session! Don’t they totally look like models!? I always LOVE the last few shots of a photo session because both the couple and photographer feel comfortable with each other but this first shot was literally the first snap I took! A-MAZING…that never happens. I love how they’ve been together for 6 years! Congratulations you two! I can’t wait to hear about your September Vegas wedding!
I’m also SUPER looking forward to seeing the VIDEO of our photo session provided by Daryl from Dhme Dallas.
Location: AW Perry Homestead Museum, Carrollton, TexasRead More
Such a pretty wedding to share with you today! As I drove up to Flippen Park (Dallas) my photographer’s heart just melted. John and Stephanie chose the most beautiful spot for their wedding. This park is probably a speck on the map but it is a BIG deal. Rows and rows of different colored azaleas, beautiful kept grass, huge looming 30-year old trees, and then the park is lined with out-of-this world gigantic beautiful Dallas homes. Usually I care when things like houses are in such things as wedding photos, but these were out of a bridal magazine. John and Stephanie had such a laid back personality, it was so stress-less! They really had the perfect wedding for them. John and Stephanie, congratulations! Wishing you the best, you guys are so happy together! Thank you so much for sharing your special day with me!
Ceremony Location: Flippen Park, Dallas Texas.Read More
I’m so happy to be looking at these photos! Wil and Haleigh are super sweet and I had such a great time photographing them and their family. I had never been to a courthouse wedding, and it was so smooth and easy and really really nice. The Tarant County Courthouse is so beautiful! The judge who married them was so kind, personable, and really cared about his job! After the courthouse we went to the Botanic Gardens in Ft. Worth and it was so beautiful! There were a billion brides and couples…and for good reason! It’s the cream of the crop location to take photos. Wil and Haleigh are one of the sweetest couples I have met! They met as elementary school teachers….in the same school:) I think I told them they were gorgeous too many times. But really??? They are! So happy for these two!
Location: Tarrant County Courthouse, Ft. Worth and Botanic Gardens Ft. WorthRead More
It’s a little embarrassing to admit that this was my first trip to the Dallas Arboretum! We’ve lived here a little over a year and it seemed far and crowded for photographers. I’ve heard really good things about this place and I’m so glad Susan and Eric decided to have their family photos taken here. So we all loaded up in one vehicle (save the planet, people!) and blasted Trolls music to appease the kids. It was also a dreamy overcast day…total light crush for photographers. The tulips were in bloom and everything was just so nicely perfect and put together! I definitely want to go back by myself on a self-date! The most interesting fact I learned (and I can’t wait to see this!) is Susan and Eric were dance partners in college. Something like hoedown dancing…ye-haw…something like that (no idea what I’m talking about….it has to do with Texas…I need education in this area people). I LOVE these!!!! Thank you guys SO very much!!
Location: Dallas ArboretumRead More
Another plug for Spring Photos! Tomorrow’s the best day – change your clocks back! Earning us a well deserved hour of daylight! Spring is a great great time for family photos that have GREAT color!
I’m putting together the information that you’ll need for your family spring session. There will only be 10 spots available this year for spring mini-sessions. I have some great projects going on this spring and only have time for 10 mini-sessions. More daylight means that there will be more available light towards the end of the day!
I first met Brenda and her family at the photo session. I could tell immediately that she was friends with another one of my sweet clients! Her kids were so well behaved and seriously genuine laughs came out! So much fun! This location was the set of my fall mini-sessions by First United Methodist Church in Carrollton. Love the greens and the seclusion of this location. Mini-sessions are so quick, I hope I get to spend more time with this family soon!
Location: First United Methodist Church, Carrollton.Read More