For the longest time, Justin & I didn't push one way or another on whether or not our couples would be doing a First Look with their wedding day timeline.
It's always been really important to us and one of our guiding goals on the wedding day that we "tell the story without becoming too much a part of it." And so for the longest time, we shied away from talking too much about the First Look even though we knew that it would make the day flow SO much more smoothly because we didn't want to recommend something simply because it would make our lives easier.
But then we started realizing what a HUGE difference it makes in the kind of day our couples were having. It was completely night and day and the difference between a rushed, stressed out, no time for photos, missing half the party to play catch up and missing all the good food at cocktail hour kind of day.....and a relaxed, fun, get three times as many photos, family & bridal party photos are actually fun, spend more of the day together, enjoy every second of your party kind of day!
And that was what made us change our mind about recommending- even pushing for- the First Look. That as the experts and having seen hundreds of these days happen, we KNOW what a difference this can make. Finally this year, we put together the top 7 reasons that a First Look makes the entire day better and when our couples are on the fence about whether or not to do one, we send that list over and they almost always opt to see each other beforehand....the biggest reason being, they hadn't realized just how much it impacts the entire day! (**Note that if after seeing the list, they still decide to wait until the ceremony to see each other, we always respect their decision! We just like to make sure they have all the info before deciding!)
I know a lot of us realize how amazing a First Look makes the whole day go, but it can be hard putting that into words to explain to your clients when they haven't had the benefit of seeing it go both ways. So we are going to be sending out our full list of the 7 things we tell all of our couples now in favor of the First Look that does the work of explaining it for us, this afternoon in our next J&M newsletter! We've included a sample from the list below & just be sure to click "receive our email newsletter" at the bottom of this post to get signed up and receive all 7 reasons later today!
4. It makes the family photos go three times faster! When we do the family photos before the ceremony, we can usually crank them out in about 15 minutes using our "family photo football" approach. But when we have to wait to do the family photos until after the ceremony, once all the guests are there & there are plenty of distractions from that and cocktail hour going on, these photos can take up to 3-4 times longer usually taking up all of cocktail hour. The reason for that, is that with so much else going on and so many more people to talk to, some family members always end up wandering away either to talk to some one or help take care of something. And that holds every combination that they're in up. Usually what happens next is that someone goes to get them, and now we're missing two people! And so on! Add to that fact that you can actually see the party going on without you, and now not only are the family photos actually taking three times as long to do....but they FEEL like they're taking 10 times as long because all you want to do is get to the party & start enjoying your day! We can tell you from years of experience that this leads to a lot of tension and snapping at family members on what should be such a happy day. When we can get these photos done before the ceremony, everyone is present, focused on the task at hand, and we can all actually all have FUN with the photos!
Happy Thursday friends!
**Note that if you're interested in learning more about how we run a whole wedding day including the timeline, family photos, managing the bridal party, portraits in a time crunch, dark churches/receptions & more, we have only SIX spots remaining in our last Walk Through a Wedding workshop of the year taking place on November 5th in New Haven, CT. Click HERE to reserve your spot today & be sure to use the code "EARLYBIRD" to grab $150 off our seat!!
At every wedding we do, Justin & I try to make a point of taking what we call "The Iconic Bridal Portrait." This is a portrait of the bride, by herself, usually during the getting ready portion of the day because we love all of the anticipation that that part of the day holds. (We also take a portrait like this of the groom too...we like to call that one The Iconic Groomal Portrait :)
We always like to say that we take this picture not so much for the bride, although she loves it too....but for her future granddaughter to one day find. For her to be able to see her then grandmother as the young & in love version of herself- the one full of hope, full of joy- that started their family. And to know that their family always started with love.
Justin & I realize so much that every time we push the button on a wedding day, we are capturing the moments and slices of life that will tell a story for generations to come. That WE get to show the world years from now who these two people were on Day 1.
And for us, the best stories are the ones that start with love.
**here are a couple of our favorite iconic bridal portraits we did for Sheila & Jon yesterday in Chicago!
We sat together in the close quarters of seats 25 A&B.
You had already put our bags up in the extra small overhead compartments, fighting them, willing them to fit in.
The seat belts were buckled. The tray tables were stored. The seat back was in its upright position.
I stared out a fishbowl window and took in the world outside. One more flight. One more 10,000 foot mountain in front of us to climb. We were world wearied. Suitcase fatigued. Unintentional gypsies facing one more flight delay. And more than ready to be home.
But as we taxied to the runway, you put the Bose headphones around my ears and pushed play.
An all orchestra rendition of "Lights Will Guide You Home" (You found it on iTunes, you've been obsessed ever since) washed over me in waves, and just like that all of the chaos disappeared. And rest filled the space in between.
The wheels lifted up just at the perfectly timed crescendo in the chorus (but you already knew that, you had planned it that way), as the pink and orange of a Chicago cotton candy sky rushed by us in parade. And just as we burst through the clouds to the golden sky on top, I couldn't help but smile at what had become the soundtrack to our lives.
I didn't need the lights to guide me, with you beside me... I was already home.
While we were at the Pursuit 31 Conference last week (which was AMAZING as always, by the way! And I hear that next year's conference sold out in ONE day yesterday! But they are still taking spots on the wait list if you are interested in going next year!) Justin & I had the opportunity to teach both a lighting and a posing course. For the Posing one, we had the most amazing set up including this killer tent and a perfectly styled & beautiful couple. Like I usually end up doing, I spent most of the hour teaching and didn't get a chance to shoot a ton at all. But I was SO grateful that Justin was there and he could spend some more time shooting when I had to run off to the next thing. So basically what I'm telling you is that ALL of these gorgeous shots are his! :)
Also, if there are any of you reading this who would love to be able to work on both your lighting AND your posing (as well as a TON of other stuff that goes into shooting the wedding day) all in one place, we have announced the details for our LAST Walk Through a Wedding workshop of the year! It will be taking place in New Haven, CT on November 5th (with an optional 2nd day of portfolio reviews, post-processing & business stuff on the 6th) AND when you guys sign up this week using the code "EARLYBIRD" that will get you your seat for just $850 (normally $1000). We also have payment plans available, so just shoot me an email if you're interested in that. And you can head HERE to grab your spot (only 8 seats left!!)
And of course, a HUGE thanks to all of the awesome creatives who came together to put on this shoot!!