One of my favorite parts of the wedding day are the first dances. (father daughter, mother son, and of course the wedding couple) I love that the couple finally gets a moment to themselves to laugh, cry, and reflect on the memories of the day. I am a sucker for father daughter dances (being a daddy’s girl myself) so I enjoy capturing each of the moments as they unfold. Here are some tips to create the best photos of your wedding first dances. Maine wedding first dance photography tips:
1. During your first dances don’t forget to smile, laugh, and just enjoy the moments and don’t cut your song short unless its literally like 4-5 minutes long.
2. Soak it all in at that time–reflect on the wedding days events and just be with each other like there is no one else in the room.
3. If you are going to do a choreographed dance choose another time in the night when you can have a second first dance. I find that the dances that are choreographed are much stiffer and instead of smiling and laughing with each other you are worried about stepping on the dress or missing a step.
4. I only shoot one or two images of the whole scene during the first dance because for me the memories and story telling is in your emotions so I shoot with the 85 or 70-200 to get in close. I do look for reactions from the crowd as I am shooting the two people dancing.
5. After the first dance make sure to get all the guests up and moving on the dance floor–it brings the energy up and sets the stage for how the rest of the night unfolds.
6. In order to create wonderful first dance photos don’t stop smile and pose for all the cameras–just be in the moment.
7. It doesn’t have to be choreographed to be awesome–you can throw in a simple spin and everyone will love it
8. No dips. It doesn’t look as glamorous as you might think in your mind it does–and many of the wedding gowns aren’t designed for that so it is a risky move.
9. When you are thinking about your first dance choose a song that is really unique to you two–that is something you two love or thats lyrics really are the two of you. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little and have some fun with it.
10. You can do your first dance whenever you want–you don’t need to do it at the same time everyone else did–its your wedding you choose when you want to be in the spotlight. The photos are always better when you make the wedding your own.
Its your day to pamper yourself, its the day where big dreams become realities, and there are things every bride should have on her wedding day. These are the 10 Must have’s for brides in Maine in 2014
Maine is one of the most beautiful destination wedding locations in the country. Maine weddings are close to peoples hearts because Maine is a unique experience. It is a place where you can experience all the seasons and enjoy a relaxing vacation. Here are the top wedding trends for Maine in 2014.
1. Rustic chic/rustic elegance
Maine is known for its relaxed way of life and you can take advantage of that at one of Maine’s premier rustic wedding venues. There are many choices, you can have a rustic chic barn wedding, a rustic elegant lakeside cabin retreat, or even just a rustic coastal Maine wedding experience.
2. Make it a wedding weekend
People love getting away and vacationing in Maine in the summer and fall season….if you are having a destination wedding why not invite them to enjoy the Maine experience for more than just your wedding day. Invite them to join you for a lobster bake rehearsal dinner, entrain them with hiking or boating options, or just ask them to join you for brunch the day after the wedding and allow them to use the rest of the weekend to relax and site see.
3. Bright colors are back
Maine is such a beautiful environment why not make your wedding stand out against the beach/ocean with a pop of orange or yellow colors, or bring brights next to the lake into the woods. It will create vivid images and make a memorable statement on your wedding day.
4. Black tie formal weddings
Rent a Sperry tent, bring in Tim Shields from Ambiance Lighting, and Rick Taranto from Details Event Staging for a custom bar or seating arrangement and bring formal to coastal Maine. Encourage your guests to wear black tie attire and rent an intimate coastal bed and breakfast for a fancy and fun wedding experience.
5. Mixing of cultures
Follow your hearts and create your own unique wedding experience by highlighting each of your upbringings and religious beliefs.
6. Unplugged Weddings
Maine is a place to enjoy the rustic outdoors and get away from it all–encourage your guests to take the night off from their social media addictions and truly engage with the moments and their dates.
7. DIY background and backdrops for outdoor ceremonies
Get creative–go antiquing along route one, have the girls over for a weekend of creative crafting and make custom paper products, or even take something that you two love and try to incorporate that as the backdrop for your wedding. Get a custom arbor made for your wedding from Classy Iron it will make a statement and become an heirloom piece.
8. Themed weddings
Don’t hide your nerdy, or hipster personalities…..bring in an element from the 80′s or something that you two love and share it with your guests. Themes bring people together–they offer things to talk about, they allow women to dream up costumes together, and they are more unforgettable than just another wedding day.
Let your wedding photographer get creative and enjoy the ambiance that candlelight can offer. Set the mood with the lighting, add a fancy chandelier or custom lighting to offer just enough light to enjoy the night and let the wedding photos reflect that (hire Tim Shields from Ambiance Lighting)
10. Bridal Studio Portraits
The week of the wedding–ask your wedding photographer to photograph you like your mother and grandmother were photographed in the studio. Bring them along and even take a few shots with them in the studio. A bridal portrait can be very beautiful, timeless, and classic.
What to Expect from Your photographer on wedding day–A walk through a wedding day with tips and tricks to making your wedding day go smooth with the best wedding photography possible.
Let me begin by saying everyone will be a bit different….but this is how I roll which has been evolving for the last four years through shooting hundreds of weddings.
I will arrive after having a hearty breakfast and look around the site. Generally I am early. I check in with you the bride and snap just a couple of what’s going on in the room right then shots. Then I dive in with the details. I will ask ahead of time for you to have them ready for me. I need the entire invitation set (save the date, RSVP, invitation, directions, and envelopes) the dress, the shoes, the rings (his and hers plus your engagement ring) perfume, jewelry, bridesmaids and bridal bouquet, any special matching gifts you have given the bridesmaids, the bridesmaid dresses, any heirlooms, borrowed, blue, new, and old items you might be using on your special day.
After these details I will snap some more candid shots of you getting ready. As you finish with hair and makeup I might ask for some set up images of the mascara going on, you putting on your earrings, and mom putting on your necklace. I will want all of the bridesmaids dressed before we begin to get you into your wedding dress. Ideally you sit down in a clutter free room on a nice couch or chair to put your shoes on for a photo. These are the most beautiful preparation shots as they are shot with the intention of the final photograph. Please add more time than you think you will need for preparation as it seems to fly by. Once you are ready I will shoot a couple of window light bridal portraits if there is time.
Meanwhile my second photographer is with the men. She will begin with his details. She needs the suit, the ties (if they are gifts to the men) cufflinks, special socks, shoes, and anything you might have given the groomsmen. After she has finished with the grooms details she will move on to photographing the men just hanging out….whatever they might be doing (sometimes its drinking and watching football, sometimes its golf, sometimes its being nervous and just waiting) she is looking for the photo of the groom tying his tie in the mirror or his dad or best man helping him get his tie tightened. The men’s and women’s preparation photographs are where we are trying to show your personalities and tell the story of your wedding day.
Hopefully you have decided to do a first look as this will allow you to go to cocktail hour, and spend the most possible time with family and friends that the day will allow. If we have decided to do the first look it is generally about two hours before the ceremony time. The reason for this is so that there is extra time built in where you can retouch your lipstick and be tucked away from the guests who haven’t seen your amazing dress yet. The way the first look goes is my second photographer will take the groom to a location at the site we are in where we have decided the light is the best with the best possible background we can find. The light is really the key for the first look as it is the most about your faces when you see each other for the first time. I will then bring you down to him and you will walk up behind him tap him on the shoulder and he will turn around and cry or smile, spin you around, kiss you with passion….however you two would react without anyone watching. This it the beauty of this moment-you don’t have to worry about what anyone else is thinking—it’s a very personal moment between the two of you.
At this point we would bring the bridal party to join in with us. We have already decided what locations we would like to use—and we will quickly begin setting the bridal party in the positions we want. Generally there are three looks for these photos I am looking for—and I will shoot them each in a couple of locations if there is time ideally in the same general site area. The key here is fun, personality filled bridal party photographs that document the relationships you have with these people and the enjoyment of your wedding day. From here we will breakdown to women and men separately and finish with the bridal party as individual shots with the bride and her maids and the groom and his men. After this we photograph the bride and groom together. Hopefully these images are where you two can interact comfortably….and I begin to show the romance, enjoyment, and intimacy of your relationship.
At the ceremony we will be shooting with our long lenses to the sides of the ceremony….looking for laughter, and tears from the bride, groom, Maid of honor, best man, parents of the bride and the groom, and grandparents. We are out of the way and while we do move around during your ceremony we do it so no one notices.
After the ceremony it is time for the family photos. I choose to shoot them at this point in the day as everyone is there and I don’t have to wait for people to arrive, no times could get crossed….its just very easy to let everyone know family photos are immediately following the ceremony please stay. Generally the family photos take between 20-40 minutes. The general thing I tell my brides is I will photograph anyone you want me too (or mom wants me too) but my go to people are parents, siblings, siblings spouses and kids, grandparents, and occasionally a godparent who is very important. I will happily do cousins and aunts and uncles if asked. So I begin with my largest grouping on either the bride or the groom’s side. From that I do the grandparents first so they don’t need to wait around or stand around very long, then I begin breaking it down in smaller groupings so you always end up with photos of just you and your mom, you your mom and dad, you your mom, dad, and groom, you and your siblings etc. I then will do the same thing for the other side of the family. Usually we have talked ahead of time about stepparents, long term girlfriends etc.
Following the family formals we go to the cocktail hour. I am going to photograph the reception details and cocktail hour details. During cocktail hour I will be looking to photograph couples, families, and the bride and the groom with the groups of people you two are talking too.
The reception is pretty much candid moments. I recommend doing the cake cutting as early as possible, and doing a dance like the hora that will get everyone involved and out on the dance floor. I do find that receptions have a wonderful feel and energy when there is a band. If you like to dance ideally you spend an hour after dinner chatting with people and then you are able to let loose and have a good time with your friends on the dance floor as dance photos are always better with the bride and groom present.
I hope this is helpful with what to expect from your photographer on your wedding day. I believe the photographer has a very important job to do and in order to cover your day in the most all encompassing way they need to know at what points to be in charge and at what points to just document what is happening.
2014 wedding season is almost upon us and there are some great tips and trends for this years bridal makeup options out there. Brides in Maine and the Northeast tend to keep natural and simple bridal looks. The Maine brides I deal with want to look like the best version of their everyday selves with flawless skin for photographs. In working with many talented makeup artists that specialize in brides I have reached out and asked them for their favorite products. Here is the list of the ten must haves for brides in the makeup world.