Happy first birthday to this sweet chunk!
Michaels first birthday cake smash was such a blast.
His Mom and I had been talking about a location and when she told me the theme was Where the Wild Things Are I immediately knew my backyard and woods would be the perfect spot. With it being February though we had originally planned on doing it inside with props and banners. As most of you know Virginia is known for crazy unpredictable weather. Well luck would have it we got a freak 75 degree day in February. It was perfect though because what better way to celebrate a wild One themed cake smash than in the wilderness?
Sweet baby Michael made it so easy for me to capture incredible images.
I just want to kiss his cheeks all day. He was an angel.
A long time ago back when all I had was my introductory DSLR a 50mm and a few kit lenses I had no clue about timelines on a wedding day. I just went with the flow and would end up having the worst light for portraits due to the time of a day and the short amount of time we had. My first wedding we only had ten minutes for portraits of the bride and groom. WHAT? It sounds insane to me now.
Over the years I have learned that my PIC (partner in crime) to make the best of a wedding day is the timeline. Y’all it is soooo important. It helps me and you and all your other vendors so much. If you don’t have a wedding planner I highly suggest getting one. They are so valuable and if you want a stress free day book one. They are worth their weight in gold y’all. Even if you don’t have one though a timeline is stuill crucial to the wedding day running smoothly. I cannot stress it enough. If you forget everything else remember this post about the timeline. I have 4 pages dedicated to it in my bridal guide (Hopefully will be released this year y’all) of how crucial it truly is.
The same timeline doesn’t apply to every wedding either. There are so many variables that play into it. Weather, ceremony time, first looks, and different seasons can all affect it.
Plan on having about 45minutes to an hour for details and getting ready shots. Have all of your details laid out so we can get warmed up and knock those out first. I also highly suggest getting in a first look. Its such an incredible opportunity for more images and you still get that amazing reaction from your groom. Sometimes its an even better reaction when its just the two of you. If you do a first look be sure to add in another 30 minutes pre ceremony.
Ceremonies typically last around 30 minutes. After ceremony we go right into family portraits. Allow 2-3 minutes per family grouping. Be sure to inform family in these photos to stay put after the ceremony. This helps keep us from running around looking for your brother. I like to keep these to parents, siblings, and grandparents. Extended family portraits can be done after as well or even during the reception during downtime.
Group portraits with no first look we do right after family formals. 20 minutes is ideal for this.
Then we do your couples portraits at golden hour. This is about 1 hour before sunset. Be sure to include at least 30 minutes with just the two of you. This is when the BULK of your wedding day portraits will be taken. Enjoy this time.
I also love to have my second shooter capture the reception details while I am shooting group portraits. This takes about 20-30 minutes.
Last but not least your grand exit. 5-10 minutes is ideal for your nighttime exit shots. If you have sparklers we will have you go down under them more than once. Have fun with it! They burn pretty fast, but remember to walk not run out. *Tip* smokeless sparklers are ideal.
Hope this post helps you with your wedding planning and guiding your timeline.