Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wedding Photography Schedules - No. 9, Melissa Koren Photography

Melissa Wilson from Melissa Koren Photography provides some great insight on planning wedding day formals. Check out her work below or visit her website: Melissa Koren Photography





When meeting with clients we discuss their needs and expectations of formals. I've had formals range from 2 hours just for bride & groom to 30 minutes for a 10 person wedding party and family! The more time provided, the more relaxed the portraits can be however, the more permutations they want, the longer its going to take. If they are anticipating a ton of formals, I often ask them to check with their venue and DJ to see what scheduling they require so we can adjust start times accordingly if need be - some venues are very particular especially if they've got a kitchen full of food waiting to be served. It's also important to make sure they let their family members know not to wander off if they're going to be needed! Sometimes we spend more time trying to gather people than I actually do shooting!

I ask if they're planning on seeing each other before the ceremony. It's such a personal choice and I completely respect that, sometimes the anticipation of not seeing each other until the end of the aisle is part of their ideal day and I never press to take that away from them. If they do want to see each other before hand, we try and plan backwards from the ceremony time. If you need to be at the alter at 4, then we need to be wrapped up in time for you to leave at 3:30 so we need to start at 2:30 time and so you should all be dressed, made up and ready to go at 2:20!

In my experience the majority of my couples are not seeing each other before the ceremony but opt for some length of 'getting ready' photos. When that is the case, and everyone is ready in time, I try and get as many of the brides formals (portraits, family, attendants) out of the way before the ceremony, if there's time and location is conducive I will also find the groom and do the same individual shots for him as well. Then we have more time after the ceremony to celebrate and shoot.

Flexibility is important. If it's crucial that you want a photo of your mother putting on your veil, but she's running an hour behind, lets put on your veil and take some photos and then when mum is ready, we'll carefully remove it and let her do the honors. If you definitely want a shot with your godfather, but for some reason he wasn't available during the formal time, we'll make it a point to get a lovely shot of you two at the reception. I always let clients know that if they have a large family group shot that's not going to fit into the allotted "formal time" they can gather everyone at the reception and I'll gladly make it happen!

Most importantly, try and relax and enjoy every moment of the day! No matter what time line gets worked out with the couple I try and make sure they know that things can happen and that's OK! Even the most detailed schedule is sometimes only a guideline. It's their day and if something gets off track it's not the end of the world, we'll all do our best to still make everything work out and provide absolutely the best results possible. That's just another part of why it's so important to work with professionals, especially the DJ/band & the photographer. We all try and work together with the on-site coordinator (if available) to make sure that even if the day doesn't go as "planned" everything is still perfect

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