Trash the Dress – Not!

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In the Riviera Maya of Mexico (where we have done a lot of work in the past eight years), newlyweds or newly engaged couples choose a second-day session for romantic photos on the beach – or underwater photos in a fresh water spring (cenote). Why not take advantage of the beautiful Caribbean, stunning white sand beaches and amazingly clear cenotes? It’s a great place for Trash the Dress sessions.

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However,  in the mountains or in the city, plunging into a river or slipping into a mountain spring isn’t easy, possibly isn’t safe, and you may not want to Trash the Dress at all.

Cool and creative photos are important to all of our couples, and great photos require talent, and most importantly – time.  We all know how hectic the wedding day can be, especially if you have a church wedding and then go to the reception in an entirely different location. What if the location of the reception isn’t a great spot for outdoor photos?  So – when are you going to do the “cool” photos during an over-scheduled wedding day? Why not the next day? Let us pick out a spot in the city or in the country for that spectacular setting.

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We love capturing the moments of the wedding day and coming up with interesting creative angles. However, we really love shooting “the grand scene” that places couples in nature, or with an interesting architectural background.  This type of photo has become one of the signature photos that couples expect from us.

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That’s why we really, really recommend the day-after session, preferably in the late afternoon in a wide mountain meadow, or floating on a lake, or simply taking a walk in the woods. The pressures and the busy schedule of the wedding day have passed and it’s time to relax and have some fun.

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Of course, it’s also a great opportunity to create epic images that you know you will hang on your wall.

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Top 5 Tips to Create Wedding Day Timeline

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Timeline Tips for Santa Fe Wedding Photographer or Albuquerque Wedding Photographer

Creating the Wedding Day Timeline is one of the most important things you can do to help your photographers create the best images on your wedding day. 

The most valuable thing you can give us is time. Of course, there isn’t an unlimited amount of time on your wedding day, but with a few small steps, we can make sure that there will be time to capture everything that you want.

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These are our Top 5 Tips for Creating the Wedding Day Timeline

1. We should arrive at least two hours before the ceremony. With this time, we photograph your flowers, rings, shoes, dress, special gifts, etc. Then we both work with you to photograph getting ready shots: hair, make up, getting into the dress, etc. It is helpful to have all rings with the bride.

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Michael spends some time with the groom, but will be in the room for the final getting into the dress photos. We love having a few people in the room (depending on the size of the room) to help you with your dress. As soon as you are in your dress, put on your shoes, and put in your earrings, we really love a few private moments for bridal portraits.

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2. If you are in a hotel room, please ask housekeeping to pick up any room service dishes and try to have a clear space near the window for getting into the dress.

3. If there is time, we often photograph the guys and gals with their wedding party separately before the ceremony. If you are going to do a first look, please allow at least 20 minutes for this. We do not recommend the “first look”, because it takes away the real emotion when he sees you walk down the aisle. However, sometimes the “first look” is necessary because of logistics – or because the groom doesn’t want to cry in front of all of his friends and family! The choice is yours.

4. Keep in mind that most brides run late with getting ready. They lose track of time, chatting with friends, changing their make up or hair style. If this happens, it will affect the images we are able to capture before the ceremony. Try to keep to the timeline!

5. We realize that family formals are an important part of your wedding day, but they can seriously impact the valuable time available for bride and groom creative portraits before sunset.

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Two things will help this part of the day go smoothly. You should understand that each set up will take 1-2 minutes and you must have a list of the photos that you want. This is not the time to try and decide who you want photos of next. Twenty set ups could take 30-40 minutes, depending on our planning, the size of your wedding party, the size of your family, and the length of your list. You should inform family and friends who are included in the formals, that they will need to remain at the photo location until dismissed.

Please appoint someone with a loud voice and commanding personality to help us wrangle friends and family for photos. Remember, we usually don’t know your family and friends.

We can make nice photos until around 15 minutes after sunset. Please give us 30 minutes before sunset, if possible.

Our timeline should have all these things in place: finishing hair and make up, getting into the dress, the ceremony, end of ceremony, your dinner or reception entrance, first dances, speeches, cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss.

If there are any changes to the Timeline, please discuss these changes us with us as soon as possible.

Dinner: We stop taking photos when people begin to eat. Nobody looks good in photos while eating. We appreciate it if you arrange dinner for us. You will have to ask your wedding planner to include us in the meal and to seat us nearby!  Each venue treats photographers differently, but it’s best for us to eat at the same time as you and your guests – not after. Seat us close by so we can hop up and photograph speeches or impromptu moments during dinner. After dinner is when we return to work for cake cutting or dances.

Well-fed photographers are creative and energetic!