Thank you so much for choosing us to photograph your wedding day! We cannot wait to spend the day with you and document your story. We’ve been shooting weddings together for 6 years and have worked with over 100 couples on their big day. Every wedding is unique and teaches us something new! We hope that sharing our experience and knowledge with you helps in planning your perfect day and answers any questions you may have. We are here for you – YOUR WEDDING IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!!!
BEFORE THE WEDDING
Hooray, you are officially an A+H Photo Couple! If we have engagement photos scheduled, we will see you then! If not, we will reach out about 2 months before your wedding date to gather final details. However, we are always available to answer your questions or help with anything that may not be listed in this guide.
Please feel free to print out our Sample Timeline and use it in combination with this guide to map out your day!
We understand how overwhelming it can be to plan your wedding day. We are not planners, but we have worked with a lot of incredible vendors over the years! Here are some of our absolute favorites:
day of Wedding
We like to arrive about an hour before you get your dress on. Both of us will come to the girls’ location first to take photos of the dress hanging up, then Harrison will head over to the guys’ location. Guys, make sure not to get fully dressed too early! Harrison will photograph some details, then get photos of ties, jackets, and corsages going on.
The first thing we will photograph is your wedding dress. If you have a custom hanger, we love that! If not, no worries! We always bring a plain wooden hanger with us. Please make sure all tags are cut off the dress. 99% of the time, we will take the dress outdoors (weather permitting), so have the garment bag nearby for us to use. We are extremely careful with dresses, but please let us know if you would prefer we don’t take it outdoors.
After the dress, we will take photos of all of your details. This is one of our favorite things! We know how much time and thought goes into choosing these items, so it is very important for us to document them. Please have the following items gathered together and ready to be photographed.
30- 60 minutes
After detail photos, we will hang out with you while you get ready! The following are some common moments that happen during this time- be sure to add these to your shot list if they are must haves!
2. Natural light is best for photos! Choose a space that has a lot of windows.
3. Try to keep all your "stuff" to one side of the room, or assign someone to de-clutter when it's time for photos!
Would you like to see each other before the ceremony, or save that moment for down the aisle? Here are a few things to keep in mind when making this decision.
Down the AIsle
There are also a few other ways to do a “first look” without seeing each other. These are great for couples who want to keep it traditional, but would like some sort of communication before the ceremony.
Exchange letters for each other to read while getting ready
Hold hands around a corner- no peeking!
Bride + Groom Photos
Whether or not you have seen each other, next we will take some individuals of you both while you’re looking and feeling fresh! After that, if you’ve seen each other, some photos of you together. For traditional weddings, photos of you together will be taken during cocktail hour. We love to incorporate movement, make you laugh, and take a good variety of wide and close photos.
2. Think about your favorite part of your look- we will probably ask you to show it off!
3. Take a deep breath, relax, and have fun with each other!
Bridal Party Photos
Next up are bridal party photos (if you’ve seen each other)! For traditional weddings, bridal party photos will be taken during cocktail hour. Our approach is to keep things fun, keep everyone moving, and to get everything done in a timely manner.
We will take photos of the full bridal party, bridesmaids + groomsmen separately, and individuals of you with each person.
At (or around) your venue is usually ideal, but we understand this isn’t always the case. If you want to travel farther, or to a few different locations, we HIGHLY suggest getting a party bus or limo for everyone with drinks and snacks on board! We recommend keeping it to 1 or 2 locations, otherwise it gets chaotic.
2. Most florists will deliver the bouquets in water, so you will want to have a towel or some napkins nearby to dry off the stems so they don’t drip on your dresses!
3. Consider getting a coat/shawl/wrap that coordinates with your dress and something for your bridesmaids if you get a colder day.
It’s finally time to actually get married!
Our approach to photographing your ceremony is simply to observe. We will shoot from both sides and also down the aisle, capturing all the big moments (and the smallest ones, too).
When planning, please consider leaving space on both sides- this is ideal for us to be able to move around and get photos from both angles. We understand this isn’t always possible (especially when using a backup location), so we can work around it if needed!
At the very end of the ceremony, make sure your officiant announces the location for family photos! 99% of the time, we will take your family photos right where you got married. A simple announcement for immediate family to stay put alleviates confusion and saves a ton of time!
2. Pass out confetti (biodegradable!), bubbles, birdseed or flower petals for your guests to throw as you exit!
3. Give each other a kiss as you exit the aisle!
These are the posed photos of you and your families that your mom will definitely end up printing. Our goal for these photos is to get them done as efficiently as possible!
99% of the time, we will take your family photos right where you got married. If we need to do it elsewhere, we will find a great spot and let you know!
1-2 months before your day, we will send you our “Wedding Details” form to fill out. We ask that you provide us the names of all of your immediate family, as well as a list of every person you would like included in your family photos. While this may seem overboard, please remember: we do not know your families! Providing this list is the only way we can guarantee that no one will get forgotten. Appointing someone to announce and help us gather your families is also SO HELPFUL!
We will most likely be taking photos for the duration of your cocktail hour. However, if you did a first look and family photos get done very quickly, you can mingle and enjoy some cocktails, too!
We will photograph candids during this time, and also details of the reception space. Consider keeping guests from entering the reception space so we can get photos of the room setup, decor, and cake with an empty room.
During the reception, we will become flies on the wall, observing and capturing moments you won’t even know were happening! If you have a DJ, we will communicate with them throughout the night so we know when the “big events” will be happening!
Per our contract, we ask that you provide a meal for each of us, or allow us 45 minutes to leave the wedding and grab something to eat. We greatly appreciate a place to sit down, even if it’s a tiny table in the corner. We understand you don’t always have extra room at your assigned tables.
Make it your own! While running in and doing a crazy dance makes for funny photos, it may not be your thing and that’s ok. Choose something that feels authentic and comfortable for you.
The person speaking should stand up and be fairly close to you. We may temporarily move any tall vases or bouquets if they are blocking your faces.
We prefer white lights only during the first dance, father/daughter and mother/son dance. After that, anything goes!
Cake smashes are always encouraged 😉
Do it outdoors if you can! Listen for the countdown from the DJ, then throw!
We’ve seen some craaaazy garter retrievals, so honestly just go for it! YOLO.
We typically stay for about an hour of the fun dancing. After this, photos get very repetitive and a little sloppy!
Hand out glow sticks or sparklers and have your guests line up for your exit! We can also do a “mock exit” right when it gets dark just for photos.
We will pull you out of your reception for “golden hour” photos (right before sunset). These are our favorite photos to take because you are feeling more relaxed, and you’re just excited to be married! Plus, the light is fantastic! If there is no sunset, we would still love to take you away from your reception for just a few photos, we usually get the most intimate, gorgeous moments during this time.
2. Now is a great time to ditch your jacket, veil, bouquet, even shoes! This will add variety to your photos and give a more relaxed vibe.
3. Feel free to bring your drinks along!
What if it rains?
The one thing we definitely cannot control is the weather, especially in Michigan. If it rains, don’t worry! Your wedding is still going to be incredible. Plus, rain is good luck!
We bring a small, clear bubble umbrella with us to every wedding in case it rains. This makes for really cute photos! If you’re expecting rain on your day, we would recommend purchasing large umbrellas for your bridal party. One for each pair, color coordinating if possible (if not, a neutral color is best).
Have an acceptable backup plan
A lot of venues have a standard back up plan for rain, so be sure to ask! If you’re getting married at a more private place (home, park, etc), tents work well, especially if they have removable sides. If there is no backup available or rain comes super unexpectedly, consider delaying the ceremony for a little bit.
Attitude is everything!
We are totally down for shooting in the rain if you are! You’ll wear your wedding dress for one day, but you’ll never forget running out into the rain and dancing with your new husband/wife, will you?
After the wedding
The night of the wedding, we will download and back up all of your photos, then excitedly look through them and choose one or two to post online as a sneak peek! Be sure to follow us on social media so you don’t miss it!
1 week later, we will e-mail you a small preview of some initial favorites (50-100 images).
6 to 8 weeks later, we will e-mail your final gallery (600-1000 images). This gallery will stay published for 1 year and includes a low-resolution download (images sized for sharing online). You will also have the option to purchase prints, canvases, and custom cards through your gallery.
Lastly, we will mail out your USB, which includes the high resolution images (images sized for printing). Feel free to print your photos or make thank you cards from your USB, as printing rights are also included!