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9 things your wedding photographer won't ever tell you and one we will

Booking a wedding photographer is a HUGE step in your planning process.

I don't have to tell you that, right? Chances are if you're reading this you know!

I might be biased, but I really believe aside from finding your venue and your dress, your wedding photographer should be just as important!

Just think, you will have all these amazing details, friends to laugh with, music to enjoy, your first kiss as husband and wife, but if no one is there to capture it, well then that just stinks.

It sort of is like that age old question, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound?

...but more like if a wedding is celebrated and there is no photographer to capture it, how will you show your grand kids?!!

So check out the top 10 things to help you prepare for your big day!

1- Tell your photographer your budget right away

I get a ton of emails and then sometimes when we meet they say “Oh, we wanted to spend less than $800” and then you're disappointed and I don't want that.

2- They work for many hours after your wedding is over

For each hour I shoot I roughly spend 1-2 hours just editing your photos. This doesn't count the time to spent on your engagement session, etc... So an 8 hour wedding is actually about 30-50 hours of work, depending on how many sessions you have. A TON of love goes into your wedding photos ; )

3- You should use Pinterest as inspiration only

We all love Pinterest (including me) but sometimes recreating a photo exactly as you saw it on Pinterest can look forced and not natural. Remember those photos on Pinterest were captured by photographers who saw those moments as they happened naturally on that couple's wedding day. Just think, yours will be as unique and beautiful that people will then want to copy yours. It's good to get excited about your photos, but make sure to keep your expectations realistic and be yourselves.

4- Trust them and go with it

Some of the best shots are sometimes the ones that require something a little outside your comfort zone. I have great ideas in my head and will make sure you look amazing. Just trust me!

5- Your dress is going to get super dirty

I know! You JUST put it on, like 4 hours ago and it still feels new and exciting. It still will be, but throughout the day you will walk places for photos, dance the night away, your Uncle Bob will step on it...a few times, you might even drop some of that delicious cake right after you feed each other. Your dress will tell your story and fret not, it can be cleaned. I have seen red wine, gum, mud, ALL come right out of bride's dresses ; ) Let your dress tell your story and don't worry about perfection. Trust me when I say that walking over grass and some areas that might be a little dirty will be worth it for AMAZING photos! Plus no one will ever see the underneath! (remember tip number 4)

6- Make sure to feed us

I literally eat anything and I always tell my bride and groom to just give me the least expensive dinner option, I don't mind at all in fact I insist. I was fortunate enough to have a lobster dinner at a wedding I shot last summer, but that rarely happens haha (thanks Kara and David!! )The important thing is to make sure to request that your photographer is given their dinner while you are eating and before your guests. It's not that we don't want to wait, it's just that this way when you are done so are we and we don't miss any of the action (you going over to your guests, romantic glances, etc...)

7- Let us be invisible

Many of my favorite photos I’ve taken are candids. Those happen in the moments when the bride lets me do my own thing and fade into the background. Yes I certainly shoot formals and pose you, but when I can capture real moments a bride or groom has such as a loving glance after we've snapped a posed shot, or a hug to a family member that suddenly comes over to them, that is where your photos shine. If a client tries to manage a photographer's every moment, we miss out on some of the magic.

8- Hungry bride ='s ANGRY bride

Chances are your wedding day will be long even if it doesn't seem it. You begin by waking up, doing hair and makeup, having your girls get dressed and then doing their hair and makeup, you may need to travel to the venue to have your ceremony, and then you will be whisked away for formals/family shots. This could be 5 or 6 hours from the time you had breakfast. So unless you're getting married in the afternoon you WILL be HUNGRY or as they say HANGRY (hungry + angry)! Trust me I know a lot about this as I have given many brides a granola bar after they don't feel well. Sometimes you may be nervous that morning too or just plain excited to get married and you might be tempted to skip breakfast...don't! Do yourself a huge favor and do not turn into a Bridezilla or worse get totally tipsy in the limo and eat a little something. Then pack a few Lara Bars or whatever you like into your purse or ask your Maid of Honor to hold onto it for you. Eat little snacks and you will feel awesome. Don't forget some water too! Staying hydrated will help you keep that bridal glow.

9- If you freak out your photos will not look pretty

Take a deep breath. When you look nervous, angry, or upset, it will show in your photographs. Weddings can be stressful with so much going on, but remember to lean on your family, bridesmaids, and especially your maid of honor for support. They love you and won't let you down! If you know you're going to be really nervous that day try some homeopathic herbal sprays like this one a few weeks before (which works GREAT and is small so you can pop it in your purse).

10- It's YOUR day

This is something I say to my clients at least 15 times if not more because brides tend to want to please everyone. I once had a bride on her wedding day have her mother not want her to wear a certain necklace because she didn't think it would look nice in the photos. It was a gift from her fiancee and was special to her. We are talking seconds before she was due to walk down the isle. The bride then gave me a look as if to ask if she should take it off. I told her that it was her day and if that piece of jewelry is special to her than we should show it off just like her ring or anything else she had on that day. We kept the necklace and it looked great and she was so happy she wore it. Her mom didn't even end up remembering that she wanted her to take it off! Sometimes you just have to block out what everyone else will tell you to do, and focus on yourselves as a couple and what you want. It's your day after all ; ) If your photos reflect who YOU are, they’ll be timeless. Those are the kind of photos your children will have framed in their homes one day.

I hope you enjoyed these tips! If you did just click that heart on the bottom right.

Happy planning brides!

<3 Ashley

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