Wedding Welcome Guide
Firstly, let me say thank you so much for entrusting me with your special day. I am so excited and truly honoured to walk alongside you for this beautiful journey. Here’s my promise to you: I will go hard for you. I bust my ass for every single one of my couples because I genuinely care about you and believe that your story deserves to be told with integrity and emotion. I will give you my professional opinion, I will always be an ear and positive energy for you throughout this process. And have a little fun along the way! At the end of the day I will give you the greatest gift. Tangible mementos of the most important people in your life cerebrating love and you on the day you marry your best friend. For these are more than just images, they are a chapter in your love story, forever frozen in time for you to revisit for many years to come. And they will last long after the memories of the day have faded, long after your babies have grown and they will be there when the hands of your spouse are soft and wrinkled and full of stories. They will last a lifetime. So as we start this journey together, I am so excited to get to know you both, learn your little quirks, facilitate those intimate moments and watch as you enter into marriage together.
I’m a hopeless romantic, love story collector, unapologetic Bachelor fan and being a professional third wheel is my jam. I am married to the kindest and craziest man with whom I made a home out of a kitty and a Tinder love story. I believe that we were truly created for one another. I am drawn to the laidback; barefoot brides with windblown hair, backyard receptions, handwritten vows and throw your head back laughs. I will start every session with a laugh and some slow jams. And most importantly I will let you know that this day isn’t about me. You don’t need to look at my camera or have to know what to do with your hands. I just want to capture those quiet moments, hands in hair cant look away from you moments.I want to frolic in fields and stand atop of mountains. Run into the lake, roll in the grass and chase the sunlight as we chat for hours. I want to leave every session and every wedding with new best friends because I genuinely care about you and your story. Because of that I promise I will do it justice.
Oh man I love engagement sessions! That’s why I made sure to include a complimentary engagement session in all my packages. These sessions are so important to me because not only does it give us some extra time to hang out and get to know one another! But it’s also a great time for you to get to know my shooting style and get comfy in front of my camera before your big day. You will learn that my shooting style is super laid back and casual. I work a lot with movement instead of poses. Come prepared for all the piggy back rides and running through fields. I’ll usually start off telling you not to look directly at me unless I ask. This is all about the two of you and your connection. I want your focus to be solely on each other as we create this moment together. Think of me as a director – I’ll set the stage and then you are free to interact in the most authentic way to create the moment. I like closed eyes, hand holding, genuine laughs and intimate moments. Intimacy and authenticity over everything – always.
Wear something that you feel awesome and beautiful in. I have all the tips in the world for what colors are best ( I personally like neutrals like burgundy, cream, navy, mustard, etc) and how to avoid bright and distracting patterns or logos, but ultimately if you wear what you love that’s going to be the most beautiful of all. Do come with two outfits, one casual and the other more “formal”. Don’t stress too hard over it – it’s your connection I’m after! You can get some inspiration here: https://www.pinterest.ca/haywoodandhoney/couples-outfit-inspiration/
It’s finally here, the day that you have been planning for months. Maybe you’ve poured hours into the flowers and cake, perhaps you are so excited to put on that special dress, or you’ve possibly been looking forward to this little getaway. Wherever your mind has been during this process remember to stay incredibly present. I’m sure you’ve heard this a hundred times but truly this day goes by so quickly and at the end you will be officially married to your best friend and at it’s core that is the only thing that matters. Remember to take a deep breath, hold their hand tight and stare into their eyes as their love for you is professed. Let the magic of today soak in for you will remember this moment so fondly for the rest of your lives.
This part of the day is arguably my favourite. The anticipation in the air, the nerves, the excitement. I will arrive and greet you (and congratulate you!) about an hour before other schedule events. During this time I will start by photographing your details. Please have all details gathered and ready for me: shoes, jewelry, dress, suit, perfume, flowers, invitations, and any other special details. Once you’re ready I will capture you slipping into your dress and take a few candid photos with those closest to you that morning. Please allot at least 1 hour in your timeline.
Whether you choose to do a first look or wait until the ceremony, that moment of seeing one another for the first time is pure magic. Not only are you overwhelmed with all the emotions but there is a huge weight that is lifted now that you can spend the rest of the day with your person. I highly recommend doing a first look as it provides a special time during this busy day just for the two of you (and me!) Take this intimate moment away from friends and family and just be with one another. This time before the ceremony is also perfect to squeeze in your couples portraits and bridal party portraits. By doing all your formal portraits before the ceremony it will leave you time to celebrate with your friends and enjoy your cocktail hour and reception! Please allot 15-20 minutes in your timeline to share in your excitement together.
Very similar to our engagement session together except your all dressed up! I usually start by getting some more posed, formal portraits to truly capture you in all your elegance, along with some final detail shots. Then we’ll jump into the fun laughs and romantic gazes as you relax into each other. Depending on your timeline and location please allot 45 minutes to 2 hours.
I understand that a large part of this day is your amazing friends and family, and I am so excited to capture their joy and love for you also. There’s two parts to group portraits:
1. The Wedding Party – Your nearest and dearest that you’ve chosen to stand by your side. These will usually fall before or after your couples portraits. I like to keep it casual and light so that everyone has a good time. I’ll direct everyone into a few poses and then your friends can be off to enjoy the day. Allot 20-45 minutes in your timeline (larger parties typically take a bit longer to arrange)
2. Family Portraits – Planning for Family Portraits takes place weeks before the wedding. In the Wedding Day Details questionnaire you will lay out all your family members and relationships. From there I make myself a shot list (that I will send to you for approval before the wedding) and from there its all adding and subtracting! Family Portraits are best done directly after the ceremony while everyone is still gathered. If you can appoint someone who may know everyone on both sides that can help me put faces to names it would be greatly appreciated. Please allow at least 30 minutes in your timeline.
The moment you’ve been waiting for. Don’t worry about me, or your guests, this time is about you – focus on each other, hold hands as you commit yourselves to each other forever. I like to capture all sides of a ceremony. At the beginning I’ll stand at the top of the aisle to capture everyone coming down and any amazing reactions. From there I’ll step back, letting you bask in the moment while I capture scenic moments and guest reactions. I’ll pop back into the aisle for the important stuff and then I’ll follow you backwards during the recessional. Now is a great time to think about having a “grand recessional” to add to all those just married vibes! Flower petals, sparklers, champagne toasts, bubbles are all super fun ways to celebrate. The average ceremony is around 30 minutes.
You may be asking “ what’s an unplugged ceremony?” An unplugged ceremony is when the couple decides that they would prefer their guests not take photos during the ceremony. This allows your friends and family to be truly present with you during this pivotal moment in your life instead of watching it through a screen. It also ensures those beautiful photos of you walking down the aisle are not littered with cellphones and Aunt Linda’s iPad.The key to a successful unplugged wedding is to prepare your guests in advance and let them know all the reasons as to why it is important to you. Give them a heads up on your invitations, wedding website, programs and have a cute sign at the ceremony.
I am always so excited to sit down to dinner after a long day and make friends with some of your guests. I don’t take photos during this period as people are eating. Feel free to sit me anywhere, however it works best if I can be served (or called if buffet style) with the bridal party or the first table. This ensures I’m ready to catch all the fun for speeches and dancing!
During the reception I kind of take a step back and venture into a more photojournalistic style. I like to hang out by people who look like their having a good time and capture all the candid moments as they unfold. I don’t traditionally ask people for formal portraits during this time unless I’m asked. My goal is more to give you guys space and capture the interactions you may not see. This is so great when you receive your gallery to see all your favourite people chatting, laughing and meeting for the first time.
For the majority of the day I prefer to use natural lighting and will for as long as possible. This is the best way to ensure the essence of the day is captured authentically. If the day is gloomy and the sky is grey or if it’s clear blue skies ahead and sunny I want your gallery to be reflective of that. When the reception starts I will then switch to flash.
When planning how you would like to exit your wedding consider doing it with a bang! Sparklers, fireworks, and confetti are all amazing options for a fun and memorable send off!
I will send a few sneak peeks for you within the first couple days after your wedding. These are great to share on social media and use for thank you cards. The entire gallery will be delivered via email within 10-12 weeks. This gallery will remain active for 3 months after delivery. The gallery is online and shareable for friends and family near and far. You will also find a linked store option where you can conveniently order prints, cards and albums.
All my childhood photos were taken on a disposable Kodak camera or polaroids. They sit in a large Tupperware container and various boxes in my parents spare bedroom closet. Etched with my name, year and whichever special occasion it happened to be. Growing up we never took family photos and my parents wedding images were taken by a cousin I’ve never met who happened to have a camera. Even so, I loved nothing more than pulling out the boxes every few years when I’m feeling particularly sentimental. Sprawled on the floor and thumbing through the worn 5×7’s of my teenage mother and moustache clad father, exploring long forgotten memories, and taking in the magic that was the world long before I entered it. I’ve touched on the special place in my heart I reserved for heirlooms and the magic of immortalizing memories before. Maybe they are so special to me because I don’t have that many myself. Maybe it’s because during my years of capturing moments and delivering memories I have seen the beauty in freezing time and witnessed an image touch a heart. Truth is I never quite know what images will one day become your favourite, what photo may strike a long winded story told to inquiring grand babies. But I do know that these days will come and there is no greater feeling than making these feelings and emotions tangible. Something to hold with worn and wrinkled hands in years to come. The digital age is fantastic as it allows us to spread our happiness far and wide but technology is never guaranteed. Your hard drive will one day break, you will eventually replace your laptop and those USB’s will get lost. I don’t want your special days to be buried in a box in the closet or to sit in an unopened folder on your desktop. I want your memories to live in beautiful, hand made albums. I want your hands to pass over textured woven papers and untie silky hand dyed ribbons. I want you to not just enjoy your pictures in twenty, thirty, fifty years. I want you to experience, relive, and revel in their beauty.
PLANNER: Locke Weddings
OFFICIANT: Judy Walker