We checked our watches and it was 3:30. All, yes ALL the portraits were done. The Orangerie was ready. The bride and groom were resting and joking around with their friends before they were about to become husband and wife. The bridal party was laughing. The parents were chatting with family. And we still had an entire hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin. There was a crazy calmness in the air and we didn’t know quite how to act!
But then I realized. Meredith ACTUALLY applied the advice I had given her throughout this process. Yes! I know! Crazy, right!?
It was such a beautiful thing to witness!
I give all of my brides a magazine FULL of knowledge to help them make their day flow seamlessly. I’ve seen quite a bit in my years of wedding photography, and I’ve learned a lot! So I share my experiences in the bridal guide so that MY brides wouldn’t have to experience what its like to be late for their own wedding. Or seeing their parents running crazy on their wedding day trying to decorate and coordinate. Or having their bridal party frustrated because they’re so tired of taking ANOTHER picture. Or not getting a GALLERY of ‘just married’ photos right at sunset because they didn’t plan their ceremony based on the LIGHT.
I educate my brides on how to AVOID said things above. I also explain why first looks don’t “ruin” the experience, but ENHANCES their experience! For not only them, but everyone involved!
Meredith didn’t even flinch when I suggested a first look. She didn’t ask questions. She just trusted that we wanted only the BEST for her, because we see it all. the. time. We experienced it ourselves from not only behind the camera, but in front of it too!
And because she trusted us. She got EVERYTHING we hope for all of our brides. And MORE.
She got not only one portraits session with Hunter, but TWO.
So as you skim through these images, I will let you in on some awesome tips and amazing vendors that made this day so great. So that when you plan your wedding one day, you might just have a stress free, beautiful day, like Meredith and Hunter did.
Wedding Day Tip #1: Have all of your important bridal details in a box for you photographer. That way, when your photographer arrives, she doesn’t waste a single second trying to find all of your little pretties!
Wedding Day Tip #2: Make sure you start hair and makeup as soon as you wake up for the day. You want the entire bridal party, including yourself, to be FINISHED with hair and makeup before your photographer even arrives! Verde Beauty Studio was amazing!! And in SUCH a cute little house!! (Perfect for Pictures)
Wedding Day Tip #3: If you have more than 3 bridesmaids, make sure you have a team of hair and makeup artists. Not just one person. Verde Beauty Studio was perfect for Meredith’s bridal party!
Wedding Day Tip #4: Time yourself getting into your dress and buttoning it up! You’ll definitely want to take this into consideration when planning your timeline!:)
Wedding Day Tip #5: Already have a list of “Who is Helping me with…”. Helping the bride get dressed is an honor. They will be in your pictures and forever in your memories. Give someone the honor of helping you with 1)dress 2)shoes 3)jewelry 4)veil. Let them know in advance that you want their help so they can be ready!
Wedding Day Tip #6: Keep a copy of your invitation for your photographer! This is one thing that is almost always forgotten, but is one of the most important pieces of your bridal details!
Shout out to Ashley Barado with Invitobella for Meredith’s GORGEOUS wedding invitations!
Wedding Day Tip #7: Have a First Look. This is THE ONLY TIME ALL DAY you will have with your groom to talk, hug, kiss, cry, breathe, and actually LOOK at each other! This entire day is because the two of you decided to promise forever together. But all too often the day is just “one big whirlwind” because there is no time to just soak it in and breathe.
Meredith and Hunter spent a solid 23 minutes alone without any of us interrupting them.
They also decided to write their own vows and share them privately. Without a microphone. Without an audience. Just the two of them.
I’m not crying.. YOU’RE crying!
Twenty-three minutes later… we took some portraits. Tears and all.
And because we did a first look, we were able to take fun bridal party pictures!
Wedding Day Tip #7: Have your bridal party take their pictures BEFORE the ceremony! During this time of the day, they are still EXCITED and pumped that they are actually a part of the bridal party! They are always so much more excited to take pictures because they haven’t yet been standing in heels and uncomfortable rentals for 30 minutes. 🙂
Plus- we have so much more time to do fun stuff like this!!
Wedding Day Tip #8: Also take Family Formals before the ceremony! For the same reasons as above. Everyone is typically so much more relaxed and excited to take photos as soon as they get to the venue! It’s also SO great for especially the bride’s parents to have these done beforehand! Bride’s parents typically feel like they have to “entertain” and greet the guests that are there. So they are usually in a hurry to get to the reception after the ceremony.
Wedding Day Tip #9: Plan your ceremony to start 30-60 minutes before sunset! This is what you would call “golden hour”, The light is the softest and most beautiful right before sunset, so if you plan to do sunset portraits with your husband, your ceremony should end right before that!
Wedding Day Tip #10: Actually include sunset portraits into your timeline! This is so important! We spent just 15 minutes with Meredith and Hunter right before sunset and they now have SO MANY portraits of them to show the kiddos one day!
Wedding Day Tip #11: Hire a TEAM. I wish EVERY bride would hire a wedding planner. We have SO MANY amazing wedding planners in our area! Poppy Lane Events did such a great job coordinating every second of the day. Wedding planners take stress off of parents and family. And photographers!!
Y’all. Tiger Deauxnuts! Totally ruined my keto diet with these… #noregrets
Wedding Day Tip #12: Just enjoy your day. This day really does fly by. So soak it in. Dance with your husband. And sing your heart out.
Meredith and Hunter,
Thank you SO much for having us a part of your big day. It was so. much. fun. I absolutely loved getting to know your family and friends! How cool are they!!? We are so excited for y’all to experience marriage. It is the absolute best thing God could allow us to participate in. We are praying for you guys! And hope we can hang out with y’all again soon!!
xoxo, Brittany and Thomas
Behind the scenes!!
Thomas is the ultimate veil fluffer. Every lead photographer needs a Thomas. 😉
Oh hey! There is me teaching the bridesmaids all of my “skinny tricks”.
Love you guys!!!
Wedding Day Team:
Venue: LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens
Hair/Makeup: Verde Beauty
Cake: Tiger Deauxnuts/ Counterspace
Flowers: Something Borrowed Blooms
Catering: Fuzzy’s Taco Shop/ Curbside
DJ: Party Tyme Productions
Wedding Planners: Poppy Lane Events
Photographer: Brittany Bruce Photography
Second Shooter: KG Photography