What a great year we have had in the wedding department! We had some seriously, AMAZING couples. I'm not even lying! Janelle and I have shot 141 weddings together, and we can still appreciate the emotions, details, and love of each and every wedding day. We treat each wedding as if it were the first one we have ever shot.
This year, we have learned a lot about ourselves, because of our couples. They have made us feel more comfortable as photographers, and have provided us some great ideas for our future brides and grooms. Here are ten "trends," or just darn good ideas, that made your weddings unique.
1. Skip the Bridal Suite. We LOVE the "getting ready" portion of the day! Some brides choose to get ready at a parent's home, presenting more photo opportunities and helps spark new creativity!
2. First Looks will Always be Special. About 15 percent of our couples have decided to do a "first-look" before their ceremony, which provides more time for special memories, privately. First looks for a bride and groom, bride and her father, or a bride and her bridesmaids, is always an exciting little event before walking down the aisle.
3. Editorial Shots in the Church. This is something that I never thought I would love so much! We are always encouraging outdoor, natural light for great images, but some of these church images take my breath away! This was a bride's request over the summer, and it's something we try to do all the time, now.
4. Outdoor Family Formals. Depending on weather, and the church, we LOVE when couples and their families agree to step away from the altar for group shots!
5. The Irony of Rain on Your Wedding Day. Alanis Morissette sang it, and made it sound like it was a bad thing! After 125 weddings, we finally had wedding day rain this year....two weekends in a row! But, look at these cute umbrella shots and magical lighting (post-rain)! It was a blessing in disguise and made us more comfortable checking wedding day forecasts!
6. Make the Location Count. In this area, we embrace change when it comes to on-location wedding pics. When a couple requests a specific location for their post-ceremony images, such as their home, or a family member's land, suddenly angels sing and rainbows appear in our minds!
7. Wedding Hashtags are a MUST! I used to make fun of hashtags....and couldn't have agreed more with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's parody, but I have changed my position. Hashtags are a great way to see snapshots from your wedding day that you may have otherwise missed! Janelle and I still don't understand how to use Snapchat, but I assure you, we are working to improve this in 2017.
8. Food and Dessert Make a Bold Statement. You spend a lot of money on wedding food and we all know that presentation is everything! Make sure people see it! Some couples choose to cut their cake as soon as they enter their reception, while others "cut" the expense and offer guests desserts, appetizers, and take-home bags.
9. Step Outside of your Reception. I used to be so intimidated to ask a couple to walk out of their reception for a sunset or nighttime photograph. They have spent their day with us, and are probably ready to say goodbye! However, a few of our couples this year requested a sunset shot and now, we made it a "thing!" We talk about this at their pre-wedding meeting, to make sure it's something they want to do. For the five minutes this takes, it makes for a stunning image!
10. Hiring a Band is a Sure Way to Get the Dance Floor Moving. Have you ever been to a reception and wondered why people aren't dancing? There are so many reasons. Depending on the crowd, music selections, and the reception's timeline of events, there is no way to ensure that people will dance and have fun. However, a band or live musician, for some reason, brings a little more energy to the venue. We get more dancing shots at a reception with a live musician than with a DJ. There are wonderful DJs out there, too, but a band seems to bring out the dancers a little earlier in the night!
Thank you to all of our couples and their families for making us part of your day. The hospitality and appreciation you have shown makes us realize how lucky we are to love our careers!
Happy New Year to all of you!
Dana & Janelle