Category Archives: wedding photography
“I’m so happy that I listened to Tonya’s advice and had a first look at my wedding. The opportunity to relax and spend time with my fiancé before the wedding was special and intimate. We had hundreds of gorgeous photos to choose from since our first look photo shoot gave us time to be together on our wedding day. The idea of taking photos together before the wedding was truly wonderful! We had an evening wedding and the first look photos were phenomenal. ” poprock bride
There are so many wedding traditions that makes me wonder why it ever started and why do we keep perpetuating these wedding traditions. Top on my list is seeing the bride before the wedding. This probably originated when parents picked your mate, so the groom wouldn’t run off if he didn’t like what he saw and yet we still have the tradition. Many brides want to surprise their groom or they fear it’s bad luck to see the bride, but really it’s so much better to have a first look hours before the wedding.
A first look allows the wedding couple to have a minute to see each other and have a REAL moment instead of in the ceremony in front of everyone. And an even better time for your photographer to document!
Sidenote: Everyone wants to witness this, I would be very adamant about this time only being the wedding couple and photographer only. You will not have your real reaction when your mother and friends are watching. Trust me.
Think about standard photography during weddings, including all the weddings you’ve been in. The photographer has to get all your bridal party shots and of course, the whole family (on both sides no less) because the whole family is never together, your mom has insisted on it, all the while the sun is going down. This is the most stressful time for the photographer because no one listens and family members are not where they are supposed to be during family photo time. So your photographer has just been trying to deal with your family, (you know how they are) for over an hour and the wedding couple has been here for this hour too.. All they want to do is go to the reception and start partying, but the photographer wants you to go somewhere alone to capture a few shots too.
It would be so much easier, if you get ready, have a first look by yourself, take an hour to shoot around your location or drive to a location for a totally different look. Then add the wedding party. You can tell immediate family members exactly what time and where to be and stagger the times. It’s best to be finished an hour before the start time of the wedding. Then after the wedding, all that needs to be done is the large family photos. Takes about an hour, then boom, reception time.
Not only does this run more efficiently, the wedding party always behaves better during this time too because there is no open bar yet. You also have enough photos to fill your album and your wedding hasn’t even started yet. And believe me, you will be nervous and the person waiting for you at the end of the aisle still gives you the reaction you want.
Every bride always wants a timeline from me after I get off the floor from laughter I tell them we can make a timeline, but nothing ever goes as planned. EVER. Someone is always late, missing, retrieving missing shoes, it’s always something..
But just so you can get an idea of how my day goes. here is an imaginary timeline..
Of course we will start at 10a, because my brides get married around 4p so there’s plenty of daylight for group photos afterwards, right? Dare to dream, but hey, it’s my imaginary timeline….
10a- I meet brides and bridesmaids in the hotel room/salon where they are getting ready.
11a- go to bar, eat lunch/cocktails with grooms/ groomsmen.
1230p – Go back to girls and stay with them.
2p sneak away and grab some shots of groom getting ready..
230p back with girls / bride gets her dress on/finishing touches
This would be a great time if we do a First Look! In my world the bride and groom always see each other before!!!
ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE GETTING MARRIED IN THE EVENING.
3p- in car on way to wedding space.
Some advice I love to give my couples. Try to get a good night’s sleep the day before, I know it’s hard tying up loose ends and partying with everyone, but if you can avoid it, there is nothing worse than being green, hungover with bags under your eyes for you wedding day.
Eat protein that day, I see so much bread and fruit in hotel rooms, what the H? Have some turkey sandwiches!!!
And it’s really cute if bridesmaids have matching robes, tshirts or shirt, as cornball as it sounds, if it’s your style, do it!!
When planning your wedding, ask your event planner to have a cooler READY and snacks when the group is hiding out, waiting to be introduced or during photos.. It’s like an afterthought with waiters asking what you want and bringing cocktails later, or groomsmen running off for a beer run duh, have it ready!!
When planning your wedding, always consider daylight savings time!!!
There is always a mad rush for the bar at the end of a ceremony, creating long lines and cranky guest trying to remain polite. Some restaurants are ahead of the game by having trays of cocktails or wine, which works deliciously, but is rare. This weekend’s couple had sealed Mason jars of Margaritas in large galvanized tubs complete with a marker to write your name, reuse the glass during the reception and take home with you!
Talk about brilliant, thoughtful and fun!
Best wishes Dorothy + Karen, loved your wedding style!
“Tonya Russ Price at Poprock Photography is an event photographer with a fabulous eye and amazing talent. She does more non-traditional “documentary style” pictures, which is exactly what I wanted. She traveled about 2 hours to be at our event in the mountains (and to do engagement photos beforehand, which were a blast and turned out awesome). I can’t really put into words how happy I am with the beautiful record of our day. She did more than just take pictures; she captured the spirit of the event, the guests, and our love for each other. You won’t regret hiring her and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll enjoy having her around! She’s a lot of fun on top of it all! (She also charms family members … my aunts all fell in love with her and she good-naturedly put up with their nickname of “Smurfette.” She’s awesome all the way around!) Can’t recommend her enough!”
Sunny ~ Wedding Wire Review Wedding June 2012
I love engagement sessions! It’s like weddings without the stress and bad Chardonnay! It also gives me a chance to get to know my future brides and/or grooms and gives them a chance to see how I work. It’s a win win!
Hailey and Dan are getting hitched April 26, 2014! I wonder how many engagement sessions we will have before then!
There were many things that I loved about their wedding, but what really caught my eye was the bouquet, since they didn’t have attendants, Jessica put her flowers on the alter, not only does it give the bridesmaid a break by holding two bouquets in most weddings, it puts a little color in the background.
Jessica’s bouquet Lilly Greenthumb’s
Hair TEASE of Charlotte NC
Makeup Scott Arnold MAC at Southpark Mall