For any wedding in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, or anywhere in Colorado, I have outlined below the general sequence of events at the wedding and how I document those events photographically, depending on what you prefer. I want to emphasize that I am extremely flexible on any of this - that is, whatever you want me to do or don't want me to do, you are the boss. Depending on timing and circumstances, these events can be moved around in the schedule. It's all up to you - just let me know beforehand, so I can set up in a timely manner. Also, the terms I use below are applied generically, for example, when I say 'minister', I imply all versions of officiant, 'priest', 'rabbi', 'government official', 'ship captain', - you get the idea.
INITIAL COMPLIMENTARY MEETINGS
After you have contacted us, and we have determined a mutually available date to work together, we'll meet at no cost to you to see if we are what you want for your wedding photography. I'll show you examples of my work and the various products I can deliver, and I'll ask you about what you want and how you want to do it, including engagement shoots, bridal photos, bride and groom photos, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, venues in your area of Colorado for wedding and reception, and style of photography you have in mind. As we mutually develop what you envision, I'll bring up ideas, suggestions, and guidance to ensure you get what you want with a minimum of stress, all in a very affordable fixed price. If we have to meet again before the wedding date, I'll be more than happy to get together to make sure we have all the bases covered. Also, if you're not available for a personal complimentary meeting, I am more than happy to meet with you via FaceTime or Skype.
Often, a couple will want an engagement shoot that illustrates the love and commitment you both feel as the basis for your life together. Usually, you are dressed in what makes you comfortable and at a location that has some meaning to you both, whether indoors or out. Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs all have hundreds of beautiful settings for engagement and wedding photography. The mood is romantic, fun, and represents what you both have felt during your relationship leading up to your engagement. The engagement photography shoot usually lasts a couple hours and the pace is relaxed. Many couples use images from this as the basis for 'save the date' early announcements to their guest list. Images for this are usually posed with my suggestions but always within your comfort range.
REHEARSAL AND DINNER
Depending on availability of the wedding party, immediate family and friends, and the minister, a wedding rehearsal at the venue and perhaps a dinner afterwards is usually held one or two days before the ceremony. I will make myself available to photograph either or both. Images for both are almost always candid.
A lot goes on leading up to the actual event, and most of it is memorable and worth recording in photography. Without going into a lot of detail, activities before the ceremony that you might want recorded are: decorating the church, decorating the reception, bride/bridesmaids/parents preparation, groom/groomsmen/parents preparation, arrival of guests, and special moments between bride and groom and their families just prior to the start of the ceremony. I like to get shots of the church and reception all decorated but with no people - a lot of work and thought goes into decorations and you'll want to remember it. Most of the images are candid with a few poses here and there. Images of special objects like the dress, shoes, the rings, and bouquets, will be staged.
If you want a 'first look' before the ceremony, then we can shoot it and possibly Bride and Groom, and wedding party photos also. I usually recommend that 'friends and family' pictures be done after the ceremony, since it may be hard to get everyone to the shoot location early.
Within boundaries set by you and the minister, such as no artificial lighting and off-limits areas for me or my assistants, I will get images of every aspect of the ceremony without being in anyone's way. In addition to the 'crucial, must-have' shots of you and the wedding party, I try to get shots of emotional moments and faces in the congregation as they react to what's going on in the ceremony. All images here are candid.
Usually, but not always, the time between the ceremony and when guests make their way to the reception is a good time to get the posed portraits, what I call the 'fireplace mantel' shots, taken care-of. This may not be what you had in mind, but, believe me, grandma will expect to see photos of the couple, the wedding party, and multiple combinations of family and friends. You'll need to put some thought into this and designate someone responsible to help me get people organized so that we can move through this quickly. You'll need to pick in advance the place where the posed photos are taken. Sometimes, it's possible to get a large group shot of everyone if you have an appropriate spot and if you can get everyone together just after they leave the church and before they go off to drink a few at the reception. Another thing to think about is that this is a good time to get romantic shots of the new husband and wife all dressed-up. Sometimes, selected group photos and the bride and groom photos can be done even before the ceremony, depending on timing and circumstances. Almost all of these images are posed.
Must-have shots at the reception include wedding party entrance, head table, family tables, first dances, toasts, cutting the cake, and bouquet and garter tosses. Virtually everything else is candid, although table groupings are often best posed.
DAY AFTER BRUNCH
Often, the day after the wedding, families and friends may get together for a relaxed brunch before everyone, especially guests who live outside of Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, or even Colorado, head back home. I can certainly drop by and take a few posed and candid shots.