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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way! We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!




Getting Ready | For Brides Series | The Location.

November 9, 2014

Happy Monday everyone!! I’m SO EXCITED to be continuing our “For Brides” series on the blog today … and throughout the remainder of the winter season!! In our first For Brides post (found here), Caleb shared his perspective on the wedding day from the eyes of the groom, with tips on how to be involved as a groom, how to make your wedding day experience the best possible, things to think about when getting ready, etc.!! We also shared our heart behind starting this series on the blog: to help brides + grooms make the most of their wedding day experience. This series will cover everything from photography tips to actually enjoying (yes, ENJOYING!!) the planning process, + everything in between that will help you make the most out of YOUR day : )

Today, we are talking about our getting ready locations!! If you’ve ever worked with us, you’ve probably heard me say (once or twice!!) that it’s all about the light. That’s right! For us as natural light photographers, LIGHT is our driving force. We chase the good light–always looking for it + always running to it!! Of course, there are always exceptions, but sometimes, even if you have the most beautiful location (but the lighting is far from ideal), the photo will not turn out as you expect!! We are always trying to educate our clients about lighting during their sessions + helping them to see why we choose the locations we do for their portraits!!

Now, on a wedding day, a LOT of times, you cannot control the light! Amen!? The ceremony is at location + the reception is in location + nothing’s going to change that! We’re obviously not going to say, “Hey! Let’s move the ceremony to this spot because the lighting is more ideal!!” That just wouldn’t fly 😛 SO, we use flash or other tools to create the lighting + look to our photos that we want! HOWEVER, on a wedding day, there ARE many opportunities to choose where we want to shoot (bridal party shots, bride + groom portraits, etc.) + during these portions of the day, we chase that light : )

One location you might not think about, but as a bride + groom you DEFINITELY have control over, is your getting ready location!! During this portion of the day, we cannot encourage you enough to choose a spot to get ready that is FILLED with natural light–think lots + LOTS of windows!! These windows give us pure light flooding in from outside rather than colored or tinted light coming from fluorescent or tungsten bulbs indoors. For example: church basement (often no windows) vs. a home or spacious hotel room (with lots of windows!!)–we say, go for option B!! You will NOT regret it!! Brides, we want the photos of you getting into your dress to be captivating. Romantic. Bright! Happy! And lighting really truly can affect this! (SAME for you, grooms!! Except putting your ties on, not a dress ; ))! See the examples below: these ladies specifically chose or even requested rooms with lots of windows!!

I placed Valerie (above), right in front of a giant window to maximize our use of the beautiful, glowy lighting coming through! And Elle (below) is pictured in front + to the left of two large windows that, again, gave us such a romantic feeling to the lighting of her getting ready photos!

In addition to lighting you while getting ready, rooms with lots of natural light allow us to capture your details (dress, shoes, flowers, jewelry, invites, ties, cufflinks) more quickly + efficiently as we can do them right in the room!! (More on shooting details + our thoughts on details coming in a different post!!) Finally, one last word of advice for you on your getting ready location. Think CLEAN! Simple, tasteful, charming. To achieve these photos, it is SO HELPFUL (+ saves us time!!) to have the getting ready space free of trash, hangers, sweatpants … you know, all those things that accumulate as you’re prepping for the big day!?! When it’s time to get into your dress or tux, however, you definitely don’t want those things in the background of your images!!

So, brides + grooms!! As you’re planning your day, get creative + think outside the box!! Where could you get ready that would provide a beautiful backdrop, lots of natural light, + help us create for you the most stunning, classic, + elegant photos we possibly can?! Maybe it’s your home, somewhere that means something special to you + has a story + character! Or maybe a hotel room near the ceremony that you know has space + lots of windows!! Or at the church, ask around!! Talk with the wedding coordinator to see if you can have access to a room with all of the elements we’ve discussed in this post : )

Stay tuned for lots more ideas + tips coming your way in the upcoming months as a part of our For Brides series!! I really cannot tell you how excited I am about this series! Helping our clients have the most amazing wedding day experience–and matching photos to go along with it!!–makes our hearts soar!! Have an incredible week!! xo! -M

Gabby’s getting ready room had windows on three of the four walls!! In the picture below, we placed the girls right in front of a big window to beautifully light them in the sweetness of this moment before the ceremony!!

Bride Kari (below) scoped her church until she found a beautiful room that not only had lots of windows on one wall to light her, but also had lovely ceiling fixtures + wooden beams that created a soft + warm feel to her images : )

Mallory (below) chose to get ready in a gorgeous vintage hotel room at the Hotel Ruby Marie. This sun-lit room perfectly fit the theme of their overall day + allowed an amazing flow in the collection of her images!!

Other posts from our For Brides series:

The Grooms Experience 

For Brides

  1. Kennedy

    November 12th, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Good advice…ill start thinking.

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