So, I've been to LA-AHHHHTS of weddings. Like, a ton more than the average person. I've been to small weddings and big weddings. Fancy weddings and not-so-fancy weddings. Expensive weddings and inexpensive weddings. Over 8 years I've collected some things in my brain that make me pretty gol-darn excited every time I come across them.
My Wedding Top 10!
1. Incredible Organization
You knew this Type A gal was gonna throw that one out there. But, when my Bride (or Groom...or Both) are INCREDIBLY on-the-ball from the get-go, I'm a happy clam. Because that means things are more likely to run smoothly and happily. If organization isn't your thang....get a wedding planner. Seriously. Let someone be organized for you.
2. Classic Elements
I'm still waiting for that Anne of Green Gables themed event. In the meantime, I'm just throwing out there that anything old-timey, harkening back to days-of-yore, Edwardian Era inspired, Victorian-tinged, or Antique-y is up my little alley. Bust out those Downton Abbey weddings, folks, because I am ALL about it.
And seriously, if you do a full on Green Gables themed wedding, I'll shoot that thing for free. No joke.
I friggin' love grandparents. I love photographing them. I love hangin' with them. I love hearing their stories and seeing them together. I just love 'em. If you are lucky enough to have your grandparents at your wedding, I'm overjoyed for you....and I will photograph the bejesus out of them.
4. Potatoes and other Tidbits
Ok, I like more than JUST potatoes. If I can snag a salad I'm doing a little happy Snoopy dance. But man, give me a platter of mashed taters and you've made a friend for life.
Have a mashed potato BAR?!?! OMG.....O.M.G.
Food is SOOOOO important (and not just because by the time this chick gets to your reception I'm starving). It just IS.
So, a killer menu....a great food idea? Good stuff!
5. Personalized Touches
I adore it when little inside jokes, the couples' passions, or other personal touches make it into the wedding, even in small ways. Our loves, our passions, our shared jokes are what makes us...well... US. We should celebrate them.
Jennifer here wore her mom's dress. Things like that I just adore. Celebrate your background. Celebrate your history.
6. Cultural Elements
Culturally, I'm pretty darn boring. I'm a mix of Irish/Polish/Scottish/Swiss/Welsh and Pennsylvania Dutch. All in all, what I've gathered is that makes me really pasty and we play Euchre at family gatherings and can put away a pint if the situation arises. I can polka a bit and have a family of a bunch of lapsed Catholics.
But, not too much in the way of rich culture, I guess.
So when I can experience other culture's way of celebrating weddings, I am typically in awe. It's so different, so unique, and usually very visually appealing. Plus, I can get a little pang of jealousy :)
7. Nuggets/Littles/Beans and Babies
Ok, bear with me.
I had a kid-free wedding.
I didn't HAVE any kids. I didn't dislike kids, but I wanted to have an event where people I knew who did have kids could chill and enjoy themselves. (I totally didn't think of the pain-in-the-booty part of finding a sitter.....yeah, no kids at the time.....sorry guys!)
But, now that I have three kids of my own (and yes, this means I know what a pain they can be in public!) .....I love seeing kiddos at weddings. Cute littles in their Sunday best dancing around like maniacs on speed? Yeah, it's entertaining.
8. A Killer Dancefloor
The open dancing is my favorite part of the day. I love capturing it....and, at times, taking part. If your friends and family are wild and crazy on the dancefloor, it makes for some epic images. I walk away from the night super giddy to download because I know they're going to be awesome.
9. Lots 'O Emotion
Let's face it: a crying face makes for good, emotionally impactful pictures. Truth. If it's DAD? Grandpa? Grandma? OMG....I'll be a weepy mess right along with 'em.
Don't be afraid to let that emotion just flow like a bad telenovella.....because I'm back there snappy away going "THIS IS GOLD".
10. The Greatest of These is LOVE
After a bajillion or so weddings (I dunno, I lost count)....it really doesn't matter WHAT the wedding looks like, sounds like....the food, the dress, whatever. I can ALWAYS tell if there is a big heaping ball of love bouncing around the room. You just can. (And just the same, it's always a big bummer if you walk away from a wedding thinking "I give it 6 months".....thankfully that's not a very regular occurrence).
When the room SWELLS with LOVE.....you just sit back, take it all in and think "You know, I love my job. This is why I'm here. All this love."
Doesn't matter what is happening outside the little wedding love bubble at that moment. We are a separate entity....and that is what makes the job so incredible.