The guide to amazing imagery and a smooth wedding
WHITES – whites & creams
LIGHT BLUES – baby blues & pastel blues
BLUSHES – light pink, nudes, & peaches
NEUTRALS – beiges, tans, & greys
Bright, bold colors like crimson red, royal blue, burgundy, bright orange, dark purple, etc are fine for your wedding colors but please avoid wearing these colors to an engagement session. Instead, wear the lighter, pastel versions of those colors.
When in doubt wear white and light blue.
Just like creating a color scheme for outfits, interior design, or graphic design, creating a color scheme for the actual content of the photo or video shot is just as important. That means couples should blend in with background/location we choose. Really! Check out the photo examples above.
Biggest wedding mistake: Fake (silk/wooden/etc) flowers instead of real flowers! It looks tacky and also does not photograph well.
For engagements, try choosing a max of two colors and then dressing both you and your fiancé in a monochrome outfit of those two colors only. Here are engagement outfits, color schemes, and mens suits ideas: www.bransonmaxwell.com/outfit-ideas-and-wedding-colors
When: As soon as you would like to take them. Usually a couple weeks or months after booking.
Where: If you haven’t already, visit my location guide here.
What to expect: My engagement sessions are around a 1 hour in length. My turnaround editing time is 3 weeks.
1. Most of my couples wear whites and light blues to their engagement session.
2. Be on time or early. We are often shooting the very last hour or two of sunlight.
3. Crest teeth whitening strips from Walmart do wonders in as little as 1 or 2 applications and make smiles that much more bright.
4. If you want a romantic look then wear something long and flowy.
When: Whenever your dress is ready or on your wedding day.
Where: If this session will be before the wedding visit my location guide here.
What to expect: My bridal/formal sessions are around a 1 hour in length. My first look videos come with a 1-2 minute edited video. My turnaround editing time for each is 3 weeks.
1. Bring a bouquet. It will give you something to do with your hands and give twice as many posing variations to work with. This is my most important tip.
2. Work with industry professionals. Hiring an experienced and talented stylist, florist, and hair and make-up artist is crucial to looking your best. See my recommended vendors here.
3. Don’t forget your wedding rings if you have them.
4. If you are interested in making your session super “magazine worthy” check out how to stylize your session here.
When: One hour will be needed to capture the details/invitations/jewelry and one hour will be needed to capture the getting ready “final touches” (I.e lipstick, getting dress on, hugging mom, etc).
Where: If accessible a bright, open, beautiful space with plenty of window light and no clutter.
What to expect: The first hour your special items, invitations, and details will be arranged like in the example photo. The second hour will be shots of you getting your hair and makeup done, zipping up your dress, putting on veil etc. For videography coverage only we need only the later hour.
BRING FOR DETAIL SHOTS (photography only): invitations (envelope, stationary, ribbon, etc), rings, ring boxes, perfume, cologne, grooms tie, cufflinks, brides shoes, dress hanger, necklace, ear rings, small wedding gifts, vow books, extra flowers from you florist, or anything else you would like detail photos of.
When: Plan the ceremony at least a few hours before sunset so the family photos and wedding party photos can still be in sunlight. The more daylight that is incorporated into your day the better.
Where: Hopefully outside. Shade is great for nice, even lighting if possible. Have the guests face west so the ceremony scene is backlit (meaning the sun is behind you and the guests face the sun).
What to expect: Candid shots so be in the moment. Shots will be taken while moving up close and far away to get the full story without stopping in front of any individual guests for too long.
1. Have an unplugged ceremony. Tell your guests to refrain from using their phones to take photos/videos because a bunch of iPhone screens can ruin a beautiful ceremony scene. It also allows your guests to be in the moment while the shots are being taken for them.
2. Look directly at each other, not the officiant so your guests and camera can see your faces.
3. Have your maid of honor fix your train and veil once you step up to place.
4. Have the groomsmen stand with the left hand grabbing their right wrist. Have the bridesmaids stand with their bouquets level.
5. Tell the officiant ahead of time to take a giant step out right before the kiss shot.
6. Plan 25 minutes for family shots, 25 minutes for bridesmaids/groomsmen shots, and 25 minutes for couples portraits (unless you booked a full bridal/formals session, then plan 60 minutes for the couples portraits).
When: Plan on exiting the temple 1 hour after your sealing start time (90% of couples come out exactly 1 hour after). Have your bouquets, boutonnière’s and corsages passed out BEFORE you exit so they are in the shots! Then plan 1.5 hours total for family shots, bridesmaids/groomsmen shots, and shots of just you and your fiancé.
Where: All shots after the exit will most likely be on a stair case in front of the temple or somewhere with good lighting (shade).
What to expect: Lots of posing and direction for these shots.
1. Tell your guests to not take photos with their cell phones. Let them be in the moment while professional shots are done.
2. Don’t open those temple doors without the camera pointing at you.
3. Each open your own door simultaneously or use the automatic button.
4. Dangle your bouquet down so you don’t cover your face when you kiss.
5. Bubbles look great for the exit photos/video.
6. Approach your family and hug them. Your family will be organized for family photos whenever you are done and ready.
When: There is no hour limitation for reception coverage. Just keep in mind you are guaranteed the same amount of photos and/or video length regardless if your coverage is a 2 hour reception full of cake cutting, traditions, and first dance, or if your reception is 2 hours of those mentioned traditions and 4 hours of dancing. The more coverage of dancing you would like the fewer your wedding photos gallery/video will focus on the other traditions and more on the dancing.
What to expect: Candid shots.
1. Don’t form a receiving line to greet your guests. This is the biggest mistake you can make on a day that should be about celebration and having fun, not standing in a line people pleasing.
2. Enjoy your reception. Eat your cake. Dance.
3. Be in the moment for father/daughter and your first dance together. Small talk during dancing will show in your imagery so just embrace each other and dance.
4. Cut your cake like the example shown above. One hand over the other and bodies cuddled together. Smile. Kiss after feeding each other.
5. Any DJ lights will show up in your imagery so tell your DJ to not do all those crazy lights during cake cutting, first dances, etc.
Plan on about 2 hours before your ceremony for getting ready photo coverage (1 hour before ceremony for video). Also plan on about 25 minutes for family, 25 minutes for bridesmaids/groomsmen shots, and 25 minutes for bride and groom shots (so 1 hour and 15 minute cocktail hour).
Example schedule based on a 5pm ceremony:
3pm arrival/start of photo coverage. Starting with getting ready detail/flatlay shots
4pm getting ready shots of the people in the wedding (also when getting ready video coverage would start)
5:30pm family, then wedding party, then bride and groom shots
9:00pm sparkler send off
This is YOUR wedding and it is about you and your love. Please enjoy your day, take time for just you and your fiancé, & embrace the moments. You are completely covered in any color scheme, lighting situation, or weather condition.
Dance. Celebrate. Love.