What to bring to your bridal session?

There’s so much to think about while you’re planning your bridal session so today I’m sharing three things I recommend every bride brings to their session!

  1. Bring a bouquet.

Not only is this something extra your hands can do during the shoot but I truly believe your bouquet is just as important as your dress. It is the ultimate accessory to your bridal look! I always recommend real flowers as well unless you are allergic. This is a great time to do a test run of your bridal bouquet on your wedding day so you’re absolutely positive you and your florist have the same idea in mind when it comes to your bouquet!

  1. Bring an extra pair of shoes.

If your shoes are hard to walk in or you want to keep them in pristine condition consider bringing an extra pair to walk in so your wedding shoes aren’t scuffed on your wedding day.

  1. Bring your Maid of Honor!

It’s so nice to have a friend help with your wedding train and it’s so much fun when your best friend is there! I think bridal sessions are so much easier when there is an extra pair of hands to help out. Wedding dresses sometimes need assistance getting in and out of so definitely keep that in mind.

My goal is to make every session as comfortable and fun as possible so it was super important to compile a short list of helpful tips for brides! I hope this helps brides feel like they are ready to rock their session and take some amazing photos!

While this definitely isn’t the most important thing to remember on the wedding day, I couldn’t help but pile this list together for brides. I hope this list will help so many women feel super confident and beautiful not only on their wedding day, but in their wedding photos as well! Here are my 5 tips to look extra gorgeous in your wedding photos!

  1. Remember good posture.

This tip is a good one. So many people (especially me) have terrible posture. Even standing! As a photographer, I see this so much and now it’s something I pay attention to even more than I used to. Standing tall with your shoulders back makes people not only look more attractive but it does wonders for body language also!

  1. Avoid the double chin.

Ahh, the dreaded double chin. It’s a problem for so many so if you struggle with this, don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone. My advice is to elongate your neck slightly and stick out your chin a bit as well. It feels like it looks stupid but I promise it doesn’t. When a bride or groom tell me they are worried about this in their photos I do a few things to avoid it but this is always the first thing I recommend!

  1. Give your lashes a boost!

You guys. I say this to all of my brides. Don’t skimp on the mascara. In fact, if you want to wear falsies or have your lashes professionally done, I would totally recommend it! Literally, the extra length does WONDERS for your face and eyes. I love it when brides pay extra special attention to their eyes because I’m constantly focusing on eyes in photos. Also, usually, when people look at a photo, the eyes are the first place they look in a photograph.

  1. Do the hip-dip-angle pose.

Ya, this one is a doozy guys and much easier to show in person than to write on a blog post. Once you have it down though you will instantly do it in every photo because IT WORKS. So basically, you angle your body at a 45 degree angle from the camera and with your feet together bend your leg closest to the camera. Then shift your hips away from the camera so you can shift your weight to your back leg. The final step is to put your hand on your hip (the one closest to the camera). The hand on the hip makes the arm closest to the camera appear skinnier because it is not hanging/pushed next to your torso and it also allows space to see a waist line behind it. If you are adding in the double chin trick from above with this pose then congratulations you are now a posing master. Celebrities actually do this on the red carpet all the time so definitely check that out for a good reference and other ideas!

  1. Book the right photographer.

A good portrait photographer can understand great lighting, get creative angles and composition. A great portrait photographer understands how to pose their clients and take beautiful photos of them looking stunning. In my opinion, I know no matter how much I like a photo, if my client doesn’t like how they look in it, it will most likely sit in their gallery without ever being shared or printed. I believe, just like art students practice drawing the human form, that photographers should understand how to pose people so they look their best. I’m also not saying I have my clients stop and pose for every photo but I do listen to my clients about their concerns and remember to highlight how beautiful and happy my couples are before I start snapping away. So many photographers mention how artistic they are but fail to prioritize being conscious about how their clients look. When you’re searching for the perfect photographer for your wedding, find someone who mentions how they serve their couples this way.

Ultimately, people want to look good in photographs and finding the right photographer along with the other steps I mentioned means you are going to be beyond gorgeous in your photos. While not every photo and angle is going to be the best, try not to worry about this so much on the wedding day. I like to remind my couples that on such a happy day there is no way you’re not going to look perfect. So enjoy yourself, and leave the rest of it to me.

I bring a styling kit with me to every wedding of just a few things I find useful for flat lays. I love bringing a styling kit because it helps me elevate the look I’m trying to achieve while I’m styling accessories, heirlooms, and invitation suites. While I always ask my couples to bring some of these things to style with I like to bring my own just in case. Today I wanted to share everything in my kit that I bring and where to get them yourself if you’re interested in expanding your own styling kit!

1. Olive & Oak Mats

I love these mats and how easy they are to roll up and put away in the tube they come in. Not only are they double-sided but the quality is amazing and I totally recommend this company if you’re interested in purchasing styling mats. Using these mats, I’ve been able to achieve a cohesive look in my gallery while also matching the colors of the weddings I’m working at! You can purchase these mats through their Etsy store or directly from their website at https://oliveandoakmat.com/

2. Ribbon

Now this styling accessory may not be for everyone but ribbon in my flat lays has become a signature part of my look when it comes to flat lays. I love the leading lines and softness it creates in an image while bringing in yet another color of my couple's wedding style. Ribbon is such an easy way to elevate the look of my flat lays and if you haven’t tried it yet I totally recommend adding it to your own kit as well! You can purchase ribbons from Etsy and Amazon! There are quite a few options out there including velvet, chiffon (pictured), and suede (also pictured)! I bought a lot of my ribbon from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lings-moment-Handmade-Chiffon-Silk-Like/dp/B07HVQM3C6/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=chiffon+ribbon&qid=1588806674&sr=8-4

3. Velvet Ring Boxes

I have quite a few velvet ring boxes in multiple shades but the picture I provided is mostly my pastel collection. Most of my weddings opt for shades of neutrals and pastels so I tend to use these colors the most. I find ring boxes are usually dark and “heavy” looking in a photograph and while that can look cool, my style is usually a little more bright and soft. Now, ring boxes can be pretty expensive so make sure you’re ready to spend some cash if you’re wanting premium boxes like the Mrs. Box offers (my fav!) Quite a bit of my collection has actually come from Amazon actually and they are of pretty great quality right around $15 which is not bad! I always recommend my brides purchase a ring box from Mrs. Box because they are an heirloom that can be passed down with their ring and they offer more shades than you can usually find elsewhere. This way they can really get the correct color that matches their wedding tones. You can find Amazon ring boxes here: https://www.amazon.com/DesignSter-terciopelo-desmontable-propuestas-compromisos/dp/B07VXDCMQ6/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=6Y7N73EA9NFX&dchild=1&keywords=velvet+ring+box&qid=1588807183&sprefix=velvet+ring+%2Caps%2C184&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyMFlJTVFMMkM1TUJOJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNzgyNDIyMUpaUUo1SE9NQk1CTiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDkyNjU1R0dGMUk3WFo2ME5aJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

You can purchase Mrs. Box’s here: https://themrsbox.com/

4. Wax Seals

Now some couples have wax seals already at their wedding but if they don’t, adding a wax seal to their wedding suite is just a simple way to elevate the look of the already beautiful invite. I love how classic they look and they are having such a comeback lately that I am obsessed with! I actually made my own at home one night and I have to say, making wax seals is super fun! Purchase some wax beads and go to town making a variety of colors for your upcoming weddings! You can purchase wax beads here: https://www.amazon.com/AQUEENLY-Octagon-Sealing-Candles-Melting/dp/B07QLM3C9P/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=wax+beads+for+seals&qid=1588807963&sr=8-1

5. Old Lens Caps

I have some older/extra lens caps I’ve acquired over the years and they are absolutely perfect to include in your styling kit. I actually use these to give some height to my invitation suites when I’m styling them! I love having various heights to the items I’m styling to give them some dimension within the photo so everything doesn't look so flat. There are more expensive options out there like acrylic risers that are a beautiful option but lens caps in various heights work just as well in my opinion!

6. Other Odds & Ends

Other pieces in my styling kit I include are little trinket dishes, wax seal accessories, vintage stamps, frog pins to hold flowers upright, and trays. I try to do a bit of research and gather some info from my couple's questionnaire before I bring the whole collection haha. I usually ask what their style is so that way I know which pieces might fit and which ones might not. You can find a lot of these items on Etsy, especially the trinket dishes and vintage stamps. Here’s a popular tray amongst photographers for flat lays: https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Co-op-DA2978-Decorative-Distressed/dp/B00IGXEUMM/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=vintage+silver+tray&qid=1588808669&sr=8-2

7. Other Items Not Pictured

There are a couple of things I recommend you include in your styling kit that I didn’t happen to take pictures of. For example, all of these images were taken on a white canvas board I purchased from Hobby Lobby. I actually bring a few of these to weddings so I can have a flat neutral surface to style on or put my styling mats on so they don’t get dirty. I also use white canvas boards as a backboard to bounce clean light back on to the flat lay. Other things I include are scissors, double-sided removable tape to hold things in place, a wooden hanger to hold the dress in case the bride forgets to bring one, and command hooks to hold the dress if there isn’t a good place to hang it at the venue. Also, I always ask the florist for spare flowers or greenery so I can include those pretty details as well!

I hope this helps you build your styling kit and expand your own flat lay style on wedding days!