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(c) Steve Theis 2000

Make sure the photographer has all the correct information including, location, times, and directions.  You may want to provide a list of important people attending, parents, grandparents, number in wedding party, and any special circumstances so that there are no surprises the day of the wedding.  It is our philosophy that you should enjoy your wedding to the fullest and not have to worry about the details.  Theis Photography always schedules a consultation to finalize everything approximately one month before the wedding.  Steve Theis also gives a follow-up phone call a few days before the wedding just to make sure there aren’t any questions or concerns.  This allows for smooth sailing on the day of the wedding

Try to have everyone ready when the photographer arrives.  We prefer to do the opening shots early, so you aren’t rushing before the ceremony.  We have also noticed over several years of providing wedding photography that everyone looks great before the ceremony so what better time to take the formal portraits of the wedding party and families.  It also allows more time for everyone to enjoy the affair.

Family members and the wedding party should all know where and when to meet, before or after the wedding ceremony for the group photographs.  If you are planning outdoor photographs, make sure you have an alternative location in case of bad weather

You may want to inform any family or friends, who are amateur photographers, and will be attending the wedding, that you would like them to enjoy the day as your guest.  Let them know that you have hired a professional to record your special day and that you appreciate them taking a few photographs, but that

you don’t want the paid professional competing with them for any important shots.

(c) Steve Theis

Should the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony?  Several years ago it was “traditional” for the bride and groom to be photographed after the ceremony.  Most of the split sessions, of the bride and groom seperately, were done before the vows, and the group shots were done after the ceremony.  This usually resulted in the guests waiting at the reception for an indefinite period of time.  Today, more than 90% of couples choose to have all of the formal group photography taken prior to the ceremony.

There is a certain anticipation about not seeing your “betrothed” before the wedding.  An idea that Steve introduced to this area is called “private time” or “special moments” photography sessions.  The sanctuary or another location can be chosen to be used for the bride and groom to see each other prior to the ceremony.  The groom is to stand with his back turned.  When he hears the rustle of his bride’s gown he knows that they are going to have one of  the most intimate and precious moments of the entire day.  They can kiss, exchange hugs, pray, or share gifts in private. This is probably the only time they will be alone together until the end of the day.  It is also an excellent time for Steve and Chris to capture photographs that will be very meaningful later.

What about making the grand entrance to the ceremony?  Nothing can take away from that moment, as the music plays, the beautiful bride appears in the chapel doorway.  All rise as she makes her entrance to meet her handsome groom.  The beautiful vision is still intact

Many couples who wait until the ceremony to see each other for the first time are so nervous that they appear to have “stage fright”.  When the bride does arrive at the altar, the groom can’t kiss her, tell her how beautiful she is, or give her a reassuring hug.  With all the nervousness and distractions of the moment, many times the couple can’t even remember what their first impressions were

Scheduling the formal photographs before the ceremony isn’t just a good suggestion, it’s a valuable investment tip to maximize your time and optimize your wedding day experience.  It makes a difference not only in the photographs, but in the whole wedding experience.  In the twenty-five years that Theis Photography has conducted formal sessions before the ceremony, we have never had a couple regret it.  Quite the contrary, most couples have thanked us because it was the most personal and intimate moment of their wedding.

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