Haley Richter Photography Welcome Guide for 2019-2020 Couples
2. use us as a resource
3. crafting your perfect timeline
4. additional photographers
5. engagement sessions
6. after the wedding - what to expect + your online gallery
8. insurance + peace of mind
We communicate best via e-mail!
email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
If for any reason we don't get back to you within three days, just send another message!
If it is an absolute emergency, give us a call or shoot us a text.
Haley 610-420-7180 | Keristin 267-844-1415
After photographing hundreds of weddings and attending weddings almost every weekend of the year, we want to be of assistance to you when planning your day. We'll help with vendor hunting, color coordination, creating style boards, helping with logistics, and so much more.
The vendors on our list are folks in the Philadelphia area who are passionate about weddings and go above and beyond to create memorable wedding days for our couples.
Check out our Pinterest page for engagement session inspiration, fashion, color palettes, bouquets, tablescapes, decor, ideas and so much more!
We want to make sure that there is enough time for photos and for you to be present during your wedding day. Please let us know if there are places you'd like to stop, what's most important to you in your wedding photos
01. YOUR WEDDING WORKSHEET
You've probably gotten your Google Doc Wedding Worksheet already and we probably have a rough timeline include for you! We suggest you fill out the Basics ASAP! As we begin to get closer to your date, we suggest you start to fill it out further. We've already created a rough draft of your timeline but we like to connect no less than 2 months before your date to make sure we're all on the same page. The month of your wedding, we like to schedule a quick phone call to run through the day as well.
Your wedding worksheet will also include a family formals template. Since this is a working google doc, you can reorganize to fit your family. We like everyone's names so we can call folks out easily.
We print this worksheet out and bring it with us on your wedding day. We'll cross of shots as we get them and it will be able to keep us on schedule!
Make a box or bag for us filled with your details! We like to start with these and get them out of the way so we can focus on you! These details help tell your story in your final curated gallery and show off all of the items that you love and worked to put together.
WHAT TO INCLUDE?
When in doubt, yes! This is a great time to include any extra little gifts from family members, or family heirlooms that you want to have as a part of your day, but haven’t found another way to incorporate them. As an example, we’ve had couples include books that they love, paintings from their grandparents, handmade gifts from family, pictures of their cats that couldn’t there on the wedding day, and so many other unique heirlooms. While the details you choose to include will be unique to you and your wedding, here’s a list to get you started:
-rings (include all rings)
-shoes + jewelry
-lipstick + perfume bottle
-something borrowed/something blue
-any other trinkets / heirlooms that are meaningful
-gifts / cards
Ask your florist for some loose flowers and greenery when they deliver the bouquet and boutonnieres so we can style them with your details!
Let us know your wedding colors! We have a variety of styling boards, ring boxes, and ribbons that we bring on wedding days to match your details.
03. GETTING READY
Getting ready can be such a beautiful time to get those genuine pre-wedding shots. Once we’ve gotten the details out of the way, we can start to focus on you and your entourage getting ready. We like to start shooting when your makeup is getting the finishing touches, the last few strokes of mascara or hair touch-ups make for beautiful photos! We schedule a time for you to get dressed, and a time for everyone else to get dressed. We recommend that all bridal party members and other family and friends in the room be dressed and ready first. This way everyone is looking fresh as we get images of them helping the bride or groom get ready.
-Keep clutter to a minimum. If you’re in a space with multiple rooms, consider keeping one of the rooms clear of clutter for bridal portraits and using the other room to keep all of your things.
-Get ready in a room with lots of window light. Our style is created by using natural light whenever possible, and having a bright room will allow us to shoot without using flashes and artificial light. We may turn off lamps and open curtains when we arrive to achieve the light we need.
-Have the important people in the room. It can be tempting to invite everyone to come get ready with you, but it can get crowded quickly. Keep it to bridal party and close family for a smoother getting ready experience.
04. FIRST LOOK
WHAT IS IT?
A first look is when the couple sees each other for the first time in a more private setting before the walk down the aisle. We usually like to keep these moments simple, genuine, and intimate. It’s a quiet moment for the two of you, and will likely be the only time the two of you have alone for the rest of the wedding day. And we try to make is easy for you too. We’ll pick out the location for you and coordinate it all. All you’ll have to do is turn around and take it in!
WHY WOULD WE DO THIS?
It calms the nerves, gives you time to take it all in, and makes the wedding day timeline easier to work with! Once you see each other, most of those nervous antsy feelings will go away. And since you’ve already seen each other, we can photograph the bridal party and your family all together before the ceremony. This means you can go right into enjoying cocktail hour after the ceremony and start the party! This also enables us to capture your guests at cocktail hour and the reception details before everyone enters the room.
WHAT IF I STILL DON’T WANT A FIRST LOOK?
If don’t plan on having a first look, we totally understand if you want to keep with tradition! We just ask that you please make sure there is a minimum time of 1.5 hours for us to capture couple portraits, bridal party photos, and family formals. If your caterer or venue allows, extend your cocktail by 30 minutes.
If that’s not an option for you, we can also get bridal party photos of each respective side during getting ready or just before the ceremony. Please allow for enough time for this experience.
THE COMPROMISE FIRST LOOK
This is a blend between something more intimate and walking down the aisle. You can have bridal party and family watch as you see each other for the very first time and make it more exciting if y'all want your loved ones to be apart of the experience.
Generally speaking, we ask our couples to plan for this: 30-60 minutes for couples portraits, 30-45 minutes for wedding party photos, and 20-30 minutes for family shots. If done before the ceremony, we’ll do them in that order too. Right after the first look, we’ll go into couple portraits. We’ll follow that with bridal party, then finally family. We try to keep posing easy and natural and don't want anything to feel too staged. We give you simple actions like, “look at each other” or “walk hand-in-hand”. This way your photos looks candid, natural, and you’ll know exactly what to do!
Our advice- keep it simple! Stick with siblings, parents, and grandparents for your formals. We create a template that you can customize that makes this process quick and easy. You just choose which groups you want photographed, and we’ll bring the list with us on wedding day, crossing them off as we go. We prefer to take these images before the ceremony, that way we’re not looking too far for key family members during cocktail hour! We’re also happy to capture extended family and friend photos throughout the night! We like to team up with the DJ and call folks to the dance floor while dinner is happening.
Assign a wrangler or "team captain"! While we’ll have a list of all the group shots you want, we won’t necessarily know who everyone is. If you assign a family or bridal party member as a helper, we can go to them when we need help finding someone.
BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS
-For those with flowers, hold your flowers so that you’re hands are at your belly button and tilt the flowers slightly forward. This way we can see your outfit and the top of the bouquet.
-Guys, put your hands in your pockets. When you have a loose hand, put your whole hand in your pocket. It’s a flattering look, and helps when you don’t know where to put your hands.
You may have noticed that we have a scheduled time in your rough timeline to go out jut before sunset. This is when the sun is low, romantic, and our favorite time to photograph. Depending on what time of day it is, we may have to steal you away from your cocktail hour or reception. We usually only need you for about 15 minutes, and the breath of fresh air and to take a moment away from the party just to be intimate and hold hands with your new husband or wife in the most beautiful sunshine!
For your ceremony we try to be unobtrusive as possible so you and your families can be present. We wear quiet shoes in churches not to be disruptive and use longer lenses so we're not standing up at the alter with you! Our lead shooter stays in the aisle as to not miss anything from the main perspective whereas our second shooter moves around and gets your reactions, parent + guest reactions and a overall a different angle from the main shooter. We like our second shooters to focus on the groom's face as our brides walk down the aisle or we'll send them back with you before you walk down to capture that excitement.
It’s a small touch that goes a long way for your wedding photos! Not only does it allow your guests to be totally present with you, but it also helps your photos! An unplugged ceremony ensures there aren’t cell phones and cameras blocking our shot during key moments. Have your officiant make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony or create a sign you can display as guests arrive to let them know.
Practice your ceremony. Know which side you’ll walk down, who will walk in with who in what order, and at what pace to go. We’ll meet you in the aisle and capture photos of you and your bridal party as you walk. You don’t need to stop for us! We’ll capture you as you go and you won’t need to interrupt the flow. Sometimes we’re not exactly aware of the faces we’re making, so remind your bridal party to smile as they’re walking down the aisle and when they’re standing up there by your side.
-Ask your officiant to step aside when you two go in for the kiss. This will give us a clear image of you two.
-If you plan on throwing confetti or having bubbles at the end of the ceremony, make sure your guests know when to use it. Make a sign, put instructions on the confetti container or have the officiant give an announcement to make sure everyone is ready before you walk back down the aisle.
07. COCKTAIL HOUR
WITH A FIRST LOOK
During cocktail hour we focus on capturing two things, photos of your guests and the details of the reception space. Having two photographers allows one of us to get the guests, while the other gets the details. We always try to get to the details before the guests have entered the reception area and have started putting down their bags and coats. This is why it’s great to have the cocktail hour in a different location than the reception.
WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
If you chose not to have a first look, this is when we’d get portraits of the family, bridal party, and you two. We usually start with the family, so make sure to let any family who are in the photos know to stick around after the ceremony. We’ll dismiss family as we go and once all family is done, we’ll photograph the bridal party. To maximize our time during cocktail, we like to photograph the separate sides of the bridal party in the morning. This way, all we need during cocktail hour are the full bridal party photos. Once we have a few variations of the bridal party, we’ll photograph just the two of you and spend the rest of cocktail hour taking portraits of you.
During your reception, we’ll focus on capturing events as they happen, making sure we’re in the room for all key moments. We’ll also continue to capture your guests, details of the room and food, dancing, and candids. Capturing the mood of your event is very important to us. This is why we try not to use flash as much as possible. But, once it gets later in the evening or if we’re in a dark space (as many reception spaces are), we’ll need start using our own lights to brighten the images. During receptions, we’ll usually put up about 2-3 lights in light stands around the room. This enables us to fill the room with light giving us that bright style we love so much.
-We recommend toasts don’t exceed 5 minutes
-If your reception will be under a tent, consider opting for a clear tent or sail-cloth tent. A clear tent lets in maximum daylight and means we can shoot with natural light a little bit later into the evening.
-While colored/flashy lights are fun for party time we ask that your entertainment turns them off off for special dances. For party time...go crazy with them if you'd like!
04. SECOND + MULTIPLE PHOTOGRAPHERS
We recommend one photographer for wedding parties under 75 guests. If you have more guests, than you’ll definitely want to think about adding a second photographer, or even a third if you have over 200 guests. Additional photographers ensure that all of your guests are being captured. Our second photographer will focus on reactions of friends and family during big moments, while the first photographer focuses on the main event. Second photographers are also necessary if you’d like groom prep to be captured! We can also split up in the morning to get images of both of you getting ready. Second and multiple shooters are great for catching unplanned candid moments like reactions from parents and the excitement just before you walk down the aisle.
ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS 5
We wholeheartedly recommend engagement sessions before your wedding day! They are such a great way to have photos of the two of you in your everyday clothing and a way to continue your narrative. We love photographing couples in their homes, places they love, and with their dogs + cats! It’s a great way for us to get to know you before the wedding and for you to see what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera! We get to see what poses suite you.
We’ve found that couples who choose to do an engagement session are so happy they did. Many people aren’t used to having their photos taken professionally, and are nervous about that part of the wedding day. In your engagement session, you get to see just how easy it is. You’ll leave with the confidence of knowing exactly what to expect out of the portrait session on your wedding day and be even more excited for the big day to arrive.
What will you do with the photos?
These photos are great for save the dates, wedding websites, guest books, and so much more!
WHEN SHOULD WE HAVE OUR SESSION?
This really depends on how you plan to use the images. If you’d like to use them for printed materials, such as your save-the-date or for a wedding guest book, we recommend about 8-12+ months before your wedding. If you don’t think you want to use them for anything wedding related, you have more flexibility.
We usually like to shoot engagement sessions on weekdays. Our weekends are typically booked up with weddings, but we’re free during the week. Most places are also less crowded during the week, so that gives us more options for where to shoot. The light for our style of photography is usually best in the 2-3 hours before sunset. This is when the light glows giving us magical images of the two of you. So plan on your engagement session being in the early evening. Of course, we can always do them at different times of day, but this is our very favorite.
WHAT DO I WEAR?
Wear what you feel confident and beautiful in, something that feels like you. A good place to start is by finding images online from an engagement shoot where you love their outfits. From there, modify the outfits to fit you and your fiance. We recommend staying away from really bright and neon colors. These colors have a reflective quality that bounce onto your skin, giving your skin an unnatural tone. Neutral colors tend to work best! We also recommend avoiding really small patterns, as they can become obscured in images and create a moire effect.
Get your makeup done! It makes a huge difference and will make getting ready stress free, like you’re being pampered! You can even use your engagement session as a good time to do your make-up trial. This way you know you’ll look good, and you’ll be prepping for the wedding all in one.
Engagement photos take about 4-6 weeks to edit- so plan accordingly if you plan to use them for save the dates or guestbooks! Engagement photos live your own personal online gallery, the same place that you’re wedding photos will go. You’ll be able to access your unwatermarked, high-resolution images instantly from the gallery.
6 AFTER THE WEDDING
what to expect + your wedding gallery
ONE WEEK AFTER YOUR WEDDING
After your wedding we like to gift you guys a little sneak peek! We want to make sure that you have photos to share immediately after and to have some photos you can use for thank you cards!
EIGHT WEEKS AFTER YOUR WEDDING
THE FULL GALLERY
Your full gallery will arrive in 8 weeks or less after your wedding date and will be delivered to you via a PASS PLUS link. You will be able to download unwatermarked high resolution jpgs from this gallery. You will be able to share the link with whomever you choose and they will have access to the images as well. If you are concerned about privacy, please let me know and I can create a password for you. If you don't receive the link right away, check your spam folder. This gallery is accessible by phone and connects with Facebook for easy sharing. This gallery will be good for up to 10 years! We want to give you multiple locations where your photos are saved.
If you ordered an album with your collection, we'll also deliver the first draft to you via the Smart Albums app. You'll be able to comment on each spread via the online app.
TWELVE WEEKS AFTER THE WEDDING
YOUR USB DRIVE + PRINT BOX
After you receive your gallery, we'll send to you your USB drive and complimentary print box (if you have selected Collections I-IV). We always recommend that you back up your photos onto another computer or hard drive to keep your photos safe and sound!
If you do share any images on Facebook or Instagram, we always ask that you tag us (and your other wedding vendors too!) We choose not to watermark our images so we don't take away from the images and trust that our couples will always give us credit. We're proud to say word of mouth referrals and getting tagged on Facebook and Instagram is our number one source of bookings!
BLOGGING + SHARING IMAGES
We love sharing weddings on our blog or reaching out to third party blogs to get your images published! Make sure the vendors section of your google doc wedding worksheet is properly filled out and you give us a few paragraphs about you two, your vision for your wedding day and more! This will make your blog post easier to craft. It's always fun to share a curated story to your friends and family to relive your day!
08 INSURANCE + PEACE OF MIND
We are insured! Many venue require that we issue a COI (Certificate of Insurance) to prove that we are covered. Some places will also require that we name the venue as additionally insured for the day. These are both super easy for us to do, so just let us know at least a month before the wedding, and we’ll take care of it.
Insurance is more than a policy you get from an agent, insurance is also a sense of security and peace of mind that you are getting what you’ve paid for. We are here to give a little more of that security. We know there are some things that we can’t control, but we make sure we are on top of the things that we can. We back up your images in multiple places. Each of our cameras writes your images to two separate memory cards, this means that your images are instantly backed up with a second copy. We keep the images on that card, we then copy them to another hard drive. So now we’ve got three copies. We’ll edit the images off of the hard drive, where we’ll save the finalized images. We then upload the full-resolution, edited images to your online gallery and to your USB drive that will be delivered with your prints. So, we’ve got many many copies of your images to make sure that we’ll never lose them.
When we reserve your wedding, we reserve the whole day for you. This means we won’t be tied up at another event before yours and be late. You are our only focus for the day, so we can give you all of our attention. If something unexpected does happen, we’ve got you covered. We have a wide net of photographers that we work with that have a similar style to us, so we will do everything in our power to make sure your day is covered.