Wedding Day Guide 2020

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A guide to help walk you through your wedding day.

© Sergio Aguayo Photography

W E D D I N G

G U I D E

2 0 2 0

© SERGIO AGUAYO PHOTOGRAPHY



G L A D T O

M E E T Y O U !

Let’s be honest, you basically had an unlimited amount

of choices when it came to choosing your photographer.

You had different price points to look at, different styles,

and even different personalities before you narrowed

down and made your choice. This is why I am incredibly

grateful you have chosen me to capture your special day!

Photography means so much more to me than just

another business transaction. My favorite thing about

doing what I do, is the interactions and connections I get

to make with such a beautiful variety of people. Whether

it’s me capturing that connection you have between each

other, or getting that connection with my clients. My

job is such an important one in so many ways - It is the

reason you will be able to look back on these precious

moments for years to come and even pass them down to

future generations. It will allow you to truly be able to

tell and show your story forever!

I wrote this guide, in order to give you a little bit of a

helping hand with planning your big day. This will also

help me in making sure I am able to capture all of the

amazing things in the best way possible!


E N G A G E M E N T

S E S S I O N S

I have always loved it when couples add an Engagement Session to

their wedding package. It is so much more relaxed than the actual

wedding day itself and it gives you the perfect opportunity to get

comfortable in front of a camera - as well as gives me the chance to

find the best way to capture your story in a stress free enviornment.

There is absolutely no rush, no pressure, and no timeline to follow.

If you are like me, than you propbably haven’t gotten professional

photos taken of you since your senior year of high school. Getting

a camera pointed in your direction can be pretty intimidating and

often gives people some anxiety. This is perfectly normal and is

commonly the case for a lot of people - even me.

This is why getting the chance to get a session in prior to the actual

day can be helpful. It can aid in easing some of that worry and help

you get first hand experience to how I usually direct and pose my

couples, as well as gives me the moment to learn more about you guys

and all your little quirks. Whether you are serious and artsy or more

laidback and playful, I will already know which angles you prefer and

how to capture your unique personalities to best tell your story!



K E Y E L E M E N T S

for a successful

Engagement Session

I. L O C A T I O N II. O U T F I T S

I’m sure by now if you know one thing about me, it’s

that nature is a key factor in all of my photos. I love

the beautiful scenery - mountains, oceans, trees, it’s

all photogenic and breathtaking. So of course, my

reccomendation will always be to choose an outdoor

location - BUT I don’t want you to think you cannot get

good photos if the background isn’t so scenic.

The most important thing is that you feel comfortable.

So if outdoors isn’t for you or if you do not want to drive

too far, choose somewhere that is special to the two of you

- maybe it is your home, or diner where you had your first

date. Whatever the location you choose, just make sure it

relects your personalities!

This is possibly one of the most important elements

- choosing what to wear. I feel it’s important because

the colors, patterns, and textures of your clothes

should compliment your location. That might sound

overwhelming, but I have a full style guide that I can send

you that goes over all of this - but the one tip that I will

give you here is simply to dress like yourself. Wear what

makes you feel comfortable and what you feel good and

confident wearing.

And of course, if you need any outfit tips, feel free to ask

me! I will be able to tell you which specific colors will look

good in the location you chose, and if you send me photos

of your outfit options, I will be sure to give you my 100%

honest opinions.


III. T I M I N G IV. E N J O Y !

The time of day that we take your photos is incredibly

important - because while I could take photos in harsh

sunlight and they will look good, you would definitely

have a lot of shadows on your faces and the photos would

just not be as amazing as they could have been.

The best time of day to shoot will have to be either sunrise

or sunset. I usually reccomend to all of my clients, to

start either a half hour before sunrise or and hour before

sunset for the absolute best lighting. That way, there won’t

be any shadows, and we will get that amazing glow that

makes everything look soft and breathtaking. If you are a

morning person, I like sunrise because there tends to be

less crowds, especially if you choose a popular location. I

know it can be hard to wake up before the sun does, but I

promise you it would be so worth it if you are up for it!

Lastly, the final key element that is essential in order to

have a memorable engagement session is to simply enjoy it!

I know that the whole process of planning a wedding can

be stressful and you may be worrying about how your

engagement photos will turn out - but leave that to me. I

will do all the hard work to make sure you look your best

and have a great time. So, just relax, enjoy the moment,

and think about how you’ll be married soon, and of course

have fun in each other’s company!

Photos are the best when you’re genuinely enjoying

yourself - and a lot of my job is to help you do that and

make sure you feel comfortable in front of the camera. So

come to me with a positive attitude and come exactly as you

are, and leave the rest to me.



T H E

W E D D I N G

D A Y


T H E T I M E L I N E

I won’t lie, it can be pretty intimidating - and unfortunately, it’s

also very important, so i’m here to help! This is a simple timeline

of the photography for a wedding day that includes a first look

and has a ceremony starting at 5:30 pm. Of course, it’s not a one

size fits all, so feel free to talk to me about the specifics of your day!

I’ll help you work it out, and we can decide how long you want me to

be there to make sure we capture everything you had in mind. Your

timeline will also depend a lot on the season because we need to

take into consideration the amount of daylight we will have on the

day of the wedding, so we can plan it right to get that beautiful glow.


9:00 BRIDESMAIDS’ HAIR & MAKEUP

11:00 BRIDE’S HAIR AND MAKEUP

1:45 GROOM BEGINS GETTING READY

3:00 BRIDE PUTS DRESS ON

3:30 FIRST LOOK + PORTRAITS

4:00 BRIDAL PARTY PHOTOS

5:00 HIDE WHILE GUESTS ARRIVE

5:30 CEREMONY

6:00 FAMILY PHOTOS COCKTAIL HOUR

7:00 ENTRANCE INTO RECEPTION

7:15 DINNER BEGINS

6 H O U R S

8 H O U R S

10 H O U R S

12 H O U R S

7:45 TOASTS

8:15 FIRST DANCE

8:20 DANCE FLOOR OPENS

8:30 COUPLES’ SUNSET PHOTOS

9:00 BOUQUET & GARTER TOSS

10:00 CAKE CUTTING

11:00 GRAND EXIT


D E T A I L S H O T S

The first thing that I will normally do when I get there, after

saying my hellos and congraulations, is taking detail shots.

It’s helpful if you gather everything together ahead of time,

so that it is all ready when I arrive.

Some items that I need for the detail shots include: rings,

invitations, jewlery, ties, dress, shoes, cologne, perfume,

cuff links. If you have any sentimental details, please feel

free to throw them in there!

Also - I highly reccomend getting a nice hanger for your

dress, and for the bridesmaids’ dresses. They do not have

to be anything fancy - but any wood hanger looks so much

better than a plastic one.

30 minutes


G E T T I N G R E A D Y

These photos often end up being some of my favorites.

There is just something about those pre-wedding nerves,

the moments of “this is it”, and the (sometimes alcohol

induced) laughs with your bestfriends and family.

This part is mostly candids - but I usually try to make sure

everyone is mostly ready before taking their photo.

What To Wear :

While I know most of us would prefer to get ready in an old

t-shirt and some sweats, on your wedding day the photos of

you and your bridesmaids talking, laughing, and walking

around will look a whole lot cuter if you pair it with some

outfits that pop! I feel that a white satin robe for the bride and

pastel ones for the bridal party make for the perfect touch to

have some adorable getting ready photos.

1 - 3 hours


T H E S P A C E

The location really defines the look and the mood of every photo, and

this is also true for the getting ready location. Hotel rooms are notorious

for terrible yellow lighting. Consider renting a cute Airbnb to get ready in!

It definitely makes for a better alternative than being cramped in a tiny

bathroom where the toilet eventually ends up in your photos.

Try finding something with big windows and open room - the windows are

an important part - getting that soft and natural light will truly make all the

difference. It’ll make you look radiant, rather than washed out and yellow.

This venue provided its own getting

ready room for the bridal party - had lots

of windows and plenty of natural light.




F I R S T L O O K

Let’s face it. Your wedding is the best day of your life, but it can also be

pretty stressful. Often, I like to suggest to my clients to consider doing a

First Look, because it gives you a chance to have a private moment with

the love of your life, away from all of the eyes on you at the ceremony.

You get a few minutes away from the craziness and get to spend a special

moment with one another to soak up all the love and excitement.

I completely understand the feeling of wanting him to see you for the

first time walking down the aisle - because what pretty much every bride

wants is the priceless reaction from the groom - But sometimes it can be

hard to think about something other than all of the faces staring at you.

What I have found is that the First Look provides a «safer» space for the

groom to get emotional - When it’s just the two of you (and third wheel

being me), crying is less stressful. Plus the bonus of the First Look is

that after you see each other, you get hug, kiss, twirl, and get a good look

at each other without having to feel rushed and feeling like you need to

move on with the ceremony to be done on time. This really is one of the

only times at a wedding where you will get to be alone, without keeping

anyone waiting.

I have always loved first looks - However, this day is not about me so if

you want to keep things traditional, than that is perfectly okay! I would

never want to force or push the idea of a first look on my couples, but I

do want you to be informed on the option. Absolutely no pressure!

30 minutes


T H E

B R I D A L S

After the first look, we’ll get some shot of just the two of you. I reccommend

asing your friends and family to give you space for this part (most people find

it easier to relax when you don’t have an audience - but if you prefer having

your personal hype group with you, absolutely go for it). If you do not do a

first look, we will do this part after the ceremony! Either way, you’re bursting

with love and excitement, and these photos will show it.

This is the part that people often worry about - I know, you’re «awkward in

photos» and honestly, I don’t think anyone’s ever come to me for a session and

said, «I’m the best at having my photo taken!». The truth is, how comfortable

you feel during your session is entirely up to your photographer. If I was to just

stand there and click my camera while you stared at it, i’m sure you would be

pretty unhappy - during the session and after.

So Here is What I do Instead:

I’ll use the love that the two of you naturally have together to make sure you have

a damn good time. Don’t worry, I’ll guide you and tell you what to do - if your

hands are hanging awkwardly - the case for most people - I’ll tell you where to

place them instead. For the most part, I do not do the super pose-y stuff, and I

prefer to let the session flow naturally. You will not hear me tell you to «smile»,

mainly because fake smiles are not genuine and that will show. If you are feeling

awkward, I will bring up conversation about you two to help create a natural

smile or ask one of you to whisper something in the other’s ear - This way, we are

not just taking photos, but creating moments as well. Either way, I will make sure

your smiles are never forced and that you have an amazing time!

30 minutes



T H E

B R I D A L P A R T Y

After your first look and couple’s photos, it’s time for the

bridal party! I will get some photos of just the girls, just the

guys, and some of everyone together. I will also make sure to

get individual photos of the bride with each bridesmaid and

the groom with each of his groomsmen. Be sure to make sure

the groomsmen arrive with their boutonnieres on, and the

bridesmaids have their bouquets.

I know you want all of your friends and family to have a blast at

your wedding - so just like the couple’s photos, I stay away from

stiff poses. One of my favorite prompts for the bridal party is to

have the bride and groom kiss and have eveeryone else cheer. I

personally love doing the «fake laugh» because it quickly turns

into a genuine moment between you and your friends. Overall,

I simply want you guys to feel comfortable and just for everyone

to be themselves. This will make it more memorable for you!

30 minutes - 1 hour




T H E

C E R E M O N Y

This is it!

The moment you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.

It’s easy to get lost in all the planning and stress, all the

small details and changes - But try to keep in mind the

most important thing - which is the start of your new lives

together!

You’ll hear me say «lighting» a million times - but here it

is again. Keep in mind that the lighting will reflect the way

the photos turn out. I always advise to plan the ceremony

atleast 3 hours before the sunset. The lower the sun is,

the better the lighting. The average ceremony is about 30

minutes long, but if you have special traditions you want

to incorporate, then i’d say it can usually be up to an hour

long.

One important tip that I have is asking your officiant to

please move out of the way before the first kiss - this way

they are not in the background during your big moment.

30 minutes - 1 hour


T H E

F A M I L Y

You love your family, even though they can be a bit crazy. Plus

the excitement of the ceremony is so contagious. Which is to be

expected because you just got married! How could they not be

happy for the two of you?

That’s why having a list of family members that you need photos

with is always helpful. I reccommend including names, as

well as their role. For example, «Mother of the Bride (Sara)».

Since this is likely my first time meeting your family, this will

make it easier for me to go down the list and call out names,

and I can also keep track of who has gotten their photo taken.

Definitely make sure to let any family members who are part

of these formals know that they have to be there! Tell them

where to go right after the ceremony, so that they know where

to go. People often tend to wander during this part - people

who need to be in more than one photo try to leave after their

first one. While I will of course keep an eye on everyone and

do my best to let them know when they are done. Another

helpful option can even be to send your shot list to your family

members so that they are aware of what is going on.

If you decide to not do the First Look, then after family

portraits is when we will get some photos of just the two of

you. While all of this is going on, all of your guest will be at will

cocktail hour or the reception room.

1 hour




T H E

R E C E P T I O N

You did it!!

You are officially married, and now it’s time to party!

During the reception, I’ll take some candids and some group

photos, so if there are any friends or extended family members

that you need photos with, now is the time! A lot of stuff

happens during the reception, and i’ll take photos of all of it.

You have the freedom to make your reception your own! You

have absolute control over what happens and can make the

entire experience unique to you. So do not be afraid to take

control and make it a memorable night you will never forget!

Here are some common reception events:

- Grand Entrance - Toasts

- First Dance - Bouquet/Garter Toss

- Parent Dances - Cake Cutting

- Anniversary Dance - Grand Exit

3 - 5 hours


G O L D E N H O U R

I always reccoment that my couples schedule half an hour

during thre sunset for a few more couple’s photos so that you

will get an absolutely breath-taking golden light glow. Also, a

new location so that you will have some variety in your photos.

The best time to start these is about 15 minutes before the

sunset time - which you can find with a quick Google search

of the wedding date! However, reception events tend to run

behind, and it can become difficult for the bride and groom

to leave because everyone wants to say hello or give you more

hugs or to take photos. This is completely understandable - but

of course photos are hard to take in the dark and you won’t be

able to get the same effect with a flash. Because of this, I highly

reccommend blocking off an hour for these portraits.

30 minutes before the sunset, and 30 minutes after sunset.




M Y

S H O T L I S T

G E T T I N G R E A D Y

C E R E M O N Y

- rings

- jewelry

- bouquet

- bride’s dress

- groom’s suit

- bride’s shoes

- groom’s shoes

- boutonnieres

- bride putting on dress

- bride putting on veil

- bride putting on jewelry

- groom putting on shoes

- groom putting on jacket

- bride putting on dress

- bride getting hair done

- bride getting makeup done

- candids of bridesmaids/groomsmen

B R I D A L P A R T Y

- entire bridal party

- bride with bridesmaids

- groom with groomsmen

- bride with each bridesmaid

- groom with each groomsman

- first kiss

- details of guests

- ceremony site/details

- groom’s reaction

- bride’s reaction

- exchanging of rings

- everyone walking down aisle

F A M I L Y

I don’t like to make a list for

family photos, as everyones

family situation is unique - So I

do appreciate it when the bride

& groom make a list beforehand

of the family groups they want

photographed with along with

their names and their role.

R E C E P T I O N

B R I D E & G R O O M

- bride only

- groom only

- bride details

- groom details

- shot of rings

- bride and groom together

* I have no specific list of poses that I

follow - it all depends on the couple,

dress, venue, etc. - This allows things to

happen more naturally. If you have an

ideas or a specific pose, Let me know!

- cake

- decorations

- guests arriving

- guest interactions

- bridal party entrance

- toasts & speeches

- first dance

- parent dances

- guests dancing

- cake cutting

- bouquet toss

- garter toss

- grand exit


Y O U R

S H O T L I S T

Write them here and send me a photo, or use this to

brainstorm and fill it out on the questionaire, or both!

F A M I L Y

O T H E R

B R I D E & G R O O M


T H A N K Y O U !

Thank you for putting your trust in me. This job means the absolute

world to me - and my couples are what make it happen. So thank you

so much from the bottom of my heart.

Don’t forget - I am here for whatever you need, whether that be help

with the timeline, help deciding on locations, or questions about your

photos. My job goes way beyond clicking the button of my camera. I

am here to make sure you have the best wedding day possible - and I

cannot wait to be there with you both to celebrate your special day!

- S E R G I O


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