ABC OC ~ Mesa Verde Country Club

Mesa Verde Country Club is a beautiful wedding venue in Costa Mesa.

In January, the Association of Bridal Consultants Orange County had their monthly networking mixer at the Mesa Verde Country Club and I was honored to be a sponsoring vendor.  Table7 Events, who I absolutely adore, was in charge of coordination and she put together a fabulous team of vendors to kick off the new year with.

Association of Bridal Consultants Orange CountyAssociation of Bridal Consultants Orange CountyAssociation of Bridal Consultants Orange County

The linens, flowers and stationary all featured Pantone’s color of the year, Marsala.

Association of Bridal Consultants Orange CountyAssociation of Bridal Consultants Orange CountyAssociation of Bridal Consultants Orange County

This was my first time working with Andy Nation and he is such a nice guy!  He did a great job of keeping the speed dating style networking moving along.

Association of Bridal Consultants Orange CountyAssociation of Bridal Consultants Orange CountyAssociation of Bridal Consultants Orange CountyAssociation of Bridal Consultants Orange County

Thank you to Stephanie of Table7 Events for choosing me as the photographer to feature at her event.  It was lovely meeting other people who are passionate about helping couples have the wedding of their dreams.

Venue: Mesa Verde Country Club
Coordination: Table7 Events
Photography: Kimberly April Photography
Linens: Luxe Linen
Flowers: Flower Fusion
Stationary: AmpersandInk Designs
Video: Perryfield Films
Entertainment: Andy Nation Productions

 

Styles of Wedding Photography

There are 3 main styles of wedding photography; Editorial, Photojournalism and Traditional.

When you’re looking for a wedding photographer it’s hard to know what questions to ask.  You’re not a wedding photographer yourself and you don’t attend a wedding every weekend (although sometimes it can feel like it).  Many couples go to a website like The Knot and rely on their hand dandy list of suggested questions.  The list can help, but still be confusing.

Here’s an example:

Q. What style of wedding photography do you offer?

A. I do a blend of Photojournalism, Editorial and Traditional.

Huh?  What does that even mean?  Here’s an explanation of the 3 main styles of wedding photography so when a photographer tells you they ONLY offer photojournalism or specialize in editorial, you will understand what they are talking about and know what additional questions to ask.

Editorial Style of Wedding Photography

1. Editorial aka Fashion Inspired or Styled

Editorial style of wedding photography is what you see in wedding magazines and on most wedding blogs.  The couple is posed, but may look like they just happened to be having a great time together hanging out in the middle of a field.  Search “wedding pictures” on Pinterest and you’ll know what I’m talking about.  If you love blogs like Style Me Pretty and want every little detail of the day photographed like it belongs in a magazine, Editorial is what you’re looking for.  I personally blend this style with Photojournalism when photographing the couple getting ready.  I also use it during the couple’s portraits and while photographing the reception details.

Additional questions to ask: Will you bring a second photographer?  How long do you need for portraits?  Do you require us to see each other before the ceremony?

Things to consider: While Editorial style wedding pictures are gorgeous, they also take more time.  If you do not want to schedule time just for pictures during your wedding day, this style may not work for you.  Also, make sure there will be 2 photographers so while one photographer is concentrating on details, the other can be photographing special candid moments as they happen.

Photojournalism style of wedding photography

2. Photojournalism aka Journalistic or Candid

Photojournalism style of wedding photography is when the pictures are candid.  The photographer captures moments as they happen and typically does their best to blend into the background.  I use this style during the wedding ceremony and most of the reception.  If you’re looking for pictures of grandma crying and the flower girl tearing up the dance floor, photojournalism is for you.

Additional questions to ask: Do you do any posed pictures like traditional family pictures?  Do you offer guidance on the wedding day by telling us where to look or how to stand or are all of your pictures completely candid?  Will you photograph the details such as my dress, décor and rings?

Things to consider: Parents and Grandparents typically want at least 1 posed picture of the couple and the family.

Traditional style of wedding photography3. Traditional aka Posed or Classic

Traditional wedding photography is similar to what you see in your parents’ wedding album.  Pictures are posed and classic.  While this style can feel a little old school, there is a time and place for it.  I use this style for family portraits.  Family portraits after the wedding ceremony can drag on and cut into the fun cocktail hour.  By keeping family portraits simple and traditional, it’s an easy and efficient way to take a large number of group pictures quickly.  Then your guests can get the party started while you either join them or take pictures with your new spouse.

Additional questions to ask: Can we meet in person before the wedding?  Can we add or subtract from your typical shot list?

Things to consider: Traditional wedding photography is what most of your older family members will expect.  If you’re looking for more creative pictures, make sure you discuss this with the photographer before you hire them.  Also, if your photographer is going to be posing you throughout the entire day, it’s especially important to make sure you feel comfortable around them.

I hope this helps you feel more confident when chatting with wedding photographers.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

 Just {CLICK HERE} to send me an email.

 

Rancho Camulos Wedding ~ Cheryl and Sara

Rancho Camulos is a wedding photographer’s dream.

There are so many amazing spaces and details to work with and the staff allows you to really embrace everything the venue has to offer.  Cheryl and Sara’s wedding was filled with romantic details that complimented the rustic ranch perfectly.

Rancho Camulos Wedding PhotographyRancho Camulos Wedding Photography

I could not get enough of Cheryl and Sara’s bouquets!  They matched each other’s personalities.  The wooden blocks have their parents’ wedding pictures on them.Rancho Camulos Wedding PhotographyRancho Camulos Wedding Photography

Each bride put on her dress separately with the help of family and friends.Rancho Camulos Wedding PhotographyRancho Camulos Wedding PhotographyRancho Camulos Wedding PhotographyRancho Camulos Wedding PhotographyRancho Camulos Wedding PhotographyRancho Camulos Wedding Photography

Once Sara was ready, she went outside to see her dad.Rancho Camulos Wedding Photographer

Then it was time for the brides to see each other in their dresses for the first time!Rancho Camulos Wedding Photography

My second photographer, Jessica and I couldn’t help but giggle with happiness during Cheryl and Sara’s First Look.  They kept complimenting each other and their excitement was contagious.

“You look so pretty!”

“I love your hair!”

“I love your dress!”

I love YOUR dress!”

I seriously could have just spent the rest of the day in that moment.

Rancho Camulos Wedding PhotographyRancho Camulos Wedding Photography

Rancho Camulos Wedding Photography

As Cheryl and I were walking downstairs we turned around and saw Sara looking out a window.

We both gasped at her beauty.

Then of course we needed to take pictures by the window!

Rancho Camulos Wedding Photography

Cheryl’s parents had arrived so we set up a moment for Cheryl’s dad to see her in her wedding dress.Rancho Camulos Wedding Photography

After a little water break, it was time for the gorgeous wedding ceremony underneath a large tree filled with golden fall leaves.Ventura Same Sex WeddingVentura Same Sex WeddingVentura Same Sex WeddingVentura Same Sex WeddingVentura Same Sex WeddingVentura Same Sex WeddingVentura Same Sex Wedding

Rancho Camulos has an old winery on it’s property.

It’s normally fenced in for protection, but during weddings the security guard opens the gate for you to take pictures!Ventura Same Sex Wedding

Sara had a model moment with some vintage farming equipment as a tribute to her grandpa.Ranch Wedding in Ventura

Photographing Cheryl in the orange groves was the highlight of my 2014 wedding season.

I was basically jumping up and down out of excitement and Cheryl laughed and went along with it.  Seriously, how often do you get to photograph an incredible bride twirling around in a wedding dress at sunset in an orange grove?

It was perfection.Ranch Wedding in VenturaRanch Wedding in Ventura

After all that excitement, we still had their wedding reception to get to!Ranch Wedding in VenturaRanch Wedding in VenturaRanch Wedding in VenturaRanch Wedding in VenturaRanch Wedding in VenturaRanch Wedding in VenturaCheryl and Sara, I adore the two of you.  Congratulations on your beautiful wedding, marriage and new life together!

Venue: Rancho Camulos
Wedding Photography: Kimberly April Photography
Hair & Makeup: Janelle Lewis
Catering: Stonefire Grill
Cake: Hannah Edwards
Flowers: Wendy Meade & Melissa Ison

Lighting: Wendee’s Occasions
Music: DJ JA-O
Rentals: I See Party Rentals
Bartender: The Traveling Bartender

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Alternative Options for Taking Pictures Before the Ceremony

There are plenty of ways to have a First Look without actually seeing each other.

What is a First Look?  A First Look when the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony and have that moment photographed.  For all the reasons why I think it’s a great idea, read Part 1 of this series here.  If you know you want to stick with tradition, but still want to have a special moment similar to a First Look, here are 3 options to consider.

Alternative Options to a First Look1.  Write notes to each other to be delivered before your ceremony.

I love when couples take the time to write notes to each other.  As you read your note it gives you a chance to tune out all the organized chaos around you and concentrate on the love you share with your fiancé.  If you do decide to share notes with each other, make sure you let your photographer know so they’re ready to photograph the moment of each of you reading it.

Alternative Options to a First Look2.  Talk to each other around a corner.

When all you really want to do is hear your fiancé’s voice and a phone call won’t do, set up a moment to talk to each other with a barrier in between you.  Don’t be surprised if the temptation to reach out around the corner is too much to resist.

Alternative Options to a First Look3.  Do a First Look with your dad.

For all the Daddy’s Girls out there, why not do a First Look with your dad?  Sometimes the moment your dad sees you for the first time in your wedding dress is even more emotional than when your fiancé sees you for the first time.  I’ve seen many tough dads be brought to tears at the sight of their daughters as a bride.

Don’t forget to read Part 1 of this series which explains the history behind hiding the bride from the groom and why you might not want to stick with tradition.

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Should you see each other before the wedding ceremony?

Whether or not to see each other before the wedding ceremony can be a tough decision for couples.

There are a few thoughts that usually come to mind.  Will it be bad luck to see each other before the wedding ceremony?  We don’t want to break tradition. Will it take away from the moment of the groom seeing the bride when she walks down the aisle?

To help you decide the best option for you and your future spouse, lets go over a little history, some pros to seeing each other before the ceremony and some alternative ideas that will still keep the bride hidden from the groom.

Wedding First LookHistory of Keeping the Bride hidden from the Groom.

Back in the day of arranged marriages weddings were business deals, not a romantic expression of love and commitment between two people.  Brides and grooms typically did not see each other at all before the wedding.  It lowered the chance of them looking at each other and changing their minds which would bring shame to their families.  A veil was also used to hide the bride until the last possible second (in addition to protecting her from evil spirits and maintaing her purity).

My guess is you’ve probably already seen your fiancé.  You might even live together.  Technically, you’ve already broken tradition, but that’s ok!  It’s still perfectly fine if you want to wait to see each other before you walk down the aisle.  As I always tell my couples, it’s your wedding.  You decide what works best for you.

Seeing each other before the ceremonyPros of Seeing each other before the Wedding Ceremony

Calm Your Nerves

My number one reason for suggesting couples see each other before the ceremony is to calm their nerves.  On the day of the wedding one or both of you is bound to be nervous. Being able to have a reassuring moment with the one you love does wonders for calming the butterflies in your stomach.  At my wedding, I was incredibly nervous.  Seeing my future husband was the only thing that really helped me relax and enjoy the moment.

Letting him see you before the ceremony.Crying and Makeup

You may not be a very emotional person, but something about weddings brings out the crier in all of us.  Having a quiet moment to yourselves to see each other and let the tears flow without judgement can be a huge relief.  You can let your guard down and fully react to the excitement that you’re about to marry this amazing person in front of you.  After you have had time to talk to each other and embrace the moment, you’ll have time to touch up your makeup before all of your guests see you walk down the aisle.

What is a first look?More Time for Pictures

Considering the fact that I’m a wedding photographer, I’m sure you knew this one was coming.  Having an hour for pictures before the ceremony makes a huge difference if you really want those gorgeous wedding pictures you saw on Pinterest.  After the ceremony, the last thing you’re going to want to do as a newly married couple is spend your entire cocktail hour doing family pictures, bridal party pictures and then with whatever time is left, portraits of you and and your new partner in life.  By seeing each other before the ceremony and allowing more time for pictures, you can have more time to relax after the ceremony with just the two of you before joining the party!

Make sure to come back to the blog tomorrow for Part 2, where we’ll discuss alternative options if you definitely want to wait to see each other until you walk down the aisle.

Orange County Wedding Photographer

[…] and have that moment photographed.  For all the reasons why I think it’s a great idea, read Part 1 of this series here.  If you know you want to stick with tradition, but still want to have a special moment similar to […]