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Must-Have Photo Moments from DFW’s Best Photographers

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so these precious wedding photo moments must be worth a million! The day of your wedding can be so hectic and crunched for time that you might look back later and find that you didn’t take all the pictures you had planned, or that your photographer missed a shot they didn’t know was special to you. We talked to the best in the business and these DFW wedding photographers filled us in on all the must-have photo moments to capture on your big day! Read on to avoid getting caught up in wedding chaos and get the most bang for your buck out of your wedding photography with these tips and tricks.

Ideal Engagement

photo moments

Photography Tip: “I tell both the groom and bride that it’s my job to capture their personalities, so don’t try to be perfect or ‘pose.’ I’ll guide a couple into interacting with each other so that, hopefully, they forget I’m there altogether. Words of affirmation don’t hurt either!” – Catie Ann Photography

Q&A with Catie Ann Photography

Where are your favorite places to shoot engagement sessions?

I love when a couple has a location that means something to them!  However, if they don’t (which is totally normal!), I love photographing engagement sessions at The Dallas Arboretum, White Rock Lake and Trinity Groves.  They each have their own aesthetic, so it totally depends on the vibe a couple is going for! I also really love it when a couple has a destination engagement session they’re dreaming of! I’m always up for that!

What should couples wear for engagement photos?

I always suggest two outfits! I love the juxtaposition of long, flowing dresses in a natural environment, and conversely, short cocktail dresses in a more urban setting. Suits and ties look good always, so I always recommend them for my grooms! I don’t think it’s possible to be too dressed up for the engagement session! That being said, for the second outfit, I suggest a “nice date night” type of outfit. As far as colors go, muted or neutral tones will make the images a little more traditional and timeless. But if you have a killer red dress you’re just dying to wear, rock it!  As long as you’re comfortable, the images are going to be awesome. One thing I always recommend is to get your hair and makeup done professionally. It makes such a huge difference!

How do you get the groom (or bride) comfortable in front of the camera?

I spend the first 10 minutes or so just chatting with my couple for this exact reason. It’s terrifying to have a camera in your face! I tell both the groom and bride that it’s my job to capture their personalities, so don’t try to be perfect or “pose.” I’ll guide a couple into interacting with each other so that, hopefully, they forget I’m there altogether. Words of affirmation don’t hurt either!

What can a couple do to make the shoot uniquely them?

Incorporate items that mean something to them! A lot of times, this is a pet, which I am always on board with! Choosing a location that is important to them helps, also! I had a super fun couple who spent a lot of time in Deep Ellum and going to concerts at the Granada Theatre, so we incorporated those locations for a truly unique session.

How did you achieve capturing this photo moment?

This may sound crazy, but it was kind of an accident! This was taken on a catamaran in Santa Barbara. We were out for the engagement session but hadn’t quite gotten to the right spot yet. I just happened to look over and saw the couple sitting like this, so I just ran with it!  That chemistry is electric, isn’t it?!

 

Getting Ready

photo moments

Photography Tip: “There are so many heart-stirring, emotional moments that happen in the early hours of a wedding day that will not be forgotten if captured by your photographer.” – Jen Symes Photography

Q&A with Jen Symes Photography

Why is it important to have a photographer on-site while you’re getting ready?

There are so many heart-stirring, emotional moments that happen in the early hours of a wedding day that will not be forgotten if captured by your photographer. Also, your photographer approaches these moments with an artist’s eye and uses that to tell a compelling story of the bride getting ready and all the important people she chooses to include in this special time of the wedding day.

Who all should be present while getting ready (for photo purposes)?

Of course, all bridesmaids should be together while getting ready as well as VIPs of the bride and groom. VIPs are the heartbeat of the wedding day and your photographer will make sure to orchestrate portraits to have these individuals positioned closest to the bride as they are the most significant to her.  The VIPs can include the mother of the bride, grandmother of the bride, a best friend, a special aunt, etc.

What details should a bride have ready for her photographer to shoot?

Your photographer will ask you to assemble your details ahead of time so that on the morning of your wedding you do not have to scramble to gather all your details. Your photographer will have lots of suggestions for the details to be photographed such as the bride’s dress, veil, jewelry, perfume, shoes, garter, wedding and engagement rings, complete invitation suite including envelopes, heirloom items, bouquet and any other detail that the couple would like to have photographed. It is also important to have the groom’s detail items gathered ahead of time and ready to be photographed as many times the groom does not arrive until later in the morning so that your photographer can photograph all the details before the formal portraits begin.

Any tips for capturing those candid “getting ready” moments?

If you have had an engagement or bridal session with your photographer, they will have given a lot of direction on posing. Recalling these during your getting ready times will help you be camera-ready even when the moments are candid. Good posture, soft smiles and relaxed shoulders will translate into gorgeous candid getting ready shots.

What are your favorite moments during that time before the ceremony?

I have a soft spot for first looks with dad. Something about a father preparing to give his daughter’s hand to another man is so beautiful and emotional.  Also, the little girl comes out in every bride as they sneak up behind dad to reveal their bridal look to him for the first time… the anticipation and desire for her dad to think she is beautiful is delightful to me.

 

Beautiful Bridals

photo moments

Photography Tip: “A bridal session is a wonderful chance to capture beautiful portraits that you’ll have forever. The special part of wedding photography is that the images will preserve the legacy of your marriage and will be passed on to future generations. Bridal portraits become a beautiful heirloom that celebrates your time as a bride and your future as a wife!” – Sami Kathryn Photography

Q&A with Sami Kathryn Photography

What should a bride bring to her bridal portrait session?

Bring your dress, veil, shoes, undergarments, touch-up makeup and any jewelry or hairpiece that you’re going to wear on your wedding day. If you’re still undecided about your wedding day look (like which earrings you’ll wear or which veil length you prefer), bridal portraits are a great time to bring multiple options to see what completes your look best and what photographs most beautifully! Bring a bouquet, as well. Your florist will be able to make one that matches what you’ll have at your wedding. Many florists will include a bridal portrait bouquet in their pricing for your wedding, so check with your florist when you’re booking. Be sure to keep the bouquet in water prior to your session! I also recommend bringing one or two people with you, like your mom or a bridesmaid. They’ll be helpful in fluffing your dress, carrying your bouquet and making sure that your veil and hair remain in place and picture-perfect throughout your session!

How can a bride get in the right headspace for her bridal session? 

Bridal portraits are so much fun! It’s such a wonderful time to enjoy being in your dress and soaking up every moment of bridal bliss without the stress of the wedding day. I often find that bridal portraits are the time when it becomes real to my brides that they’re getting married – and that is such a sweet moment to get to celebrate! Remember that you don’t need to know exactly how to pose or model – your photographer will be there to guide you and make sure that you look and feel your absolute best. Gather all of your attire and schedule each element of your bridal portraits well in advance so that on the day of, you can just relax and enjoy!

How far out from the wedding date should a bride schedule her bridal session?

I recommend scheduling bridal portraits for 4-6 weeks prior to your wedding date so that your dress alterations are finished, your photographer has enough time to edit your photos and you can have a canvas or print made to display at your reception. When you’re scheduling your bridal session with your photographer, don’t forget to check in with your florist and your hair and makeup artist to confirm their availability! It’s best to do a trial run with the same team who is doing your wedding day hair and makeup so that you can test out the exact look you’d like for your big day. Many brides opt to do their bridal portraits in a studio space (such as the Lumen Room) or at their wedding venue (many venues will allow you to have your bridal portraits taken on-site as a part of your package), so be sure to confirm location availability as well.

Why should a bride opt for a bridal session apart from the wedding day?

Bridal portraits give you the chance to try out your complete bridal look without the pressure of the wedding – it’s like a dress rehearsal before the big day! You’ll also get a little more practice posing in front of the camera and moving around in your wedding dress. Once you receive your bridal portrait gallery, you can decide on anything you’d like to change for your final wedding day look. A bridal session is a wonderful chance to capture beautiful portraits that you’ll have forever. The special part of wedding photography is that the images will preserve the legacy of your marriage and will be passed on to future generations. Bridal portraits become a beautiful heirloom that celebrates your time as a bride and your future as a wife!

How did you achieve capturing this photo moment? 

For this portrait, I found a neutral backdrop so that the bride would really be the focal point. She had chosen so many beautiful details to complete her wedding day look – from her sparkling earrings to her long veil to the stunning belt on her dress, and I really wanted each of those elements to pop. I had her look to the side just for a moment, and as we were talking about her wedding day, she gave this natural little laugh that was so endearing. Her joy as a bride shines through, and the details she so carefully selected are highlighted and enhance her natural beauty.

 

First Look

photo moments

Photography Tip: “Our favorite benefit to having a first look is having more relaxed time for portraits before the wedding so you aren’t rushing pictures afterward to get back to your guests and in many cases having beautiful natural light available beforehand.” – Ben Q. Photography

Q&A with Ben Q. Photography

Should a bride and groom have their first look before the ceremony?

We think having a first look is a very personal choice, and there are advantages and things to consider for any choice you make on your wedding day. It’s a good idea to discuss the decision with your partner, family, friends and even your vendor team to decide what you may be most comfortable with.

What are the benefits of having a first look?

Our favorite benefits to having a first look are having more relaxed time for portraits before the wedding so you aren’t rushing pictures afterward to get back to your guests and in many cases having beautiful natural light available beforehand.

Any suggestions on easing those first look jitters?

It’s okay to get emotional, and sometimes those make for the best first look photos. Once you get to see each other, that’s usually all it takes to calm all nerves!

Tips on making the first look extra special?

We love when couples bring a gift or sweet note to the first look. It’s just an extra little gesture that makes that time even more special.

How did you achieve capturing this photo moment?

We usually hang back a bit while first looks are taking place to give our couples that comfort during this intimate moment. At that moment, everything disappears and it’s just about the couple!

Posed Portraits

photo moments

Photography Tip: “Before we snap a single photo of our couples, we talk about how they met, what they like to do, their funny relationship quirks and anything else that gets them thinking about and laughing with each other! When couples are focused on one another, the camera isn’t even a second thought.” – Pharris Photos & Philms

Q&A with Pharris Photos & Philms

How can a couple make the most of their portrait session?

Our motto is, “Prepare from head to toe and go on a date the night before!” Book that makeup artist in advance, ask your photographer for a style guide to help you with outfit choices and get your hair done! Make the most of your investment by being fully prepared physically for your session by looking like the best version of yourself. Not only do you want to look your best at your portrait session, but you also want to feel loved and admired by your partner on that day. The best way to feel butterflies so real they show up on camera (alongside your professionally done makeup of course) is to fill up your love tank by spending good ole’ quality time with your soon to be spouse.

At what point in the timeline do you suggest the couple take their portraits?

The best point in the timeline for couples to take their couple portraits is whenever the best light is happening! The alluring “golden hour” occurs during the last hour of sunlight and will give your photos the most dreamy lighting you could hope for! If your wedding is indoors or the timing just doesn’t quite work out for the “golden hour” light, the best time is either during your first look (you’ll get more time this way!) or after the ceremony.

How do you make a groom (or bride) comfortable in front of the camera?

Before we snap a single photo of our couples, we talk about how they met, what they like to do, their funny relationship quirks and anything else that gets them thinking about and laughing with each other! When couples are focused on one another, the camera isn’t even a second thought.

Tips on making posed portraits look natural?

Be prepared. Create a mental catalog of poses you can easily slip into that feels comfortable for you and your partner’s personalities. If you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t look comfortable, trust us! Be talkative. If you’re in your own world of thought trying desperately to look perfect for a photo, you’re not going to look natural with your partner. So get in position, then whisper “sweet nothings” to each other while you’re in a pose. Trust us, you’ll see the magic sweet (or naughty!) whispers can bring to a photo! 

Be self-confident. Nothing can ruin a portrait session quicker than insecurity. On your portrait session day, leave the negative self-talk at home in the very back of your closet and step into your session knowing you are the most gorgeous creature walking the earth. We photographers are lucky to be taking photos of you!

How did you achieve capturing this photo moment?  

To capture this photo moment, we made sure to scout our venue ahead of time to identify the best locations for epic shots. The vineyard offered many gorgeous photo opportunities, but this spot was perfect for the moment we set out to capture. Then, we revisited our location with the couple as the sun set over the vineyard to achieve this grand lighting backdrop. Most importantly, we tried out a few different poses to determine which was most comfortable for our bride and groom and felt the most like them! From there it’s lights, cameras, action, and the rest of the magic happens in editing!

 

The Ceremony

Photography Tip: “Most wedding ceremonies consist of the same components, but every couple shows a different amount of emotion. You never know when a special moment is going to happen, and you have to be ready for anything. I hardly ever drop my camera from my eye so that I don’t miss any of these moments.” – Sara Boyd Photography

Q&A with Sara Boyd Photography

There are so many sweet moments during a ceremony – how do you know when to shoot?

Most wedding ceremonies consist of the same components, but every couple shows a different amount of emotion. You never know when a special moment is going to happen, and you have to be ready for anything. I hardly ever drop my camera from my eye so that I don’t miss any of these moments. When the couple is in the same position for a while, I shift gears and look to see if their parents are showing any sweet emotions or peer over at their wedding party.

THE KISS: Do you give your couples any instruction on nailing that moment for the image?

Wedding ceremonies are a complete blur for most couples, and I wouldn’t want to fill their brains with one more thing to remember. By the time the ceremony happens, I usually have a good grasp on what kind of kiss I can expect. For my more reserved couples, I know to be ready for a quick 1-2 second peck. For my passionate couples who have no qualms with public displays of affection, I know to be ready for something a little more dramatic. On rare occasions, I am totally shocked by the length of the first kiss, and it’s a fun surprise! But to circle back to your question, no, I don’t give any direction. I want that moment to be one that they have total control over.

Do you have any tips on ceremony setup/design that can help with the photos?

Yes! The main thing to keep in mind is lighting. If your ceremony is outdoors, check sunset time and also what direction the sun sets in relation to your ceremony spot. Also keep in mind that during certain times of day, the light will be coming through the trees and will cast speckled shadows all across your body. This can usually be remedied by moving your altar out from under the trees or just waiting until the sun moves a little farther. I think it is always a good idea to visit your venue at your ceremony time and see what the lighting will look like – the last thing you’d want is to be squinting the entire ceremony because the sun is in your eyes. Another element to keep in mind is having space on the outer edge of your ceremony chairs for me to walk up and down. In outdoor spaces, this isn’t a problem. But for indoor ceremonies, try not to put your chairs flush with the wall. By doing this, I only have the center aisle to shoot down and am limited in the variety of angles I can achieve. I also try to not be a distraction, so by having side aisles, I can utilize those to get closer and not be blocking any guests’ view.

How can a couple get in the right headspace and ease their jitters before the ceremony starts?

Such a great question! Every couple varies in what gives them anxiety leading up to the ceremony. For some, it’s as simple as not tripping down the aisle. For others, it’s not knowing where to look. And for most, it’s the anxiety of having all of your guests staring at you and expecting emotion. The best advice I can give is to focus on each other. Speaking from experience, the entire ceremony will be a blur. It will be over before you know it! If you remember anything from it, my wish would be that it would be the memory of the person you’re about to marry. Also, remember that your wedding is not a competition. You aren’t there to prove anything to anyone. Everyone is there to support you! All of your favorite people are gathered in one place to celebrate your marriage, and that is pretty amazing.

How did you achieve capturing this photo moment?

I’m always on my toes at weddings. Although most wedding days consist of the same components, each couple brings their own story and their own personality to it. I hardly ever put my camera down because I don’t want to miss a moment. I also anticipate certain moments, especially in ceremonies, and start shooting with the expectation that something might happen for a split second. After being a wedding photographer for nearly a decade, there are some moments I’ve come to expect. Those moments are different at every wedding, which is part of the reason why I love giving my couples the space to be themselves without the pressures of performing for the camera.

 

Candids + Kisses

photo moments

Photography Tip: “When photographing couples’ portraits, I usually give the couple a series of prompts to guide them through their portrait time! This not only gives them some direction, but using prompts allows them room to make the pose their own, which is key with capturing candid moments!” – Gaby Caskey Photography

Q&A with Gaby Caskey Photography

How do you make a groom (or bride) comfortable in front of the camera?

The biggest way to help your couple be comfortable in front of the camera actually takes place before the wedding day at their engagement session! Engagement sessions are the #1 factor in creating a relationship with your couple that helps them feel comfortable in front of the camera on the wedding day. Since everyone gets the chance to meet each other before the wedding day, you’re able to maximize your portrait time on the day of and get images you truly love!

What times in the day are you watching for those oh-so-sweet photo moments?

Some of my favorite candid moments happen during the vows and toasts! When it comes time for the vows, I love getting up close angles of the couple to show off any emotions they may be feeling!

Suggestions for couples who are uncomfortable kissing or having PDA in front of others?

Being uncomfortable kissing in front of the camera is totally a valid concern to have, so no worries here! If you’re not the biggest fan of PDA, I’d suggest doing an engagement session with your photographer to help find out your comfort levels. Remember, your portraits are meant to showcase your relationship and love for one another, so as long as you’re being yourself, your portraits will turn out great!

How did you achieve capturing this photo moment?

When it came to Perri and Scott’s wedding day photos, I wanted to focus not only on romantic portraits but also ones that showed true happiness for the day! In this image, you can see their pure excitement for the day and it stood out immediately as a favorite!

 

The Wedding Party

photo moments

Photography Tip: “I always tell my couples that a month or two before your wedding day, we will come up with a wedding photography timeline and it will include all of the big moments and formal pictures for your big day. This will allow us to make sure we are lining up with the planner’s timeline as well as giving as much guidance and wiggle room we need to make sure that you get all of the photography moments that you want and need.” – Rachel Elaine Photography

Q&A with Rachel Elaine Photography

Shooting with your besties can be so much fun! How do you get the crew to settle down and focus for portraits?

The best advice I can ever give a bride/groom is to trust the process. Leading up to your wedding, you build relationships with your vendors, and we will guide you through the process and make sure that your wedding day runs seamlessly. It is important to hire professionals that do this for a living as we know how to navigate a plethora of situations and will do our best for the day that you will always remember! I am a firm believer that organization through a wedding planner and a photography timeline will help you as the bride/groom know what is going on photography-wise and it will also allow your bridal parties to be in the loop as well.  Building a strong relationship with your photographer and vendors builds trust with one another and that leads to you two to enjoy your day and us to do what we do best, serve you on your big day.

What’s your photo checklist for the bridal party?

The first thing I always tell my couples is to not go to websites that have huge wedding photography checklists. Chances are if you are going to this, your photographer isn’t leading you through the process, and trust has yet to be established. My job as your wedding photographer is to educate you and answer any and all questions you may have. Some people have a ton of pictures and ideas they want, which is great! But I always tell my couples that a month or two before your wedding day, we will come up with a wedding photography timeline, and it will include all of the big moments and formal pictures for your big day. This will allow us to make sure we are lining up with the planner’s timeline as well as giving as much guidance and wiggle room we need to make sure that you get all of the photography moments that you want and need. I am a firm believer that building a relationship of trust and respect with your wedding photographer will allow you to worry less about “the checklist” and more about enjoying the moment so that we as your wedding professionals can create imagery that will stand the test of time and be something that future generations can tangibly enjoy for many lifetimes to come.

How can you make the portrait process go quickly and efficiently?

I am a firm believer that organization through a wedding planner and a photography timeline will help you as the bride/groom know what is going on photography-wise and it will also allow your bridal parties to be in the loop as well. Building a strong relationship with your photographer and vendors builds trust with one another and that leads to you two to enjoy your day and us to do what we do best, serve you on your big day.

 

First Dance

photo moments

Photography Tip: “I love for couples to come right into their reception being announced for the first time and head right to the dance floor to kick off the party. If the couple has prepared a dance routine, we do go over any major poses or moments they want captured so we know where to be and we aren’t in front of your guests/family that want to watch.” – Neville Wedding Stories

Q&A with Neville Wedding Stories

When should the first dance(s) be scheduled in the reception?

I love for couples to come right into their reception being announced for the first time and head right to the dance floor to kick off the party. It just seems to flow best, but honestly, I love for couples to mix it up and do things differently though.

Does the couple need to take dancing lessons?

Couples need not feel pressure to have to take lessons beforehand, but it does make for a more entertaining dance for your guests to enjoy.  But if that ain’t you – just sway and stare into one another’s eyes. Always romantic.

Do you give the couple any direction for photos before the first dance?

If the couple has prepared a dance routine, we do go over any major poses or moments they want captured so we know where to be and we aren’t in front of your guests/family that want to watch.

What are your favorite reception moments to capture?

My favorite reception moments to capture would definitely be the parent dances and the private last dance. As a parent now, I totally appreciate the parent first dances and what that moment must be for them to hold and dance with their “baby” one more time before this next season of their grown child’s life. Ughh… I’m tearing up thinking about it. And of course, the private last dance is THE fave. During the first dance, all the eyes are on you two.  For most, it’s a little nerve-wracking to have so many people stare at you while you dance. However, the private last dance, you both are sweaty and exhausted and flying high from the adrenaline of the day. It is such a raw and emotional time for you both. You get to soak it all up in that empty mess of a room in each other’s arms to end the greatest day of your lives so far. Wow, what a way to end a perfect day!

How did you achieve capturing this photo moment?

For our team, usually the DJ hits play or the band begins to play, photo and video document a little bit of the greatness happening on the dance floor and then we sneak out to get ready for your grand finale exit off to start the rest of your lives. So stinking exciting! And yes, I cry every dang time!

 

Reception Fun

photo moments

Photography Tip: “Reception photos are a must-have in my book. From your grand entrance and formal dances to the candid moments with your closest family and friends, I promise you won’t regret having your photographer stay to capture all of the fun! These memories were some of my favorites from my own wedding day, so I highly recommend having your photographer stay for at least one hour of dancing.” – Opal & Onyx Photography

Q&A with Opal & Onyx Photography

Why is it important for a photographer to stay on-site for the reception?

Reception photos are a must-have in my book. From your grand entrance and formal dances to the candid moments with your closest family and friends, I promise you won’t regret having your photographer stay to capture all of the fun! These memories were some of my favorites from my own wedding day so I highly recommend having your photographer stay for at least one hour of dancing. This way, you get coverage for all of the reception events (like cake cutting and toasts) and you also get some great shots of you and your spouse tearing up the dance floor as newlyweds.

What are you looking for when shooting those candid reception moments?

Big laughs, emotional moments and crazy dance moves! For party photos, I usually find the liveliest group on the dance floor and start snapping. I will also follow the newlyweds around as they greet guests and exchange hugs. During formal dances and toasts, I love focusing on the parents’ reactions and the couple laughing or crying – sometimes both! I’ve also been known to bust out my own dance moves and join in on the fun, which usually gets a great reaction from wedding guests.

How are you able to capture such beautiful photos during dark receptions with strange lighting?

Artificial lighting such as flash and video lights are absolutely necessary for reception photography in dark venues. I use a mixture of on-camera flash, strategically placed off-camera flash, modifiers and video lighting so that I can control the lighting in any situation. I also love to do a technique called “light-dragging” that gives regular dancing photos a unique pop! By using flash, the ambiance and mood of the reception are enhanced while ensuring my couples get clear, crisp images to enjoy for the rest of their lives.

How can a couple make the most of their photos during the reception?

Make sure you discuss and coordinate your timeline with your photographer beforehand. If you only have limited time with your photographer, choose what reception moments are most important to you. If you have your photographer until the end of the reception, discuss what kind of images you are drawn to and if there are any specific moments or special events you would like captured. Investing in a quality DJ or band and spending time on the dance floor as a couple will encourage your guests to really let loose, and in return, you’ll get those super fun dance floor photos you’ve always dreamed of! I also highly recommend having a private last dance before your grand exit; not only does it make for a great photo op, but it also truly allows you to soak in the amazing evening you just experienced together before you depart.

Are there any props you encourage couples to have on the dance floor?

Two words: GLOW STICKS! I always recommend handing out glow sticks, glow necklaces, LED sticks or anything that flashes and glows out on the dance floor. These items are perfect for light-dragging and add an extra whimsical element to your party. If you’d like to have some photos without glow sticks, ask your coordinator to hand them out later in the evening. Many DJs supply party props as well, so be sure to ask when booking. You can even double up and use the glow sticks for your grand exit if your venue doesn’t allow sparklers!

 

Grand Exit

photo moments

Photography Tip: “To us, the best part about the grand exit is that it’s almost always candid. You have so many wonderful reactions from the family and friends of the couple, not to mention the happy bride and groom as well! A pro tip is to always try and direct the couple to pause for a kiss or cheer halfway through their exit. This allows for those extra amazing shots that they otherwise wouldn’t have had while ending their wedding day!” – Outland Weddings

Q&A with Outland Weddings

Best props for the getaway shots?

In my opinion, the best props your guests can have during the grand exit are sparklers. They are always a hit with friends and family, and they have the added bonus of illuminating the couple during those late night exits! Plus, they always look good in photos!

Should the couple change before their getaway?

If they have a reception gown prepared, or something more comfortable, then we say go for it!

How do you nail the exit photos when the lighting is usually gone by then?

If we’re looking at a late send-off with limited lighting, we will bring our own external lights and set them up along both sides of guests to ensure we capture every moment.

Any tips on making the getaway as memorable as the other major moments in a wedding?

Take it slow! Some couples are just ready to leave and nearly sprint to the getaway car. This can make it difficult to capture a good variety of images from such a fun moment. We always suggest our couples to pace themselves and let that moment of celebration sink in, that way, they can enjoy their send off, and we can ensure they have loads of great photos from the moment.

How did you achieve capturing this photo moment?

To us, the best part about the grand exits is that they’re almost always candid. You have so many wonderful reactions from the family and friends of the couple, not to mention the happy bride and groom as well! A pro tip is to always try and direct the couple to pause for a kiss or cheer halfway through their exit. This allows for those extra amazing shots that they otherwise wouldn’t have had while ending their wedding day!


Check out even more incredibly talented North Texas wedding photographers here. Happy planning!

Find the Best Wedding Makeup for Your Undertone

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The world of makeup can be so daunting, and whether or not it’s a part of your everyday routine, most brides opt for wedding makeup, either done by themselves or by a wedding beauty professional. But if you don’t already eat, sleep and breathe makeup, where do you even begin? We asked some of the best in the business about an important first step in makeup, which is finding your undertone! Read on as four North Texas wedding beauty experts give us the ins and outs of what makeup is best for your skin tone – especially on your wedding day.

porcelain makeup

wedding makeup

Porcelain

with JM Glamour

What colors/tones do you recommend for fair skin?

For fair skin, I prefer to use warm tones to complement the skin tone! My favorite colors to use for this skin tone are champagnes and golds or a rose gold, mauve looks good as well!

How can I figure out what my tone is?

If you have yellow in your skin or can see greenish veins, then you have a warm undertone. If you have more red or pink in your skin or can see blueish veins, then you have a cool undertone.

Photo: Savannah Peterson Photography // Also Pictured: Shelby Hladky, Winning Couture in Frisco

 

warm ivory makeup

wedding makeup

Warm Ivory

with Jennifer Trotter – Lip Service Makeup

What colors/tones perfectly complement a warm ivory skin tone?

With the model’s skin tone, striking black hair and beautifully full lips, I decided to keep the look simple and streamlined and kept the focus on her lips. Eyes are softly defined with a wash of gold and champagne shimmer, black liner and dense faux mink lashes, while the cheeks have a light coral flush and lips have a really lush appearance, achieved by layering several different shades of crimson.

Any secrets to creating the perfect faux lash look?

The lashes were chosen specifically for her eye shape… some lashes would look too long on an almond hooded eye, so I tend to go for a style that is thicker at the base, has a shorter length and has fullness towards the outer third.

Photo: Valerie Thompson Photography // Bella Bridesmaids, House of Dirt

 

wedding makeup

wedding makeup

Beige

with Ashley Drew Artistry

Any specific products + colors you love to use for a beige skin tone?

I absolutely love using the Anastasia Beverly Hill Luminous foundation. This foundation has amazing coverage and conceals any imperfections while still giving the skin a radiant finish. Topped off with just a wisp of blush on the cheekbones to add just the right amount to create a blushing bride effect!

What products did you use to achieve this look?

The main product used to achieve this was the Morphe Jaclyn Hill palette. I used the three pink shades as an eyeshadow and lipstick topper. I absolutely love doing monochromatic looks! Nothing is more romantic than using blush tones dusted throughout the eyes, cheeks and lips! A fun trick to add extra shine to your lips without feeling sticky is to take a shimmer eyeshadow and tap the color in the center of the lip. This allows the lips to look fuller and pouter without feeling sticky!

Photo: Hilary Stewart Photography // Also Pictured: J. Noelle Design

 

wedding makeup

wedding makeup

Chestnut

with The Styling Stewardess

What products and hues did you use to perfect this look?

For this specific look, I wanted to go with a golden glow. For eye shadow, I used Laura Mercier Caviar Stick (color copper), for her foundation I used Sephora Airbrush (color honey), and to top off her glow, I used Laura Mercier Translucent Glow powder.

What are some tips for finding what undertone you are?

An easy way to find your undertone is to look at your veins. If your veins look greenish, then you have a warm undertone. If your veins look blue/purple, then you have a cool undertone. If you can’t see your veins or if they appear colorless, then you have a neutral undertone.

Photo: Allen Tsai Photography // Also Pictured: The Olana, Elizabeth Leese Bridal, Keestone Events


Find even more talented North Texas wedding makeup experts here, or browse other local wedding vendors here. Happy planning!

We Love the Bubbly Sips and Smiles in this Intimate Engagement Session

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Bubbly sips and sweet smiles show just how ready to be wed Amanda and Justin are in their intimate engagement session captured by Marissa Merritt Photography! We love how much natural romance fills these scenes and the chemistry between the two only makes it even sweeter! The pair first met while attending Texas Tech University, when Amanda was a sophomore and Justin was a junior in college. When Justin finally got the nerve, he took Amanda out to dinner at a small fancy steakhouse in Corsicana and popped the question after dinner! Now, the couple is right around the corner from their fall nuptials and says they are planning for a color palette of rich burgundies and a shabby chic theme to go along with. The detail Amanda is most excited for, however, is her bridal gown of course! We can’t wait to see how radiant we know she will look in it, or how much vintage and shabby chic style will be infused into their North Texas wedding! Read on to hear from the photographer about the setting of this intimate engagement session and about the shoot as a whole. Cheers to Amanda and Justin!

Photos // Marissa Merritt Photography

From the photographer: “Amanda and Justin had so much fun at their engagement shoot. They decided on Arbor Hills Nature Preserve because there are tons of gorgeous photo spots featuring beautiful natural environments. Amanda brought two different outfits to add variety to her shoot, and they both were the absolute cutest as Marissa Merritt Photography captured their authentic relationship. The sunlight peeked out toward the end of their session as Amanda and Justin celebrated their engagement with a dance and some bubbly.”


Newly engaged yourself or in the midst of wedding planning madness? Check out our full list of the very best of DFW wedding vendors here, or browse through real, local wedding inspiration here! Happy scrolling!

The Brightest and Bubbliest Backyard Boho Bridal Shower Brunch

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Talk about the boho bridal shower of our DREAMS! This bright and bubbly brunch held to celebrate the future Mrs. Whitt is so dreamy and fun with vintage elements, gorgeous dried florals, and a full coffee bar by Nightowl Cofee Cart for the cutest caffeinated celebration! Darling installations of pampas, peachy roses, sun-bleached amaranth and dusty mauve blooms alike from Something Pretty Floral sweeten up every photo-op and small floral centerpieces bring romance into remaining party scenes. From floor pillow seating to vintage tap trailer, this boho bridal shower is jaw-dropping anywhere you look. Soon-to-be bride Kat looks radiant head to toe, especially when with her beau, and we love the pairing of her white romper with her plaited style from the braid bar by Brite BeautyThis styled backyard boho bridal shower is one we won’t soon forget! Read on to hear a note from Nightowl Coffee Cart about the execution of the shoot and the event as a whole and keep scrolling for all the pretty pink details. Cheers to Kat and Zach!

Photos // Abbie Mae Photography

A note from Nightowl Coffee Cart: “Kat’s bridal shower dreams came true, prequeled by a backyard bridal brunch styled shoot at Lushra’s new event and retail space on Lovers. Coffee stole the show – until Kat walked in.”


Newly engaged yourself or in the midst of wedding planning madness? Check out our full list of the very best of DFW wedding vendors here, or browse through real, local wedding inspiration here! Happy scrolling!

8 Wedding Trends We Are Loving

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Every wedding season brings with it fresh ideas and new inspiration perfect for brides planning their nuptials any time in the next year. We picked up on some of the most eye-catching elements that really make all the difference and talked to industry pros about the specifics! Let us walk you through a few of this season’s top wedding trends!

Trend: Dried Floral

dried floral 2021 wedding trends

Floral: Root + Bloom Floral Design

“Dried floral elements are truly having a moment right now! As color palettes have trended toward neutrals, dried elements are the perfect way to achieve this look! They add unique texture and dimension that make a refined statement. As a bonus, dried florals can be kept after the wedding and repurposed as a keepsake!” 

Featured Image: Maxwell + Gray  | The Schoolhouse | Cassie Loree with Parlor Pictures | Lovely Bride | Hello Flawless Artistry

 

Trend: Dessert Tables

dessert tables 2021 wedding trends

Pies: Batch Bakery

“We think pies are a fun alternative for dessert that many people don’t think of on a regular basis. They have become a trend for weddings and birthdays. Our pies are a fun twist on traditional flavors.”

Photos: Asia with Photobyjoy

dessert tables 2021 wedding trends

Macarons: Savor Patisserie

“Dessert tables are a wedding trend that we really love! A dessert table, in addition to or instead of a traditional wedding cake, allows the couple to include more colors, textures and flavors into their reception offering. With French macarons on your dessert table, you can have something that is small, requires no utensils, can be gluten-free, color free, and/or dairy-free and can be fully customized to match the wedding theme! The options are basically unlimited, and macarons are always a welcomed treat to guests!”

 

Trend: Sustainability

sustainability 2021 wedding trends

Fine Jewelry: The True Gem

“We have chosen to focus on lab-grown diamonds and lab-grown gemstones such as sapphires and moissanite as well as recycled 18k gold and platinum. These gemstones are chemically, physically and visually equivalent to their earth-mined counterparts while drastically reducing the carbon footprint and cost. How exciting that science has caught up with nature in this way! We are incredibly fortunate to have more responsible options available to us today than ever before!”

Featured Image: Rachel Elaine PhotographyStanley Korshak Bridal Salon | Etoilly Artistry | Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

 

Trend: Watercolor Detail

watercolor detail 2021 wedding trends

Invitations + Calligraphy: Ellis Paige Calligraphy & Design

“Having started designing wedding invitations over four years ago, I have seen many trends come and go, but the watercolor trend has been a consistent favorite among my clients. Combining handwritten calligraphy with soft strokes of watercolor creates a whimsical design that is tasteful and timeless. Whether it be in floral accents or simple brushstrokes of paint, watercolor is the perfect way to add a subtle pop of color to any invitation suite. Working with watercolor is my favorite way to incorporate my client’s wedding colors and personality into their invitation suite without distracting from the simple elegance of handwritten calligraphy.”

Featured Image:  Laning Photography | Maxwell + Gray | The Mason

 

Trend: Going Big

going big 2021 wedding trends

Invitations: Ladybird Paper Co.

“Having custom artwork in your invitation suite is a way to wow your guests and set your event apart from the beginning, before your guests even arrive!”

going big 2021 wedding trends

Decor: Bash + Vibe

“Custom signage and installations are a unique way to create special moments during all your wedding events. Whether it’s incorporating your guests’ names into custom laser cut place settings, your favorite love quote engraved on acrylic near your guestbook or a neon sign behind your bar; going big with custom signage and installations will differentiate your day and create wow moments your guests will remember long after you say “I do.”

Photo: Surveyor Creative

 

Trend: Textural Elements

textural elements 2021 wedding trends

Decor + Rentals: Loot Rentals

“At Loot, our design strategy has always centered around using layers to create visual interest and warmth within a space. Without texture and layers, it is easy for a space to feel flat and boring. We also love to combine vintage and worn elements with new and shiny material. It is not unusual to see a beautifully worn leather piece next to a shiny brass and marble accent table in one of our lounges. The same idea goes for tabletop – a typical Loot tablescape will consist of many layers including an organic styled napkin and polished metallic modern flatware atop a textural wooden table. Texture exceeds beyond the textile element and is achieved with nature as well – florals and greenery provide the perfect layering component and help set the mood within a space.”

Featured Image: Artspace111Grant Daniels Photography | The Greenhouse 817

 

textural elements 2021 wedding trends

Decor + Rentals: AM Linen Rental

“Textured linens are the newest trendy statement pieces that add a fresh, bold, and different feel to a traditional wedding item. Substituting a crushed velvet, lace or shimmer linen to your tablescape allows tabletop designs to not fall flat or get lost in the overall decor of your wedding day. Tabletops can be some of the most eye-catching and unique elements of a wedding scene, and combining chic, textured linen with a solid-colored napkin and dishware brings in a moody vibe and adds dimensions of warmth and style. At AM Linens, we’re loving this modern and trendy twist, and the options are limitless when it comes to finding the perfect textural element you’re looking for!”

Featured Image: Dallas ArboretumBen Q Photography | Lush Couture FloralLawson Event Rentals | AM Linen Rental | Belle Decor | Illustrated Weddings by Lola LorenaSilver Lining Events + Co. 

 

Trend: Interactive Stations

interactive stations 2021 wedding trends

Bartending: HD Liquid Catering

“Interactive bar stations are eye-catching, fun and engaging. The stations are great for transitions and are multipurpose. Starting with a cocktail hour, then into a champagne toast station, finished with a boozy coffee bar during cake service. Mobile bars are a great addition for events of all sizes. For a small wedding, it’s an intimate gathering place with crafty made-to-order cocktails. At large events, it’s a fun second bar location to ensure faster service and break up congestion around the bar.”

Featured Image: Wendy Kidd – Each & Every Detail | Ryan O’Dowd -Ryan O’Dowd Photography | Avalon Legacy Ranch

interactive stations 2021 wedding trends

Photo Booth: Capture Co. Photo Booth

“Your event should be memorable and fun! Guests want an experience and to be a part of something unique and different. Photo booths add an extra element of interaction for guests to capture and share unforgettable moments.”

Photo: Randi Michelle Photography

 

Trend: Softly Illuminated Complexions

softly illuminated complexions 2021 wedding trends

Makeup: WZ Beauty Studio

“This softly illuminated trend is your essence to timeless beauty. It naturally enhances your features, and when done perfectly right, it looks and feels like your skin with a hint of a healthy glow. To achieve this look it is important to prep your skin and also start a skincare regimen months before your big day. For my brides, I advise them to drink plenty of water, and I recommend using a hydrating serum (SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5) daily and especially the morning of before getting ready for makeup. When adding highlighted products, I love my WZ Beauty pressed powder. Placement and blending are key to achieve a soft and illuminating look without overdoing it.”

Featured Image: Bertha Torres PhotographyThe Olana WZ Beauty StudioThe Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus | Cottage Florie | Maria Elena Headpieces


Looking to explore even more unique North Texas wedding vendors? Check out all our favorites here.