Amber & Ashton, high school sweethearts, live in the DFW area with their adorable toddler Jace. They’re both from Tyler, TX so they are getting married in their home town at the Tyler Rose Gardens on August 20th!
All of my wedding clients receive a complementary engagement session and with their wedding FAST approaching we had to coordinate them in the dead heat of summer with 100+ degree temps + 90% humidity. (Good thing they’re Texas natives 💁)
I’m originally from the DFW area and most of my family lives there, so I immediately thought of the Dallas Arboretum but then I was warned about how much more humid it is in the gardens. 😫 Wilted clients are just not cute (or happy). After talking it over with some other photographers Amber and I decided on the Fort Worth water gardens, thinking that it “might” be cooler if we happen to have a breeze. WHEW we lucked out and although it was hot as….well you know those sayings…. we did manage to occasionally catch a breeze.
Safety is a big concern at the water gardens especially with a toddler in tow for the shoot. There are some deep (but beautiful) fountains with motors that have a lot of suction. There is no swimming signs posted everywhere. Jace however was the most well behaved toddler that I have every seen in a public place. I was sorely tempted to see if Amber & Ashton wanted to trade a toddler for a teenager!
I loved how Jace’s outfit coordinated with mom and dad. Bringing in elements of both of their wardrobes brought the whole look together without looking too “matchy”.
Their wedding is THIS Sunday (and the temps are supposed to be in the 90s 😬) So stay tuned for what is sure to be some beautiful wedding portraits at the Rose Gardens!
My Philosophy : Pictures are our way of capturing a sliver of time, a moment, so that we can tell it back to ourselves later. It’s my job to capture that moment for you in all its intensity and beauty so that you can hold onto it through times both bad and good. My passion is storytelling, I just use a camera instead of a words.
Criss can be found floating around on her Website, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts when she’s not running around the house in her cape or digging in the dirt in East Texas.
As I sit here drinking my glass of wine trying to use my time that I think I have to sit and type this, I’m being glared at by two teenagers who seem to think that staring at me will make me use my time to cook them dinner, like I feel like parenting tonight or something! Surely there’s some kind of law that says teenagers should be able to cook their own meals at this age? So they’ll keep staring and I’ll keep typing and making pointed looks at the cabinet that contains the ingredients for a healthy, filling, PB&J sandwich.
When I think about time (not in philosophical ways, that’s waaaay to deep of a subject for this blog) I think back to one of my first weddings many moons ago. The bride wanted to pay me for 2 hours of services and of course she assured me that we would be able to fit the getting ready, wedding, bride & groom portraits, bride with family portraits, bride with groom and family, bride with bridesmaids, groom with bridesmaids……. etc. etc.. portraits in that two hours. It was only pictures for goodness sake and all I was doing was clicking the shutter. Oh HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA……I was so dumb….. Do you know how long it takes to wrangle drunk uncle Bob into portraits and get him to stop making those stupid faces (or grabbing a bridesmaid’s ass)?
So now, during consultations, brides & grooms and I go over a sample timeline of mine so we can decide which moments they truly need time for and which moments are not important for me to capture for them and I would like to share this with everyone! (Because I’m just super awesome like that.)
1:00 – 3:00 Bridal Party Hair & Makeup – two hours or longer depending on how many in the party and how many professionals you have working on you! I will use this time to also photograph the rings, the dress by itself, and some detail shots of the venue.
3:00 – 4:00 Bride & Groom getting dressed (and everyone else getting dressed) there WILL be a last minute emergency that has to be addressed (such as a bride needing duct tape to get her dress on, or when someone has to run to get the rings out of the groom’s house! )
4:00 – 4:30 B&G First look – One day I will write a blog post about why I love the first look (when I have time) but ultimately this part is completely up to the bride and groom and their wants.
5:00 – 6:00 Wedding – Yes, you told the minister that you wanted to keep it short and sweet but trust me, some of them think short and sweet equals 45 minutes instead of the 15 minutes you were thinking. Also everyone getting into their places (and the likelihood that you will be running behind) will take longer than you think.
6:00 – 6:30 Hugs and Greetings – Some enthusiastic wedding planner will insist that everyone wait for you two at the reception. There might even be an announcement. Plan for half of the people to think that this will not apply to them.
6:30 – 7:00 Herding – If you hired a planner (even a day of planner will do) then congrats, most likely you and your party will not be doing the herding of people for family portraits!
7:00 – 8:00 (ish) Family & B&G Portraits – Now part of these can be moved to a different time. Such as during the time we allotted for the first look or if there’s time after getting ready. Bride with family and groom with family can be done at the same time if you have purchased a package with two photographers present so the B&G don’t see each other before the wedding. If you do a bunch of separate poses for each family member. Such as Bride with mom/dad/sibling and groom with mom/dad/sibling. These formal images can take much longer. And generally, besides the wedding, these are some of the most cherished images! So allot yourself plenty of time for these images. I say 10 minutes for a single photographer per group and another 30 minutes just for the bride and groom alone if this wasn’t done at the first look (generally everyone else will be asked to make their way to the reception area during this time).
8:00 – 10:00 Reception – Food, cake cutting, bouquet tossing, first dances, speeches, photographs with all the tables, any formal photographs not taken after the wedding, present opening and the exit can be completed in two hours or less. We can even fake the final exit early so there’s absolutely no reason for me to bother you again!
As you can see for your average to large wedding, you will need at least 6 – 8 hours of time.
So when you meet with your planner, photographer, catering company etc. with a guest list 300 people long and you look them dead in the eye and say “This is only going to take 2 hours.” That look on their face, is the look of disbelief from experts in the field who have many weddings under their belt.
Do us all and yourself a favor and pad your schedule with plenty of time so you don’t feel stressed out and rushed to get through one of the most important days in your life.
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” –Jim Rohn
About the Author: Criss is a full time mother, public servant and artist. She has 2 kids, four rescue dogs, a rescue fiance, a rescue horse that she can’t ride, two geese, 8 ducks and 38 and counting chickens. She has a passion and love for preserving history and storytelling.