How to Make Sure Your Wedding Pictures Are Kick Ass // Wedding Planning //

Wedding season is fast approaching! I'm not kidding. I have one month until the madness begins. And this blog post is for anyone planning a wedding! 
This is one of the most important days of your life. I mean this is the day you and your soul mate officially begin your life together! You've dreamt about it, you've planned, you've invested. And I'm sure you've already heard that the photographs are the one thing you're going to have to remember this amazing day by. So hopefully you've done your research and found a photographer who you love and trust. Because that's the most important part! But even the best photographer appreciates a little thoughtfulness from their couples ;) Here's a couple tips to make sure your day and your pictures are kick ass!

1. First of all, it's your day! So do whatever the hell you want! Seriously. Walk down the aisle together, shotgun a beer, wear masks, dance in the street, hire someone to write poems for your guests during cocktail hour, light off fireworks, go barefoot, have donuts instead of cake. Just make your day special and thoughtful and have fun. Because if you're worried about following tradition and a timeline and the rules it's going to be really hard for you and everyone else to enjoy your day... and when no one is having fun it's really really hard to make it look like they're having fun ;)

How to Get Good Wedding Pictures Wisconsin Wedding Photographer Chloe Ann Photography Wedding Planning and Inspiration

2. Plan where you're going to get ready! Prep pictures can be some of my favorites. There's so much anticipation and excitement before the ceremony. But nothing kills the vibe more than making everyone sit on metal folding chairs in the church basement. Sorry. But it's true. Get ready somewhere that has good light, tells part of your story, is really cool, put on some music, sip some whiskey if you're into that sort of thing, etc. You're going to be spending a good portion of your day moving around talking to family you haven't seen in years so make sure you get to relax and hang out with your closest loved ones before the craziness begins.

How to Get Good Wedding Pictures Wisconsin Wedding Photographer Chloe Ann Photography Wedding Planning and Inspiration

3. Consider doing a first look. If you're not completely immersed in the wedding industry you might not even know what I'm talking about. So I'll break it down! A first look is a a private moment where the couple sees each other for the first time before the ceremony. Check each other out without everyone staring at you. Tell each other how good you look. Hug and kiss and laugh and cry. The biggest argument I hear against first looks is that you won't have that awesome reaction or raw emotion. Please please please trust me on this. It is so much easier to show your real feelings when you're not standing in front of a crowd. Also it makes your timeline flow sooo much easier. Get all of your couple pictures, wedding party pictures, and family pictures out of the way before the ceremony so that the rest of the day you, your wedding party, and family are free to enjoy cocktail hour, mingle with guests, and not worry about rushing to get to dinner on time. 

How to Get Good Wedding Pictures Wisconsin Wedding Photographer Chloe Ann Photography Wedding Planning and Inspiration

4. Make a list for family portraits. If you know any wedding photographers, you've probably heard that family formals are the bane of our existence. Whoops. But it's not because we don't adore your family or realize how important these pictures are. It's usually because it's complete chaos and we have no idea which great aunt is also your godmother but hasn't spoken to your dad in 10 years. Please please please. This can be such a fun time if everyone is on the same page. I mean you're all dressed up and you're all together let's get some good pictures! Make a list of important family members you want included. I say grandparents, parents, and siblings and I usually do a big group and then a couple different combos. And then if you want to add in some other important people like aunts and uncles or cousins by all means do that! Just make the list and give it to your personal attendant or someone in your wedding party who can be in charge of gathering those people up and having them ready. Also if there are any sensitive situations (divorces, deceased family members, strained relationships, etc) please communicate that ahead of time so we don't make anyone uncomfortable. And then you can have some awesome bad ass family photos that everyone will cherish forever.

How to Get Good Wedding Pictures Wisconsin Wedding Photographer Chloe Ann Photography Wedding Planning and Inspiration

5. Don't stress about the weather. You can't do anything about it anyway. Fog, rain, snow, wind, freezing cold. Just embrace it. Stormy skies and fog make for epic backdrops. Overcast skies are perfection. Wind blowing your hair is a good thing! And trust me you'll survive being in the cold for a few minutes. Have fun, be adventurous, trust your photographer and your pictures will be perfect.

How to Get Good Wedding Pictures Wisconsin Wedding Photographer Chloe Ann Photography Wedding Planning and Inspiration

6. Always always always sneak away. You're going to be pulled in a million directions and all of your friends and family are going to want to talk to you and congratulate you. But ultimately your wedding day is about you and your partner. So take some time after dinner to sneak away for a couple minutes. I always tell my couples to blame me "Ohhh that pesky photographer just wants to take more pictures!" Which is true because who doesn't love those glowy sunset images?! But it will give you guys a minute to breathe and relax together. Because I'm being honest with you, you probably won't get to do that very much throughout the day! So once again. Just trust me on this ;)

How to Get Good Wedding Pictures Wisconsin Wedding Photographer Chloe Ann Photography Wedding Planning and Inspiration

7. Play some damn good music. Once again, if no one's having fun it's really hard to make it look like everyone is having fun. If you're making your own playlist start it out strong! If you're having a band or a dj tell them to save the slow stuff for later when the night is winding down. You want your guests to actually stay at your reception and have a blast the entire time right? Well no one wants to do the chicken dance or the ymca. There. I said it. Play some hip swinging, ass shaking, hands in the air, jumping up and down ragers!!! I'm just trying to help. Nothing is more uncomfortable than having everyone huddled at the bar, as far away from the dancefloor as possible, with the locomotion playing in the background. 

How to Get Good Wedding Pictures Wisconsin Wedding Photographer Chloe Ann Photography Wedding Planning and Inspiration

Like I said at the beginning of this post, it's your day. Do whatever you want! Make it unique and include all the little things you love. Just have fun and enjoy yourself and keep it drama free and everything will be smooth sailing. 

Fall Wedding at The Clauson Barn in Coloma Wisconsin // Kelsey + Justin

On the most beautiful fall day in October, Kelsey and Justin were married surrounded by their close friends and family. There was popcorn and pie and vintage cars and tons of adorable children. There was no tight schedule and no rushing around. Everyone just roamed around The Clauson Barn property. Guests were sitting in the grass relaxing in the sunshine. The kids were running around and picking flowers. It was relaxed and fun and intimate and everything a barn wedding should be.

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Justin and Kelsey met because of Justin's daughter. I like to think that she was matchmaking the whole time. 

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First looks are one of the most romantic parts of the wedding day. I mean Justin had already seen Kelsey's dress and they had talked throughout the morning but they were still so freaking excited to see each other. 

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These two gave me all the time I wanted for portraits. I think it was mostly because they just wanted to hang out with each other. There were so many little spots at the Clauson Barn to take pictures. I'm smitten. 

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Kelsey's dress was perfect for running through fields.

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Pie is definitely one of my love languages so when Kelsey told me their were opting for flaky crusts and fruit filling instead of a traditional cake I almost lost my mind. Future brides, take note!

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I might be biased but I think the light during fall in Wisconsin is the yummiest dreamiest light in the whole wide world. 

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Kelsey wanted to be barefoot on her wedding so Justin happily carried her over any rough spots all day long. And personally I think that's some pretty great foreshadowing for their marriage. 

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We ended the night with more pictures outside underneath some strung lights. Talk about dream clients and a perfect day. 

Dani + Nate - Justin Trails Wedding

and you shall take me strongly in your arms again
and I will not remember that I even felt the pain
we shall walk and talk in gardens all misty and wet with rain
and I will never never never grow so old again
oh sweet thing

I'm so excited to be showing this wedding off finally! I don't know how I got so lucky to book these guys but I'm pretty happy it happened. I've photographed Nate and Dani twice before and it never gets old. They are super sweet and comfortable with each other and hey they're pretty good looking too which is always a plus! 
Dani and Nate could not have scored a more perfect day for their wedding. rolling hills and blue skies were the backdrop and laughter was the soundtrack. gorgeous flowers, the most delicious food, hilarious wedding party, well dressed bride and groom and llamas.... yup LLAMAS! all my dreams came true at this wedding.

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wisconsin barn wedding justin trails resort sparta wi
wisconsin barn wedding justin trails resort sparta wi
wisconsin barn wedding justin trails resort sparta wi

Justin Trails is the greatest. future brides- please have your wedding here. mk? k thanks.

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can we talk about this father daughter first look please??? seriously. try to keep it together people.

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when your couple is straight up killin the game! 

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wisconsin barn wedding justin trails resort sparta wi wedding photographer

I honestly didn't think this wedding could get any better... and then I walked into the barn....

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wisconsin barn wedding justin trails resort sparta wi wedding photographer
wisconsin barn wedding justin trails resort sparta wi wedding photographer

If everyone could keep up the BBQ and mac n cheese business at weddings I'd greatly appreciate it. 

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wisconsin was pulling out all the stops.

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these llama pictures make me happier than a lot of things.

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