Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot

Even if you aren't having a Fourth of July wedding, this styled shoot will get you prepped for next week's holiday. Red, white, and blue are the grand marshal of this inspiration parade, but they are paired together in a way that is classy, not kitschy.  That's because Julie James Design, Your Big Day, and Burgh Brides' own Lindsey Zern Photography were careful to put a modern twist on an old, patriotic favorite.  Vintage sparklers and summertime bomb pops were paired with faux wood chargers, red floral glassware, and a fun, unique centerpiece that featured taper candles and cascading ribbons for a whimsy touch.  Blue thistle and hydrangeas met deep ruby peonies, anemones, and astilbe for a gorgeous bouquet that brought a little bit of drama to the look.  Whether you're celebrating Independence Day with a backyard BBQ or a wedding, let this shoot bring some life to your party!  Happy Birthday America!

Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides Fourth of July Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Your Big Day and Lindsey Zern Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the designer…

We wanted to showcase a “patriotic theme” without the cliche touches you might expect.  Our goal was to show that you can take a theme that is often thought of as backyard BBQ and flip flops, and add a classy and beautiful look with unique centerpieces, vintage sparkler favors, adorable bomb pops, and more.  We added a little edge and richness to the ACE Hotel's gymnasium, which opens up to a more raw feel, with stunning faux wood chargers, a patriotic napkin fold, and cascading ribbon centerpieces.  The Fourth of July theme was shown in a whole new way.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: One Enchanted Evening | Designer: Your Big Day | Desserts: Your Big Day | Flowers: Julie James Design | Hair: Jacki DeMario | Linens: Your Big Day | Location: ACE Hotel | Photography: Lindsey Zern Photography | Videography: Kesneck Videography

Photography: Lindsey Zern Photography

A Wedding Stationery Timeline from Blush Paper Co.

Wedding stationery can be a very confusing topic.  There are a million paper options, guidelines about what fonts should be paired together, and even rules about you should and shouldn't include on your invitations.  Where is a bride to even begin making sense of all of that?  Easy.  Let's start at the beginning.  And the beginning is knowing WHEN to send all of those pretty mailings and print your day-of materials.  Blush Paper Co. to the rescue with this wedding stationery timeline that will keep you on schedule!

A Wedding Stationery Timeline from Blush Paper Co. featured on Burgh Brides

From Jen of Blush Paper Co…

I created the timeline in response to the #1 question I am asked at consultations:  How are we on time?  How long will this process take?

It's incredibly helpful to have a breakdown of timelines and deadlines.  When brides book with me, we will also create a calendar together to further create deadlines, so they know exactly when to expect proofs and revisions.  It's tailored to their specific needs, so no two calendars are alike.  But in general, this guide is a great resource.  It's so helpful to know when to start the custom stationery process!   Since you're working with a live designer and having your stationery professionally printed, the timeline is a bit different than ordering from a big-box store.

AMEN!  I dare you to try and find this kind of customer service or tailoring at an online stationery printer.  While those sites have their advantages, absolutely nothing beats working with an independent stationer to design and print your wedding day paper goodies.  So check your calendar, make sure your on time with creating your paper suite, and then head on over to the Vendor Guide when you can find more from Blush Paper Co.!

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The 1 Thing You Absolutely Must Do During Your Wedding Reception

Your wedding reception will be a total BLAST!  All of your friends and family will be in the same place at the same time and it's an amazing feeling to know they're all there because of you.  There will be good food, good drinks, and plenty of entertainment.  You'll be partying and dancing with all of your guests and you will literally never want it to end.  BUT there is one thing you absolutely must do during your wedding reception!

MAKE TIME FOR SUNSET OR NIGHT TIME PORTRAITS.

It will be really hard to pull yourself away from the party, and I guarantee for a split second, you'll consider not even doing it at all.  But you MUST make time for more portraits at sunset or later!  You'll be tired, you'll be a little drunk, and you'll probably be over smiling for the camera.  But I promise you – remove yourself from the fun for 10, 15, 20 minutes and you will NOT regret it.  How do I know?  These shots right here.

Whether you head out at sunset, otherwise known as golden hour, or opt for night time when the sky is dark blue, the lighting will be absolutely gorgeous!  Your wedding album can thank me later.  But perhaps more important than the stunning images you'll be left with, a quick sunset or night time portrait session will give you some more intimate time with your new husband or wife.  Amid all of the hustle and bustle of the day, those quite moments will be few and far in between.  So if you can gain a few more of them AND get some breath taking images in the process, I'd say it's a total win-win.

Will you be devoting some time during your reception for sunset or night portraits?  Please say yes!

Ask Burgh Brides: To Veil or Not to Veil

This edition of Ask Burgh Brides is dedicated to what is quite possibly the most asked question by brides to be…

Ask Burgh Brides: To Veil or Not to Veil

Bride M writes…

I am getting married beach-side in Newport, RI.  So here is my burning (and somewhat trivial) question for you: veil or no veil?  I realize this is a preference but I keep going back and forth.  We are getting married outside on a beach, so when I purchased my dress I said no to buying a veil.  Then, the more I thought about it, the more I was like, “When in my life will I ever be able to wear a veil again??  Never.”  So, then I got on the band wagon and started looking at veils.  Turns out, like most wedding details, they are pricey.  So is a veil going to just be in the way, blowing my maid of honor in the face or, worse, hitting my groom while we say “I do?”  Or, is it a necessity because you only marry once and it really makes you feel like a bride?

Hey M!  Thanks for writing, and for addressing a question that I think SO many brides struggle with.  But let's get one thing straight first…wearing a veil doesn't make you a bride.  Or make you not a bride.  You're getting married.  Therefore, you're a bride.  Nothing is a necessity and you don't have to do anything, including wearing a veil.  The best weddings are those that are personalized and reflective of the couple and where the couple is totally comfortable and happy.  So if wearing a veil doesn't make you comfortable or happy, don't do it!

However, back to your original question…to veil or not to veil.  Personally?  I love veils.  I think they're demure and feminine and they can really add something to your bridal look.  Plus, like you said, when in your life will you ever have another opportunity to wear a veil?  Likely never.  So I'm all about seizing that opportunity.  However, it's a totally personal choice and if you don't think a veil is for you, it won't make you any less of a bride.

There are some veil choices for those brides like you who might be on the fence.  Because let's face it, not everyone can rock a cathedral length, and I tend to think they get in the way more than anything else.  Think bird cage or finger tip length.  You could also opt for a hip hair piece or fascinator instead (how very Kate Middleton of you!).  Either way, you'll be absolutely beautiful and 100% a bride!

What about you readers out there?  Will you be sporting a veil?  Why or why not?  Comment below and help a fellow Burgh Bride out!

Planning a wedding and need some help?  You’ve come to the right place!  Submit your question and you could see it answered right here on the blog.

Some Recent Ask Burgh Brides Q&As!

Yellow & Lavender Wedding Inspiration

Soft and charming, a yellow and lavender wedding color palette is perfect for any spring or summer affair.  I love the feminine and youthful quality this combo has and it's easy to bring it alive for your big day.  To really make these shades work well together, keep the yellow pale and go for a unique mix of rustic, organic, and whimsical.  Opt for a barn or outdoor reception where the other colors of nature can act as built-in accents.  Wooden tables, cross-back chairs, bistro lights, and paper lanterns create a magical ambiance and light fabrics like linen, chiffon, and cotton keep things breezy.  Your floral selections are pretty much endless.  I like fresh or dried lavender obviously, but you also can't go wrong with daises, lisianthus, tulips, and even white peonies or garden roses for a bridal touch.  Don't forget the food and drink; a spiked lavender lemonade would make a delicious signature drink while lavender can be incorporated into a variety of sweet and savory dishes.  However you use it, this palette is amazing for a low-key, casual party that focuses on fun, family, and friends!

Yellow & Lavender Wedding Inspiration from Burgh Brides

Clockwise from top left: Invitations by Sarah McCay and Photo by Stephen Johnson via Martha Stewart Weddings; Dress from Morning Lavender; Care Studios via Every Last Detail; via Pinterest; Becky Young Photography via Ruffled; tPoz Photography via Style Me Pretty

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.  And then tell me what you think of yellow and lavender!  What do you like about these colors?  Are you using any of them in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Or revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

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Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot

The understated elegance of this styled shoot will leave you with plenty of ideas for your own romantic wedding.  Coordinated by Burgh Brides favorites Lauren Renee Designs and Soiree by Souleret, it brings together the European charm and secret garden feel of Mellon Park with vintage and organic details.  The color palette of light blues, greens, and grays mixed with muted metallics and ivory kept the look fresh and relevant.  A gorgeous wooden table was dressed with both an airy silk runner and lush greenery, while ornate chargers, botanical china, and brass candlesticks completed the tablescape.  Watercolor invitations and stationery added a pop of soft color and antique-inspired rings gave the bridal look a vintage nod.  Teaming up with other Burgh Brides vendors – The Blue Daisy Floral Designs, All Occasions Party Rental, and Vintage Alley Rentals – Lauren and Shayne curated a styled shoot that is refined and demure while still inspirational to today's modern bride.  I'm going to bet your head will be chock full of ideas by the time you reach the end of this post!

Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides Understated & Romantic Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot from Lauren Renee Designs & Soiree by Souleret featured on Burgh Brides

Don't miss the behind the scenes footage from ShoFilms of this amazing shoot coming to life!

From the photographer…

Having not yet had the chance to collaborate on a wedding, Shayne of Soiree by Souleret and I worked together to curate a styled shoot full of romance and European charm right in our hometown.  While there have been many engagements, bridal portraits and ceremonies held at the Walled Garden at Mellon Park, it has not yet been a location for a wedding reception.  We thought, “Why not?”.  Its beautiful wrought iron gates, carved stone fountain, and plentiful gardens provide the perfect backdrop for an intimate yet refined, romantic yet understated dinner party.  The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy completed a historic restoration of the Walled Garden in 2009, adding the ultimate romantic feature: an art installation that features a full constellation of lights hidden in the grass that twinkle to life as dusk approaches, mirroring the stars above.

We carefully selected details for the shoot to pair with the refinement and softness of the garden – brass candlesticks, lush greens, botanical china, watercolored stationery, a delicate silk gown by Leanne Marshall, and a cake by Bella Christies that resembled the designs from the main garden gate.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Leanne Marshall | Bride's Rings: Trumpet and Horn | Bride's Shoes: Vince Camuto | Bridesmaid's Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Bella Christie | Calligraphy: Judith Browne Calligraphy | Film Scans: The Find Lab | Flowers: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs | Hair: Beauty Justified | Linens: Lendable Linens | Linens & Ribbons: Silk and Willow | Makeup: Beauty Justified | Menswear: Banana Republic | Photographer: Lauren Renee Designs | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Venue: Walled Garden at Mellon Park | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Stationery: Blush Paper Co. | Videography: ShoFilms | Vintage Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals | Wedding Planner & Design: Soiree by Souleret

Vendor-Credit-Shout-OutFlowers: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs | Photographer: Lauren Renee Designs | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental | Stationery: Blush Paper Co. | Vintage Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals | Wedding Planner & Design: Soiree by Souleret

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Wedding Day Emergency Kit: What to Include in Yours

News Flash: Something WILL go wrong on your wedding day!  I'll pause for a minute so that can sink into your head.

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Ok, now that you've been warned and have accepted that Murphy's Law will always win, there is some good news.  You CAN be prepared so that snafus stay minor.  Arm yourself with an emergency kit that will equip you to fend off any wedding day challenge with ease.  Pack a duffle bag, go pro with an organized tackle box of sorts, or opt for a throwback with your Caboodle from eighth grade…it doesn't matter what you put these items in.  Just make sure you have them handy on the big day!  Here are my must have items for your wedding day emergency kit!

What to Include in Your Wedding Day Emergency Kit from Burgh Brides

  • Hairspray (duh)
  • Lotion
  • Q-tips (solver of a variety of problems)
  • Oil blotting sheets (because a pile of makeup on your face is no good)
  • Hair ties
  • Bobby pins
  • Nail file
  • Clear nail polish
  • A hand-held mirror
  • Pain reliever of choice (Advil, Tylenol, etc.)
  • Eye drops
  • Floss
  • Tooth brush and tooth paste
  • Tums or Pepto
  • Hand sanitizer (gross surfaces are everywhere)
  • Band-Aids (I guarantee one of your ladies will get a blister on their feet)
  • Deodorant
  • Razor
  • Kleenex (for your happy tears)
  • Scissors (you'll be shocked at how often you'll reach for these)
  • Tape (regular, double sided, and fabric/hem)
  • Gum, mouth wash, and/or mints
  • Tampons
  • Baby powder (it helps to keep you cool in the summer!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lint roller
  • Downy Wrinkle Releaser
  • Bottled water
  • Soda or Gatorade (in case of low blood sugar)
  • Drinking straws (don't want to ruin that pretty lipstick)
  • Granola bars/snacks (no one likes a hangry bride)
  • Safety pins
  • Floral pins (for the boutonniere that goes askew)
  • Static Guard
  • Shout Wipes or Tide to Go Pen
  • Sewing kit (because those tuxedo buttons weren't meant to stay on forever)
  • Super glue (life's universal problem solver)

You don't need to spend a lot of money to build this kit!  Raid your own bathroom and linen closet and then hit up the travel section at Target, where you can find most of these goodies for around a buck a piece.

Note that this kit is different than the basket of toiletries you usually see in the restroom.  The above list is for you and your bridal party to have with you while getting ready and when out and about taking pictures.  Ask your maid of honor to be in charge of keeping it safe and close by. You'll be able to handle any wedding day emergency like a ninja!

BONUS! – If you've hired a wedding coordinator, she'll likely have all of these items on hand and at your disposal.

Any other ideas or items that might be useful?  Former Burgh Brides, what item did you wish you had with you on your wedding day?  Comment below!

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Mr. & Mrs. Forks That Will Make Your Wedding Cake Even Sweeter

Did you love the Mr. & Mrs. forks featured in Pazia and Tony's garden chic wedding published earlier this week?  Me too.  I mean look how adorably celebratory these things are.  Wedding cake tastes 10x sweeter when eaten off of one of these beauties.  I'm sure of it.

I've gotten so many questions about where to find those four-pronged beauties that I put together a round up of some of my favorites!  Celebrate your wedding day with every tasty bite!

These bespoke sweethearts forks from BHLDN add a touch of vintage fun and look to be dead ringers for Pazia and Tony's above!

These bride and groom forks offer a bit more personalization with your wedding date stamped on the handle.

These Forever & A Day forks will let your guests know just how long you plan on loving each other.

Celebrate those vows with these “I Do”/”Me Too” forks that would look great on any cake table.

Going for the gold?  These hand-stamped gold Mr. & Mrs. forks are giving me all the antique-loving feels!

The tiny heart on these Mr. and Mrs. forks adds the perfect amount of whimsy to your special occasion.

If Mr. and Mrs. really isn't your thing, BHLDN also offers these Evermore forks that whisper forever and always.

Which ones are your favorite?  Comment below!

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Rose Gold Wedding Inspiration You’re Bound to LOVE

You can never, ever, ever go wrong with a rose gold wedding.  I repeat: NEVER.  That's why I just know you're going to LOVE this month's wedding color palette idea.  Imagine if blush pink and metallic gold had a love child and that love child is rose gold and it's GORGEOUS.  Feminine, flirty, romantic, chic…I could go on and on.  But the bottom line is this: rose gold is where it's at, people.  If you're going with this color, don't be shy.  I say go high glam!  Think lots of sparkle, sequins, and glitz!  Statement jewelry, mercury glass, metal finishes, shiny linens, and loads of candlelight.  Dress your ladies in all over rose gold sequins or even choose a blush pink wedding dress yourself.  White and blush florals go gorgeously with either of those looks, but keep the guys classy in black and white tuxedos.  Rose gold also looks delicious with other neutrals accent colors – ivory, taupe, or gray.  It doesn't really matter how you play it, you're bound to play it well.  Rose gold, I think I love you.

Rose Gold Wedding Inspiration from Burgh Brides

Clockwise from top left: Etsy; via Home at Six; Tracey Brown Photography via Muna Luchi Bride; Melani Lust Photography via Junebug Weddings; via Pinterest

Check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas in this pretty palette.  And then tell me what you think of rose gold!  What do you like about this color?  Are you using it at all in your wedding day?  How so?  Comment below!

Or revisit some of my other favorite color schemes!

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Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless)

Wedding family portraits…ugh.  I bet you're dreading them already, aren't you?  Not because you don't love your crazy (in a good way) family, but because this part of a wedding day can be STRESSFUL!  Trying to corral a dozen or so people and snap a million photos in 15 minutes flat when everyone is hugging you and your nephew is stepping on your train and your niece is screaming her head off and all you want to do is kiss your new spouse and celebrate with a glass of champagne…whew, even the calmest of brides is bound to start sweating a little bit.  But with a little planning before the wedding, the family portrait session doesn't have to be painful.  In fact, it can be totally amazing!  My friend (and one of my favorite wedding photographers) Christina Montemurro is sharing her five ways to do just that!

1.) Prior to the wedding, create a list of the group shots you want.
Those few moments right after your ceremony are so euphoric and joyful.  You don’t want to spend them deciding whether want your sister’s kind-of serious boyfriend in your family photo.  Should you do a photo with your grandparents and parents together, or separately?  These decisions should be made ahead of time.

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

2.) Don't forget to tell everyone on the list that they’re on the list!
Otherwise, they are likely to leave.  Even if your ceremony and reception are in the same place, guests start to wander off toward food and drink.

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

3.) Smaller groups > larger groups.
Larger groups take longer to organize.  It can be a little bit of a game of Tetris to make sure we can see everyone’s faces in a large group.  Four groups of 12 will likely take longer to arrange than 12 groups of four.

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

4.) More people = smaller faces
The more people you squeeze into a photo, the smaller their faces are. It can be fun to have a “big family photo,” but keep in mind as you add people, their faces will take up less and less of the frame.  Unless you’re planning on an enlarged print, consider breaking those big family photos into smaller groups (also, see above!).

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

5.) Know how much time you're working with.
Some churches, especially the busy churches in Oakland like St. Paul’s Cathedral and Heinz Memorial Chapel, have very tight time limitations.  Even without a time limit, think about how you want to spend the time on your wedding day.  If you also have a large bridal party, or if you really want to go to more than one destination for photos, try to limit the number of family groupings.

Wedding Family Portraits: 5 Ways to Make Them Amazing (And Painless) from Christina Montemurro Photography and Burgh Brides

BB here…

Your photographer can help with all of this!  He or she can look at your list and let you know if you have enough time for all that you have planned.  Plus, they'll help herd everyone into the shot, letting you just stand up straight and smile.  So fear family portrait time no longer, Burgh Brides!  While you won't often see this type of photo on a wedding blog, it's actually the very type that you're bound to cherish for years and even generations to come.  Some of my favorite images from our wedding are those that include my grandfather who is no longer with us.

Thanks so much for all of the great advice, Christina!  Be sure to check out more of her work in the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide!

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