What to Expect Part 5: The Wedding Day // Virginia Beach Wedding Photographer

So, I mentioned on Sunday that I had started a What to Expect series and never finished it! November was probably the busiest month of the year, followed closely by December...and we all know how the holidays are! In between shooting weddings, family portraits, engagements, and more, I put this final post on hold so I could devote a good bit of attention to it.

The wedding day. It will be, or was, one of the biggest days of your life. Yet, it's just the beginning of something much, much bigger than a day or a person - it's the beginning of a new life together with new decisions, new journeys, and new dreams. That's why I make it a priority to capture the moment without interrupting it on your big day. 

I arrive fairly early on the day of the wedding, even earlier than you'd probably expect, to scout out portrait locations for your family, a first look, the bride & groom shots, and anything else we might need. It's important to have great lighting close to the ceremony or reception so you're spending as little time away from your guests as possible. Then comes getting ready pictures!

These are absolutely some of my favorites. I love watching the bridal party surround the bride, and the groomsmen attempt to play soccer in a 9 foot square room, with the anticipation building. I make sure to spend enough time with each party that I capture the emotions of the day, more than just pretty pictures of what each person is doing. I'll be back and forth a lot to make sure I don't miss the moment!

What to Expect During Your Wedding Day

Some couples opt to do a first look, which I love. It gives you a special moment where it's JUST the two of you - which you honestly won't get the rest of the day. This moment is so crucial, not for me as a photographer but for you during this new adventure. My plan is always to take some stunning pictures as quickly as I can, and then step back and let you enjoy the moment you have with each other, alone, ready to begin your lives.

What to Expect During Your Wedding Day

Next up is generally the ceremony! My goal is to be in place during the biggest moments - when your dad gives you away. You first kiss as a married couple. The happy tears that your parents cry. I make sure to walk around as quickly and quietly as possible. I promise to NEVER stand in front of your guests. If I have to crawl, so be it! I want to make sure that YOU are remembered, and not your photographer.

What to Expect During Your Wedding Day

After the ceremony we have to HUSTLE to get some family portraits done! This is when you'll see the take-charge nature in me come out. I'll make sure we get every photo on your list as quickly as possible, because who wants to wait an hour to eat dinner? Right after family portraits are some BIG moments - bridal party shots and bride & groom portraits (especially if there wasn't a first look). Again, working quickly without missing a beat is the key. I'll get both the formal pictures and the candid ones with the whole party, and I'll shoot a lot to make sure I get the mood of your wedding in each picture!

And then my favorite part, just the bride and groom. You're MARRIED and so in love and so happy, and I love love love capturing this part of the day. I'll slow it down a little bit during this part - I never want you to feel rushed, and I know these pictures will hang on your wall for years to come. That, ultimately, is my goal - to take pictures that you will be proud to share not on Facebook or Instagram only, but in your home for 20 or 50 years. Pictures that your children will look at fondly, Pictures that will allow you to remember how you felt in those first few moments as husband and wife.

What to Expect During Your Wedding Day

Then comes the fun part - the reception! This is always a whirlwind of cake cutting, dancing, speeches, and hopefully a lot of eating! I promise not to miss a moment - but I can't promise that I won't join in the fun for a little bit :) After that, we send the bride and groom off with the last few pictures of the day. You can leave for your honeymoon knowing that I'm hard at work editing your session so I can post a sneak peek for you within days, and a blog post within a few weeks.

And, once I deliver the images, I promise you'll look at them again and again. I promise they will be one of the most precious things you own for years to come. And I promise they will always make you remember the love you shared that day, and the story that began in that moment you said, "I do."

What to Expect During Your Wedding Day

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.