5 ways a bride can dress her best on her big day

Written by: Rabbi Melinda Bracha Bernstein

www.melindabernstein.com

Every so often my mother and I go through her memory albums and books. Whenever I take out her wedding album, she gets very upset.  My parents were happily married for 64 ½ years until my father passed in 2015. According to her, the wedding album didn’t capture their first moments as husband and wife very well and she adamantly refuses to allow me to share her wedding album.  She does like one photo and allowed me to share it with you. It’s sad for me because when I look at her wedding album, I see her beauty.  Of course she’s my mother and I am immediately biased, however I truly honor her emotions and disappointment.

South Florida Wedding Officiant



I don’t want this to happen to you and that is why I am writing to share a few things that will help you be sure you won’t. First of all, it’s important to share a bit of my childhood experiences so you can appreciate these tips.  When I was growing up the place my mom took me to the most was the 163rdstreet mall in North Miami Beach.  Not only were there several big stores for her to fill her desire to shop, there was an outdoor playground with a train ride for her to take my brothers and I on before the travel home.  All of my life my mother has taught me the art of thrift and the value of coordination so I guess I have her to thank for this advice.  Thanks Mom!

Before I give you the 5 tips, what does dress big mean to you?  For myself, dressing big is an art form that reveals a natural essence and intrinsic beauty of the bride.  With the wedding “paparazzi” ready to snap away and share their excitement, dressing big will enable even the amateur to capture and accentuate the you inside your dress and under your makeup and hairdo.  Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out there, here are the 5 ways a bride can dress her best on her big day!

  1. Choose colors that will aesthetically enhance your wedding theme. If you are going for a seasonal theme, then make sure those colors blend with you and your beloveds skin tones. If you don’t know your skin tones, google has lots of charts to help you.

  2. Make sure your venue has color or existing décor that compliments your ideal colors. If you’re already in contract with a venue and didn’t consider the colors, you may have to modify your vision and use their colors to determine your wedding theme. There are plenty of ways to not let this be an obstacle though.

  3. Beauty is not just skin deep, it is soul deep and you deserve to indulge your soul at every turn before your wedding. Plan early so your wedding flows with greater ease. Even if you love to organize and/or have budget constraints, find a friend who is knowledgeable about wedding planning and has the time to help out. Or better yet, HIRE a wedding planner. (more blogging on this later)

  4. Make sure your wedding officiant is able to follow your vision or share with you their talents and skills so your ceremony is well remembered with exuberance and joy. This stands true for all your other vendors too. I suggest you make a list of your desires and if you’re unclear, ask each vendor what makes them stand out and choose according to what your heart feels.

  5. Speaking of standing out and what your heart feels, get your wedding officiant and guests to dress in a complimentary style as you. Think about your future pictures and what you want to see. When I work with couples I always give them a questionnaire to fill out so that our consultations are efficient. I’m looking to see your colors, your theme and your level of religiosity (if any). Most of the time people don’t even think about coordinating with their officiant, but I can assure you, I do. Thanks mom!

 

Whether I am flown out of the South Florida area for a wedding or stand with a couple in the areas of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Palm Beach, South Florida, for a wedding; I want to help my brides dress their best!



South Florida Wedding Photographer

An artisan bride and all around colorful couple, Brandon & Lindsay. Their wedding was outdoors at Benvenuto Restaurant.  Lindsay and Brandon have a special flair and it stood out the moment we met in person.  When I arrived at the wedding, I noticed the creativity of their colors on many of their guests.  I chose to wear my handmade Tibetan prayer shawl over a sleek and unique white dress.  This shawl has been with me since my days in California but never had I worn it for a wedding.  I had also never seen so many guests with hair dyed in lilac to match the wedding colors either.

Top 4 engagement session locations

Engagement session are truly amazing and one of my favorite kinds of sessions to photograph. Take a break from your average selfie and let a professional do the work. This is a time where you get to let your hair down, get dressed up, and have fun with your best friend. No need to worry about what to wear or how to pose, we’ll help with that along the way.

These sessions are the best way for you to get comfortable in front of the camera and have fun while doing so. You’ll laugh, dance, twirl, and get some amazing photographs of you and your soon to be husband/wife.

Leu Gardens - This location is one of the places in the world where I don’t mind getting lost. This venue is filled with the most beautiful flowers and greenery you can enjoy in Central Florida. From events, to weddings, to engagement sessions, I always love photographing here!

Leu Gardens Engagement Photo

Leu Gardens Engagement Photo

Downtown Orlando - How cool do they look!? There are so many ways you can light your subjects in the downtown area. So many different varying mini locations in this one large location! I love it! I was stoked when this couple opted for a downtown location because the the options for creativity are endless. For this image, I wanted to use a garage to have a dark background and be able to light my couple well. I told him to put on the glasses and she looked at him in the most amazing way.

Downtown Orlando Engagement Photo

Downtown Orlando Engagement Photo

Kraft Azalea Park - This venue is one of the most unique in Central Florida. A magnificent place for a proposal as you can see. The doric pillars give the image an epic kind of feel to it and I think they’re more Roman than Greek, but who am I to know that. I love how the soft light hits our couple here and plays with the motion of the trees in the background. It all comes together to make a beautiful image.

Kraft Azalea Proposal

Kraft Azalea Proposal

Dickson Azalea / Langford Park - One reason I really love this location is because I can walk to it from my house :P Aside from that, the park always has great lighting so whether you’re having an engagement session or a family session, the photos will be beautiful! In Langford, there is a really cool boardwalk area that is the perfect spot for portraits!

Dixon Azalea Family Session

Dixon Azalea Family Session

Frequently Asked Questions...

What is your preferred style?

  • Bold. Fun. Classic

How many weddings have you photographed in your career?

  • I love weddings so I try to photograph as many as possible. I would say around 100 and always looking forward to photographing the next one. Know anyone that’s engaged? ;)

How many weddings will you photograph on my wedding day?

  • Each wedding will have its own primary lead photographer. That way they will be able to focus on your big day!

Have you ever shot at my venue?

  • If I have not photographed a wedding at your venue, I will meet with the staff and do a walk through beforehand.

Do you bring your own lighting?

  • Absolutely! We work with natural light for most of the day because it’s beautiful but when the time calls for it, or we’re getting creative, we use a variety of different lighting setups depending on what or who is being photographed.

Do you work from a shot list?

  • At the beginning of my career I used a printed out shot list but we know the layout of the wedding day and what needs to be photographed.

Can I request certain images are taken at my wedding?

  • Absolutely, I know Pinterest has some intriguing photos on it. If you do see something you like, let us know. I do like to say that the more epic images take time to create so keep that in mind when working on your timeline.

How many hours are included in my collection?

  • We offer 3 collections. 10 hours, 8 hours, and 6 hours. If you’re having a smaller or larger gathering, give us a call and we can create a custom quote for you.

How much does an additional hour of coverage cost?

  • Each additional hour is $299 for main photographer. For the second shooter, it’s $149.

Do you bring a second shooter?

  • The top 2 collections come with a second shooter. I always recommend having a second shooter because you get different angles, another creative thinking process, and a lot more images.

How many images can I expect to see from my wedding?

  • Each wedding is unique and different in its own way. We can’t tell you exactly how many images you’ll receive day of. Some of the variables include how many hours you book us for, if you get a second shooter, etc.

Do you have a limit to the number of images you edit?

  • Nope, We just delivered a gallery to an awesome couple with 900 images from a 6 hour wedding!

How long does it take to see proofs from my wedding?

  • We ask for 6 weeks to go through and edit your images to perfection.

Do I receive a disc of images, or do I order the prints through you?

  • You will receive a link from us that will allow you to download the images from your gallery.

How much are the prints?

  • Pricing for prints vary, especially with what we can print on nowadays. You do receive a print credit towards an album or wall art and we would be happy to help you find something special for your wall!

Is an album included?

  • Albums are not included but you do receive a specified print credit amount that goes towards the purchase of an album or wall art!

Will you use my images in advertising?

  • We do reserve the right to use the wedding day images in our advertising but if you don’t feel comfortable with that, please let us know!

Will you request the photography guidelines from the ceremony and reception locations?

  • Most venues are good with us having a certain amount of freedom to photograph what we need but we do talk with the coordinators to see if there are any restrictions. We know that churches and more religious venues don’t like us using flash so we absolutely respect that.

What will you and your second shooter wear?

  • Depending on the weather and venue, normally a button down and nice slacks in all black.

What is your plan if you are ill or there is an emergency and you can't photograph my wedding?

  • We will appoint another professional photographer whom of which we have full trust in, to take over the Lead photographic role at your wedding.

How much is the retainer?

  • There is a $500 retainer due at the contract signing. We accept Cash, Online payments, and Checks.

When is the balance due?

  • A second payment is due 90 (Ninety) days prior to the date of the wedding date. The final payment is due 30 (Thirty) days prior to the date of the wedding date. The Photographer, or their associates, are not officially booked as your wedding photographer until the retainer is paid, and this contract is signed. 

What is your cancellation policy?

  • If the Client cancels the Wedding or Photographer’s services 6 months, or more, prior to the wedding date, then any amounts paid by Client will be refunded, withholding the retainer, which is non-refundable. If the Client cancels the wedding or Photographer’s services 6 months or less prior to the date of the wedding, the amount paid is non-refundable, as the Photographer has forgone other means of employment or services to other potential clients. If the Client has rescheduled their wedding date and the Photographer is not available, and the Client has chosen to not proceed with a Sonacity Associate Photographer, any amounts paid by Client will be refunded, withholding the retainer, which is non-refundable.