Today we welcome the first day of Autumn to New England. I suppose most people connect Autumn in New England with vibrant red and golden leaves illuminated from the rays of sun. On most days you'll be correct, though not today. Instead of hazy golden rays gleaming off the trees, it's dull, gloomy, and apparently storming outside.
The last couple of days, New England has been hit with the remainder of Hurricane Jose, now considered a tropical storm. With the weather, oh so not delightful, I figured that a blog to celebrate the coming foliage wouldn't be a terrible idea. So here, I present to you a Photographer's Guide to Fall Weddings in New England.
Let's break down the basics into 5 basic components when planning your wedding for great photography:
Your attitude directly impacts your wedding, whether it be from pre-wedding planning or to the very last song of the reception on your wedding day. Although wedding planning is not only strenuous, confusing, and at most times stressful, your positive attitude and outlook will pave the way for positive interactions with others such as your wedding planner, photographer, and videographer. Your wedding is your special day, and justly so, it should be. Some brides may feel that it is essential that they need to take control of absolutely everything relating to the wedding, but remember you will have family, friends, and most of all, your bridal party.
Utilize your bridal party. They are not just there to look pretty. When beginning planning, select not only your best friends, but also your most trusted and dependable friends to be your bridal party. They will be there from beginning to end. Once you've selected your bridal party, begin assigning tasks to each person (it would help to have a bridal party and sit down over drinks and talk about what part of the wedding is each person interested in.)
You'll soon be thankful that you have so many people there to help you put the pieces together, rather than doing it on your own. Realize that not everything will fall into place, but maintain composure and positivity. What really matters is not all of the glamor, decorations, or even the timeline. It's when you're at the end of the aisle holding your Lover's hands, listening to their vow, and finally understanding what true happiness is.
With true happiness and positivity, you'll get the best results in not only cinematography, photography, but also interactions with the guests. We love photographing positive brides, as they yield the most natural and beautiful images, none of that "Say cheeseeeee!" nonsense.
Location is KEY for an Autumn wedding. Regardless of when it is, there will always be some kind of foliage. Depending where you are, the altitude determines the rate of changing leaves. If that is important to you, plan to visit venues at least a year prior and check out how they look during your dates of interest. It wouldn't hurt to bring your photographers and cinematographers along so they can scout the location and pre-plan. Whether you plan to have your wedding at a resort overlooking the White Mountains, or at the Ritz in Boston, make sure you love it and commit.
Along with location, the date of your Autumn wedding is also very important. You could technically get married at anytime and anywhere but is it realistic? Figure out what is important to you. Do you want to have the wedding in the mountains, seacoast, a valley, the city? If you have your wedding in the city, you're almost guaranteed a safe wedding. Regardless of how late it is in the year, you'll most likely have the wedding inside a church then a reception venue. Anything else mentioned will require careful planning and scouting. For example, foliage begins late September and fades by mid to late October depending on the weather. If there are storms, the foliage often disappears weeks sooner than normal.
4. Attire (and fending off the cold)
Depending on the date of the wedding and how late in the season your wedding is, keep not only yourself, but also your guests warm. I find that some brides don't necessarily account for the weather for their Fall wedding and their guests are distracted by the chill when sitting through the 20-30 minutes ceremony outside (we'll get back to this in the next part). You want your wedding day to be amazing. No bride (or her bridal party for that matter) can really stay happy by standing in the cold for the entire ceremony and then for the shoot with the photographers/cinematographers. For that, I have some recommendations as follows:
-As a gift to your bridal party, give them additional matching fleece blankets to throw on after the ceremony meanwhile they wait for the formals shoot.
-Either the groomsmen or bridesmaids can even be given a flask. If your bridal party is young and love to party, some Southern Comfort can really help keep them warm.
-Ask the wedding coordinator to have caterers bring around hot chocolate or even just have a station for guests to grab a cup (makes for great photo ops too!)
-Most importantly, have your Maid-of-Honor help you with a blanket in between your formal and individual shoots. If blankets aren't your thing, try fur wraps/stoles. They are extremely classy and can be used late in the season to winter weddings.
Decor really pulls your wedding together. Themed weddings actually do not get as much praise as they should. So often, people do not understand color scheme and how certain ones flow more than others. Especially in Autumn. Turquoise does not match well with burgundy, so try not to pick your favorite color and force it with a Fall color. After you've decided on what your themed colors will be, focus on making your decor flow with them. One important decor that becomes essential in a Fall wedding and a guest's favorite is simply a blanket. They are often pretty cheap and you can get bulk blankets to match. I remember one wedding I took last Autumn had a rustic crate with blankets and a cute sign welcoming their guests to their ceremony.
As vague and opinionated as this quick guide is, I hope that it helps you on your trek to planning your perfect wedding day in the Fall. Take these quick notes and expand on them and make something beautiful out of them. Happy planning!