One of the big things I help my Phoenix wedding clients are timelines- how to maximize their time during the day for both portraits & being able to enjoy their day and be with their guests. While I can’t reccomently highly enough hiring a wedding coordinator or planner, I’m happy to do this for my clients who might not have one, within my ability. I am NOT a wedding planner or coordinator! But I do have a lot of experience creating a basic timeline based around my experience as a wedding photographer in Arizona. One of the biggest things I see cut from coverage if things aren’t quite fitting into the package hours is getting ready photos. While I completely understand why you might want to cut that, here are a few reasons you might want to reconsider that! It’s not all about getting some photos of you getting ready and the details- in fact, I tend to not start shooting the bride(s) until she has most of her make up on. Of course, once you are ready and perfect, it’s a great time to get those bridal beauty shots like these, which are especially meaningful when you are getting ready in your childhood home.

bridal portraits in Mesa AZ home

But for me, it’s all about documenting those emotions & moments that are so good. I love those fun moments of your friends surrounding you, the guys maybe goofing off a little bit, unexpected moments with your flower girl, those tears when your mom sees you in your dress for the first time, a first look with your dad, exchanging any cards or gifts with your soon to be spouse- all of those lovely, meaningful moments are so much more valuable than a few pretty photos of your dress hanging, or a photo of the perfume you wore or your shoes.

bride getting ready at home in Phoenix with flowers in hair moment documentary photographer

Phoenix documentary photographer moment driven photography

father seeing bride for first time Mesa wedding photographer

father daughter first look wedding Mesa Arizona wedding photography

bride reading card from groom at wedding Phoenix wedding photographer

father bride first look Arizona documentary wedding photos

Mesa wedding photography bride and flower girl twirling

Moments like these are what will be far more meaningful long term and are why I do wedding photography. I love documenting genuine, candid moments with natural, real & authentic emotion, or if it’s something I have to pose, getting that natural, real feeling and creating a moment. Whenever possible I recommend getting as much photography coverage as your budget allows because you never know when those moments will happen. If it’s a question of prioritizing some getting ready, or having more dancing photos, I recommend some getting ready. I typically only need to shoot a crazy dance floor 30-45 minutes before I get some great shots and as the night goes on and depending on how intoxicated people are, photos may become like blackmail 😉 I aim for a balance of both- enough getting ready coverage that I can document the great moments that happen leading up to your first look or ceremony without it being 2 hours of you getting your hair done, and enough crazy dancing that there are tons of fun photos that really convey the party atmosphere without it becoming potentially blackmail for anyone! Between the two- reception dancing & getting ready, I tend to see more meaningful moments during the getting ready because of the anticipation.

Also, something I would love to see more of at weddings if you’re a nontraditional couple- get ready with your partner! My hunch is that, depending on yours & your partner’s personalities, you might see more reaction when you two are getting ready together, especially if you’re more private, reserved people. You could still do a “first look” by slipping on your dress if it’s easy to get on, then surprising your partner by walking out.

Get in touch with me below if you’re looking for an Arizona based wedding photographer– my 2017 is starting to fill up & I am so excited for my upcoming weddings & what 2017 will bring!





Alyssa Campbell Arizona wedding photographer

Welcome! I’m an Arizona-based wedding & portrait photographer specializing in natural and documentary photos. My blog is where you can see my latest work as well as check out tips & the latest news. Following me on social media is another way to check out my recent work!