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        First Look

        If you are a slightly nervous about your wedding day (which is totally normal) we recommend seeing your partner before the ceremony. You are about to marry the person you love and that feeling is something to soak in and enjoy. We use long lenses and stand back so you can truly experience a moment together. Having a first look will also give us more time to take photos before your ceremony. We can do the family formals, entire wedding party and couple photos before the ceremony which saves an hour after the ceremony.

        Ignore the Camera

        When we’re not taking formal photos we want you to pretend we’re not there. We just capturing moments as they unfold. So truly soak in everything around you. We don’t want to be a distraction, we just want to photograph authentic feelings and moments.

        Detail Photos

        Have your details ready to be photographed when we arrive. First we’ll photograph your jewelry, watches, rings, ties, florals, invitations, shoes & dresses. We will take them for around fifteen minutes and come back and begin photographing you.


        Don’t be afraid to hold hands during the ceremony and get close, everyone is there celebrating your love! Once the first kiss happens and you are walking down the aisle, pause at the end and give each other another kiss! This is so we can photograph a happy moment between you, your new partner and your guests! This is a nice way to end your photo album if you don’t do a formal send off. If you aren’t doing a send off at the end of the night you can consider bubbles or ribbon wands for your guests to use as you’re exiting the ceremony.

        Have an Unplugged Wedding

        We can’t emphasize this more. The best way for your friends and family to soak in your ceremony is to be unplugged from all distractions. You can make a sign and ask your officiant at the beginning of the processional for your guests to put their phones away.

        Creating A Timeline

        We ask for 30 minutes for both wedding parties and for the first look. We can do the first look and couple photos at the same time, then take a few sunset photos during the reception to finish up your couple photos. Please allocate 30 minutes for family formals after the ceremony. Choosing a ceremony time can be tricky based on what time of year you’re getting married but just make sure that there is an hour of light left in the day at the ceremony time. If you need a sample timeline shoot us an email and we will send it over!


        We want to encourage you to let loose and have a wonderful time. This is one giant party with those you absolutely love! We will go with the flow at this time and photograph hugs between family members, tears during the toasts and guests getting wild. Eat, drink, and be merry and we’ll capture it all.


        Natural light is the best light. But don’t stress about this too much because it’s our job to find the beautiful light. For the reception talk with your dj or band about keeping colorful uplighting to a minimum. When choosing somewhere to get dressed and ready make sure there is lots of natural light to use. We generally turn out the lights in the room and use the window as the main source of light. At the reception use plenty of candles for that soft glow.

        In Case of Rain

        First off don’t panic, it’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day. We’ve shot so many beautiful weddings in the pouring rain and they have turned out wonderfully! Just pick up a few clear plastic umbrellas.

        Family Formals

        Try to keep the family photos to an 8 group maximum. Ask your officiant to announce that your family stays at the ceremony site so we are able to do an assembly line of photos. It also helps when a designated family member helps point out and finds family members that may have strayed away. When you are making your family formal list you can add the older folks and children first so we can dismiss them to the reception first.

        Wrapping it all up be Yourself

        Remember this is your wedding. You have the freedom to let it reflect who you all are as a couple! This is your wedding so fashion it however you’d like!We are overjoyed to be spending the day documenting the moments and having a wonderful time alongside you two. Relax and know we will take care of you and take the best photos of you on your wedding day.

        Coral Dove Photography is a gritty, ethereal, documentary, wedding photography team serving Frederick, Maryland and beyond.

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