Timing Tips for Your Big Day

When you’re planning a wedding day timeline, the best advice is let your vendors help you build your timeline, and add an extra 10 minutes to every task.  Sometimes the simplest things can take an extra 10 minutes and then all of a sudden, the whole morning is thrown off.  I have seen “getting the bride in her dress” take almost 40 minutes because of a button malfunction.  It’s a smart idea to add in an extra ten minutes here and there so that you have some wiggle room to work with!  This way, if one part of the day gets thrown off by 20 minutes, I can help you compensate that time in other areas.  There are so many different things to think about when you’re planning a wedding day.

I help all of my brides by building a timeline for the day, but if you are doing it on your own I want to help you! I realize that every single wedding day is different and so not all of these tips will apply to every wedding day schedule.  Something else to consider is that not EVERYTHING will go as planned, and I promise you, that is completely normal!! 

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS!

If you want to remember all the small details you had the day of your wedding, make sure you provide them for me to shoot! I will typically ask for your flowers, shoes, jewelry, invitation suite, perfume, and BOTH rings. Yes, both rings I said! You will be wearing your rings for photos and I will need them for details so make sure you keep the groom’s ring the morning of, we will make sure we hand them over to the best man before the ceremony. If there is anything else you have that is special to you the day of, let me capture it! A grandmother’s ring, a piece of your mother’s wedding dress in yours, a pin with special meaning. All of these things make your wedding unique and I want to capture it all for you! Having the details at the ready will make these photos go much faster!

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BOUQUETS AND BOUTS

You will need your Bouquet & Bouts for your First Look! Have the flowers delivered to the room where the bride is getting ready, and if you want your groom to have is boutonniere for the first look, make sure you have someone who can bring it to him AND pin it on him before. If you don’t want the boutonniere for the First Look, have them delivered with the rest of your flowers and make sure there is someone assigned to pin them onto the groomsmen and groom before the rest of the photos!

**Don’t want bouts at all? You don’t have to! This is your wedding day and if you want big bouts, little bouts, no bouts that is all ok!

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HAIR & MAKE-UP

Make sure you communicate with your HMUA (Hair and Makeup Artist) about exactly how many people will be needing their hair and makeup done the morning of, and what time you need to be ready for photos. This will help them plan their morning to make sure everyone is ready and if they will need to bring in extra help or not. Your bridesmaids will have a bit of extra time after you to finish getting ready, so make your hair and makeup a priority! I also stress making sure you get a firm yes or no from bridesmaids and the moms about getting hair and makeup done, so that the HMUA doesn’t need to try to squeeze and extra person in.

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GROOMSMEN PREP

Make sure all the guys arrive on time to a specified location, and bring their suits and all the extras; socks, shoes, cufflinks, pocket squares and anything else they have been given to wear that day. Encourage them to try on their suits as soon as they get them, so that there is time to fix any issues that may arise with sizing or missing items. Myself or my second shooter will typically take detail photos of the groom’s items and then some mock photos of him putting on his tie, jacket, shoes and opening any letters or gifts he receives that morning. If there is time and the guys are feeling up to it, we may take some photos of them hanging out the morning of as well!

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GETTING IN THE DRESS

You get to decide who should be there when you put on your dress. When that time comes, I will ask you to get mostly into your dress (enough to be modest), and then I will place you in a well-lit area, typically by a window for you to get buttoned, zipped or corseted into your dress. You can have your maid of honor, personal attendant, parent or anyone you want help you with this. If you want to do a reveal with your bridesmaids after you’ve got the dress on, I can help create that moment too!

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TRAVEL TIME

Be sure to think about the travel time and TRAFFIC to and from your getting ready location and your venue! When I help you build a timeline, I account for travel time and will usually add that right into the schedule. Make sure you think about how you will travel around the day of, who will be driving or if you want to rent a bus to hop around with your whole wedding party!

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LUNCH

Make sure you schedule time between your getting ready breakfast and mimosas and your awesome reception dinner to eat something for lunch and drink water! I will typically wrap up photos an hour before the ceremony, giving you time to relax, touch of makeup and hair if needed and sit down, eat and drink some water! Most couples typically have a light lunch of sandwiches or salads, but you can make your lunch whatever you want. I’ve had couples order in pizza and pre-order meals from Applebee’s and have someone pick them up, just try to not get anything too messy! I do recommend trying to keep it light enough to fill you up, but heavy enough to help with any drinking you may be doing after the ceremony is over. Don’t worry, I won’t take photos of you eating unless you ask me to.

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RECEIVING LINE, USHER OUT OR NONE OF THE ABOVE?

After your ceremony you have the choice of doing a receiving line, in which you stand at the back of the ceremony location and greet each person as they leave. This will typically take about 30-40 minutes depending on your guest count and if they like Midwestern small talk ;). You may also choose to usher your guests out. With this option, you will walk out of the church at the end of the ceremony and then circle back to the front and greet each person as they leave their seat. This will typically take 20-30 minutes, again depending on your guest count. If neither of these sound appealing, or if you just don’t like small talk, you aren’t required to do either! It is your day, so you can do what you wish. If you choose to not do a receiving line or usher out at the end of the ceremony, try to plan some time to visit as many tables as possible at the reception. It will be hard to catch everyone, but this will still make your guests feel welcomed and give them a chance to congratulate you.

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ARRIVING TO YOUR RECEPTION

The ceremony is over; the party has already started! Now it’s time to get to your reception. Talk with your DJ about how you want to enter your reception and if you want to do anything fancy! Plan to have your party bus drop you off 20 minutes before you need to make you entrance. That will give you time to use the bathroom, get anything off the bus you need to and have your bridal party get lined up. This sounds easy enough, but when you’re hyped and ready to party it will take some time to get everything organized!

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DINNER, TOASTS AND DANCING

The time it will take to serve your meal will heavily depend on the amount of guests you have and if you are doing seated or buffet. Seated will almost always take longer than buffet, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately rule it out! Go with the option you feel will be better for you and the experience you want to create. Before the day, make sure you talk with your venue staff, coordinator, and/or DJ and decide who will be dismissing tables for buffet. This will cut down on confusion the day of. If you choose to have a host & hostess dismiss tables, make sure they are aware of that the day of, and have them talk to the venue staff for tips about how to best keep the line moving and getting people fed. Typically you should not need longer than an hour and a half for dinner, and remember you can start your speeches and toasts while people are still eating! You will be the first table served, so the first ones done. Use this time to socialize with guests, take in the moment and get those toasts done. The more time you leave for people to wait for the next event to begin, the more likely you are to have people start to leave early. Keep them on their toes and in the moment! Again, talk to your DJ about your reception timeline and what you are wanting for events and how quickly things should happen. The part of the night will need to be a little flexible based on what’s happening and what the mood of the room is.

TAKE A MOMENT

Try to stop yourself a few times during the day and take a moment to soak it in. You’ve heard it a thousand times already; the day goes by so fast. You’ll be getting into your dress one moment and cutting your cake the next. The day is about capturing moment, being with the people you love and celebrating, but it’s also about you and your soon-to-be spouse and uniting into marriage. Take a second, stand back and look around and breathe. It’s a glorious day, so enjoy it!

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It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Katie + Brett | Sioux Falls, SD Elopement

Katie and Brett wanted a simple ceremony, so they decided to get married with just the two of them, an officiant, Katie’s 2 children and 2 witnesses. I was honored to be present not only as their photographer, but as a witness!

It was a perfect October evening. We had crossed our fingers for good weather and no snow and lucked out with a beautiful mild day. Katie and Brett chose to have their vows at Good Earth State Park, which was a wonderful choice. Every where you looked you were surrounded with beautiful sites.

Enjoy a peek into their intimate elopement below!


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Caitlyn + Alec | Kate Spade Themed Wedding

From the second I met Caitlyn and Alec, I knew their wedding was going to be an amazing affair. First off, they are just great people, through and through. Second, Caitlyn had every second of the day perfectly planned out and thought of everything for details, even down to the reception bathrooms! Every time Caitlyn updated me with a new detail, I got more and more excited for the big day.

When the day rolled around, it was a spectacular fall day. Caitlyn had everything Kate Spade, glitter and glam from her personal details all the way through her amazing reception theme. Jane Rae Events did a beautiful job all day with every detail, and Energy Event Group kept the party going until late until the night. There was also a family tradition of a “boxer auction” in which the maid of honor auctions off the boxers that were worn by the groom the day of the wedding; such a unique and funny part of the reception!

You’ve got to see all the amazing details and how we ended it with some sparks!
I couldn’t have captured so many beautiful photos without my awesome 2nd shooter, Kylee!

Photography: Bethany Melvin Photography | Wedding Decor & Coordination: Jane Rae Events | Videographer: Energy Event Group | Bridal Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: Brides N’ Belles | Tuxes: Tip Top Tux | Rings: Helzberg Diamonds | Florist: Aberdeen Floral by Cindy Carlson | Cake: Kristi’s Cakes | Hair: Fringe Salon | Invitation Suite: Confetti Creative Co. | DJ: Energy Event Group | Second Shooter: Kylee Reed


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com


Kaitlyn + Brett | The Cottage Farmhouse Wedding

As soon as I arrived at The Cottage Farmhouse I was in awe of how beautiful this venue is. Every corner of the renovated farmhouse is perfect for photos, and don’t even get me started on the swing that hangs in the front yard from a beautiful old tree. Brett handmade the ring box for the wedding day, Kaitlyn wrote letters to each person in her bridal party, Brett got to play catch with his dad and brothers, and meaningful little moments sprinkled throughout the day. Check it out below!

Photography: Bethany Melvin Photography // Bride’s Dress: Celebrations Bridal & Formal Wear  // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Azazie // Rings: Greenberg’s Jewelers // Ceremony & Reception: The Cottage Farmhouse Glencoe, MN // Second Shooter: Madelin Zaycheck


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com


Rainy Wedding = Ruined Wedding? Not So Fast!

 One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive during wedding season is “Soooo, what do you do if it RAINS?!”.  I want to reassure you that even if it rains, you will still have beautiful portraits and BRIGHT colors in your images! Overcast skies mean vibrant colors!  I know that rain isn’t ideal, and no bride would wish for rain on their big day, but if it happens, it happens..... and it’s going to be JUST fine!!  Some of our best weddings have been on rainy wedding days! I have literally been stuck in the rain, under a tree, with an entire bridal party.

Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

See the image above! We all had a good laugh about it and carried on with the party. Here are a few things to remember

1. 10 minutes or a porch! All I need to create natural light portraits on a rainy wedding day is a covered area, which we can find in nearly any town or area. I also only need 10 minutes of no rain to knock out some great photos for you. The photos below were taken on a very rainy day, but there was a break in the clouds so we took advantage of it!

Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

2. Let me worry about the pictures. You have enough to think about. If there is a chance of rain, I’ll be sure to do some extra scouting to find a covered location or two, for us to use for you first look, romantic portraits and bridal party portraits. I found this great greenhouse at a rainy wedding, and the owners were amazing and let us take cover there for some photos!

Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

3.  Take it one step at a time.  Don’t think about your entire day and what will happen if it rains. That will only overwhelm you! Definitely have a rain plan for your venue, but then let your vendors do the work of handling the rest of the day if rain is in the forecast. I will stand out in the rain while you are protected to get the shot if I have to, and I have!

Sioux Falls Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
Sioux Falls Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
Sioux Falls Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
Sioux Falls Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Nick & Allie | Country Club of Sioux Falls Wedding

Nick and Allie had the most beautiful summer day for their wedding. It was hot, but oh so wonderful. From the champagne pop to start the morning all the way to a crazy awesome sunset I don't think I stopped smiling once. Allie and Nick surround themselves with amazing people, and are truly so in love that the happiness is infectious! I do have to say that Nick's brother also delivered one of my all-time favorite speeches -- he had all of us belly laughing the entire time. Check out a glimpse of this gorgeous wedding in Sioux Falls below!

Photography: Bethany Melvin Photography // Videographer: Wholly Cowen // Wedding Coordinator/Decor: Envision Events - Leah Moller // Bride’s Dress: The French Door // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bridal Gallery  // Tuxes: Tip Top Tux  // DJ: Pinnacle Productions  // Her Ring: The Diamond Room // His Ring: Gunderson's  // Florist: Brickhouse Flowers // Ceremony: St. Michael's Catholic Church // Reception: The Country Club of Sioux Falls  // Hair: Kara Pederson // Makeup: Jazmine Diehl

As always, I owe so much thanks to my 2nd shooter Kylee for working with me!


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

An American Gothic Wedding | Styled Shoot | Sioux Falls, SD

All this heat has me thinking about how nice and cold it was just a short time ago. WAIT! Before you start throwing tomatoes at me for talking about the "W" word, just hear me out. It made me look back through some of my images from last winter and I just had to share a few! Back in February, I got the awesome opportunity to work with Walker Down the Aisle and Brittany Elizabeth Images on a project. 

Both Brittany and I wanted to do shoots that were a little darker. Our styles of editing and shooting are quite different so with the crazy brilliant mind of Alyssa from Walker Down the Aisle, we were able to make this amazing American Gothic Wedding come to life! We had one meeting to discuss what we all thought it should be and then BAM, Alyssa made it come to life. The twist on this shoot was BOTH Brittany and I would be shooting, side-by-side for most of it, and we would both be editing in our own styles.

If you head over to WDTA blog you'll be able to see her blog post of images.The results were pretty awesome to see how two different photographers can interpret what is in front of them. It helps illustrate how it is important that you find a photographer that matches not only the personality you like, but who also has the style you are looking for.

Here are some of my favorite images from this dark and moody styled shoot!

Styling, Coordination & Design: Walker Down the Aisle // Farm Table & Chairs: Ideal Weddings & Events // Dried Floral Arrangements: Elaborations // Hair & Makeup: Sabreena Frances // Bride's Attire: Nicole Miller // Groom's Attire: JH & Sons // Geode Pieces & Jewelry: Sticks & Steel // Stationary: b.Invited // Cake: Hannah Naasz // Models: Nadiah B. & Trey Martin
 


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

First Look: Why It's Worth It & Expectations

First Look: Why It's Worth It & Expectations

I’ve seen the benefits of a first look over and over again, and so I only share this because I want the BEST for my couples!! It’s totally ok if couples choose not to share a first look!  It’s just my preference to do one for many reasons.... Keep reading to find out more of the benefits of sharing your first look privately!

How To Make Your Wedding Morning Picture Perfect

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Hilton Garden Inn Wedding

It’s the morning of your wedding! Hopefully all of the little details are taken care of and you’re relaxing with your best friends while your hair is being done. If certain items haven’t been checked off of the to-do list, it’s time to hand them over to someone else. I know it’s hard to hand over the decorating duties and all of the last minute things that need to be done, but it really is important to relax the morning of your wedding. The rest of the day is going to be fast-paced and filled with a lot of emotions! Take advantage of this down time!  There are a few things to consider about the “getting ready” portion of the day.  Do you want to share a “first look” with your dad or any other person who plays a huge role in your life? Will you and your groom be exchanging gifts during this time? If so, who would you like to deliver them? 

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Sioux Falls Wedding Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer

Are there certain women in your life who would appreciate seeing you get into your gown? Some brides want very few people around for this moment. Other brides love having aunts and grandmas present! It’s totally up to you!  A few other things to consider.... as you get ready to put your dress on, refrain from putting any jewelry on.  I love shooting all of those final steps once you’re in your gown!  Speaking of the gown, if your gown is on a plastic hanger, try to make a note to bring a ‘fancy’ hanger along for picture sake. If you forget, no big deal! Are you wearing flats? Grab your favorite pair of heels from your closet or ones that match your colors! They will be great for photos and no one will know you went with a comfy option instead! Keep reading along for more “getting ready” tips to help you prepare!

The Window Effect
By having just a  simple window in the bridal prep area, I am able to create beautiful portraits with soft light.  I prefer natural light so the more windows, the better! 

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Blue Haven Barn | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer

Rings, Shoes, Jewels...

The whole day begins with the DETAILS!  This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day, because it allows me to prepare and get my creative side warmed up for the rest of the day! I photograph a bride’s details in a way that matches and showcases the style of the entire wedding day.  So, in some ways, the details set the stage for the look of the whole wedding and I love having ample time to stylize, and shoot everything from the dress, to the jewelry, to grandma’s handkerchief!  To the right, you’ll find a list of the most common details that I shoot.  One suggestion I have is, if you decide to go with flats or sandals that you don’t want photographed, grab a pair of your favorite heels from your closet or ones that match your colors and bring those! No one will never know you didn’t spend the whole day in those heels!  I ask brides to gather any details they have before I arrive so that I can walk in, say hello, give you a big hug and then begin with all the goodies!  (Please assure your mom that I will take GREAT care of the dress, I promise!) 

Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Blue Haven Barn | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | What to Bring To Wedding Photos

Day of Reminders!

Bethany Melvin Photography | South Dakota Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photography

Gather the Goods

If possible, collect all of your details before I arrive so that I can begin quickly and have more time for some “getting ready” shots of you and your girls!  If we are doing getting ready shots of your guy, make sure he knows to only put on his pants and shirt and leave the rest out (cuff links, watch, tie, shoes, socks, pocket square) for me, or my second shooter!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer

Hang The Dress

Buy a nice hanger for your dress! It doesn't have to be personalized or expensive, even a nice wooden one looks better than a plastic one. I will take your dress for a few dress shots somewhere near where you are getting ready. No worries, I will make sure it doesn't get dirty or seen by the groom!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Orpheum Wedding
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer

Extra Elements

Sometimes, depending on the theme and “look” of the wedding day, there may be some extra elements that you could include when you gather your details.  For example, if you’re having a country themed wedding, you could include a piece of burlap or lace.  If you’re  having a rustic themed wedding that includes some wooden elements, maybe save a small piece of wood for me to use when I’m shooting your rings and jewerly.  This REALLY makes for beautiful, consistent album spreads!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Area Humane Society
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography | Blue Haven Barn

Keep all 3 rings!

The most common detail missing when I arrive are the rings! Moms, officiants and planners will tell you to hand over your wedding band to the best man before the day begins. However, it’s actually better to hand it over during the bridal party portraits so that I can shoot some great ring shots in the AM!  If you forget, no worries, I can always shoot the ring shot at the reception  if there is extra time!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Rochester, MN Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer

Bring the Bouquet

Don’t forget the Bouquet! Have the bouquets and bouts delivered to the bride before the first look so that she can have her bouquet in her portraits. No worries, if it’s hot, we’ll be sure to keep it in water as much as possible before the ceremony

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Hilton Garden Inn Wedding
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Hilton Garden Inn Wedding
Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer

Tell Your Groom We'll Be Taking Photos!

Sometimes the Bride forgets to let the groom know we will be there taking photos of him putting on his final details and taking photos of his stuff too! Typically my 2nd shooter will go to wherever he is getting ready and get a few shots of him getting ready. If you only have me as the shooter, if your groom is getting ready close by I can typically get some shots of him as well!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Hilton Garden Inn
Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

I hope this helps you when it comes time to start planning all your details and starting your day off on the right foot! Look for more blogs soon about timelines, inspiration and more!


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Prepping For Your Engagement Session!

Sioux Falls Area Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

It's always a little intimidating to have your picture taken...even if it's just a photo on your phone taken by a friend. This may be the first time you've had professional photos taken since your senior photos! We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving. That's what I'm here for, to ease your nerves, make you look amazing and get to know you! You'll have the chance to get to know me as well, experience how I shoot and how I handle posing and lighting. 

This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. I'll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact, what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way. What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable! You will feel like such a pro on your big day, because of the great practice you had during your engagement session, and that's how it should be!

Sioux Falls Area Wedding Photography | Bethany Melvin Photography

It's always a little intimidating to have your picture taken...even if it's just a photo on your phone taken by a friend. We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving. That's what I'm here for, to ease your nerves, make you look amazing and get to know you! You'll have the chance to get to know me as well, experience how I shoot and how I handle posing and lighting. 

This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. I'll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact, what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way. What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable! You will feel like such a pro on your big day, because of the great practice you had during your engagement session, and that's how it should be!

Twin Cities Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

When should I schedule my e-shoot? Your engagement session can be scheduled anytime before your wedding day. I normally suggest booking it at least 3-6 months in advance to avoid stress. I shoot engagements on weekday evenings or some weekends, normally from 5-7pm depending on the light and time of the year. In the winter months,  3-5 pm is the normal time frame for an e-shoot!

Twin Cities Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

Where should we go? As you start to plan for your engagement shoot, we will need to start brainstorming location ideas. I LOVE it when couples pick a location that is special or sentimental to them in some way! If you can't think of anywhere specific that you would like to shoot, I can help you decide on a location. As long as the light is great, I can make any location look awesome! I shoot at farms, campuses, downtown alleys and even laundry mats! I'm serious! Do not shy away from crazy ideas; the more creative, the better! 
 

Sioux Falls Area Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

I realize that preparing for your engagement session can be a little overwhelming, so here are some tips that will make the e-shoot prep a little more manageable! 

  • Don't try to MATCH...try to pick outfits and accessories that coordinate instead!
  • Don't be afraid to be BOLD! Accessorize and make your outfits your own. Scarves, bold necklaces and fun shoes are always welcomed! I don't recommend hats, unless for just a few photos!
  • Most patterns are actually OK...however, graphics are not favorable for portraits. If you're wearing a pattern, make sure it's not overwhelming and distracting.
  • If you're worried about your hair and makeup, make an appointment to primp beforehand! This is always a nice addition and makes you feel even more confident. 
  • Empty your pockets! Literally! You don't want to have key chains, phones or anything else in your pockets (This is for the guys especially!)
  • Most often, couples like to have one casual, every day outfit and then one outfit that is dressier. This will give your shoot two totally different looks. I recommend beginning with the dressy outfit first depending on our location.
Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
  • Make sure you're comfortable in what you're wearing. And ladies, if the top is super low cut, that will limit the amount of angles I can shoot from, so keep that in mind as well.
  • Make this a date night type of event. I don't recommend bringing friends or family with you. Let this be like a date night for just you two! Having others there can be distracting and take you out of the moment.
  • Feel free to bring your dog! If you would like to bring your dog with you for a few photos, I would more than happily oblige.
Twin Cities Wedding Photography | Bethany Melvin Photography
  • Clean the ring! I love to shoot a few ring shots while you change outfits. The cleaner the better!
  • Relax. I'm going to help you along the way and it's going to be a blast! Enjoy this time together, and make a fun time out of it. Plan dinner afterwards and celebrate another check mark done off the list of things to do!

I hope that this has helped ease your mind and bit and if you have any questions please let me know. I'd be happy to answer anything! 

Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Wedding Stationery from Basic Invite!

Wedding Stationery from Basic Invite!


You can say a lot with your Save the Dates and wedding invitations! The best part about your invites is you can make them exactly what you want them to be. A simple card all the way up to a multi-facted invite fit for a classic and fairy-tale wedding. That's where Basic Invite comes in; they are a website that let's you be totally in charge with what your invites will look like. It's super simple and a ton of different combinations you can make!

Caitlyn + Joseph | Minnesota Fall Wedding

I couldn't stop myself from overshooting when it came to Caitlyn and Joseph's wedding. Every time I turned around I found new things to capture. I don't know what I loved more, the beautiful fall colors or the amazing people that surrounded Caitlyn and Joseph. 

They are the friendliest people you could ever meet and their families and friends were the same way. From start to finish, their wedding day was so much fun and I was completely in awe of how great the day came together. I can't wait to show you more of their day below!

Photography: Bethany Melvin Photography // Bride’s Dress: The Wedding Shoppe // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Infinity by Sisters Bridal // Tuxes: Mister Cool's Clothing  // DJ: Silver Sound Entertainment  // Rings: Shane Co.  // Florist: Marshall Floral // Cheesecake: Muddy Paws Cheesecake // Reception: Red Baron Arena  // Wedding Decor: Simply Stunning Designs // Hair: Urban Appeal Salon // Makeup: Artistry by Brooklin Leigh

Shoutout to my amazing 2nd shooter, Kylee for helping me capture the day!


 


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Kristi + Jayden | Downtown Rochester, MN Wedding

I got to make a fun-filled weekend trip across my home state to Rochester, MN for a wedding with Kristi and Jayden! We had explored some areas of Rochester for their engagement session so I was looking forward to going back and finding even more. I did some scouting the night before and found some amazing places, plus I got another serving of Newt's cheese curds which are definitely the best cheese curds, ever. They are amazing, and you can quote me on that. 

Kristi's family has been great clients of mine for the past 3 years and I was so excited to be apart of the next step in her life. Kristi and Jayden are hilarious people who surround themselves with funny, kind friends so how could the day be anything but filled with laughter and love. From the vintage trolley, to the flower's that were picked up at the Rochester farmers market that morning, to the amazing downtown backdrops, this wedding is one for the books and will always hold a special place in my heart. 

I hope you enjoy a peek into Kristi and Jayden's day! 

Photographer: Bethany Melvin Photography // Florist: Rochester Farmers Market // Bride's Dress: Rush's Bridal // Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal // Tuxes: Mestads // Reception: Doubletree Rochester // Cakes & Desserts: Hyvee  // Bride's Ring: James Allen // Groom's Ring: Lasker Jewelers // HMUA: Blu H20 Salon