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Wedding Glossary

Over the years, we've noticed there is sometimes confusion over certain words or phrases that are common in the wedding industry -- especially within photography. We gathered a few words and phrases that we thought might help to have explained so you can not only better understand what we offer but also so we can help the (overwhelming) planning process. If there are others you think should be on the list, let us know!

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Ok, so we all know what this word means, but when we refer to "2 photographers plus assistant" -- we mean our assistant. When we book our Traditional Wedding Packages, we always include hiring an assistant to help us on the wedding day itself. Sometimes it's someone who is training to be a photographer, and sometimes, it's a friend of ours who had the day free and was willing to carry lots of heavy equipment. Having an assistant to help us allows us to spend more of the day taking photos. Our assistant help carries our equipment, get things set up, and are essentially "gophers."


Certificate of Insurance -- a document we need to provide to most venue's to show that we are a legitimate business that carries insurance. It needs to be filled out specifically for your location and date and needs to be processed by our insurance company, so we have to prep it and send it to your venue in advance of your wedding, or they may not let us work there!

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Bethany & Eric's Wedding BF PORTFOLIO-55.jpg

Digital Files (Downloads)

Digital files or Digital Downloads are simply more fancy terms for the pictures you'll get from your photographer in jpeg format (if they're working in digital). Each "file" or "download" is one picture. For more information on Digital Downloads, visit our site here:

First Look

First Looks are when the couple chooses to take time to see each other before the ceremony instead of walking down the aisle. They can also be done with family and wedding parties. For more information on First Looks (including some reasons you should think about doing one even if you're really set on keeping it Traditional, though we'll never force you to do one) -- visit the First Look page here:

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Emily & Charley's Wedding BF PORTFOLIO-34.jpg

Receiving Line

Receiving lines are done immediately following the ceremony. The couple (and sometimes the wedding party, parents, and siblings) stand at the end of the aisle after the recessional to greet and say hello to each guest who has come to the wedding. Though not seen often these days, they are usually done at church weddings (where you may have guests attending who will not be at the reception). Most couples now skip the receiving line as it can take anywhere from an additional 20-45 minutes, depending on your guest list. Everyone will want to say hi to you! If you're not planning on doing a First Look and are having your ceremony at a different location -- be cautious. You'll be limited on time, which could take up a chunk of portrait time. Suppose you plan to do a first look and get all of your portraits (couples, wedding party, family) done before the ceremony. In that case, this can be a great way to say hi to each of your guests, eliminating the need to spend the entire "party" portion of the day making the rounds.

Wedding Party

These are the attendants you choose to help you throughout your engagement as well as your wedding day. Includes roles such as maid/matron of honor, bridesmaid, best man, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers -- as well as the new roles we're loving seeing such as bridesman, man of honor, best lady, groomswoman, flower men, and more. Unless they are included in the wedding party itself (matching attire, standing up with you during the ceremony) this does not include parents. While it doesn't technically include the officiant, we often have couples request they be included in the wedding party portraits if they are close friends.

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