Hello beautiful! Today I am so excited to continue the Amplify Your Wedding series. In this episode, we are chatting about creating core memories that are organic, loving, and special for your couples. I am sharing some of my favorite ideas for creating moments that will leave a forever impact on their day.
Today’s episode is brought to you by The Greenhouse, my resource garden for creatives to plant their dreams and grow money trees! These easy-to-use guides and templates will help you AMPLIFY your heart online and in real life to get dream clients begging to work with you year after year!
What Exactly Is A Core Memory? (2:02)
Establish Your Shooting Style (2:49)
Before The Wedding (4:11)
During The Ceremony (9:24)
After The Ceremony (9:56)
A Few More Key Pieces Of Advice (11:16)
Review the Transcript:
Good morning. Beautiful today is another bright, sunny and beautiful day here in Arizona, I am sending you so much light and love. And I am so pumped to continue this series called amplify your weddings. And today we are going to be chatting about creating core memories. I can’t wait to dive in to share really fun moments that you can literally pull out of thin air to create the most organic loving and just really special moments for your couples. So if you are in a state of your business where you know you’re taking beautiful pictures, you’re really good at what you do, but you want to add a little oomph. You want to add a little magic to your wedding days to truly create an experience that couples just rave about you and they want to book you again they want to share about you to all their family and friends and their little sister absolutely has to book you there’s no questions asked. You are in the right place. So please grab something delicious to sip on keep walking if you’re powering through or if you’re in the car driving. Let’s get down to business.
Welcome to Quianna Marie weekly, a podcast for creatives who love to celebrate wins big or small by dancing in the kitchen photographers who are excited to serve their clients and friends who are ready to chase really, really big dreams. You can find all of the resources mentioned in this episode at quiannamarie.com/podcast. Join me as I share weekly motivation, chat about growing pains, finding genuine connections and celebrating your wins through the lens of a photographer at heart. Come join me for a dance party ready to love though.
As photographers, we offer so much more than capturing memories, I believe we hold the power to create a safe space for genuine emotions, intimate moments and pure joy to radiate out of our couples and families. So let’s dive into this core memory thing. And what exactly is a core memory on a wedding day? Well, of course our couples are nervous about the first kiss, many practice and even decide how to do a dip. Like in the living room. I’ve seen super cute TikToks on this and different ways to do a first kiss. The first dance is another core memory. Some of them look forward to the first look if they’re planning one, and others may be a total ball of anxiety on their wedding day and not too sure what to expect. In my experience after shooting over 250 weddings in over a decade, I can honestly say I love to dance between creating and capturing moments for my couples, the wedding party in their family to experience the whole enchilada the whole entire wedding experience. This is what I’m all about.
As photographers we get to define our style. And I’m not just talking about light and airy versus dark and moody or our editing style. More importantly, I believe it’s important to establish a shooting style that you’re comfortable with. Some photographers legit just show up on a wedding day and document things unfolding naturally, they have a bit more of a relaxed, free flowing kind of if you can imagine if Phoebe from friends was a wedding photographer like that would just be like their style. And that’s totally their vibe. Some are a bit more extreme. And this is where I want you to imagine kind of the Monica version of friends. That’s the opposite side being a little bit more editorial with more posing guidance and just help to curate a beautiful day full of imagery. And then there’s me personally that I think I guess would you would call me The Rachel of it somewhere where I’m somewhere in between. I love being at the right place at the right time to capture the magic but I also have a huge passion for creating moments that would have never existed if I didn’t step in and request something. So this brings us to creating core memories for your couples that help them cherish a bunch of tiny moments strung together that will leave a forever impact on their day and on their life for honestly generations to come.
All right so let’s start from the very beginning before the wedding day even begins I encourage brides to write out thank you cards and prepare gifts before the big day so they can add a bit more thought and time to their love notes this already before their wedding day and and get started get some feeling warm and fuzzy about their bridesmaids their parents are even vendor thank you notes. Those can all be done in advance the week of the wedding and if not before then if they get their stuff together. Okay, so now let’s fast forward to the moment to capture during the wedding.
If time permits. I love to capture jewelry moments so clasping necklaces or bracelets with the mother of the bride, as well as asking the bride to actually put the jewelry on her mama. That is so sweet. And I just I love those moments and even for flower girls too. So a flower girl Girls have special necklaces that they’re wearing or super cute little white. In our family. We call them those tap tap shoes, right? They look like little ballet flats. But little girls are so excited to wear those.
So if we have time to help get them dressed, that is really fun too. gift exchanges take time, they take away much more time than we think. And it’s important to pad that into the timeline as well. So I love to create a space with beautiful lighting for the bride to open up her gifts or read love notes as well as for the parents or bridesmaids if they have something to open to. So I actually try to step in and direct that a little bit so that you’re not just hitting in the corner with a whole bunch of crap around them, or maybe their backs or to the hair and makeup team which they are totally doing their job beautifully. But I may not want them in the background of the bride opening up her love note. So I try to curate some of those spaces for them.
First looks with bridesmaids parents or honorary family members can be a super fun way to add excitement to the day too. If it’s possible to only have the mother of the bride or maybe just one bridesmaid helper into her gown. The rest of the party after they’re fully dressed can wait outside or in another part of the hotel suite for a grand reveal. Those are so fun, and I hope it’s a trend that never goes away. I really really love doing this for my wife. Try this with the guys too. Okay, so I know that sounds so silly. They’ll probably think it’s ridiculous but it was the right crew they’ll totally get a kick out of it. Daddy and daughter first looks always mold my heart. But consider first looks with flower girls and her daddy if you have a blended family or even first looks with parents, like with mom and dad actually seen each other for the first time that can be a total sweet surprise to first look moments between your couple can be so special with adrenaline pumping like crazy. So it’ll already be a rush of emotions without really need to direct anything.
And I mean this outside of directing each of them to be in the right spot with perfect lighting and kind of even a little bit direction. But I’m just kind of saying like it’s already going to be overwhelming and special enough. We don’t have to like push things on to them. But I do always suggest that they share three things are looking forward to on their wedding day, or maybe even three reasons why they decide to marry each other today. I personally love catching people off guard. Like that’s kind of my thing. Like I love surprises. And it may make them feel flustered warning, they may look at you like what the heck, I wasn’t expecting this, but it’s a really easy way to make that moment about them. And for your couple to attach these emotions to those photographs. It goes quickly from just taking pretty pictures to a core memory when you can kind of spark those feelings and spark those thoughts. Also, as a key tip, I ask them to exchange these sweet whispers.
And then I step back. Sometimes I hear what they’re saying. And sometimes they say naughty things and it just gets me laughing and giggling. But I tried to give them a bit of privacy to share what’s on their mind without me being all zoomed up like right in their face. During wedding party portraits. I always try to add a quick dance party or like a whirlpool of the wedding party circling the couple bonus points if you can play a fun song. This gets a party moving and exciting circling your couples with so much love and happiness. This is honestly one of my favorite core memories of a wedding day. And I’ve only been doing this for a couple years now and I wish I had been doing this since day one. Don’t forget to ask the groom or some like for some flower girl twirls and slow dances to moments with their ring bearer nephews are awesome too. These are so fun to include. While I’m posing family I also tried to add photos with siblings asked to create any childhood photos or maybe an immediate family has like a signature pose that they do often that didn’t make the shortlist they love asking for that as well. And creating moments for your couples and their family is honestly what it’s all about. If you can break down these core memories, it’s just making moments for people to feel connected to each other and connected to the day.
Cocktail Hour is another time to create core memories for guests too. I always encourage my second shooter to snap prom style photos or group shots for young families. They’re dressed up, they’re looking good. And they would absolutely appreciate these photos. Sometimes they don’t always have access to the photos right away. It depends on the bride to get them to them. But even just the act of taking the photo and maybe even snapping a quick iPhone picture for them. They will be forever grateful during the ceremony. It’ll totally be magical without any direction. Like we don’t have to come in and start directing these core memories during the ceremony like that’s going to unfold naturally. But I do want to add that magical kiss once the ceremony is over and they start to walk back down the aisle after that, that first kiss and they’re announced.
I asked them to pause the mid aisle and go in for one more super dramatic dip kiss. Oh my gosh, it’s such a fun moment to add to their ceremony and it’s it’ll be a total blur to them. But I just love it so much and it’s so fun to capture. During the sunset photos are going into some more core memories. I also love to ask questions are encouraged my couples to give cheek kisses with reasons why they love each other three reasons so that they’re excited about their honeymoon, like those are really fun, or anything that feels romantic, fun and special to them. Now, this is me being a little saucy, and I don’t mean any shade, but kinda okay.
So this is totally a dig to some other photographers and videographers I’ve worked with but please don’t ask them to share their favorite vegetable or their favorite cartoon or something just ridiculous. And this is me, like I said, being really sassy. I mean, I get it. We’re trying to get them to loosen up and be silly, get them to talk about their love talk about themselves, like get them to laugh and kind of poke fun at each other instead of like these random silly things. I know not everyone is like me. And what I mean by that is I legit have a photographic memory. And I totally attach feelings and emotions to photos and situations. So personally, I just want my couples to look back at these photos and feel their thoughts giggles and love about each other instead of those goofy thoughts. Okay, sorry, that was it. I don’t like talking shit about other people or like the way they do things. But I hope you find this encouraging to ask those specific questions to get them to giggle and to get them to feel intimate with each other without like being too goofy. Okay, remember, as a wedding photographer, you truly have the power to break or make a wedding day. I love helping you feel encouraged to step up, step into your power and create memories, as well as hustle to know what’s coming next and to be prepared.
Some things just can’t be recreated. That’s why it’s important to always be on our toes to just be prepared and almost kind of be a little bit psychic about what’s coming next. That really is a power in creating core memories, especially the kind that our couple wasn’t even expecting. I know that our brides especially put so much time and energy and expectations into their wedding day. So if you would have a little toolkit of moments that truly enhance the wedding day, whether it be for a couple for the wedding party, parents, even wedding vendors, you can absolutely sparked some moments for them to help capture images and behind the scenes videos for them on wedding days. You are going to leave an impact. I’m talking about it for generations. I just want to support you and make you feel so loved that we we are storytellers and we also I feel like photographers we not only have the power to document these stories, but to also create them.
This episode is sponsored by the green house the resource garden where photographers and creatives gathered to plant dreams and grow money trees. Just like a garden your business will experience seasons growing pains and tons of opportunities of growth even when it feels muddy. Head over to Kiana marie.com/shop to grab bundles of affordable templates, guides or workshops and education to help your business bloom. As always, I’m cheering for you baby. Keep dancing, keep shining and I cannot wait to see you for the next amplifier weddings series post. See you soon baby. That’s a wrap on another episode of Quianna Marie weekly. Thank you so much for your listenership and support. You can find the resources and show notes for this episode and more at Kiana murray.com/podcast. I’d be honored if you’d show your support by leaving a review and rating on your favorite podcast app. Until next time, keep on dancing.