Popping champaign's

General Tips & Tricks Every Couple Should Know

Journal and Imagery by Florida Wedding Photographers Popping Champaign Photography.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Whether you're planning a grand celebration or an intimate gathering, your special day is sure to be a cherished memory. As you embark on this exciting journey, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing a photographer to capture the magic and beauty of your wedding. That's where Popping Champaign Photography comes in. As a leading wedding photography business, we understand the importance of capturing every special moment and detail of your big day. In this complete wedding guide, we'll share our expert tips and advice on everything from last minute planning through taking you through your wedding day. Sit back, pop open a bottle of bubbly, and let's dive in!

Planning Before The Big Day


Brides and grooms may want to consider having an unplugged wedding ceremony to encourage their guests to be fully present in the moment and not distracted by their phones or cameras. This can help create a more intimate and emotional atmosphere during the ceremony. From a photography standpoint, an unplugged ceremony ensures that guests are not blocking the professional photographer's view or inadvertently impeding on important with their own devices.


Brides and grooms should consider hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator to help them manage the logistics and details of their wedding day, allowing them to fully enjoy their special day. From a photography standpoint, having a professional planner or coordinator can ensure that the day runs smoothly and on schedule, which can help us capture the best possible images. They can also assist with coordinating group shots, ensuring that everyone is in the right place at the right time, and dealing with any unexpected issues that may arise, allowing you and your spouse to relax and focus on creating beautiful memories. During the wedding ceremony, a wedding planner or day-of coordinator can ensure that the wedding party is walking up to the altar timely by queuing them and ensuring that everyone is in place at the right moment, which is essential for us. This allows us more time to capture these emotional and intimate moments.

consider Handwriting your wedding vows

Handwriting wedding vows is an intimate and personal gesture that adds a special touch to the wedding ceremony. The act of physically writing the vows allows you to connect more deeply with your emotions and express yourselves in a unique and heartfelt manner. These handwritten vows also make for beautiful and meaningful photos that capture the essence of your love and commitment. As you read your vows during the ceremony, we can capture close-up shots of your handwritten words, creating a timeless keepsake that captures your love in a way that cannot be replicated. If you would like to read more about this, view our blog Why Everyone Should Handwrite Their Wedding Vows.

Skip the Spray Tan

We recommend that you skip spray tanning for your wedding day for several reasons. Spray tanning can often result in an unnatural, orange-looking complexion that is bolder in images than they may look in person, so you will most likely look more orange than actually tan in your images. While we always try to adjust this in editing when this happens, it can be difficult and is not guaranteed to look as natural and radiant as you would without a spray tan specifically! Secondly, it can leave streaks, patches, uneven fading or be rubbed off on areas such as your hands that will not only be visible in person but also in wedding photographs. Skipping spray tanning will ensure that we capture your beauty without any unnecessary lines, patches, or uneven fading!

Veil Weights for Outdoor Ceremonies

We recommend for you to consider purchasing veil weights for outside ceremonies to prevent your veil from flying around in the wind and potentially covering your face during important moments. Veil weights can help keep the veil in place, so it is not flying in the wind and covering your face during your wedding ceremony during very breezy days. Plus, veil weights can be easily added or removed for the reception or indoor portions of the wedding! If you would like to read more about this, view our blog Why Veil Weights Are a Must-Have for Your Outdoor Ceremony.


If you or your spouse have transition or polarizing daily-wear glasses, you may want to consider an alternative for your wedding day, as these types of glasses can cause a visible tint in photos, making it look like you are wearing sunglasses. This effect may not be fixable in post-processing, so we recommend switching to non-polarizing/non-transition glasses or wearing contacts to ensure that we can see the emotion in your eyes during your wedding in person and in pictures!

Document Your Engagement

Engagement sessions are a great opportunity for you to get comfortable in front of the camera before your big day. Additionally, engagement photos can be used for save-the-dates, invitations, your wedding website and other wedding-related materials, adding a personal touch to the overall aesthetic. An engagement session is an investment in both the quality and experience of your time as an engaged couple that is transitioning into the married life! If you've already booked your engagement session and are looking for engagement session tips, view our blog Everything You Need to Know for Your Engagement Session.

Indulge in A Bridal Session

The Bubbly Bride bridal session is an excellent opportunity for you to have a trial run with your hair, makeup, and wedding dress, ensuring that everything looks exactly how you want it to on the big day. This also allows for any necessary adjustments or alterations to be made before the wedding. From a photography standpoint, our Bubbly Bride bridal sessions provide the opportunity for more intimate, detailed, and creative images in your dress without the time constraints and distractions of the wedding day. Bridal sessions can enhance the overall quality and variety of images your final wedding album.

Toasts & Timelines

A wedding timeline is a crucial element in the success of any wedding day. It serves as a guide to ensure that everything runs smoothly and on time. In terms of wedding photography, a well-planned timeline allows for ample time to capture all the essential moments, from the pre-ceremony preparations to the reception festivities. Without a clear timeline, there may be a risk of missing important moments or being rushed, which can lead to a less than desirable outcome. This is why we offer a Toasts & Timelines call, which is where we can schedule a call together to go through all of your planned and in-between moments to create the perfect timeline before your wedding day! If you are needing any assistance with your wedding timeline, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance!

Clean Your Rings

Not only is cleaning your rings a symbolic way to start your marriage with a fresh start and a clean slate, but clean rings will also look more attractive and radiant in your wedding photographs! On wedding days, we always take up close ring images, especially during the ring exchange, so we want to see those beauties SPARKLE!

PREP Your Nails

You and your spouse's hands will both be on display throughout your wedding day, from exchanging rings to cutting the cake, and even during your portrait session. Having well-groomed nails will enhance the overall appearance of your hands in photographs and make them look more polished and put together. This is especially important for close-up shots of the rings or holding hands. Taking the time to get a professional manicure or at least ensuring your cuticles and nails are clean and well trimmed will make a noticeable difference in the final wedding photos for both our brides and grooms.

consider Handwriting your wedding vows

Handwriting wedding vows is an intimate and personal gesture that adds a special touch to the wedding ceremony. The act of physically writing the vows allows you to connect more deeply with your emotions and express yourselves in a unique and heartfelt manner. These handwritten vows also make for beautiful and meaningful photos that capture the essence of your love and commitment. As you read your vows during the ceremony, we can capture close-up shots of your handwritten words, creating a timeless keepsake that captures your love in a way that cannot be replicated. If you would like to read more about this, view our blog Why Everyone Should Handwrite Their Wedding Vows.


Limiting alcohol consumption the night before the wedding is crucial for your well-being on your big day. Drinking too much alcohol can cause dehydration, fatigue, nausea, and disrupt sleep patterns, leading to you possibly not feeling your best on your wedding day. While you may think you may be covering any signs of hangover, our images capture authentic moments, emotions, and expressions, so it is important that you feel lively! Limiting alcohol consumption the day before your wedding will allow you to enjoy every moment of your special day. If you are planning on hitting the dance floor hard with lots of the best drinks for your bachelor and bachelorette parties, we recommend planning them the weekend before (or at least a few days before) your wedding day to help avoid any last-minute temptations!

Choosing the perfect space

Choosing a getting ready location with lots of windows and natural light is crucial for wedding photography. Natural light is essential for creating soft, flattering images and it also allows us to get creative with the lighting in your portraits. A well-lit space filled with ample natural light allows us to work more efficiently and with greater creative freedom for the most stunning and timeless images.


Keeping your getting ready locations clean is important for wedding photography as it helps to create a clean and clutter-free background for photos. A tidy space also ensures that the focus remains on you and your emotions, rather than on the distracting elements in the background. To save time on your wedding day and provide you with the most images possible, we recommend delegating the task of keeping the getting ready location clean to a member of your wedding party before we are scheduled to arrive for the getting ready photos, so we can ensure that they are beautiful and polished without unnecessary distractions, and without loosing time. If your getting ready space is not clean prior to our arrival, we will need to lose time in the schedule to clear spaces before we get started, to ensure that there aren't any water bottles or other misc items in the background of your stunning images!


When wearing makeup on your wedding day, we strongly recommend to avoid wearing translucent setting powder on your wedding day as it can cause a "flashback" effect, where the powder reflects light and creates a white cast on the skin, making it look washed out and unnatural in your images. This can be particularly problematic for your reception images where we often use flash. Opting for a finely milled powder with no flashback or avoiding powder altogether and opting for a setting spray can ensure a flawless and natural-looking complexion in your wedding photographs. If you have any questions regarding this, please consult with your makeup artist!


When wearing makeup on your wedding day, we recommend to avoid wearing sunscreen (whether applied directly or included in other products), under your makeup. Most sunscreens or products that include sunscreen can sometimes have heavy, oily formulas that can make your skin look unnaturally shiny, which can also make an appearance in your wedding images. If you feel the need to wear sunscreen or a product that includes sunscreen on your wedding day under your makeup, we recommend consulting with your makeup artist to ensure that you will look radiant and flawless in your images without excessive shine!


We highly recommend for your wedding party to empty their pockets of any bulky objects on the wedding day to ensure that they look their best in wedding photographs. Bulging pockets can detract from the overall appearance of the outfit, creating an unflattering silhouette. This can especially be important if they have bulky wallets or keys.


Gathering all of the details for our detail flat lays such as all three rings, shoes, and any other wedding details and placing them in once central location is crucial for your wedding photography! These details are an important part of your wedding story and we want to ensure that all of these pieces that you have carefully selected are captured. By setting aside these items for us to work with in one area, we can easily capture these details in a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing way. This also allows us to work more efficiently, saving valuable time that can be spent capturing other important moments before your ceremony.

Common Detail Items: All 3 rings, ring boxes, full invitation suite, perfume/cologne, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, tie clips, boutonnieres, shoes, veil, and any family heirlooms.


Brides should consider requesting extra floral from their florists to include in their flat lay detail images, as it can add depth and interest to the overall photo collection. Including fresh flowers in the flat lay images creates a cohesive and elegant look that reflects the style of the wedding. By requesting extra floral, you can ensure that your wedding details are captured beautifully and incorporate all of the unique elements of your wedding day. (Typically florists do not charge extra for this, as the amount needed is very slim.)


Preparing for hanging dress pictures is an important part of your getting ready and detailed images. Preparing for this beforehand allows us to capture the details of your wedding dress in a unique and creative way without impeding on the timeline. Preparing for this involves ensuring there is a clean and uncluttered area to hang the dress, ensuring the dress is steamed and wrinkle-free, and removing any plastic or tags from the dress. If you have requested getting ready or detail images for your wedding day, we will also bring our own ornate brass hanger or white wooden hangers for these images in case you do not have a specific stylized hanger to be used. Having a stylish hanger will change the look, feel, and timelessness of your images.



It is important to take your time and savor the moment during your wedding day, especially during significant moments of the wedding ceremony, such as walking down the aisle, reading vows, exchanging rings, and the first kiss! This allows you to fully appreciate the gravity and beauty of these moments and make them more memorable. A relaxed and unhurried approach also allows us to capture the details and emotions of these moments in stunning detail with various angles and compositions. Take your time and soak in these beautiful, emotional moments!


It is essential for the bridal party to walk spaced out and take their time when walking up the aisle for the wedding ceremony. This allows each member of the party to have their moment in the spotlight and to be photographed individually. Walking too closely together can create a cluttered and rushed appearance in photos, while taking their time ensures that we capture the best shots of each member of the party where they can all be looking up and smiling. This attention to detail can make a significant impact on the quality of the wedding photography and the overall aesthetic of the wedding album. If you have a wedding planner or day-of-coordinator, then they will queue your wedding party when to walk and the pace they should walk, so this will be taken care of for you! They should also remind your wedding party to keep smiling and looking up as they are making their way down the aisle.


It is a customary tradition for the bride and groom to share their first kiss as a married couple during the wedding ceremony. As a respectful gesture, it is important for the officiant to step out of the way during this moment, allowing you and your spouse to share this intimate moment without distractions. Not only does this create a more romantic atmosphere, but it also enables us to capture this special moment without any obstructions, resulting in a beautiful and memorable image that will be treasured for decades. We highly recommend that you connect with your officiant before your wedding day to ensure that they do step out of the way right before the first kiss to allow us to transition this intimate moment into a beautiful piece of art. Especially if you are having a family member or friend officiate your wedding, we highly recommend viewing our blog post 3 Things Wedding Photographers Wish Every Officiant Knew.


When you reach the front of the alter, the very last thing you are going to be thinking about is your bouquet or the back of your dress! Once you reach the alter, have your maid of honor grab your bouquet and fix the bottom of your dress, so you can properly hold your spouse's hands through out the ceremony and we can see the back of your beautiful dress. After your first kiss, have your maid of honor hand you your bouquet back, so you have it when walking back down the aisle!

Kissing at the end of the Aisle

After your first kiss, one of our favorite images to capture is another kiss at the end of the aisle for your wedding ceremony processional. This is one of our favorites because it is a beautiful way to seal the beginning of your new journey together as a married couple and it allows us to capturing your joy and emotion with all of your loved ones cheering you on from behind. On the wedding day once you have come to the end of the aisle as newlyweds, we will guide you to this to ensure that this unforgettable moment is not forgotten!

(An alternative to this could also be kissing or dipping in the middle of the aisle instead of the end! We absolutely love these as well!)

TIMING: 30 minutes is typically reserved for the wedding ceremony unless it is a religious ceremony. Religious ceremonies can sometimes take up to one hour. Please consult with your officiant if you are needing advice on timing for specific moments within the ceremony.

Family Portraits

IDENTIFYING Who should be in the photos

It's important for you to consider all of the family members you want to include in your formal family portraits list in advance, as we do need this list at least one week prior to your wedding day in your wedding day questionnaire. On the wedding day, we will be reading down this list out loud and this will go by quickly! Having a list of your family portraits keeps the wedding day timeline on track and will minimize any potential delays or confusion. Additionally, this allows you to consider family portrait preferences ahead of time to result in more efficient and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Grouping Families Together

Especially if you have a large family, we highly recommend for our couples to group images by immediate families together to save time. This can help minimize the amount of time spent waiting for people to gather and find their place in each image. This will help streamline the photography process and allow you to spend more time enjoying your special day.


When planning professional family portraits, it is important for you to consider the needs of family members who may have mobility impairments or limitations. If there are family members that cannot stand for long, we recommend starting with them at the beginning of your list.

Then starting with Large Families

After considering family members with limitations, you should prioritize taking pictures with the largest groups first, such as extended family or both sets of parents. This allows for any potential scheduling conflicts or unexpected delays to be accommodated for later groupings without compromising the overall timeline, and also allows all of these people to go enjoy cocktail hour immediately after! This can lead to a more relaxed and enjoyable experience for you and all of your guests.


The family formals are typically taken immediately after the ceremony, so it is extremely important to communicate with all family members before the wedding day letting them know that they need to wait at the ceremony area after the ceremony. Otherwise, all of your guests will head to cocktail hour before the images can be taken! By notifying them that they will be in your formal images, all of the guests not notified will go to cocktail hour and the family members meant to be in your images will be easily accessible for when it is their time to be in the images. Clear communication and organization can help minimize stress, ensure a smooth and efficient time, keep your timeline on track, and ensure that we have plenty of time for your wedding party portraits and your couples portraits!

We also highly recommend having a point person who is familiar with the family to ensuring that all family members are included in the portraits and that the process runs smoothly. This person can assist in identifying people and ensuring that they are in the correct location for the photo to save time and help prevent confusion or delays. This also helps if Uncle Bob already headed to the bar, so they already know who he is and what he looks like, so they can bring him back to the correct location for the family formals!

Removing Sunglasses

It is important for family members to remove their sunglasses or transition/polarizing glasses before taking family portraits after the ceremony, so everyone's face and eyes are visible and can be captured clearly in the photo. While we will request for people to remove their sunglasses, it can also save time if people are aware to remove them while we are putting people in their positions.


During family portraits after the ceremony, we will provide general posing instruction to family members but may not have time to give detailed posing structures to each person. This is because family portraits are often done in a limited time frame to ensure that the wedding timeline stays on track. Additionally, we will have a specific style or vision for the photos that we want to capture. We find that providing general posing instruction ensures that your photos look natural and capture the personalities of the family members while staying within the timeframe allotted.

TIMING: Typically 15-20 minutes are reserved in the timeline for family portraits.

Wedding Party Portraits

individual & Group images

Immediately following the family formals, we will move into the wedding party portraits! As long as time allows, we always take individual images with the bride and each of her bridesmaids and the groom with each of his groomsmen individually, so this will not need to be listed in your portrait list. Once the individual images are taken, we will then take the group images of the bride and her bridesmaids, the groom and his groomsmen, and then group images including the entire wedding party. If time allows, we also love getting creative with the wedding party group portraits!

TIMING: Typically 15-20 minutes are reserved in the timeline for wedding party portraits.

Couples Portraits

The couples portraits are a special moment reserved for just for you and your spouse! They are typically taken after the ceremony, family formals, and wedding party portraits, but before the reception. During this time, all other family members and bridal party members are released to enjoy cocktail hour. This private session allows us to capture intimate and romantic moments between the couple without any distractions. This time is crucial as it allows us to capture the emotion and love between you two, your unique dynamic, and create images that truly reflect your personalities and relationship. During this time, we take all of our couples through the Popping Champaign posing process, which is designed to create authentic, emotional, and timeless images for you to cherish.

TIMING: Typically 30 minutes is reserved in the timeline for couples portraits.



It's your wedding day - it's essential for you to enjoy the reception as a newly married couple! Take the time to soak in the atmosphere and celebrate with your loved ones. While you two interact with each other and your guests, we will be right there with you, only we will be blending in with your guests to capture mostly natural, unposed moments. During the reception we will capture the best candid and documentary-style images as the night goes on. Don't be afraid to let loose and have fun. Dance the night away and let your joy and excitement shine through. Your guests will love to see you having a good time while we document these moments for you. This is one of the most important days of your life, and we want you to enjoy every part of it!


If you have any questions at any point, please let us know! We are always here to help with anything we can whether it is before your wedding day, on your wedding day, or whether you think your question is even photography related. Now that we're well acquainted, we're your friends on AND off the dance floor, so we are here to support you through this incredible time of your life. We have been through this ourselves as brides, bridesmaids, and Florida wedding photographers, so if you have a question, there is a good chance we will either have a solution or will be able to point you in the right direction!

We are here for YOU! :)


Zoe + Damara

Your Florida Wedding Photographers, available to travel where needed

Hi! We are Zoe & Damara, a best friend wedding photography duo based in Southwest Florida! Our approach in photography and in life is pure, authentic, and candid. Our images are whimsical, joyful, and timeless. Our editing is natural yet refined. Through your love story and our lens, we will provide you with a wedding album of authentic moments and emotions, with a fun and personalized experience. Let's become friends! Complete this short form and we'll be in touch soon.