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My mission as a wedding photographer is to help happy couples celebrate life's biggest joys with high quality photos and a dang good time. I believe the experience is just as important as the photos and that you deserve beautiful, lasting memories.

Hey!! I'm Gabriella.

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formal photos at a greate bay country club wedding

Family Photos: Why they’re important and how to do them!!

It’s your wedding day!!!! You’re marrying the love of your life, you’re re-connecting with friends you haven’t seen in AGES, you’re sooo hungry and can’t wait to start eating and drinking … but it’s time for formal family photos.

It can be super duper tempting to say “screw it!” to what is arguably the least fun part of your day. I get it. BUT there are ways to make it go by as quickly and as efficiently as possible!!

Before we get into these tips, I want to remind you just how incredibly important family photos are. It’s not every day that your entire family is gathered together in one place, dressed up super nice and willing to sacrifice a few minutes of their day to smile at a camera. It’s vital that we capitalize on the moment and get family photos taken!!

Also — this is a little sad, but it’s true – you never know if your wedding day is one of the last times you’ll see one of your loved ones. A few months after a wedding I photographed, the bride’s sister unexpectedly passed away. Some of the most recent photos she posted in honor of her sister were from her wedding day. While I felt incredibly honored to have taken pictures that now meant so much to the bride and her family, I kicked myself for not focusing more on family photos in the moment and giving the family even more photos to remember their loved one by.

So now that we’ve established formal family photos are a “must” on your wedding day, let me fill you in on the BEST ways to go about doing them to save time and stress so you can focus on dancing the night away!!!

How to organize & plan for family photos:

🥂 Create a family “shot list” of all the specific combinations of people you want included in formal family photos! (These are the “must-haves” — you can still take more pictures the day of!)

🥂 Set aside one specific time for family photos to take place. A wedding day can already be a bit chaotic with all that’s going on — keeping the plan as simple as possible ensures we don’t need to send out a search party for Uncle Bob!

🥂 Plan to do the family photos BEFORE cocktail hour. I repeat: Family photos must be done before cocktail hour!!! Once food and alcohol start being served, it becomes a thousand times harder to organize large groups of people!

🥂 Have family photos listed on the wedding agenda at the CEREMONY. You know those little pamphlets that are handed out to the guests at the ceremony? Include a phrase like “[immediate] family photos to follow immediately after the ceremony”.

🥂 Ask the officiant/pastor/priest to announce that family photos are happening immediately after the ceremony before sending you back down the aisle as a married couple!

🥂 Finally, make sure your family knows that they will be needed for photos *before they even arrive at the wedding*!!! Include an extra slip in their invitations or send out a massive group text. If your family already has it in their mind that they’ll be taking pictures before the cocktail hour, there’s much less of a chance they’ll forget and run away towards the food!!

Though they might not be the most fun photos, formal family photos are an incredibly important part of your wedding day. It’s not every day that so many loved ones are gathered together in one place all dressed up, and you may not know the next time that will happen! Trust me when I say prioritizing these photos will be well worth it in the long run 💛

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- Melissa d.

“Gabriella was absolutely amazing!!! Words cannot even describe how perfect she was, but I’ll try my best. Right from the beginning, I knew she was the one. She was so caring, calming, organized, and just a genuinely happy person. She made me feel even more excited for my wedding. She was so helpful throughout the entire process right down to the big day. AND THE PICTURES - OH MY GOD. They are absolutely breathtaking and she definitely tells the story of your day in the most perfect way. She captures every precious moment while having a smile on her face the whole time she’s with you. I can’t say enough amazing things about her. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone looking to have the BEST photographer for any occasion. We had such an amazing experience with Gabriella and we can’t thank her enough!”

"Captures every moment"

- Dawn g.

“Gabriella is a very great planner, very organized and an absolute delight to work with. Her planning and organization helped me prepare for the big day without any fear that I left any important photo out. Her planning skills ensured I didn't miss any details. She is such a delight to work with she was even happy to help me with my little surprise I had for my husband, it went off without a hitch. She captured all the photos we could imagine....all the fun, sweet, sincere moments throughout the day. She even provided the photos to us in a timely manner. I HIGHLY recommend her; she's highly energetic, personable, easy to work with, a planner, organized, and she captured lots of beautiful pictures. She exceeded all of my expectations. She was such a great photographer.”

"Exceeded all my expectations"

- Melissa N.

Making my dream wedding come true!
Gabriella was hired by my (now) husband, as a surprise photographer for our proposal. She was phenomenal and we hired her for our wedding as well! Her energy and vision for our wedding photos captured every moment and emotion. She was amazing in every way. Her attention to detail and knowing what was important to me on my big day was awesome - she went the extra mile. I would 10/10 recommend her to any one wanting to capture beautiful moments in life - for their engagement, wedding, and more.

"She went the extra mile."

- Megan W.

Hiring Gabriella was one of the best decisions that we made during our wedding planning. From our very first conversation, Gabriella was warm & bubbly. She radiates positive energy that I knew that we needed for our big day. Gabriella has a vigorous work ethic and eye for detail. Her ability to transform any setting is pure magic. We enjoyed working with her throughout the planning process and are absolutely thrilled with our engagement and wedding photos (which she had edited and back to us in less than one month!).

"One of the best decisions"

- Lisette & Tyrus b.

What can we say about Gabriella Marie Photography. There are so many words to describe the amazing job Gabriella did on our special wedding day. Gabriella will not only shoot your wedding, she can help you design what your wedding will be. She is there every step of the way. She has amazing attention to detail. Before the big day, Gabriella has a plan that will ensure that your day will be spectacular. She is always available via text, call, direct message, FaceTime or Zoom. Gabriella is the absolute best photographer ever. The best quality that she has is that she is more than a photographer, she is a true friend. She cares about her clients and makes us feel like a trust-worthy friend is there to help. For example, she sent my wife and I a pre-wedding care package. This gift proved to be so valuable for us while dealing with wedding stress. This gift was the most thoughtful thing my wife and I ever received. A simple thank you is just only the tip of the iceberg with regarding Gabriella Marie Photography. Everyone please check out our new friend Gabriella. Trust us, she is worth every penny and more.

"Worth every penny and more"

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