Congratulations,

you're getting married !


In this guide we'll discuss a number of things that can help not only make your wedding day flow smoothly, but also give you confidence and peace of mind. We'll cover Engagement Sessions, Prep Photos, Wedding Details, First Looks, Wedding Timeline, and other tips that can help make the most of your day.


BEFORE THE BIG DAY

Your Engagement Session

Your Engagement Session

The first step...


Having an engagement session is not only beneficial for me to get to know you, but its also a great way for you to get comfortable in front of the camera. Most clients I work with have never taken professional photos before. That can be extremely nerve racking! Your session will be a more casual environment than your wedding day, so it'll be a good time to kick back and have a bit of fun. Engagement sessions are complimentary- yes, FREE, when you book any wedding package. That's how much I believe in them and how much I want all my couples to partake in them.

Take some Bridal Portraits before your wedding day.


You're probably wondering what is a bridal portrait session? It is basically a dress rehearsal just for you. These sessions usually take place 3 to 4 months before your wedding date so you have enough time to make changes if needed.


  • You'd get your hair and make up done the same way you would on your wedding day. So it's another chance to fine tune everything.
  • Aside from hair and makeup, you get to try on your whole ensemble- dress, shoes, jewelry, and veil. If something is off like your dress has a thread poking you, or your necklace hurts your skin, or your veil is too long, you can make changes right away.
  • On the day of, we will be on a tight schedule to keep you on track. Having a more relaxed bridal session can

a) free up space on your wedding day timeline for other events or more down time

b) make your photos much more true to you. No fake "let's get this over with" smiling!

  • Your portraits can be taken anywhere. If there is a location in mind you really wanted but is out of the way, this is a great opportunity to get photos done at that location.


Bridal Portraits can be taken with or without your spouse-to-be. This could be a great time to do a First Look with your partner as well. We'll discuss First Looks in detail below.


THE DAY OF

Prep Photos


On the day of the wedding, if you opt for Bride/Groom Prep Photos, we'll plan for me to arrive once most hair and makeup is done. Once I arrive, I'll start with some detail images of rings, dress, shoes, vows, etc. Then I'll make my way over to you and the bridal party. I'll capture some candids and some of the party helping the bride get ready. Once you're ready and dressed, we'll do some bridal portraits and some including family. Depending on if you've opted in for Groom Prep Photos and how far the location is, I may do the groom before or after the bride. The same will apply for the Groom and their party. I'll arrive near the end of everyone getting ready. I'll do some detail images, then some of the Groom alone, as well as with family.

Have a couple items ready for when I arrive so I can get right into photographing some details. I understand that not everyone will have these items and that's ok. But we ask that if you do have them, to bring them.

Bridal Details Checklist


  • Dress + Hangers
  • Rings (engagement + wedding band)
  • Ring Box
  • Veil
  • Shoes
  • Perfume Bottle
  • Vows + Vow Book (if applicable)
  • Invitations + Envelopes
  • Extra pieces of bouquet or floral arrangements
  • Anything that has sentimental value (ie: family heirloom, brooch, family jewelry, a mirror).


Groom Details Checklist


  • Ring + Ring Box
  • Shoes
  • Vows + Vow Book (if applicable)
  • Cuff Links
  • Watch
  • Bow Ties + Ties
  • Pocket Squares
  • Cologne
  • Boutonnière
  • Anything else that has sentimental value (ie: family watch, ring, bracelette, shoes, suspenders).

Some things to consider...


  • Be mindful of the room you are getting ready in. Try to keep the location where we'll be photographing clean and organized. Also, try to get ready near a window with natural light.
  • For Brides, wear a cute robe or dress while you're getting make up and hair done. This will make the images much more elegant.
  • Also for Brides, bringing a cute wedding dress hanger with your soon-to-be last name adds some fun details to the shots. If you do not have one, a simple wooden hanger looks great too.
  • It's helpful to keep all these detail items together in a small box while you are planning in the days leading up.
  • If Groom Prep Photos are not part of your images, make sure to keep all engagement rings and wedding bands with the bridal items.

What is a First Look/First Touch?


A First Look is a private photo opportunity for you and your partner. Just before the ceremony, we'll pull the both of you aside and photograph your reveal to one another. We'll photograph the moment you see each other for the first time all dressed up. A little bit of a different take is a First Touch. This is for couples who want to keep the tradition of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony. What we'll do instead is have each of you on either side of a door or the corner of a building, so you cannot see each other. The idea is you will be able to hold hands. Here you are able to pray, read some vows, or simply say a few words to each other to calm the nerves.


Is it right for us?


This is something only you and your partner can decide. Personally I love doing them, but I also appreciate the tradition of seeing each other for the first time at the alter. If you aren't sure if a First Look is right for you, allow me to help break it down for you.


  • Calms you down.

Those pesky pre-wedding jitters are usually from the nerves of the "big moment" when the bride walks down the isle. Seeing each other for the first time in private will help calm some of those nerves. It's also a fun moment to enjoy each other's company before the rush the day will bring.


  • Avoids bad weather/Saves time Cocktail hour.

Here in Florida, rain is just part of our everyday lives. So if it is set to rain in the afternoon, pushing up your Bride+Groom Photos to a First Look would be a good idea. If you want to keep the tradition and not see each other, consider a First Touch session instead. Another bonus is that it frees up time after the ceremony. You'd be able to get you back to your friends and family to mingle during cocktail hour.


  • If you're a crier, it gives you time to freshen up.

If you cry easily while simply watching cute puppy videos online like me, then I would recommend a First Look. There is nothing to be ashamed of for crying! It gives you such a special moment between you and your partner, away from everyone. Bonus is that you will have time to freshen up your makeup before the big reveal at the ceremony.


Some things to take into account is that, as mentioned, it will take away from the tradition of seeing each other for the first time at the isle. Another consideration is that your Bride+Groom photos will not be taken at sunset. We are able to photograph beautiful photos at every hour of the day no matter when they are taken. However, if you had your heart set out on photos being done at sunset, we would just have to make time during the reception to get your dream photos shot. And lastly, another fun option is to do a First Look with a parent or with your bridal party instead. This allows you to keep the tradition with your partner, but still gives you fun images for your album!


You can view Idea Boards I've created on Pinterest here.


Whether you are doing First Look or not, we are here for you and are happy with whichever you decide.

The Timeline

The Timeline

The Wedding Day Timeline


A timeline is all the events of your wedding day planned out by time. Easy enough. From the start when you get ready to the very end when I have to leave. This is probably the most tedious part of your wedding planning. I know, it's stressful. But I am here to help! Your timeline is extremely important, not only for me but for you and the rest of the wedding party. A timeline will help keep everyone from running behind.


Something to remember about the timeline is to allow time for travel and traffic (if needed) and time for running behind. Essentially, try not to cram it all in. Allowing for extra time can be key to keeping your wedding on track. If there are aspects you want photographed and cannot seem to find the time, you can always call me and we can figure it out together. However, I am not a wizard (still waiting for my Hogwarts letter). Photos take time. Especially when trying to wrangle a large group of people. If we need to add more time to your package, that is always an option. A few months before your wedding day, I will send you your timeline.


A good starting point is to plan your ceremony 2-3 hours before sunset. Next, figure out the time of Reception and then lastly, a Sparkler Exit. For traveling times, add in travel from Prep to Ceremony, or Ceremony to Formal Photos and/or Reception. Then the next things to add would be Bride and/or Groom Photos, Any First Look or First Touch, parent reveals, Grand Entrances, or any other events you want us to photograph during the Reception.

If you're planning to have a First Look, you'll need...

(Before Ceremony)

  • 1 hr Bridal Prep Photos
  • 1 hr Groom Prep Photos
  • 30 mins First Look
  • 30 mins Wedding Party + Bridal Formals

(After Ceremony)

  • 30 mins Family Photos (during cocktail hour for guests)
  • 30 mins Grand Entrance, Dances, or Speeches.
  • 30 mins Sparkler Exit

If you're not planning to have a First Look, you'll need...

(Before Ceremony)

  • 1 hr Bridal Prep Photos
  • 1 hr Groom Prep Photos
  • 30 mins Bride + Bridal Party Photos
  • 30 mins Groom + Groom Party Photos

(After Ceremony)

  • 30 mins Family Photos (during cocktail hour for guests)
  • 30 mins Full Wedding Party
  • 30 mins Grand Entrance, Dances, or Speeches
  • 15 mins Sunset Bride+Groom Photos (optional)
  • 30 mins Sparkler Exit


Below are examples of timelines with and without First Looks. This timeline is based on a 8:00PM sunset time and a 10 hour wedding package.

*Timelines may vary based on time of sunsets and Ceremony start time.


Rainy Day


If it is supposed to rain on your wedding day, it will be okay! Rainy day photos can make some beautifully romantic images. We have a couple of clear umbrellas for the couple that we usually use. Or if you have some of your own, bring them along!


Or for the opposite, if you are having a wedding during the morning or bright daylight, bring some white vintage shade umbrellas. They can also make for some great photos, as well as offer better lighting and relief from the hot sun for you and your partner.

Unplugging


This is a trend I have been seeing more and more and honestly, I love it. Asking your guests to keep cellphones away or even in the car during the ceremony is an amazing way for everyone to be in the present. There are no distracting ringtones during the I Do's and no guest paparazzi. This helps me as well when it comes to photographing. It'll keep Aunt Betty in her seat and out of the isle so that I can get your perfect shot.


Asking your guests to not carry their phones, even if temporarily, can be daunting. If you need any advice on how to go about it, I'm happy to help.

Go Into Hiding


Having the Bride and Groom go into "hiding" in their own suites 15 to 30 minutes before the ceremony is a good idea. Hiding can help you avoid guests who arrive early. It'll give you time to relax and avoid any stressful situations. A little "calm before the storm".


Family Formals Photo List


Creating a list of specific photos you want with family members is a great way to help me keep our timeline in check. This will also avoid us scrambling to find everyone who needs to have their photos taken.


Let the people who are on this list know to stick around after the ceremony. Also, ask those in the wedding party to help wrangle up the family members we need. Below is an example of a list for family photos. Remember to include names for easier wrangling!


With the Couple

  • Bride and Groom + Groom Parents (NAMES)
  • Bride and Groom + Bride Parents (NAMES)
  • Bride and Groom + Both Parents (NAMES)
  • Bride and Groom + Siblings (NAMES)
  • Bride and Groom + Immediate Family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.)



With Bride Only

  • Bride + Mom (NAME)
  • Bride + Dad (NAME)
  • Bride + Parents (NAMES)
  • Bride + Immediate Family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.)



With Groom Only

  • Groom + Mom (NAME)
  • Groom + Dad (NAME)
  • Groom + Parents (NAMES)
  • Groom + Immediate Family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.)

In the end, it's all about the love you have for one another.


Don't be afraid to do things your way! Take what you want from this guide and apply it to your day however you want. I am here to help you create a day you will never forget. I am always available if you need to reach out with any questions during this entire process.


Now, let's get you married!

In the end, it's all about the love you have for one another.


Don't be afraid to do things your way! Take what you want from this guide and apply it to your day however you want. I am here to help you create a day you will never forget. I am always available if you need to reach out with any questions during this entire process.


Now, let's get you married!