I’m excited to be working with you and I cannot wait to get to know you better over the next several months! I know that photography for your wedding is one of the larger investments you made for your wedding day and I’m honored that you chose to work with me!

While you may be working with a wedding planner or having an intimate wedding, there are still many moving pieces leading to your special day.

Over the past decade I’ve photographed dozens of weddings and I have been asked a handful of questions over and over. I wanted to share with you all of my tips and tricks from timelines to rainy wedding days.


A note about this wedding Guide

WELCOME

~Chris

Engagements are one of the best parts of working together. We get to go to one of the most picturesque locations of your choosing and we get to really represent the love you two share.  Stress free , romantic and timeless. 

Set up a time to chat and get to know one another 

Engagement Session

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Add a second step of the process to this spot 

THEIR PROCESS

Bridal Portraits

There's a big difference between looking at yourself in the mirror at a hair and makeup trial and actually seeing how that hair holds up in the elements and how that makeup photographs. When it comes to being confident in your choices on your wedding day, photos are invaluable!

If you're considering a Bridal Portrait Session, I recommend a full trial run of hair, nails, makeup and your bouquet. We typically spend 1-2 hours shooting at bridal sessions and it's nice to have something to hold to make your hands feel a little less awkward! 

When it comes to choosing a location for your bridal portrait session, I recommend using locations that are well manicured, clean, and have great variety in indoor and outdoor locations.

There's a big difference between looking at yourself in the mirror at a hair and makeup trial and actually seeing how that hair holds up in the elements and how that makeup photographs. When it comes to being confident in your choices on your wedding day, photos are invaluable!


BRIDAL PORTRAIT SESSION CHECKLIST 

Dress

Undergarment

Shoes

Veil

Bouquet

Ring

Hair pieces and jewelry


Is a First Look Right for You?

If you're wondering whether a first look is right for you, stop here.

That moment the Bride and Groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day is magical. And this is true whether the couple chooses to wait until the bride walks down the aisle or chooses to do a “first look’ prior to the ceremony.

First looks—a private moment couples choose to spend together prior to the wedding ceremony—have become more popular over the last few years. About half of our couples this year have chosen to do a first look.

While I consider ourselves people who value tradition, there are definitely a few good reasons to consider a first look. Here are 3 reasons to consider a ‘first look’:

Once the ceremony begins, the day takes off quickly. A ‘first look’ is an opportunity to enjoy some quiet time alone, enjoy each other’s company, and reflect on all this day means before your day takes off.

Wedding days can be a whirlwind and they tend to fly by. There’s much to do, and a lot of people to see and to catch up with. I always encourage our couples to take a few minutes every so often during their wedding to stop and soak in everything that’s happening.

1. A FIRST LOOK CUTS THROUGH THE CHAOS OF THE DAY.

When there is no first look, the majority of the pictures have to be taken after the ceremony. Family pictures are generally done as soon as the ceremony ends because it’s the easiest time to round everyone up. Next up is full bridal party, and then bride and groom portraits. This generally runs into cocktail hour.

A first look opens up time prior to the ceremony for full bridal party pictures and, sometimes, for a few bride and groom portraits (although we prefer to do bride and groom portraits at sunset). This allows the couple to get the most out of cocktail hour, which makes the rest of the evening feel less rushed.

2. IT MAKES MORE TIME FOR PICTURES WITHOUT SACRIFICING COCKTAIL HOUR.

If you’re expecting poor weather on your wedding day, it might be best to plan on a first look because it gives you more options for pictures. If it’s pouring rain after the ceremony, you’ll be thankful you had pictures done in advance.

And reason 3b is for all you cryers out there. If you know the tears are going to fly the first time you see your other half the day of your wedding, a first look will give you time to freshen up before the ceremony.

First look or not, the first time you see each other on your wedding day will be special.

3. AVOID POSSIBLE BAD WEATHER AND/OR HAVE TIME TO FRESHEN-UP AFTER CRYING

Your perfect wedding day Timeline

Whether you choose to do a first look or the traditional "no see before the ceremony" I will work with you on making sure you have the best timeline and plan for images.

If you're choosing to go traditional, you'll need two different sets of photo times: images taken before the ceremony and images taken after the ceremony.

You'll need to plan for about one hour of pre-ceremony bridal photos (bridesmaids and bride's family) and about one hour of pre-ceremony groom photos (groomsmen and groom's family) at separate times. You'll also need 15 minutes of combined bridal party portraits, 15 minutes of combined family portraits and at least 30 -45 minutes of couple's portraits after the ceremony if you're not doing any portraits together until after the ceremony.

Wedding Day Timeline

Example Wedding Day    Timelines

wedding Day Timeline
With a First Look 

WEDDING DAY TIMELINEWithout a
First Look

View Timeline

View Timeline

If you're doing a first look, photos can be done all at one time, taking an average total of 2 hours pre-ceremony (although I also LOVE grabbing just the two of you for a few additional bride and groom photos at sunset!)

If you choose a traditional aisle reveal, all I ask is that you keep your ceremony time in mind when planning your wedding.

If you're planning a sunset ceremony or an evening ceremony, it's best to do all photos before the wedding, as daylight is crucial to getting amazing portraits for your families, bridal party and your couples portraits. Making sure I have enough time while the sun is up is a great way to make the traditional ceremony work.

12 PM- Getting Ready

12 P.M

Chris arrives at Bride's getting ready location and the second shooter arrives at the Groom's Getting ready location. 

note: Ideally by the time we arrive, hair and makeup is already wrapping up. If something is giong to delay begnining of the day, often its the HMUA

1:15PM - GUYS DEPART

1:15 P.M.

Groom+ groomsmen depart for ceremony site

1:30PM - LADIES DEPART

1:30 p.M.

Bride and bridesmaids depart for ceremony location. 

1:45 FIRST LOOK

1:45 P.M.

The first look takes place. 

Note: The First Look can take place at the getting ready location, ceremony, or reception location. It’s up to you! Although we’re happy to make recommendations.

2:00PM - PORTRAITS

2:00 P.M.

Bride & Groom + bridal party portraits.

3:00PM CEREMONY

3:00 P.M.

The ceremony takes place.

3:30PM FAMILY PORTRAITS

3:30 P.M.

Family portraits.

Note: We do family portraits right after the ceremony because everyone you need will be easy to grab. If you can give your family notice that we’ll be taking pictures immediately after the ceremony, that will also ensure that no one wanders off. We’ll help you create a list of family portraits before the big day. 

4:00PM PORTRAITS

4:00 P.M.

Additional Bridal Party and Bride & Groom Portraits

Note: Depending on what was taken before the ceremony, we might grab 1 or 2 more full bridal party shots.

4:30PM COCKTAIL HOUR 

4:30 P.M. 

Cocktail Hour

Note: The great thing about doing a First Look is that it gives you more time at cocktail hour. We’ll grab some pictures of your guests while you enjoy the hour.

5PM INTRODUCTIONS

5:00 P.M.

Introductions & First Dance

5:30PM DINNER

5:30 P.M.

Welcome toasts & salads followed by speeches and entrees. 

6PM SUNSET PORTRAITS

6:00 P.M.

Sunset Portraits

We’ll make sure to grab you two about 45 minutes before the sunsets. This is usually the best light of the day!

6:30PM DANCING

6:30 P.M.

Dancing begins

7:15PM TRADITIONS

7:15 P.M.

Cake cutting followed by bouquet toss.

8:00PM PHOTOGRAPHERS DEPART

8:00 P.M.

Photographers Depart

1PM Getting Ready

1 P.M

Chris arrives at Bride's getting ready location and the second shooter arrives at the Groom's Getting ready location. 

note: Ideally by the time we arrive, hair and makeup is already wrapping up. If something is giong to delay begnining of the day, often its the HMUA

2:00 PM

Groom + groomsmen depart for ceremony site & take pre-ceremony group photos. 

2:00PM - GUYS DEPART

2:15 p.m.

Bride and bridesmaids depart for ceremony location and take pre-ceremony group photos. 

2:15PM - LADIES DEPART

3:00 p.m.

The ceremony takes place.

3:00PM CEREMONY

3:30 p.m.

Family portraits.

3:30PM FAMILY PORTRAITS

Note: We do family portraits right after the ceremony because everyone you need will be easy to grab. If you can give your family notice that we’ll be taking pictures immediately after the ceremony, that will also ensure that no one wanders off. We’ll help you create a list of family portraits before the big day. 

4:00 P.M.

Bridal Party and Bride & Groom Portraits

4:00PM PORTRAITS

Note: Depending on what was taken before the ceremony, this normally takes about an hour total. 

5:30 P.M.

Introductions & First Dance

5:30PM INTRODUCTIONS

6:00 P.M.

Welcome toasts & salads followed by speeches and entrees. 

6:00PM DINNER

7:30 P.M.

Sunset Portraits

We’ll make sure to grab you two about 45 minutes before the sunsets. This is usually the best light of the day!

7:30PM SUNSET PORTRAITS

8:00 P.M.

Dancing begins

8:00PM DANCING

8:30 P.M.

Cake cutting followed by bouquet toss.

8:30PM TRADITIONS

9:00 P.M.

Photographer’s Depart

9:00PM PHOTOGRAPHERS DEPART

While I can't guarantee that rain on your wedding day is good luck, I can put a plan in place to ensure a beautiful day and beautiful images.

Rainy day weddings may require a little more flexibility and creativity, but there isn't any reason why they can't be as beautiful and as joyful as sunny weddings!

If you don't own a pair of cute Wellies, now may be a great time to order a pair - even if you're just wearing them in between shooting locations. 

If you're not working with a planner, it might also be a good idea to check in with your entire vendor team to make sure they're aware of the weather. Hair and makeup may need to be tweaked to withstand humidity and if your wedding is outdoors, DJs and bands may need to take extra precaution to protect their gear. A quality rental team can also minimize the amount of mud at outdoor events.

While I can't guarantee that rain on your wedding day is good luck, I can put a plan in place to ensure a beautiful day and beautiful images.

Rainy day weddings may require a little more flexibility and creativity, but there isn't any reason why they can't be as beautiful and as joyful as sunny weddings!


Rain in the forcast?

Wedding day Details

I love capturing all the little details you've carefully chosen to be a part of your wedding day! Once I arrive at your wedding, I need about 30 minutes to capture and style details. I recommend choosing a getting ready location filled with natural light and, if possible, please keep the space free from trash and clutter.

It would be wonderful if you could put all of your rings, jewelry, shoes, veil purse, perfume, invitations and other keepsakes together in one spot for us. Please unwrap your dress but don't worry about styling it - I'll hang it in a beautiful spot! 

Dress

Dress Hanger

Rings (both engagement and wedding bands)

Shoes

Veil

Bouquet

Hair pieces

Jewelry

Invitation Suite ( 2 full sets with envelopes + stamps)

Any other paper stationary you may have like program cards.

Vow Book

Any other sentimental keepsakes you would like to include
I once had a bride bring her grandmother's hand mirror. This is completely optional - but if you have something sentimental you'd like styled with your details, I love including family heirlooms in our detail shots.

Bonus: I'd love to have a few cuts of the florals you'll be using throughout your wedding day. If your florist will supply us a small bucket of extra pieces I can incorporate those in your detail shots.
I once had a bride bring her Fathers cowboy hat. This is completely optional - but if you have something sentimental you'd like styled with your details, I love including family heirlooms in our detail shots.

GROOM DETAILS CHECKLIST 

His shoes

Socks (if they're special)

Cuff Links

Tie or Bow Tie

Pocket Square

Boutonnière

Vows Book

Rings

Anything else he'll have that is special or sentimental.

Bridal Wedding Details

The Rings

When possible, I  always try to take a photo of your rings while you're getting ready. If possible, try to have your engagement ring cleaned or clean it yourself. To clean at home, soak your ring in warm water with dishwashing soap for 20 to 40 minutes. Then gently brush the stone with a soft toothbrush, rinse and repeat if needed.

Family Formals

YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY, DRESSED UP AND TOGETHER 

For family portraits, I'll place you in the center of a large group photo with all of your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, godparents, etc. And then I'll remove the extended family so it’s just grandparents, parents and siblings.

I'll keep removing family members and switch a few closer family members in and out so I get photos of you and your parents, you and your siblings, some with the groom and your family, etc. Then I'll repeat the process with your spouse's family. The whole thi