One of the first things we will do is send you our initial timeline planning questionnaire. We know that you won't have all the answers right away, but it is important for us to start the conversation about the timing of the events of your big day. The first thing we will do is determine when sunset time is on your wedding day. This we do for an important reason: to determine when "golden hour" is! Which means, the prettiest, dreamiest sunset light of the day (roughly 1 hour before sunset). This is always our starting point, and we build the timeline for the day based off of when sunset occurs -- this will allow us to plan for the BEST light of the day and all the pretty photos we can take of you at that time!
We will also be able to help you determine when your ideal ceremony time will be (after we've determined when sunset is, and what other events are occurring during the day). This is a critical step especially for winter weddings, as the sun sets very early (4pm in some cases!) and any portraits with natural light must occur before we lose the sun for the day.
2. your engagement SESSION.
Your engagement session is a great way for us to get to know you as a couple and also gives you a great opportunity to practice in front of the camera. Not only will you shake the photo nerves, but we'll actually have a great time together... and we'll get you to stop "fake smiling" and dig out that real smile! Promise!
Engagement sessions are one hour and scheduled Monday through Thursday only, as we have many weddings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (and our rare, free weekend days we spend as a family!). We offer sunrise and sunset sessions, to utilize the best light of the day (sunrise + 1 hour or sunset minus 90 minutes).
To schedule and help you plan for your session, we will send you our "Engagement Session Planning" questionnaire, which will cover a small range of ideas for scheduling, locations, hair + makeup, etc. If you need outfit ideas, check out our "What to Wear" inspiration board on Pinterest as well as our Rent the Runway Favorites on Pinterest as well. We highly recommend getting professional hair + makeup for your session.
After your engagement session, you’ll receive a link to view your gallery within 3 weeks. You’ll be able to download the digital files and purchase prints directly from your online gallery. Many clients also use their engagement photos for "Save the Date" cards, holiday cards, wedding invitations or even showcase them in one of our custom photo guest books or signing canvasses.
If you're planning to send out Save the Date cards, please make sure to let us know, as you'll generally want to have those sent out 6 or more months in advance of your wedding date (longer if you will be inviting many out-of-town guests). To ensure your Save the Dates are sent in a timely manner, make sure to schedule your session AT LEAST 3 weeks in advance of when you'd like to have your cards sent out by; the earlier, the better!
6. wedding planning QUESTIONNAIREs.
As we head toward the wedding day, we want to be intimately involved in the details of the wedding day timeline. We want to know all the little details, everything from where everything is happening, all the way down to what type of fastening does your wedding dress have (since a zipper takes less time to fasten than a corset!). We will also go over who should be included in your family + group portraits. And certainly, we also want to know who all of the vendors are that will be involved on the wedding day, so that we can coordinate ahead of time, if need be.
7. planning your wedding day TIMELINE.
We have years of experience with weddings and creating custom timelines for our wedding couples! We prefer to create the timeline for you, to give to the venue, when possible. This is one of the most important details to complete as planning your photos around the best natural light is crucial to getting the most out of your photography experience!
We will help you plan out the ideal timeline for the day, which makes your day flow smoothly and stress-free! If you want to take photos at multiple locations, we have to plan for that. If you are getting ready 30 minutes from the venue, we need to plan for that! We are pros when it comes to making sure you have a great time AND we have enough time to create the amazing images you're hiring us for!
If you have a wedding planner or a day-of planner at the venue, please have them connect with us to discuss any time constraints. While a wedding planner might believe that 12pm at high noon is the best time for your couples photographs, we will recommend that we set aside most of our bride+groom portrait time in the late afternoon/early evening or closer to sunset to ensure the very best light for your images.
8. wedding day prep
The day before the wedding, we will pack all of our bags, charge our batteries, format our memory cards and load up the car. We will have all of your timelines, questionnaires and any other items we need in both printed form and electronically via the app for our studio management system. We come prepared, no matter what comes our way. Rain or shine, snow or humidity.... we're ready!