From the lace to the gorgeous blush color palette this afternoon spent in Kentwood, LA was an absolute dream. I want to share some of my favorite shots of The White Magnolia Styled Shoot I was fortunate enough to be apart of!
New orleans city park anniversary session
Haley & Travis were my very first winners of my little giveaway and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to capture this sweet anniversary session of the two of them in New Orleans City Park!
best of 2018
2018 was a year full of blessings for me and my little dream! I was fortunate enough to have been a small part of some WONDERFUL couples’ wedding days. Being able to capture their first moments as husband and wife was such a privilege that I am so thankful for.
August 16, 2017
Hey there, bride to be! Congratulations on that shiny new rock you can’t stop staring at! After that remarkable feeling of surprise and excitement wares off, you have a lot of planning to do darling. Luckily, I’m here to help. I’m not just a wedding photographer you see, I was once a bride too. When I married the love of my life in May 2016, I was saying goodbye to about two and a half years of planning to make my wedding day dreams a reality. In that time I learned a thing or two and I can’t wait to share them with you!
Wedding planning is not at all for the faint of heart. If you’re the girl that has been dreaming of this forever and can’t wait to begin – I hear you babe, get ready! Today I want to share with you the first three vendors that you should decide on in your wedding planning game. These three decisions are some of the most important in your life. They will shape the memories and the legacy that your lifelong marriage will be. Ready to learn more?
The very first item on your list of wedding to-dos should be your wedding venue. This will set the scene for your entire wedding day! You can then begin to envision all the smaller details that will make all your fairytale dreams a reality. Once you’ve done a walk-through of your wedding venue it can also help you begin to planning for items later on in the process such as your decorations, floral displays, and even where you may want some portraits taken. Your wedding venue can also help mold a few important decisions that may come later. For example, is there space for the brides to get ready? If so, will you use the facility and hire a travel hair/makeup artist or will you and the girls get ready at the salon? Of course you don’t have to know every single answer at first, but having your venue be the first on your list can absolutely shape future decisions.
Another great reason to book your venue first is that they typically have a recommended vendor list that they give out to their clients. This can be extremely beneficial to you in knowing which vendors are familiar with your venue. Of course your venue sees them as trusted professionals already so you can rest assured that you’re hiring an amazing team!
Using vendors from a list given to you also helps to insure that you won’t have to help the vendors understand the layout of the venue. For instance, say your DJ has been hired to preform at your venue multiple times. If this is the case, you won’t have to take time out of your already busy schedule to explain the layout to him in great detail, he’s already got it!
One last great thing about vendor lists is that they can potentially save you some money. Typically venues will give out vendor lists of florists, bakers, and so many other locations in close proximity to the venue. If this is the case, you may be able to save on some travel costs that would have been added if you were to use a vendor from a surrounding town.
Overall, vendor lists can also help narrow in your focus on the things that are important to you. If you absolutely have to have one certain baker but don’t mind who plays music at your wedding, go ahead and contact whoever is on the vendor list. If they are in your price range, you have a lot less work to do in finding your perfect vendor.
Save The Date:
One of the best parts of booking your venue first is that you can secure your date! Sometimes wedding venues can book up years in advance so before you “think” you have the perfect date in mind, you’ll need to make sure its available with your venue. It hurts getting your hopes up only to have your heart broken when you find out that your dream date is unavailable.
All of these reasons add up to why your venue should be the very first task for completion in the wedding planning process.
Now I’m sure as a wedding photographer you can expect that a photographer would be on this list. However I’d like to explain in detail why choosing the person who will capture your day is so important.
Much like a wedding venue, photographers fill up FAST. With that said its best to secure your new wedding date with a photographer that you feel best suits your needs. Of course, I believe that your wedding photographer should not just be a transaction. Obviously they’ve been around the wedding business for a while so they can absolutely understand all that you’re going through and help guide some of your future decisions even further. Here’s what I mean:
Community Over Competition:
Want to know a secret? The days of photographers competing over brides are becoming virtually extinct. In fact, no one quite understands us the way that other wedding photographers do. My “competition” has sent me referrals, sent me the most encouraging emails when I needed them, and generally made me a better human as well as photographer. With all the gooey stuff in mind, it’s important to note that most vendors really do love what they do. Especially photographers.
Since we’re the ones that take incredible detail shots of flowers, cakes, and wedding gowns believe me – we have the inside scoop on who the other great vendors are. Especially since we’re typically sending them our work after the wedding for their own use. Photographers usually know the others in the wedding industry very well – good or bad. They can be a great addition in the planning process for you to learn who may be a great fit for you.
Your photographer can help mold your timeline:
Although this may not be the most important thing in the beginning of your planning process it is extremely helpful to have someone who has your best interests at heart. In my own business, I create a timeline that serves my brides to the best of my availability on a wedding day. Depending on the size of family shots to take, traditional vs. first look, and many other variables, it can be hard to accurately decide how much time is needed in each section. A wedding photographer can absolutely give you information on these topics as a chosen professional for you to decide what will be best for your own wedding day timeline.
Another great reason to go ahead and find your photographer is so that you can go ahead and get some beautiful shots of you and your new fiancé! Who doesn’t love getting all dressed up and showing the world how much you mean to one another? Engagement sessions are some of my favorite to photograph especially so that I can begin to get to know my bride and groom well before the wedding day. In doing this you don’t feel like total strangers on your big day, which can help everything else, go smoothly.
Keep in mind that the sooner you get your engagement photos delivered the sooner you can send save the dates, plan an engagement party, or simply share the news of the special changes that are to come!
I’ll admit that I took much longer than I should have on this one in my time as a bride. I’d like to explain why I regret not saying yes to my dress much sooner in my planning process.
I felt total relief.
Once I found the gown that I knew I would wear on my wedding day I felt the best calm knowing I had just completed one of the most important tasks a bride can accomplish. I was able to really begin to enjoy the smaller details of my wedding day without truly wondering what in the world I was going to wear on my big day.
One key thing I feel as though I should point is that your wedding dress is at the bottom of this list. Keep in mind as this has been mentioned several times but your wedding venue and dream photographer won’t be available forever, your dream dress? It will. It’s extremely important to make a game plan in regards to what is most important to YOU at the end of the day. I highly encourage you to find your dream place and photographer before you go shopping for the dream gown so you don’t end up in the dreaded heartbreak of disappointment when you come to learn your other wanted vendors aren’t available.
Venue First. Dress Second.
One important point to make is how important it is to choose your dress after you find the venue of your dreams. For example, if you were to have this vision of an all lace ball gown and buy your “dream dress” then decide to get married on the beach, you may not be very comfortable. Your venue can dictate so much of the kind of dress that would perfectly compliment the location. Beach weddings and boho loose fitting dress perfectly compliment one another in the same way that tulle and lace seem to coordinate perfectly with a Southern plantation wedding.
Another reason that a dress should be one of your first major to-dos is the amount of time is involved in the process. Wedding gowns can take months to come in especially if they are customized in any way. Then, as soon as the dress comes, it may need to be altered to give the perfect fit. Rather than wait until the end of the engagement to check this item off, it’s best to go ahead and handle it right away. This is also true if you’re planning on taking bridal portraits. Keep in mind that if you decide to wear your dress for a bridal session you’ll need to dedicate enough time to get the dress in, have it altered, attend the portrait session, and lastly allow enough time for the photographer to be able to give you your bridal gallery before the wedding day. Your photographer will most likely be more than willing to talk through these timelines with you months in advance so that you both can be on the same page.
Wedding planning doesn’t have to be the stressful process that it is typically displayed as in our culture. Making smart decisions at the beginning of the planning process can better shape how smoothly the next few months will be. Using these tips you can have a better sense of what’s important to you for your wedding day!