Emily Kyle Photography Wedding Guide

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T H E F I R S T- L O O K











www.emilykylephotography.com // emily@emilykylephotography.com


Hey there! If you’re reading this, then you probably just recently got engaged in which case, a huge CONGRATULATIONS is in order! (Cue the champagne popping!) Now you’re in the midst of the excitement, fun, and likely some overwhelm, of planning your amazing wedding day. Just know, I’m here to help every step of the way. (That’s why I call it a ‘tribe’ - we’ve got your back). Since you’re hanging out with me, it means that photography is very important to you, but at the same time, you know that it’s about more than just beautiful images of your wedding day. While you and your fiancé are starting this amazing new adventure of chasing after love, growth and a beautiful, fulfilling life with one another, I’ll be right alongside you to help you slow down and be in the moment for this epically thrilling and happy day of your life. Though I use the terms ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ throughout parts of this guide, to me, love is love, no matter what it looks like. I am an LGBTQ+ wedding friendly photographer and anyone and everyone is welcome here. The purpose of this guide is to give you insight into working with EKP so you know what to expect and to be a resource of tips and tricks to help you plan your wedding day in a way that allows for the best photography experience possible. Now, let’s get to it! Your adventure awaits.

Throughout this digital guide, you’ll find links to additional resources and information so be sure to click around!



If there’s one thing you should know, it’s that I love what I do and I can’t thank you enough for allowing me in on your special day. It’s such an honor to be going on this adventure with you and capturing these memories for generations to come. Since we’ll be spending a lot of time with each other on your wedding day, I want to be sure you feel like you really know me. So here goes: My family is originally from France but I was born in Charleston, West Virginia, moved to Baltimore, Maryland when I was 11, then landed in Michigan for college. After attending a fine arts high school and spending my days in a darkroom, I decided to study photojournalism at the University of Michigan. As a student, I found weddings, and I guess you could say that I fell in love with love and I haven’t looked back since. Today, I call Detroit home but I love to hop in the car or on a plane any chance I get! I have a hard time sitting still and am always looking out for the next best thing or a new experience. (Hello, enneagram 7!) That’s because I believe life is short and we ought to be out there giving

our time to people that matter, experiences that help us grow and work that fulfills us. So when I’m not behind the camera, you can find me trying the latest restaurant or bar to open up in Detroit (I’m always on the hunt for the best old fashioned, my drink of choice) or podcasting about happiness with one of my best friends. I was a competitive figure skater for 17 years but these days, I’m more into getting my sweat on at the gym or running outside. I live life on the edge of organization and spontaneity and I’m obsessed with peanut butter, coffee, scones and I have a really bad habit of buying a band t-shirt at just about every concert I go to. My favorite parts of the wedding day are the bridal details (it’s the little things that complete the story) and the firstlook (be it between you and your fiancé, you and your dad, or anyone else), I can’t get enough of all the emotion and excitement that comes with a first-look! Now that you know me a little better, I can’t wait to get to know you! And fair warning: I’m nosy and will definitely ask you (if I haven’t already) about your love story. Meet me on the ‘gram!


THE BIG PICTURE The best way to ensure a stress-free wedding day is to be organized and on top of your planning. Once you’ve chosen your wedding date and selected a venue, this is a big picture timeline of what to expect from the time you book with EKP to the day you receive your wedding album.


BOOK PHOTOGRAPHER: 10 -18 MONTHS PRIOR There’s really no rule on when to book your photographer and it will depend on the wedding date you choose but 10 to 18 months is the typical range for EKP couples. This provides a good amount of time for planning and a good chance that your wedding date is still available, especially if you’re getting married during the busy wedding season (May through October in Michigan). Once you book, you’ll receive access to an online portal where you can see upcoming dates, invoices, notes and eventually your gallery and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to register for a wedding album or wall art.

ENGAGEMENT SESSION: 8 -10 MONTHS PRIOR If you plan to use photos for your save the dates, then schedule your session between 8 and 10 months prior to the wedding. For destination weddings, lean more towards 10 months before the wedding. For local weddings, 8 months out is just fine. If save the dates are not of concern, then you can schedule your engagement session at any time before 2 weeks out from the wedding. You’ll receive your photos via an online gallery 3-4 weeks after the session.

ORDER SAVE THE DATES: 7-9 MONTHS PRIOR Once you’ve received your engagement photos, it’s time to order your save the dates! After selecting your favorite photos and finalizing the design, my typical turn-around time is about 2 weeks and you can expect a similar time frame from many printers. However, I always encourage you to give yourself more time just in case you have a change of heart about the design, a printing error occurs or the package gets delayed. It’s a good idea to allow 1 month for the save the date process, from designing to sending.

WEDDING QUESTIONNAIRE: 6 WEEKS PRIOR About 6 weeks out, you’ll receive a pre-wedding questionnaire to fill out. This allows me to review the details of the wedding day and make sure I’m up to date on any additions or changes to your plans. Most importantly, this is when we’ll work together on developing your wedding day timeline (if you haven’t already) to ensure enough time has been allocated for photos.

WEDDING DAY! This one’s easy.



For local weddings, aim to mail your save the dates no later than 6 months prior to the wedding so guests can plan accordingly. For destination weddings or if the majority of your guests will be traveling from out-of-state and beyond, sending them out 8 months prior to the wedding will allow guests more time to make travel arrangements.

I know you’ll be anxious to share moments from your wedding day with friends, family and on social media the minute you wake up the next day. That’s why you can expect to receive sneak peaks of your photos within 48 hours of your wedding!

SEND INVITATIONS: 3 - 4 MONTHS PRIOR You’ll want to mail out invitations 8 to 12 weeks prior to the wedding. If your guests will need to make significant travel arrangements, 4 months prior to the wedding is courteous.

COFFEE MEETING: 2 MONTHS PRIOR At this point, you’ll receive an invitation from me to meet and chat about your big day! Whether over coffee, via Zoom or on the phone, during this time, we’ll review your package and make any changes or additions, if need be. This is also the perfect time to go through any questions you may have.

PHOTO REVEAL: 4 - 6 WEEKS AFTER Enjoy your honeymoon. Enjoy your first month as newlyweds. Soon after, you’ll receive an invitation to schedule your photo reveal where you’ll see all of your photos for the first time and gain access to your online gallery! We’ll also begin the album design and photo selection process for prints and wall art.

ALBUM & WALL ART: 2 - 3 MONTHS AFTER Once you’ve received your gallery, you’ll select your favorite images to use in your wedding album and for any prints, canvases or gallery wraps. Once I receive your selections, the album design, review and revision process typically takes about 4-6 weeks. Once your album is approved, expect 4-6 weeks for printing and delivery.





PLANNING FOR YOUR SESSION THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION You hands down should have an engagement session. At this point, you’ve chosen your wedding date or decided where to jet off to if you’re going the destination wedding route. Maybe you’ve also booked your venue and now your photographer. All that in itself, is worth celebrating and an engagement session is a great way to document this milestone in your life! An engagement session is also the perfect way for us to get to know one another and it’s essentially a practice session for the wedding day. This way, when I arrive on the wedding day, I’ll already know how you two interact and you’ll feel much more comfortable in front of the camera. Lastly, an engagement session is the best time to showcase your authentic love and relationship. Because it’s just the three of us without the stress, pressures and audience of the wedding day, it’s much easier to relax, feel comfortable and really be yourself during the shoot, all of which comes through in the photos.


You can schedule the session anytime up to two weeks before your wedding. If you plan to send out save the dates that incorporate a photo from the shoot, between 8 and 10 months prior to the wedding date is a good time frame. This gives you ample time to order save the dates, address them and send them out by the 6 to 8 month mark. The next thing to consider is the sun. If you want soft, romantic light, the best time to shoot is the two hours before sunset, otherwise known as golden hour. This can vary drastically depending on the time of year and will be much earlier in winter months than in summer months. For example, in Michigan, a fall session during golden hour would be between 6 and 8 pm while a winter session would be from 3 to 5 pm. Lastly, your choice of location may affect when you schedule your session. For example, say you chose to shoot at a museum. In this case, a morning or weekday afternoon session would require working around fewer crowds than a Saturday session.

THE LOCATION Choose locations that matter to the two of you! How do you two spend a lot of your time? What kinds of things do you enjoy doing together as a couple? Think about locations that reflect your relationship and less about having a “cool” location. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to be in your home, downtown or on the beach. If the location brings back great memories and excites the two of you, it will be perfect. Seriously. It could be a farm, a museum or a laundromat. Be creative and have fun with it! There are no rules here so long as you love it.

HAIR & MAKE-UP Unless you’re a make-up and beauty guru, consider professional hair and make-up. Makeup for photos is different than make-up for everyday wear. You’ll want more coverage and saturation, and avoid too much heaviness around the eyes. With a professional, you’ll feel

great about how you look and can be confident it will last the whole day. This is also a great opportunity to schedule your hair and make-up trials! This way, you kill two birds with one stone and have professionally done hair and make-up. 11

Bonus read: “10 Ways to Use Your Engagement Photos” Bonus read: “5 Reasons You Definitely Should Have an Engagement Session”

WHAT TO WEAR Whatever you choose to wear, make it comfortable and true to you and your personal style. If you buy something new, take it out for a test run. Otherwise, you may discover that it’s uncomfortable and you’ll spend the entire shoot adjusting and worrying about how you look. Solids and subtle patterns fair nicely and neutrals (grey, tan) photograph the best and show more detail. Darker colors (navy, black) are flattering but you’ll lose some detail. Avoid strong graphics and logos as the print can take away from your face in the photos. Lastly, coordinate outfits with your fiancé, don’t match! Wear complimenting colors and outfits that have similar vibes. Many couples choose to do one “dressier” outfit and one casual, everyday look. I love this! It’s like getting two sessions in one. I recommend starting your session with the more formal outift.

MAKE A DAY OF IT Rather than put your engagement session on your calendar as just one more thing you need to do, make a day-long date out of it! This way, you won’t feel rushed to and from your photos. It will also take away some of the pressure of being in front of the camera since you’ll be more in the mood and feel more connected for your photos.



Read more tips for putting together your wedding day timeline on the blog!


The timeline, or schedule, of your wedding day (though not super exciting, I’ll admit) is one of the most crucial aspects of the day. A well thought-out timeline is the best thing you can do for a stress-free wedding and will make all the difference in your photography. To start. work through the following questions to put together your timeline:

WILL YOU BE DOING A FIRST-LOOK? The three main portrait types on the wedding day are your couple portraits, family portraits and wedding party portraits. When these portraits will be taken is based on whether or not you’ll be doing a first-look and when the ceremony will start. With a first-look, the majority of these portraits will be done before the ceremony which means your ceremony can start a bit later in the day since you’ll need less time in between the ceremony and reception for photos. If you won’t be doing a first-look, you’ll need ample time for all of these group portraits after the ceremony.

WHEN ARE YOUR GETTING MARRIED? Is your wedding date in the spring, summer, fall or winter? The first thing to consider is daylight, so do a quick google search of what time sunset will be for your exact wedding day. For the best photos, plan around the sun to ensure that you have daylight for all of the portraits and for your ceremony.

WHAT TIME IS THE CEREMONY? Next, figure out the approximate length and time of your ceremony. This may be partially determined by your venue and any time requirements they have. If it’s entirely up to you, the best time of day is 2 to 3 hours before sunset for an outdoor ceremony. For longer ceremonies, shift the start time up to ensure there’s plenty of daylight remaining after for photos The first-look and your ceremony time will inform one another as you piece together the day, so answering these three questions is the best place to start. From there, you can work backwards to get a general timeline of the day together using the approximate times for the various events and photos of the day listed on this page. Then fill in with travel and plenty of buffer time!

A P P R O X I M AT E T I M E S Bridal Details: 45 minutes Getting Ready: 1 hour

First-Look: 15 minutes

Couple Portraits: 30 minutes

Bridesmaids Portraits: 15 minutes Groomsmen Portraits: 15 minutes

Wedding Party Portraits: 30 minutes Family Portraits: 15 to 30 minutes Ceremony Details: 10 minutes Reception Details: 15 minutes

Sunset or Nighttime Photos: 15 minutes


THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND Most weddings require 8 hours (or more) of photography. The following questions will also affect the amount of time you need and the timeline: •

Where will the two of you be getting ready and how much time is needed to travel between locations?

Will you have a second photographer?

Are you doing a receiving line?

What is the distance between the ceremony and reception venue?

Will there be a cocktail hour?

How many people are in your wedding party?

How many people are in your family photos?

How many guests are you expecting at the wedding?

And the truth is, even though you may put hours into planning the perfect timeline, things can still go slightly off track on the wedding day. Hair and make-up may take longer, the limo might get stuck in traffic or guests may arrive early to the reception hall. No matter what, the best advice I can give you is to plan for buffer time! In the next few pages, you’ll see sample wedding day timelines, both with and without a first-look and a 5pm ceremony start time. These schedules also depict two different orders of events during the reception to show you the possibilities and help guide you as you piece together your own timeline.


SAMPLE TIMELINE W I T H A F I R S T- L O O K 1:00 pm | Photographer arrives; photograph bridal details 1:30 pm | Getting ready photos 2:30 pm | Couple depart separately for first-look 2:45 pm | First-look and couple portraits 3:30 pm | Wedding party portraits 4:00 pm | Family portraits 4:30 pm | Bride freshens up and is tucked away from early arriving guests; photograph ceremony and reception decor 5:00 pm | Ceremony begins 5:30 pm | Ceremony ends and cocktail hour begins; photograph signing of the marriage license; more family photos if needed 6:15 pm | Reception doors open 6:30 pm | Grand entrance of wedding party 6:40 pm | Dinner is served 7:25 pm | Speeches and thank yous 7:45 pm | Couple’s first dance 7:50 pm | Father-daughter dance 7:55 pm | Mother-son dance 8:15 pm | Bouquet toss and garter toss 8:20 pm | Cake cutting 8:25 pm | Dance floor opens; bride and groom sneak out for sunset or nighttime photos 9:00pm | Photography coverage ends

In this sample wedding day timeline with a first-look, you’ll notice that all three major types of portraits are taken before the ceremony, leaving a more relaxed and flexible schedule after the ceremony. This allows you to make it to the end of the cocktail hour if you choose, or to begin the reception earlier so guests aren’t kept waiting. This also provides a buffer of time after the ceremony should something earlier in the day set the schedule behind. There’s now 30 to 60 minutes from 5:30 to 6:30pm before the reception starts that can be used for photos (or anything else) if need be. This schedule allows adequate time for all portraits and ceremony as well as reception decor photos. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of having a first-look, skip to the next page, then come back!


Click to download my wedding timeline worksheet! This will walk you through putting together your timeline step by step.


2:30 pm | Photographer arrives; photograph bridal details 3:00 pm | Getting ready photos 4:00 pm | Groom & groomsmen portraits 4:15 pm | Bride & bridesmaids portraits 4:30 pm | Bride freshens up and is tucked away from early arriving guests; photograph ceremony and reception decor 5:00 pm | Ceremony begins 5:30 pm | Ceremony ends and cocktail hour begins; photograph signing of the marriage license 5:45 pm | Family portraits 6:05 pm | Wedding party portraits 6:25 pm | Couple portraits 7:00 pm | Reception doors open 7:15 pm | Grand entrance of wedding party 7:25 pm | Dinner is served 8:10 pm | Speeches and thank yous 8:25 pm | Cake cutting 8:30 pm | Couple’s first dance 8:35 pm | Father-daughter dance 8:40 pm | Mother-son dance 8:45 pm | Dance floor opens; couple sneak out for sunset or nighttime photos 9:35 pm | Bouquet toss and garter toss 10:15 pm | Controlled exit 10:30pm | Photography coverage ends

Without a first-look, the day can start later, leaving more time for hair and make-up prior to the photographer’s arrival. However, there’s a bit more coordinating to do between groups to keep the couple apart while getting the groom and groomsmen portraits as well as the bride and bridesmaids portraits crossed off the list. Following the ceremony, you’ll need to allow more time for portraits during an extended cocktail hour. This schedule allows enough time for all portraits and time for ceremony and reception decor photos. And of course, without a first-look, the big reveal is saved for the altar.



The first-look is when the couple sees one another for the first time before the ceremony at a location away from the eyes of family and friends. This private moment between the couple typically starts with the groom getting into place, looking away so he can’t see the bride as she reaches the location. Once the bride is ready, she can walk up towards him and tap him on the shoulder or call out his name, to which he will turn around and see his beautiful bride for the first time!

WHY IT’S WORTH IT SAVE TIME: Because you’ll have already seen one another, we can take the majority of the formals and portraits

before the ceremony. After the first-look, it’s simple to go directly into your couple portraits before meeting up with your wedding party for photos. This way, the only group portraits to take after the ceremony are family photos! With less photos to take, you can get to your cocktail hour or reception sooner and your guests aren’t kept waiting. LESS PRESS URE: Because your wedding party nor family is around, you’ll be more comfortable and relaxed since

it’s just the two of you (and me). Your partner is free to react openly during a first-look! Unlike when the two of you see one another at the altar and you can’t speak much or kiss and hug. You each have to wait the length of the ceremony, and by that point, the reaction’s not the same as what went through your minds the second you laid eyes on one another. And as a bonus, the first-look means that when you both first see one another, I can capture you actually next to each other rather than separated by rows of chairs. MORE PORTR AI TS: The couple portraits after the ceremony can feel rushed and getting back into a

romantic mood can be more difficult coming off of family photos. Instead, the first-look is a chance to ease the nerves and jitters before making it official and will put you in the perfect mood for amazing romantic portraits.To make things even better, with more time for portraits, your gallery will have so many more photographs of the two of you! These are the photos you’ll hang all over your home, use in your album and gush over when friends come over. Including a firstlook in your day is the best way to truly get the most out of your investment into your wedding photography. YOUR ONLY M O M ENT ALO NE: The first-look could very well be your only time alone on the wedding day. Weddings

are busy and because family and friends are there and everyone wants to celebrate with the couple, often, you’ll find very few minutes to step away and really take in the day together. A first-look provides a chance to connect and relish in the day before being surrounded by your guests.

IT DOESN’T SPO I L THE REVEAL AT THE A LTA R : It definitely doesn’t spoil the reveal at the altar! The wedding day

is so exciting that you’ll both still be overwhelmed with emotion at the altar. If you’re worried about it, I always suggest brides leave one thing off for the first-look so there’s something new at the altar. Maybe leave your veil off, or don’t put on all of your jewelry. Either way, with the added excitement of your friends and family around you, the reveal will still be as special as ever.

Read the pros and cons of doing a first-look.


A LT E R N AT I V E F I R S T- L O O K S If you’re not sure or you and your fiancé can’t agree on whether or not the first-look is right for the two of you and your wedding day plans, there are some “meet-in-the-middle” options that you might love. You can be creative! I’ve had couples read letters to one another from opposite sides of a door holding hands so they can hear and talk to one another, but can’t see one another. Or maybe you speak and hold one another, but remain blindfolded. This way you feel and hear one another, which helps to calm the nerves and gives you a moment together without taking away the surprise. Alternatively or in addition, you can also do a first-look with someone else - a parent, sibling, bridesmaids, whomever! This way you get some of the fun of the first-look while still sticking to tradition and seeing each other for the first time at the altar.

GETTING READY It’s finally your wedding day! Hopefully all of the details are in place and if there are any last minute to-dos that still need crossing off the list, you’ve delegated them so that you can enjoy the most stress-free morning possible. The getting ready portion of the day is honestly one of my favorites because the energy is so high. With that being said, it can be easy in the planning process to write-off the morning and not put much thought into the location or schedule but it’s actually really important that you do. This tends to be the part of the day (yep, the very beginning) when things get behind schedule. To make sure you have the best getting ready experience, I teamed up with friend and Detroit-based stylist, Hailey Ivankovics (who is also a bride and in the midst of planning her own wedding as we write this) to give you our strategy for balancing both hair and make-up and photography and keeping everyone on time in the morning! HAIR & MAKE-UP It’s best to have your make-up done first, then your hair. This way, your make-up artist doesn’t have to worry about pinning your freshly done hair off your face and you’ll have make-up on when the photography begins. You’ll first need to decide if you’ll be going to a salon or having your artists come to you (Skip to p. 26 for more on choosing your location). Most makeup applications take 20 to 45 minutes and most formal hair styling takes 40 to 60 minutes. You’ll want 1 makeup artist and 1 hair stylist for every 3 people receiving services. This will help everyone stay on time and not overwhelm the stylists. This will sound excessive, but plan to be done with your hair and makeup 3 hours before you need to get dressed. Here’s why. More often than not, something will require more time than anticipated and we all would always rather have extra time than to have you be an hour late to your own wedding because your favorite Aunt Dorothy couldn’t get the right shade of lipstick and her dang bangs just won’t lay right. Some stylists charge extra for getting started before 8am. This is normal in the industry and worth every penny to ensure your day runs as scheduled. You, the bride, should be either the first or one of the first persons out of the party to be done up since you are the reason for the day and deserve to have as much time spent on your hair and make-up as needed. If your artists have to rush through a few bridesmaids at the end because your make-up or hair ran over on time, that is always a better scenario than rushing through your hair and make-up because of darn, hard to please Aunt Dorothy. PHOTOGRAPHY TIMELINE If you go to a salon, it’s simple. schedule your appointments so that you’re all done several hours before your photographer’s arrival. If your team is traveling to you, time the photographer’s arrival for 1.5 to 2 hours before you need to get dressed or during the anticipated start time for hair of the second to last person in your group. Right when I arrive, I’ll begin capturing all of your details and your dress followed by some candids of you and your entourage hanging out and being dolled up. If the groom is getting ready in the same location, this is also when I’ll quickly jump over to capture him and his entourage getting ready. Otherwise, my second photographer will capture the groom getting ready as well as candids, details and possibly group portraits, while I’m with the bride. Next, I’ll ask your bridesmaids to get into their dresses and shoes so that when it comes time for you to get into your dress, they are dressed and ready to help you. While they change, we can recreate some final photos of your lipstick being applied and hair style being finished. I’ll capture your loved ones helping you tie the dress, put on your shoes, pin your veil and finish with any jewelry. And after a few final beauty shots, we’ll head out for the first-look or some portraits.


BRIDAL BEAUTY B Y H A I L E Y I VA N K O V I C S ( @ h a i l e y h a i r )

FINDING YOUR STYLISTS Now that you have a date picked and a venue, I highly recommend reaching out to your hairstylist to secure a date with them as soon as possible. If you don’t have a stylist you see regularly, the best place to start is with your friends! Ask them who they used or who they know. Word of mouth is my go-to when searching for new stylists or makeup artists. If you are getting married out of your area, head to the internet and social media. There are so many on-site teams available but you should act quick. Chances are, you aren’t the only bride getting married that day and most teams can only handle one wedding party per day. If you have a stylist that you regularly see, ask them if they feel confident doing your hair for the wedding. As a stylist myself, formal hair styling is one of my favorite services to offer. However, there are many stylists that are not as passionate about formal styling and will likely recommend someone they trust to take care of you.

CHOOSING YOUR “LOOK” Now it’s time to decide how you want to look on your wedding day. And no pressure. This is where your stylist will be a great resource to help you! First, think about what your dress looks like - this should be a major influence on your look. For example, if you love the back of your dress and want to show it off, wearing your hair up or to the side is the best way to expose details or an open back. If you have a detailed neckline or straps, wearing your hair up will allow them to be seen. Strapless? You have a ton of flexibility with your style. Next, we’ll take into consideration how you typically style your hair. Your wedding day look should be an elevated version of who you are, not about trying out a new look or style. If you never wear a ponytail, then wear your hair down with a few pieces pulled off your face. Constantly in a messy bun? You probably don’t like having hair around your face and neck when you want to be comfortable so wearing it up will likely be best. If you have pin straight hair or hair that won’t hold a curl but wearing your hair down is a must, then you’ll want to invest in extensions. Clip-ins are great and can be found at reasonable prices (just make sure the hair is human - Remy hair is ideal). If extensions just are not your thing, that’s fine too. Just understand that once you leave the salon, or your stylist leaves you, between the weather and family members touching you, your hair could lose its style throughout the day.

MAKE-UP & SKIN With a game plan for your hair, now, what about your face and skin? I always recommend getting your makeup done professionally because make-up to be photographed is a bit different than everyday make-up. But if you’re someone who typically doesn’t wear makeup, don’t panic! It doesn’t have to look over the top. Again, you want to feel like an elevated version of yourself - a look you could do on yourself if you only knew what you were doing. HA! For bridal looks, soft tones and dark lashes with a soft lip are what we do most often because it’s a more natural look and it photographs well. Dark and dramatic smokey eyes can make your eyes look smaller or get lost in shadow in photos so if a smokey eye is your thing, we’ll swap blacks for greys, purples and browns. As far as your skin goes, a spray tan for you and your party is a must for an instant confidence boost and wedding day glow. If you can find a physical human to spray you, that is always more ideal than a machine spray tan. They can contour your body and give you the perfect, natural tone. You’ll want to schedule the spray tan appointment 2-3 days before the wedding and after your nails (the pedicure will soak off the solution). 23

THE WEDDING TRIAL You’ll want to schedule a hair and make-up trial 1 to 2 months before the wedding on a day when you have somewhere to go after, like your shower or bachelorette party. Trials are for you, the bride, to see if your vision looks as good as you envision in your head. Hairstylists and make-up artists who do formal styling know how to create almost any look you throw at them. The trial is about making you feel comfortable, not testing their abilities. That’s why it’s so important for you to document your look when you leave and throughout the rest of the day and night. This way, you can see how your style wears and photographs. Like if you wanted to wear your hair down and curly with black eyeliner and blue eye shadow, but by 5:00 pm, your hair is flat and stuck to your face that is also smudged with runny mascara because it was humid out, then you know some changes need to be made.

SALON OR ON-SITE? If your stylist usually works out of a salon, then I recommend going to that salon. With all of our tools and products there, you’ll be in our world so we can take the best care of you. If everyone traveling to the salon isn’t practical, and your artists are coming to you, that’s awesome too! We’re more than equipped to take amazing care of you on location. However, if you’re getting ready at a Holiday Inn Express (I can make this statement because I am making my hair stylist and make up artist friends get me ready in a Holiday Inn Express room), please try to rent out the largest room with as much natural light as possible. I cannot tell you how many brides I’ve gotten ready while they sit on the toilet because it was the only place with light and an electric outlet. That’s just not the way anyone wants to start their day (and probably not the getting ready photos you’ve been dreaming of either). Obviously, this day is all about you, how you look and feel and as a stylist, I will do everything in my power to make that happen (hence the toilet thing). But, having a room with multiple plugs, great lighting and lots of space makes everything easier for everyone involved. We want to take great care of you but that becomes difficult when there are 4 people in the Holiday Inn Express bathroom while Aunt Dorothy needs to use the restroom. The setting, timing and clear communication prior to the big day all play a major role in the success of you looking and feeling absolutely amazing. Final words? Stay sane, remember this day is about you and your partner. You will look amazing regardless of what you decide to do and they will love you with a bold lip and shaved off eyebrows because some kid on Tik-Tok told you it was a good idea and you somehow forgot that your wedding is in 4 days. I’m so happy you’ve found the love of your life and wish you nothing but the best!

“Where to Get Ready on Your Wedding Day: 5 Tips When Choosing Your Location” Click to read.

GETTING READY LOCATION HOW TO CHOOSE There are several things you should think about when deciding where to get ready on the morning of the wedding. It can be easy to get ready at your ceremony venue if the space is available but be sure it doesn’t lack in all of these other features. First is size. Is there enough space for your entire crew, plus make-up and hair stylists, your photographer and family to move about comfortably while still keeping the space organized and clutter free? Do you have space to hang your dresses? Are there mirrors and outlets for everything you and your team needs? A larger space will allow for full frame shots of you each getting dressed without visible bags and other “stuff” next to you. Clutter can also cause stress so space to breathe will only make things better for everyone involved. Getting ready photos are an important part of your story so it’s worth putting a little extra effort into choosing a beautiful location. Rather than a hotel with unflattering fluorescent lighting, consider renting an Airbnb or borrowing another space. There is something to be said for the aesthetic of the space in your photos. Think about outdoor spots near your getting ready locations. It’s always nice to have a spot or two that would make for nice portraits close by. And finally, consider proximity to both the venue and where your partner will be getting ready. Both will affect travel times and therefore how much photography coverage you need or if you should have a second photographer.

THE WINDOW EFFECT The most important thing to think about is lighting! Natural light is a game changer for your photos (and your hair and make-up artist will appreciate it too). Make sure there is at least one large window in the space! The more natural light, the better, but with one window, we can still capture beautiful portraits and detail photos.


THE DETAILS It’s all in the details! I always say that if you had to choose it, design it or pay for it, it’s important and should be photographed. This includes all the accessories you may wear on the wedding day as well as your decor. The details are what makes your wedding unique and special to you and help to tell the complete story of who the two of you are as a couple to your guests and in your wedding album.

There are three major sets of details that are important to build in to your wedding day timeline. The first are your “getting ready” details. This is everything the two of you will wear or use as you get ready, including the rings, dress, tie, invitation suite and so on. The best time to capture this details is first thing when the photographer arrives while you and your wedding party are finishing up getting ready. The second set is the ceremony decor, including the altar and any florals, aisle runners, programs, etc. The best time to capture your ceremony details is about 30 to 40 minutes before the ceremony starts. Usually, photographing these only takes about 10 minutes but it’s normal for some guests to start arriving about 30 minutes early. Therefore, it’s best to plan for a few minutes before that 30 minute mark to make sure your photographer can capture a clean, empty shot of the space. The last set is your reception decor like your table setting and centerpieces, seating chart, cake or dessert table and the overall design of the reception space. Depending on how large the wedding is and how intricate your decor is, this can take between 10 and 20 minutes. It’s best if the timline allows for a few minutes when the room is setup and ready to go but before guests are allowed in. This can sometimes be tricky if you’re flipping the ceremony space into the reception space or if guests will enjoy a cocktail hour in the reception space right after the ceremony while you’re taking family photos. Find out when the room will be ready and if this is before the ceremony, it may be best to add time in your timeline for both ceremony and reception decor photos before the ceremony. Otherwise, this is when a second photographer can make the timeline much more simple!


DETAILS CHECKLIST: Though every wedding is different, these are some common details you each may have with you: B R I D E : veil/hair piece, shoes, all 3 rings, bouquets,

jewelry, perfume & lipstick, paper goods, wooden hanger, notes, gifts & keepsakes, somethings old, blue and borrowed Download the printable Bridal Details Checklist G R O O M : tie/bowtie, cufflinks, watch, boutonniere,

pocket square, letters, notes, gifts, & keepsakes

Note to grooms: practice tying your wedding tie or bowtie before the wedding day! Download the printable Groom’s Details Checklist

Other than building in the time, ceremony and reception details don’t require any additional preparation on your part before being photographed. As for your “getting ready” details, there are a few simple things you can do to help the morning run much more smoothly and efficiently for everyone.


helpful to have all of your details together in one place in your getting ready rooms. This saves time for both of us and helps to keep track and make sure you have everything. HAVE ALL 3 RI NG S TO G ETHER: Everyone else may

tell you to give your rings to a wedding party member, but you’ll actually want to have all 3 rings in the bridal suite to be photographed with your other details! This guarantees you get beautiful ring shots.

BRING THE BO UQ UETS: Though the rest of your florals

will likely be delivered to the venue, it’s important to have the bouquets and boutonnieres delivered to your getting ready locations before the first-look! This way, everyone has their bouquet and bouts with them for portraits.

AND IF YOU ONLY DO ONE THING G I V E Y O U R S E L F T I M E ! I’ve seen it take 45 minutes

(rather than 5) to get the bride in the dress because of a button popping off, or hair and make-up taking twice as long as scheduled! Adding in a few minutes here and there is super smart and then I can help compensate that time in other parts of the day should the schedule get delayed.

THE CEREMONY Funny enough, the ceremony is often the shortest part of the whole day yet, it’s the reason for all of it - the planning, the details, having your friends and family around. You are getting married! It’s easy to be overwhelmed, (thank you Pinterest) by the desire to have a “perfect” day but, at the end of it all, you’re marrying your person and that is so cool! Don’t lose sight of that. Your ceremony should be a reflection of your relationship and it’s your call on how the ceremony should go and which pieces to include. Unique and personal ceremonies are always the most memorable and special!

WHAT TO EXPECT During your ceremony, I try to be a fly on the wall and just document the moments. Don’t worry about smiling at the camera or pausing in the aisle for photos. Just do your thing. Have your entire wedding party walk slowly down the aisle (easier said than done with nerves and excitement running through you) to allow more time for photos and for your guests to see you. After you’ve arrived at the altar, you’ll hand off the bouquet to someone standing with you, like your maid or matron of honor. This friend should also fluff out the back of your dress and veil so it looks perfect in the photos. During the ceremony, I’ll be moving around between the aisle and along the sides. Depending on your venue and the set-up, I may even be able to sneak around behind your officiant and capture your guests from your point of view. After you’ve said “I do,” don’t rush the first kiss! Heck, go in for two if you want! You can even throw in a dip if you’re really going for it. Either way, don’t rush to allow time for multiple photos (from not just your photographers but guests too!) Finally, after you’ve walked back up the aisle, I’ll have the two of you stop and kiss one more time, this time with all of your guests behind you.

PLANNING & COORDINATION I’m a Type A person, so believe me, I understand if you want to be in charge of all aspects of planning yourself. But at the very least, I can’t recommend enough that you hire a day of coordinator! If not, the responsibility of managing the timeline and coordinating everyone will fall on the mother of the bride or groom (they should be enjoying watching you be married, not working), the photographer (in which case the photos may suffer slightly) or you (last time I checked, you were kind of busy on the wedding day). Do yourself and everyone a huge favor and prioritize a coordinator! It will alleviate so much stress for you, leave your family to enjoy and be present for the day, and allow your vendors to do the job they’re best at!

Read “5 Tips for the Best First Kiss Photos at the Altar”


LIGHTING GUIDE Throughout the day, I will always try to put you in the best light available but, when it comes to the ceremony, I can’t move you. I’m also not a huge fan of using flash for ceremonies because of the distractions it causes for both you and your guests (and some venues don’t allow flash altogether). These are some of the most important photos of the wedding day so it’s worth it to think about lighting as you solidify your venue and ceremony details. This is not at all to tell you what kind of ceremony to hold, but rather to help you understand what kind of photos will result and why.

EVEN NATURAL LIGHT The most ideal lighting situation is ample, even natural light. This means there are no super bright spots next to heavily shaded spots. Just look for harsh light patterns on the floor at the time of your ceremony to get an idea. Outdoors, in a shaded area or indoors with a large window to the side will render similar lighting and allow for both of you to be evenly lit. Plenty of natural light means a flash isn’t necessary so I can be as much of a fly on the wall as possible. If it’s overcast on your wedding day and the ceremony is outdoors, then you’ve got the best luck! For soft romantic warm light, especially in the summer when the sun is brighter, plan your outdoor ceremony for 2 to 3 hours before sunset.


UNEVEN SPECKLED LIGHT (TOP) Uneven and speckled light simply can’t be fixed in Photoshop. This light results in sun spots, or “hot spots” and is common for midday, outdoor ceremonies taking place within or under trees. The light peeking in through the leaves will create speckled spots across the altar. If your ceremony is taking place in this kind of environment, try to schedule your ceremony later in the afternoon. The closer to sunset, the softer the light will get. Aim for about two hours before sunset for softer, romantic golden light.

DARK & SPOTLIGHTS (MIDDLE) The only way for me to combat darkness indoors is with a high iso (sensitivity of the camera) which results in grainy images or to use flash, neither of which are ideal. If you plan to be married indoors in a darker venue, expect darker, moody images. If possible, avoid spotlights, especially if just on the bride and groom, as these will put the rest of your wedding party in shadow.

BRIGHT MIDDAY SUN (BOTTOM) An outdoor wedding at noon, especially in the summer, when the sun is directly overhead, can result in harsh shadows under the eyes and neck. If you’re planning an outdoor midday ceremony, try to incorporate an awning or covered altar of some sort to provide shade over at least the two of you, ideally the entire wedding party. (And sidenote, make sure your officiant uses a handheld or lapel microphone, not a stand).

Click to learn more on the blog.

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PORTRAITS There are three main types of portraits we’ll take on the wedding day: family formals, wedding party portraits and the couple portraits. Whether you take these portraits before or after the ceremony will depend on the first-look. Here’s a little about what to expect and how to best plan for all of your portraits.

FAMILY FORMALS Okay, so I’ve told you that I’ll take moments with emotion, movement and authenticity over stiff posed photos any day, but, there is a time and place for more formal photos and this is it. You’ll likely have most of your family, whether large or small, all in town, in one place, dressed up, looking amazing! That doesn’t happen all too often so it’s super important to document. In most cases, family formals will take place right after the ceremony so my goal is to be as quick and efficient as possible as to not keep your guests waiting while still making sure to capture great photos of you and your families. Here’s what you should think about as you plan your family formals:


SAMPLE SHOT LIST 1. Couple with Officiant

2. Everyone (both entire immediate families)

3. Bride and Groom with Bride’s entire family

4. Bride and Groom with Bride’s

grandparents, parents and siblings 5. Bride with Bride’s parents and siblings

6. Bride with Bride’s parents

I’ve seen it all - family photos with 8 people and family photos with 100 people! And at the end of the day, it’s entirely up to you as to whom to include. But for the best experience, I recommend keeping your family formals to immediate family only. If needed, there’s usually time to take more informal group shots during the reception for photos with extended family, college groups and so on. And If you really want to pair it down, keep both the bride and groom in all of the photos. This way the two of you don’t have to move.

7. Bride with Bride’s siblings


13. Groom with Groom’s parents and

The first thing to consider is lighting. Outdoors in a well lit, preferably shaded area is the quickest (and often the most aesthetic) option since it requires no lighting set up. If you decide to take family formals indoors in a darker space, like a church altar, you’ll need to carve out some time to have flashes set up.


8. Bride with Bride’s mom 9. Bride with Bride’s dad

10. Bride’s parents alone

11. Bride and Groom with Groom’s entire family

12. Bride and Groom with Groom’s grandparents, parents and siblings siblings

14. Groom with Groom’s parents

15. Groom with Groom’s siblings 16. Groom with Groom’s mom 17. Groom with Groom’s dad 18. Groom’s parents alone

Before the wedding, be sure to tell your family when and where to be! You can email them or leave a little note in their welcome bag at the hotel so they know not to go into the reception after the ceremony. It’s also helpful to have your officiant remind family to stick around at the end of your ceremony. And lastly, delegate one person that knows both sides of your families to take charge and help rally the groupings on the wedding day, especially if you have large families!


WEDDING PARTY PORTRAITS You’ve either just seen each other for the first-time during your first-look or just walked down the aisle. Now, you’re with all of your best friends (plus a drink or two may be in your system) so this is when the fun really starts. W H AT T O E X P E C T Your wedding party will come join us for wedding party photos directly after your first-look and bride and groom portraits. We’ll capture some formal group portraits as well as fun shots and natural we-always-look-this-amazing-while-justhanging-out photos. I’ll start with photos of the bride with the bridesmaids, then the groom with the groomsmen, individuals of the bride with each bridesmaid and the groom with each groomsmen, and finish with the entire wedding party. If you choose not to do a first-look, you’ll need to allocate more time prior to the ceremony to get the smaller groupings (bride with bridesmaids and groom with groomsmen) done so that after the ceremony, we can focus on photos of the entire wedding party together. This will take less time, spread out the portraits (which can be exhausting for you) and allows your wedding party to enjoy cocktail hour or get to the reception earlier, which they will love you for! L O C AT I O N

If you’re doing a first-look, going off-site for your wedding party photos is totally worth it! This gets you out of the eyes of family and guests, gives you some time to have fun and celebrate with your closest friends and we can get creative. We can galavant around town, hit up a nearby park or waterfront or meet at a cool venue or location that’s important to your group. If the photos will be after the ceremony, finding an outdoor area or two near the ceremony or reception venue is the simplest and most time efficient option. However, don’t stress the location too much! We can make just about anything look great - whether it’s a street, a field or the outside wall of the venue. The most important thing is to allow enough time for the photos.

REMINDERS Have the bouquets and boutonnieres with you for the wedding party photos. This is especially important to remember and may require some coordinating with your florist if we’ll be doing the wedding party photos before the ceremony. Also, have the gentleman empty their pockets of phones, keys and wallets. Lastly, as always, make sure your wedding party knows where and when to be! Ask your maid of honor or best man to be the ringleader! I always encourage a good time and want you and your wedding party to have a blast. Jokes, fun and drinks are always welcome (and encouraged) but for the most enjoyable and efficient wedding party photos, encourage your group to pay attention and be ready when it’s their turn.


COUPLE PORTRAITS WHAT TO EXPECT These photographs of just the two of you will be many of the photos that you frame, hang on your walls and place on your mantle and bedside tables. We’ll typically photograph these romantic portraits after your first-look, when you’re super excited and in the mood after having just seen one another, or following your family and wedding party photos after the ceremony. I also like to take couples out for about 15 minutes during the reception for sunset or nighttime photos. During your couple portraits, it will be just the two of you, away from the eyes of your family and friends with no distractions. You can be yourselves and enjoy the time to take in the day. I can’t tell you the last time I told a couple to “hold still and smile.” Stiff posing like this is for your family formals and a few wedding party photos. But when it’s just the two of you, my goal is to make the act of taking your photos a fun experience and a great memory for the two of you, in and of itself! The beautiful photos that result are the icing on the cake. I’ll guide you through prompts and position you slightly to elicit authentic emotions and reactions. You are always welcome (actually, encouraged!) to move, touch, laugh, cry, be weird, dance - whatever! - during our time. Though we’re after authenticity over perfection, don’t worry, I’ll still fix your hair, adjust your dress and make sure you both look your best.

LOCATION If you want to leave the venue and go to a special location for your bride and groom portraits, do it! I’m all for throwing in an adventure on the wedding day. That being said, if you’re worried your venue doesn’t have amazing locations for photos but you don’t have time to go off-site, all I ask is that you trust me. Something super ordinary, like a brick wall or empty grass field, can look amazing in photos. We’ll make a game plan for your photo locations prior to the wedding when we nail down your timeline, but I’m up for spontaneous roadside stops and downtown adventures if you are!

Bonus read: “5 Posing Tips for Any Couple’s Session”


IN THE CASE OF RAIN Rain isn’t ideal on any wedding day (although they do say it’s lucky) but if it happens, it happens. Give yourself the grace to be upset for a few minutes and then, as much as you can, let it go. Realize that now, your wedding photos will be even more unique, different and memorable! Yes, the bottom of your dress may get a little wet or even dirty, but hey, you’re only wearing the dress once and it can be cleaned. Rain can bring open-minded and adventurous couples really special wedding photos. Besides, have you ever noticed how the most romantic movie scenes seem to always happen in the rain? By now, hopefully you know that I’m all about having a plan for your wedding day. Same goes for rain. We’ll make a rain plan! If there’s a chance of rain, purchase clear

Learn more on the blog! “How to Plan for Rain for Your Wedding Photos”


bubble umbrellas for each member of your wedding party. (Leave the tags on so you can return them if we don’t use them). This way we can still take fun pictures outside and you won’t have to worry about your hair or make-up. Have your artist waterproof your make-up (which honestly, they should do anyways because if you’re an emotional being like me, happy tears are a thing). And lastly, bring flats or another pair of shoes, or even a pair of rain boots, that you can wear during a rainy outdoor photo session. All we need for naturally lit group formals is a porch or awning, both of which many venues have. If not, we can always move photo sessions inside. Lastly, be flexible! We can switch up your timeline on the day of to take advantage of breaks in the weather.

SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER You may be wondering if you should have a second photographer at your wedding. In most cases, having a second photographer is never a bad thing. With a second photographer, you’re afforded more flexibility in the timeline because we can be in multiple places at once. For example one can be with you for your couple portraits while the other captures your guests at cocktail hour. With another point of view on the day, a second photographer provides more variety with an emphasis on candid moments and your guests. If the two of you will be getting

ready in separate locations that are over 15 minutes away, a second photographer simplifies the timeline a lot and means you won’t need to add on additional time to your photography coverage to allow for travel between the locations to be photographed. Finally, if you plan to have over 150 guests or are getting married in a very large, sprawled out venue, a 2nd photographer is ideal. Simply put, the bigger the wedding, the more photographers you’ll want to achieve ultimate photography coverage of you and all of your guests.

“Do You Need a Second Photographer?” Read more on the blog!




Party time! You’re now officially and legally married and it’s time to celebrate. Maybe you held a cocktail hour, maybe your guests will head straight into the reception for some hor d’oeuvres. Thinking through the reception thoroughly is important. There are a lot of moving parts and events that make up the reception and you’ll want to work closely with your coordinator, DJ or entertainment and the caterer to make sure your guests have a great experience. Your guests will remember the food, the booze, the party and how much time they spent waiting. With that in mind, plan the reception to be all your own special and unique to you! It’s your party after all.

Here are some events that you may be including in the reception and approximate times for each:

R E C E P T I O N D E TA I L S Your details and decor should be set up (and mostly completed) a half to a full hour before the ceremony. This way the details and the reception space can be photographed before any guests arrive, especially if your cocktail hour will be in the same space as the reception. Consider budgeting time to do a reveal of the space for the two of you! This way you can get photos of you in the space and see all of your planning come to life before guests come in and things get moved around.

Grand entrance: 10 minutes

Speeches or toasts: 15 to 20 minutes Blessing: 3 minutes

Welcome: 5 minutes

Dinner: 45 to 60 minutes Cake cutting: 5 minutes First Dance: 5 minutes

Parent Dances: 5 minutes each Bouquet Toss: 5 minutes Garter Toss: 5 minutes

Sunset Couple Photos: 15 minutes

Some other common events include an anniversary dance (which is a great way to get people on the dance floor), ceremonial or religious dances, games, performances and a grand or controlled exit.

Bonus read: “How to Plan the Perfect Wedding Reception Timeline” Bonus Read: “Why DJ and Photographer Collaboration is Important”


TIMELINE TIPS CONSIDER YO UR G UESTS: Work with your coordinator and DJ to ensure the

reception keeps moving and guests are not kept waiting throughout the evening. Remember that their experience will not be the same as yours so always walk through it with both perspectives in mind. If there will be kids at your reception, plan for them! Have coloring books at their tables or games they can play off in a corner. Their parents will thank you.

ARRANGE THE SPACE: Be conscious of the flow of the space, making sure

the tables are arranged in a thoughtful way that allows movement throughout the room without congestion. From a photography stand point, give yourself a runway for your grand entrance. By this, I mean, make sure there is space between where you’re entering and the first table, or a gap in the tables to allow for a clear line of view. Otherwise, all of your grand entrance photos will be from the waist up only. And if it can be avoided, don’t raise the head table or wedding party table much higher than your guest’s tables. This way, your photos during speeches, toasts, etc. will be shot from a more flattering eye level or above angle, rather than from below. CREATE A SM ART TI M ELI NE: As much as possible, put several “events”

back to back. One of the trickiest parts of the reception can be getting your guests’ attention. By putting, say, your cake-cutting directly before your first dance, followed immediately by your parent dances, your DJ or band will only have to get your guests’ eyes on you once and from your guest’s perspective, it will keep things moving and exciting. CONSIDER YO UR VENDO RS: For several of your vendors, a wedding day

means 8 or more hours spent on our feet with little to no down time. Being fed dinner is greatly appreciated and will give your vendors an energy boost to ensure the rest of the evening runs smoothly. It’s helpful to allow the vendors to eat soon after the wedding party so that we’re ready as soon as you are to move on to the next event. And most importantly, communicate with us! If you’re changing something last-minute, let your photographer know so we’re ready and don’t miss any important shots. Lastly, allow 10 minutes before your grand entrance for us to get our lighting and cameras ready. MAKE IT YOUR O W N: But really, make it special to you. Do you hate cake?

Don’t get a cake! Don’t feel like you have to follow tradition. The most fun receptions are those that bring something memorable and unique to the experience and truly reflect the couple! Thinking about doing your grand exit via canoe on the river? Do it. Want to get late night Taco Bell delivered? Also do it. Receptions are expensive so design and plan one you truly love. If you’re having an amazing time, your guests will feed off that energy and also have an amazing time!





RECEIVING YOUR PHOTOS The wedding day might be in the past now, but we are far from done here friends! While you’re off on your honeymoon and trying to wrap your head around getting back to reality, I’ll be hard at work sorting and editing your photos. Here’s what you can expect after the wedding day:

THE PHOTO REVEAL When your photos are ready, I’ll contact you to schedule your photo reveal which can be done in person or remotely. We’ll schedule a day and time when you will both be together for the reveal. Seeing your photos for the first time will spark emotion and excitement and that deserves to be done with your new spouse, not while sitting at your desk at work or on your phone in line to checkout at the grocery store. You can also invite whomever else, like family or friends, that you’d like to be a part of the reveal. During the reveal, you’ll see a slideshow of photos followed by your full gallery of images. We’ll discuss your album, prints and so on and you’ll choose photos for your previously ordered prints. Friends and family can also purchase prints and products at the reveal.


YOUR ONLINE GALLERY At the time of booking, you’ll be given access to your own private portal where you can view information and notes about your wedding, fill out questionnaires, and see invoices and upcoming payments. Your portal is also where your gallery will live! After your photo reveal, you’ll receive the link to your online gallery where you can download your entire wedding gallery to your computer as well as share the link with friends and family so they can do the same. You’ll be able to download all high resolution images at once or individual files. The online gallery will expire 30 days after your photo reveal so it’s important to share, download and backup your photos right away. Though I’m not responsible for the long-term storage of your photos, I do keep all of your photos stored on multiple drives for 6 months to one year after the wedding date in case you need them or if you decide to purchase an album or prints down the road. However, there is a reactivation fee to reopen a gallery after the 30 days!

Read all about the photo reveal party on the blog!



If your package includes a print credit, this dollar amount can be used towards any albums, prints, canvases or products available. Additionally, wedding packages receive a discount towards any products purchased in addition to those included in the package. This print credit and discount expire one year after the wedding date.

All wedding photography packages include print rights. This means you may print your photos for personal use however you choose. You hired Emily Kyle Photography for a reason and I want you to love your photos so much that you can’t help but share them! The one rule I have is that you may not re-edit or alter your photos. Let me do the hard work. If you’re printing a large photo and would like a blemish or find an imperfection to be removed, just let me know! For more information on what you can and can’t do with your photos, refer to the contract you signed at the time of booking.

ORDERING PRINTS & PRODUCTS Any albums or prints included in your package will immediately show up in your online portal as a product for which you need to choose photos. You can select your favorite images that you’d like to use for your album and prints directly in your gallery and once you submit them, I will be notified and will immediately begin to fulfill your print orders. Once you decide how to use your print credit or if you decide to make additional purchases, the same photo selection process will apply.

WATERMARKING I do not watermark my photos. I find it takes away from the photographs when they’re shared this way and once the photos are yours, they’re yours to print and upload online as you please. I do, however, greatly appreciate being tagged or credited when you share photos online or on social media!


YOUR FIRST HEIRLOOM If we’re working together, then you likely share the belief that this is all about way more than creating a Facebook photo album. To me, my job as your wedding photographer is not done until I’ve helped you do something with your photos, from designing your album to developing wall art for your home. When Facebook has come and gone or flash drives and cloud-based storage are a thing of the past, your wedding album will still be there for you. As you start this new chapter together, your album becomes the first heirloom of your new family and is an investment into your story and family history for your children, grandchildren and future generations of your family. Display it on a bookshelf for a constant reminder of one of the happiest days of your life; there for you when you argue to remind you of why you were married, and there for you to spark conversation and moments of connection with your children or guests of your home. Flipping through printed photos of your story is way more magical and meaningful than clicking through a Facebook album. Your story deserves that.

ARCHIVAL WEDDING ALBUMS I use Kiss Wedding Books exclusively for all wedding albums. These premium albums use professional photographic printing on archival paper with a lay-flat design. They are modern, simple and beautiful. Archival quality means the albums are constructed using acid-free materials and are designed, if cared for and stored properly, to outlive you. Kiss albums are made using the highest quality materials and are handmade in Indianapolis, Indiana.

THE DESIGN PROCESS Sifting through 800 photos and choosing your favorites is overwhelming. That’s why I will create an album design for you that tells the complete story of your wedding day, giving you a place to start. If you love it, then great! That was easy! If you want to make some tweaks, swap photos or add spreads, we can do that. To ensure you have your album in hand far before your first wedding anniversary, I’ll ask that you make any photo selections within 30 days of receiving your gallery. Then, using an online proofing system, you’re able to comment and provide feedback or request changes to the design. I will make those changes then send you a digital proof to review. We’ll continue this process until we have the album of your dreams ready to print.

Read “8 Reasons Why You Should Invest in a Wedding Album”

You can register for a wedding album or any wall art! Click to learn more.

If you prefer and live in the area, we can also do an in-person album design session. This way, we can skip all of the email back and forth and you can be very hands-on with the design process, making the album even more personal. Once you’ve approved the album, expect it to arrive at your door about 4 to 6 weeks later.

WEDDING ALBUM REGISTRY You can add a wedding album (or any prints and products) to your registry list so your friends and family can contribute to or fully gift you a wedding album or wall art. This is a great way to help cover the investment of an album and get the family heirloom you’ve dreamed of. You can register with Emily Kyle Photography anytime up until the wedding.


THANK YOU You made it through these pages! Hopefully now you feel like you know more about what to expect than when you first started reading and have gained some valuable tips for planning your wedding day. Thank you for trusting Emily Kyle Photography with this important day. I don’t take the importance of wedding photography and the documenting of this time in your life lightly and am truly honored to be a part of your big day! I can’t wait to celebrate your love with you and help you be in the moment on one of the happiest days of your life! I hope you’re so ready for this adventure. I’ll be here to guide you through the process and I’m here to help however I can. Just say the word.

Xoxo, Emily

www.emilykylephotography.com // @emilykylephoto // emily@emilykylephotography.com

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