Monday, February 11, 2013

The Experience: Weddings

A year ago at this time, I was a bride-to-be. A much less stressed bride-to-be than I would be four months later, when all of our wedding plans fell to pieces, but still immensely excited about the promise of being married to my best friend and basking in the thrill of planning the day I'd looked forward to for my whole entire life. Around this time last year, Ben and I were venue hunting, budget stretching, guest-list bargaining, and secretly dreaming of eloping. Keeping the glorious end in mind - imagining how fabulous it would feel to finally be married (and do nothing but relax on a beach for our honeymoon) - was the only way we made it through the process without losing our sanity.

Brides-and-grooms-to-be, I felt the struggle of wedding planning, and I want to hug you to let you know that you are doing it right and it is going to be so beautiful in the end. I could write a whole post on the timeline of planning your wedding, what ends up being a good return on your investment, and how to not go crazy when you're wedding planning (date nights are a life saver!). Maybe I will write that post someday. But not today. Today, isn't about me, it's about you. I'm continuing on with The Experience, to help you know what it is like to have me shoot your wedding.

Before the Wedding

Choosing vendors is one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning. It can be time consuming to schedule meetings and overwhelming to sort through all of the information to find the people who are the right fit for your vision. And as much as I'd like to tell you that it doesn't matter, from my own experience I learned that picking "your team" - the right people to carry out the different components of your dream day - can make or break the way you remember it. But the thing is, when you know, you know. You will be so grateful on your wedding day to be surrounded by people you love and trust.

One of my biggest priorities is taking the time to meet with every couple who contacts me about their wedding. I want to get to know you and your dreams, hear about all of the details you can't wait to see in person, and what you're most excited about for your big day. We'll talk about what you are looking for in your photographs and what you want to take home after the day is over. And at some point during that meeting you will know if we are the right match. I always hope that we are.

After we meet, we'll work together to pick your coverage and finalize the details. If you've picked a package that includes a complimentary engagement session, we'll make that happen. I'll check in every now and then to see how your plans are coming along, and send you an online questionnaire so that we are on the same page as the details of the day begin to take shape. Once we get to be a few weeks away from the big day, I'll give you a phone call to chat about the final timeline and make sure that you have enough time allotted to get the pictures that mean the most to you.

And if at any point during that time, you need a shoulder to lean on, an extra set of hands to help make the 1,000 paper flowers that will decorate the reception, or someone to take you out for a cocktail because you just need a wedding planning break, I'm here for you. Just give me a call.

THE Wedding Day

On the day of your wedding, all of my energy goes into making images that truly capture it as the best day ever. I'll arrive early to scope out spots with great light for portraits and them meet you while you're being pampered, getting pictures of you with the girls and him with the guys - those precious, last unguarded moments of singleness, filled with the excitement of anticipation. We'll do a few naturally posed pictures and can arrange a first look, if you want, before the ceremony, so that you and your hubby/wifey-to-be have a moment or two alone before everything gets really crazy. Aside from the time set aside for portraits (it's always good to have about an hour for bride and groom portraits and 30-45 minutes for all other requested pictures, the ones you get to choose), I'll be practically invisible, capturing your day and the special details candidly as they unfold.

After the Wedding

Once your day is over, you get to relive the fabulousness when you see the photos. You'll be on your much-needed honeymoon for awhile and then shortly after, I'll email you a link to your own personal website where you can view the gallery of photos and place orders for prints. I use an amazing system called PASS to deliver your photos, and I LOVE it because you can 1// View your gallery on almost any device using the web or downloadable apps, 2// Share your favorites directly to Facebook without having to wait for them all to upload, and 3// Download the photos directly from the gallery - no waiting for a DVD to arrive in the mail (if you opted to include the digital files in your coverage). I'm a huge fan of instant gratification, so I try to incorporate that in my deliverables as much as possible ;0). I also like to put a little sneak peek up here on the blog so that the wait seems even shorter.

Usually, I recommend that most people wait until after the wedding to purchase an album. It's hard to visualize what will work best for your lifestyle and look best with your photos until you can actually see them. An album is an amazing keepsake that is professionally designed and printed with archival materials so that it will last for generations. We'll work together to go over samples and pick the one that you will want to share for years to come.

Creating art and making photographs gives me enormous energy and passion that I bring to every wedding I capture. I absolutely love seeing how every couple uses personal details to express to the world how much love they share and being part of something that is so worth celebrating. But my job isn't just to show up and make things look as good or better than they actually were on the day of the wedding - my job is to take care of you and make sure that I'm seeing the day through your eyes so that when you look back through the photos, they feel like YOUR memories of the best day of your life.

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