IT'S OFFICIAL,

we're doing this thing!

Congratulations! You can officially say you've booked a photographer for your wedding day, and you can be at peace knowing you made a dang good decision! This is a responsibility I do not take lightly, and it is so important to me that you have a fun, positive experience with me as your photographer.

 

Part of that comes with being informed and prepared, so as promised, here are all the details surrounding the #LPcouple Experience! Below, you'll find all the info you need to know or think about before wedding day, tips for your engagement session, and a list of all the best vendors in Kansas City that I 110% trust will do their best to make your day all you're envisioning!

 

It's a lot of info, but don't be overwhelmed. I'll be here to walk you through the process every step of the way. 

And lastly, thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me to document your day and create some truly unique photos for the two of you! 

WHEN

WHAT +

1. BOOKING

2. QUESTIONNAIRE

The part you just completed!

You should have received a questionnaire in the same email I sent this link. It will help me, help you plan your engagement session.

4. RECEIVE GALLERY

You'll receive your engagement gallery within two weeks.

5. QUESTIONNAIRE

This questionnaire will go over all your wedding day details in prep for our timeline meeting.

7. WEDDING DAY

Best day of your life so far!

8. SNEAK PEEKS

I'll send 3-5 sneak peeks the next day.

3. ENGAGEMENTS

Time for your first session! Don't worry, you're totally prepared by this point.

6. TIMELINE

I'll help you build your timeline approximately weeks before your wedding day.

9. RECEIVE GALLERY

You'll receive your full gallery within 4-6 weeks from wedding date.

ENGAGEMENT SESSION

Now let's get to the fun stuff...like your engagement session!

I include an engagement session in my wedding experience because I truly believe they it's a VITAL part of the process. During your engagement session, you'll have the chance to get to know me, experience how I shoot and how I handle posing and lighting. This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. I'll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact and how to photography you in a genuine way. What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable! You will feel like such a pro on your big day because of the grate practice you had during your engagement session, and that's how it should be! 

If for some reason I am not photographing your engagement session, don't worry! We'll spend some extra time connecting and getting to know one another that way I'm not a stranger when I show up on wedding day and you'll both feel 100% comfortable being yourselves. 

When it comes to planning your engagement session, think "date night out." We'll come up with a couple locations that really showcase who you are as a couple and the vibe you're going for with your photos. We'll typically start about two hours before sunset and finish when the light is gone. As for what you should wear, I've listed some tips below, but feel free to ask me or bring several outfits to your session, and I'll help you piece everything together.

 

 

 

 1. PRACTICALITY

Wearing an outfit that is practical for your environment is crucial. If you're not comfortable, it's going to show on camera. For example, if were going to be walking through a field or a lot of grass, heels probably aren't the best option. If we're on a beach, barefoot might be best, or if it's winter outside, wear lots of layers. Above all, be comfortable in what you're wearing.

2. MOVEMENT

Pieces that create movement in your images, such as a flowy dress, are awesome because movement adds to the authentic mood we're going for. You don't have to wear a flowy dress, but just be sure you're wearing something you can move in. Also, wind is our friend, so don't be alarmed if your hair is blowing. I'll make sure you look great!

3. COLORS

This is the topic my couples have the most difficulty with, and I don't blame you! I love off the wall colors and styles, but over the years I've learned, the simpler you make it, the better. Neutral colors always work best. If you can, stick to super earthy colors like cream, black, mustard yellow, forest green, burnt orange, etc.
You'll want to avoid bright, florescent colors as they really mess with skin tones and almost always distract the viewer away from the subject (you two!).  If you've found a dress that you love, and it happens to be pink, bright red or orange- just check with me! I'll always be honest and recommend the best option to make sure you'll love your photos.

4. PRINTS, PATTERNS, ACCESSORIES

My best advice is to avoid anything too chunky, big or distracting. Huge, bright patterns never photograph well, but flannels and stripes are usually fine. Small prints on your dress, or your favorite rock-band logo tee, are great. As a rule of thumb, only one person should wear a pattern, the other person should be in solids. I also LOVE when couples incorporate cute and subtle accessories. Chunky necklaces are a hard no in my opinion (again, super distracting), but dainty jewelry like stacked rings and thin necklaces are super cute- and make for the best detail shots. When in doubt, just ask me! 

5. MAKE-UP

I'm sure you can tell by now, but looking like yourself is the common theme here. Don't feel like you have to get super glammed up or pay to get your hair & make up professionally done. If it makes you feel better, go for it! Just don't feel obligated. If you're getting married, another great idea is to schedule your hair and makeup trial for the day of your engagement session (as long as the looks are similar). For your hair, loose waves and low buns are always super cute. The wind will do the rest in making sure everything has pretty movement and it all looks natural! 

6. PROPS

As I mentioned above, I love planning your engagement session around things the two of you like to do together and incorporating things that highlight your relationship. This is where "props" come in. Have a pup you want to bring? Please do! Maybe a wooden canoe for a romantic evening lake shoot? So cute! Both lovers of pizza and want to incorporate that into your shoot? 1000x yes! Blankets, campfire, motorcycle, champagne…all these are props that can truly turn a session into the most fun and unique shoot ever. Let me know of any ideas your have, and I'll do my best to make it happen!

PINspiration

Here is a link to a Pinterest board I put together for inspiration.

Session Outfit Inspo

**A COUPLE MORE TIPS: Ladies, if your man is like most and isn't super hype about taking photos, show him some examples of my work so he knows what to expect and the look we're going for. Also, if the two of you feel like having drink or two before (or during) would loosen you up, feel free to do so! 

TIMELINE

DETAILS

A well thought out timeline is a crucial piece when it comes to a smooth, stress-free wedding day. Not only is it an outline of when and what events will take place, but it helps you direct your bridal party and ensures that every vendor has the right amount of time to do their job to the best of their ability. 

If you have a Wedding Planner, it's important that we work together to build your timeline. You'll most-likely plan a rough draft with him/her, and then I'll take a look and provide any adjustments necessary. 

If you don't have a Wedding Planner, no worries. We'll work together to make the perfect timeline. My Type A side of my brain really enjoys doing this, and after 100+ weddings, I'm pretty good at it. Above all, I will always be super transparent with what we can accomplish in each time slot.

When it comes to building the timeline there are three important factors to take into consideration: first look or no first look, ceremony time, and sunset time. Everything else is based around these factors. Below are some example timelines I have put together with different variables. We'll most-likely build something custom for your day, but this at least gives you an idea of how much time each event consumes. 

8 HOUR WEDDING

W/ FIRST LOOK

2:00

3:30

4:00

4:20

5:00

6:00

6:30

7:30

7:35

8:15

8:30

8:35

8:50

9:30

10:00

Coverage Begins

Details + Getting Ready

Bride Puts on Dress

First Looks

Bridal Party Photos

Family Portraits

Ceremony Begins

Cocktail Hour

Bride & Groom Portraits

Grand Entrance     

Dinner Begins

Toasts Begin

Cake Cutting

First Dances

Open Dance Floor 

Bouquet + Garter Toss

Coverage Ends

10 HOUR WEDDING

W/ NO FIRST LOOK

12:00

2:00

2:30

3:00

3:30

4:00

5:00

6:00

6:10

6:30

7:00

7:15

7:20

7:40

8:30

10:00

Coverage Begins

Details + Getting Ready

Bride Puts on Dress

First Look w/ Dad

Ceremony Begins

Family Portraits

Bridal Party Portraits

Cocktail Hour Begins

Grand Entrance     

Dinner Begins

Sunset Photos w/ B&G

Toasts Begin

Cake Cutting

First Dances 

Open Dance Floor 

Bouquet + Garter Toss

Coverage Ends

10 HOUR WEDDING

W/ FULL MASS

12:00

2:00

2:30

3:00

4:00

4:30

5:00

6:00

6:10

6:30

7:00

7:15

7:20

7:40

8:30

10:00

Coverage Begins

Details + Getting Ready

Bride Puts on Dress

First Look w/ Dad

Ceremony Begins

Family Portraits

Bridal Party Portraits

Cocktail Hour Begins

Grand Entrance     

Dinner Begins

Sunset Photos w/ B&G

Toasts Begin

Cake Cutting

First Dances 

Open Dance Floor 

Bouquet + Garter Toss

Coverage Ends

FIRST LOOK OR NOT?

The ever popular question, should we do a First Look or not? 

 

While there are many photographers who push their clients to do a First Look, I'm really a big fan of doing things your way on wedding day.  Whether you want to honor tradition, or throw it completely out the window, do you! 

 

As I mentioned above, you will need to take this into consideration when planning your ceremony start time, but if you want to wait to see each other, don't sacrifice moments you've envisioned your entire life just to save a few minutes. I waited to see my husband until I walked down the aisle, and it was really, really special.  

Love the idea of a First Look? Let's do this!

The above photos are of my brother and sister in law. They decided on a First Look (opposite of my husband and I), and it was just as special. I chose a location outside their venue, Max was teary-eyed and excited as Cameo came up behind him, and they got to spend a few minutes together before their ceremony. If you have a long time before your ceremony and want to spend more of your day together, or if seeing each other will help alleviate nerves, go for it! I'll help you plan the whole thing!

OTHER FIRST LOOK IDEAS INCLUDE...

First Look with Dad: Dad's love this. You'll love this. Let me know if you're into it, and we'll add it to your timeline.

Bridesmaids Reveal: Most of the time, the bride has her mom, MOH, and/or sister(s) in the room with her while she's getting her dress on, but not everyone. Like I said, you're welcome to do this however you'd like, but if you don't have all of your bridesmaids in the room with you while you get dressed, we can set up a reveal afterwards. We'll have them face away and turn around at the same time to see you. It's really fun!

THE DETAILS

With all the hard work you put into the tiny details of your wedding day, from invitations, to jewelry, to the fragrance you're each going to wear, I want to make sure I document all of them. The easiest way for me to collect these items is to have them ready in a box or bag before I get there. That way, I can just ask for the box and get started quickly instead of tracking down items. Below is a list for the bride and the groom. 

BRIDE:

-INVITATION SUITE

-SHOES

-ALL JEWELRY

-HIS AND HER RINGS

-PERFUME 

**ANY OTHER SPECIAL

ITEMS YOU'LL BE

WEARING**

GROOM:

-TIE/BOWTIE

-SHOES

-CUFF LINKS

-COLOGNE

-SOCKS 

**ANY OTHER SPECIAL

ITEMS YOU'LL BE

WEARING**

FAMILY

FORMALS

Like everything else, family formals are not something we want to be figuring out the day of. You'll want to have this list well thought out beforehand. This is a great time to get mom involved and go over any photos the two of you want before sending the list to me. 

 

I suggest keeping the list to around 10 groupings or so. Any longer than that seems to be overwhelming. And remember, the two of you are going to be married at this point, so don't feel like you have to have too many photos without your other half. 

VENDORS

The team of vendors you hire for your wedding will make or break your day. Based on your investment in me, you know that hiring a quality team matters. 

Below are vendors that I have personally worked with and trust to do their absolute best every time. 

PLANNERS

After all the planning and preparation that goes into wedding day, I highly suggest hiring an professional to execute your decor and timeline. A planner would also act as the point person for any questions from guests and ensure your vendors are there and know exactly what they are doing. 

If you don't want to hire a full service planner, most have month-of or day-of options. Here are my favs:

WILDLY YOURS WEDDING & ELOPEMENTS

https://www.wildlyyoursweddings.com/     |      816-308-3294

WILD HILL FLORAL & PLANNING

https://www.wildhillflowers.com     |      913-486-6178

FLORISTS

WILD HILL FLORAL & PLANNING

https://www.wildhillflowers.com     |      913-486-6178

NEPHEW & CO

https://nephewweddings.com     |      913-486-6178

ELIZABETH MCKENZIE

https://nephewweddings.com     |      913-486-6178

CAKE

DOLCE BAKERY

https://www.dolcebakes.com     |     913-236-4411

MCLAIN'S BAKERY

https://www.mclainskc.com/wedding-cakes     |     816-523-9911

CLASSIC CAKES

https://www.kcclassiccakes.com     |     816-523-9911

ENTERTAINMENT

Reception entertainment is often undervalued, but this choice is just as important as hiring the right photographer. Your band, DJ, etc. will set the tone for the evening and most-likely be the emcee. Playing the right music at the right time and saying the right things at the right time is a big deal and dictate whether your guests dance all night long or leave right after dinner. It's your wedding day and you want it to be memorable. Don't skimp in the entertainment department. 

WEDDING BAND: LOST WAX

https://lostwaxband.com/

DJ ALEX REED

https://djalexreed.com/

JAZZ BAND: P3

https://www.facebook.com/p3jazztrio/

(Shameless plug of my husband's jazz band. They're amazing!)

HAIR & MAKEUP

There are a lot of people who are good at hair and make up.....will it last all night is the question.

CANDACE RUTTEN & TEAM

REFLECTIONS SALON

https://www.instagram.com/reflectionsalonkc/

 

913-707-8297

STATIONARY

YELLOWBRICK GRAPHICS

https://www.yellowbrickgraphics.com

CATERERS

BRANCATO'S CATERING

https://brancatoscatering.com

SHINING STARS CATERING

https://www.shiningstarscatering.com

TRAVEL AGENT

Whether you're planning to relax on the beach for a week or wanting more of an adventurous extravaganza, my sister-in-law, Pandia, specializes in creating custom experiences for couples just like you! IDK about you, but traveling internationally is a bit overwhelming to me. She takes care of all the minute details and has a ton of personal travel experience to lean on.

 

Trips she's recently planned for my clients include Cancun, Disney, Bali, and Europe 

STAY IN TOUCH

I hope you found this information helpful! I'll continue to add to this guide and update you when I do. 

In the meantime, make sure you have been added to my Facebook group exclusively for my wedding clients. It's full of helpful information and amazing people who are in the wedding planning stage or recently got married. If you're not in it, click the link below to request to join.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2488223388110923/

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