I have been photographing weddings and families since 2008. In 2022 I started my blog to share my experience of weddings, planning sessions and would love to share some sneak peeks into my life that may include my adorable children.
I'm holly and this is my blog.
It is officially engagement season! It is now time to start planning your wedding. But now what? A separate wedding planning guide will be released soon, but here is a helpful guide for preparing those very first steps.
First step after becoming engaged
After announcing to your family, it’s time to choose a date! A good engagement length for a traditional wedding is approximately a year-year and a half. Vendors such as bridal shops do custom dress orders and may need an entire year to prepare your dress. You must have a date you would like your wedding to take place before you can look into hiring vendors.
Order to choose your vendors
Venue– you must choose your venue to make sure your date is available. Check to see if your venue includes anything that may save you in the long run such as catering, drinks, servers, seating, etc. In an upcoming blog I will give venue recommendations.
Wedding Planner– I highly recommend having a wedding planner and day of coordinator. There is so much that goes into weddings that some things may slip your mind. A wedding planner can take away so much stress, this is what they do for a living after all. I 100% recommend Taylored Weddings located in Escanaba, Michigan.
Photographer– Your photographer will be taking photographs that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Do your due diligence and choose a wedding photographer that is a professional. Your wedding photos cannot be replaced. Make sure your photographer has business insurance. Some venues will not allow your photographer to work at their venue without it and you do not want this surprise last minute before your wedding. Also choose a photographer with a timeless style and true to color. You spend a lot of time choosing your wedding colors and details, you do not want your photos coming back with filters and not looking like your actual wedding day you put so much planning into. You also do not want your wedding photos to look dated in 10 years. Choose your photographer a year, year and a half in advance.
Entertainment– Entertainment can make or break your wedding. Choose professionals that can keep the party going. You do not want any malfunctions happening. Some vendors such as Taylored Weddings offers multiple wedding options such as their officiating and DJ services. If you are looking for strictly music Music On The Go is another great option. They both offer photobooth and uplighting services as well that can set the vibe and be a fun part of your wedding.
Catering– It is said that what guests remember the most from your reception is the music and food. Choose a catering service that offers food that is a crowd pleaser. They will provide plates and utensils which may save additional cost than if you do not use a caterer.
Baker– Your wedding cake is very important. I highly recommend the Velveteen Cake Co or Kandy’s Cakes located in Iron Mountain, Michigan. Ordering a bride and groom’s cake and then cupcakes for guests is a great idea.
Florist– Choose a florist that will be willing to deliver and who will do set up. For my personal wedding I used Perrenial Gardens and had the flowers of my dreams. She listened to my vision of what I wanted and made it better than I even imagined. Less things on your plate, the better.
When should I have my engagement session?
It is a good idea to book your engagement session with your wedding photographer. Do this session with your wedding photographer to meet them and see how they run their sessions beforehand. Your photographer will guide you wish posing and you can have a warm up for what to expect on your wedding day.
The time you choose for your engagement session depends on the look you want, but it is recommended to do your photos about 6-8 months before you wedding. Your engagement photos can be used for Save the dates, engagement announcements and photos you can use to display at your wedding. For a destination wedding it is recommended to do so 8-10 months in advance.
Can my pet come to my engagement session?
Absolutely. Your pet is part of your family and it is special to include them on such an important part of your life. I have done engagement sessions with family dogs, as well with couple’s beloved cats.
What should I wear to my engagement session?
Depending on the season your photographer will give tips regarding the weather on what will look best. I provide a style guide to my couples to best prepare for their session.