1
1

Congratulations on your engagement – I’m so excited for you! Whether you just started planning or you are halfway done, here is a ton of information to help!

PHOTO LOCATIONS IN PHILADELPHIA

Brides and grooms always ask me for the best locations for their portrait or bridal party photos. There are so many great  locations throughout Philadelphia. I have compiled a list for brides and grooms so they can see the location and also learn a little bit more about what the space has to  offer.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Permit Required? Yes
City Hall
Permit Required? No
30th Street Station
Permit Required? No
Washington Square Park
Permit Required? Yes
Philadelphia Navy Yard
Permit Required? No
Rittenhouse Square
Permit Required? No
Race Street Pier
Permit Required? Yes
Spruce Street Harbor Park
Permit Required? Yes

WEDDING PLANNING

1

INITIAL PLANNING

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Get yourself a binder to keep all of your paperwork together. And if you don't already use a day planner, get one! I love digital planners and personally use Wunderlist, Planner Pro, and Google calendar on my phone. Wunderlist is great to keep track of general to-do's that aren't assigned to a date. Planner pro is what I use as a daily planner. I have daily and weekly tasks (some of which are recurring) that automatically show on the next day if you don't check them off. Last, I use google calendar to keep track of appointments. I also have this calendar shared with my husband so he can always see what is going on. A lot of couples will create an email address specifically for planning purposes so that both of you see everything that is happening. If you don't copy each other on emails be sure to check in frequently, possibly over a beer or glass of wine, to let your fiance know of any meetings, phone calls, or planning news! Communication is key and it is never too early to find a system that works for you. Some additional organizations tools include bullet journals, Evernote and Calend.ly.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
After you have the organizational tools you will need some sort of wedding checklist. These will help guide you along when booking vendors. The Knot has a great checklist and also has an app that you can download to your phone or tablet. They will also send reminders when it comes time to book certain vendors!
2

RSVP'S, GUEST LIST, AND SEATING CHARTS

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Spreadsheets will always be my answer when it comes to lists and staying organized. I created a great spreadsheet that my clients are able to use to keep track of their guests, addresses, RSVP’s, and seating charts.
3

ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Engagement sessions are not for everyone! I will never force a couple to do an engagement session although I do include a complimentary session with each wedding collection just because I think they are a great way to get to know each other (client + photographer) and because they’re fun! Sessions can be at a location that is sentimental to you or somewhere that you just think is pretty! It’s your choice and I’m always here to offer suggestions and tips on what to wear. After the session most couples print the photos to have in their homes but I love when the photos are used as guestbooks and save the dates!
4

FIRST LOOKS

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
For those of you who are not familiar with what a first look is, it is a time before the ceremony where the couple sees each other for the fist time, rather than waiting for the ceremony. This has become very popular over the years. I always leave the decision up to my couples but here are a few pros and cons:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Pros:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• You have the chance to see your fiance without a huge crowd watching.
• Sometimes first looks make more sense for the timeline since you can take photos together and with family and bridal party prior to the ceremony, leaving the cocktail hour completely free.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Cons:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• You aren’t exactly alone during the first look - I’m obviously there photographing you as well a potential second photographer.
• First looks aren’t always the emotional scenes portrayed in popular photos, especially if you aren’t an emotional couple.
• If anything runs late during prep, the first look and the photos scheduled prior to the ceremony will be rushed.
5

WEDDING DAY TIPS

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you didn’t hire a wedding coordinator I suggest keeping a section of your planning binder dedicated to the “day of”. Here you’ll keep notes and lists for what needs to happen and your vendor contact information. All of this can easily be done electronically but in case of emergency it’s easier to hand the binder off to your maid of honor so he or she can help. Make sure you delegate certain tasks to your bridal party, family, or friends and keep that list in your “day of” notes.
6

TIMELINE

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I always put together a timeline for my couples but to get an idea of how much time I allow for things, here is a breakdown of a typical 8 hour wedding day:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bridal Prep: 1 hour includes the bride and bridesmaids getting ready, photos of details, bridal portraits and some group photos if time allows
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Groom Prep: 30 minutes includes the groom and groomsmen getting ready, detail photos, groom portraits and some group photos if time allows
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
First Look: 10 minutes
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bride and Groom Portraits: 30 minutes includes photos of the bride and groom alone
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bridal Party Portraits: 20 minutes includes photos of the entire bridal party, the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and photos of the bride and groom with each bridesmaid and groomsman.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Ceremony: 30 minutes to 1 hour
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Family Portraits: 30 minutes includes about 10-15 groupings of different family members as specified in the questionnaire that the bride and groom complete about 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Cocktail Hour: 1 hour - at this time we set up lighting for the reception and photograph the reception room. The second photographer will photograph the guests during this time.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Reception: 3 hours includes all of the reception events and dancing.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Of course in some situations these times are different especially if there is no first look, if there is a Church ceremony with a long break prior to the reception, or if there is a receiving line. Couples also need to keep travel in mind. Sometimes everyone travels from the getting ready location to the church, to another location for bridal party photos, then to the reception venue and all of the travel can take up a good amount of the day.
7

AFTER

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As a wedding guest I love when couples care enough to send thank your cards quickly after a wedding. You will probably be pretty busy afterwards but one way to get a head start on your cards is to order you cards and work on addressing the envelopes prior to the wedding. Also, don't just thank your guests - your vendors appreciate thank you cards and glowing reviews too! Nothing makes me feel better than knowing that my brides enjoyed working with me.
8

WEDDING EMERGENCIES

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The most common wedding day emergency is that hair and makeup run late. When this happens the whole day goes late which can cause problems for the photography timeline. I always suggest that the bride and whoever is helping them get dressed, have their hair and makeup done first so that we can continue with photos while the rest of the bridal party finishes up.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Another emergency is that maybe one of your vendors went out of business. It scary to think about but if this happens, the first people you should reach out to are your other vendors. Chances are they are a part of a network and can help you find a suitable replacement. Also, make sure the contracts with your vendors all clearly state what would happen in this case.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW DO WE BOOK?

First we need to make sure I’m available for your date! You can inquire here and once we meet for coffee or chat over the phone about what you’re looking for, we can proceed with booking your date. A non-refundable deposit and signed contract is required to hold your wedding date.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE BOOK?

We celebrate! You crossed one more thing off of your wedding to-do list. After you book your date we can proceed with planning your engagement session. Then, if there is still some time to go before your wedding I will reach out here and there just to say “Hi”. About 6-8 weeks prior to your date I will send you a questionnaire that asks about everything I need to know to perfectly photograph your wedding. After receiving your answers we plan your timeline. Then the week prior to your wedding day I’ll just re-confirm all of the details.

WHERE SHOULD WE DO OUR PHOTOS?

Most family photos are done at the ceremony location but that choice is up to you. Every wedding is unique and we will plan locations accordingly. If you are getting married in Philadelphia I have a list of popular locations above along with their websites and whether or not a permit is required.

WHAT HAPPENS ON MY WEDDING DAY?

Every wedding is unique so there is no single answer to this question however, my style is the same no matter what. I try to just be a fly on the wall during most of the day while just offering my guidance where it is needed. During more of the staged photos I will let you know where to stand and what to do (such as getting dressed or during family formals). For portraits I try to keep the photos as candid as possible with natural posing. After my time is done for the day I backup all of your photos immediately.

WHO PHOTOGRAPHS MY WEDDING?

I am the owner and main photographer and will always be the lead photographer on your wedding day. Second photographers are chosen on a wedding-by-wedding basis from a network of talented photographers.

DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE?

I sure do! Safety is my thing and so is being prepared for anything.

WHAT IS COVERED IN YOUR CONTRACT?

My contract is designed to protect myself and my clients. It protects you if anything should happen to me and I can’t photograph your wedding. The contract also provides a print release for your photos that allows you to print your photos anywhere you would like. This does not however, give the client the full copyright. My contract also includes a model release, so that I can use your beautiful photos on my website or to post a sneak peak to Facebook and/or Instagram.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKUP PLAN?

If for some horrible reason, I am unable to photograph your wedding I will present you with two options – I will refund your entire payment and help you find another photographer, or I will choose a photographer to take my place that day. I am a part of a very large network of photographers and work closely with several that I would call first in the case of any emergency.

WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT PHOTO PERMITS?

If the space we have chosen for your photos requires a permit, I will handle applying for and obtaining the necessary permits after which I will send you an invoice for the fees. The permit fees are not included in your package price.

DO YOU OFFER PAYMENT PLANS?

Yes! A $500.00 deposit is required for all weddings with the balance due two weeks prior to your wedding. We can create a custom payment plan that you are comfortable with as long as the deposit and final balances are paid on time. You can check out more information regarding pricing here.

HOW DO YOUR GIVE THE IMAGES TO YOUR BRIDES AND GROOMS?

All of my collections include and online gallery where you can download your photos.

HOW DO I ORDER PRINTS AND PRODUCTS?

Typical products like prints and canvases can be ordered through your online gallery. If you are interested in an album just send me an email! We will work together to design something amazing!

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE WEDDING

Lookout for a sneak peak within a few days of your wedding! Final galleries are delivered in six weeks and include a private, password-protected online gallery where you can download your photos and share with friends and family. If your package includes it, a USB package will be delivered in 6 weeks as well. If you chose to add on an album you can select your favorite photos directly from your online gallery. From there I will design the proofs for your review. After the final draft is approved I send them to my printer. The entire album process can take about 8-10 weeks.

WHAT IS YOUR STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY?

My style of photography fits my personality as in, I’m not confined to just one thing. You could say that my work is mostly photojournalistic in the sense that I like to hang back and capture what is going on in front of me. At the same time I also pose my couples for a good portion of their portraits because no one wants pictures where they are hunched over or standing in a way that isn’t flattering. I want my brides and grooms to have photos that capture them at their best. Sometimes that means I may offer guidance as to where to put your dress or shoes on. Sometimes it means I just stay out of your way and capture the day. Regardless, you will end up with amazing pictures.

DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH ENGAGEMENTS?

I love to photograph engagements (and proposals too)! I think it is a great way to get to know a couple and for them to get to know me. It allows me to preserve your natural personalities so you can remember what you were really like at this time in your lives. Also, it’s a great time to photograph the future Mr. and Mrs. at some of your favorite locations since sometimes that just isn’t possible on the wedding day.

DO YOU BRING YOUR OWN LIGHTING?

I sure do! Some venues and getting ready rooms are just not conducive to amazing photography! Sometimes it is raining and all portraits must be done inside. Sometimes there are no windows. I always bring my own lighting for any scenario.

WHAT WILL YOU WEAR?

My assistants, second shooters, and I will always dress professionally. That means no yoga pants! You can also check out my Instagram for some behind the scenes photos!

DO YOU BRING A SECOND SHOOTER?

My classic and dream packages both include a second shooter. Sometimes my second shooter will assist me in holding lights, sometimes they are on their own photographing the bride or groom. I think that having that extra set of hands and an extra person capturing your day is always a great extra to have.

HOW MANY IMAGES DO YOU DELIVER?

Every wedding is different and the amount of images you receive depends a lot on whether or not we photograph you and your bridal party getting ready, if you have a first look, how many family photos you would like, and if you have a lot of details. I guarantee a minimum of 500 images for every wedding.

WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

In the event of cancellation, there will be no refunds on the deposit. If any payments were made in addition the deposit, they will be refunded up to a certain time.

CAN WE MEET IN PERSON?

Of course! I love to meet with brides and grooms to go over their needs, budget and any questions they have regarding my packages and experience. We can meet in my Riverton, NJ studio (which is located just a minutes from Philadelphia) or at a location closer to you.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE POOR SITUATIONS?

Patiently. Something will come up at every wedding that is not a part of the plan. There is usually nothing you can do except go with the flow. If something is within my power to fix, then by all means I will do that.

DO YOU RELEASE ALL PHOTOS?

I do not release every single photo. I go through every photo taken at your wedding and choose the best ones. This means that I do not release blurry or poorly lit photos, or photos that just didn’t work out. I will not release work that is subpar. That being said, you still end up with hundreds of photos and you can trust that you will receive quality work.

DO YOU RETOUCH PHOTOS?

Every photo is edited in some way. I do basic color corrections to every photo. Some photos also require minor exposure corrections. I also soften skin and fix blemishes on any portrait.