Part of me still can’t believe it. Even though I’ve held it in my hand, flipped through it multiple times, shipped several off to my 2017 brides and hand delivered a few, it’s so hard to believe that my bridal guide is actually here! It’s been printed. It’s an actual magazine. And I hope and pray that it’s one of the most helpful things I’m able to give my future brides.
Wedding planning is no joke. And even if you work in the wedding industry, when it comes to planning your own wedding, there are all kinds of things that pop up that people don’t tell you about beforehand! Namely, ALL the emotions and the stress that come with planning one of the most important days of your life. It’s probably better that nothing is said because who wants to ruin the excitement of an engagement with things like how stressful planning a huge party for all of your friends and family will be?? No one.
So, when a bride comes to me, I love being able to help calm her and redirect her attention to why she’s doing all of this in the first place… and that’s when I point to her man sitting next to her :-) A wedding is an experience to be remembered for a lifetime because it’s the beginning of a new family – YOUR new family! And that’s an incredible and wonderful time… but a lot of planning has to happen before we get to that day.
And that’s what I hope this bridal guide can help with. Thanks to Katelyn James and her incredible design skills and generosity, her Bridal Guide template became the bones for what my brides will receive soon after they book me. Yes, they’ll see well over 125 photos from weddings and engagement sessions that I’ve photographed, but even better, they’ll be able to read about what to expect at an engagement session, they’ll already have a sample timeline of a wedding day, my brides will get to see and read about exactly what they need for photos on the day of their wedding and (as cheesy as it is to say this), there’s SO much more!
I have so many favorite spreads in this bridal guide, but the ones with detail photos rank high up there. Partly because it can be DIFFICULT to go through 7 years worth of weddings to find detail shots that work together! Granted, in the spread below, all the images are from the same wedding so that was easier, but try sorting through 7 years worth of family photos to only choose a handful. And then, make sure they coordinate with colors as well as finding a mix of up close and wide shots. It’s like fitting a puzzle of 10 pieces together when you actually have thousands of pieces to choose from! Seriously, if my brides didn’t have such beautiful weddings, this guide would have been finished in about a week’s time ;-)
There are lots of things to think of when it comes to THE day, especially when it comes to photos. But handing this over to my brides early in their engagement will give them a lead on their planning and what needs to happen! I’m always here as a resource and I love answering questions to help relieve stress at any point during their engagement. But having this in hand – especially to be able to share it with her fiancé and mom! – will be such a big help.
This guide would NOT have happened if not for so many people… so, here’s my version of my Academy Awards thank you speech :-)
First, thank you to all of my brides who have trusted me with capturing their wedding days. YOU are the ones who not only grace the pages of this magazine but you have helped me learn and grow and know how to help future brides with their weddings. I’ve already said thanks to Katelyn (about a dozen times!), but seriously, I’m not a designer so if she hadn’t had this template, this guide literally would not be in existence for me. Thank you to all of the talented photographers who have guided me, helped me, led me, taught me, directed me and trusted me to shoot with them as well as the ones who have second shot with me over the years. Your influence, ideas and wisdom have been VITAL in my business and where God has brought me since day 1. Many thanks to all of the vendors who have made each wedding day SO special and beautiful… the coordinators, the florists, the bands, the DJs, the venues, the caterers, the rental companies, the videographers, the cake artists, the make-up and hair artists as well as the designers and dress makers! It takes a ton of people to make a wedding happen and half of these photos wouldn’t be as pretty as they are without each of these vendors. Thank you to Morgan, one of my precious brides, who helped with edits and catching my typos before going to print! And thank you especially to my husband who is always my biggest cheerleader when it comes to my photography and any projects I try to tackle. He’s such a big part of this business and there’s no way it would still be running without him and everything he does behind the scenes (mostly encouraging me) :-)
And to all of my 2017 brides, I’m THRILLED that you’ll be the first ones to have this in your hands! There will be updated versions as the years go by, but with this being the very first one, I’m more excited to get these to you than I ever dreamed! So, I hope you enjoy it and that it helps your overall wedding experience as you get ready to walk down the aisle and say “I do” to the man of your dreams!