Welcome! I am SO excited you're here! Being engaged is SUCH a special time in your lives and I'm so excited for what's to come. This guide will be your BEST FRIEND to get you started with your wedding planning, and get a glimpse on what to expect during your photography experience with me! I'm so EXCITED to help ease some stress of planning. As always, feel free to reach out at any time, if you have any questions along the way.
We will schedule a zoom call to get to know each other; making sure we are the perfect fit! It is so important to establish a connection with someone you will be spending all of your special day with. You want to make sure your photographer makes you feel comfortable, at ease and happy.
Let's Be Friends
You were made to be a BG Couple! To save your date, you will receive your custom online booking proposal. You'll be able to to view your package and pay your deposit to make us officially official!
Save The Date
It's time to schedule your engagement session! Relax and enjoy...I will teach you EVERYTHING so you feel comfortable and confident during your session. All you need to do is bring yourselves, a stylish outfit, your beautiful ring and your awesome personalities! After the engagement session, you will be featured on the "BG Blog", and will be sent your online gallery of images to download and share.
I love helping my couples create custom timelines, to ensure we do not miss getting those dreamy portraits. Eight weeks out from your big day, I will send you a questionnaire and go over your wedding timeline to make sure we are prepared, and ready for your day!
timeline Review & Questionnaire
Your big day is here! It's going to go by in a blur, so I make sure to capture the must-haves and the moments in-between. You deserve the full story of your wedding day, so I never shoot less than eight hours (except for small elopements). After your wedding day, you will be featured on the "BG Blog" the following week.
About 4-6 weeks after your wedding day, you will receive your online gallery full of ALL your wedding memories! HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of them! Soon after your gallery is delivered, you will receive your album design (if you ordered an album) and you can begin the customization process.
This is the FIRST step of your experience, which makes it SUPER exciting! There are two main reasons I LOVE engagement sessions:
1. Spending quality time to get to know each other.
2. Learning my posing style so you're PROS when your wedding day comes!
WHAT TO EXPECT
If you're like every other couple, you're probably a little nervous thinking about being in front of the camera... I mean, you're not used to having a big black box pointed at you, am I right?! Even I get nervous when I'm having photos done!
It's COMPLETELY normal to feel this way, but I want to encourage you to just relax and have a good time. I'm going to be giving you all the direction so you never feel like you know don't what your doing. We're going to capture those timeless photos that you will love, while having so much fun (don't be surprised if I pull out my speaker and turn on some music)! Some prompts I give you both might seem a little silly at first, but TRUST ME, they create some legit magic.
All you two have to do is show up and be an adorable couple in love... easy, right?! I'll take care of the rest. And don't forget, we're going to have a lot of FUN!
TIPS & TRICKS FOR SUCCESS
BE ON TIME: Typically plan your start time based on the time of the sunset. Your session would being two to two-and-a-half hours before the sun sets over the horizon. If you are late, it cuts into the sunlight we have available. No one wants dark photos, so arriving on time will ensure we have gorgeous light to work with for your whole shoot. :)
BRINGING THE DOG: I adore ALL the cute pups, so naturally, I LOVE it when my couples bring them along! The best way to include them is to have someone else bring your dog during the last 15 minutes of your session, or choose a session location that is less than 5 minutes away from your home. Contact me so we can work out the details!
CLEAN THE RING: Your ring will be a focal point of your photos, and I'd love to grab a few up close shots of just your ring while you change outfits. Cleaning it will ensure it's nice and sparkly for photos!
EMPTY YOUR POCKETS: Especially for those wearing pants, make sure you don't have anything in your pockets! I am more than happy to store phones and keys in my bag, or you can bring along a little bag to keep everything in.
RELAX: You don’t have to be a pro at this! I’m going to help you along the way and it’s going to be a blast! I don't expect anything from you. Enjoy this time together and make a date out of it! You could even plan dinner afterwards and celebrate!
GET YOUR NAILS DONE: Make sure your nails are freshly polished, or spoil yourself with a trip to the salon! Chipped nails will be noticeable in your photos. Neutral colors and pastels photograph beautifully and will match any outfit!
BRING COMFY SHOES: If you're wearing heels, bring a pair of flip flops or comfortable shoes to walk from spot to spot. Your feet will thank you later!
HOW MANY OUTFITS?: Most often, my couples like to have one casual, everyday outfit (think: date night) and then one outfit that is dressier! This will give your shoot two totally different “looks.” I recommend beginning with the dressy outfit first!
PROFESSIONAL HAIR & MAKEUP: Ladies, I highly recommend doing your hair and makeup trial right before your engagement session! This will not only ease the stress of you having to do it yourself, but you'll get to see how the hair and makeup you want for your big day will actually LOOK in photos. It also gives you a way to use the trial for your session! Win, win!
CHOOSING COLORS: When choosing colors for your outfits, I recommend selecting lighter tones and more muted shades. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. Soft pinks, muted blues, and light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white all work wonderfully.
SKIP CASUAL CLOTHES: I know flip flops and graphics tees are *perfect* for everyday wear, but long pants and closed toe shoes look and photograph wonderfully! Trust me, it's just for one hour... then you can go back to your most comfortable attire.
DRESS IT UP: Have you ever wanted to rock a sequin dress, or a long flowy maxi dress? Maybe you've dreamed of wearing a floral crown, or wearing a tulle skirt. THIS is your chance! Especially for your dressy outfit, I typically recommend a long, flowy A line dress that cinches at the waist. This is typically most flattering on most body types! For the guys, opt for a suit or nice pants and a suit jacket with a button down for your fancy outfit.
FLATTER YOUR FEATURES: Keep in mind which features you want to flatter and which features you want to hide when picking outfits! For example: if you want to hide your arms, choose a top with sleeves and skip the spaghetti straps. If you want to minimize your bust, choose a dress with a higher neckline and skip the strapless dress. If you opt for a low cut dress, it will minimize the amount of angles I can shoot.
SKIP THE SPRAY TAN: Even though it seems counter intuitive, I highly recommend skipping a spray tan altogether, even if it's a few days out from your session. Spray tans tend to photograph more orange than they appear and will make you appear more orange than tan!
First off, I want to say that I ALWAYS encourage my couples to think of session locations that have MEANING to them. This will allow us to capture more genuine images that reflect your personality. Think: Favorite date spot, where you met, where he proposed, your wedding venue, your home, where you had your first date, etc. However, if you're totally stumped for locations, have no fear! We'll work together to pick a location that fits you two best!
Here is a list I've compiled of a couple of my favorite locations for photo sessions! I love these spots in particular because I'm able to provide photos that are super consistent with what you see on my website and blog, and also provide a huge variety in backgrounds for you! If a location you're considering is not on this list, feel free to reach out to ask about it - chances are I've never photographed there! If there's a spot that is especially meaningful and you would love to incorporate it, let's chat!
Harkness Memorial State Park is an old estate just off the Long Island Sound. It has multiple beautiful gardens surrounding the Eolia Mansion. Being a state park, it has sprawling grounds and access to the ocean. There is something for everyone's style!
275 Great Neck Rd, Waterford, CT
This park offers many different areas for beautiful florals. It also offers some pathways, greenhouses, lawns, a picnic grove, and a scenic pond. The park has different flowers throughout the whole year, so do not worry if you aren't having your session during the summer!
Early-to-Mid April: Daffodils
Late April to Early May: Tulip Garden
Late May: Perennial Garden and Iris Garden
Early-to-mid June: Rose Garden and Iris Garden
June: Rose Garden peaks in late June. Annual Garden
July & August: Rose Garden, Annual Garden, Perennial Garden
Late August: Dahlia Garden, Annual Garden peaks
September & October: Rose Garden & Iris Garden
1561 Asylum Ave, West Hartford, CT
So you might be asking... what is a first look?! Well, let me tell you! A first look is when my couples arrange a private time to see each other before the ceremony. The only people present will be the two of you and your photographers and videographers. First looks are very popular for so many reasons. There are so many incredible benefits of doing one, (see below)!
Although I love this so much on a wedding day, I also always encourage my couples to do whatever they want to do. Because at the end of the day, it’s their wedding, and what they prefer matters the absolute most! So although I love it so much, I do want the day to go however they envisioned. This is just meant to help you decide whether it’s right for you, and why I recommend it so much!
Throughout the chaos of a wedding day, it will very likely be your ONLY alone time! It allows you to have a chance to talk and enjoy being with each other. You get to TELL each other how wonderful they look as soon as you see them! And you get to extend your day TOGETHER by 2-3 hours.
My brides LOVE this because your hair and make up are totally fresh for all of your portraits. You don't have to worry about touching up before photos, because you just had your hair and makeup done. Your bridesmaids will LOVE you for this as well!
With a first look, you can ENJOY taking all of your wedding portraits and not feel rushed. Plus, you'll receive MORE variety in your portraits because of the extra time! It makes taking photos a lot more enjoyable because you aren't trying to rush and squeeze them all in!
You can finish the majority of your wedding photos before the ceremony begins. We will jump right into your portraits + bridal party photos after the first look. This means no long cocktail hours with guests waiting on us to finish taking photos!
Once we do family formals directly after the ceremony, you can actually go enjoy cocktail hour - or - start the reception! If any of your bridal party members aren't family, they get to enjoy ALL of cocktail hour!
So many couples say their nerves went away after they saw each other! It helps you to feel more relaxed and make the ceremony more enjoyable. Plus, you’ll probably remember your ceremony better because you weren’t so nervous. The whole thing would probably be a blur otherwise!
Sunset portraits are literally the BEST ten minutes of portraits you'll get on your wedding day. Typically we'll sneak out for ten minutes during your reception (in-between events, of course!) or right after family formals to grab a few of these! Trust me, they are WORTH IT and are those dreamy, swoon-worthy photos you see all over Pinterest with the glowy lighting.
They also give you another chance to slow down and connect with each other, away from the chaos of your big day!
Here are a few things to know:
- Bring the veil + bouquet! This looks DREAMY with sunset lighting!
- If it ends up being overcast, don't worry! I've had SO MANY overcast and rainy weddings end up having a beautiful sunset. If the sun isn't peaking out, we might still sneak out for some extra portraits for variety!
One of the most COMMON questions I get asked is, what happens if it RAINS on my wedding day? While this isn't always ideal and doesn't match the sunny day you imagine while planning, I want to encourage you that you can still have GORGEOUS photos, even if it's rainy! Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
1. Overcast skies = perfect lighting. Sunlight, especially mid-day, is actually very harsh. Rainy days give that perfect, soft, natural lighting, no matter where you take your photos! This gives you perfect lighting + the ability to use a lot more locations. It also tends to make colors look more vibrant. :) Don’t get me wrong, I love golden, sunlit photos… but overcast has its advantages as well.
2. Let me worry about the photos. On your wedding, the only thing you should have to worry about is being the bride! :)
3. Be willing to go outside! Most of the time when it’s raining, it’s a lot of light sprinkles and not long, huge downpours… going outside is still definitely doable! I typically will find areas that have large trees to cover my couple & bridal party, or overhangs on the side of buildings. I also bring along cute, clear umbrellas to a wedding day (enough for an ENTIRE bridal party) that keep you almost totally dry, even when you’re not under anything! :) And they look adorable! All photos I’ve ever taken outside in the rain hardly even LOOK like it’s raining.
4. Have a rain plan. Especially if you are having an outdoor wedding, this is very important! Be sure to communicate to your vendors what they should do if it rains on your wedding day. That way, if the situation arises, they will already know what to do and you won’t have to worry about a thing.
DOWNLOADING YOUR PHOTOS
When downloading your photos, I recommend downloading the ENTIRE gallery all at once, so you immediately have a copy of all your images! After downloading your gallery, be sure to save it to multiple places. You can also download individual images as you want them!
ACCESSING YOUR PHOTOS ON YOUR PHONE
The online gallery system that I use is extremely mobile friendly! To access, just go to your phone’s web browser and navigate to your gallery’s webpage link. It work seamlessly and just like it would on a computer! You can download individual photos onto your phone for crisp and clear Instagrams and having access to your memories at all times.
You can actually order professional and affordable prints from within your online gallery and have them shipped directly to your house! Prints are printed in a professional lab to ensure color and contrast accuracy. You are more than welcome to print images on your own. However, I would warn you to avoid Walmart, Target and Costco. I cannot promise that your colors will print true-to-life if you choose to print at those stores!
Your gallery is guaranteed to remain open for two years after your wedding date. Therefore, I highly recommend backing up your images in more than one place, on multiple devices, flash drives, hard drives, and even in online cloud storage systems like Dropbox or iCloud. You can't have enough copies!
SHARING YOUR IMAGES
You are completely free to share your images wherever you would like! Whether it's on social media, printing them for your home, or sending to your friends, share away! I want you to treat your images like they're yours. Just keep in mind not to add filters or re-edit them in any way (cropping is totally okay!) Watermarking is not necessary, but a photo credit is always appreciated! Feel free to share your gallery link with your friends and family! I will already be passing the gallery on to your vendors for you, so you don't have to worry about that!
Two weeks after you receive your full wedding gallery, I'll send you a link to your initial album design. I am typically including images that most couple LOVE to see in their album, including many of your blog post images!
You get two revisions with your album design. It's all set up online so it's really easy to make changes! You have an unlimited amount of design changes + image swaps within each revision. The revisions are due within 3 weeks after receiving them.
Within 6 weeks of approving your album design, you'll receive your album at your doorstep!
ALEADY HAVE AN ALBUM? HERE'S WHAT TO EXPECT...
Thank you for allowing me to photograph your big day! I don't take it lightly and am SO excited for you. I want you to know that I am HERE for you throughout wedding planning! If you have ANY questions at all along the way, feel free to reach out to me via email at any point. I hope this guide serves as an amazing resource for you as you plan and prepare for your big day! I'm not only here to help but I want to encourage you that marriage is WORTH IT. It is a blast and always keep that in mind! At the end of the day, no matter what happens, you'll be married and that's all that matters. Thank you again for choosing me as your photographer, and happy planning!
With love, Brittany