Peterson Design and Photography
We are so excited to be giving away this micro wedding and to work alongside an incredible and diverse team of vendors!
What you win:
- Venue: Naked Eye Studio is providing the venue for up to 3 hours (based on availability). Our private campus in Los Angeles consists of an Art Deco theater built in 1948, an attached parking lot (that can also be used as additional event space), and a courtyard garden. The winning couple will have full reign of the entire property and use of textured spaces surrounding the campus (vintage brick walls, light pink wall, industrial & garden spaces). The winning couple is also allowed one walk-through appointment prior to their micro wedding (based on availability). This is meant to allow for a meet-up with vendors to confirm design ideas and layout for the event. The venue is also providing one hour of set up and one hour of tear down in addition to the 3 event hours.
- Rentals: Lounge Appeal will be providing chairs for the event!
- Photographer: Peterson Design & Photography is providing 3 hours of photography with two photographers, 250-400 high resolution images delivered via online gallery with unlimited printing/personal use rights.
- Videography: The Siren & Co. is providing 3 hours of videography with 2 videographers and a 2 minute video edit sent via link.
- Planning, Design & Decor: True Splendor Events is providing design and decor of the ceremony space to include an arch beautifully decorated with fresh florals and botanicals. The client will also receive one of True Splendor Events' 2-D renderings of the ceremony space to visually share the design. Additionally, one day of coordinator supplying up to 4 hours of service to ensure everything goes smoothly.
- Flowers: Flowers by Lady Buggs is providing personal florals for the couple in the colors of your choice.
- Officiant: Cindy Arenas from Ink & Rose Events will work closely with the couple to create and perform the perfect ceremony for their wedding. A sample ceremony script will be sent to the couple to review and can be customized. The marriage license must be provided on the wedding day by couple. Cindy will sign the license after the ceremony is performed and should be mailed out by the couple. A printed copy of the ceremony will be given to the couple in a binder folder for keepsake.
- Hair and Makeup: Makeup by Yesenia Torres is providing a full bridal glam experience including custom individual lashes and a flawless airbrush foundation finish.
- Cake: Nicole Bakes Cakes is providing a petite cutting cake for the couple to enjoy! You can choose between three flavors: chocolate salted caramel, vanilla strawberry or red velvet Oreo.
- Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Michelle Tieu is providing custom vow books, welcome signage and a custom "we eloped" or "just married" sign for photos.
All you need to provide is your license, witnesses and attire!
How to enter:
1. Follow all the vendors participating in the giveaway on Instagram!
2. Fill out out this entry form!
- The Micro Wedding Giveaway must take place 7/19/2020-8/31/2020 and is subject to the vendors' availability.
- This Micro Wedding will comply with all state and local government mandates.
- You agree to invite 15 or less guests. No exceptions.
- Even though each vendor is donating their services, you must sign contracts with each vendor (for model/liablitly releases).
- You agree to provide and pay for for your marriage license- the officiant is just waiving her personal fee.
- If chosen, the planner, florist and baker will create/curate florals, decor and cake based on your one sentence in the entry form. If you are chosen, basic inspiration photos are welcome, but you agree to trust our vision!
- This prize cannot be combined with any other offer or discount or applied to any previously booked services with any of the vendors participating.
- You must be in the US and 18 years or older to enter.
Contest closes 6/26/20 and the winners will be announced 6/29/20.
Choosing a getting ready location for your wedding day is honestly the next most important decision you make after your venue! Where you get ready is where all your detail photos are going to take place, where you will be putting on your dress (or suit), and where you might get your first portraits done as a bride or groom so it is really important to do your homework and select this location with care because it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
But what are you supposed to look for when choosing a getting ready location for your wedding day? Here are some tips for finding that perfect location!
Tip #1- Where to look? Venue vs. Hotel vs. Airbnb?
Many venues have gorgeous bridal suites to get ready in, but for those that have you getting ready in a dark, windowless room, there are much better options out there! Hotels can sometimes be a great alternative if you book something expensive or boutique, but even then, it's possible your photos will still look like they were shot in a hotel room (you know... with that weird hotel carpet, wall ACs and the crazy colors and patterns). My advice would be to book an Airbnb!You can have a whole house or apartment to yourself that way – more control over the amount of space and style of the decor, and you can probably find one super close to your venue!
Tip #2- Lots of Natural Light
This means lots of WINDOWS so that the natural light can shine through. This is probably the most important thing you should be looking for in any getting ready location! Natural light gives a beautiful and flawless glow to anyone in the room so make sure to pick a location with big windows. Natural light is also really important for shooting your details such as rings, invitation suite, shoes, etc. All your photos depend on lots of natural light so take this tip to heart during your location search.
Tip #3- Clean and Open Space
Clean doesn’t necessarily mean free of dirt and dust (although this is also important). Clean means free of clutter, crazy patterned furniture, or strange knick-knacks. These are all things that will inevitably end up in your photos if you aren’t paying attention so make sure the space is clean as well as open so that you have room to get your dress on and move around. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve taken furniture out of rooms on wedding days so that we would have space to put on the dress, or photography time I’ve wasted cleaning a room of clutter. Keep this in mind when booking a space!
Tip #4- Character + Style
When looking for a getting ready location for your wedding day, really think about what style of wedding you are going to be having and find a location that has the same style! For example, if you are getting married on the beach, consider renting a beach house with accents of blue and beach decor to tie in with your theme. If you are getting married at an old estate, consider booking a cottage with character in the architecture and vintage furniture inside. Added bonus if the Airbnb you are looking at has a giant mirror which is ALWAYS a good idea for getting dressed ;)
To summarize, don’t feel like you have to fall subject to getting ready in an oddly decorated hotel because your venue doesn’t offer a great option for a bridal suite. Book an Airbnb with lots of windows, that’s clean of clutter, has a big and open space for getting dressed, and ties in to the style of your wedding. If you keep these tips on your mind when location scouting for that perfect getting ready spot, your photographer will love you and your wedding photos will turn out amazing!
We have partnered with an amazing team of Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange County based vendors to offer photography, coordination, floral design, a mini cake and an officiant to create two complete wedding package options!
The Five Star Vendor Team:
Elopement Wedding Package
Client Investment starting at $3,050 | 25 guest maximum | Ceremony & Newlywed Portraits
- Photography $1,100 Three hours of photography coverage for your ceremony and portraits, One photographer, 250-300 high resolution images delivered via online gallery, Unlimited printing and personal use rights, Consultation and venue visit before the wedding day (if necessary), & Your choice(s) of any of our photo props. Additional costs apply for overtime hours.
- Coordination $1,000 Correspondence with all our vendors to create this perfect package for you! Also includes coordination with your other vendors starting around 60 days before the wedding, One venue walk-through, Production list & timeline creation, Ceremony rehearsal coordination, Dayof event set up, coordination, and clean up for up to five hours, & Access to Event Emergency Kit. Additional costs apply for overtime hours.
- Floral Design $375 Includes: One bridal bouquet, One boutonniere & Small cake florals. All pieces have a garden style design with a canvas of green foliage - You may select up to three color customizations from this list: white, cream, blush, pink, orange, yellow, red, blue, purple, peach, or burgundy. If additional customizations or florals are desired, they will be charged a la carte. Floral transactions are subject to a 9.5% sales tax.
- Officiant $275 - 575 Includes: Ceremony performance of one of the following three options for your ceremony script: standard ($275), semi-personalized ($425), or fully custom ($575). Also includes guidance to obtain marriage license and completion and filing of the marriage license on your behalf.
- Cake $300 Includes: A single tier textured, smooth buttercream or watercolor cake design in one of the following favors: vanilla or chocolate cake with one of the following fillings: vanilla bean, chocolate, strawberry, salted caramel or oreo. This would be to take home after your ceremony. Different flavors and/or design would be additional costs.
Intimate Wedding Package
Client Investment starting at $5,775 | 50 guest maximum | Ceremony, Cocktails, & Intimate Reception
- Photography $2,200 Five hours of photography coverage for your personal details, ceremony, portraits, and part of your intimate reception, Two photographers, 350-500 high resolution images delivered via online gallery, Unlimited printing and personal use rights, Consultation and venue visit before the wedding day (if necessary), & Your choice(s) of any of our photo props. Additional costs apply for overtime hours.
- Coordination $1,800 Correspondence with all our vendors to create this perfect package for you! Also includes coordination with your other vendors starting around 60 days before the wedding, One venue walk-through, Planning checklist, Layout design, Seating chart coordination, Production list & timeline creation, Ceremony rehearsal coordination, Day-of event set up, coordination, and clean up for up to eight hours, Access to Event Emergency Kit, & One on-site coordination assistant. Additional costs apply for overtime hours.
- Floral Design $1,025 One bridal bouquet, One bridesmaid bouquet, Two boutonnieres, Five garden centerpieces, & Small cake florals. All pieces have a garden style design with a canvas of green foliage - You may select up to three color customizations from this list: white, cream, blush, pink, orange, yellow, red, blue, purple, peach, or burgundy. If additional customizations or florals are desired, they will be charged a la carte. Floral transactions are subject to a 9.5% sales tax.
- Officiant $275 - 575 Ceremony performance of one of the following three options for your ceremony script: standard ($275), semi-personalized ($425), or fully custom ($575). Also includes guidance to obtain marriage license and completion and filing of the marriage license on your behalf.
- Cake $475 A two-tier (eight & ten inch) textured, smooth buttercream or watercolor cake design in one of the following favors: vanilla or chocolate cake with one of the following fillings: vanilla bean, chocolate, strawberry, salted caramel or oreo. Different flavors and/or design would be additional costs.
Additional Information: Our team will work together to coordinated the perfect package for you. These two packages are customizable based on your preferences. Final pricing will depend on your selections, venue location, any additional service requests, etc. Travel fees will apply if over 50 miles round trip per vendor. If so, the charge will be individually per mile per vendor after the 50 mile limit.
Hey friends! Congratulations on your engagement! I'm guessing you're either shopping around for your perfect photographer, you're trying to figure out your wedding timeline, or you are researching how many hours you're planning on having your photographer.
Well, you have come to the right place!
One of our favorite things is to help our couples with building their timeline for their wedding. We love helping you have the smoothes wedding ever - and we truly believe photography has a huge part in that. We are all about making sure couples enjoy their day because it really does fly by so very fast. This quiz will help you decide what's going to work best for your day and what makes the most sense for you!
Click the button below to take the quiz! Once you learn this score click "Next" on the score page or come back to this blog post to know what your score means!
Thank you so much for taking the quiz! Your score shows the number of hours that you should book your photography/videography team. Pay attention to the number (Ex. 8/12). 8 is your score, not the percentage!
- You are looking for just the basics! The Elopement Package
is perfect for you! Or if you are looking for something more inclusive, check out our elopement package
with a coordinator, florist, officiant and cake!
- If you are looking for just the ceremony, a few formal photos and perhaps a few reception events covered, this amount of time is a great option. We don't have a formal package for this hourly range but a custom quote can be provided. We also offer an all inclusive elopement package
with a coordinator, florist, officiant and cake for this level of coverage.
- The Essential Package
is a great option if you are on a tighter budget. This is usually the base amount of coverage for most photographers. You still get all the good stuff captured: ceremony, formal photos, group photos, reception speeches and dances, but without the getting ready/detail photos or full reception coverage which you might not care about. This option comes with a discounted engagement session!
- The Essential Package
is a commonly picked package. All the events covered without too many reception or getting ready photos, all with a bit more room to relax. It's a great option because it also includes a discounted engagement session!
- The Classic Package
is our most common package
because it gets you the full coverage of the day without packing it in so tightly. You get some breathing room and we all won't have to worry about rushing. That means you get time to enjoy your wedding! This is a solid choice if you want your whole day covered, but don't care about pictures when you exit your wedding reception. With this package, you get a FREE engagement session included!
- The highest end of The Classic Package
coverage. You'll get your entire wedding day story captured with room for relaxation-- not rushing to get photos taken or moving onto the next thing. You can even get your grand exit covered and have plenty of time to enjoy the day without worrying about us running out of time with you. With this package, you get a FREE engagement session included!
All in all, there are lots of options! We can customize and tweak things here and there since every wedding day is unique. We want to make sure your love story is told in the best way so you can remember it forever. Your wedding day will go by lightning fast, and it is all up to you on how you want to spend it. For more breakdowns on how each section of a wedding goes, check out this post here for mini weddings/elopements
and this one here for longer weddings
We are so excited for Adina and Jason! These two are so sweet and it was such a pleasure to get to know them while taking some beautiful photos in a beautiful hidden gem in LA! For their session they also brought along their golden doodle puppy Cody, who totally stole the show!
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Even though it rained cats and dogs on their big day, nothing could put a damper on Jen and Phil's smiles! Before the ceremony, we headed to a nearby park for some portraits which we mostly did under a covered picnic area. We did venture out into the elements when the rain slowed and got some great photos with our clear umbrella prop. Next we headed to the venue-- the couple's new home in Winchester, near Menifee. Under a tent and clearing skies, surrounded by their friends and family, supported by a bridal party made up of their children, these two exchanged simple vows and became officially official! Cheers to Mr. and Mrs. Soden and many happy years!
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We had SO much fun with Lindsey and Tim! These two are tying the knot on a Monday in November and we could not be more excited for them! They actually first met in middle school and did a long distance relationship for a while. But in August of last year, they finally made everything officially official with a very special piece of jewelry and we are so honored to be a part of their story! For their engagement shoot we took a trip up to the mountains where Lindsey's family has a cabin. We explored a woodsy area nearby, went to some rock formations out beyond the lake (had no idea there was desert scenery in the mountains, did you?!) and ended our time together by the lake, with a quick stop on the way down the mountain to capture some amazing sun set magic.
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We first met these two cuties when they were just dating! They modeled for one of our all time favorite styled shoots and now they are getting married! After a venue visit that morning, we headed down to downtown LA to catch some golden hour on the 1st Street Bridge. YAY for Chandra and CJ! We can't wait to be a part of their amazing day in May!
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Ok, how cute are Morgan and Dan? Like so many of our couples, these two met online and have been inseparable ever since! For their engagement session, we went to the lovely Oak Canyon Nature Center to capture some golden hour magic. Avid Disney lovers, these two will be getting ready at the Grand California Hotel and getting married at a brewery in Anaheim later this month.
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Know someone who is getting married? Refer them to us! If they book with us, you’ll receive 50% off any standard photo session, or a free mini session. The referred couple must mention your name when they contact us.
Not interested in photos? You can also receive a $50 gift card to your choice of Target, Amazon, or Starbucks as your reward!
I couldn't imagine a better way to end 2019! Kate and Graham wanted to keep things small and simple and so surrounded by their closest family members, they eloped on a cool and crazy windy afternoon in the hills of Malibu at a private residence. These two exchanged personal and traditional vows and were finally pronounced husband and wife! After some family photos (starring their sweet pups Dumbledore and Hedwig!) we soaked up the setting sun as these two enjoyed some moments of just married bliss. It was an honor to create their florals and take their photos and we wish them many years of joy!
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We had SO much fun with Natalie and Andrew on their amazing day! These two got married on a cool and breezy day at the Stanley Plummer Building in San Dimas-- the same place her sister and brother in law got married seven years before! They really meshed their classic/botanic/succulent theme easily with this blank slate location! Our day began with some detail and getting ready shots at Natalie and Andrew's apartment near by. After helping me with some details, Tim headed over to a local hotel to capture the groom and his men getting ready. Once everyone was dressed, we headed over to Horsethief Park in San Dimas where we did some separate portraits of the bride and groom and their party. The ceremony followed shortly after and was filled with with prayer, personal vows and a very sweet first look! Family and more bridal party portraits followed the ceremony and then we were sure to take photos in the magical winter golden hour light with the new Mr. and Mrs.. The reception decor featured exceptional florals, beer jug vessels, lawn games and beautiful cake. Upon entering their reception, the couple danced, had dinner and took a photo with every table, and danced with their parents. When night fell, everyone danced the night away in-between the garter and bouquet tosses and the cake cutting. At the end of our time with them, we snuck the newlyweds away for a epic end of the night shot out on the front of the venue. This was such a splendid day celebrating such a beautiful and loving couple and it was an honor to create their personal florals (bouquets and boutonnieres in addition to photographing this amazing day----what a great way to end our 2019 wedding season!
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Here is how the photo timing breaks down for mini weddings/elopements!
Ceremony — 20-30 minutes
Typically for mini weddings or elopements, the first thing I will cover will be the ceremony. I show up a bit early to capture the details, set up and decor and then timing here totally depends on what type of ceremony you want to have! Non-religious, simple ceremonies are typically 20 minutes tops (even if you write your own vows!) whereas church weddings or Catholic Mass ceremonies are a full 60 minutes.
Family Photos — 30 Minutes
The timing here depends on the size of your family and guest count! We kindly ask that you restrict family photos to immediate family (grandparents, parents and siblings) but sometimes you have mixed families, divorces, re-marriages, half siblings and siblings with significant others and kids. Oh my! We will either interview you about your specific family needs or request you fill out our family information form and then we can build your custom shot list for your approval. With a group under 25 (the maximum guest count to qualify for the mini wedding/elopement package) family and guest photos go fairly quickly!
Newlywed Photos — 45-60 Minutes
We will cover individual portraits, details of your attire and personal florals, and photos of you two together. If you decide to do an engagement session you will be more comfortable and loose in front of the camera and the process should flow more naturally. But if you never did an engagement session, it helps to have a bit more time to allow you to relax and capture candid moments. Typically we capture a few looking at the camera shots (trust me, the older folks love them!) but usually we focus on creating natural candid moments of talking, laughing, walking and just being together in a way that shows off your love for one another.
That Last Hour of Coverage!
Provided you have a non-religious simple ceremony, the coverage breakdowns listed above covers only two hours. The remaining hour of coverage included in the package can be used in several different ways! I can arrive early to get the dress, rings and personal details as well as getting dressed photos! Or that time can be eaten up by travel if the ceremony and photo locations are in separate spots. Or finally, that last hour can be applied to covering some candids at your mini reception. Totally up to you to decide! :)
Hiring a wedding planner is THE BEST THING you can do for your wedding!
We first started offering a discount last year when we noticed that weddings where we worked with a wedding planner or coordinator were more efficient, relaxed and fun!
Note that by “wedding planner/coordinator,” we mean someone that works for themselves or an independent company. A venue coordinator is great, but ultimately they work for the venue and are looking out for the venue’s best interests. A wedding coordinator will always be looking out for YOUR best interests. Please see this article for more about the huge difference between the two!
1. Planners are your advocate!
Wedding planners have amazing and reliable vendors they can recommend and will know who will work well together and keep your best interests at heart. They will recommend pros who will mesh well with your personality, budget, and style.
As your wedding day approaches, your planner will begin to pull together all of your logistics. They will be the point of contact for your team, which will allow you to focus on enjoying the final weeks of your engagement. On your wedding day, your planner will know every last detail about your day, and they will be ready and waiting to put everything into motion. They will allow you to enjoy your day and not have to handle all the last minute questions that will be coming your way. They will act as a buffer between you and your guests, family and vendors so that you can enjoy the process. On the day they will put out fires for you: what happens if the cake doesn't show up, or the gate is locked at the venue? They will handle all those details for you and sometimes you won't even be aware of them until after the fact.
You will be able to feel the difference when working with a planner. Your stress level will be lower, you will make better, clearer decisions because you have a guide you trust, and you will enjoy your wedding day rather than just living it.
2. But remember, every planner is unique!
Just like you and your fiancé, every wedding planner has a distinct personality. Do your research online and in person (if possible!) to make sure you jive well with a potential planner!
No matter if you decide to work with a planner from the beginning of your engagement or you make a decision two months before your wedding to hire planner for wedding management you need to make sure you truly like (if not love) your planner. I say this because your wedding planner will likely start to feel like a friend and close confidant. They are going to ask you so many valuable questions, and your planner will also be with you for (almost) your entire wedding day. So before you hire a planner, ask yourself if you want to spend a lot of time with that person.
If you’re shy, working with a wedding planner with a strong and bold personality may not suit you best. If you’re sarcastic, make sure your wedding planner has a sense of humor too. Just like finding friends, it’s important to mesh well with your pros. If you feel like a planner is a great choice or not quite right, listen to your gut.
3. Finally, there is no such thing as "day-of" coordination.
Just like unicorns, "day-of coordination" does not exist. Want to know why? Hear it straight from one of my preferred planners:
"To be completely frank here, experienced and professional wedding planning companies no longer offer day-of coordination because “day-of” help does not exist. The ultimate goal of a wedding planner is to make sure that your event day is successful and runs smoothly. The outdated concept of day-of has been replaced with what we call, wedding management. With wedding management, your planner starts to work with you up to three months before your wedding date. This allows time for your planner to review contracts, walk the venue and map out logistics – carefully paying attention to potentially missed details. In the long run, this allows a planner to best execute coordination on the wedding day, where coming in at the last second (let’s say a few weeks to a few days before your date) does not allow your planner to catch missed details, which could become a huge issue for the overall smoothness/success of the event. Long story short, a true day-of coordination experience is like being thrown into an environment where you have little control, where you will be putting out small and large fires all day, to the best of your ability. Wedding management prevents these fires from ever happening. You may be able to find a coordinator willing to sell you day-of coordination services for a budget-friendly cost, but it will be at the sacrifice of your event’s overall success. We are not willing to sacrifice that success." - P.S. & Associates Event Planning
Because of this, expect to make an investment in your planner, I promise they will be worth it!
Wedding planners will provide support in ways you didn’t even know you needed. In the end, they will save you money as they help negotiate all the tricky ins and outs of planning a huge event like a wedding.
Special Requirement: Backyard Weddings!
We love backyard weddings! Exceptions to this policy are made on a case by case basis and will require an additional fee. However, if we are going to photograph a backyard wedding with more than 25 guests, our policy is that our clients must hire a coordinator/planner. The main reason is that it is almost impossible to host an event at a private residence while properly focusing on what really matters on that day: getting married and being the stars of the show! There are many things that go into planning and hosting a large event like a wedding. Things will change, go wrong, and need extra assistance/expertise, and you will not want to be putting out those fires yourself! Our past experiences have shown that if there is no coordinator present, we end up having to take on this role in addition to photographing your big day. This ultimately takes away time from our primary job: taking amazing photos! Additionally, we can’t be in multiple places at once, so if something important needs to be set up, torn down or taken care of while we are taking photos, you want to make sure you are in capable hands of a professional planner/coordinator who can take care of all these details. That way, we can focus on our job, and you can focus on enjoying your wedding!
Exceptions to this policy are made on a case by case basis and will require an additional fee.
Here is how the photo timing breaks down for longer wedding days!
Getting Ready — 1.5-2 hours
The whole day begins with the details! You want to remember all the pretty things you picked out for this day (like grandma’s jewelry) and the shoes that might not be seen under your dress. We take extra care to style them to match the overall vibe and colors in your wedding- we always bring ribbon, ring boxes and small details which make these photos shine.
HOT TIP: Put all these details in a box and designate a bridesmaid to keep track of it! That way you keep everything organized so you’re not scrambling to find your stuff when we arrive. Make sure you set aside your dress for easy access too!
What goes in the box: Shoes, Garter, Perfume, Jewelry, ALL wedding rings (engagement and wedding bands!), Veil, Something borrowed, etc., Any other things you want a picture of!
We do these detail photos while you are in hair and makeup, but if you want any beautifying shots we can always stage a few!
The second hour is perfect for robe/cheers-ing photos and to capture the getting dressed process. Hot tip: Make sure your bridal party get dressed before you do so they are not in their sweats when they help you get into your attire! Because we are a two shooter team, Tim will join me at the first location to capture the trickiest detail photo (the rings) and when he is finished he can travel to a secondary location (at the same venue or another!) to capture the guys getting ready.
First Look/Not First Look — 15 Minutes
With two photographers you get two angles of this emotional moment! It takes a few minutes to set up a few shots and angles and then the rest of the time is candids capturing you two celebrate seeing each other for the first time! We encourage large bear hugs, sweet hand holding and lots and lots of kisses! If you are on the fence about whether or not to do a first look check out this post and see if it’s the right decision for you!
Wedding Party Photos — 30-45 Minutes
When our couple does a first look, we start with the whole group together (doing standard posed shots and as many fun, candid shots as we can!) and then split up: Tim taking portraits of the one bridal party side and me (Marisa) with the other side! If you decide to not do a first look, then we do portraits of each bridal party side separately before the ceremony (to save time during cocktail hour) and then do photos of the whole group together after the family photos which should immediately follow the ceremony.
NewlyWed Photos — 45-60 Minutes
If we are being honest, all of the wedding day images are important. But your photos are definitely the most important. These images are ALWAYS our favorite not only because they represent the real reason for the whole day. We will cover individual portraits, details of your attire and personal florals, and photos of you two together. If you decide to do an engagement session you will be more comfortable and loose in front of the camera and the process should flow more naturally. But if you never did an engagement session, it helps to have a bit more time to allow you to relax and capture candid moments.
Typically we capture a few looking at the camera shots (trust me, the older folks love them!) but usually we focus on creating natural candid moments of talking, laughing, walking and just being together in a way that shows off your love for one another.
Set Up Details — 30-45 Minutes
It is important for us to set aside time on the schedule to capture these set up and environmental details because these are the things that get moved, disrupted and changed when guests descend upon the event. We want to capture them in their pristine state, the way you have envisioned them to look!
You work incredibly hard on your vision and your coordination/venue team work hard making it all come to life. Once the guests enter it never looks the same again! It is the easiest when the wedding is all at one location, but as long as communication about set up completion is clear and photo time is scheduled for us, we should be able to capture plenty of detail photos at separate ceremony and reception locations.
Ceremony — 20-60 minutes
Timing here totally depends on what type of ceremony you want to have! Non-religious, simple ceremonies are typically 20 minutes tops (even if you write your own vows!) whereas very religious or Catholic Mass ceremonies are a full 60 minutes. Ceremony lighting is really important. If you get married outdoors at noon, the lighting will be exremely harsh and not only will there be harsh lines of light on your faces, you will also be squinting. We suggest planning a ceremony two hours before sunset if you are having a first look. If you don’t have a first look, then we would recommend having your ceremony at least 3 hours before sunset to ensure that we will have plenty of time for all your portraits afterwards. The lower the sun, the more romantic the lighting! If you are having an indoor ceremony, it is always best to have even lighting at the altar.
Important Cocktail Hour Note:
If you do not do a first look, then we require a 90 minute cocktail hour. I know that seems long, but with enough food and drink people will be fine! The timing breakdown works out to 20-30 minutes for family photos, 10-15 minutes for some photos of the whole bridal party together and 45-50 minutes for romantic photos the newlyweds. If we compress the cocktail time to 60 minutes, the amount of portraits will be significantly reduced and much more rushed. However if you do a first look, 60 minutes is plenty of time for cocktail hour! We can use the first half of the cocktail hour to do family photos (see more info on those below) and the rest of cocktail hour can be spent taking couple’s sunset photos, relaxing and taking a breather, or you could join your cocktail hour for drinks and snacks!
P.S. — We don’t normally take photos of food, but if requested, we will!
Family Photos — 20-60 Minutes
The timing here depends on the size of your families! We kindly ask that you restrict family photos to immediate family (grandparents, parents and siblings) but sometimes you have mixed families, divorces, re-marriages, half siblings and siblings with significant others and kids. Oh my! We will either interview you about your specific family needs or request you fill out our family information form and then we can build your custom shot list for your approval. We usually recommend doing the family photos right after the ceremony and reminding your family to stay for photos in two ways. First, tell each and every person you want in photos to stay in the ceremony area after the ceremony for photos that will immediately follow. Second, have your officiant announce and dismiss guests to cocktail hour, asking family to remain in the area for photos. We have photographed small, organized families in 15 minutes and we have photographed huge family lists for an entire 60 minute cocktail hour. Make sure you let us know your family photo priorities and we will advise on how much time is needed!
Sunset Photos — 15-30 minutes
First look or no, I highly recommend taking a minimum of 15 minutes to step outside with us and make some golden hour magic. I promise it is worth it!
Reception Coverage — 2-5 hours
Again, the timing here depends on your guest count and what you want captured at your reception. You can spend your time just socializing with guests and eating while we capture candids or you can do all or some of the traditional events: a grand entrance, a first dance, toasts, table visits (a great way to get a photo with every guest!), bouquet/garter toss, shoe game, anniversary dance, money dance, hora, open dancing and cake cutting!
Typically we stay until the last reception event (usually the cake cutting!) and then we take our couples outside the reception for a small break and one last photo of you to end the night. We love to get creative and dramatic with the photo, with the goal of highlighting some beautiful and unique feature of your venue that is especially lovely at night. However, with a full day coverage (11-12 hours) we will do this nighttime shot and stay until your grand exit!
Some other things to keep in mind:
Guest Consideration - If you have a lof of elderly guests that will not be staying until the very end, make sure you schedule the cake cutting at a relatively early time so that they can be a part of it. Grandma’s love seeing this sweet tradition!
Keep it Moving - Chat with your coordinator/DJ about how you can plan your reception in a way that will keep guests engaged and moving all night!
A Controlled Exit - In order to have more control over our shots and ensure that they turn out, we typically have our couples run through and do their “exit” several times. We want to make sure your photos turn out whether or not your guests are waving sparklers, wiggling ribbon wands or blowing bubbles!
The best advice we can give about the timeline is- add cushion time! Sometimes the simplest things can take an extra 20 minutes and then before you know it, the whole morning is thrown off. We have seen “getting the bride in her dress” take almost 40 minutes because of button malfuntion or confusion over lacing the back. It is a smart idea to add an extra 10 minutes here and ther so that we all have some wiggle room to work with. This way, if one part of the day gets thrown off, we can help catch up in other area. Keep in mind that not everything will go as planned, and we promise you that is completely normal and we will be flexible, adapt, and make it work! There are so many complex moving parts to consider, but please know that we are here for you and here to help!
What a fun and colorful day it was for Kiley and Matt! The theme of the day centered around a wooded winter wonderland theme with touches of greenery, bright red florals and cozy romance! Their venue, The Lodge at Malibou Lake was a forest setting to apply all their whimsical touches, planned, organized and pulled off flawlessly by the fabulous Holly Gray. We started out with Kiley's details and her getting ready on location in the upstairs bridal suite. After Kiley had donned her beautifully bohemian dress, and had some finishing touches by her bridesmaids, she and Matt shared a sweet first look. Next we met up with the fun bridal party for some portraits on the venue's lawn and then spent some time with Kiley and Matt, wandering in and around the trees. Their short and sweet ceremony followed and after some fun moments, laughter, exchange of rings, smashing of the glass and first shot, these two were officially married! After cocktail hour, some golden hour photos and some socializing the bridal party made their grand entrance into the reception, Kiley and Matt went right into their first dance, followed by dinner, toasts and cake. After a rousing hora and some epic dancing, we stole the newlyweds away from the party for a romantic end of the night shot at the venue's front porch. It was such a marveous day for such a wonderful couple, and we wish them many years of joy and happiness!
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What is a first look? A first look is when a couple choose to see each other before their wedding ceremony! It's a moment when you get to see your future spouse before the ceremony- there is usually an emotional moment characterized by beautiful peace that set up the day for calm and joy!
We've done weddings with first looks and without, and we can tell you that it's more special, more romantic, and will make the experience of the day smoother and better than a traditional look- seeing your future spouse at the end of the aisle. Here's why:
My clients who didn't do a first look often say, "I wish we had done one," or "Now I understand why people do a first look! I wish I had known!" I've never had a client do a first look and regret it!
Photos from some of our favorite first looks with advice from former clients below :)
- A first look is about you! When it's just the two of you (and us, of course!), it's a lot easier to have a natural reaction and really enjoy this emotional moment. Traditional looks don’t create a space to really be in the moment. Everyone's watching you, there's music playing, you have to walk a certain way, everyone's phones are out taking pictures and videos, and nerves are high... With a first look, all walls come down. There’s a space to be able to talk to the love of your life and hug, kiss, cry, freak out, etc. and you get to make it your own. Once the pressure is off, that "walking down the aisle" moment becomes much easier and we tend to see a more genuine emotional reaction there, too! The two moments of, "You look so amazing, I am so excited to see you," and "OMG. This is happening. We are getting married," are spaced out and felt at different times, allowing you to feel each more deeply.
- The aisle experience is really intense. Most brides and grooms get a "deer in the headlights” look, so they may find it difficult to show a lot of emotion in that moment. There's something about the pressure to have such an intimate moment in front of all those people that just gets to many of us and that will show through in your facial expressions. Often times we see grooms totally clam up, showing little to no emotion in an attempt not to break down in front of everyone. It's so much easier to express real and genuine emotion without all the extra pressure and staring eyes.
- It's a private moment (that you might not get again). With all the activities going on all day making your wedding the best day ever, it sometimes becomes hard to take a private moment away to yourselves. The reality is, unless you schedule it in, you likely won’t have much time to hang out with your new spouse. A first look is a great way to make sure you have this time! Your documentary team will be there of course, but we do our best to make sure that you feel comfortable and at peace. After that, you'll be celebrating and dancing all night with your guests!
- A Relaxed Schedule. You can schedule as much time as needed, depending on your bridal party size, to do all your bridal party and bride and groom photos before the ceremony. Then after the ceremony we can complete the family photos without being rushed and then you can go and join your cocktail hour, take candid photos with guests and/or sneak away for some sunset/golden hour photos with us! Relaxed you and relaxed us = the natural and wonderful photos you see in work.
- 40% more portraits. You are investing a lot in wedding photography. With a first look, you'll receive up to 40% more newlywed portraits...and those are the images you decorate your home with (believe me, my house is packed full of our portraits!) With a first look, you make the most out of this large investment and get the most for your money.
- Having a fall or winter wedding? If your ceremony time is set too late, a first look is 100% necessary. If your ceremony is at 5pm… and the sun sets at 6pm…that means we would only have 30 minutes to take all family photos, all wedding party photos, and all couples photos. There's no way that's gonna happen. You don't want to risk missing photos and having the schedule fall apart. I just read a horror story from a fellow photographer who was hardly able to get any shots of the bride and groom together because the schedule fell apart and they ended up having just a few minutes to cram in portraits after the ceremony before the sun set. Everything became chaotic and rushed and in the end the bride said she wished she had done a first look.
- Definitely set on no first look? Make sure your ceremony time is early enough. If you know you don’t want to do a first look, ask your venue if you can have the ceremony start at least 2.5-3 hours before the sun sets, so you can still get the photos that you want!
- Definitely set on no first look? A longer cocktail hour is necessary. If you don't do a first look, we will require a 90 minute cocktail hour to make sure that all your photos can be captured in non-rushed atmosphere. We want to deliver the quality of images you see in our portfolio! I know that seems long, but with enough food and drink people will be fine, I promise! We really do need all that time to have a relaxing and fun portrait time together and produce great photos. If we compress the cocktail time to 60 minutes, the amount of photos will be significantly reduced and much more rushed. More time is always better!
From a former bride: a "first look" was a great choice for us because it was actually the only private, intimate moment we had all day. We hugged, we kissed, chatted and cried! We got to exchange a few gifts between each other and it was great getting that moment to tell each other how great the other looks. Also, you get more opportunity for photos with family after the ceremony and that means more time to party and be fully present with your guests! -Rylee
From a former bride: We are so glad we had a first look on our wedding day! It was great to spend the day celebrating with those closest to us but ultimately we wanted to have a little bit of time just for ourselves. It was a great opportunity to feel wedding day emotions together and get some tears out before we met again in front of our friends and family. It was the perfect way to calm those pre-wedding nerves! Having first look photos was a also great financial decision. After spending so much hard-earned money on a venue, catering, music, and decor we didn’t want to miss out on any of it! We got to fully enjoy the food, cocktails, and dance floor. Most importantly, it allowed us to spend the most time with each other, friends, and our family. - Denise
From a former bride: deciding to do a first look was the best decision ever! I decided to do a first look because I wanted to soak up a few minutes with my husband before walking down the aisle 💕 Doing a first look gave us the opportunity to gush about how we looked in our wedding attire and calm our nerves before the ceremony. Lastly, after the ceremony we didn’t get a lot of alone time since we were busy with our guests. Doing the first look was like the calm before the storm and I’m so happy I chose to do it! P.S. It didn’t make our ceremony any less special, if anything you just get a few extra moments with your person. ✨ - Vivian
From a former Bride: doing the first look was such a great decision for so many reasons. We were able to shoot our photos before the ceremony and enjoy the time after with our friends and family - no crazy wait times. We were able to soak in the moment with just us (and our great photographers). You get so few moments of just the two of you, and a first look really locks in some one on one time in a world wind of a day. ♥️ - Harmony
From a former bride: my husband and I come from big, lovingly opinionated families and found ourselves struggling to build into our day moments where we could relax amidst all the hustle and bustle. So for us, a first look was a wonderful opportunity to have a private moment where we could check in with each other and center ourselves ahead of the ceremony. We both had had stressful mornings and calmed down miraculously by just being able to hug each other - and because of that, the ceremony was so much more enjoyable. We also both really didn’t want his first time seeing me to be in front of everybody; that’s so much pressure on both of us! Give yourself permission to have some private moments. Once the ceremony starts, you won’t have another one until the end of the night! - Alicia
From a former bride: our wedding day will absolutely be one of the busiest days of your life. For me, it went by in the blink of an eye. I’m so grateful my husband and I chose to do a first look. It was so grounding to be able to take a breath and just spend time together. Our wonderful photographers were excellent at letting us just have our moment together to connect and share. Also, seeing those photos of my husband when he first saw me were delightful! -Christiana
Details and candids from last month's incredible, colorful, 90's birthday party for Josephine's 34th!
Incredible team of vendors:
Venue : Klik Studio
Designer & Florist: Sparkles and Vintage
Rentals: MTB Event Rentals
Linens: Luxe Linen
Bartending: Mobar & Co
Chargers & Goblets: Soiree8
Catering: Tastebuds Catering Inc
DJ: SoundWave Productions
Cake: Hansen Cakes
Cookies: Cake Creamery
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Megan and Austin's day was simply lovely! They had a morning ceremony with a brunch reception, so our day started bright and early at their getting ready spot: the Adventureland Suite in the Disneyland Hotel! We spent some time documenting their details and then each of them getting ready together in the suite. Next, we headed over to the Rose Court Garden for their first look, gift exchange and some portraits. We took photos all over the Disneyland Hotel property, ending our time at the spot where these two first met while working together: the Disneyland Hotel pool. Their ceremony and reception were at the Orange County Mining Co. and we loved all the signage and personalized elements they incorporated throughout their venue from the personalized newsletters to the hidden messages in the letter board signs-- every detail was off the charts! After a quick ceremony, full of laughs and tender moments, these two were officially Mr. and Mrs. and brunch was served! In between buffet lines and bottomless mimosas, the newlyweds socialized with everyone at their wedding, cut their bundt cake and played the shoe game. Everyone enjoyed dancing and socializing until it was time for some sunset photos! We took the newlyweds outside their venue where they shared a few more sweet and fun moments in the golden hour light, celebrating their amazing love. It was such an honor to document this day and we are so thankful for Mr. and Mrs. Herbert!Click any image to launch a larger viewing window.
Almost exactly a year ago, we were documenting these two lovebirds as they tied the knot and last week, I had the pleasure of documenting this new chapter in their life: welcoming their baby girl! For their session we explored the rustic and beautiful Caspers Wilderness Park, where I was able to capture some tender moments between these two as they get ready to become parents. We are so excited for Danielle and Derek and can't wait to see their little one's debut!
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We have so much fun with Jackie and Aaron! These two cuties met in grad school together 4 and half years ago and have been inseparable ever since! Last Christmas they got engaged while putting their Christmas tree together and almost a year later it was time for engagement photos! For their session we went to the magical light-filled Caspers Wilderness Park in SJC. The weather was perfect the day of our session and we got to document some romantic and hilarious moments between these two in the beautiful golden hour light :) Can't wait for the wedding in June with some of our favorite vendors!
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We are choosing one grand prize winner and two second prize winners!
ALL who enter will receive a 5% discount on wedding photography and a 5% discount on wedding videography.
How to enter:
1. Follow all the vendors participating in the giveaway on Instagram or like their Facebook page!
2. Fill out out this form!
Contest closes 1/10/20 and the winners will be announced 1/12/20.
What you win:
- A two hour engagement session with Marisa and Tim of Peterson Design & Photography.
- A 5% discount on a Standard Wedding Package from Peterson Design & Photography.
- Video of the engagement session with Skyla of Wanderland Media.
- A 5% discount a videography package from Wanderland Media.
- A bouquet or flower crown or boutonierres by Shelley at Here Come the Blooms in colors of your choice!
- A 5% discount on floral design from Here Come the Blooms for your wedding.
- Hair and Makeup by Lauren at Maeve Beauty
- A mini engagement session with Marisa
- A 5% discount on wedding photography
- A 5% discount on wedding videography
Small Print and Conditions:
- You must be getting married in 2020 or 2021 and have your wedding date and location booked.
- Booking subject to all vendors' availability.
- Photographers are located in Fullerton, CA and any location, travel, permit or entry fees for shoot location chosen must be covered by the client.
- This prize cannot be combined with any other offer or discount or applied to any previously booked engagement sessions or weddings.
- This giveaway is not sponsored by Facebook or Instagram
- Must be in the US and 18 years or older to enter
Thalia and Dylan met over 6 years ago while working together and the rest is history! They are tying the knot this upcoming May and we could not be more excited for them!! For their mini engagement session, we visited one of our favorite spots in Orange County-- Santiago Oaks Regional Park. The light was amazing and the laughter between these two was so infectious!
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