TIPS AND ADVICE

As a wedding photographer - maybe more importantly, as a former bride - I learned that wedding planning is intense.  It's exciting, overwhelming, and all leads up to one of the biggest days of your life, no matter how big or small it is.  Either way, at the end of it you'll be married, and hopefully have some of your favorite moments to remember forever.  These are some of biggest lessons-learned while I planned my own wedding and some tips and tricks I wish everyone knew from the moment they got engaged.

 
 
THE GLASS BOX, RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

THE GLASS BOX, RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

PICK YOUR PRIORITIES

You can totally "have it all," but I don't recommend it.  Planning a wedding comes with many, many, many choices, and many, many costs.  I'm guessing that you, like everyone, will start with a budget, and a great starting point is to pick your top priorities at the beginning and know where you're willing to splurge - maybe it's the dress, or maybe it's your invitations, or a really great photographer.  

 
HAYWOOD HALL, RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

HAYWOOD HALL, RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

wedding venues : what to look for

You can get married anywhere - from the top of a mountain, your favorite museum, or your dad's backyard - but not every location is going to give you what you're looking for.  Some of my favorite venues in Raleigh and Durham are at the top of my list for reasons that have nothing to do with the altar.

 
FORT FISHER BEACH, WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

FORT FISHER BEACH, WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

YOUR STYLE AND THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR IT

When I got married, people kept asking me what my "theme" was going to be.  Why did I need a "theme?"  Your wedding is about you - it should feel like you - knowing your style and finding the right photographer to compliment that style is crucial.  There are things you to look for as you sort through your options, and red flags to keep in the back of your mind.

 
214 MARTIN STREET, RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

214 MARTIN STREET, RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

SAMPLE TIMELINES FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY

Whether you get married inside or outside, or during the winter or summer, the timeline of your wedding day will impact every part of the day - I'll share two timelines from opposite ends of the spectrum : an outdoor wedding in June at Timberlake Earth Sanctuary outside Durham and an indoor wedding in December at 214 Martin Street in Raleigh.

 
ST PHILIPS EPISCOPAL CHURCH, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA

ST PHILIPS EPISCOPAL CHURCH, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA

THE BEAUTY'S IN THE DETAILS

After planning my own wedding and photographing many many others, my opinion hasn't changed : it's all in the details.  It's not just about the dress or the flowers - there are so many other subtle touches that will help tell the story of you day and build the mood.  A good photographer can make any wedding look thoughtful and beautiful, but including some of the small things in your planning process only makes it better.

 
CRAGGY GARDENS, ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

CRAGGY GARDENS, ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

ADVICE FOR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

Chances are good that your engagement photos will be the first time you and your fiancee will be photographed together.  I include engagement photos with each wedding because I want you to feel comfortable with me and in front of the camera - whether we're hanging out at Raleigh Times or renting a cool Durham loft on airbnb or road-tripping to Craggy Gardens.  These are some pointers for making our time together feel more like hanging out someplace cool vs. another "to do" on your wedding planning checklist.

 
AIRBNB TINY HOUSE, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA

AIRBNB TINY HOUSE, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA

ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS : WHAT TO WEAR

I think 9 out of every 10 couples asks me what they should wear for their engagement photos.  What you choose for location will have a big impact on the answer to that question, as well as the time of year (ie: at home near Christmas might look pretty different from outside in May).  Overall, I want your personalities to be the driver behind choices like this, but here are some general pointers while you're staring into your closet.