Here is my best advice in one place! A simple photography guide to wedding planning that helps you learn how to get the best photos possible on your special day with CMP. Always remember, if you have any questions, never hesitate to ask. 




Things to have ready

When I get there, I would love to take pictures of some details before you step into your dress. If you have your dress and shoes out for me, that would wonderful. That way I can quickly grab them, and give you a few more minutes to finish up getting ready. 

Keep the clutter away

In any way possible, try to tidy up the space you are getting ready in a little before I arrive. I know there is a lot going on, but try to keep bags, suitcases and other large items in another room.

Window light please

I love to shoot in natural light, whenever possible, so don’t be alarmed if I turn off the overhead lights to help let the natural light be my main source.


Most hotel rooms don’t make the best backdrops for getting ready when it comes to decor and lighting. If you can, try to look at airbnbs near your venue that have a little more character, and are an affordable alternative.

Ready to go

When I arrive, I would love to focus on finishing touches. Try to have all your bridesmaids 98% ready to go! Funny enough it is usually bridesmaids who take the longest to get ready, and if they are all ready to go, then we can focus on the lovely moment when you step in your dress.

Stepping into the dress

Whoever is helping you into the dress (mom or an aunt, or anyone else) let them know what time they need to be fully ready by so that way, when it’s time, they are ready to lend a helping hand.

Don’t forget the guys

Usually the guys are forgotten about and shoved into the smallest, darkest rooms. Make sure you don’t forget about the area they are getting ready in too.



When shopping for you wedding dress, make sure you can move, eat, dance, and overall be comfortable. Your style is completely up to you, but remember, the less you can move, the less we will be able to get natural moving photos. Don’t treat your dress like glass. This is your one day to wear it, and you will be doing LOTS of activities on your wedding day, so remember, it is suppose to look a little worn by the end of the night. That means it was a worthy celebration!


Make it private

Take some time away from the crowds. First looks might be the only moment you get to spend time alone, so make it count, and make it special.

Calms the nerves

This is the best medicine for any anxieties on the day of your wedding. Once you see your person, all the fears melt away, and you will get to enjoy the day to the fullest. 

Helps with scheduling

If we do a first look before the ceremony, that means we can knock out wedding party and family photos, which helps the day move by so smoothly!




Take a deep breath

I always put 30 minutes into the schedule right before the ceremony, so you have a chance to breath, drink some water, and prepare your heart for what’s next.

Lighting is key

If you have an outdoor venue space, try to set up the ceremony so the sun is directly behind whoever is marrying you. This way, you won’t have to squint your eyes, and light will be overall, evenly backlit.  


I do not mind other people taking photos any other time of the day, but try to encourage your guests to stay off their devices during the ceremony. I will be there taking photos, and will want them to witness this beautiful celebration.  

Freedom to roam

I will not be in the way, but I do try to continually move around ceremony locations to get the best shots. This includes aisles. If you are in a venue that has strict rules about where I need to be, please tell me before your wedding day.


Have you ever thought of your walk up the aisle as the ultimate exit. If you don’t want an exit at night, flower petals, lavender, confetti are all fun things to make your exit from the ceremony an instant party.

After saying I do

I know this might be hard, but find a place to retreat to after your ceremony. Try to stay away from your guests, so they can be ushered to cocktail hour. This way, any photos we have remaining, we can get done quicker and you will be able to join your guests sooner.



Try to keep larger equipment, or microphone stands to the side so they aren’t the center of attention when focusing down the aisle. I rather be able to focus on you two.


Keeping it simple

Try to keep the family shot list simple. If you have other groups or large families you can always take those shots at the reception where everyone will be enjoying the party.  

Setting expectations

Let your family members know who are going to be in the photos after the ceremony. Tell them at the rehearsal dinner, send them an email, or tell who ever is marrying you to make a short announcement. This way, they know to stick around, and we have less chance of people wandering off.

Helpful hand

Ask a bridesmaid or groomsmen to help round the family after the ceremony. It will help things go much quicker since I don’t know what everyone looks like.




First Look

If we do a first look, this will the perfect time to do the first round of portraits. About 15 minutes here would great.

After saying I do

I love to snag a couple of great photos of you two right after you walk up the aisle. It’s true happy emotions, that I never want to miss.

Golden Hour/Twilight

This is some of the most important time to really soak in being husband and wife and It’s the best light of the day. I usually love to spend 20-30 minutes here.

If I only get one time for pictures with you two, I would choose right at golden hour.


Mood lighting

Set the romantic mood! String up lights, candle lights, but make sure to have enough lights for good photos. A completely dark reception area is never good for the party vibes, or for me.  


If possible, I would love to be considered as a guest so I can eat food early and not wait till everyone has been served. I don’t want to miss any moments because I am eating.


Think about the time of day or night you are exiting. If it is taking place at night, it is properly wise to have something that illuminates. If you want something else other than sparklers, then consider doing your main exit while walking up the aisle, right after you say I do.




Thanks for taking some time to read through this Wedding Guide. I hope it's a helpful tool in planning your special day. Looking forward to capturing many incredible memories.