Anyone remember Jamie + Melissa‘s gorgeous wedding up at Priest Lake from last spring? Gosh, it was such an absolutely perfect day, and I’ve been thinking ever since last May about what to say for this post.
Jamie + Melissa reached out to me long distance from Florida. They are both in the Navy, but wanted to get married in Idaho, where Melissa is from. We sent a lot of emails back and forth over the months, and chatted a couple times on Skype (with most of our pets making appearances) before I drove up to Priest Lake for their wedding. We were prepared for all sorts of weather, but ended up with the most gorgeous spring day. From the moment of their sweet and emotional first look, to the beautiful vows and the epic dance party, this wedding was one for the books. Jamie + Melissa had family and friends come from all over, and from all different parts of their lives. I think one of the things I love most about weddings is that you finally get to have all the people you love in your lives together. And, for Melissa and Jamie, they got to bring them all to Priest Lake and Hill’s Resort, which made the day even more sweet for them.
Thank you two for having me up at Priest Lake for your wedding! It was a joy to meet you both in person, to meet your wonderful families, and all your friends!! Check out all the wonderful vendors at the end of the post!
Venue + Catering: Hill’s Resort at Priest Lake // Hair & Makeup: Friend // Officiant: Friend // Florist: Floral Traditions // DJ: Chad Yount // Clothing: Men’s Warehouse + David’s Bridal
I have been so bad at catching up on blogging. I have so much I want to share, and I’ve been getting side tracked. Now that it’s almost this lovely couple’s first anniversary, I know I needed to get this blogged!
From the moment Vanessa reached out to me about her wedding to Brittney last summer, I knew I was going to love these two. Vanessa told me they knew exactly what they wanted – a small wedding with their family and friends, something that they could easily plan long distance from their home in Western Washington. And that’s exactly what they had! It was a beautiful wedding, and I very much enjoyed spending a few hours with these two and their lovely families.
Sometimes people ask me if working with couples long distance is harder. Nope! I planned my wedding long distance, (in the dark ages, haha) before there was much online for long distance or destination wedding planning, and so I’ve worked very hard to make it easy for couples to do everything they need to do online. Yes, sometimes it’s stressful because you can’t reschedule an engagement session to next week because they are only in town for two days. Yes, sometimes we have our all “coffee date” meetings over Skype or the phone. Yes, sometimes I show up to a wedding and I walk into a room of beautiful people and ask “who’s getting married today?” but sometimes it’s super obvious, because there are two beautiful women in white dresses standing in the middle of the Davenport Hotel!
Vanessa and Brittney, thank you for welcoming me into your wedding day, and for introducing me to your sweet families. It was an honor to meet you, and I hope that someday our paths cross again!
Vanessa & Brittney got married yesterday in a sweet little ceremony at the Davenport Hotel. It’s been a while since I’ve photographed a wedding at the Davenport, and it was such an honor to be there with Vanessa and Brittney, who got married in front of their friends and family, who flew in from all over the world.
Congratulations, you two!! I can’t wait to share more from your wedding with you.
Joel & Dan were married last August at Within Sodo, and ever since I drove home (with the windows down) at midnight after their wedding, I’ve been trying to find the words to describe their wedding. And months later, I don’t feel like I’m any closer to doing these wonderful men justice. Joel & Dan are an amazing, creative, and loving couple. They planned the wedding day to make sure every guest had a wonderful time. There were couches for lounging, space for dancing, drinks before the ceremony, and a the whole space was filled with love.
Basically, this wedding was a true reflection of Joel & Dan’s love, and their relationship. They are such caring, giving, people, and I have been so honored to know them. Their wedding day had me laughing, crying, and dancing. Sometimes doing more than one at a time. This wedding? It was one for the books.
Joel & Dan, thank you. Thank you for the epic dance party, the beautiful rooftop moments, for dancing in fur coats, and for having me along and allowing me to spend the day with you, your families, and your guests. It was an honor. And another huge thank you to the lovely and talented Kate Ford, who shot this wedding with me. She’s my favorite Seattle tea buddy and shooting partner. Some of these shots are hers. Vendors are at the bottom.
Venue: Within Sodo // Caterer: Eat Local // Suits: Bar III // Candles: Made by Dan // Florist: Flowers on 15th // DJ: Injoy Entertainment // Live Music: Breaks & Swells // Rentals: Vintage Ambiance
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Tips for Clients post, so here’s a good post for those of you looking to book your wedding photographer for next year.
If you’ve read through my Tips for Clients archive, you know I advocate finding a wedding photographer who fits your wedding style. Now that you’ve done that, and figured out what kind of photography package you’re looking for, it’s time to meet with your potential photographers.
But meeting with wedding vendors is a little like going on a blind date. You want to make sure you like them, and that they like you. So, it shouldn’t be a one-sided game of 20 questions. It should be a chat between
two three people, meeting for coffee or drinks, discussing one of the most exciting events you’ll ever plan — your wedding! It’s a chance to see if you’re a good fit for each other.
1. Who will be shooting my wedding? Most photographer businesses in the Pacific Northwest are single or dual employee businesses, but there are a lot of larger photography businesses out there too. Ask who will be shooting the wedding, and see if that is going to be the person you’re meeting with. Because the connection you make with a photographer at a meeting won’t matter if they’re not the one who will be with you on your wedding day.
2. Do you have insurance? This seems like a strange question, but there are venues who require all your wedding vendors to have liability insurance. I’ve never had a venue ask me for proof of it, but it’s important to know. Chance are, if your photographer doesn’t have insurance, they’re either really new to photography (which can be a red flag if you’re worried about consistency and professionalism) or are trying to do it all under the table. Obviously, this is a mostly ethical situation, but it can indicate that other things aren’t on the up and up either. And if someone gets injured, or a guest breaks your photographer’s camera, it’s best to know that there is insurance to take care of everything.
3. Can I see a sample contract? I personally bring a sample contract to all my consultations, but not all my couples want to see it. Every photographer has a different contract, and there might be issues in the contract that you will have questions about. Even if you don’t get to see a contract at the consultation, please please read it thoroughly before signing. A good contract should protect both the photographer and the clients (that’s you!) from anything going wrong. Contracts also will often have details like payment options, penalties, and delivery schedules that are important to know about too.
4. How do you approach shooting a wedding? This is a better way of asking What is your style? We often try to give a single word answer to the “style” question, but asking someone how they approach shooting a wedding is asking them to talk more about it. Maybe they won’t pose you at all. Maybe they like to set up a series of shots with off camera lighting. I tend to keep a low profile and shoot things as they happen, except when working directly with specific groups — the couple, the bridal party, the family formals — and then I pose the heck out of you and your people.
5. What gear do you bring? Do you have backup gear? I hesitated putting this question in here, but it is important. It doesn’t matter if they shoot Canon or Nikon, but it is good to know that a photographer knows their gear. And make sure they’re bringing more than one camera and one lens. What would they use to shoot your wedding if something broke?
Other Questions. There are other questions that might be important to you, including some of the ones I’ve been asked below.
— How do you handle low light situations?
— Do you have time requirements and/or limits on bridal party, family, or bride & groom portraits?
— Do you mind if my (insert relationship here) takes photos too?
— I’m having a (Jewish, Catholic, etc) wedding, are you comfortable shooting that?
— Do you shoot wedding alone? With an assistant? With a second shooter?
What questions are important to you? Feel free to add them in the comments below! If you’re interested in having Emily Wenzel Photography shoot your wedding or event, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the contact form above to schedule your consultation today.