Wedding 101

Vintage wedding photographytake out your pens, class is in session!

We’ve included this detailed outline of wedding day info for those interested in getting nearly every last bit of information you never thought you needed to know. There’s a lot here, and we don’t want this to be overwhelming, but these are just things that always seem to come up during the course of the day. Over the years we often feel like we have inadvertently become mini-wedding planners, as we have seen so much of what works, what doesn’t and what people fail to consider (since in most cases you haven’t done this before!)


While they all follow a basic timeline, every wedding will vary greatly, and so we try to approach each one differently, based on our discussions with you. We want to hear what your likes and dislikes are, and what is most important to you. In choosing a photographer I believe that you should base your decision not only on their work, but how you feel you would get along with that person. You basically have to spend the day together – so hire someone you’ll enjoy being around. While we certainly have a ‘vintage twist’ on things, you’ll find that most of your images will retain a classic, non-trendy feel to them. We want you to be able to look at these in 30 years and not see your photos as dated. Also, any special event such as a rehearsal dinner, day-after mini shoot or brunch coverage is available at an additional fee and can be added to any package.


After the ceremony/receiving line when it is time to take the remaining formal shots, we can either do them at the church, reception site or someplace in between. In our experience, it is always a better idea to try to take the formal shots in a spot where there are no guests around. If you try to shoot within the vicinity of guests, you generally end up with mayhem. Everyone is so excited to greet the newlyweds as well as each other, that the distractions add an unbelievable amount of time to getting the shots completed. You also frequently lose members of the wedding party as they go off to grab a cocktail or say hello to friends. Being away from that allows us to take the shots faster and for you to get to the reception and start having fun! CT winery wedding photographer

Lately more than ever, many brides are doing a First Look. A First Look is where you see each other before the wedding (OH NO!!) which is setup as a very special moment. The element of surprise is STILL there, it’s just not happening down the aisle. It is an EXTREMELY practical approach, especially if you have everything in one location, or limited time between. It allows MUCH more time for photography (as opposed to the 45 minutes you might have doing it the other way) , as well as a chance for you to take a breather and go to your cocktail hour (imagine THAT?!) We hate it when I see couples rushing around not enjoying the day they planned for so long, as this is one excellent (and super-sweet) way to prevent that. The very thought of this makes some folks break out in a sweat, but it is truly a special (and quite set-up to be honest) moment that has provided us with some of the absolute sweetest moments. This is something we can talk about more when we speak, but DO give it some consideration.

And as much as you may hate to think about it – Always keep an indoor backup for foul weather in mind! (believe us, we’re hoping it doesn’t rain as much as you are…) It’s a good idea to find out ahead of time if your church has any photography restrictions, since that can possibly limit the way we have to shoot during the ceremony. If you intend on taking photographs in the church after the ceremony, be sure to ask if they will need us to leave by a certain time. We spend most of the night ‘roaming’ around shooting candids. We do not do posed table shots (hate ’em) unless a group asks us to do so and try to avoid shooting while people are eating and we go out of our way to be as invisible as possible. We’re there to capture the day as it happens, not to force people around into uncomfortable situations. Once we’re booked, we are yours for the day and will not schedule any other events.

We have a file of great bands, DJ’s, florists, caterers, bakers and videographers we’ve have worked with in the past, if you need some suggestions. See the VENDOR PARTNERS page.

As the day can run quite long, it would be super-nice and we’d love you forever if a hot meal similar to that of the guests be provided, so please check with your caterer (it’s not automatic believe it or not). If a meal is not to be provided, please inform us in advance so that we may make necessary arrangements. If you’re told that a ‘vendor meal’ is provided, you may want to ask what that actually entails, as that can mean anything from a delicious hot entree to a soggy cold sandwich made 3 days ago. Know what you’re paying for!  You may want to read Robert’s hot-button blog post about that very topic…

TIMING and ‘The Bridal Time Machine’


We believe one of the most important aspects of planning the day involves discussing not only your wishes for photography, but for timing issues. By that we refer to certain points during the day where couples sometimes fail to plan accordingly for how long things actually take. We’re very flexible when it comes to where and when we do things, but there are 2 key points during the day where scheduling enough time is vital: 1) After the ceremony and between the reception is traditionally the time we shoot most of the ‘formal’ shots (unless you’d like to do the First Look) The actual amount of formals we shoot I leave up to you, so we always ask couples to jot down a list of all the shots they may want beyond what I call “the basics” (no need to send me a Google Photo List containing requests like “bride walking down the aisle”…oh yes, we do indeed receive those!) There may be some family groups that are very important to you we may not be aware of. This can not only determine how much time need, but also if there are possibly too many combinations for the time you’ve allotted. When thinking about this, it’s helpful to ask yourself,  “What will I use this photo grouping for afterwards?” What sounds great when you’re planning out your photos can in reality become a huge time guzzler if you go crazy with combinations. Think about it this way: each group photo takes roughly 3 minutes. If you have 50 combinations that’s about 2.5 hours right there. 2) It is also important to figure in the time needed for a receiving line (if you are doing one). A receiving line with 175 guests can easily take 30-45 minutes in reality. If you don’t work that into the equation of pictures as well as time required for driving to your reception, you are likely to end up either not getting the photos you want, rushing to the reception, missing most of your cocktail hour, or all of the above. (dare I mention once again, the First Look?…) So avoid what we call The Bridal Time Machine…where many couples underestimate the amount of time actually required for wedding day events, so don’t be afraid to add a little extra time so you will be able to do things at a more leisurely pace and enjoy your day even more. Believe us – the day rushes by very quickly and we want you to have an amazing time. If you don’t have one, I encourage you to think of us as well as your ‘Planner.’  We’ve seen a lot of things over the years that work great–and not so great…So don’t be afraid to run any ideas of questions you have by us!

We frequently work with a second photographer which is great for getting alternate angles and that sort of thing. We STRONGLY suggest adding one (if your chosen package doesn’t include one) for wedding with 175+ guests.

flash-bulbsDigital Files and your Online Gallery

Your edited full resolution digital files will be provided online or on a flash drive if you purchased one. At most weddings we shoot around 3000 images to start and whittle that down to somewhere around 900. These edited images are the ones that go online. The editing and posting online is complete typically within 30 days. Guests and family can view and/or place orders directly through the website.  While all the images get ‘touched’ and corrected in some fashion for color/exposure/tonal balance/B&W, excessive retouching such as contouring, adding/removing people, head swaps, adding/removing hair, changing backgrounds, is billed at the rate of $100/hour.

Photo Albums

Generally, about 80 images is a good number to shoot for and we will work closely with you to make this process as easy as possible. Albums can be ordered for a discount at the time of booking, full-price if ordered after the fact and turnaround time is typically 1-2 months once the design is agreed upon and ordered. You can choose the size, cover option, leather, fabric etc etc you like (certain materials like specialty leathers and metal/acrylic covers for example are a tad extra). Most people end up with a book in the 9X12 or 10×10 range (not too huge, not too small) There will be approx. 30 pages. Our package that includes albums upfront saves you money in the long run, and nothing beats a completed album to showcase all the photography from the day…it really brings it all together! Consider that in todays digital world, an album is the one tangible item you’ll be able to hold in your hands after the wedding…aside from your spouse  🙂

View a creative gallery of album options from Finao

Parent Albums

Parent albums are beautiful, 8×8 books with 20 pages.  We suggest choosing  30 images for those, and they cost $385. These usually take just a few weeks for delivery, once the design is agreed upon and ordered. (larger books/image quantities are available for an additional fee.)  See example below (which has a photo wrap cover):


Engagement Sessions

If you decide on an engagement session, it’s a great way for us to not only get to know each other better, but for you to have some real ‘camera time’ before the wedding. You’ll find you’re more comfortable with the idea of being photographed on your wedding day after we’ve had some time to goof around in front of the camera. They usually take 60-90 minutes and consist of us meeting at a location, and kind of ‘roaming’ around looking for cool spots to shoot (sounds random, I know..but its a lot of fun).

Handmade Encaustic Fine Art Photos

We are really excited to announce that we are now offering Handmade Encaustic fine art pieces from any image from your day. Encaustic painting was practiced by Greek artists as far back as the 5th century B.C., and has made quite a fine art comeback in recent years. The multi-step process involves mounting your ink-jet image on a sturdy wood panel. Melted beeswax is then applied in multiple layers, heated and buffed as a final step. Sometimes oil paint sticks are used to tone and ‘age’ the image. The result is a uniquely individual piece which cannot be exactly duplicated or reproduced. These are usually 12″x16″ and are $300. They are best appreciated in person, but below are examples: wedding-encaustic-image-samples

Fees and Retainers

blue cameraFor a full breakdown of available packages and prices please contact us for our current. All prices and packages do not include any enlargements, albums (unless package with album is chosen), rush shipping/processing, excessive retouching, parking or any hotel fees that may be involved. We ask for an initial retainer of $500.00 to reserve the day, which is non-refundable in the event of postponement or cancellation. 1/2 the remaining balance is due roughly 6 months between booking and the wedding date. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the event. (We will email to remind you and use that time to go over times, directions, last minute changes etc) Should you choose to cancel the day or switch dates to one we are unable to do, any payments made up to that point will not be refunded. No digital files are released until balances are paid in full.

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