The BIg I Do! Planning fora great Ceremony!

Here it is! The moment everyone has been waiting for! The music is playing and the guests have been seated. Ushers make their way to the back of the church, and the coordinator is lining up the bridesmaids while giving the musicians a 5 minute warning. The bride is about to walk down the aisle to the love of her life..... and if she’s like most girls, she’s dreamed about this moment for a long time! Vows will be shared and promises will be made... this is what it’s all about! In a world full of wedding blogs, Pinterest and bridal magazines, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and consumed by the “prettiness” of the event. While details do matter and planning is necessary, it’s important to never lose sight of the real purpose of this amazing day! 
Ceremony lighting is really important. If you get married outdoors at 12pm, the lighting will be extremely harsh and not only will there be harsh lines of light on your faces, you will also be squinting. I suggest planning an outdoor ceremony 1 hour before sunset if you are having a first look.  If you are not interested in sharing a first look, then I would suggest having your ceremony 3 hours before sunset to ensure that you will have plenty of time for all of 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. If there are two spotlights on the bride and groom, I will not be able to expose the rest of the bridal party. It is better to have even light across the whole altar.
I have seen so many couples do so many amazing things during their ceremony. Some couples share in communion while some light a unity candle. I’ve seen sand ceremonies, rope ceremonies and the signing of the family Bible. e options are limitless! As you plan your ceremony, make sure you design it to be exactly what the two of you envision it to be. is is your day! If you have the freedom to be creative, then by all means, be creative! My hubby and I had a less than traditional wedding, we had a oceanside wedding and during the ceremony we stepped away from our guests for ten minutes to pray together in the sand together, while our guests just waited patiently. It was different, but it was by far my favorite ten minutes of our entire day because it was so personal and just exactly how we wanted to begin our marriage.
The best advice I have for the program-making process is to remember that not every guest needs a program! A lot of people print a program for everyone attending our wedding but quickly realized that most families only took one. A lot of weddings end up with hundreds of extra programs! Yikes! Also, before ordering your programs, have several people check it for spelling and grammatical errors. Programs and the ceremony decor are things that the bride can plan in advance but then delegate the actual job of setting it up to a friend or coordinator. The last thing a bride needs to be doing the morning of her wedding is running around setting up oral arrangements! This leads me into my next column.
Hiring either a full event planner or just a day-of coordinator is SO important! Brides realize very quickly that if they do not have someone in charge of the coordination of the day, that responsibility will automatically fall on the mother of the bride, the photographer or the BRIDE! All of the most stressful wedding situations I’ve seen were caused by a lack of organization and coordination. Your investment is best used with us dedicating all of our time and energy to making your photos look the best, not coordinating the timeline. All of my most stressful wedding situations were caused by a lack of organization and coordination. It’s so important to make this a priority. If you need any recommendations on wedding coordination services I would love to share some of my favorite vendors with you! 
Hope this helped as you plan out your big day! All our best!  - Jenn Wagner and the Studio Girls

10 tips for the perfect engagement session!

We have shot hundreds of engagement sessions between us now and so we wanted to compile our top ten pieces of advice for any couple that is getting ready to do their engagement session! So here there are! Feel free to use as you plan out your dream session and send along to your girlfriend getting engaged soon!
  1. Do not try to match...try to pick outfits and accessories that *coordinate* instead. If everyone wore the same exact color at their e-shoot, how boring would those images be?
  2. Don’t be afraid to be bold! Accessorize and make your outfits your own! Hats, bold necklaces and daring heels are always welcomed! Plus things like scarves and jackets can be interchanged or taken off for different looks!
  3. Most patterns are actually ok.... however, graphics like cartoons or any wording are not favorable for portraits. It is too distracting and we want to be focused on you two! For patterns just make sure yours compliment each other.
4. Layer the look! If you ever look at a J.Crew catalog, the guys will have on a layered look which looks so classy! A vest or sweater over a button down long sleeved looks amazing!

5.Clean the ring! I love to shoot a few rings shots while you change outfits!6. Most often, couples like to have one casual, everyday out t and then one out t that is dressier! is will give your shoot two totally different “looks”. I recommend beginning with the casual outfit first and then ending in the more fancy one.
7.Make sure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing. And ladies, if the top is super low cut, that will limit the amount of angles I can shoot from. : ) Keep that in mind when shopping!8. Empty your pockets! Literally. You don’t want to have key chains or phones showing through your pockets. ( is is for the guys especially!)9.BE ON TIME! The later you arrive, the less time we have to shoot! And nobody wants that!

10.Relax! You don’t have to be a pro at this! I’m going to help you along the way and it’s going to be a blast! Enjoy this time together, and make a date out of it! Plan dinner afterwards and celebrate!

Private Estate Engagement Session

 I rang the doorbell and Jamie and Kristin promptly appeared at their door across their private courtyard with smiles and welcomed me into their home in the Pecan Estates with big hugs!

I'm not gonna lie, shooting at someones house does not usually excite me, however as soon as I stepped into Jamie and Kristin luscious backyard oasis, I knew we were in for an incredible session! The towering pecan trees, the colorful well manicured lawn and marble deck made for the most perfect private engagement session! And bonus, we all got to cool down as the temperatures were in the 100's!

Despite the heat these two got close and their chemistry came through so beautifully on camera! They are clearly head over heels about each other, but in a cool non-desperate kind of way lol! They seem to truly just get each other and operate on a wave length that screams "we've known each other forever".

We walked the backyard snapping and they got into their grove, giving spontaneous kisses and hugging like they were the only two people there. Perfect! Those are the candids I love so much! \\

We headed out to the tree grove in front of their home and ended the night with Italian food with Kristins' mom in their kitchen talking wedding and their love story! It was the best night and I am continually blown away by my clients' generosity and willingness to allow me into such a unique and special time in their lives! I am so excited to share this session and am even more excited for their big day at the Arizona Biltmore!

Jamie and Kristin thank you inviting me into your incredible home and letting me capture you love! April will be here before we know, it, I cannot wait!

“My favorite thing about my fiancĂ© is the way she looks at me, the way she treats me and the way she loves me.  She gets me and I get her.  She is my soul mate and I have waited 40 years to find her.” - Jamie

“The ring:  My honey told me she wanted big and shiny.  That’s what I bought her.  I looked and looked and knew exactly what to get her.  Thanksgiving has always been special day for me and after two years, it was time.  We invited thirty people and planned a great dinner party, but little did she know it was our engagement party with all her family and mine.  It was awesome!  Surprise!”- Jamie

“We had looked at rings together while on vacations and what not, so he had an idea of what I liked (big and shiny…who doesn’t?!)  But still , I had no idea when (or IF) he was actually going to propose.  We were in Hawaii in November over my birthday so I thought if he was going to do it, he’d do it there but it didn’t happen.  He (cleverly) waited until the following week when we were hosting a 30 person Thanksgiving with all of our family and friends present and asked me in front of everyone!  It was amazing because then we got to have an impromptu engagement party afterwards!” – Kristin 
“The first time I said I love her was at home.  Not under the perfect situation, but it was time I told her so she knew how I felt.  I was definitely first to say it, although she wanted to tell me for days prior.” - Jamie

So our first kiss… it was actually on our first date…no judging!   We met for drinks and decided if we were having a good time we would go for dinner.  Well, we ended up at dinner and were having such a great time, he just leaned over and kissed me mid sentence!  I think we were both surprised, but happy! Lol” – Kristin 
"We met online!  I was new to Arizona and he sent me a message, which actually impressed me but I didn’t respond.  Can you imagine?!  LOL.  Thankfully he is persistent because he saw that I read his message and sent me another message, this one asking me to dinner.  We met the next night and have been together ever since. – Kristin 

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