The Wedding To Do Timeline

I have been meeting many 2013 brides lately who are just at the beginning of their wedding planning.  All of them are insanely happy to be engaged and are basking in that glow.  Some of them are feeling a little overwhelmed.  As the wedding photographer, I'm a large part of the day, but I'm not often involved in the big decisions that come before hand.  However, I like to help where I can and this is why I created The Bride's Room that lists guides, music and other vendors.

I was recently catching up with Brides magazine (yes, I subscribe) and they had a great article titled Your Wedding To-Do's and When To Do Them.  Let me share some of their tips with you today.  For the whole article, go to your local library and see if you can find the May 2012 issue.

12 Months Before

  • write up the guests list

  • figure out who is paying for what
  • book a reception and ceremony site, lock in the date
  • hire a wedding planner


- click to enlarge image of The Allure in Laporte, Indiana - 

10 Months Before 

  • go dress shopping
  • settle on an officiant
  • shop for vendors, set up meetings

Interesting statistic: The top 3 wedding colors are purple, blue and white

8 Months Before

  • order your dress
  • book the caterer, florist, band, DJ and photographer
  • secure your rentals
  • block hotel rooms for out of town guests
  • register

- click to enlarge image -

6 Months Before

  • send save the dates
  • order invitations
  • shop for wedding bands
  • book transportation
  • book honeymoon
  • order bridemaids dresses


Interesting statistic: The average bridal party size is 5.5 with the Guiness world record of 79

4 Months Before

  • plan the rehearsal dinner
  • choose groom's and groomsmen's attire
  • order the cake


2 Months Before

  • write down the personalized vows
  • mail invitations
  • set up your hair and make up
  • buy gifts for bridal party 

Interesting statistic: 49% of couples write their own vows

2 Weeks Before

These helpful wedding timeline tips came for the May 2012 article in Brides Magazine.

Outdoor Engagement Photos

- click image to enlarge -

As I type this, the weather outside is close to 70 degrees and it's only the second week into March!!  That's got me thinking about outdoor engagement photos!!  These sessions are great as it gets soon to be married couples a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera.  This makes them old pros by the time the wedding day comes.

The above image was part of a Chicago Session Engagement Package and they had a large Stand Out print displayed at their reception hall, The Patrician in Schererville.  Many of my wedding clients order a large print and mini album to put on display for guests to look at when they enter the party.

Shooting a beach silhouette during the magic twilight hour is one of my favorite images.  We have a LOT of great beaches along the Indiana Dunes to use for romantic engagement photos.

Another idea is to stroll an old part of town such as the downtown Crown Point Square.  The many antique stores their are great for that vintage look we can apply.  Perhaps the local ice cream shop 'What's the Scoop' will be open and two of you can share a milkshake together.

Many couples choose the classic, cinematic black and white look of The Chicago Sessions.  We meet at the train station in East chicago and we shoot as the train arrives, on the train and then stroll around downtown Chicago.  All images are available in color, but the idea is too turn them into vintage looking black and white film shots from the 1960's.

This same retro look was applied to this beach shot at Washington Park in Michigan City.

- click image to enlarge -

Another one of my favorite destinations for photographing brides to be and their future grooms is Coffee Creek Park in Chesterton, Indiana.  If you live in Valparaiso, Portage or even La Porte - this is a great place to walk and get away from the daily grind.

I always encourgage my clients to be themselves when they dress for the shoot, but to avoid logos and things like that.  You are always welcome to bring a change of outfits as well.