How to Pick Your Wedding Photography Package – Puyallup Wedding Photographer

Getting married is a process that is filled with oodles of decisions.  We recognize it can be daunting.  As a husband and wife wedding photography team,  it our mission to help engaged couples sift through options and breathe.  After all, a wedding is a celebration.  We stand beside you and remind you of this along the way.

seattle wedding photographerEarly on we began sitting down with clients and what did we see?  Deer in the headlights. Lots of blank gazes.  When we start talking about the flow of the wedding we realized that for most couples this whole wedding planning world is a new and scary space.  We were not speaking their language…yet.

So to break it down we meet with couples over coffee and review our work via our books and tablets.  Most couples secure their venue and then find their photographer.  So, we come into the picture at the very early stages.  This is important because you typically secure your wedding photographer before a planner is even considered.

Couples want to figure out their overall budget.  Often times they come to us with a set amount of time they want us to spend at their wedding.  To ensure we don’t miss something important or are booked for too long, we like to ask a few questions and sketch out a very crude outline of the wedding day.  This sketch has become our best tool.  With it we have found that we are able to help couples figure out what they actually need for their day and it helps us ensure that things stay on track.

We realize that reviewing the day of events leads to a lot of procedural questions – it gets the couple thinking.  We strongly encourage couples to do what it is they want and expect from their day.  We tell them what traditional components are (some don’t know – which really shows how much weddings are changing) and then we share what new and creative ones we have seen over the years.  Wedding Wire offers a great perspective on The Top 10 Things You Don’t Have to do on Your Wedding Day.

Our initial meeting provides the chance to get to know one another and allows us to develop a feel for the wedding, the couple’s style and personalities.  We start with an estimated wedding ceremony time.  From there we can build an outline of the day.  Even if the couple isn’t sure, we can develop a very rough timeline.  Since we are in the early stages there is plenty of time for refinement.

We stay in contact with our couples and continue to refine the wedding day schedule.  We all go into the wedding day very prepared.  And the couple gets a custom fit package that meets their every need.

As the wedding plans progress we coordinate with a variety of wedding vendors.  We will have more on this in an upcoming blog that highlights the whole vendor/day of process!

We are currently booking consultations 2016 and 2017 weddings.

Seattle Wedding Photographer | Bridal Magazine Photoshoot

You know there is never a dull moment in our work flow.  We are surrounded by wonderful clients and friends that are in the wedding industry.  And, we have a knack for finding the truly unique and energizing projects.

Recently we happened upon a very exciting new magazine called Rock Bride.  The first issue is under production and will release later in the Spring.  The magazine is also producing a wedding show in Bellevue this fall.  We are told the show will have live entertainment, vendor booths, cake tastings, wine and beer tastings, two fashion shows, a Men’s Zone and lots of  give-aways.

We met with the publisher and knew instantly that we must sign up for the show.  Serenity Armstrong, publisher extraordinare, had us from the moment she explained her concept.  “This is not your mother’s wedding” has become the magazine’s tagline.  BINGO.  Our enthusiasm helped land a few stylized shoots.  These are the types of shoots that THRILL us.  Trying new techniques, working with top notch wedding industry vendors, talented models all the while being able to create something that will hopefully help inspire engaged couples plan their unique wedding.

Our clients are looking for something different.  They want a modern twist on their wedding.  Granted, this modern wedding might include vintage flair with the height of elegance and sparkle or it might involve a Time Travel Theme or a combination somewhere in between.  So what makes something a modern wedding?  We are seeing couples that are making their own traditions.  We are seeing themed weddings emerge, destination weddings, hybrid elopements, weddings with unique entertainment for guests, pop-up weddings and lots of LGBT weddings – which makes our hearts sing.

While we eagerly await for the release of the first issue of Rock This Bride, we can only show very basic sneak peek photos.  Here are a few from our stylized shoots.  You can only guess what we were up to…because we can’t tell you!

The first image is of our models back in their street clothes.  The rest are hints.  But, our lips are sealed!

Rustic Summer Barn Wedding | Finding the Right Wedding Photographer

Are you planning a summer or fall rustic outdoor wedding?  Firstlight Photography has photographed over 150 weddings and are adept at photographing outdoor weddings as well as barn / rustic venues.

We come prepared with our full gear including lighting and an assortment of cameras and lenses.  Kier, owner and one of our lead photogs, is equipped with his “murse” (his male handbag, dare we say man purse?) that truly is like the Tardis – bigger on the inside.  We have items that come in handy for the couple and their wedding party and our camera bags weigh in at around 40 lbs each.  So, we spend a fair bit of time working out in the off season!

Lighting and weather conditions change frequently so we are always prepared to ensure our couples get the photos they imagined.  While we always look polished and presentable we do so in a manner that affords us the ability to cover rough terrain.  We sport sensible, waterproof and off road worthy foot gear so we don’t miss a beat.

Are you looking for just the right Washington wedding venue?  We know lots of vendors and have a preferred vendor list on our website.  We would be happy to meet for a consultation to review your wedding plans and help you get a jump start to your big day.

Engagement Photography Planning | Firstlight Photography

We met Jestina at the South Sound Wedding and Event Show at the Great Wolf Lodge earlier in the year.  When Jared and Jestina told us about their engagement shoot ideas we could not wait to work with these two!  How can you not adore this couple’s free spirit, sense of humor and show of love?

For their shoot we went to Riverbend Ranch in Tenino, WA.  Next year this will be the venue for this couple’s wedding.  It was great to get a sneak peek at this amazing venue – and it help set the stage for what they had planned.

As your wedding photographer Firstlight Photography will work with you to pick just the right location for your engagement shoot.  Many of our couples like to go to their venue for the shoot.  As the photographer it is a great opportunity to getting the lay of the land and we can talk with couples about specific locations for the day of the wedding photos.  As an engaged couple you get to see how your venue photographs.

If you have something else in mind we are your sounding board and work with you to cultivate your ideas.  Other locations that our couples like include downtown urban areas, an open field (we have our own vintage picnic basket and other fun elements), a graffiti wall, a meaningful to you place – you get the point…we’ll go just about anywhere!  We will work with you to plan out your vision.  Start looking around on Pinterest.  Create an inspiration board and share it with us.  check out our engagement ideas board while you are there!

Your engagement photos capture a very special time in your romance.  With a little planning we can help you suss out a vision and a plan of action.  As part of your wedding package, we will work with you to develop these into announcements / save the dates for your big day.

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY REGISTRY BY FIRSTLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

Do you really need a butter dish?
When we first started our wedding photography business we got the idea to create a wedding photography registry.  Many of our couples already have two toasters and had shared their struggles with the whole wedding registry process.  Everyone felt awkward asking for money but they all liked the idea of getting help funding wedding elements.

We knew couples that registered for their honeymoon and it got us thinking about our own registry.  We asked a few couples if a wedding photography registry would be helpful.  Since the beginning of our business this has been one of our most popular features.

Why register for photography?
A wedding registry is an excellent way to get your wedding photography package paid for by your friends and family.  You can add the elements you want to your big day and you can add on upgrades like a boudoir shoot or an album with a metal cover and additional pages.  Simply put it offers more flexibility with your overall wedding budget.

And how exactly does it work? 
With your invites and when people ask where you are registered you can provide them our contact information.  Your guests can contact us and we will send them an invoice for their contribution towards your package.  If they wish to remain confidential until the wedding we won’t let you know who has contributed. As gifts are added to your registry we notify you of your shrinking photography package balance.

Our couples love the option of a wedding photography registry.

RUSTIC OUTDOOR SUMMER BARN WEDDING | FIRSTLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

As Seattle area wedding photographers we get to visit amazing wedding venues in Washington and beyond.  Wedding venues that offer a mix of outdoor and indoor spaces are the most flexible for couples – and they offer the most diverse backdrop for your wedding day photos.  Kalley and Eric were married at Green Gates at Flowing Lake in Snohomish, Washington.

This venue has a fantastic open bluff that overlooks the Cascade Mountain Range and shoreline.  The reception was held in the open air covered barn structure that, once night falls, literally glows with rustic romantic twinkly lights.

At every turn the venue offers great photo opportunities.  The owners have put a lot of thought into making sure that there are many vantage points for wedding pictures.  We were even given help in hoisting Kalley’s dress up for just the perfect setting.

The event went off without a hitch.  We coordinated our photo schedule with the couple’s wedding planner Jennifer of Elements NW Events and Weddings so we were all on the same page for the days’ anticipated events.  The wedding details were rustic and romantic.  The tablescapes included dahlias and a mix of in season flowers set atop marvelously rustic tree platters.

Looking for a different twist on your wedding cake?  Kalley and Eric have a love of brownies so they opted for a tower of brownies with all the fixin’s on the side.  There was also a decadent candy buffet that the adults frequented more than the children.

Congratulations to Kalley and Eric!  We absolutely loved your wedding and are so glad we could be part of the day.

 

 

 

Wedding Vendors
Photography – Firstlight Photography
Planning & Coordination – Elements NW Events and Weddings Jennifer Vandeventer
Venue – Green Gates at Flowing Lake
Spirits – BevMo
Catering – Barry’s Catering
DJ – “Nick at Night” Nick MacDonald
Transportation – Rainier Limousine

Crystal Mountain Wedding | Firstlight Photography

Are you ready to hit the ski slopes?  Mike and Allie’s Crystal Mountain destination wedding was one of my favorites of the summer.  It was an elegant affair with the backdrop of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountain Range providing a sweeping view  for all the wedding photos.  The Crystal Mountain Resort does not disappoint.  As a wedding photographer I couldn’t ask for a better skyline.

Getting married and wanting to preview the venue?  You can contact the wedding sales manager for a complimentary site tour which includes a gondola ride to the summit for the bride and groom.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

Rustic Outdoor Summer Barn Wedding | Firstlight Photography

As Seattle area wedding photographers we get to visit amazing wedding venues in Washington and beyond.  Wedding venues that offer a mix of outdoor and indoor spaces are the most flexible for couples – and they offer the most diverse backdrop for your wedding day photos.  Kalley and Eric were married at Green Gates at Flowing Lake in Snohomish, Washington.  

This venue has a fantastic open bluff that overlooks the Cascade Mountain Range and shoreline.  The reception was held in the open air covered barn structure that, once night falls, literally glows with rustic romantic twinkly lights.

At every turn the venue offers great photo opportunities.  The owners have put a lot of thought into making sure that there are many vantage points for wedding pictures.  We were even given help in hoisting Kalley’s dress up for just the perfect setting.

The event went off without a hitch.  We coordinated our photo schedule with the couple’s wedding planner Jennifer of Elements NW Events and Weddings so we were all on the same page for the days’ anticipated events.  The wedding details were rustic and romantic.  The tablescapes included dahlias and a mix of in season flowers set atop marvelously rustic tree platters.

Looking for a different twist on your wedding cake?  Kalley and Eric have a love of brownies so they opted for a tower of brownies with all the fixin’s on the side.  There was also a decadent candy buffet that the adults frequented more than the children.

Congratulations to Kalley and Eric!  We absolutely loved your wedding and are so glad we could be part of the day.

Wedding Vendors
Photography – Firstlight Photography
Planning & Coordination – Elements NW Events and Weddings Jennifer Vandeventer
Venue – Green Gates at Flowing Lake
Spirits – BevMo
Catering – Barry’s Catering
DJ – “Nick at Night” Nick MacDonald
Transportation – Rainier Limousine

Do You Have a Wedding Timeline? | A Must Have! {Firstlight Photography}

If there is one thing we are going to tell you to do for your wedding it is to make a schedule!  As wedding photographers at Firstlight Photography we know that, without a plan, bedlam will likely ensue.

We didn’t put together a detailed day of wedding schedule for the couple when we first started, but now it is just part of our wedding packages.  Some couples hire a wedding planner and that make our work easy.  We still communicate with the planner regarding our photography schedule.

If couples don’t go the way of a planner, we begin crafting a schedule early in the process.  Our couples have told us that it is a great exercise – one that makes them get their ducks in a row.  And for us, we have a schedule that we can use as our road map for the day.

Wedding Timeline Tips

1.  Be realistic about your wedding schedule.  Make sure you leave enough time for each segment.  If you have too much on your list, you may need to pare it down.

2.  Share your schedule with family and attendants at least a week before your wedding day.  Seeing things in black and white might help those slow pokes – you know, the friends that are always 15 + minutes late.  It is a great tool to make everyone accountable.  Don’t forget to share with other wedding vendors.  Having everyone on the same page is your secret weapon.

2.5  Make a a fun graphic wedding timeline to help keep guests in the loop as well.  We especially love the inspired Wedding Timeline Card by Pixels to Paper as seen above.

3.  Appoint a wedding time keeper.  This important job shouldn’t go to a close family member or any attendants as they have enough on their to do list.  Ask someone that knows both families to lend a hand.  A schedule is only good if someone is actually keeping track of time.

4.  Give your wedding photographer permission to steer the off course ship.  Did you know that your photographer is your right hand man/woman the day of?  We are your shadow and, therefore, are usually the first to recognize a time slip.  Have a discussion before the big day and let your photographer know it is A-OK to let you know when you have fallen behind.  The last thing we want to do is to stress you.  These agreements can really make your day go smoothly and will keep your vendor from feeling like a nag.

5.  Realize you can’t plan or prepare for everything.  You can surround yourself with loved ones and vendors that are in place to keep you calm and to act like McGyver when things might begin to go wonky.  Honestly, some of these things make for the best stories.

Most important – don’t forget why you are doing this in the first place!

Rustic Chic Vintage Wedding Details | Pickering Barn {Firstlight Photography}

Now that our  {Firstlight Photography} summer weddings are giving us a chance to come up for air, we wanted to feature Dan and Megin’s rustic chic Pickering Barn wedding in proper detail!

Dress
Megin wanted to surprise Dan with the wedding dress so we hadn’t seen it either.  She rocked her gorgeous vintage inspired wedding gown by Brides by Demetrios in Bellevue.  Oh, and yes, she did leave him speechless!

Dude Duds
This will be no shocker…the groom and his groomsmen were looking dapper in their tuxedos thanks to the Men’s Wearhouse.

Officiant
What can we say?  Reverend Ray Van Winkle truly is passionate about his work as a wedding officiant.  Megin and Dan had said they had to pick him because he has been known incorporate Dr. Seuss into vows.  We loved his work but when we saw his website we knew he was “good people” when he shared the story of how he dressed up as Elvis for a Halloween wedding.

Caterer
When Dan and Megin sat down with us to conceptualize their wedding Dan was beaming about his ONE request – a cheese fountain as part of the wedding catering.  Yes, it was pulled right off the screen from Talladega Nights.  So, the kitsch factor was there but we never expected it to taste so fabulous.  Jen’s Catering classed up the cheese fountain.  Their food was amazing as well.

Venue
Pickering Barn is located in Issaquah and serves as a great backdrop for wedding photos.  Its landscaping is lush and there are many trees on the property.  It sports rustic chic details with all the modern amenities.  Construction of the original hay barn dates back to 1896 and the dairy barn was built in 1906.  Dan and Megin’s ceremony was held in the hay barn and the ceremony was in the adjacent dairy barn.  The venue used to host cattle, but now it can accommodate upwards of 400!

Flowers
Rented Elegance did a great job on the wedding flowers and the GINORMOUS hanging  candelabra.  Full twinkle power galore!  The flowers and decorated candles that lined the aisle in the hay barn were gorgeous.  Very vintage and super romantic.  They also helped the family set up all of the table scapes.

DJ
Sound Sational Music provided the wedding music and owner Ken served as the MC for the evening.  He announced the first dances, photo booth opening, bouquet and garter toss etc and he kept the party rockin’.  Ken did a great job keeping the wedding festivities on schedule.  As a photographer it is extremely helpful to have this level of organization.

Cakes
There were lots and lots of wedding cakes at this wedding.  The bride and groom’s main cake was done by Mike’s Amazing Cakes in Redmond.  Not only was it beautiful but we snuck a taste as well.  Two thumbs up.  Each table had its own specialty flavor of wedding cake.  We’re talking red velvet, raspberry, lemon, chocolate and the list continues.  These individual cakes were baked by 3.14 Bakery in White Center. The bride and groom helped decorate the individual cake stands.

Photobooth
This was our most rockin’ wedding photobooth ever.  Mitzi was busy for 2 hours snapping shots.  Our photobooth experience has grown to include many props.  The most popular seemed to be the pirate hook, silly hats and dollar sign shades.  This was definitely a fun crew.

Wedding Favors
Each table included a decorated white paper bag  to be filled by CANDY!  The candy bar was hopping and had many great treats.  The mini chocolate bars had been painstakingly wrapped with wedding color paper and adornments.  Let us just say that the kids (and adults) were hopped up on sugar and loving that candy bar.

The wedding was fabulous and the vintage details were so fitting for the Issaquah wedding venue.  Dan and Megin had been collecting mason jars almost since they got engaged.  The candles that were placed in the jars as well as the fresh lavendar sprigs that decorated the tables really helped to tie everything together.



Congratulations Dan and Megin.  May you live long and prosper!