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Engagement Photos: Questions Answered & Inspiration

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You’re engaged! Congratulations! Let the fun begin! One of the first things you might want to do is get your engagement photographs taken. Here’s a guide on a few suggestions!

As a current bride and photographer myself, I highly recommend getting your engagement photographs taken. If you have your eye on a specific photographer for your wedding, now is your time to try them out or finally invest in their photography for your special day. Lots of photographers offer engagement sessions as part of their packages in order to get to know their brides and grooms better. If it’s an option, take them up on it! It’s a great excuse to dress up, get updated professional images, and get to know your photographer (their photography and editing style, their personality, and their posing/guiding). 

“Do I really need to get engagement photos? What’s the point?” I actually see this in a lot of posts on Facebook. People want to know if they really HAVE to do them. Often times photographers include free engagement sessions in their packages so why not?! This helps you and your photographer to get to know each other better. It helps you to feel comfortable around them and get a better idea of how they run their business. If you have to pay to add on engagement photos, I’d say it’s still a good idea. We used our engagement pictures as decoration at our venue, gave our parents copies for their home (thanks Shutterfly – we got prints and super cute magnets), and used them in our own home. You could also use them for save the dates and invites! 

“When do I book my engagement photos?” This is a mix between personal preference and when your save the dates and invites are going out. If you’re not sure about when these go out, check out the blogs linked in the corresponding words above (click save the dates to see the blog about save the dates and invites to see the blog about invites). Engagement photos are great to personalize your save the dates and invitations. We didn’t use our for our save the dates or invites and I really do regret it. Learn from my mistakes! 

“Where should I have my engagement photos taken?” You should have your engagement photos taken somewhere that means something to you, describes your personalities, or fits your wedding vibes. These are photographs you’re going to have on display in your home and in albums for the rest of your lives. They’re also photographs you might use around your wedding venue, on invites, and on your wedding website so you want to make sure they fit the look you’re going for. You may also want to choose somewhere that has versatilely so you can move around and look like you’ve changed locations. This allows you have to several backgrounds to choose from when selecting which photographs you’re going to use. 

“What do I wear to my engagement photos? I need some inspiration!” This is a great question and something that I see a lot! I always recommend bringing at least two outfits for you and your partner. For men, it’s easy to switch out their shirt or button up to make a whole new outfit. Women, this is where you come in! I recommend bringing one casual outfit (think either jeans and a nice shirt or a sundress) and one fancier outfit (a long dress or something similar). I wore a short, tight white dress with a wrap around skirt over it so that I could easily convert my outfit. Robbie (my now husband) wore jeans with a t-shirt and, overtop, a button up. That made it really simple for him to change from casual to “fancy”. Switching outfits also helps to give you options when selecting photographs to use. With change of backgrounds and change of clothes, it’ll look like you’ve actually done two photoshoots (for the price of one)! Here’s our photos by Susannah Lynn Photography:

Here are some good Amazon engagement clothes options that other brides recommended (they come in different colors/patterns):

Images from their corresponding listings.

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group for more wedding shopping and inspiration. You can find us at Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds!

If you have any more questions about engagement pictures, please feel free to let me know in the comments on the Facebook post where I originally posted this blog or message me! If you had a unique or interesting engagement story or engagement photos taken or just loved your photographer, feel free to tag them and thank them on the post. You can even submit images and your story below for a chance to be featured on the blog!

Signing off, Mary Taylor <3

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How To Create A Wedding Day Timeline (W/ Examples)

Let’s talk about timelines. Argh. The dreaded timeline. As a current bride myself, trust me, I get it. I feel the same way! This is probably the least appealing part of the wedding. It’s the part that everything else relies on. Where do you begin? What do you include? And who needs what?

© Susannah Lynn Photography | https://www.susannahlynn.com/

 

I put off the idea of a timeline because it stressed me out. But when my venue and my photographer reached out to give me a sample timeline, I knew it was time to start considering it. My photographer asked when my HMUA would show up and my venue asked when we would arrive for photos. Everything kind of flows off of each other so even starting was difficult. I gave my start time to my photographer and worked off of her recommendations. I knew what I wanted captured so that was the easy part. As a wedding photographer myself, I can give a good idea of a basic timeline but when it’s your own timeline, it’s a bit different. 

 

© Susannah Lynn Photography | https://www.susannahlynn.com/

 

On Facebook I always see brides asking for sample timelines but I find that hard to go off of when most people’s wedding days start and end at different times. Below I have included our timeline just in case you’re someone who is interested in taking a look. But first, let’s look at a general timeline. Whether you’re doing a first look or not, only a few things will change but timing will be relatively similar in the grand scheme of things. I’ve put a general amount of time for each “activity” so that no matter when things take place, you can easily adjust these timelines to suit you. 

Getting ready (before photographer arrives):

Photographer arrives: about 30 minutes before you’re done with HMU – this is when the photographer captures your detail shots and then a handful of staged images of you getting your HMU done. 

Getting ready images: 30-40 minutes

Leave time to drive to venue: depends of course but we did 20 minutes (should have left a little extra room)

First look and a handful of couple photos: 15 minutes

Family/wedding party photos: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Bride and groom images: 30 minutes

Rest/refresh before ceremony: 30 minutes

Ceremony: 30 minutes

Couple photos/extra photos: 30-45 mins

Reception (time varies)

If you’re not doing a first look, just move the photo time to after the ceremony. Still arrive at your venue 30 minutes prior to your ceremony if you need to “hide away” before guests arrive. 

Order of reception events (sample):

Grand entrance

First dance

Cake cutting (I highly recommend cutting your cake before dinner is served! Trust me on this one!!)

Dinner

Speeches 

Cake served during speeches

Dances (father/daughter, mother/son, etc)

Garter/bouquet toss, games, etc. 

© Susannah Lynn Photography | https://www.susannahlynn.com/

 

Our timeline – like I said at the start this was my biggest worry! I even worried all night the night before our wedding thinking about how I didn’t want it to run late. I was told so many times that Weddings always run late and I didn’t want that to be ours. And to my surprise (and our coordinators and photographers), our timeline was so well planned out that we actually had extra time before the ceremony so we could get some of our couple photos done (and that was even with the guys arriving 20+ minutes late)!

10am: Guys and girls arrive at getting ready locations

10:30am: HMUA arrives (she did my mom and my hair and make up) – finished by 1pm

12:30-1pm: Photographer arrives and photographs details

1pm-1:40pm: Hair/makeup images, getting ready outfits/images, getting into dress, putting on jewelry

1:40-1:50pm: First look with my dad

2-2:20pm: Drive to ceremony location

2:30pm: First look

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm : Group photos 

4:00 – 4:30 pm: Bride & groom images

4:30 pm: Done with photographs and go to rest at the reception location

4:30 – 5:00 pm: Guests are arriving

4:50 pm: Wedding party will head down to ceremony location

5:00 pm – 5:30pm: Ceremony

5:30pm-6:15pm: Group photos/sunset photos

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Cocktail hour

6:30pm: Grand entrance and right into our first dance

6:40pm: Welcome speech & prayer

6:45pm: Dinner service begins (plated meal)

7:15-7:30pm: Speeches (ours ran WAY over so I suggest putting in more time for each person to speak)

7:30pm: Cake cutting and served

7:40-7:50pm: Dances

10:30pm: Reception ends

 

If this blog helped you to plan your timeline or gave you any new ideas, let me know in the comments on Facebook and don’t forget to share this blog on Facebook and tag your friends <3 You can also join myself and other brides in our group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds and like us on Facebook at Mary Taylor Weddings

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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My Experiece With Wedding Apparel New Zealand

Shopping for our wedding has been nothing short of an adventure! Because we are having our wedding in California, we have used companies all over the world to find exactly what we were looking for. I started following Wedding Apparel New Zealand a while ago – before I even started Mary Taylor Weddings! I loved following their Facebook page and seeing all their new custom creations. I was so excited when I got in touch with them and they said they’d love for me to try out some of their products! What I like about Wedding Apparel New Zealand is that they’re not only local but they’re personable. You know that these are real kiwis doing their best to help brides and grooms all over New Zealand. They communicated with me regularly and allowed me to make changes to my items as I needed! 

So let’s get in to what I actually got! I will include links below so you can easily find the items on their website! First up is this hat! How gorgeous is this hat?! I love that the brim is metal so I can easily shape it. I plan to wear this for not only my bachelorette party but also our honeymoon in Hawaii! To see me wearing it then, follow me on Facebook and Instagram! I can’t wait to get to show off this hat in person and take super cute photos with me! 

Next is the sash! I know there’s lots of places to get sashes but having our wedding color be gold, I saw this sash and HAD to have it. The gold is really sparkly and I love the ring design that’s added to it. I plan to wear this for my bachelorette party and possibly even my bridal shower! 

This next thing is probably one of my favorites because being a photographer, I know how important it is to have a beautiful hanger. It’s not something you normally think about but it’s great for pictures of your dress hanging up and it’s a keepsake that you can use to store your dress even after your wedding day.

Lastly was our custom wine bottle stickers! When I saw these, I fell in love with the idea! Our wedding is wine and travel theme so this added touch is going to look beautiful. For the ones we got, I wish they were a bit more purple toned instead of brown but nevertheless, I still love them and cannot wait to use them (you’ll have to come back to the blog to see what we do with them on our actual wedding day)! 

They also included this super cute custom cake topper for my bridal shower as a little gift! It was perfect time because when they emailed to let me know, I was had just emailed our baker to order our cake for my bridal shower! 

Thank you so much Wedding Apparel New Zealand! I cannot wait to include your gorgeous products in my wedding day celebrations and to show off how we use everything! 

If you want to check out Wedding Apparel NZ’s website head to: https://weddingapparel.co.nz/

Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook to see all their amazing products and updates! 

To learn more about wedding planning tips, tricks, and deals head to my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MaryTaylorWeddingPlanning and follow me on Instagram: www.Instagram.com/MaryTaylorWeddings. You can also find other amazing deals and products in my Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds.

I hope this helped you to learn more about Wedding Apparel NZ, their beautiful custom products, and a little bit more about our wedding day! We cannot wait to show you more!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

 

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Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals

This week I launched Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals! As a bride myself, I know how expensive (and time consuming) it is to plan a wedding. I also know how valuable the opinions and experiences of other brides are. Because I am currently planning, I am also coming across new deals all the time. Instead of constantly updating my past blog posts about current deals, I created a place that not only I can share the deals that I come across but you can also share the products that you have purchased and love! 

It’s all about creating a community of brides that love shopping, love to get ideas from other brides, and love to share their own wedding day purchases. Don’t you sometimes just want to share your amazing deals you’ve found but can’t because your guests will see? This is the perfect place to save money, have fun, and meet other brides <3

I will even help you find what you’re looking for! So, what’s something that you’re unsure about or want help looking for? 

Find me on Facebook at https://www.Facebook.com/groups/marytaylorweddingdeals/ and don’t forget to like me on Facebook at https://www.Facebook.com/marytaylorweddingplanning

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

© Jinal Govind Photography | https://www.jinalgovindphotography.com/weddings

Tips For The Bride

Do you ever see ideas that you think, “I wish I would have thought about that before!” I’ve gathered a list of tips from actual brides who have already said “I do.” These will help you to prepare for the best day of your life!

© Jinal Govind Photography | http://www.jinalgovindphotography.com/weddings

 

💍Don’t wear a bra or anything tight the morning of your wedding day so you don’t have marks/lines on your skin

💍Tell your HMUA you need to be done at least a half hour before you actually do, as many will run late (this depends on the artist but I have personally heard so many “horror” stories)

💍Hydrate the night before your wedding

💍Pack snacks in your bridal bag so you never get hungry – Don’t forget to eat throughout the day

💍Wear a shirt that buttons or zips while getting your hair and make up done – something you don’t have to pull over your head

💍Make sure you don’t have a hair tie around your wrist

💍Number all your invites/rsvp so that if guests forget to include their name, you have a record of who sent back their rsvp

💍To pee: straddle the toilet, buy a bridal buddy, or get a SheWee

💍Don’t forget to try sitting in your wedding dress before you have the alterations completed

💍Do a first look with your parents

💍Don’t forget to sit at your head table and just watch your guests for a moment – absorb the moment!

💍Make an emergency kit for the day of! Don’t know what to include? My check list has a separate list just for the day of: Checklist here.

💍Create a “don’t call the bride” list of all your contacts so you don’t have to be interrupted on your wedding day. Find that in our list of questions to ask wedding vendors.

💍Have some one-on-one time with your husband and have a private cocktail hour (or 20 minutes) in a separate room from your guests

💍Instead of throwing your bouquet, hand it to the couple that has been married the longest

💍Don’t rush into choosing your wedding party – things change quickly especially when you’re planning a wedding!

💍Create a separate email for all your wedding related inquiries – make sure your fiancé has access to it as well!

💍Make sure your invites/save the dates/rsvp cards/etc. all match and print extras for your keepsake and for your photographer to capture on your wedding day

I hope this helped you to think of some ideas that you hadn’t thought of before! Want more tips and tricks? Like me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marytaylorweddingplanning.

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

© Jinal Govind Photography | http://www.jinalgovindphotography.com/weddings