Tips for Brides when planning your wedding

One of the pages on my website is devoted to sharing some of the things that I have learned over the 30-plus years that I have been taking wedding photos.  The link to this page is Advice for Brides, and I’d encourage anyone who is starting to plan the timeline for their wedding day to read it.  I have photographed 1200+ weddings, and have seen that there are a lot of things that are common to almost all weddings that can go more smoothly if they are thought about before the “big day”, when chaos reigns and clear thinking can be in short supply!

I created this page because I want to help couples avoid some of the common pitfalls that I see happen over and over again.  Simple things that are easy to overlook, like making sure your florist delivers the bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids (as well as the guys flowers) early enough that they can be used during the pre-ceremony photos.  You’re spending some serious money on those flowers, you want to make sure you get them into all the important formal photos!

Here is item #1 on my list, and is probably the single most important piece of advice that I can give to any couple –

1. Remember – it’s YOUR wedding!

The most important thing for you to remember is that this is YOUR special day. That means that if you want to do something in any particular manner you should be able to do so (assuming that it is possible). You will get lots of advice from many different people (including me!) about how you can make your day go better, things you don’t want to forget, activities you should do, etc. But the bottom line is that this day is supposed to be about the two of you; it is possibly the most important day of your lives, and you should do whatever you want to make it yours.

This can be difficult. Well-wishing relatives and friends may give you all kinds of advice and suggestions that simply don’t fit with how you visualize your wedding day. You should certainly consider what they tell you, but if you decide that you want to do things YOUR way then that’s what you should do! Some of the best weddings I have photographed were those where the bride and groom had some really unique and creative ideas that allowed them to express their personalities in their ceremony and reception. Don’t be afraid to try something different just because a friend or relative doesn’t like your idea. It’s YOUR day!!!

Lots more on my website, just click on the link above to go to the page.

Jessy & Kelsey – Seattle Wedding at the Sorrento Hotel

On September 19 I was honored to be the photographer at the wedding of Jessy Somarriba and Kelsey Hutchinson at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle.  Earlier in the day I had been watching the gray and cloudy skies and feeling very worried that we might have some rain, and spoil all our plans for outdoor photos; Kelsy and Jessy told me they were also nervous about the possibility of bad weather ruining our plans.  But the weather gods smiled on us and by mid-afternoon we had sunny skies and a perfect temperature.

We began the day by driving to Kerry Park (one of my favorite place to take couples) for some photos with SEattle Center and Mt. Rainier in the background, then moved down the street to Parsons Gardens (another favorite spot!)  for some different looks.  Finally we drove to the International District to get some photos in front of the Chinese Gate, especially appropriate since Jessy and Kelsey had met while living in Taipei.

Then back to the wonderful Sorrento Hotel for the ceremony and reception.  Enough of my yapping, here are some of the photos from the day!


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Michelle & James – Rooftop wedding reception in Seattle

Michelle and James decided to have a slightly unconventional wedding.  They were married at the Seattle Courthouse in early September with just their immediate family and a few close friends present, and then threw a big party on the roof of their apartment building a few weeks later.  A gorgeous late summer evening, lots of friends and family and a CRAZY amount of food!

There was a wedding ceremony officiated my Michelle’s father, with a full wedding party including two flower girls.  With Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountains as the backdrop it was a perfect place for the party.



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Joanne and John – Seattle wedding at Magnolia Lutheran and Ray’s Boathouse

Joanne Beyer and John Bjodstrup were married on September 6 at Magnolia Lutheran Church in front of their family and friends.  We started the day with some photos of Joanne and John at the church, along with their maid of honor and best man.  Joanne looked incredible in her wedding dress, and I had a lot of fun finding nice lighting in and around the church to get some special photos of her and John.

After the ceremony, we made a detour to the park at the Chittendon Locks for more photos before joining everyone at the reception.  This is one of those photo locations that most people aren’t aware even exists, with some very nice gardens and big beautiful lawns.  We lucked out with some amazing late afternoon lighting, which allowed us to take some very cool photos (some of which you’ll see below).  But we couldn’t stay there too long, because everyone was waiting for us at the reception location, the always amazing Ray’s Boathouse.   I must admit that much as I like Ray’s as a great venue for photography, I’m even more excited about shooting events there because I know the food will be so good!

The party was great, with a gorgeous sunset (photos below) and everyone had a wonderful time.  I hope you enjoy this sample of photos from the day, it at least gives some small idea of how the day went.


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Sheila & Timothy – Outdoors Seattle Wedding at Parson’s Garden

Sheila Babb and Timothy Anderson were married on September 6 in a wonderful outdoors ceremony before their family and close friends at Parson’s Garden, a beautiful park on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle.  We started the day with photos with family at the overlook of Elliot Bay and the Olympic Mountains right outside the Garden, then walked down the street  for a few photos at Kerry Park.  Then back to the Garden for the ceremony.

The ceremony was officiated by some close friends of the bride and groom under perfect late-summer blue skies.  Once the ceremony was over, everyone moved on to the Swedish Club for the reception.


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Madeleine & Venita – Wedding at Palisade Restaurant

Maddie and Venita had a wonderful wedding at Palisade restaurant in Seattle on August 17, 2014 surrounded by their family and friends.


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Julie & Ken – Wedding at the Seattle Yacht Club

Julie and Ken were married on August 10, 2014 at the Seattle Yacht Club. Their 5 children served as their attendants, and did a great job. Perfect weather conditions for the outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour. A magician helped keep both the kids and adults entertained. At the end of the day, Julie and Ken left by boat, a perfect exit to a perfect day.


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Katie & Sean – Wedding at St. Anthony’s and Fairwood CC

Last summer I did an engagement photo session with Katie and Sean and had a wonderful time working with them, and I was really looking forward to their wedding. I was not disappointed, they are a really fun couple to work with, and their friends and family were also great. The ceremony was held in Renton at St. Anthony’s, and the reception at the Fairwood Golf and Country Club. But enough of my talking, go ahead and check out some of the photos from the day.


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Beth & Charles – Seattle wedding at the Sorrento

This is a wedding that I was really excited about photographing. Beth and Charles (and their dog Edgar) had worked with me in late May for their engagement photos, and they were so much fun to work with that I knew the wedding would be a blast. I got a bit carried away with the number of photos I included in this post, but their were still way too many that I was forced to leave out due to space.


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Maria & Lucas – Skansonia Ferry wedding in Seattle

Here is a small selection of photos from the wedding on Maria and Lucas on June 7, 2014. We started the day meeting at Volunteer Park for a “first look” session, as well as some photos with the wedding party. Then we headed for Gasworks Park for more photos, and finally on to the Skansonia Ferry for the wedding and reception. We lucked out with some of the best weather yet this year, though that did mean that we shared the parks with several thousand other people who were also out trying to enjoy the nice day.

The Skansonia has been one of my favorite wedding locations since the first time I shot a wedding there ~30 years ago. The bow of the boat has a wonderful view of downtown Seattle across Lake Union, and in nice conditions such as we had the ceremony will be held on the bow. The warm evening allowed all of the guests to party inside the boat as well as outside on the deck. Maria and Lucas, as well as their wedding party and family, were wonderful to work with and it was clear that everyone present was having a wonderful time!

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