The JDP Wedding Guide

Be sure to favorite this page so you can easily reference it during wedding planning!

Table of Contents

Details & Getting Ready

Sample Timeline

Benefits of a Planner

Preferred Vendors

Engagement Session

Location Ideas

First Looks


Sunset Portraits & Mock Exits

Online Gallery


Week of Reminders

Family Formals


Hey bride + groom to be! How exciting you are getting married soon! It’s all very exciting but I understand it can also be somewhat overwhelming. My goal as a wedding photographer is to make this one aspect of the planning process simple. Photography is more than just images, it’s a huge part of your day. Not only do you deserve beautiful images, you also deserve an amazing photographic experience. The goal of this guide is to help you plan your wedding day in a way that will allow us to provide you with the BEST experience possible. I am beyond excited to be working with you!!

3 Things About Me

I'm a Dachshund Momma

After the majority of my engagement sessions, I always grab some Chipotle to refuel. It's been my favorite since high school and I am obsessed with the chips and guac!

Our wedding day is October 2, 2022 and we can't wait to celebrate with our family and friends! So I am right along side you in the planning process! I completely understand how crazy and sometimes stressful it can be.

Daisy was actually a birthday/college graduation gift from my fiancé Nicholas in 2018! She is the biggest snuggle bug ever and absolutely loves being on my lap when I'm editing.

My Why

Being able to photograph weddings and capture the happiest days, is such an honor to me. Thinking of a wedding day, there are so many big moments that happen: getting your dress on, walking down the aisle, your first kiss, the first dance, and so many more. But what I strive to capture, in addition to those big moments, are the unexpected, little moments. The moments that happen on your wedding day that didn't seem like a big deal, until you see the image of it and cherish it forever. The hug from grandma right before walking down the aisle, the high five during the recessional, or the sweet forehead kiss during your father daughter dance.

My goal is to give you genuine images that will last for generations to come.

Preferred Vendors



Wedding Planners





Bridal Gowns

Your Engagement Session

Engagement sessions are my absolute favorite, for so many reasons! Typically it's the first time I'm meeting you guys and it's a perfect time to get to know each other, experience how I shoot and become confident in front of the camera. This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. I’ll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact, what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way! What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable. Your engagement session can be scheduled anytime before your wedding day and you will feel like such a pro on your big day because of the great practice you had during your engagement session.

10 Tips

for Your Engagement Session







Solid Colors

Empty Your Pockets!

Make it yours!

Coordinate Outfits

I'm sure Pinterest is already your best friend at this point but check out my outfit inspiration board here!

I always suggest to not exactly match outfits, but coordinate colors and patterns instead. Some outfit inspiration and color ideas are below!

Don't be afraid to bring your dogs, your favorite bottle of champagne, a bouquet of flowers your favorite color, or any other fun "props" to play with during your session to make it unique to your relationship.

Literally! Phones, wallets, & keys will be noticeable and distracting so I'll always ask you to empty your pockets out.

Small prints and patterns are usually distracting, so I always recommend sticking to solid colors or larger, more spread out patterns!






Two Outfits

Be Confident!

Be on Time

Deep Breaths!

Clean your Ring

We only have a certain amount of sunlight in day, and I often plan engagement sessions back to back. So be sure to be on time, if not early, to your session so we can utilize every minute!

Picking out one outfit- let alone two! - can be so difficult. I recommend one casual and one dressy outfit, but always make sure it's 100% you!

Don't stress too much about your outfit! Just make sure you are comfortable and confident in what you're wearing.

Just relax! Remember I'm here to pose and guide you through the session so do not worry about being "unphotogenic" or awkward. Trust me, and I got you!

Make sure that gorgeous ring of yours is oh so shiny and ready for a close up!

Favorite Engagement Session Locations

Cleveland Museum of Art

Jeffrey Mansion - Columbus

Your Wedding Venue!

Studio Session

Franklin Park Conservatory - Columbus

German Village - Columbus

The Beach

Downtown Cleveland

Local Parks

9 9

Your Wedding Day!

The day you have been planning for months and months is finally here! I am SO excited to be able to capture your day. On the next few pages, you'll find a sample timeline, tips for wedding day, information on details/getting ready, day of reminders, first look details, lighting tips, and much more! So keep on reading to learn all the tips and tricks!

Benefits of a Wedding Planner

After photographing so many weddings, I've learned the most stress-free days are when the couple has a wedding planner, or at least a day-of coordinator! They provide so much help on wedding days, for anything and everything you can think of, and even more! Planners also help me solely focus on photographing your day, while they make sure the timeline and other things are running smoothly. I promise, having at least of day-of coordinator is one decision you will not regret!

Day-of Coordinator:

Having, at least, a day-of coordinator is one of the best things you can do for your wedding! This person will be your go-to for all logistics and any problems that arise, a burden that would typically fall onto your MOH, Mom, or even photographer otherwise. Usually day-of coordinators actually begin helping about one month out from your wedding day and take care of all the last minute details and leave you stress-free!

Full Service Planner:

For when you want someone to take care of every detail, from gathering venue options to gathering items at the end of your wedding night. This is the 100% most stress-free route to go! They will take care of the entire planning process for you, so you just get to relax and enjoy being engaged! You guys will work together to create your perfect wedding vision and you will have a go-to wedding planning best friend!

* Pro Tip: Sometimes venues will provide a venue/day-of coordinator, but most of the time they are just there to oversee venue logistics and not around the entire day to actively help with the small details or if any problems arise. Be sure to ask your venue coordinator their specific job duties, and hire a day-of coordinator to assist with the rest!

Sample Timeline

Sparkler Tunnel


Wedding Party


Getting Ready

Reception Entrance

We'll start with separate bridesmaids/groomsmen, then join everyone together!

Time for matching pj's and to get into your dreamy wedding dream!

A fun way to end the photography, and then get right back to dancing!

Party Time! I recommend going right into your first dance after entrances

Cake Cutting, Dances, Toasts, sunset or night portraits, etc!

Let's get you two married!!!













Open Dancing



Family Formals

First Look

Cocktail Hour

Time to break it down on the dance floor!

To ensure I don't miss any important moments, I'll be eating when you eat!

Time to see your almost husband/wife! We will also do formal portraits of you two here.

We'll just go down the family list and capture all the groupings!

We'll finish any more portraits we need, then I'll photograph reception details while you visit with your guests!

The best start to the day to get my creativity flowing!

Details & Getting Ready

It’s the morning of your wedding! The rest of the day is going to be fast paced and filled with a lot of emotions so it's very important to plan a relaxing morning. Be sure the room has lots of natural window light and is clean and neutral for the ideal space to get ready in.

Photographing details is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day, because it allows me to prepare and get my creativity flowing for the rest of the day! The details are so important because it sets the tone for your wedding day and highlights the small important things that brought everything together. From the dress, your jewelry, his tie and cufflinks, etc.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: I ask brides to gather any details they have, put them in a box or bag so when I arrive they are all ready to go. Here’s some examples of what to include in your details.


Tie + Tie Clip








Veil/Hair Pieces



Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet




Invitation Suite

Extra Florals

All Three (+) Rings
Ring Boxes

Save the Date

Any other cute, small items you share!

Pre-Ceremony Tips

When you’re planning a wedding day timeline, the best advice I could give is to ADD CUSHION TIME! Sometimes the most simple things can take an extra 20 minutes so it’s a smart idea to add in an extra ten minutes here and there so that we have some wiggle room to work with!




Have your florist deliver the florals as you’re getting ready, so they can be photographed with your details + first look!

I usually recommend to have hair + makeup done by the time I begin photographing or within 30 minutes after!

Be sure to factor in plenty of time for traveling locations. I recommend planning for drive time plus 10 minutes.

*While there is no pressure to have one, there are some reasons to consider one for your wedding day!*

Your First Look

Your First Look

Some brides love traditions, but what I’ve noticed a bride REALLY wants when it comes to her groom seeing her for the first time, is a REACTION. Those who are not interested in a First Look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as the ceremony.

It’s RIGHT before the ceremony that the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in and the calm, collected groom is now starting to feel a little anxious. So what happens next? The groom waits in a little room somewhere for his que from the coordinator. It seems like it’s taking FOREVER. Finally, the coordinator leans her head in and hurries the groom to get ready. With clammy hands, the groom enters the ceremony and what does he find? Anywhere from 80-300 people and allllll looking right at his face. Because everyone has expectations and anticipation about his first reaction. This is the farthest thing from a private, intimate moment. But with a first look, the moment you see each other you can run right into a hug. You can tell each other right away how pretty and handsome they look, how excited you are to see each other and get married.

Now by the time your ceremony rolls around, you both will be ready to ENJOY your beautiful day!

Family Formals

There is a spot for this list on your questionnaire to include your family formals list & it's super important to have this so we can ensure we get the photos you'd like. For standard groupings, family formals take about 30 minutes. I do ask that the list is no longer than 20 groupings, and we can do any extra at the reception! Make sure to inform all members they are included and to remain at the ceremony location afterwards. Here's a typical family formals list to guide you with yours!

Brides side:

Large group photo (bride, groom, parents, step-parents, siblings, grandparents)

Bride & Groom with each set of grand parents.

Bride & Groom with parents/step-parents.

Bride with Mom

Bride with Dad

Bride & Groom with siblings

Groom's side:

Large group photo (bride, groom, parents, step-parents, siblings, grandparents)

Bride & Groom with each set of grand parents.

Bride & Groom with parents/step-parents.

Groom with Mom

Groom with Dad

Bride & Groom with siblings

Both Bride & Groom:

Bride & Groom with parents.

Bride & Groom with parents & siblings.

Sunset Portraits & Mock Exits

Pro Tip: I like to group these two together because sometimes they just work out at the same time! I love having sunset portraits with my couple, then after the sun sets, to invite the wedding party outside to create the mock exit!

Mock Exits

Sunset Portraits

If you want the sparkler or confetti exit, but your photography coverage ends before, we can do a mock exit! Just gather up your wedding party and parents to gather outside and the dance floor inside can stay partying! The majority of my weddings that have sparklers or something, are actually mock exits right before photography departs!

The best timing for this is actually about 30 minutes prior the the sunset for the best lighting! Usually we'll sneak out of the reception for just about 10-15 minutes. I love having the wedding party meet us outside afterwards for the mock exit too!

Week-Of Reminders

1. Gather the Details

Be sure to gather all your little details for getting ready into a box or bag all ready to go to photograph when I get there!

2. Family Formals

Make sure your family knows they are included in family portraits and to stay in the ceremony location! Designate someone to make sure everyone is gathered together + give them the family formals list too!

3. Florals

Try to have the bouquet and boutonniere delivered early so I can photograph them with your details and you can have it for your first look!

4. Relax!

Take a deep breath! You’re getting married to your best friend + it’s going to be such an amazing day no matter what!