I'm so happy you are here and I'm honored to be photographing your wedding day. I have included a lot in this wedding guide including tips, tricks, reminders and more. Be sure to bookmark this page so you can refer back to it often as you are planning out all the things. 

The wedding guide for raquel king couples

before we jump in, let me tell you a few things about me and what you can expect from me...

get to know me, Raquel

I am a fan of over communicating vs under communicating. I love to be in the loop and want to help you at any part of your wedding process. I am happily married and I know all the fun things that come with planning a wedding, so if you need ANYTHINGGG please text or e-mail me! 

I'm a HUGGER, if you aren't into it, totally cool, just let me know so I don't completely invade your personal space haha! Honestly though, I don't just look at my couples as people I will have one encounter with, I truly adore friendships and I'm so blessed with how many come from my experiences with couples just like YOU.

Shorts Saint Laurent beanie street style Fjallraven. Motif skirt stred out statement Bag 'N' Noun silver collar. Rope necklace oversized A.P.C. rose gold knitwear. beanie street style Fjallraven. Motif skirt strong eyebrows Choupette printed jacket. Colette chunky sole loafers

Short desciption of your service

full service planning

Rope necklace oversized A.P.C. rose gold knitwear. beanie street style Fjallraven. Motif skirPastels et style Fjallraven. Motif skirt strong eyebrows Choupette printed jacket. Colette chunky sole loafers trouser surf pop Prada backpack washed out statement Bag 'N' Noun silver collar. t strong eyebrows Choupette printed jacket. Colette chunky sole loafers

Short desciption of your service

special events

Colton

get to know my second shooter, 

This guy is my BEST friend, we work so well together. You will often times find him having a blast with the dudes, getting you your appetizers after you say "I do!" because as he says "I know you paid a lot for these, I want you to be able to enjoy!!" and he is all about getting those shots you most likely won't see on your wedding day, but he will capture it for you (aka, parents crying, belly laughing shots at the reception & more).

If you haven't added a second photographer to your wedding, it's not too late! Having a second person there photographing all the things I can't always get to is so valuable. I can't tell you how many of the behind the scenes he captures while I am focusing on the important, big moments of the wedding.

Also, it's both your BIG DAY... get shots of BOTH you getting ready, extra shots of your wedding guests and multiple angles on those big moments (the KISS, FIRST dance, etc.)

Shorts Saint Laurent beanie street style Fjallraven. Motif skirt stred out statement Bag 'N' Noun silver collar. Rope necklace oversized A.P.C. rose gold knitwear. beanie street style Fjallraven. Motif skirt strong eyebrows Choupette printed jacket. Colette chunky sole loafers

Short desciption of your service

full service planning

Rope necklace oversized A.P.C. rose gold knitwear. beanie street style Fjallraven. Motif skirPastels et style Fjallraven. Motif skirt strong eyebrows Choupette printed jacket. Colette chunky sole loafers trouser surf pop Prada backpack washed out statement Bag 'N' Noun silver collar. t strong eyebrows Choupette printed jacket. Colette chunky sole loafers

Short desciption of your service

special events

If you're like every other couple, you're probably a little nervous thinking about being in front of the camera... I mean, you're not used to having a big black box pointed at you, am I right?! Even I get nervous when I'm having photos done!! 

It's COMPLETELY normal to feel this way, but I want to encourage you to just relax and have a good time. I'm going to be giving you allllll the direction so you never feel like you know what your doing. We're going to capture those timeless photos that everyone loves, while getting a little goofy and having fun (don't be surprised if I pull out my speaker and turn on some music!!). Some prompts I give you both might seem a little silly at first, but TRUST ME, they create some legit magic. 

engagement photos

choosing outfits

how many outfits?

Most often, my couples like to have one casual, everyday outfit (think: date night) and then one outfit that is dressier! This will give your shoot two totally different “looks.” I recommend beginning with the dressy outfit first!

hair and make up

I highly recommend doing your hair and makeup trial right before your engagement session! This will not only ease the stress of you having to do it yourself, but you'll get to see how the hair and makeup you want for your big day will actually LOOK in photos. It also gives you a way to use the trial for your session! Win, win

choosing colors

When choosing colors for your outfits, I recommend selecting lighter tones, like whites and nudes or dark shades of colors, like burnt orange, forest green, dark navy and my favorite black. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other.

I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE that for one of your outfit sets you wear black or wear white. This will guarantee you get the best edits possible with my editing :)

FLATTER YOUR FEATURES

Keep in mind which features you want to flatter and which features you want to hide when picking outfits! For example, if you want to hide your arms, (my personal area of insecurity) choose a top with sleeves and skip the spaghetti straps. If you want to minimize your bust, choose a dress with a higher neckline and skip the strapless dress. If you opt for a low cut dress, it will minimize the amount of angles I can shoot! 

For more inspo check out THIS Pinterest board I made with lots of options and ideas to choose from!

RECOMMENDED SESSION LOCATIONS

First off, I want to say that I ALWAYS encourage my couples to think of session locations that have MEANING to them. This will allow us to capture more genuine images that reflect your personality. Think: Favorite date spot, where you met, where you proposed, your wedding venue, your home, where you had your first date, etc. However, if you're totally stumped for locations, have no fear!! We'll work together to pick a location that fits you two best!

Here is a list I've compiled of some of my favorite locations for photo sessions! I love these spots in particular because I'm able to provide photos that are super consistent with what you see on my website, and also provide a huge variety in backgrounds for you! If a location you're considering is not on this list, let me encourage you, I get excited about adventure, new places and helps me to get more creative when I go to new places. So if there is a spot that is on your mind, pleaseeee be sure to tell me! 

sand dunes

Let's put our toes in the sand. These sessions are super fun and unique, outfits really stand out against the sand.

Sand Mountain in Fallon Nevada, Oceano Dunes in California and  Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan are some popular ones!

Beaches

Head to the coast for some ocean time. California coasts are a dream, there isn't a bad place to take photos. Things to take into consideration, we might jump in the water at the end lol.

San Diego, Santa Cruz, Fort Bragg, Big Sur and all the stops in between are all wonderful places for breath taking engagement photos!

Lake tahoe

South Lake:
Emerald Bay
Cave Rock
Zephyr Cove

North Lake:
Tahoe City
Hidden Beach
Kings Beach

iconic spots

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is a beautiful spot for photos, I like to go to Marshall Beach or Battery Spencer to get the best views of the bridge!

The Grand Canyon in Arizona. The canyon is GORGEOUS and cannot go wrong with the views and uniqueness of this background! Horseshoe bend is a beautiful spot I have been dreaming of going, want to be the first person to travel there with me?? ;)

Sedona in Arizona. Set amid beautiful red rock mountains, buttes, and canyons, Sedona is one of Arizona's most beautiful destinations. The scenery here is nothing less than stunning, with unbelievable views from every street corner and hiking trail.

Lived in the area for years, here are some great spots!

Moon rocks in nevada

Verdi, NV

Truckee, CA

Your home town 

In home sessions

Nothing beats getting photos of the place that you love and live. We can head to your favorite part of town and document the things you love about the place YOU live! 

In home sessions are cozy and fun! Some people feel they need to have "the perfect home" but I promise you don't! We can get creative with it. Also, I have had couples rent an air bnb for the weekend and make a mini vacation out of it.

Air Bnb

Home Studio List

Santa Cruz Beaches

South Lake Tahoe

- BE ON TIME
-GET THE RING CLEANED
- EMPTY YOUR POCKETS
- GET YOUR NAILS DONE
- PLAN OUR OUTFITS OUT IN ADVANCE
- BRING APPROPRIATE SHOES 
(if we are photographing in the sand, or climbing mountains during our session, high heels probably aren't the best, you can always change into them though!) 

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SUCCESS

wedding

CHOOSE A SPACE WITH LOTS OF WINDOWS:
If you're trying to decide where to get ready, this is HUGE! I always opt for spaces with lots of windows. When it's time to get into your dress, I will likely direct you to a clean area that has lots of window light coming in!

1.

getting ready

2.

GATHER YOUR DETAILS:
If you can, please have all of your details gathered before I arrive! My biggest recommendation is to put them all in one box or bag so they are all in one place. This includes:
All 3 rings | A copy of your invitation suite | Your jewelry | Shoes | Bridal dress
Veil | Hair pieces | Perfume | & anything else you want photographed!

getting ready

HAVE YOUR BOUQUET ARRIVE BEFORE I START SHOOTING:
If possible, have your florist deliver your bouquet and boutonnières BEFORE I am scheduled to arrive. This ensures they will be included with all of the other pretty details!

3.

getting ready

GETTING IN YOUR ATTIRE:
Make sure to have it in the timeline that your wedding party, parent, and anyone else you want to help you get into your wedding outfit be ready AT LEAST 15 minutes before your schedule time. This ensures they can be included in these special photos!

4.

getting ready

Hair and Make up:
I would encourage you to have hair and makeup scheduled to be done around 30 minutes before you're scheduled to get into your dress. This gives you some buffer time in case we run behind!

5.

getting ready

first looks

There is no pressure to do one... however, there are SO many benefits and reasons why many of my couples do opt for one!

So you might be asking... what is a first look?! Well, let me tell you! A first look is when the couple arrange a private time to see each other before the ceremony. The only people present will be the two of you and your photographers (and videographer if you have one) First looks are very popular for so many reasons! There are so many incredible benefits of doing one!!

Although I love this so much on a wedding day, I also always encourage my couples to do whatever they want to do. Because at the end of the day, it’s their wedding, and what they prefer matters the absolute most! So although I love it so much, I do want their day to go however they envision. This is just meant to help you decide whether it’s right for you, and why I recommend it so much

benefits of first looks

YOUR ONLY ALONE TIME

Throughout the chaos of a wedding day, it will very likely be your ONLY alone time! It allows you to have a chance to talk and enjoy hanging out with each other. You get to TELL your partner how beautiful they look as soon as you see them! You get to extend your day TOGETHER by 1-2 hours.

LOGISTICALLY, IT'S A DREAM!

You can finish the majority of your wedding photos before the ceremony begins. We will jump right into couple + wedding party photos after the first look! This means no long cocktail hours with guests waiting on us to finish taking photos! 

FRESH HAIR AND MAKEUP

My couples LOVE this because your hair and make up is totally fresh for all of your portraits. You don't have to worry about touching up before photos because you just had your hair and makeup done! Your wedding party will LOVE you for this as well!

IT DIMINISHES NERVES.

So many couples say their nerves went away after they saw each other! It helps you to feel more relaxed and make the ceremony more enjoyable. Plus, you’ll probably remember your ceremony better because you weren’t so nervous. The whole thing would probably be a blur otherwise!

MORE PORTRAITS IN YOUR FINAL GALLERY

With a first look, you can ENJOY taking all of your wedding portraits and not feel rushed. Plus, you'll receive MORE variety in your portraits because of the extra time! It makes taking photos a lot more enjoyable because you aren't trying to squeeze them all in!

YOU CAN ENJOY COCKTAIL HOUR

Once we do family formals directly after the ceremony, you can actually go enjoy cocktail hour or start the reception! If any of your wedding party aren't family members, they get to enjoy ALL of cocktail hour!

If you are especially close with your parent, grandparent, or even an extended family member, a first look is one of the SWEETEST things you can do with that really important person. It gives them the opportunity to see you and your whole look before everything gets crazy, and a special time for you to connect. These easily become one of my FAVORITE parts from past weddings because they are so emotional and sweet! You'll be surprised at how emotional they get when they see you for the first time. If you want this in your timeline, let me know so we can add in an extra 10 minutes to make this happen!

A first look with best friends who will be standing with you on your big day, has become one of my FAVORITE things on wedding days!! Especially if most of them haven't seen your attire yet, it's the perfect way to show it to them and to capture their priceless reactions at the same time. It typically only takes about 10 minutes during the getting ready portion of the day. The only challenge is making sure every-one is dressed and put together by the time you have your dress on, so good communication with your friends is a must if you want to add this into your timeline

parent first look

bridal party frist look

YOUR ONLY ALONE TIME: Throughout the chaos of a wedding day, it will very likely be your ONLY alone time! It allows you to have a chance to talk and enjoy hanging out with each other. You get to TELL your partner how beautiful they look as soon as you see them! You get to extend your day TOGETHER by 1-2 hours.

FRESH HAIR AND MAKE UP: My couples LOVE this because your hair and make up is totally fresh for all of your portraits. You don't have to worry about touching up before photos because you just had your hair and makeup done! Your wedding party will LOVE you for this as well!

MORE PORTRAITS IN YOUR FINAL GALLERY: 

YOUR ONLY ALONE TIME: Throughout the chaos of a wedding day, it will very likely be your ONLY alone time! It allows you to have a chance to talk and enjoy hanging out with each other. You get to TELL your partner how beautiful they look as soon as you see them! You get to extend your day TOGETHER by 1-2 hours.

FRESH HAIR AND MAKE UP: My couples LOVE this because your hair and make up is totally fresh for all of your portraits. You don't have to worry about touching up before photos because you just had your hair and makeup done! Your wedding party will LOVE you for this as well!

MORE PORTRAITS IN YOUR FINAL GALLERY: 

timeline

build a timeline that fits your desires

There are a few things to keep in mind when building your timeline... Do I have 1 or 2 photographers? Is my getting ready location the same as the ceremony? Do we need to travel to a separate location for reception? What time is sunset? First look? to name a few.

I like to suggest requesting photography 30 mins before you get your dress on. This allows your wedding gallery to tell a story from the start of you getting ready to the rest of the events throughout the day. 


Example timeline with FIRST LOOK and SUNSET TIME AT 6PM:







Noon- Start getting ready
2:15pm- Put dress on
2:30pm- First Look / Individual Portraits
3:00pm- Wedding Party Photos 
3:30pm- Ceremony
4:00pm- Family Photos
4:30pm- Couples Photos
5:15pm- Grand Entrance / First Dance
5:30pm- Dinner
5:45pm- Quick 15 minute sunset photos
6-end- Speciality Dances / Cake Cutting / Open Dance Floor



Example timeline with NO FIST LOOK and SUNSET TIME AT 6PM:


Noon- Start getting ready
2:30pm- Put dress on
3:00pm- Ceremony
3:30pm- Family Photos
4:00pm- Wedding Party Photos
4:30pm- Couples Photos / Individual Portraits
5:00pm- Grand Entrance
5:30pm- Dinner
5:45pm- Quick 15 minute sunset photos
6:00pm- First Dance
6:15-end- Speciality Dances / Cake Cutting / Open Dance Floor

This timeline is great to break up photo time to before and after ceremony so you aren't spending an hour plus standing and smiling for a long time at one period of time.

This timeline allows more time to socialize with guest since most photos are taken before ceremony.

Reminders:

- You can always make a rough draft early and tweak and rearrange things as you get closer to your big day.

- Make sure all your timelines match, with your DJ, Coordinator (if you have one), any other vendors who you are working with.

UNPLUGGED CEREMONIES

f you’re not familiar with unplugged ceremonies, they are essentially when you request that your guests turn off all of their devices for the ceremony. This allows the photographer to work more freely with no worry of getting guests in their shots! As a photographer, there is nothing worse than trying to photograph the person coming down the aisle and have someone stick their phone out in front of you (yes, it’s happened!).

 I think these are a GREAT idea, and I’ve had many of my couples do them with amazing success! Guests are typically very respectful if you ask them to not be taking photos during the ceremony and it will reflect in your photos. This especially shows in the wider shots; you’ll either see a lot of guests holding their phones up for photos, or your guests sitting and enjoying the moment!

To make this happen at your ceremony, I recommend first having a sign at the entrance of the ceremony that encourages guests to put away their devices! You can also include a short and sweet line on your ceremony program that requests that no one has their devices out. You can also request your officiant to announce it a few minutes before the ceremony starts, to reinforce what they’ve already read!

Not only will your photographer love you, but a beautiful thing happens: your guests are sitting and enjoying the moment you two become partners for life, instead of staring at their screens. What a beautiful way to encourage your guests to unplug for a short amount of time to enjoy such a special moment with the two of you.

family portraits

About 1-2 months out from your wedding, I will send you your online wedding questionnaire! This is where you can give me the exact shot list for your family formals. I do ask that the list is no longer than 20 groupings (anything past that we can grab at the reception!) Here is an example shot list for you to get started..


FIRST SET OF FAMILY 
Large group photo (this is everyone: parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles)
The couple with parents, step parents, grandparents, siblings 
The couple with parents, grandparents, siblings
The couple with each set of grandparents
The couple with parents, siblings
The couple with parents
The couple with siblings
Partner with each parent individually 

BOTH FAMILIES
The couple with both sets of parents
The couple with both sets of parents & all siblings

SECOND SET OF FAMILY
Large group photo (this is everyone: parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles)
The couple with parents, step parents, grandparents, siblings 
The couple with parents, grandparents, siblings
The couple with each set of grandparents
The couple with parents, siblings
The couple with parents
The couple with siblings
Partner with each parent individually 

Sunset portraits are literally the BEST 15 minutes of portraits you'll get on your wedding day. Typically we'll sneak out for 15 minutes during your reception (in-between events, of course!) or right after family formals to grab a few of these! Trust me, they are WORTH IT and are those dreamy, swoon-worthy photos with the glowy lighting.

They also give you another chance to slow down and connect with each other, away from the chaos of your big day! 

Here are a few things to know:
- Bring the veil + bouquet! This looks DREAMY with sunset lighting!
- If it ends up being overcast, don't worry! I've had SO MANY overcast and rainy weddings end up having a beautiful sunset! If the sun isn't peaking out, it is nice to get another quick session of portraits of you on your wedding day. Different lighting and variety in photos!

Sunset photos

RECEPTION EXIT OPTIONS

There are SO many options when it comes to exits. Sparklers, bubbles, glow sticks, rose petals, car exit... there's so many options! 

As a photographer, I have to be honest. I’m not a big fan of the formal exit at the end of the night. Why? Well, unless you are doing a sparkler exit, nothing else really photographs well. It’s late, it’s dark, everyone is tipsy and sweaty from dancing all night. It’s just not flattering for pretty much everyone involved – and it’s also not a moment that I feel you need to pay a professional photographer to capture.  Often times couples don't need 3-4 hours of dancing photos..

I love you two and will love being a part of your wedding, but keeping me photographing until the very end of the night just for one or two exit photos is silly, in my opinion, and luckily, there is a better option! 

Definitely have some fun ways of doing this, just let me know if you have some ideas or if you want to brainstorm some ideas! :)

I have had the opportunity to work with many incredible wedding planners, from day of coordinators to full service planners! They can provide help for your wedding day in a way that no one else can. They also give me the opportunity to solely focus on taking your beautiful photos while they keep the timeline going throughout the day! There are typically many different types of services planners offer, so here are a few to consider for different aspects of planning:

VENDOR MATCH-MAKING

Some planners offer the option of helping you with "vendor match-making." They will sit down with you and ask you what you're looking for in your different vendors, and offer the best suggestions within your budget. From what I've heard, the amount of money you save doing this by knowing where to invest more (AND finding vendors that are the perfect fit) saves you more than what you pay! Plus, you'll have a dream team that will be amazing for your wedding!

STYLING SERVICES

Many planners also offer day-of styling services in addition to planning. This means they will be in charge of setting up your spaces and the design. They'll add a beautiful, creative touch and since they've worked alongside you up to your wedding day, they can carry out your vision perfectly. This also means mom won't be running around trying to set everything up! They have you covered!

BENEFITS OF A DAY-OF COORDINATOR

If nothing else, this is the BEST thing you can do for your wedding in this area!! It
is so crucial to have a go-to person the day of that can take care of the logistics and answer questions. Otherwise, this burden typically falls on your mom, maid of honor, or photographer. They are there to run the day and make sure everything goes smoothly. This typically also includes planning the month before your wedding. Once that one month mark hits, they will take over and conquer the last minute planning details for you. What a stress reliever!

FULL-SERVICE PLANNING

If you want wedding planning to be as stress-free as possible, this is the route to go! They will be there from your engagement all the way until the end of your wedding day. They are there to take care of all the planning for you, so you can relax and enjoy being engaged. They work alongside you to create the perfect vision for your wed- ding day, help you choose vendors, create your timeline, work out the logistics, and everything else that goes into planning. They basically become your best friend during the process, because just about everything is off your plate!

wedding planners

You made it!

I hope this guide serves as an amazing resource for you as you plan and prepare for your big day! I'm not only here to help but I want to encourage you that marriage is WORTH IT. It is a blast and always keep that in mind! At the end of the day, no matter what happens, you'll be married and that's all that matters. Thank you again for choosing me as your photographer, and happy planning! If there is something I didn't answer or you need some more details on please reach out to me! I am HERE FOR YOU! I love being able to help during any part of this process.
xo,
Raquel

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