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PLANNING GROUP

ALBUMS

ENGAGement. INSPO

TIMELINE EXample

INFORMATION

WELCOME TO THE

As your photographer(s), we vow to give you a stress-free and fun photography experience that's wholeheartedly built around serving you. We've photographed many couples since we started this journey back in 2013, so we've learned a thing or two (or 12,2570000!!!).

This lounge is a space dedicated to helping you prepare for and make the most of your Wedding photography and/or videography– from the engagement session process to outfit inspiration to ordering your prints and heirloom album. Take a look around the lounge to discover helpful resources.

Should you have additional questions about your session, please reach out via email: 2birdsmediallc@gmail.com

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You bet we do. We have liability insurance in the unlikely event that something happens at your wedding, we are covered! 

06. do you carry insurance?

Absolutely! We off photography, videography, or both together! In fact, booking us for both services makes things easier on the wedding day because we can create a detailed plan prior to the big day! 

05. can we book you for both video and photography?

Yes! Most videography packages already include a second shooter out of necessity, but a second shooter can be added to any photography package as well. 

04. do you offer a second photographer or videographer?

Having a conversation with us about what yor wedding day will look like helps determine this, but we generally recommend a MINIMUM of 6 hours of coverage. Most bookings include 8 hours. 

03. how many hours of coverage do we need?

This depends on a few factors, but typically wedding galleries include anywhere from 700-1200 photos. 

02. how many photos will we receive and how do we receive them?

I graduated from Grand Valley with a degree in Film & Video in 2013. I started Two Birds Media immediately after and have been doing photography ever since! I added video to my services in 2019.

01. How long have you been a photographer & VIDEOGRAPHER?

Do you have a question for us? If you don't see an answer here feel free to email us directly.
2birdsmediallc@gmail.com

Frequently asked questions

order your wedding album

your wedding day is here!

pay remaining wedding balance

create your wedding day timeline with me

plan your engagement session

sign your contract and pay your retainer

preparing for your wedding

Wedding Checklist

THE PROCESS

STEP 01: START PLANNING YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION

Now that your wedding is booked it's time to start thinking about your engagement session. I love photographing engagements because it gives me a chance to get to know you as a couple. It's always great to coordinate your outfits so that you can look cohesive in the images.

NEXT

PREV.

THE PROCESS

STEP 02: TIMELINE

It's no surprise that your wedding timeline will make a break how your wedding day flows. However did you know that your ceremony and catering are the biggest factors in how much time you'll have? Let's plan a date at least one month before your wedding to go over this together and make sure you can fit all your photography must haves in your schedule.

NEXT

PREV.

THE PROCESS

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PREV.

STEP 03: Your wedding day

Your day will be here! All that planning and preparing for this day are over. You thought of everything and now is the time to enjoy it. Rest assured you can leave all the photography needs to me. Now you can sit back, relax (if you're able), and enjoy the fruits of your labor, you're marrying your best friend!

THE PROCESS

NEXT

PREV.

STEP 04: THE WEDDING ALBUM

After your wedding I will deliver your images in an online gallery. Instead of leaving everything on the web or on a computer I highly suggest investing in your first family heirloom, an Album. This will be something you get to pass down generations to come. Why not do it in such a beautiful way!

Liquorice chocolate bar pudding sugar plum biscuit toffee. Sweet roll chupa chups pie tart candy lollipop cotton candy candy. Cake chupa chups dessert.

02. YOUR FIRST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION WILL GO HERE ON THESE DIFFERENT LINES.

Liquorice chocolate bar pudding sugar plum biscuit toffee. Sweet roll chupa chups pie tart candy lollipop cotton candy candy. Cake chupa chups dessert.

03. YOUR FIRST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION WILL GO HERE ON THESE DIFFERENT LINES.

Liquorice chocolate bar pudding sugar plum biscuit toffee. Sweet roll chupa chups pie tart candy lollipop cotton candy candy. Cake chupa chups dessert.

04. YOUR FIRST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION WILL GO HERE ON THESE DIFFERENT LINES.

Liquorice chocolate bar pudding sugar plum biscuit toffee. Sweet roll chupa chups pie tart candy lollipop cotton candy candy. Cake chupa chups dessert.

05. YOUR FIRST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION WILL GO HERE ON THESE DIFFERENT LINES.

Liquorice chocolate bar pudding sugar plum biscuit toffee. Sweet roll chupa chups pie tart candy lollipop cotton candy candy. Cake chupa chups dessert.

06. YOUR FIRST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION WILL GO HERE ON THESE DIFFERENT LINES.

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I include 8 hours of coverage in almost all packages so that I can be present for the main events of the reception and about an hour of dancing! If you’re interested in having your exit photographed/videoed, there are several options for this! You can either add additional coverage or plan a faux exit with just your bridal party! We have had GREAT success with this and the party never stops! Email me about this if you’re interested in learning more.

The Exit

10:30pm

This is when the bridal party lines up for introductions and the party begins!! By this part of the day, my timeline isn’t as strict. I work off of the natural light and so after the sun is set, my portrait time is over and I begin focusing on the reception events!

Reception Begins!

7:30pm

7:00pm (roughly) is the BEST time of day for portraits in the late spring, summer and early fall! This is when the sun is glowy and golden. I love having a few extra minutes with the couple to take a few “Just Married” portraits right after family formals!

Just Married Portraits

7:15-7:30pm

Family formals normally take place immediately following the ceremony. It’s best to save all of the family formals until after the ceremony because ALL family members will be present at that time. We’ll need about 30 minutes for family formals and I will send a questionnaire before the wedding where you can list out the shots that you want. I recommend shooting portraits outdoors if possible so that they resemble more natural family portraits, especially if the ceremony location is dark!

Family Portraits

6:40-7:10pm

It’s time to get married!! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long. If your ceremony is longer than 30 mins, we’ll make adjustments to the timeline! Cherish these moments! Your ceremony will pass by so quickly!

Ceremony

6:00-6:30pm

If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, I will use this time to shoot the reception decor UNTOUCHED. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, I recommend having a cocktail hour outside of the main reception area if possible so that we can grab some great shots of your reception before the night begins and guests start laying down purses and coats on their seats!

Reception Details

5:30-5:50pm

After bridal party portraits are complete, you'll want to hide from early guests so they don’t sneak a peek and the ushers can begin their duties.

Time to Hide

5:30-6:00pm

Now it’s time for Bridal Party shots! I buffer in extra time throughout the day just in case we have some unexpected things that hold us up! One way to make sure we stay on schedule for bridal party portraits is to have someone in charge of putting boutonnieres on the guys BEFORE they arrive for portraits. During Bridal Party portraits, my assistant and I will make sure to take some great shots of the guys and girls both separately AND together! 

Bridal Party Portraits

4:50-5:20pm

After you have your first look I'll give you a moment to spend some time together. Afterwards, I'll begin taking a few romantic portraits of the two of you while the initial excitement is still present! I will find the locations for these shots as well! Remember, the LIGHT determines where we shoot and so I can’t decide on portrait locations until the day-of. As we shoot these portraits, the bridal party can start making their way to us for their portraits!

Couple's Portraits

4:15-4:45pm

This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day! I will find the perfect location for my couple’s First Look prior to the getting ready portion of the day! Don’t stress about this one bit! I will make sure the location is private and as secluded as possible. ALSO: a really sweet alternative to a first look is a first touch! This is great for video as well!

The First Look

4:00pm

After the details have been photographed, it’s time for each of you to get dressed. This is a big moment! I usually ask the wedding party and any parents to be dressed by the time you're ready to get into your dress/suit. This ensures that everyone will look nice in those images. After each of you are in your attire, myself and my assistant will get portraits of you alone.

Getting Ready Shots

3:15-3:45pm

Everyone loves having those beautiful shots of their details. These shots allow me to get warmed up for the rest of the big day. I normally like to allow at least 45 minutes for this. While I’m shooting details, I’m also capturing some shots of the couple getting ready! If both of you are nearby, my assistant will begin photographing the one of you and me the other. For guys this usually happens close to 40 minutes before the first look.

Pre-Ceremony Details

2:30-3:15pm

This timeline example is based off of a 6:00pm ceremony with a first look prior to the ceremony. Based on your preferences and type of ceremony, you timeline may differ. Hopefully this will give you a basic idea of how much time is needed for different elements of your day! 

organizing the flow of your day

YOUR WEDDING TIMELINE

If you really want to wear a pattern, my only request is that your pattern is on the larger side. Patterns that are smaller than a quarter can be difficult to photograph. This isn’t true of all patterns but it’s a good general rule to go by! 

Large Patterns are Preferred:

Similar to the rule with patterns, if you really want a bold and bright look but you want to do it well and tastefully, I would suggest that only one of you have a bright and bold colored outfit and the other stay in a solid neutral to avoid over-doing it!

only one bold color:

A lot of time, if my couples are going for a bold and bright look, I will notice solid colored backgrounds to use for part of their engagement session! It’s a double win if the background coordinates with their outfits! 

Bold Backgrounds:

If one of you has a bold pattern, it’s very important that the other doesn’t. The more bold the pattern, the more important this rule is! However: we would recommend limiting patterns if possible. Typically, floral patterns, lacy patterns, and polka dots read best if you are truly set on having a pattern. 

Only one wears a pattern:

Just like the “Romantic” recipe, you don’t have to apply all of these "ingredients" to get a perfectly BRIGHT & BOLD look to your engagement session. Bright and bold is good for couples that crave the timeless, classic look of true-to-life colors and light! These ingredients include: 

BRIGHT & BOLD RECIPE

If you’re hoping for a more romantic, light & airy look, you can actually make outfit choices that will make your images turn out brighter, softer, and extra photogenic! Here are some ingredients that go into creating a romantic styled shoot. It’s important to note that you do not need to choose all of these ingredients in order to have a light, airy, and romantic look to your images, but the more ingredients you include, the more romantic it will be:

ROMANTIC STYLE RECIPE

If you really want your images to be as light as possible, consider having your groom wear lighter pants instead of dark dress pants or dark jeans. 

khakis vs. jeans:

Dresses and skirts with feminine ruffles, multiple layers of fabric and the ability to blow and move in the wind will always photograph beautifully! You would be amazed at how impactful moving fabric softens an image.

long flowy dresses/skirts:

Blushes, tans, light pinks, faint blues and light minty teals, creams, grays and whites will always result in more of a light and airy look in your images. These colors photograph softer and more romantically! Avoiding patterns is also key. 

neutral colors:

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Now that you have picked a date, a photographer and probably a venue as well, you can celebrate! Those are some of the toughest decisions in wedding planning and you can cross them off your list! Hooray!

Now on to the fun stuff.... like your engagement session! I include engagement sessions in my wedding photography collections because I truly believe that they are a VITAL part of the entire process. During your engagement session, you’ll have the chance to get to know me, experience how I shoot and how I handle posing and lighting. 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! You will feel like such a pro on your big day because of the great practice you had during your engagement session, and that’s how it should be!

Your engagement session can be scheduled anytime before your wedding day. Depending on what you would like to use your photos for, I normally suggest booking it at least 4 to 6 months in advance to avoid stress. Because my weekends are filled with weddings, I shoot engagements primarily on weekday evenings, normally from 5-7pm depending on the light and the time of the year. In the winter months, 3 to 5pm is a normal time frame for an engagement shoot!

As you start to plan for your engagement shoot, you will need to start brainstorming about location ideas. I LOVE it when couples pick a location that is special or sentimental to them in some way! If you can’t think of anywhere specific that you would like to shoot, I can help you decide on a location. As long as the light is great, I can make ANY location look awesome! I shoot at farms, campuses, the beach, and even downtown alleys. Do not shy away from crazy ideas! The more creative, the better! Be sure to keep reading to find out more about outfit ideas and inspiration!

YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION

PLANNING BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS TOGETHER

The sunset time changes drastically during these three months. In Sept, you can plan on 5:30-7:30 until the third week and then you can plan on 5:00-7:00 until Mid- Oct. After the first week of Nov, 3:00-5:00pm.

sept-nov-varies

Fall

Summer engagements, just like all engagements, take place two hours before sunset. This will hopefully mean that the shoot will be during the cooler part of the day. 

jun-aug 6:30-8:30pm

SUMMER

The sunset time drastically changes throughout the course of these two months and so our shooting times change as well. You can plan on approximately 5:30-7:30 in April and 6:00-8:00 in May.

apr-may-Varies

SPRING

During December through Mid-March you can plan on your engagement session taking place around 3-5pm. However, the time changes in Mid-March and so that will make the start time one hour later.  

dec-mar 3-5pm

WINTER

Approximate Start Times

As much as I would like to say that we always have restrooms for outfit changes, more often than not, my clients do quick outfit changes in their car if there are no other options! 

changing clothes

Clean the ring! I love to shoot a few rings shots while you change outfits! The cleaner the better.

ring cleaning

The sun sets quickly especially if your shoot is not in the summer months. The later you arrive, the less time we have to shoot! Once the sun is set, the shoot will be over.

timing

Empty your pockets! Literally. You don’t want to have key chains or phones showing through your pockets. (This is for the guys especially!)

pockets

the basics and what to bring

It’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken .... even if it’s just a photo on an iphone that is taken by a friend. We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving! I realize that preparing for your engagement session can be a little overwhelming. Over the next few pages, I’ll be providing tips for outfits, handling nerves and recommendations that will make your shoot the best it can possibly be! Paragraph

If you’re wearing shoes that are difficult to walk in but look awesome, bring some comfy shoes to change into while we walk to each shooting location!

flip flops

You may need to apply more lip color after one outfit change and a few kisses. (If you have a bold lip color, try to have a matte finish so it won’t transfer to as intensely!). Hairspray and a brush will be helpful if your hair struggles in the humidity!

lip color & hairspray

I’ll explain this more in-depth below but generally, my couples like to bring one casual outfit and one dressier outfit. If you’re unsure about a few pieces, feel free to bring all options and I can help you decide.

clothing

I’m going to help you along the way and it’s going to be a blast! Enjoy this time together, and make a date out of it! Plan dinner afterwards and celebrate!!

deep breaths

the basics and what to bring

It’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken .... even if it’s just a photo on an iphone that is taken by a friend. We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving! I realize that preparing for your engagement session can be a little overwhelming. Over the next few pages, I’ll be providing tips for outfits, handling nerves and recommendations that will make your shoot the best it can possibly be! Paragraph

You have to buy something new! False! If you know you look awesome in an outfit that you already have and it fits the style you want for your engagement session, that would be the a great choice!  

05. myth five

Your location determines your style more than your outfit! False! Your outfit has way more impact than your location. Your location is just a setting in the background but you two will still be the main focus of the images.

04. myth four

You two need to match! Please, for the love of all things beautiful, please don’t try to match your significant other! Instead, try to coordinate! Coordinating is a completely different concept from “matching”. Coordination means you are usually choosing different colors that look good together but are not close to being the same.

03. myth three

Always wear black or you won’t look thin! Sure, black is sliming, but it’s always very heavy in portraits. There is nothing wrong with black but if you’re only wearing it to look thinner and deep down you’re hoping for light and airy portraits, it may not be the best choice.  

02. MYTH TWO

Avoid neutrals, they wash you out! Whoever started this myth couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sure, there are some colors that don’t work for some people, but I spent a large majority of my life believing that I could never wear neutrals and I was missing out! The truth is, neutrals are the most photogenic color for portraits.

01. MYTH ONE

outfit myths

Believe it or not, you have so much control over the outcome of your shoot and what it looks and feels like! What you choose to wear is a big decision that often causes a ton of stress for the bride beforehand. However, my hope is that with a little education, you will be able to determine the style and feel you desire for your shoot and then that will make your outfit selection so much easier and less complicated! Lets start by de-bunking some very common outfit myths that a lot of people believe about what they should wear to their session! 

If one of you is wearing very dark jeans, the other may want to wear lighter pants. If one of you is wearing a navy top, the other shouldn’t wear a dark/heavy colored top. To a certain degree, alternating the “heaviness” of your outfits can make your images look more balanced.

alternate heaviness

Tiny patterns cause something called “Chromatic Abberation” in digital images. Men’s checkered shirts are fine if the “checks” are on the larger side.

avoid patterns smaller than a quarter

bright reds, neons, bright oranges (they reflect color onto skin and can be difficult to edit!)

colors to avoid:

DECIDING ON YOUR STYLE

These choices represent the two main decisions you will have to make in regards to your outfit choices. There are no right or wrong answers! Maybe you want one outfit to be dressy and the other to be casual. Maybe you want one outfit to be very light and neutral but you want to wear more color in the next outfit. These categories will hopefully help you determine what you’re hoping for in your engagement session. If you’re feeling stuck and can’t seem to determine what you prefer, that’s very normal! Here are some general “rules of thumb” when it comes to styling during an engagement session. Once you read through these, you may have a better understanding of what you perfer and you can start planning your outfits. These “rules of thumbs” are based off of my experience and aren’t concrete rules that can’t be broken. However, if you have questions about one of them in regards to what you want to wear, just email me and we can talk about what would be best! :

things to avoid:

For an additional fee, you can add a design to the front of your Album. Styles include: names, dates, florals, quotes, etc. and can be printed with a foil or embossed with no ink (blind print). EMBOSSING FOR $100

album design

All heirloom albums include a hardcover-style backing, lay-flat design, and are wrapped in a material of your choosing. All linen options are included in your album's base price but can be upgraded to leather or suede.

album covers

regular 8"x8"               $600            

I offer 3 different album sizes. All albums include 10 spreads (20 pages), and each page can have 1-6 photos. Additional spreads can be added for $50/spread. (Please note, album spreads can only be up to 40 pages.)

album sizes

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heirloom albums

Photos weren't meant to be stored on your device. They are to be admired in your home – hung on your walls, placed on your coffee table, and displayed on a shelf. They are meant to share stories with your family and friends and bring warmth into your life. Your one-of-a-kind album will be perfectly crafted to showcase your photos with high-quality, anti-fade printing, bound with a lay-flat binding, and covered with high-end materials to safely protect your memories.

WHY INVEST?

Your first decision as an engaged couple is to set priorities for your wedding planning. You have to decide what you value most. Is it the dress? The food? The venue? As a bride AND photographer, I believe that couples should make their photography and/or videography a top priority. After the big day is over, you will leave your reception with a spouse & your pictures/videos.... and that’s it! All of that planning and preparation is over in a matter of hours!

If you’re choosing to invest in high quality photography, those images deserve a classy, elegant home after the wedding. I offer high end, leather bound Heirloom Albums for my wedding clients. The images are printed straight onto the pages and the covers are wrapped with top grain leather. This is the perfect ending to The Wedding Experience and it’s a keepsake that you will be showing your children and grandchildren one day!

THE BIGGIE 10"x10"        $800       

THE MEGA 12"x12"         $1000          

linen covers 

leather covers

Two Birds Media, LLC started a wedding planning group where couples can get the info they need to plan their wedding, and also book vendors. This group is focused more on building vendor relationships and offering information for couples planning weddings, but we will have a Feature Friday vendor spotlight as well with free advice and planning tips from our amazing vendor group! 

Here are some examples of the kind of information our vendors offer FOR FREE on Feature Friday: 

• when you should send save the dates vs invites
• which type of beer is most economical (keg vs. bottles) 
• how to plan catering for a variable guest list 
• tips for bridal makeup and skin care 
• ideas for incorporating your pets into your big day 
... and so much more! 

We have some of the MOST AMAZING vendors Michigan has to offer in our group. And if you aren’t planning a Michigan wedding- this group is still a fantastic resource! From pet care on your wedding day, to mobile bar services, catering, florals and more, our group offers real, actionable information and connections with vendors that can help you! Think of it like a wedding expo- but BETTER! 

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Michigan Wedding Planning & Information