Deciding what to wear to your engagement session can be a bit overwhelming, but it shouldn’t have to be. If your photographer allows it and there is enough time for a change of clothes, I would suggest:
1. A casual and formal outfit.
2. Whatever makes you feel comfortable.
3. Don’t worry about matching too much.
4. Consider the weather conditions.
5. And don’t forget those nails. More than likely, your photographer will be getting a close up of your ring, and most definitely your nails will be captured.
6. Consider testing your hair and makeup that day as well.
7. Most importantly, have fun and be in love!



I had a crib sitting on my bedroom floor with two legs on it. One was on the wrong way. Not to mention one of the rails was screwed on backwards. That was part of my Thursday evening.
I spent most of Thursday worrying about getting the right furniture for Benjamin, ultimately, I still don’t feel convinced. See I have issues. When I purchase a piece of furniture, I need to feel some type of connection. I mean, I am going to have to stare at it daily.
Our bedroom is slowly transforming to include every part of our family, including Frankie.



If you are opting out of a first look, taking a group photo of the extended family (parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, godparents) immediately following the wedding ceremony is ideal. I read this in a photographer’s blog once and have used it ever since.
1. Have a representative on each side (bride’s side and groom’s side) inform all family members to stay in their seats after the ceremony. They will ensure we keep things on time.
2. Communication! Let everyone (parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, godparents) know what you expect in advance. The more instruction you give the better. In advance, inform those you want in your formal family photos that they are to stay seated after the ceremony.
3. Organization. I’ve felt this has worked best for me. I start with the biggest group, then peel people off in layers. To avoid taking time from your bride and groom photos and of course, cocktail hour, this example is the quickest and most efficient.
Bride’s side – large group photo (this is everyone: parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, godparents)
Bride’s side – parents, step parents, grandparents, siblings
Bride’s side – parents, grandparents, siblings
Bride’s side – parents, siblings
Bride’s side – parents
Bride’s side – single photo with mom, single photo with dad
Bride’s side – siblings
This same process is repeated on the groom’s side.
4. Any other variation of photos can be taken during the reception since your photographer will follow you throughout the night. Plus, since you still have to take your bride and groom photos, you don’t want your family photos to cut into your valuable sunlight for those portraits.




If you decide that a first look is not for you, I would recommend dedicating at least 30 minutes of bride and groom photos after the ceremony. Typically, after the family formals this will work. I would highly recommend assigning someone to communicate to guest that only immediate family and the bridal party are to stay after the ceremony. Otherwise, you will have an endless line of guest waiting for photos that will take up some time away from your bride and groom photos.

On this day, the bride and groom decided to wait until after the ceremony to take photos. We quickly ran through the family formals. Afterwards, we took the bride and groom to a location away from guest, details, and things that might have distracted their attention from the gravity of the moment, while the guest enjoyed cocktail hour. Just he and his bride ready to commit to each other.



It’s a special day, and your first day as husband and wife and photos serve as great heirlooms for this day.

Photos taken as second photographer for 4 Keeps Photography


My days have been consumed by my daily routines, like appointments, stretches, talks about insurance, and stocks. At first, I was annoyed about the choices I have to make, like eat healthy, eat one-hundred grams of protein a day, stay away from sugar, stay away from white flour, and workout. I told my husband life should be fun. He laughed and said that will be in my book. I finally am able to see the brighter side of it. At the end of the day, I’m glad I said no to that ice cream from Chick Fila, the pan dulce from Arandas, or the Mexican candy sitting on my counter.

I said yes to Blue Bell vanilla and berries!


For our wedding day, we opted for a first look. For us, it was very important we dedicated enough time for our bridal and groom portraits. This all happened right before we met with our families at the venue for more family portraits. It also happened while we still had natural light available and while my makeup was still fresh.

Some advantages to having a first look.

1. If you are nervous about walking down the aisle, meeting each other before the ceremony helps you relax.

2. If you are worried about ruining your make-up, this is also a great reason to get those bride and groom photos before you start crying. When my husband and I shared our vows, I couldn’t hold my tears back.

Here’s a photo of us during our first look by 4 Keeps Photography.



How much is time is enough time for wedding prep photos?

If you have two photographers, forty minutes before the bride gets into her dress is ideal. That gives your photographer some time to capture your details, like the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, etc, while the second photographer is taking candid shots of the groom and his groomsmen. The timing also allows for the bride to be halfway done through her makeup and hair for some getting ready photographs as well.

Some things to consider:

1. Communicate with your photographer if you will not be getting ready at the venue

2. And if your groom will be getting ready at a separate location as well

3. Lots of natural light makes for flawless getting ready photos, so if you have windows, let that sun shine in!

4. If you dare to push the limits, get your bridesmaids outdoors and finish getting dressed in the beautiful landscape, especially if you have a dark, tungsten lit room.

5. Make sure the room you are getting ready in is clutter free. This helps save time from moving items around