Rachel + Tim, an Elena Gallegos engagement session

You have to love people who are willing to go tromp around in the snow and cold for engagement photos. A little trip into the foothills to play in the snow is a fun way to spend an afternoon. We didn’t even notice that our hands and feet were cold. ūüėČ Well…I have big Montana style snow boots, so my feet definitely weren’t cold, but I made sure they didn’t get too cold either. Rachel brought a blanket that ended up being perfect.

We are so lucky here in Albuquerque to have as many beautiful places as we do. And so close. If you haven’t ever gone on a hike in the foothills, it’s time to get out there and wander a bit. There are several trails out there and at least one goes up the mountain.

They are so playful and fun together and the way they look at each other when it’s quiet is beautiful. Here are the photos from the session.

Albuquerque wedding photographer - Engagement session at Elena Gallegos
Albuquerque wedding photographer - Engagement session at Elena Gallegos
Albuquerque wedding photographer - Engagement session at Elena Gallegos
Albuquerque wedding photographer - Engagement session at Elena Gallegos

25 Tips for writing your own wedding timeline

In my last post I stressed how important it is to have a great timeline for your wedding to run smoothly. And I said I would help you figure out how to write one.

So here I am doing that. One really easy way to get help with that is to hire a wedding planner. The End. I’m kidding. (Seriously, planners are super awesome though.)

If you’re the DIY type, here are some things to think about:

  • Use a timeline planning tool.
  • You can use examples from online to help, but make your own timeline. Your wedding is yours and you may need more or less time for things than examples from other weddings.
  • If you have friends and/or family who got married recently, ask them if they have any advice for your schedule.
  • Delegate. Make sure the people who are setting up know that’s their task and they know what to do, when to do it, and where things go.
  • Communicate with your vendors. Ask them how much time things take. They can help you estimate time for parts of the day.
  • Think about how much time you have contracted with your vendors and when they will arrive and leave.
  • How many people are going through hair and makeup?¬†
  • Are you¬†getting¬†ready in the same place as the ceremony?
  • Plan 10-15 minutes of seating and shuffling between the ceremony time on the invite and the actual start of the ceremony.
  • How long do you want your ceremony to be? Do you have readings or singers or other special ceremony items to include?
  • Is the¬†ceremony¬†in¬†the¬†same¬†place as the reception?
  • Don’t forget to include travel time between locations.
  • How much family will be in family portraits?¬†
  • Will you do a first look?
  • Include 15-30 minutes of alone time for you and your love to be alone and take it all in together. Either after a first look and before the ceremony or just after¬†the¬†ceremony when you can sneak away.¬†
  • When are things being set up and delivered? Who are the points of contact for vendors? Who is setting up?
  • Make sure your guests are entertained and taken care of while they wait for your entrance at the reception, especially if you’re planning extra time for portraits.¬†
  • People like to eat and they get cranky when it’s supposed to happen at a certain time and it doesn’t. ūüėȬ†
  • Make a schedule for toasts, dances, cake, garter and bouquet and anything else you’re doing at your reception.
  • How many toasts do you think you’ll have?
  • Will you do a lot of special dances?
  • When does the party end?¬†
  • Is there a send-off?
  • Is there an after-party?
  • Who’s on clean-up? Very important. Hopefully not you. Get someone¬†else¬†to clean up. It’s your wedding day.

Some extra advice:
A lot of these things take longer than you think. Estimate a time and pad it a little. 
Take that little slice of alone time. For real. 
The most important thing … things may run late or go wrong. Remember you’re there to celebrate your love and to have fun.

Have a question about weddings that you think I can answer in a blog post? Send me a question!

 

9 reasons your wedding needs a timeline

Well, in my last post, I said your wedding needs a timeline and the reasons could write another blog. So here we are.

What is a timeline, anyway? Sometimes as professionals we use terms every day and maybe as a potential client you don’t even know what we mean. A timeline is a schedule of what’s going to happen on the day of your wedding.

It seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve been at weddings where there wasn’t any sort of schedule. If you’re a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person, it can work. Even if you are super adaptable, your vendors and guests appreciate a schedule too.

In no particular order, here’s a bunch of reasons to have a timeline:

  • It’s helpful to have a realistic estimate of how long things will take. Estimate how long you think it will take and then add more time. It will take longer than you think.
  • You’ll have time for things you wanted on the day of because you had a schedule. If you don’t have a schedule, then you’ll end up having to skip things you wanted on the day of because there’s no time left after everything takes longer than you thought.
  • You’ll be able to enjoy your wedding more because fewer people will be asking you what should happen next.
  • Vendors will know what to expect and where to be at what time.
  • Your ceremony will be more likely to happen on schedule.
  • Vendor mix-ups will be less likely. If you only scheduled your photographer for 6 hours, and they’re leaving but you haven’t cut your cake yet, a schedule would have helped you see that you needed more hours ahead of time.
  • You’ll know how much time you have for portraits
  • Your guests will appreciate being taken care of and knowing what’s going on. They’re super happy if you’ve sent them on to cocktail hour while you have photos. People like appetizers and drinks.
  • And finally, a wedding is an event. Events need a plan to keep them on track.

“Ok! I need a timeline! How do I do that? Help me!”

I got you. I’ll write about that next.

Have a question about weddings that you think I can answer in a blog post? Send me a question!

Victorian Mansion wedding – Michelle + Scott – Albuquerque Wedding Photographer

It’s about time I get some weddings on the blog, don’t you think? I re-did the whole website and blog when we moved. I’ve decided to make collages of full wedding days. So here we go…

Sometimes you meet a couple and they are just so adorable together. When we met for a beer to talk about their wedding they were so sweet to each other. You can tell when they look at each other that there’s so much love, but they’re also best friends. I knew their wedding was going to be so good, you guys.

Their wedding was at Gibson Mansion in Missoula, MT, which is a gorgeous victorian mansion and I was beyond excited to photograph a wedding there finally. I had been by it so many times and I was dying to get in there.

Michelle and Scott are so obviously loved by wonderful, fun, and hilarious friends and family. They had a snow cone machine, outdoor summer games, and lots of costume props and games for kids. It was a perfect summer day and it felt like we stepped back in time with the backdrop of the big victorian garden and gazebo.

I think I loved their wedding day as much as they did. They are surrounded by love and happiness and it was awesome to be a part of it. I know they will continue to be so happy and loved.

We’re moving back to Albuquerque, NM!

Well, Corrales, really.

If you know me, you know that I went to college here in Missoula and I met my awesome husband here. He’s from Montana and he went to high school here in Missoula. In 2003, we moved to Albuquerque together. We went to grad school, made a bunch of friends, got married, and had both of our boys there. We were there for nearly 12 years. We made it our home.

We love Albuquerque. So much. But my husband missed his family too. We always kind of talked about coming back to Montana to be closer to his mom. Then, in 2014, I don’t know why, but I felt like it was more urgent…we needed to come back. Sometimes I just feel things and know to trust it. So we came back to Montana and not long after, we found out his mom was sick. We were here, and the boys got to be with their grandma for a while. Both grandma and her mom have passed since we came back. We are so grateful we were here to be with them. And we have loved being with our other family here too.

We needed to be here and now we need to go home. We love our family and friends here so much and Montana is a wonderful place. We will visit and we’ll love Montana forever. But the desert calls us back…we made a life and home for ourselves in NM and we miss it so much.

So a while ago I said that I didn’t renew my studio lease here and that I had an announcement. We’re moving back to NM!!! Yaaaayyyyy!

We will be in Missoula until about the middle of June. If you’ve been wanting to schedule a session, I will be available for limited sessions until we leave. We’re also packing, wrapping things up, and selling our house here and closing on the new one in Corrales…

I will be back for a couple of weddings in 2019. I do love travel and Montana. So if you wanted me to photograph your wedding and you’re super sad I’m leaving, send me a message and we can chat about that.

We bought a bit of a fixer-upper under asking price. It needs work, but we see what it can be. There is a studio space attached and I will keep you updated on the progress. It will be a combined art and photography space, because I’m going to be doing some different things there, which I’ll tell you about in a different post. Look at the awesomeness of this place though! I’m so excited!

To schedule a session here in Missoula until June, in Albuquerque/Corrales/Rio Rancho/Santa Fe starting in July, or to chat about your wedding in any of those locations or anywhere in between, send me a message here: contact me