Planning a Wedding - Where to Start?

You just got engaged and everything is super exciting! You’re telling your family and friends, posting pictures, everyone is so happy. But then it comes the time to think about the big day and everything seems overwhelming.

Most people feel this way. Here are 4 SIMPLE TIPS to give you a good head start on this whole process:

  • Priorities First, Budget Second

Set your priorities. Sit down with your fiancé and write them down. What matters the most to you? Do you have a Venue of your dreams? Or a dress that you’ve always wanted to wear? Everything will cost money, but once you prioritize you can find a budget and still have the wedding of your dreams.

  • Wedding Date

Find your ideal date and have a plan B, C and D. Being flexible with your date will make it easier to book the Vendors you want. If there is a specific photographer you want and they’re already booked for your date, having a few more options will make your life easier. Also, getting married any other day that’s not Saturday is less stressful. We got married on a Tuesday, only had 3 months to plan our wedding, and had no problems booking any of the vendors we wanted.

  • Rough Timeline

95% of the Vendors you’ll meet will ask you if you have a timeline of your Wedding yet. So, build a rough one right away. Things will change through the course of planning, but knowing more or less what you want your day to look like will help you and your vendors tremendously. Think about certain things you wanna have for sure, like the bouquet toss, first dance, toasts, etc. If you have no idea what order they should happen, photographers and videographers are really good to help when it comes to that, ask them.

  • Number of Guests

This is also something you’ll get asked frequently while talking to vendors. This might affect the price of some of the things you have to book, like the Wedding Venue and Catering. So having a headcount is useful right away! And let’s be honest, most people know who they want at their wedding even before they get engaged.

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Wedding planning can be fun, seriously. Just remind yourself it’s your day and you get to spend it how you want to, not how other people think it should be.

Rainy Engagement Session - Rio de Janeiro

So apparently Stephan and I brought the rain to Rio de Janeiro this past August. Winter is usually the dry season but this year it was different, the first week and a half we were there it rained pretty much every day. It honestly felt so nice to be a little cold, I can’t say we were sad to leave Fresno in August...

Iconic View - taken from my phone

Iconic View - taken from my phone

Parque Lage was a place that’s been on our list to shoot at for a while, and we were really glad Isabela and Erick got on board with it for their engagement session! This sight in Rio is a public park, located by the Botanical Gardens, and it was originally a mansion owned by Enrique Lage, back in 1859. It has one of the most iconic views of Christ The Redeemer and if you find yourself in the wonderful city of Rio, you can’t miss it. It’s free admission and I recommend getting there as soon as the park opens, at 8 am, since it gets crowded quickly.

Definitely take a picture of the famous view once you get there, but it’s also just so nice to take your time, walk around and enjoy all the green surrounding you. The rain gave us a little break, but these two got engaged recently so they made it pretty easy to ignore the rain while we walked around and captured their love!

If you’re a photographer you’ll love shooting there! So many photo options but, like most good places, it’s better to go on a weekday and as it opens to avoid the crowd!

I’m working on a few more blog posts from this trip and on a Rio de Janeiro Guide as well, but for now enjoy these pictures from this sweet engagement session.

Trevor & Layne – Yosemite Marriage Proposal


This was the first proposal I’ve ever shot, and it was not planned at all! We were taking our friends from the Disney On Ice show that was in town around Yosemite, and shooting photos all day long. It was eitgh of us, four couples, so it kind turned into a couples portrait mini workshop as we explored the main sights of the park!

We were taking a coffee break when my friend Jacob, who is also a photographer, got a message from his buddy asking if he had his camera with him at the park. I mean, what a question right? Turned out he was driving from Fresno and was going to propose to his girlfriend! He wanted to know if we could take some pictures of the moment and wanted help picking a good spot in the Valley that was beautiful and not so crowded, since he had never been there before.

Jacob and I obviously said yes to the picture taking and I suggested Valley View, one of my favorite spots at the park! The four of us drove there and met them and Layne had absolutely no idea. She looked at us and said “oh hey guys, funny meeting you here!” Yeah, sure, such a coincidence... they started walking to a quieter area and Jacob and I followed them trying to be discret (it wasn’t easy). Jacob’s girlfriend and my wife stayed behind and watched from far away, as they were too excited and said they would probably ruin the moment!

Trevor gave us a thumbs up from his back and went down on his knees. Layne’s face was priceless and she said yes! After Layne’s hands stopped shaking we took some pictures of them at Valley View and then drove to Swinging Bridge for more photos. They were so genuinely happy that it was impossible to take a bad picture! Without planning too much, Trevor and Layne had not one, but two professional photographers capturing such an important moment of their lives at Yosemite National Park, one of my favorite places in the world, and now probably theirs too. It was such an amazing end to a day that was already great.