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Blogging ,you guys, may be the hardest thing for me. I write and then delete and then do it again and again. It's honestly worse than me trying to take a selfie...which is also really awkward. So if I sound like a total fool just feel free to skip over to the photos because I'm confident you're going to love those. 



How expensive is planning a wedding? I bet it’s all adding up WAY quicker than you assumed AND everyone is constantly giving you one more thing you just HAVE to spend money on. After photographing over 100 weddings, I created a list of expenses that I’ve seen be totally overlooked on the wedding day and not appreciated for how much they cost. Hope you find it helpful!

tip #1 Skip the Boutonnieres

I can guarantee you that your groom and his groomsmen are not going to be sad about this one. Nine times out of ten, the boutonniere ends up ruined or looking less than healthy within an hour of putting it on. Save your funds. I will say though, corsages for the mother of the bride and groom are really a sweet gesture that they love!

tip #2 Skip the Wedding Favors

Most of the time people don’t even remember to take them home. Seriously do not worry about the wedding favors. You did them a favor by inviting them. (Kidding...kind of)

tip #3 Get Married on a Weekday or the Off-Season

Have a venue that you love but can’t afford? A lot of times this option gets you your venue without the higher price tag. Venues and vendors are often way more willing to work on price with you if you’re looking for an off season wedding. (Off season is going to depend where you’re at. For the United States, I would call January through March the off season for many places)

tip #4 Book Your Photographer For Less Hours

A few hours less of wedding photography coverage can save you thousands BUT I have a few caveats for this: 1) you’ll most likely have to choose to either not have prep and details photographed OR not have dancing coverage 2)have a well written out timeline without a lot of empty time

tip #5 Skip the Open Bar

I actually have multiple reasons I think an open bar is overrated. I’ve photographed so many weddings where there was an open bar and almost always there are those guests (read: groomsmen) that are WASTED. One wedding, we lost one of the groomsmen during the reception and found him passed out on a random couch in the bridal suite. Open bars get expensive and fast. Let people pay for their own drinks if they want a bunch of them.

tip #6 Get a Smaller Cake and Supplement with Sheet Cake

So many times I’ve seen these beautiful, huge wedding cakes that cost thousands of dollars and not even one tier gets actually eaten. Get the pretty design on a smaller scale and then have sheet cakes that are served to guests. No one will know.

tip #7 Have a Smaller Wedding Party

Just think. If you cut your wedding party in half that’s half the bouquets you need to pay for. Half the people who need hair and makeup. Half the bridesmaid gifts you need to prepare. My sweet spot for wedding party numbers are 4 on each side!

tip #8 Get Your Dress Used

There are so many wonderful consignment shops where you can find beautiful dresses in like new condition. Let’s be honest, you only wear the dress once so if you can find one used but in great condition that you love, why not save a few thousand dollars?

tip #9 Trim The Guest List

I’ve said it so many times and I’ll say it again. Don’t be pressured into adding to your guest list. Invite the people who you want there, not the ones you feel pressured to invite. So many times you end up with a guest list way longer than you wanted because your parents or grandparents feel the need to invite every one of their acquaintances. Stay strong! Just say no!

tip #10 Consider a Destination Wedding

I get lots of brides heading over here to New Mexico for their wedding because its WAY cheaper to get married here. Venues, vendors, travel accommodations, all of it. Often you can save tens of thousands of dollars by taking your wedding to another state.

information overload? I made this quick start guide for your 10 tips to easily refer back to!

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

We've heard the phrase it's all in the details, right? Well one of the best ways to not be stressed on your wedding day is to be prepared. You trust your vendors. You've expressed what pictures you want to make sure you get on your wedding day, you're good to go. Wait, what? You don't have a shot list for your photographer? No worries! Most seasoned wedding photographers are going to get you a great gallery but I'm all about being over prepared so just in case, make sure to get your wedding photographer (hopefully me **wink wink**) a shot list. I decided to share a free sample shot list with you below!

The shot list is great because it not only gives peace of mind to you, but also to your photographer. There's always something that doesn't go according to plan on a wedding day and *gasp* your photographer might be a little frazzled and forget a photo that you really regret not having. It's an honest mistake but one that could be avoided. Thus....shot list! Have I sold it yet? What? Need more convincing?

There are times when the schedule is running behind and you might think "whatever I'm fine without the shot. Let's skip it."This is the time for your wedding photographer to say "are you sure? this was on your shot list and we can make it happen!" When the day of comes, sometimes it's tempting in the whirlwind of the day to just get caught up in getting through it. As your wedding photographer, we're here to make sure you have all the shots you want after the wedding day haze has lifted!

Now you probably are thinking "I don't want to scare my photographer away seeming like a total bridezilla! But guess what? Your day. Let's not take any chances. In my opinion, if your wedding photographer is turned off by you being prepared, then maybe they aren't the wedding photographer you need. Too blunt? Oh well. This day is for you, not for them.

So instead of me dragging this blog post on forever when you just want the shot list, Let's get this to you! I'd love to hear what you think I'm missing, or items you think I didn't need in there. I hope that this is helpful while you are planning your wedding day and helps ensure that your wedding photographer and you are on the same page!

One last thing ! You'll notice that I don't have any romantic photo poses to the shot list. This was on purpose. Posing the two of you should be up to your photographer. They should be reading your vibe and posing you and your significant other accordingly. I'd recommend not sending more than one or two couples posing ideas to your photographer. They'll have you covered!


Download PDF • 118KB

P.S. All these photos are from a wedding I got to photograph for Alicia Lucia Photography. Check out her blog of this wedding here

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

Ninety percent of all my photography clients say the exact same thing right before their session starts. Any guesses?

It's always some sort of variation of this statement:

"I'm so awkward in photos...hopefully we can get a handful that I don't look terrible in"

Guess what? Unless you're a professional model (and who knows? maybe even then), pictures always ALWAYS feel awkward for at least part of your session.


It's because we are worrying so much about how we'll look in photos that we end up looking like a mix between constipated and really really hangry.


1. Choose an outfit that you feel REALLY good in. don't choose your photoshoot to be

the time that you step WAY out of your comfort box with. You should be choosing something that is indicative of who you are while also making you feel beautiful and comfortable. Clothing matters, people. It's amazing for your self esteem when you get in an outfit and feel really good in it. (**extra tip** video yourself in the outfit, move around, bend down, do all the things and see if you're still loving the outfit after that)

2. Practice facial expressions in the mirror or on your phone. Okay this one sounds like I'm asking you to channel your inner influencer or 15 year old getting ready to send the perfect snap chat to her secret boyfriend but stay with me here. Sometimes we feel like we're smiling, and then we see a picture of ourselves and think "ew why did I smile like I'm a total creeper asking kids if they want free candy while driving around in a windowless van?" Look in the mirror or in your phone and pay attention to which angles make you feel the best. Do you feel like you have a double chin when you laugh? Play around with what way you can turn to have that double chin less noticeable. Do you like your smile better with teeth or no teeth? Some people swear they honestly have a side of their face that's better than the other. I never see it but when my clients mention in...guess what I do? I pose them so that we get their "good side" because it's not about my opinion. It's about what makes YOU feel the prettiest and the most confident during your pictures.

3. Express your insecurities to your photographer before the shoot starts. Do you feel really self conscious in sitting pictures because you feel like those extra covid cupcakes are showing up in your tummy area? Tell your photographer. Are you self conscious about how tall you are compared to your significant other? Did you break out right before your session because preparing for pictures is SO stressful and now you have a giant pimple on your chin? TELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER. They can pose you in ways that complement the things you feel confident about and they can help you lessen the visibility of those things you feel self conscious about. Communication is key here guys.

4. Tell your photographer how you're feeling during your shoot. Okay this one is so important. I know a lot of you are peace keepers. The type that doesn't ask for a new plate of food when yours is overcooked because you don't want to rock the boat. But guess what? You are the client who paid for this shoot. So if you're feeling uncomfortable with a pose or you're just really not vibing with the photographer, express that as soon as it's happening during the shoot. If they pose you in a way that makes you feel awkward, tell them right then. I always preface with my clients to tell me no if they ever aren't digging a pose. And every time they tell me, I get SO happy. Yep. I'm a weirdo that LOVES when my client says "no thanks" to a pose or idea I have during a session. 1) because it means they feel comfortable enough to be honest with me and 2) I have no desire to waste time on a pose that you're going to hate anyway.

And if that was just WAY too much information to process, I made this little cheat sheet to help you remember the bullet points. Try it out and let me know how it goes in the comments below!

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