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Welcome to the blog!

Hi there, I am Cat and I am so thrilled you stopped by! I am a wedding and portrait photographer based in Valdosta, Georgia (soon to be Maryland!), where I live with my sweet husband and our crazy rescue pup, JJ.

I am a perpetual traveler, champagne-loving red lipstick-wearer with a passion for telling stories through images, food and travel.

I hope you enjoy  viewing my latest work and getting a little peek into my life. Make yourself at home!

                                      Cat

FINDING A WEDDING VENUE

 

You’ve picked the PERFECT date, the perfect fiance and just the right shade of pink for your wedding day, but one thing that can make or break your vision, is your venue! If you're dreaming of white marble staircases but plan to get married at a dark barn with grass everywhere, there's very little your photographer can do to change that. There are certain things you should also consider before you book your wedding venue, and it goes beyond just how it looks!

THE BRIDAL SUITE

 

The bridal suite is an important room for the day. I have seen extremely tight spaces that did not fit the full wedding party before, and the door only opened half-way because of a misplaced rug. ugh! That created a challenge for us photographers because we simply did not have enough room to move around, but also all of the bridesmaids were either always in the shot or had to move around to accommodate all of their belongings and dresses etc. You want your bridal room to be large enough for all of your bridal party, photographers and mom! The #1 culprit for photo bombing getting ready shots however, is all of the clutter that always finds it way into the bridal suite. Water bottles, food, purses, shoe boxes, you name it! Ensuring there is a designated "clean spot" (preferably by the window) or a bridal suite with plenty of room to store everything will ensure the perfect background for some indoor portraits.

 

What to look for:

  1. LIGHT! The best thing you can do it to find a bridal suite with at least one large window! That will allow your photographer to get portraits by that window.

  2. White or light walls, even if it's a hotel room and neutral decor, linens or walls

 SIZE AND NUMBER OF GUESTS

 

Whether you are tying the know indoors or outdoors, you want all of your guests to be seated, but both too large or too small of a room will make your wedding day be uncomfortable for some of the guests that could not find a seat during your ceremony or could give the appearance that half of the people invited didn't make it (too many empty chairs during your ceremony, for example). Your venue should have a limited # of guests that they can accommodate and some venues have multiple options for receptions. Whatever you choose, make sure there is enough room for what you have envisioned.

 

What to look for:

  1. If the venue is very large, consider how everyone will move about the property

  2. White or light walls and windows, windows are photographer's best friends.

  3. Is your wedding going to fit the space just right? Will you need more room?

 

 INDOOR & OUTDOOR

 

THE CEREMONY - One very specific aspect of your venue is going to determine your choices. Indoor venues are safe for inclement weather and will keep everyone warm or cool, depending on the season, but indoor portraits won't allow the same freedom to photographers as outdoors. Indoor ceremonies in dimly lit churches pose a challenge to all photographers, we need to make the dark church a beautiful bright and balanced image, but a lot of them won't allow us to us any flashes or lights when we photograph, some won't allow photographers to move at all, so ask questions before you book! 


Outdoor ceremonies can be beautiful, but most happen when the sun is high in the sky and that means harsh shadows (you know, half of your face is dark and the other half is super bright?) which is not the most flattering, so the best scenario here is to get married in the shade somewhere! Outdoor ceremonies also leave everyone exposed to the weather (hello Summer weddings) and being in a suit and under 5 layers of fabric on your wedding day, in the sun, at 3 pm is going to be HOT! That doesn't mean you can't do it, but make sure to keep your ceremony short and sweet and maybe provide a cooling station for your guests.

 

What to look for:

  1. Are there any rules that will not work with your idea? (strict churches or officiant?)

  2. Is most important to you to be inside or outside?

  3. Will you have many older people that will leave early, or friends who will stay and party all night long? Older people might be cold/hot more than others, so take them into consideration too.

 

Read: TIPS FOR STAYING COOL AT A SUMMER WEDDING 

 

 COLOR AND THEME

 

Just like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, if you want a castle but are having your wedding at a barn, you will need to adjust your expectations. Choosing your venue is not only one of the most expensive parts of the wedding, but it can also make or break the overall theme of your wedding and ultimately, how your photographs are going to turn out.

 

If you are planning a traditional and high-end affair, you might want to make sure your venue stacks up and gives your guests the feel that you want your party to have. Uplighting, intricate marble work, cathedral ceilings and beautiful floating staircases and columns will be best suited for your ceremony. If you're into a more casual or boho vibe, you should probably choose a venue like a farmhouse or somewhere full of nature around.

 

What to look for:

  1. Is the overall theme of the venue a good reflection of your vision? I'd never want taxidermy on the walls, but if that's your vibe, go for it!

  2. Is the space neutral enough to blend in with your own decor?

  3. How will this space photograph? Look for other blogs from past weddings held at the location to get an idea. Does it align with your ideal venue?

 THE RAIN PLAN

 

Nobody wishes for rain on their wedding day. The wet feet, the mud speckles and the fight to get in a car with umbrellas is just too clumsy! But unfortunately, one thing we can’t control is the weather, and the BEST thing you can do for rain on your wedding day is to HAVE A PLAN (or a few)! 

 

Some of the things to look for are:

  1. Does the venue have additional room to accommodate everything indoors as well as outdoors?

  2. Are there porches, covered areas or canopies for portraits if inclement weather happens? (like the picture above, during a tornado watch!)

  3. How will moving from point A to point B be affected by rain/snow/ wind in this location?

Read: PREPARING FOR RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING

 THE SMALL DETAILS

 

Sometimes we underestimate some of the logistics, like traffic and parking! Does your venue pose a difficulty for your guests? Is it accessible? 

Is there a place for the guys to get ready in? a Designated cocktail hour spot? If so, that means your reception decor can be ready early.

 

What to look for:

  1. Distance from guests or ceremony location

  2. Parking availability and cost

  3. Rules for any vendors, will they impact your wedding day?

  4. Heating or cooling

  5. Kitchen - is there a designated place for caterers?

  6. Are outside foods/drinks allowed? Some venues require that you cater through them only.

 

Happy planning!

 

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