Wedding Resources

35 Ideas to Make Your Wedding Day Unique | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Customize your day, make it fun! Here are some ideas to make your wedding day unique!


1. Pay homage to the important details of your relationship… state you met, restaurant from your first date, favorite activity to do together etc by decorating your reception or cocktail hour space with details of these places.

2. Avoid some of the pre-ceremony jitters by getting ready together. Laugh and spend the morning with your love, then help each other get dressed. More fun, less stress.

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3. Go paperless! Send out electronic invites or use embroidered hankies or cloth for napkins, menus and invites.

4. Choose a colorful dress and have your bridesmaids wear white.

5. Select mixed gender bridal parties. Man of Honor and Groomsmaid have a nice ring to them!

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6. Opt for a non-traditional bouquet. Feather, greens, pine cones and dried flowers are all beautiful and unique. See some ideas for epic and non-traditional bouquets HERE.

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7. Instead of the traditional unity ceremony with sand or candles build or buy a clock and start the time on it during your ceremony. This idea is different and you can display the clock in your home.

8. Don’t let mom feel left out! Have both your parents walk you down the aisle. You can also have someone very special like Grandma or your bestie do this!

9. Skip the bridal party introductions and go right to dinner! This gives you more time with your guests and everyone is ready to eat by then anyway.

10. Instead of a head table for the wedding party, set up round or square tables in the middle of your guests. Head tables put the wedding party on display while they eat!

11. Decorate your tables with small custom items rather than large floral arrangements. Tall vases block views of the other side of the table and limit conversation between table mates.

12. Instead of having everyone line up for posed family photos, schedule 20 or so minutes to socialize with them. Laugh, tell stories, hug, pray… and have your photographer capture these interactions without the pressure of posed photos.

13. During cocktail hour support local businesses and show off your city by setting up tasting stations with local cuisine. Seafood if you live near the water, appetizers with fresh veggies if you live in farm country etc.

14. Toss out the idea of doing a garter and bouquet toss and replace them with a fun game that includes all your guests, instead of just the single ones.

15. Who says the flower girl has to be a young girl? Anyone can be a flower girl, so designate your granny, bestie or even your college roomie!

16. Set up a confetti bar and let your guests custom make little bags of confetti to throw. Dried or fresh flowers, flower petals, herbs, leaves, leaf confetti are just some ideas of what to include. Think biodegradable for easy cleanup!

17. Guest books usually end up in a box in storage, never to be seen again. Instead of a traditional book choose a more useful item like a wall hanging, picture or wooden puzzle to be signed.

18. Instead of offering your guests small trinkets for coming to your wedding, make a donation to your favorite charity in their name.

19. Create a scavenger hunt of items that can be found at the wedding. This allows your guests to interact more on your big day and have some fun!

20. Send a map and a list of “must do’s” for your city to your guests that are coming from out of town. This extra step will make your guests feel welcome and help them see your city.

21. Custom wine bottle labels are a great way to add a unique touch to your big day and the bottles can be saved as souvenirs by guests.

22. Have your best friends or parents create a trivia quiz about you two. This can be light and fun and get guests laughing.

23. Create a circular ceremony location with curved rows of chairs that go nearly all around except for a path to get to and from the center.. This way guests can view the ceremony better and you will be surrounded by your loved ones, literally. LOL.

24. Instead of a traditional cake or cupcakes, have a ice cream or sno-cone bar for guests to indulge in.

25. Another idea for dessert is to have a “family recipes” theme and serve desserts that are important and familiar to you. Display the story and importance of each dish and set out copies of the recipes for your guests.

26. Write a sweet message to groom on the bottom of his dress shoe. This will be a cute little surprise for him when he is getting ready!

27. Skip the buffet and go for a family style meal. It’s more personable an intimate.

28. Stack piles of cheese, olives, crackers, jam and other finger foods on large wood slabs as a unique way to display your hors d'oeuvres rather than on separate plates.

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29. Instead of tossing your bouquet to a crowd of single women call on one woman that has made a positive impact on your life and celebrate her with a few words and giving her your bouquet.

30. Serve featured cocktails! Each of you can choose your favorite drink and those will be featured as the special cocktails of the night.

31. Make each of your guests feel special with a DIY flower bar. Provide flowers, pins, ribbons and basic instructions to make corsages and boutonniere and let your guests make their own custom pieces to wear.

32 Set up a table full of items to entertain your smallest of guests. Games, puzzles, bubbles, coloring sheets and kid-friendly snacks are all ideas you can stock your kids table with.

33. People love options! A fully stocked champagne, bloody mary or sangria bar can be an amazing and fun addition to your wedding! For champagne you can include berries, flavored syrups and cotton candy. For bloody mary’s stock it with olives, celery, A1, shrimp, pickled beans and hot sauce. For sangria you can have cut fruit such as apples, oranges or limes.

34. Surprise your guests with and end of night food truck. Offer a few of your favorite foods to fill their belly’s and soak up any of the… uh..um, … liquid … sloshing around in their stomachs.

35. On a smaller scale, as the night is winding down offer a ‘midnight snack’ to your guests. Cookies and milk or hot cocoa are great ideas!

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XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Wedding Traditions: Take them or leave them? | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Most wedding traditions date back to different eras and honestly, most people don’t know how or why they started. As times have changed and we as people have evolved many of these traditions have hung around and are greatly outdated. Whether you are a traditional person or not I encourage you to explore your options. Research the history behind wedding traditions and make your decisions based on that and what is best for you and your fiance NOT solely because it’s tradition. Some traditions are important and some are outdated, be bold and creative and maybe you’ll be the one to start the next epic wedding tradition. I think we are quite due for some fresh ones!

White dress - White wedding dresses became a thing in 1840 when Queen Victoria chose an ivory dress for her wedding day. Since then white wedding dresses have become tradition and are chosen for the majority of weddings. White also symbolizes purity and innocence which for many decades was expected from brides.

  • Alternative Idea: Colorful dresses - Who says you can’t get married in red? Queen Victoria? White wedding dresses are beautiful but for those who love to push the envelope and don’t see the need for archaic traditions then find a dress that suits YOUR style and not Queen Victoria’s.

Veil covering bride’s face - There are several reasons why brides started wearing a veil to cover their faces while walking down the aisle. The first is as a sign of ownership. The father was to lower the veil over her face and the new husband would lift it when the bride became “his.” The other origin to this tradition was to keep the brides face covered until after the nuptials so that the groom couldn’t change his mind if he found her unattractive.

  • Alternative Idea: No veil! Opt for flowers in your hair, a cool head piece or a tiara, ‘cause why the heck not! It’s your day, be a princess.

Diamond Ring - According to the American Gem Society diamond rings date back to Roman times when wives wore rings attached to small keys that showed ownership by their husbands.

  • Alternative Idea: Choose a colored gem instead of a diamond. How about your birthstone? Or your favorite color? My personal favorite is moonstone, I’ve worn a moonstone pendant for over a decade! I keep telling my husband I want to sell my diamond ring and get a non-traditional one cause I love this idea so much!

Large wedding party - Large wedding parties can be fun, but being in a wedding party can also put a financial burden on your closest friends. Some may even be nervous or embarrassed about walking or standing up in front of large crowds. Many times brides and grooms end up with large wedding parties because they have so many close friends and don’t want to hurt feelings by not including them. This can quickly get out of hand and end in HUGE wedding parties. Do you feel like you are in this situation?? See solution below!

  • Alternative Idea: Designate your set of closest friends and involve them in planning, getting ready, bachelor/ bachelorette party etc just like you normally would but instead of having them buy dresses and suits they’ll never wear again have them dress how they like and sit comfortably in rows close to the alter. You closest friends are still involved and there to support you sans the pressure of purchasing unnecessary items and standing up in front of a crowd. Personally I love this idea! I photographed a few weddings this past year that chose this route and it was low-key and fun. One couple called this set of friends their “dudes” which I thought was great!

First Look at the ceremony - Traditionally, a groom gets to see his bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle to marry him. The idea of your groom welling up with emotion when he sees you is definitely appealing but lets visit how this tradition started. Many years ago when marriages were still commonly arranged the groom wasn’t allowed to see the bride before she walked down the aisle in fear that he would find her unattractive and back out of the marriage.

  • Alternative Idea: Do a first look! A first look happens before the ceremony. You and your love are all dressed up and ready to get married. Yet before you go walking down the aisle you get to see each other for the first time in a private little setting. We will arrange a quiet area for you to turn and see each other for the first time and capture those first emotional moments. Then we sneak away and give you a moment to breathe and just be together. BONUS: If you do a first look we can do most if not all of your posed family / wedding party portraits before the ceremony, leaving more time to spend with your guests!

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  • Alternative Idea: Forego the first look and get ready together! This leads to a more relaxed and fun morning and you get to spend every minute of your special day with your love. This is a growing trend the last few years and I’m digging it!

Newlyweds showered with rice - Rice is said to symbolize rain which is supposed to bring prosperity, fertility and good fortune…. but it’s also bad for birds. Below are a few ideas to symbolize good fortune in a bit more earth friendly way…. of course if you are getting married in Washington it’s likely to rain on your wedding day anyway, and nothing beats the real deal! HAHA.

  • Alternative Idea: Toss Bar - Set up a fun little table and let your guest create their own bags of items to throw. Eco friendly confetti, leaves, flower petals, flowers and herbs are just some ideas to add to your toss bar.

  • Alternate Idea: Leaf confetti, it’s just what it sounds! Use a hole punch to make confetti out of leaves. It’s biodegradable!

Bouquet Toss - The tradition to toss the bouquet and garter started when the bride and groom were trying to leave to go to the bridal chambers. They would toss them and it would distract the crowd enough for them to leave. This evolved into whoever caught them was supposed to be the next to be married.

  • Alternative Idea: Skip ditching your guests who some have flown across the country to see you and hang out!! People get married on their own terms today not to mention some guests may find it awkward to stand up declaring their singleness in front of the entire wedding.

Taking the husband’s name - This one began in medieval England when women were said to “become one” with their husbands upon marriage. This is another tradition that started when wives were considered property of their husbands.

  • Alternative Idea: Keep your name….. why not, it’s 2019. If you own your own business or are well established under your maiden name, there is no reason to switch your name.

  • Alternative Idea: For those anti-traditioners (I’m pretty sure I just made that word up) why not take the bride’s last name??? Never thought of it?? Hey, it’s an option.

  • Alternative Idea: Hyphenate! If you both want to keep your names but want the same last name then why not hyphenate them. I have some friends that are now the Scibelli-Jones family and before them I hadn’t considered this but I love the idea.

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XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Adventure Portrait Sessions: What They Are and Why You NEED One! | Olympia Wedding Photographer

What is an adventure portrait Session?

An adventure portrait session is a great way to capture images of you and your babe while exploring the great Pacific Northwest. An adventure session throws traditional portrait locations to the wind in exchange for ones that are a bit more wild, natural and epic. They tend to be way more fun… and maybe a bit muddier!

Who is an adventure portrait session for?

Nature lovers, free-spirits and the adventurous at heart. If a bit of a drive or a hike doesn’t scare you then an adventure portrait session is for you! While adventure session are perfect for lovers and elopements, they are also great for senior sessions, bridal sessions and boudoir. So hike up your skirt and let’s go!

How much does an adventure session cost?

Price depends on the location you select as well as time needed for the adventure, see pricing HERE.

Things to consider when planning an adventure portrait session.

  • Time - How long will it take to drive to your desired location? If there is a hike, how long will it take?

  • Location - What sort of background appeals to you? Woods, mountains, water? All of them?? Maybe there is a place that has special memories for you?

  • When to schedule - This depends on your location…. places like Mt. Rainier close when there is snow but others like Gold Creek Pond are amazing in the winter! Also consider fall as a great time to book due to the auburn foliage, it’s pretty magical! Winter session can be foggy, snowy and majestic but there is a higher chance of rain…be prepared to shoot in the rain or reschedule.

  • Clothing - Select two or three outfits that don’t clash with the scenery. After all the view is why we are there! Think simple patterns, solid colors and fun hats. Bring or wear sensible shoes. Bring towels and a change of clothes in case you get wet.

  • Props - Best to keep it basic out in the wilderness but a cute little picnic, a bottle of champagne or a cozy blanket can all be great additions to your session.

  • Snacks- Exploring is hard work and we may build up an appetite! Bring plenty of food and water for our adventure.

Where are some great locations to do an adventure portrait session?

The possibilities are endless!

Below are just a few localish locations for an adventure portrait session. If you have another idea I'd love to go explore with you! I'm open to non-local adventure too, message me and let's start exploring!

Ask about session discounts on my bucket list/favorite locations!

  • Ruby Beach

  • Rattlesnake Ledge

  • Cannon Beach

  • Leavenworth

Mt. Rainier

See more of Mt. Rainier


Lake Cushman

See More Lake Cushman


Rattlesnake Lake

See more of Rattlesnake Lake


Franklin Falls

See more of Franklin Falls


Gold Creek Pond


Deception Pass

See more of Deception Pass


Cannon Beach

See more of Cannon Beach


Manchester State Park


See more of Manchester State Park

Vantage

See more of Vantage, WA

Group Senior Shoot

For portrait location ideas closer to Olympia check out 10 Great Portrait Locations Near Olympia

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

South Sound Wedding Resource Guide - Preferred Vendor List

As a Pacific Northwest Wedding Photographer I get to work with wedding vendors from all over the sound sound. I enjoy meeting all these people and watching them unite and use their skills to make wedding day's come together in the most special and amazing ways. Below are some of the vendors that I have had the pleasure of getting to know during weddings that I've photographed, each did an exceptional job or had something amazing to offer. Please keep in mind that many of the below vendors are wiling to travel..the others may be worth the drive!

There are many other wonderful wedding vendors in the area and I recommend choosing ones that match your style, budget and location. If you do not see one that works for you below but would still like help find vendors please feel free to contact me and I will gladly help you find vendors to meet your needs.

A big part of who I am, and my business principals, is supporting small businesses. If this is important to you as well please let me know and I can assist you in finding small but amazing vendors!


Cake

Scarlet Nantes

Seattle/Kirkland, WA - Creative and delicious, a treat for both the eyes and taste buds. Scarlet Nantes specializes in Cake, Macron's and Meringue that will compell you to sneak back in line for seconds and thirds.

Beautiful cake by Sugar Rush Cupcakes

Sugar Rush Cupcakes

  • Tacoma, WA - Delightfully tasty! I was impressed with the unique flavors and their cakes and cupcakes are beautifully decorated! YUM!

Wagner's Bakery

  • Olympia, WA - I'm hungry just typing about Wagner's Bakery..... I love them! My wedding cake came from here. They are a bit spendy but worth the extra dough...get it....ha. Ok, fine - back to my review :) Wagner's not only makes spectacular, and delicious wedding cakes but also a variety of other desserts to impress your guests. Get a yummy wedding cake AND think outside the (wedding cake) box and stock your dessert table with a variety of top notch desserts.

Delicately Sweet Confections

  • Seattle, WA - Super beautiful, elegant and uniquely styled cakes but BEWARE they taste just as good as they look, which I didn't think was possible!


Catering

RibEye Ramblin Jacks

  • Napavine, WA - Not only is the food amazing but the staff is even more amazing. One of the weddings at the venue started to leak during the wedding and water spilled into the reception area as guests were eating. Rambling Jacks staff, without blinking an eye went above and beyond their catering duties and cleaned up the mess. I was SO impressed with their dedication, service and pleasant attitudes.


Calligraphy

Custom handwritten invitations and Calligraphy by Ink + Sable

Custom handwritten invitations and Calligraphy by Ink + Sable

Ink + Sable

  • Seattle, WA - Add a custom touch to you invites, place cards, menus or thank you notes with some elegant calligraphy from Ink + Sable. See Invitations for more info.


Day of Coordinator/ Wedding Planner

My Perfect Wedding Assistant

  • Seattle, WA - Organized, prepared and relaxed, Mama Ernestine, Roz and their staff were ON TOP OF IT! Every detail was executed flawlessly and on time. To top it off they were very pleasant and excellent at interacting with the wedding party, guests and vendors. This team brings a professional yet fun touch to weddings and are an excellent choice for wedding planning and day of coordination. Be prepared to smile, laugh and have fun with these ladies!


DJ

DJ Pooji

  • Olympia, WA - Pooji is a very experienced wedding DJ and has a fun and lively style. Hate the silence when music cuts out in between songs? Me too! Don't need to worry about that happening with DJ Pooji, he is on top of it and so easy to work with. A five star rating is well earned by DJ Pooji!


Decorations/Gifts (Custom)

Lee Six Laser & Design

  • Olympia, WA - Lee Six Laser & Design does custom engraving on a variety of gifts and decorations. They are innovative, creative and some of the sweetest people around. If you are looking for custom decorations for wedding or gift for your bridal party, fiance or family then CHECK THEM OUT!!

Ring box by Lee Six Laser & Design

Ring box by Lee Six Laser & Design

Skinfully Simple

Olympia, WA - Stock up on amazing and natural skin product for your bridesmaids gifts, wedding favors or Emergency Wedding Kit! Skinfully simple is ran by two local mama's and their products leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed. From sugar scrub to chapstick and more, check out their site for a full product listing.


Dresses

New Beginnings Bridal Studio

  • Puyallup, WA - New Beginning Bridal Salon boasts a variety of unique and STUNNING wedding dresses with a wide variety of sizes, styles and prices. Don't "Say yes to the dress" without stopping in here first!!

Adorned in Grace

  • Tacoma, WA - Adorned in Grace is such a unique vendor because they have a mission to end human trafficking. Find a beautiful dress and help a good cause. If you'd like to donate a dress email Chris at chris@adornedingrace.org.

Gorgeous wedding dress by New Beginnings Bridal Studio


Fireworks and Sparklers

Boomtown Fireworks, LLC

  • Seabeck, WA - Great vendor for all your 1.4 firecrackers and Sparklers. They are unable to ship.

Halo Fireworks

  • Seabeck, WA- If you want an amazing firework show at your event then check them out. Cory is the main "Pyro" and is an expert in putting on an amazing, and safe, firework display.


Flowers

A Moment in Time Floral Design

  • Yelm, WA - Heidi, of A Moment in Time Floral Design, is sweet and innovative. She is easy to work with and does not fail to deliver epic and creative wedding florals.

Elopement published in Bellissima Bridal Magazine Issue No. 30  Bouquet by A Moment in Time Floral Design, HMUA by Bethany Yackel Beauty

Elopement published in Bellissima Bridal Magazine Issue No. 30

Bouquet by A Moment in Time Floral Design, HMUA by Bethany Yackel Beauty

Blooma Flora

  • Yelm, WA - Blooma Flora is a small local business, which I love to support! On top of that they have an extraordinary eye when it comes to putting together floral arrangement. Check them out!.

Busara Flora

  • Bellevue, WA - Simply stunning! From classy to unique to big and bold Busara Flora with nail your dream bridal bouquet and take your breathe away.

Floral Noir

Bouquet and floral crown by Floral Noir

Bouquet and floral crown by Floral Noir

  • Redmond, WA- Shannon Hagen of Floral Noir is my go-to florist. Her bouquets are unique and stunning - she has a knack for putting together just the right colors and textures to make magic. Call her, you won't regret it - she is absolutely wonderful!

JNJ Floral

  • Enumclaw, WA - Jessica of JNJ floral is such a sweet and talented florist. She is easy to work with and has a lovely, near whimsical floral vision that is perfect for special ocassions.


Hair + Make-up

Allison Peck

Make-up by Allison Peck

Make-up by Allison Peck

  • Lacey, WA - Allison is based in Lacey but travels throughout Lewis, Pierce, Thurston and King Counties. She is not only an experienced MUA, she is also furthering her education by going to school to obtain a Master Esthetician License. Go Allison!! If you love bold and beautiful makeup, Allison is your girl!

A Prima Salon

  • Gig Harbor, WA - Christine Carbone of A Prima Salon is a very talented and experienced Make-up Artist. She has a history of working with big names and once you see her work you'll know why!!

A Second Look - Makeup by Amanda

  • Tacoma, WA - Amanda is through and very detail orientated. Her work is beautiful and flawless!

BeautyBy: Alisa Clark

  • Tacoma, WA - Alisa is professional and easy to work with. So convenient to have on site hair and make-up!

Bethany Yackel Beauty

  • Lynnwood, WA - Bethany does an amazing job and is super sweet and easy to work with. She strives to give each bride a custom and gorgeous look that enhances their features and brings out their natural beauty.

Bridal Make-up by Bethany Yackel Beauty

Bridal Make-up by Bethany Yackel Beauty

Bridal Esthetics By Katie

  • Bellevue, WA - Katie Horton of Bridal Esthetics By Katie is a great option if you are near Bellevue. Look her up!

Fusion Salon

  • Lakewood, WA -Brook Ferber has an eye for for simple yet stunning looks.

Glam to Go

Nicole + Stephanie of Glam to Go working their magic

  • Napavine, WA but they travel! - This gorgeous duo is a one stop shop for you beauty needs. Nicole is an expert at bringing out your best features with the application of make-up and Stephanie is a ninja at taming even the most unruly of locks. Both women are experienced and very easy to work with. You will be looking your very best and happily entertained when working with these two! They also come to you on your wedding day, can't get easier than that!!

Seattle Bride Hair

  • Seattle, WA - Dawn of Seattle Bride Hair does an amazing job on hair AND make-up! She travels not only over Western Washington but to any destination!! She is very popular in the area so book early!

Ronny Marcella

  • Auburn, WA - Ronny is fun, sweet and really easy to work with. She did a great job and I highly recommend her!

Urbanista Wedding

  • Seattle, WA - Simple and elegant. Urbanista wedding does and amazing job at providing custom and stunning bridal looks.

Yoana Lizabeth Clark

  • Seattle, WA - Yoana is super sweet and does amazing work.


Invitations (and other paper product)

Ink + Sable

  • Seattle, WA - Custom, hand written menus, invitations and other wedding paper products. Ink + Sable specializes in some super elegant calligraphy.

Sandpaper

  • Olympia, WA - Tina is the owner and designer of Sandpaper and such a pleasure to work with. She was great at communicating ideas and executed our vision perfectly. We ordered invitations, menus, monogrammed programs, a custom sign, table numbers and name tags and they brought all the decorations and venue together so well! Tina is super flexible and does a huge variety of paper products. Check her out!

Invitations, Menus and Place Cards by Sandpaper

Invitations, Menus and Place Cards by Sandpaper


Limo Service

Access Limos

  • Tacoma, WA + the entire Sound Sound Area through Seattle - I've worked with Paris since 2008 and have never been disappointed. They are a small local company therefore customer service is their top priority, not to mention he's the most prompt person I've met! If you want to feel like royalty and not stress about driving or getting to your destination on time then Access Limos is just the business for you.


Rentals

Balancing Balloons

  • Seattle, WA - Creative, unique and innovative. Give your wedding an extra special touch with rentals from Balancing Balloons.

Puget Sound Farm Tables

  • Bonney Lake, WA - The days of matching table linens are OUT!! No need to worry about them when you can rent BEAUTIFUL, sturdy, hand built farm tables! Once you see how amazing these are you'll say goodbye to tablecloths for sure - plus hey, that's one less expense! Here's where it gets even MORE exciting... they have more than just fab tables.... they also have decorations, goblets, vintage dishes, cake stands, serving utensils and more....I can't even list it all. A unique twist about them is they also have tables specifically for dessert, hand made beer bars aaaaaaaaaaaaaand s'mores bars!!! Maybe it's just me but no wedding is complete without s'mores, amiright?! Clint and Ashley are so easy to work with and they have so many awesome rentals, check them out!! Did I mention they have a calligrapher..... can you say one stop shop!


Venues

Albee's Garden Parties

  • Olympia, WA - Albee's Garden Parties is an absolute hidden treasure! A bride, and a photographers DREAM! Beautiful fields, tree coverage, a charming indoor area, an orchard, full kitchen and cute little greenhouse area are just a few of the amenities available. The layout is amazing, landscaping is impeccable and unique and the details are rustic and lovely. Five stars for sure!

Ballard Bay Club

Beecher Hill House

Center of Urban Horticulture

  • Seattle, WA - A little paradise in the city. With lush gardens, a variety of unique and beautiful plants, a stunning greenhouse and multiple ceremony locations this venue is definitely one of my favorites!

  • See Serena + Javier’s wedding - Coming Soon

  • See Amanda + Craig’s wedding - Coming Soon

Country N Lace

  • Toledo, WA - I don't even know where to start on this stunning venue! There are multiple location including a country house, woods and barn to choose for your ceremony - all are amazing. There are fields of horses and a row of beautiful sunflowers. Michelle + Luke, the owners are seriously amazing and Michelle has some serious wedding planning skills! She guides the day's events and keeps everything on track and makes it look effortless! One of the best things about this venue is the decorations.... Michelle has a stock pile of vintage and handmade decorations to choose from that will surely meet your needs. My first wedding here I wanted to spend all day photographing the decorations because they are so fantastic! There is even a photo booth area with props! Every detail has been thought out and mastered at Country N Lace. If you want easy and beautiful then Country N Lace could be for you!

Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm

  • Olympia, WA - Yes they do wedding .... walking down the aisle surrounded in vibrant purple flowers is unique and a huge win!! Make sure you book early though the flowers are in bloom mid June through mid August.

Hall @ Fauntleroy

  • Seattle, WA -

  • See Amy + Jimmy’s Hall at Fauntleroy wedding

Port Gamble Weddings & Events

  • Port Gamble, WA- Port Gamble is a quaint little town with an old fashion charm. It sits right on the water and offers a good variety for wedding images and cute town for your wedding guests to explore. The church, the reception pavilion and the little downtown businesses are all in walking distance.

  • See Danny + Marco’s weddings at Port Gamble Weddings & Events.

Rein fire Ranch

  • Ravensdale, WA - This venue has it all. Beautiful barns, grassy fields, horses.... and more! Rich and his staff are well organized and easy to work with.

  • See Tayla + Danny’s weddings at Rein Fire Ranch

Salish Lodge & Spa

  • Snoqualmie, WA - Well there is a waterfall….enough said. This venue is a popular tourist destination so it can be fairly crowded in the public spaces but the terrace is beautiful and who wouldn’t want to get married with a view of a stunning waterfall. Bride and groom photos at the base of the waterfall also makes this venue a good choice!

Stocker Farms

  • Snohomish, WA - A big red barn, vintage farm equipment and some beautiful fields. The outdoor ceremony location is beautiful and they have outdoor covered seating too. There are also games and a huge trampoline to keep your guests entertained.

Tacoma Courthouse / Courthouse Square

  • Tacoma, WA - A beautiful and decent sized room with good lighting. It is elegant and vintage. There is a separate room for the bride to get ready and a kitchen space for the caterers. The halls and steps of the courthouse are great for photos and being downtown Tacoma is convenient for some beautiful urban portraits. The 11th st bridge is in walking distance!!

The Golf Club at Newcastle

  • Newcastle, WA - This venue is not only beautiful and elegant but it is huge so it can accommodate even large weddings. Don't forget to step out on their balcony and take in the breathtaking scenery.

Thornwood Castle

  • Tacoma, WA - Get married in a real castle? ABSOLUTELY! The garden area at this venue is absolutely stunning and a perfect location for a ceremony or wedding portraits. There is also a dock that has killer sunsets and a beautiful view! Inside the castle is very remarkable as well. The inside is laden with dark wood that is carved with awe-inspiring details. Upstairs there are rooms to spend the night, as well as get ready for your big day. Each room has so much character and make for beautiful getting ready pictures. There is also a large balcony perfect for a memorable bouquet toss! The stairs going down to the ceremony location are truly luxurious and make for a fairy tale entrance for the bride. There is a large room for the ceremony that also doubles as a dance floor and in the back there is a perfect area for the reception including a covered patio. This venue has it all and if you're looking for a unique location full of character to tell the story of your love then look no further.

Titlow Lodge

Woodland Park Zoo


Videographer

Griffin Studios

  • Check out Brooke Griffin's fun and amazing style!


XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Wedding Planning Timeline | Wedding Resource | Olympia Wedding Photographer

So you're getting married! Congrats. Wedding planning can feel overwhelming but good wedding planning is necessary to make your big day run smoothly.

There is so much to do! How do you know all the steps if you've never planned a wedding before?? First step... get a solid wedding planning guide and a wedding checklist. Second step, BREATHE! A planning guide can't do the work for you but it can help you stay organized. Step three, get to work planning your dream wedding!

Attached is a guide to give you an idea of the steps required to plan a wedding, as well as the recommended timeline for each. You can download your PDF copy HERE.

Also get your free Wedding Essentials Checklist HERE.

Happy planning!

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9-24 Months Before Wedding

  • Get engaged
  • Insure engagement ring
  • Create or buy a wedding folder or binder
  • Pick a date
  • Determine your budget
  • Choose best people
  • Choose your wedding party
  • Finalize wedding theme/colors/style
  • List family traditions to include
  • Start a guest list
  • Hire a planner (not necessary but super helpful!)
  • Research Vendors - Venue, Photographer, Videographer, Cake, Caterer, Florist, Hair and Makeup, Limo Service. (Looking for vendors? See Preferred Vendors List HERE)
  • Book Officiant or designate someone special to officiate your wedding
  • Tour potential venues (Keep in mind that popular venues fill up quickly. You may have to plan further out if you have your heart set on a very popular one.)
  • Interview potential Photographers and Videographers
  • Book Ceremony Venue
  • Book Reception Venue (if different)
  • Book Photographer
  • Submit engagement announcement to newspaper
  • Take a break from all the work and celebrate your love! Throw an engagement party!

8 Months Before Wedding

  • Book entertainment (DJ, Band etc)
  • Interview more vendors (Caterer, Florist, Hair and Makeup, Limo Service)
  • Choose a dress (Make it fun, bring your bridal party and some champagne and make a day of it)
  • Reserve lodging for your out of town guests (Find hotel/cottages/B&B’s near your reception location)
  • Register for wedding gifts (Pick 2-3 places to register and have fun with it!)
  • Launch a wedding website for your friends and family to follow and get info (you can post your registries here, post important information, and display your engagement photos and SO much more. Check out Zola, Appy Couple, Wix, Squarespace)
  • Send Save-the-date cards

6 Months Before Wedding

  • Take engagement photos
  • Purchase Invitations (Hire a calligrapher, make them yourself or order online)
  • Start planning honeymoon
  • Select bridesmaids dresses
  • Book any further necessities for the big day (lights, porta potties, seating etc)
  • Book a Florist (Need ides for in season flowers during your wedding? Check out the SLOW Flowers Movement.
  • Book Transportation
  • Start putting together a day-of timeline (your wedding coordinator and photographer can help you with this!)

4-5 Months Before Wedding

  • Schedule rehearsal
  • Book rehearsal dinner venue
  • Finalize and send wedding invitations (include RSVP)
  • Order cake
  • Your Maid of Honor should start planning your bridal shower!
  • Dress fitting #1
  • Buy wedding shoes and accessories
  • Book hair and makeup artist(s)
  • Write out a tentative playlist, you can keep adding ideas over the next few months.
  • Book Honeymoon (Don’t forget to book a house sitter/dog sitter/ baby sitter)

3 Months Before Wedding

  • Finalize food and drink menus
  • Order favors
  • List who is making toasts
  • Ponder readings and vows
  • Buy your undergarments
  • Order menus
  • Order wedding programs
  • Shop for wedding bands (you’ll need time to order, size and engrave)
  • Finalize decoration details (floral arrangements, centerpieces etc)
  • Finalize events schedule
  • Send schedule to your vendors
  • Bridal Shower
  • Shop for a wedding gift for your groom
  • Book a bridal boudoir … leave time to have the photos returned and order products for your honey (surprise him with an amazing and sexy wedding gift)

2 Months Before Wedding

  • Touch base with all your vendors
  • Do a trial run for hair and makeup
  • Meet with your photographer to walk through your expectations
  • Finalize playlist with DJ (if you’re unsure how to start such a task than try creating ‘must play’ and ‘do not play’ lists)
  • Submit wedding announcement to newspaper
  • Order or make your decorations (throw a party for your bridal party and put them all together. A little pizza, wine and lots of laughter is the way to go)
  • Reserve Tuxedo
  • Book wedding night accommodations
  • Order a guest book
  • Arrange for a pet/baby sitter for the day and night of if needed
  • Purchase a reception dress if you plan to change out of your wedding dress

1 Months Before Wedding

  • Party time! Relax and enjoy your bachelorette party!
  • Gather RSVP’s, call those you haven’t heard from
  • Finalize guest list
  • Get your marriage license
  • Send out rehearsal dinner invites
  • Dress fitting #2 (You can also schedule one the week before you wedding just in case and then cancel if not needed)
  • Provide tentative head count to caterer
  • Stock the bar
  • Make final payments to vendors
  • Provide address to transportation vendor and all vendors that will be on-site on the big day
  • Assign seating for your guests
  • Create or purchase seating cards
  • Purchase bridesmaids gifts
  • Finalize Vows
  • Designate one person to gather family for family portraits
  • Have your hair cut and dyed
  • Pack your Emergency Bridal Kit
  • Prep thank you cards for guests you know are attending (hey, you can do it while you relax and watch TV at night and it’s less to do after!)
  • Find something new, something old, something borrowed and something blue

1 Week Before Wedding

  • Delegate small wedding tasks
  • Send timeline to friends, family, vendors and important people
  • Pick up your dress (final fitting too if you scheduled that)
  • Check in with vendors
  • Ensure photographer has family list for shot list
  • Set aside checks for vendors (final payments and tips)
  • Get a manicure/pedicure and facial/spa treatment
  • Get a massage! RELAX, all the planning will be over soon and you’ll be enjoying the fruits of all your labor
  • Provide final guest list/ head count to the caterer and venue staff
  • Break in your wedding shoes (to avoid blisters on your wedding day!!)
  • Pack for your wedding night (include water and snacks)
  • Pack for your honeymoon
  • Get the rings cleaned
  • Rehearsal and Rehearsal dinner

Wedding Day

  • Delegate small wedding tasks
  • Distribute wedding timeline
  • Get ready
  • RELAX! …. And enjoy your day
  • Get married!

After the Wedding

  • Honeymoon of course!!!
  • Send thank you notes to guests and vendors
  • Clean and store your wedding dress and veil
  • Preserve Bouquet
  • Return tux
  • Return any rentals
  • Name change paperwork
  • New driver’s license with your new name
  • Update your name with all bills, clubs, work etc
  • Change insurance policies to include spouse
  • Look over registries to make sure you received everything
  • Enjoy life as a married couple!

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Wedding Essentials Checklist | Wedding Resource | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Hello! Congrats on your engagement! Your wedding day will be one of the most memorable days of your life but it's going to take some planning to get there. After all, if you've never planned a wedding how do you know everything you'll need to do?? This is a simple checklist to keep track of the tasks that need to be completed before your big day. So don't let it scare you! Take charge, start planning and have fun with it!

Browse below then download you PDF copy HERE.

Wedding Essentials Checklist

Engagement

  • Insure ring
  • Set wedding date
  • Throw an engagement party
  • Get engagement photos done

Apparel

  • Wedding dress
  • Dress bag
  • Alterations
  • Wedding Shoes
  • Backup flats
  • Veil/tiara/headpiece
  • Garter
  • Reception dress
  • Reception Shoes
  • Undergarments (bra, corset, slip, nylons, panties)
  • Getting ready robe for bride or Button up shirt (So you don’t mess up your hair)
  • Earrings
  • Necklace
  • Hair accessories
  • Something old
  • Something new
  • Something borrowed
  • Something blue
  • Departure outfit
  • Groom's Tuxedo
  • Tie
  • Tie clip
  • Cufflinks
  • Vest
  • Suspenders
  • Belt
  • Shoes
  • Watch
  • Getting Ready Robes
  • Bridesmaids dresses
  • Flower girls dresses
  • Ring Bearer tuxedos
  • Groomsmen tuxedos
  • Groomsmen shoes

Rehearsal Dinner

  • Venue
  • Caterer
  • Bartender
  • Liquor/beer/wine
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Decorations
  • Music
  • Parking
  • Dishes/glassware/silverware
  • Linens
  • Food
  • Servers
  • Signature drink

Getting Ready

Find a Makeup Artist

Ceremony

  • Officiant
  • Marriage paperwork (bring on day of)
  • Alter/aisle decorations
  • Guest book + pen
  • Pillow or ring box for ring bearer
  • Basket for flower girls petals
  • Aisle runner
  • Ushers
  • Transportation to reception if at different location
  • DJ
  • Playlist

Find a Venue

Reception

  • Venue
  • Table decorations
  • Venue decorations
  • Sign
  • Cake table decorations
  • Guest book table decorations
  • Card box
  • Guest book + pen
  • Photobooth
  • Caterer/food
  • Signature drink
  • Dishes, glasses, silverware
  • Toasting glasses
  • Napkins
  • Table Clothes
  • Menu
  • Cake
  • Cake Knife
  • Plates and silverware for cake
  • Musician or DJ
  • Playlist
  • Bar Tender
  • Liquor/beer/wine
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Appetizers for cocktail hour
  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Parking
  • Bubbles/rice/sparklers
  • Transportations
  • Designated person to round up family for family portraits

Find a DJ

    Rings

    • Wedding band
    • Groom’s ring
    • Engraving
    • Sizing
    • Insurance
    • Pre-wedding cleaning

    Flowers

    • Bridal bouquet
    • Floral headpiece
    • Toss bouquet
    • Wedding party bouquets
    • Groom boutonniere
    • Groomsmen’s boutonnieres
    • Mother of the bride corsage
    • Mother of the groom corsage
    • Father of the bride boutonniere
    • Father of the groom boutonniere
    • Grandparent’s corsages/boutonnieres
    • Special guests corsages/boutonnieres
    • Petals for flower girls
    • Table center pieces
    • Arch decorations
    • Flowers for cake
    • Decorations for aisle

    Find a florist

    Stationary

    • Announcements
    • Save-the-dates
    • Invitations
    • Envelopes
    • Stamps
    • RSVP cards
    • Address Labels
    • Maps/direction cards
    • Registry cards
    • Wedding programs
    • Calligrapher
    • Newspaper announcement
    • Thank you cards
    • Rehearsal dinner invitations
    • Bachelor/Bachelorette party invitations

    Find a Calligrapher

    Gifts & Favors

    • Thank your or reminder token for your guests to take home. Handmade or store bought (optional)
    • Gift for groom from bride
    • Gift for bride from groom
    • Bridal party gifts
    • Groomsmen’s gifts
    • Flower girl gift
    • Ring bearer gift

    Find Gifts

    Photography/Videography

    Discuss below details and expectations with your photographer

    • Engagement portraits
    • Bridal Boudoir portraits - Set up a bridal boudoir party with your bridesmaids. Super fun day and you can get an album for a wedding gift for your fiance
    • Getting ready
    • First look - Decide if you want to stick with tradition or do a first look. Ask your photographer if you aren’t sure
    • Bridal portraits - List several important shots
    • Family portraits - Who is important and specific group shots if you have a preference
    • Ceremony portraits
    • Reception photos
    • Bridal Session
    • Albums, canvases + prints - Think wedding thank you gifts, wall art and heirloom albums

    Discuss wedding day details and expectations with videographer

    Find the Perfect Photographer

    Honeymoon

    • Plane tickets
    • Hotel
    • Rental Car
    • Entertainment
    • Lingerie
    • Appropriate clothing

    Miscellaneous

    • Apply for marriage certificate
    • Wedding planner
    • Hotel for out of town guests
    • Printed copies of wedding day timeline

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    XOXO,

    Sarah

    Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

    Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

    Emergency Wedding Kit Checklist | Wedding Resource | Olympia Wedding Photographer

    Calling all brides and bridesmaids! 

    Wedding days are a mix of beauty and chaos. The day where all the hard work and planning comes together for a memorable and glorious event! 

    Back to the chaos part....with the events of the day relying on so many little details to come together correctly, it is really important to cover your bases to ensure it will all run smoothly. An emergency wedding kit will do just that. Instead of stressing last minute about forgotten or lost items, breathe easy and save the day! 

    As a wedding photographer I've seen these kits come in handy time after time, in fact I carry some of these items with me to every wedding. I recommend packing your kit one month before the wedding so you aren't worrying about it last minute. Many of the below items you may have already siting around your house!

    If you think of an item you don't see on the list, CONTACT ME and let me know!

    See list below and download your PDF Emergency Wedding Kit Checklist HERE

    Olympia Wedding Photographer

    Emergency Wedding Kit Checklist

    • Tissues

    • Boutonniere pins

    • Safety pins

    • Sewing Kit

    • Crochet hook (for buttoning up dresses with ease)

    • Scissors

    • Baby Wipes

    • Eyelash glue

    • Mascara

    • Blotting paper

    • Clear Nail Polish

    • Nail File

    • Nail Clipper

    • Tweezers

    • Razor

    • Chapstick

    • Mirror

    • Mints/Gum

    • Toothbrush/Toothpaste

    • Floss

    • Mouthwash

    • Tylenol

    • Tums

    • Decongestant

    • Benedryl

    • Cough Drops

    • First aid kid

    • Band aid/Moleskin

    • Bobby pins

    • Hair Tie

    • Hairspray

    • Hairbrush

    • Q-Tips

    • Lotion

    • Sunscreen

    • Extra earring backs

    • Deodorant (spray so you can share)

    • Baby Powder

    • Eye drops

    • Tampons

    • Pads

    • Phone charger

    • Batteries

    • Lint Roller

    • Stain remover pen

    • Granola Bar/Dried Fruit/Nuts

    • Energy drink

    • Water

    • Mini Bottles

    • Post-It Notes

    • Pen

    • Sharpie

    • Ziplock bags

    • Double stick tape

    • Duct tape

    • Super glue

    • Cash (think vending machine or tips for staff)

    • Portable radio/MP3 player

    • Lighter

    • Flip flops

    • Trash bags

    • Straws

    • Washcloth

    • White chalk

    • Swiss Army Knife

    • Bottle Opener

    • Static cling spray

    • Hand Sanitizer

    • Umbrella

    • Emergency Phone Numbers

    • Bug repellant

    • Extension Cord

     

    XOXO,

    Sarah

    Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagramand check out our Pinterest page!

    Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

    8 Reasons You Should Plan a Bridal Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

    A bridal session is where just you, or you and your love and your photographer schedule a day after your wedding to get back in your wedding getup and have a fun and romantic portrait session at whatever amazing destination your little hearts desire. Beautiful photos of just you two to celebrate your new lives together.

    Why should you do a bridal session?? Here are a few good reasons to consider...

    8. There is a special destination that is important to you both that you want to have photos taken at

    Do you have a certain destination that holds a special place in your heart? Is where you met or had your first date precious to you? Or maybe it's where he (or she, let's be real it's 2017!) proposed? Wherever that one special spot is it's time to solidify those memories with a fun and romantic bridal session. You'll end up with beautiful portraits of you and your love looking your best with the added bonus of all the pleasant memories that will come flooding back every time you look and are reminded of the memories you shared there. What better way to document the story of your love!

    7. There is an EPIC location that you need beautiful images at to decorate your house

    The snowy peaks of Mt. Rainier, the blue waters of Diablo Lake, A lighthouse on Friday Harbor...the jagged cliffs of Ireland, clear blue water and the sandy beaches of Hawaii. Can you picture the romantic images of you too embracing in one of these scenes? The wind blowing through your hair and your dress swaying as you walk hand and hand with your love. Can't imagine it? Let me help you CREATE it. Where is YOUR epic location? ....and when do we leave? :)

    6. Gift

    We all have that one friend, or family member, that had modest nuptials but still dreams of a perfect white wedding. Although the events of that day can't be modified, an amazing new memory can be added. Give the gift of a memorable and adventurous bridal session. A simple but elegant dress, slacks and a button up shirt, a tie and a floral bouquet - the list is minimal to create these one of a kind experiences that will last a lifetime.

    5. Anniversary celebration

    Are you celebrating your very first wedding anniversary? How about your tenth? 50th?? What better way to renew your love for each other than a stunning bridal session at that one location you keep meaning to visit.... break out your wedding dress or find a beautiful dress that suits your current style and start planning your anniversary bridal session!

    Published in Bellissima Bridal Issue No. 30 (October 2017)

    4. You ran out of time to get enough on your actual wedding day

    Wedding days are always busy and packed full of stuff that needs to get done. Many times makeup and hair can run over, people get held up and arrive late etc. For whatever the reason, if your big day was crunched for time and you didn't get as many portraits as you wanted than a bridal session is a great idea for you!

    3. You weren't happy with the ones from your wedding day

    Did rain spoil your big day? That doesn't happen in the PNW. No, never!! HAHA. But if it does and you didn't get those dreamy outdoor portraits you picture hanging above your mantle than consider a bridal session.

    2. You didn't get a big "official" wedding

    Did you say 'I do' at the courthouse or have a small backyard wedding and didn't get those epic portraits you've always dreamed about? This is the PERFECT reason to schedule a bridal session! You get a sweet, decently priced ceremony and a once in a lifetime experience with a bridal portrait adventure. 

    1. You want to spend more time with your friends and family on your wedding day

    I offer this reason because it happened to me. Friends and family came from all over the world to watch us say 'I do' and then immediately after we rushed off for photos. Then there were speeches, cake, dancing and by then people were starting to head home. I felt like I missed out on time with friends and family that I hardly get to see. If I got to do it all over again, I would break tradition and plan a bridal session! After the ceremony I'd attend cocktail hour and catch up with all my people!!

    Besides, lets be real. The exhaustion level on a wedding day is real so take some stress out of it! If your wedding runs late and you don't get enough bridal images, if you want to spend more time with your family on your big day or if you simply want your bridal images to be somewhere amazing... whatever your reason a bridal session is definitely a new tradition worth considering.

     

    XOXO,

    Sarah

    Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

    Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

    Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer | Olympia Wedding Photographer Resource

    Hi Friends,

    Are you ready to meet with potential wedding photographers but unsure of what to ask them?

    Your wedding day is very important and many moments will happen that you can't get back. Hiring a competent and experienced wedding photographer to capture all those little moments is a decision you'll never regret!

    So, before you hire just any photographer.. get to know them, their style and their business ethics. Below is a guide to get you started in the interviewing process (a PDF version is also available so take it with you to your meetings! Download Below)

    Tacoma Wedding Photographer

    Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

    Basic Questions

    Tacoma Wedding Photographer
    1. Do you have my date available? NOTE: If the answer is ‘No’ then skip to the ‘Unavailable’ section at the very bottom.

    2. How long have you been in business?

    3. How many weddings have you shot? Have you done any similar to mine?

    4. Have you shot at my venue before? If not will you scout it ahead of time?

    5. Do you specialize in weddings? NOTE: Hiring someone that specializes in wedding photography is important because of the nature of the event. You can’t get those moments back or get a redo!

    6. How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, creative)?

    7. What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?

    8. Do you have a portfolio I can review? Are all of the images yours, and is the work recent?

    9. What type of equipment do you use?

    10. Do you shoot in color and black & white? NOTE: Now is a good time to express your preference!

    11. Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like done?

    12. Can you put together a slideshow of the engagement session (along with other photos the couple provides) and show it during the cocktail hour?

    13. Will you follow a shot list? Or do you prefer to have free reign to capture the festivities how you see fit?

    14. How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos?

    15. What information do you need from me before the wedding day?

    16. May I have a list of references?

    17. Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If so, will you have any assistants with you on that day? What about a second shooter?

    18. What about backup equipment? Do you have or will you rent spare equipment if your main gear fails? What about a backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?

    19. If my wedding site is out of your area, do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover?

    20. Are you photographing any other events on the same day as mine?

    21. How will you (and any of your representatives) be dressed?

    22. Is it okay if other (non-professional) people take photos while you're taking photos?

    23. What time will you arrive at the site and for how long will you shoot?

    24. If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?

    Tacoma Wedding Photographer

    Contracts, Policies, Legalities

    1. What are the steps that need to be done to secure you as our wedding photographer?

    2. Will I be able to see your contract ahead of time so I have time to go through it?

    3. How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due?

    4. Do you offer a payment plan?

    5. What is your refund/cancellation policy?

    6. Do you have liability insurance?

    7. Do you have a current business license?

    Questions to Ask Yourself

    1. Do I feel a connection with this photographer? Are our personalities a good match?

    2. Does this photographer’s work match my ideal wedding photography style?

    3. Do our communication styles match?

    4. Has this photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns?

    5. Is this Photographer as awesome as I am?

    Unavailability

    1. If you aren’t available to shoot my wedding can you recommend someone with a similar style, experience and price range?

    Download a PDF version HERE

    XOXO,

    Sarah

    Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

    Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

    SLOW FLOWERS: A Conscious Choice

    Today's blog comes straight from the floral industry. Brides and grooms, gardeners, vendors, florists and conscientious consumers, this is for YOU.

    Debra Prinzing, award winning author, speaker and founder of slowflowers.com.   PC: Mary Grace Long Photography

    Debra Prinzing, award winning author, speaker and founder of slowflowers.com.

    PC: Mary Grace Long Photography

    The Slow Flowers Movement was born when flower consumers started questioning the origin of their flowers. Debra Prinzing is the founder - and heart - behind the Slow Flowers Movement which supports the idea of using local, American-grown flowers. She gave the Slow Flowers concept life with the creation of an online directory of florists and flower growers who support the cause: slowflowers.com. Prinzing initiated American Flowers Week to create awareness about Slow Flowers and bring to light the many reasons why flower consumers should buy local.

    The Slow Flowers path was paved by the Slow Food movement. Somewhere along the way America went from a nation relying on local crops as a main food source for it's people to importing the same foods from areas of cheap labor and lesser health standards. Flowers also joined that list and America currently imports billions of dollars of international flowers each year. The undertow of the Slow Flowers Movement is really about making a conscious choice about one's purchases. Flowers are a necessity for many events and choosing to support locally allows one to know and better appreciate the origin of their products, support the small business owners in their area and better honor the season and region where they live with flowers that are local and timely.

    Prinzing is the proactive and dedicated voice that has brought to light this conspicuous but previously unspoken subject.  Prinzing has a degree in design and a long history of gardening. For many years she has worked as a journalist, writing articles and speaking about gardening, architecture and floral design. With the birth of Slow Flowers and slowflowers.com, Prinzing was able to combine all of her vast experiences to not only start a revolution of flower consciousness but also find her niche. Some of Prinzing's accomplishments are as contributing writer and editor of Country Garden's Magazine, recipient of the first annual Grower's Choice Award and author of ten books. For more information on Prinzing, please see her 'About' page. Prinzing also does a weekly Podcast 'SLOW FLOWERS with Debra Prinzing' which is very informative. For more information, click HERE.

    This year, June 28-July 4th, will be the 3rd annual American Flowers Week; a celebration of the Slow Flowers Movement. These dates are appropriate because as we celebrate the freedom of our country, we celebrate the return of home grown flowers and support for local businesses. Modeled after England's British Flowers Week, American Flowers Week was designed to bring awareness to any and all flower consumers.

    The concept of Slow Flowers, although fairly new, is spreading at a rate that is anything but a reflection of it's name. Seed companies, flower growers, florists, wedding couples and even super markets are getting on board and making a mindful choice to keep the flower market local. Prinzing's passion and dedication to the Slow Flowers Movement is monumental in bringing change to the flower industry. Her yearning for mindfulness, and dedication to informing consumers, will ensure that the popularity of American-grown flowers will continue to rise. Events like American Flowers Week are also critical to educating consumers and raising excitement regarding the Slow Flowers Movement. Slow Flowers has already created a huge impact on the flower industry over the past few years. As consumers become more aware, the momentum of this movement will undoubtedly and thankfully be unstoppable - a guiding light for all other Slow Movements to come.

    Special thanks to Debra Prinzing for granting me an interview and for being so excited and passionate about such a worthy subject.

    Resources

    http://multinationales.org/Where-do-our-flowers-come-from

    http://www.debraprinzing.com/

    http://slowflowers.com/

    XOXO,

    Sarah

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