Weddings are our very favorite things. Bringing two people together to commit their lives to one another in front of their very favorite people? That’s gonna be a solid ‘yes, please!’ from us! From tiny private mountaintop elopements to grand boisterous glam bashes, helping you celebrate building a life together is our greatest privilege. Preserving the kick-off of your greatest adventure and the magic of your connection: that’s what we do.
We’ve been documenting weddings for well over a decade, and have quite literally lost count. So you could say we’re pretty experienced. We’re so excited to help you bring your vision for your big day to life, and preserve every fleeting moment of all the intangible magic. We’re here for you as supporters and cheerleaders as you navigate the decision-making process and figure out what the best choices are for you. We have resources to help make that process easier, and having experience as vendors as well as with our own weddings, we’re so happy to offer feedback and guidance. Come the big day, we’re all about helping make sure your priorities drive the day and you get to experience it in full.
Above all else, our goal is to ensure you have a blast. The best photographs come from real joy and fun, not from fussy posing and fake smiling. Let’s just go ahead and make your day the best day ever, shall we?
So, where should we start?
There’s no hard and fast rule for what a wedding is supposed to look like. So, first things first, let’s go of any assumptions, expectations, or the influence of others. The first place to start is to ask yourself this: what matters most to you for your wedding day? What are your greatest priorities? What are you the most excited about? The answer to these questions will help you make the best choices for you on your day. Some couples find their priorities overlap, and for others, they may vary, but at least it gives you a clear path forward for figuring out how to make your day the best fit for you.
Once that’s established, it should be a little easier to make the big choices. Finding the right venue is definitely one of the major places to start, and of course the team documenting and preserving your story is pretty important (hint: Choose us! We got you!) after which point, selecting your vendors should probably start following your priority list. For some, music matters above all else. For foodies, finding your caterer is going to be a big deal. For many their core goal is just to ensure their guests have the very biggest blast, and to maximize their time with them. We are admittedly especially guest-focused, because while your big day is about you, it’s about them, too. Why else would you bring all of these particular people together to mark your most important day? So for us, preserving your experience and connection with your guests, and helping ensure it’s a total excess of fun and joy and good vibes for all of you? Well, that’s our driving force. Of course, we don’t mind busting a move on the dance floor, too.
For a little dazzling wedding inspiration, please scope out some of our favorite events below. If you’re envisioning a tinier union, we’ve got you covered—scroll down to the elopement section for lots of information and inspiration!
- Dazzling, Inspired Desert WeddingK & L
- Tropical Jungle Tulum WeddingTracy & Mark
- Kitschy Wild West Same Sex WeddingRyan & Tim
- Hummingbird Nest Ranch LovebirdsStav & Jeremy
- Smashing Smogshoppe LA CelebrationRobyn & Eric
- Wild & Creative Love at BrickBrent & Vic
- Boho Union at Le Haut Desert AerieBecky & Warren
- Descanso Gardens Wedding MagicPhylecia & Jordan
Keeping things tiny?
We love keeping it little! While big bold bashes can be a total joy, they’re not the best fit for everyone. Many clients lean towards privacy, introversion, adventure, or some combination thereof. Eloping or gathering for a small event can be a great way to celebrate for many. There are tons of benefits to keeping things compact!
For those who don’t love being the center of attention and are struggling with the idea of an audience, eloping may alleviate some of that pressure. For those who love adventure and far-off places, elopements can offer excitement both in the option to venture to just about any destination of your choosing without limitations, but also to access more challenging or smaller locations that wouldn’t be feasible for a standard-sized wedding. For those who just find wedding planning stressful or overwhelming, it’s definitely reducing the amount of decision-making, planning and anxiety you may face, the fewer people you gather.
We normally cover two or three hours for elopements and more for micro and small weddings… say, four to six hours, depending on the extent of your plans. We recommend some level of getting ready or prep coverage, followed by your ceremony, portraits of any guests and yourselves, and then an extended period of couple portraits. Again, entirely dependent on your plans we may also cover some level of drinking/eating/celebrating/festivity, even if not a full reception. Possible just prioritizing cake-cutting, drinks together, speeches, a first dance, or whatever else is a priority for you.
Above all else, the fun of elopements is not being married (excuse the pun) to any firm traditions or expectations. You have the full freedom to structure your experience however you’d like, and we’re here for you if you want to hash out some ideas. We’ve acted as guides and chauffeurs among many other roles when helping our clients plan a perfect experience. So let’s chat!
- Dreamy LGBTQ San Diego ElopementCass & Lauren
- Magical Elopement at Torrey PinesEsther & Chris
- Dreamy Scottish Highlands ElopementSusan & Zach
- Courthouse & Cocktails UnionBen & Roanne
- Kitschy Elvis Wedding in VegasJordan & Greg
- Modern Santa Barbara ElopementCheryl & Ian
- Vintage Balboa Park Intimate UnionLiz & Ross
- Intimate Tropical Mexican Beach WeddingMichel & Matt
Generally, two! Unless it’s a small elopement where you’ll only need one of us, or an enormous grand bash where you need additional photographers, we usually work best as a team of two. This allows us to provide ample coverage and variation of angles, the ability to be in two places at once (such as when getting ready), and to help take best care of you as resources throughout the day.
Oh my goodness, I get it! It’s so tough to guess at how much time everything will take. As a result, I’ve made you a couple of handy Sample Timelines to act as a baseline for you to build off of if you’re not sure how to start. A full-service planner would most definitely build you a much more layered and complex timeline including things like when your caterers should arrive and what time the florist will strike after your guests leave, but these are simpler with a focus on the basics and all the parts of the day directly impacting you! Most full weddings land between 8-10 hours. For elopements, we normally do two or three hours of coverage or four to six for micro-weddings, but we custom quote this one to match your unique needs.
Oh, you bet we can! Our vendor list was worked on with all kinds of tenderness and care, because we recommend them heartily. We were not paid to include anyone (honestly, beware of MANY venues’ vendor lists, as often they’re only paid advertisements and not at all based on quality or reliability), nor influenced in any way other than the fact we love working with these talented people. We never recommend anyone we haven’t worked with, and we have vetted everyone to ensure their policies on diversity and equality match our own: eg, that they believe love is love, black lives matter, and that all bodies are good bodies. You can also check out each linked wedding we’ve done with a given vendor to get a true feeling for the experience.
Y’all, 2020 and 2021 were a rough ride. I know we’ve been living through the scariest, weirdest times, and that it’s been an emotional rollercoaster. It’s a joy to see things improving so much and to have full events back, but of course everyone is still approaching the future cautiously. Planning your wedding in the middle of all this is of course significantly more complicated, overwhelming, and frustrating. I wrote up a whole thing about factors to consider when planning in a pandemic, and included a thorough list about how we are prioritizing health precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. Check it out right here. I would LOVE it if in the 2022 season and beyond these were no longerissues we have to worry about, but for now, let’s keep on being cautious, careful… and optimistic.
You’ll receive a minimum of 50 edited, high-res images per hour that we shoot together, averaging at about 75/hour, sometimes closer to 100. For a classic 8-hour wedding, you’d end up with around 700-800 images. So basically, lots and lots. We don’t skimp, but we won’t overwhelm you, either. I know those numbers sound high, but when it comes to all the different parts of your day and all the different people you’ve brought together, just documenting each guest and each section of your events can easily be a huge part of your photos, let alone all the in-betweens, details, and magic of your experience!
Normally, we look to begin coverage towards the end of your getting ready period. Most ladies tend to prefer not to be photographed until they’re a certain level of camera-ready. So loosely, we suggest starting about 60-90 minutes before it’s time for outfits/final details to go on, this offers us ample time to shoot details of your outfits and accessories, your invite suite, and plenty of candid fun of you and your crew. As for wrapping up the day, we recommend having us for at least an hour of open dancing coverage. Through to the very end if you’re planning a send-off or special exit or departure you’d like captured! All that said, every wedding is totally different, so let’s chat about your specific plans. If you’re eloping, your needs may vary a bit more broadly… normally we cover a bit of getting ready, the ceremony, and portraits afterward, sometimes followed by drinks or nibbles or cake, depending on the size and scope of your plans.
Our coverage is continuous since we are unable to book other events on the same day of your booking. Thanks for understanding! For weekday elopements and small-scale events in San Diego, we’re occasionally we’re able to make special exceptions, please get in touch to let us know more about your needs.
Welp, that’s kind of a long list and it does vary a little bit between our different team members. But put simply, every member of our team uses professional-level, full-frame, dual-slot cameras. This is primarily Canon R6 mirrorless full-frame bodies (and sometimes 5D Mark IVs). These back up your images automatically onto a second card as they are created. Just an extra layer of protection. We have a host of different L-level (aka the very best) lenses which are top-of-the-line quality and range of primes and zooms, from wide angles through to long through to telephoto. We have every focal range covered for any possible situation. We also are armed with off-camera and on-camera flashes and other lighting gear and modifiers to ensure that no matter the lighting situation, no matter how dark or small or fluorescent, we’ve got your back. We have lots of other bits and bobs and gadgets aplenty, but really all you need to know is that our arsenal is very complete to ensure we can handle whatever your plans call for. But if you’re a gear geek and you want to hear a bit more, here’s a what’s in-my-bag post.
In the simplest sense, a first look is a private chance to see your almost-spouse in advance of the wedding ceremony. Whether you’re eloping or throwing a big bash, it’s a romantic opportunity for quality time for just the two of you (plus us to document it). In a practical sense, it opens up your timeline and sets you free of FOMO—if we do a first look, it means we can shoot some or even all of your group photos in advance of your ceremony (at a much more relaxed pace), meaning post-ceremony you have far fewer formalities left, or if all completed, you can just go ahead and party with your guests, maximizing your time with them on the day. It can also dramatically help to calm the nerves of those having stress/anxiety in the lead-up to your celebration. Plus, it just gives you all the more time together with your future spouse on your best-day-ever. So we think it’s a pretty fantastic option!
You can find out a lot more about first looks, and many examples of them, right here. Of course, we know they’re not always the right fit for everyone. Traditionalists often look forward to sharing the reveal moment with all their guests as they’re walking down the aisle. And for those with a very early ceremony (often common with Catholic weddings), you may have tons of time afterward to schedule portraits. So it’s just up to your personal preference. But if you do elect not to do a first look, we would emphatically encourage you to schedule your ceremony on the early side so you’re not racing sunset to get all your portraits in… events often have delays. Never hurts to schedule a long cocktail hour either!
YES. Yes, yes, yes. It might just be our favorite thing to do! We travel all over—check out the adventure engine’s maps section to see some of the places we’ve shot couples and events. We’d be delighted to travel to collaborate together with you on an amazing day! We normally will fly in two days before an event (just in case any delays or other issues occur), and some couples will shoot a local session with us the day before. Then we’ll fly out the day after a wedding. Generally this means a minimum 2-3 night stay depending on the location. Ping us for a custom travel quote.