11/29 Real Bride Ciji: Stick With the Story … the Love Story

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It’s time for me to narrow the list and select a wedding photographer! These are exciting times. There’s just one small issue: There are so many photographers in this world! Photographers that are my friends, photographers that I have worked with in the past, photographer referrals from past brides and I only need one. 

I made a list of four photographers to review for our big day. I reached out to each of them, gathered quotes and called all four armed with my checklist to discuss their services.

After countless hours of conversations, we made a decision. A decision that would change the course of all of my planning and the theme for our wedding. The photographer asked me one simple question that sealed the deal: “What is your love story?”

Our love story, yes that’s it! The lightbulb came on. Now all of the Pinterest ideas can come to life in a very special budget-friendly way. 

Let’s start with the engagement photoshoot: 

The Preparation: Travis and I sat down and discussed what matters most to us as a couple. I made a list and sent it to my photographer. In a nutshell: service, authenticity, travel and relationships.  

Preparation Part 2, Getting Ready: scheduled my wedding day makeup trial, a win win (plus, I planned to attend a gala on the same day, so my makeup was a triple-whammy). I didn’t do anything fancy with my hair, just went to my normal hair appointment the night before and ensured that we picked a style that would look good all day.   

Real Bride Ciji's Wedding Day Makeup Trial

Makeup Artist: rayaroxmakeup

The Big (Engagement Photoshoot) Day: 

9:00am: meet Rayna Wooden of Rayna Wooden Photography at our first location.

  • First location: place of our first kiss

Real Bride Ciji''s Engagement Photoshoot

Reenactment of the First Kiss! Photo Credit: Rayna Wooden Photography

9:45 a.m.: outfit change and off to the second location

  • Second location: Michigan + Texas = Atlanta

Real Bride Ciji's Engagement Photoshoot2

Home is where the heart is. Photo Credit: Rayna Wooden Photography

10:45 a.m.: outfit change and head over to the third location

  • Third location: We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us

Real Bride Ciji's Fiance poses for the camera

Travis poses for the camera!

11:30am: Last change and last spot

  • Fourth location: The fondest memories are made around the table.

Real Bride Ciji's Engagement Shoot 3

We love a great meal with friends & family in Atlanta’s “Little Italy”

Ended the day with a group selfie, a glass of wine and a great meal at our favorite restaurant. 

Real Bride Ciji's Engagement Photoshoot crew

The crew!

The Aftermath: what in the world are we going to do with all of these pictures? 

Lessons learned:

  • Select a wedding photographer who includes the engagement photoshoot in the package. We had a wonderful time getting to know Rayna and are excited to continue the love story at our wedding! 
  • Schedule your wedding makeup trial for the engagement photoshoot. I don’t wear a lot of makeup so it was good to get a visual and I got to see if my makeup would last all day and in outdoor conditions. 
  • I love a great theme and I was struggling to make all of my Pinterest ideas come to life. Kicking off “our love story” theme has made so many aspects of the wedding planning process a no brainer and I am so excited to watch the vision become a reality.

I can’t wait to see our pictures!

How did you decide on a wedding photographer? What were your main factors?