Blake & Hery’s Engagement at St. Edwards Park

Kenmore, WA

Blake & Hery’s engagement session was the perfect way to capture their joy-filled relationship. I met up with these two last weekend right before Easter for a fun photo session to celebrate their engagement at St. Edwards Park. This was such a fun precursor to their upcoming wedding next month! The way these two interact with one another and laugh nonstop is something special to observe. They had smiles on their faces the entire time and a delightful charm. I absolutely adore these two and their hearts. They are both compassionate, wise, self-less individuals who truly want the best for others. I am so excited to capture their wedding this upcoming month and honored to be part of this season of their life. Congratulations future Mr & Mrs Valley!

Zac & Kim Engagement

Tacoma, WA

What a beautiful spring day we had last month for this Zac and Kim’s engagement photos! We sneaked in some shots with appropriate social distancing. We had a lot of laughs and an eerily quiet park all to ourselves, which was lovely! I am excited to photograph their wedding this September in eastern Washington.  I got a sneak peak of Kim’s dress and lets just say WOW!

And one that is just for fun, because we have to remember the COVID-19 pandemic during all of this 😉 Stay safe at home, friends!

Engaged over the holidays?

So you just got engaged? Congratulations, Mazel Tov, and all those other jubilant exclamations! You’re getting married!! The months between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day are known as “engagement season” in the wedding industry. Now, it’s time to get down to business. Planning a wedding is a completely insane and an exciting undertaking. I planned my wedding in TWO months. (I can hear your gasps of shock now). With that, I learned a few things along the way that may be helpful to you. 

1. Talk with your significant other right away about the top 5 things that are MOST important to you. 

For me and Trevor that was our venue, the amount of guests we had (275 – we didn’t want to leave any of our loved ones out and I have a giant family), my dress (can I get an “Amen” sisters?), our ceremony order of events and the photography & design (obviously). It’s important to figure these things out because once you come down to the end, you begin to realize what you should cut down on and not freak out about. Always reflect back to what was most important to you as a couple. Details are important, but you don’t want to have a melt down over something silly like the color of a napkin. Does it really matter that they are white instead of blush pink? Probably not, and it may save you money in the end. 

2. Talk about your budget as soon as possible.

How are you going to finance the wedding?  Will your parents be contributing? His parents? Grandparents? You and your groom? Get an idea of your total potential budget — this number will be key in the planning process. Ask these questions right away and figure out a realistic budget that you can give towards the wedding. Once you understand this, then take some time together to make a quick excel sheet to budget out how much money can go to what category. (This also helps when you know your top 5 priorities). Then you can realistically see how much you can give towards each category. 

3. Set A Date

Do get an idea early on from your families about any date conflicts — college graduation, milestone birthdays and family vacations can all potentially interfere with your dream wedding date. However, remember it is also your day, so you can’t please everyone’s schedules. The earlier you have a date locked down, the easier it is to start planning. You can send out your ‘Save the Dates’ sooner, booking venues and vendors and starting making a timeline for yourself of when things need to be done. 

4. Contact Vendors

Don’t reach out to vendors until you have at least a ballpark idea of your budget and the day you choose to get married. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford. If your wedding budget is $20,000, and the site rental fee of the venue you love is $10,000 (before food and beverage), it’s probably not going to work. And if your favorite photographer starts at $10,000 and your budget is $3,000, don’t expect she’s going to “discount” her services to meet your budget. However, don’t be afraid to tell a vendor that you love his/her work and ask if they have recommendations in your price range or if they have packages that my better fit your budget. 

5. Start Your Pinning!

Start the planning and brainstorming phase. It is a fantastic way to share your vision, style and aesthetic with your vendors. I know this has helped me exponentially when clients have tried to explain what type of design they want for Save the Dates or Invitations I have designed for them or even various poses they may want to achieve on their wedding day. Pictures are often the best way to communicate when you do not have a creative background. Showing me a design you love versus “well i think i want a rustic yellow feel”, can save us both so much time and we can compliment it that best fits your personality. 

6. Pick your Best Man/Maid of Honor, but hold off on the wedding party. 

You probably already know who will be your right hand gal on your wedding day, so do something nice for them to tell them that you want them by your side as soon as possible. However, don’t ask all your wedding party to be bridesmaids right away. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, such as your budget (all of those bouquets, gifts and even wardrobe can add up!). 

7. Amazon will be your best friend. 

If you don’t have prime, may be good to invest in it this year.  Two day free shipping with loads of goods to search? Yes, please. I think I saved about $1,000 dollars because of the amount of things I was able to find off Amazon verses a party supply or rental vendor. You can find just about anything on there. Etsy is great too, but beware of vendors that have horrible customer service or shipping times. I ordered something from there with plenty of time in advance and didn’t get it until AFTER my wedding, which was a loss of money and frustration. 

8. Purchase your dress at least 1 month before your wedding. 

You may have found your dream dress, but I had no idea how long it would take to get alterations. I had a lot of custom work done on my dress, so it did take longer than average. Plan for at least 1-2 months for alterations depending on your seamstress. Remember to also factor in a budget for alterations in your dress category. They can range from $100-700+ for alterations alone. I never would have even considered that as part of the budget when I initially bought my dress. So when you are looking at price tags, safely budget in a few hundred on top of the price so you are not completely shocked later on. 

9. Start an address list in excel

Start collecting addresses and a guest list as soon as possible. Put it all in excel so when you are ready to print out invites or save the dates you can have your designer or printer easily put addresses on envelopes. This will save you HOURS of work than if you were to hand write everything. Plus, you will have a list already formed for your thank you’s! This was probably one of the hardest tasks for us. Luckily, I have a husband who loves organizing things like this, so he happily accepted the job. This will also serve you well for future Holiday cards you may want to send out our special announcements (baby!? too soon?).

10. Ask others for help & delegate

You will be surprised how many people will be waiting to be given a job or who desire to help you. Remember that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Also your fiance will be waiting for you to tell them how they can help. Often guys, don’t have a clue about things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t let them in on it. Make sure to include your fiance in on the process and create ways he can help out too. Throw a craft party one night to help do decorations or a envelope stuffing one night to help stuff invites or save that dates. This will relieve your stress and make an easy wedding come to be!

If you have any other questions or concerns, I would love to help give some guidance! Comment on this post or send me an e-mail at I would also love to show you photography packages for your engagement or wedding day, fine-art album options and custom graphic design for your once-in-a-lifetime event. Enjoy this season! Take it slow and remember to breath! Your day will be beautiful even with a few hiccups. 

Bowen & Marah

Bothell, WA

Bowen and Marah are engaged! My husband and I first met Bowen two years ago and he became part of our church family quickly after. Marah came into the picture pretty soon after that. Surprisingly, their moms dubiously tried to set them up, and kept trying to have them hang out. So Bowen ended up inviting Marah to a Kardia event. She quickly got plugged into our community and then all of the sudden we noticed Bowen and Marah spending a lot more quality time together 😉 Later into the year they officially started to date and Bowen proposed last June!

We ventured to Ride N Shine Farm, where Bowen’s family keeps their horse, Poppy. Despite the crazy Washington summer weather, the clouds didn’t rain on us! We had a lot of fun and I even had a hard time not laughing with these two!

Bowen and Marah, you are both such generous and servant hearted people. You always desiring to learn and grow, which makes you strong leaders. You reflect a kindness and redemptive beauty in your lives. It is such an honor to be part of your story in a small way and to have watched your relationship blossom over this past year. I am thrilled for you both! I can’t wait to help officiate your wedding this October! Love you tons.

Jeff & Emma

Seattle, WA

Jeff & Emma met at their church and after a friendship started dating and now are engaged! I am excited to shoot their wedding this August in Monroe. We ventured to Discovery Park in Seattle that totes beautiful landscapes and a classic light house. We were just at the end of the warm spring day in Seattle, which made for a fantastic day to do engagement photos.

When I think of Emma & Jeff, this quote from Augustine comes to mind, “Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.”. They have a pure, innocent and joyful love. You can see the adoration come out of them towards each other. I am excited for their future together! Congratulations Jeff & Emma!

Ryan & Kay Engagement

Tacoma, WA

Last summer I went down to Tacoma to shoot one of my longest, and best friends engagement photos! I have known Kay since kindergarten and she and her family are, family. She is like an adopted sister in our minds.  So to say how thrilled I am that she is getting married is an understatement. We went all over the city for this shoot, which made for some fun backgrounds. I am so happy for you guys and cannot wait for the wedding! (Which I get to officiate! WOO HOO!).

Jake & Aly Engagement

Tacoma, WA

We chased the sun and dodged the rain with this engagement shoot. After a few cancelled sessions and rescheduling the rain settled down last week and we were finally able to head down to Owens Beach area. I couldn’t seem to cut this post down on images…so sorry if you have terrible internet and this post seems to take 5 minutes to load, but it is worth the wait! Aly and Jake are some of the most clever and cunning individuals who effortlessly seem to make you laugh with their humor.  Jake is impressively good at trivia and Aly doesn’t shy away from a good witty joke. I had a blast with these two and I look forward to watching them grow into a life long journey together! Congratulations Aly and Jake!

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