Welcome

and thank you

Wedding planning can be overwhelming and time consuming.  I hope this guide makes it a tad easier by answering many of your questions about wedding photography from the planning process, through engagement photos, the wedding day, and all the way to ordering your wedding album. Thank you for taking a look!

Never hesitate to reach out if there's anything at all I can do to help. I've shot hundreds of weddings, and I'm happy to answer questions, provide information, solve a problem or connect you with someone who can. - Esther

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Wedding Season in The South

I shoot weddings year-round, but the peak seasons are March through May and September through November. 

Spring azaleas and other trees and shrubs can bloom as early as February,  but they usually flower in March and April. Temperatures are generally mild in March and April, warming in May and then cooling down a bit again in September and staying moderate through early December. Generally late December through early February are our coldest months, but we often have warm sunny days even then!

TIP: If you are getting married near the marsh, you're likely to encounter the tiny but mighty sand gnat, especially in March, April and November. They're out at dusk into the night, and I hate to tell you this, but they are attracted to hair products. And they have a stinging bite. Yes, honey, yes. So make sure you have a plan to combat these tiny beasts. They're not dangerous at all, just plain bothersome, and we can't have that.

favorite savannah Wedding venues

more venues and details

From the famous fountain in Forsyth Park to quiet squares to an island chapel to historic homes and a soaring cathedral, you'll find venues that are perfect for an elopement, an intimate wedding or a grand affair.

The soaring Cathedral is one of many historic churches and synagogues in Savannah. Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Mickve Israel  are also stunning, sacred places to say your vows.

Wormsloe Historic Site

The cathedral of st. john the baptist

The Mackey House, a private family-owned estate just minutes from Historic Downtown Savannah, is an enchanting woodland escape with centuries-old moss-draped oak trees. A blooming landscape surrounds the beautiful home with an expansive deck that offers panoramic views of the venue. A lush garden leads to an open-air pavilion with a nearby lake reflecting the beautiful Southern countryside.  Natalie and Nick married at The Mackey House; she got ready at The Wedding Cake Mansion on Monterey Square.

The grounds of Bethesda Academy, with towering oaks overlooking marsh, are gorgeous, and The Whitefield Chapel is simple and perfect, with large windows bringing in streams of sunlight. Fun fact: Chef Paula Deen married here! When someone asked recently for a beautiful outdoor venue with a built-in rain plan, Bethesda came to mind immediately. Marry outside or in the chapel. Both are simply stunning!

THE MACKEY HOUSE

Bethesda Academy / Whitefield CHapel

 The Tybee Island Wedding Chapel was custom built for the set of a movie filmed on the island . I love the chapel because it’s all inclusive – with getting ready space for both guys and girls, the chapel for the ceremony, and the ballroom for your reception. There’s also a small back garden overlooking a tidewater creek. And I love whisking my couples over to a quiet spot on the beach for sunset photos. Nina and Austin and Leah and Taylor both hosted beautiful weddings there.

tybee island wedding chapel & Grand Ballroom

Wormsloe Historic Site welcomes you with a breathtaking mile-long avenue of moss-draped oaks just past the arched entry. The iconic drive has appeared in many movies and is hands-down one of my favorite places for both engagement shoots and weddings. It is epic! Regardless where they marry, many couples choose to do wedding portraits, bridal portraits or engagement photos on the breathtaking site. Lauren and Philip married at Wormsloe; she got ready at Kehoe House.

The Ford Plantation, just south of Savannah in Richmond Hill, was once the winter estate of automobile magnate Henry Ford and today is a place of magnificent beauty. It offers a formal, elegant atmosphere for outdoor weddings and tented receptions.

the ford plantation

Perry Lane is a relatively new addition to the historic district. It’s an elegant setting that boasts not one but TWO rooftop event spaces and a gorgeous ballroom. It also has an elegant lobby and library, which is a beautiful space for capturing wedding day details and portraits. The suites for getting ready are also beautiful! And it’s just half a block from Chippewa Square, one of my favorites for outdoor portraits. Cathi and Matthew got ready and hosted their reception at Perry Lane. They married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and we did portraits in and around Forsyth Park.

the perry lane hotel

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, in the historic William Scarbrough House, also boasts the largest private gardens in the historic district. It’s a truly elegant setting for your wedding, with the gorgeous garden for your ceremony, a fabulous space for cocktail hour and yet another large space for your reception. And the good news? You don’t need a rain plan because the reception area is covered. Catriona and Julian hosted an intimate wedding at the museum, with portraits beforehand at Lafayette Square.

ships of the sea maritime museum

Forsyth Park and Savannah’s grid of green spaces, called “squares,” are among the most popular sites for weddings. Forsyth Park, with its iconic white fountain and towering oaks, is the most photographed spot in the district. Hundreds of couples host weddings here each year, from grand affairs to intimate elopements. The squares – some with fountains and others with grand statues and gorgeous gardens – are also popular places to say “I do.” Find reservation info here. Meghann and Blake married at The Mansion on Forsyth Park and did portraits in the park.

Forsyth Park and the squares

Engagement sessions allow us to get to know each other, helping you understand that my style of shooting is easy and relaxed, natural and authentic. I give guidance every step of the way from what to wear to how to interact in front of the camera.

Together we will choose the perfect time and place for your shoot. You can also choose to add on a luxury sailboat excursion or champagne picnic.

We normally schedule the shoot soon after you book. That way we can more easily find a date that works for you, and you'll have images to use for "Save-the-Date" cards. (I shoot engagements on weekdays. Sometimes I can do a Friday or Sunday, depending on my wedding schedule.) 




Engagement Session

Full Engagement guide

Many of my clients choose to do bridal portraits.

Of course the portraits make beautiful art for your home. And they help you be fully confident in your choices for your wedding day. Looking at yourself in the mirror at a hair and makeup trial is quite different from actually seeing how it looks and lasts in photographs. 

If you're considering a bridal portrait session, I recommend a full trial run of hair, nails, makeup and your bouquet. We typically spend 1-2 hours shooting at bridal sessions.




Bridal Portraits

gorgeous keepsakes and a practice run for the big day

A few days before Alexis + Ian's wedding day, it was clear that we were going to have rain ALL day.

I texted the couple and reminded them that if it rains on your wedding day, I always offer a sunny day wedding portrait shoot at no extra charge. I call it "The Great I Do Redo," and I LOVE getting to do them. 


What if it rains?

SO let me walk you through what we did on Alexis and Ian's actual wedding day. 
1. Alexis and Ian had opted for a first look, which gave us a chance before the ceremony AND after to get outside for a few minutes, which we did.
2. My assistant moved ALL the furniture in venue lobby (with permission!) to make room for beautiful indoor portraits. Then we moved it all back!
3. We took care not to get Alexis's dress wet or stained. We kept it pristine.

Then on the Monday morning after their Saturday wedding, we did a portrait shoot and created these GORGEOUS sun-drenched images. And had so much fun doing it!

So never fret. I'm not happy until I've created beautiful wedding images for you to love and treasure!  It's said that rain on your wedding day is good luck, and I make good on that luck by giving you a fabulous portrait session!

The unthinkable - the loss of wedding day images - has never happened because we think through every circumstance. We have backups for backups!

My cameras have two card slots. Every shot is recorded to both cards, just in case one fails. (I've never had a card fail, but it COULD happen.)

I always shoot with two cameras in case one fails. I have multiples of lenses, batteries, lighting equipment. If one fails, I have more at the ready.

No matter what time I get in from a wedding, I start to download the images immediately. I have a cloud back-up system running constantly so images are stored on a hard drive and in the cloud. Once images are delivered, my clients are responsible for archiving.



I've never missed a wedding. Never. But what if I got very sick or had a family emergency? I'm an active participant in the community of wedding pros. We all understand that weddings are a command performance.. Over the years, I've stepped in for fellow photographers in emergency situations. They would do the same for me or any photographer you hire. 

IRREPLACEABLE

because wedding images are

we take extreme care

What if I get sick?

PLANNING

a greaT day starts with a great plan

My studio manager and I work with our couples - and their planners -  to create a highly detailed  photography timeline for your wedding day. It's based on years of experience and hundreds of weddings.

I urge my clients not to set their ceremony time in stone before we complete this step. Here's why: You want to be certain you have enough time to finish the ceremony and post-ceremony portraits BEFORE sunset. 


Family photos are SO important. Everyone is together, all dressed up and looking fantastic. And honey, somebody has invested to have a great photographer, so let's do this right!

My studio manager uses an online questionnaires to gather the names of your family members, and from that, we create a detailed list of each family grouping with the first names of each person in each group. This helps us take family photos in an orderly, efficient way so everyone can get to the party, my dear!



photography timeline

family photo list

TIP: I start with the large, extended family groups first, allowing all but the immediate family to leave for the reception. Then I do grandparents so they can finish before getting overly tired.

"I started my professional career as a journalist, and I still shoot in a documentary way, capturing all the emotion of a wedding day as it naturally unfolds. I'm always looking around 360 degrees so I capture not only the big moments but the small, quiet ones, too." - Esther 

Your Photographer

my shooting style is
classic
candid
documentary
dreamy

my editing style is
clean
vibrant
light infused

1. How would you describe your shooting style?
Documentary, journalistic, authentic. 
I started my career as a journalist, and I still shoot in that way, capturing a wedding day as it naturally unfolds. Even during the portraits part of the day, I capture the couple as they authentically are by giving them natural things to do that create interaction and evoke real emotion.

2. What about your editing style?
My style is clean and vibrant. I shoot in a way that creates light- and color- infused images, and then I edit with a light touch. I’m often asked if I shoot film because my images have that classic look. I don’t do extensive retouching, but I’m happy to provide a quote based on the number of images and the work to be done.

3. Do you deliver color and black-and-white images?
I do convert some images to black-and-white if I think the image is stronger in black-and-white. If you want an image in color or in black-and-white, I’m happy to convert. 

4.If we hire your company, who will shoot my wedding?
I will. Honey, I'm not going to miss the fun! I shoot and edit every wedding and engagement session I book. If you book me for rehearsal coverage, I MAY use an associate photographer, but that is the ONLY part of wedding coverage that I would allow an associate to shoot on her own. 

5. How many weddings have you shot?
Hundreds. And you can see from my 5-star reviews that I bring my very best to your best day ever. It's an honor, each time, to be invited into such a sacred space as two people begin their lives together.

6. Can you customize a package to my unique needs?
Yes, of course. Maybe you don't need an engagement shoot, but you do want a bridal session. Or perhaps you want to add coverage for the day-after gathering. Maybe you are thinking about whether you need a second photographer on the wedding day. Just let me know, and we can create a custom package.







questions for your
 photographer

and answers from me, honey!

7. Do you charge for travel?
I primarily shoot weddings in Savannah / Tybee Island, but I also shoot on St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, and Sea Island, Georgia. I also shoot in Atlanta as well as in Charleston, Bluffton, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This is the area that I consider my home base. My clients reimburse me for travel / accommodations associated with weddings I shoot beyond these areas.

8. When, what and how do you deliver after the wedding?
I deliver a preview gallery of 50 images within 2 days of the wedding. The full gallery is delivered within 8 weeks of the wedding. I deliver a minimum of 75 edited images for each hour of wedding day coverage. I deliver high-resolution digital images in an online gallery that you can share with friends and family.

9. Do you have insurance?
Yes, honey. You never know what may happen so I have insurance on my equipment and liability coverage on my business.

10. How far in advance do we need to book?
Clients typically book a year or more in advance; however, I sometimes have availability in a shorter time frame, especially on Sundays or Fridays.

11. If we have ideas for photos, can we tell you?
Of course, my dear! If you see your grandparents dancing and want me to capture it, if you want a group photo of friends at the reception, anything at all, just let me know. I also use online questionnaires to gather information leading up to the wedding, including special things about your day that you don’t want me to miss. 

12. How do you feel about other people taking photos at my wedding?
Many people ask their guests to put away phones during the ceremony. That’s completely your choice. If someone is keeping me from doing my job well and there’s no way for me to work around them, I’ll politely let them know. 




WHAT MY COUPLES HAVE TO SAY

KIND WORDS

"Esther was fantastic! Not only was she kind, excited to share the day with us, but also extremely talented. Her aesthetic very much captured the love we felt during the day and the charm of Savannah."
- Catriona

READ REVIEWS HERE

- Full wedding day coverage up to 10 hours
- 2nd photographer for up to 10 hours
- Engagement session
- Bridal session
-1500 edited, high-resolution digital images delivered in a sharable online gallery
- 40 page fine art album
$7500

Collections

- Full wedding day coverage up to 10 hours
- 2nd photographer for 10 hours
- Engagement session
- 750 edited, high-resolution digital images delivered in a sharable online gallery
- Access to exclusive pricing on fine art prints and heirloom albums
$5500

- 10 hours of wedding day coverage
- Engagement session
-400 edited, high-resolution digital images delivered in a sharable online gallery
- Access to exclusive pricing on fine art prints and heirloom albums
$4500

The kind of client care you thought no longer existed
A detailed photography timeline for your wedding day
Well-planned family portraits
Emotion-filled candids as the day unfolds
Timeless bride and groom portraits
Both black-and-white and color images
Photos of guests enjoying the day
A beautiful online gallery that you may share
A preview gallery delivered within three days of your wedding
Online store offering fine art pieces including heirloom-quality albums at special pricing for my clients

platinum

GOLD

silver

Booking & Payment

My clients secure their wedding date by signing an online contract and paying the deposit.

I divide payment into five equal installments, with the first due at signing as the deposit. The four remaining payments are spread between signing and the wedding.

My clients receive email reminders as their payments come due. My clients can also log into their client portal page at anytime to review their contract, invoice, photography timeline, family photo list and client questionnaires.

first look?

Should you have a 

1. It's YOUR choice. I'll tell you the advantages, but those never outweigh your wishes for your wedding day.  One interesting note: in my experience, if a couple chooses to follow tradition, it's often the groom who feels strongly that he wants to see his bride first as she walks down the aisle.

2. If you choose not to have a first look, make sure you have enough time after the ceremony to get all photos taken before the sun sets. The sun sets earlier in winter than summer and in winter, I find it's often overcast, so I like to finish photos at least 30 minutes before sunset. This means that with no first look, ceremonies need to start earlier in winter than in summer.

3. Sometimes couples feel seeing each other first during the ceremony will be more emotional. I find men allow themselves to be more emotional during first looks, especially if the first look happens in a private, secluded setting/

4. I think there are a few advantages to having a first look:
- Couples have two opportunities for photos, both before and after the ceremony. If it rains on your wedding day, you have two opportunities to catch a break in the weather.(Although, remember, I offer a "redo" session!)
- Couples can get to their cocktail hour. With most photos taken care of before the ceremony, you get to actually enjoy more of the party with your guests.
- Couples tell me that finishing most photos before the ceremony allows them to relax and really enjoy the rest of the day. WHEW! 

Should you see each other before the ceremony or follow tradition and see each other first as the bride walks down the aisle?

Sample Timeline

I'll create a custom, detailed photography timeline for your wedding day.
here's an abbreviated sample.

12 - 2 p.m. 
 
2 - 2:30 p.m.  

2:30 - 3 p.m. 

3 - 3:30 p.m.  

3:30 - 4 p.m.  
4 - 4:30 p.m.  
4:30 - 5 p.m.  

5 - 5:30 p.m.  
5:30 - 5:45 p.m.  
5:45 - 6:15 p.m.  

6:15 - 6:30 p.m.
  
6:30 - 10 p.m.  

12 - 2 p.m.  
2 - 2:30 p.m.  
2:30 - 3 p.m. 
3 - 3:30 p.m.  
3:30 - 4 p.m.  
4 - 4:30 p.m.  
4:30 - 5 p.m.  
5 - 5:30 p.m.  
5:30 - 5:45 p.m.  
5:45 - 6:15 p.m.  
6:15 - 6:30 p.m.  
6:30 - 10 p.m.  

Ladies getting ready / wedding day details
Finishing touches as men get ready
Finishing touches as bride gets buttoned into her dress
First look / Bride and groom photos
Wedding party photos
Travel to ceremony site
Photos of ceremony details and guests arriving
Ceremony
Family photos
Bride and groom sunset photos
Reception details / Cocktail hour
Reception

TIP: If hair and makeup finishes on time, the rest of the day usually goes smoothly. If it runs late, the rest of the day feels rushed. So schedule the finish time 30 to 45 minutes earlier than needed and use the extra time to just relax and breathe!

Wedding Details

I start wedding days capturing all the "pretty pretties," the details you've carefully chosen to be a part of your wedding day.

The day before your wedding, I pack my styling kit, choosing vintage trays and dishes, velvet ring boxes, silk ribbons, and more, all selected to match your wedding colors and style. I'll also bring a vintage ornate hanger for photos of your dress.

TIP: Ask your florist for a few extra stems. I love using fresh florals in my images. And often I use a boutonniere or two. Their small size is perfect!

Dress
Dress hanger (I bring beautiful hangers, too)
Veil and hair pieces
Shoes
Rings (engagement and BOTH wedding bands; I bring velvet ring boxes)
Bouquet
Bride's Jewelry: earrings, necklace, other rings
Invitation Suite ( 2 full sets with envelopes; I bring vintage stamps)

Bridal DETAILS Checklist 

His shoes
Socks (if they're special)
Cuff Links
Tie 
Pocket Square
Boutonnière
Vows Book
Rings
Anything else that is special or sentimental.

GROOM DETAILS Checklist 

I take photos of your rings while you're getting ready. If possible, try to have your engagement ring cleaned or clean it yourself. To clean at home, soak your ring in warm water with dishwashing soap for 20 to 40 minutes. Then gently brush the stone with a soft toothbrush, rinse and repeat if needed.

The Rings

Getting ready

Choose a getting ready space that has lots of windows for great natural light. I can suggest hotels and rentals that are gorgeous! I capture candids as the ladies are getting ready while I'm doing the detail shots. I generally wait until the ladies are nearly finished with hair and makeup before focusing primarily on them.

Near the end of the getting ready period, my assistant and I will do a quick cleanup, clearing clutter. We'll do shots in your pretty robes, and then you'll get dressed. I'll capture your finishing touches as you get buttoned into your gown and put on your jewelry, shoes and perfume.

TIP: I absolutely LOVE doing first looks with Dad and with bridesmaids!

FIRST LOOK

I first set up the groom, facing away. Then my assistant brings the bride. We carefully arrange her dress and train, and make sure she's holding the bouquet at just the right level to show off every beautiful detail of her dress. 

Then we walk away, and let the bride tell her groom to turn around. Or she walks up to him and taps his shoulder. We are at a distance clicking away while letting the moment naturally unfold.

Wedding Party

You've chosen your wedding party with  intention. These are the people who've loved you the longest and the hardest, through all of life that has led to this day. 

I love capturing the connection between you and your people. We do group shots as well as individual shots. Serious shots and fun shots. 

Ceremony

This is what the day is all about, and I make sure to capture every moment: the groom's face as he sees his bride walking down the aisle; the flower girls as they drop their petals, the parents and grandparents as they look on with pride.

For family portraits, we’ll place you in the center of a large group photo with all of your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, godparents, etc. And then we’ll remove the extended family so it’s just grandparents, parents and siblings.

We’ll keep removing family members and switch a few closer family members in and out so we get photos of you and your parents, you and your siblings, some with the groom and your family, etc. Then we’ll repeat the process with your spouse's family. The whole thing will go quicker and smoother if you let family know how the portrait process will work ahead of time.

When we send out our pre-wedding questionnaire, we'll ask you for a list of specific groupings, special situations (such as divorces or handicapped family members & more), but if you want to start brainstorming photos in the meantime, you'll find our typical list below. 

Family photos

your entire family, dressed up and together, Formal and fun 

Bride + Groom + Bride's Extended Family 
Bride + Groom + Bride's Parents + Bride's Siblings and Families + Bride's Grandparents
Bride + Groom + Bride's Grandparents
Bride + Groom + Groom's Extended Family
Bride + Groom + Groom's Parents + Groom's Siblings + Groom's Grandparents
Bride + Groom + Groom's Grandparents
Bride + Groom + Bride's Parents + Bride's Siblings and Families
Bride + Groom + Bride's Parents
Bride + Groom + Both Sets of Parents
Bride + Bride's Siblings 
Bride + Mom 
Bride + Dad 
Bride + Groom + Groom's  Parents + Groom's Siblings and Families 
Bride + Groom + Groom's  Parents
Groom + Groom's Siblings 
Groom + Mom 
Groom + Dad 

FAMILY Portrait Session Checklist 

This list is just a starting point. We work with each couple to create a custom list.

Bride & Groom

This is my favorite part of the day.  I encourage my couples to step away from family, friends, wedding party, everyone. I like this to be an intimate time, just the two of you.

I find that on wedding days, there is so much energy and emotion that I need to give little direction, but I am always giving feedback and prompts for natural, beautiful interaction.


Cocktail Hour

My goal during cocktail hour is the capture the food and drink and your guests having a great time.

If I'm doing post-ceremony photos, I send my second photographer to work the room. If we do a first look and we finish post-ceremony photos early, I join the fun.

We are NOT wallflowers! We will ask groups of guests to get in close for a photo. When we see people snapping selfies with their phones, we'll jump in and capture, too! And once guests see what we're doing, they'll ask us to get a photo of all the cousins, or all the sorority sisters, or all of Mom's sisters. We love it!

Reception Details

After post-ceremony portraits are complete and cocktail hour is drawing to a close, I slip into the reception area to capture all the details: the cake, the table settings and centerpieces, the entire room. 

I love it if the bride and groom sneak in, too, and see how their vision has come to life in the most spectacular way.

Reception

Ah, finally, it's time to enjoy the party! From first dances to toasts, to cake cutting, to your best man taking your grandmother for a spin on the dance floor,  to the grand exit, I capture all the beautiful moments!

I offer my clients the opportunity to preserve their wedding images in an heirloom album. These premium albums are printed on high-end matte photo paper with thick, lay-flat pages with custom linen covers with foiled letters.

Albums

more details

the perfect way to remember your wedding day