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Wedding Planning Tips

Why Have a First Look


Why Have a First Look

Wedding days are full of anticipation, with the moment a couple sees each other for the first time being one of, if not THE, biggest anticipated moment between a bride and groom. This once in a lifetime moment happens ether as you, the bride, walk down the isle, or during a first look, where you and the groom privately see other for the first time before the ceremony.

So, to first look, or not to first look? In my experience as a wedding photographer and in understanding my couple's values, I have found great advantages to having a first look.

Have intimate, private time together

My couples highly value intimate moments between them, so a first look allows you to carve out a piece of the day just for you two. I set up the first look in a private space and advise you to take your time. We allotted time scheduled for this part of the day, but I encourage you to take as long as you need together as this may be your only time together to take everything in privately: your excitement, your raw emotions, what you smell, what you hear. This is uninterrupted time to awe at each other and share an embrace, a kiss, maybe even a few tears. 

My second shooter and I will be the only ones there documenting these moments for you, hence why I am a big supporter of couples hiring photographers they like and feel comfortable with to capture one the most intimate moments of their day.

Enjoy cocktail hour with your friends and family

A first look allows for any photos where you are both included to be taken pre-ceremony. This can include your couple's portraits, your entire bridal party, as well as your family portraits. If all, or some, of your photos are taken before the ceremony, you are able to join all of your friends and family during all or the majority of cocktail hour. You will be able to enjoy a glass of champagne and take that selfie with your college girlfriends without being rushed. You have invited your closest friends and family, so you will want to take the time to really enjoy this day with them.

Bonus: even if we have shot your portraits prior to the ceremony, I am always happy to take you out in the evening for more photos during the beautiful light that appears at sunset. 

Look and feel your freshest during your couple's portraits

The moment when you finish putting on your dress is the moment you are ready: you are a bride and you can walk down the isle at that very moment. Your hair and make up will be pristine, so why not see your groom looking and feeling your best and follow it with your portrait session? Every hair will be in place, and you ensure your eye make up stays put in case there are any tears of joy during the ceremony.

Enjoy twice the anticipation

Having a first look allows you to enjoy twice the anticipation on your wedding day: the first being the first look with your groom, the second with all of your friends and family as you walk down the isle. I have seen groom after groom still be very emotionally moved at the alter as he sees his bride walk towards him, even if he saw her earlier. In fact, a first look allows for many grooms to get their emotions out in private with his bride-to-be and be ready for the amazing moment she lights up the room with her presence.

Thinking about a first look and want to chat about it further? Awesome! Contact me here and we can set up a time to connect!



What To Wear: Engagement Photos


What To Wear: Engagement Photos

We have all been there: standing in front of our closets, wondering what to wear. It's a random Tuesday with nothing especially crazy-amazing on the agenda, and we struggle to pick something out, so I understand the guidance desired when my couples ask me, "What should we wear to our engagement session?" because this session IS in fact a mometous event!

Think of your engagement session as a special occasion date. This is a time for you both to connect, spend quality time together, and look good while doing it!

Take this opportunity to dress up!

Special occasions call for you to get dressed up! For my brides, a classic, single color cocktail dress and heels is the perfect combination: a shorter dress lets you walk freely, show your feminine side as well as your awesome taste in shoes. For my grooms, a well fitted suit and dress shoes are a match made in heaven. Since it's often warm in Southern California, a crisp, collared shirt works well too: you will look put together and sleek!

Just like with your wedding photos, you will want to look back at your engagement session in a timeless manner and have what you felt in these photographed moments be top of mind. You want these photos to hang on the walls of your home and your families' homes for years to come, not until the trendy outfit you wore goes out of style.

Opt for solid colors that help you both pop amongst any background; it allows the focus of each photograph to be on you! Also, remember to also wear different colors from each other in order for each of you to stand out.

To my ladies who are looking to wear something different than your classic little black dress, I highly recommend Rent the Runway: with thousands of beautiful dresses in stock, that they will send you up to two sizes of each dress for you to wear and send back to them. Easy process and affordably chic!

Remember that you will be photographed from head to toe, so shoes matter. Gentlemen, shine up your dress shoes, and ladies, be cute and comfortable since we will be moving a lot during your session.

What to Wear: Engagement Session | Central Park Engagement

Love your outfit!

I love being a part of the pre-wedding and pre-engagement shoot process with my couples, so it's my pleasure to give you my opinion on wardrobe options. When Chelsea, pictured below, sent me photos of dresses she was considering for her engagement session, she pointed out this white dress and said, "I'm not going to lie: I'm pretty obsessed with it!" THIS reaction, THIS excitement, THIS feeling is what you should have when picking out your engagement session outfit.

Love what you are wearing, feel beautiful (handsome, for my fellas) and confident in what you wear so the only thing you are thinking of is being in the moment.

Have a professional do your hair and make up.

Your engagement session is a special occasion date, so while your outfits will look amazing, you'll want to prioritize your hair and face too! I recommend hiring a professional or your wedding hair and make-up artist to run a wedding day hair and make up trial on your engagement session date. You will have know what to expect on your wedding day as well as look and feel your best in your engagement photos.

And to my grooms, you know that there is nothing more fresh feeling then getting a clean haircut and shave!

So as you plan our your engagement session outfits, or special occasion date as I've dubbed it, check off each item on this check list for the perfect look:

  • Cocktail dress and heels
  • Suit and dress shoes
  • Solid colors
  • Professional hair and make up
  • Fresh hair cut and shave

Remember, I can always be your fashion consultant beforehand if you want to share outfits with me! I can't wait to see you at your engagement session! - Evelyn


Why You Should Order A Wedding Album


Why You Should Order A Wedding Album

A discussion over whether or not to purchase a wedding album occurs when you are booking your day with me or after you have received and are thrilled with your wedding day images. My recommendation is always yes! A wedding album is an absolute must and I am happy to break down the reasons why wedding albums are a timeless investment and how I make the process easy for my couples.

Wedding albums are timeless

Your wedding day goes by fast and you want to remember what you smelled, the anticipation before the first look, and how hard you laughed and cried during the speeches. 

The beautifully designed, high end wedding albums I offer my couples are the equivalent to the brand name, little black dress that you invested in, knowing you would wear it time and time again because it's simply classic, so well made, and your go-to for feeling amazing. 

Wedding albums are a timeless capsule of your memories from this day; they highlight the best moments and bring you back to what you felt. Like that dress, it's an investment that will pay itself off over and over.

Your wedding album will also be accessible: whenever you or family want to see photos from your wedding day, I guarantee that you will want to open up an album rather than search for files on a computer. It will sit beautifully on your coffee table and perhaps later be moved to a bookshelf, where subsequent albums - of your first baby, of family photo albums - will join it. 

Luxury Wedding Album - Evelyn Molina Photography

Save time by allowing me to do all of the work

I know that you are both successfull, career driven individuals who always make time for your friends and family; how do you fit in the time and energy to look over your 800 individual wedding photos you absolutely love to select the photos for your album? Also, designing a wedding album is about selecting what photos to include as well as determining how they should be laid out in the album.

This is where I come in: from the moment your wedding gallery is sent to you, I am already in the process of selecting the 50-70 best images from the hundreds delivered. I then design the album to tell the story of your special day and have you look at and approve the lay out before sending it to print. Have a few photos you must have included? Perfect! I want to know this so I ensure to include them!

Your time as a newly married couple is precious; spend it together being active, visiting family, and planning a second honeymoon. Leave the decisions up to me!

Luxury Wedding Album - Evelyn Molina

Access the highest quality of wedding albums

While there are a lot of options for you to print your photos on your own, I have access to the best printers that only sell their products to professional photographers like myself. The linen covered albums I offer my couples are made with the best materials: printed on the finest archival paper - read: this thick, luster paper will stay true to it's colors and not fade over time - and the dust cover, presentation box, and album are all handmade by a team on the East Coast that I am personally in contact with during the printing process.

Remember that the quality of your wedding album is critical. Your investment should go towards an album that will last a lifetime.

You select the size and cover

All wedding albums I offer are square in size and you have the option order a 10" x 10" or 12" x 12" option. You also get to choose your album's cover from a variety of textured, linen options in a number of colors.

Would you like to include a wedding album into your wedding package or have more questions about albums? I'd love to chat with you! Drop me a note here! - Evelyn


How to Choose a Wedding Photographer


How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

So. Many. Decisions. Planning a wedding requires for you to make a lot of decisions, from what you'll wear to where you'll honeymoon! As a wedding professional, my engaged friends have time and time again come to me with the question, "Evelyn, how do I know how to choose my wedding photographer? What should I be looking for? What should I be asking?"

There are a number of variances amongst wedding photographers including, and not limited to, price point, products and services offered, and style of work. In the end, I believe that there are two nonnegotiable factors that every couple should feel confident with when choosing their wedding photographer.

Love your photographer's photos.

Do you want your wedding photos to look similar to what is presented on your potential wedding photographer's website? Do you love the photos you see? Look at how couples are posed and are interacting. Look for photos that take your breathe away. Choose a wedding photographer who's work you love because your photos will be a reflection of your photographer's style.

I am a natural light photographer: I use natural sunlight to create bright and airy photos that are still true to life. I capture the classic poses and then quickly move into providing direction for you to get get comfortable and capture you both in natural smiles, laughs, and cuddles.

Ensure that you like your photographer.

I tell my friends and potential brides and grooms that vibing with their photographer is critical: can you see yourself spending a large part of your wedding day with this person? They will be with you during the most intimate moments of your day: when the dress is put on, during your first look, and during portraits, potentially the only 'alone' time you two will have in the day where you won't be surrounded by others.

My past couples have told me I have made them feel at ease: my job is photographer, cheerleader, back up planner, friend. I believe in paying attention to the details: I fluff dresses, straighten bow ties, and ensure every hair is in place. I have been told I am professional in demeanor, in dress, and in providing upmost service throughout the wedding planning process. I believe in being excited with, as well as a resource to, my couples throughout the wedding planning process.

I encourage my girlfriends (and male homies, too!) to get to know the person behind the camera, and this is why I love getting to know my couples beforehand as well. I want to ensure your expectations match what I can deliver and we are a great personality match. 

Love my work? I'm thrilled! Did you read about me and think we'd have a great time on your wedding day? Awesome! Lets grab coffee, FaceTime, or jump on the phone to chat. Drop me a line here! - Evelyn