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Preparing To Photograph the first wedding of 2018!!


I am so excited to be photographing the first wedding of the summer season this weekend at Castle Farms in Charlevoix Michigan!! Normally I’d be celebrating be eating at least 3 bags of delicious Doritos, I am still trying to stick to my New Years Resolution goals of eating healthier (which basically means I’ll eat 2 bags instead of 3 haha!)

And while I am preparing my stomach (ahem, I mean my bags) to hold all of my gear, I am simultaneously preparing my head and heart, to make space for a truly spectacular couple of months!!

As a wedding photographer in northern Michigan, our work is extremely seasonal. So when springtime rolls around, you can bet that us wedding vendors are dedicated to providing the best experience to all of our brides, especially those who are destination weddings, since so many of our clients come to us from areas like Chicago, Ohio, and Detroit.

We are cleaning our gear, packing our bags full of lenses, film, and other such goodies, and strategically planning out our snacks and water consumption (working on your feet for 12 hours a day with no water = wedding vendor hangover on Sunday).

Although packing my lunches (aka chips) and dinner (aka more chips) may be vital to my performance, what I truly like to concentrate most on, is preparing mentally to best serve my clients on their wedding day.

Prepping the Mind

behind the scenes wedding photographer in michiganFor me, preparing for a wedding means focusing on achieving emotional and mental clarity in order to sustain my energy, achieve success while under duress (wedding days can be stressful, we all know), and be flexible to best serve my clients.

Emotional Clarity Can Sustain Your Energy

Ever notice how the more emotional you become, the more rashly you behave?

Yup, that’s me too. Especially when it comes to performing on such an important day as a wedding!

But as a wedding photographer (and as someone who has been through the whole wedding process) I know how incredibly important it is to maintain calm, peace, and serene direction throughout the entire day.

My Personal Wedding Meltdown

On my wedding day, I experienced what my family so dubbed me as “the bridezilla effect.” My red hair was practically on fire, I threatened to punch my maid of honor in the face (yes, this actually did happen and no, I’m not proud of this fact) and my brothers confessed to being utterly terrified of me (ok ok, I maaaaay be a bit proud of this fact.)

So many things had gone wrong on my wedding day:

  • it poured rain all day (beach ceremony + outdoor reception tent + torrential downpour of rain = very sad Melissa)
  • the wrong size tent was delivered to the reception, so it couldn’t fit all of the tables we ordered for the guests
  • I forgot to order dinner plates (later, we all found this hilarious that our guests had to eat on paper plates quickly picked up from the local gas station)
  • extra guests showed up to our reception that were not invited and therefore did not have a place to sit or eat dinner

But what I remember most on my wedding day, was the calming and peaceful state that Cory, my husband, exemplified throughout the entire day. It did not matter to him that details were incorrect or that things were going wrong.

“I’m marrying you. That’s all I need to go right,”

“I’m marrying you. That’s all I need to go right,” he told me, as I was pacing my getting-ready room for the umpteenth time.

And he was right. He was soooooo right. As a bride, once I was able to shrug my shoulders and let go of all the things that I wanted to control, I was able to relax and allow myself to enjoy the moments, even if they occurred differently than I had pictured in my head.

This personal wedding experience only instilled in me, a greater sense of calm and peace over the weddings that I am so honored to photograph.

Friends, I hate to say it, but things will go awry in some way, shape, or form. Your wedding plans may need to be changed, your timeline tweaked last minute, or a few flowers swapped out.

This is ok! I can say this because, my wedding turned out great, simply because I married the love of my life. And in Cory’s words, “that’s all I need to go right.”

All this is to say that, if your wedding day isn’t going exactly as to plan, I am sooooo there with you! And not only that, you can count on me to be your foundation. I always have my client’s backs, and because my number one goal is to see them married and experiencing joy, I know how important it is for me to remain positive, emotionally upbeat, and focused on my client’s personal experience.

This mental clarity, despite wedding-day stress, is hard for some people. But this is such a crucial part of my job!

Cause sista, I have your back!

My plan for this week as I prepare for the first wedding of this spring season?

behind the scenes wedding photographer in michigan


I am so excited to be focused on mentally and emotionally preparing for your wedding, and I encourage all other photographers to take place in activities like meditation. Do not just pack your bags or charge your cameras. Be there for your clients! Be mentally available and able to maintain consistent emotional clarity throughout the entire wedding day, simply so that you can give give give to your clients in any way that they need!

Preparing for success on a wedding day means focusing on your emotional, mental and logical clarity to best serve your clients!

Interested to see how our first wedding of the spring season in northern Michigan plays out?

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see the sneak peek and blog images of this wedding at Castle Farms in Charlevoix Michigan!



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