Engagement session tips, timeline guidance, vendor recommendations & more!


Tony Asgari Photography

- Tony Asgari 

Thank you again for choosing to work with us and please don't hesitate to let me know if I can offer any additional guidance throughout the wedding planning process!

I'm absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to work with you and I'm looking forward to getting to know you better as we move forward over the next few months! I understand that choosing a photographer is a significant decision for your wedding day, and I feel incredibly honored that you've entrusted me with this important task.

Whether you're coordinating with a wedding planner or planning a more straightforward celebration, there are still many details to consider leading up to your special day.

With my experience photographing weddings for the past 14 years, I've noticed that certain questions tend to arise repeatedly. To assist you in your planning process, I've taken the initiative to create a comprehensive guide covering everything from crafting timelines to navigating engagement sessions and preparing for unexpected weather conditions.


A quick note about this guide

Engagement Session

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What to Wear

I'm a big fan of engagement sessions for several reasons. I truly believe in their value, as they provide not only a chance for you to feel at ease in front of the camera but also an opportunity to highlight your unique personalities in a relaxed setting that holds meaning for both of you. That's why I've put together a dedicated page on featuring outfit tips, location suggestions, timing considerations, and much more!

You know that amazing moment when the bride and groom lock eyes for the first time on their big day? It's pure magic, whether they wait until the ceremony or sneak a peek beforehand with a "first look."

Lately, more and more couples are going for the "first look" trend—a private moment together before the main event. In fact, almost all couples I've worked with this year have jumped on board.

I'm all about tradition, but hear me out on why a "first look" might be worth considering. Here are three solid reasons to give it a shot:

First Looks

Wondering if a first look is the way to go? Let's talk!

Once the ceremony begins, the day takes off quickly. A ‘first look’ is an opportunity to enjoy some quiet time alone, enjoy each other’s company, and reflect on all this day means before your day takes off.

Wedding days can be a whirlwind and they tend to fly by. There’s much to do, and a lot of people to see and to catch up with. I always encourage my couples to take a few minutes every so often during their wedding to stop and soak in everything that’s happening.



When there is no first look, the majority of the pictures have to be taken after the ceremony. Family pictures are generally done as soon as the ceremony ends because it’s the easiest time to round everyone up. Next up is full bridal party, and then bride and groom portraits. This generally runs into cocktail hour.

A first look opens up time prior to the ceremony for full bridal party pictures and, sometimes, for a few bride and groom portraits (although I prefer to do bride and groom portraits at sunset). This allows the couple to get the most out of cocktail hour, which makes the rest of the evening feel less rushed.



If you’re expecting poor weather on your wedding day, it might be best to plan on a first look because it gives you more options for pictures. If it’s pouring rain after the ceremony, you’ll be thankful you had pictures done in advance.

If you're a cryer like me, then you know tears are going to fly the first time you see the person you're marrying on the day of your wedding. A first look will give you time to freshen up before the ceremony.

First look or not, the first time you see each other on your wedding day will be special.



Building the Perfect

Wedding DaY


Whether you choose to do a first look or the traditional "no see before the ceremony" I will work with you on making sure you have the best timeline and plan for images.

If you're choosing to go traditional, you'll need two different sets of photo times: images taken before the ceremony and images taken after the ceremony.

You'll need to plan for about one hour of pre-ceremony bridal photos (bridesmaids and bride's family) and about one hour of pre-ceremony groom photos (groomsmen and groom's family) at separate times. You'll also need 15 minutes of combined bridal party portraits, 15 minutes of combined family portraits and at least 30 -45 minutes of couple's portraits after the ceremony if you're not doing any portraits together until after the ceremony.

If you're doing a first look, photos can be done all at one time, taking an average total of 1.5 to 2 hours pre-ceremony. I also LOVE grabbing just the two of you for a few additional bride and groom photos at sunset!

If you choose a traditional aisle reveal, all I ask is that you keep your ceremony time in mind when planning your wedding.

If you're planning a sunset ceremony or an evening ceremony, it's best to do all photos before the wedding, as daylight is crucial to getting amazing portraits for your families, bridal party and your couples portraits. Making sure we have enough time while the sun is up is a great way to make the traditional ceremony work.

Be sure to check out my  more in-depth helpful article about creating a wedding day timeline.  

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Below are links to a collection of articles I've written that delve deeper into tips and advice on different topics that may come in clutch for your wedding planning.

These articles are from years of experience I've gathered from photographing weddings.  

In-depth wedding Guides

Click on each to take you to the article

I can't wait to go on this adventure with you and get to know you! If you haven't scheduled your engagement session yet, let's get that in the books. 

There is no way I've covered everything here. If you have any questions or would just like to chat, I'm here for you. I hope this guide helps make the process of planning your wedding details much easier and less stressful. I can't wait to see you soon! Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my guide!

Thank you!

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Tony Asgari

Seattle Wedding Photographer