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Cliff House Cape Neddick Maine Wedding Invitation Suite

Maine Wedding Planning Guide

There are two items that we see as most important during the wedding day, creating a stress free experience and having amazing light for the photographs you’ll enjoy for the rest of your lives and pass down to future generations. We take both equally serious which is why we created this wedding guide. Our goal is to help you with all the parts that make up your day so on your actual wedding day you’ll have nothing to worry about.

2021 Maine Wedding Guide Table of Contents

Best Wedding Venues

Maine has many different types of wedding venues. Everything from coastal locations along the beach to barns with beautiful views of the mountains and everything in between. We have created a page that lists all of our favorite wedding venues throughout the state. 

Example Wedding Day Timeline

Once you’ve booked with us we always create a custom wedding day time line just for you. We break down what time all the important events are scheduled for as well as the location and who will be photographing each event when there are multiple events that are at different locations at the same time.  We have found that this is the best way to help keep things organized on the day of your wedding.

We typically reach out to you about 2-3 months before your wedding to ask for details in order to start putting together your custom timeline. Once we have everything put together, we’ll send you a copy for your review and approval. Once the timeline is final we’ll share a copy with any coordinators or planners as well the DJ so they all know the important times of the day. 

We always start creating your custom timeline by looking up what time sunset will be on your wedding day and using that as a starting point. We usually plan to start photography coverage during the getting ready about 60-90 minutes before you’re done with hair and makeup. That’ll give us time to get detail shots of your dress and all the accessories as well as the actual getting ready. After that we typically do a first look and then take formal pictures with the wedding party which typically takes about an hour total depending on the locations. We usually aim to be done with formal pictures about 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. This gives some extra time in case of any delays and also gives you time to relax before the ceremony starts. Some couples take this time to sit out of sight from the arriving guests alone  for some quiet time before the ceremony and others like to spend it with their wedding party.  

Once the ceremony ends, we will take any remaining family portraits and then you can go and enjoy your cocktail hour and dinner before we grab you just before sunset for some amazing sunset pictures.  For a typical wedding day 10 hours of photography coverage is enough to cover from getting ready through the first hour or so of dancing at the reception. We typically do not recommend more than 60-90 minutes of dance coverage unless you have a special exit planned that you want us to photograph.

Below is an sample example for a typical wedding with 10 hours of photography coverage with a first look. While we strongly encourage doing first look if you choose not to have a first look you’re timeline will be very similar except the wedding party portraits will all take place after the ceremony.

Example 10-hour day:

8:00-9:00 Hair and Makeup Starts

12:00 Photography Coverage begins

1:30 Hair and Makeup Ends

2:30 First look and wedding party portraits

4:00 Ceremony

4:30 Cocktail hour

5:30 Wedding party announced in

6:00 Dinner Starts

6:45 Speeches/Toasts/Dances

7:30 Dancing Starts

7:45 Sunset Portraits

8:00 Sunset

8:30 Cake cutting

10:00 Photography Coverage ends

Tips for Best Light During your Outdoor Ceremony

Light may not be something you’re thinking about for your wedding but it will have a big effect on your photographs. In a perfect world your ceremony would start about 60-90 minutes before sunset but we know that is usually to late for most wedding ceremonies to start. Since most ceremonies start mid to late afternoon when the sunlight is very harsh, we recommend trying to find a nice shady spot for your ceremony. This will give nice even light for the wedding party during the ceremony. We know that will not be possible for all locations so for those situation we recommend when possible making sure that the sun is to the back of the officiant. 

What to Do When It Rains​

If your planning an outdoor ceremony the chance that it might rain can add a lot of unneeded stress. When you look at the weather forecast the week before your wedding and see that there is a chance of rain on your wedding day, first, don’t worry. All of our recommended wedding vendors know how to handle the rain and will help you come up with an alternate plan. 

For your ceremony we always recommend having an indoor backup plan just in case. Asking your wedding guest to sit outside in the rain or your vendors to work in the rain is not an ideal situation. For your wedding pictures we always carry a few large see through umbrellas with us so you can still have your outdoor photos and not get wet.

Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Do you carry insurance? We carry full liability insurance. If your wedding venue requires proof of insurance please let us know and we will provide the appropriate documentation.
    2. Do you offer videography? Videography is a service that we are not equipped to offer. However, if you are looking for someone to capture video for your wedding day please reach out to use and will provide a list of recommended videographers who are available on your wedding day.
    3. How much do your services cost? There are several factors that influence our pricing including the time of year, day of the week your wedding is on and the number of guests. All day coverage begins at $2699. On average, most couples spend $3000-$3500 on their photography collection. We also have several add-ons for our packages as well as many products that you can add to your package. Please check out our pricing page for more information.
    4. Do you include a second photographer? All of our traditional wedding packages include both Emily and Allen to photograph your wedding. We both work together at all the weddings we photograph. We find this allows us to best photograph your wedding. For smaller weddings or elopements a second photographer is usually not necessary for the whole day. Typically Emily will be the primary photographer and Allen will assist with taking photographs during the ceremony. The remainder of the time Allen will help carry equipment and keeps things organized.
    5. Do you offer smaller packages for small weddings or elopements? We love photographing small weddings and elopements and offer two and three-hour packages. These packages are perfect for smaller weddings with up to 15 guests but we’re somewhat flexible on that number.
    6. How far will you travel? We are based in Westport Island, Maine but the weddings we photograph are at locations all across Maine. Don’t be afraid to reach out if your wedding location is not near us as all of our wedding packages include travel throughout Maine.  We can, will, and routinely do travel to destinations all across Maine.
    7. Do you charge for travel? For most packages, travel within the state of Maine is included free of charge. Outside of Maine, travel may be subject to an additional charge depending on the situation.
    8. How do I book? You can start by filling out our contact form. Once we review our schedule and confirm that we have your wedding date open we’ll send you a questionnaire to fill out to help us put together your custom quote. We understand that you may not be able to answer all these questions as hiring a photographer is usually one of the first items on your wedding to-do list and that you may not have finalized all the details so provide as much information as you can. The more information we have up front about what you’re envisioning for your wedding day the easier it will be for us to understand exactly what you need for photography coverage.
      If you need some help deciding exactly what you need for coverage don’t worry, we can set up a time to talk through the details of your wedding and help you determine exactly what coverage would be best. Once we have everything we need we will send you a quote. Once you review and accept the quote, we will send you an invoice for your booking fee as well a contract for you to sign. Once we receive your booking fee and signed contract your date is booked.
    9. How much is your booking fee? Our booking fee is normally the larger of 25% of your total or $1000. For smaller weddings the booking fee is reduced.
    10. Do you offer any sort of payment assistance or payment plans? We always offer all of our couples the option of splitting up their invoice into payments for no additional fee. Depending on how far in advance you book we will generally split your invoice into 3-4 payments. The final payment will typically be due two months before your wedding date. We’ll outline all the details in your quote and again in your contract. In case you forget, our online payment system will send you a reminder one week before each due date to remind you to pay your invoice.
    11. Do you accept credit cards? Our online payment system allows for the option of paying with either a credit card or an electronic check.
    12. What products do you offer? Our most popular product is a custom-designed wedding album. We also offer gallery wrap canvas, professional prints, torn edge fine art prints, save the dates, guest books, thank you cards and many other great items. Our products page contains a complete listing of all the products that we offer. With that said, if you have something else in mind please reach out as we may be able to work with our lab to get exactly what you’re looking for.
    13. When will we receive our photos? We always try to post a sneak peek on social media a few days after your wedding. We will typically post your full gallery within 3-4 weeks after your wedding however during our busy season, it may take a bit longer for us to post your final images.
    14. How many images will I receive? We shoot a lot of images throughout the day in order to make sure that each image that we deliver is as perfect as it can be. There are many factors that influence the final amount of delivered images but on average we typically deliver ~50-75 images per hour of photography coverage.
    15. How do I get my images? All of our wedding packages include a USB thumb drive with all of your images as well as an online gallery for downloading your images and ordering prints. Once we have finished hand-editing all your images we will post them on our website for you to view and order prints. (Don’t forget to share the link with your friends and family!) One to two weeks later we will mail your thumb drive to you. Your thumb drive will include a copy of your personal use license and two folders with all your images. The first folder is called PRINTS and contains high-resolution images resized to 3600 pixels on the longest side (unless you upgrade to super-high-resolution images). These files are perfect for printing up to an 8”x10” print of all your images without having to upsize your images files. The second folder is called SOCIAL MEDIA and has all of your images resized to 1200 pixels on the longest side. This is the perfect size for sharing your images on the social media platform of your choice.
    16. Can I purchase an album or other prints after the wedding? Absolutely! We strongly encourage everyone to get their images printed. Once your gallery is posted you will be able to purchase from any of our traditional or fine art prints as well as our canvas gallery wraps right from your gallery via our online ordering system. Our product page has a full list of all the products that we offer. If you would like to purchase any of the other items that we offer or need some help deciding what to purchase please contact us and we will work with you to get your items ordered.
    17. Can you tell me more about the album pre-buy discount deposit? If you’re unsure exactly what you would like to purchase for albums or would like to spread your payments out a little further, we offer the option of paying a $250 non-refundable deposit when you sign your contract which will lock you in at our current album prices. You’ll have up to 6 months after your wedding to make your album purchase. Once you finalize your album order we’ll take 10% off of the final price and put the $250 you paid to lock in your price towards the final invoice.
    18. What is a personal use license? As part of your signed contract, we will give you one personal use license. The license gives you certain personal non-commercial rights to your images. This license allows you to post your images on social media (don’t forget to give credit to Flutter Focus Photography), print your images or do almost anything else you want so long as it’s for your own personal use.
    19. If I have the rights to print my own images why would I purchase prints from you?
      Your personal use license gives you the rights to print your photographs wherever you’d like. We even provide a short list of recommended print labs for you to use when we deliver your images. When you purchase your prints from us we have access to print labs that only allowing ordering from professional photographers. We have reviewed prints from various prints labs both available to the general public as well as those only available to professional photographers and we feel that the best quality and color reproduction comes from the labs that are only available to professional photographers. We also work closely with our preferred lab to ensure that we have all the information on their printers so we can view how the printed images will look before printing them to ensure that the color reproduction in your images is perfect. Without knowing exactly what print lab you may choose and therefore not having any information on which printers they use there is no way for us to ensure that the color reproduction will be accurate.
    20. I’d like to print my images myself but I’d like a print larger than an 8”x10” what can I do? We find that when most of our clients print their own images they generally only purchase small size prints and reach out to us to purchase medium and large size prints. We do understand that sometimes you would like to purchase a medium or large size with your preferred print lab. For those situations, we offer an option that allows you to upgrade to super-high-resolution images. These images are the native file sizes for our cameras and allow for printing up to a 40” print without having to upsize your image files. Super high-resolution images are always included in our platinum package but can be included in any package for a small fee. Before your final images are delivered we’ll reach out to you and confirm if you would like to upgrade to super-high-resolution images.
    21. What happens if you are sick on the day of the wedding? We’ve never missed a wedding yet and we don’t plan to but If we are sick or have an emergency that makes us unavailable we have a long list of photographers that we can contact that will fill in for us. For us, missing your wedding is an absolute last resort and not something that we take lightly. In the event that something happens, we will reach out to you and let you know the situation as soon as possible.
    22. Can I give you a list of photographs that I want you to capture? If there are any special requests for posed formals or any special details that you have, we encourage you to let us know. We know it’s important to get those portraits because weddings are one of the only times all those people will be together in one place (and looking their best!). We will send you a worksheet to fill out prior to your wedding, where you’ll have the opportunity to plan out all of those must-have shots. While we will not be able to guarantee that all these images will end up in your final delivered images we will do every possible to ensure that they are.
    23. What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have backups? We shoot with high-end professional Canon cameras bodies, Canon L lenses, and Canon flashes with MagMod Modifiers. We have a blog post that talks all about the Sandisk ExtremePro Memory Cards that we use and we always make sure to carry plenty of them with us on the wedding day. We also carry lots of other items with like, tripods, monopods, gaffers tape, zip ties, batteries, etc since you never know what you’ll need on the wedding day! We each always carry two camera bodies and multiple lenses with us at all times just in case there is an accident or malfunction.
    24. Can you please explain each of your add on items? Of course! Below is an explanation of each item.

What is Long Term Storage?
When long term storage is added to your package we will take care of making sure that all your images are fully backed up should you ever lose your images or need an additional copy. When we deliver your USB with your images to you it is your responsibility to back up your images. While every effort is made to save a copy of the digital files that are delivered to you this additional storage fee covers the cost for backing up both your original raw files and your delivered images to additional hard drives as well as to cloud-based storage to ensure that we have your images in the future should you ever reach out to us needing a copy. Should you ever lose your images or decide that you want additional prints or to make changes to your photographs at any point down the road you will have peace of mind knowing that we have your images for you. When long term storage is purchased the first retrieval of your images is free and each subsequent retrievals costs just $100. If this option is not chosen, we will make no guarantees that your digital images will be available should you lose them. If we do have your images the cost for retrieval will be our rate for digital files at the time that retrieval is requested (currently twice the fee for this service).

What is image privacy?
All of our packages include a built-in discount for allowing us to use your images for advertising purposes. We understand that sometimes you don’t want your images shared and want to keep them private. In those cases, we will remove the discount from your package. Images will not be used on social media or for any other marketing purposes.

What is Rush Image Processing?
This is for those who just can’t wait to see your images. Including this option moves your wedding to the top of our editing list and you will have all your digital files upload to your gallery in under ten days.

What are Super High-Resolution Images?
Our standard image files are perfectly sized for up to an 8”x10” print. We’ve found that this is the size that is perfect for most people. Super high-resolution images are the native file sizes for our cameras and allow for printing up to a 40” print without having to upsize your image files. If you want the ability to print medium and large size prints or just want the largest files available add this option to your package.

What do I get with rehearsal coverage?
We absolutely love being a part of the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We find that everyone is a bit more relaxed and that allows special moments to happen that wouldn’t exist on the wedding day. It really is a special time that is worth documenting. We generally provide 2-3 hours of coverage depending on the schedule and make sure that all those special moments are captured. We’ll capture candids and even a few posed formals of everyone during the rehearsal and then we’ll capture all the details of the rehearsal dinner and then a few posed formals at the rehearsal dinner location. We typically leave shortly before the meal is served.

What is a day after session?
A day after session can be anything you want it to be. Are you planning a special brunch that you want to be photographed or do you have a special location in mind that you want to sneak off to and have a photo session at? The options are really endless. We generally provide 60 minutes of coverage but are somewhat flexible. We also allow the option for you to delay your day after session for up to one year after your wedding date. Think first anniversary photos!

What comes with an additional personal use license?
Every wedding package comes with one personal use license for the wedding couple. If mom and dad or grandma and grandpa or anyone else wants to use your wedding images for their own personal use we need to give them permission to do so or legally they would be in violation of the United States copyright law of 1976. Since we own the copyright to all your images purchasing this license allows us to legally give them permission to use your images for their own personal use. If you purchase an additional copy of your USB with all your images and plan to give it away as a gift let us know who it’s for and we’ll be sure to include a personal use license just for them.

Updated February 14th, 2020

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