Wedding Planning Checklist

You’re getting married! Perhaps you’re eager to start dress shopping, go cake tasting, look at venues and complete all the other fun tasks that come with planning a wedding. There are plenty of details that go into planning a wedding, and staying organized is the best way to accomplish everything before you say “I do.”

This list of everything you’ll need for a wedding will help you follow a timeline of when to accomplish certain wedding tasks and ensure you remember even the smallest details of your big day. Use this ultimate wedding day checklist to learn how to plan your own wedding.

What to do 1 year before your wedding

Twelve Months Before Celebration

Time to start wedding planning! Month 12 is the beginning of your wedding planning timeline. Complete these tasks when you’re a year away from your wedding day.

1. Determine Your Budget

Once you determine your overall budget, you’ll start to get a sense of what venues, vendors, outfits and wedding accessories you’ll be able to afford. You can set budget limitations for every aspect of your wedding. This can help you avoid going over budget and spending time looking at venues or vendors that you can’t afford.

Make sure to keep track of your spending when it comes to wedding purchases, such as the wedding cake, the flowers, decorations and other vendors you hire. Following your wedding budget can help you, your partner and anyone financially contributing to your wedding stay in the loop of the costs of vendors and other expenses.

2. Find a Wedding Planner

Planning your wedding by yourself is possible, especially with this guide. If you choose to hire a wedding planner, it’s important to do your research. You want to find a wedding planner who gets your overall vision for your wedding and will respect your budget limitations.

3. Find the Perfect Wedding Venue

The wedding venue is the centerpiece of your day. Finding the perfect place that matches your vision, meets your budget and is in your ideal location is important. It might be worthwhile to look for blogs about the best wedding venues in your area. Check out Shutter and Sound’s blog for our take on the best wedding venues from California to New York City.

4. Write out Your Guest List

Your guest list is one of the most important parts of your wedding, so sit down with your partner and write it out. Be sure to consider how much space your venue will hold and how many of your guests will be able to make it to the venue location.

5. Pick an Overall Theme

This is your special day, and you can make your vision of the perfect wedding come to life. Every wedding is unique, whether it’s a classic big wedding or a small gathering of your closest loved ones. Some popular wedding themes couples use are:

  • Modern
  • Romantic
  • Rustic
  • Simplistic
  • Beach

You can find numerous wedding themes and color combinations ideas online.

11 months out from your wedding

Eleven Months Before Celebration

Look at these tasks when you’re 11 months away from your wedding day.

1. Choose a Color Theme

Choosing a color theme for your wedding is one of the more fun decisions you get to make. You don’t have to have anything set in stone before you do some research. It might be worth checking out your favorite social media sites to see what sort of wedding inspiration is available. For example, Pinterest and Instagram are great platforms for when you want to get a visual of color-themed events.

2. Hire Vendors

Some wedding vendors require bookings eleven months or more in advance, especially if they’re popular in the area. Vendors you’ll want to meet with and book during this month include your wedding photographer and videographer, and your DJ or band for entertainment.

If you’re interested in having a videographer turn your wedding day into a piece of art you can watch throughout the years, Shutter and Sound has locations across the United States. Contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

10 months out from your wedding

Ten Months Before Celebration

When you’re 10 months away from your wedding, work on these tasks from your wedding timeline checklist.

1. Shop Around for a Wedding Dress

If there’s going to be a wedding dress involved in your wedding, whether it be one or two, it can be fun to shop around for different designs you are interested in. You might do most of your shopping online, or you might make a weekend out of trying on dresses with your crew.

2. Shop for Invitations

Some people send out digital invitations, while others prefer handcrafted ones. If your wedding is small and you’re crafty, you might even hand-make or digitally design your own.

3. Look at Hotel Options Around Your Venue

If you’re having a big wedding, check for hotel options near your venue so your guests don’t have to scramble to find accommodations as the wedding approaches. If you have the budget, you might even pre-book these rooms and pay for some or all of your guests’ rooms ahead of time.

4. Draw up Your Wedding Website

A wedding website is a convenient place for your guests to find all the wedding information. If your guests lose their physical copies of their invitations, they can just pull up your website. Creating your own wedding website is simple. There are sites designed to help you create a wedding website.

5. Make Your Engagement Plans

If you want to have an engagement party or engagement photos, the tenth month before your wedding is a solid time to make those plans. Hosting your engagement party during month 10 allows you to celebrate with plenty of time left to plan your wedding.

9 months out from your wedding

Nine Months Before Celebration

It’s time to let people know when your big day is. Complete these important tasks when you’re nine months out from your wedding.

1. Send out Save the Dates

Before you send invitations, it’s customary to send guests notification about when and where your wedding will take place. You’ll send out formal wedding invitations closer to your wedding day.

2. Buy Your Dream Dress

If you’re planning on wearing a wedding dress, now is the time to purchase one. Hopefully, by this point, you’ll have shopped around for dresses and found one that fits your personal style. If you’re buying it from a store, it’s helpful to do a dress fitting in-store before you finalize your purchase just in case your dress needs alterations.

8 months out from your wedding

Eight Months Before Celebration

Tackle these tasks on your wedding to-do list when you’re eight months out from your celebration.

1. Find a Florist

Flowers are typically a big part of weddings. Some people choose flowers based on their colors, and others choose flowers based on their cultural meanings. Whatever you decide, if you want flowers at your wedding, it’s time to find a florist.

2. Shop for Bridesmaid Dresses

If you’re choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses, the eighth month before the wedding is the time to start shopping for styles and colors you and your bridesmaids will be comfortable with. Schedule fittings for your bridesmaids, whether you schedule them all together or separately, so you can make sure the dresses fit and everyone is happy with them.

3. Create a Gift Registry

Who doesn’t like gifts? More importantly, who doesn’t like gifts they already know they’re going to like? The eighth month before your wedding is the perfect time to create your gift registry. You’ll have plenty of time to shop around for what you want, and your guests will have plenty of time to plan ahead when it comes to their budgets.

Many businesses have their own process for creating a wedding registry through them. For example, if you’re fond of Target, you can check out their registry program and find more information about their process.

what to do 7 months before your wedding

Seven Months Before Celebration

Remember to accomplish these important tasks when you’re seven months from your wedding day.

1. Find Musicians With the Same Style as Your Wedding

It’s ultimately up to you to decide whether you want a band for your ceremony or a DJ for your after-party. You might even want to use the same band for your ceremony and after-party. If you’re interested in hiring a band for your wedding, you might listen to them play first. You want to be sure they can play the songs you want in a style you’ll dig.

Many people hire DJs for their after-parties because it’s simple to hand a DJ a long list of songs you want them to play.

2. Hire an Officiant

Whether you’re religious or not, someone with the proper credentials has to be at your wedding to make your marriage official. Your wedding officiant can be your pastor or a friend that is ordained online.

3. Plan Rehearsal Dinner

Consider planning a rehearsal dinner for the night before your wedding. You can use this dinner as a way to thank the members of your wedding party and get them up to speed on how your wedding ceremony will play out.

4. Order Rental Items

Now’s the time to order any rental items you might need for your wedding, such as tables, chairs and dishware. Make sure they’ll be delivered to your wedding venue ahead of time so you have time to set everything up.

Six Months Before Celebration

There is always something to think about when it comes to your wedding day. Work on these tasks when you’re six months out from the big day.

1. Think About Lighting

Lighting can help set the mood for your wedding day. Consider the lighting for your ceremony and reception. You can use the lights that are at your venue or rent out lighting fixtures that will enhance the ambiance. String lights, lanterns, candles and other light fixtures are all popular wedding decor.

Five Months Before Celebration

You have five months before the wedding day. It’s time to think about travel plans and other tasks before the special day.

1. Find Your Tuxedo

If you or your partner are planning on wearing a tuxedo or another type of custom-made outfit, five months before your wedding is a good time to set up some fittings at businesses within your price range.

2. Plan Your Honeymoon

Planning your honeymoon now can help you receive good pricing on travel and find the perfect destination for you and your partner. Buy those plane tickets and book your hotel.

3. Figure out Transportation

Organizing wedding day transportation is helpful for out-of-town guests or guests who have too much fun at the reception. You can rent party buses or communicate with the hotel you blocked rooms at to see if they have shuttles that can transport guests to your venue and back.

4 months from your wedding

Four Months Before Celebration

Only four months until your big day. Complete the following tasks before your celebration.

1. Meet With Your Caterer

Schedule a meeting with your caterer, and taste their food and drink options. It’s okay to give yourself some time to think after this tasting.

2. Shop for Your Wedding Cake

Since wedding cakes are typically larger than the average cake, you’ll have to give a heads up to the business you want to make your wedding cake. You might even schedule a cake tasting with different businesses. Get a sense of what flavor options they have and what cake decorating skills their team has.

3. Plan Hair and Makeup

Professional hairstylists and makeup artists can book up fast, so make sure to schedule them for anyone who wants their makeup and hair done for the wedding.

4. Pick Outfits for Your Groomsmen

If you want your groomsmen to wear coordinating outfits, this would be the time to take them to a tuxedo shop or wherever fits the style of your wedding. It’s important for you and your groomsmen to be happy and comfortable with their wedding day outfits.

Three Months Before Celebration

Your wedding day is getting closer. As your excitement grows, remember to complete these tasks around the three-month mark.

1. Write Invitations

You can write your invitations by hand or create them online. You can find plenty of template styles online that will match your wedding day colors and theme.

2. Ask Your Caterer About a Menu

Hopefully, you’ll have had time to think about the tasting you had with your caterer, and you can help them draw up a more complete menu for your wedding.

3. Pick Guest Favors

Consider leaving your guests with a unique favor to let them know how much you appreciate them attending your wedding. Examples of guest favors include wine glasses, candles and custom items.

4. Write Your Vows

If you’re choosing to write your own vows, now is the time to start. You can communicate with your officiant for vow ideas or write what comes to mind.

Two Months Before Celebration

Two months before your big day, make sure you complete the following tasks.

1. Send Invitations

Send out your immaculately designed invitations. It might be helpful to create a checklist of all the people you need to send invites to.

2. Try on Your Wedding Attire

Make sure the dress or tux you bought still fits you. If you think it may need alterations, you still have time to get them done.

3. Get Your Marriage License

Before your officiant can officiate your wedding, you need a marriage license, so head down to your local courthouse. You might even be able to start your application online before you go in person so the process doesn’t take as long.

4. Buy Accessories

The kind of accessories you add to your wedding is up to you. The following is a list of small accessories you might take this month to consider:

  • Flowers for your bridesmaids to hold
  • Jewelry for yourself and your partner
  • Frames for any pictures you might display
  • Guest book
  • Cake topper
  • Comfortable dancing shoes

5. Pick the Perfect Playlist

Sit down with your partner and create a playlist that embodies your relationship, or a playlist that’s just fun. Think about if you want some songs to be played at a certain time during your wedding to help create a certain mood.

1 month before your wedding checklist

One Month Before Celebration

You’re getting closer to your special day! Make sure you accomplish the following tasks.

1. Pay Your Vendors

Make sure you pay all your vendors in full before your wedding day. Also, be sure your caterers know when and where to bring the food and drinks you’ve ordered and how you’d like everything to be set up.

2. Draw up a Seating Chart and Place Cards

If there are a lot of people at your wedding, consider drawing up a seating chart and making place cards. You can find great seating chart ideas online that look nice and match your theme.

3. Clear Your Schedule

If you can clear your schedule for the week of the wedding, that’s great! If not, consider planning ahead so your workload is lighter during that week.

4. Take Care of Your Body and Mind

You want to look and feel your best on your wedding day, whatever that means to you personally. If you want to get your hair professionally colored, go for it. If you want to hit up more relaxing yoga classes, go for it. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

5. Practice Your Vows

If you and your partner have written your own vows, practicing saying them out loud ahead of time might help you feel less nervous when the time comes to read them for real.

6. Do a Walk-Through

You’re almost at the end of your wedding planning guide! You’ll want to think through all the final touches of your big day. Things you can do to ensure you have everything completed for your wedding day include:

  • Make a list of any personal items and things you need for your wedding day.
  • Write down a schedule for the wedding proceedings that you can keep with you.
  • Make sure everyone you want to come to the wedding is still planning on coming.
  • Meet with vendors one last time before the big day and go over a wedding vendor checklist.

Contact Shutter and Sound to Turn Your Wedding Into Lasting Art

This 12-month wedding checklist can help you remember all the things you need for a wedding. If you’re planning on having a videographer at your wedding, start your research early to find a business that understands and emanates the vibe of your wedding. Check out Shutter and Sound’s video gallery to get a feel for the kind of art we create.

Our small group of experienced videographers is standing by to answer any questions you might have about pricing or what we can do to help make your wedding uniquely beautiful. Check out the locations we serve, and contact us today with any questions!

gorgeous wedding videography

9 Magical Wedding Venues in Denver

Denver is a dream wedding location, with all the modern convenience of an urban city — surrounded by a stunning landscape of mountains, rivers and canyons. What better place to plan one of the biggest days of your life? Shutter and Sound has had unforgettable experiences capturing artistic wedding films at venues across Denver, Colorado. Take a peek at our 10 top Denver wedding venues right here.

1. Evergreen Lake House | Evergreen, CO

Overlooking the lake with a view of foothills in the distance, Evergreen Lake House is an undeniably beautiful place to share your vows. Plan your wedding on the deck in the warmer months, or take it indoors to the Octagon Room for a winter wedding. With seven sides of floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll get to take in every bit of the breathtaking view no matter the season.

2. The Pines at Genesee | Golden, CO

The Pines at Genesee is set in the woods for a dreamy getaway from urban life. Exchange your vows in the midst of pine trees and wildflowers — while enjoying the convenient location just 18 miles from downtown Denver. The interior of the venue includes a rustic brick fireplace, wooden flooring and large windows where your guests can take in the view all day long.


3. Moss | Denver, CO

Hailed as one of the most unique wedding venues in Denver, Moss creates a one-of-a-kind vibe for any modern minimalist couple. Located in the heart of Denver, this refurbished 1900s-era building features exposed brick walls, metal beams and high ceilings for an effortlessly chic look.

4. Winter Park Resort | Winter Park, CO

Winter Park Resort is the adventurous couple’s dream. Located in the Rocky Mountains of Winter Park, the resort boasts breathtaking views of the mountains and forests. With two wedding venue options — at the top of the mountain and at the base — you can venture as high as you like.

5. Hotel Jerome | Aspen, CO

Hotel Jerome offers a little something special for your big day, but this historic hotel also includes classic ballroom staples, from magnificent chandeliers to extravagant columns. The beautiful interior is complemented by a view of the Elk Mountain Range just outside the front door.

6. Wedgewood Weddings at Boulder Creek | Boulder, CO

Located minutes from downtown Boulder, Wedgewood Weddings offers the ultimate escape into the pines. Surrounded by mountains and creeks, the venue includes outdoor features like oversized trees, a stone arbor and a lawn right by the creek. Wedgewood Weddings can host up to 250 guests indoors or 100 guests in the tented pavilion outside — with plenty of room for dancing.

7. Rembrandt Yard | Boulder, CO

The aptly named Rembrandt Yard feels like a local art gallery meets a gorgeous mountain overlook. Floor-to-ceiling windows display a view of the Flatiron mountains as well as downtown Boulder for a scenic ceremony, cocktail hour and reception location.

8. Camp Hale | Vail, CO

The historic Camp Hale embraces nature with a waterfront ceremony space surrounded by 12,000-foot mountain peaks and pines. Located in the Pando Valley just 15 miles from Vail, Camp Hale is a dreamy getaway that still offers convenient access to the nearby ski town.

9. Manor House | Littleton, CO

Make the most of six acres of historic mansion space at the Manor House. Choose between an outdoor ceremony with views of the Dry Creek Canyon or a cozy indoor celebration in front of the fireplace.

Have any questions about your Denver, CO, wedding? Shutter and Sound is happy to help. Reach out to us to learn more about the premium wedding venues in and around Denver, as well as our wedding videography services.

The 5 Best Wedding Venues in Atlanta

Atlanta blends southern charm with a lively musical culture to create an effortlessly warm atmosphere. We’ve spent plenty of time shooting fabulous weddings in Atlanta, and we know firsthand just how magical this city can be. If you’re on the lookout for a standout locale in and around Atlanta, these five favorites are a fantastic place to start your search.

1. The Rivers Ranch | Jackson, GA

The Rivers Ranch brings an authentic touch to the idea of rustic charm. Located on a 300-acre working cattle farm, this venue offers all your outdoor wedding staples, from a lakeside barn big enough to handle a crowd to a freshly renovated lakeside cottage.

2. Governors Towne Club | Acworth, GA

Located on a sprawling expanse of impeccable golf terrain, the Governors Towne Club automatically ups the class of any event. Just 45 minutes from downtown Atlanta, this venue is the perfect spot if you want a refreshingly green scene with nearby access to the city. The Governors Towne Club includes a gorgeous outdoor ceremony site, a stylish top floor for the reception and delectable cuisine options.

3. Dunaway Gardens | Newnan, GA

If you’re hoping for a fairytale wedding, you won’t find a dreamier spot than Dunaway Gardens. Cracked cobblestones, wild botanical gardens and a historic 1850s-era cottage create a stunning backdrop set in nature. This Atlanta wedding venue comes with a number of different outdoor ceremony site options, including a private natural garden and an ancient wedding tree, so that you can really make the day your own.

4. Ivy Hall | Roswell, GA

The beautiful Ivy Hall at Roswell Mill blends a rustic antique feel with an open, airy atmosphere. Floor-to-ceiling windows and simple hardwood floors are complemented by classic antiques and complementary ceremony decor. With a venue like Ivy Hall, simple is best — because the location really speaks for itself. The 25,000-square-foot deck overlooks Vickery Creek for a dreamy outdoor ceremony, and the nearby covered bridge is just about as good as it gets for your wedding photos and video.

5. The Atrium | Norcross, GA

The Atrium is a chance to step back in time and bring your wedding guests along for the ride. Located in downtown Norcross, The Atrium is a feat of neoclassical architecture, with magnificent pillars and floor-to-ceiling windows. The venue comes with newly remodeled spaces, including a ballroom and dance floor, as well as an uncovered outdoor space with a secret garden if you’d prefer a wedding in the sun. The Atrium can hold up to 150 guests for an intimate wedding party.

Need Help Finding the Perfect Wedding Venue in Atlanta? Reach Out Today

Our team at Shutter and Sound has filmed at all kinds of venues across Atlanta, GA. We’ve had fantastic experiences partnering with these five wedding venues, and we are happy to answer any questions about how to make your wedding video and photography shine in these spaces. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about Atlanta wedding venues and our videography services.

Is It Worth It to Hire a Wedding Videographer?

Videographers are a critical part of your big day. They can catch the little moments and emotions of the day into a single video. Their results are moving and artistic and truly something to remember — but they do come at an extra cost. So are wedding videographers worth it?

Many couples forego the expense because they think a photographer offers similar benefits, but they often regret the decision later. So how do you know if a wedding videographer is right for you, and what can it add to your wedding?

What Are the Benefits of a Wedding Videographer?

Wedding videography is an exceptional way to relive your big day. A photo can capture a fraction of a second, but video captures everything. From the little interactions between your guests and the swish of the wedding dress to the love in the groom’s eyes as the bride walks down the aisle — a wedding video catches those special moments in a way that photos can’t capture.

What You Get for the Money

Just as photographers offer different packages, so do videographers. Here are a few different aspects that will influence the value of videography services:

  • Type of video: You may get a highlight video, an extended highlight video or a complete recording of the entire event. These will feature varying levels of editing and coverage.
  • Coverage time: Whether you need coverage for just a few hours or multi-day events, you may get more time for your money with some videographers. You may also need to consider what events you want covered.
  • Number of cameramen: More cameramen allow you to capture more of the day and see the big moments from multiple angles.
  • Add-ons: Many videographers add on certain features for an additional charge, such as 4K resolution, drone coverage and Instagram videos. You may also be able to request raw footage if you want to have everything shot from the day.
  • Experience: Remember, well-established and professional videographers are going to cost a bit more than amateur counterparts, but the results are much more impressive. Expertise goes a long way.

To make your videographer worth it, make sure you get some bang for your buck by considering which of these factors are most valuable to you and who can offer good results at an affordable price.

Hiring a Videographer vs. Photographer

One of the reasons that many people pass up on a videographer is because they feel that a photographer offers many of the same benefits, but the two are vastly different. You may want to get one or the other, but if your budget allows for it, getting both is an excellent option that provides two unique products when you get back from the honeymoon.

  • Viewing: When you go with a photographer, you’ll get valuable still moments that you can frame and put in albums. They are great for frequent reminders, sharing with family and seeing your pictures every day on your walls, but the emotion is different, and they don’t pull you into the moment like video does. Videography may require a more involved viewing session. You’ll have to sit down and press play, but it tends to be more moving and makes for a great anniversary activity.
  • Posing: Photography also tends to be more posed. While natural, candid photographers are popular, they still typically involve some level of posing and will have you stand in certain ways to get the best shot. If you’re not one for planned photos or simply aren’t good at striking a pose, videography may be the best choice.
  • Cost: The costs of a wedding videographer and wedding photographer are usually comparable. However, there are many factors that go into pricing, such as location, photographer experience and packages, so these numbers can vary widely.
  • Level of involvement: As a general rule, photographers tend to be more involved, since they need to interact with the couples and attendees. Videographers usually step back more and record what’s already happening. They may step in for minor direction or set up objects in a specific way, but they focus on candid events. If you want some direction, photographers have that covered. On the other hand, if you don’t want someone telling you where to stand and what to do, a videographer is usually more laid-back.

Getting the Right Videographer

A surefire way to be unhappy with your choice to get a videographer is to choose one that doesn’t meet your needs. Instead, spend time vetting your videographer, just as you would a photographer. Consider the following aspects as you select a wedding videographer:

  • Experience: A newbie may be cheap, but they won’t give you the results you can expect from a seasoned pro. More experience means your videographer knows more tricks and understands the ins and outs of the job.
  • Style: Each videographer has a specific style. They may create a video that’s more cinematic or romantic. They may use a documentary style or do something entirely different. A videographer’s style is one of the most important aspects of finding one that makes a product you’ll like. Thoroughly look through their portfolio to ensure they can match your vision.
  • Level of involvement: Some videographers and photographers will be more involved than others. Make sure you know how they will step in on the big day and if that is to your liking.

Contact Shutter and Sound Videography Today

If you think a videographer is right for you, Shutter and Sound can turn your wedding into a work of art. Our tight-knit team focuses on one thing: creating an amazing video from your big day. We don’t hire contractors, and we make it a point to create consistent style and quality.

We want you to love your wedding video, so we put every effort into making our services worth it. Please call or contact us today to learn more about partnering with our skilled artists and what Shutter and Sound has to offer.

The 13 Best Wedding Venues in Boston

Boston is one of our absolute favorite cities to shoot in, thanks largely to the insane amount of gorgeous venues located there. Below are some of the most spectacular Boston-area wedding venues, in no particular order:

1. Lakeview Pavilion | Foxborough, MA

Known as one of the best Boston wedding venues on the water, Lakeview Pavilion offers several beautiful indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces along with stunning lakeside views.

2. The Barn at Gibbet Hill | Groton, MA

Located in picturesque Groton, MA, this immaculately restored 100-year-old barn offers rustic elegance and incredible scenery and views. The barn includes a dance floor and can accommodate up to 220 wedding guests.

3. Boston Public Library | Boston, MA

Besides being one of the oldest and most historic public libraries in the U.S., BPL offers a hotel of alluring event spaces that provide the perfect backdrop for filming a wedding.

4. Oceanview of Nahant | Nahant, MA

Another of the more popular Boston wedding venues on the water, the Oceanview is renowned for its romantic seaside ceremonies and New-England-style clambake weddings.

5. Blithewold Mansion | Bristol, RI

Located just over an hour from Boston in Bristol, RI, this elegant 33-acre summer estate will provide an unforgettable waterfront setting for your wedding.

6. Newport Beach House | Newport, RI

This luxury beach resort in Newport, RI, offers a laid-back setting by the ocean. Whether your wedding style is hipster, beach, classic, vintage or anything else your heart desires, the Newport Beach House staff can meet your needs.

7. Belle Mer | Newport, RI

Another fabulous oceanfront venue in Newport, the Bell Mer will enable you to say “I do” with the ocean breeze in your hair and your toes in the sand.

8. Rosecliff | Newport, RI

This beautifully preserved mansion was built in 1902 and features the largest private ballroom in Newport featuring a wedding-appropriate heart-shaped staircase. Two terraces for rehearsal dinners are also available. Did we mention a large lawn overlooking the ocean?

9. State Room | Boston, MA

This “urban chic” site is yet another of the many Boston wedding venues with a view of the city and harbor. It’s perfect for an intimate wedding, and the ability to combine several rooms can accommodate up to 1,400 guests.

10. Seaport Hotel | Boston, MA

The Seaport is a proud WeddingWire 2020 Couples’ Choice Awards winner. This beautiful waterfront hotel features stunning ballrooms, luscious gardens, outdoor terraces and spectacular city and waterfront views.

11. Castle Hill Inn | Newport, RI

If you like lighthouses, green lawns, and water (we sure do!)… this is the place for you 🙂

12. Cliff House | Cape Neddick, ME

Venture an hour north of Boston to Cape Neddick, ME, for an unforgettable wedding at this one-of-a-kind coastal resort. The Cliff House offers several indoor and outdoor venues, each offering remarkable views of the southern Maine Coast.

13. The Commons 1854 | Topsfield, MA

Prepare to be swept off your feet by The Commons 1854’s quintessential New England wedding retreat. Perfect for weddings of 50-200 guests, The Commons 1854 provides a personal wedding experience just a half-hour outside of Boston.

Contact Shutter and Sound for more information regarding these fabulous Boston wedding venues and our videography services.

The 7 Best Wedding Venues in Washington, DC

Our home base here in the DC Area boasts some seriously gorgeous venues. We’re so lucky to be able to shoot weddings in some of the most beautiful and captivating locations in cities across the U.S., but love shooting at home in our nation’s capital, nearby Baltimore, MD, and Northern Virginia.

Here are some of the best Washington, D.C.-area wedding venues, in no particular order:

1. Sweeney Barn | Manassas, VA

If you’re considering Washington, D.C., wedding venues with a view, Sweeney Barn’s outdoor upper-level deck should definitely be on that list of possibilities. Other amenities at this immaculately restored 1939 barn with hayloft in Manassas, VA, include a lower level reception hall, bridal suite, upper banquet hall and moveable ceremony/chuppah arch.



2. The Belvedere | Baltimore, MD

This historic Beaux-Arts-Style Venue in downtown Baltimore is a unique and modern venue for a wedding reception. You’ll love the spectacular, well-appointed surroundings and fantastic aerial views of the city.



3. Sagamore Pendry | Baltimore, MD

Located at 1715 Thames St. along Baltimore’s picturesque waterfront, the Sagamore Pendry is a boutique hotel with a vast array of customizable venues ideal for weddings. The highlight is the stunning 4,565-square-foot Sagamore Ballroom that’s been restored to its original 1914 splendor.

4. Accelerator Space | Baltimore, MD

 This repurposed auto dealership near the Belvedere Square Market in Baltimore features a 1,600-square-foot main room that can accommodate up to 375 guests. The beautiful backdrop is the perfect setting for wedding videos and photos.

5. George Peabody Library | Baltimore, MD

Known as Baltimore’s “Cathedral of Books,” this 19th-century research-focused library includes a Reading Room with six tiers of ornate railings and cast-iron columns that create a “scholarly romantic” ambiance. The adjoining Exhibit Gallery is the perfect spot for hors d’ oeuvres and cocktails.

6. Stone Tower Winery | Leesburg, VA

This spectacular 300-acre mountaintop estate in Leesburg, VA, seamlessly combines sophisticated elegance with rustic charm to offer a one-of-a-kind wedding venue. Choose from four beautiful ceremony sites: Tank Room, Ballroom, Pond or Hillside.

7. The Hay-Adams | Washington, DC

This 1920s-era hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., overlooks the White House and includes 6,350 square feet of event space. The hotel’s rooftop is a premier location if you’re exploring Washington, D.C., wedding venues with a view.

Contact Shutter and Sound today to learn more about the best Washington, D.C., venues and our premium videography services.

How to Choose a Wedding Videographer

It’s your big day — you likely already know how important it is to capture it all on video. But there are a lot of videographers out there, all with different styles, results and experience, so how do you know which one is the right fit?

The quality of your video is going to depend on several factors, from your preferences to your budget and location. You’ll have to weigh what you want in a video against your videographer’s skills and specialties. In this guide, we’ll discuss several factors you’ll need to consider when choosing a wedding videographer.

1. Cost

Of course, your wedding videographer must fit into your budget. No one wants to spend more on the video than on the rest of the wedding. That said, you should be prepared to spend more than the bare minimum on your videographer if you want strong results. You tend to get what you pay for with these things.

Wedding videographers are a worthy investment, as this will likely be your best way to go down memory lane in the future. Would you rather sift through an SD card of static photos and try to remember every detail or hit play on a video and feel all of those emotions again? Video captures the whole moment and then some, while photos just capture a fraction of it.

With all of the value that you can get from a wedding video, make sure you fully consider how much you want to invest in this part of the experience.

Don’t forget to pay close attention to the package you purchase, so you know which of your must-haves and your nice-to-haves are covered. You might get more time, more cameramen or longer videos with higher-priced packages.

Many different types of wedding videographers will charge varying prices. A “point-and-shoot” videographer is pretty bare-bones. They might give you a video that looks a little cheesy or plain. Of course, these will be the cheapest. From there, the quality typically goes up.

Here are some of the things you’re paying for when you hire a wedding videographer:

  • Experience: A videographer might have as much experience as your cousin who just got a nice camera for his birthday last year. Preferably, your videographer would have a well-trained and well-educated team of cameramen and editors who know exactly what they’re doing from years of practice. This level of experience will show through in the product with technical skill and a strong artistic vision. Professionals, as expected, charge more than amateurs or hobbyists to make up for their education, expertise and the years spent honing their craft.
  • Materials: Nice cameras aren’t cheap. Footage on a decent camera will have a significantly different look from one shot on an iPhone. Plus, they tend to look better after being edited than low-quality footage does. Videographers vary widely in the tools that they use, but one that opts for top-of-the-line equipment may factor that into their costs. Someone who works with the bare minimum may be cheaper, but you won’t get the same level of quality. Still, quality equipment is not the best indicator of a quality video. Some artists can create stunning results with mid-level equipment. Don’t let tools be an overwhelming factor in your decision.
  • Location: Some regions of the world and country will have higher prices, simply due to the market in that area.
  • Time: Each cameraman and editor will spend hours on a video, and you’ll be paying for that time. If a company or videographer is in high demand, you may have to pay more, simply because of the number of people vying for their time.
  • Skill and style: Skill typically comes from experience, but not always. The best way to judge a videographer’s skill is to look at their portfolio, which will also tell you more about their style.

Wedding Videography Styles

2. Videography Style

There are several different types of videography styles, but a select few have become popular in recent years. It’s essential that the style you choose fits with your vision for the wedding. If you’re looking for class and elegance, a Marryoke video probably won’t accomplish that.

Some of the most popular videography styles include:


Cinematic wedding videos are fun to watch and fun to shoot. These videos are shot more like a movie, with creative camera angles, text, montages and subtle effects. You may even see things like drone shots and multiple angles of one event. Typically, a cinematic wedding video will have music and natural sound effects to back up the footage, but they may fade in and out to accentuate the story better.

A full-length cinematic video won’t necessarily be linear. It may flash through shots from different parts of the day to best tell the story and convey the emotion.

Videographers can have varying levels of involvement, but usually, they’ll have a heavier hand in this kind of style. They might set up shots or direct the couple throughout the events. The best videographers can strike a balance between incorporating subtle handiwork that will significantly improve the footage and turning your venue into a mess of flashes and microphones.

To get the right tone, they might work off of your wedding theme and talk to you about what kind of effect you want the video to have. Since they can use music and get creative, cinematic videos are excellent for portraying the emotion of the day.


A journalistic video is more about recording the event in its entirety than making an emotional, compelling video. These videos may still employ some creative choices, like voiceovers and interesting shots, but, for the most part, it will be minimally edited.

Journalist wedding videography is more likely to capture every moment — though not necessarily the emotion behind it — and tends to follow the events of the day in order. The videographer will take a more hands-off approach, with less directing and more candids.

If you want a simple, straightforward option with no bells and whistles, the journalistic style might be for you.

The Love Story

A love story video focuses on the couple’s entire journey, not just the wedding day. It may have more documentary-style elements, with input from the couple and their friends and family talking about their story. It might also include pictures and videos from the couple’s time together.

This is undoubtedly a romantic style, and it would likely use elements from the cinematic form. It may take a little more time to set up and gather the interviews than a cinematic video would, but if you want something that covers more ground than the actual wedding day, a love story video could be the right style for you.


If you want to focus more on the fun times all your guests are having and the togetherness of the ceremony, a Marryoke video might be something to consider. They aren’t as common as other styles and sometimes can be an add-on to a regular video package, but they are certainly entertaining.

In a Marryoke video, different guests will lip-sync to a song throughout the day, and the editors will create a mashup of all of them singing, dancing and laughing. It’s a fun way to get your guests taking part in the video, and it lets you play with shots that look like they’re straight from a music video.

Keep in mind that it might take a significant chunk of your videographer’s time to set up, so an extra cameraman might be necessary.

Wedding Videographer Portfolio

3. The Videographer’s Portfolio and Past Works

One of the best ways to choose a videographer is to look through their portfolio. You can see which styles they can do and how they edit a big day down to a fraction of the time. Do they lean toward candids or staged shots? Do they use lots of music or voiceovers? You may also be able to see how a videographer will handle specific locations, like a beach or forest wedding.

Another helpful piece of information from a portfolio is consistency. How many breathtaking videos have they done? Do the videos all feel like they share a style? Look through your potential videographer’s portfolio carefully, as this is your best chance to understand the tone and style they use.

Lastly, always check the reviews. A videographer can say whatever they want about their services, but honest responses from real customers can tell you what they’re really like. Make sure to get reviews from independent, third-party websites and not solely from the videographer’s site.

Reviews can offer a lot of information about the videographer and what they’re like to work with. Reviewers could tell you about the videographer’s responsiveness or how easy they were to communicate with. They may also tell you about how the videographer involved them in the decision-making process. Looking at reviews provides lots of little pieces of information that you may not have thought to ask about.

National Wedding Videographer

4. Location

In every region of the country, you’ll have different videographers at your disposal. If you’re considering a destination wedding or enlisting a traveling videographer, you might find that your options can be quite versatile, depending on the location.

It may be nice to know that some companies, like Shutter and Sound, have consistent services in multiple regions throughout the country. Though our locations reach far and wide, our videographers are carefully selected and trained to adhere to a specific style. Your video will receive the same level of care and a similar style across cities from coast to coast.

If your friend from Los Angeles recommended us, but you live in New York, you can still take their suggestion. Alternatively, if you’re looking at destinations or different locations, you can trust that you’ll get similar quality and results with a nationwide videography company.

If you want to pay for the costs of mileage and a hotel stay, you may also be able to send a videographer to your destination. You might want to do this if your location isn’t within their network, you’ve simply fallen in love with their style and you can’t picture anyone else running the show.

Here are some of the other ways your wedding location could affect your video.

  • Familiarity in the business: Working with reputable and well-known videographers can make your big day go smoother. Planners and venues may be familiar with their style and be more confident or knowledgeable about working with them. Plus, your videographer may have worked the location before and knows all the tricks to get the best shots.
  • Tricky venues: Keep in mind the difficulty of particular venues. If your wedding is in a more traditional location, shooting it can be easier. Places like the beach or less-conventional settings might be more challenging to shoot, so experience will go a long way in ensuring your videographer can adjust to environmental conditions and produce a stellar film. They may need to know more about lighting or know how to keep their camera rolling amidst sand and ocean spray.
  • Scale: If your wedding has a massive audience with all your closest acquaintances, you’ll probably need multiple videographers to help cover all that ground on the big day. Make sure your videographer is aware of your guest list, so they can set you up with the appropriate number of cameramen.

Other Things to Consider

Here are a few more questions to ask yourself when choosing your wedding videographer:

  • How quickly do you want your video? Editing and postproduction can vary significantly, depending on the videographer, the size of the wedding, the number of cameramen and more. If you’re not particularly patient, you may want a videographer with a quick turnaround.
  • Do you want any raw footage? Raw footage is everything that the cameramen shot. Your final video typically won’t show every single detail that was caught on camera. If you want everything possible, you can sometimes request the raw footage, though it may cost a little bit more.
  • How involved will the videographer be? Remember, you don’t want an obtrusive cameraman butting in all the time, but a few tweaks can be helpful. Think about the level of involvement and what the videographer’s timeline will look like. Will they stay for the whole reception or just opening remarks? How about the bridesmaids getting ready? Talk these things over, so you can find the right fit.

Shutter and Sound Wedding Videography

Top 5 Tips to Look Camera Ready for Your Wedding Video

If you’re not used to being in front of the camera lens, a few tips and tricks can go a long way. Looking good and looking good on camera aren’t always the same thing — it takes a practiced eye to understand what the camera is going to see. And when it comes to your wedding day, it goes without saying that you want to look your best.

We get it, and we’re here to help you feel as comfortable and confident as possible. Let’s dive in.

1. Do a Test Run

Spontaneity and risk-taking have plenty of opportunities to shine. Your wedding day is not one of them. When it comes to looking your best for the big day, practice makes perfect.

We recommend scheduling a test run of your planned hairstyle and makeup from the artists who will be getting you glammed up for the wedding. This goes for the groom too — do a trial run of your haircut or style ahead of time. That way, you can pivot to a different style early if you’re just not happy with the finished result — and you can be 100% confident that you’ll love your look in the wedding video.

2. Get That Natural Glow

Preparing your skin is one sure-fire way to glow on camera. In the days leading up to the wedding, you should drink plenty of water to give your skin some extra hydration. Stick with a tried-and-true exfoliant that you know makes your skin happy. And don’t forget to get as much sleep as possible in the nights leading up to your wedding, no matter how packed your schedule feels.

3. Shine on the Inside — Not the Outside

Shiny skin might not seem obvious in the mirror, but it will definitely show up on camera, especially with a camera flash and in high definition. To stay camera ready, have a blotter on hand to get rid of oily skin throughout the day. Brides will also want to stick with foundation and concealer that’s light-diffusing — and stay away from anything with SPF.

4. Choose Natural Shades

When it comes to wedding makeup, au naturale is the way to go. Work with your makeup artist to choose shades and colors that complement your own and help you pop without going over the top. Particularly for your cheeks and eyes, experts recommend avoiding extremes and sticking with non-shimmery colors in soft shades.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Big

While you want to choose natural colors, you also shouldn’t be afraid to go a little heavier than usual when it comes to your makeup routine. We emphasize the “little” here, because you certainly don’t want to take it too far.

Soft yet defined makeup can make you stand out on camera and keep you clearly visible even during wide video shots. The camera can wash out makeup, so give a little extra love to your eyebrows, cheeks and lips to make sure the details don’t get lost through the lens.

Here’s one more bonus tip for you: Don’t forget to have fun! While these tips and tricks will help you feel confident on camera, the goal is not to be runway-ready. It’s much more important to be fully present and enjoy every minute of your wedding day. With professionals behind the camera, you can count on looking fantastic in your wedding video — that’s where Shutter and Sound comes in.

Trust Shutter and Sound With Your Wedding Videography Needs

Our goal is for your wedding video to be a work of art. We take a lot of pride in every finished piece, and we hope you’ll love what you see too. As a small team of professional filmmakers, we’re committed to creating beautiful videos that capture the essence of your day. Beyond the generic moments that every wedding video shows, we’re interested in what makes your day unique. We’re here to capture something real — and create something you can keep forever while we’re at it.

Get a taste of our style by checking out work on our website, and see if our pricing plan works for you in the same place. If you like what you see, feel free to get in touch and request a booking.

Things to Think About When Planning a Micro Wedding

While some brides dream of grand weddings that make them feel like royalty, others prefer simpler, more intimate alternatives. Your “big day” doesn’t have to be big — more brides are embracing the concept of the micro wedding to avoid the stress and cost of accommodating hundreds of guests.

But don’t throw planning and organization to the wind once you decide to have a micro wedding. You still need to consider several important factors to ensure that you can make the most of your wedding.

What Is a Micro Wedding?

A micro wedding is a newly coined term for a wedding with no more than 50 guests but still includes most time-honored wedding traditions — just on a much smaller scale than traditional weddings. Micro weddings are growing in popularity because they allow couples to have their dream weddings on a budget, particularly if they desire a destination wedding that a large guest list would hinder.

How to Plan a Micro Wedding

While micro weddings tend to cut down on the stress and cost for most brides, you still need to invest adequate time and effort into the planning phase. Here are six factors to consider when planning a micro wedding:

1. Choose a Unique Venue

When you don’t have to accommodate a large crowd, affordable venue options abound. Take your time finding a venue that speaks to you and your significant other’s personalities and interests, but make sure it’s also comfortable for your guests. From rustic barns to private beaches, the options are nearly endless.

2. Hire Professionals

Even for small weddings, it’s a good idea to hire professional photographers, videographers, wedding planners and catering staff to keep your wedding organized and lift the stress of coordinating the day off your shoulders.

3. Create a Meaningful Experience for You and Your Guests

Micro weddings are more intimate, with only your family and closest friends surrounding you. Make the day meaningful for your guests by creating a thoughtful dedication or leaving them with unique, personalized wedding favors.

4. Still Have a Reception

While you don’t have to go all out, your micro wedding should still feature a small reception, especially if your guests have traveled a significant distance to be a part of your big day. A micro wedding provides a fabulous opportunity for an intimate post-wedding dinner or relaxing cocktail hour — at a much lower cost.

5. Opt for Minimalism

Sometimes, less is more — and for a micro wedding, this is almost always the case. Avoid over-decorating, as this could overwhelm an already small venue. Instead, choose a few elegant centerpieces — such as flower arrangements or sculptures — and simple accents, including flower petals or string lights.

6. Book Live Music

Make your micro wedding extra special with live music, which adds class and intimacy to the occasion. Browse local artists’ event packages — you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the options!

Capture Your Micro Wedding With Shutter and Sound

No matter how small you want your wedding to be, capturing the story you create on this precious day is a must. Choose a Shutter and Sound videographer who can make this memory last forever.

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