Behind the Scenes: The 2019 Wedding Season Recap

I’m not going to lie… putting this blog post together each year gives me all the feels. Wedding season goes SO fast… like I go to bed giddy on the first day of wedding season in May and then wake up in min-November feeling sleepy and all sorts of thankful and wonder what the heck just happened. Months and months of my year go by in the blink of an eye, so when I finally get to sit down and sift through each of my weddings, recapping so many sweet moments, it means more to me than I can put into words. Earlier this week, I shared a series recapping all of my favorite images from this season! Get caught up through the links below:

Favorite Moments

Favorite Details

Favorite Portraits

When I finally sit down and look at my behind the scenes images though? I silently cringe, giggle to myself, and think: Could I have at least tried have made a more flattering face?! I’ve shared the pretty moments, the sweet moments & the gorgeous couples I photograph throughout the year, but what I haven’t shared yet is the awkward behind the scenes: AKA What it took to make the pretty shots you see on the blog and over on social media!

Being a wedding photographer is A LOT more than snapping pretty photos, and I can’t wait to share a little bit about what this year looked like for me. But first…

2019 by the numbers:

I attended/photographed 26 weddings so far with one more to go! My total wedding count for 2019 will be 27!!

13 CKP Couples

0 doubleheaders! (Thank goodness!)

Weddings in 6 different states (!!!)

1 new gym job smack in the middle of busy season

7301.9 miles driven for business

250,407 wedding day steps taken with one more to go!

A bazillion images photographed (Honestly, I was going to count, but there are literally too many!)

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to find the words to truly express how lucky I feel to have the community that I do. Thank you, friend, for your support, for your love, and for caring about the work that I am so lucky to have the opportunity to do. It means the absolute world.

In typical Caity fashion, this year’s 2019 behind the scenes post is LONG! I decided to break it down by individual wedding & each couple’s blog post is tagged (just in case you wanted to cross-compare the BTS with the actual images!). Ya ready?! Thought so!!!

Now… I present to you: the most embarrassing blog post of the year featuring: my wild camera-in-hand posture, insane hair-styles, infinite repeated outfits, goofy “testing the light” facial expressions, and terrible dance moves. Thank you, 2019, for being one incredible year!

Kait and Dan‘s January day in Wilmington!!!

Ever wonder how we coordinate a Bridesmaids First Look when the bride is already in the room?! Yes, they all have their eyes closed!   When you spot a dog during wedding party photos… Getting out lights squared away pre-ceremony… Thankfully, no guests were here to witness our antics! Ever wonder how those cake images with a perfect background happen?! Yuuuup…   Surprise!!! The first same day slide show of 2019 was a success! We got snow!!! I remember checking my weather app about 27 times during this wedding as we waited for the storm to roll in! Kait was SO hopeful for a few snowy night portraits, and WE MADE THEM HAPPEN! Thank you, Mother Nature!  I spy a 2017 CKP Couple! Hi Megan and Ryan!  Fast forward a few months to Jamie & Ian’s day at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club! Savannah’s first look test shots are always so much cuter than mine… Told you 😂 The goal of post-ceremony wedding party portraits is to get through them AS FAST as possible so the crew can go enjoy! I promise… we were having fun here!One of my favorite ever BTS photos! Thanks, Savannah!  Gotta do what ya gotta do to get the PERFECT veil fluff! Getting reception light juuuuust right. Kerri & Matt’s beautiful day at Auburn Heights Preserve! I still wish I had this getting ready space in my apartment! This room (and the light!) was GORGEOUS! GAH this venue!!! A dream! Savannah loves my couples so well! A groomsman slammed a bouquet down on the dance floor during entrances… I thought I played it cool, but the photos say otherwise. Kaitlyn & Brad’s summer wedding day in Annapolis! Adding professional third wheel to my resume… Always here with the most flattering facial expressions and perfect posture…These two let me steal them from their reception for sunset portraits, and y’all… I can’t even tell you how GORGEOUS these images were! Prepping for parent dances 😂 Testing light for the cake cutting is serious business. Had a little help getting the final extended family photos of the night! Emily & Matt’s DC wedding day!!! I still can’t believe this is right in my back yard! A DREAM! TBT to that time I got to photograph their portraits on Capitol Hill AND on a BOAT!!! Sweet Kayla and Nathan— one of my 2017 couples!! Meg & Nate’s wedding day in Alexandria, VA! She’s mastered the “testing light” pose! BTS with the groom! Such a unique place for a wedding! When you get married at a rock climbing gym, you absolutely need ring shots on a rock wall! Fact: I might be 6 foot, but I’m actually terrified of heights… you gotta do what you gotta do to get the shot though! Shoutout to my new friends at Sportrock that made sure I was safe on that ladder! Anna and Darian’s day at Historic Acres of Hershey! Testing light one second… to the next. What are friends turned wedding photographers for? Spraying your pits with aerosol deo before you walk down the aisle 😂Looooove you, Anna! Photographing friends’ wedding days is always a joy, and it makes it even sweeter when your friends are there help you set up to photograph reception details! Shoutout to Meg for helping me and Savannah with lights to keep us on timeline! These make me a little teary… love these ladies with all my heart. Becky and Sam’s day in PA!!! When I ask why I have back and joint problems… show me these! Handing off the rings to the best man after detail shots is always a big deal! Really getting into posing here… help 😂 Everyone was really disappointed when I popped out, instead of Becky and Sam. Clearly, I like the job that I get to do just a little bit… Cake cutting is VERY serious business… Ciera & Grant’s wedding day at Ceresville Mansion! Always here to serve (and to tie shoes for!) my couples! I spy! Love this sweet bride! Kelsey & Blaine’s wedding day in DISNEY! They’re MARRIED!!! “So guys… I heard you have a suite booked in the Grand Floridian! Surprise… I packed a bag and I’m staying too! Hope you don’t mind!” Strategic posing to avoid all of the strollers… while talking with my hands as per usual. Hi!GAH take me back!!! Now is about the time that I need to give Savannah a serious shoutout… we’ve photographed countless wedding days together at this point, and I literally don’t know what I would do without her. She takes care of me on wedding days, bringing snacks and keeping my anxiety at bay… she keeps me sane during the workweek by calling me when I’m feeling lonely and has taken a huge load off of me by allowing me to outsource so much of this season’s w-editing to her. (More on that in 2020!) That’s just the tip of the iceberg though… She’s so incredibly talented, organized and loves my couples like they are her own. I could go on and on, but we’re both not huge fans of the feels… with that being said though, I literally don’t think I would have made it through this season without her! LYLAS, Savannah! Savannah: Quick pose near Kelsey and Blaine’s wedding cake!

Me: Why?!

Savannah: Because you’re shooting a wedding in Disney, DUH!

I’m so thankful she continuously reminded me to take in the moment while I was working Kelsey and Blaine’s wedding! That time one of my sweet friends from high school surprised me in between her shows at the pavilion across from our venue! Hi Ashley!!! Shanna and Connor’s DC Wedding Day!!!  This is for sure a new favorite portrait location of mine! Ceremony views did NOT disappoint! Got to work with this incredible crew of wedding planners! Hi, Events with Laura! So thankful for sweet Kelsey and all of her help during two of my October weddings! Nicole and Chris’s fall wedding day in PA!! I know I may look all kinds of excited to be in this golf cart when the reality is: I’m literally terrified. 2019 theme: cake cutting is a very serious science.   Emily & Joey’s fall wedding day in Maryland! I got to photograph the sweetest father/daughter first look (Right in front of my car 😂) I may look a little crazy when I choose certain locations, but I promise… there’s a reason for it! Getting Emily ready to see her GROOM! And then on to photographing ceremony deatils! I saw two hands waving at me as guests were settling in for E&J’s ceremony! It was Bridget & Peter!!!(one of my 2018 couples!) How to get the perfect veil toss: Loved catching up (and tearing up the dance floor) with these two! Now… for some behind the scenes from my wedding days second shooting for Savannah!

I’m always 400% awkward:

And here to help you test light… …and to help you get THE perfect veil swoop. This one made me die laughing mostly because I don’t remember it happening at all 😂 And finally, I’ll hold the flashlight on your phone to help you focus the perfect skyline nighttime portrait!  Gosh… how did I get so lucky?! Photography has brought so many sweet friends into my life and has let me reconnect with so many sweet friends throughout the year! My sweet 2019 couples! Each year, I swear I’ll get a photo with each couple, and I always realize I forgot at one or two as I put together my post-wedding blog posts! Maybe we’ll get 100% in 2020?! Now… for some BTS from my phone!

January-early June Early June-September End of September-Beginning of October Beginning of October-End of October End of October-Beginning of December

Thank you, CKP Fam!!! You make my world so much brighter!

BTS images of me taken by: Savannah Smith Photography & Kelsey Marie Photography

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