This day is about the two of you, what you value. Your priorities.

This is the first day of all your best days.



As much as I'm sure you've already heard it, going with the flow is one of the best pieces of advice I can give you from someone who has seen a wholeeee lot of weddings. That along with, allow as much time as you can to just be present with your guests instead of jamming it all together. The day is going to go by so incredibly fast and that just gives you all the more time to actually spend with your family and friends. With those two pieces of advice stored in the back of your mind, whether or not you do any of the below, you'll have a great day!

As exciting as it is, I know planning a wedding isn't the easiest of tasks.

I am so thankful you are here and I can't wait to help you celebrate your big day! Check out the guide, ask any questions you like. It's my job to help you discover the timeline you want and create images and films of that so that you can cherish them forever.

I'm so excited you're here!


should you do one? The answer is yes!

I might be bias but my answer is pretty much always going to be yes. An engagement shoot get's the two of you feeling much more confident in front of the camera so that come wedding day, you're not feeling nervous and the photos go much faster and we get much better results.

So if you're feeling nervous, excited, freaking out a little - that is totally ok! It's the reason we do these (other than having beautiful images to capture this time in your lives). I promise you won't even have to look at the camera if you don't want to, it's not like when we were kids and our mothers tried to force us to always smile at the camera. It will be fun, we will have a laugh, be silly and for those that dislike having their photo taken -  you'll walk away from it thinking it really wasn't that bad.




You'll gain confidence in front of the camera, making the wedding photos faster and funner.

You'll already know what to do with your hands and feet so you don't feel awkward on your wedding day.

I'll already know what poses work for you guys, what prompts get you two laughing and opening up and how much PDA you can handle.

Cute photos of the two of you to remember this time in your life by.

Photographs for your wedding invite, signing book or frame or for your wedding website!


None, There are no reasons why you shouldn't have a practice and celebrate your engagement!

I'll literally feel like just an extra friend on your wedding day, because we will have hanged out before the big day!


Weather & Rain


When to book it

Your photoshoot can be almost any where that is special to you two! If you're a bit nervous though, you might like to choose a more secluded location like a beach at sunset as opposed to a public garden or city location. You can check out the Prep Guide to view some of my favourite spots!

I do recommend a sunset photoshoot for the prettiest light but if it rains, we can absolutely still shoot if you'd like. You just have to be happy getting rained on and we might need to bring the shoot time forward so that it isn't too dark otherwise your images may be quite grainy and moody.

As soon as you want! Engagement shoots should be done at least a few months before the wedding at the latest. The closer you get to the wedding, the more you'll be super busy. If you want them for your wedding website, you'll want to do them asap.


Not sure what to wear? Check out the Location & What to Wear Guide and find something that you love!


My favourite kind of day is one with time for you to be present with your people, but remember this is your day! You get to do it how ever you want!

Wedding Day

View the sample schedule to see what's photographed when





Getting Ready

First Looks





Bridal Party


Usually photos of the getting ready start 2-3 hours before your ceremony or first look. Hair and makeup should be finished and ready for final touch ups two hours before your ceremony or first look to get the best photos.

If you'd like to see each other before the ceremony, this is done 1-2 hours before the ceremony. This is a great way to get the photos done and dusted so that you can spend more time with your guests after the ceremony.

After your first look and couple photos, we can move onto your wedding party photos. This is your bridesmaids, groomsmen and full wedding party photos. If you have any wedding trends you want to do, this is a great time to do those too!

During the ceremony it's my job to capture the key moments as well as plenty of candid shots of your family and friends reacting to your ceremony. This will include the aisle walk, confetti exit, exchanging of vows and rings and of course - the first kiss!

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cocktail hour

Family Photos







This is when you get to hang out with your guests and be congratulated! Enjoy this time, mix and mingle and definitely eat your canapés. My job is to float around grabbing candids and impromptu photos of you and your guests!

These are your family formal portraits, the ones you can't not have like your parents, siblings and grandparents. The shorter this list, the more enjoyable it will be for you but you can have any you want. Allow 3-5 minutes per group.

Golden hour starts an hour before the sun is due to set. This is when we would sneak out for your sunset photos and a bit of time for the two of you to chill. In summer sunset falls around 7-8:30pm. In winter this can be as early as 4:30pm.

Yay it's time to sit down and eat! During the reception I'm going to document the table decor, the speeches, the food, the laughs and cheers and wedding games. After dinner I'll be documenting the first dance and the party!

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The Getting Ready

wedding day details

I absolutely love getting to document the details and final touches during the morning preparations. This is when we get to create beautiful bridal portraits, first looks with parents and all the candid shots of you and your besties getting ready together.

For the guys, this could be photographing things like a morning surf, golf or swim or just the details, the candid shots and the groom and groomsmen getting dressed and forgetting how to tie a bow tie or put on a boutonniere.

For the bride, ideally we want hair and makeup final touch ups to be two hours before you are due to leave for your first look or ceremony. I know I know, it seems excessive. It really isn't. To ensure you have enough time to get cute wedding day outfit or robe photos, get dressed without feeling stressed and do any first looks with your bridesmaids or parents this is hugely important. This also allows for you to have beautiful bridal portraits before the wind or rain get's anywhere near your fresh hair and makeup.

For the groom, we want ideally an hour with the boys to ensure they have plenty of time as well. Often it takes a lot longer than they think to do the cuff links and buttons, ties and boutonniere flowers than they think it will and more often than not it's at the very minimum 45 minutes for 3-6 guys to get ready.

Dress & hanger

Bride Detail Checklist

Groom Detail Checklist

rings & ring box

wedding shoes



hair pieces


vow book

Invitation set

Two full sets with envelopes + stamps & any other paper stationary you may have (like program cards or save the dates)


If you have something sentimental it's great to have this with your other pieces for your detail shots! This could be something like a 6 pence for your shoe or something you've borrowed from a family member for the wedding.

Bonus: Extra flowers

If you have any spare stems from your wedding day florals, these can be used in your detail shots. Some florists might leave a bucket of extra pieces with you, just a few of these is perfect!


His shoes

wedding day socks

cuff links

tie or bow tie

pocket square


vow book




First looks are literally that, a chance for the two of you to see each other before the ceremony and have that first moment be more private.

Whether you choose to see each other for the first time at the aisle or have a privater moment before hand, this moment will be magical.

The Pros

It gives you a quiet moment before the blur of the wedding ceremony and reception

You can then have all your couple and wedding party photos taken directly afterwards, allowing for you to spend more time with your guests after the ceremony.

You can allow more time for your photos seen you won't have your guests waiting on you. This means more variety in your images and a more relaxed and less rushed photoshoot.

Thinking about it?


Make sure to get your must have group photos!

This is your chance to get photos with your family and friends or a big group photo with everyone at your wedding. You can do this how ever you want but there are some things you'll want to make sure you do so it's super painless for you!

assign a helper

It's important to have a helper assigned who knows who is in the list, but isn't in too many images themselves so that they can help make sure we have everyone we need for the shot list.

Keep your list short and prioritise your most important groupings at the top, that way if you get tired of smiling at the camera you'll be able to cut the list down if you want to or if you run out of time.

Your group photos should have a dedicated time in the schedule to ensure they don't get missed. Some people do this right after the ceremony, sometime during the cocktail or congratulations time or even the last 30 minutes before the reception starts, so that guests leave from their photo and grab their drinks and find their seats.

If people haven't hugged you yet, they'll do this before getting in position for the photo. This makes the group photos take longer than needed and your face starts to hurt when you've been smiling for too long. Of course, if you have people who are unwell or who need to leave early, you may choose to do these straight away and that's absolutely fine.


write a list & Keep it short

Be congratulated first

put it in the schedule

Sometimes organising family and friends can be a little chaotic, it's a great idea to let people know in advance they'll be needed for group photos at X time, so that they know not to drop the kids off or head to the car at that time. Be patient with it though and remember to have a laugh and have fun. Your helper is the one that needs to fetch people, not you two. You get to just stand there and look pretty for a bit!

be patient

Sample Family Photo Shot List

The bride & groom with...

Brides grandparents

Brides Immediate family + Grandparents

Brides Immediate Family

Brides Parents (WITH AND WITHOUT groom)


grooms grandparents

grooms immediate family + grandparents

grooms parents (WITH AND WITHOUT bride)

grooms siblings (with and without partners)

bride with friends

groom with friends

big group photo


The wedding Party

These are your best friends, let's have some fun with them!

These are the photos we take with your favourite people. During this time we usually capture you and your wedding party having some fun as well as the more traditional wedding party photos as a group and as bridesmaids and groomsmen. Sometimes if you're schedule allows for it, we might even have time to photograph everyone individually for the wedding album or each of you with each of your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Allow 45 minutes for groups under 6


do it before the ceremony for more guest time later

choose 1 location to reduce time

allow 60 minutes for groups of 6-10

have fun with it & bring some snacks

don't forget to consider lippy touch up, bathroom breaks or travel time when calculating this into your schedule

Plan a day that you will love,
not that will stress you out and feel rushed!

Kind Words

We cannot thank Haley enough for capturing our special moments on our wedding day last December. Haley has true gift with both photography and people. She will help anybody feel comfortable in front of the camera, and happily guide people to ensure they look their best. Haley is calm, friendly, direct and an all-round boss, which are highly important skills for a photographer! There were a couple times on our wedding day where I genuinely felt she doubled as a wedding day-of coordinator, being so great with communicating with our other vendors and even helping bustle my dress before our first dance. Trust me if you are considering Haley for your wedding photos you will NOT regret it!! Book her right now while you have the chance. We absolutely love both our engagement and wedding photos, and will cherish them forever. Thank you Haley from the bottom of our hearts xx

- Kerry & Ashley, The red barn, waikato

Kind Words

Haley is a fantastic photographer. We engaged her prior to the NZ lockdown but she remained consistently responsive and kind. She was extremely hard working but remained unobtrusive, with plenty of well framed and coloured candid shots.

She was very good at keeping time as our wedding had quite a tight schedule. She has an eye for detail - for example able to see and fix Bonnie's make-up and hair when needed to get the best shots. We would wholeheartedly recommend her to anybody who needs a professional photographer. Thanks Haley!

Bonnie & Stephen, auckland

Kind Words

We had the privilege of having Haley as our wedding photographer. I can't thank her enough for everything she did to make our day (and the process leading up to it) so easy, run smoothly and most importantly, fun. People thought she was one of friends doing us a favour - thats how well she blended in with the group, had everyone laughing and enjoying themselves. We still have people to this day commenting on how amazing she was!

Best of all - our photos came out perfect (and there were tonnes!) So when it came time to choose 10 for our keepsake box - it was an incredibly hard choice. We would recommend her to anybody.

martin & Sammie, The tree church, waikato

Kind Words

Haley, was amazing from the minute we sat down to meet her. She set us at ease as we are not the most natural couple infront of the camera, but after doing our engagement shoot with her we knew that the wedding was going to be a breeze and the photos would be amazing. We are blown away with how good the photos are!!

We had so many complements about Haley while she was photographing our wedding. Hayley and her side kick Ben did such an amazing job and 100% recommend her to everyone that asks!! Thank you again Haley

courtney & Jamie, Waikato

Kind Words

Haley captured our special day absolutely perfectly. She does her best to ensure you are looking amazing in every photo. Her guidance and attention to detail is phenomenal. A slight tilt, move of a fly away hair or a pop of your leg she’s got you!

It’s like Haley was able to read our minds and snapped so many magical shots of the special people and magical moments. Haley is up for every photo opportunity and will keep snapping until the bitter end. We are incredibly thankful for the amount of photos we have and absolutely adore.

indira & Johnny, longfords estate, rotorua

Kind Words

Haley Adele is an amazing wedding photographer! She made our day fun and easy. Haley cares about you and the photos of your special day. Choosing a photographer is an important part of planning a wedding. Haley is great at communicating, easy to get along with, loves a good laugh and she has so much passion. She goes above and beyond to capture the love, moments and memories shared on your day.

After our wedding day Haley continued to show us aroha and was always there to help us with ordering beautiful items from her website. I cannot recommend Haley enough. Thank you Haley for capturing the love on our special day.

amie & Jacob, liddington gardens, kerikeri

Kind Words

Haley was such an amazing photographer! From the moment we meet she put my mind at ease as choosing someone to photograph one of the biggest days of your life can be daunting.From the get go, Haley made me feel comfortable and at ease. Was a bonus as I had been a bridesmaid for a previous wedding she had photographed as well. On the day Haley kept everything running smoothly and had great tips to share which helped as we had never done this before haha. It just felt like somebody we had known for ages was photographing us and both my husband and myself were so happy. The next morning we even woke to some amazing sneak peaks!!!

We highly recommend Haley as your wedding photographer she goes above and beyond and does amazing work :) Thanks again for everything ! Xx

bronwyn & Matthew, the stables, matakana

The Couple Portraits

These are usually the images that people print large for the wall. Make sure you guys allow time for these in your timeline!

If you don't want to be away from your guests for a long time, I recommend doing a First Look and getting these images taken while your hair and makeup is nice and fresh before the ceremony. But if you'd like to see each other for the first time during the ceremony, that's totally fine too.

Things to consider

The more time you allow for this, the more variety you will receive in your images

You can split this time between sunset and an earlier time in the day

Ideally you want to allow 30-60 minutes to get the best results

full sun locations in summer aren't usually the bests for non squinty eyes

Sunset Photos

Is it worth sneaking out for 15-30 minutes at sunset? Yes, yes it is.

Not just for the beautiful romantic images we can create with that stunning golden light but also for some time alone, where the two of you can just take in the day and all the craziness of it.

Golden hour starts 60 minutes before the sun is due to set and is usually best around 30 minutes before the sunsets. Earlier if there are trees in the way of the horizon line. This is usually going to fall at the end of dinner or right before the first dance in Summer. In Winter, this is usually around the time your guests are getting ready to sit down for the reception, around 4:30pm.


Let's get you married!

My job during this time is to capture not just the key moments of the ceremony like the vows, ring exchange and first kiss but also all the candid moments in-between and the florals and details of the ceremony location as well.

Before the ceremony we will be setting up for video or capturing the details of the location and your guests arriving and greeting the groom.

After the ceremony, everyone is so excited for the two of you. My favourite thing is when you spend some quality time with them being congratulated before moving on to any other events or group photos. This is when all the candid photos of your friends taking photos in front of your archway, the congratulatory handshakes and hugs or gasping at the rings is going to happen.

the confetti exit

How many times in your life are you going to get to experience your family and friends throwing petals at the two of you while you're grinning like idiots? Probably only this one time.

Follow these quick tips to make the most of your confetti exit!

The Secret To The Confetti Toss

Have your celebrate make sure your guests are standing and ready with their confetti

More, really is more. The more you have, the more impactful it will look in your photographs!

larger petals or confetti will also show up far more than rice or rosemary etc

Have a helper asigned to hand out the confetti to the guests during the signing

choose the right colour for your backdrop, blush and white will show up better on greenery where as bolder colours will show up better at a beach

Have an unplugged ceremony, if people are on their phones during your aisle walk, it will often place their giant leather flip case right over your face in your photos.

For an even more epic shot, stop about half way down the asile and have a kiss or a dip!

Want real petals but not the added cost? you can always see if your grandparents and parents have gardens or friends with gardens to gather up petals for this! it's also a great way to get them involved with the planning


I highly recommend having an

Why? Well, number one. So your guests are present with you during your ceremony instead of seeing a 5cm tall version of you through their phone and reason number two, so that their leather flip case isn't smack bang in the middle of your photos. Times that by the number of guests you have and that's a lot of phones instead of faces.

Of course this is your choice as a couple but as a photographer, I can only tell you how distracting having everyone on their phones in the background of every image is. Or having someone blocking your entire view of your bride walking towards you because they wanted to grab a "quick" 19999999 photos of her walking down the aisle to send to their friend back home.

Have your celebrant make an announcement before the bride walks down the aisle

Have a sign at the ceremony location where it can't be missed

don't say the photographer has requested it, they don't know us yet nor do they care what we want. They care about you two!


Promising that you'll share the images with them can go a long way to helping with those that  don't listen so well!

if you're worried we might not get all the angles you want, add on a second photographer for more photos


The more time you allow, the more fun you'll have

One of my favourite things for couples is to encourage them to have time allowed in the timeline to just be present in their day. Hang out with your guests, eat your canapés and play your lawn games!

Because, you are allowed to if you want to. There is no hard and fast rule that says this is the only time you can take your wedding party and couple photos if you don't want it to be.


Allow time to mix and mingle with your guests during the canapés and cocktail hour

Have your mc remind everyone to sign the guest book during the reception

sneak out for sunset to get a break between all the crazy

for epic first dance photos, the more fairy lights and festoons the better.

For epic dance floor party shots, have your band or dj start the party playlist right after the first dances are done while everyone is gathered around

have your guests make a circle around the dance floor for the first dance rather than sitting, this way it's easier to pull people onto the floor to join the two of you

My top wedding venues in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato


View the guide

Learn what I love about all the different venues I've had the pleasure of photographing weddings at in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regions!

Opps! A new mobile version of The Wedding Guide in under construction. Don't worry, you can still view it on your desktop!