Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding & portrait photographer serving DC, VA & Worldwide. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!

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The Manali Photography Wedding Experience

January 2, 2020


So this is post is about to be very long but exciting because it walks you through the entire luxury wedding experience from start to end! For all of you who said YES this winter to their now-fiancé and are getting excited about planning out the wedding of their dreams, this post is for you!! I love getting to talk with new clients over a cup of coffee and walk them through the entire photography experience from start to end! It’s amazing seeing their eyes light up as they first get to hear and dream of their entire day from start to finish and imagine what it will not only look like but feel like! The honor of being asked to capture such a huge part of couples’ stories is never, ever lost on me and I promise I get JUST as hype for the day as the girls you’ve asked there to be alongside you as your bridesmaids 🙂 So let’s dive right in!



When you inquire for wedding photography through my website’s contact form, it’ll ask for a couple of details to get started such as your wedding date, your potential wedding venue if you have it set, your fiancé’s name (who popped the question!), your email address and a little bit about your wedding plans! I love getting the basics down as well as getting to hear about any exciting details you have planned out to make sure we’re the absolute best fit, my clients deserve nothing less than that! I’ll then reach back out to you via email with a guide that actually outlines what this entire process looks like with me, the collections that I offer and the investment for them! I will also schedule either a video chat or in-person coffee (or rosé!) date to get to meet you and your fiancé face to face to get to know you both better, walk you through the experience and answer any questions that you have for me!



We’ll talk about everything from how you two met (always the cutest stories) to what you have planned for your wedding day so far! A lot of times my potential brides come to me with a tentative timeline that helps me recommend a specific collection of hours of coverage for their day which is super helpful in making their decision! I never ask anyone to book with me on the spot, I always give you and your fiancé time to mull it over together by yourselves. All I ask of you if you decide to book is to let me know which collection you’d like to go with and we’ll take it from there! Signing your contract and paying your initial deposit is made super easy & convenient through an online system called HoneyBook which will be our main hub of communication!


Once things are official, we start talking all things wedding planning & get your engagement session marked on our calendars!



I love getting you and your fiancé in front of the camera for the engagement session and getting to spend more time with both of you! We’ll plan out the perfect location to tie into your story, I’ll help you pick out your outfits and then we spend an hour exploring and taking pictures that capture all your quirks as the cutest couple together 🙂 This is meant to be FUN! You leave the posing and looking natural up to me, just come ready to have a good time together! A lot of my couples will make a fun date night out of it and end up using their engagement session photos as their save the dates or as decor at their reception!



For a couple of months leading up to your wedding day, we’ll work together to craft the perfect timeline to make sure that you have everything on your wedding day covered and that you have plenty of breathing time on your big day to truly relax and enjoy it!! My best piece of advice to brides is to craft a timeline that has PLENTY of buffer time so that if something comes up on the fly, we can handle it quickly and keep on keeping on while still being on track of time! Talk about stress-free! I always get super excited to hear as other plans for your wedding day come along anywhere from having brides text me pictures of their dress to telling me a little about the florals you’ve picked out!



About 2 months before your wedding day I’ll send out a questionnaire that will get me ALL the information I need to make sure I am able to photograph everything smoothly on your wedding day! This questionnaire will get me details on contact information for throughout the day, a list of any special details to make sure nothing is overlooked, the names of vendors I’ll be working alongside, to a list of the family portraits you want taken! This questionnaire is comprehensive but very critical for me to do a great job throughout your wedding day! I will actually print out two copies, one for me and one for my second shooter, to bring along and reference throughout your wedding day!



Leading up to your BIG DAY we’ll video chat the week or week before your wedding to nail down all the final details, make sure I have my shot list ready & the timeline nailed down to a T so you can be ready to enjoy your wedding day stress-free, enjoying each moment to its fullest & dance the night away with your husband at your reception 🙂



Then come your wedding day it’ll be the day you’ve been dreaming of and planning out for so long!! I’ll greet you with a big hug before we get started for the day! My job is to be there as a friend and help make sure that your wedding day is STRESS-FREE!! All you have to do is ENJOY your day with your groom and I’ll be there to capture it all so you can look back at to live it over and over again because it WILL go by in a blur! You’ll even get some sneak peeks of your wedding day within 24 hours while everyone is excited to see them so you can share them with everyone!


About a week after your wedding day as you’re getting to jet set to your honeymoon, you’ll get to scroll through your blog post of pictures a million times to tide you over! I’ll work hard within the next 4 weeks to get your images edited and delivered to you in an online gallery! If you choose to have an album designed with me we’ll start picking out your favorites to get started on designing your beautiful hand-crafted leather or linen album that will be shipped right to you after our final design is made!


Voilá, that just about covers it all! I hope this gives you a bit of a walkthrough of what the whole process is like, I promise I try to make it as fun and stress-free as possible! I offer my best advice from witnessing a countless amount of wedding days so that you can make yours incredibly fun and truly, one to remember!


If you enjoyed this post, you might like:

Tips for Getting Ready on Your Wedding Day!

All About the First Look

The Best of 2019 Weddings



All images were taken while second shooting for Chelsea Schaefer Photography!


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