Planning a WEDDING on a budget

Planning a wedding on a budget

There are two different ways I decide on the value of all the details that go into a wedding.  Is it very meaningful and important to you as the bride and groom? Does the value still last after the wedding?

The first, is it meaningful and important to you both?  Are there traditions in the wedding culture that don’t matter to you? I have photographed weddings with no wedding cake, no bouquet toss, no big wedding party. In each case there was no value to it for the bride and groom. It was not something they cared about. Instead they had only their close friends and family attend, had an intimate dinner, then danced the night away.

Second, does the value last after your wedding? These are details such as your wedding dress that you hope to pass down to your future daughter.  The wedding ring you will wear your whole life. And the videos and photographs from your wedding that can take you back to those moments and bring back those feeling over and over again. These are the things that I believe are worth investing in.  As you look at all the amazing options that there are in the world to create a beautiful wedding.  Consider what is important to you, not your Aunt or grandmother or future mother-in-law.  This is your wedding!

After figuring out what you want in a wedding, the first thing you will want to do is create a budget. A budget is the amount of money you have to dedicate to the event. Stick to the budget you set. Make a very detailed list of what you need to create dream wedding. Search online for pricing for each item, contact vendors for bids and start saving.  I advise not to go into debt for your wedding.  The last thing you want after your big celebration is to have to pay for it for six months after. Start saving and be smart and you will be able to make your dream wedding a reality.

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What to Bring to a BRIDAL SESSION

Are you wondering how to prepare for your up coming Bridal Session? I’ve got you covered!

When planning what to bring to your Bridal session consider this list. Believe me, I want you to feel prepared and be comfortable.  I want you both to be able to focus on each other and know that I will take care of the rest.


1.      Bring an extra pair of shoes that you can slip on and off easily. We all know that heels are not our number one choice of footwear when walking through the canyon, park or beach.  Heels will look amazing when taking the photos and for the detail shots but when we are walking from place to place, perhaps on uneven ground, we don’t want any twisted ankles.

2.      Bring a veil.  You may know that the veil is my favorite accessory. It softens the photos and adds such elegance to the session.  And there are so many fun poses we can do with it.

3.      Invest in a bouquet. Think of this as your wedding day preview. This session isn’t complete without the color and texture that a bouquet will add to the photos. 

4.      Shine your ring. I know it is new but we want it to shine like a chandelier.  Also if you have his ring already you could bring it for some beautiful ring shots on your bouquet or wildflower.

5.      Bring makeup to touch up those lips after kissing. I recommend all day lipstick or gloss that won’t transfer to your groom’s lips.



1.      Make sure to remove all wallets, keys, phones from your pockets to prevent unwanted items showing up in the photos.

2.      If your suit is brand new make sure that all of the tailor strings are trimmed, particularly the tail in the back of the suit and tags that are often on the sleeves.

3.      Polish your shoes if needed.  We want you to look as sharp as a tack.

4.      Get your hair trimmed.  A hair cut is a fantastic way to show your lady that you are as excited as she is about the session. Trim up the facial hair too. You will look better than James Bond.  You will look so amazing in those up close shots!

You two are going to feel so prepared and we will have so much fun creating timeless photos together! I can’t wait!

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FIRST LOOK- What is it and How to do it

Is capturing that first moment when he sees you for the first time important to you? It is to me too! I love seeing his jaw drop, grin from cheek to cheek, shed a tear, and watch as you take his breath away. Sometimes, my favorite First Looks are the ones where the bride and groom burst into laughter. This is one of many moments that they will remember as feeling true joy. No matter how the emotion is expressed happiness is what it is all about! The First Look is one of my most favorite moments for the whole wedding series. The raw and true emotions of a first look are irreplaceable.

How it works. When doing a first look session we coordinate to have you and your groom arrive separately to the session.  Once you have both arrived I will escort the groom to the perfect spot for the reveal.  Then walk back to the vehicles and I will help you get all set. You will slowly walk up to him as he is facing away from you.  As you get very close he will turn around and see you in your beautiful gown and you will see him as sharp and handsome as ever. You will hug and kiss and he will give you a spin so he can see every bit of your dress.  And leave it up to me to capture all of the magic. I am so passionate about capturing the authentic and raw emotions that happen so naturally in moments like this.

Following those initial beautiful moments we will continue to the magic with a formal bridal session that will make you feeling like wedding magazine models. We will be sure to capture all the beautiful details and the indescribable spark between the two of you. I want you to look back at these photos and be able to feel those same feelings over and over each time you see them. Let’s make the magic happen.

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Why I Shoot at GOLDEN HOUR!

Have you ever heard a photographer talk about “The Golden Hour”? If you have you may have noticed a tone in their voice that resembles the way a child talks about their favorite fairy tale.  Why is that?  Because the Golden Hour is magic! The lighting is the softest and warmest that hour before sunset than any other time of the day.  There is no time that compares to it in the eyes of the photographer. 

When shooting at Golden Hour it is essential to start on time. Have you noticed that once the sun starts heading to the horizon it seems to speed it? As a photographer the time goes way too fast. So taking advantage of every second is critical.  Make sure to arrive 15-20 minutes before your session begins. This allows for final wardrobe adjustments and makeup and hair checks to happen before the session begins and doesn’t take time away for capturing beautiful moments on camera.

When scheduling a photo session with me know that I want to get the absolute best results and making yourselves available for this time of day is the best way to get those results. Make sure to give yourself more than enough time for getting ready and travel to be able to show up just before your session start time. Believe me, it is worth every minute.

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YAY! It's Official! I was featured on UTAH VALLEY BRIDE!

I can’t believe it actually happened! Utah Valley Bride featured me of their website. I submitted this session only dreaming to be published in a magazine of any kind.  I got an email in December for the Editor of Utah Valley Bride stating, “We had an unprecedented number of submission…I would absolutely LOVE to feature this gorgeousness online at UtahValley Thank you so much for thinking of UVB!”


What?! Are you kidding me?! What a fantastic opportunity!  An opportunity that isn’t given to everyone who submitted.  With an unprecedented amount of submissions, UVB asked to feature mine. I am so honored by that.  And because it is online there is a permanent and unlimited access to it. Yay! I am so very happy for this opportunity. UVB has been so great and a big shout- out to UVB Editor, Briana! She is amazing to work with! Thank you, UVB!


I hope that you love looking at the gallery and that through this you can see the love I have for Photography, Weddings and especially the Brides and Grooms I have the pleasure to serve. I am dedicated to them and love what I do. Thank you to everyone who has supported me. Especially, my Rand for believing in me and pushing me to dream big.  I feel I can do anything with him by my side.


A special thanks to Mikkia and Jordan for allowing me to show off you beautiful faces! And thank you to all the vendors I had the pleasure to work with! Your talents are a dream to capture!


Check them out on Instagram:




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A lot of you attended the amazing Bridal Fair at The Lodge at Traverse Mountain last Friday. On my brochure in your swag bag has the chance to enter to win for a drawing for a FREE BRIDAL SESSION with me. If you didn’t make it to the bridal fair, that’s okay! You can still enter to win. Follow the steps below to Enter the Giveaway. A winner will be chosen on Valentine’s Day! Watch on my instagram live for the announcement!


  1. Follow my instagram page @chelseyblackphotography and tag 3 friends who are recently engaged.

  2. Then go to and fill out the contact for in the CONNECT section. THAT’S It! You’re in!


Welcome to My New Website!


Hello! I’m so happy you came to visit my website. I am really excited to finally get this up and running! Yay! It’s finally here!

I am Chelsey Black. I am a mom to four cool kids, a wife to my best friend, and a full-time wedding photographer. I love everything about photography. I’ve spent the last nine years capturing beautiful people in gorgeous natural light. Weddings are my happy place.

My commitment is to YOU. I’m driven by making your wedding experience spectacular and memorable through a photography experience you will love. I believe kindness is everything. I love serving you and making this day everything you’ve dreamed of. I will capture your meaningful moments in beautiful photos you’ll cherish forever.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I’d love to answer any questions you may have. Please contact me through the connect page on this website, or feel free to reach out via Instagram. @chelseyblackphotography