What You Can Expect While Working With Charleston Wedding Photographer Leigh Hayward

close up of engaged couple with champagne bottle and champagne being poured

First of all congratulations on your engagement! Many clients are curious about the process of  working with a professional wedding photographer. For many couples, this is their first experience with professional photography. Therefore, I am going to walk you through my exact process so you know what to expect while working with me.

What happens after I reach out?

As a first step, I email my pricing guide with the Collections I offer. Once you click the link in your email, you can get more details on each Collection and decide which ones you’d be interested in discussing further. To get started, I love to chat with you on the phone to get to know you and your partner better. We’ll talk about your vision for the wedding and what photos are most important to you, and use that info to narrow down which collection suits your needs best. I know this process can be overwhelming so I follow up via email to answer questions, provide additional resources, and help with planning your day of timeline.

How do we reserve our wedding date?

After we decide which Collection is best for you, I send a proposal. Once you sign the proposal and pay the $1500 retainer, I’m officially booked! The remainder of your balance will be due two weeks prior to your wedding date.  I then do a happy dance, because I’m so thankful you chose me to document this moment in your love story!!

What you can expect after booking?

Recommended Vendors

I have been photographing weddings in the Lowcountry for over 15 years now. Along the way, I have worked with some fantastic wedding vendors. I have compiled a list of my favorite seasoned, professional vendors I enjoy working with in order to create the most magical day for you.  I hope this helps you in your wedding planning process.  AMAZING WEDDING VENDORS

 Engagement Portrait Style Guide

I really enjoy getting to  know my clients ahead of time before their wedding. This can be easily done at an engagement or bridal portrait session. I’ve created this style guide filled with tips and tricks for preparing for our time together to ensure you LOVE your photos.  By the time you’ve read through this magazine, you’ll have all your questions answered and feel more than ready and prepared for your session. Then I’ll take care of the rest! It’s more than okay to feel nervous! Please know that I do not expect you to be models. My job is to direct you in a way that helps you relax, feel natural, and be your true comfortable selves in front of my lens. Your only job is to be yourself, laugh a lot and let me create photos you’ll love forever.  Click Here to Read my Engagement Style Guide Magazine

Engaged couple kiss on College of Charleston Campus

A close up shot of an engagement ring on a woman's hand


Charleston Engagement Photos couple leaning against old textured wall

What comes next? The answer is a lot of questionnaires

Prewedding Couple Questionnaire

In my prewedding couple questionnaire I ask you more about your love story and what you envision for your big day in your own words. This is so helpful for me for various things such as your blog post after the wedding and when submitting your wedding for publication.

Wedding Photo Wish-List:

No doubt there are many wedding moments you want documented. The best way to ensure I capture the right moments is to fill out the shot list questionnaire I provide for you. I want to know those photographs that mean the most to you! It also helps me learn family members first names, relationships, and any special needs such as any handicapped or less mobile people. This helps me formulate a game plan in advance and manage my time to give you a stress free wedding day! It also makes it much easier for me to gather everyone and start posing them for  family formals and wedding party photos. My goal is to photograph your requested photos efficiently so that you can get you to your reception to start celebrating your marriage!

Vendor Questionnaire

This information is important in the event of an emergency on your wedding day. It is also needed if your wedding is submitted for publication. When submitting to any publication, they will need all of your vendor information. Also, your wedding planner and I will need to be in communication before your big day to formulate a game day plan.

Charleston bride processional at Old Wide Awake Plantation Wedding

Just married couple kiss under white floral arch in downtown Charleston, SC

Newlyweds walking holding hands and smiling at each other at Governor Thomas Bennett House

Sneak peak

After your wedding, you can expect a sneak peek of a few wedding photos within 3 days. I will then proceed with culling your wedding images.
How will you edit my pictures?
My editing style is light and bright. I also love the timeless look of black and white photographs. I turn some of your standout images into black and white copies. My editing does NOT include extensive editing such as “photoshopping” you to change the color of something or alter your size or shape. If there is something specific that you would like changed in an image, it can be processed by a retoucher for an additional fee.

When and how will I receive your images?

Most photographers take months to deliver your full wedding gallery, while I take no more than three weeks from your event. That means you’re only waiting three weeks to relive the best day of your life in swoon-worthy images. Your images will be delivered electronically via an online gallery.  This is the quickest way for me to get the images to you. As soon as I finish editing, I can load the images to the gallery and send you the link. No need to wait for items to be shipped and delivered. It also allows you to share your images with guests, friends, and family. From your gallery, you can download all of the high resolution images directly to your computer. I reccomend saving them to a USB as well for long term backup.

You will be granted print & social media release to allow you to post, print & love your images endlessly! Additionally, I love creating a brief highlight video telling the complete story of your day with still images. It’s a wonderful way to share your day with friends and family that weren’t able to make it!

Last steps in what to expect with working with Leigh

Request For Review

After delivering your full gallery, I follow up with you and see how I could improve the experience for future clients or what you loved most about working with me! As you can imagine, reviews are an incredible way for me to make sure that every client leaves as a raving fan and I want to be sure that every step along the way was memorable for you! My favorite platforms for gathering client’s feedback are The Knot and Google.


I try to get all of your dreamy weddings published in wedding magazines or wedding blogs. If for some reason they are not featured, I write my own blog post in my journal to boast about your beautiful day.

Visit My Other Educational Blog Posts


black and white portrait of Charleston newlyweds twirling in the street


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About Leigh

Leigh Hayward

Leigh Hayward

Charleston Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Hi, I’m Leigh! I’m an engagement and wedding photographer based in Charleston, SC. I’ve been serving ALL love and couples since 2006. I adamantly believe everyone deserves their love story to be told beautifully! 

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