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It sounds boring, a schedule on wedding day but trust me it is a requirement.

A schedule or timeline ensures that you, your family and wedding party are where they need to be when they need to be. Delays can really disrupt your day and you want your day to run as seamlessly as possible!

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I have a final consult with my couples between a month and two weeks before wedding day to piece their schedule together. By this point, details have most likely been worked out so it makes it easy to do. I create an hour by hour schedule of their day as it pertains to photography. They know where I will be, and where they need to be for the 8-10 hrs they have with me.

When should I be cutting my cake? Should I do speeches during dinner or after? I really want those sunset photos….when do we do those? All of these questions are sorted out during our meeting. To maximize the time your have with your photographer and get all the photos dreamed of, you need a schedule.

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I also advise that couples share this schedule with the other vendors they have hired for the day. There may be conflicts and we want that worked out before the big day. It is ultra important that your vendors work together on wedding day. Every single vendor is equally important and helps to create your perfect day.

So, not so boring right? This small step can save you lots of headaches on your beautiful day!

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In light of this very wet spring and my very wet basement, (yup, we flooded) I thought I would be appropriate to do my next blog post on what to do if it rains on your big day.

I want and need to say, this is not the end of the world! Rainy days are said to be good luck and rainy day photos are beautiful and romantic! The rain produces some moody, colourful skies and opportunities for some dramatic photos. It can even give you a rainbow!

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First, have a backup plan if possible. Here in the Ottawa Valley, that is not the easiest as there are not a lot of options for indoor photos. However, I alway recommend greenhouses as an option in the rain. They are stocked with gorgeous flowers and greenery and the light is to die for.

Personally, I like to head outside, even in the rain. I tell my couples to elect someone to go out and stock up on umbrellas. Umbrella photos are fun and look great. They are be used for the wedding party as well as you and your new spouse. They can also be used in between shots to stay dry. I have amazing assistants who have held many an umbrella for couples.

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A professional photographer will know just what to do to ease your mind and get the job done rain or shine. There maybe a slight shuffle in location and schedule to accommodate the weather but a true professional will transition without issue.

Last, stay calm. Unfortunately, we can’t control Mother Nature so it is best to just “roll with it” and enjoy every minute of your day, even if it isn’t exactly how you pictured it.

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All of the photos in this post were taken either in the rain (in some cases pouring rain) or after the rain. All of these stunning couples trusted me with their rainy day and the results are breathtaking. It can be done!

In this day and age of cellphones and social media, having a 100% unplugged wedding is impossible. However, that does not mean it should be a free for all either. So, what do I think the guidelines should be?

The getting ready process is a fun time to hang with the girls or with the guys. Many, many selfies are taken during this process. This is tons of fun and there are some great memories to cherish from this but none of these photos should be shared on social media until after the ceremony! More than once, over eager friends or family have shared photos of the bride to be and guess who saw them? Yup! The groom to be! You can imagine how that went over…..

The ceremony is the one time I believe guests should put their cameras away. Guests should be present with you on your day, not behind a lens. I think it is distracting for the bride and groom to have so many flashes and clicks. Last, they simply don’t need to take photos. That is why you hired a professional and all those photos will be made available after the wedding. If the bride and groom don’t want to have photos off limits then I suggest that they ask guests to remain in their seats to take photos, not in the aisles etc.

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Family photos, wedding party and portraits. I always tell guests, I don’t mind if you take your photos behind me but I request they don’t use flash and remind them that we are on a schedule. Bride and groom portraits are personal and I do not allow photos during that time.

Receptions are so fun and there are so many photo opportunities so I say fire away! In fact, a wedding hashtag is a fantastic idea. Then the bride and groom can see all the fun photos from their night.

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The number one thing for guests to remember is that the bride and groom have hired (and paid a lot of money for) a professional photographer. So just be aware of where that photographer is during key moments and be respectful and give them the space they need to do their job.

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Summer is on its way – I think. Wedding season will soon be in full swing and I couldn’t be more excited. 90% of weddings take place in the summer months in the Ottawa Valley. These months tend to be hot and sticky. Here are a few tips to survive if your day is HOT.

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Stay hydrated and eat! I know it is tempting to start the party early but I strongly encourage you to hold off. Alcohol leaves you dehydrated and that could turn into a major issue on wedding day. I suggest filling the cooler with water and bringing it along for photos. Also, eat! Wedding day gets busy and often people forget to eat. Have some veggie trays, crackers and cheese, and munchies. Even if you’re just grazing, at least your belly won’t be empty.

Bring sweat “dabbers”. Bring a handkerchief for both your and hubby to be AND the wedding party too! When the sweat starts to show or drip (lol) you can easily “dab” it away without disturbing your makeup.

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Ask your makeup artist to leave your lipstick and some foundation (if possible). These days, makeup artists have handy setting sprays that do an amazing job of setting your makeup in place for the day. It doesn’t hurt to have a backup, just in case your sweat some off.

Leave a bit of time after photos are complete and your grand entrance. This gives you time to freshen up. You can re-apply makeup, deodorant and take a minute to cool off.

Last, if you need a break tell your photographer.  No one wants you to get sick, dehydrate or worse, faint on your day.  

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So you finally get to be alone with your new spouse……and your photographer lol. The # 1 point I stress is trust your photographer. Do not worry about about the posing, the angles or your chin. That is your photographer’s job.

Next, relax and have fun! The absolute BEST shots are when you are in the moment with your new spouse. Laugh, cuddle, kiss – don’t be shy. You just married this person, you are madly in love, remember? Ha ha, sometimes this can be hard. You are most likely sweaty or cold (depending on your date!) thirsty, hungry and maybe a bit distracted with other wedding related details.

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Here are some of my “rules” for wedding day couple’s portrait sessions:

NO one else is allowed to join us during this shoot. Not parents, no wedding party members – not a soul. These are intimate photos that do not require an audience. You will feel much more comfortable this way.

Next, no stressing about the wine, the buffet or how much Uncle Harold is drinking. I am quick to remind my couples that someone else has it under control and revert the focus back to each other.

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Last, bring all the resources you need. For example: bring some water, have some appetizers brought over during your shoot (if possible), bring a hanky to dab sweat and have your lipstick with you for reapplying. Prep this before the wedding for smooth sailing during.

Very last – ENJOY a bit of time alone with your new spouse (and your photographer lol) it will be only time you will get until your day is over!

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