Category Archives: Wedding

For Beach-themed Wedding

So you’ve decided on a Hawaiian wedding theme and now you need to find beach wedding dresses that go with your Hawaiian beach theme. Or maybe you are planning a beach style wedding elsewhere (not actually on the beach in Hawaii), wherever that may be. It’s easy to bring Hawaii to any beach or even to your own back yard. And it all starts with the correct choice of Hawaiian wedding attire suitable to wear on the beach not only for yourself and your bridesmaids but the complete bridal party.

While a wedding on the beach may sound like a unique concept, it has been happening on various beaches of the world. A lot of brides are opting for exotic beach locations for their weddings instead of a traditional church wedding. In order to pick the right bridal attire for a particular wedding, you will need to consider many different elements. This can depend on the location, season and local practices or customs as well as the type of beach itself can be a important factor when selecting Hawaiian beach wedding dresses.

Hawaii is well-known for being laid-back and casual, so why not apply the same attitudes toward your wedding? It’s not uncommon for couples getting married on the beach to throw tradition to the wind and dress down.

While nothing could be more romantic than a traditional Hawaiian wedding dress known as a “Holoku”. The Hawaiian Holoku, a formal Hawaiian gown with a train, is also a gorgeous choice as a Hawaiian wedding gown for those who would like authentic Hawaiian wedding wear. The Holoku is an elegant, and conservative, formal tea dress, with its high neck, long sleeves, and lace. Maile, the character in Blue Hawaii who married Elvis at the end of the movie, wore a Holoku as her wedding gown as Elvis and Maile serenaded each other with the Hawaiian wedding song as they floated down a river on a canoe toward wedded bliss.

There are wedding gowns, that are specially designed for brides who wish to have a informal wedding especially for the beach. They are unusually free flowing, with simple lines, sometimes very colorful and definitely a far call from conventional. There are designers who specialize in beach wedding dresses with a Hawaiian theme. And even you do not want to get a designer wedding dress you could just get yourself a comfortable beach dress that you are comfortable wearing and get married.

A wedding on the beach does not permit you to wear those long flowing wedding gowns, with a 15ft trailing veil, they are best left for the more traditional church wedding. Hawaiian themed weddings can be more of a casual setting, allowing you set the mood for a fun relaxed day. While out in the sun with a small tent erected, you would want to wear something that matches this setting. After all a marriage ceremony is not sanctified on what beach wedding dress or gown you wear or where you get married. With a wedding on the beach you can be as formal or as casual as you like, they’re really are no golden rules, times are simply changing giving brides the chance to truly personalize her own special day.

It is all about marrying the right person in the setting that suits you most, and what an ideal setting, sand between your toes, the sun shinning upon you both, with the waves of the sea lashing against the shore. And, if you are wearing the right kind of beach wedding dress you could ask the priest to sanctify your marriage out on the shores edge, with gentle waves splashing around your ankles as you exchange rings and say ‘i do’. Doesn’t that sound picture perfect, so romantic…

Beach themed weddings s are popular at many romantic resorts in Hawaii some other popular wedding locations include (in no particular order) the Caribbean, Tahiti, Fiji, the Bahamas, Florida, California, Mexico, Costa Rica, Australia and South of France.

Top tips to consider when looking at Hawaiian beach wedding dresses.

The exact location of the beach chosen for the wedding may dictate, to some extent, what to wear to a wedding on the beach; for example, is the beach windy? If so, long, floaty dresses, with long veils (or loose hairstyles) may prove troublesome and a shorter, close fitting wedding dress may be more practical.

Take the time to find out what is the true color of the sand, as white sand is the best as this will not stain your wedding dress. Some sand can leave a horrible yellow stain on your wedding dress. It is advisable to wear a 3/4 length wedding dress if this is the case.

Most brides will also want to have their wedding photos taken on the beach, so it is strongly advisable to check out what type of sand is found at the location you have selected before you decide on the length of your Hawaiian wedding dress.

In any wedding that is going to be on the beach, sand is a important factor that you can not escape. When selecting a wedding dress to wear on the beach, you need to take into consideration that sand will find its way into every possible spot it can. Avoid selecting a beach wedding dresses that have lots of folds, pleats, or even lots of lace that sand can get trapped in.

Is there shade on the beach where the wedding is taking place? If not, you might want to consider a wide brimmed hat as part of your Hawaiian wedding attire to protect you and your beach bridal party from the sun.

Will the wedding take place on the sand or in a wedding gazebo? Sandals or flip flops (which can be very stylish) may be more appropriate than high heels or closed shoes if walking through sand is likely. You will notice in many Hawaiian wedding photos that the bride is even barefooted adding that extra casual feel to the day.

Lets not forget the wedding photos. Having you and your husband frolicking in the waves, or standing on the shore edge looking into the sunset, these romantic photos success will depend on what type of dress you are wearing. A bride trying to hold up a hooped wedding dress standing in the surf doesn’t make the best photo shot. But I am sure it can be done, but not the best scenario.

Sandra Beech spends as much time as she can on beaches and loves everything and anything to do with weddings. So it is natural for her to write about planning a beach wedding.

Our Most Loved Wedding Tradition

Many of the wedding traditions we still include in the modern nuptial festivities have their roots deep in history. Though many of these wedding traditions are based on superstitions or historical necessity, to this day couples still – to some degree – acknowledge them. Though the dynamics of weddings change continuously, with new wedding customs being added to the ‘canon’ all the time, wearing white, tying cans to the bumper, and carrying a bouquet all remain firmly entrenched in the collective psyche.

Unearthing the origins of our most beloved wedding traditions – from the practice of placing wedding bands on the third finger of the left hand to putting coins in the bride’s shoes – help modern brides understand why we continue to do things the way we do.

A Vision in White

“Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind, and true.
When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate.”

One of our most beloved wedding traditions is the white wedding dress. Many historians claim that the vivacious French queen, Anne de Bretagne, was the first to start this most cherished of wedding traditions by wearing a white wedding dress in 1499; however, there remains some speculation as to the veracity of this claim. Another 160 years would pass until accounts of Mary, Queen of Scots’ marriage to the French Dauphin in 1558 also claimed she wore white. In most cases, the white wedding dress is commonly attributed to Queen Victoria of England, however, who in 1840 married Albert of Saxe-Coburg, clad entirely in a white gown that was adorned with some of her own prized white lace. But, as far as wedding traditions are established, it still took awhile for brides to catch on to this new idea; it was, after all, very hard to clean a white dress and keep it that way in those times. Another sixty or so years would pass before brides had the resources to wear white wedding gowns routinely and keep them spotless.

Prior to this time, there were no wedding customs that dictated what color had to be worn, and everyone – from peasants to royalty – would simply wear their finest gown, whether it was blue, purple, or yellow hued. The only colors strictly off limits were black (a symbol of death) and flaming red (often associated with ‘ladies of the night.’), although brides in certain parts of the world wore (and still do) black or red gowns based on local cultural and social wedding customs and requirements. Nowadays, people think that a white dress stands for chastity, but traditionally, if a bride wanted to convey this fact, she would have worn blue in keeping with long-held wedding traditions.

All You Need Is Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

“If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know.
Marry in April when you can, joy for maiden and for man.”

Another favorite of our modern day wedding traditions – the practice of integrating ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue’ – has been a part of the marriage ceremony since the nineteenth century, each standing for a special trinket or symbol the bride carries with her on the wedding day. Most people are unaware of the last line of this phrase, however, which ends with ‘and a silver sixpence in her shoe.’ Many cultures practice putting coins in the bride’s shoes, symbolic wedding customs that stand, of course, for wealth and prosperity. In Sweden, for instance, these wedding customs are evident with the mother of the bride placing a gold coin in one shoe and her father placing a silver coin in the other to ensure that she will always have financial security.

‘Something old’ stands for the bride’s old life; wedding customs generally state that she should pick something that reminds her of a loved one (perhaps a grandparent) or past special event. ‘Something new’ signifies the couple’s hope for their future together; a symbol of a shared interest is an excellent choice. ‘Something borrowed’ represents something the bride wishes to aspire to or someone she wishes to honor, whether it be a loved one’s old bracelet or a memento from a friend who has a happy marriage. And finally, the ‘something blue’ part of these wedding traditions, though it no longer holds the same symbolism, denotes the bride’s purity. Many brides today incorporate the color discreetly underneath their dresses in the form of garters or as jewelry.

The Vein of Love Links Both Hearts

“Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go.”

With its circular shape, the wedding ring, which for years has been a part of our most respected wedding customs, represents a love without end and the moment when the bride and groom are joined together. Placing the wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand is usually believed to have come from the ancient Egyptian belief that this part of the body contained the ‘vein of love,’ or a mythical vein that runs from the finger to the heart. With the wedding ring on this finger, another of our most beloved wedding traditions concluded that happiness, love, and commitment were assured (citation: gagirl.com/wedding/wedding5.html).

Early folklore of how our wedding customs came to be claims that the husband would tie his new wife’s ankles and wrists with ropes to keep her spirit on earth for as long as possible; this particular practice stemming from these ancient wedding customs, of course, evolved into today’s modern wedding bands, now made from gold or silver, though the transformation took many forms throughout the years – hemp (which never lasted long), leather, metal, and other durable materials, such as iron (favored by the Romans) to indicate the permanence of the union.

Across the Threshold We Go

“Those who in July do wed, must labor for their daily bread.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see.”

There are at least four explanations why the groom is expected to carry his bride over the threshold, all of which have their origins in wedding customs of centuries past. Well over a millennia or so ago, it was common for the groom to abduct his bride (with the help of his ‘best man’), and essentially, he had to force her into the home. To make the situation easier, he likely carried her across the threshold so she couldn’t escape. Similarly, the belief in evil spirits was rampant, and to protect the couple from harm, popular wedding traditions held that the groom carried her over to leave the potential threats outside.

Another feasible explanation for these wedding traditions rests with the new wife’s reluctance to enter the home and leave behind her family, and with a show of modesty for her husband, the bride would play hard to get, requiring the groom to carry her over the threshold so she entered the home. The last, perhaps most common account of lifting the bride over the threshold is that she must never trip or fall or she’ll suffer years of ill fortune. But regardless of where you go, these wedding traditions still stand for the passage of one phase of life to the next and the hope that the bride and groom have for their future together (citation: Marriage Customs of the World, George Monger, page 270).

Look at Us and Wish Us Well

“Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.”

A long time ago, as a bride was ready to depart with her husband from the marriage ceremony, wedding customs dictated that she should hand her shoes to her father who, in turn, would hand them to her husband, a roundabout way to show her allegiance to her father, who passed on her care and keep to the groom. In the sixteenth century, local wedding customs dictated that newly married English couples should have shoes thrown at them, and it was a good omen if they were hit. To keep these wedding traditions alive, the bridal party now ties shoes to the bumper of the couple’s car along with various other decorations, such as ‘Just Married’ signs or tin cans that are meant to scare away the evil spirits.

Wedding traditions associated with loud commotions to keep the spirits away have their origins in Medieval Europe, when the wedding guests would leave the ceremony and make enough noise with bells, whistles, and pots to frighten the spirits and keep them at bay, ensuring a happy future for the new couple.

Time to Plan Your Wedding!

Whether you are engaged or not, whether you are dating someone special or not, now is the time to plan your wedding day!  You may think this sounds crazy but it truly works!

While in High School, my Home Economics teacher gave me the assignment to plan a wedding.  I had to put together a scrapbook that included photos of a wedding dress,  wedding bouquet, bridesmaid dresses, wedding rings, wedding decor, wedding flowers, wedding cake etc…  Although it was time consuming, it proved to be a very helpful activity!

One day while shopping at a mall, I saw a wedding dress that resembled one much like the one I had put in my wedding scrapbook.  I put it on layaway and was able to pay it off before I ever even met my husband!  It was one less thing to worry about when planning my actual wedding!  It also proved to be economical in budgeting for my wedding.

Here is how you make your wedding scrapbook.  You can use any binder and put card stock in it.  If you prefer, you can purchase an inexpensive scrap booking album.  (You don’t have to use acid free materials.)

WEDDING DRESS:

Look for wedding dress styles that you like.  You can start by looking through magazines or online wedding sites.  Take photos at weddings you attend, or try dresses on at your local bridal shop.    Once you find a style(s) you like, put photos of those styles in your scrapbook.  You could even journal underneath the photos the type of fabric you want to use.

Include  wedding veil photos if you plan to wear one with your wedding dress.  Your taste in style may change  before you meet that special someone and get engaged.  No worries!   Just add the new style you like to your scrapbook.  Update your pictures as often as you like.  Remember you are trying to make your wedding a day you will want to remember positively!

WEDDING COLORS:

What colors do you want your wedding to be?  Consider your wedding line and what about your wedding decor?  Put samples of fabric and samples of colors that you want to have at your wedding.  Paint chips might even come in handy here to mix and match a variety of color combinations that you are interested in using at your wedding.

WEDDING BOUQUET:

Your options are endless here!  You may want to think about using silk flowers versus fresh.  There are so many beautiful realistic flowers to choose from today.  Another plus would be that you could use your bouquet to decorate your new home and have a lasting memento from your special day!  You can find lots of photos online or again in magazines or at weddings you attend.

Don’t forget your wedding line!  Find a few ideas for corsages, boutonnieres, and parent wedding flowers while you are at it.

WEDDING DECOR:

As you attend wedding receptions, bridal showers, birthday or anniversary parties, find inspiration for table decorations and other wedding decor.  Look through magazines, online resources, and even your local garden nursery can give you ideas for creating a beautiful wedding reception setting.

WEDDING CAKE:

What kind of a statement do you want to make with your cake?  Do you want a cute cake topper?  How about fresh or silk flowers cascading in a spiral design down your cake?  Gather pictures of various cake decor and add it to your scrapbook.  You could even get an idea of prices so that you know the general price range that you want to eventually spend on your cake.  A cake topper is something you could easily purchase or make now and tuck it away until you plan your “real wedding”.

Get creative and choose the sections you want your Wedding Planner Scrapbook to have.   Even down to the food, napkins, beverage, favors, etc… that you will serve if you like!  By planning ahead, you won’t be disappointed in how your wedding day turns out.  Every bride deserves to be treated like a queen on her wedding day so put your wedding together now and then when the opportunity comes you will have the “royal wedding” you have planned for!  Even more important, you will be able to relax and enjoy your day!

The Idea of Summer Wedding

Summer weddings are always more preferred because of the versatility in wedding themes and ideas during this time of the year. With the abundance of nature blooming in the surrounding area, a pleasant summer wedding is easier to put together. Not to mention, the beautiful warm outdoor weather is always conducive to a celebration and outdoor ceremonies.

The most popular theme for a summer wedding is a beach themed wedding. For a beach themed wedding choose a public or private beach for your wedding. Set the beach wedding theme from the very beginning. Let the beach wedding theme reflect on your invitations and stationary by adding sea side elements and decorations to them. You will save on the wedding decorations for a beach themed wedding as the beach itself will set the scene. Add subtle touches to your tables and centerpieces with seashells.

For your menu, definitely seafood in your menu and there are some fabulous wedding cake designs with a beach theme. Select a cake topper that reflects seaside elements to tie it all together. To top it all off make sure to give out wedding favors with a beach theme such as a sea shell gel candle. The most fun part of a beach wedding affair is picking out wedding favors. There is an abundance of beach wedding favors to select from. For a formal beach wedding give sand and seashell tea lights and use personalized Adirondack chair tea light and place card holders to guide your guests to their table at your beach wedding reception.

If you are having a casual affair, give out seashell bottle openers or seashell gel candle favors. Another great part about beach weddings is that you can incorporate the beach theme into the bridal shower or bachelor party as a precursor to the beach wedding. Fun beach bridal shower favors are perfect pair flip flop candles or for a more elegant favor give French lavender bath salts in a seashell. For the guys, tropical shirt candle favors are great. One of the best beach wedding favor is for the bride and groom to take on their honeymoon, Just Married Sandals. Just Married Sandals are also great for the guests at a casual wedding on the beach. Most popular beach wedding favors can found at Chic Wedding Favors.com.

A beach wedding or a nautical wedding theme can be a lot of fun. It’s easy to be whimsical and more relaxed with a beach wedding. However, if you want to go all out, a formal beach themed wedding can be a gorgeous affair. Beach wedding ideas are available in abundance. Whether you are getting married during winter or summer, you can incorporate the beach theme into your wedding to create a beautiful wedding affair. Make your beach wedding fun or elegant with creativity.

If you are not crazy about the beach or the ocean is just too far away, a mid-summer wedding theme is beautiful. A mid-summer wedding theme should be magical. For this theme combining nature and old-world charm, choose an outdoor venue and have the ceremony under a flower-covered altar. Choose mid-summer motifs such as butterflies, vines or even fairies for your stationery. Use the brightest summer blooms for flowers, decorations and bouquets. Brides can use fresh flowers in their hair instead of other accessories. A summer-themed cake using fresh flowers or fruits, a light menu with lots of fresh fruits and cool drinks or ice-cream will complement the theme perfectly.

In a beautiful garden in the summer afternoon, the most elegant wedding favor idea is intricately carved sandalwood fans. More recently, the sandalwood fan wedding favor has become very popular for Spring Weddings, Garden Weddings, Summer Weddings, Outdoor Weddings, Beach Weddings, and other weddings with themes. The Sandalwood Fan Wedding Favor is a great idea for large weddings, as it is a fairly inexpensive wedding favor. If the favor can not be handed to all your guests, then your bride’s maids would look beautiful holding them also. The Sandalwood Fan also makes a nice bridal shower favor and is appreciated by the ladies at a bridal shower any time of the year. Sandalwood Fan Wedding Favors have become increasingly popular with both large and small weddings. Its beauty enhances the most formal and elegant weddings as well as simple lighthearted wedding affairs. The Sandalwood Fan Wedding Favors are easy to turn into your special and personalized wedding favors.

Your marriage is categorized Multicultural and Fusion

It is becoming increasingly more common for couples of mixed background and ancestries to marry. Hence, we have more demand for fusion wedding ideas or creative ways to have a multicultural wedding. At any multicultural wedding each family’s traditions are both wonderful in themselves and important. Therefore, it is important to incorporate both cultures and not to neglect one culture while spotlighting the other. There are little ways to put special cultural touches to the wedding, including in such aspects as wedding favors, food, décor and entertainment. Even if the couple themselves don’t have strong ties to their individual cultures, it is often important to consider the feelings of the family members. Thus, we have fusion weddings that incorporate modern tastes of young couples and traditional facets that parents and family desire.

One of the easiest ways to approach a multicultural wedding is to let one culture dominate the ceremony and the other the reception. Often the wedding ceremony takes place in the pride of the bride’s cultural and the wedding reception follows the traditions of the groom’s culture. The wedding reception can have traditional food, entertainment, and toasts to honor the cultural background. The incorporation of two cultures is not only common for multicultural weddings, but also for fusion weddings. Many modern Asian American couples will have a traditional Asian wedding ceremony in traditional Asian wedding attire and then the wedding reception is usually a modern traditional American wedding reception.

As the wedding ceremony is of a spiritual nature for most cultures, it is often important to include the wedding attire, vows, music, décor and procedures of both the bride and groom as closely as possible into the ceremony. It is common to hold two ceremonies when the two cultures are extremely different. Couples often like to take separate religious vows at each of their given religious houses. Multicultural weddings are often elaborate and last several days in order to incorporate both cultures and events. More simple events will hold one ceremony in the morning and the second in the afternoon, then transition into the reception in the evening. Although, this can be tiring, with good planning it can be a beautiful day.

There are also innumerable ways to include both cultures at a wedding without lapsing into a multiple days wedding. One way is to have the bride and groom wear the traditional attire of one heritage, while proceeding down the aisle to traditional music of the other. Another take is to have the bride and groom dress according to each other’s cultural heritage. This will symbolize their total willingness to embrace one another’s traditions. Another nice touch is to give out a little wedding favor at the ceremony to symbolize one culture and another wedding favor at the reception to symbolize the other culture.

There are also many simple ways to blend cultures at the wedding reception. A buffet style dinner with two stations serving the food from both traditions will make all your wedding guests happy. Have the traditional wedding cake decorated to reflect the bride’s culture and have a groom’s cake to reflect the groom’s culture. Skilful cake decorator’s can make amazing creations with cake. Entertainment is another easy way to reflect your heritage at your wedding. Mix up the music and entertainment to suit both traditions. Play music from both cultures or bring entertainment and performers from both cultures. A cute idea is to start the first dance slow with music from one culture, often a traditional American wedding song, then transition into a an upbeat ethnic song that the bride and groom can dance to. Invite everyone to the dance floor to try the ethnic dance as well. It can be a lot of fun to teach your guests a new dance.

Another very important part of weddings are the wedding favors. Make sure to give out wedding favors from both cultures or mix it up. For example, at a fusion wedding give out truffles or all American M&M’s in a traditional Asian takeout favor box. Wedding favors are one of the most creative ways to express yourselves and show gratitude to your guests, so make sure to be creative and symbolic with the multicultural wedding favors.

Wedding decorations are also a big aspect of fusion or multicultural weddings. Ethnic events are usually colorful. Indian weddings have bold colors, lots of music and dancing. Thus incorporating bright colors, and ethnic Indian decorations such as paisley patterns, silk table cloths, and using a theme like peacocks or elephants would be great for a South Asian mixed wedding. Other couples of Asian heritage will incorporate elements of the orient into their western white wedding. Flowers such as orchids and cherry blossoms may be used to bring in an Asian touch. So, use decorations from your ethnic origin to create a fusion or multicultural wedding. The mix of tradition with modern ideas creates a beautiful vision.

Multicultural and fusion weddings are on the rise. There is an increasing need to find thoughtful ways to blend two cultures so that wedding guests can cherish and enjoy the special day. Don’t be afraid to draw bold aspects of your culture to your wedding. It only makes the entire event more intriguing and beautiful.

Shaye Shahid is the lead designer and coordinator of Event Trendsetter. Services and works of Event Trendsetter can be viewed at [http://www.eventtrendsetter.com] Event Trendsetter is a leading full service wedding coordinating and party planning agency that specializes in corporate events, parties, and weddings in Southern California. Event Trendsetter prefers invitations and wedding favors from [http://www.chicweddingfavors.com] The Los Angeles and Orange County area wedding coordinator and party planner also caters to South Asian Celebrations. This Designer can be contacted at (714) 989-8027.

Tips for Choosing a Reliable Wedding Videographer!

How to Choose a Wedding Videographer? Why bother reading an article on How to Choose a Wedding Videographer? After all, you just look at his (or her) footage and size up their personality, fees and plans, then make your choice, right? Right. And that’s how the majority of weddings get ruined – or at least have the “Fun Meter” turned way, way down! That’s right, four out of five weddings are ruined by the wedding Videographer. So, if you don’t want your wedding Videographer ruining your wedding, read on..

Wedding Videographer Styles of Operation There is a time for posed, formal videofooatge – at your photo session. Often there are two photo sessions, one held before the ceremony, with guys and gals kept separate, and one held after the ceremony. In my opinion, a wedding Videographer should be told that this is the only chance to get posed footage and that he must be good enough to capture all other footage as though he were a professional event Videographer – oh wait, he IS (supposed to be) a professional event Videographer. Event Videographers and photographers are supposed to be able to unobtrusively record an event without interrupting it to stage and pose for footage, etc.

Puppeteers Unfortunately, most brides are unaware of this little fact. After all, she only has to choose a wedding Videographer once in her life (hopefully). So what happens when she hires a wedding Videographer who cannot shoot like an event Videographer? One who thinks he must be in charge of everything and that every shot must be posed in order to get a smooth and easy montage. I’m glad you asked, because now we’re getting to the whole purpose of this article. These guys act like puppeteers with you and your groom as the puppets. You are never left alone to enjoy your day. There will be no casual footage of you and your groom, friends and family having a great time, partly because all footage will be staged and partly because the wedding Videographers will make it difficult for people to have a great time.

It begins while the bride and bridesmaids are getting ready. Some Videographers will come into the room and stay out of the way and quietly get some casual shots, then ask for a few posed shots, then leave. Those are the pros. Unfortunately, most are not pros and will hover over the bride and bridesmaids, constantly harassing them for posed shots, so that the bride and her friends can hardly find any time to chat freely and enjoy the moment.

The Wedding Ceremony During the ceremony, a time that should have reverence, a time that should belong to you and your groom, I see these wedding Videographers continually turning their video lights on and off and walking back and forth in front of guests. They seem to be doing a much better job of distracting your guests than of getting good shots. A professional wedding / event Videographer should be able to cover this from a tripod further back in the room, using a telephoto lens and without lights. He should not be moving about and distracting people. The purpose and focus of a wedding ceremony should be you, your groom and your guests – not a wedding Videographer (and not a wedding photographer either).

Photo Session I’ve seen after-ceremony photo sessions run two hours and longer. By that time, guests at the reception had grown tired of waiting and had begun leaving. This is not the way you want your wedding remembered! A real “pro” Videographer will extend the photo session less than 10 minutes to get some special video footage.

Reception This is where it really gets bad! Wedding Videographers know they need good shots of the main events – grand entrance; first dances; cake-cutting; toasts; bouquet toss; garter toss; etc. A true professional wedding Videographer will get these shots “casual style” by staying out of the way, yet close enough to get the shots. You, your groom and guests will see he is there and there will be camera lights, but he won’t be really distracting or obtrusive.

However, the majority I’ve seen are not pros and they have no confidence in their ability to get these shots without staging them. They will not let you and your groom enjoy things like cake-cutting and toasts without trying to manipulate you both as though you were puppets. Imagine going through your reception while constantly being told what to do by the wedding Videographer! This isn’t a “wedding reception”, this is a “modeling session”!

I am constantly amazed at the way brides and grooms meekly allow this to happen, then rail angrily about it afterward. Sure, you’ll get your video – but will you and your groom really look happy?

These wedding Videographers will hover over you so closely that your guests probably won’t get a very good view of the major reception events. Your wedding photographers will have to be magicians or use three or four cameras throughout your reception in order to have any chance of getting some shots that don’t include your wedding Videographer.

But the real “pros” can get great shots without manipulating you through all your events and without unduly distracting your guests. Don’t take chances – demand that your wedding Videographers and photographers work from a twelve to fifteen foot radius, allowing you some breathing room and your guests some viewing room.

How Does Your Wedding Videographer Dress? I am constantly amazed at the way many wedding Videographers come dressed for weddings. A true professional will wear all black for most weddings, so that he is unobtrusive and so that he is not mistaken for a guest. He may wear light tan at a beach wedding, for the same reasons. Another consideration is that your family and guests will be taking photos and a wedding Videographer dressed in loud colors or black and white polka-dots will be quite distracting in these photos.

How is Your Wedding Photographer Being Paid? Most wedding photography plans are structured so that the more photos they have that you want, the more money they make. I’ve been told more than once that many wedding Videographers consider the wedding videographer as their competition. If the wedding video doesn’t come out well, then the photos are the only remembrance products the bride can choose from and the Videographer will sell more photos. However, their thinking goes, if the wedding video comes out great, then the bride may not want to buy more wedding photos.

This is why many wedding Videographers purposely get in front of the video cameras at every opportunity. I know this sounds incredible, but I have footage of photographers aggressively getting in front of video cameras. I have many times seen footage from an unmanned video camera where a photographer is standing to one side, looks over his shoulder to see just where the video camera is, then repositions himself to block its view better!

Most wedding videographers plans are flat fees that change only if the hours change. But saying that, most professional photographers understand that videographers and photographers are here to do whatever we can to please our client – the bride and groom, and therefore we extend every courtesy to the photographers.

SUMMARY – What Should You Do? Sit down with several wedding Videographers that you’ve pre-screened and discuss this article and your feelings about it, with them. Listen closely to what they say and how they say it. It takes training and experience to cover an event like a wedding, and get great shots while being unobtrusive. In short, it takes a ‘pro’.

Unfortunately, both the wedding photography and wedding videography fields are full of amateurs, hobbyists and even experienced people who have been doing things wrong for years. Finding a real ‘pro’ is not an easy task. You will have to invest some time and effort, but it will pay off tremendously!

Remember – this is supposed to be YOUR DAY, not the Videographer’s day! More than anything else, your choice of a wedding Videographer will determine how YOUR DAY turns out. “How to Choose a Wedding Videographer” may be the most important reading you do before your wedding.

7 Tips on Saving Money for Your Wedding

1. Use free media and the internet

You can borrow wedding/bridal books and magazines from friends, work colleagues and public libraries. Check for local wedding suppliers on the web, where you will be able to find details on the larger and smaller specialist wedding companies in your local area.

Visit free-to-enter wedding fairs, as the prospective customer why should you be expected to pay an admission fee to view their stands? Ask lots of questions and obtain quotes without making any firm commitments at the time, giving you a chance later to review all of the offerings and make your choices without any sales pressure – you’ll be amazed at the price variations for supplying identical services.

Bear in mind that the larger wedding fairs will be charging high fees to the wedding suppliers who attend. This will have two consequences for YOU, firstly, it will exclude many of the smaller, but equally good quality, local wedding suppliers who cannot justify the wedding fair expenditure and secondly, you have to ask who is ultimately paying for these high exhibition fees? YOU ARE!…and then many of these larger wedding fair operators have the cheek to expect you to pay an entry fee as well!

2. Use Online Auctions and e-Bay

Many of the items that you need for your wedding are available on e-Bay at a fraction of the price charged by many wedding vendors. Cake toppers, favors, balloons, new and used-once wedding dresses along with a host of other useful items that can save you a lot of money. Do your shopping well ahead of the wedding date to allow plenty of postal time. Check for the established and trusted sellers by checking the number of items they have sold previously and their feedback rating and you can’t go far wrong.

3. Food and Drinks For Your Wedding Reception

Ask your caterer for advice and be honest with them about your wish to save money. Discuss with the caterer the options that are available to you, maybe considering a hot buffet if that is cheaper than a formal seated three course meal. Enquire about providing your own drinks for your guests, or providing your own wine to accompany the meal.

You should carefully consider the bar arrangements as this can have a considerable cost. If you intend to provide a free bar, then ask about restricting this to only wine and beer, which will be cheaper. You may also wish to consider having the (free) bar open for a restricted period of time, an hour for example – or dispense with the free bar completely if you are supplying the wine for the meal and wedding toasts, etc.

4. Reduce The Wedding Guest List

Each name on your guest list is an increase in the cost of your wedding. It’s not just the catering cost that will increase, but also the table decoration, favors, rentals you may need and even the size of the room you need to hire. Avoid being lavish with issuing wedding invitations, don’t be pressured to invite all of your work colleagues and be selective over who’s children you invite – each child will probably cost you just as much as an adult on the wedding day.

Remove anyone from your guest list that you haven’t had contact with in the past few years and don’t bow to pressure to invite distant relatives. When you invite friends and relatives who are single, resist the temptation to include “and guest” on their invitation, they are attending your wedding, not out on a date paid for by you.

5. Revise The Day and Time

Saturday is the most popular day to hold a wedding, so suppliers and venues are likely to be booked and they have little incentive to reduce their prices. However, if you choose to have your wedding midweek, or on a Sunday, there is less demand for these days. Wedding suppliers will have fewer bookings for these days and will be more inclined to quote you better prices in the hope of additional work. If your wedding is timed for early in the day you may be able to secure a better rate from wedding car suppliers, as their vehicles can be used later for a second wedding or evening transportation jobs.

6. Shop Around For Wedding Cars

The wedding cars are a major part of your wedding day. If you are fortunate enough to know someone who owns a luxury car that you would like to use, you may be able to persuade them to provide it for your wedding as their wedding present to you.

If you are hiring a wedding car, it certainly pays to shop around various suppliers and various vehicle types. Don’t assume that all wedding car suppliers have the same rates, they don’t – and don’t assume that a cheaper quote means an inferior car. Go along and view the wedding cars, ask questions and don’t be afraid to negotiate, some companies have lower operating costs than others and some will have fewer bookings for your wedding date than others, so discounts may be available.

There is the possibility that wedding car suppliers will try to get you to hire two cars, for the groom and for the bride. Ask if there is sufficient time for one wedding car to make more than one journey, there generally is as the groom needs to be at the wedding venue much earlier than the bride.

7. Flowers and Floral Arrangements

If you know someone who is trained in flower arranging or has a flair for it, then it may be worth considering asking them to provide your floral arrangements for the wedding. Alternatively, obtain quotes from several local florists and view their previous work before making your final decision.

If you have a church wedding service planned, then bear in mind that you will not be using the church and the wedding reception venue at the same time. You can score an economy by simply asking friends to take the flowers from the church after the service and displaying them at your reception so you get more use from them.

Plan Your Wedding Wedding

He has asked for your hand in marriage and you have finally said, “Yes.” Wow what a fantastic feeling, as this is the start of your new life as a couple. After the celebrations have subsided and all your family and friends have showered you with congratulations and prior to that much awaited big day, both of you have so many decisions to make and wedding related tasks to complete in harmony.

Planning in advance of what you need to do for your wedding day is the answer to stress free preparing for your wedding day. As planning your wedding together should be so much fun, enjoyable and equally as memorable as your big day. So your starting point should be both of you putting together a wedding timetable and assigning responsibility for each aspect of this timetable to each other – sharing is caring. What I am going to give you is a short list of wedding related tasks as well as a rough estimate of when the activities should be done. I will present you with tips and guidelines to keep you organized and help you think of everything that you must take into consideration in the course of planning for your wonderful memorable Wedding day. These are mere suggestions which should help you to adapt the correct mindset and get you organised. I find it is always better to have suggestions to work from as opposed to a blank sheet so my suggestions will help you both agree on the perfect schedule of activities that you both need to decide on – depending on your priorities.

Let me start at the Time of the Engagement – What ever you do don’t forget to tell both parents first cause forgetting to do that would get you both off to a slow start. So you must tell your parents the happy news as soon as possible.

– A wedding planner is a great idea and not that expensive, especially when you consider a good experienced wedding planner can find everything you require for your wedding at the right price which could result in saving you lots of money. The wedding planner is also great for helping you keep track of all the appointments, payments and other wedding related activities that you must attend to.

– No doubt you had your photo taken at the time of the engagement well that is a great idea and a great keepsake. If you did not have it taken on the day then go to a professional photographer and get it taken by him/her and yes while you are there check the photographer out for your own wedding day.

6 to 12 Months In Advance Before the Big Day

Step 1: Pick your wedding date. First thing to do is to decide what time of the year you wish to get married and pick the wedding date. Bear in mind getting married in the summer time can be more expensive when organising venues etc. I would suggest spring, early autumn or Christmas time are great times for a wedding and would certainly cut the cost considerably.

Step 2: Book the church, registry office, or wherever you decide to have the wedding ceremony. Again remember a church wedding needs to be booked three months in advance. Second thing to be considered is where are you going to get married – chapel, church, registry office, hotel, back garden – the decision is yours. Now that you have the date and the location of your ceremony planned – next step is to decide on where you wish to have your wedding reception.

Step 3: Book the wedding reception. Take your time on this one especially in this climate as most businesses are crying out for weddings so therefore that puts you in the driving seat so shop around and see who can give you the best deals. Don’t be driven by cost remember it is your wedding day and the venue is something that you want everyone in attendance to enjoy and talk about for months afterward. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear people saying that was the best wedding venue I was at, the food was great etc.. Consider your budget when deciding on your wedding venue.

Step 4: Establish your budget and stick to it. Now it is time to consider the size of the wedding you are planning and who must you have at the wedding and who you wish to invite. My advice to you is to start your list with the people you want.

Now we are getting into the detail of what you need to support your day e.g. photographer, florists, musicians, caterer etc.

Step 5: – Look around for a photographer – again they are plentiful and pick one you like.

Step 6: – yes a florist is also important and you must have a good rapport with him/her. Perhaps even consider making your own wedding bouquet.

Step 7: Your music is extremely important as this sets the tone, the mood, the fun, and the enjoyment levels for your wedding so choose carefully, if you are going to have either a DJ or a band make sure that you hear them at another venue in advance and only then decide if this is/are the musician/s for you.

Step 8: Perhaps you are going to organise your own food well then choosing a caterer is an important decision for both of you to make and again find out where they are catering and go and taste the food and get feedback from the guests at this caterer reception. Most important that you obtain estimates for these services. If you are booking your reception at a hotel where the food is provided make sure you go for a taster menu in advance prior to making the booking.

Step 8: To be sure you get the gifts that you want leave a gift list with your favourite department store.

Step 9: Have fun picking the wedding dress just for you, this does not have to be expensive as long it looks fantastic on you to the extent of turning heads when you walk down that aisle, up that garden, or into that registry office. If you are planning on getting your wedding dress made now is a good time to start this process. Once again need I remind you that you must have a good rapport with the seamstress you pick and also make sure that she/he has a good reputation. Find out who they have made dresses for already and go and view them. Remember several fittings may be required for this.

Step 10: Time to consider what colours and style of dresses you wish your bridesmaids to wear. The style should be complimentary to your own wedding dress. Set a date by which these need to be ordered.

4 to 6 Months In Advance Before the Big Day

Step 1. Now is the time for both of you to consider ordering your wedding invitations, stationery and thank you notes – this is one place that you could save money as you can make these yourself or get someone to make them for you at half the cost of what they are to buy in the shops.

Step 2. At this stage you will have decided on your photographer, your florist, your musician, and choice of food whether it will be complete by a caterer or be part of the venue you have selected. Go over all the details with each of these services to make sure that everything is as agreed upon. I would do this more than once.

Step 3. Grooms have the life, they have two decisions to make when it comes to their attire – do I rent a tuxedo or buy a new suit. I believe it is best to hire a tuxedo for groom, best men, and fathers of both bride and groom as there are great styles out there now and the wedding party looks so much better in the photographs this way.

Step 4. Now for the fun bit arranging the honeymoon, where to go, for how long etc. once this is decided then go ahead and make those reservations. Remember this will be the holiday of your dreams so make it a romantic one.

Step 5. Now it is time to confirm the delivery of the bridal gown and the bridesmaids dresses.

Step 6. What about the mother of the bride and the groom – ask them do they need help in choosing their wedding outfits. It is tradition that the mother of the bride wears the same colour of the bridesmaids.

2 Months In Advance Before the Big Day

Step 1. Excitement is building the big day is getting closer so it is time to plan your rehearsal dinner.

Step 2. Perhaps you have some guests coming from far and wide – If so you may need to secure accommodation for them or an even better idea is to put suggested accommodation into the invitations and let them book their accommodation themselves.

Step 3. Make an appointment with your photographer to discuss where and when you want him to be on the day to capture the best bridal portraits for you.

Step 4. What about the cake – choose a cake type that you enjoy and make sure that you order the wedding cake right now.

1 Month In Advance Before the Big Day

Step 1. It is getting closer and closer, at this stage you will probably already have decided on your wedding band set so now is the time to collect them and put them away safely.

Step 2. Send out the wedding invitations plus the R.S.V.P. with an self addressed envelope and remember to put a selection of accommodation into them for those guests who wish to stay over.

Step 3. Check the apparel for the wedding party – at this stage everyone should be dressed to perfection with matching accessories, shoes, bags, etc.

Step 4. Assign the role of organising your bachelor and hen’s parties to the bridesmaid/s and bestman/men.

2 Weeks Before the your wonderful Wedding day.

Step 1. Ensure that you have got your marriage license and any other legal documents in order for your wonderful wedding day.

Step 2. If the bride is going to change her name then it is time for you to order a new passport, make the relevant changes to your name and address on bank accounts and any other official documents.

Step 3. It is now time to test what wedding hairstyle and make up you wish to use on the day and have a practise run at this to see how the entire image suits you. Again grooms relax no need for you to do this.

Step 4. Double check with the wedding venue that all is as expected as this point.

Step 5. Go on a pleasure shopping trip to purchase the relevant gifts for your bridemaid/s, bestman/men and attendants. Don’t forget to buy each other a gift for that day too.

1 Week Before your special Wedding day.

Step 1. Ensure you have everything ready that you need to take with you on your honeymoon packed at this stage. Caution – do take the correct amount of kgs in fact take less than you are allowed to leave room to bring back some lovely souvenirs from your honeymoon location.

Step 2. Wrap all gifts for the groom, bride, and attendants. (keep each others gifts as a surprise for the day.

Step 3. Now it is time to schedule the wedding rehearsal – make this a fun day / evening. Relax you are almost there.

Step 4. Make sure everybody knows, especially the wedding party, of the exact time and place for your wonderful occasion on the wedding day.

On your memorable wedding day.

Step 1. Start the day by getting up early and meditating to help you relax. See wedding fitness on my need help with weddings site.

Step 2. Make sure you eat a good breakfast – make the breakfast fun by having your immediate wedding party join you at the breakfast table.

Step 3. Have the hairstylist and make up artist arrive to your house at least 2 and half hours before you are due to leave.

Step 4. Take time out with you Mum or someone close to you to share a special moment.

Step 5. Relax this is your day, which you have well planned, so enjoy every minute of it.

Have you Ordered these Nine Arrangements for Your Wedding Day?

Why is it important to organize your fresh wedding flowers for your wedding day?

After all, planning a wedding involves lots of details. There are rings to buy. You need to make a list of friends and family to invite. A wedding dress to order. A marriage license to apply for. Showers, parties, and much, much more.

And, you have so many people to keep track of. Bridesmaids and a maid of honor to select. Ushers, groomsmen, your mom and dad, the groom’s mom and dad. Grandma and Grandpa. Oh yes, your husband to be. A flower girl and ring bearer.

Why Flowers are Important to Your Wedding Party
Each of these people are important to you and take a visible role in your wedding. They march down the aisle at church. They attend your reception. They are in your wedding photos.

Each of your special guests wears a special arrangement of fresh wedding flowers to celebrate your day with you. Wedding flowers are a sign of a fresh new life. The oldest story of a man and woman joined in marriage is Adam and Eve in a garden, the Garden of Eden.

As a brand new bride, you want your wedding party to feel a part of the wedding. And, you don’t want to be embarrassed at the last minute by forgetting to give a corsage to your mother-in-law to be.

Carrying or wearing flowers is a sign of belonging. It is like wearing a badge. When your guests see your wedding party wearing flowers, they know who belongs.

How to Remember Your Wedding Party with Fresh Wedding Flowers
There are nine types of wedding flower arrangements that you can honor your wedding party, depending on who is in your wedding. Let’s review each type.

The Bridal Bouquet
This wedding flower arrangement is your signature bouquet that you carry throughout your wedding ceremony. You may match your wedding gown with white roses, or use another color that goes along with your wedding theme. You can select a simple bouquet of daisies, an elaborate bouquet of mixed flowers including calla lilies. Bridal bouquets can be small or large with 10 to 15 flowers to 50 or more flowers.

Maid of Honor Bouquet
Your maid (or matron) of honor is your special friend who walks with you through your engagement and wedding planning. She is an official witness to your marriage when she signs your marriage certificate. She holds your bouquet at different times during your wedding, and she carries her own bouquet, too.

Bridesmaid’s Bouquets
Depending on the size of your wedding party, you may have several friends serve as your bridesmaids. Each of them should carry their own bouquet, that reflects your own bridal bouquet. A smaller, simpler bouquet that matches their dresses and your color scheme looks lovely at your wedding and in your photographs.

Toss Bouquet
Many modern brides use a small bouquet to toss to the women at their wedding reception. A toss bouquet serves this purpose. Normally, a toss bouquet is made of the same flowers as your bridal bouquet. By using a toss bouquet, you can keep your bridal bouquet and preserve it.

Mother’s Petite Hand Tied
Your mom has stood by you for many years and this is a special day for her, too. You can order a petite hand-tied bouquet, with lacy ribbons that matches your own bouquet. Imagine the love and joy your mom will have as she walks down the aisle with her own bouquet, remembering her own wedding day and being happy in your special day.

Flower Girl Petal Bouquet
If you have a flower girl in your wedding procession, she may spread rose petals or simply carry a petal bouquet to walk with you during your wedding day. Your flower girl may be a member of your family, like a young cousin or a niece, who is special to you. She will look darling and be absolutely thrilled to carry her own little bouquet in your wedding.

Boutonnieres
Your groom, the groomsmen, your father and the father of your husband, grandfathers, ushers, and other special men wear a simple flower pinned to the lapel of their tuxedos or suits. This boutonniere is like a badge that they are an official part of the wedding. They are like your company of knights who escort the queen to the altar on her wedding day. Make sure to honor them.

Pin Corsages
The special women in your wedding party, your special aunts, mother of the groom, grandmothers often wear a corsage pinned to their dresses. These corsages match both the type and color of your fresh wedding flowers.

Wrist Corsages
You may wish to offer the mother of the groom and grandmothers a wrist corsage, a small display of flowers that are tied to the wrist. Wrist corsages are more popular these days, because they don’t have pins that poke through a dress. These corsages look elegant and offer your special women a way to celebrate your wedding with you.

How to Order Your Wedding Flower Arrangements So That Everyone Belongs
Now that you know carries or wears what type of flower arrangement, it is time to plan your flower order. Simply count up who is in your wedding party, and which flowers you need for each of them.

For the bride, you will need a bridal bouquet and you may desire to have a toss bouquet.

-Order a bouquet for your maid of honor.
-One bouquet for each of your bridesmaids.
-A petite hand tied bouquet for your mom.
-Boutonnieres for your groom, dads, grandpas, groomsmen, ushers.
-Corsages for grandmas, your groom’s mom, any aunts or other special women.
-The junior bouquet for your flower girl.

Make sure to match the color of your wedding theme and coordinate the same type of flowers for each person. Ordering fresh wedding flowers may seem challenging, but it is a lot easier when you know that everyone is covered. By including everyone, and helping them feel they belong, your wedding party will share in the joy of your wedding day for years to come.

Would you like an easy way to order fresh wedding flowers for your wedding party? Fresh Wedding Flowers in a Box is a collection of every type of flower arrangement that you need for your wedding. You can choose from eight different professionally designed wedding flower packages, and three to 40 pieces. Each package includes free overnight express shipping.

Tips on Choosing a Photographer for Your Wedding

Getting married is an amazing experience. It is a day filled with emotion, joy, happiness and sometimes a little sadness when a family member or friend who is no longer with us is not there to share our special day.

As professional wedding photographers we know how stressful arranging your wedding day can be. With so many photographers around, where do you start? What do you need to know when looking for a wedding photographer? With prices ranging from a few hundred pounds to many thousands, how do you know if they are right for you?

It is a simple fact of life that with the arrival of digital cameras, many people now call themselves a “photographer”. Over recent years there has been an explosion of people offering their services as wedding photographers, many of who have never received any training, have no insurance, do not use professional equipment and do not have sufficient backups in place to cater for any eventuality.

A professional photographer will have all of the above and this post is a quick “Help Guide” to the things to look for and the questions we recommend you ask when choosing a wedding photographer. Grab yourself a cuppa and get comfy. This is not a definitive guide, merely a general overview of what to look for.

Looking for a Photographer:

Personal Recommendations: Have you been to a wedding recently? What did your friends think of their photographer? As a Yorkshire wedding photographer the majority of our clients come from personal recommendations from either Bride and Grooms who have used us, or from Venues that know the quality of the work we produce and the fantastic value for money we offer.

Google And Other Search Engines:

A quick search on any of the major search engines will produce a mind numbing amount of choices. For example, if you type into Google the search terms “Wedding Photographer” it will return millions results. Simply going through each result would take you years, so as a general rule of thumb, stick with those on page 1 or page 2. The reason for this is simple: If they are on page 1 or 2 then they have taken the time to ensure that their website is well designed, optimised and placed, to ensure that their products or services are easy to find for prospective Bride and Grooms.

Choosing A Photographer

As soon as you have decided on a date, have booked your wedding venue and received confirmation then book all other services required for your wedding day as quickly as possible. Leaving it to the last minute to book your wedding photographer is not a good idea.

Many Bride and Grooms start looking for their photographer the day they get engaged.

Websites:

The first thing to do is look at a photographers website but do NOT be fooled into thinking this is the be all and end all. Always concentrate on the images and not the website design. These days for a few hundred pounds you can have a real classy looking website designed. Never forget that a website only shows the content that the photographer WANTS you to see. You will only generally see the best images, the ones they want to use to showcase their abilities so take a good look around the website. Have a look and see how many different weddings you can see. If there is only one or two, have they only photographed a few weddings? Also how much information does the photographer give you? Are they up front about their prices or do you have to go in and see them to find out how much they charge? Do they give you specific detailed information about their services?

Also be VERY wary if they say they are a member of a “Professional Trade Organisation”. Some trade organisations only require photographers to pay an annual subscription fee to join then allow the photographer to use the Organisations logos on their website. Indeed some organisations have absolutely no joining requirements, you do not even have to own a camera and your Granny, who has no idea about photography, could join if she wanted. Do your homework and check out Trade Organisations carefully as they are not all the same.

Some are for full time professionals only and Members are required to undergo evaluation, inspection and have insurance documents checked, others simply let you pay a nominal amount and declare you to be a “Professional Photographer”. Remember that the photography industry is not regulated and anyone can claim to be a “photographer”.

Price:

If it seems too good to be true, chances are it is! Many photographers just starting out tend to charge really low prices and only cover their costs. Many see your wedding as a way of building a portfolio of wedding images. Now this will not apply to all budget priced photographers but as a general rule of thumb, if the price seems really low, then there is a reason for it, so try and find out what it is.

For many Bride and Grooms, price ends up being the determining factor. You spend hundreds, if not thousands on the dress, the venue charges a small fortune, then there are the cars, the Grooms attire, Bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers – cutting costs on your wedding photography can result in poor wedding photographs resulting in huge disappointment and photographs of the day that you simply do not want to look at.

Remember it is a one shot event – to get everyone back to retake the photographs will be time consuming and very expensive.

Make An Appointment:

Until you go meet the photographer, you will not be fully informed if they are the right person for the job. At the meeting ask to see photographs from AT LEAST five recent weddings. Ask if the photographer has worked at your venue before and if so ask if you can see some images from that wedding. Ask to see the demo albums – is there a good range to choose from? Does the photographer have letters of recommendation from previous clients, if so ask to see them. Does the photographer work from home or from a Studio?

During this meeting there are some really important questions to ask, a few are detailed below:

Q. How long have you been trading and how many weddings have you photographed? If the answer is “6 months and 2 weddings, both of them friends of the family who I did not charge because I need the experience and the images for my portfolio” – is this the right photographer for you?

Q. Are you insured?

All professional photographers should carry Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance. If they do not then tread carefully.

Q. What are your prices, and what do I get in my package?

Seems a silly question to ask right? Well no! There is nothing worse than handing over your hard earned cash only to find that after the wedding you are not getting what you thought you were. Is there an album in the package? How many hours coverage do you get? What additional products are included in the price? Does the price include image editing? Do you have an overtime fee if we run over?

Q. Do you contract out your wedding photography service?

Picture this scene….. you spend months researching photographers, finally decide on one, get them booked then on the wedding day, someone you have never met before turns up to photograph your big day. How are you going to feel? Angry?

Make sure that the person you book with is the person who will attend and take your wedding photographs. Sounds simple I know but you will be surprised just how many photographers sub contract out their work to other, often inexperienced and uninsured, photographers.

Q. Is this your full time job?

Many photographers have full time jobs and photograph weddings on a part time basis so may not necessarily be available to answer your questions or emails during normal working hours. If you have a last minute question, it may take some time to get a response or you may not be able to schedule meeting times that are convenient to you.

Q. Do you provide a written contract?

It is absolutely critical that you receive a written contract detailing your exact expenditure and what products/services you are getting.

Q. How many weddings do you cover per day?

If the answer is anything other than ONE – be careful. Many photographers will cover more than one wedding a day and this can lead to problems at YOUR wedding. What if the first wedding runs late? This will mean that the photographer may be late to yours.

Q. Can I see some of your work / view the demo albums?

Make sure you have a good look at the photographers work. Look at image quality, look at album quality. Looking at images of babies, sunsets, buildings or family portraits will not give you any idea of their abilities as a wedding photographer. Also ask the question “Is this from a real wedding?”. You will be amazed just how many photographers use images taken on training days in their portfolios. They attend a training session where a Trainer sets up the shot then tells the photographer how to take it. The image may be amazing but can they reproduce it during a real wedding with all the pressure and stresses involved?

Q. What backup equipment do you bring to the wedding?

It never fails to amaze me that photographers still attend a wedding with only ONE camera! If that camera breaks down what are they going to do? Pop out their mobile phone and carry on shooting?

Q. Do you do a pre-wedding site visit?

Have you ever been to a wedding and when it comes to having the photographs taken, it is absolute chaos? Uncle John has gone to check in, Aunty Flo has nipped to the loo, your Best Man has popped to the bar. Surely the Bride and Groom should have been a bit more organised shouldn’t they? Well actually no!

This is down to the photographer and not the happy couple. Site visits allows photographers to create a plan for the day and are a critical component to the overall planning of the day.

Q. What “style” do you photograph in?

There are different styles such as Traditional, Reportage, Photojournalistic, Fashion, Glamour – does the photographer photograph in the style YOU are wanting? Do they do it weekend in, weekend out, or are they trying to photograph in a way they may not necessarily do on a regular basis. Get this bit right and you will love your wedding photographs as you will receive what you expected. Get it wrong and you could end up hating them.