3 Things That Can Take Your Wedding Off Course!
You won't believe what they are!
Weddings come in all different shapes and sizes. We have photographed huge 500 people weddings in Toronto all the way down to an 8 person wedding on a remote beach in Thailand and everything in between. All are beautiful and unique in their own way and they are all such a pleasure for us to be apart of and after having photographed well over 150 weddings in the past 7 years we have come up with a short list of things that may come up that could steer your plans off course. This of course is not meant to be alarm but more of just something to consider as we know that even the most well thought out plans can have some unforeseen changes that you may of never even thought of. These are our top 3 that we have seen.
1. You didn't plan for your hair and makeup to take so long!
With hair and makeup it's always a good idea to have had a rehearsal well in advance of your big day but in past weddings we have seen this go off course as it sometimes takes longer then expected. Our advice here is to leave plenty of time on your wedding day for your hair and makeup. Here's are some things that you may of not thought of that can take it of course; traffic, the makeup artist is running late, you factored in your time for hair and makeup but you didn't factor in all the time it would take to do you bridal parties and your moms hair and your aunts hair and the flower girls girl hair. That's OK now because now you know! Our recommendation, leave plenty of time (maybe even double the time) and know that it may take longer than expected then and you will be prepared for anything that comes your way!
2. Your ceremony time is too close to the beginning of your reception.
If you have not planned to have a first look and your ceremony time is 1 hour prior to your reception time then you may have some issues when it comes to either driving to the locals that you wanted to take photos at or you will have reduced time to take photos. As an example lets say your ceremony starts at 5pm and your reception is set to begin right at 6pm sharp. If your ceremony is 30min long the that will only give you the remaining 30min to take photos of your family, your bridal party and your bridal portraits. Our recommendation, try to leave at least 2 hours between the end of your ceremony and the beginning of your reception start time, that way you will have plenty of time for travelling, photos and maybe even sometime to freshen up and cocktail before your evening activities begin.
3. You didn't plan for a receiving line.
We love receiving lines, nothing warms your heart then being received by your family and friends on your big day with hugs and smiles from ear to ear! Usually the receiving line takes place right after the ceremony somewhere near the end of the aisle and sometimes its planned and sometimes it just happens, either way they are a great time to receive well wishes from your guest and many of whom who you may not have seen in a long while. But did you know that to shake uncle Bob's hand and to give him a hug and receive his well wishes can take up to 20 seconds. Now take your 100 wedding guest and multiply that by 20 seconds and you have 2000 seconds and to find the minutes divide by 60 and you have 33 minutes. Wow, who knew! Well we found out during our first spring wedding after a receiving line of 500 guest needless to say we just adapted and still walked away with some amazing photos of their special day. Our recommendation, if you plan on having a receiving line consider the time factor and all will be well.
Top 10 Wedding Planning Mistakes That You Should Avoid!
We wish we knew these earlier!
Hey, mistakes happen, we all make them, but why not avoid them during your wedding planning after all it's your big day. Here's a small list of the top 10 mistakes that we have seen and that you can avoid during your wedding planning.
1. Telling everyone that you just got engaged.
People are gonna know eventually, they always do, but why not savor the moment and keep that special secret between you and your fiance. After all it's a kind of that once in a lifetime moment that can be your to cherish. Why not give it sometime for just the two of you, you deserve it with no one else's input. Go for dates, long walks and enjoy the giggles in between.
2. Not having your full guest list in place.
Have a look at some of the venues that you would like for your wedding ceremony and reception, now can they handle %25 more guest? Can you handle the 25% cost of adding additional dinner guests? Maybe but maybe not. In this case it helps to have a ballpark idea of how many guest that want at your wedding. Why? You don't want to put a deposit down on a place that might be too small for any extra guest on your fathers side that you may of not know about. Take some time to craft your list between the two of you at first. Let it sit for a couple of weeks and don't sweat it too much. Do you need to notify your parents of your list in case they have another 'friend of the family' to add or another whole family. Maybe you don't need to invite all your new work colleagues maybe you do. Once you have a narrowed down guest number you can then plan your wedding accordingly. Will it be intimate or big and lavish? As a general rule it's easier to take away guest then it is to add.
3. Sending out Save-the-dates too soon.
Finalize your guest list. Send save-the-dates out eight months before your wedding date, and send them only to the guests that your positive will be come. Maybe some guests that you thought were friends will change over time and just be friendly acquaintances. Don't be surprised if some of your special family and friends can't make it but maybe that's the time to send out a second round of invites to those
4. Blowing your budget on the dress.
The dress, the dress, the dress! It's that special time to find and buy your dress and you have $1000 set aside, but remember there's tax, shipping, alterations, undergarments, veils, shoes, hair accessories and more. Make a detailed list and you'll be on your way to budgeting bliss!
5. Telling everyone about your wedding day plans.
It hard not to. Work, family social media so hard not to talk about it. Do you really need to tell everyone about the shoe game or the awesome midnight poutine buffet? Maybe but probably not. Just remember the more you share the more opinions you'll have to manage and what not make some of it a surprise for your guest!
6. Not giving enough time for photos.
Squeezing 30 minutes of photo time after your ceremony is just not enough time especially when there's your family photos, wedding party photos and bridals portraits to be taken. We always recommend whenever possible at least and and half to 2 hours which is ideal. If there's time before the ceremony then consider making the best of it, the last thing you want to feel rushed on your big day.
7. Skipping the Videographer.
Everyone loves photos but videos let you hear your and your partner's voices as you say your vows, listen to all those funny speeches and watch your parents tear up the dance floor. Christine and I watch our wedding video on our anniversary every year and with a professional videographer documenting your wedding, you'll see special moments you may have missed on the day.
8. Overwhelming your partner.
There's a lot to plan for a wedding! Just remember that your partner may not be as excited about the invites or picking the flower arrangements as you are. Give the space if they need to mull decisions over or simply tell them that you will take care of it if they simply aren't interested. Try not to consume every night of the week talking about every aspect of the wedding, trust us it will happen and it will get done. In addition, assign one night a week to be your wedding-free time to focus on each other, friends and family, you'll be thankful for awesome down time.
9. Doing it all yourself.
In the beginning it can be overwhelming to think of all the things that you need to do in order to have your wedding day planned. We recommend that you first print out a calendar and plan things out either day by day or week by week. That way you know it's going to get done but its just all going to get done all in the same week. Also we recommend dividing up some task amongst your partner, family and friends especially in the beginning during your research phase. If you have a lot of DIY projects that need to done for your big day try not to take on too many and maybe just sticks to the ones that you are really going to like. I remember for our wedding we spent the better part of a month creating our own invitations. We had to choose and purchasing the 'perfect' Japanese paper and the 'perfect' ribbon and choose the perfect fonts and envelopes. To this day we look back and say why did we do that? Was it fun ya did anyone notice, I guess so. We now think that we could of just skipped the whole creative DIY part of it and just printed out some fun invites, but we have no regrets. Remember that there's already a lot of fun designs already out there and don't spread yourself too thin.
10. Worrying over the little things.
Even the most perfectly planned wedding will hit a few bumps along the way. After planning for months on end it can be heart wrenching to see some flaws on your wedding day. When Christine and I got married in the Caribbean we had wanted beautiful bows on the backs of the chairs for the ceremony on the beach. During the year we had booked our wedding and received our time and spot on the beach for the ceremony each bow to rent was going to be $3/bow x 40 chairs = $120. Now flash forward by two years and the bow prices went up to $9/bow or $360. We decide the bows were not important enough have on our day and no one knew the difference. It's hard to make these decisions sometimes or see flaws on your big day but remember, for the most part, it's only you that is seeing them and everyone else is just happy to be there to celebrate your love. Pick and choose your battles wisely and remember that not every flaw is worth your time and energy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should we wear to our engagement session?
Q: How long are the engagement sessions?
A: Ultimately, it should look effortless and you should be comfortable in front of the camera. Stylistically, it's all up to you though. It can be a dressed-up occasion or smart-casual. Typically, the trend is to still glam it up a bit for the camera, yet still be comfortable; after all, you are shining stars! When considering what to wear, just ask yourself how you would like to express your love for each other and to the rest of the world.
When considering colours and patterns, just try to wear something that doesn't clash (ie. red and pink.) Also, it can be beneficial to wear more solid colours than small pinstripes or tiny patterns that will get lost in the picture and make the image look busy. After all, you want the focus to be on you and the love of your life, rather than the pattern on your shirt! Although not necessary, creative props are fun too! Some props to consider: sparklers, hats, flowers, cigars, an umbrella, balloons and don't forget your favorite pet!
One final thing to consider is footwear as there may be different locations during the 2-3 hour photo shoot, so their will some walking around.
A: Usually about 1-1.5 hours.
Q: Where can the engagement photos be taken?
A: Engagement photos can be taken just about anywhere. There are beautiful surroundings all over Halifax, or if you prefer an indoor setting, we can make arrangements for that too. Another option is to have a photo session at your home and/or backyard. Before the engagement shoot, we can collaborate and discuss any suggestions you have! We are always open to different ideas!
Q: When can we expect delivery of our engagement photos?
A: Delivery can be expected within a month after the photo session. However, before that time, we will email you some teasers for your Facebook!
Q: How will you be delivering our images?
A: Currently images are mailed or hand delivered by our photography team on a CD with high resolution images.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: For engagement sessions we recommend that you book a couple weeks in advance.
Wedding Day Sessions
Q: What venues have we photographed around Halifax?
Q: How much time should we book for a wedding?
Here is a short list is no specific order:
Chocolate Lake Hotel
The Marriott, Halifax
White Point Beach Lodge
Inverary Resort, Baddeck Cape Breton.
Penn Hills, Shubenacadie, NS
Hatfield Farm, Hammonds Plains
Holiday Inn Halifax Harbour View, Dartmouth
Statacona Military Base- Halifax
Fox Harbour, NS
A: Our photography team shoots for 12hrs. In order to get a sense of the wedding venue, we also tend to do a brief scouting of the venue to have a look at the ceremony and reception areas so we can become inspired and brainstorm creative ideas for your photos before the big day. We look forward to the opportunity of shooting your wedding ceremony, reception and the after party, following the reception! We always keep in mind that it's your big day and as guest photographers, we feel honored to be there to share these amazing moments with you.
Q: Do you require anything from me before the wedding?
A: Yes, we always have some questions about your special day regarding the venue, desired shoots and general questions about the bride and groom, which is why we always like to meet our clients in person to get to know them better as individuals and a also get a clear sense of what they are looking for in their wedding photography. All this helps our team paint a picture for us to research the venue and plan gorgeous shoots for you!
Q: Do we need to meet with you before the wedding?
A: We would like to meet with you prior to your wedding to not only establish a rapport, but also to help us create a better idea of your wedding day vision and all of the exciting details! Knowing these specific details are very important, since we want you to be able to focus on your wedding on your big day and already know that we are fully aware of all the details. Taking the time to establish a rapport with us is important for your wedding day, especially since we will be with you for most of the day, capturing all of the special moments, making it a comfortable experience.
Q: When can we expect delivery of our wedding photos?
A: Delivery can be expected within three to four months after the wedding day (we pay special attention in post production, making sure we carefully make each one of your images look breath-taking.)
Q: How will you be delivering our images?
A: Your images will be delivered on a high resolution DVD. Whenever possible, we hand deliver your album, but if this is not possible, we will mail your images to your home address.
Q: Are you available for destination weddings?
A: Yes, we are both available as a team upon scheduling and have experience capturing weddings at destination resorts.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: For booking your wedding day, we recommend that you book at least two months in advance to ensure that we still have availability.
Q: What do I need to do to guarantee my wedding booking?
A: A deposit of 25% will guarantee you that we will be there on your wedding day. This deposit will, of course, be deducted from your final balance.
Q: When is the wedding day balance due?
A: The final balance is due on your wedding day or before.
Children's Photography And Family Photos
Q: When is the best time of day for a shoot with children?
A: Anytime after a nap when they are alert and have energy.
Q: When is the best time to schedule newborn photographs?
A: We can photograph newborns anytime after birth. It is usually best between 4-15 days after birth when they are sleeping quite a bit. That being said, we are also available for birth photos, which are taken a couple hours after your precious baby is born. These photos are more subtle photos of mom and the baby, along with the family if you choose, which bring a lifetime of smiles and lasting memories.
Q: How many hours will the photo session be?
A: Depending on the circumstances usually a couple of hours, or less depending on how the new Mommy is feeling.
Q: How many photographers will we have for our event?
A: It depends on the event as to whether or not the second photographer takes the role of photographer or assistant. For example, at weddings, we always shoot as a team of two photographers in order to capture all of the special moments and to be in many places at once. As you know, weddings are very busy events, filled with many people and activities. Therefore, having two photographers makes the footage complete and spectacular! On the other hand, during engagement, family and baby photo shoots, the second photographer usually takes on the assistant role, as only one photographer is required when the poses are staged.
Q: Is my event the only one you'll be shooting for the day/evening?
A: Yes, for weddings we only shoot one a day. Outside of weddings, we can shoot several engagement/family/baby/animal photo sessions in one day. All you have to do is choose the time of day for your photo session!
Q: Is it okay for other people to take photos while you do?
A: Absolutely, our only concern is if there are too many flashes preventing us from getting a shot, or if someone is directly in our way. If these issues come up, we kindly ask others to give us a chance to take our shots and then they are free to take as many photos as they please! After all, it is a celebration!!!
Q: Can we give you a shot list of what specific "must have" shots we'd like?
A: Yes! We are totally open to your ideas and input! We will work together to get the best possible images!
Q: Do you have a refund/cancellation policy?
A: Your deposit is refundable up to 3 months before your wedding. No return on deposit less than 90 days prior to wedding date.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept cash, cheques and online email transfers.
Q: What if I am camera shy?
A: If you are camera shy, we can work together to come up with a working arrangement for your wedding day that will suit your specific needs. There are some techniques that we can both do to overcome this too! You can try and shoot some photos of yourself or with one other friend and practice your best funny faces and then practice your smiles. We can also shoot a more photo journalistic style, which means that we capture moments as they happen and do less staging. With practice and a little confidence, you can overcome your fears! An engagement session is also a great chance for us to get know each other, as it will often break the ice and allow us to already know each other before your wedding day. It's also a great way for you to warm to the camera. That way, on your wedding day, having already been warmed up to the camera, you will be in a very happy state of mind, you will be perfectly dressed and your makeup and hair will look great! With this in mind your sure to overcome any ill feelings towards the camera! We ultimately believe the best way to get around being 'camera shy' is simply for us to work at a slight distance from you, not to far though, but before we go that far we would like to meet you, introduce ourselves and discuss other alternatives.
Q: Are you able to Photoshop out skin imperfections?
A: As a Photoshop pro, this is possible, but keep in mind that this takes more time and will often add more to the price of your images.
Q: Are you able to provide digital enhancements, such as modifying colours and black and white photos, for our engagement and/or wedding sessions?
A: Sometimes we make colour adjustments to images that we believe would be more captivating if they were digitally enhanced in post production. We reserve the right to selectively choose which images to digitally enhance, modify colouration, and/or make into black and white etc. Black and White images may be requested at an additional price.
Q: Can I put my photos on social sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube?
A: Sure you can. If you are doing so, it would be extremely beneficial for our photography team, if you could make a note about us and mention that the photos were taken with Kevin & Christine Photography. This would be greatly appreciated, as your referral leads to more opportunities for us to capture other people's special moments during their life events!
Q: Who owns the rights to the photos?
A: In Canada, Canadian photographers officially own the copyright to all of their work whether the photograph is commissioned, or not as stated in The Copyright Act which protects artist/photographers by giving the authors (us) of the photograph the exclusive right to copy, edit, and distribute the image by sale or transfer. It basically states that the photographer has the write to distribute cut, paste, copy, share, print, post and manipulate the image. Once we are consigned to a client, we give them full permission to the images. They will still be our property, but we would only use them if needed in our portfolio to promote our photography services. You just won't be able to submit them to a magazine and state that you took the picture!