Category Archives: Wedding

Most Important Tips For Perfect Makeup on Your Wedding Day

TIP #1 PLAN AHEAD

Every bride spends weeks looking at the stores, the magazines and searching online to find the perfect wedding dress; the perfect color bridesmaid dresses; the perfect shoes and other accessories. A bride always plans the venue months in advance. Unfortunately, many brides wait to the last minute to plan their makeup for their wedding. That truly is like waiting just days before to pick out a dress!

It is important that you are prepared and know what the perfect look is for your wedding day. It is not recommended that you try something drastic or totally new, but fine tune the look that makes you feel beautiful! Play with different looks and colors – remember – makeup washes off! Do not try a new look the day of your wedding! Promise!

If you are contacting a professional makeup artist or consultant; be sure to allot a time to meet with the consultant before your wedding day. The consultant will know what questions to ask you to make the best recommendations. Also, if you are not totally satisfied with the recommendations, you will have the opportunity to try different looks well in advance. The day of your wedding is NOT the day to change your mind or not be sure how your look makes you feel! You will be emotional! Remember, we offer specials for those brides who come with their bridal party for their first consultation!

TIP #2 classic vs trendy

Fashion comes and goes as often as the season changes. Trends range back and forth as easily as a pendulum keeps time. One thing for sure – the trend will change. When choosing your bridal makeup – make a decision if you want to look classic and timeless or if you wish for a trendy look of the day. One thing to consider is thinking far ahead when you, your children and even your grandchildren are looking at your wedding pictures. Will you still think you look pretty? That’s a good rule to follow to determine if your choice of makeup will stand the test of time. You want to look like you. You just want to enhance your favorite features and create the illusion to cover the aspects of which you are not satisfied. It is important to look like yourself. Remember the groom asked the real you to marry him and he wants to see the real you at the altar!

There are a few timeless looks that are still trendy – the Audrey Hepburn look is a timeless classic yet one that is noticeable today. The colors you choose should complement you not make a statement for the fashion industry. Certain techniques that you know have come and gone in and out of style are certainly not what you want to use on your wedding day! Remember – beautiful, elegant, timeless, captivating…these adjectives are how you wish to be described.

TIP #3 TIME OF DAY FOR THE WEDDING

You as the bride should consider the time of day the wedding will be held as you plans your makeup. Time of day is critical to how well the makeup will photograph because of the varied lighting. Paying attention to details for each time frame is essential to have the wedding photographs of your dreams!

MORNING BRIDE

A Wedding makeup look for the morning should be soft and natural. This is the perfect time for a girl who prefers natural looks. Most of the morning brides have their wedding outside or at least take lots of photos outside. A photographer will take advantage of the soft natural light in the morning.

1. A bride may choose a matte foundation but also may prefer a foundation with a slight sheen or dewiness.

2. If the bride is prone to breakouts, this is not the ideal time of day for the wedding. You will want to wear very little foundation and concealer due to the softer light.

3. Use minimal powder to create the slight matte appearance. Heavy powder can appear artificial in the morning light.

4. Choose warmer, softer eye shades that complement your eye color. Bold eye shadow or too much eye shadow will be accentuated in the morning light.

5. Define the eyes really well with mascara and possibly opt for false eyelashes.

6. Eyeliner is a choice for the morning bride. Keep eyeliner subtle and soft. No black eyeliner and smudge the lines to prevent a harsh look.

7. A soft and natural lip is ideal for the morning bride. Nothing to bold or your lips are the only thing you will see in the photos!

8. Bridesmaids should also wear softer makeup shades and the dresses should be soft in color.

MIDDAY BRIDE

Mid-day weddings must take into account that the mid day sun may cast shadows on your face. This makes a huge difference if you are taking photos outdoors.

1. Avoid foundations with a sheen or dewiness. Sheen will reflect the light in the photos at this time of day. A lightweight foundation and a matte powder finish will photograph well.

2. Blush should also have a more matte finish. Avoid shimmer.

3. Keep eye makeup light and avoid dark colors. If it is to dark your eyes will look like two dark holes in the photographs. The highlight shade should be a shimmer to reflect light and this is the most important shade for this time of day. Mid tone and contour shade should be matte to avoid the eyes looking to shiny.

4. Eyeliner should be worn closest to the lash line.

5. Mascara is essential for long luscious lashes.

6. Blending is absolutely critical for the mid-day bride. The sunlight grows stronger and every makeup line will become more visible. There is no such thing as over blending!

LATE-AFTERNOON BRIDE

If you want to add a little more drama to your makeup, take advantage of the golden light in the late afternoon. This light is beautiful and forgiving.

1. You may use more concealer and foundation to cover any flaws on the face. Always powder – matte skin is essential for photographs.

2. Add color to your face as dusk approaches. Flash on cameras may tend to wash you out if you do not have enough color on. Always wear blush for a little color in the cheeks! Cheek color for this time of day is OK to have some shimmer. You may also choose a bronzing powder to give you the “warm glow” effect.

3. More dramatic eye shadow shades are appropriate for this time of day. A shimmer highlight is beautiful. Avoid using three shimmers.

4. Richer lip colors may be a preference for the late afternoon bride.

EVENING BRIDE

The evening bride is the glamour queen. More makeup and color will photograph well in the evening much better than any other time of day. You may choose darker eye shadow shades and make your makeup more dramatic.

1. More foundation and powder is acceptable to cover less than perfect skin.

2. Use bronzer generously to give your skin a glow. This adds dimension and prevents wash out from the flash.

3. Everything should be more defined – lips, eyes, cheekbones.

4. Shimmery eye shadow photographs best this time of day but no frosts. One of the three shades needs to be matte.

5. Seriously consider false eyelashes for an evening wedding. This brings more definition to the lash line to compete with the flash.

6. The Smoky eye is perfect for the evening bride.

7. Lip color and powder are essential at all times.

TIP #4 SKIN CARE PRIOR TO WEDDING

Good skin care is always imperative for the bride to have the most beautiful glowing look on her wedding day. A bride who is not already using a quality skin care routine should consider her options six to eight weeks before the wedding day. Soap is not a quality skin care routine and bargain discount items are not formulated to be the best for your skin. Choose a line that you can use all the products that are formulated to work together.

There are five essential steps to quality skin care.

  1. Cleanse -should be suitable for sensitive skin, be fragrance free and non-comodegenic; avoid eye area
  2. Tone – tightens pores and firms skin; anti-aging benefits
  3. Exfoliate – removes the top layer of dead skin; as we age the renewal process slows; light exfoliation is suitable daily; microderm abrasion or similar should be performed two-three times per week
  4. Moisturize – everyone needs to use moisturizer; dry or oily skin; keeping your skin in a moisture check is crucial for flawless makeup and anti-aging benefit.
  5. Protect – foundation of any kind protects your skin from harmful irritants and free radicals in the air. If you prefer not to wear a liquid foundation, try a powder or even a tinted moisturizer.
  6. Other products to help skin issues – ask your consultant about other specialty products for age spots, dark circles, very oily or very dry skin, facial masking etc.

The quality skin care routine should be used both morning and night. The myth is that if you go to bed with your makeup on it will age you seven days! Also, if you have ever Googled eye mites, you have learned that the little critters love to feast off dry dead skin cells in your lashes and old makeup! Do not go to bed with makeup on!

Remember a quality skin care routine allows you to create the perfect canvas of which to work with your makeup application! Broken eyelashes; missing lashes and red puffy eyes may be evidence the little eye mites had a Thanksgiving buffet on your eyes the night before.

TIP #5 WHAT NOT TO DO THE DAY OF THE WEDDING

Micro-derm abrasion – this product is absolutely amazing at exfoliating your skin and creating a soft renewed look. Microderm tends to bring red blood cells to the top of the skin as it oxygenates and renews skin so it should only be done at least two days before the wedding. Although, there are products that have a replenish step to sooth the newly exfoliated skin, it is never recommend to do this immediately before the wedding day.

Sunless Tanning – Using a sunless tanning lotion may help give you a warm glow that you desire for your wedding day. Be sure to test it weeks in advance so that you are totally satisfied with how the product applies and dries. Always exfoliate well before beginning application. After exfoliation, moisturize well to prevent streaking. Several weeks before the wedding you may choose to use sunless tanning lotion to obtain the depth of color and then maintain it every few days. Do not start a sunless tanning routine the week of the wedding. Be sure to check package labels that the lotion is safe for your face before applying to face.

Stay up late – We all know there are thousands of details, butterflies in your stomach, out of town relatives and friends the night before the wedding. Also the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner bring on much stress. It is critical for the bride to get good nights sleep so she may look her best on her wedding day. No bride wants puffy eyes and dark circles to remind her of the exhausting day years down the road.

TIP #6 FACE APPLICATION TECHNIQUES

On your wedding day, begin by using your skin care routine and end with moisturizer. Allow the moisturizer to dry before applying makeup. A bride may use whatever tool she prefers to apply foundation: fingers, brush or sponge.

A sponge is very sanitary and really helps with the blending process to help your foundation look smooth and flawless. A foundation brush will give you great even coverage. If you use your fingertips, be sure to wash your hands after applying your moisturizer and skin care products as these items can compromise the integrity of the foundation.

Begin blending foundation in the center of the face and blend outward. Finish by using downward strokes so the fine facial hairs will lay flat. On this special day you will want to blot after applying foundation to absorb any extra moisture. Powder will also absorb excess moisture, but blotting first will allow you to go longer before touching up.

Concealer is a great tool to cover flaws on your face. The key to using concealer successfully is only applying it to the discolored skin and nothing more. Concealer has different textures than foundation and will grab powder differently. Blending is essential. If you have really dark circles under your eyes, you may need to use a shade of concealer lighter than your foundation

You can outsmart puffy eyes by highlighting (not concealing) just under the puffy area. This will bring out the area to create an illusion to cover the puffiness. Use a highlighting pen or highlighting powder to create this effect.

Blemishes can be covered with a touch of concealer after you apply foundation. Apply concealer directly to the top of the blemish and stipple it to blend. Do not rub it or spread the concealer to the surrounding area as this defeats the illusion.

Powder is absolutely essential on your wedding day. It sets your foundation; adds a smooth softness to your look. Powder also absorbs more oil.

Facial Contouring is an application technique you may wish to try on your wedding day. The idea is to use three shades of foundation to create the oval face. Darker shades will assist in receding round cheeks and jaws or the square forehead. The lighter shade is applied to the center of the forehead, tip of the nose, each cheekbone and the chin.

TIP #7 EYES AND YES THOSE BROWS TOO

Remember, the eyes are the windows to your soul. The eyes will reflect so many emotions on your wedding day. You will want to use makeup that accentuates your eyes, not compete for attention! Most brides should stay away from eye shadows with a lot of color such as blue, green or black. Using natural shades such as ivory, taupe, beige or brown will bring out the sparkle in brides eyes.

Effectively prepping the eye area will ensure vibrant color that lasts all day long. Apply concealer to even out the eye lid. Use powder to set which will absorb any excess oils. Eye primer is also a secret tool of the trade to prevent creasing and allowing eye shadow to maintain its vibrant color.

Eyeliner is a personal choice for a bride. Pencils are most common, but the bride who does not normally wear a lot of makeup, may choose to line and define her eyes with a darker eye shadow. Liner should be thinnest towards the center of the face and gradually thicken towards the outer corner. Blending is a must because a harsh line is will make the eyes appear smaller. A trick you may wish to use is taking black eye shadow and a small brush and pushing it into the lash line. This defines the eyes and makes the lashes look thicker without a lot of lining.

Eye shadow should be applied that most flatters your eye shape. The standard eye, hooded eye, wide-set, narrow set, deep set and prominent all call for different application techniques to ensure the eyes are most flattering. These looks are accomplished with using shimmer shades to bring out features and matte shadows to hide or create depth. Be sure to ask what your eye shape is and for pointers for each one even for everyday wear.

Maintaining brows are also essential for the bride. If you do not normally pluck or wax your brows, I encourage you to seek a professional to create your natural arch. Then you can follow that arch and tweeze as needed. This is also a step you do not want to do immediately before the wedding. Sometimes tweezing and waxing may cause the tissue to swell or even bleed. Give yourself several days before the wedding to accomplish the idea look. Brows should be no further in on your face than directly over the corner of your eye. You can take a pencil; hold it vertical next to your nose to determine where your eyebrows should start. The outer corner should go just to the outside edge of your eye. Take the same pencil and hold it from your nose to the outside corner of your eye and you will see where the brow should end. The arch will be above the pupil of the eye. There is not set style for your brows; thick, thin, sparse or full. Groom and maintained are the only requirements.

Mascara is a must for any bride. I recommend several coats of mascara to have the fullest thickest lashes ever! Apply mascara first by just brushing over the tips called “tipping” to apply just a small amount of product. Go back and hold your want horizontal moving back and forth to make your lashes fuller. Then hold your wand vertically to create the lengthening illusion. You may wish to apply a coat of waterproof mascara at the end! If you use a lash curler, crimpers should be used before mascara. Try out a heated eyelash curler and you will be amazed at the results. A heated eyelash curler is used after mascara.

Be brave and try false eyelashes at your wedding. They really enunciate the eye and are simple to apply and so inexpensive giving you a very posh look!

TIP #8 LUSCIOUS LIPS AND HOW TO KEEP IT ON

Lips are also important for your wedding photos and to look your best. A bride should have defined and luscious lips but not overpowering her makeup look. A good rule of thumb is if you prefer to have a more dramatic eye or like your eyes better than your lips, you may wish to choose a more nude or natural lip. If you want to focus on your lips, have muted eye colors and go for a more bold lip with deeper richer colors.

Using lip liner, lip primer, powder, lipstick and lip-gloss will ensure your lipstick lasts until you eat. If you want to make your lips smaller or larger, you may also choose to use concealer to wipe out your natural lip line and gently apply lip liner just inside or just on the edge to create the desired effect. Begin lips by applying a lip primer. Then apply a lip line that will complement the lipstick shade. A bride should never have a defined line showing through the lipstick! Apply lipstick. Blot with a tissue removing excess moisture. Apply loose powder to lips to absorb any excess moisture. Apply lipstick again. Finish with a complimenting lip-gloss! When it is time for you to kiss your groom, just lick your lips and your lips will stay on you and not him!

TIP #9 CREATING BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS

Let’s face it…you may feel beautiful all day long and everyone may ooohh and ahhh over how gorgeous you look…but if that look isn’t captured in your photos that feeling will fade quickly. Many people hate being photographed and the reason is mostly they do not know the tips and tricks of photographing well. Follow these tips for beautiful photographs to last you a lifetime!

Determine if you are posing for a bridal portrait before the wedding pictures. A bridal portrait is typically photographed indoors and you can wear more makeup than you could if you were being photographed outside. Remember to review the tips on natural lighting if being photographed outside.

1. Warm up your skin by sculpting and bronzing your face. This will assure you do not look washed out in the pictures.

2. Be careful of wearing foundations and powders with a sheen. You may do this if you are being photographed inside but remember matte always photographs better.

3. Wear a little blush even if you don’t normally wear it on a daily basis. It adds life to your face and brings out your cheekbones to frame your face.

4. Warmer cheek colors make the skin look fresh and glowing more than cool colors will. Don’t forget to add a little bronzer!

5. Never wear frosted shadows on your wedding day. They always look to shiny and artificial in photographs. Stick to matter or shimmer eye shadows.

6. Make sure at least one of your eye shadows has a matte finish. Never use three shades of shimmer. It is ok, however, to use three shades of matter if you prefer.

7. Stick to warm undertones, including brown for eye shadow shades. They enhance every eye color beautifully.

8. Do not wear shades of lip or eye color that are too bold. Lips should be just a few shades darker than your natural lip color. Eye shadow shades should be deep enough to create definition and enhance your eye color but not dark enough to demand all the attention.

9. Pay particular attention to define the eyes very well at the lash line. This can be accomplished through several coats of mascara or false eyelashes.

10. Lips should be well defined for photographs. You can use a little concealer to erase the natural lip line and apply the lip liner on a perfect fresh canvas giving your lips the definition ideal for photographs.

11. Consider wearing either a blended brow pencil or a matte eye shadow to color your brows. This will make a remarkable difference in you photographs and how your brows define your face. Your brows should be well groomed.

12. Remember matte skin photographs more flawless than dewy or sheen on your skin. Keep powder handy to keep that perfect matte look all day!

TIP #10 KEEPING YOUR MAKEUP FRESH ALL DAY LONG

Initial application is the first step in keeping your makeup fresh all day long. Choose a foundation that is transfer resistant and layerable. This will keep the foundation from fading and if you reapply ensure the same shade!

Blot after applying foundation to absorb any excess moisture.

Use powder around the eyes to absorb excess moisture and keep everything in place.

Use concealer and lip primer on lips.

After applying concealer and lip primer, apply lip liner, lip stick and blot to remove extra moisture. Reapply another coat of lipstick and finish with lip gloss. This will stay on unless you eat it off or wipe it off with a napkin.

Wedding Day Tips

As a professional wedding photographer, I’ve seen my share of problem weddings that only add to the ever-present wedding stress. Planned improperly from the get-go, no one person is to blame, but the outcome is upsetting for everyone involved. Often, the bride’s face looks utterly uncomfortable in all the pictures thanks to mile-high heels, guests are kept waiting for an inordinate amount of time, and the bathrooms are a logistical disaster!

Planning a wedding is serious business, especially if you have out-of-town guests to worry about and little children to keep an eye on. Here are ten wedding day tips to keep you upbeat – and stress-free – on your special day!

Avoid Wedding Stress with These Ten Wedding Day Tips

#1 – Have an emergency kit on hand: A bride without her trusty emergency kit is a meltdown waiting to happen. Before the wedding day, put together a little kit of must-haves in case something should go wrong. Ideally, you should have extra make-up, safety pins, breath spray, nail polish for snags, hairspray, a comb, and anything else you deem appropriate to combat wedding stress. If a situation does arise, you’ll be thankful you had these things with you.

#2 – Bring comfortable shoes to change in to: Please don’t maintain the illusion that you can wear those fabulous designer heels all night long. They will begin to hurt your feet and impede your ability to hob-knob with your friends. Pack some cute flats (that you’ve previously broken in) or some simple white sandals so you can keep dancing all night long!

#3 – Put someone in charge of the vendors: Entrust a friend or family member to keep track of vendors, such as the DJ/band, caterers, florists, facility manager, wait staff, and photography team. Let him or her be the point person if the vendor has a question, if something has changed, or there is an issue. Trust me – this will reduce much of the wedding stress that will occur throughout the day.

#4 – Don’t forget to eat before and during the wedding: Number four on this list of wedding day tips is incredibly important. Sounds impossible, but brides do forget to eat with all that’s going on. One of the best wedding day tips I can offer is to start the day out with a healthy breakfast that will keep you going until your afternoon or evening meal is served. The last thing that you want to do is add to your wedding stress and pass out in front of your guests or experience hunger pangs all day. Rely on one of your bridesmaids to fix a plate for you or do it yourself while you converse with guests waiting in line and then actually sit down and eat it. You picked the menu. Don’t you deserve to enjoy it?

#5 – Provide your guests with an accurate map and directions: Everyone will tell you this is one of the best wedding tips you could get! The last thing you want to deal with is guests calling you or your friends asking for directions because yours aren’t quite clear. Talk about wedding stress! Make sure you provide turn-by-turn navigation (especially helpful for those out-of-towners) as well as a detailed map of your venues with each surrounding street clearly listed and identifiable.

#6 – Make sure your bridal party knows to come early: Every photographer’s nightmare – and a major wedding stress inducer – is a scattered, mismanaged bridal party. Make sure to coordinate with your bridesmaids and fiancé’s groomsmen beforehand. If pictures are to be taken before the ceremony, everyone needs to show up with ample time to allow for this. If you are dressing at the church or venue and require the assistance of your bridesmaids, set the time back appropriately.

#7 – Set up something special for your guests in the facilities’ bathrooms: A basket of toiletries is a clever way to show your creativity at your wedding. Usually, the bathrooms get overwhelmed and guests may need something to get them through the rest of the night. One of the most helpful wedding day tips is to stock a basket for your guests – perhaps decorated with ribbons in your wedding colors – with floss, tampons (for the ladies), gum, lotion, sanitizer, mouthwash, and safety pins for each of the men’s and women’s restrooms.

#8 – Keep the kids in mind: Everyone is having a good time, but what are the kids up to? If you choose to have children at your wedding, so be it. They’ll need a little entertainment though if you want to keep wedding stress at bay. One of my favorite wedding day tips is to serve fun finger foods like chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, French fries, and carrot sticks to get them to eat and keep them happy. A great idea is to have all the children at a centrally located children’s table – adorn the table with activity and coloring books, crayons, puzzles, and lots of drawing paper to keep them occupied. If you and your fiancé decide not to have children at your wedding, however, make sure that all parents know this well in advance so that they can find a babysitter.

#9 – Hand the rings off to someone responsible: Have one of the attendants in your bridal party hang on to the rings before the ceremony. Instruct her to wait until right before the party is sent down the aisle to give the ring bearer and flower girl the rings so that they don’t get lost in the day’s hustle and bustle.

#10 – Create a menu for guests to peruse: Number 10 on this list of wedding day tips isn’t hard to do, but gives your guests an idea of what kind of food will be served. For a sit-down dinner, this is imperative, of course, as there will be multiple options to choose from. Even if you’re having a large buffet meal where guests help themselves, place a menu on each table so that anticipation can build. Sometimes, without a menu, your guests might have even overlooked a food station with their favorite dish!

Preparation Fights Wedding Stress

It’s easy to overlook the little things. Planning ahead of time is the only way to keep wedding stress at bay. Don’t let months of planning come undone by not being prepared. Combat potential disasters – and that annoying wedding stress – with these ten essential wedding day tips, and have the time of your life!

How to Get Ready For Your Wedding Day For Wedding Photography

You have taken months to prepare for your wedding, reserving the church and the reception location and all of your vendors, paying attention to all the details. Even more, the last few hours there is still much to be done to get you feeling and looking your best before the wedding and during the wedding. Very important aspect of the wedding planning is to have someone, if you cannot afford a wedding planner, to assist you and get involved with all of the details of the wedding, like getting all of the important contact information of all of the vendors. Of course, the wedding planner has to have all the scheduling and time information and be in touch with all vendors few days before the wedding, one day before the wedding and during the wedding so she can anticipate any delays or problems.

Let us start three months before the wedding talking about having a truly picture perfect day radiant skin, before scheduling appointments for manicures and pedicures. Three months before the wedding, the bride and her entire wedding party should visit the nearest makeup counter and get a skin care consultation for a complete skin care regiment for each member of the wedding party. You have to allow three months for skin care products to have time to work. Use exfoliation as a major step and is the foundation for flawless skin. Don’t use new soaps, cleansers, toners, or masks right before the wedding. Your skin could become inflamed, or you could have an allergic reaction.

Have a good sleep the night before the wedding by going to bed early. It is important not to drink too much alcohol at the rehearsal dinner (if it is the night before the wedding). Also, do not consume any coffee, tea or chocolate where caffeine can disrupt your sleep. Be sure to eat a good breakfast. If you forget to eat, you could feel lethargic; plus, eating early will give the food a chance to settle. If jitters are curbing your appetite, try something light, such as muffin, a toast, or fruit. And have protein-rich snacks, nuts or yogurt to eat during the day.

Getting ready the day of the wedding requires good preparation by asking your hair dresser if you should shampoo the night before or the day of, and that depends on the type of hair and style. Allow yourself enough time so you have time to relax with your favorite scented bath soaps, gels, and oils like lavender, chamomile, orange, or peppermint. It’s best to do all styling and primping before you slip into your dress, except final touches like lipstick. Wear a button-down shirt so you won’t ruin your hairstyle or makeup pulling a T-shirt over your head when it is time to get into your wedding attire. Be sure to bring your headpiece with you if the stylist will need to work it into your hair; also bring any makeup of your own you’ll be using. Arrange to have a manicure and pedicure the day before so you don’t have to worry about wet nails.

Put your shoes on before your gown — it can be cumbersome to find your feet in a bevy of frills and layers, and it will be easier to fasten and adjust your gown if it is draped the right distance from the floor. Keep your dress hanging with the bodice stuffing in place and covered with a white sheet until the moment you’re ready to put it on. Press any wrinkles with a cool, dry iron using a white pressing cloth; you should only use a steamer for a gown that is made of tulle.

During the wedding day have an emergency kit on hand including aspirin, needle and thread, safety pins, glue, scissors, double-sided tape, hosiery, nail polish and a make kit. The make up kid has to be the same as the one used be your make up artist. One important aspect of make up is being waterproof, what an idea. It will spare you from a lot of embarrassment when you get those emotional tears running down your face with your make up too.

Plan to be ready for the final touches at least two hours before the wedding ceremony if not more, especially if you are taking formal photographs. It is very important that by that time your hair and the basic foundation is done. Even the bride with perfect facial features and skin does not want to see herself in photos before make up, of course there are exceptions. So far we have been talking about make-up and how to get ready before the wedding day and during the wedding day, or at least talk about major and important aspects. You might ask; how come a wedding photographer would discuss this issue.

Major part of our Wedding Photography and Video Consultation is making sure the couple is aware of all of the information that is available on the web and in books talking about how a bride should get ready for her wedding day. We are convince through experience that it is not just about Wedding Photography but about the bride having fun, having a totally joyful and one of kind life time experience. We are there to document it.

A great wedding photographer makes sure that earns the trust of the bride, the groom and their families. Thus, we will like to persuade our wedding couples that we know, and we do, what a wedding day entails that we anticipate capturing all of the details, emotions, reflections and relationships of the bride and groom, with their families and friends during their wedding day.

Portrait, Wedding photography and video has been the passion of Andreas Katsouris for the last 22 years. As a professional photographer he has always improved on his technique with a new and refreshed approached throughout the years.

Things to Be Considered For Your Wedding

As a child every kid, especially a girl, is fascinated by fairy tales. They just love it when the princess gets the prince at the end of the tale and live happily ever after. This figment of imagination slowly translates into real life when a girl essentially finds her true love and both finally decided to be bonded in an eternal relationship through the holy sanctity of marriage. Weddings are the most happiest and memorable days of almost everyone’s lives. And what makes this day memorable is the union of the bride and groom celebrated in a certain style of their own choice. Styles are innumerous across the globe. They vary with the local tradition and customs. Nevertheless, all styles that exist today are special and most cherished in their own way.

The most celebrated day in a couple’s life is their wedding day and it is not only true for the D-day but also for years to come. They record these priceless moments in the form of still photography and video capturing to honor their extremely precious day. People these days want to have everything done perfectly. They want the perfect fairytale wedding and expect to have no screw ups or mess of any kind. To keep the wedding plans flawless many well-to-do couples hire a wedding planner. These wedding planners are professionals who take care of everything from A-Z in a wedding for a certain fee amount. There are some others though who love to arrange their own weddings in their own wedding style. This is not a bad idea either if you think you have the time to do it.

Thus whoever the planner of the wedding is, be it a professional or close friends and relatives, the first and foremost thing they have to think about is the wedding cost. Without knowing the various wedding costs they cannot really organize the wedding according to their estimated budget. There are so many elements that make a wedding possible. From the venue for the ceremony to the venue for the reception, from the caterers to the florists, from the wedding gowns and suits to the wedding bands, from the wedding music bands to the wedding center pieces it is a huge list to take care of. The preparation initiates from selecting wedding invitations and listing out the number of guests and knowing how many would show up in order to arrange the necessary quantity of food and drinks. A detailed estimate of wedding costs constituting all these factors must be planned beforehand. This reduces the unwanted last moment nervousness on the day when everyone is supposed to be happy and rejoicing. In the end, proper planning helps in smooth execution of your perfect wedding day.

Fresh Wedding Flowers

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.

Wedding Ideas

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. You have probably been dreaming and thinking about your very own wedding day from adolescence, and now you have found the partner of your dreams and it is all coming true! You want your wedding day to be the most perfect day ever, so we have compiled a few handy hints to think about to make sure your wedding day is exactly what you are dreaming of.

Firstly,

• Make a Folder

Make a folder for all the multitudes of wedding information you will gather. Pick up a concertina style file from any office stationery shop and label the sections according to the different aspects of your wedding. Eg. Make a section for venues, one for invitation samples, one for flowers, one for cakes, one for dresses, one for cars, photographers, bonbonniere ideas etc. etc. Place any quotes, information or clippings you collect from magazines, advertisements, etc into sections for easy reference later on in the planning process. Planning everything early, leaves you less stressed, stops you from becoming a ‘bridezilla‘, and allows you to enjoy the experience of organizing your own wedding.

• Save the Date cards

Sending Save the Date cards early are an excellent way to ensure all your family and friends will be available to attend your wedding day. Send them to all intended guests as soon as you choose a date, even before your have your Invitations and Stationery printed.

• Keep a Wedding diary

By writing everything down including appointments and deadlines in a wedding planner or diary, you will not forget to do anything and not miss any appointments.

Then,

• Wedding Stationery

Include with your Wedding Invitation all the information your guest will need to attend your wedding. Items such as Wishing Well cards, Gift registry information, handy returnable R.S.V.P. cards, accommodation information and directions to the various venues you have chosen for your special day. Using Invitation accessories saves you money and time without having to make a multitude of phone calls to inform guests of important this information. Theme your wedding stationery to match your venue or favourite colour, or flower. Your theme can be used in many aspects of your wedding. From the invitation, to the wedding attire, cake decorations, reception table décor, and post wedding thank you’s.

• Guest accommodation

If the wedding is out of town, or you have people coming from a long way to celebrate with you, many guests may need overnight accommodation so when booking accommodations for your self, many hotels or motels will allow you to make a block booking to be confirmed later.

Guests will appreciate the help with these arrangements and the details can be included on a specially printed card that can be included with the wedding invitation

• Some handy Emergency items for the day.

Make sure some one close to the bride (probably Mum or a bridesmaid) has an emergency kit on them with, band aids, paracetemol or head ache medication, a spare inhaler for asthmatics, or spare insulin or special medications that may be required in an emergency by anyone in the bridal party, a needle and thread, scissors, tape, extra button for wedding dress and extra panty hose for bride and bridesmaids. Clear nail polish is great for stopping runs in panty hose. A bottle of water for bride & groom to drink is also a good idea.

Baby Wipes are great for the bride to use, as they are excellent to remove makeup and other marks from your wedding dress without leaving stains. Include a Crochet Hook for the bridesmaids or Groom to help you with your Wedding dress buttons and hooks. Some wedding dresses can be very tricky to get in and out of, with plenty of tiny buttons and hooks, so send a crochet hook along so someone can help you undo the buttons on the wedding dress if required. Wedding shoes can become very uncomfortable very quickly so wear your wedding shoes a few times before the wedding around home, and try to scruff the soles a little so they are not slippery on smooth surfaces, even wear socks so they will stretch a little. Scotch guard shoes so they do not get marks and can be easily cleaned.

• Disposables cameras

Your guests will love disposable cameras placed on the reception tables. They will pick them up, snap away and capture all those unforgettable candid moments of fun and laughter that you will miss when you are busy talking to other guests. Using good quality disposable cameras will even save money on professional photos.

• Signing of a Photo board.

Instead of having a guest book, have a large photo surround board that will surround a large professional photographer photo of the bride and groom for all the guests to sign. It then can be then hung on your wall with all the well wishes from your closest family and friends, making a unique and priceless memento for years to come.

• Weather Watch

Watch the weather forecasts carefully for your wedding day weather. While is it totally out of your control, it could pay to be prepared with large umbrellas and towels in the boot of some of the wedding cars. Check with your Wedding reception venue as to wet weather options for you and your guests arrival and parking. If you have chosen an ‘Al Fresco’ style wedding reception, you may need to check your options and availabilities in case of a wet day.

• Your Wedding Photos

Your Wedding Photos are going to be a lifetime memory and this is a one-of special event, so you should be careful on your choice of wedding photographer. Make sure you look through photographers portfolios to see the type of work he can do. Make your wishes and choices clear and precise and make sure you have confirmed your costs before you sign any contracts. If the time of year suits, formal photographs taken in a park or beautiful garden or by the ocean can look spectacular, but make sure you have another location in mind if it rains.

Don’t forget to ask any loved ones if they would like to purchase some of the formal professional photos as well, as quantity may lower your prices. A popular style recently is to have some photos produced in Black and White, this gives a timeless and classic stylish addition to your Wedding Photo Collection.

• Your Flowers

Your wedding flowers have probably cost you a lot of money. They will be beautiful and should last quite well if they have been supplied from a reputable florist. It is a shame to leave them behind just for the cleaners to throw out! Organise family members or friends to take them home after the reception, or if you will be staying around have them taken back to your own home. If you would like to keep your bouquet, but still would like to throw one, have a small replica made especially for the bouquet throw at the reception. While they are still fresh, take some blooms from your bouquet and dry them and have them framed or press them, laminate them to make a bookmark etc. for a lovely memento to cherish.

• Your Wedding Gown

Your Wedding Gown is no doubt is the most special memento of your wedding day, so you may want to keep it for any number of reasons, to give to a daughter or grand daughter, or just to see if you can still fit into it on your 10th Wedding anniversary! You should have your dress professionally cleaned first to remove perfumes, perspiration, wine etc that can leave yellow stains with time. You should store it in either a good quality tightly closing cardboard box or in a dress bag for hanging. For the box use only acid-free white tissue to line the box and layer between each fold of your dress, use crumpled tissue in the bodice and sleeves and finish with a layer of tissue and tightly close the lid to keep out dust and insects.

For a garment bag, make a tissue cover, or make one with a white linen sheet to put the dress in first, then put the dress within the garment bag so that there is tissue or sheet between the fabric and the garment bag. You can buy specialty boxes and bags from wedding suppliers and bridal shops for storage of wedding gowns. Store in a dark, dry cool place with a moisture collector satchel nearby.

Of course, I have only touched on some of the aspects of anyone’s wedding day, and everyone’s day will be different, so you should consider all aspects of your day, think about anything that may go wrong on the day, and try to minimise beforehand any impact a hiccup may cause. Be prepared for anything is a great moto to have.

Tips to Planning a Successful Wedding

1) Importance of an Engagement Photo Session

An engagement photography session is the precursor and preview to your wedding day! It serves as an announcement and proclamation of your love for each other. Most often, clients use some of their engagement photos in wedding announcements and for “Save the Date” cards. We have received numerous phone calls and photos letting us know that the engagement pictures we shot are now placed proudly around their home. It is amazing going to shoot a wedding and seeing the pictures from the engagement photo session displayed on a table for everyone to see.

Engagement pictures showcase a couple’s love, romance, and affection for each other. Often times, couples don’t realize the importance of such an investment. However, engagement pictures help to bring back the memories of where you came from as a couple, where you love began, where it grew, and how it has come to the future wedding you are now planning.

2) Plan for “Wedding Day Emergencies”

One of the complaints from brides after the event of their wedding day is that she was rushed for time and felt out of control. Make sure to plan, plan, plan, and when you think you have planned ahead enough, plan some more! With my clients, I definitely offer recommendations of makeup artists and hair stylists we have worked with in the past.

A bride should know that these stylists are almost always running late during a wedding day. Make sure you plan yourself out an hour ahead of when you need to be ready. If you are having your hair and makeup done away from your ceremony location, make sure you ride separate from everyone else so that you will not get stuck for time while a bridesmaid or aunt is having her hair finished.

Also, another key thing we recommend a bride do is create a “wedding emergency kit.” Make sure to include some extra touch-up makeup in your kit for lip gloss and powder retouches throughout the day (after all, we are taking your pictures all day long!). Throw in a bottle of water and an energy bar, just in case your oomph starts to take a nosedive. Many brides don’t eat much the week leading up to their wedding and most especially on the day, so make sure your body stays replenished and comfortable. Another good idea: throw in some band-aids! Brides often wear new and uncomfortable shoes on their wedding day and while those fashionable strappy slingbacks look great in your wedding pictures, your feet will be in excruciating pain by the time the reception rolls around.

3) Wedding Day Transportation

Unless you are having a family member drive you to and from the ceremony location, to the reception, and wherever your heart takes you afterwards, make sure you are firm and clear with your transportation about pick up and drop off times. We express to our clients that we enjoy being there to catch every moment of the day and hate to see a couple standing around waiting for a ride. Whether you favor a limousine, classic car, or a horse and carriage, insist the driver commit to your time frame for your wedding day. Make sure this is set in STONE!

4) The Wedding Day Dress

Your wedding photographer will be taking pictures of you all day long. This translates to hundreds of pictures with you wearing your wedding dress! First and foremost, find a dress that suits your style and one you are completely comfortable in. Make sure the fit is “you” and something that you, not your mother, a best friend, or Aunt Margaret, would have chosen for you. These pictures won’t be able to be recreated! Your special day should include all the elements that make you comfortable about your upcoming life together with the person you love and also the elements that make you who you are.

In addition, we can’t stress enough that it is vital for you to be in control and in charge of your wedding dress. Too often brides designate a WDM (“Wedding Dress Manager”) in the form of a mother, bridesmaid, friend, or relative. This can be disastrous! People can be forgetful and may not have you dress at the moment you need it. Don’t let it out of your control or your sight.

5) Family Wedding Photos

It is common knowledge that when families get together, people become distracted! While I favor a wedding photo journalistic style and don’t mind catching unexpected moments and emotions throughout the day, I strongly recommend that you tell family members to be at a location or venue minimum 30 minutes before the actual photos are to commence. This way, you can be sure that the family will arrive early, but more likely, on time. Also, it is a good idea to remind family members that wedding day photography does take time. If you begin family photos before your ceremony, everyone will have to arrive earlier. If after the ceremony, everyone will be a bit later in getting to the reception and guests will have to wait a bit longer. This is expected and common at all weddings, but make sure that family is aware that time will be taken to make sure that your wedding photos come out the way you want them to.

ALSO – Make sure that everyone has directions and knows where they are going. Most likely, your photographer is familiar with the city and can provide detailed directions and routes if need be. If you are having a downtown wedding and are worried about parking, let the family know where to park and how much this might cost. Suggest that they carpool. Do your research to better help your family prepare so that your day will not run behind schedule. Little memos, notes, reminders, emails, texts, anything small, sweet, and concise, are helpful to assure family members that you love and care for them but that this day is very important to you. The wedding photography is your investment and you want to make sure in the nicest way possible that they are able to cooperate with the events of the day.

Tips in Getting the Right Wedding Photographer for Your Wedding

There are quite a few variations in the style of wedding photography. The style of wedding photography depends on the type of photographer your wedding photographer is. Is he someone who visualizes through his camera in the traditional way or someone who does creative shots. There is a growing movement towards an unobtrusive method of catching moments of the wedding day which is more natural in its approach. It captures the wedding day as it unfolds. There will be less of the usual gathering of the couple and guests to pose for photographs. The photographer is almost invisible to the family and friends and simply capture the moments as they happen.

This style of wedding photography creates a narrative and more natural style, each photograph will help tell a comprehensive story of your wedding day. It starts with how the bride prepares for her special day, and ends with the party that comes after. The whole idea of documentary wedding photography is to capture moments in a chronological order as it happens during your wedding day. The photographer keeps an eye on everything that happens and try to capture the defining moments of the wedding. The duty of the wedding photographer is to produce photographs that will remain special for both the groom and the bride as they will recreate their wedding day through pictures.

What is exceptional with this style of wedding photography, is that the day can commence without any disturbance usually caused by people having to pose for pictures. The groom and bride can focus on what really matters on their wedding day which is to show their love for each other.

This style of wedding photography creates a story which will unfold as the day progresses. All the pictures will help recreate the wedding day as it happened and hopefully will tell a good story. Remember your wedding is a special day. Details such as how the food tasted, how the cake looked, how the guests enjoyed the party pale in comparison to how the wedding photographs will turn out, not only should it be good but exceptional. After all once the day is over, it is the photographs that will remind you how special was your wedding day.

When you are ready to decide on who will be your wedding photographer, here are some tips that will help you decide who to hire as your wedding photographer. You should get someone who is the best in his craft, someone who can deliver the best photographs and also someone who can offer different wedding photography packages. It is also important to hire someone who is adept in handling the technicalities behind good wedding photography. If for example you are living in a place where there is a grand amount of natural light, make sure you hire a photographer who knows how to manage different lighting conditions.

Ask for samples of the photographer’s work. Remember the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”, the photographer’s work will speak for itself. By their work you can judge if he is the right wedding photographer for you. Ask for honest feedback from couples who have worked with this photographer. Lastly ask about the wedding packages your wedding photographer offers. In the end you may want to get all the photos taken. There may be photos that you would feel a personal connection to regardless what the wedding photographer may think about it. Remember your wedding day is personal and sometimes no matter how some photos may lack in artistic value in the eyes of the wedding photographer they may be the very photographs that will remind you how special your wedding day was and without them will not complete your wedding story.

Tips for Newly Engaged Couples To Consider Before Spending Any Money On Your Wedding Day

Congrats Engaged! Now that excitement of the holidays is wearing down, you might have a little more time to start thinking about the when, what, where, who, why and how’s of planning your wedding. This is the beginning planning stage and where all the fun begins! Here are 6 things newly engaged couples should consider before spending any money on their wedding day

WHEN:
How many times where your asked this question in the last few weeks, “Sooo when are you two getting married?” Do you have a date in mind? It’s one of the most important days in your life so take time when picking a date to tie the knot. But where do you begin, shouldn’t be too difficult right? Most couples tend to choose a wedding date to symbolize some personal event like the anniversary date of your first date or the first kiss. A season (don’t you just love the thought of a Winter Wonderland themed wedding day? I really DO). The Weather is another factor, even in sunny California some months are better suited for a romantic beach wedding than others. Another factor could be your budget, having a wedding on Friday and Sunday, earlier in the day or during the off wedding season months could save you some money on the ceremony and reception venue.

WHAT:
This is where you need that wedding planner/binder we talked about last week to keep your pictures and ideas that inspire your wedding day vision. To start this you and your honey will need to get some paper and start brainstorming about what your dream wedding looks like and how you are going to really BRING IT when it comes to incorporating your personality and style into the wedding day. What words describe your wedding is it classic and elegant, rustic, vintage, modern, fairytale like, chic and simple, formal or casual? Do you want a themed wedding day or a traditional wedding or a mixture of the two? Would you like to include other cultural celebrations and traditions? What colors are the bridesmaids’ dresses? What flowers are in your centerpieces, in your bouquet? What do you want your guest experience to be when it comes to the food, drinks, entertainment the atmosphere and yeah the PARTY! (I love planning these types of weddings CALL ME if your wedding is all about the WOW and Party I have some amazing ideas for you) the point is to be as detailed as possible, then use what you come up with to design a wedding day that you will love.

WHO:
Who will be attending your wedding? And how many guests will be attending? Do you want to invite kids? The guest list can be a painful task but is one that has to be done. There are co-workers, friends of parents, grandparents, neighbors, childhood friends, more friends and family from out of town from both sides of the family. How do you decide who to invite? Take a piece of paper fold it down the middle and give half to your honey. Fold the paper in halves again and label the columns A and B. The A column is for immediate family, friends you hang with often or been to their wedding recently and co-workers. In the B column put family members that you really don’t speak to or haven’t seen in over 12 months, other co-workers, childhood friends, (don’t worry no -one will ever know that they were on the B list!) If parents are paying for the wedding they may want to invite some of their friends, in that case split the list in 1/3 for parents to invite some guest.

WHERE:
Now that you have the who, what and when details you need to figure out how you will bring all of these details together and find a venue for your wedding day. Where do you want to get married? Do you want to ceremony at a local location? Or get married at some tropical destination around the world, the possibilities are endless; from a traditional synagogue or church, indoor at a hotel banquet room or outdoor garden, or mountain top wedding a private residence or even some where funky and modern like an art museum or barn. A good resource is gathering-guide.com, you can search by location or type of venue.

HOW:
Having a set wedding day budget is very important whether you’re working with a million dollar budget or five thousand dollars, you need a budget. It is so easy for all of the wedding pretty stuff to run rapidly out of control. We talk more about the “B” word (budget) next week but until then here is some questions to consider. How are you going to pay for wedding day expenses? Will you be receiving a little help from your parents or are family members contributing, money or baking a cake. Are you using credit cards, taking out a loan, using your savings? You can make use of your “Who”,” What” and “Where” list to come up with what details or elements you must have for your wedding day, like a large venue to hold 300 guest, or travel arrangements for a destination wedding. To get an estimate of what it may it may cost and then you can Google to find out how much the cost would be or save some time and sign up for a consultation with a wedding planner who knows firsthand about how much your wedding day will cost.

WHY:
This is an easy one. Of course we know why you’re getting married; you found the love of your life, your best friend. But it is so easy to get caught up in all the planning that you forget why all this is happening in the first place. Although it might be hard to step away from the excitement of planning your wedding day, be sure to take some time out and just be, go out on dates and keep it sexy…that means NO WEDDING TALK! Just relax, have fun and enjoy each other company.

Happy Planning!

How to Plan Your Wedding Day

I am a wedding photographer based in Surrey near London in the UK. I am very privileged to be privy to all the key elements of a wedding day. From getting ready in the morning through to the evenings entertainment. As an observer and recorder of the day, I get to see what works for the couple and their guests on the day.

Of course every wedding is different but the common factor I see at weddings is a lack of extra time for the bride and groom to relax and take in their day. Your wedding day will certainly fly by but with the right planning, you may just have enough time to look around and enjoy it.

After photographing over 200 weddings, I have put together some help and tips on planning your wedding day covering all the key elements.

Don’t let all the info in the article worry you. It’s just a guide to help you have a bit of extra time on your special day.

One thing to bear in mind is that everything takes longer than you expect on your wedding day. Dresses take longer to get into, no one knows how to tie a cravat! It’s like being famous for a day and everyone wants to talk to you. Just to cross a room can take 15 minutes. Many couples don’t realise the level of this until their wedding day itself. It’s wonderful that everyone wants to congratulate you! Just don’t expect to get to the toilet easily!

Here are a few pointers for key parts of the day:

Getting ready – Bride

This is such a special part of the wedding. The whole preparation and ceremony of getting ready for your day. Wedding dresses often seem to be more complicated on the day than they were in the shop. With all the excitement, the lessons from the bridal shop can be forgotten. Whatever time you think it might take to get into your dress, double it! Corseted dresses often need to be tightened twice and no one can ever figure out what to do with the spare ribbon. Shoes are often tied by bridesmaids and veils are tricky to get in the right place.

Things to consider when thinking about the timings for getting ready:

Factor in some time when you are ready for portraits from your photographer. It would be great to have some fantastic memories of how good you look. 10 minutes is plenty.

Some Make Up artists want to finish with you just before you walk out the door. This can be a risk if anything needs changing and doesn’t leave time with friends and family or give you a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Your make up should last all day so having it finished 30 minutes or so before you leave should not make much difference. You can always have a touch up as you head out.

Summary:

Be ready 20- 30 minutes before you need to leave. This will give you time with the family and friends, a chance to make any adjustments of your dress or make up and to get some fantastic images.

If you are not rushed at this stage, you may well be much calmer getting to the ceremony. Remember if a registrar is marrying you, they will normally need to meet with you before the ceremony. For about 5 to 10 minutes.

Getting ready – Boys

The boys getting ready is less ceremonious than the girls however there are a few key things to remember to ensure that everything goes smoothly. In addition to making sure that someone has the rings, there are a few other items to remember that may be overlooked. If you are hiring the suits, make sure that you have everything you need before the day itself. I have seen fathers of the bride driving 50 mile round trips because they assumed that there was a shirt in the suit bag for them! Check you have cufflinks, ties and shoes as well as suits.

If you are being photographed, leave the tie and cufflinks off for when the photographer gets to you for a few GQ or ‘cool’ images before being photographed with best man, groomsmen, etc.

Summary:

Make sure you have everything, have directions to where you are going; accessories such as shoes, ties and cufflinks are all looked after. Try and look as calm as possible for your photographs!

Ceremony

Ceremonies can last from 6 minutes to 90+! But one thing that is common is that they rarely start on time! From a few minutes while late guests arrive to brides arriving in an AA lorry 40 minutes late, it can all happen.

Its good to get an idea of how long a ceremony will last when planning your day. Here are a few rough timings:

· Registrar wedding either at a venue or the registrar office: 6 to 40 minutes. The average with 2 readings is about 25 minutes

· Church of England Wedding: Normally 25 to 40 minutes

· Roman Catholic Wedding: Normally 40 minutes to an hour although if you are having a full Mass as well this can extend to over 90 minutes.

· Jewish Weddings: Normally 20-30 minutes

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

After a wedding, everyone wants to congratulate you! I have spent time with couples that foresee that everyone will leave the ceremony and either head straight for the reception venue or go and enjoy the canapés.

What normally happens is that all of your 40, 80 or 200 guests want to congratulate you. Lots of hugs, kisses, etc. this is a fantastic part of your day. Often impromptu receiving lines start. This is great for you and for the photographer that can capture all your guests’ reactions.

These can last for anything from 15 to 30 minutes so just think about factoring in a bit of time if this happens. If you want to organise some confetti throwing as well, this should only really take a few minutes.

Cocktail Hour / Reception Drinks and Canapés

After the ceremony is a lovely time to mingle with family and guests and enjoy the afternoon. If I were to say that there should be one part of the day to allocate time to it would be this. I would recommend at least 2 hours. 2 and a half if you can. There are a number of reasons for this. In this space of time, you want to talk with friends and family, possibly spend some time with your new spouse, see the venue decorated for the wedding breakfast, etc. You may have also organised for a big group photograph as well as family shots (all the key people have a habit of disappearing at the wrong time!) and some time to get some portraits of the two of you by your photographer.

If your ceremony has over run, this can eat into your reception drinks time. Venues also normally call about 15 minutes before the wedding breakfast is scheduled to start. This can mean losing 20 – 30 minutes from the time you have allocated. By having 2 to 2 and a half hours, this will not really make an impact but should you have allocated say 90 minutes, a 20 to 30 minute reduction can make that time feel pressurised. Believe me, none of your guests will get bored drinking free champagne and eating canapés at a lovely location.

Speeches:

Speeches are normally better after the wedding breakfast. For those that are speaking, they do have to sit through dinner knowing they have to stand up at the end and entertain. However, an audience that is well fed and watered is a much, much more responsive one.

I often ask a groom or best man how long their speeches are. The most common answer is ‘not long, only a few minutes’. This normally stretches to 15 or 20 minutes without realising it. When practised at home, a speech is read like a book but delivered to your guests, there are pauses for laughter, tears and presents.

Having the speeches after dinner will take the pressure off how long they end up being. People are more relaxed and the chef won’t loose their cool over the starters being delayed as the best mans speech enters its 2nd hour!

First Dance:

The only thing I will say about first dance is to not have it too early in summer. If its still daylight, your guests may well enjoy the first dance and then go outside to enjoy the evening air and sunset leaving you with an empty dance floor. Time your first dance when it’s starting to get dark so guests stay in and hopefully join in the dancing.

Here are some sample day planners for ceremonies starting at 2 pm. obviously you can adjust for your own ceremony time.

Single venue wedding (all in one place like a hotel or designated wedding venue)

Morning: Make sure you have a good breakfast and drink plenty of fluids.

12.20 finish with hair and make up with retouching after your dress is on.
12.21 go to the loo. It might be the last chance you get for a while!
12.30 start to get into your dress
13.15 Portraits of you when you are ready and in your dress.
13.30 A few minutes to relax
13.45 Meeting with the registrars
14.00 Ceremony
14.30 congratulations
14.45 cocktail hour / mix with guests
15.15 Big Group shot followed by a selection of family images
15.45 Couple portraits with your photographer
16.15 call for wedding breakfast
16.30 entrance of the bride and groom

3 course meals are normally about 2.5 hours

19.00 Speeches
19.45 Speeches finished and room cleared / change of room for evening entertainment
20.15 first dance and dancing

Church Wedding (estimated 30 minutes travelling from the preparation / reception venue)

12.05 finish with hair and make up with retouching after your dress is on.
12.06 go to the loo. It might be the last chance you get for a while!
12.15 start to get into your dress
13.00 Portraits of you when you are ready and in your dress.
13.15 A few minutes to relax
13.30 leave for the church
14.00 arrive at church (don’t be early!)
14.00 Ceremony
14.40 congratulations
15.00 travel to reception venue
15.00 cocktail hour / mix with guests (slightly less time mingling than a venue wedding)
15.15 Big Group shot followed by a selection of family images
15.45 Couple portraits with your photographer
16.15 call for wedding breakfast
16.30 entrance of the bride and groom

3 course meals are normally about 2.5 hours

19.00 Speeches
19.45 Speeches finished and room cleared / change of room for evening entertainment
20.15 first dance and dancing