Say “Cheese!” 5 Ways to Make the Most of Posed Photos at Your Wedding

photographer taking pictures of bride and groom - posed photosWhen all is said and done, your wedding photos will be THE lasting memory of your special day, so it’s very important to give some thought to your wedding photography.

Standing for posed photos may not seem like much fun, but don’t make the mistake of skipping them. This is a special day that will only happen once. Even if you think you don’t want them, years from now when you’re looking at your wedding photos, you’ll be glad to have them.

  1. All of the people who are most important to you will be together under one roof – at the same time! (How often does that happen?) Everyone is together looking their best. People you probably haven’t seen in years (and may be a loooong time before you see them again). There may be your grandparents and other elderly folks who are super special to you. Get their picture!

2. Still leery about a long post photo session? Then pare the list down to your top five “can’t miss” photos, such as the bride and groom together, the entire wedding party, the happy couple with their parents, and the couple with their siblings (one of my favorite wedding photos is of me and Rob with all three of my brothers), the couple with their grandparents.

posed photos - picture of me with my brothers on my wedding day

3. Sure, we always think of getting shots of the bride and her ladies getting their hair and make-up done pre-ceremony. Don’t forget about getting some photos of the groom and his men getting ready.

4. First Look photos are getting more and more popular. These are fun at a scenic location (an elegant staircase, a garden in full bloom). Your photographer will capture his reaction to the first time he sees you in your gown. And you’ll get a few moments for just the two of you (before the whirlwind of the day starts blowing!)

How to Shoot Weddings (When You're Not a Wedding Shooter)

posed photos bride and grooms first look

    1. Like the idea of a First Look but still want to follow the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the ceremony? A cute alternative is to stand on opposite sides of an open door, and reach around to join hands.

5. Most wedding ceremony photos (from the processional clear through to the recessional) are shot from the back of the ceremony area (with the camera facing the same direction as the guests). How about having your photographer capture the looks on your guests’ faces (particularly parents and immediate family members) as you come down the aisle? Believe me, even though you’re right there, you won’t even have noticed their reactions (nor will your groom because he will be focused on you!)

Keep in mind that wedding photos are more than just something you or your parents will be looking at. They will become a family heirloom for your children and grandchildren to enjoy. Take a little time to add to your record of family history. Think of it this way, if you had the chance, wouldn’t you like to see photos from your parents wedding, or your grandparents, or even great-grandparents?

Photo credits:
Photographer Behind Camera – © Tosher |

First Look – Sandra Reed Photography

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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4 Tips to Help Manage Your Reception Costs

piggy bank with money - manage wedding reception costs

We all know that weddings cost a lot of money. The best advice we offer brides and grooms on budgets is “Spend where you need to, save where you can.”

Receptions tend to be the biggest ticket item of the entire wedding budget, and major savings can be realized through some minor adjustments.

There are many wonderful and practical ways to save money without crushing your wedding dreams and vision. Done in the right places, these money saving ideas will take nothing away from the wedding you are dreaming of.

Consider these!

1. Find a location that requires very little decoration. If you do want to add a little something extra to the decor, create one large decorative element. Not only is it dramatic, but it’s also more budget friendly than a dozen or so smaller elements scattered about the room.

2. When planning your decor, always imagine the way your guests will be looking at it. What do they typically look at/see? Three main things – 1) The tablescape in front of them, 2) where the bride/groom are sitting, and 3) the cake table. Don’t spend money on decor items that won’t enhance the overall effect. Except for the head/sweetheart table and cake table, which are seen from the front, don’t worry about decorating the skirting of any other tables. For the rest, think tabletop and up!

11 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding That Actually Work

3. People tend to take less food if it is passed by the wait staff than if it is placed on a buffet table. The good news is that less food can be ordered, but your guests will still feel pampered.

4. If you are having a sit down dinner, instead of ordering one high end entree consider half portions of two main entree items. For example ordering half portions each of prime rib and chicken breast, you may be able to bring down the cost per plate while still offering guests a wonderful selection.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Looking for unique wedding ideas that won’t break the bank?Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: rich piggy cc

Why You Need a Rehearsal for Your Wedding Ceremony






Every now and then we come across a couple who doesn’t think they need a rehearsal for their wedding ceremony.

Maybe it’s because they’ve been in several friends’ weddings as bridesmaids or groomsmen, they think they can skip a rehearsal for their ceremony. They are convinced that everyone can just show up on the big day and everything will go fine.

If you are considering skipping a rehearsal think of it this way – you are about to produce, direct and star in a major production. No Broadway show (no matter how professional the actors) goes live without weeks of rehearsal.

Your wedding ceremony should not either. Ok, your ceremony doesn’t need weeks of rehearsal, but it does need a rehearsal.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. If you are having a very simple ceremony, (with no attendants, no readers, no aisle runner), and a small guest list (25 – 50 people), then you probably can get away without doing a rehearsal.

But for everyone else, do a rehearsal! This will ensure that all participants are familiar and comfortable with their roles. And since they all know what they are supposed to be doing, things will go smoothly on the wedding day.







Who Should Be at the Rehearsal?

• The bride and groom (obviously!)
• The wedding party
• Parents of the happy couple
• Parents of the flower girl and ring bearer
• Everyone else directly involved in the ceremony – this includes ushers, readers, and vocalists

If they have an active part in your ceremony, they need to be at the rehearsal so there’s no confusion, and they’ll know when and how they are to go about with their part.

Other Rehearsal Details to be Covered Include:

• Who will sit in the first pew/row and in any reserved sections
• Who will roll out the aisle runner (and when)
• Who will escort in the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride (and if they will be lighting a unity candle)
• Where readers are to sit, and when they are to rise and stand to do their reading
• When candle lighters are to light the candles
• Any additions to the ceremony such as a sand ceremony or unity candle

What to Practice During the Rehearsal?

I often say the rehearsal lets everyone know how to get from Point A to Point B (then back again), and what to do in-between.

Your rehearsal should include:

• Seating of the mother of the groom and mother of the bride
• The Processional
• When and where for the wedding party to stand/sit during the ceremony
• Readings
• Unity Candle/Sand Ceremony/Etc.
• The Recessional

At one time brides chose a stand in for the rehearsal thinking it was unlucky for her to actually say any of the words of the ceremony before the actual event. Today, some officiants prefer not to rehearse the entire ceremony, but instead practice only the entrance (processional), exit (recessional), and just do a brief walk through the sequence of events and vows. Check with your officiant ahead of time so you’ll know what to expect for your rehearsal.

Don’t worry, the officiant will cue the couple and wedding party during the actual ceremony, so no one has to be concerned about memorizing anything and remembering what needs to be done when.

Why We Do That – Origins of Popular Wedding Ceremony Traditions

What NOT to Do At Your Rehearsal

Don’t practice for hours – The main idea of the rehearsal is for participants to know how to get from Point A to Point B (how to enter), where to stand, then how to exit. There is no need to practice this over and over.

Don’t try to be the one in charge and run the rehearsal yourself – Your officiant and wedding planner have done this before, and have been closely working with you for your wedding. They know how you want things to be. Let them take care of the rehearsal. Remember, you won’t have time to be “in charge” on the wedding day, as you will be busy just by being the bride (or groom).

Don’t plan on a processional that will last longer than the ceremony itself – This is a sure fire way to turn something into a production, and to take away from the meaning and sanctity of what is about to occur (your wedding ceremony).

Don’t make any major additions or changes to your ceremony – By the time of your rehearsal, all decisions should be made. The rehearsal is a time to practice what has been planned for, with maybe a few minor tweaks.

Photo credit (wedding party with bride and groom): Weddings From The Heart

Photo credit (Flower girl and ring bearer): 554T9994 via photopin (license)

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Wedding Q & A – Are Thigh High Boots Acceptable With a Wedding Dress?






Q. – Are thigh high boots acceptable with a wedding dress?

A. – Since I’m not a wearer of thigh high boots myself, the first thing to pop into my mind is “how comfortable would thigh high boots be underneath a wedding dress?” Thigh high boots (from what I’ve read) seem to work better if the hemline is knee length or shorter.

But, bottom line – it’s her day, and the bride can wear whatever she wants.

I have had brides wear a variety of styles of footwear underneath their wedding dress – including gladiator sandals, wedge heels, stilettos, and even combat boots.

If she is comfortable while wearing thigh high boots, and really wants to wear them on her wedding day – she can wear them. I suggest that she bring an extra pair of shoes (flats or lower heeled) just in case she’ll want to change into something simpler later.

Photo credit: Nicola Victoria Buck, April 2011 via photopin

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Have any questions or looking for fun ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!