Wedding Photographs: Dos & Don’ts

Your wedding is a day you will spend a huge amount of time planning, but relatively little time actually doing. Months of preparation go into a single day, so of course, you’re going to want wonderful photos to help preserve the memory of your special day for the rest of your life.

If you want to ensure those photos are the best that they can possibly be, you will find the following list of wedding photography “dos” and “don’ts” helpful.

DO: Hire A Professional Photographer

Wedding Photographer At Work - Wedding Photographs Dos and Don'ts

Image source: wikimedia

The idea of hiring a professional photographer may be an expense you don’t think your budget can spare, but remember: these are the photographs you will cherish for the rest of your life.

The importance of having a professional eye capturing the moment for posterity cannot be overstated. Professional photographers know exactly how to produce the perfect shot, so you can be guaranteed excellent quality, and images you’ll delight in looking back on 50 years from now.

DON’T: Go Too Heavy On The Photoshop

Every so often, an article emerges mocking “bad” wedding photographs. As far as we’re concerned, if the bride and groom like the photographs, then no one else’s opinion matters.

But if you want to avoid the problems often depicted in these lists, it’s vital that you go easy on the PhotoShop during the editing process. Talk to your photographer and stipulate PhotoShop should only be used to correct photography issues, such as bad lighting, rather than as a tool to produce entirely new (and often downright bizarre) scenes.

DO: Opt For Candid Over Posed Photographs

Of course, you will want to assemble for a number of classic posed photographs; you with your bridesmaids, you and your new husband or wife with your respective parents, and so on. However, the best wedding photographs are often candids; moments captured when you didn’t even realize a camera was pointing at you.

Skilled professionals like Clewell Photography know how to capture these quiet moments, preserving small memories alongside the standard posed offerings.

DON’T: Discourage Your Guests From Taking Photos

camera - wedding photography - wedding photographs dos and don'ts

Image source: pixabay

Surveys have suggested that many couples are unhappy when photos of their wedding are have been posted to social media. This has resulted in brides-to-be deciding to ban guests from taking photos altogether. The idea behind these bans is to ensure quality control, and guarantee no unflattering images are circulated without the couple’s express agreement, or a photo of the wedding gown is posted before the ceremony has even taken place.

While you may like the idea of that kind of absolute control, weddings are all about uniting with your family and friends in celebration – so it’s natural they’re going to want to capture the moment and share it with others. A mixture of excellent professional photographs and ardent amateur efforts will ensure that the entire day is captured through different eyes, giving you a wide range of experiences and moments on (digital) film. Sure, some of those photos might not be particularly flattering, but that’s all in the good spirit of the day.

If you keep the above dos and don’ts in mind, you can be sure that you will always look back on your wedding photographs with delight and pride.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

Think You’re “Naive” About Wedding Planning? Don’t Feel Bad.

Confused Bride, Naive Bride

Not too long ago, I came across this question, “In what ways are brides and grooms naïve during the wedding planning process?”

First of, we need to understand why many couples are “naïve.”

It has absolutely nothing to do with their intelligence, or ability to comprehend. Instead it’s more like the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Think of it this way – it’s highly unlikely that you’ve ever planned an event on this scale before. A wedding is two events (ceremony AND reception) with special attire, special décor, dinner, entertainment . . . So. Many. Details.

Wedding Reception With Decor, Centerpiece, and Food

Sooooo, if you haven’t done something before, how can you know and understand (or be expected to know and understand) all the ins and outs? (BTW – This reasoning can apply to anybody, not just those planning a wedding).

Ok, so in what ways can brides and grooms not fully understand the ins and outs?

Often, couples:

Underestimate the Time Involved
One way that they are “naïve” is that they usually aren’t thinking beyond the 6 – 7 hours of the event itself.

Among other things, there are preparations that need to take place prior to the wedding day on the part of the caterer (food purchasing and prep for their wedding menu), and the wedding coordinator (including timeline creation and vendor confirmations). Also, after the fact – the work for the photographer and videographer isn’t done at the end of the reception (they have hours of editing, creating photo layouts, etc.)

Or the couple has misjudged the timing of the day.

Have you ever heard that 1 hour of “wedding time” is equivalent to 1 ½ hours of “real time” (meaning things will take 1 ½ times longer than anticipated on your wedding day)? Believe it. Things will take longer – from getting ready, to eating dinner, and doing a receiving line.

Wanting to do a receiving line for your 150 guests, then finish after-ceremony photos, (including both sides of the family), then a quick stop at that cute garden for a quick pic of just the two of you, AND get to the reception within an hour? Not gonna happen.

Another area of underestimating time is with DIY projects.

We’ve all seen those funny “nailed it” pictures on Facebook. You know the ones with the original picture of how it’s supposed to look next to the photo of the crazy mess of how it turned out. The “crazy mess” is the result of the project needing more time to properly execute, and/or the person not truly knowing how to properly execute the project.

Which leads us to:

Have Limited Knowledge
Back to “You don’t know what you don’t know.” We base our plans on what we know, or at least what we think we know. Unless it’s an area of expertise, there will be gaps in this knowledge.

A perfect example is with flowers. Unless you are a florist or have worked extensively with flowers, your flower knowledge is probably limited. Don’t feel bad. Even after being in the wedding business for over 20 years, my flower knowledge is still limited, (although I have learned a lot through the years).

Anyway, like most people, you probably know the names of flowers such as roses, lilies, and daisies, but not much beyond those few popular flowers, or a particular flower that you’ve really loved for years. Because of this, most people are unfamiliar with what flowers are in season, and what flowers are hearty enough to stay fresh throughout the entire event, and not be wilted halfway through the reception.

Incorrectly Use Tools
Also, many get too caught up in what they see on tv and online, particularly with Pinterest and styled shoots. Don’t shoot me for saying that. I actually love seeing stylized shoots, and am a Pinterest junkie.

weddings from the heart interest board

But for those of you who are planning your wedding, you need to understand and use tools such as Pinterest as ways to get ideas and inspiration. Then weed through those ideas and bits of inspiration to hone, craft, and build upon to create a wedding that really represents you and your fiancé.

Unfortunately, rather than using these as tools for inspiration and starting points for their own ideas, many couples try to recreate what they see exactly as it appears in the photos.

Stylized Wedding Shoot

There are two problems with this desire and attempt to recreate. 1) There’s no personalization. It completely takes “you” out of the equation because you weren’t there (or even thought about) when it was created; and 2) The expense. Most couples don’t realize the time and expense it took to produce that one look (particularly for a stylized shoot). The specialty items (linens, vases, plates, glassware) and custom-made items can get expensive when trying to recreate the desired table-look for 15 – 20 tables.

How to Avoid the Naïveté?

1) As vendors, we need to continually share our knowledge and wisdom, if you will, with couples so they become educated, and have the opportunity to learn and understand what they need to know for their own event.

2) As brides and grooms, couples need to delve deeper than what’s on the surface, ask questions, and trust what their vendors are telling them, so they can be educated consumers.

Do they have to learn all there is to know about weddings? Of course not. (Guess what? That’s an impossible feat, even for the professionals). But a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit (confused bride): ljupco / 123RF Stock Photo

Dog of Honor? – Including Your Dogs in Your Wedding Ceremony

Tips for including your dog in your wedding ceremony - the bride and her dog Photo credit: Tammy Pressnell

Well, after 23 years of planning weddings, Weddings From The Heart experienced a first.

Earlier this month was the first time that one of my couples included their dogs in their wedding ceremony.

And things could not have gone smoother!

Their dogs, Molly and Kava, were the sweetest, most well behaved pups ever! (Molly even gave me doggie kisses!)

Tips When Including Your Four-Legged Family Members

Our pets are our family, so for many people it makes sense to include them in their big day.

The following are some tips to help make things go smooth for everyone involved.

1. Before you start in on planning for including your pet, make sure your ceremony and reception venues permit pets.

Confirm that pets are welcome. The last thing you want is to arrive on your wedding day only to find that your dogs can’t be there.

Let the folks at the venues know in what capacity your pet will play. Will they just be present for the ceremony? At the ceremony and reception? On a leash or free range?

2. Consider your pet’s personality.

Are they shy? Social? Vocal? Quiet?

Are your pups comfortable around a large group of people? You don’t want them to be overwhelmed.

Does your pet have good “doggie manners”? Your wedding day is not the time or place for friendly little Fido to be greeting people by jumping on them, or begging for food.

Does a little hunter come out in them at the sight of a squirrel, or will they ignore it?

3. Are any of your key people (parents, wedding party members, photographer) allergic to dogs?

If so, are there precautions they can take that will alleviate their allergy symptoms without leaving them drowsy?

4. Are any of your key people afraid of dogs?

Discuss with them what you have in mind for including your dogs and see if that may be acceptable to them. Or consider limiting your dogs’ participation to ceremony only, on leashes.

5. Consider the role you want your pet to play.

Are they merely guests of honor or will they play a more active role such as being the ring bearer?

Have them practice at the rehearsal too.

6. Have a designated handler for the wedding day.

You’re going to be busy with everything else going on to have to be the one to feed, walk, or clean up after your pets when “nature calls.” Also they can keep an eye on your four-legged babies in case some chocolate cake or wedding favors accidently gets dropped on the floor (don’t want them getting into that and getting sick – or worse!)

7. Do you want your pet to wear a special little outfit?

Make sure your pet in comfortable wearing a little doggie tux or hat. (As handsome as my dog would look with a hat, he’d paw it off the second it was placed on his head). You don’t want them to be tugging at it trying to get it off during your vows.

Keep it simple. A little bow tie or flower attached to it’s collar will look adorable!

8. Have some familiar items on hand.

Unless you typically have a hundred or so people around, your pooch is going to be out of his element. Bring along a favorite toy, dog bed, and treats. Your pet will be in an unfamiliar environment (different location, different people), so having some familiar items on hand can make things more comforting for your pet.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more wedding planning tips contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

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Spending money on your wedding can be easy – way too easy.

The good news is saving money is easy too! Here are over 45 ways to save.

General

1. Trim your guest list.
Fewer people means less food, beverages, centerpieces, linens, favors, etc.

2. Have a longer engagement.
Not only will you have more time to search and find sales, you’ll also have more time to set aside money.

3. Enter giveaways to win free wedding stuff.
Free is always good.

4. Use coupons and watch for sales when buying items from craft stores.
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Michaels and Hobby Lobby always have coupons and sales. There’s no reason to pay full price.

5. Opt for an adult-only reception.
An easy way to decide who to trim from your guest list. Determine no one under the age of 13 or the age of 16 for example.

6. Seat more guests at larger tables.
You’ll end up needing less tables and chairs, and in turn less centerpieces and linens.

Your Wedding Date/Time

7. Get married on any day but Saturday.
Many venues and vendors offer a discount for any day other than a Saturday.

8. Get married off-peak season.
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Winter months are typically the slow season in the wedding world, so many venues/vendors offer a discount for those months.

9. Have your wedding ceremony and reception earlier in the day.
A late morning ceremony followed by a brunch reception will save you tons of money.

Favors

10. Skip the expensive favors.
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Fancy favors are commonly left behind. Why? Because your guests really don’t want/can’t use them. Edible treats are one of the best favor options. They’re inexpensive, and your guests will actually use them.

11. Or omit favors altogether.

12. Choose escort cards that double as favors.
Double duty is a wonderful money saver.

Invitations & Other Printed Items

13. Send postcard style response cards with your invitations.
Not only will the postcard RSVP cards cost less, you’ll also need less postage on each one.

14. Skip the fancy custom or vintage postage stamps.
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Your guests won’t miss the fancy postage stamps, and regular stamps (check with your post office for pretty floral or LOVE stamps) cost less than the custom ones.

15. Skip square or odd sized invitations.
They may look great, but the post office charges more postage on non standard shaped or sized envelopes.

16. Use a sign instead of a ceremony program.
Rather than printing up programs all of your guests, do one large sign and have it at the entry to your ceremony.

17. Proofread everything twice before ordering.
Having something reprinted is definitely a cost that is not budgeted for. Eliminate this possibility by proofreading everything multiple times. Have someone else proofread them as well – a second pair of eyes can spot things that the first may have missed. Double check all spellings, dates, and addresses.

18. Order thank you cards when you order invitations.
Saves on extra shipping and handling charges.

9 Easy Ways to Contain Your Wedding Costs

19. Print guests names on a board instead of individual escort cards.
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20. DIY your invitation assembly.
From standard envelope stuffing to attaching rhinestone embellishments or pretty belly bands – paying the invitation company to assemble them costs more money. Save by assembling them yourself (or have your wedding party help out).

Wedding Cake

21. Choose a small one or two tiered cake.
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Have the small cake on display for your cake cutting ceremony, but also have unadorned (just iced) cakes hidden in the kitchen.

22. Skip the dessert table.
You don’t need additional desserts. Your wedding cake is enough.

23. Choose buttercream icing instead of fondant.
Fondant may look gorgeous, but you’ll end up paying at least twice as much (maybe more!) for your cake.

24. Skip on the cake fillings.
Fillings typically cost more, and if you’ve got delicious cake to start with, your guests won’t miss a filling.

25. Serve cupcakes instead of cake.
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You’ll save on the serving price (cupcakes can be up to half the cost per serving as cake). Also, since cupcakes don’t have to be cut/plated, you’ll save on the plating fee most venues charge.

Food & Beverages

26. Offer beer and wine, and a signature drink.
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Serving alcohol can get expensive. Save by offering only beer and wine, and perhaps a fun signature drink.

27. Serve champagne to the head table only.
You don’t need to provide champagne to all of your guests, and they will be fine toasting with whatever beverage they’ve chosen from the bar.

28. Skip the late night snack.
Sending your guests off with a yummy little nibble may sound like a fun idea, but it’s a cost that you can easily omit, and no one will miss it.

Flowers/Décor

29. Choose less pricey flowers in your bouquet.
Your florist can give you lost of flower cost-effective options that achieve the look you are going for.

30. Re-use decorations from the ceremony at the reception.
You’ve already paid for them, so why not get more use out of them? This includes altar arrangements, unity candle flowers, and bridesmaids bouquets.

31. Pick simple tablecloths.
Many venues provide standard linens at no additional cost. In love with a pricy specialty linen? Use it on just the cake table and sweetheart/head table.

32. Choose flowers that are in-season.
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Flowers that are in-season are more abundant, and will cost less than flowers that have to be imported.

33. Choose short centerpieces.
Tall centerpieces are elegant, but often need more flowers to look so grand. More flowers = more cost.

34. Skip the chair covers and sashes.
Unless the chairs are ghastly, save money by not getting covers. Another option is renting resin or samsonite folding chairs. These common chair rental styles often cost less than renting chair covers/sashes.

35. Choose a ceremony venue and/or reception venue that requires little decoration.

Not All Money Saving Ideas Are Good

36. Skip the aisle runner.
In reality, aisle runners don’t enhance the overall look of your ceremony. Save yourself a bit of cash by omitting an aisle runner altogether.

37. Use more greenery and less blooms.
Greenery is elegant, abundant, and less costly that flowers.

38. Use non-florals in your centerpiece design.
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Candles, books, bird cages, lanterns, and bowls of fruit are just some non-floral ideas that cost less than a floral arrangement, yet are still pretty and stylish.

Attire

39. Borrow a veil.
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Borrowing is always cost-friendly. Plus you’ll have your “Something Borrowed” covered.

40. Buy shoes you’ll actually wear again.
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Why spend money on shoes you’re only going to wear just once? Save money by choosing a pair that you will be able to wear again and again.

Vendors

41. Hire a DJ instead of a band.
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Simply put, having a DJ costs less than having a band.

42. Skip the limousine.
A fancy ride is fun, but you’re only going to be in it for a relatively short time.

43. Hire a wedding planner.
A wedding planner has the know-how to stay on budget, yet stay stylish with creative alternatives.

44. Have ceremony & reception at same place.

45. Choose a venue that doesn’t require you to use their vendors.
Not having to use their “short list” of vendors gives you more options.

46. Borrow items.
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Not interested in keeping the cake knife/server or toasting glasses? Borrow them.

47. Buy items instead of renting them.
You can purchase just about everything for your wedding, from table linens to vases. What to do with them after the wedding? Sell them of course. These days, many areas have bridal resale shops. Or check out online sites such as Wedding Recycle.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For more ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Bride & Groom Q & A – Invitation Wording

invitation names wordingQ – I have a question about my wedding invitation wording. Whose names are supposed to go on the invitation? My FMIL wants their names on there too, but they’re not paying for the wedding!

A – Some people are under the belief that besides the names of the bride and groom, the only other names that are allowed to be listed on the invitation are the bride’s parents, and this is only if they’re paying for the wedding. If the groom’s parents are mentioned as well, they think that it will imply that they are also paying.

Are You Coming? – What to Do When Your Guests Don’t RSVP

But simply having their names on the invitation is not the case. Instead, it is where the names are placed on the invitation that indicates who is hosting, and usually, but not always, paying.

“Mr. and Mrs. Jason Smith request the honour of your presence at marriage of their daughter” clearly indicates that Mr. and Mrs. Smith are doing the inviting, hosting and probably paying.

Having “son of Mr. and Mrs. William Jones” following the groom’s name is merely acknowledging (and honoring) his parents. Having their names here indicates that they are not issuing the invitations, they are not hosting, and they are not paying.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For more tips and ideas for your wedding, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!