Category Archives: Weddings

5 Reasons Why You Should Have A Pre Wedding Shoot

PRE WEDDING SHOOT

When you start enquiring about wedding photography packages, the question of whether you want a pre wedding shoot will invariably pop up.

Even if you’ve got hundreds of photographs of you and your future spouse together, an e-session can be an important step in ensuring gorgeous, emotionally-charged photos on your wedding day.

For those who don’t feel so comfortable in front of the camera, it should be high on your agenda, as it gives you time to relax and build rapport with whoever’s behind the lens.

Still not convinced? Well here are just five reasons why you should schedule in an pre wedding shoot with your wedding photographer.

BECOME MORE COMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA

Being in front of the camera can be quite daunting for some people and rather than letting their true personality shine through, they become stiff and awkward. Some of the most beautiful wedding day moments are when couples relax and really wear their emotions on their sleeves.

But if you’re feeling intimidated by the camera or nervous that you’ll be caught in unflattering poses, your photographer can’t achieve this.

A pre wedding shoot with your wedding photographer allows you to find your comfort zone with the camera and see the results of being vulnerable with your emotions.

Your photographer will have an insider’s knowledge of what works (and what doesn’t), so trust in their judgement (and that they won’t post unflattering photos of you for the world to see!).

Perhaps there may be a few moments caught on camera that don’t show you or your partner’s best side. But the beauty of digital photography is that they can be erased in the click of a button, while those that show your raw emotions will last as enduring memories.

GET TO KNOW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

First and foremost, your pre wedding shoot is a great opportunity to really get to know your wedding photographer before your special day. Unless you’re a seasoned, professional model, having a stranger pointing a lens at you may not be the most relaxing situation and it takes time to build trust and understanding.

Spending a few hours shooting  will do just that, allowing you to better understand the working style of your photographer and for them to establish your unique personalities and how you interact with one another.

They’ll be able to determine whether you need a lot of guidance in expressing your love for one another or if just being in the presence of your future spouse creates chemistry that’s worthy of capturing!

Each couple is different and being able to read the situation and respond to it is where an experienced wedding photographer can really make a difference. A pre wedding shoot allows them to gain a much better understanding of you and how they should approach the wedding day shoot to capture the raw emotions of each and every moment.

FIND OUT WHICH PHOTOS WORK OR YOU

A pre wedding shoot with your wedding photographer allows you to see yourself in professional photos and decide what you like and what you don’t.

There might be angles or particular shots from the session that you really love and if you communicate that to your wedding photographer, they can take it on board when capturing your special day.

Perhaps there were certain poses your photographer suggested that you weren’t really sure about at the time. Looking back on the photos you’ll get a different perspective and might even discover that they are some of your favourite images from the day.

The key is to experiment, be creative and communicate with your photographer because unless you tell them what you love, they’ll never know.

TEST RUN YOUR HAIR AND MAKE UP  

If you’ve decided to have your hair and make-up professionally done for your wedding day, then a test run is common to figure out what works for you.

A pre wedding shoot is a perfect opportunity to do this as it enables you to see how it holds up under the elements and in front of the camera, particularly if it’s with the same photographer who will be shooting your wedding.

It will give you a good idea as to how your hair and make-up will last in the outdoors (and for how long), as well as how it will appear in your wedding photos. If you’re not 100% happy with it, then at least you have time to make any tweaks or alterations with your makeup artist before the big day itself.

 

RE-CONNECT WITH YOUR PARTNER AND HAVE FUN TOGETHER

The lead up to weddings can be incredibly stressful, particularly if you’re going it alone without a wedding planner. There are so many little details to organise and events to coordinate that things can get overwhelming and it’s easy to lose perspective.

A pre wedding shoot is an opportunity to take a step back, reconnect with your loved one and just have fun together. Select locations which have a special meaning for you as a couple or reflect how you like to spend your leisure time together…and then let your creativity flow! Perhaps you can bring along some props for a romantic picnic in a grassy field or head to your favourite ice cream parlour together.

Just like your wedding day, you can give your pre wedding shoot a really personal stamp…and have a lot of fun at the same time!

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

Questions To Ask A Wedding Photographer Before You Hire One

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

So you’ve just got engaged and are on the hunt for a wedding photographer (and getting started early so all the best ones don’t get booked up). But perhaps you’re not sure how to determine which one is right for you.

To help you out, we’ve drawn on our years of experience to collate the top 20 questions you should ask a prospective wedding photographer before you hire them.

1. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY AS A SOLO PHOTOGRAPHER?

It might be a no-brainer to ask about their experience as a wedding photographer. But what you really want to know is their experience as a lead shooter and ability to take charge on the day itself. Second shooting is a great way to get experience as a photographer but if you’re trusting someone to capture images that will last a lifetime, you want to know that they have the people and organisational skills to get the job done.

2. HAVE YOU PHOTOGRAPHED AT MY VENUE BEFORE?

It might not be a deal breaker but it’s always nice to know that a photographer is familiar with your venue and knows all those secret little spots for couple portraits. They’ll have an understanding of logistical issues, such as getting there and parking, and have probably built up a rapport with the staff and the venue’s wedding coordinator.

3. HAVE YOU PHOTOGRAPHED A SIMILAR CULTURE/FAITH WEDDING AS MINE?

If you’re having a cultural or religious wedding, finding a photographer with experience is a good idea. It will give you peace of mind that they’ll understand what’s going on and be in the right place at the right time to capture all the moments. They’ll already be familiar with the traditions and customs and won’t step on any toes throughout the day.

4. COULD YOU SHOW US FULL WEDDING GALLERY SIMILAR TO OUR TYPE OF WEDDING? 

To get an idea of the images you might come away with, ask to see an entire album from a couple’s wedding day in a similar style to your own. A photographer will always share their best work online but you also want to see the types (and amount of) images that don’t make the website cut.

5. HOW DO YOU APPROACH A WEDDING…WHAT’S YOUR VISION?

This isn’t always the easiest question for a photographer to answer but if they’re confident in their approach, they’ll have one ready. You might want to be more specific by asking them how they handle certain situations or what their overall philosophy is as a wedding photographer.

6. DO YOU HAVE LIABILITY INSURANCE, A BUSINESS LICENSE AND BACKUP EQUIPMENT?

While it’s easy to fall in love with a photographer’s work, you want to know that if things do go wrong, they’re covered and/or have a backup plan. You want the peace of mind that their business operations are legal and that they’ve thought far enough ahead that they can respond to even the worst case scenarios.

7. CAN YOU GIVE US AN OVERALL IDEA OF WHAT YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE IS LIKE?

When you hire a wedding photographer, their job isn’t just to show up on your special day, turn on the camera and snap away. Quality photography means planning and preparation…weeks (if not months) before the wedding day. So ask what you can expect from them after you sign the contract and pay the deposit, all the way through to receiving your images and beyond.

8. HOW BIG IS YOUR TEAM AND WHO WILL YOU USE AS YOUR ASSISTANT? 

You might find this kind of information on the photographer’s website but it’s a good idea to clarify it during your meeting…and make sure you’re actually talking to the photographer who will shoot your wedding. If you’re paying for a second shooter, make sure it’s someone with relevant experience and not just a friend of a friend who’s trying to get their foot in the door.

9. IS YOUR PRICING SET IN STONE?

It’s always worth asking if there’s any “wiggle room”, particularly if you’re having a wedding during the off-season or on a weekday. But it’s important to respect the photographer’s pricing and don’t change your budget or requested inclusions during the meeting. Most photographers are willing to be flexible to work out a price that’s reasonable for both parties but it’s important to establish that you can afford the photographer before having a meeting.

10. HOW CAN WE BOOK? 

If you’re ready to commit, check how much of a deposit is required to secure the booking and when the remaining balance is due. There should always be a contract with the essential info, terms and conditions included so there are no surprises and both parties are comfortable with the agreement.

11. WHAT INFO DO YOU NEED FROM US TO ENSURE YOU CAPTURE EVERYTHING THAT IS IMPORTANT?

A photographer should have a game plan for shooting your wedding, whether that be a questionnaire they ask you to fill out or a final meeting where you’ll go over all the important details. Always check what information they need from you to do their job and establish how they will utilise that to capture all the images you want.

12. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU’RE SICK ON OUR WEDDING DAY?

Unfortunately, sometimes situations arise that are out of our hands. So does your photographer have a back-up plan if they can’t capture your wedding and how will you be compensated. It’s a worst-case scenario but something your photographer should have considered. Do they have a network of trusted colleagues that could step in and how will they minimise any inconveniences and emotional hardship on your end.

13. WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR TEAM WEAR ON THE WEDDING DAY?

If you’re having a black tie event or a themed dress code, you don’t want your photography team turning up in something really inappropriate. So just check what their usual attire is and make any suggestions if you’d like them to blend in with your chosen theme.

14. HOW DO WE KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO SHOW UP TO OUR WEDDING AND BE PROFESSIONAL? 

These are questions you might not feel comfortable asking outright and will probably be addressed by reading online reviews from past couples. But if at any time during your meetings you’re having doubts about their trustworthiness, don’t be afraid to ask if they’ve ever turned up late or missed a wedding for any myriad of reasons.

15. HOW STRICT ARE YOU ON YOUR HOUR AND WHAT’S YOUR POLICY/RATE FOR OVERTIME?

Once you’ve established how many hours of photography you want, check with your photographer what will happen if things are running a bit late and you still have moments you want captured. Will they be packing up their camera until you pay them the additional hour or are they flexible enough that 30 minutes overtime is reasonable? It’s always a good idea to establish this beforehand to avoid any awkward situations or the risk of receiving a bill for the additional coverage when you should be enjoying your honeymoon.

16. WHEN WILL OUR PHOTOS BE READY AND HOW MANY WILL WE RECEIVE? 

Hopefully, the time frame for the delivery of photos will be outlined in your contract so there are no surprises or misunderstandings. But if you’re not sure (or your photographer is giving you a vague deadline), clarify this and get it in writing. Also, check what will happen if the deadline is not met and any compensation that they will offer, such as free prints or an upgraded album. 

You also want to ask roughly how many photos you will receive, which will usually depend on your photography coverage and the overall wedding day schedule. If you’re ordering an album, double check on the delivery time of this as well and the process of picking out your preferred shots!

17. HOW WILL WE BE ABLE TO VIEW, SHARE AND DOWNLOAD THE IMAGES?

In this digital age, it’s important to understand exactly what you’ll be getting from your photographer and how you can access your photos. Will they be released via an online gallery that’s password protected where you can view, share and download them? Or perhaps they’ll be on a USB drive. Make sure it’s outlined in the contract so there are no surprises.

18. DO WE OWN THE COPYRIGHT OF OUR WEDDING PHOTOS 

In most cases, both you and your photographer will share the copyright to your photos so you can print them and use them as you wish. But it’s important to check that this is outlined in the contract…and understand that your photographer will also be able to use them to better their business by sharing them on their website and social media posts.

19. WHAT KIND OF RETOUCHING WILL YOU DO TO OUR WEDDING PHOTOS?

Always check if the photographer will retouch the images before sharing them with you and what level of retouching they will do. This can range from colour correcting, cropping and fixing the white balance to removing wrinkles and taking out distracting items in the background. Editing is a time-consuming process and while some photographers will do it themselves, others will outsource the job to editing professionals. While most photographers will include some level of retouching in their quoted prices, additional retouching may be extra.

20. WILL YOU BACK UP OUR WEDDING IMAGES? 

This is an important one because all that money you spend on a wedding photographer is going to be completely wasted if there’s a technical failure and your images are lost. So check if they will back-up your wedding images and for how long this back-up will be available (which should be outlined in the contract). This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t back-up the photos yourself as soon as you download them, either to your own computer or external hard drives.

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

10 Steps To Finding A Great Wedding Photographer

THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

While your wedding day may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, your photographs will be an enduring memory for years to come…so you want to get them right! Finding a great wedding photographer is not just a matter of seeing a portfolio you like and booking on sight, but requires careful research and deliberation to find someone whose style, personality and budget fit your own. 

So to help you out, we’ve put together ten steps to help you find a great wedding photographer that is perfect for you.

DECIDE ON A PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE

The first step in narrowing down the perfect wedding photographer to capture your special day is deciding on the style you prefer. Perhaps you want those classic portraits in traditional poses, or maybe you want something more documentary which captures the raw emotions and spontaneous moments of your wedding day. Some photographers have a more creative, artistic style than others and there are some who even shoot using film if you want a really vintage edge. 

Having a basic idea of the style of photography which resonates with you is an important stepping stone in finding a great wedding photographer to make it happen.

SET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUDGET

When it comes down to it, you’re probably going to have a set budget to work within for your wedding photography and it’s important to establish this from the outset. There might be some room to move, but falling in love with a photographer’s style only to discover that they are thousands of dollars outside of your budget will only lead to disappointment…or debt!

When setting your wedding photography budget, it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford and how important photography is to you on your special day.

GOOGLE SEARCH AND READ REVIEWS

Depending on where you live, a quick google search will probably come up with hundreds of wedding photographers in your area and you can literally lose hours perusing what’s on offer. Online reviews from recent newlyweds are a great place to start for recommendations and from there you can check out the photographer’s website and online portfolio. 

When reading reviews, take into consideration the professionalism with which the photographer worked and if they delivered what they said they would. You should also check out their other social media accounts to see what previous clients have said about their personal experience.

GATHER PRICING AND PACKAGES INFO 

Once you’ve decided on photographers whose work you like and have good online reviews, it’s important to get an indication of price before you get carried away. If their rates are not indicated online, then send them an email to request a quote.

It’s important to take into consideration that costs will differ depending on how many hours you would like to book them for, if there will be a second shooter supporting the lead photographer and any additional events you would like captured (such as an engagement session). But if you request a quote for their standard “shooting fee” and packages, as well as the type of album you think you’ll want, that will be a good starting point for comparison. 

HAVE A CONSULTATION

While many couples do book photographers online without having ever met in person, it’s a good idea to schedule a meeting to get to know their personality and learn a little more about their work. Meet them at their studio so you can have a relaxed get together to chat about your wedding plans and what you envision for the photos of your special day. If you can’t do it physically, then at least try and have a Skype or Facetime conversation.

At this stage, it’s also important that you ask exactly who will be shooting your wedding as some studios have multiple photographers working for them. While you might love the style of one particular photographer, another might not be quite what you’re looking for. So make sure you know who will be turning up when you’re getting ready on your special day.

REVIEW FULL WEDDING GALLERIES AND ALBUMS 

When meeting in person, it’s also a good idea to ask to see a full gallery from a wedding to get a well-rounded idea of what you might come away with. An online portfolio is often a highlights gallery, showcasing the best work the photographer has to offer. But it’s important to see the whole spectrum of what the photographer captures throughout the day to be sure that you’re heading along the right track. 

Also, consider the setting you have chosen for your wedding and ask to see similar examples. If you’re having a sunset ceremony on the beach, then ask to see a wedding album that the photographer has shot in this setting. If you’re having a glamorous ballroom reception, then make sure they have the ability to capture the dramatic lighting and ambiance of the space. 

You should also look critically to make sure the photographer captures those special moments that make a wedding day so special. Are they there for those split-second exchanges between the bride and groom, do the images translate the energy and celebration of the dance floor and is there emotion in the facial expressions? If you want a candid, documentary style, you need proof that your photographer can deliver it.

DECIDE IF YOUR PERSONALITIES ‘CLICK’

Remember that your wedding photographer is going to be with you throughout your wedding day, from having your hair and makeup done to intimate nighttime portraits at the end of the evening. So you want them to share your wedding photography vision, be comfortable in their presence and wholeheartedly trust in their expertise. 

Somebody that is assertive in grabbing those candid moments, but won’t be intrusive or get in the way of you and your wedding guests. They should be someone that presents in a respectful manner and can offer guidance and suggestions without being intimidating. It might sound like a lot to ask, but there are plenty of wedding photographers out there who tick all the right boxes, so it’s just a matter of finding one whose personality “clicks” with yours.

SELECT A PACKAGE THAT ONLY INCLUDES WHAT YOU TRULY WANT 

So you’ve found a photographer whose style you love, whose rates are within your ballpark and whose personality you can engage with. Now it’s time to nut out the details as to which of their packages you want and sign the contract. If you have the funds available, consider hiring a second shooter because it will mean twice as much coverage and will ensure all of those spontaneous, candid moments aren’t missed. 

It’s also at this moment you can decide whether you want to do an engagement shoot (which is a great way to become better acquainted with your photographer and feel more comfortable in front of the camera), as well as if you want any other events documented. If you’re having a destination wedding, then you might want to do a portrait or “trash the dress” session the day after. Or perhaps you’re having a multicultural wedding with traditional elements in the days leading up.

If you’re at all concerned you might run over time, it’s usually better to select a longer coverage from the outset as the overtime hourly fee is often at a higher rate. It will also mean one less thing to get stressed about on your wedding day if things are falling behind schedule.

DETERMINE POST-WEDDING DELIVERABLE TIMELINE

When selecting your package, check with your wedding photographer how long it will take to get proofs back and how many images you should expect. Keep in mind that uploading and processing large raw files takes time, so don’t be surprised if they indicate that it will be more than a month. 

It’s also a good idea to check if the photographer will retain the rights to the images and where they may be posted, as well as what rights you have to print and use the images on social media (ie. do they need to be watermarked?). Establishing all of these things up front will save you from any surprises after the wedding and make sure both you and your photographer are on the same page.

SOAK UP YOUR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE 

If you’ve done your research and put in the time and effort to find a great wedding photographer, then your wedding day photographic experience should be an unforgettable one. It’s not every day that you get to be photographed by a professional looking so radiant and glamorous, so make the most of it!

Then all you have to do is wait in anticipation to see the finished results and a professional wedding album that will be an enduring and beautiful memory of your special day.

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

5 Things To Do If Your Wedding Has Been Postponed

YOUR NEXT STEPS

If you’re one of the thousands of couples around the globe who have had their wedding plans thrown into disarray by the current global pandemic, you’ve probably been left with more questions than answers. Should I postpone my wedding and until when? Will I get my deposits back? How do I even go about notifying everyone involved? 

The situation is overwhelming, to say the least, and it can be difficult to know where to start. In this article, we’ll share with you 5 things you can do right now to help in planning your wedding when a postponement is on the cards.

POSTPONE OR CANCEL?

Firstly, you need to decide whether you want to postpone your wedding or cancel it until the future feels more certain. Many couples are opting to postpone their wedding until late in 2020 or early 2021, while couples whose weddings are planned for the middle of the year are still waiting things out. 

Even with all of the unknowns, postponing may be a better option as you probably won’t lose your deposits. Couples who are deciding on a date to reschedule need to keep in mind the planning timeline required in the lead up to the event. If you postpone your wedding to the weekend after social distancing restrictions are lifted, there won’t be enough time for the site inspections, vendor meetings and logistical requirements needed to execute a wedding day.

CONSIDER A WEEKDAY WEDDING

With so many couples postponing their weddings, it’s going to become more and more difficult to book your preferred venue and vendors on a Friday or Saturday. So consider being more flexible in your wedding plans and perhaps opting for a mid-week celebration. Not only are you more likely to secure your dream venue and all the vendors you’ve carefully handpicked, but your wedding costs will probably also be reduced. This is a particularly good option for couples who may have lost deposits due to the COVID-19 pandemic and want to stay within their original budget.

DISCUSS RESCHEDULING WITH YOUR WEDDING PLANNER AND/OR VENDORS

The first person you should contact if you’re considering postponing your wedding is your wedding planner. They’ll be able to advise you on the best steps to take and will probably take charge of contacting all of your vendors to discuss rescheduling. A wedding planner will also be that calming voice of reason when it feels like your world is being thrown into disarray. You never know, they may already have a contingency plan in place! 

If you don’t have a wedding planner, get in touch with the wedding vendor you have the strongest relationship with or who you’re most committed to having onboard at a future date. Perhaps it’s the venue manager or the wedding photographer whose work you absolutely love. Chat with them about how they are planning the upheaval caused by the coronavirus and how their late 2020 or early 2021 is looking date-wise. Remember, everyone is in the same boat and wants to support one another to get through this crisis the best way possible.

CONTACT YOUR GUESTS  

Whether you’ve decided to postpone your wedding date or cancel, it’s essential you get in touch with your guests as early as possible. Some may be travelling from out of state and need to renegotiate time off work or change flights, while others may have other weddings scheduled on your new date. Try to be as understanding as possible if friends and family aren’t able to attend and support them in any way possible when it comes to cancelling accommodation bookings at your venue.

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

There are some things in life you can control and others you can’t. So rather than dwelling on the inconvenience, stress and potential financial loss of postponing your wedding, focus on what you can do right now to keep yourself and those around you safe. Take time to work on your own health and well being so that you’re in the best emotional state possible when your wedding day does roll around. And with all of the extra time you’ve suddenly got on your hands, use it to perfect some of those wedding day details that you’d put in the “too hard” or “don’t have time for” basket. 

Some day in the near future, you will be walking down the aisle to marry the love of your life. So keep things in perspective, stay calm and carry on – your big day will arrive!

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

10 Reasons Why Your Wedding Schedule May Fall Behind

YOUR WEDDING SCHEDULE

There are so many reasons why your wedding day schedule might fall behind it’s hard to know where to begin. But if you want to know the top 10 reasons why most brides end up stressed because their schedule isn’t going to plan, then this article has you covered.

We’ll discuss everything from redoing hair and makeup to planning an over-ambitious reception…and what you can do to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.

HAIR & MAKE-UP NOT FINISHING ON TIME

This is by far one of the top reasons why wedding day schedules run late. Perhaps the team didn’t bring enough people to finish things on time or there’s been a delay with one of the bridesmaids, so the bride’s hair and makeup haven’t even started.

To avoid this happening, I recommend planning to have your hair and makeup done an hour before the first look is scheduled, ensuring you have plenty of time for portraits and some buffer time in case hair and makeup is running late.

MESSY ‘GETTING READY’ ROOM

If you want gorgeous photos of your details and beautiful candid moments as you get ready, you’re not going to achieve this with a messy room. With a whole group of bridesmaids getting ready, plus mums and the bride herself, it’s easy for things to get out of hand. But this means an additional 5-10 minutes is spent trying to tidy things up.

No photographer wants to be bugging the bride, so we recommend you delegate an individual, such as your maid of honour, to be responsible for having your details laid out and ready to go and put her in charge of maintaining control over the room. This will not only save you time but ensure your photographer can capture beautiful shots throughout your getting ready session.

PEOPLE BEING WHERE THEY SHOULD BE ON TIME

Whether it’s the first look, bridal party portraits or family formals, having just one person not show up to where they’re meant to be can cause significant delays. Sometimes this is caused by unexpected traffic or situations that are out of your hand while in other cases it’s simply because they didn’t get the memo that they were meant to be at a designated spot.

It’s a good idea to tell people where they need to be 15 minutes before the portraits are actually scheduled to take place and designate an individual who will do the running around if someone’s not there on time.

A PROLONGED COCKTAIL HOUR PORTRAIT SESSION

One of the drawbacks of not having a first look is having to squeeze in couple portraits, family formals, and bridal party portraits after the ceremony and during your cocktail hour. While it’s not the end of the world, it’s important to keep in mind that you will spend the entire cocktail hour taking photos, rather than mingling with your guests. .

It’s also extra important that everyone is where they need to be and when because time is already limited. Not only should you have someone designated to ensure extended family members don’t run off to the cocktail hour when they should be taking photos but also have a family formal shot list ready to go to speed things up.

GUESTS ARRIVING LATE TO THE CEREMONY

One of the most common reasons why ceremonies run behind schedule is because guests turn up late. Perhaps they didn’t account for the traffic or the parking took a lot longer than expected.

To avoid this, put a ceremony starting time on your wedding invitations that is actually 15-20 minutes earlier than the real starting time. Avoid making it any earlier than this or you’ll run the risk of guests arriving when you’re still trying to capture first look portraits.

AN EXTENDED CEREMONY DURATION

While your priest or rabbi might have “estimated” the ceremony would take 45 minutes, perhaps they get carried away and it goes on for an additional 15-20 minutes.

In reality, there’s not a lot you can do (except perhaps requesting with your officiant that they stick to the schedule). But you should be ready to work efficiently with your photographer to expedite the portrait sessions immediately after the ceremony. That way, your reception won’t get delayed and you’ll be back on track before you know it.

DELAYED RECEPTION START TIME

Another common delay occurs at the start of the reception – guests aren’t sitting down at their tables, the wedding party hasn’t lined up for the grand entrance and the couple’s still busy taking portraits. This might not be a big issue, except if you have an action-packed reception schedule to get through and the music has to be off by 10 pm.

Again, there’s not a lot you can do about this (as you should be enjoying your time with your guests) and it’s really up to the wedding coordinator, photographer, and DJ/MC to work together and keep things on track.

AN OVER-AMBITIOUS RECEPTION

At some weddings, there are just too many things being squeezed into the space of three or four hours. You want to have a first dance, toasts and parental dances, as well as a cake cutting ceremony, bouquet toss and garter toss. If you’re having a cultural celebration, then there are probably some customary traditions or dance performances thrown in, not to mention wanting to greet all of your 200+ guests.

Before you know it, it’s time to turn the music off and your wedding guests haven’t even had time to hit the dance floor. To avoid this, get some advice from your wedding coordinator or even your photographer about how many activities you should include in your reception schedule for a realistic and relaxing celebration.

NOT PRIORITISING PHOTOGRAPHY

Of course everyone knows that wedding photos are extremely important . But not everyone puts a high priority on photography and follows the advice given to ensure photographers have enough time to capture gorgeous images on their special day.

This means following the itinerary set out by your coordinator and scheduling in plenty of photography time (plus a little buffer time in case things run late). It also means taking on board the suggestions of your photographer, based on their years of experience and their in-depth understanding of what works…and what doesn’t!

MICRO-MANAGING

So you spent all of that time, money and energy planning an unforgettable day, as well as hiring a professional team of vendors, only to spend the day worrying about things you can’t control. All while you have your family and friends there to celebrate with you and, most importantly, you’re marrying the person of your dreams.

In reality (and even if you do everything possible to prevent it), things may run behind schedule. But at the end of the day, you want to enjoy every moment as much as possible. Being relaxed and wearing your emotions on your sleeve is the key to having an unforgettable wedding day that’s documented through beautiful photo memories that will last an entire lifetime.

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

8 Ways To Save Money When Planning Your Dream Wedding

THE MONEY SAVING TIPS

Planning a wedding is both ridiculously exciting and incredibly daunting, particularly when you realise just how rapidly the costs are adding up. So how do you compromise between planning your dream wedding and doing it affordably within a budget that’s not going to see you in debt for years to come?

In this article, we’ll share with you some of our favourite money-saving wedding planning tips that won’t have an impact on the quality or wow-factor of your special day.

1. ESTABLISH YOUR BUDGET

First things first, it’s essential that you establish a well-defined budget that is both realistic and within the bounds of what you can afford. If you don’t have this in place, it’s really easy to go overboard and end up with a bill that’s way beyond what your finances deem reasonable.

So take a good, hard look at your savings and/or any contributions from family, then set a budget that will be your absolute maximum. Tally up the known expenses you may have, beginning with essentials, then determine if you have room to move in any areas or can get creative in reducing costs in others. Don’t forget to add in a buffer for any last-minute or unknown expenses that may arise!

2. HOLD YOUR CEREMONY AND RECEPTION AT THE SAME VENUE

If you decide to hold your wedding ceremony and reception at the same place, not only will you potentially save money by not having to rent two venues, but you’ll spend less time in traffic on your wedding day. You’ll also eliminate the need to hire vehicle(s) to get you from A to B and will have more time to spend on portraits after your ceremony.

Most hotels, resorts and speciality wedding venues are designed with a multitude of spaces, including getting ready suites, ceremonial courtyards, and reception ballrooms. They’ll also offer packages that include a variety of services, including catering, decorations, and an on-site wedding planner. It’s just a case of finding one that suits your preferred style and is within your budget.

3. AVOID GETTING MARRIED ON A SATURDAY

Wedding venue prices operate on a tiered system. Saturdays are usually the most expensive day to get married as couples want their guests to be able to let loose, without having to turn up to work in the morning. Fridays or Sundays are generally a bit cheaper and are a good option if you don’t have guests travelling from out of town. If you think your friends and family are open to a mid-week celebration, then you’ll probably save a ton by planning your wedding between Monday and Thursday when most venues will offer heavily discounted rates.

4. HIRE LOCAL WEDDING VENDORS

Travelling (whether it be by car or plane) costs money. So if you hire a wedding vendor from a different city, the cost of their commute is going to be tacked onto their existing rate. Hiring wedding vendors that are local to your venue will not only save you money but you’ll be supporting small businesses in your surrounding community. Pre-wedding meetings will also be much easier to arrange in-person, giving you the opportunity to connect with your wedding vendors on a much deeper level.

5. KEEP YOUR BRIDAL PARTY SMALL

If you’re going to be footing the bill for bridesmaids dresses, accessories, flowers, and hair and makeup services, then take this into account before you ask 10 of your besties to be in your bridal party. The bigger the bridal party, the more costs that are involved, unless everyone’s picking up their own tab. A smaller bridal party also makes things logistically easier when it comes to getting ready in a confined space and you’ll still have all of your closest friends there to celebrate your special day and party with at the reception.

6. GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR DECORATIONS

DIY handicrafts and decorations are all the rage, adding a whimsical, boho-touch to your wedding spaces. Indulge your creativity by hunting for crockery and cutlery at op shops or designing centrepieces using old jars and bottles that are filled with a few locally grown, seasonal flowers. Why not add photos of you and your spouse in second-hand frames to give each table a personal touch or create a bridal arch using recycled wood and fabrics. The options are truly endless and you’ll end up with highly unique wedding spaces that are far from “standard”.

7. BE A SAVVY WEDDING DRESS BUYER

Yes, it’s your wedding day and you should be wearing your dream dress. But does that come at the expense of budgeting down (heavily) in other areas? You can save a lot of money by looking outside of the box when it comes to finding your dream dress or if you don’t have your heart set on keeping it for life.

Consider renting a dress for the day (you’ll still have the photos to prove how stunning you looked) or check out some of the online outlets where second-hand dresses are bought and sold. Sign up to the newsletters of wedding dress boutiques so that you’re notified when they have sales or even look at non-bridal stores to find beautiful dresses without the inevitable “wedding” price tag.

8. GO MINIMALIST WITH YOUR INVITES AND THANK YOU CARDS

Nobody is going to judge you if you don’t send out a lavish wedding invite or an expensive thank you card in the post. With a little creativity or a few photos, you can create personalised cards for a fraction of the cost.

In the digital age we’re living in, why not forego the invites altogether and set up a wedding website where guests can find all the information they need and RSVP. You’ll not only save money but you’ll also reduce paper waste, giving your wedding an environmental tick of approval!

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

10 Questions To Ask A Wedding Planner Before You Hire One

THE WEDDING PLANNER

A wedding planner is probably one of the first (and arguably one of the most important) vendors you will hire for your special day and can play an integral role in making it an unforgettable and stress-free day. But with such a personal event, it’s important you find somebody who understands your vision and has the experience to execute a flawless event.

So to help you find the wedding planner that’s right for you, we’ve compiled 10 questions to ask before signing on the dotted line and hiring a professional to plan your wedding.

1. ARE YOU AVAILABLE ON MY WEDDING DATE?

First and foremost, it’s important to establish whether your preferred wedding planner is available on your date. If they’re not, you can either eliminate them as a possibility (and move onto someone else) or consider changing your wedding date if they’re someone you really want to work with. If you haven’t yet locked in a wedding date, ask the planner for a few possible options to consider when making your final decision.

2. ARE YOU WITHIN OUR BUDGET?

If you’ve arrived at the point of meeting with a wedding planner, chances are you have an idea of their fees (and have determined that it fits within your budget). But perhaps you have certain things in mind that may bring additional charges. It’s important to put them on the table early on before you get out of your depth.

Alternatively, you could just ask what’s not included in their package and use that information to compare the wedding planner with others you’re considering. If you can’t afford to hire the wedding planner for their full-time services, you may be able to negotiate a part-time planning arrangement or some level of coordinating in the lead up to your special day.

3. HOW MANY WEDDINGS HAVE YOU PLANNED?

Practice makes perfect, which is also true in the wedding planning world. So don’t be shy about asking how many weddings they’ve planned and whether that was as a lead planner or as an assistant. At the same time, check how many weddings they take on each year. This is one situation where more is not better as you want your wedding planner to have as much time as possible to plan your wedding. If a planner is taking on weddings each and every weekend, chances are they’re cutting corners somewhere.

4. HAVE YOU WORKED AT OUR VENUE BEFORE?

If a wedding planner has previously worked at your venue, they already know the ins and outs of how things work. While this doesn’t have to be a “make or break” question, it’s something to take into consideration. Having experience at a venue means they may have insider knowledge or suggestions that are particular to the space and can help the wedding day run more smoothly. If they have worked at your venue before, be sure to ask for photographic proof so you can see how it all turned out.

5. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS TO BRING OUR VISION TO LIFE?

Even if you’ve nutted out every detail you want beforehand, it’s worth asking the wedding vendor about their ideas. After you’ve explained what you’re envisioning for your special day, ask upfront if they have any suggestions that immediately pop to mind. It will give you a good idea as to whether they’re listening to what you want and if they’re a good fit for your wedding.

6. HOW INVOLVED WILL WE BE IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?

For couples who want to be really hands-on, you want to find a wedding planner who will work with you, rather than letting you know what’s happening right before the big day. So ask exactly what the process of planning your wedding will look like – will they email you designs and talk you through them over the phone or perhaps you’ll meet in person on a regular basis to go through swatches and samples. Some couples are happy for the wedding planner to do their thing (and just fill them in towards the end). There’s no right or wrong way but finding a professional who allows you to be involved as much or as little as you like in planning your wedding is essential.

7. DO YOU MANAGE LOGISTICS WITH OTHER VENDORS?

When you hire a wedding planner, they’ll have a book of trusted vendors within their network that they’ve established a good working relationship with. But it’s worth doing your own research into their preferred vendors to make sure your wedding day is exactly as you envision. If you’re not having individual meetings with the vendors, you should also make sure the wedding planner is going to advocate on your behalf and ensure your visions are conveyed accurately. At the same time, check whether the wedding vendor handles vendor payments – will they cut the checks from a lump sum paid by you or will you pay the vendors directly?

8. HOW MANY PEOPLE FROM YOU TEAM WILL BE AT THE WEDDING?

Wedding planners don’t always work alone but may have a team of assistants, coordinators and event stylists that will bring your special day to life. The size of the team will depend on the logistics of your wedding, not to mention your budget.

It’s also worth checking what the backup plan would be if the lead wedding planner was sick or an emergency arose and who would step into their shoes.

9. WILL YOU HANDLE RENTALS?

Some wedding planners will coordinate the delivery, arrival, and setup of rentals while others work solely to consult with you on ideas and book the relevant vendors. Figure out what exactly is included in your package and whether you need to pay additional fees for these services or find a separate coordinator to work with you on the day.

10. DO YOU CARRY PERSONAL LIABILITY AND PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE?

It’s important that your wedding planner is covered if something goes wrong and that you understand what scenarios you will be covered for based on the decisions they make.

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

What Type of Wedding Setting Do You Want Your Venue To Be?

THE PERFECT SETTING

Can’t decide which wedding setting is right for you? In this article, we’ll share our insights on each type to help you determine the one that best reflects your wedding day vision.

A large part of your wedding day vision is determined by the setting you choose, whether it’s an opulent ballroom, a private estate or a church that’s of family significance. While for some couples the choice is easy, for others, it can be a toss up between two..or even a few! So to help you decide, we’ve offered our take on some of the most popular wedding types and who they’re most suited to.

BALLROOM WEDDING

With stunning chandeliers, atmospheric up-lighting and soft drapes, ballroom setting weddings are the epitome of glamour. They’re ideal for large, multicultural wedding celebrations when you have a few hundred guests, as well as for couples who want to be able to decorate the space in their own, distinct style.

Ballrooms are often associated with a hotel or resort, meaning you can also book a suite to capture your getting ready images and don’t have the stress of commuting between different venues. They’re also within a climate-controlled environment, so come rain or come shine, your wedding celebrations will go off without a hitch!

BEACH WEDDING

With the sea breeze billowing in your veil and your feet sunk into the sand, beach weddings are what dreams are made of. Palm-backed sands and breathtaking sunsets make for incredible photos, with a more relaxed ambiance than some other wedding settings.

Beach weddings are ideal for intimate celebrations with just your closest family and friends or laid-back ceremonies where shoes are definitely optional! But they require an optimistic mindset and flexible planning approach, with the weather having a big impact on what is and isn’t possible.

CHURCH WEDDING

If you or your fiance is of the Christian faith, then a church wedding setting is the most logical place to exchange vows and say “I do”. Not only are you marrying in front of your family and friends but also in the House of God that’s of significance to you.

A church wedding allows you to incorporate the rites and rituals that are integral to your faith while being led by an officiant who may have known you for years. The ornate details, stained-glass windows and religious iconography of a church only add to its evocative setting, all of which will be incorporated into your ceremony photos.

But remember, a church setting only takes care of your ceremony, with the opportunity to go for a completely different vibe at your reception venue.

PRIVATE CLUB WEDDING

A private club wedding is ideal if you want everything to happen in one place, with many doing what’s known as a “flip” to transform the ceremony venue into a reception space. To a certain degree, private clubs are like a blank canvas for couples to add their unique touch, with decor that reflects your style and wedding day vision.

Depending on their size, private club weddings tend to be more intimate events while the controlled environment means they’ll take place as planned, no matter what the weather is like outside. Many private clubs are also set within stunning gardens or boast rooftops that provide plenty of locations for couple portraits, bridal party portraits, and family formals.

PRIVATE ESTATE WEDDING

If you want the peace of mind that you’ll have exclusive use of your venue (and won’t run into another bridal couple), then a private estate wedding might be the way to go. They often encompass lavish mansions or private villas that ooze luxury, with plenty of opportunities to customise your day by selecting the decorations and catering you prefer.

Most private estates boast magnificent landscaped gardens that are ideal for wedding day portraits, with few restrictions on where you can go, as well as gorgeous interior spaces to work with. Often they can easily be transformed to cater for either intimate wedding parties or large-scale events, all while retaining their unique atmosphere.

RESORT WEDDING

If you want logistical ease, with everything in the one place, then a resort wedding ticks all the right boxes. You won’t lose time driving from one location to the next, which means you can maximise your portrait time in the resort gardens and courtyards.

A resort wedding setting can easily be selected for its aesthetic, whether you want over-the-top luxury or a casual, beach side feel. You can easily add your touch to the ceremony and reception venues or let the resort’s in-house team of wedding planners work their magic if you prefer to be completely hands-off.

VINEYARD WEDDING

If “whimsical” or “rustic” are words that come to mind when you envision your dream wedding, then a vineyard setting might be your calling. They’re usually set within sprawling vineyards that surround charming towns where gastronomy and boutique experiences reign supreme.

A vineyard wedding setting is an ideal excuse for a mini-destination wedding, with your family and friends joining you for a night or two of relaxation in the wine country of your choice. You can take advantage of the alluring selection of both indoor and outdoor spaces for photography, with magical sunset lighting to work with.

And did we mention that fine wines and gourmet cuisine come standard? It’s all part of the wine country lifestyle.

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

8 Things To Not Overlook When Planning Your Dream Wedding

THE LITTLE THINGS

Planning your wedding can at times seem like a mammoth task, with a never-ending list of things to organise and tick off your “to do” list. But once you’ve got the building blocks in place (a venue booked, a style sorted and a wedding dress in the works), you can start thinking about all those little details that often get overlooked.

So to ensure you’re on top of everything, we’ve put together a list of 8 things to not overlook when planning your wedding.

1. SCHEDULING

One of the biggest mistakes couples often make is thinking the scheduling will figure itself out and their special day will run smoothly with little planning on their part. But the truth is, a wedding day needs to be planned down to the very last detail, including enough time for a first look session, portraits, getting to and from venues and mingling with guests during the cocktail hour.

It’s essential that you create a detailed schedule and that this is distributed to your vendors so they know where to be and when. Inevitably, things run late, so always add in some buffer time just in case.

2. PERSONALISED TOUCHES

Maybe you’ve been inspired by friends’ weddings or those of complete strangers on Instagram. But at the end of the day, your wedding is all about you, so you should make it as personalised as possible.

Perhaps you want to create a signature cocktail infused with some of your favourite flavors or maybe you designate a space where guests can recount your relationship through photos and special mementos.

Don’t overlook the importance of creating touches that are distinct to you and your future spouse, and that will set your wedding apart from the rest.

3. ‘GETTING READY’ OUTFITS

If you’ve booked a photographer to capture all your getting ready action, consider buying gorgeous dressing robes for you and your bridesmaids to wear. It’s these candid, sentimental moments that you’ll look back on fondly…and they’ll look so much better if you’re wearing cute dressing robes than if you’re in mismatched sweatpants and tees.

Dressing gowns are also ideal because they can easily be slipped off when it’s time to get changed, without messing up your hair or makeup.

4. PROXIMITY BETWEEN LOCATIONS

It’s easy to overlook the fact that the distance between the bride and groom’s getting ready locations can have a big impact on your vendors. If you’re getting ready at a hotel and your fiance in the family home, your florist is going to have to travel further to deliver the flowers and your photographer is going to have to sacrifice some of your getting ready moments to ensure they can capture your partners.

If possible, consider getting ready at the same location, albeit in different rooms and far enough away that you won’t accidentally catch a glimpse before your first look session or ceremony.

5. DIRECTIONS AND SIGNAGE

At small wedding venues, it might be obvious to guests where the ceremony is being held and where they can grab drinks during cocktail hour. But if you’re getting married at a sprawling vineyard or ranch, then a little signage can go a long way to ensure your guests don’t get lost.

Make sure you provide directions for how to access your wedding venue and create some playful signs indicating where the toilets are or how to reach the ceremony site from the parking lot.

6. INVEST IN ADEQUATE LIGHTING

While you might be looking for that low-lit romance, if you skimp too much on the lighting, your guests will struggle to see and your photographer will have to use every trick in the book to capture beautiful shots. The right lighting can help to create a sense of intimacy and highlight certain features while transforming a space into something really special.

Consider investing in up-lighting if you’re planning a ballroom reception or hang string lights around outdoor spaces for that extra sparkle. Getting married in a dimly-lit church? Check if any additional lighting is permitted to give the ambience a little boost.

7. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE KIDS

WIf you’re inviting kids to your wedding, have a game plan in place to ensure they don’t disrupt the ceremony proceedings and that they’re entertained during the reception. Something as simple as having colouring-in books will keep them busy as you exchange vows while a few toys and board games in a designated area of the reception space will guarantee you’re in the good books with parents.

8. POWDER ROOM BASKETS

If you’re going all out on decorations, then a powder room basket is a simple addition that can make a big difference to your guests. Consider stocking it with essentials like deodorant, mints and sanitary supplies (for women), as well as extra bobby pins and insect repellent or sunscreen if you’re getting married outdoors. It shows that you’re thinking about the well being of your guests and have remembered all those little extras that they might have forgotten.

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Have Your Wedding

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Before you can even start looking at venues or booking vendors, you need to set a date for your wedding. For some couples, it’s a no-brainer, with their wedding planned to coincide with a significant date, such as the anniversary of their meeting. But for others, it can be a difficult decision, with numerous pros and cons associated with each season.

So to help you decide when to wed, we thought we’d share our take on the best times of the year to have your wedding, season by season.

SUMMER WEDDINGS

With long days and bright, blue skies, you might think that summer is the best time of the year to have your wedding. But while there are some distinct pros (long days and warm evenings to name just two), the heat and bright light can also be a drawback.

If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, it’s important to avoid the middle of the day when the heat can be intense. Aside from making both you and your guests sweaty, if it’s a really hot day, sunstroke is even an issue. Also, you should keep in mind that the humid conditions can wreak havoc with your makeup and leave your hair in a far from perfect condition.

That being said, a summer wedding gives you a few extra hours of light that will allow you to be much more flexible with your schedule (and capture a lot more portraits). You can also wear that strappy dress you’ve been dreaming about, without worrying about being cold!

If you’ve got your heart set on a summer wedding, you’ll probably want to plan it at a venue that offers air conditioning so your guests have some relief from the heat. But you’ll need to get in early! Early summer tends to be one of the most popular times to get married, before the heat of the season sets in. So if you want to say “I do” in June, then get in as soon as possible!

AUTUMN WEDDINGS

With the sun starting to relent a little but the days still long and warm, fall is an incredibly popular time of the year to get married. The changing color of the leaves can be a beautiful backdrop if you’re having your ceremony outdoors while you don’t have to worry about sweating or freezing. The almost perfect weather conditions mean you can focus more on the style and aesthetic you want to create, rather than what’s practically possible.

September and October are the two most popular months for getting married in the United States, with around 38% of couples opting to wed during the fall. What that means is you have to plan well ahead of time if you want your preferred venue and vendors who’ll get snapped up months (and even years) in advance.

If you’re on the East Coast, September might be a month to avoid if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, with hurricanes occasionally sweeping through. There are also no guarantees that the rain will hold out during the fall months, so having a back-up plan for outdoor events is always a good idea.

WINTER WEDDINGS

If you’re planning a last-minute wedding but have your heart set on a particular venue, then a winter wedding could be for you. The increased availability means you’ll have a much better chance of getting the venue you want on the date you prefer, perhaps even with an off-season rate thrown in.

If you want a festive-themed wedding, then winter is an obvious choice, with decor that includes Christmas trees, baubles and mistletoe. However, the festive season means that many of your guests might already have travel plans, so you should get your invites out as early as possible.

Winter weddings are ideal for couples who want a cozy atmosphere but you should keep in mind that the chilly (or should we say freezing) temperatures aren’t for everyone. Due to the short days, you’ll need to be strategic in the way you schedule your day to ensure there’s enough time for portraits, with a first look being a good idea to make the best use of the available light.

Also, keep in mind that the availability of flowers can be limited during the winter months, so you may need to be open-minded and flexible in your choices. If you’re somewhere that’s prone to heavy dumps of snowfall, take this into consideration when planning how your guests are going to get to your wedding in case the weather’s less than favorable.

SPRING WEDDINGS

Spring is another popular time of year to get married, with fresh and crisp days that are gradually lengthening as the winter chill starts to thaw. Garden wedding venues tend to be at their most beautiful, with flowers in full bloom and greenery lush following the winter rains.

But March and April can be decidedly wet and aren’t the best months for planning an outdoor wedding. May, however, tends to be much drier and, combined with its warm weather, is one of the most popular months for couples to get married in the United States.

May kicks off the “peak wedding season,” which extends through until October, with both wedding venues and vendors in demand. So while you’ll have longer days to create a more flexible schedule, you’ll have to be ultra-organized and get in super early if you want your first pick of venues and vendors.

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

A few other things to consider when planning your wedding date is to avoid major holidays or religious festivals that are of significance to your guests. You want your wedding to be a day that’s remembered in its own right, not because it coincided with Mother’s Day or a major sporting event.

It’s also worth keeping in mind the additional costs associated with a holiday wedding. Whether it’s the exorbitant price of roses around Valentines’ Day or the hiked up cost of flights and car rentals that your guests might have to meet.

As you can see, the best time of year to have your wedding is a highly personal choice and depends on the aesthetic and style of wedding you envision. If you love the feeling of sun-drenched days, then a summer wedding might work for you while winter is a definite winner for those who love that cozy feeling of being rugged up with your loved one beside a fireplace. For some brides and grooms, they’ll be more than happy to do the hard work and foreword-planning that’s required for a spring or autumn wedding to take advantage of the best weather conditions.

An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY