Category: Tips for brides   |   View all recent posts

February 6, 2017 · Tips for brides

♥ Winter Wedding Tips ♥
Today I'm sharing my top winter wedding tips that will not only help you enjoy your day but ensure that you get stunning winter wedding photos.

I absolutely adore winter weddings! We have some truly spectacular winter wonderland venues for those wanting a cozy & romantic winter wedding.
We can lose the good photo light as early as 2pm in some winter months so make sure you plan your portrait time to take advantage of the best light. I often times do portraits of the couple before their ceremony so they can enjoy time with their loved ones immediately after the ceremony and in that case I always recommend scheduling it such that you are finished your portraits 30 minutes before your ceremony so that you can warm up and refresh. If you are planning an outdoor winter ceremony scheduling that to take place in the warmer part of the day as opposed to dusk or sunset will make it a more comfortable experience for you and your guests and result in better quality photos.
Often times couples think of white for a winter wedding but white tends to blend in and get lost if you are lucky to have a snowy scene on your wedding day so having pops of colour will create vibrant winter wedding photos. An easy way to include colour is to start with your flowers. White flowers once frosted tend to turn brown so there's an added advantage to choosing colourful blooms and rich greens for your wedding flowers.

Bouquet and flower crown below by Flowers by Janie
A pop of colour like this bride's red cape really helped to make her stand out on her stunning winter wonderland wedding day.
Beautiful colourful blooms look stunning against the snow and do better in cold temps.
Bouquet and flower crown below by Flowers by Janie
Orange & cedar bouquet created by Willow Flower Co.
This bride's blush gown looked stunning with the falling snow.
The first things to get cold during winter wedding photos are your hands and feet. Come prepared with stylish winter boots to keep you comfortable. Most dresses are long enough that you won't even see your boots. Once your feet get cold it's really hard to recover so you risk cutting your photo session short. For extra warmth stuff your boots with toe warmers and brides can easily hide thermal leggings under most dresses.
If you are asking your wedding party to step outside for winter wedding photos then ask them to bring cute winter boots and thermal leggings with them to keep them comfortable or gift them boots that will keep them warm and look great in photos.
Hands quickly get cold at a winter wedding so make sure you bring along cute mittens that you can stuff with hand warmers to keep you comfortable. This is especially important if you are having an outdoor winter ceremony.
I love the idea of including warm and stylish accessories into your wedding outfit like this hand knit cozy cowl by Yokoo
This wedding party was kept warm with matching mittens stuffed with hand warmers and sweaters for their outdoor ceremony in -30.
If you are creating welcome bags for your guests then include hand & toe warmers and a cozy scarf for guests to bring with them to your outdoor wedding ceremony.
If you are having an outdoor winter wedding ceremony make sure you express the importance of bundling up for your guests way in advance. Tell them to leave their heels and shoes for dancing and show up at the ceremony with winter boots and coats to stay comfortable during the 20-30 minutes of your ceremony. Assign the person who is handing out programs to give out hand warmers for guests or place mittens stuffed with hand warmers on guest's seats to welcome them as they arrive.
For this outdoor winter wedding ceremony the couple placed mittens stuffed with hand warmers on every seat alongside their wedding program. The backs of the seats were decorated with scarfs that guests were encouraged to cuddle up with.
Bring a warm non-shedding blanket along with you for your winter wedding photo session so you can easily wrap yourself up in between photos for a quick warm up. Often times a winter coat is too cumbersome and frustrating to navigate with a veil and wedding dress so a blanket can help bring you warmth faster. Bonus points if it's lovely enough to be included in photos.
It's really important to bring along stylish winter coat/cape options if it's simply too cold to take your coat off during photos.
Winter boots, thermal long underwear, mittens with hand warmers and a stylish winter cape will make photos outside much more comfortable.
If you are lucky enough to have a snowfall on your wedding day then first dance photos outside can be magical. Sparklers don't last very long so it's really important that you are in place for your first dance and ready to cue the music when guests start lighting the sparklers so you can capture them before they fade out.

WINTER LIGHT Schedule your winter wedding portraits to capture the best photo light which can fade in some winter months as early as 2pm.
POPS OF COLOUR! Include pops of colour to help you stand out from the snow. Colourful bouquets, mittens, scarfs and blankets can all create vibrant winter wedding photos
WINTER BOOTS Bring stylish & warm winter boots for photos outside for yourselves and your wedding party to keep everyone comfortable.
MITTENS Hands quickly get cold at a winter wedding so make sure you bring along cute mittens that you can stuff with hand warmers to keep you and your wedding party comfortable.
WINTER WELCOME BAG Welcome your guests to your winter wedding with hand & toe warmers, mittens and scarves to keep them comfortable during your outdoor winter ceremony
BLANKET FOR PHOTOS Bring a stylish, warm & non-shedding blanket along for photos to keep you warm in-between shots
STYLISH WINTER COATS It's really important to bring along stylish winter coat/cape options if it's simply too cold to take your coat off during photos.

January 14, 2017 · Tips for brides

♥ Mountain Wedding welcome bags ♥
ith a destination mountain wedding one of the unique ways that you can thank your guests for travelling to celebrate with you is to have welcome bags filled with local goodies delivered to their rooms. It's a great way to introduce your guests to your destination and let them know that you appreciate their efforts to be with you on your wedding day. I love the idea of including made in the mountains treats for a wedding in the Canadian Rockies. I like including a postcard for guests to send home. You can also include a note card with a note of thanks and a schedule for the wedding week-end activities. We have a lot of great options for locally made treats made right here in the mountains that guests can enjoy in their hotel room and then use the bag to bring home souvenirs from their trip.

I thought I'd share my favourite local Canadian Rockies goodies to include in your welcome bags:

  • My favourite custom welcome tote bags can be ordered from Wedding Chicks.
  • Protect guests from our dry Alberta climate with made in Canmore Rocky Mountain Soap Co. chapstick and travel sized soaps
  • Made in Canmore Le Chocolatier has lots of delicious and beautiful chocolate bars and you can have custom bars made
  • Made in Banff mini bottles of Vodka, Rye or Gin can be found at Park Distillery just be sure to check with your hotel about bringing in outside liquer guests may not be allowed to open them on the premises.
  • Exclusive tea blends from Banff Tea Co. include "Sweet Dreams of Banff" "Hair of the Dog" & Travellers tea perfect for welcoming guests to their destination.
  • Known for their beer Grizzly Paw also offers made in Canmore sodas and custom bottle options as well.
Banff Tea Co. has some amazing exclusive tea blends made in house that are sure to make your guests feel cozy.They have great options for packaging small amounts of tea perfect for a welcome bag. With teas like "Sweet Dreams of Banff" "Traveler's Tea" "Hair of the dog" "Cascade Shooting Star" you're sure to find something that will welcome your guests to the mountains.
Le Chocolatier makes Belgian chocolate in Canmore that tastes incredible. A perfect treat for your welcome wedding bags are the chocolate moose lollipops or custom label chocolate bars. I love their chocolate bars with mountain themed packaging and ingredients.
This moose tote bag comes in sets of 20 for $125. The tote bags are made in California and ship quickly BUT they ship USPS which can take 3-4 weeks to reach Canada so plan accordingly and order well in advance of when you need them or ask to pay for expedited shipping to ensure you'll have them for the week of your wedding.

December 13, 2016 · Tips for brides

♥ Wedding to-go snack kits ♥
ou've likely heard about Whippt's amazing wedding cakes & sweets tables. Whippt is now offering catering and they have very cleverly designed wedding day to-go kits for you to enjoy during your photo shoot session. I find that busy wedding day mornings and nervous tummies often mean that brides and grooms don't eat and start to bonk during portraits. I always recommend bringing along snacks to eat while driving around for photos but now Whippt makes it easy.

September 16, 2016 · Tips for brides

♥ 7 questions to ask wedding photographers ♥

  • Do you have backup camera equipment?
    Every photographer should have backup equipment that they bring with them on your wedding day in case their camera breaks down and is rendered useless. A wedding day can't be repeated so if a piece of vital camera equipment breaks your photographer should have backup equipment so they can keep shooting and not miss a shot.

  • Are you licensed and insured?
    Photographers who photograph in the Canadian Rockies are required to have a business license for every area that they photograph in. It's required to have a Parks Canada business license, a Banff-Lake Louise license, a Canmore license and a Yoho National Park license if you are photographing in those areas. Your photographer should have a valid business license for the area that you are getting married and carry a copy of that license in their camera bag if they are asked to present it on your wedding day to avoid delays. A professional photographer should also carry business insurance to cover their equipment and their car if an accident happens on your wedding day you want to make sure there is coverage. Most wedding venues also require that photographers working at that venue carry valid business insurance in order to photograph in their space.

  • Are the photographs on your website from real weddings or inspiration shoots?
    If you see photographs that you love on your photographer's website make sure you ask them to make the distinction between photographs that they took on real wedding days and photographs that were taken during a styled inspiration shoot. On wedding days photographers have to create compelling images despite harsh light, bad weather, tight schedules and other difficult situations so it's important that they show you work from real weddings. It's easy to create beautiful images from a styled shoot when the photographer has complete control over the time of day, weather and creative freedom with limitless time. You need to know if your photographer can create those same types of photographs on a real wedding day when they don't have 2 hours to photograph your cake.

  • Do you work with an assistant?
    I work with my husband full time who is there to assist me by carrying my equipment, driving the car, carrying the bride's shoes and bouquet when needed and helping me with lighting to create the photographs that I create. Having an assistant ensures that my photo sessions run as quickly and smoothly as possible.

  • How long after our wedding day will we receive our final edited images?
    A lot of photographers shoot several weddings every week-end and then start editing photographs at the end of their busy season. I've heard from several couples that they had to wait 3-6 months to see any photographs from their wedding day. It's important to know up front what you can expect. While editing varies with every wedding your photographer should be able to give you a ballpark figure so you know what to expect after your wedding day.

  • What are your travel fees and what is included?
    It's important to know up front what some potential extra charges you might be expected to pay to get your photographer to your destination wedding. Ask in advance what your photographer's travel fees are. Some photographers will ask for a price per km travelled and you may be required to pay for their hotel accommodation for 1 or 2 nights. Factor that in when comparing fees.

  • How do you handle meals on a wedding day?
    It's important to feed your photographer on your wedding day so they can do the best work possible for you. Ask in advance what the best arrangement is for them at your specific venue so you can have that organized in advance and you aren't surprised on your wedding day.

July 19, 2016 · Tips for brides

♥ Wedding Day Emergency Kit ♥
ost mountain wedding venues don't have quick & easy access to a convenience store so it's really important to pack a little emergency kit to have with you as you get ready on your wedding day in case any fashion emergencies arrive. In my years of photographing weddings I've compiled a list of the most commonly needed items on wedding days.

Waiting 20 minutes for a hotel front desk to find and deliver a pair of scissors can cause a big delay so be sure to have a pair of scissors with you, it is rare that I am in a room photographing a bride getting ready where a pair of scissors isn't necessary. I would say scissors are the most commonly ask for item during wedding preparations.
If you have a wedding dress with little loops and tiny buttons a crochet hook can help in doing your dress up easily.
I have witnessed the zipper breaking on a wedding dress moments before the wedding ceremony several times. Having a needle and thread and a pair of scissors so the bride can be sewed into her wedding gown is essential should the zipper fail.
Here's my list of items to pack in your wedding day emergency kit:

  • Scissors Small and sharp! An absolute must have in the bridal suite.
  • Needle & Thread Hopefully you won't have to use it but if you need it you need it.
  • Extra Earring Backs I've been to a lot of weddings where an earring back gets dropped on the floor rendering the earrings useless so bring extra backs.
  • Sunscreen You don't want a burn that lives on in your wedding photographs forever. Besides arriving to your honeymoon with a sunburn is never fun.
  • Lint Roller for the boy's suits
  • Static Cling for bridesmaids' dresses
  • Pepto Bismol & Advil and anything else to settle tummies and headaches
  • Feminine Hygiene supplies
  • Band Aids for blistered feet
  • Krazy Glue or whatever else might work should your heel go astray.
  • Bug Spray
  • Stain Remover Somehow a groom's collar always ends up with lipstick on it from hugs. Better yet bring 2 shirts for the groom!
  • Crochet Hook if you have a dress with a million tiny buttons that do up with tiny loops
  • Safety Pins
  • Bobby Pins
  • Lipstick Extra tube of your wedding day lipstick for touch ups
  • Mints because gum always looks terrible in photos
  • Handkerchief for happy tears, looks much better than a wadded up ball of kleenex
  • Chapstick & Lotion It's very dry in Alberta so be sure to bring along your favourite chapstick and lotion

    What would you add to the above list?

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