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wedding advice

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Make your wedding personal, show your style!

 

A perfect wedding isn’t only beautiful, it’s personal, it reflects you as a person and your style. It’s got carefully selected details that are meaningful to you and your fiancé.  Here are some very simple ways to add your own subtle, unique touches to your ceremony and reception.

•Write your own wedding vows. It doesn’t have to read like perfect poetry; the important thing is that it comes from your own heart. Print it out on an index card or save it on your cell phone and keep it handy during the ceremony.

•Compile a CD or playlist with songs that symbolize your relationship or how it evolved. Play this during your reception or even burn a copy and distribute as souvenirs. Insert a small piece of paper explaining why you chose those songs.

•Instead of tossing your bouquet, present it to your mother (or a dear friend or mentor) during your reception. You can also have an additional bouquet made for your groom to present his mother at the same time.

•Guests often have free time on their hands during their reception. In the center of the table, place several pens and small pieces of paper in a pretty basket. Ask them to write their wishes, prayers, or advice for you and your fiancé. Compile it in a scrapbook.

•Most wedding reception programs revolve only around the couple: friends give speeches. Do something for the guests. Make a video of you and your fiancé talking about the people who’ve taught you what true love means. Mention friends who’ve demonstrated real loyalty, real love and friendship, and family members who made great sacrifices for you.Include their photos in your video or slideshow. This is your chance to tell them how much you appreciate them  and say thank you to all of them.

•If you have a close friend or family member who passed away, make him or her part of the occasion by inserting a small photo in your bouquet, or lighting a tribute candle at the church ceremony.

•If you have ethnic roots, incorporate a marriage ritual from your culture into your ceremony or perform it during your reception.  

•Wear a heirloom. For example, you can use your grandmother’s veil, or wear a locket that belongs to your mother. This is an excellent way of creating a sense of continuity between generations, celebrating your own family even as you go on to begin your own.

•Prepare an audio-video or slideshow presentation that will be played during the last dance of the bride with the father. This can be just a simple montage of childhood photos. This is a guaranteed tear maker!

•If you have kids, help them feel like they’re part of the new family by asking them to stand next to you as you say your vows.

•Add little elements that say something about your relationship as a couple. For example, if you’re giving away picture frames, insert a poem that you wrote or a copy of your wedding vows. If you met at a beach (and would rather not have a beach-themed wedding) incorporate shells into your table centerpiece.

•Show your engagement photos at the reception in a frame or in reception book, where people can write their wishes and thoughts. Make sure that you also show a beautiful and large print of your bridal session if you have one.

The important thing is to just make it personal, to celebrate your uniqueness as a couple and have fun with your wedding style and decor.

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The 20 most common wedding photography mistakes to avoid!

 

Read about the common mistakes below that you can easily avoid if you just take some time to properly plan your wedding and wedding photography.

1. Not having a Wedding Day Schedule

Talk to your wedding photographer before finalizing the schedule for your wedding day. There is a lot to consider in terms of photographing, time needed and natural light. Certain times of day are more photogenic than others and your photographer needs to have some time set aside for the portraits.

2. Letting Relatives Get in the Way

We have a name in the industry for a guest who shows up with pro photo equipment and takes “unofficial wedding pictures”, we call him Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob may think he's doing you a favor by taking more shots for the couple, but usually he just gets in the way and makes us miss our shots. Tell Bob to leave the camera at home and just enjoy his time at the wedding without working.

3. Not Sticking to the Schedule

Pay attention and respect the wedding day schedule you and your photographer discuss prior to your wedding. Being 30 minutes late can make or break your images. Don't just assume it only takes 5 minutes!

4. Not Explaining How You Like to Look in Photos

Beauty is really very subjective", explain if you have a physical feature that you are self-conscious about and if you have a specific angle that you like the best. Let us also now what kind of photos and style you enjoy the most, like candid, formal, artistic, in color or black & white?

5. Not Getting a Second Shooter

Sometimes brides want to save a little money or feel that it is too obtrusive for more than one photographer to be present on the wedding day. But consider this: The second photographer offers another unique point of view throughout the entire day that you would not have had photographed and one photographer can’t be at two places at the same time, and they also serve as a photo assistant.

6. Concentrating Too Much on the Photos

A good photojournalist can capture the story of their day and capture some artistic portraits without being visible all the time", try to just enjoy your wedding day.

7. Not Getting Help Organizing Your Guests

Designate a person that you trust and who knows your family and friends to be in charge of organizing people for portraits. That person can gather the people needed, direct them on what shots they will be in, and then release them when they are done. It keeps things moving quickly, smoothly, and enjoyably.

8. Trying to Make Things "Perfect"

Just have fun, whether it's getting a little cake on your face or some little detail that didn't turn out exactly like you had hoped, go with it, have fun, and keep smiling. The photos will be so different if the bride is scowling at her new hubby, don't you think?

9. Trying to Pose to Hard

A good wedding photographer gives direction for a reason: to get the best moments and shots from the day. The best thing to do is relax and act naturally. Be in the moment. Be hopelessly in love with each other, the pictures will turn out perfect!

10. Skipping the Bridal Session

The bridal session is the time for the bride to showcase her beauty and gown. Is also a perfect time to get to know your photographer and to find out how you look the very best, this is also the time when you can create something artistic and stunning.

11. Waiting Too Long to Book Your Photographer

If you find a great photographer, book them! Great photographers book a year or more out and won't be available forever, especially for a Saturday wedding. Nothing is more frustrating than choosing a wedding photographer and then finding out that they booked out your date a week prior.

12. Looking at the Camera All the Time

Some couples want candid photographs, but they always feel like they need to look up at the camera and stop what they are doing. It could be an instinct, but remember, unless the photographer asks you, try to act natural for the best journalistic shots.

13. Asking for Too Many Shots

If clients have done their homework and have chosen an experienced and reputable wedding photographer, then chances are that the photographer does not need to be provided with a two-page spreadsheet of every combination for family portraits.

14. Not Choosing a Photographer You Get Along With

Make sure that we get along. I work with clients for sometimes two years or more. If we don't get along, it's not going to be a very enjoyable time. The wedding photographer is most likely the wedding vendor that you will spend the most time with.

15. Having a DJ blasting the dance floor with “lasers lights”

Nothing is more annoying and looks worse than green laser light dots and streaks on your dance floor pictures, it will ruin those pictures every time.

16. Skipping the Engagement Session

Engagement sessions increase the confidence and comfort level of the bride and groom in front of the camera and allows the bride and groom to practice having their photo taken in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Ultimately, an engagement session will let the bride and groom see how the photographer works, which leads to comfort and trust in the photographer. These photos make great reception photos!

17. Falling for Photography Trends

Too many times, brides fall for something trendy in photography. Remember all the colored bouquets in B & W photos or all the hazy photos captured against the sun? It is important that these images stand the test of time and are valued for each following generation. Trends are fun but rarely last! Look for a photographer with a timeless shooting style, and be wary of too much Photoshop and “digital tricks”, manipulations and fads.

18. Not Hiring a Professional Photographer

This is a big one! Choose someone who is a professional and not just anyone with a camera. Family and friends seldom make good wedding photographers for your wedding. Make sure the photographer you choose has training and experience as a professional photographer, has the equipment and ability to consistently capture the moments of your wedding no matter what situations may arise. You should expect to spend between $2,000 and $6,000 for any decent wedding day photography, this is not where you want to cut corners.

19. Not smiling, All the Time

Tell all of the people walking down the aisle to look up and smile. If they are too nervous to smile, they should at least keep their head up and look down the aisle. This helps keep the face from forming the 'evil double chin' look that happens when you stare at the floor while walking!

20. Forgetting the Details

Think about spending a few minutes to decide what details and decorations are important to photograph, did your mother make special wedding favors? Are you carrying important heirlooms with you?

OK, so here you have a few common wedding photography mistakes to avoid, now put them in your "memory bank" and continue with the wise wedding planning!

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