Tips for your Wedding Day

As you probably noticed in your social media feeds, many couples get engaged over the holidays. Having photographed a lot of weddings over the years, Dave and I have seen some amazing things done at these weddings, and we have seen some things that didn’t quite work out as planned. We thought we’d take a moment to share a few of these observations with those of you who will be planning weddings this coming year. These tips are not just about making the photos as good as can be, but also about having your day go as smoothly as possible.

Engagement Shoot

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Many couples have never taken part in a professional photo shoot prior to their wedding day.  If at all possible, try and book a wedding photography package that includes an engagement shoot. This session will give you an idea of what to expect on your big day.

Another advantage of an engagement session is location. Not having the time constraints that you will on your wedding day allows you to consider locations that you probably can’t get to on the big day.

Centerpieces

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We have seen some beautiful centerpieces in our time shooting weddings. Pinterest has provided couples with some really amazing ideas that are great DIY projects. One thing to keep in mind is the height of the centerpiece. When your guests are sitting at their tables, it is challenging to speak with the people across the table if there is a giant obstruction in the way.

Shaving

Grooms should shave the day/night before the wedding, especially if they are prone to razor burn. Having that extra time will give your skin time to recover from the sting of the blade so you don’t look like you have sunburn on your chin. This advice goes for the ladies as well. Legs and underarms can benefit from a cooldown period.

Family Photos Location

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Once the ceremony is complete, most couples want to have photos taken with their Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, siblings etc. Some couples try and come up with a special location for these photos and that might require travel time. If there is a place that is very significant for you then this is perfectly acceptable, however, ultimately the background for these photos is not very visible in these photos so traveling to another location might not be as ideal as you’d think. We try and find a location around where the ceremony is held that will be a nice backdrop. A bonus tip is to prepare a list of the people/combinations you would like to include in the family photo portion (we have a document we provide to couples that helps them figure this out).

Food During the Day

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Eating during the day is obviously important, but it’s not as easy as you’d think. Once the Wedding Party is off for the formal photo portion of the day there isn’t always a chance for eating. A good idea is to pack some snacks and drinks in a cooler for your Wedding Party.

A better option we’ve discovered is to plan a stop at a pub between the ceremony and the reception. This gives everyone a time to eat, drink, and be merry while providing us photographers with a great opportunity to capture photos of you and those closest to you having fun together.

"First-Aid" Kit

Have the Best Man or Maid of Honour pack a little selection of items that might be a day-saver. Some items that are quite small but can be quite powerful are:

  • Band-aids
  • Tylenol/Advil
  • Sewing kit
  • Travel size hairspray
  • Tide Pen

Clinking of the glasses

There was a time when wedding guests really went overboard with the clinking. This started a whole movement of couples/emcees coming up with elaborate steps someone had to take in order to see the couple kiss. The good news is that the weddings we've been to in the last few years where clinking is allowed have been quite reasonable. One wedding set it up with the crowd that clinking was acceptable, but if it got out of hand they had a backup plan.

We hope you find these tips helpful when planning your big day. If you would like to meet up with us to discuss how we might fit into your wedding day plans, you can leave us a comment below. Check out some of our wedding photography at dbphotographics.ca/galleries/weddings.

Happy new year!

brad & dave

Fall Portrait Blitz - Team Shaina

Another returning family to the Portrait Blitz. The last time we met up with them though, they didn't have their newest addition! We were so happy to meet the little fella. He did great during the session and it is clear that his big sister loves him. 

It is also clear that she loves their dog - but we're glad for that, as always, since their snuggling makes for great photos!

Take a look at some of the photos from the most recent session with them:

Natalie & Ryan

Our last wedding of the year was a fun one.

We spent a beautiful fall day with Natalie and Ryan starting at the Matrix Hotel for the getting ready and the ceremony, then heading to Local on Jasper for a much needed pub stop, where we got some great casual photos of the bridal team, before heading back to the Matrix to dance the night away. 

Finding all the spots at Local was fun. Because of the cloudy day, we sat at a long table on the patio and used that as a staging area and after getting a few drinks and nachos (our favourite), we ran around the place finding all the cool spots to feature this good looking group of people.

The night was full of great speeches, real emotion, and great food. 

Congratulations Natalie & Ryan! Thanks for letting us hang out with you for the day!

Emily-Anne & Jen - The Wedding

What a day! We had so much fun with Emily-Anne and Jennifer on their wedding day. It was a day full of laughs – just like their engagement session was.

One of the highlights of the day was when we were taking photos around Le Marchand Mansion when two people working in the building came out to speak with us. We were pretty certain they were going to tell us we weren’t allowed to be taking photos on the property, but instead, they asked us if we wanted to go up on the roof to take some photos. Umm…. Yes please??!!?? The view was incredible from up there. The sky was fog-like due to the smoke coming into town from forest fires around Alberta. While we certainly weren’t happy that the fires were going on, it did make for some dreamy backgrounds for their photos.

Their outdoor ceremony was beautiful. Having their guests form a semi-circle was such a nice touch. The speeches they wrote for each other brought tears to everyone’s eyes, while still managing to make everyone laugh, too. 

After the ceremony, we headed to Red Star Pub to relax, have a drink or two, grab some food, and take some photos. The staff of Red Star was very accommodating to us and we appreciate it very much!

The great day continued with the reception at the Old Timers Cabin. The room was truly breathtaking! Wedding planner Maggie from MB&COMPANY did such a great job making sure everything looked top-notch. Great speeches, delicious food (catered by Culina), a double bouquet toss, cutting of the most amazing wedding cake ever, followed by non-stop dancing to music played by the outstanding DJ Kwake (seriously... the best DJ we've ever worked with - the dance floor is never empty when he's on the scene!) made the evening one of our favourites.

We are so happy for these two and wish them a life of complete happiness together. 

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Fall Portrait Blitz - Team Lindsay

Lindsay and the family joined us a few years ago for a blitz session and decided it was time to update their photo album. We were so glad to see them again. 

The one challenge with their session is that their youngest had JUST lost a tooth the night before and was very self-conscious about his smile and tried to hide from the camera as much as possible. It took us a little bit, but we got him to let his guard down!

Take a look at some of the shots from their most recent session:

Liz & Greg's Wedding

My sister got married! At the Calgary Zoo! It was incredible.

A couple of months ago, we shared the fun engagement shoot we did with these two and during that session, we knew that their wedding would be awesome. It did not disappoint. The thing that may not come across in these photos, is the heat, my gawd the heat! Like flames on the side of ours faces. It was +31c in the direct Alberta sun, but they were all troopers. We did try to find refuge in any shade we could both to cool down and also get those non-squinty shots.

I do have to say a huge thank you to Brad. Not that I don't normally appreciate everything he does when it comes to this photo partnership, but in this instance, he absolutely went above and beyond. Occasionally, being a family member, I had to be in front of the camera. Brad easily picked up the slack and got the job done. Thank you sir.

Another cool element of the big day was that we got to work with marriage commissioner, Jacquie Hoare. My wife and I were married by Jacquie in her third ever wedding. Ten years later as she joined sister and now brother-in-law, she crossed her 800th ceremony. Amazing. 

Liz, you looked amazing! Greg, welcome (officially) to the family. I'm so happy with how these shots turned out. It was a magnificent day. Here's top many more magnificent ones.

- dave

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