It’s hard to say enough good about Eli & Michelle. They are so laid back and silly that being with them is so much fun! Their engagement session at Bayfront Park in Hamilton was absolutely no exception. A blast from start to finish. I could go on and on but I’ll let the photos do the talking!
Joe and Michelle are an adorable couple who have been together for quite some time and are excited to tie the knot! For their engagement session, we took to Hamilton’s James St North for some photos. First we started out in front of our friend Julia Veenstra’s Studio for a couple quick portraits with one of her recent works in the window (which makes for a fantastic backdrop, by the way!). Next it was a stop in front of Mixed Media with the classic Elephant-on-a-bicycle SuperCrawl sign, before heading up the street again to Saint James Espresso Bar & Eatery. After that, we continued North and stopped in front of the James St Armoury (right in front of a SoBi bike station–we love SoBi!) With a quick stop in an alleyway with the setting sun, it was time for a few photos in front of Christ’s Church Cathedral before finishing up in front of Liuna Station! Talk about a jammed packed session! We are so excited for Joe & Michelle’s upcoming wedding where we will be surely celebrating 🙂
Back in December, Leanne and I were doing some stuff around the house when we’d decided to slip out and grab some photos with the sun setting. I had been eager to take her out for a quick portrait session for quite some time and I had feared we’d missed our sunset opportunity when we noticed what time it was. Thankfully, we went out anyways and made use of the last 20 minutes of sunlight. The sun ended up lighting the sky in brilliant colours and that translated incredibly well to camera. We had a lot of fun in the 20 minutes of shooting we had and came away with some pretty unreal portraits (arguably my favourite of Leanne to date). These were taken at Bayfront Park in Hamilton, Ontario, and the scene lended itself incredibly nicely to creating a peaceful backdrop. People that hate on Hamilton should really come for a visit and see how beautiful it (and it’s women 😉 ) are!
We’ve all seen those incredible weddings in magazines or on Pinterest that seem to be on a totally new level than what the average person can create. Wedding planners and decorators create extravagant scenes with seemingly endless budgets and so. many. flowers. Exotic locations like Europe or the Caribbean lend themselves nicely to these mind-blowing weddings that just seem to have everything going for them.
While most of us look up to these weddings, the fact is that they seem out of reach for most of us.
But they don’t have to be. (And they also don’t have to be expensive! Check out our top 3 money-saving tips for your wedding)
See, a magazine-worthy wedding can just as easily be created in Hamilton and Toronto as it can anywhere else.
To figure out how to make a beautiful wedding, it’s important to start at the beginning:
Your wedding day is more than a day. It’s the accumulation of months, sometimes years, of planning and preparation. It’s a party for your guests to celebrate the forever-love you’ve found in your new spouse. It’s a gathering of all these moments and memories in a grand jubilee.
So in order to make your wedding truly marvellous, bring all of those memories and leading-up-to moments to life with something we call visual interludes.
What is a ‘Visual Interlude’?
What we call a visual interlude is a place you gather a bunch of items and create a small scene on your wedding day.
(Side note: the idea of a visual interlude works incredibly well if you’ve got a unique theme or icon that runs through your wedding. Read about it in our eBook 9 Ways to Make Your Wedding More Beautiful).
For example, one of our couples Nic & Steph had a slight baseball theme throughout their wedding. Nic is a die-hard Toronto Blue Jays fan (and has been for most of, if not all of, his life), so they decorated small tables all throughout their ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception with things surrounding this theme. Their guests got to stop and check out these items that made them feel like they were experiencing Nic & Steph’s childhood. This not only makes for a fun thing to do on your wedding, but adds a very sentimental and personal touch to everything.
Items to make up your Visual Interludes:
- Photographs (old and new)
- Love letters written to each other
- Cards or postcards mailed to each other
- Ticket stubs or something kept from a first date
- Flowers (to add colour)
- Family heirlooms
- A map of places you’ve been
- Chalk boards (or painted signs) with handwritten quotes
- An old favourite hat or shirt
- Anything that pertains to your wedding icon
So, for example, throughout Nic & Steph’s wedding day with a baseball theme, their visual interludes consisted of: baseballs, baseball gloves, baseball bats, jerseys, photographs, baby’s breath, cards, and more.
Another Hush Hush Couple, Robin & Shannon, made use of Robin’s dad’s old pick-up truck which was a beautiful staple on their wedding day.
It wasn’t a hit-you-over-the-head wedding theme that came out in every aspect of their wedding, but we think that for that reason, it was exactly why it worked. Guests were mesmerized by this beautiful pick-up restoration and it not only made its way into Robin & Shannon’s photos, but tons of people posed near it because of how unique it was.
Browse Pinterest again or pick up a bridal magazine and take note on how these couples create beautiful visual interludes. These publications are chock-full of what photographers call scene setters; photographs of seemingly unimportant items that allow a viewer to feel totally immersed in a wedding day. These visual interludes are so important not only because they add a little eye-candy to your wedding, but they make your day that much more sentimental and meaningful for everyone attending.
Tug on the heart strings of your guests and it’s sure to be a wedding they’ll never forget (and may even earn a spread in a magazine!).
Because there is simply so much to plan and think about, it’s really easy to overlook something on your wedding day.
Relax! This is normal.
However, it doesn’t have to be.
Ever wish you could have a glimpse into someone else’s wedding day to see what could’ve gone better? How they could’ve saved a little money? We’ve got you covered!
Having photographed tons of weddings, we’ve compiled a quick list of 4 of the biggest oversights that couples can make. If you can prepare a plan for these four items, you’ll be ahead of the game and four steps closer to creating the perfect wedding day!
1. Plan for Bad Weather
Everyone dreams of incredible weather for their wedding day, but it never hurts to have a backup plan in case things don’t turn out as expected.
In the weeks and months prior to your wedding, develop a backup plan (especially for Bridal party portraits) that solves the issue of undesirable weather. Some couples have a fancy restaurant or public museum on reserve in case rain or snow should happen. Majority of the time, you won’t need to make use of this space (which is great!). But if things head south and you need an indoor location on your wedding day, you’ll be relieved to have come up with a plan beforehand.
2. Don’t Forget About Lunch!
Gathering your bridal party together in the hours before your wedding is often one of the last things you think about, but plan on having some sort of food provided for you + your party!
Chances are, you’ll be leaving and heading straight into the wedding ceremony, then into photos and the reception. You’ll be surprised how hungry you can get in such a short amount of time!
To keep from passing out or having rumbling bellies during your photo session, plan a light lunch for anyone gathered at your getting-ready locations. If you don’t want to put any more money into a caterer, simply make a quick stop by the grocery store or ask a guest/family member to make some sandwiches. People are incredibly generous on your wedding day!
3. Fix Poor Lighting
What a beautiful ceremony stage!
It’s easy to think that “The photographers will just photoshop that out.” And while it’s true that we are wizards in the post-production realm, it’s hard to make good use of poor lighting.
We suggest taking a walk-through of your entire wedding day a week or two before the wedding. See what kind of lighting exists at each location when you’ll be there (Getting-ready location in the morning, ceremony in the afternoon, reception at dinner, etc.). Keep an eye out for really strong yellow lighting, or really harsh spotlights.
Do what you can to combat really yellow or really blue lighting. Change some light bulbs or find a way to use a different light source. You will be incredibly thankful when it turns out better in your photos!
4. Choose a Great Kissing Game
Most venues nowadays do not allow the clinking of glasses to get a couple to kiss. If you want to use this method, we suggest confirming it’s okay with your caterer beforehand.
If you’re planning on having an interactive kissing game with your guests, it’s important to pick one that will suit the guests attending your wedding.
If your guests are outgoing and rowdy, a highly-interactive kissing game (including ‘showing you how it’s done’ or singing a song) is going to work out great. If your guests are a little more on the reserved side of things, make sure that your kissing game will not draw too much unwanted attention to your guests or else you won’t have any participation.
At the end of the day, only you can know what game is going to suit your guests. Do your research or develop your very own unique game! There are so many options out there, you’ll be sure to find something that’ll be perfect for your day.
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Planning a beautiful wedding day can be tricky work. We know how hard it is to think of everything, but with a little guidance and forethought, there’s no reason why everyone can’t have the wedding day they dream of!