wedding resources

I meet with so many couples at the very beginning of their wedding planning, and this is their first question to me.  They usually start with the date, venue and photographer - sometimes in that order.  From there, the planning seems daunting - What time to get married? Should we opt for a destination wedding? Everyone has an opinion,...and we won't even mention Pinterest.  I've taken some questions that have been asked during these consultation meetings and added some information here to help you. I will be adding to this frequently, so keep checking back.  Better yet, send me your ideas for topics!

'Where do i begin?'

the first look

Wedding day timelines

How much wedding photography coverage do I need? How long do I need for formal wedding photos?

Wedding photography FAq's

When should I book my wedding photographer?  How long will it take to receive my wedding photos?  How many photos will I receive?

all about engagement sessions

+ Read More

planning a destination wedding

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

+ Read More

trash the dress sessions

What is a trash the dress session? Why do it?  And, is the dress really trashed?  

What is it?  Why should I have a first look?  Will it affect how I feel during our wedding ceremony?

Do you have a topic that you would like included here? Send me a note!

what are 'trash the dress' photos?

some things to consider for your trash the dress photos:

The time of day - I personally love early mornings, especially for tropical adventure sessions.  The beaches are clean and the tourists are at a minimum.  Evenings work well too.  Mid-day can be very hot and uncomfortable in some locations.

The light - Where is the light coming in relation to the desired backdrop?  It's not always possible to get a sunset over the ocean, but you may be able to catch the sunrise!

Safety - I'm all for making awesome photos in beautiful locations...but safety has to be first, friends.  Fast moving water in a heavy wedding dress and walking on train tracks are no-no's, for example.  

Want to know more about destination weddings?  

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FEATURED WEDDINGS ON THE BLOG

An outdoor in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta.  Complete with a tepee against a jaw dropping Northern Alberta backdrop.

A beautiful Fort McMurray wedding ceremony at the gorgeous Helen Pacholko Park in Thickwood.

An Edmonton winter wedding in Millwoodsl  The legal ceremony days before heading to Punta Cana for the party!

is the dress really trashed?

What to expect?

why 'trash the dress'?

Also called “day after wedding” or “adventure” sessions, the trash the dress is one of my absolute favourite to photograph. Celebrate your marriage or your first anniversary after the stress of wedding planning is over. Let the honeymoon begin with a session focused solely on the two of you! 

Imagine this…you spend a year planning your wedding. You plan the decor, your flowers, and that perfect dress or suit; You imagine your guests enjoying the meal and party that you put so much thought into; and, you spend far too much time fretting over writing your own vows and the obligatory speech. 

The day finally arrives and everything is running as smoothly as it should. Thank goodness you put all of those plans into place because the day is moving faster than you imagined it would! It’s a beautiful but total whirlwind of a day with timelines and expectations. 

Now picture putting that dress or tux back on a day or couple of days later and heading out for a celebration just for two! The day is over and the stress is off. It’s time to enjoy each other and start that honeymoon phase! 

I was a destination bride once. So I understand how stressful it can be to plan a wedding abroad. I also get the responsibility that you feel to ensure that your guests needs are being met and that they are enjoying themselves in a location picked by you. The morning that we trashed my dress on the sandy Dominican beach I let all of those worries go! I want to help you feel the same way. 

ADVENTURE. Especially in the case of a resort destination, expect to leave the resort. It’s always a beautiful thing to incorporate the local culture, colours and scenes into these photos. Usually there’s no time for this on the actual wedding day. But you picked this Country for a reason – let’s highlight it! In most cases, we don’t have to go far to find the sweetest and most wonderful human beings, culture and scenes. 

CARE-FREE FUN! Make out like newlyweds and like no one is watching. Roll around on the beach and get sand in your hair. Let the waves of the ocean wash over you. Then jump in the pool to top it all off! 

In the case of a beach after wedding day photo shoot, very unlikely. It’s actually usually cleaner than it was when we started! 

There are many different ways to “trash the dress” though. We are only limited by our imaginations. The level of trashing is really up to you! 

Wedding day timelines

Because leaving some things up in the air doesn't always turn out so well...

If you are completely confused about wedding day timelines, wedding photography coverage needs and just don't know where to start, you've come to the right place!  Allow me to start by posing some questions for you to consider, before I dive into giving you samples of timelines that have worked in the past.

distance between reception & ceremony locations?

Is a 'first Look' an option for you?

There are many things that I love about a first look and you can read about them here, but not one of those reasons is because it could possibly save time in your timeline, However, it is possible to cut down time by getting all of the "formal photos" done before the ceremony so that you can move straight into the celebration!


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how many family photos will you need?

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Consider the distance from the ceremony location to the reception location, and any "must have" photo locations. Add some buffer time for traffic, construction (when applicable) and your limo or party bus (if you are having one - they tend to take a teeny bit longer as they are slower and harder to find parking for).  

How long will the ceremony take?

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How many family photos will you need?  Will you require just a few photos with big groupings, or lots of photos with smaller groupings?  We are happy to make sure you have all of the combinations you want! When a location close to the ceremony location is used and a shot list in place, these photos can take 1 to 2 minutes per shot.


9:30 AM  Getting Ready & Details


12:30 PM  Travel to Ceremony location

1 PM Ceremony and receiving line

1:45 PM Family Photos (at wedding ceremony site)

2:30 PM Wedding Party Photos

3:45 PM Couples Photos

5:00 PM Photographers to venue - set up  &  photos of decor.  (You get a break!!)

6:00 PM Couple enters reception

6:30 PM Dinner, speeches & cake cutting

*Assuming a quick ceremony and receiving line, no first look, and travel time of 15 - 30 minutes required between getting ready, ceremony and reception venues. 
We would likely choose photography locations along the route for wedding party and couples photos.

8:30 PM First Dances

9:30 PM End Photography

sample 12 Hour
wedding Photography timeline

11 AM  Getting Ready & Details


1 PM  Photos of each partner with members of their wedding party

2 PM  Ceremony and receiving line

2:45 PM Family Photos (at wedding ceremony site)

3:15 PM  Wedding Party Photos

4:15 PM Couples Photos

5:15 PM Photographers to venue - set up  &  photos of decor.  (You get a break!!)

6:00 PM Couple enters reception

6:30 PM Dinner, speeches & cake cutting

*Assuming a quick ceremony and receiving line, no first look, and ceremony and reception venues are very close (or the same location).

8:30 PM First Dances

9:00 PM End Photography

sample 10 Hour
wedding Photography timeline

Sometimes couples ask what does a "normal" wedding day look like.  My response is always "it's your day to do however you want".  I know that this can be both overwhelming and exciting!  While there is no way to possibly include all of the special circumstances of each wedding day, here are a couple of sample timelines from actual wedding days to help get you started with your own wedding photography timeline:

FEATURED WEDDINGS ON THE BLOG

Have other questions?

An outdoor in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta.  Complete with a tepee against a jaw dropping Northern Alberta backdrop.

Camilla + Sam

A beautiful Fort McMurray wedding ceremony at the gorgeous Helen Pacholko Park in Thickwood.

Sheena + Michael

An Edmonton winter wedding in Millwoodsl  The legal ceremony days before heading to Punta Cana for the party!

Moriah + Shane

Couples often book their photographer before all of the wedding ceremony details have been hashed out.  I've seen ceremony last from 15 minutes to a couple of hours (with the exception of Indian Wedding ceremonies - which require completely different considerations for timelines that span over several days). It's important to get a sense for how long your ceremony will take.


The 'First look'

A Playa Del Carmen dress trashing ending with a dip in the resort pool.  Because, why not?

Kerrie + Lee

Moriah and Shane on the incredible Dominican Republic beach one very early morning.

Moriah + Shane

A steamy trash the dress at and around the Now Larimar Resort in Punta Cana.

charmaine + Chance

What is a first look?

why have a first look?

will the first look affect how we feel during the ceremony?

The 'first look' is when a couple sees each other on their wedding day before their ceremony.  Usually the couple is alone, but I have also seen family and/or wedding parties join them.  This is the time that get those formal photos of the couple and their wedding party.
      

There are so many reasons to love the first look!  First of all,  we get all of those formal wedding photos while hair, makeup and outfits are looking sharp.  Second, when things are running a little late during the wedding day, we are not forced to pull back time for portraits (which is often the case).  Third, the couple can move right from the ceremony to the reception.  This is very important for those couples whose priority is being the best hosts that they can be. 

What do I love most about a first look? Those moments when it's just the couple, allowing themselves to feel and react with vulnerability and without the fear of an audience, is a very precious and rare thing.  As a bride who did the first look, I can honestly say that it was my favourite and most memorable part of the wedding day.
      

Not at all.  If anything, it will help you through any nervousness and anxiety that you may be feeling on the morning of your wedding. In fact, every couple that I've worked with who opted for the first look, have also cried throughout the ceremony!
      

should we do a first look?

You are the only person who can answer this. My best advice is that you do your day, your way.  Your wedding photos are going to be amazing no matter what you choose!

Have other questions? 

Home > Wedding Resources  > The First Look

TRASH THE DRESS SESSIONS WE LOVE

Home > Wedding Resources  > The First Look

engagement photos

What do all of my absolute favourite engagement sessions have in common?  I'm so glad you asked!  Let me walk you through...

1.  Outfit changes
2. Personality of the couple.
3. 
LocationAdd more personality to your photos by choosing the location of your session! Whether it's the local coffee shop or park where you first met, let me know if there is a place that is sentimental to you!
SchedulingEngagement sessions are scheduled 1 - 2 months in advance. May to September are extremely popular, I recommend scheduling your session as soon as possible. Cancellations and reschedules must be made via email or phone at least 48 hours prior to your session.ENGAGEMENT SESSIONSPaymentA non-refundable retainer of $100 and signing of a contract is required to secure your session. The remaining balance of the session fee is due on the day of your session. (Only applies to a la carte and build your own collection bookings)Outfit Ideaswww.pinterest.com/chrystaldiana
www.urbanoutfitters.com
www.bananarepublic.comSTYLE TIPStyle can make or break your photos, please put a lot of thought into what you and your partner will wear. Your styles should compliment one another, but it shouldn't exactly match. I encourage you to check out my Pinterest board (listed above) for inspiration.

I also encourage you to come with a couple of different looks. Let's do something a little dressy and something a little casual. This will give you a variety in your photos. I know some guys just can't live without them, but please no ball caps (unless we are doing a baseball theme).

I'm happy to help you choose a style!

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Rhea + Bhav

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Nana + Sam

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Josh + Michael

wedding faq's

when should I book my wedding photographer?

I recommend booking your preferred photographer at least one year in advance of your wedding, especially for July and August weddings!

can I send you ideas from pinterest?

Absolutely! However, let's keep a few things in mind: photographers have different styles; locations and the direction of the sun impacts an image; and, if we get caught up in Pinterest "latest and greatest" we may lose a little bit of the real emotion of the day. Pinterest is a great way to inspire a look or style for the some of the formals and will help me assist you with location ideas, but let's make images that others will want to use as inspiration for their wedding day! 

can I buy albums, prints or canvases after the wedding?

Definitely. You can add an album before or after your wedding, or you can upgrade your album at any time before the album is actually ordered.

how many photos can I expect?

While I can't say, for sure, can tell you that at a minimum you will receive 50 photos per hour of coverage. Hint: lots of details, emotion and interaction between the couple and their families usually results in more and diverse images!

How do I book?

First, let's talk about your plans and thoughts for your wedding day photography over coffee. Once you've decided on a collection that works for you, we will sign a contract, and a non-refundable retainer of 1/3 of the final balance is due upon signing the contract to secure your date.

Have other questions?

where are you located?

we are awkward in front of the camera...

How long after the wedding can we expect our wedding photos?

I live in Edmonton, however I've also photographed weddings and engagements in Newfoundland, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Las Vegas, and New York City. My passport and I are always ready for travel! And, I love going back to Fort McMurray, where I lived for 16 years.  There is no extra charge to travel for weddings there.

Totally normal, most people are!  Movement and emotion are my favourite - we will keep you moving and engaged by giving you prompts to help get those authentic reactions.

How many hours of wedding photography coverage do we need?

we are having a very small wedding and would only need a couple of hours of wedding photography coverage...

There are many things to take into consideration.  Here are few things thoughts to get you started: Do you want coverage of getting ready or well into the reception (or both!)?  How long is your ceremony (non-religious tend to be much shorter than religious ceremonies)?  Check out Wedding Day Timelines for more information and considerations!

Weekday weddings and off-season weekend weddings can be booked by the hour.  During peak wedding season (July, August and September) minimum of 8 hours is required for weekend weddings.  

Finished photos are ready 8 to 10 weeks after the wedding day.

An outdoor in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta.  Complete with a tepee against a jaw dropping Northern Alberta backdrop.

A beautiful Fort McMurray wedding ceremony at the gorgeous Helen Pacholko Park in Thickwood.

An Edmonton winter wedding in Millwoodsl  The legal ceremony days before heading to Punta Cana for the party!

FEATURED WEDDINGS ON THE BLOG

How to choose a wedding photographer?

First and foremost - Style.  The couple must be attracted to the perspective that the photographer brings.  This will bring about trust in the photographer to tell the story in a way that only he or she can.  Everyone will be happy with the results, and most importantly everyone will enjoy the experience!