Top 5 Tips for the Best Wedding Day Photos

1. Choose Your Prep Location Carefully

When you are thinking of your getting ready photos, think about how much light that area receives. If you are dreaming of bright, light and airy images of you and your besties getting gorgeous for the big day, my biggest suggestion is to look at the space first.

Some of my absolute favourite places in Ottawa for getting ready locations are: Stonefield's Bridal Suite, Andaz corner suite (windows galore with minimal decor keeps the focus on you!) or Brookstreet hotel in Kanata. 

Make sure you do a site visit before booking and arrange a viewing of the room. Once inside, turn off all the light switches, open the curtains so that you can see how light and bright the room actually is. The more light the better! If you are unsure, take some quick photos with your cellphone and share them with your photographer.

Tip: On the morning of your wedding, make sure you keep the room you are getting ready in as tidy and clutter free as possible. Not all photographers are as OCD as I am or may not have the time to tidy it for you!


2. Allocate a Boss Babe or Wedding Planner

Think about the bossiest person in your life. You know we all have them! Do they know all of your immediate family? What about your grooms? If the answer is yes, allot them to wrangle these people for the family photos portion of your day. 

Tip: I always recommend to my brides to write a list of all the family photos that they want, so that this portion of their day can be run smoothly and efficiently. If there are elderly people or children in these groups, we always start with them so that they can be dismissed to go off and party first. 

Not sure how long these types of photos take? Check in with your photographer with the list prepared!


3. Take Some Time Out With Your Husband

One of the most important parts of the day are the bride and groom portraits. Not only for the photos, but for the time away from the crowd as newlyweds to enjoy some time together. It's a great time to reflect on the ceremony and take in this moment, your first day as husband and wife! 

Make sure you allow 45-60 minutes for the bride and groom portraits - just the two of you! You will look back on these photos and be thankful you took the time to do these. I recommend to all of my couples to schedule this time together the hour before the sun sets. If you are looking online for sunset timings, make sure you are aware that the time listed is the time that the sun is down. Best yet, if you are unsure - check in with your photographer! Our team is always happy to help.


4. Light, light, light

When it comes to your wedding reception, lighting has a huge roll to play in how your photos will look. If you're having a completely open-air reception, under the stars, I recommend using as much extra lighting as possible, such as strands of festoon lights and candles in hurricane vases.

Tip: Fairy lights are not enough on their own. Festoon lights are a larger and better option.

The extra lighting will help warm up your photos and add a prettier, more dynamic element. I would also recommend if your reception is indoors, that you investigate the lighting before you book. If your venue has ugly fluorescent lights, it will be worth the investment to hire a lighting company to install alternate lighting for the evening.


5. Timeline Prep is Crucial

Planning your timeline is a huge tool that all of your vendors, guests and wedding party will use on the day of your wedding. A few things to keep in mind while planning your timeline.

Details Help Tell The Story. Every photographer is different as are their styles. Some photographers are sticklers for the details (like us!) while others don’t quite pay attention to them. Details are huge and what you’ve been planning for the past year (or so). When it comes to creating your wedding day album, these detail shots really help tell the story of how your day looked and felt. If this is important to you, make sure you see lots of details in photographers wedding portfolio to ensure they care about the details just as much as you.

Leave buffer time and be realistic with travel times
. Feeling rushed on your wedding day is no fun and what is even worse is missing key events altogether because other portions of your day ran longer than expected. If you are traveling from your ceremony site to a reception site or alternate photo locations - actually do the drive during the time of day you will be traveling. Are you traveling through rush hour traffic? Are there any special events happening on your wedding that need to be considered for road closures? Some things can be out of your control but hiring vendors that know their timing and are seasoned pros will help keep things on track to avoid this rushed feeling on your wedding day.

Consider when sunset is on your wedding day. Not taking advantage of the stunning golden hour (hour before sunset) for bride and groom portraits is really sad. I've never had a bride regret taking that time out of their day to capture these magically lit images of her and her new husband. Things like speeches, dances, cake cutting etc. can be done at any time during the reception but you cannot bring back the sun and the romantic environment it makes on your wedding day.

Vendors That Helped Create This Beautiful Wedding

Venue: Evermore
Photography: Stephanie Mason Photography & Team
Planning: Styled with Love Weddings
Florals: Capital Florist
Make Up: Artistry by Jacquie
Dress: With Love Bridal
Earrings: Sarah Walsh Jewellery

5 Things We Love About the Wedding Industry

Wedding Industry Love

Every industry has it’s pros and cons as well as ups and downs. Wedding industry professionals have their own unique lifestyle from the months of May through October. I love this industry for so many reasons but my top 5 are:

1. I love capturing such emotionally full days - this goes without saying and is absolutely cliche but I love, love. I know showing up for the wedding day that everyone is there to have an amazing time, listens to instruction well (no toddler tantrums here) and are feeling their best.

Sharing in some laughter with the bride during wedding party portraits - the in between moments are the best!

Sharing in some laughter with the bride during wedding party portraits - the in between moments are the best!

Mother of the bride tearing up as she watches her daughter get married

Mother of the bride tearing up as she watches her daughter get married

2. A well-rounded team makes an incredibly easy (and fun) day - I have the opportunity to work with some wedding industry professions a lot throughout the season and when I get the vendor list from the couple and it’s shows certain people on there - I know the day is going to go off without any hiccups. If you are looking for venue or vendor’s we love, check them out here.

Stonefield’s Estate in Carleton Place is a perfect backdrop to a newlywed first kiss

Stonefield’s Estate in Carleton Place is a perfect backdrop to a newlywed first kiss

Le Belvedere in Wakefield, Quebec boasts stunning views of the valley to create a gorgeous ceremony

Le Belvedere in Wakefield, Quebec boasts stunning views of the valley to create a gorgeous ceremony

3. My clients - sometimes I think this goes without saying but I genuinely am really excited for the couples we work with for their big day. We don’t accept every inquiry that comes our way because we want to make sure that we are a good fit, they understand our style and align with what we love about weddings. We really do try to stay true to our core values of capturing honest emotions during wedding days while having fun. We want our couples to look back on their wedding day and see the real moments and think back to how they had a good time with our team versus “this is the pose our photographer made us do”. I mean, common - that’s no fun right? We are an easy going team that loves our playful and laid back couples!

The lifelong friendships that develop are another client fave. We remain friends even after the wedding has come and gone. Even if it’s just social media, we love seeing couples start their families, go on adventurous vacations and receive job promotions. There is a special bond that is created throughout the wedding process and I love that we are able to take that further after the wedding is done. Cheering on our couples as they grow throughout their marriage is a wonderful feeling.

4. Support - Industry professionals understand and acknowledge that the hours we work are demanding and constant. We are not in an industry where our work stays at work. We are in a creative industry and passionate about what we offer to our clients. We miss out on most weekend and evening events with friends and family so that we can be there to capture our clients most treasured memories. Industry friends understand that it’s more realistic to meet up on a Monday than plan a get together on a Saturday. I cannot count the number of times I’ve said, “sorry, I can’t make it. I have a wedding” but such is life. We continue to miss out on personal events because we are so proud and excited to be doing what we are doing. I wouldn’t have it any other way and am thankful for “seasonal” friends that just get it.

Laughter with close friends on a random weeknight is so necessary during our busy wedding season

Laughter with close friends on a random weeknight is so necessary during our busy wedding season

Lauren Sinclair with Styled with Love Weddings

Lauren Sinclair with Styled with Love Weddings

5. Details - Wedding days are busy. There are a lot of “mini” events that happen in the grande scheme of a wedding day. While our primary focus is capturing the day as it unfolds, the details play a large role in why we love this industry. Often times a bride will spend countless hours putting together the perfect decor to set the mood of how she wants her wedding day to feel. These details are what sets that tone. I’m a stickler for details and love seeing them in your wedding day album.


What do you love about your industry that keeps you pushing yourself through the busy days and hard work? We’d love to know!