Tag Archives: wedding venues

The Wedding Reception/Ideas and advice from a wedding photographer

This blog is part of a four part series on weddings. “Getting Ready” The Ceremony” The Intimate session” and lastly “The Reception”

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After twenty four years of photographing weddings nationwide, I have been to allot more receptions that most people on the planet.in this blog I am going to share with you advice to make your reception memorable.

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The venue you choose is important,its all about the atmosphere. I know that venues are extremely expensive.Here is my suggestion,why not rent a beautiful house on the beach and have everything come to you,caterers,hair and makeup,band or D.J. Some of my favorite weddings were at private homes.Also I do believe you would save allot of money this way.

I do suggest you have live music,D.J’s are alright but so redundant .Personally I feel a live band is so much more memorable.Makes your wedding more unique.

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I would stay away from the big resorts,unless you want to feel like a number and see other couples getting married the same day.Some of these places to me feel like an Assembly line of weddings

Make it your own,be creative,be unique.

Why not hire a cartoon artist, a magician, a fortune teller,a cigar roller.Give your guests something to talk about.To be honest,a great deal of the receptions I have been to were a bit boring.You want yours to stand out,you want your guests to have a great time.

A photo booth is allot of fun for children and to get adults to feel like a child again.

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Instead of a cake, I have seen all kinds of things,a coffee and desert bar,even Key Lime Pie on a stick, again,make it your own,have fun with the planning!

As for the food,why not ask your favorite restaurant if they will cater your event, or if you have relatives who cook you could save allot of $$.r

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ALONE AT LAST /the intimate session

part of a four part series on wedding photography. getting ready,the ceremony,the intimate session,and the reception  Advice for the client.

The only thing that I do insist on with my clients is an “intimate session” This will perhaps be the only alone time that you will have on your wedding day.I feel that these photographs are the most romantic and probably the ones that you will be hanging on your walls.

http://creativefreedomphoto.com/ Some people do not realize that photography is made up of light and composition.

When you are working on your timeline, leave at least a half hour or more in the best light of the day,the last hour before the sun is setting.Think about the background,are there some beautiful nature spots on the grounds of your venue? If not try to explore and find a beautiful nature spot nearby your venue

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Do not allow anyone to tag along,this is a distraction to you and to your photographer.Your guests will be fine, might be a good time to plan a cocktail hour. Always work with your D.J. and wedding coordinator and let them know in advance .

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When I am photographing a destination wedding,I sometimes plan with my couples for a “day after” session. using the destination as my background. My couples are always so much more relaxed the day after,I get to spend allot more time with them = more beautiful and interesting photos.

 

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I Do! The ceremony by creativefreedomphoto

This blog is in a four part series,Getting Ready,The Ceremony,The Intimate session and the reception.,so stay tuned!

If you are having an outdoor wedding,hope for the best but always prepare for the worst.make sure that you have a back up plan!! If you have your heart set on getting married outside,go with the flow,have lots of umbrellas handy,incorporate your wedding colors. Do keep in mind that overcast is  best for portraits

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As far as ceremony sites I have seen it all in my twenty four years of photographing weddings nationwide.From elaborate castles in Germany,to beach blankets in Key West .Make it your own.There are no rules!

 

I am often asked about timelines.The best light for photography is when the sun is low in the sky. I would say ,if you are having an outdoor wedding,look up the time of sunset for that day and schedule your ceremony two hours before time of sunset.Allowing plenty of time afterward for your group shots and saving the very best light about a half hour before the sunset for your “intimate session” the photographs of just the two of you alone .Dont rush your photographer through this,give them at the very least a half an hour.Remember these are the photos you will probably be hanging on your walls.

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Some couples now a days have a “first look” before the ceremony. This helps take the edge off, (good for nervous couples).Also a wonderful time for your photographer .Also a great Idea is the “first look” for Fathers and daughters

 

I always ask my couple,”what is the most important photo to you” 99% of my brides and many of my grooms will say (or better say) the first time I see my bride!This is such an important shot,I never miss it!!

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During the ceremony look at each other! believe it or not I have seen couples who look at the notary the entire time.

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I absoulutely love shooting candid during the ceremony,there are so many emotions.Another favorite are capturing kids at this time.

 

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The most important kiss of your lifetime is your first kiss as husband and wife. I always have a second shooter and we are both getting this most important moment from two different views. I would highly recommend that your photographer have a 2nd shooter/assistant,especially for the larger weddings

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Available for weddings worldwide

GETTING READY! wedding advice

This blog will be in four parts,”Getting ready” Ceremony”., “The intimate session” and the reception.

Today I will be covering “getting ready”

I always get to the location early. The first thing that I photograph is the atmosphere of the venue,this is important to my couples,they have chosen this venue for a reason. After twenty five years of photographing weddings I have had the privilege of traveling to castles in Germany,the super dome in New Orleans,the Biltmore in North carolina,Hemingway house in Key West just to name a few.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

 

 

For my couples,try to have the ladies and the guys get ready at the same location,there are two sides to the story.I like to go back and forth.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

During this time I like to photograph the details,  have a go to person for your photographer. I always ask to have the details ready for me when I come in.The rings,the flowers,an invitation or newspaper,something with the date on it,shoes dress,vows etc…

Advice to the ladies,choose a room with the most natural light,remember that light is very important for the sake of the photos,you do not want to get ready in a room with florescent lite with no windows.Try to keep the room free of clutter.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

Leave plenty of time for some bride and groom portraits when you are all ready.For the brides do not be last to have your hair and makeup done.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

Try to get plenty of rest the night before and if you get nervous remember it is about the marriage. Dont sweat the small stuff,just go with the flow.

“GIVE ME THE DETAILS” Photographing wedding details by

Byhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

Like any event photographer, most of my wedding shots are of people, i.e. the bride, the groom and their guests. This, after all, is what a wedding is all about and what people mainly want to see when they open a wedding photo album. Weddings, though, are always packed full of other visual details besides the people. So much time is spent in preparation to make a wedding look beautiful that it would be a shame not to preserve some of this in the album. I find that sometimes the best way to achieve this is to make these details the subjects of some of my photographs, even if this means leaving people out of some shots completely.

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Efficient time management is a major factor in a successful wedding shoot, and it can be difficult to capture all the shots you require across the day. That’s why I always show up   early. I do this partly because it affords me the opportunity to walk around the venue – both inside and outside – and assess the lighting conditions on the day. However, it also gives me the chance to get some photos of the building itself and perhaps some of the decorations, flower arrangements and so on before any of the guests have arrived. I always remind my bride to have all of her details together for me when I come into the room where she is getting ready, flowers, rings, vows ,jewelry,shoes, anything and everything that she wants photographed. I challenge myself to find many creative ways of photographing  inanimate objects (since  I am a people photographer) this is always a challenge. I have been know to take an interesting painting off the walls and use it as my background. I try to stick with the colors of the wedding. Keep in mind all of this put together will want to look coordinated in a wedding album.

Of course, often we are asked to take photos of the bride, groom or both getting ready for the wedding. If this is in a hotel or other location far from the venue, it may be difficult to find time to turn up early and capture these detail shots. If so, don’t worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities. Try to spot details and photograph them across the day, and perhaps steal a bit of time at an opportune moment. An ideal opportunity is usually during the meal; most people don’t want to be photographed when they’re eating, so I take the chance to have a walk around the building and its exterior to grab some extra shots.

ALWAYS remember to photograph the venue and location. For destination weddings I might include some of my personal shots of the place I have taken before or after the wedding/

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Finding the perfect wedding location/http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

Things to Consider

1. How many guests do you want, and how mobile are they?

 

 

Is your dream wedding small or a Broadway-worthy production? Your answer may determine the location. Why? Even though the day is about you, it’s also about your guests. If your closest friends all have toddlers, is it fair to request their presence at a safari wedding in South Africa? If relatives are elderly, can you expect them to make it safely to the beach? You won’t be able to please everyone, but consider making a concession or two if it means your loved ones will attend.

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Thhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/e Don Cesar Resort on St Pete beach
2. Do you want a religious ceremony?

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Fifty-three percent of couples who wed in 2007 did so in a church. A few things to consider:

  • A traditional religious ceremony may have to be held in a place of worship, so be sure to ask up front. (In that case, book the date at your place of worship before you book your reception location.) Also, some religious establishments frown upon elaborate decorations or flowers as well as skin-baring dresses, so inquire about these details.
  • If you and your fiancé have different religious beliefs, consider having the ceremony at a neutral location, like a reception hall. Talk early on with both families about your decisions.
  • If organized religion does not play a role in your lives but you want to incorporate a spiritual element, consider hosting the ceremony in a natural setting, such as a beach or a park (be sure to ask about a permit).
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3. How much work are you willing―or do you want―to take on?

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The french quarter New Orleans L.A.

Depending on the location, you may have to do some heavy lifting. Before you commit to an “I do”-it-yourself undertaking, weigh the pluses and minuses of these settings:

  • A unique location:You may have your heart set on a big wedding-day hoedown in a picturesque barn, but who’s going to clear out the hay, haul in the tables, set up the Porta Potties, arrange for lighting,    There’s also Mother Nature to keep in mind. If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony or reception, you’ll need a backup plan in the case of rain,  renting a tent is always a good Idea

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Casa Lantana,Bradenten Fl

  • A reception hall: The establishment usually has a one-size-fits-all feel, but its staff is probably well equipped to take care of the dirty work for you, which may include―and this is important―post-party cleanup.
  • At Home

    What it is: A ceremony held at someone’s residence.
    Good for: Twosomes with a connection to a childhood house or with access to a grand home. Or a pair who want a more, well, homey celebration in their own pad and aren’t afraid to work for it.
    What to know: While it might seem as if a backyard wedding could be a money-saver, it just might break the bank. No, you’re not spending $200 a plate at a reception hall, but consider the extras you may need to rent. You will be responsible for supplying every fork, knife, table, and linen, and the bigger-picture details can also fall on you: generators for the band, a rented floor to cover the lawn, extra restrooms (you’ll need one portable toilet for every 50 guests), a fire extinguisher, and a tent in case of rain. Rentals for all of the above can cost upwards of $5,500. Plus, you’ll have to spray the grounds for bugs, mow the lawn, deal with any home improvements, and figure out parking (a valet company can cost around $2,000).
    Resources: Contact your city or town hall to ask whether you need a permit and to obtain information on noise and traffic ordinances, fire codes, and tent permits. And call your homeowner’s insurance company to inquire about taking out an umbrella policy for the day. The cost is normally a few hundred dollars, but if someone gets hurt, you’ll be protected.

  • Destination

  • germany castle in the mist
  • http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/Neuschwanstein Castle,Germany

  • What it is: A getaway―usually somewhere exotic, like a resort―with activities that span a weekend.

    Good for: Duos who have a connection to a location or want just close loved ones (up to 75 people) to attend. Many resorts offer all-inclusive packages for everything from a guest welcome to a farewell brunch, making the planning process a cinch.

  • Super dome wedding
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    Mercedes Benz Super Dome New Orleans,club encore

  • What to know: Marriage-license rules vary from city to city and country to country. Some cities, like Venice, require that you file for a license a minimum of four days pre wedding, while other locations demand blood tests and X-rays (for example, Guadalajara, Mexico). Also, know that destination weddings aren’t always more expensive than those at other locales; the cost depends on where you go and how elaborate the celebration is. However, they may be more expensive for your guests, who usually have to fork over more to attend. As a courtesy, try to restrict the travel time to about two hours by air or six hours by car.

    Resources: A listing of marriage-license requirements by state is available atusmarriagelaws.com. For the Caribbean islands, log on to caribbeantravel.com, and for Europe, go to marryabroad.co.uk. You can also visit any city’s tourism-board website; the requirements should be posted there.

  •   If you are planning a beach wedding in Florida think about renting a house close to or on the beach,You can share the bill with the bridal party or who ever you want staying with you and how big the house is,this will probably cost allot less than booking a bunch of   hotel rooms and allot more intimate. These weddings tend tobesomeofmy favorites.
  • After 22 yrs of shooting weddings from Germany to Key West, what are some of my favorite venues you ask,The most amazing was  hands down  Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, second I would have to say the Biltmore resort in North Carolina, third,every wedding in New Orleans!!

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