I do a little happy dance when I walk into the bridal suite on the morning of a wedding and I see that the bride has a long wedding veil! Veils aren't everyone's 'cup-of-tea' and that's totally cool (in fact we often have brides that choose a simple hair accessory or flower crown instead), but when brides do choose veils I say the longer the better! Here's why I love long veils...
There's a special timelessness and flow to a wedding veil which creates magic in photos. I love the movement that a wedding veil can give to a portrait.
I also enjoy using the veil in detail shots to create a soft backdrop and interesting texture.
You can let the wind and the light catch long wedding veils creating a dynamic composition. Veils can create great leading lines too, drawing your eye in towards the subject of the photograph.
While shorter veils don't provide as much versatility they can still be used to create some cool imagery too.
I love using a long veil to frame my couple or bride, creating a soft blur around the edges of my photograph.
We usually have a few laughs during portrait time while we're getting creative with the veil. I either employ Matt or a member of the bridal party to help me with fluffing and throwing the veil in the air, then jumping back out of the way of the shot. It usually takes a couple of practice throws to get the shot, and a breeze or gust of wind can certainly provide a challenge to getting the perfect veil shot. But after shooting weddings for 6 seasons now we've almost got the technique nailed haha!
Most brides choose not to wear their wedding veil all day as they aren't the most comfortable or practical accessories. Often brides will wear it for the ceremony and maybe half of the portraits, choosing to take it out for some portraits to change the look up a bit and also to have it out when they get to their reception so they can party without it getting in the way.
Whether you choose to have a wedding veil or not, a long cathedral style veil or a shorter veil, to wear it all day or only for the ceremony - the important thing to remember is that there's no right or wrong decision, just choose what feels right for you! x
Today I'm talking about a few things that I never get asked by our wedding couples when they first meet with us. These are three topics that actually could have a detrimental impact on their wedding photography experience but yet I never get asked about them. Perhaps prospective wedding couples just trust us with this [boring] stuff, but I'd be willing to also bet I never get asked about these 3 things because couples don't know to ask.
BUSINESS INSURANCE. Why is this important you might ask? Well what if someone hurts themselves tripping over a tripod at the wedding or perhaps the photographer knocks over a lit candle while shooting & causes damages (or worse, a fire!)? If your photographer doesn't have the appropriate business insurances then you as the client could be financially liable. Now if that seems a little far-fetched then maybe it's as simple as the photographer being ill & not able to shoot your wedding... Photographers should have insurance policies & contracts in place to ensure that you as the client are not left without a photographer. Additionally professional photographers have equipment insurance for their gear in case of damage or loss, which helps ensure minimal business disruption when things do go wrong.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE EQUIPMENT. Whether you're getting a friend starting out in photography, 'Uncle Bob' who just bought a new camera or a professional to shoot your wedding - they need to have back up equipment. Why? Camera gear is not infallible. What happens if their camera plays up or suddenly dies in the middle of your wedding ceremony? We carry back up gear on us at all times so if a camera or a lens starts mis-behaving we can swap it out, keep on shooting & our clients will never even know (in fact we've done just that before!).
Additionally, while I thoroughly believe a good photo is more about the photographer than the equipment, there is a difference between consumer grade and professional grade gear. Cameras come in various levels of quality, and lens are certainly not all made equal. Another huge difference between a professional & a hobby/amateur/enthusiast is the maintenance of that gear. Just like with your vehicle, camera gear needs serviced and checked over on a regular basis.
HOW SAFE ARE OUR IMAGES? Having just discussed equipment back up, let's look at another area where back ups are critical. The digital data: your photographs. What measures are being taken to safeguard & protect all those precious moments and details captured?
While each photographer will have different systems here's ours as an example: Our cameras have dual card slots which we put to use by saving every photograph on to 2 separate memory cards; the first level of protection in case of card failure. Secondly we're shooting on the highest grade memory cards we can buy & we don't use cards more than 2 years old as another level of precaution. Then at the end of a wedding day the images are immediately backed up to another 2 hard drives, one hard drive is then stored in a different location to the second. Our back up system also includes cloud storage, a fireproof safe and a 'RAID system' which backs up our computer every night just in case the computer decides to go on the blink. Our back up system is rigorous (and boring) but it's part of running a professional business.
There is always room for errors & mistakes - but having insurance policies, systems, routines & contracts in place certainly helps me sleep easy at night knowing that I'm taking a number of actions to safeguard our clients' memories and investment.
I recently asked Carmel, graphic designer and owner of The Avenue, a few questions about her business and what's involved with creating wedding invitations and stationery suites. Carmel helps me with my business stationery needs, so I can personally attest to her awesome skill at taking my weird, wonderful and generally confused ideas and turning them into carefully curated and designed reality. (For proof check out our new business cards!)
Aside from our business stationery, I've also had the pleasure of working with Carmel on a handful of styled shoots and I'm regularly photographing her beautiful work at many of our couple's weddings. The Avenue offers a huge range of wedding stationery, from the design right through to gorgeously printed complete suites including save-the-dates, invites, name tags, custom envelopes, menu cards and more. I'm excited to have this lovely lady on the blog, sharing her story & words of wisdom with you, including an exciting new development coming to The Avenue soon!
TELL ME HOW THE AVENUE WAS BORN & WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN?
The Avenue came to life after I became a Mum. It's been brilliant to be able to integrate the things I love; my growing family and my passion for design. I'm grateful to say that the two have fused well together. Design & creativity has always been something that has come quite naturally to me. I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes it can be the the shadow of the trees, a sunset or the colour of a flower that I want to capture and use in my work. I also love that I'm always learning - there are new trends and updated technology happening all the time, and as they evolve so do I. Plus it's difficult to beat the rush you get when you create something that makes a client really happy.
WHEN IT COMES TO WEDDING STATIONERY, IS ALL YOUR WORK CUSTOM DESIGNS OR DO YOU HAVE TEMPLATES COUPLES CAN CHOOSE FROM?
Sometimes couples come to me with a very clear vision of what they want, and other times couples may only have their colour theme and we build from there. I'm also really excited that in the next few months I will be launching a collection of designs where couples can choose a template and either I can print, or they can purchase the design and print themselves! Watch this space!
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE DESIGN PROCESS WITH COUPLES WHEN THEY CONTACT YOU?
Most often after a couple have contacted me we have a sit down consultation (sometimes done via email) to discuss options. I have a form which we work though, this covers anything from themes through to paper sample choices and envelope colour. After the consult I get in front of the computer to design a couple of different options from what has been discussed. From here proofs are sent and we work together towards a final design. Once finalised it's sent to the printers.
WEDDING INVITES CAN BE WORDED SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, IS THIS SOMETHING YOU HELP YOUR COUPLES WITH OR DO YOU HAVE EXAMPLES TO CHOOSE FROM?
I have many templates for wording to make the process as simple and stress free as possible. These templates cover the invitations, gift registry/wishing well, the following day celebration, accommodation etc.
I NOTICE THAT MANY COUPLES OPT FOR A FULL WEDDING STATIONERY SUITE TO COMPLETE THEIR LOOK, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHER STATIONERY ITEMS YOU CAN PROVIDE WEDDING COUPLES FOR THEIR WEDDING DAY?
In addition to invitations I have also created the following stationery pieces for my couples; guest name tags, menus, favour labels, wine bottle labels, order of service, buffet/dessert signs, seating plans and more. Once the invitations are designed, these details are created to match the initial design style and colours.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD SAVE-THE-DATES & WEDDING INVITATIONS BE SENT? AND WHEN SHOULD COUPLES BE GETTING IN TOUCH WITH YOU TO BEGIN THE DESIGN PROCESS?
In terms of the time it takes to design a personalised wedding stationery suite and have the finish printed invitations, it's best to get in touch at least 8 weeks prior to wanting to send the invites out. And as a general rule, it's best to send the save-the-dates around 8 months prior to the ceremony. Follow your save-the-dates with your formal invitations about 8 weeks before your RSVP date. If you choose to only send the formal invitation (and no save-the-date) it would be best to send these out 6 months prior to the wedding date.
WHY HAVE YOUR WEDDING STATIONERY DONE BY A GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND NOT JUST DO IT YOURSELF ONLINE?
As soon as “designer” is mentioned some assume "that's going to be expensive". Yet there are so many ways to save money; people are often surprised at how having a graphic designer can fit well into their budget. A graphic designer will be able to guide you according to your budget as to what paper, printing & design options will work best for you. Also, being creative is what designers do for a living. We have an eye for detail and can offer up some alternative ideas or embellish on your ideas helping you get the perfect stationery suite.
ANY OTHER STATIONERY ADVICE FOR WEDDING COUPLES?
From all the details you choose for your big day your invitation is the one detail that all you guests will definitely see. It is the first glimpse into the style of your wedding day. So, in saying this think of colours and details that are important to you that you want to include. Give yourself time, so you don't feel rushed going through the process. Also, I can do as much (from invite, names tags, twine, envelope etc) to as little (only an invite & you can do the rest) as you like.