3 easy ways to capture all your wedding day details

3 easy ways to capture all your wedding day details

I am a sucker for great detail photos, it’s like the gravy to my mash potatoes.

Of course you can have amazing wedding photography and skip the detail shots and have a beautiful wedding album and memories at the end. For me though, I love to see the detail photos and all the little things that we have planned and chosen with care captured to be remembered forever. When I am planning with a couple, I likely spend a year (a little less, a little more) getting to know them like friends. All that time together means I get to know their personalities, their likes and dislikes as well as their must-haves and nice-to-haves along the way.

So when the photos come in and they are missing things like those shoes that the bride shopped for months to find, Mom’s earrings that were her “something borrowed” or his Grandfather’s watch that he inherited, those invitations that we went back and forth on with the designer until they were just right, the flowers where we worked out the perfect “recipe” to get the look they wanted, the robes and gifts that were ordered for the bridesmaids and the whisky glasses and rocks that were given to the guys, those favours that we hunted for MONTHS for and had to add tags for hours to, it’s like there was no gravy on my mash potatoes. The details matter! These photos shouldn’t take priority over the photos of you two but there is room for both!

So here is how we do it:

1. It starts with a great schedule! I leave time for the photographers to capture both of you getting ready and its at this time the detail photos start. Then I leave time to capture the empty ceremony and reception area before guests begin to arrive.

Bonus tip: When possible, I also schedule a grand reveal of your reception room so you get to see all that hard work before its filled with guests!

2. Location, location, location! Choose a getting ready location that is bright, open and not cluttered. The best places for getting ready are hotels. It’s a nice idea to get ready at your Mom’s but likely the things that make it a “home” are also the things that your photographer will need to move to capture photos of you getting ready. For example, photos on the night table or wall, teddy bears on beds, coasters on the coffee table. Also, it means your parents are likely coming home late that night to a mess with all the people who have been there! A hotel has staff to help feed and clean up after everyone! If you book a hotel, make sure it has great natural light! My three Ottawa favourites are The Westin Ottawa, Andaz Ottawa Bywards Market, and Le Germain Ottawa.

Bonus tip: You will need to check in the night before your wedding to have access to the room early enough to get ready in it!

3. Being ready for the detail photos! I ask the florist for additional blooms so the photographer can use them for taking detail shots that are just that much better! On my packing list for the wedding day is always your invitation, photographers love to use them for ring shots for example. Print your vows on beautiful stationary!

Bonus tip: Have all your items in one location so when your photographer arrives it’s all together and they don’t need to keep asking you were things are.

These detail photos that will be treasured forever by my amazing clients Thea and Kellan. Thanks to the extremely talented Batoul of Ali and Batoul Photography who I know appreciated all the time we left for her to do her photography magic!

Fun ways to pop the question to your #bridalsquad

Fun ways to pop the question to your #bridalsquad

You’ve said “yes” to your mister and now you need your sisters!

Your bridesmaids are usually made up of your closest friends and family, the ones you depend on in your daily life but also the ones that won’t bring drama to your engagement and your wedding day.

So why not show them some love? They will be your VIPs, with you all through the planning and by your side on your wedding day. They will invest time and money into getting you down that aisle. Here are some ideas I put together on ways to pop the question “Will you be my bridesmaid?”

I Can't say I do without you. Will you be my maid of honour? | zazzle.ca
You're, like, really pretty. Will you be my bridesmaid? Card for your bridesmaids from zazzle.ca
Will you be my bridesmaid? Scratch card for your bridesmaids | Wedbook.com

There are so many cute cards out there that you can either mail or deliver by hand. Seeing their reaction though would be top on my list. One of these is even a scratch card.

Throw a killer slumberparty (probably been a while?) and give these cute PJs as gifts! The girls can wear them while getting ready on your wedding day as an alternative to the satin robes that have been popular for years.

Plum Pretty Sugar PJs | Photo credit to jacquicole.com

For the wine loving crowd, how about a nice bottle of wine with these super cheeky labels! Then you just have to live up to what you put on there… Or, invite everyone out for a shopping day and pop the question as you hand out these monogrammed totes!

Personalized wine labels to give your #bridalsquad from Etsy.com
Monogrammed Totes from https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/386154204/

Who doesn’t want more jewelry? These adorable bracelets can be worn anytime and I love the little note saying “Will you help me tie the knot?”


Tie the knot bracelets from theglitteredgal.com

However you do it, be original and let your personality shine through! Check out my Pinterest under “The Girls” for more ideas.

Newly engaged? Now what? Top 5 tips to kick start your wedding planning

Newly engaged? Now what? Top 5 tips to kick start your wedding planning

I was interviewed earlier this week by Johnna Ruocco of Metro Ottawa for an article about the first steps in wedding planning. After reading it in print I realized it was the makings of the first top 10 list of wedding planning tips on my Blog! Well, in this case a Top 5 list! Although my recommendations are based on wedding planning experiences here in Ottawa, anyone could benefit from these 5 wedding planning tips.


If you’re thinking of hiring a Wedding Planner, do it right away. Let a planner show you how to take great ideas and actually make them work in your community! If you already have a Pinterest list, great! But realize it’s not always easy to bring those ideas to life.

Couples start planning on their own and then come to me when they are overwhelmed, frustrated and have already booked a couple of items on their list.  Had they come to me right away I could have laid out a plan, shown them options they maybe didn’t know about, and possibly saved them money through some of my discounts.


Set a budget or at least a draft budget so you have an idea of what’s ahead. Many couples just haven’t thought about all of the different pieces that need to come together on their wedding day, and almost all of these pieces have a cost.

Many of my clients may say “I have a budget of $25,000.” Then when I ask, does this include your dress, the groom’s suit, hair, makeup, attendant gifts, transportation, etc. many times they say “No, just the food and alcohol at the reception.” I always lay out a detailed budget for my clients so there are no surprises later on.


It’s difficult to say “We want 120 guests at our wedding” until you actually make a list. Couples can be surprised at how quickly the guest count grows, especially because many friends, relatives, or colleagues have partners.

When my clients aren’t sure if they should add a particular guest to the list, I tell them to ask themselves this important question: “Would I invite this person/couple out for dinner at a nice restaurant and offer to pay the bill?” If the answer is no, then you may want to reconsider if they make your guest list.


Booking the venue will also determine your wedding date, which everything in your wedding planning process will revolve around.

Booking your venue may be difficult if you’re set on a particular date or location. Some venues in your local community may require you book up to two years in advance!


When I work with clients I always recommend finding their photographer first since many of the best photographers can be scheduling one year in advance.

An experienced local wedding planner will have a long list of great vendors they trust, making it easy to check “to-dos” off the list. You’ll quickly be able to fill in the blanks with confidence next to the bridal gown, florist, decorator, music, hair, makeup, invitations etc.



Don’t procrastinate!

The best advice I can give is to not procrastinate. Of course you should enjoy your engagement! But, that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy planning your wedding too. I always tell my clients that planning your wedding should be easy, fun and stress-free. I want to help you host the best party you’ll ever throw and make sure you enjoy every minute of it!

Want to get started? Click here.

Photo Credits: AMBphoto

It’s all in the details! Why every detail matters for your dream wedding

It’s all in the details! Why every detail matters for your dream wedding

Planning your wedding is full of details. How many hors d’oeuvres per guest for cocktail hour, how many drinks to account for in open bar, how long the linens should be for your guest tables, what gifts to give your bridal party, what songs for the different parts of your ceremony and then your reception! It goes on and on but hey, that’s why they hire me.

The details I am talking about today are details that make your wedding day your own. Guests appreciate seeing your personality come out and for your dream wedding, every detail matters!

One of my clients had her very favourite little person be her flowergirl. She was too little at the time to carry flowers so instead the flowergirl carried this tiny nest that we had tied the rings into. She was so careful with it and the rings made it safely down the aisle!

For some couples it might be a his and hers drink for example. This gives guests an option to choose at the bar that is not the usual drink perhaps. It also lets them see your personality shine through.  Just make sure it’s a drink your bartenders can make without causing a lineup!

His and her's signature drinks | Wedding Details | Renaissance Studios

It might be a favour that reflects your love or your personality. In this case, the bride had a very cheeky sense of humour and had many different Anne Taintor cards attached to her favour boxes. This one says “She was one cocktail away from proving her mother in law right”.  Love it!

Anne Taintor favor vinyl record charger | Wedding Details | Renaissance Studios

A detail that this bride didn’t want to forget was her father. He had passed away and it was very emotional for her to not have him there on her wedding day. Since he wouldn’t be there to walk her down the aisle or to do a speech nor to have a father/ daughter dance, this bride chose her cousin. Her cousin was extremely honoured and quite emotional himself at this enormous privilege.

To honour her dad, we attached a pendant with her father’s photo onto her bouquet so she carried him around all day with her. We did the same for her best friend and Maid of Honour who had also lost her Dad.

Memorial locket wedding bouquet | Wedding Details | Renaissance Studios
Pink orange green wedding bouquet with memorial locket | Renaissance Studios

Lastly, I always love it when couples give each other notes with a gift on their wedding day. It’s so emotional for both of them to open something from the person that loves them the most in the world on their wedding day. In this case, my client had given her groom her father’s pocket watch. As stoic as this groom was, I don’t think he held it together long when he saw what she had given him!  I know I sure didn’t!

Groom gift pocket watch | Wedding Details | Renaissance Studios

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