Viewing posts for the category How To

How To Thursday - How to Work with Your Wedding Photographer

Posted by Darren Dunne in How To on September 18, 2014

How To Thursday brings you Do it Yourself Advice for Your Wedding Day.

This week is How to Work with Your Wedding Photographer to get the amazing Photos that You want.

Working with Your Wedding Photographer

Wedding photography isn’t easy. Anyone who says it is doesn’t take the task seriously enough. A good wedding photographer has multiple variables in his or her head that you most likely don’t even see. They have to think about everything from exposure to lighting to proper poses and even making sure a strand or two of hair doesn’t fall in front of the bride’s face.

Photographers Need to Lead, Direct, and Produce

Properly vetting your wedding photographer is very important. When interviewing wedding photographers, look for someone with good interpersonal skills. Good communication is essential in photographing a wedding. Your photographer needs to be able to take input from your guests and family members while making sure you get the photos you want. A good wedding photographer is like a movie director: they must be able to gently push back against bad advice and stick to your gameplan.

Family members who weren’t at the planning session will want different pictures, but a photographer needs to be able to take control: the wedding party can’t be out on a Rolling Stone-style photo shoot for hours while the rest of the guests are waiting to eat. Shooting photos of the wedding party can be chaotic. Type A personalities and photography aficionados will often try to make sure their opinion is known–this distracts the photographer and wastes time.

This is why building trust with the photographer is essential right from the start. Digital technology can make even mediocre photographers look like experts, but spending ten hours with Photoshop is not the same as dealing with a “my way or the highway” grandmother. Everyone wants your wedding photos to be great, but be wary of having too many cooks in the kitchen.

Getting Great Poses

This is often overlooked when selecting a wedding photographer. While they may spend time brainstorming shots, backgrounds, and funny ideas, it’s important to remember that a portrait is the portrayal of the human body, which itself can be moved like a canvas. Fashion magazines and clothing advertisements are a great resources to look for poses that can be part of your wedding. Even the sharpest suit or most stunning dress will fail to sparkle if the bride and groom look rigid and nervous.

If you’re not used to being the center of attention, get some practice–especially for you introverts out there. This could be the first time in your life where everyone has their eyes on you for a whole day. Couples often aren’t coached well enough on how to be models. The key to a good model is being comfortable in front of the camera. There is no amount of makeup that can replace charisma: people can tell when someone looks uncomfortable in a photo. Your photographer needs to provide encouragement, direction, and, occasionally, laughter. Never underestimate the power of humor to put people at ease: a funny photographer is a real plus.

Retouching, and Sorting

Ask your photographer if you can sit through their initial sorting session. Wedding photographers take more photos than they actually retouch and enhance. If your photographer is any good, they’ve been training their eye for years to identify good photos and to junk the rest. The goal here is to look for pictures that might not be high on your photographer’s priority list. For instance, your photographer might not know that a picture of your aunt and uncle dancing is important to you, and might not include them in the final edits. This process is helpful for the photographer, too. Photographers choose pictures based on technically sound elements and on your parameters. Your opinion matters because you can expand their parameters and include the photos that matter to you.

Study and Let Them Do Their Job

To help your photographer get the best out of your wedding, find photographs you like on wedding blogs and magazines and help build a look. Also, studying a wedding photographer’s workflow (a checklist photographers use) will help you understand the process. This is about trust. To bring out the best photography, you must trust the photographer and the photographer must trust you.

Ansel Adams once said, “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” Working together, trusting each other, and being flexible will get you a good experience and therefore good photographs. Your wedding photographer is there to help you capture the most important moments of your special day.


How To Thursday - How to Choose a Wedding Band or a DJ

Posted by Darren Dunne in How To on September 04, 2014

How To Thursday brings you Do it Yourself Advice for Your Wedding Day.

This week is How to Choose a Wedding Band or a DJ

You’ve been down the aisle and you’re ready to celebrate!  How do you plan to party after your “I do’s” have been said? Choosing the entertainment for your reception is one of the biggest choices you have to make. These days, DJ’s take the stage at most post-wedding celebrations, but bands are slowly making a comeback.  Which is right for you?

Find The Perfect Wedding Band

Having live music is a great way to celebrate on your wedding night. Most wedding bands have special sets for the dinner portion of your reception, and then specialize in a certain “style” of music for getting the party started. Don’t expect your wedding band to play all top 40 songs, or even the overplayed classics you’re used to hearing. The band you choose will be responsible for entertaining your guests with a limited number of songs.

The perfect band is out there, but you need to leave yourself time to find it. Start your search 9 months before your big day. Prices of live entertainment vary by the number of band members and the length of your reception. You may find a deal out there, but be sure to request a “live performance” DVD so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Once you’ve found the perfect band, make sure to provide them with a list of things you don’t want played. Together, determine a dance contest, party game, or other way to get the crowd up and moving. Do you or your fiancé play a musical instrument?  Jump on stage and surprise the audience.

Choosing a Wedding DJ

The traditional Wedding DJ is still a great way to keep your guests having fun and entertained at your reception, and continues to be the most flexible option for those with music varied musical tastes. A DJ can play all types of tempos and genres, and can create a playlist tailored to the events at your reception.

Though a DJ can seem like a safe alternative to a wedding band, be sure to read reviews and ask for personal references prior making a selection. The flexibility a DJ can offer is not valuable when dealing with someone who is unskilled, has unreliable equipment, and is unwilling to work with you. If you’re having a large number of guests, there may be a fee for a larger sound system, or adding lighting effects.

Be upfront with your DJ about your desired engagement level. Do you want a true “Master of Ceremonies,” or someone to just spin the tunes?  Don’t be shy when it comes to making special requests, or handing over a list of songs!  The DJ will appreciate the direction, and will work harder to make you happy.

Hire Both!

Have a duo or trio play during dinner at the reception. Choose small groups that feature instruments like harps, violins, and more. Then pay a DJ for performing only when you want your guests on the dance floor. If you can afford both, this option is sure to give you an evening tailored to your musical tastes.


How To Thursday - How to Choose Your Wedding Jewelry

Posted by Darren Dunne in How To on August 07, 2014

How To Thursday brings you Do it Yourself Advice for Your Wedding Day.

This week is How to Choose Your Wedding Jewelry

Jewellery, quite surprisingly, seems to be an afterthought, rather than a priority, when it comes to planning a wedding. Big mistake! The right jewellery should show off your beautiful dress and make you feel fantastic, all day long.

It’s easy to get carried away with your budget, because you want everything to be perfect, but everyone has to rein it in a little. Your wedding jewelry doesn’t need to eat away at your bank balance – there are so many options and solutions for accessories on a budget. Ahead, we’ve narrowed down some tips and tricks to bear in mind when you’re picking out your w-day jewels.

1. Choose Jewellery That You Like - Rather than turn up to your ceremony dripping with diamonds, go with jewelry combinations that you’re comfortable with. Unlike your dress, you can get more than one use out of your marital gems, so pick the kind of jewellery you could see yourself wearing time and time again.

2. Something Old - If you’re after something with more of a vintage feel, or you’d just like to wear something with a little sentiment, the best place to search is your family’s jewellery boxes (with permission, of course!). Does your Grandmother have a gorgeous string of pearls that she’ll lend you for day? Not only will this family heirloom have real meaning as you rock it during the ceremony (something old, people!), but it’s completely free and ripe for the taking.

3. Match Your Jewellery To Your Dress -Your jewellery should express your personality, but it should also complement your dress. Less is usually more – you want to look natural and not cluttered with gems. For example, don’t pair a heavily decorated wedding dress with a necklace, because it’ll look far too busy.

Short-sleeved dresses should include a bracelet and halternecks should focus on the hair accessories. Sweetheart or strapless dresses work best with chandelier earrings and v-necks need something to adorn their neckline, such as a pendant or a choker. Really, you only need to think about one focal piece of jewellery ; whatever you do, don’t choose one of every accessory as your wedding day ensemble will look more disheveled than debonair.

4. Rent Your Jewellery - If you want some real show-stopping accessories on your big day, there’s no point buying them for their RRP – who can afford that? Instead, shop at a jewelry rental store and enjoy the Cinderella feeling of wearing exceptionally beautiful gems just for the night. Be careful with these pieces though and don’t get so drunk that you leave hundreds of pounds worth of jewels in a nearby river.

5. Fake It - Getting high quality replicas is absolutely fine. Really who’s gonna know? No-one needs genuine diamonds when a crystal alternative looks just as gorgeous. Before you start popping tags, consider the cheaper accessories that’ll save you money. You can then invest that extra cash back into your wedding day. With wedding prices so high, you’re going to need all the spare change you’ve got.


How To Thursday - How to Choose Your Wedding Shoes.

Posted by Darren Dunne in How To on July 24, 2014

How To Thursday brings you Do it Yourself Advice for Your Wedding Day.

This week is How to Choose Your Wedding Shoes.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue- oh, and don’t forget the shoes! Choosing your wedding shoes may seem like a trivial task in comparison to the other items on your ever-growing wedding to do list, but nothing can ruin your wedding day fun as swiftly as sore feet. Prevent both painful blisters and buyer’s remorse with the following tips.

1. Brainstorm: Needless to say, there are countless wedding shoe styles- stilettos, low heels, white shoes, brightly colored shoes- the list goes on. Think about your dream shoe style, but be sure to incorporate practical thinking into your decision: are you walking across cobblestone to enter your reception venue? Tying the knot in a sandy area? Plan accordingly.

2. Get inspired: Once you have a general idea of the shoe style that you want to don on your special day, seek visual inspiration. Browse bridal magazines and note the options that jump out at you. Search Pinterest and pin your favorite looks to a wedding shoe board. Crowdsource your shoe-finding mission by making your bridesmaids collaborators on your Pinterest board and allowing them to add photos (be sure to add details about your ideal shoes in the board description so that everyone is on the same page style-wise).

3. Get feedback but trust your instinct: Remember that Pinterest board we mentioned? Ask your bridesmaids to help you decide by liking and commenting on your pins. Shoot out an email with a photo of your top two favorite pair of shoes and ask for votes.

4. Buy: Time to buy those wedding shoes! If you’re shopping online, look for companies that offer free return shipping in case you need to buy a different size or style. 

5. Bring back up: No matter how comfortable or well-designed, heels are heels and inevitably wear on your feet (no pun intended). Buy white satin wedding flats for you (and maybe even a pair of rollable for each of your bridesmaids) to change into after the ceremony and photos end and the reception commences.


How To Thursday - How To Make Your Own Place Cards

Posted by Darren Dunne in How To on July 17, 2014

How To Thursday brings you Do it Yourself Advice for Your Wedding Day.

This week is How to How To Make Your Own Place Cards.

Your wedding will be one of the most important occasions in your life, and therefore it’s very important to make sure everything is just as you’d like it to be. Putting unique touches to various aspects of your day can help in creating those perfect memories. One way you can add a personal touch to your wedding is by creating place cards for your guests. Not only is it a fun task that everyone can get involved with (who doesn’t love cut and stick?!), it can also help save a lot of money. And the best part? They’re your own unique, original, one-of-a-kind creations that represent your personality and style, all while fitting with your chosen theme. 

The style and cost is entirely up to you; you can go all out or just keep it simple. Creating a place name can be as easy as finding the right type of heavy paper/card and putting your calligraphy skills to the test, or using a good home printer with a decent supply of ink. 

For something a little more adventurous, it might be worth holding on to nice scraps of tissue paper and wrapping paper, buttons, ribbon, and pieces of fabric, as well as investing in gold, silver and black pens (if you feel like handwriting names). You never know when inspiration might strike! 

Another interesting way to create place cards is by using small picture frames. There are so many styles and colours to choose from (and they’re quite cheap), as well as the option of choosing a plain style and decorating it to your liking (try painting it, or gluing on flowers and other decorations). Frames are an interesting alternative to paper place names, as they are less likely to be accidently damaged, and will stay clean due to the glass. They will also serve as a nice token of your day for your guests to bring home if they wish. 

Here are some more ideas for place names: 

  • Use wine corks to hold cards with guests names
  • Cocktail umbrellas labelled with the guests names
  • Spell out the guests names with Scrabble pieces
  • Handwritten bookmark-type place names
  • Luggage tags with the guests names
  • A photo of the bride or groom with each particular guest for a very personal touch (if it’s a small wedding and this is possible)
  • Use a place envelope instead of a place name and include a photo of the couple, a nice poem, or the lyrics to the couple’s favourite song inside.
  • A washing line style display with all the guests names and tables numbers pegged onto it.


About SnappyEverAfter

Snappy Ever After is a photo sharing app for your wedding. It allows you to create a fun collection of ‘unmissable’ wedding moments with a little help from your friends, their mobile phones and your own Snappy Ever After app.

Snappy Ever After is available for iPhone and Android. It can be personalised to match your wedding theme. Sign up for free and find out more!