THE COMPLETE WEDDING GUIDE

ADVICE AND TIPS TO CREATE A RELAXING WEDDING EXPERIENCE

01. Thank you so much!

It still blows my mind that each and every day that my passion is my career. And it couldn’t be possible to follow my passion without amazing people such as yourself trusting my work, process and vision. So thank you so much for even showing interest in my work, it means alot. I’m now in my 10th year working in the wedding industry, I’ve seen it all, so with my passion also comes great experience. Which means I have so much advice to give. I’ve also learnt over the years to align myself with people with similar values, so as much as you want to get to know me, I also value getting to know you. It’s a calibration. I’m not just your photographer or film maker, I’m your friend before, during and after your wedding day.

03. WHAT HAPPENS ONCE YOU HAVE BOOKED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER?

You have chosen the date, have amazing ideas on the vision of your wedding day, the dress and the styling and you have inquired with your photographer (me), so what happens now? Well, now is where all the fun begins, and the excitement starts to really sink in for both of us!

So, to kick things off, once you have inquired with me the first thing I like to do is organise a meeting! A zoom call is quick and easy and bridges those distances or busy work schedules. It's great to chat face to face to ensure we are on the same path when it comes to the imagery for your wedding day.

After we meet all information is sent through to confirm and secure your date via my booking portal. The invoice, wedding contract and questionnaire can all be read, filled out and paid via this easy to use portal.

From this point I am basically available to you at anytime via email, phone, instagram dm's to ask any questions or give any advice. Keeping your photographer in the loop on your plans is the best thing to do. Communication is key.

Between the time you book me and the wedding day is also a great time to book in an engagement shoot. These shoots are perfect for getting to know each other and be comfortable with me and the camera. They really are a priceless investment into your wedding day. But also perfect to receive some amazing images to share with your wedding guest as wedding invites to get them excited too!

As your day draws near I have a mandatory catch up about 6 weeks out from the wedding day. Here we can get a little more in depth and plan a little more detail – and by plan, I mean wedding timeline and any changes they may have been. Then I am good to go.

Once your wedding has been captured you'll receive some sneak peeks within 72 hours. And depending on the time of season (busy or normal) your full gallery will be deliver within the 8-12 weeks timeframe. Once you've relived your day and soaked up all the goodness this is normally when I can design your album because your wedding memories don't deserve to just be on a USB.

From the very beginning right until the end I will be on this journey with you. Sometimes as long as 18 months. We may start as strangers but we always end up as friends.

04. WHEN AND WHY YOU SHOULD MEET YOUR WEDDING VENDORS 

When it comes to meeting your vendors you want to know that they are just as excited and invested in your wedding day as you are, so getting to know them, their ideas and how they work can be crucial to a smooth and carefree wedding day. While it’s great if you can meet with as many vendors as possible here a few key peeps we think it’s important to touch base with through more than an email. 

VENUE

You would probably want to be visiting your potential venue as soon as you’ve decided to get married. 12 months out at least to be able to snap up those popular dates!

CELEBRANT

Your celebrant is one of the most important pieces for your wedding day. You want them to know the ins and outs, be comfortable talking about your love and each of you as individuals too! Meet your celebrant a few times throughout the process if you can. A few little coffee catch ups will make reading your vows out loud and declaring your love exciting instead of stressful.

PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER

Basically enquire with your photographer once you have chosen your date – check their availability, or if they are really important to you, enquire with your photographer first before selecting a date. The good photographers tend to book out 12-18 months in advance. 

06. ENGAGEMENT SHOOTS

I believe an engagement shoot is so important for a variety of reasons. Firstly its the best way for us to get to know each other before your actual wedding day. It builds trust for all of us. It gives you a good idea on how I work, it'll pull down any barriers you have regarding getting infront of a camera and before you know it we are just hanging out as friends but I just happen to have a camera. It creates comfort during the wedding day, as I am now a familiar and friendly face along for the ride on your wedding day. This type of session are super relaxed. Feel free to bring a beer or bottle of wine, some music, its fun. Photo locations can be your favourite beach, hinterland forests, mountains or even in your home. What ever is you and your personal style. My sessions are seriously just fun! Pets and or kids are always welcome. Another great upside of getting professional engagement photos is now you have beautiful images to share along with your wedding invites to really get your guest excited. It's also a part of your life that should be documented. Because right now you are young and excited!

EXAMPLE TIMELINE

Working off my experience this is how your timeline could look based on a traditional 3:00pm ceremony start time. Also using a 9 hour package (most popular) as the example. Coverage 12pm – 9pm

 

12:00pm Photographer arrives at the boy’s prep.
12:45pm Photographer leaves Groom Prep and drives the girl’s prep.
1:00pm Photographer arrives at the girl’s preparation.
1:15pm Ideal if Hair and Makeup is finished by this time.
1:30pm Bridesmaids are to hop into their dresses.
1:45pm Bride gets in dress
2:00pm Portrait photos with Bride and Bridesmaids.
2:15pm Photographer leaves Bride prep and heads to your Ceremony.
2:30pm Photographer arrives at your Ceremony to photograph guests and groom.
3:00pm Ceremony starts.
3:30pm Ceremony finishes.
3:30pm – 3:45pm Congratulations, hugs and mingle
3:45pm Group & Family photos
4:00pm – 4:30pm Bride and Groom mingle with family and friends. ( I always love for you to mingle as much as you can. )
4:30pm – 4:45pm Bridal Party Photos on site.
4:45pm Either leave for location photos or stay onsite depending on venue.
4:50pm Bridal Shoot
5:30pm Sunset time. ( between 5:00pm and 5:50pm is the best light for photos ).
5:50pm Leave bridal shoot and drive to the venue.
6:00pm  Enter Reception.
6:00pm – 9:00pm Reception coverage (Your venue will help with meal times, speech, cake cutting & dance times)

Bonus Tip – During reception no-one likes being photographed while eating meals. If we ( your photographer/videographer ) get our dinner at the same time as you, then we can finish our meals together and we will be ready to document the action again, whether it be the speeches or first dance etc. Instead of us (your photographer/videographer) eating during formalities.

08. WHICH FLORALS FOR WHICH SEASON? 

You may have your heart set on a particular frangipani, but not all florals are available throughout the year. While some of the flowers you like may be available to be imported why not chat to your local florist to see what is in season.

SUMMER:
Hydrangeas simple and delicate, these are the perfect addition when you have forgotten your something blue.
Kangaroo Paw – Bright red Australian Native for those outback inspired bouquets!
Zinnias These are the best way to add a pop of colour; bright bold and beautiful they are the perfect piece to your popping summer bouquet. 

SPRING:
Blossoms – spring is In the air when these delicate beauties come out! The definition of ‘pretty in pink’.
Orchids – A delicate row of rising florals, these create dynamic and depth in every bouquet!
Peonies – A favourite among brides, these soft yet dense romantic flowers are as full of goodness.

AUTUMN:
Gardenias – A bridal fave, these beauties are a white perfection; soft, romantic and sit beautifully amongst a handful of foliage.
Magnolias – Delicate, delightful and a feature flower to say the least! 

WINTER:
Poppies – Delicate and red, these little addition certainly stand out in a crowd.
Oriental Lily – This beauty is believed to have links to the Goddess of Love! 

09. HOW TO WRITE UNIQUE WEDDING VOWS

These sweet sentimental words can sometimes prove to be the hardest to string together.

GET DOWN AND PERSONAL

These are words exchanged between just the two of you, forget about who else will hear and let them come from your heart. She is your wife, he is your husband, your lover and the one who will be beside you through every day that lies ahead. Let your heart pour out.

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

The things that they may not love about themselves or even notice, that you fall more and more in love with every single day. Now is your chance to tell them. Those tiny little things that they think go unnoticed, forgotten. 

GO BACK TO WHERE YOU MET

Go down memory lane to when and where you first met. That’s the perfect inspiration. Places that hold beautiful memories and think back to what it felt like, what it smelt like and what it sounded like.

LET THE TUNES FLOW

Does she have a favourite song? Does he come to mind when a certain song comes begins to play? Turn on the musical vibes and let it move through you; you never know, there could a perfect little theme to help you along your way.

JUST BE YOU

Last but not least, the most important one of all, speak words that reflect you as a person. Don’t conform to what you feel has to be written, write from your heart, structured or jumbled it doesn’t matter – they are your words from your heart.

WEDDING DAY

10. GETTING READY

The getting ready portion of the day is often overlooked when planning a wedding. But it should be a fun and memorable part. It’s where all the true nervousness and excitement sneaks out. But to avoid the stress and attract the fun, first you must only invite in who really needs to be there and who you really want there.
If you don’t want your mother in law and 5 Aunties all to be fluffing around you in the morning then please make that noted. The morning part of the day can be chaotic. If you are cramming 10 bridesmaids, family members, friends, the make-up artist, the hairstylists, and the photographer/videographer into a single room filled with make-up, curling irons, hairspray, bags, beer cans, wine bottles, food, and clothing can start to feel overcrowded and look pretty cluttered.
Plan your getting ready space now and don’t leave it too late where all you are left with is a dark small motel room. Ideally you want light and space. Looking at homes on Airbnb are a great option — they tend to have lovely backgrounds and much better light. I typically like to be able to shoot with natural light coming through windows, so I aim to turn off those nasty fluro overhead lights. Space, light, less people, no clutter and good tunes is what I normally recommend.

12. BRIDAL SHOOT

It's great to involve your photographer in the wedding day schedule. Because if you want a great variety of photographs, it requires shooting in different parts of the day with different light. Your portraits will be the ones you hang on your walls, the ones you show your grandchildren, and the ones your parents will hold as keepsakes forever. I love capturing moments that look real, so movement is a big one for me. You can walk and dance around, chat, laugh, hold each other, spin round, whisper little sweet nothings, kiss, whatever you feel like. My job is to find that beautiful light, put you in it then let the fun begin. I’ll make sure you are always looking gorgeous with amazing light and neat backgrounds behind you. I don't chase after those posed, stiff and fake images. Again this is where an engagement session comes in because if you've already had one you will know what to expect. We are just hanging out in a beautiful setting and I just happen to have a camera. Easy.

POST WEDDING

14. WHEN DO I GET TO SEE MY WEDDING PHOTOS?

After your wedding day most vendors are all finished up; they pack down their settings, scrape their plates and turn the music off; but luckily for photographers that is not the case. Long before and after your wedding our creative mind is processing and thinking about your wedding photos; where to take them, how to compose them and how to best portray that honest love through each individual image. My passion is to give you the highest quality of images in their purest form. I need a little time to individually select the best captures and edit them to ensure all of your unique love is at the forefront of what I deliver. Once they have been completed, normally between 8 - 12 weeks (depending on the season - busy or normal) you will receive your full online gallery ready to view, soak in the love and share. From there you can order prints, canvas prints and have me designing your gorgeous album in no time.

ADDITIONAL ADVICE AND TIPS

15. WORKING FULL TIME? HERE ARE SOME TIPS

Planning this extravagant day can be little bit daunting to say the least, super exciting but a slightly overwhelming. While working a nine to five, wrangling some munchkins and few weekend social events and hobbies and how are you meant to find the time to plan one of the biggest days of your life without the extra weight of stress? Here are a few ideas to get you a little more organised so you can spend more time focusing on ‘work’ at work and less on Pinterest.

1. Give Yourself Enough Time
It is never too early to start. The best thing you can is set yourself a little timeline of things you know you need to organise. Start from the top and just work your way from the top to the bottom – it will build up over time, but you feel so relived knowing your organised and of top of everything! Find yourself some incredible wedding planning stationary – because we all know it must look the part or it doesn’t count! 

2. Allocate Time Together
Set aside some time each week to spend together to talk it all out – preferably not during a football game!! Taking the time for yourselves will allow you to chat about things in depth and get to know what each of you envision and how each of you are going with the booking side of things. 

3. Get to Know Your Vendors
One of the best things you can do is get to know your vendors. Explain to them your crazy lifestyle and the best ways to communicate with you – are you best on email, a quick afternoon phone call or few texts throughout the week? You will be so surprised at how much you can sort out with just one catch up opposed to fifty emails, especially when coffee is involved!

17. WEDDING DAY HAIR AND MAKEUP TIPS AND TRICKS

When it comes to hair and makeup for your special day it can often be left until the last minute or totally forgotten about as the excitement of table arrangements and font styles take over in full deco swing. While yes, these things are very important, so is your hair and makeup.  Here is some great advice from professional hair and makeup artist for your wedding day.

Like most of your top priority wedding vendors, hair and makeup artists can book out well over a year in advance. If you have been scouting Facebook, Pinterest or instagram and have your eye on someone in particular, get in touch sooner rather than later!

Pinterest is a wonderful thing; all praise the Pinterest angels! Take pictures and pin a million things you love; it doesn’t have to be the exact style, but your artist will get a better understanding of what your trying to explain – they say a picture tells a thousand words right? It can be hard explaining some of those intricate styles.

The camera will soften a few layers. TRUE! I wouldn’t hold this as an excuse to go the full shebang if makeup isn’t your thing, but keep in mind a little will soften behind the lens – a little extra blush ain’t gunna hurt nobody!

Light and dark coloured hair will look different when styled! Intricate hairstyles on dark hair can sometimes get lost when the colour is solid while the blonde is more prominent. When you go on your pinning rampage, make sure your looking at pictures with similar hair tones to yours so you can see what it will actually look like. 

Always have a trial!! There are so many reason for this; meet the person you are spending your morning with, make sure you feel comfortable, excited and calm with them. Ensure you don’t react to any of the makeup, try different styles so you can put any second guessing to rest, and most importantly make sure your 100% happy!! 

18. HOW DO I POSE?

Capturing images that represent your wedding day is so much more than your standard ‘look into each other’s eyes on the count of three and smile’. There are so many couples, and I am talking a good 95%, that fear their wedding photos; ‘I’m not very photogenic, I never look good in photos, this is going to be so awkward, are you going to tell us how to pose?’. Well let’s cut to the chase and let me tell you why not posing is the best thing you could possibly do!

This day is a celebration of love, so all you need to focus is exactly that; from the morning champagnes or cheeky surf, right through to those first few moments as husband and wife, I am there to bring these to life, there is no need for me to tell you how to pose, nor do you need to, your natural love will flow and shine – and that’s exactly what I am after.

I want you to look back on these photos in all the years to come and see those laugh out loud moments, the unseen tears and the hidden little whispers between yourselves as you stroll hand in hand through your chosen location and just enjoying each other’s presence. If you want to cry, cry, if you want to skip back down the aisle through the colourful confetti, then go right ahead and do that too! These are the captures that will truly represent your love, free from all fear of awkwardness and just beaming with the elements of you. You will be pleasantly surprised on just how special and perfectly angled these become without any posing or modelling instructions from myself or any other random posing blog you might have scuffled across – you guys just be you and leave the rest to me, it’s the part I love the most.

And I’ve said it before, but if you book in an engagement session all those photo fears will be a distant memory on your actual wedding day.

19. TOP THREE REASONS TO GET MARRIED ON THE SUNSHINE COAST

There are a million and one reasons why this beautiful part of Australia is a number one wedding destination. From overseas travellers’ right through to local love, the Sunshine Coast inspires such a diverse range of lovers with the amazing traits it holds within its heart. There is nothing I love more than capturing each wedding story with a unique flare, and although that means I am able to travel the globe to extraordinary cultures and sceneries, there are so many places within this location that can allow you to feel a part of something so unique – Here are a few reasons why the Sunshine Coast is the perfect place to tie the knot! 

HINTERLAND TO THE SEA

From the golden tones of the sandy shores right through to the intricate detail of the tree lined rainforests, the Sunshine Coast has the most diverse range of landscapes set for your wedding day! Within thirty minutes you can be set on the sandy shores for a balmy night of fun or escaping into the glorious hinterland with the fresh countryside air and scenery to just as beautiful as your love. 

WEDDING CAPITAL 

You are honestly spoilt for choice, what more can I say? The Sunshine Coast has some of the world’s finest vendors on its radar. Each venue is so unique allowing you to stay true to your style while adding splashes of your unique character through your endless choices of live music, styling and most importantly, your food! Don’t be afraid to get fancy, trial run a few things to find exactly what you’re after, and most importantly meet with your vendors to make sure you guys are a perfect fit! 

HOLIDAYS YOU SAY!

No one could ever say no to attend such a blissful day for you and your partner, nor could they turn down the opportunity to have a little getaway themselves! The Sunshine Coast is the perfect place for your guests to indulge before and after your celebration and truly make the most of their time in the sunshine state. With white sandy beaches, theme parks galore and mountains as far as the eye can see, this gem within Australia really offers a little piece of paradise for an holiday maker.