Hi there,

I'm Dianne, and welcome to my blog! I'm a wedding pho-tographer based in Southwestern Ontario, and I just love meeting people in every stage of life. I have to admit that love stories are my favourite! I'd love it if you'd grab a great glass of wine, snuggle up on the couch, and browse through everything that I've been up to lately. Go see what there is to know about this amazing DVI community. If you want to learn more about me and my story...

I'm Dianne, and welcome to my blog! I'm a wedding pho-tographer  based  in   South-

western Ontario, and I just love meeting people in every stage of life. I have to admit that love stories are my favourite! I'd love it if you'd grab a great glass of wine, snuggle up on the couch, and browse through everything that I've been up to lately. Go see what there is to know about this amazing DVI community. If you want to learn more about me and my story...

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6 Wedding Traditions to Ditch


Most wedding traditions were created long ago, with both love and superstition in mind. You might be the most non-traditional bride, but feel the need to stick to many of these traditions, because, why take a chance with bad luck? The idea is, if you follow these customs, you will find eternal happiness with your partner, but traditions can be changed and updated to reflect who you are as a couple. Here are 6 wedding traditions you can ditch on your special day!

Tradition #1 | Something Borrowed, Something Blue

As the saying goes, each bride should incorporate something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Back in the day, brides took this very seriously. It could come in the form of handkerchiefs, jewellery, or even the dress at times. While this tradition can be extremely special, it can be really challenging to come up with the appropriate items that have significant meaning and look intentional, like they were meant to be a part of your wedding.

Instead of struggling to come up with the perfect things to incorporate, why not focus on the meaningful things that you can add to your big day? My favourite happens to be including the presence of parents/grandparents who are no longer of this earth. It can be as simple as adorning empty chairs in the front row with flowers, or including more sentimental pieces like charms or pins from each individual on the inside of the groom’s suit jacket or on the bouquet ribbon. Make sure to ask your photographer to get a few great detail photos of them, that effort should be seen by your children and future generations.

Something Old Something New Something Borrowed Something Blue Wedding Traditions

Tradition #2 | Identical Bridesmaid Dresses

When Bertus and I got married back in 2009, our bridesmaid dresses were an undesirable (almost-lime) green colour. I had picked the colour from a small swatch and was sorely disappointed when they came in. That being said, we made the best of it, and the wedding day itself was absolutely stunning. The photos were great, except for the fact that the girl’s side looked like one large lime-green blob.

Your dresses don’t have to be a specific colour or pattern in order for it to look overwhelming. One easy way to combat this is to ensure that your photographer takes some wedding party photos where the guys and the gals alternate. To really change things up, you can choose to have different bridesmaid dresses, all in the same colour family. A huge benefit of this choice is that each bridesmaid can choose the style that works best with their figure, complexion and preference. That last one is the most important! Imagine how awesome is it if you love your bridesmaid dress so much that you want to wear it again, possibly to a fancy dinner party or a new year’s eve bash?!?!

Bridesmaid Dresses Wedding Traditions

Tradition #3 | Exiting in a Shower of Rice

Rice tosses have long been a staple in many weddings; it’s said to bring many children to a marriage. Having watched some chick flicks where they’ve been included, I have to admit they look really fun… for the guests. Have you ever looked at the bride and groom’s face in those scenes? It’s no wonder the bride and groom try their best to grin and bear it through that ordeal, because the truth is, being rained on by rice hurts! It can also go into all the most inconvenient places. Seeing how much work it can be to put on your gorgeous gown, I’d recommend not causing the need to undress, especially if you’re limited on time. Wedding traditions shouldn’t be painful!

There are so many other, less painful traditions you can try instead of rice showers, such as bubbles or sparklers. They are much more gentle, and also don’t need any crazy amount of cleanup. Just make sure that someone has a place to put the used bubble containers or burnt out sparklers (watch the heat with these!) As bride and groom, you’ll still feel so special, and you won’t have to worry about the aftermath!

Walking Down the Aisle Wedding Traditions

Tradition #4 | Receiving Line

You’re married! You walk back up the aisle, trying to keep from tripping while at the same time, working to keep your eyes on your new spouse. Your guests are happy, waving at you, and you’re eager to get to the back of your ceremony venue. You are excited to spend an hour or so together with your photographers., capturing the best portraits in the most amazing light. But wait… first, the receiving line.

The first few guests are your parents and the bridal party, that’s not so bad. Next come the aunts, uncles, distant relatives, friends from work, neighbours you forgot about, and anyone else who happened to know about your big day and wanted to see your happiness celebrated and what you were wearing. It doesn’t take too long before your face starts hurting from smiling. And you don’t even want to know where all those hands that shook yours have been. This is not what you imagined your wedding day to be like. At all! Following all these wedding traditions can be overwhelming.

Instead of allowing the receiving line to cut into your precious portrait time, why not spend a little time with each and every guest later at the reception, also giving the chance of getting photos taken during that time. As a photographer, I’d rather stay half an hour extra to allow your dances to start a bit later, instead of trying to cram all the portraits that you know you want in a shorter time. And, you don’t even have to worry about your bill if I’m your photographer, as I’m yours all day!

Tradition #5 | Pointless Wedding Favours

We have come home with our share of useless candles, and monogrammed coasters (the couple’s initials, not ours) from weddings. While the kids are always excited about them for a day, they never get used. I know that each couple who we received favours from spent time and energy deciding on what to give their guests. Sadly it often isn’t worth the effort.

Recently we’ve started seeing more unique options at the weddings we’ve been privileged to photograph. Here are some great options:

  • Candy/donut bar
  • Wrapped cookies
  • Honey
  • Tea/hot chocolate mix
  • Seeds
  • Succulents

If none of these speaks to you, there is always the option of making a donation to a charity that is near and dear to your heart in the name of each of your guests. Ensure that you’re choosing an option that your guests can still see as authentic, and that they will be grateful to be part of.

Tradition #6 | Bouquet & Garter Toss

Yep, I did this one too! I feel like my wedding back in 2009 probably would be a great example of not-to-do’s for wedding traditions. I’m okay with that. I had a special toss bouquet made by my florist to save my own bouquet from damage. Can I remember who caught the garter or bouquet? Nope, and they themselves might not even remember… Your photographer is usually long gone by the time this happens. Even if they still happen to be there, both of these are notoriously difficult to capture. You can thoughtfully substitute your garter & bouquet toss by spending your time connecting with your guests. They are here to celebrate your love.

If you are looking for other wedding traditions, interrupt your guest’s conversation by staging a fake exit with sparklers! It’s a fun way to change things up, make sure to do this before your photographer leaves. And then it’s worth it, because these photos are absolutely epic!

Just have Fun!

In 1840, a 20-year-old Queen Victoria started the trend of the white wedding dress. Before this, women wore their best dress to their wedding and normally in colour. Start a trend. Your wedding is about celebrating you as a couple, not checking the boxes on a bunch of old customs that don’t represent who you are. Focus on creating fun, lasting memories for you and your guests. People will be talking about your wedding long after the day is over!

Tips for Brides

October 17, 2020

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6 Things You Need to Know About your Wedding Invites – Written by a Stationery Designer


Meet Rachel, a talented wedding stationery designer and owner of Lavender + Lace Design. Nestled in the picturesque town of Norwich, Ontario, Lavender + Lace Design has been offering graphic design and print services since 2015. Rachel designs one of a kind stationery pieces for her clients for weddings, birth announcements and events.


I am married to a very supportive husband and we have two equally beautiful daughters! Having a supportive partner means so much to me and is very beneficial to my business.
Lavender + Lace owner


Since the age of 12, I worked in a print shop and have always had a great passion towards graphic design. When I was 21 years old, the year of 2015, I knew that I wanted to pursue it further, therefore I started my own business. What a dream come true, here I am five years later, focusing mainly on custom wedding stationery, my greatest passion! I absolutely love working together with brides to create the invitation suite of their dreams.


Invitations should be unique & one-of-a kind, just like your wedding will be! There are SO many options for stationery and often I have brides coming for a consultation and feeling very overwhelmed. They usually have a lot of ideas but can’t visualize how it will look all together. That is what custom wedding stationery designers are here for. I take pride in the process, working together with you to bring your vision to life, from initial concept designs, through to material selection, printing options and even delivery. When purchasing a pre-created template you don’t have those one-on-one customer service benefits and custom design options.

Stationery Designer

Everything You Need to Know about Your Wedding Invites Written by a Stationery Designer


The design process starts with a consultation. We’ll discuss styles, paper types, envelopes, and other aspects of the project related to investment. One we have narrowed down the options, we’ll prep and approve a quote and begin the design work. We’ll start by creating a variety of digital design samples. These will be sent to the client via e-mail and based on the client’s feedback we’ll make adjustments as needed and create the final design files. As soon as the final proof has been approved, we will send them off to be printed and complete the production process (my favourite part!)


When discussing options together with the bridal couple it is important for a stationery designer to know your wedding style. Is your wedding more casual and outdoorsy? Or is more classic + elegant? When opening up the invitation guests should get a feel of what your wedding day will be like. You may ask how can this be done? One way is to make sure the colour palette of your invitation matches the colours of your wedding. If your wedding is dusty blues and greens then your invitation should not be yellows and golds. Another idea is; if your wedding is more casual and outdoorsy, you could exclude formal titles on the invitation, add twine around the card. If your wedding is going to be classic + elegant you can add gold foil, laser cut details, silk ribbon, and in the wording, choose formal titles, elegant fonts etc.

Everything You Need to Know about Your Wedding Invites Written by a Stationery Designer


There are main details that need to be included on an invitation.

  • Names – Some couples include their parent’s names, if including the parent’s names then only your first / first and middle name need to be shown. If the parents name aren’t on the invitation then it is a good idea to add the couples last names, that way guests won’t be confused.
  • What the celebration is for – An example of this is ‘request your presence at the celebration of their marriage’.
  • Location – where will the wedding be taking place? Make sure to have both the ceremony and reception location listed. If the invitation is looking to busy, then you can add these extra details to a details card.
  • When – what time is the ceremony and reception taking place? For a formal invitation I like to write out the wording (in the morning) or for a more casual invitation then I generally put a.m. or p.m.
  • RSVP – most venues have a specific time in which they need to have the final numbers by. Therefore, it is beneficial to add a date in which they need to have RSVPed by. Depending on your budget, there are some options on how this can be done.
    • Include an email / phone number on the main invitation
    • Use a separate rsvp card with an email / phone number rsvp
    • Have a separate rsvp card with a printed rsvp envelope for your guests to mail back to you



Start early! It is never too early to start the design process for your invitations. When creating custom stationery design I take great pride in the design process and if brides are last minute, it can make the whole process feel rushed. When designing I like to put a lot of time and effort into the product ensuring that my clients will receive digital proofs similar to what they envisioned. Invitations should be ordered five months before the wedding, so that they are ready to mail roughly eight weeks before the wedding.

Everything You Need to Know about Your Wedding Invites Written by a Stationery Designer


Brides need to know what type of style and character they have. I consider myself to have a minimal design style and I love any type of unique detail such as foil printing, letterpress, torn edges, wax seals and beautiful paper types! The wording, fonts, images used, colour scheme, this all should match in order to compliment the designs that I create, attracting specific clientele!


Throughout this journey, what has surprised me the most – is how much I’ve grown since I started out! And that is so satisfying to see, that hard work truly pays off! When I first started my business, I offered any type of design service (logos, brochures, Christmas cards, and the list goes on) and in the past years I have narrowed it down to mainly custom wedding stationery! It is so much fun working together with clients from start to finish. Starting with save-the-date cards and ending off with thank you cards and their wedding album! They also put so much trust in me and that is why I take so much pride in my work and am not satisfied unless they are satisfied! Seeing the finished product is what I love the most, each unique order, I will say it over and over again, it really is the best part!

Lavender + Lace Owner

Tips for Brides

August 11, 2020

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Five Random Tips for Your Wedding Day


Wedding days come with a load of emotions and facets that you won’t really stop to think about until the day arrives. You’re incredibly lucky if you’ve been a maid of honour or bridesmaid before, you’ve seen the inside of the most important part of a wedding day. But now it’s time for your own wedding day, and those things are all of a sudden much more important. I’ve put together five random tips that have been my saving grace for my own wedding day, but I’ve also seen the impact that they’ve had in the weddings of my clients.

Tip 1 | Eat something high in protein and complex carbs

You’re standing in front of a long day where loads of emotions will be flooding your system and that takes a lot of energy! Drinking mimosas and having muffins may seem like the perfect wedding morning breakfast, but they contribute to a fast sugar high, and the last thing you want is to be “crashing” right when you’re ready to walk down the aisle. The best thing you can do is start your day with the perfect breakfast! Our favourite options include smoothies or a good breakfast wrap/burrito.  The smoothie pictured below is the one we drink every day, and it would be my first recommendation. I’ll list the ingredients that we use below so that you can try it out.

Wedding Breakfast Smoothie

Delicious Wedding Morning Smoothie

1/2-3/4 cup kefir
1/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup oats
1 banana (1/2 of the peel included)
1 scoop vegetable/vitamin supplement (Vegegreens is our favourite)
1 tbsp collagen
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp maca powder
1/4-1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour into your favourite glass, and enjoy!

Tip 2 | Give your phone to your Maid of Honour or Best Man

You’ll want to soak in everything about your big day. The drive to the church. That tear glistening in your almost-husband’s eye as you walk up the aisle. All the hugs from your family members. The speeches during dinner, especially. And the best way to do that is to be fully focused. Allow yourself to let someone else handle your phone and your life for that day, and you just focus on enjoying all the special moments. And as a side note, everyone important in your life knows you’re getting married, and won’t expect you to answer your phone.

Tip 3 | Give yourself grace if things don’t go exactly as planned

The best way to prevent things from being missed or going wrong is by giving yourself loads of time. However, we know that’s not always possible, even with the best of planning. (Check out YOUR IDEAL TIMELINE GUIDE & WORKBOOK to give yourself the perfect start to your wedding day timeline.) On our own wedding day, we missed out on one photo that we’d really wanted. Our nieces and nephews needed a nap, and their parents left before a photo of Bert and all of his siblings was taken. My heart sank as I watched them drive off. I saw at that moment that I could get upset about it, or I could let it go. I decided to do the latter. We’re so thankful that it never put a damper on our day!

Tip 4 | Put together a wedding survival kit

I’ve thankfully never met a wedding where someone wasn’t prepared with something on the list below! Yes, this kit may take a little bit of time to put together. But knowing that you are prepared for anything that happens is definitely worth it! From headaches to that annoying feeling of your dress being stuck to your legs; it’s all here!


Tip 5 | Have a moment with each of your parents

And last, but not least, make sure that your parents feel cherished on this big day. They’ve raised you, and they did a great job, seeing the way you turned out. They’ve held your hands through your boo-boos, and they want to hold your hand today. Whether you’re a single child or one of seven like I was, that does not take away from the importance of this day for them. The best time to spend a little one on one time is during the getting ready part. If that doesn’t work out, dinner is another great time to steal a few minutes with your mom or dad. They will never forget how they felt during those moments.


Tips for Brides

May 19, 2020

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Why You Need a Wedding Planner


Anna, from Spunky Sapphire Events, is as vivacious as her business name suggests, but she is definitely an introvert and prefers to recharge by herself or with her husband and toddler hooligans. She has been in the wedding industry for over ten years and has run SSE for almost six years (what!). While serving her sweet clients, she helps them focus on building a marriage more beautiful than the wedding day, focusing on their relationships rather than the logistics, and starting married life on the best foot possible. She’s a bride-whisperer, a type-a sidekick, and will quickly turn into one of your friends—and how cool is that on your wedding day?! She regularly fields the question, “But why do I need a wedding planner?” so I’m happy to have this Hamilton wedding planner share on the blog today!


Congratulations, bride-to-be!  You’re getting married and Pinterest has become your new best friend.  With all those ideas, you’ve started hiring a photographer, florist, caterer. You may have even hired a decorator for that gorgeous head table backdrop, beautiful tent chandeliers, and candles with the perfect lounge area.  So you’ve got the necessities, you’re super organized, and your mom and sisters are thrilled to help you out anytime.  What can a planner add?

First, I’ll be blunt: when I get asked this question, I probably get an “are you serious?!” exasperated look on my face, and that’s not just because I’m trying to get a new client.  Haha!  (Can you picture it?)

hamilton wedding planner arranging flatlay


Unlike the name “wedding planner” suggests, most of my clients don’t hire me to take control of everything, plan the wedding for them, and greet them when they show up for their big day like you see in those movies (you know the ones–*wink).  I haven’t thought of a replacement name for “wedding planner”, so, until I do, I think of myself as a Type-A Sidekick.  That’s what my clients hire me for.


They want to plan every detail of their own wedding; from hiring the photographer of their dreams to choosing their menu to staying on track with every free downloadable planning tool there is.  However, they know they can’t clone themselves on their wedding day. They really want to enjoy every second stress-free and full of joy. To focus only on their new spouse, family, and friends.

Trust me, NO ONE wants to deal with the gross logistics on their own wedding day.

What if a vendor’s car breaks down on the way over?  What if you’re super overwhelmed by the idea of putting everything you’ve ordered and hired out into a cohesive timeline?  What if the rental company loses your order that you placed ten months before your wedding (and you got confirmation and paid your deposit for!) and the week before, they tell you that you haven’t rented anything?  (Yes, that really happened.)

You can plan a wedding on your own.  (I mean, I’m always here if you need me, have a question about anything, or change your mind!).

hamilton wedding planner




Be in two places at once on your wedding day. Know everything there is to know about weddings. Answer hundreds of emails and phone calls from vendors with questions (on the wedding day, no less!). Deal with opinions and “I just think you should do it this way” comments. Work a full-time job. Take care of yourself. All while staying joyful about the whole process while not threatening to elope.

And when those crises in the questions I asked above come up, the planner you hired is 1000% ALL IN to get them resolved, sorted out, back on track. Whatever needs to happen so your day is flawless.  More times than not, you won’t even know there were issues of that magnitude because of your wedding planner.  She’s on your side, working for you, every minute you’ve got her.


And, while we’re talking about “on your side” (and I’m going to get a question about this!), venue coordinators are generally lovely.  But they work for the venue, not you.  I’ll say it again: Venue coordinators/planners work for the venue, not for you.  That means, if something happens, it’s literally their job to take the venue’s side on any issue.

I’ve worked with several amazing coordinators; they’re valuable, and I love them.  But, they’ll admit they can’t do everything an independent wedding planner can do for you.  Their hands are tied in some areas and if there’s an issue with a vendor that’s not related to anything at the venue, they won’t resolve it for you.  And, surely, if someone’s car breaks down on the way to the venue, they’re not going to send their delivery van or call an Uber for that person.  Imagine having to deal with that all on your own while you’re trying to sip a mimosa and get your hair done!

hamilton wedding planner arranging florals


The number one response I get from past clients when I ask what they were able to do on their wedding day because they hired me: “I was able to relax and enjoy myself every minute of the day because I knew you had everything under control.  Our day was beautiful just like we planned it, and we could appreciate it because of you.”

When I get sweet responses like that, I know it’s true that wedding planners make a difference.  They tell all their friends that it was the best investment they made for their wedding.  And while a planner is an investment, the money you spend on their expertise will definitely be saved somewhere else because we know how to work magic with a budget, avoid costly mistakes, and get you the most bang for your buck.  Time is the one commodity we’ll never recoup…imagine what you could be doing with freed up time and brain space.  Hire a planner.  The new wives with wedding planning experience have spoken! 😊


Guest Post, Tips for Brides

May 9, 2019

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The First Vendor A Bride Should Book


Wedding photography is not just what I do. It’s my passion and so much more! I live for the look on a groom’s face when he first sees his bride! The emotion of a bride being walked up the aisle by her father is almost tangible to me! My job means so much to me because of those moments! And I feel honoured to be a part of your big day. Let me tell you why your photographer should be the first vendor to book!


There is a reason you are so intimidated by photography, and why it is such a big decision for most couples; it’s one of the more long-lasting relationships that you can envision. Photographers, along with wedding planners, are the people that are with you the most on your wedding day! Therefore it is super important that you get along well with your wedding photographer. And that means it’s not just important to you, it is to me as well!


He just popped the question, and you said “YES”! With a lot of excitement, of course. Whether you knew it was coming, or it was a huge surprise; it’s a moment you will remember for a very long time! I still remember mine; the one thing that really stands out is the fact that we found a super cool tree frog in the field at my parent’s farm (Did you know that they live up here in Ontario? I had no idea!). The other thing that I remember was the fact that Bert was super nervous! And I know I’m not the only one who says this, I’ve heard it from so many engaged couples!


Some boyfriends go all out and take their girlfriends to some big hockey game where the big question gets displayed on the big screen or even take her to another country to pop the question. Others, like my husband, find it more important to do something low key and get down on one knee in a field somewhere surrounded by the crickets. Either way, I’m sure yours was super special and there was a reason for him to propose to you the way he did!


Then come the big decisions; your wedding party, and the date of your big day. I know I was super excited to ask all our groomsmen and bridesmaids to be a part of their wedding day. I knew what an honour it was to be asked.

Even though I was not a photographer back then, I recognized the importance of those photographs; they would be the only reminders I’d be left with afterwards. So Bert and I decided that we were willing to spend good money on a great photographer. Someone we could see capturing the moments that mattered most to us. And we did!


For more incredible tips and resources to help plan your big day, see THESE AMAZING TOOLS from Wedding Wire Canada!

1 | Photographers book many, many months in advance

We were lucky enough to find a great photographer, whose character we could really get along with, quite quickly! Not all couples are that lucky. We reached out to several photographers shortly after we got engaged. Some of them were already booked. We were calling about 8 months ahead of our wedding, but photography was not as saturated of a market then as it is today. This is good for you, it means you have more options available. On the other hand, your choice could be more difficult. Some photographers book weddings as far as 2 years ahead! So contacting your preferred photographers shortly after you’re engaged can really help you get the photographer you most admire! This is especially important if you’ve chosen to get married at your wedding location’s busiest season!

Like for example, in Ontario, it would be anywhere from the middle of May till the end of October; with the busiest part being July and August. In Arizona, however, where it’s just too hot to get married in the summer, high season falls in Spring and Autumn. It is a great idea to follow your favourite photographers on Instagram or Facebook so you can have a sense of when their busiest time is. Then you can plan around that if having a certain photographer is that important to you (which we understand completely). This makes us as photographers feel valued. And is a great start to your relationship with your photographer.


2 | Have your engagement session when you’re just engaged

The first order of business, once you book your wedding photographer, will be to schedule your engagement session. As a photographer, I cannot stress the importance of having an engagement session enough! It’s a great way to make sure that you love your wedding photographer as much as you hope to. It also helps instill the trust that you will receive wedding images that you’d expect from him or her!

When you’re just engaged, the experience is fresh in your mind. There is even a bit of a honeymoon phase after your engagement. Photographers love capturing couples within the first month or two of their engagement. You are still so focused on their connection; the reason why he asked and you said “Yes!” Some couples would like to send their guests “save the date” announcements as soon as possible so they can share in the excitement. As a photographer, I deliver my couple’s engagement images within two weeks, which is great for that exact purpose.

3 | Photographers have many contacts in the wedding world

You have a great resource at your disposal, when you sign your contract with your wedding photographer! Most wedding photographers have a lot of contacts in the wedding world. They definitely have the biggest variety of vendors in their contact list. They can tell you which wedding planners they like working with (if you’re going that route), which venues are great to capture your portraits at, and where you can say I do in the most romantice way possible!

I love helping my couples find the right people for their wedding; it is a great way for me to serve them, and show them that I care. I’m there for my brides, if they have any questions, and I actually love it when they stump me with a question that I don’t have the answer to right away. It is a great opportunity for me to learn something new and this often provides unique photography opportunities. This definitely applies when it comes to photography locations.


Want another great resource? DownloadYOUR IDEAL TIMELINE GUIDE & WORKBOOK for free now!!!


4 | Get the most out of your relationship with your photographer

Very rarely are engagements shorter than 6 months, and if yours is, we love the fact that we don’t have to wait long to see you in your dress and capture your special day! In my experience, most couples wait about 1 to 2 years after their engagement to get married, which means that there are quite a few months for you to enjoy your engagement images. This also means you have ample opportunity to ask advice from your wedding photographer to ensure that your wedding day is set up perfectly for the best photography results.

It is my goal to not just be a wedding photographer, but to be so much more than that. Especially at weddings without planners, you will see us helping out to make sure people are seated on time, and just maintain a good wedding timeline in general. This might be for slightly selfish reasons, (that we have plenty of time to capture your wedding portraits), but again, that is great for you! Because the better things flow on your big day, the more variety of images you will end up with, and isn’t that why you hired us in the first place?

If you’re just engaged, I hope this post will instill an urgency to find your wedding photographer soon. If you’re in a serious relationship, and you can see him proposing shortly, I can’t wait to hear your big news! And if you’re still single, kudos to you for just being interested in wedding photography before your time, I hope you remember the gist of this when your time comes.

And for those of you who are reading this, reminiscing about your big day, I’m sure it will bring back fond memories! Whatever stage of life your family is in, I’m sure you know someone who could benefit from this content. After all, it will be the most important day of their lives to that point, and that’s a pretty big deal!

Tips for Brides

February 21, 2019

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Ten Ways to Have a Relaxed Wedding Day Timeline


He’s popped the question and you can finally start planning! Your girls and you are planning a day out in Toronto, trying to find the perfect dress, and you totally know the type of wedding you are hoping for! You’re meeting with several different wedding venues in the coming weeks, but already have a pretty good idea that you want the golf course with the amazing views of the river. You figure you have most of the answers to all the questions, but have you thought about your wedding day? Time of ceremony? Location of family photos? Probably not, and that’s why I decided that you need these 10 very important tips to have a relaxed wedding day timeline, while still staying true to yourself and making things enjoyable for all of your guests.


Yes, I said that right! Find two or three of your closest friends, whom you just could not imagine spending your big day without, and ask them to be in your wedding party! The more people in your wedding party, the more pictures have to be taken and (I’m not kidding) the more bridesmaids/groomsmen can go missing! Having a small wedding party makes things more personal as well, and a huge bonus is that there are less “Thank You” gifts you need to buy and less speeches to listen to at night during dinner! All in all, a win-win if you ask me.

Bridesmaids hugging floral detail

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter


I know I really enjoyed planning my own wedding and wouldn’t want to give that up to just anyone, but I do know I could definitely have benefited from a planner who made sure things got done at the right time, or to the right place on my big day. Sadly, our families ended up having to decorate the hall on the day of our wedding, because our venue misled us about the availability the night before. With a wedding planner, this likely wouldn’t have happened, or at least it wouldn’t have taken our own family members away from the celebration to get it done on time.


Knowing ahead of time exactly what hairstyle or type of look a bride is looking for on her wedding day can cut down on time spent in the chair. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with the girls before it’s time to head out, and capturing those wonderful memories, but so often something happens to change the condition of the hair compared to the trial months before, and it is super helpful for make-up artists and hairdressers to have a recent memory of what you expect from them. On our wedding day, all my bridesmaids ended up with an old-fashioned bun that the hairdresser thought was perfect, because she had forgotten what hairstyle we agreed on. She ended up charging very little, but I’m still disappointed to this day!

Bride and Groom Walking

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter


Padding your timeline with 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there will prevent any late starts, whether ceremony or reception, and ensure a relaxed wedding day timeline. This is easy, just make sure that the guys are ready to leave about 10 minutes before they actually need to leave (and don’t tell them)!

Times that are especially important, of course, are the ceremony and reception dinner time. Estimate your driving times about 50% longer than they normally are, in case of an accident, or in case someone accidentally forgets something. If and when you don’t need the buffer time, feel free to use it to ask your photographer to get a few more wedding party shots or bridal portraits very near where you have to be at a certain time. So it’s almost like a reward, which will help motivate you even more to stick to your timeline. Your photographer will thank you!


I realize that this isn’t always possible, but often venues have some amazing photogenic rooms that are yours for free or a small fee where you can spend the morning with your girls. Whether it’s at a golf course or a hotel, there are often options at, or near where you will be saying your vows. Technically it would be amazing if it all happens at the same venue, but when you’re getting married in a church, it is also very convenient if the reception location is nearby. This cuts down on driving time, and in case someone forgets something, it’s only a short walk or drive to get the missing item!

Experience tells me that a timeline that gets off on the wrong start, is really hard to fix when it’s on a roll. It’s like a runaway train, it’s better to nip it in the bud. After all, why would you want to add extra stress and possibly lose out on that relaxed wedding day timeline.

Bride bouquet smile detail

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter


First looks are becoming more common and photographers all over are thanking you for it! Some couples are adamant that they want to see each other for the first time in church, so did we almost 10 years ago. But now, looking back, it would have been so nice to spend 10 to 15 minutes of time with Bertus before we met at church, I think it would have helped my nerves as well.

If you decide to do a first look, most photographers will also get wedding party portraits out of the way before the ceremony. Yes, you may be looking at adding an hour of coverage (unless your photographer offers all-day wedding coverage, like myself), but it could be well worth it! This way, after the ceremony, your wedding party is free to go as they please and enjoy themselves (and they will thank you for that!), and you have oodles of time to get an amazing array of “Husband and Wife” portraits. This might even allow for an extra location, if your timeline allows this!


Even if you have a wedding planner, it is still very helpful to have someone who is not part of your family or bridal party, but is on a first-name basis, ensure that everything is flowing smoothly. Ensuring a relaxed wedding day timeline really is a group effort! Choosing someone who is not an all-day guest (meaning part of the wedding party or a family member) ensures that they can really focus on making sure that the rings have made it to church or that no wedding party member decides to stop in at Tim Hortons at 12:30PM and has to wait for their latté for 20 minutes.

Designated coordinators are also instrumental in ensuring smooth sailing during family portraits! This is usually the most hectic part of the day, because your photographer has no idea who is part of what family. Even if there is a second-shooter, it is super helpful to have someone who is familiar with most or all of the members, and can ensure that no mistakes (such as splitting up a family) are made. Make sure this coordinator has your family portrait group list as well as any other instructions that you want them to remember.

Brantford Golf Course venue wedding floral details

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter


As mentioned before, a timeline that gets off track early on, can be impossible to fix. I mean, all your guests are really there to see you get married, and they might have taken the day off to attend the biggest day of your life; try not to waste their time by turning up late. At the same token, officiants sometimes have more than one ceremony to officiate, and if you arrive late, he/she may have to leave to attend the next wedding. Imagine everyone showing up for your wedding and then it becomes a search for any officiant, just as long as the papers get signed! It is better for all parties if groom and bride allow extra EXTRA time before this part of the day.


Your officiant may not have any flexibility, but your family members might. Or even you. Let’s say that you have planned to have the family pictures done right after the ceremony. As it happens, one of your nieces is exhausted and almost asleep; waking her would do more harm than good. If the family is somewhat small and all are planning to attend your reception, reschedule the family portrait time to 30 minutes before then. Hopefully by that time your niece is well rested, and your photographer is able to get those images at a much less stressful pace. Make sure to discuss these decisions with your photographer before promising your family something that isn’t possible, sometimes lighting situations do not allow for these types of modifications.

Wedding Rings and Groom sitting

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter


Family portrait time is usually the most dreaded time of the day. It’s something that should get done, but isn’t enjoyed by many. Getting through these as efficiently as possible benefits everyone, including you as couple, the photographer, and especially your family. Making sure that your list includes first and last names can avoid confusion, even add your parents’ first names to clarify. As photographer, I often end up calling your parents “Mom” and “Dad”, out of respect for them, but also because it makes it a little easier. Still, to ensure we know which Mom or Dad, feel free to give as much detail as you think necessary. Better too much than too little.

That being said, keep your family portrait wish list as concise as possible, spending an hour on family portraits can be a waste of your time and money, as very rarely are all images looked at, much less used. I ask my clients to keep it down to less than 10 groupings (allowing for unmarried significant others to be added to and taken away from each grouping if necessary). This is usually possible, and brides are thankful that they can just say, “Sorry, my photographer says no more!”


You only get married once. Do it right, and make sure you are able to enjoy your day by utilizing as many of these tips to have a relaxed wedding day timeline as possible. You’ll look back and see that it was likely the most important part of your planning. I’d love to hear how your day turned out, and which tips you found most helpful. Is there something missing that should be added. Happy planning, and congratulations. You deserve the best day!

Bride and bridesmaids holding bouquets bridesmaid dresses

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter

Images captured while second shooting for the amazing Kayla Potter! Visit her website HERE.

Tips for Brides

September 25, 2018

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Ten Things to Ask your Wedding Photographer (and My Answers)


It’s natural that a bride wants to find out more about me as a photographer, which is why I’ve put together these 10 most common questions you may have and my answers. You’ll be surprised at some of them! For those of you who know me, I’m sure even you will learn something new about me! I cannot wait to start serving more brides and grooms, and grow, so I can anticipate any other questions you have before you even tell me!

ONE | Will you be the one shooting my wedding?

ABSOLUTELY! I can’t wait to meet you both at a non-pressure consultation where you can tell me all about how you met, your proposal (did he get on one knee?), and what you have planned for your big day! You can take a few days to make the decision to hire me, as it’s an important one. I will be spending more time with the bride on her wedding day than she will with the groom! That means it is very important that you have confidence in me. That you think we are a good match. When you decide that you are ready for your engagement session, we will spend another few hours together. At this time I will teach you about how I work.  We will have so much fun, you won’t even believe it when the session is over (that’s what I usually get told). This is all done so that you have confidence in me when it comes to my abilities to deliver amazing images that will showcase the love between you two, even when we are pressed for time. That way, when the wedding comes, your hubby-to-be will not dread portrait time. Through the whole process we will stay in touch. So, when you have any questions, I’m only an email away!

Find out more about me here!

TWO | How long have you been shooting weddings?

I captured my first wedding in the summer of 2016, and then decided to pursue some more education, so that I could really give my brides an amazing experience while delivering stunning images. I’m now actively photographing and scheduling couples as far in advance as fall of 2020! I’ve assisted many different photographers at this point, by capturing images from a different perspective as their own (btw, a second shooter is always included in your coverage with me as well, read more about that below). I have also been taking courses from the amazing Amy and Jordan as well as Katelyn James, who has a wonderful part of her course where she takes her KJ All Access members with her on a wedding, once a month, via video content; it feels just like second-shooting!

THREE | How would you describe your style?

I love lighter, yet vibrant colours; from when I was young already I was not a fan of “all black” and I really find that I try to capture that with my photography as well. There is so much beauty and light in this world, why not use it to the fullest and capture your big day you want to remember it; full of life and love! I especially love soft light, and I try to capture that in my photography by guiding you into the right location and pose to create the light but still vibrant images that I am known for.

FOUR | How would you describe your working style?

I’m very social, and I treat all of my clients like friends. I really want to form a lasting relationships with my couples. I especially focus on being efficient when necessary. This includes first looks (my fave!!!), the first 15 minutes of a family session (when the kids are still within shouting distance), and when the weather is just sooooo cold, that you need to stop every ten minutes just to make sure your toes are still attached! I love creating poses that look and feel natural, and am a huge fan of close-ups, especially when I turn them into soft black & whites.

FIVE | Do you shoot digitally or film?

Great question! I shoot digital (I’m a Nikon girl!), it’s all I’ve ever shot! It’s my dream to buy an old film camera and really find out how it works and create some absolute magic (someday)!

SIX | What is all included in your wedding packages?

Let me tell you a story: On my own wedding day, when my photographer had finished the coverage that we agreed on months before, all of a sudden we realized that we could have had another hour of coverage to capture so many more amazing memories. “That’s it for me!” he said. And I was just flabbergasted. I had totally forgotten about our agreement, to be honest. But the biggest issue was, that at the time of booking him for our wedding, we had no idea about our timeline. And that is what really spoke to me one day when I encountered a similar problem with my own business.

So now, my wedding package includes ALL DAY COVERAGE! I usually arrive about 30 minutes after the first bridesmaid arrives, and I don’t leave until all the important events are done. A second shooter will meet your groom and his friends, and will be there to assist all day, capturing your first look, and helping me speed through family portrait time. (I also have a huge gift that I’d love to tell you about at your initial consultation.) You will receive all the high resolution images on a secure link to an online gallery, I average about 150 to 175 images for each hour that we are with you. Things are always changing, but what I most want to deliver is an amazing experience for your wedding photography, that is not focused on time limits. This will be THE ONE THING you will not stress about!

SEVEN | Can we request a list of special poses we like?

I actually have more CREATIVE and UNIQUE work when I’m not working off of a shot list! The shots that you will likely be looking for are like second nature to me, and often I find that there are certain poses that really work well for both of you. Therefore I’ll have no problem capturing them for you!! However, I have a wonderful Bride and Groom Questionnaire that I send a month before your wedding day via your client portal. Here I ask for very specific and unique shots that deviate from the normal shots on a wedding day! For example, if you’re holding your grandma’s handkerchief with your bouquet or you have a surprise dance happening during the reception, those are shots that I would absolutely love to have listed in advance so that I’m well prepared!!

EIGHT | Will you blog our wedding?

Yes. Within one week, actually! I want to deliver you the most gorgeous images of your big day as soon as possible. You will be able to enjoy them on your honeymoon already. And share them with family and friends, of course! That first week after the wedding, you will be on a high, and before you get back into a normal routine, I want you to really be able to enjoy the best of the BEST of your wedding images. Your honeymoon won’t be the same without it!

NINE | How long after the wedding will we receive the full gallery?

Within a month, usually 2-3 weeks! I make it my goal to deliver your images within timely fashion. This way you can use your images for your thank you cards. Even your wedding album and parent albums. Things like that usually matter so much more shortly after your big day; it will allow you to remember the little details and not forget how amazing your big day was!

TEN | Will the images be accessible online? How long?

My favorite question! 🙂 Your images will be accessible via a secure link to an online PASS PLUS gallery. This gallery is super mobile friendly, it’s even got an app! You will be emailed detailed instructions on how to get the most out of your gallery. It’s actually very self-explanatory, but you can always ask me for help! The gallery will be live for 10 years. If you decide you want me to reactivate it, just let me know. It’s no issue, a mere click of a button for me. This way when it’s one of your girlfriends’ birthdays, you can click to download and post her a congratulatory post on Instagram without ever leaving your bed (if that’s what you want).

I know these are not all the questions that come to mind when you are looking for YOUR wedding photographer, but it’s a start! And I’m so willing to answer any other questions you may have, just send me a message here, and we will go from there!

Tips for Brides

March 9, 2018

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