All posts by mtladmin

A Wedding at Theatre Paradoxe

Theatre Paradoxe wedding photo

We are excited to share Rachel & Marc’s stylish and fun wedding with you today courtesy of photographer Valerie Baron at Studio Baron Photo Inc.

As you’ll see below this was a wedding full of elegance and beautiful styling that ended with some fantastic dancefloor action.

Theatre Paradoxe wedding details

The Proposal Story

Six years ago, I walked into the coffee shop where Marc worked. Marc took my order and prepared my Americano while we flirted awkwardly. I sat nearby working on my laptop, as Marc turned to a regular client and proclaimed « I’m going to marry that girl. » The rest is history.
Exactly five years after that first Americano, Marc took me back to that same coffee shop. We were sitting on the patio, sipping our coffees, when all of a sudden our dog runs up to us wearing a « Will you marry my daddy ? » sweater. I stared at the dog in disbelief and looked down to see Marc on his knee. Needless to say, we owe a lot to coffee (we have travelled to coffee farms together in Costa Rica, and chose to do our engagement shoot at a coffee shop as well ! Maybe one day we will open one of our own)

The Vision for the Day

Everything classic yet modern. We chose a soft colour palette of light blues, navy, white, with touches of silver and greenery. We wanted a light and fresh colour scheme that aligned with the season and our venues.

Favorite items from the wedding

The catering – we were so impressed by the catering at our wedding, the food was outstanding and we definitely didn’t go hungry. The cocktail buffet, midnight poutine and burgers, and the signature drinks were so good! Yes, we made sure to eat at our own wedding!

The flowers and decor – we loved the flowers! The bouquets were to die for with a mix of peonies, roses and eucalyptus. We also had a flower arch of white and light blue flowers surrounding us on the honour table which blew us away. Our florist mixed large, tall arrangements with floral wreaths around candelabras. It was gorgeous!

The venues – we absolutely love the beautiful church we got married in. The ornate ceilings and decor, the perfect location along the water, and the impressive organ and acoustics. The location made our wedding ceremony that much more special. Our reception venue, also an old cathedral, refurbished into Theatre Paradoxe, was equally as gorgeous, with its high ceilings and stain glass windows.

The Readings + Music: 1st dance song: We chose Stand By Me, the cover by Skylar Grey. We love this classic song but wanted to go with a newer more sultry version. We knew we wanted a song that wasn’t going to be too overplayed and something we would love for years to come.

Most Memorable Moments

1. Seeing each other for the first time, walking down the aisle. The moment we had pictured in our heads over and over! There was so much anticipation leading up to this moment, but when we finally saw each other, we were overwhelmed with joy. We held hands during the ceremony and couldn’t stop smiling at each other. We wanted to keep things traditional and opted out of doing a first look. This made the moment that much more special.

2. Our entrance into the reception was definitely a highlight of the night. Our bridal party each chose their own songs to enter into and really played up their entrances with choreographed dance moves. We busted out to « Crazy in Love » by Beyonce and got the party off right away. Everyone joined us on the dance floor, the sparklers went off and it was such an amazing moment of celebration.

3. The speeches and songs! We were fortunate enough to have friends and family put together a slide slow, secret speeches AND write a song for the bride. The speeches were so heartfelt and funny and the song was absolutely perfect. The groomsmen prepared a mash-up hit paired with plastic instruments and a ukulele. It was awesome.

Theatre Paradoxe wedding photos

What happened that wasn’t planned?

Positive: The speeches and songs! We were fortunate enough to have friends and family put together a slide slow, secret speeches AND write a song for the bride. The speeches were so heartfelt and funny and the song was absolutely perfect. The groomsmen prepared a mash-up hit paired with plastic instruments and a ukulele. It was awesome.

Huge thanks and congrats to Rachel & Marc. We wish them all the best for a fantastic future together.

Paroisse Saints-Anges wedding Paroisse Saints-Anges mariage Paroisse Saints-Anges Paroisse Saints-Anges wedding photos Theatre Paradoxe wedding decor Theatre Paradoxe wedding photographer

Coordination: Groupe Madison
Décor: Casa D’eramo
Flowers: Lelili Fleurs 
Cake: Yuki Cakes
Makeup: Charlotte Marie Bridal
Music: AR Entertainment & Maz Band
Photographer: Studio Baron Photo Inc.
Videographer: Cat Around Films
Ceremony venue: Paroisse Saints-Anges
Bridesmaids dresses: David’s Bridal
Bride’s dress: Morilee
Stationery: Shutterfly
Caterer: Groupe Madison
Venue: Theatre Paradoxe

Introducing…. Boutique Oui, je le voeux

Oui, je le voeux montreal

Choosing the perfect wedding dress is almost certainly the element of the wedding that all brides spend the most time and effort on. It’s a dress for one day and one day only, and every bride wants it to be perfect in every way. Luckily, Boutique Oui, je le voeux can help.

Boutique Oui, je le vœux on Plaza St-Hubert in Montreal is not like your average wedding dress store. Being more conscious of the environmental and ecological system, they have adapted to the virtues of recycling. Several years ago, Isabelle Leduc opened an adorable, romantic boutique specialising in the sale and rental of recycled wedding gowns.

We caught up with Stéphanie Khalil from Boutique Oui, je le vœux to find out more about this forward-thinking approach to wedding dresses…

When did Boutique Oui je le voeux first begin?

The Boutique Oui je le voeux first opened 25 years ago at 6600 St-Hubert street in Montreal. It is now located in a bigger store at 6924 St-Hubert Street.

What were the aspirations of the company when it began?

The concept of Boutique Oui je le voeux was actually created while Isabelle Leduc, the founder of the store, was finishing her studies at College Lasalle, where she developed the idea of owning a boutique of wedding gowns. She was always very conscious of our environmental and ecological system, so she decided to apply the principles of recycling to wedding gowns. With hard work, dedication, and an amazing team of friends and family, Isabelle opened her romantic boutique called Oui je le voeux… specialising in the sale and rental of recycled wedding gowns and other accessories such as veils, tiaras, bustier and jeweller; in short, everything you need to dress a bride from head to toe. Of course, throughout the years the concept has evolved, and there is now the option of buying new dresses from designers like Maggie Sottero and Essence of Australia (Stella York). Chantal Parizeau, Isabelle’s’ head seamstress and best friend since before the opening of the store, is now in charge of the boutique to carry on the values and the reputation of great service.

How would you sum up your style?

Besides the option of renting versus buying, there is not much that we do not have. We have styles for every bride’s tastes, going from mermaid, to princess to A-line, with lace, satin, bling or no bling. Since we have different designers, we strive to have a collection of different styles, that way, when a bride comes in for her very first fitting, she can try a style of each and be able to identify her preferences without having to go to 10 other stores.

What challenges do you usually face when helping to find the right dress for your clients?

Trying on dresses for the very first time is an emotional roller coaster. Let’s just say it, it’s the most exciting part for the bride next to wedding cake tasting! The only thing that mostly comes between a bride and the wedding dress of her dreams is …. her complexes. Unfortunately, a lot of our brides are more focused on what is supposedly wrong with their body, arms, face etc., than the dress. It comes to a point where it is easier for them to point out their flaws instead of the dress’s fitting. Our job is to remind them of how beautiful they are and, of course, as professionals, bring them dresses that will not only fit their bodies but their personalities as well.

What were the most popular styles for 2018?

Lace is still very present in 2018 which we are glad about because we love it! Compared to 2017, where very fitted styles were more popular, princess gowns are making a comeback! Only this time, long sleeves are added. That’s right, 2018 is about the combination of satin ball gowns with long lace sleeves. Now we are not saying that all the other styles are not trendy anymore. Mermaids are still an amazing choice to show our curves and sweetheart necklines are still appreciated. It is important to understand that a trend is not something that every bride should absolutely want to follow. A lot of brides come to me asking me if it is okay to not like lace even if everyone is crazy about it, and my answer to that is: a trend is what’s hip and popular at a certain point in time, you either like it or you don’t and that is totally fine, as long as you love yourself in your dress, that is what matters the most.

Tell us about your recycling options for wedding dresses?
It is actually a very easy concept.

A recycled dress can be :
A) A dress that a bride wants to sell to make another bride happy
B) One of our new collections that is available to rent
C) A dress in-store that is no longer available to order but is available to rent or buy off-the-rack.

A rentable dress’s price ranges between $450 to $750 (with insurance and taxes not being included) depending on the style. That price includes the cleaning of the dress after the wedding, a veil, a tiara and a crinoline to give a nice volume to the dress. Alterations are not included but the bride will be aware of what will need to be altered and the price will she be looking to pay.

I usually get asked which is more popular: Renting? or Buying?
Actually, it is half-half. It really depends on what the future bride is looking for, her budget, her emotional attachment to her dress. It is really a personal choice and a different one for each bride, but it is fun to have both options to consider.

Oui, je le voeux

Got any funny stories from weddings you’ve been involved with?

It was not necessarily funny, it was actually one of the most romantic requests that we have ever had. A woman called us at the store, asking information on our VIP service, which includes a personal room with seats for all of her guests, a hostess, a bottle of (non-alcoholic) sparkling wine, gifts for everyone and pictures taken with the group at the end of the appointment. It is very much like what you can see on the Say yes to the Dress show. We gave her all the information and she told us she was ready to book it. While asking for her information, we came down to the wedding date. That is when she actually told us that she was not getting married, it was actually her dream since she was a little girl, but she was so certain her boyfriend did not want to get married that she lost hope. So she just wanted to have the wedding dress shopping experience just so she could see herself trying on wedding future like every futur bride’s dream. Little did she know, her boyfriend called the day after, telling us that he wanted to take that opportunity to ….PROPOSE! We were all so excited that, of course, we helped him plan the whole scenario. Once the day arrived, the future bride-to-be had no clue of what was going to happen, we sent her and her friends into the VIP room and before she went to go see the dresses she was surprised by her boyfriend arriving in a tuxedo, with roses and a photographer, going down on one knee and asking for her hand. You should have seen all the bridal dress consultants with tears of joy down their cheeks. It was one of the most romantic moments we had ever been a part of.

How early do brides need to think about purchasing their dress?

To be sure and safe from any deadline, a year before the wedding is the best recommendation when it comes to wedding dress shopping. New dresses have to be ordered and take up to 4 to 6 months to arrive in store. That applies to rentals as well, the first bride-to-be has first pick on the date that she wants. In that case, do not take any risks and keep your options open. So if you are getting married this summer and have not yet found a wedding dress, now would be the time to start booking your appointments with your mother and bridesmaids.

Where can we find you online?

We have a very complete website, ouijelevoeux.com, with pictures of most of the collection (2000+ dresses) that we have in store, plus you can book an appointment directly online. Our Facebook page Oui, je le voeux… keeps you informed of all our contests, new collections and the wedding stories of our beautiful brides. An Instagram page is in a work in progress and we will keep our followers informed when it will be ready.

What do you do for fun when not working in the boutique?

All of the employees are very close. We are not colleagues, we are friends and the whole team is actually a big family. Obviously, the best part of being a bridal dress consultant is: A) Seeing our new collections arriving and B) getting to try on the dresses! What is a better way to identify a dress aspects than to try it on yourself? Of course, that perk is always followed by a photo shoot for our personal memories. Our manager Denyse tells us all the time: “Girls, I think you found your dresses before you’ve even found the fiancé!” So you might have guessed it too since we get to wear wedding gowns all day at the Let’s get married Grand Salon from Marions-nous in January and September, it is our favorite event!

Huge thanks to Stéphanie for sharing her thoughts with us here at MTL Wedding Blog.

Introducing… Steve Gerrard Photography

Beautiful bride and grrom sunset portrait taken in North Wales

Montreal wedding photographer Steve Gerrard only moved to Canada 4 years ago but has already photographed a wide range of gorgeous weddings in the city and throughout Quebec.

Originally from the UK where he was voted Best UK Wedding Photographer, he met a Canadian girl, got married and decided to relocate to Montreal with their 3 young kids in 2014.

Check out the video clip below, created by the fantastic Love Lux Films, showing Steve in action shooting a couple shoot in a very cool location in Montreal.

bride & groom celebrate as the leave their wedding ceremony

Wedding portrait by unusual tree in Montreal park

Steve recently chatted to Junebug Weddings about his approach to wedding photography. You can read the full interview below.

An Interview with Montreal-based Destination Wedding Photographer Steve Gerrard

With an incredible array of music photography experience in his pocket, Montreal wedding photographer Steve Gerrard has tailored his talents and channelled his passions into the distinctive style of wedding photography he uses today. From touching and intimate to comical and whimsical, he has mastered the art of documenting the full range of emotions present at a wedding. It was such a pleasure to take a glimpse into the mind of Steve, learning of how he found photography and what he strives to achieve in the future. You can’t help but get swept away by the charm of this skilled family man, nor can you avoid getting lost in his vivid, creatively composed imagery. And in case of any future correspondence with him, just know to keep the Game of Thrones spoilers to a minimum.

Beautiful moment with bride and bridesmaids

bride & groom celebrate with guests at Montreal wedding

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Steve. I’m originally from Chester in the UK but moved to Montreal in 2014 and have already survived one Canadian winter so I’m doing well. I live here with my wife Evelyne and three small humans that we made together. We call them Elliott, Isaac and Jonas and they make us smile every day. I’m a huge music fan. I also love scuba diving, direct flights, Jack Daniel’s, countryside pubs, funky hotels, dark chocolate and sushi. I photograph weddings, portraits and bands.

engagement photo with Superman street art in Montreal

What gets you up in the morning, literally and/or figuratively.

My wife’s annoying phone alarm! It’s my least favourite sound of the entire day. Once I’m awake though, I’m keen to make the most of the time I’m awake. I try hard not to waste time too much. I’m a very focused and driven person most of the time, but I also love just forgetting about work and spending time with the kids.

quirky bride & groom portrait from a wedding in Montreal

Candid wedding photo from a Montreal wedding

What really gets to you at weddings? Makes you emotional? Makes you laugh?

Since I’ve had kids I seem to have become stupidly emotional. I get choked up at The Simpsons sometimes! So if I’m shooting a wedding and see the emotions between family members or the couple I have to try to keep it together and hope nobody sees my eyes welling up. I can hide behind my camera at least! Speeches are usually the time that happens most. A really heartfelt and maybe unexpected line in a speech can really hit home. I’ve seen rooms where everyone is welling up, even the tough guys. But that’s what it’s all about right? People, relationships and love. That’s what counts.

What three photographers do you admire or who has inspired you, either in the past or right now?

1. Anton Corbijn
2. Rodney Smith
3. Joey L

Have you always wanted to be a photographer? If not, when do you remember knowing?

Not at all. Originally I wanted to be a rock star, but not being able to sing or play any instruments made that tricky, so I fell into DJing in clubs and that took me around the world for a few years. I’ve played to crowds of 50 people and to 93,000 people at Wembley Stadium, warming up for Oasis. So I kinda got close to being a rock star after all!

While I was doing all that travelling I wanted to really experience the places I was getting to visit. Places like China, Russia, Argentina and Indonesia that I may never get to go back to. I’ve always loved other people’s photography so I decided that if I bought a decent camera and taught myself how to use it properly I could explore the cities I was visiting and make photos as I went. Turns out, I was actually pretty good at that, and my love of music lead me towards photographing bands and concerts. From there, I started to see wedding photography develop into something truly creative and exciting, and I haven’t looked back.

Bridal party portrait from a wedding in Montreal, Quebec

Do you have any advice for beginning photographers, wedding or otherwise?

Trust your own eye. It’s ok to be inspired by other photographers, especially those outside of weddings, but then you need to almost forget all that and trust yourself. The only thing that makes you unique among a zillion other photographers is your own eye, your own brain and your own personality. If you don’t like shooting a certain way, don’t do it. Make images that excite you, even if you’re not quite sure why. There will be other people out there who feel the same way and those are your clients. Don’t be the cover band, be the original!

colourful wedding photo from Cornwall in England

Alternative bride and groom portrait by Steve Gerrard Photography

Favorite trick to capture images of reluctant subjects? (kids, grandparents, nervous-in-front-of-the-camera-types)

I tell kids (up to a certain age) that I have a goldfish that lives in my camera and keeps trying to get out. They look, wide-eyed into the lens as I click away and often tell me they saw the goldfish. With older kids, I tell them I think my camera’s broken and ask if they can check that the shutter opens when I press the shutter. I get my shot of them looking right into the lens, they say “yeah it’s what is working,” and I thank them and move on.

With adults, I just talk about any old crap to distract them, make them laugh, whatever. If I show people I’m not bothered about looking like an idiot, then hopefully they’ll realise they don’t need to take it too seriously and will relax and have fun. Most of my couple portraits are more about the couple being together and interacting rather than posing for the camera.

couple celebrate at a wedding at Manoir Hovey

Fun wedding portrait of bride and groom

Describe an average day for you.

Most days I’m up by 6:30 getting the kids ready for school. Once I’ve been Dad for an hour I open the computer and check my to-do list, usually starting with some editing. I’m terrible for being distracted by social media so often I’ll use an app called SelfControl that forces me to focus without being distracted. I’ll choose some great music (I have a few Spotify playlists designed to soundtrack my day), turn up my Sonos speakers and aim to check as many items off my to-do list as I can before the boys come home. I save emails, etc. for later in the day because that can become a never-ending circle that stops me from getting to the jobs that matter most. I prefer to be creative early in the day anyway.

I’ll have two half-hour breaks to eat, read, make tea (I am English, don’t forget!), and do some chores. I’m hoping to learn French this year too.

My wife works at a school so I usually make dinner for everyone which is something that would have made her laugh two years ago when I struggled to make anything beyond a poor spag bol.

Evenings are for chilling with my wife, Evelyne, and a good movie or Netflix series. We’re almost caught up on Game Of Thrones. I also try to get out to see bands regularly. Montreal has a great music scene.

Same sex wedding portrait from abandoned plane crash site in Iceland

Silhouette wedding photo with ferris wheel

Any advice for couples who are looking for their perfect wedding photographer?

Realise that photographers can vary greatly. Keep looking until you find the photographer that gets you excited about having them document your wedding in their own way. And once you’ve found that photographer, trust them to do what they do. If you feel confident in the photographer you choose, you won’t feel the need to send them your Pinterest board or a shot list. And you can relax and enjoy the wedding, safe in the knowledge you’re going to have wedding photographs you’ll love for the rest of your life.

What are your favorite destinations locations?

To be honest, my favourite destinations are anywhere I haven’t shot before. I love travelling, exploring, seeing new places and cultures. I know my photography is at its best when I’m somewhere new and inspiring. In the past year, I’ve shot weddings in Croatia, Italy, South Africa, Iceland, the US, Mexico, the UK and Canada. Iceland was obviously incredible. Whichever direction you look there’s something to take your breath away. The second night I was there I saw the Northern Lights which was something I’d always wanted to see. I managed to get a shot of the couple with the lights in the sky behind them. Pretty amazing.

Bride and grrom with double rainbow at a UK wedding

Where do you want to shoot next?

I’d love to shoot in Bali. Or India. Or California. Or the Rockies. Anywhere, really, though. Except maybe North Korea!

What changes/improvements have you observed within your photography over the years?

I think the best thing I’ve done is learned to shoot more and more for myself rather than always thinking about what the client expects. Of course there will be times during a wedding day that you’re taking photos purely for the client, but my philosophy is now that most of the images I take on the day are just myself trying to make the best images from the events happening in front of me, or in the way I’ve learned to anticipate images or to be creative with compositions. That keeps it interesting for me and encourages me to push myself to be creative throughout the day. And I know that if I continue to produce photographs that I’m excited about I’ll find the clients that are drawn to those types of images. I don’t need to appeal to every bride and groom looking for a photographer. I only want to shoot around 30 weddings each year, so I just need to find 30 couples who love what I do and are excited to have me capture their wedding for them.

Any direction you would like to take your photography?

I’d love to do more editorial portraiture. Maybe for magazines. I love the work of people like Anton Corbijn, Joey L, Annie Liebovitz, Rodney Smith, Danny Clinch, and Mark Seliger. I’d love to develop my own personal style a little more with those type of portraits. It’s something I’m hoping to push forward this year.

How do you know you’ve done a great job for your wedding clients?

I want my clients to be surprised when they see their wedding through my eyes. They will remember the day in a certain way already but then they’ll have a whole new perspective of it when they see my photos. As the years go by, their own memories will fade but their wedding photos remain and they slowly become more and more important. I also want them to remember how they felt, not just how things looked when they go through the images.

Manoir Hovey Wedding

A huge thank you to Steve for his time, insight, advice and of course, those awesome Spotify playlists. To see more of Steve’s work or to learn even more about this whiskey and Coke enthusiast, head over to his portfolio.

iphone bride and groom portrait

Introducing…. Soul Station Orchestra

soul station orchestra

As Daniel from Soul Station Orchestra will tell you, “venue, food and entertainment are the three biggest components to any event” so you don’t want to make the wrong choice when deciding on the perfect musical entertainment for your wedding. There are all kinds of bands out there but Soul Station Orchestra is quite unique. We caught up with Daniel to find out what makes them different from the rest.

soul station montreal wedding band

When did you first start Soul Station Orchestra?

Soul Station was founded in 2013. When we first started, we were a small group playing mostly for cocktail events and small get-togethers. A year later, we added our String Trio. Fast forward to today, Soul Station Orchestra has everything in order to provide the perfect live entertainment for the client’s dream event; full party band, DJ, jazz/pop group, classical music, etc.

What’s been fantastic about seeing Soul Station grow is having the opportunity to work with such amazing musicians. Every member of the orchestra is a university trained music graduate. There’s no better feeling to perform with a great group in front of an audience ready to have a good time!

What were your aspirations for the band when you began?

All my life, music took centre stage. I first had the idea to put together an entertainment group during my first year at Vanier College. It had been already a handful of years I was learning electric bass and upright bass and I wanted to create opportunities to share the music that I grew up loving. However, I envisioned providing my clients with the live musical experience for their events. It’s a completely different feeling to see your favourite songs come alive with a band. So as SoulStation gained more opportunities, the vision grew to providing live music to all events, big or small.

How would you sum up your style?

Our style is classy and professional, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t flexible! If the client has a specific vision for their event, we are not afraid to make that dream a reality.

Of course, whatever the event, we give it our best. The opportunity to perform for an enthusiastic crowd is always a pleasure.

What are the songs that really get the crowd going?

It really depends on the sort of event; but one thing is for sure, seeing people show their emotions because they hear a certain song is pretty fantastic.

With our 5 to 8 piece party band, the moment we start playing disco or Motown, people run to the dance floor and really feel the music! When our cocktail group, the Ultra Lounge, is playing jazz or light pop covers, it brings your cocktail event to the next level; suddenly there is something more to look forward to other than the hors-d’oeuvres. With the String Trio, there’s a certain elegance that only classical instruments can create. Finally, with our DJ, some get pretty excited the moment Drake comes on 😉

How do couples let you know what kind of music they’d like for their wedding?

Once a couple reaches out to us, we will set up a meeting to get to know each other and the details of what they are looking for. If they are selecting music for a cocktail setting, the party band or our DJ, we provide an example of our repertoire. However, if they are looking to hire the String Trio for their wedding ceremony, we provide a detailed list that they can choose their specific songs for the different moments of their ceremony.

No matter the music group they choose, we are always open to special requests. If they are looking for lighting equipment, it is also available.

How early do brides need to think about booking their entertainment?

Venue, food and entertainment are the three biggest components to any event, and a wedding is no different. If couples want to be sure that we will be available, it’s best to contact us 6 months prior to their big day.

What do you do for fun when not playing with the band?

I love nature and classic car shows! When music is your career, it’s nice sometimes to disconnect from your regular routine to find inspiration elsewhere. I guess you can say I was born in the wrong decade, but I’m nostalgic for a time I didn’t grow up in when Montreal was a younger city in the 1960’s and 70’s. The cars, the style and the music where all fantastic and the city was growing slowly into the Metropolis it is today.

Where can we find you online?

Other than our website, you can find us on Wedding Wire Canada and Google Plus. To see what we’re up to on a regular basis and hear little clips you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Big thanks to Daniel for chatting to us about the orchestra and all they have to offer. Make sure you reach out if you want something special for your own wedding.

Introducing…. L’S Event Creation

 

L’S Event Creations

Planning a wedding in 2018 can be a daunting task. We are all busy and it’s all too easy to allow things to become overwhelming. Couples should enjoy the whole process of getting married, including the planning, so many busy couples look for a relaible wedding planner to take some of the pressure off and make sure the day itself runs smoothly.

Liliane Yan runs L’S Event Creation and is a WPIC certified wedding planner based here in Montreal. She has a B.Com in Marketing and a certification in Event & Wedding Planning. Her team may be small but they say they are built for big events; tackling every detail to deliver any needs on your special day so that you don’t have to!

We caught up with Liliane to find out more about how couples and wedding planners work together to create something truly special.

Hi Liliane. What can you tell our readers about your business?

My name is Liliane Yan, I’m a certified event planner based in Montreal, Canada. I am working full time at an international organization and running my personal event planning business named L’S Event Creation.

How would you sum up your style?

I would say my style is minimalist with a modern twist. My pet peeves are trite ideas, tacky décor, disorganization, and dishonorable personalities.

What challenges do you usually face when planning for a wedding?

There are always different challenges in each wedding. My role in the whole planning process is to ease off the pressure on couples’ shoulder and make sure they can enjoy every little moment as the day went by and get a good grasp of the beautiful thing that is happening to them, their wedding.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everything is an inspiration and each moment is a feast. I get inspired by everything that is happening around me, it could be a pattern on a floor, a quote from a book, a lyric from a music, and so on.

L’S Event Creation

What advice do you offer couples in the run-up to the wedding day?

Setting up a realistic budget is very important and don’t wait to the last minute to consult with a wedding planner.

How early do brides need to think about booking their planner?

The sooner the better. It depends on what kind of services that the couple is looking for, is it a full wedding coordination, a month coordination or just a bit of help?

Where can we find you online?

Take a peek at our website at www.lseventcreation.ca; from there, your will find our Instagram and Facebook to follow.

L’S Event Wedding Planner Montreal

What are your ambitions for the company?

Life is a long journey and it’s about learning and experiencing. I hope I will have the privilege to be part of all the wonderful love stories and be able to create the dream day for future brides and grooms.

What do you do for fun when not planning events?

Sometimes I get really busy between a full-time job and special projects. If I don’t need to work or plan any events, I just love to stay at home, work on some home décor projects, drink a cup of hot tea, enjoy a movie and just chill. Well, I will never get bored since my active toddler always keeps me busy from Monday to Sunday. 🙂

It sounds like life is always full of adventure for Liliane and we would like to thank her for finding time in amongst all of that to chat with MTL Wedding Blog.

Anthony and Kirsten – Wedding at L’Ambroisie a L’Espace Canal

L’Ambroisie a L’Espace Canal

Today we’re just a bit excited to share with you a very cool wedding photographed by Ottawa photographer Agatha Rowland. Anthony and Kirsten’s wedding was at L’Ambroisie a L’Espace Canal in Montreal and Agatha’s photographic style fits perfectly. We asked Agatha to tell us a little more about the day…

“Kirsten and Anthony planned a wedding for their friends and family from all over Canada. They chose Montreal, where Anthony is from, to host the incredible celebration. The venue, L’Ambroisie at L’espace Canal, was perfectly suited to their style and just right for their wedding size. It’s a big, beautiful industrial venue located in Saint Henri that overlooks the Canal Lachine. It’s really a blank slate that couples can decorate however they want – and Kirsten & Anthony did an incredible job to make the space perfectly suited to them. With white roses and greenery running down the length of each table (which the Bride sourced herself from Joe’s Prop House), and hundreds of String lights covering the ceiling, they transformed the space into an incredibly warm reception venue.

The day started out with Anthony at his parent’s home in Laval, and Kirsten getting ready in an Airbnb in Old Montreal (another beautiful industrial space). The on and off rain all morning cancer meant that their plans for an outdoor ceremony had to be moved indoors. Which proved not to be a problem at all – as the staff at L’Ambroisie are incredible coordinators and string lights and large windows made for a beautiful indoor ceremony space.

One thing that stood out to me while photographing the day, was how happy everyone was. Taking candid photos of friends and family was easy. Everyone was having an incredible time – and it showed. There was so much heart and soul packed into the day, which was visible from start to finish. From their personalized vows to the hum of laughter during dinner to the incredible speeches; it was all just bursting with joy.”

You can certainly see that joy captured in Agatha’s gorgeous photos. Take a look!

















Big thanks to Agatha for sharing this one with us, and congrats to Anthony and Kirsten on a beautiful wedding.

Vendor Credits:

Venue: L’Ambroisie a L’Espace Canal
Photography: Agatha Rowland
Videography: Rowland Films 
Bride’s Dress: Chantal’s BridalEddy K Milano
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amandalina’sChantal’s BridalJealous Bridesmaid,
Maid of Honour dress: handmade by Melissa Gentile Couture
Groom’s Attire: King and Bay
MUA: Jenna Conquergood
Hair: Sabrina Virgilio
Brides hair extensions/Lashes: Wink & Wave
DJ: @dj.alex.n
Jewelry: Swarovski
Invitations/Menus: Keeks Paper Co
Decor: Designed by the Bride, Tables/chairs supplied by Joe’s Prop House, Lighting by Nathan’s Possibilities
Florist: Rita Pollota
Catering: Restaurant L’Ambroisie
Musicians: Bolero Trio

Introducing…. Love Lux Films

Love Lux Wedding Films and Videography Montreal

In a recent poll, newlyweds listed “not spending more on a videographer” as their number one regret when it came to budgeting for their big day. And 35 percent of couples wish they’d hired a videographer.

Here at MTL Wedding Blog we have seen the standard of wedding videography improve rapidly over the last few years, and we are always on the lookout for fantastic local wedding videographers. So we were happy to discover the beautiful work of Love Lux Films. This is wedding videography with a very modern and creative twist. Beautiful story-telling without any of the old cliches.

We asked Tristan from Love Lux to tell us more about what they do, and how they make sure their couples receive a fil that will be priceless to their families for decades to come.

When did Love Lux Films first begin shooting weddings?

We have been running Love Lux for 4 years now, we are a young business but are growing really fast. Before Love Lux Films, I worked for a large wedding photo/video studio in Australia as a studio manager managing over 300 weddings a year, this is where I learnt what it takes to create outstanding work for clients. Maelle started her photography career as a sports and concert photographer. She also works in social media management and content marketing for major Canadian brands.

 
What were your aspirations for the company when you began? 
We wanted to create a very personal boutique wedding studio and produce films that we would want to receive for our own wedding. We don’t outsource any of our clients work, and everything is taken on by us. We need extra hands for more coverage on larger weddings, we only bring on board filmmakers that we trust.
 

How would you describe your style?

We love to capture the moment in the most natural, and genuine way. We are not big fans of the classic, cheesy wedding film feel so we work with our couples to bring out their real selves and make that shine in their films. We also use film stocks on our edits to create a cinematic look, and we always like to keep the image looking warm and inviting, an overall happy vibe :).

We are LOVE LUX FILMS // Nous sommes LOVE LUX FILMS from Love Lux Films & Photography on Vimeo.


What challenges do you usually face during a wedding day? 

We have now shot so many weddings that we are totally used comfortable on the wedding day, however that doesn’t stop us from being creative. I think pushing yourself to go the extra mile in every shoot in order to be more creative is the biggest challenge, and that’s why we love it.


What can brides do to help you to capture their wedding day in the best possible way? 
Just be yourself and enjoy one of the best days of your life. We are going to make it look amazing, so no need to worry about us. 
 
Got any funny stories from weddings you’ve covered? 

One of our clients baked a pavlova wedding cake the morning of the wedding day, in a log cabin, in the forest! Don’t worry it was all planned and she is an expert baker (she even hosts her own baking TV show – Flour Power, on the channel Gusto!).

 

What advice do you offer a wedding couple that can’t decide between photography and videography?

It is always a hard choice. If you have to pick only one then it’s important to weigh up what’s important to you as a couple. Photography as a medium can be printed and hung on your wall as well as shown digitally. Video, on the other hand, can only exist in the digital world but you can really bring the audience into the scene with powerful audio and music over moving image.

How early do brides need to think about booking their videographer? 

It really depends, you can never be too early, however, we are booking up very quick these days, so it’s all about getting the date booked before someone else does. 12-8 months before the day is normally safe. 
 
What do you do for fun when not filming events? 
We love camping and traveling, so we make sure we fit as much in of that as we can during the year. I’m also really getting into creating my own artisanal food, such as Australian home-cured bacon, sourdough bread and home brew pale ale beer. Maelle continues to shoot concerts whenever she can, and loves to document our trips with photography.
 
Where can we find you online? 
We can be found at www.loveluxfilms.com and www.facebook.com/loveluxfilms or call Tristan for a chat on 514-882-8841.
 

You offer package deals. Will you share more about this?

We offer 2 base packages but they are totally customizable. Every wedding is unique so we want to shape our services to match that.

Introducing… Lily & Roses Events

Lily & Roses events montreal

Let’s face it, most people have no clue what they’re doing when they first start to plan a wedding. They’ve probably never done anything slightly like it before in their lives, and soon find out that the whole thing can be somewhat overwhelming. That’s where an experienced wedding planner can become a lifesaver.

Montreal company Lily & Roses Events have been helping couples enjoy the ride and plan an event to remember for over half a decade now, so who better to give us some honest info and advice? We caught up with them to get the lowdown…

Best wedding planner montreal

1. When did you first start Lily & Roses Events?

Lily & Roses began over 5 years ago in Montreal and we are now covering Montreal, Ottawa and beyond.

2. What were your aspirations for the company when you began?

To become a leading force in event planning and design across Canada (one event at a time!). We wanted to change the face of event planning by raising the bar for our clients and working as a one-stop shop for all aspects of an event.

3. How would you sum up your style?

Classy, elegant and timeless. We don’t follow trends and we’ve maintained our style throughout our time running Lily & Roses Exquisite Events.

4. What challenges do you usually face during a wedding day?

Every event and every wedding is different. No challenges are the same. We focus on just keeping the mood as light as possible and relieving the stress of the people involved is something that is foreseen in every event.

Montreal Wedding Planner

5. Where do you find your inspiration?

We get some ideas on Pinterest but not necessarily. We see something that jumps out at us, at another event, magazines, social media and go with it and we bring our own style and touch to what we see.

6. What can brides do to help you do the best job for them?

They have to understand that we are there to help and that we’ll do everything in our power to make things run as smoothly for them as possible. For example, if there is anything or anyone specific to look out for that the bride might know about but we don’t, it is best for the bride to let us know so we can do our job to the best of our ability!

7. What kind of wedding do you love to be involved with the most?

We’ve been so fortunate to have been a part of so many styles of weddings and multicultural weddings. From a classic middle eastern wedding to a same-sex wedding we’ve had a great time at them all, and when we are allowed to do all we can for a client it allows for a smoother day.

8. How early do brides need to think about booking their planner?

It depends. They need to decide if they want anything custom, full planning or day of coordination. It all depends on what they are looking for and on what kind of service or product they are looking to get. The sooner the better, of course! If it’s just for flowers and favours, they can contact us three months in advance. With our day of coordination service, the first meeting/consultation is six weeks before the wedding so anytime before that.

9. What common mistakes do you feel couples make when planning their wedding?

Not working on a budget from the get-go as well as not knowing the value of things on the market (like a photographer, for example). It is also common to assume that the wedding party will be there to take care of things the day of, but the people in the wedding party are their guests! We have had many instances when couples assume they have a coordinator for the day if their venue has a maitre d. But it is only a maitre d, they cannot do half of what planners do the day of. It all makes for confusion and chaos!

10. Where can people find you online?

Everywhere! Our website has been active for a while at www.lilyrosesvents.com. You can find our new line of products on Shopify. We are active many times a week on Instagram and on our Facebook page.

11. What do you do for fun when not planning events?

Researching and finding different ideas to grow our business. We are preparing to launch our apparel line of bridal tees and tanks and we just launched a line of couture stationery a few months ago. I sometimes keep too busy with home decor projects. I’m also my daughter’s talent manager, taking her between her ballet and swimming classes every other day. Life is beautiful chaos!

Montreal wedding planners
Life is indeed a beautiful chaos. Big thanks to the girls from Lily & Roses for their invaluable insights. Check out their website for more information.

Montreal Wedding Photographers’ Favourite Photos of 2017

Best Montreal Wedding Photography
Photo – Steve Gerrard Photography

We are excited to share with you some of Montreal wedding photographers’ favourite photos from the past 12 months. The city has some of the best wedding photographers around. Award-winning, creative, talented photographers, each with a very individual style and their own viewpoint on telling the story of a wedding day.

It’s a cliche to say that the wedding photos will be the only thing you have left once the wedding day is over. It’s not really true either. You’ll have each other, you’ll have some nice new rings and you’ll have the memories. But memories fade over the years and your wedding photos will be something that increases in value as the years pass by.

Every couple is different and every wedding is unique. Maybe you’re looking for a wedding photographer that will make you look like a model in every picture. You might be looking for someone who is skilled at taking beautiful photographs of you and your family that will be framed on the wall. A growing trend is for a very relaxed approach to photography where the photographer spends the day documenting moments in a natural yet artistic way rather than directing and staging photos. This is often an area where wedding photographers can really show their skills behind a camera, capturing moments from a wedding creatively without telling people where to stand or what to do.

Your wedding photos should bring back not just the memories of your wedding day, but also the emotions and the uniqueness of the event. A good wedding photographer will deliver a set of images that will transport you back in time every time you look through your wedding photos.

Here at MTL Wedding Blog, we are always on the lookout for wedding photography that stops us in our tracks. It may be an epic portrait of a bride and groom or it may be an image filled with genuine emotion. Sometimes it’s something hilarious that a photographer was able to capture in amongst the craziness of a wedding day.

We asked a selection of Montreal’s best wedding photographers to share one photo from the past year that they really love. The photos that came back are as varied and unique as the photographers themselves.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Steve Gerrard

Steve Gerrard – Instagram

Steve is a Brit who moved to Montreal in 2014 and has been shooting weddings all over the world for over ten years. He was voted Best Wedding Photographer by the readers of Perfect Wedding magazine and says his style is “style is modern, creative, relaxed and natural – no cliches, just unique images every time.”

“This photo was from Helen & Marcus’ wedding in October and I love how happy and relaxed they both look in the picture. It also shows off the tipi and lights that they had for their wedding reception. The sun hadn’t long gone down so there was still that blue glow in the sky behind them, which I love. Their wedding was exactly the kind of wedding I love to photograph – relaxed, stylish and so much fun. It was all about having an amazing day with their favourite people and I loved documenting it all for them”

Steve Gerrard Photography

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Avant Garde Studio

Avant Garde Studio – Instagram

Adeline is an award-winning documentary photographer from Avant Garde Studio based in Montreal and captures life events around the world.

“I share a couple photo that I love and mostly because of my subjects. A beautiful couple, just married, in love and very tender to each other. This moment was captured during their photo session right after the ceremony, a moment of happiness, excitement and complicity they shared together.

The bride wore a beautiful long veil and the wind was so friendly on that day 🙂 I couldn’t resist when I saw the flying movement of the veil. Finally, but not less important, I absolutely love black and white photography!!!”

Avant Garde Studio

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Prizma Productions

Prizma Productions – Instagram

Prizma Productions is run by Vatche “Vick” Jabarian, a Montreal-based wedding photographer, husband and father who says he is “endlessly inspired by my beautiful family and the stunning imagery that surrounds us. For most of my life, I’ve felt compelled to create artistic representations of the meaningful moments I never wanted to forget.”

“I like this picture especially in black and white, cause it’s in the moment and the couple is enjoying a quiet moment, with a genuine smile, approaching each other, full of love.”

Prizma Productions

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

James Correia

James Correia – Instagram

James tells us that, for him, from the very start weddings have meant something different to him. “It wasn’t about the grandiose events, the pretty details, or the elaborate parties. It was always about emotions. Weddings are bursting at the seams with raw emotions. Laughter, tears of joy, unrestrained energy. These are the photos you will cherish. Not epic posed shot. That’s why I love photographing weddings. That’s why I feel every wedding is different and a new experience.

This photo might not mean much to someone who wasn’t at this wedding, but it means everything to those who were. This ceremony within the trees was full of tears from start to finish. Not just the bride, but every guest in the intimate 40 person crowd. This single tear, spotlit through the surrounding leaves, represented it all.”

James Correia

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Emilie Olson

Emilie Olson – Instagram

Emilie is a Montreal based wedding, lifestyle and event photographer, which she explains, “translates to real people and important days in their lives. I would hope my couples remember the day through their photos with the same intensity that they remember thinking back on it; with the addition of some unique surprises. My greatest love for the work is what we catch unexpectedly. Almost every one of my favourite photos is unplanned. The brilliance is in the details, you simply can’t plan for them all.

This is one of the reasons I love this particular photo. It happened quickly, after wrapping up a session in the room. Before leaving I suggested where the couple stand and the outcome is not what any of us expected. Occasionally ideas don’t pan out, but in many cases they do – so, we always need to play and experiment as photographers.”

Emilie Olson

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Studio Baron

Studio Baron – Instagram

Valerie Baron has been a Montreal wedding photographer for nearly 10 years. “I am so lucky that I get to do what I love with people that become more than clients, they become friends and lifelong connections. I have been privileged to capture so many special days and see people grow into families and create a future that’s right for them. I’ll admit I’m a romantic and can still be caught crying while shooting (don’t worry, there’s autofocus, LOL). It really all comes down to caring about the people that invite me into their lives to capture one of the biggest moments and for that, I say thank you.

It was nearly impossible for me to choose my favourite image, so I chose one that I love and that makes me feel great, especially on this cold winter day. For me, this photo is universal. It could be anyone, and so easy to picture yourself on that sunny afternoon, barefoot allergy with your shoes tossed aside, just married with your wedding rings glinting in the sunlight, your toes in the soft green grass and the water shimmering behind you. It gives me the feels as I look at it and imagine all the times she goes on her tiptoes to reach up to the man she loves. This photo for me is also lovely because it represents so much of how I photograph. I find the little moments, the details and make capture allow them to reveal the special moment that’s happening in an elegant way.”

Studio Baron

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Brent Calis

Brent Calis – Instagram

Brent describes himself as a Montréal-based Canadian photographer/ opera singer/ salsa dance fanatic that tries to convey his passion, creativity and energy through every picture he takes. “I combine my background in the performing arts with photography, creating modern, heartwarming and inspiring portraits of life, love and leisure. My goal is to create something that your children can look at when they are older. Their children’s children, and even further down the line.”

He tells us he almost didn’t take this photo! “Most of my best work are those kinds of shots where I put my camera to my face and take a shot just cuz. Not because I should… but because it’s a moment where people are concentrating on something different than being in a photo. They are focused on getting across the street.”

Brent Calis

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Yannick Khong

Yannick Khong – Instagram

Yannick explains, “I enjoy making cinematic shots that stand the test of time captured in a situation where obsessive technical and artistic research are blended with a dose of “why not” risk.

This photograph remains one of my favourites of the year. I remember that wedding to be the prettiest I’ve shot. The entire day went very well, all the important shots were done and done in the box. After enjoying a few party snaps with the clients. I took a walk to enjoy the success of my day and saw the opportunity to shoot a long exposure of the vineyard as a final conclusion shot to end the album on. After marvelling at the results, I ran back to the couple and asked them to stand still for a few seconds. All agreed it was worth it.”

Yannick Khong

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Genero Photo

Genero Photo – Instagram

Marie-Christine Genero tells us that “coming from a medical background (I used to be a neurology technologist), I really enjoy spending time with people. Different kinds of people. And I love adapting the way I interact with them based on their personality, what they are going through, etc.

When I decided to change careers and become a photographer, I knew weddings were the perfect niche for me. It involved spending full days when an array of people: from the emotional dad to the stressed-out bride, and even crazy partying guests! Client connection is, to me, the most important aspect of my job. I always remind my potential couples that they need to feel as if I am their friend, hanging out with them, but with the mandate of documenting one of the most important days of their lives. Having this close relationship will allow them to feel more comfortable in front of the camera, and will also keep my excitement and motivation to work up and running. The long, hard, 10-12 hour days are oh-so-worth-it when I am able to go home after giving the couple a big (yet sweaty) hug goodbye.”

Genero Photo

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Tim Chin

Tim Chin – Instagram

Tim describes himself as a husband, a father and a photographer. “I am a collector of moments,” he says.

“While the bulk of my work is photographing weddings, my favourite images of this past year come from our family trip out east to Newfoundland. I believe when we make photographs, they return us back to those places, experiences, feelings and people. They remind us of who we were at that time and can give us hints of who we will be. They become our time machines.

This image was made at Cape Spear, the easternmost point in North America. This was towards the end of our two-week tour of the Island, and as we were descending to leave, the light came out to illuminate the boardwalk pathway down, and the textures of the landscape. My family are my most important people, and much of my understanding of life comes from watching my kids put one foot in front of the other. This image brings me back to our adventures together but also excites me for the adventures to come.”

Tim Chin

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Isabella Rosa

Isabella Rosa – Instagram

Isabella is a well-known wedding and portrait photographer and, in the past, worked under the brand Ella Photography.

“I’m a photographer just like everyone else on this list. I’m a traveller and love to go on adventures with my couples to capture the emotion and the “behind-the-scenes” of people’s lives.

Life…. to me… is True Beauty. That’s what I want to show by my photography. I’ve never worked with models… only with people that were very uncomfortable in front of the camera, just like you. My goal is to show you, with my camera, that the life that you own every day, is already amazing. You don’t need to change anything at all.

This photo is one of my favourites from 2017. We were rushing through a VERY hectic wedding day in Italy and we got star struck (quite literally) by this unbelievable sunset by the beach. It was a good reminder that it’s important to STOP and appreciate the little things… especially on days like your wedding!”

Isabella Rosa

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Maurizio Solis

Maurizio Solis – Instagram

Maurizio is a Mexican photographer who grew up surrounded by colours, joy, music, passion and salsa dancing. He understands deep connections and makes colourful images out of them.

“This photo from Suha and Sean´s wedding shows my style, bold and surreal. I love it because there is an unknown story behind it and it makes the viewer think. They love it because they look amazing and it’s like no other wedding photo they’ve ever seen.”

Maurizio Solis

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Ashley MacPhee

Ashley MacPhee – Instagram

Ashley says of her photo, “Deepti and Scott were hoping for sunshine on their wedding day and chose the Forest & Stream Club to provide the perfect backdrop. Only, rain was imminent. Lots of it!

Still wanting an outdoor ceremony, they rented a beautiful tent. I wanted to make sure we made it special so while all their guests were inside eating away I took them to the tent to get some photos inside. What makes this moment extra special is I asked them what their wedding song was, put it on my phone and here you see them having their first dance together as husband and wife. After their wedding day, Deepti told me that this was her favorite moment of the entire day. And because of that, it’s mine too.”

ASHLEY MACPHEE

Thanks to all the photographers for their stunning images.

If you’re searching for a wedding photographer, we suggest taking your time to find one that is going to give you photographs you’ll treasure for a lifetime and document your wedding day in a style that reflects you as a couple.

With wedding photography, there are no re-shoots!

Best Wedding Photography in Montreal

The real questions you should be asking your wedding photographer

Questions for wedding photographer

Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Want to know the best questions to ask wedding photographers that will ensure you get the answers you really need to make an informed decision about who to choose to capture the your wedding day?

Steve Gerrard is one of the best wedding photographers around. Based in Montreal but originally from the UK, he has photographed over 400 weddings around the globe and has a whole list of wedding clients who have gone on to become good friends. A few of his UK couples have already been to visit Steve and his family since they moved to Montreal three years ago. When you go on to be real friends with your wedding photographer you know you chose wisely. So let’s chat to Steve to hear what he sees as the real questions couples need to ask before they choose their wedding photographer….

Questions for wedding photographers

MTL Wedding Blog: Hi Steve, can you tell us, in your experience, what questions couples should be asking potential wedding photographers to make sure they find the right photographer for them?

Steve: First of all I’d say to invest some time researching photographers, not just in your area but further afield. These days wedding photographers are far more willing to travel. So just because a photographer you absolutely love may be in a different country from your wedding, doesn’t mean they’re not available. I’m now based in Canada but still shoot weddings in the UK all the time. And this year I’ve also been to Italy, Mexico, Las Vegas and Bangkok.

Experienced wedding photographers all have their own style. Some are super-creative whereas others maybe far more traditional. There are some really quirky wedding photographers around, and many that will take a purely documentary approach to your wedding. Think about what kind of images you’d like to have from your wedding and find a photographer whose portfolio reflects that the best. It’s only then that you need to begin to ask questions to ensure you have the same vision for the final photos.

Questions for my wedding photographer

MTL Wedding Blog: So once a couple has their shortlist of potential photographers for the wedding, what’s the first questions they should ask?

Steve Gerrard: I think the first question should be “How would you describe your approach to photographing a wedding?”

This gives the photographer the opportunity to clarify how they like to work on the wedding day. They may be the kind of person who likes a clear timeline and a shot list from the couple. They may expect a certain amount of time allocated for photography and you need to know if that’s something you’re happy to agree on.

Personally, I like to have a certain amount of time where I can escape with the couple to make some amazing portraits on the wedding day but my priority is always to capture the story of the wedding and to avoid taking the bride & groom away from their guests for any longer than is necessary. For me it’s not a photo shoot, it’s a day where the couple and all their favourite people come together to celebrate and have a great time. I like to document that in a creative way more than spending too much time doing group shots or portraits.

Questions to ask wedding photographer

Another question we get asked a lot is “What kind of camera equipment do you use?” I think a much better question is “What kind of photos do you aim to create at a wedding?”

Most people are not professional photographers, so me telling them my favourite lens is a 35mm 1.4 and I usually shoot in Manual mode on my 5DMk3 is not really helping them establish why my photography will be better suited to them than the next photographer. Finding out what kind of images a photographer aims to create during a wedding will tell you far more about their approach and the kind of photos you’ll end up with after your own wedding.

There are photographers whose portfolio is filled with amazing portraits of couples in gorgeous locations but they don’t show the story of the wedding day. There are others whose portraits seem like they’ve been captured without the couple even knowing. Sometimes that’s even true. And many photographers these days are fantastic at showing a series of photographs that give a sense of how it was to be at the event.

For myself, I like to deliver a set of images that will transport the bride & groom back to their wedding whenever they look at them. I want them to remember how they felt and to relive the day through the images whenever they want to. But I still love to capture some amazing portraits that couples will frame on their walls. So for me it’s finding a good balance that suits the couple.

Real Questions for wedding photographer

“Have you ever shot at our wedding venue?” is another question couples are often told to ask wedding photographers. For me a much better question would be “What kind of wedding venues do you enjoy photographing at?”

Many couples think that photographers who have shot at their venue before will know all the good spots for photos and be able to do a better job on the day. I disagree.

It’s rare that a venue is so huge that I can’t easily scout it out on the wedding day, or possibly before. And personally, I hate the idea that I’m going to shoot the same kinds of photos I took at a previous wedding. I much prefer to be inspired in the moment and to concentrate on what makes a wedding unique. That’s why I actually much prefer photographing weddings at venues I’ve never been to before.

Best Questions for wedding photographer

One thing you may need to ask is if they are willing to travel to photograph your wedding. But maybe ask “Are you happy to travel to our wedding, and what other costs would be involved?”

Most photographers are more than happy to travel but most will charge extra to cover travel expenses, accommodation and extra time. Some will even ask that you cover the cost of their meals on all the days they’re away. I mostly shoot weddings in Montreal and the UK. For most of those I won’t charge extra for travel but may ask for one or two nights accommodation for locations where I need to drive long distances. For all other destination weddings I charge for all travel expenses (that may include car hire or taxis) plus three nights accommodation. I always arrive at least a couple of days before the wedding and will usually fly home the day after unless the couple book me to shoot extra days.

what to ask wedding photographer

Most photographers will have information on their website to let you know how many hours coverage is included but make sure you check “How many hours coverage is included and what happens if things are running late on the day?”

Weddings rarely run on time in my opinion. And I always joke that the ones that don’t run on time tend to be the best weddings! So what happens if you’ve paid for your photographer to be there until 8pm but, when that time rolls around, you have yet to do your first dance, cut the cake or even have the final speeches? Do you really want to have a conversation on the evening of your wedding about whether you can afford to pay for extra hours of photography or not? As a wedding photographer, that’s not a discussion I’d be at all comfortable with.

Personally I like to cover weddings in their entirety and so I don’t limit coverage on the day. If you book me I’m there for the duration, capturing all the craziness of the party. Often I’m one of the last people to leave! But I totally understand that some photographers don’t feel the need to get too many photos of people on the dance-floor and would prefer to head home to their family.

Questions to ask wedding photographers

One question that is important and I do recommend asking is “What happens if you are unable to photograph the wedding due to illness?”

A good photographer will always have a backup plan. I’ve shot hundreds of weddings and have never missed one yet due to illness, but nobody can guarantee they won’t be sick or break a leg the day before a wedding. With social media it’s now easier than ever to find a suitable replacement photographer at short notice if circumstances mean you really can’t do the job. As photographers we tend to help each other out rather than treating each other as the enemy. I know that a quick post in a Facebook group or on Twitter would result in a great photographer being willing to cover.

what to ask wedding photographers

Speaking of backups, I’d also recommend checking “What backup equipment do you you take to a wedding?”

I recently heard about a wedding photographer posting on social media from the back of a church wedding because she only had one camera and it had started malfunctioning! She had no second camera and no backup gear! ALL professional wedding photographers should have at least two cameras, preferably more, as well as an assortment of lenses suitable to capture the wedding in the best way possible. This also means that if one camera or one lens fails to work, you have other options and nobody needs to know there’s a problem. And you won’t miss anything important that can never be repeated!

“How many photos will we get?” is a popular question but this is certainly an example of where less can definitely be more. I’d say to maybe ask “How many photos would you expect to deliver and will they all be edited similar to those in your portfolio?”

Do you really need 15 photos of you and your Dad? Or just two or three great ones? Do you need all the photos where you blinked or don’t look as good as you might hope?! Probably not. Allow the photographer to do what they do best and select the very best images that capture your story and show how amazing you looked on your wedding day.

But it is important to know that all the photos will be up to the standard you hoped for and match those you’ve seen on the photographer’s website. You want hundreds of beautifully captured images, edited in a way that brings them to life and works as a complete set. You don’t just want the photos that the photographer wants to feature on their blog to be the only ones that they edited properly.

One thing that changes the price point of wedding photography is “shoot and burn” photographers compared with those that provide you with fully edited images. If they are a shoot and burn photographer, they will shoot your wedding, download the images on a USB, and hand you that USB with images untouched by them. For me, the finished images should be as amazing as possible. The editing stage is a big part of what you’re actually paying for, not just the photography on the day.

what to ask my wedding photographer

After all this, it’s often your gut instinct that will make your final decision for you. Good wedding photographers will leave you excitedly wanting to share all the photos with your friends and family and mean you recommend them to anyone you hear is getting married. And maybe you’ll make a new friend in the process.

Thanks a lot to Steve for his insight. We hope this post will help you find the perfect photographer and guarantee a set of wedding photos you’ll love forever.

All photos by Steve Gerrard Photography

questions to ask my wedding photographer

what to ask potential wedding photographers

Wedding photographer questions
These are the REAL questions you should be asking your wedding photographer before you decide whether they are the best fit for your wedding photography.