Category Archives: Weddings

Candid Wedding Photography

Candid wedding photography - the other half of your story

Candid wedding photography is just as important as formal wedding photography to tell the full story of your wedding day.

While your photographer will hopefully capture all the formal proceedings as a matter of course, when looking through their portfolio, albums or in talking with them during your consultation, ask to see some of their more candid shots as well.

What is candid wedding photography?

Photographers use the term candid wedding photography in a variety of different ways – to describe a natural way of shooting with little posing, to indicate a fun time with a lot of goofing around, etc.

For me, the truly candid shots are those where the subjects are unaware they having their photo taken.   Mum watching the wedding ceremony from the front row, tears of happiness on her cheeks and a great big smile on her face. The best man playing the fool with the groom while they are waiting for the wedding ceremony to start.  Or even simply a shot of the kids watching the wedding ceremony like they would their favourite movie – not from the discomfort of a wooden pew, but lying on their stomachs in the aisle of the church.

Capturing candid moments

To ensure your candid moments are captured as well as the more formal moments from your wedding day, it is best to look for a wedding photography package that includes 2 photographers.   The second photographer is usually able to capture many more candid moments during the day while the main photographer focuses on the formal (unmissable) shots and interacts with you, your family and friends.

This is not to say that the one wedding photographer can’t do both (the above image was shot while I was operating on my own), but there are many more opportunities with 2 photographers.


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Adding personal touches – ideas for your wedding reception

Travel photos at a wedding reception - an example of how to personalise your reception inexpensively

Wedding reception venues often provide everything, including all the decorations.  However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t add your own personal touches to make your reception truly your own.

Wedding reception details – coming up with ideas

There are many different ways to come up with ideas for your wedding reception. You might like to think about:

  • where and how you met each other
  • what you like to do together
  • what you do for work
  • where you are going for your honeymoon

The list is endless but I’ll give you a couple of examples of personalising a wedding reception using 3 of the above 4 ideas:

In the wedding shown above, the bride and groom met and fell in love while both were working overseas.  They travelled extensively together and personalised their wedding reception by selecting and printing out photos of the two of them from each of the trips they had done together. They scattered some of these on the cake table and made others into table markers so guests were seated in one of the locations the couple had visited.

For my brother’s wedding in March this year, they have chosen to personalise their wedding reception around a work theme. They are incorporating test tubes and beakers (representing my brother’s work as a chemist) into which they they are placing flowers made of paper (representing his fiancee’s work as a graphic designer).

It takes a bit of imagination, but adding your own touches to your wedding reception will make it feel like it is uniquely yours.

For more ideas on how to personalise your wedding reception (some inexpensive, some not), have a look at Bridal Guide’s “75 ways to Personalise your Wedding”.


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How to pin a boutonniere on a lapel

One thing I often find grooms, groomsmen, and the father of the bride struggling with on the wedding day is the pinning of the boutonniere or button-hole. While I admit this is extremely difficult to do by yourself, pinning the boutonniere onto another person shouldn’t be a traumatic experience.
The following video from Heald Wedding Consulting shows a very effective way of pinning the boutonniere – essential watching for all the men involved in your big day 🙂

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From wedding gown to cocktail dress – get the most from your investment

double duty - wedding gown and cocktail dress

Most brides visit specialty wedding boutiques to select their perfect wedding gown – a dress they will wear once and then store away for safe-keeping. However, there is an alternative…

Wedding gowns that do double-duty

Several of my brides have chosen to limit the amount of money they spend on their wedding gown, preferring instead to invest more in capturing memories of their day through high-quality photography, and the party for their friends and family.

Rather than shopping specifically in bridal boutiques, they have opted for elegant off-the-rack dresses from David Jones, Myer or other regular stores for as little as a few hundred dollars and brightened them up with coloured sashes and other accessories. The bride featured in this photo was over the moon with her wedding dress which came in at less than $200 (her bridesmaid created the orange sash).

The wedding gown challenge

It can be a challenge to find the perfect dress that will match the style of your wedding. But once you find it – it is an amazing investment that will live on to do double-duty as a cocktail dress once the ceremony and reception are over.

It must be said that it is probably easier to find a dress like this for a summer wedding, but if you enjoy shopping and are looking to invest more heavily in other areas of your big day, check out the department stores and small clothing boutiques in places like Chapel Street to see what you can find.

A quick Google image search on “cocktail wedding dress” is a great place to start for some inspiration.

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Personalise your wedding bouquet with non-traditional wedding flowers

unusual wedding flowers for your wedding bouquet

Traditionally, bridal bouquets feature soft, pastel-coloured flowers such as roses, lilys and hydrangeas. While these classic wedding flowers are beautiful and stylish, you might consider asking your florist for some alternate wedding flower ideas.

Match your wedding flowers to your wedding colour theme

An easy way to personalise your wedding bouquet is to add flowers with a bold colour to match the colour theme of your wedding. For example, having an ocean wedding? Consider adding some blue flowers to your bouquet to represent the water. Having a rainforest wedding? Incorporate a range of greenery into your wedding bouquet.

Adding colour to your wedding bouquet will make it stand out in wedding photographs

Another advantage of adding colour to your wedding flowers is that it will make your bouquet stand out in your wedding photographs. Imagine holding your wedding bouquet made of white and ivory flowers against your white or ivory wedding dress. To a certain level, the flowers are going to disappear against the dress. Adding a pop of colour in your wedding flowers will really bring them out.

Which florists will help me create a non-traditional wedding bouquet?

I love the wedding bouquets created by Flos Florum in Malvern in Melbourne. Many of the brides I’ve worked with have consulted with Flos Florum, and their wedding bouquets always include a unique and colourful element that really brings the flowers alive in wedding photos. The bouquet in the image above is from Flos Florum.

If you would like to incorporate unusal wedding flowers into your bouquet, let your florist know up front and ask their advice.

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Can your family and friends see your wedding ceremony?

a stage for your wedding ceremony

Couples select their wedding ceremony venue for many reasons. It may be the church they attended while they were were growing up, it may be the most beautiful place they’ve ever seen, or it may simply fit within the budget and be located just around the corner from home. If you are selecting your venue for personal and sentimental reasons – then you should definitely get married there. However, if you are just looking around for a nice place, take note of how well your family and friends will be able to see and hear the ceremony.

What to look for in your wedding ceremony venue and what to ask your celebrant

One of the best ways to ensure your family and friends will enjoy the ceremony is to check the following:

  • does the venue has a raised platform on which the celebrant and the bride and groom (and perhaps the bridal party) stand or sit?  This is the best way to ensure everyone can see what is going on.
  • ask the celebrant whether you will be facing your friends and family (or at least each other), or will the ceremony be conducted with your backs towards the audience.  If the latter, ask whether you can change this so that your audience feels like they are part of what is going on.
  • ask whether sound from the celebrant microphone is relayed through an in-built audio system or whether it is carried by a portable system.  Where possible (and it may not be possible for outdoor weddings) try not to use portable systems as they can cut in and out if they are not well maintained and hooked up correctly.
  • ask whether there will be microphones available for the bride and groom for the vows, and whether the sound can be broadcast through the venue speakers (same as the celebrant’s microphone).  It is important that your guests are able to hear as well as see what is going on.

Keep these things in mind and put yourself in an audience seat when chooing your wedding ceremony venue to make sure your guests can see, hear and enjoy the experience.

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What if it rains on my wedding day? Preparation tips.

preparing for rain on my wedding day

I am based in Melbourne and it rains – a lot. So I am often asked the question “what happens if it rains on my wedding day?”

First of all – congratulations! Rain on your wedding day is meant to bring good luck to your marriage. But I do understand that it can disrupt the plans you have made for your perfect wedding. The secret is to build wet weather options into your wedding planning and prepare for it early.

Always have a Plan B for rain on your wedding day

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you should already be talking about “Plan B” with your wedding coordinator, celebrant and wedding venue. However, it is equally important to discuss Plan B with your wedding photographer.

Even if you are getting married inside and having your reception inside, you will probably want at least some of your bridal portraits taken outside. For this reason, I always talk about the need for a “Plan B” during our initial wedding photography consultation.

Heavy rain on my wedding day – Plan B inspiration

  • Public areas of fancy hotels.  This is easier to arrange if you are getting ready or staying at the hotel and needs to be discussed with the hotel in advance.
  • “Bridal rooms” at some wedding reception venues.  Ask if your reception venue has specific areas set aside for the bride and groom that could be used in case of rain.
  • Other public buildings/constructions in the vicinity that offer undercover areas.  I always scout wedding and reception venues in advance and try to find buildings and other constructions (e.g. bridges) that could be used for bridal portraits in the rain.  I’ve even used a shopping centre for one of my previous weddings – it’s amazing the things you can find when you start to look around!
  • Hire out a fancy public building for an hour.   For example, one of my brides hired out the Royal Exhibition Centre in Melbourne’s Carlton Gardens for an hour.  It may be cheaper than you think and, depending on the architecture, offers the potential for truly awesome bridal portraits.
  • For a more casual feel, see if there is a cafe nearby with decor you love.  Never hurts to ask whether it would be possible to use part of the space in a pinch for wet weather – most people are very accommodating for wedding parties.

Light rain on my wedding day – continue with Plan A

If it is only raining lightly on your wedding day and there isn’t much wind, it may still be possible to follow the original plan.  If you are willing to get a little damp and if you make sure that each person in your bridal party comes equipped with an umbrella – we can still venture outside. 

Plain black umbrellas are classic, but you could also opt for brightly coloured umbrellas if your wedding theme is more casual and fun.  I would also recommend for the girls at least to bring a second pair of flat shoes to change into. This means you won’t have to squelch your way through the reception and flats allows us to walk more quickly from place to place meaning we can head back inside sooner.

I fully admit we are all going to get a little damp, but we can get some fantastic shots incorporating the umbrellas.

Don’t let rain on your wedding day dampen your spirits

Provided you’ve put a bit of thought into your Plan B, made all the relevant arrangements and have umbrellas and a second pair of shoes at hand, you shouldn’t let rain on your wedding day get you down.  If we can shoot outside, overcast skies gives even light with no harsh shadows which means your photos will turn out beautifully.

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How many hours of wedding photography do I need?

How many hours of wedding photography do I need

Every wedding day is unique. They can range from short, family-only affairs through to full-day extravaganzas that last well into the wee hours of the morning. This is why many photographers offer wedding packages with different hours of coverage included. But how many hours of wedding photography do you need?

To give you an idea, with my wedding photography packages you can reasonably expect to fit the following in:


6 hours

8 hours

10 hours or more

  • bride getting ready (putting on dress and finishing touches)
  • ceremony
  • group photos
  • wedding bridal photos
  • mock cake cutting at reception
  • bride getting ready (putting on dress and finishing touches)
  • groom and groomsmen portraits at ceremony venue
  • ceremony
  • group photos
  • wedding bridal photos
  • first hour or two of reception including entrance, speeches, first dance, cake cutting
  • bride getting ready
  • groom getting ready
  • ceremony
  • group photos
  • wedding bridal photos
  • reception


If both of you are getting ready and having your ceremony, wedding photos (bridal portraits) and reception all in the one place – it may be possible to add more photography within these timeframes. For example, it may be possible to take some groom getting ready photos within an 8 hour package if there is no travel required.

Ask your photographer about how many hours of wedding photography you need

Every photographer is different and will require varying amounts of time to take your images. This is largely dependent on the number of photographs to be taken, the style of photography and whether additional lighting setups are required.

For example, with all my clients I like to deliver a wide variety of beautiful images – not just a series of very similar-looking pictures. For this reason, I strongly recommend setting aside a minimum of 1.5 hours for bride getting ready photos (this also accommodates any delays in hair and makeup) and 2 hours for wedding photos (bridal portraits). But that’s just me…

To figure out how many hours of wedding photography you need, let your wedding photographer know in your initial consultation which aspects of your day you want photographed and where everything is happening, and they should be able to tell you on the spot.

Remember – the more time required to travel between venues, the less time available for photography.

Where to from here?

Send me through some information on where and when your bits and pieces are happening and what you would liked covered in your wedding photography. I’m more than happy to advise on the number of hours of photography you would require with me.


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Unique gift ideas for groomsmen

gift ideas for groomsmen

It is common to give bridesmaids a gift to thank them for being a special part of your big day. But don’t forget about your groomsmen who have an equally important role to play. The type of gift will depend largely on the personality of your guys but there are a wide range of options available.

Gift ideas for groomsmen

Stylish gifts like monogrammed cufflinks or a good watch with a short note engraved on the back can be an excellent choice if your groomsmen often dress up or wear suits for work. Stylish barware, wine accessories or coffee essentials may be more appropriate for those groomsmen who like to entertain. And an engraved pocketknife or other travel accessory might best suit those groomsmen with a spirit of adventure.

To help you think outside the box and give you tons of ideas for groomsmen gifts, try websites like Groom Stand, Grooms Shop or

Experience gift ideas for groomsmen

If your groomsmen like to get out and about – perhaps an “experience” is more appropriate.   One of the best places to search for awesome experiences is Redballoon. They even have sections dedicated to “Engagements”, “Buck’s nights”, “Hens Parties” and “Weddings” to get you started. The other advantage of this site is that you can simply purchase a gift voucher for each of your guys and let them choose their own experience.

Anyone up for rally driving?

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What shoes should I wear for wedding photos?

shoes for wedding photos - heels vs flats

Killer heels are statement pieces in any bridal fashion. But they aren’t so great for walking around during wedding photos – especially if locations include parks and beaches.

Change into flat shoes for wedding photos

If you have a floor-length wedding gown and sky-high heels, I always recommend investing in a pair of flat shoes to change into during the wedding photos (bridal portraits).

Several of my brides have taken this advice and applied their creativity to discover shoes ranging from a really cute pair of Crocs for a beach wedding, to flats with a striking colour matched to their flowers or detail on their dress. All of them commented afterwards how much easier it was to get around from place to place and what a relief it was to have a break from the heels between the ceremony and the reception!

The advantage of a second pair of shoes for wedding photos

Apart from giving your feet a well-earned rest, changing into flat shoes for your wedding photos also:

  • keeps your main pair of wedding shoes in great condition – an important consideration if you are investing in quality heels for your wedding day
  • means you won’t squelch your way through the reception if it is a bit damp outside
  • gives you the perfect excuse to buy another pair of shoes 😉

And from a photographer’s perspective, changing into flat shoes means that we can move more quickly between locations allowing even more variety for your wedding photos.

Have your bridesmaids also invest in flat shoes for wedding photos

If you are going to invest in a second pair of wedding shoes, it is a good idea to encourage your bridesmaids to do the same.  We can only move as fast as the slowest walker – so if you are equipped to stride up the beach but your bridesmaids are not, we will still have to move slowly and be limited in the variety of photographs taken.

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