A Guide to Wedding Planning for the Modern Bride

Okay, so, they proposed. Maybe it was magical and elaborate in a gourmet restaurant on your birthday, or maybe he slipped into your popcorn at the movie theatre – sidenote: has anyone ever done this because I swear people would still ‘shush’ you – now you have to figure out your wedding planning. As photographers, people sometimes forget we’re around at weddings, and we get to witness all the awkward issues that come up. There are a few things that have become more relevant in the past few years that make wedding planning more difficult for the modern bride, and I’m here to help you slip by them as painless as possible.

As a gluten-free vegan myself, I understand how much extra stress it can put on a couple to accommodate the diets of 200 of your closest friends and family. What used to be as simple as ‘check here for steak, check here for fish,’ has now evolved into a mess of endless questions. My solution for the modern bride? Have an allergen-free vegan meal as an option at dinner – get them all in one swipe. Even if that means people who live to eat meat but can’t have the gravy have to live without it, remember that your wedding is about a lot more than the food. For the wedding cake you have a couple options – either make an allergen free cake (like the ones they offer at Petit Lapin), or special cupcakes! Having cupcakes for your vegan, gluten-free friends is a wedding planning dream – seriously who doesn’t love cupcakes.

Okay, so we can all agree that technology has made some amazing strides that make so many delicious wedding aspects come to life, but it’s not always reliable. In order for you to be confident and avoid making your loved ones roast in the sun while the audio gets set up, make sure to do multiple tests before the wedding. Ask your wedding planner or bridesmaid to keep a close relation with the people in charge of technical aspects, and have a checklist so that nothing gets overlooked.

If you’re on board with everyone at your ceremony taking pictures for Instagram, then more power to you. Personally, I think it’s always a good idea to trust that your wedding photographer will capture the important moments (I mean that’s why you choose them right?), and encourage everyone else to be present and in the moment. I’ve been to ceremonies where no one had phones out, and some where everyone did. I couldn’t help feeling bad for the couple’s future wedding album that would be missing beautiful reaction shots from their loved ones, because they’re face is hidden behind a screen.

Create a friendly sign encouraging people to turn off their phones, or you can ask your officiant to do so (you can even make a joke of it, like it’s a movie theatre). As long as you remind them there is a professional photographer there to capture everything, they should feel comfortable putting the phone away.

We love traditional weddings as much as the contemporary, but sometimes brides have trouble sharing with their families that they may not have the wedding they’ve envisioned for them. I once met a bride who was forcing herself to wear a dress she hated because it was her grandmother’s, and could see how much happier she was when she finally told them the truth. The best thing to do is always be honest from the very beginning, and make sure you and your future hubby are on the same page, because that’s the most important thing. Never put yourself in a position where your wedding planning becomes more stressful than it has to be.

I say it all the time, but your wedding day is about your happiness first and foremost. Your family and friends will be happiest when you’re happiest, I promise.




Mandy & Homan’s Pretty-in-Pink Rooftop Wedding

When a wedding proposal happens at the Grand Canyon while you and your fiancé are watching the sunrise, you can imagine that you’ve got to take it up a level for the wedding (if that’s even possible). That’s exactly what happened for Mandy and Homan’s gorgeous rooftop wedding in Montreal.

wedding photography, chinese wedding, rooftop wedding, lavimage, new york wedding photography

groom, getting ready, rooftop wedding

Two Ceremonies, Two Looks

Mandy’s favorite part of the wedding? “The tea ceremony in the morning, and moments we got to spend with our family visiting from overseas.” Oh, did we mention that this wedding day involved two different ceremonies? The couple chose to stay close to their culture and have a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Mandy wore a gorgeous fiery red gown, and switched accessories when she went to their rooftop celebration. Their day was planned by the incredibly talented Maryse Noel who made sure everything went flawlessly.

Their pink and white balloons were the perfect addition to the industrial look of the roof, and the veiled archway they got married under was truly gorgeous blowing in the wind. Mandy’s bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their pink dresses that matched the boutonnieres on the groomsmen.
pink and white, wedding balloons, love, rooftop wedding ceremony,

silhouettes, montreal wedding, black and white photography, la v image

The Love Story

One of our favorite aspects of shooting a wedding is finding out what makes the couple unique and finding out how they found each other. This couple met at church twenty years before they got married – needless to say they were ready when the time came. When we checked back in with Mandy she let us know that they had their son Ethan this April and plan on moving to a new house this June! We’re so happy we got to be a part of their gorgeous day.










Ten Things to Look For in A Wedding Photograph

Picking a wedding photographer can be difficult. How do you know what photography styles you like? What if all wedding pictures look the same to you – how can you really tell the difference between great and average photography? Or perhaps you don’t know what else to look for besides pictures of a beautiful wedding dress. Lucky for you, we’ve narrowed in on the top ten things you should look for in a wedding photograph to determine it’s artistic value.

1. A Story

Can you imagine a story in your head when looking at the image? Are you curious what the person in the photograph is thinking by the look in their eyes? This is the reason the Mona Lisa is so fascinating!


2. Emotion

Does the image make you feel something? Do you feel connected with the people in the picture? Do they look in love, or do they appear as they were asked to create that strange pose? Great wedding photos should evoke emotions in you, even though you do not personally know the couple.


3. Dynamics

Is there nice movement and momentum within the images? Or does the photographer’s entire portfolio consist of static, posed shots? People tend to look their best when they are in action, when they aren’t thinking about posing or looking in the camera.


4. Exposure

Are there details in the wedding dress or is just a bizarre white shape? Does everything look dark? If a photo doesn’t have the correct exposure, no amount of Photoshop can save the image. This is an easy way to separate the pros from the beginners.

Wedding Photography Montreal

5. Use of Lighting

Does the photographer use the lighting creatively or simply blasts every image with direct on-camera flash? It’s great to have interesting lighting effects in wedding images, such as shooting into the light, flares from the sun, dramatic Hollywood lighting etc.


6. Artistic Elements

Look for graphical elements, creative use of light, original composition, reflections and silhouettes. The photographer should be full of creative ideas for what and how to shoot. Every wedding image should be a small piece of art.


7. People’s Expressions

Is the photographer trying to capture emotion, expressions, reactions or only presses the button at an awkward moment? Weddings are filled with so much emotion that if captured nicely, a viewer gets drawn into the photo just by looking at a tear running down the bride’s face (for example).


8. A Photogenic Angle

Was the photographer able to capture the bride at her best angles and expressions? Photographing bridal portraits requires a good amount of skill and an excellent eye. A slight turn of the head, a sparkle in the eyes, the way her hair falls – it all makes a difference.


9. Variety

A good combination of wedding images includes close-ups, half-body, full body, details and ambiance shots. It should be interesting to go from one picture to the next. There should be an element of surprise in every wedding image you see.


10. Post Processing

Wedding photos shouldn’t be overly Photoshopped – it’s better if they appear natural. If an image is taken right in the first place, little retouching should be needed.