Hints & Tips


When choosing a wedding photographer, there are a few important things to consider

Getting along with a photographer.
Let’s face it… you’re going to be spending a good 10, 12, or more hours with the photographer on your most important day…  you need to get along with them, feel comfortable with them, and above all, have confidence in them (and their
suggestions).  Do they make you laugh (and therefore relax), or are they more serious? Are they able to make even the most “camera shy” person relax enough to get their photograph taken?   (Candid Photos of a Lifetime will make people relax and feel comfortable.  They believe that your wedding day should be fun and a celebration, and will really try their hardest to make all guests feel at ease in front of the camera)

How long will your photographer stay…  how long do YOU want them to stay?
Some photographers will only give you 8 hours, whilst others will give you 10 hours.  Some will charge you a LOT of money if you want them to stay longer than this time.    (Candid Photos of a Lifetime, will be with you the entire day (until the newlyweds leave their wedding reception) for no additional charge.)

Will they accommodate your photographic requests.
When speaking to your potential photographer, do they listen to what photographic requests YOU would like?  If you have a photographic request, do they seem keen on photographing it? Are they excited with photographing your day, or do they seem interested, but not totally excited?  Are they willing to go the “extra mile” to make sure all your photographic needs are met? (Candid Photos of a Lifetime gives each engaged couple a “shoot list” at the pre-booking meeting.  This is where couples have the chance to list any photographic request that they might have…  but also on the day, Candid Photos of a Lifetime will go the extra mile to capture any additional photographic requests that may arise on the day.)

What “style” of wedding photos are you wanting.
Some photographers prefer taking beautifully posed shots, while others prefer to take more natural shots…. some photographers like making “arty” shots, while others prefer to take more “natural” shots.    After looking through the photographers work, this is totally a personal choice.  (As the name implies, Candid Photos of a Lifetime’s emphasis is on capturing the more candid and natural moments of the day – as they are unfolding. Yes, there are formal (posed) photos, but 95% of the moments captured are as they occur.

Look through their work.
This is CRITICAL.  Some photographers will only show their top 5 images…  or maybe even their top 10 images of a wedding.   Is that enough for you to obtain an overall “feel” of their work.  You are spending a lot of money on photography – you need to see more of their work….  to obtain a full overview of their work, and whether or not it will suit you…   whether it is what you are looking for… (At the pre-wedding meeting, Candid Photos of a Lifetime will show each couple approx 5 copies of actual wedding photobooks showcasing wedding images and photobook layouts.  In addition to this, Candid Photos of a Lifetime also encourages couples to look at the Gallery section of their website, which shows approx 12 images of each wedding, as well as watching the slideshows (which can be found on their website, and also on YouTube – search “Candid Photos of a Lifetime”)

Are there restrictions of sharing photos online.
Some photographers will not allow the sharing of photos online.  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime posts between 65-90 wedding images a day or two after the ceremony.  These images are watermarked, but can be shared wherever the bride & groom would like.  There are no restrictions on the sharing of photos online.)

How long before we see photos of the Wedding.
As much as seeing your photos is really exciting, sometimes there are a few factors that will delay how long it is before you see your photos.  Some photographers will give you a “sneak peek” of 1 or 2 images a day or two after your wedding, while others will make you wait longer.  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime, doesn’t like their newlyweds to wait to long to see their photos, so, where possible, and with the couples “media release” approval, Candid Photos of a Lifetime produces (where possible) a “next day” slideshow of between 65-90 images of your wedding day, recapping all the little moments.  These images are then posted on social media for the couple to have a large “sneak peek” of their photos.)

Are you, or one of your associates photograph the wedding.
This is a very important question to ask.  Some photography businesses employ a team of photographers, and sometimes the person you speak to isn’t the one who will photograph your day.  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime, the person you speak to, Wendy Stewart, will be the main photographer on your wedding day.)

Realistic price point.
This is important.   The price you can pay for wedding photography can vary dramatically…  some don’t charge a lot and some are very VERY expensive.  Cheap doesn’t always mean bad quality, and sometimes very VERY expensive doesn’t mean superior quality.  You need to keep it affordable for you…  you need to do your research…  you need to look extensively at their work…   you need to work out what YOU want, and what best suits your needs and expectations.  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime does have 3 wedding photography packages available, with 3 different price points to suit peoples budgets)

What do they offer in their packages.
This is a BIG one and a very important one, and goes very close to the Realistic price point.  Wedding photography packages can be very lucrative…  and some can then end up costing the couple thousands of $$ more than they originally anticipated…  and it all comes down to the fine print.  Some questions / info to find out:-

*  do you receive a DVD / USB of images included with the package, or are they “at an additional cost”, and if the DVD/USB is at an additional cost, how much is it?
  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime does include a DVD/USB of all images taken on the day – at NO additional cost)

* approximately how many images will you receive of the entire day?
  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime will provide between 1,000 and 2,500 images, depending on the size of the wedding, and whether there is 1 photographer, or 2)

* are the images you receive in the package full size images, or are they “thumb nail” size, that you then have to purchase later (at an additional cost)
  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime will provide full size (high resolution) images on the DVD/USB for NO additional cost)

* are your wedding images watermarked, or without a watermark?
  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime does not add their watermark on any images that you receive.  The only watermarked images are the ones that appear on social media.)

* do you have to purchase a certain amount of printed images (at an additional cost), and if so, how much are they?
  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime does not provide printed images, rather, they give you the DVD/USB to get the images printed where you would like, or even if you’d like, and where you can afford to get them printed)

* does the package contain an album, or is that at an additional cost?  If so, how much is an album?
(Candid Photos of a Lifetime has 2 packages which includes albums.  They are incorporated into the price of the package, so unless you wish to obtain an additional album, in addition to the one that is included in your package, the additional prices is clearly indicated in the “packages” tab).

* What additional extra costs are there?
  (Candid Photos of a Lifetime does have a few additional extra costs.  These are all clearly seen in the “packages” tab)

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How to save a $$$ when planning your wedding

* Stationary
Make your own save the dates, invitations, rsvps, order of service.

* MC
ask a friend to be your MC..  rather than paying someone who doesn’t know you

* No alcohol on the Tab at the Reception
have soft drink / juice / water on the reception tab, guests can pay for their own alcohol if they wish  (this will stop a lot of people from drinking too much, just because it’s “free”)

* Select simple, “non wedding menu” meals
tell the reception caterer what YOU would like to eat (ie..  roast lamb / chicken alternated with vegies is so much cheaper than the reception venue’s “wedding menu” !)  If the venue wants your business, they will allow you to select a meal you want, for much less (per head) than a “wedding meal”.

* No Dancefloor
get rid of the dancefloor !  Dancing at a wedding is great fun…  BUT, if you have a dancefloor, then you will have to pay the price for a larger room, for a DJ or Band.  Instead, have background music playing… and, if you want to go out dancing, leave your reception at 10pm, and go to the closest pub or bar (or whatever), and go dancing there.  It will be SO much cheaper…  and if your guests want to dance, then they can come too.

Hire Dresses & Suits
Buying wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, suits etc is really expensive…  so why not hire them – so much cheaper

Rather than spending $$$ on a wedding cake, why not buy one or two from the local supermarket, decorate it to suit your wedding style, and voila…  lovely cake for much less than the cost of a “designer” cake.

Rather then spending lots of money on bonbonniere’s, go to a local wholesale outlet, purchase some chocolate hearts (or whatever other candy you can see), and wrap them in some tuelle (tied with a ribbon), or go online and purchase some little bags off ebay to put the candy in.

* Get Married on a Weekday
Weekdays are cheaper than the weekdays.  Sundays are also cheaper than Saturdays.

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Step One: Discuss your priorities. Before you start throwing out numbers, it’s important to determine what’s most important to you both on your wedding day. Different priorities have different price tags attached, but we’ll get to that in a minute. This first meeting should be realistic with a dose of idealistic — what do you envision for your dream wedding day? We recommend finding real weddings that you love and starting a list of the things you love and can’t live without. Based on these priorities, come up with an initial budget draft focusing on the most important things to you. It’s also a good idea to consider the size of your wedding, as this can make a big difference in your wedding budget as well. Lastly, keep in mind that a longer engagement gives you more time to make payments before the big day! Your initial budget will likely change quite a bit as you go, but it’s good to have a starting place before reaching out to wedding vendors. Which, brings us to…

Step Two: Start meeting with vendors. Once you’ve decided on your priorities, it’s time to start contacting the vendors (photographer – Candid Photos of a Lifetime, reception location, ceremony location, cars, florists, hair stylists, makeup artists, etc) who can bring them to life! As you collect quotes from each vendor and vendor type, you can begin to adjust your initial budget. If you fall in love with a particular venue that costs more than you budgeted, revise the price points for other areas of your day so that you stay under (or as close as possible) to your initial budget number.

Step Three: If necessary, consult with family. Family members often offer to “help out” with the wedding cost in the early stages of an engagement, but the offer may be vague or in passing. If there is a specific aspect of your wedding where outside funds would make a difference, follow up on those offers. However, do not expect that family is going to pay for all, some, or even a little bit of your wedding without having a conversation about it first!

Step Four: Start a miscellaneous fund. One thing most couples don’t fully expect when setting their wedding budget is the unexpected! Without a doubt, there will be unseen expenses along the way, and especially as the day draws closer. For instance,  gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, second envelopes for your wedding invitations, or a gorgeous hairpiece you can’t stop thinking about. Whether you keep a change jar or a misc bank account that saves your spare change, starting a miscellaneous fund as early in the planning process as possible provides that extra bit of financial padding for unseen budget needs!

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Don’t marry a guy just because he is rich, handsome and popular.

Marry a guy who loves to stay up at night just to see you breathing or to see you smiling while you are dreaming.

Marry a guy who loves the way you sip your coffee or the way you chew your food. Marry a guy who loves the way you smile or the way you wrinkle up your nose.

Marry a guy who loves to hear your heartbeats, your cute little stories, your silly jokes and your laughter. Marry a guy who hates to even blink his eyes because he doesn’t want to miss a single thing about you.

A guy who thinks that every single moment spent with you is priceless.

Marry a guy who thinks you are his only treasure and he just can’t afford to lose you at any cost.

This is the guy who will make you see your real worth and love you till the end of his life. Never let him go.   (Author Unknown)

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*  This is YOUR day, so make it what YOU want it to be.

It doesn’t have to be the same as anyone else’s because YOU are not the same as anyone else.  You are unique, You are different, You are special…. and so your wedding should be as well.  It should reflect YOU.
Fill your day with a touch of mystic….

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** NB:  This is an approximate GUIDE to help you know roughly what needs to be done, and when.  **

9 – 12+ Months Prior

  • Start a wedding folder or Pinterest Board – get ideas
  • Work out your budget
  • Pick your wedding party
  • Start planning on your guest list
  • Research your ceremony location, reception location, photographer (Candid Photos of a Lifetime)
  • Book your celebrant / Minister
  • Speak to florist about about available flowers for your wedding season

8 Months Prior

  • Hire photographer (Candid Photos of a Lifetime)
  • Book band or DJ
  • Meet with your reception caterers
  • Purchase your dress
  • Reserve a hotel room for wedding night
  • Start skin care regime

6 – 7 Months Prior

  • Book invitations
  • Research honeymoon locations
  • Shop for bridesmaids dresses
  • Send “save-the-date”
  • Book florist & order flowers
  • Organise wedding cars

4 – 5 Months Prior

  • Book wedding cake
  • Start hair & makeup trials
  • Choose music playlist (walking in/out of ceremony, signing, walking into/out of reception, 1st dance, etc)

3 Months Prior

  • Organise table favours / bonbonnieres
  • Start pre-marriage counselling (if required)
  • Choose ceremony readings & readers
  • Purchase wedding rings
  • Apply for marriage certificate
  • Send out invitations, rsvps

2 Months Prior

  • Keep in contact with all vendors & speak to them about your plans (that are relevant to them)
  • Review playlist with DJ

1 Month Prior

  • Start recording RSVPs
  • Have dress fitting of wedding gown AND bridesmaids dresses – alter if required
  • Organise table seating
  • Purchase bridesmaids / groomsmen’s gifts

2 Weeks Prior

  • Ensure all vendors are paid, and all paperwork has been forwarded to relevant vendor

1 Week Prior

  • Confirm arrival time with vendors
  • Pick up your dress
  • Break in your shoes
  • Speak with photographer (go over last minute photo-shoot list)
  • Finalise guest list / special dietary requests to caterer and reception venue
  • Pack for your honeymoon

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Something Old – this represents the bond between the bride & her family.  Most brides use an item of jewellery or clothing that has been handed down from her family.

Something New – this represents the thought to bring happiness & success to the new couple.

Something Borrowed – this is to be borrowed from a happily married woman to bring good luck to the couple’s marriage.

Something Blue – this represents loyalty and faithfullness

And a Penny in her Shoe – this is lesser known, but, if a penny is worn in the brides left show, it is thought that it will bring great wealth to the couple.

Tradition of the Bride’s Bouquet
Traditionally, a bride’s bouquet consisted of herbs. Flowers were added in as a symbol of fertility. Today, of course, it’s quite the reverse. Most bouquets are floral in nature and the exception, rather than the rule, is a bouquet of herbs.

Tradition of the Tiered Wedding Cake
Ever wondered about the humble tiered wedding cake? Legend has it that in Anglo-Saxon times, wedding guests would each bring a small cake and, at the reception, they’d stack them on top of each other in order of size, which would create one very big, tiered cake. The convention has evolved and, today, you still have a tiered cake, but it’s a single cake made of many tiers, rather than many tiers made of many cakes.

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* Ladies, if you are having a spray tan, do NOT wear a bikini top / bra with straps if you are wearing a strapless gown.  These “un-tanned” strap marks will show and be really noticeable.

*  Have an “emergency kit” handy (it’s best to be prepared & not have to use it)..  this should consist of:  headache tablets, mini sewing kit, double sided tape, body tape, tissues, dental floss, gum, tampons/panty liners, band-aids, deodorant, breath mints, cash, mini toothbrush/toothpaste, bobby pins etc.

* Do not skip breakfast or lunch. Yes, you may feel nervous, even nauseous, but you still need to eat on your wedding day.  Many a bride has passed out during their ceremony because they haven’t eaten anything all day…  keep up the foods, and drink plenty of water.

* Ladies, always have a spare pair of shoes… you don’t want to be unprepared for the dreaded – broken heel.  You will be very grateful to have a spare pair of shoes to change into if this happens…  but if it doesn’t happen, then that is even better.  Better to be prepared.

* Ladies, when going to the hairdressers & to see the makeup artist, wear a button down shirt.  This will ensure that you won’t smudge your makeup or ruin your hair style because you won’t have to take your shirt off over your head.

* Practice “the ring shot” – speak to Candid Photos of a Lifetime on how to do this.

* To ensure that your dance floor is always packed at your reception,  ask guests to jot down 5 favourite songs on their RSVPs.  Then, when all the RSVPs have been returned, collate the favourite songs, and give the playlist to the DJ.

* Delegate someone on both sides of the family (prefereably someone in the bridal party) to collect family members when it is time for the “family formal” photo.  This will ensure that no-one is missed.  Also, doing this straight after the ceremony (before the reception) is best.

*  As tired as you will be on your wedding night, you will still want to take your makeup off, brush your teeth, and brush your hair…  so don’t forget to bring an overnight bag with all of your toiletries, medications, and a change of clothes.

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*  Buy yourself a nice pen to sign your documents with

*  When having your 1st kiss as husband & wife, hold your kiss for 10 seconds.  This provides an opportunity for your photographer as well as your guests to capture this special moment.

* Having practised the “ring shot”, now is the time to do it for real – try to remember how to do it (as instructed by Candid Photos of a Lifetime.)

*  If having a group photo or family photos, its best to do these immediately after the ceremony – don’t leave these until the reception.

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* Please delegate someone on EACH side of the family to organise the family for the family formals, and to make sure each person is there.  (We don’t want family members to miss out on the photos just because they were indisposed at the time).  Also remember, your photographer doesn’t know who family members v guests are, so it’s vital to get a family member on each side to do a quick check.

* As a general “rule”, the sequence of photos for the family formals is:

– large group

– extended family on brides side (grandparents, parents, siblings, her children)
– bride & groom with brides grandparents
– bride & groom with brides parents
– bride & groom with brides siblings
– bride & groom with her children

– extended family on grooms side (grandparents, parents, siblings, his children)
– bride & groom with grooms grandparents
– bride & groom with grooms parents
– bride & groom with grooms siblings
– bride & groom with his children

– bride & groom with their children (bride & groom having previous children)

*  If wanting various locations for photos, allow plenty of time between ceremony & reception (2-3 hours)

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*  When walking in to the reception… have a twirl, or a “dip kiss” prior to seating.

*  Place personalised sashes over the chairs of parents & grandparents (“mother of the bride”, “grandmother of the groom”, etc)

* Acknowledge guests who are also celebrating.. birthdays, milestone anniversaries, etc

*  If inviting children to the reception, cover the kids table with white paper and place containers of pencils and crayons on the table.  Encourage the children to draw their favourite part of the day, or to write you a little message.

* As something different, have the Father of the Bride escort his daughter to the dance floor for their “Dad / Daughter” dance, rather than him trying to dance with her with a packed dance floor.

* Instead of “table numbers” for the reception, give each table a “name” that represents specific details of your courtship (ie… location of first date, location of engagement, first movie you saw together), and on the back of the “table name” card, write down why that detail means so much to you.

* If having a wedding at Christmas time… have each guest bring along a hanging christmas ornament and place it on the un-decorated christmas tree at the reception.  These ornaments will then become a lovely keepsake for the couple.

* Alternates for throwing of the wedding bouquet.  If you have no single women at your wedding, why not:

– give your bouquet to the woman who have been married the longest, OR

– give your bouquet to your grandmother, OR

– call ALL the women to the dancefloor..have a bouquet of individual flowers, so that when you throw your bouquet, all of the flowers separate so that ALL of the women get a flower each

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*  Take multiple copies of your wedding certificate (as well as the original) to a JP and get them to sign them.  You will be surprised how many times you will need to provide a copy (signed by a JP) in order to change your surname.

*  You will need to change your name on:
– drivers licence
– will
– centrelink
– Australian Taxation Office
– Superannuation
– Car insurance (if in brides name)
– House insurance (if in brides name)
– utilities (if in brides name) – electricity, gas, phone
– your bank
– work – personnel department