Archive for 'Wedding'
It’s a very rainy day here in St. John’s (not surprising – I know!) so I find myself sitting back and thinking about another rainy day that happened last June. That rainy day was Geraldine and Justin’s wedding day, and it was probably one of the best times I’ve had shooting a wedding.
Before I get into their wedding details, let’s talk about the rain for a minute. Stormy weather on a wedding day can seriously dampen the mood and lower excitement levels if you let it. And it can be hard not to let it affect you…it can change some of the plans you have for that one very special day you’ve put so much work into. But my biggest advice to you (and I’ve written posts about this before as it’s something that comes up a lot as a Newfoundland wedding photographer) is to just take it all in, and then remember that you’re about to marry your person and – rain or shine – that’s a truly awesome thing. As long as you focus on the love, the rest will get figured out. Okay, that sounds terribly cheesy, but in this case it is true!
Geraldine and Justin didn’t let the rain phase them one bit. Instead of finding some indoor locations for photos, they decided it would be more fun to risk it and not let the rain change any of their plans. They had a first look on Signal Hill followed by a picnic in the Battery, and the weather slacked off just enough to let them sit out on a blanket, share some food, and enjoy a glass of wine to toast the very special occasion. After the picnic we hiked a little further through the Battery so Geraldine and Justin could have a dance overlooking the harbour below. Then we made our way to Moo Moo’s for some ice cream before continuing on our downtown photo adventure. We ended that adventure at Merchant Tavern where Geraldine and Justin shared a beer before heading to their ceremony.
Geraldine is a chef, so she wanted to have a “foodie” themed wedding. She incorporated herbs into her bouquet and decor (which I thought was the coolest idea!), and of course they wanted to have the wedding at a venue with a menu fit for foodies. They chose Mallard Cottage and I can’t think of a better spot for the occasion!
After having a beer at Merchant, we all made our way to Mallard, where both the ceremony and reception were being held. The ceremony was very intimate and incredibly beautiful.
The ceremony was followed by lots of delicious food and drinks. Instead of having a wedding cake, Geraldine and Justin opted for the delectable desserts that are handmade at Mallard Cottage. They were a big hit!
Geraldine and Justin have an adorable little stuffed animal that they take with them whenever they travel, so he made an appearance at their wedding. It was such a cute addition to their wedding decor!
After eating some of the best food St. John’s has to offer, Geraldine and Justin danced the night away with their family and friends to music of The Masterless Men.
Before we ended our night with Geraldine and Justin, we had to do one last thing. Probably the greatest perk of having a very rainy day on your wedding is that you can get some pretty epic photos out of it. So we went outside in the pouring rain and took some very cool shots of Geraldine and Justin being happy, in love, and soaking wet!
Thank you Geraldine and Justin for choosing us to photograph your wedding day. It was so great to follow you around with cameras as you both enjoyed a relaxed, casual, love-filled, rainy day.
I wish you both a lifetime filled with happiness, delicious food and lots of traveling!
When I shoot weddings I often show up early to take photos of the bride or groom getting ready. Sometimes these photo ops take place at their house, but oftentimes couples will book their wedding hotel room for the night before as well – that way they can do all of the wedding prep there. Brides and grooms generally want a photographic room for their wedding day prep because those photos are going to be looked back on for many years. So it’s not surprising that I get asked this question a lot – where are the best places to get ready for your wedding day?
Alex to the rescue! I’ve shot at my fair share of hotels and B&B’s, so I’m going to tell you my favourite locations in the St. John’s area. And I’ll also show you some of those “getting ready” shots to give you a preview of what your photos can look like at each location.
AN EXECUTIVE SUITE AT BLUE ON WATER
Blue on Water is such a beautiful hotel to book for your wedding for so many reasons. The location is great. It’s on Water Street, which means it’s close to many amazing photoshoot locations. It’s a boutique hotel so there’s lots of added charm and style to each room. The suites are very spacious and provide lots of seating for your bridal party while you’re all just hanging out or getting hair & makeup done. The bathrooms in these suites are epic! They are very spacious which is a huge help on a busy morning like your wedding. Lots of people will be bustling about getting ready and you won’t feel cramped in this space. There’s even a suite available that has a balcony to provide extra room (and a great spot to sip a mimosa). And don’t even get me started on the rooms with those gorgeous brick walls. They provide such a timeless, classy look to your wedding photos. Added bonus – Blue has great lighting for your photos.
One other thing that I really like about Blue on Water is that it’s next to the Murray Premises Courtyard which is a great spot if you wanted to have a quick first-look or to get some beautiful photos with your bridal party before heading out for the day.
THE PORT ROYAL SUITE AT LEASIDE MANOR
Leaside Manor is a great place to stay for your wedding weekend. It’s charming, beautiful, and going there makes you feel like you’re on a little getaway even though you’re still in the heart of St. John’s. I shot a wedding last summer and the bridal party got ready beforehand in the Port Royal Suite at Leaside. It was a great experience! The room was very large and spacious which worked well for the bridal party and also for me as the photographer. There is a beautiful bay window which is the perfect spot to hang a dress for some photos. That window also lets in lots of natural light which is a photographer’s dream. There is also a gorgeous canopy bed which looks really romantic (and comfy). The room has a very dreamy, fairytale look to it. And – unrelated to photography – I spied a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. Leaside also has beautiful grounds where you can take some wedding party photos before going off on your wedding day adventure.
CARIBOU COTTAGE AT BATTERY BLUFF COTTAGES
I’m so in love with Battery Bluff Cottages. I’ve shot a lot of wedding day preparations at their Caribou Cottage location and I think it’s a great choice for a B&B. Caribou Cottage is a full three story, four bedroom house overlooking the harbour in The Battery. Because of its size and the fact that there are 4 separate bedrooms it is a very convenient choice if you have a larger wedding party. There are also 2 separate bathrooms for people to get ready in which definitely comes in handy. The main reason that I love Caribou Cottage as much as I do is because the third floor has a loft with views from all angles of The Battery and the St. John’s harbour. The windows provide lots of natural light and are great for photos. The third floor also opens up into a large deck overlooking the water and downtown St. John’s, so you don’t even have to leave the house to get some nice shots. And then of course, because you’re located right in The Battery, if you just go outside and walk down the street you will have the most beautiful backdrop for your photos. It’s really ideal as far as location goes.
ADMIRAL’S COVE SUITE AT THE ROSES HERITAGE INN
I really like The Roses Heritage Inn because it offers something different than most other locations I’ve shot at. It has dark wood and a Victorian look to its rooms which can make for some really cool getting ready photos. The Roses Heritage Inn is actually located in 2 attached row houses downtown. Last year, I shot some wedding prep in the Admiral’s Cove suite in House 11. This suite was beautiful! It has a separate living room and bedroom area so there was plenty of room for the bridal party to get ready. It also had really high ceilings which was great for photos. The suite had lots of cool antiques and art and I loved the atmosphere. The house has a beautiful deck overlooking the harbour as well! Added bonus – The Roses Heritage Inn is located just down the street from Bannerman Park which is a favourite photo spot for a lot of couples. If you wanted to do a first look before your ceremony you could each get ready in separate suites and then meet up in Bannerman for your first look!
THE ADMIRAL SUITE AT THE SHERATON HOTEL
If you have a large wedding party and need lots of extra space but you still want a classic hotel experience with traditional hotel amenities, I would recommend booking The Admiral Suite at The Sheraton Hotel. It’s a huge suite (1128 square feet!) with a separate living room and it has amazing panoramic views of St. John’s harbour, including some round port-hole windows that are great for photos! There’s more than enough space in this suite for a larger bridal party to all get ready in the same place, which would be especially helpful if you also have makeup artists and hairstylists coming to you. Another great thing about this suite is that you can walk throughout the hotel and find lots of picturesque places for photos (including the gorgeous tree-lined atrium). The Sheraton is also in a perfect location. It’s close to a lot of the go-to wedding photo spots in the downtown area – Signal Hill, Bannerman Park, and Quidi Vidi.
If you have a smaller wedding party and you want to stay in a traditional hotel, I would also recommend booking a junior or jacuzzi suite at The Sheraton.
HONOURABLE MENTION – AN EXECUTIVE KING SUITE AT THE INN BY MALLARD COTTAGE
The Inn by Mallard Cottage is a very new addition to the hotel scene in St. John’s, so I’ve never actually shot a wedding there. But I’ve seen pictures of the interior of this inn and I’m in love. I can’t wait to shoot some photos in those rooms! The Executive King Suites have 11 foot vaulted ceilings which would be great for your wedding photos. I would especially recommend this location if your wedding is taking place at a venue in Quidi Vidi. If you stay at The Inn by Mallard Cottage it’s like you’re having a little destination wedding nestled in the heart of downtown St. John’s. Quidi Vidi is such a versatile spot for wedding photos (if you turn one way there’s the ocean, turn another and there’s a colourful fishing village) so you wouldn’t even need to leave the area during your wedding day – it would be so relaxed and lovely.
We love New Year’s Eve weddings. No other date in the calendar has the built-in hype that New Year’s Eve does. Most people want to dress up fancy and attend a glamorous party. A lot of people want to be surrounded by friends so they can count down to midnight together and dance their way into the new year.
And let’s be real for a minute, expectations for New Year’s Eve are often really high, which can make it hard to finalize plans for the evening. Sometimes it seems easier to just stay home on the couch and watch the Quidi Vidi fireworks on NTV, but then you’re sitting at home wishing you were partying with your friends and loved ones.
So when you choose New Year’s Eve as your wedding date, you’re giving your friends and family that VIP party they really wanted to attend (and a great reason to change out of their lounge pants). They now have solid New Year’s Eve plans! Plans to attend a party that won’t be disappointing because they get to celebrate the fact that their loved ones are getting married! And they get to celebrate the end of another year with friends and champagne!
So if you’re planning a New Year’s Eve wedding, you know that your guests are going to show up ready for a good time. They will be feeling celebratory (and they probably won’t have to work the next day), so chances are there will be even more partying than usual.
But how do you provide that fun New Year’s Eve bash that they (and you) are dreaming of?
We’re here to help with that.
We’ve got 5 tips you can follow to ensure that your New Year’s Eve wedding ROCKS.
1. EMBRACE THE SPARKLE AND SHINE
There’s nothing quite like an elegant New Year’s Eve wedding that’s decked out in sparkles. So go ahead and choose those floor-length gold sparkly bridesmaid dresses. Add a bunch of white lights to your venue. Get those silver sequined tablecloths. Add some gold glitter to your picture frames. On New Year’s Eve, metallic is your friend (okay let’s be honest, metallics are always a bride and groom’s friend). New Year’s Eve is all about the glitz and glam so you can even make a note in your wedding invitations that you’d like your guests to sparkle and shine too.
2. CONSIDER HAVING A LATER CEREMONY
At a lot of weddings, the headcount tends to dwindle before midnight. That’s not the case for New Year’s Eve weddings because most people are ready to party well into the morning. If you have an earlier daytime ceremony, it can make for a really long day for your wedding guests. We’re not saying it’s a faux pas to do the traditional afternoon ceremony followed by a break before the reception, but New Year’s Eve is a great time to consider having that evening ceremony that leads right into the party. It gives your guests more time to get ready during the day, which could involve hair and makeup, or taking that much needed pre-wedding nap.
3. LET THE CHAMPAGNE FLOW
Champagne and weddings go hand in hand. Champagne and New Year’s Eve go hand in hand. Put that together and you’ll have a very bubbly New Year’s Eve wedding. There will probably be lots of toasts throughout the reception and lots of people excitedly wanting to “cheers” with their friends well into the night. If ever there was a wedding date when you should consider ordering some complimentary champagne for your guests (or even just making sure the bar is stocked with extra champagne), this is that night. Your guests will thank you for it.
4. PROVIDE SOME GREAT ENTERTAINMENT
New Year’s Eve is a great time to hire a fun live band that will keep your wedding guests dancing for hours. It’s also a great time to think outside the box in terms of entertainment. You could hire a photo booth or set up your own selfie station with a sparkly background (or those giant numbered balloons!), hire a caricature artist, or even get a magician! You could also include a fun way for guests to write down their New Year’s resolutions to tie your entertainment back to the holiday theme (Pinterest would definitely come in handy for that). We’ve seen all of these ideas come to life at New Year’s Eve weddings we’ve shot in the past and guests were so happy and engaged because of it.
5. DON’T FORGET THE COUNTDOWN
Don’t forget that your New Year’s Eve wedding is also a big night for those holiday-loving guests of yours. So do a little something extra to make the count-down to midnight special for your family and friends. You could have confetti thrown when the clock strikes twelve (we know some places don’t allow for confetti so make sure to check ahead with your wedding venue for approval), you could have a balloon drop, pass around some party hats, glow sticks and sparklers, or go all out and have a fireworks show at midnight (depending on the location of your venue there could already be fireworks happening just outside the building).
The countdown is a great way to end such an exciting day and will ensure that your wedding goes out with a bang.
For this blog post, we used photos from Tiffany and Alex’s New Year’s Eve wedding because it was just such a perfect day and a fun-filled party. It was Tiffany’s 30th birthday, New Year’s Eve, and their wedding, all rolled into one. So they wanted to throw the ultimate bash to celebrate all three occasions – and I can promise you they succeeded. Between the glitz & glam, the beautiful wedding venue (Yellowbelly), the flowing champagne, excellent music, and a super fun balloon drop at midnight, every person in that room had a New Year’s Eve to remember.
Check out the gallery below to see even more photos from their sparkly holiday wedding. They’ll make for some great inspiration if you’re planning your very own New Year’s Eve wedding!
(Click to enlarge for slideshow)