Archives for Wedding Tips

Suggestions for your Wedding Timeline (reception)

Reception Entrance – Even at small weddings, it’s nice to be introduced as you enter your reception since most of your guests were just at your cocktail hour. Some couples choose to go right into their first dance when they’re introduced, which can be a really sweet moment that brings everybody back to what the day is about.

Dinner – If you’re having a dinner buffet, be sure to allow plenty of time for guests to go through the line. Plated dinners don’t need quite as much time. Your caterer would be the best resource for determining how much time to allow for dinner.

Toasts – Speeches are typically given about 15 minutes before you anticipate guests will finish eating. We recommend limiting the toasts to a few key people and maybe even suggest that they limit their speech to “X” minutes each. Passing the mic around the crowd makes it really difficult for us to track who is speaking (& you never know what people are going to say!)

Cake Cutting – This usually takes about 5 minutes. Be sure to have a knife, fork, and small plate at your cake table beflower-1468820_1280forehand. It’s also a good idea to discuss whether you’ll smash the cake into each others’ faces!

Same Day Edit Video (if applicable) – Depending on the timing of your event, we typically show your Same Day Edit video after your cake cutting, however we need at least 90 minutes after your ceremony ends to put the video together. If it isn’t ready by the end of your toasts, then we suggest that you show it after your bouquet & garter toss since that’s the next point in time that your guests will all be focused.

First Dance – If you didn’t have your first dance as you entered your reception, this is typically when it is done. If your song is particularly long, you might ask your DJ or band to fade it out after a few minutes.

Father Daughter / Mother Son Dances – By the time your guests have watched 3 special dances in a row, they tend to fizzle out, so we recommend that you have your DJ or band shorten each song or fade out after a couple minutes.

General Dancing – This is usually when your DJ/Band will invite your guests out onto the dance floor.

Bouquet/Garter Toss – It’s a good idea to plan this within 30 minutes of general dancing, because some older guests like to watch it but don’t want to stay up really late.

Sunset Photos / General Dancing – If you would like sunset photos, you’ll want to be ready for them about 15 minutes before sunset is scheduled. The sun sets very late in the summer, so we suggest that you check a sunset calendar.


Suggestions for your Wedding Timeline (prep through post-ceremony photos)

Many couples don’t know where to begin when trying to plan their timeline for their wedding day. Here are some of our suggestions for having a good flow to your day…

Bridal Prep – Allow more time than you think you’re going to need. Brides are rarely ready to go on time. The men generally only need about 30-45 minutes to get ready & have their pictures taken, so we suggest having their prep begin later that the women’s.

First Look – Most first looks take about 10 minutes, but don’t forget to build in time to get to the location where you’re going to have your first look.

holding-flowers-1729426_1280Bride/Groom Session – This typically takes at least 30 minutes, depending on whether you will have another bride & groom session at sunset.

Wedding Party Session – Plan on about 15 minutes, but there tends to be at least one member who is always running late, so make it very clear what time you expect them to be ready and where they should meet up.

Family Photo Session – It’s best to have a list of combinations of people you want photos with beforehand and have at least one person available to round them up for photos.

Pre-Ceremony – We suggest that you leave a 30 minute buffer before your ceremony just in case things are running late. If everything is on time, then just enjoy the last moments of calm you’ll have for the rest of the day! At this point, we will head to your ceremony site to get some shots of your decor before guests arrive & to set up our cameras and audio recorders.

Ceremony – Other than Catholic mass, most ceremonies in Central Oregon tend to last about 20 minutes. If you are having a friend or family member officiate your wedding, please ask us for our list of tips for people who haven’t officiated many (or any) weddings before.

Post Ceremony – PLEASE take 5 minutes from all guests, vendors, etc. to just soak in that you’re now married. Once you’re done walking down the aisle, continue right on to a private location so you won’t get caught up with well-wishers. They’ll have the rest of the day for that. If you didn’t do a first look, you’ll want to take your family & wedding party photos afterwards, so have someone begin rounding up family & friends that you will want your photographers to take pictures of with you while the two of you have your private moment together. We generally don’t film the family photo session since video of people standing in place & smiling just isn’t all that captivating…that’s more of a photo moment. We’ll use this time to film your guests at your cocktail hour and get shots of your reception site. Also, don’t forget to let your witnesses know when you’ll be signing your marriage license so you don’t have to try to track them down later. If you didn’t do a first look, most couples do that after family photos while their guests mingle at the cocktail hour.


Bridal Insider ~ Tips for Toasts at Your Reception

TRANSCRIPTION: This is Stephanie from Ace of Hearts Films, and I’m here with Insider tips on how to have great toasts at your reception. We’ve all been to one of those weddings where the toasts go on and on as guests pass the microphone around. Having an open mic session for your toasts can not only be lengthy but also risky, because you never know who’s going to grab the mic. Toast are more meaningful when limited to 4 or 5 friends or family members and last no more than 15 minutes total. Be sure to let them know before your wedding day, so they can think about what they want to say ahead of time. And ask them to limit their speech to “X” number of minutes, especially if they tend to ramble. If anyone is likely to bring up stories that you’d rather not have Grandma hear, it’s perfectly reasonable to set boundaries. A great way to end the toasts is for the two of you to thank your guests for all attending. With a little pre-planning your toasts are sure to run smoothly with these Bridal Insider tips.


Bridal Insider ~ Dealing with Wedding Contracts, Part 2

Here’s the part 2 of the Bridal Insider video that we made about how to protect yourself when signing wedding contracts.

So, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to sign a contract without reading the fine print. We learned this the hard way when 2 weeks before our wedding our photographer told us he was going to send his assistant instead of shooting it himself. It was completely legal for him to do that because the small print (that we obviously didn’t read) allowed him to send another photographer in his place. Your contract should also list the vendor’s cancellation policy & if any money will be returned if your wedding gets cancelled. Whoever signs the contract is liable, so if someone else is paying for it, They should be the one to sign the contract. Also, be sure that it lists overtime rates in case your wedding runs late. You don’t want to be surprised with a huge bill afterwards. There’s more you need to know about vendor contracts, so be sure to watch my other videos for more bridal insider tips.



Bridal Insider ~ Dealing with Wedding Contracts, Part 1

Hey everyone, this is Stephanie from Ace of Hearts Films, and I’m here with an insider tip on how to protect yourself when signing wedding contracts. First off, you need to get everything in writing on your contract. It should spell out exactly what will be provided & the more specific, the better. So for a photography contract, you want the contract to not only say how many hours they’ll be at your wedding, but specifics like how many pages will be in your photo album. You’ll want to send the contract & deposit to your vendors promptly. Even if you’ve told them everything about your wedding & which package you’d like, your date isn’t officially reserved until they get your contract & deposit. Be sure to ask your vendors to confirm when they receive them just to be safe. You’d hate to assume that your DJ got your contract, only to find out months later that he never got it, so then you’re left scrambling to find another DJ at the last minute. You just don’t need that kind of stress. Well, there’s a lot more to tell you about vendor contracts, so be sure to watch my other videos for more bridal insider tips.