wedding planning

What if it Rains?

Rain is dreaded on wedding days. But to be honest I have a dreamy crush on rain. There is something magical and romantic about it. After all, kissing in the rain is one of the most iconic romance movie tropes of all time! Plus as they say, rain is exceptionally good luck. 

Rain brings storm clouds which add unbelievable dimension to your images. The light can sometimes take your breath away as the sun comes and goes. Rain during the day often leads to 'blow your freaking mind' sunsets. The kind that look like they've been painted there. 

There is no need to fear rain on your wedding day. It makes for stunning photos. With just a little preparation, forethought and trust there is no reason for you to not take full advantage of every good thing rain has to offer. 

1. The most important thing is to prepare yourself. If it seems that it is going to rain that day deck your bridal party out! Get cute umbrellas that match your wedding colours. Have rain boots ready for yourselves. How fun would it be to dance in puddles with your love? I always have with me two clear umbrellas standing by. 

2. Your timeline is always exceptionally important but even more so when it rains. Make sure that there is a lot of buffer time. Rain can slow things down and time for touch ups is always appreciated. No one likes to feel rushed. Get your wedding planner to help you with this and I am always ready to help you make sure there is time for what you want and time to embrace the rain rather than run from it. 

3. Backup locations are something to think about. I am willing to run through the rain if you are but sometimes it is not always possible to shoot for long amounts of time in torrential down pours. Have an awesome indoor location in your back pocket just in case. I'd love to brainstorm options with you. 

4. Roll with the punches. You can't always plan for every bit of your wedding day. When it comes to rain sometimes you just have to kick off your shoes and run through puddles. You only live once after all. Pick up the dress and kick up some water. Dresses dry (actually pretty quickly) and memories are forever. You will remember your wedding day through amazing and fun images that really truly capture the lightheartedness you both brought to such a love filled (even rainy) day. 

Arynn Photography Toronto Wedding Photographer, Couple standing in the rain and kissing under and umbrella at Rainbow Valley Wedding Barn in Caledon

Looking Back | Wedding Planning Advice

I've been married for one year. How weird is that? I can hardly believe how fast the past year went by. I was looking through my photos and reminiscing on the wedding day and thinking about what it was like to plan a wedding. So today I'm here to mention just a few things that I took with me after the experience. 

The number one thing that I remember thinking about after the wedding was over was how fast it had all gone by. We were engaged for just under 14 months and it flew by. Since I was so excited about the actual wedding I didn't appreciate the engagement period as much as I could have. So don't wish away those months. They can be incredibly fun! All the anticipation is something to cherish. 

Don't stress too much. Despite all the planning involved your wedding day should be fun. Above all else you should remember it being just an insane amount of can hardly handle it fun. So don't worry too much about things going exactly right. Roll with the punches and let those little quirks infuse your wedding with the personality that will keep it memorable. On your one year anniversary you will sit around with your partner eating Chinese food and laughing about all of those details. 

Let your personalities shine on your wedding day. One thing I learned from planning a wedding is that your wedding is yours. You and your partners. Do you want to have flowers cover every corner of the room? Go for it. Do you not want any flowers at all? Don't have them. Do you want to wear a bright green dress and your groom wants to wear rainbow robes? ROCK THAT S**T! People love to see who you two are shine through every part of your wedding. 

Above all else though you should take a moment during the reception to just look out at your guests and take a deep breath. It all goes so fast. The planning goes by fast, the wedding day goes by fast, the first year goes by fast. Take a mental picture of every one of your loved ones so that you can live in that moment forever. It'll never leave you. 

arynnphotography toronto wedding photographer

Photos by @photosbycaileigh

How to Make Family Portraits Run More Smoothly

Everyone knows how much I love weddings. Seriously I love weddings. The personal details, the quirky moments, the sweet hugs and kisses, all that family. However, with all that family comes taking photos of that family. It's a very important part of the day. Sometimes it's been years since the family has been all together. Everyone wants those precious group shots. Although, speaking from experience this can be the most difficult part of the wedding to organize for everybody involved. Not just for the photographer but for you and your family as well. Weddings are supposed to be fun! So I thought since I'll be planning out this portion of my own wedding soon (!!!) I would throw out a few tips on how to make this process as seamless and smooth as possible for everyone involved. 

#1 Make a detailed list for your photographer and yourself. This is something that your photographer should always recommend you do several weeks before the wedding. But if you want to avoid stress, start thinking about this sooner rather than later. Write down all of your close family that you would like formal portraits of. Mom and Dad are usually a given, but think outside your immediate family too. Aunts, uncles, cousins. Maybe a close family friend that is like family. It is important to just start off listing them to give yourself an idea of who will be involved. Once you have written that list out, start grouping them together. For example, Grandma, Grandpa, and you and your new spouse. Aunt and Uncle Smith and the Smith Cousins. 

#2 Make all family members that are going to be in the photos aware. Once you've created the original list, let your family know! I am always going to recommend you let them know before the day of. If you have a wedding website post the list there. Send out a group email. It is best for everyone to be aware so they don't disappear right at the time everyone is gathering to take pictures only to find them when its all over and have them say "Oh, I didn't know I was supposed to be in pictures!" Also give them detailed instructions on where to be and when. Are the family photos right after the ceremony? Let them know that they can't just run off to the cocktails. They may try it anyway but at least they can't claim ignorance. 

#3 Have a family liaison able to find family members quickly and efficiently. Let's be honest, you will be busy being in most if not all the photos. You don't have time to run off to find people. That will only stop the whole production dead in its tracks. If someone is missing, it's best to move on and have someone else go hunting. Do not, I repeat do not choose someone who is also likely to be in more than one photo. Do not send your mom or someone equally as close to you. You need to choose someone who knows who people are but maybe is only in one photo group. Avoid as much disruption as possible. You can always choose two, one for each side of the family. 

#4 Keep the list as short as possible for efficiency. Look down at your list. How long is it really? Question whether you need all the groupings you chose. Keep in mind that this part of the wedding can take some time and it takes away from something else, like the reception or the cocktail hour. Trust me when I say you will want it to be over as soon as possible. Just so that you can stop smiling so much and massage your face. Do you really need a photo of you and your cousins, then another of you and your spouse and your cousins, then another of you and your cousins and your aunt and uncle then another of you and your cousins and your aunt and uncle and your grandparents? Would it be fine to just do one of all of you together? If you really want all those individual photos then go for it, no one knows your family like you do. But if thats the case, then we'll move onto my next tip. 

#5 Set aside enough time in your schedule for family shots. Depending on the size of your family and the number of shots you would like, you are going to need to set aside enough time. 40 different groupings in 15 minutes is just not realistic! You don't have to take a wild guess at how much time you need though. Communicate with your photographer. Different variables will change the amount of time you'll need, such as whether your photographer has an assistant to speed things up. Always account for unforeseen circumstances such as weather or missing family members.

#6 If possible, have a place set aside for family to immediately congregate after the ceremony to stay separate from guests not in photos. Once everyone gets jumbled up it is hard to find people that you need quickly. By keeping everyone separate till the photos are done, you cut out a lot of unnecessary hassle. Have someone make a quick announcement with a microphone if possible to herd the right people in the right direction. 

#7 Keep in mind the needs of your family members. Any elderly family or young children should be photographed first so they can leave or sit down. Children lose focus quickly. Your mom and dad can always go last since they'll likely stay the whole time anyways to watch. 

#8 If you want to throw in any extra groupings not on the list last minute, wait till the list is complete to avoid confusion. Usually the photographer will be working off of a list and crossing things off as they go. it is just easier to add on at the end instead of in the middle so no one loses their place and people get confused. 

#9 Keep people out of the way and avoid guests milling around taking their own photos. This part of the day is about quality and efficiency. It will always take 3 times as long if 3 extra family members need to take the same photo the photographer just did. Plus people get confused at who to look at when and it takes even longer. Let your family know that they will have access to the pro's photos and that they can just sit back and relax. It keeps everything moving much smoother. It is also important to keep people mostly out of the way. It is tedious to be constantly shifting people out of the shot. Most of the time the photographer is forced to raise their voice to be heard. Nobody likes that. 

Simplify, simplify, simplify. This is the most tedious part of the day for everyone involved. But it can also be fun and if you put a little thought into it before hand, everyone can leave with a smile on their face.   

Arynn Photography, Toronto wedding photographer, Durham wedding photographer, how to organize family photos, family wedding photos, wedding family portraits,