You finally got married and you’re still on that wedding day high! So what happens next?
The first week as newlyweds, expect some teasers of your big day to go up live on social media! Feel free to share and tag yourself in the images. I try to give a nice selection of my favourite images that best encapsulate your wedding day events. It will include what I like to call your iconic photo. It’s how I will have envisioned your wedding day in one image. This image is created by talking with you along the way as we approach your big day – your favourite aspects of the day, your venue, special moments, something sentimental. It depends really on your day and how it unfolds. I don’t necessarily approach a wedding day with an image in mind, but after creating it, I’ll know it’s The One.
If you would like these images in high resolution, just reach out and I can send you a link to download the images for immediate usage for Thank You cards or gifts.
Depending on the season, the turnaround may be faster, but I will create a slideshow featuring 50 of my favourite images of your special day and upload that onto social media. I’ll also upload a version onto Youtube or Vimeo and you can download a version from there as well or just share a link with family and friends.
At the same time, a password-protected online gallery of these images will be shared with you. You can feel free to download the images from this gallery before the rest are completed, or order prints from this gallery to send to family & friends (or Thank You cards!). The gallery is linked to Professional Print Labs so you can rest assured that the images will be of premium quality. You can also share images directly to social media by linking your facebook account to the gallery. It’s very user friendly.
In your contract, my deadline for delivering images is 3 months after your wedding day. This is to allow for unforeseen circumstances (a pandemic, goodness-forbid an injury or sickness) that may arise, but I can safely say that about 2 months after your wedding day, your images will have been hand-edited and finished for you to enjoy. I don’t like to rush the process as each image is tweaked for exposure and colour to ensure it’s the best representation of your day and my work. I always ensure that as many memories as possible are included in the delivered set, while also curating a collection that allows each image to shine on its own. You won’t be overwhelmed with repetitive images, nor will you be left wanting more. Approximately 50 images per hour are delivered, but it depends on the events and flow of your unique wedding day.
Once your images are completed, your images will be uploaded to the same password-protected gallery as your preview images. From there you can order prints, download them, etc. The gallery will be hosted for 2 years from your wedding day.
As well, your images will go on a USB and delivered with choice images from your wedding day in a custom Bella Wang Photography photobox. This way, you’ll have a tangible product right away to enjoy and share with your loved ones. You’ll know how the images are supposed to look in all their glory. The USB is a redundant storage medium, but I urge you to immediately copy the files onto a cloud service, or your own hard-drive on your computer to make multiple backup copies. I guarantee images to be stored on my computer for archival purposes for only 2 months after delivery date. I would be heartbroken if after 5 years you reach out to say you lost your USB and all of your wedding images. Please don’t let this happen.
The USBs I use are from USB Memory Direct . These are their crystal drives and I chose the white cap so that it is clean and timeless – just like your wedding images. I want you to be able to look at your wedding images with pride and joy and I found these drives to be beautiful to behold. Thank you so much USB Memory Direct for your great customer service, fast turnaround and quality product. This is such a timeless keepsake for my couples.
USB direct provided sample custom USBs for me to review and test out for my couples. I love them and the opinions expressed are my own.
Katie & Charles’ July 25th wedding was my first big wedding in 2020. What a crazy year it ended up becoming. Since COVID19 hit in March, everything has been a whirlwind of communication with our couples, rescheduling if needed and figuring things out if things were indeed moving forward as originally planned. It’s taught me a lot about thinking quickly on my feet and adapting to best serve my couples. This was my first wedding after Coronavirus struck, but I was relieved when I saw how large the grounds were at The Estate at Moraine Farm and learned that the reception would be outdoors and inside a large tent.
Katie is really organized so she was keeping an eye on the Governor’s mandates regarding wedding sizes. She estimated we would be in phase 3 by the time her big wedding date rolled around, so we were green light from pretty early on. She nailed the timeline.
Katie and Charles ordered a bunch of coloured bracelet for guests to wear to signify their comfort level in terms of contact given the pandemic we were currently experiencing. “Green” equalled fair game, “Yellow” caution and “Red” was please be careful and keep your distance to the recommended guidelines. I thought this was such a unique touch. You can see the guests wearing them in the cocktail images:
During the church, everyone wore their masks which was nice to see. There were no issues and everyone was respectful. It added a very documentary element to the wedding since this (hopefully!) is a once in a lifetime experience and those moments should be a part of the story.
Moraine Farm provided the backdrop to the stunning outdoor ceremony. Since we were outdoors and in Phase 3, the wedding guest list could be up to 100 people. Katie’s guest list was 98, plus yours truly and my partner Edward. Everyone was in great spirits the whole day. I’m sure it was a welcome change and distraction from the world around us. For me personally, it was the first time I had been around that many people since last November!
Give it up for the list of talented vendors that made this wedding happen:
Wedding venue: Estate at Moraine Farm
Photography: Bella Wang Photography
Hair and makeup: Bombchelle Beauty
Flowers: Evergreen Florist
Catering: Fireside Catering
DJ: TSG Weddings (Andy)
Hair: Jessica Capozzi
Gown: Pronovias via La Reine Bridal in Waltham
Please enjoy an excerpt of Katie and Charles wedding at the Estate at Moraine Farm. It was a classic event with a stunning bridal look by Bombchelle Beauty and Jessica Capozzi.
Our Lady of the Sea located in Marblehead, MA was the setting for the ceremony.
The Estate and Gardens at Moraine Farm were stunning. I was thrilled at how much space there was in the venue and the grounds were well kept – perfect for photos! And given the current pandemic, the presence of a large swath of land outdoors (+ good weather!) made it much more comfortable for everyone.
Katie requested classic wedding portraiture and that was the style I created. Every couple has their own vibe and I strive to ensure it translates in the poses and frames I create.
The epic image below is a panoramic photo made up of over 20 individual images stitched together. If you want to look up the technique, it’s called a Brenizer.
I requested 5-10 minutes to get all of these images. I believe it adds a lot of variety for my couples’ galleries. During a slow moment in their reception, I scope out a location ahead of time so that the couple is only removed from their wedding for a few moments. I plan out my photos as much as I can and adjust given the couple’s mood. I try to be as efficient as possible because the wedding day isn’t all about photos, but at the same time you still want epic photos to remember your day by. It’s a hard balance for photographers, but I do my best to deliver an incredible level of service for my couples. I adapt and adjust depending on the needs of the day.
Due to the pandemic, the dance floor has been removed from wedding receptions, but these folks still had some fun with their friends with some classic oldies came on!
This wedding venue is a Trustee site and they seem to be very forthcoming about their pricing. With a little research, I dug up the cost of their weddings and it seems to start around $100 per guest. The fees incurred will be the venue rental as well as a tent rental if you plan on having a tented reception. For a New England wedding, you definitely want a tented event! You never can predict the weather. For a pricing link, head HERE.
The most important thing when choosing a hotel for your wedding is to ensure it makes sense logistically. You should choose a hotel that minimizes the travel time to your venues (both ceremony and reception). If parking is important for you then ensure you confirm parking cost and availability when booking. Often many Boston area hotels have limited parking, or the lot is far away and you need to valet your car.
Often times brides and grooms choose to get ready and prepped in a hotel. This minimizes the number of locations people have to travel to, including your vendors. It also makes it easy so you don’t have to clean your place and get it photo ready. Now with COVID19 concerns, it’s better to not have too many guests inside your home to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Room size is very important and each hotel offers something unique. Many hotels have special bridal suites or presidential suites for couples getting married. Inquire with the hotel to see if those rooms are available. Check out the price too because those rooms are usually not cheap ($$$!).
The suites generally have a separate bedroom and living room so that you have a nice clean open area to do things like a first look with your bridesmaids or your dad in the main living area. With COVID19 concerns being able to separate certain rooms will make it safer for everyone as well in keeping the bride and vendors in one space and having the large wedding party in another room behind the door until they are invited in for photos.
Boston is a very historic city so it’s blessed with a lot of vintage hotels like the Fairmont Copley Plaza, or the new Newbury Boston rebranded in 2020 from the old Taj Hotel. The Lenox shouldn’t be overlooked as an option and isn’t quite as well-known.
Classic Contemporary options include XV Beacon right in Beacon Hill next to the Boston Commons and Public Gardens, The Colonnade Hotel right near the Prudential Center, or the classic Four Seasons Hotel right across the Boston Commons/Public Gardens. The Ritz Carlton is another relatively new option. If you’re looking for a spot near Harvard, then The Charles is a great hotel. The Intercontinental has a great and unique skyline and is near some scenic areas by the waterfront and Seaport District. You cannot go wrong with the uber-fancy and expensive Mandarin Oriental. It’s situated right by the Prudential Center and defines luxury.
If you’re looking for something more modern, The Verb Hotel is a great choice near Fenway. Also near Fenway is Hotel Commonwealth. YOTEL Boston is a budget-friendly choice with a rooftop bar located in the Seaport District. The Residence Inn by Marriott in the Seaport area has great exposed brick if that’s something you’re looking for. The Envoy is another great choice and is part of the Autograph Collection by Marriott as well. The Envoy is located in the Seaport District, so a bit further away from the downtown core.
Closer to the Public Gardens and Chinatown is the new Moxy Hotel (an offshoot of Marriott brand hotels). The Whitney Hotel is another great option in the Beacon Hill area if you’re getting married right downtown. Godfrey hotel is a great option in the Downtown Crossing district (not far from the Boston Commons and Chinatown). The Kimpton Nine Zero is a really cool design-focused hotel. The Langham is another suggestion of mine that has a great vibe to it. Further afar in South End is the Revolution Hotel.
If you’re looking for something unique then The Liberty should be looked at because it’s an old converted jail. This is located at the border of Cambridge and Boston/Beacon Hill right by MGH.
These are important to a lot of couples and the room can either help or hinder these photos. I can adapt to any circumstance, but please be realistic. If there are no windows and the space looks like a bomb went off in it, there’s only so much I can do.
However, if planned properly, I can make a simple Hampton Hotel room look like this:
The air-conditiong unit is being blocked by the bridesmaid on the left side of the photo. You can see a touch of the bed on the right bottom. I shoved them RIGHT up against the window that had a sliver of light coming through it to hide the rest of the room.
If the space is empty and gorgeous then I shoot wide and open like below at the Taj Boston hotel.
Or like in this bridal suite in the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel.
First looks are sometimes a big part of the wedding day. Personally, I like to tell couples to have a backup plan in case it rains. Outdoors is a great option too, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you need a backup plan. Depending on the hotel, if you book a nice enough room they may allow you access to the common spaces that aren’t being used by their guests. Please arrange this with your hotel and speak to them about your plans. I make no claims about their policies for first looks inside a hotel.
Generally what I look for in a great First Look location are great windows. This allows me not to rely on flash during an intimate moment such as a first look. If you choose a dark stairwell, I will have to employ flash to light the scene properly. An empty ballroom or even a hallway could be perfect for a first look.
The below image was taken in a dark unlit stairwell so I used flash to light the scene.
The rooftop bar or rooftop patio are also other options for a first look depending if your hotel offers those options. It’s best to scope out their websites ahead of time and see what unique aspects they have to offer.
These are some of the top hotels in Boston I’ve had the pleasure of photographing in for weddings during prep, first looks, ceremonies and receptions. Pick the right vibe for your style of wedding. match the colour to your wedding colours even! There are so many options.
Hope this will help you find the right hotel of the Best hotels in Boston.
With big events being postponed due to government restrictions and safety concerns for family members, 2020-2021 weddings will look very different from prior years. The mandates put forth are constantly changing. For the most up to date information, please see MassLive. Per Governor Baker, Phase 3 will stay in effect until a vaccine is found. It’s an interesting time for weddings during Coronavirus.
The guiding principles set forth by the CDC can be found HERE. Gatherings have always been of concern because they could be super-spreader events. Since weddings are with large groups and for prolonged periods of time in close proximity, it is important to stay prudent and cautious in these times. Findings about the spread of the Coronavirus seem to indicate viral load as the main determining factor in infections. Viral load is the amount of virus a person is exposed to. This can come from the amount of time the person is exposed to an infected person while simply talking, as well as something like a sneeze or cough whereby a large amount of virus is projected at once.
I can’t wait to share what the bracelets will look like for my first big wedding in 2020, but I saw an idea twirling around the interwebs showing coloured silicone bracelets indicating comfort levels of those wearing the bracelets. I think it’s a great idea to use for any weddings during coronavirus.
So for example, Green might mean I live with you so we can hug it out. Yellow is I’m friendly and OK with taking a group photo and waving at you from a slight distance. RED might mean.. keep your distance and I’m OK without being in group photos, but I just want to be here to support you because I love you!
Everyone feels very differently about the virus and this way guests don’t have to ask or feel each other out and can wear it on their sleeve. Another option my bride was considering was coloured ribbons so that they wouldn’t be as unattractive and would also be at eye-level. I can see guests struggling to safety pin this on though, so plan accordingly.
This way everyone can feel comfortable that they are being respected at your joyous event!
Keeping wedding events outdoors will minimize the potential for spreading an infection. Since New England’s weather is unpredictable, the best thing is to plan for rain with tents as backups for ceremonies and receptions.
If the ceremony is to take place in a church, ensure that people are safely distanced from one another and are not required to congregate in areas awaiting to be seated or for any other reason. Masks should always be worn when indoors to lower the risk of transmission. I know that accommodations are being made for the procession to be mask-free for those in the wedding party and for the bride and groom. If the rest of the guests can protect the wedding party members by wearing masks, we can still enjoy a beautiful ceremony in comfort knowing we are keeping our loved ones as safe as possible.
Hand sanitizer should be made available at entrances and bathrooms so that guests can easily sanitize when entering the room, or after using the toilets.
Good practice is to have windows and doors open to the outdoors to allow for as much fresh, clean, outdoor air to circulate indoors as much as possible.
Prep rooms will look different in 2020/2021 until a vaccine is found. When I used to enter a hotel room, it would be filled with empty plastic bags, hangers all over the bed, makeup bags and bras tossed about. I would quickly clean things up to make sure the photos would look their best. However, due to COVID-19 I can no longer clean up a space. Please do your best to throw all of the unneeded items against a wall furthest from the windows or any features of the room (such as a nice sofa, the bed, or artwork). This will also ensure photos with everyone in enclosed spaces will take place as quickly as possible to minimize exposure. A little bit of prep can go a long way for weddings during Coronavirus.
Have no-touch trash cans to gather used disinfectant wipes, tissues and empty bags easily.
Please note that prep room photos must be discussed ahead of time with BWP to ensure this can be done safely. If masks aren’t being worn, other vendors will be present and the room is anticipated to be packed, BWP will photograph other parts of the day and wait for the space to be less busy so that social distancing of 6′ can be safely achieved. Exposure in the prep room will be kept at a minimum in 2020/2021 but I’ll get creative by taking objects out of the room to photograph. Have your wedding invitations ready, shoes, jewellery, and a friend to hang onto your wedding rings so that you always know where your valuables are! These will be taken to a safer area to photograph that is further away from the crowded room.
Once the room has emptied a bit and it has been cleaned up, I’ll pop back in to take the classic prep photos, bridesmaid robe photos, mother of the bride zipping up the back of the dress photo, etc. These images and what you want will be discussed ahead of time so that I can get them as efficiently as possible and not miss any of your ‘must-have’ photos! Nothing has to be sacrificed with enough planning and communication ahead of time.
For more information on my safety practices, please click this to this BLOG LINK.
Since I will no longer be able to touch my brides and grooms, please have a friend to be your helper that day. Just have them adjust the train of your dress, straighten your necklace and tuck your hair correctly if it comes down as needed. I’ll point out where I need adjustments made as well. Please choose a friend that is in your household or someone that will wear a mask near you so that you stay as safe as possible.
Talk to your venue and caterer to modify your layout. One of my brides is installing a second tent at her wedding venue to allow for social distancing. Tables will be spread out further and only those living together will be sitting at tables together. Ensure seats are blocked off to space people out at least 6′.
Another thing to consider is to livestream your wedding so your guests can enjoy the ceremony virtually! Have someone set up a phone or iPad somewhere to live stream the ceremony. Maybe improve the sound by adding a mic for quality.
Hair and makeup artists (MUAs) should already have their own safety practices in place. I have seen many post about new certifications they are earning in order to prove they can practice their craft safely. This isn’t my wheelhouse, so I’ll leave it to them to inform you of their safety measures. Ensure you ask any questions you might have so that you feel safe. Ask about how they are sanitizing their makeup, their tools and using as many one-use items as possible to decrease the risk of cross-contamination.
Guest sign-in books have always been popular. It’s a good thing now instead to have cards at each place setting that guests can fill in (have them bring their own pens to the wedding so you don’t share!) and then drop them in a basket so that you can enter them into the guest book after the wedding is over. Make sure you quarantine the cards for at least a few days just to be safe!
Bars are generally not allowed anymore specifically because this is where a lot of guests will gather and linger. I believe most venues are now requiring table service and no longer offering bar service. Please double check with your vendor team and caterers.
Same goes for buffets unfortunately! The safest bet is for plated meals. No need to provide a meal for the team of BWP in 2020/2021 as we will be bringing our own meal to weddings this year just to be overly cautious. We want to control as much of what we’re exposed to as possible so that we can stay healthy to keep photographing weddings for all of our couples! Bonus – you save $$$!!
Talk to your venue about restrooms and how that will be managed. You should consider limiting the number of people in the restroom. You should also prevent lines from forming outside if possible. Another thing to consider is higher-risk guests. Perhaps designate one bathroom for them so that they aren’t put at risk of exposure to the rest of the many guests in attendance? Again, it’s hard to segregate people since many can be asymptomatic carriers. It’s best to limit restroom usage if at all possible. If you need additional advice or considerations, feel free to reach out to me as this is a more private matter, but I have other suggestions.
Please talk to the venue to ensure that high-touch surfaces such as faucets, countertops, diaper changing tables, toilets, stall doors and doorknobs will be wiped regularly. Provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol in the restrooms and wipes to open the door with if possible. Maybe they can hire someone to just clean the bathrooms after each usage/every 15 minutes and you can talk about what that would cost. I can’t imagine a venue wouldn’t be willing to sell you an extra service! This way your guests can feel safer too.
Talk to your friends to help, or the venue space to have staff guiding guests by making an announcement ahead of time about staggered seating times. By staggering arrival times of guests you can space people out so that people aren’t gathering at once at single entrances. Another option is to have multiple entrances to allow guests to enter a space. Ensure guests know ahead of time which entrance they should be using to eliminate congestion. This is a great way to minimize exposure at weddings during Coronavirus.
Limos, trolleys and just Ubers have been great ways of moving large numbers of guests between venues. However, due to COVID-19, it’s safer for guests to travel individually to their destinations. I can definitely grab a photo of the wedding party in their limo/trolley but then hop into my own car for transportation between locations.
This is going to be tricky. It all depends on how comfortable you feel personally with your guests and how comfortable they feel with you. These should be taken outdoors regardless if at all possible. Groupings should only be made with immediate family that live together, or if they are mixed groups, consider masks for the photos. If you want mask-less images, please tell guests to leave on their masks until everyone is situated properly. I will give a countdown and instruct people to lower their masks for the photo only. Then instruct everyone to put on their masks again. This will be discussed with you during our week-of the wedding consultation.
I will require a photo-helper for this portion of the day. The most organized way of doing this would be to enumerate every group photo that you need. Then tell the guests which numbers they should be present for. That number will be announced and they should be ready to be next for their photo. I have a longer post regarding stress-free family photos HERE, but I will update it with this new idea ASAP.
The CDC recommends that one person be designated the point of contact for COVID-19/Coronavirus concerns. I think this is a good idea. Guests should be informed who this person is ahead of time so that they can bring up safety concerns to them throughout the day. This person should be allowed the authority to handle any issues so that the bride and groom aren’t pestered throughout the day.
The most important thing is communication. This will be with your guests, your family members, friends and vendors that you will be working with throughout your wedding day. Ensure that everyone keeps you up to date (or your designated COVID-19 Point of Contact) about any health concerns leading up to your wedding day. If anyone is concerned with exposure, or has come into contact with someone who has since tested positive, please instruct them to quarantine for 14 days in accordance with health regulations. Anyone with symptoms should be told to enjoy the event via Livestream. If there will be guests of a diverse range of languages, please provide signage in multiple languages.
The CDC recommends that the person immediately be isolated and taken home or a healthcare facility for testing, depending on how severe their symptoms are. Individuals who have come into close contact with that person should be informed immediately so they can take the necessary precautionary steps. Any areas the sick person has been in contact with should be immediately disinfected and cleaned. It’s better to be safe than sorry so that everyone can rejoice in future happy family celebrations together.
So I’ve been doing a lot of research and I have a lot of clients that are doctors. They gave me a huge list of resources. I have linked them all at the bottom of this BLOG. Click through to purchase masks for your friends and family, especially those at higher risk. There’s even a link to an N95 (not surgical, so not to worry that you are taking away PPE for medical personnel) which needs 3 weeks turnaround to ship to your door. If you’re a BWP bride, I have some Halyard600 fabric and can make you a mask or insert for a pretty bridal mask. Just reach out.
If you just want something pretty and not necessarily top of the line for protection, then click into these bridal mask options.
Formal family portraits are an incredibly important part of a wedding day. You may have noticed I don’t typically share too many of these types of images on my website, blog or social media, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take formal family group portraits. So many couples reach out after their wedding and comment about how I am so incredibly efficient and effective at grouping family portraits. I’m here to make your day run as smoothly as possible. I take command during these parts of the day and couples have raved that I had a lot of the stress off of their day I love this kind of feedback! My goal is to remove as many stress points as possible so that you’re free to enjoy your party.
Family photos can be as formal as you want them. It really depends on the couple. Below are some selections from past weddings I have delivered. If you are taking photos at a church, they will be formal. If you are open to other locations, I can just vibe off you two and allow you to set the tone. Photos don’t have to be painful if you don’t want them to be. Communicate to me your goals and I’ll just go with the flow! I am fast at adapting and this wedding is about you, not me.
As you can see, there’s no one place to take family portraits. It’s most efficient to take them back to back, but if time doesn’t allow for it (for instance, some churches require you to exit within 30 minutes of the end of your ceremony), we can finish your list at another location. The following locations are great for family portraits depending on when your family will arrive:
It’s your wedding so do it your way. You know your family dynamic best. If fun family photos is what you want, I can make that happen. I’ll just follow your flow.
Doing a first look takes a lot of pressure off the wedding day and frees the timeline up to do things out of the normal order. It makes things more flexible since you can do family portraits before the ceremony. I understand 100% if you want to keep things traditional without a first look (when we got married 14 years ago, we never had even heard of a first look).
At least 4 weeks before the wedding, I request that a final list of family photos be provided. If you provide it after that point, it is 100% OK, but I won’t be able to give you feedback in case we need to add time to your timeline, or trim any of the 40+ combinations you might have on your list.
The important part of this process is to think of all the important people in your lives. List them in a shared spreadsheet in Google Drive, word document, email, Evernote, etc. so that it’s in one place. Ensure your family has feedback. The worst thing is that you find out your mother wants to add 30 combinations at the wedding and we didn’t plan time for it so you use your cocktail hour taking endless family combinations. Have the conversations ahead of time so that you will not have additional stress on your wedding day. Make sure your family knows to stick to the agreed-upon plan and ask them to ward off any pushy extended family members that may try and hijack your day. Your family will know if these people exist and hopefully, you will be forewarned!
I suggest to have 30 groupings or less, but I understand if your family is big. Please just note that time has to be allotted for family photos if you have a lot of groupings. See below for timing.
The best way to organize the list is to start with one side of the family first. Start with the largest group and then whittle the grouping down from there. This minimizes the movement between groupings and ensures fewer people are lost along the way.
If there are any difficult dynamics in the family, now is the time to plan ahead and ensure that there is enough space given to those that need it.
Provide a copy of this Photo List to your Photo Helper.
I tell couples to allow 3-4 minutes per grouping, depending on the size. If the grouping is smaller than 5 people, it should only take 2-3 minutes. Larger (20+) take about 6-10 minutes. This is true only if you have a helper on each side of your family. If you have 30 groupings at 3 minutes per group, then that’s already 90 minutes or 1.5 hours of your day optimistically-speaking. So be realistic in your expectations. Otherwise, you’re planning for a high-stress day.
At the beginning of formal family photos, an announcement should be made to your guests to have them stick around. I request that each couple designate one person on each side to be their “Photo Helper”. Since I won’t know your family members or friends, this person will be in charge of rounding up the guests on your photo list. Choose someone VERY aggressive and loud. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from photographing weddings for over 7 years, it’s that people tend to wander off during family photos. I’m not quite sure why. The more people that wander away, the longer it will take to get through your combinations. If you want things to be efficient, I suggest some guards at the exists to inform the necessary parties to stay behind for photos.
Once you have finalized your photo list, please provide a copy to your Photo Helper. This Photo Helper will also be in charge of The Announcement.
Here are some pointers when announcing family formals:
FIRST FAMILY – formal family portraits
– Couple + Parents, Siblings & Grandparents (comma separated names)
– Couple + Parents & Siblings (comma separated names)
– Couple + Parents (comma separated names)
BOTH FAMILIES – formal family portraits
– Couple + both sets of Parents & all Siblings (comma separated names)
– Couple + both sets of Parents (comma separated names)
SECOND FAMILY– – formal family portraits
– Couple + Parents (comma separated names)
– Couple + Parents & Siblings (comma separated names)
– Couple + Parents, Siblings & Grandparents (comma separated names)
This template is organized to be the most efficient for moving people in and out. Please adjust it for your own family dynamics.
Remember: the two of you are in all of the photos, so you only need to list the first names of the other family members in each photo. They should go inside the parenthesis, matching the style below:
– Couple + Parents (John, Mary, Peter, Paula)
Wedding planning sources such as The Knot include planning guides for photo groupings as well.
In order to lessen the pressure on you two, plan for fewer groupings. This is your day and feel free to allocate as much time as you want for these photos if they are important to you. Ensure that you are realistic though (i.e. allowing 20 minutes for 40 groupings after the church ceremony is not realistic and will only lead to disappointment when we are being rushed out the door after the ceremony has run late and the church lady is leading us out).
Think about the mood you want for the formal family portraits. My default is just classically posed family group portraits. If you want something else, just let me know. I can also easily read you at the moment and I will adapt.
If you want to just get one giant group photo, I just need a higher vantage point to get the photo for you all! This is a fun way to just do a single image in less than 20 minutes so you can enjoy the rest of the day. This is usually done right after the ceremony when everyone is still together.
I’ll be adding more wedding planning tips in the coming months. If you have any suggestions for what I should write about, shoot me an email.
Catalyst restaurant opened in 2011 in Technology Square near MIT in Cambridge, MA. Its soaring ceilings make for a dramatic interior to hold an intimate wedding and ceremony. If you’re in search of a Boston-area restaurant wedding venue, maybe check them out. The restaurant has many interesting features that make it fit an industrial-chic category including exposed ducts, high loft-like ceilings, reclaimed barn board on its walls, hand-blown glass light fixtures and even a two-way fireplace. It’s perfect for an intimate wedding setting. If you book the smaller chef’s dining room, you even get views of a semi-open kitchen.
Restaurant weddings are such a fun and modern idea. You just know the food will be good because that’s their specialty. There is easy to access parking nearby and it’s location is just steps from the T. It’s a much more relaxed environment perfect for smaller weddings like Cindy and Henry had.
Cocktail hour was a hit with the guests and the evening ended with a donut wall. Donuts were catered by Blackbird Donuts . I can attest to the fact that the donut wall display was absolutely swarmed as soon as guests caught wind of it. What a unique way to incorporate their love of donuts into the wedding.
Cindy works at MIT so it was fitting that we did the wedding portraits in and around the area. Cindy and Henry are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. They were fun and easy going and took all of my suggestions. We wandered around the city for just over an hour before the tea ceremony was scheduled to begin back at the restaurant. It’s basically a dream for photographers to have a full hour to explore spaces and create fun images without the pressure of family and guests trying to vie for the couple’s attention. This way we could do all of the couple portraits and they were free to enjoy cocktail hour and the reception without having to worry about photos once the party began.
I also suggested a rooftop garden in MIT for additional photos. Those are the ones taken when the rain snuck up on us. We knew it was going to rain, but we lucked out that the downpour lasted when we had shelter.
Check out their fun wedding photos. I love capturing the couples’ vibe and energy without smothering them. I don’t like to boss people around and my sessions are all about collaborating. When I’m in the zone, I love to bounce ideas off my couples. When a couple embraces the ideas without expectations… well… it allows me to do my absolute best work. Thank you Cindy and Henry for trusting me!
If you want to read more about them, they have the cutest wedding website that includes a story of how they met. Let’s just say the story ends with “It was because Benry had finally found his sunshine.”
Please enjoy their urban Boston backdrop photos.
Catalyst has these incredibly high ceilings and dark walls which makes it difficult for photography. However, I made sure to add texture to the background to highlight the couple and the guests so the wedding photos would pop and it wouldn’t just be a cavernous room, nor a brightly lit room that had all ambiance removed by using too much flash.
If you’re looking for a chic restaurant wedding venue in Boston, maybe check out Catalyst Restaurant in Cambridge just over the bridge. You’ll still get the gorgeous skyline views with a short walk, but parking and logistics might be a bit easier than trying to fight Boston downtown traffic.
Florist : Lotus Floral Events Boston
Makeup & Hair: Lisa Chy
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
I’ll be sharing another Boston urban wedding link here soon.
For a Boston surprise proposal, check out this LINK
When searching for their dream NH wedding venue, Amanda and Charlie knew they wanted to have beautiful views coloured fire red and orange. It’s always tricky to plan for an outdoor wedding in New England given the weather. However, I think the rewards are definitely worth the risk as you can see in their wedding photos below. Both Charlie and Amanda love the outdoors and hiking, so it was a given that they would want this to be central to the venue they chose. They found their dream wedding location in Southern New Hampshire: The Grand View Estate in Jaffrey, NH. Mount Monadnock is the mountain in the backdrop for the ceremony photos. If you’re searching for a Barn Wedding in NH, this might just be the perfect place.
With the rolling hills and gorgeous vistas, The Grand View Estate really lived up to its name. The main building where the reception and dancing were to take place is, in fact, an old barn. It was an actual working farm from the 1800s and the details are still present in many aspects of the space. The house where all the preparation took place is a brick building with 6 bedrooms and 8 baths. The venue can accommodate weddings of up to 130 guests with the ability to add a tent on-premises to allow for more wedding attendees. From my basic research, it seems like great value for what you get and the reviews are quite stellar. If you’re searching for an affordable New Hampshire wedding venue, then I would check out The Grand View Estate in Jaffrey, NH.
Though the space can be described as rustic, it doesn’t take much extra decorating to make it look polished and very chic. Check out what Amanda and Charlie were able to pull of with their catering team at Stage Restaurant from Keene, NH. Definitely one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been a part of.
The preparation was done in the old brick building just a few yards away from the rustic barn. Here, groomsmen and bridesmaids were able to keep hidden from each other as they got ready. What I loved about the space is that the bridal prep area is bathed in gorgeous window light with gold accents and cream walls. The groomsmen space is decorated with dark wood, rich plaid carpet and comfy leather chairs. It helps to set the mood for the prep photos and something every wedding photographer looks for. This venue made it very easy for me.
Amanda got ready with her girls and her mother in the bridal suite upstairs. It was a picture-perfect space that also opened onto a patio surrounded by trees with fall leaves.
After photographing the ladies getting ready, I headed downstairs to where the guys were gathered. Amanda gifted Charlie an exceptional bottle of bourbon alongside a Blanton’s Bourbon display. I had to get a photo of it.
I had a moment before the ceremony to capture the barn decor undisturbed before guests were seated.
Then it was time for the ceremony with the sweeping views of Mount Monadnock. Amanda and Charlie were so lucky. The leaves were hanging on for one last weekend in late October. The Sunday right after this Saturday wedding, it rained so incredibly hard that the leaves were gone. If the rain happened a day or two earlier, this wedding would not have been as glorious a vision as it was. The sun was shining down on this happy union.
A special thanks to all the wedding vendors that made this night possible:
Venue: The Grand View Estate, Jaffrey NH
Vicky Smith Artistry (hair and makeup).
Aaron Topfer (DJ)
The Saxy Chef (Cake Artist)
The Company of Flowers (Florals)
Speir and Mackay (Suits/tuxes)
Stage Restaurant (Catering)
I’ll be sharing another link here focusing on Barn Weddings in NH. Please stay tuned!
For a barn wedding in Maine, please check out this wedding at Granite Ridge Estates.
I have always sourced the best in terms of quality products for my couples and families. I pride myself in searching for the best solutions to problems. The albums I create are top of the line. They feature layflat pages, archival quality prints, luxurious leather or linen covers and the option for thick or thinner photo pages. Depending on your budget, I can design a stunning album to showcase your images from your session or wedding. I believe that photos and memories should be made permanent. By creating photo albums, you can preserve those memories and moments. Reach out to start the design process if you’re interested in one of my wedding or portrait albums.
My albums come in two cover types: Linen or Leather. The decision comes down to style preference. Both materials are of the finest quality and have an incredible tactile experience to them. The leathers are Italian and were selected for their durability and strength. Linens are crafted for a more modern alternative. Both options are sophisticated and classic and most importantly will stand the test of time.
My albums only come in square shape. The two showcased below are the 10×10″ and 12×12″ wedding albums. If you are interested in companion albums, I also offer a 4×4″ and 8×8″ design. These smaller albums are perfect for parents and grandparents who will surely treasure these keepsake images forever. Companion albums are duplicate designs and are priced at a steep discount.
You can choose from Deep Matte or Luster printing paper. Your images will be printed on Fuji Crystal archival papers.
All pages are seamless and have layflat binding which allow your photos to be seen and appreciated as intended. The inside cover of your album is black or white. The demo album here shows the black version. There is an option to upgrade the thickness of your paper. This will allow your album to truly standout and also withstand the test of time. The thick pages have a 1mm substrate between each spread so that they won’t bend. This will allow for your album to remain pristine for generations to come.
Linen albums including design start at $700 plus 6.25% Massachusetts sales tax while Leather albums start at $1000 plus tax. These fees include album design and shipping to your location of choice. If you would like to add a companion album they start at $150 plus tax. My albums feature my signature cover page design. The first spread of your wedding album will look like this:
I value simplicity so my preferred album cover is blank. If however you would like to add a cameo or engraving to your album, that can be added. You can also choose to add debossing which will allow you have personalized text inlayed with foil in your choice of colour (rose gold, silver, gold or clear finish). If you desire an image to be placed on the cover, a cameo may be added as an upgrade to your album order. There is no option to make the cover of the album a photo from edge to edge. For details on pricing, please reach out.
If you would prefer to source your own printers, I offer design services. After telling me which design company you will be using and the size of your intended final product, I can design a portrait or wedding album in JPEG format for you to simply upload and print at your printer of choice. Album design services start at $400. If you prefer to make your own with prints, I recommend printing at MPIX.com and then purchasing an album at one of these recommended purveyors by Brides.com.
Richard and Rachel found me online for their wedding photographer after reading the wonderful reviews posted by past families and couples I have worked with. You can read a bit more HEREand HERE. I was actually originally hired for their wedding in the fall of 2019, but they wanted to tie the knot early by eloping. They chose Cambridge City Hall for their civil ceremony wedding. My wedding packages all include a complimentary engagement mini session, so they just ended up using it for this special event. I thought it was a brilliant idea and I was game. I adore photographing small, intimate weddings.
The challenge I faced was that Richard was over a foot taller than Rachel was. I think it’s adorable she has to go on her tippy toes just to give him a kiss.
Cambridge City Hall allows for a lot of flexibility for weddings. I have photographed there on many occasions and they allow the couple to choose the location. The last time I was there I shot on the front lawn since it was summer. This time, the couple opted to keep it indoors because it was January in New England. I think that was a smart idea as it was FREEZING outdoors. They were brave enough to step outside for 5 minutes at the end to get some outdoor photos and you can see those toward the end of this post.
Cambridge City hall has a lot of great architecture so I had to make the most of the beautiful word work. The ceremony itself was short and sweet and clocked in around 6 minutes. You have to move and think quickly to capture enough images before it’s all over. The bride made her very own bouquet from Trader Joe’s flowers and I think it turned out brilliantly.
It was freezing outside so we just had a few minutes before we all turned into Popsicles. They nailed it and considering we had <5 minutes for couple portraits, we made the most of it.
For Boston City Hall and another elopement, please click here on HERE
Small, intimate Wedding Photography by Bella Wang Photography
Granite Ridge Estate is the perfect wedding venue to capture those signature New England fall colours. The foliage turns to peak colour change around the 3rd week of October and we managed to catch the best of it. The weather was forecasted to be rainy all day so we were all a bit stressed as everyone knows they come here for the view.
But as nature would have it, we were so lucky when the skies parted for the first look. Things were cold, damp and wet, but everyone was kept warm by the love of Liz & Devin. They met several years ago when they both worked at a pizza parlor. She thought he was cute and they’ve been inseparable since. They love the fall season so they knew they had the perfect wedding venue when they found Granite Ridge Estate and Barn.
Besides of course Granite Ridge Estate and Barn, the details were provided by the best and could not have been possible without: Catering was provided by The Bread and Butter Co. Cake Artist Bear Brook Bakery Makeup by Making Faces Hair by Lena Hartford DJ : DJ Jacob Sound . Dress by Augusta Jones at L’Fay Bridal (bridal) and Weddington Way (bridesmaid dresses). Floral design by Watershed Floral Tuxes by Dante Tuxedo . Video by SP Films . Day of Coordination by Kelly Franklin-Colby
It’s all about capturing the details of the wedding day. This is what makes each couple unique and separates their wedding from any other. I love how they used wraps in her wedding colours to keep the bridesmaids warm during photos (it was freezing!). This idea was both cute and very practical. Scroll down to see their images.
Why not use the gorgeous view of Granite Ridge Estate?
This was taken in another small space in the attic of one of the barns at Granite Ridge and Estate.
Granite ridge estate and barn is everything you could ever hope for in terms of classic New England views with the fall foliage. It’s so hard to time when the leaves will change but luckily I was there for 3 weekends almost in a row documenting weddings at this stunning venue. For the first look I try not to take my couples too far just in case the footing gets tricky. On this very rainy day, the clouds parted for us to capture the first look images outside – thank goodness for that!
Anywhere you photograph on the property of the Granite Ridge Estate and Barn is breathtaking.