wedding photography

'How To' Wedding Timeline From The Professionals

We had a great suggestion on one of our blog posts a while back about interviewing two wedding vendors to see how they attempt/compile a wedding timeline, so here we are! We interviewed a wedding coordinator, Kassandra from Unmistakably You and a wedding photographer, Amanda from Amanda Kopcic Photography to hopefully help answer some questions you are coming up with as you plan your 'day of' wedding timeline. We love hearing ideas of what you girls need help with when wedding planning so keep the comments coming!

Amanda is the lead photographer at Amanda Kopcic Photography along with Jazz Kopcic, the lead videographer, and Lauren Huston, editor and associate photographer. They believe that pictures are a way of holding onto memories forever and love being able to capture those special moments for their clients. They specialize in wedding and family building sessions; they are based in Strathroy.

Amanda Kopcic | Photographer

Amanda Kopcic | Photographer

Kassandra is a wedding coordinator at Unmistakably You and they were founded to help couples who felt like their personalities were getting lost in the logistics of wedding planning to be able to rediscover their personal story and incorporate it intimately into their wedding. They want your wedding to feel like your wedding, not just another wedding!

Kassandra Kilback | Wedding Coordinator

Kassandra Kilback | Wedding Coordinator

Do you have a list of preferred vendors and do you only work with them?

Amanda: "Yes, we have a list of preferred vendors that we hand off to our clients once they book. We don't limit our clients by making them only book with our prefered vendors however simply pass along their information if they are still looking for specific services."

Kassandra: "We try and match our couples with the vendor that best matches their personality and budget. We do not have a set list of vendors but we do want to make sure we are referring trusted and quality vendors to our couples."

How do you begin coming up with a wedding day timeline?

Amanda: "When it comes to the timeline of the wedding day we like to contact the couple 2-3 months before the wedding date. This gives the bride lots of time to put together a timeline for us to look over. We always start with their ceremony time. Once this has been established we then find out if they are wanting all the formal photos done before or after the ceremony, working backwards to ensure there is enough time in place so we aren't rushed on the day of the wedding. When there is a coordinator involved we like to work with them on the timeline to figure out the best fit for family and formal photos."

Kassandra: "Our timelines are based off a 3 hour itinerary meeting. First we gather all the details so we know when the big moments are happening, photos, ceremony, dinner and dances and almost work backwards to make it all work."

How involved is the bride? 

Amanda: "We involve the bride as much as she wishes to be involved in this process. We find that some brides can get overwhelmed by the timeline/ scheduling process and try to alleviate the stress by working on this with them well in advance." 

Kassandra: "Completely involved! After our meeting we type up a complete timeline and to do list and send it off to our couples."

As the vendor (Amanda) do you find it easier when there is a timeline from the wedding planner?

Amanda: "Yes, we love to see the timeline the coordinator has put in place. We just ask to see it well before the wedding date to ensure we have enough time for each portion of our day, such as family photos, prep time, formal photos and so forth. This way if we need to move anything around we can talk about it before hand and work with both the coordinator and the bride."

As the vendor (Amanda) do you also come up with your own timeline for photos?

Amanda: "Yes, we normally come up with a rough draft of time needed for each part of the day we are scheduled to be there for. We then compare and move things around as needed."  

How often do the both of you vendors communicate with each other?

Amanda: "We like to know in advance who the coordinator is and talk preferably a week before the wedding.  If any changes should arise from the last schedule we received we then ask to be informed before the wedding date."

Kassandra: "All the time, depending on the couple. I will often send our created timeline to the vendors we are working with and make sure it fits with their perceived schedule, so we are all on the same page."

How often do the both of you communicate with the bride?

Amanda: "We are in contact with the bride throughout the planning process. From the time they book our services, the engagement sessions, the timeline creation to touching base the week before the wedding."

Kassandra: "We do not limit communication, we are available to review questions and changes throughout the process of planning."

As the wedding planner (Kassandra), do you handle all of the vendors timelines instead of the bride?

Kassandra: "When we are hired as a full wedding planner, we try to keep all the back and forth between us and the vendors only. When final decisions are made, we ensure our couples agree to any changes and the final timeline."

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the bride about your business.?

Amanda: "We are a growing team providing families, couples and businesses alike with both photography and videography services. When it comes to weddings, as we expand we are able to offer our clients with more options and services then ever before. We love working with couples on their big day and getting to work with some incredible vendors."

Kassandra: "Here at Unmistakably You, our mandate is to completely customize our services to each individual couple.  Your wedding won't be the same as everyone else's, so why should you get the same services? For that reason, we like to sit down with potential clients and talk about exactly what you need and how we can help.  From there, we can put together a custom package that totally suits your unique wedding and your budget. We have full wedding planning services, day of Coordination services and everything in between."

Amanda Kopcic Photography: WebsiteInstagram, and Facebook.

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Unmistakably You: Website, Instagram, and Facebook

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Still searching for your dream dress? Book your wedding gown experience with us today!

Spotlight On A Wedding Vendor - Beauty by Mallory.

On this Spotlight On A Wedding Vendor, I got the opportunity to discuss hair & makeup with Mallory Antone, owner of Beauty by Mallory. One of the biggest mistakes we both see in wedding planning is brides thinking they don’t need to hire a hair and makeup artist. Often, it’s something that brides think they can cut out of their budget or sometimes it’s just not seen as a necessity. This often leaves brides scrambling at the last minute trying to find a professional hair & makeup artist who is still available for their wedding day. Unfortunately it can be one of a brides biggest regrets after the wedding. After all, it’s wonderful to start your wedding day feeling pampered. Having your hair & makeup professionally done will also make a huge difference in your photographs, which are your only keepsakes from that day.

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Beauty by Mallory, provides on location hairstyling and makeup artistry to brides and their bridal parties. She is also a fully trained and licensed salon hairstylist. The best part of her job Mallory says is that she, “loves meeting people and creating a fresh look that makes them feel as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside“.

Mallory says there are three mistakes she sees too many brides making when it comes to their hair & makeup for their wedding day.

1.) Not booking a trial or not leaving enough time for a full trial. She says, “trials are important for us to get to know each other and find the perfect style for your big day.” She likes to book trials about 3 months before a bride’s big day so they can enjoy the process and not feel rushed.

2.) Not bringing the essentials to your hair trial. She recommends bringing your earrings, veil, hair clips, necklaces, headbands or any other accessory that you would like to incorporate so you can see the finished look with your and makeup done.

3.) Not making an educated decision on who your stylist should be. Mallory suggests that you shop around and know what to look for in a safe and professional stylist. Ask for their training background and ask to see photos and read reviews of their past work. Cheaper is not always the best bet, but there’s no guarantee that the most expensive service provider is the best fit for you either.

Mallory adds that her favourite part of doing hair & makeup for weddings is that “it's incredible being a part of such a momentous day! Knowing that I'm helping a woman achieve her picture perfect day.”

If you have any other questions or would like to book Beauty by Mallory’s services please contact her.

www.beautybymallory.ca

www.facebook.com/beautybymallory

Phone: 519-697-1384

www.instagram.com/beautybymallory

On location services for bridal parties and special occasions. Salon services performed at Style House Salon 292 Dundas Street, London ON 519-432-6888

Spotlight On A Wedding Vendor {Soul Photography}

One of the greatest things about owning a bridal store is the opportunity to meet other local wedding vendors. Over the next few months Once Upon A Time Weddings will be highlighting some of these professionals in our Spotlight On A Wedding Vendor blog posts.

Our first Spotlight On A Wedding Vendor will feature Wendy Hord of Soul Photography. Soul Photography is based out of Lucan, ON and offers Boudoir, Engagement and Wedding Day photography to brides all over Southwestern Ontario. I have had the privilege of working with Wendy on a couple of photo shoots and adore her eye for detail, her artistic and fun loving personality and the beautiful moments she captures. Wendy is very passionate about weddings and that is definitely portrayed when you work with her and view her images.

According to Wendy of Soul Photography, the best part of being a wedding photographer is the opportunity to constantly create and capture images, people and their special events, in new ways and in different locations on a continual basis. “It’s like being an author and an illustrator of my couples love stories“, says Wendy. I asked her if she could give our brides a couple of mistakes to avoid when looking at & booking wedding photography for your big day. Here’s what she had to say…

1/ FAILING TO MEET UP WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER (consult):

This is certainly not a step to skip. Along with availability, a great package and talent your photographer needs to be a good fit for you both as a couple. Personality, professionalism and enthusiasm are a must, as your photographer is the one professional that will be working closely with you for the entire Wedding Day.

2/ FAILING TO PAY DEPOSIT TO SECURE DATE: This sounds bizarre but I see this happening on a weekly basis on social media where brides are frantically searching for a new photographer 2 weeks before the big day. I cant even image how much stress this would bring on!! I have a hunch this happens to brides once the photographer says that they are available and that they would love to work together etc…in the brides minds its like “Phew!” that’s done, marks it in her calendar,…but then fails to connect and firm things up with the photographer (ie deposit and signed contract which makes the date booked).

3/ NOT STICKING TO A TIMELINE: Like I said, my clients are amazing with timelines…likely because at our first initial consult I talk about this and impress how important a timeline is and how it really dictates how smooth, efficient, and fun it can make your Wedding Day…(and we even add in little buffer times) so if the groom splits his pants or your bridesmaid forgets the brides purse…its all good we will have a few minutes to run back) Bottom line is create one with your photographer right off the start…even Wedding Planners recommend, and strongly encourage this as their talent and services ride strongly on a good timeline and details as well.

4/ FAILING TO DELEGATE TASKS: This can happen to any couple even an assertive bride or groom, because planning a Wedding can at times be such information/task overload it gets over looked when the bride and groom are running out of steam for planning. Thanks to my first ever Wedding, my Bride Jacqui gave me the pleasure of working with and shooting “the perfect” Wedding in every way and it all came down to organization and delegating and a positive attitude. I talk about this with my couples at initial consult and also add a reminder in our meeting a couple of weeks before the big day. So brides…Do ask and kindly delegate tasks/errands/responsibilities to your Wedding Party, friends or family that you know you can rely on. Even simple things can make all the difference (bringing balloons to the photo location, moving the cooler to the limo, making sure your luggage gets into the vehicle you will be taking to the hotel that night etc). This works to free up the couples minds on the big day and lets them just enjoy their celebration, and even take a moment to relax, laugh and converse with each other without having a mind cluttered with virtual sticky notes!

One of the best parts of Soul Photography’s services is that Wendy provides a primary (all inclusive type) Wedding Photo package which includes your engagement session...and UNLIMITED hours of coverage, and UNLIMITED images on your big day, plus all images on USB & on-line digital album for viewing, sharing and downloading (both web and print sized files included). This ensures that she will capture all the great moments and candid shots as well.

For more information or to book Soul Photography, you can reach Wendy in the following ways..

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Phone: 519-318-8010

E-mail: contactsoulphotography@gmail.com

Website: http://soulphotography.ca/

Facebook: Soul Photography (look for the lime green circle)

A Visit with Wendy of Soul Photography.

Last week I had the pleasure of hanging out with Wendy Hord of Soul Photography.  She stopped by the shop and of course brought her camera along!  Wendy has a creative eye and is really easygoing.  She's based out of Lucan, ON but will travel across most of Southwestern Ontario.  She photographs weddings, families, engagement, couples & babies.

She has a boudoir shoot coming up soon.  Check it out on her website.

It was nice to chat with Wendy about weddings, families, owning a business & how to find balance in the midst of all the craziness of life.    Wendy has  a very real, down to earth  personality.  She's great to work with and has an eye for detail.  Enjoy some pictures that she snapped while at the store!

Thanks Wendy for capturing some great shots!  To contact Wendy of Soul Photography you can visit her  website here , follow her work on  facebook here , or email her at  contactsoulphotography@gmail.com .

Thanks Wendy for capturing some great shots!  To contact Wendy of Soul Photography you can visit her website here, follow her work on facebook here, or email her at contactsoulphotography@gmail.com.


Why Hiring Professionals for Your Big Day is Crucial.

I love the wedding industry.  I love connecting with other people who work in the wedding field and chatting about brides and weddings.  Today, I had the opportunity to talk with Amanda Kopcic of Amanda Kopcic Photography, who I believe is one of Strathroy’s hidden gems.  She is knowledgeable, personable, relatable and a heck of a good photographer.

She was discussing with me the frustration she feels when brides & grooms just don’t understand why you need to hire a wedding photographer.  This then, of course led to a discussion on why couples just don’t understand the difference between hiring a professional and having a relative be involved in their big day.

The struggling economy has taught us this – we should be more aware and careful how we spend our good, hard earned dollars.  This is an undoubtedly a great lesson for us.

This begs the question, how can you as a bride & groom be aware of your spending and still have an amazing wedding day?  How can you politely tell great Aunt Sue that as yummy as her cupcakes are, you’ll hire a professional to make your wedding cake?  Or what about that good friend who likes to tinker with photography, how can you politely turn down her offer to shoot your wedding?

Bah, being a grown up sucks some days, don’t it?!

There are tons of ways to cut expenses while still planning a beautiful day.  There are literally thousands of good DIY’s on pinterest.  I love this trend.  I love seeing brides own personal influence on their wedding day.  I get that you have a budget and you really want to stick to it.  I totally do.

But, {you so knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you}, there are some areas of wedding planning you just shouldn’t cheap out on.  Or try and do yourself.

  1. Wedding photography – ok, this one should be fairly obvious, but it amazes me to hear people say things like; well your aunt is great with her camera.  Or we could just ask a few friends to take some pictures.  YOUR PICTURES ARE THE ONLY THING YOU KEEP FROM YOUR WEDDING DAY!  The décor is gone, the favours go home with guests, the flowers wilt away, but your pictures are the only thing you have to look back on.  A good wedding photographer will give you the shots that will last your lifetime.  She’ll also keep you on schedule and make sure that no shots get forgotten.  Allow your family & your friends to enjoy themselves at your wedding and hire a professional.  Someone who specializes in wedding photography and comes highly recommended by other brides.  Someone who is trained, qualified and knows the pressure of shooting a wedding.  Do your research and don’t skimp out on this one.

  2. The food – your guests will remember the food at your wedding.  You’ve spent all this money on your big day, feed everyone well.  While it might be cheaper to try and do some of the food yourself, it’s going to be a lot more stressful.  So enjoy your wedding day and let your family do the same, by hiring someone who has the right equipment, knows all about timing of food preparation, presentation and who has catered weddings before.  If you’re choosing a venue that has in house catering, make sure you go for a sample meal before booking the venue.

  3. The cake – along the same lines of the food, remember to hire a professional to do your cake.  A good baker knows how to make a cake look pretty but also how to make sure that the tiers are properly supported and will last until you cut it.  Imagine having your cake fall to the ground during your reception {don’t laugh, this has happened to someone we know}.

  4. The dress – of course I couldn’t write a blog like this without talking about the DRESS! Remember how important those pictures are?  What you are wearing in those pictures is equally important.  Not all dresses are created equally.  Make sure you pay attention to the inside of the gown, as well as the outside.  The more boning and inner structure there is, the more secure and comfortable your gown will be.  I had a friend who purchased their gown from a chain store {before they knew me or knew my store existed}.  The gown was made so poorly and with so little boning, one of the few pieces of boning on the inside bust snapped before she walked down the aisle.  She literally had to hold her gown up all day with her arm.  Do you think she looks back and is glad she saved $300-400 on her gown?  Her whole day was spent trying to keep her gown from falling off.  There are ways to get a great gown, at a great price, but sacrificing on quality shouldn’t be one of them.  The inside matters.

Learn the four factors that influence the cost of your gown at your appointment or by emailing  info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca  with the subject line Four Factors.

Learn the four factors that influence the cost of your gown at your appointment or by emailing info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca with the subject line Four Factors.

This is all great information, but what happens when someone who you love volunteers to do one of these for you so you can save some money?  It might be hard to just straight out say no.  After all, they probably mean well and you don’t want to hurt their feelings.  So, try to find some way they can help out or be involved in the wedding planning process without having to just say no.  If an aunt volunteers to make your cake, ask her to make cupcakes for your shower or for your rehearsal dinner instead.  Or ask her if she’s ever made a supported wedding cake before.  It’s different if your relative is a professional in their field and has been doing weddings for many years.  Try to think about whether they run a business or do it as a hobby.  For your wedding day, the most important day of your life, you want to hire people who are in the business of weddings.  Individuals you know the pressure of being involved in a wedding, yet still succeed.

I think this is such an important topic; I would love to spend the next couples of blogs discussing ways to cut back for your wedding.  Stay tuned for more to come.  Follow our blog so you don’t miss anything!  If you have topics you’d like me to discuss or you have an idea of how to budget for your wedding, please email me at info@onceuponatimeweddings.  I’d love to hear from you!

Be Beautiful!


Erin Bouchard

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings

All Things Wedding Photography (featuring Rebecca Nash)

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings, Erin Bouchard chatted with Rebecca Nash of Rebecca Nash Photography to discuss all things bridal photography.  Rebecca and Erin met through mutual colleagues and their shared interests of weddings and helping brides plan their big days have helped them develop a friendship over the past few years.  Rebecca Nash Photography is a London based photography company that helps you celebrate life and love through captured memories.  Whether you’re hoping to capture your wedding day, a birth, belly shots, your growing family or engagement pictures, Rebecca is your go to girl.  I chatted with Rebecca about photography, planning a wedding and what brides can expect when they meet up with her.  She also shared some exciting new plans (think even cooler services) she has for her business over the next few months.  Once Upon A Time Weddings is so proud of the business that Rebecca is building as she has a great eye for detail and a really easygoing personality. So, grab a mug of tea or a glass of wine and read on!

1. How did you get into photography?

It's been a hobby since childhood, it took on an even more important role to me when my daughter was born, but my business didn't really become an aspiration until I saw the looks on parent’s faces when they saw images on the walls of my classroom as an early childhood educator.

2. Why did you want to be a photographer?

I’ve always enjoyed creating. Art (both visual and performing) has always been a focus in my life, however, I never had the talent to create my vision for others to see through painting, drawing or sculpting. With a camera in hand, I finally found the joy of creation and sharing my vision with others. This started my love for photography.

Fast forward a few years and I was blessed with a beautiful daughter. I was passionate about being a mom and about capturing every moment of her young life. I knew at this point that photography would always be a part of my life but never could have expected the reactions I received to my work. As I returned to work as an ECE in a childcare classroom, I brought this love of photography with me. It was there that I found the answer to my dilemma. How do I balance my love of photography, helping people, weddings, and working with children? Become my own photography company!

3. Describe your style of photography?

It has been a journey to find the style of photography that I love to shoot, I’m excited to share with friends, family, and most importantly clients, and that my clients love.

Every session has the classic shots that parents, vendors, and planners want to see but I also have my own style that comes out in every image. A style can be hard to describe but at the end of the day my style is best described as Soft, Artistic, Emotional, Romantic, and Whimsical.  Not every image will match every word but the style represents what the overall story of the day will be. At the end of the day photography is about celebrating love and life in art while telling a unique story.

4. What is your favourite part of being a photographer?

Oh My! How can I choose?

Let me see...it’s definitely not paperwork and bookkeeping!

I love meeting new people, building relationships, learning people’s stories, and watching them react to the images we have created together. When people hire me as their photographic artist they are asking me to document and become involved in an important part of their life whether it’s the wedding day, the birth of a child, the growing of a family, or the celebration of their own fabulousness! It’s an honour, a privilege, and a passion in my life.  It’s amazing and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to be part of so many people’s lives and help them celebrate!

5. What services do you offer brides?

Okay I just have to confess...I’m a bit of a wedding junkie!

Rebecca Nash Photography is a full service wedding photography service. Our services include everything from engagement portraits of the couple and bridal portraits of the bride in her wedding day beauty (in advance of the day), to the wedding day coverage, day after creative couples shoots, and product creation.

Whatever you need captured during the wedding process, I’m here to document it all for you! Want me there for the shower, stag and doe, or bachelor/bachelorette party? I’m in!

Another new service Rebecca Nash Photography now offers...Wedding Registry! You know you’re going to want albums, prints, or future sessions so why not ask your guests to help you out? You can create a wish list of items or just leave it open. Let your guests know about your registry and on the day of your image viewing session you will receive gift certificates for the products or dollar amount your guests have gifted you as part of your wedding day.

6. What other services do you offer?

I’m thrilled to offer a range of services including (but not limited to) Maternity Portraits, Newborn Portraits, Child & Family Portraits.

This year we are thrilled to be launching some new services to meet the needs of our clients (and have even more fun!)

1.) Bridal Portraits

Launched in January of this year, this is a great way to capture all the beauty and details of your wedding day ensemble. Spend a half day having your hair & makeup done just like your wedding day, slip in to your gorgeous gown, and become the inner model you’ve always wanted to be.

This is the day to get those beautiful images of yourself in all your bridal splendor that you and your family will cherish for years to come without the craziness of the wedding day!

2.) Portrait Parties

Coming this spring....

Get together your friends and your kid’s friends for a great day of fun and mini-portrait sessions in your own home! With special mini-session pricing and unique print packages this is a great way to get updated images of each of your children. Interested in hosting? You can earn sessions and print packages for your own child(ren).

3.) Modern Elegance Portraits

Coming this spring...

It’s a pampering day out! Come on your own or bring a small group and spend the day being pampered. This luxury experience includes a hair stylist and makeup artist on site to pamper and prep you, a custom made gown created on you, and a day of celebrity treatment!

Celebrate yourself! Celebrate your Beauty! Celebrate your life!

7. When should brides book your services?

This is always the toughest question I get by far! I have had clients book me 2 years in advance, but I’ve had calls 3 months ahead. I usually recommend booking 12 to 18 months in advance to be sure you secure your date.

Know you’re getting married in 2013 or 2014? Let’s start a conversation now. The more I get to know you and your wedding day (and you get to know me) the better experience and images we’ll have together! I don’t want to just be your photographer; I want to make this an experience you won’t quickly forget!

8. What can brides expect after they book your services?

Once we have gotten to know each other, fawned over all the details of your unique wedding day, and signed the contract here’s what you can expect...

* Engagement Portraits – I encourage every couple to do an engagement portrait session with their wedding photographer. This is the best way to get to know their shooting style, their directing style, spend some time getting to know each other more, and get comfortable in front of the camera.

* To hear from me at least once a month – I want to know how the planning’s going, what you guys have been up to, and keep learning more about you as people and as a couple. This lets me give you the best possible service and gives you one less thing to worry about on your wedding day.

* To feel supported – Looking for a vendor and don’t know where to look? Call me! Run into an issue? Call me! Looking for ideas or inspiration? Call me! I may not have the solution to every problem, but I’m here to help you achieve your goals for the wedding day and enjoy every minute leading up to and on the day of! It’s your day, and I want to help make it perfect for you!

* Little (good) surprises along the way.

9. What is your biggest tip for brides as they plan their big day?

From my experience as a photographer, a bridal party member, and a guest at many weddings I cannot stress this enough: Know where photography falls as a priority on your wedding day, find photographers whose images you love, and then make sure that their personality is a good fit for you and your day.

There’s nothing worse than finding out on the wedding day that the person you hired doesn’t see eye to eye with you. The images will show the tension. Your memories of your wedding day will be tainted with this negative experience.

Remember, the day is about celebrating you love, and the beginning of your life together. It’s about the celebration, and the memories you’re creating!

10. How can brides get a hold of you to book your services or ask questions?

I love meeting new people so please, get in touch! You can check out my website at www.rebeccanashphotography.com, give me a call at 519-204-0309, or email me anytime day or night at Rebecca@rebeccanashphotography.com

I can’t wait to hear all about your celebrations of life and love!

Thanks Rebecca for sharing with our Once Upon A Time Weddings family!  It was a pleasure chatting with you!  Rebecca also writes a regular blog which you can get to by visiting her website above.  Check it out for tons of great ideas, fashion advice, wedding planning tips and just plain fun!