Friday, 31 July 2015

Artistique Photography by Nicolette - 20 Ideas for your Wedding Reception

Artistique Photography by Nicolette

20 Ideas for your Reception

I have seen many fantastic ideas at Wedding Receptions over the last few years and thought I would share some of these with you.

1.         Photo of you both on white mounting board.  All of my wedding photography packages offer a pre wedding photo session and I like to do this at least a couple of months before the wedding day.  A nice idea is to have guests sign all around a photo on the white mounting board at the Reception.  Later you can get this framed and put on your wall.

2.         Toast the woman who has had a greatest impact on your life and then hand your bouquet to her as a special tribute.


3.         Honour your parents and grandparents by having a framed photo of them on their wedding day.


4.         Framed photos of you both as children and put them on guest tables.

5.         Have the candy bar themed to your wedding colours.

6.         Special cake topper of something special to you both, could be a hobby or a favourite pet!  Something a little different from the traditional cake toppers available.

7.         Framed window with glass makes an excellent window of memories with all of your guests signing the glass in permanent felt pen. 


8.         Put a blank card and pen at each place setting and ask guests to jot down their favourite memory of you or the groom.  Later you can bind all the cards into an album.


9.         Surprise your guests with small handwritten note inside a small bottle (or on each name card) with a personal message, e.g. for John “thanks for flying over from the UK for our wedding”.


10.       Give each table a name of a special place, street, town that relates to your courtship, e.g. Anzac Ave, Newcastle, Sydney…


11.       Instead of traditional guest book, why not select a coffee table book, perhaps filled with photos of you both and have guests sign on the photos or in the margins around the photos.


12.       A trivia quiz is a great way to interact with your guests and this can be organised by the best man and each table works as a team.


13.       Print your wedding date and your name under your wedding shoes, or have Mr & Mrs printed.


14.       An old letterbox makes and excellent wedding card box.

15.       On the RSVP card ask guests to jot down their favourite song.  That way your dance floor will be packed!


16.       Instead of throwing bouquet why not give it to the guests who have been married the longest.

17.       Birthdays, Anniversaries are good to toast to.


18.       Wrap favours in ribbon themed to your wedding colours and printed with your names and wedding date.

19.       For themed weddings, e.g. French theme, have a bicycle as a prop with basket of baguettes in the Reception, you might even want to ride it!


20.       A sparkler farewell is beautiful when your guests form an archway, but remember to get the 36” sparklers.


I hope these ideas may help you with your Reception.

Artistique Photography by Nicolette

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Artistique Photography by Nicolette - What to consider when choosing a Reception Venue

Artistique Photography by Nicolette
What to Consider when Choosing a Reception Venue
What to consider when choosing a Reception venue
You're engaged, you’ve picked your wedding date and have a rough idea of your guest numbers.  Next, you’ll need to decide if you want your ceremony and reception at the same venue and if so, what style and location would you like, e.g. beach, garden, 5 star hotel, marquee, vineyard, historic building, sports venue, art gallery, just to name a few.  Once you have decided on the type of venue, ask friends and family (and even your Photographer, I often give advice to brides on venues if they are still looking) for recommendations.

Reception Style
Do you want an informal cocktail style wedding, a buffet, or a formal sit down served dinner/dancing?  Once you have decided on your style you’ll need to ask what you want from the venue and I have put together a check list of A, B and Cs to help you:
Firstly, check the venue is available on the date you have chosen.  You may have already done this by checking with the venue’s website as they often have a calendar of availability, but you still need to double check! Perhaps find out if they are available on Fridays and Sundays and sometimes these days are cheaper as well.
Access and Parking
Is the venue going to be easy for your guests to find?  Is it far from your ceremony venue?  It is important to keep your ceremony venue and reception venue within a reasonable distance from one another.  You will also need to ascertain whether there is ample guest parking.
Does the venue have accommodation for you and also for your guests?  Is there otherwise a nearby location which you can offer to your guests for accommodation?
Does the venue fit your budget?  Only look at venues which fall within your budget, otherwise you could fall in love with another venue and be disappointed as it’s is out of your budget.
You’ll need to as what is the maximum number of guests the reception room will hold?  Some venues can be very cramped.  As a wedding photographer I have sometimes had to squeeze tightly between tables/chairs to get the guest table photographs!  Check also if there is more than one reception room that may better suit your guest numbers.
Does the venue have in house catering available?  If not, is there a preferred caterer list and do you have a choice of which suppliers you are able to use?  Are their sample menus and will they offer a tasting for you?
What is provided by the venue?
If you are simply renting a venue, e.g. a clubhouse or villa and playing a flat fee, you may be responsible for providing everything else.  So you will need to check:
 Do you provide extra lighting, tables, chairs, d├ęcor, linen, dance floor, cutlery, glasses, AV equipment etc.
 Alcohol – Are you authorised to serve alcohol, does the venue have a permit, can you provide your own alcohol and if so, will there be corkage charges?  What are the bar options and ask to see a price list.
 Access – What time on the day are you and your suppliers permitted access and what time do you have to vacate the venue at the end of the day?
Restrictions – What restrictions are there regarding use of confetti, candles, sparklers, rose petals etc.
Ceremony – Check whether if there is an option to have your ceremony at the venue also.  This could be useful as a wet weather back up option even if you have decided to have your ceremony at another outdoor location.

Some Last Points to Consider:
·       When you visit venues it is important to also pay attention to the smaller details such as air conditioning / heating, bathrooms, power sockets, lighting. 
 ·       Check whether the venue is open to your ideas. 
·       You will need to get a full break down of costs so you can clearly see what is included.  Pay attention to whether or not GST is inclusive or excluded.
·       If you don’t use suppliers on a preferred list, do you incur extra commission?
·       Ascertain staff numbers for the day and who will be your main contact person during the planning phase and on the day.
I hope these tips have helped you in planning your Reception at your special venue.
Artistique Photography by Nicolette

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Artistique Photography by Nicolette - Choosing your Bridal Party, Dresses and Accessories...

Artistique Photography By Nicolette

Choosing your Bridal Party, Dresses and Accessories


You are engaged and now thinking about your Wedding Day, with lots of exciting things to plan.  One of the first things you will be thinking of is who to have in your Bridal Party, how many will the party consist of. 
Your Bridal Party should consist of people who you want alongside you every step of the way, in particular your Chief Bridesmaid or Matron of Honour, and of course the Best Man alongside and supporting your Groom who are usually either a sister or best friend.  The Chief Bridesmaid can also be the brother and Best Man a sister.  I have had a few weddings in the last couple of years where that has been the case.  (A guy doesn’t have to wear a dress and a girl doesn’t have to wear a tux!) Don’t select members of your Bridal Party because you feel obliged to.  Just because you were a Bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding doesn’t mean to you have to select her as your Matron of Honour. You want people who are reliable, punctual, dependable and supportive.
It’s important that you consider their life situation also; can they afford travel and accommodation especially if you have chosen a destination wedding, will they be available to attend the bridal shower, hens night, fittings for dress etc?

You will need to consider whether any of the people in your Bridal Party will have an existing conflict with another member and whether they are able to put previous differences aside and bond for your wedding?

You also don’t need to have the same number of bridesmaids as groomsmen, but avoid too much of an imbalance, one or two is acceptable.

The size of your Bridal Party can depend on what type of wedding you are planning.  If you have chosen to have your wedding in an informal location, back garden at home for example, then you wouldn’t be wanting to have a large formal Bridal Party.  Then on the other hand if you have chosen a large church wedding, a vineyard, or beach, you may want a few more in the Bridal Party to help with your planning and assistance.

You may include junior bridesmaids who are usually girls aged 12 – 15.  Flower girls and ring bearers are usually aged 4 – 6 yrs.  If you choose flower girls and ring bearers younger than 4, then they may need assistance walking down the aisle.

You will have carefully chosen your theme/style for your wedding and you’ll want your Bridesmaids dresses to match the theme/style.  For example if you have chosen a rustic look, you may want them to wear floral crowns.  It is important to let your Bridesmaids become involved and have some input.  If your Bridesmaids have large height differences, you would be best to select dresses that are floor length and not knee length which can look like “steps” in photographs.  Choose styles that will be flattering to all Bridesmaids.


Accessories and Shoes:
I am a firm believer in letting your Bridesmaids select their own accessories to suit their own personal style.  Feel free to give guidance, e.g. you don’t want any of them wearing necklaces.  If you do want them all to have exact matching accessories, perhaps gift this to them and of course any floral accessories such as hair wreaths or corsages are your responsibility to pay for.


I also feel it is important to let your Bridesmaids select their own shoes. I have seen too many cases where Bridesmaids find it difficult to walk in 3” high heels and even one case of a Bridesmaid falling off her shoes whilst walking down the aisle, other cases where they are clearly uncomfortable and are not interested in having photos taken because their feet hurt too much.  In those cases, I suggest they take their shoes off!  Perhaps ask your Bridesmaids to seek out a particular style or colour.  I would also advise spending a short time in the few days before the wedding wearing them to make sure they are comfortable on the day.

It is important to consider what your Groom would like also and make sure you both agree on the number of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen in the Bridal Party.  The Groom (like the Bride) will want to choose guys who are closest to him, those who have been there in the good and bad times.  Make sure the Groomsmen know exactly what is expected of them e.g. rehearsal, dinner, at least one fitting and of course the Best Man is responsible for the rings during the ceremony and the Best Man’s speech at the reception.


I hope this has been helpful and I will write another blog about the specific responsibilities of the Bridal Party.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Artistique Photography by Nicolette - Winter/Spring Outdoor Portrait Special

Artistique Photography by Nicolette


Following on from my last blog “Why Put Off Having Family Portraits”, below are details of my current Winter / Spring Special Offer which is available for a limited time.

* * * Outdoor Portrait Session * * *

Only $150

·       1.30 hour duration

·       Individual and Group portraits

·       50 Professionally edited images onto CD

·       Your choice of 12  5x7 prints and 2   8x12 prints

·       Outdoor location of your choice


From 15 July 2015 until 31 October 2015, I am offering an incredible special!  All Outdoor Portrait Photography Sessions are just $150, a saving of $200 from my standard Outdoor Portrait Photography Package.  Sessions are available weekends/weekdays, and I recommend late afternoon to take advantage of the beautiful soft light.

 So embrace Winter / Spring, rug up with scarves, blankets, bring your pets, a thermos of hot chocolate and we’ll have some fun!

Terms and conditions:

Special offers are subject to availability, outdoor locations Central Coast, NSW only.  Offer is for Outdoor Portrait sessions only (max 6 in groups).  Must be redeemed by 31.10.15.  Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, not exchangeable or redeemable for cash.


Artistique Photography by Nicolette

Artistique Photography by Nicolette - Why Put Off Having Family Portraits?

Artistique Photography by Nicolette

Why Put Off Having Family Portraits?

Today many people have DSLR cameras and like to take their own “Family Portraits”.  I also see them all come out at weddings I capture.  Unfortunately people think if you have a good camera then you take good photos and to use an analogy – just because you have the latest oven, doesn’t mean you can cook the best meal!  Photography is about light and composition and a few more things too.

I have heard many times from clients that they wished they had organised family portraits years ago, maybe while grandma and grandpa were still alive, or while their children were younger.  The older we get, the more difficult it can become to get the whole family together for a portrait.  People live busy lives and with work schedules, kids and other family members may live in different cities, states or countries.  My answer is don’t put off capturing those beautiful memories you will treasure for a lifetime and make sure you organise a get together to have your portraits done.
My style of photographing family portraits is not to take photos which literally put you to sleep looking at them or for that matter, put those having their portraits taken to sleep!  I like people to be as natural as possible and also to have interactive portraits.

When you have everyone together for your large group photo, you often have someone who looks away from the camera, someone decides to blow their nose, one of the children decides that there is no way they are going to look at that silly person holding that large camera, another child develops a fascination for picking their nose, dad looks like he has a rod up his bum, mum says she hates her photo taken and so the list goes on.  Believe me I have encountered them all!  I always like to spend time with the family before I actually start taking photos and this is very important with children – to gain their confidence and they “like” you.  It is important that I build a rapport with everyone and they soon discover my personality too!

Now you have decided you would like family portraits done, I have put together some tips which will help you get ready for your session:

1.     It is important for larger groups especially, to co-ordinate what you wear, but this doesn’t mean that everyone has to wear blue jeans and white tee shirt.  It simply means that you complement each other by selecting colours which blend together and I advise my clients not to wear patterns that are too “busy” as this can detract from the photograph and also advise clients not to wear brown.

2.     Dress for the Location and the Season  -  If you are planning to have your photo session at the beach, don’t wear high heels or dresses you are not comfortable sitting down in.  If you are having your photos during the winter months, don’t wear shorts and a tee shirt as you will be uncomfortable from the cold and this will show in your photos!  Maybe throw in a jacket and if time and location allow, maybe a change of clothes.

3.     Planning Ahead – Allow enough time to think about all the details of your session, maybe you will get your hair and make-up done (but keep it natural), does someone need a haircut?

4.     Show your Personality – This is very important.  I like to capture each individual as they are so that their personality shows in the photos.  If you force children to wear outfits unfamiliar to then, this may cause anxiety and the same applies to adults – wear outfits that are comfortable and you feel good wearing.

5.     Props – I have a few props which I take along to my outdoor photo sessions.  Remember, these are your photos and they will speak volumes about you, so bring along any accessories you would like to use.  Also, if a young child has a special toy, teddy or blanket that they are never without, let them bring that along too.  If mum loves flowers, bring some along!  Make sure you do discuss your ideas with your Photographer.  Most of all be natural, be yourself!

I hope these tips have helped you, and give me a call, email me, I would love to capture some beautiful memories for you and your family to treasure.
My next blog today will be my very special Outdoor Portrait Offer.
Artistique Photography by Nicolette

Friday, 10 July 2015

Artistique Photography by Nicolette - Family Portraits after the Ceremony

Artistique Photography by Nicolette
Family Portraits after the Ceremony
After the Wedding Ceremony, I like to capture a large group photo of the Bridal Party with all guests.  I take quite a few photos and make sure all guests can see the camera, otherwise I can’t see them!  It is important a few photos are taken of very large groups because someone is usually looking away, scratching their head, blinking or doing other things! I like to get the group participating for a few fun shots as well.  After the group photo I capture formal family portraits.  It can be a rather terrifying thought for the bride and groom to have photos with 4 – 54 of their family members, but it doesn’t need to be!
I have listed some important points regarding family portraits:
1.     LISTS – You need to have a list.  It’s very important you have certain members of your family in your photos.  I like to give my brides a “Shot List”, so they can take time to think about who they would like a photo with and why.  Family photo styles vary – whilst some couples don’t want any family photos, some want photos with each family member, but usually couples will fall somewhere between the two.
2.     ASSIGN someone to be in charge.  Select someone who doesn’t mind calling out names and rounding family members up – usually a bossy member of the family is a good choice!  I also have my Photography Assistant help call out names and gather people as well.
3.     TIMING – Most Wedding Ceremonies run for approximately 20 – 25mins after which the newlyweds are introduced and greeting the newlyweds takes place.  This may last for 20 minutes (depending on the number of guests it can vary).  5-10 minutes is needed to gather all guests for the group photo and after this I announce the formal family portraits will now take place, allowing 15 – 20 minutes for family portraits, but this can vary depending on the size of the family and whether the couple would like photos with all family members.  I always work out a timeline with my couples running from start of ceremony to end of bridal party location photos.
4.     HAVE FUN – I find that most couples like to have the traditional formal family portraits as they like their photos to look presentable in their album, and not to date over time, but that doesn’t mean to say you can’t still have some fun, by taking a couple of versions of each photo!
5.     LATE family members – All families have members who are always chronically late!  I have seen many Wedding Ceremonies held up due to late arrival of family members.  This makes less time for formal portraits after the ceremony.
6.     CHILDREN – If children are in your wedding party, be prepared to be a little more patient and hold that smile a little longer!  I take extra photos where children are in the group and sometimes someone will be standing directly beside me making silly noises and faces, but if they don’t want to look at the camera then they won’t.  I like to capture portraits where children are required, early on as they get bored and may get tired if they are very young.
I hope you have enjoyed these tips and I will write another blog on Bridal Party Portraits.
Artistique Photography by Nicolette
Central Coast, NSW, Australia.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Artistique Photography by Nicolette - Selecting your Marriage Celebrant

Artistique Photography by Nicolette
Selecting Your Marriage Celebrant
You will need to select your Marriage Celebrant soon after you have set your wedding date and chosen your Wedding Photographer.  I often recommend Marriage Celebrants to couples, as I get to work with a lot of them, so ask your photographer if they are able to recommend some to you, that is of course if you have already chosen your Wedding Photographer, but that should be first on your list after setting your wedding day!
It is important that you select a Marriage Celebrant whom you can relate to, feel comfortable with, and that they are willing to take the time to get to know you, will listen to your wishes and encourage you to have as much input as you wish, but like when selecting your Wedding Photographer, you should really like them!
You should ask to view photos, footage and testimonials.  You need to know how organised they are, do they have creative flair, are they flexible and open to any suggestions that you make?
I have listed some more important things that you will need to know:

1.     You need to know if you will get a proof of your wedding ceremony before your wedding day.  It is really important so you know what to expect on your wedding day.   This is a the order of events, so there are no surprises and also gives you the opportunity to confirm or change any announcements the Marriage Celebrant needs to make before, during or at the conclusion of the ceremony.

2.     Will the Marriage Celebrant be writing the vows for you or will you be able to have some input?  If you are writing your own vows, but unsure how to start, will the Marriage Celebrant be able to start you off?  They should be able to provide you with a comprehensive list of poetry, prose, choreography, symbols and music.  They should be able to offer you the different types of ceremonies e.g. sand, butterfly release, candle, ribbon, rose etc.

3.     If you plan to take your husband’s name, will the Marriage Celebrant submit your Marriage Certificate application for you?  Some Marriage Celebrants will do this for you, but you do need to check with them.

4.     Check what kind of insurances the Marriage Celebrant has.  Do they hold a current certificate for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity?  Do they hold a current Copyright License? 

5.     Do they use a PA system?  If so, is it cordless?  Can the PA system be used for music and if so, what format do you need to provide the music in e.g. CD, MP3 or Ipod?  Does their PA system meet the 2015 bandwidth changes?

6.     What type of outfit will the Marriage Celebrant be wearing on your Wedding Day? 

7.     If the Marriage Celebrant is suddenly unable to perform your wedding ceremony for you, what back up do they have in place, do they have another Marriage Celebrant who perform your ceremony?

8.     You need to know about fees and what that includes. 

9.     How many meetings will you have with the Marriage Celebrant before your wedding day?

10.  How long before the Ceremony will the Marriage Celebrant arrive before your wedding day?  Usually this is around 20 – 30 minutes beforehand, allowing time to set up, liaise with the Photographer and chat to the groom.
I hope these tips have helped you in your search for the best Marriage Celebrant for you on your special day.  Remember, if you haven’t chosen your Marriage Celebrant before your Wedding Photographer, ask them for recommendations, I certainly recommend!