Tag Archives: Vancouver Wedding Photography

How to set your Wedding Day Budget!

23 Sep


Congratulations on your new engagement, now the fun begins – It’s wedding planning time!! 🙂

Today, we focus our post on Bridal Budgets; as this is the first of your major steps that will determine the general planning of your entire wedding event!

After many years now of working within the Bridal Industry, I seem to hear the same “problems” over and over – spoken by many future Brides-to-be, the forums are flooded with posts about it, followed by “It’s not within my budget”….. to which leads me to present the very first question that needs to be asked before anything else.

How do you plan a Budget for your wedding day if you have no idea what your vendors, venue, and other services, are going to cost you??? So what IS your budget then?

Most Bride’s are planning for the FIRST TIME.

Here in lie’s the first hurdle that can bring down both wedding plans and add unnecessary stress along the way….. Ask yourself this; Did you just Guesstimates your totals, or have a vague recollection of what you ASSUME these vendor services should cost?

Make sure your budget is realistic!

The reason 50% or more of couples go over budget in their planning, is because:

1) They do not allow for financial changes in their own plans (Job loss, illnesses, etc)

2) They don’t add in the recommended 20% ‘cushion’ – Think in terms of a home reno – things ALWAYS Pop up!

3) Most people do not set realistic budgets pertaining to their vendors and the services they are looking to book.

Another thing that often ends up neglected is the ‘final’ total of the wedding day itself, from final taxes to your wedding vendor’s gratuities pertaining to services…we touch on this later though in another post about vendor gratuities.

Also other “missed” areas within a budget plan, just a few small examples of commonly missed areas: Alternation costs, Gifts, Favors/Supplies/Goody bags, Babysitting costs, Valet/Parking fees, and let’s not forget the MANY different “bridal parties” BEFORE the actual wedding day  – stagette, bridal shower, rehearsal dinners, etc.

Wedding day Budget


One of the best things I ever heard came from one of my brides this year, Sara, and thus the entire basis of this post as it is still to date one of the smartest pre-wedding plans I’ve come across!!

Her Mother in law had made plans BEFORE ANY PLANNING was to start, for her son, his future wife (Sara) and her to visit a few of main Vancouver Bridal Shows.

This gave them the ability to not only scope out future ideas for their wedding-to-be but most importantly, MEET some of their potential vendors face to face!

They grabbed business cards and price quotes from many of the vendors they liked, found out packaging options and more that agreed with both their tastes but also their potential wedding size as well.

This gave them a whole slew of information, pricing and other options that they could sit and go through once home, to help start them off on the right path.

Not only that, but they had another advantage now, saving more money!!

Many vendors at these shows offer “specials” or “discounts”  for those that attend these bridal shows…That you will not find available through their online sites. Booking your vendors early can not only save you tons of money, but also the disappointments of your top choices being already booked – Remember just about all wedding services and Bridal related vendors (including Makeup | Hair and Salon services) can book about 1 year out!

So once they returned home, Sara and her fiance  sat down and separated everything in sections: Catering, Vancouver Venues, Photographers, DJ Services, Limo companies and more.


Wedding-budget list

Next step is PRIORITIZING your vendors and/or areas of more importance to you.

With the information and pricing now available BEFOREHAND, They were able to go through each section and price out an average cost PER Service provider for their wedding. In the long run and after the wedding – they were even UNDER BUDGET at the end!!

Some brides have areas that might be more important to them or as a couple. Be that a Venue/Location, or a Photographer for example. Maybe it’s beauty services – These are the top 3 vendors that book the fastest, and with good reason.

You are the centerpiece in every image, throughout the day. Your most photographed day of your life; After it’s all said in done, the only thing you will have left of the day is the photos you get back of those memorable moments…. These three vendor areas are key to not only your photos, but the overall vibe and feeling of the entire experience.

Example: Some brides have no problem spending $500+ on a pair of shoes, that in reality, are under a dress, that no one will see. Then in the same breath, express how their ‘looks’ are super important to them – BUT then attempt their own Hair and Makeup, that may not be appropriate with today’s higher end media demands; it just doesn’t pan out, and the photos show it. While others may be more concerned with a napkin color or sash on a chair, that guests are likely to not even remember….

So again, look at prioritizing your ideas, THEN set your budgets alongside that.

If Photography, Venue, Beauty and how you look, or your Decor are most important, SPEND The budget in those areas!!

There will always be further options for DIY areas along the way, or portions that can allow for additional help from others. But don’t dismiss your ‘A choice’ factors when planning.

In prioritizing and figuring out your vendor cost first, this can not only keep your budget on target, but considerably lower the risk of burning out with DIY Projects and other stress.

After all, the average engagement and wedding planning time frame is about 12-14 months….so what’s a few cents a day set aside, to get the vendors and services you truly want and find the most important for your big day.

So let that be proof, that although you may be excited and ready to just jump in there and start planning, that a little extra time, smart planning, prioritizing and organization can save you so much time, money and stress later on when the ball gets rolling.

Happy wedding planning!

****Have a subject you’d like us to cover, or wedding planning questions you’d like answered? Drop us a line anytime, and we’ll do our best to feature your Question or Subject in one of our up and coming posts!!

Vendor Spotlight – JMB Photography

2 Nov

Today I’m featuring Jen of JMB Photography with her Fun, Relaxed and Fashionable Portraiture…

“Jen, we love our photographs & so do our guests. Everyone loved how you got along with all the guests”

These are words that Jen hears frequently from all her clients. She’s got a great knack for mixing into a crowd of guests and becoming one of them – as if they’ve been friends for ages!  This allows her to capture the real moments of a wedding!

Sessions are always fun, laid-back & creative – no fake smiles necessary with JMB Photography! During a session Jen is usually performing balancing acts & unusual stances all the while cracking jokes & making you smile naturally! She will do everything she can to get the best images for each & every image she takes. She wants her clients to be as excited about their images as she is about capturing them!

“Photography is not only my career; it’s my passion. I love what I do and that is evident in every image I capture.”

Jen started JMB Photography in the winter of 2007 with the encouragement & support of her closest friends & family. These people are the ones who kick started the weddings for her – offering their weddings as “test drives” for her skills. With everyone loving the  photographs, thus JMB Wedding Photography was born.

Since then she has started her business; shoots weddings each summer with a few spread out through fall & winter months. She offers engagement sessions for all her clients to help them get to know each other before the big day.

Jen branched off into a new type of photography in early 2010 – Boudoir. Her clients are crazy for these sessions with her and have become a regular addition to a Wedding client’s package! Her boudoir work is sexy & sophisticated with a touch of fashion infused into each session.

“A boudoir session is an amazing way to empower yourself & boost your self esteem. Your partner will also really enjoy the benefits of this session as well!”

JMB Photography offers Wedding, Engagement, Boudoir & Maternity sessions. Jen is available all throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley for sessions outdoors and she also offers her home studio for sessions.

Be sure to stop by Jen’s website www.jmbphotography.ca to check out her portfolios as well as her blog  that is constantly updated with the latest & greatest sessions she’s been doing! She’s also an avid Facebook user & you can find JMB Photography there too!

“I don’t just want to take your picture today; I truly want to build a friendship and photograph you and your family for years to come. You’re not just a client – you are a friend.”


13 Oct

*A contributing post by lead Hairstylist Victoria Kuzma.

Hello ladies!

Today I’ll be talking about Bumpits ™.  Like many hairstylists, when I first saw the commercials, I thought they were a terrible invention!  All it took was one bride who insisted on using one for her style, and I was hooked.

Bumpits are perfect for supporting a bridal updo all through the day and past the reception!  This is especially true if you fall into one of these categories:

Fine or Thin Hair.  If you want mega-volume but your hair just can’t do it alone, use a Bumpit.  Often fine or thin hair types are not substantial enough to hold any kind of back-combing and they can end up looking ratty if you try it.  Pair the Bumpit with clip-in extensions and you’ll have the hair you always dreamed of!

Heavy Hair. Heavy hair can fall flat under its own weight or slip out of styles.  Bumpits can support a half-up or full-up style easily, and without slipping.

Cultural Weddings. Some veils and headpieces can weigh over 10 pounds!  I find that sometimes using a rat (bundled-up nylon padding) is not enough for the more extravagant veils.  It is especially trendy for Indian girls to have maximum volume in their wedding styles…and I have heard of hairstyles falling flat with just straight back-combing and/or the ‘rats’.  Since Bumpits are solid, they’ll hold the shape under the dupatta no matter how heavy it is.

Avant-Garde Styling.  Yes, this does happen for weddings!  The best way to hold these elaborate looks in place is to use Bumpits.  I have even used multiple Bumpits in one style!

Half-up AND All-up Styles! Bumpits are great for every style except all-down.  If your hair is down, you want it to look and move naturally.  Don’t fix it in place with a Bumpit like in the commercials!!!  It looks terrible.  For any other style, you’ll love what a Bumpit can do for your look.

I would like to add that there are new Bumpit products on the market that look like big barrettes with rubberized padding on them.  You clip them into your hair along the parietal ridge and they add volume at the sides, or you clip them at the front under pinned bangs, or above the crown for the standard Bumpit look.  These are awesome and more versatile because they aren’t as big as the headband style Bumpits, and I like them for boudoir sessions, party styles or simply daily wear (because in Vancouver this rain can make your style fall flat the second you step outside!).

Well that’s it for now.  Any more questions about Bumpits?

Contact me at hairstylist@victoriakuzma.com and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Myth Busters.

13 Oct

Welcome to our Myth Busters section of our website!

I have started this section as a way to educate and correct some of the common myths I often overhear from new clients and when I’m out and about.

Some of the areas that we will cover here are complete “Make-up Myths”… others however may be more a case of Fact verses Fiction. From Skincare, Make-up, Hair and more join us as we uncover these Beauty Myths!

Choosing your Wedding party members.

11 Oct

Choosing your wedding party members can often be a bit daunting  for some people and follow with a few a hard decisions on just “who” should be present alongside you on your big day. For some, it’s way too easy and they invite everyone they can think of!

Often Brides are quick to share their wonderful news and end up making quick decisions on their bridal party members way to early in the process and end up regretting it later or causing themselves unnecessary stress as the planning moves forward.

Here are some quick key points to remember when deciding your Wedding party members:

WAIT. There is nothing stating that you need to decide on everyone and everything  right away. It is usually best to wait until after you have set a date and booked your main ceremony ideals, once you have a rough idea on your guest count. Choose the people that are the closest to you and who you know are going to be happy to help you along the way when you need it.

It can also look a bit silly if you might plan to have a smaller wedding of only 50 people (for example) but then opt to have a Wedding party of 12+ members! I was once told by a wedding planner that one of the best ‘rules’ to follow regarding this is the wedding ‘pre-set’ rule; For every 50 guests, one Bridal party member. This keeps visual balance to the wedding, photos etc. but also helps minimize excessive or unnecessary costs/spending.

COSTS. There are main factors that need to be considered, cost is typically the first to come to mind. Being a Wedding party member is often a big responsibility, so consider the circumstances of those you ask to join you, be that both personal and also financial.

It can often be a $250-$500 commitment to be in a wedding party which the purchasing/rental of attire, Make-up/Hair services for the ladies, hosting bachelor/bachelorette parties and so on.

With this cost also comes YOUR Expectations of the members you choose. Make sure your party members are ALL aware of your expectations. In fairness to them, these things need to be decided on FIRST, By you, before they say yes to the offer…whether you expect them to buy their own clothing, give a speech,  throw you a party or help with other details of the wedding proceedings.

Remember, Although your wedding day is likely the most important thing happening in your life right now, it may not be the most important thing to them, or the most affordable, at the present time…be courteous of that and keep perspective. They may REALLY WANT To be a member in your party, but just may not be able to afford the means or have the time necessary for the responsibilities.

FAMILY MEMBERS. Often you will find invites can be given out to “select” family members. Be cautious with this area, especially if you are very close with them. As sometimes you may feel the need to include other family members that might not necessarily fit within your wedding plans, solely out of  ‘fairness’ to the others you’ve now invited, or in other cases you might end up causing strain in relationship if one is not included and they become jealous of  another persons inclusion over them. If you find yourself in this situation, It can sometimes be best to give them all ‘other’ responsibilities pertaining to the wedding and its arrangements that way everyone feels included, without any unnecessarily drama that can sometimes occur.

At the end of it all, Your wedding party is there with you on your day to offer support and love to you and your new partner. If you take your time in choosing the right members and communicate with them you are sure to create a stress free journey as you plan your wedding and head towards the big day. Good luck!

Vendor Spotlight – Chris Elander Photography

5 Oct

Welcome to our vendor profile on Chris Elander Photography Services.

Chris and I actually go way back, not only did we go to high school together, but over the past few years we’ve shared many mutual bridal clients during the seasons, so naturally his services came to mind right away for our feature section…

Specializing is Wedding Photography, Chris is based out of Chilliwack, BC offering his services throughout the Fraser Valley.

His photography has been described by many of his clients as ‘Timeless’ …which means in 10 years when you pull out your photo album, your images aren’t going to look old and out of date.

Investing in Chris’s photography services means you are investing in both his creative view on your day, but also his highly tuned technical skill as well.

In off season Chris can also be found working in a Specialty Camera and photo developing shop, If anyone knows cameras its Chris!

Knowing his camera’s inside and out has given Chris a major advantage over others and knowing the full potential of all his equipment when photographing your wedding. Which in turn, boasts his solid client reputation and testimonials from many happy Bridal clients. You can have the confidence in knowing you will receive images that are not going to be out of focus, under or over exposed, or poorly composed. Just plain good photography at its fundamental roots is what Chris aims for during every wedding.

For more information on Chris Elander and his Wedding Photography services please visit his website at: http://www.chriselanderphoto.com

…or email him directly with your inquiries at: chris@chriselanderphoto.com

Wedding Makeup – Do’s and Don’ts

28 Sep

Today I’m here to help sort out the do’s and don’ts of appropriate makeup options for your big day… Let’s get right into it!


DO start a proper skin care routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing a few months prior to the wedding to help even out and clear up any complexion issues.

DON’T wait to the last minute to “fix” a problem with a cheap over the counter product line. Many contain high levels of acid and/or alcohol bases that will just dry out your skin and can make matters worse!

DO keep your skin looking fresh and flawless by using a moisture-balanced makeup that’s right for your skin type. This helps provide coverage and still allows for a glowing look without looking heavy or caked on. Be sure to apply a primer first for a longer lasting finish!

DON’T use products that contain heavy shimmers and illuminators in them. They can cause highly reflective surface areas. If not used correctly they can often lead to unflattering “spots” in your images and make you look like a shinning ball of sweat!

DO use a natural toned bronzer to warm up the skin. Be sure to place it on areas in which you would normally be “sun-kissed” such as your cheeks, forehead and bridge of the nose. You may also wish to place small amounts on your chest, neck and lightly dusted on the tops of your shoulders.

DON’T use bronzers that are too dark for your skin tone or contain heavy glitters or sparkle particles.

If too dark for your complexion you will look like you have a “dirty face” and/or look streaky and can often photograph looking “orange.”  Bronzers with heavy glitter or “shine” in them can actually look like bruising on the face when not used correctly, Especially ones with pink and/or darker rose and wine tones!

*If choosing to “tan” be careful not to get too much sun before your wedding as any sunburns, peeling skin and tan lines can destroy your look in photos!

DO bring blotting papers with you on the wedding day!!! This will help keep make-up looking fresh and reduce any shine without obstructing or removing the make-up.

DON’T use a pressed powder compact to set your foundation and “remove shine”. Too much powder use can leave your skin looking lifeless in your wedding photos and often lead to chalky or caked looking skin. On a hot summer day this holds especially true when paired with your body’s internal heat and possible sweating!


DO frame your eyes by lightly filling in your eyebrows with a soft brow shadow/gel that is a shade darker than your natural tone to bring them out for pictures. Great brows help frame the face but also create symmetry with your eyes which should naturally be the main feature. Also available are brow stencils, this can help you create a more even and defined look if your “freehand” work isn’t spot on.

DON’T use pencils to draw in your eyebrows, they will have you looking like a cartoon and/or stern as appose to natural in appearance. They don’t appear like that naturally, there for refrain from drawing unnatural parts on the face!

DO use a light application of highlighter just under the brow bone to illuminate your eyes and open up the area.

DON’T use to much shimmer under the brow bone or in the corners of the eyes. A little goes a long way! Too much can have you looking like a disco ball and reflecting light from all angle.


DO pick flattering eye shadow tones. Popular choices are that of earth tones, pinks/roses, lavenders or deeper wine tones.

DON’T try and go trendy with your color choices. Not only will this date you and your photos, but chances are you will look back later and regret it. This means that your oh-so-coveted glitter liner or blue shadow, maybe not be the best option for your wedding day makeup, even if you do like wearing them normally.

Shadows containing too much shimmer are more likely to crease and can also cause light reflection from the camera flashes.

DON’T use dark tones of blue or purples, often in photographs they can look like you are bruised and have a Black eye.

DO exaggerate your lashes. A few coats of lengthen mascara can make a world of difference. Better yet is the use of False eyelashes, be that singles, clusters or strips, they will open your eyes up and make a night and day difference in your photos. You can choose from a wide variety as well, whether you’re seeking just a bit of natural fill for those sparse areas, additional length or a more bold and glamorous eyelash.

DON’T continuously coat your lashes… Clumpy and crusty lashes are not sexy on ANYONE!

If it has not done its job in 2 coats, you are not using the right mascara.

If wanting to wear false lashes, choose a lash that is appropriate for your EYE SHAPE, just because its big doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. There are hundreds on choices that can give you the thick, heavy and full lashes you might be seeking, but bar-star and drag lashes are not wedding appropriate and can look ghastly in photos if too long or the wrong shape. Rhinestone studded lashes are also a serious wedding day miss and can actually cause light to reflect off the beads!


DO choose a warmer blush tone, making sure to blend from the apples of the cheek back along the cheekbones and in towards your hairline. Don’t apply too heavy at the apples or it can photograph  looking like little “dark spots” or “circles.”

DON’T opt out of using blush, as flash photography tends to wash you out and you will need a little contouring in the face. Avoid brighter reds and pink tones as they can make you look artificial.

DO pick a complimentary toned lipstick to complete your make-up look. Even if you prefer not to wear any, a shade a few tones darker than your natural lip tone will still give you a natural look and will still show up in photos without being to obvious. Be sure to line you lips with a similar shade and line the natural lip line. Filling in the lip will also create a base for a longer lasting lip.

DON’T pick colors that are too pale and/or frosty. The blanked out or “nude lip” does not photograph well! It will only make you look tired and pale. For more mature clients, frosty or shimmery colors will draw attention to any fine lines around the mouth/lip area and exaggerate those lines!


DON’T use heavy body shimmers. They reflect light and can read like sweat beads in photos depending on the light sources.

*Be very careful with spray tans and self tanners right before your wedding day!!!

Time and time again I have seen this, specifically with many summer brides when humidity levels and temperatures rise…You will sweat it off!! Your internal temperature combined with the heat from outside and the friction of your dress it to much for a light “skin coat” of color. There’s nothing more upsetting than seeing a bride freak out 20 minutes before show time when she looks down and sees a bright orange ring around the top of her dress! 😦

So hopefully that will give you a brief insight into some of the considerations needed when choosing a look that is specifically geared towards a photographic kind of day like your wedding.

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