wedding planning

Tips to choose your ideal wedding venue

When you are planning a wedding, choosing your venue is going to be one of the first big decisions. It sets the tone of your wedding and is not easy but if you take some time and ask yourself these questions, it will help tremendously.

First of all, when choosing on a venue, think about your and your significant other’s personality. What kind of people are you? If you enjoy being outside, love nature, consider estates, gardens or private venues that have terrace and will allow guests to mingle freely. Family farms / backyard weddings are a nice alternative since you have so much freedom to customize your event and enjoy fresh air. If you’ve always dreamt about a fairy-tale, elegant and classy wedding, ballroom might be able to bring your dream to life.

In order to determine what kind of venue you need, you also need to know (at least approximately) how many guests are expected to celebrate your wedding with you. Also, make sure you understand the difference : just because a venue can fit 150 people, doesn’t mean it’s the way to go if you sent out 150 invites : you do not want a venue at absolute maximum capacity plus it will be very, very cramped and not fun. Talk to planner, meet the venue manager and ask as many questions as you can during your tour.

Some venues are all inclusive, some are not. Keep that in mind and allocate your budget accordingly. Remember that it’s more than just how much renting the space costs. Consider your guests’ experience and comfort. Some of criteria you don’t want to overlook are : location, any restrictions venue might have (for example, definite end time), parking/ transportation.

Whichever you choose, just remember to stay true to yourself and don’t chase trends or read too many wedding magazines, they can sometimes confuse you even more. Remember that your day is all about you and your happy story. Get in touch at 267 481 4765 or email hello@innaovsepian.com to chat about our favorite venues we’ve worked at!

First Look : to see or not to see

First look on your wedding day : things to consider.

Wedding world never ceases to amaze me :) Sometimes I ask myself where this tradition of seeing each other before the ceremony came from. Upon research, I figured out it’s fairly new… and as my experience shows, extremely popular. While I get asked about first look all the time, I occasionally get clients who never heard of it ;) Interesting, huh? The only question I’ll ask my brides will be : But what do you want?

If you are like most brides, you want the moment. That moment when you walk down the aisle in all glory and your partner’s eyes light up. That moment of complete shock over how unbelievably gorgeous you look.

There are lots of reasons couples are happy they chose to do a first look. We never had anyone regret it, frankly speaking. Here are some reasons we recommend it:

  1. First look will help calm nerves and anxiety.

    Months of planning and excitement had come down to hours and minutes. As soon as you lock eyes, you will feel relief, fuzzy comfort and your stress will melt away. You will be able to cry, kiss and embrace the moment without any distractions. You will ENJOY it for as long as you want to...alone! No people, no on-lookers, just the two of you.

    If you think you will get another chance to be alone on your wedding day...you are wrong.

  2. So.much.time. for photos! Plus, you get to enjoy cocktail hour and talk to your guests. We, photographers, will always try to steer you towards the first look. Because we care and want you to enjoy delicious food :)

  3. You will spend more time than ever making yourself beautiful. Even though your confidence is enough for you, I can assure you you will want to hear it from your significant other. That attention you’ll get on your best day ever can’t be compared to anything. I once heard from the bride (after they did the first look) that she wouldn’t have been able to listen to a thing their officiant was saying anyway… She’d be too busy wondering what her partner was thinking ;) She was glad they did it.

    At the end of the day, all you have is your wedding album to remember your wedding day by. Dress will only be worn once, food and cake will be forgotten and eaten, flowers won’t last a week. After 10, 15, 35 years you are not going to remember those details. Think about how much time. Think about how much time you’ll have to capture the important moments and people in your life. You'll be able to take your bride/groom, bridal party and immediate family photos BEFORE the ceremony. We never really have to rush these… while if you don't have a first look, you're forced to do everything quickly. We want you to be relaxed, hassle -free and calm on your wedding day and actually enjoy all the events of the day.

  4. Some people worry about losing that “moment”. Those seconds when you walk down the aisle are still going to be phenomenal, for both of you. You’ll feel safer and will be able to concentrate on the MOMENT when everything gets real and serious but without that pressure of all the heads turning towards the groom to see his reaction. I am a believer that you actually can have both of those moments. Both secret moments when you still will be communicating. You belong to each other…. forever. It’s funny how I remember lots of weddings when bride and groom saw each other before the ceremony and the ceremony moment was even more emotional.

  5. Whatever you decide, just remember to live your wedding day to the fullest. If you want to follow wedding tradition, do it. It’s your day and no one knows your story better than you. We will help you create ideal timeline and make your day happy and smooth.


Wedding Day Photo Timeline

Every wedding is unique and has a different timeline.
There are however, similar parts of every wedding day no matter the time of year or culture of your wedding. The following are ideal time frames to keep in mind when we plan your timeline. They might seem a little long at first, but remember that most weddings run slightly behind schedule and the day will absolutely fly by.
Also, having a little 5-10 min break on your wedding day is healthy ;)

Rings, Dress and other Details

Ideal Time Allotment: 20 Minutes
Location: Bridal Suite/ Home

20 minutes gives us enough time to get beautiful photos of your rings, dress, shoes and other details ( such as invitations, or details that are especially meaningful for you). Sometimes the hotel room is crowded or not aesthetically pleasing so we'll have to find a calm, quiet and clean space.

Detail shots are an important part of your wedding day story and make for great transitions from one part of the day to the next in your album.

Getting Ready

Ideal Time Allotment: 45 Minutes
Location: Bridal/Hotel Suite, Home

We'll spend this hour getting candid moments of the bridesmaids and groomsmen as they are getting ready for the day as well as the final makeup touches. This is also our time to zip / button up the dress and put on jewelry and shoes.

While I will be with the bride,my second photographer will be capturing special moments with the groom and his guys. We usually get a lot of candid, emotional moments, so don’t cut it short. It’s always better to have some extra time to take a deep breath before the day unfolds.


First Look, Bride/Groom Session and Individual Portraits

Ideal Time Allotment: 45-60 Minutes
Location: Choose a location close to ceremony/ reception area

From our experience, we can assure you travelling to multiple locations will take loooots of time on your wedding day. Although it would be wonderful to go to multiple locations, especially around the city, parking and weekend traffic will cause us lots of headache. Make sure you're leaving at least 45 minutes in your wedding day photography timeline for us to capture your first look, standard and creative images of the two of you as well as individual portraits (bride and groom separately). Most couples schedule an after wedding photo session when we can have all day for ourselves and hit as many beautiful spots as we want.

Bridal Party

Ideal Time Allotment: 30 minutes
Location: Same as Bride/Groom session

Your bridal party is your dream team! :) During this time we'll get individual portraits of you with each of your bridesmaids and groomsmen and then move on to group and fun photos of all together.

Immediate Family

Ideal Time Allotment: 30 minutes
Location: Park, Venue lobby/garden, church

Immediate family photos are a very important part of your wedding day and we want to make sure we capture enough images with them. Remember that your wedding day is the happiest day, not only for you, but for your family as well. Gather your parents, siblings ( and their spouses) and grandparents.

Reception Details

Ideal Time Allotment: 15-20 minutes
Location: Reception site

We like to capture the reception room completely set up 15 minutes before the guests enter to capture the beauty of the room. This includes details like the cake, centerpieces, menus etc. We also set up our lights and do a quick light test.

Night Photos

Ideal Time Allotment: 10-15 minutes
Location: Areas near or inside venue with interesting lights and textures

We are famous for our incredible night time photos. If you like those creative images, please plan on sneaking out of the reception for a short period of time. We like to create these images around 10-20 minutes before we finish photo coverage, usually after the cake cutting.
It’ s a little get away from loud reception and lots of guests and a chance to be alone for a few minutes. The images we create at this time usually serve as a beautiful ending to your wedding day story. Please leave time in your wedding day photography timeline for this important set of images!