Friday, July 31, 2009

"The list"...

After many years working with wedding, one thing we can say for sure is that a wedding photo check list is very handy. I have seen many over the years, so I took the best of what I have seen and mad one up.

And the best thing about this list is you don't not need to buy a book or pay for it

Wedding Photography Check List you need...


Date ____/____/____ Photographer Start Time __________

__ Mother/Maid of Honor adjusting veil
__ Bride putting on garter with bridesmaids looking on
or Brides father putting on garter
__ Bride in dressing room with mirror
__ Corsage being pinned on mother
__ Corsage being pinned on father
__ Portrait of mother and bride
__ Portrait of father and bride
__ Brothers and sisters and bride
__ Group Shot of Bride and bridesmaids
__ Individual shots of Bride with each bridesmaids
__ Bride leaving house with parents and bridesmaids
__ Father helping bride into car


__ Groom and groomsmen photographs
__ Best man adjusting groom's tie
__ Groom and best man handshaking
__ Groom and groomsmen handshaking
__ Groom with father
__ Bride and matron of honor
__ Bride with parents
__ Bride and mother
__ Bride and father
__ Bride kissing father on the cheek
__ Bride and mother with father looking on
__ Bride and bridesmaids group pose in vestibule or dressing room
__ Bride's mother on usher's arm
__ Groom's mother on usher's arm
__ Grandparents accompanied down the aisle
__ Other people accompanied down aisle


__ Bridal party coming down the aisle__ Bridesmaids, flower girls, and ring bearer coming down the aisle
__ Bride being taken down aisle by father
__ Father giving away bride
__ Shots during the ceremony itself (Pre-approved by officiator)
(These can also be taken as setup shots after ceremony)
__ Time exposure of overall area during ceremony


__ Bride and groom coming down the aisle
__ Receiving line right after ceremony
__ Best man signing certificate with bride and groom looking on
__ Matron of honor signing certificate with bride and groom looking on


With most of your formal poses 2-4 shots should taken to help eliminate blinking and assure a good smile.

__ Groom kissing bride at the altar full length
__ Groom kissing bride at the altar 3/4 pose
__ Groom kissing bride at the altar tight head shot pose
__ Groom putting ring on bride's finger
__ Bride putting ring on groom's finger
__ Bride and groom lighting candles, full length
__ Bride and groom lighting candles, 3/4 pose
__ Bride and groom's hands with rings and flowers
__ Bride and groom with officiator
__ Bride and groom and bridal party with officiator
__ Other missed shots during ceremony
__ Bride with bridemaids flowers around her
__ Bride and groomsmen
__ Groom with bridesmaids
__ Bride and groom at ceremony location door (or stained glass window) in silhouette
__ Bride and groom on the steps of ceremony location
__ Bride and bridemaids on the steps of the ceremony location
__ Groom and groomsmen on the steps of the ceremony location
__ Group shots back inside ceremony location
(Use ceremony location altar/steps, etc. as a studio)
__ Bride and groom with bridal party standing
__ Bride and groom with bridal party sitting
__ Bride and groom with bridal party
(alternating male and female)
__ Bride and groom with all of the Brides family
(as big as the bride would like to go)
__ Bride and groom with brides immediate family
__ Bride and groom with bride's parents__ Bride with her parents
__ Bride with her mother
__ Bride with her father

__ Bride and groom with all of the groom's family
(as big as the bride would like to go)
__ Bride and groom with groom's immediate family
__ Bride and groom with groom's parents
__ Groom with his parents
__ Groom with his mother
__ Groom with his father
__ Bride and groom with both sets of parents
__ Bride and/or groom with special family members
(e.g. favorite uncle, best friend, generations photograph, etc)
__ Bride and groom leaving inside of ceremony location
__ Getting into car or limo
__ Shot through the sun roof of the limo
__ Shot while seated in limo
__ Wide shot of ceremony location/ceremony site and limo
__ Mood shots in and around the ceremony location/grounds and/or
on the way to the wedding reception site.


__ Outdoor shots of bride and groom
__ Outdoor shots of wedding party
__ Shots of groom and best man
__ Shots of groom and groomsmen
__ Shots of bride and maid of honor
__ Shots of bride and bridesmaids


__ Receiving line (If not taken earlier)
__ Wedding cake (prior to being cut)
__ Guest book
__ Guests signing book
__ Favors for guests
__ Gift table
__ Introduction of the wedding party
__ Wedding party toasting bride and groom
__ Close up of bride and groom toasting
__ Close up of bride and groom at head table kissing
__ Group shots of guests at their table during the meal
__ First dance
__ Parent dance
__ Bride and father dance__ Groom and mother dance
__ Parents dancing
__ Bridal party dancing
__ Guest dancing
__ Bride showing rings to bridesmaids
__ General dancing shots (wide and close up)
__ Flower girl and ring bearer together
__ Candids of guests and bridal party as conditions permit
__ Bride and groom posed in front of the cake
__ Cutting the cake
__ Bride and groom feeding cake to one another
__ Bride faking the bouquet toss
__ Bride throwing the bouquet
__ The catch of the bouquet
__ Groom taking off garter
__ Groom and garter
__ Groom throwing the garter
__ The catch of the garter
__ Group shot of bride and groom with the recipients of the
bouquet and garter
__ Guest leaving
__ Posed departure shot of bride and groom
(kissing, waving, etc.)
__ Getaway car
__ Bride and groom leaving reception area (birdseed, rose pedals)
__ Bride and groom in car as it goes in to the distance.

Remember, all weddings are unique. Our wedding list is meant to be used only as a guide, not the rule. Many of the above shots are not needed by some couples, yet others want many more! You and your photographer should decide this as your wedding date approaches. Please let Peter Bruce Photo and bELLE know if this help, we like your feed back.

Best Peter Bruce & team bELLE

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hair at it's best...

8 Wedding Hairstyle tips

. . .
If ever there was time to make the most of your hair, it is for your wedding day. Your bridal hairstyle can look like a million with imagination and the skills of a good hairdresser. Wedding hairstyles range from a more coiffed version of your everyday hair to an elaborate and dramatic look and style.

Perfect wedding hairstyles flatter your face, your wedding dress and your veil. They suit your personality while accentuating your best features and minimizing your weak ones. Here are some suggestions for different kinds of hair.

1...Hair swept back or up shows more of your face and profile. This style can be especially nice for formal or evening wedding.

2...A wedding up-do will accentuate your neck. This look can range from a simple French twist to a style mass of big ringlets.

3...Hair worn down or loose has a more casual look, perfect for daytime, outdoor, and informal weddings.

4...Long hair
can be worn back, loose, braided, or entwined with beading or fabric that matches your gown.

5...Medium-length hair is nearly as versatile as long. It can be curled, straightened, tucked behind your ears, or brushed loosely down.

6...Even brides with short hair can have a long, thick wedding day hair style. Clip on hairpieces and extensions are available in a variety of colors and styles.

7...Short hair can be versatile, from sleek styles to curly. Tiaras, decorative booby pins, combs, and hair clips all look stunning worn in short hair.

can be worn several ways: soft, fringy, angled, or textured. If you've never had bangs, experiment with them well in advance. If you've always had them, this is not the time to sweep them aside and bare your forehead.

Current styles are important, but should be secondary to what is right for you. Something may be "in" but all wrong for you or your dress. Whatever style you choose, have practice sessions in the week before your ceremony. Do this and your wedding day will most certainly be a fabulous hair day.
We hope this was of help and please let us know, we love feed back!...

Best Peter & team bELLE

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finding the best photographer fro me...

What do I look for in a wedding photographer...


Well I tell couples that the number one thing to look for in their wedding photographer is personality, I call it bed side manner. Your wedding photographer is probably the only person who will be with you for the whole wedding day. They will be mixing with your friends and family all though the wedding. They will be shooting everyone. So, when you are meeting them, you are checking them out for comfort. See how you feel with them. Can you see yourself with them all day long . Could they be your friend pretty easily? This is a very important.When they are photographing you, you are apt to feel more comfortable in front of a friend than a wedding photographer.

The second next thing to finding a wedding photographer is when looking at their work, make sure that you really connect with it. When looking at their albums, try to see yourself in these pictures. If you can do this, and they seem like they might fit, you may have found someone for you. One key here is to understand that we do not all just take photos of people. We all have styles, approaches, and different ways of doing things. Make sure you walk through your wedding day with the photographers you are interviewing and ask them how they might approach different issues throughout the wedding day. A real pro should have great answers for you on a wide variety of topics that you bring up to them.

The last thing is price. The wedding photographer you choose should be close to your budget, otherwise you might be wasting your time meeting with them. However, some couples underestimate the cost of photography at first, and have to make adjustments once they see what it costs. The bridal magazines seem to perpetuate myths about the cost of photography. However, in the end, price is a component of the decision, but it should not be the main factor. If you find someone who really fits the above, but is $999.00 more than you budgeted, maybe you can cut back in other areas. After all, the photography lasts forever and is the only thing you will have after everything is gone.

Hope this helps you, as always...Feed back please.

Best Peter & tean bELLE

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All the video info you need to know...

The ABC's of Wedding Video

. . .

Just when you thought selecting a video person couldn’t get any more complicated, well it has. DVD, with its amazing features, can be the greatest thing to happen to your wedding video, if it is done right. It can also be one of the most complicated to understand. Read this and learn what you need to look in aDVD...

More Is not Always Better...

Most videographers will provide a demo DVD's. This, after all, is one of the best ways for you to view a prospective studio’s work. But be sure to view a full length DVD. This is important when shopping for a DVD wedding video because unlike a simple VHS tape a DVD has no set time limit. A DVD’s length is determined by how much the images are compressed during production. Depending on the quality of the production equipment and how much the video is compressed, the visual quality of the end product can be affected. Therefore, that 20-minute demo might look great, but will your full-length version look as good? Do yourself the favor and ask to view a full length DVD.

In-house Versus Out-house...

It is more desirable to have the DVD completely done in house by the actual wedding studio as opposed to an outside agency. This gives better control of quality. When bELLE video create a DVD we use different compression levels for different parts of the video to optimize the visual quality. For instance, we compress the ceremony part smaller than the reception. Why you ask. The ceremony is comprised primarily of people standing or sitting, therefore it can be compressed more without any noticeable loss of picture quality. On the other hand, the reception contains video of an action filled room full of people dancing and lights flashing. If I compressed the reception at the same level as the ceremony, the ceremony would look fine, but the image quality of the reception would deteriorate. An outside company would be more inclined to have the entire video compressed at the same level.

Technology Speaking...

Mass duplicated DVDs, such as those you buy at Blockbuster, are created with a different process then the one your wedding video will be done in and may not be compatible with some players that are more than two years old. Fortunately, DVD players today cost little more than a good VCR. Also remember that the quality of your wedding DVD will only be as good as the equipment used to tape it. There is no magical cure for poor camera quality and shooting.

Know What You Want...

One of the benefits of a DVD video over a typical VHS is that you can have chapter points that allow the viewer to instantly go to various points of the video, similar to changing tracks on a music CD. You can go from your vows to the first dance in just seconds. This will eliminate the need to pay extra for a shortened version of your wedding video. It’s also another reason why you should view a full length DVD sample rather than a 10 minute demo DVD . This feature will allow you to get a good idea of the length and quality without having to sit through an entire three hour production. Since these chapter points must be programmed into the DVD during production, please don’t assume that your DVD will have them.... Be sure to ask about this ahead of time if you want this feature for your wedding DVD.

We hope this helps with your video, and as always let us know

Best Peter & bELLE team

What happens in does it goes again ?

What are you doing back there,let me know what you think...

Bachelorette Parties happen about one or two months before the wedding we recommend not be prior to two weeks of your wedding day! This is to make sure there are no accidents to stop the bride and grooms wedding day (falling and spraining ankle, or worst, etc God forbid). It is really great that it is about a month out from the wedding so the girls who are lucky enough to make it can share a closeness, stories and remember all the inside jokes and hopefully male strippers that were at the and partying together and build an excitement about the Wedding day. When is a good time to send out the invites to your bachelorette party. These should be send out one to two months before the wedding, followed up with a phone call or e mail. With the busy life style most people have now a days three months is not to much time. The timing also depends on the location, if it is along way away, more notice should be given. Also keep in mind rooms at nice hotels, such as Las Vegas sell out fast.

What should we do and what type of party should it be ?. Questions keep getting better. Make sure it is something the bride will like, she does not want to be bummed out before her wedding and remember a day like this forever in a bad way. Peter Bruce Photo & Belle Fine Weddings recommends that someone, like a sister or close friend be very hands on. Just because a person seems fun and wild it does not mean they know the bride and will do the best interest of her.

Photos ?. Well as a photographer I am always happy to come and take the photos and or video at your bachelorette party. But if you don't want me there or any member of Belle, then take photos, lots of them. But be careful, we are living in a time where everything is open and no one can hide. It is not like the old days, where you took photos, dropped the film off at the corner Walgreens and you could edit them your self. Everything is now on Flicker, You Tube, Apple, Snap Fish, Shutter Fly, My Space and Face book, NO ONE can hide any more. And things can be Photoshopped in or out fast. Also be nice to the bride to be, no groom wants to find photos after you have kids that are well, you know ("I did not know she was a ____")

Drinking ?.Of course it is a party after all, but back to the photos, do you want to be known as the DRUNK at the party and don't push the bride, she should have fun, but that is it. This is why you have your Bachelorette Parties weeks or months before the wedding. Could you think how bad you would feel as a bride having a hang over on the day of your wedding. Everyone love a budweiser or better still a grey goose vodka on the rocks or two. But don't kill yourself. If one person is trying to get the bride wreaked, please stop them, as most brides mainly just wants to have fun. Remember girls just want to have fun. If you are not staying in a all in one hotel in Vegas or New York, don't drink and drive the DUI is not worth it. Who should pay for the drinks, not the bride and have a American Express, Visa or Master Card in file with the bar. And tip well.

Make an album of the bachelorette party for the bride (no bad photos of the bride, people can laugh at anyone else but her). There are many on line album companies like Apple or Snap Fish even blurb, one we like is Memento Press in San Francisco. Better still scrapbook it for the bride, go crazy and put lots of stuff in it, collect stuff and scrapbook it together, what a great personal gift.

One last word from us don't hang out with boys to long, you are there for the bride, it is nice to flirt,but you are there for the bride and her Bachelorette Party. If one girl whats to go off with a guy, let her. MAKE SURE she is safe, but don't bring down the party just for her .

Ever ones job is to make sure the bride has fun and is safe !.

Have fun and party...

Peter & team bELLE

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Help for guests with cameras...

Photo Tips for your Wedding Guests

"Brides & Grooms please pass this on to all your guests it will help them"

. . .

Now that it is summer, chances are that you will be going to a wedding sometime soon. And, most likely you'll be bringing your camera to the wedding along with a gift for the couple. Well Peter Bruce Photo & team bELLE would like to help you and give you some tips for taking better photos at the wedding. I have always thought it your photos come out better than mine, time for me to hang up the camera and I mean that in the nicest of ways.

Most couples hire a professional wedding photographer to photograph there wedding, there's still plenty of room for you to also capture your perspective of this time occasion on film,notice I said FILM .There are lots of moments that happen among the guests that will never be captured by the pro photographer. Please stay out of the pro's way. He or she has a big job on hand. And, never shoot over the pro's shoulder. That won't be appreciated and could interfere with the job.

Concentrating on recording the fun that you and your family and friends have at the wedding. Not only will you have a record of the wedding for your own pleasure, but imagine the joy of the happy couple to receive prints of events that the professional photographer did not see or wasn't asked to shoot.

Example, many wedding photographers no longer shoot those table shots of the guests because these photos don't usually get purchased by the bride & groom.(see my example of table shots) This is a great time for you to shoot. But shoot these like a pro, Have some of the people at your table stand up and move behind those still seated and make a group shot. Avoid showing the entire table complete with half eaten food and 8 bottles of empty wine, instead concentrate on the guests face.

Another photo opp exists at your table. Many bridal receptions now include disposable cameras at every table. You may need to get the show rolling and coax your table mates to start taking pictures. Remember, the bride & groom can't be at every table to take part in the festivities so candid photos from these cameras can show the guests having fun in a way that professional photographers aren't likely to capture. You may get some funny shoots with these single shot cameras. Also keep them away from young kids.

A couple of hints on wedding photo etiquette. If you want to take photos at a church, synagogue, mosque , take your cues from the professional wedding photographer hired by the couple. If you see that he or she is not taking photos at the ceremony, chances are it is because the prest told the photographer not to. Respect the tradition and don't take pictures at this time. The same thing holds true for flash photography. Some places of worship will allow it at the ceremony, others will not. If you see that the pro is shooting, then take an aisle seat. It's the best place to get nice close shots of the couple that fill the frame as they leave the church.

One other suggestion on wedding photography is to be respectful of the professional wedding photographer. Don't get in that there way. You don't want to ruin the photos that the bride and groom are paying the pro to take the photos, and the pro can do a better job of capturing many parts of the event than you can. As we've indicated, there are plenty of different kinds of shots for you too.

Hope this helps your guests and please pass it on to them.

Peter & team bELLE

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Make up 101...

Wedding Makeup tips

From the photographers point of view

Every bride wants to look her best and most beautiful on her wedding day, but wedding makeup for your face can be a little daunting. How do you make sure your makeup stays on all day, looking fresh for your wedding photos, and manage to make you feel a little like a model, but still look like you not like the makeup truck hit you.
I have spent many years shooting weddings and I have realized that the best wedding makeup is actually the same makeup tricks that they used on top models for their photo shoot. The dynamics are just the same, whether it be a bride at a wedding, or a top photo shoot. Photos are taken. And the make up must stay on all day. The bride wants to look wonderful, but her self.

If you are having a Pro do your make up, which say you should as the triangle between bride/photographer/make up is one of the most important for a photographer/videographer Here are some tips that will help you make sure that you get the look you want...

#1...Many hours maybe days went into choosing your dress, ring, flowers. Don't let your makeup take a backseat to this. Take the time to go through magazines and pull out makeup styles that you really like, even tear out the ones you don't like. It could be how a certain feature is played up, or that great lipstick color, or how the skin glows, or even how they used way too much eyeliner. All this is easy to say and show to a makeup artist, with pictures. It helps a lot to show what you want in photo form rather than trying to describe it. . There is a lot of truth in the adage that says "a picture is worth a thousand words". It really gives a lot more information with a visual sense.

#2... To some wear and tear on your nerves on the wedding day, by all means, schedule a consultation, or even better, a complete makeup application before the big day with your makeup artist. Plan it for the rehearsal dinner, or a special evening out alone with your man, or a get together with all the bridesmaids. Don't overlook this very important step because this way you can see if you like your makeup artist's style and how you look.

Here are some things to bring to your consultation...

Tear sheets from magazines, of makeup you like and hate.

A picture of your wedding dress . This gives the make up artist a good idea of the style of the dress and the wedding. Is it romantic or Dramatic This gives an idea of your style and taste.

The shade of lipstick that you like to wear. If I don't have it, using yours is no problem. This is also a great test to see how long your lipstick will last during the evening.

Your most favorite waterproof mascara. I recommend using your tried and true mascara, and yes, waterproof. You just might be shedding tears of joy. If it's your brand, you do not have to worry about watery eyes, redness, allergies, etc.

Remember, your makeup run through is the time to play around, try different styles, colors, etc. And don't be afraid to say if you don't like something. Makeup is easy to take off and and put back on. Once you have your look down, make sure the makeup artist writes everything out on paper, and notes makeup items you may not have that you'll needing for that day. And don't forget, if your makeup rehearsal is set for a romantic dinner with your man, have the makeup artist change the lipstick or eye makeup a little so your groom can't tell you are wearing the same thing for your wedding day. We wouldn't want him seeing the same look twice.

If you planning on doing your makeup yourself... Here are some good tips & tricks that you can use in photo shoots that you can easily incorporate into your look to make it last all day...

#1... Make sure your foundation is an absolute perfect color match. Color blend along the side of the jaw and blend in 2-3 strokes. Is it gone? It should be. If not, or you find yourself blending forever and a day , if you have the wrong shade. It's not that it blends in, but how fast. I can make any shade blend in if I blended it long enough.

#2... For under eye circles, the easiest way to lighten them is with an opposite color applied on top first. If your darkness is gray, lightly brush a soft pink eye shadow on first, and then apply your foundation. If the darkness is more blue, try a matte light peach shadow. You'll find yourself using much less concealer & foundation.

#3... Using a good concealer is easier when you have the perfect shade. Don't go 2 shades lighter than your skin, as this actually makes the darkness appear more dark & muddy. Mix your concealer shade with a drop of your foundation and apply. You want your skin tone to appear one even shade.

#4... To keep foundation and concealer on all day, take a Kleenex folded into squares, and lightly press into the foundation before you powder. This removes excess oils from the foundation and leaves pure pigment on the face. If you find this removes too much foundation, then apply a little more than you think you need, and then press. You'll find that foundation stays on for hours .

#5... Very lightly brush on loose powder with a large brush to set. This is not the time to press powder into the skin with a powder puff. This actually can make your skin look and get shinier much faster.

#6... Apply your blush next. Get a blush brush that is the size of the apple of your cheek for a perfect application. Pick up your color and tap onto the apples of the cheeks, slowly blending back towards your temples. When you have enough on, take a clean makeup sponge and blend. This one step makes your blush look real, rather than just sitting on the surface of your skin. Also, by applying blush first, if you look great with just your blush on, you have the right amount. If it looks too bright or harsh, lighten it up.

#7... Lips next. To last all day, powder your lips first, then apply your lip pencil filling in the entire lip. Don't worry too much about the outline of the mouth. Then, apply your lipstick shade, blot, powder, and apply again. By blotting and powdering, you are actually removing the excess wax in the lipstick that causes it to bleed. Once finished, then apply a light coat of lip gloss if desired in the middle of the bottom lip.

#8... Brush & fill in eyebrows if they need them with a shade that's 1-2 shades lighter than your eyebrow hair color. Too dark, and you can start looking a little harsh. Brush through with a toothbrush after wards to look more natural.

#9... Last but not least, your eyes, this is important as everyone looks at the eyes. A soft shimmering cream or white is beautiful on the brow bone, and the inner corners of the eyes, both above and below the lashes. This wakes up the eyes and creates a beautiful highlight. To make eyes appear larger, apply a sand or taupe in the crease of the eye. Blend so that the shadow fades well. Keep your eyes looking neutral and real, while the colors emphasize the cheeks and lips. Make the most dramatic part of the eye your lashes and eyeliner as this looks the best in pictures. Take a black or brown pencil and line the lashes on the outer 1/2 or 1/4 of the eye. Blend in with a Q-tip. Then, take your mascara and a eyeliner brush, and lightly line the eye with your mascara. Once it's dried, smudge again, and you1ll find that your eyeliner will stay on forever. If your mascara is waterproof, that's better. And remember to curl your lashes before, not after mascara, this is imoprtant

#10... Finishing Touches are very important. When you're done with your look, you may want to apply a little more blush, and then finish with a final brush of loose powder. Make sure everything is blended very well. If you feel like you have a lot of makeup on, lightly mist with a soft spray of water to set it . This will take away the feeling of makeup on your skin and also helps to set the makeup. If you want your skin to glow, lightly brush on a soft shimmering eye shadow or the new shimmer loose powders. To avoid over doing it, just dust across the tops of the cheekbones and collar bones. For a more over-all glow, you can even go across the forehead and chin.

Remember makeup is important and a good Pro does not cost much.
We hope this helps and please let us know

Peter & team bELLE

Friday, July 24, 2009

Three tips...

3 important things your wedding Photographer must offer...

So you're getting married, Congrats. You want your wedding day to be as wonderful & perfect as you've always dreamed it would be.But, if you pick the wrong wedding photographer, your day may be a lot less than perfect, and you may not be happy with the photos your photographer shoot for you. Bummer man. So, how do you go about choosing Mr photoright?

Glad you asked and as always we are here to help. Make sure your photographer offers you these 5 things. Then you can relax and feel confident the love, special moments and important details of your wedding will be captured with wonderful photos .

Do you like the photographer's work...

  1. Look at a good selection of the photographers wedding photos, not just a few photos on there web site. It's best if you can see at least an album or two. The albums probably represent the best of there work. How do the images look to you? Are they pleasing to look at? Does the lighting and the color look good ? Is the photographer's style what you are looking for? Most of our couples are looking for a mix of photojournalistic photos & classic posed traditional shots. Make sure your photographer is capable of, and comfortable with, taking the style of images you want for your wedding photos. If you don't like the photographer's work, there is no need to consider them further. Also, make sure the work you see was done by the photographer who will photograph your wedding. Some studios will show you a lot of good work from various photographers, but will not guarantee you will get the photographer whose work you like the best. There is one company in San Francisco does this a lot and will not tell you who the photographer is till weeks before the wedding.
  2. Do you like the photographer's personality or bed side manner...
    Is the photographer confident, easy and out going. Does the photographer have a good sense of humor? Remember, the photographer will be with you through most of the wedding day, interacting with you, your bridal party, your family, and your wedding guests. A demanding, inflexible, and uptight photographer can make your day really bad. I know you don't want that! Make sure you both get along well with the photographer you choose. If the photographer is going to have a second photographer help at your wedding, meet that assistant photographer and make sure you feel comfortable with them as well. To get to know your photographer before you choose them, it is really important you meet with them personally. If it is physically impossible to meet with the photographer, you should make sure some of their testimonials from previous clients make you feel comfortable with the photographer's personality.
  3. Does your photographer offer you the right value?
    Not the right price, but, the right value, There is a difference. If your photographer doesn't have all of the above characteristics, it may not matter what their prices are. If the photographer has all these, that's a big part of the value they offer you. In this case, the price should be less important. Just make sure your photographer will provide what is really important to you and is up front with you about costs for everything you want. Someone who gives you a "low" price up front may sound good. But, things change when you find they charge extra for every location stop, for the digital image files, for a studio set up at the reception, and so on. And never pay for overtime. A photographer who charges twice as much, but includes almost everything, can often be a better value for you overall.

Well there you have it. Choose your wedding photographer based on the above 3 factors, and you will go a long way toward having the wedding of your dreams. Good luck and congratulations again. As always let us know.

Cheers Peter & bELLE

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

...10 tips...

Top 10 Wedding Planning Tips

Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting things a girl will ever do, but it can also be one of the most stressful. As a photographer I see all of the excitement and frustrations that a bride goes through. Here is a list of 10 good and helpful tips,hope they help...

#1...Invite people to participate in your wedding party because they care about you, not out of obligation. I can not tell you how often a bride asks someone to be in her wedding out of obligation, and is only frustrated by that individual's lack of interest and participation. This is the one of the biggest and best days of your life. Only get people involved in the wedding who genuinely share in your happiness and love. If they don't, there is no way they can behave the way you might expect them to.

#2... Watch your budget. It is so easy to spend more on your wedding than you planned or may be able to afford . There are so many great choices available to brides that you should not have to put yourself in debt to have the wedding you want. If you start out with a budget, stick to your budget and find alternatives that allow you to do it. You do not want to start your new life with your partner paying off wedding bills for many years to come

#3...Put everything on paper. When you book your vendors, anything that you discuss, including special arrangements or deals, that you want included in your package for the quoted price make certain is written in the contract. People can't remember promises they made to you a year ago verbally, so make sure all the details are written in the signed contract and keep back up copies.

#4... Get organized. In order to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the number of tasks involved with your wedding,get and stay organized. Make an action plan by week of what you are going to do, and keep track of progress. This will help you to keep your thoughts and plans in order.And stop you from going crazy.

#5... Pursue proper etiquette. Following proper etiquette has two big advantages. Firstly, you will avoid embarrassing social blunders that can ruin your most special day. Secondly, since weddings are an emotional event for everyone involved, not just the bride and groom, it is important to keep all relevant parties happy and excited. By following the proper rules of etiquette you can never go wrong. People cannot argue with what is right!

#6...Compromise a little. Knowing how to compromise will save a lot of stress and money through the planning process. You, your groom, and families all should enjoy the wedding and be proud of it after it is over. While the couple should do what makes them happy, be open to suggestions and sensitive to the feelings of those with you. If you disagree with their recommendations, talk about it calmly until an understanding is reached. It will make the day more enjoyable for all.

#7... Confirm & follow up... Make sure as the wedding date gets closer, about 2 to 3 months before, that you follow-up with your wedding vendors such as the DJ's, limos, photographer, florist, and videographer to confirm your arrangements, provide any last minute instructions, and confrim timing of all that is happening on the day. It will make you feel secure and will insure that they understand your want and needs on the day.

#8...Relax,chill & enjoy. Your wedding should be a fun, happy, beautiful time. Do not let the planning process kill that for you. Take moments to step back & enjoy what is happening. Especially on the day of your wedding, just enjoy it for what it is . At that point, you have done all you can and it is in the hands of the trustworthy people you have hired.

#9... Start planning early ... Locations and vendors book up earlier and earlier each year. So to make sure that you get exactly what you want, start booking early. It also gives you plenty of time to find investigate other options if your first choice does not work out.

#10...Know your Vendors. The reputation of the vendor you choose is of the utmost importance. Avoid unpleasant surprises on the day of your wedding by selecting service providers with impeccable records.

We hope this help,please let us know

Best Peter & team bELLE

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Be your self 15 different ways...

Here are a few unconventional ceremony ideas to take you down the aisle less traveled.
Be different try some of these

1...Have your guests sit or stand in a circle around you during your wedding vows.

2...Have both parents walk you down the aisle,be the rose in the middle.

3...Have your husband-to-be escort you to the altar.

4... Don’t have bridesmaids or groomsman

5...Have an uneven number of attendants. (Maybe you just want a maid of honor, but he wants four groomsmen.)

6...Have a “man of honor” instead of a maid of honor. (Your brother? A good male friend?)

7...Have the groom choose a “best woman.” (His sister? A good female friend?)

8...Don’t wear a veil or have flowers.

9...Have bridesmaids carry candles instead of bouquets as they walk down the aisle.

10...Write your own vows. Words from you are so much more powerful and meaningful.

11...Have a ring warming. (You ask whats a ring warming??? There are different versions of this, but generally the rings are placed in a small bag and are passed around to each guest prior to the ring exchange. Each guest blesses the rings or says a prayer.)

12...Choose unconventional processional and/or recessional music. (Love U2? Use a favorite U2 song. Love Leonard Cohen? Choose one of his songs. You don’t have to stick with boring old Pachelbel’s Canon or Ode to Joy.)

13...Let your guests mingle over cocktails before the ceremony. (Great if you are not having a church wedding.)

14...Greet guests as they arrive at the wedding ceremony site.

15...Face your guests during your vows, they want to see and hear you

Hope this info is good & helpful...

cheers Peter & team bELLE

Friday, July 17, 2009

7 x savings...

Move on over bridezilla. There’s a new type of bride in town now. She’s turning the over the top wedding on its head. And she’s not letting the gloomy economy get in her way of a nice event.

She’s a recessionista bride baby...

A recessionista bride know how to have a fab wedding for only a fraction of the $35,000 that the ’so-called average’ bride spends on her wedding.

But wait, how can recessionista bride do this you ask ?

With a little help from Peter and team bELLE

#1 Flexibility and we are'nt talking in your honeymoon suite...A recessionista bride knows that Saturday evening is the most wanted after time slot for a wedding and also the most costly, so recessionista bride is willing to have her wedding on a Friday night or Sunday or maybe even during the week.

#2. Second-hand... Recessionista bride spend time on e bay and graogs list looking for gently used wedding items. (She’s a savvy bride who always checks out references and runs fast if she detects event the slightest hint of unprofessionalism.)

#3. Prioritizing what she wants... A recessionista bride knows her priorities. She splurges only on the things that are really important to her.

#4.Resourcefulness... She makes use of the many talents among her relatives and circle of friends. If her aunt is a piano player, she’ll ask her to play at the wedding ceremony. If her sister-in-law is a graphic designer, she’ll hire her to design the invitations.

#5 Haggling... The recessionista bride saves money by negotiating with vendors. She realizes vendors are hungrier for clients than they were last year, and she’s not afraid to ask them for a better price or to throw in a few extras or get a deal for CASH

#6 Have a small Guest List... A recessionista bride scales back the people she invites too only the people who matter to the couple. If she hasn’t seen her friend Nancy Nevercall in five years, good chance she’s not on the list. And she doesn’t invite people simply out of obligation. (Just because she was invited to her hairdresser’s wedding last year doesn’t mean she has to return the favor.) Co-workers and distant relatives are often left off of the list.

#7 DIY... With a few clicks of the mouse, a recessionista bride learns how to make everything from centerpieces for her reception to wedding favors. And if she’s not the crafty type she sources out the projects to family, or she posts her projects on Etsy- a site that connects buyers with artisans who meet requests for custom items.

We hope this help you, as always let us know
Cheers Peter & team bELLE

recessionista bride top 7 ways to save...

Move on over bridezilla. There’s a new type of bride in town now. She’s turning the over the top wedding on its head. And she’s not letting the gloomy economy get in her way of a nice event.

She’s a recessionista bride baby...

A recessionista bride know how to have a fab wedding for only a fraction of the $35,000 that the ’so-called average’ bride spends on her wedding.

But wait, how can recessionista bride do this you ask ?

With a little help from Peter and team bELLE

#1 Flexibility and we are'nt talking in your honeymoon suite...A recessionista bride knows that Saturday evening is the most wanted after time slot for a wedding and also the most costly, so recessionista bride is willing to have her wedding on a Friday night or Sunday or maybe even during the week.

#2. Second-hand... Recessionista bride spend time on e bay and graogs list looking for gently used wedding items. (She’s a savvy bride who always checks out references and runs fast if she detects event the slightest hint of unprofessionalism.)

#3. Prioritizing what she wants... A recessionista bride knows her priorities. She splurges only on the things that are really important to her.

#4.Resourcefulness... She makes use of the many talents among her relatives and circle of friends. If her aunt is a piano player, she’ll ask her to play at the wedding ceremony. If her sister-in-law is a graphic designer, she’ll hire her to design the invitations.

#5 Haggling... The recessionista bride saves money by negotiating with vendors. She realizes vendors are hungrier for clients than they were last year, and she’s not afraid to ask them for a better price or to throw in a few extras or get a deal for CASH

#6 Have a small Guest List... A recessionista bride scales back the people she invites too only the people who matter to the couple. If she hasn’t seen her friend Nancy Nevercall in five years, good chance she’s not on the list. And she doesn’t invite people simply out of obligation. (Just because she was invited to her hairdresser’s wedding last year doesn’t mean she has to return the favor.) Co-workers and distant relatives are often left off of the list.

#7 DIY... With a few clicks of the mouse, a recessionista bride learns how to make everything from centerpieces for her reception to wedding favors. And if she’s not the crafty type she sources out the projects to family, or she posts her projects on Etsy- a site that connects buyers with artisans who meet requests for custom items.

We hope this help you, as always let us know
Cheers Peter & team bELLE

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

kids at the wedding...

You want to send the rat up the drain pipe as we say in Ozzie land. Tell people you don't want Kids at the wedding. You’ll get a few of supporters,single people but others will really be WTF. Mostly the ones on your guest list who can’t imagine leaving or are to cheap to their kids with a sitter.

Putting on a kid free wedding day is one way to pull back the guest list for a smaller wedding but be prepared for the stuff to hit the fan my friend , you may become the evil over night. Going by the comments on some bridal blogs there are some pretty strong opinions about the little rug rats and weddings. Some people can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want kids at the wedding. They argue that it’s anti family not to have kids and that weddings are all about family. Others can’t comprehend why anyone would want kids underfoot at such an big people event like a wedding.

We had kids at our wedding. There were only a few , but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. That being said, I can totally understand why some couples opt for a no children wedding. Couples generally spend months planning their weddings, not to mention saving for the wedding. Along comes a pissed off toddler, and BANG! perfection is down the sink, especially if it happens during the vows.Forget someone cel phone going off during the vows, try 110 dbs of kids scream. Trust me we do video and what a way to KILL the moment.

Kids Love them but are unpredictable animals . They cry and scream. They make HUGH messes. They bump into things and are known to stick their fingers into places that they shouldn’t like the cake, nose, you get the picture. But most times, they’re also surprisingly well behaved during special occasions and can add a lot to a wedding Day.

If you are sure you want a no kid wedding, how do you ensure that your adult guests won’t bring their rug rats.

Whether your motives for going kid free are to limit the guest list, or a morbid fear that crying babies, pissed off toddlers & playful preschoolers will make havoc on your wedding, here are some simple ways to get the message across to your guests that kids aren’t invited without loosing friends...

Wat before you send out the invites, call friends and family who have kids and let them know that a wedding invitation is on the way and that you have chosen for a no kid wedding. That way they will have time to line up babysitters.After they have ripped your ears off...What's wrong with my Johnny.

Wedding experts including me,say that it’s tacky to write ‘no children’ on the invites. Instead, state on the RSVP card that the wedding will be an ‘adult only reception’. Another way of saying this is to write the following on the RSVP card: “We have reserved ___ seats in your honor” and just include the number of adults you want to come.

Be firm with this . If you cave at your sister’s request to bring her little ones, and your friend’s little ones were forced to stay with babysitters, there will be hurt feelings and maybe blood.

One way to please your guests with kids provide to have a babysitter or two at the wedding . Set up fun activities like a craft center to keep the kids busy. One word of caution here some kids get severe separation anxiety and will not take to this idea very well. Keep this in mind when you are pursuing this option. And no kids EVER died from watching to many movies at a wedding in the back room, it will be more fun for them. One down side I see to not having kids at the wedding, setting next to you, is you don't get to eat their left over fried food. And you know you want it.

Cheers Peter Bruce and Belle Team

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wedding Party Gift...

Great idea, personlized racing shoes
Let me know what you think... PB

Wedding Party Gifts,do they deserve them...

Thank you gifts for your bridesmaids & groomsmen...

Drop to shop,time for the fun... Not for yourself, crazy, but for those wonderful friends who helped you pull off the best wedding ever OK. Choosing gifts for your wedding attendants is an important detail not to overlook. Make sure to take a moment on your big day to thank the people closest to you. From throwing the perfect party to keeping you sane in the last frenzied moments before you walk down the aisle, they’ve been there every step of the way. Here are some great ideas if you are stuck for gift ideas

Bridesmaids Gifts...

  1. Personalized handbags... This could include wrist lets, tote bags, evening bags or cosmetic bags are always great. And let’s face it, women who don’t love purses are few and far between! Make your bridesmaids gifts unique by giving each of your girls a different color purse, or by engraving a special thank you message on each one.
  2. Engraved compact mirror... This bridesmaid gift idea is both fun and simple . Fun, because it sure beats the usual plastic compacts most girls have, and simple cause it’s something your bridesmaid can take with her everywhere .
  3. Bridesmaid tank top ... It can be cute to give each of your bridesmaids a matching tank or baby tee shirt. You can personalize each one with a clever funny message or nickname, and they’ll love them even more.
  4. Friends scrapbook... Making a scrapbook for someone takes a lot of thought and love, it is also cheap. So if you have the time and are creative, give each person in your wedding party to this amazing bridesmaids gift filled with pictures of the two of you enjoying fun moments together. Another ideas along the same theme, photo key rings or engraved picture frames with you and her in it.

Groomsmen Gifts...

  1. For the purely punctual... If your best men are one of those guys who’s never late, they will love a pocket watch or desk clock. You can also give one of these gifts to your buddy who is never on time and could use the hint,don't be late to my wedding.
  2. For the pretty boys...Have a friend who’s always checking himself out or looks like he could grace the cover of GQ magazine. Then opt for a shaving brush set, a personalized men’s grooming kit or a silver manicure set. These groomsmen gifts are great because they can be used at home or taken away on business.
  3. The game lover...What game loving grooms men wouldn’t welcome a deluxe S___ poker set, an personlized golf luggage tag or a mini or portable pool set as a groomsman gift.
  4. For the best men who’s all business... You can’t go wrong with a classic leather business case, it cost money but worth it (with the option of personalizing it with your groomsman’s initials).

What ever you give, remember that the friends in your wedding party are all different people with different tastes, interests and hobbies. So what one person may like, the other may not. Try to buy something unique and different for each attendant - or at least personalize the same gift with a different engraved message. And make sure to do it a month before the wedding so if the message is wrong you have time to change it.

Hope this help, let me know !!!

Peter and Belle Team...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Great photos...

Great wedding photos

Here are some tips for great wedding photography & video...

Many years from now, nothing better than looking back on all the beautiful photos & video from your wedding day. Here are four tips that will make them all just right...

  1. Make your comfort priority one.... Your photographer will be with you for largest part of your wedding day, so it’s important that you feel comfortable around him or her. Weeks before your wedding, get together with your photographer and explain what type of shots you want and how creative you’d like the day to be. This will make that you’re both on the same page on the day, and that you won’t feel so shy or awkward when being posed for photos . The picture taking process should goes easy and be fun. After all, your hair and makeup will be done just right your dress will be beautiful and you will look your best ! Enjoy and take in every minute of this,that is why we say do video as well,if it is in the budget.
  2. Leave lots of time for photos... You may be the most organized, bride around but schedules don’t always run as planned. On your wedding day, don’t be surprised if things take more time than you thought they would, the photography being one of them. That’s why it’s so important to leave an adequate time between your ceremony & reception.Think about the size of your wedding party as well, the more bridesmaids and groomsmen you have, the longer it will take to get all the photos done. And is your reception along way from the ceremony? Make sure you take this into account. Bottom line girls.Please don’t expect to get all your pictures done in a half an hour, this is what you have to look at forever.
  3. Be ready on time... If you want your photographer to shoot pre ceremony stuff, like the salon, getting dressed, getting into the limo and on your way to the church, make sure you and your bridal party are ready when they show up. If you’d like to feature your bridal bouquet in these photos make sure that your flowers will arrive on time,before you leave. PS tell the florist you need them 30 minutes before you really do, do this with the hair and make up too. You’ll also want to make sure your limousine is booked for enough time to allow for things to run a little late they often are.
  4. Know your back up plan to a tee.... Of course rain is the last thing you want on your wedding day, but don’t assume it won’t rain. Have a back-up plan for your wedding photos just in case, and make sure your alternate location is available.If your photographer and video are worth anything, they will know where to go to take photos if it rains...I DO !!!59750013

The Wedding Album...

After the ceremony, you’re still going to be faced with a few major wedding chores. One, writing thank you letters, and another is selecting wedding photos from the proofs. Some of these will be blown up and framed for your wall or as gifts. But the biggest job will be selecting and organizing photos for your wedding album.

It’s up to you to choose your favorite shots, but many photographers will include a photo album service, for a fee. You’ll get professionally mounted photos, artistically presented in a keepsake album you’ll treasure forever. And take your time on this, do not RUSH it and try not to buy the album from the photographer,call or e mail and i'll tell you why...


Cheers Peter Bruce