wedding vendors

Bring out the best in your wedding party through photos

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

After all is said and done on your wedding day, you walk away with only three things that you’ll keep forever: your spouse, your memories, and your photos. The importance of wedding photography cannot be overstated. As a nationally recognized wedding photographer, I’ve learned firsthand the things that can take wedding photography from good to great, and three ways that you can do to help.

Meet with your wedding photographer & let him know what you want

How To Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Photography

1. Meet With Your Photographer BEFORE the Wedding

I know that during the wedding-planning season you have to meet with everyone from the florist, to the baker, to the candlestick maker, and that the thought of one more meeting might put you over the edge. But let me assure you, this is the meeting will pay the largest dividends.

Here’s why: Being the focal point of every shot for an entire day can feel, well, awkward. Unless you have a background in acting or modeling, it’s completely normal to feel a little shy around the camera. The actuality is that it’s not the camera you’re apprehensive around, it’s actually the person behind the camera. That makes sense if you’ve never met the person you’re trusting to document the most important day of your life! Connecting with your photographer before the event will:

  • Break the ice: so that on the wedding day when you see your photographer for the first time you won’t have to introduce yourself, but instead will feel like you’re seeing an old friend who has come to your wedding to celebrate with you.
  • Personalize your photos: During your initial meeting, you’re helping the photographers to get to know you and your fiancé: what makes the two of you tick, what you care about, and what is most important to you about your wedding day. Your photographers love capturing love; they would not be in the business if they didn’t. By letting your photographers know you as a couple, you are enabling them to capture your love story, not just another wedding.

Your wedding photos should be an expression of you

If meeting in-person is impractical, no worries! It’s 2017, Ladies and Gentlemen. Your initial meet up is a Facetime or Skype call away.

Bonus Tip:  If possible, scheduling an engagement session, bridals, or even rehearsal dinner shoot, will allow you to really get a feel for what the experience will be like when you’re in front of the camera all day.

Good lighting needed for great B/W or color

Good light makes photos great

2. Look For Good Light

Here’s a photographic myth buster: fantastic images aren’t contingent upon equipment, or the subject, or even the photographer behind the camera; fantastic images are contingent on good light. Clearly, it’s the photographers’ job to take amazing images and find the great light to do so, but you can help by asking yourself one question: Where is the light source? As you choose your venue, where you will get ready, where you will take family photos, evaluate the quality of the light and remember these two things:

  • Window light is AMAZING! Not too bright, not too dark, just right.
  • Natural light, as in from the sun, (Halogen bulbs do not count as natural) will make everyone look gorgeous.

Bonus Tip: Be familiar with your venue before the wedding day. Keep good light in mind as you decide where to get ready, where you want to have your first look etc.

Good photo capture the mystery of your love

Great photos let your love shine through

3. Serve Honey!

Weddings are stressful for everyone. And your photographers will wear several hats on your wedding day. I do EVERYTHING I can to help make the day perfect by getting every shot, being everywhere at once, cheerleading and corralling, carrying the bouquet and my cameras; I’ve got to be fun, but also efficient, flexible, but also strict with the schedule. I do this for my brides because I genuinely want their day to be the best. With that said, my suggestion is to be nice. Say ˜thank you’ throughout the day. I guarantee that your photographers will be far more willing to stay a little longer, get that one last shot, go the extra mile editing for the couples who pour out the honey of kindness and appreciation, rather than the stinging vinegar of complaints.

Bonus Tip: Show your appreciation by referring your to friends and family!

Capture the moment through photos

Looking for a creative way to fund your honeymoon or wedding expenses, such as photography? Set up a Honeyfund honeymoon register today.

Photo credits:  Photos copyright by

Bio: Ben Hartley, the lead photographer from Style & Story Creative Team, is part of the team that prides itself on telling your story of your love through beautifully crafted wedding photos. Our goal is to let our creative vision perfectly capture your event so that your joy shines through every photo. Considering ourselves your “Memory Machine,” we strive to capture the personality of each couple in not just the usual wedding shots but the otherwise forgotten moments. After building a relationship with each of our clients, we deliver the unexpected perspectives only possible from photographers who clearly know their subjects.

For information, check our website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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Must-Have Wedding Services

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

The wedding day marks the start of your exciting life together as a couple! It can be a stressful road getting to the big day. So, hopefully we can relieve some of that stress and help you enjoy the journey by sharing ten must have services we feel you need on your wedding day!

10 Essential, Must-Have Wedding Services For Your Big Day

Photography-& videography

1. Photography and Videography

Before you get to the big day, there are a few things you should arrange for, such as your photography and videography! These two services complement each other and paint the picture of your special day. They are important services as they capture your love story and the memories you will have for a lifetime, so select carefully after seeing samples of their previous work.

DJ, band, & lighting

2. The DJ, Band, and Lighting

Imagine the room filled with soft up-lighting making your reception magical, as you float across the floor during your first dance. The DJ, band, and lighting create this special experience for you! They will make sure you and your guests are dancing the night away in the perfect environment.


3. Wedding Stationary

Wedding stationary is another great service! Everything from save-the-dates to menus help guide your guest through the day. Looking to save adime? You can print wedding favors that match the design of your stationary.

Catering & rentals

4. The Catering and Rentals

Your caterer and rental company are two very important vendors that creates some of the most memorable aspects of your wedding day. These are the people working to please your pallet and provide the 5-star experience you want for your big day. Book a company that is reliable and experienced, so the rest of your details will easily fall into place.


5. The Officiant

Also, let’s not forget to arrange for your wedding officiant, as without them there wouldn’t be a wedding! Try to find someone who knows you and who is prepared to share your unique love story with guests as you become husband and wife.

Hair & make-up

6. Hair and Make-up

Pampering yourself for your wedding day is also a must! Book a hair &make-up stylist that you feel comfortable with. Meet with your specialist for a trial before the big day to ensure you love your look. It is their job to enhance your natural beauty, so you look and feel like your fabulous self!


7. The Florist

Flowers add a special touch to your wedding day! They fill the room with colors and beautiful scents to create the atmosphere you want. When you worked closely with your florist, they can match colors and themes to help give your day a magical boost.

Cakes & sweet stuff

8. The Sweet Stuff

Let’s not forget the sweetest part of the evening, the dessert! Whether you want a tall-tiered master piece or trendy cupcakes galore to satisfy the sweet tooth of your guests, work with a professional baker. If that isn’t enough sugar for you, add on a candy buffet that all your guests will love! This fun option can also double as a favor!


9. The Honeymoon

The service a lot of people overlook until the end is the honeymoon. This is your first chance to relax as husband and wife, so why wait until the last minute to plan when you can start early and get better prices! Working with a travel professional will ensure that you will get what you want from your honeymoon. You can even ask guests to donate to your honeymoon by using Honeyfund!

Wedding planner

10. The Wedding Planner/ Day of Coordinator

Head spinning from all the things I’ve mention so far? Consider hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator. Their sole job is to make sure everything gets done the way it is supposed to, so your entire experience is a little more stress free! It is our mission at NJ Wedding Pros to do just that! With packages designed to save you time and money, we can get you all of the ten services I just listed and more at one great price.

We are your one-stop wedding center!

Bio: My name is Karissa Petrellese and I am the co-owner of an event planning company called NJ Wedding Pros. NJ Wedding Pros was founded in 2009 by the Petrellese family. The owners have 30 plus years in the wedding industry by operating multiple flower shops throughout central and southern New Jersey. After being in the business for years, they serviced brides and connected them with the best wedding professionals in the state. They knew that the convenience of offering all these wedding services in one place would make wedding planning less stressful for the bride and groom. Today the company has grown to not only offering the wedding essentials but also fun favors, bridal accessories and more! We continue to make our clients happy by perfecting every detail of their special day! For more information visit our website or email

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