BLOGS 6 Ways to Survive the Wedding Planning Process in One Piece

August 8, 2019
6 Ways to Survive the Wedding Planning Process in One Piece

By Gillian Sisley

Source: Medium

Ah, wedding planning.

For some, this is a right of passage into a new chapter.

For all who are part of this process, it involves unforeseen politics and drama from family members and friends.

Even the most level-headed loved ones seem to lose their marbles as soon as the word “wedding” comes into a conversation.

I find myself endlessly boggled by the tsunami of unsolicited advice, unreasonable demands and entitled behaviour I am witnessing from people in our lives.

This is me and my fiancé’s wedding, right? We’re paying for it, so isn’t it reasonable that we should have the final say as to what takes place?

And yet, that concept highly offends some people. For reasons I cannot quite understand.

You had your special day already, Aunt Pru. Dammit, just let us have ours on our own terms!

With four months until the big day, I have gathered my top advice for any bride or groom-to-be who arelooking to survive the wedding planning process with both their sanity and dignity intact.

Disclaimer: there always be unsuspecting events pop up… hopefully, with my advice, I can guide you through how to roll with those punches tactfully and with as few casualities as possible.

Get your bearings on what you’ve got to do.

Let’s ease you in with some basic advice, before we run directly into the warzone.

A prepared wedding planner is a successful wedding planner.

It may all feel overwhelming at first, but trust me when I say you’re better off to look at that massive lists of to-dos earlier rather than later.

We followed this timeline planner, which identified every aspect we would need to consider, and how far out to consider it (based on how many months out from your wedding).

Also, get clear on your budget early and stick to it.

Over-estimate costs.

Buy elements which are under budget rather than on-budget whenever you can. It will shock you how many little hidden costs pop up out of nowhere.

And they REALLY add up in the end.

Don’t apologize for wanting what you want.

You are about to come across the biggest cluster f*ck of unsolicited opinions you’ve ever encountered in your life (unless you already have a child, then you can hope this will be not as bad as that, but I’m not making any promises).

At the end of the day, this celebration is your celebration. It’s about setting the tone for how you and your partner want to enter into this new chapter of life together.

Your taste will greatly differ from that of others. This is a no brainer, as we are all unique individuals with unique tastes, and should respect and appreciate that fact about one another.

But despite the common sense of this reality, individuals will oddly think that their taste matters more than yours, and should be taken into account.

That’s bullsh*t. If there is ever a time to put your people-pleasing aside for one massive event, this is the one!

It’s your wedding, but keep in mind that you’re still a host.

This is a tricky spot.

Especially if both you and your partner are people-pleasers. It’s important to remember that while this is “your day”, people are still taking time out of their lives to attend an event which celebrates you.

Take comfort in that reality — these people DO want to celebrate you and let you have your moment. That said, be reasonable with your requests and expectations you put on both your guests and your wedding party.

Don’t charge people to attend your wedding.

Don’t request your bridesmaids pay for an $800 dress out-of-pocket.

Just don’t be a dick and expect others to foot the bill. It’s your wedding, not theirs. They shouldn’t be paying for half of it.

Communicate early and often.

With everyone, but only on what is their business.

Be transparent with your wedding party about what costs are going to look like. Make sure both sides of the family feel equally involved (not just the bride’s side. Especially if both sides are contributing somehow financially to the wedding).

Touch base early with vendors and service providers, like your photographer, to make sure details are ironed out and you’re on the same page.

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BLOGS Insider Tips for Throwing the Perfect Summer Party

July 31, 2019
Insider Tips for Throwing the Perfect Summer Party

By Alex Hendrickson

Source: Style Blueprint

Sitting down to dinner as the sun dips into the horizon for an evening of flowing conversation and bites of the season’s fresh flavors in homemade dishes … that’s our idea of a memorable summer night. As the hostess, unwinding and admiring a job well-done evidenced in the smiles across your guests’ faces? That’s the goal!

The art of effortless entertaining does require some planning ahead, but hosting the ideal fête is not impossible to pull off. From menu planning to décor and every detail in between, these insider tips from some of our favorite Southern entertainers can help you map out your event to ensure you coast into the affair with time to spare.

Styling My Everyday’s Katie Jacobs — author, stylist, photographer, graphic designer, foodie and entertainer extraordinaire — offers a party planning checklist, plus advice on planning a summer menu, including tips on what to serve for dessert. Floral designer Mary Pinson shares creative ideas on arranging flowers and centerpieces. And finally, Mary Spotswood Underwood reminds us of ways to make summer entertaining fun, easy and interactive.

mary pinson florals

Thanks to late nights and warm evenings, summer lends itself to entertaining. Follow the advice from these wise entertainers to host a memorable soirée. Image: Mary Pinson

Party Planning Timeline

By Katie Jacobs, Styling My Everyday and Author of So Much to Celebrate

One month to two weeks before: 
✓Choose a date
✓Choose a theme (this helps bring your entire event together and guides your menu)
✓Send invitations

Two weeks before:
✓Account for place settings needed
✓Begin planning decorations
✓Plan the menu/start testing recipes (never serve a recipe you haven’t tried before)

One week before:
✓Deep clean the house
✓Create a detailed shopping list

Three days before:
✓Arrange the furniture as needed
✓Stow items you don’t want to be seen
✓Go to the grocery store (this gives you a little leeway in case you forget anything)

One day before:
✓Set the table
✓Prep all food (marinate the meat, chop all ingredients that won’t wilt before tomorrow, and make anything that’s acceptable to make ahead of time)
✓Last-minute cleaning

Day-of: Showtime!
✓Get ice
✓Empty the dishwasher so it’s ready to load after the party
✓Put up last-minute decorations
✓Change into a party outfit (get ready an hour before the party because there’s always someone on your guest list who shows up 15 minutes early)

Menu Planning

By Katie Jacobs, Styling My Everyday and Author of So Much to Celebrate

Plan a summer menu.

“When planning a menu for a summer event, remember to keep it light,” advises Katie. “Now’s the time to highlight local seasonal fare like tomatoes, corn, peaches and greens. Go to the farmers’ market and create a crudité platter around what looks fresh with homemade hummus and pesto from the garden. Serve a salad with grilled fish as your main (remembering no one wants a heavy meal in the heat of the summer), and surprise guests with glasses of champagne served with popsicles for dessert.

movie night setup

We can’t imagine anything more summery than popsicles for dessert! Image: Amy Nicole Photography for Katie’s book, So Much to Celebrate

Impress guests with dessert.

“Summer is a fun time of year to get creative with dessert. I love elevating seemingly simple classics like ice cream sandwiches, or a fruit cobbler into an elegant dessert to wow guests,” shares Katie. “Create homemade ice cream sandwiches with mini blackberry hand-pies, peach cobbler in individual ramekins with pie crust latticework, key lime pie popsicles, or over-the-top milkshakes large enough for a group to share.”

milkshake social

Serve something special for dessert — a memorable end to the affair. Guests will love an oversized milkshake to make them feel like a kid again. Image: Amy Nicole Photography for Katie’s book, So Much to Celebrate

The Décor

Tips from Mary Pinson

Use hydrangeas.

“Group together the same flower in mass for a big show,” suggests Mary. “And nothing screams summer like hydrangeas. They are readily available and look clean and crisp in collected milk glass containers. I always look for flowers from my yard (or a neighbor’s) or from the local grocery store when entertaining. Many times you are entertaining out of town at your lake house or mountain home, and no one wants to be hauling flowers from home.”

Mary also suggests skipping the floral foam, which is terrible for the environment and is not biodegradable. Instead, try chicken wire. “I used a small piece of chicken wire (available at any hardware or garden store) and clear floral tape to secure in the container. Filling up containers with water is a must! Of course, [you can put the arrangements together] the night before or the morning of the event. If your event is outside, keep flowers inside until the event.”

Use candles.

“Candles are a must for dreamy ambiance. I love the color drip candles (available from Amazon) in collected champagne bottles from special occasions,” offers Mary. “It’s an instant conversation starter as well!”

RELATED: 3 Summer Spritzers to Enjoy This Season

summer soiree

Hydrangeas scream summer, making them the ideal flower for your tablescape. And note the drip candles in the champagne bottles. Image: Mary Pinson

Think outside the box.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box for floral containers. “I love these Pamp Fizz rosé cans for vases,” says Mary. “They are bright and fun and carry a big bonus: you must drink the rosé before you can transform into a vase! They also make the perfect parting gifts for your guests (and they fit right in a cup holder for transport). Look for bunches of the same flower (hydrangeas, sunflowers, roses), and don’t be afraid to buy a mixed bunch of flowers and deconstruct them into smaller bouquets.”

summer soiree

Use something fun, such as these rosé cans, as vases. Image: Mary Pinson

Create an Experience

Tips from Mary Spotswood Underwood

Plan something interactive.

“I love to create menus that can be done mostly ahead of time but are also interactive for my guests once they arrive,” shares Mary. “Guests love being part of an experience, and one of my favorite menus during the summer is a Carolina low-country boil.” (Scroll down for her recipe that can be adjusted easily to suit 2 to 200 guests.)

“I make skillet cornbread, cocktail sauce, whole-grain mustard sauce, and the dessert in advance,” Mary continues. “I make the boil just until the point before I add the shrimp and reheat the other ingredients before the guests arrive. So, all I have to do are the final steps and the big reveal once they arrive.”

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BLOGS 17 Genius Tips and Ideas for an Effortless Outdoor Party

July 19, 2019
17 Genius Tips and Ideas for an Effortless Outdoor Party

Source: RealSimple

For a truly stress-free outdoor party and outdoor entertaining experience, you want to keep the pests—and the guests—from buzzing in your ear. Here’s how to create an oasis for a backyard party where the revelers are satiated and no one gets eaten alive. With any luck, you’ll be able to check everything off the party planning checklist and have some fun, too.

The best kind of backyard party has sharp outdoor décor ideas and fun outdoor activities, sure, but it also has plenty of food, abundant drink, and a slew of functional furnishings, including plenty of seating and dependable outdoor lighting. Pulling all these outdoor party must-haves together may seem like an insurmountable challenge, but—most of the time—it only needs to happen once every spring or summer.

Consider the first few consistently warm weeks your sign to start prepping your outdoor space. Tackle everything from replacing bulbs for the outdoor lights to cleaning outdoor cushions in one big push, then prepare to sit back and enjoy your splendid outdoor party place. Once the heavy lift is done at the start of the season, all you’ll need to do between soirees is a little refreshing; your outdoor space—whether it’s a backyard, a terrace, or a courtyard—will stay in good shape all season long, barring any major summer storms.

As with anything, hosting superb backyard bashes gets easier over time. The first one may be a major challenge; by the end of the summer, you’ll be able to pull together an outdoor party to celebrate the end of Little League, a graduation, a birthday, or whatever other toast-worthy event has just happened at the drop of a sun hat.

Whether you plan to host one backyard party or one hundred, this ultimate guide to outdoor parties will help you get there with minimal stress.

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BLOGS 5 Clever Bachelorette Party Picture Ideas That Are Anything But Cliché

July 17, 2019
5 Clever Bachelorette Party Picture Ideas That Are Anything But Cliché

By Marisa Casciano

Source: Elite Daily

Whether you’re getting married or celebrating your bestie saying, “I do,” one thing is on your mind: the bachelorette party. This is a weekend or a night spent at a dreamy hotel that’s meant for you, your girls, and a bottle or two of champagne. It’s meant for exploring a new city like Nashville, Las Vegas, or Charleston, throwing glitter in the air, and dancing until past midnight. So far, you’ve prepared for it by sending out itineraries to the rest of the bridal crew, and deciding on the outfits you’re going to wear. You’ve looked into rooftop bars, and made reservations for brunch, too. But, you still need clever bachelorette party picture ideas that are anything but cliché.

Don’t stress — I’m a self-proclaimed expert of all things related to social media and Instagram. That means I know exactly what props you need to pick up before you start celebrating the bride-to-be, and the filters that’ll make your pics glow brighter than the sun. I know the trends that are so overrated, and the ones that are timeless, like mirror selfies, captions with puns, and snaps of the wing of an airplane.

Most importantly, I have a strong imagination that can come up with an endless amount of ideas for photo shoots and Instagram-worthy experiences for your bachelorette party. (Weird brag?) Right now, I’m thinking you and the “I do” crew need to recreate these five ideas that your followers will love, because they are anything but cliché.


The first of these bachelorette party picture ideas is what I like to call, the “on cloud wine” picture. It’s for when you’re sipping a rosé or frosé with the bride-to-be on a rooftop bar, and soaking up the grape times. It’s also for when you’re making a toast and reminiscing on the memories you’ve made, and the even sweeter ones to come.

In that moment, you’ll look over at your bestie with a gleaming smile and raise your glass. Someone will be on the other side of the table or reserved room at the winery, with a DSLR camera or phone. They’ll snap a few pictures of your glasses clinking together, your bestie laughing into her Pinot Grigio, or you holding up a finger as if to say, “I’ll be there in a prosecco.”

They’ll send the pics to you so that you can find one you like and post it to social media with a wine bachelorette hashtag. Then, you’ll take a bunch of selfies, too, because wine not?



If you and the bridal crew are heading somewhere with sun, surf, and turf for the bachelorette party, then you should take a “soaking up the single life” picture. That’s because, the bride is celebrating her last moments of being “single” before she ties the knot. Of course, she’s happily committed and in love with her significant other. But, she’s also ready to bask in the sunshine, relax, and celebrate this milestone with her closest friends. Pics are #necessary.

Simply lay out on a bunch of towels in the sand, lounge chairs, or pool floats with your besties. You throw on a pair of sunnies, cue a good playlist for the beach, and strike a pose. You can toss a kiss toward the lens, or casually smile to show you’re feeling relaxed and refreshed. You can raise your arms over your head, or pretend you’re laughing because the bride-to-be said something hilarious like, “What if I forget my wedding dress on the day of?” (You’re not going to let that one happen.)

Then, you start adding in props like pineapples and freshly-made smoothies that you’ve been enjoying all afternoon. Full disclosure: Space in your camera roll will be required.

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BLOGS The coolest insider tips for picking the wedding venue of your dreams

July 12, 2019
The coolest insider tips for picking the wedding venue of your dreams

Source: The Statesman

While couples and families typically look at budget, amenities, and availability, there’s a range of dynamic factors to keep in mind while choosing the venue of your dreams.

Picking a wedding venue tops the list as one of the most important decisions a couple will make for their wedding. From logistics to decor and sometimes even your wedding date, a wedding venue plays a huge role in how a wedding unfurls. Wedding venues also end up being one of the largest expenditure items for a wedding. While couples and families typically look at budget, amenities, and availability, there’s a range of dynamic factors to keep in mind while choosing the venue of your dream while keeping the budget intact.

In a survey conducted by a content to commerce wedding platform amongst 200+ couples to understand the challenges they faced while picking a venue of their own:

The survey threw light on some interesting challenges that included:

• 42% of couples reported that the decor/stage was not up to mark

• 31% said that their venue wasn’t prepared to handle power cuts and

• 36% reported that they wanted more separation between the preparation of veg and non-veg food

• 68% ended up spending more money than they originally set aside

Keeping this in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind while booking a venue for your D-day:

Go with clubbed services: Since venues form a major chunk of wedding expenses, going with a service provider that clubs multiple services such as décor and catering services is optimal. Apart from saving it also makes for a more seamless experience decreasing the hassle of multiple vendors.

Don’t forget to ask for more: Don’t shy away from asking for inclusions in the package. Many venues provide extended music hours, complimentary buffet plates, and free valet parking. While booking a venue, ask your vendor for complimentary services to get the most out of your experience.

Importance of lighting and decoration: When done well, lighting and décor can make everything look better, from your wedding cake to your guests. The venue affects the choice of lighting and decoration so before booking remember that some properties have beautiful gardens that require minimum décor and lighting for a day function while others might require a heavy glow. So choose wisely to save big on electricity. For example, If looking for indoor spaces, book banquet halls with good lighting that can be combined with décor and extra lights for a nice effect.

Accessibility & Logistics: While wedding venues are the mainstay for those picture perfect wedding memories, the experience behind the scenes is as important. Ensure that you check for accessibility to the venue (for senior members of the families), ample parking spots for same city weddings, a generator back-up, functional water services, and clean dressing rooms for the bride and the groom.

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BLOGS How to build the perfect summer playlist

July 10, 2019
How to build the perfect summer playlist

By Dom Brazeau

Source: Collegian

As summertime approaches, BBQs and other parties will be in full effect. Whether you’re hosting these parties or have been given the aux, making the perfect summer playlist can be important.

When you think of summer you think of sunny skies, warm weather and feeling good. All of these create an upbeat sensation. Many artists have made a career off summery sounds such as Calvin Harris, Drake and DJ Khaled. All of these artists have songs with a tropical sound.

Songs like “Passionfruit” by Drake, “Slide” by Calvin Harris, “Signs” by Drake and “I’m the One” by DJ Khaled all have a tropical vibe that can act as the backbone of a playlist. Now that you have a start, you can add a variety of moods with modern songs in the other tracks. Laid back tunes to play with the windows down or a song entitled to be played at full volume are both acceptable options. Songs like these include “Drip Too Hard” by Lil Baby and Gunna “Provider” by Frank Ocean, “Sauce It Up” by Lil Uzi Vert or “Sunflower” Post Malone and Swae Lee.

Finally, a playlist can’t be complete without a couple of throwbacks. Whether it’s from the 1980s or the early 2000s, every playlist has some older tunes. Songs like “So Fresh, So Clean” by OutKast, “P.Y.T” by Michael Jackson, “This Charming Man” by The Smiths and “Santeria” by Sublime are universal crowd-pleasers. No one wants to hear the same song over and over again. Make sure you have a wide range of songs and artists. The playlist can be as big as you want.

Most importantly, you need to make the playlist your own. Add the songs you personally love. Add the songs that remind you of summertime. A song or album that you listened to all of last summer is a great choice. A song that you and your friends love is another option. Music is totally based on taste, so add your taste.

Hopefully, this helps you enjoy your summer with the perfect playlist to relax in the sun with. See my summer playlist below.

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BLOGS The 10 Lists You Need to Make to Plan a Great Party or Event

July 2, 2019
The 10 Lists You Need to Make to Plan a Great Party or Event

By Rashelle Isip

Source: Life Hack

Are you thinking about throwing a surprise birthday party for your best friend?

Maybe you want to organize a special retirement luncheon for your longtime coworker.

The easiest way to keep track of all the different tasks and activities associated with planning a function is to simply create lists. Splitting up your list into smaller ones allows you to focus on specific items at any given time.

Here are 10 lists to create to help make your next event or party a success.

1. Theme list.

Are you going to have a specific theme for your party or event? Are you having a historical costume party, an under-the-sea event, an ’80s dance party, or a black-tie silent auction or raffle? This list is a good place to start collecting all the different details surrounding your particular theme, from special food, to props or decorations to purchase or rent. You can further break out all these different list items into any of the lists mentioned below for even more detail.

2. Budget list.

How much are willing to spend for your party or event? Is it a little…or is it a lot? You can approach building this list from two different angles. The first is to decide on the total amount of money you’re willing to spend for the whole event and start to divvy up your funds according to food, decorations and the like. Your second option is to start to price out the individual costs of food, decorations and rentals and come up with the total amount of money it will cost to throw your party.

3. Invite list.

Whom do you want to invite to your event? This list can be more than just your list of guests. Who are the attendees, speakers, guests of honor, emcees, vendors, exhibitors, party or event helpers, and organizers? If you’re sending out invitations, you could also create a list with all the preliminary event details, such as the date, time, location, dress code, RSVP date and information, whether invitees can bring guests or not, and so on.

4. RSVP list.

Slightly different from your invite list, this list is a way to keep track of all the people who will be attending your event. Who’s coming? Are they bringing any guests? If so, how many? Do your invitees have any special requests or concerns when it comes to attending your event? Will people have any assistants, helpers, or workers coming with them the day of the event or party?

5. Decoration list.

What type of decorations are you going to have at your event? Will you have streamers, balloons, flowers, ribbons, centerpieces, sculptures, artwork, confetti, wall or freestanding signage, plastic toys, trellises, tablecloths, seat coverings or party favors? Use your imagination and write down everything that comes to mind that you might like to have when it comes to decorations.

6. Food and drink list.

It’s time to eat, drink and be merry! Well, at least to list the items to do so, anyway. What items do you already have on hand and what items will you need to buy? Don’t forget to list out any recipes you’ll need to find or use when it comes to preparing refreshments. Something else to consider as you prepare your list: will you have to make a trip to one store or to many different stores?

7. Supplies list.

What supplies will you need to pick up? Do you need: tables, chairs, plates, knives, forks, spoons, serving dishes and bowls, scissors, tape, napkins, tablecloths, speakers, channel mixers, jacks, extension cords, trash bags or duct tape? Write down anything and everything you can possibly think of when it comes to supplies.

8. Music playlist.

Whether you’re DJing your own party or having a professional DJ mix tunes on the turntables, it helps to have a music playlist prepared and ready. You could make note of all the different songs you’d want to play at your event, or maybe you already have several playlists in mind you’d like to collect and play.

9. Day-of-the-party/event to-do list.

This list will be your go-to guide for all the different tasks you need to attend to on the big day. Will you need to set up decorations, prepare food, buy last-minute supplies, do some cleaning, pick up guests from the airport or train station, set up tables and chairs, or set up electronic equipment?

10. Cleanup list

The party may be over, but that doesn’t mean your work is finished! Make a list of all the final items you’ll need to attend to, from returning supplies or decorations to their original owners, to taking out the trash, washing dishes, and mopping the floor. Besides, having a list in hand will make it easy to answer a guest who kindly asks you, “Is there anything I can do to help you?” Not too bad for making a list ahead of time, huh?

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BLOGS Top 9 Tips For Taking Better Event Photographs

June 27, 2019
Top 9 Tips For Taking Better Event Photographs

Source: Snappr

Photographing events can be a real challenge. Quite simply, preparation and prior photography experience are highly recommended. It requires you to be constantly aware of your surroundings and take decent photographs without disturbing the guests.

Below are seven tips on how to prepare and execute the photography for your next event.

1. Preparation

Before we get into how to improve your event photography, preparation logistics will save you heaps of time and help identify critical flaws and errors. Take this time as an advantage to understand your surroundings.

Here are some points to consider before you take photos for the upcoming event.

Do your research

Research about who is at the event, what the event is about, when particular activities are happening during the event and where specific activities are held, so you don’t miss out important moments.

Have a Photography List

Having a photography shoot list is a great tool between yourself and the client. It ensures all things are covered, and it will save you a heck amount of time and peace of mind!

Dress Appropriately

Photographers should wear something neutral in colour. Bright colours would be quite distracting and risky as they might create a colour cast from the light reflected from the photographer’s clothing and onto the subject. So most photographers wear black or grey. Also, make sure your shoes are comfortable and quiet! Nothing’s worse than trying to sneak across a room during a speech or ceremony with loud shoes on!

However, prior discussion with your client is your best shot in understanding on what to wear.

2. Have the right gear

You don’t need a load of fancy equipment to do event photography. Generally, an external power flash with diffuser or reflector, full frame DSLR with a mid range zoom, spare batteries and memory cards are the key elements for you to take with you.

If it is a speaking event in a large hall, a telephoto lens is essential. If it’s a super compact venue packed with people, then a wide is a must. Don’t have one? Consider borrowing from a friend or hiring one for the for the day.

For more serious events, a second body camera is recommended. This would save you from having to switch lenses regularly. It is important to note that some clients would expect you to bring other equipment such as distinct backdrops for photo booths (for example). In saying this, prior discussion with your client is important to meet their expectations.

3. Rock up early and take pre-event photos

Arrive around 15 – 30 mins early, depending on the style of the event. This is the time where you can build the relationship with the guest at the event. That way when the event starts, they would be more comfortable with you asking for a photo. This is also the time to take pre-event setup shots.

4. Take action shots

Now that we got preparation all sorted, the next step is to know what makes a good event photograph. Action shots at an event are far more interesting than people posing for a photo. It is a lot more interesting to share a photograph of Mary throwing her bouquet in the air, with all the ladies at the back getting ready to see who will catch it first, than be taking a photo of the person who caught it in the end. You get the point. Be quick! Event photography requires you to be constantly on your toes and ready to take a shot. You never know what’s going to happen. Always be on the lookout!

5. Know when to use flash

Us photographers love the feel of natural lightning. However, understanding how and when to use artificial light can be of great value in low-light situations and environments.

Indoors: Churches, Weddings, Corporate Events

When taking event photography indoors, it is strongly recommended that you use an external flash where it can be bounced off a white ceiling or wall for a more natural look. Remember TTL mode is your best friend when it comes to using external flashes. Though, don’t be afraid to adjust your flash exposure compensation for greater results.

Outdoors – Festivals, Sports

I know a lot of photographers who don’t bother with flash outdoors, or they think flash looks unnatural. You’ve just got to use it in the right situations; when your subject is poorly lit, when shooting backlight or overpowering the sun to avoid heavy shadows.

6. Get up and personal

Photos of people in a large room doesn’t reveal much besides the number of people that attended. It is more interesting to go up and meet people, have a chat and then take their photo.

7. Frame the shot

Groups of 3 – 5 people landscape is a good shoot composition. Mix up your shots with full body, medium shots and head shots. Crop tightly and avoid white or blank space unless that is the look you are going for. Step back a bit and use a longer focal length. You don’t want distortion now do you?

8. Shoot in RAW image format

This almost goes without saying, but if you want to get high quality photos, you have to shoot in RAW. RAW format records all data from the sensor, giving you the highest possible quality you can get. Especially in low-lit events, it would be quite hard to adjust JPEG format using Lightroom or Photoshop. Using RAW will make your life easier in correcting overly underexposed and overexposed images. I can go on forever into why shooting is RAW is awesome but do use it if you have enough space on your drives!

9. Don’t take photos of people shoving food into their mouth or when their mouth is open

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BLOGS 12 Tips For Expert Event Photography

June 25, 2019
12 Tips For Expert Event Photography

By Anabel DFlux

Source: Expert Photography

Event photography is a fun and exciting niche. But capturing that once in a lifetime moment can pose some technical challenges.

From special events like weddings to concerts to sporting events, here are 12 event photography tips to take your images to the next level.

1. What Event Photography Gear Do You Need

A black and white event photography shot of a crowd in the interior of a bar or concert venue The equipment you use will either make or break your event photography.
In my experience, events mean photographing in low light situations.
There are plenty of events that are done outside in the daytime as well. But the most common in event photography take place indoors in low light.
This means you’ll need to carefully consider the equipment you bring with you.
Let’s have a look at which camera body, lenses and lighting equipment is best.

Camera Body

For indoor event photography, you want to pack your best low light camera. There are other factors that matter but low light capability is the most important.
Look for models that have less noise at higher ISO levels and more sensitive sensors. These do well in difficult lighting situations.
In general, cameras with higher megapixel counts pick up the details better. But the higher the megapixel count, the larger the file size.
Make sure you stock up on a large SD or compact flash card.
For outdoor event photography, camera bodies that are fast will do you wonders. Pay attention to the frames per second.
And consider the camera’s weight. You’ll be carrying the equipment around for hours on end!


The quality of the final image is influenced by the type of lens used. For event photography in low light, I suggest only looking at lenses with a max f/stop of 2.8. Lower is even better.
Using a lens that goes down to f/1.8, for example, is a great way to let enough light in and make the frame bright. The wider the aperture, the more light enters the camera and the shallower the depth of field.
Shallow depth of field is a great stylistic choice. Having one subject in focus with the rest blending into a bokeh makes for a visually pleasing and simplified image.
Luxury glass, prime, ART, and such higher end lenses are sharper and clearer than other lenses. They are also faster and more reliable.
As a general rule, fixed millimetre lenses tend to be sharper than lenses with a range. The downside to fixed is that you have zoom with your feet if you want to adjust the composition.
When looking at lenses, or a selection of lenses, consider your shooting distance as well.

Lighting Equipment

For very dark event spaces, the portable artificial lighting you bring is important. Some photographers opt for flash while others use continuous light.
Flashes are easy to use and are the more popular choice. But if you’re inexperienced, the light can end up looking harsh. Here’s a great article why you should avoid your on-camera flash and use an off-camera flash instead.
Continuous light is much easier to use, but can be a nuisance or distracting to the event. Keep both of those in mind when deciding what lighting equipment to use.

Extra Batteries and Extra Cards

You don’t want to be stuck with a full or corrupted memory card and/or a dead battery.
Always pack extras, and throwing in a car charger isn’t a bad idea either!

2. Best Camera Settings for Event Photography

A newly wed couple reclining on rocks at the beach - event photography tips I’ve found that switching the camera to burst mode and continuous focus works best for event photography. The burst setting is a must-have when guests are moving about quickly.
Continuous focus has different names depending on the camera brand (AI Servo for Canon users or AF-C for Nikon users).
It allows your camera to lock at your subject and follow it around as it moves.
Camera settings also play a role in your style, or the style that the client wants.

3. How to Manage Your Client’s Expectations and Needs

Two cute dogs in party hats posing at the beach This is a fundamental skill for all professional photographers. Having an open dialogue between yourself and your client is key to getting the best shots.
You need to ask your clients important questions such as these:

  • What event is this?
  • What kind of images do you want from this event? Are you looking for headshots?
  • What are the most important moments?
  • What style of photography do you like?
  • What do you not like?

No one wants a disappointing event photography shoot because there was miscommunication. By speaking to your client, you can make sure that your client is well aware of the limits of the photo session.
Make sure that they understand what to expect from your services. If your client has hired an event organizer, speak to them about expectations.

4. A Shot List Will Help You Capture Those Key Photos

A black and white event photography shot of a man speaking or singing into a microphone onstage A shot list is a checklist of the images you want to capture during a shoot. Whether it is a birthday party or an industry mixer, a shot list can help you and your client organise better.
Your client will know what to expect from you, and you’ll know what to provide. You can make sure that your client is well aware of the limits of the photo session. And that they understand what to expect from your services.
The shot list also acts as on-paper proof. Your client can’t claim that you missed a shot that wasn’t disclosed to you.
A shot list ensures that no critical images are missing from your photo shoot. Nothing is worse than not capturing a photograph that your client really, really wanted.
Ask the event organizer for help here, if there is one. They can point out the key attendees for corporate event photos, for example. Or the key people at a high school reunion event.
All of this being said, really do be diligent about key moments. The thing about events is, they only happen once!

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BLOGS How to Decorate Your Space for a Party

June 18, 2019
How to Decorate Your Space for a Party

By Lauren Thomann

Source: The Spruce Crafts

There are so many reasons to throw a celebration, and there are even more ways to decorate for said celebration. Even if you aren’t crafty, spending some time to make your place more festive will contribute to the success of the event you’re throwing.

These DIY party decor ideas are suitable for a wide range of get-togethers. Each party decoration will enhance the ambiance of your event without costing you a ton of money in the process.

Create an Insta-Worthy Wall

DIY Photo Backdrop for Parties

Photo booths are always a party hit, but now bright photo backdrops have taken over Instagram feeds. Design a festive, colorful wall using crepe paper and glue dots—this project is fast, cheap, and it will last the whole party. Watch or take part as your guests snap selfies and “candids” for their ‘grams.

Build a Brilliant Balloon Arch

DIY balloon arch

Add extra pizazz and pop to your party with a pretty balloon arch. All it takes is a few colors of balloons, wire, and command hooks to take your space to the next level. You can use it as a photo booth background or as a little style boost above a gift or light bites table.

DIY a Festive Tassel Garland

diy tassel garland

A colorful garland fashioned from tissue paper and twine is not only easy, cheap, and colorful, it’s versatile to fit any celebration. Dress up a dessert or snack table, frame a mantel, or jazz up a doorway. There are endless ways to incorporate this fun fringe garland into your next party.

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