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Who should I pick to be my bridesmaids? After you get engaged, your first thoughts are, what date will be the best for us and our family.  Then you proceed to think, I have always wanted an outdoor wedding, where should we have our wedding? Locations add to the fun of your wedding. After all the hub-bub of when and where, you ask yourself, who?   Who should I choose to be my bridesmaids?

Bridesmaids are usually chosen based on how close certain people are to you.  Maybe a childhood friend or and very close cousin.   In my opinion I think the people you choose should make you, the bride, happy, laugh, and have your back.  After all, this is the most important day of your life and you will need the people who can detour stress, fears and create an easy going environment during your wedding day. After 13 years of shooting weddings, I pretty much have seen and heard it all.  It makes me cringe to hear after the wedding that you and a certain bridesmaid or MOH are no longer friends based on events that happened at your wedding. Choosing your bridesmaids needs to be like choosing your girls that will go to war for you.  That being said, enjoy the images below.

Orange County Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photographers

Orange County Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photographers

Orange County Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photographers

Orange County Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photographers

Orange County Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photographers

Orange County Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photographers

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Ok, so now that your engaged, Now what?  Where do I start…  After the dust settles from the excitement of your engagement. Most couples try to figure out where to start with their planning endeavors. The majority of the time the first thing that is thought about is “Where should we get married?” Once that is taken care of, usually the next step is to start shopping for your photographer.  Lately, with the increase of quality that digital cameras have to offer, you are finding more and more people calling themselves “Professional Photographers”.  We would like to give you a few tips on what to look for when you are soliciting Wedding Photographers.

  1. The Photographer’s Visual Perspective: It is sometimes referred to as the photographer’s eye.  Here is where you need to take notice to what the photographer sees during the day of events. How do these images make you feel? Are they unique or do they look like every other photographer’s work you’ve looked at. Do they look extremely staged? Does the bride and groom look uncomfortable? Does they look like they are having fun?  Are they romantic enough for you?  Are they too riske for you? Do they tell a story?  Finally, which photographer’s work puts a smile on your face and do you feel connected to.
  2. The Photographer’s Experience: In my opinion, experience is a big factor.  It’s important that the photographer that you are gravitating to has experience dealing with the day’s hectic people and schedule. Don’t base your choices on costs.  Wedding days consist of lots of emotions, personalities, and sometimes egos.  The question you should ask yourself is “Does this photographer have what it takes to deal with my families diverse dynamics?”  It’s important for a wedding photographer to be “Chameleon Like” to fit in with the mother of the groom that can’t stand the new wife…   Or the overly eager wedding coordinator that has her job to do. Even your crazy uncle Leo who decides that the line at the appetizer bar is more important than the family photos that he’s supposed to be in. With experience comes patients and an understanding of what a client’s needs are. We are contacted 6-8 times a year to create an album for clients who’s photographer has either gone out of business or just handed them a disc of images. This is a dis-service. It is important that your photographer has the ability to create these memories for you to enjoy with your family.
  3. The ole’ Switch-e-roo.  Now that you’ve decided on what studio will be photographing your wedding. Be sure to get in writing that the photographer you chose (hired) will be the photographer that will show up to your wedding.  Some companies offer multiple shooters to choose from. Others offer services and often double, and even triple book weddings on any given day. Sending any photographer to cover your event. Make sure that the photographer that you interviewed and who’s work you fell in love with, will be the same photographer that will photograph your wedding.

Finally, A photographer with an easy going personality with experience that is flexible enough to fulfill your needs would be your best choice. Ultimately, you should love their photography and there products that they have to offer. Great photography + great personality+ great products  + awesome experience = Happy Clients (Bride & Groom)

These are just a few tips to help you choose the right wedding photographer f0r you. We hope that this article was helpful for you while you are planning your beautiful wedding.  I wrote this article to share an insider’s point of view.  It’s through experience and having had the privilege of photographing hundreds of weddings  that I consider myself both an expert on wedding photography and an expert wedding photographer.  I really hope that you’ve found this article useful in your search to get the best wedding images from your wedding photographer.

If you have any questions about our wedding photography, Please contact us at the links below. Feel free to share this post on your facebook page by clicking the share button below.

Written By Miguel Pola

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Every once in a while I run into a great article of information. My buddy Diana Romero of Ah Le Party Wedding & Event Planning wrote a nice little article on tips for your guest list. You can read it here or visit her blog to read it.  Thanks Diana for the wonderful bits of info you provide for brides. We at Miguel Pola Photographers would like to wish all the newly engaged couples who got engaged of the Holidays the Warmest of Congratulations on your engagement.  Be sure to browse our Wedding portfolio to see some of our amazing couples.

 

 

10 Great Guest List Tips

1. Create a guest total depending on your venue limitations and budget
2. Create an A and B list with the A list having the total guest count number
3.  If one side is paying for the wedding such as the Father of the Bride, please set a limit on their list
4.  It is appropriate to give both families the same limit on their lists
4. It isn’t necessary to invite all of your co-workers.  Only invite co-workers if you associate with them outside of the office
5.  Mail out your invitations to your A list ten weeks before the wedding
6.  Write the names of who is invited on the envelope to clarify who is invited (for example just the parents names if children are not included)
7.  As you receive regrets from your A list guests, begin sending out invitations to your B list
8.  Children?  Inviting children costs less as a whole since they eat less and take up less space
9.  If you are inviting single friends keep in mind that if they have a significant other, it is appropriate to invite the significant other
10.If you receive RSVP cards with a number higher than invited, kindly inform the guests that there are venue limitations

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Yay! we have a new feature for our blog. Along with our blog posts we will be including featured guest bloggers every once in a while. Which will be great, because we will be able to create a great resource for brides to be.
Meet, Diana Romero From Ah! Le Party Wedding Planning. I first met Diana In 2008 when we worked a gorgeous wedding together at the Prado Balboa Park in San Diego. Ah! Le Party is a San Diego based full service wedding & event planning company. Diana Romero who is the owner and lead coordinator established Ah! Le Party in October of 2004. Diana has coordinated over 70 weddings and has a great team of assistants that work closely with her. Diana has been writing wedding articles for a few years and loves to offer brides tips on all wedding planning aspects. The following are great cost saving wedding planning tips to keep in mind for couples on a budget. If you have any questions, Diana’s email is ahleparty@yahoo.com. Diana loves hearing from couples!
 Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photographers

• The most important thing to do in the beginning is to create the budget and guest list so you know what you can allocate to each area.
• When you are hiring vendors and buying wedding items stay within your financial parameters.
• Acquire vendor referrals that are within your budget from your wedding coordinator.
• Give yourself plenty of time to decide on who you hire and what you buy. Any rush decisions at times leaves you spending more than you are prepared for.
• Get married during an off-peak time such as Fall, Winter and early Spring.
• Have your wedding during a time that’s not in high demand, such as a Sunday or Friday.
• Have a smaller guest list and do not include coworkers you do not associate with outside of work, children and those haven’t seen in five years or more.
• Buy flowers that are in season and simplify the number of flowers in bouquets and centerpieces (I have seen bridesmaids carry one cal lily or one rose).
• When buying flowers, avoid peak-times such as Valentines, Mother’s Day and Easter.
• If you have a church ceremony, make your own pew decorations or do not have pew decorations.
• Hire a DJ that will cover both the ceremony and the reception to save on ceremony music costs.
• Ask a friend to sing during your ceremony.
• Have a smaller bridal party – this saves on money for flowers, transportation etc.
• Attend bridal fairs where you are able to talk to multiple vendors and take advantage of bridal fair discounts and promotions.
• If you want to have a second photographer, do so only at the wedding ceremony.
• Instead of a plated dinner reception, have a breakfast, brunch, lunch, cocktail, or hors d’oeuvres reception.
• Know your guests – not everyone eats desert so only order wedding cake for the amount of guests who will have cake and keep in mind some guests will leave before the cake cutting.
• Have a smaller decorative wedding cake and have sheet cake served to the guests.
• Place one favor for every two chairs rather than every chair.
• Use place cards or centerpieces that double as favors.
• Purchase less expensive cake cutting items and toasting goblets or use the ones provided by the venue
• Order less programs – for example if you have 100 guests, order 40-50 because not everyone will pick up a program
• Create your own save the dates.
• Stick with smaller wedding invitations which are less expensive and will require less postage.
• Wear a less formal gown or a white bridesmaid dress.
• Hire a wedding planner. They usually have access to industry discounts that you don’t. (They also have cost saving tips and can keep you on track on referring vendors within your budget. A wedding planner saves you money in more than one way! ) Visit http://www.ahleparty.com

Written by Diana RomeroAh! Le Party Wedding Planning ~ http://www.ahleparty.com

So there you have it right from a actively working full time Wedding Planner. You can reach Diana Romero By visiting her website on the links above. And because blog posts are no fun without photos, here is some eye candy. :)

 Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photographers

 Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photographers

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Found this on another photographers site, Great article!… So true! Great article written by Grant & Deb. Thanks for such a real article. Miguel

So you’re meeting your prospective wedding photographer for the first time. You found them on a Google search, and their site seems nice enough. But how do you really know they are the best for you?

The easiest answer is also the most ridiculous; in 30 initial minutes you can’t. BUT … there are a few things you can look for to become more comfortable with your decision.

1. Relationship – Relationship – Relationship
The absolute most important aspect to you reaping the results you desire from your final wedding photography is that you fall in LOVE with your wedding photographer(s). And by LOVE I don’t mean you’d ebay your rings, cancel your date and marry them – but I do mean you feel so comfortable that you’d be able to brag about them to your closest friends or have them over for dinner at your house.

A wedding photographer worth hiring doesn’t take pictures, and that sounds totally weird, I know. A great wedding photographer isn’t really a photographer at all but an artist who uses a camera and lens to paint and CAPTURE MOMENTS in digital files filled with emotion and passion. Their images – each and every one – CAPTURE a narrative or story that with one glance creates an emotion from the viewer; namely you. ANYBODY can take a picture, especially with the advances in today’s geeky low-priced digital cameras. But only true wedding photography ARTISTS can capture your story with passion and emotion.

Someone who is bestowed such a precious and significant task as being your ONLY wedding photographer must be someone you absolutely love and admire. In fact, a true wedding photography artist will almost always be easy to be comfortable with because they themselves are depending on building a strong relationship with you so they may better understand what is important to your final outcome.

2. Passion
Ask your prospective wedding photographer if they take their cameras with them to family birthday parties or if they shoot pictures of their niece’s soccer games. Only someone passionate about their craft integrates that passion into their lives – and a great wedding photography artist always integrates their passion into their lives.

When you’re sitting across the table from them, how do they make you feel? Are you getting excited about your day as they talk about their involvement? When they talk about their product, do they exhibit a kind of giddiness or are they just selling? What adjective comes to your mind to describe them if you were asked 5 minutes after you’ve left the appointment?

Passion HAS to at least be a likely adjective you could choose. If not? Run – do not walk – to the next photographer.

You see – any great wedding photography artist is in the “game” for more than just the coin. They are always – and I mean always – looking to become your wedding photographer because they are passionate about painting your special story with the lenses of their camera that tell the story through fine art photography. In fact, a passionate wedding photography artist will always be a remarkable artist.

3. No new stress – please!
The wedding photographer sitting across the table from you has no idea what your plans are for your upcoming fairy-tale day. In fact, just because they’ve taken pictures for hundreds of brides before you, there are no other weddings even close in style or substance as yours, period.

If your prospective wedding photographer isn’t asking the right questions of you, questions pertaining to your day, how YOU plan it to unfold, how many bridesmaids, groomsmen, the venue, is there going to be dancing, will your dad walk you down the aisle, who your maid-of-honor is and who she is to you …

If they are insisting on showing you their previous work, and how awesome they are, and who they’ve photographed before ever asking about how YOU envision your day? RUN – do not walk – to the next prospective photographer.

The most counter-productive and stressful situation is to have your wedding photographer not clearly understand your time line. And the best scenario in this situation is to have a needy, whiney, and question ridden person running around taking pictures creating more stress. The worst scenario? They don’t ask and subsequently don’t GET the pictures you envisioned. In either scenario? Stress and disaster.

Actually, the absolute BEST scenario is a wedding photographer who sits across the table and interviews YOU. That’s right, you’ve invited them to the table to choose them – but what you really want is someone who wants to work with you because you both click. Someone who asks you a bunch of questions, and diligently writes down YOUR answers about YOUR day as they interview YOU. Why? Because when they truly understand YOUR day, and how it will unfold, you have found someone who doesn’t need to create stress on your day (or before), you’ve found someone capable of discovering and understanding what you want prior to your day. Someone who can click with you (and hopefully – FOR you – wink).

4. Show me your stuff
More than likely, you’ve seen a lot of your prospective wedding photographer’s work (and probably their best work) from their web site. And having a look at an album or prints or canvas or … is a good thing too. But understand this, nothing they show you across the table is going to be what you get – ever. You are seeing a compilation of work from perhaps their best work, which is understandable. But even on a perfect day, no two weddings are the same, nor are any two wedding albums, or prints, or … the same.

Obviously your wedding photographer needs to be able to nail their focus, and exposures, and all of those technical photography details in order to even be considered. But, going back to the number one “must” – other bride’s relationships with your photographer have got to be great.

Ask your potential wedding photographer to give you a couple of brides you can contact. And when they provide those names, call those brides and ask one question; “What do you remember most about Photographer xx?” That’s it! You’ll get the whole story from that one question. And the best part? You’ll also get your answer overall from that question.

5. It’s gotta be fun
Ask the wedding photographer this question; “So what do you do for fun?” Not that you need to care WHAT they do for fun – but you do care if they do anything that IS FUN.

Just because your wedding photographer will be working as a “vendor” on your awesome day does NOT mean they have to portray it as work. They have to have fun at it – and you’ve got to have fun at it – and that does NOT mean it’s up to you to make it fun. THEY have to make it fun – the whole day. It may be 98 degrees in the shade or 2 below zero – but THEY have to be able to roll with the punches or change direction at any given time and still make it fun and stress-free for your entire party.

And there is really no way to know if that person you just met is that person other than to know they know how to have fun on their own, hence “So what do you do for fun?”

Fun = happy. Stress = ugly. Which do you choose?

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