Wedding Traditions

The June Bride and Popular Wedding Traditions

Wedding season begins to really take off in the spring time. The invitations start rolling in and the calendar starts filling up. And those of us who have attended a wedding or two (or many!) have come to expect certain traditions throughout the wedding day. The bride will wear white and carry a bouquet, there will be a wedding party with bridesmaids and a best man, and there will be cake to eat and confetti to throw. And while we are all familiar with these customs, not many of us know where they originated from. Let’s take a trip back in time and find out where these traditions began.

The June Bride

The idea that June is the best month to get married dates back to Roman times, as June was the month of the God Juno and his wife Jupiter, the Goddess of marriage and childbirth. It also dates back to the times when most people lived off the land and depended on the harvests for survival. A June wedding meant that the woman would (hopefully) be newly pregnant in summer time and still able to help with manual work. And after a spring birth the mother would be in good enough health to help with the next summer harvest.

There is also a popular myth that in early medieval times people only bathed once a year, usually at the end of May or beginning of June, and they wanted to marry when they smelled their best.

Bridal Shower

The bridal shower originated in 16th century Holland. The story goes that a well off young woman fell in love with a poor man, instead of the wealthy man her father had chosen for her. Her father was so upset with her choice that he refused to pay her dowry. All the villagers came together and showered the young woman with gifts so she had enough of a dowry to marry the man she loved.

In Victorian times women would throw a small party for the bride to be and place small gifts they had brought into a parasol. They would then open the parasol above the bride’s head and she would be showered with gifts.

Bachelor Party

The bachelor party originated in Ancient Sparta and not much has changed since that time. Male friends of the groom to be would gather together for a feast to celebrate his last single night and would spend the night drinking and toasting.

The bachelorette party didn’t arise until the 1960’s with the start of the sexual revolution, when women also wanted one last single celebration.

Don’t Peek the Bride

It is a commonly held belief that it is bad luck for the groom to see his bride before the wedding. This tradition dates back to when most marriages were arranged by parents. The father of the bride didn’t want the groom to see his bride, in case the girl was unattractive and the groom decided to back out of the marriage contract.

White Wedding

The custom of the bride wearing white is not a very old one and, contrary to popular belief, is not in order to show the bride’s purity. It was Queen Victoria who started the trend of brides wearing white, at her wedding in 1840. Prior to this, royalty and the very wealthy would have dresses made in expensive fabrics such as silk, velvet, and fur dyed in rich and bold colours. Poorer brides would just wear the best dress they already owned. Queen Victoria chose white because it was the colour of a favorite lace of hers. After her wedding, wealthy women all over Europe began to ask for white wedding dresses to emulate the Queen, and the trend has lasted to this day!

Bridesmaids

This tradition comes from Ancient Rome, when the bridesmaids would be dressed identically to the bride to confuse evil spirits who might try to harm the bride on her wedding day. In Victorian times bridesmaids would wear short white dresses with short veils. By the 20th century only the bride would wear white, so as to stand out from the others.

The Best Man

This is believed to have originated from the Germanic Goths, when men would often steal their bride from a neighboring village and would need the help of their ‘best man’ to capture her. The best man also walked the bride up the aisle and stood beside her during the ceremony to ‘protect’ her from getting stolen back by her family.

The Bouquet

In ancient times brides wore or carried bouquets of herbs that had special meanings. Garlic was to cast off evil spirits, sage was for wisdom and dill was for lust. Flower girls would carry sheaves of wheat as a symbol of fertility. In medieval times the herbs had the added effect of covering unpleasant body odors.

Around the 1700’s people began carrying pretty bouquets of flowers, and the flowers held specific meanings. Roses were for love, ivy for fidelity, lilies for purity and orange blossoms for happiness.

The throwing of the bouquet started because brides were considered very lucky on their wedding day, and the guests wanted some of the luck to rub off onto them. They use to tear pieces off of the wedding dress to keep as a talisman of good luck. Brides were not fond of this tradition so they would throw their bouquet and garter to guests so that they could have a keepsake without tearing apart the dress.

Something Old, Something New

This is an Olde English Rhyme that states, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a silver sixpence in your shoe.” These stood for the five items a bride should carry on her wedding day. The something old is for continuity, new is for optimism, borrowed is for something borrowed from a happily married person so their good fortune will rub off and blue is for purity, love and fidelity. The silver sixpence was for good fortune.

Wedding Cake

In Ancient Rome bread was broken over the bride’s head for good fortune, and then the bride and groom would eat some of the crumbs and the guests would gather the rest for good luck. In medieval England cakes were stacked on top of each other as high as possible and the bride and groom would have to kiss over top of it. The cutting of the cake and the distribution of it was to be done only by the bride to ensure her fertility. Eventually cakes became so big and elaborate the groom had to help her, and before they would distribute it they would share a piece to symbolize their union.

Throwing Confetti

In Roman times guests of the wedding would throw grains of rice on the married couple to represent their fertility. In France, wheat was thrown at the couple for the same reason. Italians threw sugared almonds, which is where the word confetti came from. Eventually people began to throw flower petals, paper confetti or birdseed.

Honeymoon

This can be traced back to the 5th Century when people closely followed the lunar calendar. The newly married couple would be gifted mead (a type of honey ale) to drink during the first moon of their marriage. The first recorded description of the word honeymoon comes from 16th century and referred to the sweetness and happiness that would be experienced during the first month of marriage, but would only be for a fleeting time. The travel component started in 19th century Britain when the couple would travel with friends and family to visit those who were unable to attend the wedding.

Past Meets Present

It is so interesting to see how customs got their start, and how some have changed so much in meaning. Today marriage is a celebration of two people in love, but in the past was more of a contract to bring families together and bear offspring. The traditions reflect the social, religious and economic rules of the societies they came from. While I am glad there is more emphasis on love and romance in the weddings of today, I find it wonderful that certain customs continue on, bringing a bit of the past into the present day.

Maven Toronto Wedding Planner Photos

The Maven of Toronto Wedding Planners

At Kimberfire we spend our days helping people find the perfect diamond engagement ring and wedding bands, and during this process the conversation often leads to wedding plans. It’s always interesting to hear about the planning process and the different ways that people choose to celebrate. I decided I wanted to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and all the work that goes into creating the perfect wedding. I sat down to interview Angela Reshetnyk, owner of Maven Weddings and Events, which specializes in designing, planning and executing weddings and events.

Sara: Angela, tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.

Angela: I love my job and my life. I am a creative junkie! I am extremely organized, a multi-tasker and a control freak (although I hate the word freak). I love art, fashion, flowers, and design in all its forms. I am married to my high school sweetheart and the single love of my life. I have a beautiful wee daughter who is the light of my life, and I have 2 adorable Labs (my other lights) named Buster & Sadie. The first wedding I planned was in 2011, so I have been in business for 5 years now (wow?!). I have lost count of how many weddings I have planned at this point.

Sara: How did your education and/or previous job experience prepare you for running a wedding planning business?

Angela: My education and professional experience was in Interior Design, Decorating and Sales, which all go hand in hand with the industry I am in now. However, it was only after planning my own wedding and a few weddings of family & friends that I realized I was pretty darn good at this! From there I took a huge leap of faith and tried doing it for a living… it was scary being in charge of pulling off the biggest day in someone’s life, but after my first ‘official’ wedding I was hooked.

Sara: What types of packages does Maven Weddings and Events offer?

Angela: I don’t offer packages and I get asked this ALL the time. I find it hard to offer package pricing because all of my couples are so different in their needs & wants. Especially now with so many brides being DIY. They want to be involved, they want to make things, they want to shop. Also logistics come into play, the number of guests (50 guests vs 350 guests is a totally different ballgame). So I quote a la carte. After an initial consultation over the phone or in person, I can get a good grasp as to what my bride needs and provide them with a preliminary quote from there.

Sara: Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?

Angela: I am a Pinterest girl! I love using Pinterest as a source of inspiration. I don’t copy from it, but it does inspire me. I often create inspiration boards on Pinterest for my couples to give them a visual direction as to where I’d like to go with their wedding and they are always excited to see it. Instagram is also a great source for ideas. These are both amazing resources that most of my clients are already on.

Sara: If someone was holding back from hiring a wedding planner because of the costs, what would you say to them which might change their mind?

Angela: More often than not, I actually help my couples save on costs. Things like using my preferred vendors and being able to shop at industry only locations are just a couple of aspects to consider. I can also help with budget, as a lot of couples tend to allocate either way too much or way too little in certain areas. I can be their voice of reason as to where they will get the most bang for their buck. Most couples don’t have a clue about the costs of flowers, linens, chair rentals, etc. so I encourage my couples to talk to me when they are unsure of something, so I can let them know if it is a good deal or if they could find something elsewhere that is more suitable for their budget. Also, I let them know that their time is worth money. A lot of my clients are already busy before adding the planning of a wedding into the mix. So the time it would take them to source a vendor could be done in a fraction of the time by getting me to do it.

Sara: How do you decide on décor and themes for your weddings?

Angela: I get inspired by my couples! In particular, their love stories – how they met – how he (or she!) proposed, as well as their jobs, hobbies, etc. I ALWAYS suggest adding personal touches to every wedding, it’s what makes your wedding YOU, and not a wedding that could be for anyone else. I’ve done and been to weddings that are absolutely beautiful but have nothing to do with the couple, and I feel like it loses the charm and intimacy that every wedding should have.

Sara: Has something ever gone wrong on the day of a wedding, and how did you handle it?

Angela: YES! I’ve had a Best Man faint during the ceremony and knock out his front teeth! I have had a Groomsman drop the wedding rings down an elevator shaft in an old historical building downtown! I’ve had a sweetheart table catch on fire during a speech because the groom had put his napkin on a candle when he went to thank the person who was giving the speech (and those are just my top 3!). So yes things have and will go wrong, however it is my job to remain calm and FIX IT. If there is ANY way my couple doesn’t need to know that something has gone wrong, then I’d like to keep it that way. My biggest compliment I can get after a wedding is when my couples say “Wow, what a great day, it was so seamless and nothing went wrong! It’s as though we didn’t even need you here?!”. If this is their response, then my job was done right.

Sara: What tips would you give to a couple who are looking for a wedding planner?

Angela: Find someone you mesh with personality-wise. You will be working closely and frequently with this person for months (and intimately on the day-of!) so you better like them. Look at their personal sense of style, do you like how they are presenting themselves? Look at their website gallery, Facebook albums and Instagram page. Are there actual wedding shots of their work or are they images from Pinterest that we’ve all seen before? I see so many planners posting pics I have seen on social media that is not even theirs. So make sure it’s their work they are showcasing and ask for referrals if you are not sure.

Sara: What are some new and/or continuing trends for wedding décor, themes, venues?

Angela: I’m seeing a lot of pastel colour palettes for 2017. Blush is still leading the pack this year (as it did last year) for my most popular wedding colour. For food trends, Tapas & Food Station weddings, as well as no seating plans are becoming more popular for non-traditional brides who truly want to do something outside the box. Barn weddings are still a favorite but more modern brides are looking for tents – which I love! Rustic weddings are great, but my brides are all doing/trying new things – which makes it fun. For décor the mason jar is officially OUT….whew! But mercury glass in gold/silver/and rose gold pink are still popular with my brides, as it can be both vintage looking and modern at the same time.

Sara: What is the most rewarding aspect of the job?

Angela: I love being a part of the biggest day in a couple’s life. I don’t care if it’s in a big way or small way, I just get such satisfaction in making people happy and making peoples’ dreams come true. It’s the best part – seeing my clients happy – I love it! I love LOVE, so really what other industry should I be working in? I also like seeing the couples’ faces when they see their vision come to life, like when I reveal the reception space to them, or when a bride sees her bouquet for the first time. These are all such special moments for me to witness at each and every wedding.

Sara: How important is social media to your business?

Angela: Very. Between posting on Instagram, liking/sharing/making albums on Facebook, pinning on Pinterest, and keeping my website up to date…it’s crazy. But it’s vital with today’s bride. All my brides are online in one way or another, so I have to be as well, no questions asked. The key is staying on top of it all. Not only is social media important for my clients, but it’s vital to network with fellow industry people as well, vendors, colleagues, competitors, etc.

Sara: After being a part of so many wedding, what advice can you give to a couple to get the most out of their big day?

Angela: Don’t sweat the small stuff. If it’s raining, your aisle runner didn’t make it out, a bridesmaid’s heel broke, a candle isn’t lit, your candy bar labels are incorrectly marked, WHATEVER it is, don’t let it ruin your day! Trust your vendors. You’ve hired them for a reason, let them do the job you hired them for and trust it will get done as they are the experts. Let your wedding planner oversee their work, you should be relaxing and getting ready for your big day. Spend time with your guests, don’t disappear for hours with your photographer, enjoy & be present for cocktail hour to mingle with your friends & family, and dance with them on the dancefloor! If there is ever a day to celebrate the couple that you are, this would be the day!

Sara: Thank you so much for sharing your insight and experiences with us.

Angela: Thank you guys! It was my pleasure.

If you are interested in learning more, or would like to contact Angela, please visit Maven Weddings and Events.

Destination Wedding Photos

Destination Wedding Planning Tips

Although spring officially begins in March, here in Toronto we still have a few more wet and cloudy days before the warm weather arrives. We can’t help but to daydream about white sand and clear blue water and the sunshine on our skin. And while we can’t be on vacation all the time (unfortunately), there are times in our lives when we just need an escape. Leaving the usual weather and scenery of home behind for a place with beauty and inspiration can be very romantic, which is why many people are choosing to have a destination wedding. But how do you know if a destination wedding is the right choice for you? Here are some things to consider.

Picking a Location

If you are someone who has never wanted the traditional wedding at a reception hall, where is it that you imagine yourself getting married? A beach resort in the Caribbean? A winery in California? A restaurant in Paris? A mountain resort in Banff? Think of a place that has meaning for you as a couple, or even just somewhere you both always wanted to visit.

There are many factors in deciding where to have your destination wedding. It is important to realize that the further away and more expensive the travel to your wedding, the fewer people who will be able to attend. Ask yourself if the most essential people will be able to make the trip. If there are friends or family members who you know will not be able to attend due to expenses or obligations at home, will you be ok with them not being there? Some people choose to get married at a destination but then have a second reception close to home, where all the people who were unable to attend can celebrate. Whether the second event is a full sit down dinner, or just some appetizers and cocktails, it is nice for people to see photos and videos of the wedding and feel that they are a part of your day.

Another factor in the decision of location is the expense of throwing the wedding. Look at your budget and work within it. A swanky reception in New York City is going to be a lot more expensive than a resort wedding in Cuba. The most common type of destination wedding for Canadians is a resort wedding at an all-inclusive resort in either Mexico or the Caribbean. The reason for its popularity is because it is usually much more affordable for the couple. Most of the resorts have planners on staff who specialize in weddings and they will help guide you through the whole process.

Booking a Venue

You are going to want to book the location about 10 to 12 months ahead of time, especially if you are going during the high season. Make sure you know the expected seasonal weather and don’t book during hurricane season. You will need to get an approximate guest number, to be sure the venue has room for everyone. A good way to get an estimate is to take a look at your guest list and divide it into 3 categories. The first category is made up of people who probably won’t be able to attend, so count 25% of this group. The second category is made up of people who might be able to attend, count 50% of this group. The third category is made up of those who most likely will be coming. Count 90% of this group. Put the numbers together and you should have a rough idea of how many people will be attending. It is important to send out ‘save the dates’ about 10 months in advance, so that people can plan for the trip. It can be helpful to set up a wedding website for your guests, where they can find out all the information on the location, accommodations, travel information and anything else that is important for them to know for the trip.

Once you have booked the wedding it is recommended that you visit the place you will be getting married. If you are planning for it to be at a resort, make sure you like the resort and the people who will be helping with the wedding. If you are not at a resort, make sure you visit the place you will be holding the reception to make sure there are no surprises. Pick the spot you would like the ceremony, whether it is on the beach or on a mountain top. And if it will be outdoors, have a backup spot in case the weather does not cooperate. It’s also nice to travel around the area so that you can tell your wedding guests which sights to see or excursions to go on. If you are selecting a wedding package with a resort you can go over the music, the décor and the menu they will be serving. Most places have a wedding photographer who comes with the package; some are great and some not so much. Take a look at their portfolio to see if you like their work. Some people choose to bring a photographer from home on the vacation with them, so that they can have their own personal photographer for the entire day or even throughout the whole trip.

Additional Tips

  1. When choosing the dress, shoes, and suit, think of the climate and dress accordingly. You aren’t going to want to be wearing stiletto heels on a beach, or a wool suit in 35-degree heat.
  2. Think about the time of day you will have your ceremony. It may seem like a good idea to hold it at 1pm, but you and your guests might be a lot more comfortable in the cooler morning or evening temperatures.
  3. You do not need to pay for your guests to attend. People are expected to pay their own way, but most couples then decide to decline wedding presents, as the trip is expensive enough for your guests.
  4. Research local legal requirement for marriage. In some countries you can legally get married after being there for 24 hours, others require paperwork which can take up to 6 months to process. Some couples choose to symbolically get married at the destination, and legally get married in their home country.
  5. Do not spend a lot on flowers or decorations. You have chosen the destination because of its beautiful scenery or architecture, so it likely does not need a lot of work to look great.
  6. Do not plan or organize your guests’ entire trip, it is also their vacation and people like to do their own thing. That being said it is nice to have a least one organized event prior to the wedding, whether it be welcome drinks or a rehearsal dinner. You can also give people the option of taking part in different excursions throughout the trip, but they should not feel obligated.

Consider the Honeymoon

Since you have already spent the time and money to visit a beautiful place, perhaps it makes sense to extend the vacation into a honeymoon. The week of the wedding will be very busy with lots of time spent with family and friends. Some couples stay at the location for a second week just the two of them, when they can finally enjoy some alone time. You could also choose to change resorts, such as switching from a family friendly place to a romantic adult only spot. Or you might take a trip to somewhere close by, like a wedding in Italy with a honeymoon in Spain.

Decisions, Decisions

After going over all the information, you should have a better understanding on what it takes to plan a destination wedding, and if one is right for you. A big plus for many people is the lower costs associated with an all-inclusive resort wedding, while a big con is many of your guests may not be able to attend. You have to decide what is important to you as a couple, and what kind of a wedding suits you best. In the end it is your special day, and you deserve to have the wedding you’ve always dreamt of, whether at home or away.

Social Media Engagement Announcements

Engagement Announcements and Social Media

Your big moment has happened! It was a perfect proposal, with the most beautiful ring and now you can’t wipe that smile off of your face. You can’t wait to share your big news with the world! And the best place to share big news is social media of course! Whether you choose Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or all of the above, you want to post your news in the most positive light possible. By following certain rules of etiquette you can ensure that your post will be celebrated and earn you many ‘likes’.

The VIP List

Before you reveal your big announcement to the world, it’s important that you personally tell the news to the VIPs in your life. We are talking about parents, grandparents, siblings and close friends. You can tell them in person or on a phone call, but please don’t have your grandma find out you are engaged at the same time your old classmate from middle school does.

Ring Selfie – Do or Don’t?

Is it ok to post a photo of your ring? Absolutely! People really want to see what the ring looks like and you should be proud to show off such a beautiful piece of jewellery. However don’t forget the engagement is more than just a ring, it is about two people making a commitment to spend a lifetime together. A photograph of the two of you together while you show the ring, or a portrait of the two of you as a couple and a second photo of a close up of the ring are both great ideas. And if you are going to post an engagement ring selfie, remember the best photos have beautifully manicured fingers over a picturesque background.

Sentiment, Not Size

Your ring is supposed to represent a lasting love, not how much money was spent. It is never ok to share the cost of the ring or the carat size of the diamond on social media. That information should be kept to yourself. If someone comments on your ring asking questions about cost or carat, just give a sweet but vague reply such as “it’s priceless” or “it’s the perfect size for me”.

Don’t Steal my Thunder

Think about how disappointed you would be if someone went ahead and announced your engagement before you had a chance to. With that in mind never share someone else’s big news on social media. You may be excited for them but it is their special moment and when and how they choose to announce it is up to them.

Ready or Not

Don’t post your announcement until you are ready for the whole world to know. Although you may only communicate with a handful of people through your social media accounts, when you post a BIG announcement a lot of people will like and comment on it. Social media is huge these days and you will be surprised who comes out of the wood work to offer their congratulations.

The Most Important Rule

Enjoy it! It’s a special time in your life and people are genuinely happy for you. Before you start stressing with wedding planning sit back and enjoy the moment. There are only a handful of moments so special in a person’s life so cherish the happiness of being in love.

Toronto Wedding Photographer Raph Nogal

Toronto Wedding Photographer Raph Nogal

At Kimberfire our specialty is diamonds and many of our clients come to us looking for an engagement ring. People really put their heart into choosing the right ring and we love being a part of such a special moment in someone’s life. After the engagement the next step is finding wedding bands, and we are dedicated to helping people find their perfect fit. It is truly an honour to be a part of their wedding day, as they exchange rings to make a lifetime commitment.

Another profession which works side by side with couples on one of the most important days of their lives is that of the wedding photographer. I interviewed Toronto based wedding photographer Raph Nogal to get an insider’s look at working in the wedding industry. Raph Nogal is a nationally accredited and award winning professional wedding photographer. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and blogs, and he is known for his creative, editorial, and modern photography style.

Sara: How long have you been a photographer for and how did you get started in this business?

Raph: I first picked up the camera in 2007, following my honeymoon in Costa Rica. I became a bit obsessed and found it to be a great creative outlet as I pretty much stopped doing art since attending Cawthra Park’s Regional Arts Program in Visual Arts in 2000. I started my photography business on a part-time basis in late 2009 and have now been a full-time photographer since 2013.

Sara: What is it that drew you to wedding photography?

Raph: It was the fact that as a wedding photographer, you need to be a master of various sub disciplines… you need to be a photo-journalist, a portrait photographer, an event photographer, a fashion photographer, you need to know how to use natural light, studio light, you need to be good with people, with macro work and the list goes on and on. I also love the fact that no wedding is ever the same. There are different dynamics, different weather conditions, different locations, and different family relationships. It keeps things interesting.

Sara: On average, how many weddings do you shoot a year?

Raph: I try to cap myself at 25 weddings per year, but have had 27 last year and again 27 this year.

Sara: How would you describe your photography style?

Raph: It is a fusion of editorial and photo-journalism. I love playing with light and having hard light and deep blacks and high contrast and giving clients some direction to bring out their best, but I also like the natural moments and pure unedited emotion that happens on the wedding day.

Sara: Who or what inspires your work and images?

Raph: Inspiration comes from a lot of places – movies, fashion, music, and my own experiences. Photographer Jerry Ghionis, for example, has played a tremendous role in shaping me as a photographer. I also enjoy the work of Two Mann Studios and get inspiration from the community of Fearless Photographers.

Sara: Do you have any tips for couples who are looking for a wedding photographer?

Raph: Well this may be a bit blunt, but “You get what you pay for”. I have heard all the stories of couples trying to cut prices and hire photographers that don’t have a lot of experience. There is nothing wrong with no experience and we all start somewhere – the problem is when those photographers “practice” on paying clients.

I also encourage all couples to do an engagement session with your photographer. The relationship building and working relationship is so important to put them at ease before the wedding day. Out of all the wedding vendors, you will see your photographer the most – before the wedding, at the wedding, after the wedding, album design, album pick-up. I also suggest that couples get a wedding album. We lost that tangibility of things these days and they have been replaced with awesome gadgets… but there is nothing like photographs on paper. That family heirloom will be cherished for generations.

Sara: How do you help the couple and their wedding party feel comfortable having their photos taken?

Raph: It all starts with trust. The couple has to trust me, or else they will not open up. It has to be fun and it’s up to the photographer to make it fun for the couples. Your personality has to shine though.

Sara: What has been your favorite wedding venue to photograph?

Raph: I don’t really have a favourite. Toronto has so many beautiful venues, each with their own charm – places such as Eglinton Grand, One King West, King Edward Hotel, Distillery District, just to name a few.

Sara: What is your all-time favorite image you have taken?

Raph: This is such a tough question. I really don’t have a favourite. Some images are emotional, some are artistic, so it’s so hard to pick. I guess if I had to pick an image that has had the most impact on me it would be an image I took of a bride kissing her father just after the ceremony. It was an organic moment and I just happened to be there. To me, this image really represents the reason why I’m a photographer. I found out three days after the image was taken, that the bride’s father had passed away. How honoured was I to witness and immortalize that moment for the bride.

Sara: What are the most requested images or scenes the couple wants to have photographed?

Raph: Luckily I don’t get my couples asking me to replicate images they found on Pinterest. My couples are looking for something different, not the stuffy same old poses… different angles, cool lighting, etc, which is exactly what I offer.

Sara: What is the craziest thing you have done to get a perfect shot?

Raph: Probably going waist deep into water, but I’m known to lay down a lot, as well as climb things – just for a different vantage point.

Sara: Have you ever had something go wrong at a wedding and how did you handle it?

Raph: On the way to one wedding I was cut off on the highway and a car side-swiped my car. Luckily I always leave earlier than I need to, so I had enough time to hop into a rental car to get to the wedding while my car got looked after.

Sara: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Raph: Being a wedding photographer is really physically and mentally demanding. You have to be on-point all day. You have to anticipate things, be at the right place at the right time, find the right light, the right angles and make sure everyone is looking their best. It’s usually a 12-14 hour day so afterwards my brain feels like it’s on fire. I’m pretty much useless the following day – which is why I only photograph one wedding per weekend.

Sara: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Raph: To know that I’ve made a little mark on the world, especially in my couples’ history. When I give them images that are different, unique and beautiful I know they will keep and cherish them forever.

Sara: If you hadn’t become a photographer what do you think you would have become?

Raph: I used to be an environmental consultant so, if I hadn’t quit that to pursue my passion, I would likely still be stuck doing something I didn’t enjoy.

Sara: How much does social media play a part in your business?

Raph: These days social media is a must. It is, however, very time consuming and the rules are constantly changing – you just have to keep up.

Sara: Having witnessed so many weddings what advice can you give to a couple on how to get the most out of their big day?

Raph: Get to know your photographer – it will help with the whole photo-taking experience. Know that the wedding schedule is a “floating schedule.” Don’t plan for a speech to start at 7:47 pm. It will never happen. Don’t sweat the small stuff, at the end of the day you will get married and it will be a great party. Don’t let small things ruin your day.

Sara: Thank you so much for sharing your work and experiences with us. Hopefully some of your advice will help other people find the perfect wedding photographer for their big day.

Raph: Thank you very much!!

If you are interested in seeing more of Ralph Nogal’s photography or would like to book an appointment with him, please visit RaphNogal.com. And if you are interested in finding the perfect engagement ring, wedding bands, or any other type of high-end jewellery then Kimberfire “A Brilliant Way to Buy a Diamond” is the company you have been looking for. Please visit us at Kimberfire.com.