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Wedding Morning

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TIPS FOR GREAT GETTNG READY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa

What is the number one things brides almost always overlook on their wedding day? It’s the thing you would least likely expect, but makes a huge impact when you look back through your photographs.

It’s the getting ready location.

I know it seems small and insignificant, but location and tidiness is key to keeping your photography looking great throughout the day. In my opinion there is nothing worse for a photographer than arriving onsite to what might look like a bomb just went off - empty dishes and mimosas from brunch scattered about, a gazillion overnight bags tossed around, misc clothing laying about + the people +the makeup team etc. Chaos! And trust me, it will show in your pictures. Some photographers will do their best to tidy up- but the more they occupy their time with being your maid, the less time they have to get those great getting ready shots. So here are some key tips to making sure your setting yourself up for success. But before we get into all that, the first thing to consider is choosing your getting ready location.

Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Photography by  Laura Kelly Photography

Location Location Location

I always suggest a hotel suite that has a kitchenette/dinning area, a sitting area and a separate bedroom space. This gives you multiple areas for photography and also allows you to order-in brunch and your beauty team can come right to you. This also means there is no rushing around the day before to clean the whole house or grocery shop for brunch the next day.

My Favourite Ottawa Hotel Suites:

Andaz - Large Suite

Le Germain - The Prestige Suite

Chateau Laurier -Presidential Suite or Executive Suite

*** If you live in or have friends that live in a condo building, another option would be to consider checking if you can rent a furnished suite for the day.

Prep Talk

You gotta lay the groundwork. At your dinner rehearsal, reminding your girls of how the day will progress is so so important. This way they fully understand the time constraints and how their actions can affect the overall flow of the day ie: tardiness, forgetfulness etc. Actually, a mini printed timeline with tips would be super helpful. Here is a list of helpful tips i’ve provided brides before:

  • It is very important for all bridesmaids to arrive 15 mins before the suggested arrival time. This provides a small buffer period for everyone to get organized before your beauty team begins.

  • Bring only one overnight bag and place it in the bedroom once you arrive

  • Steam and hang your dresses the night before

  • Don’t forget to bring a comfy pair of shoes for dancing

  • Have a small’ish purse with all your immediately necessary items you want to carry with you throughout the day.

Liz+RyanWedding-2.jpg
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Events Wedding Planning
Photography by  Ali & Batoul

Photography by Ali & Batoul

Grown Up Babysitter

I know this sound silly, but as a bride, to truly enjoy your day, you shouldn’t be running after your bridal party to keep them on time and in check. Instead, delegate morning tasks to your Maid of Honour such as:

Preparing morning snacks

Making Mimosas

Ensuring endless coffee available

Keeping the getting ready space clean and tidy

Assisting the beauty team with set-up once they arrive

Ensuring there is a steamer for the brides dress

Gathering any items the bride would like photographed for her details (veil, shoes, perfume, invitations, gifts)

Keeping all the girls on-time throughout the beauty process

 

CONSISTENCY

It's always nice to have getting ready robes available for more cohesive images during your getting ready photography.

Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Photography by:  Photography by Emma

Photography by: Photography by Emma

TIME CHECK 

30 mins before your photographer or videographer is due to arrive, your Maid of Honour should grab whomever is not in a hair or makeup chair, to tidy and clean all areas to ensure you don't have any clutter which can be seen in photos. I’ve personally gone as far as removing artwork. I know, I know….it’s soooo bad…but if a bright neon blue poppy painted in the 90’s in a speckled gold frame doesn’t flow with your wedding vibe- guaranteed I’m taking it down! You’ll thank me later:) Mind you- I’m not always onsite while your getting ready.

Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Photography by  Laura Kelly Photography

The 5 Minute Rule

If there is anytime in a day where you will loose time, it’s while your getting ready. I have this rule. For every person with you getting ready, you will be 5 min late. Let do the math together:

1 bride + 4 bridesmaids + Mother of the Bride + Junior Bridesmaid = 7ppl x 5min = you will be late by 35 mins

Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa
Toast Wedding Planning, Ottawa

Options

With all this being said, it’s important to be prepared. If you feel like you need additional assistance to plan and coordinate and keep you on time during the morning, you may want to ask your planner if she can provide you with a dedicated attendant to ensure everything runs smoothly and you want for nothing! ;)

xo Elise

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WEDDING DAY GROOMSMEN URBAN RETREAT

Toast Events Urban Retreat Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas

It's all to often that your man get's the short end of the stick when it comes to the whole wedding planning process. Time and time again the groom will lean over to me and say, "Tell me when to show up, and I'll be there!". And when it comes to planning a wedding, you know what, I couldn't ask for anything more! 

But on your wedding day while your getting all primped up, your groom and groomsmen are likely twiddling their thumbs anxiously throwing back a "few" celebratory shots. It literally takes the groomsmen 15 minutes to get ready, so with lots of nervous time on their hands, why not send them to a man retreat. That's right, I said it, MAN RETREAT. There is such a thing!

With the lumberjack / viking / hipster movement, it's now socially "acceptable" for a men to enjoy being groomed... like a gentleman. Thankfully the whole metrosexual term has been dead since 2007. I personally like my husband to take care of himself. He comes home looking dapper and well mannered. If only the barber would throw in some etiquette tips on the DL- I'de send him weekly.

With a discerning eye, I set out to find the perfect man retreat for my husband, but had a list of things that needed to be ticked off my "picky list" before I went just anywhere.

1. I wanted the barber shop environment to exude class, manliness and privacy. Almost like walking into a modern version of a victorian gentlemen's study.

2. Professional customer service with friendly approachable barbers who actually spoke. You know what I mean. No one likes a snobby mute man barber!

3. Because I was keen on purchasing some facial products for my husband, I wasn't interested in the usual "Aveda" or "Biotherm". I wanted a luxury brand, because he deserves the best. As does your man.

4. I'm a sucker for branding, so this too topped my radar.

I waltzed into Warren Chase not knowing they were closed on Mondays. But luck would have it, the owners were in, and the door flew open. I'm huge on first impressions, and I was literally transformed as I walked into the shop. I don't know who styled and decorated the place, but it's man heaven and exactly what I was looking for. I must have looked like a dear caught in headlights. And let me tell you INSTA bestfriend vibes with Trevor & Paul, the owners. I couldn't help dropping some serious cash for a plethora of services for my husband without feeling guilty. After all I was supporting local ;)

In the new year, I was excited for my husband to make his appointment. Naturally I tagged along to witness the whole process. Let me take you threw it... but first some visuals...scroll down & enjoy.....

Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase

THE ASSESSMENT

After you've checked in and have been caffeinated, our barber assessed my husbands hair  and man whiskers, asking quite a few questions from "how do you wear your hair every day" to pointing out certain intricate hair patterns he had - cow licks, flat hair, alfalfa hair and this patch grows faster then the rest. After this inspection a tailored hair cut complete with hot towels and scalp massage followed.

Hair Cut $45

Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase

THE CADILLAC SHAVE

They say, It's time to do it up "old school". The 45 mins ultimate 12 step shave is a full sensory experience that starts with a shot of bourbon and ends with his face as smooth as a baby's back side. 

Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase

As you can see, this is quite the process. I counted at least 8 hot towels and three straight blade pass-overs. Our barber, Corey was great an explaining each step and was super friendly. 

Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase

So how would I rate the whole Warren Chase? A++

The whole process took about 2 and a half hours. The perfect amount of time for your groom and his bridal party to enjoy a hot shave & trim before his long walk down the aisle. Warren Chase has 2 locations. Rideau Street and their flagship shop in Train Yards. So wether your downtown or in the south end, their shop has easy access. If you enquire you might be able to rent the morning solely to yourself. 

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