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10 Tips For Brides To Achieve Better Photos

by | Photography Wisdom, Wisdom


Having a great photographer is an awesome start to achieving killer wedding day images, but it doesn’t end there. There are a few things you can do to give your ‘tog great ammo and set them up for success. Brides aren’t usually seasoned photographers, or wedding planners, so these items might not be something you’d consider on your own. Heck, I should probably have called this post “how to cheat at being a bride” since these tips should put you steps ahead of the herd in achieving gorgeous wedding photos.

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1. Book a pro
Hire someone who shoots weddings. Don’t hire someone who shoots weddings, landscapes, cars, still life, babies, real estate and school photos. Jack of all trades, master of none, heard that before? Oh, and just because you know someone with a great camera, doesn’t mean having them shoot your one-and-only wedding day is a good idea – be sure that path is what you surely want.

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2. Be yourself
Let me tell you, if you are constantly worried about a double chin, it’ll show in the photos, and you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. Don’t wear a dress that’s not you, you’ll regret it later. Just be the good ol’ down-to-earth you.

3. Relax and enjoy yourself
Simple one, this. If you’re stressed, worn out, tired, tense, it will show through in the photography. Don’t worry about who’s pressing play on the music for the reception, or if Dad has had too many beers at night – who cares, haha – seriously, let your hair down and enjoy yourself. You know that Eminem song, “lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it…” yeah? Just do that all day.

4. Get an E-session done
There is nothing that preps you for being in front of a camera like getting in front of a camera. See if your photographer has an optional engagement shoot, and take it. It will take some of the nerves out of the day.

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5. Don’t fake smile. Fake smiles look fake
This one is generally up to your photographer to handle. We, team Glen and Fiona, like to interact with our couples, and evoke some real emotion and some real laughter out of them. The best smile a bride – or anyone for that matter – will give, is straight after laughing. We’ll often get our clients to act out an awkward movement or pose that can only end in laughter, for example, and you can be sure it wasn’t the awkward moment that started it that we wanted to capture. 

6. Make the bed
You know those awesome images you find on pinterest of the bride getting ready or the detail shots of the dress – there’s no messy beds in the back of those, no clothes all over the floor, or any of that. You won’t want your photographer tidying the room before/while they’re shooting, or seeing those things in the back of your finished images looking not-so-hot, but it’s an easy one to forget.

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7. Strike a pose
The most flattering way you can pose, as a woman, is side on to the camera. Have your toes and body facing off 45 degrees, put your weight on your back foot, and turn your head back to the lens. It’ll thin you out, and shows off a gorgeous shape. Oh, bend your arms a little – a dangling arm adds width to a body, where as it can look great with a bend or on a hip. I know, I know, you want to keep your arms in close because it’s natural when wearing a strapless dress, but believe me, a little gap between the elbow and body will thin you out. Posing really will come down to the photographer on the day, but that’ll get you started.

8. Stand up / sit up straight
Don’t be self conscious, be proud. Slouchy brides don’t often make gorgeous photos, but a bride sitting up straight, smiling and giggling when her makeup is being put on, is an easy winner in our books.

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9. Lighting
This one is huge. In Australia we can sometimes get the craziest, harshest sun during summer months, and you may not want your guests seen in photos squinting on the beach for a 1pm ceremony, with dark shadows under their eyes. The best light for photography is in those golden hours just before sunset. If you’re a stickler for good light, then talk with your photographer about timeline options, to get the absolute best results. During the evening, keep your reception venue well lit. The best photos from wedding venues, the ones you see blogged all the time, usually are well lit, and don’t have the lighting turned almost dark like a night club.

10. Trust your photographer
If you’ve hired a professional, it’s because you love their work, right? There’s a good solid chance they know what they’re doing, so don’t be shy in asking for their input on your timeline, or just some advice in general. If you’ve hired a pro, and it’s someone you connect with, you’ll have it made. If you find yourself writing out lists of shots you want the photographer to take, then you’ve not got a lot of trust in them, have you? Finding someone you ‘click’ with is key, and that trust will lead to gorgeous images.

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Ms Polka says: Great tips-  trusting in your photographer and being yourself? That’s sound advice for dealing with any wedding vendor!

About Glen & Fiona of  of Glen + Fiona Photographers: “We’re Glen and Fiona, and we photograph some pretty fun weddings in places like Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast for our awesome couples.”

Photos by Glen + Fiona Photographers

You, Me and Baby Makes Three – Tips For Pregnant Brides

by | Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom


 DAK 640 You, Me and Baby Makes Three Tips For Pregnant Brides

Image by Bluehouse Studio via Brent & CJ’s Wedding

Pregnancy is such a vital time in your life. You are full of excitement at the future mixed with trepidation about what’s to come. These mixed feelings can lead to heightened emotions and these, coupled with the physiological symptoms (including but not limited to feeling emotional, nauseous often all day, vomiting, back aches, headaches, exhaustion, feeling sleepy, food cravings and increased sense of smell) can provide an extra challenge to the pregnant bride.

Pregnant brides need special support and camaraderie from their grooms, bridesmaids, family and friends as they ride out the often unpredictable tides of physical, emotional and hormonal waves.

Following are a list of tips for pregnant brides to consider in the hopes that the journey will be made just that little bit smoother!

1. Hire a wedding planner – alleviate the stress and have more control by engaging the services of a professional coordinator or at minimum some “day of” assistance. A good wedding planner will tailor her services to your specific needs so you can employ them for just the jobs you need help with or to oversee the entire process all under your direction. This will depend on your budget but can be money very well spent.

2. Locate a great wedding dress alterations specialist-someone who is flexible to your needs and changing body. Someone who makes you feel comfortable and is understanding of your desire to look amazing while feeling green.

pregnant bride You, Me and Baby Makes Three Tips For Pregnant Brides

Image by Mark Greenmantle via DIY Vintage Carnival Wedding

3. Keep a gratitude journal and record the peaks of your wedding planning and fill it with fun mementos. You can do this basically in Microsoft word with text and photos, visually in Pinterest through pin inspirations or in my opinion the best way is to get a real book and infuse it with smells, press flowers in its pages and make a meaningful legacy of your wedding plans. Only a real book can preserve this much love and memory.

4. Schedule at minimum once a week 30 minutes of “me time”- take a bath, read a book, meditate, dine by candlelight, talk to a friend, go for a walk, sleep, get a massage, give yourself a beauty treatment, try a new herbal tea – anything that replenishes and rejuvenates you.

5. Include “wedding gift services” on your wedding registry in lieu of material presents such as cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping and babysitting.

6. For your hens celebration, hold a girl’s pamper party. Give each other foot baths, facials and massages, share healthy food and mocktails. Toast your friendship and tell each other why you are so important to each other, what you admire in each other, why you love each other etc. Laugh, dance and be silly together –share your gifts and talents to create a truly memorable time in your lives.

If you’re looking for unique artisans to provide services for your wedding you can visit “All Tied Up” –a wedding specialists group I found who hand craft, hand make or offer original home based services and products. I have personally worked with or used their products and services and receive no gratuities for my promotion of their businesses. I just believe in them, love their passion and enjoy using their products and services.

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Ms Gingham says: A great collection of tips and recommendations by Jacie!

Jacie of Your Bridesmaid Celebrant Services says: My business philosophy is simple; be original, personable, give exceptional service, great value for money and joy. I adore anything homemade, handmade, bespoke, artesian, useful, brimming with creativity and that which is crafted so obviously from love, talent and thoughtfulness.

What Would They Know? Jacqueline Moore of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

by | Venue Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Jacqueline Moore Watsons Bay boutique Hotel3 What Would They Know? Jacqueline Moore of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

Making the most of the natural assets of the Harbour – water views, amazing sunsets and nearby parks, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel  could be just the place for your wedding day. Imagine mingling on the alfresco Top Deck, cocktail in hand, watching the sunset, or sitting in the seaside Hamptons styled Sunset Room indulging in Modern Australian cuisine.  And did I mention that you can arrive by private yacht? Today we meet Jacqueline who has the enviable job of wedding co-ordinator at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.

Can you describe the iconic Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel to us, and where we can find you?

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel was formerly a unique fishing village set on the South Head Peninsula. It is located in a quiet, attractive and exclusive enclave of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs encompassing 31 luxury hotel rooms. With gorgeous harbour views during the day and amazing sunsets over the city at dusk.  You can find us at 1 Military Road, Watsons Bay directly adjacent to Robertson’s Park and conveniently situated in front of the ferry terminal.

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Image by Liz Ham Photography

Where do couples popularly choose to have their ceremony?

Popular options for ceremonies close by include Robertson Park (directly adjacent) and Gibsons Beach (directly in front of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel). Your Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel Wedding Coordinator can facilitate these bookings for you.  We also have some chapel options available close by.

Do you have different options as far as decks or rooms within the hotel where couples can hold their reception?

Our Sunset Room is an architecturally designed wedding space. It is the perfect option for intimate weddings of 50 to 250 people. With a Hampton style, including unique furniture and design options, this wedding space is like no other in Sydney. We also have a large alfresco space known as “Top Deck” which can be utilised for pre-dinner drinks whilst overlooking the picturesque city scape. It encompasses a retractable roof and private bar, perfect for welcome cocktails and canapés.

Re size140313 WeddingWonderland 0046 What Would They Know? Jacqueline Moore of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

Can you describe the options for reception dining that you offer?

Whilst we offer the traditional sit down packages and canapé style soirees, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel has really developed a signature style within the new ‘feast’ menu. It encourages more of a sharing environment, just like dining at a family table. It starts with a delicious chilled Seafood Platter, followed by mouth-watering mains of Orange and Vincotto Glazed Suckling Pig, 8 Hour Slow Cooked Flinders Island Lamb, BBQ Split Yamba Prawns, Whole Side of Slow Cooked Ocean Trout and sides before finishing with a smashed pavlova for dessert. Our experience stations are extremely popular ranging from antipasto, cheese, charcuterie, oysters, paella or even dessert! It provides an interactive experience for guests like no other.

You specialise in seafood, but offer other options as well as gluten free and vegetarian options. Can you describe a favourite dish (or two) on the menu?

Whilst the Feast menu provides many of my favourite delicacies, I personally have a few favourite dishes on the sit down menu too including:


  • Chilled Watermelon Salad with Janai Goats Curd, Toasted Pine Nuts, Wild Rocket and Banyuls Dressing GF, V
  • Salad of Figs with Buffalo Milk Mozzarella, Basil Leaves, Jamom and Apple Balsamic Reduction GF


  • Grilled Lemongrass Thirlmere Baby Chicken with Vietnamese Herb Salad
  • Grass-Fed Sirloin Tagliata with Salad of Rocket, Spring Onions, Green Peppercorn and Aged Balsamic GF

We also include palate cleansers for sit-down packages too.

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Does the menu change with the seasons?

Yes our menu is seasonal to ensure we are using the most fresh local produce always in forward trend of the Wedding Industry. Our amazing Executive chef John Pye ensures the quality and presentation of the food is synonymous with other high class venues.

Can you offer suggestions for cocktails and wine matching to the couple’s chosen menu?

We can certainly match cocktails and wines to food choices. Perhaps a personalised cocktail on arrival or a Bellini station ready for your guests to enjoy. Our beverage packages offers quite a versatile palate for menu items. Alternatively, you can have a bar tab and hand pick wines, beers & spirits from our selection to personalise your wedding beverage menu . (These are best enjoyed on our Top Deck with panoramic harbour views.)

Do you have an in-house Wedding  Co-ordinator?

We have not one, but two in-house Wedding Coordinators at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel here to help guide you through a structured and delightful wedding experience.

What sort of services do you offer the bridal couple?

We assist in the planning of your big day from a venues perspective including personalized timeline, food, beverages and reception ideas. We can also assist with ceremonies and recommendations for alternate suppliers. Furthermore we have 31 boutique rooms available which come in very handy when you need to retire for the evening.

What items/services can the bridal couple bring in? 

As these items are so personal, the couple is required to bring in their own cake, flowers, styling etc .We have great contacts in the industry for these so we can definitely point you in the right direction.

IMG 3157re size What Would They Know? Jacqueline Moore of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

What sort of reception décor would you suggest for your venue?

The Sunset Room embraces a North American coastal Hamptons aesthetic, the architecturally designed event space has a distinct sense of familiarity and warmth. With its crisp white walls, floor to ceiling windows, grey timber flooring,  nautical finishings, marble bar (a mix of found, refurbished and custom made furniture) the space is extremely unique. You can completely transform the space with large floral centrepieces, white table clothes, charger plates (as most venues do), however the great thing about the Sunset Room, is that all of the existing furniture, décor and styling elements can be utilised for your reception.  Our recent brides are thankful for the gorgeous, rustic elements and have mostly been utilising 1 or 2 small vases of flowers per table which complement the already natural, eclectic and chic hues of the room. The stunning view also has a huge impact on the room and come dusk- it oozes a relaxed, luxurious atmosphere.

Is there accommodation for wedding guests on site?

This unique boutique hotel has 31 luxurious light-filled suites all appointed with timeless furnishings. All boast king size beds, large elegant marble bathrooms, state of the art televisions and amenities, plus floor to ceiling windows that open onto impressive views ranging from the breathtaking Sydney Harbour to serene views over Watsons Bays’ iconic Robertson’s Park.

Our Bridal Suite has full harbour view adjoining suites, both with large ensuites complete with a bath and shower. The suite also has a large balcony overlooking Sydney Harbour which is perfect to take in the magical sunsets. It is ideal for the bride and her bridesmaids to stay in the night before the wedding and then for the bridal couple to enjoy the luxury of two suites in one on the bridal night.

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Image by  gm photographics

Do you have a favorite wedding story?

Ah so many stories! Here’s just a few memorable ones:

-        An army officer who insisted on using a sword to cut the cake- a 200 piece croquembouche

-        Sewing a bride into her gown which ripped between ceremony and reception

-        A wedding which had actually occurred 1 year prior in Vegas, (yet no one in the family knew… )

-        One wedding encompassed a “Florist shop” theme with thick heavy florals and a gorgeous arbor over the bridal table.

-        This bride and groom were in the Navy – they had their ceremony at HMAS Watson followed by reception in the Sunset room in line with the Royal Fleet Review . This was obviously quite symbolic to the couple due to their occupations. The night also encompassed a tremendous firework display.

watto sunset promenade re size1 550x365 What Would They Know? Jacqueline Moore of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

Thank you Jacqueline for telling us all about Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel. To find out more search the website.

All images unless otherwise stated, courtesy of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

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