Summer Wedding in Long Island City

Top 6 Tips for a Summer Wedding in New York

Summer Wedding in Long Island City
Wedding Season is Here

The summer wedding season is officially here! Summer temperatures in New York City can reach 90°’s (the hottest summer temperature ever recorded in New York City was 108°) It is essential to know that although summer weddings are incredibly romantic, such hot temperatures can cause some real discomfort to you, your wedding professionals, and your guests. Being considerate (read being well-prepared) is key. Proper preparations are especially important for an outdoor wedding.
From abundant shade and hydration stations to appropriate summer bride and groom attire, in this article we are covering the most important things to consider when planning and outdoor summer wedding in New York. We have compiled expert tips of the pros you’ll want to follow to ensure your guests enjoy your special day, too!

Here are the top 6 tips to plan the best outdoor wedding for your guests:

Summer refreshments for a wedding ice cold water with lemon
1. Pre-ceremony refreshments 

While your traditional glass of “welcome” champagne is always tempting, keep in mind that for the next hour, your guests may be under the scorching summer sun. Try opting to serving non-alcoholic drinks as pre-ceremony refreshments instead.

Cold water, iced tea, fruit and mint-infused water, lemonade – keep your guests thirsts quenched and their well-beings in mind and hydrated. There will be plenty of time to pop the bubbly later!

2. Shade

If you can host your wedding ceremony in a shaded area or under a plethora of trees, it will probably be a good idea to do so. Otherwise, don’t forget to provide parasols and personal fans (wedding programs make great fans!) for your guests. You may also want to provide sunscreens, sunglasses and hats depending on the wedding style and length of the ceremony.  

3. Timeline 

To avoid the mid-afternoon scorching heat, begin your ceremony later in the day such as around 6PM. A later time will provide a more comfortable environment and save your guests from sunburn and heat exhaustion.

Remember, sticking to the timeline will help to keep your guests happy and comfortable. You never want to make your guests wait too long. They are excited to share your day with you and the more comfortable they are during your wedding ceremony, the more energy they will have to keep your dance floor lit during your reception!

Punta Cana summer ceremony seat allignment
4. Seats 

Even if you host a short and sweet 15 – 20 minute ceremony and opt for a non-seated arrangement, plan ahead for your elderly guests and pregnant friends. In extremely hot weather, even 5 minutes standing can become challenging. 

Seats matter, and not only the quantity but the type of seats as well. For example, metallic chairs are great and may look pretty in the pictures however, for obvious reasons, chair cushions are a must.

5. Pests

We love summer weddings. And so do bugs! Be sure to ask your venue about their pest control schedule. You may also want to provide travel-sized bug spray for your guests if your ceremony runs long.

Also, talk to your florists as they can suggest some specific flowers that help to keep the bugs away! 

Summer wedding ceremony tips
6. Sunglasses

Help your guests to be more present and comfortable during your ceremony by providing them with sunglasses and protecting their eyes from direct sun light. Those glasses can also double up as souvenirs and keepsakes of warm and lasting memories of your wedding day.

Sunglasses as wedding favors for a summer wedding in new york

Following these simple steps will most definitely enhance your guests’ experience at your wedding. With so many significant details to keep in mind, planning your own big day can get overwhelming. When it feels like a little bit too much, try reaching out to your local event planners for help.

Thank you to Olha Barabash at Sense of Moment for contributing her knowledge and expertise to this article.

Featured venues: Ravel Hotel Events, Queens Botanical Garden

Photography: Tatiana Valerie, ArtVesta Studio

The Practical vs The Traditional. The First Look at a Wedding.

Wedding traditions often times will come in conflict with capturing the most important posed photos at a wedding, such as family pictures, bridal party pictures, and couples portraits.

If you follow strictly with tradition, the most important shots happen right after the ceremony because the first time the bride and groom see each other is during the ceremony.

The challenge with the traditional way is organizing group photos when everyone is already tired, hungry, and don’t look their best any more. Sometimes it is impossible to hunt down all the family members for the pictures as they are already enjoying the food and drinks at the cocktail hour, all scattered around.

The solution to this often overlooked problem is simple – the first look!


First look is a moment staged by a planner and a wedding photographer for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony.

The first look is a very romantic and emotional moment that is not only very special for a couple but it also helps to save a lot of precious time and give the couple peace of mind. Instead of taking couple’s portraits, family photos, and bridal party photos after the ceremony, when everyone is tired and eager to eat, drink, and party all these important photos are taken care of right after the first look, when everyone is still enthusiastic and looks fresh.

First look is the answer to a no-stress pre-ceremony photo shoot … and you will be able to swing right into the cocktail hour, have your first drink, meet and greet your guests minutes after you say your “I do’s”

13 Questions About Wedding Photography

1. Should I hire a professional wedding photographer or relative/friend?

While you may feel comfortable with a relative or friend to capture your big day, a professional photographer possesses the technical mastery of shooting, logistics and time constraints. Experienced photographers will work with you, understand the vision of your event, and then capture your most precious memories without getting swept up in the celebration, lose entire segments of your wedding or forget backup equipment. If a relative or friend shoots your wedding, he or she is more likely to get caught up in the celebration and miss important shots.

Professional photographers anticipate and capture the most expressive split second at the exact time. They know how and when to crop the picture to highlight an important detail and keep all the other elements in the background. Professional photographers can also preserve all the details in a picture and keep all the important objects in sharp focus. Most importantly, experienced photographers can make your event look magnificent regardless of your wedding budget.

Wedding at The Venetian NJ

2. What is a proof?

A proof is a low-resolution digital image or small-sized print. Photographers do not retouch all the pictures from their event shoots. Instead, they print or create a low-resolution version of all “open eyes and in-focus” photographs for a customer to view and then select a handful of the best pictures for further post-production and larger prints.

Artvesta Studio is committed to ensuring the highest quality of proofs. 

Wedding in Montauk NY

3. Should I hire two wedding photographers or a solo photographer?

The decision of hiring two wedding photographers depends solely on your budget and photography needs. 
While the first photographer’s primary responsibility is to take all standard or classic wedding shots, the second photographer focuses on snapping additional action shots and different-angled images that capture those precious and fleeting moments.

The second photographer looks for authentic emotional shots that usually take place outside of the lens scope of the main photographer. He or she can also support the main photographer if something unpredictable happens.

A photography duo will also give you two distinct styles of photography that complement each other. The only disadvantage in hiring two wedding photographers is a higher price in the wedding photography package due to the extra cost of production and post-production.

Long Island City Promenade Wedding Shoot

4. How can I determine the best wedding photography package?

A typical wedding package includes 8 hours of photo coverage by one or two professional photographers, digital or printed proofs, and a password-protected online preview gallery. Sometimes, wedding packages also include enlargements such as 11×14” or 16×20” as well as wedding albums for the bride and groom and two sets of parents.

We offer 4-hour, 8-hour, and 10-hour wedding photography packages that include digital proofs and an 8×8” or 10×10” Artvesta Photo book. We also offer a number of a la carte items such as additional photo albums, photo canvases, prints, pre-wedding and post-wedding photo shoots, additional or reduced hours of coverage, and customization options.

Robert at MAD Groom and Groom Same Sex Wedding

5. What is the average retainer to secure a photographer for my big day? When is the remaining balance due?

A customary retainer for a photography package is at least 10% of the entire package price. While some wedding photographers prefer a 50% retainer, other photographers request 100% of payment delivered upon contract signing. At Artvesta Studio, we require a 30% retainer to reserve a date.

Wedding Ring on a Book Heart Shadow

6. How come the price ranges drastically among various wedding photographers?

Since a wedding photographer does not need a specific degree or to pass any specialty tests to shoot events, some aspiring photographers can offer their services for free or very low prices. These photographers have probably shot fewer than 20 weddings as a main or only photographer. I shot my very first wedding for $400 in 2003.

Sea Island GA Wedding

7. When should I book a wedding photographer?

Start scouting for the right wedding photographer as soon as you secure your wedding date. Since experienced photographers accept bookings years in advance, it’s in your best interest to book your wedding photographer once you find the best combination of vision, skills, personality, and price that meets your requirements.

Wedding In Montauk NY

8. What qualities must a wedding photographer possess?

As you interview multiple wedding photographers, look for the right combination of personal and professional qualities that will assure a smooth flow of your wedding day and captivating photos. Make sure you understand a photographer’s personality and figure out why he or she became a wedding photographer.

For example, I became a wedding photographer because I love capturing emotions and enjoy brainstorming creative photo concepts and ideas and bringing them to life. Nothing is more rewarding than creating the exact shot that I had in mind and the satisfaction of the couples with the finished product. I spent years honing my craft before offering my talent commercially.

Punta Cana Dominican Republic Wedding

9. What should I be aware of when scouting wedding photographers?

Make sure to view several weddings that potential photographers have shot from the beginning to the end. Many wedding photographers start out as second shooters for well-established studios and often include second-shooter pictures in their portfolio when booking their own jobs. Even if those pictures are impressive, you cannot be sure that the photographer can withhold the pressure of being the first or, especially, the only photographer at the wedding.

Another helpful tip when scouting a wedding photographer is whether he or she is willing to give you reproduction rights after the job is completed. The withholding of reprinting rights is the main source of hidden additional costs in the industry. For instance, a photographer can offer you a very low price for his or her photography services, and after the wedding, he or she can inform you that the only way for you to receive your pictures is to pay $6.99 for each 4×6” print. Keep in mind that a professional photographer takes between 1,000 and 3,000 images per wedding.

Top Of The Rock Elopenemt From Beijing

10. What equipment should a wedding photographer carry?

Since wedding photography is a rapidly-changing industry, new technologies and equipment are being constantly introduced to professional photographers which makes it difficult to give exact specifications of the equipment required for a quality photo shoot. However, some standards remain unchanged such as having at least two professional-grade photo cameras, a set of various lenses and speedlights, as well as off-camera photographic lights, reflectors, stands, portable batteries, and photographic umbrellas. In my professional kit, I usually carry three Nikon photo cameras, five lenses, five speedlights and one video light, at least two photo stands, a tripod, three sets of wireless speedlight triggers, 2-4 light stands, a stepladder, and a set of creative props.

Hornblower + W Hoboken Wedding

11. Are photography prices less expensive for off-season and weekday weddings?

The prices for professional wedding photography vary for off-season and weekday weddings. You can potentially save up to 20% on a regular photography package with a winter wedding on a weekday. If you want to include albums in your package, the discount will probably be much smaller because the cost of album production is fixed and included in the photography package price.

Wedding Shoes Shot The Metropolitan Building

12. Can I order both black and white and color photos?

Since it is fairly easy to convert a color photograph into a black and white one, do not worry about making this decision in advance as long as you agreed on color photography.

Midtown Loft and terrace bride

  1. Why do wedding photographers copyright the pictures they take at weddings?  

Transfer and reproduction rights can easily be confused with a copyright. The copyright is granted to any photographer at the time a picture is created. It does not need to be claimed, documented, or registered by an author.

If you want to reproduce the images from your wedding photographer, make sure a reproduction release is included in your contract. For more information on copyrights, visit It is common for wedding photographers to retain the original hi-resolution files to be able to maximize their profits by making additional money on prints. Retaining the hi-resolution photographs is very common in the United States except for some urban cities such as New York or Los Angeles. The fierce competition among wedding photographers forces many professionals to surrender their reproduction rights to make their photography packages more competitive.

Carlton Hotel groom and groomsmen

Still have questions? Please feel free to ask me by commenting below or email me at

© Tatiana Valerie, an award-winning wedding photographer based in New York City

What makes great wedding photography

What is great wedding photography? Is it the perfectly posed photo that captures a couple’s brightest smiles and star-struck gazes of true love? Is it the candid photo of the two caught in the act of being their goofy, down-to-earth selves? Better yet, what is great wedding photography in the perspectives of the photographer and those who are photographed? How does that saying go…”A picture says a thousand words.”? That’s right, photos are like works of art that are interpreted in the eye of the beholder. We all see the same thing, but at our own angles.

Today, we hear from a professionally photographed bride paired with my own thoughts on what makes great wedding photography.

From Photographer (Tatiana):

What do you see when you look at a wedding photo? Excellent lighting, ideal composition, great direction. That’s what you see when you look at these photos. What my clients see transcend the beauty of these photos, they relive the meaningful moment captured in that image over, and over again – the photos are alive and have breath, they will live on and on, through memory. To capture these once-in-a-lifetime shots for my clients, I need to understand who they are as a couple and what is meaningful to them. I have to be present and listen to exactly what it is that these smitten couples are communicating to me and capture that at the moment it happens – it is not orchestrated, it is organic. I have to be intuitive and feel connected with the couple to deliver meaningful photographs that tell the couple’s story in the most perfect, natural way.

Romantic meaningful moment between a bride and a maid of honor.

Photo: The bride, Jessica, and her 12-year-old maid of honor.
Wedding date: 04.12.2015
Wedding venue: The Water’s Edge, NYC

Story behind this photo: This is the bride and her 12-year-old maid of honor. The bride and the groom are high school sweethearts. They started dating when their maid of honor (groom’s sister) was born. The age of their love story equals to the age of this lovely girl on the right. The two girls symbolize the beautiful pinnacle moment of this relationship. The light and the skyline ahead symbolizes the bright future ahead. I strive to capture photos that captures my clients the way they see themselves. Photos, that reflect the very essence of my clients’ most memorable moment.

Both the bride and the photographer agree that great wedding photography results from a connection between the photographer and those who are being photographed. An unspoken understanding between the photographer and the couple combined with the photographer’s skill to beautifully capture meaningful moments creates magic – exceptional wedding photography that keeps bringing to life every treasured point in time over and over again.

Why a Couple Should Hire a Professional Photographer for Their Wedding Day

Midtown Loft & Terrace bride

Photo by ©Tatiana Valerie – this image has no association with the content of this post.

Planning a wedding can be a daunting task as every decision is like a building block that you will eventually solidify as an event of a lifetime – One of the most important days of your life, your wedding day.

Hiring a professional photographer to capture every memorable moment of your big day can require hours of research, but it will prove to be well worth it when you’ve yet again “found the one”. Take it from the words of a self-planning bride herself, Meredith from Texas, USA shares with us her sentiment on who, what, when, where, and why she chose a professional photographer for her big day.

Q: What is your vision for your wedding day?

A: Well let’s start off by saying that my vision includes absolutely no rain, plentiful sunshine and a ton of love in the air. Other than marrying the love of my life, the thing I’m most excited for is seeing all of our family and friends together. I anticipate a ton of laughs, very little stress and an all around beautiful day.

Q: What has been the most memorable or eventful time during this process of your wedding planning?

A: The day we got engaged! That was the best day. It’s been a whirlwind since then and has been surprisingly non-stressful.

Creative wedding photo ©2012 Tatiana Valerie

Photo by © Tatiana Valerie – this image has no association with the content of this post.

Q: Do you feel that choosing the perfect photographer for your big day is an essential? What if you had to go without one…how would you feel?

A: Yes! The photos from our wedding day will last forever. Making sure we had the perfect photographer was very important to me. I can’t imagine not having a photographer on that day. Those photos will be cherished forever. We are spending as much on our photographer as we are spending on the dinner for 250 guests. It was THAT important to me.

Q: Rewind back to when you were a little girl…did you always picture your dream wedding to become what it is now? What are some similarities and differences?

A: Well, when I was little, I thought I would be married at the age of 18. I’m thankful that it took me another decade to find my prince charming. He was worth the wait! I never really planned out my wedding in my head – other than knowing it would be a giant party – and a giant party it will indeed be!

Q: What’s some advice that you’d give to a “bridezilla” during the wedding planning process?

A: This should be one of the happiest days of your life. If you’re stressed, just keep that in mind and remember to breathe. The day will come and go so quickly. If you’re being a bridezilla, are you really going to have fond memories of your big day?

Destination wedding in Punta Cana Wedding Photography

Photo by © Tatiana Valerie – this image has no association with the content of this post.

Q: Does your fiancé feel as strongly as you do about capturing those once in a lifetime moments?

A: He LOVES good photography. Since seeing how the engagement photos turned out and how much they already mean to us, he is 100% on board with having a great photographer at our wedding.

Q: Tell us how everything will unfold on your big day!

A: The entire ceremony and reception will be at my fiancé’s parents’ property on Onion Creek in Driftwood, TX. They have thirty-eight acres of Texas Hill Country land, so we won’t be short on space! There will be approximately 250 guests. The ceremony will be fairly simple and will take place by the creek on property. A good friend is marrying us and all of our immediate family will be walking down the aisle. Thinking about the moment that I walk down the big stone steps to “At Last” by Etta James gives me chills (good chills!) every day. After the ceremony, everyone will walk up the stairs to the reception area. They will be greeted by hill country views, a mariachi band, a giant white tent, dance floor, a hog roast and plenty of local beer and wine. The speeches and dance will begin at sunset and we will party and dance the night away while drinking champagne and eating ice cream cookie sandwiches (We decided on this instead of a wedding cake). Guests are invited to camp at the property (Seriously, we already have RSVPs signed up to camp out). The party likely won’t stop until the next night!

Q: Do your parents or in-laws have wedding photos halfway as beautiful as your engagement photos?

A: To be honest, I haven’t seen many wedding photos from our parents weddings. The photos I have seen are mostly ‘staged’ photos of all the family together – which are still wonderful to look at.

Q: If there was a fire, and you had to choose 3 things to take with you….would your wedding photos be at the top of that list? Why or why not?

A: Not just wedding photos, but all of my photos would be at the top of the list – after my dogs, of course.

Q: You mentioned that you must have a photographer but not necessarily a videographer… Why is that?

A: I will still be looking to secure a videographer for the wedding – but a photographer is much more important to me. Am I going to watch our wedding video every day? No. Will I see our beautiful wedding photos around our house every day? Yes.

Wedding at Montauk NY

Photo by © Tatiana Valerie – this image has no association with the content of this post.

Q: What feelings would exude from you, after viewing the most absolute perfect wedding photo (yours or someone else’s’)? Feel free to be as sappy as you’d like.

A: Upon seeing our engagement photos, I cried, a lot. They were all happy tears because the photos meant so much to me. When we first see our wedding photos, I expect the same reaction – times ten. I will probably be smiling for days and showing them off for years.

Q: When you see bad wedding photography, what are you thinking about?

A: It shocks me when a bride and groom don’t realize how important wedding photography is. I knew a girl that got married a few years ago and she didn’t hire a photographer for her wedding. She said “everyone can take pictures with their cell phones.” I just about died.

Q: Photos/photography has been around for ages…painting portraits, film cameras, black and white photos only, then color photos, digital cameras, and now cameras in our phones that we can instantly print out at any local drugstore – Do you feel the significance and cherished quality of true photography has dwindled throughout time? Do you have actual photo boxes or photo books?

A: I think that there is an even greater appreciation for good photography these days. There are so many mediums for photos to be seen by so many people. I still print a lot of photos and keep them in photo albums and photo boxes. Eventually, digital photos will likely be a thing of the past – and I would hate to not have all those great photos in hand.

Q: You’ve taken on photography before…as a photographer and being the person being photographed…what tips would you give someone who is searching for the perfect wedding photographer?

A: Find someone that will truly understand you and your fiancé’s relationship. The more they get you, the better the photos will be. Do not be afraid to tell your photographer what you envision. A good photographer will take your advice and use their skill to build on your vision and make it better than you ever imagined. Trust your photographer. Sometimes you may feel silly taking a photo using their direction, but the outcome of that photo could be amazing.


From the lady of the hour, and like many other soon-to-be-married brides, hiring a professional photographer for your wedding day is one of the single most important aspects of planning your wedding. After committing to your chosen photographer, you’ll be counting down the days to when you can flip through the pages in your wedding photo book and swoon over the sweetest day of your life.

My Secrets to a Flawless Bridal Getting Ready Photo Shoot

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I was recently asked by to share my secrets to a flawless wedding getting ready photo shoot. Here are my eight tips that will help to get the best getting ready photos.

As a former corporate employee, I treat every wedding as a complex project where every element depends on advanced planning prior to the Wedding Day. With more than 12 years of hands-on wedding photography experience, I believe that pre-planning helps all the major players of the big day – including the couple, bridal party and immediate family members – stay on schedule and get better quality photographs.

Here are my top tips on achieving better getting ready photos:

1. Ask your hair and makeup artist for the estimated time needed to complete your wedding day makeover. Add 30-40 minutes to their estimate and be prepared for anything. There are always unexpected things that will get in the way including an urgent phone call, an important missing item, or a friend who wants to congratulate you early. This all adds up and consumes precious time. Don’t be surprised or frustrated by it; just plan for it.


2. Ask your photographer to start shooting when your makeup is almost ready. The makeup artist can always apply an extra layer of lipstick or powder for “on camera” shots. If you start your photo shoot too early, you will be responsible to pay for that extra time of photography and also risk the potential of unflattering photos in your wedding collection.


3. Eat something before your makeup artist starts working on your face. An early nutritious breakfast will ensure that you have enough energy for the entire day and save your foundation and lipstick from smudging and becoming uneven

Bride's Breakfast_by_Tatiana_Valerie_Artvesta_019

4. Make sure the room for your getting ready photos is clutter-free and well-lit (great daylight is always preferred). You don’t want a random bra left on a couch to be in every photo. There is no guarantee that “photoshopping that bra out” will be a seamless process.

Yelena & Alex Punta Cana-0215

5. Set aside your “must be photographed” items in one place before your photographer arrives. Make sure the invitation, wedding rings, earrings, special clutch, flowers or your fiancé’s grandfather’s cufflinks, are in one location ready to be professionally styled and photographed. Don’t forget to ask your florist to deliver your flowers before your photographer starts her or his work. In addition, this will save unnecessary stress and time and ensure that you will have all those significant items beautifully captured.

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Yelena & Alex Punta Cana wedding rings

6. Share your ideas for specific shots with your wedding photographer. For example, one of my brides asked for a photo of her pinning a boutonniere to her father’s jacket. If you don’t communicate your preferences with the wedding photographer, you may miss out on some special shots in your wedding album.

7. Make sure that you, your wedding planner, or one of your bridesmaids brings a sewing kit. It can be a huge time saver if anyone needs a safety pin, a pair of scissors, or someone’s button falls off. It is much easier to fix the problem before snapping photographs then photoshopping that button on in over a hundred photos.


8. If you would like a mini-boudoir session before you get into your wedding dress, hiring a female wedding photographer may be a better choice for you. It will definitely help you feel more at ease and capture some stunning and tasteful shots that you and your husband will treasure forever.



Overall, great communication with your wedding photographer and thorough planning are imperative for a successful wedding day photo shoot.

Planning a destination wedding or a honeymoon? Let a professional travel specialist help you!


Yesterday, we sat down with travel agent, Laura Hanaford. Laura specializes in custom vacations, honeymoons, group travel for destination weddings and travel for out of town guests to local weddings. Her company, The Trip Trotter, is part of the Tzell Travel Group. Laura helps us understand why in the world of internet bookings where information is at your fingertips, it’s still best to work with a travel agent.

What is your process for working with couples choosing a destination wedding?

Resort matching is the longest and most difficult part of planning destination weddings, yet it’s the most important. Most of the time, couples don’t have a resort in mind, but they have an idea for a location. It’s also important to know where they don’t want to have their wedding and why. Ironically, couples actually book on islands that they originally did not want to because they had previous false misconceptions. I begin by either meeting the couple in person or having a phone interview. It’s important to learn about who they are, their families and any expectations and must-haves that they need for their wedding. Obviously, budget is a largest factor when planning but unlike planning non-destination weddings, the costs for the guests is often more important than the wedding itself. It’s also important to note if you’re allowed to bring in outside vendors and if there’s a cost. After getting to know the couple, I pull a few different properties and have the couple let me know what they like and don’t like about each. We will then look at different properties until we find the perfect fit.


What’s the advantage of working with a travel agent over booking the property directly with the resort yourself?

As an agent, not only do we have access to the best group rates possible, but we can also help negotiate extras in addition to the group amenities. They vary depending on the resort, but can include free transfers, upgrades, better room locations, wedding packages, and extra parties. Sometimes, we can even negotiate services of a judge or minister- that’s huge! There’s also more flexibility with the cancellation policy within our contracts. Many couples complain that the upgrades that were promised do not get delivered, but as we have relationships with these properties, promises are delivered. The contract can also be confusing and most couples have never booked group travel before. We help explain the ins and outs and make sure that you’re taking advantage of everything that is available.


Ok, but what about booking the honeymoon?

I usually book my own trips. Why should I hire a travel agent? Couples come to me at the last because the pressure and time needed to plan the wedding became overwhelming. The honeymoon is a once in a lifetime trip for most couples, so why not have a professional plan it. Travel agents also are able to get better rates at many top hotels and resorts. One of the hotel programs that my agency is part of is The Signature Group, which gives upgrades, amenities and value-adds at over 800 properties worldwide. Add-ons include daily breakfast for two, early check- in/late check-out upon availability and resort credit.

We’re the ones that can send bottles of champagne to your room. We also make sure that you’re taking the right tours, have all of the right transfers and are not trying to fit in too much or make unreasonable connections. We’re not just your booking agent, but your consultant and can provide you with destination opportunities that you’ve never dreamed of. Couples often have an idea of where they want to go, but in reality it may not match their personality, honeymoon time, or budget and we help you realize that and come up with alternatives. For brides that like to plan, I help target their searches so it’s not so overwhelming yet they still feel in control.

For instance, I’ll give them several hotel options and let them choose. Most importantly, when something goes wrong, you know that you have someone with influence to call when you need help. Because my agency has such strong relationships with vendors, we’re able to step in when there’s a problem and get you help faster than those who book themselves. For example, my agency even has a direct line with Delta, so we can get to the airline agent that much faster.

Great, I’m sold. So what’s the best way to contact you?

I’m reachable by phone at 212-537-7154, or email at Can’t wait to help make your next dream vacation a reality.

Photography by Tatiana Valerie 2015

7 reasons to hire a professional wedding photographer…Or will Uncle Bob do just fine?












Benefits of Professional Wedding Photography: Education, Training and Experience

Your big day is approaching and you have everything in order. You have your caterer, your church, your reception hall, the cake, the rings, the dresses, vows are written, and everything is in place. Or is it? Who is doing your photography? Oh not to worry – your cousin is an amateur photographer and he is taking the pictures. It was a good way to shave a few dollars off the budget. Good idea right? Wrong.

Midtown Loft and terrace bride

Why is it not a good idea? Why do you want to hire a professional wedding photographer for your big day? Pictures are pictures right? Again wrong. There are benefits to having a professional photographer for your wedding and these benefits far outweigh what you can shave from your budget by having an amateur do it for free. These pictures are the placeholders for the memories of your wedding for the rest of your life. Your cake will be devoured in a night. Your pictures will last longer than a lifetime.

Wedding in Montauk NY 1000

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and those pictures will be one of the most important items in your box of memories. The more incredible the pictures, the more incredible the memories will be. What are the benefits of hiring a professional wedding photographer?

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer: Education, Training and Experience

A professional photographer is going to get you the best possible pictures, using the best set ups and props. The photographer will make sure the lighting and angles are excellent. When you interview photographers for your wedding, remember you want someone with great credentials. What are great credentials? Education and training in photography and years of experience, specifically with weddings.


Style is a vital component in why you should choose a professional wedding photographer. If you let a relative who is an amateur take your pictures what style will they have? Do they know they have a style or is it all haphazard? You take a huge risk by doing that.

Hire a professional whose style matches yours and who will give you the type of pictures that you want. Do you want modern shots that are black and white and very stark but stunning? Do you want the more traditional and formal style of pictures, mostly in color with set ups that everyone will recognize? Do you want pre-set pictures from a list you give the photographer or do you want candid, not preplanned pictures? Can an amateur deliver what you want in this area? Think this through completely and make sure your wedding photographer matches your desires and go with a professional who will immediately understand what you are talking about when you say you want modern, contemporary shots or you want a traditional wedding portfolio.

The metropolitan building Wedding

Camera Equipment Knowledge:

You will want to hire a professional wedding photographer because they have the right equipment to provide you with the pictures and quality that you want. Your relatives or friends might have a really nice digital SLR with zoom lens, but usually they will still be handicapped by not having a variety of lenses and a couple of cameras of professional caliber. The type of photographic equipment used is as important as the person behind the camera. This is your wedding day after all. You are looking for the memories of your lifetime and you need the right professional equipment and the right professional with the training and experience to make the best use of it.

The Photographer’s Role:

Another reason to avoid having a relative or friend be your wedding day photographer is that they are emotionally involved in the activities of the day. They are more likely to get distracted and not get the pictures you want. Then what happens at the reception when they want to eat, have cake, and dance the night away? Do you end up without any pictures from your reception? Also it is very common for the guests at your wedding to give leeway to a professional wedding photographer because they understand that person’s role. They understand that you are paying that person. However, they are far less likely to give the same leeway to Uncle Bill. They will not see him as a professional photographer. They will see him as equal to themselves in just trying to get a good picture. He might have better equipment than they do, but he is still Uncle Bill and they have no reason to get out of his way or to let him get the picture.

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Unlike a professional, your friends or relatives will not have a proven track record of taking photos at many weddings. The professional wedding photographer needs to be able to show you a proven record of success – they should have a portfolio of pictures from all the different types of weddings they have done.

Wedding Photographers do More:

Another benefit of hiring a professional wedding photographer with a lot of wedding experience is one that most people never think of. Your photographer will be your right hand woman on your wedding day. You will spend more time with your photographer on this day than with anyone else including the groom. Because of this you need a professional who is focused on you and not on their own role in the ceremony. The professional wedding photographer does a lot more than take the pictures. They also make things easier, more relaxed, and more enjoyable for the bride and groom, but especially for the bride.

Think about this for a few minutes. Who will be with you, the bride, from the moment you start your day until you get in the car to leave for your honeymoon? He or she will be in the background and never interfere unless you need them. But you will need them. The photographer is probably the person who assists the bride the most as she goes through her day.

Your photographer will be there for your pre-wedding breakfast. They will tell you if your makeup is good and if your hair is out of place. Who is there every minute calming the bride and assuring her that she looks gorgeous? Who is there every minute to tell the bride that her jewelry is right and her hair clip works perfectly. The photographer is always says “That’s it. That’s good. You’re beautiful. Great shot”. All these things calm an over excited bride. What we know for sure is there will be moments when the only person available to calm the over excited bride is the photographer. If this is a relative, they are in the church seated while the bride is alone in her nervousness.

So many brides and grooms never consider this aspect of hiring a professional wedding photographer. Even if you have a wedding planner, they will not be your shadow every minute of the day like your photographer will be.  Your photographer has to be an organizer and a cheerleader. They have to be a professional and the bride’s best friend for the day.

She also needs to be a therapist for the entire wedding party keeping them calm and keeping them on schedule. It is more likely to be the photographer who says “let’s go it’s time to start”, rather than the officiator. When something goes wrong the photographer has to be able to keep things calm and get whatever shots they can until the crisis is resolved. They also then have to readjust their timing to make sure they get all the shot you requested.

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Communication and Reliability:

Because of the importance of the role as stated above you need a professional wedding photographer and not an amateur. You need someone who can communicate very well with the entire bridal party and get them where he wants them when he wants them there without anyone feeling like he is an intrusion into the day.

She must be available emotionally for the bride so this means she has to match the bride’s personality as much as possible, be relaxed and outgoing, compassionate and sensitive, fun and energetic. It’s a big order to fill and that is why you need someone who knows how to do it and has done it successfully for years. He or she must be all of this and yet stay out of the way, in the background and of course, most importantly get the best and most intimate photographs while taking care of everyone in the bridal party. No amateur, no matter how good, relative or friend, will be able to maintain the distance and impartiality needed while still offering the intimacy and support needed and still get the shot.


You need to hire someone that you, the bride, are comfortable with. Think about spending ten to thirteen hours with this person on the biggest day of your life. You had better like being with them.  You will expose your most intimate self to this person. Make sure you will be treated with respect and sensitivity.  This photographer needs to be the best possible combination of experience and patience. Patience just might be the most important characteristic any wedding photographer can have.
Props: Remember this is your photographer. You will spend all day with her but the most important thing is the pictures. Make sure she has the props and set ups she needs at every stage of the day: before the ceremony, at the ceremony, at the reception, and as you leave the reception.

Remember the most important thing is that this is the biggest day of your life.

They will give you the best quality and the most creativity. What is so important about having a professional is that they will find a way to be in the right place at the right time in order to get the right shot. No amateur can have the experience needed to be able to do this. It takes experience and training to be able to do this. The professional also knows how to coach the subjects of their pictures – to help them relax and look natural in every shot.

He or she has the experience to deal with the bride, groom, bridal party, families, guests, friends, officiator and wedding planner all day long and still stay out of the way, while taking great photos.
Establish a great rapport with the bride. If this does not happen then you will see it in the pictures.
Finally a professional wedding photographer will have outstanding planning skills. They have to be able to plan for any contingency that might occur on the day of the wedding. They need to have a plan for the story they are telling of your wedding day.

With all of this taken into consideration it only makes sense – both from a budgetary and a personal – for the bride and groom to hire a professional wedding photographer.

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What Happens at Your After the Wedding Day Photo Shoot

What is an after the wedding day photo shoot? It is a photo session a few days after the wedding or after the honeymoon. The bride and groom dress in their gown and tux and have a relaxing and stress free photo session.

What is really nice about this session is that you don’t have to worry about getting your wedding clothes dirty or wrinkled if your photographer wants you to take pictures outside. Since these pictures are taken within weeks of the wedding, the bride and groom are still in the honeymoon stage and the emotions come through in the photos from any good professional wedding photographer.

Another major advantage to this kind of after wedding photo session is that the pictures can be taken anywhere in any setting. If you live in New York the pictures can be taken at Grand Central Station or in Times Square or Central Park.

When you are not pressured on time, your professional wedding photographer will be able to use her creativity to the best of her ability. In this way her photos taken after the wedding are exceptional. This is an opportunity to get some very different kind of pictures than you were able to get on your wedding day.

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Benefits of an After the Wedding Day Photo Shoot:

Wardrobe Changes: It lets you take more great pictures in your wedding gown with the groom in his tux, as well as in your reception and honeymoon clothes.

Go Places: This second shoot, whether after the honeymoon or the day after the wedding, allows for pictures to be taken in a wide variety of venues – indoors and out – in an art museum or in a forest. Go to the first place you met, kissed, started dating, etc. Make some exciting memories!

Less Stress: You get all these extra shots and you don’t have to put any extra stress on your wedding day schedule. You can even be a little more relaxed on your wedding day, knowing that there will be another day for taking more pictures.

More Props: You can choose to use all types of props that you could not use on your wedding day. These after wedding photos can be playful and teasing or they can be serious and sultry. Of course they can also be both. That is the real glory of the after wedding day photos – they can be anything at all that you want them to be. They are not held back by the formality of the wedding day.

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Variety: You can have your after wedding day photos shot at different times of the day. You can start with sexy day after breakfast pictures and then move to pictures in the forest in the early afternoon. Finally some night shots at a slightly fancy dinner out and slow dances afterward. With these pictures you would have a complete story of your wedding and the day after.

New Likes: You can provide your professional wedding photographer with a list of things that you and your new groom like and are attracted to. The photographer can use this list to put together a creative list of after wedding photos. If you like ice cream, then your photographer can find a quirky ice cream parlor to take some pictures at.

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Playful Poses: Some brides advocate having a trash the dress session where you have pictures taken while you do things that will destroy your wedding dress, like sit in the ocean or a swimming pool with your dress on. Or maybe you want to lie on the beach and get sand all over your dress while various posed pictures are taken. These are usually fun and playful poses.

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No matter what the reason might be the decision on when to take the traditional or artistic wedding day photos is up to the bride and groom. Your professional wedding photographer will be willing to work with you and take the shots whenever you prefer they be taken.

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