Location, Location, Location!



We teamed up with Lisa Petersen from the Grand Manse to give you this week’s Tips & Tricks. Enjoy!


Finding the perfect venue for your big day is not as daunting as you would think. The best thing you can do is go to your site visits prepared. Take notes, ask if you can take pictures (photos will help jog your memory if you are looking at a number of different venues). Photos are also fun to look back on after the wedding.541


After determining that your date is available, you will want to make sure the venue hold the appropriate number of people for your reception.  You may want to clarify the number.  Is it for standing, a cocktail party setup, or seated, a dinner setup.  I would even try to ask for pictures of the different setups so you can really get a feel for how your reception will look.

Next, ask what all is included in the price.  Sometimes the price may be a little more expensive, but include more.  For instance, one venue may offer the room for a longer time, let you setup days before, have a certain caterer or DJ that you would use, or provide a variety of table setups and tablecloths.  Having some of these things included in the price could save you time and money and save you the hassle of worrying about more items on your to-do list.


The most important part of the reception is being able to celebrate with family and friends and to make it the most enjoyable for everyone.  In order to accomplish this, verify that parking is easily available near your venue.  Another helpful tip is to have the reception near the hotel that many of your guests are staying.

At the end of your meeting, ask if there are any rules and regulations that have not been covered. It is hard to think of every possible scenario. Mindy Weiss, professional wedding planner, says that some venues require you to work with a professional wedding planner, other venues have a specific florist/event designer that you must use, while others still will have a list of approved professionals you must work with.


Happy searching!




Dani & Brent

You might recognize this bride from the Grande Manse photo shoot, but on June 29 it was her day to say “I do.”

Dani and Brent have know each other since high school when they started dating.  After almost six years of dating, Brent set up a surprise dinner in his shed for Dani.  The visual hints of Brent’s polo shirt, which he doesn’t like wearing, and his promise ring on the left hand, which he had always refused to wear on that hand, made Dani know that something was going on.  During the private dinner overlooking the beautiful countryside, he popped the question.

They were married at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Bee and the reception followed in Seward at the Ag Pavilion.  Dani made her dream a reality when she entered the reception through the large doors in a Hummer limo.  The couple enjoyed making these memories as the mark of their new marriage.

I have really enjoyed working with Dani in the past and was excited to shoot her big day.  I got to know both of them while shooting their engagement session where we had a great time.  It was fun to go out in the country and take some picture on the same dirt road that Brent’s sister took her pictures.  Overall, it was an awesome small town wedding and I had a blast being a part of the celebration. Check out some of the images!

Dan & Lynn’s Classic Wedding

Dan and Lynn first met through mutual friends after a Husker football game.  They enjoyed their first date at the Grata in Lincoln.  Dan proposed on Lynn’s birthday.  After she opened her “last” gift, she had one more waiting for her as Dan was on his knees with a ring.

Dan and Lynn’s June 22 wedding was at Cathedral of the Risen Christ, where both Dan’s parents and brother had previously gotten married.  The most important part of the day was taking their vows in from of family and friends. The reception followed at Lincoln Country Club and had a traditional and classic feel.

I was able to take the couple away from the reception for a few minutes towards the end of the night.  We took some awesome pictures using alternative lighting and the beautiful architecture of the country club building. Lynn & Dan are great couple what a fun day.  Check out this short video!

Justin & Bethany — A Columbus Wedding

When Justin & Bethany met at Bethany’s brother joint bachelor/bachelorette party, they instantly hit it off.  Having their first date just a few weeks later, they went out for the first time the day after her brother’s wedding.  Justin proposed by leading her into a room with a bouquet of roses.  One of the roses was gold tipped and had a ring attached to it. The couple tied the knot on June 15 at Peace Lutheran Church in Columbus.

For the reception, they created an elegant and classy feeling by having rich colors and picking the New World Inn as the venue.  The most important part of the day for the couple was saying “I do” and being with family and friends.

I love going to Columbus to photograph weddings and this was nothing short of an enjoyable day with a fun couple.  Check our their video.

Ceremonial Snaps

When a couple gets married in a church there are many questions that can arise as to the boundaries of the photographers and the time allotted for formal pictures, even down to the flowers and unity candle.  One thing is for sure, it is you special day and you want to make sure that everything goes well.  I have compiled a list of things to ask and discuss with your wedding planner, photographer, and church contact person.


1.  Determine how much time is available for formal portraits in the church. Many churches have functions or services after your wedding and it is crucial to communicate with your contact person at the church to make sure you are not rushed to get the pictures you really want on your big day.


2.  Make sure the photographer knows his/her boundaries.  Most wedding photographers know how close they can get without disrupting the ceremony, but some churches have rules about staying out of the isles and not using flash.  Ask the church contact person about the rules for photographing the ceremony.  Ask the photographer about his/her usual method of photographing at the ceremony.


(Our Method)

At a typical church wedding, we stay in the back or out to the sides of the church and pews.  Our equipment allows us to capture the same quality of pictures without distracting.  We will never use flash during the ceremony. This is so we don’t disrupt during the ceremony and so we can create intimate lighting in our pictures.


3. Check the flowers for the ceremony.  Flowers will most likely be a part of the décor in the church.  Check to see if the flowers block the view of the guests and photographers from seeing the ceremony.  Also, make sure someone is in charge of helping the men put on their boutonnieres.  Ladies, they don’t always know how those work.


4. Make sure people can see the unity candle or sand.  In many cases, the bride and groom get caught up in the moment and forget about turning towards their guests or taking a step back so everyone can see them light the candle or pour the sand.  Discuss with the wedding coordinator and church contact the setup for this part of the ceremony.  It might be nice if the bride and groom faced towards their guests for this special moment.  And it can certainly help the photographer get a better picture of this event.


Again, the key to avoid any mishaps or difficulties is to communicate with all the individuals involved. See you next week for our Tuesday Tips & Tricks!

Chris & Christina — A Family Affair

Chris & Christina came together to celebrate their new marriage in an intimate family setting at the beginning of June. With both the bride and groom’s children a huge part of the day, I was able to see and capture their relationship with each other and their children.  Having a small intimate wedding really made for a romantic and dream-like feeling that they wanted.

Chris & Christina have know each other for a while, but it wasn’t until years later that they went on their first date. Christina’s brother was the one who set them up when they both ended up moving to the same state. It wasn’t much later that they got engaged and were on their way to their wedding day.

For the couple the vows were the most important aspect of the day.  They loved being able to share that moment of love in front of family and their closest friends.

Check out the video of the couple’s big day!