Booking a photographer for your wedding can be an overwhelming task. There may be a ton of photographers in your area, and the internet can be a scary place – it’s hard to know where to begin! I recently saw a story of a couple who booked a “reputable” photographer online and their wedding gallery was returned with out of focus and incorrectly exposed images. Their photographer completely ghosted them after the wedding, and they came to find out his website was full of stolen images. Stories like this break my heart for that poor couple, because ultimately you cannot get that day back. Today I am sharing a few tips on how to find a reputable wedding photographer that you can trust to document your day.
It is not just enough to visit the website of a potential photographer. Websites can be designed so easily with fake content (similar to what I described earlier), so be sure the photographers website has an updated portfolio. Even better would be to view recent blog posts. many photographers who are actively building their business will be posting regularly on a blog to boost traffic to their website. Finally, most websites these days can link to a social media account. Do they have an Instagram that they are actively posting on? Are the images different than their website? Do they share on stories? If all of those answers are no, that could be a red flag.
Keep in mind that every wedding gallery is going to be different, but requesting to see a full wedding gallery from a photographer is a great way to see what to expect. You cannot trust a website or social media alone – those are are just highlight reels, remember! I openly share wedding galleries with inquiring couples so they can get an idea of what to expect from me.
Google and Facebook reviews are a great place to check out a potential wedding photographer. If clients are taking the time to write a review after their wedding or session, that must mean they had an experience worth talking about – whether it be positive or negative. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t buy an item of clothing online without reading the reviews let alone spend thousands on a service. Being sure there are reviews on their Google page within the past year is a good indication they are in business.
The last and MOST IMPORTANT tip is to talk to your friends. Ask around for recommendations, ask your friends to see their wedding galleries. Have them share their experiences with you. The number one way I receive referrals is by word of mouth from clients and their families. Talking to couples who have been recently married in your area can help you determine if a photographer is going to be the right fit for you!
What do you think? Do you feel more comfortable knowing how to find a reputable wedding photographer? Do you have any other tips for couples? I would love to hear from you.
For those of you looking for information on this gorgeous venue, the Chatham Armoury is a beautiful spot in Chatham for a larger wedding. Four Diamond Events is amazing to work with! Or if you are planning a more rustic event, check out my recent post about Camp Weddings!
I have said it before, and I know I will say it again, but a summer camp wedding is the way to do it. Lauren and Randy’s Camp Timberlane Wedding was a complete dream for so many reasons. Not only do you get to spend an entire weekend with your wedding guests, but having everything take place on site allows for more quality time with your partner. Scroll through to see some of my favourite moments from Lauren and Randy’s wedding, and a few reasons for why summer camp weddings are amazing!
Inviting your guests for a weekend long celebration where lodging and meals are included gives them a vacation experience. They get 2 full days to enjoy the camp, explore the nature and try out the amenities. It forces them to slow down and disconnect for a few days. I truly believe that this relaxed experience keeps your guests more present in the moment with you.
I don’t know about you, but at our own wedding we had very little quality time with our guests. Often times weddings are the only times you get your favourite people in the same space, and taking the time to really enjoy their company can take your wedding to the next level. Lauren and Randy had a welcome dinner followed by a campfire party on the beach the night before their wedding where they got to mingle with their friends and family. This on top of the more traditional cocktail hour after the ceremony was a big blessing for them.
Harley and the staff at Camp Timberlane were incredible to work with as a wedding vendor, and they worked really closely with Lauren and Randy leading up to, and during the day. They moved all of the equipment around, set up decorations, directed guests, and did it all with that laid back camp attitude everyone can appreciate on a potentially stressful day.
Most summer camps offer a variety of natural and rustic backdrops throughout the property that will elevate your photos and video. Speaking as an experienced photographer, having a variety of locations on site gives you a fuller wedding gallery, and it also saves you so much time on your wedding day since you do not need to travel. Camp Timberlane has wooded areas, waterfront, trails, cabins and much more to offer.
If a summer camp wedding feels like something that might be your style and meet your needs, I highly recommend Camp Timberlane and their incredible staff. I would absolutely LOVE to shoot another summer camp wedding, so get in touch today to start planning with me!
Joanna and Duncan’s backyard wedding on Lake Huron in Sarnia, Ontario was an incredibly intimate and fun event to be a part of. Although planned in the middle of the pandemic within only a few month’s time, they pulled it off and it was perfection. Joanna herself is a photographer and they were both a dream to work with. The ceremony took place in the back yard of a family member, and you really couldn’t ask for a better backdrop to their commitment. Have a look below at some of my favourite moments from the day!
Joanna and Duncan planned their day to focus heavily on their faith and their family – two very important things in their relationship. The backyard wedding experience allowed their small guest list to be involved in all of the details. Their ceremony beautifully merged their faith with different cultural traditions. Much of the decor, desserts and games were either made by friends and family, or designed by the couple. It was a beautiful mix of rustic and traditional. A smaller wedding always seems to leave more room for personal touches like Joanna’s first dance with her dad. They surprised everyone with a choreographed dance to a medley of songs that left a huge smile on everyone’s face!
Although they had a quick engagement, Duncan and Joanna were obviously so in love and ready for their life to begin together. They pulled off a wonderful celebration that perfectly incorporated their faith and family. Backyard weddings can be so beautiful and fun (especially on Lake Huron!). If you are planning an intimate backyard wedding, let me know! I’d be happy to tag along for more lawn games 😉
Stacey and Bobby asked if I would not only photograph their Elora Elopement last summer, but also whether I would offer myself as a witness to their commitment. Being a wedding photographer is not something I take lightly – it is one of the greatest honours – but also being asked to sign on their behalf was incredible. I know it sounds like something so simple, but it was one of the best wedding experiences I have had. Being one of few to hear their vows to each other – making me cry again!
Together with their adorable son, they spent the evening at the GORGEOUS Elora Mill getting ready together and hanging out. We then ventured out to the gorge (kudos to any bride willing to hike down the gorge in their wedding dress!) for their commitment ceremony and finished the evening with a stroll through Elora.
Small wedding are incredible. The intimacy really does amplify the joy for the couple. And this Elora elopement really cemented my love for them. In fact, moving into 2023 I am cutting back on traditional wedding days in order to keep myself available for experiences like Stacy an Bobby’s.
I had the pleasure of documenting this day with Bryan at Brubacher Films who I cannot recommend enough!
So now that I’ve put it out there – who want’s to elope?! I am 100% down to photograph your elopement, so please get in touch!
Like many couples in 2020, Jamison and Brandon had to make a lot of concessions in order for their wedding day to be a success. However, their persistence and creativity allowed them to pull off an absolutely perfect day that still included their friends and family. I’m going to file this day under “great things to come of 2020” because it was days like these where people felt so much hope and pure joy for something much larger than the pandemic.
Beautiful florals by the always talented Westbrooks
At the time of their wedding, the provincial restrictions would not allow them to host all of their guests for the reception, however they smartly organized multiple outdoor gatherings where their guests could see them and celebrate. After the ceremony, they visited each small gathering to safely visit with their guests, and celebrate with those they love most. It may have been different than they originally anticipated, but it was perfect.
Our little adventure through the county allowed for a lot of opportunities to stop and photograph Jamison and Brandon. We had a lot of fun, and their joy in being able to be married was obvious. They finished their night at the Black Goose in Wallaceburg, which was transformed completely by To Suit Your Fancy into a beautiful, intimate space. Their speeches were full of laughter, joking and a few tears (for me, always). At the end of the day, they were able to be married, and that was more than enough.
If you are looking for a wedding photographer in Chatham-Kent, get in touch today! I would love to be by your side to document your greatest adventure yet!
Brittany VanRuymbeke is a Wedding Photographer in Chatham-Kent specializing in laid back wedding days full of laughter and bad dance moves.
Brittany VanRuymbeke is a Sarnia Lambton Wedding Photographer specializing in weddings, couples and families. To see more weddings, click here.
Nicole & Sean held a beautiful evening celebration at Bogey’s Inn in September. They had a small group of friends and family for the ceremony on the water and enjoyed a relaxing evening socializing with their guests.
Working with couples like Nicole & Sean is a dream. They had a vision for a laid back day and it came together beautifully. Neither of them are one for the spotlight, so in lieu of a traditional head table and speeches, they opted for a more relaxed go-with-the-flow evening. This style of celebration was the perfect way for them to enjoy their day without feeling uncomfortable – something I always recommend to my couples. Planning your day for YOU instead of how you think you should is the best way to guarantee you will enjoy it to its fullest.
Scroll through and check out their beautiful day! It was a stunner.
Thank you so much Nicole + Sean for having me document your day! I can’t wait to see what goodness marriage brings to you both!
If you are looking for a Sarnia Lambton Wedding Photographer, contact me today! I would love to hear from you.
Brittany VanRuymbeke is a Sarnia Ont Wedding Photographer located in Chatham-Kent. To see more weddings, click here.
I can’t say it enough: Greenhill Gardens is such a gem of a space for a wedding ceremony. Allison & Wayne held their ceremony there, with the reception at the Sydenham Community Curling Club. After using the gardens for their family pictures we hoped on the bus and headed out by the St. Clair River for some fun with the wedding party.
Speaking of, Allison & Wayne had the cutest wedding party I have ever worked with! Between all of their siblings, they have 3 nieces and 3 nephews who stood along side them on their wedding day. These kids are obviously a very important part of their life and their relationship, and keeping them involved throughout the whole day was an adorable way to honour their family. They even scheduled a quick stop at Brander Park for them to play and blow off some steam before dinner! It was very clear throughout the whole day how important family is to both of them – I can’t wait to see how their family grows and how they develop as parents to their own little ones!
Allison & Wayne, thank you so much for asking me to be a part of your beautiful day. I had a blast with all of you!
Are you looking for a Sarnia Ont Wedding Photographer? Get in touch today for more information and availability!