10 Reasons why you should choose a Destination Wedding!

Hey guys!

Saskatoon Canada Destination Wedding Photographer

Saskatoon Canada Destination Wedding Photographer

This week has been sooo busy and I am trying my best to keep up with emails/messages/phone calls/meetings, etc! I really need to get on it with finding an assistant to help me out with these things and more!

So many exciting things happening in this upcoming week… I will be able to share more with you after the weekend but it’s definitely something I have been looking forward to for quite some time 🙂 I am hustling pretty hard right now to get what I need done before the weekend and that comes with some pretty high stress levels. Which I soothe with dancing and music every night. I am still trying to master the art of meditation as well, and I am sure in time that will help immensely too!

My boys are really keeping me on my toes these days… they are seriously a handful at times and definitely know how to push ALL of my buttons. They have been sick off and on this past week which has not been fun and fingers crossed so far they have not passed anything on to me! I had an incident with my middle son this week that DROVE ME NUTS. He lied. He lied again and again straight to my face about something REALLY OBVIOUS. I was not happy to say the least and it was the most ridiculous and obvious lie ever. Seriously. Oh the joys of being a parent… As they near their teenage years I am getting myself prepared to enter the “Realm of Insanity”. They are lucky they are so darned cute and that I love them so much.

So now I am counting down the days before my next destination wedding in Dominican! It will be my first time in Dominican and I am really looking forward to scoping out new and exciting locations and getting a feel for the country. I think it will be an AMAZING week and I am SO excited to meet my clients there who are actually from Alberta! Each time I photograph a destination wedding I am reminded of all the wonderful reasons that I love them so much. I thought I would share my 10 ten reasons on why you should consider a destination wedding! Definitely not for everyone, BUT at the same time I do think they ARE for everyone 🙂 (P.S These are based mostly on Caribbean destination weddings – don’t even get me started on the 10 ten reasons for Italy, France, Scotland, Ireland, etc!! DREAM WEDDING!)

1. SHORTEN YOUR GUEST LIST – Let’s call it “natural selection”. More than likely, it will weed out all the people that you don’t really care that much about being at your wedding but would normally feel obligated to have at your local wedding. Only the people who really love and care about you and are your closest friends are going to make it a priority to come.

2. A GUARANTEED FUN CROWD – Guests that attend destination weddings are generally the people who want to have a REALLY good time, are easy going, and super fun. They want to let loose, have a vacation and party hard at your wedding. Hey, even grandparents love sipping on mojitos by the pool. Now that’s a dream guest list if you ask me!

3. IT’S MORE INTIMATE – On average destination weddings have anywhere from 20-50 guests. You might think you are getting shortchanged but that is just the wrong way to look at it. It means a more intimate setting with the opportunity to really get to know your guests and hang out with them on a personal level and for them to get to know each other as well. I love this personally about destination weddings!

4. ALL INCLUSIVE – Need I say more? Just flash your wristband for an entire week and find yourself basking in all you can drink alcohol and food… Can this ever be a bad thing?

5. NIX THE STRESS – Yes, planning a destination wedding does come with some stress, I am not going to lie. Sometimes corresponding with wedding planners from a different country can be trying but trust me it is NOTHING compared with the planning it takes for a local wedding. Most of my clients arrive at their destination wedding, sit down with their planner and basically choose from a multiple choice book what they would like for cake, flowers, colors, etc. So much less work.

6. BEACH CEREMONIES – Picture yourself standing across from your mate with your hair blowing in the wind, flower petals scattered on the soft white sand below you. The soft crashing of waves roll on behind you and the sky has never been bluer. Sigh… beach ceremonies are sooo pretty!

7. PHOTOS! – Tropical forests, unique locations, old ancient ruins, castles, waterfalls, historical sights, ocean waves, rocky water…. need I say more? Your photos will have ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES and will be BEAUTIFUL!

8.ADVENTURE – If you are a couple that loves having a great time and going on adventure, there will be endless opportunities for you on your destination wedding! Zip-lining through the jungle, ATV’ing through caves, swimming through old cenotes, visiting ancient ruins, I mean the choices are endless!

9. BUILT IN VACATION – Part of what guests love about destination weddings is that they are basically on vacation too. Nothing beats laying on the beach with a good book and splashing around in the pool and drinking at the swim up bar during endless sunny days.

10. SAVE THE EXTRA HONEYMOON COST– A lot of my clients opt to stay a week longer for their own private honeymoon and vacation. And why not? You are already there! You might as well take advantage and enjoy a week away on your own to really soak up the sun and your new married life 🙂

So there you have it guys!! My top 10 reasons to choose a destination wedding! I LOVE love LOVE destination weddings, and not just because I get to come along for the ride, but because the atmosphere of a destination wedding is just so refreshing. It’s fun, it’s relaxed, it’s easy going and it’s intimate! These are all reasons that I myself would choose to do a destination wedding if I was ever to marry. SO consider it! You won’t be disappointed!

Why or why not would YOU do a destination wedding? Comment in the box below and let me know!

xoxo – M

My top 10 BRUTALLY HONEST wedding pet peeves!

Saskatoon Destination Wedding Photography

Saskatoon Destination Wedding Photography

Hey guys!

This week has been mega crazy.. I have a really exciting little adventure happening next weekend and I CANNOT wait to share the results. This weekend my goals are to get some work done, clean my room, get my boys to clean the house, watch American Sniper, make some healthy smoothies and slow cook a rack of ribs to perfection (because I know how and it’s ahhhhmazing!).

I have been thinking a LOT about weddings lately, probably because I have an abundance of them to photograph again this year. So I thought I would compose my list of top 10 absolutely most annoying and irritating pet peeves that happen at weddings. Keep in mind, nothing is personal, BUT these things tend to happen a lot and sometimes I have to keep people in check which is neither fun nor enjoyable for me. So without further ado, here is my brutally honest top 10 wedding pet peeve list:

1. GET OUT OF MY SHOT! If I could swear on here I probably would, or maybe I should. But seriously. I really appreciate it when I get a really beautiful shot of the bride walking down the aisle or the bride and groom coming down the aisle after the wedding and there are some big bums and a whole lot of smart phones in the photo. Just perfect. NOT. Don’t get me wrong, I like big butts and I cannot lie, but within a wedding photo not so much. I am begging you… if you are a guest or family member at a wedding keep your phones inside the pews and confines of your seat. DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT stick your phones out into the aisles. Chances are (hopefully) your family members or friends have paid good money for a quality photographer who is there to capture the moments that are only going to look second rate, crappy and blurry on your phones. So leave the photo taking to the professional who is seething inside at the sight of your screen. (If getting a photo of the bride and groom is really that important to you, there will be plenty of opportunities to pull them aside at the reception)

2. DON’T TAKE MY SHOT. Soooo actually this has annoyed me SO much, that I ended up putting it in my contract. During the bride and groom photos and the wedding party photos, I do not allow ANY photography or videography because that is MY creative time with the bride and groom & their friends. NOT YOURS! Too many times I have come home from a wedding to find a distant blurry crappy version of the photo that I envisioned and took and inside it makes my blood curl. It’s like having a crappy study partner in school who let you do ALL the work and then did a second rate presentation of it while taking all the credit. WRONG. I hate it. I hate it so much guys. I really do. Chances are I have spent a good amount of time figuring out the right location, the right spot for lighting and years of experience has taught me how to pose people so that they don’t look contorted or strange and you just come behind me and take the shot… with your phone. It’s disrespectful. It really is, and it needs to stop! Don’t be the homework stealer. Just don’t.

3. DON’T DIRECT MY SHOOT! Please. Do I come into YOUR work and tell you how to do your job? NO. But maybe I should. I have very rarely had this issue with a bride or groom, however on occasion you get that one wedding party member who is a “photographer” (I use that term loosely because I believe everyone considers themselves a photographer these days) and feels the need to direct where you may want to take the photo, and what pose you want everyone to do. First off. You have to trust that your friends have hired me because they trust my experience and vision. Second off, you are NOT the professional. And if you are, I hope one day to be a bridesmaid at a wedding YOU are shooting at so that I can make your whole day a miserable crap-storm. 😀  Most of the time, your idea for a location or spot is in a terrible place for lighting and your pose idea makes you all look fat. So please. Stop. Just let down your control guard and TRUST ME. If you don’t, I WILL post the photos that you directed and you will not be a happy camper.

4. RESPECT THE CAMERA BAG! Do not touch, do not move, do not tug on, do not drunk fight around my camera bag. Seriously. I am a crazy lens changer sometimes and I have open lenses sitting in my bag with one compartment possibly open that could come spilling out, crack and break if you try to move it without my consent. My bag is filled with thousands of dollars of expensive equipment and you need to respect that. I actually had someone come and TUG hard on the back of my bag while I was wearing it on my back to try and move me out of the way for a photo. After being jerked back several times, I was pretty mad, I am NOT going to lie. I respond well to the words “Excuse me” and always try to be respectful of others. I expect you to do the same. My camera and bag are totally off limits. I do not want to turn around and have a panic attack because suddenly my bag is gone. Someone wanted to get a photo in a spot where my bag was so they took it upon themselves to move it while I was shooting a family photo. It’s just unacceptable. So guys, respect a photographers equipment and their bag. Do not touch it, for a deadly curse will fall upon you if you do.

5. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST/HAIRSTYLIST! It really is quite disheartening when I see a beautiful bride who decided it might be fun to have a close friend or family member do their makeup. In rare circumstances the bride or their friend might be really awesome at doing their own makeup and they look great! You are spending an obscene amount of money on your wedding and on your photography so I do not believe the extra spurge on a professional makeup artist and hairstylist is going to break the bank. The number one reason to hire a professional is because they are EXPERIENCED. They know and have the right products to use on you to withstand a long day of possibly crying, extreme heat or cold, and extensive drinking. Yes, your makeup DOES need to be considerably darker for photos, however there is a fine line between darker for photos and trashy. You may not be able to master that line, but your professional makeup artist will. Trust me, it makes all the difference in the world for the end product of your photos and I strongly encourage hiring professional makeup artists and stylists. It maximizes your assets and already beautiful face, it makes my job easier and you will be much happier with your end result. (You can view a list of referred Saskatoon makeup artists and stylists on my wedding investment page at http://martinesansoucy.co.nr)

6. CLEAN UP! I LOVE, love, LOVE getting ready photos. I really do. So do most of the brides who I talk to. They dream of having beautiful getting ready photos and stunning surroundings with girls getting ready and veils getting draped over their faces and shoulders. HOWEVER, these shots are not going to be AS possible if you do not clean up the space you want the photos in. NOW as a mom of three boys I understand mess. I understand chaos. Trust me, I understand it better than anyone. BUT if I was having professional photos taken that I was PAYING for in my home, you better believe I would try to have my space as clean as I possibly could to maximize the end result of my images. Don’t get me wrong, I often make something out of nothing and use tiny spaces to get the shot I need but is it optimal? No. I don’t mind moving a few things here and there and cleaning up a couple of things, but I have had rooms where half the session (that the bride and groom are paying for) is spent moving things around and moving junk out of the way. I respect that it is a crazy busy day, I respect the mess, I respect the chaos, but don’t expect Vera Wang commercial type images if you don’t clean up your space for me.

7. BE A BETTER BRIDESMAID! Wowzers! This could be a whole blog post. Really it could. Brides, I want to make clear that on the day of your wedding and the days or maybe even months leading up to your wedding these girls are your betches! Yes, they are your friends, sometimes family, rarely enemies, but they are truly there to serve the purpose of making your life easier, providing emotional support and standing by your side. Yes, yes, yes I know that it is 2015 and maybe unorthodox to have this mindset, but this is my opinion and I think it’s a pretty good one. TOO MANY TIMES I have had emotionally distraught brides over something that a bridesmaid or maid of honor is doing or more commonly, is NOT doing. Guess what? I AM A BRIDESMAID! Not just a photographer, but because of bad bridesmaid skills I have been a dress cleaner, a dress mender, a seamstress, an emotional counselor, a shoulder to lean on, a problem solver and a friend. NO. I do not mind being all of these things. In fact, I take great pleasure in being able to comfort and help my brides in any way that I can and I love that about my job. THAT BEING SAID, some of the best candid moments I have captured are between maid of honor and bride or of the bridesmaids primping and fawning over the bride. As as bridesmaid you are there for emotional and physical support. If your girl spills something on her dress, you shouldn’t be somewhere off in the corner drinking and ignoring her, you should be at her dress with a baby wipe dabbing away like the friend you need to be. I really seen so many sad brides on the happiest days of their lives because of the lack of respect and friendship their girls are offering them … and that my friends is no good. So, if you are asked to be a bridesmaid, just know that you are signing a contract of binding friendship and support on your friends wedding day.

8. TEST THY SHOES! This is a wedding commandment. I hear a lot of griping, complaining and moaning over shoes. I LOVE shoes. I can not wear heels because I would fall and break my ankles and that’s a crying shame because I love a pretty heel or stiletto. Sadly I am stuck wearing my flats like an old lady.. so maybe this pet peeve is purely made with jealous motives. On a serious note though, I LOVE seeing all the beautiful heels that brides bring to a wedding but I have seen too many with blistered and bleeding ankles at the end of the day! This is just not right. Let’s avoid this. Step 1: Wear your heels to the mall for a shopping trip and a walk around the town that lasts about 6-8 hours at least. If possible try to do this on a hot day if you have a summer wedding because feet tend to swell in the heat. If they are still comfy as can be you have a winner. If not, please please bring a comfy second pair of flats or sandals. Most of your photos are not going to show your shoes because hopefully your wedding dress is not ankle length (unless it’s meant to be). So we will get your shoe shots and some pretty shots showcasing your shoes, but then let’s get you back into comfort. Yes, beauty is pain, but let’s not let that be the motto on your wedding day.

9. NIX THE RECEIVING LINE! This is just MY personal opinion and I am definitely not going to get upset or angry if anyone decides to have a receiving line. HOWEVER, if you have more than 100 guests, please consider not having a receiving line. They are time suckers and more often than not have been the difference between getting just a few bride and groom shots or a lot of great bride and groom shots. Receiving lines can be pretty dragged out, especially with a huge guest list, leaving you with Aunt Helga chattering on for 5-10 minutes about going through menopause, or Great Uncle Edward going on about his new wife who is way too young and will also shake your hand for 2 minutes. There is this little party afterwards called the reception that is an awesome way for those who want to chat to hit you up for some conversation and shameless selfies at the bar. In my opinion receiving lines are outdated and eat up a lot of time that you could be using to start drinking excessively and taking really amazing photos!

10. TAKE YOUR BABY OUTSIDE! Sigh… maybe I will totally get beat up for this one, but it drives me bonkers when a baby starts wailing in the middle of the ceremony and no one takes the baby outside to soothe it. I now pronounce you husband and … whaaaaaaaaaaaaa (blood curdling scream).. nothing says consummation, love and life long happiness like a pissed off baby. Babies are so cute, yes. I love babies, yes. Do I love them crying and screaming during what is supposed to a special moment in people’s lives? No. I know that you don’t want to miss a second of this well documented wedding (because obviously I’m there :-D) but you need to have respect for the bride and groom and let them have their moment. Unless it’s the bride and groom’s child or baby (which could make for an interesting shot), screaming babies and for that matter screaming children or children who run rampant all over ceremonies should be immediately removed.

Okay guys, do you hate me now? I really felt like I needed to throw down the honesty on this one. In no way, shape or form have any of these experiences altered my opinion of brides or grooms, made me hate my job or anything of the sort. However, if these things were eliminated, I would enjoy my job that much more.

What’s YOUR biggest wedding pet peeve? (I know so many brides will say people who don’t RVSP haha) I would love to hear from you! Comment in the box below!