Wedding Photographers: Choose The Right One For Your Special Day

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and one that you will most likely want to remember forever. You will want photos that capture the essence of the wedding and remind you of the people that were there as well as the way that you felt that day. That is why it is so important that you thoroughly research and select the right photographer for you. Here are a few factors you should consider when choosing the right professional:


What style do you prefer? Do you want mostly candid shots, traditional poses, or a photojournalism take on your special day? If you want a combination, is the professional you selected competent in all styles? Also, do you want most of your pictures in black and white or do you prefer color?

From the samples you've seen, do the poses look natural? Are the groups shots staged in a manner you approve of? Make sure you select a photographer that agrees with your style and philosophy on wedding photography.


Do you like the photographer? Do your personalities "click"? Is he or she someone you want to be around on the most important day of your life? A photographer should be patient, reliable, friendly, professional, always smiling, and able to motivate large groups of people to assemble for pictures? The last thing you want is someone else to add to the stress of this hectic day.


Who will actually be taking the pictures? Sometimes a wedding photography company is staffed by multiple photographers who take turns shooting different weddings, so it is important to find out exactly who will be coming to yours.

Make sure you view samples of the photographer's work that will actually be covering your wedding. Also, ask whether there will be an assistant. An assistant can be quite helpful in assembling groups or making everything run smoothly, but if they are going to be taking pictures as well, make sure you view their work too.


Some people want photographs from only the ceremony which would mean 1-3 hours for the photographer, others want the works: engagement sessions, bridal photographs, rehearsal dinner pictures, photos of the ceremony and reception, and even behind the scene takes. The difference usually is only price but you have to find someone who is available and willing to shoot everything you want.


How will you receive the pictures? Can you order albums? How many proofs can you see? Will they offer you the negatives? Or will they give you the digital files? Will it be simple for family to order reprints? These are all very important questions to ask.

Most wedding photography businesses make their profits by developing the pictures, which is why they may seem so expensive. Having the company develop pictures will, however, ensure they are edited correctly, that the colors are bright, and that the final result is how the photographer intended.


No one wants to choose a photographer because they are cheap, but there is only so much money in the wedding budget and unfortunately price is often the deciding factor. When discussing prices make sure you understand all of the costs. Make sure you ask if there are travel fees, overtime charges, taxes, and how much will be covered. Also, find out how much reprints and albums cost.

There are so many factors to consider and questions to ask. Just write down all your questions before you interview photographers, select a photographer well in advance, have all agreements written in a contract, and relax knowing that you picked the best possible wedding photographer you could find. Most importantly, enjoy your wedding!

Seasonal Cheer With Winter Wedding Favors & Christmas Wedding Favors

People get married every month of the year. It is not at all uncommon to have a seasonal theme associated with the wedding and the wedding party afterward. Decorations appropriate to the theme and the season make the event more beautiful and work toward making this the most special day in the lives of the bride and groom. The wedding party decorations should also reflect the seasonal theme of the wedding, as should the party favors.

Winter weddings can be among the most beautifully decorated of the entire year. Winter wedding favors reflect the beauty of the season and the occasion. The giving of party favors is a relatively new custom. It came about as a way to thank the guests who attend the wedding and party by giving them small gifts rather than just sending a card. Party favors also often contribute to the enjoyment of the party. Wedding party favors are important as part of the decoration and as thank you gifts for the guests. Winter wedding favors are very special parts of the theme and festivity associated with winter weddings.

Winter wedding favors in general and Christmas wedding favors in particular contribute incredibly to the festive nature of winter weddings. Snowflakes, hot chocolate, coffees and teas are some thematic elements of winter wedding favors that can make everyone feel warm inside as they celebrate the warm union of two people during the cold part of the year. Santa Claus, special gift boxes, reindeer, and ornaments are all elements of Christmas wedding favors that lend a very special connection to the wedding with the season. These are just a very few examples of the styles that winter wedding favors and Christmas wedding favors can take. The available options are many and varied. All of them contain elements that elevate the celebration of a happy occasion to the near sublime.

Among all the various seasonal elements of decoration and wedding favors, winter wedding favors and Christmas wedding favors are probably the warmest and most festive of all. The entire theme, including snowflakes and other "cold" elements of the season, is geared toward making everyone feel warm, loved, and welcome. These are also very high up among the most beautiful and cherished types of party favors. The ability to personalize winter wedding favors and Christmas wedding favors makes them even more special as they help to commemorate the occasion with the names of the couple, the wedding date, and/or wedding photos. Personalization can make even mundane seeming gifts more warm and special.

Thematic elements in decoration and party favors tend to tie the entire event together and make it more enjoyable for all the guests. Winter weddings, especially in the month of December with Christmas close by, are often seasonally themed and decorated accordingly. Making party favors a part of the decoration and giving them as gifts to your guests add a great deal to the festivity of the occasion. Winter wedding favors and Christmas wedding favors are among the most beautiful and cherished of all because they make a person feel warm inside even when it's cold outside.

Winter wedding favors and Christmas wedding favors can be small, inexpensive items, yet say "thank you for coming" in a loud voice and contribute seasonal cheer to an already happy occasion.

Dealing With Marital Conflict

In any marriage, even the most supportive and harmonious, there are disagreements, and the way the couple resolves conflict affects the health, vibrancy and longevity of the marriage. Some couples mistakenly believe their marriage has no chance of success if they have disputes, which could be due to the age-old belief that conflict is best avoided to ensure family unity. The result of conflict avoidance is often barely controlled anger and deep-seated resentment about unresolved issues.

Ironically, voicing disagreements may actually create growth and intimacy in a relationship if the conflict is resolved constructively. Conflict is normal and inevitable, and in blended families, issues of transitioning kids, ex-spouses, financial problems and parenting differences can increase the range of disagreements with negative results.

Although one of many experts in the field of relationships and conflict resolution, Dr Scott Haltzman offers unique insight and practical advice in his best-selling book, The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wifes Heart Forever. Dr Haltzman has distilled on-going research from thousands of married men into a useful guide that highlights 8 useful strategies that help marriages thrive.

Strategy # 4, "Expect Conflict and Deal with It," helps couples gain a better understanding of conflict by describing the way men and women are biologically equipped to cope with it, the moods and motives that cultivate disagreements, the patterns of conflicts and how to allay them. Everyone wants to feel listened to, cared for and validated, and being aware of this goes a long way to helping couples put the brakes on conflict and patch things up before they spiral out of control.

This is what Dr Haltzman wants us to know about conflict:

1. Happy and unhappy couples argue about the same amount of time and about the same basic issues: money, sex and housework being the three most popular.

2. 69 % of clashes in a marriage are never resolved, and thats an acceptable level.

3. Both men and women can learn constructive ways to debate issues, and to agree to disagree.

4. Conflict many times surfaces due to the inherent differences in how the sexes view conflict and how they cope with it.

Dr Haltzman describes the 4 common ways that arguments accelerate. See if you recognize yourself or your partner in any of these descriptions:

Feeding the Fire: We all know the scenario where a criticism or complaint is thrown out, the response being more hostility, and so on, until its a free-for-all that includes ancient history from arguments past. An escalating, major altercation cannot simply be shut down like an out-of-control video game, but keeps accelerating. Strategies for calming out-of-control "fires" include softening your tone, becoming aware of areas of agreement, focusing on the positive and "holding that emotion," which basically means refraining from escalating into a higher gear with hurtful comments.

Withdrawal and Avoidance: Men are more likely to withdraw from and not deal with a complaint than women are, and this sends a dismissive message to women that makes them very irritated. Women object to avoidance because discussing an issue makes them feel better, even though the issue may not be resolved. Men avoid and withdraw for understandable biological reasons but these behaviors fuel the fire of conflict with the women in their lives.

Negative Interpretation: Assigning unintended negative meaning to things a spouse does or doesnt say can incite major conflict that can ramp up quickly, because each partner is responding to something that was neither said nor intended. Clarifying one's meaning and active listening will help cut this out.

Finger Pointing: This is the classic criticizing that demands a response, which turns into defensiveness and more blame. The effective technique is to use I statements that refer to personal perception rather than accusing the other person. The most important element of a conflict is how its resolved or "patched up" when a fight is concluded. Both men and women must decide whether being right is more important than preserving a happy marriage. Among newly married couples that could not patch things up after a fight, the divorce rate was 90 %, versus an 84% successful marriage rate of those who managed to come to an understanding.

Couples can have fun experimenting with many different strategies to restore harmony after a fight; this puts the conflict behind them so they can move past that and focus on the aim of enjoying a happy marriage.

Sheena Berg enjoys writing articles for the StepHeroes step parenting advice newsletter at . To discover more about happily married men, there's no substitute for reading "The Secrets of Happily Married Men" by Scott Haltzman, M.D. (See our video review at ).

WEBMASTERS: Use of this article requires the links to remain intact.