Category archives: Bridal Education

Grande Prairie Wedding PlannerTop 5 Reasons Why You Need A Wedding PlannerWedding Tips

why you need a wedding planner grande prairie wedding planner changing dreams to reality styled shoot

Hello! I am Rhonda, the owner of Changing Dreams to Reality, and I love all things related to weddings. Being a wedding planner was one of my dreams for many years, and now turning it into a reality has been a dream come true. I absolutely love meeting new people and working with brides to make their wedding day a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I first worked with Kayla from Kayla Lynn photography, three years ago while helping a friend with her daughter’s wedding. Since then, Kayla and I have worked together on some of the most amazing weddings and some very exciting projects.

There are so many things to think about when it comes to planning your wedding day. This may include choosing your vendors, the wedding day timeline and choosing your decor. Trying to plan all these things without a planner can feel overwhelming. My job as a planner is to guide couples, while also ensuring that every single detail leads to a perfect day! Things like table décor placement, head table placement and lighting are all part of my job as a planner. Just hearing “ Thank you, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about my day” is what makes my job worthwhile. If you are considering hiring a wedding planner for your big day, here are my top five reasons why I feel it is beneficial.

banff styled elopement with grande prairie alberta wedding planner at moraine lake with pretty vow books

  1. Saves Time and Stress – Planning a wedding consumes so much time, especially with work and  life in general. This season in your life is to enjoy being engaged and to not having to stress over every little detail.  A planner knows what needs to be done and the timeline to do it in. The fact that you don’t need to figure out all the details on your own will save you so much time and stress.

winter wedding couple in grande prairie for styled shoot with light pastel colors and veil from castapella

2. Keep you on Budget- Hiring a wedding planner may seem counterintuitive, however it will actually help you save money in the long run. A planner will work with you and figure out what is most important to you. They also know how to help you cut out the things that aren’t priority. Small decisions can add up to big savings. Wedding planners are familiar with costs in your area and vendors to help you stay within your budget.

modern and elegant winter wedding cake with gorgeous winter wedding couple in grande prairie alberta

3. Knowledge Base – In most cases this will be your first time planning a wedding. Your wedding planner will have an extensive knowledge base of vendors, industry experts, wedding etiquette and venues. They have planned and executed many weddings, and know what it takes to bring your wedding dreams to reality.

beautiful set design by changing dreams to reality in banff for elopement and kake by darci

4. Mediator – A wedding planner/coordinator can act as a mediator in any situation that may arise. They understand that it is impossible to please everyone all the time, especially when it comes to planning a wedding. A wedding planner is a neutral individual whom is safe to direct all questions, family members, vendors and guests to. It is much easier to just say, “Go ask my wedding planner.” and avoid any sticky situations with family or in laws.

mrs pretty light blue box grande prairie winter wedding with changing dreams to reality

5. Handle Crisis – When issues arise, they will be handled quickly and with care by your wedding planner. You may not even be aware the crisis happened. For this reason alone, a wedding planner is worth their weight in gold.

elegant invitation suite with flowers photographer captured detail photos for wedding in alberta banff

I really hope you enjoyed my top five reasons why it is so important to hire a planner for your special day. If you found this blog post helpful and are considering hiring a planner, please feel free to reach me through email at changingdreamstoreality@gmail.com or message me on my Facebook Page to inquire. Let’s go for coffee and let’s bring your wedding dreams to reality!

3 Reasons Why You Need A First Look

I get asked a lot whether or not couples should have a first look or not on their wedding day. I find this is such a common concern, mostly because when we look at the traditional aspect, it is normal for the groom see his bride for the first time when she walks down the aisle. I have photographed MANY weddings in the past, and ALL of my couples who chose to have a first look hasn’t regretted it a single bit. Please know, as you read my blog post, I would never want any couple to feel pressured to go with the option of doing a first look. However, I do want to share all the benefits and WHY it is so important to include a first look your wedding day! There is a reason 90% of my couples have a first look, and LOVE it!

From the countless of weddings I have photographed, I realize the many benefits a first look will bring to a couple’s wedding day! Here are 3 reasons why you need a first look:

1.More time with your husband

First looks allow you to be alone and together on your wedding day. This is an intimate moment shared only between you and your husband. Shockingly, this is probably the only moment throughout the whole day you will have with your husband! I have found couples who choose to have their portraits captured all AFTER the ceremony find it a hard to get into the “lovey dovey” mood, mostly because there is an entire crowd of guests around them.  Needless to say, first looks allow you to express your emotions freely, without feeling the pressure from an entire audience. When you just shared your first look, everything feels natural, and I am always able to capture some super sweet moments during this portion of the day!

cole and justien for their first look in the pomeroy hotel grande prairie groom is smiling

  1. Diminishes Nerves

I would say 50% of grooms who heard about a first look, weren’t a fan of it at first! However, because they have never experienced a wedding day before, they don’t always know how it feels like to have 200 people staring at him during the ceremony, until it actually happens. Imagine this, 200 set of eyes LOOKING at your groom as you walk down the aisle because they want to see a reaction. Oftentimes your groom may SEEM cool and collected, but in the inside, he feels nervousness.  If you have already done a first look, there is nothing for him to worry about. I have SO many testimonials from grooms who weren’t a fan of doing a first look at first, but ended up loving it, before moving on to the ceremony! A lot of grooms admitted that doing a first looks diminished their nerves. During their first look, they were able to express their emotions freely. They were able to tell their bride how beautiful she looks, without 200 people staring at him. He was able to truly enjoy this intimate moment with his wife-to-be, and to be truly present in the moment. If he sees his bride for the first time down the aisle, there is none of that. The groom has to wait until the ceremony ends before he can ever say anything to her. By that time, the groom’s true expressions don’t come out, mostly because the flow of a ceremony doesn’t always allow for it. All in all, if rushing through photos is something you don’t mind, the fact that you get to enjoy an intimate moment with your husband-to-be is SO valuable for you on your wedding day! I know this is something you won’t regret!

  1. Extend your day by 3 hours!

One of the best things about choosing to have a first look, is that it will it will actually extend your wedding day! Instead of doing your ceremony, rush through portraits than make it JUST on time to your reception, your wedding day is extended by 3 hours! Instead of rushing through portraits with your bridal party, you are able to enjoy more time with them during cocktail hour! You are also  able to spend QUALITY time with your guests, those that you truly care about! I love that my client’s wedding albums are FILLED with beautiful photos from this portion of their day!

Here is a testimonial from one of our grooms!

“When I first heard about first looks, I thought it was a bit silly as I am not a center of attention kind of person. In reality, I didn’t really want one. I just wanted to ceremony to be quick and painless. Kayla and my wife convinced me and they were very enthusiastic about the idea. When it came to doing the first look, I felt like the luckiest guy in the world. I fell in love all over again seeing my wife. There is something very special about seeing your wife in a wedding dress with hair and makeup all done. It’s way different than the night out dressed up. A lot of different emotions come out. Waiting to see her for the first look was worth it 100%. Turning around to see each other was definitely the best part. We love how we have this intimate moment capture on camera, something we can look back on when times are tough. To the other grooms, just do it! If you are worried about time, push the other stuff back just to do the first look.  You’ll only get one chance. Sharing a first look with your wife is amazing beyond words.” – Corbin

I really hope this blog posts has been helpful as you plan your special day! During my years of shooting weddings, I have seen so MANY benefits to doing a first look, so I felt the need to share my top three reasons why a first look may be the perfect thing to add to your wedding day!

 

 

 

Grande PrairieWhy Bridal Details MatterBridal Education

Your wedding day only happens once, and I believe every little detail should be documented!  Many couples who hire me, often hire me because they realize that I not only value photos with you and your loved ones together, but also capturing all the little details that you have spent so much time thinking about. If I were getting married, that’s exactly what I would want, too! A lot of work goes into the planning of the wedding day, so it’s important that your photographer captures your vision. I always recommend collecting a shoe box full of items that you would like captured the morning of your wedding day. This includes the invitation suite, rings, shoes, bouquets, extra flowers from your florist, perfume, jewelry, family heirlooms or any other details you want photographed. These are the details that will bring back some fun memories leading up to your special day. Memories such as when  you and your mom spent time together looking for the perfect pair of earrings to match your wedding dress. Maybe it’s the weekend you and your bridesmaids went out and bought the perfect shoes for your special day. Most importantly, your engagement ring, bringing back the memories when he first proposed to you. Each piece tells a part of your story, and that is why I am so passionate in telling yours!

Not only will these details tell a part of your story, but they will also give you more variety for your wedding day photos. It is also important that ALL of your wedding details are collected in a box to ensure nothing is missed. Details, such as your invitations, will undoubtedly allow for more variety, creating a gorgeous high-end backdrop for your rings to sit on. Without collecting everything ahead of time, I am often limited on HOW I capture these details that tell a part of your story. If you are stuck on WHICH details to include, I’ve got you covered! I made a checklist below this blog, so no details are missed on your wedding day. I also LOVE pairing up your detail photos in your wedding blog and album! When you view your images for the first time, online or in a physical album, I lay out your detail photos in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. These photos allow me to match your wedding colors and make everything flow together perfectly to tell your story.  This also enhances the way you view your images, especially since you are going to be showing all your wedding photos to your family, friends and even your future children, someday! If you are getting married, here are the details to set aside for your photographer:

  • ALL three rings
  • Wedding suite
  • Dress
  • Shoes
  • ALL Bouquets
  • Extra flowers from your florist
  • Veil
  • Vow Books
  • Bridesmaids Gifts
  • Jewelry (earrings, necklace, bracelet)
  • Special heirlooms (special locket, grandmother’s ring, etc.)
  • Anything else meaningful to you 

I really hope this blog post has been helpful to you as you continue to plan your special day! Your wedding day only happens once, so it’s important to me as a photographer, to capture everything that tells your story as a couple!

Are you looking for some beautiful photos captured on your wedding day? I’d love to work with you! CONTACT me HERE to see if I am available on your wedding day!

I’m currently booking weddings and engagements for 2019 and 2020!

CONTACT KAYLA

 

 

 

 

 

For The BridesWhy You Need an Engagement SessionTips for Brides

The engagement session is one of the greatest services you can take advantage of before your wedding day. It allows you to get to know your photographer, helps your photographer see which poses you naturally fit into best, and most importantly to push “pause” on the wedding plans and just spend time together! I like to think of the engagement session as a date together! You spend so much time organizing the details to make sure nothing gets missed. You invest your time looking for a photographer that will capture your wedding day the way you envisioned it to be. And while you are looking for a photographer that will capture your day beautifully, you are looking for someone you can trust and will allow for a fun and easy photo experience. Which is why I love including the engagement session as a part of the wedding day experience as it makes a HUGE impact on how your wedding day flows.

Often I feel there is a bit of confusion as to why the engagement session plays such an important role in your wedding photography experience! Ultimately, my goal at the end of this blog post is to encourage and bring a new perspective on engagement shoots and why they play a much bigger role to your wedding day than you think! If I am being honest, your engagement session will be one of the best things you’ll do as a couple before your wedding day begins. Which is why I have made it a priority to include the engagement session in my wedding package – because I truly believe the engagement session is a way to serve couples best, just like you!

So let’s shine some reasons why an engagement session is so important to you, probably more than you might think!

A great time to push “pause” on the wedding planning, and enjoy time together with you and your spouse!

You spend so much time planning your wedding day from the  sending out invitations, communicating between vendors, planning and buying decor, choosing where you’ll be getting ready in the morning and everything in between. With that being said, things can get a little crazy leaving you feeling overwhelmed. You need time to relax, breath, be yourself, dress fancy for the evening and go on a photo date with you and your fiance! As much as it’s important to plan out all the little details, it’s important to focus on your relationship and upcoming marriage. Enjoy a warm evening together, try that fancy dress and pair of shoes you’ve been meaning to buy. And even better, while you two are looking your BEST, plan a fun dinner date with just the two after your photo session since you’re already going to be all dressed up! This will allow to take some time after the session for just the two of you to relax and have some fun together.

 

It allows you to get to know your photographer!

It’s so important to me I form a relationship with each one of my couples, so that by the time the wedding day roles my clients feel more like friends and creates a fun and relaxed environment for photography! The engagement session is important because it does exactly that –  I’ll get to know you, and you get to know me! Because if I were getting married, I most certainly wouldn’t want to meet my photographer only once. I would want to get to know my photographer overtime so that when the wedding day arrives, I feel 100% confident knowing my photographer on how he/she works! It’s at this time during the engagement session you’ll also learn how your photographer handles posing and lighting!Because of the engagement session, I’ll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact, what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way!

 

You learn how to pose!

Teaching my couples how to pose during their engagement session is SO important because it will actually SAVE them TIME on their wedding day. Our engagement session together is super relaxed, fun and I teach you what to do every step of the way. Almost all of my couples who hire me have never modeled before, so they may feel a little nervous at first. However I am here to tell you the couples who have NEVER modeled before end up being some of my favorite photographs. As your photographer, I am here to coach you through the entire session so you don’t have to memorize anything at all! By the time your wedding day roles, you two will be posing like pros!

Each one of my couples who had an engagement session with me benefited from it SO much, which is why I make it a priority to include it as a part of my couple’s wedding experience package. It allows you to go on a FUN date together, allows us to get to know each other a bit more before the wedding day roles, while also learning how to pose so it SAVES you TIME on your wedding day! You seriously won’t regret having engagement photos as it will allow for a fun and enjoyable experience!

Recently engaged and looking for an photographer? Feel free to contact me HERE to see if I am available or for more information! I’d love to connect with you!

For the brides4 Tips For a Stress Free Wedding DayTips For Brides

As wedding season is quickly approaching, I thought I’d share with you brides my top four tips for a stress free wedding day. I always want the best for my couples, so it’s important to guide brides the best I can. I can’t wait to share these four tips with you!!

  1. Prepare ahead of time

It is so important to prepare ahead of time so that the wedding day runs as smoothly as possible. As a photographer, my best tip is if there is anything you would love photographed to always gather and prepare the items well ahead of time so that you don’t feel rushed on your wedding day. Brides, gather your special items in one spot (usually in a shoe box), so when I arrive to your getting ready room, I can capture all the details you’ve spent so much time thinking about and planning for. Gather the dress, shoes, full invitation suit, boutonnieres, perfume, rings, any family heirlooms or any other bridal details you want photographed. And from there, I will begin styling your details that help tell your wedding story. If you don’t have these things ready, I might have to spend more time finding everything, which I could instead be capturing your pretty details! Being organized ahead of time, will benefit both you and me and will allow for a stress free start of your special day!

 

  1. Have a schedule and communicate it

It is so important to me that all my Kayla Lynn Brides are provided with an organized wedding day schedule. That way you have all those beautiful photos you’ve been dreaming about, all while having in between time to spend time with your wedding guest and your partner. Also, having a first look will add so much more time to your wedding day too, and allow for a timeline to spend more time with your guests too! It is also so important to communicate your wedding day timeline with your guests and vendors ahead of time so that they know what to expect. If you need your bridal party gathered up for some portraits, or perhaps you need your parents to show up to the wedding ceremony a little earlier, make sure to tell them so they know what to expect. This will allow everyone to be on schedule and you won’t have to spend time tracking them down! Photos will go so much faster with an organized schedule and communicating between your guests!

 

  1. Hire a professional makeup artist

Hiring a professional makeup artist is so important for your wedding day as it will affect the way your images look. A professional makeup artist understands how to apply your makeup, bringing out stunning detail with flattering shadows and highlights in your wedding photos. Make sure you do a makeup trial ahead of time to ensure you don’t feel any irritation with the products being used! Keep in mind most makeup artist take about 30-45 minutes per person, so it’s important you communicate with your makeup artist how many bridesmaids will need their makeup done, as well as the time you need to leave for your first look or wedding ceremony. If your makeup artist does not know what time you need to leave, she might not have your makeup finished on time. This will provide your makeup  artist an expectation of how long it will take, so she can finish up everyone’s makeup on time for all the important events!

 

  1. Be present

Your wedding day may feel like there is so many things happening at once. My best tip is to take moments where you are together, you stop and hold each others hands, and intentionally take in the moments. When I take photos for my couples, I remind them how special this time is for them to be together. It isn’t just about the photos, but to be fully present with one another. To hug each other, to look into each other’s eyes and to soak in all the emotion for this beautiful beginning together as husband and wife. Throughout the day, allow for little breaks so you can enjoy the moments with one another.

Your wedding day will be gone with a blink of an eye. It’s so important everything is organized ahead of time, so you can be fully be present on your wedding day. I don’t want you to worry about the cake, the flowers, the music or the decor on your wedding day – but rather to enjoy this time together being present in the moment for this beautiful beginning together. And when you apply these four tips, you will be on your way for a stress free wedding day!

For the BridesWindow Light & Why You Need ItEducational Post

Window light is beautiful, it’s gorgeous and it gives brides (and grooms) beautiful getting ready images on their wedding day! 

If you ever wondered how I get such bright photos inside the bride’s home or hotel room, I give a lot of credit to window light! You may be surprised when I say this, but rarely will I ever take my flash out during the getting ready photos because I know there is such a great opportunity using gorgeous natural light!! (Unless I really need to, I will take my flash out)

When it comes to you wedding day, there is a lot of planning that goes into making your day perfect. One of the most important tips I give to brides (and the grooms too!) is having as much window light as possible for their getting ready photos. I say this because as a photographer, I need as much light as possible to bring out all the important details such as the dress, earrings, the shoes and as the bride gets into her dress. This creates gorgeous creamy skin stones and allows me to capture every expression in between.

To achieve this look, sometimes it means moving some of the decorations, wall art and even some of the furniture to the side beforehand. I know, it seems a little crazy, but I promise in the end, it will all be worth it.

A small window (or no window at all)  is very limiting, making it extremely difficult to capture the full length of the dress and the small details that mean most. This creates dark shadows, dark circles around the eyes and uneven shadows. Turning on any household items is rarely recommended too, as the light comes out yellow and unnatural. I try to avoid this as much as possible because I truly want you to have gorgeous photos on your wedding day! You deserve it!!

However, if there isn’t any available window light, I always recommend we do the getting ready photos outside!! It’s the perfect place AND  there is always lots of space to move around, too!

So if you are planning a spot for your getting ready portraits and you have options, take into consideration getting as much window light as possible! And you will be surprised how lovely your photos turn out to be! 🙂

Below this blog post includes wedding images from Karl’s & Katelyn’s wedding this past November using lots of window light!! Not once did I have to bring out my flash because the window light did all the work perfectly!!

 

This ring shot is from Oge’s and Meredith’s wedding day this year we captured using window light, too!! Absolutely love the effect window light brings!

Looking for pretty photos on your wedding day? I’d love to connect! Contact me here to see if I am available on your date!

Contact Kayla