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Country Heritage Park - Wedding Photography & Video Ft. Alex & Monika

After having captured over 300+ beautiful weddings and having been together for 13+ years as high school sweet hearts, it was finally time for the owners of VidMedia to tie the knot!

Below are just a few teasers from the full gallery! Enjoy :)

Take a deep dive into our wedding blog to get an idea of what our day looked like: the prep, the details, the decor, our guests and beautiful barn venue with the most magical string lights!

Monika, the girls, and fur baby Luna started their morning at Home2 Suites by Hilton in Milton, Ontario. As it was a 5:00 am wake up call, the coffee and mimosas were flowing and the preparations were going!

PRO tip: Grab a hotel the night before your big day so you can spend some quality time with your bridal party and have the chance to set up any decorations such as balloons and streamers, which will make your photos THAT much better.

To spice up your wedding prep photos, make sure you have your details laid out and organized for your photographer/videographer (perfume, shoes, jewellery, garter, save the date/wedding cards, rings, etc!) The last thing you need is to forget something like your jewellery at home!

If you have a dog, cat, hamster, etc, why not include them in your day? After all, they are family and you won't regret it when looking back at your wedding photos/film years down the road and seeing those precious memories of your furry friend!

Learning from experience, we decided to book a hotel only 7 minutes away from our wedding venue (Country Heritage Park) to save travel time, stress and potential hiccups when travelling from prep location to ceremony.

Alex + the boys got ready at Monika's mom's house, not too far from the wedding venue. Each of the groomsmen were gifted a pair of socks that matched their personalities, a custom flask, sunglasses and a tie, all of which they were able to wear and utilize that day.

Don't be afraid of including someone special in your prep, such as your father in law! We guarantee you that they would love a photo with you. In this case, Monika's dad was included in the morning prep and got the chance to experience some fun and laughter. The prep for the boys is almost always very easy going - inclusive of keeping things light-hearted, a few brews or shots, and typically much less "getting ready" time compared to the girls!

Getting ready tips for the groom: - Tell your groomsmen to arrive early for photography/video

- Leave time in your schedule for the unexpected

- Prepare gifts or notes for your groomsmen - Have all of your details laid out for your photographer/videographer such as: cufflinks, suit, tie, shoes, socks, belt, glasses, etc.

- A well lit room/ outdoors works best for prep photos

Are you team outdoor ceremony or indoor ceremony? Priest or officiant? Whatever your preference is, make sure you focus on what's important to YOU and do what feels best for you and your significant other. No, you do not need to please your aunt or mother-in-law - it's your wedding! Monika and Alex went for a rustic barn vibe ceremony, located at Country Heritage Park, just steps away from their wedding venue. There was a flowered arch, lots of DIY wedding signs and beautiful white roses + bows placed at each chair within the centre aisle.

By choosing to have a later ceremony, you avoid the awkward gap for guests between ceremony and the reception, in which guests end up waiting for hours on end until they are able to join back in for cocktail hour. It is also super convenient when choosing to have your ceremony and reception all in one location: less travelling time to and from locations for your bridal party and guests.

The Pros of First Look Wedding Photos:

Couples should consider the first look for more than just the practicality of timing. It’s a great decision for couples who want to spend some quiet time together before the ceremony.

  • You can get many of the photos taken before the ceremony: This gives couples some time to connect with one another and take a deep breath as well as those capture some cute photos before officially tying the knot!

  • It gives you and your partner a few moments together: A first look definitely does not spoil the ceremony. You’ll be overwhelmed with emotion no matter what, so if you want to see your partner, don’t skip it.

  • You can capture an emotional moment on camera: A wedding is an intimate, emotional experience, and a first look means you can be captured together during that down time as a couple. Yes, walking down the aisle is emotional, too, but you’re not together in those photographs.

  • You get to spend more time together on the day you put so much time planning: Your wedding day passes by in the blink of an eye, so why not spend that extra time together?

Wedding Party Photos:

The wedding party photos are some of the most challenging images a photographer will have to shoot during a wedding. In a wedding, it’s not uncommon to have ten minutes to wrangle semi-sober adults into some semblance of order.

Oh! And keep it fun, and make sure everyone is smiling, and catch everyone’s eyes open, and show off the flowers, and watch the bride’s train, and… well, there’s a ton of stuff to remember in a wedding, and you now have 30 seconds to actually take the bridal party shot.

During the bridal party photos is no time to blend in and be a fly on the wall. You have to take charge! You need to find a balance between being a playful photographer and one who can reign in the party when time is of the essence. A mix of candid and posed photos is what we are known for and the Vidmedia team has mastered that art.

Having an outdoor ceremony especially in the warmer months can be really beautiful. However; along with the beauty comes the potential for things to go wrong. Below are some tips we have when planning an outdoor ceremony: 1) Have a plan in place for all types of weather: When booking months to years in advance, one thing remains unsure - mother nature. Ensure your venue has a back-up spot for your ceremony in the event of rain, storms, etc.

2) Make sure you have access to electricity: if you want to music playing while you and your party are walking down the aisle, make sure your DJ has everything they need in order to set up shop!

3) Use the natural surroundings to set the vibe: Probably one of the major reasons why you're choosing an outdoor wedding set up is because you're inspired by the natural elements of your venue. Maybe you're setting up in a garden or an outdoor area with lots of green space. Incorporate the natural scenery into your decor. Add comfortable seating and play with the greenery as a backdrop for photos. Hang decorations from tree branches or include some DIY decorations throughout the ceremony location.

4) Refreshments: If at all possible - champagne flutes, lemonade or water provided for your guests in hot temperatures is key! Also try to arrange for cocktail hour to happen immediately following the ceremony so your guests can hydrate and gain some liquid courage!

Family Photo Session: Whether you're planning to snap group photos before or after the ceremony, send your photographer a straightforward shot list of every family wedding photo and wedding party photo grouping you'd like taken.

As your photographers won't know who everyone is, it's best to allocate a family member or close friend and make them in charge of wrangling in each group. It's best to have a discussion before the actual day about people you don't want included—like distant relatives—so you don't get held up during the session. This will maximize your photo sessions. Of course, every family will look different, but use this handy list as a jumping off point for your shoot.

How to Elevate your intimate barn wedding:

Rustic weddings hosted in barns and on farms are popular for a reason: The cozy venue location provides a certain sentimentality and allows couples to embrace the beauty of nature in a down-to-earth way. But having a barn wedding doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the glamour of your special day. Scroll below for some tips on how to strike the perfect balance between simple and sophisticated for your barn wedding. Get genius ideas for planning your own rustic celebration.

1) Dress It Up

Barn weddings provide an excellent backdrop for intense décor inside; the use of draping, lighting, and greenery can all be combined to create an elegant atmosphere without looking overdone.

2) Make the Space Pop with Florals

Whether you want to keep your design rustic or glam it up, the flowers should complement the space.

3) Set the Mood

With candles and strategically placed lights, you can create a romantic setting, or with traditional white linen and silverware, it can be more formalized. If nothing else, choosing a barn allows you to design the venue around your wedding, and not vice versa.

4) Take Advantage of More Than the Barn

Make the most of your rustic setting by utilizing the landscape (and its accessories) for bridal party photos.

Speeches Love them or hate them, speeches are a key part of a wedding reception. Those toasts (or sometimes roasts), give guests an insight into who the couple is, as well as their relationship. Speeches are a chance for the hosts and the happy couple to speak to their guests and to thank everyone for attending. But what’s the best way to arrange these speeches? Is there usually a specific time that the toasts happen during the reception? Scroll down to find out!

Schedule Speeches First Thing

Getting these formalities out of the way is great for many reasons.

First, your parents, maid of honour, and best man can enjoy the rest of the evening stress-free, and the speech can serve to set the tone for the rest of the night. If you want to kick the night off with toasts, schedule them to happen as soon as everyone has sat down.

Make your grand entrance, take your seats, and then ask the first person (usually the hosts) to take the mic. You can have the toasts all happen back to back or take a little break between toasts so your caterer can serve the first course, picking up the mic again after the salad plates are down.

Golden Hour Photoshoot

Nothing beats sneaking out for 10-20 minutes during the reception to capture those romantic sunset photos on your wedding day. These photos are almost always some of the best frame-worthy photos on wedding days! There’s just something about that glowy light and couples in love.

Golden hour light is even, warm, soft and honestly flattering on everyone! Daylight can be harsh and create weird tones and shadows. You can pick your dream location or a quick corner somewhere for photos at sunset and they’ll still be incredible! Even if/when your makeup has worn off, if your hair is out of place, none of it will matter because the light will soften and flatter you!

Why host Games during your reception?

Once guests are seated, there is still quite a bit of downtime as food is being served. Reception games help kill the time and also encourage guests to mingle and meet others around them.

A popular game for the bride and groom to play at the reception is the Wedding Shoe Game. In this game, have the newlywed couple sit in chairs back to back in the middle of the room or dance floor. Have the couple take off one of their shoes and exchange it with the other to use when answering questions. You can put a twist on the game and grab some volunteers to participate in guessing the right answers as well!

The host of the game will ask funny questions such as “who has the crazier family?” or “who is more likely to talk their way out of a speeding ticket?”. When the question is asked, the couple will raise the shoe of the person they think best suits the answer. Since they are facing away from each other, neither person will know what the couple answered, which makes the game even more fun! This game does not end with a winner since it is more opinion-based, but it is great entertainment for the rest of the guests at the wedding!

A trick to getting your guests up and dancing is to organize a giant GROUP photo right before the dance floor opens. Once the photo has been taken, the dance floor opens up and everyone is already standing and a few drinks deep .. how convenient! :)

It is also important to invest in a great DJ that can keep the party going with music that is upbeat, fun, and catered towards all generations.

You should also have some activities organized to keep your guests entertained, such as our Interactive Mirror Photo Booth. Guests could grab a drink and hit up the photo booth to snap some memorable pics before hitting the dance floor! Our photo booth prints physical keepsakes and sends digitals to users' phone/emails on the spot!!

Fun props, funny automated posing prompts and great company; what more can you ask for?!

Your wedding vendors will support you from many angles of the day. One of the simplest ways to show appreciation is by shouting them out in your speech - a few kind words of appreciation goes a LONG way!

Now booking wedding photography, film, photobooth and live streaming services for 2024 and limited 2023 dates! DID YOU MAKE IT TO THE END? Show us some love and give us a follow on Instagram 😊

To finish off this event, Alex & Monika were surprised with an after party the next day through a family backyard set up, also known as "Poprawiny" in the Polish culture.

Lets just say the wedding day hangovers were cured with some more celebrations to end off this memorable life chapter. This is why the power of professional photography and film coverage is absolutely priceless!

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