'Helpful Wedding Ideas'

January 05, 2013

You definitely DO want two photographers for your wedding. That way one can focus on you while the other one can capture all the things around you that might otherwise go unappreciated–saving those moments for you to enjoy later.

There are dozens of examples of why you want two photographers. Let’s look at your Grand Entrance. One photographer will have to be locked on your and your bridal party coming into the room. But a second photographer will capture your parents cheering wildly, your bridal party sharing the joy, your Aunts hugging and crying–and all the wedding reception mayhem that goes by in one brilliant, white-light flash. If you want well-done, candid story-telling of your day, then you want two photographers.

Two photographers also provide built-in backup for one another. In the case of Ovation Images, we believe that TWO is the magic number for your wedding. So the two of us, both full time wedding professionals, travel in separate cars, each carrying a full set of backup equipment, both fully insured, and both exceptionally well-trained and experienced. We work together hand-in-glove. But in an emergency, either one can act alone to ensure that you have everything you want from your big day. This is what “two photographers” means to us.
Be sure your wedding photography passes the Two Photographer Test. “One photographer and an assistant” will not get the same results as two trained pros. Two photographers traveling in the same car is a risk–what happens if the car breaks down on the way to your wedding? And finally, are both photographers insured? Most insurance policies do not cover anything when only one photographer has insurance. Be sure to ask your wedding photographer what “two photographers” means to them.
pittsburgh wedding photography
January 04, 2013

Your wedding hair stylist has a dirty little scheduling secret. She told you to come in at 8:30 AM so she could focus on you and your girls and you could bring some snacks and drinks and make an event out of it! Wow! What fun! Well, not exactly.  This is what she really meant to say “I want you to come in at 8:30 AM because that won’t interfere with my prime time schedule from 11-2. My goal is to get you into an early time slot that none of my other clients want and that way your wedding won’t conflict with my regular schedule.” So what happens? You get your hair done at 9:30AM for your 4PM wedding. It starts to fall out before anyone even sees you! And you have to walk around on tippy-toes all day to take care of your hair. By the time your DJ gets the dance floor jumping at at 10PM, your hair has been in for over 12 hours–and looks like it!  Well, that’s a worse case scenario for sure.  But don’t be fooled.  Be sure to set the time that best suits you and let your hair stylist plan around that. For a 4PM wedding, noon is the right time to get your hair done. For a 2PM wedding, 10AM is about right–later if you can swing it. It will still be a fun event with your girls. Only now it will be on your schedule instead of someone else’s.


bride getting her hair done before her wedding black and white photo candid moment

January 02, 2013

Planning your wedding? As you know by now, the devil lurks in the details. Your wedding florist may need some guidance to avoid flowering foolishness. Here are four problems that we want to help you avoid. At Ovation Images, we have unfortunately seen all of these issues dozens of times.

1. Delivery: “All flowers go to the church” does not work if you want pictures with your girls before your ceremony. In that case, you will need the girls bouquets and yours with you wherever you are getting ready. Insist on it.
2. Arrangement Choices: A florist that specializes in weddings and events will have a MUCH larger selection of arrangements and options than a regular neighborhood florist. Talk with your local specialist and you will immediately notice the difference.
3. Boutineer Whoops: Who pins on the boutineers? If your florist won’t be there, make sure they train someone in advance to correctly pin on the boutineers SO THAT THEY STAY PUT. Thee is nothing worse than stepping onto the dance floor with your new husband and realizing that he is dancing with you with his boutineer hanging upside down!
4. No Head Table Vases. Flowers have to lay down on the head table, not stand tall. Anything standing tall in front of you will interfere with your guests seeing your reactions to your toasts, seeing you kissing when they tap their glasses, and those tall vases will ruin all your pictures at the head table. You do not want any floral vases at your head table.
flower bouquets with peacock feathers
October 08, 2012

Every Ovation Images couple has engagement photography included as part of their wedding photography package. The things you can do with your engagement pictures are only limited by your imagination. Here is one example–our straight-up classy Reception Guest Book.. Have a look at this gorgeous wedding day option!

Your Ovation Images Reception Guest Book is big–10 inches square–so the pictures are big and bold! The spine and back cover are genuine top-grain cowhide leather in your choice of 12 colors. You pick the images that go inside the book and one special image for the front cover. We lay out a book design with lots of white space around each image for guest signatures and best wishes. The overall look of the book is stunning.

Beyond the wonderful pictures inside, another reason our Reception Guest Book is so impressive is that the build-quality is superb. The cover image and leather just sparkle, and have excellent durability. The page binding is extra-strength–and yet the book will lay flat for signing! The cover image is glossy-finish, while the pages are matte-finish. Each thick, matte-board page can be signed with any ball-point pen.

Your Guest Book is a work of art that will stand proudly on its own–or be a delightful companion to your wedding album!. Your Guests will truly enjoy paging through this artistic look at your engagement pictures!  Ask us for more ideas about how to use your engagement photography around your home and on your wedding day!

personalized wedding guestbook featuring the couples engagement photo on the cover of the book.

personalized wedding guestbook featuring the couples engagement photo on the cover of the book.

Pages opened on a personalized wedding guestbook featuring the couples engagement photo on the interior pages.

Pages opened on a personalized wedding guestbook featuring the couples engagement photo on the interior pages.

Pages opened on a personalized wedding guestbook featuring the couples engagement photo on the interior pages.

May 22, 2012

Now that you have put unique twist on your table numbers, you need to think about place cards! Place cards can be done in so many fun ways, and  here are a few of our favorites…

  • Leave a polaroid camera on the same table with the place cards. When your guest take their place card have them replace it with a photo of themselves! This will get everyone laughing and the party will start immediately. Plus, you will have a photo of every guest at your wedding! To make sure everyone can see the pictures, display the place cards and photos using a clothesline.
  • If you are short on table space use a clothes line, pin board, or magnetic board to display the cards in a vertical manner.
  • Use a glass rim place card: Have your place cards cut into a shape, such as a hummingbird, and place it on the edge of a wine glass. Guests will be able to find their place and be ready for a drink as well!
  • If your favors come in a box, write your guests name and table number on the box and have it double as your place cards!
  • Match your place cards to your theme. Having a beach wedding? Use shells or small drink umbrellas to dress up your place cards. A travel theme? Make the place cards look like boarding passes or passports. Going green? Give each guest a potted plant with their name and seat number on the pot.

Bride and groom partying in the limo

May 16, 2012

Table numbers are a necessity at any wedding, but who says they just have to be plain old numbers? Intrigue  your guests with this enchanting table number ideas:

  • Place of photo of each of you, where your age in the photo corresponds with the table number, on each table. You’re guests will get to see cute, and maybe even embarrassing, photos of you two at every age. Be aware though this might prompt the age old question…. “So when are you having kids?”
  • Instead of numbers, give each table a name. Customize the words to the theme of your wedding: trees and flowers for a country wedding, rock stars and band names for a hip urban wedding, street names from your hometown, or even places that you two have visited together!
  • Enjoy vino? We do! Chances are your guests will too. Make custom labels for wine bottles that display the table number. Then, put multiple types of wine (all with the same table number) on each table for your guests to enjoy!
  • If you want to use numbers, jazz it up by giving the number a meaning! Under each number write a fact about you and your fiance that relates to that number. For example,  “Table 4: the date in April that we met”,  or “Table 10: the number of dates we went on before we said ‘I love you’”
  • Use photos from your engagement session with each table number. It is a great way to show off your engagement photography!


May 09, 2012

You want to thank your guests for sharing in your special day, so be sure to do so with a special wedding favor.

  • Are you’re friends party people? Consider giving a personalized beer koozie as a favor. Be sure to put a cute saying on it like “to have and to hold and to keep your beer cold!” with your names and wedding date!
  • You two will look hot on your wedding day, so keep your guests comfortable with this great sunglass favor idea- you don’t want them to be blinded by your love!
  • Having an outdoor wedding? Consider making smore kits to give to your guests as favors! Be sure to have a campfire set up somewhere so they can roast their marshmallows.
  • Soda or Pop? This debate may never be settled but it could make a cute favor! Jones Soda will make customizable pop bottle complete with a picture of the two of you on the label- you can even pick the flavor!
  • Give your guest something you both can cherish- a photo booth from Ovation Images! If you request a photo booth when you book your wedding with Pittsburgh’s best wedding photographers you will get more than just a booth- you will get a third photographer! That’s right, a third photographer who will coach your guests and capture the perfect shot of them! Your guests will be able to live view the photos and have multiples printed on the spot. So while they go home with a great new professional photo (which many may not have had taken since their wedding day),  you will get a copy of all of the photos as well! Plus, if you jump in on the fun you will have printed photos that very night to show off from your big day, and trust us, this is a big hit with parents who want to brag about how “their little girl/boy is all grown up!”

Bridal Party at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh Pa

May 01, 2012

Guestbooks are a great way to help you look back and remember who you celebrated your wedding day with. All to often though, they get packed away and rarely looked at. Don’t let this happen to you! Check out some of these great guest book ideas that will give your wedding a unique flare!

  • Set out five or more bottles of wine and have your guests sign them instead of a traditional guestbook. They can use paint markers to sign right on the bottle or print a customized label for them to sign on. Then, share a bottle each year on your anniversary and reminisce about the great times you had on your wedding day with those who love you the most!
  • Are you and your better half big music fans? Have guests sign on old records with paint markers then display them in your house as wall art. You will be reminded daily of those who rocked your wedding with you! You could even have them sign a guitar, drum head, or sheet music for the same effect!
  • Love is fun… and games? Have your guest sign jenga blocks or the back of a wooden puzzle pieces so every time you play you will be reminded of who was there when you married your perfect match. Bonus points if the wooden puzzle is one of your engagement photos that the guests can help put together after they sign the back of their piece!
  • Most Pittsburgher’s would agree: sports are number one in the burgh’! Show your true black and gold spirit by having your guests sign a custom jersey featuring your new last name and the date on which you are getting married!
  • Build your family tree! Frame a large drawing of a tree trunk and limbs, without leaves, for your guests to “sign” using their finger prints. Have your guests use multiple shades of green ink to stamp their fingerprint on the drawing to create the look of leaves. Then display the artwork  in your home- it will look like art but will be a constant reminder of your wedding day!  If you are having a spring wedding, use pink ink to create cherry  blossom trees, while orange, red, and yellow ink would be perfect for a fall wedding. Just be sure to leave baby wipes out so your guests can clean their hands after they are done creating your masterpiece!
If you want to go the more traditional route,check out this custom guestbook from Ovation Images.  Contact us to set up a meeting and check out all that we offer!
Bride spinning on dance floor with guest
April 25, 2012

Here at Ovation Images we are more than just wedding photographers, we are here to help you make your wedding day picture perfect! We have been Pittsburgh’s premier wedding photographers for over ten years, so we can give you advice on anything from picking a venue to how to turn rain into a good thing on your wedding day. We have also seen many creative ideas from DIY brides and we want to start sharing them with you! Over the next few weeks, Ovation Images will be doing  a series of blog posts on how to add some flare to many standard wedding traditions and staples. Be sure to follow the blog to get some creative ideas for your big day! Don’t be shy either- be sure to add your own unique ideas on how to update an old standard in the comment section on each blog post!

blue, umbrella, kiss, silhouette, wedding day photography, rustic wedding, fall wedding, bride and groom, ovation images, pittsburgh wedding photographer


Wedding day scheduling traps you can avoid like potholes in the road.

Wedding Day Scheduling Tips

As experienced wedding photographers, we have learned that wedding day scheduling is critical to what we can deliver for you. On your wedding day, when things run late and time is pressing, the first thing to be cut will be photography—guaranteed. Here are some common wedding day time traps and what to do to avoid them.

Get your flowers delivered to where you are getting ready. If you do this, the formal photography of you and your bridesmaids can be done before your ceremony. Otherwise, that time has to be taken from the time in between the ceremony and reception. Simple thing—big impact on your schedule.

Find out when the next event is scheduled at your church. Make sure we have 30 minutes at the altar to do ALL your family and bridal party formal pictures. Putting these off until later is a bad plan because it will take longer to get everyone together later. Instead, grab them all before they leave and get your formal pictures done in that 30 minutes.

Make sure your limo is reserved long enough. So you’ve allocated two hours in between your ceremony and reception to go to the park and have some intimate fun with your paparazzi (us) in tow. Make sure the limo is reserved long enough to include all that time. If you allowed 4:30 to 6:30 for the fun, be certain that the limo isn’t going to turn into a pumpkin at 5:30.

These tips are taken from the Ovation Images  Wedding Day Timing Guide that all of our clients receive. This Guide is just one of ten helpful Guides that are part of our total commitment to our clients.

Copyright 2012 OvationImages.com, may not be reproduced in any form. These articles condense and combine all that our brides have shared with us over the years. OvationImages.com is the choice of Pittsburgh brides for elite wedding photography:  Pittsburgh Magazine Real Weddings Selection, 2012, 2012 Pick: The Knot Best of Weddings, 2012 Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice, as featured in Whirl Wedding Guide, 2012. 

Wedding Day Schedule

The time between your ceremony and reception is a great mingling time for your family and friends. They are enjoying each other amid a fine selection of drinks and hors d’oeuvres in a marvelous party atmosphere! And yet, while you are planning your day, someone will inevitably say “well, you don’t want to keep your guests waiting too long!”

Time is the enemy—never more so than on your wedding day. When you sit down to schedule your day, you may have to wrestle with the schedule to keep even a small part of the day for yourself! Among the most valuable blocks of precious time on your wedding day will be the time in between the ceremony and the reception. For most couples, that is the only actual personal time you will have during the day. You need that time to enjoy each other, enjoy your bridal party and to create the photographic memories of a lifetime!

So goal numero uno for your wedding day scheduling is to protect this time for yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that your cocktail hour can’t be “too long” because  “your guests are waiting.” They’re not waiting—they are mingling and having a good time!  Why be in a rush to cut that short! Make your first scheduling priority to have that time for intimate fun and personal memories with your new spouse and your closest friends in between your ceremony and reception.  Your guests will be busy reconnecting with each other and enjoying the food and drink.

Copyright 2012 OvationImages.com, may not be reproduced in any form. These articles condense and combine all that our brides have shared with us over the years. OvationImages.com is Pittsburgh’s source for elite wedding photography:  Pittsburgh Magazine Real Weddings Selection, 2012, 2012 Pick: The Knot Best of Weddings, 2012 Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice, as featured in Whirl Wedding Guide, 2012. 

You’re Engaged! Now What? Part 14 of 30: Last Thing On Your List? Your dress!  Scandalous to think (and worse to say out loud!), your wedding dress probably should be last on your wedding shopping list.

Engaged? Savor your dress shopping!

You’re Engaged! Now What? Go dress shopping right? Or not. Even though we know that almost nobody will pay any attention to this suggestion (!), we recommend that you save your dress purchase for later. That doesn’t mean you can’t shop! Knock yourself out. Just don’t buy anything at the first place you look.

Why do it this way? Well, it’s probably a unique look for you, right? (!—again!) So it is better to see all the style options. Also, your wedding is probably about a year away. Styles will change—new choices you may like will be coming out very soon. Then there is the issue of the dress salon staff.  Take the time to find out if you like working with them. Right or wrong, almost every bride we have worked with has told us that the quality of the salon’s staff had  an impact on their wedding dress experience.

Best reason to wait: Save the best for last. Include your maid of honor and Mom and friends—you can make some awesome girls’ nights out while dress shopping!

Copyright 2012 OvationImages.com, may not be reproduced in any form. These articles condense and combine all that our brides have shared with us over the years. OvationImages.com is Pittsburgh’s source for elite wedding photography:  Pittsburgh Magazine Real Weddings Selection, 2012, 2012 Pick: The Knot Best of Weddings, 2012 Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice, as featured in Whirl Wedding Guide, 2012.