Wedding planning tips - Matt Walker

A spring engagement at the Muttart

Photographs by Matt Walker

Image copyright  ©  by Matt Walker  <a href="http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com">http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com</a>
Image copyright  ©  by Matt Walker  <a href="http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com">http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com</a>
Image copyright  ©  by Matt Walker  <a href="http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com">http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com</a>
Image copyright  ©  by Matt Walker  <a href="http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com">http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com</a>

It was an absolute pleasure working with Lina & Andrew. The Muttart Conservatory is certainly a beautiful location for anyone looking for an engagement, portrait or wedding venue. 


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A Wedding Across the Pond

My latest wedding in the UK

Photographs & words  by Matt Walker

So, as some of you may know, but, most probably had no idea, I'm actually British. Hence most of the photos in my portfolio are from English weddings, not Canadian.


This collection of images are from a wedding I photographed near my home town in Staffordshire, England. Staffordshire is quite a rural part of the UK, it has many woodland areas, mores and lakes, something that many people overlook when they think of the middle of England.


I had quite the challenge during this wedding, the sky was so overcast (shocker) and barely any light was coming through the clouds. Some photographers would consider this kind of light easy to work with, and although it technically is, it really limits your creativity.

The reception had some extremely dark spots also, making it very difficult to actually get anything usable without having the DJ strobe lights turn my subjects pink, green or blue, but I came out with a few..

It was a great day and a great trip back home. Michael and Zoe were a pleasure to work with, both on and off the camera. It all comes together when you know the couple has trust in your abilities and they aren't constantly looking over their shoulders. Another reason why I love being a candid wedding photographer


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Top 5 Biggest Wedding Money Wasters

Money-Saving Tips When Planning Your Edmonton Wedding in 2019

Written by Matt Walker

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Here are a photographers top 5 tips to save some extra money when planning your wedding!

#1 - Consider Creating a Wedding-Photo Album Yourself

Wedding photo albums are very sentimental and are a brilliant way to cherish those precious memories when time moves on. But, these days, most of my couples actually decide not to have wedding albums made by myself and instead, make one themselves. In this section, I'll explain how, and how you can save yourself hundreds of dollars in the process.


PhotoBookCanada  is my personal choice for providing a fast, high-quality and beautifully finished wedding book. Their website is very easy to navigate, the process is very straightforward. 


Firstly, hover your mouse over 'Photobooks' at the top of the page in the heading bar. Then select which 'style' of book you want, you can either choose by 'occasion' such as a wedding-book or a cover-type like debossed, my personal favorite.


The next step is to choose the orientation of the book, the colour of the cover and the size of the physical album. I usually go with a landscape book,  black cover, 14" x 11". 


Now onto the fun part of the process, selecting which photos you want to include in your book! This is what the design panel will look like..

All you have to do now is go through each individual page (shown at the bottom of the diagram above), and choose the layout and design of the book.


The most important thing to do here is to make sure you are happy with the layout and flow of the book. I always go with a chronological photo order, start the book from the 'beginning' of the wedding day and end the book with the bride and groom escaping into the sun. 


I have illustrated the ease of this software below. If you want to remove something from the book design for example, you simply select the item by left-clicking it and then clicking the trashcan icon to 'remove component'.

And that's all there is to it!  Just plan to do this over a period of an hour or two, once you have received your photos from your photographer and don't click Order until your completely satisfied.


The price of books from companies like PhotobookCanada are extremely competitive  and don't really entail much effort or technical knowledge by the bride and groom either. Even for my couples that I work with, I rarely get asked to put together a customized wedding album.                           

#2 - Huge Wedding Cakes

Cakes can range anywhere from $2 per slice to $15, and if your serving 150 guests, this can add-up very quickly. 


I have seen some beautiful small wedding cakes that don't cost a fortune. A quick money-saving tip here would be to add some flowers to each layer, this can really broaden a cake's appearance and add elegance. Or you could consider adding a cheap cake-topper that doesn't look tacky, from Etsy for example.


Top tip: If you really want to penny-pinch, consider asking your baker to add a separator set and add some fresh flowers in-between the layers.

#3 - Expensive Wedding Guest Favors

Wedding favors can be a great way to say thanks to your guests for attending your special day. Yeah, great, but I'm pretty sure most of them will be more than happy enough with the Toonie' Bar. 


Customized bathing products with the bride and grooms name on them, limited edition shot glasses and other small knickknacks are more often than not, a waste of money.


If you do want to make some wedding favors, make them specific to the bride and groom and make them personalized. Edmonton's 'best' chocolates, a selection of the best mini-beers from small local breweries like Alley-Kat's for example. These will mean something to your guests and if you are smart about it, or even better create your own handcrafted items, they wont break the bank. 


#4 - Bride and Groom Printed Swag  

No one wears their pair of 'groomsmen'  socks or their sweatshirt that reads 'bride' across your bottom, very long after the wedding. In fact, most probably just throw them in the bin straight after the big day. 


These items can be funny, yes, and I have certainly worn my fair share of stag-party memorabilia. But I don't recommend others spending their hard earned dollars on them, not unless there is something very special and niche within your group of friends that has to be remembered.


Instead of items like this, why not get a pair of cute pajama's for the bride or groom, or maybe something a little sexier for her wedding night gentlemen?  Here, i'll give you some ideas. 

#5 - Too Many Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

It can be very tempting to add a couple of extra people you haven't seen in years to be in your wedding party. Distant relatives, friends from high school you haven't spoke to since you were 15, besides that random message on Facebook about 2 years ago. But if your trying to keep costs down to a minimum, it isn't always the best idea.


Even if you aren't paying for the wedding party's attire, they will require a bouquet or boutonniere, a special invitation to the rehearsal dinner and a thank you gift (hopefully not a pair of 'groomsmen' boxer shorts). This can quite easily add-up to a few hundred dollars.


Consider who you want to have  in your wedding party and what their role will be. Many friends or relatives that aren't in the party will still be overjoyed when you ask them to plan that special DJ song or for an extra speech during dinner.


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In case you didn't know, I am in fact a wedding photographer & I still have availability for the 2019 wedding season, contact me to check your wedding date.

A Stunning Engagement Photoshoot in Banff - 

November 2018

Photographs & words by Matt Walker - 11/22/2018


It's always a pleasure going to Banff and this time was no exception. Eryn,  Duel & Saphya  had always wanted an engagement photoshoot in  the Lake Louise area, so they didn't mind the  long-drive from Edmonton.         

Image copyright  ©  by Matt Walker  <a href="http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com">http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com</a>

Even though the weather was a little challenging on the Saturday afternoon. We ended up getting some great sunset light just before sundown.   

Image copyright  ©  by Matt Walker  <a href="http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com">http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com</a>

Sunday was yet another challenging shoot, there was so much low-level mist in the early morning that I was contemplating going for breakfast and heading back out later - I even managed to get some great family portraits.


Image copyright  ©  by Matt Walker  <a href="http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com">http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com</a>
Image copyright  ©  by Matt Walker  <a href="http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com">http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com</a>
Image copyright  ©  by Matt Walker  <a href="http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com">http://www.mattwalkerphoto.com</a>

If you'd like to have your free Engagement photoshoot taken in Banff, feel free to send me a message using my contact form here or email me directly at - Matt@mattwalkerweddings.com


Any wedding booking before December 31st will be eligible for a free Engagement shoot!


Make sure you check out my social media pages for special offers!

5 Things to Remember When Planning an Edmonton Wedding in 2019

My top 5 things to consider when planning your Yeg wedding for 2019

 By Matt Walker - Written 11/10/2018

#1 - Consider buying your dress in the Wedding Fair 'Gown Sale' for up to 70% off!

'The Wedding Fair' is arguably Edmonton's biggest wedding event of the year. It has a plethora of different vendors, most notably the possibly insane wedding dress sales they have if you get there early.


- The event is held on January 6th next year - at the Shaw Conference Centre - tickets are $25 on the door or $20 if you book online.


- You can even pay an extra $25 to get 1 hour EARLY access to the Bridal Gown Sale from 10am to 11am - normal admittance is from 11am onwards. I am not sure if this is worth it but I guess it depends on how desperate you are for that perfect dress at a possibly, bargain price.

For a limited time only -  Get a FREE Engagement photography session with every Wedding Photography package booking (offer ends 31st December  -  Email matt@mattwalkerweddings.com for more info)

#2 - Edmonton's 'shoulder' Wedding Season has considerably lower prices for venues       

This also may seem obvious but having seen a number of wedding's just outside the 'popular season', you could save yourself a couple of hundred or even thousands on booking your dream wedding venue in the 'shoulder season'  instead of the peak season.


Take for example the Oasis Centre, a very popular venue for a glamorous, stylish wedding day celebration, with a fairly large price tag to match. 


- In the peak season of June - September on a Saturday - prices for the main 350 person suite will cost $13,500 

- A Saturday in the  'shoulder season' of May or October however, will cost $11,500


The Art Gallery of Alberta's price ranges quite dramatically also..

- A peak season wedding rental fee will be around $2500. Whereas outside that would be anywhere from $450-1500.


Weather and other considerations obviously have to be made when booking in the 'shoulder' or off-season, but if you have an indoor venue in mind then this may be a great money-saver.


There are many other venues around the city that offer the same deals - if they don't then don't be afraid to ask if they can. At the end of the day, they want your wedding celebrations at their venue and if you don't ask you don't get.


The Art Gallery of Alberta - A Stylish & Affordable Edmonton Wedding Venue

The Art Gallery of Alberta - A Stylish & Affordable Edmonton Wedding Venue

#3 Backup plans & Insurance for outdoor ceremonies

We all know how random the weather in good old Edmonton can be sometimes - unpredictable at best.


Having a backup plan is possibly one of the most important aspects of wedding day planning  if you are having an outdoor ceremony and or reception. Does your venue support an indoor ceremony if the heavens decide to open? Putting a backup plan together is something that needs to be considered.


Insurance may seem overkill but if you are having an expensive wedding day - consider some insurance to cover possible cancellations, losing a wedding ring or the failure of a wedding supplier. Policies over at Front Row Insurance start from $55 - something to consider at least. 

#4 You need an Alberta Marriage License before you tie the knot

This sounds mighty obvious but getting married isn't quite as simple as saying 'I do', you need to make sure the legal stuff has been covered before you can tie the knot.


Basically, a marriage licence shows a marriage officiant that all the laws in Alberta have been met and the couple can get married. OK that's great, but how do I get a marriage license? Well it's easy in Alberta, just head down to your local Registry Office.


There are a few guidelines to remember but besides the obvious, like not being drunk or a wanted criminal, we just need to remember that;


- there are no residency or citizenship requirements - a couple must apply together for their license (some special circumstances may allow leniency, check with the Registry Office)

- there is a $40 fee plus the Registry Office service charge

- a licence is valid for 3 months from the date it’s issued an Alberta Marriage Licence is only valid for an Alberta marriage

- the wedding must take place in Alberta a wedding may take place the same day a marriage licence is issued - there is no waiting time


You can contact Service Alberta for more information in Edmonton at ;

+1 780-427-7013 from 8.15am - 4.30pm - Mon-Fri

#5 Find a Marriage Officiant to perform the Marriage well in advance

Just like the Marriage License - finding a Marriage Officiant is something that needs to booked well in advance.


There are two types of Marriage Officiant here in Edmonton ; 

- Religious representatives - commonly referred to as a clergy person.

- Marriage commissioners - for civil ceremonies.

You can find a list of both types here 


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Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this article,  maybe you know another couple getting married soon? Considering sharing it with them!


Choosing a Wedding Photographer is one of the hardest choices when planning your wedding, but my goal is to make that stressful decision a lot easier. If you need any advice - you can get in touch right here


 And until December 31st, get a FREE Engagement photography session with every Wedding Photography package booking (Call 780 243 4760 / Email matt@mattwalkerweddings.com for more info) 

Matt Walker Wedding Photography

10404 24 ave

Edmonton, AB

T6J 4J7

matt@mattwalkerweddings.com

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