Talking Event & Wedding Photography Tips with Art of Celebrations

As wedding photographers, it’s very important for us to stay connected to top industry vendors, wedding planners, florists, venues and event designers to produce flawless wedding photographs. Sharing ideas and experiences allows us to stay current and up-to-date on our couple’s needs and wants, which in turn translates into higher-quality wedding coverage. This week we met up with Roxy from Art of Celebrations to discuss wedding planning, her thoughts on wedding trends and wedding day photography. Read our interview below! I also included some of my favourite images from Elizabeth and Rob’s wedding we worked on together.

Art of Celebrations is Toronto’s event planning and design production firm. What truly sets them apart is their unique design service where clients have the luxury of viewing their event before it takes place through life-like 3D renderings. They combine their knowledge of interior design with floral artistry, modern aesthetic and incredible attention to detail in order to produce unparalleled events. They always think outside the box in order to produce events that are visually appealing and interesting and to elevate the experience of the guests attending. Roxy Zapala is the founder and the creative director of Art of Celebrations. She is a wedding industry triple threat – a floral designer, an interior design consultant and a wedding planner. With a diploma in interior design and an extensive background in floristry, she has been working in special event production for over 15 years.

Mango Studios (MS): How does photography factor into your wedding planning process?

Roxy Zapala (RZ): I always suggest picking the photographer immediately after the wedding date and venue have been booked and confirmed. I feel that photography is an extremely important part of the wedding. I suggest for couples to carefully think about the photographer they want to work with, as photos are the one thing that will last long after the wedding is done and over. If the client doesn’t know which photographer to go with, I ask them to simply send me over few wedding images they like (from any photographer, anywhere in the world). I then look for repetition and consistency in the photos they chose – what style and lighting is used. Based on that I am able to suggest the perfect photographers for them. I also always suggest for clients to have 2 shooters on the day of the wedding in order to capture all the important moments and to have a variety of shots from different angles.

MS: What does your ideal photography timeline looks like on a wedding day?

RZ: I always make sure that all parts of the wedding are covered by two photographers. If the bride and groom (or groom and groom or bride and bride) are getting ready at different locations, I do prefer that the photos take place at the same time with two photographers splitting. After the getting ready photos are done, I like to have two shooters for the remainder of the day. I love first look photos so I try as much as I can to convince the couple to do them. I also feel that this makes the wedding day go much more smoothly and stress-free for the couple. Then it’s on to ceremony, cocktail reception, family photos and of course detail shots of the reception. I’m huge on pretty details! I also love the couple’s reaction when they first walk into the reception space so I try to have them come into the reception space before guests make their way in. After that, of course all the formalities also need to be captured – speeches, first dance, cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss. Then it’s off to some fun party shots for half an hour to an hour max. If the food is particularly pretty or interesting, I love to see that being photographed during dinner as well. I think it’s usually safe to have the photographers until about 11:30 pm – 12 am to make sure none of the special moments are missed 🙂

MS: How do you help your couples choose a wedding photographer?

RZ: I suggest for couples to carefully think about the photographer they want to work with, as photos are the one thing that will last long after the wedding is done and over. If the client doesn’t know which photographer to go with, I ask them to simply send me over few wedding images they like (from any photographer, anywhere in the world). I then look for repetition and consistency in the photos they chose – what style and lighting is used. Based on that I am able to suggest the perfect photographers for them.

MS: What are some photo worthy trends you’re seeing this year?

RZ: Suspended, flowy florals are something that seems to be very popular this year, although I have been a fan of that for quite a while now. I love making sure that the negative space between tables and ceiling are filled with something cascading – ideally flowers or some very interesting lighting. This not only looks amazing in the room, it also photographs really really beautifully. The more pretty details in a shot the better.

MS: What attracts you and your couples to MANGO each year?

RZ: I think it’s the photo-journalistic style of photography that our clients really love. It’s the perfect combination of beautiful soft lighting, the candid shots that capture human emotions oh-so-perfectly, and all the details! MANGO has it all! It’s something that our clients value so much and so do we!

Photography: Mango Studios
Event Planner: Art of Celebrations
Florist: Blush and Bloom