bay area wedding photographer

How to write the perfect wedding toast



Do you need to write a toast for the bride or groom in your life but don't know where to start? Allow me to offer my two cents and hopefully get the ball rolling for you. Public speaking can be scary, but if you're prepared it's a little less scary and won't be nearly as bad as you think.

You can do it! You posses the knowledge to create a winning toast that will get you at least one "good job" from a wedding guest when you're finished. Even if it's me Skyping you from another wedding.


Ok, here we go....

  • Funny Opener - "Hello everyone. I'm [insert name], the [bride or groom]'s more attractive counterpart. [Feel free to replace "attractive counter part" with a more wittier comparison.


  • Recall a funny moment between you and the bride and groom, talk about how you met A LITTLE in the beginning from when you met.


  • Talk about how the person has always had your back, giving you a chance to show what they mean to you and there awesome personality traits that are also selfless traits. End this with a funny quip.

Tie together now how the spouse compliments this persons traits, and how they are soooo comfortable with each other, and bring out each others winning traits. Careful not to word it as if this person was nothing without them. We're celebrating these people, not talking about how they weren't anything before such and such came into their lives.

  • Tell everyone to raise their glasses [It's easy to forget] and join in congratulating the new Mr. and Mrs. [Insert last name here]

That's literally it. If you can do all these things, trust me, you'll have a winning toast. I should know, I wrote my cousin's toast this past weekend and it was a hit!

Piedmont Wedding Photograher-Piedmont, CA-John + Felsha's Wedding

Piedmont is the little town that exists as a island that's surrounded by the bigger town of Oakland. On that "island" resides the Piedmont Community Center, where a lovely young couple named Felsha and John were married. On that day, they were surrounded by humor, friends, family, flowers and love. 

Ok, enough narrating. This year I was fortunate to shoot the wedding of John and Felsha. They were sweet people whose love and happiness make every shot I made a breeze. The best recipe for great formals is a couple that's ga ga in love, and lucky for me I find a lot of those people. 

Beatrice + Jake's Engagement Shoot

Last week I met Beatrice and Jake for a engagement shoot at Lake Temescal in Oakland. It was perfectly timed in between rain breaks, and we were able to get some great shots right before the rain started up again. How lucky!

Even more luckier we were able to shoot on a overcast day. I love those days because you can shoot ANYWHERE and not worry about the light casting those unflattering shadows on your face. Just wonderful!

Bay Area Wedding Photographer- Do's and Don'ts for your wedding photography


This week I thought I'd actually write about wedding photographer and a few things I've learned working with clients and speaking to other wedding photographers. Things I wish I would've asked when I first started, and things I wish a bride would've told me.  These aren't hard and fast rules because every photographer is different, but this is a common theme I've heard amongst different wedding photographers, so I hope that it helps you when working with your own photographer and is relevant to you. 



The First Kiss

I know the adrenaline was running through your body, or maybe you felt kissing in front of a group of people was too awkward and just wanted to get it over with but…... you barely kissed each other! I always tell my bride and groom to hold the kiss for at least 5 seconds before releasing. That way I know I have the shot. Don’t want you to feel the need to do everything in slow motion, it’s just that first kiss is important to you and me, so I wanna make sure I get it. 


How do you feel?

Sometimes when I’m shooting, I get caught up in the moment, and creating a pose I want. Sometimes I realize maybe I’m getting a head of myself, so I’ll stop and ask the couple “how are you guys doing? You ok?” It’s important to ask that because weddings are a big deal! There’s a lot of things going on, loved ones to say hi too, and not to mention the dancing and eating in between there. So if you feel that at that moment, whether it’s a pose, a direction, whatever, if you’re overwhelmed, let your photographer know. We understand, and the overall goal is for me to assist you in anyway I can in your wedding day happiness. If you’re not feeling a pose (once a bride told me I was the post felt to junior high, I quickly trashed that one, we’re still cool.) a direction, or anything, let me know. I’ll laugh, you’ll laugh, and we’ll all feel good and enjoy the cocktail hour afterwards. 



Tell your guests to disconnect and enjoy the show


I totally get it. These are your uncles, your aunts, your loved ones watching you get married. It’s a special day! But you know what’s really bad for those timeless photos I’m trying to create? Those glaring lcd screens from tablets distracting from those beautiful moments of the ceremony. Sometimes it’s not even a lcd screen, it’s a family member getting positioned right in front of me with his/her camera. People tend to think that if I'm not standing there, it’s open season, but during the ceremony I need all my space, even the space I’m not occupying at the moment. One time I had to ask a couple to do the first kiss over again because a guest jumped right in front of me as I was taking the photo! Eeeep! If possible, have your officiant make a quick little announcement about no tablets or cell phones during the ceremony, and if you are using a camera, to stay seated and turn off any flash. I can’t emphasize the flash request enough. If my camera is exposed for a shot, a flash can compromise that and wash out the whole image. 


Feed me first please!

I love food, but this isn’t why I’m asking to be fed first. Sometimes vendors will feed you right after they’ve fed everyone else. I understand they want to take care of your guest and this is why. But it’s also a sure way to make sure us photographers don’t enjoy our meals. Can you imagine right as you’re about to eat, you suddenly hear a clinking of a glass, a clearing of a throat, and you have to drop your forks and run off to wherever the first toast is being given? I can because it happens a lot. Please stress to your caterer that you’d like your photographer to be fed first, so that they can finish eating with the rest of your guests, and to be able to finish in enough time to get ready and positioned for that first toast. Besides that, it’s a great time for me to put my camera down because I’ve never had a guest happy to be photographed as they’re eating. 


No raw photos for you, let me explain why

Trust me, you don’t want these. The reasons photographers spend so much time going through all the photos is because we want to give you the best photos of your day, and not have you weed them out amongst all the ones that weren’t good enough to make the cut. Photographers aren’t withholding the creme de la creme of photos, we’re making sure you don’t see the ones with your guests eyes half open, someone laughing with food in their mouth (another reason it’s best to serve photographers at dinner with the guests), or something else really unpretty (shout out to TLC). We do it to protect you, because we care about you. 

Hope this helps! Leave comments if you have any questions or thoughts!