Yuan + Marcos [Boston Country Club Wedding]



How many hours do I need a photographer for at our wedding? Four hours? Less? Eight hours? More? You’re saying to yourself: I have no idea. And yet, here you are, reviewing packages and pricing for photographers, and they (myself included!) are asking you to select from a Six Hour Package, Eight Hour Package... how do you decide, especially when you’ve only just begun your wedding planning?.

I’ve been a photographer for all duration of weddings, and when it comes to deciding how long you should hire your photographer for, I find it’s best to start with answering: what’s the first moment you would like to photograph on your wedding day and what’s the last? For example, let’s say you would love to capture images of you getting ready in the morning with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. This would be your starting point — your first moment — and you’d ask for your photographer to arrive then. Next, consider the last image of the day you’d love to see captured. If that last moment is your cake cutting, this would be your photographer’s end point. If you want to document some of the dancing that follows at the reception, then that would be your end point. Or, are you leaving the reception in a fancy getaway car at the close of the night and that’s a must-have picture moment for you? Then that’s your end point. From there, tally up the total duration from start to end, and that’s how long you’ll need your photographer for.

All this might seem evident, but when you’re just starting to plan your wedding, it can be misleading to select your photography package based on how long you have booked your venues for. Because, more often than not, you’ll want to capture moments prior to the venues (such as getting ready), and, just as common, you might conclude photography before your reception comes to a close. A good example of this is dancing at the reception. You’ll often have two or three hours of dancing and mingling to close out the festivites, but a good hour of photography is honestly all most need to capture the spirit of that chapter in the evening. By shaving hours off the end of the day, you could then start your photography earlier for those really unique moments like putting on the dress, portraiture time together, and greeting family and friends.

Again, when you think in terms of images and the moments you’d like to capture, you can select a package better suited for your needs and event. When I meet clients for an initial consultation, we’ll have this very conversation, and I’ll work with you to create a custom package that accommodates your photography timeline. If I think you need more hours, I’ll explain why. But if I think we can be more economical , I’ll share that as well. And as your planning evolves, it’s very easy to add more time to your package as needed.

Good luck with your planning, and please do reach out if you’d like to consider me being part of your day!

Basic Invite [Wedding Invitations & Custom Design Event Stationary]



When my wife and I got married, I thought it would be a fun idea to handmake our own wedding invitations — not so much to save money, but to create something custom and unique to us.  We bought all the supplies from the craft store… papers, glues, ribbon.    Then, we spent time designing a layout, selecting typeface, printing up all the various inserts that make up the invite.  Cutting and pasting all the pieces together.   Sure, creating the prototype was rewarding, but then came the task of mass producing the ones for the mailing.   Craft 30+ more invites by hand — hmm, okay. Cut, paste. Done. Cut, paste. Done. Wait, someone else is coming to the wedding? Dig out all the supplies again (if you didn’t run out) and make another. Cut my finger with an X-acto knife and my wife calls an ambulance. Yes, it happened. A real Red Wedding for sure!

I’m still all for crafting your own invitations, but rather than making them by hand (and going to the E.R.), I highly recommend using a service that enables you to create a custom product in a timely fashion, all while letting a third party handle the materials and production. That’s where the good folks at Basic Invite come in.

Image: Basicinvite.com

Image: Basicinvite.com

I often work with third party vendors during the production of wedding albums and photographic prints. I’ll custom design the layout for an album, and then I hand off the digital design to the vendor to print, bind, and produce the product. This is a huge time saver — allowing a vendor to handle the physical production of the product so that my time can be better spent on customer service and image creation. The same goes for wedding invitations. Time is limited when planning your wedding, so why not hand off your ideas to a skilled third party to produce the invite and open up your calendar?

When Basic Invite reached out to me to consider their stationary, I was all for giving them a chance in hopes they may be of service to me, my clients, and those who come across my blog. Though this is a sponsored post, the opinions expressed here are all my mine. And, of course, the absolute best way of giving their product a fair shake was to order some custom samples of my own!


The first takeaway you’ll notice from Basic Invite is that they are more than just a wedding invitation service. In addition to some of the best wedding invitations available online, Basic Invite offers stationary for events, showers, newborns, graduations, birthdays, and engagements, to name a few. Products include invites, thank-you’s, postcards, announcements, customized wedding coasters, keepsake guest books, save-the-dates, envelopes, reception menus, magnets, and even wedding website ideas. Once you select your event and product, you’ll find a wide array of starting-point templates, which you then can easily customize through their web interface.


You’ll modify the content to the specifics of your event, all while being able to tweak colors, typeface, type placement, paper type, invite shape, and on many templates, include a photograph. It’s the very availability of this multitude of options that effectively allows you to generate a signature product that is unique to you and your event. Don’t care for the results? Try another template - no materials or effort wasted in a prototype you’re not fond of.


Once your design is complete, you have the option of ordering a custom printed sample to see if the result is to your liking before making the final quantity investment. For my test, I ordered a collection of varied designs (wedding invitation, wedding save-the-dates and thank you, coasters, magnets, graduation announcements), using my own photographs in the templates so I could have a better sense of the print quality and detail. The results were professional and of really high print quality. Text is sharp, paper quality is substantial, and most important — image reproduction is really spot on. Whether printed on matte or glossy stock… whether the product be an invite, magnet, or coaster… the image is clean, with accurate color and detail on par with the press printed albums and books I often order from album vendors.

Definitely check out Basic Invite and consider giving them a shot. Your fingers will thank you!


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