12-18 months to the big day!
Entertainment. Photographer & Videographer. Ceremony.


You’ll want to ensure your wedding entertainment is spot on so that your guests remain entertained and your wedding, a day to remember!

The first questions to ask yourself: Are you into live music or looking for a DJ vibe? Do you need an MC?

1. Book early in order to get your first choice and likely benefit from a bargain.
2. Consider your timings: You likely don’t have your final schedule ready, but have a ceremony, cocktail, and reception hour in mind to help the DJ/band manage your day correctly from the start.
3. Consider your space: While you don’t have your final guest numbers, you have an approximate number of attendees in mind. Ensure that your venue space works with the stage space required by the DJ/band.
4. Be aware of venue restrictions: Ask the venue about any sound restrictions prior to meeting with entertainment vendors. Ex: Can the DJ/band bring their own speakers or must they hook up to the venue’s sound system? Are there noise limits past a certain time? What time does the music need to stop?
5. Read the contract: Ensure you are on the same page as your DJ/band regarding any terms and conditions so that there are no surprises down the road.
6. Ask who will be performing the day of your event: The DJ/band is leading the reception so ensure you are comfortable with the specific person who will be doing so!
7. Trust your vendor: If you’ve done your research and hired a professional DJ/band, there is no reason to doubt them, they have likely performed at hundreds of weddings before. While you may want to include some of your favorite songs, you should leave the rest to them.

Don’t let anyone convince you that it is worth skimping out on wedding photography and videography. After the wedding day, that’s really all you have left from the big day (and your everlasting love, of course!).

1. Find a style: Browse Pinterest. What is your photography and videography style? All wedding photographers and videographers will blend the different styles; however, if there is a specific style you prefer, then choose one whose specialty is such. Note that the buzz-word “natural” is not a style.
Documentary: Candid and spontaneous shots of the couple, guests, décor, the action, etc. Rarely will you find someone staring into the lens.
Portraiture: Classic, posed shots that are likely taken in more traditional spots (like alters, venue grounds, near buildings, by the water, etc).
Artistic: Dramatic shots with focus on a specific element.
Edgy: Unconventional shots with tilted angles or emphasis on something out-of-the norm.
2. Meet with photographers and videographers: Setup in-person meetings, as it is important to see their work and form a connection to ensure your personalities mesh.
3. Compare packages: Make a list of what you need (one shooter, a second shooter, a wedding album, parent albums, a trailer video, a full video, the raw footage, etc) and then ensure that the rates being offered by the different vendors include similar items.
4. Check out full wedding albums, not just highlight galleries: Get a well-rounded idea of the specific photographer or videographer’s work; this includes the best shots and the secondary ones. This way there are no surprises after your wedding.
5. Get the full day packages: When we’re planning such a big and costly event, we sometimes get caught up in the deal rather than the reality. While 8-hour packages may cost less, there is a chance you’ll run over the limit on the day-of and then have to pay a much higher hourly rate on the spot.
6. Confirm your shooter(s): Most studios have several photographers and videographers. Since styles, techniques and personalities vary, you’ll want to know who will be capturing your big day (and include the specifications in your contract).
7. Ask about your rights: Do you get access to all hi-resolution photos and video footage taken that day? How many photos and how much video footage does this include approximately? Are you allowed to do whatever you’d like with your photos and video thereafter?
8. Get postproduction details in writing: When will you get photo and video proofs? When will you get the final photos and videos? When will your album and enlargement arrive?

Are you getting married in a religious establishment or having a civil wedding? Regardless, here are some tips for you:

1. Don’t pick a location that is too far from your reception.
2. Choose a location that has parking for your guests.
3. Offer comfortable seating for your guests. Ensure there is enough space should all your guests attend.
4. Have a backup plan if your ceremony is planned to be outside.

For more information or to book your event at a Groupe Madison venue,