Wedding Tips and Suggestions - Part 4

 This is the 4th article in a series of Tips and Suggestions for Brides to help you prepare for your Big Day.  To read more, click


In over 25 years of photographing Weddings, I've met a variety of different Brides. 


Some are very Sanguine, effervescent, and exude an "Energizer Bunny" level of non-stop energy.  Others are more reserved, with a quiter spirit. 


Still others who are very "left-brained" and approach their big day with a meticulous precission, orchestrating and finessing the finest nuanced details in order to create the "perfect" day.  If you find yourself identifying with this third group of Brides, read-on:  This instalment is for you!


If you relish overseeing every aspect of your Wedding Day, because you want to make sure every "t" is crossed and every "i" is dotted, you are in a special class of Brides.  You've probably discussed ad infinitum every possiblity and contingency which may arise - and have back-up plans for your back-up plans.  You've also probably arrived at your first Wedding Photography consultation with a fully tabulated notebook, replete with questions, lists, and pictures you've cut out from your favorite wedding magazines.


If any of this sounds familiar, let me give you a piece of advice which will make your Wedding Day everything you dreamed it would be:  Wedding Tips and Suggestions #14:  On your Wedding Day, Delegate the oversight of the details to a trusted friend.


Why?  On your Wedding Day, you need to "change hats" from that of "Wedding Planner" to that of "Bride".  


Sure, by the end of the day you may have a check mark next to every single item on the Wedding Day Checklist that you've created.  And sure, you may ultimately arrive at the end of the day, with a well-deserved smile of satisfaction, knowing you "pulled-off" the biggest, most complicated day you've ever planned without a hitch.  But, if you do, you will not have enjoyed the day as a Bride! 


Here are few suggestions in bullet point:

  • Hire only Vendors and trusted Professionals to be on your Wedding Day "team"
  • -  Because they are Professionals, loosen the reigns - and allow them to surpass your expectations!
  • -  Delegate - to a trusted friend - the responsibility of making sure everything on your Final Check List will be taken care of
  • -  Find a friend or relative who will be willing to act as "go-for" on your Wedding Day - to run errands when needed, etc
  • -  And here's the most important suggestion of all:  On the morning of  your Wedding Day, shift gears from "Wedding Planner"  to "Bride", knowing that you've done a great  job planning your Wedding!
  • -  Then enjoy - truly enjoy - you Wedding Day! 



                 You've done all the planning ...                               now enjoy your Wedding Day!


We've been helping to plan weddings for over 25 years.  Give us a call!  We're here to help.

Studio:  517-394-2192      or    Direct to Cell:  517-285-3688

Until next time!






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Planning Your Wedding - More Tips and Suggestions


Planning a Wedding is a big undertaking!  With numerous decisions, both big and small, staying on top of things can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming.  We understand!

So to help you with your planning, we've compiled a list of Tips and Suggestions (a.k.a. "10 Common Pitfalls to Avoid") into a Handout which each Bride receives at our Studio.  These are now available on line:


To these 10, we'd like to add numbers 11-13.  We hope they are helpful as you plan your Big Day!

11.  Hi-Res DVD   If you are planning on obtaining a Hi-Res DVD of your Wedding Images, know what you will be receiving - or you may be in for a surprise!  This information is so critical, that we've written a comprehensive blog post for you:

12.  Hot Summer Days and Fresh Flowers   If you're planning your wedding for the warm Summer months of June, July or August and plan on using fresh flowers, then take steps to keep them looking fresh and crisp throughout the day!  Bring along a large cooler and empty a bag of ice into the bottom.  Then place a couple newspaper sections on top of the ice.  Bingo!  You've got a portable "refrigerator" which will pay huge dividends in having your Bouquet look great all day long.


13.   Wedding Dress - Delivery Date   Even though you've ordered your dress well in advance of your Wedding Day, it is common for dress retailers to set a delivery date just prior to the date of your Ceremony.  To avoid unnecessary worries over its timely arrival, sizing concerns, and possible alterations which may still need to be made as you come down the "home stretch", set a delivery date at least one month prior to your Ceremony date.   You are going to have a lot of last minute concerns; a great looking/great fitting dress doesn't need to be one of them!



 We're here to help you put it all together!  If you have any questions, we can help.  Call us - we're here for you  517-394-2192.

Until next time,



 See more images by following this link and click on Galleries!  

Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | lansing michigan wedding photographer | michigan wedding photographer | outdoor wedding photography | wedding photography lansing michigan

Engagement Photography in the Fall


Many of our Brides-to-Be ask about Engagement Photography when they make their initial inquiry about our services.  Of course Robert Charles Photography provides Engagement Photography with most of our Packages - and for good reason!


First, we see our Engagement Sessions as an opportunity to get to know our Couples.  Some are gregarious, extroverted, outgoing in nature; others more reserved.   When we spend 45 minutes to an hour with a couple, we have an opportunity to get to know them on a personal level and know what they will most appreciate when they receive their wedding images.


Also, we look forward to displaying their finished Wall Portrait of our couple on a 5' floor-standing easel at their reception for attendees to see them in a more casual setting.  Ranging from 11x14"  to  20x24" in size, these Wall Portraits become a touchstone in their lives, as they think back and reminisce about their lives together just prior to their Wedding Day.


Last weekend we photographed Theresa and Tony at one of the local parks, taking in all the Fall colors.  Here are just a few of their many images from for their Engagement Session:



       What could be more treasured than the genuine feelings shared together by a couple during their Engagement?


              Autumn in Michigan - spectacular!


        We're looking forward to their March 10th Wedding! 


 More of Rob's work can be found at   Click on Galleries 

Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | lansing michigan engagement photography | michigan engagement photography | outdoor engagement photography | wedding photography lansing michigan

Professional Wedding Photography - there IS a difference!


A few years ago, a camera manufacturer ran a series of ads on TV featuring actor Ashton Kutcher roaming about during an outdoor wedding, taking snapshots of the various attendees.  Snap.  Snap.  Every picture beautifully lit.  Every picture an artistic wonder.  

Although it was obvious that Kutcher posseses only a minimum knowledge of Photography, the camera manufacturer led the viewer to believe that anyone could take incredible pictures if they just owned their brand of camera.



It's a fun idea to get sucked in to.  

Similar victims of this sort of marketing strategy may sound something like this: 

             "Buy these golf clubs.  Hit every shot like a Pro",       

                      or ...

            "Use these pots and pans and cook like Paula Dean!"


The problems?   You don't have a Pro's golf swing.   You really don't know how to cook all that well.


As much as I like Ashton Kutcher as an actor, he may be partially responsible for some of the many disappointments Brides have experienced by hiring an "enthusiast", rather than a skilled Professional. 


Professional Wedding Photography is very similar.  A camera is a tool.  It's only a tool.  Having the newest and best-est, most tech-iest camera only means ... someone has a nice tool in your hands with which to create.  


Similarly, when on location, I've found many homes with a beautiful piano in the living room.  When asked "Who plays?", I usually find a family member with a somewhat basic, rudimentary level of skills.   It's really nothing more than a pastime, and very, very few play well enough to offer their services professionally - on a wedding day.  For a once in a lifetime occasion.


You've planned your day to the last nuanced letter.  Now memorialize the moment with unmatched Wedding Photography from a trusted Professional.




       Catrice - on her Wedding Day                                                                           with her Jr. Bridesmaid




             At the Gazebo                           



                             Stunning ...



Professional Photography - the way you will remember Your Day.


To see our "Animated Images" of Catrice, click on this link: 

 For more information on Robert Charles Photography, just follow this link:   Visit our Gallery Pages!


Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | lansing michigan wedding photography | lansing michigan weddings | michigan wedding photographers | michigan weddings | outdoor wedding photography

Engagement Photography - in the Snow?


Spring is here, and with Spring comes ... Wedding Season! 

The end of April marks the official kick-off of the Wedding Season for Robert Charles Photography.  (You Southerners have to realize that the temps are still only in the mid-30's as I write!)  But what do you do when our featured couple has requested outdoor Engagement Photography and the ground is still ... white?

I suggested we make use of our city landmark - The State Capitol - and do something a little light-hearted.  Carolyn and Brent were quickly "on board", so we set a Saturday date (around noon), warmed the car up and headed downtown. 

Anytime we get the "green light" to do something different and "color outside the lines", we're usually pleasantly rewarded.  Here is the image they chose for display and our "Animated Images!*" from that Engagement session in March.



                                                                                                   Carolyn & Brent


 See more of Robert Charles Photography work at

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Engagement Photography - Indoors!


Robert Charles Photography offers Engagement Photography in most of our Packages.  Frequently we'll find ourselves outside during the Spring through Fall seasons, creating images which will last a lifetime.  The resulting images are then enlarged and eventually displayed on a 5' floor-standing easel at the Reception.   But what do we do in February - with the temps registering a frigid 15 degrees outside?


We offer indoor, Location photography! 


Last week, when Jonathan and Catrice asked if we could provide them with images which they could use when contacting friends and relatives via email for their upcoming August wedding, I mentioned that we would be photographing a Winter Homecoming Banquet the following Saturday and we would be happy to photograph them as well.


Sadly, it seems that fewer and fewer photographers are able to provide much more than a "point and shoot" style of photography indoors today.  We are pleased to offer True Studio-Quality Photography on Location on your Wedding Day, available in most Packages for that extra Classic, Elegant look - or when the weather is not cooperating.


Here are a couple of their images. 






         How fun is this?


 Until next time!   


See more of Rob's work at   Check out our Gallery Pages!         

Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | lansing engagement photography | michigan engagement photography | michigan wedding photographers | wedding photography lansing michigan

Wedding Reception Entertainment - Part 2


Over the past 25 years, I've photographed a wide range of Weddings - from lavish, upscale occasions to smaller, more intimate gatherings.  The one thing they all had in common was some form of entertainment at the Reception.  In our last RCP blog entry, we provided some guidelines for finding Live Entertainment; today we'll look at DJ's.  


I'm frequently asked for a referral to find a DJ for a Bride and Groom-to-be.  Here is what I tell them:

  • If at all possible, try to go see a prospective DJ in person!  Some DJ's are mild, laid-back individuals who are trained to do nothing more than feed an unending supply of CD's into a computer tray.  Others are capable of taking the reins and providing some much needed structure to a reception
  • Learn at least a minimum about what type of sound reinforcement equipment will be needed to adequately cover the size Reception Hall you will have.  Most DJ's carry a simple 3-way cabinet, elevated for sound dispersal.  This may be fine in a smaller, lodge-type setting, but a system with a seperate bass cabinet will provide a lot more "punch" in rooms designed to accommodate 200 or more people.
  • What type of Lighting equipment will he/she be bringing?  When the lights dim later in the evening, you may have hoped for more than 4 colored lights pointing listlessly at the dance floor all night
  • Does the DJ have a cordless mic for toasts?  If so, find out whether it has "true diversity" which guarantees a signal which will not "drop out" during a toast. 
  • If you plan to book a company which has multiple DJ's available on a given night, make sure you know who it is who will be providing music at your Reception.   It goes without saying that large, expensive DJ packages will receive the better equipped, more talented DJ's, while smaller occasions will get ... something less.  Again, make every effort to see a prospective DJ in person, and then book that person.

Finally, ask to see if the DJ will have a back-up amplifier - and in the case of a DJ using all computerized music - or a 2nd computer on hand.  You be the judge of how important it may be to have an "ace" up the sleeve should a piece of equipment fail at your Reception.

If you'd like a referral to find the best DJ for your Wedding Reception, give us a call!  We're here to help!  517-394-2192



                                                            Terry, from Zack's Tunes, with his state of the art  "Intelligent Light" system




Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | michigan wedding photographers | wedding photographers lansing michigan | wedding reception photography | wedding reception tips and suggestions