This city has a little of everything. Industrial, commercial and agracular all mixed into the city. However finding the picture perfect locations in Grande Prairie can sometimes be tricky.
- Establish the theme and style of your wedding.
To start it all off, I often as the couple to send me a mood bored or description of their wedding vision. If they want industrial modern, maybe a river or farmers field wont be their favourite location. If they want boho and neutral, I will find ways to tie in their pampas grass and greenery to bring those styles to life. Maybe they want a woodsy wonderland with deep greens and running water. When we can take time to find your main vision for your wedding, we are able to build a realistic timeline of the day. Sometimes it allows for multiple locations and sometimes you make the most of the one spot.
2. Consider how many tourists could be around the location in mind.
Grande Prairie is not huge on tourism but the public can always make a romantic moment feel forced and uncomfortable. Chat with your partner ahead of time about what makes them comfortable and feel safe. Maybe they will be more themselves in a very private location or maybe they will happily pick their bride up and spin her around with dozens of eyes watching.
3. Ask around. You never know who’s uncle bob has a natural cascading river in his backyard, or a work buddy has an old shop with industrial ceilings, and huge windows. Unique is never a bad thing.
I have been happily surprised many times when my couples share their distant relatives have some gem of a location that no one else has ever photographed. Sometimes the most “Instagram worthy” location is the most beautiful easy to find location. Sometimes that deck overlooking the valley or old barn in the middle of the golden fields will create something so much more magical. Reach out to some family and friends and ask them to think of fun unique places they might have or know of and maybe you will be surprised to have a special place to take photos on your wedding day.
4. How far is it from the ceremony and reception? Time plays a large role!
There is a lot to think about when planning out your wedding timeline. Once you decide on a first look or not, its time to set times for the ceremony and reception. Once that is all planned out you have the hours still available for photos. I often will google maps each location to see how much time it will take to get to and from each place and discuss priorities with my couple. Sometimes they would rather a few photos in multiple locations and sometimes they would rather a relaxed time at one or two spots and not as many locations. That decision is completely up to you two.
5. Bring your own props.
Sometimes the perfectly styled arch from your ceremony can make for a breathtaking backdrop alongside a field or forest. Or maybe you want to borrow your grandfather’s old vintage car. Adding an additional focus to the photos can jazz up an otherwise overshot/ or mundane location.
6. Does it hold value to you? Sometimes the most casual of spaces can bring back beautiful memories.
Maybe you met in a local coffee shop or library. Maybe your first date you walked down main street or shared an ice cream. Think about times that stand out in your mind, memories that bring joy and love to flood into your heart. This place may be a great addition to your photo locations.
7.Consider the weather.
Maybe you have several locations in mind, but being prepared to embrace the rain or have a backup plan is always a smart idea to keep your wedding day happy and seamless.
8. Reach out to Venues and Hotels in the Grande Prairie area.
Sometimes these locations will charge a small fee, but offer to share your photos with the venue afterwards so they can benefit from the shoot as well. Sometimes all you need is a beautiful staircase, huge beautiful windows, or a stunning pavilion to spice up the magic of your photos.
9. Talk to your photographer.
At the end of the day, your photographer has likely taken way more wedding photos in Grande Prairie and Alberta in general than you have, and they often have amazing ideas.
10. The location will not make or break your photos.
I have had my couples pull over onto the side of a highway to capture the sunset in the field beside them. I have had my brides stand on tall rocks to showcase their gorgeous train and veil on their wedding dress while angling perfectly to avoid the junkyard of old cars right beside them. I have captured a whimsical woodland wedding photo from simply having my couple stand on the sidewalk in town beside large trees and shooting with a foreground of leaves. I have pulled my couples out of their wedding reception to an ugly venue parking lot and used their car’s headlights to create silhouettes and moody romantic moments. At the end of the day, if you are willing to get creative and your photographer has the eye, even the simplest of locations can bring something special and unique to your wedding photos.