Should You Tip the Wedding Vendors

As you are probably starting to notice, planning a wedding takes up a lot of time, and money! One budget factor that can be easily overlooked is whether or not you should tip the wedding vendors. Although tipping is not mandatory, it is a kind gesture and a great way to show gratitude for a job well done. But, many people aren’t quite sure if tipping is mandatory or acceptable- which can be somewhat confusing when trying to set aside your specific budget. Our team at Saiaf Films is more than fluent in the language of weddings. Therefore, we would to share our tips for tipping- no pun intended.

Wedding PlannerRAW_1_SD219-2-
Even though wedding planners don’t usually expect a tip, if yours was an exceptional one- why not show your appreciation? Whether you choose a monetary form or even a more sentimental approach such as a your wedding photos for their portfolio, your wedding planner will appreciate the extra recognition. Tips: Optional. Can be given at the end of the reception or with a thank-you note after the honeymoon.

Delivery Staff
Anytime someone brings something by or delivers something (flowers, sound or audio equipment, the wedding cake, tents, chairs, etc.) it is a good idea to tip them a little bit- especially if it is a lot of gear! Tips: Expected. About $5-$10 per person. With everything else going on, it will be hard to pass out tips individually. Consider giving it to the vendor manager ahead of time to disperse accordingly.

tipping the wedding vendorsWedding Stylist & Makeup Artist
Consider tipping as you would in a hair salon. Maybe even a bit more in the event that the process is a bit more time consuming. Tips: Expected. Average 15-20%. Tip at the end of your service.

Wedding Music
Whether you decide to hire a full band or you choose to have a DJ, tipping your music provider is a thoughtful idea, especially if they did an exceptional job! Tips: Expected. Gratuity can average anywhere from $15-$150. Tip at the end of the reception.

Reception Staff
From servers to clean up crew this genre can involve any individual that was on staff at the reception. Tips: Expected. Tips can range $20 – $25 per bartender/waiter or 15-20% of the total food or drink cost. Valet: $1-$5 per car or $1-$5 per guest. Consider tipping at the end of the reception.

Wedding Officiant
Normally, if the officiant is affiliated with a specific church or synagogue- the tip is usually made to the church or institution that they work with. Tips: Optional. Standard is $500 or more to the church or institution. Can normally be tipped before the wedding or directly to the officiant at the wedding.

Wedding TransportationIMG_94071
Provided that they show up on time, they don’t get lost and they are friendly to everyone- tipping your transportation crew is optional. Tips: Usually expected. Averaged 15-20% of the bill. Can be given at the end of the night.

Additional Tips for Tipping Your Wedding Vendors: Consider designated one individual
(usually the best man) to tip the wedding vendors- as you will probably have a lot going on. Also, be sure to check your contracts beforehand as tipping may already be included. Remember, these are the individuals who are helping to make your special day one of the most important events of your life!n As always, pay attention to those who provide exceptional and memorable service and show your appreciation accordingly and as you deem necessary.

Easy Tips For The Perfect Wedding Website

Easy Tips For The Perfect Wedding Website

  One of the biggest perks about living in today’s world is the impressive advantage of technology! Although weddings are known for carrying on traditions of the past, more and more people are beginning to incorporate modern technologies IMG_08801as well. One of those being a wedding websites! A wedding website is a wonderful way to plan and spread the news about your upcoming event. Being that we greatly appreciate the advantages of technology and its usefulness, our team at Saiaf Films is here to share our tips and ideas for creating and maintaining the perfect wedding website.

Choose a catchy and memorable URL
It is a good idea to select a domain name that somehow incorporates both of your names. Not only does that make it easy to remember, but it also makes it more special for you and your family. You can use just your first names if they are available, like WilliamAndBeth.com. Or you can incorporate a useful keyword- like WilliamAndBethWedding.com. Some may find it easier to just use initials in order to shorten the URL up a bit, WBwedding.com. You can also try shortening your URL by using Google’s URL shortener or Bitly as well. Whichever you decide on, be sure it feels and looks good to you, because you will be sharing that page with your entire guest list!

IMG_2308-EditInformation to include
It is important to make sure that your guests have access to as much information as possible. This will make it much easier for you as you plan your wedding. Instead of answering multiple questions from various people, you can refer them to your wedding website where they can gather the details themselves. More information is better than less on a wedding website. Some key points to include are:

  • Venue Information: You will want your guests to be able to find the venue easily in order to ensure they can arrive on-time and stress free. Consider adding an interactive map that gives directions, such as Google Maps. You can also supply the phone number for guests to contact the venue if necessary. For those guests you like to print directions, you can always add the option to download a map with any special instructions. That way they can have it all on one page.
  • Registry Information: Your wedding website is a spectacular spot to include your registry details. These days, most big name stores provide an online element for your registry. You can use those links on your wedding website to give your guests an easy way to access your information. Don’t forget, you can also utilize creative options like Etsy or Amazon as well.
  • Hotel Information: If you have a number of guests coming in from out of state, consider including a list of hotels in the area along with their contact information or a link to their site. You can also research for discount or promo codes to make it even easier on your guests!

Special Details
Your wedding website is not a useful tool for information, but it is also be a great way to express your love and excitement. These are few great details to give your wedding website that extra special touch.wedding website

  • Your Story: Why not give your guests the amazing background story of your relationship? Your wedding website is a great spot to talk about how you met, your proposal story or even just a few special aspects of you two.
  • Photos: Of course, what is a website without photos? You want your page to be informational as well as visually stimulating. Try to incorporate special pictures that display the awesomeness of your relationship. Use your engagement photos or any other photos that show the two of you in all your splendor.

Don’t forget, your wedding website doesn’t just have to be about your wedding. Your guests may genuinely enjoy a follow-up to your wedding event as well. Consider adding the details to your honeymoon with the amazing photos that you took. Or you can even use it as a spot to share your thanks and gratitude for everyone even after the wedding. However you decide to create it, make sure that it expresses the wonderful aspects of your wedding. Plus, it can be a great a memorable way to enjoy the details even after the wedding.


Wedding Spotlight: Sharaya and Jared’s Mesa Wedding

Mesa Wedding at the Superstition Manor


IMG_3844Sharaya and Jared’s outdoor Mesa wedding was one of the most memorable and photogenic weddings that our team has had the privilege of capturing. Right off the bat our team was excited to shoot their special day as it was to take place at the gorgeous Superstition Manor in Mesa, Arizona. We knew that meant there was going to be a glorious Mesa weddingSuperstition Mountain backdrop. And of course, we were not disappointed. On this particular day, the sun had set perfectly and we were privileged with an amazing variety of unforgettable footage of Sharaya and Jared’s Mesa wedding.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the wedding parties who were getting ready in separate rooms of the Superstition Manor. On of our female photographers captured unforgettable and meaningful footage of the bride and the bridal party as they were getting ready for this special event. Some of our most favorite shots were when the bride, Sharaya, was with her mother and sister having their makeup done. This was followed by them helping her to put her dress on.

One advantage to having a team of photographers like Saiaf Films is our ability to simultaneously capture other moments. While the bride’s memories were being filmed, our team of male photographers and videographers were with the groom and his groomsmen capturing the moments of them getting ready as well. Mesa weddingA notable and intriguing moment was when Sharaya’s sister delivered a special handwritten letter to Jared from his beautiful bride. His reaction was timeless and genuine. These moments always stand out to our team of photographers because they are some of the most important and intimate moments of a wedding day.

While at the Superstition Manor, our team greatly appreciated that the entire wedding was performed at this one particular location. From the ceremony to the reception, it was all held at this breathtaking venue. These opportunities always give peace of mind to the wedding party as it guarantees our ability to capture multiple important aspects all in one spot. We had the ability to explore all the beauty this gorgeous venue had to offer. This wonderful Mesa wedding was truly a fairytale event to remember. Thank you Sharaya and Jared for allowing us the beautiful opportunity to enjoy your wedding spectacle!

3 Wedding DIY Dont’s

3 Wedding DIY Dont’s

It’s pretty obvious that the wedding DIY craze has taken the world by storm. And of course, it is easy to see why. People love to get creative with various aspects or tasks in their life. But there are a few particular areas where the wedding DIY approach may produce more stress and anxiety than necessary. Here, we share our ideas for five very important wedding RAW_1_SD219-2288-aspects that may be better left to the pros, leaving you with a more stress free and enjoyable wedding experience.

The Wedding Cake

Whether it’s grandma’s secret recipe or you are a cake baking extraordinaire, this can be one particular feat best left to the professionals. Of course, it can be much less expensive to build your own wedding cake, but a wedding cake disaster or mess up can be very difficult to fix last minute. Not to mention, decorating and transporting your wedding cake can be quite a difficult task. Save yourself time, stress and guarantee a great tasting wedding cake by hiring someone who has the knowledge to do it right.

The Centerpieces
What is one of the most noticeable aspects of the wedding wedding diyreception? Beautifully designed centerpieces. An eye-catching and elegant centerpiece can really set the mood for your wedding reception. Instead of attempting this wedding DIY, consider engaging the ideas from a skilled florist. It may be a larger part of the budget, but it can be worth every penny when your reception is filled with vibrant, fresh and gorgeous flowers. Initiating the help of a florist will ensure that your wedding is filled with perfectly selected blooms.

Wedding Photos
Wedding photographs and film are one of the single most important elements of your RAW_1_SD219-608-wedding day. They are a guaranteed method of remembering a memorable moment in your life. Therefore, it is a good idea to recruit the help of a skilled wedding photographer or team of photographers (like the ones we have here at Saiaf Films) to capture every moment. Friends and loved ones may mean well when they volunteer to help, but what if their equipment malfunctions or they for some reason get distracted? You will be happy and stress free knowing your wedding memories are secure in the hands of a professional.

Although it can be fun to add your own personal touch to your wedding, try to keep it stress free and more enjoyable by focusing the wedding DIY energy towards aspects like wedding favors, invitations, etc. That way you can guarantee that the more difficult areas are better handled. Looking for more ideas to better your wedding planning process? Check out our blog for more tips on making your wedding the best experience possible!

Wedding Toast Tips

Great Tips For Enhancing Your Wedding Toast


wedding toastWhen it comes to giving an exceptionally amazing wedding toast, it is important to remember a few key details. Our team at Saiaf Films has been present for many wedding toast moments. So, we know a thing or two about giving a good one. Here, we break down a few of our tips for giving the best wedding toast possible at your wedding reception. A wedding toast is a great time to show some love for your wedding guests, and to express your appreciation. So, let’s take a look at a few ideas for making this moment particularly memorable.

Have an opening act!
It may be a good idea to allow an individual, or a few, present a toast before you take the stage. It allows you a few moments to gather yourself while setting the tone and giving everyone the opportunity to settle down. Usually, the best man begins as the toastmaster followed by the maid of honor. Once they have presented, it is time for the bride and groom. These days, many parents like to get in on the fun as well by sharing a few words. These days, many weddings are allowing various individuals to give a toast. This is a great opportunity to allow a few special individuals who have supported you through the years to share their feelings.

Come prepared!
It’s no secret, all eyes will be on you as you are presenting your toast. So, you definitely want to take the time to IMG_56881make it right. Obviously, you want to be yourself, but it doesn’t hurt to prepare and be confident in what you plan to share. Perhaps you can begin by sharing a few lines from a special poem or song that has meaning to you. Doing this also allows you to loosen your nerves and prepare your voice for the speech you are about to give.

Don’t get carried away…
Although it can be difficult, try not to ramble on. Speak your words slowly and clearly to guarantee that your audience doesn’t miss any of your special points. Try to limit your speech to two to three minutes. It is a good idea to keep it simple and clear. Whereas it may seem funny, try to leave out any inside jokes or slang as those are hard for your entire audience to relate to. It is a good idea to keep it clean without embarrassing anyone.

Toast it!
Of course, it helps to do some research for wedding toast ideas. While you want your toast to feel genuine and spontaneous, it is okay to give yourself some ideas for content ahead of time. You will be presenting to one of the friendliest audiences possible- your friends and family- and chances are, they really want to hear what you have to say. Practicing is a good idea, but while practicing, be sure IMG_0955to carry on a natural and free-spirited tone. You don’t want to come across as stiff or robotic. Try to remember what you are going to say instead of reading from a stack of cards. If fidgeting is an issue of yours, do stress! It is your wedding! Walk around a bit. Ease your tension.

And finally…
Obviously, it is near impossible to thank everyone in attendance. To prevent yourself from any potential arguments about who was recognized and who wasn’t, keep your thank-yous fairly broad: Mom, Dad, Family, and brand-new family, then friends. It is a great idea to fully memorize that last thing you plan to say. That way you can end it with a little pizzazz and confidence. Say something that will make your ending clear guaranteeing that your audience is aware that your speech has ended. Thus, bringing on the applause and glass raising. Viola! Everyone is left impressed, thanked and grateful to attend your special wedding event.

Wedding Spotlight: Sunthar and Preeth’s South Asian Engagement Photo Shoot

  South Asian Engagement Photo ShootSunthar and Preeth first contacted Saiaf Films when they were in search of a South Asian wedding videographer and photographer for their beautiful and elegant Hindu Wedding in San Tan Valley, Arizona. At first, we talked to the couple by phone for their pre-wedding consultation in order to understand exactly what type of style they wanted for their wedding photos and videography. indexThey were impressed and enthusiastic about our work and were excited to schedule their engagement photo shoot.

We didn’t meet Sunthar and Preeth in person until the day of their engagement photo shoot. The second we saw them, we knew they were all about style and class! They were a gorgeous couple that radiated elegance. They selected a vibrant and green scenery in Scottsdale that created the perfect backdrop to their engagement photos. The fashionable couple was adorned with classy outfits that enhanced their impressive appearance. Their clothing choices were an excellent selection as it created a great contrast against the rustic backdrop.

2During the second portion of their engagement photo shoot, Preeth wore a traditional Hindu wedding outfit that inspired our team to focus on the vibrant colors that highlighted the gorgeous couple. With the beautiful green setting and the rustic elegance of the surrounding architecture, this particular spot has become a favorite for the Saiaf Films team. The exposed brick background created a picturesque modern flare. The second location was lush and green which enhanced the couple’s selected colors.

Vibrant colors were the theme for this South Asian couple- as it usually is for most traditional weddings. On the day of their elegant wedding, Sunthar and Preeth carried on with their colors and dynamic elegance. Our team was able to capture the beauty of their memorable day. The couple was exciting and there was never a dull moment. Thank you Sunthar and Preeth for allowing our team to capture your incredible flare and class on film!

Tips For Picking Your Wedding Music

IMG_7849Ideas For Selecting Your Wedding Music

What’s one of the best parts of a great wedding? Dancing of course! In order to get everyone up on the floor to dance, you have to make sure you have a great wedding playlist planned out. Whether you choose to have a DJ, or you plan on hiring a wedding band, even if you are just plugging in your good ol’ iPod or iPhone- it is important to have a great wedding music list planned out ahead of time. Not to mention, it can also be one of the most fun details tWedding Musico plan! Here at Saiaf Films, we have enjoyed countless weddings. Luckily, we get the pleasure of capturing the fun on film. Therefore, we have an idea of what it takes to set the mood with great wedding music. Here are our tips for selecting the best wedding music to top of your special day!

Make Sure It Fits Your Style
Wedding music is a great way to reflect your personality and that of your future spouse. It also helps to set the tone for your wedding. Whether you decide to go classy romantic, hip-hop funk, old-school or all of the above- make sure you choose wedding music that you genuinely enjoy and want to listen to. Don’t forget, it’s one of the most important days of your life. Don’t be afraid to mix in a few of your favorites. Be sure to select a few songs that represent the both of you as a couple. After all, this is a celebration of your relationship.

Recognize Your Audience
While you still want to recognize your own personal style, you still want to pay attention to the audience you will have at your wedding. Most weddings include guests from various age groups or different cultures. Whereas some of your songs may seem harmless, just be sure to take notice to songs that may be inappropriate. Although they may seem harmless blasting on your iPod, they could make for an awkward situations when played for a bigger audience.IMG_2703-Edit1 Do a run through of your playlist before your wedding to ensure each song is appropriate for your crowd.

Inform the Hired Help
If you choose to hire a professional to take care of your wedding music, make sure you communicate your preferences. Set them up with a list of “likes and dislikes” beforehand. Everybody’s taste in music varies. What may be popular at someone else’s wedding, you may not want to hear at yours. Don’t want to hear the “Electric Slide” or “Thriller?” Tell your DJ before!

Even though it is near impossible to please everyone on every aspect of your wedding, music is one area where you can switch up the variety. Ask your guest list to pitch in a few recommendations. Either way, your wedding music selection should reflect you and your special day. When it comes down to it, enjoy the vibe, get up, and dance the night away!

Team Member Spotlight: Frank Pantano

It’s that time again- Team Member Spotlight! In case you haven’t noticed already, we really cherish the team we have here at Saiaf Films. Over the years, we have gathered an impressive and talented group of wedding photographers. With their exceptional focus to detail and their passion for what we do, our team has the ability to work seamlessly together to maintain the vision of Saiaf Films.

As always, we extremely proud to offer our clients the opportunity to work with a wedding photography team that not only works well together, but genuinely appreciates their field of work. Each Team Member Spotlight will showcase one of our amazing wedding photographers. We had each of them answer a few select questions that will help our wonderful clients get and idea of just how passionate our crew really is. In this week’s Team Member Spotlight, we are proud to feature Frank Pantano.

To start, what is one of your favorite shots from Saiaf Films?

What is your favorite moment or tradition at weddings?
My favorite moment at a wedding is Dinner. I love good food. At weddings, it doesn’t get much better.

What is your favorite wedding location/venue?
Anything with involves the Superstition Mountains.

Any suggestions for couples on how to look amazing and feel comfortable in their photographs?
Drink a lot of orange juice right before the shoot.

How has witnessing so many weddings impacted your life/outlook?
Filming weddings is a lot of fun. It’s such a nice moment to be a part of, the whole family is there with friends. Everyone’s celebrating! There’s good food, dancing and the whole vibe is infectious. Just so carefree. The impact is great! Life is short- so tell someone you love them, eat some food and do a little dancing. Have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. I get reminded of that when I’m working a wedding.

Any advice for couples who are looking for their perfect wedding photographer?
Go with someone who makes you laugh.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
I would choose Hibernation. And if there was someway I could eat while I’m sleeping that’d be great too.

How about another Saiaf Films favorite video?

Thank you, Frank. We really appreciate you being a part of the Saiaf Films team!

Wedding Spotlight: Ali and Rowan’s Multicultural Wedding

Multicultural WeddingIMG_7927

When we first met Ali and Rowan, we truly realized the meaning of good character and genuine kindness. Within our very first meeting with the beautiful couple, they showered us with compliments and described how they truly loved the quality of our work. They explained how they wanted to have the same excellence within their own wedding photography. Their passion was evident and made the planning of their multicultural wedding that much more exciting. Of course, they asked- we delivered.

Wedding Ceremony and Reception

Ali and Rowan’s multicultural wedding was held at the luxurious Hilton Phoenix-Mesa. It was the perfect culmination of three very distinct cultures- Pakistani, Afghan and Palestinian- that were joined together to witness multicultural weddingthe beautiful union of love. At the start of the evening, our female wedding photographer and videographer accompanied Rowan as she was getting ready for her special night. Simultaneously, our male photographer and videographer were with Ali as he prepared for the evening. Some of our favorite photos were of the intricate and detailed wedding shoes that the bride and groom wore. Meanwhile, the rest of our team was in the wedding hall, capturing memorable photos and videos of Ali and Rowan’s family and friends as they arrived to the even. The wedding venue was one of the nicest in the area and maintains a classy and elegant image on the exterior and interior- which makes for amazing wedding photos!

The couple chose a spectacular silver and white classy color palette that illuminated the wedding hall perfectly. Ali and Rowan’s faces were also enhanced by the elegant brightness that the color selection created. Rowan wore gorgeous wedding accessories that complimented her embroidered wedding gown. Her hijab sparkled along with it. Ali was adorned in an exquisite embroidered suit that had a silver and gray hue. The details of their wedding were multicultural weddingbreathtaking and unforgettable. From the smallest details of their attire to their elegant and theme worthy wedding cake, Ali and Rowan truly looked like royalty on their wedding night. Trust us, we have the photos to prove it!

To this day, our clients are impressed by the vibrancy and all around glamour of Ali and Rowan’s wedding. It remains as a Saiaf Films favorite because of the vivaciousness and thought put into the beauty of this multicultural wedding. Their love was infectious and truly showed in the passion they put into planning such a glorious event. Thank you Ali and Rowan for being such a captivating and inspiring couple! We will forever be inspired by your welcoming spirits and the beautiful unity we witness at your unforgettable multicultural wedding.

Tips for Choosing a Wedding Cake

Wedding CakeIt’s no secret, everyone loves weddings! There’s music, dancing, beautiful decorations- and of course- there’s cake!The wedding cake is a classic favorite for wedding guests. So, it is important to choose a good one that fits nicely with your theme. At Saiaf Films, we love the pretty ones! Why? Well, they sure do look amazing in the wedding photos we capture! After attending so many weddings, we know wedding cake. Here, we share a few tips for selecting the best wedding cake to fit your style and compliment your big day.

Wedding Cake Tasting

Not only is it the best- and tastiest- part of selecting your cake, but it is also one of the most important aspects. Pay attention to when each baker’s tasting is scheduled, and set your appointments accordingly. At the tasting, don’t be afraid to ask questions and scan their previous work. It is important to know the full range of their capabilities to ensure you are getting exactly what you want.

Style Selection

Although it may be tempting to choose ahead of time, try to deal with the cake selection after all the other major decisions have been made. By waiting, you will give yourself the opportunity to use the decorations, theme, or wedding style as the blueprint for the design and structure of your wedding cake. Pay attention to special details that you may want to add, and make sure you mention them to

Wedding Cake 2

your baker. Your cake should fit the flow and style of your evening, so add your accent colors and stick with your theme.

Wedding Cake Sizing

In most circumstances, three tiers serve 50-100 guests comfortably- and tastily! If you plan on having more guests, you may want to add on another layer or two. Pay attention to your venue and where the cake may be placed. If your venue offers high vaulted ceilings, you may choose to increase your cake’s height with columns in between the tiers. It will increase the stature of your wedding cake will add an impressive awe-factor. If your venue does not offer high ceilings, a traditional stacked cake will be more appealing.wedding cake 3

Planning your wedding cake is an extremely exciting aspect of your wedding details. To save time and cut down on stress, be sure to do your research ahead of time. Browse various wedding cake styles and narrow down your options beforehand. That way when it comes time to finally select the perfect wedding cake, you will have a better idea of what you want. Still not quite sure which style will fit your wedding? Feel free to browse through our wedding photo galleries to take a look at some of the beautiful wedding cakes we have had the pleasure of seeing- and sometimes tasting!

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