Marlen James

Specializing in small intimate or alternative weddings

Getting married in city hall? Here is all the info you need

A more traditional wedding but have a lot of "photografriends"?  4 hours for getting ready, ceremony and formal portraits. Even first dance if you do it at the beginning. They can take the party pictures.

All of our services include

  • High Res Photos via FTP
  • Online Photo Gallery
  • Facebook images within 48 hours
  • Travel included within TTC Toronto

Need 8 hours? just double up the 4 hour package 🙂 Just don't forget to feed us.

The 4 hour wedding

*2 locations (choose from: brides home, ceremony and formals area)

$ 1,600 With Second Photographer $2,200

Extras: DVD $50 plus shipping. - Outside Toronto Zipcar rental fee's will apply @15 per hour (total of 6 hours ) Additional Hour Coverage $400

Additional travel may apply if more than 20KM from Toronto

The " I came- I shot- and didn't drink your alcohol" wedding  package 🙂

 Video services with Linda Arki.
Add video coverage to any of the packages. Including highlight real and longer footage (depending on coverage) $300per hour, $1000 for 4 hours or $1,800 for 8.


Hourly Event coverage

Perfect for weddings at the City Hall.

The Budget Wedding Alternative: Great for covering ceremony and formals- let your friends take the pictures of the party 🙂
Hourly Rate is $425 or $800 for 2 hrs.

Extras: DVD $50 with shipping. - Outside Toronto Zipcar rental fee's will apply @20 per hour (total of 6 hours ) Additional Hour Coverage $400

Wedding day FYI

Things I learned and wish to share...

Getting ready shots:
- Buy a nice hanger for your wedding dress, or get a nice wooden one if you want traditional shots of your wedding dress hanging.
- Hide crap as much as you can where you are getting ready. A good idea is just to get ready at the hotel.
- Make sure someone knows how to put on a buttoneer on guys - especially when they are left to their own devices. I must say I am a pro now.


- FOR THE LOVE OF WHATEVER YOU HOLD HOLLY. When you kiss make it last more than 2 seconds. I know people are looking but I need to get that shot.
- Let the officiant tell people firmly but nicely to not use their darn camera phones (or ipads!) during the ceremony. A nice way to put it: "Miss and Mr want to share this special moment with you and ask you to let the professional photographer take the pictures of the ceremony. After there will be many occasions to take great shots and upload them to instagram #MisslovesMr." (true story)


Please feed the minions while you are eating so we do not take pictures of you eating or miss out on anything while we are munching away.

Golden Hour:

This is 45 minutes before sunset. THE MOST AWESOME TIME to do portraits of just the couple. Please plan to get away for at least 15 minutes. Google the time it will fall on your wedding day - during planning speeches and dinner stuff.


some wedding FAQ’s & tips

These are from my blog circa 2008 - still valid, me thinks.

What are the advantages of hiring a professional photographer?

One of the main reasons is experience. A professional wedding photographer will have all the right equipment.
And here is my kicker- "my cousin just bought a new camera and he said he will do it for $250." Or, " I saw an ad on Craiglist, my whole wedding and gazillion prints for $399".
I can say so many things here, but I will be polite. Do you want the pictures that will forever capture one of the most important moments of your life to be done by a newbie? Do they even have backup gear? Extra lenses? Or can they "herd" your aunt to the family portrait with authority and conviction? Retouching? Light? Composition?
With your cousin/friend or uncle with a nice camera in mind, I created the 4-hour coverage. Let them take the party and dinner pictures.

What questions should I ask a wedding photographer?

First availability, then negotiation of the package. I am pretty flexible in this area- since my main focus is boudoir, the most important thing for me is that couples like my work and are passionate about having the traditional and the-not-so-much for their wedding. From the Casa Loma wedding to the backyard one I love personal touches.
Also personality is super important- go for the photographer that makes you feel comfortable. Meeting a couple is a lot like a blind date. Remember, you will have this person your whole wedding day telling you to put your shoulders back and suck in your gut, so you better like him/her. Ask anything- don't be shy.

How can I help the photographer on the wedding day?

One of the main things is to help the photographer organize people. "Herding" I call it. This, I think, is a Maid of Honor chore. Give her a list of the pictures you want for the group shots and let her help me with the herding.

Should we provide lunch or dinner for the photographer?

This one I know is a bit tricky for couples on a budget. Some photographers have it in their contracts that they must sit at a table close to the couple and have full service. But it is not always possible in the real world. Most places or caterers provide you with Vendor Meal options for us minions like the dj, musicians and photographer. I love buffets.

I too like to bring an assistant for weddings over 100 people. Again this is up to the couple. And no, is not my date, I actually need a slave to carry all my junk and take some extra candid shots and in general, keep me hydrated. Once my camera jammed and my assistant came to the rescue by shooting the couple's kiss during the ceremony. I still have nightmares about it. Super-Assistant to the rescue.

Deposit and refund policy

A professional photographer always requires a non-refundable deposit in order to hold your wedding date for you. This provides security for you and provides a way to break up the cost of a wedding photographer. Even if by some emergency the photographer can not make it, s/he will provide a back up. As well, in those rare occasions where the wedding is cancelled or something. But really, this is to save the date for you, and if something happens, the photographer can't book this date again and is losing money. Other photographers have a refund only if they can book the same day. - Mine is only $300 🙂

Why are you cheaper than others we have seen?

Weddings are not my main staple. My thing is Boudoir. But I have found a nice niche with the hourly rate for City Hall weddings or people who just want the ceremony and formals taken care of and then they want to use the phone candids. Everybody has a camera.


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