5 Reasons To Have An Off-Season Wedding


SO, you’re engaged and planning your wedding, but have literally NO idea what you’re doing (spoiler alert :) -it’ll all be OK!).

You know you need to start with a venue before anything else, because in St. John’s, places book up QUICK. Everyone’s fighting for the same 5 month window of June-October dates.


What if there was a solution? One that wouldn’t leave you pressured, and struggling to make all your dream venue and dream vendors line up?

Ouuu, GIRL. Welcome to the magic of off-season weddings!! Insert sparkles and fairy dust here, LOL.

Off season weddings are like the old forgotten gift cards at the bottom of your wallet that actually have $50 on it. NAY- $100. Yep. That level of unexpected awesome.

As part one of a two-part series, I’m gonna talk with you today about FIVE REASONS to have an off-season wedding. Ya ready? Let’s gooo!




When you’re trying to do your photos at the city’s most popular spots in the summer… so are a hundred other people. Tourists, folks enjoying the sunshine, and other wedding groups alike. It can be so congested, causing your schedule to be thrown off and for you to feel rushed. Get married November-May… Poof! People Problem solved. You’ll have all your favourite, iconic spots most likely to yourself and can truly enjoy it.


No Crazy Competition

With weddings between June and the end of October, a lot of couples feel immense pressure to try and get all their dream vendors lined up on their date. I’ve had many couples disappointed because they couldn’t get their favourite venue they had in mind, or the decorator they admired for ages. I’ve had to turn away a lot of couples for the same dates every year too, and always feel so bad!

It’s because we live in a small place, and our “nice weather” season is ridiculously short. Side-step the competitive date pressures by choosing to have your wedding in the off-season. The weather risk pays off when you can book all the vendors you’ve been dreaming about since you put a ring on it, with ease.


Simple. Less Stress!

Summertime is CRAZY. You’re taking vacation from work, going on holidays, having relatives visit, and getting out much more when you’re not working to enjoy the weather and have some fun. Your wedding falling on top of all that is HARD, and in my experience has sometimes left my couples wanting it to all be over so they “can enjoy the summer already”.

That’s SAD, guys! Your wedding is a super important celebration of commitment (understatement!) and shouldn’t be something to be wished away. Get married in, say, March? You’ll only have to contest with St, Patrick’s Day and let’s be real, your wedding will be a better party anyway.


Laid back & Relaxed

This one goes out to all my wonderful couples out there with a touch of hippie soul who love staying in maybe even more than going out. My peeps who want a quiet, chill, relaxed day. There’s time for more coffee shop hangouts. Picnics. Chill drinks at a bar downtown. Slow and easy hikes for photos. City wandering. Food breaks. More of spending time with the ones you love. ACTUALLY enjoying your wedding. Heck yeah!

Take it from my bride Jeanie, who had a November 10th wedding full of quality time with her husband and family:


“We decided to have our wedding on our 10 year anniversary of being together, which happened to be in November. Having our wedding during the off-season turned out to be beneficial in many ways. We were able to secure all of our top vendor choices, and pulled our wedding together within a year of being engaged. On the day of, we were lucky enough to have two seasons within one day: Maddie took our photos amongst the fallen leaves at Government house, and then the most beautiful fluffy snow began to fall as we headed to Quidi Vidi. The fall/winter weather combination ended up being the perfect backdrop for our cozy ceremony and reception."


Unique weather,

Unique Photos

This is the one where I MAY have to do some convincing because bad weather seems (only seems!!) scary, but the photos speak for themselves. When you go all in, take the risk, AND have an adventurous heart to go out in whatever conditions you’re given, magic happens!!! I PROMISE. Because guess what? I got a trunk full of snow boots and rain gear, and I’m NOT afraid to use it.

Now that I’ve convinced you to have an off season wedding, stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon where I give you FIVE super useful tips to make it all go smoothly! Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Covergirl. Or rather, Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Baygirl?


Much love & light, xo


Recommended Vendor List


Hey hey Maddie Mills Photo Family!

Planning your wedding can be super stressful if you don’t have a solid team to support you. One of the MOST common questions I get during coffee meetings with my new couples and in emails is, “who do you recommend for…” or “there’s so many vendors out there that I don’t know where to start!”.

I want to help change that today by sharing some of my MOST recommended St. John’s wedding vendors who are passionate, super talented, professional, and trustworthy.

Most importantly, they are vendors who’s values align with mine in terms of inclusion, the way they run their business, and the way they treat their couples. MY couples. You! <3

A note I want to stress to my amazing fellow vendors:

If you don’t see yourself on this list, please don’t be insulted! We are lucky to have a WEALTH of great vendors in this province and therefore it would be absolutely impossible to list and recall everyone. I’m sharing names as a starting point for research of some people who I’ve worked with directly and frequently over the last few years. I encourage everyone to research all vendors far and wide and ultimately make the best choices for them!


VENUES - In House Catering

  • Yellowbelly Brewery (downtown, moody, romantic)

  • Rocket Room at Rocket Bakery (downtown, intimate, casual)

  • Manuel's River Interpretation Centre (Indoor/Outdoor, bright, casual)

  • Baly Haly Golf Club (clean & classic, intimate)

  • Glendenning Golf Club (indoor/outdoor, glamorous, classic)

  • The Wilds Golf Resort (indoor/outdoor, contemporary, getaway)

  • The Doctor’s House (indoor/outdoor, rustic, historic, getaway)


  • Lacy Rose Design (nature-oriented, romantic, blends modern/classic)

  • By Sharpe Design (nature-oriented, romantic, classic

  • Event3Sixty (glamorous, nature-oriented, romantic)

  • Live Wire Events (punchy, modern, fun)

  • Exquisite Events (glamorous, modern, fun)

  • Spotlight Events (glamorous, glitz/glitter, romantic)

  • Celtic Knot Wedding Decor (classic, traditional, clean)


  • By Sharpe Design

  • Event3Sixty

  • Lacy Rose Design

  • Flower Studio


  • Nadia Ali Makeup Artistry

  • Emily Pittman

  • Color Me Bronze

  • Allison Best Makeup Artistry

  • April Pink


  • Nadia Ali Makeup Artistry

  • Tara Tobin Hair

  • Charles Langdon

  • Mobile Hair by Allison


  • Borrowed & Blu

  • Joyful Events


  • Taste of Class

  • Coffee Matters

  • Rocket Bakery


  • Musicmen Entertainment and DJ Services

  • JLS - Jordan Light & Sound

  • Skinner’s DJ and VJ

  • MultiMaxx Music


  • Craig Murphy

  • Colleen Butler

  • Jane Morgan


  • Classic Carriage (Vintage Vehicle Rental)


  • Devin Sooley DS-Media

  • WPA Films

  • Tin Bird Productions

  • Media Magic Video

  • King’s Videography


  • Ever After Bridal Boutique

  • The Ivory Suite

  • The Bridal Salon

  • Midnight Tailors - Custom Tailoring, Bowties, Suspenders, Etc.

  • Rodney Philpott - Custom Gown Designer

  • RW&Co (This is a chain, but wonderful nonetheless for unique, mismatched formalwear)


  • Petite Sweet

  • Rocket Bakery

  • Wedding Cakes By Megan


I highly recommend all these amazing local vendors for your big day! Just like photography styles vary, so do those of other elements such as floral, decor, and makeup. Get to know these wonderful folks and choose a style that best suits what you’re looking for!

5 Tips for an Authentic & Joyful Wedding Day


There is no sugarcoating that wedding planning can be stressful. You’re putting an insane amount of time, energy, and resources into planning an awesome love celebration and sometimes it can’t help but be exhausting!

At the end of the day though, it’s like I always say to my couples: if you’re not going to have fun on your wedding day, then what’s the point?

Why stress yourself out for months, sometimes years, only to have planned a wedding that is too big of a production where you’re exhausted, uncomfortable, and don’t even get to spend time with your guests?

This post isn’t about comparing doing your wedding one way or another! I’m here today to chat about how you can get the most enjoyment, fun, and value from your special day: no matter how you decide to plan it :)


Tip #1

An easy but IMPORTANT one to start you off.


Many people tend to quell their emotions or are uncomfortable expressing them (which is totally understandable!), however your wedding is a special day where you’re going to be FEELING ALL THE THINGS! Allow yourself to laugh, cry, express your joy, and you will be liberated and totally open to soaking up all the goodness around you. I’m a major advocate for having an open heart so I can’t stress this enough- plus it will help me create incredible photographs for you when you share your happiness with me.

Tip #2

Look at your planned structure for the day and be honest with yourself if it’s what you really want.

There’s no right answer to how to structure a wedding- what’s right for you is right for you. Regardless of how you’ve imagined it, talk through the ideas and potential plans to see if you can imagine enjoying the way the wedding will unfold! You may be more prone to stress, just prefer a more chill day, or you may thrive off a party and want something as fun-packed as possible! Ignore judgements and negative opinions, because the most important thing is to know yourself and your partner, and to make plans that are right for you both. I’ll be there right by your side to document everything no matter how it goes :)

0001kat chris surprise.jpg

Tip #3

REGARDLESS of your plans, always allot more time for things than you think you’ll need!

I can PROMISE YOU: the structure of your plans DO NOT MATTER when it comes to the need to enjoy yourself and breathe. :) I’ve photographed over 60 weddings and no one likes to spend all day rushing around like crazy to do everything! Give yourself a bit of leeway in the schedule for bathroom breaks, food stops, traffic, and general delays. Schedules are important to keep your day flowing, but it will help you SO much to know it isn’t super-strictly timed down to the wire.

Tip #4

Make a point to enjoy the company of your family and guests!

Forgetting this IS THE #1 THING I’ve heard couples regret after the wedding! With all the goings-on, you may hardly get to talk to everyone you invited… and then your dance starts and you’re all in party mode!

The adventures I’m photographing on your day are of course super important to get those priceless memories, but there’s numerous ways you can spend time with people that fits right in. Set aside time for a little get together mid day, or have a cocktail hour before dinner. You could even do a casual, cocktail-style reception if that’s what you dig! From experience, I can tell you that my couples taking a bit of time with their guests somewhere really enriched their day- and you’ll get some truly beautiful candid photos of you enjoying time with your loved ones :)


TIP #5

This day is for you and your partner to celebrate your commitment. Take time to appreciate that together.

Like I said in Tip #4, your wedding is an amazing opportunity to spend time with everyone you love and that remains important! BUT. It’s totally, 100% okay to not be at the centre of everything all day. Just take a breather for a minute and do a bit of nothing if you need it.

Go have a drink together, take a walk for a bit, drive your own vehicle so you can be with one another, or even have a quiet few moments together in a side room before entering your party. There’s limitless ways to stop, soak it all in, and appreciate your commitment amongst all the activities of the wedding. You’ll thank yourself for taking a quiet, grounding moment together to remember how far you’ve come and to appreciate the day.


Take these tips and go forth to plan the wedding of your dreams!! Keep love, gratitude, and an open heart at the centre of it all. You got this, and I cannot WAIT to be along for the ride documenting all your happy adventures! LETS DO THIS!


Working with me for your wedding as explained by The Office

*There have been countless blogs over the years where gifs and photos from The Office tv show are used to make relatable posts about life, so shoutout to the articles before me for the original idea inspiring my own particular take!*


Raise your hand if planning your wedding is stressing you the F out!!

If you haven’t done this before, you might feel totally clueless- which is 100% valid. My #1 advice to help the process be more smooth and exciting is to invest in professional vendors you trust…

- including a wedding photographer!

Today with some help from the peeps at Dunder Mifflin, I’m going to walk through what your wedding photography experience with me will be like! The Office is so relatable that it can literally apply to anything…

…Like how you feel once you’re engaged!!! That means you can start planning your wedding which is so exciting-

but can also be stressful AF since you have to wear a lot of hats.


You’ll need a photographer to capture it all, and that’s where I come in! I’ll help you choose the best package for your needs, and answer all your questions about working together.

Plus, I’ll be so thankful you chose me…


That you’ll get a letter in the mail from me saying welcome! Every client who books me for their big day does :)

As the months go on, we will start planning your engagement session!! You’ll likely panic over what outfits to wear…


But its all good- because I’ll help you pick the perfect things so you’re both comfortable and looking fly AF. You’ll be belly laughing and feeling like Beyoncé in front of the camera!


Before the wedding comes, I’ll meet with you to help plan final details and your schedule for the day…

And all of a sudden your wedding has creeped up! You’ll be feeling such a crazy mix of love and emotions… Not to mention the ceremony nerves are REALLLLL, am I right?


Once you finally say I Do though, you’ll feel like this.

(Don’t be surprised if I cry behind my camera from the joy!! Big ugly tears).


After your ceremony is over, we will adventure around for the photos of you two, and you’ll definitely feel like a celeb with all my compliments on how freakin’ amazing you are.


Then comes your family formals! A lot of my couples stress about this due to the number of people, but worry not guys!

I come with a pre-decided list we will have worked on to help those family photographs be a breeze… so that they DON’T go like this:


Lastly, it’s your reception which means PARTY TIME. If you’ve chosen my all day package I’ll be there capturing hilarious candid dancing photos of you and your friends before my coverage time ends!


THEN you have to recover from the party…


And I know just what will help with that: a sneak peek of photos from your day that will make your brain explode!!

8-10 weeks later, THE DAY IS HERE. You’ll get the most exciting email ever saying that your final gallery is ready!!


The waiting may have killed you…


But it was all worth it because now you two married babes can snuggle up and reminisce about your happiest day when you said yes to being in love forever.


It’s always so bittersweet delivering a final gallery because I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know you and witnessing the happiest moments of your life…


But it opens a new chapter which I’m always so honoured to continue to capture as your family grows.



I love you all so much and can’t wait to photograph your wedding days!! I’ve also truly loved spending time with those now married peeps who I have already photographed, and I hope this was a funny trip down memory lane for you!


Pretty much sums it up.

GUEST POST : Why You Need A Wedding Planner with Emilee of Life's Sweet Events


Hey hey everyone! 

Hope you've all been doing swimmingly since we last spoke :) Today I'm SO excited to announce that as part of my commitment to helping you have the BEST, most relaxed and totally-you wedding day ever, I'll be partnering up with some of my favourite wedding vendors to chat about different elements of planning your celebration, and how they can help you along the way!

The first guest post is by Emilee, a local planner and owner of Life' Sweet Events! As a wedding coordinator and human, this gal is so amazing all around, and really has a lot of passion about what she does (which is helping couples be able to ACTUALLY experience their wedding day with no stress!)

She's going to chat with you about the benefits of having a wedding planner by your side, and answer some of your burning questions below! As a photographer, I can't tell you how truly valuable it's been to have a wedding planner there as part of my couples' wedding days. They help my couples stay relaxed, organized, and actually excited about planning their wedding! Take it away, Emilee! 


Picture yourself on your wedding day, sitting in the makeup chair surrounded by your maids as your mom giggles over the sweet note your darling has just sent. As the photographer is snapping photos, you’re sipping a mimosa and enjoying this moment to the fullest. 

This sense of being relaxed and experiencing all the excitement is something you’ve been waiting for since the day you said “Yes” and put that ring on your finger!

This is how our clients spend their wedding day. 

How, you might ask? As a wedding planner, I take the stress, organization, and the coordination off your plate so you can be a part of your wedding day. After all, you are the couple of the hour!  

So, how does a wedding planner make your day easier? 

Well, it starts when you begin your wedding planning! Since we are organized people by nature, we keep our clients organized too. We keep you on a planning schedule, making decisions, and booking vendors as you go to help to create a plan that not only suits your needs but keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and stressed. 

While we keep the details of your day straight, we also handle the coordination of your vendors, answering questions, and scheduling their drop offs/set ups so you don’t have to worry about the little details, which keeps your wedding day stress free. 

Now you might be thinking, “while I’m drinking those mimosas and hanging with my beauty team, who will pick up the lunch trays and the bouquets? Who takes the phone calls as the vendors set up?”. You’ll be glad to know that a wedding planner and coordinator also takes care of that! We are the wedding day point of contact, and your gal the day before, too! 

So, while Maddie is snapping those photos of your momma putting on your veil, you won’t have 25 notifications dinging on your phone or five people running errands! 

But how can I afford a wedding planner?”

Well, it’s fairly simple! We help you make your budget so that you can stick to it, discussing the individual day of details that are most important to you, and we help you find great vendors that fit within the budget that we’ve already created. We can also help you avoid costly last minute changes or DIYs, because you’ve planned ahead. 

We offer our professional advice and experience to help you make the most of your wedding budget, and some of our clients say that we pay for ourselves in the stress we save you on your big day!

Our goal as wedding planners is to allow you to experience your day, make memories all day long, and save you money! 

So. Experience your wedding!! Let your wedding planner take over the tedious details, act as your point of contact, and free you up to relax enjoy every moment.

Have fun!! After all, this is your celebration, right?

Emilee Marsh, Life's Sweet Events



Instagram @lifessweetevents