Welcome to our Blog page. Here we post about our lives, tips to help your personal photography-because most of life happens when you don't have a photographer there to catch it, and some of the things that go into our photography. We're not good bloggers, but we plan to get better and more consistent at it!

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Wedding Budget Blues

September 23, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


important tip to avoid the blues.....

Create a realistic budget and stick to it! 

Every bride wants her wedding day to be the fulfillment of all her dreams. However our dreams often look very expensive. Never forget this important fact. The reason you are having a wedding is because you love each other and want to spend your lives together. No matter what your wedding is like, the end result will be that you are married and starting your life journey together.

Having said that, let me repeat, our dreams often look very expensive, but they don't have to be. You can find creative ways to make your budget stretch or to tastefully mimic expensive ideas you like. BUDGET...that is an important word in planning a wedding. You need to figure out before you starting spending on your wedding what is reasonable for you (and your family or whomever else will be helping you pay for it) and then stick to that amount. 

How do you determine what you need to spend on your wedding? Here are several expenses you will have and some ways to save:

  • Love In Your EyesLove In Your Eyes Bridal Gown Purchase a floor sample or discontinued style. Consider a purchase online--if the seller is reputable. If you have a great seamstress with plenty of experience, consider having it made. It will be a one of a kind dress, so unless it is simple, it could cost more than a store purchase. If you buy at a store, alterations are much less expensive from a seamstress who doesn't work for a store. Remember all the accessories in your costs: veil, undergarments, slip/hoop petticoat, shoes, etc. 
  • Groom's tux, suit or clothes and accessories. Get a free rental with the rental of groomsmen tuxes. Purchase a suit that can be used later. A casual wedding requires much less expensive clothing choices.
  • Wedding Venue and Reception Venue. Having a church wedding? Does the church have a great reception location? Consider reception venues where you can cut costs by using their caterer, baker, etc. 
  • Wedding Cake & GownWedding Cake & Gown Wedding Cake. Ask around. There are excellent cake decorators who don't have a storefront which helps you can keep costs down, but make sure you see real work. Consider a smaller cake and/or use sheet cakes or cupcakes. 
  • Other Food -- catered or not. Depending on the time of your wedding, wedding guests may not expect a meal. Can you get by with cake and punch? A buffet or formal meal? If you have friends or family care for it, there will be more stress on you. Do you have to pay for the food or will it be their gift? Consider whether it is worth the cost savings?
  • Wedding Photography This is near and dear to my heart and I've seen too many sad after-the-wedding stories to not say this. Plan NOT to skimp on wedding photography. You get what you pay for! You can book far ahead to spread manageable payments out over a period of time.
  • Decorations. Themed weddings are in. Start planning early. Get ideas online. Can you purchase used decorations online? Can you and/or a friend make decorations? 
  • Bride's bouquet and daggerBride's bouquet and dagger Flowers. Do you or someone you know have the ability to create beautiful bouquets? Are you okay with silk flowers? Selecting in-season flowers for your wedding will be less expensive.
  • Officiant. This is a minor expense, but one that you should not forget to include.
  • Music, DJ, Entertainment. Do you want live music, a DJ to run the show, or can you and/or someone you know plan and pull together the equipment needed to have the music you need at your wedding and reception. Who will deal with this on your wedding day? You won't have time.
  • Limo or Carriage, etc. Will you leave the wedding/reception in a limo or carriage or some other special means of transportation? 
  • Equipment Rental. Do you need to rent chairs? Chair covers? Tables? Aisle runner? Candelabras? etc.
  • Hair and Makeup. Where and by whom do you plan to get your hair and makeup done?
  • Last Minute Expenses. In the 22 years I've been shooting weddings, I have rarely been to a wedding that didn't have some last minute needs come up. Plan to have money set aside to pay for unexpected expenses.

Saving money requires planning and research...find ideas online. Look for deals. It also requires networking. Ask people for referrals to vendors who can do the job well and save you money. DON'T settle on an inexperienced or cheap vendor just to save money. You could be sadly disappointed afterward, as I mentioned about photography. Planning will save you money, and as I said in a previous blog, it will save you stress and lots of headaches.

Why Should You Have a Wedding Coordinator?

September 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Connie Rohne, Photographer Your wedding day will be one of the most emotional and memorable days of your life. You want to be able to enjoy every detail of it. However, if you are responsible for the details on your wedding day, you will be too busy making sure everything is done right and cared for, that you won't be able to relax enough to enjoy your special day.

Josh Rohne, Photographer Weddings are complex events. Details include preparation, a ceremony event, a party event, and exit plans and first night and honeymoon details. Details include clothing and accessories, flowers, transportation, music, traditions, food, personnel, guests, vendors, decor, and much more.  

A wedding coordinator can ensure your wedding day will be a dream come true rather than a nightmare. Whether hired or volunteer, you want an organized, managerial person who will be responsible for all the details on your wedding day so that you can relax and enjoy your wedding, family and friends. Do not expect to deal with details and be relaxed. Do not make a close family member or friend that will want to be involved in your wedding activities your wedding coordinator. 

Connie Rohne, Photographer I photographed a wedding last year that the bride had planned so carefully, even creating a detailed manual of events. On the day of the wedding she was still the "go to" person to answer questions. She was so stressed she cried through the pre-ceremony preparations and most of the wedding. When a wedding coordinator is on the job, every question can be directed to that person rather than the bride.


Connie Rohne, Photographer There are three choices when you consider a wedding planner. Do you want/need:

• a full-service planner who will plan every detail (getting your approval on everything)

• someone to choose your wedding location and vendors

• a day-of coordinator (who will actually be involved with you for the last month before your wedding)

The first two will most likely be hired, the third could be. If you are considering hiring a wedding planner, here's a good guide to help select one.

Connie Rohne, Photographer Should you select a friend/family member to be a day-of coordinator, select someone you feel comfortable with knowing personal details; someone you trust; someone who understands and supports your wedding vision, theme, dream. Remember, do not choose a family member or friend who will want to participate in the activities/details of your day. It needs to be someone who will enjoy your wedding as a onlooking worker. Consider these questions. Will this person work within your budget?  Do you have enough history with this person to know and feel comfortable with they way he/she works? Do your personalities work together well? Do you trust this person to make instant decisions that will carry out your plans?

Josh Rohne, Photographer How do you work with this person to get prepared for your wedding? It is all about organization. Hopefully MONTHS before the wedding, you start working with a wedding planning guide, a book or online. Your wedding coordinator can use this planning guide to complete and fulfill your wedding plans. The last month before your wedding, schedule several meetings to go through details. The first meeting you, the bride, will be sharing these details. By the final week before your wedding your coordinator will be the one to answer questions and share all these details. At your rehearsal and on your wedding day, your coordinator will ensure your day is the fulfillment of all your wedding day dreams.


Tips to Prepare for Your Wedding Day

August 17, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Photographer, Joshua Rohne


Your wedding day should be the most wonderful day of your life. Unwanted stress shouldn’t darken your joyous day. Stress is caused from unexpected problems. How can you avoid it? Following are a couple ideas to help as you get started in your planning.

Day-dream about your wedding day. Write a description of what that dream looks like and then use the tools below to make your dream real.  



  1. Connie Rohne, Photographer Get ideas from wedding websites, like theknot.com, weddingwire.com, theoverwhelmedbride.com and Pinterest. You can create a page to save your wedding ideas on Pinterest, which you can make private so only you can see it, or public to share with others.

  2. Even if you are really organized, check a wedding planner guide to make sure you don’t miss any planning details. Even a small simple wedding involves lots of details. Use as little or as much as you need.


Check out these free planning resources:

WeddingWire.com wedding planning guide

The Knot Personal Websites and Planning


Several planning books are available. The knot.com has links to many. So does Amazon.com


Want more tips? Check our Wedding Tips Page or watch for upcoming blogs.

What Do Your Photos Say About Your Business?

August 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Reflections by Rohne provides corporate photography to the Grand Rapids and West Michigan. They work with you to capture your passion and the heart of your business endeavor to tell your story with photographs to the world, Michigan, your locale, potential customers, and your clients.

Conversation with Doug DeVosConnie Rohne, Photographer Connie Rohne, Photographer

A so-so image can leave a mark that the company is not detail oriented, but a professional photo lends its credibility to the company that uses it. Image Branding is equally important. Your potential customers should get the perception, at a glance, that your company is ‘established’ and will be around for a long time. Consistent, clean, interesting and happy images certainly help. 

~ Randy Smith

Computer GeekMale Portrait









Do you need an executive portrait in your natural setting or an amazing studio portrait? Perhap you need public relations photography or editorial photojournalism? Or perhaps your need is for product photography or advertising? Whatever your need, make sure your photos don't look "homemade". 

Look professional!

Bernards Ace AdCommercial Portrait Published January and February 2013

What do your images say about your business?

Harley AdCommecial Ad Portait

Whether you need images for social media or your website, magazines, newsletters, annual reports, brochures or advertisements, Reflections by Rohne will tell your story through images that positively promote your business.

Beautiful Outdoor Weddings

July 27, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

If you plan an outdoor wedding, you have to be prepared to deal with the weather. If you need everything to be perfect, an outdoor wedding may not be a good idea. While the weather may cooperate, be prepared to go with the flow or have a backup plan that you will love also.

Connie Rohne, Photographer

We recently photographed a destination wedding in Ventura, California. The evening before we visited the park site and enjoyed a marvelous sunset.

Connie Rohne, Photographer The next morning it was pouring rain but we hoped it would clear in time to set up for the 3:00 wedding. The sun came out around 1:00 and with it came wind. Everything dried up nicely. The chairs and sound equipment were all set up for the ceremony. As we prepared to photograph the ceremony we realized we had to brace ourselves and camera to get images without shake blur. Flowers blew off their stands, bridesmaid dresses flapped, hairstyles gave way. At least the bride was facing into the wind because her waist long hair flew straight behind her most of the ceremony.  Connie Rohne, Photographer Connie Rohne, Photographer

The sound system could not be heard over the wind, so we just assumed what was said. The ceremony was cut short as possible, moving some planned elements to the indoor reception. All wedding portraits were cancelled at the site due to the wind, opting rather for a central patio at the Spanish mission where the reception would be. Even there, surrounded by building, the wind was still an issue.

Connie Rohne, Photographer Doris Long, Photographer The only posed image taken at the ceremony site was the wedding couple. As I staged them for the shot, my co-photographer yelled, "Connie, look out!" I turned just in time to see a six-foot diameter tumbleweed headed straight at me. I jumped out of the way, and as I did she caught this image of it passing them. I turned and caught an image of it at the end of the front row where just five minutes before all the parents and grandparents had been seated.

Sparklers had been planned for the reception exit, but the wind prohibited that idea. Instead the couple was ushered through an indoor people tunnel so they could run through they wind to their car.

Connie Rohne, Photographer Connie Rohne, Photographer

Despite all the disappointments of the day, they are just as married as if the weather had been perfect. Perhaps we didn't get some of the picturesque images we expected, but the images we got created a story that no other couple will ever have to tell. 

Connie Rohne, Photographer