Bridal Fair at the Downingtown Country Club 2013

I love Bridal Fairs

wedding, centerpiece, flowers
Stargazer Lillies are a wedding favorite ©David James Photography

As a photographer you can wait for the brides to come to you or you can go to the Brides. That’s where Bridal Fairs come in and I love them. It is my opportunity to share with you face to face how I can best serve brides and their weddings. Plus it lets prospective brides see what is available in her area.

Let’s face it, with the internet a quick search of “wedding Photographers” can produce thousands of results. Then when you narrow the search down it can still produce lots of useless results. I mean “useless” from the fact that a bride in Downingtown can get a search result flooded with big nearby cities. So when she looks at the results, she may not realize most of the photographers are 50+ miles away and their prices based on Big City rates. Local Bridal Fairs give Brides the chance to meet the local photographers who love their “neck of the woods” and can give the best rates and service.

As of this posting, there is a Bridal Fair happening at one of my favorite venues here in Chester County. The Downingtown Country Club is truly one of the hidden gems of Chester County and I love photographing weddings there. Their Winter Bridal Fair is this coming Saturday November, 22 from 10AM-2PM. They have a special wedding booking discount and I will be offering a wedding photography door prize and a show special as well. I hope you can make it, it is free and it will be filled with LOCAL vendors who love Chester County and the Brides who want to get married here.

I hope to see you there at the Downingtown Country Club Bridal Fair this Saturday. Just look for me, the photographer that loves Bridal fairs.

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Bride and Groom Dance

I have a new site on Please go check it out. It has an awesome resource for all of your wedding planning needs. Plus it is completely free to join! As a professional, I wanted to share what I loved about another local venue, so I wrote a review on the wire for the Downingtown Country Club. Here you go.

You will notice the quality of service and attention to detail the moment you walk in for your first consultation. Marisa and her team explain all of the packages while listening to your needs. DCC will then help you put the finishing touches on all of your “wants”. One of the most overlooked aspects of the Downingtown Country Club is how delicious the food is here. From the appetizers to the desserts and everything in between, you will be pleasantly surprised at a “country club” delivering some of the best food in the area. In fact, you may find your self stopping by for dinner even after your event. The food is that good. Marissa and the team can offer a full package from ceremony to reception or even help you coordinate an intimate affair. As a Chester County Photographer, I lobe taking photographs of couples there. The Outdoor scenery offers huge landscapes and intimate gardens. While the indoors has a grand staircase for oppulent photographs and huge dance floor that’s easy to maneuver. That way I can capture every moment of your wedding. At the bare minimum, you will do your self a disservice if you do not at least consider them in your wedding research. Once you stop by, you will love it. Oh, and have lunch too. Trust me.

Taking Charge as a Wedding Photographer

After writing the last blog about Cheryl and Len’s wedding. I wanted to mention another aspect about my philosophy regarding photographing wedding events.  Many photographers pose the formal shots and then shoot a few candid’s to cover the reception along with the standard “cake cutting” and “first dance” photos. Then they are pretty much done. I don’t work that way. I feel it is my job to not only captures the “standard” wedding photographs but to take charge when necessary to get unique photos as well.


Len and Cheryl got married at the Downingtown Country Club. It is also where they had their reception. As a photographer this proved a little difficult because as we moved from the Wedding area to the bridal suite and eventually outside, we had to cut through the cocktail hour. Of course this is where the guests were partying. So that means, as we are moving from location to location, the Bride and Groom had to pass through friends just dying to hug and congratulate them.  So this is where I take charge at weddings. I am a pretty tall fellow who used to play Defensive End on my football team. If I can get through a crowd of blockers, I can grab the Bride’s hand and stiff-arm Aunt Tillie on the way to my next scenic location. It’s important to be (appropriately) aggressive as a photographer to ensure you get the shot. PLUS it takes the burden off of the Bride and Groom as I am leading them through the crowd promising to “return them to the party ASAP”! It makes me the “bad guy” and keeps the Bride and Groom from having to be rude.


The other way I take charge at weddings is to seize a photography opportunity. When Cheryl and Len got married it was snowing. Unfortunately it wasn’t a light fluffy snow. It was a cold wet snow. I didn’t want Cheryl to stand in the snow and get wet for her reception. So we found an awning and got some pretty good shots. BUT at dinner when I went out to replenish batteries, I noticed the snow had stopped. The holiday lights were lit on the Downingtown Country Club just as the sun was going down. I ran back inside while everyone was eating and grabbed Len and Cheryl. I told them, “This is the perfect light to get one of a kind wedding photographs.”


Photos by David James


We certainly did get some good wedding photographs in the snow. I think it is important for any photographer to at least tell their clients that they see an awesome photography opportunity. Leave it up to the clients if they want to leave the party but don’t “not” ask. Re portfolio and if you can get a great shot with unique lighting it could help you in the future with other clients. Fortunately Len and Cheryl trusted their photographer and they got some killer wedding photos that very few people will be able to recreate.


PS – If the bride and Groom aren’t willing to leave the party, grab another attractive couple. People are dressed to the nines at weddings use two other lovebirds, who knows, they may become your next clients. I am gad Len and Cheryl were the free spirits they are!

The Wedding of Cheryl and Len at Downingtown Country Club

I knew from the moment I met her, this was going to be a wedding to remember. When I first met Cheryl back in April, I could tell she was a true “lover of life”.  With a great laugh and personality bigger than life. I could tell nothing has stopped Chery
l from making the most out of what this life has to offer.  In fact the more she spoke about her fiancé’ Len and all of the friends coming in from out of town. I thought to myself, “this is a wedding I actually wanted to be a guest at instead of photographing.” It sounds like an awesome party. You know what? IT WAS!



Photos by David James



Cheryl and Len had friends from all over the country come in to attend their wedding. They had friends from as far away as Chicago brave the elements to help them celebrate. The Downingtown Country Club was packed with friends and you could clearly feel the love for Cheryl and Len. One of my photography challenges for the event was shooting the large groups that had come to help them celebrate. At the Downingtown Country Club they have a beautiful staircase to align people on but I didn’t want to do the typical “Brady Bunch” stairway shoot. So I reversed it. I had the entire “Ocean City Gang” stand at the bottom of the stairs with Len and Cheryl near the top. I know it is a bit unconventional, especially with the bride and groom turned away from the camera. But I wanted to express their gratitude for all of those who travelled to be with them. How do you think I did?



Photos by David James



We only posed for a few formal pictures, as Len and Cheryl wanted to focus on the party and capturing candid shots. So I helped them get all of the “formal” shots out of the way so they could get back to the party.


Photos by David James