Villa Bel Mara | FAQs

"We love your work very much but cannot afford you. Why are you so expensive? Can we request a discount?"

To help you acquire your Dream Package, we have introduced your Personalized Photo Gift Registry. Much like crowdfunding, you may request for your family and friends to help adorn your home with beautiful pieces of Art, instead of cluttering your kitchen with a third blender or a fifth toaster oven. 

Photography is a form of Art and it is responsible for immortalizing one of the most important days of your lives as man and wife, as family and as friends. On average, we spend about 3 to 5 hours for every hour we spend with you, including behind-the-scenes admin, post processing and everything to make your experience extraordinary. Our prices are reflective of our experience and the highest caliber of work we strive for.

We completely understand the state of our economy and know that weddings are big investments. We are likely born in the same generation as you are – children of the 90s. Like you, we were exposed to the same pop-culture, TV shows, movies and music, among others. Frugality has become an obligatory word thrown around easily in our generation. Yet, the caliber of quality that we aim to achieve requires appropriate compensation. 

Where can I find other brides' reviews?

One of the best way to pre-determine our compatibility is to read others' (exceptional) experience. As such, feel free to browse our real reviews on Wedding Wire. Alternatively, you may visit our Facebook Page to read a quick review from one of our brides (if you want to make sure that the review is real!)

Who are the photographers?

Mara is the senior photographer for Villa Bel Mara. Photography, image-making and story-telling are her top passions, having been taught Photoshop at 12 years old by her Architect mother. She pursued her passion for the Multimedia Arts in Manila, Philippines. Her photographic portfolio hails from Toronto, New York City, Ottawa, Hamilton, Windsor, Boston, New Orleans, California, Florida and many exotic places in Southeast Asia. Mara is a huge advocate for gender equality, women empowerment, body positivity, eco-awareness and animal protection.

Annie is the associate photographer, trained and mentored by Mara for a handful of weddings shots in 2016. Her style is very artistic and heavy with concept and message. She enjoys shooting candid little details that occur behind the great moments, are usually the most missed parts of a wedding.

Nick is the junior photographer and currently works for Snapd Windsor, as well as a make-up consultant at M.A.C. cosmetics. His father was a long-time photographer for The Windsor Star. Nick is very journalistic in his shooting.

Who provides your Photo Booth services?

Wunder Booth (formerly October 31 Booth) is our provider for wedding photo booth services. View the website here: They are our sister company and currently has a 5-star rating online.

How long before we can get our Engagement/Wedding photos?

You should expect to receive your photos within 2 weeks. We prioritize turn-around time, and enjoy working on your photos right away to keep the emotional attachment and memories of your event fresh. We prefer to keep your waiting to the bare minimum, without sacrificing quality (usually we are done within 1 week, but we like to sleep on it and go through all your photos again). You are free to make changes to the design of your wedding album, and as such can take up to 3 months.

What camera equipment and software do you use?

We use both Nikon and Canon Full-frame DSLR cameras, with a selection of specialty lens. These lenses include a 50mm f1.8, 24 to 70mm f2.8, 70mm to 200mm f2.8 and coming in 2016, wider-angle lenses. We carry professional speedlite flashes including the Nikon SB-700 and Nikon SB-400. Additionally, we carry multiple back-ups of DSLR camera bodies, batteries, and memory cards. Our batteries are rechargeable as part of our environmental-friendly efforts. We also avoid printing paper and conduct a majority of our business digitally.

Our post-processing is done on Adobe Creative Suite products including Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS6. All our work is done by our team, and no work is exported to third-party companies. This ensures our quality and care for each and every image we produce.

How many photos should we expect?

On average, you will receive about 30 to 50 photos per hour of active coverage. Every single photograph will all be color-corrected and retouched according to a sweet balance of your wedding style, our style, as well as our mutually discussed  style – high fashion, natural or light.

What are your payment policies?

There are two payment options: (1) 25% first deposit on booking, 25% remainder deposit 6 months before wedding, 50% remainder on week or day of your wedding. (2) 50% deposit on booking*, 50% remainder on week or day of your wedding.

Bi-annually, we exhibit for various bridal shows in Ontario. For these shows, we understand it can be a little overwhelming and you may need time to think about your choices. You may put in a 25$ non-refundable deposit to secure your booking date, instead of the payment options stated above. If you choose to proceed your journey with us, the above payment options will be applied, minus the 25$ deposit. If you feel you have changed your mind and decide to go with another provider, you are welcome to do so within two weeks after your deposit.

We take E-transfer, cheque, and all major credit cards. E-transfer of cheques automatically receive a 50$ discount. We prefer not to take cash, in fears of either you, or us, accidentally losing it in transaction.

*These are for weddings that are under 6 months from booking date

What are your cancellation policies?

You may choose to proceed your journey with a different photographer in the rarest occasion. However, we will retain the 25% deposit, if you have not conducted the Engagement session with us, or the cost of the Engagement session if you have conducted the Engagement session with us (approx. 35% of total package cost).

We will never cancel on our end, unless there is a phenomenal storm or weather condition that will cause us potential harm. Photographers will only be absent in the case of a life-threatening, or bed-ridden sickness. There are many other photographers on-call for our company as replacement if the situation arises.

In any other rare case that service absolutely cannot be rendered, you will receive a full refund of your payment, as well as a $100 gift card for the trouble.

Where is your studio?

We have yet to set up our dream studio space, and are looking to have this space for you by 2018. For now, we enjoy taking you for coffee, tea or dinners to popular local spots to support local businesses.

What should we expect from a meeting?

At a meeting, you are at liberty to ask us anything you wish. Mara will be in attendance and if schedule permits, Annie and Nick and well. According to your preference, we can either have coffee, tea, sushi or pizza! You are welcome to view our hardcover wedding album curation of a wedding we have covered, as well as calendars, mousepads, and other prints that you will potentially receive as a gift.

What should we expect from your service?

You should expect only the highest quality of service, and by that, we mean we care for your entire experience with us. From the beginning, we remove all the stigma and stereotypical thought about a business treating clients strictly only as clients. We will treat you like family! We highly enjoy meeting your family as well, as it has previously proven to be especially beneficial in terms of understanding how to work with each other on the day of the wedding.

Do you give out promos?

We enjoy attracting a certain caliber of classy brides, and truly believe that birds of the same feather definitely flock together. The experience we provide are rendered in the highest quality and delivered with golden embellishments. The service you expect to receive is not and never shall be discounted, and hence, our prices follow suit.

Will you every increase your prices?

This will solely depend on the economy, as well as the demand-supply law. You are fortunate to have met us as at a time where we are only at the young stages of our business. Eventually, we aim to employ more local young artists, and our prices will adjust accordingly.

We do love friends who don’t keep secrets! So if you tell your friends bout us, they will get to enjoy the exact same offer you did! Our “Friends’ Benefits” guarantee.