Featured Blogger: AMY ELSWORTH
Wherever you’re getting married in 2016 it is all about creating an oasis! Whether that’s by finding a magical woodland dell, or bringing the outside in it means lots of greenery (perfect for adding texture and shape, as well as a super cost effective way to make florals look abundant!) So wherever you think flowers, think greenery: the aisle, the reception tables, the bouquet and even the cake!, and when you think there’s enough….add a bit more – because when it comes to this trend, more is more!
Whether we’re talking florals, stationery, wedding dresses or even tablescapes, texture is king is 2016! And it’s all about layering them to add opulence and comfort. So think lace table runners and icing, ornate cutlery and serve ware, linens atop wooden tables, and velvet and silk finishing touches….. and best of all, this is a trend that can be adapted to suit any style, location, theme and budget!
We’ve seen some bold key colours over the last few years – it all started with Emerald, before Radiant Orchid took over in 2014 and then last year was deep and rich Marsala. Well Pantone’s picks for 2016 says a lot about the direction colour is taking for the next 12 months – and it seems it’s all about the pretty! We’re talking soft shades of pink, and blue.
Groom ~ Julie Cate Photography via SMP // Wedding Stationery ~ PEONY Art Decoration Studio photography by Anastasiya Belik via Burnetts Boards // Door ~ J.Bird Photography via Ruffled // Bride & Bridesmaids ~ Clayton Austin via Green Wedding Shoes // Wedding Cake ~Mel Cakes photography by Sandra Marusic
Featured Blogger: STEPHANIE BOOTH
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1. Personality Matters.
On your wedding day, you will spend more time with your photographer than practically anyone else so, while it’s very important for your photographer to have strong technical skills, it’s also important that they connect with you on a personal level.
If you don’t feel comfortable with them, that energy can affect how you feel throughout your wedding day and how you look in your images.
You don’t need to best friends (after all, your wedding is about you, not them) but they should have a presence that is comforting and positive, not one that makes you feel stressed or self-consciousness. We always say that you look your best in photos when you feel comfortable and relaxed.
2. Loop your photographer in on lighting conditions.
Some churches are really dark. Outdoor locations are often in full sun or have really uneven or complex lighting situations.
If your photographer doesn’t know about these issues before they show up, it’s harder for them to be prepared. While experienced wedding photographers can adjust on their feet, why risk it?
Give your photographer an idea of what to expect at each location they will be photographing. They will feel more confident in what they can do for you and you will be happier in the end when you get your images.
If your venue has very little natural light, harsh or direct light (outdoor ceremony at midday), or other complexities, loop your photographer in ahead as soon as possible so they're prepared to give you great work.
We often work with closely with our clients to choose times and locations based off of lighting conditions.
3. Fill your photographer in on YOUR story.
Every couple's story is unique. What works well for one couple may not accurately reflect your relationship at all.
It’s important to help your photographer understand your relational dynamic so they can capture your love in a way that is both authentic and comfortable to you.
4. Ask your venue for their photographer expectations.
Some, but not all venues have policies governing what photographers are allowed to do before, during and even after a wedding ceremony. We would never want to upset your officiant or worse, be asked to leave during your wedding ceremony. This has never happened to us, believe it or not, it’s not unheard of.
While we take a "fly on the wall" approach during the ceremony, If certain areas are off limits, or if a church deems photography to be unacceptable during specific parts of the service, we need to know that ahead of time so we can comply and maintain a positive experience for you and your family throughout the day.
5. Trust your photographer.
Photographers become experts in seeing the potential in things. Where you might see an ugly asphalt parking lot with rusted light posts, a good photographer might see beautiful lighting and a clean background.
As professional photographers, our skill is in how we see things.
Most of our work is in the real world and the real world isn't perfect. How a photographer handles real world conditions shows just how skilled they are at their craft.
So when a photographer says they have a killer location picked out and you think they’re crazy, remember why you hired them. They know what they’re doing and how to execute on their vision even if you don't see what they do.
6. Let your photographer influence your timeline.
Maybe we'll recommend that you get into her dress a few minutes earlier or perhaps we'll ask if we can add a few minutes here and shorten the time over there.
When we do make suggestions, we're not asking because we like to be bossy or only want to do things our way, but because over the course of a few dozen weddings, we've been able to see what tends to work on a wedding day and what doesn't.
When we give input into your wedding day timeline, we're thinking primarily of what we need to make you, our cherished client, happy with your images.
We want to make sure we have the opportunity to capture all the moments that make your wedding day so special.
For instance, while it may seem easy to slip into your dress a few minutes before the ceremony, it's common to find that the hair and make-up take longer than expected. Rather than being stressed as you try to beat the deadline of getting to the church on time, why not plan in a little time to make sure that you can enjoy a few quiet minutes at the church before the ceremony.
With extra time built in, even if hair and makeup do go long, you're still on track with the timeline. And those quiet moments can make the difference between being stressed out and being present and relaxed throughout your day. Having a few moments to center yourself and reflect will help you drink the moment in and allow us to capture you at your most beautiful.
7. Relax and enjoy being with the ones you love.
Your photos should tell YOUR story. A good photographer will give you the opportunity to interact with the emotions of your wedding day. That includes more than just “smiling for the camera.”
Your wedding day is about you so the more you live in the moment and enjoy each moment of your day, the more impactful your photos will be. While initially it may feel a little strange to have a camera present in the room, an experienced photographer will easily blend in and allow you to focus on the ones you love.
The people around you are a whole lot more important to your story than a photographer, so instead of looking right into the camera all day, think about the people around you that love you so much and let your photographer capture you interacting with them.
8. Forget the “Pinterest poses”
We'll be completely honest, as wedding photographers, we have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. On the one hand, Pinterest is a great way to refine a concept and get ideas for stylistic direction. On the other hand, using Pinterest to communicate specific poses limits the authenticity of your story.
While we enjoy seeing styling inspiration, re-enacting specific Pinterest poses takes time away from authentic interaction and doesn't allow us to shoot from our Fine Art point of view. Your legacy deserve better. That's why we don't work from a wedding day shot list or pose list.
9. Help mom (and everyone else) keep the bigger picture in mind.
On a wedding day, people around you are going to want to be helpful. But sometimes their help can be a distraction if it's not directed properly.
For instance, your mom may be worried about you getting your dress a little dirty during photos before the ceremony. While she really is trying to be helpful in her concern, her help may add stress rather than take it away.
When this happens, remind her that you understand the dangers of walking outside in your dress, but
that getting beautiful, dynamic photos to remember the legacy of this important day is more important to you than having a spotless dress all day and that you would rather be fully present and enjoy the day with those you love than worrying about the things you cannot control.
10. Align the timeline with lighting conditions.
In order to create beautiful wedding imagery, your photographer primarily needs three things: time, light & location. These conditions should help you shape your photography timeline.
Just as you can’t create a delicious meal without good ingredients, we can’t produce great photography without these elements. While we are experts at being flexible and making the most of what we’re given, we want your images to be the very best they can be.
No single factor has a bigger impact on the technical beauty of an image than lighting. The time of day a photo is taken has a huge impact on the way the photo looks. If getting great photos is as important to you as it is to us, consider the impact of the time of day on your photos.
Much has been made of "golden hour" and there's a reason for that. The light is the most beautiful for shooting in the hour leading up to sunset.
While we won't be taking all your photos at sunset, it's worth thinking through how you can align your wedding day timeline to leverage this fleeting window of optimal conditions for your photos.
We hope these tips empower you get the most out of your wedding photos! If you think we might the photographers for you, please send us a message.
Featured Blogger: ASHLEY MULLER
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If your bridesmaids are paying for their own dresses, why make them buy one that they won’t want to wear again? I know if I’m going to spend a good bit of my hard earned money to be in someone’s wedding, I want that money to go towards something I would love to wear again and again. I would also really want to genuinely like it, instead of having to grin and bear it. I would rather be able to have a creative hand in picking out my own dress and since I would be buying my own dress, I would also want an affordable option. I have a solution for you, with custom bridesmaid dresses they’ll actually want to wear again!
I got the opportunity to try out the Design A Dress feature on K Couture, a custom formal attire site. It was a lot of fun! I felt like I really designed my own dress! This is a great option, and one I highly recommend you look into, when deciding on what you want your bridesmaid dresses to look like.
This site gives your bridesmaids the creative feature to design their own dress, in the color, style and material of their choice. The Design A Dress feature allows them to choose from ten different necklines, six sleeve types and three fabric choices. It’s there they can also choose knee or floor length, size, fabric, color and choices between sewn in sashes or even belts. There are a lot of design elements that they can choose from, so they can truly be the designer of their own dress! How nice is that; you would be such a gracious bride to your maids!
I designed a knee length, dupioni silk dress in the color of Tiffany Blue, with a small scoop neck, no sleeves and outfitted with a beautiful rhinestone wave sash. I noticed a starting price of $85, but after all my custom elements, the final price was $119. In my opinion, with so many custom choices available and the impressive design quality of the dress, that’s an affordable option! They also have matching menswear for all your groomsmen!
I’m really happy with the final design of my K Couture dress! It turned out more beautiful than I imagined it to be! Where are you getting your bridesmaid dresses from or, I should ask, who will they be wearing?
Classy Wedding Tip: To allow enough time to decide on a final look, get them ordered and get any needed alterations done, start thinking of what you want your bridesmaid dresses to look like, six months before your wedding.
*Disclosure: I was able to design this dress for free, in exchange for a review of the K Couture Design A Dress feature. This review is in my own words and I was not compensated in any other way, besides a free custom dress.
Featured Blogger: KAILEY-MICHELLE
Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator
This is something that I get asked on a regular basis by both professionals and brides alike: “Is a venue coordinator not the same as a wedding planner?” And the answer is simply no. While a venue coordinator can be a valuable tool to those brides who choose not to have a wedding planner, their responsibilities and areas of concern differ greatly from those of an outside professional.
Venue coordinators are employees of the venue in which work. They act as a liaison between the bride and groom and the venue’s operations team. Their responsibilities are those pertaining to your experience with them, directly: showcasing the venue, consulting your food and beverage choices, formalizing your catering needs, arranging menu tastings and processing the final invoice.
On wedding day, their focus is delivering their contracted services, exclusively:ensuring the venue set up is accurate [tables, chairs and place setting only], the food is out on time and that tear down happens seamlessly. In addition, a Venue Coordinator often departs once the meal is served. This may be an important consideration if your are looking for support for the remainder of the evening or need any assistance with the tear down of items that the venue is not responsible for.
And remember: while you may have worked with one individual throughout the planning process, there is no guarantee that you will be provided with that same individual on your big day!
The Wedding Planner
A professional Wedding Planner is your personal consultant, with a wide stemmed focus on every detail in curating your dream wedding.
From the initial planning stages [providing venue options, reviewing contracts, researching and recommending suppliers] to wedding day preparation, [creating an itinerary/timeline, organizing your ceremony rehearsal, confirming details with all contracted vendors] your wedding planner is present for every decision.
Come wedding day, they over-see time management [ceremony, processional, recessional, cocktail hour transition, grand entrance, speeches, dancing etc.], prompt the MC and vendors, troubleshoot and ensure quality control of set up, including personalized details and decor. In addition, a wedding planner will prepare valuable tools for you, such as vendor contact forms, floor plans, set up outlines and MC scripts. Many will take over the reins up to one month out, allowing you to be fully focused on being a bride, enjoying a stressless last fews weeks together.
This also goes for “Day of Wedding Coordinators” personally hired by you. While they may come in closer to event day, they work exclusively for you!
The Nitty Gritty
The main difference lies in this: A venue coordinator works for the needs of the venue, acting out the requirements of your contract in a smooth and timely manner. A wedding planner works for you, ensuring every detail of your day is flawless and orchestrated exactly as you’ve planned.
Now don’t be fooled. This is not meant to demean the role of on-site venue coordinators. They are a valuable asset to the wedding planning process and I thoroughly enjoy liasing with them myself. But its important that couples understand what they are getting into, avoiding hardship, frustration and disappointment come crunch time! Take time to consider your needs and concerns and weigh your options accordingly.