I haven’t blogged a Wedding Wednesday in quite a long while, but I want to be able to share more wedding tips, ideas and things I have learned! When I say, “things I have learned,” I mean things I learned when I planned my wedding and also things I have seen other brides do. When I was planning my wedding, Pinterest hadn’t been invented yet. Shocking, I know. When I tell brides that, they always say, “What did you do? How did you plan without Pinterest?” Well, really all of those ideas where out there, you just had to go to several places to find them all — instead of having them all in one place. I think I went to Martha Stewart multiple times a day!
When it comes to planning your day, there are SO many things that you have to figure out, decide on and say “yes” or “no” to. Do I hire a planner? Do we want to get married inside or outside? Do I want 2 bridesmaids or 20? Do I want a ballgown or mermaid silhouette for my dress? What colors should I have? What about favors, programs and decorations? Do I need a theme? Who should my vendors be? All of these are just a FEW of the questions that you have to come up with an answer to!
While I am in no means a professional planner, I have learned a few things along the way! This is going to be “part 1″ of a little series on how to plan your day! These are just a few things I have learned and seen. I hope that these help make wedding planning just a little bit easier for you!
1. Relax! – While this is a stressful time in your life – stress, nerves and worry – do not need to get in the way of planning your day! No matter what happens on the day (i.e. your dress rips – yes ,that happened to me!) at the end of the day, you and your husband are still MARRIED and that really is what matters! Way more than the color of the flowers or the bridesmaids dresses.
2. Make it personal! – The wedding day should be about YOU! This is your day and a celebration of the the two of you! Did you meet in a coffee shop? Did he propose on the beach? Did you fall in love in Paris (is this a real story? If so, uh yes please! How romantic is that!?!) – Then find ways to incorporate those things into your day! Have a bag of coffee for your favors, serve your favorite blend at the cocktail hour and make your invitations look like a Starbucks logo! Or have a destination wedding at the beach where he proposed, use mini starfish for place settings and have sand and seashells surrounding the cake! Or even serve French food for dinner, set up lounge areas to look like Parisian cafes and have an embossed stamp of the Eiffel Tower on your invitations and programs. There are so many little and big things that you can do to make the day about the two of you and your story!
3. Figure out your priorities! – I will go into this in more detail in a later post, but figure out what is most important to you and what you want to spend your money on. Does the venue mean the most to you? Then spend more there. Is your dress the thing you care the most about? Then make sure you delegate funds to go that way. Most likely, you do not have an unlimited budget when it comes to your wedding day, so you have to figure out where you want your money to go. That’s ok. If programs aren’t that important to you, then don’t spend $500 on them when you really want to get a bigger cake.
And of course because every blog post needs pictures, here are few things from Ciara and Joseph’s wedding and engagement session that they did to make they day about the two of them and their story! Ciara and Joseph’s first date was to this little coffee shop, so they incorporated coffee into their session and their wedding day!
This is undoubtedly the longest post I have ever blogged! Well, let me just tell you why! This wedding was AMAZING! Ciara and Joseph are a fantastic couple! They are super photogenic and super in love! Their day was incredible. They were surrounded by loving family and friends and it took place on a picturesque farm overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. The day couldn’t have been better! Ciara is one of the most detailed brides that I have ever worked with! Our timeline was amazing and she had so many great details that I never thought to even have when I was a bride! Also, Ciara and Joseph decided to do a First Look. First Looks are incredible! If I haven’t ranted and raved about them enough, then I am sorry! Because First Looks are fantastic! When Chris and I got married, we also did a First Look. Without a doubt, it was our favorite part of the day! It is such an intimate and emotional moment, and its without 200+ people!
From the first moment I met Ciara and Joseph, I was looking forward to their wedding day! When I shot their engagement session, it just felt like three friends hanging out! I was so blessed to be a part of such a special day with such a special couple! Thank you all for letting me capture it for you!
These guys are so great! I had a blast with them!I told them to be manly and flex their muscles! Love these invitations! Her bouquet was to die for! I loved it!This handkerchief was Ciara’s grandmother’s! How special!Look at these great hangers that Ciara made for her girls!The farmhouse where the girls got ready was amazing! So many great spots for details and shots like this!They called this little guy “the butler!” He scared me a few times while Ciara was getting ready! I kept thinking that a guy was in the room! And no, not because he really looks like a real person..So precious! She was SO excited to get married!!! :)Ok, here comes an incredible First Look! If you are on the fence about whether or not you should do a First Look on your wedding day; I hope this convinces you!This farm was incredible! So many great spots! Love the image on the right!Ciara sowed this into Joseph’s tie! So amazing! Love it!One of my new all-time favorites!Ah, so gorgeous!This one is a new favorite too! Its so romantic!The view was so gorgeous!I love how he can make her laugh!Love all these red shoes!This is absolutely one of my favorite bridal portraits ever! Stunning, Ciara!They had such a fun bridal party!Love this shot!Ceremony time!!!Trust me, having a First Look doesn’t take away from the moment when the bride comes down the aisle! Love this!MARRIED!!!This barn was so gorgeous!
Gerrit and Sarah Ann are a super sweet couple! You may remember their UVA engagement session, if not, you can view it here! They tied the knot in Richmond, Virgina, a couple of weeks ago! Gerrit and Sarah Ann met while they were both in undergrad at UVA, now they are both graduates! Thank you both for allowing me to be a part of your day! I hope you enjoy my favorites below! Gorgeous bride!This is the same necklace that Sarah Ann’s mother wore on her wedding day! I love traditions like that!
Love the emotions in these next few images!
Here are some of my favorites from this week!
1. Seeing a rainbow! I don’t know what it is about rainbows, and but anytime I see one I get excited! No, not like this. But still, rainbows are beautiful and make me happy! :)
2. Going on a date to Carrabba’s with the hubby! I LOVE Carrabba’s and I love Italian food! Unfortunately, we don’t have a Carrabba’s in Lynchburg (lame, I know!) so we don’t get to go very often. But when we do, its amazing! :)
I have been looking forward to Jon and Hillary’s wedding day ever since they booked me in October. I knew that it would be an incredible day; and it was. Jon and Hillary were high school sweethearts and the emotions and anticipation during the day were so real and genuine. I was also so impressed with all of the DIY details that they had! I am not a crafty person, and so I always appreciate (and maybe envy :) ) people who do a great job with details and DIY projects! This wedding day was so perfect! From the apartment where Hillary got ready at, to the emotional ceremony, to the picturesque park and the amazing timeline that Hillary and Jon gave me to work with, I couldn’t have asked for a better day or couple to photograph! I hope you enjoy my favorites below! :)Ah! I love these images! Like I said, this apartment was amazing! So many perfect spots to photograph the details! I love detail shots! I feel like they help to tell the story of the day and they just add so much to the overall feel! Also, as a bride, the day goes by so fast, you won’t remember every little thing that happened, but having images of all the details, helps you to remember the day! You are such a gorgeous bride, Hillary!I also got to hang out with the guys, they were such a blast! Love this one! You guys look like rockstars!Once we arrived at the church, Jon and Hillary wanted to have a moment together before the ceremony, but didn’t want to see each other. It was so precious to see them talk to each other about how they were feeling and about the day! They also wrote their own vows, and let me tell you, they were amazing! I definitely cried! Ok, when have I never not cried during a wedding I shot? Can’t think of a time….Loved his face when he saw his bride for the first time!!!Quite possibly one of my favorite processional images of all time! Love the emotion in this image!They had a great bridal party! Everyone was super sweet and fun!Ok, we went to this little park, because it just happened to be around the corner from the church. I was not expecting this amazing gem of a field! Look at those yellow flowers! AAhh!So amazing. This is one of my all time favorites!Look at all these great details!Congrats you two!!! :)
Ceremony: Old Pate Chapel, Thomas Road Baptist Church
Reception: Bruner Hall, Thomas Road Baptist Church
Dress: Church Street Bridal
Flowers: Vogue Flowers
Tuxes : Men’s Warehouse
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Cake: Becky Bolhuis
Hair: Ashley Seneff
Makeup: Holly Paulette
Ok, before you go and completely judge the title of this post, let me explain myself a little bit! I want to try and blog more personal things, I mean I love blogging wedding and engagements, but I want to share more personal stories as well! I have been trying to brainstorm ideas about what I could do to share more personal things! I know lots of other photographers who share about their favorite things and so I am going to jump on the bandwagon and share some of my faves as well! Ok, so here is where the oh-so-cheesy title comes in. I want to share some of my favorite things, but I want to share current favorite things. I don’t know about you, but some of my favorite things change once in a while; or maybe every week. Has anyone asked you your favorite movie and you can’t decide which one to pick? Or its different every time someone asks you? Well that’s me! So I am going to share my current favorite things. Ok, just like how on Twitter there are “trending topics,” I am going to have “trending Tuesdays” — with popular recent things I love! So here is the first one!
1. Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonades! I looooove these things! So good and refreshing and perfect for summer!
2. White cheddar Cheese-Its!!! I am a big snacker, and I just love anything cracker related, but I am loving these right now! In fact, I may or may not be eating some as I write this post!
3. Taste of Home’s cookbook! Ok, is it weird that the first three have had something to do with food? I am just hungry right now, so I guess that factors into my favorite things! But let me just tell you, this cookbook is awesome! I also love their website, and I have yet to find anything that isn’t 100% delicious!
4. American Eagle flipflops! Flipflops means one thing, that summer is here! I love flipflops and I love summer! I am originally from Cali (in case you didn’t know that), so I like to think that warm weather is in my blood, and I need it to be warm! I hate cold weather!
5. The new Jane Eyre movie! Yes, I know it came out about a year ago, but by new, I mean the most recent version. In case you didn’t know, there are about 10 different versions! I love the book and I also love all 10 of those versions! But my husband just bought me this one, and I am loving it! Its not as long as the 4 hour version (which may be my favorite, I can’t decide!) so there isn’t as much character development, but it is so artistically done, that I just love it! I am sure admitting this to you makes me a total geek, but I am ok with that!
I realize that I haven’t done a “Foodie Friday” post in awhile, so I thought that it was time to share something! I made this quick and easy guacamole tonight for dinner (to go with our chicken tacos!) and it was so yummy! I usually just get a little pack of powder mix from Walmart, mix it with the avocados and that’s it. But today, I didn’t have any of the mix, so I decided to make it from scratch! I am glad I did! It tasted so fresh! I hope you all enjoy! :)
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/8 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon jalapeno juice
Mash the avocados and then combine everything in a bowl. Refrigerate for an hour. Serve with tacos, chips, nachos or whatever!