It's the little things.

Weddings.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of weddings on any given Saturday. Fridays and Sundays, too, but mostly Saturdays.

So, what is it that makes YOUR wedding different than all the others?

YOU.

You, your fiance, your personality, the things that make you YOU. As individuals and as a couple.

I've recently come across some really cool "little things" that people have done and are doing to add their personality to their wedding that I thought were worth sharing. Pinterest is, of course, FULL of ideas of things you can DIY, etc., but these were a few I thought were pretty cool.

  1. Programs.
    • This "off-beat" idea was awesome and a great way to communicate with your guests about some of the decisions you made for your wedding and what your expectations are for them as guests. I also liked how different it was from the traditional wedding program. The site I found it on calls it the "funniest wedding program ever", which is definitely an overstatement, but, it is still a really neat idea. Check it out at the link below.
      • http://offbeatbride.com/2011/12/funny-wedding-program
  2. Save-The-Dates.
    • This is a great place to showcase your personality and who you are as a couple in a more casual way. Incorporate some of your favorite activities into your engagement photos so you'll have some beautiful photos to use, and you can add personal touches by sealing your envelopes with stickers of the two of you!
  3. Escort/Place Cards and Favors.
    • Pair your escort card with your wedding favor.
    • Personalize it for your guests.
      • One of the coolest ideas I saw recently was the use of a photo of the bride/groom with each guest. This may not work for larger weddings if you don't have a photo of yourself with each guest, but for the smaller, more intimate weddings, this would be a fun idea.
        • You have the photo on the front and the you can write the table information on the back, or on the front. You could also use pre-made labels (shipping labels, address labels, etc.) with the table information and a fun memory of you and the guest, or just a special message for them. Maybe even a "thank-you" for making the time to share in your celebration. I love these or these for this!
    • Keep with the theme, and keep it personal.
      • Two weddings that stood out to me for their personal and themed  escort cards and favors were Lauren & Dan and Kathleen & Andrew.
        • Lauren's dad is a beekeeper and they used honey from his beehives as their favor.
        • Kathleen & Andrew had their wedding in a library, and in keeping with that theme, the escort cards were little "books", and each table name was based on a genre of literature or one of their favorite author's names. The other thing I loved was that their centerpieces were stacks of some of their favorite books and were the guests favors to take home.
Write here...

Here's to the happy couple! PART 2

So, you've been asked to give a toast at a wedding. This is an honor, and let's be honest, slightly terrifying.

What in the world will you say?! As someone who was fortunate enough to be asked to give a toast at a wedding, I can completely identify. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Three Tips for the Toast:

  1. Toast, Don't Roast. Be appropriate. Remember, you are at one of the most important events in the couple's lives, in front of all of their family and friends, and keep your comments in line with that. There's no need to recall ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends, or any drunken escapades or one-night-stands. Keep it classy and share stories that are appropriate for the couples' boss, co-workers, grandmother and your mother to hear.
  2. Short and sweet is never a bad thing. You want to keep your toast on the order of 2-3 minutes, and typically no longer than five minutes. Remember you probably are not the only one giving a toast, and a lot of times, dinner won't be served until after the toasts are completed. Also, in my experience, when toasts go over a few minutes in length the person giving the toast is usually rambling and not really saying much of anything.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Be sure to take a few minutes to write your toast ahead of time. This gives you a chance to try your speech out on a friend of spouse before showtime, and it lets you get comfortable with what you've chosen to say. You'll find it easier to look up from your notes and make eye-contact with the guests of honor when you've had time to practice.

More tips to come! Stay tuned!

Here's to the happy couple! Part 1

Ah, the wedding toast. One of the key pieces of any reception, and one of the biggest sources of anxiety for those asked to deliver them. Fear not! In the coming weeks I will share some tips to help you with your wedding toast, and for the bride & groom, a couple of pieces of advice as you choose who you may want to deliver a toast or speak on your behalf at your reception

To get us started, let's look at the WHO.

Who usually gives a toast at the wedding? Traditionally speaking, here are the basics:

  • The Best Man- typically goes first
  • The Maid/Matron of Honor- typically follows the Best Man
  • The Couple- if the couple chooses to offer a few words at their reception, they will usually follow the Maid/Matron of Honor
  • The Parents- Traditionally the Father of the Bride will offer a toast to the couple and a thank-you to guests and the Groom's family. The Father of the Bride would then be followed by the Father of the Groom if the couple elects for him to speak as well.

As with other traditions in the wedding world these days, the rules are that there aren't really that many rules any more, so if you want to skip having anyone do a toast, you can certainly do that, or if you want to have someone else do the toast, that's okay, too. The only thing I warn against is "open-mic" toasting, but we can get into that in another post...

Shavawn & Chris - Married!

We rang in the New Year with Shavawn & Chris and their friends and family who had come from all over the world to share in their wedding day.

Shavawn did an AMAZING job planning her wedding. She had an incredible vision for her wedding and it was so exciting to see it all come together so perfectly. I actually couldn't believe how smoothly everything went! I rarely see things happen according to schedule at a wedding, but these guys were on time or early for every single part of the day. It gave us so much time to play with photos and locations. Not to mention the hour we had with the Bentley to take photos! (If you are looking for a Bentley for your wedding, contact Grace Limousine. It is BEAUTIFUL.)

There were so many beautiful details at the wedding, and the cake... OH. MY. THE. CAKE. It was the Times Square ball dropping over the New York City Skyline. I have NO idea how Jacques pulled it off, but it was spectacular!

My other favorite part of the wedding was at the end of the night. They had the Times Square countdown live-streamed into the reception and as a surprise for their guests, had a huge confetti drop when it hit midnight. It was beautiful and so much fun!

(Click here to see the rest of the wedding.)

As always, without the rest of the vendors, I wouldn't have nearly as many beautiful things to photograph, so if you like what you see in the photos, here's the info on the rest of Shavawn & Chris's wedding day team.

Kimberly & Marc's Wedding

After spending the last 7 years and more than 100 weekends photographing couples all over the Southeastern United States, we made our move to New England and I was fortunate enough to have Kimberly and Marc be my first New England wedding.

Even though the weather didn't fully cooperate with us we were able to squeeze in some outdoor photos between the showers.

Kim was a beautiful bride and I look forward to seeing where life takes these two!

Congratulations guys and thanks for being my first New Englanders! :)

Jennifer & Matt

  

I can’t even begin to describe the pressure that comes along with being asked to shoot another photographer’s wedding… seriously. There are always high stakes at a wedding, because these are once-in-a-lifetime things. There are no re-dos. But when another professional trusts you to capture their once-in-a-lifetime… wow.

It was such an honor to be asked to photograph Jennifer & Matt’s wedding (of PhotoJENic Photography). I’ve known Jennifer for quite a few years and we have even shot weddings together, and I can’t even describe how much fun we had on those days. (One destination wedding in particular where our post-wedding relaxing was foiled by a very bitter Black Chook, haha!)

I was fortunate enough to have Michelle, a mutual friend and former co-worker of both mine and Jennifer’s, assist me at Jennifer’s wedding. (It really became way too much fun at that point!) Michelle took the helm for the engagement photos since she was a bit more local than I, and she did such a great job! This was one of my favorites! (Used with permission from Michelle & Jennifer, of course!)

Photo courtesy of Michelle from  Michelle   Lunato Photography

Photo courtesy of Michelle from Michelle Lunato Photography

For their wedding, Jennifer & Matt had reserved Rosemott Vineyards at Gin Creek in Hartsfield, Georgia . Michelle and I were there for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, and enjoyed a beautiful evening with Jennifer, Matt and their friends and family.

On wedding day, we had a perfectly blue, cloudless sky for their wedding. And in July, in South Georgia, in a vineyard, that translates to H.O.T.

Jennifer and her friends and family were such troopers when it came to getting their photos done. They braved the sun and temperature of 104 degrees before the ceremony to get some really fun photos!

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating with Jennifer and Matt and I am so thankful to have been able to share such a fun and exciting time with both Jennifer & Michelle... (and Matt, too... :o) )

Dennifer's Wedding!

Dennifer, as the couple is lovingly referred to by their friends, were married in Florida last month.

Dennis & Jennifer were so great to work with. They had the most easy-going attitude when the weather didn't cooperate for their outdoor wedding. Due to a monsoon that overtook the Gulf Coast on their wedding day, all the festivities were moved indoors, but they definitely weren't going to let anything "rain" on their parade... (I know, I know, cheesy, but I couldn't resist. :o) )

They were up for whatever I suggested photo-wise, including a few shots in the ladies' restroom! See if you can tell which ones those were...

Despite the rain, we had a wonderful day and these two definitely enjoyed every second!

Congratulations guys! Thanks so much for letting me share in your wedding!