Jessica from Jessica’s Country Flowers gives brides some great advice when choosing the right florist for their big day! Check out some of her work below or visit her site to see more inspiration.
As another warm and balmy summer begins to fade into a crisp and temperate fall, I thought I’d take all you readers back to the peak of spring here in Southern California. This turn-of-the-season wedding was so special for a number of reasons: 1) the bride met me when she was a bridesmaid in another wedding I coordinated last year. I love direct contact referrals like that!; 2) the photographer, John of John & Joseph Photography, was an out-of-town star I had always wanted to meet; 3) it all took place at Castle Green, the stunning and historic site I wed my own sweetie back in 2005! We were already off to a fabulous start for this event.
Nisa and Aaron live in Chicago, where they are both physicians. The physical distance coupled with their busy schedules meant we did a lot of coordinating via phone and email. I plan many Southern California soirees for out-of-towners and am always happy to be the “in state” liaison for these couples. It was especially easy in this instance due to my familiarity with her venue. Right from the start, Nisa was drawn to rich, deep colors like eggplant, fuchsia and burgundy. Her vision for the day was romantic and lush, yet fun and accessible. We looked for quirky ways to infuse the celebration with the couple’s personalities, and make the day a true reflection of their relationship. The menu ended up playing a central role in this personalization. Cocktail hour featured Chicago-style favorites including deep dish pizza (flown overnight from Chicago) and genuine Chicago-style hot dogs, complete with poppy seed buns and plenty of sweet pickle relish. YUM! To maximize use of the site, we led guests through various phases of the evening throughout the property. The ceremony took place on the verdant front lawn, near a clover-shaped koi pond. Cocktail hour allowed guests to explore various rooms of the property, filled with period furniture and tapestries. Dinner was held in the marble-clad ballroom on the opposite side of the property, and guests were then invited outside on the front lawn where the space had been transformed into a lounge and dance area. It was the first time I’ve seen a reception at Castle Green take place outdoors, and it was a huge hit. The entire day was an experience for their out-of-town guests…and I’m thrilled to share a glimpse of the day with you.
Enjoy these brilliant photos, courtesy of John & Joseph Photography. Based out of Seattle but willing to travel everywhere, J and J create absolutely stunning images and are sooo great to work with.
Joanne McDonough from Joya Beauty answers some very important and popular questions brides have when thinking about makeup applications on their wedding day. Q. Is there a difference in makeup for digital photographs?
A. Lights…camera…pixels! The expression “what you see is what you get” is more accurate than ever in the world of digital photography. As the years have passed, cameras, lighting and makeup products have all become more sophisticated. Photo quality and detail is so precise that your makeup must be clean, color correct, meticulously blended, and lightweight -yet still offer the coverage needed to make your skin look natural and feel great..
Q. How do weather conditions impact my makeup?
A. Rain, heat and humidity all affect how makeup not only lasts throughout your event, but also how it needs to be applied. Cream products such as eyeliners, eye shadows, blushes, lip pencils, and lipsticks all have melting points. They will crease, run and smudge before you can say “I do”. Choose powders for eyes and cheeks as well as the new long lasting formulas for eye liners and lip products to make sure you look as fresh at the end of your reception as you did for the pre-ceremony photos.
Q. How to convey your ideas about makeup looks to your makeup specialist.
A. Here are a glossary of terms to make sure your makeup specialist gets a clear picture of what you mean by natural, dramatic, smoky, etc., use photos - good and bad etc., search the Internet to find examples of what you like and don’t like.
A reader asked an awesome question…
A: Before the ceremony, we had a cocktail hour with mostly swing and big band music by classic, agreeable artists like Frank Sinatra, Etta James, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, etc.
We made a playlist and just had our sound engineer run it on Windows Media Player (I know) during the wedding. We had an entrance song (I Think I Love You by the Partridge Family, a nod to my David Cassidy-obsessed mom), then had the ceremony and went right into the dancing. Here’s a short list of some of the songs I remember…
And then to get the party started…
The Party - Justice ft. Uffie
Crazy For You - Madonna (basically tons of Madonna)
A Cause des Garcons - Yelle
Fantasy - Mariah Carey
Evil - Ladytron
Guilt is a Useless Emotion - New Order
What Them Girls Like - Ludacris
American Boy - Estelle
Toxic - Britney Spears
Liesl Clark from Claris Photography gives some great advice on scheduling your wedding day formals.
One of the most important but sometimes least favorite parts of the wedding day are the “planned” photos - the “formals” as some may call it. This portion of the day, while essential, is often looked upon as a “grip and grin” section of the wedding that a bride and groom want to just “get through”. At the same time, most everyone will agree that without this part of the day, some very valuable photographs of family and friends would be overlooked and later one may have regrets that they weren’t captured.
This part of the day doesn’t have to be dreaded. With proper planning (ie. scouting of the locations, a thorough shot list provided by the bride and groom, and a detailed photography schedule) the photography needs of the couple and their families can be met without any headache, frustration or confusion.
Last week, Danny Lai shared Part 1 of “What to Ask the Florist?”. Today, Danny expands on not just what to ask but also what to look for. Hope you enjoy!
When interviewing your floral designer, you should provide keywords describing your floral vision, and leave it up to the floral designer to show you ways to represent it visually. For instance, we used words such as “minimalist, slightly Asian, and not pink” to describe our wedding, and left it up to Nancy, to show us how she would design the layout and arrangements.
Usually, a florist will show photographs of past work, or perhaps simple sketches or drawings. This consultation is sometimes complimentary, and if the floral designer is good, you will discover new and interesting ideas to incorporate into your vision. Remember to try and take notes and make suggestions to these proposals and sketches your floral designer comes up with.
Your wedding is a symphony of artists –photographers, videographers, floral designers, etc. As such, each artist has worked with many other artists.
Find out which wedding planners and photographers the floral designer has enjoyed working with in the past, and see if the names match those of the vendors you have chosen. There’s something to be said for the peace of mind in knowing that your floral designer has enjoyed working with your other vendors.
When all of your vendors get along and play off of each other’s vision and ideas, each vendor (including the floral designer) is much more willing to go the extra bit for your wedding.
Photographer Matthew Lomanno shares some insight and advice about how and when to schedule your wedding photographs. Here are some of his thoughts on the subject.
- Take time to think about your formals before the wedding day and include your parents in the discussion. And if you have grandparents, it’s always nice to include them in the process, as well.
- It’s helpful to get a list beforehand of what the bride and groom are looking for and who they’d like to include in their formal photos. I will then take the list and organize it the night before the wedding to get through things quicker on the day of.
- Large group photos can be done right after the ceremony before everyone makes their way to the reception. For example, ask the Officiant to make an announcement to have guests join the bride and groom in front of the church when the ceremony is over.
- I usually suggest taking pictures right after the ceremony before the cocktail hour or sometimes at the end of the cocktail hour right before dinner.
Megan Farley from Megan Dey Photography gives some great advice when booking a photographer!
- Don’t shop based on price. There’s a reason for the price difference, I promise. When looking at the photographer’s work, do you see relaxed, posed photos or stiff people? Do they look like they’re having fun?
- Take a look at the shadows. Are they harsh? If it was a bright day, are the person’s eyes dark? A true photographer knows how to avoid or correct these situations.
- Look at the quality of the album. Are they hard bound or soft bound? The nicer the book the more it’s going to cost, but with that, the more ooohhh and ahhhs you’re going to get when people see the finished product.
- Ask how long it will take to see your photos and receive your album. My clients see their photos when they return from their honeymoon. I also have an album design all done, so when they get back, their album is ready to view. I do allow for my clients to make changes; it just depends on how long they take to make those changes.
- Don’t forget about the details. You (the bride and groom) put a lot of thought and planning into the big day, so make sure your photographer will key in on all of the details. You shouldn’t have to tell them, but as you hunt around for the right photographer look at their work. Does it show some of the smaller stuff such as the DIY projects you spent time on? Or if you hired an event designer, you want to remember what it looked like as I’m sure you won’t have time to take it all in.
- And, make sure you connect with your photographer. This person is going to be with you for a long time on your wedding day and you want to make sure you get along; and for most of my clients, become friends.
Also, check out some of Megan’s incredible photos!
Lara and Kate from Studio Nouveau share their advice on how to schedule your wedding day photography. Take a look at what they have to say!
Kate and I usually arrive to the bride one hour before she leaves for the ceremony. This gives us enough time to capture the details in the room, last hair and makeup touch-ups and bride putting on her dress and veil. Depending on the couple and time of year of the wedding determines when we do the formals and shots of the couple alone!
Option 1: If it’s summer in high gear and the sun is up until about 8 p.m. we usually do the formals immediately after the ceremony, usually the first 15 minutes of the cocktail hour, and then we use the last 45 minutes for the couple alone.
Meagan Gilpatrick from Maine Seasons Events gives some advice to brides about wedding planning!
Image by Sharyn Peavey Photography
Some current trends in weddings: