From flowers to leaves, ribbons to lace, sashes to bows, the list goes on! Selecting a bouquet can be confusing and stressful at times. Thank you Madeline Trait of Locally Grown Weddings  for coming to the rescue with some helpful tips and advice!

Choosing a bouquet

The decor for your wedding can become a daunting task. There is a lot to consider and think about. One place to start are the flowers and more specifically your bouquet. Bouquets come in many different combinations, colors and textures. In my opinion there are really only two very important keys to figuring out the right bouquet for you; Style and Color. Like your shoes and your jewelry the bouquet becomes a part of your attire for the day. So the color is important to match your attire and the style as it encompasses the size, texture and the flower types.

Get great advice on creating your bouquet after the jump… Continue reading

Today’s guest post (and all the photos!) comes to us from Mandy Solner of Love Above Photography. This post will definitely make you rethink your wedding!

The eagerly anticipated day has finally arrived; you are standing at the alter next to the man of your dreams, waiting breathlessly to know that you are finally husband and wife. You gaze longingly into each other’s eyes, and then glance out towards your family and friends in the audience. It’s only then that you realize no one is looking at you. They are all looking down at their smartphones and camera LCD screens; present physically, but mentally, are they truly present? As a wedding photographer, it saddens me to deliver images to a bride and groom that contain nothing but shots of the guests at their wedding ceremony staring down at their hand held devices.

 

Love Above Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Learn more about unplugged weddings after the jump…

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You’re a bridesmaid! Congratulations. Wait…what’s that? You’re the maid of honor? WOW! Double congrats! Having been a maid of honor more times than I like to share, I think you’re going to be fabulous. Simply fabulous…as long as you remember a couple things.

Stephanie Haller Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Photo by Stephanie Haller Photography

 

See, being THE maid of honor means that you’re the number 2. Not the groom, not the mom, you. You’re the one the bride is going to call when her dress doesn’t fit quite right, or the napkins are the wrong shade of chartreuse (because there are so many…).

Learn more about your duties as a Maid of Honor after the jump…

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Today’s guest post comes to us from Kaity Fuja of OMG Photography –we shared a wedding of hers that was so awesome we had to share it in not one but two posts! As someone who has already been married and has hundreds of photos on disc, I am feeling very inspired by this post. I hope you are too!

OMG Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Okay, so you’ve booked a professional photographer for your wedding day. Maybe you even booked an engagement or bridal session too! You found a photographer whom you absolutely love, and you can’t wait to show off your new wedding pictures! So what do you do? Do you buy the digital files, upload them to Facebook and then forget about them? Do you buy a few prints and send them off to mom and dad and grandma and grandpa? Or do you really make them a part of your home? Maybe you want to make them a part of your home decor, but you don’t know how. If that’s the case, then today is your lucky day! In this post I’m going to give you some neat ideas about ways you can show off your favorite family photos.

See more great ideas after the jump…

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I am a huge fan of today’s guest post by Sandra Mikalauskas of White Ivory Photography. First looks are getting more and more popular as most couples are breaking the mold of a traditional wedding. Take it away Sandra!

White Ivory Photography WeddingPhotoLove

What is a First Look?

We hear so much about it today when referring to wedding photography. I thought I would take this opportunity to demystify the concept and how you might find yourselves reconsidering the traditional approach to bridal portraits.

Tradition has always dictated that it is bad luck to see the bride prior to the ceremony. Many people still believe that it will take away from seeing your future bride or groom when walking down the aisle. Far be it from me to say that is wrong, as in the end you do have to do what you feel is best. The first look has a host of advantages that you might want to consider.

Learn more about first looks after the jump… Continue reading

A big big thanks to Kristen at Five Dot Design and 915 Monmouth for putting together this super informative post for us today. If you are engaged and thinking about your stationery, then you’re gonna want to bookmark this post!

Invitations seem to be the first thing that make the whole wedding process “real” for most brides. You’re taking all the details you’ve been organizing for the past however many months and putting them down on paper to send out into the world. Family and friends will come witness, not only you and your fiance getting married, but all the hard work you’ve put into pulling this event together and making it perfect.

So, of course, you want your invitations to be perfect as well. The basic invitation suite can be broken down into a few simple pieces… some are must-have’s, some are nice-to-have’s and some are added bonuses. Now, I realize that you might put some pieces in different categories and that’s perfectly fine. These are just the most popular pieces I have found with my clients.

JMM Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

Photo by JMM Photography

Learn more about invitations after the jump…

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My name is Manik Rathee and I am one half of Manik Rathee Photography, along with the gorgeous and talented Aileen Atkins. Manik Rathee Photography is our wedding & event photography business based out of beautiful Montclair, New Jersey. We’ve been shooting events and weddings for quite some time now and we wanted to share one part of that journey with you: engagement sessions.

Manik Rathee Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Engagement sessions are really important for couples – more important than most people would think. Some couples look at them as just another set of photos but it is so much more than that. Your engagement session gives you a chance to get to know your photographer, how he or she works and, more importantly, it lets you get comfortable in front of the camera. In this post, we’ll explore all the fantastic reasons that you should book an engagement session with your photographer.

Manik Rathee Photography WeddingPhotoLove

The engagement session gives you and your significant other a chance to get comfortable with the awesome photographer you’ve chosen. On your wedding day, the last thing you want to worry about is what to do when the camera is in front of you, or to worry if the photographer is capturing all of the precious moments. Your engagement shoot will give you a few hours of close time to learn how your photographer works, see what it feels like to be the center of attention, learn how you and your partner look best together and much much more. If you take the time to do this, not only do you get a whole set of beautiful photos to remember this amazing time in your lives, but you also get to feel at home with your photographer. When your wedding day arrives and the photographer, not to mention all of your guests, start pointing cameras at you, you and your partner can confidently walk by knowing you look your best.

Manik Rathee Photography WeddingPhotoLove

On the other side of that, letting your photographer get to know you on the engagement shoot is just as important. For your photographer, knowing what makes you and your partner look your best will only make your wedding photos even better. On the shoot, your photographer will get to know you better and learn about the intricacies that make your relationship special. And when it comes to the big day, those little details will show in the photos – and those images will be more precious to you than anything else in the world.

Now, most people think that those few benefits are the only reason to do an engagement shoot, but it doesn’t end there. Your wedding is a few months away and you have settled on all of the details, all the way from your makeup artist to the table settings at the reception. The engagement session will give you a chance to get your hair and makeup done, just like the morning of your wedding. Doing this early allows you to be picky about the details so there are no surprises when the big day rolls around. This is why a lot of photographers recommend setting appointments with your hair and makeup professional of choice. Not to mention the fact that you’ll look absolutely stunning for your photos!

Manik Rathee Photography WeddingPhotoLove
We have seen quite a few brides that worked out some tricky makeup details on the engagement shoot that would have become a big hassle if they came up on their wedding day. They ended up looking gorgeous for the engagement session and their makeup artist knew exactly what they wanted on the big day – a win-win for everyone.

After all, everything should be perfect on the day you marry the love of your life!

Manik Rathee Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Now that you know why you should do an engagement session with your photographer, here are some tips to help make it a successful shoot.

  1. If you and your partner have any special items that represent your love & relationship, be sure to tell your photographer! For example, one of our brides met her husband while she was relaxing at her favorite park. So, for their engagement shoot, we went back to that park and took photos at the very spot they met! It could be something as big as where you met or as small as bringing a small memento to represent your first date. Anything that will make your relationship shine through the photos would be great.
  2. Dress for all occasions! Getting dressed up in your best dress, and having your fiancé dress in his best suit, is certainly a great way to go for your photos, but most photographers will work in time for a wardrobe change. So, make sure to have outfits picked out that not only compliment each other, but represent each of you. An example here would be dressing to the nines for the first part of the session, and then getting more casual for the personal part of the shoot – wear your favorite skirt or, for guys, your favorite jeans and a nice button down shirt- and let yourself relax for the second half of the shoot.
  3. Remember why you’re there. Most people are not comfortable in front of the camera. A lot of my couples started out the day very tense and rigid – almost uncomfortable even though they knew they wanted to have great photos. It’s really important to remind yourself why you are doing this: You’ve found the love of your life – the person that makes you happier than you’ve ever been before. These photos should celebrate that love! So take a deep breathe, relax and smile. It’s all about having fun with your love & your best friend.

So go on – give your photographer a call and book that engagement session. After all, you’ll want these memories down the road!

Today’s guest post comes to us from Carmen Salazar Photography. Not only does she shoot weddings, but she also does Boudoir shoots. I’m sure a lot of you might feel intimidated by them, DON’T BE! Carmen has prepared a post that gives you some inside tips on how to get the most out of your session!

Hello Boudoir Beauties-to-be! Wedding season is just around the corner and we know you ladies are busy planning your big day for this year and next. We’ve been asked lots of great questions about boudoir photography and the service that separates us from the pack. We figured a lot of you may have similar questions so we’re going to demystify the world of boudoir photography and why you should become a Boudoir Beauty!

Carmen Salazar Photography WeddingPhotoLove

First and foremost, boudoir photography isn’t about being the perfect size, shape or number on the scale.

It’s about celebrating the curves, the personality and the beauty within each and every woman. Many women come in with the intent of doing a session as a gift for their honey but find that the experience is also a gift to themselves. You’ll find yourself on a pure empowering high from the experience for weeks!

As much as we love our curves I do hear a lot from ladies that they want to lose a few extra pounds before scheduling a shoot. Honestly, how long have many of us waited to do things because we wanted to lose an extra 5 or 10 pounds! I can totally relate! But be assured, each image you take home will have the ultimate in retouching and will receive a little digital help in all the right places to make you look your very best – I swear!

Carmen Salazar Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Nerves…Nerves…Nerves!!!

Ladies, it’s alright to be nervous – every woman is that walks through our studio doors. You’ll be greeted with a glass of champagne to help ease those nerves and then head into hair and makeup with one of our professional stylists. We promise that once your stylist is finished and you put on that first outfit – you’ll feel like your ready to be an Angel on the Victoria’s Secret runway! Watch out Heidi Klum! You’ll feel transformed and ready for your closeup!

Carmen Salazar Photography WeddingPhotoLoveNot sure how to pose or if you’re making awkward faces that are less come hither and more ticked off?!

Not to worry – you’ll find me rolling around on the floor or bed showing you how to pose and coaching you into those penetrating looks and bedroom eyes that your honey will thank me for!

Carmen Salazar Photography WeddingPhotoLove

And lastly…the biggest question of all…WHAT DO I WEAR!?

Well first off, I specialize in classy and tasteful boudoir and pinup photography that is similar in style to images you might find in Maxim, Playboy or Victoria’s Secret. We tailor your shoot to your comfort level and you decide how much of your beautiful self you’d like to reveal in your images. When you book your appointment we’ll send you our prep guide that gives you styling ideas and how you’ll need to prepare for your shoot. We also have a small wardrobe of furs, boas, lingerie and heels that our clients can use for their shoot as well. So no need to run out and purchase La Perla’s newest collection…unless you want to!

I’m so excited about today’s guest post. As a stationer, I love to see brides go the extra step to pretty up their envelopes by hiring a calligrapher. Lynda, from Write Away For You Calligraphy put this together for us. Isn’t she great? :)

Write Away For You WeddingInviteLove

I guess some consider calligraphy to be a luxury, not a necessity in their wedding planning process. Yes, hand calligraphy does cost more than the computer generated alternative, this is because of the time, experience, and eye for detail needed to execute accuracy, but a calligrapher is also one of the least costly vendors on your list, and yet can do an important thing – relieve you of a time consuming responsibility and set the tone for your wedding day. Calligraphy enhances your invitations creating a ‘wow’ factor when they arrive at your guest’s home, which makes hiring a calligrapher a worthwhile investment!

Write Away For You WeddingInviteLove
The first thing your guest is going to see that is associated with your wedding is their invitation envelope in their mailbox. Seeing calligraphy on an envelope will immediately call attention to your invitation. Calligraphy will add elegance and sophistication creating anticipation to attend your event.

Each envelope becomes a small gift to your guest as they see their names inked in beautiful writing – your invitation and envelope will become an everlasting memoir of your day. Lettering can portray a formal or informal feel, but either way, it shows your attention to detail.

Write Away For You WeddingInviteLove

Usually all that is expected of you is that you have a typed guest list, order extra envelopes and book approx 3 months ahead to be sure you have your envelopes back and ready to go out at least 8 weeks before the event date. Pricing can vary due to geographical location and skill level.

Write Away For You WeddingInviteLove

You spend a lot on your invitation suite, why not complete them making them beautiful inside AND out. And don’t forget about table, place cards and signs, all this can be taken care of by hiring a calligrapher.

 

Jen from J Lauren Events put together this great post about planning a barn wedding. If  you’re having your big day in the country, or just want some rustic appeal – you’re gonna love this post!

Whether you are going all out rustic or country glamour, a barn or barn-like location can set a mood like no other type of venue. Barns are like you favorite pair jeans, you can dress them up or dress them down. These awesome venues say “Relax, let’s have some fun.” However, the fun can be dependent on creating a comfortable environment for your guests. Here are some tips to help you navigate the difficult waters of rustic wedding venues.

Novia Distinctive PhotographyPhoto by Novia Distinctive Photography

Get a Lay of the Land

Do a site walk through with your wedding planner before booking any other vendors. You want to discuss the property layout and locations for the major areas such as ceremony, reception, parking, staging for rentals and catering set up. Note the locations of water and electrical access, if any.  What type of indoor and outdoor lighting is available? Heating and cooling?

C Studios
Photo by C Studios

Line Up Your Rentals

While not the most glamourous part of planning, you need to line up rentals for the major items. Bathrooms, yes bathrooms, generators, tents, tables, chairs, lighting and heaters or fans depending on the anticipated weather.

Novia PhotographyPhoto by Novia Distinctive Photography

Light Up the Night

First let’s address the indoors. For rustic events– use clusters of lanterns to provide light in dark corners.  For a shabby chic look– mix candles with chandeliers hanging from the rafters. Amber uplighting will give the whole room a warm glow and highlight the texture in wooden plank walls.

To avoid any twisted ankles you will need to add lights to outside walkways for after sundown. Use luminaries or candles in large mason jars for stylish look. Consider adding battery power LED lights to signs.

 Novia Distinctive PhotographyPhoto by Novia Distinctive Photography

A Girl’s Gotta Eat

Barns combine both indoor and outdoor elements, and this should be reflected in the menu you choose. Don’t be afraid to get creative. I like to see a mix of smoky flavors combined with refreshing local farm fresh vegetables.

C Studios WeddingPhotoLove

Photo by C Studios

Show Some Personality

Now it is time to get creative with your décor and personalize your wedding. I like to collect a lot of pictures, either on Pinterest or the old fashion way – magazines, and then play the “which of these things don’t belong” game.  Narrow down your vision and then add your own unique spin. For barn weddings I love to start with the table linens, which are a great way to bring color, texture or pattern – then add your tableware.  You can go simple or spice it up with mason jar glasses or rattan chargers.  Next, add flowers to for visual interest. Bringing in vintage farmhouse furniture and accessories are a great way to add  appeal to the bar, escort card area and cake table.

Novia Distinctive PhotographyPhoto by Novia Distinctive Photography