James Paul Correia Photography wrote today’s guest post. Thanks James, this is a wonderful source for brides.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Now that you’re engaged you must be busy planning the details of your big day, from flowers and invites to vendors such as photo and music. With all that is going on it can be easy to overlook this unique stage of your lives. It’s a time filled with anticipation, joy and love; capturing this moment in your life can often be just as exciting as your wedding day.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Whether you are keen on having your photo taken or not, the numerous benefits of taking part in an engagement shoot (popularly referred to as an e-shoot) may not be immediately apparent, so here are a few reasons you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity for that pre-wedding photoshoot!

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

 1. Get yourself some sweet photos!

Sounds pretty obvious, right? But as time inches closer to the big day you start to find yourself getting busier and busier. Early in the engagement is the perfect time for an e-shoot; while the excitement of the proposal and visions of the future are still fresh in your mind, that emotion will be clearly evident in your photos.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Sure you’ll have photos on your wedding day, but this is different! Your wedding is the day planned for a party with your family and friends, but this shoot is all about YOU. While the wedding day will flash before your eyes, the e-shoot is slow paced and allows you to really soak in the time you have together. Grabbing those raw emotions just between the two of you is a rare opportunity and you’ll be glad to have this to look back on when you’re old and grey. Also, wouldn’t it be great to have some fab photos of you NOT in wedding threads? Wedding gowns and tuxedos aren’t exactly our everyday attire.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

 2. A chance to let loose and get creative.

You have an opportunity to take some truly unique photos, different from any you’ve had before, so make good use of it! Start with the location and pick a place that means something to both of you. It can be where you got engaged, a first date or just a very memorable date, where you met (maybe your highschool/university). It can be any place that puts you at ease, something familiar that naturally makes you feel good, such as the zoo, a beach, or even your regular coffee shop. Where ever you decide, make it mean something to you.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Don’t forget to get creative! You can create a theme (bake some cookies together) or bring props (maybe you are Scrabble junkies). Whatever it is, think colorful, let loose and tap into your imagination.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

 3. Your photos are actually pretty useful!

Speaking of creativity, your photos aren’t limited to the confines of a picture frame! Many savvy do-it-yourselfers are using their e-shoot photos in many crafty ways. Use them for save-the-date cards, receptions seating charts and table indicators, wedding programs, guest books, or even just a really awesome coffee table book for home.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

 4. Practice for the big day.

Chances are you haven’t had your photos taken by a professional before, so how do you know what to do? On your wedding day you’ll be surrounded by cameras, not just the one you hired. With everything that is going on during the day, it’s great to have one less thing to worry about.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Whether you are camera shy or a photogenic vixen, the e-shoot is a great opportunity to instill confidence and build comfort in front of the camera. It can be daunting to have a camera follow you, it happens to all of us, and it’s best to get that anxiety out of the way in advance. In no time, you’ll stop focusing on the camera and more on each other. Your nerves will calm and your stress will float away. Your interactions with each other will become more natural and you’ll learn to avoid the innate reflex to stiff up and smile directly into the camera.

If you want to really make it a true dry run, try coordinating your e-shoot with your hair and makeup trials; it will allow you the chance to see how they show up in photos.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

 5. Letting your photographer get to know YOU.

Not only is it good practice for you, it’s also a great trial run for your photographer. It allows him/her to see how you interact; to learn if you are timid or big on the PDA. They will learn about your personalities, whether you are goofy or serious, and how much direction you’ll need or want. It’s a great time to learn about your love story, chat about your wedding plans, and push to see how affectionate you can get in front of the camera. The opposite is also true, you’ll be able to communicate what you like and don’t like, as well as your preference for angles, expressions, lighting, and editing styles. All this will allow them to tailor the photos to make your images more personal and memorable.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

 6. Getting to know your photographer.

It’s great to have your photographer get to know you, but it’s more important that you get to know THEM. Get a taste of their shooting style and learn how they direct you. It will be very similar to how they direct you on the wedding day so you’ll know exactly what to expect. Chat with them about your wedding plans and get tips about planning out the schedule. Your photographer has seen it all and probably has a ton of advice on how to organize the day and minimize rushing and delays.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Lastly, think about this, you will likely see your photographer more than anyone else on your wedding day … including your fiancé! The e-shoot is a perfect ice breaker to transform your photographer from a ‘stranger’ taking your photos to a ‘friend’ taking your photos. Establish a relationship with your photographer (and all your vendors for that matter). Get to know his personality & hobbies to the point where you feel comfortable enough with them that you’ll look forward to spending time with them on your wedding day.

James Paul Correia Photography WeddingPhotoLove

By the end of it all you’ll be ready for anything the day throws at you, you’ll have some fantastic photos and you’ll be pumped for the big day! Keep Smiling!

Today, WeddingInviteLove, WeddingLovely’s wedding invitation designer and studio directory, is teaming up with Envelopments, a leading provider of stationery products. Through the Envelopments Dealer/Designer network, Envelopments partners with invitation designers to help create amazing invitations and stationery, and making them look good as a business through tools, resources, and sales & marketing support. From Envelopments’ website:

“Presenting information with style and sophistication makes an entrance you can count on. It’s as dependable as putting on a string of pearls. You just know it works. That’s been our approach to the business of creating communiqués since 1995. What began in a single retail location has grown into an entire system of more than 230 cardstocks, papers, liners and envelopes and more than 90 shapes and sizes with signature names like Envelofolds®, Portable Pockets®, Pocket Folds® and more. Our products are a constantly changing collection of fresh ideas and innovative designs you can tailor to fit your event like a glove.”

I’ve heard great things from stationery studios who are a part of the Envelopments network, including this great review from Sarah of Hip Ink:

“Love them! Great quality, great service – I worked with them for almost 6 years, and it’s been a very good experience!”

We want to recognize invitation vendors who are a part of the Envelopments network, so as of today, WeddingInviteLove-listed vendors can edit their profile and under “Affiliations”, choose “Envelopments Dealer”, which’ll add a Envelopments badge to their profile.

become a wedding planner

I recently discovered Planner’s Lounge, a great resource for wedding planners and coordinators. If you’re already a wedding planner or you want to become a wedding planner, Planner’s Lounge is seriously full of great advice — recent topics include, “7 Strategies to Recover from Burn Out“, “Tips for Creating Your Event Planning Portfolio“, and other great tips and tricks.

The creator, Debbie Orwat, is also a wedding planner and her company, Save the Date Events, is listed on WeddingPlannerLove. Why did she start Planner’s Lounge? In her own words:

When I started my planning business just over six years ago, I knew that I would love planning weddings and events. I had already worked in corporate planning and did some business consulting in the tech field. I couldn’t wait to work on weddings, design events and have my own clients. Little did I know that I would love running a business as much as I love planning weddings.

When I started, I was desperate to find any and all information on how to be a wedding planner. This was before social media really happened and there was not much information online about how to get started. After planning more than 100+ weddings and having met so many of my business goals, I was still craving a community and resource to learn more and to share my hard-earned knowledge. There are so many people interested in breaking into the wedding industry and looking to grow their business. At the Planner’s Lounge, I will be sharing practical information and business tips written by me and other professionals in the industry. Planner’s Lounge will also feature news about upcoming wedding industry events, business resources, conferences and speakers.

I’d recommend that every wedding planner and coordinator should check out her intro posts, and join the Planner’s Lounge email list. It’s really great information, and I’m personally looking forward to working with Debbie!

 

I am so inspired from this — Julie of Up Up Creative, an amazing wedding invitation designer, is doing something so unique and kind of scary. For the month of September only, you can name your own price on Up Up Creative‘s invitations (custom designed!). Watch the video, it’s beautiful.

Now, please don’t take advantage of Julie — think about the value you’re receiving. Think about the time and effort. Think about how you can make this experiment a success. Participate in something fun and exciting, but be fair!

Read more about the experiment on Julie’s blog and see the frequently asked questions about the topic… and if you’re sure about ordering, you can name your price today!

Best of luck to Julie — I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out!

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into Twitter and the wedding invitation community that exists there, and thought I would pass along the best accounts that are about wedding invitations and design (other than the WeddingLovely twitter account)!

  • @diywedding (DIY Wedding Invites)
  • @wed-invitation (Wedding Invitation)
  • @uniqueindesigns (Wedding Invitations, “Unique Modern Custom Wedding Invitations”)
  • @Astrid_Mueller (Astrid Mueller, “Inspired by love stories, vintage, NYC, Paris, fashion & addicted to wedding gorgeousness! Passionately designing for modern brides & wedding pros.”)
  • @delphine_studio (erika firm, “i love letterpress, all shades of green, the sound of the surf and the smell of the pressroom. www.delphinepress.com. BLOG: delphine-ephemera.com“)
  • @RiceInk (Kristy Rice, “Owner of Momental Designs, I am a Wedding Invitation Artist, love painting and travel. My artistic designs have been featured on Brides.com and in The Knot!”)
  • @bluemagpieinvit (Jeannine Pao Brown, “Blue Magpie creates handmade fabric invitations from our Southern California studio and has been featured in Brides, The Knot, and Weddings Unveiled!”)

Am I missing anyone major?

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