Carolyn Burke Wedding Liaison took some time out of her busy schedule to give us an interview. You’ll see what I mean when you read the answer to her first question! Carolyn sure does have a lot to offer her brides. ;)

Carolyn Burke - Wedding Liaison WeddingPlannerLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

I’ve been a Professional Bridal Consultant since 2004 and wear three hats in the wedding industry. I’m an event location specialist in the St Louis Metropolitan area and consider myself a wedding consultant and not a wedding planner – there is a difference. I give advice on wedding-related resources and let the couple decide what resource works best for them. I am also a Wedding Celebrant and performed over 150 weddings in 2011 which has taken my business in a new direction. Lately I have been providing a package I call the “Super Liaison” service. It is where I coordinate AND officiate the event which is becoming a great value.  Anything you can do to make your business unique is imperative.

The full interview continues after the jump . . .

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I love Mondays, because I know it means that I get to look through all the great WeddingVideoLove vendors and select a video to share with you. Today, I chose Minty Slippers. This video of Andrew and Jessica’s destination wedding is a real tear jerker, get those tissues handy!

 

So, will you be having a wedding video?

We’re almost half way through April, can you believe it? I can’t either. I also can’t believe how much weddings have changed in the last 60 years. That beautiful woman in the white dress– that’s my grandmother in 1948. If these ladies only knew what bridal parties would look like in 2012!

Marit's Grandmother's Wedding

On our blog this week:

Other lovely stuff…

  • Live in the Bay Area? Celebrate Earth Day with Locally Grown Weddings. They’re doing a cleanup and would love you to join them.
  • Did you see this contest from Invitations by Ajalon? Win 100 letterpress invitations by using Pinterest. THAT should be easy! :)
  • WeddingPlannerLove’s Each and Every Detail shared a wedding they were a part of for Wish Upon a Wedding. <3
  • WeddingPlannerLove vendor’s, the Planner’s Lounge shared a great post with some good advice!

Have a great weekend! Check back on Monday for an interview with one of our WeddingPlannerLove vendors and a featured wedding video from WeddingVideoLove!

Jacalyn is the owner of JMM Photography and she gave us a WONDERFUL interview today. You’re going to want to read this one start to finish, because the end is filled with some really great advice for photographers!

JMM Photography WeddingPhotoLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company

I am Jacalyn Mains- sole owner of JMM Photography. Meaning, I am not a wedding photography conglomerate that spits out a mass production of images every single weekend of the year. I offer a modern and fashionista approach to wedding photography. No stiff posing stuff over here- PUH-LEASE! I specialize in wedding and boudoir photography. What I am not is a photographer that will jump at the chance to photograph absolutely anything. I’d rather excel in one area than mediocre at many. I find that I am inspired by the energy surrounding a wedding as well as the essence of a woman celebrating her beauty and thrive on woman power- so I’ve chosen to hone my skills and focus on those two types of photography, wedding and boudoir, because they stimulate my creative juices and keep my job fun!

JMM Photography WeddingPhotoLove

2. How did you get into wedding photography?

Like many female photographers, the birth of my son inspired me to pick up the camera for the first time. When I decided to turn it into a career instead of a side gig, I said one thing to myself that remains true today. If I am going to be away from my family and the ones I love most by working, then it will only be at a “job” that I love, plain and simple. So, for me, that is photography.

JMM Photography WeddingPhotoLove

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

I know this may sound really silly, but I LOVE the start of the day- the “getting ready” portion of the day. For me it is an excellent way to begin photographing a wedding for a few reasons and I’ll explain. Typically this part of the day is a very relaxed atmosphere- the girls are futzing around fixing themselves up or having their hair and make-up done, sipping champagne, chatting, laughing, and enjoying each other. I love entering into such a very calm and serene place. Then everything changes when the bride gets into her dress- the anticipation and excitement in the room escalates to almost bursting! Tears trickling down faces, friends gasping at their gorgeous bff, and smiles from ear to ear- It is so fun!  Such an extreme scale of emotions in such a short period of time- I love it!

JMM Photography WeddingPhotoLove

4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

I actually had a groom who decided to hit downtown Louisville the night before getting married and he was miserably hung over the entire wedding day. He actually had to leave the alter two times during the ceremony to get sick! I don’t think nerves of the day helped! It was awful and awkward for everyone!

JMM Photography WeddingPhotoLove

5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

FILET!!! I am a huge fan of a super awesomely prepared filet steak and that with a shrimp cocktail starter at a wedding in May at the Millennium in downtown Cincinnati a couple years ago was fabulous and unforgettable!

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

Gosh that is a hard one! I am a super huge fan of any venue that is unique, artistic, and has fabulous light! One of the most unique I’ve had the experience of photographing at is called The Inn at Oneonta in Melbourne, KY. It is a gorgeous property with lots of fun quirks and is a hidden gem!

JMM Photography WeddingPhotoLove

7. Nikon or Canon?

Canon all the way baby!

8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

Hands down, without a doubt, ITALY! I am Italian and my grandparents came to America from Bari and Salerno. So, if it was in one of those cities- then it would be literally dream come true.

JMM Photography WeddingPhotoLove

9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

My grandparent’s wedding. I know they aren’t celebrities, but I look up to them far more than any celebrity couple. I would rather have had a glimpse at a traditional Catholic Italian wedding that lasted longer than 50 years than a celebrity wedding that rarely surpasses 5 years.

JMM Photography WeddingPhotoLove

10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

Despite what you may think, a lot of the photographers in this industry (especially the woman) are friends! So, get to know your fellow photographers! Think of them as a resource more so than as competition. I meet with 3 other female photographers once a month for breakfast or lunch and we talk shop (and about our personal lives too). We might be in direct competition with each other, but that totally doesn’t matter. All four of us realize that there are enough brides to go around and that not every bride is for me! I love knowing other ladies in the industry well enough on a personal and professional level to be able to confidently refer them to brides that have contacted me and their date is already booked. Getting to know other photographers is an EXCELLENT way to get bookings! When they are booked, guess who they refer…other photographers they know and trust. Not only that, but the brides that they refer are typically more motivated to book because they have already reached out to their first choice and they were already taken, so that puts a sense of urgency in their mind.

Check out JMM Photography on WeddingPhotoLove, or venture on over to her site!

A big thank you to Courtney from Creative Start Design for not only giving us her time for an interview but also for sharing some of her great designs with us!

Creative Start Design WeddingInviteLove

1. How did you get started doing wedding invitations?

I had always admired the designers on Etsy and had played around with the idea of starting my own invitation shop. My first official wedding invitation was in 2010 for my cousin’s wedding. I was working as a graphic designer for a printing company at the time. When the owner saw my work go through the print shop they commissioned me to do an invitation set for a friend. At that point, I realized there was something to it and started to formulate a plan to begin my own business. I never would have guessed it would be as successful and rewarding as it has been!

Creative Start Design WeddingInviteLove

2. What is your favorite color combination?

Oh, that’s easy. If you go to my Etsy shop you’ll find that a lot of my samples are in oranges, reds, and yellows. There’s something so fun about that combination and I just love the way it looks on cream stock.

Creative Start Design WeddingInviteLove

3. What is the most unique invitation you have designed?

Two months ago I was approached by an amazing Norwegian couple living in Sweden. They had a very specific idea in mind of a z-fold invitation with a heart monogrammed front. The catch was that it needed to be designed and printed in Norwegian! Thankfully, the bride was fluent in English and was able to give me line by line translation so that I could design the invitation without much trouble. Now, it’s one of my best selling invitations in my shop.

Creative Start Design WeddingInviteLove

4. Do you have a favorite typeface?

Right now, I’m in love with RiotSquad. There is this absolutely beautiful contrast in the thickness of the type’s lines. It makes for a fun and unique wedding invitation. I recently used it in my “Best Day Ever!” custom invitations done for a lovely couple in San Francisco for their amazing destination wedding.

Creative Start Design WeddingInviteLove

5. What is the most bizarre request you have received?

I do custom invitations so I can’t really say that I’ve had any bizarre requests as of yet. Sometimes I get brides with really outrageous color combinations and it takes some talking down to make them come to their senses!

Creative Start Design WeddingInviteLove

6. Ampersand or the word “and?”

My personal choice would be an & all the way!

7. Any advice for brides?

Make sure to plan ahead for your invitations and stationery! I think that brides often overlook the intricacies of wedding invitations and they don’t realize how complex they can be until they sit down to plan what they really need. Sometimes I get brides that actually ask me “what do you think I need?” I always tell them to budget for the type of wedding they are going to have and to be realistic. You don’t need a 5 insert invitation for an afternoon, backyard ceremony!

Another really important thing to remember is Day of the Wedding Stationery. Programs, place cards, menus and table numbers are important so don’t forget to budget for that expense. If you’re going with custom wedding invitations it can really tie everything together if you go with matching stationery for your big day.

Creative Start Design WeddingInviteLove

8. Do you offer more than just stationery?

I’m really happy to say that I offer custom wedding website for my brides as well. I can match any wedding invitation of mine to a website for their guests to go and visit! I think it’s a really unique opportunity to tie everything together for my brides. Unfortunately, a lot of the time I have brides that have already gone ahead with their website on a bigger site and I lose the opportunity to offer that product to them.

Check out Courtney and Creative Start Design on WeddingInviteLove or visit her site to learn more!

 

This wedding from WeddingPhotoLove’s Ian Grant Photography is so amazing. The venue is so unique, where else can you watch a couple exchange vows in a vineyard setting then go pet a zebra? We know you’re gonna really love this wedding. Thank you Ian for sharing it with us!

Aaron and Irene are high school sweethearts whose love lead them all the way down the aisle.  From the time we met up for their South Pasadena engagement session, we couldn’t wait to shoot their wedding.  Not only are they a great looking, easy-going couple, they’re so much fun to hang out with.

We joined Aaron and Irene for their Saddlerock Ranch wedding out in the wilds of Malibu, California.  This venue is so cool – it’s quite literally a zoo!  In order to get to the location you have to drive past all sorts of cool animals like zebras and emus.  Not to mention, there are beautiful vineyards all over, which make for great photo ops!  Any venues where you feel like you’re leaving the city and heading out into the wilderness is ok in our book.

Ian Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant PhotographyIan Grant Photography

Photographer:Ian Grant Photography
Caterer: 24 Carrots
Floral Designer: In The Now Weddings & Events
Reception Venue: Saddlerock Ranch
Cinema and Video: Stillmotion
DJ: SoCal-DJ
Makeup Artist:  EchouMakeup
Source: Two Bright Lights

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!

This week, I’ve rounded up a collection of alternative designs! These stationers have taken it a step further to create a unique invitation that your guests will not forget. You’re going to love these, I just know it.

 

Faye and Co WeddingInviteLove

Faye and Co.

 

Akimbo WeddingInviteLoveAkimbo

 

Something Green Weddings WeddingInviteLoveSomething Green Weddings

 

How Sweet WeddingInviteLoveHow Sweet

 

DuchessCK Events WeddingInviteLoveDuchessCK Designs

 

The Stylish Scribe WeddingInviteLoveThe Stylish Scribe

 

Benign Objects WeddingInviteLoveBenign Objects

 

Hoot Invitations WeddingInviteLoveHoot Invitations

 

Southern Fried Paper WeddingInviteLoveSouthern Fried Paper

Want to do something different for your table numbers too? Here are some ideas I found on Pinterest!

Wish Upon a WeddingToday, WeddingLovely, is teaming up with Wish Upon a Wedding! Wish Upon a Wedding is a magical organization, and we are SO PROUD to share them with our vendors, all 1k+ of them! Vendors, we hope that you’ll feel inspired by their mission and apply to become a Wish Granter after reading this post!

From Wish Upon a Wedding’s website:

“ Wish Upon a Wedding is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit  organization that provides weddings and vow renewals to couples facing terminal illness and serious life altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation. Our organization was created to celebrate the courage, determination and spirit of these couples by granting their dream wedding Wishes. Our hope is that chosen recipients can inspire other couples facing similar situations to find hope and strength.”

If you are currently listed on one of our directories and are currently a Wish Granter with Wish Upon a Wedding, then you now can edit your profile and add their badge to your profile:

Wish Upon a Wedding currently has chapters in the following areas:

  • Northern California
  • Chicago
  • Southern California (LA & OC)
  • Orlando & Central Florida
  • St. Louis
  • D.C. (Maryland, DC, Virginia, W. Virginia)
  • New Jersey and Metro New York
  • Houston
  • Atlanta
  • Ohio
  • Philadelphia (Delaware, Pennsylvania, South Jersey)
  • Minnesota
  • San Diego
  • Michigan
  • Boston
  • North Carolina
  • Nashville
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Mississippi
  • South Florida/Miami
  • Las Vegas
  • Kentucky

Not a vendor? You can still help!

Not a wedding vendor, no problem! You can make a donation, or if you are a couple getting married and would like to make a donation in lieu of favors or gifts (Wish Upon a Wedding will send you 150 cards to include in your invitations!), you will be helping a great cause.

A huge heartfelt thank you to Wish Upon a Wedding — we’re excited about working together and hope that we can help you make a difference! Visit their blog to read the love stories of couples who have had their wish granted, they’re pretty inspiring!

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!