We are so excited to have Julia join the WeddingLovely team (yay for our new trio!), so I thought it would only be appropriate to share some “jeweled” invites with you today. Because really, who doesn’t love a little bling?

Evenstar WeddingInviteLoveEvenstar Paperie

Praez Occasions WeddingInviteLovePraez Occasions Custom Couture Invitations

Essentric WeddingInviteLoveEssentric

Rosalind Wong WeddingInviteLoveRosalind Wong

Prim and Pixie WeddingInvitelovePrim and Pixie

Elizabeth Andres Design WeddingInviteLoveElizabeth Andrés Designs

Creative Expressions Invitation Couture WeddingInviteLoveCreative Expressions Invitation Couture

If you are incorporating bling into your big day, check out this board that I put together on Pinterest!

Today’s post was written by Mélanie from Photography by Mélanie! Brides, put this one in your back pocket. ;)

Being photojournalistic photographers, we don’t spend our days walking around with a checklist of the shots we need to take in order to be able to tell a compelling story. We tend to take what feels right at that given moment. Go with the flow while keeping in in mind that we need to have a certain amount of detail photos, bride + groom photos, group photos, formal photos and so on.  Mental checklists are great that way.

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove However, brides who contact us often like to get a physical list of the main photos that will be taken that day in order to get a gist of what’s going on. This is also a good way to manage people’s expectations and figure out if the groom’s aunt Gina who is actually like a 2nd mom to him needs to be in the shots. You will notice that many of these shots are from two angles (front + back) or groom and bride simultaneously. This is because we always have AT LEAST two photographers on set at any given time. We want to be able to capture everything. Not miss a beat and get all the photos that will remind you of this day that is going to go by way to fast!

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove As a bride, don’t be shy to ask just how much coverage you will get that day. How many photographers are you hiring when you buy a package? How much experience does the 2nd (or 3rd) shooter have? How many photos can you expect to get from the wedding? Ask as many questions as you can think of to your photographer, they should have no issue answering all of them. (A little tip for photographers, take photos of the details & don’t always hover around people as tempting as it might be. Take a step back and take a few seconds to soak it all in. This day will go by way to fast for your lovely bride & groom, so pay attention to the details since they probably wont have time to appreciate most of them)

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLoveSo here’s a partial list of the photos that our studio uses:

Bride Getting Ready

  • Bride’s dress on the hanger or over a chair
  • Close-up of bride’s details (shoes, bouquet, garter, dress details)
  • Bride getting makeup applied & hair done
  • Mom and/or bridesmaids helping the bride get into her dress, adding veil etc.
  • Bride together with bridesmaids
  • Bride hugging mom
  • Flower girl(s)
  • Bride spending moment alone, praying or looking out the window
  • Full-length shot of bride all dressed up
  • Bride getting into car / limo / cab

Groom Getting Ready

  • Close-up of groom’s details (shoes, tie, cufflinks, boutonnière)
  • Groom putting on tie & cuff links
  • Groom with groomsmen
  • Ring bearer
  • Groom with dad, hugging or whispering advice
  • Groom getting into car / limo / cab

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove

Ceremony

  • Groom waiting for the bride to arrive
  • Car arriving with bride
  • Bride getting out of the car
  • Ceremony space from the back, front & other interesting angles
  • Guests arriving
  • Front and back shots of flower girl/ring as they go down the isle
  • Close up of details (guest book, pew decorations, bridesmaid bouquets etc.)
  • Back shot of bride (and escort) beginning to walk down the aisle
  • Full-frontal shot of bride (and escort) walking down the aisle
  • Close-up of groom’s face when he sees bride for the first time
  • Close-up of hands as the rings are exchanged
  • Shot of both sets of parents’ faces as they witness ceremony
  • The kiss (don’t miss the kiss!)
  • Happy couple walking back down the aisle together, as married couple

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove

Before the Reception (Formal Shots)

Here is where I usually ask the bride & groom who are the main important people to have photographed in the group shots. Brides usually come up with a huge list of the group shots they want to have take. A little tip, if it sounds like a big list to you. That’s because it is. Cut it down. There are always ways to merge smaller groups into bigger group shots because in all sincerity, there it not all that much time to take these.

  • Photos of bride and groom together
  • Bride with her parents and then his parents
  • Groom with his parents and then her parents
  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Groom with groomsmen
  • Group shot of wedding party
  • Insert all the other group shots as discussed with bride & groom here

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove

Reception

  • Close-up of details (place settings, cake, name cards, centerpieces, accents etc.)
  • Photo of the venue before & after guests arrive
  • Bride and groom’s first dance
  • Father & Daughter dance
  • Best man (or other guests) making a toast to the couple
  • Guests smiling and clapping
  • Bride and groom cutting the cake
  • Bride and groom in back seat of getaway car & car as it leaves

Thank you Melanie for such an extensive guest post!

Tiny Bubbles Wedding and Event Design brings us today’s guest post! If you are not sure what the difference is between an on-site coordinator and a wedding planner –Melissa is gong to clarify that for you!

If you’ve chosen to have your wedding at a full service wedding venue, chances are there’s an on-site coordinator who will be there to make sure your day runs smoothly. While that’s certainly a huge weight off of your shoulders, there is a difference between an on-site coordinator and a wedding planner. Although these two individuals strive to work synergistically together and to not compete against one another, many brides and grooms don’t know the difference between the two (other than the fact that they have two different titles). An on-site coordinator does much of what a wedding planner does, but only up to a certain point.

Tiny Bubbles Wedding and Event Design WeddingPlannerLove

If you’ve ever watched a wedding related “chick-flick” (Father of the Bride, anyone?!), you have your assumptions of what a typical wedding planner will do.  An on-site coordinator’s job description has boundaries, but a wedding planner’s duties are next to unlimited. A destination wedding, for example, requires a planner to help brides and grooms who just aren’t around to deal with all of the necessary details. The same is true for any wedding, destination or otherwise. Your planner is there to get to know the on-site coordinator at your wedding venue personally, as they’ll be working with them quite closely for (in most cases) 9 months or more.

Tiny Bubbles Wedding and Event Design WeddingPlannerLove

An on-site coordinator does quite a bit to manage the details of your wedding, which is what causes confusion for many brides and grooms. Your on-site coordinator can often give answers about processionals, music selections, and lodging. They see many weddings throughout the seasons, which gives them expertise. However, an on-site coordinator may not be required to do certain things, such as facilitate your rehearsal, in which case, a bride and groom may be left feeling uneasy and insecure. At the end of the day, an on-site coordinator is there to represent the property, but not necessarily the bride and groom themselves. Rather than managing your every wish for your wedding day, they may be there to make sure you’re getting what you were promised in your venue’s contract, to make sure the kitchen is staffed, and that they’re sound system is working properly. Your wedding planner will be there every step of the way, making sure you’re getting not only what your venue’s contract states, but what all of your vendors’ contracts state. They’ll get to know you and your soon-to-be spouse, and will represent you and your wishes, not just the property.

Tiny Bubbles Wedding and Event Design WeddingPlannerLove

Make no mistake; there is without a doubt some overlap between a wedding planner and an on-site coordinator. The best suggestion I can give is to interview your on-site coordinator well, identify exactly what their duties include, and hire a wedding planner to pick up where the on-site coordinator leaves off and to fill in any blanks. Your wedding planner will be back at your wedding venue on a very regular basis to prepare things exactly the way you envision them while you’re busy working and living your life in the months leading up to your wedding.

So, if you’ve been trying to weigh the differences between what you’ll get from an on-site coordinator versus what you’ll get from a wedding planner, stop. The bottom line is, you need them both.

Tracy and I were able to meet up with Fred from Knack Registry and are so excited to share them with you! Like WeddingLovely, Knack supports small business and also wants brides to have a unique wedding experience. Isn’t that awesome? We think so!

Knack Registry

If you’re getting married, you can sign up for a wedding registry at a giant national chain store that thousands of other couples are also signed up for. Orrrrrrrrr, you could make sure your new life together will be blessed with awesome, unique and handpicked items and experiences through Knack Registry.  Supporting Small Business feels good and your registry will be something you’ll be proud to share with your friends and family.  

John and Fred, the founders at Knack, believe that building your wedding registry should be as fun and easy as building your wedding style board on Pinterest. Knack has a growing community of couples creating amazing registries, and their catalog is growing every day. Their catalog offers a variety of items from small business partners including kitchenware, housewares, furniture and art.

In addition to their catalog, Knack also allows you to add items from any site on the internet or create your own listings for experiences like your honeymoon. So you can create one single registry with everything you want. I sure wish that Knack existed when I got married last year!

julia joined weddinglovely

This is pretty much the best thing ever — WeddingLovely is now THREE lovely ladies! A very dear friend of mine and kick butt engineer, Julia Grace, is joining the WeddingLovely team as CTO. What does this mean? We now get to focus on all the awesome new features we’ve had planned for all of our properties (our wedding planning newsletters, our directories, and this blog!) and get them out even faster. Stay tuned for more announcements!

We’ve also redesigned the WeddingLovely website in honor of this momentous occasion…

weddinglovely.com plan your stress free wedding

Check out the website and poke around for a bit — tell us what you think about the redesign and give Julia a warm welcome in the comments!

-Tracy

Today’s guest post was written by the lovely Terrica, of Cocktails + Details. She works out of Charleston, South Carolina – so she has some great advice on this topic! Thanks, Terrica.

Whenever most brides envision their day, more and more are leaning outside the traditional indoor wedding and instead are opting for a beautiful outdoor wedding that encompasses their event vision. Be it beachside, in a field or garden, outdoor weddings are so very romantic because it is like Mother Nature is lending a bit of her own glory to your wedding day. Provided you have your logistics and contingency plans worked out, your outdoor wedding can be a glorious, memorable affair.

Cocktails + Details WeddingPlannerLove

Choosing a location

As with any location, you want to choose something that is meaningful but also practical. In the wedding pictured above, our client actually chose her the backyard of her childhood home for her ceremony. Surrounded by family and friends and the beautiful perennials her mother nurtured throughout the year, the wedding ceremony needed only a few touches to transform it to something spectacular. When searching and scouting for locations, don’t discount non-traditional options. Consider the time of year and what will be growing and in season for your wedding. The more green and lush a garden, yard or field is, the more vibrant everything else appears with it.  

 The Logistics of an Outdoor Wedding

Make sure that you have an area that can serve as a main focal point for your guests to attract their attention. The wedding in the above picture actually took place on top of a hot tub with the ocean as a backdrop. This allowed for guests to get an opportunity to get up close to the couple at an estate that had some very non-traditional layouts. You will also want to make sure it is easily accessible. There needs to be an easy way in and easy way out– don’t forget to take into account elderly or handicapped individuals in your guest list.  Fun signage is a great way to ensure that your guests don’t get lost and know where important areas of your event are (e.g., restrooms, event areas, etc.). When your space is vast and large, don’t be afraid to use areas to create lounge or rest areas.

Cocktails + Details WeddingPlannerLoveCocktails + Details WeddingPlannerLove
 Photos by Agnes Lopez

 

Also be sure to think strategically– as weddings happen within a time frame of four to six hours, you don’t want any significant  downtime with travel, additional set up or “flipping”– a term we use in the industry that entails us moving all of the furniture and decor in one spot and replacing it with another. You can see this above where we had a beautiful garden wedding and then transformed it to an outdoor party with a black and white dance floor, lighting, bars and more. Additionally, there has to be a great flow to the event. There should be an area for your cocktail hour, which can segue into your reception.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Ensure that your food areas (stations, buffets, cakes, etc.) have proper cover and protection from wind and insects
  • If you are in a humid area or an area that has an infestation of mosquitos, sand gnats, etc., see if your location can be sprayed or bring in fans to disperse them.  These tiny wedding crashers can and will ruin the experience at your wedding, so don’t take this lightly!
  • If your event will go into the evening, consider what you will do for your lighting– will you bring in tiki torches, string/bulb lights, lamps, or dramatic lighting? This is something that you cannot skimp on and need to consider as you make your location decisions. The last thing you want is a wedding in the dark!
  • Additionally, as you scout for locations, check your power sources– you may need to bring in a generator to accommodate the needs of your caterer, band/dj, lighting, etc.
  • Try to see your location at or around the same time you are planning to have your wedding to see what factors need to be taken into consideration: lighting, weather, insects, tides, winds, etc. These factors will help you with your layout but also creating realistic contingency plans for your wedding.

Contingency Plans for Outdoor Weddings

The one thing about outdoor weddings is that as soon as you pick your dream location, you need to pick your plan B location. To be frank, we will not work with a client who doesn’t have one or refuses to get one in place with their wedding– that is how important it is. Weather and outside forces can change at a moment’s notice, causing your guests, musicians and other vendors to scramble looking for cover and attempting to salvage what is left of your wedding. So while you may feel like you are planning two weddings, your plan A and your plan B, make sure they are both something that you can live with – even if adjustments need to be made. Tents need to be ordered at the very latest a week in advance. A tent cannot be thrown together and erected within hours of your wedding. It takes an entire team who needs enough time to plot its position and account for any mishaps that could happen. If there are indoor options at or near your wedding location, look into these options and see if your outdoor layout can be duplicated at your Plan B location as well. Remember– it’s nothing to stress about! If you have to make changes before your wedding, your guests will never know you had something different planned. They will just attend a beautiful wedding.  

Outdoor weddings take a bit more work, but are worth every bit of effort!

 

Melody from Innove Events takes the stage for today’s interview! Not only did she share some great insight and a sprinkling of beautiful work with us, she even threw in an adorable family photo. Thanks Melody!

Innove Events + Paper WeddingPlannerLove

Photo by Marie Labbancz Photography

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

Innove Events + Paper has been bringing affordable, stylish design to couples in Philadelphia and the Princeton, NJ areas for almost a decade. Our goal is to help clients implement an inspiring concept that can be carried from the save-the-date to the final detail at each wedding.

Innove Events + Paper WeddingPlannerLovePhoto by Cliff Mautner

2. How did you get into wedding planning?

I was trained as an interior designer. During the planning of my own wedding in 2003, I blogged about it and shared photos of my ideas & designs.  Soon, other brides started asking me for help. I did a few weddings that first year just for fun, and officially launched Innove Events + Paper in 2004. By that Fall we had been published and had full bookings for the following wedding season, so I was able to resign from my full-time job.


Innove Events + Paper WeddingPlannerLove

Photo by Marie Labbancz Photography

3. What’s your favorite part of the job?

I love getting to know each family, and working through the dynamics of planning a wedding with so many opinions, preferences, and ideas. The best, is on the wedding day, when it all comes together, and I get to see a memorable celebration take shape.

Innove Events + Paper WeddingPlannerLovePhoto by Alison Conklin Photography

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

When you are doing something you love, it is easy to let it completely take over your life. I was working 24/7, always made myself available to clients, and didn’t prioritize time for myself or my husband. This can lead to burn-out and can also be detrimental to your personal relationships. It took me a few years, but now I have the work-life balance that makes sense for my clients AND for me.

Innove Paper + Events WeddingPlannerLove

Photo by Annie Hosfeld Photography

5. What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?

I have two sweet little girls and an amazing husband- we to stay active. Yoga has been a passion for quite some time, and I am currently getting certified to teach.

Innove Events + Paper WeddingPlannerLovePhoto by Alison Conklin Photography

6. Any great stories from working with a client?

I have been lucky to meet so many great people through my work. I have stayed in touch with many on facebook, and love to see their families grow.  There is one family, with whom I have had the opportunity of working with 3 sisters. It has been such a rewarding experience for me to get to know each personality and style. I relate it to my own family, and wonder how my 2 little girls will blossom as they grow-up.

Innove Events + Paper WeddingPlannerLove

Photo by Alison Conklin Photography

7. What is your current favorite color combination?

After years, of uber-coordinated color schemes, I am totally loving a more neutral, non-matching combo- playing with textures, and interesting materials. I am always a sucker for a classic white wedding.

Innove Events + Paper WeddingPlannerLovePhoto by Cliff Mautner

8. Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?

I think the key here is to make it personal, and it will last rather than feeling trendy. I would hate to think that my designs will feel dated at some point, so I always aim to get to know each client and create designs based on their history and passions. I love to mix modern, classic, and vintage elements to create a unique and personal story.

Check out Innove Events on WeddingPlannerLove or visit Melody’s site here!

Man, what a week. We had so much going on around these parts, from a heavy workload to sick boyfriends and husbands…I think the entire team is happy to see that Friday is here! But don’t worry – we’ll share some exciting news with you next week! In the meantime, check out this photo I took of a sunset during our wedding weekend. Maine is so beautiful, if you have never been. GO!

Sunset

It happened here:

  • Signature Events by Shelly gave us a great interview to start the week.
  • Also on Monday, we shared this tear-jerker wedding video from Shutterbliss
  • Tuesday we posted a GREAT feature about planning a mountain wedding. Huge thank yous to Love This Day Events for contributing!
  • The Center gave us a tour of their venue later that same day.
  • Wednesday, we had a partnered post from David’s Bridal all about bridesmaid dresses.
  • We rounded up invitations that featured watercolor. Check this out, for sure!
  • Yesterday we shared Part 1 of a bee-you-tee-full wedding from OMG Photography!
  • This morning we interviewed Matt Haas Photography–his work is lovely!

Meanwhile, on the web….

  • Get on the pinerly waitlist for the best way to manage your pinterest account and get more repins!

  • Love this wedding dress on etsy.

  • Etiquette for replying to an invitation.

  • A wedding dress that breaks records with a 2 mile train!
  • Wiley Valentine is having a spring sale!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone! It looks like a lot of the country is having abnormally amazing temps, so make sure to enjoy them while they last. :)

Matt Haas Photography is made up of the soon-to-be husband and wife team Matt and Sarah. Thank you both for sitting down with us—and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Matt Haas Photography WeddingPhotoLove

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

Matt Haas Photography is a couple photography team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  We also frequently work in Chicago, and travel for destination weddings nationally & internationally. We’re young, we honestly love what we’re doing, and I think our easy-going personalities along with our unique style is what couples love about us.  Although we specialize in weddings, it’s not all we do. We are full time photographers, Matt works for a magazine, and we’re always producing artwork.  This brings a unique style and approach to every wedding we photograph.

Matt Haas Photography WeddingPhotoLove

2. How did you get into wedding photography?

Matt always had a passion for photography, but decided to go to school for Marketing instead. My plan was to pursue a career in dance, but after moving around for about 2 years trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I was career-confused. I never imagined that I would end up being a photographer, but it ended up being a shared passion. When we were first dating, I lived in an artist community building, and encouraged Matt to enter some of his photographs to be displayed during an art show. That was when we both began talking about the possibility of photography as a future career path. Although photography was not a part of my life until we met, we both had entrepreneurial personalities, and took the first step by putting an ad on Craigslist. Matt switched his major to Photography, and we dove into the wedding industry. I took over the business side of the company and also became the second photographer. We are both super motivated people and although it took awhile to book a wedding with no wedding portfolio, it eventually happened, and fueled us to keep going with the business. We were charging next to nothing, and a lot of our couples had to trust that we would produce amazing images, without having a huge portfolio. We were also very young when we started the business, and understandably, some people were skeptical about us. We are so thankful to every couple that entrusted us with the job of documenting their wedding, because once we had a few weddings in our portfolio, things really took off!

Matt Haas Photography WeddingPhotoLove

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

When couples have somewhat extensive getting ready photos taken where they’re just hanging out with friends and family, you can really capture some great candid moments, because they’re somewhat relaxed and not yet rushing, but nervous and excited. First looks are also amazing moments for candid photos, and when we get a chance to go out and take some photos with just the couple, they can just be themselves with us and we love that!  Every single second of a wedding day can be an amazing photographic opportunity!

Matt Haas WeddingPhotoLove

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

Quite frequently, one of us will take the first photograph with the lens cap still on.

Matt Haas WeddingPhotoLove

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

One thing that we don’t do is make our clients pay for a meal. We are both vegetarians and don’t like our to force our couples to make special arrangements for us. That being said, we’ve had some really amazing grilled veggies and tons of varieties of potatoes! Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee also has amazing veggie crepes!

Matt Haas WeddingPhotoLove

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

We’ve been lucky to get a chance to photograph in some amazing venues, but one that tops the list is Salvage One in Chicago. It’s a huge warehouse filled with vintage items and refurbished antiques, it’s really a photographers dream to shoot there.  There’s also a rooftop that couples are able to take a freight elevator up to for photos, and a garden. It was one of our first weddings as a full time business, and is where we will be getting married in 2013!

Matt Haas Photography WeddingPhotoLove

7. Nikon or Canon?

Canon.

Matt Haas Photography WeddingPhotoLove

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

On a road trip to Miami, we saw a ferris wheel, in the middle of mountains, by itself. I think an outdoor wedding amongst vintage carnival rides would be amazing. There are tons of amazing venues out there that we haven’t yet been to, we can’t wait to find out about more that we may not even know exist. Warehouse settings, barns with string-lighting, there are so many different types of venues that we love.

Matt Haas Photography WeddingPhotoLove

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

We would’ve loved to photograph any of Marilyn Monroe’s weddings simply because they occurred during a time period that had a unique style and would’ve been amazing to photograph.

Matt Haas Photography WeddingPhotoLov

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

Something you have to be able to do as a wedding photographer is to be able to adapt to any situation and last minute changes. Most importantly, you can’t try to mimic other photographers styles, you have to figure out your own and go with it.  It took us a couple of years to really understand what our style is and what we can offer our clients that is different from so many other photographers.

Matt Haas Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Thank you Matt and Sarah! Visit them on WeddingPhotoLove or head over to their site to learn more.

This wedding comes to us from WeddingPhotoLove’s OMG Photography. I just love their name and of course their photos! In fact, this wedding is so amazing that we’ll be breaking it up into TWO posts. That’s right, you’re going to see even more photos from this lovely wedding next week. You’re welcome. :)

When I was taking Bryan and Jen’s portraits after their ceremony, I told Jen that it was her job to make Bryan smile. I turned around and Bryan was BEAMING and he yelled “It’s just so easy!” That’s how these two are; they are constantly making each other smile and laugh and giggle. I had so much fun working with Bryan and Jen. Not only are they incredibly good looking, but they’re both caring and sweet and, above everything else, happy. They got married recently at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California and it was GORGEOUS. Everything from Jen’s dress, the venue, the cars that drove them to the ceremony, their first “no-look” (they each stood on one side of a corner so they couldn’t see each other, but I could still take a photo of both of them), to the incredibly fun reception (photo booths, glows ticks and dancing, oh my!), it was a completely perfect day. Thank you so much Jen and Bryan for letting me photograph your wedding!!

OMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLoveOMG Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Reception and Ceremony Venue: Calamigos Ranch
Make Up: Beauty By Grace and Fairytale Hair & Make Up
DJ: J&M Entertainment
Photobooth: The Traveling Photo Booth
Rolls Royce: Classic Limos
Videographer: Digital Skylight Media