Check out the gallery page that I added to the blog. There’s a tab at the top of the page and a link over to the right. It’s just a way to add photos quickly. Hope you enjoy!
Today, I got some long over due head shots taken. I have purposefully avoided having head shots. Being a planner, I love being part of the background, not the center of attention. Plus, I just don’t loosen up well in front of a camera. Thus, I haven’t put my own mug on my website. Apparently, that is a faux pas. I have been told by many a photographer that I need head shots! So, I caved in.
I spent this morning in the expert hands/lens of Jamie Burnett of Burnett Photography here in Auburn. I had a great time! I have to admit that I was kind of stressed before I left the house because (curse of being a girl) I couldn’t decide what to wear. But, Jamie is such a breeze to work with that she definitely put me at ease! We went all over downtown Auburn to get just the right shot. Except that it was just slightly too chilly for the short sleeves I had on, it was a perfect morning.
So, here’s the shot that I will be putting on my website soon (may take longer than I really want). But, take a stroll over to Jamie’s blog and check out the rest of her work. I know you will enjoy!
I was thinking about the gorgeous weather that the South (Auburn, Ala.) has been blessed with in the past couple of days. The wedding I did this weekend was so lucky. It was held in a church downtown and then the country club in Auburn. For a February wedding, they had 70 degree weather. They were able to have all the doors open to the outside at their reception. People were more willing to stay and talk with the bride and groom. Unreal!
That’s what is so crazy about this area. Just one week ago, we had 30 degree highs. So, you can’t exactly count on temps this time of year. In contrast, you can expect 95-100 degree highs in July. No doubt.
I say all that to bring attention to the fact that I seem to do more outdoor weddings than anything else. Or at least there is some outdoor part of things. People here seem bound and determined to use outdoor space if at all possible.
I just want to say that you need to think through the outdoor situation. Unless you are getting married in the tropics, there is reason to believe that there is more than a slight chance that your January wedding will be cold. And rain is always a possibility. I have seen more than a few weddings turn not so great because someone has planned a lot of the activities for the outdoors and then weather didn’t cooperate. Please don’t think that you can outsmart the weather.
Here’s what I’m trying to get at. Take this past weekend’s wedding. Instead of her planning on using any outdoor space at the club – which would require having heaters and possibly tents – she planned on everything being indoors. And, as a wonderful bonus, she got fabulous weather and everyone got an extra nice time at the reception. Now, say she had planned on using the outside space – weather be darned. Well, she would have had to rent patio heaters (which aren’t great) and what if the weather had been seriously frigid? No one would want to go out there anyway. Then, any drinks or food that she put outside would have been wasted. Sad.
So, here’s the deal. It is really tough to fight the weather. If you decide to take that on, you are going to have to pay for it, literally. If you have to fall back on your “back up plan” that what your wedding will look like – a back up plan. Isn’t it better to just plan you wedding with your guest’s utmost comfort in mind then have a nice surprise if you get great weather?
*I’m not trying to throw cold water on any outdoor wedding wishes. I love outdoor weddings. I’m just trying to get everyone to be realistic about what comes with that plan.
for bridal shows! This is the time that wedding industry vendors gather and display their best offerings to brides at trade shows. January always has the bulk of the shows because of the engagements that happen over the holidays.
I had a good time at the WeddingsofGeorgia.com’s show in Columbus, Ga. on Sunday. I met a lot of great brides and got to see many of my vendor friends. It also got me thinking about the process of bridal shows. I know what it is like for me as a vendor. But, I haven’t thought much about what it is like for the bride. So, I have come up with my do’s and don’ts for anyone who is trying to wade through the mass of information that they get from attending a bridal show.
1. Prepare yourself. Every vendor that you come in contact with will have questions for you about your plans thus far. I’m not saying that you need to have everything figured out before you go. That’s part of the point of going to a bridal show. But, if you don’t have any ideas what so ever, the amount of information that is thrown your way at a show will just overwhelm you even more.
2. Take your time. There will be a lot of vendors there. You don’t need to talk to each and every one of them. But, do yourself a favor and give the vendors the courtesy of your time. It will help you out as you go back through your info after the show.
3. Take someone with you. They might see something that you missed. It’s always good to have a second opinion of what you see that day.
4. Show the vendors some courtesy. Not that you wouldn’t, but just realize that it does cost us a good bit to have things prepared to give out to a lot of people. If you take a group of people with you, not every one in your posse needs something from the vendors. One sample, card, brochure, etc. will be plenty.
1. Sign any contracts or write any checks at a show. This is not the place to actually book your vendors. Make an appointment with the vendors that you like. Or, ask for a copy of their contract that you can look over and review before you meet with them again. A bridal show is high energy and if you are signing contracts in that frame of mind, you might sign up for more than you realize or need.
2. Be afraid to actually talk to the vendors and ask some questions. We love to get engaged with the attendees! That’s what we’ve come for!
3. Leave before the end of the show. Make sure you stay until all the giveaways are done. You never know what you might win. Some vendors donate awesome prizes at these shows. You may be surprised!
I realize that I haven’t posted in a while. I have decided that December is the craziest month. Not that it excuses my lack of posting, but I’m hoping that some out there will sympathize.
I must send my congratulations out to my wedding couples this month! First, congratulations to Jeff and Karla, who had a beautiful and classic winter wedding. I had such a great time getting to know them and their families.
Second congratulations go to Amy and Patrick. This was probably the most beautiful couple I have ever worked with. Not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. It definitely came across during their whole wedding. What a pleasure it was working with them! It’s clients like Amy and Patrick and Karla and Jeff that makes me really love my job!
To make December even busier, I had several corporate events in LaGrange to get together. I had the pleasure of working with the owners of Hyundai, which is opening a Kia plant in LaGrange. In connection to the plant (still under construction), they have built a Wingate hotel to accommodate their staff when they travel to the area. I was asked to help them create an event for their VIPs. It wasn’t the grand opening of the hotel (that will happen next year). Instead, they wanted a special event just for their VIP’s to tour the property. It was a flawless event. I also got to experience some authentic Korean delicacies including rice cakes flown in from Korea. These are not the dry round disks that you find in our grocery stores. Theirs were very colorful and lent a great look to the buffet table. I’m definitely looking forward to the grand opening event!
So, that is a good sum up of what Invision’s December was like. Please look for more wedding advice posts starting in January. Until then, I wish everyone a wonderful and blessed holiday season. Merry Christmas!
Congratulations to Kelly and Robert! My beautiful younger sister called me last night to tell me that she was engaged. I couldn’t be happier for you two!
Isn’t it funny that I was just watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding – which has to be one of the best wedding movies ever. I promise not to let your wedding get quite as bad as that one ;).
This week, I thought I would explain what you should focus on when you do have to start making cuts due to your budget. The simple answer: Don’t cut the professionals!
What do I mean by that? Well, it is not a good idea to decide that you can save money by cooking all the food yourself. No-no. Always use a licensed caterer. Not only do you not want to have yourself or your family concentrating on anything but celebrating your wedding day, but what if someone were to get sick from the food (heaven forbid)? Can you imagine realizing that you may be faced with a legal hassle after your wedding? I can pretty much assure you that it would be more costly to do that than to just hire a caterer.
Now, if you can work some deals with the professionals, then by all means do it! If your best friend is a professional photographer and he wants to shoot your wedding for free as a gift – sweet! But, don’t think that handing a digital camera to a pal who has nothing else to do will get you anything worth looking at years from now. Photos are all you have left after the wedding. Make sure you get some good ones.
Does this mean that you can’t have any do-it-yourself projects when it comes to your wedding? Not at all! Anything that has to be done before the actual wedding day can become a really fun DIY project. Invitations, favors, attire (my own wedding dress was sewn by my mother), even some crafting of decor can be done yourself. Anything that must happen the day of the wedding should be left to the professionals! Food, cake, photography, decor set-up and direction should all be done by hired professionals.
I have had the misfortune to work a few weddings where Aunt-So-and-So did the food and Mom (yes the mother of the bride) did the cake. Headache! Everyone was stressed out and couldn’t enjoy the day. The actual cake and food turned out okay, but there was no need for Mom to be so stressed!
So, moral of the story is, let the pros handle it. I promise that every vendor has a package to fit every budget.
Since the economy is dominating everyone’s thoughts and conversations these days, I thought I should address what someone planning a wedding should consider.
1. Is it wise to spend a lot on a wedding in these harder times? There can be two schools of thought on this. First, if you have saved and know what you can spend on your wedding without going into debt, then by all means, do exactly what you have planned for and worked for so long. There is nothing wrong in that. And, you guests will appreciate it! On the other hand, if you had been planning a destination wedding and had hoped that most of your 300+ invites would travel to attend, you may want to think again. While you may be able to afford to host those guests, those guests (wedding party included) may not be up to spending the amount to make that happen. Keep in mind that while you may be shelling out a good bit to host them for one night, they are also shelling out the cash to give you gifts, host showers, travel, buy attire, etc. As with everything in a wedding, be as courteous as possible when it comes to your guests and wedding party.
2. What happens when I find that my wedding budget has shrunk with the economy? Like everything else, you will have to downsize. Don’t think that you can have the same wedding on a different budget. You will have to be realistic and change some things. The first thing to change is the guest list. If you find that you aren’t able to host 300 guests anymore, cut the guest list! This is the easiest way of saving money. If everyone would follow those simple words, so many more people would have the wedding that they wanted in terms of style. Why sacrifice your love of flowers or photography because you feel like you have to invite everyone you have ever known? Invite only those people that really mean something to you and your fiance and then you will have more money left over to offer those guests a better menu, nicer decor, a full bar, etc.
I realize that whether the economy is good or bad, people will get married. How you do that may change, but know that your day can be just as meaningful and beautiful with 75 guests as opposed to 300 guests.
To be continued: next time, we’ll discuss what you should and shouldn’t cut from your budget when cuts need to be made.
An alternate title of this post could be “Choosing your wedding theme,” but I hate using the word theme in weddings. That makes it sound like a kids party. So, I go with style. Style can mean a lot of different things: color choice, time of year, formality, etc. With that many ways to look at things, how do you decide on one?
I tend to think that a wedding’s style should always come from the couple’s personality. Letting their personality flow through the wedding’s style choices is always best. I have seen it many different ways: the mother of the bride decides everything and ends up with a wedding of her style, the bride decides everything according to her taste and ends up with a girly or cutesy wedding (the worst in my opinion) or the mother of the bride (who is paying for everything) and the bride don’t agree and get a wedding that looks pieced together.
So, my first piece of advice is to think of your wedding in terms of we and us. Even if you and your fiance don’t agree much on style, you can make a cohesive wedding that will reflect you as a couple. Brides, just try not to be the diva on everything. I promise that you will be the center of attention that day. You can compromise on a few things if you have to. And honestly, I wouldn’t even want to be a guest of a wedding where a bride has made it ALL about her (think princess weddings – ick). I like to celebrate the couple, not the bride’s overbearing personality.
As a side thought, I can appreciate a feminine tune to a wedding. I mean, it’s a wedding for pity’s sake! I don’t hate pink. I just hate things to be overdone, especially when it is done in a cutesy way.
We have established that it is personality that brings the wedding style. So, now what? Well, what kind of couple are you? Outdoorsy? Metro? Beach? Casual? Formal? Use things like that to pull together an overall tone to the wedding.
Now, start to think about how you and your fiance would want to entertain. Don’t think on wedding terms. Think in overall general ways, how do you like to have your guests over? Are you more intimate – small groups? Are you lavish – upscale dining or a swanky cocktail spot? Do you enjoy being outside – maybe a garden party?
Once you have started to think in these terms, you are well on your way to knowing your wedding style. It is such a disappointment when I meet with a bride and she has already picked her colors with out even knowing where the wedding will be held. That is doing things in an opposite way. And it usually ends up being reflected in the end product.
Again, speaking with a planner before you go making these style decisions can help you ENORMOUSLY. Don’t pin yourself into one track before you know where that track is going.
Finally! I have gotten around to posting the photos from the first photo shoot of my “photo shoot series”. I think I posted about this earlier, but these shoots are for my personal benefit to show my style when it comes to various types of weddings. Also, it benefits all vendors who participated.
So, I should give a HUGE thank you to Joe, Kathy and Joe Jr. of JK Dallas Photography for the amazing photographs. They are the epitome of style and professionalism. I can’t think of a better photographer to have done this shoot. Also, thanks to Kim Nelson of Kimberly Nelson Floral Designs for lending her modern eye to the floral designs. Pam Edwards of RSC (Rental Service Center – Columbus) lent their beautiful chairs. I pretty much took care of everything else – overall design of theme, actual design and printing of the menus and table/escort cards, contracting the linens (Cloth Connection), securing the fans and umbrellas and overseeing the shoot as a whole. And of course the lovely Mary Patrick at RiverMill Event Center worked hard to allow us to use their space as the best of backdrops. Last, and definitely not least, the fabulous models Robin and Chase (real clients of JK Dallas) deserve a lot of the praise for making us all look so good!
Like I said, this shoot is the first in a series that I am doing. This is my take on a modern wedding. As with most of my style, I tend to not go over board. Less is always more in my opinion. Even though this wedding has some oriental tones with the fans and umbrellas and colors, I was hoping to not go too far where it would turn some people off. I find that I am usually straddling a line of “what is different enough to catch someone’s eye, but not so different that it is too much?” So, this is where I ended up in this instance. Refined modernism – that’s my term for it :).
Let me know your thoughts on how I ended up in my efforts on this one! Next one on docket: the Fall wedding.