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Tips And Tricks

6 Money Saving Secrets for Your Wedding

Tips & Tricks

When Shawn and I were planning our wedding, we cut corners in a ton of ways. We made our own centerpieces and cake stands, and I learned calligraphy specifically for the invitations. Having the wedding we wanted for a price we could manage is important, and I know we aren't the only ones who were looking for money saving secrets. Now, don't think that DIYing is the only way to save money. Finding savings in any area of a wedding is a big boost for anyone's big day. After all, less money spent elsewhere means more money on the things you care about most!   Since we are wedding photographers and see so many beautiful days, and so many crafty brides and grooms that truly put us to shame. We've been able to witness the best ways to save money, while still throwing one epic party. There's probably way more than 6 money saving secrets, but this quick list will help any couple cut costs and stress. It's your big day, and none of the preparation should be spent arguing over a budget. Do It Yourself (DIY) Decorations We aren't saying couples have to DIY every decoration, but every little bit does counts. If you can save money by creating your own centerpieces or arbor, then there's the flexibility to put that money elsewhere. You want a dream day, and there's nothing saying that you can't have that while also putting a sweat into creating something amazing. One of...

4 Questions to Ask Yourself

Finding "The One" Wedding Photographer

While preparing for your big day and hoping it all comes together, it's easy to feel like the dating process all over again. Balancing the bittersweet emotions of anticipation, excitement, fear, and hopefulness. This is especially true for your wedding photographers, who you are entrusting with preserving a huge life event for generations. That's a big responsibility, even when you are dealing with those of us who have years of experience and knowledge. You only get one chance for your wedding. So how do you know it is a good choice you can be excited about? They might meet your checklist of requirements, but is that sufficient to finding the perfect wedding photographer? Finding "The One" Wedding Photographer Having gone through it ourselves, we know that feeling of searching for the perfect wedding vendors. Besides budget and guest list, it's one of the biggest stressors of preparing your nuptials. First, there's the balance between cost and value, finding vendors who have quality work but won't break the bank. Then you hope they are available on your date. You spend some time in meetings or email exchanges before narrowing down to one vendor. Finally, you weigh out your options and put money down to lock them in for your date. Everything is finalized, and the commitment is real. So, before you invest, what are some important questions you two can ask yourselves to be certain you won't feel buyer's remorse? Editing Style Does their editing style match what I want...

6 Tips for Wedding Day Speeches

From Shawn

Hi everyone, Shawn here! As the weather warms up and wedding season commences, there is a lot of excitement for the couples beginning their life together. Most of the responsibility for a successful big day - including happy guests - falls on the shoulders of the bride and groom (and hopefully a select few who are tasked to delegate). However, in pretty much any wedding, there is an event where the loving friends and family have a chance to give back: speeches. I know that speech preparation varies from person to person, with some planning ahead and printing out several pages of amazing content, and other individuals waiting until the day of to give a more dynamic presentation (of which I am guilty). Through my personal experience giving speeches as a best man and a groom, as well as witnessing countless speeches, here are some recommendations I've gathered to make the best possible speech for a wedding. This applies to bridesmaids or groomsmen nervously preparing words, fathers or mothers expressing joy, or brides and grooms who want to politely aid (or warn) one of their upcoming speakers.   1. Set the Mood through Structure Weddings are very sentimental events, since they mark a huge point in the lives of the couple. But that doesn't mean they can't be a lot of fun, too! A wedding speech balances a fine line between the sincerity of the moment with the lighthearted fun of the celebration. Preferably, speeches capture both of these...

The Why Behind Session Timing

"You want us up when?!"

This is the time of year when a lot of our couples are planning their engagement sessions. Whether they are dreaming of a "lost in the wood" session or high fashion city shoot, timing means everything. For Shawn and I, breaching this subject is a point of contention. We are both night owls, so whenever the thought of early morning comes up, we both kind of shudder. However, we recognize the beauty in small crowds and fabulous light. Our couples, though, don't always know of those benefits as well as we do. It means so much to me through chatting with our couples that we are able to provide them with loads of session information. One of the biggest things we cover before an engagement session is the timing for a session. So what better way to benefit everyone than through a blog? There are pretty images below, so everyone stick around until the end :P. What is proper timing? One of the first things I want to touch on is the best hours of the day to be out. We have found that for sunrise sessions, we want to be shooting 30 minutes after the sun has risen. For sunset, we like to give ourselves 2 hours before the sun has fully fallen. These times are typically called the "golden / magic / perfect hour," but I just like to say "ohhhhh, mah gawsh! Best!". Here's a cute little info graphic I've created...

Something Borrowed, Something True 2016

Favorite Tips of the Year

Hello friends! It's been quite some time since I've done an installment for the Something Borrowed series. I've really had a blast sharing some of the tips from our brides and grooms. I feel like it's opened my eyes a little more to seeing how other people handle wedding planning. When I first created this series last year, I didn't plan on it being this incredibly insightful for myself. We all have encounter different problems and have different understandings, which helps makes our experiences unique, and my goal for those blogs is to share the tips that others have picked up through the planning process. However, with everything, it wasn't long until I realized that I was learning a lot too. It's pretty awesome to be able to apply the lessons that others have learned to your own life. The tips that our previous couples have shared can still have an impact on more than just a wedding day. Shawn and I have been married for two years, and there really isn't anything about the day I could think to change. So I wouldn't expect the words my couples share to be resonating with me, but they absolutely do. Whether it's in the reflection of how I look at our wedding, or how I go about life in general. Our couples have really made a difference to our life and hopefully to a lot of others. Something Borrowed, Something You One of my favorite excerpts from a Something Borrowed...

Productivity During the Holiday Months

Tips & Tricks

During the wedding season, it's easy to keep productivity high because I follow a format for my days. I cull, edit, post a blog, set up Instagram posts, etc.. But during the off season, all of this changes. There are no longer weekends filled with beautiful receptions or romantic engagements. The off season falls around November and December for us, which means that the weekends are now booked with shopping and family. It's a time that I absolutely love, but to be honest, the holidays completely take every ounce of my energy. What should be a time to regroup and plan for the new year becomes laying on the couch with a plate of mashed potatoes. I struggle big time with being productive during this time of the year. All I want to do is drink hot cocoa and watch Christmas movies, but that's not realistic. Though my mission during the off season definitely goes through some shifts, I make sure that I pay close attention to what I'm doing throughout the day. From list making to "treat yo-self" rewards, I make sure I touch on all of tips below in order to jump start my productivity. This allows me to continue to accomplish all that I want to do, while still enjoying this time of the year. Setting goals for yourself Goals are the biggest thing that keep me in a steady workflow. When we have weddings, the goals are to cull a certain number of images before...

What Do I Do With My Hands?!

Tips & Tricks

We photograph a lot of couples and groups, each with their own collection of unique traits and attitudes. It's a lot of fun to get to know these different people and what makes them special, but it's also interesting to see common threads that link everyone together. Sometimes, it's a pure excitement to be in front of the camera, and other times it's a lack of confidence in modeling abilities. Couples or individuals have warned us before-hand that they feel they aren't photogenic or great at having their picture take. But we have awesome news to the doubters: it's impossible for us to not capture gorgeous images of you! We're not just saying that idly, either, since everyone has the capability to look stunning, no matter what. You can trust in our experience as professional photographers that we will find the perfect way to present you. One of the most common concerns that we get from those who lack faith is not knowing how to pose, specifically on what to do with hands. Hands can be awkward when left hanging at your side, but they need to be comfortable and not distracting when placed elsewhere. During sessions, we've seen people situate their hands three or four different times trying to find a spot that works. We definitely provide instruction when this problem arises, but we understand that having the information before the session is the difference between eager for a session or being scared of it. The tips below apply...

Engagement Session Preparation

Tips & Tricks

It is always a little daunting to have photos taken. It's not something that is normal for day-to-day life and can be one of the hardest things to prepare for. For me, I instantly clam up when a lens is pointing at me. Spending so much time around cameras does not prepare me for being in front of the camera. I know that most couples feel the exact same way as I do. The great thing is, there are ways to prepare for your engagement session that will greatly put your mind at ease. Engagement photos can feel very strange and it can often times seem like your relationship isn't accurately portrayed in them. When we chat with our couples about their engagement shoot, one of the most common thing is someone in the couple not understanding the point of these photos. They don't care, they hate their photo taken, or they just want to hire us for the wedding and be done. Unfortunately, that's not how this all works. We want to experience your relationship in advance. With our photos, we get really wonderful emotion because we don't just show up on the wedding day. Our bond with the couple is what creates a genuine interaction and ability for them to show us who they are. Your photos are important, and we want everyone to feel something when they look at your photos. The following advice to prepare for your engagement session all go hand-in-hand together. If each...

The First Look Explained

Tips & Tricks

Whenever the question of a first look comes up, we are almost always met with an excited bride and confused groom. It's no fault of the groom that he doesn't know what this wedding trend is. We generally give the bride the chance to explain it, if she is familiar. But it's still kind of difficult to find the right words to describe it. When we explain it, we want to be informative and still give all the sweetness that is involved. The benefits and trade offs are not always immediately obvious. It takes both people to decide if a first look is right for them. Having to find the right words to make a confident choice is a challenge. We want to give you the resources that allow you both to be at peace with your options. So we are excited to give you the information about a first look, and the tools to know if it should be a part of your wedding day. What is a first look? The easiest way to explain a first look is that it's a chance for the couple to be with each other before all of the craziness starts. It's an intimate moment that you two get the chance to share on a day that is all about your love. A first look is never rushed or forced. It's honestly the most exciting time during the wedding, besides the declaration of marriage. The process of this romantic event starts...