Jessica and Matt’s wedding was my first wedding of the season.
This wedding was on a Friday, and as a photographer this is music to my ears! Friday weddings are the best! It is a fun way to kick off the weekend, and for brides and grooms this gives them an opportunity to jump start their honeymoon plans. Sometimes even spending more time with the guest that have come in for their wedding.
Matt and Jessica are high school sweethearts. Their love is nothing but young, and pure, and extremely contagious. I met both of them at a historic home in downtown Wilmington. The home used to be a bed and breakfast called Four Porches. This home was a beautiful accent to their whimsical day.
The days colors consisted of beautiful pastels, brick, navy, and I can’t forget to mention all the gorgeous white hues you can imagine with beautiful crystal embellishments.
The boys were on the bottom half of the home and Jessica and her girls were on the top floor. As Jessica got ready I went ahead, and captured a few candids of Matt with his groomsmen, and family. Everyone was very accommodating and helpful with making sure these two didn’t sneak a peek at one another as they got ready. Matt was handsome in his navy blue suit that had a nice touch of color complimented by his caramel brown shoes.
I loved the dynamic between these brothers.. They definitely entertained me during the day!
We did however deliver a special note written to Jessica. Matt had written a message to Jessica on the bottom of her shoes. It was incredibly sweet and such a smart idea of sending a something blue message to his future bride.
They opted for a first look without looking at one another and it was one of my most fun first looks I’ve ever done. They shared some words and opted for a final kiss before seeing one another. Kissing without opening your eyes is probably harder than you can imagine 🙂 but these two did great!
Before heading to the ceremony site, our parties continued to get dress. Jess toasted one final time as a single lady, and had her final touches of hair and makeup were done. When all was complete, all that was left was getting into one special dress.
She was exquisitely gorgeous in her dress. Jessica beamed as her mom and her girls helped her into her dress. She was nothing but perfect. Jessica is one of my favorite people to photograph and something that I love about her is how genuinely sweet she is. She is radiant outside but she truly is a beautiful person inside. She is easy going, and her calm demeanor shows effortless in print.
Jessica was on the top floor and as you can imagine another story was unfolding down stairs. We played a little with this idea and again made sure to get the bride and groom in a single frame but without seeing one another. Down below from the porch, Matt was almost done getting ready and his mom was sweet enough to finalize his outfit with his boutonniere.
Finally ready to start a wedding! We all walked to the Saint Thomas Preservation Hall. If you haven’t been there before, it’s a rustic reformed old church that sits in the heart of downtown Wilmington, NC.
The bridal party and guest filled the hall, and the cutest little entrance was made for the bride.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Matt watched in awe as his bride was approaching him. She was gorgeous in her crystal embedded dress.
Jess and Matt exchanged personal vows, and performed a unity sand tradition to signify their two lives merging into one. They ended their ceremony with the coveted kiss making them officially husband and wife. And like their entrance sign said, their true adventure was all that awaited.
Because I can’t forget one of my favorites parts of the day. Here are few bridal party and couple portraits that I really loved. This was such a sweet group of family and friends, cheers to many more memories that you guys create and can’t wait to see how your love unfolds and grows!
-Best wishes and hugs!
Prep site: 4 Porches Bed and Breakfast
Hair and Makeup: Monica Kelly
There are so many choices and options when choosing your floral arrangements for your wedding day. You can definitely get overwhelmed and feel stressed over something that can truly be magical. Flowers are an important part of your wedding day. I know that a wedding can get expensive but there are different types and ways you can approach choosing your floral types for your special day.
Depending upon your theme or your location, this will all play into what your preferences are for your bouquet, boutonniere, or even your reception or ceremony decor.
You could totally spend a ton of money on floral arrangements. And if you have it, I would strongly suggest dreaming for the stars. One of the newest trends I have been seeing are floral walls. Which are gorgeous! And I think you could actually make them if you are really crafty and have an abundant amount of time.
With that said a florist most definitely would be able to make this or create something similar. One of my favorite floral walls that I have seen is this one below.
(Photo Credit; on the image)
This was a rose, peony, moss, and what looks like a succulent base. I love that it is an ombre color pattern. It would compliment a garden wedding, and even a rustic wedding. This would be a beautiful centerpiece for your family photos, bridal photos, or what you stand in front of for your ceremony.
I have even seen this with escort cards for your guest, and or even gold frames filled with images of the bride and groom as a reception center piece. I’m sure the possibilities are truly endless with this beautiful backdrop.
Another option to a flower wall could be as easy as choosing a venue that already has something like this. Your venue ultimately is the root of your wedding day. So it can add or distract certain elements of your wedding day. If your venue or ceremony site has natural vegetation, this is an awesome win! This wedding below was captured by a UK Photographer and its a gorgeous way to showcase natural beauty at a church there. This in itself is a beautiful backdrop for any type of photography.
(Photo credit on the image; M&J Photography)
Let’s talk reception flowers.. This arrangement was done at the Four Seasons In Florence, Italy. Four Seasons Firenze did a wonderful job on my brides floral arrangements. Not only did they create a romantic spectacular elegant arrangement for the bride but they were able to correlate this into all the pieces of the day. Each flower complimented the plate settings, the venue, and also the brides dress choices for the day.
They tiered the flowers with beautiful table top candles and created a beautifully layered structure of candles, a runner, floral arrangements, and also the actual table settings. The flowers I think add that small touch of elegance and delicacy that the bride definitely wanted.
Another awe moment that I wanted to highlight was the use of flowers and light. The flowers were draped on the chandeliers over the guest table. What a way to tie it all together and really add to the romanticized feel of the day. I haven’t really seen this in other weddings, but this was a great fairy tale way of showcasing your flowers at the reception. I never really thought of hanging flowers for a reception but what a gorgeous way of showcasing such a unique idea.
This bouquet was the inspiration for the flowers used a this brides reception. The color palette was geared more for a fall wedding but I think this would be nice for a summer wedding too. The theme was rustic and the same flowers were tied into the reception site on the sides of the stair cases at the 128 south venue in Wilmington, NC.
They were able to tie the color palette and flower choices to the brides cake. I love this look versus the traditional statues that often were placed on cakes. These can be cute but, I love the use of flowers to pretty up the cake a bit.
Grooms need flowers too…
Other than the brides flowers we never really put a lot of thought into our groom. Simple, and chic is a great approach to dressing your groom, or ushers. I love this simple approach of a baby rose, a wild flower, and some greenery to tie in the brides bouquet. I even think a wrapped ribbon with one single flower is a nice way to incorporate a cohesive look for the bride and groom. Her bouquet definitely tied in well with his bout.
Ceremony flowers are a must! If you were thinking more traditional and not so much flower wall, check out this gazebo made of flowers to accompany your magical adventure! Once again the Four Seasons did a wonderful job incorporating indoor items with a garden wedding. The usage of a chandelier outside tied with the ones used inside with flowers worked perfectly. I loved the usage of the floral gazebo to tie in with the garden of the Four Seasons Firenze too!
Simple is okay
Sometimes its the simplest bouquets that are the prettiest. This is a blush bouquet and screams feminety all over it. It is one color pattern and they used different tones to reflect transition and layers. Its gorgeous! It would compliment any bride on any day!
So when you are finalizing your flower ideas for your wedding please consider these small tips.
- Your venue choice and reception choice can either have natural vegetation that will cost nothing, and or think of how you can jazz up your scene by adding to it with floral arrangements.
- Establish a color palette that fits your theme and style for your day.
- Traditional or modern? Thinking in these terms will help you figure out if you want simple or more elaborate.
- Do it yourself, or hire someone? Sometimes doing it yourself may save money, but may cause you more stress. After all you have more than just flowers to plan for your special day. If you can do it you may want to hire someone to take care of this for you, and create your vision.
- Don’t forget the small details. Flowers can add to your day by providing color and mood. You don’t have to go over the top to get your vision out there. But definitely don’t forget the small details such as your groom, reception, ceremony, decoration for your plates, cake, and or if you want those petals in a photo.
- Stay within your budget. There is a lot of different kinds of flowers so don’t hesitate to search! Whether you choose silk or real flowers the possibilities are truly endless. You may find something you didn’t think you would like by searching around for different price points. Forget about whats popular and get a little adventurous. Who knows your arrangements might be the next “it” thing. Don’t be afraid to choose flowers that no one has ever heard of. If it fits your theme, choose them!
For more options on flowers check out this article from Brides.com
Senior Photos 101
Back in my day senior photos were just yearbook images. Yes, I just said, “back in my day” =) But, seriously the options now a days are way more fun, and way more exciting and can be ultimately anything you want! Literally, any style you want to accomplish, the sky is the limit!
I love senior photos! They are pretty much my fave sessions! Seniors are extremely opened to any ideas I come up with, and because my style is very editorial driven, we definitely make sure the shoot feels like it came off the latest Teen Vogue, or Seventeen magazine.
So what’s the experience?
Alright, let’s get to the details..
So it starts out with you inquiring about a shoot. We figure out we both love the same music, and clothes, and now what, right!! So ultimately my goal is for us to be besties, and for you to feel utterly completely comfortable when I am shooting. If music helps create the mood, I will have my IPhone ready and Pandora blasting for your entertainment. Whatever it is, we will get it done!
For your shoot we figure out two locations. Preferably these locations will be nearby one another. Once we square out the locations, we will than figure out what your favorite hobbies are, and what defines your style and lifestyle at this age (so, this is important, because ultimately you want your senior photos to reflect where you were at at this point in your life, and how you looked, what you liked, and just something fun to reminiscent about). For example if you are a gypsy soul that loves water anything. We will probably do some photos at a nearby downtown coastal area (so seeking really cool wall patterns, and colors) and than perhaps we will incorporate the water into our shoot, either being in it, or doing some sort of water activity in it.
If you are more into glamour and just really want a soft and feminine shoot. We could send our gears more to maybe an arboretum or garden setting. I’ll play on blooming flowers, and maybe we will figure out outfit choices that are really pretty and dainty. Dresses, floral shorts, or pants, cute tops and accenting with fun jewelry.
What if I am an out state client? For out of state shoots I like to use google maps. This way I can scout locations virtually and still build a location map of where we will be and how your ideas will come into play. Traveling is not an issue at all when planning our senior shoot.
To makeup or not to makeup?
I think because your getting your photo’s done and it’ll be something special, I suggest getting your hair and makeup done professionally. It will just add to the look of the images and also make you feel camera ready. I can definitely provide some suggestions of my favorite makeup artist and hair to give you a new fresh look for your shoot. If you feel like you got this, don’t hesitate to test it out a day or week prior to the shoot to make sure your in love with your idea.
Also something we will go over is your wardrobe choices for the shoot. Accessories are always a must, so the more pieces you have to play an outfit, the better the image is. Feeling stumped on your wardrobe ideas, check out your fave magazine, or use Pinterest for inspiration.
(Seriously though, Pinterest is like a gal’s best friend 🙂 )
How I pose…
In terms of posing, you can kinda get an idea of my posing through some examples below, and of course examples in my other work. I love lifestyle editorial images. Our movements will be talked through and Ill be snapping photos of you doing actions or moving into a pose. You’ll hardly ever be in a statue format. I love fun images, so we will laugh and I’ll do my best to make you laugh to get those candid and genuine moments.
So, if you are someone who doesn’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, no worries! I’ll guide you through it! And, if you are confident and you want to try some new things, we can so do this too!!
After the shoot..
After the shoot, you will receive a digital gallery of your images. You can share these on facebook, twitter, instagram, on a blog, with a neighbor, with a family member, whomever you choose! The turn around for your images is two weeks. A final copy of your images is than placed onto a USB or a DVD format.
To get in idea of the type of shoot you could have, check out the examples below, and I can’t wait to share your ideas and get your senior session started!