like i’m an expert or something! i have seen lots of weddings this year from a bird’s eye view as well as up close. so there are bound to be things that i can’t help but observe, right? i do approach this topic very cautiously because i don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings about choices made regarding their weddings. so let’s just say that this list will be strictly my opinion and it may be helpful to anyone who is planning a wedding to think about things in a way that they may not have thought about before. more on the list in a minute.
i am feeling a little sad this week. i haven’t had an opportunity to spend time in my studio lately and it’s apparent that i do need that….i am not as relaxed and content as i am when i have had my creative time. there is something so therapeutic about it for me. so i am going to make a point of making time to make something this week. i really want to do some pieces for my neglected etsy shop. i even have the projects in my head that i want to do, it’s just a matter of making it a priority. (i’m sure that my patient photography clients are thinking, “just get my photos edited!”) i put a lot of pressure on myself to get photos edited in a timely manner and i have to say thanks to recent clients who have taken the time to order their images in a timely manner as well! there have been times in the past when i have busted it to get a session edited and then i wait and wait on an order. this has made me truly appreciate timely orders! i guess i am so decisive myself, that it’s hard to understand how a person wouldn’t be dying to get the photos framed and up! jennifer and i laugh about how we want our photos up right now (and super large too!) by the way, today is jennifer’s birthday-i hope it’s a wonderful one! also, on saturday, ryan had a birthday. happy birthday to ryan too! kirby’s birthday is coming up saturday. july is a big bday month for our family!
i shared an altered school box a week or so ago that i made for fiskars for the project a day on the website this month. there are some really great ideas with complete instructions! another project i did for this month is this one-
you can check it out with full instructions on products used (fiskars and jenni bowlin) here.
while i’m sharing a project, i have another creative, artsy topic on my mind. artistic affaire l’ automne. having attended an artistic affaire event last fall (as the official photographer), i was blown away by the attention to detail that kim puts into her events! if you have wanted to attend an artistic workshop, but were uncertain as to which one to go to, i highly recommend going to an artistic affaire event! the only problem is that it will spoil you for anything else! i think one of the things that impressed me the most, was the closeknit, intimate feel and atmosphere. the farthest thing from a cold classroom art session. lots of commarderarie, shared interests and enthusiasm. and again, the attention to detail is unreal! kim is the epitome of hostess with the mostest! how i wish i could attend the fall event! i am vowing to myself that i WILL make it to an upcoming artistic affaire event…so kim, please don’t ever stop! on a sidenote: i have to say that i am so in awe of the group of ladies who make it a priority to go to cool events together and make their girl/craft time a huge priority. i am not really a jealous person at all, but i do look at these ladies and secretly wish i were a part! very inspiring to see!
now, back to wedding and love talk. some of you probably wonder if i have ADD. i might, i just haven’t been diagnosed? anyway, jared and beth and i had the most awesome talk on sunday night. tom was tired and went to bed early (he gets up before the buttcrack of dawnat 3:45 am!), but we stayed up and chatted away about wedding details and life in general. jared and i had many late night talks through the years, so it was cool to have beth be a part of it. she is such a great match for jared-which warms my heart completely! seeing how she loves him and he loves her gives me chills as a mom. i don’t really get the whole mother-in-law drama that happens so often. i feel like any conflict between the person your son/daughter chooses to marry and a parent is sort of like shooting yourself in the foot. right? i want to have an awesome relationship with my children’s spouses because i respect their choice in a mate. plus, if their spouse loves them, i should love them all the more! it’s not a competition. so weird to me when a mother-in-law “fights” for a spot in their son/daughter’s life. maybe i’m just lucky in that i’ve never had a situation where i felt threatened or like i had to make a spot for myself? i just think it’s probably easy to let emotions take over instead of common sense. as a parent, i know that the love i have for my grown children hasn’t lessened, so if the relationship with your grown children doesn’t have healthy boundaries, i guess it could get messed up. i think some parents don’t really get that you have to let go. it is hard, i’m not downplaying that. i have lots of opinions on this. i just know that when i look at the images of jared and beth, i am grateful that they found and have each other. i’m not denying that seeing him as a grown man in love doesn’t hide the fact that he is the baby boy that i carried and knew before anyone else did, birthed, snuggled, comforted, and continue to love unconditionally….but i see the healthy cycle of life and letting go. he is hers now and that is good. am i teary typing this, absolutely? but i mean every word. i wish them every happiness.
this shot is a favorite which i plan to use in our family gallery of photos.
we are calling this photo session the official engagement shoot. BUT, since we were going for optimum natural light, we didn’t make it to our second location….so we will be doing the official shoot part 2 tomorrow : )
on to the *b* list. with all the weddings i’ve been involved with this year, i feel as if i have realized a few things. granted, these are strictly my opinions, but they are based on what i have observed and noticed makes for a less stressful day for the couple.
*b* list on weddings
- live in the moment, savor it. i plan to take my own advice on jared and beth’s wedding day. i want to soak up every detail and enjoy it….and try not to stress about little things that don’t matter.
- make it your own. my favorite things about the weddings i’ve seen, have much more to do with the couple’s unique choices than how grand or elaborate they may be. i love the fresh ideas that are totally outside the box! when my friend kelly’s daughter katie was married last year, a moment that stands out to me (there were many) was when kelly walked down the aisle as mother of the bride alone, unescorted. i thought it was really cool and dramatic and perfect for kelly : ) another couple who pulled off one of the first truly “make it your own” weddings that i had seen was princess lasertron and her professor lasertron. it was great fun for me as a photographer! i would encourage every couple planning a wedding to think of their own uniqueness and make it a part of your day.
- it’s the bride and groom’s day.i haven’t had too many experiences where this has been an issue, but when it is, it’s not pretty. if you have been honored to be asked to be an attendant in a wedding, just remember that the day is basically not yours, it’s their day. you WILL make sacrifices that day. being available to them to help with whatever they need, makes the day go much more smoothly. just from my perspective, i can’t tell you how it stresses a bride/groom out to have attendants disappear when they need them. i’ve had a few situations when parents have been the culprit. not cool. just be available for that one day.
- choose your attendants with much thought. i think this is tough, because young adult years are so transitional. choosing a longtime friend, or a tried and true friend is something you probably won’t regret. family members are usually a good choice too. not choosing too far in advance or spontaneously is a good idea, as well as not making promises before you are actually engaged.
- budget-wise. of course i’m biased on this one. i would definitely not skimp on photography or flowers. i am a visual person (obviously) so i guess this may not hold true for some people. also, choosing a pleasing to the eye venue is super important. i am disappointed when a couple marrying in the church have to get ready in a dingy basement room or nursery with silly wallpaper or art as a background. a couple of brilliant ideas that i have witnessed as far as pretty background spots for getting ready: a pretty bedroom/bathroom (could be either the bride or groom’s parent’s home…which i’ve personally seen quite a bit), a well designed hotel room (it’s worth it!) or a church which has put some thought into decor. a pretty church or event center for the actual ceremony is something to think about too. from a personal standpoint, i would highly recommend choosing a full service reception venue. setting up before and cleaning up after the wedding can sort of take the fun out of it in my opinion. another budgetwise idea: think about a friday wedding. many services are discounted if you get married on a friday.
- on the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding: if you want good photos and a much less stressful day, don’t succomb to the romance of this idea. i do have a very strong opinion on this, and it has a lot to do with my perspective, AND yet, i do feel like i am pretty intuned to couples on their day…and i find that time after time, the moment the couple sees each other before the wedding, is much more private and special, than “saving’ the moment for the ceremony. i can literally feel the difference in many ways. i made the decision a few months ago, that when i meet with engaged couples the second question i will ask, is whether they plan to see each other before the ceremony or not. if not, it won’t work for me to be their wedding photographer. i feel that my signature as a wedding photographer is location shots with the couple and their wedding party, so if we wait until after the ceremony for those shots, it doesn’t work very well. there have been exceptions, but generally speaking, once the couple has gone through the ceremony, they are ready to join their guests and enjoy the reception…photos just aren’t a priority after the fact. plus, it’s super stressful for the couple to avoid each other at the wedding site. typically, the bride is sequestered to her “getting ready” room and can’t emerge until it’s time to walk down the aisle. that’s tough for most people. that’s my 2 cents!
- personal attendants.i didn’t realize what a big job this was, until i started photographing a lot of weddings. i have seen some of the best personal attendants in history this summer! they are so selfless and helpful…the true meaning of a real friend. if someone ever asks me to be a personal attendant (don’t laugh, it could happen!), i will be packing a bag of indispensable items and plan to be at the bride’s beck and call, no questions asked. i’ve learned from the best!
- don’t leave God out. i realize that this is just for people of faith, but if you are a person of faith, don’t forget the sanctity of your marriage and that God ordained it. the most meaningful weddings i’ve been to, have been the ones where the couples faith have been a huge part of the day. i believe that marriage is a holy sacrement. i know that personally it’s by the grace of God that marriage works…because i mess up all the time. poor tom.
- leave your camera at home. another point that i’m biased on! my biase is based on situations that do affect the couple. i can’t tell you the number of times during a wedding ceremony or reception when a guest of the wedding is snapping a photo at a key moment and their camera’s red light hits the couple and ruins my shot. it always makes me feel bad for the couple, because they have paid me to get the shot and in one moment, it’s ruined by a bull’s eye red light. one photo that comes to mind is during the moment when this particular couple is feeding each other their bite of wedding cake and the bride has a red target spot right on her chest! i wouldn’t have thought of this if i weren’t doing what i do, so i know it’s not a conscious deal! it’s not like someone takes their camera to foil the photographer’s work!
this is a list i’ve been thinking about and i’ve been hesitant to share simply because i don’t want anyone to feel bad about their choices. on the other hand, it could help couples who are in the planning stages or even people who are attending weddings as a guest (#9!) so in light of this, i decided to go ahead with the list. i do have weddings on the mind, don’t i?!
have a great day and God bless!