Snow Day!

The Southeast is being pummeled with a snow/ice storm currently, but we’re making the best of it. We’ve had the biggest, fluffiest snowflakes falling around us for two days now (with some ice over night).

Day 1
Day 1

What better to do than snap some photos of this one in a lifetime (or at least once in the past 6 years) event?

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snowday3Growing up in Virginia (about 15 minutes from Virginia Tech) and both having attended school in the area, we remember snow days very well. But snow days aren’t just for kids! Go have fun with your other half (or your pooches!).

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Make snow angels, go sledding if you’ve got a good hill, take your dog outside, make snow cream (the adult version, if you please) and hot chocolate… take advantage of the snow and extra time together.

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I’m sure you can find some ideas on this board to keep you entertained while snowed in and to avoid cabin fever. What are your favorite snow day ideas?

Married in a Magazine!

In January, Carolina Bride magazine released their January/March issue and included our wedding. For those who don’t live in the Charlotte area, you can read the article online and check out the photos. We didn’t hire a wedding photographer with the plan of getting our photos in a magazine – but some do.

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Most wedding magazines are looking for the details: the creative/personal touches you put on your day. Interesting cakes or dessert bars, cute sayings or quotes, chalkboards, floral designs, inclusion of family heirlooms or trinkets, all of those make for great photos and are clearly personalized. Also, while corrected photos can be absolutely gorgeous, most magazines want photos with natural light and very little correcting.

JPRBv.St.138Some magazines will tell you exactly what they like to include. If you’re set on having your wedding featured in a magazine, be sure to check out their requirements before you sit down with your photographer for the first time. Setting an expectation up front for what you want to happen, can make the process much easier. As I mentioned in this article, sharing photos with your photographer of what you want to be captured can help them understand your style and plan for specific poses.

8ptWa.St.138Be sure to understand the magazine before setting your heart on submitting photos. Some magazines only accept photos from vendors who advertise with them, such as Carolina Bride Magazine based in Charlotte, NC. Also, they only accept photos from weddings in Charlotte or from Charlotte based couples. Southern Weddings magazine based in Chapel Hill, NC, features only Southern weddings (duh!). Making sure you have the right amount of southern will be a key to being featured in their online blog or in print. The Knot and Martha Stewart Weddings are other magazines that you could shoot for, but understand that they get a lot of submissions!

15om1u.St.138Make sure who it is that needs to submit the photos and ensure all forms are properly completed. Each magazine accepts a different number of photos, and some just want a “preview” of your wedding to see if they will consider it.

nzr2U.St.138Understanding what the magazine’s current views are will also help. If you’re submitting a DIY wedding to an upscale wedding magazine, your chances of getting accepted may be slim. The same goes if you only submit posed and corrected photos to a magazine that’s requesting candid shots, creative shots or natural shots.

OfULY.St.138Make sure to include photos from throughout the day, as well. You want some from the moment you start getting ready…

1kQlwg.St.138To the second you’re getting ready to walk out the door to head to the ceremony… 89hCj.St.138

To photos with the wedding party… 1b1lA1.St.138

Both posed and having fun… (and with matching umbrellas in case in rains)mFOZW.St.138While posed photos can be perfected with multiple shots, sometimes the candid ones are the best:

1nPika.St.138Make sure photos are taken of all the DIY items you put time and energy into:

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And those special “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” items:

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It goes without saying that you want your first dance captured from start to finish (consider how you want this to look – people in a circle around you? Semi-circle? Only you two? Do you want guests pictured at all?):

WtR8Z-1.St.138More importantly than getting magazine perfect photos, you want to make sure that the photos represent you and your husband (or wife). They should capture your day, your personalities, and be keepsakes that you want to hang in your home for the rest of your life. Getting the right mix of posed and candid shots is key, and adding in some of those fun shots with your wedding party will make you smile for years to come. DSC_6686As I’ve mentioned before (and you can see from the photos), it rained on our wedding day. We were able to get most photos done before the ceremony and then ones with everyone together afterwards in between showers. Every time we tried to go outside after the ceremony, it seemed to rain harder, so I do believe we missed out on a few shots that we would have gotten otherwise.

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Our photographer (all photos by Pixel Photo and Design) has offered to come back and capture some more shots for us – which we are debating. A) Not sure we want to get all dressed up again (rent suit, clean dress again, hair/make up) which could be upwards of $500 and B) we wouldn’t have our guests or wedding party there to participate (unless we have a 2nd wedding!). So we’ll see about a second round of wedding photos, but that’s why it’s even more important to make sure on the day of that you have all the ones that you want – and have a rain plan in your back pocket so you aren’t figuring out poses and new spots the day before the wedding.

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I did not capture all the magazines that will feature real weddings, so be sure to search for wedding magazines in your local area or region and don’t be afraid to aim high. While styled shoots can be inspirational, brides love to see real weddings, especially in their venue so they can get ideas. Share your best photos and best ideas (and go with a photographer you’ve seen featured in the magazine  if you want to up your chances) and make sure to scoop up extra magazines for your parents if you do get published!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks one month of being married. We’ve each been asked a dozen times if it feels different- it doesn’t. But it’s still amazing. In honor of our first milestone, I’m re-capping our wedding and sharing some of our wedding photos (the ones that our photog is not submitting to magazines).

Pixel Photography
Pixel Photography

The rain started bright and early and caused me to move my wedding day run indoors. No problem, I knocked out a hotel-gym workout before my bridal brunch. My mom hosted the brunch for all the lovely ladies on both sides of our families.

After the brunch, mom and I headed off for hair at Modern Salon in Philips Place. I had done a trial back in March, so it was a pretty quick effort when I got there – just lots of extra hair spray to defend against the rain.
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Then I had to rush back to the hotel for my make-up to be done and to get ready with the gals. At 2:45 we headed off to the Dairy Barn for pre-wedding photos. From here… I feel like the day flew by. We were inside and out taking photos, then the guys arrived and we were hanging out in separate areas. My groom later informed me he got to speak to guests as they arrived and enjoyed seeing everyone.  Although it rained, we didn’t skip a beat. My mom (love her!) rushed out to buy green and navy umbrellas to match our color scheme so that our wedding party could stay dry and I could still get at least a few outdoor photos.

Pixel Photography
Pixel Photography

I’m thankful everyone was a good sport when it came to the weather. I had my bridesmaids walking up hills, through grass and gravel, to get some of the shots I had planned pre-rain. We all pretty much had to re-do our hair before the ceremony but to me, it was worth it.

Pixel Photography
Pixel Photography

My sweet brother walked me down the aisle to “What a Wonderful World” played by my husband’s aunt and uncle on a banjo. Our mother’s came down to “You are my sunshine.” We chose to go with part traditional vows and part of our own. And just like that we were kissing and walking back down the aisle to “How Sweet it is” as husband and wife.

photo-8We had a photo booth which our guests thoroughly enjoyed – as did we. After immediate post-ceremony pictures, we scooped up plates of southern goodness and tried to eat as quickly as possible. While the real food was incredible, I cannot stop thinking about our cake. It was vanilla coconut with pineapple filling and coconut buttercream icing. Yeah – YUM.
DSC_6912bwOur first dance was to “You & Me” by Dave Matthews Band and we cut our cake to “Oh” by Dave Matthews. We’re big DMB fans, if you can’t tell. Our last dance of the evening was to Ryan Adams “I love you and I don’t know what to say.”

Pixel Photography
Pixel Photography

We haven’t stopped talking about how perfect our day was and how wonderful it was to be surrounded with everyone that we love so much. I’m glad three of my sweet friends are planning 2014 weddings so I can help with wedding related tasks and get my fix now that my own planning is over. At times it seemed like the big day would never arrive, and now it seems like it flew by and a whole month has somehow come and gone. We are enjoying every moment of our happily ever after!

Forever films

We have vacillated for most of our wedding planning experience on whether or not we would hire a videographer. The cheapest quote I was given was $1700 – but most were closer to the $2500 range for a base package. I get it, they put a lot of time into following you around on the big day, and also into editing and making sure everything is perfect before giving you those final discs. But once you’ve paid for venues, catering, flowers, coordinators, photography, and all the million other things weddings require… that extra money seems scary to spend. I talked about this a few weeks ago in this post for Carolina Bride.

My groom does not feel passionate about having a videographer or not having one. I am not sure I feel passionate about it, but I think I might regret it if I don’t. It’s not something we can go back and do, after the fact. I was discussing with one of my bridesmaids yesterday and we talked about how frequently it would be watched… probably only on anniversaries and maybe if our (one day) kids wanted to see it. She made a good point though that it’s “live” and you might not always have the opportunity to interact with folks that are at your wedding, and of course, it’s something you can keep forever.

Family members have also offered opinions, similar to my bridesmaid’s opinion yesterday. Again, I’ve also had people say that they don’t regret it. I’ve had people say that the ceremony was a disaster because the priest kept calling them by the wrong name. I’ve had people say that they love their video and it’s so special. And like Michelle said yesterday, heaven forbid something happen to one of us, but we could play the video to each other like Channing Tatum did in The Vow. (Or we could just watch Channing Tatum in The Vow).

So, I spent Monday negotiating with a videographer for the parts that we really care about being caught on camera and was able to get to a price point that I was happy with and my groom, knowing that I want it, said, “do it.” Love him.

1 month to go – and we are EXCITED!
1 month
Do you have an opinion on hiring a videographer? Please leave a comment & share!

Catching up + The Tack’s Love Story!

So let’s catch up… this weekend we:

  1. Ordered our adorable bowties (yes, he chose bowties! eeek!)
  2. Finished sending out save-the-dates (and got lots of reports of those that have already been received)
  3. Narrowed down our honeymoon options (to specific places, but not one region!)
  4. Figured out what song I am going to walk down the aisle to (I teared up when we were talking about it!)

So things are moving along slowly but surely, still procrastinating on finding a florist, and getting my dress altered. Both of which need to happen ASAP since I had a terrible nightmare about it this weekend. Alas, it was just a dream… and our wedding is not ruined.

A while back, I asked a few friends to share their personal stories of finding happiness, their weddings and their happily-ever-after moments from their big day – so that I could share them on the blog. Today, I’d like to share one of those, Allison & Alex who got married in 2011. Allison is the younger sister of one of my bridesmaids, and also a good running buddy! I love hearing about other’s proposals, and special wedding moments, plus, what a great way to share ideas!

Allison and Alex were both students at Queens University and had the same Chemistry class. They were introduced through mutual friends where we ended up hanging out in the same group and their relationship developed from there.

(Photo Credit: Blue Sky Studios)
(Photo Credit: Blue Sky Studios)

Allison describes the proposal:
We were going to Asheville for our four year dating anniversary. He had scheduled a hot air balloon ride for that Saturday morning; however, it was cancelled the day before due to the weather. So he had to scramble for a new idea. We were staying at the Grove Park Inn and that first day after a day at the spa, we were getting ready to grab a bite to eat. We had never been there, so we walked out onto a terrace to get a glimpse of the views. Just as we were taking it all in, he mentioned he had something to ask me… I said, Yes!, while crying joyful tears, and the rest is history (as the saying goes) 🙂

(Photo Credit: Blue Sky Studios)
 

The Tack’s were married:
April 16th, 2011 @ Providence Country Club in Charlotte at 5:30pm.

If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same time of year and venue?
Yes and Yes. Even though that time of year is known for rain (we had an outdoor wedding), the spring flowers and weather down here was worth it.

What was the best thing about your venue?
They took care of everything. We went over stuff once, about how I wanted it to look, and they executed it perfectly. It gave me and the bridal party more time to relax and not have to stress about preparing anything.

What did you splurge on for your wedding that you just “had to have?”
I’d say the food and drinks/venue. It was overall a little more than we intended, but it’s what we wanted. We enjoy a nice dinner/evening out and that’s what we wanted to share with everyone else.

What vendor was the best to work with, and why?
Our DJ, Bill from Z Brothers. He runs the show, and he was so laid back and carefree that it helped us relax and trust that everything would go smoothly.

In 3 words or less, what was running through your head on your wedding day? This is Perfect.

(photo by Blue Sky Studios)
(photo by Blue Sky Studios)

What was the best part of your wedding day?
Walking down the huge flight of stairs while everyone looked at me, but I just stared at Alex (who couldn’t stop crying 🙂

How did you deal with stressors on/glitches in your big day?
I just made do and let them go. At that point, there wasn’t much I could do, and no one was going to know the difference either way. For instance, I had ordered 12 centerpieces from our florist, when we ended up have 14 tables. I completely forgot, but we worked it out by using the Bridesmaids bouquets for the other two.

The Dress:
It was satin, one shoulder, trumpet fit, diamond white, with lots of ruching by Sottero and Midgley.  It just felt right and made me comfortable, and feel like a bride. I had a hard time finding what I wanted, and as soon as I tried it on (I was actually by myself when I did), I just knew.

Did you do a first look?
No, and still don’t think I would’ve. His reaction was priceless at the alter.

Favorite part of the ceremony?
Seeing Alex get as emotional as he did. He could barely get the words out. It made me and my heart smile the whole time.
(Photo Credit: Blue Sky Studios)
Favorite part of the reception?
Our first dance. Alex and I took dance lessons and he was on top of it. When we started, I completely forgot the moves – he had to move me around the whole time and I’m pretty sure our routine was totally wrong, but it was so much fun!

Did you incorporate any personal details into your big day? If so, what and why? A couple – 1. our tables were labeled according to places that Alex and I had traveled together. I think if you travel well with someone, it says a lot about your relationship (because it’s not always easy) and we always have the best times together when we do. 2. we had dessert tables, and each of our grandma’s made their signature or our favorite treats to be displayed and everyone have as a favor. It was beyond meaningful to us for them to take the time and make at least 100 pieces of goodies for our guests.

Libations Situation:
Open bar, because we enjoy drinking with family and friends.

What was your first dance song?
“Everything” by Michael Buble

(Photo by Blue Sky Studios)
(Photo by Blue Sky Studios)

Do you recommend having a videographer at the wedding?
I’m not sure. I think it would be nice if you can afford it or have extra money for one, but I don’t think it’s necessary if you have a great photographer. We didn’t have one.

Do you recommend having a planner/coordinator to future brides?
If you can afford it, Yes! I didn’t have one, other than the one that came with our venue (which was extremely helpful). If you can’t afford it, everything can be done just fine – you have to be prepared with what you’re in for though. I didn’t have one and I didn’t realize how much there was to it. There were so many more little details that came up that I expected. I even forgot some things – i.e. Our marriage license until the day before bc my Dad asked me if I had it! Having a wedding planner would help to reassure that everything is done and ready to go with less stress, but at the same time, then it’s all you’re doing and you do fill a great sense of accomplishment afterwards.

Did you have children at your wedding? Why or why not?
No we didn’t, except for our Flower Girl. We did not think that it was a place for children to be there. Our wedding was far from both our families anyways, so we knew it would be harder for travel. But other than that, we wanted to share the evening with the adults in our family/friends.

Thanks for letting me share your gorgeous love story, Allison!

(Vendors: Venue// Providence Country Club, Photography //Blue Sky Studios, DJ // Z Brothers)

Gee, I really love you…

I didn’t do a Thanksgiving post because I was passed out after eating a plate full of southern deliciousness (turkey, sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes, green been casserole, stuffing… and of course, pumpkin and chocolate chess pie).

But, while we were celebrating Thanksgiving with my fiance’s sweet, sweet family (that I am SO lucky to be able to call MY family now), we had a little engagement shoot at Fearrington Village.



Fearrington Barn



And our shoot wouldn’t have been complete without a few “fun” photos…

YAY! We’re getting married!

 

“Make sure you marry someone who laughs at the same things you do.” – J.D. Sallinger

Hope y’all had a nice Thanksgiving. I’m very thankful for both of my families, my supportive and oh-so-sweet fiance, my best friends – who are also my bridesmaids, my sweet pups that can brighten any day, and being so blessed in life. I’m one lucky gal!

 

Engagement Photos!

Immediately (seriously, THE NEXT DAY) following the engagement, I began emailing photographers for prices on an engagement session. Many of them told me they included engagement sessions with their wedding package – which is awesome – but I kind of wanted to try them out first… you know? Before I splurged on wedding photos, I’d like to see what you can do for us. Portfolios online were great but it was really important for me to see what OUR pictures were going to look like.

Gabrielle Lover Photography

I found several photographers who offered to do 30-minute mini-sessions with us for a reasonable price and I settled on Gabrielle Lover. I liked the photos she had featured online and I figured $60 was a good deal for a few good shots of me and my husband-to-be. We met at “The Green” in uptown Charlotte for our mini-session – and she even let us include our fur babies in the pictures!

Gabrielle Lover Photography
Gabrielle Lover Photography

Although it was a short session, we did get several photos out of it that we really loved. And since it was such a small investment, we are able to consider doing more in the spring or when we book our photographer for our wedding. We had a blast taking the pictures – although the pups didn’t cooperate quite like I wanted them to (BIG thanks to our friends Seth & Scott for holding them while we finished our session) we still got one (semi) good shot of us with them.

Gabrielle Lover Photography

I highly recommend reaching out to several photographers to see their prices, availability and of course, their style before making a decision. The mini-session was a great way to go because you could easily have several mini-sessions for the same price of a normal engagement session and get lots of pictures while trying out lots of photographers as well. $60 in my book was a great price for the shots that we got… now we are on the hunt for our wedding photographer! We’re getting married, y’all!

Gabrielle Lover Photography