Jennifer Sedler {Fun Concept Shoot}

I loved having Jennifer Sedler in front of my camera!  She is a true natural beauty, as you can see from the first black and white pictures, which we took before she had makeup done!  I love her freckles!  Jennifer is former Miss Arizona and was third runner up in the Miss America 2011 pageant.  She is the epitome of beauty and brains and is starting med school this month!  I loved chatting with her and getting to know her.  She is the sweetest & didn’t blink an eye when I asked if she’d be up for floating in the Salt River in her pageant dress!

5 Things I Would Re-do If I Got Married Again: One Venue

Welcome to this 5 week blog series on the things I would re-do if I got married again.  It’s been 9 years since I got married and when I look back at my wedding day, there’s not much I would change.  Everything went as planned and it was a super fun and smooth day.  Although, now that I’m on the other end of the camera, there are a few things I would do different that would enhance our images.

If you missed previous posts in the series, check them out here:
5 Things I Would Re-do if I Got Married Again- First Look
5 Things I would Re-do if I Got Married Again- Engagement Session
5 Things I would Re-do if I Got Married Again- Makeup Artist
5 Things I would Re-do if I got Married Again- Personalization

 

Choose One Venue
When I got married we had our ceremony at a church and then the reception at a hotel. If I could do it all over again I would pick a venue that I could have both my ceremony and reception.  Here’s three reasons why:

1. It would help the day flow more smooth by having less travel time, which means more time for photos.

2. There would be a getting ready room for both the bride and groom.

3. There’d be an area to have the ceremony outside.

1. It would help the day flow more smooth by having less travel time, which means more time for photos.
Here’s what happened on my wedding day: I had a hotel room to get ready at the same location where we were having our reception. That’s where me and my bridesmaids did our hair and make up and got dressed. My husband had a room at the church for him and his groomsmen to get ready, which was 15 minutes away.  We had chosen not to do a first look so when I was ready, my photographers took pictures of me and my bridesmaids and me with my immediate family at the hotel. We then drove over to the church to get ready for the ceremony.  When my husband was ready he and his groomsmen drove to the hotel to have their pictures taken. Once they were done they drove back to the church for the ceremony. Then once the ceremony was over and we were married we took a few photos at the church and then we drove back to the hotel for more photos and for the reception. As you can tell it was a lot of driving around and a lot of coordinating vehicles especially when we had our bridal party of 10 to shuttle around back-and-forth. Everyone split up, using their own cars to get back and forth, since having a limo for that long of a time period wasn’t plausible for us. Going to and from wasted a lot of time that could have been used for more photos, since every time we got in the car, that was time the photographers didn’t have with us to photograph. Looking back, the ideal situation would have been to choose a venue where we all could get ready and then go straight to the ceremony and reception with out needing to travel.

That brings me to number 2: There would be a getting ready room for both the bride and groom.
Typically when you choose a venue where you can have your ceremony and reception, they also have separate rooms for the bride and groom to get ready. The bride would have her own room and the groom would have his own room. Even more ideal, their rooms would be close proximity to each other and that would allow the photographers to go between both rooms so that getting ready images could be captured for both the bride and groom.  Not only does this make it easier for the bride and groom because they don’t need to be traveling back-and-forth, it makes telling the story of the wedding day more cohesive from the photographers and album layout perspective.  On my wedding day, since my husband was at the church getting ready and I was at the hotel, we didn’t get images of him getting ready. And since I’m all about telling a story especially when it comes to images for the album I would’ve loved to have more pictures of him getting ready and even better, I would have loved to have more images of him getting ready in a great visually appealing room! My husband got ready in a room that was small, didn’t have a lot of natural light, and was decorated like a luau party. Not exactly my favorite background for wedding photos.

I loved where Joanna and Josh got married- The Windmill Winery.  They had separate rooms for the bride and groom to get ready.

3. There’d be an area to have the Ceremony outside.
We got married in a church. If I could do it again I’d get married outside (If I had to choose today I would would choose a rooftop overlooking the city or the beach in Aruba). When it comes to photography my personal preference is beautiful natural light as opposed to flash.  When shooting in a church, photographers will need to use flash or use the available light, which most of the time is nonexistent. None of those are my favorite lighting situations for weddings, so doing it outside in open shade is a lot more ideal and will visually improve the quality of images.  I do want to stress…open shade.  Sometimes ceremonies are outside with harsh sunlight or spotty light coming through a tree, etc.  Most of the time that type of light is not appealing.  So when looking for a venue, look for a place where the ceremony will be in beautiful open shade.  Your guests will appreciate not having to sit directly in the sun as well:)

Dallas & Emily got married outside in the open shade at Stonebridge Manor.  I love that they had a circle ceremony, where their guests sat encircled around them.

5 Things I would Redo if I Got Married Again: Personalization

Welcome to this 5 week blog series on the things I would re-do if I got married again.  It’s been 9 years since I got married and when I look back at my wedding day, there’s not much I would change.  Everything went as planned and it was a super fun and smooth day.  Although, now that I’m on the other end of the camera, there are a few things I would do different that would enhance our images.

If you missed previous posts in the series, check them out here:
5 Things I Would Re-do if I Got Married Again- First Look
5 Things I would Re-do if I Got Married Again- Engagement Session
5 Things I would Re-do if I Got Married Again- Makeup Artist


Add Personal Touches

When I got married nine years ago Pinterest wasn’t around yet. So I didn’t have tons of ideas on how to personalize my wedding like all these creative and unique ideas I see at weddings lately. If I could get married again I would add more personal touches to my wedding day. Even if it’s just the little things.

Invitation. One thing I would do is create invitation that would show all our guests what they can expect for the wedding. The invitation is the first little taste they will be getting of the color theme that you chose for your day. There are graphic designer’s out there that will create your invitations to match your vision. I would personally go a step further and create some fun save the dates using engagement pictures. These are so fun and I guarantee they will put a smile on your guests faces when they open them!

Guest Book. Another thing I would do is have a custom guestbook. At my wedding we had a book that had papers with lines. Guests just signed their names and that was it. I would have loved to have an album that not only showcased our engagement pictures but also left room for guests to leave a little note for us. Our guestbook ended up in a drawer somewhere after the wedding. If I had one of these I would definitely display it in my home.  Check out the end of this blog post to see a custom guest book.
I loved this guest book the bride made herself!  She took an old book, painted over the typed words, and then hand wrote out their love story through out the pages.  She added pictures of her and her fiancé and also pictures of her bridal party and that was their designated page to sign!  Such a fun and unique idea!

Ceremony programs. I love going to weddings and seeing ceremony programs that let me know the order of events and bridal party names (I love it when things are organized!).  You can keep these as simple and clean as you like or you can get creative. I have a feeling Pinterest will have tons of ideas…

Thank you notes. When I sent out thank you notes, they were all handwritten on a blank card. I love the idea of a handwritten, personalized note sent to each guest that attended my wedding, but I would’ve loved to personalize it even more by adding wedding pictures. Majority of your guests are probably anxious to see pictures from your wedding day so sending them a card that is designed with your favorite images is perfect! This can even be designed with blank space to allow you to write your personalized message. Side note: when I sent my thank you notes, one of my mom’s cousins commented that she loved that her thank you note was written just for her and it wasn’t a general thank you that went out to everyone. So take it from my experience, that your guests will feel special opening a note from you that has your wedding day images and a personalized note.

Signature drink/cocktail.  I saw these at a wedding and it’s something I would have personally never though of doing!  But I love it.  You can create your own drink for all your guests to enjoy!

As I read through this post I realize that just about everything I would incorporate has to do graphic design! Before I was a photographer I was a graphic designer so that’s probably why I think those things would add fun personalized touches to a wedding. But I know there are some creative people and wedding planners out there that will have even more ideas on how to personalize your wedding day and incorporate your personalities!

Josh & Elena {Soho 63 Styled Shoot}

 

I had so much fun putting this styled shoot together!  It was everything I wanted it to be.  I was going for something modern and fashion forward.  I looked everywhere for a venue with clean white walls to help give that editorial look I was going for.  I was so excited when I found Soho 63 in downtown Chandler!  It’s such a fun and gorgeous venue that had everything I was looking for.  And the staff is amazing to work with!

For hair I wanted to stay away from “traditional” but still have a beautiful bridal look.  So I decided to do a fun faux hawk.  I absolutely loved how it turned out.  Charly from Babydoll Weddings, styled the hair and she is an up-do genius!  Amanda, also from Babydoll Weddings, did the amazing makeup!  I told her I was wanting a more smokey eye, but still classic and she delivered!  The makeup turned out so beautifully!

I was able to go to Suzanne’s Bridal Boutique and pick out the perfect gown!  I was wanting something a little more form fitting but still had some “va va voom” and this Kitty Chen gown was the perfect one!

For florals, I wanted something bright and colorful with unique and different flowers.  I told Hoot & Holler what I was going for and she created this amazing bouquet and boutonniere.  I love the pop of color against the white venue.

I have to give a big shout out to all the vendors I listed above!  I could not have done it without them!  They are some of the best in the business!  And of course, my fantastic models, who nailed this shoot and were so amazing to photograph.  They were absolutely perfect and I loved having them in front of my camera!

5 Things I Would Re-do if I Got Married Again: Makeup Artist

Welcome to this 5 week blog series on the things I would re-do if I got married again.  It’s been 9 years since I got married and when I look back at my wedding day, there’s not much I would change.  Everything went as planned and it was a super fun and smooth day.  Although, now that I’m on the other end of the camera, there are a few things I would do different that would enhance our images.

If you missed previous posts in the series, check them out here:
5 Things I Would Re-do if I Got Married Again- First Look
5 Things I would Re-do if I Got Married Again- Engagement Session

 

Hire a Professional Makeup Artist
These past few years I have come to realize just how valuable professional makeup artists are! I’ve had the privledge of working with some amazing ones! If I could plan my wedding again I would hire professional makeup artist. On my wedding day I did my own make up. I don’t even remember why I decided to do it on my own but I did. I remember practicing every day for weeks before my wedding to make sure I could do it how I wanted. But now that I have worked with some amazing make up artist’s, I’ve learned their skills and talents are so valuable! Here’s why I would hire a professional:

1. They know how to accentuate facial features.

2. The make up will last all day.

3. The bride will be feel pampered.

1. They know how to accentuate facial features.
Let me dive into some more details. Makeup artists know how to accentuate features and not only that, they know the right amount of make up to apply that will look amazing in natural light (where majority of wedding pictures will be taking place). Make up artists know how to contour and how to define cheekbones. They know how to accentuate your eyes and make them shine even brighter. They know how to apply eyeshadow for your particular eye shape. There’s so many things they know how to do that will enhance your natural beauty and not cover it up, from the brushes they use to the products they choose.  Not only do they know the technique, but they know the perfect amount to put on as well.  Have you ever done your make up, thinking it was on point, took a picture of yourself and when you looked at it looked like you didn’t have any makeup on, when clearly you did?!  Happens to me all the time.  Makeup artists know the perfect amount that will be beautiful and will still look like you and also look amazing in photos.

2. The make up will last all day.
Another thing that I noticed when I photograph someone who had their makeup professionally done as opposed to someone who did it themselves, is their make up lasted longer. I noticed their mascara wasn’t running, their foundation looked fresh, their lips were still colored.  I contribute that to two things- a makeup artist who knows what they’re doing and one who uses high-end quality makeup. Oh and don’t forget the lashes! All makeup artists that I have worked with always apply false lashes.  Jessica even trims them to fit each particular eye shape.  Lashes are like the cherry on top of an ice cream sunday, something little but it makes a huge impact in making the bride’s eyes pop in photos.

3. The bride will be feel pampered.
The last reason to hire professional makeup artist, in my opinion, is so you can be pampered on your wedding day. It’s your (and your fiancé’s) day and it’s okay to take a little time on your wedding day to sit down and be pampered with hair and makeup! Remember when I got married and I was practicing for weeks leading up to my wedding day?  What a relief it would have been to let go of that responsibility and give it a professional who knows what they’re doing! Then when wedding day finally comes all you have to do is show up and let the pros take care of the rest!

I have worked with some amazing makeup artists who also do hair check them out:
Babydoll Weddings
Jessica Fierro

 

 

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