Archive for July, 2010

This has been such an incredible week, and it keeps getting better! We found out that we were listed in Jacksonville Magazine’s BRIDE “Best Of” for 2010! This means so much to us because we know that we made the list because of the support of our brides and grooms, who are our biggest cheerleaders and continually refer their friends to us! There’s a reason why our couples stay in touch with us after the wedding, and that’s because we genuinely care about our them! You can also read what some of our brides and grooms have to say about us on WeddingWire. I encourage you to check the reviews of other wedding vendors you are considering on WeddingWire because it’s a great resource!

We’ve had the privilege of working with several of the other wedding vendors who made the “Best Of” list, and they are excellent providers in their respective fields. There are also a lot of other incredible Jacksonville wedding vendors who didn’t make the list, so we definitely recommend meeting with several before making a decision on who is the right fit for you!

We’d like to thank everyone who voted for us! We LOVE our couples! And congratulations to the other winners on the list! If we aren’t already worked with you, we hope to have the pleasure of doing so in the future! : )

Jax Bride Fall 2010

Jax Bride Best Of 2010

We are so excited to share the wedding of Kimberly & Jamon with you! You know that we love color and vibrance, and this wedding was full of both! They held their wedding at the Embassy Suites in Jacksonville, which has a beautiful atrium full of natural light, lush tropical plants, a waterfall, and a beautiful gazebo. Their wedding colors were coral and pistachio, a very tropical color combination that was perfect for a summer wedding!

Kimberly’s hair and makeup was provided by Julia of Jahira’s Hair Salon. I knew from their engagement session that they were photogenic, but on this day Kimberly was even more beautiful! Everything about her – the hair, the makeup, the dress, and the smile on her face – just added to the glow about her! I love the image below of her holding the bouquet by the window. I must have looked at it at least 100 times this week! I also adored her bouquet by Alpha & Omega Floral Design with it’s soft pink and white flowers and playful green hanging amaranthus! Is it not gorgeous?!

Even though his bride was breathtaking, Jamon also commanded some attention wearing a white tux. For just a touch of color, he had a boutonniere of green orchids (one of my favorite flowers!). Side by side, they just looked amazing! I love the photo of them on the gazebo where he’s lifting her face to kiss her! That small gesture makes the photo!

The reception was filled with colorful details. We especially love the green candy apple favors for the guests! It was such a cute way to tie in with the color palette! The decor was created by Alpha & Omega Event Consultants and included beautiful, tall centerpieces. Behind the sweetheart table was a curtain of crystals illuminated by uplighting, and it added so much to the room!

We hope that you are inspired as much as we are by this wedding, and we especially hope that Kimberly & Jamon enjoy seeing their wedding day as we saw it! Thank you guys so much for letting us be part of it!

Wedding Wednesday is a weekly feature discussing all things wedding-related! To suggest a topic or question, contact Gwen at

Spending time with the bride in the hours leading up to the ceremony is my absolute favorite part of the wedding day! Some people love the party aspect of the reception, but I love that quiet, intimate time and all of the excitement and anticipation of the morning of the big day. The “this is it” feeling that brides have after months and months of planning and dreaming. The ritual of getting pampered and primped and looking like a princess. The shoes, the bling… and the dress! I love it all!

My favorite images of the day often come from the getting ready part, but I think brides sometimes overlook the importance of the setting for their getting ready photos. They think about the location for the ceremony, the perfect setting for the reception, and also where the group and B&G photos will be taken, but where the bride gets ready is also very important. First, it sets the tone for the bride. Getting ready is a ceremony in itself. It’s a special time spent with her closest girlfriends, mother, and other important women in her life, so it’s essential to make sure you have enough room for them all to be there:

The gorgeous image above is a shot from one of our weddings last weekend. Doesn’t it intrigue you and make you want to see the rest of the wedding photos? Every great story has to grab the audience from the beginning, and that goes for your wedding story as well!

In addition to lots of space (the more, the better), it’s important to make sure that space is tidy. If the girls all had a slumber party in the hotel suite and there are piles of clothes on the floor, they will be in the pictures! Other common distractions include open closets/doors, suitcases, and a messy bed. I’ll usually tidy up the room if it needs it, but I’d rather get straight to creating!

Usually I will position the bride in the most open space in the room and try to use a plain background behind her. However, in this image below the church had a room for the bride and it had the most charming wallpaper. I fell in love with it and positioned the bride in front of it. The result was a series of shots that were my favorite shots of the day. These were captured just moments before she walked down the aisle:

It’s also very important to have good light. I don’t mean a lamp or overhead lights, either. I bet I just made a bunch of photogs cringe at the thought of icky yellow light! That’s because it’s not flattering or pretty. The best light is natural light, so a room with large windows is perfect!

Before we head to the ceremony, I love getting a beautiful portrait of the bride. She just saw herself in the mirror after hours of getting hair and makeup done and putting on the dress and jewelry, and she KNOWS she looks amazing! She’s confident and glowing and it’s the last photos I’ll take before she marries the love of her life!

Ahhhhhh! I love it! I just love seeing these lovely ladies that I’ve been getting to know for the past year see their dream day come to life. It’s such an incredible thing to observe, and often by the time the ceremony arrives I’m just ready to cry. And often times I DO cry! Hey, if I wasn’t a sappy romantic I would probably be doing something else! Instead, I get to document the most important day in a couple’s life!

Next week, I’ll have Matt share the guy’s perspective. He and I can’t wait to see each other and share our images from the getting ready part. He gets some pretty killer guy shots, so make sure to come back next Wednesday to check it out!

We absolutely LOVE that so many of our couples discover us by word of mouth. Referrals from past clients and fellow vendors is the highest compliment that we can think of, and our calendar has always been booked despite not doing any advertising. However, we are VERY excited to announce that our first-ever magazine ad officially hits shelves today! We are so thrilled to be part of the Get Married family and we’re just drooling over the gorgeous cover of their Fall 2010 issue! What do you think?

And trust me, photos DO NOT do this cover justice! It’s just stunning! That’s one of the reasons we chose to advertise in Get Married. Their bold, colorful magazines very much fit in with our branding and style. Also, Get Married is geared toward fun, stylish, creative brides and we know that many of our brides are readers of their magazine! When I met with them at WPPI in March, they left such a great impression. When I got home from Las Vegas just a couple days later, I got a phone call from them and we signed up to advertise that day! We really love the team at Get Married and we know they are going to see continued growth and success because they are AWESOME! We are proud to be supporters of such a great publication!

Here’s a peek at our ad, which you can find on page 116!

And if you haven’t already fallen in love with Get Married, you can sign up on their website at Get Married to get a free copy! How cool is that?! You can even participate in their CONTEST for a chance to win a free one-year subscription! Be sure to add them on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest Get Married news!

Brides can’t wait for the big day to arrive, but for Karen & Vincent’s wedding WE were the ones anxiously waiting! See, we’ve been waiting for their big day since we first started talking to them back in 2008. Back then, July 17, 2010 seemed like forever away! Since then, we’ve gotten to know them better through the power of Myspace and Facebook and the night before their wedding I was so excited I almost couldn’t sleep!

Karen is probably the most organized bride I have ever met! The fact that she booked us so far in advance gives you a hint at what I’m talking about. She wanted her dream wedding, and she made sure she had enough time to plan it to perfection. They chose to hold the wedding at the beautifulClub Stewart. It was our first time shooting a wedding on an Army base, and we were blown away when we saw how beautiful the club was! Karen & Vincent had separate rooms for the ceremony, dinner, and dancing, and each room was beautifully decorated! We especially loved the tower of cupcakes and the huge candy bar! It was definitely a “sweet” event!

Karen & Vincent just returned from a week in Puerto Rico for their honeymoon, and we are excited to welcome them back and share some of their wedding photos on the blog! We love you guys and hope that you will always be as happy as you are today! : )

Wedding Wednesday is a weekly feature discussing all things wedding-related! To suggest a topic or question, contact Gwen at

When we got engaged, we knew that we wanted to have a destination wedding. Our friends and families are scattered throughout the country, so we knew that no matter where chose to have the wedding most of our guests would have to travel. And our observation at most weddings was that the bride and the groom hardly get to talk to their guests because the day is so busy! A destination wedding allowed us to combine our marriage ceremony, love of travel, desire to spend more time with our friends, and take a honeymoon all into one package!

Even though there are some great reasons to have a destination wedding, there are also some things you need to consider. We’ll touch on a little of both!

Great reasons to have a destination wedding:

1. Have a destination you’ve always wanted to visit? Why not get married there. It’s a great excuse to travel!

2. Make it a weddingmoon! You can save money by combining your nuptials and honeymoon in the same location. Also, the days leading up to a wedding can be very stressful. In a destination wedding, those days leading up to the big day will feel more like a vacation and give you a chance to decompress. And once your wedding day happens, the rest of your time will feel like an amazing vacation with your best friends and family.

3. Cut down on the guest list. Let’s face it, all couples worry about a growing guest list. You’re already stressing over who to invite and who not to. Planning a destination wedding is a good way to cut down that guest list. A majority of family and friends may not be able to travel to your destination location, but the ones that are closest to you will find a way to come!

4. More time for photos! When you take a destination wedding, it’s possible for you to plan to be at your location for a least a few days. Depending on how long you plan on having your photographer on location, you have more opportunities to take photos, including an on-location engagement session and a day-after session. Chances are, your destination location has a bunch of great spots, so why not take advantage of them. You will feel less pressured to get all your photos done on your wedding day, especially if you’re willing to do a day-after or trash-the-dress session.

Some things to carefully consider:

1. There’s a chance you might not get to see the location before you get there. It’s a bit of a risk, but as long as you do your research, things will be fine. An on-site coordinator is almost a must-have in terms of making sure things are setup as you want and arrange for vendors.

2. Travel plans can be stressful. If you have family and friends flying in from all over the country to one location, there can always be some travel-related issues. Airport delays, weather issues. When planning your destination wedding, make sure you have some built-in buffers to allow for any unexpected travel issues.

3. Different countries have different marriage laws. The Bahamas requires a couple to be in the country for 24 hours before they can apply for a marriage license and the ceremony must be performed before sunset in order to be valid. Other countries require blood tests and other examinations. Make sure you know the requirements in the destination you are interested in.

4. If you have a destination wedding, bringing favors, programs, and other typical wedding items, transporting them to your destination location can be tricky. Also, if you have a bouquet and cake in a foreign wedding location, you will not be able to bring them back to the US. Some brides don’t worry about saving their bouquets or having lots of favors, but if it’s a sticking point for you, make sure you consider it when thinking about having a destination wedding.

What are the chances that two people, from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, would navigate their ways through the myriad pathways of life, and not only meet, but find that they’re soulmates? If you think about it, the odds seem near impossible. But life has a funny way of taking that 1% chance and turning it into a 100% match!

This is how Rachel and John’s story began. Her, a sweet southern girl. Him, a shy guy from England. And yet they found themselves in the same place, on the same night, not even realizing that this first conversation would lead to them becoming inseparable!

When we first met Rachel and John, we were very excited to hear about all their plans for the wedding. Rachel is dreaming of the ultimate southern wedding in beautiful, historic St Augustine and she already has a ton of details planned for the big day! It’s a shame we have to wait until next year to share all their “juicy” details! ; )

Given John’s career in the aviation industry, we began their St. Augustine engagement photos at the old airplane graveyard near Northrup Grumman. We then moved to the streets of downtown St. Augustine and found so many great spots to shoot! We ended the morning at the St. Augustine beach pier, which has been rebuilt in recent years to include a very cool stone wall. We braved the high tide and headed under the pier for some shots in the shade. As the waves occasionally caught us by surprise, we found ourselves laughing and just having fun. It was the perfect way to end their shoot!

Rachel and John, we had a lot of fun and can’t wait to see you again on your wedding day (or sooner)! : )

Shauntae & Brad are a sweet couple, but since they live in south Florida we only had the chance to meet them once before the wedding day. Seeing them again on their wedding day, it was like we had just seen them last week! They are so warm and friendly that anyone who meets them instantly feels at ease!

We met up with the bride and the groom in their hotel suites at the Courtyard Jacksonville Orange Park for some getting ready shots. In the bridal suite, Shauntae was getting pampered and beautified by makeup artist Paulina Perez.

They held their wedding at the Jacksonville Firefighter Hall, tucked away in historic Riverside. The hall decor and florals were designed by Alpha and Omega Event Consultants. Their delicious cake was created by 3 Sisters Chocolate (they’re cakes are always amazing!). Shauntae & Brad and all their guests were entertained throughout the evening by the sounds of Taylor Made Productions.

We would like to welcome Shauntae & Brad back from their honeymoon in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee! We hope you had wonderful time and love the preview we’ve posted! Many more photos to come soon!

Hello from Washington, DC! Matt and I are visiting our nation’s capital to celebrate the 4th of July! We’ve had so much fun this week and are beyond excited for tonight’s fireworks display! Matt had a conference at the beginning of the week (where he won an award for engineering!) so we didn’t do much sightseeing until Wednesday. Since then, we’ve done everything that was on our list of things to do and then some!

We took an afternoon walk around the mall and watched the sun set beyond the Washington Monument. Then we walked by the White House on our way back to the hotel. Our big day was Friday, when we did a tour of the Capitol. We got there early, so we spent some time at the Library of Congress before our tour. Our favorite part was Jefferson’s Library. The LOC is definitely an underrated site. There weren’t a lot of crowds so you could spend as much time as you wanted reading the historic documents on display.

We got very lucky when we went to the Capitol because we were able to get on a tour an hour earlier than our scheduled time! After the tour, we grabbed a quick lunch in the Capitol and then headed over to the Supreme Court for another tour. Then we walked down to the National Archives, which had a long line but it moved along pretty fast. You can’t come to DC for the 4th and NOT go see the actual Declaration of Independence! But my favorite part of the day was visiting the Museum of American History. I really loved the First Ladies exhibit and looking at all the gowns from the Inaugural Ball. Michelle Obama’s dress was by far the most elegant of them all!

Saturday we only had one stop – Arlington Cemetery. We spent most of the day there, visiting all the must-see sites like the Eternal Flame at the burial site of the Kennedys, the Tomb of the Unknowns, and Arlington House, but we also visited the Pan Am 103 memorial as well as the memorials for the Challenger and Columbia to pay our respects. We are so glad that we walked because we spent time reading the headstones along the way. It was such a humbling experience, and we’re glad that we didn’t do anything else because Arlington is a place that requires a lot of time.

And now it’s time for the grand finale! I’m even more excited because I found out this week that my favorite singer, Jane Monheit, is singing with the Navy band in a concert at the Washington Monument!!! Too awesome! We wanted to wish all of our friends and family a very happy and safe 4th of July! We hope you are able to spend time with those you love and enjoy the freedoms that so many sacrificed to protect! : )