Planning Tip Tuesday: Getting Ready

Some of your favorite memories from the wedding day will be the morning getting ready with your besties and those precious moments leading up to the ceremony. We are sharing our top 5 tips to make sure you are photo ready! 

1. Plan Your Outfit - Gift your bridal party with matching robes or something special to get ready in, coordinating with your bridal party always makes the cutest pictures! 

Photo by Monika Gauthier

Photo by Monika Gauthier

2. Make a playlist- create a playlist that you will enjoy listening to and maybe even break out into a dance party! 

Photo by Hyer Images 

Photo by Hyer Images 

3. Bubbles and snacks- Be sure to pre-arrange for a nice bottle of bubbly and small bites for getting ready, you don't want a 'hangry' bridal party. It is a long day and nerves are high, so be sure to eat and stay hydrated! 

Photo by Hyer Images

Photo by Hyer Images

4. Don't Plan Any Morning Activities- Just relax that morning and enjoy spending time with your girls during hair and makeup. You will appreciate the calm moments before mingling and greeting all your guests. Just take it all in without having anything else planned, you will appreciate not having any other commitments that day. 

Photo by Monika Gauthier 

Photo by Monika Gauthier 

5. Choose the perfect location- Pick a spacious location with lots of natural light for beautiful photos! Keep your items organized and tidy so the room is clean. A clean room will give a better backdrop for your getting ready shots and give more room to move around.

Photo by Cana Dunlap  

Photo by Cana Dunlap  

Planning Tip Tuesday: Speeches

Speeches are a key part of the wedding day, so we have asked Drew with Dockhouse Digital to compile a list of tips to inspire you to write the best speech! We couldn't agree more with his advice!  

 1. Narrative:  Make it Meaningful
When writing your wedding speech keep in mind the words you will deliver will not only be heard by a large crowd of people, but will be remembered by the bride and groom for years to come. Make it meaningful. Avoid reminiscing about your boozy college days or all of the groom’s ex-girlfriends that you didn’t like. Give them solid advice for a successful marriage. Incorporate a meaningful quote or song lyric and build off of that; take us through the journey of why you’re all here today.

Photo by Aaron and Jillian Photography 

Photo by Aaron and Jillian Photography 

2. Length:  Content over Complexity
Keep it under five minutes. Why? Simply put, it’s difficult to engage an entire room of people with a twenty-minute speech. Not only that, speeches that ramble on…and on….and on…..(we’ve all sat through these before!) can drastically put the other wedding events behind schedule. Off the cuff is out the door.

Photo by Aaron and Jillian Photography 

Photo by Aaron and Jillian Photography 

 3. Rehearsal Dinner vs. Wedding Reception
As a videographer, storytelling plays a huge role in the art of cinematography. To do our job successfully, we must have meaningful, usable audio to incorporate into our clients’ wedding films. Where do we find this? Speeches. Some clients will have all of their speeches delivered at their rehearsal dinner to save on time during the wedding reception. If we aren’t booked for your rehearsal dinner, we lose out on having that audio to use in your wedding films, which can really lower the overall production value. Work with your wedding planner to integrate a short 10-15 minutes into your timeline to allow for a couple of speeches at your reception. The #1 request we receive is to incorporate speeches into videos. You’ll thank me later!

Photo by Lydia Ruth Photography 

Photo by Lydia Ruth Photography 

4. Organize & Personalize
 By no means do you need to memorize your speech, but be sure to have it written and organized so you’re able to recite the speech effortlessly. We all love speeches that tug at the heartstrings, so don’t be afraid to make it heartwarming or personal. This is an emotional day after all! On the flipside, you can make it light hearted and comical (just please avoid Google’ing wedding jokes…we’ve all heard them before).

Photo by Dana Cubbage Weddings

Photo by Dana Cubbage Weddings

5. Pump the Brakes on the Booze
Stop telling yourself that you need liquid courage to give your speech! Sure, once you’ve given your speech you can head straight to the bar and pound one back, but don’t get messy before. A sloppy, “that’s the alcohol talking” kind of speech is not a good look. You’ve got this! 
Cheers! 

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Planning Tip Tuesday: How To Get Published

How to get published in the eyes of the talented Aaron and Jillian Photography! We asked A+J for their top 5 tips and tricks to get your photos featured! 

1.      Publishers LOVE bridal details, so make these good!!  We always bring a neutral linen lined 2ft x 3ft board (that we made – easy peasy) and photograph almost all of the bride’s details on this board!  It keeps the photos consistent in appearance & light and publishers love that!

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2.      Edit your photos with consistency!!  Decide what your overall feel will be for the wedding day and when taking photos that day, try your best to keep your backgrounds and light as consistent as possible in the photos you plan to submit!  IF you want to go light and bright, make sure all of the photos you take that you’d like to submit have a light and bright backdrop!  If you want to go more dark and moody, make sure you chose darker, more moody backdrops and lighting situations!  They key is for your photos to tell a consistent story of the day!

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3.      Shoot vertically!!  For whatever reason, editors LOVE vertical photos!  … and so do we!  We consistently have to remind ourselves to turn our cameras to get some horizontal shots throughout wedding days! So when shooting photos you know you’ll want to submit, shoot vertical!

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4.      Publishers LOVE décor shots, so make sure you set aside time for these!!  Aaron and I work really hard to set aside one full hour to shoot the décor on wedding days! When shooting the décor, we do all sort of things to enhance what’s in the photo! And when there are really unique wedding details, we make sure to take LOTS of different angles of it to make sure we snapped a perfect shot to submit! Remember that they’re not just looking for “gorgeous wedding photos”, they’re looking for a few great portraits of the couple, a few beautiful photos of the guests and a BUNCH of gorgeous, never before seen, detail photos!

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5.      Watch your backgrounds!!  Light is KEY in a great detail photo, but so is the background!  If you can turn a detail in a different direction so you don’t have, let’s say, a bright red “EXIT” sign in the background, go ahead and turn it!  You’ll be so happy you did, and so will the editors of whatever magazine or blog you submit to!

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Photography by Aaron and Jillian

 

 

 

      

 

Fabulous Friday: Cakes We Adore

What's better than digging into your favorite slice of cake after dancing off a few calories? Especially when the cake looks as good as it tastes! We love the unique designs that our brides + PLB have come up with! Whether it's a small cutting cake or 3 tiers, each cake brings a special design element to the reception. We absolutely love the gold foil trend that has taken off! However, we can't discriminate against cake... Naked cakes, or even traditional simple buttercream cakes adorned with fresh flowers are sometimes too pretty too eat. We are blessed with some amazingly talented bakers who make cakes that not only look good, but taste amazing too! Check out some of our favorites!

William Aiken House Wedding: Alex + John

Alex and John hosted their wedding at the William Aiken House, a seamless blend of 18th- century charm and modern sophistication. After getting ready, the couple met on the wrap-around porch for their ‘first-look” which was beautifully captured by Virgil Bunao. The couple was married on the front lawn with an English Garden setting that entailed an olive branch garland wrapping the seating and hanging lanterns in the oak to create a picturesque backdrop for the ceremony. Pink, peach, and white hued blooms with accents of airy greenery topped every table alongside many gold accents. The reception area was full of gorgeous details including the lush floral chandelier, lounge pieces, birchwood and white checkered dance floor, and custom linens from Nuage.  Alex + and John ended the evening with a dazzling sparkler departure as Mr. & Mrs. Kirkpatrick!

Photos by Virgil Buano 

 

 

Fabulous Vendors

Wedding Planner| Designer | Draping | Pure Luxe Bride
Photography + Videography | Virgil Buano
Ceremony/Reception Venue | William Aiken House
Catering & Bar Service | Patrick Properties Hospitality Group
Cake | Patrick Properties Hospitality Group
Florist | Branch Design Studio
Rentals | Eventworks 
Tent | Snyder
Lighting | Innovative Event Services
Ceremony Music | Bob Williams Duo
Reception Music | Darby Events
Hair & Make Up | Paper Dolls
Specialty Service | Cigar Row 
Specialty Service | Big Day Best Friends
Paper Items | Studio R
Specialty Linen | La Tavola
Wedding Dress designer | Modern Trousseau

 

Planning Tip Tuesday: Maid of Honor Duties

The maid/matron of honor is first and foremost the bride's bestie, life-coach, and has a get-things-done mentality. The MOH plays an important role before and on the wedding day and today we have compiled a list of our top 5 duties. 

1. The dress! Your honest opinion is valued, so go with the bride to help pick out her dress. Pay attention and learn how to do the bustle so you can assist if needed. Be dressed and ready before the bride begins to put on her gown on the wedding day so you can help her get into her dress and veil. Keep an eye on the train and help the bride maneuver for photos, especially if she has a big train! It will need do to be fluffed and straightened throughout the day. Lastly, assist the bride with wardrobe changes including her getaway outfit. 

Photo Credit: Dana Cubbage

Photo Credit: Dana Cubbage

2. Activity Planning: Be the ringleader and help plan fun activities to celebrate the bride-to-be!  Help to coordinate the Bachelorette party and fun details to make for the best trip and photos! Host or help co-host a bridal shower. For destination weddings, get into town a few days early to be there for the bride and offer emotional support. Plan a fun luncheon or happy hour the week of the wedding once the bridal party gets into town to kick off the festivities! 

Photo Credit: Lydia Ruth Photography

Photo Credit: Lydia Ruth Photography

3. Timekeeper:  A huge duty for the MOH the day-of is keeping the bride and bridal party on schedule. Keep a copy of the timeline on hand and help to make sure all of the girls are ready on time. Help keep the bridal suite tidy and keep the girls organized so the room stays neat for photos.

Photo Credit: Dana Cubbage 

Photo Credit: Dana Cubbage 

4. Touch-ups! Be the bride's right hand girl, helping with hair/makeup fixes, especially re-applying lipstick through the day and night. Make sure the bride is eating and staying hydrated, the nerves and excitement can sometimes overshadow this but is very important so she can enjoy the whole day. 

Photo Credit: Hyer Images 

Photo Credit: Hyer Images 

5. Lastly, enjoy yourself! Your best friend just got married so get out there and dance! Give a meaningful toast to the newlyweds! At the end of the night, help the bride gather her items so she has everything she needs and all of her belongings make it safely back to her hotel room. 

Photo Credit: Lydia Ruth Photography

Photo Credit: Lydia Ruth Photography

Vendor Spotlight: The Wheely Good Ice Cream

What better way to beat the Charleston heat than to have The Wheely Good Ice Cream come to your wedding or event! Serving all natural premium ice cream and sorbet, they will give your guests an experience they will never forget! With over 30 different flavors to choose from, why not add some fun to your day by having this adorable bike at your event! They also offer ice cream sandwiches, made to order with a fresh baked cookie, yum!! This is the perfect way to surprise your guests with a delicious and unique dessert and a nice refresher from the summer heat! 

Photos by Catherine Ann Photography 

Real Luxe Wedding: Amy + Craig

This New York City couple had a beautiful southern wedding here in Charleston! Her vision was to have an elegant, glam, and tropical wedding with a palette of gold, blush, white and ivory. The couple fell in love with the avenue of oaks at the Legare-Waring House so they chose to take advantage of that space for their ceremony, and then utilizing the modern,spacious inside of Founders Hall for the reception. The couple was one step ahead of the summer heat by providing their guests with a portable fan that plugs into your cell phone!  Amy's Galia Lahav gown was accessorized with a bouquet of gorgeous naturally hanging orchids by Fox Events. Founders Hall was elaborately decorated with soft draping, lush centerpieces, tons of candlelight, and one luxurious head table with hanging greenery and florals! To take a break from dancing, guests stopped at the slow motion photobooth, grabbed a gourmet popsicle,  and enjoyed a fine cigar. At the end of the night, guests left with mini boxes of Baklavah that were made by the bride's mother, perfect way to end the evening. Congratulations, Amy and Craig!

Photos by Sean Money and Elizabeth Fay 

Thanks to all our fabulous vendors!

Ceremony Venue | Lagare Waring House

Reception Venue | Founders Hall

Catering | Cru

Bar Service | Mix

Cake | Sablee

Florist | Fox Events

Rentals | Event Works

Specialty Rentals | Nuage

Lighting | IES

Ceremony Music | Palmetto Strings Quartet

Cocktail Hour Music | Chris Crosby

Reception Music | DJ Wade

Photographer | Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay

Hair | Charlotte Belk

Makeup | Johnny Cosmetics

Draping | InventivEnvironments

Guest transportation | Charleston Style Limo

Hotel Blocks | Mills House

Photo Booth | Charleston Booth Company

 

Planning Tip Tuesday: First Kiss

We are sharing our top 5 tips on how to make your first kiss look great on camera! 

1. Ask your officiant in advance to move to the side so they don't photo-bomb your first kiss! 

Photo Credit: Monika Gauthier 

Photo Credit: Monika Gauthier 

2. Hold the kiss for longer than you normally would so your photographer can get an amazing shot! Kiss, and then kiss again, so you have multiple shots to choose from. 

Photo Credit: Monika Gauthier 

Photo Credit: Monika Gauthier 

3. Practice makes perfect! This might seem obvious, but practice who goes to what side and if you plan to do a dip. 

Photo Credit: Perry Vaile 

Photo Credit: Perry Vaile 

4. Have an 'unplugged ceremony'. Ask your guests to turn off their phones during the ceremony so they are not obtrusive to the photo that your professional photographer is capturing for you. Trust us, it will be much better than any iphone photo! 

Photo: Aaron and Jillian Photography Calligraphy: J.Lily Design

Photo: Aaron and Jillian Photography
Calligraphy: J.Lily Design

5. Enjoy the kiss! Let it be natural and with a smile! 

Photo Credit: Amanda Seifert 

Photo Credit: Amanda Seifert 

Fabulous Friday: Why Chairs Are So Important

Today we are doing a guest blog with photographer, Dana Cubbage, on why chairs are so important to your wedding design! Your reception chairs are in every photo whether it be details, first dance, speeches, you name it! With that being said, this is definitely a place we encourage our couples to splurge as they have a huge impact on the overall design. We asked Dana why she thought chairs were so important and she replied, "I honestly think chairs are the unsung hero of the wedding design!  They play such an important role, yet they are often overlooked. Choosing the right chair is vital – the wrong chair can ruin a beautiful design.  On the flip side, a beautiful chair can elevate a so-so design. " Coming from a photographers stand point, it is important to understand how they can change the overall look + feel of your wedding design. Dana says, "As a general rule, a light colored chair will help make your reception space feel light + airy.  A dark chair will do the opposite. A chivari chair will give your space an elegant feel, whereas a wooden X-back chair will give you a more rustic feel." Thanks Dana, we couldn't agree more!

 

Photos by Dana Cubbage Weddings