wedding albums, silk wedding albums, queensberry

Growing up, I harbored a not-so-secret obsession with scrapbooking and creating annual albums. So naturally, now that I photograph weddings, I am thrilled when my client’s images are printed and bound in a gorgeous heirloom wedding album. (I’m kind of an album snob) I just love having a complete story of the wedding day unfolding in my hands to revisit again and again – and to show off on my coffee table!

Ellen & Tim’s  book arrived straight from Queensberry’s press in New Zealand just in time for Christmas delivery. I captured a few images of the final album… a 10 x 14″ flushmount book with a stone silk cover and smaller parent duplicate copy before delivery. I’m so happy with the way the final piece turned out. To see the full design… scroll down for the slideshow at the bottom!

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Did you get engaged over the holidays? Congratulations!!! I hope you’re enjoying every second of this exciting time! For all the newly engaged brides-to-be… here are my top 10 next steps to kick off your wedding planning!

1) Enjoy it! Don’t rush so quickly into the whirlwind of planning the wedding that you don’t stop to soak up the engagement itself. Trust me, your groom will appreciate it! He has probably been stressing out planning the perfect proposal for so long that he hasn’t processed the fact that his betrothed will soon consume his life with choices about colors, venues, napkin folds, etc… give him some breathing room before you dive in!

2) Consider the Location and Time of Year – where do you see yourself getting married!?! What time of year? Tradition dictates that the bride’s hometown hosts the nuptials but these days, there are no rules! Do you see yourself saying I Do where you grew up or is there a location common to you and the groom that makes more sense now. Or is an island getaway the right way to celebrate… destination weddings can be a great way to include all your closest friends and family on an amazing vacation celebration!

3) Decide on a Budget – this isn’t fun but knowing who’s contributing what in advance will allow you to make smart decisions about choosing vendors and deciding what kind of wedding to have from the beginning so there are no uncomfortable surprises along the way.

4) Start Creating a Guest List – I debated making this my 3rd tip because the headcount goes hand-in-hand with the budget. The amount of people attending your event will directly correlate to the final cost. Knowing who you MUST invite versus who you’d LIKE to invite if you can and who’s on the EXTRAS list will help you pick the right venue for your wedding. I wrote an article about this awhile ago on my blog and how the guest list played a huge role in deciding where to hold my own wedding and how we picked our venue.

5) Start Exploring Venues and Gathering Information – This goes without saying, knowing what’s available where and on what day is critical to choosing a date and a venue for the event. The more you know the better! This would also be the time to hire a wedding planning if you’re choosing to go that route. Even if you only hire a day-of coordinator – I recommend hiring one well in advance so they are privy to all the important details all along the way.

6) Prioritize! What are your most important wedding items? Is it the food? Decor? Photography? What is most important to your Groom. Is it the music? The season? Figure out what matters most to the two of you so you can allocate funds accordingly as you make decisions.

7) Book Key Vendors – Once you finalize your venue and wedding date – it’s time to start booking the critical vendors. Planners, Photographers, Bands, etc… these vendors can only work at one wedding on any given date and typically book up months to a year in advance so if you have your heart set on someone specific, make sure you lock them up right away!

8) Create Inspiration Boards – Websites like Pinterest, the Knot, and Loverly are great sites for gathering all of those pretty images you’ve been seeing on wedding blogs and magazines to create the beginning of your design vision. Once all the big things are locked up… it’s time to start dreaming and designing your perfect day! Don’t rush this process… enjoy it!

9) Choose your Bridal Party – Who are the guys and gals that will be standing beside you as you say your vows?! There are no rules when it comes to who can stand up on either side of the aisle so choose the friends and family who you want in the bridal suite getting ready with you on the morning of your wedding.

10) Start Dress Shopping – This is the fun part!! Start lining up dress appointments at local bridal shops, once you’ve picked a venue, that will dictate what kind of celebration you’re having. I recommend taking a couple key people to join you in this process… too many opinions can be detrimental to your ability to make a decision on YOUR dream dress. This is all about you and how you see yourself marrying your fiancé. Come to the shops with some vision of what you’re looking for but be open to suggestions from the consultants… they might have a gorgeous option up their sleeve that you would never have considered otherwise… you never know!

Happy Planning!!

 

2015-goal-setting

Since the beginning of January, I’ve buried myself in planning for the new year. This time on the calendar is always full of new year’s resolutions, big dreams and goal setting… but for us this year, with a second baby only days away, setting myself up on the right foot is even more critical than ever! What is it about a looming deadline that always provides an extra jolt of last minute energy?

As I’ve frantically organized and strategized over the past week, I’ve narrowed down my top 3 priorities for the 2015 and beyond. And what better what to hold myself accountable than to put them out there, scary as that may be… here goes…

1) Get Systematized! This is something I’ve had big intentions of doing for years in my business but haven’t ever quite nailed down to a science. The constant tweaking of things here and there as I go along has worked but isn’t the most efficient process going forward as my business grows. This is my biggest pre-baby priority! I’ll be sharing more of the tools and tricks I’ve been implementing in this process over the next few weeks!

2) Get Relational! Is that the right word? What I mean by that is to really focus on building my local network of wedding professionals and partners and to be an active contributor to my fellow wedding pros around here. One thing that’s tough about running a wedding business in this part of the country is the lack of a real “local market” …. the “local” territory for anyone operating around the tri-state area can literally run from Cape Cod all the way down to the Jersey Shore and hundreds of miles in all directions in between. Our new home in Rye is a great hub for covering a lot of territory between Connecticut, New York and out to the Hamptons and Long Island… but it makes it tough to really connect to the hundreds of vendors who are running great businesses around me. Sometimes I’m jealous of the smaller market wedding pros who get to see familiar faces wedding after wedding. Figuring out where I “fit” in this massive market has been one of my biggest struggles building my business so far and one thing I want to tackle head on this year!

3) Get Intentional! By this I mean, I want to put more of myself out there, share more of my story, and be more focused on helping and sharing what I’ve learned and where I’m going along this journey and to be more strategic from my blog posting to my social media presence to my client service and my vendor friends. Sometime’s it’s easy as solo-preneurs to bury ourselves in our own little world and forget to be present with the world around us. This is something I’m constantly striving to get better at and one of my biggest areas for improvement this year!

Here’s to an amazing 2015! My business is getting whipped into shape… Unfortunately, the nursery is still not finished but we’re making progress… I finally settled on a paint color for the walls! I’m just hoping this baby stays put until everything’s ready!

What are your big dreams and goals for the calendar ahead? Here’s to holding each other accountable! Happy Tuesday friends!

 

Watercolor Wedding Inspiration, Cliff House Wedding, Montage Kapalua, Maui Destination Wedding Inspiration

One of my favorite shoots from 2014 is lucky enough to wrap up the year featured on Reverie Gallery! One my favorite new sites to launch in 2014… Reverie Gallery’s design is so clean and classic and full of incredible inspiration for brides-to-be… if you got engaged over the holidays… don’t miss this resource for ideas and wedding planning! Thanks so much Erica for featuring our New York City meets Maui watercolor inspiration shoot on your pages… yay!

Photography: Jessica Haley Photography / Venue: Cliff House at Montage Kapalua / Designer: Stacie Shea Events / Styling: Opihi Love / Floral: Mandy Grace Designs / Stationery Designer: Social Alchemy / Catering & Cocktails: Garnish Events / Rentals: Island Rentals Maui / Video: Sunlit Films

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Before fully embracing 2015, it’s important to look back on all the good stuff that happened last year! This post probably made more sense yesterday but I ended up cooking a dinner party for all of our babysitter-less toddler parent friends and the day slipped away before I knew it! Without further delay, here’s a look back at the best things that happened in 2014!

  1. I made lots of new industry friends! I spent the first January Saturday of 2014 hanging out at Justin & Mary’s house in New Haven planning the next 12 months with a great group of fellow female photographers. In 2012 and 2013, my focus centered on getting my business off the ground. In 2014 I took things to the next level by expanding my network, attending industry events like WPPI and the Photoplus Expo and investing in one-on-one business coaching with Katelyn James!
  2. I survived the worst of the Polar Vortex and even managed to shoot one of my favorite engagement sessions in sub-freezing temperatures – Devin and Will’s snowy Central park Engagement Session was one of my favorites of the year!
  3. In April we boarded a 10 hour flight to Hawaii for Stacy and Mike’s Maui wedding! We spent an amazing week soaking up the sun and sand celebrating the wedding week. I also managed to squeeze in a styled shoot at the new Montage Kapalua Cliff House wedding venue that has since been featured on Green Wedding Shoes, Reverie Gallery and Beach Wedding Tips!
  4. I photographed the spring dress line for Ali-Ro, a division of the Donna Morgan Brand, on a city rooftop in midtown Manhattan.
  5. In May I celebrated my 10-YEAR college reunion at Notre Dame – holy crap! Seriously… I don’t know where the time has gone! I combined my trip west to South Bend with Lindahl & Eric’s Grand Rapids engagement session and my second trip to Engage!14, the Luxury Wedding Business Summit, at Bachelor Gulch in Beaver Creek.
  6. Haley and Tom got engaged! I helped Tom orchestrate a surprise sunrise proposal at the Brooklyn Bridge and was there to photograph the whole thing as it happened! Let’s just say, Haley was very surprised! I snuck them out again in October for a mini-engagement session in their Central Park West neighborhood before the cold weather set in!
  7. September was by far my busiest month of the year! I photographed 4 weddings, 2 engagement session, the Donna Morgan Collection campaign in the Hamptons… and hosted Cam’s second birthday party at the house… it was a whirlwind to say the least!!
  8. I concluded September by immediately escaping across the pond during the first week in October. I met Dave on a work trip to London and then took the Chunnel Train to Paris for a little getaway! I’m very confident that I’ve never eaten so well in my life… those French chefs know how to do it right!
  9. Bridal Fashion Week in NYC kicked off in October. The highlight of the event, the photographs from the Donna Morgan shoot in the Hamptons decorating the trade show floors at Fashion Week and printed in the collection book to be distributed at the shows… it was surreal to say the least!
  10. We’re finishing the year by prepping for the final countdown to baby #2! I’ll be spending my New Year’s weekend painting the new nursery and finalizing all the prep before baby girl’s arrival later this month… it’ll be here before we know it!! Yikes!

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Baby Girl Reveal

 

  • Devin - WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR!!! WILL AND I ARE SO BLESSED TO BE A PART OF IT IN SO MANY WAYS!

    PLUS TO WORK WITH YOU ON A BUSINESS LEVEL HAS GIVEN DONNA MORGAN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MARKETING MATERIALS TO PUBLISH FOR 2015!!!!

    CHEERS TO 2015 AHEAD!!!
    XOXOReplyCancel

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