I love photographing kids and families because it goes by WAY too fast! A photo is literally the only way to get them to stop growing for a second:-) Little miss Lorelei is already 6 months old and so adorable. Her older brother, Ezra, clearly adores her! This little dress was her mom’s dress that she wore in a similar portrait at this age. I love the yellow, navy and gray outfits Rachel choose for the photos of them all together!
We’ve been doing a really fun series called Wine Knot Wednesday on our Facebook Page Live so I’m going to start posting them here too! It’s all the latest buzz in weddings from cool people:-)
This week we had Brent Kraus who owns Ella Bing Haberdashery on to talk all about tips and tricks to have well groomed groom/groomsmen. He also demoed a super easy way to tie a bow tie (starts at about 9:17). Here’s some of our favorite tips he shared and if you tune in below you can see the whole episode!
For a timeless look for a more formal wedding is a fitted black tux with a bow tie (made me think of James Bond:-). A tux black tux should always have suspenders and no belt. For a more casual wedding like on the beach or destination opt out of a jacket and wear a vest and choose a simple lapel flower or carnation.
In choosing an overall look start with your jacket and then pick one detail that is the focal point like a bowtie. Ella Bing custom makes wooden bow ties that are really amazing gifts and art pieces that Brent’s dad actually carves himself. Then add things like cufflinks, socks, and pocket squares. Pocket squares should never match the same material as the actual tie.
When styling your groomsmen, measure their neck sizes. Bow ties come in standard lengths and thicker necks are not standard measurements.
Shoes! Try dress slippers, they’re modern and fit well with tailored pants when your ankle shoes. Remember, no socks!
How to Choose the Right Bling
If you’re reading this, you’re probably either thinking about proposing, planning on picking out your own engagement ring with your partner, or you want to send this article to your significant other to give them the *hint hint* that it’s time to propose. Either way, buying an engagement ring is a big deal. There’s a lot that goes into it, and you want to make the right decision on a ring you (or your spouse to be) will be wearing for the rest of time.
Get the right size
No matter what way you go about it, make sure you find out what size her ring finger is before looking at rings. After you pop the question, the last thing your new fiancée is going to want is to send her ring out to get resized. Getting the size right is crucial so that she can keep that shiny bling right where she wants it: on her finger so she can show it off! You can try to find out her ring size a number of ways; measuring her finger while she’s sleeping, sneakily borrowing one of her rings from her jewelry tray or asking around to family and friends. Whatever you do, size matters!
Figure out your budget
It may be a difficult task to find a ring to propose with, but it all becomes that much harder when the perfect ring comes with a not-so-perfect price tag. Setting a budget before falling in love with a ring that’s out of your price range is a must. If you know how much you can afford, you’ll be able to window shop online to get an idea of what falls in your price range. Then when you do go to a jewelry store to make a purchase, you can tell them what kind of budget you’re working with. Consider a low-interest engagement ring loanso you don’t have to spend all your savings on the diamond, and you’ll have a good chunk left to throw the wedding you and your fiancée deserve.
Know the style
Unless your significant other is going to the store with you to pick out the ring she wants, you’re going to need to know what her style is so you’re pointed in the right direction. There are lots of different engagement ring styles, and you want to know what will give your S.O. heart eyes! You don’t want to give her a ring that might leave her disappointed--you want her to love it! Ask her family and friends if they know what style ring she would prefer or stalk her Pinterest page to see if she has any particular rings pinned. You want to get an idea of what she likes so you have a clear vision when you go into the store to know what you’re looking for.
Do your research
While you might not know much about engagement rings when you first decide to propose, it becomes your job to find out a little more information before you make such a significant purchase. The four C’s(Carat, Color, Cut, and Clarity) and are a big part of buying a ring, so make sure to brush up on your knowledge before starting the search. The more you know before you need to buy the ring, the better off you’ll be on making the right decision.
Make it a surprise
Even if your bride to be helped pick out her own ring or knows the proposal is coming, try to add an element of surprise to the actual proposal. Everyone likes to be surprised (especially when they’re being proposed to), so put a little thought into it. Make the location or the way you propose unknown to your partner, so they won’t see it coming! Or surprise them with a gathering with your families and friends afterward. You can even get the inside of the ring engraved with a meaningful phrase, so they have a small special surprise when you finally slip it on their finger.
Now that you know how to find the right bling for your special someone, all you’ve got to do now is buy the ring and ask the question!
It’s hurricane season here in Florida. Many people don’t realize that it actually runs June 1st - November 30th which is totally during the most popular time for weddings here in Florida. I’ve been in Tampa 11 years now. We generally haven’t had to worry about hurricane’s much, but last year Irma was definitely a threat and made us re-think what we would do if there was a hurricane. A wedding is such a big investment and while it may feel like you have all of the major details of your wedding covered, there are some things you just can’t plan for. Though it may be hard to think about your special day being anything less than perfect, the reality is disaster can strike. Whether it’s a damaged gown or a last minute cancellation, an unexpected setback can put a damper on your wedding day. The good news is there are several things you can do to make sure that your special day goes just as expected! Check out these helpful tips below.
Protect Your Carat
From the moment your partner gets down on one knee and pops the question, chances are you’ll be rocking a shiny new addition on your ring finger. While it may be the last thing on your mind during such an exciting and happy time, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure that your ring(s) is protected forever. While anything happening to your engagement ring or wedding band is heartbreaking, knowing that it has been properly insured can make the situation less stressful if you happen to lose your ring or it is stolen.
Ring insurance works just like any other type of insurance, but covers engagement rings and other valuables. There are several different ways that you can insure your engagement ring. If you already have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance you can go through your existing policy to cover your jewelry. However, keep in mind that having a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy does not mean that all of your jewelry is covered automatically. In order to make sure that your engagement ring is adequately covered you will need a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance “rider”. This is an optional add-on that will provide higher coverage limits and protection from more kinds of risk.
The other option is to buy jewelry insurance. An engagement ring is a huge investment so it is important to insure your ring as soon as possible. Many jewelers, such as Blue Nile, not only make it easy to purchase an engagement ring online, but also provide you with important information on how to insure your jewelry directly on their website. Many jewelers have relationships with insurance providers, so they can help you start the process of insuring your ring.
Protect Your Special Day
It’s easy to plan for the things that we know and expect, but what about if the unexpected happens? While it may be difficult to think about, accidents such as a sudden cancelation or accidental damage to your venue, or even a hurricane can happen on your wedding day! Rather than spending your big day worrying about the unexpected happening, you can purchase wedding insurance. Wedding Protector is a great online resource and affordable!
Examples of coverage include:
Cancellation/Postponement can provide coverage for certain deposits listed in the policy in the event of a necessary cancellation or postponement of the wedding.
Wedding venue suddenly goes out of business or inaccessible,
Sudden illness prevents the honorees, parents, grandparents or children of honorees from attending,
Unexpected called to duty.
Additional Expense can provide coverage for certain unexpected expenses you have to incur in order to avoid a cancellation or postponement of your wedding. For example, if a caterer or transportation company suddenly becomes unavailable for your event and you can find a last minute replacement, this coverage can reimburse you for the difference in cost up to 25% of the original contract price.
If catastrophic weather causes you to cancel or postpone the wedding, we can provide reimbursement for non-recoverable expenses.
As equally as important, make sure all your vendors are professional, licensed, and insured. While this may sound a little nerve wracking, it is always better to be over prepared than underprepared!! Marry Me Tampa Bay also published a great article on this exact topic, check it out HERE for more detail!
Sometimes people ask me what my favorite wedding to photograph has been and I usually say “the next one” because even after 10 years of dong what I do every single one is so special and full of amazing moments. Julia and Antonio’s gorgeous wedding at the Vinoy was no exception. Julia’s gown has a really cool back story. She has gotten all her formal dresses growing for homecoming and prom from Maria’s Bridal and when looking for a wedding dress her mom suggested just looking there. She found this gorgeous dress that was one of a kind and perfect! Julia had the most thoughtful gift for her mom, it was a custom sketch of the 2 of them that said “forever your little girl”.
Their ceremony was in the foyer of the Grand Ballroom with mahogany chivari’s and beautiful florals. Rev Rick officiated and pronounced them the official Mr. & Mrs. Verilo. We had a few tiny sprinkles but the weather was perfect for photos in the tea garden and with that iconic facade on the front of the Vinoy.
This navy and burgundy color palette is my favorite color combo right now. It’s so rich and looks amazing in photos. Julia and Antonio incorporated their love of travel into their wedding details with their escort table being a compass for each guest with their seat assignments. They also had a vintage globe for everyone to sign. Florals and lanterns decorated each table with navy linens
I’m not going to say too much here because I don’t need to, you can see the love and happiness these 2 have for each other! Before Antonio danced with his mom, his sister talked about the love his parents have for each other and their dad who was watching from above. After dinner it was time to party it down and they sure did! Eric, from Grant Hemond really MC’d an amazing party! Before we knew it, it was the last dance and time for the bubble exit. Congratulations Julia & Antonio what an amazing day, we are so blessed to have been a part of it! xoxoxo
Isn’t Mireia the cutest little unicorn you ever did see? I love her name, it means Miracle, which is the perfect name for her! We did her newborn session when she was 9 days old which is my favorite because they are so little and squishy. I always have mom and dad be in some even though it’s so hard being in that new parent sleepless fog but it goes by so fast! Kelly and Pedro she is gorgeous and I am so happy to see you all as a party of 3:-)
You might remember seeing Haley and Mitchell’s wedding on the blog. One of my favorite surprises ever, their wedding cake cutting was actually the gender reveal for this little guy! I swore it was a girl but Haley told me she knew it was a boy and she’s destined to be a boy mom. Colton is so sweet and is so loved by his mom & dad and 2 big brothers! Haley’s been one of our photographers for gosh like 7 years now so I remember when Kyson and Taylor were just little guys and now they’re so grown up. Colton didn’t want to miss any of the action but we finally wore him down (and his brothers too:-)
Christine and Matt are some of the nicest people people you will ever meet. Getting to spend the day with their family and friends made us feel like family. I’m obsessed with the sparkly Kate Spade Keds that Christine wore under that stunning gown! She has 3 sisters and 2 brothers and I’m sure growing up the shenanigans were endless. There was one little shenanigan they played that has to do with some of Christine’s senior portraits:-) We did a first look with her dad, Steve, she told me he wouldn’t have a reaction but I have to say his face lit up when he saw Christine totally bridal ready. Matt and the boys got read at his house, they were in charcoal suits, with navy ties and navy socks with bikes on them to go along with their bicycle theme. If you saw their engagement session, they are restoring a vintage tandem bike that we used in their session and Christine decided to incorporate some really cute bike details.
Christine and Matt have 19 nieces and nephews between the 2 of them and two of them were they cutest carrying the sign down the aisle for Uncle Matt. They got married in their church in Brandon in a beautiful ceremony. Their church has the coolest heavy wooden doors with a ceramic tile mosaic across the top. After we took advantage of all the cool architecture at the church we stopped right by the Sheraton where there are lots of mossy covered trees.
The reception decor was navy with pops of my favorite rose (amnesia:-). Their escort cards were on a metal bike and each of the table numbers had a tandem bike on them. Christine had a surprise little cake and crown for one of her nieces as it was also her birthday! Their favors were high and low glasses engraved with bikes on them and the sign said “We’re wheelie glad you could celebrate with us!”. While everyone was dancing it up they had a huge dessert bar setup with little dessert shots, chocolates, and all different cheesecakes. One of Christine’s bridesmaids had the coolest neon light up shoes to go with all the glow in the dark necklaces. What an amazing time had by all including us! Congrats you guys and thank you so much for having us!! xoxoxo
These 2 kids had the most fabulous wedding day at the Grand Hyatt. Donna had chosen all different shades of purple for the girls and charcoal grey for the guys. LOVE her all lace sleeved gown.
The ceremony was overlooking this view on the rooftop patio at Armani's. Their bridal party was all of their kids, grandkids, and family members. Donna's sons walked her down the aisle and her granddaughter was walking behind holding her train:-)
There was a huge rain cloud and you could see sheets of rain off in the distance but it never got to us and created a beautiful sunset! Armani's is unique because you can only get married there on a Sunday because it's a restaurant the other 6 days. The food is absolutely amazing and the staff made sure everything was perfect. The groom's cake was piano keys with a photo of Elvis because that is Bob's favorite singer and they had a little bottle of champaign for each of their guests. Since it was more intimate and a formal multi course dinner, Donna had me sit with her guests and I met the nicest and most interesting friends of theirs. Such a special treat for me. It was truly and honor and so much fun to photograph their wedding. Congratulations Donna & Bob (and thanks for seating me with a real life mermaid!:-)
Julie and Charlie's wedding color palette is definitely one of my favorites right now! Mint, navy, pink, and green. Their invitation suite was SO pretty and I think the perfect way to set the tone for what their wedding was going to look and feel like. Julie had planned the sweetest gifts for everyone involved in their wedding. Bridesmaids, their flower girl, and both sets of parents. One of my favorite moments of the day was when Julie's dad walked in and saw her totally ready. Richard was a wedding photographer by trade, he really enjoyed the day and totally entrusted us to do our thing. For me, it made me a little nervous, but feel so honored to be there. After the girls got ready we went behind the hotel on the waterfront, the light was amazing and you might even be able to see the hint of a mint green house in the background:-)
Charlie is one of the nicest, funniest and easy going guys you will meet, which makes sense because he is a K-5th grade reading and math teacher! He and his guys were in navy suits with mint ties. Charlie and his dad wore matching gold watches and how cute are his nephews who were also the ring bearers?
They officially became Mr. & Mrs. Griffin at a beautiful ceremony at Lutheran Church of the Palms. They have a chapel there with stained glass. We even got a photo with them and all of those cute kids!
After the ceremony we headed to downtown Dunedin where there are endless cool spots for photos including the long dock right next to Bon Apetit where you can feel the sea breeze and watch the sunset as you'll see later.
Their reception decor was the prettiest textured gold linens with navy spandex chair covers and tall floral center pieces mixed with gold candle center pieces. They had an "I Spy" game for their guests to take photos/videos of different events of the evening and then to use their #goinggriffin18 which I thought was a really cool idea we hadn't seen before. I love how simple and pretty their cake was with a glittery gold G on top. The sunset was gorgeous both from inside the dance floor and out of the dock. As we were talking in we got the reflection of the sunset in the windows of the venue. Per the Griffin family wedding tradition, Joe and John sang an Irish song and then everyone danced and danced and danced. It was the most beautiful day for these 2 and we couldn't have been happier to be there! Congratulations you guys and thank you for having us!!! xoxoxo
It's been almost 2 years since we photographed Lauren & Zach's wedding and we couldn't be happier to photograph them as a family of 3! (Technically 4 with their sweet pup Bea:-) I love the little matching shirt he and his daddy have. This first photo is my fav of these 2 smiling. His nursery is already a man cave with bear details and sheets. Landon was not going to miss but a minute of his first portrait session and he's already working on his core muscles. Such a beautiful family!!! xoxoxo
We had the privilege of working on this styled shoot with an awesome team of wedding pros led by Emma, from Confetti Events at Bakers Ranch. (they are all listed at the very bottom!). A styled shoot is essentially a wedding without the guests. It's also an opportunity to do something a little different, work with people you maybe haven't yet and just be creative! Lauren & Brad were our bride and groom models and Alexis, Kayla, James, and Francisco were our bridal party models. They are all besties and super fun to work with. Linda, from A Victorian Bride created a light and beautiful look for their hair/makeup to go with the romantic style while the guys played pool in the man cave:-)
I love this intimate ceremony setup on the pergola. The blush draping with pink and white roses and greenery looked amazing. The center piece was a huge custom welcome mirror.
Bakers Ranch has so many different spots for photos no matter what time of day. There's lots of mossy trees and greenery and twinkle lights. This gown Lauren has on is from Waters Wtoo line. Underneath it's nude and lace and the overlay is panels a tulle which was so fun and different!
Just a like a real wedding, the pergola was swapped to be the cocktail hour space with rose gold sequined lines and simple white roses and greenery. Lauren changed into a 2nd dress that was a Hailey Paige ballgown.
The reception was set in gold, pink, white, greenery and lace overlays with texture-y (pretty sure that's not a word:-) linens on the cake and sweetheart table. I love the little "extra" bonus weaving linen through the 2 sweetheart table chairs that Chris from Custom Linen added. How stunning is that cake, Jovanna from The Artistic Whisk created? There's pink and gold sugar with such intricate detail!
Venue | Bakers Ranch | Event Coordinators | Confetti Events | Hair & Makeup | A Victorian Bride | Florist | Sue Ellen's Floral Boutique | Linen | Custom Linen Rentals | Tux Rentals | Sacino's | Cake | The Artistic Whisk | Draping | On The Move Productions | Wedding Dress Boutique | The White Magnolia Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses | Bella Bridesmaids |
Janet and Bart's wedding was English Garden theme with the most gorgeous florals by Christie’s Flowers at the Naples Lakes Country Club. We started off with Janet and the girls, and Bart and the guys in their respective lounges just hanging out and putting on their finishing touches. Janet's sparkly shoes and crystal tiara were the perfect finishing touches with her gown!
Their wedding planner, Jenifer from Blue Flamingo Weddings was there to make sure every detail was taken care of. Their ceremony was inside with an arbor draped in white with all different sizes of roses and white lanterns and rose petals lining the aisle. Janet was overcome with emotion as it was time for their vows, you could feel the love they have between each other.
Their reception was decorated with roses and greenery everything, beginning on the stairwell as the guests arrived. I love the escort cards that coordinated perfectly. Their sweetheart table had cascading garlands of greenery and a white overlay with button back chairs. Bart had a pretty fantastic raspberry and chocolate groom's cake as well.
The toasts that Bart's step-father and Janet's daughter gave were some of our favorite moments of the reception. Bart's step-father talked about the last 30 years of adventures they have had from kayaking to diving and how happy he is that Bart found an amazing woman that made him lose 15 lbs and retire is Tommy Bahama shirts:-) Janet's daughter toasted to her mom having the wedding of her dreams and how she had prayed for her happiness and finding an amazing best friend in Bart. DJ Jim from A DJ with Class made it a really fun party and that groom's cake was also Bart's birthday cake!! Congratulations Janet and Bart, may you guys have a lifetime of happiness together!! xoxoxo
This little cutie just turned 1! Ashley chose the cutest little yellow princess dress for Alaina. Since it's summer her in Florida and SO hot, they came over to our studio to do some inside and outside. All Alaina's expressions and personality is just so sweet. Bryan, Ashley, and Alaina you are such a pretty family!
Jen and Daniel and so funny and sweet, I loved photographing their engagement session! An extra cool fun fact is that we photographed Daniel's sister, Rachel's wedding 7 years ago:-) Jen made AMAZING outfit choices the gray and blue looked gorgeous with the brick and architecture at UT. The gray railings even matched perfectly.
There's a dock the rowers use right on the Hillsborough river and it is such a fantastic view of the city, similar to the views they had when they lived downtown.
After dusk we headed over to the front steps of the Le Meridien which was the historic courthouse built in 1905. Daniel is an attorney so totally his stomping ground. You can't get any more Tampa than the Tampa Theater. So that was our last stop doing some fun artsy lighting.
This is an extra special senior portrait session because Bayleigh is my niece. I have 12 nieces and nephews, and she is the oldest. I've known her since she was 2 years old, she was a flower girl in our wedding and I can't believe she is about to start her senior year! She's really good at makeup and Instagram selfies, but I wanted to also take some photos of the Bayleigh I know. A wild mane, no makeup and jeans and sweatshirt which she was totally down for. Her freshman year of high school she attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and after the shooting happened she is a student that is fighting for the #neveragainmovement. She spent the week following the shooting actually in Parkland, attending memorials, vigils, viewings, and funerals. After coming back to her high school in North Florida where she attends now, she and her friends organized a 30 minute assembly where she gave a speech to 500+ students. I have to say, I'm so proud of her for taking action and doing something that will make a difference for students to come. My 2 little girls are 4 years old, they call her Aunt B (because Bayleigh said she's too old to be their cousin:-). I dream of a time for my girls when we as parents and kids don't have to worry that a shooter is going to barge into their school and take innocent lives. That's not a fear I had to have growing up, the only drills we had were fire drills and tornado drills. So, please keep speaking out and taking action on the things you are passionate about and what to change it can and will make a difference!
Us event industry people like to have fun too! Our July National Associate for Catering & Events was hosted by Sarah, and her team at Top Golf. I hadn't been there before and it was SO much fun! It was, of course, a golf inspired theme with golf ball center pieces and chocolate favors. Delicious food, great friendors, some of us golfed:-) The light there is really cool as it gets dark the lights on the driving range green come on and it looks pretty sweet!
Venue | Top Golf | Linens | Connie Duglin | Favors | Chocolates by Michelle | Mobile Photo Station | Boone's Professional Events
Olivia just turned 1! She is so full of expression and personality, not to mention that beautiful curly hair! You might be able to tell she's also a daddy's girl:-) These are just a few of my favorites moments with Vanessa, Eric and Olivia! When they came over to the studio for the unveiling session there were happy tears as I played the slideshow of all the edited images. I can't even put into words how rewarding it feels to create these special moments that will be loved and cherished for a lifetime!
Julie and Charlie met while working for a small cruise line both of them in training to be cruise directors, how fun is that? Charlie loves all things Chicago, especially the Bears and Julie loves UF football! They are obsessed with their adorable pup, Cooper, and so we of course had to include him in their engagement session. Their wedding colors are navy and mint, and after some fun ones in their favorite jerseys, Julie changed into a flowy navy dress and Charlie a mint shirt and navy pants which looked so amazing with the sailboats and all the greenery ending with a gorgeous sunset! We can't wait until 8.4.18 when they say "I do"!!!