On Saturday, November 25th, 2017, my fantastic team of vendors and models descended upon the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Canton, Ohio, for a styled bridal photo shoot. I have been planning this event for some time. One of my favorite movies stars Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire – Funny Face. It’s the only movie they ever made together. My video partner, Joseph Testa Productions, filmed the whole day, and put together a great video! We would like to share it with you! Just click the link and enjoy!
One of the first big decisions you’ll have to make after putting that shiny new ringon your finger is choosing where you want to have your wedding. For many couples, the choice is simple, but for others it can involve a long, drawn-out decision-making process that can months. If you’re not tying the knot in your hometown, your partner’s hometown, or the city you both call home, you’re likely having a destination wedding. Although they’re not for everyone, a destination wedding can provide a sense of excitement (it’s basically a vacation where all of your favorite people are invited) and relief (your second cousins once removed likely won’t make it to Aruba).
To help you decide if you’re the type of couple who should tie the knot away from home, wedding planners took us through the questions they ask clients who are considering a far-flung celebraiton.
Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio, points out that, by definition, a destination wedding is one that takes place at least 100 miles away from where you currently live. That’s about the distance between New York City and Hartford, Connecticut. You don’t have to feel any pressure to have your nuptials in a tourist attraction, though they are popular choices for couples planning destination weddings. “You could get married at a somewhat local bed and breakfast or a charming winery,” adds Lehman. “The most important thing is to consider a destination that appeals to your personalities, dreams, and interests.”
Who do you want to be there?
Destination weddings are usually smaller than a hometown wedding would be, as guests have to travel farther for the event. If you’re okay with this, great! If you’re in a situation where you feel obligated to invite several relatives or family friends but don’t really care if they show up, then even better. But it is important to remember that some of your close relatives and friends might not be able to physically travel or afford a plane ticket and hotel stay. Before you book anything, make a list of guests you want by your side, and then see if that core group of people can make it.
Can you afford a wedding planner?
Having a wedding planner is extremely helpful in ensuring your destination eventgoes smoothly. “Hiring someone that has the expertise and experience will greatly help when making decisions on quality and trusted vendors,” says Cristen Faherty, wedding and event planner at Cristen & Co Event Coordination & Design in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. “This person could either be a destination planner in your area or a local planner in your destination. Which ever you choose, you have to be willing to give up a little control and trust their recommendations.” Remember, you likely won’t have the luxury of meeting face-to-face with the majority of your vendors, so an on-site planner can represent you from afar.
How flexible are you when it comes to dress code?
Enforcing a black-tie dress code—a tux for men and a formal gown for women—is tough when you’re asking loved ones to pack their wedding attire in a suitcase and travel to what might be a totally different climate. That’s not to say it’s not allowed, but you should be comfortable with the fact that some of your guests might not follow suit (literally). If you’re okay with bare feet and flip flops on the dance floor (or sand), then go for it.
Are you willing to host more than one event?
When all of your wedding guests are traveling far and wide to be there for your big day, they expect that you’ll be hosting more than the ceremony and reception. Many destinations include welcome parties and daytime activities, like scuba diving or horseback riding, for their guests to enjoy more face time with the bride and groom.
We have been blessed with the opportunity to have an article featured in the October Celebrations Issue of Nanny Magazine!! Our topic was “Organized & Stress-Free Wedding Planning” on page 33. The layout is gorgeous! Thank you!
I am simply blown away by Lauren and Brandon’s gorgeous styled session! A real couple who were the perfect fit for this surprise engagement brunch with friends and family on the side. Lauren loves bold, and bright colors so a Lilly Pulitzer theme was perfect for this brunch. The color scheme of pink, magenta, and marigold really added to the overall classy and sophisticated vibe of the garden setup in Sippo Lake Park, Ohio. That adorable table setting that matches their bridesmaid’s gifts is also noteworthy! Brittany Shelley Photography did a great job of capturing the essentials of this styled engagement brunch, so if you want to see it all, scroll away!
We’re All About the Details!
The Lilly Pulitzer Themed Table
Lilly Pulitzer prints have always been the star of vibrant fashion and merging it with the outdoor brunch design and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous inspiration.
Lauren loves bright and bold colors and this themed design is simply perfect! Filled with gorgeous flowers and printed table runners, this design would fit your desire for a vibrant themed outdoor brunch.
Lauren wore a blush embroidered dress that looks great with Brandon’s white long sleeve and his printed bow tie.
The Bloom Sign
The bloom sign is just a wonderful addition to their decorations. Literally saying that with this engagement their love is simply blooming towards forever.
About the Photographer
I’m a fine art portrait photographer for couples who are in love and what to show it through freezing time located in Clinton, Ohio. I specialize in engagement portraits. I value my clients and the love they have. I don’t just capture their love. I make it shine through the lens. I believe that love is the most powerful thing and my goal is to show how powerful it really is in imagery. My clients usually invests $300.00 for my services. If I sound like the right fit to capture your fairytale you can reach me at 330-209-0501. I love forward to hearing your story.
Take this Advice
Don’t stress about it! What is there to stress about? Love is all you need. Details aren’t as important as you two sharing your first kiss as a married couple. ~Brittany Reed/Photographer
Disagreements and arguments are normal—even healthy—aspects of any relationship. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with something as stressful as planning a wedding. Appeasing both families, creating the guest list, and choosing the venue can leave you feeling pitted against each other rather quickly. “Emotions are running high, way too many people are meddling in your life because of the event, and the logistics are crazy-making—if you didn’t have a fightbefore the wedding, it would be unusual!” says April Masini, New York-based relationship and etiquette expert.
But even if it’s normal to disagree while planning your wedding, no couple wants to feel resentment towards their partner. To help minimize fighting, we reached out to relationship and wedding experts for their best tips for keeping the peace.
This involves more than simply hearing what your partner has to say (even when you don’t like it.) You should also try to understand what your partner is trying to say and how he or she truly feels. “If you can’t listen to each other now, this will most likely be an issue in the future,” says Cristen Faherty, wedding and event planner at Cristen & Co Event Coordination & Design. And it’s not just about listening, but also about communication patiently. “This will help you better understand one another and resolve big and small issues quickly so you can move on to happier moments.”
Make a list.
“Whatever the topic of debate is, write it down,” says Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance. “Break it down into sections for discussion and go over each subject individually.” For example, if the argument is over the budget, list out your individual priorities for the celebration and then discuss how you can come to an agreement on what’s most important. Another helpful strategy is to rate each item on your list on a scale of one to ten (ten being a very strong preference) to show its importance to you, suggests Claudia Six, Ph.D., clinical sexologist and relationship coach. For example: “I want my ex-wife’s parents to attend, and that’s an eight for me. I feel pretty strongly about it.” The other person may say: “My objection to your ex-wife’s parents being there is a two, so let’s invite them.” You rate your preferences and go with the highest rated option.
Delegate whenever possible.
“There will be wedding-related tasks that one person, or both, just do not wish to take on, such as choosing table linens or floral arrangements,” says Lehman. Her quick-fix? Consider the interests of each partner and then divide and conquer. “If your fiancé is a fan of local breweries and pub food, consider having him choose a craft beer as part of the cocktail hour, or selecting favorite appetizers to delight guests with.” When neither party feels compelled to decide on a certain aspect of the wedding, be it the flowers or the napkin fold, divvy those decisions up to family. Bottom line: Not everything has to be decided together.
Take a break for a while from planning.
In addition to being exciting, wedding planning comes with its fair share of stressful moments. If you and your partner find that wedding stress is getting in the way, or leaving you with less time to enjoy being engaged, plan an escape. “This could be something as simple as a romantic dinner together or taking off on a weekend trip,” says Lehman. “Rediscover all of the parts of each other’s personality that made falling in love so enjoyable.”
Focus on the big picture.
“Remember that you’re planning a day, but it’s the life beyond that day that truly matters,” says Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, a clinical psychologist and couple’s counselor. “This day is a celebration, and it is symbolic, but it is only a day, and the planning and execution of it is something that you are supposed to enjoy.” Her advice is to not let it create undue stress or drive a wedge between the two of you. Remember that it’s the rest of your life after that day that matters. “Keep things in perspective and don’t let too much weight be on this event, enjoy it, because hopefully you will only do it once.”
We have been extremely blessed to have our work published on the Wedding Colors blog!
We recently produced a styled photo shoot, with a Lilly Pulitzer inspired theme. Working together with the talented Brittany of Brittany Shelley Photography, our gorgeous models Lauren and Brandon, we spun the story of a surprise Engagement Brunch. Original artwork was provided by the gifted young artist Annika Lehman, the beautiful stationery was provided by Angela Marie Giaco of A Pink Sunset, and adorable cake topper was provided by Lexi Eveleth of Ever Laser. Baked goods were provided by the talented staff at our local Giant Eagle Bakery. We shot on location in Sippo Lake Park, in Canton, Ohio. Please enjoy!
Bright and colorful, with floral prints and a bit of tropical flare – this Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Engagement Brunch captured by Brittany Shelley Photography, and planned by Love, Laughter & Elegance, intrigued me at first glance. What a fun way to announce your engagement to your family and friends. An outdoor engagement party filled with vibrant color, fun accessories and yummy food. And when cocktails topped with mini paper umbrellas are being served you know you’re in for some fun.
From the photographer, Brittany Shelley Photography:This album story is about Lauren and Brandon, a real couple who were the perfect fit for this styled session. Lauren and Brandon plan on getting married soon so a perfect surprise engagement brunch was much needed with friends and family by their side. Their friends and family have not arrived yet. Lauren loves bold and bright colors so a Lilly Pulitzer theme was perfect for this brunch. Lauren gathered together her bridesmaid gifts in the colors that matched their table settings. These gifts were a way of asking her friends to be her bridesmaids. Lauren and Brandon are the sweetest! We wish them and their family the best as they celebrate their new life together 🙂