If you've never been to Hope, Idaho...I highly recommend you take the drive. It's stunningly beautiful. Hope is a small town on Lake Pend Oreille, and Dan and Andrea chose to say their vows at Beyond Hope Resort lakeside. We took photos before the ceremony at the equally gorgeous Clark Fork Lodge about 15 minutes away, and with the stunning backdrop of orchard, mountains and pond. Oh! And the owner of the resort parked his beautiful car on the lawn for our pleasure. It couldn't have been a more beautiful evening for the wedding, complete with gorgeous sunset. Just lovely.
The day after the wedding can be a perfect time to get those informal family photos of everyone from all over. Even the goat who made the CAR TRIP FROM SAN FRANCISCO. I absolutely love these documentary style photos of this family cuddling and tickling each other, hugging and giggling together. Of course we had to get the group shots of everyone, but I'm just melting over the genuine love in the unposed shots.<3<3<3
Have you thought about having bridal portraits taken prior to, or after your big day? Besides being *another* fun reason to get all dolled up and don your wedding dress (not that you need one!) there are some pretty solid reasons to consider having them done!
If you have been wondering if bridal portraits are right for you, then I have some valuable advice to help you make your decision!
While bridal portraits have been around for years, they have been more popular in the South than here in the PNW. As a photographer, I absolutely love these types of sessions, for so many reasons!
Many brides see photos of styled photoshoots that I have done, or photos in magazines, and have commented that they don’t think they could ever look that good.
I’m here to tell you that you are wrong, and you can (and will!) look that amazing if you do a bridal session. Here are the top reasons I think you should do bridal portraits.
1) You get comfortable in front of the camera.
Your wedding day can stressful, and since your photographer is going to be for the duration of the whole thing, it can be a bit much to have a camera trained on you if you’re not used to it. If you do a bridal (or engagement) session beforehand, you get used to being in front of the camera, get to know your photographer and therefore, end up looking much more natural in your photos.
2) Your beautiful wedding gown!
You spend so much money for a dress that you get to wear ONCE. Why not make the most out of your investment? You can choose to do your bridal portraits either before your wedding or after…getting to wear that gorgeous gown again with a different headpiece or your hair down instead of up might be really fabulous! Finding a unique location that complements your dress (and a place that you most likely wouldn’t have time to go to on your wedding day), can make for some incredible portraits.
3) How do I look?
You’re most likely getting a hair and makeup trial anyway, so being able to put everything together – hair, makeup, accessories, veil, dress – can make you see exactly how you will look for your wedding day. You’ll be able to see exactly what does (or doesn’t) work, and give you time to change it before your big day. (For instance, I had a bracelet that kept snagging my dress, so I ended up taking it off after the ceremony. If I had known it would do that, I would have chosen something else!) Also, being able to see exactly how you’ll look in your photos will help give you that bridal confidence that will make you shine even brighter on your actual wedding day. And again, if you want to do photos after the wedding day instead, you have the option of the “Trash the Dress” session!
A wedding day is inevitably scheduled and harried with a packed itinerary. In most cases, that hour or so you have for wedding portraits usually dwindles down pretty quickly. With a bridal session, we’re not in a rush to head to the reception on time, so we can spend the time getting amazing photos.
5) A gift!
On top of those four important reasons, you can also use the photos as a gift to your groom on the day of the wedding, or even as part of the reception decor!
Allie and Ryan are two music teachers were high school sweethearts. Their entourage of friends and family were as fun as they get. Pink and gold filled the reception hall at beautiful Trezzi Farms, and the dance floor didn't stop rockin' all night. I loved this family and their love for this couple!
Allie and Kyle were such a fun couple. I couldn't get over how Kyle looked at Allie the whole day. There were stars shooting out of his eyes, and it was enough to make any girl melt. The ceremony and reception were at the stunning Aspen Grove in Deer Park, with beautiful weather to boot. The couple chose pale pink and gold colors, and the details were stunning. A gorgeous sparkler send off topped off what couldn't have been a more perfect day! <3 these guys!
I had the pleasure of photographing this beautiful couple in January. They met at Gonzaga, (Go Zags!) like my husband and I did, so of course I felt an instant connection. After a beautiful traditional ceremony at St. Al's on the Gonzaga Campus, the couple celebrated with friends and family at Chateau Rive in the Flour Mill. Dancing was kicked off by a surprise Flash Mob to Bruno Mars Treasure, and continued throughout the night, including some pretty amazing Venezuelan dancing by Astrid and her family, and everyone else getting down pretty hard too. It was so much fun, and I was just happy to be there to get to capture all of it.
So you're engaged! Already your head is spinning with ideas about planning your dream wedding. You're probably already picking out which shoes are cute-yet-comfy enough to wear to the upcoming Bridal Festival here in Spokane this weekend, so you can check out some of the vendors for your upcoming day. Here are a few more tips to help you have fun and take it all in!
Adapted from an article by Shaun Gray
1. Meet your new friend Avery.
Some Bridal Festivals offer this as a perk for registering (check with the one you are planning on going to) , but just in case, doing a little prep ahead of time can save you some major hand-aches. A bridal festival can have anywhere from 100 to 600 booths, all vying for your contact information and wedding details. Now, granted, you probably don't fancy the thought of giving your information out to that many people, but for the purposes of demonstration let's say that you find 50 vendors you'd be interested in talking to more. Can you imagine filling out 50 identical forms? Me either, so the solution is that you put your contact information, your wedding date, and if you're an overachiever, your wedding budget, on a mailing label. Print out a few pages of those suckers and you're good to go!
2. Communication is golden.
Remember the 600 vendors we talked about in the last point? And, for the demonstration, we said you'd talk to 50 of them. Now, do you really want those 50 vendors to contact you? When you give out your contact information at a bridal expo, that is you giving the vendor permission to contact you, because you are showing genuine interest in learning more about their products or services. So, if they contact you, respond to their messages, or, if you decided you weren't interested, let them know. The professionals aren't going to hound you about it, but we're also human so we appreciate common courtesy. And, trust me, it'll make you more selective on who you give information to.
3. Bring your A-Team to the show, leave the subs at home.
If the wedding show is held in a stadium or convention center, you can only assume that it will be jam-packed with exciting and flashy booths, but you can also expect that it will be crammed with brides-to-be and their families. So, the fewer people you bring with you, the more enjoyable and spacious this experience will be. Also, if you and your mom love a photographer, but Aunt Betty doesn't think he's right for you, she's going to tell you for the duration of the show, and she'll also let every other photographer you meet that day know. This will be uncomfortable (and annoying!) which is the opposite of what it's supposed to be.
4. Do you have a shopping cart? This isn't Costco.
We wedding vendors stock up on promotional giveaways like pens, candy bars, can coolers, and all sorts of things because we think it's the secret weapon to get you come talk to us, and you're going to go home and use one of these gadgets and somehow strike up a conversation with a complete stranger about where you got that ridiculously cool keychain. The truth is, you probably will never use the item once you leave the show, and it will end up in a cardboard box deep in the heart of your garage. So, don't worry about stopping by a booth and grabbing 15 magnets from one single vendor, because you don't need them as much as you think you do. Now, if that's partnered with a request for a consultation later in the week, then by all means, take as many mint tins as your purse can carry.
5. Map out your trip.
If you've been at this a while, then you probably don't need to find every vendor necessary to complete your wedding day. So, make a list of the three different types of vendors you need to see at the show, and only stop at those types of booths. Also, if you're just engaged, then you probably need a venue, caterer, and a wedding planner. So, those are the three you need to look at first before you start looking at wedding cakes or shoes. Staying to a strict vendor-type list will make the show more enjoyable for you, and also less overwhelming. Trust me.
Those are just five tips to make your next bridal expo a fun experience for you and everyone you drag with you. There's at least 18 other tips out there, but its more important that you have a fun time than bogging you down with a list of do's and don'ts. You are a unique bride, these tips will ensure that you get everything you want for your wedding, and the ability to cut out everything you don't.
Taking photos is just one of the ways I can express my creativity and appreciation for unique beauty. I am a visual person, and I truly enjoy opening my eyes and capturing life. It is all art, and I revel in its creation. This is where I post my inspirations, ideas and overall brainstorms that fuel my creativity.
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