The Times, They Are A Changin’

I promise there is good reason for my cliche blog post title. Well, maybe not good reason, but reason enough.  I have recently made the incredibly tough, but hopefully right, decision to take the leap from working full-time for someone else and only part-time for myself, to working full-time as a Wedding & Event Coordinator for Get-Christine! I have booked more than double the amount of couples I am working with this year compared to last year, and I’ve already started booking into next year.

Additionally, there have been some major changes at the office I work for in that, I was presented with the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and hours than I was already working. Though it would have been a great chance for me to grow and mature with the company, and get even more work experience, I did not feel that it would be fair to the brides and couples I am already working with to take on more responsibilities elsewhere that would keep me from giving my heart and soul to my business. And so, the time had come for me to make a decision that I had no idea would come so soon.  Instead of putting in more time for my day job, I am putting all my time in on me! I am having very mixed emotions about the journey I am about to embark on, but I know that there are great things to come in my future.

I am looking forward to what the future has in store for me and I am forever grateful for the opportunity that Talari Networks gave to me. I will never regret the two years I spent working there because I learned a whole lot about many different things, and I met lots of wonderful people and made incredible bonds that I don’t expect to lose anytime soon.

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In making this decision, I am opening up my schedule to have more time to blog, plan and schedule stylised photo-shoots, host DIY arts & crafts events for my brides, and meet with couples, brides and their vendors during the day and not just at night! I am more than excited to plan and execute more weddings and events and that I’ll have even more time to write about my journey along the way.

I still have a few open dates for 2016 and plenty in 2017! 🙂

My Fabulous Fall Wedding

I know it’s been quiet on the blog for a bit, but I promise I am back. 2015 was a whirlwind for me between working full-time as an office manager, coordinating weddings of my own, second shooting weddings with my awesome Raleigh photographer husband, and hosting my own ridiculously big wedding, the whole year went by in a flash.

I should begin this post by letting some of my newer readers know that Ryan (my husband) and I were engaged for three and a half years before getting married. While I certainly recommend starting your wedding planning at least one year in advance, because it makes securing vendors and venues easier, I will never suggest this long of an engagement to anyone. It gave me way too much time to think, and stress, and plan, and stress, and invite people, and oh did I say stress?

Despite the years of planning and stress, I managed to put together what I like to think of as THE Wedding of the year.  Ryan and I carefully selected some of the best Triangle area wedding vendors and it absolutely shows in the images and my memory of our wedding day. Everything was perfect. Continue reading

Igor & Mirela Get Married!

It seems like forever since I worked a wedding, but the one that I worked on Saturday, June 7th with my fiancé was amazing! First off, I have to say Thank You to Ryan Steffes of Mister Guy Photography, for allowing me the privilege of working as his second shooter for this joyous occasion. Being witness to this wedding with my best friend and soon-to-be husband was an amazing experience and I’d like to try to share it with you!

Bay Leaf Baptist Church

Bay Leaf Baptist Church

Igor & Mirela got married at Bay Leaf Baptist Church in Raleigh and it was an absolutely beautiful day for an early Summer wedding in North Carolina. Before the Ceremony though, we snuck off to the JC Raulston Arboretum for some formal and fun shots of the Bride, Groom, and their wedding party. We had an absolute blast getting to know this group and managed to snap some pretty cute shots of all of them!

The Wedding Party

The Wedding Party

Not only was this group incredibly high energy and attentive, but they were also extremely photogenic. It was harder to get a bad photo of these guys than it was to get a good one!!
It really  was awesome to have a group of people who were having fun together, listening to directions, and getting some really great wedding pictures all at once. They were a really efficient group to work with and made my experience as one of their photographers very easy.

When she snaps…

Igor and Mirela were a wonderful couple to work with and all their family, friends, and guests of the wedding were equally as amazing. Oh, and I almost forgot a super important detail! Everyone involved in this wedding is from Moldova. (A country in Eastern Europe located between Romania and Ukraine.) And the whole wedding and ceremony was in Romanian. My fiancé and I didn’t understand much of what any of them were saying for most of the day, but the theme of unconditional love was ever-present and absolutely beautiful! The whole family made us feel as though we were not just working this wedding, but as if we were guests and made sure to fill us up with lots of food and desserts.

Buffet

Buffet

The family put together the entire reception including food preparation and display as well as decoration of the Fellowship Hall itself. The main color used was a bright Green and it was vibrant and Summery. The Wedding Party and various family members spent the entire night before decorating and did a fabulous job. I have never seen so much dedication and hard work on a wedding from so many family members before and I was so incredibly touched to be in the presence of it on this day.

The Cake

The Cake

Mirela was one of the most easy-going Brides I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She was incredibly sweet and considerate of Ryan and I’s needs all day. Igor was amazingly detailed and had our entire day planned out for us in the shot list he gave us, which made all of our lives easier. Being a Wedding planner, I was extremely nervous about working this wedding because I felt like I had very little information about the wedding planner type details going into it and details are a wedding planner’s best friend! Ryan may not have known the color scheme, but once we went over the shot list from Igor and Mirela, I felt like I knew exactly what they wanted. I love my fiancé , but I love checklists.

I will be Ryan’s second shooter for many more weddings and events to come, but this one really set the bar high for my standards of Wonderful Weddings. Thank you to Igor & Mirela and their entire family for allowing Ryan and I to be part of your very special day. We had a great time and wish you both the happiest of lives together!! Good luck with everything!

Congratulations

Congratulations

Selecting A Venue

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming and complicated process because of the many different details involved. You can, however, make the process easier on yourself by accomplishing certain tasks right away and checking them off your list. One of those things is selecting a venue.

Selecting a venue early on in the planning process is important because there are many factors to consider when choosing your venue. Before you even start looking at venues or putting down deposits, sit down with your significant other and discuss priorities. Make some lists (I love making lists), and call one “Must Have” and one “Can Live Without”. Be sure to keep this with you while visiting your venues.

After you’ve decided on priorities, be sure to really discuss what you and your husband or wife-to-be both envision. There are many venues out there, and more and more as time goes on. You don’t need to settle for anything, but you also don’t need to go into debt just because you fell in love with one particular location.  There will always be others!

Next, you should begin scheduling site visits to check out all the different venues you are interested in. Some venues will be so busy that they are unable to book private tours, in which case they typically host an open house. You can usually find this information on their website or on other bridal forums. Be sure to mark all of your appointments and important dates (bridal shows, open houses, tastings, etc.) on the calendar so as not to forget! If you have to add multiple reminders for yourself, do it. You will be glad you took the time to check out each place in person because pictures can be deceiving.RehearsalatGreystone

Visit your venue during the appropriate time of year. If you are getting married in the fall because you love foliage and want to feature it in your wedding photos, you should schedule your site visits during the fall a year or two before your wedding. This will help you to envision what your wedding would look like if you hosted it at that venue during that time of year. It will also allow you to note the most vibrant colors that surround the venue which will assist you in choosing your colors. Additionally, it will be easier to know what will match and what will clash your surroundings if you select your venue before you decide on your wedding colors.

Pick a place that really represents you as a couple and that brings your theme to life. By selecting a place that you love and dressing it up with your colors and decoration, you are creating a night that your attendees will always remember. Do you have a favorite place to watch the sunset, or maybe a specific mountain that you have hiked up together? If you’re not planning to get married in a church, there are tons of non-traditional options to choose from just by remembering intimate spots you’ve visited with your honey.

Don’t forget to compare prices and packages of all the venues you visit and be sure you select the one that gives the most value for what you are spending. This is where that list of priorities will help you out. If you know what specific details you are looking for in advance it will be easier to make a decision later when you are torn between two venues. Some venues have equipment on site and will include the use of things like tables, chairs, linens, and sometimes tents within their packages. Rental inclusions can make what seems like a more expensive venue a much more reasonable deal once you know total costs.

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Lastly, enjoy yourself. Looking at venues can be fun, but it can also be exhausting and disappointing. I know this first hand from experience. I recently visited some local venues and though they were beautiful, neither were exactly what I had expected. Pictures can be deceptive, as venues only display the best possible photos on their websites so as not to show any sort of minor flaws. Stand where your ceremony is going to be, look around and observe everything. These are the surroundings you will be seeing on your big day. If it seems too crowded or to have too much distracting or unattractive background, note that. Pay attention to whether there will be room for your photograph to move gracefully. If your camera man does not have access to you from many angles, you may miss out on tons of different shots you initially hoped for.

Don’t give up!! I know visiting venues is tiresome, especially when you’ve been to a bunch and still haven’t found what you were looking for.  But when you finally find the right one, you will be more than happy and ready to book it. And if you need any help, I’m here.

Alfred Angelo

I recently went to try on wedding dresses for the first time with my sister and I had an absolute blast! I want to share the details of my experience with you all because my first time at David’s Bridal with Jessi was not nearly as wonderful as this one.

First of all, I think my experience at the Alfred Angelo store was different in part because of the day of week we went. (Monday) When Jessi and I went to try on dresses we went on a Saturday, and that David’s Bridal was crowded from wall to wall! Not only were all of the consultants busy with brides, but the majority of the brides also had not just one person with them but an entire entourage! There was hardly any standing room and that was a pretty big David’s Bridal. I definitely suggest finding time to take the afternoon off during the week to go if you can. It was really nice to have the entire store to ourselves while shopping.

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White Compared to Ivory

Alicia and I went to the Alfred Angelo Bridal in Danvers, Mass because I have been dying to check out some Alfred Angelo dresses in person. Ever since I got engaged I have been obsessing about the dress! If you’ve been following my blog you probably already know this about me. I’ve mentioned before that I want to be a princess on my wedding day and that I had been eyeballing that Disney Fairy Tale Bridal Collection and that the original Cinderella dress was my favorite. But I’ve definitely changed my mind since I finally got the chance to go try some dresses on.

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Pointing out the detail on the train

First, I have to say that the consultant we worked with was just fabulous. She figured out pretty quickly from listening to my sister and I that I was just in town visiting and not really looking to buy anything just yet. Despite the fact that she had just learned she wasn’t getting a sale out of us, and that we were just there to try stuff on, she was still extremely helpful and friendly. I was preparing for the worst and expecting that she would be disappointed and no longer willing to even be friendly, but I was more than wrong. She took the time to listen to me describe what I was looking for, find a few good examples of what I described, help me in and out of each dress, and even pulled some tiaras, veils, and belts out to accessorize and give me a vision of what the finished product would look like.

I tried on about five or six different dresses, and at least three different styles. It was one of the last dresses that I tried on that really took my breath away. It had everything I described to Marcia (form-fitting, lots of sparkle, a little lace), but looked nothing like what I had originally envisioned wearing on my wedding day. That being said, I am obsessed with it.

I highly suggest getting a good idea of what you want in a dress before you go shopping. If you don’t know it may be harder to figure it out if you’re on the spot looking than it otherwise would be in the comfort of your own home while perusing the internet. Knowing what I wanted and being able to tell my consultant made her job that much easier. In fact, it didn’t take her very long after I told her what I wanted for her to find something I fell in love with.

I also recommend trying on accessories, even if you don’t think you want them. I went in to the store thinking I knew exactly what I wanted and thought I had firmly decided not to use a belt. But after trying on a few things, and discovering that the original dress style I wanted didn’t look great on me at all, I realized I needed to be open to the idea of trying different things.

Remember to bring a strapless bra and heels with you when you go to try on dresses. Having your own undergarments is helpful if you are someone who is anxious about stripping down in front of strangers. (Which you will definitely have to do because the consultants are the ones helping brides in and out of dresses.) And while you will usually have the opportunity to use bras or shoes that are being sold in the store, some smaller stores may not have shoes or undergarments to offer.

THE Dress

THE Dress

Overall, it was an extremely pleasant dress shopping experience and I firmly recommend this store to any women in and around the Danvers, Massachusetts area! The consultant who helped us, Marcia, even wrote down all the item numbers of the dress, veil, and belt I picked out while I was there, so I can easily find them  online or through another store location later on. Of course she is hoping I will come back and buy from her, but I can’t really make that decision right now. However, one thing that is definitely swaying my decision towards buying through Alfred Angelo specifically is that when you buy your Bridal gown through them, they offer a discount on your bridesmaid dresses as well as the mother of the bride and mother of the grooms dresses!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is based on personal experiences and opinion. This post was not sponsored or paid for in any way by Alfred Angelo or David’s Bridal.