Category — Decor & Details

A Bride Asks: What Should I Expect From My Photographer?

This week we interviewed a pair of our favorite photographers, Tim and Merrill of Sweet Little Photographs. They’re giving us the scoop on what to know before you meet with your photographers from knowing if a photographer is right for you, to a head’s up you might want to give your guests! How could you not be smiling from ear to ear with this darling couple behind the camera? Their experience in the industry is invaluable, so study this post intently brides to be!

What should the couple expect at their first meeting?

The first time we meet with our couples, we like to start the conversation by asking to hear their story. This gives us the opportunity to learn how they met, swoon at their fabulous proposal, and feel connected with the history behind it all. It’s a great way for us to get a general vibe of how they interact with one another. We also ask about the wedding and what they envision for their special day, including venue, color scheme, decor inspiration, and anything that gives us a glimpse into their vision. From there we let the couple take direction of the conversation by answering any questions that they have for us, whether that’s regarding logistics of how we work, payment, timeline, or any other particulars. We think the meeting is the perfect way to see if you and your photographers click, because you need to keep in mind that these are the people who will be following you around for the entire night so you should feel comfortable and at ease with whomever you chose.

What information is it helpful for the couple to provide?

Before any meeting is set up, we always ask in the initial email for the date of the event and the venue location. That way we can immediately let you know if we are available and if there are any additional travel fees involved. It is also helpful to know if there is a separate location for getting ready or for the reception, that way we can look at the timeline and really assess how many hours would be efficient. After getting those initial details and booking the date, we usually get a bulk of the important information a few weeks before the big day. We send out a questionnaire asking for important phone numbers (it’s always helpful to have a bridesmaid or planner’s number on there since we know how busy you are the morning of your wedding), the timeline, family photo shot list, specific shots wanted (are you wearing a necklace passed down from your grandmother? Let us know! Does your groom have your wedding date stitched into his jacket? We want a photo of it!). No need to tell us you want a photo of your dad walking you down the aisle, your first kiss as husband and wife, or a shot of the cake. We have all the standards down to a science, but we do want to know if there is anything really special that we may otherwise overlook.

What is the most difficult request to fill?
As much as all of us photographers adore Pinterest, we have found that it has created some unrealistic expectations in regards to photography. It is absolutely wonderful to bring some ideas to the plate for your wedding or engagement session, but please do not expect your photographer to be able to recreate that exact shot. There are so many variables to consider: the weather, the location, the position of the sun, the couple. Instead, think about what it is you love about that photo. Is it the way the couple is posed? Is it the composition of the photo? Are there fun props? Take that as inspiration, but leave it up to the artistic professional to create your very own Pinterest-worthy shot.


How many times should the couple expect to meet with their photographer?
We generally only have one meeting with a couple before the big day to determine whether or not we are a good fit for them. In addition to hiring us for their wedding, a couple may also choose to book us for an engagement shoot, which we definitely recommend for a few different reasons. First, it gives you a chance to see how we work together as a team. You can pretty much guarantee that we will operate the same on your wedding day as we do during your engagement session. Second, after an hour-long engagement shoot you will be old pros at posing for your portraits by the time the wedding comes along. You can rid yourself of all the nerves and anxiety about being photographed and will be so much more comfortable with us at the wedding. And lastly, we get to use that time to learn more about each other! We love getting to know our couples better and developing a friendship with them. This is our favorite part of the job and we love walking away feeling like we just gained some amazing friends.

What is the best advice you have for the couple on their big day?
As cliche as it sounds, don’t sweat the small stuff! The big day has come, your friends and family are all around you, you are marrying the love of your life! Who cares if the peonies are baby pink instead of fuchsia, if your three year old flower girl gets scared and doesn’t want to walk down the aisle, or if the DJ plays the wrong song for your first dance. Breathe…take a sip of champagne…and remember what this day is really about.


What do you need the couple to do the day of?

This is absolutely optional but we love it when the couple has asked the guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony. Whether it’s a sign in the entrance or a brief mention from the officiant, letting them know that you have hired professional photographers for this very occasion can actually give you better photos from us. We’ve experienced a lot of people getting up out of their seats holding up giant iPads hoping to get that perfect shot, not realizing that they have just stepped in front of our cameras. We know how exciting this is for all of your friends and family, but we promise that we are capturing everything (and with much better cameras!). The guests should enjoy the ceremony in real-time and then relive it through the photos we capture. Having a little note allows your guests to experience your incredible ceremony without being distracted by which Instagram filter to use.


Anything else?: Here are some random thoughts from us!

As photographers, we want to capture the moments as they unfold on your big day. We do our best to be flies on the wall, getting the shot of your mom crying as she zips up your dress or your best friend getting emotional watching your first dance. We don’t like staging anything because we don’t want you to feel like anything is forced. We want to photograph the day as it is happening…the nerves, the excitement, the happiness, the love! Some photographers work differently, so make sure you let them know what makes you feel comfortable.

The best time for your photographers to eat is during the dinner service at the same time that the rest of the guests are eating. After dinner the timeline is usually jam packed with speeches, the first dance, father-daughter dance, cake cutting, etc, so we need to be finished eating and ready to hit the dance floor to capture all of those incredible moments. A simple note to the caterer or planner before the event is very much appreciated!


A big thank you to Tim and Merrill for sharing all of these helpful tips with us!

Check out more about Sweet Little Photographs here!

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A Bride Asks: What Should I Expect From My Floral Designer?

This week we interviewed one of our favorite Floral Designers who we have had the privilege of working with since Lovely’s creation in New York, Rebecca Shepherd! She gave us all the information you could need before going in and meeting with a florist for the big day!




What should the couple expect at your first meeting? 


The first in person meeting to discuss flowers follows after a few connections back and forth via email or phone calls. It’s important for the florist to get all the information about your needs including how many tables you have, your bridal party, what you need for your ceremony, the location of your wedding venue, and your floral budget. This will give a mutual understanding about general pricing and expectations. Once those preliminaries are out of the way, we’re free to set a date to meet! I like to have my clients start putting together a collection of images that inspire them. Pinterest is an awesome resource for this hunting and gathering process. The Pinterest album can have all kinds of images that will convey your overall style and desired look. I encourage putting images of invitations, dresses, jewelry, shoes, and of course flowers that tickle your fancy. This gives me a solid understanding of what you are looking for on your big day. From there we will go over your options for the table scape’s, centerpieces, ceremony, etc. I’ll be able to suggest blooms that fit your style and that will be in season on your wedding day. At my design studio, you will be able to thumb through my collection of containers, props, and look book for inspiration.




What information is helpful for the couple to provide?


It’s very helpful to know how many tables there will be, including if they will be round or long. It’s hard to put together a detailed proposal if you haven’t yet decided on round, verses long tables. Decorating long tables is more expensive than round tables because they tend to need more elements to trickle down. It’s helpful to have a good source of images to show me, whether it be a Pinterest album, tear sheets, or images that have been sent to me via email. Pictures do say a thousand words, but it’s also good to be able to describe what you like. For instance, brides say they are looking for “Art deco style, romantic, bohemian, modern, rustic, Victorian, whimsical, etc.”


It’s also good to make a list of what you need. So many brides overlook all the add ons! Do you need a card table arrangement/prop set up? What about an entry way piece, a guest book table, the bar, cocktail tables, aisle decor, hair flowers, bathroom arrangements, or your cake decorated? These are all important pieces of the puzzle that can creep up right when you thought the decor was under control!


Also, it’s really good to have an idea of your timeline. Do you need a few different drop offs? Some brides want their personals delivered to their hotel early for photos. This is important for scheduling on my end. Is your party not happening until 4pm? Also very important for me to know so I can plan the wedding breakdown, deconstruction, packing, and cleaning up party.




What is the most difficult request to fill?


Flowers are created by mother nature. She doesn’t always make your favorite peonies the same time of year as your wedding date. Remain open minded to flowers that can act like that big fluffy peony that is not in season. We’ll come up with alternatives! Flower colors are also made by mother nature. Let’s not dye those precious beauties. Remember, blues and purples can often be seen as one or the other at the exact same time! Flexibility is key with flowers because it allows the designer to shop the market for what looks amazing the week of your wedding. When you stick to your guns about a lot of specific flowers, you end up limiting yourself to alternatives that show up at the market without warning that may be perfect for your ensemble. This doesn’t mean your flowers should be a mystery, it just means it’s good to show that you have flexibility with some ingredients.




How many times should they expect to meet with you?


I have had clients that I have met only once. I have had clients that have needed to meet 3 times due to extensive planning, or ordered mock up’s, and I have have had clients that I have never had the pleasure to meet! A handful actually! This has been the case with brides that live out of state or the county. We work a great deal via sharing images and being very specific, so, you really will have a good handle on what to expect.




What is the best advice you have for the couple on their big day?


This is my favorite question! I feel like I tell my brides on the day of to enjoy every moment; that it goes by SO VERY FAST! Be specific leading up to, and planning your wedding. Now is the time to get sorted about your expectations. This is your wedding. Remain true to what you want on your big day. There will always be compromise. Pick and choose what you can’t live without and give in to what your mom/in-law can’t live without. This is first and foremost a celebration of the two of you, but look at it like it’s also a great way to exercise your ability to compromise, negotiate, and let some things fall to the wayside. At the end of the day, all you need is love (:




What do you need them to do the day of?


Get a good night’s sleep the night before, be surrounded by family or friends that calm and support you, have healthy snacks around you all day. Breath! Enjoy! Try not to let all those stress bugs steal your big day from you. The one you’ve likely spent 8 months to a year planning. It’s so easy for all of us to take ourselves too seriously. Focus on your soon to be partner in crime. Focus on the fact that it’s the beginning of a brand new chapter in your lives. The professionals you hired will handle the rest.


Thank you so much to Rebecca for answering all of our burning questions! To see more of her gorgeous work check out her site here.

Photos Via Isabelle Selby PhotographyW. Scott Chester PhotographyBetsi Ewing Studio, and  Di Bezi Photography.

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Vegetable Bouquets


Maybe unusual to add veggies to the wedding when they are not on dinner plates, but in recent years, vegetable bouquets are becoming quite the hot commodity. Perfect fit for a rustic wedding, or even in a vineyard with a barn for the reception.
Carrots/ Potatoes/ Asparagus

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Lovely New Year’s Eve Party Essentials!


Ready for a new year of possibilities? Perfect! But before we do that and get in the mode of our many new year resolutions, how about throwing a New Year’s Party? Got to have some key elements decor style, and even though we eat strawberries and cake and champagne, they still make that table setting look superb.

1. Countdown Cork
2. Confetti Popper
3. 2014 Invites
4. Porcelain Champagne Ice Bucket
5. Moet & Chandon
6. Classy Champagne Glasses
7. Gold Tipped Candles
8. Strawberries
9. Black & White Table Settings
2014 Banner/ Confetti Kisses

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One Great Dress – Sneak Peak At A Katie May Design

As a sneak peak to a special upcoming trunk show at our Lovely New York, I thought a styled post on the “Princeville” gown by the talented designer Katie May, would do nicely. We will hear more from Katie next week in my interview with her, but in the meantime, here is One Great Dress from the “lovely” Katie May.

Many ways of course, as we all know, to style one gown. With the “Princeville” gown, I decided to let the dress guide me, and chose simplistic elements of sweet white flowers, elegant drop earrings, and soft hair styles. And with that dramatic low back, a rustic atmosphere compliments the glamour well. 

“Princeville” gown by Katie May/ Chignon Hairstyle/ Black & White Glamour/ One Sided With Curls/ Diamond Drop Earrings/ Matching Jewels/ One Drop Diamonds/ Peonies Bouquet/ Babies Breath/ Angelic Flower Girl/ Seating Cards/ Rustic Tablescape/ Outdoor Inspiration

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