The Knot Is The Place To Be

Crystal and Light
Crystal and Light

Crystal and Light

For those of you who missed last week’s Weekly Link on Mondays, do not fret, there wasn’t one, but to make up for my lapse I have a whopper for you. Just read on….

When it comes to wedding inspiration, The Knot is the virtual treasure trove on information, and inspiration.

They have a feature set that boggles the mind within their vast domain, you can:

  • Find a venue.
  • Create a registry.
  • Find a vendor through their listings.
  • Create a planning checklist.
  • Tap into a guest list manager.
  • Create a wedding page.
  • Join The Knot community and venture into their message boards.
  • …and much, much more.

There are plenty of articles to be found on The Knot as well. You might want to brew a pot of coffee, before you get started though.

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Tips For A Great Engagement Shoot

Ian & Meghan Under the Pier
Let the Train Pass Us By

Let the Train Pass Us By

You’ve just gotten engaged, you have a photographer (or do you) and your engagement shoot is fast approaching. Here are some helpful hints to help you plan for, and have a successful engagement shoot.

Planning for your shoot is one of the most important aspects of the shoot. You want to think about a location, or locations you would like to have your session. Many couples do not think this through thoroughly of what all the possibilities are. Think of it this way, say you are a couple that likes to hike, or snow ski. In fact, maybe this is how you met, on the ski slopes. Would it make sense to have your engagement session shot at the beach? Well, maybe if there is a nearby cliff, but you get the picture.

So here is tip #1: When deciding on a location for your engagement session, be sure to think about locations and activities you enjoy doing together. It does not have to be where you met, but it should be something you two enjoy doing as a couple.  The possibilities are endless, why not have fun with it? Keep in mind if you decide to have an amusement park shoot, or choose a location that requires admission, you may have to pay for your photographer’s ticket.

Ian & Meghan Under the Pier

Ian & Meghan Under the Pier

Tip #2: Try to have multiple nearby locations to shoot at, this will add more content, and backdrops for you to choose from.

Tip #3: Dress neat, but casual. Unlike your wedding day where you are dressed to the hilt, the engagement shoot is a less formal affair. What do I mean by neat? Well, that is totally up to you. Just don’t grab a wrinkled t-shirt and think you are going to get the pictures you want. While I’m on the subject of dress code, try to keep patterns simple, and do not wear yellow as a primary color, it tends to do funny things to skin tones.

Tip #4: Use the engagement shoot to get to know your photographer. This is the time when you can really get a feel for how your photographer works, and what to expect from them on your wedding day.

Tip #5: Use the engagement shoot to get comfortable in front of the camera. Most people are camera shy, and well, you’re not going to have a choice on your wedding day, so you might as well get used to being in the lime light. You may not know where to stand, where to look, etc don’t worry, your photographer will direct you. Before you know it, you’ll be posing like a natural.

Tip #6: Have fun, be playful with your partner and your photographer. Make your partner laugh and forget about the camera and the person behind it. These are the moments that will resonate in the final images because they are the most natural.

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DIY Centerpieces To Keep Your Budget In Line

CenterPiece
CenterPiece

CenterPiece

I hope everyone had a great new year. Now that 2010 is behind us, and you’ve had your fill of top ten lists of everything from best new gadget to top celebrity goof-ups, (I was really tempted to put out my own top 10 list too, but thought better of it) its time to get real, and practical again.

So, to kick off the new year, I thought I would start with a great DIY suggestion. Centerpieces don’t have to break the bank, nor do they have to drain it significantly. Centerpieces are focal points that set the mood of your reception. Doing it yourself if you, or someone in your family and friends are so inclined will also allow you to show off your creative ideas.

There are many places where you can order flowers in bulk at wholesale prices. To get started, follow this link at Do It Yourself Weddings – Wedding Centerpiece Ideas. The page is full of information with suggestions for winter, spring, summer, and fall weddings. From there, you can check out the many tips and suggestions to create your centerpieces, and save some money in the process.

While you’re there, you might want to check out the rest of the Do It Yourself Weddings site to find even more cost cutting tips to make your wedding just the way you want it to be.

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Self Publishing Your Images

My First Blurb Book

So, you’ve had your wedding, and it was a smash hit. You just got back from your honeymoon and had a few moments to decompress. Hopefully your email’s inbox is full of well wishes from friends and family, along with some pictures that were taken by them on your special day. You also have a ton of pictures to look at from your honeymoon too, right?

There are a thousand different ways to share your images, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and email to name a few. Have you considered making a book? Believe it or not, it is not as expensive as it once was, thanks to the internet, and a great service called Blurb.

My First Blurb Book

My First Blurb Book

Here is a screen shot of my first Blurb book, which I produced in December of 2008. It was a one off print I did for my wife, and features full page spreads of my photography of course. It is still there if I ever need to order another copy, which is cool too. Now if you try and find it, you’re going to have a hard time, because I made this book private, more on that below.

Blurb is a feature rich self  publishing site that you have got to try. You simply sign up for an account, download the software, and start building. You can choose from a number of book sizes, and templates to design your book just the way you want it.

Once you are done designing your book, you simply upload it to Blurb, and purchase as many copies as you like.

What’s more, if you want to make your book public so that others can see (and order) your book, there is an option for you to do so.

Blurb makes it easy to publish your book, providing you with virtually everything you need to make a quality coffee table book. Of course, you will need to provide the pictures, and text.

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A Brief History – The Garter Toss

Garter Glitz
Garter Glitz

Image Provided by Garter Glitz

The more I delve into the traditions of weddings, the more I am fascinated by how these traditions came about. So here is a little bit of fun history along with my Weekly Link on Mondays recommendation.

In the early 14th century, the garter, or other pieces of the bride’s undergarments were obtained by a grooms man to prove the wedding was consummated. In those days, it was common for the family to witness the consummation of the wedding, and often led to embarrassment on the part of the bride and groom for having to perform with an audience in attendance. There are accounts of groomsmen tipping the bride head over heals to get at the undergarments, which were considered to be good luck to the bearer of the trophy.

To address the issue of embarrassment, the duties of retrieving the garter became the groom’s responsibility, and the family was kicked out of their chamber. The groom would then “toss” the garter out the door to the awaiting family.

Sometimes guests were required to compete for the garter, in a foot race, or some other competition, or the garter was even auctioned off to the highest bidder. Here is a potential for some old fashioned fun and games to be injected into your wedding.

Today, the garter toss is usually center stage at the reception. Usually the Bride is seated while the groom retrieves the garter, and then tosses it to a reluctant crowd of unmarried men. It is funny to see the that the one who catches the garter is usually beaming from ear to ear with garter in hand, however reluctant he may be.

This brings us to today’s recommendation. Garter Glitz uses fine lace and ribbon embroidered with Swarovski® crystals, beads, freshwater pearls, and sequins to hand craft a garter for you. The craftsmanship that goes into these undergarments are fit to be heirlooms.

Garter Glitz also offers an alternative method for grooms to retrieve the garter. I can see how this technique may be popular for modest brides, and will also give your photographer a very different perspective to shoot as well. Follow this link and see for your self –  Garter Toss – The Tasteful Way.

http://www.garterglitz.com/garter-toss/

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Beautiful Veils by Jules

Veils by Jules

Veils have been around for a very long time, and have both religious, and practical uses over the centuries. Today’s most common use of veils is for weddings. Putting religious symbolism aside, they compliment the bride’s gown, very often with stunning results.

From a photographic point of view, veils provide opportunities to capture some beautiful and artistic imagery. Veils defuse and soften light, while catching, and casting shadows. They can make pictures look surreal and dreamy.

Veils by Jules

Veils by Jules

Today’s Weekly Link on Mondays is highlighting veils, the finishing touch to a wedding gown, but not just any veil. I’m talking about veils made by Jules.

Veils by Jules specializes in hand woven, custom made veils. From birdcage veils, to long cathedral veils, she will craft one that will match, and suit your needs. She will give your veil, and you the utmost attention, providing you constant contact until your order is completed. Veils by Jules will ship anywhere in the United States too.

Julie is very professional, quick to respond to your inquiries, and is an absolute pleasure to work with. There are veils, and then there are Veils by Jules.

You can contact Julie by visiting her contact page here, and filling out the simple contact form.

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SWLund Photography Joins BridalTweet

Let's Dance
Let's Dance

Let's Dance

A little over a year ago, I didn’t have a clue as to how useful Twitter could be, or for that matter, how to use Twitter. To this day, I am a bit mystified by it, but I have made quite a few discoveries. Recently I made a really neat one called Bridal Tweet. So, what is Bridal Tweet, you might ask?

Here is a quote directly from the site’s home page, “This is a free wedding forum where anyone can browse around but only the 9,708 members of our wedding forum can ask questions & share inspiration.”

It is so much more than that, Bridal Tweet is a wonderful resource for newly engaged couples to interact and meet a whole slew of vendors for just about all their needs when planning their wedding.

It not just a listing of caterers, officiates, wedding planners, or eh-hum, photographers, you will find other services and providers like dress makers, invitation designers, and much more. Feel free to browse the forums, or become a member (free) and connect with other members, ask questions, create a blog. There is so much to do, this post hardly scratches the surface.

I have been so involved with getting to know the ins and outs of Bridal Tweet, I almost forgot about Twitter…almost. So visit a thriving community of wedding professionals, and couples seeking both inspiration, and knowledge.


Visit Wedding Forums @BridalTweet

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Simple Widget Makes Picking A Wedding Dress Style Easy-er

Meghan's Dress
Meghan's Dress

Meghan's Dress

Today’s Weekly Link on Mondays post explores wedding dresses. Assuming you are still in the market for a dress, and flustered by all the choices out there, this link may help you at least get a visual reference of different styles of dresses. On the Wedding Dresses home page they have a nifty little widget to help you narrow your dress selection down, by using check boxes to define different styles, price range, embellishments, color, body shape, and neckline, the site will then find the dresses that fit the categories you select.

I played with this single feature on the site at length, and found you can select multiple check boxes in each field to get different results. As a visual aid, this tool works quite well, and will at least give you some ideas or starting points when browsing various dress styles.

When you click on a particular dress, it will give quite a few options to share your find with your friends and family via email, facebook, twitter, and several other social sites. If you register with the site, you can save your picks to a look book so that you can later compare and cull your choices down to that one dress for your wedding day.

Head over to WeddingDresses.com and discover a different interactive way of wedding dress hunting, and have fun doing it.

When you’re done looking for your dress, you can then start looking at dresses and styles for your bride’s maids too.

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