by: Lauren

Continued from yesterday’s post, Part 1


I may not be a Photography Pro, but I went through the whole process of looking for a photographer, interviewing, comparing packages, and even experienced some photography heartbreak.


Here are some things that I learned along the way:


  • Know what photography style you like. There are several different styles that photographers have. There is the more traditional posed style, and then the photojournalism approach, with more candid shots. Know what you like ahead of time, and look through photographers’ portfolios and blogs.


  • Consider seeing each other before the ceremony. I know, it’s one of the most nontraditional things to do, but it really is a lot more beneficial. I wish I had done it. I probably wouldn’t have been crying while walking down the aisle, and we would’ve had the chance to have more photos of the two of us. It’s becoming the norm to for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony. From all of the photos that I’ve seen, it actually seems more emotional and exciting, and the photographers are able to catch the amazing moment. Just look at the photo montage from yesterday’s post!


  • Know how long the photographer will be photographing. Some photographers won’t put a time limit on their weddings, but some set a certain number of hours that they will photograph, and then they pack up and leave. If they do have a maximum amount of hours, see what it will cost to have them stay until the end of the wedding. Don’t let this happen to you! Trust me, you want exit photos!


  • If you have to have an amateur, help them out! Realistically, many brides can’t afford to even THINK about having an experienced professional photographer. Therefore, if you are having a friend, family member, or new photographer shoot your wedding, find articles on wedding photography to help them out. Try to be sure that they have an idea about how lighting works, and what a wedding consists of. If you have a wedding planner, I’m sure they’ll have some tips as well…maybe even books or magazines. Your photos are going to be the only thing you have left of your wedding- you want them to be amazing!


And now, the documentation of a little experiment by a journalist who has a nice camera. Cody Ellerd, with Seattle Bride Magazine, had his camera and skills put the test against a professional photography team, John & Joseph Photography. I think it’s safe to say that an article wasn’t even needed for this. The pictures tell the whole story.


(Photos on top are by Cody Ellerd, photos on bottom by John & Joseph)

Tips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 2 via TheELD.comTips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 2 via

“This was such a cute moment, totally unscripted,” Ellerd remembers. “They bumped fists and it was clear it was a little habit of theirs, one that conveyed their friendship. Joey was right there to catch it while I was fumbling with my focus ring.”


Tips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 2 via TheELD.comTips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 2 via

“This image is so painfully inferior,” says our rogue photographer Cody Ellerd about her image. “My angle is bland while Joey’s is creative. His is crisp and perfectly exposed, while mine is washed out and grainy. Joey knew exactly how to take advantage of the sense of motion created by this cool backdrop.”


Tips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 2 via TheELD.comTips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 2 via

“The couple was getting a little photo fatigued,” Ellerd says, “but Joey turned it into a beautiful and intimate shot. I thought there was enough light, but without using a flash and spoiling the cool light bouncing off the building behind them, I couldn’t get my hand quite steady enough.”


Tips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 2 via TheELD.comTips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 2 via

For this “exit shot,” the clarity and color of Joey’s shot versus Ellerd’s is evident. “Notice the white car in front of Chris and Vicky,” Ellerd says. “Joey magically made it disappear—I’m not even gonna try.”


The professional photographs are such a stark contrast to the writer’s photographs. It’s almost unbelievable what these professionals can do with a camera.


I hope these tips will be of some help to readers. Photographs are such a tremendous part of weddings. It just breaks my heart to hear about brides with poor photographs. Utilize these tips and find your perfect photographer!


If you need any help choosing a photographer, I am more than happy to help! I want you all to have the absolute best memories of your wedding!


by: Lauren

How do you plan on remembering your wedding day? That short amount of time that you spend SO much time planning will pass by unbelievably fast. So many people and conversations, so many things to do. You’ll have your memories, but after some time, even those will be vague. Maybe the memory that sticks with you will be how it rained all day or the guest who fell flat on their face on the dance floor. No one knows- but you can have vivid memories of your wedding with the help of a great photographer.


A wedding is not complete without a photographer. However, there are so many sad stories that go around the wedding industry having to do with photography- the photographer didn’t back-up photos and they all got deleted; there weren’t any photos of the bride with her family; taking 2 years to get the photos back, or never at all.


Most issues with wedding photography are the product of brides being misinformed when looking to hire their photographer. They are on a budget, so they just hire the most inexpensive photographer they can find, or they have Uncle Joe take the pictures with his snazzy new camera. I’ll be honest- photography is expensive. When I started on my photographer hunt, I was in shock when I heard the package prices for some of the excellent photographers out there. But I kept looking, and I did a great deal of research. I found a decent photographer for a decent price. However, I still regret not sacrificing something else in the budget to hire the more expensive photographer.


I’ve compiled a list of tips from articles floating around the internet. Hopefully these tips will help brides choose the photographer that is best for them!


Tips from CedarHouse Photography:

  • “Please, please hire a professional. I’ve heard too many horror stories of bottom-of-the-barrel photographers who leave lens caps on, have their thumbs in all the shots, yell at your guests, don’t back up their images… the list goes on. I talk to people who say something like, “Well, my Uncle Bob / friend from college / next door neighbor has a really nice camera, so…” Great. Does your Uncle Bob / friend from college / next door neighbor know how to work their really nice camera? Have they shot a wedding before? Do they have backup equipment in case their camera fails for some reason? Do they know about lighting, angles, the most flattering way to pose people? Will they interact with your guests well? What do they know about composition? What sort of finished product will you receive from your Uncle Bob / friend from college / next door neighbor – a CD of unfinished, unedited images, or a professional-quality album?”
  • Trust your photographer. Do an engagement session! You’ll get to know your photographer and feel more comfortable with them. Meet your photographer face-to-face. Email is all well and good, but if you’re serious about someone’s work, take the time to meet with them and get to know them. You will be spending ALL day on your wedding day with this person, so you better be sure you’re comfortable with them. Your photographer will be with you while you’re getting ready, while you’re interacting with all those in-laws you just met, while you’re dancing the night away… make sure you like your photographer as a person, too, because you’ll be hanging out hard core.”


My new favorite reaction from the Groom, via Style Me Pretty
Tips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 1 via


Tips from OnceWed:

  • Get recommendations and referrals. If your photographer of choice is out of your price range, or booked, don’t be embarrassed to ask for recommendations of other photographers, either. It’s also a good idea to ask the photographer to give you one or two references from other brides and grooms. Take the time to talk to these people and get a sense of how happy they were or weren’t with the photographer and the final product.
  • Ask to see a complete shoot, including outtakes. With the advent of digital photos, it’s pretty easy to make a picture, even a bad picture, look good online. Ask to see a complete job, including outtakes to get a good sense of the photographer.
  • Understand your budget and the package. Depending on where you live, and what’s included a photographer can cost anywhere from $500 to $20,000. Now $500 may sound good, but what if you spend $500 to hire the photographer only to discover that you can’t afford to add any prints or an album? Make sure you consider the total cost of what you want when planning your budget. Don’t forget to ask the photographer about things like travel and parking charges, and how many people will be working your wedding.
  • Make a list of photographs you want. An experienced photographer will know to get pictures of family, close friends, the bridal party, and older people. But, think ahead of time about which formal portraits you want, and make sure to let those people know where they need to be when.


Be on the lookout for Part 2 of this post soon! Tips from my experience as a bride and an interesting comparison of a pro versus an amateur will be included.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate ask! I’d love to hear thoughts and more tips on choosing a photographer!


by: Lauren

For some reason, I was feeling very drawn to mason jars today. It could have been the posts on blogs today that included mason jars. But I have been thinking of them recently, since one of my brides is using them in her centerpieces in October. Plus, I absolutely love their versatility!

My love for mason jars probably started when my husband came home one day with a case of mason jars, because he had an intense urge to drink out of one. So then I had mason jars all around me, and it was then that I decided to use them to make my bridal shower favors- the good old “recipe in a jar” gift. I had always wanted to make the “recipe in a jar” gift, so I took my chance! Plus, I love to bake, so I used my own tried and true recipes.

Mason jars can be used for a plethora of wedding related items- from centerpieces, to lanterns, to glasses for signature drinks! They can be rustic and classy, country and fun, big or small. It all depends on how they are showcased and what they are used for.

Inspiration Board: Mason Jar Designs via

*Row 1: Lantern; Drink Dispensers; Centerpiece; Centerpiece
*Row 2: Place Setting; Drink Station; Lantern; Votives
*Row 3: Mason Jar Drinks; Centerpiece; Cookie Mix; Drink Station

It looks like Mason Jars are becoming quite popular in weddings…are you planning on using them in your wedding?

by: Lauren

I’m about to begin a weekend project of organizing our study, which is overflowing with wedding magazines, miscellaneous wedding papers, samples of paper, notebooks, and photo paper. About 2 months before the wedding, we had everything nice and organized, but as the day came closer, organization wasn’t as important as getting things done in a timely fashion.

Thus, I am faced with the repercussions of post wedding disorganization.

I’ve been looking at different home office organization pieces, and some are pretty fun! And the different home office designs are just gorgeous! I can’t wait to eventually do a full overhaul complete with a new desk, paint, and shelving! But for now, I can stare at the computer screen while wishing.

Some stunning office decors:

Friday's Finds: Organization Goodies via
I really like the concept of this desk from IKEA. Minimalistic yet functional at the same time.

Friday's Finds: Organization Goodies via
I’m thinking that I might try to make something like this, from Pottery Barn, on my own.
A more simple version, of course.

Friday's Finds: Organization Goodies via
This brocade letter tray is amazing…I think I might have to get it.
And it has other matching pieces!

And here are some great wedding organizing goodies!

Friday's Finds: Organization Goodies via
By Mindy Weiss, found on Bridal Guide
Great for keeping track of RSVPs! Wish I had found this before!

Friday's Finds: Organization Goodies via
By Vera Bradley; found on Bridal Guide
Great alternative to keeping your wedding papers in a binder!

Hopefully I’ll get my space nice and organize this weekend! I don’t think it will be nice enough to take a picture of, just because the colors are definitely not coordinated. But one day, I will have an office space of my own to post!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!