Thursday, December 29, 2016

Using Pinterest for wedding planning and coordinating with your wedding vendors

When I got married, there was no Pinterest, but how did I ever do without it??? Pinterest is my VERY FAVORITE wedding tool, especially now that I am a wedding vendor. 

Before I show up to photograph a wedding, I study the bride's Pinterest board, if they have shared one with me.  It helps me customize each and every wedding day photography session, engagement portrait session, and bridal portrait session for exactly what my brides have in mind.
Alyssa's Pinterest board that I studied before the wedding day.

Pinterest can be used to: 
Plan colors, flowers, dresses, desired wedding pictures, cakes, decor, activities, favors, and so much more.

You can share your Pinterest board with:
Your dress shop to help them find you "the dress."
Your florist so they'll get the right colors
Your bridesmaids, so they'll feel included
Your maid of honor who is wanting to help you plan
Your photographer, so she/he will know what style of photography is important to you

This board is shared with four people.

If you're new to Pinterest (get ready for a wonderful, obsessive addiction for the first few days), here's an overview. 

  • Pinterest is just like having a bunch of blank bulletin boards on a huge, white wall, with magazines, pins, and scissors all over the floor in front of you. You pin the digital pictures that you are inspired by onto categorized boards. 
  • Pictures to pin can be found on Pinterest or on any website. For example, if you want to create a registry board, you can pin pictures from Bed Bath and Beyond or Pottery Barn's websites.
  • A Pinterest board can be public or private.
  • You can share a Pinterest board with others to view, or you can collaborate by adding people to pin to your board with you.
  • You can view anyone's public boards.
  • You can follow and unfollow boards and people ("pinners"). 

  1.  From a computer, set up your Pinterest account, or change the name of your account to make sure it's unique. TIP: use your name so friends can find you, but if you have a common name, add your middle initial or something to help others find you better. 
  2. Create a new board for your wedding. TIP: Use a unique name for the board, including your name or your initials. For example, it could be J+T = 3-4-16  in the board title.
  3. Pin away! Pin everything on one wedding board, or have separate boards for each type of vendor.  Examples include your dress ideas, colors, requested photos, etc.
  4. Edit your board often. If you do away with a color or change an idea, delete the pin.
  5. Send a link from your public board to your florist, your dress shop, your photographer, coordinator, friends helping decorate, your printing company- all ideas in one place, just like the old fashioned wedding binder.  
  1. Mobile: Click the paper airplane at the top of any Pin or board.
    Desktop: Click on your board, then click the three dots above (...) to send it several different ways. I prefer to be emailed a direct link, because I save my brides' Pinterest board links in their database. 

Optional - Install the Pinterest App on your mobile device to keep your ideas on your ipad, phone, and more. 

Optional - To pin things from other websites, install the "Pin It" button (instructions). This will allow you to pin from vendor websites, magazine websites, and more. 
  1. The Pin it button is the red P.
 TIP: This is the only way to share a secret board that I've been able to find.
  1. Once you’ve created the board, push the PLUS button beside the board title. 
  2. Type in the first and last name of the person you would like to add as a contributor (or type in their email address). 
  3. You can invite a) people you follow on Pinterest  b)Facebook friends (if your Pinterest is linked with your facebook) c) someone by email address. 
See the plus button?

Example: if you want to share with me, share the board to me via Pinterest or via emailing me the link to your board.
  1. Add as many people as you'd like, but know that they'll all be able to pin to your board and see all of your pins.
 TIP 3: Make your board have a unique name,  because your wedding vendors will be following a few brides' boards.

Ellen helped me out by putting a unique name on her secret board, so I can easily find her board versus any of my other brides' boards.

Well,  there you go- a complete Pinterest tutorial. I hope you'll enjoy sharing and pinning, and I apologize for your new obsession if you're new to this. :)

If you're one of my brides, please share your board with me!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Allison and Blake

Allison and Blake's wedding. Where to start?

First of all, let's state that this wedding was supposed to be on 10/7. It was delayed to try to get it at St. Mary's after all the much-needed renovations were complete. However, St. Mary's really did need a LOT of renovations, and that continued to delay the process. So, Allison and Blake got married at the newer sister church, Immaculate Conception in Lakeland.

It got dark right as it was time to do pictures of the wedding party. It was COLD outside, but the girls braved the weather for the pictures!

Blake's Pawpaw was chauffer of the night with his antique car. On the way to pick up the moms, the car's lights didn't want to work. I volunteered to follow him on the way to the church, but that man was driving so fast I couldn't keep up!

Kelsey and Brett's little boy, Tucker, was in the wedding, and he and I became friends this time. :) The kids got down to the altar and then turned back around and loudly ran around the echoing church for a while. I thought the priest was going to call them out there for a minute.

Mrs. Sarita played the piano and Debbie sang (I had done head shots for Debbie this year and it was good to see her again.)

Once the ceremony got moving, the priest was about to do communion and realized that the vows had not been done yet. We all laughed and he proceeded with the vows.

Family pictures were really important to Allison and Blake, so we took plenty of time on those.

Kelsey somewhat behaved herself during the pictures of the bridesmaids with Blake.

As we were doing the pictures in front of the church, the bridesmaids and groomsmen were in the limo watching and whistling at Allison and Blake.

The couple took off in the antique car to the reception.

I had thought Allison told me they were expecting 100 guests, but it was actually 600! The civic center is the best place in New Roads for large crowds at weddings, and I love when they decorate with these things coming down from the ceiling.

The reception had a New Orleans flair to it, complete with a Saints cake, Mardi Gras beads, and a second line.  The best moment of the reception for me was a tie. It was either when they played "Jambalaya" and these three guys got down and "rowed their pirot down the bayou," or when the second line song came on, and Blake was nowhere to be found, so his Pawpaw took his place and went with Allison around the room.

It was a loud, fun wedding with a big group of friends and family, just like a south Louisiana wedding ought to be.


Photographer: Tara Marie Photography, Tara Morris & Danielle Aucoin
Bride's Cake: Michelle Weller
Groom's Cake: Baking on the Bayou
 Church: Immaculate Conception, Lakeland, LA
Reception: Scott Civic Center, New Roads, LA

Friday, December 2, 2016

Emma and Stephan's wedding- a non-traditional wedding

Emma and Stephan traveled into St. Francisville for their wedding because most of Emma's family is from this area. We did not meet in person before the wedding, but we had a few phone conferences and some pinterest viewing together so that I could get a grip on what style they were looking for on their wedding images. What they wanted was a little bit different than my usual. Normally, on wedding day, I am constantly switching between being a journalist, then a portrait photographer, and then back to a journalist. Emma and Stephan wanted nearly all truly candid pictures. They wanted me to be a journalist during all except the family portraits. They didn't do any posed wedding party pictures, only a very few posed family pictures, and a few guided, not really posed, portraits of the two of them. The rest were just me capturing what they really did.

Now here's a disclaimer to this type of super-jounalistic photography coverage. For this to be a success, two things need to happen.
1. The couple really needs to be the type who tends to hang out together! Some receptions, the bride (or groom) is on the dance floor, while the other is with buddies outside. Emma and Stephan spent some time apart, but more often, they were together and having fun.

2. Something needs to actually be happening. Getting candid pictures of people sitting at a table eating can only go so far. Emma and Stephan danced, visited, jumped around to groups of friends, and had a picnic for the guided section of their couple's portraits.

From the beginning, things were super casual. Emma got ready across the street from the church at her Aunt Owen's house. No one was rushing, no one was stressed (that I could tell anyway), and Bob the dog came in and out as he pleased. People were laughing and having fun. Family was free to come in and relax.

Emma's dress was perfect for her- a loose fitting, non-dragging, party dress in a peachy color. There was a skirt overlay for the ceremony, and then she took it off for the reception.

The little girls had time to go and twirl in their dresses out in the street. I told one of them that she looked like a dragon princess in her outfit.

Now, normally, I'm used to the bride being all stressed out and waiting at the door of the church about 30 minutes before ceremony. At 12:50, 10 minutes before the 1:00 ceremony, Emma was hugging her friend and saying "All my dreams of not being at the church on time didn't come true! I'm not late!" To which I muttered "well, you're not there yet..." And Emma looked at me like this. :)

I decided to walk my smart-mouthed self on over to the church after that, and keep my mouth shut while getting ready for ceremony. Guests were seated, and others were gathering outside, including Bob, the dog, who almost came inside the doors.

Emma was crying from the moment she walked in the door, and I'm pretty sure Stephan had a little eye-leaking as well. I was very excited that the weather was perfect, and they decided to leave the doors open on the church during ceremony, letting in so much more light than would've been available otherwise. It was an open-door ceremony, with fresh air coming in.

Once we arrived at the reception, we set out a blanket, got them some food and drink, and they enjoyed a picnic on the lawn before going inside. The only casualty was Emma's shoes- they encountered a little dog poop on the lawn, but she was a trooper. :)

The food was gourmet-good. That's better than just good, y'all. It was fabulous, and displayed beautifully. Most of it was made in a joint effort by the bride's mom and her friends!

There was no rush for anything at the reception, no timeline, no DJ, no fuss. Everyone chilled on the lawn (did I mention the weather was beautiful?) and just enjoyed the company, wine, and food to the sounds of Emma and Stephan's homemade playlist on their computer.

The old dog hung out as well, right in the middle of the walkway, and became best friends with the kids who petted him all over.

Families played ball on the lawn. Others played tennis on the courts. Some sat on the chairs or the swing just watching the sunset. Even Emma tried her hand at some tennis.

This group of men were all in a fraternity together at one point, and they sang Emma the fraternity sweetheart song.

A few hours in, some toasts were said, and once again, the couple's eyes got a little misty.

As the sun was setting and the super moon was rising beyond the pond, Emma's uncle took his golf cart to the brush pile across the pond, and lit it up for a stunning display. I'd say that was even better than fireworks.

As my photography time was ending, we finished out the pictures with a group photo of the people who were still there, a pretty picture of the couple, and I left. But I doubt many of the others did- this was more than a wedding- this was a family gathering, and no one was in a hurry to go.

Thank you, Emma and Stephan, for letting me capture your tears, your laughter, your family, and a small piece of your big life.

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