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Monday, July 21, 2014

June 2014 - Camrose Hill Wedding

Hello, hello, hello!

I'm so excited to share with everyone some photos of a beautiful wedding at Camrose Hill Farm! Emma &  Alex were married on June 7, 2014. Although we had rainy weather, all of the vendors pulled together to make their day as perfect as possible!



 I'm so glad to say that everything worked out. We had to move the ceremony into the Pavilion, but Cindie St. Claire, and her excellent team, made it just as beautiful as the original outdoor ceremony space. The chairs were set in a curve to mimic the intimacy of a amphitheater and guests were serenaded with classical guitar music by The Michael Handler Project.

The beautiful, chandelier was decorated in a heavenly array of Hydrangeas, Roses, Jasmine and Baby's Breath. The shabby chic buffet was the perfect backdrop to place the Unity Candle. All in all, it was a lovely, heartfelt ceremony.

Guests then enjoyed cocktail hour whilst the reception room was set. Deco Catering did an excellent job making sure the transition went smoothly. When guests were seated, they were treated to a fantastic buffet, warm speeches with wonderful toasts, and plenty of tinking glasses so the newlyweds could kiss!

The clouds parted after dinner, and the evening sunshine gave the grounds a glorious golden glow. Guests strolled around the gardens until it was time for the cake cutting and dance to start. Slip Twister kicked off the party and kept everyone on the dance floor until the bitter end. It was truly a magical evening and I'm so glad to have been responsible for coordinating it! :)

Check out these wonderful photos by Laura Ivanova Photography! Emma & Alex are featured on her blog!














Special thanks to: Cindie St. Claire and Team (Camrose Hill Farm, Heikki, Soile, Carol & Rachel (Deco Catering),Laura Ivanova (Laura Ivanova Photography) Michael Handler (The Michael Handler Project, Mike & Paul (Slip Twister), Scott (With A Twist Beverage), Allison Munsell (Ultimate Events), Mariah Harrison (Harrison Film Co.), and the newlyweds Emma & Alex.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Christina & Max Featured on Brooklyn Bride

As a wedding planner, I often work with out of state couples that are planning their nuptials in Minnesota! This year I have couples from New York, California, even South Korea. While long distance planning means Skype calls and weird hours, it is always worth it because I know that I'm going to make their MN wedding experience the best it can be.

 Most of the time they use photographers from the area but in the case of Christina and Max, they booked the talented Isabelle Selby  of New York to do their wedding photography! I've checked out her work and I'm super excited that we're going to have a very talented photographer shooting one of my adorable couples. They've been such a pleasure to work with and I'm glad to say that it's all coming together. Couldn't be happier for these two having a little spotlight on them, they deserve it!

I just had to share that they are being featured on Brooklyn Bride! The images are so cool, with interesting backgrounds and a couple that are obviously head over heels in love.

I'm so excited that I get to be a part of their big day at Camrose Hill Farm in September!
Christina and Max, looking like chic lovebirds at Brooklyn Bride!

PHOTO CREDITS: ISABELLE SELBY PHOTOGRAPHY

Friday, May 9, 2014

Vendor Spotlight - Brovado Weddings





Hello everyone!

It's May! It's May! Finally, wedding season is kicking off! To celebrate the start of my busy-bee period, I wanted to share a little about a preferred vendor of mine, Brovado Weddings. They do amazing wedding photography here in the Twin Cities and in Hawaii!

I had the pleasure of working with Preston during my favorite season, autumn, and at one of my preferred venues, MN Boat Club. Of course, my clients, Chris & Kathleen were also an absolute dream to work with so this is the perfect time to share the timeless images of their big day captured by Brovado Weddings.

I had the opportunity to ask Preston and Elizabeth some key questions about Brovado Weddings, in hopes of shedding some light on what makes them so successful in our industry. Many of these questions I ask when searching for a photographer with clients. It really helps them to connect with the right person(s) for the job.

Here is great spot-light on one of my preferred Photography vendors. Enjoy!


1) Why did you decide to start Brovado Wedding and what services do you provide?  Preston created Brovado Weddings after returning home from several years of international photojournalism. He realized the skills he learned overseas translated well to wedding photography, and after seeing what was offered locally at the time, he knew he could provide an excellent quality wedding photography service.  We offer full-service wedding photography, wedding videography, professional luxury wedding albums, custom Save the Dates, wedding invitations, and Thank You cards, and the Antibooth photo station. 


2) What would you say best describes your style of photography? High-contrast, romantic, moody, unique

3) What mediums do you use for editing and what style of camera do you use and why? We primarily use Adobe Lightroom for editing – it’s a powerful piece of software that’s great for large volumes of photos.  We also use Adobe Photoshop.  Since we’re Adobe creative cloud members, we always have access to the most current versions of both programs.  Preston shoots with several different Cannon DSLR camera bodies and lenses, mainly the 5D Mark III, and he always shoots in RAW format. He prefers Cannon simply because that’s what he’s always used. He finds there to be no big difference in the quality of images between any of the high-end DSLR camera brands. 

4) Brovado does photography in both Hawaii and MN. Can you tell us how each place influences your photography? We do most of our work in Minnesota. On the mainland, weddings tend to be bigger full-day events, and this is great for our photojournalistic style! Preston and his second shooters make the most of every minute of the day and get plenty of bride and groom shots and detail shots, so we can assemble a grand photographic story later in the clients' wedding album and on our blog.  In Hawaii, the weddings are shorter and more casual, and we focus on getting more little intimate moments between the bride and groom, and the few family members who have traveled to be with them, and also big, wide angle shots of the gorgeous Hawaiian landscape. And, of course, sunset photos!

5) How much of your business is dedicated to doing weddings? Wedding photography makes up almost 100% of our business. We will occasionally shoot other events, such as maternity, children's or family photos, or even boudoir sessions, but we generally only do those types of sessions for previous wedding clients. 


6) What are your favorite things about being a photographer? I LOVE the wedding day! I have a knack for working with a crowd, and I like the hustle and bustle of a busy wedding day… It keeps me sharp, and I feel good when I can help out with things that make the day go smoothly. I love that I can provide clients with beautiful memories and capture the little things they might have missed on the big day.  It’s a big responsibility, and I’m good at what I do! 

7) What are your plans for Brovado Photography? For 2014, we are including a luxury Italian wedding album with every package. (In the past, clients could choose between an album or their images on disk.) We have found over the years that when clients simply have a disk of images, they rarely make anything of them. While they are well-meaning and do plan to get prints or albums made at some point, what usually ends up happening is a few photos make it to Facebook and then the photo disk sits in a desk drawer for years to come. With our new packages, we’re essentially forcing you to get a huge, beautiful, custom designed album to show all of your friends and family, household visitors, the neighbors, your future children, the mailman, the cable guy… The list goes on and on. People are happier when they have a physical way to enjoy their photos on a daily basis!
 

8) Are there any photographers that have influenced your style of photography? Why them?   I’m a big fan of Jim Garner out in Washington state. His moody and dramatic wedding images have been a big inspiration to my own style.  9) How do you capture the important candid moments at a wedding? I’m very sneaky… I also have the ability to be 3 places at once. It’s a quantum mechanics thing. 


10) How do you direct the wedding party to maximize your time shooting? Ah, I’m glad you asked. This is very organized, and I go to great lengths to work out a functional wedding day schedule with my clients far before the wedding day.  Group photos are always planned in advance, with a shot list containing full names, and even an assigned “helper” (usually someone who knows the family but won’t be in the photo) to track people down if needed. Group photo sessions are planned in a way that makes the most efficient use of the time available. We can usually get large group photo sessions done in less than 30 minutes. 

11) Is there any advice you can offer to couples? When it comes to your wedding day schedule, consult your wedding photographer! They have seen hundreds of weddings and they know how long things take. They are the only vendor that sees a wedding day from beginning to end from the bride and groom’s point of view, and they will have LOTS of advice!


12) What is Brovado's development process and how soon can cleint's expect their photos? We try to maintain a turnaround time of less than 3 weeks. Clients will get an online sneak peek within a day or two, and Thank You card designs within a couple days. 


13) Where are your favorite locations to shoot in MN? I love shooting on the Stone Arch Bridge, the Walker Art Center Sculpture Gardens (and the famous Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge), the Minnehaha Dog Park, the Nicollet Island area, Lake Harriet, the Lyndale Park Peace Garden, the Mill City Ruins, Rice Park,  and Minnehaha Falls.    

14) What types of weddings have you had the opportunity to shoot? I have photographed traditional non-denominational American weddings, Catholic weddings, Jewish weddings, Indian weddings, weddings in Mexico, Hawaii and the Bahamas, religious weddings, non-religious weddings, same-sex weddings, beach weddings, mountain weddings, backyard weddings, and one wedding officiated by a full grown man in a deer costume. 

15) What has been your most memorable wedding? The one with the guy in the deer costume.

I sincerely hope that I've inspired you to consider Preston Palmer of Brovado Weddings if you're looking for an accomplished, dynamic photographer for your big day! Brightest blessings to you all.



Happy planning!



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring is Almost Here - Tulips & Tulle Inspiration Board

Hello everyone,

Spring is just around the corner! I know it may not feel like it right now because of these cold snaps we've been having BUT I've started my garden seeds, and it was nice enough to throw open the windows today! The fresh air inspired me to write a blog about my idea of the perfect spring wedding.

I love tulips and I love tulle! So putting those two aesthetics together would be my personal spring-fling dream wedding. Of course, tulips come in so many beautiful colors from yellow to purple. For me, a monochromatic color scheme in peach would be perfect!

The salmon/peach color palette is so hot right now, so it we be lovely to have a monochromatic peach design representing the perfect spring wedding. I would go as far as trying to find a classic car in salmon, and varying shades of tulips and some blush colored roses for floral. I really love the "organic" or messy style of floral arrangements.

Below is an inspiration board I've created using these elements for a romantic, spring wedding. Enjoy!


PHOTO CREDITS: ETSY, SUNDAY ROMANCE, PROJECT WEDDING, PINTEREST,  MYWONDERLANDCAKES.COM, ZAZZLE.COM, ROYALEVENTSERVICE.COM, CSEBASTIAN.COM

Monday, February 17, 2014

Vendor Spotlight - Ultimate Events

For 2014, I have the pleasure of working with Ultimate Events again several times again this year. I'm very excited because I'm doing quite a few weddings where we are going to need to bring everything in, from tenting to decor to catering supplies.

I'm glad that Ultimate Events will be my rental vendor because they always make the process go so smoothly.  They show up on time, make sure the order is accurate and have a fabulous system to create reliable floor-plans! All of these things make my job as a planner logistically easier.

Last spring, I had the pleasure of visiting the Ultimate Events showroom. (I also took a peek at the warehouse where they store all of their fabulous rental items!)During the tour,  my contact, Allison Munsell, told me all about their new location in Plymouth.

We talked about how Ultimate Events specializes in a variety of items, from specialty chairs like Chiavari, to catering equipment. It was fabulous to see their showroom set up with some of the major trends for the wedding season. My favorite was the table-scape with burlap, branches and a birdcage centerpiece! I think the push towards natural elements is very rewarding. Going "green" is beautiful and you can see it in the trends this year.

During our meeting we talked all about our different roles. Allison is very important to planners because often she can spot gaps in a client's order. She makes sure to ask the appropriate questions so that all of bases are covered. Believe me when I say this is the type of professionalism you want on your side when planning such an important event!

In my opinion, Ultimate Events has the best selection of linens, overlays, chaircovers and napkins. All of these are so important when it comes to creating event ambiance, so having a large selection to choose from means designing one of kind weddings! 

All of the photos in this post feature wedding rentals by Ultimate Events. As you can see, they have lovely selection, quality service and great pricing. They will be my on my preferred vendor list forever!

Happy Planning!






PHOTO CREDITS: BELLAGALA, WILD LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY, LA DE DA PHOTOGRAPHY






Thursday, January 9, 2014

WEDUCATION

This past November, I had the opportunity to further my education as a wedding planner. Amy Rubins, Owner of Fete Perfection offers WEDUCATION via Bellagala to aspiring wedding planners and veteran planners alike!

I think it is always a great idea to take a peek at how other industry experts are running their businesses. This was a great opportunity to look at the way Wonderful Day Weddings LLC operates and in what areas improvement would be welcomed. I learned some great techniques to further my ability to be a successful professional.

WEDUCATION starts by asking a fundamental question. "Why do you want to be a wedding planner?" For me, it is about a high energy career that uses both my creative talents and organizational abilities in a really wonderful way!

Being a part of someone's wedding is much more personal than planning non-profit events, festivals or corporate meetings, all of which I've planned. No two weddings are the same because of the details each couple puts into place. I absolutely love that!

The truth is, wedding planners do a lot of unglamorous things and we're on our feet for at least 12 hours during the wedding day. First one in, last one out! That is another reason why I chose to take WEDUCATION. It's great to hear about challenges that other planners have faced and how they handled the situation. Having those stories as references might help if I'm in a similiar situation someday.

WEDUCATION didn't just focus on the basics of wedding planning. There was a great workshop that helped us understand important catering fundamentals. Like how to properly set a table, do a pocket folded napkin and space the chairs. Although planners don't typically perform catering duties, it is important to understand the logistics of it because as a planner you must wear many different hats.

In addition to interesting business discussions, we met vendors from each wedding category. It was informative to hear about what services they offer, and their company's planning processes. Making networking connections in this industry is an important part of planning, so I'm happy to go to an event or course that offers this opportunity!

All in all, I'm glad I decided to do the WEDCUATION through Bellagala. I've decided to implement some of the businesses practices that I learned about and I'm excited about the connections I've made with other industry professionals.

Happy Planning,






Monday, December 16, 2013

Vendor Spotlight - La De Da Photography


Hello everyone,

I had the wonderful experience of working with La De Da Photography at Camrose Hill Farm for a beautiful August 2013 wedding! I would certainly recommend Melissa Mlejneck as a professional, creative photographer. What makes her so special is that she uses film photography, which is kind-of a lost art these days. I asked her to answer a few questions about her business so that the rest of you can get to know her and La De Da. Enjoy!

1) Why did you decide to start La De Da Photography and what services do you provide?
I started my love for capturing moments especially when I had my 3 boys. I always loved looking at pictures, as a child I always felt like it was this whole new world to live through. I would sit for hours, as a kid, looking through old photographs. I decided to begin services for others, when I had friends and other people tell me how much I made their pictures feel easy and effortless. I love what I do for a living! Capturing the most important stages, the fleeting moments during a wedding day, is amazing! Watching a family grow is one my ultimate favorite things to do as a photographer.
 

2) What would you say best describes your style of photography? Why is this the medium you chose? 


My style is most definitely described as spontaneous. I am always on the look out for something extraordinary, and those special moments that happen very quickly. My main media of choice is medium format film. I am very connected to film, the way my camera sounds when I click the shutter is sort of addicting! Shooting film also keeps me very connected to my surroundings. Each roll has 16 frames. I can choose what I love, and unlike digital, you can shoot so many frames and then edit them later. Although I do use my digital camera for the night shots, and I love looking at new and old camera's. So I am a bit of mixed media gal.


 3) What are your favorite things about being a photographer? 
Being able to convey what I see, into art for my clients. Or when my clients receive their custom designed wedding book, and tell me how they can re-live their day over and over. It's an amazing career to be able to do this for a living.

4) What are your plans for La De Da Photography? 
My plans are to always be a high quality artist, and never sacrifice quality for anyone. To also, always be inspired by all the great artists in this world.To capture my life around me, as I see it.

 5) What advice do you have for couples on their wedding day? 
I would say the number one piece of advice I can give brides and grooms is to please hire a planner! You would not believe how much smoother the day goes when you have a planner. The planners really do know what it takes to make the day seem effortless for you and your immediate family. They truly do keep track of all those little details, so you, and your family members can also enjoy your day. Your wedding day is a reflection of who you are as a couple, and you want it to be a reflection of fun, and relaxed atmosphere for your guest. The event will have an amazing energy when the Bride and Groom are relaxed and not worrying about when vendors arrive, etc.


(Can I just add an AMEN here?!!)


 6) What locations are you available for? 
I have traveled to International places for weddings, such as Italy, Costa Rica, Venice. Also National states, I love, love, love to travel. I consider my self a "local" photographer for other states. I will travel anywhere for weddings.

 
7) What equipment do you use and why?
 
I am primarily a film shooter. I use a Contax645 which is a medium format camera. I also use a 35mm film and digital camera. I have all the necessary lenses to capture those really quick moments. I was mainly taught with fast lenses, and love using them to this day.
 
8) Are there any photographers that have influenced you and helped you develop your particular style?
 
 I adore Sally Mann. As an artist she is very raw, and individualized. I love looking at Vivian Maier and, of course, one of the great photojounalists, Henry Cartier Bresson. Keeping connected to art is very important for my inspiration. I love checking out new artists in local museums, or book stores too.
 
9) How do you capture the important candid moments of a wedding?
I am always on the look out for moments that are about to happen, it's really a keen eye being able to anticipate those fleeting moments. It also comes with just making people feel comfortable, almost like I am not there.

10) What is the development process for La De Da? How soon can clients expect their photos?
  The very first image, they are most likely to see on my blog. I will pick one favorite picture. From that point, they will receive a proofing gallery to view their wedding images. They will be free to pass the gallery on to friends and family. The process of developing, they are likely to see images 4-6 weeks after the event.
 
I hope this snapshot of La De Da Photography inspires you to check her out. Especially if you're considering the medium of film photography, which is a niche these days!

Happy planning, everyone!
 
PHOTO CREDITS: LA DE DA PHOTOGRAPHY