Where in the world would you choose for your dream destination wedding?

 

Sunset_Todo_Santos_2012

Book your key vendors – without cutting corners!

“Planning ahead allows you more room to get vendors you want for your wedding day.”Image

I’ve had so many calls lately from people who had contacted me months ago about their wedding… and then call back only to find we have that date already booked.  My heart sinks, because some of them I would so LOVE to photograph their wedding.  I kindly hand them off to other photographers that I personally recommend – but hate the deep sigh I get from them when I tell them we no longer have their date available.

 I encourage anyone having a wedding to book your key vendors ASAP… especially ones that can only do one event at a time.  Wedding planner, photographer, videographer, DJ or Band… are mostly limited to one wedding a day - so make those your priority after you have your date & venue set.   This is such an amazingly important day and getting the vendors that you love can make a huge difference in how comfortable and carefree you feel on your wedding day.  Florists, catering, On-site MUAs, Stylists and cake should be next up – because although they may be able to do more than one wedding in a day, they still have limitations on how many they can do.

The “when to book” each vendor changes from year to year in your most loved wedding magazines (it almost changes as fast as your local weather forecast) and typically their ball park timeline only works if you have multiple choices that you love for each vendor.  If you have a specific vendor you want to work with, or an amazing vendor that does limited events to give you the best service and attention then you can throw all those timelines for booking out the window.   This is your wedding day – you deserve world-class vendors, and the memories of your wedding day are world-class important.

The DRESS… yes, that beloved dress that you want… can take months to get and even more time to get altered.  Many brides don’t realize how much time that can take… so find your dress with enough time – so you’re not cutting it too close to the wedding day!

Another great reason to book ASAP… is it gives you more time for financial planning for your event.  Many vendors will work with you on payment plans so that instead of “cutting” your budget and settling, it may allow you to get the vendor you want, the packages you want to make your day over the top amazing.

So get out a pen an paper and start making your priority list for your wedding day – make a wedding top 10.  Those top 5 vendors – book as soon as possible, and the the next five as soon as you can after too.

Don’t forget to follow our BLOG to get lots of great tips for your wedding day!

The Wedding Bouncing Board

Oh, yes… it’s exactly what I mean.  You scour websites, you have a million questions about your wedding… why?  Because for most of you, this is your first wedding.

So what do I really mean by Wedding Bouncing Board?  I’ve been in the wedding industry for over 25 years, and personally photographed over 800 weddings.  I am grateful to have some of the most amazing contacts in the wedding industry that are located all around the globe.  Myself and my invaluable network of vendors that I work with all have opinions… because… well, we have seen A LOT OF WEDDINGS, we have been involved in A LOT OF WEDDINGS, and our opinions and suggestions are based on real world experience.

So lets sum this up and give you the goods.  We aren’t here to tell you “don’t do” or “do” anything.  What we are here for is to answer your questions in a very experienced way.  Go ahead, flowers, timing, planning, DIY, invitations… we will be giving you some of the pros and cons to see what your options and realities really are.  Of course all final decisions are up to you, but if you need someone maybe outside your wedding planning box to give you some ideas or helpful hints… this is the place to be!

If your question seems to hit a nerve or something we think needs to be a little more detailed, we will do a separate blog post on it too.

Go ahead… pass this along to your friends.  With 25 years of experience and over 800 weddings I’m happy to help any way I can, and if I don’t know the options or answers – I know how to get some from some very influential people in the wedding industry.

COMMENT HERE  and tell me what you want to know!Image

Writing a letter.

The lost art of communication.  We text, we tweet, we send the occasional short e-mail.  Who here remembers writing a letter?  Who remembers receiving a letter by mail?  Some will write a short bit in a thank you note… but that’s not what I’m talking about.  Who of you have actually written or received a full blown 1 or 2 page letter from a friend?  Can you remember when the last time you received one or sent one?

Challenge of February.  Write 3 letters to friends and mail them… one full page minimum.  Send them in the mail and then let me know how you felt, and then follow up to see if you get any feedback from who you sent it too… and even more so – if you receive a letter back.

Image

The wedding chronicles.

The planning.  You meticulously plan your beautiful wedding day.  Planning consumes your time and thoughts.  You pull inspiration from every corner of your life.  Exhaused – the last few days before the wedding bring excitement and maybe a little anxiety while you have to finish a few tasks, welcome guests into town, and realize that you will be walking down the isle shortly.  You can breathe deep if you have had little to no drama in the process, while others are overwhelmed and just want to skip to the fun part… the honeymoon.

The wedding day.  A few months or maybe a year or more have passed and the wedding/ceremony day is here.  You may loose some sleep the night prior; but now it’s time to let go.  Remembering that you are the ones that everyone is there to celebrate.  Letting go may be the hardest thing you do, because up to this point – you have detailed a minute by minute plan of how your day will flow.  Regardless of how long the day actually is – it will fly by in a few blinks of your eyes and you will only remember a very small fraction of what happened on the day of your ceremony. Wedding planner or not – you try hard to let go of the details and just enjoy what this day actually means to you and your loved ones, as well as the future you have ahead of you.  The day passes… and as much as you sigh partly in relief that the day is over, it is also a little sad that such an amazing event ends so quickly.  It is a roller-coaster of a day, of emotions, of excitement, and a culmination of all your hard work months previously.

The honeymoon.  Pure celebration of you being with the one you love, typically outside of your normal reality.  Fun or relaxing… it is time needed to bond, to reflect on the ceremony day, and to be yourselves.

Back to reality.  All of the ups and downs of planning, all of the crazy busy and chaos of a ceremony day has come to the end.  You come back to real life as you know it – at least you think.. but returning to work or your normal routine.  Then you realize something little may be missing… with the months of planning prior, you may feel a little bit of loss as well.  Those days scouring Pinterest, the trips to fit the dress, searching for vendors actually filled up more of your time and were more enjoyable that you remembered and many think – what to do now.  Always best to fill your time with fun stuff for a few weeks to let yourself down easy.  After a few weeks you get a chance to look at photos and videos and reminisce about your day.  Looking through the photographs you look at each other and giggle or shrug your shoulders… wondering what that person was saying when they made that funny face, asking “who was this” for an extended family member you may not know from your spouse’s side of the family, or even say “I had no recollection of this happening at all.”  The beauty of photography & video documenting your day.

5 year anniversary.  Hopefully you pull out your wedding album yearly, but now a few years have past.  You may have moved onto children, and in that case you graze over photos and tell stories of your wedding day.  You are proud to show off such an amazing event, you get flutters seeing you and your loved ones so happy together, and if you have kids – “mommy you looked beautiful” may pass their lips.

15 year anniversary.  You may have had a few or many ups and downs in your life together already.  Stresses and strains, wear and tear at you after this long.  If you have children – they are getting older and your lives together may be more about them.  If it’s just the two of you, you may have drifted a little apart to find yourselves again.   And if you’re lucky you are just in love as the day you met or more.  Regardless of your situation – you pull out your wedding album to renew your sense of why you came together as a couple.  With a few more wrinkles maybe, but your had the best photographers and all you see in your photographs are the smiles, romance, and emotions that made you love that person all those years ago.  See… we all change a little, but the wear and tear of life doesn’t change the base… you can still see the twinkle in someone’s eye if you look hard enough, you can still see how their smile is ever so slightly changed if you look hard enough.  Your photographs of your wedding day are gold at this stage – snapshots are fun and great too – but photographs that can show you the love and connection you have/had with one another have become priceless in reminding us that no matter how much life has changed around us that there where amazing things at play to bring you together and fall in love.

50 years together.  You still visit your wedding album together, and you can feel an amazing sense of accomplishment that you have been tried and true and weathered many storms together throughout the years.  You have build a legacy through your children and grandchildren.  Or if you decided no children.. you have still accomplished great things together.  If you do have grandchildren, your wedding albums are mesmerizing to them.  They see how beautiful you are, they come to realize the value in both their grandparents and parents and the love that made this happen.  You as an individual, and you as a couple have affected this world in some way, and most likely many ways.  If you have passed your love down to other generation – just seeing the love in photographs from your wedding day can give your children and grandchildren hope that they too can find that kind of lasting love.  You may assure them that it wasn’t easy – but that it’s about the journey, it’s about caring for someone maybe a little more than yourself, and a legacy to leave them.  

Every day is a gift.  Every love is a miracle. Give 100% and only expect 20% in return.  Forgive, and move forward.  Treat your loved one like they are a queen or a king, and be their support always. And look at your wedding photographs closely and often – there is a reason you connected… look hard and find it over and over again by reminiscing about the beginning of your life together.Image

CREATIVES. Rocking the boat.

NEWBIE CREATIVES:  People new to an art and testing out what others have done to find their personal niche.  If they are true creatives this time is very short, and they only copy technical skills, technique, and practice seeing light, shape, emotion.  Although they are sponges – they are  more concerned with making their own art using what they learn.

TECHNICAL NON-CREATIVES:  Quite skilled at an art because they know how to look/see and copy very well.  They always latch onto the next best thing and spend time perfecting it – and sometimes their images and artwork is stunning.  Obsessive about seeing what everyone else is doing and thrilled when they can match it.

TRUE CREATIVES: Artists who work from their gut.  They have mastered technical skills in their craft, but continually strive to be different.  Their creations come from within themselves, and are inspired by the senses and surroundings.  Feelings, touching, textures, emotions, relationships, nature, color, smells and how everything in the world effects them.  Creatives rock the boat, not to impress others – but to push themselves.

Being any of these doesn’t make you any less talented… you are just talented in different ways.

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
― Pablo Picasso

“Creativity takes courage. ”
― Henri Matisse

______________________________________________

At times I rock the boat, because I like hearing multiple sides to every story.  I love when people comment in defense or to change my mind in a creative way or logical way.  I thrive on people debunking my way of thinking, because I don’t believe there is only one way of seeing anything.  However, someone just saying the way it is – changes no minds, but angers anyone… and seats people in their way of thinking instead of changing the way they think.  Don’t just say what you think, explain what brings you to your thoughts… then always consider the other point of view…or choose silence.

My dream wedding. COLORS

When you dream of your wedding day, what colors come to mind & where do you find your inspiration?  There is so much planning – and just shouting out “PINK” at the top of your lungs seems to be such an easy answer. The colors you choose for your wedding can really set the tone for the entire day.  It can make people feel festive, romantic, crazy fun, heart-warming…

So where is a good place to start?

What do you love most? Sunsets or sunrises

Where is your happy place?  Hiking in the woods, in the city, or at the local ice-cream parlor?

What inspires you???

What most people do is go and HIT the Pinterest pages and start clicking the heart on everything that they like.  And although it is quite fun to do, at times… that causes a hodge podge of wedding design with nothing quite melding together.  As much fun as you’re having browsing the local boards, it is so much more fun making your wedding about you and not about making your wedding about how someone else may have had it.

And… this brings us back to colors.

Having a hard time narrowing it down?

ANOTHER OPTION:

Maybe too much of seeing everyone else’s color combinations…. time to go to the local home store (Home Depot, Lowes, Benjamin Moore)  Those little paint sample cards can be priceless.  It allows you to look at colors that YOU fall in love with – without the persuasion of wanting a color pallet EXACTLY like that other bride.

AND YET ANOTHER OPTION:

Pick a destination, a fruit you love, a plant or a vegetable, a mushroom, an animal… something in NATURE, that you find completely beautiful and attractive to you.  Base your color pallet off of the colors of that object.  Funny… nature kind of has a way of knowing what looks good all on it’s own.

But… in the case that maybe you just want some options and don’t want to think about it quite that much… here are some inspiring colors in nature!

Lavender fields

Lavender fields

Purple trees of Scottland - by Sam Abell

Purple trees of Scottland – by Sam Abell

Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Celebrate your valentine styled.

Image

LOVE VALENTINE SESSIONS

Painted feet, and crowns, vintage cards, hugs and kisses… we are making these Valentine’s sessions all about the love and loves of your life.  Fully styled set that will be beautiful and fun for kids, couples, or families – and the PERFECT images to customize some Valentine’s Day Cards too!

WE HAVE GREAT THINGS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, AND FOR COUPLES TOO!  ALSO MAKES A GREAT “SAVE THE DATE” SESSION FOR WEDDING COUPLES!

__________________________________________

January 22nd (a Wednesday) from 10am-2pm

January 26th (a Sunday) from 9:30am-2:30pm

__________________________________________

OPTION 1 – HUGS & KISSES
$99 mini-session.
30 minute session + $50 print credit

OPTION 2 – ALL HEARTS
$250
1 hour session
2-digital files
$50 print credit

to book your appointment call 720-566-9770

or e-mail us at jennyb@fototails.com

Jeanine_Thurston_Valentine_1_2013_2 Jeanine_Thurston_Valentine_1_2013_3

Know that a bad day is just a day.

Know that everyone has bad days.

Know that you are not alone.

Know that no matter how bad you may think your day is, tomorrow is a new day with a fresh beginning.

Know that no matter how ugly you feel, everyone has beauty inside and out – because nobody on this planet is like you.  As much as we are all the same, we are also like nobody else in this world and what makes us unique is what makes us beautiful.  

Know that when you are having a good day, that another may not ~ so offer a smile and understanding whenever you can.

Know that your voice always matters to someone.

 

 

Helpers.

When I was a kid, I was instructed to run across a street to help an elderly women cross the street.  If I saw a neighbor hauling in groceries – told to go help them carry in their groceries.  When someone came home, I was to jump up and run out to the car to see if someone needed help bringing anything into the house.  You don’t just hold the door open for the person is directly behind you for them to follow you in, you actually hold the door and let the person behind you in first.  When you are in a grocery line, if someone only has a few items, you allow them to go in front of you.  When you are crossing the street and you see a car coming up or one waiting for you at a cross walk you pick up the pace and run/quick walk at minimum to get across the street faster so that they can continue on their way.  You drive in the slow lane and only go in to the middle or fast lane to pass others.

Does any of this ring a bell?  Last week I decided to take a week to observe, at my disappointment – people didn’t pick up the pace to cross the street, in face they didn’t even acknowledge I was a car waiting with even a glance… it was like I wasn’t even there.  When I bring home groceries, nobody runs out to help me carry anything in,  the young man at the gym didn’t even hold the first door (although my youngest did rush ahead of him and held the door for him – have to give him credit).

As adults I think many have become a bit lazy about concern for others ahead of ourselves.  I tell my children to always look for the Helpers.  There are always Helpers, but now more than ever I feel like I need to work on this with even my own children.  Being aware of our surroundings, and others in need is so important and even I have lost track of that at times.

2014 can be the year we bring more Helpers back.  Here is how you can help.

1. When you use a crosswalk and a car has stopped for you… pick up your pace & wave – they just may have somewhere important to go.

2. When you hear one of your family members come home, send your kids out or yourself to at least ask if they need any help.

3. Take an extra 20 minutes and shovel some of your neighbor’s sidewalk when you are doing yours.

4. Hold the door for another.

Seems simple right?

List some other really simple things that may make another’s life easier or show care for someone that you may not even know.  Not elaborate… SIMPLE… that any or all of us could do.

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston