These last few years I’ve had an awesome time getting to travel through and photograph the Caribbean. So I was really excited when Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine contacted me about featuring an engagement session I shot in Rincon, Puerto Rico! Check out the full shoot we did HERE!
This Airlie Gardens wedding was perfection. Carly and Dillon were so much fun to work with all the way from their hot air balloon engagement session (here!) to this gorgeous southern garden wedding day. Airlie Gardens is one of Wilmington’s best wedding venues if you are looking for the quintessential southern wedding, and with the help of Social Butterfly Events for design and coordination, this couple did it right! Congratulations Carly and Dillon- Your day was a perfect example of why I love photographing weddings in Airlie Gardens!
Enagement sessions are so much fun and a great way for us to get to know each other better. And often times at the end, people (especially the guys) say ‘that was a lot of fun, and I was dreading it!’ I understand that it can be a little nerve wracking to think of being in front of a camera for 60-90 minutes, but fear not- it’s always a great time. And I’ll be telling you exactly what to do every step of the way, literally- even in those candid looking moments. Very rarely do we work with models who know exactly what to do in front of a camera, so I totally get it! Also, people always ask ‘what should we wear’ for their engagement session? So I went ahead and compiled a little list of tips that will hopefully get you feeling fun, cool and confident!
1. Be You: Tried and true advice that applies to just about everything in life…be you! Choose outfits that reflect your style and personalities. Wear what makes you happy and your confidence will come out in the photos.
2. Coordinate: Wear colors that compliment each other but aren’t exactly matching. Also, be sure to dress on the same scale. You should both look like you are headed to the same place. If you are dressed formal and chic, he shouldn’t be in plaid shorts and his old college t-shirt.
3. Stick with Neutrals: Bright colors (especially neons) are distracting, can reflect funky color casts on your skin tones, and can take away from what we want to capture in these photos…you! Now, this doesn’t mean you can only wear grey, white, and beige. There are more neutral tones of all colors. For example, baby and navy blue are neutral shades of blue. These shades are toned down and will be far less distracting than say a bright royal blue.
4. Less is More: I love simplicity. While one or two accessories such as a hat or a scarf can add a lot of personality into a photo, it’s important not to go overboard. Remember an engagement session is about capturing your faces, your relationship and your connection.
5. Consider the Surroundings: When choosing colors and style, consider the surroundings. Be sure to choose outfits that compliment and make sense with the surroundings. Everything should have the same vibe. We all know how much I love shooting in these far flung locations. So for example, if we are up in the mountains, be sure to wear (or at least bring) shoes you can hike in.
6. Watch for Distractions: Just like I mentioned staying away from bright colors, watch out for other distractions such as logos, wording on clothing, or bold patterns.
7. Empty Your Pockets: I mean this in the most literal sense…empty your pockets! We do not want keys or a phone showing through your pockets. Guys, sorry to call you out on this one.
8. Comfort is Key: Wear clothing that is comfortable and that you can move in. Be sure to get just the right fit. Not too tight, but not to loose. The better you feel in your clothes, the better you’ll look in front of the camera!
9. Switch Things Up: Can’t decide to go casual or formal? Patterns or solids? Don’t decide, do both! It’s fun to get two totally different looks in your session. Or, try mixing both styles into one outfit. Flowy dresses are my absolute favorite to photograph… They are the perfect mixture of formal and casual and work with almost any location.
10. Spoil Yourself: I recommend every girl get their makeup professionally done for their engagement photos. It’s a small investment that helps you feel confident, which definitely shows up in your pictures. Makeup artists also know all the right tricks for even skin tones and perfect application — all things if not done right, the camera is really good at picking up. Take some time to spoil yourself a little; you’ll enjoy these images forever.
Bonus Tip! Have Fun: I know this doesn’t necessarily have to do with “what to wear” for your engagement session, but it’s important nonetheless. Maybe the most important tip I have! Remember this is something you’ll only do once in your lifetime…enjoy it and soak in every second. Have fun and laugh together. Planning a wedding can be busy — use this time to slow down, focus on your relationship, and reconnect.
As far as the actual shoot is concerned, I love both the simple, and styled equally. So any props or pets are always welcome, but never necessary! If you have any questions just let me know. We’re going to have a blast!
Bald Head Island Club weddings are always so much fun to shoot- not only is Bald Head Island gorgeous in and of itself, but weddings there always feel magical. Maybe it’s the southern charm of Spanish moss hanging off all the oak trees or the palm tree forests. Maybe it’s that you have to take a ferry to get there and the only thing you hear is nature and the whir of passing golf carts on the little winding roads. Or maybe it’s that the brides and grooms who choose to have there wedding on Bald Head Island all have something in common- a dream to create the most spectacular wedding day celebration possible on an island that is anything but ordinary. The staff at the Bald Head Island club, per usual, went over and above to make this day perfect for Erin and Steve- who dreamt up this incredible garden styled wedding. From the olive branch accents, to the Rolls Royce golf cart- this wedding was planned to a t. And Shauna with Shauna Loves Planning executed the design perfectly. We definitely had an A Team of vendors, and everyone worked hard to create an incredible wedding day for this awesome couple. Erin and Steve we wish you all the best and congratulations again!
This Adaumont Farm wedding was the perfect mix of rustic and timeless classic beauty. This farm turned wedding event space was first owned by racing legend Richard Petty and has all the trappings of the perfect rustic wedding space… wide open fields, horses, lakes, giant oak trees, a covered bridge and a gorgeous barn reception space. Bring all this together with Anna and Michaels vision for their wedding and the coordination and design expertise of Melissa with Relish Design Company and you have the perfect farm wedding celebration! It was an amazing wedding day working along side top shelf wedding vendors and the pictures couldn’t help but show it!
From the bride:
I met Michael casually at a friend’s college graduation party. Instantly, I felt a connection. We exchanged numbers and spoke over the phone the following day. Two days later, on Valentine’s day, Michael surprised me at my work with a dozen red roses. From there, we went out to a San Francisco bar called The Plough and the Stars. We listened to live music and spoke for hours about our families, likes, dislikes, and my travels. We found that we had a lot in common and really liked each other’s company.
Five years later, Michael proposed to me while hiking in BIg Sur, California on a beautiful, rocky, beach. Michael had the most thoughtful, touching speech prepared, but instead I kept interrupting and saying “yes, yes.” I was just so happy, and couldn’t believe that it was really happening.
Even though we fell in love and live in San Francisco, we chose to have the wedding near Greensboro, North Carolina. This is where I had the most wonderful memories of visiting my grandparents. We also wanted a rustic wedding with lots of whiskey and folk music. Our song was “Paranoia in B flat major” a folk song by the Avett Brothers.
Our wedding day was all about showing our love for each other, and showing appreciation for all of the people who love and support us. Throughout the day, I was so impressed by all of the lovely surprises starting withe our flowers from Blooms & Thistle. They provided the perfect decor for our venue. Additionally, my Uncle James wrote and played the most beautiful music for me to walk down the aisle. I was so happy how everything came together. It was truly the most romantic, picturesque day I have ever experienced with all of the people that I love.
Venue: Adaumont Farm
Wedding planner/designer: Relish Designs
Photography: Eric Boneske Photography
Baker: Maxie B’s
Floral Designer: Blooms & Thistle
Dress: Amy Kuschel
Hair: Eye Do Hair
Make- up: Danish Cruda Make up
Change Dress: Dress the Population
DJ: Jason Barnes DJ
If you’ve ever wondered what a perfect beach wedding on St. John in the Virgin Islands looks like, than look no further. This day was beautiful and so much fun to photograph. Leona and Kelly were so in love, and it shows in every picture. She looked amazing in BHLDN, which is Anthropologie’s wedding line. Special thanks go out to Michelle with Paradise Planning, make up artistry by Kristina, Passion Flower, and all the staff at Asolare for making this amazing day go off perfectly… Enjoy!
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