This Abilena Plantation wedding in New Bern, NC was absolutely beautiful from start to finish. Shauna with Shauna Loves Planning designed and coordinated this picture perfect day, and it couldn’t have been for two more deserving people. Alex and Eli were so much fun to work with, and right from there engagement session I knew their wedding was going to be a blast. Their wedding was full of southern charm, from the historic plantation venue, to the color palette, to the grooms suit choice and everything in between. Scroll down to check out my favorites from this amazing Abilena Plantation wedding day.
A couple of weeks ago, Kristy Holt, owner of Eco Chic Blossoms asked about getting a few new images for her website and had this great idea for a shoot. The shoot was so much fun and turned out beautifully. So it’s only fitting we use a few of the images for a blog post- and since she is an amazing floral designer here in town, it was the perfect time for another Vendor Spotlight blog! To learn more about Kristy and her business, scroll down!!
E: So, you have carved out an amazing business for yourself designing wedding florals in Wilmington NC and your team has become a household name among wedding vendors here. How did you do it, and what brought you to Wilmington?
K: I attended East Carolina University and discovered Wilmington during college when I came for a quick beach weekend. I absolutely fell in love with the town. Being from a beach town in New Jersey, Wilmington had a similar coastal vibe and I knew I wanted to move here after I graduated. I became and event planner when I came to Wilmington and loved the business. After 7 years I needed a change and always had a passion for flowers. Being a former event planner in Wilmington has helped me tremendously in my career. When I opened Eco Chic Blossoms I already had the wedding connections and relationships with vendors. Most florists do just flowers, but understanding how an entire event is run from start to finish is extremely helpful when assisting brides with their floral design concepts. Listening to what my client’s needs and wants are, are extremely important to me. This is their special day and it is my top priority to make sure they have exactly what they dreamed of.
E: Anyone that follows you on Instagram knows that you love to travel, and experience new places- what are your top 3 places you’ve traveled to?
K: Hawaii, Hawaii and Hawaii! No but seriously Hawaii, Ireland and Colorado.
E: And I guess a follow up question to that would have to do with your bucket list- what are a few things you have yet to do but will definitely be happening in the near future?
K: Travel to Australia, hike the Pacific Crest Trail and drive across country.
E: Ok, let’s get down to the wedding business stuff- Being a creative in this business is both a lot of fun, and also challenging at times. What do you love the most about what you do?
K: My favorite part of the job is giving a Bride her bouquet on her wedding day. There is something so special about this moment. There are so many things happening on a wedding day, and sometimes I see the stressed look on the Bride’s face. When we show up and present her with her bouquet I love seeing my client’s light up. They have this “ah hah” moment of “this is my special day!” It is truly so amazing.
E: If you could give newly engaged couples any advice from a floral designers perspective on planning and executing a beautiful wedding day what would that be?
K: We love guidance from our clients on their style and feel of the wedding along with types of flowers they like, but when a client allows us creative freedom and puts their trust in us, this is when our designs evolve into much more than what they imagined.
E: And lastly, every creative professional has an aesthetic of their own and draws inspiration from different parts of their lives that they put into their work. Where does your inspiration come from?
K: My inspiration comes from being outside in nature and my travels.
To learn more about Eco Chic Blossoms click here to head over to their website. And if you are in the planning process of putting a wedding day together definitely contact Kristy. She and her team would love to meet with you, hear your vision and then take it to the next level of beautiful. You won’t be disappointed!
This has to be one of my favorite locations to shoot- Bald Head Island, and The Bald Head Island Club specifically, hosts some of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever shot. From the first time I met with Erin and Steve I knew I was going to love photographing their wedding. He’s got this natural charm and wit, and she was sweet, fun and stylish (the first picture in this post says it all!) Their Bald Head Island Club wedding was perfect- the day was gorgeous, the vendors were all A List and everyone had an amazing time. If you are in the process of planning a Bald Head Island wedding and are looking for inspiration, scroll down and I look forward to hearing from you!
It was such an honor to be a part of this wedding at Sedgefield Country Club. Not only did we get to photograph this beautiful winter wonderland wedding, but but we also shot Stacey’s Bridal Photography here as well. That was a few months earlier and the grounds were green and lush. With design and coordination help from Relish Design Company, Stacey and Ethan’s wedding day turned out perfectly- with just the right amount of snow to cover everything in a blanket of white, but not so much where it hindered any guests from coming. And that was important because a special guest was invited (unbeknownst to the bride and groom) by the best man. The couple are big UNC fans, and halfway through the reception they got a big surprise 🙂 Scroll down to see!
It’s the #1 question brides ask: What can I do to get the most amazing photos on my wedding day?
Having been through the in’s and out’s of many, many weddings all over the world (we just shot #275 last month !?!), I have LOTS of tips to share.
Of course, getting beautiful wedding photos begins with your photographer, and nothing will replace their ability to create stunning works of art. BUT after you’ve hired someone you totally love, what can you do help?
Let’s get right to it…here are 8 things you can actively do to get the most amazing photos possible on your wedding day!
1. Pick A Venue You Truly Love
From getting ready location to reception, do your research. Do you prefer elegance over urban flair? Do you envision an outdoor garden reception draped in market lights or an indoor ballroom reception lit by candles and chandeliers?
Whatever your tastes may be, there is a venue out there that fits your personality and that you will fall in love with!
Visit locations and keep an eye out for the photographic potential of the venue. Search online for examples of weddings that have been photographed at different venues to find one that provides the look and feel you’re desiring.
Then communicate with your photographer what you love most about your venue. Is it the greenery in the gardens? The modern architecture? The classic ballroom? The natural rustic feel of the meadows?
The more you communicate with your photographer, the better.
2. Have Details Ready to Go
We always begin your story by photographing all of the little details while you’re getting ready.
The shoes, the dress, the jewelry, the garter, gifts to your wedding party, mementos from generations passed, and (don’t forget!) the invitation… collect all of these little details and have them set aside in the room where you are getting ready. We’ll set them up so they look perfect while everyone is finishing hair and make up.
The cherry on top is a silk, wooden, or personalized hanger for your dress.
3. Prepare for the Unexpected
I love the saying “Spontaneity is the reward of preparation.”
So prepare for the unexpected during your wedding and include valuable cushion time in your schedule for the day. You’re thinking it will take 30 minutes to get from the hotel to the ceremony site? Add a 15 minute cushion to account for getting into the cars, unforseen traffic, and people running late (or slow).
There will always be something that will come up – late bridal party members, lost family members, someone forgetting something, etc. These can all cause the schedule to come to a pause, so you’ll be in a much happier place if you create buffer times in your schedule.
Looking for the perfect wedding day schedule? We’ve created the wedding day timeline of your dreams! Just ask and we’ll happily email it over to you.
4. Hire Awesome Hair and Make Up
Your wedding is going to be a long day and you want your face and hair to look fresh in your photographs from morning until night. Nobody wants their hair flying about by the time they get to the reception.
Find professionals who are experienced and equipped with the tools to not only create a beautiful look, but also one that can withstand the demands of a full wedding day. We are always happy to provide the names of vendors we love. In fact we have a Vendor Referral Guide if you would like some help narrowing down the field of choices.
Schedule a trial-run with your chosen hair stylists and makeup artists and be open about your vision. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind if you aren’t feeling the look! Regrets over not speaking up about what you really wanted is the last thing you should be feeling when you look at your photographs years from now.
5. Golden Hour Light
That hour right before sunset is known as the Magic Hour for photographers – and for good reason.
This warm, soft light is a photographer’s best friend, so you definitely want to take advantage of it by scheduling your couple portraits during this time.
Typically the best time to schedule this is between the ceremony and reception, but if your schedule doesn’t allow for it, consider taking 5-10 minutes to step away from the reception with your groom to be bathed in some golden light.
6. Communicate with your Photographer
It’s so important to communicate with your photographer about your vision for the wedding day. Let them know what moments you are most excited about, if there are any guests or family members that you definitely want photos with, or any details that you don’t want missed.
Also, let them know what you love about your body – do you love your smile? Your hair? Your arms? If you don’t tell your photographer, then they won’t know how to pose you in a way that you will love.
And it’s ok if there’s something you’re less than excited about – maybe you don’t love yourself in a certain angle or you have a scar you want to hide. Don’t be afraid to be honest with them so they can help you look and feel as beautiful as possible!
But remember – it’s really important to focus on the positive when it comes to body image. The more you tell your photographer what you LOVE versus what you DON’T LOVE, the more confident you both will be to capture it.
I’ll let you in on a secret – as a photographer, it’s much easier to bring out your most beautiful features than it is to hide things! So help them focus on your best features, and you’ll be a happy subject!
7. Trust Your Photographer!
So now that you’ve chosen the perfect photographer to document your day and communicated with them your likes and dislikes: trust them 100%.
I don’t mean trust them kind-of-sort-of or hand them a large list of images from Pinterest to recreate.
I mean really trust them.
A wedding is the ultimate documentary assignment. Nothing can be recreated, but everything has it’s own importance in the story of your wedding day, and you’re hiring them for their eye and how they interpret the story.
Let them tell your story.
By relinquishing control, you’re telling your photographer that you have full confidence in their storytelling abilities. What a gift!
8. Have Fun!
I just can’t sign off until I say this: Joy is contagious!
On your wedding day, surround yourself with people who bring out the BEST in you – those who you can be yourself around and who make you smile.
Stress and tight schedules can easily turn your dream wedding day into a less-than-perfect experience, so this is when turning to your soon-to-be husband, best friend, mom, or your goofy little nephew can help remind you of the true purpose of the day: Celebrating your legacy with the love of your life!
Smile through some of the stressful moments, even if it feels unnatural, and it will become completely genuine! Your joy is your most beautiful feature!