Saturday, February 20, 2010

30 Wedding Tips!

One year ago today I started writing wedding tips on my blog. Since then a lot of things have changed for me. Perhaps the biggest change is my adding food photography into my daily routine. I'm loving my work as a photographer & blogger/tweeter/Facebooker for Stonewall Kitchen but I'm determined to not give-up my blog! My wedding business has been cut way back & I now only shoot a few a year, but I still love it. I'm also currently a bridesmaid for two of my friends - so weddings have remained a major part of my life! So, in celebration of one year later - here is a recap of my wedding tips.

#1 - I'm engaged, now what?

#2 - White or Ivory?

#3 - Venue Rental Packages

#4 - Bride's magazines & Inspiration Boards

#5 - How to use color effectively

#6 - Choosing Vendors

#7 - Wedding Timeline & Cocktail hour

#8 - Choosing a dress!

#9 - How do I match a gold dress?

#10 - Vendors like to eat too

#11 - To tent or not to tent

#12 - Portland Maine, Raves & Favs

#13- Hair & Make-up

#14 - All About Cake

#15 - Be a smart ebay shopper

#16 - Bridal Party seating

#17 - When to buy white

#18 - ME & MA coastal locations

#19 - When to ask Attendants

#20 - What to know BEFORE you register

#21 - Knowing and negotiating the "rules"

#22 - Great Photos take TIME

#23 - What to bring to meet your florist

#24 - Cake Cutting 101

#25 - Photography, copyright, and getting all the facts up front from those you hire!

#26 Bridesmaid & Groomsmen Duties

#27 - What does a wedding really cost?

#28 - Sun & photos

#29 - Gather everything you want photographed

#30 - Sending a "Save the Date"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chicken with Orange Veggies

Why all orange veggies? Because I love Syracuse... and they played (and beat) Georgetown tonight. Go Orange!

Ok, on to the food. I've been thinking about writing a foodie post for a while. I'm perhaps quite different from many food bloggers; I'm a photographer first and a cook second. I'm the type of cook who usually just tosses in a little of this and that until I get it right. So, writing down a recipe might be a touch difficult but why not give it a try.

Chicken with Orange Veggies - a one pan meal
Makes a full dinner for 2 with plenty of leftover chicken for soup or sandwiches!

1 small chicken
2 sweet potatoes
4 medium carrots
Poultry Seasoning Mix
Olive Oil (for drizzling over the top) about 4 tablespoons

- Buy fresh or defrost Chicken in fridge (defrosting will take a day or two).

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

- Rinse chicken and don't forget to take out the package inside (contains heart, liver, & kidneys). Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place in the center of a 9"x13" roasting pan. If you use a larger pan than mine you can just fill it with more veggies... but not yet! Drizzle chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning mix (to taste).

- Place the chicken in the oven.

- Chop sweet potatoes and carrots into 1/4" - 1/2" slices. Put in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Mix to coat evenly and season with salt and pepper.

- After chicken is about half way through cooking take it out of the oven. (I baked mine at 350 with convection turned on for 1.5 hours) Place veggies around the chicken in the roasting pan. Return to the oven. You'll want to cook it until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees and the chicken juices run clear. Looks like this ↓

IMG_0455 copy.jpg

IMG_0456 copy.jpg

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2-17-10 Wordless Wednesday


Ok, almost wordless. Go to flickr to download the photo if you'd like to use it as a screen saver or desktop background image. :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Birthday to me... almost!

Ok, my birthday isn't until next week. My husband keeps asking me what I'd like, so, here it is! I'd like a camera bag please. One that looks like a purse of course! (Click the photos to see the bags on their websites)

And if you know of any other fantastic purse/camera bags out there please share!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

THAT is love...

Today is Valentine's Day. My husband and I have been married for 841 days. It is funny to be able to count the days (Facebook's weddingbook counts for me) but it also doesn't seem like an accurate count! We started dating when we were 19, and sophomores at Syracuse (2001) ... you do the math. It's been a while!

Last night, as I was photographing Bret & Anna's wedding, the couple who was married the longest was asked to give the new couple some advice. First, the husband smiled & nodded to his wife allowing her to be the advice giver. (smart man!) She recited a poem by her own mother from their wedding day. I wish I could remember the wording - but it mentioned a successful marriage needing both patience and stamina!


I remember thinking that this was truer than Bret & Anna might even yet know -- even though you could see that they are very much in love! Marriage isn't a sprint. You won't win the race with just a big start ... or fancy wedding. You need to put in the effort everyday; it's more like a marathon. There will be small setbacks, there will be times when you think to you yourself - what in the world am I --- are WE --- doing? However, through overcoming all of the challenges (like anything really worth attaining) you come to find the greatest reward.

This morning I was awake before Anthony. I left the bedroom to blog so he'd be able to sleep in. That is love.

My writing of this post was interrupted by my cell phone alarm. I had it set for yesterday morning so I'd be on the time for Bret & Anna's wedding. Too bad I left it on - in the the bedroom - and it woke Anthony up. He forgave me... that is love.

My email told me that some single game Red Sox tickets were on sale this morning. I got Anthony standing room for a Sox-Yankee's game. That is love.

Anthony came out of the bedroom and declared that he was going to vacuum before taking a shower. THAT IS LOVE!

I give a lot of wedding planning advice on my blog - what I don't do is give much relationship advice. Sure, having a wonderful wedding day is nice, but that's not really what is important. What is really important is the foundation of your love that comes before - and the lifetime of love that comes after. If there is one bit of advice you get from my blog today I hope it is this:

It is all of the small ways that you say I love you that matter!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wedding Tip #30 - Sending a "Save the Date"

Abby & Chris have some sports themed elements that they plan to add to their wedding. So, what better save-the-date than an event ticket? With a photograph from their engagement session, by me, and designed by Emily, these have to be the most unique save the date's I've ever seen. (They even have a perforated line so you could tear off the ticket stub) These are so cool that someone stole the ticket from my booth at a recent wedding show! They must have thought it was such a good idea they had to take it to remember!

Anthony & I didn't use a photo for our save the date cards. Ha, I know, the photographer didn't use a photo! I have to say - I think photo save the dates are super cute, and now I wish I had used one! However, having just started grad school at the time I remember feeling overwhelmed at the time and just wanted to get something mailed out to our guests.

I used vista print to make basic cards and then ran them through my own printer so I could add more info. (Vista print is cheap but I learned their color can be VERY off. They did reprint them for me but it took more time) All I had them pint on the cards was "Save the Date • Anthony & Katie • October, 27, 2007 • Portland, ME"

That's really all you NEED to put. Names, date, & location. Although, I would add "formal invitation to follow" just so no one is confused and thinks that it is the invitation. If you want people to start booking rooms you should add hotel info as well. I recommend reserving more than one block of rooms. We had 3 room blocks at different hotels to cover different price ranges. You should also create a wedding website & put the website address on your save the date. (I like the free wedding sites from The Knot & Wedding Wire) This way guests can always visit your site & you can add new info. Even if you don't do a save the date, I recommend creating a wedding website and emailing it to friends who will be invited to the wedding. This way at least they'll have the date & location so you'll be in their social calendar!

Jim & Dee had a designer friend Alex add this little heart with their wedding date to my photo from their engagement sesssion. I think this is a fun way to add text to the photo. (Note - text over photos has to be done really well or it can ruin the photo. Use a graphic designer!) Their save the date came printed as a postcard in a wedding color coordinated envelope.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bride's choice Award

I've received a Wedding Wire Bride's Choice Award! Whooo hooo! :)

So if you ever doubted my awesome photos skills (I'm sure you didn't) rest assured, I am in fact a verified award winning photographer! This was a total surprise, but a welcome one!

This means I am in the top 5 percent of wedding vendors nationwide. Check out the other Bride's Choice winners here: