Tips and Tricks for Mini Sessions

Mini Sessions are a great way to get some Holiday Family Portraits without breaking the Bank! Photographers are able to charge less than normal for a few reasons…..they are booking portrait sessions back to back, they don’t have to drive to multiple locations, and they are photographing shorter sessions and producing less images than a full session. If you have little ones that can’t sit still or last for a full family portrait session but you really want some photos for your Holiday Cards or to hang on your wall, this is the perfect solution for your family! We highly reccommend that you search local photographers for Mini Sessions and book way in advance since this is becoming a very popular and sought after session!

We have done this for a few years and wanted to put together a list of Tips and Tricks for our clients or anyone interested in a Mini Session so here they are!

1. Pick a Color Scheme!
We suggest that you pick out a color scheme for your outfits so it’s not too matchy (like jeans and a red top) but more a color scheme like Green, Brown, and Mustard Yellow, for example. If you are going to hang pictures on your wall, think about the colors of your house so they have a cohesive color palette that best represents your family’s style! We love layers to change up an outfit too so feel free to bring extras like scarves and sweaters to make the outfits feel a bit different for a variety in your photos.

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2. Eat Before The Session!
Make sure everyone eats before the shoot so no babies are hungry. Most Moms and Dads already think about this but we just like to remind everyone since we know that trying to get everyone dressed and out the door on time can be quite chaotic and rushed. A happy child is a happy parent is a happy session! Haha.

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3. Bring Props!
We love incorporating any props you have that are meaningful to your family. It can be a little stuffed animal your kid loves or a cute sign, whatever it is, feel free to bring it!

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4. Arrive Early!
Since mini sessions go by quickly, we highly recommend you show up 10 minutes early to do all the last minute things like fix a sweater or comb their hair, etc. We know things happen and so we allow a 5 minute late grace period but since mini sessions are booked back to back, after 5 minutes any extra time will go in to the allotted session time. But if you are early, you won’t have to stress and we can start right on time!

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5. Please Have Payment Ready
We ask you to please bring cash but in some circumstances we will accept check, if need be.

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6. Let’s Have Fun!!
We absolutely love working with people and capturing beautiful moments between families. We know that trying to get children to dress up in outfits and behave perfectly for a stranger is a tall order but let’s have fun with it. I worked with children for years as a nanny and a preschool teacher and love making them laugh and smile! Don’t hesitate to bribe them with a reward for being good during the session too, this works wonders!

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2017-10-22_0010.jpg7. What To Expect After The Session…
After the session we will upload your pictures to a private online gallery where you can view, share, and download your High Resolution Edited Images. We know everyone wants to order family photos before the holidays so we try to be as prompt as possible and upload a few within a few days but please allow for 2-3 weeks for the full gallery to be available. Fall and Spring are our busy seasons since we are either full swing in Wedding Season or are wrapping up wedding season and are in the midst of a lot of Family/Senior/Engagement Sessions so please bear with us and know we are working on your images as soon as possible!! We so appreciate your patience during our busiest time of year!

2017-10-22_0006.jpgWe always post on our social media when we have Mini Sessions so check us out on Facebook or on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/awecapturesphotography/
Or if you would like to reach out to us personally, you can always email us at AweCaptures@gmail.com or directly through this website under the Contact Us page!
We can’t wait to create some beautiful images for your family and have a blast along the way!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!
-Katie and Andy at Awe Captures Photography

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13 Things You Didn’t Know About Us

13 Things You Didn’t Know About Us

Andy and I firmly believe that every couple looking for a photographer shouldn’t just hire based on price and style (while those should still be factored in) but should also find a photographer that you “click” with! When photographer and client get along, the union can be quite simpatico! So here are a few things about us you might not have known to get to know us better….

1. We Love the Outdoors!
Whether it’s going out for a hike, loading up our mountain bikes and hitting the trails, going to the beach, finding a waterfall, or hiking to a river with our dogs, we can’t get enough of the outdoors! We try to be as environmentally friendly as we can be and we cherish all of our National Parks and donate as often as we can to their cause! If we aren’t inside editing or working, you will find us out exploring nature. We love trees, streams, rivers, mountains, beaches, fields, etc. That is why some of our favorite venues are surrounded by nature, there is an energy that comes from nature that absolutely rejuvenated us!

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2. We Love to Travel! (And Andy is Obsessed With Waterfalls)
Andy literally cannot get enough of waterfalls; you can often find him researching new waterfalls and hiking trails to explore. When we aren’t working on the weekend, we often pack up the car and drive to find new spots to discover or new waterfalls to photograph! We love traveling and learning about other areas and their cultures and customs. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel to Croatia with my family this past summer and it was amazing! Seeing areas where Game Of Thrones was filmed, learning about the culture, and learning about the history of the country was a very enlightening experience and we were just so grateful for the opportunity! We also were lucky enough to travel to Maui last year with Andy’s family and it was so relaxing and fun! The ocean, the surfing, the ziplining, the fancy dinner we had, all of it was amazing! We were sad we didn’t make the drive down the Road to Hana due to a large landslide blocking our way, but we were also very grateful that no one was hurt and we didn’t get stranded! If we could, we would travel to Lassen National Park, Oregon, Washington, Yosemite, New Zealand, and countless other places with nothing but each other and our cameras (and a few essentials of course!)

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3. Adventure Runs in Our Veins!
Adventure drives us and is our passion! One of the best things about our job is we see each shoot, each wedding, each day as a new adventure! If we could, we would spend all of our free time away from work ziplining, hiking places like the Swiss Alps, backpacking, surfing, riding roller coasters, rock climbing…..you name it and we are probably game! Unless it’s jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, and then Andy wants nothing to do with it, but I am game….probably….you might have to push me!

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4. We Are Kinda Health Nuts!
Andy and I are very conscious of what we put into our bodies! We have recently switched to a more plant based diet and we LOVE it! With both of us having family histories of Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and cancer we are very careful to take care of our bodies. We try to exercise, eat healthy, and stay as active as possible! In our industry, it is especially important that we are fit because we have to be on our feet for long periods of time carrying heavy equipment around all day. With that being said, we do love our “cheat” days and have a really hard time saying no to In N Out Grilled Cheeses, Pasta, Quesadillas, and Burritos! I could eat Pasta with olive oil and garlic every day of my life and Andy could eat Burritos every day of his! Okay, now I am officially hungry!

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5. We Love Animals!
I have a confession….I have been called a cat lady. Okay, okay, if you don’t like cats, I get it! I really do! They are jerks! But when you get one that loves you and is only a jerk to everyone else, it is pure comic gold! We love all animals and rescue all of our pets. We currently have 2 cats and 2 dogs and we rescued all of them and love them like family! Between the two of us in our lives, we have owned cats, dogs, frogs, mice, lizards, snakes, geckos, fish, and turtles. We honestly would have a pig, a goat, chickens, a bunny, a horse, and lots of other animals if we could! I pretty much drop everything I am doing if an animal is nearby or even if a video of an animal comes on. I would save all the kittens in the world if I could; seriously, I beg Andy everytime we go to Petco to take a kitten home……thank goodness he is much more practical than I am.

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6. Snow Makes Us Happy!

 Every winter, Andy and I try to spend as much time as we can in the snow! There is something about the ground, the trees, the rooftops, and everything being covered in white, that is just pure magic. We instantly feel our stress melt away the moment we step in snow. I grew up in Palm Springs where seasons don’t really exist! It is hot or it is less hot, that is about it…. okay sometimes it gets a bit cold, but maybe a month out of the year. As you can imagine, when I moved up to Northern California and experienced the serenity of standing in a field covered in white powdery snow and just listening to the utter silence, watching the snowflakes fall, I fell in love! Andy described it perfectly when he said that it is magic and he feels as if a weight has been lifted off of him! He tries to talk me in to moving to an area where it snows, and while I would LOVE that, I also love being close to our families and I like warm sun on my skin for part of the year! But if you are planning a wedding in snow, count us IN!

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7. We LOVE Halloween and the Holidays!

 Pumpkin spice, cinnamon, pine cones, decorated living rooms, fun creative costumes, red and yellow leaves, brisk cool air……we love everything about Fall through Winter! Some people say that dressing up is only for kids, we say Hell to the No it isn’t!! Andy and I have been Zombies and Robin Hood Hunter types together; I have been a deer, an egyptian queen, a skunk, and countless other fun costumes. My personal favorite costume that Andy dressed up as was Steve Irwin! He nailed his accent, his outgoing and excited manner of speaking, and his reckless abandon for dangerous creatures…..it was hilarious! It was one of the things that actually made me fall in love with him! (Cue the “awwwws” and or barf noises.)

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8. We Are Outgoing and Love to Laugh.
Andy is constantly cracking jokes and making me laugh and I have been asked, on multiple occasions, if I ever stop smiling. We are often told that it is obvious that we love working with people and it is clear we enjoy our jobs! It is true! We seriously feel like we have the best job in the world! We get to capture love between a couple, a family, or the most special day of a person’s life, what could be better? We get to channel our creativity into our work and we get paid to do it, we feel so lucky! We have big personalities and pride ourselves on not only being professional and easy to work with but also making it fun! I think our outgoing natures stem from the fact that we both have big hearts and love to make people happy. Don’t be surprised if we crack some jokes or are in the corner laughing with one another!

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9. We Love Everything Other-Worldly!
We love Game Of Thrones, Harry Potter, Lord Of the Rings, or anything that takes your imagination to a whole new place! I absolutely love reading; transporting to a different place with a different perspective and find that immersing myself in a story is so cathartic. I love finding the symbolism in a story or the deeper message. I have read all of The Harry Potter Books, have listened to most of them on Audible, and am now listening to the Game Of Thrones books! P.S. Can you believe this last season of Game Of Thrones??? Don’t worry, no spoilers here!

10. We Love Music.
Well everyone likes music right? I mean, unless you are crazy! But we LOVE music. When we were growing up, Andy dreamed of playing the Guitar in a band and I dreamed of being a singer or a dancer. Andy taught himself to play the guitar and I have no doubts when I say that he is one of the best people I have heard play in person! You can see how he gets lost in his music and you can feel his passion for it when he plays! When he is stressed or needs a mental break, he plugs in his Hellraiser guitar and jams! When I was little, I used to dance around the house in a ballerina outfit and I would belt out songs in my room alone. I have major stage fright so I don’t often sing for other people but when I want to relax, I will put on some music I can sing to, and immerse myself in the song! Music flows through our veins, you will hear it playing while we edit, clean, drive, get ready, or when we have people over! A room without music is a sad thing!

11. We Are In Love.
Okay it sounds Cheesy as hell, but we get asked often if we are married and the answer is, not yet. However, we are together and we are madly in love (again cue the “awww”s and/or the barfing noises). We actually met on a dating website 4 years ago and have been together ever since. Andy contacted me and said he saw that we had a lot in common and had to reach out because we both listed Photography, Hiking, Nature, Adventure, and the Outdoors as things we couldn’t live without. I don’t know if you have ever been on these dating sites but you can instantly tell within the first message how the rest of the conversation is going to go (at least that was my brief experience) and I could instantly tell Andy was different than the other guys I had talked to! After our first conversation on the phone, I was smitten. The first thing that drew me to him was his sense of humor. His sense of humor isn’t just funny and a bit dirty at times, it’s also intelligent and he has a quick wit. I instantly loved that about him! I also noticed how kind he was to people like our waiter on our first date and how kind and chivalrous he is to strangers! They say chivalry has died but I can tell you it has not! He opens doors for people, wants to help anyone who needs it, wants to give food to people who are hungry, wants to rescue animals and it deeply upsets him to see people or animals hurt or suffering. I also noticed right away that he wasn’t lazy and he never settles and always pushes himself to do better! Okay I could go on for all the reasons I love him but I will leave it at he is my other half and I can’t imagine life without him! Andy said that he first noticed that I have a very kind aura about me and he noticed that I was always looking out for other people’s feelings and well being. He said that in our first conversations he noticed that I was well spoken and came across as very intelligent (haha I tricked him), and after meeting me he enjoyed that I was outgoing and fun! One day….hopefully pretty soon (ahem) we will be the ones looking for a wedding photographer. =)

12. We Share a Birthday!
We are kind of the same person in a lot of ways and us having the same Birthday is really just another example of this! It was so funny when we were first texting back and forth and I wrote, “Oh I noticed you are a Virgo, when is your Birthday?” He said, “In August.” I thought that was weird because there is a small window of Virgos born in August since I believe most of the Virgo sign is September (I don’t really follow Astrology too closely though). Then I asked, “Oh what day?” He said “August 29th” and I thought he must have stalked me somehow and I honestly thought he was joking. He assured me he wasn’t, and now we will forever have to share our Birthday. It is pretty hilarious actually, each year we say “Remember it’s MY Birthday, today is all about ME!” Our Birthday was actually two days ago and our new favorite thing is to tell people, “Well today is actually both of our birthdays so…..”, and they look at us like we must be joking but they say, “Happy Birthday?” with a tone that implies it is a question. It must be kismet!

13. We Have The Best Families!
I could really go on and on about this one, but I will try to be brief. Both of our families have instilled strong morals in us and we couldn’t be luckier. Our parents worked hard to give us wonderful opportunities and sacrificed a lot to ensure that we not only had all the essentials like shelter, food, water, warm beds at night, but they also ensured that we had all the tools in life to be successful! We can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for us! We both have lovely siblings that we are close to and nieces and nephews that are ridiculously adorable and just cool people! We would do anything for our families and they would do anything for us, can’t be any luckier than that can you? Family really is everything!

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We hope you enjoyed reading this and enjoyed getting to know us better! It always helps to put a person behind a name and this is us in a nutshell! We really love working with so many wonderful people and it really is true, we have the best clients in the business! Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this and for all the people that have believed in us or supported us throughout this journey…THANK YOU TIMES A MILLION!!! Cheers!

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Whiteny & Sean Wedding

Whitney and Sean were married this June at Hart 2 Hart Vineyards in Pilot Hill, Ca and it was nothing short of magical! With soft pinks, lavendar, beautiful greens, and lots of lush vineyards, it was EVERYTHING one could want out of a Northern California summer wedding! Whitney and Sean are clearly so much more than a couple; they are a team; they are best friends; they are soul mates! It is obvious the minute you meet these two that the kindness and joy that radiates from them is genuine and contagious! We can’t say enough about them, their Bridal party, their families, the staff at the venue, everthing was just as fun as it was beautiful! Words simply fall short how spectacular this wedding was! So we will let the images speak for themselves! Enjoy!
Vendor LOVE:
Venue: Hart 2 Hart Vineyards Hart2Hartweddings@gmail.com
Wedding Coordinator: My Entourage info@myevententourage.com
DJ and Photobooth: Moments To Memories DJ Momentstomemoriesdj@gmail.com
Videographer: Love Genre Films alex.s.cristescu@gmail.com
Florist: Garden Wishes Billkuyper@sbcglobal.net
Rentals: Forever Vintage Rentals
Cake: Pushkin’s Bakery
Hair: Daisy Salon whitneyatdaisy@gmail.com
Make-up: Molly Wilson Makeup mollywilsonmakeup@gmail.com
Dress: Maggie Sottero Designs
(Feel free to contact us for any vendor contact info from this wedding!)
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Melissa & Brett’s Wedding

  Melissa and Brett were married at the Flower Farm Inn in Loomis California on April 14th, 2017 and it was nothing short of romantic and charming. Every part of their wedding was so delicate and lovely, it is perfectly described as Pretty in Pink. It had a modern, classic, elegant feel. Their venue is best described as a charming and enchanted Farm complete with adorable white fluffy chickens, a hen house, a beautiful red barn, beautiful cottages each with their own charming decor and color scheme, gorgeous oak trees, lovely sidewalk paths under canopies of trees, and a lovely vineyard where you can see the sunset sky quite beautifully at dusk.
Their details were pretty in pink with pink, gray, and gold decor. Melissa wore two stunning dresses with lace details and a modern mermaid flair, beautiful gray shoes from Aldo, and the Bridesmaids were radiant in their floor length chiffon pink dresses. Each of their dresses had a different cut and style to flatter each particular Bridesmaids… we absolutely love this trend! Brett looked so handsome in his gray suit and light pink tie and all the Groomsmen wore matching light pink ties and pink and gray argyle socks!
The moment that Brett saw Melissa for the first time during their first look, they both got teary eyed and you could see the emotion build up in them. But more than that, you could see the love and the ease and comfort that they felt around one another. Up until Melissa saw Brett, she was a ball of nerves, but as soon as she saw him, you could see all of her anxiety and nerves just melt away. The ceremony was just as emotional and Melissa cried as her father whispered his love and affection for her while they walked down the isle towards her soon to be husband. Their vows were so sweet and from the heart. As you can imagine, their reception was just as beautiful with their delicious catered buffet to their decadent donuts, raspberry almond strudel bites, cake pops, cake and many more desserts that were displayed in front of a white curtain that glistened with strings of lights that were behind it. The room was decked out with beautiful white table cloths, gold chargers, Menus that were created just for their event by their calligrapher Lettered By Ari, pink napkins, modern gold geometric shaped candle holders, and in the center were beautiful green leaf garlands and flower center pieces with pink and white flowers. It was quite a sight to see.
They danced the night away, had heart felt speeches from friends and family, and even played the shoe game, which made it all the more evident how perfect these two are for each other. The whole day was filled with so much romance, love, beautiful decor, and wonderful celebration for the beautiful and hopelessly in love couple! We felt so honored to have the privilege and joy of capturing one of the best days of their lives! Enjoy their pictures!

Vendor Love:
Wedding Planner: Christina Harris eventsbychristina.com
DJ and Officiant: Weddings By Kevin DJ & Officiant Services www.weddingsbykevin.net
Wedding Dress: Enzoani Enzoani.com
Calligraphy By: Lettered by Ari
Caterer: Katie Chaney, Katiecaters.net
Rentals: Rent Rite RentRiteThePartyPeople.com Rent Rite The Party People
Videographer: Wild 35 www.Wild35.com
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Tips For Brides, Part 1: Getting Ready!

Clients ask our advice on everything from timelines, to venues, to first looks, etc. We had so much success and great feedback on our Blog with What To Wear Tips (http://awecaptures.com/what-should-i-wear/) we thought we would add a monthly Blog with tips for our clients!

Right now is engagement season which means Brides and Grooms who are newly engaged are looking to start booking Venues! Here are some tips on what to look for in a Getting Ready Room and what to think about when planning the getting ready photos!

Tip 1: Find a Room With Natural Light!

It is so important that your getting ready room has a big window that allows for gorgeous natural light rather than harsh yellow incandescent light!! A lot of hotels or Bridal Suites already have this taken care of but it is something to keep in mind when looking for your getting ready location! If the location you are getting married at only has one dingy room to get ready in, remember you aren’t stuck with that as your getting ready room! Why not rent a hotel room to get ready at with a big window that allows for more natural light!

Tip 2: Avoid Clutter!

We always remind our Brides ahead of time to straighten up the room and de-clutter everthing before we get there so you don’t lose any precious time cleaning the room after we have arrived (and trust me, I understand how hard that is, you should see my bathroom when I get all dolled up, make-up, curling irons, you name it, its out and it’s a hot mess;) But another thing to think about is not just your clutter, but try to find rooms that either don’t have a lot of JUNK in it or rooms that can be re-arranged so we can present the illusion that the room is clean and clutter free!

Tip 3: Be Prepared! Plan Ahead!

This one is ten-fold! If you are on Pinterest and you see a beautiful photograph where the Bridesmaids are all wearing matching Robes with Cherry Blossoms on it and they are all drinking out of matching champagne glasses, that did not happen on accident! Plan ahead with any outfits, poses, or props you want to use! Have your invitations, rings, shoes, dress, etc. all ready and picture worthy! We can always come up with fun creative positioning for your detail shots on the spot but if you have something specific in mind, don’t forget to plan ahead! Bring a pretty hanger so you aren’t stuck with a crappy plastic hanger for your gorgeous dress! Just think ahead and pin any ideas you might have and if you have anything in particular you absolutely don’t want to forget, include it in your shot list so we can be prepared too!

Tip 4: Set Aside Plenty Of Time!

A lot of people don’t realize this but the Getting Ready portion of the day is actually some of the most crucial time and requires the most amount of time. We recommend that you set aside around 2 hours for the Getting Ready portion of the day! During this time we not only get the Getting Ready photos of the Bride and her Bridesmaids, and the Groom and his Groomsmen, we also get the First look with the Bride and her Mom/Dad or the Groom with his Mom/Dad. We get the shoe shot, the dress shot, the ring shot, invitation pictures, detail pictures of the rooms, Groom Portraits, and Bridal Portraits. This part of the day is so fun, the anticipation, the nerves, the candid moments, the genuine reaction to seeing the Bride and Groom all ready for the first time, it is too much fun to miss a single moment!

Tip 5: Don’t forget the Bridal Portraits and the Groom Portraits!

This is an extension of the last tip but it deserves it’s own headline! We can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you set aside time for posed and candid portraits of the Bride and Groom seperately. This day will go by so fast, you blink and it is over! The only thing you will have left years down the road are the memories and the photographs! We suggest that at some point you set aside anywhere between 15-30 minutes for the Bridal Portraits and 15-30 minutes for the Groom Portraits! Sometimes it takes people a little while to settle down and calm their nerves in order to get the really great shots, so set aside time for these pictures so you don’t feel so rushed! Also, scope out locations for the Bridal and Groom Portraits! Of course, we can find some great spots to use but while booking your venue, scope out locations and take mental notes on specific spots you want your portraits taken.

Tip 5: DO A FIRST LOOK BEFORE THE WEDDING!

Now, I would never urge anyone to do a First Look if they strongly believe in the tradition of seeing each other for the first time as the Bride walks down the isle! However, if you are on the fence about a First Look…..DO IT!!! Not only does it save immense time at the crucial Cocktail hour of the night (when your guests are VERY eager for you to enter the party and join in on the fun) but it gives you two a moment alone! Our best reactions from Grooms seeing their Brides is actually at the First Look! Just imagine, you don’t have all of the eyes of the crowd on you and you two get to just have a private, well mostly private aside from the click of our silent shutter, to just see eachother and really let the moment soak in; you are getting married TODAY! You get a private moment AND we get all of the photos of you two and all of the photos of the entire Bridal Party completely out of the way so after the ceremony we can do Family Photos and then maybe snap a few of you two in a different location and then you get to go do what the whole night is all about….CELEBRATE AND PARTY THE NIGHT AWAY!!! If you are debating a first look….just do it!! I swore I would never do it for the longest time because of tradition and blah blah, now, when I get married the one thing I know for SURE is I am doing a First Look!!

Tip 6: Have Fun!

Just have fun with finding your Getting Ready location and with all of the planning that goes with it! Go on Pinterest and find inspiration, find rooms that speak to you and stick to your theme or style! We will get amazing photos no matter what, because let’s face it, we are pros, so take a deep breath and know that it will all work out and it will be the best day of your life! And if anything goes wrong, either it will be so off that you will laugh about it later, or it will be something you thought was so important and years later you completely forget that you didn’t have that exact glass you had bought just for your getting ready photos! Have fun with it! After all, it is the best party you will ever throw and all of your closest friends and family will be there to celebrate the day with you!!

Feel free to email us with any questions or any advice you might need on any aspect of your wedding! We love discussing your wedding with you, looking at your pinterest boards, hearing your creative ideas, and we love helping with any tips you might need since it not only makes your big day easier, it makes our job easier! We are passionate about what we do and we love sharing that passion with you! We can’t wait for your big day so let’s get this ball rolling! =)

Here are some images from our favorite rooms, our favorite props, and just our faves!

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