Only wear the dress once? Nah.
Megan and I explored Swannanoa together 3 months after her wedding to see what kind of fun we could have with her beautiful bridal gown.
We played in the creek, roamed through the woods and watched the sun set over the field.
We're pretty sure the creek cleaned off all the dirt from dancing at her reception... win-win.
Running in a dress this heavy (7 or so layers) is not so easy but sometimes you gotta give in to your photographer's random requests.
Boy do we know how to stress ourselves out about the "happiest day of our life". We dream and daydream and Pinterest and save and imagine and then stress starts seeping in from the corners. Stress is finding cracks and holes to get through but it's totally up to you to overcome it and still enjoy the process.
A few musings to help you patch those holes, covers those cracks and power through stressful moments so it's not the new theme of your wedding.
My first musing is that this likely won't be the happiest day of your life. Ouch. The expectations alone can through all the wrenches in that ideal.
The happiest moments you'll look back on will (more likely) be when you go dress shopping with your best friend, drink too many bubbles and giggle over how ugly most dresses are. Your happiest moments will be the first time you held your brand new niece in your arms, when you hiked up that mountain in Alaska, when you stood up for yourself at work and it made a difference, when you snuggle your pet on the couch, sharing beers with your spouse because your other plans were rained out.
The little joys of life rally together and represent your happy times. Your wedding will be one of them but don't put so much pressure on your poor wedding to solve the everyman quest for "happiness". If you're on board with me so far then we're on the right track.
Next thought: how do you want your wedding to look and WHY? Write out key elements you want then follow up with why.
Reread your list. Time for cuts and compromises.
Example list of wedding details you're planning and WHY they're a part of the big day:
Signature cocktail - represents our first date
Outdoor venue - can't imagine it indoors
Big wedding party - my mom insists I have a flower girl
Dance party - my fiancee wants to partay
Pink and gold colors - I don't really care but my sister said this is trendy and cute
Cute umbrellas - it could rain, duh
Cute boots for under dress in case it does rain - I really don't want to move it indoors
You can already see there is room for cuts and compromises. I think it's healthy to consider both. No one wants to make mom mad but you can't let her plan the whole thing either. Cuts and compromises, think wholeheartedly about yours and make the call.
Next thought: money. Woooweee weddings are pricey. Even the little ones, even the DIY ones. Spend your money where you won't regret it. Do you care if every person leaves with a favor? Will you remember that years from now? Will they? We all have to make calls based on finances and one great way is to revisit why you're spending money on that particular thing/service/vendor.
To Do: Find a wedding photographer to take photos of your special day with a style that you admire... check!
Mmmmkk what else do we do? Let's look behind the scenes.
It's all about preparation. The photographer is preparing all the usual checklist needs for your wedding day, yes, but we're also preparing for you specifically! Based on your wedding location, how many guests you have, your formal photo list, we are preparing gear, ideas and posing just for you! All weddings and couples are not the same so I don't treat them that way, I tailor it your needs and vision.
No wedding day coordinator? It's likely your photographer will help guide the day in their absence. Not as a service that we provide but because the wedding group will be asking us when is the best time for this and that in order to produce the best photos. Many of my couples don't have a wedding coordinator so I casually advise based on lighting and my wedding experience (it doesn't hurt that I was a coordinator for 4 years).
Any detail that you told us via email, phone or in-person will be noted for the actual day. So you don't need to remember that you told us "...your Grandma is sick and needs to speed through her part of family photos..." 6 months ago, I've got it noted and will handle it so you don't have to!
You don't need to think about when sunset is for your best couples photos, it will be on our radar and we'll come get you. You won't need to come find us for cake cutting, we will remember and be waiting for it! Just enjoy your family & friends, breathe in the day!
When emotions are flying high, we are a calming factor. The photographer will be at your side most of the day: while you're putting your dress or suit on, while you're waiting to walk down the aisle, while you're walking out of the ceremony with your new spouse. We'll be there during these exciting and emotional moments and we'll be calm, relaxed and there for you. A good photographer will never add to the stress of a wedding day, we'll only help dissolve it.
We are catching moments that you may miss because you're busy! You're getting ready, you're hiding before the ceremony, you're talking to this group of friends (and not that other group of friends). So we roam around to catch the sweet moments your guests are experiencing so you can look back on them later.
We look forward to sharing the day with you and contributing to the success of a stress-free wedding. Cheers!
Max Patch is easily a favorite hike of mine in WNC. Every time I visit I have a new experience, new view and different weather. There's been fog so thick that you can't see any view and then clear skies like this evening with endless mountain vistas.
Kate and Brandon are from Ohio and ventured down to Asheville for a weekend getaway + their engagement photos. I was thrilled to meet up with them in this killer location as the sun set.
We slowly climbed up the (short yet steep) hike and took photo stops along the way. This is important if you're dressing up for your photos!
At the top, we carefully avoided the campers and other hikers for clean shots with just these two being happy as can be. The golden tones really set the mood of these photos and made up for lack of greenery this time of year.
With such a clean slate for a location, it's important to have poses prepared and to be able to direct your couple into comfortable positions.
Purple is one of my favorite colors found in natural food. So many vegetables rock this vibrant hue to catch our eye. The purple in this cabbage became more and more intense as I peeled away layers; what started as a dusty purple-grey, ended in a deep eggplant tone.
Blueberries and blackberries have purple hues hidden within them and are not simply blue or black. The stalk of beets are a deep fuchsia that contrasts the greens perfectly.
The shades of purple in some of our favorite fruits and vegetables run vivid and appetizing.
With such a strong color, it's only fitting I chose a dark neutral for pairing. A mottled slate complements the vibrant purple tones instead of competing with it.
If you're interested in more purple and slate, give these IG feeds a try:
Similar color combinations if this one isn't doing it for you!
Navy & slate
Royal blue & slate
Purple & pale grey
So many things to think about when planning your wedding timeline... getting your hair done, dropping off decor for the reception, picking up your brother from the airport...
Now you have to factor in photography requests?!
Just to give you an idea on how important the time of day you'll be taking photos is, I'm going to share a little secret. Most photographers will share very few or none of their photographs taken during the middle of the day on their website, in their portfolio or on their Instagram. Sure, they've probably taken photos at noon and they probably have some good shots (I have and I do) but they'll rarely be as great as photos taken towards the ends of the day as the sun rises or sets.
Let's add in some other factors to demonstrate how midday sun can affect photos:
How does it affect things, really?
What to do?
We're there to create flattering, happy, romantic images of you and that's the only goal! So any tips we throw your way are in your best interest and ours. All photos in this blog post were taken during full, afternoon sun; there was minimal cloud coverage in the first 3 and none in the one below. I chose these photos to showcase the style you could expect from me if we're dealing with full sun images, I still got you ;)
Golden olive (PANTONE 16-0639 TPX). I was looking for the perfect color name to represent this backdrop. When I found golden olive, I knew it was the perfect shade of green. The color changes as the light changes, more than I'm used to.
I played around with shades of green complemented by the white of flowers. Green represents nature so using natural products to create these images seemed like the best fit.
Green is often considered one of the most soothing colors, would we say that about all shades of green though? Soothing is usually paired with a sage or moss green. Neon greens are electric and jungle greens make me think of life + energy.
Green can represent the environment or the military or envy. A color with many feelings, it's always been my personal favorite. When the trees turn green around here at the end of May, I can't get over the beauty.
Craving more green in your life? Follow these beautiful Instagram feeds:
@olivettefarm (local to Asheville!)
What else goes with green?
Forest green & slate
Olive green & brass
Jungle green & grey
© Chelsea Lane Photography 2013-2017
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