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Wedding planning tips from a soon-to-be bride!

Ever since our wonderful clients Jill and John wrote a blog entry for us a while back, we've been on the lookout for ideal guest blog entries.  One of the first ideas I had was our current client and near-future bride, Erin.  You might remember Erin from her and Josh's engagement session last week.  Now, normally, I wouldn't ask a woman in the midst of planning a wedding to write a blog entry for us, but she has become quite an accomplished blogger in her own rite.  In fact, a few months ago, she set out on a journey to write a blog entry a day detailing the road to her wedding.  She committed to a blog post per day until the big day!  And if you have ever taken on blogging, you know what a task that is.  The best part is that she's done beautifully!  I've subscribed to her blog on my google reader and I've enjoyed getting to know her and Josh better along the way!  So without further ado, enjoy Erin's insightful tips on wedding planning from what she has learned so far. Oh, and be sure to check out her blog!

Richmond Engagement Portraits-1

Richmond Engagement Portraits-1

Hi there! My name is Erin and I am marrying my best friend and the love of my life on June 25th, 2011. Peter asked me to write a post about whatever I wanted (and boy, was that dangerous!). I decided to write a little ditty on what I've learned during the past 16 months of my 18 month engagement. So here goes:

1. Do what you want to do. The wedding is about the bride and groom. If you want purple flowers, get purple flowers. If you want to serve escargot, "go" for it (really, though, don't...it's pretty gross). If you want to wear hot pink shoes, do it! Other people are going to try to give you input. Take what advice you want, but don't try to please everyone. It's not their day, it's yours! 2. Don't stress over the little stuff. Chances are, you're the only person that will notice when a little detail isn't exactly right! And it's really not worth a Bridezilla moment because something is the wrong shade of green. 3. Don't forget that your friends have lives too. Your world may be 100% wedding, but your friends have things going on in their lives too! Don't forget to care for them. And don't expect them to make it to every wedding-related event. Their job is to stand up with you on your wedding day, not cater to your every need! 4. Book vendors that you feel comfortable with! This should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, that's not always the case. If your gut is telling you to talk away, listen to it! I absolutely adore all my vendors! (Advertisement: I'm pretty sure our favorite vendor is Peter!) 5. Express your gratitude to every person who has done something for you during your engagement/relationship. Whether it be attending your engagement party or having you over to chat about wedding plans or offering to do your hair on the day of your wedding, make sure they know how much you appreciate them! 6. Take time for yourself. Wedding planning is stressful enough by itself. When you add in work or school and the rest of your life, it can get pretty overwhelming. Get a manicure or buy a new shirt. It can really brighten your mood! You may think that spending money on yourself that could be used towards the wedding would be a waste, but trust me. It's worth every penny. 7. Start early. Now I'm not a huge promoter of super long engagements, but I do have to say that our 18-month engagement has allowed me a lot more time to acquire certain aspects of our wedding. It has helped me spread out my spending so I'm not going broke. And it allowed us to get the big things out of the way (venue, photographer and dress)and then we had time to actually enjoy being engaged. And just remember, it's only one day. Don't go broke over it! 8. Spend time with your fiance/ee on non-wedding related things! If I talked about our wedding plans non-stop to Josh, he would probably get pretty bored and/or annoyed. Make sure you take time as a couple to reconnect and not get too caught up in the planning process. 9. Book a honeymoon! I am yearning for our luxurious trip to Cancun! I know that I am going to be dead tired after it is all said and done, and a tropical vacation is just what I'm going to need. I think it's going to be great to relax with my husband for a week before entering this thing called "married life." 10. Don't forget what the day is all about! While a wedding reception is largely seen as a really great party, the ceremony happens first for a reason. The whole day is a celebration of your love for each other and about the joining of two lives into one. At the end of the day, if you're married, that's all that matters!

Going into wedding planning, I had NO idea what to expect. I've hit some hurdles and found an amazing venue and an amazing photographer to capture mine and Josh's true personalities. We cannot wait to start our lives together! If you want to see what our wedding planning process has looked like, check out my blog: http://brideinwaiting2011.blogspot.com

Richmond Engagement Portraits-2

Richmond Engagement Portraits-2

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Erin and Josh's Richmond Engagement Portraits

I'm so excited to be able to share a few of Erin and Josh's engagement portraits with you from last weekend.  These two fantastic people are getting married in June and I can't wait for their wedding.  Erin first contacted me MANY months ago about photographing their wedding through a referral from some of our fabulous clients.  I had lunch with them soon after that and I've had such a great time getting to know them over the last few months.  The day of their engagement session finally arrived and I had high hopes because these two enjoy being photographed and they had some big plans in store.  We met up at Forrest Hill Park in Richmond per Josh's suggestion and I couldn't have been happier!  I hadn't been to that park in a million years since we used to go sledding there in the snow when I was a kid.  It was great to go back for a visit and to drive through my grandparents' old neighborhood. Enough ramblings about my childhood, though, onto the portraits!  I hope you'll be able to tell what a great time we had together from these images.  And be sure to check back soon as we'll be featuring Erin in a guest blog in the next few days!  As always, there are more posted on our facebook page.  Enjoy!

Richmond Engagement Portraits

Richmond Engagement Portraits

Richmond Engagement Portraits

PS - Didn't I tell you we had a great time?  One of my favorite parts was when a lady passing by while they were painting took in what was going on and offered up, "Aw, look at ya'll paintin' and sh**.  That is so cute."  I couldn't get that line out of my head and it became a sort of slogan for the rest of the evening!

PPS - I might not be blogging as much over the next few weeks.  It's high gardening season around here and there is much work to be done!  We're making use of our small yard and putting in a pretty serious vegetable garden.  I'm sure I'll post some pictures of the progress up here, but I've seriously been enjoying getting out in the nice weather and digging in the dirt!  Thankfully, Erin's guest blog entry will help fill the void of my non-blogging a bit!  Be sure to check back for that soon.

Looking for a Charlottesville wedding photographer?  Click one of the links below!

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Cynthia and Jereme's Charlottesville Engagement Portraits

Making people feel comfortable in front of the camera is about 70% of creating a great portrait.  Some people have a hard time feeling relaxed and take some warming up.  Others, though, are naturals.  They make my job easy.  Enter Cynthia and Jereme!  Talk about two relaxed people who simply love being together!  I've known Cynthia for well over ten years because she is Sarah's cousin.  Last night, however, was my first time meeting Jereme.  You see, they met in Abu Dhabi, UAE while Cynthia was working after she graduated from college.  She's back in the States now working on a law degree and he is still working in Abu Dhabi until they get married this summer. Jereme is an incredibly talented photographer and I am quite honored that they hired us to photograph their wedding this summer in Williamsburg!

I was so thrilled that they were able to work out a trip to Charlottesville while he is in town for about ten days.  We met up last night and explored some of my favorite spots in Charlottesville.  I had such an incredible time photographing these two, catching up with Cynthia, and getting to know Jereme.  I cannot wait for their wedding and I'm excited to share a few of my favorite images with you from their engagement portrait session.  As always, there are more images posted on our facebook page.  Enjoy!

PS - you should definitely check out Jereme's website.  He has traveled the world and photographed in some pretty amazing spots!

PSS - Speaking of feeling comfortable in front of the camera, we're finally getting a Davis family portrait session, ourselves!  We can hardly wait to have another photographer document our family at this stage of life because we haven't had a family portrait session in about four years!

Looking for a Charlottesville Engagement Photographer, click one of these links below!

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More of Kyle and Paul's Charlottesville Engagement Portraits

As I'm working through everything we have photographed so far this fall, I am so excited to share more of Kyle and Paul's engagement session!  I had such an amazing time with these two.  We had to bump up our planned time due to impending rain.  Of course, it hadn't rained in weeks before the day they drove down from Northern Virginia for their photo session!  We were able to get a lot of time together before the rains came and we carried on into the night.  The cloudy skies provided some incredible backdrops and I love how they turned out! The only problem now is that we have to wait until next October for their wedding!  Congratulations again, you two.  Enjoy!

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