Monthly Archives: February 2012

Weekly Wedding Favorites

Whether it was Mardi Gras or the unseasonably warm temperatures, this week was full of inspiration and bright colors. To be honest, it was a little difficult to choose! Without further ado, this week’s Weekly Wedding Favorites.

Favorite Father Daughter Dance Song:

This song had me hooked at first listen. By that I mean it had me crying at first listen. It’s one of my favorite picks for a father daughter dance, whether you dance at your wedding or at another event with your dad. “Daughters” is dedicated to fathers and their daughters (obviously!), but I love how Mayer mentions mothers too. This bride’s story about how her husband performed “Daughters” while she danced with her dad at her wedding is so sweet and special – full circle perfection.

Favorite Mardi Gras Inspired Moment:

photo courtesy Southern Weddings

I just came across this wedding as I was writing this post, and the above photo wins. Oh my! How fun would it be to dance through the streets of New Orleans right after tying the knot with your new husband accompanied by friends, family, and complete strangers with a live band in tow? What a completely awesome, fun rush of excitement that would be. I’m totally in!

Favorite Invitations:

photo courtesy Printerette Press

photo courtesy Pinterest & Erin Ever After

This week, I talked about my love of watercolor invitations, which was sparked by a Valentine’s Day blog by designer Carol-Hannah. Watercolors are a favorite because they can create a lovely soft color palette or one where the colors are completely vivid. The Etsy invitation pictured above was an instant favorite, but I also cannot stop going back to the save-the-date I came across on Pinterest from Erin Ever After (side note: Erin works for Style Me Pretty). Then there was this couple who incorporated watercolors throughout their wedding day – love this wedding.

Favorite Cake(topper):

photo courtesy The Bride's Cafe

This favorite can really swing in either direction: favorite cake or favorite cake topper. The entire cake is a beauty, but what really sets it apart is the cake topper. Those Adirondack chairs would be perfect atop a couple’s wedding cake at the Jersey Shore. For some reason, two chairs sitting next to each other at the beach have such a unique “forever” quality.

Favorite Message:

photo courtesy Southern Weddings

Confession: I cannot get enough of this wedding’s color palette (part one & part two). However, it’s the sign (those small details!) that instantly won me over. I cannot think of too many other sayings that are more fun and true than “let’s do this thing!” The best part? That saying is an obvious choice to help ease your nerves on your wedding day as well as so many other moments throughout your lives.

Have a great weekend! “Let’s do this thing!”

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Watercolor Wedding Inspiration: Invitations

photo courtesy Pinterest & Carol-Hannah

photo courtesy Pinterest & Carol-Hannah

Maybe it’s the soft color palette that they create or the fact that I am an avid fan of Carol-Hannah’s designs, but I could not get enough of the watercolor Valentines, pictured above, that CH created and posted on her blog last week. My favorite aspect of watercolors is that when used in different ways, they can create so many varying looks – from soft and blurred to vivid – giving your wedding the exact vibe you’re searching for. As a result, I decided to embark on a search for my favorite watercolor inspired invitation designs with this post by Emmaline Bride and this one by Elizabeth Anne Designs in mind.

photo courtesy Printerette Press

photo courtesy Minted

photo courtesy Wedding Paper Divas

photo courtesy Minted

photo courtesy Wiley Valentine

It’s not quite an invitation yet, but I had to throw in this save-the-date for good measure…

photo courtesy Pinterest & Erin Ever After

Why stop creating a watercolor inspired wedding at your invitations?

I am a huge fan of this couple’s wedding, which was posted on Once Wed, because they carried the watercolor theme throughout their day. Rather than incorporating muted hues, this wedding is so vivid and vibrant and just plain beautiful.

Do you love watercolors? How would you incorporate them into your wedding day?

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Weekly Wedding Favorites

I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: this week flew by. That may be due to the fact that one of my best friends came in for a whirlwind weekend, which included days in Philly, NYC, and Bear Creek Mountain. Insane? Absolutely. Best weekend ever? I think yes.

Even though I felt like I was living in a town called Crazy this week, I still had time to search for inspiration. Below are this week’s Weekly Wedding Favorites.

Favorite fun activity:

photo courtesy Going to the Chapel

I really love to go skiing; however, another fun winter activity is ice-skating, which just happened to be one of the events of last weekend. My friend and I spent two awesome hours ice-skating at the Wollman Rink in Central Park. We had unlimited skating time, and the view? It was to die for, as you can partially see in the photo above. We loved that the rink was larger than the ones found in Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park, but the Wollman Rink felt equally as festive and enjoyable. Of course, if you’re not looking to go to NYC, you can also check out the River Rink at Penn’s Landing, which will also provide a fun night with beautiful views.

Favorite viral video:

Oh my, don’t even get me started on my love of the Olympics. Does anyone else count down the years and months until competition starts again? With this in mind along with my love of proposal videos, you can only imagine how excited I was when Brides posted the above video on their blog. USA swimmer Matt Grevers had planned to propose to girlfriend Annie Chambers at the top of the metal stand at the Missouri Grand Prix. Thankfully, Matt nabbed first place in his event, and when it was suggested that Annie join her (almost) fiancé on the metal stand for photos, she happily obliged. The moments that followed, including Annie’s expression, are so sweet.

Favorite stationary:

photo courtesy Cami's Paperie

I saw this post on Em for Marvelous this week, and I thought her fiancé’s way of asking his groomsman to be a part of the wedding day was so creative! However, if you are looking to mail your maid of honor, bridesmaids, and flower girl a note, I am definitely a fan of the above design by Cami’s Paperie. Although it’s always nice to ask people in person, if distance separates you (or even if it doesn’t!), I don’t know of too many people who don’t love receiving a message in the mail from a friend on customized stationary.

Favorite cake:

photo courtesy Pinterest & Southern Weddings

I have to admit, this bow cake is not from the past week. It’s been on my Pinterest board just waiting to be posted, and it may have arrived two weeks ago. Putting time aside, it caught my eye the moment I saw it while reading about this couple. I love how the bow is delicately draped in the front of the cake, and I also may be a huge fan of the floral arrangement, too. The fact that it is void of any color or overwhelming details, yet still looks so unique and striking makes it a winner. Although pictured at a more informal wedding, this cake would be equally as perfect at a formal affair. A posting delay does not matter when you have a cake that is such a unique winner!

Favorite Valentine’s Day Story:

photo courtesy Pinterest

I nearly cried when I saw the photo of the man pictured above on Facebook and again on Pinterest, and then I read the story behind the photo which was taken by a fellow shopper.

Today I was in Hallmark buying my mom a Happy Birthday card when I noticed this old man stnding in front of the Valentines card section contemplating which one to get. I decide to go over and I asked him “Are you getting a Valentine’s Day for your wife?” in which he replies, ‘No my wife died 3 years ago from breast cancer but I still buy her roses and a card and bring them to her grave to prove to her that she was the only one that will ever have my heart.’

Pure everlasting love and devotion is beautiful and endearing. Senior citizens win…always.

What are some of your favorites from this week? What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Enjoy your weekend! 

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Weekly Wedding Favorites

Did this week fly by for anyone else? I can’t believe it’s Friday already! This week’s favorites include, but are not limited to, a fun winter getaway (seems fitting since it’s actually going to feel like winter this weekend!), a website, and shoes. Interested? Read on!

Favorite getaway:

photo courtesy Orbitz.com

photo courtesy Going to the Chapel

I decided to learn how to ski on a whim three years ago, and this year I discovered a hidden gem in Macungie, PA called Bear Creek Mountain Resort. Maybe you’ve heard of it? The resort is home to a hotel, lodge, 21 trails, a learning center, and plenty more. I love that it’s close enough to go for a quick day trip where you get to ski or snowboard down the mountain countless times because you hardly ever have to wait in line to go up on one of the four lifts. However, because of the hotel, you can easily turn your day trip into an overnight stay. Check out this $95 deal for a winter getaway that includes your hotel room, lift tickets, and complimentary tubing for one night (almost two full days) of winter goodness between Sunday and Thursday.

Favorite website:

Have you ever visited the Welcome Home Blog? I can’t even talk about that site because each surprise military homecoming video tends to make me cry. Although I wasn’t crying when I discovered Ring On the Finger, which happens to be part of the same blogging group as the WHB so you already know it’s a fun site, I was still just as excited. Ring on the Finger is filled with videos of marriage proposals. Count me in as a viewer!

Favorite accessory to carry down the aisle:

photo courtesy Pinterest & Style Me Pretty

As I mentioned in this post, pomanders are a sweet accessory for any flower girl to carry down the aisle, while a ring bowl is the perfect solution for your ring bearer. Don’t forget that this Etsy option can be customized with the Liberty Bell, which is a great hometown touch for a Philly wedding or one that is inspired by the City of Brotherly Love.

Favorite favors:

photo courtesy Pinterest

Fun fact – I love creating mix CDs for friends and family. Call me crazy, but I love the feeling that comes along with picking out the perfect selection of songs and putting them into a fun order that I know the other person will enjoy. As a result, when I read about this couple, I immediately became enthralled with their favor idea: mix CDs of songs they traded back and forth while dating. Didn’t trade songs? Put together a mix of both of your favorite songs in general. It’s a great favor idea because guests can use your gift to them immediately and listen to the CDs on their way home. You can find labels here, and Etsy is a great source for CD sleeves.

Favorite shoes:

photo courtesy TOMS

Heals are beautiful to look at and dream about; however, they are not always so comfortable to wear. My solution? Wear TOMS for your entire wedding day or just for your reception! I absolutely love them because they are so comfortable (just make sure to break them in before your wedding), and they allow you to give back to kids in need. I came across the crochet pair pictured above this week, but this pair is also perfect for when you tie the knot.

Are you planning a winter activity for this weekend? Whatever your plans are, enjoy!

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Flower Girls & Ring Bearers: Accessories to Carry Down the Aisle

photo courtesy Going to the Chapel

That’s me in the above photo! A long time ago, I was the flower girl in my cousin’s wedding. As you can see, things didn’t go very well. In fact, I think it was a slight miracle that I even made it down the aisle considering the fact that I was very, very shy, and the teddy bear that I was  holding clutching definitely deserved the award for MVP. With all of this in mind, my flower girl mishap was not a precursor for my cousin’s marriage. In fact, she’s happily married with three great kids!

Even though my trip down the aisle didn’t go as planned, I love when couples include a flower girl and ring bearer in their wedding party. It allows the kids whom the couple is closest with to play a special part in their wedding day, while providing extra meaning and sometimes lightening the mood – aka: kids are fun and almost always make guests smile.

Although what your flower girl and ring bearer wear is important (attire is clearly a plus!), today it’s all about what these special members carry down the aisle individually or as a team.

Flower Girl:

photo courtesy Morgan Hill Designs

photo courtesy Pinterest & Style Me Pretty

photo courtesy Pinterest

photo courtesy Pinterest & Green Wedding Shoes

One of the most obvious accessories for any flower girl is a basket of flowers. Sometimes flower girls will toss petals down the aisle, while others (like my three year old self!) will simply have an arrangement inside. Pomanders are one of my favorite ideas because they are gorgeous, and the fact that most are accented with ribbon handles for easy carrying purposes is an obvious plus.  A small bouquet similar to the bride’s or bridesmaids’ provides unity, while a corsage looks pretty and allows this bridesmaid-in-training to have a worry free walk down the aisle because she can’t drop anything.

Ring Bearer:

photo courtesy Wise Impressions

Photo courtesy Southern Weddings

photo courtesy Romancing Juliet

Unlike the flower girl, the options for the ring bearer are a little more limited. However, this little guy has a serious purpose: carry the rings down the aisle. The ring bearer bowl is one of the newer ideas (although not shown, the option in the above photo can be customized with the Liberty Bell), and it can easily transition into an accessory for your home. Of course, pillows are still very much in style. Anything with a ribbon works well, in my opinion, because you can tie the rings to the pillow. If you’re worried about your ring bearer carrying such valuable items down the aisle, ask one of your groomsmen to carry the rings in his pocket.

Group Effort:

photo courtesy ReadyGo

photo courtesy Pinterest

photo courtesy Ritzy Rose

If you are planning to have your flower girl(s) and ring bearer(s) walk down the aisle as a team (good idea: two is better than one for confidence), why not unite the two? A DIY or Etsy purchased “Here Comes The Bride” sign provides an added fun element to a casual outdoor ceremony, while a banner adds a hint of royal elegance to a more formal ceremony. Beyond signs and banners, flags are possibly my favorite idea because they’re not just for the ceremony. The flower girl and ring bearer can introduce the bride and her father during the ceremony; but, if you purchase other flags, this duo can also introduce other important moments (think cutting the cake, first dance, etc).

Are you having a flower girl or a ring bearer in your wedding? What is she or he carrying down the aisle? 

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Weekly Wedding Favorites

I spend a lot of time reading other wedding blogs in search of inspiration and because I truly enjoy reading about the weddings that couples so thoughtfully plan. I love seeing everything come together into one creative, beautiful day, and there are so many times each week when the details of a wedding (or sometimes the entire day) simply make me smile or blow me away entirely. As a result, I had a thought: why not jump on the week in review bandwagon a la Style Me Pretty, Grey Likes Weddings, and Southern Weddings? Exactly. So, each week I will bring to you my favorite wedding details from across the web and beyond.

Everything must start somewhere, so welcome to week one of Weekly Wedding Favorites.

Favorite song:

In my opinion, Jason Mraz can do no wrong. Simply put, I love the message of this song: devotion. It reminds me of my grandparents, my grandfather specifically, who will be married for 70 years this year. Procession? First dance? Both valid options. I say daily repeat.

Favorite find:

photo courtesy Armstrong & Wilson

It can be so difficult to find and decide what to give your groom and groomsmen as a gift, which is one of the reasons why I was so excited to hear about the pocket squares designed by Armstrong & Wilson. Each square is designed from a different type of fabric representing a different look. To tie each collection together, every square is accented with a button. Oh, and another reason why I am a fan is because the company and designers are based in Philly!

Favorite color palette:

photo courtesy Pinterest

Peach definitely seems to be making a comeback, and I, for one, am a fan. This shade in particular modernizes the color, and I love that it is paired with brighter tones so both really pop in the bouquet. See more from this wedding here.

Favorite idea:

photo courtesy Pinterest

Meant to replace a journal or diary, I first came across this idea on Pinterest and immediately thought of a guestbook. There are a couple of ways to incorporate this idea. Before they leave, guests could sign a slip of paper (scrapbook paper, construction paper, or even gift tags would work well) and write down their favorite memory from your wedding. Another idea would be for guests to write down their favorite memory that they have shared with you or your groom since you’ve known each other. To take it in another direction, you could also ask for your guests’ best advice to help guide you in your marriage. Read the messages all at once or read a few each day.

Favorite photo:

photo courtesy Jennifer Childress

I loved so many of photos from this post about Jennifer Childress. However, this one, which was taken in the Phillies stadium, is my favorite because I didn’t realize you could host your wedding at the stadium. Devoted fans: this idea is for you!

What were some of your favorite things this week?

I hope you all had a great week. Happy weekend, all!

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Photographer Spotlight: A Q&A with Jennifer Childress

Photographer Jennifer Childress is known throughout the Philadelphia area for her work. I am so happy to say that today’s post is all about Erin Proud’s go-to photography gal. Let me tell you, her photos are gorgeous, and she truly has innovative ways of capturing the moments, details, and places that are such an important part of your engagement and wedding day.

Below, Jennifer revisits the classes and professional experiences that influenced her to become a photographer (she shot her first wedding at 18!); talks about how she frames your pictures so that Philly’s architecture doesn’t consume the frame as well as her favorite photos to take throughout the day you say “I do.” Of course there’s more info and photos (!), so feel free to read on. 

Without further ado, meet Philly favorite Jennifer Childress.

Going to the Chapel: Can you talk a little bit about your background and why you wanted to become a photographer?

Jennifer Childress: I’ve always felt that it was what I was meant to do.  I took my first photography course in sixth grade and I absolutely loved it.  I was good at it too. In high school I took the three courses that my school offered and finished before senior year, but because I had such a passion for it, and such a talent for it, they created “advanced independent study photography” so that I could continue. As a rebellious teenager, with everyone telling me that I should be a photographer, I tried to convince myself for awhile that I wanted to do something else, but really, it’s the only thing I’m meant to do.

At eighteen, right before I graduated high school, I shot my first wedding.  That was the first of seven weddings I shot that year, and I’ve been doing it ever sense. That was in 1993, so I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years now.

The thing that gives me the most pleasure – even though this isn’t the easiest job – is that I’m giving people memories.  I get messages from people all the time thanking me for getting so many photographs of a family member who has now passed away, saying how glad they are to have the pictures of him or her.  That’s why I also do things like take photos of terminally ill kids at CHOP.  I see photography as a gift I get to give people; I get to hand something to them that they will get to have forever.  It’s a memory.

GTTC: You mention that you started your career by working for a newspaper followed by a number of years spent photographing architecture and interior design. How did those experiences enhance your skills as a wedding photographer?

 JC: I got a job working for a newspaper when I was seventeen as a stringer, which means that they give you a beeper and when something happens you have to go out and takes photos.   For this I was taking pictures of mostly scenes like fires and accidents.  At the architecture and interior design firm I shot pictures of buildings and design as well as learned a lot about product placement. I think those experiences have given me perspective when I’m working with a couple to frame the scenery that they are posing in front of.  If they’ve chosen to have pictures taken at a place with really interesting architecture, they’re going to want photos that highlight themselves as well as capture the backdrop.  I take a lot of shots where the couple is standing in front of some really strong or grandiose architecture, or in a really beautiful field or garden.  It also gave me the perspective for details shooting of flowers, the dress, shoes, invitations, table decorations, etc.

GTTC: Why do you enjoy photographing weddings in the Philly area?

JC: It’s not that I specifically do Philadelphia weddings; I also do destination weddings all around the world. In fact in a couple of weeks we’re going to Mexico to shoot a wedding, and that’s always a lot of fun too. But Philadelphia is my stomping ground, and that means that I know where to take people for the kinds of cool shots they’re looking for at their engagement session and wedding day.

GTTC: You mention that you have a photojournalistic approach. Can you explain your photography style and what couples should keep in mind?

JC: I would say that I’m a mix of traditional and photojournalistic. One thing couples always want on their wedding day is a portrait session. For those, I’ve found that people really feel the most comfortable and get the best shots when I’m giving them a fair amount of direction.  Without it, people feel awkward and don’t really like the result.  So I guide them; I put them in positions and lighting where they look good, and they get to show their personality and love for each other through their emotions.  This is one of the reasons why I include an engagement shoot in all of my wedding packages: I want people to get a feel for and become comfortable with the type of direction that is necessary, and then get to see the results.

The reception is where I really let my photojournalistic eye take over.  People are naturally relaxing and having a lot of fun at the reception, and you see people’s personalities showing through.  I like to engage with that and capture the mood and emotions of the event as well as each traditional event that occurs.

GTTC: What are some of the most iconic places that couples should plan to visit with their photographer for wedding or engagement photos? What about hidden gems?

JC: The Art Museum is the most popular place for couples to take pictures.  People like it because it is deeply rooted in the Philadelphia community.  I like it because it has great architecture and gardens.  We can go to that one place, and I can make you look like you’re in a city, in a garden, and at a beach   I’ve learned over the years how to shoot at the Art Museum in a way that nobody else does.  I spend a lot of time looking for unique spots and change it up for each couple, so that even if there are a bunch of other couples there with photographers trying to take pictures, we will still have a lot to do.

Sport stadiums are a hidden gem.  A lot of people don’t know, but if you’re a huge Philadelphia sports fan you can rent out the venue and do a whole photo shoot there. (More info: Citizens Bank Park & Lincoln Financial Field)

Other hidden gems: alleyways in old city, Moshulu, the Merchant Exchange building, and inside the square at City Hall. It seems like it would be really dark and dreary, but if you light it properly it can be really cool.

GTTC: Can you describe a couple of photos that couples can’t miss taking during their sessions?

JC: I’m known for the window shots I do of my brides.  I use the backlighting that comes from the window to make the bride literally glow, and it highlights the details of her wedding dress.  I do like taking pictures that highlight all the details that the couple spent so much time on – the dresses, flowers, table settings, cards, etc.

I also obviously take a lot of traditional photos of the bride and groom and wedding party, but I try to be unique and use motion.  I have them run towards the camera, or all jump together, or have the groom spin around the bride. When you get people moving you get them to show character and emotions that you wouldn’t see otherwise.

GTTC: Do you have a story (and photos!) about a couple that you really enjoyed shooting in the Philly area?

 JC: I’ve worked with one family for four different weddings, and they’re like family now. The eldest daughter, Jennifer, got married and used a big studio, and because of circumstances beyond their control, they never received their pictures.  So when their son Tommy was getting married they were really nervous, because they didn’t want to lose the pictures from another day of memories. They wanted a more personal experience, and we got along really well.  They loved the pictures, and ended up booking me again for three more of their childrens’ weddings.  Like I said we are now very close – they call me to take photos of their babies, and I did head shots for one son who is an actor.  I’ve been telling Jennifer to put her dress on and we’ll go out and do a wedding re-shoot for her and her husband.

Photos of the bride and groom dancing as well as those where the bride’s veil is blowing effortlessly in the wind may or may not be my favorite. I’m also definitely a fan of the photo taken inside the Phillies locker room. Who knew you could do that? It’s such a great idea for devoted fans!

For more information about Jennifer, to see more of her work, or to contact her about capturing your day, visit her website and blog. She’s also on Facebook too!

Did Jennifer photograph your wedding? Talk about your experience and the photos you love from your session in the comments!

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