bride advice

In my last post I raved about my time at The 4th Annual Saints Ball. I have been waiting patiently for the photo booth images to appear on The Traveling Photo Booth's site so I could share them. My husband and I had such a fun time. For some reason, we are challenged when it comes to counting down three seconds. It took three attempts in the photo booth, but we finally got it down! 2012 photo booth 731x1024 Photo Booth Fun | Almost Wordless Wednesday2012 photo booth combined1 Photo Booth Fun | Almost Wordless Wednesday

We had a photo booth at our wedding and our guests LOVED it! I think they spent more time taking pictures of themselves than out on the dance floor. I was so pleased to have so many images of our wedding guests. If you have a special event or wedding reception coming up, try to fit a photo booth into your budget. Your guest will thank you and you will enjoy the fun memories captured for years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Safe travels and sweet times with friends and family.

diy vintage wine cork place card holder wedding DIY Wedding Place Card Holders | Wine CorksIt is the little details that make an event perfect. When planning your wedding reception, the creative options for place cards and holders are infinite. I have vineyards on the brain as I will be visiting The Williamsburg Winery next week. What's more perfect than wine cork place card holders and vintage place cards for a vineyard wedding or event? Below are my 5 easy steps to make your own!

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As Memorial Day approaches, so does my collaborative stylized engagement photo shoot with Aleen Floral Design at The Williamsburg Winery. This is such an exciting time. I have never had a shoot at a vineyard and this one is going to be quite special. Karen, from Aleen, and I both decided we would make burlap signage for our businesses to be featured in a few images as a soft marketing approach. I loved how my burlap sign came out and I plan to make many more! For brides looking to make a "thank you", "love" or "Mr. & Mrs" sign for their engagement or wedding portraits, this would be a fantastic idea. The vintage look and feel is perfect for any outdoor wedding or event! Here is my step by step burlap banner tutorial so you can make your own.

burlap banner diy Burlap Banner Tutorial | DIY

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I checked another item off my Virginia bucket list this week with a visit to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. My father in law is a teacher and had the week off due to spring break. He and my mother in law had the week all planned out. When they mentioned they would be taking a trip to the Botanical Gardens, I asked to tag along.

I must admit, I have been to the gardens once before. However,  it was in the middle of December and was at night. My husband and I went with friends to see the Garden of Lights. Another "must see" if you are in the area around the holidays. It is a gorgeous light display that you view while driving through the gardens in your car. We packed hot cider and Christmas goodies to snack on, which made the event even more enjoyable!

The azaleas are in bloom right now in Virginia and everywhere you look there are pops of purple, pink and red. I could not get over how many there were on the 155 acres of gardens. If you are interested in horticulture, this is the place to visit. You will find more than forty themed gardens. If you want to know what is currently blooming, check out the Norfolk Botanical Gardens website. I personally would like to go back when the rose gardens are in bloom. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be! And the scent of all those roses would be delightful.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, this would be a gorgeous location for a wedding! There are so many beautiful spots. If I were planning a wedding, I don't know which one I'd choose! I can't wait for the day someone hires me to document their wedding here.

Norfolk Botanical Gardens Spring Break | Norfolk Botanical GardensNorfolk Botanical Gardens Azaleas Spring Break | Norfolk Botanical GardensSun Beams on Azaleas Spring Break | Norfolk Botanical Gardens

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I don’t know why it is, but choosing what to wear in the morning is always a tough decision. Maybe it’s because I’m not the best morning person. I really need about an hour and a good shower to fully be awake and ready for social interaction. Sometimes, my husband, the kind individual that he is, will bring me an energy drink, or what we affectionately call, “blue juice”, and it lifts me out of the doldrums and puts pep in my step. Now, I wouldn’t recommend drinking an energy drink to determine what you’re going to wear for your upcoming portrait session. It is a decision that should take some time, thought and preparation and should not be tackled the morning of your shoot.

While you daydream about your upcoming shoot, think about the style of images you are looking for. Are you trying to tell a story, set a mood, celebrate an event or even promote your brand? All these factors play a part in deciding your wardrobe.

Once you have decided on the idea behind your portrait shoot, start assessing your clothes. Color, patterns, texture, layers and accessories all play a part in making you look your best.


The best colors to wear in pictures are those that reflect your hair and skin color. Deeper shades are better for pale skin and dark hair, brighter shades for darker skin and dark hair and softer shades for pale skin and light hair. Here are a few colors from Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for Spring 2012 to help you get started.


Sodalite Blue What to Wear | Portrait Attire


     Sodalite Blue: Pale Skin & Dark Hair



Tangerine Tango What to Wear | Portrait Attire


     Tangerine Tango: Dark Skin & Dark Hair



Sweet Lilac What to Wear | Portrait Attire


     Sweet Lilac: Pale Skin & Light Hair





Try to keep patterns at a minimum. They can be a fun addition if worn with layers or as an accent piece. Just make sure to keep it simple.What to Wear Colors What to Wear | Portrait Attire


Stick to a maximum of three layers and make sure to wear the thinnest garment closest to your skin. Use layers to display contrast. Ladies, you could wear a ruffled top underneath a brightly colored button down sweater or a patterned shirt under a solid colored blazer or jacket. The options are endless! If you are uncertain, it is always best to get the opinion of your photographer.


Now the fun part! I love accessories and props. They can really add some spice to your photo shoot. For instance, the couple below enjoy coffee and tea together almost every day. They wanted to incorporate it into their engagement portraits. The bouquet of daisies represent the flowers that he first gave her when they started dating.

As a documentary photographer, I love to capture all the little details that go into your shoot. Accessories tell so much about a person and their story. Hats, jewelry, shoes, purses belts, etc. all jazz up your look and help your portrait session to be more playful and fun. Ladies, a word of advice! If you are wearing heels to your photo shoot, be sure to bring flip flops or a comfortable pair of shoes to wear while walking.

Engagement Portrait Props What to Wear | Portrait Attire

As you finish putting the pieces of your wardrobe together, one last thing to keep in mind is the location. Will your outfit work well in the setting you have chosen? Will you blend in with your surroundings or stand out? Feel free to check with your photographer for recommendations. They are a wealth of knowledge and welcome the chance to be involved in the preparation of your portrait session.

Have you ever wanted to just get away from it all? Find a quiet, peaceful location just for you? There is such a place! The Oasis Suites, on the Nags Head Causeway of the Outer Banks, is a boutique hotel with luxurious rooms all overlooking the water. They have rooms for families, executives and romantics!

After our wedding at the Marshes Lighthouse in Manteo, we spent the night in the honeymoon suite at Oasis. It is a beautiful three room suite featuring a kitchenette, fireplace, balcony, jet spa tub, two person shower and a king sized bed. It is so quiet you feel you are the only ones in the hotel. We loved this suite so much we went back this past weekend to celebrate our first anniversary.

Oasis Suites Living Room Suite Outer Banks Oasis...SuitesHoneymoon Suite Oasis Nags Head Outer Banks Oasis...SuitesOasis Suites Nags Head Outer Banks Outer Banks Oasis...Suites

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