How to pin a boutonniere

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Some days you just have to give a shout out to a resource that’s already been perfected! Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Snippet and Ink’s image AND video tutorials of how to pin a boutonniere! Let there be no more confusion!

http://snippetandink.com/how-to-pin-a-boutonniere-video-tutorial-with-la-fleuriste/

 

 

Scheduling Wedding Day Portraits. Tips from a Martinsburg, WV, Wedding Photographer

Planning out a timeline for your wedding requires juggling lots of competing interests. Your caterer needs to know when the food should be served to keep it warm, your photographer needs adequate time to get relaxed portraits, and your guests have rumbling bellies. Not to mention buffer time for traffic, hair and make-up, and the like.

 

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This is exactly why I am working on a bridal guide for all my wedding couples. This magazine will give timing tips and break down the most flattering lighting conditions and most stress-free approaches to photography.  I can’t wait!

But in the meantime, here are some general guidelines to help you make the most of your photography coverage!

 

Best time of day to schedule first look and/or cocktail hour:

The most flattering light available to natural light photographers is “golden hour.” We get two golden hours a day. One that starts right at sunrise and the other that begins two hours before sunset. Of course the sun’s patterns change by the season and your location, but this can easily be determined with a quick google search.

In this Morgantown, WV wedding, we didn’t have time for a full shoot at golden hour, but snuck the bride and groom away from their reception for about 20 minutes for a quick retreat. I think it was worth it!

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But even if you can’t swing a portrait session during this prime time, fear not. An experienced wedding photographer can make beautiful portraits in a bit of shade with surrounding neutral colors. We were able to create beautiful portraits of Ashley and her maids at high noon (the WORST time of day for portraits) with a single porch!

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How much time should be scheduled for portraits?

Typically, I like to have 20 minutes with each bridal party, an additional 20 minutes with the bride, 15 with the groom, and then a minimum of 40 minutes for bride and groom pictures together. This gives the couple time to relax and get those romantic snuggly shots and just be together as husband and wife for a few moments. If I have less time, it’s do-able, but we have to rush through some posing to make sure we get those “must have” shots. It’s just a more enjoyable experience when we have adequate time for portraits.

As you can see, this time really starts to add up. Which is why it’s really lovely when we can do the majority of these shots before the ceremony, leaving only the family formals for cocktail hour. We get the bridal party to the reception so much sooner and things are so much more relaxed when there isn’t a huge shot list to cram in while guests are paitently munching on hors d’oeuvres.

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Speaking of which, how much time will you need for family formals? My typical equation is about 3-4 minutes per set-up and that’s with me hustling. So each time you want to swap out a parent with a sibling or a spouse of another family member, remember that’s going to take some time because we’re always having to pull people away from side conversations and reposition the composition of the shot. If we’re doing it inside a church or building, tack on an extra 10 minutes at the beginning and 5 minutes at the end for the set-up of light stands, flash heads, and umbrellas.

Of course, if all this makes your head spin, you can ask your photographer to pick their times and plan around it or hand over the task to a wedding day coordinator who will be happy to work with your photographer to make the most of the day’s events.

Either way, planning out your day with photography in mind will pay off in dividends! Less stress and better pictures!

Happy planning out there, lovebirds!

Ashley and Ashbee, Morgantown, WV Wedding

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I’ve known this beautiful bride for nine years now. Is that right? Oh my goodness!

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I became close friends with Ashley while we were earing our law degrees and had the pleasure of getting to know Ashbee slowly when our little group would meet up for study group (or Chinese food and rock band). I say slowly, because at first, Ashbee was kind of reserved and didn’t hang out or talk much. But the more we hung out, the more I got to know him, and the guy is hilarious! He has such a keen sense of humor and he and Ashley are always making each other laugh- it’s so wonderful to see your friend matched so perfectly.

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Being with Ashley and Ashbee on their wedding day was so special. Ashley looked so elegant and beautiful. She gracefully welcomed everyone who came her way. When Ashbee’s eyes welled up when he saw his bride, his brothers gave him a reassuring shoulder grab. When they said their vows and exchanged rings, everyone in that church was beaming.  It was just a GREAT wedding.

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And of course it didn’t hurt that everyone was just gorgeous! The bridesmaids looked like a bunch of models, both the moms looked like they walked out of a bridal magazine, and all of the little details were just perfection.

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One of my absolute favorite parts of wedding day is the bride and groom’s portraits just before or after the ceremony. It’s such a sweet and fun time where the bride and groom get to just be together and breathe. Weddings can be somewhat hectic and that time where I get to kick everyone out and direct the couple to cuddle up is precious. Yes, you want to celebrate with friends and family, but that brief alone time where you get to just soak in the first day of your marriage is so special.

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Ashley and Ashbee’s bride and groom portraits did not disappoint. We actually had the luxury of time just before the reception and about 10-15 minutes during sunset where we snuck away for a super secret spot I found in Morgantown where you can still see rolling hills.

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Ashley and Ashbee could hardly hold a smooch for longer than a second because they kept SMILING! My heart would just swell with happiness when this happened and they are my favorites from the whole day because they just totally captured the moment: straight. up. joy.

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The reception was a blast- people weren’t afraid to boogie and brought out these giant cut-outs of the groom’s face- it was hilarious. And of course any wedding where there is a cookie table and Dip and Dots is going down in the books for sure!

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Thank you so much to the happy couple and their families for having me along on this momentous day. It was an absolute blast and true honor. And a shout out to my lovely second shooter, Hannah Roach! She did an amazing job and can’t wait til we can do it again!

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Focusing on relationships and real moments, Claire Watson specializes in photography that captures true beauty and feels genuine and authentic. Claire Watson is a West Virginia Wedding Photographer based in Martinsburg, WV. She joyfully serves clients in West Virginia, Northern Virginia, Maryland, and beyond.

 

 

Colleen and Josh, Romantic Southern Wedding in Aiken, SC

Last Friday, my husband and I loaded up the car and transferred a sleepy toddler from crib to carseat. It was 4AM but our pajama clad girl was excited, “I go airplane!”

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After the most entertaining airport trip ever, we landed in South Carolina and drove to the picturesque town of Aiken for a beautiful traditional southern wedding. Magnolia trees and everything.

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The cake cutting and groom’s getting ready suite was at the Willcox Hotel, a gorgeous historic hotel first built in 1900 and built on in little sections in the years following. That’s where we set up camp for the weekend too. Colleen is my husband’s cousin and so we were celebrating the weekend with all our family too. Everyone loves Josh so much and has been so excited to claim him as family.

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I also had the great opportunity to get to know Josh’s family from England. His mom, dad, brother, and grandma were especially charismatic. I think these two families really love each other and it was so cool to celebrate their coming together over Josh and Colleen’s vows.

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The Bridesmaid got ready at the Rye Patch, a beautiful old Mansion that now houses some local government offices as well as a rose garden, stables, and reception venue. This place was a dream you guys! Almost as pretty as the bride. Almost.

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I’m used to seeing Colleen dressed down and relaxing on a family vacation, so seeing her in a gorgeous beaded gown and her hair in an elegant curly chignon was just breathtaking. Apparently my daughter thought so too because she was talking the next morning about the princess and the princess dress she wore!

I just loved all of Colleen’s bridesmaids. I wish we could hang out more! I feel like we could be friends in real life! They were all so nice and just genuinely excited for their friend to marry her soul mate.

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The ceremony was held at St. Mary’s Help of Christian’s Roman Catholic Church. The ceremony was a beautiful testament  to marriage being a full gift without reservation. Though church fineries are never an important part of a wedding, I couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty of the alter and stained glass.

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The fun continued throughout the afternoon and late into the night at the Rye Patch where DJ Blake Arambula kept the party going under trees strung with glowing bistro lights. Guests sipped champagne and signed a world map, a nod to the couple’s love of travel and the guests who flew in to celebrate love.

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I can’t thank Colleen, Josh, and their families enough for inviting me to celebrate and preserve this joyous occasion. I had such a wonderful time and am so happy Colleen and Josh are now a family. They are truly a perfect match and it was such a joy to be present the first day of their long and happy marriage.

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Focusing on relationships and real moments, Claire Watson specializes in photography that captures true beauty and feels genuine and authentic. Claire Watson is a West Virginia Wedding Photographer based in Martinsburg, WV. She joyfully serves clients in West Virginia, Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas.