Monthly Archives: September 2010

More Splashes of Color: Matt and Bobbi-Jo’s Binghamton, NY wedding

At Captured Emotions we love our jobs. Each wedding is so unique and personal we love to see people celebrate love together. Matt and Bobbi-Jo are a perfect example of a couple who took the time to consider what they are really about and let that show in their whole wedding day event. From the cowboy boots and bright and beautiful color choices to an autumn outdoor setting at Mountain Top View and portraits with their own hunting gear, this wedding declared that Matt and Bobbi-Jo are a couple who know themselves well.

In case you wanted to know, Bobbi-Jo’s dress was from Dress Your Fancy in Greene, NY http://www.dressyourfancy.com/index.htm, the flowers are from Lady Bug Florist in Whitney Point http://www.ladybugfloristshop.com/, and the cake was made by Cakes By Judy.

He wore his cowboy hat, she wore her boots, and they both wore us out with the great opportunities for pictures throughout the day.

Choosing a fall wedding date was the perfect choice for this colorful wedding. Just look at how vibrant those bridesmaid dresses are with the splash of color on Bobbi-Jo’s wedding dress

This picture was taken at Dorchester Park. Isn’t it beautiful?

Who needs cupid? Bobbi-Jo looks like she can take care of herself, even in a ball gown!

We were told this couple likes to hunt, so what would be better than pictures with the rifles and capping the day off with a camouflage cake?

Clearly we weren’t the only ones who had a great time.

Congratulations Matt and Bobbi-Jo. We had a great time and send you all the best wishes for the future.

Fun Idea Friday: The Guest Book

On Fridays we try to celebrate new ways of taking older wedding traditions and turning them into something fun, modern, interesting, or new. This week:

The Guest Book

This is an interesting tradition. Typically your wedding guests sign in at a wedding. I suppose it was originally a way to make sure everyone signed in was invited to your wedding, although I haven’t been to a wedding yet where they had to cross reference the guest list with the guest book. When your wedding is over you have an entire book devoted to listing who was there at your wedding – BORING! I know my guest book is sitting in a closet somewhere, virtually useless, except for the flowers from my wedding that I pressed inside. And since they come with a preset number of lines, half of the book is actually empty! Once your day is over, your guest book may just end up as one more expense you had because it is “tradition”. Unless…

You choose our newest product – the Custom Designed Photo Guestbook!

More than a guest book, more than a professionally designed photo album, its both! We’ll put your engagement portraits in the album and design it to your taste. Then your guests will sign the book with personal messages at your wedding and at the end of the night you will have an amazing keep sake of your engagement photos with all of your guests special messages.

We think this is a great twist on an old tradition.

Binghamton, NY Weddings – The Treadway Inn

Every once in a while you photograph a wedding that is just about flawless – and since we know all you readers out there are looking for tips and wedding ideas to make your day, well, yours, we thought perhaps you would like to know some of the choices other brides are making. So this post is all about a great vendor in the Binghamton, NY area. Binghamton is one of our two locations and will always be special to us as the place where Captured Emotions got its start.

Please note the disclaimer: There are lots of great wedding vendors in the Binghamton area, so before you start leaving comments about how we have grossly misjudged someone, or left them out, come check us out again to see more great vendors in future blog posts.

Now, on to the post:

One of our favorite reception venues in the Binghamton, NY area is the Owego Treadway Inn and Conference center http://www.owegotreadway.com.

Look how beautiful this reception is. The House of Treasures did a great job decorating and the uplighting & name on the wall from DJ Jimmie Malone is amazing!

Aside from their incredible Sunday brunch, which we are huge fans of, the Treadway does a great job with receptions, and their outdoor settings for portraits are gorgeous. There are views of the Susquehanna, a gazebo, and a bridge just to name a few gorgeous picture spots. Just take a look.

Of course, we may be biased, but we think your best choice in vendor for your wedding just may be choosing Captured Emotions as your photographer. But rather than toot our own horn, we’ll just let our pictures speak for us and you can decide for yourself.

Something Old- Wedding Traditions in Binghamton, NY Wedding Photography

Someone once told me, “we stand on the shoulders of giants”. While I now know he was actually just quoting somebody else, at the time the idea struck me as brilliant. We all have the benefit of learning from those who came before us, and it is not that we are very tall or impressive, but our families and our friends provide the shoulders for us to stand on. Our past has made us who we are and made us strong.

So we wanted to highlight two couples who embraced their heritage by upholding or re-adjusting the traditions handed down to them by their forefathers (and probably their fore-mothers too!).

Recently, we photographed the wedding of a bride whose Christening bonnet had been turned into a handkerchief for her wedding day. It very neatly became her “something old” (you know the rhyme – something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue). What’s more, apparently she can turn it back into a baby bonnet in a few easy steps and use it again for her own children someday. It was accompanied by a cute little poem describing what it was used for, and a place to record the dates and events that hanky has participated in. What a great idea! For instructions, visit this website: http://bumblebeelinens.com/hankiebonnet.php

They also were able to incorporate traditional kilts into their reception, in order to uphold a tradition without compromising their wedding ceremony aesthetic ideals. This way they have plenty of pictures of the groom in his tuxedo, but he got to have a little family fun too.

Or take this couple who upheld their orthodox traditions by including crowns in their ceremony. Though traditional orthodox crowns are often made of metal, they chose to use flower crowns instead.

They also participated in the tradition of the bride taking off her veil during the reception and replacing it with a bonnet made out of her mother’s wedding dress.

Making a space for that “something old” is a great way to honor and preserve your heritage, and let your children know just whose shoulders they are standing on.

A Splash of Color

Bobbi-Jo and Matt worked extra hard to make their wedding day special. From the gorgeous splash of color on Bobbi-Jo’s dress, to the secret cowboy boots underneath, these two found a way to make their day elegant, beautiful, and extremely personal to who they are. Here’s a sneak peak of their wedding pictures. I am sure there will be more to come.

Fun Idea Friday: Performing for the guests

Fun idea friday is our way of celebrating new twists on old traditions, and this week is no exception. Today we are celebrating those fun wedding ideas that brides and grooms use to entertain their guests.

The first dance: last weekend Sarah and Alan really changed things up with the first dance. It started off like a typical, romantic, slow dance until the two of them broke out into fun choreography that added a special touch to the day and kept their guests smiling.

The newlywed game: for some reason, this is really popular right now, and it might just be that it is so much fun! The bride and groom each sit in a chair with their backs to each other. Each one is handed two rubber duckies on a stick – one groom duck and one bride duck. As they are asked questions, they each answer by holding up either the bride duck or the groom duck, but since they can’t see what their spouse’s answer is, its fun to see how well the couple know each other.

Singing together: every once in a while a couple will both be musically talented. This bride and groom took out the electric guitar and performed for the guests. We think this is so cool, as long as you really do have a gift for music.

Picture slideshow: projecting pictures of the two of you growing up during the reception helps your family remember the good times you have had together. This is especially beautiful if you grew up together. I met a new friend yesterday who had known her husband since the 3rd grade, and although they didn’t date until college, there are tons of pictures of them growing up together. Now that would make a great slideshow!

Whatever your level of comfort is being in front of people, adding that fun performative touch to your reception will help make your nuptials an evening for your guests to remember.

Money Saving Wedding Tips

In this economy, or let’s face it, any economy, if you are planning a wedding, money is one of your major concerns. So let’s talk about realistic ways to cut down on cost and still have a wedding you are proud of.

Choosing which items to cut back on is a very personal decision.  But here are some ideas, and some cuts to avoid we think you should know.

Ideas:

  • Limit the number of guests at the reception. We think this is pretty self explanatory. The fewer people you have to feed and water, the cheaper your event will be.
  • Have a cash bar instead of an open bar. This decision is pretty dependent on the amount of drinking your friends and relatives are accustomed to. It certainly saves you money, big money, but it may feel cheap after the fact if people weren’t able to have a good time because they didn’t know to bring cash.

  • Don’t have a full dinner reception. This is tricky if your reception venue requires you to use their caterer, but I have always been partial to a dessert reception. Get married at sunset and then provide special coffees and teas and a whole host of desserts which includes but is not limited to the wedding cake.
  • If you don’t mind getting up REALLY early, have a morning wedding with a brunch reception – eggs and pancakes are much more cost effective than steak and chicken. Just keep In mind that you will have to get up while it is still dark out to have your hair and makeup ready for a brunch reception.

  • Hire a DJ rather than a live band – maybe. Check the prices. You really get what you pay for when it comes to wedding entertainment so you may find it is generally cheaper to get a DJ over a live band, but if all you want is a guitar playing acoustic melodies then you may be able to find a musician to do that for a similar price.

Ideas to avoid:

  • Don’t do your own hair and makeup. Having someone else do these for you is a pleasant experience, so enjoy it. You don’t get married very often and you need to have some luxuries, even on a tight budget. Plus, you will be the centerpiece of most of the wedding pictures so you need to look really nice.

  • Don’t forget to do your nails – even if you aren’t usually a manicure kinda gal. This is one you can probably do reasonably well yourself or ask one of the Bridesmaids to do if you are trying to save money. You will probably have lots of pictures with your hands in them, because that is where the rings are.
  • Don’t cook the food yourself. One bride I knew stayed up all night before her wedding making spaghetti dinner for all of her guests to cut down on the cost.  Don’t do it. It is not worth it. If you want a homemade meal, give your spaghetti recipe to cooks you know and have everyone bring some with them.  There will be food for all and less stress for you.
  • Don’t elope to save money. It will definitely save you money, but part of the fun of a wedding is sharing the day with people who love you. Don’t rob your friends and family of the privilege. If you must elope, have a surprise wedding instead. Consider renting a back room of a restaurant, a ballroom, or a park for a “family reunion” or a “surprise party”, invite the family and friends, and then surprise them with a wedding when they arrive. You pick an officiant and a photographer (Captured Emotions, perhaps?), they get to share in the day, and you have your low maintenance wedding. You could even wait until after dinner to spring the surprise and then all your guests will have paid for themselves! (this is  little bit tacky though so consider carefully)

Have more money saving tips you want to share? Leave a comment and let us know.

Let’s Talk Flowers

Ooooh, I love flowers. Love, love, love them. Weddings are the perfect time to let those blossoms speak for you and make your wedding special for you. From centerpieces, to pew decorations, to bouquets and boutonnieres, the flowers you choose can have an incredible aesthetic impact on your wedding day. Are you a daisy kinda gal? Do orchids speak more to your exotic side? Would traditional roses tell your story the best?

Recently, we photographed a wedding with exquisite floral arrangements from MacLennon’s Flowers. Here are a few samples. If you like what you see, consider contacting MacLennon’s  http://www.maclennansflowers.com to be your florist.

Why, you may ask, would we take so many pictures of the flowers? One of the things we do really well at Captured Emotions is to try to capture the details of your day. So that means we photograph your cake, and your flowers, and your centerpieces, and your shoes, because you may never get to see those details until the wedding is over!

Flowers are especially great subjects because they just don’t last past your wedding (or maybe through your wedding if you made the mistake of using tulips in your bouquet on a hot summer day). You can look at your toasting glasses in person, every time you go to the cupboard, but your flowers are going to fade. Maybe you preserve your bouquet, maybe you press a few flowers into your guest book, but they will never be the same again.

Flower portraits also make really great backgrounds in wedding albums. Have we mentioned here that we make fantastic wedding albums? Why use a generic stock photo of a flower in your wedding album when you could use a photograph of your flowers? We’ll talk about our albums more in another post – they are worthy of a post to themselves.

So before you decide to just stop at Wegmans and pick up some carnations for your big day, take some time with a florist to see how you can use a professional’s help. They can stop you from making some big mistakes. For instance:

1. Many blue flowers (like the blue iris) are NOT BLUE. They are purple. If blue is one of your colors, choose flowers carefully.

2. Some flowers fade in the heat very quickly (note our mention of tulips above). Make sure the ones you use are appropriate for the way you want to use them. If you must have a delicate flower in your bouquet, see what your florist can do to keep them cool so they will last through the day.

Trust your professional – not blindly – but because you have looked through LOTS of their samples, pictures, examples, etc.

And of course, whatever you choose to do with your flowers, make sure you hire excellent photographers to help you remember how beautiful they were for the rest of your life!

Check out our website if you want to see more of our samples too, we have tons. www.capturedemotionsportraits.com

Fun Idea Friday: Replacing the Rice Throwing

On Fridays we try to write about some fun new versions of old wedding traditions – in celebration of creativity in wedding planning. This week:

Throwing Rice

It was traditional for the guests and members of the wedding party to line up outside the church (or the reception) with handfuls of rice (or paper cones of rice) and gently toss the rice kernels at the happy couple as they exit to the safety of their getaway car and drive slowly off into the sunset. Now we all know rice isn’t very good for the bird population, so some folks have switched to bird seed (ouch) or butterflies (beautiful, but hard to control whether or not they fly when released – like these butterflies below who refused to leave the Bride’s bouquet)

 

or bubbles (now we actully really like this one if you coordinate the bubble blowing timing well).

But have you ever thought about trying something completely different, like maple tree helicopter seeds?

Our backyard is full of helicopter seeds each spring, and once those seeds dry out, they look gorgeous when you throw them in the air because they take their time whirling to the ground. Why not collect a bunch of seeds in the spring, dry them out, and have guests throw them in the air as you leave the ceremony. This way no one is pelting you with birdseeds or releasing butterflies too early, there’s no mess on your dress, and they are larger and easier to brush out of your hair. Warning: there is some indication that when eaten, maple leaves or seeds maybe harmful to horses, so skip this tip if you are getting married on horseback or on grandpa’s horse farm.

Not into having things thrown at you, but like the idea of a grand sendoff? One wedding we’ve been to gave all of the guests sparklers to light just as they were exiting the reception. These were beautiful and would fit in great for either a July or a winter wedding. The only downside is training your guests to light them at just the right time (and of course being specific that no one throw them!). I am happy to report that no one threw any sparklers at the one we went to.

Want something softer? You could think about flower petals. Rose petals usually fit the bill, as you likely are using roses in your ceremony somewhere so your florist is liable to have tons of extra petals. These are one of the softer options we came up with, just be aware that they don’t fall slowly to the ground, you have to have the right technique to make them seem to float in the air. But you could consider using smaller petals, like daisies, that might remain airborne a tad longer.

Going green? How about paper from a shredding machine? Then you can have someone else sweep it up and put it into the recycling bin – the price is certainly right and it won’t harm the environment. Just make sure guests can’t string together their pieces and get your personal credit card information, or the wedding may cost you more than you thought!

Throwing rice may seem antiquated, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer your guests the chance to send you off in style with a little creativity, and a little help from us.

If the Slipper Fits…

Finding the right shoes for your wedding is a very personal and possibly overwhelming task. Do you find a pair of white chuck taylors to make a statement, find some ballerina flats to be more comfortable, or wear some heels to take you to new heights?

Whatever your choice, here is some advice about shoes we think you should know:

1. Buy your shoes early and bring them to your dress fittings. Your alterations personell do not want to have to guess how tall to make your dress.

2. You will be wearing your shoes for a very long time on your wedding day – so go with something comfortable enough to wear for 8 or 9 hours. If you need to take off your shoes because your feet hurt during the dancing, your floor length dress will be too long and it will either get dirty or stepped on.

3. Just because you have a long wedding gown does not mean your feet won’t show. Shoes matter!

4. If you have chosen an ivory gown, choose your shoe color carefully as there are many shades of white. Bring a fabric sample shoe shopping in order to get a good match. Or consider going with a different color entirely. Perhaps your ruby slippers will be a better match for your rainbow themed wedding! 

And of course, let’s not leave out the guys. They have feet too. Here are some shoes we’ve seen lately. We hope you have as much fun choosing your shoes as we will photographing them.