Archive for the ‘Expertise’ Category
You were happily dating and then your sweetie popped the question – bliss! Now you are engaged and almost immediately it seems you are way behind in planning the wedding. Even if you thought you knew exactly what you wanted already, planning the guest list or the budget can put you in panic mode. These sensitive issues are much harder to navigate than cake tastings. Relax – Something Fabulous has got you covered. With over 20 years of experience in supporting engaged couples and their families, owners Jennifer and Kimberly are sharing their top 5 Things to do Before you Pick a Date. Getting everyone on board with the basics at the start will assure you smooth sailing on your wedding day!
1. The Engaged Couple – it starts with you. Discuss your vision and expectations for your wedding day together. Write down what is most important to each of you.
2. The Bride & Groom’s Families – make a special date with each the bride and groom’s families to discuss the wedding. If you are not able to do this in person, schedule a conference call or Skype session. Share what’s important to you as a couple and listen to what’s important to your families.
3. All Together Now – Get the bride and groom’s family together to discuss the wedding. Perhaps they have met before, or this may be the first introduction. Ideally you would get everyone together in person – it’s worth it even if you have to travel. Have fun with it and go out for a special meal, cook a big feast or order in pizza. If that’s not possible, arrange a Skype or conference call. Share your vision and expectations, and listen to stories of your family’s experiences and traditions.
4. Guest List & Budget – now is the time to discuss the guest list and budget. Whether you’re dreaming of a backyard wedding or elegant soiree, the guest list determines what you will spend. While you have everyone together it’s best to have a frank discussion about how many guests you want to have, and how the expenses will be covered. Remember to smile and breathe! The sooner you address these important issues the less likely there will be misunderstandings and hurt feelings (drama) later.
5. Feeling overwhelmed – If you are already envisioning tears and fights you may need an expert to help facilitate your planning. A third party can help you communicate in a calm, objective manner and this is where a planner is instrumental. If a professional planner is not in your budget, look to a close relative or family friend who has been through this already for advice.
What did you do before you picked a date? We would love to hear from you!
With spring peeping around the corner I am practically faint with gardening fever. I just want to see green everywhere and spend hours plotting my vegetable garden, dreaming of houseplants and researching herbs. As a metaphor for love and life plants can’t be beat. They are beautiful, sustainable, ecologically friendly and fun! It’s easier than ever to incorporate seeds and plants into your wedding, baby shower, bridal shower, graduation or sweet 16 party. Include growing instructions so that green thumbs and total beginners alike will experience success. Here are our top 5 ways to get your party favors growing!
1. Seed mixes – packets or tins of seeds and even seed bombs (a compressed soil and seed mixture that makes it easy bring flowers to unexpected spaces) offer lots of variety and packaging options. Try vegetable seeds, wildflower mixes or a signature favorite flower. Choose seeds that you love and are meaningful to you . You can order these favors already customized or go DIY.
2. Seeded papers – Biodegradable papers with seeds embedded in them that can be planted by your guests offer tons of creative options and convenience. The papers can incorporated into invitations, menu cards, tags, favors – even confetti!
3. Bulbs - from bulbs sprout colorful, fragrant perennials that are usually planted in the fall, although you can find bulbs appropriate for every season. Use Gladiolas, Begonias and Peacock Orchids for spring; Anemones, Crocuses, Dutch iris, Freesia, Hyacinth or Paperwhites for Summer; Amaryllis, Freesia and Paperwhites for fall and winter.
4. Tree seedlings – Planting a tree to commemorate your wedding will create something beautiful and lasting for generations to enjoy. There are many species available such as Colorado Blue Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Norway Spruce, Meyer Spruce, Afghan Pine (fast growing for very dry, warm climates) & Loblolly Pine (fast growing for wet, warm climates). Some smaller species can be planted indoors in large containers.
5. Terrarium – Perhaps you are a city dweller or just adore tiny things. It’s hard not to love terrariums! These miniature ecosystems are super easy to care for and can live anywhere. Air plants and succulents are big right now.
What’s your favorite way to get planting? We’d love to hear from you!
Bridal season is upon us and if you are considering a destination wedding, we have the inside track on a fabulous choice: the Berkshires. Kimberly and I were delighted to attend the Lenox Wedding Tour in November of 2012 and our trip left a lasting impression. This western Massachusetts haven is 2 hours from New York City and Boston and is a hugely popular destination during the summer; insiders know that a fall or winter wedding here is the ultimate choice for charm and privacy.
We learned a lot about the history of the town and surrounding areas:
Slow to be settled, Lenox held its first town meeting in 1767 and was populated by farmers, traders, merchants and innkeepers. In the mid 1800s train travel made the area much more accessible and suddenly Lenox was “discovered” by famous and wealthy residents of Boston and New York who were reminded of the beauty of Switzerland by the views, fields and forests of the Berkshire Hills. The rustic setting is seeped in history and culture, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “The House of Seven Gables” while living in a little red cottage just outside of town and The Mount, a 1902 cottage, was built by novelist Edith Wharton. Fabulous mansions from the gilded age that have been magnificently restored are available for tours, and the musical riches of Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home, make the Berkshires a much loved and popular destination.
Best of all Kimberly and I experienced firsthand what makes the town of Lenox so special. During the wedding tour we stayed at the wonderful Kemble Inn and were swept away by the romance of fireplaces in the bedrooms and charming details like homemade oatmeal cookies and tea waiting for us when we came in from the cold.
The Kimble Inn’s personal hospitality made us feel like we were honored guests in someone’s beautiful home, and we enjoyed this inviting hospitality during the entire tour. There were so many great options to choose from – we met with over 45 vendors and toured several gorgeous venues – this really is the perfect destination with something for everyone in every price point.
Here are some of our favorite photos, we’ll let them speak for themselves! Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions, we’d be happy to make a recommendation!
What’s a quaint town without a lovely old church? We loved The Church on the Hill in Lenox.
At Lenox Shakespeare & Company, not only is the theater available for rentals, but the costumes and props are as well! This company, which is in its 34th year of producing world-class Shakespeare, boasts three different theaters on its sprawling property. Imagine having your wedding on a stage imbued with so much gorgeous prose!
Photo by Jason Houston
After touring Stoneover Farm we could envision magical weddings on the estate of this fully restored, 110 year old cottage on 10 acres just minutes from Tanglewood. With The Barn as a dramatic backdrop, luxury suites onsite, a spring-fed duck pond and the owner’s contemporary art collection this is a truly unique treasure.
Literature lovers, prepare to be inspired. The Mount is a turn-of-the-century home that Edith Wharton designed and built based on the precepts outlined in her 1897 book The Decoration of Houses, co-authored with architect Ogden Codman, Jr. The classical revival mansion and its formal gardens are a breathtaking example of American Renaissance and are available for an unforgettably romantic wedding. During private events the entire estate is closed to the visiting public so guests can meander freely about.
We had a blast at the Lenox Wedding Tour’s tabletop challenge hosted by the luxurious Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club. We were so inspired by the rural splendor of this Tudor-style mansion with its extraordinary views of the Berkshires. Constructed during the Gilded Age the Cranwell embodies the opulent period between 1880 and 1920 that is known as the Gilded Age.
Thank you for joining us on this recap of the Lenox Wedding Tour, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Do you have a favorite spot in the Berkshires? We’d love to hear from you!
I never understood the value of snacks until I had my daughter – when she’s hungry, she’d hungry now! So toting along snacks is essential. Plastic sandwich baggies are not the ideal choice, so when I came across this fabulous Snack Taxi I purchased one right away and love it dearly.
Now we’re planning Amalea’s second birthday party I’ve been thinking about party favors/thank you gifts and the Snack Taxi came to mind. These reusable, easy to clean pouches are non-toxic, made in America, have adorable fabric and would make a great party favor. Although they might be a little pricy at $7.95 each for the 6″ W x 4.5″ H snack-sack pouch (there is a larger sandwich size for $8.95), I say better to invest in one useful item than several smaller, less expensive toys that will just be broken and thrown away. Fill the Snack Taxi with with homemade cookies, candy, a thank you note, some crayons, stickers or a photograph and you’ve got a party favor that adults and kids will love and use again and again!
We are so excited to be featured in this fantastic article, Battle of the Weddings: Big vs. Small by Maddy Berner in Northern Virginia Magazine. It’s full of great advice on a subject that often really stumps couples when planning weddings. Our own Jennifer Charles sums up the debate in this quote:
“We always recommend that you make your choices with thoughtfulness and care. The choices you make for your wedding today will set the tone for the beginning of your family relationships.”
Click here to read more of Jennifer’s thoughts on wedding size!
When Brittny Drye from Equally Wed, an lgbtq online wedding magazine asked us to collaborate a blog post about the upcoming wedding of Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita. It was so much fun coming up with this Inspiration Board for their wedding! We’ve reproduced the content here on our blog for you to enjoy, and please take a moment to visit Equally Wed’s website, they have amazing articles, resources and gorgeous photos for gay and lesbian wedding planning.
By Brittny Drye
We are eagerly anticipating the wedding of Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his lawyer beau Justin Mikita. So much so that we’ve taken it upon ourselves to showcase three inspiration boards for their big day (feel free to thank us with invitations, guys).
The talented team behind Something Fabulous, an event planning firm with locations in Washington, D.C. and Detroit, brainstormed with us and came up with some pretty amazing ideas for the Hollywood couple. “While their status as pop culture icons and cause activists are important to their lives and personal passions, we sought to dig deeper,” says Kimberly Allen, IDEAS/Experience Director and co-owner of the company. They infused humor, style, individuality, fashion, art and equality—a few of Justin and Jesse’s favorite things—into their design for the duo.
THE STYLE: They’ve already proved themselves to be successful tie designers, and we expect they would design their own. “The color scheme for this special detail would set the tone for the wedding day’s visual design. Our palette picks are orange, blue, green and brown. Of course, Leaf needs a tie, too,” says Jennifer Charles, co-founder and Design Director for Something Fabulous. The boutonnieres decorated with white knots give a nod to marriage equality, while the lock-and-key design symbolizes their bond. As for apparel for the grooms, we will leave that to the gentlemen themselves. “Their fashion savvy-ness isn’t styled, it comes naturally.”
THE DECOR: We can’t say it better than Jonathon Adler, “Make it your own—personal style means having a space that’s comfy but filled with stuff that has meaning to you. It should hold things created and inspired by passionate people. Personal style should make you happy and happiness is chic.”
“This holds true to personal wedding style,” notes Allen. “Happy and chic sums up the reception space.” Décor includes Jonathon Adler vases and accents on the tabletops filled with a mix of favorite blooms: whimsical gerbera daisies and intellectual orchids. Mr. and Mr. salt-and-pepper shakers add a little something unexpected. Traditional stationery accents are replaced by miniature table art accents that double as conversation starters.
The foundation of Something Fabulous’s wedding design comes from significant details from Jesse and Justin’s life together. A favorite Liza Minelli bust that sits in their living room is referenced in needlepoint pillows added to soft seating in party lounge spaces, while their organization’s signature owl makes an appearance on the tabletops.
THE LOCALE: Because the couple regularly escape to Palm Springs and frequents the Ace Hotel and Swim Club for breakfast, we felt this iconic hotel would be the perfect quirky setting for their special day. Its proximity to downtown, Joshua Tree National Park, the Salton See and modernist desert architecture, as well as its onsite spa, make it an ideal place to celebrate and give both the guests and grooms plenty of options for a fun-filled weekend. “Of course, it’s dog-friendly so Leaf Coneybear Ferguson-Mikita will have his place of honor as part of the wedding party!” adds Allen.
THE FARE: Organic and epicurean, with a little twist at the end. “We envision cocktail hour poolside, with an eclectic mix of favorite overtures from Broadway to Hollywood playing in the background,” says Charles. “Perhaps a signature drink named after their dog or their foundation. Dinner is strolling and includes international favorites at cleverly styled food stations.”
The menu is comforting and enjoyable, sophisticated yet approachable. After an evening of festivities, the after-hours menu wouldn’t be complete without chicken fingers (a favorite of Justin’s) and a Mexican food truck surprise.
GET THE LOOK
Utopia Owl Vase by Jonathan Adler, $158
Capuchine Large Gourd by Jonathan Adler, $325
Carnaby Talitha Vase by Jonathan Adler, $68
Mr. and Mr. Muse Salt & Pepper Shakers by Jonathan Adler, $48
Disco Lady Pillow by Jonathan Adler, $165
The Alexander Tie by Jesse Tyler Ferguson for tiebar.com, $25
Wedding Lock and Key Set boutonnieres on etsy.com, $40
Brittny Drye is the senior editor at Equally Wed, the nation’s premier online magazine for gay and lesbian weddings and honeymoons. Follow her on Twitter @BrittnyDrye.
We are thrilled to bring you our first Creative Crush of 2013: Sue Keels, Director of Sales & Marketing at the prestigious, Four Diamond, Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, MI. Sue has been with the hotel for over eight years and was part of the pre-opening team as the Director of Catering and promoted in 2008 to Director of Sales & Marketing. She has over 25 years of luxury and Four Star Hotel, Restaurant and Country Club experience and has worked in the Detroit Metropolitan area throughout her entire career.
Sue participates in many local and national committees including the Rochester DDA, Detroit Regional Chamber and The Salvation Army Task Force. She was the former Vice President of the National Association of Catering Executives for her local chapter, has been recognized by the Detroit National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) chapter as “Caterer of the Year” and has been awarded several other sought after industry awards. She is highly involved with social media and enjoys captivating an audience, often speaking about hospitality and social media marketing to her peers and other large groups. She has been quoted as a lifestyle expert in many local and national industry publications. Sue also enjoys blogging about the exciting world of hospitality & event design and is the co-founder of EventTrender.com, a highly popular national lifestyle blog where Sue features many hotel happenings, culinary recipes, inventive DIY projects and travel tips & trends.
- In your experience, what are the best tips for brides to keep in mind when selecting a wedding menu?
Always ask about a tasting and an opportunity to meet the Executive Chef. When choosing menu items keep in mind the time of year and season – for instance consider serving a chilled soup in the summer and hearty comfort foods in the winter.
Flow and function is just as important as the décor and design. Looking at the big picture such as location, size of pre-function space, outdoor space and afterglow opportunities is imperative when planning a menu and selecting a venue. If the cocktail hour is held outside in the middle of the summer, be cautious of serving appetizers that wilt or do not hold up well in the heat.
Do your homework and research ideas to make your special day personal. Keep in mind that a catering menu is typically a guideline. Many reception sites think beyond their published menus and welcome custom ideas or local infused specialties. Don’t be afraid to ask for something that is not listed on a banquet menu to make your wedding day more personal.
- What’s your go-to favorite bottle of wine for under $30?
2008 Man O’War Syrah ($28)
I have my eye on New Zealand for luscious, peppery Syrah. Man O’War is from Waiheke Island and is full of flavor with a lingering and zippy finish.
- We know that you’re a genius when it comes to food presentation; what tablescapes have you seen lately that have inspired you?
The use of local organic flavors continue to be very popular. Buying local is not a fad and here to stay. I love tablescapes that incorporate bamboo and other natural sustainable elements which accent the “farm to table” culinary movement.
Using items inspired by nature such as birch branches, river rocks, slate, wooden planks, drift wood and green moss adds depth to the overall design and is also cost effective. Why not hunt in your backyard, neighborhood park or favorite beach?
The standard buffet banquet table or round butler tray is a thing of the past! Think of alternative displays for tray passed menu items such as small decorative cases, shadow boxes, cheese boards and slate tiles. When planning a buffet incorporate hand-painted vintage furniture, rustic wagons & crates, modern IKEA finds or stainless steel tables.
- What food trends do you think we’ll be seeing in 2013, and what current trends are here to stay?
Trends for 2013:
- Stations showcasing an assortment of ceviche shooters and raw oysters instead of classic seafood stations
- “Make your own popcorn mix stations” with a twist (crumbled bacon and wasabi peas)
- The use of kale and local root vegetables as a side dish or appetizer
- Community boards featuring charcuterie, artisan cheeses and chutney served in a “clubby” setting
- Crepe Stations with savory fillings and flavored butter infused with herbs
- Farm-raised Branzino (instead of salmon) as an entrée selection
- Mini crème brulees infused with chai tea, lavender and other fresh herbs
- A variety of shortcakes instead of cupcakes
- Indoor food truck stations with an upscale twist
Trends that are here to stay…
- Comfort Food
- Shooters and Micro Plates
- Sea Salted Caramel
- Free Range Chicken
- Gluten Free Menu Items
- Black Truffles
-What’s the best advice you’ve been given about table etiquette that you still follow today?
Less is more! Avoid clutter on the table and focus on clean lines and layering. Incorporate round plates on top of square plates. Add linen and layer a natural burlap runner on top or a soft overlay with sheen. Use a long bench on one side of the table instead of chairs. If you are using different chairs make sure to use three different types of chairs for groups of six or more, odd numbers work best. When serving wine always use proper glassware for red and or white and never the same glass if you are serving both.
Avoid a bread basket by using a small bread and butter plate placed on the left side of the dinner plate. Pre-set the rolls on each plate with an individual portion of butter and add a fresh herb sprig to garnish the plate.
After dinner service always remove the salt & pepper shakers before serving dessert. Consider a cheese course with figs and port as an alternative to dessert (another trend in 2013). If you are serving coffee during dessert, place the coffee cups and saucers on the table after dinner service (unless someone requests coffee during dinner).
Sue’s January Inspiration
1. I am wild over this Waterford Crystal “Snowflake Wishes for Courage” Emerald Flute – I plan to incorporate a splash of Emerald (2013 Pantone color of the year) in my winter tablescape – love the snowflake etched on the front! Can’t wait to also use this color in the spring and summer.
2. IKEA offers many cost effective props and furniture. The sleek lines and modern design of IKEA products offers a contemporary vibe. I would love to stencil the top of this yellow meltorp table from IKEA.
3. Stencils are making a huge come back. There are so many innovative ideas for event design décor. The sky is the limit! Stencils can be used on fabric runners, napkins, furniture, paper, walls, mirrors and glass. I purchased several stencils a couple months ago from Royal Design Studio and can’t wait to create!
4. Snackscapes are perfect for casual parties such as a Super Bowl gathering. Check out this EventTrender inspired vintage crate used to hold pop, peanuts, popcorn and other snacks.
5. More great stencil inspiration ideas from Royal Design Studio.
This week’s Creative Crush, Sandy M, is an artist and illustrator based out of beautiful Clarkston, Michigan. Trained in fine art, she began creating commissioned paintings about twenty years ago. Sandy works in many mediums: acrylic, gouache, watercolor, pastel and ink, but for her illustrations she uses mainly gouache, watercolor and ink. Requests for her custom illustrations grew dramatically and a little over two years ago she developed her illustrated blog Ooh La Frou Frou. These fabulous fashion illustrations have been printed on cards that have been purchased and shipped all over the world. Her illustration calendar is always busy and she loves seeing what her clients have in store for her. Recently she has let all of the greeting cards featuring her illustrations sell out in order to take a little time to create an exciting new website that better represents her bustling career which will be launched in 2013. We are thrilled that she is sharing some of her holiday glamour with us – enjoy!
- Your illustrations are full of glamorous and pretty details. We would love to hear some tips on how to incorporate glamorous details into our holiday decor!
It seems that no matter how beautiful holiday decorations are, they are not truly magical until the lights go up … after all, what’s a holiday without sparkle? I always try to create holiday decor that will be a memory for my family, as well as be beautiful and inspiring to others that see the décor. Decorating a front door has always been one of my favorite places to feature … and I like to go big so the details can be seen from the street. Instead of simply hanging greenery and lights, I always embellish the lit greenery with ornaments, often handmade. The planning for the Christmas door theme starts in autumn … this year’s décor is called “Christmas Time.” I painted a wood banner for the top and asked my husband if he would cut wood discs of varying sizes out for me, which magically turned in to “clocks” as I painted in the details of different classic clock faces and embellished them with glitter and large rhinestones that sparkle when lights are shown on them from the street.
My Christmas tree was so big this year that it felt like the Rockefeller Center tree to us … so I thought it would be fun to make it memorable and add some whimsical city themed ornaments with classic gold and chartreuse ornaments … I created illustrations of city townhouses, copied them off on cardstock, cut them out, glittered them and hung them with ribbon on the tree … I already had some city taxis with a Christmas tree on top illustrated and did the same for those. Now when I look at the top of the tree, I feel like it’s the upper East side! The story of this tree design is on my December 10th Monday blog post called “It’s Christmas Time in the City”.
- What sights, smells and sounds put you the mood for the holidays?
Christmas music, of course, and I love holiday store décor and decorated city streets. And when the potpourri called “The Smell of Christmas” by Aromatique wafts up as I walk past it in department stores, I know the season is here!
- Do you get inspired by holiday movies for your illustrations, and if so which ones?
I’m a romantic and one of my very favorite holiday movies is “The Holiday” with Kate Winslet , Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black. I watch it every year!
- When trying to select your holiday cards it can be overwhelming with so many different options to choose from. As an illustrator of your own line of cards, what’s your advice on how to choose holiday cards that will represent your own personal style?
I sometimes coordinate my holiday cards with my door décor … I sometimes illustrate my own holiday cards and if pressed for time, simply buy the prettiest I can find. Since I love glitter and city chic, it’s not surprising that many of my holiday cards of the past feature this theme. I think the card you choose should simply make you happy and reflect the way you and your family feel about Christmas.
-What’s the best advice you’ve been given about staying inspired that you still follow today?
The biggest inspiration killer is fatigue. The other, for me, is too much time in the studio or house … nothing makes me feel more inspired than getting out walking by beautiful window displays and out on bustling streets, sipping cappuccino, leafing through a fashion magazine and watching the world go by … all of a sudden, thoughts just bubble up that are translated into an illustration. We’ve all heard it before and I know that it is certainly true. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we have nothing to give to others.
Whether it’s decorating our homes, window shopping on bustling city streets, whipping up a fabulous dessert, slipping into something sparkly for a party … December is one of the most glamorous months of all! Following are some of the holiday images I’ve found very inspirational and pinned to my Pinterest boards:
- Exterior holiday décor
City townhouse holiday decorations
Beautiful city storefronts like Harry Winston in NYC
Delicious holiday recipes
From our Brand Content Manager, Elena Batt:
I met today’s Creative Crush, Jessica Grygo, when we were twenty-somethings and shared an apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East side. Jessica was the most glamorous person I had ever been friends with; at the time she was just starting a new job as Brand Development Manager at Candies Inc. Although Jessica had her finger on the pulse of fashion, with her sharp wit and hilarious sense of humor she could laugh at it all, too. Needless to say being roommates was a blast! We lived together for a little over a year and then fate took us in different directions; I left New York and Jessica went on to design interior spaces and windows at Diesel USA, French Connection, Earnest Sewn, Polo Ralph Lauren and is currently the Visual Director for Vineyard Vines. Her creativity and sweat is behind what we experience when we are mesmerized by a window display or give a squeal of delight upon entering one of these stores. To me she has always been a person with a gift for appreciating beauty all around her. What a pleasure is has been to be able to peek into her world!
1) What tips would you offer our readers on how to set the scene for a holiday dinner or party?
Pick one theme and stick to it, and then tell the whole story for that theme. For example if you were doing a Winter Ice theme pick key elements to bring that home for you. Birch branches for an organic, woody note, Crystal is your high, elegant, note, silver balls for a metallic note. Then pick one color, I like purple (the forgotten holiday color). Once you have decided on your elements make sure that all of the other details incorporate them, perhaps using silver napkin rings and Birch branches as a motif in your invitations. The most important thing is to be consistent so that everywhere you look you see your theme reflected back to you. Then within that framework you can add surprising and fun touches like a crystal animal in your place setting.
2) Where do you draw your inspiration from for Vineyard Vines’s visual displays?
The Vineyard Vines identity is very New England, boating, saltwater sailing, fishing, teak wood, casual, homey and welcoming. I go straight to the source and spend time in Martha’s Vineyard, paying close attention to architectural details, and the landscape. I also go to the bars and talk to the people who live there. When I need more specific information I go to Rizzoli’s bookstore in Manhattan and look for anything about sailing, New England and Regattas so that I can look at pictures of elements like rope, sailcloth, grommets, and teak wood. Even if it’s not directly related to my work for Vineyard Vines I am always inspired by ABC Carpet and Home. Their displays never fail to fill me with wonder and awe!
3) We know you are a huge music lover, does music ever play a role in your designs?
Certain environments lend themselves well to different types of music. Big open spaces are well suited to lounge or ambient, electronic music. A more rustic, cozy space lends itself well to Bob Dylan. I always find it helpful to have something on in the background that’s inspiring when I’m working. The right choice of music can help switch my mood.
4) What’s the best advice you’ve been given that you still follow when designing visual displays?
Karen Eliot, the Senior V.P. Creative Services from Polo Ralph Lauren gave me this advice: Tell one story. Tell it well. Tell it all the way through. I live by it, and it’s made me who I am today.
5) Describe your fantasy Christmas:
My fantasy Christmas is actually very traditional, which is surprising. Usually I’m very modern, beachy and feminine. Christmas is the only thing in my design vernacular that I would do in the traditional way, starting with colors of silver, gold, red and green. A real Spruce tree, antique lead and tin ornaments, and homemade popcorn and cranberry garlands that remind me of my childhood. And they smell so good!
Jessica’s December Inspiration
It’s been a busy summer for all of us at Something Fabulous, and we hope all of you had a lovely one! After a brief lapse in blogging we are so excited about fall and bringing you fun and fantastic finds, starting with today’s Creative Crush!
We are constantly looking for new places or people for some fresh inspiration. Lucky for us we need not look further than Owner and Photographer of Sweet Tea Photography, Lisa Marie. With a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art Photography from Hollins University and a Master of Arts in Commerical Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Lisa Marie has been recognized nationwide for her novel approach to wedding photography. She incorporates southern charm coupled with urban sophistication in creating timeless and telling images. Originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama this southern belle now considers Washington, DC her home and she was kind enough to share some insight on how to get the most out of your photography experience.
Photos by: Kate Triano, Make-Up by: Alison Harper & Company
Lisa’s Tips on How to Make the Most of your Wedding Photographer:
Make sure to plan out your getting ready area and think about possible portrait locations.
2. Be honest
Send your photographer photos from weddings that you love and ones that you don’t care for and take time to sit down with him or her and go over the reasons for your preferences. This will help your photographer decipher your personal style and figure out what is important to you. When I prepare for a wedding, my goal is to completely personalize my shooting style to fit your wedding day! Honesty in a relationship is key to success.
3. Let Loose
After all that planning and preparation, you should enjoy your special day and let others do the worrying. Once my subjects are relaxed and enjoying themselves I’m able to get those amazing images that they truly adore.
4. Get Comfortable with the camera & photographer
I recommend doing an engagement session and/or having your photographer at the rehearsal dinner. It’s an easy way for you to get comfortable with being photographed for hours at a time. I find that this way my clients won’t even notice me on their wedding day – that’s how I get my best candid shots!
5. Hire a Second Shooter
If a second shooter doesn’t come with your wedding package, make sure to add one. I started shooting weddings on my own but gradually began to appreciate and understand the importance of a “Second Shooter”- a photographer that assists and shoots along with your primary photographer. When I brought Michelle on as our full-time “Second Shooter,” I started noticing some positive changes. The photographers are able to spend time with you and really get to know you and photograph each aspect of your day without being rushed or spread thin. I find as the primary shooter I can have a little more creative freedom because I know that no matter what I have Michelle capturing as well. She’s allowed me to experiment more with fun lenses and film cameras, which really makes me happy and you as well! Also, make sure when you are hiring your photographer that they have a reliable, tactful, and creative “Second Shooter.”
We love to ask what gets the creative juices flowing. See the inspiration board below to get a glimpse of what Lisa is loving this month:
1.Ruffles: I just adore ruffles! They make me feel so feminine.2.My new desk chair: Vinskord on Etsy. 3. Polaroids: I pull out the Polaroid camera on special occasions like birthdays! 4. My most treasured possession: Michelle’s gorgeous print from Shang-ri La exhibition that showed at the Moot Gallery in Hong Kong. As you can tell it is a huge print and just what we needed for the entryway wall.5. Raspberries in Dark Chocolate Bar: The little market across from my building has these and I can’t get enough of it. 6.McCoy Pottery: I’ve been collecting this pottery for years now. I am in love with the pastel coloring. 7. Doilies: Doilies remind me of my childhood in Alabama. In fact, much of my fine-art work in undergrad combined photography, printmaking, and doily patterns. 8.Sweet Green’s Guacamole Greens (without onions) is my favorite salad ever. 9. Lomo Camera: My new toy! I always bring a new lens of film cameras each season to play around with to shake things up. Right now I’m playing with the Lomo and Rolleiflex. 10. Neon yellow memory card case: I always appreciate when the photography industry can break away from the typical black and bring in a splash of coloring to our equipment. Both Micelle and I own a few of these. 11. My two favorite nail polish colors: Essie’s “E-nuf is e-nuf” and “Turquoise &Caicos” 12. Cig Harvey’s “You Look at Me Like I’m and Emergency” : Cig has been my favorite photographer for a few years now. Her images make my heart skip a beat. 13. Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine” 14. Sweet Tea : obviously.