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Houstonian Wedding | Megan & Matthew

houstonian wedding under the tree

A Houstonian Hotel Wedding from Smith House Photography, a Houston Wedding Photographer

Joy. 

That is the only word necessary to describe Megan and Matthew; now Mr. and Mrs. Romano. I have never seen a bride and groom who laugh together more and love each other deeper. Look no further than the smiles on their faces walking down the aisle after their Houstonian wedding ceremony under the tree and you will know it is true.

But not only do these lovebirds care deeply about each other, they make every one of their family and friends feel like the most important person on the planet. The focus on their guests enjoying every moment of their Houstonian Wedding day was above and beyond. Their wedding planner, Samantha from Plan Our Day Houston, helped Megan and Matt to design a day they would always remember and that their guests would enjoy every moment of.

long sleeve wedding dress wedding under the tree at the houstonian hotel houstonian wedding with plan our day houston Grand Exit from a wedding at the houstonian club with wedding planner plan our day houston

Last but certainly not least, we want to give a shout out and a huge thanks to the incredible wedding professionals who made Megan and Bryan’s Chapel Dulcinea wedding an absolute dream. 

Houston Wedding Planner: Plan Our Day Houston
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Houstonian Wedding
Megan’s Wedding Dress: Ventura’s Bridal
Megan’s Beauty Team: Sunkissed and Made-Up
DJ: LG Entertainment
Florals: Dream Bouquet
Bride and Groom’s Cakes: Barcelona Cakes

Maternity Portraits | Lauren and Scott

I met Lauren and Scott over a cup of coffee and pastries at Tout Suite on a Tuesday evening almost 4 years ago. They were planning a beautiful wedding celebration at Tiny Boxwood’s. It was intimate; just their closest friends and family.  They wrote personal notes to each guest with their name calligraphed on the front of the envelope as their place card. The florals were beautifully executed by Maxit Flower Design. The signage was uniquely designed by Half Moon Lettering. At the core, this was a dream to photograph. We loved every bit of the day; especially how welcome Lauren and Scott made us feel. They truly welcomed us as a part of their family for the day. I am sure you can imagine my excitement when an email from Lauren landed in my inbox a month ago to tell us that her and Scott were expecting their first baby and wanted to schedule maternity portraits!

Maternity portraits with a goldendoodle by houston maternity photographer

I am still in awe of how beautiful Lauren is carrying their baby girl. She is the epitome of pregnancy glow and exudes joy. Scott also couldn’t keep the smile off of his face as we talked about baby coming. The way Scott looks at Lauren is truly so special. Even big brother, their Goldendoodle Oliver, thinks so. He was so excited to be out and about at the park, but was keeping an eye on Momma the whole time. Oliver is going to be such a good pup-sibling! (And if you didn’t already know this, I LOVE anytime you bring your dogs to your portrait sessions! I mean how cute is this Goldendoodle in maternity portraits with Mom and Dad?!)

One more thing before I let these smiles and portraits speak for themselves. Lauren’s pink maternity dress is serious outfit goals. The color, the fit, the movement; every bit of it was beautiful!

Congratulations, Lauren and Scott! We cannot wait to meet your little girl!

lauren and scott maternity portraits expecting their first baby girl by houston maternity photographerblack and white maternity portraits with a goldendoodle by houston maternity photographer maternity portrait outfit inspiration with mom in a pink dress and dad in jeans by houston maternity photographeroutdoor maternity portrait on a sunny day by houston maternity photographer goldendoodle with mom during maternity portraits at a photo location in houston by houston maternity photographer maternity portrait with mom in a pink maternity dress by houston maternity photographer maternity portrait of mom dad and goldendoodle soon to be dad kissing mom's forehead during a houston maternity portrait session maternity portraits with mom in a pink dress and her goldendoodle goldendoodle in maternity portraits by houston maternity photographer maternity hair and make-up inspiration for short blonde hair by houston maternity photographer gorgeous pink maternity dress with goldendoodle maternity outfit inspiration pink maternity dress by houston maternity photographer lauren, scott, and their goldendoodle oliver at their maternity portraits in houston

Our 3 Favorite Wedding Invitation Collections

Here at the Smith House we are truly suckers for wedding invitations. Any day that an invitation arrives in our mailbox is not just a good, but a GREAT day. So today we wanted to look back on three of our all time favorite wedding invitation suites. Hopefully this will give you some great inspiration, and maybe even connected you with the perfect designer, for your own wedding invites!

This gorgeous, bespoke Calligraphy by Isidore Augustine

architectural inspired wedding invitation suite by lazywood lane

As if there aren’t a million things to love about Isidore Augustine (previously Lazywood Lane), my favorite thing is actually the way that Nicolette takes an invitation design and carries the feel throughout the entire wedding. Your invitation sets the tone for your wedding before your guests even arrive. So of course you want to carry that feeling throughout the entire event! Nicolette designs table top items like table numbers and menus, labels and cards for guest gifts, and more.

See more of Isidore Augustine’s work from this wedding featured on Hey Wedding Lady and Bride’s of Austin Here.

 

This (literally) out of the box invitation from Nib & Pixel

bali inspired wedding invitation by nib and pixel

We love, LOVE, love amazing paper. There is something about picking up a sturdy, textured invitation card that gets us excited. But what about going beyond paper for your invitations? Nib & Pixel is the QUEEN of taking your wedding ideas, the theme of your day, your history as a couple, your favorite things, your family background, etc. and making the absolute most unique wedding invitation out of it. Sometimes that perfect fit is on paper. But sometimes it is something even more unique like this laser-cut Bali-Inspired acrylic invitation. These beauties were mailed inside a beautiful handmade paper box with a watercolor illustration of the venue, The Greenhouse at Driftwood, in the lid.

This Modern + Geometric Invitation Suite by the Bride herself

(and guess what?! You can see this invitation suite + the wedding that it invited us to in the current issue of The Knot Texas Magazine on stands now!)

modern geometric wedding invitation suite by lynsey creative

If you are a graphic designer yourself, you know your invitation suite is going to be out of this world. Lynsey designed the perfect suite for their wedding day. Their inspiration was modern and geometric with clean lines. She knew she wanted calligraphy, but only on the envelopes. This dream was fulfilled by our dear friend at Camel & Birdie. Lynsey also knew she wanted letterpress. The letterpress was gorgeous, and I LOVED having the metal plate from the press to include in her photographs. It is easy to think only in the niche or standard realm of invitation suites, but starting with your design and your goals rather than starting with a templates or Pinterest is an amazing way to create something totally unique.

Chapel Dulcinea Wedding | Megan & Bryan

There is no secret that I adore Chapel Dulcinea, the beautiful outdoor chapel just outside of Austin. From the first moment I saw a photo of venue I was dying to visit. I don’t think I could choose a favorite thing about the outdoor wedding chapel. I love the view over the Texas Hill Country. I love the custom wooden door at the chapel altar. I love the cozy size which is perfect for intimate Chapel Dulcinea wedding ceremonies. And no matter how many times we make it out to the Texas Hill Country for this perfect place I can never get enough of it.

bride crying at houston wedding in beautiful outdoor wedding chapel

But when Bryan and Megan met at the altar to exchange vows in front of their closest friends and family, it seemed like a whole new place. This couple exudes joy and love, not just to each other but to every person who has the opportunity to be a part of their lives. Their smiles and tears filled their Chapel Dulcinea Wedding with an air of love, comfort, and the knowledge that together forever truly does exist.

bride and groom portrait idea by houston wedding photographer smith house weddings outdoor wedding chapel in austin texas by houston wedding photographer wedding ceremony at hill country wedding chapel by houston wedding photographer  outdoor wedding chapel in texas hill country by houston wedding photographer bride and groom first look at chapel dulcinea in the texas hill country by houston wedding photographer first look before a ceremony at chapel dulcinea in the texas hill country by houston wedding photographer  custom watercolor drawing by nib and pixel of chapel dulcinea in austin texasbride getting ready in floral button up shirtbridesmaids in pink dresses with white wedding bouquets by houston wedding photographer custom wedding suit by knot standard in austin texasbride getting her hair and makeup done for her austin wedding at the w hotel austinaustin wedding chapel overlooking the hill country mom helping her daughter get dressed for her wedding at the w hotel in austin

wooden door at best houston wedding chapel by houston wedding photographer

While the atmosphere of joy was by far my favorite part of Mr. & Mrs. Lewis’s wedding day, there were a plethora of other details to love. Here are just a few of our favorites.

the wedding dress

Megan chose her wedding gown from Serendipity Bridal in Austin and it could not have been a more perfect fit for her personality and style. It was a simple and sleek Sarah Seven dress with an open back and a classy neckline. It reminded me a little of Megan Markle’s style, which of course was amazing! But most of all, Megan’s bridal look was the epitome of perfection for a Chapel Dulcinea wedding.

the wedding latte

Bryan and Megan chose to have their reception at their favorite local coffee shop, Cuvee Coffee. We love anytime a couple chooses venues that are personal to them, but this was even better. Cuvee worked with the bride and groom to create a custom wedding latte and brewed espresso all night to keep them flowing.

the side of the road

Chapel Dulcinea is just outside the Austin city limits, so we drove back into town after the ceremony for the reception. I joked with Megan and Bryan that we were going to stop on the side of the road for some more bride and groom portraits on our way, but it wasn’t until I looked out my window and saw the MOST GORGEOUS PORTRAIT LIGHT that I realized how much I really meant it. Talk about an adventurous couple; we ran across a two-lane highway and down a small embankment on the other side of the road. And it was 150% worth the full album spread portraits and canvas that will soon be hanging on their wall.

 

Last but certainly not least, we want to give a shout out and a huge thanks to the incredible wedding professionals who made Megan and Bryan’s Chapel Dulcinea wedding an absolute dream. 

GETTING READY VENUE: W AUSTIN
CEREMONY VENUE: CHAPEL DULCINEA
RECEPTION VENUE: CUVEE COFFEE
MEGAN’S DRESS: SARAH SEVEN FROM SERENDIPITY BRIDAL
MEGAN’S BEAUTY TEAM: RACHEL HILL BEAUTY
GROOMS CUSTOM TUX: KNOT STANDARD AUSTIN
FLORALS: HEB BLOOMS
WATERCOLOR & CALLIGRAPHY: NIB & PIXEL

DONUTS: BOUGIE’S DONUTS

austin wedding photography in a sarah seven dress by houston wedding photographer smith house weddings

Want More of Megan & Bryan (Including Their Wedding Album Design)

Click here to see more from their Chapel Dulcinea Wedding

Want to see more from Chapel Dulcinea?

Check out our feature from a Chapel Dulcinea elopement. 

Should I have a Morning Wedding?

We’re taking a Royal cue today on morning weddings and digging into the Pro’s of getting married in the AM! Our incredible couple, Brady and Michael, got married in a beautiful morning church ceremony followed by a brunch reception with their closest friends and family. It was absolute perfection, and Brady was so sweet to share her thoughts on why they chose to have a morning wedding instead of a traditional evening reception.

Lovely Bride Wedding Dress at The Grove Houston WEdding Venue

What went into your decision to have a morning wedding? 

We knew from the beginning of our engagement that we wanted something a bit different, less traditional, less expensive, and less stressful; something more us and more enjoyable for our family and friends. We never cared to throw a party, but rather a wedding where the ceremony was the absolute center. From the beginning, Michael encouraged us to start from scratch, to build the day with meaningful moments, rather than starting with all the expectations and taking away the ones that didn’t speak to us. We are both early risers and have always enjoyed sharing brunch (and brunch food!). We knew we would be leaving early in the morning for our honeymoon, so we didn’t want to be exhausted at the end of the day. Plus, I never quite understood what everyone did during the morning of their weddings, and I honestly didn’t want to wait around all day to marry Michael.

What was the best part of getting married earlier in the day? 

So many things! We planned everything in around 12 weeks, the budget was much more affordable, and we were able to spend almost all of the day together. Rather than focusing a lot of time on getting ready, we had nearly 10 hours after the reception to enjoy our first day of married life.

Did you feel like you were missing out by skipping the traditional dinner reception? 

Because we planned our wedding from the ground up, only including the most important elements, I don’t feel like we missed a single thing. However, it was challenging to hold our own against traditional expectations and we received some quizzical looks. At the end of the day, though, everyone was so complimentary of our ceremony and reception, it was so affirming to have chosen what felt right to us.

How did you plan your reception around a brunch/lunch time versus dinner and dancing? 

We asked for a lot of exceptions and looked outside traditional venues/options. I found when I said the word ‘wedding,’ vendors and venues automatically had a pretty distinct idea for the day-of timeline, so I asked for quotes for a ‘large brunch’ instead. Our reception venue was the strictest around timing (we needed to be cleared out by 2 pm), so from there, we worked backwards. Our pastor and friend who married us was flexible, as was our photographer, and band. We only needed hair and makeup for 3 people, and they opened early to accommodate us. We also had a lot of help from friends and family the night before and morning of, and we didn’t include a lot of traditional elements (bridal party speeches, formal cake cutting, garter/bouquet toss, first dance, etc.)

If it’s helpful, here’s a synopsis of our timeline for the day.

10:30 am- ceremony began

10:50 – family photos at the church (we saved our individual photos for after the reception; this was a great time saver and allowed us more time with our guests)

11:00 am – reception space opened, open bar (with brunch drinks), Smilebooth available

12:00 pm – we arrived at the reception space, welcome, blessing of food, brunch buffet opened. We went through the buffet first and had a short while to eat at our head table before greeting our guests.

12:30 pm ish – Michael and I gave our thank you speech to our guests, then proceeded to spend time with them

1:30 pm – cutting and passing of the cake (very informal, just Becki and Ryan and our family who were nearby at the moment)

2:00 pm – official send off, guests departed

2:00 – 3:00 – Bride and Groom Portraits

3:30 pm – hotel check in

7:00 – dinner reservations

How did you spend your first afternoon + evening as a married couple? 

After taking some additional photos and walking through the park between our reception venue and hotel, we checked in and spent some time relaxing in our amazing hotel, sharing some of our wedding cake and champagne. I took off most of my makeup, let my hair down, and felt so much more like myself! We had reservations at our favorite restaurant, Vic and Anthony’s, which was within walking distance of our hotel. At first, I felt a bit embarrassed, but I loved my dress so much so that we decided to wear our wedding attire out to eat! It was such a treat to hear well wishes during our walk to the restaurant, and of course, the waitstaff there was incredible. We even have a special booth under our name whenever we make reservations in the future!

How did you choose your venue? 

This was definitely one of the most challenging parts of planning. Initially, we were hoping to host the ceremony and reception at our church because we love the space and it is so significant to our relationship, but we would have had to limit the guest list to 75 people. We looked at 10 or so other locations, ranging from traditional wedding venues to restaurants with larger enough dining spaces. We also wanted to find a space that included as much as possible. While I know other brides enjoy picking out each element of the day, I was frustrated that most venues had separate vendors for chairs, music, food, lighting, etc. We also wanted our guests to have an easy drive to the venue, so we looked at options within 10 miles or so from our church with easy parking (it’s Houston after all!) The menu and design aesthetic were really important to us, and we tried a few traditional brunch options. The Treehouse at The Grove was the perfect size, beautifully designed, and nearly all-inclusive. They had hosted weddings before, but weren’t a traditional option, so it ended up being a great fit. And everyone loved the food!

Anything else you want to tell other brides who are considering a morning wedding? 

  • If possible (and as early as possible), discuss with your fiancé what elements are most important to you both and why. This reasoning with help you when others’ expectations aren’t met, even if you choose never to share with them.
  • Know yourself and your partner. We aren’t big partiers and knew we wouldn’t enjoy the stress of hosting a party. But hosting a brunch, we could absolutely do that, and it turns out, our guests really enjoyed the novelty and personality of a brunch wedding. 
  • Don’t be afraid to nix things that aren’t important to you. We had reasons behind everything we did (and didn’t do), but sometimes it was easier to blame a third party (like the venue) rather than explain ourselves.
  • Ask friends and family for help. I realized this a little late in the game, but because I thought wedding planning was stressful, I thought everyone else would as well and that I was saving them from the stress. Instead, I found people felt pushed aside or unincluded. It was such a relief to bring in others to planning, not only to spend time together celebrating, but also the great ideas they had!
  • Wear your dress to dinner!
  • We chose not to have a bridal party, which cut down immensely on getting ready time the morning of. However, the reasoning was much broader. We really wanted everyone to be included in our ceremony, and we wanted to ask our entire community to join alongside us as we committed to each other for life. We knew we will need help and guidance along the way, so it was a really special moment when our pastor shared our intentions and asked everyone in the congregation to support us, celebrate and grieve with us, and point us back to each other and Christ.
  • Simplify as much as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to break the mold. Your wedding is a wonderful change to set the stage for your marriage, a unique time to bring together all the people you love, and share your relationship with them. I would say, do whatever you need to do to actually spend time with loved ones. Of course it’s wonderful to have While this isn’t unique to

A special thanks to our Bride, Brady for giving us the absolute best advice and insight into her experience!

We also want to give a shout out to all of the incredible vendors that made her day come together in the exact way she envisioned!

Ceremony: Ecclesia
Reception: The Grove Houston
Bride’s Dress: Lovely Bride
Hair and Make-up Artist: Butter Artistry
Bride’s Jewelry: Bauble Bar
Florals: By the Bride’s Sister
Calligraphy + Paper Goods: St Honore Paper Co.
Cake: Suzie’s Cakes
Cookies: Tiny’s Cookies + Milk

7 Photos You Want with your Dad on your Wedding Day

We’re shouting out to dad today in honor of Father’s day! Here are five photos you don’t want to miss with your dad on your wedding day. 

1: The Classic Photo, or what we like to call the “Mantle Hanger”. Stop and smile at the camera. You’ll cherish this timeless photo forever. (This is number one on our list of Must-Have Photos with Your Mom on Your Wedding Day too!)

Tip: We recommend your dad join us for bridesmaids portraits before the ceremony. This is the perfect time to capture this one-on-one photo with him! 

 

 

2: The First Look; While Mom is typically there to zip you into your dress, we love when dad waits to see you until you are completely ready to walk down the aisle! Its such a sweet and private moment before you say your I-Do’s.

Tip: Your first look with your dad doesn’t have to be a huge to-do; it can simply be a few sweet moments when he gets to see you for the first time before walking down the aisle. 

 

3: The Walk Down the Aisle; Of course we want to capture your husband-to-be the first moment he sees you, but we also love to capture the way your dad looks at you while he holds your hand down the aisle.

4: The Walk from Behind; We love this shot because it is a completely different perspective and holds so much emotion.

Tip: You shouldn’t be thinking about these photos. Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime walk to the altar and they will happen naturally! 

 

 

5: The Whole Clan; We love a photo with dad with all of the siblings together! Just think, this photo printed out plus a picture frame and your father’s day gift for next year is complete!

Tip: If your siblings are in your bridal party, aim to take this photo during your bridal party portraits. If not, add it to your family formal list! 

 

 

6:  Dad + Mom Solo; Most people don’t think about taking this photo, but it is truly a sweet gift to have a photo of the couple who made you believe in love in the first place.

Tip: This doesn’t have to be a formal shot, it can be done during cocktail hour or even right before they walk out the door at the end of the night. 

7:  Dancing the night away; From your first dance to the final jig, we love when dad gets down on the dance floor!

Tip: Pull your dad out on the dance floor during the reception! Its a fun time to reconnect with him after the main events of the day are over and just have fun!

A Bride’s Perspective on the Wedding Day First Look

From the first time we meet with a couple we begin talking about sunset times, ceremony start times, and the wedding day first look. This isn’t because we want everyone to do a wedding day first look, and we certainly never want to pressure any couple into doing one. Rather, we want to ensure that the wedding timeline for your day allows time gorgeous light for your ceremony, your family portraits, and of course, your bride and groom portraits.

But whether or not to do a first look goes well beyond the timeline. You have to decide if it is right for you as a couple. This can be tough if a first look is something you had never considered before. You probably have a ton of questions and curiosities about what it will be like.

Which is why we asked two of our brides, Laura and Hanna, to share with us their perspective on the first look.

Laura and Joe got married at The Tremont House in Galveston, Texas last fall. When we first met, they were not thinking about a first look. During their engagement, they changed their minds and decided to see each other before the ceremony. Here’s what Laura has to say about the experience.

Why did you decide to do a wedding day first look?
We decided to do a first look due to timing. We really wanted to enjoy as much of our reception and guests as possible. Doing a majority of our pictures beforehand allowed us to get to the party sooner. 

Did you have any hesitations before deciding to have a first look? Did you end up loving it or regretting it?
I did have hesitations. I always pictured the first look being made walking down aisle. I wanted the doors to open and see Joe with tears in his eyes. Happy tears, not sad!  But I ended up loving it. It took the nerves away and allowed me to get some tears out. I didn’t want to ugly cry down the aisle! 
How did you feel walking down the aisle after already seeing your significant other for the day?
I felt great. Excited! It’s a completely different feeling walking down the aisle towards your soon to be husband. 
Hanna and Matthew got married in March at Ranch Austin. They decided to do a first look early on in their engagement, and the day worked out perfectly with the decision. It rained on their wedding day, but it didn’t start until after their first look, so we had already captured all of their bride and groom portraits when the rain started to fall. Here’s what Hanna had to say about the experience.
Why did you decide to do a first look?
I personally was a little nervous being in front of so many people, I’m not a center of attention kind of girl. Even more so, for me, it was a special moment for just me and Matthew to share together. 
What are your thoughts looking back on your first look?
Matthew said “I loved the first look”. I had so many nerves all morning, I felt more laid back and relaxed after we did it.
How did you feel walking down the aisle after already seeing your significant other for the day? Was it still special? Was it different than the feelings during your first look? 
Walking down the aisle, I felt like I was able to soak in every single thing around me. I still had butterflies, and some nerves, but I felt more confident. Matthew is my person, my safe spot, and walking in front of almost 200 people was a little less intimidating. I’m not sure why, maybe it was like we had our “thing” that no one else knew anything about. 

We hope this helps you and your significant other decide on whether a first look is the right decision for you.

Floral Tips with Houston Florist Mibellarosa

It is no secret that we are floral lovers over here at the Smith House, so we are BEYOND excited that our friend, Phuong, is joining us today for some amazing tips on wedding florals + beyond. Phuong is the owner of Mibellarosa, an incredible Houston florist whose bouquets are unparalleled. She once said “Just a girl holding a big ass bouquet of pretties” and I said that should absolutely be her tagline (You’ll see why when you keep scrolling and see those gorgeous, big bouquets). Ready to meet Phuong?! Let’s dig into her Q&A!
Let’s start out with some get-to-know-you’s… 
Alma Mater: University of Texas at Austin
Cake or Ice Cream? Ice Cream
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
East Coast or West Coast? Both
If you could only have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Vietnamese
Tell us a little about your journey into the floral world.
While working for a law firm, my friends kept asking me to help plan their weddings since I was involved with event planning for college and City of Austin events.  I’m extremely Type A and also creative, so they trusted me to get things done and make it look good. I can also speak fluent Vietnamese, which won over lots of parents. I eventually began booking more weddings on the side and one day a bride asked if I could help her with her flowers for a small boat wedding in Austin. After that wedding, I just realized working with flowers made me much happier. I started working nights and weekends at multiple flower shops to gain more experience from the bottom up–bleaching buckets, taking out trash, making deliveries and all. In 2011, I finally decided it was time to let go of that steady paycheck in pursuit of floral happiness full-time. In 2016, the flowers overtook my event planning side of the business. I learned what I loved most about wedding planning was the design aspect, so I made the decision to stop wedding planning and focus solely on creative direction and florals. I’m now able to do what I really excel at versus trying to tackle everything when there are professionals who are better at the planning part than I am.
The Mibellarosa style is unique and distinct; we always know a MBR bouquet when we see one. Tell us a little bit about your design process, how you honed in on your style, what makes you different, etc. 
My brides are my ultimate muse for each bouquet. Each one of my bouquets is different than the others and move differently because each of my brides — their smiles, style, shape, size, and spirit — is unique. It sounds uber corny, but I try my best to create a bouquet that will be the personification my bride.
Describe the perfect Mibellarosa bouquet. 
The perfect Mibellarosa bouquet fits her bride, makes her look proportionate, complements her dress and veil, works with the season, smells phenomenal, and, most importantly, she DANCES.
What are your three favorite flower varieties + what do you love about them? 
I love by the season. My favorite overall has always been tulips even when I was a little girl. I researched them and their personalities (yes, flowers have personalities) and I really identified with them. I also love the fullness of peonies, the smell and daintiness of garden roses, the way Japanese sweet peas move, and the delicate joy of all flowering branches–it’s really unfair to make me list only three!
Let’s dig into wedding planning specifically. 
And where better to start than with the dreaded: Budgets. Where should a couple even begin with planning their floral budget? 
One of the things that really impact your floral budget is guest count. As a former wedding planner, I can show my brides how much more they can have if they are able to cut out a few tables of people they really don’t even know or people they thought they should invite out of politeness, and they are always flabbergasted and excitedly begin making some cuts. You know that third cousin twice removed, whom you’ve never met or the coworkers at your new job, or your parents’ friends’ friend’s sister? Each person costs much more than a meal if you really look at where your money goes. They can be the difference between rose petals down the aisle or a ceremony flower arch.
 What is worth the “splurge”? 
The bridal bouquet. She’s in photos more than any other floral item in the wedding. Splurge on her and the bridal party even if you don’t have money for guest tables.
What is the difference between a florist and a designer? 
That’s a hard question because I feel like all florists are designers in their own right even if their level of design and styles are different. I do, however, think a true designer is someone who actually works off her own ideas, comes up with her own designs, and creates a look for herself instead of following someone else’s design and work.
When should a couple hire their florist?
If flowers are important to you, I would begin at least 8 months out because many good designers do not take multiple weddings in one day since they want to focus on one wedding at a time to make it perfect, and perfection takes time. My brides often book us a couple of months after their engagement.
Anything final words or tips you want our brides to know? 
Often times, I hear people say flowers are a waste of money because they die anyway and they’re only needed for that one day. I disagree. Flowers are the embodiment of joy, celebration, romance, wonder, and all things happy. You can smell them before you even see them and that in itself can transport you to a magical place in your mind. If flowers give them ALL the happy feels on their wedding day, that’s all that matters. [A NOTE FROM BECKI: I personally love that Mibellarosa will repurpose flowers if they are doing break-down and pick-up from your wedding! They often take florals to retirement homes to bless people with the incredible florals that adorned your wedding!]

Ten Pups Who Stole the Show

Wedding day or engagement portraits, we love love love when your pups make an appearance. So we’re rounding up some of our favorite all-time Engagement + Wedding Dog Photos to make your Monday a little brighter!

Buckley

Buckley showed up camera ready at Regan + Claire’s engagement session and didn’t hesitate one bit to ask for his own headshot. Ya know, so he can meet all the ladies on Rover.

Ruger

He was pretty sure this day was actually just a trip to the dog park and loved every second of it. Camera, what?

 

Finn

We’re pretty sure Finn slept for a solid week after his portraits. Elise and Patrick spend a lot of time at Hermann Park with Finn, so thats where we went for their engagement session. I think our total step count was somewhere in the 20,000 range and Finn couldn’t have been happier.

Chubbs

Those eyes and those tiny paws! He may not have gotten to walk down the aisle, but he sure got a lot of love while the girls were getting ready.

Braydee

Tracy and Josh’s wedding day is actually the second show Braydee stole. He brought his A-Game to their engagement session, but somehow stepped it up even higher with his wedding bowtie.

 

Jackson the Dalmatian

Y’all. This boy is literally the sweetest and the BOWTIE KING. He traded his signature bowtie look for a gorgeous floral wreath with these bridesmaids though, and managed to get even cuter. If you don’t follow him on Instagram, you need to stop everything and do it right now.

 

Bonnie

There are no words for how cute Bonnie is in these photos. No words at all. But I think if you googled “Best Wedding Dog Ever” she would be it.

 

Stax

Bonnie’s brother is definitely her sidekick, but he is equally as adorable — especially with the floral wreath from Mom + Dad’s wedding. You can see more of Stax + Bonnie over on Wedding Chicks.

 

Landry Doodle

Landry, and her cutie sis Remi, are snuggle maniacs. Believe it or not, the first time I photographed Remi she was TERRIFIED of my camera. Now she jumps right in takes over with that cute pup smile.

 

Leonardo Di Puprio

Leo makes a lot of appearances because his human-lady, Erica, is our favorite make-up artist on the planet. It doesn’t matter whether we are photographing bridal portraits or a branding session, Leo makes sure he gets his close-up.

Six Must Have Photos with Your Mom on Your Wedding Day

Mother’s Day may be over, but we’re still loving on mom hard this morning with this Must-Have List of wedding photos to have with your mom on your wedding day! And a perk of capturing these amazing photos with Mom on the best day of your life? You have the perfect gift to print and frame for Mother’s Day next year. 😉 

1: The Classic Photo, or what we like to call the “Mantle Hanger”. Stop and smile at the camera. You’ll cherish this timeless photo forever.

Tip: We recommend your mom join us for bridesmaids portraits before the ceremony. This is the perfect time to capture this one-on-one photo with her! 

2: Those final getting ready moments; Zipping your dress, putting in your veil. There is so much joy during this time of the day, and we love when we can share it with mom!

Tip: We recommend mom is dressed at this time so that she is excited for these photos as much as you are! 

3: Or, opt for a first look with Mom and capture those moments when she sees you in the dress for the very first time.

Tip: If you are doing a first look with mom, have your maid of honor and bridesmaids zip you into your dress. 

4: The in Between Moments; these are harder to put on a list because they are different for everyone, but when your photographer is on the look out for them, these in between moments are often the most beautiful of the whole day.

Tip: Don’t stress about getting these photos. The best in-between moments come when you are truly being present in your day. 

5: The Ceremony Shot — whether she is walking you down the aisle, or watching you say your I do’s, we love the smiles, the tears, and every expression inbetween.

 

6:  Killin’ it on the Dance Floor. Mom has fun at the reception too, so we love when we capture her joy and excitement on the dance floor.