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May 2011 Archive

Pets Part of your Big Day? Advice from Simply Stunning

Alex from Simply Stunning recently blogged some valuable advice and tips for incorporating your beloved furry friends into your wedding! Excerpt below!

I think it’s a great idea to involve the furry (or feathery or scaley) member of your family in your big day, whether they are in the ceremony, involved in a few photos or make a guest appearance at the reception. It really creates a personal touch to your wedding and can help lighten the mood a little and add an aspect of fun!


Some of the first steps you should take to make this happen:

  • Check with the officiant and church. Most churches don’t allow pets. If there is a little bit of leeway, you can always suggest bringing in the pet to meet the officiant (or person in charge) to prove he/she is well behaved.
  • Check with your wedding party. It’s very important that everyone is comfortable with a pet being present, since they will be spending quite a bit of time together.
  • Really consider the behavior of your pet. If he/she barks a lot, doesn’t like children/men/women, bites, jumps or isn’t well potty trained, these could all be disastrous on your wedding day.

Read the rest at the Simply Stunning Blog!

~ Kelly

How to Personalize Your Wedding

Weddings are meant to celebrate you and your fiance, and the love you have for one another. I don’t think I’ve ever met a bride who said, “I want a completely generic, cookie-cutter wedding!”  While you may be stumbling around trying to find how exactly you can make your wedding look like you and your hubby-to-be, I imagine the desire to do as such has probably crossed your mind.


Luckily for brides facing creative blocks everywhere, there’s a myriad of ways to let your personalities shine through on that special day:

1. Regional touches.  They say “you can’t go home,” but don’t let that fool you… you can bring “home” with you! Whether you’re a Cali girl spreading sunshine in Washington or a Southern convert wanting to share some Tennessee charm to your Yankee family, regional elements can give a hint of who you were or who you’ve become because of where you’ve been planted! Have a grits bar, use oranges or key limes for decor, string Spanish moss from the rafters, make welcome bags with Moon Pies or Georgia peaches, give away favors like homemade Texas cowboy cookies or beautiful Mardi Gras masks straight from NOLA.There are so many options! Think about the things that you love about the region that represents you best and incorporate them!  And don’t be shy about clashing cultures… if your fiance’s from India and you’re from Missouri, mix and match! Be unique, be thoughtful. Cocktails are another handy way to do this:  serve a Lynchburg Lemonade or Manhattan or Kentucky Bourbon or what have you!

You can also use a less-subtle approach and utilize printed linens or decorated glasses with state map designs.


2. Photographs.  This is one of the more obvious ways to make it about you and yours. You don’t have to resort completely to a timed slideshow chronicling your relationship! Consider stringing up a little banner of clothespinned pictures along a staircase or above the dessert table. Display framed pictures or canvases from your engagement shoot or parents’ weddings.


3. Letters/Sweet words. Is your honey notorious for sending you the sweetest love notes? Do you have a way with words and can’t bear to think about repeating the same old wedding vows as everyone else? Write your own vows to one another. Customize your wedding ceremony to suit the two of you perfectly. Frame his poems and showcase them! Write letters to each table of guests in lieu of plain table numbers! Walk down the aisle to the song he wrote for you. Send out epic wedding invitations with your relationship’s story in full! Create or order signage that epitomizes you two.


4. A unique wedding logo/brand. This concept has always perplexed me, but I’ve seen it done and done well! Work with a graphic designer and come up with an original monogram, symbol (ampersands, anyone?), the wedding date, silhouettes, whatever you please!


5. Collections. Does your future husband love vintage cars? Have your getaway in an old-timey Rolls Royce! Are you two movie buffs? Distinguish between your tables with favorite movie titles. Collect seashells on all your beach vacations? Use them as centerpieces! If you love reading, incorporate stacked volumes in your decor. Love milkglass? See if you can borrow your grandmother’s milkglass cake stand! Love jelly jars? Make your escort cards out of them!


6. The Cakes! ESPECIALLY with the grooms’ cake, wedding desserts are a perfect way to display your tastes as a couple.  Who says you HAVE to go with plain white wedding cake? Of course, if simple vanilla is your favorite, by all means go for the white! Otherwise, play with different flavor combinations, fondant versus buttercream, infusions with your favorite booze… You can use customized cake toppers (monograms, figurines, signage galore!) and design them at your whims (pearls, crystals, themed, 7-tiered, whatever!). If you’re not a cake person, use pie or gelato or gourmet cheeses instead!


7. Guest book. The most popular guest book idea I’ve seen in the past couple of years has been a hardcover bound book of engagement pictures, with pens for guests to sign different pages. They’re cute and personal (you can guarantee no other couple will ever have the exact same book!) and actually likely for you to go over once the wedding is done, unlike the traditional blank lined-page book. But there are lots of other options too! Decorate and create your own piece of painted pottery for guests to sign, or have them autograph a pair of skis if your honeymoon will be in the Swiss Alps or Colorado mountains. Get a bunch of pretty antique postcards for guests to sign and write short letters to you! Have guests write notes of encouragement and wishes on flat stones to be placed in a large vase. Use a wish tree! Or make a notebook with envelopes pasted on for sliding little letters into. Have them write you things on an old typewriter! Use stamps or paint to fingerprint their signatures. Take polaroid pictures of them individually, or get a compiled scrapbook of photo booth pictures! Frame the sheet of signatures, complete with your wedding date + logo, to hang in your bedroom to commemorate the day. Everyone can sign wine bottles (for you to age until your 25th anniversary!). Have everyone write a “recipe for love” in a recipe box! SO. MANY. OPTIONS!


8. Favors. Are you a bird-watching enthusiast? Give away heart-shaped birdseed blocks for your guests to feed their chirpers at home. Are you a Southern belle hosting an outdoor wedding in July? Beautiful paper accordion fans would be perfect!


And even beyond this list, the possibilities are endless! Wear really gorgeous shoes. Give your bridesmaids your favorite designer’s necklaces to accompany their gowns. If you hate roses, carry a bouquet of Queen Anne’s lace. If cake isn’t your cup of tea, pile cookies on pretty plates to serve with cold milk. If the thought of having someone (even your loved one) reach up your leg and throw a completely nonfunctional (let’s be real… you’re not wearing stockings!) satin-covered elastic band to his fraternity brothers makes you break out in hives, opt out of getting a garter! If you hate glitter and paste and spending hours tying ribbons, don’t make yourself do DIY projects. You don’t have to be labeled as an “anti-bride” just because you’re not into the shabby chic look or crazy about Canon in D.

Don’t be a slave to tradition, don’t try to recreate your sister or best friend or mother’s wedding, and don’t force yourself to do or incorporate anything that you don’t want.  Be true to your relationship, and the rest will follow!

~ Kelly

FocalPoint Cinematic featured on CJ's Off the Square Blog

Jon & Kelsey Bufkin of FocalPoint Cinematic was recently featured on the CJ’s Off the Square blog. Check out the original post here… until then, here’s a little snippet!

The Company: FocalPoint Cinematic Weddings

Our Name(s): Jon & Kelsey Bufkin

We’re Known for: Creating compelling modern wedding films and taking rather long road-trips to Texas.

How do you describe your style? Cinematic Storytellers

How did you get started in Cinematography? We both have loved our various creative outlets over the years… art, music, photography and other hobbies.  As Jon was finishing up his M.F.A. in Recording Arts we saw an opportunity in Middle Tennessee to bring something new and fresh to wedding videography.  We always talked about opening a business together so we decided to pursue this passion. We began shooting and jumped right in!

What is unique about you’re services? We are storytellers, not just observers.  We work hard to hand-craft the best quality films for our clients.  It is important for us to get to know each couple and all the details of their day so we can be ready to capture every stunning moment!

~ Kelly

Lotus Blossom Photography on ABG

See Ashley’s Bride Guide for engagement/bridal portrait advice from StudioWed’s own Lotus Blossom Photography! Excerpt below.

Tell us a little bit about Bridal Portraits and Engagement Sessions – what are they for?

Bridal sessions are kind of old school. It’s an old, southern tradition that a lot of moms like, more so than daughters. Like I did mine because my mother wanted me to and not because I wanted to. There are advantages to this too – hair trial and makeup trial so I could see how it could look with the dress and I ended up changing my hair on the wedding day because I didn’t like how it looked with the dress.

For engagement sessions, usually it’s the first time the photographer meets the couple, it’s a lot more laid back than the wedding, obviously, and it’s helpful because we get to know them better.

What are the advantages of having an engagement session?

Once the couple gets relaxed with you as a photographer, they’re more relaxed on the wedding day. So it’s nice to get pictures of people together. It’s also a good time to make sure you really like your photographer’s pictures. Personally, if you could do one or the other I would do engagement over bridal.


It’s nice to have a record of yourelves before you get married. I love having pictures of the couple more in their element. Sometimes it’s important after your wedding to look back at that.  It’s helpful to have the photos to do something with a save the date. A lot of people do guest books, some decorate their weddings with pictures.

See the rest here!

~ Kelly