Shira & Jim - 4.29.17

Where do I begin? Jim and Shira are probably one of the most laid back couples I have ever worked with. They are fun loving, in love, and did I mention fun loving? I don't frequently take on weddings in Philadelphia being based in Lancaster....but when I do, I make sure it's the NFL draft weekend, it's 80 degrees, and the couple has some of the coolest little people as part of their wedding party. Regardless of crazy traffic, and heat that shouldn't be allowed in the month of April, Jim and Shira's day couldn't have gone smoother. Congrats you two! We wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness - and no more concussions for Jim. 

Enjoy some killer photos of the day from the talented Justin Johnson Photography. If you're looking for a Philly photographer, you MUST check him out.

 

Rachael & Scott - 1.15.17

There's nothing like celebrating the new year with a party with over 200 of your closest family and friends. And that's just what Rachael and Scott did. Their wedding was one of the craziest and most lighthearted parties I've ever witnessed. From great friends, to great food and drink, Rachael and Scott's day was one for the books. 

And have I mentioned that they could not have been more beautiful if they tried? Rachael plans events for a living, so she had a clear vision for what she wanted for her wedding day, and was able to tie it all together down to the finest of details. The whole day was fabulous. We loved being part of it. 

Rachael and Scott, we are so thrilled for you to begin your journey as husband and wife. Congratulations! 

"As soon as I saw you, I knew a grand adventure was about to happen." - A. A. Milne

 

Photo Credit: Autumn Kern Photo

5 Creative Gift Ideas this Holiday Season for every "Bride-to-be"

Photo by sunemotion/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by sunemotion/iStock / Getty Images

We all dread trying to find that perfect gift during the holiday season. Personally, I'm awful at getting and giving gifts. I'd rather give and get experiences, or make something for others. Most people, however, are not as awkward as me and LOVE giving and getting gifts. Regardless, most of you have a friend, a relative, or a fiance who will be a bride this coming year. Here are a few gift ideas to show her just how wonderful she is to you. 

1.  Purchase her a Massage Therapy Session, or a Day at the Spa. Girls love to be pampered. And when all the stress of seating charts, crazy family dynamics, centerpieces, and finding the perfect dress overwhelm her, why not give her a chance to go out and purposefully relax. She will be so grateful!

2. Sign her up for a Wine Subscription. If your "bride-to-be" is anything like me, she will never turn down a good glass of wine. And how awesome is it that they deliver new wines tailored to her favorite flavor profiles, to her house EVERY month! She doesn't even have to change out of those yoga pants to go to a store. Here are a few subscriptions we like and recommend:

- Wine Down Box

- Bright Cellars

- Winc 

- Organic Wine Company

3. Plan and Pay for an Elaborate Date Weekend. This is a gift even I can appreciate because I'm all about experiences. Amidst the stress of planning a wedding, it's easy to forget that you are ultimately planning and preparing for a marriage, not just a wedding. Even if you are not that bride-to-be's finance, you can still plan a date weekend for her and that wonderful man in her life. Buy them movie tickets, make reservations for dinner and have the bill put on your card, get them tickets to an opera, or ballet in the city, purchase gift cards for their favorite store so they can go shopping together after dinner and a show. The options are limitless and vary depending on your location(Skiing in Colorado, a Broadway show in NYC, Disney World Tickets in Orlando, etc). Have fun with it.

4.  Make her something from the heart. Whether it's a painting that she can hang in her new home, a handspun vase for flowers, a sugar scrub for that dry winter skin, or even a meal on a night you know she's exhausted and weary. Making something for someone is always a thoughtful gift. Examine at what you're good at, and discern how you can bless her with the gifts and talents you already have. 

5. Hire her a Wedding Planner/Coordinator. Though coordinators and planners are some of the most stress-relieving vendors you can hire for a wedding day, would you believe that many brides don't think it's worth the money? In fact, a lot of our brides book us a few months(sometimes even weeks) before their weddings because they become overwhelmed and just need the piece of mind that everything will be taken care of that day. If you want that bride-to-be to have rest and assurance that everything will be taken care of leading up to and on her wedding day, hire a great wedding planner or coordinator. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Just make sure to find someone that she will jive well with! Not all coordinators and all brides are created equal. 

 

Ultimately, give that bride-to-be lots of love, care and attention this Christmas. Your intentionally and affection is the best gift you could ever give someone. 

 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Faith Titus

Carrie & Jeremy - 10.8.16

Carrie and Jeremy had their first date at a brewery, got engaged at that same brewery, and aside from their mutual love for quality craft beer, they could not be a more fun loving, laid-back, kind couple. From the first time I met them for coffee to discuss their wedding, I knew I wanted to work with them.  

The rain tried to ruin the day, but just as we arranged the bridal party for their big entrance it cleared off, and it was a perfectly dreamy ceremony in front of a lake surrounded by vibrant fall colors at YMCA Camp Shand. A beautiful bride, a handsome groom, fun loving guests and amazing food, amidst other sweet details like grandparent ring bearers, and the most tender first look. 

Congratulations Carrie and Jeremy! We loved working with you and wish you the most joyous marriage filled with laughter and lots of good food and drink. 

Photography: Lauren Fisher Photography/Valerie Stoltzfus

Video: InVision Video Productions

The Value in your Vendors

The number one complaint I hear from brides is how expensive weddings are(second to how stressful planning can become).

From the photographer, to the florist(one of the most underestimated costs), to your coordinator, and venue...I understand, it adds up quickly. I once was a young bride planning my wedding, counting numbers to make sure that we stayed within budget. But let me tell you, the best way to ruin a wedding isn't by a guest showing up late, or even a small tear in your veil.

The best way to ruin a wedding is to hire someone that you don't love being around, specifically your coordinator and your photographer(videographer). Those two individuals(or more depending on how many shooters you hire and how big your coordination team is) will be with you, the bride, more than any other person that day. More than your bridesmaids, more than your mom, and often even more than your new husband. 

Your photographer is with you constantly, documenting each moment from the time you start putting on your make-up to the instant you leave as a married couple from your reception surrounded by family, friends and a world of sparklers. If you don't jive with your photographer, or trust them to document the story of your day, then you should prepare yourself now for stress. Or you should just hire someone different that you LOVE (not entirely determined by their price), and save yourself the stress.

Secondly, your coordinator is your lifeline the day of your event (and the days leading up to it). Yes I am slightly biased, but no other vendor can relieve stress the way a coordinator can. Other vendors can create stress if they aren't performing to the level in which you expected, but our job is specifically to alleviate stress. We are a "catch all" at times, making sure that everything looks how you want it, and everyone is where they need to be, exactly when they need to be there. We step in to help in ways we can when vendors don't deliver, we fight for what you want when aunt Cathy tells you how she thinks everything should look, we lay on the ground on a bridge so your little ring bearer can stand on our backs to be seen in the group shoot (this may or may not be from experience). And if you don't like us, or how we work, then you shouldn't hire us. Again, you should hire someone that you LOVE being around and trust to make sure that things go exactly how you want them. 

A good coordinator and a good photographer(videographer) can make even the most stressful day, go smoothly, and look like it went smoothly. Coordinators do the upfront work of smoothing all the wrinkles from the day. The photographer does upfront work at making sure the images you will look at for a lifetime reflect the joy and delight of the day, not the hiccups and stress. 

All that said...Pay for that photographer(videographer) you love. Pay for that coordinator you enjoy being around. Because after your wedding day, all you have are all the slews of leftover favors, and your photos to remember it by. Of course, ultimately you have a new wonderful spouse to love and cherish forever, and that is the ultimate goal. Even if the food is awful, the DJ's equipment blows up and catches fire, and it pours down rain from the heavens, you will be married to the love of your life at the end of the day, and that is something no money can buy. 

simply, 

Faith

photo by: Blythe Elizabeth Photography

Katelyn & Micah - 7.24.16

A beautiful church sanctuary, home-grown summer blooms, an elegant reception at the York Country Club...and literally one of the sweetest couples in the world. Katelyn and Micah couldn't be more in love or a more loving couple. The way they looked at each other the entire day was enough to melt any heart. It was evident that they not only cared deeply for one another, but also their family and friends. 

Congratulations Katelyn and Micah! Thank you for letting us share in the joy and delight of your wedding day! Enjoy the adventure of marriage!

 

Photo credit:Hingework Photography

Mandy & Aaron - 6.25.16

When Mandy and Aaron approached me around Christmas last year about helping coordinate their wedding in June, my only request was that it was the end of June. Thankfully they had the last weekend in June already on their minds. If you read my last blog post, you'll know that I was due with our sweet Adelaide Mae, on May 20th, however she didn't arrive until June 5th.  That to say, our sweet girl got to attend her first wedding on June 25th (she's now been to 3 weddings in the first 7 weeks of her life). 

Mandy and Aaron share a love of teaching(both are educators), laughter, and the Lord. Their wedding was a beautiful reflection of love and grace, and there was even homemade wine at the reception, made by the brides father! How cool is that?!

Congratulations Mandy and Aaron! We are so thrilled you get to experience this new season of life. We hope that you had a great summer off from teaching and are excited to head back to school! 

 

PhotoCred: Megan Taylor

New Life, New Seasons

May 20th.

It was preschool graduation, and the signalling of the end (at least for now) of my teaching career. It was the weekend that I had at least 3 inquiries for weddings that I had to respectively decline. It was the date our sweet Adelaide Mae was supposed to come.

Yet,  May 20th came and went without the arrival of a little girl. In fact, she waited 16 days past that, to arrive on June 5th at 11:23am. Our lives forever changed in that moment. 

A week after she was born, our dear friend Shannon came, amidst the weariness and new-parent anxiety, and the joy and contentment, to capture the our new life as a family of three. So if you're wondering why I've not been around much. This little gal is why. Though it hasn't stopped her from going to 3 weddings with us in less than 2 months. She's going to take my job someday, I'm sure of it. 

PhotoCred: Shannon Karmel Photography

(Last photo: iPhone candid I took this week)