Friday, October 25, 2013

NY Photographer: A Wedding Planner Isn't Out of Budget and It Can Save Your Sanity (and a few precious memories)

STRESS: So here is the scenario. It's the day of your wedding. It's THE day. However, you are still running around checking on the cake, your mom is straightening up the flowers and your bridesmaids are still scurrying  to finish the centerpieces.  The groomsmen are running a little late (sorry guys) and you can't find that box with the rings.  Your mom misses you getting into your dress because the caterer had a few questions and some guests were arriving early and needed to know where to put their gifts.  The DJ comes, but isn't sure where to set up and the photographers are wondering where those darn groomsmen are.  The bride isn't ready yet because she is still making sure her flowers have arrived and the guests have some sort of cocktail hour ready to go at 4 p.m. I, as the photographer, have even set down my camera at times to help get things situated in the mayhem of last minute needs.

SANITY:This scenario can be completely eliminated by having a wedding coordinator on the premise to handle ALL the last minute odds and ends. They make sure the DJ is set up, gather the groomsmen, and they handle the one million questions.  A wedding planner doesn't save your sanity, they save your memories.

INSTEAD: While the wedding planner is telling the florist where to go, you have a moment look at yourself in the mirror and realize you are getting married! While the wedding planner is helping the caterer and the DJ, you and your mom have a few moments to cry, hug and say one more I love you.  While the wedding planner is touching up your tables you have some time to giggle and laugh with your girlfriends as nerves settle down.  While she is busy gathering up the groomsmen, the photographer catches a few precious moments as your mom helps you into your dress and for the first time her little girl is a young woman.

Let's face it, for the most part most of us have never planned an event larger than our children's 10th birthday where we had 20 kids over and literally questioned ourselves a million times as to what we were thinking.
Planning a wedding is no small task and for brides and their families it's the first time ever tackling an event larger than a semi-big party.  So it's time, it's time for brides and their families to seriously consider a wedding planner.  You just won't regret it. 

BUDGET: Many people opt out of this idea because they feel it doesn't fit their budget and it's a luxury they can do with out.  I say, a wedding planner is not a luxury, it's truly a gift to give yourself and your family so you can remember your wedding day for what it's meant to be remembered for and nothing less. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Mom and Dad Never Told Me No….

Did you know that when I was in 7th grade I swore I was going to learn French and live in Paris where I would serve as a missionary and save the world…didn't know the world needed saving from Paris did ya?

I also believed I was going to be a novelist. Write all day, create stories and make a living off of it.

Then I said I was going to play collegiate level soccer, not only that, I wanted to play Division 1 soccer. The fact that I was coming from the second smallest school in NY state never bothered me.

I was also going be a journalist, then a detective at some point. I wanted to be an artist, I just couldn't draw.  My grade school best friend and I wrote our books, stapled them together and created our own library *nerd alert.  Who wouldn't want to check out OUR books!?

I aimed to go to college in the south, 10 hours away from home.  This little country girl? Making that kind of move? please. 

I also wanted to own my own business one day, then I swore I would never own my own business…

I was also pretty sure I would publish a book of short poems, coach the women's' national team , have a family and create an invention. 

I am sure there were more dreams and ideas I had through my childhood, but with every new idea that came into this creative brain, my mom and dad never said no.  They never told me that it was a far cry to go from Jefferson, NY to Lynchburg, VA and play soccer.  They never told me that writing and publishing my own novels was a pipe dream to many and really would never amount to much and that I needed to get a real job.   My mom never stopped me from reading my stories aloud in the kitchen while she cooked, my dad never said running my own business was a ridiculous adventure and tough to be successful at.  They never said I was too much of a people pleaser to be a coach and they never said that going 10 hours away from home would be hard and a culture shock.  

They never told me no.  They guided me. They prayed for me. They didn't fluff me up when I didn't deserve it, they showed me where it would be a hard choice and where things might get difficult.  They just never told me it couldn't be done.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Don't Be Afraid of the Word Custom: Check DG Invites and Why Your Wedding Can Be Different!

Whenever I come across something at a wedding I think others should know about I get all excited. I track down where it came from and want to share the information so others can relish in all it's goodness.

This summer I had the pleasure of photographing a rustic, country wedding at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont for Marissa.  Marissa has a super creative sister (bridesmaid) who own DG Invites. Once I caught wind of the creativity gene I was blown away about how Darci pulled together the entire event through her work. It wasn't just invitations. It was Save the Dates, Invitations, Table Numbers, Ceremony Programs, Escort Cards, Menus, Thank You Cards and the list goes on!
I tracked Darci down and together we worked out the highlights of her amazing work!

Please check out Darci's work on facebook and on her site to get a complete feel for all that she has done!

I asked: What is unique about your work?
Darci:What is and always has been unique about us is that we are TOTALLY custom.  Someone can certainly choose an invite we have done in the past and just change the wording and colors.  However, we like it when people come to us with really unique ideas.  We have done some amazing invites in the past that may have started out with a feeling of uncertainty for sure, but came together in the end.  With almost limitless paper options, several printing options, the ability to order 4 or 462, to layer or not layer, add some kind of pocket, create a special die-cut, add duck feet to their invite....we can do just about anything.  People that are searching for something that is very traditional do no necessarily come to us.  Not to say we don't love creating something that is timeless and classic we do, but we tend to get more "out there" ideas.  Cutout clover escort cards to sit on glasses of Guiness for a St. Patricks Day Wedding; neon pink, orange and green invites for a "Dream in Color" Gala event; disco balls and bowling for a surprise birthday party, sketched drawings of the grooms little white dog who is the "best pet", a combination of snake skin print and peacock feather and I did already mention duck feet right? Yes, duck feet!

I asked: What do you want your clients to know most about you?

Darci: What I really want people to know is that they should not be afraid of the word custom.  Custom means a number of things and it doesn't have to be insanely expensive.  I work really hard to stay within a clients budget and still create an invitation they will love.  There are all kinds of things that can be done that will affect pricing: quantity ordered, type of paper, type of printing, number of layers, number of inserts, any embellishments, pocketfolds and so on.  Can we create a $10.00 boxed, ribbon embellished invite with 3 inserts that are all layered and have raised printing...yes!  We can however also create something beautiful, but much more simple for the client with a smaller budget.

I asked: What do you enjoy most about your work?
Darci: There are a couple things I really enjoy about my work.  One is that I get to stay home with my little man and watch him grow up.  Soon he will be off to preschool and our 2nd little man will be arriving!  With all the things I have experienced along side him working from home I can't imagine what life would be like otherwise and what I would have missed!  The second thing I love is my clients. Yes at times
things can be extremely challenging but in the end I truly love my clients.  The best part by far has got to be when I give them their finished product and if they are local,  seeing their faces light up!  After the hours of work, reviewing designs and colors, getting to that finished product is the greatest feeling.  Seeing how happy they are for what I have created for them, getting lots of hugs (even from grooms), so many thank yous for pure appreciation for all I have done....that is the best feeling ever!  When the reviews and emails come through about how all their guests keep commenting on how amazing their invites are is just the icing on the cake!  It just makes me realize that even when times are tough I do what I do because I love it and other people love it too.

I asked: How did you get started in doing something like this?
Darci: I come from a very crafty and creative family.  So it was only natural for me to in some way be just like them. As a child I would always do small projects with my mother and sell ribbon bracelets along side her at craft shows.  Once I hit college I expanded to designing and creating banners, t-shirts, posters, flyers and so on for my Sorority.  After graduating I took a job with FELD Entertainment. Feld produces Disney on Ice, Disney Live and Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus.  I had the privilege of working in product development where we designed all of the items sold at the shows from the lights and swords to the plush characters and vendor uniforms.  I loved that job and it just fueled my passion for design even more.  While there I got engaged, planned my own wedding and designed my own invites. With the motivation from my lovely co-workers & family DG Invites was made least that was the start!