Win 8 Hours of Wedding Photography from Christine Doneé

Christine Doneé is truly an artist. Her natural talent for communicating love and beauty not only sets her photography apart, but it also allows you to see the world through Christine’s eyes – a world full of radiant light and joy.

Her love affair with photography progressed organically after a life-long relationship with art, having studied everything from sketching the human form to fashion design illustration. This artistic background serves to enhance her technique as she dedicates herself to creating timeless images with a purposeful eye and a strong passion for detail. With a love for natural light and beautiful surroundings, Christine uses her medium-format film photography to tell genuine stories of love and romance.

She has an adventurous heart that takes her all over the world for local and destination weddings. This love for exploring allows to her to find honest beauty wherever she is, and her endless search for inspiration is why she is thrilled to be gifting one lucky couple 8 hours of wedding photography during 2015! Though based in Southern California, Christine would love the chance to travel in order to bring your joyful day to life through her elegant photography.

To be entered to win 8 hours of wedding photography with Christine Doneé shot on beautiful film and digital, comment below with your name, email address, and wedding date and venue. Tell us about your story, wedding style, and why you think Christine would be the right photographer for your wedding. Christine will read your stories and pick the winner on February 9th, 2015. 

*The winner will get proof prints and a flash drive of your photos.

*Travel fees for Christine must be paid up front and Christine will make her own travel arrangements.

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01.26.15 / Contests, Featured, New Sponsor Blog

How to Deal with Post-Wedding Blues

When our wedding day was over, my new husband and I were bummed to say goodbye to everyone, but we were also looking forward to our honeymoon. I thought I knew exactly how I would feel on our trip: 1) relieved to have survived the wedding process 2) thrilled to have a ton of spare time and 3) in a constant state of marital bliss. It never even occurred to me that I might be a little depressed after “the big day.” If other brides before me had experienced this phenomenon they may have been too embarrassed to tell me for fear of sounding ungrateful, unladylike, or just downright nuts. In the interest of saving you some heartache, I’m going to give it to you straight.

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Being very gentle with yourself at the end of this monumental wedding experience should help you enjoy your post-wedding time to the fullest. Even if your wedding goes 110% perfectly – which is sadly unlikely on planet earth – the dirty little secret is that even intense positive emotions mixed with seismic life changes can still result in extreme physiological stress. For example, you might experience withdrawal from the intense joy of seeing all of the people you love at the same time. It is sadly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is all too quickly over. You also might not be ready to retire your wedding fantasies; the event you had eagerly anticipated for years is now somehow behind you.

As a result of traveling you might additionally be coping with jet lag, poor sleep, a new environment, hormonal reactions due to unusual wedding diet and/or exercise patterns, plus a loss of your daily routine. After the many months of sky-high expectations, rigorous planning, and enormous financial expense, even the little wedding disappointments can feel like a tremendous letdown. The sadness that deceased loved ones missed this important milestone might also linger.

Oh, and did I mention that at this exact juncture you may also be feeling pressure to appear ecstatic and make your honeymoon the best vacation ever? I think it’s fair to say that if a mad scientist were trying to create a nervous breakdown in a test tube… this would be a really good recipe.

 Here are a few common sense considerations that might help you as you’re coming down from your wedding:

1. Be conscious about your alcohol intake. It’s easy to mindlessly order a drink with almost every meal, after all “you’re on your honeymoon!” Alcohol, being a depressant, can really aggravate the post-wedding blues. If you’re feeling anxious, minimizing caffeine also helps.

2. Get as much exercise as possible. I was glad we had pre-planned active outdoor outings into our honeymoon itinerary. General healthy habits can help mitigate the blues: lots of water, fruits, veggies, good sleep… I don’t need to go on. You’re smart people, you know the drill.

3. Pack stand-up comedy recordings and/or funny movies. Some of our favorite honeymoon memories are – ironically – from our drives between activities listening to “Greg Behrendt is Uncool” and Seinfeld’s “I’m Telling You for the Last Time.” It’s hard to ruminate on a wedding decor mishap when you’re laughing so hard that you’re snorting.

4. Call friends and family. I worried that if I called anyone they would yell back at me “Why are you calling me??! You’re on your HONEYMOON!!” Even though my husband is my best buddy, I probably would have felt less isolated if I had reached out to my other loved ones more while we were away.

5. Perhaps the most important thing is to allow yourself to just “be.” It’s ok to be really sad that it is all over. It’s ok to be disappointed about about anything that didn’t go as you had hoped, big or small, and to be frustrated with anyone who let you down. Honestly, it is totally normal to to feel like the whole wedding emotional rollercoaster somehow still hasn’t come to a halt. Be patient with yourself. Validating and relaxing into those unfavorable feelings is the most efficient way to move through the waves of any post-wedding grieving process you might experience. (I, on the other hand, spent a great deal of time banging my head against the wall sniffling “what’s wrong with me?!?!” which was not that helpful.)

6. When you get home, re-read your guestbook and all of the various notes you received from your engagement onwards. You might start to get the inkling that the love, joy and generosity of spirit you felt in the room that day hasn’t spontaneously evaporated; it really will always be with you.

So here’s the great news: this pesky post-wedding blues does pass, making it exponentially easier to focus on the vast majority that went miraculously, beautifully, thankfully RIGHT at your wedding! In the end, I am sure you will have phenomenal memories from the whole journey, as we did. Not necessarily because every single moment was magazine-worthy, but because in between the good parts – even in the midst of the parts that were really, really yucky – your partner was there for you every step of the way, reminding you why you wanted to say “I do” in the first place.

Article by: Caroline Bohenam Roche | Photography: Jose Villa

01.23.15 / Featured, Wedding Planning

Outdoor Garden Inspired Wedding Ideas

It’s so refreshing to hear how creatives find inspiration in the everyday, and Kelly Perry beautifully articulates how she stumbled upon inspiration for this delicate rust-inspired wedding shoot. Keep reading for more on her inspiration.

From Kelly Perry:

Noticing rust on a cast iron urn during a garden walk is all it takes to spark a story.  It’s something one might walk by and miss on a day full of cares, but with a clear mind and open eyes this small detail becomes truly inspirational.  The antique then reminds us of a couple, whose love is warm, classic and strong, like rust on iron.  Combine the two and imagery alive with meaning emerges.  The sacred job of the designer is not to mix colors or patterns, but to live in the moment, uncovering ordinary beauty and it’s extraordinary meaning.

Paper Goods: Design House of Moria | Dress: Gossamer | Tux: South’s Clothiers | Cake: Kelly Perry | Location: Graylyn Estate | Flowers & Planning: Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers | Photography: Marcie Meredith Photography

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01.22.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Book your Dream Honeymoon with Traveler’s Joy

A lot of modern couples are now opting out of traditional wedding registries in exchange for something a lot more fun- a honeymoon! Since 2004, Traveler’s Joy has helped over 253,000 couples “skip the blender” and register for a dream honeymoon. Registering for a honeymoon instead of household items is a great way to get an experience of a lifetime that you may not be able to get otherwise! Traveler’s Joy makes registering for your honeymoon so simple, and allows your friends and family to choose activities and experiences that they want you to have on first vacation as a married couple.

Traveler’s Joy has always been one of our favorite wedding vendors, and to make their service even better, starting in 2015, they’re allowing members to accept honeymoon gifts via cash or check! This new registry option is 100% FREE to both the members and the gift giver. Along with accepting gifts from a credit card, Traveler’s Joy members now have more options than ever before in funding their honeymoon. If you’re looking for ideas for your dream honeymoon, check out Traveler’s Joy real member stories to gather inspiration for your trip! Once you decide on where you’d like to go, you can complete your registry in minutes by choosing a theme or location and then adding items and experiences with one-click, and come back any time to edit your registry.

Traveler’s Joy loves their registering couples so much that beginning in May and lasting through December 2015, every month they’ll choose one lucky couple on their wedding day and triple the honeymoon gifts they receive from their registry! Every couple that registers with Traveler’s Joy by April 30, 2015 will automatically be entered to win. So, start your registry today!

01.22.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog