Posts Tagged ‘Civic Photos’

5 Steps For Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Of all the wedding decisions you make, this one’s a biggie, you guys. Your wedding photographer won’t just snap pix of smiles, pretty dresses, “I do’s” and first dances. He or she will tell the narrative of your day, and the love story behind it, with wedding photos you’ll cherish forever. Here’s our advice for finding a photographer that will do all this and, quite possibly, become a good friend in the process!

Bride-and-Groom Photo: Kelli Durham Photography

1. Get A Reference

Once you’ve settled into the bliss of engagement, it’s time to plan. And that planning includes selecting the photographer who will document your wedding, as well as possibly your announcements and Save the Date photos!

You want someone who is reliable and trustworthy, with a positive attitude (even in the most stressful situations), and who truly gets you. Photographer  Adam Nyholt says it’s a good idea to ask for referrals. “This could be a friend who was recently married or your wedding planner,” or a trusted resource such as Weddings in Houston.

Engagement-Shoot Photo: Civic Photos

2. Compare Portfolios

Most professional photographers have their own website and blog, which makes it easy for curious couples to peruse photos, read testimonials, and get a feel for their artistic style.

Aisha Khan of Ama Photography & Cinema recommends asking a prospective photographer for more than one sample wedding to view: “If you ask for one, they might send only their favorite one—it’s important to see what varies from wedding to wedding.”

Adds photographer Kory Fontenot of Addison J Weddings: “Ask to see the full portfolio of a wedding from beginning to end. What you see on a website or in an album is a photographer’s top choices from a wedding. Looking at a full portfolio will give you a better idea of your photographer’s style, creativity and consistency.” After all, “It’s always good to see the good the bad and the ugly before you make such a huge investment.”

Lindsay Elizabeth Strode of Lindsay Elizabeth Photography says that the easiest way to determine your favorite photography style is by “picking images you’re drawn to. If a couple would love to see bright, clean and airy photos of themselves, they should look for a photographer who specializes in shooting natural light.”

Eric Yeh, who co-owns Serendipity Photography with wife Alice Lin, agrees that the lighting question is critical. “Experience with different lighting is really important,” he notes. “Some photographers excel in outdoor lighting, but don’t have much experience with indoor lighting, which can be really tricky to shoot in.”

Bride-and-Groom Photo: Lindsay Elizabeth Photography

3. Spend Some Face Time

When you’re ready to reach out, it can be tempting simply rely on email. This is fine for introductory inquiries, but David Jones of D. Jones Photography encourages couples to “interview or meet with the photographer” in person ASAP. Aside from being confident in their photo-taking abilities, you also want see if “you truly feel comfortable, since there are a lot of emotions on the big day.”

Christine Wright, of C. Wright Photography advises couples “ask them what their favorite part of the wedding is—you can get a feel for their work through what they deem to be most important.”

“Ask your photographer how they would react to family and friends who may want to take pictures on your wedding day,” advises Barett Henry, of Civic Photos. “We are very easygoing, and I don’t mind if people who have known you your entire life want to take photos—as long as they don’t get in the way of our professional shots!”

Bride-and-Groom Photo: Taylor Golden

4. Have a Pregame Session

If time (and budget) allows, consider scheduling an engagement session or a Save the Date session. This is an opportunity to really get to know your photographer, see their work, and for them to get to know you. “I recommend that they get their hair and makeup done professionally, and chose two to three outfits that show off their personality and their relationship,” says photographer Shiva Saadi of Dream Photo & Video. She adds, “Maybe also have a couple of drinks before. Trust me, it helps.”

“The engagement session is a great time to get to know your photographer better, and to get used to their style of shooting, so that the wedding day flows more smoothly, and you are comfortable throughout the day,” adds wedding photographer Taylor Golden. “Something I like to do for my couples is shoot their session in another city, such as where they got engaged, or where they vacation.”

Bride-and-Groom Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema

5. Perfect Portraits

Golden reminds couples to ensure your photographer is committed to shooting the wedding day in its entirety, including, perhaps most importantly, those classic family portraits that will become heirlooms. “Remember, your wedding is likely to be an activity-filled day, and you may not be around your family members all that much,” she says.

To ensure excellent portraits, prior to your wedding, “It helps to create a list of the different family groupings you want to document. Your planner can assist by calling out names for each picture and crossing them off your list to ensure you don’t miss anyone.”

Adds Strode: “Years from now when you’re looking back at your wedding photos, you won’t remember the tiny details, but you will be reminded of the beauty and fun of your big day,” two things that the right wedding photographer will capture completely.

Bride-and-Groom-First-Dance Photo: Kelly Hornberger Photography

Writer: Natasha Garber

Enchanted Forest-Inspired Wedding at Chateau Cocomar by Civic Photos

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Jessica met Oscar at the Aerodome ice skating rink when she was 9 years old and he was 15. “Our families introduced us to each other, but he was too cool to hang out with me. Sparks didn’t fly until ten years later,” tells Jessica. Lo and behold Oscar wasn’t too cool for Jessica anymore, they hit it off and he was ready to make her his wife.

When it came time to propose, Oscar found the perfect moment during their trip to Disney World to get down on one knee in front of Cinderella’s castle. Jessica said, “Yes,” to her Prince Charming, and they began planning their enchanted wedding—inspired by their Disney World proposal—at Chateau Cocomar.

Chateau-Cocomar Floral-Bridal-Party-Robes Floral-Bridesmaid-Robes Bride-Getting-Ready Bridesmaids-Outside-of-Chateau-Cocomar Bridesmaid-Bouquets Navy-Groomsmen-Suits Floral-Wedding-Sign Chateau-Cocomar-Wedding-Ceremony Bride-Walking-Down-Aisle Indoor-Ceremony-at-Chateau-Cocomar Chateau-Cocomar-Wedding Bride-and-Groom-Kissing Bride-and-Groom-Portraits Chateau-Cocomar-Wedding Bride-and-Groom-Kissing “I made sure our engagement photos, wedding decor, photo booth and dessert table incorporated hints of popular fairytale romance stories,” says Jessica.

Chateau-Cocomar Forest-Inspired-Wedding-Decor Fairytale-Wedding-Decor Forest-Inspired-Wedding-at-Chateau-Cocomar Forest-Inspired-Wedding-Decor Dessert-Table Dessert-Table Macarons Berry-Blush-and-Wedding-Cake Fairytale-Wedding-Decor “One of my favorite moments was the surprise fog and confetti on the dance floor,” she adds.

Guests-Dancing Bridesmaids-in-Photo-Booth Bride-and-Groom-Exiting-Reception

Photos: Civic Photos | Venue: Chateau Cocomar | Catering: Cafe Natalie | Flowers, Decor & Rentals: AJ’s Urban Petals | Dessert Table & Favors: Wink by Erica | Lighting, Music & Entertainment: LG Entertainment

Navy & Gold Wedding at Agave Estates by Civic Photos

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Finding love was simple for Rosa and Chris, who met on the field while they were playing co-ed softball. Chris tells us how it all went down: “She was standing on 2nd base and I was walking towards left center. Rosa asked what my name was, then asked me out on a date and the rest was history.” Let’s hear it for making the first move, gals!!

Agave-Estates Navy-and-Gold-Wedding-Invitations Christian-Louboutin-Wedding-Shoes Blue-and-White-Bridesmaid-Robes Bridesmaids-Helping-Bride-Get-Ready Bride-with-Grandma Light-Blue-Bridesmaid-Dresses Light-Blue-Bridesmaid-Dresses First-Look Groom-with-Groomsmen Gold-Wedding-Vows Outdoor-Wedding-Ceremony-Agave-Estates Bride-and-Groom

Rosa got the right mix of vintage and modern, with a refined palette of navy and gold, complementing the stone, wrought-iron and wood accents of Agave Estates. Ditto her personal bridal style, which combined loose, sideswept hair with a figure-contouring Enzoani gown and pretty peep-toe Loubs!

Navy-and-Gold-Wedding-Decor White-Rustic-Wedding-Cake Jack-Daniels-Groom-Cake Bride-and-Groom First-Dance

After feasting on slow-roasted pork, and dancing the night away, the couple exited the reception surrounded by love and LOTS of bubbles, making their newlywed getaway in a Rolls-Royce Phantom!

Cake-Cutting-Ceremony Bridesmaids-in-Photo-Booth Bride-and-Groom-Agave-Estates Bride-and-Groom Reception-Exit

Photos: Civic Photos | Venue: Agave Estates | Bridesmaid Dresses: Houston Bridal Gallery

5 Fabulous Flower Designs from Haute Flowers & Events

Friday, May 26th, 2017

“They are inventive, edgy…but can also bring in that elegant softness, for a princess.”

Dream Photo & Video-I Do 2017 Corinthian-Haute Flowers & Ivory Bridal Atelier Photo: Dream Photo & Video | Venue: The Corinthian | Gowns: Ivory Bridal Atelier | Floral Wreath: Haute Flowers & Events

Yeah, Janice (the recent bride who wrote these words in praise of Haute Flowers & Events)—we know exactly what you mean. We’ve been lucky enough to be partnered up with this talented League City-based event design studio for a few years now, and we can confirm that this balance of innovation and good ol’ fashioned pretty is what owner Teresa Vencil is all about.

And here’s the part where we put our money where our mouths are. OK, actually we’re gonna put our photos where our typing is. Or something like that. Just bear with us, darlings, it’s Friday, we’re hard at work on a brand-new magazine for y’all, and we’re a little loopy. But most of all, we’re a whole lot in love with these inventive, elegant, innovative, pretty, totally individual Haute Flowers & Events creations:

The Floral Lanterns: These great lanterns, accented with flowering branches and bright, boisterous blooms, hung over the head table at Sadie & Aneel’s wedding reception. We love the mix of the angular lanterns with delicate, spherical votive holders.

Floral-Lanterns Photo: Studio Uma | Flowers: Haute Flowers & Events

The Coordinating Flower Crown & Bouquet: You don’t need to be an ultra-boho bride to rock a flower crown—not if the Haute Flowers crew has anything to say about it. They designed this lovely set with refinement in mind, echoing the bouquet’s pale greenery and shades of coral, pink and yellow, in a sweet crown, completed with a sheer, flowing veil. Bonus points for groom’s cool boutonniere!

Haute-Flowers-Flower Crown-and-Bouquet-Binford-Creative Photo: Binford Creative | Bouquet & Flower Crown: Haute Flowers & Events

The Succulent Jewelry: Vencil and her designers created these vintage-inspired pieces exclusively for us, for this recent styled shoot, so we’re, oh, just a little bit partial to them. Plus, they’re gorge. Plus, wearing plants on your body is so freakin’ chic.

StyledShoot Photo: Lindsay Elizabeth Photography | Styling, Design & Flowers: Haute Flowers & Events

The Branch Canopy: Also created just for our shoot, this canopy is a little rustic, a little untamed, a little outside-the-box…and completely charming. It’s the perfect complement to a colorful, organic-feeling table design that looks completely at home inside the brick walls of Butler’s Courtyard, where this fantasy weddingscape was shot.

StyledShoot Photo: Lindsay Elizabeth Photography | Styling, Design & Flowers: Haute Flowers & Events | Venue: Butler’s Courtyard | Linens, Chargers & Pillows: EB. Inc Event Rentals & Design | Vases & Rentals: Darryl & Co.

The Floral Dress: It’s a dress. Made out of flowers. And it’s…uh-mazing. ‘Nuff said.

Haute-Flowers-Flower-Dress-LA-Photography Photo: LA Photography | Flowers: Haute Flowers & Events

Intrigued? Inspired? Snag yourself an appointment with Haute Flowers & Events, and turn that inspiration into real, live wedding design. And don’t forget to tell ’em “Hey girl” from their friends at Weddings in Houston!

Making Marriage Work: Q&A with Stephanie McKenzie of The Relationship Firm

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Stephanie McKenzie, founder of The Relationship Firm, has been a life coach of sorts since she was a teenager. “The first person I provided life coaching to was my godmother. She was getting divorced, and I was absolutely livid. I was 13 and I kept reminding her of the tenets of marriage,” Mckenzie says.

Stephanie-Mckenzie

Photo: Courtesy of The Relationship Firm

She won’t go as far as to say that divorce is never an option, but she will tell you, straight up, that it’s a very last option. As a certified life coach, who offers counseling for couples in any stage of the game, she believes that couples who are willing to fight for their marriage will always have a chance of making it. To her, that fight starts when a to-be-wed says, “Yes.”

We talked with Stephanie about what engaged couples can learn from marriage counseling, and the importance of talking about the things that might make you squirm, and we learned a bit about the coach herself. Take a look!

Houston Wedding Blog: How did you get into this industry?

Stephanie McKenzie: It was a really well planned accident. This was not what I was doing with my life, but I had done it my whole life unofficially. I was working in marketing and started working with a dating site. I thought it would be great to offer relationship education. So I went and got certified and started building a brand via social media.

HWB: What has shaped your opinion on marriage?

SM: My parents are divorced and have been since I was about two years old. Yet, I was never engaged in the conflict—they remained friends. As I got older and developed more of a spiritual understanding, I realized how beautiful it can be when two people come together and want to share their life. It requires an understanding of something greater than ourselves, no matter what you call it. Marriage really is a divine union and can be amazing if you do it right.

Civic-Photos-Engagement-1

Photo: Civic Photos

HWB: What are the most common problems—or potential problems—you see when you work with engaged couples?

SM: I see them being very idealistic about what marriage is, thinking that they have arrived and achieved, once they say, “I do.” The wedding is just one day. It is supposed to be a celebration, but couples shouldn’t let it get bigger than the marriage, to the point where they are spending plenty of cash, but are bankrupting their marriage with the stress and the tension. Anyone can get married, but I am talking about staying married.

A lot of the time couples just haven’t talked about anything, or they haven’t talked things through to the point of resolution. And I don’t just mean talking about having kids or where they are going to live, but also money, sex, and deal-breakers, which we call “no-no’s.”

HWB: What are your no-no’s?

SM: No-no’s are always determined by the couple, but if someone asked me for my deal-breakers, they would be physical and emotional abuse. I hate divorce, but sometimes when you can’t get what you need from a partner, and are being degraded and berated, something has to change. I would also add consistent disrespect by thought, word or deed. At some point everyone does something that is disrespectful, but maybe they didn’t think it through. After you tell someone what you expect and come to a resolution, and they continue to show these behaviors, then that’s a huge problem.

HWB: What advice do you have for couples for not letting the wedding get bigger than the marriage?

SM: Elope… I’m kidding. I recommend that they craft a ritual to stay grounded. Make every Thursday night massage night, or every Saturday morning go on a walk or a run, and don’t talk about the wedding.

Also, take away the expectation of perfection. It should be a beautiful day, and not a stressful day where mistakes are not welcome. You are both fallible, and if you are going to have a life together, mistakes are going to happen.

Serendipity-Photography-Engagement-1

Photo: Serendipty Photography

HWB: What are some of the biggest points of contention you recommend couples talk through before their wedding?

SM: Learning how to handle conflict in a healthy way is huge. People often have the mistaken notion that when there’s conflict, it is terminal. We can grow to love and have a greater understanding for our spouse if we handle conflict correctly. Not dealing with conflict can be like dripping water on a rock. It just keeps dripping until it erodes the rock. You might call it the Grand Canyon.

Also, for many couples, sex comes as an assumption, but it is something you should discuss. It is very easy once you’re married for life to take over. Your friendship and your physical intimacy with your spouse are so important. Your union with your spouse should be your priority; don’t let your marriage be a casualty of your life.

HWB: OK, so we’ve talked about sex and conflict? What about the other taboo: money?

SM: Regarding finances, my cardinal rule to couples is to figure out what works, and don’t tell anybody outside of your relationship. People have visceral reactions to how other people handle their money. At the end of the day if you want to have a joint account, great. If you want separate accounts, that’s great too. Just don’t tell anybody. Everyone is going to have an opinion and it will make you doubt the decision you made with your spouse—the only other person who has skin in the game.

Adam-Nyholt-Engagement-1

Photo: Adam Nyholt

HWB: What is the benefit about discussing all of this before the wedding?

SM: I always liken it to weight loss. You can lose 10 pounds or you can lose 100 pounds. What’s easier? If we are coming in and taking the bull by the horns from the beginning, it’s easier to be beholden to the values that brought the couple together, not the values that are breaking them.

I am working with a couple that I also worked with during their premarital coaching session, and the same issues are cropping up. I do feel that they will be more successful because at a certain point they knew that they had to call me, or another unbiased party who could help. It takes a humble person to say that. I feel like those couples who say, “We need help with this and want to be our best selves and our best love,”—those are the couples that last.

Visit The Relationship Firm here, and contact Stephanie McKenzie to schedule your pre-marriage coaching session. You’ll be glad you did!