Bridal Buds WeddingWire Blog

Category: Photography

A Scenic Legg Mason Building Wedding in Baltimore

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Baltimore waterfront wedding portrait

Laura and Ben’s had one of the first weddings at the Legg Mason building in Baltimore’s trendy Harbor East neighborhood. The beautiful glass high rise has sweeping views of the city’s Inner Harbor and wide promenades next to the water, which are great for portrait shoots.

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The Wedding Experience Featuring The Birchwood Manor

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Whenever I sit with a couple, I love to hear why they selected their venue. Sometimes it connects back to an experience the couple had, or it could be the location the bride or groom had always dreamed of. In the end, each couple wants the best location for an incredible experience.

After all, a wedding is among the most unique experiences one can have.


This is why Kelly and Kris selected the elegant Birchwood Manor located amidst 20 beautifully groomed acres of terraces, fountains, and stunning landscapes, which never stop lending themselves to perfect wedding photo backdrops.

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The View of The Manhattan Skyline in New Jersey? The Chart House!

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Everyone knows it; it’s one of the most recognized skylines in the world. From over 100 years of architecture to modern day skyscrapers such as the Empire States Building or the new height record holder, World Trade One, the New York City skyline is among the most sought after and photographed locations in the Northeast.

As familiar as this Manhattan may be, you will have to travel to New Jersey to get some of the most amazing views of this storied skyline.

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An East Meets West Wedding

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What happens when you have a bride and groom raised in the United States while trying to preserve their traditional Hindu roots?


A meeting of East and West, and a universal celebration of a wedding.


Mehul and Nina wanted to honor their rich Hindu culture while also enjoying a western style reception, which couples have become accustomed to in the Northeast.


Starting with bridal preparation: the dresses, a Lehenga Saree, Banarsi Saree or Salwar Kameez, is more ornate that your western wedding dress and is often bright in colors opposite of the traditional white wedding dress. Nina’s reception dress was white and beautifully displayed the intricate henna tattoo work done the evening before the wedding.


On the day of the wedding, it’s the normal hair and makeup. Unlike a traditional western wedding, a Hindu bride will often have to sit for hours the day prior to her wedding for the Henna tattoos, which is a part of the Mehndi ceremony. It symbolizes the deep loving bond between husband and wife.


Adorned with jewelry made of 28k gold and encrusted with a plethora of eye popping jewels, the bride is ready for the Hindu wedding ceremony.


A Hindu wedding has many variations based on which community or region in India your family originated from. The groom also dawns the traditional attire for a Hindu wedding as the Baraat takes center stage with a horse and family precession.


The Baraat is the bride and groom’s wedding procession. In North Indian communities, it is customary for the groom to travel to the wedding venue on a mare accompanied by his family members.


Once the traditional Indian ceremonies are complete, the bride and groom slip into something with a bit more Western influence for their reception at the Imperia.


Nina’s beautiful lace dress is a perfect mix of a traditional Indian wedding Saree, and a modern, white Western wedding dress.

The Imperia played host to Nina and Mehul’s reception with exquisite food and decor fit for an East meets West wedding.


The end result? A seamlessly blend of Hindu wedding traditions and Indian culture with Western influences leading to a unique wedding ceremony and reception, and yet another new couple ready to start their lives as husband and wife.

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The Difference in a Photo Booth

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Since our studio decided to offer photo booths, we have learned a great deal. Certain tips can help influence a couples decision when shopping for a photo booth for their wedding day.

As most couples know there are a few consistencies which all photo booth services must provide. If you are shopping a photo booth company, and they do not offer at least the minimum than you may want to look elsewhere.

Must-have list:

1.     Multiple printed strips for each photo session. (This will allow you to leave one image for the couple, sometimes in a scrap book, and keep one image as a keepsake.)

2.     Multiple poses, printed for each photo session. Just about everyone you know will tell you that when they take a picture in a photo booth, they expect to take at least 3-4 pictures, which should be printed on a strip. The 4th spot in some cases is reserved for the wedding date, custom logo or monogram.

3.     Black and white photographs and color photographs. (Most photo booths offer a variety of image options; however, at minimal, it should offer both black and white, as well as color images.

4.     Attendant(s). This is imperative in the event the photo booth is not functioning properly.

The rest falls into a wide field of variety.

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When Guests Compromise Your Wedding Photos

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Guest Post by: Annette Hoegner, Classic Touch Events 

Photo: Robert Evans Photography

Couples spend countless hours sifting through thousands of options when choosing their wedding photographer. When they finally choose one, they trust that professional to capture their wedding memories.  As a wedding planner, I’ve watched as professional photographers are increasingly challenged by smartphones and tiny digital cameras.  When looking out over seated guests during a ceremony, it is always a bit disheartening to notice a sea of mobile devices blocking happy faces that should be soaking in the emotion of the once-in-a-life-time moment.

As technology progresses, the problem seems to be getting worse.  I have seen faux-pro-photographers (aka wedding guests with smartphones) inadvertently get in the way of professional wedding photographers snapping a shot, ruining priceless moments that otherwise would have been captured perfectly by the paid professional.  Now instead of a few digital cameras lingering around, nearly every guest is whipping out their mobile device and uploading the images to social media the moment it happens.

Recently, I witnessed the disappointment in a grooms face as he was nervously passing time on his phone before the ceremony and accidentally ran across a photo of his bride-to-be on his Facebook news feed taken and posted by a bridesmaid. That particular couple took the “not seeing each other” before the wedding very seriously which is why it was incredibly unfortunate that his first glimpse of his bride was on the internet.

A solution to this problem for some brides and grooms is placing a sign on the guestbook table requesting that no photos be taken during the ceremony.  There have been mixed reactions from guests when they see the sign and since it’s important to most couples that friends and family enjoy themselves, one might wonder, is it the right thing to do to ask your guests to be nice and put down their device?  Most photographers would say yes.

I interviewed celebrity photographer Robert Evans and asked his top 5 reasons why he feels guests compromise wedding photos.

1.  Seeing mobile devices and iPads in photos really takes away from the beauty of the image. During the ceremony you have an elated bride and groom walking down the aisle and in the background you see mobile devices instead of the happy faces of the guests.

2. Guests stepping into the aisle or sticking their phone and arm out into the aisle and photo bombing key images

3. Flashes from other cameras blowing out images or causing unwanted flare in the photographers’ lens. This sometimes causes people to blink ruining the image.

4. Guests taking photos during the portrait shots creates a distraction and causes family members to focus on cameras other than the paid photographers.

5.  With everyone having their cameras there are often too many people in the background of key images like the first dance or cake cutting with cameras and mobile devices blocking their expressions.

On the other hand, some couples don’t feel its right to ask their guests not to snap photos during the wedding.  Some of these couples that allow faux-pro-photos to be taken at their wedding, have gained a bit of control by dictating where photos can be posted online.  They do this by requesting that guests download a wedding photo app where photos can be saved to an online album that is linked to a website like WedPics.com or WeddingSnap.com instead of being posted straight to social media.  Now this sounds easy enough but the real trick is getting your wedding guests to actually take the time to download and use the app. Many have found that posting a link to the app on their wedding website or putting it on the first line of their wedding program boosts guest participation.

Then there are the brides and grooms that fully embrace social media as a part of their wedding experience.  These couples just don’t mind their wedding being blasted all over the internet.  As a matter of fact, a growing trend right now is creating a special twitter hashtag for the wedding and requesting that all social media posts use the hashtag so all of the photos can be viewed easily. (If you can’t beat em, join em!)

Bottom line… it’s your day.  Deciding whether you want an unplugged wedding or a social media friendly wedding is completely your choice.

Annette Hoegner | Founder, Classic Touch Events 

Annette Hoegner founded Classic Touch Events in 2005. She has earned a well respected reputation for developing personalized and caring client relationships resulting in memorable weddings that exceed the vision and expectations of her brides and grooms.

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Photo Booths Mania Taking Weddings By Storm

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Making its debut at the 1889 world fair in Paris, the photo booth, and its many variations have entertained us for over 100 years. Created by French inventor T. E. Enjalbert and patented by the German born photographer Mathew Steffens in May 1889, the photo booth is arguably among the very first vending machines.

The concept of photo booth would be modernized by Anatol Josepho, who had arrived in the U.S. from Russia in 1923. Two years later the photo booth appearing in 1925 on Broadway in New York City. For 25 cents, the booth took developed and printed 8 photos, a process taking roughly ten minutes.

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Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Not Use A Friend to Capture Your Wedding Day

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After reading Carla’s post  about the consideration a couple should give before “Accepting Friendly Wedding Services,” I began to recall all the couples, who came to our studio with post wedding horror stories or unfinished albums and videos.

Rather than going over the many experiences, couples have told us about, I will list the top 10 items, which many of the couples had in common in each of their experiences.

REASON #10 – No Album

When you are using a friend for your wedding photography or video, who is not affiliated with a studio or is new to the field of wedding photography, you may not have the option of having an album created. An album, is a way to take the best of your wedding day memories and preserve them in a timeless work of art. Without an album, your wedding photographs may wind up in a box, in a closet, never seeing the light of day. I guess that is another way to preserve your memories. You can also make an album on your own, as long as your too doo list is not already a mile long.

 

REASON #9 – No Post Production

So your friend captured your entire wedding on video. Now what? Did you get it as RAW Unedited Footage on DVD, or is it still sitting on your friends’ hard drive. Either way you do not have the chance to enjoy it. With a production studio, you have the chance to have a beautifully edited video, often suited to your specific vision. Just a word of advice, the RAW Unedited Footage, will have everything, including the effects of a 5 hour open bar, something to consider, when you want to watch your wedding video with grandma and the kids.

REASON #8 – Missing Pictures

When working a with a friend, who may be a novice to wedding photographer or video, you often do not take the time to go through  the wedding day planning, as you would with a studio or season professional. The result is missing photographs and/or video footage.  With most studio and season professionals, you will fill out a form to ensure you get the images you want on your wedding day.

 

REASON #7 – People Missing In Family Pictures

Just about every wedding has a formal photo session as part of their wedding day. These photos are usually taken at a special location, selected by the couple and will include the bridal party and family member. You may think that your family friend, knows everyone in your family, but what about your fiancés brother, who you never met. A season professional will make sure to have a list of all the people being photographed, avoiding this problem.

REASON #6 – Pictures Out Of Focus

This one is simple. If you do not have a professional, who understands how a wedding day works, you will get out of focus pictures. Our studio has come across, many photographers who have great studio experience, but a wedding is not in a studio, and in some cases, you only have seconds to capture that special moment. The purchase of a great new professional camera does not make someone a season pro. It’s the years of experience that ensures couples their photographs will be vivid and clear.

REASON #5 – Shaky Video Footage

Video is another area, which couple say they can get from a friend, and that is okay, if they are a professional. If they are not, your end product will can be shaky footage. No amount of post production can fix shaky footage. This is probably one of the greatest differences between a friend and a pro.

REASON #4 – Never Received My Video

Is your friend a true friend, or is your friend a friend of a friend. Your top concern should be to make sure you get your video footage, otherwise, you have no options.

REASON #3 – Never Received My Pictures

Referring to reason #4. You don’t want your wedding pictures, sitting on an SD card or someone’s hard drive. A studio or season pro will take specific steps to ensure not only the safety of your images, but their prompt and speedy delivery. Friends move and argue not the best person to be holdingon to your wedding photos.

REASON #2 – Your Friend Is Not A Professional

There is a clear difference between a professional and a novice. Someone who has studio photography experience or shoots television commercials, is still not a wedding professional, who understands the nuances of a wedding day. From dealing with changing light, to changing personality, from indulgence of the open bar, to the different personality of family members, a seasoned professional will be able to handle it all while capturing your wedding day and not being a thorn in your side.

REASON #1 – You Get What You Pay For, Or Not  

Your friend, who is a photographer and your cousin the videographer, have offered their services to you for free, maybe even as a wedding gift, but before making that big decision, consider how hard someone will work when it’s for nothing. Consider how quickly someone is motivated to do something for nothing.  Think about how much that motivation is reduced, when your friend is also a guest at your wedding and wants to take advantage of the open bar and have fun. Do not leave your wedding day memories to chance. There is something out there for every budget and a paid professional will give you peace of mind on your wedding day, which is critical to you enjoying your own wedding and great wedding photos.

If you have some experiences you would like to share, please post them in the comments below.

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Classic Spring Wedding in New Jersey

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It is always a privilege to capture a couple’s wedding, and when you have the opportunity to work with a new reception location, such as Doubletree Hotel, Eatontown, New Jersey, and a historic landmark, such as Wilson Hall at Monmouth University, made famous by the Annie movie, it become an opportunity to capture wedding photos with some amazing and unique backdrops.

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Top New Jersey Wedding and Engagement Photo Locations!

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As a New Jersey based studio, our couples enjoy an incredible variety of locations for their engagement or wedding photo sessions. The garden state may be small but has great locations within the state.

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