Dream Vendor: Jose Villa

From time to time, we will be featuring vendors that are known for being the best of the best. Our very first dream vendor is Jose Villa, photographer extraordinaire. He captures the unique feel of each and every event he shoots, and the result is a collection of photos that are breathtaking reflections of love, joy, and beautiful details. This post is going to be very photo-heavy because every single one of his images is absolutely to die for, and I simply couldn’t narrow it down any more than this. I’m going to let this small sampling of his work speak for itself, because it has a lot to say.Dream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose Villa

Let the Sparks Fly!

Sometimes I would advise brides not to go too “trendy” with their wedding plans. Uber-current trends will sometimes look lovely this year, but outdated a mere year from now. Sometimes, though, a trend comes along that is so fabulous that I think it will stand the test of time. Sparkler exits are one of these trends.

Besides being a spectacularly fun way to depart from your wedding, sparkler exits make for breathtaking photographs and lasting memories. Your guests will love playing with sparklers, especially the kids, and you will love running off as newlyweds through a tunnel of sparkling light. Check with your venue to see if they allow sparkler exits (some don’t), and make sure your photographer knows your plans so he is prepared. Also, make sure you get extra-long sparklers (like these) so there is plenty of time to light them and have you run under them without them burning out. Also, make sure you designate someone to hand out the sparklers and get them lit before you come out so there is no confusion.

Seriously, though, how beautiful are these pictures?!

Let the Sparks Fly!Let the Sparks Fly! Let the Sparks Fly!Let the Sparks Fly!


1. Via Floridian Weddings | 2. Via Pinterest | 3. Via Wedding Chicks | 4. Via Floridian Weddings

 

Wedding Videography: Pros and Cons

One of the most common wedding regrets I hear from brides is not having good videography on their wedding day. Sure, a picture is worth a thousand words, but videography can capture the “feel” of the day in a way that photography sometimes can’t. On the other hand, I often hear couples who DID have videography complain that they spent too much on it and don’t pull it out often (or ever!) to enjoy it. There are plenty of factors that you and your partner should weigh when deciding whether or not videography has a spot in your budget.

This list is specifically aimed at looking at the pros and cons of hiring a professional videographer.

Pros:

A video can capture the entire ceremony from start to finish, including your vows.
You will be able to look back on specific moments and memories for years to come in a more lifelike way.
Your wedding day will likely be a whirlwind- videography can capture moments in real time that you may miss or will forget.
Video footage of your guests gives you more “time” with them.
Even if you may not watch it very often, your children and grandchildren may love seeing the video of your wedding day.
Emotion is oftentimes more easily captured on video than in photos.

It’s better to have it and never watch it than to regret not having it years down the road.

Cons:

Videography can be very expensive, especially if added on top of photography
In some ways videography and photography together can be redundant.
Your videographers will need to follow you around all day, which can feel like an intrusion if you don’t know them or aren’t comfortable with them yet.
Many couples say they rarely, if ever, watch their wedding videos (but some certainly do!).

Wedding ceremonies are important and arguably dignified, and having videographers run around trying to capture the whole thing can detract from the intimacy of the moment (in fact, some houses of worship don’t allow videography at all for this reason).

Many couples choose the third option of having a family member take video of the ceremony, which has its own set of pros and cons.

Pros:

Your friend or family members know you and your partner- they won’t ever feel like an intrusion, and they may recognize the particularly special or intimate moments better than a professional.Asking a friend or family member to records the special moments of your wedding will be much cheaper than hiring a professional videographer (and maybe even free!).

Cons:

A standard video camera run by an amateur videographer will typically be lower-quality than professional videography (shaky, lower-resolution, poor audio quality)- consider renting a nice camera and professional microphone.

With amateur videography, you run a higher risk of technical errors (dead battery, full memory card, etc.) that could mean missing important parts of the day.
Asking a friend of family member to take video of your ceremony means they will be working instead of just enjoying the wedding.

It’s important for you as a couple to decide whether or not videography is important to you. Only you can decide whether you are the types of people to pull your video off the shelf to reminisce about your wedding day for years to come.

Out of Town Bags: Contents

Once you have picked out the perfect welcome bag, it’s time to fill it up with things that will make your guests’ stay more comfortable. When coming up with the items you’d like to include, just put yourself in the position of your guests. What items would make your stay easier, more comfortable, and more fun?

Please keep in mind that this list is just meant as inspiration. You are by no means obligated to include all of this in your welcome bags. In fact, you don’t even need to have welcome bags at all! My hope is that this list will give you some ideas for your welcome bags should you choose to have them.

Suggested Items:

A welcome note- This is the most important item on this list. Your bags should include a note that welcomes your guests into town and expresses your gratitude for joining you on your happy day! I like these four from Etsy.
Water bottles- Hotel water bottles can be really pricey, so your guests will love having water waiting for them when they arrive. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to use customized water bottle labels!
Snacks- It’s always a good idea to include a couple of things for your guests to snack on in between wedding events. To make it more personal, try including items that show off the city you are getting married in. For example, salt water taffy is perfect if you are getting married in New Jersey, or Moon Pies if your wedding is in Tennessee. You can also feature food from cities that are significant to you as a couple along with a note explaining why.
A map of the area and local attractions- Your guests will more than likely have a little bit of down time around your wedding events. A map of the area, including your wedding location(s) and locations/descriptions of local attractions will make your guests’ stay easier and more fun. This one is my favorite right now.

A schedule of the weekend’s events and contact information- Sure, your guests received the invitation, but a complete itinerary of the events of the weekend will be much appreciated anyways! Also, be sure to include contact information if your guests have any questions. This person does NOT need to be you, and probably should not be you, because you will be too busy to answer phone calls. Ask a close friend or family member to be the point person for out-of-town guests.

Other ideas:

A cute “Do Not Disturb” sign- This sign can let hotel room service know to keep out while letting the world know that your guests are there for your big day! Etsy has so many cute options!
Alcohol- You can include mini bottles of wine, beer, or liquor if you want to get the party started early!
Mints
Hand wipes or Purrell
A postcard of the area
Travel packs of pain relievers and medicine such as Tylenol, Advil, Pepto, etc.- This might come in handy the morning after your wedding!
Chapstick
Tissues
A bag of popcorn
Mini cereal boxes
Mini sunscreen/lotion/shampoo/conditioner
Anything else specific to your event- For example, if you are having an outdoor rustic wedding, consider including bug spray!

Real Wedding: Grace & Dan

This couple is just too darn cute for words. The bride beamed all day long, and the look on the groom’s face said it all. The wedding was a celebration of two very different cultures- the groom is French and the bride is Chinese. Language differences didn’t stop this from being one of the most beautiful and joyous events we’ve ever seen.Real Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & Dan Real Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & Dan Real Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & Dan Real Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & Dan Real Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & Dan Real Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & DanReal Wedding: Grace & Dan


Photography: Boninger Works  |  Ceremony and Recepton Venue: Shanghai Red’s in Marina Del Rey, California  |  Wedding Dress: Galina Signature via David’s Bridal  |  Blue Gown: BCBG

Real Wedding: Jack & Pearl

Today, we are thrilled to highlight a wedding that is both modern and classic. Check out this beautiful black and white event in Berkeley, California. Is there any better example of white than Vera Wang? We think not. It doesn’t get any more classic or elegant than a black and white affair, and Jack and Pearl’s beautiful wedding has elegance in spades. Want to know a little secret? All of the bouquets are fabric flowers. They are stunning and they’ll last a lifetime. Enjoy!

Real Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & Pearl Real Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & Pearl Real Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & Pearl Real Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & Pearl Real Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & Pearl Real Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & Pearl Real Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & Pearl Real Wedding: Jack & PearlReal Wedding: Jack & Pearl


Photography: Boninger Works  |  Ceremony Venue: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley, California  |  Reception Venue: Le Bateau Ivre in Berkeley, California |  Wedding Cake: Masse’s Pastries  |  Wedding Dress: White by Vera Wang via David’s Bridal |  Veil: David’s Bridal  |  Bride’s Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom  |  Bride and Bridesmaid’s Bouquets: My Favors and Flowers via Etsy  |  Groom’s Suit: Pronto Uomo via Men’s Warehouse  |  Groom’s Tie: Ermenegildo Zegna via Nordstrom  |  Pocket Squares: Nordstrom  |  Bride’s Hair and Makeup: Pretty by Julianne

Wedding Basics Part II: What You Do Have To Do

Now that we’ve covered the extensive (and hopefully liberating) list of things you don’t have to do when planning your wedding, let’s talk about the (much shorter) list of things you DO have to do.

You Have To:

  • Be gracious when you receive offers for help or advice.
  • Make the groom’s opinion count as much as yours. He’ll be 50% of the marriage, so he deserves to have his voice heard before the party, too.
  • Speak up if you feel like the wedding is no longer about what really matters: starting and celebrating a union between you and your significant other!
  • Make your ceremony and reception a reflection of you and your partner. Make your guests comfortable. Have food, drinks, chairs, shade, blankets, and bathrooms available as needed. Happy guests make for a great celebration!
  • Thank people for coming to celebrate with you.
  • Send prompt and heartfelt thank you notes for any gifts you receive.
  • Enjoy the day as much as possible!