Vendor Spotlight: Dhalia Edwards




Hey friends!!  Today I’m so excited to introduce you to one of my most favorite wedding vendors in the whole world!  Dhalia Edwards is an incredibly talented makeup artist serving Hampton Roads & beyond.  She’s done my makeup a few times and I swear she’s actually a magician.  She’s also the very best mix of sweet & sassy and I always end up with a stomach ache from laughing too much whenever I sit in her chair.  She’s just THE BEST.


Read on to learn a bit more about Dhalia & her thriving business!

Tell us about Dhalia Edwards!  How long have you been operating?
I’ve been operating over 8 years.  My first job in high school was at Walgreens in the cosmetics department and I’ve been in love with makeup ever since then.

 
How would you describe your style?
Simple, basic, classic, and timeless

What’s the most memorable event you’ve ever contributed to?
Running the Virginia Beach Town Center Fashion Show

Photo Credit: Sarah Street
 What are your top 3 tips for brides choosing a makeup artist for their wedding day?
Research the artist - Social media, website, & reviews.
Make sure you go with an artist that you’re comfortable with and that is able to listen to your needs.
Make sure you have a bridal trial to go over your desired wedding day look.

What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?
I would have to say my growth throughout the past 2 years.

 
What’s your biggest goal?
My biggest goal is to stay consistent, and continue providing the best makeup experience that I can.

What kind of future do you see for Dhalia Edwards?
I always see more growth on the horizon for DE.  We’ll just have to see.  ;)

Photo Credit: Andi & Zoe



Ladies, I’m so very serious when I say you should book an appointment with Dhalia.  Whether you are looking for someone to doll you up on your big day, or you just want someone else to fuss over your makeup for date night….Dhalia is your girl!

Vendor Spotlight: Chelsea Anderson Photography



Hey friends!  I’m so excited to introduce you to one of my very favorite vendors in the area, Chelsea of Chelsea Anderson Photography!


Chelsea and I have worked together on numerous projects over the past year and I’ve loved getting to know her a bit more.  She’s so crazy talented and such a total sweetheart.  She spoils her couples like crazy and has a way about her that always makes people feel like they’ve met a lifelong friend.  I just love her to pieces and can’t wait for you to meet her!

Tell us about Chelsea Anderson Photography!  How long have you been operating and what made you go into photography?
Chelsea Anderson Photography began as Chelsea Batey Photography in January of 2012.  I had been photographing since 2006, in love with the idea of photographing people and landscapes while writing about my adventures.  In the process of interviewing someone in college who was employed as a photographer at Virginia Tech, I realized that working for National Geographic wasn’t really in the cards {they have a very small photography staff}.  Therefore, I knew I could possibly make a career by photographing people, and eventually, weddings.  I actually photographed my first wedding in 2009, but photographed my first wedding as a business owner in 2013.  I fell in love with weddings, the couples, and their stories and realized that this is where my heart was.  I wanted to photograph people and tell their stories for as long as I could.  The craft of photography was my first love, but led me ultimately to photographing weddings, which is my current love.



How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as authentic, colorful, and joyful.  Visually, I love images that have high contract and beautiful colors that could also be described as “art”.  I also try to use morning or evening sunlight as much as possible in photographs because I believe sunlight brings out the truest and most beautiful colors.  I always pose couples to try to get to know their personalities best and display them on camera, leading to the “authentic” nature of my style, but also LOVE capturing those genuine smiles that communicate how happy and in love the couples are contributing to the “joyful” part of my style.


What’s the most memorable event you’ve ever contributed to?
One of the reasons that I fell in love with my husband was because of perseverance and his life story.  One critical part of his life story is how he lost his high school girlfriend to a car crash.  It was totally unexpected and out of nowhere that he lost the girl that he loved.  I heard him tell that story and how he overcame grief through his belief in God during my freshman year.  What I didn’t know is that he had since become estranged from the family for some silly reasons.  Three years later, we fell in love, and got married.  Last year, my husband {who is usually my second shooter} and I got the honor and privilege of photographing the wedding of the little sister of his high school girlfriend.  It was amazing to be reunited with the sweet family, hear how much they loved Scott, and worship with them.  It was a huge testimony to God’s goodness, my sweet husband, reconciliation, and the beauty of marriage bringing people together.  Want to read more on that story?  You can visit: http://chelseaandersonphotography.com/2015/08/cody-emilia-are-married/


What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a photographer for their wedding day?
  1. Do your research!  Make sure you are not only familiar with a photographer’s style, but also their personality and previous reviews.  I’ve had friends hire wedding photographers just because of their style and price, but actually not get along really well with them and it’s caused them to remember their day with a little negative light.  Your wedding photographer is the one person that you’ll probably spend the most time with on your wedding day, so it’s worth it to spend the extra time either making sure you are a good match in a meeting or even just reading reviews to make sure that other brides have been happy with choosing them.
  2. Don’t completely eliminate photographers who are above a certain number pricing wise.  Your photographer will probably be one of your biggest investments in your wedding day.  Keep in mind that a mom, grandma, aunt or uncle may be up for helping you afford someone that you really are in love with.  Also, most photographers can work out some kind of payment plan to make the cost a little more manageable.
  3. Start looking and inquiring as soon as you have a venue or wedding date.  Photographers tend to book up almost as quickly as venues!  Make sure to ask your favorites their availability as soon as possible.  If you have ONE photographer in mind, go ahead and ask them before you pick your wedding date!


What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?  What’s your biggest goal?
My proudest moment is honestly whenever my clients are served and happy after the wedding day.  Customer service has been extremely important to me ever since my very first job as a coffee shop barista!  What is the point of selling a product if you’re not going to ensure that your client is happy?  I try to ask each of my clients if there is something that I could do better or improve upon for future clients, and make sure the clients and their families are happy to the best of my abilities.  I have two big goals I’d like to share, the first one being to impact someone’s marriage in an extremely positive way.  I’m not sure if that would be through prayer, through photographs, through a relationship with wedding or anniversary clients or something else, but I honestly want to make a difference in a positive way in the marriage of my clients.  As a business, my biggest goal would be to eventually be at a place financially where I could support my family and work from home so that I can watch my baby grow up rather than have to look for childcare.  Being with my family is extremely important to me.


What kind of future do you see for Chelsea Anderson Photography?
As for the future, I don’t have any crazy things like a goal to be nationwide, or a popular destination photographer, travel to Europe or anything like that.  Those things would be fun, but the future that I would be happy with is a stable business that serves marriages through beautiful and timeless wedding images or anniversary images.  I would love to have half of my bookings come from anniversaries and for the general population to believe that anniversary images are fully worth the investment.  I believe this with my own heart, and have already invested in anniversary photography myself!

Chelsea, thank you so much for sharing!! And thank you for being such a wonderful, kindhearted friend. <3 font="">

Vendor Spotlight: Hair by Stephanie B




Hey friends!  I’m so excited to introduce you all to one of my very favorite hair stylists of all time.  Stephanie Boyce of Hair by Stephanie B is one of the sweetest and most talented people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.  I’ve loved working with her on both weddings and styled shoots and I can’t wait to work with her again.  Read on to learn a bit about her business and hear some advice she has for brides.



Tell us about Hair by Stephanie B:
I have been a licensed cosmetologist for 14 years.  My hair career started in Washington State and I moved to Virginia Beach 6 years ago with my husband who is in the United States Navy.  I work out of Metamorphosis Salon and Spa and I travel to style hair on location for weddings.

I began styling hair at a young age, my mother would always buy me fashion magazines and I would cut out all the pictures save them in a notebook.  I spent so much of my time as a teenager styling my own hair and my friends’ hair just for fun and when school dances came around, everyone would come over.  I got so much joy and fulfillment from seeing the look of excitement and the love in their eyes over their hair.

The first time a bride asked me to style her hair for her wedding, I was shocked!  Not because I didn’t think I was good enough; I just couldn’t believe she chose ME to be a part of her special day.  The amount of honor I felt was indescribable. When she surprised me with a photo of herself in her gown, I may have shed a tear or two.  My heart was filled with love and joy knowing that I helped her feel beautiful on one of the most memorable days of her life, and that the hair I styled would forever be in her history.  From that moment on I can say I truly found my calling in my professional life as a bridal hairstylist.


How would you describe your style?
Honestly, I’m mostly concerned with everyone else’s style and helping them bring their vision to life.  Truly listening and absorbing all the information and ideas brides and clients have is what’s important to me.  I have been blessed with a huge amount of patience and understanding, but I believe that really comes from my passion for styling and my determination to give my very best and to make sure someone feels confident and beautiful.

What’s the most memorable event you’ve ever contributed to?
My most memorable event was last year when I traveled 6 ½ hours away to style hair for Shari’s wedding, October of 2015.  The location was Meadows of Dan, Virginia at Chateau Morisette on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I brought my best friend Andrea with me and it was a drive we will never forget.  Once we got off the highway and left the town of Floyd, we lost cell phone service and didn’t have any for the next 3 days, not even a radio signal.  We got lost numerous times, our GPS went in and out and constantly warned us about unmarked roads  At one point when we were climbing the mountain to our destination, we came to a long line of traffic.  To our astonishment the road had started to fall off the side of the mountain!  A tractor had to guide ten cars at a time to the top.  Our journey, or should I say adventure, was one of the most beautiful car rides I had ever been on in my entire life.  The scenery was gorgeous, we stopped at all the look out points and took pictures.  It was the heart of the fall season so all the leaves were bright and colorful, it looked like endless hills of fire.  We stayed in a cozy little cabin for the weekend on a Christmas tree and lavender farm with deer and bunnies.  The morning of the wedding the fog was so thick that when we were driving to the winery I could only see 10 feet in front of me.  The fog cleared and a beautiful day was given to Shari and Chris on their special day.


What are your top 3 tips for brides when choosing a hairstylist for their wedding day?
One. Find a hairstylist that has experience in bridal styling and has a real passion for it.  Styling is different from cutting or coloring.  Up-styling and formal hairstyling are very different from everyday looks.  It’s important to build a proper foundation in the hair for longevity and to use the correct hair products.  It’s my job to make sure every hair is in place and looks flawless.

Two. Consultations are so important!  It gives us a chance to meet and get to know one another face to face before the wedding and to work out all the details.  When meeting for the first time it’s important to voice your style to me and the look you are aiming for on the day of your wedding.  Tell me about your venue, bring me pictures of your dress, as well as a picture of the bridesmaids’ dresses so I can help guide you with your decisions.  All of this preparation makes for a smooth morning the day of your wedding and ensures that you can sit back, relax, sip a mimosa, and I can take care of the rest.

Three.  The myth about dirty hair and updos….I can’t tell you how many times I am asked “How dirty does my hair need to be for you to style it?”.  Ladies, you CAN wash your hair the day of or the night before.  The worst is when someone takes that old wives tale too far and not even an entire can of dry shampoo will absorb that oil.  Hair products have come such a long way over the years that I can control exactly how I want the texture of your hair.  More than likely I will ask that everyone come to me with clean, dry hair {blown out, not air dried} that has not been flat ironed and does not have any heavy or oily products in it.  Be assured that I can smooth out and volumize any mane!


What is your biggest goal for Hair by Stephanie B?
My goals are simple things I live by and are key to my everyday life and the future of Hair by Stephanie B.  If I pay attention to the present and continue to improve, what comes later will only be better.  I like to surround myself with like minded individuals who are inspirational, talented, and willing to share & teach so we can all grow & support one another.  “If we surround ourselves with the best, we will become the best.” {One of my hair heroes, Kris Sorbie said that at a Redken learning seminar I attended in Las Vegas}  I am a firm believer in continuing my education as a hair stylist in this endlessly evolving business so I can provide current information, techniques, and trends to my clients and brides.  I am open minded and hopeful to expand Hair by Stephanie B and to find other passionate stylists that enjoy the wedding industry as much as I do.  It is important for me to share everything I have learned through these years since I have a had strong, talented, and loving mentors throughout my career.  I would like to pay it forward.


Vendor Spotlight: elovephotos



Hey friends!  I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and was able to really take advantage of the insanely spring-ish weather we’ve been having here in Virginia.  I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Emily from elovephotos.  Emily is one of the sweetest people I know and I got to work with her on a stunning styled shoot back in the fall.  I can’t wait to share that shoot with ya’ll {it involved a donkey named Gus}, but until then I will let Emily tell you a bit about elovephotos and offer up some advice on choosing the right photographer for your big day!


Tell us about elovephotos!
Hi there!  I am a destination wedding and portrait photographer based in Virginia Beach, VA.  I’ve “officially” been in business, in the state of Virginia, since 2013.  Prior to photography, I was an elementary school teacher for 5 years before making the decision to stay home with my daughter in 2009.  I’ve always been a creative person who likes to stay busy.  Once I made the decision to stay home full-time, I needed something to fill the void in my creative little heart that teaching used to do!  I do what I do because I value and cherish memories.  The fact that I have the opportunity to document important moments in people’s lives is what fuels my passion.

Who knew a simple online photography class would lead to a career that allows me to be creative, help others, and stay at home with my children!?

 
How would you describe your photography style?
My photographic style can be summed up as bright, colorful, and classic!  I strive to create images that are real and genuine.  I’m a huge fan of the in-between candid moments.  I love for my clients to have fun and feel relaxed while working with me.


What’s the most memorable event you’ve ever photographed?
I’m horrible at answering “favorite” type questions because I love so many things.  I honestly consider every wedding that I get to be a part of MEMORABLE.  There is always something that happens on a wedding day that makes an impact on me.  Once a bride’s grandfather danced with his sweet wife who had Alzheimer’s while she sat in her walker.  I was bawling as I photographer this, knowing that one day they would be gone and this photograph would live on.  I also had the opportunity to photograph a family, where their 25-year-old son unexpectedly passed away 9 months after their session.  I was devastated for their family and grieved along with them.  The mother told me over and over how grateful she was to have the photographs of him.  Every event and moment that I photograph is significant to me, because it turns into a cherished memory for my clients.

 
What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a photographer for their wedding day?
  1. Look for someone who has a consistent style.  Take a look at their portfolio, social media, blog, etc. and see images that they take.  You will get a good sense of the type of images you will get by fully investigating their style. You should never force a specific style upon your photographer because both of you will be unhappy.  Look for a photographer whose style WOWS you!  :)
  2. Find a photographer who makes you feel comfortable and fits your personality.  Out of all the vendors on your wedding day, your photographer will most likely be with you the most!  You can usually tell from the first phone call or email interaction whether or not you “click”.  Check out their “about me” section of their website or social media accounts to get a feel for who they are.
  3. Look for a photographer who can give you an “experience”.  Are they attentive?  DO you feel connected to them?  Are they organized?  DO they ask the right questions?  Do they help guide you along as you are planning the timeline of your wedding day?  Do they make you feel like you are more than just a paycheck?  A photographer who gives you a wonderful experience from the first email to the final delivery of your images is what you are looking for.  Go and read reviews on your photographer’s website, vendor websites, and social media to see how past clients’ experiences with them were.


What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?  What’s your biggest goal?
My proudest moment as a small business owner has been when my clients are so happy with their images/experience that they refer others to me.  This validates me and strengthens my desire to give my clients a wonderful experience!

My biggest goal in my business is to specialize in weddings!  I would like to reach a point where I take a limited number of weddings a year and really make those brides feel special!


What kind of future do you see for elovephotos?
I see elovephotos streamlining into what I mentioned as my biggest goal.  I see it becoming an exclusive type of photography for brideswho value photography and my photographic style.  And of course, I would love to do this all while still maintaining my balance as a wife and mother.

 
Thank you so much for sharing Emily!!  Make sure ya’ll follow elovephotos to see lots of pretty!
 
 

Vendor Spotlight: Ro & Co Designs




Hey there friends!  I hope you all had a fantastic Valentine's Day weekend!  Who got engaged?!  I'm a huge sap for engagement stories, so if you want to gush to someone, I'm your girl!
Ok back to business.  What better way to start off this week than to share a vendor spotlight with ya'll?!  I'm so happy to introduce you to Rosalie of Ro & Co Designs. You might recognize her name because I say it quite a bit around here.  She is a 2015 JDE Bride and she also did all of JDE's rebranding. I basically hit the bride jackpot when she booked with me.  Not only do I absolutely adore her as a person and friend, but I respect her so much as a fellow vendor.  Read on to learn more about Rosalie's company!

 
Tell us about Ro & Co Designs!
Ro & Co Designs is a boutique brand and stationery design business founded by me, Ro! I specialize in creative event & business branding, custom wedding stationery, and all things paper goods! When it comes to weddings, the invitation sets the stage for the big day and I just love working with couples to create a look that is original, timeless, and uniquely them. I love working alongside my longtime love and husband, Troy, who handles the business side of things... as well as my four legged soul mate, Reggie, who keeps me focused with his rhythmic snores while soaking up the sun next to my desk. Together we are Ro & Co!



How long have you been operating?  What made you go into graphic design?
I've been operating as Ro & Co Designs for about a year, but I've been designing for many! For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed art and had a love for making things look pretty... in fact, I was that student who couldn't pay attention to anything in school aside from the doodles and designs in my notebook. When I went off to college, I decided to follow my heart by studying art and design with a concentration in graphic design. I've been taking on freelance projects ever since but it wasn't until I got engaged in December 2014, and obsessed over every design aspect, that I found my passion for this particular industry. That's when I decided to turn my passion into something more.


How would you describe your design style?
My design style can be described as finding the beauty of simplicity and adding a touch of whimsy. Inspired by romantic fonts, natural elements, and soft pops of color, I truly believe less is more and that's where the essence of my style can be found in every piece of my work.
What's the most memorable event you’ve ever contributed to?
Of course I would have to say my own wedding! Those are the memories that inspired me to do what I do and being able to add that extra bit of joy to an already beautiful time in someone's life makes me so proud.

 
What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a designer for their wedding stationery?
- Opt for a custom design. The invitation is the first glimpse into your wedding day that your guests will see. You want it to match not only your wedding theme, but also to reflect you as a couple and showcase your personality! By choosing a custom design, you can cohesively weave your look throughout every aspect of your day... Plus, it will be unique to you and only you!
- Relationship. You want your designs to accurately reflect your personality so you will want someone who is going to invest their time in getting to know you.  Building a relationship with your designer is crucial in order to curate a design that "fits". All of the details like how you met, what you like to do together, if you have pets, children, favorite music, etc. - they all inspire the designer to turn your love story into something visual!
- Communication. Of course you should go with a designer that has the style you are looking for, but clear communication is the biggest thing in the process. Make sure your designer is open to your input... and it is OK if you don't necessarily have a clear vision of what you want, that's why you chose a designer after all! But if you can describe what you are looking for, be specific! As long as your communication is clear, the design process is so much fun and the results will be everything you've dreamed of... it's a win win!

  


What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?
One of my very favorite things is hearing how my designs helped make an event so much more special. And even more than that, getting referrals from past clients! It really is the best feeling in the world... proud would be an understatement. This adventure has been incredibly self-fulfilling and I feel humbled and more even more inspired than I ever thought possible.
 
What’s your biggest goal?
My biggest goal is to grow my passion into a full time family business. I know it will take many years to get to that point, but I'm still young... I am confident it'll happen one day. But until then, I'm focused on working harder, facing new challenges, meeting and working with new people, and delivering quality designs and paper goods :)


What kind of future do you see for Ro & Co Designs?
2016 is going to be a big year for us! I'm currently working on my website launch and I've got some big ideas to implement over the next few months! I don't want to give away too much... just stay tuned!
 
 
Thank you so much for sharing Rosalie!!  Everyone be sure to follow Ro & Co Designs to see what big things she's got in store!

Vendor Spotlight - Everything Emma



Everyone meet Emma!!!  This super talented lady holds a super special place in my heart.  Not only does she create some of the most delicious and beautiful desserts.  I remember the first time I had the opportunity to taste something Emma baked.  It was Super Bowl 2014 and she baked these adorable football cupcakes.  They were SO GOOD.  She's also one of the kindest and most creative people I know.  I'm so thankful to have her in my life as a fellow wedding vendor, and also as one of my greatest friends.  Read on to learn a bit more about Everything Emma and to hear her advice for choosing the right baker for your wedding day.



Tell us all about Everything Emma!  
Everything Emma started as a creative outlet that had previously been muffled due to the typical excuses, "I'm too busy, I have to focus on work, I'll do it tomorrow, etc." Since I rarely ever make a New Years resolution, I decided January 2015, I would start a blog. I had no clue what I was doing, but I loved whatever it was that I was doing for the blog. The blog took it's own turn and quickly went from "lifestyle" to "cakes, cakes and maybe a casserole here and there". I fell into a beautiful group of creatives that support each other and keep the motivation going. I still have no clue what direction the blog will go towards, but that's what I love most. It's the one thing I can't plan and I haven't been disappointed yet.

How long have you been operating? 
Officially, I would say, just shy of a year. But I've always been in the kitchen or trying to style pretty things. It's what comes natural and easy, not necessarily perfect every time, but that wouldn't be any fun.
What made you go into baking?
I'd like to say it was some sort of grand plan, but the cake life chose me as opposed to vice versa. It started as a few dozen cupcakes for work or a birthday celebration, which turned into actual birthday cakes and then one day, a wedding cake. Knowing that something I created and put a lottttttt of time and effort into was going to be apart of a milestone for someone is what keeps me baking.

How would you describe your style?
Somehow a mix of whimsy with modern architectural influences and a touch of vintage? It's a tad confused, but just think of gold, pale peachy pink frills and a little shimmer and you've got Everything Emma.



What's the most memorable event you've ever contributed to?
The most memorable even was Lauren & Tyler's wedding. They were my first couple and they took a total chance on me since I'd never ever made a wedding cake, I repeat never ever. Anywho, it was b-e-a-uuutiful! I still can't believe that I did that and was a part of such a huge moment for them. I can't thank them enough for that opportunity as it has completely opened up so many opportunities for 2016.

What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a baker for their wedding day?
1. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Some people find that they don't want to offend someone's "profession", but it's your wedding day! Ask away! "What do you charge?, Can I try your cakes?, Are they frozen or baked fresh? Do you deliver? Do you do fondant or frosting?"

2. Be understanding of pricing. Weddings are expensive, we all know this. By the time you get the venue, caterer, planner and dress, you're eating ramen noodles until the big day. Cakes are expensive as well. It takes a lot of time, a lot of products and a lot of stress. Not to mention the previous practice to perfect our technique.

3. Communicate. Don't worry about blowing up their inbox, seriously! Give them every single detail that you want, our baker brains over-analyze everything and we thrive on the details. Send us pictures, flavor ideas, and any little idea that pops into your head. Either we can do it, or we can't. It's best to let your baker know precisely what you want or you may end up with a cake you weren't expecting.



What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner? 
I know it's vague, but creating edible memories for people is the best part of this. Whether it is a wedding cake or a baby's smash cake, it's a memory that is captured and savored. Even yesterday at a birthday gathering, one guest exclaimed, "Holy crap you made this?! It's the best cupcake I've ever had!" I didn't pay her to say this and she was completely sober, and it totally made my day. It's the best feeling knowing you made something special for someone and sweetened life a tad.

What’s your biggest goal?
My biggest goal is to eventually be my own boss. It's something a lot of people dream about, but few attempt. I know it's possible and that it'll take time, but it's something to look forward to.



What kind of future do you see for Everything Emma?
I've been working on and planning a few ideas for 2016, including the Cupcakes & Cocktails parties and rebranding. Luckily, my brain is always churning and big changes are coming, just stay tuned. Like I said previously, this is the one thing I can't plan on. The blog has taken me on so many wonderful adventures, that I know it won't disappoint in the following years.

If you're looking for a gorgeous wedding cake, or even just a batch of homemade cupcakes for a birthday party....contact Emma.  You won't be disappointed.

Vendor Spotlight - Angie McPherson Photography


Ok friends....It's time for another Vendor Spotlight featuring a vendor that I adore for so many reasons.  Angie of Angie McPherson Photography is so incredibly talented.  She spoils the heck out of her clients and makes them feel so great about their images.  She's the first one to throw out a one-liner that will make me snort and she's one of my very best friends.  My couples would be so lucky to have Angie capture their wedding day.  And I absolutely love the advice Angie has for JDE brides on choosing a photographer. 



Tell us about Angie McPherson Photography!  How long have you been operating?  What made you go into photography?
Woo hoo! I'm a Hampton Roads Wedding Photographer, storyteller and adventurer with a love of making people laugh. I've been in business since 2013 and haven't looked back. I picked up photography as a hobby when I had way too much spare time on my hands (sounds like another world now haha)! I began shooting a variety of subjects (my husband, my dog, families, children, etc) but knew I had found my passion when I shot my first wedding. The relationship I'm able to build with my clients is truly amazing. To know the backstory of two people madly in love and document their journey simply allows me to capture my friends getting married. Best. Job. Ever.


How would you describe your photography style?
Bright, crisp, joyful and authentic! I love capturing the candid moments (a stolen glance, a walk hand-in-hand, the shed of a tear), the fun moments (belly laughs, hilarious toasts, grandma doing the Wobble) and the hand-selected details the couple has chosen to reflect them. But I'll also capture the formal portraits that their parents can put over their fireplace. My images tell a story and every love story is different. In any case, working with fun-loving and joyful couples sets my soul on fire and we have the best time keeping the experience light, relaxed and full of personality.



What's the most memorable wedding you've photographed?
This is a tough one! I'm going to be biased and say my brother-in-law's wedding! My husband has a twin brother so he was the best man. I captured my sister-in-law joining the family. I cried while my mother-in-law danced with her son. I was able to dance with my family & friends in between taking pictures. And in the end I was able to deliver beautiful, heartfelt images they can cherish for a lifetime. I'll never forget it!

What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a photographer for their wedding day?
1. Find someone who suits your style: Go through their website, galleries and blog! Their website and easy navigation will show off their organization/professionalism, their galleries will show you their absolute best work and their blog posts will show their wedding days from beginning to end. If you love all of the above, move on to tip 2.

2. Find someone who suits your personality: This is SOOOO important! Your wedding photography experience should be personal. Go through their social media profiles (Facebook business page, Instagram, etc) and pay attention to their email tone to see if they are someone you genuinely like as a person! I truly believe your photographer shouldn't be seen as just a vendor, but a friend. This will help you to feel relaxed and comfortable while getting your pictures taken during your engagement session and wedding day. A relaxed couple = better pictures and a better experience.



3. Find someone whose package suits your needs: You will probably see quite a few different packages when inquiring with various photographers. Before you make your decision based on cost alone, truly study the packages to see that it includes everything you need. A package that includes an engagement session, second shooter and digital files is a winner in my book! The packages may have add-ons such as a bridal session, an album or additional coverage so it all depends on your personal preference.

What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?  What’s your biggest goal?
My proudest moment has been being able to balance having a small business with being a wife, a mom to our sweet boy and working full time. This leads me to my biggest goal... going full-time with photography!


What kind of future do you see for Angie McPherson Photography?
Going full-time, meeting more sweet couples that I can call friends, connecting with more amazing wedding vendors and launching a HUGE secret project this year. Stay tuned, friends!


 If you are searching for a talented photographer that will bring out the very best in you in your wedding photographs, contact Angie.  You won't be sorry!

Vendor Spotlight - Bayvue Estate



Hey there everyone!  I'm back with a new vendor spotlight for you!  This time its an incredibly beautiful and charming venue that I think you should all go check out.  Read on to learn a bit more about BayVue Estate in Mathews County, VA.


Tell us about your business:
BayVue Estate is a family-owned outdoor wedding venue located on the Mobjack Bay in Mathews County.

 What services do you offer?
Ceremony & reception packages as well as weekend packages.

How would you describe the "style" of the venue?
Coastal, vintage, waterfront


What's the most memorable event you've ever hosted and why?
My sister's wedding - What could be more special than hosting your own sister's wedding at our family venue, celebrating with all of our close family and friends.

What are your favorite types of events to host?
 Weddings, of course!


Who are your favorite vendors to work with?
Photographers, event planners, and florists - They can create different styles in one venue to capture the most beautiful memories.

Any advice for brides when planning their wedding and choosing a venue?

This is one of the most important days in your life, make sure you capture every moment possible, because days, months, years later, it will all be a blur and you want to make sure you can relive that day through photography and film.  Advice for choosing our venue - No matter what style of wedding you want, our venue can create that look.  You are not limited to just one style.  And of course, we have water!



Vendor Spotlight - Water's Edge Design




Hey ya'll, I've got such a great vendor spotlight for you today!  I'm so excited to introduce you to my dear friend Julia of Water's Edge Design.  What to say about this wonderful lady.  We met a few years ago through a super awesome mutual friend and I'm thankful every day that Rachel brought Julia into my life.  She's is easily the nicest person I've ever met.  And I mean that 100% genuinely.  If you ever get the pleasure of meeting her, you'll instantly know what I mean.  She's just one of those people that does whatever she can to get to know a person for exactly who they are, and then she appreciates them for it....no matter what.  She's one of a kind ya'll.

But more than just being the sweetest ever, Julia is crazy talented.  Over the next couple months, I'll be writing some posts about how I've recently had the opportunity to work with Julia on a business level.  And let me tell you, she's a dream to work with.  I can't wait to share later, but for now, I'll let Julia tell you a bit about herself and her amazing company, Water's Edge Design.

Tell us about your business:
At Water's Edge Design, I create, design, restore, and repurpose everything from signs to antique furniture.  I love using driftwood and reclaimed wood to bring that shabby chic beach cottage feeling into my customers' homes.  I started out creating custom wooden signs and since then have branched out into coastal home decor and rental pieces for weddings & events.

How long have you been operating?
Water's Edge Design started in June of 2014 after friends and family begged me to begin selling my items they saw me make for my home or gifts.  I couldn't be more excited and grateful at how things have grown in the last year!


What areas do you serve?
I am based out of Richmond, VA but travel around the state for events.  I have also shipped my pieces to places like Myrtle Beach, SC and Washington DC!

What services do you offer?
I have a wide variety of items for sale and rent.  I began making custom pieces and am building my inventory as I will have a booth at Class and Trash this summer here in Ashland, VA.  I have made everything from driftwood sea creatures, adorable coaster sets and memo boards, to custom made wedding guest book signs.  I also have created beautiful rustic headboards, children's growth charts and family tree signs.  Because I love to go antiquing and picking, I have established a growing collection of really special and unique furniture and decor pieces.  I have now branched out into styling and am offering some of my most treasured pieces as rentals for weddings and events!  I would love to be a part of making your special day beautiful!


How would you describe your "style"?
A beach girl at heart, I am inspired by the sun-bleached colors of the ocean and try to incorporate natural materials and fabrics into my designs.  I have a deep appreciation for furniture and love to give new life to tired pieces.  I try to use reclaimed wood and antiques whenever possible because I firmly believe in giving things a second chance.

What's the most memorable piece you've ever created and why?
Arg!  Such a hard question!  I Was really proud of a beautiful headboard I created for one customer.  I had never made one before and it was such a labor of love.  I also rehabbed a sweet 1800s wash stand and added a window to the top with a quote.  This was used in a styled shot with Andrew & Tianna Photography and the lovely JDE.  I couldn't believe how gorgeous it looked in photos.


What are your favorite types of pieces to create?
So, you might as well learn this now...I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with driftwood. We don't get much of it here on the east coast so I have to ship it in from Washington State and the California coast.  I absolutely love getting to make anything with driftwood.  It is a puzzle just waiting to be put together.

Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?
I'm new to the wedding scene, but so far in the Virginia Beach area I have enjoyed working with Just Dandy Events, Snapback Studios, and Andrew & Tianna Photography.  Here in Richmond, I love Black Creek Flowers & Sweets and the Historic Mankin Mansion.  In the Outerbanks, I love 108 Budleigh, Holiday House Weddings, and Daniel Pullen Photography.  I am really excited to expand my list of vendor friends!

 
Any advice for brides when planning their wedding and incorporating signage?
To begin with, I'd say "take a deep breath and keep it simple".  Too often we get bogged down in trying to incorporate all of the amazing ideas we have seen on Pinterest and the end result can end up looking a little cluttered and ADD.  Pick a central theme and a few interesting and unique pieces, then style the wedding around those.  A few great focal pieces will have your guests oohing and ahhing instead of feeling overwhelmed.  I also think it is always fun to have a few cute signs for the bride and groom to hold for pictures or to use in thank you cards later!



Julia, thank you for being you and for sharing a little bit about Water's Edge Design.  Love you to pieces and am so happy you're joining this wonderful wedding community!  <3

Vendor Spotlight - Country Villa Inn



Starting off this post, I realize I'm beginning to sound like a broken record.  Once again, "I met Petie & Cassie at the WeddingWire happy hour in August."  But really....that event was awesome and I made so many great contacts that evening...contacts that I'm so thankful for and excited to continue working with.

Ok back to this week's Vendor Spotlight.  Petie & Cassie run the Country Villa Inn in Virginia Beach.  When I met them at the happy hour, they were such a good time!  Petie has so many stories and goes off on these funny tangents when she starts talking.  She's an absolute blast.  And Cassie is just the sweetest soul.  When Liz & I met them, we were so excited to meet a new VENUE!  And so....we decided to use them for the location of our styled shoot in October.  And what a success that was!  We couldn't have picked a better location for it.  Petie & Cassie: Thank you both so much for taking the time to tell us all a bit more about yourselves and your gorgeous venue!  I hope to work with you again very soon!


Tell us about your business:  Country Villa Inn is a destination B&B, wedding and event venue, and spa.  We are a 7-minute drive from Sandbridge Beach and 18 minutes to the Boardwalk at the Virginia Beach oceanfront.  Our three course, customized breakfasts are served each morning, indoors or outside, and our guests choose what time they would like to be served.


How long have you been operating?  We opened our doors in May 2005.  Guests have returned numerous times over the years and even use our venue as their choice to propose marriage.

What services do you offer your couples?  Our guests began asking if we would host their wedding, engagement party, and/or other functions, and that's how our venue also became an outdoor wedding venue.


What's the most memorable event you've ever worked?  It's almost impossible to set one of our weddings above the others, but if I Have to choose one, it would be Shannon, my son's best friend's kid sister.  I got to work with a family I had known and loved for over 23 years.  It was like having family here.  We were so honored she chose our venue for her special day.

What are your favorite types of events to work?  Weddings and receptions are joyful and those involved with them are usually happy.  Our engagements, bridal showers, retirement, birthday, and other parties where good friends and families get together also make our job fun.  I also really enjoy the stylized photo shoots that we have hosted on our property.  All of the vendors involved are so friendly and professional.


Who are your favorite vendors to work with?  We have worked with some wonderful vendors.  Rev Guill from Traditions Catering, Jaime and Megan from "Lucky Peach", Ava Ryan from 123ABC Insurance {she provides our event insurance for all our events}, JOann from Affordable & Luxury Event Rentals, Holly Coriell from Just Dandy Events, and Elizabeth Henson Photos to name a few.


Any advice for brides trying to choose a venue?  Yes, choose a venue that will allow you to be in charge of your day....Like us!  We pride ourselves in offering many amenities that make planning a wedding easy and reasonably inexpensive.

If you're considering a "backyard" feel for your wedding, but don't actually want it in your backyard, check out Country Villa Inn.  It's elegant and beautiful, but Petie & Cassie manage to keep you feeling like you're home.

Vendor Spotlight - Kandy's Cakes & Pastries


Remember that styled shoot that Elizabeth Henson Photos & I shot back in October?  Well, as I've said before, we had some incredible vendors to work with for that.  We were pretty dead set on trying to keep our list of vendors to including small businesses.  And we were so very lucky to end up with the ones that we did.  The people that we worked with were the greatest ones for the job, and we made some awesome new friends in the process.

One of those amazing vendors was Kandice from Kandy's Cakes & Pastries.  She provided the beautiful cake we used in the shoot!  Read on to learn a bit more about Kandice and her awesome business.


Tell us about your business:  I operate a licensed home bakery in Portsmouth, Virginia called Kandy's Cakes & Pastries where everything is made from scratch and is baked with love.  I believe in taking the time to ensure that all ingredients used in my cakes and pastries are of great quality and taste.  At Kandy's Cakes & Pastries, our mission is to indulge you with the sweetness of our cakes and pastries and to leave a lasting taste of utter happiness with every bite.

How long have you been operating?  I have only been operating since the beginning of this year {2014} as an official business, but I've had the passion of baking since 2009 watching Cake Boss on TLC.  I began to make cakes for my family and friends and decided to make an actual business out of it, which was the greatest decision I've ever made.


What areas do you serve?  I serve all cities in Hampton Roads.

What services do you offer?  I offer weddings cakes, 3d cakes, cookies, and pastries.  I also ofer catering and delivery for the Hampton Roads area.

How would you describe your "style"?  My style is very modern.  Coming from a military background, I was always taught to stay in line and follow the rules and that kind of stuck with me.  Going forward, my cakes and pastries are always uniformed, neat, and consistent.


What's the most memorable event you've ever worked?  I would have to say the EHP/JDE Styled Shoot event because everyone involved got the change to become published on Artfully Wed!  I've never had any of my cake designs published before, and this was a great accomplishment for my business.

What are your favorite types of events to work?  Since my business is fairly new {officially official in May of this year}, I've only had the chance to work two events.  One was the EHP/JDE Styled Shoot event and the other was for a Biker's Fashion Show with other vendors attending.  These events are my favorite events so far, because I was able to meet different vendors {some selling similar products}, potential customers, and I was able to network with the individuals that attended.

Any advice for brides trying to choose a baker?  The advice I would give to a bride would be to get to know your baker well.  If you have a vision and want a certain type of cake with specific designs, make sure you clearly explain this to your baker.  Have your baker sketch your cake before you go any further.  Be sure to schedule a cake tasting.  Even if the baker is the best in your area, their cakes may not be what you are looking for for your special day.

Thanks so much for introducing yourself Kandice!!!  It was such a pleasure working with you on the EHP/JDE Styled Shoot and I hope to work with you again!  Everyone be sure to check out Kandice's website and learn more about her business!!!

Vendor Spotlight - High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey

I met Crystal of High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey at the WeddingWire happy hour Liz & I attended back in August.  She was there with Amy from Mystique Salon & Day Spa and we hit it off so well with the two of them!  We were so incredibly lucky to get to work with the both of them on the styled shoot in October and cannot WAIT to work with them again.  Read on to learn a bit about High Voltage Hair and be sure to check out her website!

Tell us about your business!  High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey is many things.  I am a planner, I am a therapist, I am a magician, I am a comedian, I am a coffee lover, I am a doggie mom and a friend.  My job may be behind the chair doing hair day in and day out, but I am all of these things 100% of the time.  Being a business owner means your business becomes your life & I love my job so I don't mind at all.  The wedding side of the business has lead me to meet so many beautiful vendors & people.  So many beautiful brides with amazing love stories.  The color side of the business has lead me to learn the true meaning of loyalty & I've made some amazing friends with clients & stylists I've had the pleasure of working beside & owners I've had the pleasure of working for.  It has also taught me about higher education.  There is always something new to be learned in every field, not just my own.  So do I do hair?  Yeah, I do.  Is that all that I do?  Of course not.  When people ask me what I do I feel like its such a loaded question, because to just merely say "I am a hairstylist", when that's underselling myself.  I am so much more inside of my work & out.  So I say, "Here's my card.  Come see me & find out."  :)


How long have you been operating?  Going strong for 5 years!!!  Can you believe it?!

What areas do you serve?  All of Virginia, Maryland, DC, & North Carolina

What services do you offer?  I offer a wide variety of bridal services on and off location.  I also offer an array of cut & color services.  You can find all bridal packages and a full service & pricing menu on my website!



How would you describe your "style"?  Well, my personal style is a complete 180 from my bridal style.  While my personal style is unique and very edgy {I get compared to Kat von D & Katy Perry a lot.  I'm not complaining though!}, my bridal style is more vintage with a modern twist.  Very elegant and romantic, yet casual and fun.



What's the most memorable event you've ever worked?  Well, ther are plenty of memorable events, some good some not so good.  But that's life.  I'd have to save my FAVORITE memorable event is more of an event inside of an event.  I did hair for Lizzie Grant's wedding {daughter of Andi Grant}.  Andi Grant is a photographer in the Hampton Roads area and a fabulous one at that.  The wedding day styling process was a whirlwind, but the girls all looked beautiful!  Months later I found out that the wedding was published in THE KNOT!!  How exciting!  This was my first publication in The Knot & I was so excited.  Laura Gordon was the photographer that day & the images were beyond amazing.  You can see Lizzie & Tracy's wedding here.

What are your favorite types of events to work?  I'd have to say my favorite type of event to work ....weddings!!!  I love them!  The glitz, the glam, the bonding, all the pretty!  The beginning of a chapter of your life to be shared with that special someone, your best friend!  Second to weddings are prom.  It makes such a monumental time in a young girl's life.  They are closing one chapter & opening another on their way to adult life & finding themselves.  So many memories are being made on that one special night!


Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?  This is such a loaded question!
For makeup - Beauty & Baubles: Jenn Brosch & Makeup by Kim Porter

Venue - Women's Club of Portsmouth {it's so beautiful!} & anywhere in Colonial Williamsburg


Photographers - GAH there are so many!  Honestly this is not an area wher I can just pick a couple.  I have worked with so many GREAT photographers & I love them all.

Bridal Gowns - Maya Couture & Pure English Couture Bridal

Flowers - C&J Floral & Mary's Flower Works

Cakes - Cindy's Cakery & Shockley's Sweet Shoppe

Invitations - Paper Dolls Design & The Girl Tyler

and last but not least....
Planners - Just Dandy Events {HOLLLLLLYYYY} & Cherry Blossom Weddings

WHEW that's a lot!  Haha!

Any advice for brides trying to chose a hair stylist?  There is SO MUCH advice that I could give to brides.  There are just so many aspects of your day and your hair & stylist that you have to look at when choosing someone.  I actually wrote a blog about it before & it is packed with info and worth the read!

Vendor Spotlight - Mystique Salon & Day Spa

Have I mentioned how fortunate I am to work in the industry I do?  I've seriously met some of the most talented and professional vendors....people that have turned into friends.  Amy from Mystique Salon & Day Spa is one of those wonderful people.  I met her at a WeddingWire mixer back in August.  She was so fun to chat with and I knew I needed to work with her in some capacity very soon.  So....fast forward to the styled shoot Liz and I were planning for October.  We needed someone to handle the makeup for our models and Amy immediately came to mind.  That was one of the best decisions we made with the shoot.  And now I can't wait to work with her again soon!  Read on to get to know her a bit!

Tell us about your business: Mystique Salon & Day Spa is a full service salon and spa.  We are located in the Hickory area of Chesapeake.  We also have an on-location bridal business called Mystique Bridal.  We are able to accommodate small and large events.  We take our time with each and every client.  We do not believe in the "get in and get out" mentality.  We are here to educate you and hope you leave us feeling better than when you came in.  Mystique Bridal is about making you feel and look amazing on your special day.  We are appreciate for every wedding that we are able to share with the brides, it is truly the most special day in a woman's life and we strive for excellence every time.  These are my Mystique Divas.  I have an amazing group of ladies!

How long have you been operating?  As of January 2015, we will have been operating for 8 years.  I built Mystique at the Edinburgh East location and we were the second business to open.  We are one of the originals in that area.

What areas do you serve?  Mystique's physical location is in Chesapeake, but Mystique Bridal, our on-location division, serves all of Hampton Roads.  We have also gone to weddings in the Outer Banks and as far up as Richmond.

What services do you offer?  We are a Paul Mitchell Focus salon {which means we only sell and use Paul Mitchell products} and we special in color and precision haircuts.  Our staff have all been trained by the Paul Mitchell organization and they are known for amazing color techniques.  We also offer airbrush make-up applications that are unique to every client's needs.  We have a full day spa that offers laser skin rejuvenation, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels from our Master Esthetician.  We also have massage therapy and body treatments along with pedicures and manicures in our private nail room.
How would you describe your "style"?  My style motto is "Look good on the outside, feel good on the inside".  Mystique style is about classic bones with trend finishes.  My staff truly loves people and we like to build personal relationships.  This is what our style is truly about.

What's the most memorable event you've ever worked?  Hard question....I think I can break it down into 3.  #1 - My most memorable event was my sister Amanda's wedding.  She let me do her make-up for the first time ever!  I was so honored she let me make her beautiful for her special day.  My entire staff worked so hard to make her wedding happen.  We all were there for the planning and set up of the location.  I still look back at that day and feel she was one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen.  #2 - My most memorable moments have been the weddings of our clients. These are people that we have built lasting relationships with, and it is a true pleasure being part of their special day.  One wedding was for our client Melissa that has been our client for 7 years.  We have seen her through many events in her life.  We watched her son grow up and we built great relationships with her friends {bridesmaids} who became our clients along with her mo and even dad.  We traveled to Richmond, VA and did this wedding with true pleasure.  Hair by Amanda Pruitt and Make-up by Amy Brox, Melissa Harig Glovier, was a beautiful bride, and we had a memorable bridal experience with her and her bridal party.  #3 - My very first styled wedding shoot that I did for my salon to launch my bridal division, Mystique Bridal.  My team worked on everything from location, concept, bridal looks, props, etc.  It was a 9-hour day that was the most rewarding thing I have ever done.  Our styled shoot was at Greenbrier Farms with Jason Jarvis Photography and I am so proud of the images we created.  I will never forget this day.  My team created 3 bridal collections that were each so uniquely different, along with spotlighting 3 grooms.  It was very important for us to bring our men clientele into our marketing concept.  The best part is that all the models were Mystique clients!  Love this!

What are your favorite types of events to work?  We truly shine at weddings.  It gives us a chance to excel in make-up and hair, that is so rewarding for my entire staff.  It allows our creative sides to come out and the choices are endless.  We do love make-overs too...what girl doesn't?!  It is so great to show someone what they truly can look like on the outside with a few tweaks.  Mystique loves to give back so doing events that we can raise money for awareness in the community is always a plus for us.


Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?  We feel there are a few stand out vendors in the area that we have had the pleasure of working with and/or knowing personally.  We have had the opportunity to work with exceptional professionals like Jason Jarvis Photography.  Jason and Joanna {husband and wife team} did the photography for my first ever styled wedding shoot, and it was just amazing.  They are a great team that work together to get every shot and every angle.  Our styled shot was at Historic Greenbrier Farm, this is a rustic breathtaking location that we highly recommend due to the historic house and extensive grounds. We were also fortunate enough to do a styled shoot with Elizabeth Henson Photography and Just Dandy Events and I had an amazing experience with both.  These two vendors are fun, professional, and produce amazing work. Elizabeth has a skilled eye for detail, making sure that natural light is used for that special shot.  Holly is detail-oriented, just what you want in a wedding planner.  She has the ability to choose the right people that fit perfectly to execute a successful event.  We have worked with David Champagne Photography and he is wonderful.  His eye for details is like no other.  He has an amazing artistic flair that truly makes the entire bridal party look like they should be in a magazine.  You have to have cake, and Cakes by Crystal are beautiful.  We were lucky enough to introduce Crystal to her very first bride and we have been fans ever since.  She is a true artist and professional.  We love Mannino's for catering.  They have amazing food along with great attention to detail.  They believe in using fresh ingredients that make a different in the food for any bride's special day.  Flowers are very important and we have seen great work from C&J Floral.  Their work is uniwue and the quality of flowers is truly exceptional.  We love a good DJ and I would highly recommend Atlantic Digital Entertianment.  This is a husband-wife team that truly wants to make the reception memorable.

Any advice for brides trying to choose a make-up artist?  My first and best advice to brides is to book a make-up trial with your artist prior to your day, so you are both on the same page.  Book your hair and make-up early so you do not choose someone out of availability.  You want the best artists for your special day, not who was left over.  Be honest with your wants and vision, so the artists truly know what you expect out of them.  Pictures are forever and you want to make sure that your look is timeless through hair and make-up artistry.

Vendor Spotlight - C&J Floral Design

I had the pleasure of meeting Corey of C&J Floral back when I helped with Elizabeth Henson Photos' promo video.  She created the incredibly beautiful bouquet that was used in the shoot.  Liz had sort of given Corey free range when designing it, just telling her what EHP's branding colors were...green & yellow.  The result was absolutely stunning.



I asked C&J to answer a few questions and introduce themselves to us.  Here's what they had to say.  :)

Tell us about your business.  How long have you been operating?:  Most people aren't aware of this, but C&J Floral Design is a mother-daughter team.  We started out getting certified at Botanical Gardens in 2012 and our love and knowledge for designing and caring for flowers grew.  At first we would just do small arrangements for friends or even just our own dining room tables.  But as the word got out that there was an actual talent behind our work, we were asked here and there to do small special events which over time grew into larger events and weddings.  Weddings are certainly my passion.  Just getting to go through the process with someone on such a special day is just amazing.  We usually leave our couples as friends and that's the biggest gift to us.

What areas do you serve?  We have been serving all of Hampton Roads for 2 1/2 years now. My family just bought some acreage out in Suffolk, so we have relocated which actually just helps us reach a larger area since my mom is in Virginia Beach.  We moved to Suffolk in late spring so now that we are more settled and have the space, I would love to start growing some of our own product.

What services do you offer?  We currently just do local deliveries, but we deliver anything from every day bouquets to all of life's most special events.  We also took on funerals last year after we got a contract with CHKD.  To be honest, at first they really got to me....I knew what the bouquet or spray was for.  But after a change of perspective, I saw it as my mission to make what they ordered to be the most beautiful we could provide because it was going to a funeral where maybe I could make it a little brighter for them or to give them something happy when they remember the person that passed.  Fact is, it's part of life and we live to try and embrace it all.

How would you describe your "style"?  Our style is very romantic.  We also grew up in upstate New York out in the country in an old farmhouse surrounded by mills, corn fields, and creeks.  So for me, I can't help but add that vintage and rustic flare.  It's what I like and I think it shines through in our work.  When working with a bride and groom, it's so important to match up style-wise.  Something to really look for and remember while searching for vendors.  I can do contemporary, but I find I don't have as much creative flare when putting arrangements together as I do when it is more my style choice.

What's the most memorable event you've ever worked?  Our last event wasn't even one that we did flowers for.  We were asked to help out a family who the husband has been fighting a certain type of terminal brain cancer.  The one thing they never had was a wedding.  So it was in the works to put something small together.  As word got out and other well known vendors got on board, it literally took off and was a dream wedding that any bride would be happy with.  It was located in Back Bay on the water and it was amazing to me to see all these high-end vendors take their time and skill and drop what they were doing for a family in need of an amazing memory.  Even though we didn't do the flowers that day {Palette of Petals did and they were AMAZING}, it reminded me of how many great people are in this industry and how I love working and growing beside them.

What are your favorite types of events to work?  Hands down, I LOVE to work weddings. There is something about meeting new people who may or may not have vision of their wedding day and I get to help them unfold their style and find what they are looking for.  We are such a small accent in the bid scheme of things and we are always giddy with excitement when a bride and groom to choose us to make their day beautiful.

Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?  I think every venue has it's charm but again, growing up in a place with antiques, old rundown everything, I tend to love the older buildings with character.  I was so sad to hear of the Chamberlin choosing not to have weddings anymore, but was happy to get a chance to have a hand full of events there.  I love the Hermitage Museum and the outskirt places like Clayhill.  My wish is to get a few weddings in Williamsburg.  I am always so envious of wedding pictures I see from the winery and in the colonial area.  We live in a huge area that, no matter where you are, you can find what you're looking for, from flashy to farmland.

Any advice for brides trying to choose a florist?  To all people searching for a floral vendor, I would recommend what I mentioned above.  Do your homework and find someone with your style.  Make sure you have visual info for them to also make sure that they feel confident they can give you the best service and that you're in the right place.  It's also fun to have that great connection with them.  On a regular wedding, we will meet our clients 3 or 4 times, if not more, depending what's needed and it's much more fun to have someone who is just as excited to talk about your wedding day as you are!

I'm so excited to be working with C&J Floral Design again on a special project this month!  I can't wait to see the incredible creativity they'll be bringing to the table.  Thanks so much for taking the time to introduce yourselves to us Corey!

Vendor Spotlight - Elizabeth Henson Photos

I met Elizabeth Henson when she was the second shooter for David & Katelyn's wedding.  We hit it off pretty much immediately.  She's fun and goofy and SO DANG GOOD at her job.  She's so enthusiastic about her work and she loves to make others feel great about theirs too.  Her attitude is totally contagious and I adore her for it.  I recently got the opportunity to help her with a very special project for her business {she launched a PROMO VIDEO for her company} and I was so thrilled to play a tiny part in the whole thing.  We've got some really fun things in the works and I can't wait to see it all play out.  In the meantime, read on to learn a bit more about Elizabeth and her company.  Also, check out her site to see more of her work.


Tell us about your business: Elizabeth Henson Photos specializes in Weddings, Couples, and Seniors.  I LOVE DIY weddings......Beach, Farms, Back Yards, lots of DIY touches like chalkboards, mason jars, and anything from etsy and pinterest!  My business is my heart, I really love it so much.  I have amazing clients.  Sometimes I can't even believe this is all real.  I'm just so grateful for all the progress my little business has made!


How long have you been operating?  My doors officially opened January of 2013.... well I don't have doors but you know what I mean :)






What areas do you serve? Hampton Roads!  I'm also willing to shoot in the Raleigh-Durham area because I can stay with my parents.  I would LOVE to expand and start shooting all over the states one day.

What services do you offer? I mentioned my specialties, but I'm always open for other fun stuff!  I love helping out other small business!  I actually also feature one a month on my blog!  I'm always open to a new project.


How would you describe your "style"? Artistic, organic, casual and fun.  I love to get really creative with light and my use of angles.  I also really love black and whites and I'm not afraid of a little grain or texture!  I am really striving towards a lifestyle and fine art approach. 


 
What's the most memorable event you've ever photographed? Oh my gosh, this is hard.  All of my weddings have been epic in their own way.  I have one bride that really comes to my mind though because her father passed away about a month before the wedding.  She was so brave and beautiful, and I was just in awe of her amazing family the entire day.  I think about them all the time......its hard to put in words, but its like that couple is my reminder of why this job is so important and so great.  I love people and being a photographer allows me to serve them in the most awesome way!


What are your favorite types of events to photograph? DIY Weddings!  My husband, Mark and I paid for our own wedding.  We were DIY all the way, getting married in a beach house in Sandbridge.  I can totally relate to a bride on a budget.  Our day was perfect and perfectly captured.  You can still have great photography even if you your wedding is not fancy or high end.


 
Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?

Locations: 
Back Bay Farms, Sandbridge Realty

Event Coordinator:
Just Dandy Events

Photography, Videography, Design:
The Girl Tyler... AMAZING group, they did my promo video!!!   


Photography:
Amanda Hedgepeth Photography (She's my hero, my mentor, and my friend)   

Dresses:
Dresses by Maya Couture!  Misty Prewitt

Any advice for brides trying to choose a wedding photographer?  I understand being on a budget more than anyone, but I also know that your wedding photography is forever.   It will be all you have to show your children, grandchildren, and family members that can't make it.  There is a perfect photographer out there for every bride in all different price ranges.  And there are GOOD photographers in all price ranges.  Ask for help, there are tons of vendors in the area who are so kind and can point you to your perfect match.  Follow their blogs, follow their social media.... make sure you believe in their business.   We are all different and we love finding our perfect bride match.
 Thank you Elizabeth!!!  <3 you girl!

Vendor Spotlight - Maria Grace Photography

Everyone meet Maria of Maria Grace Photography.  Ya'll....she's wonderful.  I can't remember who reached out to who via Facebook, but it led to a coffee date and I've valued her as a vendor friend ever since.  She's one of those people that you meet and immediately feel comfortable chatting it up with about absolutely anything.  She's funny and fun and just makes you smile. I'm really hopeful that we get to work on a wedding together soon.  Keep reading and get to know her a bit more.  Then go check out her site and see more of her work for yourself.




Tell us about your business.

My business is Maria Grace Photography. I’m a wedding, family, and portrait photographer serving Hampton Roads, Richmond, and beyond!



How long have you been operating?

I’ve been in business officially since April 2013, and it’s been a whirlwind of weddings, growth, and excitement ever since.


What areas do you serve?

I mostly work in Hampton Roads and Richmond, but have traveled out of state for weddings as well, and I’m secretly hoping to shoot an international wedding in 2015.


What services do you offer?

I shoot weddings, engagements, and families. Recently, I’ve started to shoot some anniversary sessions of couples who have been married for a year or more. They are quickly becoming my favorite!


How would you describe your "style"?

In three words, my style is joyful, organic, and fun. I love to capture the true joy of people in the moment rather than create stiff poses that never change from person to person. I love having fun with my clients – we laugh, talk, and joke in between shooting. The most important detail to me is to photograph who the couple or family truly is when I’m not around. My clients are the ones who know themselves best, so I let their story unfold in front of my camera naturally while I capture the moment.




What's the most memorable event you've ever photographed?

The most memorable event I’ve ever photographed is the first one I was ever hired for, before I was officially in business. A sweet elderly gentleman whose name was Stan had a retirement party, and his daughter hired me as the photographer. I met so many people that night, and my passion for photography really started to take off. Sadly, Stan passed away from cancer just a few months later. I am so grateful I was able to be there among his family and friends to capture such a meaningful event in his life.


What are your favorite types of events to photograph?

I love weddings! There is something so amazing about watching two people start their lives together after such a long wait. I love meeting their families and friends, and seeing so many others come to one place to celebrate a new family being made.



Recently, I mentioned that I have started offering anniversary sessions. I love these, because they are such an amazing way to show how far you've come in your marriage - that you still mean the vows you made however many years ago it was, and that your love is still growing every day.

  
Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?

This is a tough one! I’m really excited to work at Traditions in Chesapeake this fall, and local venues are so great for meeting new people and making great connections. One of my favorite venues was The Yorktowne Hotel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They are famous for their sunset, rooftop pictures – and rightly so!



As far as vendors, there are too many to name! I love watching our local vendors in Hampton Roads grow and serve their clients in new and exciting ways. I do hope to work with Just Dandy Events on a wedding soon, though!


Any advice for brides trying to choose a wedding photographer?

Find someone who treats you well every step of the way – whether you’ve already booked with them or not. If a photographer does not answer your emails promptly now, it probably won’t get better later on! Look at several of their weddings, and see if you can imagine yourself in those pictures. If you can, you will be more than happy with what he or she will capture on your wedding day.

Vendor Spotlight - Jenn Cakes-A-Lot

Jennifer Williams created the incredible cake for Steve & Nicole's wedding at the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club. The cake {and accompanying cupcakes} were a huge hit!  Not only were they beautiful and absolutely perfect for the feel of the wedding, but alllll the guests raved about how delicious it all was!  Check out her site, read on and learn a bit more about her company, and then....do yourself a favor and order a cake from her.  I can PROMISE....you won't be disappointed.


How long have you been operating?  If you count peddling my goods from my easy bake oven at 6 years old, I’ve been operating Jenn Cakes-A-Lot for over 25 years. However, I didn’t start taking it seriously until about 3 years ago. I started making more elaborate birthday cakes for my boyfriend’s two kids, and before I knew it people were asking to pay me for my work. It was then that I decided perhaps this wasn’t just a hobby, and something I should take a little more seriously.

What areas do you serve?  I’ll serve anywhere that can receive my baked goodies without them crumpling into a pile of sugar and butter! This is a greater feat in the summer heat than in the winter. I actually chatted with someone I met at a conference in Seattle about how I might start shipping certain things. That said, generally I serve Hampton Roads, and should delivery be required I may charge a little extra for it depending on how far I need to go.



I used to watch the cake shows on Food Network and think the drama over delivering cakes was ridiculous. If anyone has seen them you will know what I mean. Now that I have to deliver my own cakes, I can verify that this is without question the most stressful part of the whole process. You just don’t realize how much force is applied when coming to even a slow stop in a vehicle!

What services do you offer?  I love making cakes for any occasion, be that birthdays, baby showers, weddings, bridal showers or retirements. I also make cupcakes, and cake pops and I’ve even been known to do cookies. I can make them themed or decorated or I can focus on flavor. Whichever best suits your needs.

How would you describe your "style"?  There is nothing wrong with traditional almond cake with simple white icing, and I’m happy to accommodate the traditionalists. However, I like making new traditions. I think a cake with a simple clean design and pops of color can make a bigger statement than one that is intricate and traditional.



What's the most memorable event you've ever worked?  I have had many! First let me say that while I love making cakes and cupcakes and other sweet treats, the best part is getting to be a part of really big events in people’s lives. A cake is an integral part of most celebrations. We blow out candles to them and share our first moments as husband and wife with them. All of this gets commemorated in pictures that we will look back on for years to come.

I created a five tier cake for the retirement of an Episcopal Priest. He’d been with his congregation for so many years and was so loved. I created a beach themed cake for my best friend’s wedding. Recently I created a three tier sesame street cake for someone turning three years old. When I delivered the cake and he saw it, he walked over, stared up at it with wonder, and said “It’s Elmo… and its cake!” It was as if his two favorite things had been combined and it was magic.

What are your favorite types of events to work?  Of course I love working weddings. While they are the most work, they are also probably the most rewarding. That said, kids events are fun too, and allow me to create some really fun themed cakes and cupcakes.



Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?  I’ve had good experiences with both the Lesner Inn and Williamsburg Winery. The goal, I think, is to find a venue with people running it that seem to genuinely care that your event is going to go off without a hitch. The rest can be worked out.

Any advice for brides trying to choose a baker?  I think it’s important when doing business with anyone that you look for someone who is a professional. If they call you back in a timely manner, and answer all of your questions in a detailed fashion, you know they are going to fulfill their commitment to you on time and with all of the details covered. This way you can just sit back and enjoy your event knowing that everything is going to be taken care of! 


Vendor Spotlight - Bluebird's Garage

Meet Mary Kaufman of Bluebird's Garage!  Bluebird's Garage provided the vintage rentals for Steve & Nicole's wedding at the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club in July.  Mary was an absolute joy to work with.  She's so professional and creative and helpful.  And easily one of the sweetest and funniest people in the industry.  She's one of those people that you meet, and you're immediately at ease working with her.  I knew she would do whatever it took to make Steve & Nicole's wedding everything they had dreamed.  Not to mention, her rentals are EXQUISITE!  Read what Mary has to say about her company, then check out her site and all she has to offer.



Tell us about Bluebird's Garage:  Bluebird’s Garage is a full service vintage rental and concept design company based in Virginia Beach. We collect pieces that speak to you, the camera, and your guests offering unique and custom items for your party, wedding, photo shoot or event. Our storefront also offers handmade jewelry, made in house farm tables, and a small selection of homewares.


How long has Bluebird's Garage been operating:  We have been in business for two years this July and opened our storefront in February of this year.

What area do you serve?  We serve VA and coastal NC.









What services do you offer?  Vintage Rentals & Styling from ideation to implementation


  How would you describe your style?  My personal style is always changing but I obviously have a sweet spot for vintage finds. I love vintage clothing and home decor but am equally fascinated by modern  decor.  I think people will find that in and out of the shop.

What's the most memorable event you've provided rentals for?  Well I just love working weddings and being a part of someone’s dream day, so every wedding is special to me however I would have to say styling the 'Scout is Out' party for the Va beach Scout Guide will be one I will never forget.

What are your favorite types of events to style?  I love working events which I supply rentals and style. Doing both is a dream come true to me every time.

Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?  I think the Hampton Roads wedding vendor community is filled with too many sweet and talented people to pick! My favorite venues are private homes. I have found that regardless of size, they are always so intimate and special.


What advice do you have for brides trying to choose a rental company?  I say go with someone who you feel comfortable with and who’s pieces speak to you!

Thanks so much for your time Mary!

Vendor Spotlight - Sami Proctor Photography & Design

I had the pleasure of working with Sami Proctor on David & Katelyn's wedding.  Not only is she talented, she's also one of THE sweetest people I've ever met.  She's always smiling, she always has something nice to say.  We got the opportunity to sit down over our vendor meals at the wedding, and really talk about what it meant to both of us to start up our "little businesses" while still maintaining a full-time job.  It was so great to get feedback and advice from Sami.  She's wonderful and I truly hope I get the chance to work with her again soon.

Read about Sami, get to know her a bit, and then check out her work.  You'll like her just as much as I do.




Tell us about Sami Proctor Photography & Design: Hi! I’m Sami Proctor, a photographer and designer based out of Columbia, Maryland. I have always had a passion for art and love being inspired by the people I love and the places I go. After graduating from Old Dominion with a degree in Fine Arts and a concentration in Graphic Design, I decided to challenge myself and open up a business. In 2013, I officially opened Sami Proctor Photography & Design.


I love natural light and telling a story. I believe in true love and happily ever afters. I strive to create meaningful images that stand the test of time. I love to create, to imagine, to dream.


Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and my business a little more!

How long has SPP&D been operating:  Opening Sami Proctor Photography & Design has been an amazing journey for me. I just recently hit my one-year anniversary of officially being in business. I have learned so much about myself this past year and gained so much knowledge on ways to better serve my clients and grow! I am so excited to see what the future has in store! I hope you’ll join me on this journey.


What area do you serve? I currently shoot sessions in Maryland, DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, but I am always thrilled to shoot destination weddings / sessions!

What services do you offer? SPP&D is a photography and design studio specializing in weddings, engagements, couples, maternity, high school seniors and families, as well as branding services, website design, and wedding / event branding, including save the date cards, invitations, programs and more.


How would you describe your photography style? Radiant and Natural.  My style is full of bright, radiant light. I love telling a story that is full of love and emotion. To capture a specific moment in time that cannot be repeated. I strive to create an atmosphere where my clients feel comfortable in front of the camera, which then is reflected into their images. 


What's the most memorable event you've photographed? I have had the opportunity to shoot some amazing couples and families, but my favorite and most memorable event to photograph thus far was for my best friend. We have been best friends since we were in first grade, that’s 23+ years of friendship, and to be able to photograph her engagement session and the opportunity to shoot her wedding this October means the world to me. I love gaining relationships from all of my clients and capturing their amazing moments in life, but it is extra special when that person holds a special place in your heart.


What are your favorite types of events to photograph?  Weddings are my absolute favorite type of event to photograph. After going through this process almost two years ago, I know how meaningful and special your wedding day is. To stand in front of your family, friends and God and proclaim your love for one another is such an amazing gift. To be able to capture these treasured moments fills my heart. After shooting a wedding, my cheeks always hurt from smiling all day! 

 
Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at? Based on my previous experience as a bride, photographing a handful of weddings and hearing feedback from my brides, some vendors I would recommend are:

Venues

          MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)

          The Signature at West Neck

          The Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club

          Back Bay Farms

Florist

          Norfok Wholesale Florist

Makeup Artist

          Rachel Reid Makeup Artistry

Coordinators

          Just Dandy Events

Rentals

          Distinctive Event Rentals

Cake

          Sugar Plum Bakery

          Sweetly Done Cakes

What advice do you have for brides trying to choose a photographer?  There are so many wedding photographers in the industry, so how do you find the perfect photographer for you? First, I would recommend looking at their work. Make sure you like their style of photography. Second, I would recommend meeting your photographer, whether in person, over the phone or via Skype. Making sure you and your photographer “click” is so important. You should have no doubt that the photographer you pick was meant to capture your special day! It can be helpful to do a session before your wedding, like an engagement session, to get comfortable with each other. This will give you a little sneak peek into the interaction between you and the photographer on your wedding day! 

  Thanks so much for your time Sami!  You're wonderful!