Archive for the ‘Things To Do’ Category

Consider having an Unplugged Wedding in the Lehigh Valley

Friday, June 3rd, 2016
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Photo by Michael McNett Photography

Why have an Unplugged Wedding

Technology, can be a good thing, but it certainly has its negative side too, even in the Wedding Industry. Maybe having an Unplugged Wedding is the best thing for couples to implement for their wedding day. At an unplugged wedding guests are not allowed to use their phones for photography.

I see it all too often, a guest takes out their cell phone to get a picture of a “big moment”, only to block the picture that the “professional photographer” is taking; the couple is about to cut the cake, and the guest jumps in between the couple and the professional to take a shot!  Talk about rude!  Another thing that upsets me, is when you see all the guests at a table, looking at their cell phone, instead of enjoying the couple’s first dance, cutting of the cake or even the parent’s dance!   What about the couple doing their first look and well-meaning bridal attendants, feel compelled to put pictures on social media, before the bride and groom are even married. One of my present clients voiced this concern “A friend of mine asked everyone to keep their phones put away during the ceremony to keep people from blocking the photographers’ shots, I would agree that this is a big concern of mine“.

It is a known fact that most churches are fairly dark.  In these situations professional photographers have invested significant amounts of money to capture images in darker conditions with high quality results.  LCD screen cameras like phones and iPad’s have very unsophisticated lenses and sensors, that cannot come close to anything the pros would shoot; but those high end cameras, in trying to capture a low light condition like in a church, will without a doubt make those little screens light up like a Christmas tree. It’s much better to let the pros get that really good shot and to share it with friends and family, than to end up with a bunch of poor shots.  The best way to enjoy a wedding is to enjoy it and then enjoy the pro’s images afterward.

Couples, it’s time to say enough is enough and to have an “unplugged wedding”! This will really allow your guests to be involved in all aspects of your wedding day!

Here are some ideas you may want to implement at your wedding, so that these things don’t happen to you.

  1. Inform your attendants, that no one is to take pictures, if they are there for the first look, or if they take pictures to please not post until after the ceremony!
  2. Put a note in your bulletin, asking everyone to turn off the ringers on their phone and to refrain from taking pictures at the wedding, that’s why you hired a professional photographer.
  3. Put a note in your bulletin to refrain from taking pictures with a flash.
  4. Ask your officiant to make an announcement to guests that they are to enjoy themselves and not take pictures.
  5. Put cards on the reception tables asking guests to please make sure that they are not restricting the photographer from doing his job.
  6. OffBeat Bride has some ways to word what you want to say, which will make it easier. They even suggest having someone from the bridal party enforce the no cell phone pictures and how to approach it. http://offbeatbride.com/2011/06/unplugged-wedding-templates

Lehigh Valley Wedding Planning – 8 Must’s, to Do On Your Wedding Day

Friday, May 1st, 2015

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You’ve been so caught up in your wedding planning, that you totally forget to do some of the most important things!  These things allow you to remain relatively stress free on your wedding day. Not sure what they are. I have put together a list of 8 things that will essentially, help your day, be less stressful and as perfect as is possible! This list is applicable for both Brides and Grooms.

1. Get a good night’s sleep.- Don’t have your bachelorette or bachelor party the night before. The last thing you want to do is be hung over the day of your wedding, same with the Rehearsal dinner, watch how much alcohol you consume. I know, all of your friends are in town and you want to party with them and have fun, but you can do that on your wedding day! We all know that when a person is tired, they tend to be grumpy and you won’t have a happy day if you are in a lousy mood. Make sure you get to bed early and even if you are too nervous to sleep, at least rest. You can read a book that might help to make you drowsy, but try to relax yourself enough to sleep.

2. Make sure you eat – I know, you say, you are too nervous to eat, but if you don’t eat you may end up passing out or becoming light-headed at the altar, from lack of food or drink and we don’t want that to happen to you! Make sure you eat a good breakfast or while you are getting ready, make sure you have bagels, fruit, etc. around to munch on. If you get married later in the day, then you may want to have sandwiches or a deli platter available for everyone who is there getting ready. This way, not only will you be fed, your bridal party will too! Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, last thing you need to do on a hot day is pass out from lack of water.

3. Give yourself enough time, so that you aren’t rushed on your wedding day – Hopefully you have a Wedding Planner or hired a “Day of Wedding Coordinator” for the Wedding Day. If you have, good for you! If you aren’t aware of it, a Wedding Planner/Coordinator will help make sure your day runs smoothly by utilizing a timeline for you and your family and bridal party. They will print out copies for all involved, so they know what is happening and when. This allows you to stay on time and relaxed. You’ve waited for this all your life and the last thing you need to do is worry about things. This is the time to have fun and soak it all in, because the day will fly by, faster than you realize.

4. Don’t wait until the last-minute – If you need a haircut, massage, pedicure or manicure. Don’t wait until your wedding day to do it. Take a day or two before your wedding day to pamper yourself. This is for the guys as well as the girls. We all need downtime and this will allow you to relax and not be running around on the big day!

5. Have someone be your go between – Again, if you have a wedding planner, you won’t need to appoint someone as your go between, but in the event you don’t have a wedding planner and have things you need to complete the day of your wedding, see if you can get a member or members of your bridal party to help out. They always want to know how they can help and this is one way!

6. Relish every minute of the day – From the minute you wake up until the minute you go to sleep, relish everything that happens on your wedding day. Remember opening your love’s wedding gift and how you felt when you saw it, remember the look on your mother/fathers face when they saw you in your wedding outfit, remember the smell of your flowers and the beauty of the arrangements, remember the happiness you are feeling today. Remember all the little things, because before you know it the day will be gone.

7. Make a point to speak and greet every guest – You invited your guests for a reason and love them all. Make sure you remember to give them a hug, a kiss or a kind word or thank you and how happy you are they were able to spend their day with you celebrating. We all know how important it is to feel needed and wanted.

8. Eat, Drink, Dance and Enjoy – Celebrate! You are now married to the love of your life and time to relax and enjoy! Make sure to eat, so that if you are having a few drinks, you won’t become tipsy. Drink, but try to control the amount. You don’t want to forget about your day, because you are too drunk to remember it. Dance as much as you can and enjoy this day! You’ve invested a lot of time and money into this, so make sure to take advantage of all the good things happening today!

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Wedding Professional Reflections:

Friday, February 20th, 2015

My New Wedding Professional Reflections Section, will be featuring vendors, in various professions, that are centered around making your day “An Affair to Remember”!  This will give you the opportunity, to get to know some of the fabulous professionals, I have the privilege of working with in the Lehigh Valley, Phila, and the Poconos.

Today’s Featured Vendor is Michael McNett from Michael McNett Photography, in Bethlehem, PA!

Michael McNett, McNett Photography

Michael McNett, McNett Photography

 

 

 

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I met Mike about 2 years ago, when I was coming back into business, after my hiatus! I asked a friend, who they thought, were the best wedding photographers in the area? One of her choices was Mike.  When we met I loved him instantly! He has a quirky sense of humor and comes up with the cutest quips, when you least expect them. I am speaking from experience, when I say, he really is great at developing a close and committed bond, with his couples. As a planner, that is one of the most import things I look for in a vendor.  I always want to keep my couples as the prime focus, always keeping in mind, its their wedding.

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Can you tell my readers a little about yourself and how you decided to become a professional wedding photographer? I started in the photography field at the High School for the Arts, which is similar to the arts school, in the movie “Fame”. After completing that program, I then continued my education towards a Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) at Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, MD. I graduated in 2000.

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How would you describe your artistic style? Emotional reportage. It is a documentary style of photography, documenting emotions, not news.

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How many weddings do you shoot per year? Do you have a favorite place in the Lehigh Valley, Poconos or Philadelphia area, which you like to shoot? I shoot no more than 30 weddings per year and I really don’t have a favorite place. I prefer to shoot, based on places that are representative of my clients and who they are.

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Not all clients are creative or do well in front of a camera. How do you manage your client’s expectations to think outside of the box, when working with you? My packages include an engagement session for every couple and I find them invaluable. They give me the opportunity to really get to know the couple and it allows them the opportunity to really get to know me. It’s a matter of comfort and I want all of my clients, comfortable in front of the camera. MichelleKent-W-0622

I know you have many facets to your business, how do you manage your success? “By the seat of my pants”, he quips! Success is secondary to me. My love stems from my deep love for weddings and couples and the Wedding Day is as exciting for me as it is for my clients.

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What have been some of your more difficult shooting situations and how do you overcome them? I would say shooting celebrity weddings. Talent agents are always restricting access to the client and I function better, when I develop a more intimate relationship with the client. That can’t happen with an agent in tow.

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How long do you spend editing the average wedding? The editing takes 2 hours/hour of shooting time on the wedding day.

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 For clients that are considering working with you, what’s the best way for them to start? How far in advance should a client try to book you? I value personal, face to face contact. I can carry out more in a face to face meeting, than online or over the phone. If a client is looking for Fall Wedding Season, they should book at least 2 years in advance. Any other time, should book 1 year in advance.

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What are the best memories from your wedding profession? When I see my clients use a picture I took, from their wedding day, as their profile picture on Facebook, especially 5 years later.

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What else would you like my readers to know about you? Being a photographer, is a means to an end. Much is expressed in the design of the wedding album and other visual ways. I help the client in remembering their day, after it’s over, for years to come!

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Wedding Gift Registry

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
http://protocol411.com/wedding-giftregistry-etiquette/

http://protocol411.com/wedding-giftregistry-etiquette/

8 Tips To Make It Easier For You

Keep in mind that gift giving by friends and family started, because they wanted to help the newlyweds, stock their home. The tips below are just a guideline for you to use when registering or asking for gifts.

1. Sooner than later – Even though you’ve only been engaged for a short time, there is no reason you can’t start registering for your gifts now. Decide where you want register and try to limit yourself to (2) gift registries. Department stores or Home stores are a great choice to start. Macy’s offers a Registry Guide, to direct you. Bed Bath and Beyond, also has an online gift registry .

2. Spend some quality time together – Quality time together is a great thing, especially when you are trying to set up your new home. Have fun and make a day of it!

3. Register for what you want – You can register for any type of items. In the distant past, you always ordered your china or silverware…today you can register for anything, including cleaning items, etc. Anything you will need for your new home, you can ask for, be it appliances, TVs, it’s totally open today.

4. Return policies – Check to see what the return policies are for the different registries, in the event you receive multiple numbers of the same item. Make sure there aren’t any time restrictions and if so, make sure you remember to return those items as soon as you can

5. Different prices – Make sure that you pick items in every price category. Try to register for items that are low-priced, medium priced and highly priced, since not everyone can afford high price ticketed items and you don’t want to lay a guilt trip on them for that reason.

6. Keep your registry updated – make sure that the registry updates, as you receive gifts and those items are stated as purchased. If not, find out if you have the ability to make changes, if you do receive gifts early, you can update the registry.

7. Not just gifts – Most registries allow you to ask for gift cards on your registry too. This is a great idea, that way after the wedding you can go out and get the items you still need. We know that cash is a great gift, but is in very bad taste to ask for as a gift, the gift card is the next best thing.

8. Thank your friends – Don’t forget to let your friends know that you received their gift within a few days of receipt. Also your thank you notes need to be written and mailed within 2 weeks of the wedding. Yes, it’s easier to do one’s that are pre-printed, but much more appreciated and cherished, if they are handwritten and personalized by mentioning the gift you received!