Featured Engagement: Gabby & Mike

Their Love Story…

 

Hudson Valley Engagement

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Gabby: “We met at Hollow Brook Golf Club, where both of us worked. Mike is the assistant golf pro, and I am the Food and Beverage Manager. Our love story started off as co-workers that grew into friends and then into a relationship. We were friends for 5 years before the time became right for us to turn our friendship into a relationship. Mike was always a person that in my eyes had the gift to light up a room full of people with his humor. He was the friend that started off by just making me smile and slowly turn into the person I wanted to share everything with. After, a long work week we would have pizza on Sundays together. These pizza meals together became the best part of my week”

 

Mike: “My love story with Gabby starts with coffee. Might sound weird until I explain. I never drank coffee, like ever. But at the place we work, she is often found in an area where the coffee is. So naturally I started drinking coffee. But since I didn’t like coffee it was more like 3/4 milk and 1/4 coffee. But it was the only way for me to keep seeing her without seeming too eager to spend time together. So I now am an avid coffee drinker. With less milk and more coffee…and still a lot of Gabby.”

 

The Proposal…

Photo Credit: Gabby and Mike

 

Gabby: “It was on July 17, 2016, on my birthday. I was running a wedding at work, and Mike was helping me out by bartending for the event. As the wedding was about to finish, Mike came up to me and said he was going to leave early because his knee was bothering him. I thought nothing of it and said, ‘OK, see you at home.’ Well, when I got home I open our apartment door to orange rose petals and candles leading to him where he was on one knee and popped the question. For me the whole thing is a little of a blur…..I was so excited and surprised I started to cry.”

 

Mike: “From the moment I got the ring I knew exactly when it was that I was going to propose. What better day than the date of our 1-year anniversary and her birthday? Since I had recent issues with my knee, I absolutely knew I could use that to send her thoughts into another direction. So my plan was solid. I told only the closest friends at work my plan so they could keep her distracted and on track. Gabby asked me to help her out and cover someone for bartending at a wedding she was running. Toward the end of the wedding, I told her my knee was acting up and wanted to get home and ice it.

 

“I raced home and set up my GoPro, put down some rose petals and lit some small candles leading a trail for her to find me in the living room. I played our favorite song when she walked in. I was so nervous I almost couldn’t get the words out. But I knew that this was going to be the most special day of my life, so I reached into my heart and asked the woman of my dreams to spend the rest of her life with me.”

 

What They Are Most Excited About…

 

Hudson Valley Engagement

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Gabby: “I am excited to spend our forever together. For me, getting married is our beginning. I can’t wait to plan all the adventures our future as for us.”

 

Mike: ” I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is everything. When you finally meet the person who makes you smile when you’re sad, the person who picks you up when you fall, when you find that one person who makes you feel complete, you get excited about everything. Nobody knows what the future holds, and that’s a good thing. But having a person like Gabby by my side, nothing can ever be that heavy.”

 

Advice For Engaged Couples…

 

Gabby: “The process can get stressful with all the details and family and friends’ opinions. But remember the big picture is the two of you celebrating your love.”

 

Mike: “The months, weeks, days leading up to your wedding can be some of the most stressful times a couple is going to go through. It seems like everyone comes out of the woods with an opinion. While all these opinions come from a good place with the heart in mind. You must remember to do what makes both of you happy. This is your day. Do everything the way you want to do it. They are not getting married— YOU ARE! Enjoy the process and smile the entire time. Come the morning of your wedding day, leave nothing behind and keep an eye on your future.”

 

Check back later in the year when we circle back with Gabby and Mike on their wedding day

 

Photo credit to all: Sweet Alice Photography

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Featured Couple: Sara & Mike

Their Love Story…

 

Michael and Sara grew up in the same town (Pompton Plains, NJ). They started going out in 2005 when they were in high school, and, as Sara said, they “have been loving life together since.”

 
 
 
 

The Proposal…

 

Photo Credit: From bride’s personal archive

“Mike always takes me on a little birthday trip,” Sara said. “In December 2015, we went to the Catskills for the weekend as a ‘birthday gift.’ ” At their hotel in Phoenicia, Mike “scoped out a nice spot around a fire pit, in Adirondack chairs with the mountains around on the grounds of our hotel. He gave me a birthday card and photobook of all of our vacations together with each page featuring photos from a different trip – until the last two pages,” Sara said. “One page of lots of photos of us together and a quote: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’ Then the next page was just goofy photos of him and said, ‘Will you take that step with me?’ Then he got down on one knee in the mud, and I said, ‘Of course!’” They celebrated afterward with reservations at a farm-to-table restaurant in the area.

 
 

Wedding Theme…

 

“I don’t really think I had one,” said Sara, “but everything seemed to be influenced by our love of Hudson Valley and fall.”

 
 

Why the Hudson Valley…?

 

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Photography

“Mike and I have always loved the many cute towns in the Hudson Valley,” Sara said. “I work for a non-profit trade association, so I always browse farmer’s markets. One day during lunch, I was browsing the Union Square Farmers Market and saw a new stand, Bad Seed Cider. I saw that they have a tasting room and thought it would be a fun adventure for a weekend. We went in October 2015 and had an awesome tour (and yummy flights of cider)! On the tour, they mentioned that they can host weddings, and Mike and I both knew then this was the place for us.” What really hooked Sara and Mike was that they were looking for a venue that was different and unique. “We loved the feel of the cidery and surrounding area,” said Sara. “It didn’t feel like a typical wedding venue but was actually a functioning cidery, making an amazing cider. We loved that the venue had two levels so non-dancers could still feel included and look on while hanging at the bar.”

 

 

Most Memorable Moment…

 

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Photography

“So many. Both of us think the first look (in the apple orchard) was our favorite moment,” said Sara. “I also loved making the flower bouquets and boutonnieres with my mom, sister, brother, best friend and Michael. Seeing my grandparents wave to the crowd from the second level of the venue – so cute!”

 
 
 
 
 
 

Hudson Valley Professionals…

 

Venue: Bad Seed Hard Cider (Highland)

Caterer: Hudson Valley Sausage Company (Highland)

Photographer: Christine Ashburn (Cold Spring)

Wedding Painter: Janet Howard-Fatta (Warwick)

Rentals: Durants Party Rentals (Wappingers Falls)

Ceremony Music: Appassionata Players (Poughkeepsie)

Ice Cream Truck: Chilly Willy’s Ice Cream

 

Photo credit to all: Christine Ashburn Photography

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Engagement Photos: What Hudson Valley couples want you to know

Thank you for joining us in this last of our three-part series

 

The period of engagement is a really special time in a couple’s life, and it’s usually the shortest time in a couple’s life as well. We’ve already explained why the experts say engagement photos are important and explained how to prepare for your session and what to expect during your session.
 

Today, we wanted to give you two stories, from real Hudson Valley couples like you, explaining why they had engagement photos taken and what their experience was like. If you are still on the fence about engagement photos, these awesome stories might encourage you.

 

Kimberly & Andrew

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Let’s first start off with Kimberly and Andrew. While originally from the Hudson Valley, Kimberly being from Union Vale and Andrew from LaGrangeville, the couple is currently living in Virginia, where Andrew is stationed with the United States Navy. Andrew has been in the Navy for seven years and is currently waiting to hear on a deployment date; because of that uncertainty, they don’t have a wedding date yet but are thinking sometime in 2018 in the Hudson Valley.
 

Kimberly and Andrew had their engagement photos taken with Hannah Servidio, from Hannah Nicole Photography, and are the sweet couple featured in the behind-the-scenes video in Part 2. I asked them why they decided to have engagement photos taken, and Kimberly said they knew it was something everyone does; and since they have a bit of a wait before their wedding day, it was something special they wanted to do sooner rather than later.

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography


 

They got engaged on December 23, 2016, and just a few weeks after, they had their photos taken – not only to capture the moment, but also because they wanted to get them done before Andrew was deployed.”It’s possible Andrew may be deployed before we can have our dream wedding, so it was really important to me to have professional pictures taken before then,” she said. “I wanted memories I can look at in my home and for him to take when he’s abroad. I’ve tried to print photos from my phone before but it’s always a major disappointment; they never print well! That’s why I really wanted a professional shoot.”
 

Their photos were taken in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), part of Brooklyn. So, remember the experts said couples like to take photos in spots that have meaning to them? In this case, DUMBO was the second choice. They originally wanted snowy pictures in the Hudson Valley, but the only snow on the ground at the time was the crusty brown snow found along the edge of roads – not very pretty. So, since Kimberly went to NYU and DUMBO was a location that offered different views of Manhattan, that’s where they went.

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Andrew, admittedly, wasn’t quite sure what to expect at first, but found the whole ‘being photographed’ process very simple, self-explanatory, and he said they were coached very well. “Hannah was great at coaching us through different poses that we hadn’t thought of before and was great at communicating the small things that can make or break a photo: where we were supposed to look, placement of hands, how to do the close embrace, and more,” he said. “She was so professional and put us at ease. I also feel like we now have training for when we take our own photos from here on out.”

 

Their Tips

 

Some tips they have for couples is to make sure that your photographer is a people person, because that characteristic is really what is going to put the couple at ease. Again, this goes back to what the experts say about being able to mesh well with your vendors. Another tip, especially if you are doing a winter shoot: Be prepared for a lot of wind and dress warm!
 

They also realize some couples decide not to get engagement photos done because they are too nervous or because it costs too much money. They say it’s nice to be coached on how to be photographed and what poses look good. It’s also nice to have the moment of engagement captured, so you can look back on that feeling and always have a glimpse of how you felt at that time.
 

Nora & Dan

 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Our next couple is Nora and Dan from Cold Spring. Their story is a little different than that of Kimberly and Andrew. Nora and Dan are getting married in September 2017 and had photos taken with Erica Leman of Sweet Alice Photography. Unlike Kimberly and Andrew, they were skeptical, at first, about getting photos done and went back and forth for a while. They really wanted to have them done, but weren’t sure if they could afford it, originally thinking they would have family members take their photos. Ultimately, they decided to have them done professionally because being engaged is a real special moment in time, and they wanted to make sure they captured the magic of being engaged. Plus, with Erica, they realized it was more affordable than they thought.

 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

“I think that cost was the number one deterrent at first, but after researching photographers and finding one who offered it within her package, we jumped on the opportunity,” Nora said. “When you’re engaged, you are spending so much time thinking about the wedding day itself, but these photos capture a moment in time that still celebrates your relationship in a really fun and meaningful way. Plus, they are so useful for practical reasons including save-the-dates, invitations and wedding websites.”
 

They, like most, were nervous and awkward at first, because like they said, “How often do people get photos taken?” However, once they began to loosen up, interact with each other and with their photographer, cracking jokes with each other, they began to loosen up and feel more comfortable.
 

They see the photos as being really practical because you can use them for so many purposes: to celebrate the fact that they are engaged; for a wedding website, save-the-dates, or to print out and hang up.

 

Their Tips

 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Nora and Dan have some great tips when it comes to choosing a photographer. They suggest getting recommendations from people you know about photographers they’ve used and what their experiences were like. They say don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations and, just like what our experts said, don’t be afraid to reach out to lots of photographers (and vendors) to see what you get for your money.
 

They also say having the same photographer do both your engagement and wedding photos will help because you because you will have already met the photographer, gotten to know them and how they operate, which will put you at ease the day of your wedding.
 

In terms of what to wear, they suggest wearing colors that work well with your surroundings. They got engagement photos taken in the fall, so Nora wore red to pop with the green in the trees and the very slightly changing colors in the foliage. “We were doing our photos outside so I knew there was going to be a lot of greenery, and I wanted to pick something that I knew would play off those colors in a nice way,” she said. “Second, wear something you are comfortable in and feel good in! We all have colors and even specific pieces in our closets that make us feel confident. You don’t necessarily have to buy a new outfit for the photos because you likely own something that is perfect.”
 
Did hearing from these couples help you make decide on engagement photos? Did their tips help you? What tips do you have for couples?

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6 easy ways to prevent feeling overwhelmed at a wedding expo

Thank you for joining us in this last of a three-part series

 

What do stickers have to do with not feeling overwhelmed at a wedding expo? You’ll have to read on to find out. But first, let’s take a look back.

 

If you’ve been following this series, you’ll remember I shared with you I felt very overwhelmed at the first Wedding Expo I attended. It was nobody’s fault but my own because I didn’t do research or come with a plan. I was very unprepared.

 

Photo Credit: WCHV

I also mentioned Wedding Expos in the Hudson Valley come fast and furious. Starting at the beginning of January, and for the next few months after, there seems to be one or more every weekend. That’s a good thing, but having so many to choose from can be overwhelming in its own right. How do you choose which ones to go? When should you start going to shows?

 

There really is no simple answer, and there is no right or wrong answer. It’s really up to you. Margaret Brower, Director of Sales at The Grandview explains, “Some (couples) feel really comfortable getting things out of the way and check off a list, some feel like they want to enjoy engagement and then look for vendor.” Paul Porco, manager at Villa Borghese Caterers, says he’s even seen couples go that aren’t even engaged yet!

 

So, regardless of when you go or how many shows you go to, there are six things you can do to make sure you have an awesome experience that leaves you wanting to go back for more:

 

COME PREPARED WITH A PLAN

 

“It is really important to come with a plan,” Brower says. “What do you want to get from the show? Are you going to … start your wedding planning with something that is exciting? … Or maybe you’re going for information and making that particular show just a source of gathering different vendors booklets and cards. … Sometimes you go to a show and it’s like, ‘OK, we have three months until the wedding; we have to find a florist.’ ” Knowing your plan and what you expect to get out of the show is going to elevate a lot of stress. Wanda Mendillo, Banquet and Sales Manager for Anthony’s Pier 9, says, “Your first show is probably going to be gathering the experience of the show itself and taking information, as well as packages and pamphlets. Then when you go home, you’ll be able to sort through a little bit of the information.” You need to set your plan and expectation and know why you are going first. What do you want to gain from it?

 

Photo Credit: The Villa Borghese

I had the opportunity to speak to two lovely couples a few weeks back at the Villa Borghese show, each were there for a different reason. Kim and Andrew from Mahopac are getting married in the summer of 2018, and this was their first show. While Kim had been to other shows in her role as bridesmaid, this was her first as a bride-to-be. They didn’t really have any details planned and were just going to see what’s out there and to get a feel for locations; if you haven’t had a chance to read my posting on using a wedding expo to look at venues, you can check it out here.

 

Mary and Chris from Hyde Park, on the other hand, were at the show for a very specific reason: They have been engaged for a year-and-a-half and are really at the end of their wedding planning process as they are getting married in June of this year. They were there specifically to look for a transportation company and tuxedos. Chris’s advice for couples is to try to get as much done early on and stick with your budget. He says it can get overwhelming at times, but you need to go with an open mind, and just get information the first time going. He says it’s important for grooms to go, too, as it helps to ease the stress of just one person going.

 

DON’T RUSH

 

Porco says one of the best ways not to get overwhelmed is by not rushing. “Try not to rush into things,” he says. “View your options as far as your different vendors, different DJs, photographers, you know, go with a company that has been established for a while.” We’ll discuss this more in a future post. Remember, your wedding is not tomorrow (hopefully), so you do have some time to make an educated decision of who you want to hire. Also, take your time at the show, relax, grab a bite to eat, have a drink. Enjoy the show for what it is and take your time with each vendor so you can really express what your vision is to them. Don’t just make it a “How much do you charge?” conversation. More on that to come, too.

 

BRING STICKERS

 

Photo Credit: HCHV

I told you stickers played a major role! When you go to a show, you are given a bag at registration to hold all your loot during the day. It quickly gets filled with cards and brochures from all the professionals you speak to. Then you go home and are left with a bag of paper, and you need to remember who you spoke to, who you want to follow-up with; it can get pretty complicated if you don’t have a system. Brower says, “I always tell my couples to bring stickers, walk into the show, and if you like a vendor after talking to them, put a sticker on the back of their card…because once you put it (the card) in your bag, it gets jumbled with everyone else…so just simply putting a sticker on the back of their business card or on their pamphlet denotes this is someone we want to revisit, so you can automatically sort the people you are interested in and the people that you aren’t.”

 

She also suggests you bring another type of sticker, this time with your contact information on it “If any of the booths have raffles, it’s a time saver. You can just put your label on any of the raffle items and keep moving throughout the show.”

 

CREATE AN EMAIL

 

Have you ever overlooked an important email because your inbox is full of junk and spam, and it got lost in the shuffle? Brower says, “The first piece of advice I give wedding couples when they come into the office is to make a wedding email address.” You are going to need to give it at registration, and it allows you to keep all wedding-related emails together in one place throughout your planning process. Plus, both of you will have the address and password, so you each can check it throughout the day, keeping in the loop.

 

 

KEEP AN OPEN MIND

 

Photo Credit: The Villa Borghese

Wedding expos can have anywhere from a few professionals to upwards of 100 or more, so you need to keep an open mind. Know that the Hudson Valley is full of wedding professionals, and they don’t all necessarily attend shows. Also, if you’ve done your research already and absolutely fell in love with an expert’s services and then see them at a show to discover one of two things: Either your date is booked or you are not meshing well with them, you’ll need to keep looking; or if you are on a super-tight budget, see when vendors have a slow period. Booking in their off season may save you money in the long run.

 

 

HAVE FUN

 

Photo Credit: WCHV

This could quite possibly be the most important thing to remember. Porco says overall, the goal of wedding shows is to provide you with resources to make your wedding go off without a hitch. But who says you can’t have fun in the process? Many shows will have food, drinks, contests, seminars, games, DJs playing great music and a wedding fashion show with models showcasing dresses and tuxedos. At the Villa Borghese, the staff gets in on the fun as they are the models for the show!

 

Brower urges couples to keep it light when they go to show because it is very easy to have an anxiety-ridden experience. “Keep it light when you go to them,” she says. “This is part of the engagement and planning process, so make sure that it’s fun, because if you leave and you feel stressed, you missed it. It should be something wonderful to help you. These shows should be a tool for you and not to make you feel stressed out.” Mendillo agrees, as she tells every couple she knows who’s going to a show, “I want them to have fun.”

 

At the end of the day, all the vendors and all the host venues are there to help you. Porco sums it up nicely by saying, “Our fortune is that you came to our bridal show, we made your life that much easier, and that much special for that particular day. That’s the most important thing.”

 

What tips do you have for couples going to wedding expos? What piece of advice would you share?

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5 tips you need to know for awesome engagement photos

Join us for part 2 of a 3-part series

 

By now we’ve hope you read our article on why engagement photos are so important and have decided to book your engagement session. If you are still on the fence, take a few moments to read why Hudson Valley photographers say they are a must-do.

 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

If you’ve already booked your engagement session, congratulations! Now, you’re probably thinking, what’s next? If you are like me, you might have no idea what to expect. Sure, you’ve seen people get photos done before, but how many times have you actually been the subject of those photos? For me, whenever I thought of getting professional pictures taken, my mind conjured up a funny scenario a la Austin Powers with Beyoncé, fans blowing my hair and a photographer yelling “Yeah, baby” and “I’m spent.” Why I thought that, I have no idea, but it still makes me laugh to this day to know that’s what I thought they’d be like.

 

Let me tell you, engagement photos are NOT like that, though I’m sure if you asked, your photographer might be able to make it happen…just kidding, but who knows.

 

If you’ve booked your session and are wondering what it will be like, let’s take a moment to step back and think about the first time you did anything: the first time you rode a bike, your first kiss, the first time you left home, or your first job. For some, the thought of doing anything for the first time is extremely scary and nerve-wracking. That’s normal. Why? Because you don’t know what to expect. It’s all new.

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios


 

If someone told you what to expect prior to doing anything for the first time, it would probably make you feel better and give you more confidence because the anticipation of what would happen is already known, and you will know how to prepare for what is to come.

 

So, with that, we have expert advice on what to expect, to eliminate the “unknowns” and help you feel more confident, excited and ready to rock your engagement photo session.

 

What can I expect the atmosphere to be like, and how will it differ than my wedding day?

 

In a word…RELAXED. Unlike your wedding day, which is formal in nature, emotional and slightly rushed, engagement sessions are way more relaxed and calm. Hannah Servidio, Owner of Hannah Nicole photography in Poughkeepsie, says it’s a very jovial atmosphere. She likes to joke and have fun with her couples, mainly to put them at ease.

 

The video below, created by AW’STRUCK Studios for Hannah Nicole Photography, really gives you a good sense of how calm and easy an engagement session is.

 

 

Notice how Servidio shows the couple, Kimberly and Andrew (who you’ll hear more from later in this series) how to pose. Any photographer you choose will do the same. Rupert Rogers and Kellie Walsh of 4 Eyes Photography in Nyack and Manhattan says, “We’ll direct couples on what to do, so they’re having fun and relax. We like to shoot the engagement shoots with one photographer and an assistant, so that bags and equipment can be watched while the photographer works with the couple.”

 

How long does an engagement photo session last?

 

Engagement photo sessions typically don’t last too long, but the length varies per photographer. Of the photographers we spoke to, you’re looking at anywhere from one to three hours. You and your photographer can pick the day and the time, and most photographers tend to shoot in the late afternoon (depending on the season) because the sunlight exposure at that time is awesome.

 

Where do you get photos taken, and how do you choose your locale?

 

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

Mark Greenstone, owner of Majestic Studios in Hopewell Junction, really likes to give his couples ownership and buy in as to where to have photos taken and encourages his couples to think about both the engagement photos and wedding photos as a whole. He explains couples need to think about whether they want to choose a site similar or different than where you plan to get wedding photos taken. For example, do you want the Hudson River in the background of both? He also encourages his couples to think about how the photos are going to be used. As mentioned in Part 1, think about if you want to use the photos as part of your wedding day (guest book, website, save the dates) or if you just want them to display around your home.

 

Erica Leman, owner and lead photographer at Sweet Alice Photography in Poughkeepsie, actually has a Pinterest board of Hudson Valley locations to choose from, if the couple is really stumped. “It’s really helpful to my couples,” she says. “About half (of couples) already have great ideas on locations outside of my help (usually, places that are meaningful to them and their story), and others like to peruse the board and choose from there.”

 

Once you get to a location, the possibilities are endless. Rogers and Welsh say once they get to a location, that spot usually ends up leading to more spots during the session. “We like to pick one area and then walk around, selecting lots of different spots for shots as we go.”

 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

When do you get engagement photos done?

 

As we mentioned earlier, thinking about how you want to use the photos can determine when you get them done. If you want them for elements of your wedding, such as for save the dates or a wedding website, you should get them done months in advance. If that’s not something you plan on doing, then timing doesn’t really matter. Rogers and Walsh say, “It can really be anytime – a year in advance or a few weeks before the day. Sometimes it’s nice to be in a different season to your actual wedding, so you have a whole fresh ‘look.’ ”

 

What do you wear?

 

This is the age-old question. You can be staring at a closet full of clothes and still have nothing to wear, right? However, what you wear determines a lot. Greenstone says what you wear gives the photographer a better sense of who you are as a couple. He’s had couples come in everything from jeans and sneakers to dress-wear. But most importantly, he says to make sure you wear something that you are comfortable in.

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

“We always tell people to wear their favorite clothes – what they are comfortable in,” say Rogers and Welsh. “You’ll be moving around and posing in lots of positions, so you’ll want to be comfortable.” But they caution couples to stay away from white clothes, heavily patterned clothes, and anything that’s very tight.
 

Leman encourages couples to look at what each person is wearing and coordinate that way. “Couples should wear clothes that they feel comfortable and confident in, and err on the side of caution regarding patterns.” She says. “If one person is wearing a pattern (such as a plaid or floral), the other person should wear a solid. Corresponding colors are good, but totally matching can be a little cheesy. I just let couples know to bring their awesome self, and to wear clothes that they are comfortable and confident in. I recommend that women get hair and makeup done, but it is totally not absolutely necessary – just a nice added touch, if wanted.”

 

Servidio recommends couples bring two outfits: one that’s comfortable and casual, and one that’s a bit dressier, giving you a variety in the look and feel of the photos.

 

How are you preparing for your engagement session? What are you wearing? When and where are you getting them done? Have a question about engagement photos? Send them to Felicia@weddingconnectionshv.com.

 

Stay tuned for the last in our series of engagement photos when we interview two amazing couples about their engagement sessions and why they chose to get them done.

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Featured Couple: Amanda & David

Their Love Story…

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

David and Amanda met when they were each 14 years old. Amanda fell in love with David and thought he was the most gorgeous boy in the world. “We dated for about a week (typical 14-year-old relationship),” Amanda says,  “and then broke up but remained friends.” They always stayed in touch, but it wasn’t until a family tragedy in December 2011 that they reconnected. “We started dating officially in May of 2012.”

 

The Proposal…

“On May 1, 2014, on our two-year dating anniversary, David took me to Lake Minnewaska in New Paltz, and we climbed to the highest point that overlooks the whole lake. He told me there that he wanted to find the most beautiful place to ask the most beautiful girl to marry him.”

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Wedding Theme…

 

“I always wanted a rustic fall wedding,” Amanda says. “I wanted to get married outside and Locust Grove just fit the mold perfectly.”

 

Most Memorable Moment…

 

“I think my husband’s face was the most memorable moment for me, and luckily, I have picture proof of it to remind me of the true love and admiration he has for me,” says Amanda.  “It’s crazy to think that looking at one person can just show you so many things: love, comfort, strength, compassion.  But his face during our first look, walking down the aisle, first dance and to the next day, when he turned to me and called me his wife, I think are the most memorable moments from my wedding.”

 

Hudon Valley Professionals…

 

Wedding Photographer: Hannah Nicole Photography (Poughkeepsie)

Venue: Locust Grove (Poughkeepsie)
Caterer: The Artist’s Palate (Poughkeepsie)
Hair: Hair by Carolina (Kingston)
Dress: Town Shop Bridal (Poughkeepsie)
DJ: Zolz Entertainment (Hyde Park)

Photo Credit to all: Hannah Nicole Photography

 

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3 Valuable Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Florist

Join us in this first part of a two-part series

 

Do you recall ever looking at your parent’s wedding photos or your grandparent’s wedding photos? What are some of the things you remember? Probably what they wore and what their flowers looked like. Flowers, though small in stature, have an amazingly huge impact on your wedding day.

 

Photo Credit: Lucille’s Floral of Fishkill

Not only do they set the mood of your day, they are a hint to your guests as to what kind of wedding to expect; they reflect your personality; they are symbolic and brighten a room with their colors and aroma. In my opinion, it’s impossible to be sad when you are around flowers.

 

Because flowers appear in every part of your day – from your hair (maybe) to bouquets and boutonnieres, bridal party bouquets, ceremony décor and centerpieces – it’s essential to choose a florist who can fulfill your vision. Knowing how to choose the right florist for your wedding day goes far beyond just thinking you will go with a florist you’re kind of familiar with because one of your co-workers got a flower delivery from them one day a few years ago. When it comes time to hiring your florist, just like hiring any wedding professional, you want the best. We know how important it is to connect and “mesh” with all your vendors, and your florist is no exception.

 

We asked some Hudson Valley florists to share their expert advice on how to choose the florist who will create the perfect vision for your wedding day.

 

Meet In Person

 

First, and foremost, talk, in person with your florist. In this day in age, everyone wants to e-mail or call, but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation. Lucille Conforti, owner of Lucille’s Floral of Fishkill, recommends, as with all vendors, choosing a florist with experience and looking at their reviews, but be cautious of them as well. Also, she says, be honest in your conversation with them and make sure you are comfortable with them, their services, and their personality.

 

Photo Credit: Floral Affairs by Sarah

You need to click with their vision and artistry, but you also need to click with them as a person. Sarah Faoro, owner of Floral Affairs by Sarah in Gardiner says, “You should love your florist’s design style. Take some time to scroll through pictures of their work and see if it compliments your wedding vision. Lastly, choose a florist based on their personality. You’re entering into a long-term relationship and want to feel comfortable asking questions and expressing your opinion knowing that you’ll get great service after months of communication. Florists are expert wedding professionals who should be willing to work with clients to fulfill their vision.”

 

Remember, this all goes back to what we spoke about earlier about putting together your “A” team.

 

Experience and Reputation

 

Photo Credit: Meadowscent

Your wedding day is a day you do not get to repeat. Therefore you want to make sure your florist is knowledgeable enough to help guide you and work with you to make your vision a reality. Theresa Colucci, owner of Meadowscent in New Paltz, says by choosing florists who have been around for a while and have a lot of experience, they should easily and willingly be able to share with you references from past couples. Because this is a day where there are no do-overs, you also want to make sure they have the proper insurance and identification.

 

Why is experience, reputation and insurance important? Steve Morgan, owner and designer of Morgan’s Florist in Poughkeepsie, says it’s because you want someone who shows up on time and knows how to handle and fix any problem that may arise. They should be able to handle it smoothly and calmly. They should always have a Plan B.

 

Remember Florists are Artists

 

Photo Credit: Morgan’s Florist

“Remember that floral designers are artists, flowers are their media and every artist has their own style,” says Faoro. From experience, when speaking to almost any of your wedding professionals, it’s safe to say they all would consider themselves artists in the own field – floral designers, especially. Anyone can put flowers in a vase or grab a bunch and tie them together, but it takes real skill to make them look good and tie them cohesively into a vision, feel, and mood. It takes an artist to know how the height, shape and structure of a flower compliments the rest in a bunch. Think of choosing the work your florist does like choosing a piece of art. How do you feel when you see their work? Does it move you? Make you feel compelled to want more? Can you see their design fitting into the aesthetic of your day? Does it complement your vision? If so, that would be a good indication to consider that florist.

 

How did you choose your florist? What moved you to hire them to decorate your wedding?

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