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Ask the Experts

Should I Buy a Wedding Album?

By Rob Jinks A few years ago around Christmastime, my grandmother brought out the album of photos from her wedding in 1958. This album had rounded corners, gold page decoration, and thick pages inlaid with photos. It wasn’t your typical modern wedding album. Today’s albums offer a huge range of options, namely full page printing without a gutter between pages, and clean flat spreads no matter where you open the book. I love being able to see a crisp client album, sometimes up to 24 inches wide, and see a beautiful image in a way that no computer monitor or tiny phone screen can display. But what I loved about my grandmother’s wedding album and what I love about the albums I am able to provide to my clients are the stories. My grandmother didn’t just show me photos – she used them as an opportunity …

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Your Wedding Photography Timeline

By Rob Jinks There is nothing better than looking back on photos full of stories, emotion, and memories from your wedding day. However, without a proper understanding of how photography interacts with your wedding timeline, you risk running behind in your schedule, leaving your guests unattended, and missing out on the photos you want most. Today I want to give you tips for planning your wedding timeline in a way that will maximize your photography and help get you the images you want most. Plan more time than you think you need. Many weddings have some aspect of their day take longer than expected. Plan extra time in your schedule and know that things might take a little longer than you thought. Plan extra time for travel, for hair and makeup, for extra portraits with the best light of the day. Give yourself buffers throughout the day to …

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Planning Your Wedding Budget: Flowers

by Lisa Beth Miller When planning your wedding, it would be difficult to avoid spending a large sum on flowers, as they are woven into many aspects of the celebration. Flowers and decor traditionally take up around 15% of the wedding budget. This, of course, is flexible, depending upon how much the couple chooses to utilize flowers! Here are a few ideas to consider as your budget: Bridal bouquets and toss bouquets are fairly traditional and necessary. Brides who love flowers can go all out with an extravagant bouquet, while minimalists can certainly keep it simple! Brides could even opt to use the “real bouquet” as the toss bouquet to save a few dollars. Just keep in mind that the bride’s bouquet is one of the most photographed floral arrangements of the day! Don’t skimp too much! Bridesmaids’ bouquets are …

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The Truth About Wedding Gown Sizes

by Lisa Beth Miller Ok…so you have finally found your dream wedding gown. Your sales consultant at the bridal boutique is all ready to measure you and order the fabulous frock you have selected. You are expertly measured and ready to order. Everything seems to be going smoothly until she whips out the designer’s size chart and informs you which size should be ordered. Many brides are shocked to learn that the wedding gown size recommended is a bit larger than the size they would normally purchase when shopping at the mall. This humbling experience is very commonplace. As your official wedding diva, I am going to give you the real scoop on this scenario. Bridal designers are not using the same “vanity” size charts as your favorite department store and mall shop designers! Wedding gown designers are traditionalists in …

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What A Father Of The Bride Or Groom Should Wear To The Wedding

Photo by Sikora Photography

by Lisa Beth Miller This week, I was approached with a question that I thought was important enough to be addressed: What exactly should a dad wear to the wedding of his son or daughter? Seems simple enough to tell dads to dress up, but should they match the actual wedding party? No! Dads are not to be dressed exactly like the groomsmen, as they are not technically members of the wedding party. The key here is to dress dads in keeping with the appropriate level of formality for the event. So if the groomsmen are in black tuxedos with green accessories, dads should wear tuxedos, but not the same one and not with the exact same accessories as the groomsmen. The dads are also not required to match each other. So using the previous scenario (black tuxes and green vests and ties for the groomsmen), perhaps the …

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Material Girl: Becoming Familiar With Wedding Gown Fabrics

by Lisa Beth Miller Buying a wedding gown can be a very intimidating process. While it is often best to shop in a reputable bridal boutique that employs well-educated bridal consultants, sometimes a bride should do a little homework first! Before shopping, be sure that you have a clear vision about where and what time of year your wedding will be held. It is important that you have some concept of what fabric weight will be appropriate for your event. As you shop for your perfect gown, it is very likely that your sales consultant will be referring to some of the following fabrics: Any season Silk: The most common, cherished, and priciest wedding gown fabric, silk is a smooth and soft natural fiber. Satin: Very common in wedding gowns, satin is a densely woven silk with a lustrous sheen on one …

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How to Plan an Amazing Bridal Shower

by Lisa Beth Miller Bridal showers are a traditional and fun part of any bride’s wedding preparations. The typical shower involves a ladies’ luncheon and lots of shower gifts, but some hostesses are going the extra mile and come up with more creative and interesting ideas for their parties. Here are a few ideas to make things both fresh and fun. Go retro! Ok, maybe you like the typical formula for an old-school bridal shower. Go with it! Plan lots of fun games, serve retro cocktails (whiskey sours, anyone?), and serve classic appetizers like meatballs and mini-quiches. Looking for a place to purchase the perfect bridal shower games or favors? Check Etsy for some unique options! Go somewhere fun! Bridal showers do not have to be held in Mom’s living room! A restaurant or country club can offer a “mini-getaway” for the …

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Cheers! All About Wedding Toast Etiquette

by Lisa Beth Miller So, the wedding reception is going fabulously well. Your guests are relaxing, enjoying the food and drink, and admiring the style and décor of your event. Sounds like it is the appropriate time to propose a toast! The purpose of wedding toasts is twofold. The traditional toasts given by the best man and maid of honor (and sometimes others who wish to express their thoughts) are meant to pay tribute to the newly married couple and wish them a lifetime of happiness. These toasts should be brief, respectful, and only contain stories and references that everyone will understand and appreciate! Now is not the time for private jokes, inside stories, and reminiscing about the bride’s or groom’s wilder days! After the toasts from the attendants and guests, the groom and bride also traditionally take the floor. …

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What’s A Mother Of The Bride Or Groom To Wear?

by Lisa Beth Miller Nowadays, the role of the mother of the bride is changing. She is a fashionable woman who not only wants to express her personal style at her daughter’s wedding, she wants to make a fashion statement, feel comfortable, and shine like the star that she is on this special day. Mothers (of the bride OR groom) are cherished guests of honor and often hosts of a wedding. They are NOT required to wear dresses to match or coordinate exactly with the bridesmaids! They should also never be pressured to wear beige or to “blend into the background.” Mothers deserve to look their absolute best on this very important day. Here are a few guidelines for dress shopping for mothers: The mother of the bride no longer has to wear a gown that sweeps the ground. Now, more than ever before, the mother of the bride is …

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Forever Your Girl: Dressing Your Fabulous Flower Girl

by Lisa Beth Miller The adorable little flower girl! Who could possibly be cuter? This special little girl plays an important role in the wedding day and deserves to be dressed like the princess that she really is! How does the bride go about deciding how to dress the flower girl? Well, there are two schools of thought on this issue. One trend suggests that the flower girl should be dressed in a child-sized (and child appropriate) version of the bridesmaids’ dress. The bride can either ask if the bridesmaid dress designer also makes a child’s version, or simply obtain color swatches of the bridesmaids’ dress and shop with a designer who makes children’s dresses exclusively. The second possibility is to take the approach of dressing the flower girl as a mini-bride, in a white or ivory dress that coordinates more …

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The Hottest Wedding Dress Boutiques in Northern Virginia

Saying ‘Yes to the Dress’ is the highlight of wedding planning for most brides. It also sets the mood for the entire wedding after you have selected your venue! Here is are the best bridal boutiques and dress shops in Northern Virginia. Amy’s Bridal Boutique “Why should I consider Amy’s Bridal?” you may ask. Well, for starters, it’s been a staple in the community since August 2008 and has developed into a one-stop boutique for all your wedding needs. Amy Domenech, the owner, has thought of everything and eliminated a lot of unnecessary steps in the process. Amy’s Bridal Boutique has the resources and capabilities to take care of you, the groom and the bridal party. “My boutique has all sorts of things to offer,” Amy says. “I love many aspects of weddings and we are ever changing. Wedding gowns are my specialty. However, we also offer bridesmaids dresses, tuxedo rentals, gown preservation, accessories, …

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Wedding Stationery: A Guest’s First Glimpse Into Your Wedding Vision

by Lisa Beth Miller Wedding stationery may seem like a minor wedding detail, but it is actually an important part of your overall event concept. Wedding stationery is a couple’s first opportunity to delve into the “personal branding” of their big day. Sounds overly serious and corporate? It isn’t. Personal branding just means that the engaged couple is closely planning the overall look and concept of their wedding day, and that they are making sure that every aspect of the day is appropriate and recognizable. Generally speaking, the “save the date” cards are a wedding guest’s first glimpse into the style and personal branding of the engaged couple. These are traditionally sent out very early (well before the invitations), making it critical for the bride and groom to develop their personal branding well in advance. For example, if a bride and groom are planning …

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