Success Stories (3rd in the series)

October 28th, 2009

Here’s a story from a few years ago (pre-blog):

The bride and groom were moving to Los Angeles the day after the wedding, so the reception theme was “A Farewell to Chicago.” They held the reception in a hall where they had gone to hear many bands, with catering by a well-known Chicago pizza place. Without a full-service caterer, they needed someone to set the tables, hire and supervise the serving staff and bartenders, and generally make things run. I made sure that the hall was ready for the reception, including setting tables for 150 guests, coordinated the caterer, the bar, and the band, and I made sure that the bride, the groom, and their families could have a good time without worrying about anything.

The caterer had not quite brought enough pizza for everyone.  I think they underestimated how much people would eat.  When the supply of food was dwindling as the line moved through the buffet, I knew I had to act.  I whispered to the bride that there was a little problem, and she asked me to take care of it.  After consulting with her mother about payment, I asked the catering manager to supply more food.  He managed to get it there within a reasonable amount of time, and I don’t think anyone but the bride, her mother, and me knew that there was ever a shortage.

No one went hungry that night!

No one went hungry that night!

Wedding Colors

October 19th, 2009

I see a lot of online discussions about wedding colors, and it has gotten me to thinking.  Why are wedding colors so important?  Where did they come from?  How have they become a necessary part of wedding planning?

Wedding websites gush with statements such as this:

There’s no question: choosing wedding colors is one of the earliest, trickiest tasks a bride has to cross off the list. You can’t even talk [to] your florist until you’ve worked this out.

(From Favor Ideas.)

I’m pretty sure that in my mother’s day, there was no such thing as wedding colors.  Tablecloths were white; flowers were whatever color you liked; maybe you had an accent color for monogrammed napkins; and everything else was white.  Sometime since then, wedding colors have become seemingly mandatory.

Unity sand and contrasting flowers.  Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

Unity sand and contrasting flowers. Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

I will say this in favor of choosing colors:  If you’re not having a white wedding, when creating elaborate decorations, it is much easier to come up with a pleasing decor if you are working from a limited color palette.  Choosing two or three colors and sticking with them makes the design much more likely to be successful.

On the other hand, I don’t think that it is necessary to fetishize a pair of colors the way some of the bridal magazines would have you do.  TheKnot.com puts it very well:

We should point out that overdoing it with a matchy-match look is entirely possible. (You don’t want your guests thinking, Um, yeah, lavender…we get it.)

At the same time, that same website devotes pages and pages to wedding colors.  I think it is possible to strike a balance:  Know your color scheme but don’t become a slave to it.  Above all, don’t think that you can’t get married without one.

A very thoughtful couple I worked with a couple of years ago chose their color scheme very carefully and made it unusually meaningful.  Each of them chose a color that made them think of their spouse-to-be.  They then used the colors and their meanings in their wedding vows.  And those were their wedding colors.  As the guests enjoyed the reception, when they saw the ribbons tied around the candles or the unity sand the couple had poured during the ceremony, they were reminded of their beautiful vows and the real meaning of the day.

This couple also did not use their two colors exclusively.  The cake used one of the colors and a contrasting color.  The wedding party wore the other color, mostly.  But the flowers (with the exception of the groom’s boutonniere) were all in contrasting bright colors; the place cards didn’t match at all; and still everything looked and felt like a unified whole.

The lesson here is, I think, that thinking about color is very important when planning a wedding reception.  It should not, however, become more important than the main event, which is getting married.

Vendors I Know–Carasco Photography

October 12th, 2009
A typically whimsical photo by Carasco Photography.

A typically whimsical photo by Carasco Photography.

Every once in a while, I work with someone I just click with.  Last summer, I worked with Scott and Cara of Carasco Photography for the first time and there was that click.  My client had hired them before she hired me, so they were unknown to me until a week before the wedding.  All I knew was that my client thought they did very nice work.

In the week before the wedding, I had a very nice phone conversation with Cara, so I had a good feeling about them.  Then I met them both at the wedding and discovered just how personable and interesting they both are.  We had a chance to chat for a while when we had a few minutes’ break and I discovered that I like their attitude, as well.  I was also impressed by their work ethic and efficiency. They did a lot of capturing the moment but also took portraits.  I enjoyed watching them take the portraits because they made it look like a lot of fun.

And then I saw the photos and was completely amazed by the results.  They really captured that wedding day in all its glory.  (You can see some of their photos in my photo gallery.)   Those are some of my favorite photos of weddings I have worked on because they really show the beauty of the day.

There are countless photographers in Chicago but I think there are only a few who have everything going for them the way Scott and Cara do.  So, take a look at what they do and I hope you’ll consider them when you are looking for a photographer.