Scenegraphy Studio: Blog https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog en-us (C) Scenegraphy Studio (Scenegraphy Studio) Tue, 13 Jul 2021 15:35:00 GMT Tue, 13 Jul 2021 15:35:00 GMT https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/img/s/v-12/u144515119-o905932728-50.jpg Scenegraphy Studio: Blog https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog 120 80 What Message to Write in a Wedding Card https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/what-message-to-write-in-a-wedding-card What Message to Write in a Wedding Card

Writing well-wishes for a newlywed couple can feel like a daunting task. How do you sum up the joy and excitement you feel for their new adventure in a few simple phrases? If you’ve got a case of writer’s block, we have tips to get you started along with etiquette from expert Myka Meier to help you avoid any faux pas.

Wedding Card Writing Tips

Mention both names
When writing wedding wishes, the most important thing to remember is to make out the card to both members of the couple. “If you know the bride, don’t make the mistake of addressing something very personal to just her,” says Meier. “Now that she is married, the contents of the card should be relevant to both of the newlyweds.”

Make sure it's not generic
Always include a note beyond what is pre-written on the inside. “Never just sign your name under a Hallmark message,” says Meier. “If you’re short on words, say that in your writing. Try: ‘I found this card, and these words were exactly how I felt.’ That gives added emphasis to the card itself.”

Be careful with humor
Sarcasm on paper can be hard to read without a smiley face or exclamation point. Avoid topics that could be sensitive to the couple, such as money or length of the relationship, and, though it should go without saying: no divorce jokes.

Get personal
The better you know them, the more personal the card can be. Go with a memory that involves the couple. Sign-offs can be full of love; Meier’s favorites include: “XOXO,” “Elated for you,” “Over the moon for you,” and “Madly in love with you two.”

Wedding Card Etiquette

Bring your card to the ceremony
You should never show up to someone’s home without a token of appreciation for being hosted, and the same goes for weddings. “It’s a nice gesture that shows gratitude for being invited,” Meier says. This remains true even if you’ve already sent a gift to the couples’ home or contributed to a honeymoon fund. “I would write in the card: ‘We hope you enjoy the gift we sent to your home,’” says Meier. That way, you’re tactfully acknowledging that a gift accompanied your card.

Hand it to the right person
If, upon arrival at the ceremony, you do not see a gift station or card box, seek out the wedding planner or venue manager. They’ll ferry your card to the bridal suite or another designated place for safe-keeping. No event professional on hand? Give your card to one of the fathers of the couple, or the best man. “The reason has nothing to do with gender,” Meier says. “It’s about what they would be wearing. They would likely have a suit with pockets, whereas the mothers or maid of honor likely have a tiny evening purse or no pockets at all.”

Consider how you address it
Unsure of how the couple will be handling last names? There’s an easy workaround: Address the envelope with “To the newlyweds,” “To the Mr. and Mrs.,” “To the Mr. and Mr.,” or “To the Mrs. and Mrs.”

Go with a check, not cash
Planning on including a monetary gift with your card? “If cash gets misplaced, that’s it,” says Meier. “But if you give a check, you can track it. If you see, two months after the wedding, that the check has not been cashed, you can make sure the couple received it.”

Send one even if you can't attend
If you’re invited to the wedding but unable to attend, feel free to mail your card anytime between when you receive your invitation and a few weeks after the big day. There’s no real-time limit on telling a couple how happy you are for them.

Wedding Card Examples

Unsure of what to say when it comes to specific relationships? Here are some specific guidelines from Meier of what to write in a wedding card.

What Message to Write in a Wedding CardWhat Message to Write in a Wedding CardWhat Message to Write in a Wedding Card

For a Couple You Don't Know Well
Dear [Couple's Names],
Congratulations on your wedding day. I wish you a lifetime of health and happiness.
Best regards,

[Your Name(s)]

For a Co-Worker or Employee
Dear [Couple's Names],
Thank you for inviting me to share in this special day! May your marriage be filled with success and happiness.
Best wishes,

[Your Name(s)]

For a Religious Couple
Dear [Couple's Names],
Many prayers for a happy and healthy union. May God bless you and grant you all of life’s joys together.
With love,

[Your Name(s)]

For a Close Friend
Dear [Couple's Names],
I should have known the first time I caught you playing footsie underneath the table in our college cafeteria that we’d end up here one day. From late-night library sessions to even later-night McDonald’s runs, it’s been such a joy adventuring through life with you these past seven years. Here’s to seventy more. 
XOXO,
[Your Name(s)]

For a Sibling
To the newlyweds—
I’ll never forget that first Thanksgiving when Everett let his new girlfriend take the last slice of pumpkin pie without complaining. I knew something was different then, and now, here we are! Lindsey, you’ve been like a sister to me these past few years, and today, I couldn’t be happier to officially call you my sister-in-law. Welcome to the family! I’m so happy for you both.
Love and congratulations,
[Your Name(s)]

For a Child
[Couple's Names],
The greatest hope a parent has for their child is that they find a partner to travel through life with. Today, my daughter/son gains that partner and I gain a son/daughter. What a wonderful moment for our family, and for the one that you two have now begun. May everything that comes next be as filled with joy as this day is.
All my love,

Mom and/or Dad

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) Message Newlywed Wedding Wedding Card Wedding Message https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/what-message-to-write-in-a-wedding-card Tue, 13 Jul 2021 10:32:17 GMT
How to Design Your Wedding: Become Part of a Grander Story https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/how-to-design-your-wedding-become-part-of-a-grander-story Linens, flowers, stationery, escort cards … with so many details going into the overall look of your wedding day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed—and, sometimes, to even figure out where to begin. The good news? It’ll all be worth it in the end. 

“Making your event more personal makes it more memorable,” says event designer Laura Ritchie. “And the minute moments of discovery during the planning process will become part of a grander story of who you are.” 

More good news: If you’re thoughtful, deliberate, and organized while seeking out and whittling down inspiration, the wedding design process will be significantly easier to manage. Read on for Ritchie’s expert tips for moving through the experience from start to finish—and a few of the design trends she’s most excited about right now. 

Design Your WeddingDesign Your WeddingDesign Your Wedding

Where to Begin 

If you’re someone who hasn’t kept a secret Pinterest board of wedding inspo—and hey, no shame either way—it can be tempting to open up the app, see what’s trending, and let that guide your initial choices. Ritchie, however, advocates for a more inward-focused approach in these beginning stages. 

“It’s important that the event actually feels like the couple,” she says. “Where you shop, what you like to do, and what you participate in are all great jumping-off points.” 

Take inventory of your closet—do you wear a lot of florals, stripes, or bright hues? Those could all lead to color palettes or design motifs. Another question to ask yourselves: What joint hobbies or date night traditions do you have? Maybe you love playing tennis together or go out for gelato every Friday night. These small details of your love story also make great fodder for your overall wedding experience. (Think: a tournament-bracket seating chart; a surprise ice cream cart as a late-night snack.) 

Sentimental components of your family histories can also be an excellent place to begin. If you’ve always loved your mother’s blue and white china, why not make toile the dominant pattern of the day? Or perhaps your fiancé(e)’s late father loved to sail—what better way to honor his memory than with a nautical theme and on-the-water venue? 

Wherever you begin, make sure the inspiration point is uniquely yours. That way, when your big day finally arrives, your guests are guaranteed to say “that’s so them.” 

How to Find—and Refine—Your Inspiration 

Even as recently as ten years ago, the options for wedding design inspiration were significantly more limited. You might tear out and save pages from a wedding magazine, or mentally tuck away details from celebrations you attended IRL. These days, however, ideas are absolutely everywhere—particularly on Pinterest and Instagram. That can be both a good and a bad thing. 

“Social media can be overwhelming,” says Ritchie. “You can objectively say you like everything, but what do you like for you?” That’s why she recommends a more edited, intentional approach to these apps. Instead of saving everything from bouquets to “ab workouts for brides” in one catch-all place, Ritchie suggests creating separate folders or boards for different categories.

How Social Media Plays a Role in Almost Every Aspect of a Wedding

Save everything and anything you like at first, but when it comes time to meet with your vendors, whittle down to five or seven photos that best represent your vision in that category. “That way, it’s not just a stream of consciousness of random things, but a more curated peek into the exact kind of tablescapes you like, or the arch you want for a ceremony,” Ritchie explains. 

Another good thing to know: generic wedding style terms, such as “glam,” “boho” or “preppy,” mean lots of different things to lots of different people, so when you type them into a search bar, you’re going to get lots of different results. Instead of wasting time wading through irrelevant options on Pinterest, click into an image that catches your eye, and then scroll down to explore the “More like this” photo options—they’ll likely be much closer to what you’re after. 

Tips for Designing Your Wedding 

Be smart about your venue
The spaces where you hold your ceremony and reception will have the greatest influence on your wedding design. Not only will they impact the overall vibe—a romantic, all-white wedding, for example, just won’t work in a modern hotel ballroom with a colorfully patterned carpet—they’ll also dictate what parts of your Pinterest wedding vision you can—and can't—bring to life. (i.e. those confetti cannons you wanted to use at midnight during your New Year’s Eve wedding, which could be against venue policy.)

“Choosing a venue that works for you aesthetically, that matches your budget, and will carry your theme and design through without having to cover the whole thing up in drapes is super important,” says Ritchie. “You don’t want to be ‘venue-poor’ and not have money left over for other things.”  

All that to say: choose a venue where you feel comfortable leaning into the style, and you’ll find it significantly easier to incorporate your inspiration. Or: Let your venue guide the way! Find a place that meets your location, size, and budget requirements, then start gathering inspiration with the look and feel of the space in mind.

Hire a professional
“You can absolutely go to Target and decorate your home with everything off the shelf,” muses Ritchie. “Would it look more thoughtful and refined if you hired a professional interior designer? Sure.” 

She’s not wrong. If you have the budget, bringing in an event planner and/or designer—someone who spends their professional life sweating the small details and knows what’s actually available in your area and on your budget—is the best way to bring your wedding design dreams to life. 

“Having a planner also gives you the breathing room to enjoy the process, because they provide the structure of what needs to be done when,” Ritchie adds. With their help, you’ll have someone else worrying about staying on task and on deadline—which means you can devote your energy to the more “fun” activities, such as selecting cocktail hour apps or stationery.

Rethink what you know about color palettes
One of the most common questions you’ll be asked after getting engaged—right after “Can I see the ring!?”—is “What are your wedding colors?” While weddings circa the early 2000s and 2010s had tight, specific color palettes (navy and fuschia, yellow and gray), palettes these days are much less confined. “You’re not picking colors, but a spectrum of tones,” says Ritchie. “That gives people the liberty to feel like there are lots of choices at their fingertips.” 

It also allows for more flexibility—which is clutch as spending starts to rise. If you’re open to a wide range of shades from the beginning, it’ll be easier to compromise on elements as your budget requires.

Rely on your vendors
Floral designers, rental companies, stationers … they’re called wedding “professionals” for a reason, and a large part of that reason is their ability to create something unique and special for each of their clients. So, once you’ve shared your inspo photos and discussed the specifics of what you love in each, trust your vendors to do their job—and know that means they likely won’t be creating a perfect carbon copy of the pictures you provided.  

“Your wedding is not going to be found in someone else’s,” Ritchie says. And by giving over a bit of control to the vendors who are just as invested in creating something beautiful as you, you’ll likely find something even better. 

Invest in elements that serve multiple purposes
The “wow” moments of your wedding design should either be things that guests will directly interact with (the escort card display) or spend a good amount of time surrounded by (their dinner table setting). Items that make only brief appearances (bridesmaid bouquets) don’t need to be lavished with as much attention—or money.

Think like a magazine editor 
A “well-designed” wedding is a “cohesive” wedding. Meaning: From start to finish, all the elements feel like they are part of the same day. That’s achieved in two ways:

Repeat certain motifs. Maybe the font on the invitation also shows up in the dinner menu, or the pampas grass surrounding the base of your ceremony arch also features prominently in the floating installation above your head table. For an overall connected look, pick a few elements and weave them into multiple points of your wedding. 

Edit, edit, edit. When designing, Ritchie often thinks of a wedding in a highlight reel. “If you had only 20 photos to show, what are the elements that say ‘this is the whole wedding?’” she says. “That way, you’re not going to go completely crazy in between, and you’re also not going to miss the opportunity to jazz up something important.”

Current Wedding Design Trends 
Right now, Ritchie is all about monochromatic looks—bold precisely because of their simplicity. “Doing a wedding in one color would be really cool,” she says. “Imagine all black.” She’s also a fan of incorporating risk-taking shades that aren’t as commonly used. “Chartreuse and melon are especially appealing to me right now,” she adds. “After such a difficult year, I think people are looking for happiness and joy. You can find that in an interesting and unique color palette.” 

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) Design Your Wedding How to Design Your Wedding Wedding https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/how-to-design-your-wedding-become-part-of-a-grander-story Sat, 10 Jul 2021 16:40:42 GMT
Bachelorette Party: Here's How to Plan It https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/bachelorette-party-heres-how-to-plan-it A bachelorette party is a gathering held in honor of a woman’s upcoming marriage. It is typically attended by the bride’s closest friends and family members.

While there are many opportunities to fête a couple and married life during the wedding planning process, only one event focuses on celebrating the bride and the bride alone: the bachelorette party. 

The bachelorette party has also evolved from a low-key dinner or luncheon held the day before the wedding into a full-blown destination weekend, complete with matching swimsuits, private boat charters, and its own hashtags.

“Traditionally, the joke is that the bachelorette is your final night of freedom,” says pro bachelorette party planner Allison Odhner, who notes that the rise in popularity of the concept coincided with the women’s liberation movement of the ’60s. “But it’s evolved into women celebrating other women and a reason to spend quality time with your favorite people.” 

Wherever your ideal celebration falls on the spectrum, read on for everything you need to know about how to plan a bachelorette party. 

Bachelorette Party - EtiquetteBachelorette Party - EtiquetteBachelorette Party - Etiquette

Bachelorette Party Etiquette

Bachelorette parties may be all about fun, but etiquette questions still come up. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Who throws a bachelorette party?

A bachelorette party is traditionally planned by the bride’s maid of honor, a small group of bridesmaids, or a small group of close friends, but there are no set rules here! It’s perfectly fine if the bride wants to handle planning herself. 

“The most important thing to remember is that lots of opinions quickly become a disaster,” says Odhner. “It’s best for one or two people to lead the planning, and the rest should try to go with the flow as much as possible.”

When do you hold a bachelorette party?

There are no set rules here, either—different seasons are better for different destinations, and the coronavirus pandemic has some couples opting to delay their bachelor and bachelorette parties until after they get married—but Odhner says most bachelorettes occur one or two months before the wedding. 

Is it OK to plan it over a holiday weekend?

While hosting your wedding during a holiday weekend can be a controversial move, it’s generally more accepted for bachelorette parties because the event involves a smaller group that’s more intimately connected to the bride. 

But while it’s nice for the group to not have to take an extra vacation day, airfare and hotels can be more costly during a holiday weekend, so you’ll want to weigh priorities accordingly when selecting the date. 

How involved should the bride be in planning? 

If someone other than the bride is taking point on planning the bachelorette party, they should get the bride’s input up front. “Ask if they have a specific destination and dates in mind as well as activities or specific things they’re interested in doing,” says Odhner. 

“From there, it’s your responsibility to take the bride’s vision and bring it to life.” Meaning, a few questions here and there are okay, but don’t drag the bride too far into the logistical weeds. She’s got a wedding to plan, after all!

Who gets invited to a bachelorette party? 

This is the bride’s decision. Some brides will want just their bridal party there while others will extend the invitation to a larger circle of family, friends, and even members of their partner's inner circle. 

Either way, people that are invited to the bachelorette should also be invited to the wedding, and gender shouldn’t prevent anyone from making the guest list.

Do you need to send formal invitations?  

Formal invitations are not necessary for a bachelorette party. “Often, it’s just an email,” says Odhner. “Nothing too formal, nothing too cute, just something focused on logistics and general information to get a feel for who can attend.” 

After key details and the confirmed guest list are set, however, a more official e-vite or paper invitation can be blasted out to get the group excited about attending.

Who pays for the bachelorette party? 

Traditionally, each bachelorette party attendee pays his or her own way through the celebration and also chips in to cover the cost of the bride. If the bachelorette party is one night of dinner or drinks, it’s a nice gesture, but not entirely necessary, to follow suit. 

If the bachelorette party is a multiday affair that requires hopping on a plane, however, it’s more common for a bride to pay her own way, especially when it comes to transportation and lodging.

Should there be party favors?

While not mandatory by any means, bachelorette party favors like tumblers, mugs, fanny packs, and personalized attire have become increasingly popular over the last few years. “Something they’ll use throughout the weekend is great,” says Odhner, who typically arranges for the favors to be set out at arrival or distributed at the beginning of the events she plans.

Steps to Planning a Bachelorette Party

If you've been tasked with planning the bach party or weekend, you'll want a roadmap. Here's a seven-step to planning a bachelorette party.

Bachelorette Party - EtiquetteBachelorette Party - EtiquetteBachelorette Party - Etiquette

1. Determine the guest list
“This is the perfect excuse to get all your favorite people together,” says Odhner, who advises brides to decide who their core bachelorette attendees will be before determining a location. Group size will impact decisions about lodging and activities. 

2. Pick a location 
Several factors go into selecting a bachelorette destination. The first few—climate, vibe, and activity preferences—are obvious. Do you want hot or cold weather? Do you want it to be alcohol-free? Do you want to party in a club or relax in a secluded cabin? Do you want to go hiking in the woods or hit up fancy restaurants in a big city? Asking these questions will help whittle down options. From there, you’ll also want to consider your time of year and the cost of flights. If two destinations offer similar amenities but one is less expensive to travel to, your decision can sometimes be made for you.

3. Figure out your date 
The host of the bachelorette party should work with the bride to select two to four dates that work best for her. From there, Odhner recommends using Doodle.com to quickly and easily poll invitees on which of those dates they would and would not be able to attend. The final date can be selected from there.

4. Book your lodgings 
For destination bachelorette weekends, Odhner recommends a group house rental over hotel rooms almost every time. “If it’s a large group—15 to 25—you may need to expand your search slightly outside of a city and realize you’re going to be spending time at the house,” she adds.

If you’re going the hotel route, Odhner suggests booking at least one suite. “That way there’s a communal place for people to pop in, have a glass of Champagne before they head out, or just hang out in during the morning,” she says. Because lodging is the bulk of the expense for a bachelorette weekend, it’s a good idea to ask invitees for the range they’re comfortable spending per night ($0 to 100, $100 to $200, $200 to $300, $300 and up) before booking your accommodations. 

5. Plan your activities 
For a regular two-day weekend, Odhner recommends two to three activities, plus some pre-scheduled downtime. “Whether it’s the night you arrive or a full day if you’re staying three days, there’s nothing wrong with [hanging out] at your house rental pool or doing something more low-key,” she says. Beyond hitting up clubs and bars, bachelorette activity options often include boat charters, spa activities, outdoor picnics, private yoga and fitness classes, walking tours, and group classes like candle-making or cooking lessons.

6. Arrange group meals 
If you’ll be heading out to dinner or brunch with a large group, there are certain steps you can take ahead of time to make handling the bill less of a headache. “See if the restaurant is willing to put together a limited menu for the group that’s a set price and includes a certain number of drinks,” Odhner suggests. If that’s not possible, she recommends announcing at the beginning of the meal that the bill will be split evenly, and everyone should take that into consideration when placing their orders.

7. Confirm attendance 
Four months ahead of the bachelorette, the host should have a good idea of base costs for lodging and activities. At this point, it’s a good idea to get back in touch with the group and share estimated costs, so invitees can make their final decisions about attending. Make it clear that attendees will still be on the hook for their portion of these expenses if they cancel after a certain date.

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) Bachelorette Bachelorette Etiquette Bachelorette Party Bachelorette Party Etiquette https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/bachelorette-party-heres-how-to-plan-it Sat, 10 Jul 2021 16:24:04 GMT
Engagement Photos: Here's What You Need to Know https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/engagement-photos-heres-what-you-need-to-know Engagement photos are more than fun snapshots; they’re one of the first mile markers in your wedding planning journey. This fun, low-stress photo session is like a wedding-day dry run. 

You’ll learn to perfect all sorts of flattering poses while capturing save-the-date and wedding-website content in the process. Plus, engagement sessions kick off one of your most important wedding-vendor relationships.

“First and foremost, it’s a fun time of your life to capture photos—you just got engaged, after all,” says photographer Molly King. “It also helps you establish a relationship with your photographer so you’re comfortable with them, and vice versa. They can learn more about you before the big day.”

Engagement PhotosEngagement PhotosEngagement Photos

How Much Do Engagement Photos Cost?

Typically, engagement photos are built into a wedding photographer’s package. The photographers want that time to get to know you and your significant other; it helps them create more meaningful and personal images. 

But, if you were to hire a photographer solely for engagement photos—or really any similar type of couple shoot—King estimates it would cost between $300 to $600 for a 90-minute session.

How to Choose a Photographer

Choosing a wedding or engagement photographer comes down to two things: editing style and personality. Whether you’re scouring Instagram for a local professional, binge-reading about Brides’ top photographers, or gathering friends’ recommendations, King says it’s important to take a step back and brainstorm the photo style you’re naturally drawn to. “While all photographers do a mix of portraits, candids, and formal poses, their unique editing style remains consistent—it’s their brand,” she explains.

The next important step for choosing your wedding or engagement photographer is studying their personality. Sure, you’re not hiring the photographer to be your friend, but you’re spending the majority of your big day with this person. You want to enjoy their company! “It’s important that your personalities mesh,” advises King. 

“I recommend checking out the photographer’s about page and Instagram, first. But you should also meet them. I like scheduling quick and informal meetups, or at least FaceTime calls, to get to know the couple outside of email.”

When to Take Your Engagement Photos

Once you’ve hired your photographer, it’s time to schedule your engagement shoot. If you’re planning to use these photos for save-the-dates (which go out six to eight months before your wedding), you need to book a session around 10 months or more in advance. That way your photographer has time to edit the images, and you still have time to get those invitations designed. If you have a longer engagement, or you’re not planning to use photos for save-the-dates, you have more flexibility.

In terms of season, King recommends avoiding the dead of summer given those all-too-common humidity hiccups: “I think spring and fall are the best times because you avoid extreme temperatures and still have pretty, colorful foliage—while avoiding dormant and bare trees in the winter.”

For the time of day, most photographers will recommend evening or early morning for soft, warm sunrise and sunset hues. King starts her sessions about an hour or two before sunset to capitalize on this flattering natural light.

Where to Take Your Engagement Photos

When choosing the perfect engagement photo spot, you can either pick a meaningful location or rely on your photographer’s expertise. If you have a special spot in mind—a first-date location, your favorite café, or a local park on your go-to walking route—run it by your photographer first. Then, they can scope it out, get some ideas, and figure out any necessary permissions for photographing. 

While it’s fun to have engagement shots from a nostalgic location, photographers equally love when couples lean on them for inspiration. “I’m always driving around and scouting out new or lesser-known photography spots, so I’m excited when a couple asks for my opinion,” says King. “I often have new spots in mind, and I’m just waiting for an adventurous couple to try them with.”

If you and your significant other love travel, you can also opt to get your engagement photos on vacation. Yes, this means you likely won’t be working with your wedding photographer, but it’s hard to beat engagement photos from, say, the waterfalls in Iceland or the colorful canals of Venice—especially if travel is your “thing” as a couple. Websites such as Shoot my Travel can match you with local one-off photographers around the world, and prices typically start around $250.

What to Wear for Engagement Photos

Less is more when it comes to selecting the perfect engagement-photo outfit. King recommends soft, subtle, and neutral colors for a classic, timeless look: “Muted tones like beiges, taupes, blacks, and whites are the most flattering. Avoid deeply saturated or bright colors like a vibrant red or orange; those colors will reflect back on your face, especially in the sun.”

That said, reds and oranges aren’t totally off-limits for engagement shoots—you just have to get creative. “If couples have a favorite color, say red, I’ll suggest they incorporate it in a different way that’s not so close to the face, such as a skirt or shoes,” adds King.

While it may be tempting to wear a brand-new outfit, comfort should be your first priority—but that doesn’t mean yoga pants and baggy sweatshirts. “You can still buy a fun new outfit, but don’t have your engagement-shoot day be the first day you wear it,” recommends King. “Wear it to dinner, get a few iPhone photos in it, and see if you truly like how it looks. Nothing’s worse than realizing during the shoot that your shirt wrinkles terribly, your pants stretch out after 30 minutes, or you just don’t like how it looks.”

Engagement photo sessions are a great time to experiment with wedding-day makeup, too. If you have a vendor in mind for day-of beauty, use your engagement shoot as a trial run. “It’s great to see how makeup reads in professional photographs,” says King. “What feels like a lot of makeup often doesn’t show up as dramatically on camera as it does in the mirror. It’s helpful to be able to make any makeup tweaks after the engagement session. That way your big day will be flawless!”

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) Engagement Engagement Photos Photos https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/engagement-photos-heres-what-you-need-to-know Sat, 10 Jul 2021 16:00:51 GMT
Unhappy With Your Wedding Photos? These Tips Will Help You https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/unhappy-with-your-wedding-photos-these-tips-will-help-you The time between your wedding day and getting the actual wedding photos back can seem like forever. As the anticipation builds, you’re probably dreaming of gushing over the captured moments and using them for home decor, thank-you cards, or holiday cards. But what happens when you get them and are less than thrilled—or, worse, what if you hate them?

While you, unfortunately, can’t go back in a time machine to re-create your day or hire a different photographer, there are some things you can do to try to rectify the situation as best you can. Here’s our advice.

Unhappy Wedding BrideUnhappy Wedding BrideUnhappy Wedding Bride

Be Prepared
While hindsight is 20/20, one of the best ways to ensure that you’re happy with your wedding photos is to do your research prior to hiring a photographer. You’re trusting this person to capture the biggest day of your life in a professional and quality manner, so be sure you study his or her previous work, look for references, and are ultimately confident in your decision.

Keep Perspective
While every bride should be able to gush over her wedding photos, if at first glance you aren’t in love, be sure to evaluate your perspective. Make sure that you’re not being overly critical of yourself or your look. If you hated how your hair came out or are regretting your dress choice, that’s one thing. Unfortunately, there’s not a ton you can do there.

However, if the photos are not at all what you were imagining based upon your photographer’s previous work, and perhaps the ones you’ve seen on Instagram from guests are better quality than your professional’s, it may be an issue with the photographer. Just make sure you’re not having a bad day before convincing yourself you hate the images.

Retake Them
So, you can’t exactly just throw another wedding, but you can re-create your wedding-day look for a second shoot. While it may not have the same sentiment attached and there are of course added expenses involved, it would give you another chance to try out a new photographer, style, beauty look, etc. Maybe you’d like to opt for a different setting or go back to the grounds where your wedding originally took place. If nothing else, it’s a second shot at having some images you can cherish forever.

Do Your Research
Reread your contract and find out about the specifics of printing, quality, and client satisfaction. Most of the time, you’ll most likely be stuck with what you get, but if there is an issue with professionalism or editing, you may have some recourse. Try talking it out with your photographer first; perhaps some of the issues can be fixed with Photoshop or other professional editing tools.

Try Black and White
Okay, hear us out. While you can’t re-create your wedding day, you can play with your photos yourself to make them a little bit better. If your images are discolored or have bad lighting, try putting a black-and-white or sepia filter over them. It takes out some of the issues to provide a cleaner photo and, hey—black-and-white photos are timeless. There are tons of photo-editing apps and software that are available with a few clicks, and it can’t hurt to try to play around. At the very least, you may end up with a framer or two.

Regardless of how you choose to proceed, keep in mind that even though it’s extremely disappointing to be unhappy with your wedding photos, you still have memories and moments to cherish from the special day. While a picture is worth a thousand words, experiences and a life full of happiness are worth much more.

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) Photos Wedding Wedding Photos https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/unhappy-with-your-wedding-photos-these-tips-will-help-you Sat, 10 Jul 2021 15:51:42 GMT
Wedding Photography Contracts: The Complete Guide https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/wedding-photography-contracts-the-complete-guide When couples find their wedding photographer, they want to move straight to the fun stuff like engagement photos and choosing bridal portrait locations. But reviewing and signing a wedding photography contract is an essential next step.

With a signed contract, photographers can rest assured the couple will follow through on their payments because a completed and signed contract is legally binding. Legalities and fine print may sound stuffy, but wedding photography contracts, as with all vendor contracts, should not be overlooked. We consulted with Samantha Clarke, a photographer and former lawyer, to highlight the ins and outs of wedding photography contracts.

Why Wedding Photography Contracts Are Important

Contracts aren’t glamorous, and legalese hardly elicits wedding-planning butterflies. That’s why they’re put on the backburner as exciting topics like scheduling engagement photo sessions take precedence. But Clarke urges couples and her wedding photographer peers to take these documents seriously.

“In the excitement of planning and preparing for a wedding, photographers sometimes forget the importance of having a solid contract in place,” Clarke says. “The contract outlines expectations, so if things go wrong later, it’s great to have that document to look back at. It’s a way for photographers and couples to protect themselves.”

Contract importance makes sense in theory, but do photographers or couples actually use their contracts? In short, yes. According to the contract platform Wedding Industry Law, couples inquire about suing their wedding photographers pretty frequently. The most common disputes arise from three issues:

1. Breach of contract: when a photographer doesn’t provide the agreed-upon services.
2. Misrepresentation: when the photographer promises, say, a certain type of photo but doesn’t deliver.
3. Misappropriation: when a photographer uses a photo of a person sans authorization.

Without a detailed contract, it’s tough to prove a photographer didn’t follow through on their agreed-upon services. That could leave couples high and dry without the photos they’ve been dreaming of. But contracts aren’t just for potential lawsuits. Contracts help photographers clarify their roles and responsibilities for the wedding, which helps clear up confusion before the big day. 

“Sometimes the couple doesn't fully understand the photography industry, so the contract will outline the details of what to expect,” Clarke says. 

“It’s important to have everything written down so the couples can refer to it.”

What Points Should Be Outlined in a Wedding Photography Contract

While photography styles, packages, and poses vary, most wedding photography contracts look similar. Clarke says a wedding photography contract should contain the following details:

Wedding Photography ContractsWedding Photography ContractsWedding Photography Contracts

Biographical and wedding-day information: 
Include the names, addresses, and contact information for both parties. But don’t stop there. “It’s also great to have specific locations like the ceremony address, the venue name and address, and of course the wedding date—the month, day, and year,” Clarke says.

Selected package details: 
Simply stating “highlights package” is not enough. The contract needs to be specific to prevent any confusion. It should list everything included in the selected package, with specifics such as “eight to 10 hours of coverage” instead of “full-day coverage,” Clarke says.

Agreed-upon payment: 
The package information should also note important monetary details like payment schedule, late fees, and deposits. “Be specific about money, and note if there is a non-refundable retainer fee,” Clarke says. “Many photographers require a 50 percent deposit upon contract signing, with the final payment due 30 days before the wedding. Some break it up even further. It’s up to the photographer what feels comfortable.”

Deliverables timeline: 
For a wedding photographer, the work is only half-finished at the end of the wedding day. The final product is delivered weeks, and in some cases months, after. This can be a point of frustration for eager couples, so it’s important to make the product timeline clear. “Answers to questions like “when will you get the album?” and “how will it be delivered?” are important,” Clarke says. “Sometimes brides and grooms get so caught up then go on their honeymoon that they forget about the additional deliverables.”

Payment method: 
It may be convenient, but credit-card payment is rarely accepted by photographers. That’s because the extra fees add up, which means income lost for wedding photographers. Payment requirements should be clearly stated alongside the agreed-upon pay. Does the photographer take check only? Do they accept credit card payments if the client covers the fee? 

Rescheduling parameters: 
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many wedding photographers to make their rescheduling and cancellation policies clearer. “This is something no one expected, so a lot of clients are wondering if there’s leeway to reschedule or cancel their weddings,” Clarke says. 

“The contract should thoroughly include the photographer’s cancellation or rescheduling policy, such as the agreement that they can reschedule within 90 days of the wedding if something were to happen.”

Overtime hours: 
When couples and photographers sign their contract, it’s months and in some cases over a year before the actual wedding. Brides and grooms have no idea what the day-of schedule will look like, so it’s hard to nail down exact hours. 

That’s why most wedding photographers steer clear of “full-day coverage” within their contracts (unless it’s specified with a phrase like “up to 12 hours”). Make sure the contract includes how long the photographer will work, and the cost of additional hours if they need to stick around longer. 

Copyright specifications: 
When couples receive their wedding image files, they want to share them with the world. Instagram and Facebook are usually fine (it helps the photographer with word-of-mouth marketing) but some photographers say newspaper announcements and magazine submissions are a no-go. 

“Many photographers are reasonable and assume you are going to print your photos and put them up on your wall, and that’s totally within the right couples have with a personal license,” Clarke says. “But sometimes a contract stipulates that a couple is not entitled to submit to a publication without the photographer’s permission, so make sure to look out for this before sharing photos widely.” 

Model release: 
On the flip side, some couples don’t want their images used in a photographer’s promotional materials at all. “A lot of couples expect their photographs will be on social media, but some don’t want that, especially if children are involved,” Clarke says. 

“A model release permission is something the photographer and couple should talk about. This should be outlined in the contract so later on the bride and groom are not upset in the way their images are used.”

Securing permits: 
Some popular photo locations require pre-approved permits, but who’s responsible for actually reaching out and making that happen? “Speak to who gets the permit in the contract,” Clarke says. “It’s important to get ahead of this so you don’t get kicked out in the middle of bridal portraits.”

A meal clause: 
Brides and grooms are responsible for providing meals for reception vendors like the photographer and band, but typically this only applies to event coverage that lasts beyond a set amount of hours. The wedding photography contract should clarify this timeframe, as well as how many meals will be required.

Wedding Photography Contract FAQs

Is the contract valid without both signatures?
In the flurry of wedding planning, it’s easy to forget to request the counter-signed version of the contract from your photographer. The photographer is usually on top of this, but wedding season chaos can lead even the most organized photographers to forget this step. But without both signatures, the contract won’t hold up.

“A contract is not binding without both signatures,” Clarke says. “In most cases, people just forget, they’re not purposefully doing it. It seems small in the beginning, but when things go south and the couple or photographer realizes only one person signed it, that’s not a good place to be. The couple should be empowered to remind vendors to send their signed copy.”

Should a contract for destination weddings include specific details?
Destination weddings are a dream for many photographers, but they do require thorough contracts. Clarke, who travels frequently to film weddings in tropical locations like the Caribbean, says a destination wedding photography contract should include who pays for travel, which travel-related costs are covered (such as checked luggage), and accommodation specifications. 

Another equally important destination wedding photography consideration? 
Whether or not the photographer can legally work there. “Some countries require you to have a visa to legally work there,” she says. “It’s always good to have those conversations before signing the contract so the couple can determine if the photographer has ample familiarity with the requirements of different nations.”

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) Photography Contracts Wedding Wedding Contracts Wedding Photography Wedding Photography Contracts https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/wedding-photography-contracts-the-complete-guide Sat, 10 Jul 2021 15:36:43 GMT
Tips for Hiring a Wedding Photographer https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/tips-for-hiring-a-wedding-photographer Your photographs will be your most treasured wedding keepsake. You'll immediately want to share them when your photographer gives them to you, and you'll look back at them 50 years from now, reminiscing about your vows, the kiss, and the first dance.

Choosing the right photographer to capture those poignant moments is an important decision and it's crucial to find a pro who understands your vision for your wedding day and can document it with style. But you'll also want someone you trust and feel comfortable with since he or she will be by your side the entire wedding day.

To help you find the right person to entrust with this task, follow our guide to selecting the perfect wedding photographer.

Book your venue first

It's a smart idea to hire your photographer after you've secured your venue. Aim to book his or her services about nine months before the wedding (or a year, if your photographer is in high demand).

Hit up your social network for recommendations

Ask your recently married friends whose wedding photos you loved and solicit recommendations from your wedding planner or the manager of your reception site.

Figure out the style of photography you like

Do your homework and spend some time getting a sense of the style of photography you like. Maybe it's bright with lots of saturated colors, or perhaps you prefer a more vintage look with more washed-out tones and a dreamy, nostalgic feel. Once you've found a handful of photographers whose aesthetic jives with yours, email each person and inquire about if they're available on your wedding date and their photography rates. If the ones you're interested in are available on your date and if their fees are within your budget, then you can schedule initial meetings.

Interview the photographers

Most photographers will email you a link to their portfolio of images before your first meeting. Be sure the collection includes recent weddings he or she has shot from start to finish, not just a "best of" highlight reel from dozens of different weddings. This is a more accurate way to gauge the photographer's work. Also, ask if the photographer has shot at your venue and if so, request to see those photos.

Wedding PhotographerWedding PhotographerWedding Photographer

During the meeting, find out who exactly will shoot on your wedding day. Some larger studios employ several photographers, and even with single-person operations, it's not unusual for the photographer to have an assistant handle shots of the groom getting ready while he focuses on the bride and bridesmaids. In all cases, request to see the work of the photographer (or photographers) who will be handling your wedding.

Discuss the fee

Some photographers' fees include everything including albums, prints, and high-resolution images (saved on a disc or thumb drive); others have a flat or hourly rate, then charge you à la carte for any pictures or albums you want. Many photographers offer a price list that details several different packages they offer at different price points. Make sure that you understand what's included. Ask how long the photographer will spend with you (seven to nine hours is ideal) and whether there will be a second shooter, as you'll get more detail shots this way.

Go with your gut

Once you've evaluated each photographer's work and fees, and narrowed down the options, it's time to make your decision. Don't forget that you'll be spending the entire wedding day with this person, so you want to make sure you feel completely comfortable with the photographer. Do you and your fiancé genuinely like this person? Do you feel like the three of you click?

Schedule a test run

An engagement photoshoot is always a good idea—it's a great opportunity to get to know your photographer and begin to feel comfortable having your photo taken, especially if you or your groom are camera-shy.

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) photographer wedding wedding photographer https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/tips-for-hiring-a-wedding-photographer Sat, 10 Jul 2021 12:12:01 GMT
Nigerian Wedding: What You Need to Know Today https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/nigerian-wedding-what-you-need-to-know-today Nigeria is a potpourri of languages, religions, cultures, and traditions. Nigeria has an estimated 370 tribes, the main three being Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba. The country is largely partitioned with Muslims in the north and Christians in the south. Weddings from all corners are commonly all-out, multi-day, colorful affairs with numerous cultural intricacies. Oftentimes, everyone’s invited, your outfit may depend on which side of the family you’re from, and quite literally, it rains money.

If invited to a “Naija” wedding, prepare for serious merrymaking, dancing, and eating to your heart’s content. We turned to experts Feyisola Ogunfemi and Jewel Odeyemi to answer some FAQs about Nigerian weddings.

There are multiple layers to weddings from every tribe right from the proposal. For Igbo and Yoruba people, the traditional wedding comes first, followed by a church ceremony that is often referred to as the “white wedding” due to the color of the bride’s gown. Both ceremonies could be days, weeks, or months apart. The white wedding customarily takes place in a church, but modern couples are opting for non-denominational venues.

Nigerian WeddingsNigerian WeddingsNigerian Weddings

The more the merrier is the motto at Nigerian weddings, which regularly exceed 250 guests. RSVPs are often futile and wedding crashing is de rigueur so additional guests are preemptively catered for. Nigerian weddings are community celebrations where extended family, distant relatives, neighbors, and well-wishers of any variety are expected. Getting married is a celebrated milestone for the couple as well as their parents who will proudly invite as many people as possible to partake in their children’s achievement.

Ahead, learn all about Nigerian wedding traditions and what they signify straight from the experts.

The Bride Price

It's universal across most Nigerian tribes for the man to provide an agreed set of items for the bride’s family before the marriage may take place. This is known as eru iyawo in Yoruba, rubu dinar in Hausa, or simply as the bride price. This does not indicate that a woman is being sold, but it is rather a symbolic gesture to prove that the man is capable of taking care of her and their new family financially.

“This is also to compensate the bride’s family for the loss of income or labor he is extracting from the family by marrying her and taking her away,” says Ogunfemi. “This can sometimes be quite exorbitant and the price increases if the woman has a university degree. The groom's family brings the requested items and once it's determined that they've met the requirements, the event can proceed.” The bride price is usually a combination of cash and gifts ranging from clothes, household goods, food, and sometimes animals.

Igbo Weddings

When an Igbo man wishes to marry a woman, he goes with his father and other male relatives to knock on the bride's family’s door in a process called Ikuaka or “knocking.” It is normally the man’s father (or uncle, elder brother, or older living male relative) who announces his intentions to marry the woman. The men come bearing gifts such as kola nuts and alcoholic beverages, which Nigerians sometimes refer to as “hot drinks.”

The second stage of an Igbo wedding is Ime Ego, which is the payment of the dowry or bride price. The final traditional ceremony is called Igba Nkwu or “wine carrying”. At this lively event, the bride must search for her future husband who is hiding among the crowd of men. She dances joyfully while scanning the room for him. She must correctly identify her fiancé and then offer him a cup of wine, which he must then drink from to denote he is indeed her groom. The couple is then declared married, there’s another outfit change and jubilant dancing erupts.

Yoruba Weddings

Traditional Yoruba weddings are large and lively with anywhere between 200 to 1,000 guests in attendance. These ceremonies are hosted by two MCs known as alagas. They are usually older women and there’s one from each side of the family. The alagas are boisterous, charismatic characters that add humor to the day. They are accompanied by a talking drummer for the entirety of the event, who pumps in additional vigor and excitement with each beat.

Yorubas have a greeting custom known as Ìdobálè whereby males prostrate, placing their full bodies on the ground as a sign of respect. The groom and his groomsmen must prostrate before the bride’s family and the chest must touch the ground completely for the greeting to be complete. Ogunfemi, who is Yoruba herself, notes that “once the men prostrate on the ground, the bride’s family asks a few questions, the groom is seated and then the bride enters with her ladies who are all wearing matching aso-ebi. After this, she places a hat on the groom's head and then he carries her. This is known as Igbeyawo. He then places a ring on her finger and they are pronounced married.”

Hausa Weddings

Matrimony among Hausa people begins with the payment of the bride price which is called Kayan Zander. A lower bride price is incidentally said to result in greater blessings for the couple. Once this has been paid to the bride’s family, the wedding can take place. The Fatihah is the actual wedding day where representatives from both families exchange vows before the religious priest and not the couple themselves.

Event number three, Wuni, is ladies-only. Here, the bride enjoys time with her female friends adorning their hands with henna. During Kamun Amariya the groom’s relatives then playfully negotiate with the ladies for the “release” of the bride for the reception. Finally, the bride is escorted to her matrimonial home in a process called Kai Amariya.

Kola Nut Ceremony

Kola nut is the bitter fruit of the kola tree. The breaking of the kola nut signifies the start of any traditional event for many tribes and is a way for elders to welcome guests. The nuts must first be blessed before they are broken and the more parts the kola nut breaks into, the more prosperity the hosts and visitors will receive.

Wedding Attire

For the church wedding, a bride wears a white bridal gown and the groom wears a suit. They may choose to change into traditional attire later on during the reception. For traditional weddings, clothing varies according to the tribe.

Odeyemi notes that in traditional Yoruba weddings, the women usually wear an iro and buba, a vibrant wrapper and top outfit that is usually heavily beaded, along with a veil and an ipele shoulder scarf. They also carry a fan and tie a gele (an ornate head wrap). The men wear an agbada, which is an oversized kaftan made from asa-oke fabric and the color always complements the bride’s fabric. Couples typically have several looks throughout the event.

Wedding AttireWedding AttireWedding Attire

At the Igbo traditional wedding (Igba Nkwu), women wear various outfits throughout the evening with a coral crown and necklace while the men wear the isi agwu (lion head) fabric that’s usually black, red, white, or blue and bedecked with gold lions all over. Another outfit change is on the cards once the couple is pronounced man and wife. This time the couple re-enter in matching attire.

Aso-Ebi

Aso-ebi means “the family clothes” and this is one of the most striking aspects of Nigerian weddings. The couple decides on a uniform color scheme that each side of the family shall follow. “It’s a way to differentiate the bride’s family from the groom’s based on the fabrics and colors they’re wearing. It’s also common to see the couple’s friends wearing their own separate aso-ebi”, says Odeyemi. Aso-ebi was primarily an element of Yoruba weddings but this elaborate, harmonious attire has since spread to other Nigerian tribes and indeed, other African countries.

Money Spray

“Spraying” is the highlight of the Nigerian wedding reception. Guests spray the couple with cash on the dance floor as a way of showering them with blessings and to keep them dancing on. There’s usually a live band and a DJ playing afrobeat, hip-hop, traditional, and contemporary music.

Couples can receive a lot of money this way to start married life and the bridesmaids help to pick up all the cash from the floor. The longer the couple dances, the more money they receive and they’ll be sprayed any time they’re on the dance floor. Whether or not there’s a registry, you’d always give a monetary gift to the couple and sometimes to their parents, too. Fill your wallet with singles and get ready to party. Fret not if you only have large bills; many weddings have a “change table.”

Party Food

Nigerian wedding etiquette dictates that no guest may leave hungry. Expect generous helpings of party staples like jollof rice, which is so synonymous with weddings that it’s sometimes called “party rice” or “wedding rice.” Jollof is a celebrated Nigerian dish and its provenance is hotly contested—there is a long-standing rivalry with neighboring Ghana regarding whom does it better.

“For the cocktail hour or appetizers, we typically serve what we call ‘small chops’—things like meat pie, sausage rolls, samosas, puff puff, chin chin, and spicy meat skewers called suya”, explains Odeyemi. It is common to have both buffet and plated service with an array of options to appease all palates since there is fierce excitement around the food. Particularly at traditional weddings, the main menu will consist of “swallow” (foods that you don’t chew but can swallow) like fufu, which is then paired with a thick and spicy soup.

Wedding Favors

You’ll know you’ve attended a Nigerian wedding when you depart with branded party favors with the couple’s photo, names, and wedding date. These range from fans and kitchenware to clocks and even power banks. Attending a wedding is one of the best ways to experience the richness of Nigeria. Come for the food, flying cash, and festivity, and leave with great memories and perhaps a monogrammed clock (or two).

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) Nigeria Nigerian Nigerian Wedding Wedding https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/nigerian-wedding-what-you-need-to-know-today Sat, 10 Jul 2021 11:38:27 GMT
Men Wedding Attire: The Definitive Guide https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/men-wedding-attire-the-definitive-guide The dress isn’t the only big fashion decision involved in a wedding! Fellas and folks who wear suits, listen up: What you wear should feel just as special—which means there’s no need to confine yourself to a black tuxedo or charcoal sport coat if that’s not your vibe. 

“Find something that’s naturally you and that fits well,” says stylist Grant McNamara. “Beyond that, there’s always room to play with the dress code.” Still, it always helps to know the rules before you start bending them—and that’s precisely why we tapped McNamara for his seasoned sartorial wisdom. 

Whether you’re a groom, groomsman, or wedding guest, consider these guidelines to men’s wedding attire a solid jumping off point for all your suiting decisions. 

Men’s Wedding Attire by Dress Code

A wedding’s dress code will undoubtedly yield the most influence on what you wear. Here are McNamara’s suggestions for men’s wedding attire for some of the most common ones:

wedding attire for groomwedding attire for groomwedding attire for groom

White Tie Wedding Attire 
White tie is the most formal of all event dress codes. “Absolutely wear a tuxedo, with a black or white formal jacket,” says McNamara. “You also must be in a bow tie, though it can be white or black.” This is also where you can wear tails (a jacket with a back that hits at knee length), but know this is a rare necessity for American celebrations. Shoes should be black, but they don’t have to be patent leather.

Black Tie Wedding Attire 
If you see “black tie required,” “black tie requested,” or “black tie welcome” on an invitation, you’ll need to wear a formal outfit. That can mean a traditional matching tuxedo, but it doesn’t have to be black (navy, hunter green, and burgundy are all trending options), or trousers and a formal dinner jacket, which do not have to match. (i.e. a navy jacket and black pants). In black tie attire, a bow tie is still your best bet for neckwear—though, these days, you can occasionally get away with a regular necktie—and shoes should still be black.

Black Tie Optional Wedding Attire
According to McNamara, “semi-formal” and “black-tie optional” are the same level of fancy. If you see either on an invite, know it is better to err on the side of formality, but don’t feel pressured to rent or buy a tuxedo if you don’t have easy access to one—a dark suit will work just fine.

Cocktail Wedding Attire 
“No one actually really knows what cocktail is,” McNamara says with a laugh. “Which means you can experiment.” That said, we’re not quite in casual territory yet, so you’ll still want to don a jacket. Neckwear, however, is optional—there’s no need for a bow tie or a tie; if you do wear one, colors and textures are welcome. 

If you’re going the suit route and want to play it safe yet still stylish, McNamara suggests light gray or silver—it’s “something different,” but doesn’t dramatically stand out. If you do want to stand out, now’s the time—patterned and colored jackets and suits are welcome in cocktail attire. (As are non-black shoes.) Whatever you choose, respect is key for nailing a more risk-taking look. “If you think something might be inappropriate, don’t wear it—because it probably is,” says McNamara.  

Beach-y or Beach Formal Wedding Attire 
Choose a suit in a lighter color (tan, light gray, light blue) or material (i.e. linen). Neckwear is typically not necessary; if the celebration veers more casual, you can also pair a solid white linen shirt—“it works 100 percent of the time,” says McNamara —with a lighter color trouser. As for Hawaiian and floral shirts? They can be a hit when done right, but if fashion isn’t your area of expertise, or you’re unsure of how dressy the wedding truly is, it’s better to avoid.

Garden Wedding Attire 
This is another excellent opportunity to play with pattern and color. McNamara loves a suit or jacket in a Prince of Wales or plaid fabric for a garden wedding, and also encourages his clients to play with color: muted pastels, such as salmon red, sage, and slate blue, will all feel appropriately festive. If you’re donning a traditional gray or blue suit (avoid black), try a knit or patterned tie in a more colorful shade.

Casual Wedding Attire 
No matter how low-key a wedding may be, you want to show respect for the sanctity of the union and what you’re there to celebrate. At the very least, don trousers and a button-up.

Men’s Wedding Attire By Season 

Winter Wedding Attire 
Now’s the time to play with heavier, textured fabrics—velvet being a big one. “Textures make an outfit dynamic,” says McNamara. “When you mix a plain dress shirt with a textured jacket and patterned neckwear, an outfit stands out beautifully—especially around the holidays.”

Spring Wedding Attire 
Lighter color suits—light gray, light blue—are a great option for this transitional season. Another idea: Try a pink or lavender dress shirt underneath your go-to navy or charcoal number.

Summer Wedding Attire 
Breathable fabrics such as linen, wool-linen blend, and even silk-linen blend are key for surviving outdoor weddings in the summer heat.

Fall Wedding Attire 
“Flannels are amazing,” says McNamara. “They drape well because it’s a heavier fabric, there are beautiful colors and shades, and they feel like pajamas.” They also come in delightful plaid patterns, which work wonderfully for cocktail attire dress codes. Pair a flannel sport coat with a more traditional trouser for a winning fall wedding look.

Men’s Wedding Attire by Time of Day 

Evening Wedding Attire
For wedding-related events that take place at night (i.e. the rehearsal dinner), think dressy cocktail—unless the event has a specific dress code. A light gray or silver suit really shines in this moment, as do gray trousers paired with a sports jacket. “If you want to do something really cool, play with the details,” adds McNamara. “Add a funky tie or a funky pocket square, and have fun with the shoes.”

For a welcome party, dark denim can be acceptable if the location is a bar or restaurant, but pair it with a button-up shirt or a jacket. “Dress like you’re going on a really nice date,” he suggests. “You could even do a bomber jacket with trousers or slacks.”

Daytime wedding attire
For a daytime wedding, follow the dress codes for casual or garden affairs as described above, and don’t wear black shoes. (They’ll feel out of place.) If it’s a post-wedding brunch you’re attending, jeans are likely acceptable, but sweatpants will always be a no-go—no matter how hungover you are. 

Men’s Wedding Attire By Venue 

If the dress code is unclear, your next best wardrobe cue is where the wedding takes place. Here, McNamara’s suggestions for men’s wedding attire according to venue: 

Ballroom Wedding Attire 
At minimum, think black tie optional, or go with a dark suit (navy, charcoal, black) and dark necktie. “It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed,” says McNamara.

Industrial Space Wedding Attire 
When it comes to offbeat venues such as breweries and art galleries, “cocktail attire is perfect,” says McNamara. “Think cool plaids, cool textures, and different colors, such as rust and red.” 

Beach Resort Wedding Attire 
If the ceremony is directly on the sand, you can likely go more casual. If it’s not, do a mix of cocktail and beach attire. “Wear a jacket and trousers, but they can be lighter colors or linen,” says McNamara. 

Religious Institution Wedding Attire
For a wedding in a more traditional institution, veer formal: dark colors, jacket and trousers, and definitely neckwear. “You can always take the tie off later on,” says McNamara.

Vineyard or Outdoor Venue Wedding Attire 
Cocktail or garden attire works here. The alfresco nature of the space makes it a touch more casual than a ballroom, but settings can vary widely in terms of formality, so be sure to do your research. Google past weddings that have occurred at the venue and make your decisions from there.

Backyard Wedding Attire 
2020 saw a surge in at-home weddings. While the trend was born out of necessity in the pandemic, it will likely stick around as an option for couples looking for a more intimate way to celebrate. For a backyard wedding, McNamara recommends going with cocktail attire if you want to dress up, but otherwise sticking with the garden or casual dress code. 

Brides

 

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5 Signs You Are Ready to Get Engaged https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/5-signs-you-are-ready-to-get-engaged How do you know if you're ready to get engaged? Even if you’ve been with someone for a long time, even if you feel sure you’re going to spend your life with them, it can be tricky to know exactly when you’re ready to take the next step. 

And in a way, that’s a good thing—it’s a big decision and one that you definitely don’t want to take lightly. On the other hand, at some point, there’s going to be a leap of faith involved. You can never be 100 percent sure that you're ready, you can never be absolutely certain the choice is the right one. 

You just have to make sure that you’re ready to try. 

When it comes to signs that you’re ready to get engaged, it might look a little different for everyone. Some people are forward planners and will want someone whose 10-year plan matches theirs. Others won’t be sure until they find someone who laughs at the same stupid jokes that they love. 

But at their core, there are some things that every relationship needs to make it in the long term—some universal relationship truths that resonate, no matter what your goals, personalities, or dynamics look like. 

Wondering if you’re ready to take the next step? Here’s what to look out for. 

Engagement, Wedding EngagementEngagement, Wedding EngagementEngagement, Wedding Engagement

1. It Doesn’t Feel Scary

OK, so it’s totally normal to feel a little nervous about any big life decision—and getting engaged and getting married certainly fall into that category. So a few nerves and butterflies make total sense and you shouldn’t beat yourself up for them or question whether you’re ready. We all get nervous, after all.  

But when you’re really ready to get engaged, the idea shouldn't scare you. It might feel big and even surreal, but it won't feel scary. When you can start to imagine your future with someone and it feels natural—and even exciting—that’s a really good sign that you’re in the right place to take the leap. 

2. You're At Your Most Comfortable With Them

If you’re going to be with someone for the long haul, you better be comfortable. Comfort in a relationship is a complicated thing—for a lot of people, they think of being able to relax and have a night in together, just chilling out in your pajamas while you watch Netflix and eat pizza. And that’s definitely important—but being comfortable also means a whole lot more.

If you’re going to be engaged, you need to be comfortable in every way. Comfortable being yourself—being silly when you feel silly and sad when you feel sad. Comfortable talking about what’s bothering you and voicing your own opinions, rather than just deferring to what they want. Comfortable being sick and a little gross in front of them—and comfortable taking care of them when they're sick and a little gross.

3. Your Communication Is In Great Shape

There is no skill that will prepare you for being engaged—and eventually, for being married—better than strong communication. It’s not just about being able to talk to each other and feeling like what you’re saying is being heard and really taken into consideration, although that’s obviously important. The reason communication is so crucial is that it makes everything better. 

If you can communicate, it will help you work through whatever comes your way—work stress, a flagging sex life, fights with your in-laws, not getting enough time together, spending too much time together. Anything and everything that can happen becomes so much easier if you have strong communication. Life comes at you fast, so being able to communicate should be a prerequisite for any engagement. 

4. You’ve Hit Rough Spots and Gotten Through Them

Speaking of life coming at you, rough spots can make or break a relationship. Whenever I hear a couple brag about how they’ve never had a fight, I can’t help but wince, because what you might think is a sign of true compatibility is usually anything but. "Never fighting" isn’t real. Nobody agrees all of the time, so "never fighting" either means that one person (or both of you) is just burying down how they feel and deferring to the other or it means that you haven’t been together long enough to really see how to deal with stress. 

Fighting in a relationship actually isn’t a bad thing—if you do it in a healthy way. As long as your disagreements are respectful, you can learn a lot about each other when you hit rough spots or have longer patches where you’re struggling. Life is always going to happen, things are always going to go wrong. Knowing that you can come through the other side even stronger is crucial if you’re going to be spending the rest of your life with someone. 

5. People Are Asking

Sometimes, other people can see an engagement coming before you do. If people are starting to ask, if everyone thinks it’s a done deal, then that can be a sign that you act and seem like a couple who should be engaged. Now, that being said, you don't want to trust everyone. If it’s your Aunt Karen who’s been divorced four times who is saying you should run to the altar, then you might want to take it with a grain of salt. But if people who you care about and trust think you’re in that place, that can really mean something. 

Every relationship is different, but there are some things we all need to have a safe, happy relationship. Make sure that you feel comfortable being yourself, ready to weather the ups and downs, and excited about your future. When in doubt, trust your gut—because, really, you probably already know if you’re ready.  

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) Engage Engaged Engagement Relationship Wedding Engagement https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/5-signs-you-are-ready-to-get-engaged Fri, 09 Jul 2021 15:28:12 GMT
Wedding Cake Questions: All You Need to Know Now https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/wedding-cake-questions-all-you-need-to-know-now Ah, the wedding cake. The confectionary pièce de résistance of the big day. A detail so significant, it has its very own moment at the reception. Who would've thought a baked good could be elevated to such high esteem? Basically, anyone that's been dreaming about their wedding day since they can remember. And while everyone loves wedding cake, choosing what to serve for this momentous occasion is no cakewalk.

You've got your fillings and frostings, aplenty. More styles and visual adornments than we can ever even imagine. And then there are toppers and dessert tables, and...oh my. If you're starting to get a little overwhelmed and getting ready to wave the white flag, don't worry. We're here to lend a hand and guide you through this tasty process.

From picking flavors and designs to alternative desserts and when to serve them, we’ve rounded up some of the top wedding cake questions on etiquette to help you choose the perfect sweet ending for your wedding day.

Do We Have to Pick Just One Flavor?

Why limit yourself to one cake flavor when you can have two—or more? Bakers today are frequently crafting tiers that feature different cake and filling combinations to satisfy both halves of the couple, as well as their guests. So if you’d rather have a dark chocolate cake with peanut butter filling, while your partner is all about that salted caramel or seasonal peach preserves, have both. 

Talk to your baker about strategizing which tiers feature each flavor to get a more even divide, and consider a slightly larger cake—your guests will want to try both offerings.

When Should We Cut Our Cake?

While it might seem arbitrary, the timing of your cake cutting actually plays a big role in your reception. In the past, the cake cutting was the very last moment in the reception—signaling to guests that they were welcome to head home. Though it usually happens much earlier today, cutting your cake still serves that same purpose (especially for older guests). 

These days, the cake is usually cut toward the end of dinner, just before dancing begins, and is the last "official" event of the evening. Slicing on the earlier side will let your grandmother or great uncle know they’re welcome to depart whenever they’re ready and will signal that they won’t miss any of the formalities if they choose to head home.

There are a few other bonuses to cutting the cake early (even before you take your seats for dinner). First, it ensures your photographer gets those pictures. If you’ve scheduled your photographer to leave around 9 p.m., cutting the cake at 7 p.m. means they won’t miss it. 

It also makes slicing and serving easier for your catering staff. If you cut the cake before dinner, they can work on slicing it once entrées have been served, and can pass out pieces as a plated dessert course before dancing gets underway.

What’s the Best Way to Cut a Wedding Cake?

Have you and your partner practiced cutting a cake together before? Probably not, and we don’t blame you. Having two sets of hands on that cake knife can definitely be tricky. The neatest methods are either the box or wedge options. With the bride closest to the cake and the groom behind her, place both of your hands onto the knife. 

Cut an inch into the cake and slice down cleanly. Then, make a connecting cut for a wedge, using the cake knife to lift the wedge out and onto the plate. Skip the serving spatula, which is much larger than the slice should be and will just make a mess.

What Should a Groom’s Cake Look Like and When Is It Served?

Traditionally, groom’s cakes were the wedding favor, not another dessert. The cake was sliced, boxed, and given to guests to take home. Single women would then sleep with the cake under their pillow, hoping to dream of their future groom—hence the cake’s name. These days, a groom’s cake is a chance to add something special for the groom to a celebration that can often feel like it’s all about the bride. 

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Displayed alongside the wedding cake, a groom’s cake can take any form and be any flavor, whether a traditionally-shaped cake in rich chocolate with a liqueur filling or the funfetti of his childhood, carved into the shape of his prized grill or emblazoned with his favorite team’s logo.

Since the cake used to be used as a favor instead of dessert, there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules about slicing and serving. Most couples opt to slice the groom’s cake immediately after cutting the wedding cake, and serving slices alongside pieces of the wedding cake so guests have a choice of flavors. 

If the cakes are both large enough, you could plate a duet of slices for each guest, or simply put one flavor on each plate and let your family and friends choose what they’d prefer.

Do We Need to Offer Additional Desserts?

It’s sweet and served after dinner, so wedding cake sounds like dessert to us. As a wedding tradition (and a favorite celebratory dessert year-round), a slice of cake is a perfect way to end the meal.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from adding a little variety. For some extra sweetness, have your caterers set trays of truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries on each table as a sweet bite that’s not quite as filling as a big slice of cake. 

Or opt for a composed cake plate, with a scoop of ice cream or a drizzle of sauce to enhance that slice. You could also use additional desserts as a late-night snack, setting out milk and cookies, or arranging for an ice cream sundae bar to give guests extra energy for that late night dance party.

Can We Save the Leftover Tiers of Our Cake?

It’s a long-standing tradition for the bride and groom to save the top tier of their wedding cake to share on their first anniversary. Just make sure you tell your baker and caterer in advance. This way your baker can provide a box to fit the top tier, and your caterer won’t accidentally serve it. 

The next day, wrap the cake tightly in multiple layers of plastic wrap, then tuck it in the box and wrap the whole thing in more plastic wrap to fend off freezer burn.

Do We Have to Have a Wedding Cake?

We’ve yet to have a run-in with the wedding cake police, so we say do whatever sounds good to you. If you and your partner prefer fruit pies, doughnuts, or cookies instead of cake, those all make great wedding dessert options. Arrange them on cake stands or pretty trays, and don’t forget to share one with your new spouse as the first sweet bite of your marriage.

Not into sweets? Don’t skip dessert entirely, as your guests will be expecting it as a conclusion to the meal. Instead, talk to your caterer about a plated option that can be served after the entrées, or arrange a dessert bar where guests can choose whatever tempts their sweet tooth and skip that cake cutting photo altogether. If coffee or a nightcap is more your speed, pair the sweets with your favorite way to end the night for a personalized touch.

Brides

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(Scenegraphy Studio) cake wedding wedding cake wedding cakes https://www.scenegraphystudio.com/blog/2021/7/wedding-cake-questions-all-you-need-to-know-now Fri, 09 Jul 2021 15:06:24 GMT