09 01 Leave a Comment
The Groomsmen Gift; this is an area that I have seen attempted, completely forgotten, and knocked out of the park. I want to help you be the guy who knocks it out of the park. First off, this might not even be on your radar- it certainly wasn’t on mine. Many of the topics I’ll be covering in the Groom’s Guide are things I wish I had done better in my wedding now that I’ve gotten to see so many people do a better job at being a groom than I did. So, make sure it’s on your to-do list. A proper groomsmen gift doesn’t just thank your guys for being there for you, it lets them know you appreciate them as your friends. Plus when done right, it helps to establish what kind of day this is going to be.
My gifts to my groomsmen were simple, I did what I thought I knew was supposed to be done and I went to Things Remembered. On the wedding day my guys opened personalized glass beer mugs with their names on them. I don’t mean to suggest that that wasn’t a nice gift, it just wasn’t actually personal and didn’t do much to tell them what they meant to me. A lot of decisions need to be made when choosing the contents on the gift. Here are a few tips:
- The groomsmen gift is a good opportunity to include any required items for the day, like the tie and socks if you have purchased special ones for them.
- It’s all about the booze. Whether it’s in a flask, a sample bottle or a 750ml bottle, a nice whiskey goes a long way. The closer you can get to the top shelf, the better. Not only do most guys like a nice drink (especially one that costs more $$ than they’d usually spend on themselves), this is a good opportunity for everyone to share a drink before the wedding.
- I see a lot of grooming supplies and it always goes over well.
Now it comes down to packaging. Be creative and fun but keep it classy, hop on to Pinterest if you need inspiration, there’s no shortage there (Pinterest isn’t just for the bride, there’s no shame in clicking). Cigar boxes are popular which doesn’t mean you should avoid it, they’re classy and functional. Find something that fits your group- whether you’re fraternity brothers or all play golf. I like the personalized coolers below for fishing buddies.
So take a few minutes to sit down and think about it, maybe spend a little bit more money than you had planned. These are the guys you’ve chosen to have your back up there, show them how much they mean to you. Above all remember that your wedding should be personal, and so should every detail.
Well it’s almost Labor Day and I’m just getting to blogging our Memorial weekend weddings. What a crazy and awesome summer this has been! We’ve got some amazing new 2016 couples and even just managed to take a little vacation with Evan’s family to the Smoky Mountains. I’ll blog those soon but right now I want to share this glamorous pink and white Nova 535 wedding. We started with Jess & Juan for their First Look at Tradewinds Island Resort on St. Pete Beach and then traveled to St. John Vianney Catholic Church for the ceremony. We have had some gorgeous church ceremonies this summer! It’s always such a relief to be inside during the ceremony and this church is so beautiful (with a super great Priest) and we just love shooting here. After their sweet vows we journeyed to downtown St. Pete and Nova 535 for the reception, I love how the artwork in the Nova gallery rotates and the current display went along perfectly with the modern pink and black decor. These two are so sweet. You can really see how much they care about each other and I adore that they also own their own business together. This was such a beautiful day! And I think the most emotional father-daughter first look I’ve captured- I just love shooting these! You’ve just never seen a Daddy more proud of his little girl.
Aren’t they just the sweetest?! Congrats again you guys. Now that Evan & I are kicking it into gear for fall season, and the munchkin is in school, expect a new blog post a few times a week! I’m so excited for all the sessions and tips we have coming up- stay tuned :)
First Look & Portraits: Tradewinds Resort | Church: St. John Vianney Catholic Church, St. Pete Beach |Reception Venue: Nova 535 | Cake: Sweet! | Florals: Carter’s Florist | Bridal Gown: Calvet Couture Bridal
Okay guys it’s time to make some decisions. Maybe you’ve had your hand in a few things at this point and helped out with the wedding planning here and there but this is the first decision that’s all yours. Your suit.
Now, you don’t have total freedom here; you’re still held to the restrictions of the wedding colors. This is more important than it sounds, the colors of the wedding tie everything together. Obviously, all eyes are on you and your bride all day and since she’s probably wearing white, that means the wedding colors start with you. So once you’ve been told what colors you need it’s time to head down to your favorite retailer and get to work.
The first decision you have to make is whether or buy or rent. The decision process here is fairly obvious: you can spend less and give it back or you can spend more and keep it for life. The only significant difference between the two is that, in my experience, when you purchase a suit from a respectable retailer you can count on a proper cut. Having your suit properly tailored is the absolute most important priority when making sure you look good on your wedding day. If the difference between a tailored and not tailored suit is not clear to you, just think back to the time you were 17 and had to wear your dad’s suit- that’s the look we’re trying to avoid. There’s a big difference between a $300 Calvin Klein and a $1,000 Hugo Boss but once it’s been properly tailored to your body the difference is relatively minimal. If your going to rent you have the option to aim a little higher and get a nicer brand but again, you have to give it back.
Next comes material. The options are surprisingly vast for a product designed for men. From cashmere to cotton and linen everything has a different look and feel. Some resources like This One give you a good head start on making your decision but you really have to see them for yourself. The best advice I can give is to think outside the box. Cotton is all well and good but consider something that really stands out. Seersucker is getting more and more popular these days (if you’re not into a seersucker suit at least consider the tie, it’s a really cool look), and the texture really pops in pictures. If you really want to make a statement go with tweed, yeah that’s right tweed is back. Who says the 19th century can’t contribute to modern fashion?
Finally, just a couple more tips to help with decisions you may have never faced before:
“Notch Lapel” vs. “Peak Lapel” = Classic vs. More formal
1, 2 or 3 buttons = 1 is good for tall and thin, 2 is great for everyone, 3 is considered outdated and I’d stay clear. Anything more than 3 and you should seriously question the person selling you these clothes.
Here’s what matters in the end; this can be your decision. I don’t know many guys that take the reigns on this one, they almost always let the bride choose for them. Make it your own and pick a suit that makes you look awesome and pumps your ego.
I have received some really positive feedback on posting our side by side comparisons of us shooting and the image we captures, so I’m going to keep doing it! I loved this behind the scenes shot as soon as I took it two weeks ago and so I wanted to pair it up with a “what our couples say” post. But first; here is Evan in action during the engagement session on Ft. Desoto Beach.
We got the sweetest email from our bride Mariel about her & Jayce’s experience shooting with us:
“You guys did an incredible job despite our awkwardness and really made us laugh the whole time. We are just excited that you two are the ones who will capture our big day. It means so much to us to have photographers who are not only very much in love, but also can make us laugh throughout the whole process AND still make us look good! You guys were right – I still have residual fond moments from that day (thanks in part to cues from you guys) despite our awkwardness when I saw the whisper sneak peek. Thank you again for spending the evening with us in a beautiful location…”
Mariel and Jayce
How sweet is that?! This is my favorite thing about our job :) We can;t wait to make even more magic happen at your wedding, Mariel!
This has been some crazy weather here in Tampa Bay! With the sun finally shining in St. Pete I was in the mood to share Mariel & Jayce’s surf engagement session from Ft. Despot Beach. The weekend before last when we thought we were going to have to reschedule this session but then we got a small window of clear skies. And a good thing too, because these two came all the way from the east coast! We got to meet Mariel & Jayce in downtown Lake Worth a few months ago when we were visiting our families. We knew right away that they would be easy to work with and a lot of fun (and I really think they both have the coolest names ever). They are super sweet and love surfing and fishing together- and they even brought their dog Toby along (who helped Jayce propose). They knew they wanted to include the beach and surfing for their engagement session- the board pictured is the board they first surfed together with and they’ll be asking all their guests use it as a sign in album at their wedding in January! I just love that idea so much. Toby was a sweetie too- I am always amazed when dogs listen to their people, because ours don’t do that, it’s like a magic trick to me!
Mariel & Jayce, you totally rocked it (and Toby too-but he’s basically a professional model, let’s be honest).
Let’s talk about getting married. Nothing could be easier, right guys? You got the ring, hard part’s over. Now you can just sit back and watch your fiancé Pinterest and blog-search her way through the next 6 to 24 months. Right? No.
I’ve been a wedding photographer for over six years now and if there’s one thing I’ve seen a lot of, it’s clueless grooms. Now here’s the thing (and this is important) it’s not their fault. Men aren’t supposed to know these things. Guys, you’re not supposed to know how to pin a boutonniere or even what one is really. I could hardly expect you to be an expert on a properly tailored suit, the perfect tie length or the absolute maximum number of buttons that should be on your jacket.
This isn’t for the engaged David Beckhams of the world or really anybody that you would actually see featured in GQ. This is for the average guy. The guy who is wearing a shirt because it was the one at the top of the drawer, or the guy who picked out that watch because, you know, it tells time.
You’re not alone.
I’m a regular guy too. And I know you don’t care too much about all this stuff, but you should at least a little bit. It is your wedding day and you care about you her. But even if you don’t have a small fashion monger brewing inside you, I know that you love her and want to knock her off her pretty little heels when she sees you for a first time. And you also want to help a little with the wedding planning. Maybe even put in some of your own ideas? Buddy, you can’t do it alone. So let me help.
We’re going to cover it all, the fashion part but also: groomsmen gifts, pre-wedding drinking, hair, shaving, fitness and training, watches, accessories, DJs, and….. bachelor parties? Yeah, why not? And I’ll take it one step further; I see a lot of #weddingwednesdays in the Instagram world. Well, it’s time for #notweddingwednesdays where we’ll cover everything from home brewing to grilling and fantasy sports.
Also, I’m learning with you. I won’t pretend to be an expert or naturally gifted at any of this, I’m just well read on the subject and know the things that come up on the wedding day. I have a good reason to do the research for you so you can get back to Clash of Clans. So let’s do this together, we’ll all learn something, we’ll have some fun and damn it we’ll look good doing it. Welcome to The Groom’s Guide.
Today we are sharing Melissa & Jeff’s East coast wedding at The Hilton Singer Island that we shot in May. We love visiting the Palm Beach area and shooting weddings there. This is actually the venue that my cousin got married at 6 years ago- when Evan and I first tried out shooting a little wedding photography. Crazy to think we’d fall in love with the whole process and now here we are, 6 years into our business later. This wedding is special to us for another reason- Melissa was a friend of ours in high school. So we were so, so excited when she asked us to be part of her wedding day! And it was the most exceptional wedding ever. Nautical wedding details like buoys, stripes, tropical flowers, and we loved the beautiful painting Melissa’s Dad created for them that they turned into their invitations. The Hilton Singer Island was the perfect venue for them, a gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean and sea grapes everywhere. Oh and a color palette of turquoise AND blue?! After my own heart. We loved taking Melissa & Jeff to the oceanfront park next door for their portraits. I just love the East Coast of Florida so much.
Congrats again you two! I hope we get to see you next time we are in Palm Beach.
Venue: Hilton Singer Island | Cake: Hannah Campbell | Florals: Floral Gardens & Gifts | Bridal Gown: Molle Bridals | Decorator: Jorge Aquino’s Exceptional Services Event Planning
Hey there! Hope you all had a great holiday weekend. We are wrapping up editing our last wedding of the Spring/Summer season and just delivered this gorgeous Museum of Fine Arts wedding to Kirstin & Evan. We each took a few behind the images of each other shooting so I thought it would be great to share here with all of you! After the image of us, you’ll see the image we were taking during that moment.
During getting ready time I took the ladies to the Vinoy terrace for some portraits and Evan joined us after he got the guys into the limo. I sure look like a goober who loves my job huh? These bridesmaids had me cracking up and I am kind of obsessed with all of them. I NEED to shoot their weddings, they’re all too fun! Thank you again, Kelly, Kristen, Kendyl, Kirstin, Kristen and Kaitlyn for being so amazing :)
Time for wedding day portraits! This next set is what gave me the idea for this post. I actually posted an iPhone behind the scenes pic on our Instagram (check out #carolineandevanbts for more) and the moment below is what I had posted. That’s when I realized I had a ways better camera available and should get some nicer behind the scenes shots for a post :) I love this little series of Evan and some of the funny positions he gets in to shoot. Considering some of the things he does these are very mild. But Evan took these nearly right after the other and they have a completely different look and feel. We love giving our couples a variety in such a short amount of time!
And here we are at The Museum of Fine Arts wrapping up the last of Kirstin & Evan’s wedding day portraits! Evan was taking his turn and here are the shots he got at that moment. These are some of my favorite of the day!
I hope you guys enjoyed this. I’ll try to share a lot more behind the scenes stuff in the future. If there’s anything specific you’re wondering about- just ask! And maybe it’ll end up as a blog post too :)
I have been wanting to share for a while some personal insight from a few of our couples on what a First Look is like. It’s that one decision that many people ask us about and how to decide if it’s right for them. As far as I know we’ve never had a couple regret doing a First Look so I asked some couples to tell me a little about what it was like seeing their grooms before their ceremony. Thank you so very much to Jessica and Allison for sharing your experiences!!! And because both their weddings were this May, you’re getting a sneak peek before I blog them both this month. I hope to add to this as more interviews come in from more of our awesome brides!
“Well I had many emotions going through me. I decided to touch him on the shoulder and I remember feeling so nervous and hesitant to do that. But of course, once I touched him all that went away and everything became familiar again. It was awesome to just look at each other (that sounds weird ) But it was neat to see the details of his suit and tie, and for me to show him the little borrowed, olds & blues that were gifted to me that morning. It was a special moment of just him and I to share and I am glad we decided to do it!’ – Jessica & Juan, 5/23/2015
“Our first look can only be described as magical. It was something that we knew we wanted early on to save time later in the day, to get those nerves out of the way, and to have an intimate moment together before the ceremony. It was everything we expected and more. We were able to see each other for the first time in the place we feel most comfortable-with each other. It allowed use the freedom to be emotional and silly and take the moment in just for ourselves. It was surreal and I wouldn’t have changed a second of it!” Allison & AJ, 5/24/2015
Michela & Chris’ turquoise, white and pink beach wedding details left me even in awe yesterday. From the custom signs to the bouquets of peonies and hydrangeas, every detail was carefully thought out. The guys even had seersucker suits for a southern twist. But my favorite detail was they had their friend Kristen marry them. I just think this is the most special way to incorporate friends and family into your wedding and it personalizes the ceremony so very much.
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