Cameo Portraits

Cameo Portraits

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2014 Wedding Trends

Christine Dyer of Bridal Tweet has collocted some wedding trends for 2014. It would be worth a look if you or someone you know are planning a wedding in 2014.

You can see her post at



Notes to Brides





1. We spend WAY more than 4 hours on your wedding.


Couples are often shocked at the price tag attached to their wedding services.  “But I’m only hiring you for four hours!” is a common reaction.

What you don’t know is that we spend many hours outside your wedding day timeline on planning, communication, rehearsals, meetings, travel and all the logistics necessary to make that “four hours” look easy.  This doesn’t even take into account the necessary time investment in training and education to keep our skills sharp.

Let’s take photographers as an example.  According to this recent survey, the average photographer spends 65 hours invested in each wedding; when all the hours invested in a wedding are factored in, a typical wedding photographer makes an hourly wage only $37 per hour before expenses!  DJs, florists, officiants, planners and other pros are in a similar situation.

Most wedding professionals are not living large on “wedding ripoffs,” a charge often lodged by the media.  While the average wedding in the US costs around $25,000, a recent survey of our wedding professional audience revealed that 48% of wedding businesses make less than $25,000 in an entire YEAR.

2.  If you hire an amateur for your wedding, expect an amateur result.

Wedding professionals are not a commodity item.  You’re hiring a unique personality, talent and experience set.  We charge more because we are worth it.

Those amateurs you can hire for a dime a dozen?  They’re worth the price you pay, too.

Sure, you might luck out and find the next undiscovered Preston Bailey for your wedding, but you’re much more likely to get sub-par performance along with that bargain price.

3.  You pay more for wedding services because you get more.

Much has been made of the so-called “wedding markup,” a phenomenon that occurs when secret shoppers get quoted a higher price for identical services when they are booked for a wedding as opposed to another type of event.  While this certainly can occur, journalists neglect to address the very real reasons WHY this happens.

Providing any service for a wedding is far more involved than a similar, non-wedding event.  Wedding pros make themselves available for planning meetings, calls and consultations, and may well send hundreds of emails back and forth with a single client in the year or more of planning up to the wedding.

This type of time and attention isn’t expected or required for most non-wedding events; the time investment alone is enough to justify a higher price.  The quality of wedding services often requires a greater degree of skill and specialization, not to mention the stress and risk involved should something go wrong.

4. We stay up at night worrying about your wedding, too.

We may participate in dozens or even hundreds of weddings per year, but yours really IS important to us.

Each and every wedding can make or break our reputation.  We worry about what can go wrong and we sweat the details because it’s our responsibility.  If we mess something up, we know that in the age of viral sharing on the internet, it may very well destroy our business.

5.  Listening to our advice will save you time, money and stress.

We love your ideas and your enthusiasm.  Please know that when we suggest changes to your dream wedding scenario it’s not because we want to take over your wedding; it’s because we have your best interests at heart.

We probably made a lot of mistakes when planning our own wedding, and it’s inspired us to ensure that pain NEVER happens to you.

We’re wedding experts.  If you take advantage of our knowledge and experience, we will save you time, help you avoid mistakes and make your wedding even better.  But only if you let us.


How to Write the Vows You Want


Sure, some couples get along just fine by reading a few lines, throwing back the veil, and enjoying their first married kiss. However, for you and your fiancé, not just any vows will do. If you prefer to put a DIY stamp on your wedding, there are only so many variations you can do for flower arrangements and bridesmaid dresses. The real customization comes in the most meaningful part of your ceremony: the vows you speak to each other as you pledge lifelong commitment and love.

Meet with Your Officiant

As the person who will guide you through your wedding ceremony, your officiant is the best source for advice on how to craft vows that will fully represent your relationship. If you are planning a religious ceremony, your officiant is also the best person to ask about how to fit your own words into a traditional ritual. Depending on your religious tradition, you may not be able to change the actual words that bind you together in matrimony, but you can write additional vows for each other to be exchanged later in the wedding.

Some couples do not use an officiant; instead, they craft their own ceremony and submit their own legal paperwork. If this is the type of wedding you are planning, then you'll need to follow your own hearts as you decide what vows you want to speak to your partner.

Speak with Your Spouse-to-Be

A successful marriage hinges upon good communication, and a successful wedding is no different. Even though you and your partner may wish to keep the content of your vows a secret until the big day, it's important to discuss the type of vows that each of you is planning. Otherwise, you may risk getting up in front of your gathered guests for 15 minutes of heart-spilling emotion, only to have your spouse-to-be follow up with a light-hearted anecdote about your first date. There are no wrong ways to plan your vows; serious or humorous, just make sure you and your partner match.

Before writing your vows, agree upon one or two adjectives that will set the tone for your words. These can be adjectives like: funny, genuine, emotional, teasing, enthusiastic, frisky, somber, and so on. Using the same adjectives ensures that you both start writing from the same frame of mind.

Think About Your Relationship

It's tempting to assume that you already know everything you need to know about your relationship. After all, you're one half of it! However, it's amazing what sitting down with a pen and paper will achieve. Give yourself some quiet time (either alone, or with your partner) to reflect on some basic questions about your relationship. Some couples enjoy turning this into a game by answering separately, then comparing their lists. Keep in mind that there are no wrong answers!

What is your favorite part about your partner's personality? What aspect of your partner inspires you to be a better person? What is your hope for your relationship in the next five years? For the next 10 years? For the last years of your lives? Is there any part of marriage that scares you? In what ways is your partner different from all the other people you know? What is your favorite thing you've done together? What is an exciting thing you hope to achieve together? When you used to dream of your future spouse as a child, how does that compare to the person you are marrying now? What do you miss the most when you are apart? How does your partner improve your life? When did you first know it was true love?

You don't have to answer every question–just the ones that strike a chord with you. You may be surprised by how, once you've written the answers to a few questions, it seems like the vows are writing themselves. If you're not good with getting your thoughts down on paper, speak your answers into a recording device. You can always write down your favorite parts later.

Take Inspiration from All Sources

Great quotes don't have to come from Shakespeare. If there is a line that moves you, borrow it. It doesn't matter if it comes from classical love poetry or last week's episode of Downton Abbey. You can use a quote about strength and sensitivity from the back of a box of tissues, if you like (and you don't have to tell anyone where you got it). Start looking at the world with love in your eyes, and you may be surprised where inspiration strikes.

Practice Makes Perfect

When you're done composing the perfect vows, practice saying them out loud. After all, you'll need to say them in front of a crowd on your wedding day. Like important lines in a play, the words need to be delivered in a clear voice and without being hampered by stage fright. Reading your own words out loud helps you to hear where sentences get too wordy, too. Move your sentences around so you can deliver your words of love in an easy, graceful manner. Keep in mind that you may get a little choked up on the big day, so simple words and sentences are best.

If you don't want to practice reciting your vows with your spouse-to-be, recite them in front of a trusted friend. Even speaking aloud in front of a mirror is a good way to help your words run smoothly on the big day. When you get up to speak the words that will bind you to your loved one officially, you'll have the comfort of knowing that you're saying exactly the words you want to say.

By Gaea Denker-Lehrman


History of the Bridal Veil and Train

 Here is an interesting article I found in Wedding Traditions

Like most customs, there are many different stories regarding the origin of the wedding veil. Some historians say that the ancient Romans were the first to incorporate the veil into the wedding ceremony. Believing the bride may attract evil spirits on her important day, the Romans used a veil painted with fire designs to cover the bride’s face in order to confuse and frighten them.

Others believe that the wedding veil was introduced in medieval times. Again, the theory goes that this covering was used to ward off evil spirits, though another popular theory argues that the veil was a symbol of the bride’s modesty and purity.

Arranged marriages are often cited when discussing the origin of the wedding veil. In the past, men often asked a potential bride’s father for her hand in marriage rather than courting the bride herself. The veil was used to conceal the bride’s face until after the ceremony.

Through the years, the veil has come to signify the bride’s virtue. The lifting of the veil also symbolized that the groom was taking possession of the bride by revealing her face. 

Veils became more of an ornament during the middle of the twentieth century due to lean times. Because dresses during this era were much simpler, some veils only covered the eyes and were attached to a comb or hat.

In the past few decades, as wedding gowns became more elaborate, veils followed suit. Today, veils are used to signify that the wedding is a special event and allow brides to feel like princesses for the day. Most modern wedding veils are made from cotton or nylon netting and feature decorations.

In the past, blushers (which cover the face) were a popular choice for brides. However, many brides today choose to show off their faces when they walk down the aisle rather than have it covered by material.

Veils come in many different lengths. While the cathedral veil, which often ranges from eight to 12 feet in length, is typically worn for very formal ceremonies, there are several other veil types such as the: Chapel veil, Ballet veil, Fingertip veil, Fly-away veil, and Birdcage veil.

When you think about elaborate wedding veils throughout history, Princess Diana probably comes to mind. While she did hold the record for longest known veil for a period of time, Star Jones wore a twenty-seven foot veil for her wedding day. That’s two feet longer than Princess Diana’s!

Unlike wedding veils, the origin of the bridal train is much easier to find. In the Middle Ages, marriages between a princess and a royal groom were often political in nature and served as a means of gaining an alliance between two countries. Because the wedding was so important, the wedding dress had to showcase the wealth of her nation in order to impress her groom’s family and country.

While wealth was often shown by the types of materials used for the dress (silk, satin, and fur were popular choices), the amount of fabric was also symbolic. For this reason, many princesses chose long trains to show that their families could afford these expensive materials. Because other brides wanted to emulate the royal style, bridal trains became popular for all classes.

Our modern wedding gown traditions are often traced to Queen Victoria. Choosing a white dress, Queen Victoria was the first royal bride to have her train carried down the aisle by bridesmaids, prompting a new wedding trend among the upper class.

Throughout much of the twentieth century, many brides chose to forego the bridal train, choosing gowns that reflected current fashion trends. Today, however, brides are free to wear whatever dress suits them on their special day.

Whether you are interested in a train or a veil, knowing the history of these bridal fashions may make your decision all the more special to you on your big day.

DIY Wedding Dress ideas

If you're the kind of bride who needs to put a personal stamp on everything, it can sting to have to get married in a dress that was designed by someone else. However, even for crafty brides, there often isn't time to design and make a wedding dress in addition to all the other pre-wedding tasks. If you have to buy a ready-made bridal gown, don’t despair. There are still ways of making your wedding dress your very own. The Altered Thrift Store Masterpiece Do you sigh when you see fabulous, flashy 1980s prom gowns hanging in the windows of thrift stores, because you know you'll never get the opportunity to wear them? Your wedding could be your big chance. As the bride, you get the final say in your wedding apparel, and you'll be the star of the show no matter what you wear. So dream big and don’t be afraid to make a bold impression on your big day. Best yet, you can experiment freely knowing that a replacement dress is well within your budget. Adding Subtle Embellishments Even though you may not choose to invest in a full-on "Bedazzler," strategically-placed rhinestones and sequins can add a bit of sparkle to any dress. The subtlety of the effect is completely up to you; just hide a few discreet points of light within the folds of your ballroom skirt, or add an intricate, sparkling bodice detail. The key to embellishing with sparkling gems is to plan extremely carefully before gluing anything. One good way to make "invisible" marks on the dress is to dot a clear, blacklight-reactive marker where you plan to glue the stones. That way, you can check your pattern under a blacklight to make sure it's exactly what you want, and any stray marks won't show up under regular light. If you're handy with embroidery, you can add subtle detail to your dress by embroidering the hem or lining with the date of your wedding, or any other meaningful information. Maybe your fiancé and you will be incorporating a short quote or line of poetry into your vows? Your wedding dress is the perfect place to embroider those words. It goes without saying, but always remember to embroider only one layer of material to make sure your stitches aren’t visible from the outside. Patches aren’t just for jeans anymore. If you find a gorgeous printed material (pearlescent flowers, for example, or intricately rendered songbirds), you can cut out a few examples of your favorite repeating pattern. When you sew these onto your gown at intervals, you'll add depth and texture as well as making the gown unmistakably unique. This method works best with small, subtle patches around the waistline or hem. The Brilliant Lining If you want to spruce up your dress in a way that only you can see, consider adding a new lining. It's a great way to add a pop of bright color to an otherwise white dress–it can even be a creative way to add "something blue." Bright petticoats of contrasting colors are another way to add a festive spark that will be known only to a select few. You can use linings and petticoats of your wedding colors if you want them to be visible when you gather your skirt in your hands. You can also flash your brilliant underskirts at a few chosen friends, giving you a secret to smile about as you walk down the aisle. As the bride, you can count on being the center of attention. Every camera will be focused on you. You'll see your wedding gown repeated in nearly every photo in your wedding album. Since it's a fashion choice you'll be living with for the rest of your life, why not add a little something personal so you can take pride in it for years to come? By Gaea Denker-Lehrman

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