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Groomsmen gift ideas

May 2, 2014

Groomsmen gift ideas

The groomsmen are the groom’s best buddies. He has relied on them throughout his life to get into trouble with, to get him out of trouble and tell him when he is being stupid. I have heard some pretty funny stories from the groomsmen during the wedding reception toasts, some stories better off left untold. A word to the wise if the story involves a stolen goat, unhappy cops and or random nude women…. it should not be told in front of grandma. Oops.

On the wedding day, the groomsmen usually behave themselves and offer their to support the groom. A thank you from the groom to his guy pals for their support and friendship is the groomsmen gift.  This may lead to a lot of pressure but don’t worry they are just guys after all. Guys tend to keep things pretty simple.

The most traditional gift is a flask. This can be a very nice gift and engraving the groomsmen’s initials can personalize it. This gift normally confuses me, and I am always left wondering several things. 1. How hard is it to get the booze into the flask and how much is spilled? 2. If you share with a buddy or better yet a cute girl how many sips does it hold? I have never seen a flask big enough. This comment probably says more about me than anything. 3. How much pre-planning will a guy do? If he is running out of the house, stops in his tracks and says wait I forgot to fill my flask. This probably says something about him. 4. If you have a perfectly good container already holding the booze why take it out and put it into another container? Those are just a few things I think of in the middle of the night.

The other classic gifts given to groomsmen are watches and money clips. Both are very nice and neither keeps me awake at night.

The most original groomsmen gift I have seen as a Northern Colorado Wedding Photographer are cuff links made from hand tied flies used in fly fishing. The groom was an avid fly fishing angler and made a unique gift for his friends incorporating one of his passions. Pretty classy!

Groomsmen gift cuff link hand tied fly

Save-The-Date

April 25, 2014

The other day I received in the mail the other day a Save-The-Date postcard from Joseph and Caitlin, who are getting married in September. I will be photographing their wedding. I also photographed their engagement pictures about 6 months ago. Joseph is a pilot, so we incorporated an airplane into their photograph.

bride and groom old plane

Save-The-Date cards are a great idea. This gives friends and family members a heads-up so  hopefully they will keep that date open on their calendar.  Also by sending these out it will generate excitement for the upcoming wedding, showers and bachelorette parties that will soon follow.

The general rule on sending out the Save-the-date cards are to send them six to nine months before the wedding date. If the wedding is going to be a destination wedding or on a major holiday then your guest will need extra time, nine months to a year are more  appropriate.

Send the cards to all the guest you are planning on inviting. If the guest is on the maybe list then hold off. You can’t un-invite a guest once they receive a save-the-date card. You are obligated to invite them to the wedding. Don’t forget you will still need to send wedding invitations to your guests.

The Print Cafe in Fort Collins http://www.theprintcafe.com/ makes some great Save-The-Date cards. They range in all shapes and sizes from postcards to magnets. My personal favorites are the fun flip cards. They have a video on their website which shows the flip cards in action.

The photograph or photographs on the cards can incorporate something special about the bride and groom. I have photographed couples with their dog wearing a sign with the wedding date on it. I have photographed couples where they got engaged, where they had a special date, where the bride and groom met for the first time. The possibilities are endless.

save the date with dog

 

Happy Anniversary Sarah and Lane

April 18, 2014

Sarah and Lane were married one year ago this April in a Colorado destination wedding at Saint Malo Retreat Center Chapel on the Rock. The popular landmark is locate near Allenspark, Colorado about 20 minutes from Estes Park Colorado. It is this tiny little catholic church that sits at the base of Longs Peak, Mount Meeker is nearby and the chapel is situated just outside Rocky Mountain National   Park. The church is best suited for small intimate weddings. I’m not sure 100 people will fit inside the chapel.Bride and groom classic bridal portrait Chapel on the Rock St Malo

The weather was a little bit of everything on this particular day from beautiful blues skies to snow. The wind during the ceremony was howling outside. I’m glad the church is made from stones because it felt solid against the gale force winds rolling off the Rocky Mountains that day. I did say a silent little prayer for the roof hoping it would not end up in Kansas before the end of the wedding ceremony.

I had  all these great ideas for outside wedding photographs after the ceremony with the bride and groom which were immediately changed. Weather is one element is photography you can not change. I usually incorporate the weather conditions into my pictures creating and unexpected element which can be fun. If is snows, Great!, put on snow boots. If it rains No Problem, umbrellas are great props. Wind, however, is the most difficult weather element to incorporate. It can be helpful when it catches the veil and dress just right. I can also use it as a high fashion look when it blows the hair. Here is the catch, it has to be blowing from the right direction and not too forceful. Generally wind causes more trouble than it is worth. It makes your eyes water and if that isn’t bad enough everyone is squinting. Not a great look.

Chapel on the Rock St Malo

Flower girls wedding cereony  Chapel on the Rock St Malo

Father and bride walk down aisle Chapel on the Rock St Malo

wedding ceremony Chapel on the Rock St Malo Estes Park

Chapel on the Rock St Malo

Bride and groom classic bridal portrait Chapel on the Rock St Malo

Bride classic bridal portrait Chapel on the Rock St Malo

Getting ready to photograph a wedding

March 27, 2014

On the wedding day, the brides and grooms are hustling around getting ready. The bride and her bridesmaids are having their hair and makeup done while visiting and enjoying each other’s company. The mother of the bride is making sure everyone is doing what they need to be doing. Hopefully she takes some time to enjoy the festivities with her daughter. The father of the bride is running after food, picking up last minute items or dropping something or someone off. I have found the father of the bride is indispensable.

The groom’s job is a lot less stressful, or he makes it look less stressful. The groom usually plays around of golf or disk golf with his buddies. Generally there is some drinking involved….. I know that’s a surprise……  His big job is to get to the ceremony on time, shaved, showered and dressed. One more thing make sure the rings are there. I had one groom making honeymoon reservation less than an hour before the ceremony. That was cutting it just a little short, good thing they did not put him on hold.

I thought it would be a fun video idea to show what it takes to get Sherri Barber Photography ready for a wedding from behind the scenes with my two, no make that three little helpers.

 

 

Garden Wedding Ceremonies Brookside Gardens

March 21, 2014

I’m excited to see the array of beautiful flowers and plants Brookside Gardens Event Center http://www.brooksidegardens.com in Berthoud Co. has planted this year. They do an exceptionally wonderful job with a wide range of flowers and plants in their gardens. The landscaping and waterfall are truly extraordinary and can take your breath away.  I love photographing weddings there because of all the gorgeous colors. There isn’t really much need for big flower armaments because of what they plant. The arbor is always stunning with the green ivy growing up the sides and the giant flower baskets hanging from the beams full of red, purple and pink blooms. It is always so pretty watching the bride descend from the top of the stairs through the arbor toward the groom on her father’s arm. The beaming bride in her white dress through an explosion of complementary colors truly is a sight to see. If that isn’t enough, Longs Peak and the Rocky Mountain Range can be seen to the west in the distance and adds a great backdrop for any wedding regardless how big or small.

father bride walking down aisle

 

Bride groom garden ceremony sunset

The party is then moved to the greenhouse building for the reception, which is lovely all on it own. It is open, light with lots of windows and giant doors panels that retract completely out of the way.  I’ve seen it decorated many different ways with up lighting , candlelight and natural light. There is never less than a beautiful wedding there.

Bride groom dance Brookside Gardens

I love photographing brides and grooms at Brookside Gardens because of all the photographic options we have to choose from like, the waterfall, flowers, arbor, more flowers, cool barn, grove of trees and if there is time an alfalfa field that sets to the south.  I quote their website “Your guest will be in awe and the photo opportunities are endless.”

bridal portrait flower garden

bridal portrait flower garden

Wedding photography and Photojournalism go hand in hand

February 1, 2014

In light of the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia and Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl, I thought it might be fun to show a few photographs of what this Northern Colorado Wedding Photographer used to do. I worked in newspapers for years. I loved being a photojournalist and all the opportunities it brought me. I photographed a lot of sporting events. I experienced a great number of things from the exciting glories of victory to the crushing sorrows of defeat. I learned a lot about watching people and waiting for the moment to unfold through my experiences of photojournalism. The strict ethics of journalism did not allow me to instruct people how to react, where to stand or what emotion was appropriate for the photograph as a photojournalist. My journalism experience plays a big part on how I photograph a wedding. I approach my wedding photography in the same way I approached my journalism photography. I stand out of the way and let the moments unfold and happen. Weddings are full of emoting both happy and sad. I never know what is going to happen. Families members and friends reunite at weddings after many years of absences are happy and joyous. Families losing a loved one and starting over without them in a new normal way can spark lots of tears. The quote “You can’t make this stuff up” comes to mind as I work my weddings. I love to stand back and document the day. I tell my wedding couples there is a time and place to pose and give instructions.  There is also a time and place for me to pose them and give instructions. It is also very important for me to be a quiet observer and photograph the celebration as it happens. I am a stronger wedding photographer because of every photograph I have taken in my past.

Bill’s photographic career is even more fun than mine. His photography has taken him all over the world, including four Super Bowls and six Olympics. He still has the numb toes to prove it after suffering frostbite to his feet in the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics.

 

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Broncos vs Bills 9/22/02

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Bill’s turn

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Brooch Bridal Bouquets

January 26, 2014

I photographed a wedding last fall where the bride had made a bouquet out of brooches. Up until her wedding I had not seen a bouquet made from brooches and I thought it was incredibly unique.

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Brooch bouquets are amazing for so many reasons. They are sparkly, they make meaningful keepsakes after the wedding, they are sparkly, you can use jewelry from family members and carry a bit of them with you down the aisle, you make your brooch bouquet well in advance of the wedding, you never have to worry about it not holding up throughout the day and they are sparkly. It will be a keepsake for generations to come and don’t forget they sparkle.

Making a brooch bouquet is quite the DIY project! It takes patience and creativity. But it is a worthy endeavor. Especially when you are ready to walk down the aisle carrying a beautiful brooch bouquet of your own making.

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Since that wedding I have done some research on brooch bouquets and where is what I have found. You will need 50-85 brooches, large earrings or necklaces.

When choosing your brooche you should consider a few things when choosing the jewelry pieces you are going to include into your brooch bouquet.

1. Colors- Choose at least three but not more than five color families and stick to them

2. Finish- Choose one metal type. Use either all shades of gold metals or all shades of silver. It gives your finished brooch bouquet a more polished look.

3. Size- Pick jewelry pieces in a variety of sizes. It will give your bouquet depth and dimension.

4. Sentimentality- You may want to include a few pieces of jewelry that have special meaning to you. A brooch your grandma always wore, you and your fiancée’s initials or the earrings your mother wore on her wedding day would all be sweet additions.

5. Value- Reconsider using any jewelry pieces that are worth too much money. The bouquet will be tossed around and set down all day long. It would be terrible to loose a particularly valuable piece of jewelry.

6. Inspiration- If you have a brooch that you love use it to inspire to colors of the entire bouquet   

There are some great video tutorials on the internet to help with constructing the brooch bouquet.

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As a wedding photographer in Northern Colorado, I love when I see something a little different that I can pass a long to future brides and grooms.

 

Contributing JudyBeauty

Saying Thank you to your Bridesmaids

January 17, 2014

A bridesmaid gift is a way to say thank you for being a part of your wedding. A thoughtful gift should be both a wedding remembrance and a token of appreciation for your bridesmaids’ time and efforts. When you’re a bridesmaid, you give a lot of time, attention, and money to make the wedding perfect for the bride. This can include helping with the shower, planning the bachelorette party, answering a million questions from the bride, and spending money on things like a bridesmaid dress, hair, makeup, shoes, and gifts for the shower, bachelorette, and wedding. That’s a lot of work! Give your bridesmaid (or Maid of Honor) a great gift that is both thoughtful and sincere – she’ll appreciate it!

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Bridesmaid gifts run the gamut in terms of price, style, and individuality. Some brides spend hundreds of dollars, while others chose to spend only a few, or chose to make the gift themselves. Some people think that the cost of bridesmaid gifts should correlate with your wedding budget. Others say that the more time your friends helped you with wedding planning, the more you should spend on a bridesmaid gift for them. There’s no right or wrong answer – do what feels best to you.

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You can also choose to get everyone the same thing, get variations on a theme, or chose entirely different presents for each person. Try to spend about the same amount on each present, except for the maid-of-honor’s gift, which is typically more lavish than the other ones.                                                                                                                     

Many bride’s opt to give their friends jewelry or accessories to wear at the wedding as their bridesmaid gift. Tailoring the accessories are an option to suit each of your friends’ individual tastes, making the item an appropriate gift. Keep in mind this can be more a gift for you than gifts for them. The best bridesmaid gifts have very little do your wedding and instead celebrate your friends’ unique personalities.

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Always include a hand-written card and wrap the gift. Say thank you for standing up in your wedding, be specific about why you value your friendship, and be sincere. She’ll love the gift, but she’ll really appreciate your sincerity.

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A few ideas that stood out were:  Monogram Robes, a trip to the salon for hair and make-up on the wedding day, Spa day to include Manicures and pedicures, jewelry, charm bracelets, clutch, large tote bag

 

 

 

Contributing to this article: Nina Callaway, Emmaline Bride, Janna Saltz

Colorado Barn wedding

January 14, 2014

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We photographed another Red Barn Wedding this last summer at Anderson Farms for Nikki and Patrick. The farm located in Erie Colorado is a family owned and operated business. Nikki and Patrick married in an outside ceremony in front of the white gazebo on the farm and held their reception in the party barn. This venue will accommodate 300 guests and will not feel over crowded, which can be a real bonus. There are goats, rabbits and other farm animals for the little children and children at heart to visit, pet and enjoy. They also offer wagon rides being pulled by a tractor around the 200 acre farm.

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The bride and her bridesmaids got ready at a nearby hotel. The flower girls watched the excitement. The wedding party road in a limo to Anderson Farms as they made champagne toasts to Nikki along the way.

This was another beautiful summer day in Colorado with big blue skies and thankfully no wind to provide the high fashion look.

Nikki wore a long strapless traditional lace wedding gown for the ceremony, and for shoes she wore her cowboy boots. She changed into an adorable halter top short dress for the reception. This did several things. She did not trash her wedding gown in the dirt. She was able to dance freely, and the guest got to see her fashion boots.

Anderson Farms has a giant triangle steel dinner bell like they had in the old west. Found on movie sets more than anything. It is efficient to gather people near and far for dinner time. Nikki and Patrick rang the dinner bell to jump start the reception. This helped gather all of their guest who were petting the farm animals and taking tractor rides. As a wedding photographer, it fun to see a new spin on things.

 

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