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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Photography (24)


Cake, Shoes and JCP

Wow. What a weekend. The Candyman and I had an amazingly full schedule of to-do's all weekend long. We are both exhausted, suffering from allergies, but giddy and happy too.

On Saturday, we had a noon appointment with Sweet 16th - A Bakery and met with husband/wife team Ellen and Dan. While Dan handled the steady stream of customers (all of whom they greeted by name), The Candyman and I sat and discussed cake options with Ellen. While they do not typically do the standard stacked wedding cake, the do offer several varieties of cakes that sounded pretty darn good!

We tasted the chocolate with cream cheese frosting, the vanilla with cream cheese frosting and the red velvet with cream cheese frosting. The Candyman is not a fan of red velvet, but he really liked this one. When I had set the appointment up with Dan, I had mentioned "no banana flavored anything" because, well, banana flavoring tastes like poo. Ellen inquired to my "no banana" request and was determined to prove me wrong. She grabbed a banana muffin for The Candyman and he immediately scarfed and gave a nod of approval. Sweet 16th doesn't use the artificial flavoring that produces the metallic taste I hate. Nice. Ellen's presentation of her single wedding cakes is gorgeous. I wish I had a photo to share. As we have done with out other vendors, we have chosen based on how we feel about the people in addition to the services offered. Maybe that's why it took so long to find a cake vendor - no one quite fit. We think Ellen and Dan do. The cakes vary in cost from $25 (chocolate cake with cream cheese icing) to $45 (The Velvet Elvis: 2 layers red velvet cake, one layer chocolate with peanut butter cream filling and cream cheese icing!). We estimate we'll need about 4 cakes, so this fits into the budget nicely! I need to call them and book for certain, we just need to crunch a few more numbers. Keep your fingers crossed for the cake buffet!

After we were done with the cake tasting, we headed over to Off-Broadway Shoes to see if I could find a pair of cuties for our engagement shoot. I did and they are fabulous and hopefully, you'll see them when I get my engagement shots! TEASE!

However, I did come across these as potential wedding shoes. The blue (and optional cream) ones are lovely, but too high. The ones with the rhinestones were kinda cute, but they didn't have my size and The Candyman was not as interested as I.

The engagement shoot was a blast. Jonathon and Sharon really just are the best people. We had such an amazing time! We met them on Sunday in Franklin, hopped in their van and headed south to Leipers Fork, Tennessee. After several days of rain, the sky had cleared up beautifully, although it was a tad windy. We stopped at a few random places along the way: a discolored cement wall with a barbed wire fence, an old marquis sign and a lonely country road. The owner of the marquis offered it to Sharon and we (OK, it was me) seriously considered hooking it up to the van! I snapped a shot of the marquis and The Candyman along the way:

We arrived in Leipers Fork around 4:30pm or so and cruised around one of the antique stores and snapped a few shots there while we were still in our "casual" clothes of jeans and nice shirts. We changed into our fancier duds and really got down to business. The Candyman did not wear the hat, just so you know.

We took photos outside of store fronts, on an old truck, on benches, on a hill in front of a stream, under this giant gazebo/outside porch thing, in front of cool, old walls and in front of a replica of the General Lee (for those twenty-something brides, that would be the car from The Dukes of Hazard, one of the best 70's TV shows ever). Sa-weet! By the time we got back to our car, it was almost 8pm! I don't know why, but we were completely exhausted when we got home. I mean, basically all we had to do was stand there and make out a little. How awesome is that? OK, we didn't necessarily make out, but there was some smoochin' goin' on! :) I have a slightly higher regard for models now, but not much.

I know that Sharon did a ton of leg-work to scope out the locations and she did an incredible job. All these great photo op spots were within 600 yards or so of each other. It was the first time The Candyman and I had been to Leipers Fork and we will for sure be back! I can't wait to see the photos. I'm not sure when they will be "ready" but I'll be sure to share when they are! So excited to see the outcome of much anticipation and tons of fun yesterday! Thanks you guys! We had a blast!


Kubota Photo Design

When I was in middle school, I lived in Hawaii. I had a friend named Kecia. I was always slightly jealous of Kecia. She had boobs. She was really smart. I thought her colored jeans from Foxmore and her white Nike's were cool. She also had a verrrrrry cute brother, Kevin. Now Kevin was like a senior in high school or something, so totally unattainable in every way, but still cute. I remember having a sleepover at Kecia's house and her brother was getting ready to go on a first date with a girl named Clare. He married that girl Clare and started an amazing photography company. He has created amazing photography stuff that I know nothing about. He also received some fabulous humanitarian award. All that stuff is here. Even now, 20+ years later I still think Kevington Steele (as we used to refer to him) is still kinda cute! What he really is, is an amazing photographer - from any angle (oh, I crack myself up!). I swiped some of his incredible wedding photos off his blog. Lookie here:

All images from Kubota Photo Design.

Apparently Kevin and his team (which includes his sister, Kecia) have workshops and such all over the world! While I only sporadically keep in touch with my friend from Hawaii (they're all mainlanders now), I am always happy to hear of such success amongst friends, old and new. Check out his amazing work on his website Kubota Photo Design.


This One is for The Relentless Bride

Instead of working this morning, I decided to read wedding blogs. It makes me feel better and in light of yesterday's news, I feel mighty justified at slacking right now.

I was over at The Relentless Bride reading about her upcoming wedding photography gig. She asks about must-get shots. I had planned to post this later on, but thought I might do it now in order to help out Ms. Relentless as well as share some "must have shots" with other brides.

I found this list on iVillage, if you want to check it out yourself. It's the 88 must have wedding shots. Now, I don't think that all of these are really a must-have, especially for me. For instance, I won't be wearing a garter. We are not having a garter toss or a bouquet toss, so why would I need a shot of me putting one on? Below is the list. I've highlighted the ones I won't be needing.

I showed this list to my photographer Jonathon too. He wanted me to make sure I pointed out anything that was important, so he could make sure it happened. Since we have a teeny-tiny wedding party, a lot of these shots will be super-easy and super-fast. A lot of the shots are no-brainers for professional photographers. However, I think a discussion of shots you really want is totally legit. I know that the day will go by in a flash and I think that's why photographers are an integral part of The Big Show. The details will be recalled through his lens for the rest of our lives. You gotta like and trust your photographer. Happily, we do!

At our first meeting with JCP, Jonathon had a shot of a flower girl with her finger stuck in her nose. Or a flower stem. I can't remember, but she was sticking something in her nose. I thought it was hysterical. Jonathon tried to click past it pretty fast, but I made him go back so I could laugh at it some more. Some people would shudder at that kind of picture. I think it makes a wedding album complete! You gotta be able to share your vibe and your personality with your photographer. The Candyman and I have our engagement shoot this weekend. I think this will help me relax in front of the camera and will help the day of.

Here's the list. Relentless, I hope this helps.


Bride's dress on the hanger or over a chair

Close-up of bride's shoes

Close-up of bride's bouquet

Bride in curlers or having makeup applied

Bridesmaids applying their makeup

Bride putting on garter

Mom and/or bridesmaids helping the bride arrange her dress, bustle the train, etc.

Close-up of dress details

Bride together with bridesmaids

Bride hugging mom

Flower girl(s) ready to go

Mom or bridesmaids putting finishing touches on bride, adding the veil, etc.

Bride spending moment alone, thinking quietly, praying or looking out the window

Full-length shot of bride all dressed and ready to go

Groom putting on tie

Groom with groomsmen

Ring bearer ready to go

Groom with dad, hugging or whispering advice

Bride and groom separately getting in the car, limo or cab


Groom looking out the window, waiting for the bride to arrive

Car arriving with bride

Bride stepping out of the car

Wide shot of ceremony space from the back

Guests arriving (especially if they're using special transportation like a shuttle bus, boat or even escalator)

Ushers helping grandparents and special guests to their seats

Front and back shots of flower girl/ring bearer walking down the aisle

Close up of details (guest book, pew decorations, etc.)

Groom and groomsmen waiting nervously for bride to walk down aisle

Guests sitting down, waiting for ceremony to start

Bridesmaids walking down the aisle

Wedding party standing at the altar

Bride just before walking down the aisle

Back shot of bride (and escort) beginning to walk down the aisle

Full-frontal shot of bride (and escort) walking down the aisle

Close-up of groom's face when he sees bride for the first time (this can be done earlier, if photos are done before the ceremony)

Back shot of bride and groom together at the altar with officiant between them

Shot focusing on bridesmaids' bouquets, lined up as they hold them at the altar

Close-up of each hand as the rings are exchanged

Close-up of bride's face, as seen over the groom's shoulder

Close-up of groom's face, as seen over the bride's shoulder

Shot of both sets of parents' faces as they witness ceremony

The kiss

Happy couple walking back down the aisle together, as married couple

Guests getting ready to shower the couple with well wishes (and bubbles, birdseed, etc.) as they leave

Bride and groom walking out of ceremony space, hand-in-hand

BEFORE THE RECEPTION During the cocktail hour (These can be taken before the ceremony)

Full shot of bride and groom together, smiling

Full shot of bride and groom hugging

Full shot of bride and groom kissing

Bride being lifted or carried by groom or sitting on groom's lap

Close-up of couples' faces as bride is lifted, carried or sitting on groom's lap

Bride with her parents

Groom with his parents

Bride with groom's parents

Groom with bride's parents

Bride with bridesmaids

Groom with groomsmen

Bride with groomsmen

Group shot of bride, groom, family and wedding party

Groom leaning up against a wall with bride in front of him, kissing

Bride and groom walking toward the camera, holding hands

Bride and groom walking away from camera, holding hands

Bride and groom looking off in the same direction together


Close-up of details (place settings, name cards, etc.)

Close-up of centerpieces

Wide shot of entire room before everyone arrives, even better if taken from above

Any special moments during the receiving line process

Bride and groom's first dance

Groom dipping bride

Bride dancing with her dad -- close-up of her face as seen over his shoulder

Groom dancing with his mom

Close-up of cake

Bride showing her new ring to the guests

Bride and groom hugging guests, close-ups of faces

Best man (or other guests) making a toast to the couple

Bride and groom's faces as they listen to the toast(s)

Guests smiling and clapping

Guests dancing and cutting loose on the dance floor. (Tip: Ask for a slow shutter speed to get a blurry/focused effect)

Wide shot of entire room after guests arrive, even better if taken from above

Close-ups of guests' faces, laughing and having a great time -- lots of these

Groups of friends sitting together at their table or dancing

Bride and groom whispering to each other

Parents (or even better, grandparents) dancing

Kids dancing or playing around

Close-up of band or DJ

Bride and groom cutting the cake

Bride and groom feeding each other

Bride and groom in back seat of getaway car

Back of car as it drives away


Number Four of The Big Five

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was dedicated to nailing down my Wedding Big Five (reception venue, ceremony venue, photographer, dress, DJ). I had the venues handled, I finally decided on a dress and I had given the task of music to The Candyman to handle. That left me with the photographer issue. Now, first of all, I had no idea that photographers cost so much money! I also had no idea how much work went into the entire process of wedding photography. After a lot of research, several appointments and one really patient photography team, I was able to make a decision that I am so excited about!

First though, I'd like to share some honorable mentions to a handful of great photographers in the Nashville area. I had several lovely email exchanges with Meisach Moore of Meisach Moore Photography. Our timing was off in regards to how quickly we were responding to one another, but I love his work and would advise others to give him a look-see!
A wonderfully attentive communicator was Evan Baines of Evan Baines Photography. Check out his website!
Another amazing resource was Jack at Silent Light Images. He was one of the first photographers I spoke to and he was a wealth of information. He offered the names of other comparable photographers, sent me links to past clients and offered names of other wedding vendors I was in need of. I was so impressed. Sadly, his services were just a tad out of my price range.
Upon recommendation of a past client (this bride is on the first link to their wedding section!), I met with Macia and Cade Truitt of Inara Studios. I have to say that meeting with this couple was truly a delight. The were professional and personable and sweet in every way. Again, my budget was not happy with thier rates and there were certain things I knew I wanted that would put us way over our allotted amount. Again - Boo. Hiss. Their prices had gone up since 2008 and they have raised them again since they quoted me in February. Honestly, if your budget allows, they are worth it.
I also spoke with Josh Reeder of Josh Reeder Photography. Fellow bridal blog readers and Martha obsessed folk know his work from Liesl and Kevin: Franklin, TN. He is an amazing photographer and surprisingly affordable on Sundays!
I discussed options with Hartz Photographic (I particularly liked the fact that Johnny Cash plays on their home page!) and Michael Howard Photography. While all of the photographers I spoke to were great, I never felt a strong connection to them.
While this may seem silly, it's something that The Candyman and I have paid particular attention to on this wedding journey. We need to feel good with the people we are hiring. These are the people we are inviting to be a part of the most important day of our lives together. Granted, we are paying for a service, but that service is based on the the fact that we are celebrating a special union with our closest friends and family. I don't want any old dude snapping pictures of me. I want to feel like I have a connection on some base level with these people. It sounds silly and wishy-washy, but that's how we've been rolling. Now, do not forget that I am a no-nonsense business woman. I know a deal when I see one, but I also know that you get what you pay for. There is a delicate balance in paying a fair price for the best services. Enter Jonathon Campbell Photography. I contacted them via email from a postcard I picked up at the Nashville Bridal Expo held in January. I liked what I saw on their website too. Sharon, Jonathon's wife, gave me a call to discuss the particulars. After about 40 minutes of sharing our "I lived in LA too!" stories, we realized we'd barely talked about wedding photography. We were off to a great start! The Candyman and I met with Jonathon and Sharon and they really went out of their way to explain their process, how they work and had prepared an incredible presentation that went above and beyond the call of duty! My little anal retentive heart pittered and pattered so! The Candyman gave his stamp of approval the second we parted ways. I am getting super excited for our engagement shoot coming up in May. They have also announced their Spring Mini-Session in the Park for an incredible price of $99! Check it out!!

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