ShootAnyAngle.com Wedding Photography Blog

What story will your photos tell? We're a husband and wife photography team, and we want to capture your special day so you can relive it every time you look at your photographs! On this blog, you'll find all things wedding to inspire you for your big day! Check back often for posts on photography, DIY, dresses, decorations, and more!


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Necklace or No Necklace?

When planning our wedding, I remember being torn as to what necklace to wear.  At the time, it had never crossed my mind not to wear one.  So, I bought several possibilities, put on the dress, and tried one after another after another.  As excited as I was to have an excuse to buy sparkly jewelry, I wasn’t loving any of the necklaces with the dress.  Each and every option ended up going back to the store.

A little while later, I sat with my bridesmaid and wedding planner, Hayley.  I told her about the necklaces and how none had worked.  I asked her what she thought.

“I don’t think you should wear a necklace at all,” she laughed.  “With your beautiful dress, a bare neck will look a lot more elegant.”  Wow.  It was like a light bulb turning on.  I had the option not to wear a necklace.  I fought it for quite awhile after that, but in the end, she was absolutely right. A bare neck was a lot more elegant.

Of course, my choice won’t be the best for everyone, so let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Necklaces are pretty and can really dress up a plain gown.
  • It’s a way to bring in personality, whether that’s by bringing in some sparkle or by introducing a new, bold color.
  • It can easily be your something new or borrowed or even blue.
  • It can cover up any scars or beauty marks on your neck

Cons

  • It can detract from the gown.
  • It can shift and not lay right, which doesn’t look good in photos
  • It’s one more thing to buy or find.
  • It’s one more thing you may need to constantly adjust.

Here are some inspiration photos to help you make up your mind!

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http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

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Photography by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography


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Behind the Shot: Camping Styled Shoot

Since James and I love camping, and had such a trip already planned, we decided to take advantage of our time in the outdoors by doing a camping themed photoshoot!  It was a lot of fun, and our two models, Jenn and Chris, were such great sports (and it wasn’t an easy shoot).  They needed to pose out in the lake and even have a water fight.  On another night, we kept them up until midnight to get nighttime photos!  They were more than willing to try everything, and they seemed to have a lot of fun too.  We know we did!

We love the way the final pictures came out (here’s a sneak peek), but we also loved what when on behind the scenes.  Take a look!

http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/ http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/ http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/ http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/ http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/ http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/ http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

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Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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What to Wear to Your Engagement Shoot

whattowearIf you have an engagement shoot coming up, you’re probably wondering what to wear, and there are some outfits that are better than others.  Think about these tips when picking out your outfit.

AJH_3904WMWear solid colors or large prints (avoid small prints and logos)

Small prints can hurt the eye, and some screens will even show a rainbow effect when showing off the photos.  So, stick to solids and large prints. Checkered prints and stripes are fine as long as they aren’t really tight.

 

Avoid neon colorsshootanyangle.com/weddings/

Neon will be quite blinding in a photo.  Though the photographer can dull down the color a tad in post-editing, it’s best to avoid it.

 

 

 

_AJH3421.2WMJeans are fine

Engagement photos are supposed to be natural feeling, so you don’t have to be dressed to the nines (you certainly can be if you want to though!)  Thus, jeans and a nice top are just fine.

 

 

Dress for the location and activityAJH_1905WM

Talk with your photographer to plan the shoot, and let them know what you’d like to do.  Then, plan the outfit accordingly.  If you want to take pictures in the city, heels are fine, but more comfortable and supportive shoes would be needed for a wooded area.  Dresses are fine in any area (this includes floor-length if you can move in it), but I recommend wearing bicycle shorts (or similar) underneath.  The reason for this is your fiancé may lift you in the air, or you may lay down in a field of daisies, or you may jump to make it look like you’re flying.  Photography can be a more physical task than most anticipate, so make sure the outfit is comfortable and conceals all it needs to conceal even when moving around.  That means nothing to short or too revealing.

 

Consider your personalities_AJH4755.2WM

Dress similarly (though maybe a tad nicer) than you normally dress.  If you never wear jeans, don’t wear them for the shoot.  If you never wear dresses, don’t wear one for the shoot.  The reason behind this is two-fold: 1, you should be comfortable in what you’re wearing (especially since being a model may be a tad uncomfortable at times), and 2, you should look like yourself.  These photos are supposed to represent who you are both as individuals and as a couple, so let your personality shine through.  That also means that if you like particular outfits or costumes, wear it!  Just talk with your photographer ahead of time as some locations require normal dress (the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is an example of this).

 

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Accessorize!

Feel free to add in cowboy boots or an accessory or a specialty item.  Add a strand of pearls or your favorite earrings or even bring along props!  Shoots look great with bouquets or old cameras or even little bird cage veils if that’s what you’d like.

 

 

Have fun!!

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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How to Deal With Post-Wedding Blues

Photo courtesy of Susie Hannibal

Your wedding day is bound to be the happiest day of your life thus far.  It’s a busy but fantastic day that is the cumulation of generally a year of planning and years of courtship prior to that.  For that day, you feel like a princess, a celebrity.  Everyone knows you and is complimenting you, giving you gifts, taking pictures of you – and whether or not you are generally someone who likes all that attention, it will become very odd when it’s suddenly all gone.  And it will be the very next day.

Sure, weddings are really about vowing to spend the rest of your life with the one you love, but it does become more than that whether we want it to or not – and we get used to that.  We’re only humans after all!  But what happens when all the planning is over, and the attention is gone, and you realize the big day that your life was circling around has now been completed?  Well, for many brides and even some grooms out there, it can lead to post-wedding blues.  Even though the wedding is over, the marriage is just beginning, so what are some things you can do to get past it?

Take a Breather

We all need a bit of a breather first.  Weddings are exhausting!!!  So, allow yourself the relaxation time.  It’s okay to take an extra-long soak in the tub.  It’s okay to watch a few more episodes on TV than you usually do.  It’s okay to sleep in on the weekends.  Take some down time.  Your new hubby will need some too, so take that breather together!

Do Wedding Related Projects

Oddly enough, even if the wedding is over, the projects aren’t.  You still have thank you notes to write (and only a month to do them in), social media albums to make, photo books to make, canvas prints to order, etc.  Most couples have pictures of their wedding day and photo albums of it in their home, so now is the time to get those done!

Plan a Couple-Only Day

Since odds are that you both took time off work, you may find yourself overwhelmed after returning from the wedding and honeymoon only to be met by a wall of work that accumulated while you were out.  It may seem hard to carve out a moment just for you two.  It’s really important to get that time though.  You’re newlyweds after all!  Plan a time to do something just the two of you.  Even if you can’t get away for a full day, and even if money is tight (it usually is after a wedding!), you can still find free and short things to do: go for a walk in the park, watch one of your favorite DVDs together, make dinner together, go to the beach and watch the sunset.  There are lots of options in regards to activities, but make sure it’s just the two of you.

Plan Something To Look Forward To

Let’s face it: a wedding is really just a big party, so you’ve really been a party-planner for a year or so.  If you have post-wedding blues, it may be the planning that you miss.  So, plan something new!  Offer to plan someone’s birthday party, or plan a tea-party, or plan a thank-you-to-everyone-who-helped-out-at-our-wedding party.  Put those new-found skills to good use!

Get Dressed Up

Brides sometimes don’t feel as pretty after a wedding.  After all, their hairstylist and make-up artist and dress designer aren’t there everyday!  We all look our best on our wedding day, so the days that follow are a bit of a let down in the beauty department.  So, get dressed up!  Do your hair and make-up, put on your favorite dress (no, not the wedding dress) and go out to dinner with your hubby, or plan something at home.  It’ll help give you a little pick-me-up.

Pick Up a New Life Project

Your life was circling around the planning of the wedding, and now you find yourself with free time on your hands.  Put that energy towards a new life project.  Want a different career?  Put that energy towards that.  Or maybe you want to re-do parts of the house, or rejuvenate your relationship with family.  Whatever it is, use the new free time for that.

And most of all, focus on the positive – you just married the love of your life!

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Wedding Guest Attire Rules: Brides Tell Us What Rules They Do and Don’t Care About

A well-dressed pair!  http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

A well-dressed pair, and such a good-looking couple!
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I don’t know about you, but I’m personally utterly confused about the rules of wedding guest attire. Some rules are easy to understand (i.e. don’t wear white), but it’s the gray area that always confuses me. What about a print that includes white? And do all these rules really matter anymore? Personally, at our wedding, all I noticed was that everyone looked so nice! I didn’t have a single negative thought about anyone’s attire. Likewise, all the images you see here are examples of very classy and appropriate wedding guest attire that we love!  Still, we wondered what rules are still in effect, so we talked to brides of all ages (past and present) to learn their thoughts.  We found out this list is actually more of “guidelines than actual rules” (to quote Pirates of the Caribbean).  Here’s what they told us!

We love this well-dressed (and handsome) pair! http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

We love this well-dressed (and handsome) pair!
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     Rule 1: Don’t Wear White     

100% Agree!

A full white dress is inappropriate to wear to a wedding (that color is reserved for the bride) as are outfits that are mainly a cream/beige/ivory color (and I’d go a step further and say avoid very, very light colors that could be misinterpreted as white). It seems everyone we talked to was in agreement on this point, but they also said that dresses that included white were okay as long as it wasn’t the main color. A print on a white background? White and blue stripes? All the past brides we talked to were fine with it! And men can certainly wear white dress shirts.

     Rule 2: Don’t wear black unless it is an evening wedding     

70% Disagree!

Most of the brides we talked to said black was just fine, though a few agreed that it should be more for an evening wedding. Of course, what exactly is considered an “evening wedding” is a whole other issue entirely! It was very hard to find a set answer on this point, but the majority of my findings point to a start time of 6pm (though some say that’s for the ceremony start time and some say that’s for the reception start time). I’ve also heard as early as 4pm if the reception goes through to the night.  A couple also pointed out that whether or not a particular dress would be acceptable depended on its style. If it was a fun type of dress (such as a floral print on a black background), that would be acceptable. I personally love black dresses (it looks good on just about everyone), and I’d be fine with guests wearing that color to my own wedding.  Those who agreed with the rule felt it was an important rule to follow, though, so it’s possible that other guests won’t agree with the color choice. I will note that wedding photographers typically wear all black when photographing a wedding.

Great dresses for wedding guests! http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

Great dresses for wedding guests!
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     Rule 3: Don’t wear red     

57% Disagree, but it was a close call.

This was a close one, but the majority disagreed with this point. However, we did have a few who pointed out that they personally wouldn’t feel comfortable in the color as a guest just because it draws too much attention to themselves, and they have a point there. Red does draw the eye, so it suggests that the wearer wanted the attention. So, it may be best to stay away from it if it’s “fire engine red.”  Maroon and other shades are great to wear though!

     Rule 4: Don’t wear the same color as the bridesmaids     

85% Disagree…

…but they would avoid it if they had been informed of the color ahead of time. Still, they agreed that wearing the same color was fine as long as the dress wasn’t a perfect match. Plus, it’s likely to happen on accident.

A very dapper gentleman! http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

A very dapper grandfather-of-the-groom!
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     Rule 5: Don’t wear something skimpy     

100% Agree.

The issue becomes what is considered skimpy and what is not. When I asked this question, the answer I got the most was that it was skimpy if too much of the lady’s breasts were showing, but that’s certainly not the only way a dress could be considered skimpy.  I think one bride described it best, “Rule of thumb… if you go tight, don’t go short. Show off legs or cleavage, not both. Backless can be elegant if done tastefully…. Lastly, if it’s going to ride up or fall out while dancing, just don’t wear it!”

     Rule 6: Don’t wear casual clothes     

100% Agree.

Across the board, brides (and their guests) agreed with this one – especially the “no jeans” rule. Brides work very hard on their invitations to give the guest a general feeling for what their wedding will be like. Use that as a guide, but casual, everyday clothes aren’t appropriate.

     Rule 7: Don’t overdress     

100% Agree.

Again, brides seemed to be very adamant that guests should stick to the style detailed or dictated by their invitation. You should always look nice, of course, but leave that tailed tuxedo or full ball gown at home unless the wedding calls for it.

     Rule 8: Don’t wear an old bridesmaid dress     

85% Disagree.

Overall, the brides disagreed with this one on the condition that the dress wasn’t obviously a bridesmaid dress. In talking with them though, it sounds like they were more concerned that the guest would be uncomfortable and feel out of place rather than a bride having an issue with it. Plus, if you re-make the bridesmaid dress to disguise its original purpose, a wedding would be a fine place to show it off.

     Rule 9: Don’t wear too much bling     

A beautiful looking pair of wedding guests. http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

A beautiful looking pair of wedding guests.
http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

60% Disagreed, if done well.

Brides are okay with you wearing your finest jewels, but several did tell me they’d prefer to see a fancy statement necklace only, or fancy earrings only. So, it’s okay to go big in one area, but not in all. And they did say “no tiaras” across the board, unless the bride asks you to wear one, of course!

     Rule 10: Don’t wear office wear     

90% Disagreed (if it was done right).

There are lots of ways to dress up your office wear with a statement necklace or little strap heels. There is something so completely classy about a nice pantsuit. Overall, brides were fine with that idea. As someone pointed out, “If a man wears a suit, that’s considered office wear and wedding attire!”

     Rule 11: Don’t wear a loud tie     

80% Disagreed.

You can probably tell the bride and groom’s opinion on this one based on their personality and the feel of the wedding. If it’s a classy black tie event, a loud tie may not be the best. If it’s more casual and the bride and groom are laid back and fun-loving people, it’s probably fine if you are comfortable wearing it. Personally, one of my favorite attires at our wedding was my cousin’s outfit. He wore a bright yellow button up shirt, a bright purple tie, and matching purple sneakers with his black dress pants. I absolutely LOVED it, and so did my other guests!

     Rule 12: Don’t wear sequins     

100% Disagree (if done tastefully).

Brides all said that wearing some sequins were fine. Again, it should fit the style of the wedding. A full sequin dress to a casual wedding wouldn’t be appropriate. So, use your best judgment as to how much is too much based on the invitation and what you know about the couple and the wedding.

What a beautifully dressed grandmother-of-the-bride! http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

What a beautifully dressed grandmother-of-the-bride!
http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

     Rule 13: Use a clutch purse, not your everyday purse     

70% Agreed.

This seemed to be more of a personal preference rather than a rule that a bride would feel the need for. A bigger bag can be a nuisance to carry around all night, and it would probably be left unattended at some point. Thus, those we spoke with felt it was easier on guests to have smaller clutches or cross-sling purses for convenience.

     Rule 14: Don’t wear inappropriate shoes     

100% Agreed (80% say “no flip flops”).

Stilettos aren’t appropriate if the guest will be walking on sand or grass, and flip-flops aren’t appropriate for a fancy wedding. Guests should always pick their shoes based on the venue and their outfit, but avoiding flip-flops is a good idea.

     Rule 15: Don’t wear tulle     

65% Disagreed.

Tulle is really back in nowadays, and it can be done quite tastefully. That being said, they felt a tulle dress should look classy and not like you’re an adult flower girl. So, it’s a judgment call based on the dress itself.

Such a cute couple, and so well-dressed! http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

Such a cute couple, and so well-dressed!
http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

Overall, these rules (whether relevant or not) were created in order to keep guests from upstaging the bride. As long as you look nice but don’t take any attention away from her, then you’re all set. If in doubt, it’s best to ask a friend or one of the bridesmaids. The bride has enough to worry about as her big day approaches, so it’s best to leave your outfit off of her list.  Funny enough, it seems these brides didn’t care so much about what people wore to their own weddings but more about what they would deem appropriate or not appropriate to wear as a wedding guest themselves.  Hopefully, these notes will help you pick great attire for the next wedding – or will provide a quick link to send to guests when asked what to wear to your own upcoming wedding!

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography (all photos of well-dressed guests!).

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How to Pose for Photos

They say the camera adds 10 pounds, so let’s figure out how to lose those 10 and then some! While at my Bachelorette Party at Disneyland, the girls and I were constantly trying to correct our poses to look the best we could. It was Dapper Day, and since we were dressed up to the nines, we wanted these pictures to turn out the best they could. I remember having a conversation with my cousin about it, and we agreed to help pose each other. In truth, posing is not easy, and it takes lots of practice to finally be able to do it without thinking. However, if you know some basic tips, you can start posing better right away!  The tips below work for either gender (with the exception of a few), but it’s mostly geared towards women.

Posing is not natural, and it can be uncomfortable.

It’s not natural at all. I’ve often joked that if a pose feels really awkward and painful, it probably looks great. Now, that’s not always true, but it can be true more often than not. Posing is an exaggerated form of your natural stances, so it requires you to pay attention to your body more and twist and turn and arch in ways that sometimes feel awkward.

Don’t slouch.

Yes, the lesson your mother has been teaching you since childhood applies here too. Slouching looks bad – and not just on camera!

Relax your forehead muscles.

If you aren’t going for a goofy photo (I love goofy photos, personally, but there is a time and place for them), then relax your eyebrows and forehead. Otherwise, the wrinkles will be obvious.

Bring your face forward.

This is a big way to make your photos look better. Bring your head, as a whole, closer to the camera. Your chin should still be level with the ground, so it’s your neck that is doing all the work. From the side, you’ll probably look like a turtle, but straight on (so, for the camera), it’ll look great. Plus, this gets rid of the dreaded “double chin” look. You can also try tilting your head slightly. This lets your hair hang more freely (if you have long hair).

Leave space around your waist.

You want to emphasize your waist in photographs and the best way to do this is to leave space between your arms and the waist. Putting your hands on your hips is a good way to do this. Or, you can just lift your arms away from the waist slightly as they hang down. Space should be left on both sides.  If you have your arms against your side, your body loses its shape.  This is true for men too.

Twist your waist, but not your chest (as much).

It kind of sounds like we’re becoming contortionists here, huh? If you can twist at the waist so your bottom half is at an angle (so, the camera sees a 45 degree angle of the bottom half) and keep the chest relatively straight on (but not perfectly), your waist and legs will look thinner.

Rotate the shoulders and relax them.

This may sound impossible, but it is doable. This is why your chest shouldn’t be perfectly straight on. Having your shoulders twisted slightly will make them look more shapely, but if they are stressed and raised, your neck will be shortened. So, twist and lower your shoulders into a relaxed state even though it may not feel relaxed at all!

Lean forward slightly from your waist.

This technique will make your legs smaller and be more engaging if a full body shot, and more engaging if it’s a close-up headshot.  However, if you do it too much, or if you already have broad shoulders, it won’t look great. Try some pictures leaning forward and some without to see which works best for your body.  This technique will also make men look like they have a slightly larger chest.

Put one leg just in front of the other, but close together.

Think of a ballerina’s stance. This makes your legs and thighs appear to be thinner. And point the toes towards the camera. If they point out to the side, they can look like clown shoes.  This technique is more for women than for men, but they can still do this pose in a wider stance.

Arch your back.

If you’re sitting in a chair or have your arm around someone, arch your back. I’m the first to admit that this is not the most comfortable position, but it looks better for the camera. I’ve used this technique at our wedding while posing in wooden sunglasses, and it worked great.  This is primarily a pose for women.

Keep your nose on your face.

At least, as the camera sees it. This may take the photographer guiding you or just practice in the mirror, but you shouldn’t turn your head so much to the side that your nose’s shape is clearly defined since it’s outlined by the background. To put it another way, the nose shouldn’t be at a 90 degree angle from the camera. When you look at the resulting image, the nose should be completely surrounded by your face, not by the background.

For the bouquet shot, lower the bouquet.

For the classic shot of your bouquet, the photographers tend to photograph you straight on. Make sure your bouquet is not held right up to your bust, but rather have your hands below your natural waistline. This will allow the photo to show details of the dress, and it will keep your arms looking more natural (instead of showing off pointy elbows like when the bouquet is held higher). Again, make sure there is space between your arm and your waistline on both sides.

For the ring shot, relax the hands.

Think of it like posing for a Dove soap commercial. Your hands should be slightly limp, and fingers should be mostly straight (but relaxed). This will make your fingers, nails, and (of course) the rings better.  Men can do a more firm stance with their hands (such as being the one to wrap their hand around the lady’s), but a relaxed look is great too.

I understand that learning to pose properly can sound daunting (and uncomfortable), but with a little bit of practice, it is possible to pick it up quickly. Try each tip individually prior to combining them. That way, it’ll be less complex. Also, these are just guidelines.  I’ve seen plenty of photos that I found to be spectacular that were not the epitome of perfect posing.  That’s why it’s good to play around with these tips and see what works for your body and what doesn’t.  That way, you’ll know the perfect pose for your own body.  And, most importantly, have fun!  A person having a good time is the most photographic of all!

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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Tips From an Ex-Bridal/Bridesmaid Consultant

Always check the sample rack, you may just find the one! http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

Always check the sample rack, you may just find the one!
http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

I had the privilege of getting to attend (and photograph!) a new bride’s wedding dress appointment. She tried on several dresses and looked stunning in all of them! She did end up saying “yes” to the dress, but I won’t be posting any of those photos (in order to keep them from her fiancé’s prying eyes!). The experience reminded me of my days working as a Bridal and Bridesmaid Consultant. Now, this bride’s appointment went very smoothly, but that’s not always the case in my experience in the business. So, I have some tips for when it’s your turn to go dress shopping.

1.  Most women go in knowing basically what they want, and most end up choosing the exact opposite.

It’s EXTREMELY common to go in with one type of dress in mind and come out with the opposite. I’m not entirely sure why this happens so frequently. Perhaps we’re drawn to the body type we don’t have. Whatever the reason, I saw this constantly both at the bridal store and when I was working in a theatre costume shop. So, my advice is feel free to go in with ideas you like, but be open to the fact that you may change your mind once you see how that style looks on you. I did the same thing when I went shopping for my dress. I told the consultant I wanted a sheath lace dress that had some sort of lacey straps on it, but I gave her full permission to pick out something completely opposite if I wasn’t loving the style. Sure enough, I didn’t love the style. So, what did I end up with? A poofy, strapless ball gown with not a bit of lace on it! And I loved it!

 2.  Wear the appropriate undergarments.

Part of my job was measuring brides and bridesmaids for their dresses. I’d ask the woman to undress down to bra and underwear, and then I’d come in to measure. One day, I asked the woman if she was ready, she said she was, and I came in to find her completely naked! I was shocked to say the least. I quickly looked away and told her she needed to put on undergarments before I could proceed.

Now, odds are you wouldn’t get naked, but you should bring undergarments that you feel comfortable in. The consultant will see you in these, so thongs are not the best option. The bra should also be a strapless of sorts so you can see how the dresses are supposed to look. They may also offer you a low-back corset, which is great for trying on dresses.

3.  Never, ever, ever order a smaller size because you’re hoping to lose weight before the big day. Just don’t do it.

I cannot tell you how many times people would refuse my recommendation on size because they were planning on losing weight before the wedding (or would suck in as I measured them – they fooled no one). Most of the time, I was able to talk them out of it. The ladies I couldn’t talk out of it always ended up with a dress that was much too small for them. The truth of the matter is that it takes a lot to lose inches off your measurements, but you can always take in a dress. It’s very hard (sometimes impossible) to let it out. I understand people want to lose weight, but if someone orders a dress that ends up being too small, the only thing they’ll succeed in doing is drawing attention to their weight on the big day because the dress will be obviously too tight (if it zips up at all). There’s enough to worry about without worrying about if the dress will fit.  So, just order the correct size.  If you feel you are in between sizes, it’s usually best to size up (if it’s a corset back, you have a bit more wiggle room).  Talk to your consultant. They want to help you look your best, so they’ll be happy to help.

4.  Your size may be larger than you expected. That’s okay!

Many bridal/bridesmaid dresses are in European sizes, so it’s about 2 sizes higher than the US size. So, if you are usually a 6, you would be a 10 (the sizes are even numbers: 2,4,6,8…). Many women were furious at me when I told them their suggested size, so I had to explain this several times. My advice? Just cut off the tag. No one will know, and you’ll forget too.

5.  Be nice. Yes, it’s your day, but you need to live with these people afterwards!

Yes, being nice goes a long way. Now, sure, you should be nice to your consultant, but that’s not actually where I saw the sparks fly. Where I saw the most heated arguments were between the bride and mother of the bride. One day particularly stands out. A mother of the bride came into the store already close to tears. My co-workers informed me that they had witnessed the bride chewing out her mother the day before because the mother wanted to wear an outfit that the bride didn’t approve of. The mother had come back in to pick one of the frumpy outfits her daughter had demanded she wear. I felt horrible for her, so I took the time to sit her down and have a nice talk with her. I was shocked the treatment she had received all because the woman was trying to look nice. The outfit she had chosen was very lovely, conservative, a muted color, and it even went with the bride’s color choices and what she had originally told the mother that she wanted. I ended up advising her to pick the outfit she (the mother) wanted. I told her that even though it was her daughter’s big day, it was a big day for her too, and she needed to feel beautiful as well. After all, the parents get a lot of attention that day too. She left with the dress she loved and a smile on her face.

The lesson? Don’t drive your mother (or bridesmaids) to therapy. Yes, it is your big day, but pick and choose your battles.

6.  “Three’s a crowd.”

Three is actually fine, but the saying is suitable for this next piece of advice. If you’ve ever seen Say Yes To The Dress, you’ll know what I’m talking about.   Bringing a small group with you is fine, but I’ve seen girls bring six or more people with them, and that’s a bit much. They always regretted it. In a group atmosphere when people are asked for their opinions, they tend to be more outspoken. This could be because they want their opinion to be heard or simply because the excitement gets the better of them. Regardless of the reason, if you bring a large group, be prepared for a lot of opinions – a lot of conflicting opinions. This is a big decision, and it’s very hard to do with a lot of different voices.

Now, this is also dependent on who you bring. If the people are generally introverted or calm, then you probably won’t have an issue. If you bring people that are loud and opinionated, you probably will have an issue. Basically, pick your company wisely, but less is more.

7.  Don’t spend money on the veil unless you want something really fancy.

A veil is just tulle. That fabric is very cheap at fabric stores, and you can just sew it onto a comb (I did this for our wedding, and it only cost me 3 dollars!). If you want to add lace, you can buy those appliqués and sew them on too. This will be a lot less expensive than buying it. Now, if you have something really intricate in mind or something that is more complex to do on your own (piping can be tricky), then you may have no choice but to buy it. If not, make it yourself.

8.  Shop well in advance.

Dresses can take 6-8 months to come into the store once ordered. Make sure you have enough time! If you don’t have this time, check the rack or non-bridal stores online.

9.  Don’t forget to check the rack.

Many stores have the option to buy off the rack. These are usually sample dresses priced at a great discount. Not only could you save money, but you could also take home the dress that day!  Even though I tried on a bunch of dresses that were order-only, my dress was eventually found off the rack, and it cost the same my mother’s dress had cost 30 years prior!  Score!

10.  Take pictures, and have fun.

This is a once in a lifetime event. Enjoy it. Twirl on the pedestal like a princess. Smile and thank those that compliment you. Soak it in!

You’re going to look gorgeous!

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

Valentine’s Day is this weekend, and whether it’s the first with your sweetheart, the year that he might just pop the big question, or a holiday that you and your honey have had almost every year together, it should be special. So, we decided to create a table setting to give your meal a little extra romance! We’ll leave the cooking up to you though!

The color red is always a typical Valentine’s color, but we decided to add in some champagne, gold, and green as well to give it a bit more class. The red is also a darker red, which we like better than the bright red and purple we tend to find in the store. Actually, the plates and decorations are mainly all gold and champagne, so the red is brought in through the flowers alone. You don’t need to have a lavish floral display to impress. Here, we just used loose flowers bought from Safeway amongst the candles to create this relaxed yet classy look. It’s much easier than getting the floral tape and Styrofoam and taking hours to design an over-the-top centerpiece, and it looks just as nice.

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

For the wine glasses, we wanted something special, so I created something specifically for this date night. Those started off as plain, clear champagne flutes. First, I taped off the diagonal line on the top of the glass, and mixed Mod Podge with gold glitter. Just use a brush to paint it on. I recommend a few coats. By mixing the glitter into the glue, the glitter will not come off at all. It’ll also be relatively smooth to the touch. It’s the best way to apply glitter, in my opinion. My husband, James, hates loose glitter with a passion, so he’ll only use it if the glitter won’t come off. Next, tape off the top of the flute, including the glittered portion, and use gold spray paint on the rest of the glass. I found Krylon’s gold spray paint to work best.

How to make fancy champagne flutes ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

How to make fancy champagne flutes
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

Since I had so much fun transforming everyday objects with gold spray paint, I did a run to the Dollar Store, and found a simple glass candlestick and a round vase that reminded me of a fish bowl. I spray painted the bowl and glued it to the top of the candlestick with glass glue (and I added gold glitter inside the candlestick to give it a little extra glitz). Leave the bottom of the bowl unsprayed, though, in order to ensure a good hold for the glue. This made it look like an old-fashioned lamp, so I added a candle inside, and used it in the center of our table.

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine's Table Setting Inspiration ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A Valentine’s Table Setting Inspiration
ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

With just a little bit of creativity, you can make the perfect setting for you and your sweetie without spending a lot of money.

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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Pretty Little Details: Inspiration Shots for Your Wedding!

When planning a wedding, you should know the three things that mean the most to you (apart from marrying the spouse of your dreams because that’s just a given!). For me, it was photography first, details second, and location third. I feel the details are what make a wedding special. It’s a glimpse into a fairytale romance. Little details and two people in love make for the best photographs! Take a look at the following photos for inspiration for your big day! Remember, these are just inspiration shots, so alter the details to make the final product your own. In my opinion, a wedding should always be unique to the couple. That’s what makes it special!

A sweet bouquet filled with mementos from family members: brooches from Grandmother, and even the wedding ring of Grandfather! http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A sweet bouquet filled with mementos from family members: brooches from Grandmother, and even the wedding ring of Grandfather!  The brooches were the center of fabric flowers made by the bride.  These flowers were then mixed in with real flowers to create a unique look.
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Beautiful gold-painted mason jars filled with flowers.  A great decoration for along the aisle! http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

Beautiful gold-painted mason jars filled with flowers. A great decoration for along the aisle!  It’s amazing how just painting the jars makes them look so much nicer!
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Beautiful white and pink flowers. http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

Beautiful white and pink flowers.
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A more unique take on the traditional cake topper. http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

A more unique take on the traditional cake topper.  The bride even “glitterized” the shoes to match her own.
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These were my wedding shoes.  They were covered in around 1,000 Swarovski crystals - all of which I glued on by hand!

These were my wedding shoes. They were covered in around 1,000 Swarovski crystals – all of which I glued on by hand! http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

This beautiful cake stand was made by my father for our wedding.  He made it look like a tree since we love the outdoors.  He even carved in our initials and wrote a special note to me in Italian. http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

This beautiful cake stand was made by my father for our wedding. He made it look like a tree since we love the outdoors. He even carved in our initials and wrote a special note to me in Italian.
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Happily Ever After! http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

Happily Ever After!  This sign is great because it can hang in your home after the wedding!
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This beautiful (and huge!) sign was made for us on our wedding day.  We'll hang it in our home for years to come! http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

This beautiful (and huge!) sign was made for us on our wedding day. We’ll hang it in our home for years to come!
http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

Old cameras and books as centerpieces.  Perfect for a photographer-author couple! http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

Old cameras and books as centerpieces. Perfect for a photographer-author couple!  Time to hit the flea markets!
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Red roses for a beautiful contrast from the ivory dress! http://ShootAnyAngle.com/weddings/

Red roses for a beautiful contrast from the ivory dress!
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Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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Photography Night Magic

We’ve all seen those stunning wedding photos on Yahoo or social media sites that beg the question, “how did they do that?!”  It’s always a good idea to go for a wow factor in your engagement, Save-the-Dates, wedding, or newlywed photos, and it’s definitely possible. The nice thing about couple photos outside of the wedding day is that you can create shots that you couldn’t necessarily get at the event itself. An example of this is nighttime long exposures. These kinds of shots are really neat. They look as if they are Photoshopped, but they are completely real!

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A newlywed shoot as a long exposure at night!    http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

The funny thing about long exposures is that though the result can look quite glamorous, the process of doing it is anything but. For this shot, James and I had to hike down to the frozen over lake carrying all of our equipment in 19 degree Fahrenheit weather. Talk about freezing! We had only our flashlights and the glow of nearby houses for light. When we got down to the waterfront, we set up the gear, and put the camera on a timer. The flash fired in the first second, and then we stood perfectly still for 30 seconds to get the shot we wanted. Yes, that’s a long kiss!  We were quite cold standing still like that, but it was worth it!

Our Save the Dates were made by utilizing a technique called

Our Save the Dates were made by utilizing a technique called “light painting.”
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For our Save-the-Dates, we were under pressure to produce something awesome (we are photographers after all!), so we decided to do a nighttime long exposure with light painting. For those of you who don’t know, light painting is using a source of light (flashlight, sparkler, etc) to literally paint something in the photo. So, for our shot, we set the camera on a tripod with a countdown timer. I stood out in the field to mark the spot, and James triggered the shutter. Then, he ran to greet me and pose. The flash went off, and we stood perfectly still in the pitch black. Next, he ran out of the frame, and I pulled out a flashlight. I wrote the numbers in the sky, imagining where they’d go since you can’t actually see them as you write. Then, I ran out of the frame too as the camera finished the exposure.  Our guests loved the result. We had several people ask us how we made it. Apparently, they were taking bets!

These shots both turned out great, and we really did have so much fun making them (even if we were cold!)  So, try something at night for your next photoshoot, and stay tuned for more shots from ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography!

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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