Meagan & Mike: Miami Mardi Gras

It's wonderful when life brings people together in fun ways. I met Meagan when I was shooting a WAKA (World Adult Kickball Association) Event on a lovely Saturday morning. Once she shared her New Orleans engagement story with me and I was head over heels. She and Mike truly know how to have fun in their relationship and not take things too seriously. They're the couple you'd love to have a beer and chat with. How great is it when you find two people who want to take that literally and add that to their session? Thanks for the beers, laughter, and love, you two!



Fancy Five: A Meticulous Bride's Must-Haves

Planning my wedding was an absolute joy. I loved the monumental decisions down to the tiniest most delightfully mind-numbing details. I was thrilled by the twists and turns and last-minute cancellations of my friends and family. I got off on spending my free time staring at handmade tchotchkes on the internet. While these things are oodles of fun for me I can see why they aren’t every bride’s cup of artisan earl grey tea served in a hand-painted mug.  A lot of brides will tell you what you HAVE to have, but – spoiler alert – you don’t need that leather-bound guestbook, flower crowns for every bridesmaid, or bourbon-tasting station (I really tried hard for that one).  

Four weeks later I’m slowly but surely gathering my thoughts to formulate helpful posts for brides, planners, and party-throwers. I’ll keep these short and sweet by putting them in list form- how trendy! For this edition, here are some things that I pat myself on the back for having at my wedding and people seemed to appreciate:

1.     Fluids!

photo 5.JPG

Since we were tying the knot outdoors in Florida, we expected weather to be in the high 70s for our October Sunday brunch wedding. From the moment they stepped in I wanted to make sure my guests were comfortable. We offered infused water, tea, and ginger-basil lemonade before the ceremony. While a glass of something boozy is fab at 11am I figured starting the day off hydrated would be a wise choice. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I’m much more patient and chipper if I have a refreshing glass of something cool in hand. These drink options stuck around after the ceremony for cocktail and reception, something our guests appreciated. Non-alcoholic beverages also offer you the chance to express your style and theme without breaking the bank. How cute would a hot chocolate station be for a winter wonderland wedding?

2.     FOOD.

The human body can’t survive without water or food. Before you tackle your silk flower wall a la Kim Kardashian West or pick your bridesmaids’ toenail polish my biggest piece of advice is to tackle the necessities. There is nothing worse your guests can experience than being hungry at your wedding. Your amazing day will be nice and long, so be sure to keep you and your guests fed as often as you can. You can do this on a wide variety of budgets, from the opulent passed apps to the simple but effective table of cheese trays or bread, butter, and hummus. Again, this is a wonderful opportunity for your theme to come through with your selections. Rocking a Mexican theme? Everyone loves chips, guac, and salsa!

3.     Something (Anything) For Your Groom

It can be a drag to have a partner who is either too busy or simply unenthusiastic about wedding planning. Okay okay, we get it. Tablescapes don’t entice you. You don’t see the (huge) difference between eggshell and ecru.  That’s fine. Throughout the process just remember this amazing guy is the reason it’s all happening so give him a say. Does he have a favorite cocktail? A dish that his mama used to make? A stupid song? Whatever that little something is get it and incorporate it into the best day of your lives, even it means Flight of the Conchords plays after your champagne toast.

4.     An Ice Breaker

You know what’s silly? I really thought I’d get the chance to hang out with specific people at my wedding for extended periods of time. While we had a pretty tame guest list it was just about impossible to hang out with every person for more than three minutes at a time. This leaves your guests mingling with one another for the majority of your wedding. While alcohol works wonders bringing people together don’t put all your eggs in that basket. I’m sure you’ll spend hours on your seating chart and you’ll go a great job, but it’s always a solid idea to have some ice-breakers in the form of activities at your reception – ours were in the form of cornhole and a little instant-film camera. Our pals loved hamming it up for photos and playing after brunch. If you’re in need of something more compact board games and playing cards work wonders – or Cards Against Humanity for the brazen folks.

5.     Something You’re Proud Of.

I don’t care how cheesy it is to say: your wedding day could rank among the most important days of your life. When you’re broke, frustrated, and want to sock your future husband in the face you need something to be excited about. Yes, you’re marrying the person you love. Yeah, it’s about the marriage, not the wedding, blah blah blah. All that important (but useless) advice aside, get at least one detail you’re excited to share. You want paper flowers? Honey, rock those paper flowers. You’re really into gardening and want to gift seeds? Sounds amazing. Whatever that special detail is put your heart into it. Your guests will see you in it and love it, and most importantly you’ll have a part of yourself present on your big day.  Oh, and it will look FAB in photographs.

Happy planning,

-JE