Archive of ‘Vendors’ category

Why Hire a Professional: Hair and Makeup Artist

Q Makeup Artist 2 Photo Credit: Sarah Carpenter Photography

Today we are chatting with a GORGEOUS and super talented lady, Quynh Nguyen of Q Makeup Artist! She gives so many brides, mothers, and friends the perfect, natural, glamorous look for wedding and events!

Tell me a little about yourself! How did you get started in the wedding industry? Why do you love it so much?
About 6 years ago I started modeling as a hobby. I began to appreciate the details in makeup, hair, and styling aspects alongside photography. Even when I was a little girl, I’ve always loved doing my own makeup and experimenting with different looks. Makeup is my passion and there is no word in this world I can use to describe it. I strongly believe in first impressions, and our faces say it all.

Q Makeup Artist 3

Photo Credit: Tracy Enoch Photography

Why do you think hiring a professional vs. a friend or relative whose look you like is so important for brides?
I had a bride hire a friend to do her hair and she was two hours late. I had to jump in and do her hair while the bride was freaking out. Not only is a professional committed to you and values your time, but they have experience with photography makeup and know exactly what is needed to set the makeup properly so it lasts the entire day! Same goes for hair. Your will also be able to communicate what you like and what you don’t to a professional more freely. With a friend you might avoid sharing your opinions because you don’t want to hurt the relationship.

What do professional hair and makeup artists know about cameras, lighting, and schedules that non-professionals just don’t know?
A friend might not understand how to properly plan out the timeline for everyone to get their hair/makeup done. From all the different angles and closeups, your photographer will not only be looking at you but snapping photos for hours and hours. A little powder and lip gloss may look great at work, but you want to look your best on one of the biggest days of your life!

Q Makeup Artist 1

Photo Credit: Anna Smith Photography

How can a hair and makeup artist fit into any wedding budget?
If your budget doesn’t allow you to offer both hair and makeup to your entire bridal party, you can help pay for your bridesmaids to get their makeup done while they do their own hair or vice versa. But the pictures will definitely look better when all the girls have a cohesive makeup look and hairstyles that last all night. If nothing else, definitely book hair and makeup for yourself, your mom, and your almost mother-in-law.

Q Makeup Artist 4 Photo Credit: Allen Tsai Photography

Anything else you want couples to know? Any advice for the newly engaged?
Most of your guests will spend their time looking at you, the bride, and not the place cards or favors. If you don’t look good and feel your best, the other details won’t matter as much. After all… all eyes will be on you!

Thank you for the awesome advice, Quynh! You are such a joy to work with and you always make our brides look and feel gorgeous!

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Part One // Why Hire a Professional: Stationery Designer
Part Two // Why Hire a Professional: Videographer
Part Three // Why Hire a Professional: Florist
Part Four // Why Hire a Professional: DJ
Part Five // Why Hire a Professional: Baker

Why Hire a Professional: DJ

Today we’re featuring the amazing William Ryan III of It’s Your Night Entertainment and he’s sharing exactly why you need to hire a professional DJ for your event!

BottcherWedding_Reception-97 Photo: Tyler + Lindsey

Tell me a little about yourself! How did you get started in the wedding industry? Why do you love it so much?
I was born and raised in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and I knew when I was a kid that I wanted to be a DJ. I started my career as a radio DJ for many years at 94.9 KLTY as “Young William Ryan III.” From there I had a passion of moving towards the wedding industry and starting my own business. Over a decade later, I am still DJ-ing and running It’s Your Night. I love the wedding industry because I love the clients. I get to work with so many amazing people and every client has a completely different story, personality, and vision for their wedding. Nothing is ever the same so it makes my job so much fun!

If you could DJ a wedding anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
Tahiti with a glass bottom dance floor! I think it would a lot of fun getting to see the party going while we have the sea life going on and water directly below us!  Plus, after the wedding, it wouldn’t be so bad to tack on a week vacation to relax before coming back to reality.

BottcherWedding_Reception-181 Photo Credit: Tyler + Lindsey

Why do you think hiring a professional DJ is so important? What are the benefits? What are some assets a professional DJ will bring to the table vs. someone who just owns an iPod or nice sound system?
When you are having a wedding, you want everything to go exactly the way you pictured it
going. You have a vision of what YOU want the night to feel like as well as how you want your guests to feel. Whatever you want the mood to feel like, a professional DJ will be the one that can set that for you. When you hire someone just based on the cheapest price or if it’s just someone with an iPod, you never know what you are going to get. A playlist on an iPod cannot read a crowd and anticipate what’s going to happen in the room. It doesn’t see that no one is on the dance floor during a particular song and it cannot adapt when needed. A huge advantage to a professional is that they CAN read a crowd. A professional DJ has the knowledge and experience to adapt to any kind of situation and dance floor. They’re also the MC for the night and can make announcements to keep guests informed with what’s happening so they’re not “lost” during the event. I guess the most important thing is that you can trust them to make your night everything you pictured it to be!

How can a great DJ fit into any wedding budget?
The first thing to realize is if you’re wanting a fun wedding where guests stay until the end and have the most amazing time then you’ll want to make the entertainment a huge priority in your list of items to assign a budget amount to. Some people might want an incredible looking cake or flowers and don’t really care about whether or not it was a fun wedding so whatever it may be for you, look at your entire budget and let your priority take an appropriate amount of budget. The unfortunate side of the wedding industry is that couples want this extravagant and amazingly fun wedding but they have only set aside a small portion of the budget for the entertainment because a lot of time they have no idea how much a great DJ even runs. If you are looking for a fun wedding, do not just set aside “X” amount of money for the entertainment, set your full overall wedding budget, seek after the DJ that you feel would be able to pull off what you envision, and let your budget accommodate that.

Anything else you want couples to know? Any advice for the newly engaged?
I guess my final advice would be to interview DJs until you find the best fit. Do not just hire
someone based on good reviews, price, or even a referral from a friend. Those are all good
reasons to contact a DJ and set-up a meeting but don’t just hire someone for those reasons. Find the DJ that best fits your style and personality. Ultimately, you are going to have to work with them through your entire wedding process and this is your one shot with no do-overs so keep that in mind!

Thank you for the awesome advice, William! You are such a joy to work with and we love how you can always keep the dance floor packed!
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Part One // Why Hire a Professional: Stationery Designer
Part Two // Why Hire a Professional: Videographer
Part Three // Why Hire a Professional: Florist

Why Hire a Professional: Florist

I love featuring talented and successful vendors and allowing them to share with you WHY it is so important to hire professionals for your wedding day! Leslie from Everly Alaine Florals is no exception!

Beautiful red bridal bouquet from Everly Alaine Florals
Photo Credit: Danielle M. Sabol

Tell me a little about yourself! How did you get started in the wedding industry? Why do you love it so much?
Before starting Everly Alaine Florals, I designed jewelry, mainly wedding rings. I loved how it allowed me to be creative and work with couples during such an exciting time. I loved planning the flowers for my wedding, so I took a floral internship to learn about designing flowers. I fell in love with it and couldn’t get enough!

Wedding bouquet atop rocks
Photo Credit: Nicole Berrett Photography

If you could design flowers for a wedding, under any theme you want, what theme would you use?
I would love to do a wedding with lots of desert plants – succulents, air plants, and cactus. It’s sort of a casual party look with a fun and playful twist!

Styled shoot featuring a farm table and bouquet from Everly Alaine Florals
Photo Credit: Nicole Berrett Photography

Quite a few brides try to cut costs and DIY their flower arrangements; why is it important for brides to hire a professional florist for their wedding day, rather than doing it themselves?
There is a lot of work involved in creating arrangements and bouquets. With so much going on and lots of last-minute wedding details, it can be very stressful to take on this task. An added complication is that flowers are very fragile and temperature sensitive. If not handled correctly, you could end up losing all the flowers before even walking down the aisle. A professional knows what flowers are in season, exactly how many are needed, and where to spend and save money. We focus on making the day stress free for the bride and family. This includes setting up and cleaning everything, so you and your family can relax and truly enjoy the day.

Bridesmaids in jade green with beautiful bouquets from Everly Alaine Florals
Photo Credit: Tracy Enoch

When a couple contacts you, what is the process like? How do you work with them to develop a floral proposal?
I like to meet with clients in person to discuss the look they want and how to make it match their budget. Together, we review every detail and then I create a personalized estimate that fulfills both their needs and wants.

Stunning and ethereal white bouquet from Everly Alaine Florals
Photo Credit: Lauren Peele Photography

What is one tip you can give a couple about their wedding flowers?
Book your florist early! Similar to other vendors, you don’t want to wait until the last minute and risk the chance of not getting your preferred florist.

Blush bouquet in a vineyard from Everly Alaine Florals
Photo Credit: Marianne Sabado Photography

Anything else you want couples to know? Any advice for the newly engaged?
Enjoy the planning process! This time flies by so quickly! You will be celebrating one year of wedded bliss before you know it!

Thank you for the awesome advice, Leslie! You are such a joy to work with and your eye for design is always so spot on!
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Part One // Why Hire a Professional: Stationery Designer
Part Two // Why Hire a Professional: Videographer

Why Hire a Professional: Videographer

In part two of our six part series about hiring wedding professionals, we’re talking with Amanda and Jeffrey Coombes of Splendor Films. They are a ridiculously talented husband and wife videography team based in Dallas and passport ready! Often video is the first line item to go when trying to scale back a wedding budget, but Jeff and Amanda are here today to talk about how important video is and how you can fit them in your budget!

See more of Ashley & Greg’s wedding

Tell me a little about yourself! How did you get started in the wedding industry? Why do you love it so much?

Amanda and I met in college and bonded over our love of emo music (I know- cool kids here). I majored in Film and used to work for a film company here in Dallas. One of our friends was getting married so I decided to borrow a camera from work and asked the bride if I could film her wedding for free (it was my first time, but I knew the concepts). Luckily the
bride and groom and their families loved the film and it encouraged me to start doing more. I got Amanda involved and we learned a lot during the first few years. Now we have many conferences, hundreds of weddings, and lots of (professional) gear under our belts. We learn from our mistakes and keep on doing what our couples love in a way unique to us. The best thing about our job- we get to witness and be a big part of the happiest day of these families’ lives… who wouldn’t love that?! We see past bride and grooms (sometimes with new babies) and we couldn’t be happier we were there to witness the official start of that!

If you could film a wedding anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
I would probably have to say New Zealand again. We had the amazing privilege to shoot a wedding there earlier this year and absolutely fell in love with the people and landscape. Next time though, we want to film a wedding on top of a mountain!

See more of Jessica & Jason’s wedding

Why do you think hiring a professional videographer is so important?
People always tell us that film is the first to go from their budget, but the first thing they regret not having. Having a professional videographer means you get to hear your vows again, see the real emotion, see your spouse cry as they see you for the first time, and take a true motion filled snapshot of your day. Everyone tells you your day passes so fast, so just take it in, and that is the MOST TRUE advice you will ever receive. Pictures can only tell so much of a story so it’s important to have film so you can always relive those moments.

What are some benefits a professional videographer brings to the table vs. a relative holding a camera?
The top reason is for your photographer’s sake. Relatives or non-professionals don’t strive to work hand-in-hand with your photographer to ensure they get the shots they need too (and put less stress on you as a couple). You don’t want Uncle Bob or an amateur videographer in all of your photos. Anyone can hold a camera and film something happening, its what you do with that footage that can help bring the film to life. Just look at a few wedding videographers and you can see a distinct difference in the editing of a similar day. We utilize many film techniques that we have learned to tell your story in a way others can’t.

Many couples decide that videography is too expensive and cut it early in the planning process. What are some ways brides CAN make videography fit into their budget, and why SHOULD they fit it into their budget?
All I can say is, if having film is important to you- then you will find a way to fit it into your budget. Hiring a professional who matches your style and vision is important- don’t settle or have something just to “have it” or you will regret not having your vision fulfilled. Maybe you can have the bridesmaids reuse their bouquets for some centerpieces. Maybe you can
donate to a cause, like an animal shelter (like we did!) in lieu of favors. Is there a way to save on the food choice? Are you having a late night snack one hour after dinner? We don’t think you should forgo anything altogether, but maybe there are ways to spend less in a lot of areas to have room in another. One bride, we had with Julie, had food trucks in lieu of a
caterer at a less expensive venue so that she could have awesome photos and video… and we couldn’t love the way we captured their day any less!

See more of Lauren & Robbie’s wedding

Anything else you want couples to know? Any advice for the newly engaged?
Book as early as you can. Most vendors book about a year out so don’t miss out on some of your favorite vendors.  Also, don’t worry about what others think you should have or shouldn’t have. This day is about you two- celebrating your journey and love, and truly, starting a new journey as a married couple. Make sure you don’t lose sight of that.

Thank you so much, Jeffrey and Amanda! You guys are always such a joy to work with and capture such amazing moments!
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Part One: Stationery Designer

Why Hire a Professional: Stationery Designer

Hiring professionals for your wedding is something I’m super passionate about and I’m thrilled to announce a fun new series on the blog! I’m a huge paper and stationery lover, always have been, so it’s no surprise that budget permitting I suggest hiring a professional to design all your paper products, from save the dates to escort cards. Having a cohesive suite can really bring your wedding designs together!

Friends, meet Laura Heymann of Art by Ellie!

Art by Ellie Custom Wedding Invitation Suite with Watercolor Florals Tell me a little about yourself! How did you get started in the wedding industry?
Why do you love it so much?
I have been a graphic designer for ages, but magazine and newspaper layouts became pretty boring and I desperately wanted to create pretty designs. As a designer, even working for an in-house design department of a large corporation or at an ad agency, you are confined to sort of working with the same content over and over. Working on weddings allowed me to change it up because every bride/couple is so different and creating custom designs keeps everything fresh and interesting. It’s fun to see how the industry has changed over time and where the wedding trends are heading based on what our brides are asking for in their designs.

Hire a Professional Stationery Designer by Events by Jules

If you could design a stationery suite around any wedding theme, what would it be?
Right now I’m really into the marbled look and sliced stones, geodes, crystals, etc. I love really minimalist designs too, with lots of space, and flourishy lettering. But it’s never about me – it’s about my brides!

Gatsby Inspired Mint and Grey Wedding Suite by Art by Ellie

Why do you think hiring a professional stationery designer is so important for brides?
The food and cake will be eaten, and the flowers will dry up, but your wedding invitations are one of the few elements of your wedding that will remain an heirloom you can share with future generations as you build your life together. I’m obsessed with vintage paper – old postcards, tiny hand-written paper driver’s licenses, and of course, old invitations. These things remain long after we’re gone. In addition, your wedding invitation is your guests’ first preview of your wedding and gives them a glimpse as to what they can expect with regard to the theme and feel of the event as well as the level of formality. It is so important to get these details right and no matter your style, to send something out to your most precious friends and family members that truly represents you.

Summer Camp Themed Wedding Invitation Suite by Art by Ellie

A lot more brides are going the DIY route with paper goods, what are the pros and cons to this?
Of course, as custom designers, we don’t see a lot of DIY brides. I think a pro might be cost-effectiveness, but I don’t think invitations are an area you want to cut corners on cost (and not because I’m biased). A major con would be that many times, a handmade invitation looks, quite simply, handmade. If you print your invitations at home, on an inkjet printer (and manage to figure out the irritating and impossible “super-easy” templates included with boxed invitations), inkjet printing can easily smear in the mail. Also, a professional, commercial printer will be able to print on much thicker, nicer paper stock.

Desert and Geometric Inspired Wedding Suite by Art by Ellie Photo Credit: Andrea Elizabeth

How can a stationery designer fit into any wedding budget?
I would recommend that brides allow us to handle everything, of course, which we are happy to do, but one major way to cut costs is to assemble the invitations, once designed and printed by us, at home (organizing the cards, wrapping any belly bands, adhering invitations to pocket folders if using, etc.), and stuff the invitation envelopes at home as well. Put together a wedding party party and put your friends to work!

Rustic Autumn Inspired Wedding Suite

Photo Credit: Tracy Enoch Photography

Anything else you want couples to know? Any advice for the newly engaged?
I probably shouldn’t say this because it’s so not what the wedding industry (or any industry) tells us, but my honest-to-goodness personal advice (as someone who may be overly nostalgic and is answering this on her own 10th wedding anniversary), is to stay true to details that are important to you, and not to stress too much. I adore what I do and I love creating beautiful work that perfectly matches my brides’ visions, but I fully understand that custom designed invitations aren’t for everyone. For some couples, having a to-die-for wedding video they can enjoy for years to come and show their grandchildren might be the thing they are most concerned with, or a stunning coffee table book of gorgeous full-color candid photos of their big day. Maybe the dress is what you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little girl, or a custom 7-tier confectionary masterpiece that everyone will still be talking about a year later as the “best cake they ever had.” Maybe you’ve always wanted to get married on the beach, or in a castle, and the bulk of your wedding budget will be allotted for travel or the venue rental. Perhaps it’s the ring you’ve been eyeing ever since you used to walk the mall with your girlfriends and talk about that perfect guy you’d meet someday, and his perfect proposal to you. Whatever is most important to you, you will find a way to make it work… and no matter where or how you decide to tie the knot, we are happy to help you invite, announce, and thank all of the most important people in your lives.

Thank you so much for all the awesome advice and heartfelt words, Laura! Speaking from personal experience, Laura is such a joy and breeze to work with. She is such a thoughtful and creative designer and I love getting to work with her!
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