Get Your “Spring” Fix – DIY Wedding Bouquets!

 DIY bridesmaids flowers - wildflower bouquetsMy own wild-flower-wedding floral arrangements – compliments of mother nature and my mom, aunt, and sis!
[Image by Serendipity Photography]

I’m guessing there are quite a few brides out there who would LIKE to incorporate more do-it-yourself savvy into their wedding plans, but who aren’t quite sure whether they can pull it off. Not everything comes with a tutorial. Hey – I can relate! I’m no florist. I totally took a chance at my own wedding by plucking some of the wildflowers (shhhh – this is probably frowned upon) in the surrounds our Boundary Waters Canoe Area wedding-in-the-wild! Would they droop mid-way through the day? Would we need to keep them in water? Would our ribbons hold? Would the unique blossoms start to crumble? We really didn’t know. But – we survived, and so did our bouquets!

I’ve seen some pretty cool custom bouquets over the years too – though very few were actually done by the couple or a family member. One DIY bridal bouquet that will always stand out in my memory is that of a backyard-lakeside-MN bride – who gathered her goods at the local farmer’s market (pictured below). Three words: to-die-for! Super unique, and I’ve yet to see them duplicated. Can’t get much more personalized than that – and the couple also saved some $$! (Bonus.)

brideandDIYfarmersmarketflowers-DMPDIY farmers market bouquets for a backyard lakeside MN wedding – Image by DMP!

Whether you’re adept at being crafty, or you aren’t sure where you’d even start – chances are that if we were able to make DIY bouquets work on a whim, you can do quite a bit with this handy little instructional template! Much gratitude goes out to Simply Bridal for simplifying (Did ya catch that? I couldn’t resist…) the DIY bouquet-making process! Now – go rock your one-of-a-kind bridal bouquets, chicas! How can you go wrong with the beauty of real flowers – sans the stress-beast.

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Be sure to pass along the wedding-wisdom to friends & fam who may be planning to get wed. Many thanks!

Denise Mack photography provides unstructured, candid, natural Minnesota wedding photography in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, greater MN, Wisconsin, and beyond. Original. Meaningful. REAL. Fun!

 

 

How I Roll….

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A depiction of how I want you to feel about hiring me – Denise Mack Photography!

It has come to my attention that many couples are really unclear about how the wedding photography industry is priced… And why wouldn’t you be?

A) You aren’t in the biz. You don’t have the inside scoop on how this all generally goes down, and what’s trending – in the way of images or pricing.

B) Styles, experience levels, and prices are really ALL over the board! Crazy-pants, over-saturated market. (Buyer-beware! That ‘deal’ may not be what you’re actually going to gush over after all is said and done, and you receive those images of your day.) Think ahead – to that moment when you’ll first lay eyes on those images of your moments and memories!

C) You don’t know the ‘tricks’ of the trade that many higher-end photographers are now using to appear competitive at the onset, but still earn a viable living doing what we love. [So sad.] Rest-assured, DMP has no desire to ‘trick’ you into hiring me! I want you to know UP-FRONT – what you’ll be investing in your lifelong memories. (That means no puke-worthy surprise-costs later.) *Be sure to price-compare with ALL of your desired inclusions tallied into the final sum.

For more details – read my new web page – added just for you! “What’s BEST for US?”
I’m not a salesperson. I’m an artist. If art is what you’re after – then welcome aboard! Glad we’ve found one another~

Denise Mack Photography provides unstructured, authentic, naturally-fun & honestly-priced wedding photography in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, greater MN, Wisconsin, and beyond! Follow the blog (upper right – no spam!) for regular, non-boring, wedding inspiration, resources, and updates.

DIY (with some assistance) HD Wedding Video? Yep!

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So – some peeps elect to enlist the experience of a professional wedding videographer to cover their vows. And let me just say, you’re going to get what you pay for here. We’re talking clean, high-quality, thoroughly edited, and “non-shaky” video of your memories.

Others ask the infamous “Uncle Bob”, or a friend or cousin to tend to this project. Here, you generally get what you don’t pay for… which is shaky, low-quality, haphazard video full of “wind”, background noise, and well – a huge dose of reality (as opposed to propagated “grandeur”) – so this can be a refreshing take on it! [We did this… Although it meant minimal video – yet enough for the memories we wanted – we also had STELLAR photography coverage, which of course was my priority!]

Then, there are those who want something in-between. A little cleaner, with multiple perspectives, high-def video – complete with edits and music to match the mood and theme of your day! (I personally LOVE this!) Enter Wedit Videos!! This is downright brilliant, as it allows you to take this anywhere (do you hear that, destination-wedding-brides & grooms?), and with much better quality output than you’d get from beloved Uncle Bob’s home movies! [Where were they when I got wed?!]
Here is probably my favorite sample video on their site: Wedit Trailer Bahamas   It’s my fave for a number of reasons… including the fact that it looks warm, sunny, and tropical there. But also – because this couple did some super fun and creative things (i.e. – footage on the plane of the two of them!) – combined with their free-flowing and fun, fun, FUN day! It doesn’t hurt that they selected a song that felt ‘right’ for their personalities and their laid-back beach-wedding. TAKE NOTE HERE:  It’s actually ENJOYABLE to watch. You’re pulled into it and you want to see what happens next. The mood is upbeat and you can just tell how much they relished in their day! This gives you an idea for what TO do if you go for this type of  wedding video coverage…

Next, let’s take a look at some of what NOT to do… I highly recommend you peek at a few of the other Wedit sample videos  – to get an idea for how those make you feel in comparison. When you’re watching a series of people stand next to the bride and smile, do you grow tired, distracted, officially bored? It’s not the fault of the Wedit team if clients requested to keep these things in their videos. And, if that’s what was important to those couples, so be it! {It takes all kinds to keep the world turning…. and interesting!}  All I’m suggesting is that you keep in mind these 2 pointers in relationship to this: A) Highlight the FUN portions of the day – the ones you’re going to actually want to sit on your sofa and watch over and again for many years. (i.e. Leave out the time spent shooting photos of the bride with every person present at the wedding – as you’ll have all those photos to remember that by – which can be viewed at your own pace in printed form)…. and B) Let this be a guide for just what you do and do not want to incorporate into your day! (Perhaps it’s not necessary to have an individual photo of every attendant or wedding party participant with the bride in the first place??? I happen to think not! Oy.) {Referencing this Wedit vid specifically here!}

DON’T BE AFRAID TO STEP OUTSIDE OF TRADITION AND MAKE YOUR DAY AMAZING AND MEMORABLE FOR YOU AND ALL YOUR LOVED ONES!!!! YOU WON’T REGRET IT.
In line with that – I’m excited to have come across this newer approach to candid wedding videography to share with all my unconventional wedding couples! Cheers to YOU! Enjoy~

Denise Mack Photography provides unstructured, candid, and rather kick-ass wedding photography coverage in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, greater MN, Wisconsin, and beyond! Contact me if you’re seeking non-traditional MN wedding photography that’s Original. Meaningful. Real… and FUN!
Follow the blog (upper right column) for weekly -(usually)- updates on unconventional, supa-personalized wedding inspiration and resources!
(Spam sucks, so no worries here. You can always choose to ‘unfollow’.)

WPYSK: You Wanna Glow on Your Wedding Day, Right?

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Next in my series of a Wedding Pro You Should Know [WPYSK] – comes the best (in my opinion) in OUTSTANDING make-up and hair design! I had the pleasure of discovering Marwa Eshmawy while photographing one of my favorite outdoor Wisconsin weddings on the lake a few years back. She is not only amazingly talented with makeup and hair – but she’s one of the most personable beauty-artists I’ve yet to meet! Be sure to have a look at her website at Marway Eshmawy | Makeup + Hair Artist, and her facebook page for an array of sample stylings and the always-fun ‘before-and-afters’! She’s always stood out in my mind as one talented makeup-diva (and hair too!), and I’ve been hoping for the opportunity to work with her again – as I really just can’t say enough good things about her. When you want personalized service from someone who genuinely cares about making you feel fabulous – contact Marwa!

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Here’s a fun shot of Marwa in action – by yours truly!

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Not that Jenny’s eyes needed enhancing – but those eyes glimmer with dramatic ‘wow’, thanks to Marwa’s refined skills.

Marwa made Jenny’s eyes glimmer like the sun shimmering off of the lake at their Wisconsin wooded lakeside wedding!

Here’s a little glimpse into Marwa’s inspiration – and a look behind the scenes from Marwa herself:

DMP: What got you started in your field/ what inspired you?
I’ve had a love for art since a very young age. Art class was my absolute favorite! I love creating things with color. As an adult that manifested it self in the form of makeup and hair artistry. I get inspiration from many places including my clients.

DMP: Who do you feel can benefit the most from what you have to offer?
Everyone! Women, men and children all love to see the best version of themselves. I take pride in that I can offer them an experience that leaves them looking and feeling really good about themselves.

DMP: If you could only highlight one thing about your product/ service, what would it be?
Many people offer hair and makeup services. I offer a professional luxury experience that I truly take pride in which goes beyond hair and makeup. I consider myself a bridal beauty consultant as well as personal assistant and do my best to make sure your time is as stress free as possible during my service or entire day when I’m asked to stay on throughout the day.

DMP: Your best tips for acquiring your products/ services?
One you decide you like my portfolio and style of work, Book early to ensure you get the date and time you want! Dates can book up to a year in advance!

DMP: What is your top-favorite memory from your wedding day?
The anticipation I felt in the moments that lead up to our first look. I couldn’t wait for him to see me in my dress and all dolled up as much as I couldn’t wait to see how handsome he looked.

DMP: If you could do it all over again – what is one thing you would do differently knowing what you know now?
At the time I was not yet a part of the bridal industry and knowing what I know now, I would have allocated a larger portion of my budget towards a top notch photographer and hair/makeup artist. That decision lives on in the quality of the photos forever.
*DMP: {I couldn’t agree more – but I am admittedly biased here!}*

DMP: What is your best piece of advice about marriage in general/ planning a wedding/ or anything related?
Take a deep breath and stay calm when planning your wedding. Research and make informed decisions. Take it all in on your wedding day because the day ends before you know it.

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Stunning bridal beauty!

Thanks to Marwa for all of her great info and inspiration!
Be sure to bookmark Marwa Eshmawy and contact her to discuss your wedding day hair and makeup needs! You won’t regret it.
Remember to follow the DMP blog (enter your email in the upper right hand column) to get the latest and greatest updates on all of my wedding-day fab-finds! Know someone who’s getting married? Be sure to share the wedding-wonder. Denise Mack Photography provides genuinely candid and natural MN wedding photography coverage in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, greater MN, Wisconsin, and beyond! Give a shout if you want wedding images that are reflective of YOU. DMP: Original. Meaningful. Real… FUN!

Wedding Pro You Should Know! – The DRESS!

weddinggownDeniseMackPhotographyGIVE-AWAY-ALERT!!!! (Read on to the bold print for Details!)

You’re ready to ‘say yes to the dress’!

You’re already spending thousands between your more significant priorities – location/ venue, catering/ food, and (of course) – photography/ the memorializing of it all. Another non-day-to-day expense comes with the donning of attire to signify the exceptional meaning behind the day – whilst also contributing to your self-expressive style…. Da-da-DAHHHH! Enter – the wedding gown. This is where the fellas have it kind of easy. Well – simpler anyway – and generally speaking – the dudes can be done-up at a reasonable rate overall. And for those who forgo the traditional tux – (which in my opinion – looks ultra-fabulously casually-lux) save even more bux – (and a woot-woot to that!) The ladies, on the other hand, have SOOOOOO many choices, and soooooo much more to consider when it comes to what one is willing to pay for their dream-dress.

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It’s usually pretty uncommon for even the not-so-average-Jane to spend upwards of $500-$5000 big ones on a dress they’ll wear for only one occasion. However – if you’re anything like me – expressing yourself in what you wear on a daily basis is, quite frankly, an added avenue by which to share your soul with the world. (I am an artist, after all – and we can create art out of the way we present ourselves every day! I happen to loooove that.) In as much – you want to feel AMAZING on this ‘one’ day – and you want your gown to be reflective of your individual character. And let’s be real… When will you ever have MORE photos taken?!?

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I have good news! I’ve recently found an online source specializing in the creation of a superabundance of wedding gown styles – featuring everything from boho-chic to rockin’, and from simple elegance to couture-inspired glam – all at prices that anyone can justify! You get to be YOU – FULLY – and express your inner spirit, without feeling guilty about over-spending on the ever-significant wedding day frock!

Simply Bridal – an all-encompassing and primarily online wedding gown resource hosts everyone ‘in house’; Design team, tailoring, and by-appointment-only showrooms in LA & NYC. That is – there is no middleman resulting in any unnecessary inflation of the cost of their designs. Unique, made-to-order, customized gowns – at prices that make me giddy! I’m sure they’ll make you giddy too! Plus, they have bridesmaids dresses, jewelry, hair pieces, invites, wedding party gifts, and more… Check them out here! SimplyBridal.com

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As if that wasn’t enough – Simply Bridal has generously offered a give-away to one lucky winner! All you have to do is FOLLOW my blog (enter your email in the ‘Follow’ box, top right-hand column) and/ or like Denise Mack Photography on Facebook,  and one random winner will be awarded one of three options as follows: 1) a Veil give-away from the new line (up to $30) – found HERE…. or 2) since many of my brides don’t opt for a traditional veil – a head-piece give-away (up to $20) – found HERE… or 3) your choice from the Simply Bridal line of jewelry (up to $20 – fun & funky!) – found HERE! 
*They have also kindly agreed to allow you to select anything YOU love from these full collections – and use the credit of $20 for your ideal jewelry or head piece, Or $30 toward your choice of a veil!*

Again – to enter to win – simply follow my blog (using the follow button in the upper-right-column), or like Denise Mack Photography on FB! Easy-peasy.  For bonus-points, include a favorite unique wedding detail you’ve witnessed, or are planning for your own wedding, in the comments section! Entries received by 11:59 pm CST on February 20, 2014 are eligible to win. A name will be selected at random by February 21, 2014 – and winner will be notified by email or FB message. Item must be chosen by 11:59pm CST on February  27, 2014 – or another winner will be selected. Prize will be shipped directly to winner upon receipt of preference and shipping information. DMP retains the right to make changes or adjustments to this offer as necessary. Continue following DMP for wickedly-wild-wedding-related tidbits, and a chance at prizes when the opp arises again! Know someone who’s getting married? Be sure to share the wedding-wonder! Happy dress-shopping!

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Denise Mack photography provides kick-ass, unconventional, natural wedding photography in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and greater MN, Wisconsin, and beyond! Contact me for deets~
Be sure to follow the blog to stay up-to-date on the fab-finds in the world of personalized weddings. Denise Mack Photography: Original. Meaningful. Real… FUN!

Denise Mack Photography – Continually Evolving!

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SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! What’s the word? It’s another (yes, it’s my second in the past year – so what?) – NEW WEBSITE for Denise Mack Photography! The thing is – I gave the first company a (very fair) chance. I had persistent load-time issues with them… and then upon changing up my template to a newer, more forgiving format, I CONTINUED to have sizable issues… Over and over and over… And getting a response when needed was a royal pain. Who’s got time to deal? Not this chick! I’m not going to mention any names… but let’s just say I’m no longer singing the “website BLU‘s”! 😉

So, here’s my line-up of fabulous MN based wedding photography info to share:
Something OLD: YE OLD dmp biz-blog – Featuring old posts, older awards and badges, and access to PayPal for making credit card payments to DMP.
Something NEW: The FANTASTIC NEW Website: denisemackphotography.com    – Don’t let it fool ya… It’s still DMP – only betta! So I had to give up my pin-it buttons and some music… But so WORTH it!
Something ‘Borrowed’: Found the fab new site by the new company, while visiting another wedding-biz-creative whom I’ll be featuring soon!
Something Blu(e) Um – F’ that! Remember – hold onto only those traditions (or vendors) that mean something to you…. The rest can fall by the wayside (or burn in hell – whichever.)
Instead – we have this here fabulously-fun DMP-Biz-Blog, complete with a page dedicated to educating y’all on what it’s like to work with me – aka: FUNprofessionalism! 
As you may have noticed, it’s also all dolled-up to jive with the rest of my biz-personality!

I felt the need to fill everyone in – giving you the heads-up that YES – this IS still the Original. Meaningful. Real… FUN! DMP you know and love. Thanks for your continued support (and patience with my previous website-woes.) Cheers to a no-woes-2014!

‘Til Death Do Us Part

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My fave cake-topper ever reminds me of the basis behind the union, summarized in those 5 little words: “‘Til death do us part.” Even without the traditional lingo – you realize you’re saying that you want to spend ‘forever’ with your lovely – and that’s a big deal! Certainly you didn’t just ‘settle’ for this somebody. You ADORE and cherish this somebody! You can’t imagine your world without ’em. They make you feel a certain way – about them, about you, about life.

It got me thinking… You already know you’re saying ‘forever’ to your new spouse, but did you realize that you’re also saying it to – your photography? I mean – many things in life offer up a ‘re-do’ option – but not your wedding day images. Those photographs will stick with you & yours – as the sole recollection of how your day went down in history. So – you didn’t just fall in love with and choose to say ‘forever’ to any old peep on the planet, right? You probs should give some long consideration to the type of photography you choose to recall your wedding memories by as well! ‘Cause actually – they’re gonna last well beyond the point at which you look like the couple on the top of this cake!

Nothing’s ‘perfect’. Not even most wedding days. But it’s okay if you regret going with the lemon flavored cake-filling, or the DJ that enjoyed hearing the sound of his voice over the microphone a little too much… What you don’t want to regret is not having images that speak to your soul and reflect who you are and what your day is all about. Leave the cookie-cutters for the cookies. Your wedding photos should ROCK! Make ’em count!

Denise Mack Photography provides unstructured, authentic, and fabulously-fun wedding memories via photographs – in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, greater MN, Wisconsin, and beyond. Contact me for more info and to inquire about your date. Follow this blog for regular posts featuring unconventional, creative, and inspiring non-traditional wedding idears and resources. Know someone who’s getting married? Be sure to share the wedding-wonder!