Sometimes, for whatever reason, a wedding vendor backs out last minute. It’s an unfortunate event and who knows what circumstances lead to that. But I do know it adds a crazy amount of stress to the otherwise happy bride-to-be. Such was the case with Sharmini, who happens to be the friend of a dear friend of mine, Susan. Thank my lucky stars I have friends who know they can count me and know my work. Susan got Sharmini in touch with me just five weeks out from their wedding day! Five weeks! I’m so thankful I was available for what ended up being a simply stunning Opera House wedding in Monticello, Florida.
I’ve met Sharmini several times before because we share mutual friends. Tim and I even coincidentally attended a whisky dinner with Sharmini and Emile at a local speakeasy, and, from what I remember (haha!) it was a great time! Fast forward a few years (good grief how time flies!) and I had the honor of capturing their beautiful day on film. Might I add, shooting film in such a vintage glamorous locale made for some seriously gorgeous photos! I had a great time capturing all the little details and all the big moments.
Congratulations Sharmini + Emile! Thank you for letting me serve you – it was so great to see you again!
Pineapples have long been a symbol of hospitality. One look around Charleston and you will see them gracing door knockers, on lamp posts and there’s even a large pineapple fountain! In the past pineapples were a fruit only indulged in by the very wealthy. When placed in the dining area for guests they indicated the amount of respect the host felt for them. With a rich history like that it’s no wonder pineapples have become a popular decorative element in weddings! Placed on tabletops and woven into stationery suites, pineapples are always a friendly and charming addition to wedding decor! Check out this pineapple wedding decor below for some great ideas you can use at your wedding or party!
The delicious summer fruit can actually double as a festive accent at your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or even a tropical destination wedding — and no we’re not talking about serving piña coladas with umbrella straws. From centerpieces to floral arrangements, we rounded up five unexpected and surprisingly stylish ways to mix pineapples into your tablescape.
Bonus: the prickly fruit symbolizes hospitality, so it’s a perfect way to greet your guests!
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There’s a lot more to working with your wedding photographer than just signing the contract and telling them where they’ll need to be. With so many details, moving parts, and moments on your wedding day timeline, having a well-informed and well-equipped photographer will help the day go more smoothly for both of you—meaning you’ll get all the images you want, and then some! To help you set yourself (and your wedding photographer!) up for success on your big day, Brides spoke with Jennifer and Shawn Moreau, the husband-and-wife team behind Moreau & Co. Photography, to outline the little things you can do to prep your photographer in advance that he or she will totally appreciate.
Send an Invitation
Invitations are how you set the tone for your wedding with your guests, but it can help your photographer, too! “Giving your photographers a peek into what you’re planning helps them to prepare for the mood and style of your big day,” says Jennifer. Another perk? “Sending an invitation beforehand means your photographer can bring it to your wedding to include in those detail shots!”
Have Your Details in One Place
Speaking of details, do your best to keep them all together. Jennifer explains, “Getting ready the morning of your wedding can sometimes be chaotic. Since you have so much going on, this is the perfect time for your photographer to slip away and take pictures of your meaningful details and accessories—before you put them on, of course!” Make sure your rings, jewelry, cufflinks, garter, letters, and flowers are in a centralized place so your photographer can grab them and go instead of trying to corral items while you’re having your hair done. Adds Shawn, “More organization means less interruption for you!”
Nominate an in-the-Know Friend to Help with Family Photos
“Family photos can be overwhelming, depending on how large your families are,” says Shawn. “Since your photographer hasn’t met your aunts, uncles, or grandparents, it can be really helpful to have someone who knows everybody on hand to assist with directing and grouping people.” Be prepared with a shot list that includes names of family groupings so both your photographer and the designated friend can move people along smoothly and get everyone to the party!
Feed Your Photographers When You’re Eating
You know you need to feed your photographers (and some of your other key vendors!), but the timing is just as important! “You don’t want your photographer to miss anything important while they’re in another room having dinner,” says Shawn. “By arranging to have their food served while you’re eating, they’ll be able to charge their batteries, unload memory cards or load new film, and refuel after a few hours on their feet, all while nothing too exciting is taking place.” After all, you don’t need any shots of you or your guests cutting into that filet, right? “When you’re done eating, it’s time to cut the cake, mingle, and dance,” Jennifer continues. “Since your photographer ate at the same time, they’ll be ready to jump up and get back behind the lens when you’re ready to go, without missing any important moments.”
Provide a Vendor List
This is a key detail, especially for any couples looking to have their photos featured on a blog or in a magazine. “Your wedding day wouldn’t exist without the vendors you hand-picked for your wedding, and they deserve credit!” says Jennifer. “When photographers look to submit your photos for publication, they’ll be asked for all your vendor information, to both credit the people who worked so hard to bring your vision to life and to share the inspiration and contact information with couples planning their own wedding day.”
Credit Your Photographer on Social Media
“This might seem trivial, but tags and links on social media are a huge way your photographer generates referrals,” says Shawn. “And referrals mean new business!” Whether it’s a shot on Instagram or an album on Facebook, take a minute to add your photographer’s handle to the post or tag them in the pictures so your friends (and friends of friends!) can click through to your photographer’s profile. “Crediting your photographer will be much appreciated!” Shawn says.
If you’ve decided to invite children to your wedding, you’ll likely have some adorable little guests running around in tiny suits and dresses — what could be cuter? However, you’ll also have younger guests who may not want to sit through dinner, and could lose patience halfway through your reception. A great way to keep the kids entertained — without their parents having to ditch the party at 8:30 — is to offer on-site babysitters to look after them while their parents are enjoying dinner or on the dance floor with you. Beyond hiring babysitters, do you need to set up kids activities at your wedding? Here’s what the experts think.
While it’s not a necessity, putting together a selection of activities for your youngest guests to do during your reception is a thoughtful touch. Consider arming the babysitters with coloring books and crayons, games that appeal to a few different age groups, books, and a Disney movie or two so they can make sure everyone from your two-year-old flower girl to your ten-year-old niece has something to do. Keep in mind that most venues won’t have items like this on-hand, so even if you’re not putting together a whole evening of fun, you’ll want to bring in some craft supplies and games for the kids to play with.
Consider wedding-related activities, like an I Spy game that will have kids keeping an eye out for a woman in a red dress, your cake cutting, or the first dance. If your venue has an outdoor space, a cornhole set or lawn bowling would be fun for children and adults alike. If you don’t have a separate space where the babysitters can keep an eye on the kids, set up a kids’ table at one end of the room, and top it with little gift bags full of no-mess activities for them to play with while their parents are partying.
If you know me well, then you know I love to cook. Menu planning is how I spend my Sunday mornings. And with my own upcoming wedding November, it’s got me thinking about feeding big crowds. There are so many fresh and beautiful things about spring, especially when it comes to food. Your wedding menu may already be set but the rehearsal dinner can be a good time to experiment with the bolder flavors of the season. When else can you put so much bright yellow and brilliant green on a plate?
“The essence of a thoughtful spring menu is bringing the table to life with flavorful color!” says Sherry Yard of The Tuck Room. The James Beard award-winning chef says it’s all about leaving behind those heavy winter flavors and spices like dark brown sugars, clove, allspice and orange, and replacing them with lighter stuff like ginger, star anise, crystalized honey and lemon. With that in mind, here are six spectacular springtime recipes that would work perfectly at any rehearsal gathering.
—1 lb. fresh snap peas
—1 shallot, minced
—1 garlic clove, minced
—1 T. butter
—1 T. kosher salt
—3 cups buttermilk
—1 cup whole milk
Instructions: Sweat the snap peas, shallot and garlic in butter over low heat until just soft. Transfer to the blender with remaining ingredients and puree. Season to taste.
—1 bunch medium beets red
—1 bunch medium beets yellow
—10 oz. arugula
—2 pints fresh strawberries
—3 oz. goat cheese
—1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
—2 t. granulated sugar
—6 T. cider vinegar
—1/3 cup olive oil blend
—1 T. poppy seed
—Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Preheat oven 425°F. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and wrap them up in aluminum foil. Roast them directly on the oven rack for about an hour. You’ll know they’re done when you can easily pierce them with a knife. Let them cool, then peel the skin and cut into chunks.
To make dressing, combine strawberries, sugar, vinegar in a blender and process until smooth, then slowly add oil to mixture. Once blended return mixture to a bowl and whisk poppy seeds into dressing, season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large mixing bowl, add all of the chunked beets and arugula. Drizzle with enough dressing to coat. Place on serving plate or platter top with crumbled goat cheese and another drizzle of dressing.
—1 T. grapeseed oil, plus more for pan
—1 T. agave nectar
—1/8 t. turmeric
—¼ t. sea salt
—Pinch of ground cumin
—1/3 cup sliced almonds
—1 lb. asparagus, tough stems removed and cut into 3-inch pieces
—1 T. fresh lemon juice
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a baking sheet with oil and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the agave, turmeric, salt and cumin. Add the almonds and stir gently to coat. Spread the almonds on the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet set over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and then the almond mixture.
—4 pieces 6 oz. ocean trout
—1 lb. hon shimeji mushrooms, roots removed and separated
—1 cup fava beans, peeled
—1 cup English peas, peeled
—1 shallot, minced
—2 T. parsley, chopped
—2 T. butter
—4 T. Crème fraiche
Instructions: Pulse the peas and fava beans in a food processor to create a chunky paste. Sweat down the minced shallot in a little olive oil over low heat. Add the pea/fava bean mixture to the shallot and warm through. If needed, add a splash of water to keep moist. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the chopped parsley. Reserve.
In a heavy bottom sauté pan over high heat, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Season the fish with salt and pepper and sear flesh side down for about 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium and let fish cook through for 2-3 more minutes, depending on desired temperature. While fish is cooking heat another sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the mushroom with a little butter until tender.
To present the dish, put a spoon of the pea/fava bean mixture in the center of a plate, add a little mushroom on the side of the peas, with the fish on top. Garnish with the crème fraiche and a few pea shots.
—1 3/4 c. flour
—1/2 t. salt
—1 T. sugar
—8 T. butter
—8 T. butter
—1 1/2 c. sugar
—1/8 t. salt
Instructions: Measure 1/2 cup of ice water and set aside. In two small bowls, separate an egg into whites and yolks; set aside yolk, and save white for another culinary adventure. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. With your hands, work in cubes of cold butter until consistency resembles coarse sand (5 to 10 minutes). Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of ice water; incorporate into the dough. Press dough into a ball, ensuring even consistency; add more water if dough is too dry, but do not let it get sticky. Wrap in plastic film and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes before using.
Make filling. Using a vegetable peeler or zester, remove the rind of the lemons, avoiding the white pith. Mince rind so that the pieces resemble tiny beads. Squeeze the lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar (for filling) with lemon rind. Add 4 remaining whole eggs, one at a time; add lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined. Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. The lemon curd will thicken at about 175°F degrees, or just below a simmer. To test for doneness, coat the back of a wooden spoon with the curd, and run a finger through it. If the part you’ve created stays put, your curd is done. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Flour a work surface covered in parchment paper, and preheat oven to 400°F. Take chilled dough out of the fridge and roll out on floured surface using a rolling pin. Roll out dough until it is one inch larger than tart pan. Press dough into the tart pan, covering the whole surface and trimming edges. Using a fork, prick the dough to make holes for air to escape. Place parchment paper and baking beans on top of the tart shell and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from oven, gently remove beans and paper, and let cool completely. Fill the tart shell with lukewarm lemon curd and smooth over with a spoon or spatula. Allow to set at room temperature. Chill if not serving right away.