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Oh, I just love me these destination weddings. I can’t even handle it. This beautiful Hawaiian wedding comes to us from fab photog Randi Voss. Love the super relaxed style Laura and Don wanted to incorporate into their destination wedding.


Laura and Don met through mutual friends seven years ago. The couple decided on a destination wedding because they didn’t want the hassle of planning a traditional wedding.


From the bride… We live in a small town where things can easily spiral out of control with regards to guest lists; also there aren’t many venues to choose from. We wanted something as unique as we are.  Donnie was always interested in going to Hawaii for a wedding and after talking to a navy friend who is stationed there, we started planning only in February for a may wedding…

The couple married Saturday May 8, 2010 at Wainmalo beach park by Hawaii Weddings, and is planning a 400 person luau in September with all the relaxed style of their destination wedding. They plan on featuring a picnic style reception at a golf course, allowing guests to filter in and out throughout the day.

From the bride… [Hawaii Weddings] were amazing with customer service; they provided license information, limo service, travel advice, etc….highly recommended…also, they are located away from the concentration of tourists, so the service was personal despite being held in a public setting (all beach access is public in Hawaii)


From the bride… The most important thing to us when we were plannning the entire trip was to keep everything from reaching planning overload. We went for simplicity and focused the day on us, not whether or not there were appropriate party favors and coordinating table linens.


From the bride… As far as vendors: Randi was the only photographer I considered from the start and was fortunate to be able to have her available on such short notice!  I bought my dress from David’s Bridal (from their destination wedding collection of course) but really complimented my style… it was custom altered by an independent Italian tailor in downtown Pittsburgh (I had worked with him before and he is absolutely AMAZING)

The thing I love about Laura and Don… they didn’t sweat the details. They wanted this wedding to be all about them, so the things that most brides stress over for months… they left until the last minute. How cool is that? Very cool couple.

From the bride… We did not purchase flowers or rings in advance to arriving in Hawaii. I used a foam hair clip sold in every convenience store in Waikiki…. also, jewelry stores were plentiful and extremely accommodating!

Another great thing about Laura and Don’s wedding, was good friends with good jobs. Laura’s friend Jen Show is an independent travel agent, and was able to work with her to secure a hotel, flight, car rental, and reception dinner reservations for their whole crew of family and friends!


From the bride… Jen made everything MUCH easier…. we would talk about my intentions, review prices, etc and she made it happen… I couldn’t have done it without her!!!

Special thanks to Randi Voss photography! Laura, thanks so much for sharing your beautiful wedding with us! Hope you had an amazing time in Hawaii!

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Are you ready for this? It’s pretty amazing. Ok- by now you should know Randi Voss, photographer extraordinaire and her amazing work on so many of our featured Real Weddings here. Not only does she shoot pretty spectacular weddings, she has a little added bonus that she just started offering up to clients as well. The ShotBox. Imagine a photobooth (my fav) on crack.  Way more people, way more creative poses, and way more fun. The result- is super amusing and super fun for guests at weddings. Couples, like Erin & Michael, are using Voss’s ShotBox in lieu of a guest book at weddings.

Saying that guests seemed to enjoy it… is a serious understatement.

Erin & Michael opted for props at their wedding, even throwing Erin’s veil into the mix, but Voss has said they are totally unnecessary and sometimes even make for a better picture sans hats and accessories. That means you have to get more creative kids.

Check out the ShotBox pictures below from photographer Randi Voss from Erin & Michael’s wedding. It’s definitely something worth adding to you reception. I mean… it’s a really good time.

Trust me. I lived it.

For more information on Randi Voss and this new Shotbox wedding trend- check out Erin & Michael’s wedding shots here and also more information on Randi Voss Photography and her stellar ShotBox here.

I’m really excited to share this wedding with you guys. So Erin is one of my  favorite people in the world. I met her in grad school, while her (now) husband, an Army Captain was stationed in Iraq. Watching her plan this wedding while finishing grad school, finding a new job, moving to Alaska and welcoming Michael back was pretty extraordinary. Amazing actually.

Erin is/was the best kind of bride. Laid back to all extremes, wanting nothing but a big, fantastic party with her closest friends and family. No muss, no fuss- just fun. Being a girl who seriously loves the snow, Christmas and all things that come with the holiday season, Erin and Michael picked a ski resort in Maryland for their wedding ceremony and reception in late November.

With all the ridiculous weather we’ve had lately, I was nervous she wouldn’t get the snow she wanted, but was I ever wrong. Driving into Maryland, we were greeted by PLENTY of snow.

Everywhere.

Randi Voss, friend of the bride, shot the wedding, and did some amazing work per usual. The setting was pretty magical, which definitely didn’t hurt either.  Here are some photos from Erin & Michael’s Winter Wedding in Deep Creek, MD.

I love a bride who goes bold with the shoes. Their colors were red, black and white, and hiding a little bit of sass under that white dress was just perfect.

Erin is a self-proclaimed non-traditional brides in some ways. One- no flowers. Instead a friend of hers created a button bouquet for her in their signature colors for Erin to carry instead. The best part about this, was their florist worked some details — like the wisps of silver beads– into the bridesmaids real flower bouquets and groomsmen’s boutonnieres. So much fun.

Erin & Michael are world travelers. Dead serious about that one too. Michael proposed on top of an elephant in Thailand, it doesn’t really get much better than that does it? To pay tribute to their love for traveling, each table name was the word “Love” in a different language. Love that. (No pun intended)

Over the last few years I’ve learned something about Erin. She’s kind of a cupcake whore. She loves them. They make her happy. She had them at her engagement party, her city “shower” and her bachelorette party. So when it was time for dessert, Erin opted for a tower of delicious cupcakes– multiple flavors– all spelled out for guests to choose from.  I happen to love the cupcake over wedding cake option at weddings. Keeps things interesting. Oh and they had a candy bar. With takeaway containers.

Awesome.

Especially the next morning.

Erin & Michael danced to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” One of my personal favorites. She shot me one of those” You cry, you die” looks right before they went out to the dance floor. I mean… it’s Sinatra, what do you expect? Also- quickly I do want to point out that this version of this song is WAY better than the Tony Bennett version- ya know the one  that resurfaced in My Best Friend’s Wedding in the 90’s.  Yes it was that long ago. That version is depressing. When in doubt, always go Sinatra.  Moving on…

To the dancing… which was pretty epic. Erin & Michael have friends that are not afraid to show your friends up on the dance floor.

And they will.

I’m not gonna lie. I was all kinds of impressed.

The wedding was wonderful, and I’m so glad I was able to share this (first hand) wedding with you all.

More from Erin & Michael’s Wedding to come.

So you all remember Alison & Paul, one of my FAVORITE weddings from photographer Randi Voss! Alison & Paul decided to go two rounds for their wedding, incorporating a small intimate destination wedding in Maine first, and opting for a seriously fabulous and all out party back in their hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. I especially love Alison’s multi-dress change incorporating the old with the new. Love. So here it is,  round two… and really, it just keeps getting better. Enjoy!

From the bride…  After our  bed-and-breakfast destination wedding in Maine at the end of September, Paul and I were ready for an all-out party for our at-home wedding reception at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA.  I was initially under the impression that having an ‘at-home’ reception after our actual wedding would be less stress but it actually turned out to be pretty stressful!  Despite us already being married, we truly were planning a full ‘typical’ wedding reception in Pittsburgh, complete with catering, cake, music, photography, floral details, etc so there was a lot of details, organization, and coordination required. My parents were an absolute lifesaver in the month between the actual wedding and the reception and I owe most of the reception’s success to them for sure as they were my eyes, ears, hands, voice, etc for most of it! Regardless of the extra stress that popped up here and there, the reception turned out fantastic and everything came together perfectly!

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

From the bride… Our venue, the Heinz History Center was nothing less than perfect. I was certain that I wanted a venue that had its own personality and of which did not require a lot of decorating. The History Center was a perfect fit and provided just the amount of character that I was looking for with its exposed brick walls, steel beams and vintage vehicles, the best being a full-sized classic Pittsburgh trolley that provided the perfect photo-op.

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo courtesy of Randi Voss

From the beautiful bride… The best thing about our reception for Paul and I was to get the chance to celebrate with our larger group of family and friends. We have a large group of friends from our days in consulting and since many of them live out-of-town, we do not get to see them very often. We are also very lucky to still remain close to friends we had growing up through high school, many of whom live out-of-town as well. So, when we get the opportunity to have everyone together, and then adding in delicious food and cocktails, great music for dancing, photographers and videographers to capture everything, it makes for a wonderful time!

Photo courtesy of Randi Voss

From the beautiful bride… We used the ‘a&p’ logo (along with the lower-case font) on our cocktail napkins, menu cards, truffles that were placed on each table, bathroom guest towels, candy table signage, etc.  Our centerpieces utilized two different arrangement-types and included pink, ivory, and green flowers as we similarly had in Maine for our wedding.

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

From the bride…  One of the things that was meaningful to me and of which I was most excited about was what I ended up wearing to the reception. Soon after we decided to have a destination wedding and then a reception at home, I was convinced that I wanted to be a two-dress bride and wear more of a party/reception dress in Pittsburgh. Enter my mom’s wedding dress….. On a whim, my mom suggested that we take her wedding dress to the seamstress that was currently fitting me for my actual wedding dress to see if she would be willing to create a reception dress for me from my mom’s dress. Only a few weeks later, my mom’s long-train, high-neck, long-sleeved, lace wedding dress was turned into a short, strapless, lace reception dress for me! We made sure to have a picture of my mom in her dress on her wedding day at our reception to show everyone what the dress used to look like! Now that I had my reception dress, a part of me also wanted to wear my actual wedding dress so the guests that were not in Maine with us could see the dress I was married in. So, I ended up wearing my short dress for most of the reception but also changed into my actual wedding dress for our introductions, first dance, and cake cutting. Best of both worlds!

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

From the bride…  The food was absolutely delicious and was presented as station-style eating, with a pasta, carving, and Mediterranean station that gave a nice variety of food for our guests. The band had everyone on their feet all night long and gave a wonderful performance. Last but not least was the most talented photographer – Randi Voss, who continued as our photographer for our reception and produced nothing less than amazing photographs for us once again!

Congratulations twice over to Alison & Paul from Wedding Belles! Thanks for sharing both of your very special days with us!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  While the rest of you ate leftovers, I went to a seriously fun and super magical winter wedding last weekend and I cannot wait to share it with you all for so many reasons! The ever talented Randi Voss shot these amazing, amazing photos.  Here’s a sneak peak of Erin & Michael’s wonderland wedding in Deep Creek, MD. More to come!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE wedding photography, and really good wedding photography blows my mind. In some previous life I think this was my destiny, so I make it my business to meet and greet as many wonderful photographers as I can. These days wedding photographers have so much more to offer than your standard church photos, and the latest trend is seriously hot.

Boudoir photos are the hottest trend in wedding photography. Think sexpot, pin-up, Moulin Rouge… whatever you envision, wedding photographers are bringing it to life.

Personally, I think this is an amazing addition to your world ladies! I think every girl should bring that sexy back for herself, and her hubby. Whether it’s a single shot as a pre-wedding gift for your soon-to-be husband or an artistic book of sexy photos for  your first anniversary, this is a gift he definitely won’t forget.

Randi Voss, one of my favorite and totally talented wedding photographers started offering up Boudoir Sessions to bride’s and works with each individual client to create exactly what she’s looking for in the session.

“Beforehand, I take the time to send the model some clothing suggestions or talk with her on the phone about what she wants and expects from the session.” Randi said. She also recommends hair & makeup for the session to make sure the “I feel pretty” effect really comes through in the photos. Who doesn’t want to get all dolled up for a little sexpot session? I mean. Let’s be honest. Even if you aren’t the kind of girl who flirts with an above the knee hemline from time to time, these photos are for you and your hubby’s eyes only, not for your downstairs powder room, so there’s nothing to blush at.

When you’re looking for a photographer to “step out of the box with,” make sure that you feel comfortable with them. If you don’t, it’s definitely going to show.

“I ask her what she wants me to focus on (and what she wants me to hide.)  The sessions are always a little rocky for the first 10 minutes.  You never know how comfortable someone is going to be in this situation.  After the first few shots, I’ll show my model an image on my camera’s LCD screen so she can make any adjustments she wants.  Then, smooth sailing.” said Randi.

The other great thing about Randi. She opts out of Photoshop on these shots. She believes that true beauty doesn’t come with point and click photoshop, so why should these images. I love this actually. While I think some people would be all for “hiding” whatever your least favorite parts about you are, the truth is, your guy is marrying you for all of you, not the photo shopped version of you. So relax, strip down to your skivvies and ENJOY it and it will make for some super hot, and super fun photos.

Here are a few sample shots from Randi. Special thanks to these BEAUTIFUL brides-to-be for sharing their sessions with us! For more information on what to expect from a Boudoir session check out The Knot’s take on this sexy new trend.

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo Courtesy of Rand Voss

This beautiful Real Wedding was sent to me by Randi Voss of  Randi Voss photography.  Krissy and Jon met in Charlottesville, VA, so when it came time to plan their wedding it seemed like a perfect fit. Krissy, a UVA alum and Jon, who was originally from Charlottseville, opted to get married at the chapel on the University of Virgina’s campus. Their reception was at Veritas Vineyards, and the weather absolutely cooperated. SO great. Love me some vino weddings!

Entering Cocktail Hour

Veritas Vineyard

Bouquets

 

 

Vineyard Weddings

From the lovely bride… “Walking out of the chapel with Jon was one of my favorite moments of the day. I think we actually high-fived.”  

” My other favorite moment was dancing with my dad.  I experienced what Oprah calls, “the ugly cry” 🙂

Love it.

Veritas Vineyard

The Venue

Place Cards

Krissy and Jon opted for a pumpkin ice cream cake  specially made at Chaps, their favorite, and one of Charlottesville’s oldest ice cream parlors.

Chaps Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake
From the bride…”We both love their pumpkin ice cream and don’t really like cake so the owner so kindly made us our ice cream cake. It’s not the prettiest cake by any  means, since it melted by the time we took pictures, but it certainly was the best tasting cake I’ve ever had!” 

Guess where they went on their first anniversary…. 

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake

Reception Hall

 

From the bride…”For favors we had a chocolate bar. We bought gourmet chocolates from Wegmans Grocery store (they are sooo good and have different flavors, like key lime pie and PB&J). I ordered boxes online and my sister made labels for the tops with our names and our wedding date. We put all the chocolates out and everyone fill their own boxes with the chocolates they wanted.” 
 
DIY Favors
Chocolate Bar

 

First Dance

 

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