To Expo or to Not….that is the question

So last weekend Josh and I participated in Just a Girl’s first ever Wedding Expo. I say Just a Girl’s because apparently my amazing other half use to do them with his dad as a kid. Very different type of show than wedding shows, but more experience than I’d ever had with it.

We, of course, in typical Josh and Kylee fashion waited until the last minute to finish our display and had never tried to fit everything in the car until the night before. Luckily almost everything fit,and the next morning we were our way to Innisbrook Resort in Tampa where the expo was being held.

After a hectic morning we finally got everything set up, what I didn’t know however was that the candy and our display would be the mossy popular thing about us all day 😂

We were all set up and ready to go for Florida Wedding Expo by Your Wedding TVs doors were about to open. I was super nervous and Josh was well…Josh, cool as a cucumber we always.

The crowds were flowing and there were tons of eager brides, grooms, friends, and family. The chocolate in both the swag bags and on our table helped us stand out. Brides were filling out our contact cards pretty consistently for a majority of the show and we had some awesome conversations with potential clients.

All in all in 4 hours of talking to brides, about a grand in expenses to get us ready for the first show, 2 engagement shoots, and what hopefully will turn into an awesome season of weddings in the next couple of weeks, I would have to say from the perspective of connecting with potential brides and other vendors alone, that this expo was worth it.

I think for all new photography business out there especially those in the wedding industry, looking into an expo type event whether it be the same one we did or some other event, is definitely worth it. It’ll help you connect with all sorts of people.

At the end of the day, if someone asked me would you do this expo again my answer would be absolutely yes. Even if we don’t get any bookings off of it this time. The learning curve from the first show was steep and I’m excited to keep learning and connecting.

That’s all for now. See you next week

Your friendly neighborhood wedding photographer

Just a Girl Photography

Heidi + Josh

Wedding Highlight #4

Destination Weddings, to ultimate blessing and a curse. Traveling with lights, and lens, and cameras, is not an easy task by any means, but nothing about this past wedding really was. Being both a photographer and a part of the wedding party, my second shooter aka my husband, also being in the wedding party, and oh yeah! Did I mention it was my slightly controlling slightly crazy, and just the slightest bit bossy mom’s wedding?

It was a bit different, I’m not going to lie, but how could I turn down the chance at a destination wedding in Jamaica? I definitely couldn’t. Even if I only have half a weddings worth of photos 🙂

Details:

Getting Ready:

Portraits/Post Ceremony:

Reception:

Thats all for now!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer,

Just a Girl Photography

Sara & Pierre

It’s not too often (or at least in my world it isn’t), that you get to go back to College and relive your freshman year, but with this engagement shoot, I got to do just that.

Sara, Pierre, and myself we’re all freshman the same year at Florida Tech in Melbourne, Fl, so when Sara contacted me not only to do an engagement/Save the date shoot, but an engagement shoot back at our alma mater, I was definitely all for it. However, I was slightly confused seeing as I was pretty sure they got married even before Josh and I did. 😛 It was quickly explained that they were in need of some non-selfie mode photos for their save the dates for the big wedding they would be throwing sometime in the near future. Always looking for an excuse to both pick up the camera and go back to Melbourne, we were definitely thrilled to get this opportunity, but what I didn’t know was how fun and amazing this shoot would turn out.

Now on to the photos, because that’s really what you came here for isn’t it?

First Stop, The Alma Mater, also where they met!

Next Stop: The Beach, also conveniently, their original wedding location

It was a perfect storm of things, and I honestly just can’t get enough of this shoot! I hope you all enjoy it just as much as I do.

That’s all for now,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding/Engagement Photographer

Justin and Lissa

Wedding Highlight #3

Spring Weddings in a state where seaons actually exists may be full of flowers and pastel colors, but here in Florida they’re full of blue skies, temperatures that won’t kill you (hopefully), and green country grass, or at least when your wedding is in March, and on a ranch!

The day started with some detail work, and a little bit of rehearsal before everyone went their own way to start getting ready. Obloy Family Ranch is an amazing location for those country brides and grooms looking for a real ranch experience. With rescued and baby animals all over for guests to go see after arrival, this ranch is fun for all ages.

Now on to what you really came to see….the photos.

The Details:

Getting Ready:

Ceremony + Formals

Reception:

This group of people, this wedding, and this night was by far one of our favorites. The leaping point for our career here in the central Florida. We will forever be thankful to this Bride and Groom and their families for allowing us to be a part of this amazing day.

Until Next Time,

Just a Girl Photography

Wedding Traditions…Outdated or Must Dos?

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Probably one of the only traditions I myself followed (unintentionally) at my wedding. Every American bride knows there is a certain amount of tradition worked into your wedding from the moment you start planning it, even before you have colors, you have parts of your day planned just based off of what came before you. That is…if you chose to follow them. I’ve worked with traditional brides and I’ve worked with extremely unconventional brides, yet they’ve all worked in at least one the classic wedding traditions everyone knows. With that introduction out of the way its time from another….

HOT TAKE

Now, I’m going to limit this opinion to just the American wedding traditions, religious or cultural traditions to me are in a completely separate category. The traditions I’m going to discuss here with my opinion are:

-The somethings (old, borrowed, blue, etc)

-Garter/Bouquet Toss

-Not seeing the Bride the day of the wedding

-Not seeing the Dress Before the Wedding

-Cake Smash

-etc.

Now, seeing as I’m a sucker for emotion and tradition (I got married on my deceased uncles birthday and took his motorcycle jacket with me to wear for photos), this is going to be a complete 180 for me as far as my opinion.

I think that Wedding Traditions are completely outdated and unnecessary. At least the standard ones. 

Did I wear a garter at my wedding? Yes, but I did it for myself, because it matched my sash, and because I fully planned on doing a trash the dress photo with the garter but never got around to it. I didn’t do it because some tradition dictated it, and I sure as hell didn’t do it to make my photographer suffer through the awkwardness that is photographing a groom removing a garter from under his Brides dress. I’ve had brides do the bouquet toss, but not the garter, I’ve had brides/grooms do both, and I’ve had brides do none of the above.  Really, I think the whole idea of the garter/bouquet toss is pointless. No one wants to be the singled out single at a wedding. If your a man planning to make a proposal happen at someone else’s wedding during the bouquet toss, JUST DON’T.

Now, that was a lot of hatred for only one of the normal traditions, on to the next one. The Somethings…this one is a tradition that I feel a little less strong about. I think pieces of the something tradition are actually kind of sweet (see previous comment about my something borrowed at my wedding), but I don’t think it is something any bride should stress over.  If you only have something borrowed and something new, than you only have borrowed and new. There shouldn’t be an entire task dedicated to your maid of honor finding all these items for you.

The cake smash is one that I’ve seen time and time again back fire on grooms. Brides constantly screaming “NO” throughout the wedding to their grooms suggesting that cake will end up on and all over their faces at some point during the night, and Grooms just not listening. Inevitably, cake gets everywhere, including the dress and you end the night with a pretty upset bride…especially if the cake was chocolate.

I guess what I’m trying to say in all this ranting is….Make your own traditions or throw out traditions all together. Just like families all have their own traditions for the holidays, even if that tradition is having no traditions at all, every couple should make their wedding day about them. If you want to smash cake in each others faces, then it should be a mutual decision. If you want to have a first look instead of leaving the moment to the altar, make sure your photographer is there to capture it. If you want to forgo anything resembling traditions, than do it, just be aware that you may get some heat from your family members for it.

Thats all For Now,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer

Do’s and Don’ts for a Beach Wedding

Beach weddings…the dream destination at the perfect time for just about every bride at some point in their life.

They are becoming more and more popular, or maybe I just think they are because I’m a wedding photographer in a Destination Wedding location with beaches…Who knows? Either way, as a photographer who has attended beach weddings and a bride who had one of her own (If you can count our small elopement in a cruise port as a wedding) I’ve put together this list of do’s and don’ts for any bride out there currently planning or thinking about planning a beach wedding.

Do’s

Do – Pick a dress that is appropriate for the heat and sand that you will be encountering on the day of your wedding.

Do- Make the requirement for guest attire as casual (maybe even beach casual) as possible

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Do- Try and plan for a sunset/sunrise ceremony (Makes for fantastic pictures)

Do-Remember sunscreen and Sunglasses (and possibly a darker shade of foundation)

Do- Buy an alternative dress to wear for your reception, I can guarantee you won’t want to be in a full length dress all night in the tropics.

Do-Provide water in some fashion for your guests….if you’re hot they probably will be too. Don’t want anyone passing out and making your big day all about them. 🙂

Do-Have a back up plan!!! The weather (especially here in Florida) doesn’t always play nicely.

Don’ts

Don’t- Be Afraid to have a Trash the Dress session…If your photographer doesn’t ask (shame on them) don’t be afraid to ask them. You’ll never wear it again anyway, might as well have fun with it. I was too afraid to ask, and I wish I hadn’t been.

Don’t- Try and wear real shoes (Heels,Dress Shoes, anything you might find in a typical ballroom wedding), you will sink into the sand, it will be unfortunate, you will regret it. Try out those fake sandal things you see on Pinterest all the time, or maybe even some real ones if you don’t want to go completely barefoot to your wedding like I did.

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Don’t- Try and make your groom and his groomsmen wear a full suit, it will not work, it will be uncomfortable, and you could end up with a groom who decides to wear swim trunks, neon sunglasses, and a fishing hat instead (I’m unfortunately not making that particular scenario up)

Don’t- Forget to file all the paperwork for your marriage license beforehand if you’re doing a destination wedding. Some places can take several days to process, and you don’t want that to stall or ruin your perfect day.

Don’t- Freak out when the day doesn’t go as planned. The weather sometimes doesn’t behave, the schedule sometimes can’t be executed  100% on time, your guests may get a little drunk and try and make things about them. Take a page out of island life mentality and just relax and go with the flow.

Don’t-Expect your groom, his groomsmen, or your guests to be sober by the time the ceremony starts (Even with a sunrise wedding). They’re on vacation, just because you spent all day getting ready doesn’t mean everyone else did. Even at a regular wedding, the groom has probably been drinking most of the day, so don’t expect anything different from a beach wedding 🙂

With no help from my husband, (his only input to this blog was “don’t wear shoes” and “don’t wear white because you’ll blind everyone”) that is my list of Do’s and Don’ts for the Beach Wedding Bride. Even if you chose to ignore this list entirely, the most important thing to remember is, Have Fun, its your wedding day!

Until Next Time,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer