We have some exciting new things going on with our website this week.  First, we’ve added a nifty new tool that helps you calculate your wedding costs and another that will let you know what the average wedding costs where you live. Find them at: http://www.whatsupmag.com/weddings/wedding-guide.aspx.

Next, we’ve made our What’s Up? Weddings Workbook available, in a printable version, on our website as well. The workbook includes sheets for calculating your wedding budget, keeping track of your guests, selecting your music, establishing your gift registry, choosing your flowers and decor, and arranging your reception seating, as well as a photography checklist and a wedding day checklist for the bride and groom. It’s very cool and will help you with achieve the number one thing you need to plan a  successful wedding: organization. (Well, that, and patience. Oh, and some cash.) Check it out at: http://whatsupmag.com/images/2008/10/weddings/fw08wuwwbk.pdf.

Another helpful tool you will find on our website is our Ultimate Wedding Guide, a comprehensive guide to venues, caterers, hotels, and restaurants in the Annapolis and Eastern Shore areas. We’ve done all of the research for you here. Use it! http://www.whatsupmag.com/weddings/wedding-guide.aspx.

Finally, one of our interns, Monserrat Urena,  was very busy collecting info on wedding photography this week. So much so that we had extra to share with you here. (Love her!) Below, find all of the points that you will want to be sure are covered when signing a contract with your wedding photographer. Enjoy!

 

Wedding Photography Contract Must-Haves

You’ve done your homework, made appointments, and looked at dozens of photographer’s portfolios and websites. Finally, you’ve found a wedding photographer whose work dazzles you—and the prices is right. Hooray!

 But wait—before you move on to the next step in your planning process, you must first agree upon and sign a written contract. Here’s what it should include:

  • The names and contact information for you and your photographer
  • The correct date(s) and exact hours that the photographer’s services will be needed from starting time to end (specify locations where your photographer will shoot with the exact addresses)
  • Name of person who will shoot your wedding and assistants (if applicable)
  • Number and type(s) of cameras that will be used
  • If using film: The number, type, and cost of rolls of film to be used including a clause for the inclusion and cost of any additional rolls used (if needed)
  • Package details, including the number of proofs you’ll receive  
  • The date your proofs will be ready for viewing and how long they can be in your possession
  • The time when and means by which you will receive your full order once it has placed, and any other delivery details
  • The duration of time that the photographer will retain control of your negatives
  • Total cost (itemized is advisable)
  • Overtime fee (if applicable)
  • Reorder price for additional prints
  • Deposit amount that is due
  • Balance and its due date
  • A cancellation and refund policy
  • Name of an acceptable substitute in case of emergency
  • Guarantee of a backup camera/equipment should there be equipment failure
  • Photographer’s signature

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Brian Ray Studios

Brian Ray Studios

 

The cooler weather has arrived, bringing with it some of my fall favorites: changing leaves, gourds, pumpkins, apples, eggplant, and butternut squash. Then there are amazing fall flowers in dreamy colors such as golden yellow, burnt orange, ruby red, rich purple, and chocolate brown.  If you are planning a fall or winter wedding, it’s likely that you will be using seasonal flowers in your bouquets, centerpieces, and decor. (Seasonal flowers are usually more affordable and a more eco-friendly choice, to boot!) Below, is a list of some of those flowers, their meanings, and a few decorating ideas.

Autumn

Amaryllis: splendid beauty, pride

Daisies: Innocence

Grape ivy: fidelity, friendship

China aster: love, daintiness

Fuchsia: taste

Zinnia: thoughts of friends

  • Magenta zinnia: Lasting affection
  • Scarlet zinnia: constancy
  • White zinnia: goodness

Yarrow: healing

 

Chrysanthemums: cheerfulness, optimism, and “You’re a wonderful friend.” These flowers transition from summer to autumn in shades of yellow, bronze, and orange.

*Decor ideas for fall weddings*

  • Arrange sheaths of wheat or corn at the reception site’s entrance.
  • Integrate pumpkins, cornucopias, acorns, leaves, or gourds into your theme.
  • Use hollowed-out mini pumpkins with votive candles, elegantly carved pumpkins with beautiful designs or monograms, or paper bag luminaries to create a warm, seasonal atmosphere.
  • Place flowers in gourds or pumpkins instead of vases.

Winter

Baby’s Breath: festivity

Carnations: fascination, divine love, bonds of affection, health and energy

  • Pink carnation: remembrance, “I’ll never forget you,” a mother’s love
  • Red carnation: admiration, my heart aches for you
  • White carnation: innocence, faithfulness, sweet and lovely

Eucalyptus berries: protection

Juniper pine gardenias: “You’re lovely,” sweet love, good luck

Holly: goodwill, domestic happiness, foresight

Poinsettia: “Be of good cheer”

Snowball mums: cheerfulness, optimism

Tip: You can personalize a bouquet for the season by adding pinecones, evergreen, or berries.

*Decor ideas for winter weddings*

Group different varieties of poinsettias around the reception site.

Use pine branches and white candles in clear glass candle holders to create beautiful, fragrant centerpieces.

Another centerpiece idea is to fill a pretty bowl with water, cranberries, and floating candles (consider star- or snowflake-shaped candles).

Other elements to consider adding to a winter wedding theme: sparkly white lights, miniature gingerbread houses (or gingerbread couples as favors), miniature evergreens, candy cane pillars, snow globe centerpieces, mistletoe, and shiny ornaments.

*Note: Many flowers, especially favorites like roses and lilies, are available all year.

Did you use a seasonal theme at your wedding? Send your photo or ideas to: stephanie@whatsupmag.com.

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For more on seasonal flowers and other ideas for bouquets and centerpieces, see our article, Petal Power:

http://www.whatsupmag.com/weddings/wedding-features/0308-petal-power.aspx.

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More Wedding Kids

September 29, 2008

Thanks to Wendy Hickok of Hickok Photography in Annapolis for sending us the following shots of wedding kids—and for proving I’m not the only one who is obsessed with little kids in bowties: “I agree kids at are one of my favorite things to photograph at events,” she says. “They always add a totally different dimension to the glitz and glam of a wedding day.”  Enjoy!

Hickok Photography

Hickok Photography

Hickok Photography

Hickok Photography

Hickok Photography

Hickok Photography

Hickok Photography

Hickok Photography

Send your favorite wedding photos to: Stephanie@whatsupmag.com.

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Wedding Kids!

September 24, 2008

In preparation for the upcoming issue of What’s Up? Weddings, I have been looking through hundreds of photos every day. No matter how many beautiful wedding photos I look at—with their stunning scenery, handsome grooms, and gorgeous brides in amazing gowns—it’s always the pics of the adorable kids and babies that make me stop and say, “Awwwww!” (I mean, what’s sweeter than a distracted flower girl? So much for the money you spent on those flowers, guys!)

I don’t get much opportunity to feature these cute kids in the magazine, so I thought I’d gather some photos together to share with you. This slideshow’s sure to bring a smile to your face. (Especially that little guy with the tie in his mouth!) Click on the photo to begin.

by Egomedia Photography

Thanks to: Richard Allen Photography, Melissa Grimes-Guy Photography, Clear Focus Photography & Video, Egomedia Photography, Burleson Studios, Beverly Fuss, and Kimi Raspa

Did you have a cutie in your wedding? Send me your photos! Stephanie@whatsupmag.com

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Not Your Average Calligrapher

September 18, 2008

Ink and Annie Calligraphy

Ink and Annie Calligraphy

Attention, brides-to-be and wedding planners (especially those of you with really bad penmanship): There is a stellar pro calligrapher in our midst! In researching an upcoming article on wedding stationery, I was fortunate enough to be put in touch with the amazing Anne Riley. Anne is a professional calligrapher who lives on the Eastern Shore. What makes Anne so interesting, in my opinion, is the extraordinary passion she has for her art.

For the past two years, Anne has been studying under Master penman (or should I say penwoman?) Pat Blair, who just so happens to be in charge of the White House calligraphy department. (I bet you didn’t even know they have their own!) In fact, when Anne met Pat, Pat was Dick Cheney’s personal calligrapher. (My newest goal is to have one of those someday.) She also wrote the Queen of England’s invitation to a white-tie dinner at the White House. Both women are members of the Washington Calligraphers Guild, a nonprofit organization with over 500 members.

When I last heard from Anne Riley, the go-getter was preparing to leave for a week-long retreat in Ohio, where she will be studying with another impressive penman in the calligraphy world, Michael Sull. Michael worked as a calligrapher for Hallmark for 8 years. Anne promises to share samples of her latest work when she returns.

Anne specializes in wedding envelopes and place cards, and has started her own business in Salisbury, called Ink and Annie. If any of you Maryland brides have calligraphy needs (meaning your chicken scratch just isn’t going to make the cut), I think Annie’s definitely worth checking out.

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Have Your Cake

September 5, 2008

Our second issue of What’s Up? Weddings is officially on newsstands (check it out for all of your wedding planning needs!), and we are already hard at work on our next issue. Always trying to keep abreast of hot, new trends, I’ve been in touch with local bakers about their wedding cakes. We’re lucky to have some real pros in the area, and some of the images they are sending me are truly amazing! I’ve saved some of the best for our upcoming article (stay tuned), but in the meantime, here is an idea of the types of cool cakes we’ve been talking about:

Courtesy of Caroline's Cakes, Annapolis

Caroline's Cakes, Annapolis

This whimsical showstopper is the epitome of Annapolis, with nautical flags draping each of its four perfect tiers. Not surprisingly, local bakers say that nautical colors are quite hot in “America’s Sailing Capital.”

Courtesy of Caroline's Cakes, Annapolis

Caroline's Cakes, Annapolis

Centerpiece cakes (mini cakes that serve as the centerpiece for each table at the reception) are another hot trend right now. Pamela De Bari, decorating coordinator at Caroline’s Cakes in Annapolis, says that this is what the bakery’s refrigerator looked like last weekend after preparing an order for eight 6-inch cakes for a local wedding.
Caroline's Cakes, Annapolis

Caroline's Cakes

Good things do come in small packages. Even more individualized than centerpiece cakes, cupcake “trees” or “cakes” are also quite popular with local brides- and grooms-to-be as well. Each guest can choose their own cupcake (choosing a few different flavors and colors for them is a fun option), and often, as seen here, a 6-inch version of the wedding cake is prepared for the topper–that way, the happy couple doesn’t miss out on cutting the cake!

These are just a few examples of the many exciting things happening in wedding cake trends–and there are many more on the horizon. Stay tuned for more sneak peeks. Until then, indulge in a cupcake (or three)–you’re probably craving them by now.

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Did you have a unique or beautiful cake at your wedding? Do you create extraordinary wedding cakes? Send your pics to stephanie@whatsupmag.com, so I can share them with our readers!

To check out a recent article on wedding cakes: http://www.whatsupmag.com/weddings/wedding-features/0708-cakes.aspx.
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