alison and ruben for feature

On the other side of the lens | Annapolis wedding photography and videography

Hello everyone! Alison here! I wanted to share with my very own wedding from Sept, 29, 2012. Finally, I was able to be on the other side of the lens, and here is what my experience was like:

I had this really long thoughtful blog post written, something like a journal entry giving you all the details of MY wedding and then I thought….they don’t want to read all the details, they want to SEE all the details. So, instead of posting the story of our wedding, I am going to share my advice that I learned about throwing a wedding from a wedding photographer’s perspective and give you links to all my awesome friends who helped make it happen and let you enjoy the photos.

Lessons from a recently married wedding photographer:

1. The ceremony is about YOU and only you, make it something that is special, write your own vows, invite a friend to perform the ceremony, make it personal and involve your guests. My uncle  (our officiant) came up with the idea of having all our friends and family gather around us and put their hands on the shoulder of the person in front of them until our parents reached us up at the front. The energy that was created and the support that we felt as we read our vows was unexplainable.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff…yes, it’s cliche, but really, it’s no big deal if something isn’t EXACTLY how you expected it to be. We ran out of alcohol early, but friends ran out and rallied and got more without any issues.

3. Be comfortable! Don’t buy a dress or shoes that isn’t you and isn’t something you can live in for an entire day. Don’t do your hair or makeup in a way that makes you uncomfortable. Just be you…maybe a cleaned up prettier version, but be YOU. I wore a white bridesmaid gown and changed into flats for the reception.

4. Let the guys have fun and trust them to make some decisions. My husband picked out his own suit, bow tie and hat and looked AMAZING…it was nice to be surprised when I saw him.

5. Enlist your talented friends for help! Consider it their wedding gift to you. We are lucky to have a ton of talented friends and this crazy vintage circus/music extravaganza that we called a wedding wouldn’t have been possible without them. What goes around comes around!

6. Keep your wedding party small. Having just my sister and Ruben’s best friend next to us was plenty. From a photographer’s perspective, there is no need to have a ton of people stand up with you, spend money on renting or buying clothing just to have it be stressful while you are all getting ready and trying to organize group photos. Remember, this day is about you and your mate, not about pleasing everyone else. If you feel the need to include all your close friends in the wedding, include them in the planning and parties.

7. Do a First Look. Having this private moment with my husband before our ceremony was priceless and made for some great photos. It took the nerves away before I had to walk down the aisle and made me even more excited to say “I Do”!

8. Spend the money where it counts: Food, Entertainment and Photography/Video….the rest you can do on a budget, you just have to be creative. My mom grew most of the flowers we used, we made all the decorations or found them in nature, repurposed furniture for seating, purchased some of the linens instead of renting them…you get the point. Some great websites out there where you can buy “used” wedding items are Recycled Bride and Wedding Bee.

9. Have a pre ceremony “cocktail” hour. This helps get your guests to the ceremony on time and let’s them catch up with people before the ceremony. We had drinks served and a popcorn machine for snacking.

10.Keep guests entertained. We went a bit above and beyond with this, but that’s who we are. We had a fire blower, and a man on fire, live art, live bands, funnel cake, a movie projected on the side of the tent, and an interactive art guest canvas.

Finally… Be true to who you are as a couple. My favorite comment of the night was “This is SO you guys!” It really was and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Thanks to:
Invitation design: Dan Gneiding
Invitation printing: Mama’s Sauce
Save the Date Video: Sugar Farm Productions (Rebecca Saunders, Piper Watson, Alison Harbaugh)
Wedding Coordinator: KO Events (Karma)
Tent and Rentals: Grand Rental
Bathroom Rental: Got Tu Go
Beer: Bone’s Yard Brew
Catering: Two Trees Catering (Adam Morrison)
Cake: Janine Smith
Flowers: Willow Oak Farm
Dress: “Love” collection from Renaissance Bridals in York, PA
Hair: Babbis Style (Nik)
Makeup: Dainty Artistry (Rachel)
Groom’s Suit: Nordstrom’s ¬†Annapolis
Music: Gary Wright, Leah Weiss, Ahren Buchheister
Jen and Larry Byrne, Pete Reichwein, Jason Zekowski
Mixed Business
The Black Cadaillcs
Feather hair clips: Kristen Hean
Photography: Laura Chase McGehee, Piper Watson (SFP), Amy Raab, Bob Gilbert and Josh McKerrow
Super 8 Videography: Rebecca Saunders (SFP)
Sound engineer: Jay Barracato


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