shana lynne photography

Not gonna lie, I’m SO excited to host Shana Lynne Photography for today’s stop on the vendor tour. I have to step outside of the professional realm for a moment and talk to you from a personal level. Why?

Shana is the big sis of my childhood BFF. I watched this force of nature as a wide-eyed child and marveled at her beauty and talent in EVERY endeavor she’s put her hand to. She is creative, she is smart, she works hard, and she does not stop until she’s given something her best.

Now let me put my pro shoes back on. How can I say this girl is going to be one of the best wedding photographers Springfield has ever seen? Because she is creative. She is smart. She works hard. And she will not stop until she’s given you her very best work. 🙂

Big, giant, warm welcome to Shana Ortega of Shana Lynne Photography.

Hello! Tell us about yourself.

I started my business, Shana Lynne Photography, in October of 2014. I have to admit, I didn’t come at it with some major business plan. I loved photography and had been a hobbyist for years. I threw out the notion to my Facebook friends and before I knew it, friends were inquiring about prices and booking sessions. Now, here I am, sixteen months later and I just have to say I feel like I finally found my niche and I love it! I offer photography for newborns, children, families, Seniors, weddings, couples—basically a wide range. I am continuing to learn and grow in my experience and I am so excited for what the future holds!

shana bridal
Photo by Shana Lynne Photography

What was a favorite wedding moment for you?

One of my favorite wedding moments to witness would definitely be the moment I watched my brother see his bride for the first time as she walked down the aisle. They have a great love story, with her really being his first girlfriend and then his wife. To see the look on his face as he bowed his head and cried, I could only tear up behind my lens. It was a wonderful moment to be part of!

shana ring bearer
Photo by Shana Lynne Photography

Who are some of your favorite vendors to work alongside?

As far as favorite vendors to work with, I think my favorite DJ so far has been Cash Williams. He was so professional. He continually communicated with me throughout the event, making sure that we were on the same page so all of the important events were captured and no one was taken by surprise. I really appreciated his friendly and thoughtful attitude towards me. After all, it’s not a competition; we’re all there to make that day the best for the bride and groom! For cakes, I’ve always loved Celebrations by Sonja, her cakes are both beautiful and taste delicious. I’m confident that the Springfield area has a great group of wedding vendors to work with and look forward to building those relationships as my business continues.

shana bride

Tell us about a wedding fiasco you witnessed.

I learned right away that wedding days rarely ever go as planned (so brides, give yourself some leeway!) Wedding days can be stressful, for the photographer too! One “fiasco” in particular was during my first wedding. I was at the reception venue waiting on the bride and groom to arrive. The sun was setting and I was pacing wondering where they were because it was only about a three-minute drive from the church. When I had left them they were in the car getting ready to pull out. Twenty minutes later they were nowhere to be seen and the natural light for pictures was quickly fading. Finally, they pulled in, very stressed out themselves. Apparently their car died in the middle of the road and the cops came. Needless to say the poor bride wasn’t happy. We made the best of it–we took the fifteen minutes of light we had left and just focused on bride and groom pictures because those are definitely the priority!

shana bouquet

Share some advice you have for brides planning their weddings.

My advice is to remember what’s important for your wedding, and put your money there. In today’s world we sometimes get carried away with thinking that the bigger, newer, more expensive things we invest for our weddings must equal better, longer, happier marriages. In the end, it’s your marriage that matters. However your budget is limited, set priorities accordingly. For me, it was pictures, flowers, and food. I also had an amazing and organized best friend who was my planner, which relieved so much stress. If you don’t already have someone helping you, I highly recommend a wedding planner so you can enjoy one of the most important days of your life! And lastly, take in every moment of your big day. I remember walking around my reception and just taking “mental pictures” of everything. The people laughing at the tables, the couples on the dance floor, the beautiful cake, the wonderful food. I wanted to remember every moment! I refused to be one of those brides that said, “It was a blur, I don’t really remember much of anything.” Now, ten years later, I still have all of those mental photographs, as well as some pretty amazing professional ones too. 😉

 

To see more of Shana’s work, visit her website at ShanaLynne.com or connect with her on Facebook.

Thanks for visiting! Come back next week for more stops on the Bliss Events vendor tour. Don’t forget to like Springfield Bliss on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the best wedding planning information in Springfield, Missouri!

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jessica yahn photography

Can I tell you a secret about Jessica?

 

This girl knows how to get it done. If you’ve seen her work, you know what I’m talking about. For as long as I’ve known her (and I’m happy to say I’ve had the privilege of knowing her a long time 🙂 ), these are things that are true about her: friendly beyond expectation, talented without even trying, and professionally ON. THE. BALL.

You learn these things about her when you read her precious family posts on her blog, or when you meet her in person for the first time, or when you check out the super-fab and BEAUTIFUL JYP Bridal Guide she created because she doesn’t want her clients to worry about a thing.

Anyone handy with a camera (or cameraphone. Ahem.) can get a detail shot of the cake, the dress, the kiss.

But if you want to tell the story, call Jessica. When you want to keep the memory, call Jessica. When you want someone with a passionate commitment to creatively capturing life…call Jessica.

Got it? Call Jessica. 🙂

Hello! Tell us about yourself.

Hi! I’m Jessica! Originally from Missouri, I spent 5 years living in Hawaii and Washington, but am happy to now be serving the greater Springfield, Missouri area once again. I am the proud wife to a military veteran and a mommy to two crazy monkeys disguised as children. I am an internet & technology junkie. My primary diet consists of lots and lots of coffee! I am an avid reader, chronic over-punctuator!!?..!!, and I believe that music heals the soul. I have been blessed to be a part of the portrait & wedding industry for over 6 years now, where I specialize in lifestyle engagement and wedding photography. Photography is so much more than just a hobby or a job for me, it is a life source. I truly feel at home when one of my cameras are in my hand.

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

How did you get into the wedding industry?

My husband is a military veteran of 10 years so [at first] I could not offer wedding services, due to the military moving us on a whim. As soon as we learned we were moving back to Missouri I immediately started booking weddings. I was lucky that I had brides willing to invest with me, even when we were still 2,000+ miles away. Once we moved, I never looked back. I have always had a weakness when it comes to a good love story and my heart will always lie in capturing the moment when a couple commits to spending the rest of their lives with one another. I always say that even if I won the lottery-I will still be photographing weddings.

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

What is a favorite wedding moment for you? 

I personally have two favorite parts to the wedding day. I love watching the couple get dressed and prepared for the ceremony. The anticipation and excitement is always such a fun moment to be a part of! Also, the first look, whether staged or when the bride first walks down the aisle, it gets me every…single..time. I cannot count the number of times I have cried at weddings. My heart is invested in each of my couple’s stories.

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

What types of services do you offer?

While I do take a limited amount of family sessions during the fall, I primarily provide engagement and wedding photography. My goal is to help keep the planning process as easy as possible. All of my couples have their own personal client site where they can where they can keep track of their contract, payment plan, and any applicable questionnaires related to their wedding planning. I also created a bridal guide to help them plan and make the most out of their wedding photography!

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

What creative ways have you seen brides save money?

I have seen a few “potluck” weddings. The couple provided the main dish and asked guests to bring a favorite (along with a copy of the recipe) as a side dish. This helped save on catering costs, as well as helped build their first cookbook filled with love from their family and friends.

Many couples make their own floral and decorative pieces as well. I do suggest investing in your bridal bouquet, even if you DIY many of the other floral arrangements. If the bride has a gorgeous bouquet, I can make the entire day look like there were beautiful florals everywhere. I highly recommend getting your DREAM bouquet and investing less in the bridesmaids bouquet since they will not be photographed nearly as much!

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

Share some advice you have for brides planning their weddings.

Make your wedding photography a priority. (I know that sounds like something I have to say as a photographer.) The truth is, once the day is over; the food has been eaten, flowers have wilted and your dress is hanging in the closet – your photos are what you have left. That is what you will have to look back at to remember this amazing day and be able to pass down to your children and grandchildren!

PLEASE Consider an un-plugged wedding! Not only does it allow your guests to truly be a part of your ceremony without the distraction of technology, but your photographer will be able to get much better photos. There is nothing worse than a photographer missing your first kiss because “Uncle Bob” stepped out into the aisle and blocked our shot! We want to ensure you have all of those key moments.

Don’t forget to take time for yourselves! Remember that your MARRIAGE is more important than the wedding. The wedding will come and go in a matter of hours but your marriage needs to stand the test of time. Continue to make time for one another, even with all that needs to get done.

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

Who are some of your favorite vendors to work alongside?

I love being a part of the local wedding community! There are honestly just too many amazing vendors to name, but I do offer a “Vendors We Love” list on my website! Hiring a wedding planner also helps assist in finding the perfect vendors to fit your needs and personality. When you are planning, make sure you aren’t just choosing by price alone. You want to find people and businesses that you click with because that will ensure you are much more likely to truly have your dream day!
(P.S. Any bride who books with us thru Bliss Events gets a $200 credit towards their Wedding Collection. Awesome, right?)

SAY WHAT?!? That makes my heart happy. 

 

 

Jessica Yahn Photography has about a million ways to keep in touch. Did I mention she’s on the ball? Find out more about her on her website, Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, or email her directly.

Thanks for visiting! Come back tomorrow for more stops on the Bliss Events vendor tour. Don’t forget to like Springfield Bliss on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the best wedding planning information in Springfield, Missouri!

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mandy evans photography

When I ask brides about priorities for their wedding, can you guess the first word that comes out of their mouths? Photos.

Once the cake is eaten, the dress stored, and the marriage begun, there is only one thing that remains of this precious day. Photos.

Ten years from now, children will come along and marvel that you had a life before they existed. They will demand proof, at which time you will produce…photos.

Mandy Evans Photography has been featured in local wedding magazines Met Bride and 417 Bride–she is no joke when it comes to creating beautiful photographs that you’ll want to hang on to for a lifetime. In fact, you may just want to plan to wallpaper your new home with them.

Enough of my wordy words. Let’s look at some gorgeous photos and learn more about uber-talented Mandy 🙂

Hello! Tell us about yourself.

After graduating from college with a degree in photography and graphic design, I worked for an amazing wedding photographer in St. Louis who introduced me to the magic of weddings.  I was also planning my own wedding at the time.

Photo by Mandy Evans Photography
Photo by Mandy Evans Photography

In what ways have you seen weddings change since you joined the market?

A lot has changed since 2001 when I first began working in the industry.  I love how diverse wedding photography has become since then.

Photo by Mandy Evans Photography
Photo by Mandy Evans Photography

Tell us about a wedding fiasco you witnessed.

Keg stands
..not a good idea. 🙂

Photo by Mandy Evans Photography
Photo by Mandy Evans Photography

What was a favorite wedding moment for you?

I have so many!  I’m lucky enough to call the majority of my couples friends, so being there to witness the beginning of their marriage is pretty
..awesome!

Photo by Mandy Evans Photography
Photo by Mandy Evans Photography

Who are some of your favorite vendors to work alongside?

We have some really great people in Southwest Missouri in the wedding industry!  I think that each vendor brings something special and unique to the table– depending on what a couple is looking for, they can’t go wrong by choosing the correct vendor!  Get to know each one!

Photo by Mandy Evans Photography
Photo by Mandy Evans Photography

 

To see more of Mandy’s portfolio, check out MandyEvansPhoto.com or read more on her blog.

Thanks for visiting! Come back next week for more stops on the Bliss Events vendor tour. Don’t forget to like Springfield Bliss on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the best wedding planning information in Springfield, Missouri!

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bryan loves kayla

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Kayla Jones.  I’m a stay at home mom to a very busy little boy. Bryan and I had our last first date on January 12th, 2013 after we met three years ago on an Internet dating site.  We were married on November 21st, 2015. I love everything about being married to my other half.

Photo by Lauren Cook Photography
Photo by Lauren Cook Photography

How long did you plan the wedding?

We spent [a little over] six months planning our wedding.

Bridal bouquet
Photo by Lauren Cook Photography

How did you save money on the big day?

I bought things I knew I could resell easily. My dad also cut all the cedar used as decorations, including the arbor at the church and all of the wood used at the reception.

Wedding rings on a Bible
Photo by Lauren Cook Photography

Share a moment from your wedding day that you’ll never forget.

The day of the wedding was freezing cold and windy. Our pictures were taken on a bridge, so of course it felt like it was below zero. We’d been having pretty decent weather, up until our wedding day.

Kayla and Bryan Jones
Photo by Lauren Cook Photography

What was your favorite thing about the wedding?

We worked great together- I made the choices and he gave me a yay or nay. There isn’t anything I would do differently…it was a perfect day.

 

 

Featured Vendors

Photography: Lauren Cook Photography

Caterer: Boone’s BBQ 

Cake: Deb Cook of Collins, Missouri

Florist: Beyond Blossoms

Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal

Hair: ENVY Salon

Boots: Boot Barn

Rings: Maxon’s Diamond Merchant

 

Was your wedding AWESOME? You can find more information about how to be a featured wedding on our post: Calling Local Brides! or by emailing steph@springfieldbliss.com.

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trenton loves kelsey

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself.

Trenton works for Dewitt and Associates out of Springfield and is in school full time at MSU. He will graduate in May of this year with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. I work at McGill’s Gas and Grocery and substitute at Dadeville R-2. I am also in school full time at Drury University. I will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Hobbies include; woodworking, crafting, hunting, kayaking, gardening, and playing with our new puppy. We went to elementary and high school together and got married on July 19, 2014. Our hobbies include woodworking, crafting, hunting, kayaking, gardening, and playing with our new puppy.

Bridesmaids

How did he propose?

Trenton asked my dad for his blessing about a month before he proposed. I had no idea it was coming! I told Trenton that I really wanted a new pair of boots for Christmas. During my family Christmas party we all began unwrapping gifts. When it was my turn to unwrap my gift I quickly torn into a boot box- I was pretty excited! To my surprise, I opened the box and  found a small brick to act as a weight  and a handmade red and green card that said, “Coupon good for one free husband.” After staring at the card for what felt like an eternity, I looked up. All I saw was Trenton on the ground, proposing. My family cheered. I was overwhelmed with tears of joy.

ceremonysite
Photo by Tara Hailey Photography

How long did you plan the wedding?

About 6Âœ months. I don’t regret it being a short engagement. My husband and I had dated quite awhile before we were married. I also think we spent less money in those six months because we got all the things needed for the wedding and didn’t keep buying and buying more things we didn’t need. It also helped that I had a lot of ideas in my head and on my Pinterest 😉 that showed pretty much exactly how I wanted the wedding and reception to look.

bouquet
Photo by Tara Hailey Photography

What creative ways did you incorporate parts of your personalities into the big day?

I absolutely love vintage, old, antiques, rustic, and country dĂ©cor. So why not incorporate that into our wedding? After all, we got married in a barn 😉 I also love bright fun colors so I incorporated that into the wedding, too. I wanted my wedding to be very special and personal just as any woman does. I used my grandmother’s doilies, my mom and I handmade all of the banners used at my wedding, and we used a variety of old china dishes along with mason jars for drinking glasses. I also love old-fashioned candy, so for wedding favors we used brown paper bags and a candy bar for everyone to take home a sweet treat.

Photo by Tara Hailey Photography
Photo by Tara Hailey Photography

 How did you spend money wisely?

My parents wanted to make sure I had the wedding of my dreams. However, with that came a budget (which is a good thing.) It also helped that I knew what I wanted. I wanted to make a lot of the items being used: the chalk signs everywhere, the wedding fans, the memorial of family that have passed away, etc.  I also used some of the older antique stuff I or my family had. The two biggest expenses were the venue and my dress. I saved a lot of money by also picking a whole bunch of wild flowers that were used in the aisle and around each table at the wedding reception. We also saved by buying brightly colored candy after Easter. We bought the babies-breath and food at Sam’s to cut back on food expenses.

Photo by Tara Hailey Photography
Photo by Tara Hailey Photography

What was your favorite thing about the wedding?

My favorite thing about the wedding was how unique and different it really was. I’ve had so many people say they love, love, loved the uniqueness of my wedding and all of the small details that I included in my big day. It was so wonderful to hear people comment on how beautiful it was; even people I didn’t personally know!

Photo by Tara Hailey Photography
Photo by Tara Hailey Photography

What has been your favorite thing about being married?

My favorite things about being married are: doing real everyday life with my husband- like cooking, cleaning, laundry, fixing lunches…building a home with my husband. Encouraging him through the good and bad times. Faithfully praying for my husband. Getting to serve my husband everyday. His unconditional love for me. He continually keeps me laughing. His constant drive to make sure we are financially sound.

And best, gaining a whole new family that I love and who loves me.

Photo by Tara Hailey Photography
Photo by Tara Hailey Photography

 Featured Vendors

Photographer: Tara Hailey Photography

Caterer: Susan Sales

Venue: The Barn at Stone Valley Plantation 

Cake: Back Porch Bakery 

Florist: Orchard Hills Floral & Gifts

Wedding Dress: Ella Weiss

Hair and Beauty: Erin Sayers (Hair) and Emily Bailey (Beauty) at The Chandelier Salon

Nail Salon: Susan Freeze at All About U

Check out more Local Weddings!

Was your wedding AWESOME? You can find more information about how to be a featured wedding on our post: Calling Local Brides! or by emailing steph@springfieldbliss.com.

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spencer loves lacey

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself. 

My name is Lacey Allison.  In February of 2015, I opened Country Lace Boutique and love every minute of it! I have a beautiful, almost 5 year old, daughter named Oakley Rhae. A few of my favorite things about being married to Spencer are the family me and my daughter gained,  the fun we have had remodeling my grandparents’ home, the laughter the three of us share and the preparation of our daughter due May 2016.

How did you meet each other?

Spencer and I met in December 2012. He caught my eye on Facebook, but it took some encouragement from a good friend to actually shoot him a message. Numbers were swapped and dates were planned. It didn’t take long to know that we were in love.  We got married on August 1st, 2015 in a field of sunflowers that he planted on his family farm.

Photo by Lauren Cook
Photo by Lauren Cook Photography

How did he propose?

We had been working cows in the cold all day long. I was in jeans and boots covered in poo. The last thing we had to do for the evening was move some bulls. He told me to stay in the truck while he let them out, because they were too mean. I heard him hollering my name, on the ground, in pain. I jumped out of the truck, ran to him and asked what had happened. “A bull got me! He got me!” I began to panic. After a good minute of some great acting, he  gets to one knee. He asks me, “Babe, will you marry me?” I gave him a few good slaps to the arm before finally saying yes. After that, we couldn’t wipe the smile off our faces!

How long did you plan the wedding?

We planned our wedding in 8 months and it went by super fast, but it was beautiful.

What were your priorities for the wedding?

Our priorities were it to be relaxed and fun for everyone. We didn’t want it to be this big to-do that took away from the actual meaning of the day.

Photo by Lauren Cook
Photo by Lauren Cook Photography

What creative ways did you incorporate parts of your personalities into the big day?

He is a farm boy, so he planted sunflowers so that we could be married in a field of them. We also had his tractor sitting at the entrance of the wedding. My granny had passed away, but she was a big part of my life. We used her quilts and doilies to decorate. I have a weird obsession with mason jars. You could find them placed just about everywhere you looked at the wedding. He introduced me to hunting, so deer sheds were used as décor on the tables and around the barn where are reception took place. We are both pretty laid back, so we both wore boots along with our bridal party. The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. At the end of the evening, our guests lit sparklers as they gathered around us to send us off.

Photo by Lauren Cook Photography
Photo by Lauren Cook Photography

Share a beautiful moment from the wedding day that you hope you never forget.

My daughter is a HUGE part of my life and Spencer’s. She won our guests over by prancing down the aisle, with a huge smile, carrying a sign that read, “Spencer, here comes my momma!” During the ceremony, Spencer got down on one knee and asked her if he could marry her momma while presenting her with a ring. Without hesitation, she said yes. Not only was I in tears, but everyone else. For the rest of the night, she went around showing her ring off. That was a special moment that I won’t ever forget.

Photo by Lauren Cook Photography
Photo by Lauren Cook Photography

Featured Vendors

Photographer: Lauren Cook Photography

Caterer: Smith’s Restaurant

Venue: Family farm in Flemington, Missouri

Cake: Donna O’Briant

Flowers: Vickie Ross

Wedding Dress: MK Bridal

Hair: Jay Doke at Visible Changes

Spray Tan: Bora, Bora Tan

Pedicure/Manicure: Vanessa Campbell at Solutions Salon

Was your wedding AWESOME? You can find more information about how to be a featured wedding on our post: Calling Local Brides! or by emailing steph@springfieldbliss.com.

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dustin loves jessica

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Jessica Legan and my husband’s name is Dustin Legan. We got married on September 6, 2015. I am a full-time student studying Elementary Education and Dustin is an Automotive Technician. Our favorite thing to do together is build cars. That’s been our thing–we currently own about 19 cars altogether!

How did you meet each other?

I had known OF Dustin since I was about seven years old. He lived about five houses down the street from me but we never really spoke to each other. We officially met in the art room at our high school. I was a freshman at the time and Dustin was a junior. We became friends who had a lot in common. We both loved cars, we liked the same music, had the same outlook on life, and a lot of the same goals. We quickly started falling for each other…we have been inseparable ever since.

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

How did he propose?

Dustin had been wanting to give me a surprise for a while. I was at my little sister’s softball practice and got a phone call from Dustin. He asked me if I wanted my surprise. I told him that I did (of course.) He said, “Okay. When you get home pack your bags. It requires a trip out of state.” My wheels were turning and my best guess was that we were going somewhere to buy a new car for our collection. I was so excited! We finished our 10 hour drive in Texas. Dustin wouldn’t even give me a hint. We got to our hotel and he told me we needed to get some sleep because we had to be up around 5am. I just assumed we had to drive a little further and he wanted to start the trip early. We got up the next morning and started our journey in the car when Dustin looked at me and said, “Do you remember when you told me to wanted to go skydiving?” I started to panic. “Dustin, you better not have driven 10 hours to get me to jump out of a plane because I’m too scared to do it!” He just laughed and said, “No, that’s not it.” But at this point I was freaking out. It was dark when we arrived. I still had no idea where we were or what we were doing. Dustin said, “Well, I might as well tell you because you’re about to see for yourself. This is a hot air balloon festival. We’re going to ride in one.” I almost cried! My number one bucket list item was to ride in a hot air balloon at sunrise and he loved me enough to make it happen. I was so excited! I didn’t know the ride wasn’t even the best part. We got into the basket and our guide started airing the balloon up. As I’m taking in this beautiful experience, I look to my side and Dustin pulls out a ring from his pocket and says “Jessica, will you marry me?” I was totally shocked and speechless. It was the second most beautifully perfect moment of my life (our wedding was the first!)

How long did you plan the wedding?

We began planning right away. We planned our wedding for about a year and a half and knew we had to do our best to conserve our money where we could.

How did you spend money wisely?

Our main expenses were our venue, the photographer, and my dress. Everything else would need to be budgeted tightly. We cut corners and did things ourselves where we could. We didn’t cater in food, but instead had a potluck style dinner where the guests brought the dishes. It turned out amazing!

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

What creative ways did you incorporate parts of your personalities into the big day?

We knew our wedding had to reflect our relationship which is why we chose to have a rustic car-themed wedding. Dustin and his groomsmen wore spark plug boutonnieres, while I had spark plugs in my bouquet. Our centerpieces were car and hunting themed, and even my garter had a Honda emblem on it.

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

My favorite part about the wedding would have to be when we exchanged rings. We did this part a little differently than most people. During our ceremony our wedding bands were each held on a lock. While our preacher was preaching, we unlocked the locks, took our rings off and put them on each other’s fingers, and then locked our locks together. We then tied our keys to the locks to a balloon and released it into the sky. We wanted to do this to symbolize a bond that couldn’t be broken.

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography
Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

I wanted to have a wedding like this to show girls that it’s important to be yourself, ESPECIALLY on your wedding day. It doesn’t have to be frilly and girly, or even traditional to be beautiful. Your wedding should be a reflection of your relationship. Your marriage is the most beautiful part.

Photo by Jessica Yahn Photography

 
Featured Vendors

Photography – Jessica Yahn Photography

Venue – The Barn at Stone Valley Plantation

Wedding Dress – Gracie’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses – David’s Bridal

Grooms and Groomsmen attire – JC Penny’s

The Engagement Ring – Gabriel & Co

Wedding Bands – Helzberg Diamonds

Was your wedding AWESOME? You can find more information about how to be a featured wedding on our post: Calling Local Brides! or by emailing steph@springfieldbliss.com.

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save, five ways…on your wedding photos

Photos are arguably the most important expense of your wedding day. After all, what else will you be able to pull out in a decade to remind you of the big day? I suppose the wedding dress is a possibility…lucky you if it fits 😉

Such a top priority deserves fair compensation, and a talented photographer is certainly worthy of a higher price point. Here are some ways to get high quality photos without breaking the bank:

Research. Then research again. Highly gifted, qualified, and experienced wedding photographers charge top dollar for their services, and they have the Google rankings to prove it. If you can sift through those who pay for significant advertising privileges, you may find a photographer with style that rivals the top dogs without the hefty price tag. The reason? Sometimes these photographers are uber-talented, but are just getting started in the field. Sometimes they are stay-at-home mamas who work very part-time, so all their income goes to the family budget instead of advertising in a glossy magazine. You’ll start to find these photographers a few pages into your Google search or via referral requests on social media.

Review the packages. Evaluating photo packages and prices from different wedding photographers can be complicated- a varying amount of hours and add-ons, prints or no prints, extra sessions or meetings. It can be difficult to compare apples to apples. Generally speaking, most wedding photographers in the Springfield area offer packages that include either a bridal or engagement session, a set number of hours on the wedding day, and prints or digital rights. Don’t want an engagement session? See if you can tack on a couple extra hours onto the wedding day time in lieu of that extra session. This way, you could get that 8-hour coverage for the 6-hour price. Alternatively, see if the photographer is available to do that extra session on the night of the rehearsal dinner instead. You could get shots of the more casual, fun memories and the photographer will be more familiar with the VIPs. If something in the package doesn’t work for you, negotiate until you get it right.

Be honest about your budget. I am a firm believer in letting vendors know if you are working with a tight budget, especially when it sounds something like, “I absolutely love your work. It would be amazing if I could book you for my wedding, but this price is just out of the range I’m able to spend. Would you be able to do XYZ for X amount of dollars?” In high wedding season, this may not matter in the least, even if the photographer wants to help you out. It is a business, after all, and they must pay their bills. BUT…you never know when other factors are at play- maybe it’s a slow time of the year when bookings are down, or maybe they have really been wanting to work at the venue you’ve chosen for networking purposes. Maybe they resonate with your situation…who knows? A gracious disposition and honesty never hurts when trying to find a solution that works for both parties.

Ask about promotions. Some photographers run special pricing at different times of the year via their websites or social media pages.  If you don’t see this, don’t be afraid to ask! Depending on the season, the industry, the day of the week or time of day, there may be a special rate or package available. 

Social media is leverage. Success in the wedding industry is largely based on word-of-mouth. Especially for less well-known photographers, getting a social media buzz going can be a huge asset. Do you have 1,500 Facebook friends, all of marrying age and some actively looking for vendors? Make like a business-person and negotiate a discount in exchange for your heavy promotion of their services. Share their page with friends, write a review, re-tweet their specials, give a certain number of shout-outs, and share your gorgeous photos when they are completed. Perhaps your photographer will see the value of what you can provide to your audience and throw in some extras or a percentage-off discount? Now, don’t misread what I’m saying. If you only have 200 followers and over half of them are high schoolers or in a retirement home…you probably don’t have much to offer the photographer’s target market. 

Have you found a great way to save money on wedding photos?

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