vendor tour: jessica yates photography

With 2017 weddings becoming a beautiful memory and 2018 weddings bubbling to the surface, I thought I would get nostalgic on this year’s vendor tour, featuring some of my favorite people and places to partner with to make wedding magic in Springfield, Missouri. Enjoy!

I was SO EXCITED to work with Jessica Yates at my final wedding of the season this year, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. This girl has a golden reputation among Springfield wedding vendors I have met…and truly, she is amazing.

what to love…

Jessica has a super-chill-roll-with-it vibe that is crucial for a stress-free wedding experience. She is prepared and professional and clearly gifted behind the lens. Her photos do more than record a memory: they tell the story. Bonus: if you want a stellar fireworks shot, this is your girl.

don’t forget…

Photographers book early! They should be one of the first vendors you contact after choosing your wedding date. Make sure your photographer jives with your personality (laid-back or detail-focused?), that you love their style (deep tones and dramatic shots? bright sunlight and candid smiles?), and that they have a package price that works with your budget to get photos you’ll treasure forever!

contact

Website: http://www.jessicayatesphoto.com

Social: https://www.facebook.com/jessicayatesphoto/

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vendor tour: jessica yahn photography

With 2017 weddings becoming a beautiful memory and 2018 weddings bubbling to the surface, I thought I would get nostalgic on this year’s vendor tour, featuring some of my favorite people and places to partner with to make wedding magic in Springfield, Missouri. Enjoy!

Jessica Yahn and I go way back. Like, way, way back. Think elementary school.

It wasn’t until October of this year that I had the pleasure of working with her for the first time, at what was easily one of my favorite weddings of the year. I just have to rave a bit about this girl’s work ethic…she started feeling little ill but my bride NEVER knew. Jessica put that smile on her face and got to work, and delivered some truly magical photos.

what to love…

Jessica is prepared, prepared, prepared and always willing to go above and beyond for her clients. She is thoughtful and thorough at consultations and provides quick turnaround for social media sneak-peeks and photo delivery, something clients love.

don’t forget…

Photographers book early! They should be one of the first vendors you contact after choosing your wedding date. Make sure your photographer jives with your personality (laid-back or detail-focused?), that you love their style (deep tones and dramatic shots? bright sunlight and candid smiles?), and that they have a package price that works with your budget to get photos you’ll treasure forever!

contact

Email: hello@JessicaYahnPhotography.com

Website: http://jessicayahnphotography.com

Social: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaYahnPhotography/

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vendor tour: shana lynne photography

With 2017 weddings becoming a beautiful memory and 2018 weddings bubbling to the surface, I thought I would get nostalgic on this year’s vendor tour, featuring some of my favorite people and places to partner with to make wedding magic in Springfield, Missouri. Enjoy!

I cannot tell the story of Bliss Events without Shana Lynne’s name coming up in the conversation. It was after her brother’s wedding that I began percolating the idea of really specializing in weddings. I sat on her couch the day we both decided to be all in, and to do it together! I partnered with her and some other amazing ladies to create The Bridal Experience, a super fun boutique bridal show that was SUPER fun.

But also…she takes great photographs 🙂

what to love…

Shana is all about giving her clients the very best photos at a price they can afford, and will not stop until she has produced works of art that make her clients look and feel as beautiful as they are. She’s been focusing on weddings since 2014, and specializes in photographs full of bright, natural sunlight.

don’t forget…

Photographers book early! They should be one of the first vendors you contact after choosing your wedding date. Make sure your photographer jives with your personality (laid-back or detail-focused?), that you love their style (deep tones and dramatic shots? bright sunlight and candid smiles?), and that they have a package price that works with your budget to get photos you’ll treasure forever!

contact

Email: shanalynnephoto@gmail.com

Website: shanalynne.com

Social: https://www.facebook.com/shanalynnephotography

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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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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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