Category archives: Engagements

  • NEW BLING??!! WAHOOOOO! NOW WHAT?

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    bessieblackphotography_018From girlfriend to FIANCE!  The first 5 things to tackle, after receiving your BLING!

    Besides telling the family, and making sure all of the key people know BEFORE it hit’s social media…here are 5  things to start with once your new bling has found it’s home!

    If you’re like me you just want to know the five things and get on with it…So for the “see it now” people like myself here are the top 5 and a BONUS!

    1. VENUE & PRIORITY VENDORS
    2. A WEDDING DATE
    3. WEDDING PARTY AND SPECIAL HELPERS
    4. MORE DATES (SOCIAL FUNCTIONS)
    5. GUEST LIST

    **BONUS** WEDDING DAY TIMELINE, with the assistance of your photographer & planner!

    Now, if you’re looking for a little more detail, READ ON!

    1. VENUE & PRIORITY VENDORS

    There are quite a few vendors that you will need to secure for the wedding day and hiring knowledgeable & experienced professionals is your first BIG step to creating the perfect day.  There are a few that can only take on ONE wedding/event per day.  Be sure to secure these first, especially if you have always known that you wanted to use them!  

    They include your venue, the photographer(s), videographers, DJ, and wedding planners!  

    Other vendors that typically can take on one or more events per day: caters, bakers, florists, musicians, stationers, rentals, rehearsal dinner locations, makeup and hair stylists, wedding dress and tuxedos….

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    1. A WEDDING DATE

    Why is the second on the list you ask?  Well, it’s because there are super popular dates for weddings that get booked way over a year in advance.  So If you have your heart set on a favorite photographer or place to get married your date may need to be flexible.  By looking into your favorite vendors first, you will save yourself potential heartbreak, by making sure the date you have in mind is available!  

    Also, a side note…make sure to check all holidays and big sporting events/graduations that happen around your dates as well.  Hotels and restaurants book up quickly around these popular dates years in advance. Just make sure you are ahead of “the game”(pun intended)

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    1.  WEDDING PARTY and SPECIAL HELPERS

    It’s time to secure those that are closest to you to assist in the creating of the wedding and making it easy for you to enjoy and be pampered through the process! Who has been by your side for the long haul?  When you pick up the phone to call someone to share the special news, the sad news who do you call first?  (besides your mom??.. although she can be a bridesmaid too) Find a fun way to ask them to join you in the planning and the celebrations, make sure they have an idea of the time commitments and financial ones as well.  Giving them the opportunity to decline if they don’t feel up to the dedication.

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    1. MORE DATES…

    It’s the year of the full calendar!! There are so many fun and traditional events to plan and organize before the wedding!  Be sure to get them on the calendar early to make sure your family and friends can attend all of the festivities! Some of the occasions include:

    Engagement Photos

    Wedding dress shopping

    Bridal Shower Planning & Bridal Showers(s)

    Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

    Tuxedo shopping and fittings

    Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties/Getaways

    Rehearsal Dinner

    Honeymoon

    ….and more

    See this post for a more in detail look at the “dates to plan”.

     

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    1. GUEST LIST

    All though it may seem like one of the “not so fun” things to do.  It is one of the staple items that you will need to determine quite a few key things:

    -Determine how many people you will need seating for.  Some venues have an occupancy limit and you want to be sure you will be able to comfortably accommodate everyone with room for your dance floor, DJ and food stations!

    -Your rentals (tables, chairs, place settings etc…) You will need an approximate count to determine cost of these items as well as for catering.  

    -Keep in mind the more people you invite, the higher the budget will need to be. Catering is typically based on a person basis.

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    …well gals (and guys) this should keep you busy for a little while!  Check back soon for PART 2 on your “next steps”! Remember, these steps are a starting point and can be done in ANY order, just as long as you get them completed!!

    OH….One more IMPORTANT aspect of the wedding is your wedding day TIMELINE!!

    It’s one of the “to-do’s” I’ll take off your plate, so give me a shout and let’s talk wedding, photography and schedules!  Why me for the schedule you wonder?  I am one of the vendors (besides your planner) that will be with you the majority of the day.  Setting up realistic blocks of time for photographing the getting ready, details and portraits are key to making sure the day goes as planned!!

    Let’s chat!!

    Plan on,

    Bessie

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  • Nicole & Cole {Trump Winery, Grand Hall}

  • Oh, I feel like the luckiest photographer in Virginia right now!! Why, you ask? Well, earlier this year I was lucky enough to meet Nicole at my bank! While making a deposit, we exchanged introductions and she asked about the business, about me and we got on to talking about weddings and how she was engaged!! Her and her fiance Cole were just starting the planning of their August wedding, I offered her a card and hoped she would reach out 😉 We ended up talking that afternoon via email and set a time to get together to talk more about their upcoming wedding at Trump Winery- a DREAM VENUE! After talking about a schedule and going over the options of what type of final product she would like to have we booked the date!!

    Fast forward to February… Cole, Nicole & I met at the arboretum to do their engagement session. This couple is just as cute as can be together! They are just so easy going and flawless in front of the camera. They are truly a blessing to work with and photograph.
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    Fast forward again to August!! The month of the wedding has finally arrived! Two weeks until the big day and we all meet up to do a walk thru at Trump Winery Grand Hall! My first time visiting, of course I arrive extra early to take it all in! “Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains…” their website describes, now I can put a picture to the words! Stopping just as I enter the property to photograph the beautiful landscape.

    The first view as you come into the property

    The first view as you come into the property

    Continuing further onto the property, the Barn is the next stop on the tour of the grounds. This is where the office is located, and where I was meeting the rest of the wedding “team”. Flowers by Rose, A La Carter Events, Harvest Moon Catering and Trump Winery!
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    Right beside the barn is the pavilion, it shares the views of the Barn and is equally as beautiful!

    Anticipating everyone’s arrival I continue to photograph the property, and shortly I meet the event planners and Sally at Harvest Moon Catering and the event manager at Trump, Patrick Butler! On we went up to the top of the property/Mountain, to the Grand Hall!! I could not believe my eyes, of the beauty of the property and surroundings. Let me just stop with the talking and share the pictures, they will do the talking for me!
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    Trump Winery

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    Needless to say, I can not WAIT until August 15 to see this beautiful wedding come to life!! Best of Luck Nicole this week with finishing up finals! When I see you next you will be the Bride to be – Future Mrs. Henry!!! Thank you both for trusting me with your very special day!

  • "DIY" to I Do!

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    Carla and Chris have been a joy from beginning!  One of the sweetest couples and families I have eve had the chance to work with.  Their handmade wedding came together with detailed planning, help from friends and some of the best professionals.  Carla’s mom handmade the girls dresses, boys vests and several other decoration items!  This was truly a DIY wedding custom tailored to “suit” the bride & groom!

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  • Ashley & Steve

  • A super cute couple, private land and {VERY COLD} winter fun—could there be a more blissful engagement session? These love birds are the perfect pair. He’s calm, cool and collected, and she’s full of smiles and pure bliss. Lovin’ the pops of green in their attire and of course the cowboy boots (a special gift to the bride from the groom to be!)Ash_Steve_8

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