Tag Archives: photography

Vendor Hunt: a Pittsburgh edition

Alternate title:  how I fell in love with another man.

Since our venue is pretty all-inclusive, we didn’t need to search separately for a caterer, a bakery, or to bring our own alcohol. All of those things could have saved us money if we had prioritized the money over the ease of paying one place to do all of those things for us. With a longer engagement, I may have been more apt to do more things ourselves. But with only 3 months to plan and execute an entire wedding, I have been grateful that we opted for the “easy” plan.

Our cake will come from Lincoln Bakery, in Bellevue. More on that later.

The catering and alcohol is done by The Chadwick, with neat little packages tied up with a bow, so all we needed to do was point to our choice of package. We’re opting for the buffet with the house brand bar package, but we did purchase some upgrades, like an additional hour of bar (for $2.50 a person, what a steal!), and a champagne toast to have at midnight.

Even though the food and booze is taken care of by our venue, we still needed some basics: a photographer and DJ, for starters. We’re opting out of the other extras, like videography, a photo booth, candy bar, etc.

For photography, I still liked and wanted Tressa, so I contacted her to check on her availability. Thankfully, she was still available for our date, so, booked! That was easy.

Our awesome venue coordinator, Stacy, mentioned during our initial tour and meeting that The Chadwick had pretty specific requirements for DJs as far as liability insurance. While we could easily assume that any reputable DJ in the area would carry the appropriate coverage, Stacy recommended that we check with her prior to booking any vendors, just to make sure that they were approved. Rather than finding our own and then vetting them later, I just asked Stacy if she had a list of preferred vendors that we could look at as far as DJs. She sent me the list, and I contacted a few DJs from the list.

Much like the initial venue search, many of the DJs were already booked for our date, between weddings and holiday parties for New Year’s. I sent my inquiries on a Saturday afternoon, and I didn’t expect any responses until at least the following Monday, if not Tuesday (Monday happened to be a holiday). So, imagine my surprise, when my #1 choice responded with a quick email to say that he had our date available, and was busy with events (Saturday night, not surprising that a musician would be busy!), but would respond first thing on Monday with pricing options. I had already told A that this guy was my favorite of all the options, but his quick response all but settled the deal!

So, who was it? Steven Vance. I’ll do a full review after our event, but I cannot even begin to tell you how ecstatic I am to have Steven at our wedding. Not only is he incredibly talented, but he has been amazing to work with thus far. He responded promptly and told me the basic package pricing, and it was a little higher than what we had wanted to pay. But he offered the option of having other musicians who work with him (but not him specifically) for our event at a cheaper rate. “Budget options,” as he called them. I told him the price we had wanted to pay, and said we’d be looking at the budget options, and we were lucky enough to score Steven himself for our date.

Steven Vance, photo credit Joanna Fassinger Photography.

In addition to having Steven playing violin for our ceremony music, and DJing our reception, he even added that he will play his electric violin for our cocktail hour and dinner. It’s going to add that extra something to make our night really special.
Check out the electric violin for yourself!

I am over the moon excited for the music at our wedding, and I can’t wait to share the post-event review with you all! If it’s half as special as I anticipate, I’ll probably be writing that post from cloud 9!

The Epic E-Pics: the Outtakes

Now that I’ve shown you the good photos, told you what we screwed up, and gave you my recommendations for a great session, I’ll show you the photos that we WON’T be using.

All photos by Tressa McCune Photography.

Alternately, why I’m thrilled that we found out what works and what doesn’t work.

What works:  looking at each other, laughing to relax each other, and listening to Tressa’s advice for places to shoot.

What doesn’t work:  serious poses (we look ridiculous), taking ourselves too seriously (we’re just not models!), and wanting specific poses or specific locations.

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I really wanted this picture on the balcony over the Panther fountain.  Tressa told me it was too dark, but agreed to take it anyway.  It was a waste of time and I should’ve just gave it up when Tressa said it would be dark.

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Continue reading The Epic E-Pics: the Outtakes

The Epic E-Pics: the Favorites

As our engagement photo shoot day approached, I received an invitation to attend a bridal shower… on the same day as our engagement photos.  It bummed me out a little to have to be rushing around beforehand, but in the end it wasn’t really a big deal.  I was attending the shower with MOH PT, so I wore the sweater dress that I was intending to wear for the “nicer” outfit for our photos, and then stopped at MOH PT’s house after the shower to do some hair and makeup touch-ups before going to meet Monsieur P and Tressa.  I took MOH PT’s advice to darken up my eye makeup a little more than usual to make sure it showed up in photos.  And now, for your viewing pleasure, I give to you, our favorites.

All photos by Tressa McCune Photography.

Outfit 1:  “Nice” Casual – on Miss Parisian, sweater dress (sorry I don’t remember where from), scarf, tights, Madden boots; on Monsieur P, Express sweater and button-down, jeans, casual shoes.  We’re not formal people, and wearing a cocktail dress for photos would have been overkill for us.

DSC_0036One of my favorites of all, in the black and white, also nice in color.

DSC_0039I doubt we’ll use one where you can barely see Monsieur P, but just so you know what the color version looks like… 😉

Continue reading The Epic E-Pics: the Favorites

The Epic E-Pics: the Debate

Sorry for the delay, and even though I gave you a sneak peek in our save the dates, I thought it was a good time to talk about our engagement pictures!  I’ve always loved looking at engagement pictures, and there was never a doubt in my mind that I wanted to take them once we got engaged.  Monsieur P, however, needed a little convincing.  He didn’t understand the point of having engagement pictures, because we’re not really big photo people.  On the flip side, that was exactly why we needed them!  You see, we aren’t very good at taking pictures together… we rarely remember to even take snapshots, and we had absolutely ZERO professional photos that we have taken together, unless you count our photographer’s second shooter taking a picture of us at friend V’s wedding… which I didn’t really count!  I thought after 3 years together, we really should have SOME nice photos of us, dressed up, by an actual photographer instead of a grainy cell phone picture.

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One of very few “nice” pictures of us, from Monsieur P’s MBA graduation in 2011, with Parisian Mom.  Still just a snapshot; also does not exist on paper, oops.  We seriously suck at this stuff. (photo personal)

“But what the heck would we do with a bunch of pictures of us?” was Monsieur P’s second argument.

 

Continue reading The Epic E-Pics: the Debate

Phinding a Photographer

Sorry, I had to do it.  Cheesy alliteration achieved.

Possibly before we even got engaged, I knew who I wanted our wedding photographer to be.  You see, Monsieur P and I attended friend V’s wedding back in 2011, and their photographer was V’s friend from high school.  She and her second shooter were so great throughout the wedding, making sure to take photos of each couple as they milled around the property for cocktail hour and throughout the reception, as well as all the “standard” shots.  But what really won me over was when I saw the photos that V posted a week or so after the wedding.  Now, V’s wedding was pretty, but these photos were so fabulous, everything was OMG, magazine-worthy.

And after the rain stopped, the sun and clouds were amazing / Tressa McCune Photography

Continue reading Phinding a Photographer