I’ve been looking forward to sharing this feature for days so am excited the day is finally here!
If special elements like a velvet settee, vintage chairs, or old church pews are something you’re looking to incorporate into your wedding day, look no further than Samantha Mason and Old South Vintage Rentals. This southern lady has built an awesome vintage and boutique rental company. The pieces Samantha has curated are amazing and she’s always adding new items to her inventory. She’s creative, has a great eye for design, and loves helping make your vision come to life. Samantha is based here in the Charlotte area, but loves to take her pieces to places like Highlands and Asheville and all over the southeast.
When my husband and I set out to plan our wedding, we quickly realized that no matter where we decided to get married, our family and most likely a good amount of close friends would all have to travel. I’m from Texas originally. He’s from Durham. We have family on the west coast, in the midwest, and up and down the east coast. So, our solution…let’s all travel. We opted for a November wedding in the mountains in Asheville. Easy enough for us to get to during the planning process and relatively easy for all of our family and friends to get to come the wedding weekend.
I think a lot of engaged couples face the same dilemma or find themselves engaged and living in a city they don’t necessarily have deep ties to. They don’t live in their home towns, much less their home state. It is definitely not unusual these days that college or our careers take us to new cities, different states, and sometimes even different countries!
There are so many incredible places to travel to for your wedding day, here in the U.S. and across the globe. Since starting Hart & Co., I have been dreaming of all the places I’d love to go for wedding planning. For kicks, here is a peek at my list:
Aspen/Snowmass: In the mid-1970s, my parents hopped in the car and made the long road trip up to Colorado from west Texas. They ended up in the little mountain town of Snowmass and the rest is kind of history. Colorado has been my family’s second home ever since that road trip. (My first road trip there was just six weeks after I was born!) The gorgeous mountain landscape will never, ever get old to me. The Rockies are so captivating and definitely one of my happy places. So, it’d be a dream come true to plan some wedding magic there, too.
Texas: Because…it’s Texas. And my home state. And everything is bigger in Texas, right? Some seriously dreamy venues call the Hill Country home…
Italy: Ok, so this is actually on my personal travel wish list. But let’s face it, who doesn’t love the idea of an Italian getaway to celebrate a marriage?! And I promise I’d definitely wait until your celebration concluded to begin any sightseeing…
The Caribbean: While I’m a mountain girl, I also love me some beach time…especially in the Caribbean. Wanting to have an intimate, small wedding with a super chill vibe? Not a shabby idea to get hitched somewhere on a white sandy beach…
So what do you think? If you’re dreaming of getting away for your wedding but don’t know where to start? Give Hart & Co. a call…I’ll definitely help you out!
Before we completely dive in here, I want to preface this post by saying…one of the things I wanted to do better this year is make sure I use this blog thing a little more often. And by more often I don’t mean every day, but maybe just a little less sporadically. (I don’t think I’ll ever set the blogosphere on fire…definitely not a goal but hey you never know!) Anyway, my creative solution at the moment is to feature a fellow creative professional, brand, or business on the third Thursday of each month. So, here we go!
I am so thankful that my friend and wedding photographer, Erin Kranz, was up for helping me kick this off. I met Erin last year at a wedding and event professionals networking meeting. She is so kind and easy to get a long with. Erin also took a chance on me early on and asked me to participate in a styled shoot that she was looking to do over the summer. (And when I say early on, my business cards weren’t in yet when I met her and my website was no where near being live!) I’ll always be thankful for her kindness as I got Hart & Co. up off the ground, but more thankful for the friendship I feel like I’ve gained since we met. Oh, and she’s talented, y’all!
Without further ado…check out the below and get to know Erin. Yay!
Down to Business… How did you get your start in wedding photography?
Sort of by accident actually! I went to UNC for photojournalism but was pretty sure I didn’t want to work for a newspaper. I interned with The Charlotte Observer after graduation and got assigned to cover a summer evening wedding. That was pretty much it! Everything we were told in j-school was to “look for moments,” and weddings are filled with them! It clicked right away how special it was to capture these important memories for new couples, and I haven’t gone back since.
Your mission is to capture Real Moments for Real Marriages. What does that mean to you?
Marriage is a wonderful thing, but it can also get really hard. I know a wedding is only one day in a marriage, but it symbolizes so much. And how often are all the people you love and care about in one room? So whether it’s through genuine-looking portraits, the first time you see each other, or your family together on the dance floor, my mission is to provide you with images that will always remind you of why you chose to make this commitment, how it felt to have your closest family and friends around you, and how much you are in love.
What’s one thing you wish couples knew about wedding photography? One thing I wish couples knew about wedding photography is that its value actually grows over time. Not only is it one of the only things you get to keep after your wedding day, but down the road having all the big and small memories to look at and hold will be priceless to you and your family.
What piece of advice would you love to offer newly engaged couples? Have fun during your engagement! And yes, you’re planning a wedding, but don’t forget to plan for your marriage also. Do premarital counseling together that’s at least four sessions long so you can really open up and learn more about each other.
Just For Kicks… When you’re not behind the lens or editing, what can we find you doing? I love being outside – hiking, paddleboarding, or just going on a walk with Will and our dogs. More than anything though I love to travel and explore new places.
It’s karaoke night. What’s your go-to song? This is so silly, but Vitamin C’s ‘Graduation (Friends Forever).’ I’m super sentimental and never grew out of my love for 90’s music.
Dream vacation destination? Italy. And somewhere with crazy beautiful mountains!
There’s really nothing more personal than getting married at your childhood home. (Cue scenes from Father of the Bride, right?!) Or maybe you or your beloved have a family member or close friend that has a spectacular home or amazing property with unbelievable views. Either way, there are definitely some wonderful advantages to having your wedding at a private residence or property.
For starters, the sentimental value clearly is through the roof. It’d be unique and personal. Depending on where the home is, it could also be very private. And within reason, you can kind of do whatever your little heart desires and have a seriously awesome party.
But while this is indeed a fab idea, there are some big things to consider before you set anything in stone…
Rental Needs:Chances are the home or private residence that you’re considering for your big day isn’t equipped with enough tables, chairs, linens, dinnerware, barware…you see where I’m going? Unless you’re having a very intimate affair with only a small guest list, you will have to work with a rental company. You’ll most likely also have to rent a tent or two (or more!). (Hello, rain plan.)
Bathrooms: This could probably be looped into the point above, but I think important enough to have it’s own bullet point. So you’re ok with having to bring in all the rentals, but what’s the bathroom situation? Are they easy to get to? Do you really want guests traipsing through your home or through parts of the property to get to them? Thankfully, most rental companies have nice restroom trailers or portable bathroom options that are definitely decent alternatives to the good ol’ porta-potties and better than drunk guests meandering through your home.
Water + Electricity: While these two don’t go hand-in-hand, they’re two key things to your wedding day. Catering will need access to water and power to serve you and your guests. The band or DJ will definitely need power to run their equipment. And that nice restroom trailer you’ve rented? It will need electricity, too, and maybe even access to water. If it’s a small enough affair that you don’t mind a little higher utility bill and have the water and electricity capabilities, you should be just fine. But if your event is taking place somewhere on the property away from the home or just need more water and power in general, you’ll need to add generators to your list of needs. (And then they’ll need enough gas to power everything for the duration of your wedding.)
Parking: Whether you’re expecting a large crowd or have planned for an ultra low-key affair, there will be an increase in traffic and cars where the home or property is located. Remember that scene in Father of the Bride where the cops show up? (Here’s a little refresher for you.) You will need to come up with a good parking plan and most likely enlist the help of a valet company or hire parking attendants to ensure it’s a smooth process for your guests. That should also help keep the local law enforcement and the neighbors happy, too. And if you’re getting married at a ranch or a farm with ample space, I definitely recommend having excellent signage directing guests where to park, as well as having parking attendants to help make it smooth for all involved and perhaps even a way to shuttle guests to and from if necessary.
Vendor Logistics:There are so many things to think through from a logistics standpoint when hosting a wedding at your home or a private residence that otherwise you wouldn’t have to think of if you were getting married in a church or venue. Is the property big? Will the ceremony take place away from where the bride is getting dressed? Speaking of, is there a good place to get dressed? Or will you have to get dressed somewhere else? How will the bride get to the ceremony location without all the guests seeing her? Can the vehicles that will deliver the rental equipment get in and out easily? Is there space for generators to hook up? Can the kitchen handle all the catering needs and staff? Or what about the tent that catering will require if the event is all outside? Is there room for that? What if the vendors can’t pick up rental equipment after the wedding is over? Are you prepared to have it sitting there until Monday and be there for when they do?
In the end, getting married at a private residence can be wonderful…as long as you’re prepared and know what you’re getting into! And if you are considering getting married at home or have any questions about getting married at a private residence, I’d love to hear from you!
Truth be told, I have a giant sweet tooth. And ever since I attended my first wedding as a little girl, I get a little giddy over sweet, delicious wedding cake.
But I shocked myself a little when we started to plan our 2013 wedding. We almost went with a dessert bar instead of a cake. (My husband says he “doesn’t have a sweet tooth”…oh my love, you’re funny.) We envisioned a spread of various desserts we both loved, and an ice cream bar featuring Blue Bell ice cream, a little nod to my Texas upbringing. But when discussing the idea with my mom, she expressed her love for a good old-fashioned wedding cake, and her love for the tradition of having one. I gave it some thought and in the end, we opted for a cake. (AND the ice cream bar.) Our wedding cake, prepared by Tiffany’s Baking Co. in Asheville where we got married, was five tiers of amazingness and I’m glad we had it.
All that said, cake isn’t for everyone. And some wedding traditions aren’t for everyone, too. There are so many options out there for every aspect of your wedding these days, including cakes and desserts. So if you’re on the fence about having a wedding cake or aren’t strongly tied to the idea of it, here are some fun alternatives to consider:
Dessert Bars: What’s not to love about this idea? Who doesn’t love to just sample tons of little desserts?! Offering a sampling of desserts and sweets isn’t a bad way to go. If your venue allows outside catering, it’s a great way to feature a fave dessert spot you have in town and to show off to your guests some of the local fare.If say ice cream is more your thing, do an ice cream bar. Offer a couple of flavors of ice cream and a small selection of toppings. Boom. Ice cream bar.
A Childhood Favorite: When one of my sister-in-laws got married two years ago, guests were all served small, individual strawberry shortcakes. This was a special treat she enjoyed with her dad when she was a little girl and she took a moment when it was served to share that special tie to her childhood with the guests. So not only was it tasty, it added a real personal touch.
Pie, Pretty Please: Once I had a bride who was originally from the northeast. Pie was more of a common dessert to her than cake. So, they served up pie at their reception. I loved it. She and her groom cut a little pie slice for them just as a couple would cut a cake. Then guests enjoyed various types of pie. Delicious.
Donuts…Not Just For Breakfast: There are some really amazing donut makers here in the Charlotte area, like Joe’s Doughs. I incorporated some of his donut amazingness into a styled shoot last year and it was a fun element to feature. (And we might have sampled all the goods after we were done shooting…) Go with a creative display of donuts instead of a cake. Or toward the end of the evening, serve up some donuts and a little coffee bar to go with it.
Piece of Cake: This really isn’t a cake alternative per se. But I want to mention, that with all of these options, if having that picture of you and your new spouse cutting cake and serving it to each other is something that’s important to you, it’s still totally doable. You can always have a small cake that’s just for you and that purpose.
What do you think? Cake? No cake? Desserts?! So many options. And if the thought of all the options and decision making makes your head spin, give me a call. Hart & Co. is here to help and take the stress out of the planning process. It should be fun and you should enjoy it!
Pantone has introduced their choice for Color of the Year for 2016. Actually, add an ‘s’ to color and make it plural. The color experts gave us two colors to covet, be inspired by, to love or maybe even dislike (remember how some folks threw shade to 2015’s color, Marsala?). Regardless of the philosophy, meaning or reasoning behind the choices, I am digging both Rose Quartz and Serenity.
Both were featured as part of Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for Spring 2016 and right away, Rose Quartz caught my eye. Shades of pink are not colors I typically lean toward personally, but I found myself dreaming of ways to incorporate this softer shade. I previously shared my take on the color, which you can find here. And not to leave out Serenity, check out the inspiration below. And while I think this shade of blue has plenty of options, I kind of love pairing it with darker shades of blue and the softest shades of pink.
Winding down 2015’s wedding and event season and slowly gearing up for 2016. I know it may seem silly to think about something that seems so far away…but if you have a spring 2016 wedding, it’ll be here before you know it!
I’ve shared this before, but it was pre-website launch so thought I’d share it again because…sharing = caring. So here’s my take on Rose Quartz and Lilac Gray, two of Pantone’s hues from their 2016 spring fashion color report. You can find this fun inspiration board plus some other pretty things that have me dreaming of spring over on Pinterest.