Posts tagged wedding vendors
How to Prepare for an Out of State Wedding | Indiana, PA Wedding Photographer at Blue Spruce Park
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Are you thinking about eloping, or at least getting married in another state and are dreading the process of figuring out licenses, picking vendors, and choosing locations? This past week I had the honor of photographing a sweet couple from Arkansas who eloped here in Indiana, PA! 

Tara and Cliff have been together 8 years, and tour the county together in a motorhome, traveling to whatever city Cliff's job takes them. Luckily for me, they ended up in Indiana and our good friend Google brought us together! Tara was sweet enough to share some advice from her experience of planning a small, low-key elopement in another town! Here's what she had to say:

What's The First Step?

I would start out by saying search for an officiant first! (Interestingly enough, this proved to be the hardest part for Tara and Cliff, and luckily my pastor at church was available!) If there is something you can’t seem to find just ask everyone you encounter on a daily basis. The checkout girl at the grocery store, your neighbors, the UPS delivery guy or your photographer!

What Documents are Needed?

There were no special documents needed. Just the bride and groom and their drivers licenses. Some states have a waiting period after the marriage license is issued and some don’t. So check on that pretty early in the game!

How Do You Find a Vendor?

Facebook reviews were my best friend when it came to dress alterations and flower shops. I’m not sure what I would have done without the internet and a whole lot of luck! 

I hope you enjoy some highlights from their super sweet elopement - the bridal party was certainly the cutest I've ever seen!

  • Venue: Blue Spruce Lodge
  • Dress: Altar'd State
  • Cake: Giant Eagle
  • Dress Alterations: Holliday Alterations
  • Photographer: Jill Gearhart Photography
  • Hair and Makeup: bride
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Wedding Expenses You Might Have Forgotten
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Weddings are definitely an investment, and you might not even realize some of the expenses that contribute to your overall wedding cost right away. So guess what?! I'm here to help! Through planning my own wedding and being around hundreds of them professionally, I have seen lots of logistical details that get overlooked and under-budgeted. Read on to see a great list of things you can add to the "budget" page in your cute wedding planner you got at TJ Maxx and get ahead of the game! 

POSTAGE

Your amazingly bespoke, gorgeous, sparkly invites are done and in hand, but uh oh! You forgot to budget for the postage! Did you know stamps are now $0.50?!?!?! Your guest list of 300 just cost you another $150 to get your invites in front of them! I totally forgot to budget for this one too so don't feel bad!

MS. TO MRS.

List of things you will deal with to change your name, all of which cost money: changing your drivers license, marriage license, social security card, insurance cards, bank accounts, switching your utilities, finding a spotless lamb, erecting a golden shrine, giving up your birthrights, etc. Luckily, there's lots of online services that can help you with this, but surprise! They aren't free either. bummer. 

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SNACKS

A well fed bridal party is a happy bridal party! Food, amazingly enough, can be an annoying nuisance on a day when you are crazy busy, but if you have everything prepared ahead of time (including how to pay for it!), you can just sit back and enjoy! If you are getting ready early at a salon, plan to have some things on hand like muffins, fruit, and of course everyone's fav - mimosas! Fast forward to lunch where it's always a good idea to have some snacks hanging out in the rooms where folks are getting ready (I did a few subs cut into 3" pieces). Don't forget to pack a cooler and lots of ice for some beverages - especially if you are taking a party bus from the ceremony to the reception! 

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

PAPER PRODUCTS

Most brides are more than excited to design their invites - but what about the other paper products you will need like escort cards, programs, menus, etc? It's also tradition, and a nice gesture, to send thank you cards out to your guests as well - which means, you guessed it, MORE postage!

TIP$

Although not necessary, you may want to budget in some money to tip your vendors providing a service for your actual wedding event, including your bartenders, DJ, videographer, photographer, limo driver and catering wait staff. Remember that song that came out in 2004 where everybody in the club was getting tips? It WAS tips there were getting, right? Everyone wants to get tips.

 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)

MEETINGS

I loooove to treat my brides to coffee, ice cream, or a bite to eat when I meet up with them! But, not everyone is super awesome like that, so be sure to budget some money for when you meet with your other wedding vendors!

DRESS

I don't mean the actual dress - I'm talking about your bustle and alterations! Even if you don't think you need alterations, you probably do. Your dress was not MADE for your body, so budget just a bit more to get it to look absolutely perfect. And if you have a train, you WILL want a bustle. Pro tip: take along a bridesmaid or a mom to your last fitting and have them learn how to secure the bustle. Nearly every wedding I photograph, no one knows how to secure the bustle and it inevitably ends up looking sloppy, falling out, ripping, or some other not so fun thing.

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PRE-WEDDING FUN

Rehearsal dinners can be as fancy or as informal as you want them, but there WILL be an expense with it, whether its renting a room at a venue, tips or parking at a restaurant, paper products for a pot-luck style shin-dig, figure out your plan early and think through the details so nothing is a surprise expense! This also goes for your bach parties and showers!!

PERMITS

Sadly, not everywhere in the world is open for you to occupy, inhabit, trespass on, play in, walk through, or photograph in front of. I've learned this lesson (have I? lol) many, many times. If you have your heart set on a location for photos, the next step is to find out who owns or controls that location and see if they require a permit. If it's privately owned, chances are the want a permit and yup, you're gunna pay.

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FAVORS

Let's agree to not do the metal boxes of butter mints on each place setting, ok? I love butter mints, and I've repurposed those boxes into magnetic spice containers, but spend your money on something that people will be excited about! Favors have taken an interesting turn in weddings as of late. Some fun ones I've seen include: baby succulents, mini bottles of wine/champagne, custom printed paper bags for the sweets table, or my fav: a piece of paper indicating that a donation to a charity chosen by the couple has been made in the guest's honor. Where to start? With a budget, and then see what fits!

PARKING

It's likely that your venue will have a parking lot, but have you thought about any stops along the way in between the ceremony and reception? I encounter this a LOT when we travel from location to location for photos. If you are using a limo service, it's likely that they have special parking permissions - but you definitely want to check! If your bridal party is going to be driving their own cars to your photo locations, do them a favor and make sure everyone has quarters at your rehearsal dinner! 

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Why Styled Shoots are Important For Your Wedding | Winter Wedding Styled Shoot at The Barn at Rayne Run, Marion Center PA
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

When planning your wedding, do you rely on your friends recommendations, a google search, local magazines, or maybe bridal shows to find the best vendors? How can you be really sure that you are getting the best of the best, while still getting a good price for your area? It's become more and more popular for photographers and other local vendors to participate in "styled shoots", that is, a fake wedding that pulls together the best local wedding vendors to show off their services in as "real" of a setting you can get!

Styled shoots are great for you to look out for and pay attention to because it literally shows you a "trial run" of all the best, hand selected vendors in your area. Who better to pick a team of super services that those that are in constant community with each other in the wedding industry? As wedding professionals, we have worked with nearly every local vendor there is and can recommend the best to you through our styled shoots - because we picked them ourselves! For the guys reading this - think of it like your fantasy football draft of all the best wedding vendors in town, and they are facing off to show you their stuff!

The idea is that local vendors all come together in collaboration, donating time and services, to show you, the bride to be, the best of what they can do or offer. It's better than a recommendation, search engine session, perusing a magazine, or waltzing around a bridal show because you can see exactly what your wedding would be like if you were to hire them.

My great friend Jackie and I have been planning this styled shoot for months! We were over-the-moon excited when vendors one by one gave enthusiastic "yes!"s to help us pull off an unforgettable day! Be sure to check out the local vendors, hand selected by us for their excellent services, for your wedding, and be sure to like them on facebook and give them a follow on Instagram!


Photographers: J.Jae Photography + Jill Gearhart Photography

Venue: The Barn at Rayne Run

Rental Furniture: Penn Rustics

Gown: White Lace Bridal featuring Stella York

Shoes: Jewel by Badgley Mischka

Tuxedo: The 700 Shop  featuring Stephen Geoffrey

Jewelry: Luxenberg's Jewlers

Florals: The Flower Gallery

Calligraphy/Invitation Suite: Wood+Grace Calligraphy

Hair: JC Penney

Makeup : Beth Arnold

Tablescape: The Gathering Co. by Carolyn Carey + Hollie Davis

Models: Adam + Tara Maruca

Evergreen Swing and overall awesome manly help: Ryan Anderson


 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
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