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10 Types of Wedding Photos That Make Great Canvas Prints
by Christina Child

There’s no denying the lasting power of a good photo, especially on your monumental wedding day. Your wedding photographer will capture all the classic moments but candid photos capture all the emotions a staged photo might not and help you remember all the small details and memories from your big day long after it’s over. (Plus, you'll need awesome images to place in your wedding photo book). The best part is that your wedding guests can snap some of the most memorable photos of your wedding that you’ll want to enjoy as canvas prints at home or just scroll back through after the big day because the best photos aren’t always the ones taken by a photographer (even though those photos are pretty great). Whether you’re going to a wedding as a guest or getting married yourself, be sure to check out these 10 types of photos that make great canvas prints!

 Photo Credit:   Micah Bowerbank Photography

 1.  The silly wedding party Is there anything better than a funny picture with the people you love most? Absolutely not.

 Photo Credit:  Jason Hudson Photography

 2. The wild cousins Because you have to admit—they’re definitely the life of the party. And they’ll give you lots of chances to take a hilarious and candid photo as they show off all their moves on the dance floor.

 3. The happy grandparents letting loose Grandparents add a little flair everywhere they go. Make sure someone snaps a good pic of the most adorable guests while the night is young! 

 Photo Credit:  Stacey Lee Photography

 4. The one with your pet Let’s be honest--pets make everything better, even wedding photos. 

 Photo Credit:  Rylee Hitchner

Photo Credit: Rylee Hitchner

5. A photo of the beautiful flowersDon’t forget to get a photo of the bride’s beautiful bouquet. They’re works of art worth remembering! 

 Photo Credit:  Erin Trimble

Photo Credit: Erin Trimble

6. One with the playful backdropYour ceremony backdrop is the place where you became a spouse! The moment you got married is the perfect one to turn into a canvas print to hang up at home. 

 Photo Credit:  Dark Roux Photography

Photo Credit: Dark Roux Photography

7. A cute pic of the tiniest wedding guests File this photo in the “things that make you go ‘awwww’” category. 

 Photo Credit:   Brandy Angel Photography

8. A sentimental photo with family Do you really need an explanation for this? It’s one of those photos you’ll love to look at over and over again. And hint hint--it also makes an amazing canvas prints gift idea for family members! 

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9. One with a chalkboard sign Photos of you and your new spouse holding a chalkboard sign are trendy for a reason. They’re a great opportunity to get a jump start on your thank you notes or holiday cards, too!

 Photo Credit:  Onelove Photography

Photo Credit: Onelove Photography

10. The amazing getaway Let’s not forget the moment they happy couple drives off into the sunset. It marks the end of the night but the beginning of a many more adventures together! 

The Guest’s Guide to Modern Wedding Registry Gift Giving
by Christina Child

Blenders and china and towels, oh my! When it comes to wedding registries, couples don’t hold back. They’re ready to stock their house and and start showcasing their inner Chip & Joanna Gaines. We know building a registry is one of the best parts about getting married for a couple, but what about how easy it makes it for the guests to find great gifts? From contributing to the honeymoon to group-gifting, online wedding registries have taken gift giving to the next level! We’ve mapped out our go-to gifting hacks to make sure you can relax and enjoy celebrating with the newlyweds.

Live by the Registry We know you love the couple and want to get them something unique, but if they didn’t register for it, DON’T BUY IT. That’s it. Hard and fast rule. If you just can’t control yourself and see something you know would be perfect, be sure to pair it with an item you purchased off the registry. This way, the couple can appreciate your thoughtfulness, while also knowing that you paid attention to their wishes. Hate everything on their registry? Don’t worry, it’s 2017, now you can register to contribute to someone’s honeymoon, new house, or even a romantic dinner!

Don’t be Scared of a Good Deal See something on a couple’s registry for cheaper elsewhere? Awesome! Snag it up. The couple doesn’t mind where you purchase the item from, as long as it’s what they asked for. Don’t worry if the item is less than on the registry; your friends don’t care about how much you spend, just that you were thoughtful enough to give a gift in the first place. Be sure to head back to their online registry and mark the item as “purchased,” because nobody needs two KitchenAid mixers (unless you’re a pro baker, in which case, please invite us to your wedding).

Go Big with a Group Gift Want to make a big impression without breaking the bank? Grab your friends and take out your credit cards! It’s the new-age of wedding registries, and that means that those super expensive gifts can now be covered by a group of friends. What better way to make a big impression than by giving a big group gift? The couple will love you and your friends will think you’re a rockstar for coming up with such a great gift idea!

Let your Postal Worker do the Work So now that you’ve decided on what exactly to get the new couple, how is your gift going to get there? Between destination weddings and multi-location celebrations, the logistics of getting your gift to the couple can be a nightmare. Luckily, that’s where the glory of the registry steps in. Purchase the item from their online registry and have it shipped directly to their home! You don’t have to lug it around, they don’t have to worry about transporting it home, and best of all, no one has to lose a finger trying to wrap an awkwardly shaped box. While we’re all about the ease of this new-age gift giving, be sure to sprinkle a bit of tradition on the day and pick up a card for the big day!

There you have it, a great gift purchased and delivered without ever leaving your couch. Feeling relieved from the gift giving pressure? Great, now that you’re done stressing over the gift, you can worry about the fun stuff, like what you’re going to wear (and no, you still can't wear white)!

Wooden Groomsmen Gifts for a Good Cause!
by Christina Child

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If you're anything like me, you've been struggling to find a groom or groomsmen gift that the guys will actually want AND that you can feel good about purchasing.  We recently discovered a company that provides a wide assortment of awesome wooden groomsmen gifts for a good cause!  For each watch, bow tie, or pair of sunglasses that Rusticlub sells, a tree is planted through the National Forest Foundation.  We love this idea and we are excited to share their products with you!

Rustic Club features artisans, manufacturers, and brands from all over the world. Their catalog includes wooden, rustic accessories that can be custom engraved... which is so perfect for special wedding messages!  Here are a few of our favorites from their shop.  And if you see something you love, use code WEDPICS10 at checkout for $10 off!

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The Ridge watch features laser-etched a portrait of the Grand Teton Ridge.  Great for outdoorsy loved ones.

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We love the light-on-dark zebra wood of the Havern watch.

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Here's a sandlewood Havern with custom Best Man engraving.  How cool!

This one features a leather band that we love.

Rustic Club also carries sunglasses and wooden bow ties!

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Available here.

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Available here.

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Available here.

What do you think of these unique gifts?!  We love knowing that every purchase is providing a service to nature, and that these options are something different than the standard groom/groomsmen gift... because we all own enough flasks by now!  Be sure to check out all of their other product options; there are some seriously cool ones!

Use code WEDPICS10 at checkout for $10 off!

DIY Centerpieces on a Budget
by Christina Child

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Calling all DIY queens and brides on a budget!  We're excited to bring you this step-by-step tutorial on creating DIY centerpieces!  Nikelle Orellana-Reyes is the talented artist behind Wylde.  We've been admiring her work for months; it would be difficult not to because her flower shop is literally around the corner from the WedPics office in downtown Raleigh!  She's a fan of finding floral supplies from her own neighborhood, supporting local farmers, and opting for in-season supplies... so she was an obvious choice to share her advice and tips for keeping costs down while achieving florist-worthy DIY centerpieces on a budget.

FINDING LOW BUDGET SUPPLIES:

  • Forage! - use what's around you!  Look to see what you have around your house or around your friends' houses, especially bushes or trees that need to be trimmed, and use that as your base greenery.  Aim for a mix of textures, colors, and lengths.
  • In season & easily accessible - opt for flowers that are in season and locally available.
  • Farmer's markets - a great place to find local, in-season flowers on a budget.
  • Local nurseries & home improvement stores - an unexpected source, especially for greenery.
  • Online wholesalers Flower Muse, Fabulous Florals, and Fifty Florals are good online options.  Keep in mind if you use these online sources, the minimums are pretty high so it may be more cost effective to buy the quantity you need from a local florist.
  • Vases don't need to be fancy - Check dollar/thrift stores for simple glass containers; you can always spruce them up with paint!

Tip! If you're looking for hard to find flowers (like garden roses or some tropicals), we suggest finding a local florist who can supply you flowers, or purchasing plants from your local nursery or Home Depot. 

YOU'LL NEED:

  1. Vases - ours were sourced from our local dollar store
  2. Flowers & greenery
  3. Floral tape
  4. Floral shears
  5. Lazy susan
  6. Finishing spray

Step 1 - Gather flowers & greenery We used an array of plants and flowers that were found in our backyards and gardens.

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Step 2 - Tape grid Create a structural base for your stems by taping out a grid onto the top of your vessel.  This step is especially important for arrangements that are wider than they are tall to keep your stems upright and in place.  Space the pieces of tape about 1 inch apart.

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Step 3 - Create a base with greenery Shoot for no more than 3 different types to keep your arrangement from becoming cluttered.  Go for an asymmetrical shape, with one side being higher than the other.

Tip! Create a test vase of your foraged items (leave it out for several days) to assess for wilting and lifespan before using in your final arrangements.

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Step 4 - Add heartier stems & taller flowers This helps create the shape for your arrangement.

Tip! Don't discount "cheap" flowers; even the standard carnation looks ultra-chic when properly arranged!

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Step 5 - "Carpeting" Create a "carpet" of smaller flowers in the space around the top of the vessel.  This helps to add filler flowers and hide any "holes" that may exist.

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Step 6 - More height & "focal" flowers Finish your arrangement with your star-of-the-show flowers and add more height in places that you see needs it.

Tip! Cluster like-elements together, and cut stems long... you can always trim more away but you can't make them longer once you've snipped!

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Step 7 - Finishing Spray Spray your arrangement with finishing spray to help prevent wilting and drying out.

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CARING FOR YOUR FLOWERS

  • Store flowers in a cool, shady spot - wilting is much more likely to occur in heat and direct sunlight.
  • For summer weddings, create arrangements as close to the big day as possible (the day before or day of, ideally!).  Wait as long as possible before buying or cutting your flowers.
  • Make sure your arrangements have fresh water and plenty of it - the water line should be about an inch below the rim of your vase!
  • You can also mist your flowers with a spray bottle to prevent them from drying out.

SEASONAL CHOICES

Spring - Flowering trees like dogwood, cherry, plum and apple blossoms can be found in your yard, along with Azaleas in lots of berry colors. Tulips, daffodils and other spring bulb flowers are easy to find at your local farmers market. Peonies are available in late spring and are cheapest this time of year.

Summer - Hydrangeas and Roses in early summer can be found in your yard (if you're an avid gardener or you know someone who is). Stock, Snapdragons, and foxglove start to appear in early Summer and are very affordable during this time. Cosmos, Coneflower, Zinnea and Amaranth are easy to find locally when it starts to get warm.

Fall -Dahlias are the Fall show stopper and can be found at your local farmers market August through November (depending on the temperatures). Chrysanthemums are also available in Fall. Don't forget to forage in your yard for fall foliage, which can exhibit lots of color changes from subtle to more dramatic.

Winter - is tough if you want local flowers, but there are lots of evergreens that can be used along with bare branches and berries (like Privet).

 Image by  Trek and Bloom

Nikelle Orellana-Reyes, an art director and graphic designer by day, created Wylde in 2014 to take her love of flowers and gardening into a new direction. Her years of expertise working with form, color, and composition inform her nuanced aesthetic and spontaneous approach to floral design.  Hannah Ross Clarke tends Wylde’s cut flower garden just a few miles from downtown Raleigh and recently joined the Wylde team full-time. Together, they are committed to crafting elegant and organic arrangements for all occasions.

Brands we Love - Moon and Lola (Plus an Exclusive Discount!)
by Christina Child

We are excited to bring you a brand that we've been fans of for quite some time.  Founded right around the corner from us here in Raleigh, Moon and Lola is a one-stop-shop for beautiful jewelry, accessories, and lifestyle items with southern charm.  They've been featured on Oprah's Favorite Things (twice!) and their pieces can be found in over 1000 retailers including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.  Needless to say, they're pretty great neighbors to have. :) They also have a fantastic wedding and bridal party collection.  Whether you're looking for bling for your bridesmaids, cufflinks for the boys, fun party decor, or custom monogram pieces, they have you covered!  M&L even offers a discount program for brides!

And to make things even sweeter, M&L is offering an EXCLUSIVE WedPics discount for our readers!  Take 20% off using the code WEDPICS20 (one time use only).

Here are some of our favorite pieces from their current collection...

 Image via  Summer Wind

Image via Summer Wind

Maybe it's our Southern roots shining through but we can't say no to a custom monogram... especially when it's for a bride with a new last name!

 Image via  Katey McFarlan

Image via Katey McFarlan

Another great monogram style is the Hampton Block Monogram necklace, available in 6 different sizes and 5 different metal options.

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The Calypso Clutch was featured in the Oprah Magazine edition of View Your Deal on ABC's The View!  We love the on-trend tortoise shell acrylic and mother of pearl inlay...  Not to mention this clutch can also be customized with up to 8 letters!

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Choose from unlimited jewelry options for the bride, no matter what kind of wedding day look you might be going for (it's no surprise that this pearl necklace was featured in Southern Living, right?).

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M&L has an awesome selection of cufflinks, lapel pins, and tie clips for the boys... I may or may not be eyeing the Metal State Cufflinks for my own groom :)

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Stylish cake toppers and party decor for every occasion! M&L also offers matching acrylic table top "Guestbook" and "Gifts" signs and drink stirrers for a totally cohesive look!

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Can you say #CakeGoals?  *Adding this pic to my wedding photo wish list now..."

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Cheers to YOU Moon and Lola!  Don't forget that M&L is offering an EXCLUSIVE WedPics discount for our readers!  Take 20% off using the coupon code WEDPICS20 (one time use only).  Plus, weddingveil store, hair wigs store, bandage dresses store Blushwish all is perfect.

Q&A with a Wedding Videographer
by Christina Child

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Are you on the fence about hiring a videographer for your wedding?  You're not alone!  Squeezing another big item into your budget can feel like unnecessary expense, especially when you've already hired a wedding photographer...

BUT, when we've asked real brides what they would have done differently on their wedding day an overwhelming number of them regretted not opting for a wedding video!  We sat down for a Q&A with wedding videographer Kathryn Ray, the face behind the camera at Evergreen Era Films, to get an industry insider's take on wedding day film.  

What would you say to someone who is not sure about hiring a videographer? Film is very different from photos. A lot of people seem to think it is redundant to have both, when in reality it is a totally different experience than flipping  through still pictures. The beauty and purpose of film is that it is an all-encompassing sensory experience, where a mix of movement, music, and voice pull you back into each emotional moment. A lot of the most important parts of a wedding day aren't just visual, and things like personal vows or kind speeches are things that can quickly be forgotten. Therefore I always encourage people... if you can make it happen, hire a videographer!   

Why is wedding cinematography so "expensive"? I explain this in more detail on my blog, but in general there is a lot of time and expensive equipment invested in filming weddings.  The amount of hours spent with you before and during the wedding day pales in comparison to the amount of time spent in the editing room turning hours of raw footage into something beautiful... not to mention music licenses, USBs, shipping, packaging, travel, and many other costs associated with each wedding film.

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What is your specific approach to capturing a wedding? Being present when I need to be and being hidden when I need to be. My goal is that the only time anyone will notice me is when the couple needs me to make them laugh, help make a decision, or bring them back to the present moment amidst all the chaos. I don't like to be the boss and controlling the day; I like to let it flow naturally and capture the honest moments that occur between people and their celebration.  I don’t follow a guidebook... but that makes things real, and I think that is more important than following a strict formula. 

How do you make couples feel comfortable in front of the camera? One of the most important things I do is make couples feel comfortable with me first. I make sure that we meet, either in person or on video chat before we move forward in booking, where I ask them questions about themselves and what their relationship is like, along with sharing more about myself. I am naturally a positive, joyful, and gentle-hearted person and I think that creates a space of immediate comfort in most people.

I also use smaller and simpler gear rather than huge rigs, so instead of making people feel like they are on reality TV, they are less aware of my presence and interact more honestly.

What can couples do to help YOU ensure they'll receive a video that they love? I think the first thing is to make sure they love my previous work. I make each wedding unique but my style stays the same.

Secondly, HIRE A SECOND VIDEOGRAPHER, always! This is super important to have a more dynamic film, to capture more footage, and to keep a solo videographer less stressed and more focused/present throughout the day.

I also have all of my couples tell me what is most important to them throughout the day. Communicating this is critical!  That way I am able to create a film that has a strong focus on those unique specifics that depict a more intimate and personal reflection of the couple.

Any other tips for the wedding couple? Your photographers and videographers are going to be with you a lot throughout the day and you will be communicating with them quite a bit beforehand. Make sure you really enjoy them personally, along with their work, and want them to be a part of that day. I think it's important that they bring positivity and purpose to it and that they aren’t just there to capture it.

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About Evergreen Era Films Kathryn is a gentle heart with a contagious laugh. She finds respite when immersed in the wilderness, sipping on Earl Grey Tea, and surrounded by people she loves most. As an adventurer with a travelers spirit she will always call the Blue Ridge Mountains home, where she was born and has worked as a filmmaker for the past year after graduating with a photography degree from Appalachian State University. She prefers hugs over handshakes, honesty over perfection, and individuality over tradition. She strives to serve others the best that she can in all things her heart pursues. She gets motivation from learning more about the world and it’s incredible people, exploring new ideas, and growing in her person-hood.

Heartful.ly Registry - the Wedding Registry that Gives Back
by Christina Child

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"Celebrate your big day by making someone else’s"

We are so happy to share this awesome company with you!  Heartful.ly is a wedding registry that connects generous couples and their communities to charitable projects around the world. From building a classroom in Tanzania to providing warm meals for children in need in the U.S.,  Hearful.ly allows your wedding gifts to contribute to building a legacy to grow with your marriage.  How sweet is that?!

Real couples making a difference

Casey and Ted - Special Olympics Missouri

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Casey's grandfather, J.D. developed a close relationship with Special Olympics during his life. He truly was passionate about the organization and the athletes. His love inspired Casey to begin coaching a Special Olympics basketball team when she moved to St. Louis 5 years ago. She has developed a bond with her players, families and other coaches that continues to grow every season. Now Ted can be seen assisting Casey and cheering from the bench like it is his own team. Special Olympics not only helps athletes stay active and healthy, but it is an integral platform in providing opportunities for success and friendship among each and every participant.

The amount of money generously donated through their registry sent 15 athletes through the Athlete Leadership Program!

Rusty and Monica - Sent a student to high school in Tanzania

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These two sponsored Zulfa Dadi with everything she needs for her first year of secondary school. Zulfa is a bright thirteen-year-old being raised by a single mom. Her mother works as a farmer, earning very little, and would have no way to pay Zulfa's school expenses. Zulfa is shy, sweet and whip smart- always finishing at the top of her class. She has ambitions to become a nurse, a dream that she would never have realized without their support.

We absolutely love the idea of selflessly foregoing traditional gifts to provide to those in need.  What a great way to start a marriage!

Want to learn more about Heartful.ly?!  Browse their list of current projects here...