Getting the weather to cooperate for Emily and Andrew’s hot air balloon ride was somewhat of a challenge, but on the third attempt, we finally got it right! We’re so glad they stuck it out and got to take their first ever ride with Fusion and the team at Cool Springs. Thanks Kristie for helping coordinate everything!
Have you and your fiance decided to write your own vows but not sure where to start? What to say? It can be a daunting task to write your own vows. All those people listening, all that pressure to say the right things to your soon to be betrothed. Here are five tips to help you write better wedding vows.
1. Do some research on wedding vows.
There are countless books on Amazon for helping you write your wedding vows, we recommend one at the end of this post. Determine what styles, words, and approach you like and work from there when writing your vows.
2. Write down your notes for reflection later.
Don’t try and write you wedding vows all at once. Read, reflect, write, then write your best wedding vows
3. Use promises that are important to the two of you
Use promises that are broad in scope, don’t be to specific.
4. Stay away from over used cliche’s
Sure wedding vows that use cliche’s can be cute and funny at times, but this is not the time to overuse someone else words. This is a personal time to write meaningful and personal reflections between your soon-to-be spouse. Be genuine.
5. Keep your wedding vows short and simple.
Don’t drone on and on and repeat yourself. Try and keep your wedding vows between one and two minutes. Rehearse them days before to get your timing right. Too long? Edit. Too short? Add more.
One of our favorite books on writing your own wedding vows.
How to write your own wedding vows. By Dr. Elena Michaels
Five things brides should DO the week of the wedding
- Pack your honeymoon bags. Don’t leave this to the last minute or you’ll end of forgetting essentials. Make a list of what you will need based on what you will be doing and only pack essentials, don’t over pack. Also, consider packing some essentials in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost. Change of clothes, toiletries, a good book, etc.
- Schedule a massage for yourself and/or your bridal party the week before the wedding. What a great way to spend some time with your besties over mimosa’s and massages.
- Wear your wedding shoes around the house and break them in the week before the wedding. You have dancing to do, you don’t need sore hooves from ill-prepared heels. Pick up some Solemates for you and your bridesmaids as well. These are great at keeping your heels clean and mud free, plus they will assist you when standing in wet grass during photographs.
- Pull together your vendor tips and put them in little micro envelopes. Assign a close family member to keep track of these and hand them out as the reception comes to a close.
- Write your love letter to your betrothed early in the week. Allow yourself some time to make changes over the course of a few days. You can share this letter during your gift exchange before the ceremony.
Five things brides should NOT do the week of the wedding
- Do not get a haircut the week before the wedding. Do not dye, trim, bleach, or even think about touching your hair the week before the wedding.
- Do not go tanning the week before the wedding lest you look like an Oompah Loompah. In fact avoid the sun as much as possible, if you have to go outside wear plenty of sunscreen. You don’t need to get burned and be peeling on your wedding day.
- Stay away from the dental office the week before the wedding. Any dental work unless it’s an emergency, should be done weeks ahead of the wedding day.
- Do not get any facial treatments the week before the wedding.
- Stick with your normal routine as much as possible the week before the wedding. Do not try any new products, go skydiving, stay up too late, eat too much fast food or anything else that deviates from your normal routine.
Sonia and Emilio approached us for their engagement photography session a few months back. They wanted and Uptown Charlotte feel with lots of architecture and busy streets. We started by walking around downtown Charlotte, followed by some drinks at Enso Sushi and finished off at a sweet new skyline location. Check out their engagement session photos below.
My 8 year old started 3rd grade yesterday and with much lament I walked her back into her classroom for the first time in three months. As with every parent, I had mixed emotions as I strolled down the hallways graced with Comets and last year’s fading student art. Continue reading
Austin is one of Deevo’s oldest friends in Charlotte. They met playing soccer even before Deevo launched his own league. It was a real treat to do these two’s engagement session out at the Lake House. It had rained on the drive up to Lake Norman, so the clouds were full, but the sun was bright which makes crazy good light for photography.
For those brides that may or may not have the budget to hire a wedding consultant, we scoured the web for some of the best wedding planning books for purchase, here they are. Each is available for purchase on Amazon or feel free to drop by our studio we also have each one.
- The Busy Brides Bible for Planning a Fabulous Wedding Without the Expensive Cost of a Wedding Planner by Angela A. Kear
- The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions by Carley Roney
- How to Plan Your Own Wedding and Save Thousands – Without Going Crazy by Tracy Leigh
- Wedding Planning For Dummies by Marcy Blum
- A Bride’s Book: An Organizer, Journal, and Keepsake for the Year of the Wedding by Marsha Heckman
- The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day by Mindy Weiss
- The Smart Couple’s Guide to the Wedding of Your Dreams: Planning Together for Less Stress and More Joy by Judith Sherven PhD
- The Everything Wedding Organizer: Checklists, Charts, And Worksheets for Planning the Perfect Day! by Shelly Hagen
- Simple Stunning Weddings: Designing and Creating Your Perfect Celebration by Karen Bussen
- The Knot Book of Wedding Lists by Carley Roney
We always get questions about whether or not Fusion does video for weddings… and the answer is “YES” we do! I’m writing this article to introduce myself (Hi, I’m Clint!) as fusion’s designated video team member to all the Fusion Brides and any others that may be looking for wedding videography in Charlotte. Check it out and hit us up with any questions here.
My approach to wedding videography is different from traditional wedding videos. I believe the days of just setting up a camera in the back of the venue and hitting record are over. I treat this once-in-a-lifetime special event with the respect I believe it deserves. I have a Photojournalistic style of capturing the day and I love incorporating motion into your video by utilizing specialized pieces of film equipment.
My workflow with the Fusion Team is extremely seamless. Being that we have all worked together for years, we really understand each other’s personalities and shooting styles. We all have similar approaches, it’s just that I differ by shooting video versus photos. The great thing about being such a cohesive team is that we stay out of each others shots and allow each other to capture those special moments without causing any hiccups. Sometimes when different companies shoot the same event, they tend to butt heads if there isn’t proper communication throughout the day, and that’s not good for the bride and groom. By utilizing Fusion for your Photo and Video, you ensure this is a non-issue and you can be comfortable knowing you’re going to get the best product available.
Brides can expect the highest quality video from Fusion. I am constantly learning new techniques and upgrading equipment to ensure you get the best experience money can buy. I strive to provide an emotional and candid view of your day that includes high production value. I produce a product that feels more like a movie, instead of a wedding video.
I pride myself on being a sincere, up-front and pleasant person who is here to serve the bride and groom while having your best interests at heart. By sitting down during your consultations with the Fusion Team, I get to know the couples and their desires for their wedding video. I really enjoy creating an emotional film that you will be proud to show your family and friends for years to come!
I believe being on the forefront of technology is an important aspect of the video business. I just aquired a new camera that captures True Slow Motion. This is something I have really looked forward to utilizing, but until recently was out of range financially. By utilizing slow motion, you can capture emotion unlike regular cameras can deliver. You can expect a minimum of 3 cameras capturing your ceremony. This ensures you get a close angle of the Bride and Groom and also a wide view of the ceremony. By shooting this way, you get a dynamic view you would never experience otherwise by using a 1 camera setup most videographers use. I am also a big believer in motion in my shots. I utilize Camera Cranes, Dollies and Steadycams to add motion just like you see in your favorite movies in the theaters. By using these high end tools, it adds tremendous production value and really allows me to evoke the motion in the final films.
I really believe I was put on this earth to serve people through the use of Video cameras. It’s not a job to me, it’s a passion. I enjoy telling stories and to me, a wedding is the ultimate story to tell. I look forward to telling yours soon
To see some of Clint’s work check out Fusion’s Vimeo page. Or you can look at some of our faves by clicking the links below:
When Teisa and Chris came in for their wedding consult, they already had the idea of recreating the first time they met for their engagement session. These two were definitely prepared! We coordinated their event with Ashley at Blue Charlotte and got these two set for some basketball shots, a rooftop pose (with Teisa’s sweet Camaro!), and drinks at Blue where these two were first introduced.
1. The Basics – what you should know
Wedding Photography is not an easy subject and interviewing potential wedding photographers can be a daunting task. Regardless who you hire, Fusion Photography or another studio, do your homework, meet with several photographers, find the fit that works for you on all levels. We highly recommend that whomever you ultimately decide to work with – be sure that you have some sort of rapport and chemistry with them. Of all the vendors you work with during your wedding, you will undoubtedly spend the most time with your photographer, it’s important you kind of like them.
2. What is your primary photography style?
This should be your first and foremost question as this is the style of photography that interests you. Fusion Photography primarily incorporates a photojournalistic approach with hints of fashion and fine-art influences mixed in. Determine if the photographer’s style matches your own. Browse several websites find a few that match your style and arrange personal consultations with these few.
3. How many weddings have you been the primary photographer?
It is important to determine how much actual real wedding photography experience they have. Not just as an assistant either – a primary photographer. Don’t settle for the “I’ve been photographing for x number of years” mumbo jumbo either. Using that logic, I have been taking photographs since I was 12 years old, but only shooting real weddings for over five years now as a full time photo business.
4. Will you be photographing more than one wedding on my wedding day?
Larger studios with multiple photographers will often photograph more than one wedding in a weekend. But no single photographer should ever photograph more than ONE wedding in a single day, otherwise, attention to detail and client service will be compromised.
5. Will there be a contract of the services to be provided. If so, can I get a copy?
There are a lot of studios that don’t create contracts for their wedding photography clients. You should require a contract from your photographer that details what services they will be providing, pricing, termination resolution terms, etc. A contract is created for your protection, and for the wedding photographer’s protection. It is best to hire a photographer that will create a contract with you, and be wary of photographers that “don’t typically create contracts for clients.”
6. Do you have insurance?
Professional wedding photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft, but more importantly it provides liability protection in case Great Uncle Jerry trips over the photographer’s bag and breaks his leg. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry, or simply aren’t taking their business seriously. Fusion Photography carries both general business, equipment and liability insurance.
7. Does the package I am interested in include more than one photographer?
If your wedding has 50 or more guests, you should make sure you step up to a package that has an assistant or second photographer. There are going to be multiple moments throughout the day in which one single photographer cannot cover completely alone. There is no way to capture the first kiss, and at the same time, turn around and get the tear in mother’s eye.
8. Am I allowed a say in what style of post-production is applied to my photographs?
An important consideration to weigh is the style of post-production your photographer employs. Be wary of photographers that say they post-produce and simply hand you the original image files. Many studios DO NOT post produce your images. Unique to Fusion Photography is a post-production interview process so we can determine your style and vision. While we have our own unique style of photography and post-production, we also make every attempt to satisfy your vision.
9. What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have backups?
While having the best equipment is not necessarily important, it certainly should play a factor in your decision. More importantly, you want to make sure the photographer has backup equipment. Our studio uses top quality camera bodies (5D Mark II and Mark III) along with the finest quality prime lenses from Canon. While wedding photographers don’t necessarily need the best of the best, it is important to have a good set of equipment as well as comparable backups. Nothing would be worse than for the photographer to miss half of your weddings because his camera or lens broke, and he didn’t have a spare.
10. What attire will the photographer and their assistants wear?
Even though the wedding photographers are a big part of the wedding day, it’s important that they are not distractions. As such, it’s important for the photographer to blend in as much as possible. Furthermore, for religious or cultural ceremonies, there may be certain colors that are considered taboo. Make sure your photographers will be dressed appropriately for the occasion. Typically, Fusion Photography attire is black suit pants with a black polo or dress shirt. We dress completely in black because we want to go unnoticed by the clients and guests, so that we can capture the event as photojournalists.
11. How long after the event will the proofs, album, etc. be ready?
Each wedding photography studio varies in the time it takes to produce and deliver your pictures. Studios that do not do any post production or color correction may try to entice you by saying your photos will be ready the next day, or even within a week. However, most studios that develop and produce their images will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. Fusion Photography has developed a consistent wedding photography production schedule in order to deliver an amazing product in an exceptionally quick manner. This schedule can be seen below:
- One day after the wedding – We post one teaser image on Facebook expressing our gratitude for being part of your wedding.
- 4-6 weeks after the wedding – Fully edited images are ready and viewing is scheduled at the studio and images are loaded to your online gallery for your guests to see as well.
- 10 weeks after wedding – the wedding album first draft is ready for viewing.
12. Are you our actual photographer? Will you have an assistant? Will this cost extra?
We have heard stories (too many times) of clients booking a photographer, only to have someone completely different show up on their wedding day. This can turn out to be a disaster for a variety of reasons. Primarily the trust issue, how can a client expect to trust their photographer and thus be relaxed in front of the lens if they cannot even trust the individual they booked to show?
13. May we see a portfolio or samples of a wedding similar in size and style to ours?
Everyone’s website is supposed to contain the very best of the best. In theory, anyway. When you are meeting with the photographer, ask to see some REAL weddings, not just a showcase of their “best” work. Judge for yourself, does their complete portfolio match their website?