Tag Archive | photographer

Sword Glossary: Made Up Wedding Lingo for Everyday Use

I realized awhile ago that I have made up a ton of new words in the past few months while blogging for Weddingbee, and I’ve decided it’s time to make a glossary so people have a chance to understand what the heck I’m talking about and so these words can continue to get used.

It all started back when I wrote about the other types of brides that exist besides Bridezillas.  After that, I pretty much made up words whenever I saw the need.

(In case you feel robbed because you’ve been saying these words or phrases for years, I apologize in advance, and anyway they are new to me!)

Sword Glossary

Cilia Birthday Experience- Age 6 062

DIY: Destroy-it-Yourself.  I have joked about how I am a terrible craft-er many times here on the hive.  I know DIY means Do-it-Yourself, but I like my version better.  It means you take full responsibility for what happens to your project, it means it probably won’t turn out perfectly, and it’s frankly, it’s a hell of a lot more fun to say!

DIYT: Don’t Invest Your Time.  This is an acronym I coined for the project that takes entirely too much time out of your life.  Sometimes it’s worthwhile, (like in the case of our tartan necklaces) but sometimes it’s better to just buy the damn thing already.

Nanny Child:  A child that you nanny, or more specifically, a child that you love deeply and watch on a regular basis but that is not related to you by blood.  For years I have had trouble describing or clarifying my relationship with my nanny children because it’s hard for people to make sense of it if you’ve never spent as much time as I have with someone else’s children.  I’ve been with my nanny family for 5+ years now, and they’re both in my wedding, but I didn’t know what to call them in our ceremony program, hence the title, nanny child.  Does anyone else have this issue of notating an unconventional relationship in their program?

Shmailing: Sharing the body of an email, word for word.  Sister Big Eyes sent an email out to her bridal party asking what hair/makeup everyone would like, I got about half way through before realizing not only did the tone sound an awful lot like me, it had been taken verbatim from my email to my bridal party concerning hair/makeup just a few months ago!  Not that I was bothered at all, on the contrary, I found it hilarious.  Sister Big Eyes doesn’t care for writing, and I’d already done the hard part, so why not shmail it?

Shrendoring: Sharing a vendor with someone you know personally, someone you are close to, or more specifically someone who is planning a wedding at the same time as you.  (Because obviously you’re sharing your vendor with a ton of other brides but you don’t know them all).  Sister/MOH Big Eyes (who gets married this coming June) is shrendoring my photographer, my hair/makeup artist, and our alterations family friend.  Does our mutual MOB count too?

Wedding Crush: The wedding you like a lot and hope to marry one day.  Just kidding!  This is the wedding that reminds you of your own and makes you swoon because it’s just so beautiful! If you’d like a reminder, this is the wedding I have been crushing on that matches my vision.  Basically your wedding crush is the wedding you want to be like when you grow up.  🙂

Wirthday Gift: A gift that is deliberately given as both a birthday and wedding gift.  Sister Big Eyes gave me my cake topper as a wirthday gift.  And it doesn’t have to stop there, per the comments left on my post, someone said they received some Whistmas gifts (wedding/Christmas) and someone else some Birthmas gifts (birthday/Christmas).  Love the creativity!

(all photos personal)

What wedding lingo have you made up?  What words are still missing?


I am Shrendoring (sharing a vendor)

Sorry about my stupid clever new wedding related word.  Maybe it’ll catch on with like five people.  Maybe.

Remember when I said I had booked our photographer?  WELL, I’m ready to reveal who that is, and ready to reveal proof of her awesomeness from a very trusted source: Sister/MOH Big Eyes!  Sister Big Eyes has first-hand experience of working with my photographer because Sister Big Eyes and FBIL have booked the same said photographer!

Here’s the thing, Sister did not want to do the same amount of research her older sis did, she wanted to get a reasonably priced deal with a quality person, and she came to Mr. Sword and I for information.  While we were in Minnesota meeting with our four choices, Mr. Sword and I were keeping Sister Big Eyes and FBIL up to speed on what we thought of each meeting.  Once we came to the conclusion and booked our photographer, they muddled it over, did a quick online search and ultimately decided to go with the same woman.

Crystal Liepa.  Sister Big Eyes reports that she is a JOY to work with.  Crystal is easy-going and fun, welcomes personal photo ideas, but at the same time doesn’t run out of new and interesting shots herself.  She’s bubbly, smart, and a full-time photographer!  I can’t wait to get my own chance to work with her in March!

From what I heard their shoot was a blast, filled with laughs, and even my little nephew-pup Fibonacci, (my sister is a math nerd), got to join in on the fun!  They chose to go back to Lake Calhoun (a beautiful and popular lake in Minnesota), where they got engaged, for one of their locations.  Sound familiar?  They also hit up a Dunn Bros coffee shop because FBIL is a coffee-addict like myself, and because coffee shops are the best places to have a first date with a person you met online.  Yes, Sister Big Eyes and FBIL are a Match success story!  I bet you know someone who’s met on Match, it’s the place to be!

Here is just a peak at their adorable photos!

All photos by the lovely Crystal Liepa.

Honestly, I am thrilled with our decision to use the same photographer!  I think it will only benefit us all over the next year, allow for more comfortable family photos, and make our Rock the Frock Sisters Shoot feel like one big, happy reunion!  Tis the season to be sharing… with my sister.  AGAIN.  🙂  What’s next?  We’ll have to wait and see!!

What do you think of MOH Big Eye’s engagement session?  Can you tell they play guitar and love music?  Is anyone else shrendoring too?

Get it on film!

Videography.   I think it’s important and I want to tell you why.  This post is based purely on my personal opinions so keep that in mind, but here is MY food for YOUR thought.

I  know I’ve mentioned this before but I do believe the WIC (wedding industry complex)  coerces us into thinking we need certain things to make our wedding day magical, and videography is something that can be  found on that list of “must-haves,” but in this instance, I think they are right!  GASP.

I do feel strongly that this day in age, with all the media and technology advances in recent years, it doesn’t make sense NOT to have your special day recorded on film.  It’s there to be watched over and over again for future generations, for when you have a big fight and need a loving reminder, for your anniversary celebrations, for when your memory begins to fail you, for when you need a nice gift for your parents, and for yourself because it was your wedding day after all!

A few years ago my siblings and I made a special video for Auntie B to commemorate a special birthday year of hers (of which the year shall go unmentioned).  This video is a compilation of all of our families’ inside jokes, but  I can’t tell you how many times Auntie B says to us, “I just watched my birthday video again and laughed all the way through it, it’s SO funny!”  Hearing this makes my heart so happy, it’s been years and she still watches it often!

People videotape everything from their first bungee jumping experience to their child’s first step; your wedding is going to be one of the best celebrations of you and your partner’s love so why not get it on film?  Even if you are an introvert or an extra-shy person (like Mr. Sword) you will still want to see how happy you looked on that day, how much you laughed, how silly you danced, and how well you were loved by family and friends.

“BUT WAIT ONE MINUTE YOU CRAZY BLONDE, what if I can’t afford a videographer??”

Good point.  In fact, price is probably the biggest reason people say no to a videographer.  Did you know some people charge anywhere from 5-8 thousand dollars??  NO THANK YOU.

You can do what Mr. Sword and I did and just scratch out money from your photography fund.  We were lucky enough to be able to fit both in without going over our set photo/video budget (which to be fair, was on the mid to high side to begin with).  Remember how important photography is to me?

Another option is to find a person or a company that is just starting out.  Perhaps a student or someone looking to earn extra cash from a side business?  They might only have a few weddings under the belt, but as long as they can get the important things on film, who cares about the editing.  You don’t need the editing.

In that vein, the third option is to designate a family friend to bring their flip camera and tape certain sections of the ceremony and reception for you.  Now, most people just want to enjoy themselves (which translated means they don’t want to hold a camera to their face all night), but you never know who would be willing to help until you ask them.  My advice is to pay them even if it’s just a little stipend, because it’s the thought that counts and it’s way cheaper than hiring a professional.

Think about it this way, flowers and alcohol only last for that night, but your video will live on and on.  To me, it’s worth the big bucks!  And just like photographers, videographers do a great deal of post-wedding work as well and they deserved to be compensated.

So who did we hire?

A2f Pictures. We immediately clicked with them at our meeting in Minnesota.  They were young, fun, professional, and agreed that every wedding has a unique story to tell.  A bonus is their easy to use application form online that helps you figure out exactly what is important to you and what the “extras” will cost.  The company is owned by three filmmakers who are looking to fund their own feature film someday but are currently work hard making both commercial and wedding videos.  I hope it’s not going to be weird when I ask to audition for their film after my wedding.  I’m only kidding!!  Kind of.  While I was overjoyed that our photographer is a woman (yay), I’m just as happy to give our videography money to aspiring artists!

Our video package includes two cinematographers, a cinematic trailer, a 10-20 minute edited cut of the day, and wedding interviews/stories from family and friends.  AMAZING.  We are so pumped and if you are a guest who is planning to be at our OOTG rehearsal dinner then you better start practicing your cutest “Mr. and Mrs. Sword” story.*

Finally, I hear over and over again (from lovely people like Mrs. Snow Cone and others) that the biggest regret people have is NOT getting their wedding on film.  So if you can squeeze a videographer into your budget I say go for it!

Is videography a priority on your wedding budget?

*Nobody will be forced to do an interview if they don’t want to!!  🙂

Documenting the Big Day

The single most important vendor to me regarding our wedding (after finding a venue) is the photographer.  In regards to photography, I like to refer to Mr. Sword and myself as “dream clients” because we don’t want to rush through pictures (in fact we want to take more than the average couple), we value art/artists, and we understand that there is a lot of work to do after the wedding as well, like editing, so we want to provide adequate compensation for the work that is done.

Finding a photographer is a lot about research at the beginning of the process.  It’s about browsing websites, looking at photos, and it really helps Mr. Sword has been interested in photography since before we met and knows waaay more about it than I do.  He even knows what the different lens’ are called.  Whoa.

I believe you should be in total love with your wedding photos because you will have them for a lifetime and with the current fad of photo-journalistic type weddings, amazing and unique shots are becoming are the norm and the expectation.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I love getting my photo taken.  Even if I have to do it myself.  In fact, I have a signature pose that my family and Mr. Sword make fun of me for doing.  It’s called the “extend your arm as far as you can and make an interesting face at the camera pose,” or more plainly, “The Miss Sword.”

Brunette in ’09

Enjoying the sun in 2010

At a winery with girlfriends in 2011

Planning the wedding in 2012

After having such success with our E-session I was even more positive that we were on the right track with our hunt for a wedding day photographer.  And so we decided on a budget for them.  It was on the higher end of things, but not insanely so.  Mr. Sword insisted we meet with people at both ends of our price point spectrum, which is why we ended up seeing FOUR different photographers, two at the high-end of our budget and two at the low-end of it.  We liked three out of the four.

The main reason I didn’t like this one couple is because I thought they were a bit pretentious and weird.  They didn’t include rights to the HIGH-resolution images in their package like most photographers do, and instead they give you the low-res images to put on Facebook and such, but then make you pay an extra 800 dollars for the good stuff.  Don’t pay extra for that, it should be included!!

SIDE NOTE: Obviously the photographers should be cited whenever their work is used and they have rights that prevent you from their selling their images, but your wedding photos are for you and you should have access to them!

So with our three favorites in mind, Mr. Sword and I sat down and discussed what was important to us.

Our main priorities included:

  • originality/uniqueness of photos
  • a second shooter
  • unlimited time/committing to being there the whole day
  • great candid shots
  • creative portraits
  • didn’t totally BREAK the bank

In the end, it wasn’t a very tough decision because only one of the people we met with fit every single one of our criteria!  I won’t reveal the name just but I will say that we’ve hired a woman and I couldn’t be happier about that.  I LOVE supporting women and women who own their own business’.

And just in case you couldn’t get enough of my awesome photography skillz…

Scotland 2010

Scotland 2011

The sad part is how easy it was to find all of these photos of just me.  🙂

(all photos personal)

Anyone else have certain criteria for choosing a photographer?  What is the NUMBER ONE thing on your list in regards to wedding planning?

Following up!

Since I’d made a list of goals and “wish list” goals before leaving for our big planning trip, I’d thought it’d be fun to go through them and see how much I got accomplished.  I have to say that while the trip was overall really good and productive, it was also a bit stressful and a little too fast-paced at times.  If at all possible, I DO NOT recommend cramming in as much stuff as we did, unless of course you have to!!  I’ve also added a list of things that were accomplished that I didn’t even plan for!!  🙂

Mean, lean, list-checking-off machines!

Lean, mean, list-checking-off machines!

Goals for Minnesota Trip #2:

  • choose our photographer- CHECK!
  • choose our videographer- CHECK!
  • complete cake testing- CHECK!
  • solidify signature drink- CHECK!
  • take our Pastor out to dinner and discuss the ceremony- CHECK!
  • select and buy a wedding dress- CHECK!
  • hire a bagpiper- CHECK!
  • eat at one or two of the restaurants we are considering for our OOTG rehearsal dinner-CHECK!
I have to toot my own horn for just a second here because I’m super impressed with Mr. Scottish and myself for somehow accomplishing all the major things we set out to do while in Minnesota.  I will be doing individual updates on everything (complete with photos) so I won’t go into details now, but it’s worth noting that I’m also thrilled that no one canceled on us the entire week.  Let me repeat that, aside from one or two rescheduled appointments, EVERY SINGLE VENDOR was where they said they would be when they said they would be there.  And most people commented on how ahead of the game we were with our appointments.  WIN WIN.
Let’s see how we did with our “wish list” goals!

“Wish List” for Minnesota Trip #2:

  • hire a Ceilidh band- CHECK!
  • choose a gown for my bridesmaids- CHECK!
  • brainstorm venue options with Sister/MOH Big Eyes for her wedding- CHECK!  (well we saw Sister Big Eyes’ venue, but it had already been chosen)
  • get The Glue fitted for his kilt rental- CHECK!
  • clean and consolidate the one closet of my stuff still left at my parent’s house- nope
  • work on centerpieces- CHECK!
  • plan my next wedding planning trip to MN- CHECK!
  • visit with friends and family- CHECK! 
  • hit up Sam’s Club- nope, but my Mom went, does that count?
  • order our STD’s (photos pending)- CHECK!

It feels so good to see that most of these items can be checked off the list as well!  I had no idea how much we actually accomplished until I did this (it all felt sort of muddled in my brain after five days of non-stop moving).  Now let’s see what else we got done that I would consider an “extra.”
  • buy Dad a new suit from Kohl’s
  • show Auntie B and BM L Dawg our venue for the first time
  • buy supplies to make cutesy girl-type cards for ???? (can’t reveal that info at this time)
  • take Mom around Bed, Bath, and Beyond to show her what we’ve registered for
  • try on summer dresses for Sister/MOH Big Eyes’ wedding
  • help my Mom buy her dress for Sister/MOH Big Eyes’ wedding
  • buy my bridal corset bra
  • find a headpiece for bridal outfit (a gift from Auntie B, more details on that to come)
(all photos personal)

WOW.  I can’t wait to get started on all the updates!  Does anyone else use wedding check lists?  Are you ahead of the game or are you using a more relaxed timeline?

Postponed! And then postponed again.

After finding out our engagement photo shoot had to be postponed for the second time, I was seriously frustrated.  Originally I had scheduled it for mid-April but once we weren’t sure when Mr. Scottish would return from his trip home to renew his work visa, I changed them to avoid having to cancel on our photographer last minute. Well, the ironic thing is he flew home one day before I had scheduled them! Alas, I had already picked a new date.  My main complaint with rescheduling is that we have a TON of out-of-town guests  flying in from Scotland, Illinois, and even the east coast, so I wanted our Save-the-Dates to go out almost a full year in advance.  I just love to be ahead of the game!  Turns out, our STD’s will go out closer to the 9 month mark and that is totally fine and actually more appropriate.

The new date was May 19th the same weekend that the city of Chicago was hosting the NATO Summit. That meant that delegates from all over the world would be in town for this international event. There was heightened security, roads were blocked off,  cops were covering every street and every on ramp, and all downtown condo buildings were restricting guest access. Unfortunately, one of our main locations, the John Hancock Tower, where we got engaged, would be right in the hub of it all.  Plus, my boss had graciously offered their condo as a changing home base, and we knew security would be tight.  After emailing with my photographer, listening to the radio, and talking with my boss and other friends, I decided to postpone our engagement shoot yet again.  I just knew it would be more stress than necessary and I wanted to be relaxed and happy for the photos, and I really REALLY wanted my pictures to be Chicago-cop free!

Luckily, our photographer was AMAZING and flexible so we were able to  reschedule to May 26th.   And this time, all went as planned!  The things I was worried about, getting my makeup done in time before the shoot started, not getting a window table at the John Hancock, and a cancellation due to rain, didn’t come true!  The weather was slightly chilly during our beach shoot, but she said the clouds and the lake looked amazing in all the photos.  My favorite thing about our photographer is that she had an amazing sense of humor, just like me!  (I’m so humble aren’t I?)  She had unique ideas, creative poses, and was really fun to chat with.  When she asked me if I wanted some of the more common hipster poses I said, “I don’t like to do what everyone else has done.”  That’s when she high-fived me in agreement.  Here is a little plug, because she is awesome, not only in person, but also with quick and responsive email (a BIG plus in my book).  Jennifer Jackson, check her out!

Finally, I’d like to share my love of using props during ANY photo session (family, newborn, engagement, wedding, boudoir, lifestyle, etc).  Using props adds dimension to your photos, personalizes them, and in our case, provided a totally relaxed situation in where we laughed a lot and had a blast!  I will go into more details about our props once I’ve posted the photos, but you’ll have to wait for now!  All in all, I think the postponing was worth it in the end, and we had a marvelous time!

how cute are the props in this photo?

photo via Pinterest

Did anyone else have stress planning their engagement shots? Did it work out OK in the end?