The Bridal Blog
Michelle & Gaby’s Hall of Springs Wedding
There’s so much to love about this real wedding, photographed by Clark+Walker Studio. First off, the bride Michelle looked absolutely stunning! From the dress to the hair & makeup, everything was perfect. Michelle and Gaby also looked so happy throughout the entire day. Another beautiful feature of this wedding was their reception at Hall of Springs. Renaissance Floral Design did an incredible job and all of the centerpieces looked so unique. We’re sure that everything ran smoothly on their wedding day because Christine A. Wheat Special Events Firm was there for day-of coordination! We can also guarantee that all their guests had a fun time, because NY Players was in the house. Congrats to Michelle and Gaby!
Michelle’s dress was from Something Bleu Bridal in Saratoga! It looks like it was made for her.
Love how the bridesmaid dresses were different styles
Such a good looking bridal party!
The Hall of Springs designed by David Michael Schmidt of Renaissance Floral Design
Photobooth is becoming so popular at weddings. It’s a great place for guests (and the couple) to let loose and be silly!
Stacey and Rich’s Otesaga wedding
Describe how you and Rich met: We met in college (Villanova). My roommate and I went to a friend’s birthday party in one of the dorms on campus and Rich was there. My roommate knew Rich so the three of us started chatting. Rich asked me to be his beer pong partner and the rest is history! haha.
What was the proposal like? The proposal was pretty amazing – I had found an article on the blog ScoutingNY talking about an “Abandoned Palace on Beekman Street” in downtown Manhattan, close to where we live. The building had a beautiful glass atrium ceiling and the article said it was being revamped as a hotel…I emailed Rich the link and said it looked really cool and that we should keep an eye out for when it was redone. Little did I know, he emailed the blogger and asked for contact info for people at the building. Apparently, within hours everyone had gotten back to him and he had the go ahead to propose there.
On a sweltering day in July (2010), Rich suggested we play tourist in downtown Manhattan to check out all the sites mentioned on ScoutingNY. Rich tells me he wants to walk to 5 Beekman to see if we can see the glass atrium from the street. When we get there, there is a man in the doorway of the building, and Rich (being Rich) starts talking to the man about how we live close by and love the neighborhood, saw the building on ScoutingNY…and asks if we could possibly get a peek inside. To my surprise, the man says yes. The man walks us to the elevator and says the view is best from the 6th floor and then gets out. This is when I start thinking this is weird…it was the lawyer in me, but I am thinking why on earth is this guy letting us walk around a vacant building that is basically a construction zone? What if we get hurt? When the elevator stops, there is trail of rose petals that leads up the stairs and over to a corner where there is a pile of rose petals. When we reached the end of the trail, Rich got down on one knee and proposed, I said yes, and we had champagne on the roof! The proposal was Rich’s idea and then he got some help in the execution from the folks at Michael C. Fina, where he bought my ring. It was cool because as soon as we finished our champagne on the roof, they had a town car ready to whisk us to the store in case the ring had to be sized or anything was wrong, but it was perfect so we just had more champagne!
Overall, how did your wedding planning go? I would say mostly smoothly. The thing is, I work 100 hours a week (literally) so wedding planning was something that was pretty stressfull to fit in – I addressed our save the dates one night at 3am after getting home from work. That said, there weren’t really any major hitches, so while it wasn’t really the dream experience, it was pretty smooth sailing.
What made you decide to have your wedding in winter? I love winter – it’s my favorite season. I’ve always wanted a winter wonderland, snowy wedding and Rich was happy to go along, especially when he found out how much cheaper things were in the off-season!
How did you decide on which vendors to use? I would almost say luck…when we first got engaged, we were pretty set on having a wedding in the city since its where we live, we were close to putting a deposit down, but while I was home for a friend’s wedding, my mom really encouraged me to look at the Otesaga. Melissa (Reinheimer) showed us around and we were really impressed with her responsiveness. Before we even got home she had emailed us to follow up on some questions we had raised at the meeting. This was extremely important to me because of how much I work – it sounds very high maintenance, but I only have a small window for wedding planning so I kinda need answers right away. That, coupled with that fact that everything was significantly less expensive than the places we were looking at in the city and the fact that we were guaranteed to have snow (or so I thought) in upstate NY, made us decide to go with the Otesaga. Soul Session was the band my cousin had used and they were amazing so that was a no-brainer. Christine was the only planner we ever really considered…to be honest, I dont remember how I heard about her. Same thing with Luke – I liked that he was in NYC often so we could do our engagement shoots here and we liked him as soon as we met. Christine referred us to David at Renaissance Floral after we didn’t hear back from another florist for months.
What made your wedding unique? The Otesaga is a seasonal resort so they were actually closed for the winter and opened just for our wedding. Its not often you get to have a gorgeous historic property all to yourself!
What is your most memorable moment of the day? Its hard to pick just one – probably my Dad’s toast – he’s not generally an emotional guy, so to see him so choked up and so happy to welcome Rich to the family was really special.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently? I wish we had ordered our thank you notes much much earlier so I could have written them as the gifts came in instead of leaving them all until the end (only 12 more to go!)
Do you have any advice to give to future brides? Once you are confident that your vendors understand what you want, get out of the way and let them do their jobs – I had no idea what any of our flowers or decor was going to look like until we walked into the room, and it was better than I could have ever imagined!
What’s next for you and your husband? We’re just looking forward to building our lives together as an official unit now. We’ve been together for 8 years and lived together for 2 so there were not huge changes after the wedding, but we’re definitely noticing small changes – now that we’re married, we’re sharing more and we’re more open with each other, theres not such an effort to split things down the middle the way there was before – it really feels like we’re a team now.
Clark+Walker Studio’s Brand New Website!
Clark+Walker Studio launched a brand new website this past Monday. Read the interview I had with them below to learn all about it!
1.) Why did you all at Clark+Walker Studio want to change your website?
We decided last Fall that we needed to update our overall web presence. At the time people were browsing their mobile phones a lot, but not a ton of people used it in such a serious way as finding their wedding photographer. However the iPad changed that, now people were using mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad all the time, and since our website was flash people could NOT see our website from those devices. That was extremely scary to me, because I could see the popularity for these devices rising. In addition when the original website was built, cinematography was such a tiny part of what we did as a company that it was almost an after-thought with the design, and it felt that way. This time it’s just as large a part of the website as our photography, and even better the films all load extremely fast and even play on mobile devices.
2.) What can we find on your new site that wasn’t there before?
The first thing we added was a gallery of runway photos and behind the scenes photos from Bridal Fashion week. We are commissioned by The Knot to shoot a ton of fashion shows for their magazine, and it’s something that’s very popular with the fans of our studio so we wanted to be able to share that all the time. In addition we added our latest wedding film, which we just showed at Proctors Theatre as well. From the blog side of things we’ve added a better search tool, much more categories to browse, and a “you might also like” feature at the bottom of posts that gives people the option of checking out similar work.
3.) What’s your favorite aspect of the new site?
The blog and website are married now, on the same site. Before we had the regular flash website and then had a totally separate blog site. Now with this new version of clarkwalkerstudio.com, everything is together under one home. I think this will make the website itself more popular and easy to view, and in addition we can even update that ourselves so it will be consistently updated with fresh work.
4.) I noticed you utilized your facebook page to get feedback from others – did your past brides help you make decisions and/or give you new ideas?
Absolutely! This was something I didn’t anticipate, I thought I might get a comment or two but between the comments on facebook and a couple emails I was able to add some great user functionality that I personally would not have thought of. I had one of my brides tell me adding categories that bride could search by time of the year, man what a great idea that was. Now if you are having a winter wedding and you want ideas for a winter wedding (which aren’t nearly as common as other times of the year), you just select the winter category and you’ve got all the wedding inspiration you can look at. In addition, I had another person suggest we add categories for venues since we work a lot in the Capital Region. This makes it easy for bloggers who are looking for weddings in their venue, as well as brides who are looking for those venues.
5.) Your website seems a lot faster now – how did you make that happen?
Honestly there wasn’t really anything techy involved, this new site is all built on the WordPress platform as opposed to flash so by nature it’s going to be faster. In addition we installed a couple plug ins to help it load a bit quicker. That was something John, our lead filmmaker, kept beating into me…. the new blog portion of the website has to load faster!
6.) What kind of message/impression do you want your website to give about your company?
I know anyone who knows us here at C+W knows we either like to do things right, or don’t do them at all. And in 2011 having an awesome web presence is of extreme importance. I felt like the older website was done on flash, wasn’t super easy to update, the videos loaded very slowly, the blog and website were separate (sooo 2008!) and the website didn’t load on mobile devices. All of those things sort of built up to make me feel like our web presence wasn’t representing the company in the best light. We pride ourselves in being the type of company that’s buzz-worthy, the kind of brand that you instantly share with your friends and who you keep tabs on because they are always doing cool things. This new website brings our web presence more in line with that philosophy.
Lisa and Kevin’s St. Louis Wedding
Describe how you and Kevin met: Kevin and I don’t specifically remember the time we met. We have a lot of mutual friends and we had been acquaintances for probably 3 years before we all went on a road trip and we ended up in the same car. Later that night, we sang 80s karaoke together (Every Rose Has it’s Thorn) and we were dating shortly after.
What was the proposal like? It was really unexpected. We had gone looking at rings months beforehand but we really wanted to use my good friend’s mom as our jeweler – and originally it was going to be made overseas so the lead time was long. However, what I didn’t know was it ended up being made in the States and was finished/ shipped to Kevin much sooner than I thought possible.
We always have my parents in town for Thanksgiving and it was the night before they were coming – I had nothing cleaned, cooked or ready and it was pouring down rain when I got home. All I was thinking about was how long my to-do list was (and how I didn’t want to walk the dog in the rain) when I saw 4 candles and a big envelope in the middle. It was a series of cards – the first of which told me to go get my nails done at the salon across the street. I took this as a dead giveaway and started to get all flustered! I mean, I have to sit still and get my nails done right now? (you should also know I had to watch Big Momma’s House while sitting there because that’s what they had on TV). When I opened the next card, Kevin’s credit card fell out and instructed me to the boutique down the road to pick out whatever purse I wanted. It was really funny too because when I got there I was just looking at the smaller/ less expensive clutches, but the sales girl told me I was not allowed to buy one of those – Kevin apparently knew I would try and go thrifty and the girl was under strict instructions to go all out. I picked one out and dove into the third card which said something about roses. But I didn’t have roses… until the sales girl came out of the back with 11 long-stem red roses – the twelfth was waiting at home for me.
So I got home and couldn’t find my keys considering I had freshly painted nails, a huge new purse and a huge vase in my hands. Oh – and it was still pouring rain. When I finally got inside, I was already crying (ok sobbing) and Kevin insisted that I open the last card. OMG now I have to find that too?? And mind you, he had so many candles going in there I was sobbing AND sweating bullets.
I finally found the last itty bitty card which asked me to marry him and he was down on his knee and he had “our song” playing and it was perfect. We ended the night with dinner where we had our first date. With lots of phone calls.
Overall, how did your wedding planning go? I would say overall our wedding planning went very well. There were definitely a few stressful moments, but we were blessed with lots of help, non-demanding parents/ family and wonderful vendors.
How did you decide on which vendors to choose for your wedding? Well, my mom knew she wanted me to use her friend, Emily, at Sisters Flowers. And Emily knew and recommended Sabrina at Proposing Dreams to help us plan since I was out of town and do the day-of coordinating. And Sabrina is good friends with Luke Walker, our photographer. And everyone else was recommended mostly by these 3 people or good friends so we relied heavily on recommendations!
What do you think made your wedding unique? You know, I have no idea if my wedding really was unique, but I loved it. I was going for formal/ traditional with splashes of fun and I think we really pulled that off. We had a really traditional ceremony – but I feel it was also fun since we giggled throughout the whole thing and Kevin dipped me at the end during our kiss. My bridesmaids wore cute black dresses – with hot pink shoes. We had a sit-down traditional dinner – with a cupcake and candy bar for dessert. Everything was black/ white/ platinum – with splashes of hot pink and orange.
What was the most memorable moment of the wedding? I spent most of the time planning for the reception but I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the ceremony. Having our mothers do the unity candle together, the light in our church was perfectly streaming into the stained glass windows and people commented that we were the happiest couple they had ever seen – and we were. We were blessed with an extremely stress-free day which helped immensely.
How did you decide on your color scheme/theme? Like I said earlier, we really wanted to be traditional, but we also wanted it to be really fun and not stuffy. I knew in the beginning I could accomplish this a thousand different ways so I just picked colors and went with them.
How did you incorporate personal touches into your wedding day? We had Cardinals/ Cubs cupcakes made for us since we are huge rivals when it comes to MLB. It was amazing to have my aunt read for us at our wedding because she has been like my grandmother and Kevin has come to adore her. We met our dog, Rosie, in a park to take pictures before the ceremony – my girlfriends said they teared up seeing all of us together because we were all so happy to see each other! There was a wall we were able to decorate with pictures, flowers, etc. right when you walked into our space – and I also displayed my wedding gift to Kevin which was a book of all our time together right up until the wedding.
Do you have any advice to give to future brides? Relax. I had so many people tell me I was the happiest bride they had ever seen, and I was super happy, but I think I was so relaxed and not worried about anything and that really showed. The bride sets the tone so when a bride is happy and relaxed, wedding guests are happy and relaxed.
What’s next for you and Kevin? Well, Kevin is working full time and going to grad school at night, and I am working full time and working towards getting us a house in the suburbs this summer! We would love to get Rosie a yard, a little friend and look forward to hopefully starting a family next year.