If you have not been to Wild Valentine in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, add it to the top of your list immediately! I am not kidding! I have been here several times to meet a friend for coffee and a taste of something comforting, but seriously… can you think of a dreamier place than one that sells coffee, delicious food + flowers? The minute you step in, you are just instantly at ease, and in a better mood. Espresso brewing, and the scent of delicious food, and fresh cut flowers hit you instantly.
As stated on their website “Wild Valentine is a boutique flower shop and studio, offering semi-custom arrangements for delivery and designing florals for weddings and events of all kinds. We think flowers are most stunning the way they’re found growing in nature: loose and wild. We design with intention, aiming to recreate that fresh, organic feeling in our arrangements by playing on depth, movement, and texture. What we end up with is our distinctive “unruly” style.” Literally the most gorgeous arrangements I have ever seen! Truly!
I stopped by today, and met the owner Sarah and introduce myself because brides need to know about this absolutely perfect place to get your florals from! Sarah and her staff there were so kind, and helpful and full of knowledge of all things floral. They serve Portsmouth and the surrounding community and down thru Boston as well.
Think of this as your friendly PSA… If you are still searching for the perfect florist, look no further, Wild Valentine is no doubt the best around!
Congratulations, you are finally engaged, and you have just booked your engagement pictures with your new wedding photographer. Now what? How do you plan for such an exciting time, and for pictures that you will cherish forever!? And, how can you take your pictures to the next level, and also have a little extra fun doing so? Here are some of the things I always recommend to my couples who ask!
Style- Two things that I think are really are important for style. Color and variety! In terms of color, when choosing your outfits for both the bride to be, and the groom to be, remember that a bright and neutral color palates flatter everyone! Also remember that when you go to print these pictures for your home, neutral color palates complement all decor and design. Now you don’t have to be all neutral. I love a good pop of color, especially romantic colors like light pink, peach, or pastels in general. But overall, to achieve that light and airy look, choose colors that are neutral and light. Also, bring two outfits! Bring one that is more casual, and maybe one that is more formal. For the formal one, wear something flown and that you can be twirled in! These pictures are so flirty and romantic and feminine!
Schedule hair and make up appointments- Make an appointment at your local salon, and get your hair done. It is such a treat, and you will move and feel like a million bucks! Plus this is a great time to try hair stylists, and talk about hair dos for your big day.
Get your nails done- Having a fresh mani pedi makes a world of difference in your engagement photos! It will help you feel more put together and confident, and it allows me to take some close ups of that new sparkler!
Get your ring cleaned! Trust me, it makes it so sparkly and makes a huge difference!
Dogs– I am such an animal person, specifically a dog person! Like LOVE them so much! They seriously make engagement pictures so fun, and they are such sweet markers of time. When you bring these furry friends along, make sure and bring a friend to hold him or her when we break away for just some pics of the two of you. Makes it so much easier!
Pack a bag– Remember to pack these things
Your additional outfit
Flats or flip flops for walking between photo spots
Make up and a mirror for touch ups
A bottle of water (especially in the summer)
Coat or cover up for colder sessions
Something personal! Whether it is a bottle of champagne, a blanket, your college alma mater sweatshirts, or favorite sports team hats! Even just incorporating just one extra styled item makes your session unique and personal to you!
Make a date night out of it!I love when couples make a date night out of pictures, because hey- when are you all dressed up- go enjoy yourselves with some dinner or dessert! After all you can cross of engagement pictures on your wedding to do list, and that is a reason to celebrate!
Engagement sessions are meant to be a time to document your love and your new future plans. They are also meant to be FUN! Trust me, I do not like being in front of the camera either, so whatever we can do to make you forget that I am capturing these staged moments, the less pressure you will feel! It is so fun to see what couples come up with. So many simple and unique touches to add some flair and romance to your engagement session.
Some of my most favorites are:
A champagne toast! Seriously how cute are your faces when you pop that top! And the arms linking around the glasses. SO CUTE! And we know that you girls got a manicure, so lets zoom in and highlight that beauty 😉
Bringing a blanket! I love blankets that are neutral in color, but that have some unique textures. You can do so many fun things with a blanket. You can wrap up in one, you can sit side by side on it, you can have the groom to be sit, and have the bride to be rest her head on his lap while looking up at him. Swirl her up and throw her over your shoulder! Plus on chilly days/ seasons, it makes a great prop!
Location! Love to surf? Love going to theme parks? Are you an outdoorsy couple? Where you are in location is key! You don’t even have to be dressed up if you are a beach couple and love the beach. Do a cute surfboard session and be in your element! I have seen some ADORABLE theme park sessions and love romantic pictures under a glittery Ferris wheel, or couples sharing some cotton candy together. Love to hike! Let’s wake up early and catch a sunrise on top of a mountain top! Wear hiking boots! We can change into heels later 😉 Or be in your natural habitat, we can come to your house and do some really sweet pictures of you cuddling on the couch, having a pillow fight in bed, and enjoying coffee together. What about the Spot where you first met? Or your first date? See where I am heading here… the possibilities are endless! As much as I love the beach, it doesn’t have to always be at a beach!
Add in elements of your life as it is right now. Have a fur baby in your life? I LOVE adding a dog to a couples engagement session. I always say just bring along a friend to hold him when we need to pass the leash off for some shots! Time is wild, and trends and styles change so much.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure your photos are perfectly one-of-a-kind, and feel right for you and your partner.Your save the dates will thank you 🙂
MILA by The White Apron is a stunning new event venue nestled in Historic downtown Exeter, New Hampshire. It is owned by Jay + Liz Curcio. They are also the owners of The White Apron, a hugely successful catering business that does all kinds of events, from weddings, to corporate events, and special occasions. So many reasons why it is gaining attention from all over.
It has just been fully remodeled, and when you walk in the front doors you immediately see the detail and thoughtfulness that has gone into every single thing in the space. From the simple, clean, black + white backdrop, to the beautiful wall in the main large room that looks like an elegant marble swirl. The outside courtyard is so inviting, and spacious, with some areas partially covered, and lots of places to move about where you can sit or stand. Ample parking outside to accommodate up to 120 people (seated) – 200 people (cocktail style). It is less than an hour from Boston, and is positioned right in the heart of the Seacoast area of New Hampshire.
The Bridal Suite/ Getting ready room has thought of everything, and it is spacious, elegant and so comfortable. Beautifully and classically decorated, you will certainly be able to exhale while in there. And would almost be tempted to hang in there for an event!
I can’t wait to show this to my brides who are looking to book a local venue. This is stunning, and Liz was so lovely to chat with. What a gem she has given to Exeter! Can’t wait to do a wedding here.
I first met Devin + Kaelene at a wedding I was second shooting for, and my first thought was that they were the cutest couple ever! Kaelene was so friendly, so incredibly nice, and clearly gorgeous! She was at the wedding supporting her boyfriend Devin who is a very talented videographer. Throughout the afternoon, I just watched them both and saw that they just were the sweetest team. And as if they couldn’t be any cuter, they recently just got a golden retriever they named Canon, and he is SO cute! I should probably go back and count how many times I said the word cute in this post, but if you scroll down you will see why!