Monday, 22 July 2019

Is a Professional Worth the Investment?

  • Published: Wednesday, 07 November 2018 13:17
  • Written by Theresa Hoard

With the dawning of the digital age, it seems everyone has a nice camera, or at least a smart phone with a decent camera capability. Wedding budgets are tight, so it can certainly be tempting to pass on investing in a professional photographer/videographer and ask a friend or family member to capture your day, but doing so may be setting yourself up for a disappointment that will last a life time. Here’s why:

You want your friends and family to ATTEND your wedding, not work it. You may think they can both take photos or video and be present as a guest, but for the majority of people, it does not work that way. Capturing a wedding is a high pressure job and your loved ones don’t want to disappoint you! How do you listen intently and let the couple’s vows touch your heart when you’re in the aisle tensed up waiting for the perfect moment? How do you relax and dance the night away knowing you’re missing capturing parts of your loved one’s big day? You don’t!

Your friend/family member doesn’t know the full extent of what capturing a wedding requires. Yes, owning a good camera is especially important, but there are things equally important that they likely don’t know. For example, how to manage the wedding day timeline, direct groups of people, keep posing natural, handle all manner of weather and lighting challenges, and much much more. Likewise, should a photographic tragedy occur (camera gets dropped, lens is cracked, equipment isn’t working right) a professional has a back up plan and back up gear to work with!

You want to remember every detail as beautifully as it happened. You’ve invested in every detail of your day from the venue to the food that is served to the music being played all the way down to the favors your guests will take home that night… but once the day is done, what will be left to remember it all? Your photos and video! So naturally, you want them to be GREAT photos and video that you will be proud to share with generations after you! While you don’t HAVE to be a pro to take good photos or video, hiring one takes the guessing and fear out of the end result! You don’t have to worry that your memories will be blurry, grainy, or missed all together.

You're not wasting money by using a professional over an amateur! If a professional’s prices seem steep, it’s because they have put the time and effort into their craft and will put a great deal of time and effort into your day. When you pay a professional, they aren’t just showing up on your day with their fancy equipment, clicking a button, and sending you images afterward.  They will spend hours and money on booking, conceptualizing, preparing, consulting, photographing, editing, distributing, and follow-up. A professional will also be licensed and insured with experience and education necessary to ensure things go smoothly from beginning to end!

Roth Wedding

  • Published: Wednesday, 31 October 2018 11:12
  • Written by Theresa Hoard

Not your ordinary wedding! When most people think weddings they think sparkles and daydreams, but this wedding was more like a horror movie (in a good way)! Every aspect of Jacob and Tamra's Halloween themed wedding screamed of darkness from the skull centerpieces, to the customized tombstone at the entrance, to the bloodied rose and skull bouquets! Ever witness the moment a vampire first sees his daughter in her gown? You're about to! With their bridal party in black, Jacob and Tamra said their I-Do's in the presence of all manner of creatures (as guests were invited to dress accordingly). Even the cupcakes held the ghoulish theme, topped with tombstones and cut by the couple with a customized machete! This wedding was definitely one of a kind, and one you'll certainly want to take a look at!


Inclusive Pricing Rocks! Here's Why!

  • Published: Wednesday, 24 October 2018 12:06
  • Written by Theresa Hoard

Inclusive Pricing Rocks! Here’s Why!


If you’ve been following us for awhile now, you may have noticed that our wedding prices have changed to something completely different this month. In previous years, we asked that our clients pay us for our time and then select what they like for products after their images have been delivered. We have changed to inclusive pricing are so we can better service you!

What is inclusive pricing? Inclusive pricing means that our wedding day packages include all of our most popular items as well as some of the smaller charges that we, as a legal business, are required by law to charge! Here’s how inclusive pricing makes things SO much better!

1. No more calculating: Take the amount you pay for coverage, then add the cost of digitals and your other products individually, multiply by .06 for taxes… not anymore! Our wedding packages are now one set price! That means the number you see is the amount you pay for everything the package includes (a USB of digital images with print rights, taxes, travel, even an album, and more are all included in the price!)

2. Less Stress for You: Your wedding is all paid for, you’ve been on your honeymoon and things have finally settled down except… now you have to pay for the majority of your photography products, research what consumer company will have a decent quality album, spend hours designing the album… Nope! With the inclusive packages, most of your photo products will already be paid for and an heirloom quality album and design are included! You just have to choose which images you want and select the materials it’s made from.

3. Heirloom Quality: Some people enjoy creating their own albums and photo products, we completely understand that! Sadly, with a lot of consumer print companies, what you see is only what you get for a couple of years… the colors on the images fade, the cloth wears away….including items in your wedding package is an insurance policy that you will have an item from your wedding day that will stand the test of time!

4. Don’t Forget the Important Items: As professionals in the wedding industry, we’ve been through the process of planning a wedding a few dozen times. As such we are aware of some of the products that you may not even realize you want or need! Now they are included in your package!

5. The Realization You Need More...From Us: As we put together the new packages based on what brides were telling us they wanted, we realized that this new way of doing things gives you more choices and that can seem daunting. As such, we are now offering in person reveals and ordering sessions at no cost to you (we will help you every step of the way and you will be able to see and feel the luxury our products offer before deciding all the details). Our online galleries will remain as well! We also realize that this way of doing things may require a little more of an investment. To help with this, we are now offering payment plans and are also in the works of a gift registry program as well! Soon you will be able to add the products you want as well as the coverage you need to an online registry, much as you would at the big box stores, so your friends and family can give you the gift of your memories and artwork (which is way better than getting that third blender)!

After the Day- What to Do with the Dress After the Wedding

  • Published: Tuesday, 16 October 2018 15:13
  • Written by Theresa Hoard
1. Trash the Dress Photo Session! No, your dress doesn’t have to be completely ruined… A Trash the Dress Session can be tailored to fit your personality! It can be something as simple as getting dressed back up and going somewhere that you might not have been able to on the wedding day (whether due to time limits or need to keep the dress clean) such as a sandy beach, a creek, or even a carnival or arcade! If you want something a little more creative and don’t care about the dress after word? Consider a color, mud, or paint war with your new spouse! You can absolutely trash the dress if you want to!

2. Want to keep your gown forever? Your first step is to get your dress cleaned and preserved! Even if it doesn’t look dirty to the naked eye and you took every precaution to ensure it stayed clean, there can be unseen blemishes. The preservation process also protects the dress from fabric yellowing! 

3. Put it in a shadow box. What better way to keep one of the happiest days of your life front and center in your home? After the dress is preserved, consider placing it in a large shadow box with other items from the day and hang it in your bedroom, living room, or anywhere you like! Much better than keeping it in a box in the attic or garage!

4. Sell it. These days, brides are more financially savvy than ever before! If you have no desire to keep the dress, you could make another bride (who may not have been able to afford such a perfect gown otherwise) very happy and earn some cash back at the same time!

5. Donate it to Charity. Many places accept formal items as donation! One of our favorites is Every Girl’s Dream Inc which donates the dress to brides undergoing financial hardship in Michigan.

6. Create an Heirloom. Yes, some people would love to wear Grandma’s wedding dress, but with the fast tides of the fashion industry, and everyone having their own tastes, this is not a common option for brides. Instead of storing it for generations in hopes it will one day be worn again, consider having it made into baby blankets for your children or others, a christening gown, first communion dress, or even Christmas stocking!

Bischer Wedding

  • Published: Wednesday, 03 October 2018 09:26
  • Written by Theresa Hoard
This wedding truly had it all! Absolutely stunning from beginning to end, the wedding of Kyle and Whitney Bischer was packed full of fun and surprises! From the beautifully decorated aisleway, custom crossword puzzle newspaper style program, and unity cross during the ceremony to the bubble and sparkler exits and smores bar at the reception, there seemed to be no end to the exquisite details of this amazing day! 

Alex & Sara Ritter

  • Published: Tuesday, 25 September 2018 23:47
  • Written by Theresa Hoard
The classic elegance of Sara and Alex’s wedding left us with a stunningly beautiful day with emotional moments that really put it over the top!  Personal gifts were exchanged between Sara and Alex just around the corner from each other so as to share a special moment together without breaking tradition, Sara shared a special first look with her father before walking down the aisle, Alex’s mother helped him with his cuff links and watch, and after the main speeches were given, Sara’s father gave a special speech of his own! 
All in all, a truly wonderful day with a fantastic couple!

Featured Vendor: Especially For You by Corrine

  • Published: Monday, 10 September 2018 12:35
  • Written by Theresa Hoard
Welcome back to Wedding Wednesday! As you may know, hiring local companies can make a huge difference in your wedding day: it’s easier to meet with them, they often know your venue and the staff within, and the money you pay them contributes to your own community! (More on the benefits of hiring local wedding professionals next week!) This week, we’d like you to meet a vendor local to the thumb, Especially For You by Corrine! 

Especially For You by Corrine is a wedding florist and decorator out of Ruth, MI. Two of the highest stress situations for your big day are often the daunting task of decorating the venue and finding the items needed to do so at a reasonable cost. Corrine can help with both! Included in the list of many items available for rent are: chair covers and sashes, table clothes, table runners, table skirting, and centerpieces. Not only will she come set up any items rented from her, she’ll come pack it up as well (one less thing to worry about having friends or family deal with once the party is over)!
Especially For You by Corrine has years of experience in the wedding industry and was even the event decorator for the Ring the Belle Bridal Showcase in 2017! Her work is beautiful, you won’t regret your investment with her! To contact Especially For You by Corrine for your wedding rental and decorating needs, call 989-315-1831. Check out some of her work below! (Images are NOT property of Sweet T Photography & Services).

Dubs Wedding

  • Published: Tuesday, 04 September 2018 19:16
  • Written by Theresa Hoard

If you’ve ever wondered if having an elegant wedding at your home was possible, the answer can certainly be found by viewing Kyle and Madison’s beautiful wedding. Both ceremony and reception took place in the barn at this couple’s home! The soft lighting in the rafters, custom pallet seating (made by the groom himself), and wreath adorned doors gave every moment a country rustic feel and the amount of detail put into each table, centerpieces, and even special seating reserved for the bride’s dearly departed mother made the day unforgettable! Every aspect of this wedding was completely personalized to the couple showing that a dream wedding at home can absolutely be done!

Roggenbuck Wedding

  • Published: Tuesday, 14 August 2018 17:43
  • Written by Theresa Hoard

Friends, family, and tons of fun! Surrounded by loved ones, this couple knew how to make their wedding day a party, just by being themselves! The day began in a beautiful church setting with aisles lined by gorgeous flower arrangements (which smelled much like I imagine Heaven would) and continued with a sentimental gift giving moment with the bride and her mother and father. After a traditional ceremony, the couple continued their party with great music and laughs on their party bus on the way to the bride's parent's home and then to Kanaby Gardens for photos. The reception was highlighted by four wonderful speeches by friends, a fantastic meal, and lots of dancing, laughter, and love! Check out the link below for a highlight trailer from their big day!



An Easy System for Narrowing Your Guest List

  • Published: Tuesday, 24 July 2018 21:59
  • Written by Theresa Hoard

An Easy System for Narrowing Your Guest List

Creating your guest list can be one of those most daunting tasks wedding planning has in store. No one wants to hurt feelings or exclude people, but unfortunately each person invited (and attending) adds to the cost of your event. Likewise, those who are in attendance will inevitably effect the way you and your love feel on your day. Unless you have an unlimited budget, some will sadly have to remain off of the invite list. Since it will be easier to be confident in your guest list decisions if you have a plan in place, here are son tips to help you narrow down that endless list of possible invites.

1.       Make your budget before ANYTHING else. Your budget effects EVERYTHING, especially the number of guests you can invite. Inviting 500 guests only to suddenly realize that you can only afford resources for 200 would be tragic (who wants to make the call to UNinvite someone?!).

2.       Pick a venue that aligns with your budget and style. Once you’re able to settle on a budget and a venue, everything else will start falling into place. This is YOUR day! You want to get married somewhere that makes you happy or has meaning to you, not just somewhere that you had to settle for because your guest list was too big! Let your venue size dictate the maximum number of guests (not the other way around).

3.       Make a list of everyone, then divide them into categories: friends, immediate family, close relatives, extended relatives, coworkers, friends of the family, etc. If someone fits into two categories, (for example, your coworker is your best friend) put them in the higher ranked category. This will not only enable you to see who is most important to you, it can allow you to cut entire categories if need be.

4.       Identify your past and future. There will likely be a lot of people at your wedding, so introducing your new spouse to your best friend from kindergarten should be low on your priorities for the day. Of course, take relationships into account, but as a rule of thumb, if you haven’t spoken to someone in 5 years or don’t see yourself still being in touch 5 years from now, they may not need an invite.

5.       Create a list of people you couldn’t imagine spending the day without and another with those who would be missed, but wouldn’t make or break the day. Send out invites to those most important to you first. When someone from the first list lets you know that they can not attend, send an invite to the next in line!

6.       If you still need to cut the list further, consider cutting the plus one option for those who are not married or even an adult only reception. Both of these options can easily cut your guest list in half!

5 Creative Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Day

  • Published: Wednesday, 18 July 2018 12:40
  • Written by Theresa Hoard


1. Custom Signage

Want to add a wow factor? Consider having custom signs created for you! There are thousands of different ideas for this and they add an extra special touch! Signs can be created for your seating chart, table numbers, to set at the aisles, head table, customized with your name and date… the options are endless! Another great thing about them? Sweet T Photography & Services can create them for you!
2. Alternative Guest Books

Gone are the days of having guests sign a plain book with just lines and spaces for names and addresses. Make your guest book a work of art! Now you can have your guests sign custom art work destined to hang on your walls whether it be a hand painted wooden sign or poster of one of your favorite photos! If you’ve got your heart set on an actual book, consider having your photographer design one for you complete with your engagement photos! (Sweet T Photography & Services can help with that too!)
3. Custom Cake Topper

This is another beautiful item that not only shines as a highlight for your décor, but also can be used in your home after the wedding! Why buy something that you’ll just throw into a box after your day when you can have it on a table or mantel to remind you of your love every day!
4. Get Custom Sneakers

Want to be super cute, but also super comfy? Many companies are now offering to customize sneakers for your day! 
5. Wedding Bouquet Charms

These are a beautiful way to remember loved ones lost and keep them near to your heart (both literally and figuratively) on your wedding day.