Viewing entries in
Weddings

Bridal Emergency Kit Must Haves!

2 Comments

Bridal Emergency Kit Must Haves!

No wedding day is perfect, and no wedding day prep is perfect! In fact - there are a lot of things that have the potential to get left behind! Simple items like scissors, bobby pins, and nail clippers can seem not that important until you're a half hour away from show time (i.e., the bride walking down the aisle) and the bride gets a drop of coffee on her dress or chips a nail. Eeeek! What do you do then?!

If you are the mother of a bride, mother-in-law of a bride, bridesmaid, sister, or friend, you could be a lifesaver on the day of the wedding by having these items on hand! I've compiled a list of what I hear people ask the most for ("does anyone have any _______?") on a wedding day so that YOU can be prepared! And if there's anything you think I missed - feel free to add it in the comments!

  • Scissors
  • Nail file
  • Tweezers
  • Tissues
  • Needle & thread
  • Hair spray
  • Deodorant 
  • Comb/small brush
  • Bobby pins
  • Oil absorbing wipes
  • Clothing tape
  • Nail clippers
  • Tums (or peppermint oil for a tummy upset!)
  • Tylenol/Ibuprofen
  • Stain stick remover
  • Mints/gum
  • A small mirror
  • Clear nail polish
  • Chap stick
  • Hair ties
  • Safety pins
  • Flip flops (If the bride is wearing heels, these are invaluable come reception time!)

Is there anything you would add to the list? Comment below so everyone can be prepared! And if you're looking for a wedding day emergency kit - check out some of my favorites below! (They don't include everything on the list, but they do make a super cute gift for the bride in your life!)

2 Comments

How to Choose a Getting Ready Location for Your Wedding Day

Comment

How to Choose a Getting Ready Location for Your Wedding Day

One portion of the day that can sometimes be forgotten in the planning process is the “getting ready” portion of the day. Though it might not seem as important or necessary, the location you choose to get ready on the day of your wedding can have a HUGE impact on the final product of your photos! While getting ready in the basement of the church or in a tiny hotel room might seem like the only option, I wanted to share a few criteria to help you choose a getting ready space that will not only make your bridesmaids comfortable, but will allow for the best possible photos!

When choosing a getting ready location make sure you have:

1.  Lots of natural light

Natural light will ensure that your photos are well lit – naturally. Flash can always be added, but natural light tends to be very flattering and will ensure that your photos are gorgeous and glowing! Natural light is also the best for having makeup done.

2017-07-03_0013.jpg

2.  A clean space

It’s always helpful to get ready in a location that has more than one room. Why? It’s easy to keep the room where the bride is getting dressed clean and tidy (i.e., a clean backdrop for the zipping of the dress!) if there’s another room for the bridesmaids and family to throw their bags, makeup, and miscellaneous items into!

2017-08-28_0009.jpg

3.  Close to the ceremony location

Choosing a location close to the ceremony location will save time (you won’t have to be ready quite as early), money (you might be able to save on a limo/party bus), and might even get you a few more photos (less travel time = more time for photos!). It’s a win-win from every angle!

2017-04-01_0003.jpg

So, you might be wondering – where can I find a place like this?! Some of my all time FAVORITE getting ready locations have been in bed & breakfasts. They are typically naturally lit, have lots of space, and they are all over the place, and therefore typically fairly easy to find in close proximity to a ceremony location!

Another great option is a hotel room – but when thinking of getting ready in a hotel, opt for a suite style with multiple rooms! This will ensure no one will be cramped and that the space won’t be too messy!

But what if your getting ready location has been decided for you in a small, dark, single room in the basement of your venue?! Here are a few tips:

1.  Be willing to relocate for the zipping of the dress and for putting on shoes/jewelry. In some cases where the getting ready location has been small and dark, we’ve moved the bride outside to a porch for the “finishing touches” of getting ready, allowing for some beautifully, well lit getting ready photos!

2.  Designate one corner of the room as the place to put everyone’s stuff before beginning the process of getting ready. This will keep the rest of the room clean for photos!

Comment

Sarah + John: Twelve Oaks Mansion Wedding Photos

Comment

Sarah + John: Twelve Oaks Mansion Wedding Photos

Sarah's family would describe her as logical and dependable, and John's would describe him as the one that loves to make people laugh. He fishes - and now she does, too. She runs, and now he does, too. They even got engaged at the finish line of the Pittsburgh Marathon just a few short years ago! Because running is such a deep running (pun intended) theme throughout their relationship, they decided to incorporate tons of running details into their reception decor at the beautiful Twelve Oaks Mansion! Each table was "named" after a race they had run together (and let me tell you, there were a lot of tables!!). But before their reception - they celebrated by going to Chick-fil-A!

One thing I love about this couple is their sacrificial love for one another. They both do things they don't necessarily love just to spend time with the other - to make them happy. I remember at their engagement session, John told me that he doesn't really love running, but that he loves Sarah, so he runs. Isn't that what love is? Running just because she loves to run. Fishing just because he loves to fish. Love isn't a feeling, it's an action. And I'd say that these two are off to a pretty amazing start.

Congratulations, Sarah and John! We were so honored to have been a part of your day. Here's to many more races together! 

Vendors:

Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade

Invitations: Paper by JLee

Bride's Dress: Mary's Bridal

Hair: Pretty Hair Salon

Flower: Fairview Floral

Men's Attire: Top Hat Tuxedo

Ceremony: St. John Neumann Church

Reception: Twelve Oaks Mansion

DJ: D.J. DeHart

Cake: Tin Man Sweets Bake Shoppe

Videographer: Platinum Fire Productions

Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer: Jenna Hidinger Photography

Comment

Why are Anniversary Photos so Important?

Comment

Why are Anniversary Photos so Important?

Have you ever thought about what kind of legacy you’ll be leaving for your kids? For their kids? For the generations that come after you? Our legacy is what the people we love most and who love us most will remember us by when we’re gone - and legacy is what makes anniversary photos so important.

We all leave behind a little piece of our legacy every day in the way we talk, in how we act, and in how we choose to love the people around us. Those memories are stored in the minds and hearts of current and future generations – but so are the images they carry of us. They say that “a photo is worth a thousand words,” and that statement rings true even more so when someone is gone.

I’ve always seen photos as stakes in the ground, reminding us how where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. These “stakes” of sorts are what hang in our homes, decorate our coffee tables, and remind us of the good times and not so great times.

Take our first wedding anniversary photos, for instance. These photos are so precious to me for a multitude of reasons:

-       We had them taken at one of our favorite places

-       I wore won of my favorite dresses

-       We took them during a time of rest

-       They capture our joy at that time in our lives

-       They show so many elements of who we are as a couple

 *Photo by KT Crabb Photography

*Photo by KT Crabb Photography

ALL of those attributes point to a little piece of who Nick and I were at the time we took the photos, at that specific time in our lives. And now, we get to carry a little piece of that with us for the rest of our lives. Jenna and Nick in one of their favorite places, Jenna wearing that dress she loved, and both of them looking full present and joyful with each other.

Not only that, but we’ve changed SO MUCH since our first day of marriage. The way we interact together has changed. The way we move together has changed. What we wear has changed. And in a couple of years, all of that will probably change again. We’ll have grown physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually – and we want to remember that. And someday, when we’re gone, we want other people to remember that, too.

I've had a few couples over the years who have graciously trusted me to photograph them after a number of years of marriage. And let me tell you - those sessions are always some of my FAVORITES! Married people who are still in love are always so easy to photograph. So, because I had so much fun with these people, I reached out to a couple of them to see exactly why they decided to have their anniversary photos taken. And I loved their answers:

"We decided to get anniversary pictures because we think they are a great way to celebrate your years of marriage, regardless of how long you've been married, and reflect on how far you've come as a couple! Your understanding and love for each other grows so much deeper over time. Your wedding photos will always be so special, but there is something even more sweet about having that time together as a couple without the business of a wedding surrounding it. You can just be with each other and focus on how much your love has grown over the years. " - Kim C. (See her and her husband's anniversary photos here!)

2017-12-28_0009.jpg

"We had not invested in photos of ourselves since our wedding day SIX years ago.  Our treasured engagement and wedding photos hang all over our home. The only problem is that six years ago we were 22 and 23 year olds just out of college. And it shows. We look SO young! But I kept putting off having updated photos done because I believed it was only something to do for the HUGE milestones in life: Marriage and babies. But then I realized that was silly, and our life now is worth documenting. So Naz agreed and we began the process of locking down all of the logistics to making these anniversary photos happen (shout out to Jenna who made the process a blast!). 

Initially it seemed to us like a frivolous investment - which is why we kept putting it off. But that notion could not be further from the truth! It turns out, it was an incredible investment - not only into our home decor of updated, beautiful photos, but also into our marriage! It is so awesome to look at our updated photos and see how we’ve changed, not only in how we look, but in our interactions with one another. We are different people than we were even one year ago, and it's fun to see photos of ourselves in this season of life. Truly, they make us SO happy and we are so glad we decided to make this investment!   When we see our gallery of images, we can't stop smiling. We see two people who are more in love than ever after six years of sharing life through the ups and downs, and growing stronger in the process! 

A side note: It ends up being a BLAST of a date night. You get to get all dressed up and run around snuggling the love of your life. It's worth it to plan dinner or something else fun afterwards :) " - Elisabeth D. (Check out her and her husband's anniversary photo session here!)

2017-06-01_0041.jpg

So, why are anniversary photos so important? Because they are your physical legacy. They show how you’ve grown as a couple – and that’s something so precious worth remembering.

Comment

Megan & Sean: Butler Country Club Wedding Photos

Comment

Megan & Sean: Butler Country Club Wedding Photos

I knew I was in for a treat from the moment I met Megan and Sean for their Historic Harmony engagement session this past winter! (Click here to check it out!) Kind, gracious, generous are just a few of the words I would use to describe this pair, and let me tell you - their friends and family fall right into that same category!

Megan and Sean's wedding day began with the ladies getting ready at Megan's parents' house - which just so happens to sit right on the edge of the Butler Country Club golf course! Her parents' house made the perfect backdrop for her gorgeous and classic bridal details - ranging from a dress bought at Kleinfeld's to the most beautiful jewelry and accessories! Though the threat of rain loomed throughout the day, it only sprinkled for all of five minutes on their day - regardless, Megan's parents have the most BEAUTIFUL front porch that we used from practically every angle for photos!

The ceremony took place at First United Methodist Church in the heart of Butler, which included a few personal touches, including a song sung by the bride's brother. It was beautiful!

After their formal exit, we headed back to the Butler Country Club for photos around the property, followed by a reception in the grand ballroom. The room was decked out in beautiful florals (by Julie James) and The Elite Show Band brought so much life to the party! There's nothing quite like a live band at a wedding!

Congratulations on your wedding day, and more importantly, on your marriage, Megan and Sean! Praying all the best for you two as you move forward into this next adventure!

Vendors:

Bride's Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal

Church: First United Methodist Church

Florist: Julie James

Cake: Pennies Bakery

Band/Entertainment: The Elite Show Band

Hair & Makeup: Salon Vivace

Reception: Butler Country Club

Videography: Nathan Kesneck Wedding Videography

Second Shooter: Ashley McLaughlin

Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer: Jenna Hidinger Photography

Comment

Frequently Asked Questions in the Bridal Getting Ready Suite

Comment

Frequently Asked Questions in the Bridal Getting Ready Suite

There are a few questions that are asked during almost EVERY bride/bridesmaid getting ready session. But why should you care about these questions? If you're a bride-to-be, a bridesmaid-to-be, a mother-in-law or a mother of the bride, knowing what could come up in advance could make you the most prepared person in the room for these questions that will most likely be asked!

Does anyone have any scissors?

Yes, this is probably the number one most frequently asked question in the bridal prep room! Tags and loose threads show up in large numbers on a wedding day in the bridal prep room. I recommend packing a little “bridal emergency” bag with scissors, thread & needle, hairspray, bobby pins, gum, tape, and any other items you think you might need!

Which leg does the garter go on?

The wedding garter is (traditionally) worn on the left leg, and the toss-away garter is worn on the right, both about 3 to 6 inches above the knee. But you can wear both on the same leg, if you’d like! But to be honest - it doesn't really matter that much! I actually took my garter off part of the way through my wedding day because it was so dang itchy!

When should my bridesmaids get dressed?

It’s best for bridesmaids to get dressed before the bride, along with the mother of the bride and anyone else helping the bride get into her dress. Why? For photo’s sake, having everyone out of their lounge clothes and into their formal attire to match the bride helps make the photos much more cohesive! Sweatpants and a wedding dress don't really go together ;)

Has anyone seen the rings?!

Just kidding about this one – but when this question is asked, it is scary! I’ve only been a part of one wedding where the rings were misplaced (i.e., left at the bride’s house) before the ceremony. But no worries – decoy rings were used, and the crowd didn’t even notice! The bride was thrown off a bit, though, as she had no idea they were missing until her husband went to slip the band on her finger! I would recommend having one person who is in charge of the rings to make sure they make it to the ceremony - just in case!

2017-06-20_0114.jpg

Comment

Embassy Suites Downtown Pittsburgh: Favorite Pittsburgh Wedding Venues

2 Comments

Embassy Suites Downtown Pittsburgh: Favorite Pittsburgh Wedding Venues

Alright friends, it's time for another installment of my favorite Pittsburgh wedding venues! Today, I’m excited to introduce you to another one of my favorites, located right in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh: the Embassy Suites Downtown Pittsburgh! MUCH, much different from my previous favorite wedding venues (Lingrow Farms, Shady Elms Farm), this hotel is a top favorite of mine for so many reasons!

In these venue highlights, I want to share some of my favorite attributes of each venue when it comes specifically to photos – mainly, why I love shooting there, how picturesque the venue is from a photographer’s point of view, and how rain could affect your wedding photos at each venue. My hope is to help viewers see the potential of each wedding venue I highlight specifically from a photography perspective so you can ensure that your photos will be gorgeous!

Picturesque:

My favorite thing about this venue: it used to be a BANK. That's right, a legitimate, functioning BANK. And they left all of the most beautiful parts for guests to enjoy, including a vault (which looks epic in photos) and tons of art deco, black and gold design all throughout the lobby. It's truly classic meets modern, and there are SO many options for bridal party, bride & groom, AND detail photos!

2017-10-26_0058.jpg

In addition to having a beautiful interior space, the Embassy Suites Downtown Pittsburgh is one walk across the street away from Mellon Park, Strawberry Way, and only a few short blocks from other gorgeous and iconic downtown Pittsburgh locations!

This hotel also has a gorgeous and modern cocktail hour and ballroom space, and if you're feeling adventurous, Mellon Park lights up BEAUTIFULLY at night, making for some truly epic night time portraits!

Rain Plan:

This venue is definitely on your side in the case of rain. With BEAUTIFUL interior decoration, there are more than enough spaces to work with (though you might have a little trouble fitting everyone in if you have a huge bridal party!). I think I could have an entire bride & groom portrait session in the lobby and not even get bored! And don't even get me started on the elevators - most certainly the most gorgeous elevator doors I've ever seen!

Other Mentionables:

I feel like the photos speak for themselves with this one! You HAVE to check them out!!!

If you are a bride who is looking into Embassy Suites Downtown Pittsburgh as a potential wedding venue, I would love to chat with you more! Feel free to email me directly at jhidingerphotography@gmail.com with any questions you might have!

2 Comments

Kristin & Brian: Antonelli's Event Center Wedding Photos

2 Comments

Kristin & Brian: Antonelli's Event Center Wedding Photos

Kristin and Brian's colorful, bird-detailed wedding day was absolutely beautiful from start to finish! I had the pleasure of photographing these two about a month before their wedding day at Allegheny Commons Park (see their engagement photos here!) and as SOON as I started photographing them I could tell how oh-so-in-love they were!

The story of how they met is pretty much something you would see in a movie: Brian was a teller at a bank, and Kristin was a server at Eat'n Park (a little over three years ago). Kristin would come into the bank to deposit her tips, which is how she met Brian. After she met him, she tried to purposely make sure she would end up going to his counter - and soon after that, they had their first date. The rest is history, as they say!

If you don't happen to know it, Kristin is an insanely talented wedding and portrait photographer - which made her wedding even more of an honor to photograph!! When someone in the industry trusts you with their day, it's truly such an honor. Kristin also happens to be an avid bird watcher, and is something her and Brian now love to do together - which is why you'll see some bird themed detailed incorporated throughout her wedding day! There is even a huge bird MURAL in their church parking lot, which, of course, we had to incorporate into their photos! The mural even matched their wedding colors, which is so stinking amazing!

Kristin and Brian, it was truly such an incredible honor to be a part of your wedding day. I can't thank you enough for truly being two of the kindest souls to work with! So excited for you as you start their marriage journey!

Vendors

Church: Good Shepherd Church - Braddock, PA

Reception: Antonelli's Event Center

Invitations: Missy Hubans

Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridal Beginnings

Bride's Dress: Sorelle Bridal

Makeup Artist: Bailey Rae Beauty

DJ: 2nd II None Productions

Cake: Patti's Patisserie

Florist: Karen's Floral

Second Shooter: Sara Dinwiddie, Sara Lynn Photography

2 Comments

Shady Elms Farm: Favorite Pittsburgh Wedding Venues

Comment

Shady Elms Farm: Favorite Pittsburgh Wedding Venues

I’m excited to introduce you to another one of my favorite Pittsburgh wedding venues: Shady Elms Farm! This eclectic, whimsical farm is full of drop-dead gorgeous details and sweeping Western Pennsylvania views that leave this little photographer's heart oh-so-happy! 

In these venue highlights, I want to share some of my favorite attributes of each venue when it comes specifically to photos – mainly, why I love shooting there, how picturesque the venue is from a photographer’s point of view, and how rain could affect your wedding photos at each venue. My hope is to help viewers see the potential of each wedding venue I highlight specifically from a photography perspective so you can ensure that your photos will be gorgeous!

Picturesque:

Like I mentioned in the intro, if you're looking for a picturesque spot to have your wedding - this is it. Shady Elms Farm not only has a beautiful farmhouse and barns that can be incorporated into your photos, but also has fields, lines of trees, a pond (if you're brave, a canoe!), and sweeping mountain views. Really, what more could you need?! I feel like you have to see the photos to believe it!

In addition to being all-around beautiful, sunset is extra magical up on the hill above the farm. It's definitely worth sneaking away from your reception for a few minutes for some epic golden hour photos!

Rain Plan:

Though I've never photographed a rainy day wedding at Shady Elms, there are lots of spots that could be used in the case of rain! There is a deck on the front of the farmhouse, as well as a covered pavillion in the back! In past years, the inside of farmhouse has also been open for use in the case of inclement weather and is adorable inside!

Other Mentionables:

Aside from being stunning from pretty much every angle, Shady Elms Farm also has the kindest, most pleasant people you would hope to work with on your wedding day. Who doesn't want to work with amazing people on their wedding day?!

Shady Elms Farm also does ALL of the florals for the weddings they host - which totally blows my mind, because they are some of the most beautiful bouquets I've ever seen!

If you are a bride who is looking into Shady Elms Farm as a potential wedding venue, I would love to chat with you more! Feel free to email me directly at jhidingerphotography@gmail.com with any questions you might have!

Comment

5 Unexpected Things to Factor Into Your Wedding Timeline

Comment

5 Unexpected Things to Factor Into Your Wedding Timeline

Have you ever planned a wedding day timeline?! The task can seem daunting to say the very least! How long does hair and makeup take? How long will it take to get enough bride and groom photos? When will you have time to go to the bathroom?!

While all vendor related questions can be answered specifically by your wedding vendor (and I highly recommend reaching out to vendors to get a time estimate for how long each part of the day could potentially take!), I’d love to share five unexpected events I frequently come across on wedding days that are sometimes not given enough time in the “official” wedding timeline (causing day-of events to run behind), or just not accounted for at all. The key to an awesome timeline is to be prepared in advance – so here are my top tips for you, bride-to-be! Don’t forget to factor in:

1. TRAVEL TIME

This is a big one, but can sometimes be overlooked even by even the most detailed planners! Travel time from the getting ready location to the ceremony, from the ceremony to the photo location, and from the photo location to the reception can sometimes eat up a significant amount of time on a wedding day. On top of that, party busses, limos, and trolleys are required by law to drive below the speed limit – which means longer travel time.

Tip: If you plan on renting a party bus, add an extra ten to fifteen minutes onto any travel time during the wedding day.

2. A RECEIVING LINE

Receiving lines can be great for getting to greet each guest, but before you decide on a receiving line, think about this: you’ll probably want to talk to at least each of your guests for a minute or so (trust me, I was a bride once!), because many of them you won’t have seen in months or even years. If you have 150 guests, your receiving line could take up to 150 minutes, or over two hours.

Tip: Check in with all of your guests during dinner! During the reception, typically the timeline is a bit more relaxed and you’ll actually have an hour to an hour and a half during dinner to greet everyone individually (plus, everyone will be happy because they’ll be getting fed, too!)

3. THE BUSTLING OF THE DRESS

Bustling a dress can be a LOT harder than you would think! Some bustles can have up to 20 different hooks and/or buttons, so if you have a dress with an intricate bustle, make sure you leave some time to bustle up!

Tip: Leave an extra 10 to 15 minutes before your reception begins for your bridesmaids to bustle you!

4. LINING UP TO ENTER THE RECEPTION

This is one area where I see a lot of disconnect. The DJ typically likes to have 10 minutes or so to set up each couple for their grand entrance – making sure they have name pronunciation right and the entrance order correct.

Tip: Ask your DJ how much time he/she needs to set up for the grand entrance, and allot that into your timeline. This way, you’ll keep your guests happy (who are expecting to be fed at a certain time!)

5. SOME SORT OF MISHAP

Anything can happen on a wedding day, from a bridesmaid running behind to makeup/hair taking longer than expected – whatever the case, I highly recommend leaving a few “buffers” in your timeline, just in case something unexpected and out of your control happens. That way, you can rest assured that you have more than enough time and leeway in your timeline to keep the day on pace!

Former brides, bridesmaids, grooms, and family members: is there anything you would add to the list? Leave your best timeline tips in the comments below!

Comment