Monday, November 2, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Richard Esposito

One of our favorite parts of being in the industry is when a vendor contacts us to discuss their experiences as a wedding professional. We especially love when that conversation opens our eyes to a true artist. This is what happened when Richard Esposito reached out to us. Please take a moment to read our interview with him and peruse some of his work... I think you'll understand why we were so excited and why he is this week's Vendor Unveiled.

Name: Richard Esposito

Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
Though located in North Haven, CT, we travel to photograph all over the country. Most of our clients are in New England and New York, but destination weddings take us to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C. to name a few recent places.

How long have you been in business?
My interest in photography has been life long, but my business has been thriving for 6 years. I left my career as an Emmy Award winning television video editor to pursue my passion of photography. It was a wonderful leap of faith.

What drew you to photography as a profession?
I'm told I have an ability to capture a moment in time that can allow my client to relive it and remember how it felt to be there. It is an amazing feeling to give that to someone.
What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
I connect with my clients and become part of their lives. It is important for me to create that connection so they feel comfortable around me on their wedding day. Also, from a technical perspective, an artful composition and lighting are two aspects of my work that I take pride in.

What do you love most about your job?
What is not to love? I get to do what I love on the happiest day of peoples lives. This is the best job I have ever had!! But to pick one aspect that I enjoy the most, I think that I love how different every couple is and how each wedding is unique. It's never the same and it never feels like I've done it before.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Ink and Paper Design

The invitation is really the moment when the scene starts to be set for your wedding. It is the first glimpse your guests get into the feel and vision of your event. Therefore, it is vital that you make sure that you use a designer that is passionate and cares about your wedding. With that, we introduce you to this week's featured vendor!

Name: Julia Contacessi


Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
Located in Connecticut and service all of the US

How long have you been in business?
8 years in custom favors and stationery, 12 in graphic design

What drew you to stationery design as a profession?
With my graphic design background it was easy to fall into designing invitation and announcements for family and loved ones. Once I saw how excited I could make someone through my designs I was hooked. And, I also love paper!!!

What do you feel sets you apart as a stationery designer?
Caring over designs into all the pieces that we sell. You can select an invitation and find match thank you sticks along with mint or candle tins, even gift favor wraps.

What do you love most about your job?
Creating something special and personal to mark an event. It’s really a joy to visually put to paper someone’s tone and personally for their special occasion.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Tania Sones Photography

We are so lucky to have such amazing talent in Connecticut, and one of the categories that we constantly find incredible wedding professionals is in photography. This week's featured vendor is a perfect example of this.

Name: Tania Sones



Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I am based out of central Connecticut, but have traveled along the east coast for events. I love to travel anywhere- send me to Hawaii if you must!

How long have you been in business?
4.5 years

What drew you to photography as a profession?
I traveled around the world years ago (as a consultant for a large company) and remember shooting a sunset in Washington, DC- with a beautiful oak tree in the background right across from the White House. Once those photos were developed (back in "film" days), I remember looking at that photo and just thinking that this is something I loved doing! Then, with the birth of my first son (years later)-- it sealed the deal. I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do!

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
The photographer that you hire is the person that you trust to capture your moments as you've imagined. You need to feel comfortable with that person, and feel right away it will be a good relationship- it truly is a partnership. I set expectations with my clients so that they understand my style and my personality that would provide them the type of photos I deliver. This way, we develop a solid foundation, and they feel comfortable with me and the way I would be capturing their story. When I came up with the three words for my business logo, it needed to capture exactly what my clients would receive: Photos that were Simple. Elegant. Beautiful.

What do you love most about your job?
Besides being a mom, there's nothing else I want to do in life. (Hopefully that says it all!)

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Comment for a Cause: 3rd Quarter Recap

Wow, the 4th quarter snuck up on us so fast, we didn’t even have a chance to post our 3rd quarter recap in time! Less than three months left in the year – crazy! Admittedly, we did not blog as aggressively as we should have in 3rd quarter, so naturally our comment numbers are a little lower than in the first half of the year - only 8 (yikes!).

Since this is mostly our fault, we're going to up the amount to match our lowest donation to date, which was $20.00 in the 1st quarter. This will be donated to the Arbor Day Foundation.

Our featured charity for 4th quarter will be the American Cancer Society.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: The Cake Boutique

The wedding cake provides you with a great opportunity to have the entire feeling of the event expressed in one single detail. So many elements of the cake come together to really display the personality of the bride and groom... the color, the design, the flavor and the shape. Today, we have an interview with one of Connecticut's premiere cake designers, The Cake Boutique in Wilton. Their creations are always beautiful and delicious. Take a moment to read about his imaginative and talented company!

Name: The Cake Boutique


Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
We are located in Wilton, CT. We serve Fairfield, New Haven and Westchester Counties. We also serve New York City.

How long have you been in business?
5 years

What drew you to cake design as a profession?
Ever since we were children, we loved watching our mom bake cakes. We always helped her and our passion for cake decorating evolved. After college, we decided to go to The French Culinary Institute in NYC and we received our pastry degrees and have been making cakes ever since!

What do you feel sets you apart as a cake designer?
We are down to earth and we really listen to our customers. Also, our cakes taste extraordinarily delicious!

What do you love most about your job?
Making a beautiful and delicious product and making our customers happy.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
[image credit: Red Loft Studios]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Heartbeat Dance Band

A few years ago, we had the immense pleasure of meeting Barbara LaValle of Heartbeat Dance Band. We were instantly impressed by this band's spirit, energy and talent. You can tell that the band is having fun... and that translates to the wedding guests!

Name: Heartbeat Dance Band

Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
NY Metro Area

How long have you been in business?
20 years

What drew you to providing event music as a profession?
I’ve been involved in music all my is my passion. What do you feel sets you apart as an event band? We have 6 great singers in our band; all very different enabling us to cover all styles of music authentically.
What do you love most about your job?
Working with my brides & grooms to make their day a dream come true!

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Jennie Fresa Beauty Library

Nothing is better than feeling completely beautiful and it is never more important to have that wonderful feeling than on your wedding day. I truly believe that the sign of an excellent makeup artist is one who will enhance the natural and internal beauty of the bride. And this week's Vendor Unveiled has an immense talent to succeed in making each bride look like the best version of herself.Name: Jennie Fresa
Where are you located and what geographical areas do you service?
The Beauty Library, where I meet brides for consultations and trials, is located in Clinton CT but I travel on-location for weddings world wide.

How long have you been in business?
I have been doing makeup for over 10 years but I started my own business 3 years ago!
What drew you to makeup artistry as a profession?
I absolutely LOVE helping women feel good about their appearances. Makeup is an art but it's also about a feeling. We should all embrace our unique qualities and know how to enhance our best features. "Teaching" women makeup is my favorite!

What do you feel sets you apart as a makeup artist?
I believe that the "beauty experience" should be just as memorable as choosing the right gown for your wedding. We create an experience that you won't forget! The Beauty Library is a charming, cozy place where brides can feel comfortable and special! We don't transform women for their wedding day. We create a custom look that suits the style of their venue and their personality. It's all about being the best version of yourself.

What do you love most about your job!
I love hearing about ALL of the wedding details! I was recently married myself, so I am relating to brides on a whole new level now! My brides are my friends. Often, our relationship goes well past the wedding day!

If you had to describe yourself in one word what would it be?
[image credit: Leslie Dumke Studio]

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Mike Connolly

This week would like to introduce you to one of Connecticut's premier disc jockeys. Even Jessica used Mike Connolly's company for her own wedding in 2005. I was a guest at that party... and I can tell you that they do an incredible job!

Name: Mike Connolly



Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
We are in Southington and service all of Connecticut, Central Mass. and RI.

How long have you been in business?
Next year will be my 20th year in business.

What drew you to DJing as a profession?
The love of music and the inability to play it myself. When I first saw how much music can influence the mood of a wedding, I was hooked.

What do you feel sets you apart as a DJ?
I’ve been known for my non-cheesey yet very personal approach to weddings. While there is a market for the interactive style, Most brides appreciate a great, well organized party without all the cheese.

What do you love most about your job?
I get to see the best of people on one of their most important days. If you think about it, My job is party!

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Dirt

I know that it has been awhile since we posted an edition of Vendors Unveiled, but ... we're back! And we would love to use this time to introduce you to Ann of Dirt. We have had the pleasure of working with Ann in the past and are truly mesmerized by her stunning floral creations. Enjoy getting to know this incredibly talented woman!

Name: Ann Robertson of Dirt


Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
We have a studio in Greenwich, CT but have done events up and down the East Coast from North Carolina to Cape Cod, so far. . .

How long have you been in business?
My love of flowers started when everyone's did, handing dandelion bouquets to my Mom. Only she must've appreciated them more than most, because I wanted to keep doing that everyday. After studying floral design at Parsons School of Design in NYC, I opened a creative floral studio called Dirt in October of 2003. Now we make bouquets with just about anything except dandelions.

What drew you to floral design as a profession?
Color, texture and the ability to work everyday with such a beautiful part of this earth.

What do you feel sets you apart as a floral designer?
Creativity. It comes from not being lazy and falling back on tired old rules of floral design. From thinking differently about each event and how to make it special.

What do you love most about your job?
Hearing the Ooohs and Aaahs as guests enter a room you've designed.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Boudoir, anyone?

Our friends over at Raw Photo Design are hosting a boudoir marathon in September. This is a fun opportunity to get dressed up, let your hair down, and get some tasteful, intimate images of yourself. Boudoir photos are becoming a popular wedding gift for grooms, but they also make a great anniversary gift for husbands, no matter how long you’ve been married.

If you’re not feeling 100% confident about your body, no worries. Eric and Amber know how to pose you in only the most flattering of ways and can do some amazing things with Photoshop. You’ll look like you walked straight out of the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. Head on over to their blog to check out their boudoir portfolio. Contact information is below.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to Negotiate with a Wedding Vendor

As a general rule of thumb, we don’t negotiate with wedding vendors on behalf of our clients. Actually, let me rephrase that: we don’t ask vendors to lower their prices simply because their existing pricing structure does not fit within a client’s budget. In the current economic climate, wedding budgets are being tightened like never before and as a result, some couples seem to think that vendors should reduce their prices accordingly. After all, money is money, right? Booking the client at a lower rate is better than losing the business altogether. Not quite. Think of how you would feel if your boss came up to you and said, “Look, funds are a little tight right now, so I’m going to cut your pay by 25% for the next two weeks, but you’ll still have to come in and do the same amount of work.”

You see, wedding professionals are in a service industry. Negotiating the price on a new car, for example, is an entirely different ballgame. In this case, you are simply asking the car dealer to lower their profit margin. They pay a certain amount for the vehicle and sell it for a higher price. The higher the price, the more money they make, and so list prices are typically inflated to leave room for negotiation. A wedding vendor, however, is essentially selling themselves. They provide a service and base their pricing on the time, effort, and resources involved in executing that service. By asking them to lower their price just because you can't afford it, you are devaluing them. Most vendors don’t appreciate this.

Think of negotiation as a compromise: both parties agree to give something up in order to get something in return. If a certain photographer is out of your budget, for instance, you can ask for a lower price in exchange for less hours of coverage at the wedding, fewer photographic prints, or a smaller album. That way, you pay less and the photographer spends less time and/or resources on your event. Everybody wins. Keep this in mind the next time you are negotiating with a wedding professional.

Do you have any negotiating tips to share?

[Image credit:]

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy Anniversary Kelly & Giancarlo!

Kelly and Giancarlo are celebrating their first anniversary today. They were married in the picturesque gardens of Caramoor. Happy anniversary to you both!

[Image credit: Ken Lax]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bad Bloggers

Okay, we admit it. We’ve been slacking off on the blogging lately. But it’s only because we’ve been busy coordinating weddings and enjoying summer vacations with our families. We’re going to get back on track soon (we promise!) so be sure to keep us on your RSS feed!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Pavilion Catering

One of my favorite reception venues in Connecticut is The Barns at Wesleyan. It is a gorgeous, rustic environment that is the perfect canvas for an amazing event. This week, Bliss Weddings would like you to introduce you to the genius behind events held at this particular location. Please take a moment to read our interview with Jonathan Jennings as he speaks about his work with Pavilion Catering.

We have 4 beautiful facilities in central Connecticut. We really do have something for every bride. Waterfront, authentic historical, country club, mansion … we have it all. We are the perfect choice for local brides and those planning destination weddings.

How long have you been in business?
Pavilion Catering is celebrating 25 years in business in 2009 … and we are very proud!

What drew you to catering as a profession?
Catering is the one profession in which you get to be a little bit of everything … chef, event planner, social worker, electrician, tent repairman, plumber, gardener, bridal gown bustle“er” … everything. Brides even think I control the weather! Unlike other types of food service, each day in catering is uniquely different from every other day. I love it … it is easy to keep fresh and inspired.

What do you feel sets you apart as a caterer?
There are many really good caterers in Connecticut. I think we are different because of the level of energy we put into every event. We have assembled a terrific team and when all of their passion and energy comes together catering a wedding, the results are really special.

What do you love most about your job?
I love going to work each day knowing that I have to ability to make people happy.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Lucky. I have a beautiful wife, children I adore and a career that is challenging and rewarding.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Michelle Dowling Calligraphy

It is always said that invitations are the guest's first glimpse into the event. This is where they learn the design, style, and formality of the wedding. Therefore, the first elements of the invitations are incredibly important. And nothing says classic, beautiful wedding quite like gorgeous calligraphy. Therefore, this week's edition of Vendors Unveiled is serving to introduce you to one of Connecticut's premiere calligraphers!

Name: Michelle Dowling


Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I am located in Glastonbury, Connecticut and work with brides everywhere.

How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for 6 years however, I have been doing calligraphy for over 15 years.

What drew you to calligraphy as a profession?
I have always had a passion for beautiful writing. As a kid, I would love to make "fancy letters" and begged my mother for calligraphy classes in second grade (which she let me take!). As I got older, I calligraphed all of my friends and families wedding invitations. Eventually I branched out and made it into my own business.

What do you feel sets you apart as a calligrapher?
I believe it is my level of care and attention to detail as well as my pricing. My priority is to offer beautiful handwritten envelopes to brides who want to make their invitation stand out for a unique first impression ... without being an extraordinary expense.

What do you love most about your job?
I love that each client is unique and we come up with ways to make the calligraphy and invitation truly part of the vision and the wedding.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rachel & Mike | April 4, 2009

This blog post is loooooong overdue, but better late than never, right? We kicked off our 2009 season with the wonderful wedding of Rachel and Mike. Rachel came to us just a couple of months before the big day for some help in wrapping up a few last-minute details. She and Mike both have demanding careers which left them with little time to devote to the hectic final months of planning. They were also working with a very unique theme inspired by their professions – she’s a scientist and he races cars (cool!) – and they wanted to make sure their event had a cohesive look and feel. Working with a science/racing theme was a challenge to say the least, but it was a fun challenge and the event came together beautifully.

All of the below images were captured by photographer Bob Fairweather, who is a friend of the couple.

Rachel and Mike opted to host both their ceremony and reception at the stately Lounsbury House in Ridgefield, CT. Walking down the aisle in a wedding gown and heels is always a little tricky, but Rachel decided to up the ante by making her bridal procession down a flight of stairs in the foyer of the Lounsbury House. Luckily, her dad was by her side to escort her and keep her steady.

After the couple exchanged vows, they made their way down the aisle as guests waved miniature checkered flags.

When selecting the color scheme for their event, Rachel and Mike drew inspiration from Mike's racecar, settling on a vibrant palette of yellow, blue, and green. The car also served as the inspiration for Mike's groom's cake, which was created in its likeness.

Other racing-themed touches were evident throughout the event decor, including this pegboard displaying keychain favors that doubled as place cards.

Ann from Dirt Floral provided all of the flowers, including these beautiful floral centerpieces nestled in silver trophy vases. Rachel and Mike chose to distinguish their guest tables with numbers that represented their favorite racecar drivers.

Mike's parents had these very cool antique wooden toys that added a whimsical touch to the fireplace mantels, while continuing the racing theme.

The racing elements definitely outnumbered the science elements at this wedding, but subtle touches including Erlenmeyer flask vases decorating the cocktail tables and test tube shots at the bar ensured that both themes blended seamlessly.

And now for an action shot: I love this photo of the happy couple enjoying their first dance.

Rachel and Mike, it was such a pleasure to share in your special day and we wish you all the best in your new life together!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Dana Bartone & Company

This week's Vendor Unveiled is an incredible artist who has built an amazing reputation in our area. She is responsible for making so many brides feel absolutely radiant on the most memorable days of their lives. Take a moment to learn more about Dana and her team!

Name: Dana Bartone



Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
We are located in Cheshire, CT and service CT, MA, RI and NY

How long have you been in business?
18 years

What drew you to makeup styling as a profession?
The love of the industry since I was a teenager. It is an amazing profession that allows me to work with people who allow me to create different looks and sides of their personalities through the use of color and makeup technology.

What do you feel sets you apart as a makeup stylist?
I feel as though I have the ability to work with each person individually and create the look they desire without preconceived "looks" in mind and considering all their features and uniqueness.

What do you love most about your job?
I get excited when I see a face come alive with color and expression.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Inspiration Storyboard: Coffee & Cybidium

I love coffee. The inspiration for this particular storyboard came from that deep and real love of all things java. I was at a friend's house one day and on the kitchen counter sat a clear container full of coffee beans. Given my addiction, it was a beautiful sight. I then thought about the chartreuse green of cybidium orchids and discovered that the colors are incredibly striking together. The contrast of the rich chocolate color of the coffee beans and the sharp, bright green of the cybidium orchid really play against each other. Here is a compilation of images I believe demonstrate the great combination of these hues. And now I want coffee... I'm off to Starbucks!

Image source: unknown
Please let us know if any of these belong to you and we'd be happy to give you credit!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Couture Cookies

When it comes to wedding favors, you can never go wrong with something edible. Check out Gumdrop Cookie Shop, which creates beautiful sugar cookies featuring your photo, monogram, or custom design for weddings and other special occasions. Have them create a unique cookie to match your wedding invitation or even your gown. You can also choose one of their couture designs. If you don't want to use them as favors, these sweet treats would also be a welcome addition to any candy buffet or dessert bar. Visit to place an order.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Justin & Mary

The first time I came across Justin & Mary's work was in the form of a photo shoot they did with two fellow local coordinators. The photos were amazing... they were moody and strong and truly created a palpable atmosphere that is difficult to even describe. This week, we are featuring this incredible couple and we know you will love their work as much as we do!

Name: Justin & Mary


Blog: same! we have a "blogsite"

Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
We are based out of New Haven, CT but we travel all over the world!

How long have you been in business?
We both went full time in September 2006. We were sort of part time before then, but that's really what we consider the start of the business we have now!

What drew you to photography as a profession?
Justin was basically born with a camera in his hand. Seriously, we have a picture of him when he was about 3 holding a toy camera. For me, I always loved photography but never really had a way to learn it until I fell in love with a photographer. And the photography just seemed to flow from there. :) Bold

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
We really consider our clients our friends. We understand what they are going through (having gone through it ourselves not too long ago). And that kind of trust and relationship makes it possible for us to get the shots that we wouldn't otherwise. For us, it's all about making the couple comfortable....because then they will reveal their true selves to us and the rest just fits.

What do you love most about your job? Bold
Working together. It's also incidentally, the thing that probably makes us the most crazy. We literally spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together...and that's a lot of time for any couple to be together! But we push each other, demand the best from one another. And we know...we're stronger together and better together. And at the end of the day, I can't imagine not waking up and going to work with Justin. Because for us, it all starts with love. Our love. Love of each other. Love of what we do.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Anniversary Alessandra & David!

Alessandra and David were married one year ago today at the beautiful Saint Clements Castle. Happy Anniversary, you two!

[Image credit: Dreamscape Studio]

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Comment for a Cause: 2nd Quarter Recap

Here we are at the beginning of yet another quarter. I cannot believe that 2009 is half over already. With second quarter behind us, I’m pleased to report that we will be donating $35.00 to the Alzheimer’s Association, thanks to the comments from our readers. That’s $15.00 more than we “raised” last quarter, and we’re hoping the number of comments will continue to increase. Our featured charity for third quarter will be the Arbor Day Foundation, so please keep the Comments for a Cause coming!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Kevin Kelley Photography

Yet again, we have stumbled upon another fantastically talented local photographer. It really is amazing the kind of creativity that is out there! And Kevin Kelley is no exception to that. This week, he is our featured photographer... enjoy getting to know a bit about him and his work.

Name: Kevin Kelley

Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I am located in Milford, CT and serve all of CT, MA, RI, NJ, and NY.Also will travel for destination weddings around the globe.

How long have you been in business?
7 years

What drew you to photography as a profession?
I remember the darkroom in my photography class as an escape from the rest of my high school day. It may have all started then but I think what really pulled me in was the ability of a series of photographs to tell a story. I could try to communicate a story to you with words, but add beautiful images to aid in that process and..... what's better than that?! I believe in the visual power of photography -to communicate, motivate, inspire change, and touch lives! Am I starting to sound a bit dramatic? ....pick up a camera, you'll see what I mean.

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
I've recently been told a lot lately that I am very ‘calming'. I approach weddings with a gentle lead and look to capture genuine moments throughout the day. I am always pushing myself to add something fresh to each shoot and better my photography skills. Honestly I think every photographer is set apart in a sense due to the fact that everyone looks at moments differently....captures them differently....and experiences them differently. This shows up in our work, well.....differently.

What do you love most about your job?
I think what sums it up are those moments when a couple is looking over their photos for the first time. Being a part of the most important day of someone's life and helping tell that story in a beautiful way. I also love dedicating photographic services to non-profits and other organizations who are in need of a louder ‘visual voice'.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Hmm, I think the toughest question of the bunch and it has the shortest answer. Creative. When I was little I wanted to be an inventor when I grew up.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Robin Dini Photography

We first met Robin Dini a few years back at a wedding we were coordinating. It was immediately obvious that she is a breath of fresh air in the wedding photography business. She is fun and laid back and makes her photo subjects completely comfortable. Her ability to do this is truly an asset to her clients.

A few weeks ago, Jess and I had the pleasure to meet Robin for coffee. And no surprise- we had an absolute blast! Robin is one of those people whom you meet once and feel like you've known them your entire life. We had a wonderful time discussing the upcoming new addition to her family (you'll learn more about that below), her experiences as a wedding photographer and her outlook on life and the industry in general.

Please enjoy a look into the mind of this talented and lovely woman.

Name: Robin Dini



Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I do business out of New Haven, CT and offer my services to Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and am willing to travel throughout New England.

How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for 5 years.

What drew you to photography as a profession?
Fine Art has always been an interest of mine. I excelled in the arts throughout my years of schooling and continued to focus my studies on it while in college. I graduated with two Bachelors Degrees, one in Elementary Education and the other in Studio Art: Photography. I tried teaching for a short time but wanted to be on my own and decided to take the leap and begin shooting portraits and weddings. I love telling stories with my images and showing my subject's true personalities and emotions in my images. Transitioning into weddings let me achieve that on a much larger scale.

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
I think it's important to focus on something that you are good at and try to offer that as your main selling point. I pride myself on being a good storyteller, both in pictures and in words. I like the simpler things. I try to keep my images clean, emotive, and leaving the viewer to want more.

What do you love most about your job?
I enjoy the relationships and interactions. First, the relationships I develop with my clients as they plan and experience their wedding day. Hearing their details, meeting family members, being a friend to them if they need any advice along the way. The excitement build up is awesome! My most favorite part of my job is simply being the "people watcher" on the day of an event. Observing interactions between guests and family, the couple and the world around them. I become very emotionally involved when I am shooting and really get fired up when emotion is at it's peek. I take those opportunities to shoot all those wonderful moments that are real and not staged. That is especially true now with one specific portion of the reception for me. My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in September and watching the mother and son dance takes my emotion and observation to shoot to a whole new level. It's awesome!

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's like raaaaaain on your wedding day

So, I like to have things planned out in advance - weekend plans, vacation plans, life plans, everything. I can't help it. I like knowing what's coming next. I also like having some degree of control over what's coming next. Unfortunately, as we all know, that isn't always possible. There's a funny little saying that goes, "If you want to see God laugh, make a plan."

Well, God was apparently feeling comedic on my wedding day because I had planned for it to be 80 degrees, sunny, and breezy. Not too much to ask, I didn't think, considering that it was June. What I got instead was 95 degrees, overcast, and humid, with a thunderstorm thrown in for good measure. Luckily, most of the rain held off until we were on our way to the reception. We did get our outdoor photos as planned, but not with the blue sky backdrop I had envisioned, and not without complaints from our bridal party about the unrelenting heat.

Fast-forward four years. I decided it would be fun to get all dressed up and do a trash-the-dress-type photo shoot for our anniversary, so after convincing Greg to go along with the idea, I started making plans. I hired a photographer, shopped for outfits, booked hair and makeup appointments, and once again willed the weather to cooperate. And once again, God had a good laugh at my expense.

Our shoot was scheduled for Thursday, so that Monday, I started stalking the upcoming forecast . . . RAIN. All. Week. Long. Now, rain on your anniversary isn't quite as disappointing as rain on your wedding day, but the fact that things weren't working out the way I had planned (again) was frustrating nonetheless.

Short of rescheduling the photo shoot, which wasn't really an option in my mind since I wanted the pictures to be taken on our actual anniversary, there wasn't much I could do. So I watched my plan go down the drain (literally), dusted off my umbrella, and hoped for the best. And this is what I got:

Those little white specks you see in the photo are individual rain droplets. Pretty cool, huh?

The moral of this story is: go with the flow on your wedding day. The weather is about the only aspect of the event that you can't control. If you're planning an outdoor ceremony, have a backup plan just in case. And if it does rain, get cozy with your new hubby or wifey under an umbrella and have fun with it.

Huge thanks to Eric and Amber at Raw Photo Design for their photographic skills. Here are a few more of the amazing shots they captured for us:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Fabuluxe Photos

This week we are spotlighting the inspired work of Fabuluxe Photos. Enjoy the interview with this incredibly talented photographer!

Name: Claudia Garcia


Blog: &

Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
CT, NY & NJ. ONLY -- I just can't be away from my 2 kids for more than a day ;) Family is the most important thing in my life.

How long have you been in business?
It's been 2 yrs when I decided to start my own business but I just feel that this coming year is going to be my first real year because I started making more decisions on how to provide a better service to my clients and start spending more money on branding my business.

What drew you to photography as a profession?
I had never like this questions ;) because I know that most of photographers loved photography since they were kids and to be honest, I didn't like photography until I started college. I studied Graphic Design and I was told I needed 6 art credits, so I decided to take two photography classes, not because my love for photography but because I thought it would be the easiest classes. (Oops!!! I'm really saying this!!) .....
I guess you know what happened after that..... Yeap. I started shooting free weddings, got a website, took more classes and now, I am making people happy. ;)

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
Honesty. I am not sure if this sets me apart from other photographers but It sure helps me when meeting with clients.

What do you love most about your job?
I love shooting. I love editing. I love meeting people. I love not only wedding photography but boudoir photography too!!!. BUT, what I love the most is knowing how my clients feel after seeing their pictures for the first me, from a thank you note, to a phone call or just an email. Let me add to all this that I also get to work on the hours I want; meaning, more time for my family.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Loyalty is everything. I'm loyal to all my good friends, to my family, to my clients, to all my commitments...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Speaking of anniversaries . . .

Mine is today! Greg and I have been married 4 years today and I can't quite believe that much time has passed. In some ways, it feels like we've been married forever, and in others, it seems like just yesterday. Weddings are wonderful, but the best part is what comes afterward - sharing every day with the person you love.

Below are a few of my favorite images from our day, taken by Ed Rogers of Rogers Photography.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Rob Skinner Photography

I came across the beautiful work of this week's Vendor Unveiled while searching for a talented photographer for one of my lovely couples. As I spoke to Rob, his personality was apparent... he was so excited to have the opportunity to provide a couple with memories from the most important day in their lives. You could tell this was his main goal with his art and it was refreshing to see that. Please take a moment to get acquainted with this wonderful wedding professional.

Name: Rob Skinner

Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I am located in Norwalk CT, but I am available for domestic and worldwide travel.

How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for 8 years

What drew you to photography as a profession?
I had a good friend whose father had a darkroom, so early black & white printing and using a pinhole camera were great fun, and led me to photography.
What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
I think I have a great empathy for people and am very sensitive to people in love. I like to capture the emotion, joy and love between two people and discover their story. My excitement comes from this discovery and this leads to wonderful and memorable images.
What do you love most about your job?
Photographing people in love

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cooking Classes with Ciao! Catering and Events

Last night, Elizabeth and I, along with two friends, had the pleasure of attending one of the cooking classes led by Tom Devine of Ciao! Catering and Events. Classes are held on select Wednesday evenings throughout the summer from 7pm to 9pm at Two Steps Downtown Grille in Danbury, CT.

Each themed class is taught by either Tom or his business partner, Keith O'Marra, and features four different dishes. Tom or Keith demonstrates how to prepare each dish, offering cooking tips and advice along the way. Then, following each demonstration, the class attendees are able to sample the prepared dishes. Complimentary wine is also served.

The theme of last night's class was A Slice of Sicily and featured the following dishes:
  • Cauliflower with Penne Rigati with tomato, fresh basil, and ricotta cheese
  • Linguini with Artichokes and Proscuitto with fresh garlic, lemon, wine vinegar, and shaved romano
  • Risotto with Fresh Sea Scallops and balsamic drizzle
  • Grilled Chicken with black olives, roasted peppers, and crumbled feta

Everything was absolutely delicious and we can't wait to try all of the recipes out at home. It was a fun evening and we would highly recommend attending one (or more) of the classes if you are in the Danbury area. The cost is just $33.00 per person.

Check out the Ciao!/Two Steps Summer Newsletter to see the schedule of upcoming classes and events. They also offer private cooking classes for groups of 25 or more - bachelorette party, anyone?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Aurora Photography

I came to learn about our next Vendor Unveiled through a high school classmate who had gotten into photography and was shooting with this amazingly talented photographer. As I learned more about Aurora, I've come to absolutely love her unique spirit and desire to be herself in every situation. Aurora Photography has been previously spotlighted on Following Bliss as we announced their trash the dress/day after photo session giveaway. Now we would like you to take a moment to get to know the woman behind the art (and her crew)!
Name: Aurora…



Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I am located in New Milford, CT, and I serve the greater tri-state area, and am willing to travel as well.

How long have you been in the business?
Approximately 2.5 years

What drew you to photography as a profession?
After serving my time in corporate America I knew that I wanted to own my own business one day. By the time I was planning my wedding I knew what it was I would love to wake up and do every day, which was a little more than 6 years ago now…

The year before my husband and I got married, he bought me Blu (our Weimaraner) as a Christmas gift. As our first baby was growing up so quickly, I borrowed a digital camera from a friend and was instantly hooked. By the time we were getting married 9 months later I had gone out and spent a hefty penny on my first digital camera. Since I owned the nicest camera I was often asked to take the pictures, and very quickly it became evident that I was good at it. I just fell in love with it, and couldn’t get enough.

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
I am definitely a bird of a different feather, not quite average anything. I am passionate about what I do and I have a talent for allowing people to forget themselves and live in a moment. I believe that the true beauty in my work is in my ability to allow people's own inner beauty to shine. I take a little more time to get to know my clients and it allows me to capture their essence, that moment that is just SOOOOO them. I have always been a people person and so I enjoy getting to know my clients just as much as I do photographing them.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the connections I make doing this work, I get to meet the most interesting people and hear their stories, I like to believe that everyone we meet has something to add to our lives, and I want mine to be FULL.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
One word… really… seriously have you met me? One, just one? Ok if I had to…

All the questions were really geared toward me, and how I came to do this profession. However, I would feel remiss if I didn’t mention my team as well, it is the team that makes this whole thing work. Our day in day out creative team consists of myself, Nicole, Cate and Jenn, and we have Tara now helping us with the books. Each of us is talented and skilled and we each possess our own set of strengths that we bring to the table. The sum total of the massive amount of heart and passion and talent we possess collectively is totally unstoppable, and I couldn’t be more excited about where we are going!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Stellar Anniversary Gift

I know, I know. This is a blog about weddings, not anniversaries. But where there’s a wedding, an anniversary is soon to follow. Perhaps you’d like to keep this gift idea in mind for when the time comes:

It’s a custom art print showing the position of the stars on a specified date and location. The traditional first anniversary gift is paper, so this would be a perfect way to commemorate your first year of marriage. I’d suggest hanging it above your bed so you can fall asleep beneath your wedding night sky every evening.

Visit to place an order. They have a variety of horizon scenes to choose from and you can add a personalized message to your print. Prices range from $39 to $119, depending on the size and framing options you choose.