2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-312

“Now, as Justine Bursoni Photography, my passion for photo is my life and business; it’s my contribution to the world.”

Wonder woman? Check. Amazing photographer? Check. Justine Bursoni is a wonderful photographer and also  co-founder and photo editor of a local arts + culture magazine called Smile Politely. She is a mama, a wife and has a dream to open up an after school art program in her community. Did I forget anything? Wait, yes. Yes, I did. She also is the creator of The Made Fest, which is a two day, open-air arts + craft and vintage fest concept that she dreamed up with her best friend.  Meet Justine Bursoni.

See more of Justine’s work here and say hello to her here.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I graduated the University of Illinois in Art History and in 2010, I received my Master of Art in Art Education with a certification to teach. After years of making images for myself and friends, I finally decided to bring my dream job to fruition and I’ve worked tirelessly ever since. Now, as Justine Bursoni Photography, my passion for photo is my life and business; it’s my contribution to the world. Truly, nothing makes me happier than sharing it with others.

Why weddings?

I thrive off of genuine reactions and weddings have an endless amount of just that. I love learning how others got to where they decided to make marriage the next step in their relationship and feel extraordinarily honored that I get to be the one to document such importance in people’s lives.

So aside from being an overall awesome person who cares about other people, takes amazing photos that new families will cherish for the rest of their lives, you also curate festivals in your spare time?! Tell us about The Made Fest!

I created an open-air arts, craft, and vintage fest along with my girlfriend + artist, Alexia Brown. We wanted to introduce people (and our own vendors) to new artists and aesthetics from around Illinois and other states. It is in conjunction with Pygmalion Music Festival and is a way for music fest attendees to take a little break to look around, shop, learn about and support artists.

Do you have any vendor favorites you’d like to shout out?

We love all of our vendors! We were honored to be able to have local artists and then vendors from afar, like Coast To Coast Mobile Vintage travel all the way from the East Coast to sell their wares at The Made Fest.

You mentioned that a goal is to open up an not for profit, after school art program. What would that look like and who would it serve?

When I first entered college, opening an after school art program was my goal for obtaining a Master’s degree in Art Education. After all, working at a not for profit, after school art program was how I started practicing photography in the first place. There’s this fantastic program in Chicago called Advanced Arts Program at Gallery 37 where I studied AP Art in high school and learned photo first-hand from practicing artists. It was a program for public school students and all the supplies were free. It was a dream come true as someone who had a penchant for the arts.One day, I’ll make this happen for my community and its students.

How would you describe your photography style?
Candid, spirited, whimsical, and energetic.

You’re married! Here’s some brag space to talk about your husband.

My husband is the one who influenced me to become an entrepreneur. He’s the hardest working fella I know and he is always looking for another project to take on or to create. His gusto for his job is unmatched. And the best part is is that he doesn’t consider it to be work. That’s when you know you really love your profession.

Working on any projects aside from weddings? 
Aside from The Made Fest and my wedding schedule, I’m keeping things pretty calm on my end now that I have a newborn son. He’s keeping me and my husband quite busy!

What makes you smile?
A few rays of sunshine to warm my skin and an ice cold cocktail.

What kind of editing software do you like to use?
Adobe Lightroom is what I use exclusively.

My husband and I are (theoretically)  are planning a vacation. Where would recommend that we go?
Tulum, Mexico. It is absolutely stunning there, super affordable, and still flying under the radar.

2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-4 2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-18 2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-81 2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-121 2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-122 2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-145 2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-315 2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-335 2013 September 20 Justine Bursoni Photography Molly Will WEB ONLY-345

1st, April 2014


“Remember what it’s all about and don’t get too caught up in the idea of planning a picture-perfect wedding that you lose sight of what really matters.”

I always love introducing new talent to you guys.  Becky is a wife, mama, small business owner and a wonderfully talented event planner. Her work is fun and modern and being a newbie means she has a fresh eye for details, which can make or break an event. Best of all? She truly believes that she has the best job ever. Event Crush  is based out of Eugene, Oregon.

Say hello to Becky here and see more of her work here.

Tell us about yourself and about your company, Event Crush

My name is Becky and I am a mom, a wife, and an entrepreneur. I started Event Crush in 2012 and it’s been an amazing experience to watch my little business grow. I am so passionate about what I do and I am so thankful that I get to do this for a living!

I love planning and coordinating weddings of all sizes and types. I have coordinated weddings from 60 guests to over 500 guests. My business is still fairly new and I am still making a name for myself in the area, but I am confident in the direction that Event Crush is going and I am so excited for the future!

A little bit more about me… I have a one-year-old daughter, Adelyn, and her and my husband Andrew are my world. Andrew and I are coming up on our five-year anniversary this June, which is still hard to believe! I have an obsession with dark chocolate and coffee, and in my spare time you can find me thrifting, crafting, and taking photos.

What do you love most about working on weddings specifically? 

I absolutely love the relationships that are built — between myself and my couples as well as the fabulous vendors that I get to work with. The Willamette Valley holds an amazing and talented group of wedding professionals that I am so honored to work alongside.

 I adore being able to bring a couple’s vision to life. I love it when they come to me in the early stages of planning and I am able to help them through the process of selecting the perfect vendors to fulfill their vision. I love seeing it all come together on the wedding day, and I just love being there to witness the “I do’s” and the cake cutting and the first dance… all of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. I just love it all! It really is the best job.

What is the golden rule of wedding planning? 

Remember what it’s all about and don’t get too caught up in the idea of planning a picture-perfect wedding that you lose sight of what really matters. It’s not worth stressing over every little detail to the point that you aren’t enjoying the process. You should really enjoy your engagement! If you find yourself stressing and worrying, I would definitely recommend hiring a planner or coordinator to take the pressure off of you.

What advice can you give to help a bride stay organized while planning? 

To stay organized, get a binder or wedding planning notebook (I custom make these for my brides), and use it to keep track of all the details. There are so many small details that can easily get forgotten if you aren’t organized. Keep track of vendor information, bridal party info, timelines, colors, décor, and so on. Print or cut out photos and inspiration and keep them in there, too. You want everything to be easily accessible in one location, and that way you can bring it all along to vendor meetings as well.

What elements do some of your favorite weddings have in common? 

The one thing that my favorite weddings have in common is this: They are a reflection of the couple, and their personalities are infused in to the details. It’s not about having the most “Pinterest-worthy” wedding, it’s about creating a day that is as unique as the two of you.

Ok, I’m going to ask you to channel your inner David Tutera and get creative. A bride wants to plan a beach wedding…without leaving her land locked state. What would you suggest to pull that off? 

Oh that is definitely a conundrum, but something could certainly be done! I would suggest holding the wedding at a venue or a park near a lake or a river, or even at a nice resort with a pool, because you’re going to have to have some water if it’s going to have a beach vibe. I would incorporate beach-y elements such as sea shells and sand in to the centerpieces and décor. It would totally depend on their budget… if she really wanted a legit beach feel then I’m sure we could bring in truckloads of sand and create a mini beach/seashore for the day.

When you’re not working, how do you like to unwind?

I love shopping. We live pretty frugally and I love finding a good deal!  I also love finding treasures at yard sales, consignment sales, and thrift stores.

What are some of your strengths as a planner?  

I think one of my biggest strengths is my passion for what I do and how that comes across when I am working. There are few things I wouldn’t do to help a bride’s dream come true and bring her the perfect wedding day.

I am also very organized and detail-oriented (as you would hope any wedding planner would be!). I am a “big picture” thinker. I can see it all come together as a whole and then piece together all of the smaller details to make it happen.

What types of questions should couples think about asking when meeting with their potential planner?

1. How long have you been planning weddings? How many weddings have you done?
2. What options do you have for wedding planning? What is included with each package/option?
3. How many hours will you be there on the wedding day? Can we add additional hours if needed?
4. Will we be the only wedding that week/weekend, or will you have others?
5. What happens in case of an emergency? If the planner gets sick or injured and can’t make it?
6. Do you have connections with many local vendors? Can you help me find the best vendors that will fit within my budget?

Name the 1st song that pops into your head when you think of the word “love”. Go!

All You Need is Love by the Beatles!


View More: http://gabrielainesphotography.pass.us/styled-wedding-shoot

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1st, April 2014




journelle | stephanie williams photography | rebecca lindon via style me pretty


“I’d love to do a portrait session with JK Rowling. If only to have the chance to tell her in person how much she inspired me with her grit and creativity.”

The joy. The smiles. The laughter. The tears. The experience. Austin based wedding photographer Uma Sangvhi captures the essence of her subjects on the happiest day of their life. Add in her prolific background as a photojournalist, her seriously enviable travel experiences plus her personal fascination with rituals and ceremonies, and  you’ve got yourself an expert in modern day wedding photography ART.  Honored to have her share some of her work with us on the blog today.

Learn more about Uma here and say hello to her here.

Tell us a little about Studio Uma.

I’m based in gorgeous Austin, Texas and I love natural light and intense color and raw emotion. Being a wedding photographer in Austin is a wonderful thing. This is a community rich with creativity and I love contributing to that. I like this quote from Aaron Siskind: “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

What prompted you to make the switch from photojournalism to weddings?

In 2005 I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to spend a year on the tiny island of Mauritius (in Africa). I took a sabbatical from my job as a staff photographer for the Palm Beach Post in Florida and moved halfway across the world. I’ve always been fascinated by rituals and ceremonies, so I spent my Fulbright year doing a photo-documentary project on “Rites of Passage”.

Of course weddings are a classic rite of passage, and I photographed several weddings that year. Mauritius is a culturally diverse place – there’s a Hindu, Chinese, Creole, French and Muslim population on this tiny little island. And what really struck me was how the emotions you see on a wedding day are pretty much the same everywhere. It doesn’t matter what language or culture you’re talking about. That’s how I fell in love with photographing weddings! So much emotion, color and meaning. It’s a photojournalist’s dream.

Are you working on any special projects outside of wedding photography?

I wish! I’d love to do some medium or large format portrait series. But I haven’t figured out how to run my business AND have time for other photography. Yet.

Who or what would you love the chance to shoot professionally before you retire?

In terms of weddings, I can’t wait to return to the Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur, India. I stayed there in 2005 and I’ve been wanting to do a colorful traditional Indian wedding there ever since.

Other than weddings, there’s a million things. I’d love to do a portrait session with JK Rowling. If only to have the chance to tell her in person how much she inspired me with her grit and creativity.

How would you describe your photography style?

In one word: passionate. I think good images are powerful images, and powerful images convey emotion.

I also have a love affair with vivid color and dramatic light. There’s an intensity to the images – at least the ones I like.

What are some of your strengths as a photographer?

My experience in photojournalism – which is all about capturing “decisive moments” in order to tell a larger story – was the best preparation for wedding photography. That’s just about anticipating human behavior and being ready to capture a fleeting emotion. Hopefully all those years of practice are paying off now.

How do you see the wedding photography industry evolving throughout the next 10 – 15 years?

It’s hard to know. But I will say that everyone is a photographer now. So, the interest level and the awareness of photography as an art form is rising by the day. I find that clients are increasingly visually literate about the different styles of photographers.

That’s a good thing for us, because I think clients are going to get better at finding the particular style that matches the look they want.

Do you have a certain artist or photographer that you would love to meet?

When I first discovered photojournalism, it was Alex Webb’s work that really captivated me. He’s a Magnum photographer – and a true artist. He does amazing things with composition.

One photographer who I would love to observe: Raghu Rai. He is another extraordinary photographer (and the first Indian photographer to join Magnum). I was fortunate to have grown up looking at his images of my mother and father on their wedding day. He was a guest at my parents wedding, and it was his images a (not the official wedding photographers photos) that were displayed in our house.

Is love a feeling or an action?

Wow… you’re not kidding around. I say love is both a feeling and an action. You can’t sustain the feeling for very long without action. Action is whats needed to build a fire that is going to last and last, even when the storms roll through.

Which is scarier, diving with sharks or dealing with a hardcore Bridezilla?

I haven’t personally known the latter (fingers crossed I can continue to say this). I have a feeling I would take the sharks any day!

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20th, March 2014

image by photojenik photography

1)  Don’t have one. I’m not being cheeky, promise. Well, maybe a little. Seriously though, I have seen some of the most enviable, simple, courthouse elopements with gorgeous details that will make you swoon. Like this. And this. Oh, and this. No stress. Just you, your honey and some cake. Gotta have some cake. And bonus, you won’t have to share it.

2)  Not feeling froggy enough to forgo the whole shebang? That’s okay too. Food is one of the most expensive things you’ll spend money on. Food trucks are all the rage at the moment and almost every decent sized city has them. You can usually rent them for an hour or two for less than $2,000.

3) Make friends with your local seamstress…or scour Etsy. You won’t have to look too long to find amazing talent, with one of a kind details that aren’t mass produced.

4) Make your own invites. Seriously. Anyone with a printer and nice paper can do it. Here are some really nice ones. 

5) Go on a weekday to get your marriage license. Just trust me on this one.

6) Have your wedding on a Sunday. It’s an unpopular day to have a wedding but due to that, it comes with major price tag slashes. Many vendors are closed on Sundays. Wave a couple thousand dollars in front of them, and they might just be willing to open up, just for you and 50 of your closest friends.

7) Buy the gorge cake from the fancy schmancy baker and let guests ooh and ah over it and take some pictures. But save it for yourselves and possibly the wedding party. Make your guests eat a piece of the humongo sheet cake you purchased from Costco for less than $20. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting Costco’s icing, but it really is superb. It’s actually one of my favorite desserts. They even offer fillings for their cakes that are delicious. Alternatively, you can use any grocery store bakery but Costco takes the cake (See? See what I did there?) for value.

8) What’s the best free advice I ever received? It was from a top notch planner I could not afford. She said choose THREE things that you refuse to compromise on. Three. Focus on those three things when you’re tempted to have an open bar (no, contrary to popular belief you do not HAVE to serve alcohol), or a Hummer limousine, or shell out hundreds for a pair of uncomfortable, red bottomed pumps you’ll likely only wear once.

9)  Have a “Problem Peep”. It’s the person everyone goes to when they have a (you guessed it) problem. This is only if you cannot afford a Day of Planner. This person should not be your Maid of Honor, or anyone else in the wedding party. A close friend of the family will do.Make sure they have a cell phone and direct all people to this person. Or have your Maid of Honor direct all people to that person.

Style & Story Creative-columbus-wedding-photography-9
“We want to tell your story, and do so with style.”

Oh, hey there. So it’s Spring. Almost. Maybe. After this snowstorm that’s pummeling the East Coast goes away. Spring is symbolic of new beginnings and a fresh start.  Are you ready for some serious wedding inspiration that’s fun, classy and modern? Us too. So happy to welcome Style & Story Creative (based in Columbus, Ohio) to the blog to jump start this new season.

The folks at Style and Story Creative are a new breed of wedding photographers. They charge themselves with so much more than just taking photos. Style & Story Creative charge themselves with the single goal of telling a story, your story with a decidedly fresh and elegant twist. It’s a really cool concept that they’ve executed beautifully. Let’s meet them.

Say hello to them here and see more of their work here.

Give us a little background on Style & Story Creative.

We are a collective of 4 photographers + 2 couples which equals 1 awesome team. Both of our photography teams are married or set to be married (Ben & Lacey will be wed in September). We take on a very intentional tone to our photography. We do one thing and do it well. We only shoot weddings. We all recently moved down to Columbus, Ohio from small towns in other parts of the state. Funny enough, we all were trained in different occupations before making wedding photography our career. A graphic designer, counselor, school teacher, and stylist all coming together to capture memories. Because of this we all bring a unique perspective to our work.

How would you describe your photography style?

I would describe our style as “magazine worthy memories”. We want to tell your story, and do so with style.

Is this your dream job?

As of right now, this is our dream job. Life changes fast, but I cant image doing anything else.

Three words that immediately come to mind when you think of your spouse?

Beautiful. Charming. Prolific.

You’re only allowed three pieces of equipment/gear to shoot a full on summer wedding. What do you grab first, second and third?

1st – 5dIII.

2nd – 85mm 1.4.

3rd – Canon 600 speedlight.

What was the most helpful advice you ever received regarding becoming a professional photographer?

The exact words were, “Don’t do it. You will bring the industry down”. It was the single most motivating piece of bull**** I have ever heard. I don’t think I would have chased this as hard as I have, if these words were not spoken to me.

Who or what would you love to shoot before leaving this earth?

We would love to shoot a high profile celebrity wedding. We know it will be incredibly challenging with all kinds of hoops to jump through, but we want to be able to say we did it.

Dream location to shoot a destination wedding?

Napa Valley.

What does love look like?

Probably like God…but what does that mean? Maybe a mother holding a her newborn…in one word, sacrifice.

Oprah gifts you a million dollars to support any philanthropic organization of your choice. Which cause do you choose?

I have not been personally affected by breast cancer , but  I feel like no woman should ever have to go through this.

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“Photography is an expression of the artist and his aesthetic, not necessarily the subject; the photograph is how I see the world.”

Steven Mastroianni is a wedding and portrait photographer located in Cleveland, Ohio. A talented artist by nature, Steven gifts his artistic background and expertise to his clients and community. Owning one of the last traditional black and white darkrooms in the Cleveland area, he provides custom hand processing and printing for other photographers and artists. His expertise in this area was pretty evident when he confidently explained this intricate process to us below (thankfully in laymen’s terms for us non-photographers!).

Steven has the unique ability to produce a beautiful photograph that is just as much at home inside an art gallery as it would be hung on a wall inside someone’s home. His unsurpassed knowledge of the vintage B&W photography process, combined with his creativity and measured eye makes him a very special photographer.

See more of Steven’s work here.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a second generation Italian American, born and raised on the east side of Cleveland. My father was a theater and film critic for a daily paper here, as well as an amateur photographer, and I’ve gotten a lot of my taste and appreciation for the arts from him. I come from a family of photographers really, including an older brother (Roger Mastroianni) who is a very successful commercial photographer here, another brother who studied photo-journalism, as well as a very well regarded and world renowned cousin (Donna Ferrato) who has published several books. Various uncles and cousins have also dabbled to some extent in the photography field.
I’ve always aspired to be an artist from the earliest age; drawing, painting, etc., and attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, where I eventually switched from painting and drawing to photography.

The visual arts have always been my primary interest, whether it be traditional forms, photography, film, illustration, design, and so on. I love music as well, and have dabbled in performing over the years in various bands, from punk to jazz.

Professionally I shoot weddings, portraits, and other commercial work, as well as exhibit more personal work in art galleries. I’m also a college professor and teach photography.

I live and work in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland.

What is the most rewarding part of being a small business owner?

I’ve been a business owner and free-lancer my entire adult life, so I can’t really can’t compare it to a traditional job. But the most rewarding thing is probably also the most frightening thing–that we determine our own parameters and potential. No time is wasted because if I’m not working, I’m not getting paid, and if I’m not working smart, I’m not getting paid enough for my time. Everyday is a hustle to generate work and opportunities, and the potential payoff can vary quite a bit. I do love making my own hours, and ultimately defining who I am as a professional and the work I’m interested in doing or not doing. I also love working by myself and being able to control every aspect of my work.

Where can people find your work?

My work is included in several private collections around the area, as well as the art collection at the Cleveland Clinic. I show my work regularly at various galleries in the area, as well as my own gallery. My wedding work has appeared over the years in magazines such as Real Simple and The Knot, as well as various blogs.

Is there an artist or person who influenced your decision to move into photography?

I think more than anybody, the single most influential photographer for me was Robert Frank. I saw a retrospective of his work at the Cleveland Museum of Art when I was in college and his aesthetic really spoke to me. I think I carry a little bit of his influence every time I shoot. Another great influence was Richard Avedon, whose deliberate and unsentimental approach to portraits I value in my own work. Photography is an expression of the artist and his aesthetic, not necessarily the subject; the photograph is how I see the world.

If not photography then…

Musician… or plumber.

Can you explain the appeal of traditional B&W darkroom processing and printing, in laymen’s terms?

B&W film and darkroom printing is a beautiful medium. The process is photo-chemical, which simply means that instead of activating an electronic switch (as with digital), light causes a chemical reaction which creates an image made of a thin layer of silver. There is literally a physicality to the process, and a seemingly magic transformation when the silver is developed and fixed on the film and paper. Light renders a physical presence onto film, and ultimately onto the print, and that is what comprises the image. Even after spending years in the darkroom, I still never tire of seeing that image slowly materialize on the paper under the amber glow of the safelight…

How many weddings do you shoot on average per year?

I shoot about 25 weddings a year.

What is the most challenging part of shooting weddings?

Every wedding is a unique challenge not only in terms of the locations and logistics, but also the clients and guests and their personalities and expectations. The most appealing thing about shooting weddings is that each time out is a new opportunity to create a body of work which encompasses every style and approach to photography, from documentary to fashion, and utilizing every technique necessary to get the job done. The entire day is a nonstop challenge to capture moments as they unfold, look for creative ways to do that, and figure out the best techniques to get each shot done.

Is there one wedding photography trend that you absolutely despise?

I can’t think of any obvious trends I actually despise; I’m always in favor of creativity and originality when it is executed in a thoughtful and technically proficient way. Wedding photography has come a long way since I started in the ’90s, and I am not at all nostalgic for the (bad) old days.

Wedding cake or wedding pie?


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  1. Will you create a birth plan? Read more about birth plans here.
  2. How will you announce your pregnancy to family and friends?
  3. Will you find out the sex of the baby?
  4. Where will you give birth? (Hospital? Home? Birthing tub in a birthing center?)
  5. Will you have a midwife, a doctor, or a doula? All three?
  6. How will you give birth? Vaginally? C-Section?
  7. Who will cut the umbilical cord?
  8. Who will be in the room with you when you give birth?
  9. Will you open your home to visitors as soon as you are home from the hospital?
  10. Who will be the primary chore do-er in the home? (Keeping in mind that one of you will have been up all night with the baby)
  11. How will you feed the baby? (Formula? Breastfeed? A mix?)
  12. Who will get up at night with the baby?
  13. Will you or your spouse take time off work? How long?
  14. Read up on postpartum depression. How would you deal with it?
  15. How many kids will you have?
  16. Who is allowed to babysit?
  17. Will the child go to daycare?
  18. When will you resume sex? (Please, PLEASE check with doctor, but generally speaking it takes 6-8 weeks with a vaginal delivery more for c-sections or complications)
  19. How would you deal with vaginal prolapse?
  20. How big of a role will religion play in your child’s life?

See the list below?  These are a list of basic baby items that you will use during the first 3 months, many of which you will purchase multiples of. Take turns guessing the price with your spouse. Check prices on Target.com, they are generally cheaper than big box stores like Buy Buy Baby and Babies R’ US.  You may use the cheapest item you find to compare your guesses. Take note of who wins. Winner gets a no diaper changing for a week pass. You know. if I haven’t scared you away from the idea of procreating or adopting. Annnd…go!

a 96 pack of diapers

a pack of baby wipes

a 1.45lb tub of Similac Advance

a nasal aspirator


Crib Mattress (Yea….I thought they came with the crib too. They don’t.)

a convertible car seat

a pack and play

breast pump

a set of 5 bottles

1 pacifier

indoor baby swing

a Boppy

a bassinet

a temporal thermometer

a sleep sack

Sophie the giraffe teething toy (Hint. It’s pricier than you ever expected. Another hint, it’s worth every penny.)

baby laundry detergent (Had no idea this existed. It does.)

scratch mittens (Didn’t invest in these. I scoffed at them. The kid now has life long scars. I think he looks street smart.)

a receiving blanket (I stole mine from the hospital. But hey…)

a tube of  Lanolin

a nursing bra

nursing pads

a diaper pail

baby carrier


Check out day cares in your area. Ask (you can do this via email) for a quote for full time care for a 3 month old. No prize, just stunned silence when you get the quote.  Resist to urge to write back and confirm that you meant ONE child, not two. Shhhh, there there don’t cry. It’s best to be prepared, right?









6th, March 2014


“Weddings are a celebration of a couple’s love – and we think charity is the perfect way to share that love with the world and make the day more meaningful.”

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to chat with Candy Culver of the I Do Foundation. The I Do Foundation partners with couples looking to give back. In the midst of doing things for you, it can be a breath of fresh air to step back, give thanks and help someone else. And it’s easier than you think.

Find out more about the I Do Foundation, here and say hello here.

Tell us a little about the I Do Foundation, and how it has evolved.

I Do Foundation helps engaged couples celebrate generously™. It was started on Valentine’s Day 2002 so couples would have a simple way to make charity a part of their wedding. In 2009, to better serve the wedding sector, I Do Foundation became a part of JustGive, the destination for online charitable giving®.

I Do Foundation was the country’s first wedding-focused nonprofit, created not only to help couples raise money for the charity of their choice, but also to change the culture of the bridal industry. In the past 12 years, we’ve become the source for couples who want to bring a charitable and socially conscious focus to their special day.

Couples who come to I Do Foundation are looking for ways to give more meaning to their celebration. Many of them tell us they want to feel good about the wedding they’re having and not get caught up in the wedding frenzy. By giving back to charity, they can make their everyday personal values a part of one of the most special days of their life.

Through I Do, couples can raise money for charity in several eco-friendly and no-cost ways:

Charity Registry – They select charities they care about and encourage guests to make a donation as their wedding gift.

Charity Favors – Their donation to a meaningful cause in lieu of traditional favors can do a world of good.

Charity Gift Cards – They can thank their attendants or vendors with GiveNow charity gift cards. The couple chooses the gift amount; the recipient spends it to support a charity of their choice (more than 1.8 million charities online).

What is the I Do Foundation philosophy?

We want to help change the wedding industry so charity becomes an accepted and expected part of weddings. Weddings are a celebration of a couple’s love – and we think charity is the perfect way to share that love with the world and make the day more meaningful.

The reason we exist is to help couples celebrate generously and give back through their special day. To do that, we share valuable information through our Tips & Ideas and provide easy-to-use ways to include charity in their celebration. This gives them a chance to make their wedding uniquely personal and memorable—one that reflects who they are as a couple and makes an impact on their guests and the world.

What are some of the most popular charitable causes that brides and grooms choose to work with?

Brides and grooms choose causes that are closest to their heart and have special meaning for them. Their causes and charities vary widely. Often, they want to give to a charity because they have lost someone they love to a disease that doesn’t receive enough funding. Others are touched by a recent disaster and want to send help. Many want to give children and families the basics of life, here in the US and around the world: health care, food, water, and shelter. And some want to honor military service and support our troops.

The top 10 charities that have received donations from couples through I Do in the past 12 years are: American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer Project International, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Oxfam America, Save The Children, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

What is your favorite part about working at the I Do Foundation?

I feel proud that through I Do Foundation and its partners, more than 75,000 couples have sent over $6.5 million to charity. Our work is making a real difference!
At the end of the day, it’s great to know we’ve helped connect couples to causes they care about and given them a way to make their special day more meaningful. They share their love—and charities get more help to provide services and programs that make the world better. While I’m only one member of the passionate team at I Do Foundation, I’m a part of creating a bigger giving circle, and that makes me really happy about what we do.




3rd, March 2014

Bohemian Belle


dress alexander mcqueen via net a porter

headpiece via pearl and godiva

tablescape via ruffled