The Bridal Expo- A Bride’s Best Friend!

Planning a wedding can be a stressful and tedious process but it doesn’t have to be.  One of the best ways to eliminate a lot of headaches is to plan ahead! From the moment you say “YES!!”, the wheels are turning. It is never too early to start looking and planning. The more busy a vendor is, the earlier you have to book your date with them in order to ensure you get them for your big day!! If your wedding is going to be during a prime month such as March-May or Sept-Oct (the cooler months in the south), you may want to consider putting down deposits on the big vendors such as your venue, caterer and photographer at least 12-18 months in advance! A good place to get started with the planning process is to attend a bridal expo, or 2, or 3!!!

If you happen to be a girl who loves to shop like the other 95% of us then you will LOVE a bridal expo!! Think of it like a mall full of wedding stuff!! Fun, Fun, Fun!! Grab your mom, the maid of honor or even all the bridesmaids and enjoy a day full of inspiration, education and freebies!! Who doesn’t love freebies???


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Here are a few tips for you to get the most out of your bridal expo experience!

1.  Register Before the Expo- Most of the time pre-registration prices are cheaper and you can avoid the long lines of signing up once you get to the expo.

2.  Get Organized- Make a list of the vendors and things you are still in need of before you go to the show.  Just as if you were going to the grocery store with a list! This way you can check off or write down your favorite vendors from the show under each category.

3.  Research- If the expo gives a list of vendors before the show then start looking at each vendor’s work so you know which ones offer what you are looking for……Your Style, Your Budget!

4. Be Prepared- Bring a pad and pen to write down important information that vendors tell you and notes about your favorites from the show! Trust me after you talk with over 40 vendors in one day it is hard to remember what each one said and who you liked best!! Wear comfortable shoes(this needs no explanation)!

5. Return Address Labels- This is an awesome helpful hint. Each vendor usually has a giveaway at their booth with a sign up form. If you have address labels printed with Name, wedding date, phone number and email(if possible), It will save your hand a lot of unnecessary writing! Just peel and stick! You will look like a pro!

6.  Get a New Email- If you haven’t done so already, set up an email for your wedding! Give this to all of your vendors, use it for prize registrations and anything wedding related!!

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7.  Grab the Show Specials and Save Some Money!- Most vendors will have a show special which includes discounts or freebies if you book at the show or with a few days of the show.  Take advantage of these specials! If you have done your research on the vendors before the show and you fall in love with certain ones then make sure you come prepared to book them at the show to cash in on the savings!! ANOTHER HELPFUL HINT- Bring whoever is paying for the wedding with you to the show so you can do the BOOK it NOW deals!!

8. Come Early and Stay Late- Take your time and enjoy the experience. Come early so you have plenty of time to browse, ask questions, sample food, and talk to the vendors to make sure your personalities click. Stay late so you can pick up any door prizes you win in the drawings(which usually require you to be present to win).  Also you can go back to your favorite vendors when the crowd dies down and have more time to talk one on one. The last 30 min of the show is a great time to go back and book your favorite vendors because you have had a chance to check out the competition and make your decisions!

9. Most of all……….HAVE FUN!! Enjoy the day, pick up all the freebies and business cards and take advantage of being pampered!! You are the Bride which means you are the most important person at the Expo!!

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As a Bridal Expo vendor and Bridal Expo producer, I am a huge fan of the shows!! It gives me a chance to see if I click with the bride and for her to meet me face to face vs just corresponding over emails.  Planning a booth is like setting up the living room for the kids when Santa comes!! Its a production!! Its exciting and I LOVE it!

Start your planning off with the first Bridal event of 2016 in the Augusta Area. Join us at the Hello Beautiful Bridal Expo- Julian Smith Casino- Augusta – Jan 10th, 2016 https://www.facebook.com/events/730643480405466/

 

See you there! XOXO -Paige

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor / April 25 2015 / Charleston, South Carolina

From the very first day I sat down with Brittany and Houston to talk about their big day, I knew that it would turn out amazing.  Just the thought of shooting a wedding in Charleston had me very excited but with all their ideas, color choices and super fun personalities, I was certainly looking forward to this one! But little did I know that it would turn out to be one of my favorite towns I have ever been too and one of the most beautiful weddings I have had the pleasure of shooting.

The night before the wedding I have to admit that I had a little anxiety attack when the weather Ap on my phone was calling for 100% chance of rain all day but I just kept praying that it would turn out like the weekend before and ALL would be perfect! April showers may bring May flowers but they don’t make happy Brides!  The next morning I grabbed my umbrella and headed out the door preparing for the worst but hoping for the best! Well yet again the heavens shined down and the day was nothing short of perfection.

From the bling on Brittany’s shoes to the adorable signs at the reception, there was not a single detail left out of this day.  Houston played baseball in college, so we had incorporated that in their engagement photos by going to his college baseball field for some fun shots.  I was so happy to see that they were able to use some of those images to decorate for the wedding.  One of the items that the guests signed as they came in was a home plate. Loved that idea!! The girls were all dressed in the prettiest blush pink dresses to match the beautiful bride’s sparkling heels.  A super sweet ceremony took place under the massive oak tree that overlooked the marsh.  I’m so glad I could hide my eyes behind the camera because it was a little hard to hold back the tears watching Houston get all teary eyed as Brittany walked down the aisle. These two certainly share a strong bond and it shows! The party continued long into the night and it seemed like all the guests had a marvelous time. The food was delicious and the music kept them on the dance floor. After the sparkler send off it was time for me to go but when I left the party was just beginning. I know a great time was had by all and I was honored to be a part of such a special day!

Brittany and Houston thank you for choosing me to capture your memories and I hope you enjoy seeing your ideas come to life in your images.  May you always feel as happy as you did on this day!

XOXO- Paige

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Mr. and Mrs. Sheppard / April 18th, 2015 / Sylvania, Georgia

There is just something special about a hometown wedding.  The church you grew up in, lots of friends and family and the welcoming embrace that a little town gives a couple are just a few of the many reasons why I love them.

Stephanie and Donald said “I Do” at their family church in Sylvania.  A little extra excitement came when someone discovered a swarm of Honey Bees right outside the church before the service began.  A beekeeper had to be called in to capture them. It was a really neat thing to see and of course I was snapping away as he smoked the bees and charmed them into the new hive so that all the guests could get to the wedding! After a very moving service( and comical break…”Stephanie do you take Donald to be your wife??????? OH WAIT …take 2 HUSBAND, hahaha.. Yep you made a face Stephanie and it was classic 🙂 🙂 🙂 ), everyone then headed out to Millen to celebrate!

The Reception was held at the beautiful Quinney Oaks Plantation in Millen, Georgia( My Hometown)! Nestled underneath the massive Georgia oaks, the couple’s guests enjoyed an amazing spread of heavy hors d’oeuvres and listened to the band play their favorite tunes.  My favorite part was dessert….. The groom’s cake was CHEESECAKE. And not just any cheesecake but the most amazing cheesecake assortment you can imagine.  It was so sweet to see Donald and his new daughter have their first dance.  Lilla loves to twirl and she looked adorable in her handmade flower girl dress, made by her Mammie.

Even though the forecast called for an 80% chance if rain, the only rain that came was while we were all in the church during the service. Not a drop more!!! God is Good…All the time. I have to say it couldn’t have been more perfect! Thanks again ya’ll for allowing me to share in these moments. I hope you enjoying seeing how perfect the big day really was!    XOXO-Paige

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Mr. and Mrs. Demere / April 4th, 2015 / Savannah, Georgia

Going back to Savannah to shoot a wedding is always fun for me because it is where my love for wedding photography started! The trees, the marsh, the amazing venues and views……. a Savannah wedding never disappoints. But this beautiful affair was even more special because it was family.  I got to be a photographer and a guest! And I had a blast.

Allison and Houstoun love the water and they live at the Savannah Yacht club, so it was perfectly fitting for them to hold their wedding there. The day began with champagne and finger sandwiches with the girls.  The couples marsh front home was the perfect backdrop for all the getting ready photos. We made our way to the Yacht Club to finish our pre wedding pictures and ended with taking the boys out to the docks for a few fun shots!   The ceremony was gorgeous as the sun set across the marina and the night was perfect other than a few ( or should I say a gazillion) guests that showed up at the wedding uninvited!!! SAND GNATS!! Yes they came by the droves and kept us from enjoying the view for very long.  But the guests just took the party inside and those pesky little critters did not stop this couple from enjoying their night. A good time was had by all late into the evening and Mr. and Mrs. Demere made their grand exit by boat of course!! What an awesome ending to the perfect day!

Allison and Houstoun thank you so much for letting me capture your memories and I hope you enjoy a little recap of your big day!! XOXO- Paige
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Mr. and Mrs. Wright / March 14th, 2015 / Vidalia, Georgia

I can’t even start to tell you how excited I was to be a part of Kristin and Brad’s special day.  Everyone who knows me knows that my family is full of BullDawg fans and when Kristin told me the theme of their wedding was “Silver Britches”, I knew I couldn’t miss it! We started their wedding experience journey back in October in the beautiful town of Athens for their engagement session….. all decked out in red and black. From the stadium to the Historical Arch, we walked the campus and captured memories as they reminisced about their student days at UGA.  Its no secret that I loooooove the Engagement Session because it is a chance for me to get to know my bride and groom and hear all the cute stories.

And before we knew it the big day was here! 3-14-15…The day day Kristin would marry her Mr.Right (Wright) ❤ The forecast was calling for rain but as I traveled to Vidalia the clouds seem to disappear and the day could not have been more beautiful. The Frog Pad was decked out in the perfect shades of Silver and Red and the wooden church pews over looking the lake added a true hometown touch.  After a heartfelt ceremony  I was able to steal the couple away for a private photo session amongst a few gorgeous white blossom trees.  Add in a spectacular sunset over the lake and I would say this day went perfectly!!

Kristin and Brad, I hope your big day was everything you dreamed it would be and thank you again for allowing me to experience it with you!     XOXO- Paige

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LP4A4622This Beautiful Day has come to an end….But your life together has just begun.  May you live Happily Ever After ❤

An Engagement Session “How To”

So, you’re engaged. (Yay!) What do you do now?

Two words.

ENJOY IT.

You’ve got a lot of planning, organizing, and more planning to do to prepare for your wedding & your marriage. Bringing together all of the details of the wedding day are exciting & probably pretty important to you. (‘Probably’ is an understatement) But it is just as important to make sure you and your honey truly enjoy this relatively short time in your lives! Just as you want to photograph every big moment on your big day, you should also make sure that you capture a moment in the season of your life known as “Engagement.”

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That is one of the reasons PWP believes wholeheartedly in the Engagement Session. Being engaged is such a sweet, yet short-lived time. Engagement photos capture who you are in your lives right now, and it is a time you will never want to forget! So here are a few of our favorite tips on taking engagement photos.

How To: Have The Perfect Engagement Session!

Location Location Location

Have your photos taken in a place that is meaningful to you & your fiance. Where did you meet? Where was your first date? Is there a special spot you two love to go together? Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box to find a location that will suit your style & personalities. We love shooting in places that have interesting elements, color, and textures. Find a spot that you both feel comfortable in & you’ll be fine!

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Wardrobe

As women, we know that finding the right outfit for ANY occasion can be ridiculously difficult. And when it’s something special like your engagement pictures, it can seem nearly impossible… But it really doesn’t have to be! Your engagement photos should be a reflection of who you are!  Be you, be bold, and express your style. We give you permission to look as hot as possible! 😉 Some things to think about when planning your looks include:

  • Consider the location you’ve chosen. If the location is laid-back, dress casual. If it’s more formal, go dressy or maybe even a little sexy.

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  • Your outfits should compliment each other, not match exactly. Coordinate within a color palette or choose one signature piece and build off of that.

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  • Avoid an excess of loud distracting prints and skip boring monochromatic outfits.
  • Wear pieces that flatter you. Find colors that compliment your skin tone and hair color. No extra baggy or too-tight clothes. Avoid writing or logos, and lots of light colors. Darker, saturated color photographs best.

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  • Don’t go too “trendy.” Wearing something that is a fad right now will date your pictures as soon as the trend fades. Go with a more classic look to keep your photos timeless.

*PSA: Be prepared to walk, climb, sit, lay down, and just get down and dirty. So dress comfortably! We 100% support wearing crazy, impractical high heels for photos- but throw a pair of flip flops in your bag too just in case we have to walk around during your session.

Show some PDA

We promise to never say ‘get a room.’ We’re used to it- and we love it! These photos are for you. Let your guard down and show each other some love! Hold hands, make each other laugh, give hugs and kisses, and look into each others eyes. It’ll be a little awkward at first, but we will do all that we can to help you feel comfortable! Just take a minute to think about why you are doing all of this- the photos, the wedding, everything. Those emotions will shine through your photos- and those will be the ones you’ll treasure and look back on one day.

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Get creative, set a theme!

There is no better way to take your photos to the next level than by doing a themed session. You’ll have to think outside of the box & ignore all of those cheesy images that are undoubtedly coming to mind. These types of sessions work especially well for camera shy couples. It can provide a more natural, candid type of setting that allows you to create a story and gives you something to interact with rather than just smiling at the camera for an hour.

Once again, think of something that represents your couple style. Incorporate something you love to do together into your session. Here are just a few theme ideas:

  • World Traveler: Stacks of vintage suitcases, old globes, paper airplanes made of maps
  • For the Musically Inclined: Musical instruments, your favorite vinyl’s set & a record player

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  • Romantic Picnickers: A handmade or family quilt in a forest clearing, picnic basic of yummy treats, wild flowers in her hair

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  • Vintage Lovers: Antique car, pin-up girl/ greaser style, milkshakes in a diner

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  • Whimsically Fun: Dozens of balloons, kite flying, big lollipops, vintage bikes, bright colors
  • Game Time: Anything related to your favorite sports team, and feel free to personalize it!

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Peruse Pinterest

This is self-explanatory, and probably unnecessary to even say… but get as much use out of Pinterest and wedding blogs as you can! Stalk the internet for your favorite engagement poses, props, themes, and ideas. We want to hear your thoughts and take pictures that you will absolutely love! Bring us pictures of the poses or angles that you’d like to try out so that you don’t feel left without a shot you were really hoping for.

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Say “NO” to stress

Try your best to have everything ready a few days ahead of time. You don’t want to be stressing out about the little details on the day of the shoot. Get plenty of rest the night before and allow yourself extra time to primp and ‘put your face on’ to ensure that you arrive on time. Loosen up on the drive by cranking up your favorite songs and laughing together. Plan for it to be just the two of you and your photographer. We all love family, but sometimes they can make the session uncomfortable  when we need to capture those intimate moments.

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Groom Yourself

Be prepared to be photographed from head to toe- do not neglect the details! Girls: make sure your hair, nails, toes, eyebrows, and makeup are done. Guys: get a haircut a week or two before and make sure your own nails are clean and your facial hair is the way you like it.

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For healthy, hydrated, and glowing skins, drink extra water in the days leading up to your engagement session.

Just be you!

The best thing you can do to have the BEST engagement session EVER is to very simply, BE YOURSELF. Play, cuddle, kiss, and laugh. Do things that feel right for you and your soon-to-be. We’ll help direct you as much as we can, but in the end these are your pictures, so make sure you’re doing what makes you happy the most!

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Just relax and have fun! You are going to rock your session!

** If you would like to schedule an Engagement Session with Paige Williams Photography or would like to find out how to receive a session for FREE, contact us today! Our calendar is filling up fast! Click HERE now!

We can’t wait to hear from you!

XOXO

2014- Year End Review! 2015- Great Things Are Coming!

I am running a little behind with posting this but I wasn’t sure where to even start. WOW is all I can say about the last 12 months!!! This time last year I was a partner in a successful photography business in Savannah, Ga.  We started the business from the ground up in 2009 and it had grown by leaps and bounds. We were shooting around 25-30 weddings a year and life was good! When my husband got the call about having the possibility of moving back to Augusta with his job, my first reaction was to turn it down. What would I do with my business here? How would that work with me being so far away? Would I have to start all over again? It was a very scary thought for me to step out of my comfort zone and go out on my own.  But after a lot of soul-searching and praying we decided that Augusta is where we wanted to be.  We knew God had great plans for us even though we couldn’t even begin to imagine the opportunities he would give for us over the next few months.  We just knew we had the chance to go home or where we began our lives together and we couldn’t pass it up.  Augusta is where I went to college, where we lived when we first got married and where we got jump started with Rainbow( now Tommy’s full-time career).  We had left so many friends behind when we moved away in 2004 and being able to spend our afternoons at the lake catching up with them made the deal even sweeter.  Not sure if you know this, but Savannah is not known for its lakes.  It’s the beach and we are just not beach people! Lake life is more our style. So we started planning and as soon as the kids got out of school for the summer, we loaded up the uhaul and we were Augusta bound!

I turned over my half of the business to my partner and I started over…..new town, new name, new colors, new outlook.  It was very hard to leave but at the same time I was excited.  I knew all of my failures and successes would now lay in only my hands. Woah…the pressure!!! But lucky for me, I have figured out that I work better under pressure.  After a lot of sleepless nights, crazy planning, and hours of redesigning, Paige Williams Photography was born! In June of 2014, I launched my new logo and my new website!

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It started with a color palate and a flower from a sweet friend’s wedding, a Ranunculus ( or as she calls it a radunkculus!)

And with a lot of help from the fabulous Haley Tam, the perfect logo appeared in my inbox! And a beautiful website followed! This was really happening!! I had no choice now than to move forward and that I did!!!

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I decided that “Hello Beautiful” would serve as my new slogan because what I enjoyed most about photography was making everyone feel beautiful.  I love seeing someone’s face when they look at their images and say “Oh my, is that me?” and I can always respond “Yes, you are beautiful.”  I believe that everyone is beautiful and its my job to prove it!2ce672_5dd6eb0b69d240bd8b156d8898f14fb6

After the official launch of PWP in June, it has been a crazy whirlwind of excitement and nervousness all rolled into one but I would never have imagined that it would all happen so quickly.  When I first got to town I started meeting local vendors right away. I started a network of wedding vendors on Facebook and I am looking forward to having our first meeting with this great group in the next month.  I have certainly enjoyed getting to know a lot of them already in such a short amount of time.  I love my little camera girls group and can’t wait to hang out more with these talented and fun ladies.

In July I got the chance to attend my first one-on-one mentorship with another photographer.  Meeting the adorable Hope Taylor was great!! I traveled all the way to Virginia to chat about editing, Instagram marketing and posing. We had a blast and she was super helpful!!  Here are a few of my favorite shots from my time with her.

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In September, I was in my first bridal expo for the Augusta area and won the best booth award!! I welcomed seven new brides into the PWP family from that show and starting getting inquiries from referrals all around the same time.  Those accomplishments gave me the confirmation I needed that my new brand was a hit and that I would be okay in this crazy market of wedding photography.  I have been in 3 more bridal expos since then, one of which I produced and it has given me the opportunity to meet so many beautiful new brides.  Thirty-seven so far have become PWP brides since June 2014 and I could not be happier to be a part of their special days! 2015 and 2016 are going to be full of awesome opportunities for amazing shots for sure!

In December I got to check off another milestone on my bucket list.  I helped plan and execute a styled shoot.  I worked with the very talented Amanda Brewer from Boheme Concepts to make a winter wonderland right here in sunny Georgia.  Our hard work paid off and Wedding Chicks, a very popular wedding blogger, chose to publish our images!! I was beyond excited! You can check out that blog post here:

http://www.weddingchicks.com/2014/12/11/holiday-wedding-ideas/

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2015 started off with a bang with the Hello Beautiful Bridal Expo, a show that I helped to produce along with Jeff Wells from Shockwave Entertainment.  Ninety Nine brides came out to meet the awesome vendors in our show and it was a huge success!! I was so glad my sweet hubby and friends could be there to enjoy the celebration with me. They have all been so supportive and I wouldn’t be who I am without them by my side! Accomplishments mean nothing if you can’t enjoy them with people you love.

This month I will also get to add another milestone to my list for PWP.  One of my weddings is being published on Jan 29th and I can not wait to see it!! Eeeeeeeek!!!

I am very thankful that these last few months have been so great for PWP and my family, but I am also very humble in the fact that none of this would have ever happened without me trusting God to lead me where I needed to be and I give him all the glory.  He has given me a gift and I am forever grateful.  And without the trust that each bride has put in me to capture their big day, there would not be a PWP! Each one of you is so special to me and I am honored to be your photographer and friend!

I am so ready to see what tomorrow brings for Paige Williams Photography.  I have set several goals for myself in 2015 and I am jumping into them feet first!! My long-term goal is to become a force in the destinatgold foil airplaneion wedding market. By the time my babies graduate from high school, I would love to be capturing beautiful weddings not only across the United States but also internationally. I already have a contest in the works to jump-start this part of my business!! Operation Travel will start very soon!! AHHHH exciting!! But for now I am happy covering the great states of Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and all their beauty!

Goodbye 2014 and Hello 2015! Don’t forget to keep up with all the contests and sneak peeks on the Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/paigewilliamsphoto

XOXO- Paige