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Flawlessly Floral: Hair Accessories for the Modern Bride

Accessories are a girl’s best friend. A great handbag, scarf, or statement necklace can not only complete an outfit, but more importantly, boost your self-esteem and make you feel fabulous. However, we often forget one of the most important places to accessorize…our hair! With the proper styling and a little sprinkle of sparkle, hair accessories can effortlessly compliment and enhance a bride’s natural beauty. On your wedding day, finding the perfect dress and shoes may seem like the number one priority, however, your happy glow and ear-to-ear smile will, without a doubt, be the center of attention. It’s crucial to consider the possibilities for hair accessories because, after all, your hair is what frames that beautiful face of yours!

Using floral-themed accessories is the perfect choice for any bride. The enchanting photograph below from Marchesa’s spring Ready-to-wear line is proof of that. Flowers are simply beautiful and adding them to your wedding look can’t possibly be wrong. For the traditional bride, a veil with small flower appliqué, like the BHLDN one below, can add the perfect feminine touch to an otherwise unembellished ensemble. I also love the use of a floral barrette or hair clip to attach the veil to the back of the head for a traditional, yet fresh style.

                    Marchesa Spring 2015                            BHLDN Cascading Fleur Lace Veil                        Photo Taken from Pinterest

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If however, a veil is not the best choice for your event, depending on the venue and the style of wedding you are having (think ballroom vs. bohemian), another favorite trend of mine is the use of fresh flowers to adorn the hair. The versatility of flowers makes them a unique choice for any bride-to-be. In Martha Stewart Wedding’s most recent issue, two styled looks featured floral hairpieces, and their charm and elegance will take your breath away. The first look would be perfect for an outdoor spring or summer wedding, and would be fitting for an adventurous, free-spirited bride who seeks a casual, intimate wedding event. The second look is bold and elegant. Bright flowers draw attention and speak volumes, and the up-do is a signature look for a no-nonsense bride.

Martha Stewart Weddings: Hair design by Sarah Winward, photographs by Ngoc Minh Ngo.

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At Faith West Photography we are constantly given the pleasure of working with amazing couples. Wed at Water Works (one of our favorite venues!), Bridget and John exuded such joy and love on their big day that we just knew they were the perfect match. Bridget’s hair perfectly complimented the romantic and wistful air of their entire event; the red roses that were tucked into her elegant up-do were beyond stunning.

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This beautiful bride combined fresh flowers with a cathedral length veil to create the perfect look. See more photos of her stunning style here.

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Two other hair accessories that I am dying to see on a bride are this Gold Brass Voila Headband by Jennifer Behr and this “Callie” Crystal Barrette from Untamed Pearls by Amanda Justice. Accessories like the ones below are the perfect match for a decadent gown that only needs simple finishing touches. Whatever the style you are hoping to achieve on your wedding day, remember to consider the ways your hair accessories can complement your look and leave you feeling fabulous when you tie the knot!

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Curtis Center Weddings – The Wedding of Marissa & Brendan

What a treat it was to photograph the wedding of Marissa and Brendan at the Curtis Center! We could not be happier for this sweet couple and are thrilled with the beautiful images we were able to capture from their special day. The Cescaphe Event Group and Gina Sole The Wedding Planner put on a beautiful affair with each intricate detail more beautiful than the last. Flowers by Beautiful Blooms and entertainment by Synergetic Sound and Lighting truly brought the space to life and made this an event to remember. Just as important as the space itself, though, were the wonderful people within it! We cannot stop gushing about this beautiful bride whose hair and make up were done by Just B Beautiful, and whose Kenneth Poole for Victor Harper dress boasted stunning details on its bodice. The bride purchased her gown from the famous Bridal Reflections salon in New York City. Allure Films was there to capture the entire day on video for the happy couple and their family and friends to remember for years to come! We hope you all enjoy these photographs as much as we do and that you will join us in congratulating Marissa and Brendan on their touching union. Cheers!

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Tendenza Weddings – The Wedding of Ashley & Charlie

Make sure you have a tissue box on hand because these photos from the beautiful celebration of Ashley and Charlie’s marriage will surely make you tear up! This loving couple met in middle school and dated for eleven years before recently tying the knot, and we are so excited that they choose us to help them capture the day. Beautiful Blooms created the bride’s perfect white rose bouquet and the simple hydrangea center pieces, both of which complimented Ashley’s gown from Sposabella exquisitely. The couple had a stunning day to capture some outdoor photographs. The ones from center city ending up being some of our favorites. Congratulations, Ashley and Charlie, we loved your wedding and wish you many years of happiness together!
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Pretty Pretty Pastries

Cake might be the last thing on your mind if you’re still recovering from the inevitable food coma that Thanksgiving uninvitedly brings. Even if your pants are feeling a little snug, and you’re trying to avoid desserts at all cost, you will seriously regret it if you don’t read about these amazing wedding cake trends. Besides, these cakes are more like works of art than calorie-packed temptations, so feel free to indulge in this post absolutely guilt-free!

There are two major wedding cake trends that have taken online blogs, Pinterest, and my heart, by storm. The first is the ruffled or textured icing trend. Dainty, delicate, and ever so natural looking, these cakes display endless charm and opportunity. Many of the ruffled icing cakes I’ve seen have been simple themselves, and are adorned with peonies, roses, or a host of other flower varieties. There is something so beautiful about the simplicity of these cakes and I am completely in love with them! Also, for those of you who, like me, are critically concerned about the actual taste of the cake and icing, choosing this style is a no brainer. Who wants to bite through thick layers of fondant? And while we’re on the subject, even though they say the flowers on elaborate cakes are edible, do you really want to actually eat one? I think not!

Below you can see a few examples of cakes we have photographed that embrace this timeless trend. Please, take a moment to sigh with me over how absolutely adorable that “Just Married” banner is.

Pssst…You can click on each image to be taken to the full gallery of images from that wedding.

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And now for a few of my other favorites…

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The second trend that I’ve been swooning over lately is the gold foil wedding cake trend. This effect is absolutely spectacular and is perfect for adding an extra pop of glamour to your event. Like the ruffles, this style is also extremely versatile. In the cake we photographed below from a wedding at the Kimmel Center, the use of gold was controlled, creating an elegant and formal design. In the two examples I show from Ruffled and Style Me Pretty, you can see that the use of gold is more whimsical and would be perfect for a chabby chic or garden style wedding. I also love the idea of using this relaxed gold foil on a cake for a rustic wedding. The faded and distressed gold would add the perfect touch of sparkle to earthy décor.

Kimmel Center Old St. Mary's Church Weddings Philadelphia-21-23-01

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Absolutely can’t decide between these two gorgeous styles? We’ve got you covered!

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Trenton Country Club Weddings – The Wedding of Colleen & Tim

From the stunning old church where they were married, to the beautiful grounds at the Trenton Country Club, Colleen and Tim’s wedding was one spectacular moment after another! Colleen’s dress is a Pronovias creation, and is complemented perfectly by her gorgeous white bouquet by Petal Pushers. This is one of my favorite bouquets we’ve seen and I absolutely love how she choose to use all white flowers, combining numerous varieties to create a myriad of different textures. I speak for everyone in attendance that this wedding was a blast, but we especially had so much fun taking the wedding party portraits. Everyone hopped on golf carts and drove out into the middle of the course for scenic portrait shots on the wooden bridge! Dreamtime from EBE Entertainment were an amazing band and really inspired some outrageous moves on the dance floor (check out the last picture!). We hope you all enjoy these photographs as much as we enjoyed taking them. Congratulations, Colleen and Tim!

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Introducing Gabrielle Tierney and Live Social Media Feeds

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Faith West Photography is experimenting with live social media feeds at weddings. If you are getting married between now and January 3rd, you will see our newest employee, Gabrielle Tierney, at your wedding utilizing a new gadget called a CamRanger. This device wirelessly transmits images from the photographer’s camera to Gabrielle’s computer or phone so that she can then post a few of the best images to the Facebook and Instagram pages for Faith West Photography. We are working with the couples to find out what their hashtag is (some of them are very clever!). We will be using that hashtag on our photos, so that the professional photos will be mixed in with the others that your guests see when they search for that hashtag.

Look for us to be doing this at tomorrow’s wedding of Jennifer Wall and Brett Bergen. Search for photos throughout the day at #TheBergenWall (see what I mean about them being clever?!).

Watercolor Wedding Invites!

I began researching different wedding invitation styles after I saw a feature for Winifred Paper on Style Me Pretty in late September. Okay, okay, at first I was just drooling over their beautiful office space (you seriously must check it out), but after clicking through their gallery I fell head-over-heels in love with the pink and gold invitations that were shown. My affinity for one-of-a-kind wedding gowns and stunning engagement rings has taken priority for too long. It’s time for wedding invitations to take their place in the spotlight!

The save the date card and formal invitation will set the tone for a wedding and give guests a preview of the celebration to come. Accordingly, your stationery should be a reflection of your wedding theme, colors, or the overall style of your celebration (ballroom, garden, destination, etc.). Wedding stationery prices can range drastically, so when choosing a vendor it is important to determine your budget in advance. The Knot‘s list of top invitation vendors in your locale can help you do just so by making it easy to compare stylistic differences and package pricing.

Traditionally, many couples have chosen a printed invitation, but breathtaking watercolor stationery has been popping up recently in real wedding blog posts and styled shoots alike. No two invitations are entirely the same, adding an abundance of charm and making each creation seem more personal to your guests. Because each watercolor invitation is handcrafted, the bride and groom are often able to completely customize their order and really capture the spirit of their celebration in the invitation. From landscapes, to ballrooms, to delicate maps, each invitation is a true work of art and will surely leave your guests in awe (and maybe feeling just a hint of jealousy).

Our lovely bride Alyssa was way ahead of the trend when she chose this gorgeous wedding invitation for their celebration:

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A few of my other watercolor favorites from wedding blogs are below!

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Julie Song Inc.

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Now that you’ve seen for yourself just how pretty these invites are, you can get even more wedding invitation inspiration from Shindig Invites, who are top rated on The Knot and Style Me Pretty and have an office right here in Philly!

Another amazing resource for fresh stationery ideas is Minted, which is where I ordered my own wedding invites when I was married last year! Be sure to browse their beautiful collections and take a peak at my invitation below.

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Lighting Can Make or Break the Look of Your Reception

What’s the biggest bang for your decor buck at the wedding? It’s something most brides and grooms  don’t think about: lighting!  Many brides and grooms are not even aware that there are event lighting companies that can take a space from drab to dramatic in no time.

Since most brides and grooms are not aware that lighting is a “thing” at weddings, let’s start with some terminology:

Uplighting: The lights that shine from the floor upwards towards the ceiling to produce dramatic colors on walls and columns. Uplighting is provided for free or very cheaply by many venues, but not all.

Pin Spotting: The focused beams of light that are trained on each table by a technician before your wedding reception. This is typically an add-on at some wedding venues, and for some venues, you have to hire your own lighting person to get this effect.

A Wash on the Dance Floor: This is a broad, spread-out light that hits the dance floor, usually through something called a “go-bo” (which is short for “go between”.) The go-bo will make the light look like your initials and your wedding date, for instance, or maybe like light shining through trees in a garden. Typically, to get a wash on the dance floor, you do have to hire an outside professional, rather than rely on the venue to do it.

My advice, after seeing hundreds of weddings, is always try to carve out money in the budget for lighting. If you don’t, your wedding room will look more drab, no matter how beautiful the flower arrangements are. It’s the lighting in the room that gives it that “wow” factor. We recommend some event lighting companies that we work with regularly: Eventions and Synergetic Sound and Lighting, but there are others in the area as well, including event production companies that handle it all from flowers to lighting like Evantine Design and Eventricity.

Here are examples of weddings with lighting we feel was done really spectacularly.

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By contrast, this is the same room without any lighting except some decorative lights strung from the columns:

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Glen Foerd Mansion Weddings – The Wedding of Kassandra & Brian

Kassandra and Brian’s charming fall wedding at Glen Foerd Mansion will definitely have you oohing and ahhing over every detail from the gorgeous tent right down to the lace-wrapped mason jars. The happy couple first met while working for Guimarellos, a tiny Italian restaurant in Westmont, and just tied the knot in late September. The bridal party was flawless, but of course Kasey stole the show in her Vera Wang fit and flare gown and beaded belt. (It was the first dress she tried on, so we know it was meant to be!) While the colorful florals by Michael Bruce Florist enchanted the eyes of their guests, a personal friend of the couple, Mike Galioto, was the perfect DJ to keep the party going all night long. For even more pictures of this beautiful event, you can view the entire gallery here. Cheers, Kasey and Brian!

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One Atlantic Weddings – The Wedding of Emily & David

Emily and David were married in late September at one of our favorite venues, One Atlantic.  The couple were initially set up through a mutual friend, though they certainly had a lot to talk about having both attending Princeton University (albeit seven years apart). The bride’s stunning lace gown is a Paloma Blanca creation, purchased from the VanCleave Wedding Pavilion in Paoli, PA. The ceremony and reception boasted gorgeous floral decor by The Manic Botanic and EBE Events & Entertainment kept guests on the dance floor all night. We are so excited to share this couple’s stunning photos with you all. Please join us in congratulating them once again! Cheers, Emily and David!

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