HELP! I'm "Fall"ing For You (A Photographer's Guide to Fall Weddings in New England)

Today we welcome the first day of Autumn to New England. I suppose most people connect Autumn in New England with vibrant red and golden leaves illuminated from the rays of sun. On most days you'll be correct, though not today. Instead of hazy golden rays gleaming off the trees, it's dull, gloomy, and apparently storming outside. 

The last couple of days, New England has been hit with the remainder of Hurricane Jose, now considered a tropical storm. With the weather, oh so not delightful, I figured that a blog to celebrate the coming foliage wouldn't be a terrible idea. So here, I present to you a Photographer's Guide to Fall Weddings in New England.

Let's break down the basics into 5 basic components when planning your wedding for great photography:

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1. Attitude

Your attitude directly impacts your wedding, whether it be from pre-wedding planning or to the very last song of the reception on your wedding day. Although wedding planning is not only strenuous, confusing, and at most times stressful, your positive attitude and outlook will pave the way for positive interactions with others such as your wedding planner, photographer, and videographer. Your wedding is your special day, and justly so, it should be. Some brides may feel that it is essential that they need to take control of absolutely everything relating to the wedding, but remember you will have family, friends, and most of all, your bridal party.

Utilize your bridal party. They are not just there to look pretty. When beginning planning, select not only your best friends, but also your most trusted and dependable friends to be your bridal party. They will be there from beginning to end. Once you've selected your bridal party, begin assigning tasks to each person (it would help to have a bridal party and sit down over drinks and talk about what part of the wedding is each person interested in.)

You'll soon be thankful that you have so many people there to help you put the pieces together, rather than doing it on your own. Realized that not everything will fall into place, but maintain composure and positivity. What really matters is not all of the glamor, decorations, or even the timeline. It's when you're at the end of the aisle holding your Lover's hands, listening to their vow, and finally understanding what true happiness is.

With true happiness and positivity, you'll get the best results in not only cinematography, photography, but also interactions with the guests. We love photographing positive brides, as they yield the most natural and beautiful images, none of that "Say cheeseeeee!" nonsense. 

2. Location

Location is KEY for an Autumn wedding. Regardless of when it is, there will always be some kind of foliage. Depending where you are, the altitude determines the rate of changing leaves. If that is important to you, plan to visit venues at least a year prior and check out how they look during your dates of interest. It wouldn't hurt to bring your photographers and cinematographers along so they can scout the location and pre-plan. Whether you plan to have your wedding at a resort overlooking the White Mountains, or at the Ritz in Boston, make sure you love it and commit.

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3. Date

Along with location, the date of your Autumn wedding is also very important. You could technically get married at anytime and anywhere but is it realistic? Figure out what is important to you. Do you want to have the wedding in the mountains, seacoast, a valley, the city? If you have your wedding in the city, you're almost guaranteed a safe wedding. Regardless of how late it is in the year, you'll most likely have the wedding inside a church then a reception venue. Anything else mentioned will require careful planning and scouting. For example, foliage begins late September and fades by mid to late October depending on the weather. If there are storms, the foliage often disappears weeks sooner than normal.

4. Attire (and fending off the cold)

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Depending on the date of the wedding and how late in the season your wedding is, keep not only yourself, but also your guests warm. I find that some brides don't necessarily account for the weather for their Fall wedding and their guests are distracted by the chill when sitting through the 20-30 minutes ceremony outside (we'll get back to this in the next part). You want your wedding day to be amazing. No bride (or her bridal party for that matter) can really stay happy by standing in the cold for the entire ceremony and then for the shoot with the photographers/cinematographers.  For that, I have some recommendations as follows:

-As a gift to your bridal party, give them additional matching fleece blankets to throw on after the ceremony meanwhile they wait for the formals shoot.

-Either the groomsmen or bridesmaids can even be given a flask. If your bridal party is young and love to party, some Southern Comfort can really help keep them warm.

-Ask the wedding coordinator to have caterers bring around hot chocolate or even just have a station for guests to grab a cup (makes for great photo ops too!)

-Most importantly, have your Maid-of-Honor help you with a blanket in between your formal and individual shoots. If blankets aren't your thing, try fur wraps/stoles. They are extremely classy and can be used late in the season to winter weddings.

5. Decor

Decor really pulls your wedding together. Themed weddings actually do not get as much praise as they should. So often, people do not understand color scheme and how certain ones flow more than others. Especially in Autumn. Turquoise does not match well with burgundy, so try not to pick your favorite color and force it with a Fall color. After you've decided on what your themed colors will be, focus on making your decor flow with them. One important decor that becomes essential in a Fall wedding and a guest's favorite is simply a blanket. They are often pretty cheap and you can get bulk blankets to match. I remember one wedding I took last Autumn had a rustic crate with blankets and a cute sign welcoming their guests to their ceremony.

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As vague and opinionated as this quick guide is, I hope that it helps you on your trek to planning your perfect wedding day in the Fall. Take these quick notes and expand on them and make something beautiful out of them. Happy planning!

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Dear Brides-To-Be... A Photographer is Your Best(est) Friend!

Dear Brides-To-Be,

Your wedding day is the day where you tie the knot with the love of your life. This is the day where you should enjoy every single hour, minute, and second because well, it's YOUR special day. Unfortunately, with the amount of work that comes with a wedding, too many brides incur stress on their wedding day. Let's be honest, the preparations up to your wedding day, including: booking venues, finding the right flowers, cake tasting, trying on half the wedding dresses that you see, oh, and lets not forget the invitation card that never made it to your Aunt Martha, will bring inevitable stress. It is important to control what you can but also sit back and let others help you. Photographers are one of those people. We are vital and key players in your wedding because although you only pay us for our imaging services and products, you get so much more than that.

A great photographer will not only document your special day with care and efficiency, but will also be a wedding planner, therapist, tailor, waiter/waitress. and at the end of the day your best friend. I have never photographed a wedding where everything was perfectly aligned with the schedule. Something ALWAYS happens, and as photographers, we must help keep you on schedule. Aside from being your planner, we are also therapist. It's your special day where you make the commitment of your life. So when a single strand of hair sticks out, we have to be there to reassure you that everything will be alright, because it will. I remember a couple of times where something happened to a bride's dress or a groom's suit (either there was a small tear or a button fell off). A prepared photographer will have bobby pins or pin clips. Is it our job to cater to any and every problem during your wedding outside of photography? Not necessarily, but it IS our job to make you look and feel beautiful. Now, this could only be accomplished if we can help resolve any problems that may arise. So, brides-to-be, find a great photographer(s), because at the end of the day, we are your best friends and we wouldn't want it any other way.

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Mindy & Patrick (Waterville Estates, Campton, NH Wedding)

Every wedding has something different about it, something that make it unique. It's what makes going to weddings, anything but repetitive but fun. Although all weddings are different in some way, shape or form, they all have beautiful moments that captures the essence of true emotion. I believe that one of the most beautiful moments to see during a wedding is when the father of the bride walks his daughter down the center aisle to her lover and soon-to-be husband. 

Avari Studios, Phi Pham

Avari Studios' Photoshoot with Hoàng Kim

A long time coming, but we finally managed to set a time to do a photo shoot with Hoàng Kim. She's a beautiful, smart, and fun person to be around. An amazing singer and a charming soul, what more can you ask for? Ryan was able to capture some beautiful images; here are two sample photos from the shoot in studio:

Christina & Gil's Engagement Session (Boston, MA)

We had an amazing chance to capture Christina and Gil's engagement session in Boston. The city's charm showcased their love. It doesn't matter where you are in Boston, you'll always be surrounded by photogenic surroundings in the beautiful city. Check out some images from our session below.

 

Avari Studios, Phi Pham

Cam & Tai (Our Lady of Lavang, Albuquerque, NM Wedding Photography)

So often do I hear from my friends, " Long distance never works...", and for some, that may be the case. This last weekend though, I've witnessed something otherwise. I witnessed two people, living more than half a country away from each other, tying the knot. I heard the secret to long distance and long periods without each other is SKYPE and mileage credit cards. Those points definitely add up! Scrolling down my Facebook timeline I can recall a quote about long distance relationships, "Distance is only a measure to see how far love can travel." From what I can see, it's traveled hundreds and hundreds of miles from New Hampshire to New Mexico and vice versa. I hear that the groom is now in New Hampshire with his lovely bride. Cheers to the closeness that you both whole-heartedily deserve and good luck... dealing with the snow won't be easy!

Avari Studios, Phi Pham

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Tet in Boston- The Pageant (Lombardo's in Randolph, MA)

Every year the Vietnamese Community of Massachusetts along with the New England Intercollegiate Vietnamese Students Association co-host a large celebration for the Lunar New Years (Tet). Tet is especially important to the Vietnamese community, as it is a time where families get together and celebrate a New Year as well as each other's presences. It is probably the largest celebration in the Vietnamese culture. This year we had the pleasure to do some giving back. Our photographic and video crew stepped up to help document this event, especially the pageant, hosting more than 8000 people throughout the day. It was a privilege to document such an amazing group of young ladies and work with dedicated event coordinators. There is no doubt that each one of the ladies are truly unique and beautiful inside and out.

Avari Studios, Phi Pham

Nice Guys Photography Rebrands To Avari Studios

Three years ago, I started my trek to master the art that I fell in love with, photography. It is a medium that helped me appreciate the natural beauties of the world around me, and it gave me the ability to document important moments in peoples' lives. Soon after I began my journey to improve my art and hone in what subjects I was interested in, a friend helped create the name Nice Guys Photography. As simple as it was, it represented two guys who sought out to photograph the world around them and capture moments that elicited raw emotions. For myself it remained photographing portraits, inclusively weddings and fashion. As we built the foundation for this imaging studio, we decided that Nice Guys Photography no longer suited our work. Don't get me wrong, we are still Nice Guys (chuckle), but we now present more options in our products and services, thus becoming "Studios". For example, we now offer various services including beauty, media, and retouching aside from photography. You may ask, "Well how about Avari?". great question, we needed a simple but meaningful name and found Avari fitting. Avari means from the Heavens, or heavenly. We take pride in our works and hold our services and products with extremely high expectations. By providing our clients with luxury services and products, we aim to raise the bar for current imaging services around the world. We hope that you will continue to support our work and become part of our family.

Much love,

Avari Studios, Phi Pham