And the 2015 Color of the Year is …… (drumroll please)

From the desk of: Amanda

As we get ready to really kick off the wedding season, I thought I’d keep you guys up to date on this season’s popular colors! After last year’s trend of pastels and muted tones, couples are still keeping it somewhat muted, but heading more toward earth tones this time.

The color of the year, according to the color experts over at Pantone, is Marsala. The wine?! That was my first thought, too. Not surprisingly, marsala is in the burgundy family, but it lends more toward a dusty shade, rather than the bold traditional color you’re used to seeing.


The executive director of Pantone, Leatrice Eiseman, says “Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in
to its embracing warmth.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Not sure what to pair this unique color with? Pantone offers up some suggestions on their page, but here’s a quick look at a couple of my favorites:



Not feeling the darker colors? No worries. Marsala isn’t the ONLY color this year. Other colors that brides are leaning toward include:


green orchid and white rose wedding bouquet

Photo taken by: Amanda Buckland

Vintage Pink:

pink peony and white calla lily wedding bouquet

Photo taken by: Amanda Buckland


Icy Blue:

blue hydrangea wedding bouquet

Photo taken by: Amanda Buckland


and the lovely peachy apricot shades that our bride carried last weekend:

peach roses and white mum wedding bouquet

Photo taken by: Sean Purcell

What are some of YOUR favorite wedding color combos?


10346305_755492711170075_7337842460254858014_nWant to get to know us a little better?  Facebookers can find us here, Tweeters can find us here, or if you’re a pinner, our boards are here. If you’re looking for more of ME, don’t be shy. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I can’t wait to connect with you!



Etsy Round-up: Wedding Cake Toppers

from the desk of: Veronica

Are you deep in the process of planning a wedding? Know someone who is? Love to look at wedding stuff even though you don’t have a wedding to plan? Love etsy as much as I do? Then this is the post for you!

Below are my favorite cake topper finds.

Wedding Cake Topper Monogram Mr and Mrs Topper Heart Design with YOUR Last Name

Custom Last Name Topper, $30, ThePinkOwlGifts

Lots of great fonts available!

All You Need is Love, $28.95, MissSarahCake

I couldn’t resist adding this one, since I walked down the aisle to this song. She also has other fun sayings, like “Eat Me” (for an Alice in Wonderland wedding?) and “It’s a nice day for a white wedding.”

Cat cake topper, wedding cake topper, gold ivory - white wedding, ceramic cat cake topper wedding, wedding keepsake

Cat cake topper, $60, JasminBlancBoutique

When the catlady finds her catman, it’s a beautiful day, indeed.

Custom Wedding Cake Topper Personalized with YOUR Silhouette

Custom cake topper personalized with YOUR silhouette, $60, Silhouetteweddings

I learned two things by visiting this shop: 1) I never would have been able to chose a pose/design from all those listed, 2) I don’t know how to spell silhouette.

Rustic Wedding Cake Topper - Any Two Vine Letters with Ampersand

Rustic wedding cake topper, $62, AprilHilerDesigns

If you’re getting married in a barn and your cake topper doesn’t look like this, I don’t know about you.

Just Married Wedding Cake Topper Banner with Custom Color Glittered Hearts, bakers banner

Just Married banner with custom colored glitter hearts, $25, TheGlitteredBarn

These banners are very on-trend. If you’re a banner gal, this shop looks like the place to be.

Bird Wedding cake toppers in robins egg blue  love birds in a wedding dance

Blue love birds in a wedding dance, $39, Claylicious

Love birds. LOVE BIRDS!

Best Day Ever Wedding Cake Topper - Gold

Best day ever wedding cake topper, $35, betteroffwed

I feel like this is a good way to end the post, since I saw this one and actually teared up. It really WAS the best day ever!

Excuse me while I go sniffle into my cup of coffee. Happy Wedding shopping!

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), and on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.

Suffering from sticker shock? It might not be as bad as you think…

For the last month or so, I’ve talked about ways to make your wedding planning a little easier (Check out my posts about the dress, flowers, cake, and invitations). Today, I want to go over a few things that a lot of people might not realize.

Some of the major complaints I hear from couples afterward is that they were too stressed over minor details, or that they had too much to do the day of the wedding. A lot of couples wish that they’d hired a planner to just handle ALL of it, and Veronica did write about the merits of hiring a wedding planner a few weeks ago, so I won’t repeat what’s already been said. I’m going to go off my own personal experience here, and talk about using a venue that’s all inclusive versus hiring individual vendors for everything.

After picking a wedding date, I started calling a TON of venues in my area. As a florist, I was familiar with most of them, and knew several locations that I could envision my wedding taking place at. Everyone was all-inclusive, and to be perfectly honest, this term scared me. To me, it sounded like money. Lots, and lots of money. I broke out in a cold sweat when the first coordinator started going over pricing with me. $52 a plate. Each person that I was inviting to my wedding was going to cost me $52. I freaked out, and decided that this really wasn’t for me. I mean, with my family, and my husband’s family, we were looking at 200 guests, if not more. That would have worked out to roughly ten grand. Ten thousand dollars on what I was looking at as food and bottom shelf booze. Sounds a little insane, right? Wrong. What I didn’t think about was the fact that you’re getting way more than just food and drink for your $52. You’re getting SERVICE.

  • You’re getting the hall itself.
  • Most of them allow the ceremony to take place on their grounds, at no additional charge. Huge plus, since it’s expensive to rent a church.
  • Given that most of these places were country clubs, they were beautifully landscaped, and there was no need to go off location for photos. Another huge bonus, and time saver. It also saves a little money, if your photographer charges more to travel to another location.
  • All of these places have an event coordinator, so even if you don’t have an actual wedding planner, there is still a person at the hall to help you out with coordinating other vendors and any issues that might pop up.
  • It does include your food and drink.
  • It includes chairs and tables. Seriously. Some off the wall halls don’t have these available, so you have to rent them.
  • Someone on staff to cut and serve the cake, so you don’t have to bother Aunt Fran with this task.
  • They. Clean. Up. …this one I cannot stress enough. You come in, you party, you leave. Priceless, in my book.

Now. I decided to be stubborn, and not pay a huge sum of money for my guests, and this is what I had to do instead:

  • We had to rent a hall to get married.
  • We had to rent chairs for my guests to sit on at the ceremony.
  • I wasn’t fond of the idea of all of my wedding photos being taken at the plain halls, so we traveled to a different location for photos.
  • We rented a hall for the reception. They DID have their own tables and chairs, but they weren’t that nice. And we had to set them up, and take them down ourselves.
  • We bought all the food (yes, for 235 people), AND cooked it.
  • We had to transport the food to the hall.
  • We had to make sure we had enough crock pots and serving/warming trays to accommodate the food.
  • We had to serve the food.
  • We had to buy all of the plates, silverware, napkins, cups, etc.
  • We had to buy all of the beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). That’s a really fun guessing game.
  • We had to hire a bartender.
  • Everyone looked at each other when it came time to cut the cake … we had no one to do it for us.
  • AND we had to clean up immediately after the reception, instead of riding off into the sunset on our wedding night.

Do you see a common theme in the above list? “We had to rent” appears far too often. Somewhere in there, we were supposed to actually get married, too. So many extra vendors, so many extra tasks, so much extra scheduling … so much extra STRESS. For example, unnecessary stress came when my husband-to-be called me two hours before the ceremony was supposed to start, and the chair people hadn’t shown up. Really? My guests were going to sit on the floor? AWESOME.

My wedding did turn out beautifully, the chairs showed up, and no one sat on the floor. I am in no way saying that the way I did things is the wrong way to go. If you’re on a super tight budget, this is probably going to be the route you take. But once I added everything up, and factored in how much time it took not only myself and my husband, but all of the family members assigned to cooking, cleaning, and hauling …well …I’d have been better off with the all-inclusive venue. I don’t think that this is something most people take into consideration. Lots of small charges add up. Quickly.

Can you really put a price tag on peace of mind?

Amanda blog-4










Hey, don’t just stop here, let’s get social 🙂  Come visit us on Facebook and join in on the fun.  Or if you’re looking for something on the lighter side, hit me up on Instagram, you can find me under AmandaBellaire.

If You’re Going to Choreograph …

To choreograph or not? That is the question when it comes to first dances.

Originally, this just referred to whether or not you would spend one night a week for a few months taking ballroom dancing lessons and putting together something with a lot of box steps, twirls, and a dip at the end. However, these days it can mean a lot more.

You’ve probably seen a few of the first dance videos that went viral on youtube, like the evolution of dance first dance or the “original” surprise first dance. However, I’ve got an all-time favorite.

Back in 6th grade I decided I WOULD do this at my wedding. I was certain. As the years went by and I evaluated my wedding plan checklist (Spring time, check; in a botanical garden, check; bridesmaids wear pink dresses, check; do the Dirty Dancing dance, check), I was in love with it all. It was only a matter of time before it all unfolded magically as I planned.

Then I met Jeremy. When he proposed, I couldn’t wait until spring to get married. I was happy to get married in the dead of winter. That eliminated two things on my sacred list right off the bat. Then there was the small detail that Jeremy was … well, he was not the type of guy to do that dance.

Don’t get me wrong! It’s not as if I asked him and he struck the idea down. I suppose if I told him it meant the world to me and I wanted nothing more for our wedding day, he would have grit his teeth and gone along with it, but that’s not what I wanted. I didn’t want to force him to do something so totally out of character, on this, of all days. I knew the man I was in love with, and I loved him for good reason. I knew that dance wasn’t on his to-do list, and therefore, we had a wedding that reflected us together, which is what it should be.

HOWEVER. If you think a fun dance to shock your guests reflects you as a couple, then DO IT! Please, please, do it! Then send me the link on youtube so I can watch it! I believe my role in life is now to convince other couples to just do it! Choreograph a fun dance! Make people laugh! Laugh with your new spouse! And, consider the Dirty Dancing dance, won’t you? It really is the best.

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), on Twitter, and InstagramFeel free to stalk her. She encourages it.

Breaking wedding traditions

From the desk of: Veronica
As someone who loved planning her wedding and would do it over a hundred times if my budget (and convention) allowed, I am always thinking and reading about weddings.The other day I was thinking about the balance between traditional and non-traditional and how fun it is to show up to a wedding and see where the couple falls on that continuum. For my own wedding, we kept with many traditions, but did a fair amount of things “our own way.”Some ways that brides and grooms buck tradition are particularly interesting to me, and I wonder if they might even become the new traditions! Here are a few of my favorite:
1. Bridesmaids. Most specifically, their attire. Traditionally, bridesmaids would wear the same dress, same shoes, same jewelry, and often the same hairdo. Now it’s trendy to have the same dress in different colors, different dresses in the same color, or even all different dresses! Shoes, jewelry, and hair need not match!
2. Headgear. A veil is not mandatory these days. Wear a headband, a fascinator, or nothing at all! Whatever you think looks good with your dress is the best way to go! Heck, you can even have different headgear for the ceremony and the reception.
3. Shoes. You’ve seen enough expensive white bridal shoes in your life to know that they all pretty much look the same, no one will see them if you wear a long dress, and you will never ever wear them again. These days, more and more brides are using their shoes to add a pop of fun and color to their attire, whether they show them off or keep them a fun secret.
4. Giving away the bride. Father of the bride not the person to walk to you down the aisle for whatever reason? Let the most significant person in your life walk you, whether it be your mother, brother, uncle, or son … if you even have anyone walk you down the aisle at all!
5. Seating. More and more receptions are including the much-pinned sign proclaiming guests should sit on either side of the aisle. It’s an interesting idea! If the wedding is about bringing two families together, then why separate them from the beginning?
What do you think? Love these changes? Hate them? Which do you think are here to stay and which are the flavor of the week? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment and take some time to peruse the website to see some of our lovely brides and grooms — some traditional, and some not! 
101713_1813_BookReviewI4.jpgYou can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), on Twitter, and InstagramFeel free to stalk her. She encourages it.

Photobombing the wedding…just don’t do it!


Photo Credit: IQvideography
Wow!!  That moment when a bride is walking down the isle, arm in arm with her Father, probably looking at her soon to be husband for the first time…the “awww” meter is absolutely pegged.  It’s one of the most iconic and requested shots a photographer is asked to capture on the big day.  Now take a look at this gorgeous photo from the folks over at IQvideography, what do you see?  The leading lines?  Perfect exposure?  How about the double and triple checked white balance or the time the hired wedding photographer took in scouting this exact spot to catch a classic moment the bride will want to remember?  Come to think of it can you even see the gorgeous bride?  Houston…we have a problem.
  In this awesome image, instead of a gorgeous bride and doting father, the eye is most likely drawn to either the tablet photographer completely covering the brides face, or if you’re like me, the woman in black taking a self portrait with the bride in background.  Hey, I can appreciate someone who stands out in a crowd.

The point is, this classic moment is probably not going to be captured, or captured as well as possible, by the professional wedding photographer the bride and groom actually contracted with to cover their big day.  There’s going to be a bit of scrambling, recomposing and a bit of finger crossing as the photographer works to get the shot necessary, without all the distractions.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Aunt Myrtle meant no harm when she leaned out with her tablet in hand, but by stepping out to grab that soon to be viral social media image, she took something away from that particular moment that can never be regained.

Don’t get me wrong, I love quickie photos as much as the next person and I TOTALLY understand the urge to document every single awesome thing I come across, my Instagram feed is testament to that.  But when you feel that inner shutterbug start to rise up, before you reach for that camera or smart device, please remember these little thoughts.

  • The bride and groom invited you to share their special moment for a reason.  They want you to enjoy yourself and jump feet first in the emotional experience that is their wedding.  Trust me, it’s important to them.
  • When the bride looks at you she wants to see you, her life time friend from High School…not a camera lens or smart phone.  Emotional connection is HUGE, and you’re missing it.
  • The bride is going to look ah-maze-ing.  That’s a fact.  But none of us look our best every single moment, just ask the undeniably beautiful Beyonce. (yikes!!)  Facing a paparazzi of smart phone wielding guests can be just a bit unnerving for an already nervous bride.
  • The couple who invited you spent a lot of time and effort finding a professional photographer that is a perfect fit for them.  They’ve made a sizable financial investment and spent hours, maybe weeks and months, explaining and describing the feel and style of photography the couple wants preserved.  Trust me…photobombed snapshots isn’t it.  Save those social media post images for the party at the reception.


  There’s a developing trend in weddings, the “Unplugged Wedding“.  The Unplugged Wedding is gaining momentum quickly and at Sean Purcell Photography we’re signing its praises at the top of our lungs!  As a matter of fact we highly recommend it to every bride we meet.  It’s even earned it’s own spot in our contract.  Seriously, I can’t say enough about what a good idea this is for everybody involved.

  The basic idea is that guests are kindly requested to turn off the phones and tablets, put down the point-shoot-camera or better yet, just leave them at home.  Today we’re connected to the outside world like never before, but at what cost?  Most of us have at least two or three means of contact at all times and if it didn’t happen on social media, it just isn’t official, right?  Wrong.

This isn’t the time or place for it.  You’re not going to want to miss one smile, happy tear, loving embrace or slightly awkward spontaneous break dancing event.  It’s a HUGE party, and you’ve been invited.  Trust me, the couple are going to have loads of images to share.  As photographers we just can’t help but racing to share them with the bride and groom so the whole world can see what we see through the camera.  It’s like some kind of visual addiction that keeps us up late at night and keeps the caffeine producers of the world in business.  So please, put the camera down and just sit back and enjoy the moment.

Psst…we love comments!  So don’t forget to share your funny wedding or event story in the comment section below.  What kind of craziness have you seen at a wedding?


Hey, don’t just stop here, let’s get social 🙂  Come visit me on Facebook or Twitter and join in on the fun.  Or if you’re looking for something on the light side (and definitely not photobombing the wedding), lets share our odd little worlds on “Instagram” at Sean_spphotography.   See you next time everybody 🙂  Sean

Overwhelmed by Wedding Invitations? Check this out…

Okay, so you have the date picked, your church reserved, and the hall booked. What’s next, you ask?

The invitations.

This task can be one of the most daunting tasks out there, especially if you’re frugal or a do-it-yourselfer. There are SO many decisions to make regarding invitations. If you’re sitting there, staring at the eleventy billion search results that just turned up for “wedding invitations”, let me give you a hand. We’re going to approach this the same way I approach any other issue in life…break it down into more manageable pieces.  Start by answering these simple questions:

  • Do you want to use a professional printer or do you want to do them yourselves?
  • If you want to do them yourselves, are you doing this to      save money, or because you want to make sure that every aspect of your invitation is custom?
  • Have you settled on a theme yet?  Colors?
  • How many people are you looking to invite?

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s break each one down a little further. If you want to use a professional printer, there are a lot of options out there for you. My personal favorite is Invitations by Dawn. I used them for my wedding, and was VERY pleased with the whole experience. The price was right, quality was phenomenal, and shipping speeds were remarkable. This process is actually quite simple, since most of the sites have everything in neat categories, based on theme.

If you’re doing your own invitations, Invitations by Dawn also has solutions for you. Another option is checking out your local Hobby Lobby. They have a wide variety of fully customizable wedding invitations, and if you download the phone app or watch your Sunday paper, you can always find a 40% off coupon.  Even though this wasn’t the right choice for me at the time, if I had to do it over again, I would probably print my own. I like to add a personal touch to everything I do, and these do–it-yourself kits let you do just that.

The biggest thing to watch out for, if you’re doing your own invitations because you think you can’t afford professional printing is, make sure the kits you’re price comparing include EVERYTHING. I had a friend decide to print her own. Excellent! Just a little paper, a little ink, and invite all the girls over for an invitation folding party, right? Almost.  First thing to keep in mind …ink costs. Especially if you’re inviting hundreds of people. A couple of ink cartridges alone can cost you almost half the price of having them printed elsewhere. Second thing to check…does your DIY kit come with envelopes? The one my friend got did not. So, she needed to find envelopes, and that, my friends, is no easy task. I’m not trying to steer you away from printing your own, I just want you to realize that it’s not as cost effective as you’d initially think. I believe my friend ended up spending the same, if not a little more, than she would have gone with a professional printer. AND she had all of her time and stress to account for, too.

The next thing that usually drives people batty is trying to figure out the wording for the invitations. The folks over at have put together a nice selection of ways to word even the trickiest family situations.

Hopefully this helps you feel a little less overwhelmed by the whole situation. Next week, we’ll tackle the cake. Who doesn’t like cake??


Hey, don’t just stop here, let’s get social 🙂  Come visit us on Facebook and join in on the fun.  Or if you’re looking for something on the lighter side, hit me up on Instagram, you can find me under AmandaBellaire.