Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Event Planning 101: The reception - Dance songs

Music is so important!  Music sets the mood, music keeps people active, and music can slow you down too.  When looking for the perfect songs for a wedding reception think about who is going to be there.  Where the event is located.  Also consider well in advance what song to choose for special dances.  Make sure to REMEMBER to speak to your DJ about which songs are special ones and why.  

Lady In Pink Photography second photographer, Charlotte Dugan, during her first dance as husband and wife.

Right now, I've been on the hunt for music of all kinds.  To keep everything in one place, I've been using a Spotify account with folders for each category.  Today... wedding playlist.  The father daughter song has stumped me.  My fiance and I have already chosen the song to dance to during our first dance as Mr. and Mrs. I had a few songs picked out, Mr. Knerd in Shining Armour dismissed all suggestions on my list when he saw the Elvis song.  He wouldn't even bother hearing the other songs.  To be honest, it was adorable!  

Here is the list of songs for our first dance that I had chosen:
Come To Me performed by the Goo Goo Dolls
Home performed by Phillip Phillips
The Way I Am performed by Ingrid Michaelson
Rhythm Of Love performed by Plain White T's
Can't Help Falling in Love performed by Elvis Presley  
Radiant Diamonds performed by NEEDTOBREATHE

Thomas Dugan, my father as St. Nicolas
Father daughter dances are special, little girls look up to their daddies no matter how old.  I admire my father very much, he makes me laugh, he has helped me build a business, and he also makes an amazing St. Nicolas!  He really is my dream daddy, last year he came jingling and ring-a-ling into our house on Christmas Eve donned in his St. Nicolas costume all the while "Ho Ho Ho"ing away.   I felt 6 years old again and there was a Christmas magic flowing in and out and around our family.  We finished our evening with St. Nicolas reading The Night Before Christmas, an original copy from his childhood.

Here are a list of my top favorite father daughter dance songs:
Father And Daughter performed by Paul Simon
I Loved Her First performed by Heartland
Butterfly Kisses performed by Bob Carlisle
Somewhere Over The Rainbow performed by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole
Red Robin performed by Clark Richard

I know my dad has a list of songs he'll want me to hear before we make our dance choice.  Can't wait to hear what we'll dance to.  

Leave a comment with your father daughter dance song, maybe you'll help us make a choice or even someone else in need of the perfect song.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Event Planning 101: Going to venues

I take you back to the poor overwhelmed couple two weeks ago with our first post on venues, we are ready to take the next step.  We have done our research and now my fiance and I are starting to call venues.  To make life easier we taking baby steps, we chose our top three locations.  Time to see who is a available.  

We just checked out Lakes Park in Fort Myers.  My fiance and I live close by the park, we are an outdoors couple, in fact if it does rain on our wedding day we've already agreed to still get married outside.  I personally think it's romantic!!!!!!  Lady In Pink Photography once photographed an engagement in the rain, and it made me cry so hard!

Lakes Park is one of Lady In Pink Photography's favorite local parks to photograph in.  It's perfect for any family session, engagement, wedding, or updating professional portraits.  I thought I new this park in and out, but they keep adding things so every time I'm there I find something new!   

 I could take up more space with plenty more sessions from Lakes Park, but instead let's get down to business.

When it comes down to Lakes Park, here are a few reason's my fiance and I love the location for us:

It's BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!
We can put together an event on a budget
There are places to cook and store our own food
Our family is big and has TONS of kids, it would be easy for us to entertain everyone.
We are an outdoor couple.  We find we will walk for hours together, especially at Lakes Park.
There are restrooms close by and available
Plenty of parking
Two pavilions for shelter with tables!!!!!
COUNTLESS locations to choose to host our ceremony
TRAIN RIDES!!!!!  Train rides!!!!  Did I mention... TRAIN RIDES with a TINY LITTLE VILLAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Play ground(s) (this bride will be swinging and sliding too!!!!!)
and two water features on the far side of the park...
and more... more more more

We have a very solid theme for hosting our event at Lakes Park and know our guests would enjoy their day there too.

This morning I took the first step... Called to book!  With my fingers crossed I was told, to my disappointment, that I have to wait 6 months before the date of event to book any spaces.  The "Go Get It Done Girl" in me almost teared up on the phone knowing I had to wait... Wait up to September to book our location...  Sigh.  BUT this means that they are available!  The plan is to keep looking at different venues and make our final choice in September.

Here is a little video from our visit to Lakes Park, warning there is a very cute guy in this video.

Now that we have dates, possible venues, and themes, time to start designing save the dates and sending them to out of town guests.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Event planning 101: Bridal Show Mania

Me, My Fiance, junior bridesmaids and matron of honor.
As a bride, a bridal show sounds like tons of fun!  It is, and very overwhelming.  Many vendors, loud noises, and "win this, win that, win it all" attitude.  Yet, I went home with too much information, no prizes, and really cute memories of the future Mr. Knerd in Shining Armor making sure to take ALL the info packets he could fit into our tiny plastic bag.  By the end, it was almost a game to see how much information we could go home with.  

We were attending the bridal show hosted by B103.9 in the Harborside Event Center.  

After the bridal show, many things are much clearer than before and in ways much more confusing than ever.  We now understand where our budget is, we know what we do not want or do not need to spend money on.  In other words... things are coming together.  We found many more venues to choose from, ranging from "Break the Bank" to "Saving $$$".  We also discovered many great venues are booked...  We ran into Lady In Pink Photography's friend Sara from The Forest Country Club in Fort Myers.  Please see our post last week featuring this really beautiful local Fort Myers venue! Click HERE to visit last weeks video blog post.

The first step my fiance and I did together was take a few days and look at everything.  We ended up recycling more than 2/3 the packets picked up.  Monday morning I'll be calling our three favorite possible venues to find out more information and to see if our chosen date is available.  As for other vendors I want to contact, I've already entered their information into my smart phone with details to why I want to work with them.

Each venue we chose has something to form a different theme.  I'm working on a video blog for Lakes Park in Fort Myers Florida.  As we go, I'll share our feedback with you.  My future Mr. Knerd in Shining Armor is making a cameo in the next video blog.  I'm excited!!!!!
In other news!!!!!!!!!!!    A great big shout out to UaStar Photobooth!  They are going to be at Lady In Pink Photography's community event in October.  We loved everything about them and can't wait to pose in a photo with everyone there to celebrate with me!  The filmstrip above is what we went home with from the bridal show, LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  Please take just a few minutes to check out their website and friend them on Facebook.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Forest Country Club

Photographing weddings and events is a true pleasure and joy!  November 2013, Lady In Pink Photography walked into a venue, The Forest Country Club, with bride, Chelsie, for our final meeting.  This was my first time in the country club.  The minute we walked in and sat down to talk about all the little details for Chelsie and Mark's upcoming wedding day, someone came up and made sure we were okay or if we needed anything.  They even brought us coffee!!!!  So experience #1 was AMAZING!  

Day of the event...  Could not have been more impressed with everything!  The staff was courteous to the guests AND above and beyond that to the Lady In Pink Photography team. They made sure we had plenty water or coffee (THANK YOU!!!! The coffee picked me up to get me home after a long and joyful day.)  Some staff members even made suggestions for good locations to photograph at.  The Forest Country Club really puts in 120% for every event they house.  

Time passes, present day June 2014...  Chelsie and her husband have already received their albums, photographs, and memories.  Lady In Pink Photography get's an e-mail from Sara at The Forest Country Club (Side note, she's amazing!) asking for a photo or two from Chelsie and Mark's wedding day.  First thing I did was contact BOTH bride and groom and make sure it was okay to hang up their beautiful portrait in the Country Club... They said "YES!"  

While delivering the 16x20 portrait to Sara I took a small cellphone video of the Forest Country Club to give you an idea of how beautiful it really is!  Enjoy your sneak peek of a beautiful local venue.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Event Planning 101: Step 1, Date and Venue

Every little girl starts planning their dream wedding as soon as they see their first bride.  Step one of planning any large event, choosing the venue, date, location, and time.  So many factors come into finding just the right place for any event.   
Fort Myers Florida venue, The Forest Country Club.  One of LIPP's favorite places to photograph.
I'm lucky enough to be planning two events this year.  One for Lady In Pink Photography and one for me and my Fiance.  I had no idea before Friday June 13th that I'd be planning two events at once.
Suzie Dugan and Chris Thompson the evening
of his Friday the 13th surprise proposal.
  I'll tell you... planning one event is a challenge, make it two and I'm lucky that I've had so many friends reach out to help me with both events.  

Having photographed events in Florida, New York, California, and Ohio, my mind starts to choose the most exotic locations first.  

Boldt Castle on Heart Island upstate New York.  Photograph taken by Suzie Dugan while working at Photography By Imaginations in 2007.

But when planning a large event, it's always best to start looking at venues close to home first.  

For Lady In Pink Photography's community party on October 4th, luckily Calusa Nature Center was available for the date LIPP wanted to book.  We did also look into Southern Waters too, but they were booked already.  

The Lady In Pink Photography community party is coming together very smoothly.  Invitations and vendor applications are now being proofed for printing, we have the beautiful Jennifer Gilmore as our Emcee, and we have one guest judge from Chicago who specializes in costuming and makeup, Emily Leonard. Along with local aspiring make-up artist Deek Font.  LIPP is still looking for one more judge.

See our Facebook invite for more information and to RSVP too. 

Before choosing your date and time, make sure no other major events YOU or YOUR guests want to attend are happening on the same day.  For October, the event that I would like to attend is ZombiCon.  I love going with friends to see all the unique costumes.  Before even contacting our first venue choice I waited with crossed fingers for ZombiCon to announce their event date.

For Mr. Thompson and my special day, finding a venue is more challenging than expected. Cost, availability, restrictions, or even as simple as working with both our styles.  I go back to all the different places I loved photographing at in the past, the options become overwhelming!  

Here are just a few of the locations Chris and I loved:

Lakes Park in Fort Myers Florida
Coral Castle in Miami Florida
Lake Louisa close to Orlando Florida
Sanibel resorts island off of Fort Myers
The Forest Country Club in Fort Myers (Sad, because they are already booked for our chosen date!)
Cape Coral Yacht Club
The Hut Restaurant in Fort Myers
The Florida Keys ...

The list continues.  Will post more as planning goes along for both events.

Here's one more view of Boldt Castle on Heart Island ....

Thank you Gigi for allowing me to share your blog post, and I quote you, "...A year of planning has come up to this very day. I thought I was prepared and you would figure after planning for a year everything would turn out well right? Well not exactly"...  ~Gigi  Gigi's blogJust published yesterday by a Lady In Pink Photography Fan and past event planner.  Gigi's real life wedding  nightmare reminded me of something important, things do go wrong, when everything is said and done your wedding day is not the most important thing.  I've photographed countless weddings from 2003-present day where one or two small things put the reception on halt for hours.  One thing I've witnessed first hand is family members, friends, and wedding party members help save the day and make sure that no matter what goes stray from the plan the bride and groom are still married.  Love and celebration are powerful.  I hope the upcoming months of sharing my experiences on planning both events with readers can help out others planning one or more events too.

Search This Blog