Archives: 2011/03

Be The “Best” Man Mar 31st | Wedding Tips

The best man speech is an art-form; rarely perfected and commonly abused.  In a way I feel like the best-man has the toughest role in all of the wedding traditions.  Every wedding I’ve ever been to, the maid of honor has the easy way out.  All she has to do is say something along the lines of,”You’re the best friend anyone could ever ask for and you two are perfect for each other.”  Then follow that up with some light sobbing, a few tears, and let the ‘oohhs’ and ‘ahhs’ and ‘she’s so sweet’s’ come rollin’ in.

On the other hand, us dudes don’t have it near as easy!  Could you imagine if a best man  started crying hysterically in the middle of his speech?  Maybe you’ve seen it, I know I sure haven’t.  I’m almost certain it wouldn’t go over well.  Most guys don’t have the option (or the ability for that matter) to get deeply emotional, unless of course they’ve had a few drinks…which I AM NOT advocating.  A drunk best man is by no means a functional best man. No matter how nervous he is a Jack n’ Coke is not the answer…at least when pertaining to weddings.  So what do you ?

BE REAL, BE FLATTERING, and most of all BE FUNNY!!!!

It’s as simple as that.  Be yourself, don’t let the situation overtake you.  Flatter the bride and groom and direct the attention their way, after all it is their special day.  To put the cherry on top, throw in some humor.  Bring everyone together and lift them out of the tears that the maid of honor left them with.

For example my best man, Matt, took the humor and drove it home with a word for word recital of the “One Man Wolf-pack” speech from the blockbuster comedy The Hangover.  If you haven’t seen this it’s a must!  It made my family (a bunch of Appalachian party folk) hoop and holler like a bunch of rabid varmint.  My wife’s family thought is was fairly amusing and kept asking,”Who is Doug???  Does Chris know a Doug??? Did they really go to Vegas last night???”

All in all, it was a good laugh for everyone.  He rounded out his comedic recital with a heartfelt “I love you man” 1-2 punch.  In my opinion, the perfect best-man speech ever!  As a best man be relaxed and honest, show respect, and exude confidence…no pressure guys…NO PRESSURE!!!

Peter Carlson: @Jessica: Luke cracked me up! It was awesome! (Apr 01st - 10:44 am) Jessica: Whitney and Peter should know about this! The best man at our wedding was the best man at his brother's wedding and yes he shed a few tears at ours, but boohooed at his brother's!!! Whitney and Peter were the photographers. :) (Mar 31st - 05:38 pm)
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Vendors We Love – Historic Cedarwood Mar 29th | Vendors We Love!

If you’re in search of the perfect wedding venue, than look no further than Nashville’s own Historic Cedarwood! Whitney has photographed a ton of weddings here, and for good reason. The grounds are gorgeous, well kept, and there are multitudes of locations and scenery to get new and fresh photographs. Historic Cedarwood also has a knack for getting published, as you can find spreads featuring the venue in almost every blog on the web. If you haven’t done so already, you need to call Linda and schedule a consultation today, I guarantee you won’t be let down!

Linda is the partner and planner for Historic Cedarwood, a superwoman of sorts. That’s why we’re proud to feature her and Historic Cedarwood in this weeks installment of “Vendors We Love”…cause that’s exactly what we do…we LOVE Linda and Cedarwood. She was kind enough to spare a few moments out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for those brides-to-be, and give an overview of how Historic Cedarwood can help you achieve the perfect ‘dream wedding’.

You are a partner and planner for Historic Cedarwood, how did you find yourself working in the venue business?
Cedarwood partners are family! My sister Karen and brother Nathan and I are all hand-on owners and we each bring unique skills that help make Cedarwood solid. Karen is a master florist whose entire career has been dedicated to floral design, with several celebrity weddings under her belt. Nathan is our facilities and finance manager. My past career in managing travel and celebrity events required skills similar to planning weddings and coordinating large groups. We truly care about our clients and invest ourselves totally into making every Cedarwood wedding reflect our commitment to this business.

What is so special about Cedarwood? What separates it from other wedding venues in town?
We are an insanely creative group of designers who always look for ways to improve the venue and each event. Every year we upgrade the property in some major way and we’re constantly adding items to our inventory of photo props, decor items and vintage collections. Cedarwood brides not only have access to a variety of naturally beautiful spaces for events and photos, they can also use our vast resources in designing and decorating their weddings. We are the creative force behind the beauty – we don’t just own a venue and farm out the services – we make it happen. We are also unique because Cedarwood offers clients and guests variety — brides can create a multitude of styles from black tie to barbecue. The property is dignified and beautiful, yet never stuffy, and we constantly hear how relaxed and refreshed people feel when they are at our historic farm.

When a bride comes for a consultation, what can she expect?
On initial visits, we show how Cedarwood’s various spaces fit together on the property and discuss the site possibilities appropriate to her vision of an ideal wedding and reception. One misconception about our packages is that there’s limited choices, but on the contrary, every wedding is custom designed for each bride. We like to show how unique each Cedarwood wedding is. Our blog does a good job of this too.

Do you offer packages to smaller, more intimate style weddings?
We offer packages starting at 50 guests, perfect for couples who want an intimate wedding with a ‘big wedding’ experience. A unique feature of Cedarwood is that the property can be used in such a way that it never feels “too big” for intimate events. Similarly we can expand by using more of the grounds for larger weddings up to 175 people.

How much planning do you and the venue offer? Is there a need for a wedding planner when a bride chooses your venue?
Cedarwood is a full service, all inclusive wedding venue. Our packages include planning, design and coordination of the wedding and reception. When a Cedarwood bride meets us for her planning appointment, we dive into every aspect of her wedding starting with her style vision and ending with a concise plan covering every detail of the day. Cedarwood is owned by a creative group of planners, stylists and designers — it’s who we are. There’s no need for a bride to hire an outside wedding planner, but if a bride has one, we are happy to collaborate!

Cedarwood offers a few different options as far as on-site locations. Do you offer multiple configurations as to where a ceremony and/or reception can be held?
We have many, and keep thinking of more possibilities! We never want Cedarwood to be static or restricted, so we are open to exploring unique sites. Cedarwood brides love our ‘progressive style’ of entertaining wedding guests by using a variety of site spaces, each with a unique vibe yet conveniently just steps apart. Popular sites include our garden terrace, the outdoor Cathedral setting in our open meadow, the graceful front lawn of our antebellum house, the open-air Flagstone Pavilion, our indoor candlelight setting and the Cedarwood barn. Couples who love old southern settings, nature and the outdoors are drawn to Cedarwood.

As Whitney and I know, Cedarwood is one of the most beautiful places to photograph weddings and bridal sessions. What, do you feel, makes your venue so enticing to photograph?
The variety of natural spaces. In one location, you have manicured flower gardens to wildflower meadows; an expansive green meadow to the wilderness of our nature preserve; a shady lawn with old growth trees to water vistas including a waterfall, creek and beautiful blue lake. We also make a big effort to maintain Cedarwood’s interesting architecture (our historic farm house and red barn!) and we enhance the natural landscapes with unique photo props like lots of signage, chandeliers, a Victorian sofa, vintage metal glider, and bicycle for two. Our newly remodeled bride’s room is now a beautiful place for indoor portraits! Since all of us at Cedarwood are photography addicts, there’s nothing we won’t do to help photographers get great shots!

I love the ‘Red Truck’…how did that beautiful piece of American automative history end up at Cedarwood?
Through a year of searching! Ha. I was on a mission to find a vintage farm truck and specifically a red one that would match our barn. It finally turned up on Ebay, and we had to ship it from Cleveland to Nashville. Worth every penny, our 1950 Chevy truck is probably the most photographed icon at Cedarwood. We also have a vintage Airstream – another piece of Americana – that’s making new history at Cedarwood. A photo of it is featured in the latest issue of Bride’s Magazine!

This is a question I ask everyone, but do you have any weird ticks or crazy habits you have while working?
Actually Karen and I both have a habit of going into a ‘zone’ when we focus on creative work. The sky could be falling and we wouldn’t know. Ha. My husband says I also use ‘body english’ when I’m writing our blog. What’s body english, I asked? His reply, “It’s when you raise your shoulders and eyebrows and start pounding on the keyboard.” Wow, I never knew! LOL.

How can an interested bride get in contact with you?
Linda Wright, Partner and Planner
Cedarwood Weddings
Phone:  615-876-9999  — Mail:
Twitter: cedarwoodwed
Facebook: Historic Cedarwood

The photo’s above are from two of Whitney’s wedding at Historic Cedarwood.  To view them in their entirety please click the links below.

Erin and Scott
Beth and Cameron

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall Mar 28th | Favorite Photo

Taking a photograph through a mirror is like adding a third degree of artistic separation.  This gives a completely different vantage point to capture some amazingly candid and personal images.  As a photographer, when you’re taking photographs of someone in front of a mirror, you can pretty much write it in blood that you are the last thing they are worried about at that moment.

You get natural emotion, unbridled human response, and people just being people…not altered by the click of a camera or spark of a flash.  This is exactly why I love mirrors in composition.

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Favorite Photo Friday – Piping…Not Just for Cakes Mar 25th | Favorite Photo

For my money, nothing is cooler than bagpipes at a wedding. If you want an alternative to a string section or an a Capella vocalist, a bagpiper is the way to go. I love interesting detail shots and this is one of my favorites! Since bagpipes are actually a multi-cultural musical phenom there’s no need for you to be Scottish, or at least that’s the excuse I would use.

Do you think bagpipes are wedding appropriate?

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Shoes…Glorious Shoes! Mar 24th | Favorite Photo

You love them, you need them, and they can make or break any outfit.  Shoes, I myself have a slight fixation with them…granted mine are more the style of a casual Diesel sneaker or a patent leather Chuck Taylor, and less of a bedazzled flat or six inch stiletto.  Point being, shoes to a wedding dress are like toppings on a cup of Sweet CeCe’s…it’ll be just fine on it’s own, but you need that little something extra to push it over the edge!  Yes, SHOES….GLORIOUS SHOES will take your wedding look to the next level!

Shoes really make an excellent detail shot and can speak loads for the bride’s sense of style, flare , and personality.  The one bonus to photographing shoes is they are just the right size to cart around and photograph essentially wherever, and on whatever, you want….dare I say the perfect accessory???

This post is a collection of some of my favorite shoe shots.  Whitney has a knack for capturing some amazing foot-wear photos, and she’s seen it all.  Everything from personalized converse to bejeweled soles.  Here are some of our favs…enjoy!

chris: Thanks @Inspired Standard there's just something fun and lively about them...can't quite put my finger on it (Mar 25th - 04:34 pm) Inspired Standard: I love shoe photographs!!! so much fun to set up as well!! -Amanda (Mar 25th - 04:31 pm)
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Nashville Wedding Photography – Megan’s Bridal Mar 23rd | Bridal

There are so many things I love about the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum! Whenever I get a chance to photograph there I always find something new and refreshing. Megan and Joe were married there, so that’s exactly where we started with Megan’s bridal. I love the simple shapes and lines that make up the structure of the building.  The light and shadows that come in during the day make the experience shockingly gorgeous!

I also love the beautiful reflective floor that they have.

To end Megan’s bridal, we headed to an area with lush vegetation for a more earthy feeling.

Megan’s beautiful bouquet was created by A Village of Flowers.

I love this photograph with the juxtaposition of Megan’s delicate veil against the grass & stone.

Be sure to check out Megan & Joe’s entire Country Music Hall of Fame wedding!

Mandi Nikole: Beautiful (Mar 29th - 11:10 am)
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Favorite Photo Friday – B&W Bliss Mar 18th | Favorite Photo

This photo is classy all the way! The silhouette of the couple, mixed with sharp edges, and the contrasting background makes for a beautiful image. I would LOVE to have this on a framed canvas in the office.

How do you feel about black & white wedding photographs…do they scream swanky?

Venus: Great shot! I have a soft spot for color but B&W is so timeless and beautiful! (Mar 18th - 08:08 am)
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Nashville Photography Class – Student Photos Mar 17th | The Nashville Photography Class

The Nashville Photography Class is always proud of previous students. So much so, that we like to showcase their images from time to time. Whitney is currently offering classes in Camera Basics on April 2′nd and an accompanying course in Lighting, Composition, & Posing April 16th and 17th. For more info on the classes and how to register please visit The Nashville Photography Class website by clicking HERE. The photos you see here are from the talented Venus Klochak.

Venus took both of Whitney’s courses in January. She started with the Camera Basics Course learning how to manually operate her camera to get more function and control and ultimately get more out of her photographs. The Camera Basics Course is meant to be paired with Whitney’s class on Lighting, Composition, & Posing. In this second class Venus learned how to work with and pose live models. She also learned how to utilize natural light in her photographs…as you can see here in this beautiful couple’s shot.

Here is what Venus had to say about her experience with Whitney and The Nashville Photography Class:

“Taking the Nashville Photography Class was a great investment, not only for my personal interest and love of
photography, but in my family’s precious memories. I went from using my camera on automatic 90% of the
time to using it on manual 100%. Whitney is amazing and the small class size helps you
get one on one attention, as well as giving you the opportunity to engage and learn from the other students. I cannot tell you how much I recommend it, you will not be disappointed!”

The Nashville Photography Class is currently offering these courses:

A small interactive class designed to teach you the basics of digital photography and the manual operation of your digital camera.
Scheduled for April 2nd 10AM to 4PM
Facbook Event Page

The second class in the series, Lighting, Composition, & Posing, is a 1.5 day course that perfectly accompanies Camera Basics and teaches you to better understand the the skill involved in working with natural light, the importance of composition, and working with models.
Scheduled for April 16th 10AM to 4PM & April 17th from 1PM to 4PM
Facebook Event Page

Please contact The Nashville Photography Class to reserve your seat or receive more information.

The Nashville Photography Class Facebook Group

Peter Carlson: Venus...thank you so much for sharing your photos with us! If anyone would like to take the classes please visit or email or (Mar 18th - 10:24 am) Adonis : It sounds to me that whatever she has learned here is really working. The pictures are stunning and the colors are bright and very beautiful . (Mar 18th - 08:07 am) Venus: Thanks for all your help Whitney! Looking forward to taking more classes in the future. If you're on the fence about taking these two it!!! (Mar 18th - 08:04 am)
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An Interview with Brittainy from Britts Beauty Bag Mar 15th | Vendors We Love!

Being a guy, by nature, I am not genetically inclined to comprehend or recall facts about concealer, lotions, or anything that smells like flowers or ‘happy’ things. Being in the wedding industry and being male, some would say, has put me at a slight disadvantage, especially when it comes to relating to a bride’s cosmetic or beauty needs…but with the advent of the beauty blog, I am here to say I am at a disadvantage no more! I will even one up-that statement, because I am actually friends with with one of the best beauty bloggers around!

I am here to introduce to you the always fabulous Brittainy, who is the author, entrepreneur, and head honcho of the immensely popular and fast growing beauty-blog Britt’s Beauty Bag! There you can find the latest tips & tricks, product reviews, and fantastic give-aways! Brittainy and I have known each other for about 10 years now, and I was so pleased when she agreed to meet up and answer a few questions about the blog, her approach on cosmetics, and some nice tips for those soon to be brides & grooms….ENJOY!

Tell us about Britt’s Beauty Bag?
Brittainy’s Beauty Bag features modern day beauty tips and tricks for the everyday woman (and men sometimes). Brittainy’s Beauty Bag, or BBB as I like to call it, is about enhancing your outer beauty so that your inner confidence (which is most important) shines through.

Give us a quick overview about what it is you do?
I do it all! LOL I am the creator, manager, editor, content supervisor, marketing coordinator etc etc. for all of BBB’s outlets…WHEW!
Currently BBB has it’s own blog, Twitter page & Facebook fan page and I manage ALL of them on a daily basis. I am responsible for researching and coming up with new content, reviewing different products, testing new beauty tips but most importantly I make sure I listen to what my fans want because they are the reason that I do this.

What is your core audience, who are your readers?
Most definitely the ladies! I do occasionally post tips and tricks for men but more women have become fans of the FB page and blog.
I have a wide range of readers that come from all different backgrounds, ethnicity’s and walks of life, from girls who are 12 years old to women who are in their 50′s & 60′s. Brittainy’sBeautyBag is for EVERYONE! LOL

How did you get your start and become a beauty blogger?
About 1 1/2 ago I heard this cool tip on t.v. about how to remove deodorant from your black shirt with the top inside part of a pair of pantyhose, so I tried it and it worked. I thought it was so cool that I had to post it on FB & when I did I got a huge response! I then decided that I would post other little makeup & beauty tips on my FB wall & when I did people loved it. I would post a few things then stop, post a few things then stop & every time I would stop people would say “what happened to the tips? I really loved reading them.” When I realized that I had a following & that people enjoyed what I was doing, I then decided I would do it full time & it’s been the best thing I could have ever done. I call it my therapy!

What advice can you give a bride to prepare for her special day?
Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and be sure to EXFOLIATE & MOISTURIZE…LOL!
My regular blog readers know that I am a huge stickler when it comes to moisturizing & exfoliating! It makes all the difference in the world. It leaves you with soft & touchable skin, the skin every bride should have! Exfoliate & moisturize your face, body, lips, hands & feet on a regular basis. It does not have to be apart of your nightly routine but you should take the time to fit it in at least 2 to 3 nights a week!
If you visit my blog or my Facebook Fan Page, you can find different products and different ways to exfoliate and moisturize. I even have a recipe on how to make your own exfoliant right in your own kitchen!

Should a bride invest in a make-up artist? Is it safe to use a friend versus a professional?
It’s all about who you trust…I just don’t recommend a bride doing her own makeup the day of her wedding! I think professional make-up artist are great but not always necessary, especially if you are trying to save a buck. If you have seen your friends makeup artistry skills and TRULY feel comfortable with it then sure, go for it, have them do your makeup! However, you really want to make sure that it is someone who is skilled in this area. Even though your friends makeup might look great on her, that doesn’t mean she will do a great job on you. About week or two prior to your wedding I would suggest doing a test run and/or consultation. This will allow you to give clear and concise instructions about how you want to look the day of your wedding & it also gives you time to find another make-up artist just in case you don’t like the results!

Do you have any special wedding day tips for our brides-to-be?
1. EAT! Plan a good breakfast the day of your wedding and pack a few nourishing snacks – but be sure to avoid foods that could cause bloating or an upset stomach. Also, make sure to keep hydrated by limiting caffeine and drinking plenty of water. (Foods to stay away from: spicy, starchy, caffeine filled, sodas & milk and dairy products)!
2. Always remember that less is more. If you don’t normally wear makeup – or none at all- you don’t want to walk down the aisle with a heavily painted face. It won’t seem natural , you won’t be comfortable, and your pictures will reflect that!
3. Create you a rescue kit. This contains all of the items that will help to keep you looking fresh throughout the day. Inside you should have blotting papers to reduce oil build up (Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets $4.99), a blotting powder to reduce shine (Laura Mercier Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder $32 Sephora), the lip color that you are wearing, a little pack of tissue & a few mints (no gum)!

I like that you occasionally feature hygiene “improvement” tips for men as well…what can you tell all our grooms out there?
Grooms, put aside your manly pride and treat yourself to a little pampering of your own on the “big day!”

1. I would recommend heading to get a manicure a day or two prior to the wedding. The manicurist will shape, buff, trim your cuticles & exfoliate (you know I like that) your hands leaving your hands clean and groomed. This will help to enhance the look of your wedding band in your close-up hand photos.
2. Grooms should also start a facial skin-care regiment leading up to the day of the wedding. Be sure that you are washing & moisturizing your face on a daily basis & exfoliating at least twice a week (St. Ives Apricot Scrub $5). There are some great men skin care products on the market, you just have to find the one that works best for your skin type.
3. Be sure to shave or trim your goatee, beard or mustache the day of the wedding. This will polish off your look!

What products are you using and/or obsessed with right now?
Oh goodness where do I begin! LOL I could give a you a list a mile long but these are my top three:

1. Crabtree & Evelyn LaSource Hand Recovery from Crabtree & Evelyn $34 ( I use this every night)!
2. C.O Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint from Bath & Body Works $7.99 (LOVE this product)!
3. Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub from Wal-Mart $7.00 (I use this 2 time per week…the smell is amazing)!

Do you have a go-to product`, something that your are never without?
So I know you asked for 1 product but I have to give you 2 because I use both everyday! They have changed my life! LOL

1.Curel Ultra Healing Body Lotion. $8
I use this product everyday…it has changed the feel of my skin! It is softer and smoother!!
2. Equate Exfoliating Cleansing Towels at Wal-Mart $5.
These are great! They take off all of your makeup and leave your skin feel great! I even use them even if I am not wearing any makeup just freshen up my face and remove the grit and grime of the day.

Do you have anything else to add?
Please visit and subscribe to the blog and become a fan of the Facebook page. BBB has something for everybody and I want people to take full advantage of what Brittainy’s Beauty Bag has to offer!!

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Nashville Photography Class – Lighting, Composition, & Posing Mar 10th | The Nashville Photography Class,Uncategorized

If you’ve taken the Nashville Photography Class’s Camera Basics Class with Whitney Carlson of Dove Wedding Photography, then you know how much fun the experience is. The classes are kept small for undivided attention, it’s interactive and completely hands-on, and Whitney is of course an excellent instructor. The next step up from Camera Basics is Whitney’s course in Lighting, Composition, & Posing. This second level class will be held on 2 days at The Dove Wedding Photography studio; April 16th from 10AM to 4PM and on April 17th from 1PM to 4PM. The second course in this series is designed to help you better understand the the skill involved in working with natural light and the importance of composition. The second day will involve an actual photo shoot with both a model as well as a couple. Learn how to instruct and pose while keeping your subjects comfortable and looking natural. Photo critiques will follow the session. The cost of this class is $199 and includes lunch on the first day. You must provide your own camera and lens.

The class is capped at 10 students so please reserve your seat today. You can get more information at The Nashville Photography Class website by clicking HERE.


To reserve your seat please email

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Nashville Wedding Photographers, Whitney & Peter Carlson are Dove Wedding Photography.
Our wedding photography portfolio and information can be viewed on our portfolio site.

Dove Wedding Photography
2827 Azalea Place
Nashville, TN 37204
(615) 730-7716

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