Category: Wedding Tips

Man Cake: You Know You Want A Piece! Apr 28th | Wedding Tips

This one is for the guys…the men…the bros…the lumberjacks! Just because your a guy doesn’t mean it’s “girly” to have input in your wedding. Who knows, perhaps showing a little interest and gusto might earn you some much needed brownie points from an otherwise stressed out fiance. If you want something you can have input in and really sink your teeth into, then go nuts designing your Grooms Cake…or as I like to call it…THE MAN CAKE!!!

Above is the photo of my grooms cake. It’s an exact replica of my favorite guitar; The Gibson Firebird V. I had a great time getting photo’s together and designing it with Jo at Jo’s Custom Cakes. It’s a great representation of who I am and what I’m about: obviously I’m a guitarist and it’s one of the best guitars ever made!

So for all you fellas out there, get a grooms cake and make it yours. Make it your man cake. I challenge you to design a cake that is more than a tasty square with your favorite sports team’s logo…dig a little deeper and make it standout. It’s the only thing that’s about you all day.

Chelsey: LOVE Jo's! We shot some cakes for her not too long ago and we love her! her anniversary chicken rocks! (Apr 28th - 09:32 pm)
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Get On the Dance Floor Apr 21st | Wedding Tips

Getting your wedding guests to cut the rug can be a struggle, to say the least…especially if alcohol isn’t hanging around and lowering everyone’s inhibitions. So, your only weapon to fight the empty-dance-floor phantom is your musical choices.

Music is a huge part of mine & my wife’s lives, so personally, we strategically chose and placed each song in correlation to the night’s event. I know a lot of people say this, but we really do like all genres of music, and we wanted to display that in our wedding play-list. We had everything from old-school hip hop, hard rock, hair-metal, country, bluegrass, and gangsta-rap. My best man even had “Gangsta’s Paradise” play after his speech…the biggest song out when we were kids. I digress, but my point is you want music that everyone can appreciate and more importantly dance to.

There are the usual oldies and disco favorites, the modern hip-hop and dance tunes, and wedding standards, but their are two things I don’t want you to forget….that is THE GROUP DANCE and ROCK N” ROLL!!!!!!

The group dance is a low-stress and non-invasive way to get EVERYONE, and I stress this, on the dance floor. For those people that are germaphobes or who still thinks the other sex has coodies…not to fret. The group dances, a la the “Cha Cha Slide” and “The Cupid Shuffle”, don’t normally involve touching other people, so there ya go! A word of caution though, if you even think of playing ‘The Macarena” I will jump through this computer screen, drop kick you right in the mouth, point at you violently, and tell you,”NOOOOOO!!!!!!” You’ve been warned.

And then there’s good ole’ ROCK N’ ROLL! For whatever reason, people have shied away from playing rock music at weddings and I’m not really sure why. Back before the time of the emo scream, grizzly bear metal, and two-piece whiny blather rock music was actually something you could dance to…shocking, but I know you remember. At our wedding we threw on some Def Leppard, some JET, and a few other straight-ahead rock tunes and it moved people off their seat and onto their feet. Yes, that rhyme was completely intentional.

If you’re afraid of an empty dance floor throw out some group dancing on the front end and get your guests comfortable with the idea of dancing. Set the example early on in the reception…because you came to party! When the crowd starts to ween and people start dropping off, throw on a good fist pumping rock tune and get them back out there.


Kevin Nichols: I am so going to share this on my blog and Facebook. From a DJ, it's refreshing to see a Photographer that gets it! Thanks again!! kev (Jun 30th - 11:18 am) chris: Thanks @Jon Bufkin; if you dance, other will follow...I believe it's called 'boogie fever' (Apr 22nd - 08:30 am) Jon Bufkin: Good call on the group dances early on. That coupled with the bride and groom stepping on the dance floor definitely helps get things going. (Apr 21st - 07:47 pm)
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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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On the 1′s & 2′s: Turntablist or DJ? Feb 10th | Wedding Tips

I went to Chicago for my best friend’s wedding over the spring last year, and a beautiful wedding it was. The couple are long-time friends of mine and my wife’s. The location was a plant nursery/garden with a very cool earthy vibe, but it wasn’t the vibe of the venue that got me excited….or the open bar for that matter. Oh no, it was the fact that they had a DJ. Not a guy with a mic pressing the play button and instructing your grandma how to do the chicken dance, but a real life Emcee riding the wheels of steel and working the 1′s & 2′s!!!!

For those of you who don’t understand my cool-kid lingo I’m talking about the kind of DJ who mixes records, scratches LP’s, who works with two turntables and a cross fade mixer. I was blown away by this guy and I’ve never seen a DJ of this kind outside of a dance club. This definitely adds an element of cool to your reception, and the nature of mixing records keep the music moving without gaps and keeps everyone on their feet.

Choosing between a turntablist and DJ depends on who you are as a couple and what kind of feel your reception is going for. If your post-ceremony festivities are more black tie and formal I would not recommend a turntablist. I would go with a very subdued DJ or jazz quartet. If you want a lighter party vibe and are encouraging heavy dancing…then you can’t go wrong with a turntablist.

Its a great way to make your wedding memorable and show that even though you’re in a gown and tux you can still get down!

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Nashville Takes a Purty Picture Feb 09th | Wedding Tips

Every once in a while this city slaps me in the face with how unique and photogenic it really is. Being one of the few and far between locals I get used to the scenery, one might even say I go numb to it and forget its even there. I assume this is the same for anyone who has lived in a city as long as I have. Either way, I was walking around downtown (waiting to load-in for a gig because that’s what you do in Nashville) and literally felt like I had been awakened! Everywhere I looked was another place to shoot a bridal session, a great couples photograph, or just a nice little details shot. If you’re newly engaged, and getting married or having an engagement session downtown, you and your fiance should take a little time and get lost in the alleys and side streets of our mini-metropolis!

Search the nooks and crannies of our fair city, visit the little cafes & restaurants you’ve never been before, and peak in the many boot shops sprinkled all over Broadway or 2nd Ave. You’ll find tons of awesome ideas & inspiration for your wedding photography.

And you can’t forget about Nashville’s rich history with sites like Fort Negley or The Parthenon.

Nashville really is a fantastic city to get married in, and a great setting for your wedding and engagement photographs. Take a look around the next corner, you never know what gem you might find next.

adrian: i LOVE the shot in front of the boots. repeating patterns just draw me right in! (Feb 23rd - 10:26 pm) chris: @wedding photography norwich Thank you very much for the kind words! Whitney does an amazing job. Keep visiting, as we post new photo's almost daily :) (Feb 11th - 09:34 am) wedding photography norwich: These are just awesome. I specially like the last one. very romantic. thanks for sharing these photographs. I hope i will see more photographs in future. (Feb 10th - 06:56 am)
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Singing In The Rain Feb 04th | Wedding Tips

I was married about year and half ago, on what seemed to be the coolest day in July in the history of all blazing hot Julys. It was a cool crisp 75 degrees, which made me a little scared. I was afraid that wedding’s arch nemesis would shake his soppy head….RAIN!!!! Not to worry though, the rain was nowhere to be found. However, the grounds forgot to turn off the sprinklers which led the wedding party and parents in a mad dash to dry off our chairs just minutes before guests started to arrive.

They say it’s good luck to have it rain on your wedding day….do sprinklers count??? My point is don’t let rain (or sprinklers) ruin your special day, let it enhance your day! Whitney has had the opportunity to make the best out of photographing with those ominous rain clouds approaching. The contrast and dark grays can really bring out the beautiful.

Take Christal and Micheal’s wedding for example. They knew the rain was coming, didn’t let it bother them in the least, and made the best of it…and they got some great photo’s out of it as well.

It also helps to have a top notch wedding planner that knows how to work with nature and make things happen, just like the always exceptional Angela Proffitt at Elegant Weddings by Angela took Cali & Will’s outdoor wedding and transformed it into indoor wonderland full of rich colors and depth regardless of the down-poor.

Or just go with it and get soaked like Claudia & Mark did…but oh the fun they had!

chris: It helps when you've got a great wedding planner like @Angela Proffitt :) (Mar 08th - 09:49 am) chris: Thanks @adrian! Whitney does an amazing job capturing moments like this, and we will definitely have some contest entries coming soon (Mar 08th - 09:48 am) Angela Proffitt: Great tips Chris!! (Mar 06th - 03:53 pm) adrian: that first photo should be entered into a photojournalism contest. great job! (Feb 23rd - 10:28 pm) Peter Carlson: @Jo Graham: Thanks so much for your kind words! It's very humbling. Best wishes as you start out and find more about who you are! (Feb 12th - 10:52 am) Jo Graham: Just looked through all your pics! love them..i am just developing my own style and got a few odd jobs...scared to brave the wedding industry as yet! but your pics really inspire me...searched loads of sites...and yours is really something. good job! (Feb 12th - 07:01 am)
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To Trash Or Not To Trash Feb 01st | Wedding Tips

I personally am a huge fan of the trash the dress trend. I thinks its a fun way (especially if it’s documented) to discard of something you’re only going to wear once and stuff in a closet. Have a little fun and get outside your comfort zone. Grab some paint, role in the mud, something to switch it up…you may surprise yourself in how fun the experience can be.

Trashing the dress has come under scrutiny recently…oh the scandalous topic, but that my friends is the allure of trash-the-dress aesthetic. These photos are designed to illicit a reaction, as they should. Having a trash-the-dress photo session can really make your dress a physical memory. You can have a beautiful photo and remember your dress in a way that really sticks. Or you could get it vacuum sealed in a plastic bag, push it to the back of the closet with those stylish Christmas sweaters, and only pull it out when you’re moving. Trashing the dress isn’t just for those anarchistic rock n’ roll brides either, it’s for every bride. Make your trash the dress session speak about who you are.

Above is a photo from our previous post paint the dress that Whitney shot of Kristen & Mason. Both are visual artists and wanted to incorporate that into their shoot, and I believe they succeeded. I mean come on! Look at how much fun that is…I know you’re thinking about it.

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A Taste of Home: Southern Wedding Favors Jan 28th | Wedding Tips

I can’t reiterate this enough, keeping it local is a fun and trendy way to give your wedding favors a boost of ‘cool’. Not only does it give your out-of-town wedding guests a little taste of your stomping ground, but it can also be a stress relieving way to spend some time with your fiance during the hustle and bustle of planning a wedding.

Take a day trip to Lynchburg and visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery and snag some tipsy cakes, visit Bell Buckle in June for The RC Cola & Moon Pie festival and pick up the obvious, or go have breakfast at the world famous Loveless Cafe and be sure to bring home some biscuit mix and jam…your guests will love it! Point is, you can still have a good time (and get a full belly while you’re at it) while picking out your wedding favors. If all else fails, pick up some southern knickknacks and have a nice relaxing breakfast at your local Cracker Barrel. Hence where I took the photo this morning over a nice plate of eggs, grits, fried chicken, & bacon…mmmmm

The south, especially Tennessee, has a long list of local and unique wares that are sure to please. Show some Southern Hospitality with your wedding favors. Here are some great places to start:

Loveless Cafe
Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Goo Goo Clusters
Moon Pies
RC Cola
Tennessee T-Cakes
Olive & Sinclair Chocolate
Hatch Show Print
Spirit of Nashville Prints

chris: @Lindsey: I know really can't go wrong with a 'Welcome' bag from your city. Nice addition with the wine. Just curious, was the wine local as too? (Jan 28th - 12:05 pm) Lindsey : We did this for our out of town guests. When they arrived at their hotel room for our wedding weekend, we had a goody bag waiting for them filled with loveless cafe jams, Goo Goo clusters, moon pies, wine, a postcard from the spirit of Nashville collection and a map of fun area attractions. Our out of town gusts told me how much they loved their Welcome to Nashville bag!! (Jan 28th - 10:59 am)
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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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