Heather and Heidi: A post wedding interview

Hey did you know June is Pride Month??  During the month of June I took the time to reach out to some local to Arizona LGBTQ+ friendly vendors and spent time on social media featuring these businesses!  Just search #osiprideguide if you'd like to find those posts.  I will also be publishing a blog post with ALL of the vendors in one place so it's easy to find.  
I also wanted to take the time to interview an actual married couple to ask them a few questions about their wedding planning process.  Planning a wedding is a very stressful process no matter who you are, but doing this as an LGBTQ+ couple can come with some unique challenges.  So thank you Heather and Heidi for sharing your experiences and offering advice to other couples planning their big day! 

  1. Names: Heather and Heidi
  2. What was your wedding date? April 8, 2016
  3. What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
    Heidi: Checking out our venue options in Sedona and then staying there after knowing that's the place we were going to get married. Imagining our honeymoon was a favorite part, too.
    Heather: My favorite part was definitely dreaming about where we would get married. We knew we wanted to do a destination wedding, so it was really fun and exciting to explore travel options.
  4. What is/was the biggest challenge you faced with planning your wedding? 
    Heidi: Cost. It was expensive AF. Specifically, the most difficult part was realizing how expensive our wedding was going to be in the end, and accepting that we needed to make changes. Once we selected our dream venue and paid the deposit, we started to see the costs add up because we were required to use vendors approved through the wedding venue. The price tag ended up at around $20,000, and we just couldn't justify a budget like that. Ultimately, we walked away from our $1,500 deposit to save a lot on cost in the end. 
    Heather: Shortly after we got engaged, I went with my Maid of Honor to a wedding expo. I was so excited! A lot of booths asked me "what the lucky guy's name is" and things along those lines. Everyone was super nice when I responded that my fiance's name is Heidi, but it was still an eye opener. There didn't seem to be a lot of same sex wedding representation or awareness in the wedding industry at that time. Then, I came across a booth with stunning destination wedding inspiration and I told my MOH that I just HAD to get married at this resort! After 10 minutes of excited conversation with the woman operating the booth, she asked me for my fiance's name. Her face fell when I told her and she informed me that she was really sorry, but same sex weddings weren't legal there. 
  5. What advice do you have for other LGBT couples planning a wedding in the Phoenix area? Heidi: Don't put a deposit down until you've done all of your research!
    Heather: Obviously, look for vendors who whole heartedly support marriage equality. I am so happy to say that there are a ton of them in the Phoenix area. There is WAY more representation for same sex weddings now, and that's going to make finding the right vendors for you that much easier. Pro tip: hire a photographer that has same sex couples in their portfolio.
  6. Who were some of your favorite vendors that served you on your wedding day?
    Heidi: We got married at Junipine resort in Sedona, and they were amazing. Their space was super affordable and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous and heavenly. It was exactly what we dreamed of.
    Heather: In the end, we had a very small ceremony at Junipine in Sedona, so we didn't work with a lot of vendors. Junipine was amazing through the entire planning process, though!

Thanks again ladies for sharing your experiences!  
Thank you to Junipine Resort for hosting this beautiful wedding, and thank you to Lora Ebner for the beautiful images.  


Mason jars, mason jars, MASON JARS!!  We see them EVERYWHERE (I admit, I use them more than I would care to admit)  Pinterest has a million and one ideas for creative ways to use mason jars.  One of those million ideas is using them in wedding decor.  Now here's the catch;  where do you find 100+ mason jars without breaking the bank?  I'm going to tell you where I get mine; thrift stores!  You heard right.  I said thrift stores.  I've seen them for as little as 15 cents a piece!   
Now for decorating with mason jars, you are on your own!  But here's a few photos for inspiration :)

Wedding Wednesday: What's the backup plan for my wedding day??

  One of the most common questions asked of wedding photographers is "What happens if something comes up and you can't photograph my wedding?"
  Not something that is fun to think about.  You never want to hear from your photographer "Hey I'm not going to make it to photograph your wedding...."  It's a nightmare situation, and it's something that needs to be addressed LONG before it actually happens.  
  So the answer to that particular question should never be "uuhhhhhhhmmmm....."  Your photographer should have something in place, or at the very least a general idea.  
  Are you ready for my own personal contingency plan?  Good.  The very cool part about Old Soul Imagery, is I have a built in associate photographer with my husband!  We shoot very similar styles, and once the photos are all edited, even  have a hard time distinguishing who took which photos.   If for whatever reason my husband is not available to shoot your wedding, I have an extensive and AMAZING network of local photographers who could step in and take care of you on your MOST important day!  Once they are finished with the actual photographing, I would still take on the editing myself.  
  Now not every photographer will have the same plan in place.  The most important thing is just that your photographer has something in place.  

Enjoy some of my favorite detail photos below!  

Wedding Wednesday: How to save money on your venue

  Hello everyone!  We are right smack dab in the middle of one of my favorite seasons right now; WEDDING SEASON!!!!  I know a lot of couples got engaged over the holidays, which means a lot of you ladies are trying to plan your weddings right now.  This can be absolutely overwhelming to do!  Especially when trying to stay within a budget.  So I've decided to help lighten your load a little!  One of the most major expenses involved in wedding planning is the venue.  It can also be one of the most overwhelming decisions!  There are so many details involved in just finding a venue.  Does it include tables for the reception?  Does it include table linens?  Plates? Chargers? Silverware? Catering?  Decorations? DJ? Sound system? Cake?  Chairs for the ceremony as well as the reception?  Can I have my ceremony and reception in the same venue?  Can I bring in outside vendors?  Is there a fee for bringing in outside vendors?  Is there restrictions on outside vendors?  
  Wow.  Did you know there were so many things involved in just this one aspect of wedding planning?  Because until I started photographing weddings, I sure didn't!  
So here's my advice to you future bride; pick your battles.  Meaning decide what details you want to worry about.  
  For example, if the thought of finding table cloths and place settings for your bare tables scares the living daylights out of you, find a venue that offers to include them!  If you don't want to worry about chair rentals, ask for them to be included!  If you want to bring in all of that yourself, then make sure your venue allows outside vendors and doesn't charge a fee for bringing in your own.  If you don't think about these hidden costs beforehand, your venue could end up costing you a lot more than you initially planned on.  
  Now I'm not saying that just because it's included it will be the best deal.  I would recommend doing a little bit of research before meeting with your venue to make sure you are getting the best deal.  
  Ok, so to wrap all that up and simplify:  do research on what's included, and ask about any hidden vendor fees.  These two little things could save you thousands!  
  Just in case you are still looking for a venue, here are a few photos from The Elegant Barn in Gilbert!

How to find the perfect family photographer for YOU!

The holiday season is almost upon us!  For some people, that means scrambling around to find "the best deal" on family photos to send out for Christmas cards.  Let me tell you, I have been there and done that!  Thinking to myself "wow I got a steal of a deal on this photographer!"  And then.....I get the photos back........and I understand exactly why I paid so little.  

Let me be clear, I do not want to put down another photographers work.  Everyone has to start somewhere, and I definitely did too!  Here's what I want to convey to you; it is so very important to consider more that just a photographer's pricing!!  You should be searching for someone who will capture a memory, not just snap a few photos.  You want to be looking at a photographer's body of work, not just their pricing.  Trust me, there is ALWAYS a happy medium! There are so many incredibly talented photographers out there, and they come in EVERY price range!

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you find the right photographer for you and your family.

  • Do I want my photographer to capture my family interacting with each other naturally, or do I want the photos to be posed?  Or do I want a little of both?
  • Do I want my final product to be digital, or would I rather have physical copies (ie canvases, framed photos, a photo album, small prints, etc) or a mixture of both?
  • How do I want my photos edited? (ie-crisp, clear, and bright, or vintage/rustic, or dramatic, or maybe with a matte finish)
  • Do I prefer a more intimate feel (ie-more close up) or do I prefer to see a lot of the location in the backround? Or do I like a mixture of both?
  • Are the photographers photos edited consistently? (ie-is the quality the same throughout their body of work, or is there a definite difference from one photo to the next?)

Now here are a few questions you can ask your potential photographer.

  • Do you have any specials or mini sessions running for the holidays?
  • What is your turnaround? (So you can make sure you have enough time before the holidays!)
  • How do I get my finished product? (Do we have to schedule an in person sales session?  Do I get them via digital download?  Do I get them via USB drive?  Are my prints mailed to me?)
  • What is your availability?
  • Can I change outfits?
  • How many people does the session include?

I know it can seem like a LOT to think about!  But trust me, when you get your photos back this year, you will be glad you took the time to find the right photographer!  Post your FAVORITE photo of yourself or your family below, I would LOVE to see them!  And don't forget to credit your photographer ;)  

This is one of my personal favorites taken of my oldest daughter :)  The credit goes to a really great friend, who took our family photos in 2012.