Category Archives: Club XLIV WEddings

Unique weddings

After twenty seven years photographing weddings all over the U.S and Europe I have seen it all!

My best advice to you on having a creative wedding is make it your own!  Ask yourself What are you passionate about? Next,throw tradition out the window!

Sometimes its the venue that you pick that makes your wedding unique.I had a couple who instead of spending allot of $$ on the wedding they flew a few friends to Germany and had an intimate wedding at  Neuschwanstein castle.It was just the couple their two closest friends ,me,(their lucky photographer/me) and the wedding coordinator.Personally,this was most appealing to me.We had the ceremony at the castle and afterwards went for a carriage ride in the mountains,it was breath taking like a real life fairy tale without all of the stress that comes along with most weddings.

 

 

 

 

 In my experience, its always the place that makes your wedding unique and memorable.Below,the Biltmore in Asheville N.C how incredibly beautiful!

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I had an unusual wedding in Clearwater Florida,The couple was inspired by their favorite movie”Pirates Of The Caribbean ” The bride and groom dressed as Pirates,they rented a Pirate ship for the reception and all of their guests dressed as pirates!

 

 

 

 

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If you are a fun couple and love live music,art,food excitement,New Orleans cannot be beat.In my book one of the best backdrops for photography! You can actually have your very own parade and hire a second line band!

 

 

 

 

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Some of my other favorites,in Key West Florida you can get married at Ernest Hemingways house (must not be allergic to cats)!

 

If you cant afford to get married in a castle in Germany,I recently discovered a man made castle in St Augustine Florida (there is no electricity/no bathrooms) but it is unique and beautiful!

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Its called Castle Ottis

 

 

 

 

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Also in the Florida keys there is an Island called little Palm Island (best kept secret of presidents and celebrities. Recommended for intimate weddings and a great place for honeymooners.There is no T.V’s or phones (for a reason). The private island has only thirty suites ,five acres of paradise. I dont know how the miniature Key deer got on the island but be warned they might eat your wedding bouquet!

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The Wedding Reception/Ideas and advice from a wedding photographer

This blog is part of a four part series on weddings. “Getting Ready” The Ceremony” The Intimate session” and lastly “The Reception”

By http://creativefreedomphoto.com/

After twenty four years of photographing weddings nationwide, I have been to allot more receptions that most people on the planet.in this blog I am going to share with you advice to make your reception memorable.

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The venue you choose is important,its all about the atmosphere. I know that venues are extremely expensive.Here is my suggestion,why not rent a beautiful house on the beach and have everything come to you,caterers,hair and makeup,band or D.J. Some of my favorite weddings were at private homes.Also I do believe you would save allot of money this way.

I do suggest you have live music,D.J’s are alright but so redundant .Personally I feel a live band is so much more memorable.Makes your wedding more unique.

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I would stay away from the big resorts,unless you want to feel like a number and see other couples getting married the same day.Some of these places to me feel like an Assembly line of weddings

Make it your own,be creative,be unique.

Why not hire a cartoon artist, a magician, a fortune teller,a cigar roller.Give your guests something to talk about.To be honest,a great deal of the receptions I have been to were a bit boring.You want yours to stand out,you want your guests to have a great time.

A photo booth is allot of fun for children and to get adults to feel like a child again.

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Instead of a cake, I have seen all kinds of things,a coffee and desert bar,even Key Lime Pie on a stick, again,make it your own,have fun with the planning!

As for the food,why not ask your favorite restaurant if they will cater your event, or if you have relatives who cook you could save allot of $$.r

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Finding the perfect wedding location/http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

Things to Consider

1. How many guests do you want, and how mobile are they?

 

 

Is your dream wedding small or a Broadway-worthy production? Your answer may determine the location. Why? Even though the day is about you, it’s also about your guests. If your closest friends all have toddlers, is it fair to request their presence at a safari wedding in South Africa? If relatives are elderly, can you expect them to make it safely to the beach? You won’t be able to please everyone, but consider making a concession or two if it means your loved ones will attend.

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Thhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/e Don Cesar Resort on St Pete beach
2. Do you want a religious ceremony?

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Fifty-three percent of couples who wed in 2007 did so in a church. A few things to consider:

  • A traditional religious ceremony may have to be held in a place of worship, so be sure to ask up front. (In that case, book the date at your place of worship before you book your reception location.) Also, some religious establishments frown upon elaborate decorations or flowers as well as skin-baring dresses, so inquire about these details.
  • If you and your fiancé have different religious beliefs, consider having the ceremony at a neutral location, like a reception hall. Talk early on with both families about your decisions.
  • If organized religion does not play a role in your lives but you want to incorporate a spiritual element, consider hosting the ceremony in a natural setting, such as a beach or a park (be sure to ask about a permit).
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3. How much work are you willing―or do you want―to take on?

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The french quarter New Orleans L.A.

Depending on the location, you may have to do some heavy lifting. Before you commit to an “I do”-it-yourself undertaking, weigh the pluses and minuses of these settings:

  • A unique location:You may have your heart set on a big wedding-day hoedown in a picturesque barn, but who’s going to clear out the hay, haul in the tables, set up the Porta Potties, arrange for lighting,    There’s also Mother Nature to keep in mind. If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony or reception, you’ll need a backup plan in the case of rain,  renting a tent is always a good Idea

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Casa Lantana,Bradenten Fl

  • A reception hall: The establishment usually has a one-size-fits-all feel, but its staff is probably well equipped to take care of the dirty work for you, which may include―and this is important―post-party cleanup.
  • At Home

    What it is: A ceremony held at someone’s residence.
    Good for: Twosomes with a connection to a childhood house or with access to a grand home. Or a pair who want a more, well, homey celebration in their own pad and aren’t afraid to work for it.
    What to know: While it might seem as if a backyard wedding could be a money-saver, it just might break the bank. No, you’re not spending $200 a plate at a reception hall, but consider the extras you may need to rent. You will be responsible for supplying every fork, knife, table, and linen, and the bigger-picture details can also fall on you: generators for the band, a rented floor to cover the lawn, extra restrooms (you’ll need one portable toilet for every 50 guests), a fire extinguisher, and a tent in case of rain. Rentals for all of the above can cost upwards of $5,500. Plus, you’ll have to spray the grounds for bugs, mow the lawn, deal with any home improvements, and figure out parking (a valet company can cost around $2,000).
    Resources: Contact your city or town hall to ask whether you need a permit and to obtain information on noise and traffic ordinances, fire codes, and tent permits. And call your homeowner’s insurance company to inquire about taking out an umbrella policy for the day. The cost is normally a few hundred dollars, but if someone gets hurt, you’ll be protected.

  • Destination

  • germany castle in the mist
  • http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/Neuschwanstein Castle,Germany

  • What it is: A getaway―usually somewhere exotic, like a resort―with activities that span a weekend.

    Good for: Duos who have a connection to a location or want just close loved ones (up to 75 people) to attend. Many resorts offer all-inclusive packages for everything from a guest welcome to a farewell brunch, making the planning process a cinch.

  • Super dome wedding
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    Mercedes Benz Super Dome New Orleans,club encore

  • What to know: Marriage-license rules vary from city to city and country to country. Some cities, like Venice, require that you file for a license a minimum of four days pre wedding, while other locations demand blood tests and X-rays (for example, Guadalajara, Mexico). Also, know that destination weddings aren’t always more expensive than those at other locales; the cost depends on where you go and how elaborate the celebration is. However, they may be more expensive for your guests, who usually have to fork over more to attend. As a courtesy, try to restrict the travel time to about two hours by air or six hours by car.

    Resources: A listing of marriage-license requirements by state is available atusmarriagelaws.com. For the Caribbean islands, log on to caribbeantravel.com, and for Europe, go to marryabroad.co.uk. You can also visit any city’s tourism-board website; the requirements should be posted there.

  •   If you are planning a beach wedding in Florida think about renting a house close to or on the beach,You can share the bill with the bridal party or who ever you want staying with you and how big the house is,this will probably cost allot less than booking a bunch of   hotel rooms and allot more intimate. These weddings tend tobesomeofmy favorites.
  • After 22 yrs of shooting weddings from Germany to Key West, what are some of my favorite venues you ask,The most amazing was  hands down  Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, second I would have to say the Biltmore resort in North Carolina, third,every wedding in New Orleans!!

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New Orleans SUPER Dome wedding/by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

tocoverhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

I have the most amazing job! I get to travel to incredible places like New Orleans (one of my favorite) To capture one of the best days of someones life!

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Last year I had the honor and privilege to photograph Leah and Gregory Orys wedding in New Orleans. The venue was at the Mercedes Benz super dome Club XLIV/ENCORE

 Mecedes Benz Super Dome New Orleans 5

CLUB XLIV / ENCORE

club XLIV is a private lounge, named to honor the victory by the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. The club is located in the heart of the Square with an entrance next to the stage, and its built-in amenities include modern furnishings, illuminated bars, specialty lighting and advanced audio/video technology. Encore is connected to club XLIV by oversized sliding doors, and the versatile, plush interior is customizable for any event. Combined, the two prime spaces provide nearly 18,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 1,000 patrons.

Leah and Gregory stayed at the magnificent Hyatt Regency New Orleans

http://neworleans.hyatt.com/en/hotel/our-hotel.html

New Orleans hotel near the French Quarter offers easy access to the Super dome

What I loved about this hotel was the spectacular views of downtown! The room was surrounded by glass windows

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Kiss and makeup (love the name) did a beautiful job with hair and makeup.although the ladies where all naturally beautiful http://kissandmakeupbeauty.webs.com/services.htm

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New Orleans is an artists dream,I happen to come across this incredible The scream mural and had to stop to take a photo of Leah before the ceremony! It also helps to “”scream:”before the ceremony!

The guys,I photographed by the Super dome which reminds me of a huge spaceship

 groomsmen at the Super Dome

The ceremony and reception where held at Club XLIV.Inside it feels like you are in a very high class nightclub,very modern with gorgeous colorful up-lighting,takes you to another world!

At night they light up the Super Dome with the wedding colors and also put your name up on a billboard to congratulate you!

Super dome wedding

The following day, after all the stress is left behind is when I like to take my couples  on their “intimate session”just the two of them with New Orleans  as a background, (the world is my oyster) I do this for my destination weddings,I feel that the “alone”time during the wedding day is never enough.The day after session,my couple gets to  play dress up again this time without the stress!   Everywhere we go people are applauding and congratulating  them,they feel like celebrities! bride and groom in ew orleans

There are so many wonderful back drops!

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…And magical things happen. I met this musician by the river the previous year photographing another wedding. We just happen to run into him and he invites us into his home and insists on playing a song on the porch while Leah and Gregory dance.
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New Orleans feels like “home “to me.The nicest people on the planet,music ,art ,everywhere,my heaven made to order! The coolest place for a wedding!!
  At last before the sun sets we head off to the river
 by the river in New Orleans 26l