August 2017

Let your wedding photographer capture your intimate wedding memories

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

After all is said and done on your wedding day, you walk away with only three things that you’ll keep forever: your spouse, your memories, and your photos. The importance of wedding photography cannot be overstated. As a nationally recognized wedding photographer, I’ve learned firsthand the things that can take wedding photography from good to great, and three ways that you can do to help:

Get to know your wedding photographer before the wedding

1. Meet With Your Wedding Photographer BEFORE the Wedding

I know that during the wedding-planning season you have to meet with everyone from the florist, to the baker, to the candlestick maker, and that the thought of one more meeting might put you over the edge. But let me assure you, this is the meeting will pay the largest dividends. Here’s why: Being the focal point of every shot for an entire day can feel, well, awkward. Unless you have a background in acting or modeling, it’s completely normal to feel a little shy around the camera. The actuality is that it’s not the camera you’re apprehensive around, it’s actually the person behind the camera. That makes sense if you’ve never met the person you’re trusting to document the most important day of your life! Connecting with your photographer before the event will:

  • Break the ice: so that on the wedding day when you see your photographer for the first time you won’t have to introduce yourself, but instead will feel like you’re seeing an old friend who has come to your wedding to celebrate with you.

Get to know your wedding photographer

  • Personalize your photos: During your initial meeting, you’re helping the photographers to get to know you and your fiancé: what makes the two of you tick, what you care about, and what is most important to you about your wedding day. Your photographers love capturing love; they would not be in the business if they didn’t. By letting your photographers know you as a couple, you are enabling them to capture your love story, not just another wedding.

If meeting in-person is impractical, no worries! It’s 2017, Ladies and Gentlemen. Your initial meet up is a Facetime or Skype call away.

Bonus Tip:  If possible, scheduling an engagement session, bridals, or even rehearsal dinner shoot, will allow you to really get a feel for what the experience will be like when you’re in front of the camera all day.

Look for good light

Great lighting makes for great  photos

2. Look For Good Light

Here’s a photographic myth buster: fantastic images aren’t contingent upon equipment, or the subject, or even the photographer behind the camera; fantastic images are contingent on good light. Clearly, it’s the photographers’ job to take amazing images and find the great light to do so, but you can help by asking yourself one question: Where is the light source? As you choose your venue, where you will get ready, where you will take family photos, evaluate the quality of the light and remember these two things:

  • Window light is AMAZING! Not too bright, not too dark, just right.
  • Natural light, as in from the sun, (Halogen bulbs do not count as natural) will make everyone look gorgeous.

Bonus Tip: Be familiar with your venue before the wedding day. Keep good light in mind as you decide where to get ready, where you want to have your first look etc.

TReat your wedding photohgrapher right

Let your photographer capture your uniqueness

3. Serve Honey!

Weddings are stressful for everyone. And your photographers will wear several hats on your wedding day. I do EVERYTHING I can to help make the day perfect by getting every shot, being everywhere at once, cheerleading and corralling, carrying the bouquet and my cameras; I’ve got to be fun, but also efficient, flexible, but also strict with the schedule. I do this for my brides because I genuinely want their day to be the best. With that said, my suggestion is to be nice. Say ˜thank you’ throughout the day. I guarantee that your photographers will be far more willing to stay a little longer, get that one last shot, go the extra mile editing for the couples who pour out the honey of kindness and appreciation, rather than the stinging vinegar of complaints.

Bonus Tip: Show your appreciation by referring your photographer to friends and family!

Capture the memories

Let your wedding photographer tell your story

Establish a Honeyfund honeymoon registry to help with wedding expenses.

Bio:  Ben Hartley is head photographer at The Style & Story Creative Team, which uses their creative vision to capture your love story. With an intimate and personal understanding of the wedding process and deeply valuing marriage, the team at Style & Story Creative wants to celebrate with you.

They see relationships are the most critical aspect of their artwork and often become friends with their couples rather than to simply have a one-time business exchange. Thinking of themselves as a Memory Machine, they capture, preserve, and give memories to their couples. They describe their work as “honest, elegant, dynamic, and real with an editorial edge.”

The Style & Story Creative Team capture the unnoticed moments, the otherwise forgotten memories, the unexpected perspectives, and the unique personalities specific to each couple.

Learn more about The Style & Story Creative Team:






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Finding your new york city apartment

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Finding a place to live in NYC is stressful. You’ve got to find the right neighborhood, make sure the apartment is in your price range and close to subway transit, negotiate broker fees, and move at lightening speeds to secure the place you want. That process can be doubly difficult when apartment hunting with a significant other. To get the scoop on finding a place to live as a couple, I hit up my Naked Apartments co-worker Ken to share his experience. Here are some tips to keep your relationship from imploding under the pressure that is home hunting in the city.

Counting The Cost Of Your New York City Apartment

How much apartment can you afford?

One of the biggest hurdles when apartment hunting in NYC is finding an apartment within budget. Most landlords require renters to have an annual income that’s 40 times the monthly rent. Do you have more options apartment hunting when you have two incomes?

This was one of the situations we had the hardest time with! While it’s true that you have a lot more options when you’re combining two incomes, you also have to take into account that your partner (or maybe even yourself) might be more conservative than the other. What I mean specifically is that one person might sacrifice a beautiful home to save more money. In our case, we definitely had a lot more options open up to us because of our combined incomes, and we didn’t have to worry about living/looking for randos (roommates) to meet the salary qualifications that apartments here in NYC have.

But I’ll say this, despite having two incomes finding a great apartment was still hard.  There’s always that imbalance where one person makes more than the other, and while you want to be able to split everything 50/50 with your partner, it doesn’t always work out that way. Figuring out a budget with another person is hard because that little extra cash that one of you makes a significant difference when apartment hunting. In our case, the little extra that I contribute helped us land a pad that had all the attributes we were looking for in a dream home: location, close to the train, and an extra bedroom.

Deciding What Is Essential When Apartment Hunting

What features are essential in your NY aparment

Did you have a list of things you absolutely couldn’t live without in apartment? What were your non-negotiables and how did you navigate around them?

Oh man, I didn’t really have any non-negotiables, but my partner had quite a few. I had never lived in a big city before, and my partner had already lived in NYC for about a year before we met up and decided to move in together, so she had a long list of things that she wanted when it came to our new home. I’ll simplify that long list into two things: no more than seven blocks from the train, and it had to be an updated apartment.  Most apartments in the city and in the outer boroughs are pre-war buildings, so unless they’ve been renovated at some point or another, they have things going wrong all the time. My partner’s old apartment had outlets that didn’t work, a tub that barely drained (even with Drain-o poured in), and warped wooden floors.

Coordinating style preferences

Co-ordinating Style Preferences

Speaking of warped floors¦NYC dwellings are notorious for quirky layouts and floorplans. Did your style preferences clash? Any apartments you loved, but your partner hated? If so, how did you deal with it?

I’d like to say no, but that would be a complete lie! I tried to be pretty easy going when it came to apartments, but she definitely wanted a place with good vibes, tons of natural light, and a homier appeal. Meanwhile I just wanted a place with central air conditioning. We clashed a bit due to that. We had found one apartment that she was in love with, and then one apartment that had central AC but she didn’t like all that much (bad vibes). We decided that the AC unit was worth it and had settled on the apartment that had it, but she wasn’t very happy about the decision. The place just didn’t give off the home vibes that she wanted. Lucky for us, and the fact that the universe intervened, the deal with the apartment we had settled on fell through, and we were able to go with the one that made her feel happy to be in.

So my advice to anyone about to go through this, or that are currently going through this, listen to your partner. If they aren’t happy with it; it’s not worth it. You have to compromise, yes, but if you’re like me and aren’t super picky then listen to what your partner is telling you. Finding the right home is important. We’re a year into our new home together and we’ve decided that it’s the place to settle down in. We’ve turned it into a home, our home – something that is very hard to do in a crazy city like NYC.

Sure, compromising is inevitable in relationships and sounds simple enough until you actually pound the pavement looking for a home. Be honest about what you’d like in an apartment and equally as clear about budget and non-negotiables before you start your search. Besides, you’ll want to dedicate the bulk of your energy to getting all the documents necessary to get through NYC’s grueling apartment application process, not arguing over wood flooring vs. carpet.

Need help with financing your honeymoon or your first NYC apartment> Consider a Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Bio: The Zillow Group offers the leading real estate and rental marketplace through its sites Zillow®, Trulia®, StreetEasy®, HotPads®, Naked Apartments®, and®. The company also offers marketing software and technology solutions for real esate, rental, and mortgage professionals.

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