Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer: Custom by Nicole
One of the most important vendors on your wedding day will be your photographer. While everyone is going to be an important part of the day, your photographer is going to capture images that will live on for years to come. Your photos will be able to tell the story when you no longer can. Here in the Hudson Valley we have found just the photographer for you!
Meet Nicole Wagner, Owner of Custom by Nicole
Custom By Nicole was started eight years ago by Nicole Wagner. She absolutely loves what she does and there is no other career that she would rather have. When we asked Nicole why she chose wedding photography as a career and what she loves most about it, she took us back to the beginning. “I have always been a very creative person and found photography to be my favorite form of art. When I was thinking of starting a wedding photography business I had it in my head that I wanted to create art that the couple is a part of. After being in business for a little while I realized just how important the job of documenting this monumental day in the couple’s lives really is! It’s a day where everyone who is important to the couple is in one room together having an amazing time. There are so many moments to be captured throughout and these preserved moments only grow in value over time. I feel like documenting a couple’s love story and their wedding day is the best gift I could give someone!”
Wedding Photography Advice from Nicole
1. Make your engagement session personal and fun.
I always ask the couple if there’s a meaningful location to them. Many times they do have a spot in mind. Where they met, had their first date, or a park that they enjoy visiting. Couples who have a pet also tend to enjoy bringing them along as well.
2. Give your photographer creative freedom.
I prefer to not receive a wedding day shot list. It’s my job to know the standard portrait combinations and events that will be taking place that need to be documented. I ask my clients to fill out a details form that guides them through providing me with important information pertaining to their day. This helps me to get a really good feel for what’s important to them. I also discourage providing a Pinterest shot list. I want to deliver unique images to each couple rather than trying to recreate what’s already been done.
3. Do a private first look.
I like a private first look so the couple can focus on each other alone without distraction. I usually look for an area that is visually appealing, but also has even lighting since the couple’s movement is unpredictable during that time. For example, you don’t want harsh sun with raccoon eyes on one of the individuals and shade on the other. I also like when there’s a good distance that the bride has to walk to get to the groom. This allows for great shots of the look of anticipation on each of their faces as the bride approaches. It’s also fun for them to talk to each other before she starts walking toward him. Another option would be for the couple to stand back to back with each other while they read love letters that they wrote then turn around afterward to see each other. That usually makes the first look even more emotional.
4. Don’t worry about rain ruining your day!
Rain hardly ever causes big problems in regard to photography on wedding day. When the forecast calls for a chance of rain it just means there’s a chance it will rain at some point during the day. It hardly ever rains continuously the whole day and often it doesn’t rain during the time we would need to be outdoors for photos. Most of my couples tend to do a first look, which allows for a more flexible pre ceremony timeline. If it rains at some point during the portrait time, we can work around it by choosing to shoot indoors or under a covered outdoor area until it stops. Maybe do some portraits by a window inside using natural light or some more moody bride and groom shots with dramatic lighting until the rain stops. After the rain stops, there’s always a chance there will be a rainbow!
We would like to thank Nicole of Custom by Nicole for taking the time to speak with us. You can check out some of the weddings and styled shoots we have worked on with Nicole in our Portfolio here. If you’d like to see more, you can also visit her website at www.custombynicole.com to see more of her work.
Featured Vendor of the Week:
Tammy Basten, Founder of Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals
Do you obsess over the styled lounges on your Pinterest board and make wishlists of vintage decor, must-haves for your wedding? Have you been searching thrift shops for vintage china and antique stores hoping to find a beautiful, one of a kind settee? Lucky for you, if you are getting married in the Hudson Valley, we have the solution for you. Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals has exactly what you are looking for so you don’t have to spend hours searching, purchasing and hauling furniture or wasting time cleaning and packing 150 vintage place settings. They will be there not only to save you time and money but assist you with selecting pieces and bringing together your own personal look that will wow your guests.
Tammy Basten is the Founder, Chief Picker & Curator of Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals which is going to be heading into its fourth season this year! We have had the pleasure of working with her over the years in securing rentals for our clients as well as collaborating on full design projects. When I asked Tammy what she loves most about her profession, she said: “I personally love project based work, meeting and working with other creatives and also the creative outlet it provides. We are very well versed within the service and hospitality industry and consider hospitality one of the main aspects of our business. Following every event, we hear from our clients that our pieces were among the guests favorite part of the event/wedding and this is a great source of pride and joy for us, we love to hear this! People enjoy the nostalgia and interesting decor elements. Our pieces are great conversation starters at weddings & events.”
Advice from the Founder, Chief Picker & Curator
We asked Tammy for a little advice for our couples on securing their rentals. She told us, “Anywhere from 12 to 4 months out is best to be sure couples secure their favorite pieces. Some couples tend to contact us closer to (within 4 months prior to their wedding date) and at this point, many of our most popular offerings have already been scooped up.” When it comes to reserving pieces she suggests that couples do not book their rentals until they know the space they are going to be working with and are sure there is room for specialty decor elements, such as lounge areas. This is especially important if a couple is planning for these elements to be outdoors and have to be brought inside in the case of inclement weather.
Tammy has worked along side of us on many events and we asked her if she prefers when couples work with a wedding planner and/or stylist on their wedding day. She told us, “Absolutely and not only on the wedding day but throughout the entire process. Having once been a wedding planner, I can attest to the fact that the services of a wedding planner are priceless, especially in the budgetary and logistical arenas. As well, events and weddings in the hands of a professional planner and/or stylist always tend to be the most cohesive in design and smoothly operated. Something that many couples don’t realize upfront, is that wedding planners tend to pay for themselves in that the finances they save you through her/his negotiating skills and vendor relationships, many times amount to the fee they are being paid and any amount remaining goes toward the invaluable time and sometimes frustrating energy they will save you.”
HVVR Trend Predictions for 2017
Of course, we had to ask what the hottest wares would be for the 2017 season and beyond. She told us, “A traditional vintage flair is ALWAYS “in,” it’s a timeless look. Bohemian, Tribal, and Global are also very popular in 2017. Looking ahead into 2018, these trends will remain strong and we are also beginning to see hints of mid century modern. We are seeing a lot less of the traditional “rustic” style, instead … more of an elegant mountain vibe.”
Photo: Love + Wolf Co.
We would like to thank Tammy from Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals for sharing valuable tips and advice with our couples. If you are ready to create your own vintage rentals wishlist, check out her website. And when you are ready to get started designing your wedding with some of Tammy’s custom rentals get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-430-6394 to schedule a consultation.
5 Tips for Creating a Wedding Budget Before Booking a Venue
When we meet with couples the first thing we discuss is the wedding budget. The wedding budget will be your guide for planning and designing your wedding. Since most couples have never planned a wedding, they have no idea what to anticipate spending. Couples often come to us after they have already booked their venue which can sometimes hurt the wedding budget. We strongly urge couples consider their budget before beginning to search for a venue. You won’t know know how much you should be spending on the venue until after you have laid out your budget. We find that couples tend to overspend on their venue when they have not set a budget. We felt inspired by engagement season and wanted to share the best tips for budgeting with the soon to be wed so we put together 5 tips for creating your budget before you get started on the venue search.
Decide on the total amount you can afford.
We all dream of things beyond what we can afford but when it comes down to it you need to be realistic. You don’t want to go broke paying for your wedding. Think about what you have saved and talk to family about what they might be willing to contribute before you start so you know what the big picture figure is. If you do this from the start you won’t be stressed later when your funds are gone and you can’t book the vendors you need.
Do your homework.
Do research. Find a free template that you can use to create your budget or start your own as a spreadsheet document. We use Aisle Planner for our brides but there is a fee for this one. Many of the wedding blogs and planning sites have free templates you can use. We suggest you don’t use sites like Wedding Wire or The Knot to guide you in what you should spend. These sites don’t actually have experience creating a budget but rather take the national average and provide suggested amounts. They tend to provide very misleading figures. The best way to create a budget is to do your research. If you haven’t hired a planner or it’s just not in the budget start reaching out to vendors to get an idea of what things cost. Be honest. When you reach out to a vendor tell them you are just starting to plan and would like to know what to anticipate their services costing. If you are honest they will be happy to share their information with you and who knows you just might book their services later.
Consider the style venue you would like.
The style of your venue will be a big factor in the budget. Couples tend to assume having a wedding at a venue which is customizable will be cheaper but it actually costs more. A traditional style venue (ballroom, catering hall, etc.) will be less expensive than a non-traditional venue (barn, farm, retreat center, etc.). Traditional style venues include all the tables, chairs, china, linens, lighting, etc. Whereas a non-traditional venue requires you to bring it all in as well as whatever your caterer requires for cooking. If your budget is tight you might want to go with a traditional venue that includes everything. This way you save on rentals which can start at around $5,000.
Photo: Max Flatow
Carefully consider your guest list.
Your guest list is going to be an essential part of creating your budget. If you choose to invite 200 guests your budget is going to be largely allocated towards food and beverage. In the Hudson Valley, you can expect to pay anywhere between $150+ per guest for food and beverage. This is figure excludes your venue site fee and rentals items, if required. We always suggest starting with just your closest family and friends. Anyone you have not seen in the last year can be the first to be cut.
Photo: Alicia King Photography
Consider your top three must-haves.
Every couple has their own vision. For some, the venue and food might be most important and others music and entertainment. If you have a list of your top three must-haves you will be able to allocate the most to those areas since you will most likely want top vendors for them. The balance of your budget is where you can compromise if the funds are tight. We suggest booking these vendors asap after you have reserved your venue and booked your caterer. Keep in mind the venue and food are going to be the most expensive ticket items in the budget. We typically allocate 50% of your budget to these items depending on your guest count.
Photo: Love and Wolf Co.
We hope this tips you find helpful in creating your own wedding budget. If you are looking for some assistance with your budget feel free to get in touch with us for a stress-free budget plan.