3 Tips for Military Brides planning their wedding day | GUEST BLOG POST by Brittney Galeaz

3 Tips for Military Brides planning their wedding day | GUEST BLOG POST by Brittney Galeaz

I am so excited to start my guest blogging series! Here is a new post by an Ali B Bride! Brittney and Sean will be getting married this coming December on Cape Cod and I can not wait! We had so much fun during their Boston engagement session. You can check out their engagement session HERE.  Huge THANK YOU to Brittney for taking the time to blog this subject! I know there are so many other millitary brides out there who will love reading this! Feel free to comment if you have any questions, myself and Brittney can answer them the best we can! 🙂

I first met Sean in 2012 through a mission trip our church organized. On the first day of the trip we did an ice breaker exercise to all get to know one another. The first thing Sean told me about himself was that he wanted to join the Air Force and my first thought was wow, that is going to be so hard on his future wife. Well, here we are 7 years later and I am the future Mrs. Donovan! 

Sean and I have been together through all of college, through ROTC, and are now living in DC with Sean stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Throughout this time, I had somehow convinced myself that Sean would never deploy. This was such an unrealistic mindset but it was the way I stayed positive through the uncertainly. Sean and I got engaged in September of 2018 and his first deployment was scheduled for shortly after. I had mixed emotions about the deployment and planning our wedding on my own. I was happy for Sean as this opportunity was what he had always wanted but of course I was hesitant.

Now, on the other side of our first deployment, I wanted to share some tips and tricks with my fellow military brides on planning a wedding with your person being on the opposite side of the world and still making the process what you always wanted it to be.

#1. Tip number one is include your family! I never would have gotten through wedding planning without my amazing mom, step-mom, future mother in law, my sisters, and all of my bridesmaids. Everyone stepped up in the most amazing way touring venues with me, stuffing save the dates, and planning. It was not only helpful but it was fun! My mom and I split too many bottles of wine to count talking about color schemes, wedding dresses, flowers, and more. I missed Sean during the planning but he was still able to be a part of it. We made every decision together and FaceTimed during venue tours. This way he still was able to plan his own wedding even from thousands of miles away.

#2. Tip number two is to talk to your vendors and your venue about military discounts. I am never one to ask for a military discount but I made an exception in this case! While not every vendor is able to offer for a number of reasons it NEVER hurts to ask. Additionally, ask about a military escape clause. As we all know, the military is unpredictable and if you have to move your wedding for one reason or another you do not want to deal with the cost of transferring the date for your vendors and venue. All my amazing vendors gladly offered this clause, and if someone isn’t willing to, they likely are not the vendor for you.

#3. Tip number three is to stay positive and enjoy the process. There were difficult days and moments throughout the planning process where I missed my fiancé and wanted him with me for cake tastings, venue tours, and everything else we had planned on doing together. I stayed positive mainly by keeping Sean in the loop always via our weekly FaceTime dates. I also leaned on the amazing people around me and took them up on the help they offered. I was beyond thankful that so many people stepped up, it is not something I will soon forget.

I’ll never forget my first reaction to hearing Sean wanted to be in the Air Force back in 2013. I laugh when I think about it now because my perspective is so different. Being a military spouse is an adventure, it takes you to places and cities you have never seen, it pushes you to be independent and self-reliant, and it strengthens your relationship making you stronger as a couple and individually. I feel lucky to become a part of it and become an Air Force Wife. 

I want to thank Alex for allowing me to write this piece to share our story! We feel so lucky to have her as a part of our day and our lives! Always proud to be an Ali B Bride! 

Best of Weddings + Couples 2018

Best of Weddings + Couples 2018

At the end of each year, I love looking back through all of my images and picking out some photos of what I consider to be the best of the best in Weddings and Engagement sessions. I am sure you can imagine that this is NOT easy. It takes a looooooong time to go through all the images that I have taken over the past year, but its always so fun to see it all come together for this blog post. When I am finished and I hit the publish button on this post, it makes me so happy that I completed this one for you all too see. Plus, whats better than seeing images throughout the year and all these amazing memories come right back into your mind from some of the most fun you have ever had!

This past year brought me back to a few venues that I had been to before Pinehills Pavilion, Indian Pond Country Club, Plymouth Country Club, Captain Linnell House, Bournedale Function Facility, Jones River Trading, White Cliffs as well as some new ones, Osterville Historical Museum, Bittersweet Farm, Brookside Country Club, Dan’l Webster Inn, that I can not wait to go back to!

Looking back at all of these images really makes me feel so grateful. As a wedding photographer, there is really nothing better than being trusted by so many incredible couples to capture one of the biggest days of their lives, an every year that goes by my grate-fullness goes higher and higher! This truly is one of the best jobs in the world. I hope you enjoy this recap of an amazing 2018!

Thompson Photography Group Workshop | Delhi, NY

Thompson Photography Group Workshop | Delhi, NY

Photo Credit: Thompson Photography Group/ Key Moment Films

Hi Friends! If you follow me on instagram, I posted in my stories my workshop experience as it was happening and now, I have been posting images on my grid from the workshop, completely edited and so pleasing to the eye! I am still thinking back from this workshop from a little over a week ago, and I still just can’t get enough and I am so thankful I was able to be there and learn from so many other amazing photographers!

Let me fill you in a little bit. This year, I am working with Thompson Photography Group as one of their associate photographers. They held this workshop for their team at their Venue, The Stonewall Estate, in Delhi, NY. The venue is AMAZING the photographers are AMAZING and I still feel like I am on cloud 9 from it all! I missed my family for the weekend but I have to say, it was really therapeutic to be around those who have the same passion as you and I was able to focus on my job for a full day. It was really inspiring and I hope to attend another workshop soon!

Cassidy Thompson of Thompson Photography Group has been so helpful in my photography education and I am so thankful for her! She’s a wonderful photography mentor and I am happy to be working with her and her awesome team this year!

Here are some behind the scenes photos from the workshop!

Hosted by @thompsonphotographygroup
Venue: Stonewall Estate
Florals: @melarosafloraldesigns
Video @keymomentfilms
Invitations: House of Catherine
Party Rentals: @smithpartyrentals
Dress: Lyra Vega Bridal
Dress Lily Saratoga
Shoes: Kate Whitcomb
Vintage Rentals: Orange Blossoms Floral and Event Styling
Cake: Hope Knapp
Makeup LMN Skin & Brows
Hair: @kirstinn_h

The Barn at The Stonewall Estate! The inside and outside are just simply breathtaking! Look at that mountain view!

The inside of the estate is incredible! The light that came in was so nice and just look at that fire place! Cassidy was running the workshop as all her team listened in for some great tips! ( Photo by: http://www.keymomentfilms.com/) this is a screen shot of an instagram story that was posted on the Thompson Photography Group Instagram! Go follow them if you don’t already! Their work is incredible! These Mrs. Boxes are NEW to my styling kit! I will be bringing them to weddings and if they match your wedding vision, I will use them for styling details! They are beautiful and just add a little something to the image!

There is Mary from Key Moment Films back there working her magic!

Cassidy posing and getting lip stick off this beautiful brides cheek!  Seriously! This view is unreal!

we even had a snowball fight with all the snow that was there!  The 2018 Thompson Photography Group!

Borderland State Park Engagement Session | Jessica & Tommy

Borderland State Park Engagement Session | Jessica & Tommy

Guys, I feel like I have held on to these images for a looooong time and right now I am so excited to share them with you! Back in October ( yes that was just about 3 months away but it feels way longer!) I met with Jessica and Tommy for their engagement session at Borderland State Park in Easton, MA. They were looking for a casual rustic romance styled session and they got it! The location they choose was so perfect! I had only been here one time before this and it was so nice to get back there, with my camera and these two wonderful people! I had a few tricks up my sleeves to engage them in conversation, just as I do for all of my sessions. Let me just tell you, we did not stop laughing!

Tommy proposed to Jessica surrounded by their closest friends. They invited everyone over for some Sunday night football a year ago when the Patriots were playing. Tommy had everyone go outside for a group photo taken by a friends drone. Everyone but Jessica knew it was happening and when she turned around, he was on one knee. The whole thing was captured on video and it was an amazing surprise! Tommy, my friend, you nailed that proposal! A  Pats game surrounded by friends and she said YES! Wooohoo!

I am so excited to see these two again for their backyard wedding in Pembroke, MA next September! The year is going to fly by and from hanging out with them for a short amount of time, I know their wedding is going to be so much fun!

TJ Smiths Victorian House | East Bridgewater, MA

TJ Smiths Victorian House | East Bridgewater, MA

Maddie and CJ have such a special place in my heart! Maddie has been watching my kids since Ethan was 3 months old. She is just the sweetest person, our family loves her so much! For Ethan’s 2nd birthday, they came to his birthday party and asked Ethan to be their ring protection agent!  You can see that blog post here.

When Maddie and CJ came to me to talk about their wedding photography, I was so excited they chose me to capture this day for them! We started documenting their love story together a year before for their engagement session in Plymouth, MA. You can see their engagement session here.  It was so much fun getting to hear wedding plans each time Maddie came over to spend time with my kiddos. The year flew by and we couldn’t have been more excited to celebrate these two! This was Ethan’s first wedding ever. It was a family event!

Maddie got ready at her childhood home in Kingston, MA. Everything was so nice! Her mom had an adorable box of all things Maddie when she was a baby displayed so nicely in her room. Her baby bonnet was part of the details which I just loved so much. You could just feel how much she is loved. By her parents, and everyone she meets. Maddie and CJ are such genuine people and their wedding day reflected just that. It was a true fairy tale.

During the parent dances, Maddie and CJ had shared the dance floor with other moms/dads and their sons/daughters. It was really sweet and something I have not seen before at a wedding, and, since Ethan was there, I got to dance with my baby! Seriously, at every wedding, I get emotional during mom and son dances….what? I’m a boy mom!  The DJ played songs I remember from growing up and I couldn’t help but to sing along to a few songs… They even played a song from Lizzie McGuire and Princess Diaries and I am not going to lie…I knew all the words…!

Maddie and CJ, Thank you so much for all you do for my family. It is so wonderful knowing that my kids love you, and you both love them in return. It was an honor to capture your wedding day. Thank you for inviting my family, including myself and my son, and for trusting me to document your story for you. It means so much to me that you chose me to be your photographer. Thank you for your wonderful wedding prep and completely organized wedding timeline! You made my job so easy! It was so fun to get to watch Ethan and Autumn be apart of your wedding day. It’s so heartwarming with how much you guys truly love them. They were the cutest! I wish you nothing but the best in years to come!

Ceremony: St. Joseph’s Parish | Reception: TJ Smith’s Victorian House | Cake: Gingerbread House Bakery | DJ: IQ Entertainment | Dress: Alfred Angelo | Alterations: Maria of Italy | Florist: Stop and Shop | Limo: Pro-Limo