This past month I have had 2 engagement sessions at the same location in Boston! Both couples chose to have their engagement shoot at the Harvard Arboretum… and guess what?? These sessions look nothing alike! The Harvard Arboretum is so big, each session I have had here have all been in different areas! I don’t know about you but I am lovingggggg all of these engagement sessions I have been having this year!
This engagement session is so special because it’s been a long time coming for these two! They have been dating for 9 years and are planning their 2021 wedding. Bobby proposed on their vacation trip to Aruba. Bobby and Sarah were walking at sunset along the beach on our way to meet his family for a dinner reservation on the other side of the island when he asked if Sarah if they should take a photo at the end of the pier – a few short minutes later he dropped down to a knee and asked! Sarah said her first words were “What are you doing?” – followed by a shell-shocked yes and an even longer embrace in which her usual non-stop chattering self was speechless. Want to know something funny?? When PJ asked me to marry him, my first words were also ” What are you doing?!” So when Sarah told me this story in our first emails back and fourth, I knew I could not wait to meet them!
These two have such a fun personality! They were so friendly and kind. I loved my time with them so much! It may have been a little humid, and a little hot and sticky, but you would never know in these images! You also can’t tell that we walked up a really steep hill to get some amazing shots in tall grass and while we ( I ) was out of breath shooting, these two photogenic people were all for it and did not complain once! I knew that walking that hill was so worth it! As you scroll through these images you’ll fall in love with their smiles and the way they look at one another! I cannot WAIT for their wedding day!
Bobby and Sarah, thank you for letting me take you all around and up the hills at the Harvard Arboretum! You are so much fun to spend time with, and I honestly think I could have stayed and talked with you all night!!! I still can not believe that you had an amazing glowy sun set and once our session was over, as I turned my car on to head back home, it rained the whole way! Enjoy my favorites and get excited to see your full gallery soon!
Okay brides, listen up! I am going to let you in on a few of my little wedding day secrets to get those high end, elegant, gorgeous detail photos! Get your pen and paper along with your planning binder and here we go!
#1: THE RING BOX
Many images you see from a wedding day of the rings, is when the ring is inside or resting on a really pretty box! Guess what?? I bring my own ring boxes from The Mrs. Box. I have a collection of these boxes in popular wedding colors that I can use to match your wedding vision. I use these boxes for each wedding about 90% of the time, I just love them so much. Want to know something cool? If you were hoping to have a beautiful ring box for your wedding day and beyond, you do not need me to pick and choose the color/shape/look of it! Although I always have these boxes on me at all times during the beginning of the wedding day, I am providing you with 2 links where you can look to see if this is something you want to have as a part of your details and beyond.
THE MRS. BOX – These boxes are BEAUTIFUL! In real life, they are a lot smaller than they look but that is because they make the ring look even bigger! You can look to see if there are colors and styles you like here, but be aware, they range around $85+ depending on your wants/needs.
AMAZON DOUPE– Here is another beautiful ring box found on Amazon!! It has a similar look to the Mrs. Box and they range from $15.99-$25.99! The price difference is amazing and it will still give you that high end look to your details. You can add this to a wish list or even your gift registry if having your own box is important to you on your wedding day!
#2. Styling Ribbon
Another detail I love to add is ribbon. Sometimes I can find things in the room to use for an added pop to the image, but almost all of the time, I am getting out my silk ribbons from my styling kit. I carry with me on the wedding day 3 neutral popular wedding colors, just as I mentioned above with the ring boxes. These ribbons are so delecate that I need to have them wound and folded a certain way to look the way I want them to. Again, just because I have these with me on a wedding day does not mean you can’t have some too. You can get the exact color you want to have to match your details!
SILK AND WILLOW – These silks are amazing! They look gorgeous in photos and they even have ribbon spools that can make for cool photos if you add the spool into the frame. These range from $30-$90 depending on the exact look you want.
AMAZON STYLING RIBBON– If the Silk and Willow brand ribbon is not in the budget and you still want to have your very own ribbon, another great Amazon option is their ribbon! These ribbons range from $10.99-$20!
#3. Wooden Hanger
There is nothing like getting to a wedding where everything is exactly as you imagined it would be. Your Kleinfeld dress still in the garment bag… when it’s time to open it up and get some dress detail shots… what happens? The dress is on a plastic hanger! This always makes my heart sink when I see this. The dress is a HUGE investment along with the rest of the wedding…. The dress NEEDS a nice hanger! It does not need to be a hanger with a new last name, Mrs. or even Bride. It can be plain! It just should NOT be plastic.
Just like the details I mentioned above, I carry a hanger with me! It’s amazing how many times I have needed to use to too! Which is fine! Thats why I have it with me. I bet a hanger is the last thing on your mind during your wedding day… so don’t worry… It’s one of the top things on my mind when it comes to details which is why, I got you.
Feel free to get a hanger with a cute saying on it! Those make for wonderful photos! I love them! You can find those on Etsy. If you wanted to get hangers incase you decided you wanted not only your dress photographed but you want your girls dresses too, then invest in a pack of wooden hangers. I always will have 1 hanger and if you remind me and request that you want the brides maid dress shot with your dress, I will do my best to bring matching wooden hangers, but I can not guarantee I will have enough of them for all of the dresses. Enter… AMAZON!
AMAZON WOODEN HANGER– I suggest the shirt hanger where there is NO bottom bar to fold pants. The shirt hanger in the photo below is perfect for the dress shot. The bottom bar is not there to draw the eye to it. Imagine this gorgeous dress on a plastic hanger…. now click the link and get some wooden ones. 🙂
#4. Glue Dots
Why glue dots? I will tell you why! These are so amazing to give you those ring shots that stand up! You see, sometimes the rings just do not fit to stand up inside of one another because the bride and grooms fingers are all different sizes and causing the rings to slide, fall down, or just not sit the way I want them to. So, glue dots! These little bad boys do not harm anything! They are primarily used for scrapbooking so you can peel the photo off the paper if you decided you did not like it there. For a ring, it does what I need it to do, and then it peels right off not causing any stickiness to the rings at all. They are glue which means they are clear so when you take a photo, you can not see them at all. It’s magic!
GLUE DOTS- You can find these at any craft store in their scrapbook section. I included an amazon link for you since we can not really get to any stores at this time so Amazon is the best way to go! I always have these with me on the wedding day too! So if you do not get them, I will have them! Just a cool little tip and hack I can share with you while planning your wedding day.
#5. CLEAR THE CLUTTER
I am not sure if this one is a hack, but it involves your bridesmaids! Whatever room you decide to get ready in, have someone go in and be sure there is zero clutter around the room. No trash, bags, luggage, clothes, etc. Make sure the room where you will be getting dressed in is clean and ready to be photographed. I am not shy to move things around that need to be moved for that perfect shot, however, I do not like having to move personal belongings if I do not have to. Setting this as a job for one of your bridesmaids will help take some stress off of you the day of. The room will be ready to be photographed in and your photos will be amazing!
ALI B AMAZON STORE FRONT PHOTOGRAPHY + BRIDAL HACKS
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Many times I find myself second guessing my photography thinking that being home with my kids full time will not allow me to focus on my business like I would like to. You see, when you have two kids at the ages 5 and 2.5 it can be really hard to get any work done, let alone eat or sleep. Our lives are always so busy and on the go, that I always get worried that I am not giving my business all I have to give (insert Backstreet Boys lyrics here..)
It’s crazy to think about when I first started my business before I had kids, I still was working full time with my business on the side. After having Henry in April 2017, this became my full time job along with being a mom. As hectic as the days may seem, I have somehow figured out how to excel in my photography, business and being a mom of two! Many people will ask me how I did this… and I will just tell you, I don’t sleep much. But the good news is, that every year I think that I should not take on as many weddings as I would like to, I realize that that can not happen! I love this job so much. I love my couples so much. I love my families so much! I always end the years having a collection of favorite photos from Ali B Weddings and I am so thankful for that. Because with all this negative talk about cutting back, enters all those negative thoughts of the “I’m not good enough”. Seeing that I always have so many favorites from each wedding and session I do, makes me realize that I need to cut the negative talk and continue doing what I am so passionate about.
This year, my busiest wedding month was June! It all began in May but June was a popular month to get married. You all kept me busy the entire year and I can not thank you enough for it! As 2019 is coming to a close, I love getting to look back on my favorites from the year and relive each and every wedding and session I was blessed to be apart of. All of you 2019 couples mean the world to me and I hope I get to see you all soon!
Looking back, I feel so proud of the work I was able to create this year and I am excited to share my favorites with you from engagements and weddings! Enjoy! xo.
Kicking off 2020 with the Lund Family! You guys this was my last family session of 2019 and I am thrilled I was able to spend it with these guys! I have worked with Jordan from Jordecor a few times over the years, and if you do not already follow her, you need to! She is an influencer on social media platforms and teaches all things decor! She shares real life stuff and her creative heart is amazing!!! I just love everything that she creates!
Their session was in time for Christmas photos, and they had a bonus where there was still some snow on the ground! With a few Christmas card perfect photos, they also added on a little 2020 surprise toward the end of our session! Being as creative as Jordan is, not only did they look amazing with their coordinated outfits, she went out and got a few things to celebrate the new year! The best is that they do not need to stress about getting their cards out in time for Christmas, they can send out Happy New Year cards instead! I loved this idea and I love how these all came out. I loved getting to spend some time with the whole family and I am excited to see how their cards came out for this year!
Jordan, Ben, Griffin and Autumn, Thanks for much for braving the cold to get a few family portraits from 2019! I am so honored you chose me to capture your family photos and I hope you love them as much as I do! Happy New Year! xo.
This day started with a super big hug, lots of squeals, tears and “oh my goodness I can not believe how fast that year went!” It seems like we were just in Boston for Sean and Brittney’s engagement session at the Boston Seaport. I spent their engagement session getting to know them and hearing about how they met and how crazy it was that they both lived in the same town but never knew each other until meeting on a mission trip through church in 2012. Planning a wedding while deployed is hard work but they did it, and my goodness it was BEAUTIFUL! Brittney shared a guest blog post for me a few months ago, giving tips for how to plan a wedding when deployed and one of you is on the other side of the world. You can see that helpful blog post HERE!
Brittney’s bridesmaids and family were so incredibly sweet. I honestly felt so undeserving of the compliments they gave us throughout the day. They were so kind, inclusive and encouraging…. just like Brittney. It’s no wonder they are all such great friends and close family members! The reactions her bridesmaids had when they saw her walk out in her dress was just the sweetest thing and one of my favorite moments from the day. During Brittney dancing with her dad, her mom and sisters stood watching all together, crying, smiling, laughing and then they all were on the dance floor together for the end of the song. It was so special, and you can just feel the love in the room all night.
Brittney and Sean’s wedding ended my 2019 season! It was a chilly day with some wind coming off of the ocean but the sun was shining and they decided they wanted as many photos as we could have outside, which I was so excited about! The venue, The Sea Crest is so beautiful and the way the light was hitting the ocean, I was happy they wanted to be outside. You can not tell how cold they were in their portraits, and from when I use to teach color guard, and it was cold, I kept telling them “you’re on the beach, its a sunny day….” and I wasn’t kidding…
This wedding post is the LAST ONE of 2019! I have a few other blogs planned but as for weddings, I couldn’t think of a more perfect couple to end with than these two. Sean and Brittney, I love you both! Your day was a dream and it was such a privilege to be the ones there to capture it!! Thank you for allowing us to be there!!! I can’t wait to share my favorites! Enjoy this visual story of your amazing fall beach wedding day!! xoxo
can we just talk about this reaction! I can not even handle it! So sweet!
MOH mastering her duties as the wind almost blew out the veil!
Ceremony | THE SEA CREST BEACH HOTEL– RED’S RESTAURANT
Reception | THE SEA CREST BEACH HOTEL
Dress Store | VE LACE BRIDAL
Dress Designer | MARTINA LIANA – ESSENCE OF AUSTRALIA
Florist | FLOWERS BY ANNA
Hair & Make Up | TRAVELING BEAUTY
DJ | CAPE TUNES
Cake | MONTILLO’S
Catering | THE SEA CREST BEACH HOTEL
Bridesmaids Dresses | AZAZIE
Groomsmen Attire | THE BLACK TUX
Invitations | MINTED
Lighting | CAPE TUNES
View their Engagement Session HERE!
View 3 tips for military brides guest blog post HERE!