Ireland has always been on my list of places to travel and when I saw that Twig & Olive was hosting a wedding photography workshop in Dublin, that gave me the push I needed to make my dreams of traveling to Ireland a reality.
The first half of the workshop was packed with lots of information about building your business and defining your brand. Bobbi and Doug also talked about tools that have helped make their business successful and things to streamline in your business to help things run a little easier and more smoothly. Halfway through the day we all went to lunch together where we continued to talk. After lunch, we boarded a train and rode about 25 minutes to Howth Island, our shooting location. If you ever get to Ireland, make sure you visit this cute, little city. It’s GORGEOUS and they are known for having amazing seafood.
The second half of the workshop was a styled shoot along the cliff walks at Howth Island. The scenery was everything I pictured Ireland to be. It was beautiful! The cliffs, the water, all the greenery…everything was on point. The sun doesn’t set in Ireland until around 10pm in the summer time, so we had a lot of time for shooting and the lighting was perfect.
After our shoot, we headed back to the hotel in Dublin to talk about their editing process and to give us the chance to ask any last questions. If you ever get the chance to take a workshop from Twig & Olive, I’d HIGHLY recommend it! Bobbi and Doug are so nice and well versed in all aspects of running a successful photography business. They’re also great at answering questions after the workshop is over. Thank you Bobbi and Doug for hosting such a wonderful workshop and for choosing an amazing location for our shoot.
Dresses: Free People
Lace Wrap: The Vintage Llama
Flowers: Appassionata Flowers
Boy Ring: Tiffany & Co.
Girl Ring: Tacori
A few months ago, Shannon from Simply Weddings, LLC reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in collaborating with her for an idea she had for a winter wedding shoot. I immediately said, “Yes!” and she got to work creating her vision. She worked with Lisa from Sunborn Flower Farm & Florist to create a beautiful tablescape, a gorgeous bouquet, and a flower crown that I would’ve worn all day, given the chance. Shannon and her husband were also models for the shoot. They got married 6 years ago at the courthouse and had a very small wedding right before Shannon deployed overseas, so they never had the opportunity to get dolled up and take “wedding” photos. I was happy that I was able to provide them with that experience.
Being a newer business owner herself, I took the opportunity to ask Shannon some questions about her company, what she likes about working for herself and what her ideal bride is like. Here’s what she had to say!
Tell me about Simply Weddings, LLC…What made you decide to go into wedding planning? Jonathan (husband) and I officially founded Simply Weddings, LLC two years ago. We have actually been doing weddings prior to that, but not under a business yet. I got into wedding planning kind of on a whim. Jonathan had a wedding that he was officiating at and I was there to support him and to attend the wedding as a guest, as it was for a family member of a close friend of ours. Since it was one of Jon’s first weddings, he had a general idea on how to run the rehearsal, but what he (we!) found out was that it is really not up to the officiant to coordinate the entire processional with the wedding party. He is there to marry the couple and to perform the ceremony, not space out bridesmaids and coax the flower girl down the aisle with candy. I ended up taking over the coordinating for the processional and recessional during this event and was there on the day of (at the bride’s request) to herd everyone up and get them down the aisle. It was a little chaotic, but thanks to Google and having been at a few weddings, I struggled my way through it! When the bride thanked me and told me “I don’t know what I would have done with out you!” that sealed the deal. I even happy cried when the bride walked down the aisle after, of course, the flower girl had dumbed her flower basket out at the end of the aisle and walked off. After I realized that I loved helping brides on their wedding day, I found a wedding planning certification program, became certified through the Association of Bridal Consultants and Jonathan and I officially opened Simply Weddings.
What has the process been like in starting your own business? Owning a business is definitely not something I ever thought I would be doing. I really didn’t like business classes in college, because I tried a lot of them, so that part was and still is a little daunting. I had to quickly realize that the things I’m not good at, like building a website, I had to pass off to the experts. That is definitely one piece of advice I would give anyone starting out-let the experts do what they do and you do what you’re good at. Graphic designers, web designers, photographers, videographers, etc. are there for a reason. Use them!
Describe your ideal bride. Since each bride is so different in their likes, dislikes and how they envision their big day, I would have to say that I truly appreciate the bride that knows what she wants, but is also open to suggestions that I may have to make her vision even better. I also very much appreciate the brides (and grooms) that understand if and when changes may need to be made to accommodate budget, seasonal items or even weather! Sometimes things happen that are out of my control (such as rain during an outdoor ceremony) that we will need to adapt to and find a different alternative that they are just as happy with.
What is your favorite thing about working for yourself? I love the freedom of building our own business from the ground up. Jonathan and I get to set the tone and vision for our company. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t, but at the end of the day I usually win and he agrees with me…KIDDING! At the end of the day, it’s about our clients and how we can make one of the most important days in their lives even better. I think because we didn’t have a large wedding, we get to live vicariously through the couples we marry and I’m completely fine with that!
I loved having the opportunity to work with Shannon and her business! She has an awesome personality and great eye for detail. If you’re planning a wedding, definitely head on over to Simply Weddings and take a look.
Details, details details…
Location: Bridle Barn & Gardens
Flowers: Sunborn Flower Farm and Florist
Hair: Mariah at Shear Style Salon