This would be perfect for Destination Brides or even a great thank you gift to your bridesmaids.

London Au Naturale


AN AIRLINE FRIENDLY SKINCARE TRAVEL KIT.  With Spring Break right around the corner, you don’t want to risk a breakout during your travels due to tricky airline regulations.  Well, one of our favorite brands has put together the most adorable skincare travel kit.

Are you ready for us to spill the beans on what travel kit we are referencing?  ONE LOVE ORGANICS (OLO) ‘Essentials to Go’ Travel Kit. The price is only $50.00 for all 4 products plus the cute canvas pouch. For an additional $19.00, you can add ‘Love Springs Eternal Youth’ Preservation Serum.

OLO is an environmentally-focused company that hand-fills their brilliantly simplistic handmade products. An added bonus, their products are packaged to perfection! Even if you are not traveling in the near future, this is the PERFECT starter kit.

one-love-organics-eaasy-does-it-cleanser‘Easy Does It Foaming’ Cleanser: A pleasant sterile scent and with excellent cleansing power without…

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10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding DJ | Jacksonville, FL Wedding DJs


It is important to ask the correct questions when booking a DJ. Although every aspect completes your wedding, the DJ plays an intricate part. They are the main entertainment during your wedding. All DJ’s are not the same, you want to make sure your DJ knows how to work a wedding. It is so much more then just playing some music. They have to know their cues, how to interact with the audience, have the experience, training, knowledge…etc.

Carlton McGee of McGee Entertainment says here are some important questions you should ask DJ’s during the interview.

1. When is the last time or have you ever attend a training or seminar to improve your skills?

2. How many WEDDINGS have you DJ’d this month/year with characteristics like the vision I have for my reception? Current reviews only please!

3. Are your prices above, equal to or below the market rate? If below or above, why?

4. Do you offer any other services other than DJing (playing music)? Most Pro wedding DJs will offer Emcee services, reception planning and coordination services, if a Pro Planner is not hired, lighting, gobo projection, slide show equipment rentals, ceremony equipment, cocktail Hour set ups, etc….

5. Have you ever worked at my venue? Are you familiar with the load in/load out procedures, the room acoustics, parking, etc…

6. What is your Emcee style? Are you interactive? Are you flexible and easy to work with?

7. Are all your receptions customized or do you do the same routine every event?

8. What’s your back up plan for yourself and your equipment

If you’ve noticed from the above questions, equipment is not the priority. Equipment is a tool!

9. Are you a member of a local or national DJ association? If no, why not?

10. Are you licensed and insured?
If yes, show me the current documentation.

Bonus Question:

Do you DJ Full-time or part-time? If part-time, why are you not DJing fulltime?

Brides do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your DJ will make or break your reception.

How to Get The Most out Of Your Engagement Session

Here are a I have read that some brides feel the engagement session is unnecessary and cheesy. Oh Contraire!! Usually, your photographer offers a free engagement session with your photography package. This gives you and the photographer a “feel” for one another. This is the time to see how your photographer works, attitude, how they will direct you ,pose you and  your comfort level.Engagement shoot by Cloud 9 Studios in Downtown,  Jacksonville, FL

Get the most out of your engagement session, schedule your hair and make up trials for the same day. Have them change up the look just a bit so your wedding hair and make up will be different than your pictures. Afterwards continue your night. Go enjoy a date night with your future husband. a tradition that we recommend you keep up once you become Mr. and Mrs. 1395336_10200994006197161_1036332019_nMeet Shanelle and Tony. We are having a blast planning their spring wedding. Sarah Dial of Cloud Nine Studios shot some great shots in downtown Jacksonville. We scheduled Shanelle’s hair and make up trial for the same day and discussed some awesome ideas for their engagement shoot that will be utilized on their wedding day. We can’t wait to see the rest of these sexy shots.

Photographer: Cloud 9 Studios, LLC

Location: Downtown, Jacksonville, FL

Make Up Artist: Artistry by Erin

Hair: The Key To Glam (Danelle Wood)

Wedding Industry Gets Slammed Again

Night Owl Poetry - Dorinda Duclos

The wedding industry has once again been slammed.  A writer for the New York Times Magazine wrote a piece entitled The Wedding Fix Is In, claiming non-transparency & uneducated consumers as the industries downfall. I beg to differ.  As a past wedding and event professional for 15 years, I saw nothing but transparency with respected vendors who knew their product and how to sell it.  The article questions pricing, price gouging probably defines it better.  This is how it is.  If you hire a professional, someone who is willing to take the time to sit with you, go over what your visions are, and then bring these things to fruition, you’re going to pay.  If you’re looking to have a wedding for $30 a head, all inclusive, you might as well go to McDonald’s.


A lot of the problems today stem from reality television, shows such as David Tutera

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Custom Wooden Monogram


Wedding Guest books were designed to keep a track of who attended your wedding. It evolved to guest leaving there sentiments. Here is an alternative to the old traditional sign in book, that usually ends up packed away. Have a custom wooden monogram designed. Guest sign in and you can later display it as a decor piece in your home. Custom Wooden Wedding Monogram

Tie in the design to your wedding theme or monogram, the possibilities are endless. Ten23 Designs created these masterpieces. Paint them in your wedding colors or provide colorful markers for your guest.

Wooden wedding monogram designed by Ten23 Designs

Wooden Wedding Monogram Designed by Ten23 Designs

Custom Wooden Monograms

Tipping Your Wedding Vendors|Wedding Etiquette| Wedding Planners Jacksonville, FL

While browsing wedding forums to see what brides have the most questions about, I came across a post regarding a bride tipping her wedding planner. This bride wanted to know how much should she tip her planner and decided $100 was a good price. The following replies surprised me… a former bride (posting a pic of her beautiful wedding) stated she felt she shouldn’t have to tip her planner. Although she (the planner) did a beautiful job and went above and beyond, she (the bride) felt she paid her enough and that was that. Next a planner (or so she says) goes on to state brides shouldn’t have to tip because they pay their vendors enough.

First off, let me say I don’t expect a tip from any of my clients. When I do get them it makes me feel really good, they say how hard I worked for them and appreciate me outside of my standard fee. Speaking on behalf of my fellow planner and vendors; tip-jarThe “large” fee that our clients pay for is not going directly in our pockets. Over half goes back into the business… supplies, equipment, license fees, association fees, bills in general. If the vendor has an assistant or employees, of course they are being paid.So the vendor rarely has enough money to pay themselves a salary.

No, I will not provide a tipping guide. I feel that a person should tip what they feel someone deserves. Wedding magazines and the internet has a chart outline that dictates what percentage each vendor gets… go with your gut…. Yes. You have shelled out a lot of mulla for your wedding. If a vendor went far beyond the call of duty, exceeded you expectations, gave it 150% … by all means show your gratitude. Your tip does not have to be cash.. it can be a small gift.

So once again…it is not expected. I would never ask, but when it is received it is greatly appreciated and lets your vendor know, you know their worth.

Happy Planning!

❤ Katrina

Wedding Albums Gone Wrong|Wedding Photographers Jacksonville,FL

Flush Mount Wedding albumsWhat is the difference in wedding albums offered? Very good question. It is important to find out exactly what your photographer is offering when it comes to packages. I have heard many horror stories of professional photographers having to create and fix albums for brides because their photographer did and awful job. Tammie Sybelnik of The Wedding & Portrait Photographers in Jacksonville, Florida shared her story with us and some tips on how to avoid a disaster. .


One afternoon I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful ladies.  They were the bride’s event planner, her mother and her aunt.  They came in to take a closer look at my work hanging on the wall.  They stated the bride already had signed a contract for a wedding photographer but wanted to know if I did boudoir sessions.  I told them yes and to have the bride call me and we would put her on our schedule.
“Sara” (the name has been changed) came to our studio and did a “special session” for her fiance’.  She ordered a flush mount album to present to her future husband on their wedding day.  Needless to say she was extremely pleased with both her session and her album.

I kept in contact with Sarah as she hired my florist friend for her wedding.  We would briefly chat about how her wedding plans were coming and life in general.

About 6 weeks ago (after her wedding)  I received an email from Sara.  In it she stated she had just received her wedding “album” from her photographer and it was AWFUL.
She wanted to know, since the photographer has given her a copyright release to her images, if I could design an album for her.  I made an appointment for her along with instructions to bring the CD of images and her current “album”.  I could not believe what she brought in.

Her “album” was a coffee table style book made from a company similar to Shutterfly or Snapfish.  There was no flow to the album and it did not tell the story of her wedding day.  The “album” even came complete with a barcode on the back.  Sara thought she was going to receive something like what she had purchased from me.  A leather bound flush mount album that you could pass down from generation to generation.  What she had received was a “hot mess”.

Now I am not writing this to bash the other photographer.  If that type of book was included in her package that is fine.  But it should have been explained to Sara exactly what she would be receiving.  

Upon redesigning her album I found that the photographer had made some very rookie mistakes.  There were no room detail shots, no first dance images, and the only image of the father-daughter dance was out of focus to name a few things.  My heart broke for Sara because I know her wedding photography was very important to her.  We did redesign her album the best we could and she was absolutely THRILLED!!

I told you this story to let you know that it is a “buyer beware” world out here.  Here are a few tips when looking to hire a wedding photographer:

1)  Ask to see the photographer’s work both edited and straight out of the camera.  When 
     looking at the straight from camera work make sure the image is properly exposed.  
     You should be able to see detail in both the whites and the darks.  If you have dark
     hair you want to be able to see highlights.  If your dress has beading and lace, you 
     want to be able to see that.  Your dress SHOULD NOT BE a glowing hot with mess!
2) Ask to see a sample of all products given to ensure that there are not misunderstandings.
3) Ask if the photos you receive are edited and to what extent.
4) Ask how many photos on average can you expect.

Make sure everything is in writing BEFORE you sign the contract.  

And most importantly, make sure you like the photographer’s personality.  If you do not like them (and people do hire people they do not “click with”)  it will show in you photos.

I hope that Sara’s unfortunate experience can prevent someone else from going through the same thing.  Or better yet, pick up the phone and call us.  We understand the importance of your wedding day and will go the extra mile to ensure your story is told.

Tammie Sylbenik| The Wedding & Portrait Photography Jacksonville, FL
904-704-7071| 3390 Kori Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32257