5 Alternative Ways to do a Guestbook that your Guests will Love From Etsy!!

Having the memory of who attended your wedding day is something so important to have! For as long as weddings have been around guests have been signing the “guestbook” where they write a quick little message and sign their names. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that tradition, there are also amazing alternatives that you should definitely look into. Here are a few of our favorites :

An affordable option to the phone service!

Audio Guestbook :
One of the coolest things we’ve ever seen at a wedding was an audio guestbook! It’s a cute little vintage phone that the company leaves at it’s own station for all of your family and friends to leave a voice recording for you to listen to for years to come. This can be so sweet to be able to listen back to those who will one day no longer be with us and the best way to feel the person’s love behind their message. Not to mention, the more your guests drink the funnier these may become!


a lot of them come tree form - but how cute is this?

Fingerprint Guestbook :

This is an ADORABLE alternative guestbook idea. Each guest dips their thumb in ink, leaves a little print and writes their name on the “family tree”. This would make the cutest framed portrait to hang in your living room to keep the memory of your wedding day fresh in your mind all of the time. This is definitely an option that will get a lot of attention!


Perfect to display in the living room or office!

Guestbook Globe
This is the absolute perfect idea for adventurous couples. Guests can sign anywhere on the globe, even the countries that they (or their ancestors) come from - and that makes it SO fun! Not only is it an amazing guest book idea but it makes for beautiful home decor. It really upgrades the whole guest book experience and can be passed on from generation to generation. And who doesn’t love a pretty globe?!

Perfect to put in your living room!

Rustic Wooden Guest Book Sign
This gorgeous idea is perfect for rustic wedding couples. Etsy is FILLED with hundreds of amazing vendors that can make you a fully custom wood sign, with your names and wedding date for all of your guests to sign. Add some gold and silver sharpies and you have a literal art piece to keep in your home! This is one of the best ideas for couples looking to fit their aesthetic. Don’t forget to base the size of the guest book off of how many guests will be attending.

like so cute!!!

Heart Drop Guest Box
Last but certainly not least, here is a gorgeous and very popular option for a guest book. Each guest signs an individual heart and drops it into this keepsake for you to hang up on the wall. Being able to see everyone’s name protected in a beautiful frame is an excellent alternative for a regular paper guestbook!


There are so many fun and creative ways to remember everyone who attended your wedding. Finding the perfect one to display in your home is everything! Definitely be sure to check out all of the amazing vendors on etsy to make your guest book dreams come true.

From big to small ideas - your perfect guest book idea is out there for you! We hope this list inspired you!

Why I Love First Looks

Rustic Wedding First look Running Deer Golf Club NJ
Alyssa + Brian, Running Deer Golf Club, NJ

I love First Looks. One of my favorite parts of the wedding day is when I get to watch the bride and groom see each other for the first time. They usually cry. I cry. First looks make this moment so emotional and so private. Today, I wanted to send an email over with some helpful tips and pros and cons of doing them so you can  make the best decision as a couple!

Disclaimer: I Never Ever force my couples to do a first look but I know the ones that do have not regretted it one second! I think tradition can really be replaced with REACTION. 

Here are some pro’s and con’s of both options:

Option #1 | First Look

Pros:

Option #2 | No First Look

Rustic Wedding First look Running Deer Golf Club NJ
Alyssa + Brian, Running Deer Golf Club, NJ

5 Easy Poses for DIY Boudoir

So, you want to take some *spicy* photos, but not sure how to go about it? Feel like your poses are a tad too awkward? Forget all your worries - I got you.

This being said, you will need your phone and a ledge to prop it up with. Instead of putting the camera mode on an interval timer, you are going to set it up on video! This will allow you to move into multiple poses and be able to see and adjust yourself accordingly.

#1 Ballerina Arch

diy boudoir poses

This one is a great starting point because it’s going to show off all your curves and allow you to relax your body. Move your wrists and fingers around until you can hold them up in a relaxed position. Cross your feet over the ankles - point your toes - and arch your back!

#2 Curvy + Relaxed

diy boudoir poses

This one is all about the curves of your body - think you are a siren calling out to sailors of the sea. You are going to sit mostly on one hip and let the opposite arm to sensually caress your thigh - almost like an invitation! Keep your feet crossed over the ankles and make sure your toes are pointed - this will lengthen you! Break up the curve with you opposite arm, slightly bent, on the armrest. You will look like you are ready to pounce.

#3 Cheeky Smile Ahead

diy boudoir poses

This is a cute and simple one. With your side profile facing the camera, pop your booty out, arch your back, and smile into the distance. Put your hand closest to the camera on the top of your thigh.

#4 Booty Pop

diy boudoir poses

This is similar to #3 but instead of looking forward and curving your hand around your thigh, you’re going to put both hands on the back of the chair and look over your shoulder with a slight smile. Really pop your butt out because this is the focus!

#5 Advanced Avant Garde

diy boudoir poses

This one is one of my more fine art poses, but it definitely shows the human form in all of its glory. You’re going to sit your butt sideways in the chair and toss your legs over the arm of it. You’re going to keep your toes pointed - one up and one down! Your arm closest to the back of the chair holds the top of it and the other hand holds the base of the chair gently. Point your chin up and keep your gaze also up - this will give you a renaissance painting type of look!

Remember, try what feels comfortable and do a bunch of variations! You will look through the film and screenshot each and everyone you love - add a cute filter and you’re good to go!

xoxox

Creating Wedding Day Timelines

One of the most stressful parts about wedding planning (despite the whole process being incredibly overwhelming) is creating a wedding day timeline! It is not only essential, but it is crucial to have to eliminate day-of stress and any type of scheduling conflicts. This will allow everyone - and I mean, everyone, from the make-up/hair vendors, to your mother-in-law, to the DJ, and everyone in-between - to be on the same page. It is your wedding and you have some sort of vision to exactly how you want your day to go but scheduling too much or too little time for certain things can cause lags, boredom, or even straight-up chaos.

We definitely recommend building a rough wedding day timeline in the start of the planning process, rather than waiting until the very end. As you continue to hire more vendors, you will be able to start envisioning your day - and can often spot timing mishaps early on.

Plan with your vendors

specifically your photographer and planner.
You need collaboration between vendors to give input so you are able to build a realistic wedding day timeline. As a wedding photographer myself, I always encourage my couples to allow thirty to forty minutes for golden hour bridal portraits (this will create the warm, romantic, glowy portraits I am known for!). If you do not have a planner, talk to your venue! They are definitely a great resource since they are consistently hosting weddings and know, from experience, what timelines typically work best.

START with your ceremony.
Usually the venue gives you a rough time for the start of your ceremony. Start with this and work backwards. Creating a simple timeline gives you an idea of where to add more detail. While working backward, go all the way to the time you wake up, go back to your ceremony and work towards the end of the night starting with major events - grand entrances, toasts, dances, cake cutting, etc - then add all the additional details around these events.

Transportation also takes time.

Taking time to figure out traveling time is super important for creating a timeline for photography. If you are not sticking to the same location from hair and makeup all the way to the end of reception, it might knock off a decent chunk of time between locations in transit. Also take in consideration that there might be guests that are NOT familiar with the area and unsure of traffic patterns or differences between locations. When creating a timeline, hop on google and estimate the travel time is between locations and ADD a buffer; this way your timeline is realistic (when is teleportation going to become a thing?). Things typically take longer than they are planned, so add a buffer so the day continues to go smoothly. Forgetting this detail will throw off your entire timeline for your wedding day.

SPEAKING OF BUFFERS

No matter what point of the timeline you are creating and how you are envisioning your day, add buffer time through out the day. For example, you're thinking that your ceremony is only going to last twenty minutes (pretty typically) then put on the timeline it is for thirty minutes. Google tells you it take eleven minutes to get from the first look to the ceremony, round up to fifteen. If you are doing a first look and have no traveling, finish up those photographs and allow thirty minutes of downtime before the ceremony. This will allow you to BREATHE, relax and to take your time enjoying your day. This will also protect the rest of your timeline if things are being delayed.

Also, I highly recommend scheduling about fifteen minutes of cocktail hour where you and your newly-announced spouse can soak up the moments. You did it, you're married and we want you to enjoy the day.

Sample of Day of Wedding Timeline:

The Ultimate Wedding Timeline shows an example timeline from getting ready at 9am to the end of reception at 11pm

Here is a wedding day timeline template that you can keep on your wedding Pinterest board!

Tips For Your Engagement Session (From A Photographer!)

First off all, congratulations on your engagement!! This is absolutely the most exciting time ever - and we are SO glad that you stopped here for some tips! We’ve photographed hundreds of couples from their engagement session, to a surprise boudoir session, to their wedding day, and all the way to any of their future events, so we hope that you stick around too! Here are our MOST important tips for your engagement session, from a professional standpoint:

1. Location, Location, Location

My biggest advice is to pick the location that screams YOU and YOUR love story. Do you love being outside? I’ll help you scout out the perfect location. Hate the outside? Think about the activities you both are into - we can go to a roller rink or arcade or anything in between! Still stumped? I always have a list of places I adore and will always create the most dreamy of photos.

2. Wear SOLID, neutral colors!

I know what you’re thinking! “But I saw this beautiful flower dress that I really wanted to wear!” or “my partner really wanted to wear matching plaid” and if that’s really what your heart desires, who are we to stop you. But let me explain why we highly suggest you take our advice! Prints, such as stripes, florals, animal print etc. tend to “warp” on our high tech cameras. Stripes can be extremely unflattering depending on the outfit, and florals will just about clash with every background. Why neutral colors? Our editing style is “earth tones” which focuses on greens, browns, yellows, etc. and a BRIGHT red or purple outfit might not match with the vibe that you were after. Neutrals allow you to blend in with the beauty of nature for a more cohesive, warm vibe.

3. Try to plan your session as close to sunset (or sunrise) as possible.

I cannot stress this enough! When you’re hiring a photographer, you hire them because you love their work and trust their artistic abilities. Every photographer’s dream is that EVERY session be photographed at sunset! Or for the early birds, even sunrise! This is the absolute best lighting of the day and we cannot stress enough how much lighting impacts your photos. If you’re looking for those dreamy, creamy, warm tone photos, trust us - sunset is the best time! Even if at first it may seem like you’re unsure, we definitely recommend it. We have the ability to make magic regardless of the time of day, but we promise the BEST lighting is about 45 minutes before sunset!

Feeling nerdy? Click here to learn why golden hour is the absolute best and to know all the good scientific facts behind it!

4. Be confident + have fun!

We ALL doubt ourselves. Some of us don’t like how we look in selfies, some are unsure of how poses will look on ourselves - but trust us!! We have spent hundreds of hours PERFECTING our personal posing style so that you look and FEEL amazing in every single photo! If you’re not feeling so sure, the camera may capture that! The best way to enjoy your engagement shoot is to let loose, have fun, smile, laugh and be yourself! Let us capture your beauty how the world sees it! Don't worry, we’ll be hyping you up every step of the way.


Engagement sessions are so much fun and an amazing way to get to know your photographer. We hope that you consider our advice when you schedule your engagement session! Either way we can’t wait to create magic with you and have the best time capturing your love in the best way possible. As long as we have a good time, you will love these photos for the rest of your lives.

This being said, so not worry about posing - do not worry about feeling awkward. My signature style is “romantic and candid” and I will have you both doing silly movements to loosen you up and capture the in between, goofy moments - then I will start bringing in the more classic poses, this way you get the best of both worlds!

5. Not sure? Ask your photographer.

If all else fails, ask your photographer for their opinion! We are constantly learning the new trends and styles as well as spend our free time scouting new locations, learning the latest and greatest in the photography world. We want to take time to make sure you have the absolute best experience as well as have amazing photos to show for it! We want to make it totally customizable for each and every client that it can represent you in the best way. This isn’t just my job or some type of side-hustle, it’s my art and career - both things that I absolute love and take pride in. Nothing is more rewarding for me than creating emotional, jaw dropping, art that captures you and your partner.

Interested in booking an engagement session? We will have a total blast! Contact me here and tell me your vision: Girl, let me tell you our love story!!!