Archives: Weddings

Pink Diamond Events – a Fort Collins gem

A few weeks back, I discovered an event planning company located in my hometown of Fort Collins called Pink Diamond Events. Casey Muller, owner and Lead Event Planner, is an industry veteran in the area and she has been planning weddings since 2009.

I had a cup of coffee with Casey to talk shop and it became clear very quickly that her level of service and quality in her event planning is a perfect fit for what we do here at BE.

Therefore, I wanted to make sure that I had a chance to ask her a handful of good questions and publish the interview here. We are always on the lookout for Colorado’s (and Arizona’s) finest wedding vendors, and I’m pleased to say that Pink Diamond Events certainly qualifies!

[Ryan] How did you get your start in the industry?

[Casey] I started working in the industry by working with a wedding planner in Southern California when I lived out there. I started working as one of her Day-of wedding assistants. When we moved back to Colorado, I worked as the wedding coordinator for an independent catering company in Vail, working on high end weddings at private residences, ranches and other various mountain venues. From there I worked for a Fort Collins hotel in their catering department and then finally worked as the full service wedding planner for a local wedding planner in Fort Collins. Unfortunately, her company went out of business and I then proceeded to open my own company in 2009. Since then I have established my status as the veteran wedding planner in Northern Colorado and Estes Park!

What do you enjoy most about being a wedding planner?

My favorite perk of the job is getting to see all the amazing wedding venues in Colorado. I am so lucky to work in such a fun and exciting industry that allows me to travel throughout the state! There are some amazing venues that expose you to new design ideas and styles. It’s really great to have the opportunity to be creative and stretch my talents to benefits my clients.

Can you describe your own personal wedding style for us?

For my own personal wedding style, I prefer a more modern approach. I love the look of clean lines and contemporary design. I find that I am drawn to neutral color pallets, but that have a pop of color to bring some wow factor into the picture. I also love dramatic lighting and adding statement pieces to a wedding. It’s a great way to add a bit of wow without going overboard (and staying on budget!).

What is one thing you tell all your couples?

Something that I always tell my brides is that once they have a vision and a direction, it’s time to stop messing around on Pinterest! There are so many options out there a bride can waste hours going back and forth about a decision she made or trying to incorporate every cute idea she has seen. Find your vision that fits your personality and style and then stop looking! It will only drive yourself crazy and you won’t make any progress actually planning your wedding!

Also make sure to hire professionals. We’ve all heard the sayings “you get what you pay for” and “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. Well, the same thing goes for hiring your wedding vendors. This is going to be the biggest party you’ll ever host, and while it doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank for it, if you’re getting quotes from vendors, just realize that the cheapest isn’t always the best option. I have seen it time and time again when the wedding is over, the bride wishes she would have invested in a quality vendor instead of going with the cheapest one, and you are not able to ever get that back.

Contact information

Website: Pink Diamond Events

And learn more about the team here.

Email: weddings@apinkdiamondevent.com or via the contact form here.

Phone: 970-692-1645

Sunshine & Reign Photography, a rad duo out of Arizona

As part of our ongoing effort to seek out the finest wedding photographers around, I recently flew out to the Scottsdale area where I met with a lot of great people. I was simply amazed at the amount of talent and entrepreneurial activity in this area. One of my meetings really stood apart from the others: My visit with Amii and Andy Kauth, of Sunshine & Reign Photography.

Andy and Amii are really wonderful people. They are so kind and easy to talk to, that when paired with their professionalism and obvious talent, it’s clear that they are one of the area’s finest wedding photographers. In addition, they have written content for SLR Lounge, Arizona Weddings Magazine, and they even present at industry conferences.

We met at a rather kitschy place called The Duce. It’s a 1928 warehouse turned boxing ring / yoga studio and part-restaurant / part-old-fashioned jazz club. Yes, you should visit. It was over a meal of brisket sliders (eaten very carefully in my BE suit, I should add) that I picked their brain on a handful of topics…

[Ryan] I know that the two of you have some eclectic backgrounds in Education. How has this experience shaped your photography style or process?

[Andy and Amii] Between the two of us, we have three master’s degrees in education-related fields and spent well over ten years in education (K-12 plus a bit of graduate student work at the university level). Then we cashed it all in to run our own wedding photography business. Education is really customer-service oriented. You interact with children and their families daily. You have to care about people and communicate well. That translates so well into wedding photography. We are in constant communication with our couples, and on a wedding day, in particular, our job is to capture epic images, which involves a lot of communication (directing posing when necessary, getting everyone comfortable in front of the camera, etc.).

We also do quite a bit of writing and teaching, photography-wise, and are currently authors with SLR Lounge. Our backgrounds in education lead us to feel confident in our abilities to write on any number of photography-related topics and also allow us to be comfortable speaking in front of other professionals.

When shooting, where do you draw your inspiration from?

We love each other. We love life. We love people. You could say we love . . . love! Ha! We really focus in on the love that the couple shares when we photograph engagements, anniversaries, elopements, and weddings. And we always say that our couples are the raddest of rad lovers! Just like us! Yeah! Beyond that, we are inspired by good wedding photography, which is why we are involved in the Fearless Photographers community. They are a group of international wedding photographers, and they not only put out some of the best wedding photography and wedding photography education on the planet, but also do a lot to help the world be a better place by promoting donations to worthy causes among the community.

You seem to use a lot of different gear including prisms and copper pipes, what’s the motivation behind this?

We are always stoked to create images that wow our couples–images that they can display in their homes and that will stand as pieces of modern art for generations. We style ourselves as both modern and artistic. All our effects are in camera, and we strive to stay up on the edgiest and freshest techniques in digital photography.

If there is one thing you want people to remember your photographs for, what would it be?

We want our clients to look at their photographs and be able to relive their session with us, whether it’s a 4-hour elopement, 5-hour engagement adventure, or a 15+-hour wedding day. We want them to use those images as a talking point to reflect upon their love for each other. And we want other photographers, and really whoever comes across our work, to be drawn in to the images and to be inspired to go out into the world. To adventure. To create. To become love as they enjoy this awesome planet and its amazing people!

sunshine and reign photography

beautiful wedding photography

andy kauth photography work

unique photography effects

fun wedding photography sunshine and reign

Contact information

Be sure to check out Sunshine & Reign Photography at their website here. And their instagram is amazing! @SunshineandReign

Further reading: Here’s a behind the scenes look at their process via Resource Magazine.

Sweet Lime Pictures, featured wedding photographer

As part of my continued effort to meet Colorado’s best wedding photographers, I recently sat down with Ryan Brackin from Sweet Lime Pictures. Aside from still photography, Ryan is adept at motion picture as well and really enjoys teling the story of one’s wedding day with video.

How would you describe your particular approach to wedding photography? What makes you different?

[Ryan Brackin] I like to keep things simple, so when I approach a wedding as a photographer and filmmaker I’m looking for two things: light and story. Light is the easy part – find beautiful light or make it, then put your subjects in it and make pretty pictures. It’s also the most difficult part. I’ll spend the rest of my career continuing to learn how to shape and manipulate light. The stories are what I love about weddings. Every wedding has the same main characters: the bride and the groom. And every wedding has the same supporting cast: bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, siblings and guests. It’s all these characters and their personalities, relational dynamics and pasts that make every story unique. I love creating beautiful images. What I really love is when those images capture moments and emotions and tell a story.

What kinds of things can a groom do to look his best in his wedding photos? Any common mistakes that grooms are making in your experience?

A groom is a dude on the happiest day of his life, most likely dressed the best he’s ever going to dress, so looking good isn’t difficult. To look his best, a groom should follow Aaron Rodgers advice, “R-E-L-A-X – Relax.” Just enjoy your day. A wedding day is made up of so many little moments. Don’t worry about what’s next. Live in and enjoy each moment as it happens. And when you can, hang out by a window. Window light is flattering and will make you look great. Like Don Draper.

A common mistake grooms make is getting sloppy drunk. Definitely have a good time. Have a few drinks, loosen up. But getting drunk will diminish your ability to recount what is already a difficult day to remember (A wedding day goes by so fast when it’s your wedding!) and you don’t want to look back on your wedding photos and see a drunk guy. The other thing is have snacks, like some trail mix or an energy bar or a Snickers, or make your best man have some snacks on hand. Sometimes portrait sessions can last a while. I do my best to keep it quick so everyone can get to partying. But sometimes wedding parties are large, or there’s a lot of family members that need to be in photos, or the location and lighting and couple are so lovely and inspiring I just have to get a few extra shots in. Hungry grooms are grumpy grooms and don’t make for great photos. Having something to hold you over and keep you smiling will make for much better photos than a hangry groom.

When searching for a wedding photographer, what are the important qualities that a couple should be looking for?

When searching for a photographer I think couples should look around and find photographers with bodies of work that they love that display consistent imagery across multiple wedding galleries. The second factor, and very nearly as important as loving their work, is that you should click with your photographer. You should meet or at least speak in person and find out if you like each other. The weddings that I’m able to put the most of myself into and feel the most creative energy are those where I’ve made that connection and built some rapport with the couple. Then when the wedding day comes I almost feel like I’m just part of the family. And I happen to be carrying a camera.

Contact Sweet Lime Pictures

Reach out directly to Ryan at 303-257-3440 or send him an email at ryan@sweetlimepictures.com today and get started!

Website: Sweet Lime Pictures

Looking for a wedding photographer? Check out JXC Photo

Each year, we continue to work with more and more grooms. And so recently, I decided that we really need to step up our content that’s geared towards the groom. Specifically, we realize that when it comes to wedding photographers, there are certainly many to choose from. Therefore, we are constantly looking for the area’s best wedding photographers. The ones that meet the same level of quality that you expect from BE. Today, I interviewed Josh and Christie Hall (pictured above), the husband and wife team behind JXC Photo.

I asked them three questions that I feel are very important when it comes to shopping around for a Denver wedding photographer…

1. [Ryan] How would you describe your particular approach to wedding photography? What makes you different?

[Josh and Christie] My wife and I like to take each moment as it comes on a wedding day. Of course we do a fair amount of planning on our end, but while we’re shooting, we like to keep an open mind. We’ve been photographing weddings for almost five years now, and between Denver and New Orleans, we’ve been in a lot of different rooms and had to deal with many different circumstances (we’re great at pinning boutonnieres at this point). All of that experience gives us a calm disposition on a wedding day, we’re very comfortable with our off-camera lighting and equipment, and that allows us to be both creative and efficient.

2. What sorts of things can the groom do to look his best in the wedding photos? In other words, are there common mistakes that grooms make?

There’s a fine line between looking comfortable and natural in a photograph, and looking nervous and unsure. Believe it or not, all you have to do is put one hand in your pocket and pick a leg to lean most of your weight on, and you’ll look like you belong everywhere. It’s a magic trick. Oh, and don’t put the boutonniere on too early — if you take your jacket off and fold it over a chair, your flower (and maybe your bride) will be upset.

3. When searching for a wedding photographer, what are the important qualities that a couple should be looking for?

We get this question pretty often. With all the style and price differences between photographers, plus a client base that generally only needs a wedding photographer once in their lives, it’s easy to get lost in the confusion of how to pick one. Our answer is always this: Look for photographers who specialize in weddings and who have lots of experience in that department. There are lots of unexpected moments in wedding photography, and the best photographers will know how to not only capture those moments in the best possible way, but capture them in lighting situations that aren’t always favorable. We do a lot of “thinking on a dime” in our jobs, so it’s important to have specific practice in that department.

Contact JXC Photo

Reach out directly to Josh and Christie at 720-281-8206 or send them an email at joshxchristie@gmail.com today and get started!

Website: JXC Photo