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Colorful and Local-Inspired Water Table Wedding by Beth Hamilton Photography

From the local-inspired street sign reception centerpieces to the family tradition of being married by the groom's father, I don't even know where to start with this sentimental and personalized special day! I really need to just let this lovely bride Christina take the stage and tell her and Kiel's story-- all visually documented by Beth of Beth Hamilton Photography. :)

I grew up in Hampton Roads and have lived here my entire life. All of my family still resides in the area here locally, and within the last ten years, Kiel's mother and father moved to Hampton Roads. To bring in tradition, his father is the minister at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Suffolk and officiated our service. My husband is the second oldest of four boys, and in their family, it is tradition for his father to officiate their wedding ceremony. It really made our day extra special to have someone that we love marry us and lead us into that next chapter in our lives.

But there were so many great memories from that day, it is hard to choose! I guess my most vivid memory of that day would be the moment I got ready to walk down the aisle. Kiel and I had agreed that we would not see each other until then. It was a tradition I wanted to carry forward in my family. The anticipation of seeing him made seeing him at the altar so much more special.

In the bridal room by myself, there was just this moment that I had where I could hear the music playing as the girls were walking down the aisle. I remember thinking to myself, "I'm getting married in a few minutes!" All day I had been excited, but in that moment, I was beyond excited. I remember looking around the corner of the door frame to see my uncles waiting for me to come out. I went to them and stood in front of the closed doors of the church, waiting to hear the processional music cue.

Within a few seconds, we heard it start, and the doors opened. When I rounded the corner of the aisle and I saw Kiel for the first time that day, it took my breath away. There he was, my sweet husband, crying tears of joy to see me walking towards him. It was my favorite moment of that day. I started to cry as well as I neared him, and all I wanted to do was run to him. I saw the last eight years of our knowing each other flash in my mind. My heart was so full of love for him, and it still is.
































VENDOR CREDITS:
Photography: Beth Hamilton Photography // Ceremony Venue: St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church // Reception Venue: The Water Table // Hair and Makeup: Behind the Veil Studio // Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas // Florals: DIY by Family // DJ: Colonial DJs // Bridal Gown: David's Bridal // Menswear: Men's Wearhouse // Caterer: Mojo Bones // Cake Designer: Plaza Bakery // Submitted via Two Bright Lights>

Friday Recap | Google Plus, Not Minus

This past Tuesday, we had our second Quick Bytes in Hampton! It was all about Google+, and it was so great to hear the excitement about that social media platform because I *love* that social media platform. The ah-ha moments happened with pages and profiles, and it really got our thinking about how we can build a great local support system and beyond.


[photo: @TidewaterTulle]

We chatted about "The SEO Effect and the G+ Force," the power of engagement, and tons of tricks and tips for harnessing Google+.

Wanted to come to Google Plus, Not Minus but couldn't? Head over to these amazing local pros' Google+ pages as they're ready to be showing the web what's up! You will also pick up some good Google+ practices from adding them to your circles and seeing what they post! ;)

Aleen Floral Design // Antonia Christianson Events // Christina Lee Photography // Leigh Skaggs Photography // Maya Couture // A Navy Heart // Shannon Edwards Real Estate // Tidewater and Tulle

We're headed over to Instagram in April... so here's your Save the Date! In a few weeks, keep an eye out on our Facebook page for the "InstaBiz" Event to pop up because spots will be limited to just 10 people to keep it focused on quality and one-on-one.



Looking for more information about what Quick Bytes is? Head over to our original Quick Bytes post.

How to Create a Perfect Wedding Blog Submission

It's a little departure from our typical Thursday inspiration, but it's a question I receive often as a wedding photographer and now recently as an wedding blog editor... What goes into making a great wedding blog submission? While every blog has different guidelines, there are some fundamental basics that will help your submission go from "maybe" to "heck yeah!"


PRE-WEDDING
* Shoot with the end in mind. Before you pick up your camera for that wedding or session, think of what makes a great wedding album. A balance of details, moments, and portraits. Just like your clients, this is what publications look for, too! The only difference is that some blogs might be heavier in one of those categories depending on their niche. Check their submission requirements page for more information.

* Do your research. You don't want to waste your time sending to blogs that are going to say no because the style doesn't fit their aesthetics. Take the time to find the perfect blog for your submission-- your clients, your vendor friends, and you will be most happy with that time investment! A great starting point would be to check out this list of top professional wedding blogs in the world as ranked by Alexa.com; it will help to see multiple blogs' online presence and influence in one spot.


POST-WEDDING
* Select and be intentional with the images you submit. Try to avoid sending duplicates of the same photo even if the couple's expression is great in both-- pick your favorite. You want to make the editor's job easier to say yes and help them visualize how the layout is going to look like right in that submission gallery. You can get to know a blog's preferences by looking through past published features.

* Send a variety of images. Verticals and horizontals all play into what gets chosen. The editor has to think about all the social media implications an image has. The couple is trusting the editor to tell their story well and the photographer and vendor team are trusting the editor to get as many eyeballs on the feature as possible. (e.g., Verticals get pinned on Pinterest much more than horizontal photos for obvious reasons!)

* Write a thoughtful blurb about the couple. We personally love hearing about who's in these photos! Because we are a story-driven wedding blog at Tidewater and Tulle, the best submissions we have gotten come with simply stated facts about the two, their session, or some other tidbit not known from seeing the photos. Photographers have also sent a link to their personal blog posts with more information. These make it so easy to accept right away!

A great example from a Virginia Beach wedding submission is:
Hi Chelsea! We are super excited to send over Ashley + Matt's super bright and beachy, all things cheery Virginia Beach wedding! These two were married on one of the windiest days of the year, but their super energetic and fun-loving personalities kept everyone warm. Their unique color combination of tangerine and lime paired PERFECTLY with the soft hues of the ocean and sand and the groomsmen's tan suits. Becky with Roost Flowers & Design did an absolutely fabulous job of taking Ashley's dream color combination and creating fresh, fun and vibrant florals that were a perfect match to the entire vibe and feeling of the day. Pure English's team picked out not only the most gorgeous dress for Ashley, but also the prettiest flowing chiffon dresses for her bridesmaids as well! Toss in the most beautiful, cotton candy colored sunset we've ever seen, and we were in beachy wedding heaven! We LOVED being a part of their wedding and couldn't be happier for two of the sweetest people around! Please let us know if you need any other information or any additional images! Thank you so much!


* Attach a complete vendor list. The most time-consuming part of the submission process is the most important. Contact your couple before submitting to get that full vendor list if you haven't done so already. It also gives you the chance to let your couple know that you want to submit their special day to a wedding blog! It gets everyone excited and involved. A wedding submission should have as many of the following vendors as applicable: Venue, photography, event coordination, bridal party attire, florals, hair and makeup, stationery, videography, entertainment, event rentals (lighting, furniture, equipment, etc), cake/sweets, details from online vendors, and catering. If something was DIY or done by family or friends, just let the editor know either in your submission comments or a separate email.

It's always an honor when that submission notification comes into my email. So from all editors everywhere, thank you for trusting us with your work! Without you, wedding blogs wouldn't exist, and it'd be a pretty boring place without all these pretty visuals and stories. So here's to a great continuing publication partnership!

- Chelsea :)

Looking for more helpful information? Head on over to the Tidbits for Pros section of Tidewater and Tulle.

All photos by Bit of Ivory Photography.

Urban Fort Monroe Engagement Session by Sarah Elle Photography

A senior and portrait photographer, Sarah of Sarah Elle Photography was taken aback when Danielle and Lance contacted her to shoot their engagement session. Since their wedding would not be local, this couple wanted photos specifically for their Save the Date cards to showcase a bit of their Hampton Roads home, and they felt Sarah was the perfect fit for them!

Danielle and Lance requested something "less traditional cutesy" for their engagement session and specifically mentioned wanting a "more industrial" feel, so after some brainstorming with Sarah, they ended up choosing Fort Monroe in Hampton which is a perfect location for a touch of urban in a few spots! You've gotta love that brick, metal, and peeling paint-- it makes for incredible backgrounds for some special moments!





















Photography by Sarah Elle Photography

DIY Vintage Nautical Sailboat Favors

We're so excited to be able to share our first DIY project! Ever since our readers asked for it in our January survey, we've been researching and trying to figure out some easy-to-do project that isn't common and could be completely locally sourced. Anyone who knows me knows I'm so not a DIY girl, so that's where Kay (aka my Mom) stepped in and took charge of this fun craft project for all of you beach and nautical lovers out there. :)


Sourced from CereusArt and a few other stores around the area, we'll be making sailboats using unique driftwood pieces and lace or cotton eyelet fabric! These could be used as place cards, favors, or even as part of a reception centerpiece. However you decide to use them, they add a very nice vintage nautical feel to any wedding d├ęcor.

You can buy lace or cotton eyelet from most any fabric stores-- it can be found in the “trim” or “notions” area. You can be super creative and find a curtain or table runner that has the pattern that you like. Second-hand stores are a great resource, and there are also sellers on Etsy that have vintage linen pieces (a table runner, curtains or even a doily may work-- depending on how many boats you are making). A nostalgic idea may be to even use Grandma's lace handkerchief (just remember that you will be cutting it up).

In this tutorial, we will use lace, cotton eyelet, and cotton with lace trim.


SUPPLIES:

  • Driftwood pieces of various sizes -- flat pieces for the “boat” and cylindrical for the mast (Can be purchased locally from CereusArt)
  • Lace or Linen Eyelet Fabric or Trim (Can be purchased locally at JoAnn Fabrics or on Amazon.com)
  • Scissors
  • Wood Glue
  • Spray Starch
  • Drill with 1/8” drill bit

INSTRUCTIONS:

To get started, sort the driftwood and match the masts with its boats. Choose pieces that are about the same length as each other.

Once sorted, take the boat pieces and choose the flattest side for the bottom. The top may be uneven; sometimes it makes it more interesting, but the bottom needs to be flat so the boat will sit flat on the surface you will be putting it on (table,etc). If your pieces are a little too uneven, try taking a piece of sandpaper to file the bottom down.

Next, work with the lace/fabric you have chosen. You may need to spray the fabric with starch and lay it flat to dry so it has some stiffness to it. You may have to press an iron to it briefly if it's not stiff enough by just spraying it.

Now find the middle of each boat piece and drill a hole into it. Make sure to use a drill bit close to the size of the mast to be inserted.


Try not to drill all the way through the boat, but if you do, that's okay. You can cover it with a piece of construction paper or fabric and no one will ever know! Just make sure to glue the mast in place without pushing it through the bottom or it won't stand up straight.

Once the holes are drilled, fit the mast into it. It should fit tightly with a tiny bit of room around the edges.

The fabric sail should be a little shorter (about ¼") than the length of the mast. Cut a piece of lace/fabric into a triangle shape-- one long edge should be the length of the mast. The short edge will go across the boat piece as the bottom of the sail; you will want to add about ½" longer than the boat so you can wrap the fabric around the mast to keep it in place. Try to leave the finished edge of the lace/fabric for the outer edge of the sail. Scalloped edges look really nice for that finished look!


If you are using a round doily, it's super easy! Just fold the doily in half, cut through the middle, then fold that half over again and cut through the middle of the other half! It's already a triangle! (You may need to trim it to fit the mast.)

If your boat piece of driftwood is 4 inches, the longest edge of the sail to go up/along the mast should be 3 ¾” long. Remember you will be inserting the mast into the hole so you will need to allow for that. The shortest edge should be 4 ½". If you are unsure of the size, use a homemade paper triangle first to measure, trim it, and then use it as a template/pattern to place on top of other fabric pieces and cut it perfectly every time!

Now, take the mast and place the longest edge of lace along it. Add a long bead of wood glue from the top to the bottom of the mast. Lay it down on a flat surface, take the lace and press it into the glue strip. Let it sit to dry while you work on the other sails. Make sure the glue has dried completely before handling the mast again. You will add another bead of glue close to the edge of the lace already applied. Wrap the lace around the mast and make sure to cover that original edge by pressing out the glue lumps. Again, let it dry laying on a flat surface.


Once the mast is dry, add a small drop of glue into the hole in the boat piece of driftwood and attach the mast into the hole.

If glue comes out of the hole once the mast is inserted, simply wipe it off before it dries. Set your boat with its sail standing up straight. You can set it aside for now to dry. Follow this process for each sailboat. Once dry, you can admire your handiwork and decide how to stage them for your wedding or event! If using for place cards, find small paper tags to attach to the boat or even write in silver ink on the boat. Possibilities are endless!


All photos and tutorial created for Tidewater and Tulle. Some of the above product links were the actual products used and purchasing through these affiliate links helps support future DIY projects. You can find our full affiliate disclosure policy here on Tidewater and Tulle.

Intimate Norfolk Pagoda Wedding by Bit of Ivory Photography

There's just something deeply beautiful about a ceremony of three, the number most associated with balance and completeness.

With just two other loved ones in attendance, Melanie dreamed of a personal city chic wedding underneath a willow tree. By getting ready at home surrounded by the things they love, Melanie and Martin made that day about their commitment and new life together. Melanie's son was their bridal party (and rocked out the duties of wedding band protector).

Captured by Bit of Ivory Photography at the Pagoda in Downtown Norfolk, the bride mentioned her favorite memory of that day was a moment being shared between her husband, her son, and herself under the willow tree as they exchanged their wedding vows.

For those also treasuring the more intimate type of wedding day, she offered the following advice: "From the ocean to the bay, from the vineyards to all the beautiful gardens, you can put your personal touch on your wedding day. Your wedding doesn't have to be big to have wonderful memories and beautiful photos."



































VENDOR CREDITS:
Photography: Bit of Ivory Photography // Ceremony Venue: The Pagoda // Reception Venue: Byrd and Baldwin Bros. // Florals: Palette of Petals // Cake: Plaza Bakery

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