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Bonnie and Mike 10th Anniversary Film

When Bonnie approached Milestone Pro about producing her 10 year anniversary video many ideas started to percolate. We collaborated and came up with some solid ways to tell their awesome 10 year story with photos, video and a voiceover from Bonnie.



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Hiring a videographer or photographer is a important choice

I read a great article on http://theeverylastdetail.com/i-took-the-cheap-photographer-route/ by a past bride named Lauren that I have to share. These are her words exactly and I really couldn’t have said it better myself accept she said photographer instead of videographer but  all the points she makes still apply.

“Hi, my name is Lauren, and I hired a cheap wedding photographer… and I’m here to prevent you from doing the same!

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m always talking about the importance of quality photography. Well, one of the major reasons for this is because I made a big mistake that I regret- and one that I hope to prevent other brides from making.

I hired a cheap wedding photographer.

The fact is, when I was planning my wedding, I had no clue about anything. I didn’t know what to expect costs to be, what to look for, or how to even know figure out what I liked. The only resources I used were large, popular wedding sites because that’s all I knew about and quite frankly, all that I could find back then. When I used the budget recommendations of these sites and magazines, the recommended photography percentage was way below what I was realistically seeing for photographer pricing. I didn’t have anyone to tell me what the “normal” pricing was for a good photographer, or even how to know what would be considered “good”. I was counting on the resources I used to help me, and they sadly didn’t. To make a long story short, this is one of the reasons why I set out to provide realistic information to brides about weddings, and so here I am today! (Note: go here to find out what to expect wedding professionals to cost!)

I’m certainly in no way a photographer, but since I don’t want you to make the same mistake that I did, I thought it would be helpful to pass along some tidbits that I wish I had known when it came to wedding photographers…

COST EXPECTATION

One of the first things that would be crucial to know is the normal cost for decent photography, because I myself had no idea. According to my survey of wedding professionals, you can expect to see pricing around $3500 for a professional photographer. This of course will vary depending on location, as well as with the photographers and their experience.

PAY ATTENTION TO QUALITY

Oh my goodness- I definitely wish I had known more about what to look for when it came to quality! I met with 4 photographers, but I got so fixated on price that I forgot to also look at quality. It can be quite difficult to compare just based on price, because often times photographers’ pricing structures are different- not to mention that their experience and quality is going to be different too! So please, I beg of you- pay more attention to the quality than to the cost!

IT’S NOT JUST A DAY’S WORK

Keep in mind that photographers are not just taking photos of you for 8 hours on your wedding day. They also have to edit the photos (which can take up to 30 hours), design the album, answer your emails and phone calls, and carry out all of the other administrative duties that owning a business entails. (There is so much more, but I’ll leave that to the photographers to explain!) Sure, it’s easy to say that a photographer is making $3500 for a day’s work, but all of the work done before and after the wedding ends up being way more than just one day.

[Note: Don’t get me wrong when I say “cheap photographer”. I paid more than what would normally be considered “cheap”- it kills me knowing what I paid, and now knowing what I could have had for that same amount. But when you consider what was included in the price (my 12 hour wedding day, engagement session, bridal session, album and prints), and then see the pretty much unedited images, then yes, it was indeed “cheap”.]

Needless to say, I’m still pretty heartbroken about my lack of knowledge when it came to choosing my photographer. Now that I look at amazing work from photographers every day, I know that my photos could have been so much better. But you live and you learn, right?

BOTTOM LINE: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

If you have any questions about choosing your photographer, please ask! I don’t want anyone else to experience this regret, and this is one of the many reasons why I write this blog and why I entered the wedding industry. I want to help everyone have the absolute best wedding possible, and I believe that knowledge is the key to that! ”

Thank you Lauren for these words and if those reading want to see the link to original article check out http://theeverylastdetail.com/i-took-the-cheap-photographer-route/

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Brussels Illinois is a unique wedding location

Brussels Illinois is a unique wedding location that I was surprised to not see after reading an article by stlweddings.net.

The reason I say it is a unique wedding location is because Julie the soon to be bride told me how Brussels was a small town and when a event took place everyone was invited and how everBryone called it the Illinois Island. After a brief information session she told me that a GPS wouldn’t work out there but not to worry because everything was very close to each other, like her reception venue was right across the street from the Wittmond Hotel Restaurant . I was happy that all details were in place and was looking forward filming the event.


photographed at this unique wedding location

Julie before the wedding


Once the special day finally came our adventure started early with a ride on the Golden Eagle Ferry. Being that this was my first time we were unsure how much time it would take but fortunately upon arrival we hadn’t missed anything. Another attribute that made this a unique wedding location would definitely be the scenery. Lots of rolling hills and open farmland. I could really go on and on about this place but brides should definitely check out for themselves why this is a very unique wedding location.


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It is possible to plan your own wedding in St Louis

Have you ever had a thought to plan your own wedding ? I personally haven’t but in the last few years we have been seeing and capturing a lot more couples with this plan in mind.  Most of the time the wedding days are pretty nice with a thoughtful potpourri of themselves spread throughout the event. Custom decorations, venues that tie together the couples personal story of how they met, even the transportation  have a connection to the couple in some kind of way. With all this said our couple Jessica and Chris were able to plan a very memorable wedding that was original and very tasteful using most of the resources they already had with tons of personal touches. I want to be clear that if you want to plan your own wedding their are some important things to consider. In the fathers toast he mentions how he had no idea what he was committing to when his daughter asked if she could have it on their 5 acres of property.  He further explained how they ran water, electric, and put in a  parking lot. In the highlight below it definitely shows that putting a event like this together is a team effort filled with family bonding and lots of love. I hope anyone who watches this highlight gets inspired and maybe you just might decide to plan your own wedding.

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 11.23.59 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 11.26.43 AM


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Kelly Sweet “We Are One” Highlight

Its not everyday that you get to be part of a wedding where a nationally recognized singer like Kelly Sweet is the soloist. In October, 2006, Sweet released an EP from which the songs We Are One and Ready For Lovehave been used on episodes of two daytime dramas, the NBC TV series  Passions and the ABC TV series One Life to Live, respectively. We Are Onewas also featured on the NBC series Las Vegasin the spring of 2007. Amrita and John were very grateful to have Kelly sing her hit song We Are One for their St Louis wedding and give us permission to use it in this video. Big congratulations to Amrita and John on their special day and thank you Kelly Sweet.

Kelly Sweet

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Featured in Saint Louis Bride Magazine

One of our couples was featured in Saint Louis Bride Magazine - check out their awesomeness and their highlight reel!



Planning: Sarah Grus Weddings Flowers: RW Designs Hair: Michelle Schuler Makeup: D Makeup Artist Ceremony and Reception: City Museum, St Louis, MO DJ: A Rockin’ DJ Catering: Hollyberry Baking and Catering Company Lighting and Decor: Exclusive Events, Inc. Video: Milestone Pro



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A Gifted Wedding for Kelly and Eric

 

After 10 years together, Kelly Ayers and Eric Patterson got the surprise of a lifetime when they were chosen as the next Gifted Wedding couple. Kelly and Eric have shared more together in one decade than many couples face all their lives. They met while working at a printing company in 2001. Kelly says, giggling at the memory, “Eric was very sweet, he would bring me sodas”. They were quickly a couple and a few months later were shocked to find they were going to be parents. Eric proposed to Kelly and their daughter, Emmaline was born in June 2002. While adjusting to being new parents, they were surprised again to find they were pregnant with a second child when Emmaline was only six months old. Kelly and Eric decided to delay their wedding until after the birth of their second child. A few weeks before Kelly was due, she went to an ultrasound appointment where the doctors discovered that the baby was not growing as anticipated. The doctors ordered a 3D ultrasound to further investigate but before that could happen, Kelly was in labor at 37 weeks. Kelly and Eric’s second daughter, Adrienne, was born in October 2003, and weighed 4lbs, 5 oz. The doctor asked them, “Were you expecting a Down Syndrome baby?” and promptly removed Adrienne from the delivery room. Within 24 hours, Adrienne was moved to Cardinal Glennon Hospital. She was on an incubator, oxygen, and was being fed via an IV. She was diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) which is a rare (1:10,000) genetic disorder resulting in a range of physical, cognitive and medical challenges. Kelly and Eric quickly became immersed in a crash course in medical terms, all pertaining to their newborn daughter. Common medical issues faced by individuals diagnosed with CdLS include gastro- esophageal reflux disease (GERD), heart defects, feeding difficulties, vision problems, and hearing loss. These problems were a constant threat to Adrienne in her first months; Kelly took her back to the hospital because of horrible reflux and dehydration, when doctors found that the opening to her stomach was nearly closed. Kelly and Eric agreed, “I don’t think we slept for a whole year.” Kelly wrote in their application, “Since Adrienne’s birth, life has been a challenge, physically, mentally, and financially.” The next 8 years were spent caring for Adrienne and raising Emmaline, who, Eric says, “Is a very helpful little girl. She’s creative and loves to read. She blows me away sometimes.” Adrienne is now 8 years old, but is as physically developed as a three year old; she has the mental capabilities of an 18 month old. Adrienne is also affected by behavioral issues common of CdLS, including self injury and autistic-like behaviors. Eric said, “We’re very blessed. She’s a huge challenge but she’s a huge blessing

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