Pregnancy Announcement- Meghan + Jesse

This session may very well be my favorite session to date. I recently had the privilege of documenting the most exciting news a couple can share- Meghan and Jesse are having a baby!!! Meghan and Jesse are very dear friends of mine and when they first found out they were expecting, they reached out to schedule a session that they would use to announce their pregnancy. I was thrilled for them and couldn't wait to get this session on the calendar.

We chose a sunny August evening to shoot the session and decided it would be incredibly special if we did it on the property they just purchased in Mullica Hill, NJ, where they will be building their new home! I think you'll agree the glowy light and the cornfield made for a gorgeous backdrop.

Meghan + Jesse Pregnancy Announcement-5.jpg

Meghan brought along a gorgeous swaddle blanket from Little Bipsy that made for a pretty addition to the session. How stunning is this mama to be?!

The photos of their dog, Yogi, are some of my favorites, especially the third one down HA! His expression reads, "I'm getting a WHAT?!" And how cute is the little Radio Flyer?! Love the pop of red in a field of green.

Meghan and Jesse are some of the most genuinely good-hearted people I have ever met in my life and I am beyond thrilled for them. I cannot wait to meet baby Carrajat come March 2018!

Grove Photographer Friendor- Floral Designer: Jennifer Designs Events

As a wedding photographer, I have seen my fair share of beautiful floral arrangements but when I met Jennifer Oechsle of Jennifer Designs Events I was blown away by her talent. I first met Jen through social media when I stumbled upon her Instagram account. I started following her and fell in love with her gorgeous work. When I decided to start this series, I knew I had to ask Jen if she would like to be a part of it and I'm so grateful that she said yes!

Jen designs out of her father's floral shop, Lavender and Lace, in Mantua, New Jersey. This Victorian Tea Room turned conservatory makes for the perfect setting to design and meet with clients. As soon as you pull up to this breathtaking house, you can really see just how much love is put into her work. I highly recommend taking a stroll through the garden during your visit to see all of the stunning flowers and lush greenery. 

Jen has such a relaxed attitude and an open mind when it comes to design which will make any bride feel at ease when looking for a wedding floral designer. She is meticulous with a keen eye for every little detail, couple that with her sweet demeanor and you've hit the jackpot! If you're a bride in South Jersey or Philadelphia, I highly recommend working with Jen. While you're here, take a look at her beautiful work below and see what she had to say during our time together. 

Lavender and Lace Florist-79.jpg

Q: How long have you been designing wedding florals?

JO: I've been designing for what feels like forever but I've been designing wedding florals for 15 years.

Q: What/who inspired you to become a floral designer? 

JO: I grew up in my Father's Floral shop, Lavender and Lace, so I assume my Father inspired me. At first, I honestly didn't want any parts of flowers but while in college I discovered my love for events and incorporated my Art Degree in my Floral Designs.

Q: Where can I find examples of your work? 

JO: You can find examples of my work on my website, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Q: What should I expect at our consultation? 

JO: I have my potential clients fill out a quote request and based on the information they give me I then develop a preliminary proposal.  The proposal is used to show the florals and supplies I am incorporating to achieve their desired look. If the client would like to meet we will setup a time to discuss things further.  A lot of time and care goes into these beginning steps because they are the foundation so the rest of my job goes smoothly and that my clients vision is understood.   

Q: Will you be the one designing on my day?

JO: Yes!

Q: Who will deliver my flowers on my wedding day?

JO: I will unless there are any time constraints with the venue

Q: Will you provide a mock-up of my bouquet/table arrangements at our final consultation? 

JO: Unfortunately, no. I special order everything in for each of my events and most florals and                                                                                                                                  supplies need to be purchased in quantities and it becomes very costly to make one sample.  Clients are welcome to purchase samples if they like but honestly we do so much preliminary work figuring out colors, size and design that most clients are comfortable with this.  Also, there are multiple examples of my work for clients to get a good idea of my style and abilities.

Q: What do you do for fun? 

JO: I love doing anything creative even when I'm not working.  I am an artist first and I love painting, sketching, honestly just plain creating! Especially with my 2 little girls.

Q: Tell us something not many people know about you :)

Hmmmm.... I'm a talker so most people know just about everything about me haha... especially after our first consultation.  

Q: What’s a quote you live by?

JO: I'm not known to be a profoundly deep person, in fact I'm pretty silly + awkward lol.  But if I had to pick my fav quote it would be, "Just Keep Swimming" By the ever so wise Dory in Finding Nemo.  These little words really apply to everything + are my motto.

What do you think sets you apart from other local wedding floral designers? 

JO: Really there are so many gifted and wonderful Designers in our area + beyond, I believe we all set ourselves apart by our styles.  If you look closely at each Florists work you see their voice come through.  So I think it's important for a client to really love my work because I pour so much of myself in it and that's when I design at my best. 

Grove Photography Friendor- On-Location Makeup Artist: Meghan Jester

Today is the beginning of a new blog series where I highlight the best of the best in South Jersey wedding vendors. As a recent bride myself, I understand how difficult it is to search for and decide on all of the wedding vendors that will help to make your day as beautiful and memorable as possible so I thought I would help my current and future brides by creating this series. 

We're kicking off this series with one of my favorite "friendors," Meghan Jester. Meghan is an on-location bridal make up artist in South Jersey who I first met when I was searching for a make up artist for my own wedding. She is extremely talented and one of the most genuinely kind and caring people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I met up with Meghan and one of her brides at her home where she was doing a trial and was able to capture not only her gorgeous work but I also sat down with her to ask her some of the most important questions brides ask when booking their wedding day make up artist.

Take a look at some of the magic she created below and check out what she had to say when I asked her the tough questions. 

Will you do a trial run with me before my wedding?

MJ: Yes! I highly recommend trials, though they are not required. Trials with me typically last for one and a half hours, and you are welcome to bring your mom, sister or best friend! The trial is the time to discuss your bridal beauty vision, and then I execute it. We go over the look, and you decide if you would like me to  make any adjustments, or perhaps try a different lip color. Then, I take your photo from different angles, along with notes on the products used and the things that you love or didn't like as much. Following the trial, I make sure that you let me know how the makeup held up throughout the day. Having a trial definitely ensures that you're wedding day look is absolute perfection! I always tell my bride's, "if you love the look at your trial, you're going to REALLY love it in your wedding day!"

Do you work on location?

MJ: Yes! I exclusively work on location, with the exception of trials. Trials are done in my home 90% of the time, though I will do them on location by request.

Should I save photos of makeup looks I like? 

MJ: Absolutely! It is important to keep in mind, however, that you will not look like the woman in the picture! Not only will her features and coloring affect the look, but photos are often filtered, photoshopped, or just taken in really great light. Ultimately, pictures serve as a great starting point and inspiration, but we'll discuss what it is you love about any given makeup look so that it will make you look your best!

What kind of prep should I do before the trial and the wedding?

MJ: I provide a personalized skin care preparation information sheet to all of my clients. It includes information on proper cleansing, exfoliation and grooming that will perfectly prime your skin for a flawless makeup application.  

I have sensitive/acne prone/dry skin, how will you address this?

MJ: The recommended course of action will greatly depend on how much time we have before the wedding. I often recommend that brides make an appointment with their dermatologist and/or schedule some pre-wedding treatments with a licensed aesthetician, depending on the skin concern. 

What brands do you use on your brides?

MJ: I use a variety of professional-grade products. I pull from many familiar high-end brands as well, including MAC, Urban Decay, Stila, and Tarte. Everything that goes into my kit has been rigorously put to the test to make sure they are long-wearing and effective and good for all skin types. The collection is always evolving. 

What size bridal party can you accommodate? 

MJ: I will personally serve up to 8 bridal party members. If there is a time crunch, or if there are more people requiring services, I will bring in a second artist and/or an assistant to accommodate everyone. 

Where can I find your most recent work?

MJ: My web site, is frequently updated, but you can also find my most recent work on my Instagram and Facebook Business pages.

What do you do for fun?

MJ: I love spending time with my new daughter, Zoe Christine, as well as my tight-knit group of family and friends. I also love creating art, going to the movies, shopping, dating my husband and personal growth and development. 

Tell us something most people don't know about you.

MJ: Most people assume I'm an extrovert because I'm very friendly, personable and ask lots of questions, but I'm totally an introvert! I pour myself into whoever is in front of me, but I can only be social for so long! Once I'm finished working a wedding, I go home and rest all day. I love what I do, so it takes all I have out of me, and I need lots of alone time to recharge and recover so I can do it all over again the next weekend! 

What sets you apart from other makeup artists?

MJ: I care so much about my work and my clients and I truly see what I do as a service. When I am with a client, it is all about her and what she desires. I do whatever I can do to make her feel beautiful and comfortable, and it's not about my ego or what I want to see--it's all about her! I think this is what sets me apart from a lot of other artists. 

Anniversary- Justyna, Jeff + Family

Justyna contacted me a couple of months ago to schedule a 10 year wedding anniversary session with her husband and two children. I was so excited to book this session because I love to capture  the love between a couple and it's even more exciting when they bring their babies along. 

This session was extra special because Justyna wanted to surprise her husband with the shoot and decided to have it take place at the middle school where they met! Doesn't get much more adorable than that, folks. 

When we arrived at Landis School in Vineland, NJ (my hometown!), they were both in awe of how much the school had changed since the last time they wandered the halls. The classrooms were different, they were a few years older, but the one thing that remained the same was the love they had for one another. 

After walking the halls for a little while, Justyna and Jeff's adorable little kiddos, Myla and Lucas, came to join the session. Prepare for cuteness... 

Can you even handle the sass? Myla was a natural in front of the camera!

This was such a fun session and I hope Justyna and Jeff look back on these photos over the years with the sweetest memories. I'll leave you with a few more photos of the sweet couple because I seriously can't get over how cute they are!