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All around Amos Productions was fantastic! Their responses were immediate, their staff was wonderful, their website was very resourceful and easy to use, (it allows you to plan your wedding music from start to finish – how cool!), and the owner, Jody was very professional and an all around great guy. I cant wait to […]
Natalie & Jeff Mackinnon

Advice For Every Bride

September 25, 2016
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advice-for-brides

Advice For Every Bride:

In today’s world there are so many means to receive information. Social media plays a huge role in spreading information via websites and applications, allowing users to create and share content while participating in social networking and bringing together people and ideas from around the world. Wedding planning today is so different from the past when brides relied on bridal magazines and bridal shops to help them with all their wedding details. Today’s brides have a myriad of unlimited resources including, bridal magazines and bridal websites, industry professionals, Pinterest, specialized apps for the phone, and, of course, Google. Endless sources of options and advice can be overwhelming and exhausting and may not help you focus on what you really want for your special day. A better way to gather wedding information may be to pulse previous brides or industry professionals for their advice. They have recent wedding experience will likely have lots of tips, and mishaps, to share with you as you navigate the wedding planning process.

I was a bride once and like many girls, my friends and I grew up dreaming of our wedding day. We fantasized about our groom, the wedding, and all the details of the day. As the planning process for my actual wedding progressed and the day, preceded by years of anticipation, finally arrived, the wedding and reception literally flew by. Six hours of time was gone in what felt like minutes. From wedding prep, to endless photographs, to hugs and well-wishes from family and friends the pre-wedding hours were a blur. Before I knew it, it was time to walk down the aisle, pose for endless photos, dinner, toasts, dancing, cake, bouquet toss, more dancing, more photos, and then, in what seemed like a blink of the eye, my wedding was over. Looking back on the wedding planning process and wedding day, the advice I give to brides is to try and enjoy the actual moments more. Though weddings involve a lot of people and timelines, ultimately the day is yours, your friends and family are there for YOU, and the special moments aren’t going to happen without you. Enjoy every minute!

Here at Amos Productions we are blessed to work with wonderful couples on a daily basis. One of our recent brides, Stacey DeMoss, offers her best advice to future brides.

“Future brides and grooms need to make sure they hire professional vendors. Hands down it’s the best decision they could make. It takes all of the stress out of the day knowing that you have an amazing team making sure your day turns out fabulous.”

We also have the opportunity to work with many wonderful industry professionals at local venues around the Bay Area. Allison Bruley is the Corporate Event/Office Manager for Beet’s Hospitality Group at Palm Event Center in the Vineyard and Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery. I had the opportunity to ask her as an Industry Professional what advice she would offer to brides and grooms.

“My advice for the bride and groom is to make it a priority to stop and appreciate the moment You have to consciously take time to make that happen. With the whirlwind of the day you can get wrapped up and have it pass by without truly feeling like you are present. When coordinating events I make my clients take a deep breath and soak it all in. They always appreciate the reminder!”

I was also curious to hear from Allison on how vendors can best serve the bride and groom.

“My advice for vendors is to set a realistic expectation with your client…even if it’s difficult. Clients often come to us with grand visions that can be difficult to execute. We cannot let our desire to please the customer lead to disappointing them in the long run. If you develop a relationship with honesty your clients will trust your advice.”

There are many common words of advice from bride to bride as well. In researching first hand stories it seems that no matter how much advice a couple receives from family, friends, and planners, details can be forgotten or, after the fact, brides wish they had done something differently. Missed photo opportunities, vendor timeline confusion, or décor delays can be better planned and accounted for prior to the wedding with the help and advice of industry professionals who coordinate such events on a daily basis.

Here is a list of some of the more common words of advice from past brides in random order:

Have a Plan
Delegate a bridesmaid, family member or friend to take care of all of the important day of responsibilities for you. Are there gifts that need to be taken home, a guest book that needs to not be forgotten, or vendor tips to be handed out? Make sure you assign these duties in advance so someone else can take care of them on the day of your wedding. Select a person you trust will not forget any of the items you assign to them. As the bride, you should have confidence that all details are covered and not have a thing to worry about on your wedding day.

Bridal Party Timeline/Itinerary
Create an itinerary that details the wedding week/weekend for your entire wedding party and anyone else that will be a part of this special day. This will ensure that everyone knows where and what they will be doing and will not need to contact you to see what is expected of them and what’s to come next.

Eat
Don’t forget to eat and stay hydrated on your wedding day. Not eating or drinking (water) can make you feel weak and tired. Snack throughout the day and ask your caterer to pack you and your groom a “to go” dinner and dessert for after the wedding. You won’t pay attention to how hungry you are until after all the festivities conclude and you realize you’ve barely had time to eat since you walked down the aisle.

Allison Bruley has witnessed time and time again brides and grooms missing their meals.

“Adrenaline is a powerful appetite suppressant. At Beets we try everything that we can to get them to eat. We follow them with a cart of food during pictures and we guard the head table during dinner. Even with all of this effort they still do not eat! This is why we send them home with a goodie bag of late night snacks. From personal experience, you should prepare to get back to the hotel and have that hunger hit you like a freight train. Ultimately you may order room service but you can’t say we didn’t try!”

Take Pictures Before You Say “I do”
While this can be a controversial issue and many brides and grooms look forward to the first reveal at the actual wedding ceremony, it is becoming more common for brides and grooms to take special photos before the ceremony. This keeps guests from waiting and also allows the bride and groom to be more involved in the cocktail hour and other events leading up to the reception. If you choose to do a first look, work with your photographer and videographer to find a secluded location to see each other for the first time. Take in the moment away from family and friends and get those special shots before the ceremony.

Anna, the owner of Ultra-Spective Photography in Livermore shared her thoughts on a “First Look”. As a photographer she gets to know her clients first and finds out what is important to them. If her clients tend to be more traditional they will stay traditional. Some of her clients want to attend the cocktail hour with their guests and traditional items aren’t as important to them, so they choose to do the pictures prior to the Ceremony. Anna admits this can be a tricky topic.

“As you know the traditional first look at the altar can be a very emotional moment and sometimes it’s nice to keep this tradition. BUT in terms of photography, of course, we get better images for the “first look” if we do it prior to the ceremony. There are pros and cons to both and it’s a balance between creating amazing images and being true to telling the story of the day.”

Anna provided a short list of the pros and cons regarding before or after Ceremony photographs.

Photos Before The Ceremony
The advantage to doing pictures before the Ceremony is the photographer will have more control over lighting and it allows the bride and groom more time with their guests. The disadvantage is the bride and groom will have to be ready for the wedding day much earlier and guests who come early may see the couple before the actual ceremony. The element of surprise is also gone, which Anna says can be a good or a bad thing. Some brides and grooms like the impact of seeing each other the first time at the ceremony, while others get nervous.

Photos After The Ceremony
The advantage of doing pictures after the ceremony is that the sun, except during the winter months, is usually lower in the sky, offering a softer/prettier light. The disadvantage is obviously the bride and groom have less time with their guests and cocktail hour participation is usually not something they get to experience.

Stacey DeMoss opted to do her photos prior to her Ceremony.

“Doing a first look and getting as many pictures out of the way before the Ceremony is the way to go. We were able to enjoy our cocktail hour with our guests instead of taking pictures and then we snuck away before sunset to get some romantic ones. Best decision.”

Soak in the Moment
You have spent months and months planning this day. From the food, cake and music to your various vendors, table linens and lighting options, every detail has been thought out and accounted for. You have enjoyed the planning process, stressful or not, and now your vision for your special day has become reality. You are surrounded by people who love and care about you and these same people mean the world to you both. Look around the room, see the people there, feel the love that surrounds you and embrace the amazing feeling you feel. This day is filled with emotions that will last you a lifetime. Marriage isn’t always easy, so remember these special moments and being able to reflect on them always will be such a blessing. Focus on the two of you, not everyone in attendance. It’s not about keeping the reception party going, it’s about making memories with your spouse. This is a blissful day; soak up every minute of the love and excitement.

Toast
Feel free to speak up during the toasts. You have all of your family and friends there to celebrate you. Say a little something to all of them and it will mean so much. Often at weddings you only hear the best man and the maid of honor speak, sometimes the parents. Change it up and surprise everyone.

Tell Your Love Story
Guests will love to hear your story, coming from you. This is a memorable way to share your love, include everyone else and leave a lasting impression. This differentiates your story from everyone else’s.

Lock In the Venue
It’s important to lock in the venue and date first, before making any other major decision. You don’t want to buy a wedding dress in plans of having a summer wedding and then the venue you book only has winter dates. Your dress, decor, linens, flowers, menu, etc. typically revolve around the time of year of your wedding.

Hire a Videographer
A lot of brides and grooms wait until the end to book a video of their celebration. Weddings are expensive and videography often is last on the list. But, why? These brides and grooms often regret not having a video to watch and tell the story of their special day. Videos are sentimental gifts that can be enjoyed between you and your newlywed, your family and friends for years to come.

Stacey DeMoss admitted, “To be honest we weren’t planning on hiring a video team for our wedding, but after seeing our teaser video I’m so glad we did. We really enjoyed seeing the live action for the wedding day.”

Check out the Wedding Video Teaser that Amos Productions produced for Stacey & James.

Get Personal Recommendations Before Hiring Vendors
Take your time and don’t rush your vendor selections. Spend more time planning and enjoying and less time rushing and stressing. Make sure your special day is a reflection of you, and choose vendors that can accommodate your vision. Family and friends may make recommendations, which you may choose to consider and can be a great starting point in your planning process. But ultimately, the day and those who contribute to it should be your choice.

Delay Your Honeymoon
Delayed honeymoons are becoming increasingly popular among newlyweds in this ever so busy lifestyle we live, filled with distractions and unreasonable demands. Most couples are on a budget and by waiting for certain seasons, flights and accommodations can be cheaper. It’s also nice to get things put away after the wedding, finish up last minute projects and complete everything at work before you head out for a week or two. You may be able to relax and enjoy your trip more, rather than worry about lingering items on the to-do list. Being spontaneous and booking last minute travel deals can add to the excitement of a delayed honeymoon getaway.

Don’t Let Perfection Get the Best of You
What bride doesn’t want her special day to be perfect? The event is an expression of you and your love. But, keep in mind that some of our best memories are those we don’t expect or plan for. Embrace the unexpected and don’t let it ruin your day because in the end, all the details will be forgotten and the overall impressions of your special day will be the most treasured. After all, wedding isn’t about perfection but about the love you share.

Stacey DeMoss expressed this perfectly when she said, “Make sure the day is about you as much as possible and NOT about your guests or family wants.”

In the end, the best advice is to plan ahead, don’t sweat little things that can’t be controlled, roll with the unexpected, stay on budget, and try to complete the planning a few weeks before the big day. Steal special moments with your significant other throughout your wedding day, remembering just why you, your family and your closest friends are there. Soak up your vision, as this will be one of the BEST days of your life. Your dress will be amazing, the food will be scrumptious, the flowers will bring romance to your reception, and the cake will be perfect. Keeping your perspective realistic will make you a happy bride indeed!

We would love to hear your stories and advice, whether you are a past bride, a bride to be or an acquaintance of someone getting married. What do you feel is the most important piece of advice for someone planning their dream wedding? Please share your experiences, ideas and any information that may come in handy to a bride and groom planning their wedding day.

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Elyse & Michael Costanzo
I am so glad we made the decision to have a videographer so we can relive our special day each time we watch. The value of having your vows, speeches, first kiss as husband and wife, and all your family and friends celebrating together is priceless. They were even able to provide the entire YMCA […]
Chris & Jennifer Johnson

Planning The Perfect Proposal

August 10, 2016
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proposals-amospro

Planning the Perfect Proposal

The day has come and you are ready to embark on your journey of “happily ever after”. You and your love have been together for a while and things are going great … and you’ve decided it’s time to pop the big question. So exciting! The only problem is you can’t decide how to propose. A wedding proposal is an unforgettable event that marks the initiation of engagement and commits to a mutual promise of marriage and lifelong commitment to one another. It may be important to you to make your proposal perfect and create a memory that will never be forgotten. Here are a few ideas to help make your proposal extraordinary.

Setting
Are you interested in proposing in an intimate or public setting? What would your soon to be fiancé want? Keep in mind that not everyone likes to be the center of attention and a public proposal may seem overwhelming to a person who prefers a more intimate moment. Would your love want family and friends around during this noteworthy moment? If so, you could plan a family and friends dinner or you could wait for a holiday that you share with these special people. If the two of you prefer to do things alone, you can always plan a romantic, more intimate proposal, with family and friends nearby to share in the exciting new right after.

Special Place
Do you and your love have a place that is special and sentimental to the two of you? If so, it may be fun to select that location for your proposal. It might be the park where you first kissed, the restaurant you had your first date, or the place where “I love you” was first expressed. These unforgettable places are now part of your relationship’s history and, when incorporated into a marriage proposal, can signify how far your relationship has come and how much you have to look forward to.

Special Song
When the two of you hear a certain song, do you stop for a second, smile, and reminisce about special memories that the song invokes? Perhaps it was the first song you danced together to, or a song that played in the background of the car when you reached over and kissed each other. It may be fun to incorporate this song or the lyrics into your proposal.

Professional Photographer / Videographer
A professional photographer or videographer can capture the magic of your proposal, including the scenery and emotions that will create a piece of your story to be shared with family and friends. Capturing the priceless look on your love’s face when she or he realizes a proposal is really happening, will be something to treasure for years to come.

Flowers, Candy, Special Meals
Creative flower bouquets can add a touch of beauty and sentimentality to a proposal. Ideas include creating a proposal bouquet that includes a number of flowers representative of the number of months/years that you have been together or a bouquet of local flowers from the location where you will honeymoon. Including flowers in your proposal scenario can also lead to a special tradition where an additional flower is added to an anniversary bouquet each year. Candy or a special meal at your proposal can also commemorate a special first dinner date or any especially fun or romantic moment you shared.

New Memory
Creating new memories especially for your proposal will be exciting for both of you. A dream vacation, a special day planned just for your love, a favorite holiday, or an elaborate surprise will all take on additional meaning when a proposal for marriage is included. At this point in your relationship you know important to your future spouse and what types of things you enjoy as a couple. It will be easy to incorporate some or all of those things into your proposal scenario.

Surprise!
Will your proposal be a surprise or will your love be included in all the details? Does your future spouse hate surprises but love romantic gestures? These are all things to consider when planning the proposal. If you want the proposal to be a surprise but also want help selecting the ring, you could plan a dinner date near your jeweler, stop in to look at rings “for fun” before or after dinner, and then return to purchase the ring. At a later date, you can then plan your surprise proposal with the perfect ring that you know she or he will love.

It’s important to stay true to yourself during your proposal, making sure your words are heartfelt and not over-rehearsed (no notecards!). A proposal can include thoughts about how much she or he means to you, when you realized she or he was “the one” and the moment you knew you were in love. Your proposal might include fun facts about the two of you and your excitement about your future together. Perhaps you told your family and friends about being in love before you told your love, or maybe those same family and friends knew you were in love before you told them. Include such things as you express your feelings to your one and only.

Congratulations to you and your loved one. We are excited that you have found the person you want to spend your life with. We would love to hear your proposal story! Please share with us your special moment and if you need help during the planning process, give us a call! Amos Productions is here for you!!!

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Don’t Be That Guy

February 12, 2016
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We can’t tell you how many times guests step in front of our video cameras to take their own photos or videos. It happens the most during the kiss or the ring exchange. The video above was from a Newscast in Sacramento, and we just had to share.

Below is an article we found of the Huffington Post. You can find a link to the article at the bottom.

How To Nicely Tell Wedding Guests Their Phones Aren’t Invited

Just before Heather Letostak’s wedding ceremony began, the priest made an announcement: No phones allowed.

“He kind of joked around,” said Letostak, who got married in May. “He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and told the guests, ‘The bride and groom have requested that you guys sit back, be present in the moment and turn off all your devices.’”

While a few people still snuck pictures, Letostak said most turned their full attention to her and her husband Brian’s ceremony, which took place on a farm in Akron, Ohio. Now she urges engaged friends to unplug their weddings, too.

“Whenever anyone asks about wedding advice, I say, ‘Think about an unplugged wedding,’” Letostak said. “‘You tell people to put down their cell phones, put down their iPads, whatever electronic device they have, and be with you in that moment. They’re going to be able to take that moment longer in life with them than a picture might last.’”

As people become increasingly aware of how annoying their phone addictions can be, they’re more accepting of requests to power down during wedding ceremonies. Brides and grooms who want their guests to fully participate in their big day instead of Instagramming it have started telling guests to turn off their devices, usually just for the duration of the ceremony.

Letostak got the idea for an unplugged wedding after reading a 2013 HuffPost commentary by Corey Ann Balazowich, a photographer in North Canton, Ohio, who eventually ended up photographing Letostak’s wedding.

Exuberant guests and their electronic devices are ever-present at weddings, Balazowich said. Guests have ruined some of her photos with their phone camera flashes and by jumping into frames to take pictures. Once, she even failed to get a photo of a couple’s first kiss because a family friend maneuvered in front of her right at that crucial moment.

“I didn’t get the actual kiss because it was a quick kiss,” she said, adding that she could tell the newlyweds were “a bit disappointed.”

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Balazowich has also heard ringtones interrupt a ceremony and kids playing video games throughout the event.

So how do you tell your guests that their phones aren’t welcome at your wedding? Anna Post, co-author of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, Sixth Edition, said there are a few ways to do it. You can include an enclosure in the invitation to give guests a heads up. It’s a good idea to have the officiant or best man make an announcement ahead of the ceremony reminding everyone to turn their devices off, she said, and you can include a mention of the request in the program. A sign outside the venue is less discrete, but gets the point across.

“Whatever message you take, it needs to be nicely put,” Post said. “Get ‘please’ in there.”

Post said that it’s entirely fair to ask that guests turn their full attention to the ceremony, but restricting people from using their phones during the reception may be going too far.

“They’re going to want to take photos, maybe with each other,” she said. “They’ll want to check in with the kids or the babysitter.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.16.34 PM

Some couples take more dramatic steps to get their guests to power down. Xochitl Gonzalez, co-founder of AaB Creates, an event design and planning firm based in New York City, said she has set up a phone-check station and collected phones before ceremonies. One couple that had a destination wedding in Maine asked guests to turn off their phones for the entire weekend.

Gonzalez said it helps to add something like a photo booth so that people can still feel like they’re documenting something they can take with them.

“We’re addicted to documenting things now,” she said. “You can satiate the addiction, but in a controlled environment.”

SOURCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/15/how-to-nicely-tell-weddin_n_5990380.html

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Writing Your Wedding Vows

June 14, 2015
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Writing Your Own Vows

Writing Your Wedding Vows

Writing your own wedding vows can be an amazing way to express your love and commitment in your own words. It’s a perfect way to personalize your wedding and to show guests exactly what you love about each other. Why settle for words that most other couples have used when you can be unique and create an atmosphere that is yours in its entirety. Finding the words to express exactly how you feel may indeed seem daunting, but when you do, it will surely be a special touch for both you as a couple and for your wedding guests.

Traditional wedding vows are historically the foundation of most marriages.
I, ______, take you, ______, to be my husband/wife, to have and to
hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness
and health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.

The promises and commitments these vows express are meaningful and universal. However, for some couples, traditional wedding vows do not embrace their emotion and vision of the future as a married couple.
Non-traditional vows can encompass whatever you choose, from memories about the past to visions of the future together. Some couples enjoy writing original vows together, reminiscing about the origin of their relationship and their commitment to the future. Others prefer the suspense of writing vows separately and hearing them for the first time at their wedding. Whether you choose to write your vows separately or together, you may want to think about mirroring them in terms of tone, style and length, in order to maintain flow and consistency throughout the ceremony.
Getting started can often be the hardest part of writing vows. Here are a few ideas to discuss with your fiancé that may help both of you focus your writing.

• How long should the vows be?
• Should mutual phrases begin and/or end both sets of vows?
o Example: I promise or I can’t wait to begin my life with you
• Will your vows will be serious, or humorous, or both?
• Will you include special memories from your relationship?
• Will you include promises and parts of your relationship/personality you will work on?
o Example: Strengths and weaknesses
• What is the greatest thing about the person you are about to marry?
• When did you know you were in love and know you were ready for marriage?
• What does marriage mean to you; why do you want to be married?
• What is the most important promise you will make?
• What will marriage change and what will stay the same?
• How will you support each other during difficult times, how has your life improved since you met, and what can you accomplish together?
• What do you respect most about your partner? What inspires you most? What do you miss when apart?

Most importantly, when you write your own vows you can craft phrases that represent you, your relationship and your personalities, as well as reflect your commitment to each other. The words you write should be words that you are comfortable expressing in front of all of your family and guests. They should sound like you and be an expression of who you are and who you hope to be as a married couple. It’s OK to borrow from poetry, books, and spiritual books, but be careful not to let those words overpower your own. Allow plenty of time to reflect, write and edit and don’t forget to practice, practice, practice!

At Amos Productions we have the opportunity to work with so many engaged couples. One of these couples, Rachel and Kevin Batstone, shared their thoughts on why writing their own vows was so important to them. While Kevin’s concern was more about making his vows interesting and interactive, Rachel’s primary goal was to create something that felt right to her and that exemplified what love meant to her and to them as a couple.

We felt more strongly about what we didn’t want it to be, than what it “should” be…we knew we didn’t want ours to look or feel or be anything other than who we are as a couple. As we planned our wedding and worked on the ceremony script and vows, we focused on what made our relationship uniquely “us”. We both felt that this was an opportunity to create something that reflected who we are, what we believe in and to share that with the people who we love and mean the most to us in our lives.
– Rachel & Kevin Batstone

Whether you are inspired to write your own personal statement of love and commitment or you decide to take a more traditional approach, make sure your promises are meaningful to your relationship and will be something you treasure forever.

Did you write your own vows? Do you have any input for future couples? We would like to hear from you?! Please leave a message for us below!

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