Glam Rock Engagement Session in the Foggy Angeles National Forest

July 21, 2017 | juliette

Nina and Gabe were the epitome of cool in their glam rock engagement session at Angeles National Forest! Nina donned a silver sequin gown and edgy makeup and Gabe rocked a black and white skinny suit with pink shirt and socks, both of which looked fab set against their classic white Cadillac. Lauren Scotti is proving to be a master at capturing super chic couples with an artsy and wildly romantic flair, and this engagement is definitely at the top of our favorites list!

Congratulations on your engagement, Nina and Gabe, and best of luck with your wedding planning! Want to see more incredible imagery from photographer Lauren Scotti? This Race + Religious wedding takes fun and stylish to the next level!

Email [email protected] to advertise on Junebug Weddings

Artistically Elegant Staten Island Wedding at Above Rooftop

July 21, 2017 | juliette

Erika and Michael’s Staten Island wedding was an artistic and contemporary masterpiece. Their day began with a traditional ceremony at St. Ann’s Church, then the party continued in the ultra modern Above Rooftop lounge. The bride and groom wanted their reception to feel like a contemporary art gallery, which they accomplished with crisp grey, silver, and white table settings anchored with the most stunning (and life-like) paper flower centerpieces created by Albesque! The bride also rocked a modern, edgy, and totally romantic look with a gorgeous dress from Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier, a sleek down hairstyle, and bold modern makeup. All in all, this wedding was an artist’s dream, and Aaron & Whitney Photography did an incredible job capturing every moment!

The Couple:

Erika and Michael

The Wedding:

St. Ann’s Church and Above Rooftop, Staten Island, New York

Because I have an art background, I wanted to be as creative and original as possible when planning my wedding. I put a lot of pressure on myself because I knew everyone was excited to see what I would come up with. The top three things I focused most of my attention on were my centerpieces, invitations, and photos. I wanted to make sure I found vendors that had a creative eye like myself to be able to push the boundaries and think outside the box.

I loved my photographers. I got really lucky when I found them. They had just moved to New York 8 months before my wedding. When we chatted for the first time, I knew they were going to be great! They are super creative and all my photos are well thought out. I had a huge wedding of 250 people, so I needed them to capture the moments I would miss.

I knew I wanted to do paper flowers for my centerpieces, so I needed a space that allowed me to be as creative as possible without looking out of place. The venue we chose was perfect! It was a blank canvas. It was super modern and sleek, and the flowers I envisioned worked perfectly in the space. The oversized square tables and high ceilings complimented the centerpieces even more. That’s when I decided my wedding was going to be contemporary. I wanted the room to look like an art gallery: oversized flowers filling the room, each table different and unique, cool colors, and silver metallics.

With Pinterest and Instagram, there is a constant flow of ideas. Ideas are great for getting you started, but they can also cause confusion and indecision. You’re always going to see new ideas and directions your wedding can go in. Once you’ve made up your mind, stick with it.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Aaron & Whitney Photography
Ceremony Venue – St. Ann’s Church
Reception Venue – Above Rooftop
Floral Design – Albesque
Cake – Jackie’s Cake Boutique
Live Music – Man Down
DJ – Music 2 the Max
Videography – Lovebrain Films
Invitations – Bella Figura
Makeup Artist and Hair Styling – House of Trends
Wedding Dress – Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier
Bridesmaids’ Apparel – Fame and Partners
Groom’s Apparel – Hugo Boss
Groomsmen’s Apparel – Vera Wang via Men’s Wearhouse
Transportation – Romantique Limousine, Inc.
Favors – Maggie Louise Confections


Our biggest congratulations to Erika and Michael, and a huge thanks to Junebug member Aaron & Whitney Photography for sharing this artsy Staten Island wedding with us! Did these contemporary vibes makes your heart do a happy dance? This couple broke all the rules with their beautiful elopement at The Foundry on Long Island, and we think you’ll love their modern vibe!

Email [email protected] to advertise on Junebug Weddings

Why Hiring a Free Wedding Photographer Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

July 20, 2017 | nicole

photo by Julia Kinnuen Photography

First thing’s first – congrats on your engagement! Making the decision to say “yes” was an easy one, but now it’s time to make some tougher choices as you select the wedding vendors who will bring your dreams to life. Picking your wedding vendors has as much to do with trust as it does falling in love with their work, which is why hiring a professional is seriously important, especially when it comes to the person capturing your big day. It may be tempting to take an offer for a free wedding photographer, but we’re here to tell you why it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!

photo by Hinterland Stills

What Your Money Actually Covers

While it’s normal to wonder why wedding photography has such a steep price tag, there are actually several factors built into the cost – all of them meant to benefit you! Perhaps the more obvious reasons a photographer charges what they do has to do with the value of their knowledge and skill, as well as the cost of their equipment and programs that help them capture your day in the first place. However, the cost of services also includes things like insurance for their gear and even liability insurance should something happen to them or you during the shoot.

Booking a free photographer can leave you vulnerable if something were to happen, whether that be the photographer’s gear getting stolen or broken before your wedding or, goodness forbid, something happening to the photographer themselves. Being a professional is more than just talent and experience – it’s being prepared and accountable for any number of situations.

photo by Jordan Voth Photography

There Are No Do-Overs

When it comes to your wedding, it only happens once! There’s no re-doing a first look, first kiss, or first dance. If your photographer doesn’t have experience capturing weddings, specifically, they’re more likely to become flustered by the quick timeline and crowd of people, be unaware of where they need to stand to get the shot, or forget completely about getting an image you definitely want from your day.

Your mom’s friend with a nice camera or your college roommate who photographs beautiful landscapes as a hobby simply aren’t experienced in the unique and fast-paced world of capturing a wedding. It’s awesome for this person to want to gain that experience, but being the sole person in charge of documenting some of the most special moments of your life may not be the time or place.

photo by Heirlume Photography

Payment Seals the Deal

Anytime money changes hands, the situation becomes more serious. Seeing as this is your wedding day, each service hired should be taken seriously! With no money involved, your free photographer isn’t necessarily held to a standard, whether that be a certain level of work or even that you receive your images (and in a timely manner!). With a professional photographer, you are making a payment for an exchange of services, and the photographer is contractually obligated to perform and deliver!

In order for someone to hold up their end of the deal, there has to be a deal made! Otherwise, who says your free photographer has to deliver your images, whether that’s in the next six weeks, this year, or ever. Your payment goes beyond setting expectations and adds another sense of legitimacy to the equation that, again, protects you!

photo by Greg Petersen Photography

Getting What You Pay For

You’ve heard the phrase before – “you get what you pay for.” When you think about your wedding day, your focus may initially be on where it takes place, who attends, and what’s for dinner. However, once the rentals have been returned and the dress has been stored, all you have to relive your wedding by are the photos. You want to cherish your wedding photos for years to come, not get a bad feeling in your stomach about every time you remember what’s missing or what could have been.

Wedding photography is a job that encompasses so many unique skills. Not only are they keenly aware of exactly what needs to happen in documenting your wedding on the big day, but they have abilities to turn what’s in the camera into art after the fact using a variety of post-production processes. A photo can be beautifully composed straight out of the camera and still require more work to create images you will be able to use and show off.

Here’s a little food for thought for you: would you trust your brother’s friend to fix your engine if he isn’t a mechanic, but has a nice tool set? What about letting your childhood friend perform minor surgery if they went to school for marketing, but they want to contribute to your healing process? Our guess is probably not. Just like with any other service, invest in a wedding photographer you trust, not only to nail every moment, but to be prepared, responsible, and professional – because it’s worth it!

Ready to hire the photographer of your dreams? We list the best photographers in the world right here in our vendor directory! Looking for more advice on working with your wedding vendors? Check out these helpful posts!

Why You Don’t Need to Give Your Photographer a Wedding Shot List

Everything You Need to Know About Hiring Your Wedding Vendors

4 Major Benefits of Hiring a Rental Company for Your Wedding

Email [email protected] to advertise on Junebug Weddings