Chris and Janelle’s Rustic Fall Celebration!



Planning Chris and Janelle’s wedding was such a delightful experience and I am so happy for these two lovebirds. They are a truly admirable couple and their love is absolutely inspiring!

When they first contacted Beija-flor Events, they were planning to have their wedding celebration in the fall and wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous colors of the season while putting together a fun and welcoming event for all the guests.


When their day finally arrived, the beautiful bride got ready at the hotel together with her best friend Tory (Hi Tory!). Her mother and grandmother were also present and even the couple’s adorable puppy wanted to take part in all the action. The bride and her maid of honor looked gorgeous with their hair beautifully styled by Gina Melone and their flawless make-up done exquisitely by Grace Moschetto.





Meanwhile, Chris was getting ready at the couple’s home with his brother, his friend Justin (their officiant!) and the couple’s playful cats. The couple left special gits for one another to be opened that morning – a really sweet gesture of their love!


The venue chosen for their wedding was the Smith Barn in Peabody and they could not have had a more beautiful fall day. It was a bright sunny day, you could see the leaves on the trees in all shades of yellow, orange and red, and the air was perfectly crisp!






All the flower arrangements, fabulous centerpieces and elegant bouquets were designed by Les Fleurs in Andover – Aren’t they stunning?






Janelle and Chris exchanged their vows in front of their families and friends in a very emotional ceremony and afterwards, as the guests enjoyed some drinks and tasty appetizers, the couple explored the grounds and took some beautiful and romantic photographs at sunset!






The reception took place inside the barn, which was beautifully lit by all the string lights adorning the walls and wooden poles.



There was so much detail in their decorations. The centerpieces were made of carved pumpkins and filled with colorful seasonal flowers and berries. There were small pumpkins on each table holding the table names, which were selected from places with special meaning to the couple.


Their delicious cake was baked and decorated by Jenny and it was filled with three different flavors including a fall favorite: pumpkin spice! Its appearance was perfectly fitting for the rustic feel of this magical venue.


As a wedding gift the guests were given beautifully carved wooden bookmarks.






The dinner was offered buffet style by Vinwood Caterers. It was composed of a selection of seasonal dishes exquisitely prepared on site. Definitely one of the best meals you could ever have!








After the cake was cut everyone jumped on the dance floor and the dancing did not stop until the night was over. DJ Mark Cherone made sure of that! And Chris knew all the words to all the songs – impressive!






It was an extraordinary day for an extraordinary couple! Thank you so much Janelle and Chris for having me as your wedding planner. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you and be part of your life for the last year.

Enjoy a lifetime of happiness and love!


A big thank you to my day-of coordinator assistant Marie-Christine Nizzi.

All these stunning shots were taken by the wonderful Shane and Meg @ Shane Godfrey Photography! – Thank you so much!

One last thank you to the videography team Adam and Ryan @ Brighter Lights Media – Beija-flor Events will be sharing a video of this fabulous day with you soon!


Alex and Robin’s Railroad Inspired Summer Wedding!


Robin Alex Wedding 2014

I had the pleasure of meeting this fun and loving couple earlier this year when they hired me to help planning their wedding this past August!
Alex comes from a chinese family and Robin is from Louisiana but they chose the beautiful coast of Maine as the backdrop for their celebration. They aimed to create something laid back and non-traditional and, while incorporating elements of both heritages, they wanted their wedding to be a reflexion of who they are as a couple. In their own words – they wanted to blow everyone’s mind and have the best time!

Robin Alex Wedding 2014

The selected venue was the Portland Company Complex in Maine. Built in 1846, it was an old factory where railroad equipment was constructed for the connection between Portland and Montreal.

The room had a raw industrial appeal with plenty of cast iron, dark wood beams and cubby holes. However, on August, 10, 2014, it was magically transformed into a romantic space lit by cafe string lights, paper lanterns, candles, and antique railroad lamps. Inspired by the railroad origins of this venue, each table was named to represent a train station with a special meaning for the couple and it was decorated with old books piles, wild flowers in mason jars, and vintage liquor bottles! 

robin and alex place

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 66

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 311

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 186

After their sweet and personal ceremony that involved several readings from special guests, the dance party started with a Mardi Gras marching dance and continued all night with various tunes played by the DJ – Erik Klausmeyer.

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 329

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 340

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 344

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 201

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 80

For the menu, guests were served delicious Southern BBQ provided by Salvage BBQ as they sipped delicious drinks from The Dogfish Company. The wonderful staff from Bayview Concierge kept things rolling smoothly all night long!

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 323

Robin Alex Wedding 2014

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 212

Robin and Alex baked their own cake and created a cake bar, where guests could have their pick from different flavors, fillings and toppings and enjoy a decadent slice (or two) of their favorites!

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 403

Many congratulations to Alex and Robin! Beija-flor Events wishes you both a lifetime of happiness and thank you so much for having me planning your wedding day!

All these great shots were taken by the couple’s friend and talented photographer Dana Kincaid. Thank you, Dana for sharing these gorgeous pictures with us!

Robin Alex Wedding 1 - JPG 50 percent original 396


Interview with Wedding Make-up Artist Grace Moschetto!


Beija-flor Events had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful make-up artist Grace Moschetto, from Grace Professional Cosmetics. We asked her about all those tips and tricks that you should know when preparing for your wedding day!

She has styled for celebrities and her work has been featured on TLC, the Merrimack Valley Magazine, and Sports Illustrated On-line
She has been highly rated on the Knot and the Wedding Wire for several years and has received the Brides Choice Award.
Grace knows that the key to a great look is to enhance each bride’s own beauty. As she likes to say: “If it comes from your heart you will wear it well!”

Danielle & Eric 1

Hello Grace, what a treat to talk to you again!
Let’s share with your readers a little bit about your background. What was your inspiration to become involved in the beauty business and how did you start?

I love art and I have always been attracted to color! When I was 13, I was allowed to start wearing make-up and at that time my mother was selling Mary Kay. I remember she hosted a make-up lesson at our house, so all the teenage girls could learn how to apply make-up properly. That event kind of got me started on trying make-up and playing with it.
I also danced: tap, ballet, and jazz… and did theater and was always drawn to the hair and make-up part of the productions. I loved that!
At some point, I was living in San Diego working in a theatric production where we would run a show for 6 weeks from August until mid-September. I was doing a lot of make-up on men, stage and set make-up. As soon as our show stopped running, we would rent our costumes for Halloween and a lot of Drag Queens would come by to take the gowns.
In 2003, I got my formal education as a Professional Make-up Artist and I started working at weddings. Later, I branched out to other work like runway shows, hair shows and even ballroom dance competitions.

What are your top beauty tips for brides? Are there any skin care ‘don’ts’ that a Bride should be aware of when she’s planning her pre-wedding skin care schedule?

I usually advise anybody who is attending an event, and more specifically brides, to follow their normal routines.
In other words, don’t get a facial a couple of days before the wedding, but keep your skin care routine pretty even.
When you do a facial, toxins come out of the body, and if a bride isn’t very used to drinking lots of water before and after the treatment to flush all those toxins, it will only make matters worse – her face can become a blemish central on the wedding day!
I usually recommend that facials should be done at least 30 days prior to the wedding.
The best advice for skin prep, is what doctors will tell you: eat right, drink lots of water and sleep, sleep, sleep! And keep your stress levels down the best you can.
I suggest that brides drink plenty of water and add lemon, lime or tangerine squirts to it. It is a really quick way to absorb vitamin C. Lemons are also natural preservatives. Skin care starts on the inside, and if you put good things in your body, good things will be seen on the outside: in your hair, your skin and your nails!


Let’s talk about the make-up trial. What lessons are learned from the trial for both the bride and the make-up artist?

Well, for the make-up artist it’s always about listening to what the bride wants.
Every bride is different, every face is different and as the artist going into the trial, you want to hear the bride’s opinions, take the information that is given and then translate that into technical terms. How is that look going to appear on the wedding day and how will it photograph?
We have to craft it so while we are giving a bride what she asks for, we are also aware that this particular look is going to work with the camera – we have to speak technical and speak “bride” correctly!
What the brides normally learn from the trial is that they are wearing a little more make-up than they normally do. That is ok, because we are applying make-up for a specific event. On the wedding day, the energy is completely different, their hair is done, they have their dress and jewelry on and it becomes more like a costume, if you will. It is a huge transformation! Plus, light sucks color from us, and we need to compensate for that.
From the trial the bride might look at her face and see all face, but keeping an open mind and relying a little bit more on the professional, will be beneficial.
It is very important to have open communication – we want to give the bride what she wants and put a big smile on her face!

What’s trending for brides with hair and makeup looks, right now?

I like to create personal trends for each bride I work with. But in terms of what is trending in the industry, I would say red lip is always a favorite and vintage – the recycling of the decades, anything from the 20s on – is big right now. Also, Gatsby – we are definitely still riding that cycle.
The other thing is that there are sub-trends within the trends and we cannot forget about the offbeat brides, the pin-up brides and brides with a ton of piercing or tattoos.
Also, weddings of same sex couples are definitely increasing.
But, for me, every person I see, I feel like they are the ones setting the trend. Bringing out their personal style is what I love to do!

How long should brides allow in their day-of schedule for make-up application?

It is usually better when a bride has a trial prior to the wedding, as we can plan how long it takes to apply the make-up with more accuracy. That being said, many times people just book us and we come in without ever having met them.
For the most part, however, we determine when the photographer is going to arrive and space the time out so that the members of the bridal party have a solid 30 minutes and the bride has from 45 min to 1 hour for make-up.
But, it can sometimes take less time. It depends on skin situations: if we have to do a lot of corrective, if we have to cover scars or tattoos… although, I am finding that people don’t really cover tattoos as much anymore. They are either showing them or getting them in strategic places where they won’t be seen as easily.


Do you recommend that the bride provides her own makeup?

I provide all of my own brand make-up. It is a professional stage and set make-up that was formulated specifically for the motion picture industry.
This make-up is hypoallergenic and also non-comedogenic, which means it does not support bacterial growth.
I have had a huge success with it and I like to use it. However, I do not deny anybody bringing their own make-up if they know for a fact that they have specific allergies or are hypersensitive.
But, I like to package everything with one price and it is built in the price. We are the professionals so we are bringing everything and using our expertise. The fewer stress factors we add on, the better!

What if the bride wants a look that you know does not suit her? How do you handle this situation?
Well, that goes back into the trial part. The trial is playtime and at that point I will provide the look that the bride requests so that she can see it for herself. If she is happy with it, than that is how it is going to be. If she then decides: “Oh, you know what? This really doesn’t look that great, I don’t like it!” Then I will say: “Well, let’s change it up!” That is what the trial is all about. We want to 100% achieve the look of her dreams!
If the bride decides on the wedding day that she wants to change the style, there is also no problem. I have enough skills in my bag of tools that I can pull of different looks!

What would you tell to a bride who is considering doing her make-up herself?

I offer discounts to brides on my make-up, so I would probably invite her to purchase some of my products and with that I would offer her a class or give her some tips and tricks!
I am open to the idea of brides doing their own make-up because I know that there are people out there that love to do their own make-up. Either they love make-up, or they want it done exactly a certain way, or they don’t like other people touching them. Whatever the reason is, I don’t take it personally.
I am a make up artist with a big heart and whether the bride is using my services, buying my make-up or not, I would still offer advice, absolutely!


What has been the most challenging wedding you have done?

My most challenging wedding…Well, I had one wedding that had a lot of people in the bridal party, which of course is a little challenging, but the difficult part was that they had a room with almost no space. I had to do make-up for 9 people all on my knees. That was uncomfortable!
On top of that, there were children running around with food on their hands while the curling irons were on, the lighting was also not good…it was a combination of many components that was not the greatest.
But after that wedding, I developed a list of tips that I give to all my brides, so that they can prep before hand. It is a good thing as it contributes to the safety of everyone involved.

How do you keep cool under all the pressure of a wedding day?

First of all, I have the passion to be in this industry and I feel very blessed because I get paid to be myself and do what I love. Secondly, it’s the bride’s day and her family’s day so I remove myself from that equation. I feel very privileged that they allow me to share such an important and happy occasion. It is very intimate. I am behind the scenes and I feel honored that I get to have that bird’s-eye view of what is one of the most special days of someone’s life. I really care about my brides and that feeling keeps me calm.

Also, I am naturally a grounded and peaceful person and I am also a Reiki master teacher. I can actually feel the energy in the room and I am able to sense a situation before it happens. I practice what I teach.
Lastly, experience is important. I have been in the business since 1986 and I have experienced several sides of a wedding – I was even a DJ! So, I have learned over the years how to be professional. Now, it is second nature to me.


I know you have your own make-up line. Can you tell us about the collection and what inspired you to create it?

I came across this make-up when I modeled years ago. At the time, there was no one doing our make-up. The owner of the modeling agency gave us this make-up and I instantly fell in love with it!
So, when I started my own company, I contacted the manufacturer and he told me that I was allowed to brand it, so that is what I did.
Again, it is a professional make-up line made for the movie industry, and all the products are made here in the US with the exception of the pencils, which come from Germany and Czech Republic. They are national and local products, even the labels are made locally in Lawrence, MA.
The make-up is highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way. And it is actually hydrating which is beautiful and you don’t get that heavy caked on feeling.
Using what was available from the manufacturer, I have experimented and narrowed down my selection to a core line and that is in my catalog and website for sale.
Soon, I will be developing seasonal collections, bridal collections for different types of looks and, something I am very excited about, we are also going to be providing funds for charitable causes in different collections. I don’t have to go through a committee to do it and we can customize the products and reformulate the colors a little bit – it is pretty exciting!

Tell us 3 things about yourself that are unrelated to beauty.

I once had a job serving rice balls. I was 17 years old and I worked, for part of the summer, at a little shack in Salisbury beach. I went in at 10pm and got out at 2am. This place was right down the street from all the clubs, so we had a lot of intoxicated people coming in for those midnight munchies… It was certainly a character building experience.
I also have an art background. I took classes in North Andover in 1994. And a year later, I found myself teaching fine arts at that very same studio.
And… I am looking for true love! Working with all these brides is amazing … and I am looking for something true!

To see more of Grace’s lovely work check out her website and her Facebook page!


Spring Wedding cakes!


wedding cakes spring
Dandee ConfectionsMark Davidson photography – photo of yellow cake made by Wild Orchid BakeryLaura Murray photography – photo of cake made by Three little black birdsB cake NYAmbrosia BakeryCMH cakes

When selecting the cake for a Spring wedding, choose one in a light color and with a soft texture. Great shades to pick from are: white, ivory, yellow, lavender, mint, and light pink.

Choose a cake that is adorned with flowers -flowers are the face of Spring!  Cherry blossoms, in particular, are fabulous choices! They bloom in the beginning of Spring and are so delicate and dainty… Daisies, are also fantastic, and they are really trendy this year, both in weddings and fashion. I love daisies! I think that this season I might have purchased several wardrobe pieces with daisy patterns. :)

For extra sophistication, you cannot go wrong with having some butterflies on your cake- they are just exquisite!

And now, if you excuse me, I have to go and have a piece – these yummy pictures have definitely made me hungry for some delicious cake! :)

Beija-flor Events

May’s Wedding Inspiration: “Under the Tuscan sun!”


Tuscany CaffellettoGarrett NuddRobert and Kathleen PhotographyDonna Corless PhotographerJoel Bedford PhotographyJoel Bedford Photography

May is probably the ideal month to visit Tuscany. There are plenty of sunny skies and warm temperatures, yet it is not overwhelmingly hot. In the beginning of the month, the countryside is covered in a gorgeous green color and you can spot beautiful flowers blooming – roses, sage, wildflowers, red poppies… By the end of May, however, all the green starts turning into that yellowish tone that we have grown so accustomed to associate with Tuscany in the Summer months!

While touring around this charming italian region, one cannot help but notice the various quaint houses with their long brick patios lined with oversized clay vases. These patios are often where family dinners and other festivities are held. You can find everyone celebrating around a bountiful table and sharing the delicious Tuscan cuisine.

If you wish to channel Tuscany’s landscape and ambiance into your Spring or Summer wedding, then keep reading…

The first step, is perhaps to select your wedding colors. For this theme you can pick bold shades – think of the yellows of the sunflowers and grass, the bright green of the tree leaves, the reds of the poppies and clay bricks and the blues and purples of the wildflower fields!

For the venue, I would choose between a rural area with plenty of bright green grass or maybe hay bales (if you are thinking of having your wedding closer to the end of the Summer!) or a private house, library or museum, with a great patio resembling the old italian villas.

Your portraits are most likely going to be the pictures you are going to have on display in your house during all the years to come. So, you want to make sure you use the wonderful Spring and Summer sunshine on those photos.

When it comes to designing the reception dinner, start by deciding on the type of tables you would like to have. I suggest one long table or maybe an L-shaped table design. To achieve this look, you can line rectangular tables that fit 8 people into a long line. Decorate the tables with colorful flower centerpieces. Use all the flowers in season, especially the wildflowers as they are fairly inexpensive and perfect for this purpose. For place settings, I suggest you stick the guest names into apples, lemons or even corks.

Light is always one of the most important aspects of any wedding reception – it can literally make or break the whole experience. To really bring that Tuscan ambiance to your party, set up cafe lights crossing all the way on top of the dinner table.

tuscany food montage Cake centralNew England Country RentalsSociety brideancora del chiantiImagery ImmaculateImagery Immaculate

If you are leaning on having a family style dinner, a fantastic idea is to use wine barrels and wooden boards as a make shift buffet table. It looks fantastic and original! You can place the “tables” under a tree and hang mason jars filled with lights to create the perfect mood.

Serve traditional Italian dishes for dinner, they are delicious and loved by most. Plus, you can easily have vegetarian options as well. Make sure, your caterer works with the freshest ingredients! Olive oil, bread, tomatoes, cheese, meats, pasta and of course red wine are all staples of this cuisine!

Don’t forget dessert! Tiramisu is my personal favorite :) And when it comes to picking your wedding cake, check out the one in the picture above. It is a marble three tiered cake decorated with grapes made of sugar. It’s absolutely magnificent and very fitting for this theme.

A cute party favor, and that guests will probably also find really useful, is a tiny bottle of extra virgin olive oil in a lovely bottle!

tuscany bride Anna CampbellElizabeth MessinaKate Moss Wedding – John Galliano dressSwanslandingTecpetajaphotoWeddings Vintage

For the bride, I would choose a sleek wedding gown with plenty of dainty embellishments such as lace and golden or pearl embroidery.

Vintage veils with intricate hand-stitched lace are stunning and would look wonderful for this style of wedding. Another fabulous idea is wearing a headpiece like the golden flower headband or the vintage tiara above.

And, of course, for the bouquet, sunflowers are my first choice! Include red flowers and some greenery to add dimension and color!


Nail colors for your Spring wedding!



Butter London – “Molly Coddled”OPI – Brazil collection “Where did Suzy’s man go?”Rimmel – “Lemon Drop”OPI – Brazil collection “Kiss me I am Brazilian”OPI – “My chihuahua bites”Chanel 527 “Nouvelle Vague”

A new season has arrived and once more Beija-flor Events is bringing you suggestions on what shades to paint your nails during these months. Whether you are in a wedding or attending a wedding, playing with nail color and accessories is a great way to show your style. Spring is the season when flowers are in bloom, so we are taking inspiration from nature and choosing light and fun colors. Pastels are always a season’s favorite and this year, in particular, lavender and purple shades are in!

Interview with Wedding Photographer Bella Wang



Want to find out more about wedding photography? What are the things to look for when hiring your wedding photographer? What can you do to have those perfect photos on your wedding day? To answer these questions, Beija-flor Events met with Bella Wang, a prominent wedding photographer working in the Greater Boston area.

She talked about her love of photography, fashion, design and pretty things and how at every wedding she gives it all to get that perfect shot.

“It’s like you are going to war. Every weekend, is game time, you have your bag of tricks, all your skills, everything you learned during your lifetime and career and you bring it all that day. Afterwards, you are exhausted and sleep for 9 hours, but then you do it all again the next day!”

  • What made you become interested in photography?

Basically, since I was a kid I always loved art and documenting things. And because I have a very bad memory, photography was a great way I could capture those moments in time and remember them.

As soon as I got my first paycheck, I went and got a camera. I started by documenting food – which I love! So, food blogging was the entryway of pursuing my love for photography.

  • Do you have a memory of your first wedding photo shoot? Tell us about it!

Yes, it was about 4 years ago. A really wonderful and generous couple took a chance on me. I was an unproven wedding photographer at the time as I worked mostly with children and babies.  They saw my work and loved what I did with light and how I captured moments.

The wedding was on the Cape and I really lucked out. The couple was super sweet and really down to earth. They had a very unique wedding that took place on the beach with mixed culture and heritage. They rented a beautiful house and the bride did all of the details on her own. I was really honored to have such a great couple to work with and a unique destination and venue to photograph for my very first wedding. They also gave me a lot of time for portraiture which I am very thankful for.

  • What do you enjoy the most about wedding photography?

My interaction with the couple! Getting them to really express who they are, making them feel comfortable in front of me, and being able to capture that on camera. Posed portraits only do so much, but bringing the essence of who the couple is as a couple, is what I really like about wedding photography. An important aspect of a wedding is the union of two people and their families. So many things happen during that day, and it’s my job to be that fly on the wall, to see things the couple may not have seen, or freeze a moment in time that they want to treasure for a lifetime.

Boston Wedding Gillian Chris 

  • How can you best describe your style?

I guess I would call it fun, bright and candid.  It is sort of an enhanced photojournalistic style because of my understanding of light, composition and choice of lens.  You take what you see in front of you and make it an even more beautiful version of that.  Candid is great, but for portraits, you have to know how to pose people so they look the best version of themselves. I work on little things like posture and make slight adjustments when I notice things are a little off, but without ruining the moment, of course!

  • How do you capture personal moments with such ease? Can you share with our readers some of the process?

You have to anticipate the moment before it happens! Noticing what is going to happen before it does and what is happening in the background at the same time is very important. You have to be ready, with all the correct settings before a moment unfolds. Weddings don’t come scripted and many things happen, so you have to know your camera inside and out and understand how to best frame what is going to happen to make it the most flattering. Experience is, of course, super important for that and not a lot of photographers work almost 7 days a week like I do. Children usually don’t listen to you and do their own thing. There is no second chance at creating a genuine expression.  This constant training 7 days a week gets me ready for shooting weddings!


  • What equipment do you usually use when photographing weddings?

I am a Nikon shooter. I have three camera bodies I work with. It is always good to have a back up and to have multiple lenses with different reaches on each camera, so depending on the circumstances you are ready at all times.  I shoot with zoom and prime lenses. Primes are great for low light conditions and when I can move around without obstruction. Zooms are good for when I am more restricted like during the ceremony, where one wants to get close, but not obtrusive. I also have flash for night time photography -night time portraits, cocktail hour, dancing etc… A lot of photographers are just natural light photographers and that is great when it’s sunny all the time. But, in New England the weather is very unreliable and sometimes you are restricted to indoors. This way, I am never limited by the amount of light there is, I can bring my own. I have my assistant (my husband :) !) who handles all of the lighting and for that I am very fortunate. It’s one aspect I don’t have to worry about.

Boston Wedding Gillian Chris

  • What are the things clients should do to work better with their photographer?

Be upfront about everything including details and schedules. Know exactly what you want and let the photographer know what that is. Communication is key! As a photographer, I want to understand your aesthetic sense, what are the important details you have put so much effort into planning, who are the most important people on the wedding day, so I can document everything and deliver exactly what you want. I don’t want to miss anything and, because of that, I have a questionnaire that goes out to every couple I work with, so we can all be on the same page when the wedding day comes.

Another important thing is to share the timeline with your photographer. Often times, timelines are completely unattainable or unrealistic. It is usually your first wedding whereas I have been to a lot of events, weddings, and portraits and know that things don’t ever go as smoothly as one thinks. It is not just 10 min on Google maps, it’s 10 min to forget and retrieve your purse and then 10 min to get in the car and then 20 min because of a detour and traffic so it is important to budget in extra time.

  • What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?

Weddings are sometimes stressful and tense.  So, it is always great to diffuse those situations and make people feel at ease. It is very important to make sure you have the right photographer for you! You should not hire someone who stresses you out, that is not flexible or who is limited by certain things like shooting outdoors only or shooting with great light only. You also want a photographer who can deal with people easily as there are many different personalities present on the wedding day.  Read reviews and see what others have had to say about your photographer -you’re hiring a person, not just an artist.


  • How can a couple plan their wedding to get better photos?

Timeline is really important! Understanding when the best light of the day is, and making sure we make the best of that light. I always tell couples if they are planning on getting married at sunset, that portraits after that point aren’t necessarily going to be the best photos, because they have used up the best light for the ceremony. If couples are willing to be non-traditional, a first look is always an option. I never push it on people, but I do suggest it as an option. We can always do nighttime portraits but, of course, nothing beats the sun; that is always the most flattering and most beautiful light! You know those sun drenched photos you always see on Pinterest and Blogs? They are usually taken with beautiful California sun at sunset and in New England you don’t always get that, so you have to work with what you have. I am willing to do whatever I can to get those portraits from the limitations I’m given.

  • What do you think about having a second shooter/assistant?

I shoot most of the weddings by myself, so I can definitely handle it but I do recommend a second shooter though if you have a very large wedding; meaning if you are approaching 200 people.  A different perspective is also appreciated by many couples. It  provides for multiple locations to be covered at once -I can only do so much as a single person.  I don’t think it should be the defining reason why you hire a photographer, as the primary photographer is the one who is doing the processing of the images and is going to be the strongest voice for telling the story that day. The second photographer should be seen as a supplementary different perspective on the day.

I do maybe 3 weddings a year with a second shooter. And, as a photographer, when hiring a second shooter, I only hire someone I trust to work alongside me – I like to know who this person is going to be. It is not always available but if you request that ahead of time I definitely work towards getting you that second shooter.


  • Do you have an artist who was an inspiration to you?

I love fashion photography. I grew up reading my Mom’s Vogue and I fell in love with the work of Annie Liebovitz. I try to incorporate a sense of fashion flair into my wedding photography. I love it when a girl brings a really unique dress and I can use the lines of the dress and really make it work. It helps affect posing and gives me inspiration.

In terms of wedding photography, Marcus Bell is pretty insane. I like the way he sees a scene and captures it. He is in Australia so, it does have gorgeous rolling fields with sunsets and horses running around to work with, but, I still think he is brilliant. Also, Zach and Jody Gray have a great style, very rock star like, and I enjoy that. I try to take little nods from different inspirations and incorporate that into my work so I don’t do one stodgy style necessarily throughout.

If I sense a couple is a certain way, I try to rock that look. For example, last year, a bride had a really cool sexy red Chinese style dress and the line was great to rock some star poses, so I used a lot of studio lighting for some of her shots. With more traditional dresses, I go more the traditional route and make things look dreamier with more light cascading in.


  • What is different about shooting Destination weddings? Is there anything the couple should consider about their photos?

I have actually done quite a few destination weddings. It has limiting factors. For example, the amount of lighting that you can bring on a plane is small, but the point of a destination wedding is that those places have great light and beautiful background anyway, so you don’t really have to bring much to enhance it.

Each and every time I have shot a destination wedding I have influenced certain aspects of the wedding; like whether or not the timeline works, or if the location of the ceremony is good.  It’s important to get a photographer who can think quickly. Some beautiful parts of the destination are not necessarily the best in camera and the photographer knows how it photographs. I follow the light and I follow the architecture, and that is how I get a pretty picture. So, it is always a good idea to fly the photographer in a couple of days ahead of time to do some scouting.

Be organized, there are usually multiple weddings at the destination and you don’t want the parties to clash while choosing the same location to do portraits. Also, be aware that there are other people on the same beach, so make sure you get a photographer that knows how to frame it so it looks like you are on a private beach. I shoot everything in camera, so if I see someone on the background, I will change my angle and do whatever it takes to make sure that this person is not on the photo, instead of editing him or her out afterwards. On my destination photos, there are many people on the beaches, but you never see any of them on the photos. It’s all because of angling. I have a shot of a couple standing on a cliff side and they were surrounded by beach chairs, but you cannot tell. This other great shot taken on top of the seaside rocks, made me go in the ocean, water up to my armpits, holding my camera with the tide coming in because I wanted the shot. I am hardcore!


  • Tell us 3 things about yourself that are unrelated to photography!

I like food, eating it and cooking it. My kitchen is a little small but I make yummy food! I used to cook a lot, until recently. I like to try different recipes. I find it very relaxing, because I have a list of ingredients, a list of steps to execute. I do what they tell me and it comes out perfectly. I can control things in my kitchen, unlike in real life. It is my controlled chaos!

I also like design whether it is furniture, architecture or clothing. Lines are very important to me, and so are the contrasts and negative spaces. I like pretty things!

I also like movies. I like movies a lot. My favorites are action, horror and sci-fi but they have to have something unique to say and a unique way of saying it. Even horror has to have a beauty of showing something that is scary. Like Pan’s Labyrinth – it is gorgeous, eerie and creepy. Cinematography has to be on point, the use of shadow and light. I like it when movies take me out of my current world and blow my mind!

I love traveling as well…oh! 3 things right?! It’s hard to pick just 3! I like pretty things!


Check more of Bella Wang’s gorgeous work at her website: