The latest in the McClain Studio

I’m in denial that it’s February already!  January simply flew by yet was complete insanity for us over here at MMP!  Some awesome highlights to share from the month was our office move!  We’re blessed to share an office with the highly talented individuals at Klock Entertainment.  With Klock Entertainment growing leaps and bounds (which is fantastic!) a new office space was a major need!   Our new home is located off Crooked Hill Road, which we’re in the process of redecorating and classing up and of course making room for all of our client’s gorgeous mugs!  I also have to add that we’re basically neighbors with another amazing team of wedding professionals from Unique Limousine!

Speaking of super sexy must rent vehicles, we had the privilege of photographing some of Unique Limousine’s beautiful new fleet at Volo Aviation.  Aside from the amazing folks who own and work here, we simply love Unique for the care and professionalism they take with each of their clients, creating relationships and making both business and wedding travel easy!

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The team also met up and traveled in style aka via the Unique Limousine Stretch Hummer for our team post holiday event!  All photographers and their supporting spouses loaded up for a brewery/winery tour to Snitz Creek Brewery, Cullari Winery, and Hershey Brewery/Winery.  It was awesome to kick back and relax with our amazing team and of course have a few samples of some great local wine and beer!

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Lastly we’ve been hitting up some of the local bridal shows!  If you’ve missed us be sure to stop out next Sunday, February 9th to the Blue Ridge Country Club for the Weddings In Style by Premier Bride wedding show or the AACA Wedding Show on February 23rd!  If you have a pup definitely visit us for some dog friendly organic treats!

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And lastly for the month we were notified that we’ve won the 2014 Couples Choice Award which racks in at 4 years in a row!  Thanks to our fantastic clients for the reviews, support, and referrals!  Without you we wouldn’t be where we are today!

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Tips for Bridal Show Season

Ah.. just as wedding season is closing, so begins Bridal Show/ Booking season.  Many wedding professionals, including yours truly, will be setting up booths at local bridal shows in hopes of meeting great couples and filling in the few remaining dates for the current year before wedding season is yet again upon us.  When we first started setting up for bridal shows, I’m not going to lie.. I was nervous!  I have to talk and “sell ourselves” to how many people?!  I remember attending a few shows when we were getting married and it was so overwhelming!

Over the past years, I’ve made it one of our goals to be the opposite of a standard, typical wedding show vendor.  Many times if you come up to talk with us, one of the first things I’ll say is “I’m a photographer, not a salesperson”.  There’s nothing worse than listening to a crappy sales pitch from anyone when you either have no idea what the product or service is or are no longer in the market for said item.  We also attempt for practical, yet fun “forget-me-nots” aka show schwag. Lastly the decor.  With each new year of shows, we aspire to do something a little different in our decor.  What we didn’t realize was the inspiration that our tiny detailed touches would make on attendees. I hope we can keep inspiring some folks with each show we participate in!  So with all the gray area of bridal shows, I wanted to share some tips before heading out and things to keep in mind while you’re there.

1. Wedding Only Email Address and Pre-Printed Labels.  When registering for a bridal show, all of the vendors, interested or not, do receive your contact information and you’ll most likely know when the list was shared due to your inbox being filled faster than a coffee cup at Starbucks.  Many vendors and wedding planning sites highly recommend to set up a wedding only email address.  Speaking from experience, we had one vendor who is no longer around, contact us well after our wedding date despite the unsubscribe and “Please stop sending us information” emails.  Preprinted labels will save you a huge chunk of time filling out giveaway forms which most booths have.  In most cases, your name, phone number and that wedding only email address is usually all that is needed, however we’ve seen address labels used as well.  You could also save yourself from hand cramps by designating your MOH or mother as the Entry Form Diva… don’t forget their sash and crown of course!

2. Do Your Research Ahead of Time.  Most shows offer a website or some sort of listing of which vendors are attending.  If on the hunt for a DJ, check out their facebook, blogs, or website in advance to start narrowing down your “must see” list at the show.  Also highly, highly, highly recommended to check out reviews on vendors regardless of attending the show or staying home in your PJ’s.  Reviews are fantastic, usually raw, responses from previous couples who have booked the vendor.  On most sites, vendors can only dispute or file complaints on reviews, yet cannot have a bad one removed.

3. Be Leery of “Today Only” Show Specials.  We’ve never understood why some vendors choose the “Book today and save… or Book today and we’ll….”.  Today only specials, wedding show or not, is not something that we believe in.  You’re not purchasing a toaster, you’re making a huge investment in each other with a celebration of your love with family and friends.  We recommend regardless of which vendor you’re shopping for, interview multiple for comparison.  It’s also easy to get hooked on looking for the lowest cost vendor, however the service standards, overall product, and your experience may differ across the board.  Regardless of vendor, your search should lead you to professionals that not only match or compliment your style, but match your personalities.  This is especially true for venues, coordinators or planners, photographers, and DJ’s- those that you spend a large chunk of your actual wedding day with.

4. Have fun.  Taste the snacks, sip the wine, and eat the cake even if you have a caterer.  Attend the fashion shows, they’re great to start getting an idea of the newer styles.  Soak in the sample decor and flowers, who knows what inspiration you may find.  Lastly smile!  No one likes a grumpy bride:)

I hope you may have found some insight in our show tips and if heading out be sure to stop by and say hello!  See below for where we’re at this winter!

January 19- Unveiled, Clarion Hotel, New Cumberland

January 26- Best Wedding Showcase, Lancaster Marriot Convention Center

February 9- Weddings In Style, Blue Ridge Country Club, Harrisburg

February 26- The Elegance Behind the Bride, AACA Museum, Hershey

AACA Wedding Show

One of the absolute best wedding shows in the area is the AACA Wedding Show held annually in February.  It’s the perfect, uncommon setting for meeting with unique couples looking for something a little different than most traditional style weddings.  We’ve met so many amazing people in the past few years and always have a blast networking with other great professionals in the area.  To our surprise and excitement, Nuria, who is hands down one of the best venue coordinators we’ve worked with, contacted us to photograph promotional images for the upcoming wedding show featuring a mascaraed theme.

We set up with one of our sweetest couples, Tina & Adam, from 2012 to model, obtained a gorgeous dress from Taylored for You Bridal Salon, and had the talented Chelsea Nolan of Makeup by Chelsea rock out Tina’s hair and makeup.  Along with a beautiful arrangement created by Leah McMaster of Weddings and Blooms and some magical lighting from Klock Entertainment, we had a premier line up for a perfect session, however mother nature thought differently with a very cold, very breezy evening.  Despite the weather challenge, Tina and Adam were amazing sports and we captured the needed images!

Venue: AACA Museum

Dress: Taylored for You

Makeup/Hair: Makeup by Chelsea

Lighting: Klock Entertainment

Flowers: Weddings and Blooms

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Heading to a Bridal Show? How about for Free?!

Got Wedding Planning on the Mind?! How would you like 2 free passes to the AACA Wedding Show on February 19th? Tell us how your fiancee proposed.. or for the bold, how you proposed! Post your engagement story to facebook and the best story (voted by the number of likes/comments on your post) will win two free passes to the show! Please share your stories on the MMP wall or reply to this post! Stories accepted now through January 20th. Winners announced January 23rd! Want to learn more about the show: http://www.aacamuseum.org/weddingshow/bride-reservation.aspx