Un-Veiling… the World of Wedding Headwear

So you have found the perfect dress, the shoes, you even picked out a garter, but you still have to top it off. There are endless options when it comes to veils and hair adornments, and the good news is that you can make almost anything go. (I mean…Carrie Bradshaw wore a BIRD in her hair in the Sex and the City movie.)


Let’s start with the traditional choice. A veil used to be used to hide the brides face until she took her vows, now it’s become a wedding staple with plenty of styles to choose from. Many little girls dream of the dramatic train and cathedral veil dragging behind them when they walk down the aisle. While this is incredibly dramatic and ethereal, we recommend that anyone who has a veil of this length remove it for the ceremony, for safety. Other classics include the fingertip (that’s where the veil falls), elbow (again), and birdcage (this has had a huge surge in popularity due to the vintage wedding trend, and it’s no muss factor.) Most of these choices are fastened to some sort of hair piece which brings us to our next section…

Headbands, Jeweled Combs, and Tiara’s (Oh my)

Who doesn’t dream of being a pretty princess on their wedding day? We all know that we are going to try on at least ONE sparkly crown during our search, and some of us may even buy it. There are a wide range of styles for you to choose from, but we have to stress that you consider the weight of the piece before you commit to it. Many a beautiful bride has fallen victim to a splitting headache due to bobby pins digging in her scalp in order to help hold the mass of her headwear. You should also make sure to consult your stylist, and bring your veil and other accessories to your styling consultation, in order to get the full picture.

Fresh Flowers

“Nope, not just for hippies Granny.”

There is nothing lovelier than a natural beauty with a simple flower in her hair. Really. She looks at ease and simple in the best possible way. We love seeing brides don flowers as accessories, even in winter weddings. The only advice we have is to make sure that your choice of flower goes with your wedding. (Don’t where a purple orchid if you only have orange and green lilies in your bouquet.) Also make sure that you have again practiced with your stylist beforehand to make the day of nice and easy.

In the end you could choose to wear nothing in your hair and you won’t be any less bridal. Like we always stress, this wedding is about what you want, and if you want Julie Andrews’ fifty foot train from Sound of Music (tear*) go for it! If you want to switch styles between the ceremony and reception, do it! Just have fun and be comfortable, because no matter what he won’t be able to keep his eyes off of you.

Happy Planning!



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Clouds can be a Brides Best Friend

For those Brides worried about cloudy skies on their Wedding day, don’t fret, there is a silver lining… and it turns out it’s the clouds themselves.

These puffy wonders are a great help to us photographers, acting as natural diffusers that will soften the light on your face. There are numerous benefits to gray skies when you are shooting outdoors. Less heat means less perspiration, less light means less squinting and less shadows on your face.

Often times when the sun is high and bright, we have to scout out areas where we can easily manipulate the light. On a cloudy day we have a lot more freedom in choosing outdoor spots to shoot. This way we have more time to play with poses and just have fun!

So for our brides, don’t fret if you have clouds in the forecast, you will still get the pictures of your dreams. Rain or Shine.

Happy Planning!


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Spread the Love – One Note at a Time

Our gorgeous arrangement from ChaLor!

Friday was one of those days, not a great day, but not a bad day. I was in a little bit of a funk when a beautiful display of flowers arrived from Cheryl Orlowski of Cha-Lor Flowers, a lovely woman I had worked with this past fall. The flowers were breathtaking, but it was her note that really choked me up.

It was such a nice feeling, receiving a note like that. Handwritten letters are becoming more and more rare today, which is exactly why I find them so important. Instead of shooting a text, or sending an email, you can make a special statement with a small piece of paper and a few strokes of a pen.

So this year instead of running to Hallmark, or making a grand gesture, try and send a sweet handwritten token to the person you are thinking about. It can really brighten their day.

Happy Writing!


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Party for a Cause!

As our website mentions, we donate to number of causes, PAWS being one we are very passionate about. The work that they do is essential to the animal community in Chicago. We were excited to hear about their charity event coming up “Animal Magnetism”. As it says on their website;

“Hosted by 103.5 KISS-FM Morning Show’sBrotha’ Fred and Angi Taylor, this pet-friendly evening is the perfect setting to connect with friends and furry loved ones while enjoying an open bar, dinner, doggie buffet, dancing, and a one-of-a-kind silent auction. All proceeds go directly to the animals!”

This event is going to be so much fun, and it gives to a great cause. If you are going to party, it might as well be for charity! Check out the site for more details!


Happy Wagging!


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Adventures in Bridesmaid-ing ~ Dress Shopping

Happy February Everyone!

For all of you that relish in every last detail of wedding drama, or those that are planning yourselves, do we have a treat for you!

One of the overlooked perspectives in many weddings is that of the bridesmaid. Recently there has been a surge of popularity in entertainment celebrating the tradition (ie the movie Bridesmaids, all of TLC, etc) but much of the experience is grossly exaggerated. It became evident that our new studio assistant Jackie had no grasp on the reality of being a member of a bridal party when she talked about her fear of thousand dollar trips, and ridiculous fashion. So as she goes through the journey of her first wedding party experience, she is going to check in on what she learns…

Hi Everyone!

I’m Jackie….

I used to always complain that I was the only person in my entire family to never be in a wedding party. All of my cousins got to wear the adorable little tuxedoes and flower girl dresses with the crowd oohing and ahhing over their utter cuteness. Fast forward ten years, and it is finally happening. I doubt I will get the gushing over my cuteness factor, but at least I’ll be able to enjoy the cocktails J

My beautiful cousin Jessica is getting married to her long time sweetheart Dave this fall and she has asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. I was simultaneously overjoyed… and totally terrified. I admit it sounds stupid, but I have heard the horror stories of bridesmaids dressed in neon taffeta and brides gone crazy. OK so maybe I watch too much TLC, but regardless I was undeniably nervous, and my first event was the one I was really anxious about….. dress shopping.

I should mention that there are five members of the female bridal party Jessica (the bride), Ashley (her sister and maid of honor), Patti (her best friend since birth), Mandy (her other “BFFL”), and me, Jackie (the cousin that lives in Chicago). So as the only out-of-towner, I wanted to make sure that every moment I was able to help I could. So I went into this dress fitting ready to smile at ANYTHING they brought out…

In my worst nightmares I was going to be wearing orange satin. Let me clarify, an orange satin dress can be gorgeous, just not on me. This wasn’t a completely irrational fear due to the fact that our high school colors (Jess and Dave met in high school) were orange and brown. These colors are also very popular for October weddings. The satin part of my vision was simply because it would have been the worst possible fabric for me too. (Satin shows sweat for those of you who don’t know, and I get nervous.)

Luckily, my smile could be genuine. The dresses that Jessica had selected were adorable, and cranberry (yes!). Even with the initial selection being completely acceptable, we continued to shop and find even better dresses. (I even tried on an orange dress to find I didn’t look bad at all, who knew?)  I do have to say that designers are kind of evil when it comes to sizing these things, making the number up to three sizes larger than what you would wear in any other clothing. It is also a HUGE challenge finding a dress that is cut to flatter different body types. Between us girls we have Patti the pixie, Mandy the busty, and me the one with a boot-ay. As you can imagine, finding one dress for the three of us was a bit of a challenge. We managed to succeed in a relatively fast manner, choosing a lovely A line chiffon frock and breaking all of my qualms of being in a perpetual episode of Bride-zillas.

What We Can Learn:

Overall the experience was quite pleasant and nothing like what my overactive imagination had thought it to be. I do have to say for anyone that is in the process of planning a wedding, that the more distinct a picture you have of their look (long dress vs short dress, fabric, color, etc.), the easier it is for your family and friends to help you find it. Jessica had a very clear grasp on how she wanted her wedding party to look, and it makes the process of shopping much easier. If you know what is important to you and what isn’t, your bridesmaids can help you fill in the blanks. This gives your girls a sense of achievement, and helps lift some of the weight off of your shoulders.

Until Next Time!


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The First Look

The tradition of the bride and groom waiting to see each other until the ceremony is getting a bit of a makeover. Many couples are opting for a sneak peek of their future spouse before the wedding, breaking the old superstition.

While some are still very hesitant toward this First Look trend, the ones that embrace it have reaped the benefits. Unless you are the type to walk out of the way when you see a black cat, or a ladder, you might want to consider the first look for yourself…

Reason 1: Scheduling

There is always that hour that the bridal party disappears to take photos. We recommend doing this before the ceremony instead of after. You are paying to give your family and friends a great time, you might as well join them. By getting these first look photos, you have eliminated the need to sneak away. You have fresh hair and makeup, the light is better (especially for us that live in the Midwest), and you have more energy and focus. By allowing yourselves to see each other you can get a whole heck of a lot done, and enjoy yourselves later.

Reason 2: Privacy

Sometimes a wedding can overwhelm the actual purpose of the event, to celebrate the love you have for your partner. Among the parade of friends and family it can be hard to find a minute away. This ensures that you have a moment alone together. Another upside to privacy is the chance to openly cry hysterically if you are a very emotional person, and you won’t have to concentrate on walking straight.

Reason 3: Nerves

Stage fright is ranked relatively high on the greatest fear scale for a lot of people. Seeing the face you find the most comfort in (without a hundred other eyes staring) will actually help you calm down. When you get to the ceremony you will have a strong sense of why you are there, and that excitement of knowing what awaits you at the end of the aisle. You will actually enjoy walking down the aisle more, because you have already gotten it out in private.

Reason 4: PHOTOS!

As the person taking the pictures, I can tell you that you will never get the chance to catch a moment like that one ever again. Not during the rest of the wedding, not during the rest of your life. The intimacy, the excitement, the LOVE is overwhelming. These are the photos that you will look at in 50 years and remember the butterflies and exhilaration that filled your entire body. Really it’s some of the best candid shots of the day.

You can also see how having two photographers comes in handy at your wedding. They can catch different angles of the same moment!

Whether or not you decide to take part in the first look, the first time seeing your fiancé before taking your vows will be a blissful moment. These photos have a lot of benefits to them, but at the end of the day it’s your choice. When it comes to your wedding, you should always go with what makes you happy and comfortable.

Happy Planning!


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New Studio!!!

We could not be more excited about the recent make over to our studio. After some serious planning, a few trips to Ikea, and some good old fashioned elbow grease, we are proud to present the new and improved DeAwna McGinley Photography Studio!

2012 is bringing a lot of great things for our business, and we are so incredibly grateful. Every single day I am reminded of how much I love what I do by the incredible couples we get to work with, the images and memories we create, and the gift that knowing that I get to share one of their happiest days right along with them. This new studio marks another milestone for our business, and I want to thank every single person who has inspired and helped us get this far. Here’s an quick look through the magic of iphone and its only complete with Starbucks and Sophie!!!



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~Diamonds in the Rough~

Engagement and wedding rings represent the personalities of a bride and groom. Unlike the cake they cut, or the gown and tux they don on their wedding day, these precious pieces will forever be worn to represent their love…. So you better make sure you love that ring as much as the person that is putting it on your finger.

If you don’t happen to fall into the classic pronged diamond category, do we have a find for you! Like the maharajas of the past, you can select a diamond in its natural form set in a gorgeous modern and exceptional design.

Diamond In the Rough is a company that has been creating beautiful pieces since 2003, using uncut diamonds as the focal point and creative jewelry design to best accent the stone’s specific beauty. These diamonds are guaranteed conflict-free, they generally have more carat weight due to the lack of shaping, and they are “as unique as a fingerprint”. They now have a bridal line that features rings that are aimed at a compromise between the traditional wedding / engagement ring and their signature style.

This is listed as the Solitaire Style

This jewelry is breathtaking in photos and in person. The company has a great selection of stones and pieces suited to very different tastes. If you are shopping for the ring that you plan on wearing for the rest of your life, you MUST take a look!


Happy Shopping!


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Wedding Dress Trends! The Highs and Lows

TREND ALERT! We are obsessing over these high-low hemlines! They are incredibly fun, and terribly chic.

This style has been trying to emerge victorious for quite a while, but this seems to be its year! With designers such as Tara Keely, Oscar de la Renta, and one of our personal favorites, the lovely Monique Lhuillier featuring pieces in their latest collections, the high-low hemline is rising in popularity.

Wedding dresses aren’t the only place that this trend is blowing up.  Charlize Theron donned this style at this year’s Golden Globes, and she looked stunning! With legs like that, you ought to show them off.

What is so fab about this cut is it gives you the drama of a long flowing train and the sassiness of showing a little leg (or a lot depending on the dress). The style is quite versatile, with designers using sheer tulle to satin in the creation of the train. This way you can make the look work for your personality.

This Monique Lhuillier is a nice compromise if you don't want the "mini with a train" look.

On a photography note, a dress like this has plenty of benefits, but also a few negatives. On the pro side of things, these gowns provide endless interesting options for shooting. Each angle will make a different statement and very fun posing for the bride. One negative is the risk of tripping. Because the front is short, many brides forget that they have yards of fabric dragging behind them. One quick turn has tripped up many a lovely lady.

So whether you are super trendy, or looking for something super special for your big day, try one of these little beauties on. Your hemline won’t be your only high, but it should be your only low!

Happy Planning!


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Prints Charming

You Planned. You Vowed. You Partied…. And now, after what felt like an eternity (because somehow those are the longest few weeks EVER!), your photos are ready! – Hooray!!!  You anxiously click the link your photographer sends you and…… You laugh, you cry and they are everything you ever hoped they would be! You immediately share them with all of your family and friends, anxious to get their responses to these works of art. After hours of admiration you have some idea of your favorite images. Now on to the task of printing…

Although most printing is pretty straightforward and trustworthy (especially if you go with your photographer’s printer) there are a couple of tips that might help you get the best product possible.There are endless options for printing images in today’s world: books, albums, canvas prints, thank you cards… you can print on specialty papers like linen and metallic or even on metal!

Today, we will focus on two things to consider when ordering simple individual prints.

Photo Sizing

When deciding about larger prints like an 8×10 or an 8×12, you may feel the urge to go with the something more common like the 8×10, but what you might not realize is that images are shot in an 8×12 format. So when you order the 8×10, you are cutting into the quality of the image’s resolution and  you are cutting off part of the photographer’s framing. We know that sometimes you just don’t have a choice and you just have to crop a picture for that gorgeous 8×10 frame that was wedding gift, but if you haven’t purchased your frame yet for your favorite picture, consider finding a frame that’s an 8×12 to get the full effect of the photo!

Keep to this 8×12 ratio when printing a large artistic print as well. Large format prints are much more of an investment(and when we say large format – it usually means anything larger than 8×12 or 11×14). Larger prints and framing are both considerably more expensive but they can make for a beautiful piece of art on your wall! If you are investing in a large piece of framed art, and are not sure what size to go with, clearly you must start with what size your wall is and how much room you want it to take up, but as you narrow it down to a few sizes, try to find a size ratio equal to the 8×12. This will help you avoid cropping the image and keep all of the quality of your photographers work!

Print Providers

Be wary of who prints your photos. After spending all of that time and energy on making sure you found the perfect photographer, it would be wasteful to have a sub-standard product due to bad printing. Using drugstores photo centers  may seem like a great idea budget-wise, but we must warn you that you get what you pay for. Assuming they get the color right in the first place, over time (and unfortunately not that much time), you will notice the colors start to fade and loose their vibrancy. The black lines start to fade and depending on the photo paper the image will start to get usually either a red or green hue. Trust your photographer and their printer. We are very picky about our printers for a reason. We use companies whose sole purpose and existence is printing quality, lifelong photographs and photographic products. So while they might be a greater cost financially, their work is better and will last through the years.

Even in the world of Pinterest, facebook, and every other social networking addiction, having physical copies of your images of the most important day of your life is essential. You may be tempted to order a disc of digital negatives and leave it at that but there is a nostalgia and comfort when you hold a keepsake of your actual wedding day in your hand or hang it on your wall. We all remember digging through the old photos of our loved ones at their happiest moments, and anticipating how great our day will be. Take the time and care necessary to preserve and share these memories with the love that they deserve.

Happy Printing,


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