Menagerie Presents: Justine Bursoni

Meet: Justine Bursoni

I am a candid, fresh, and natural light wedding photographer in Chicago, Illinois and Brooklyn, New York. Being creative keeps me alive and excited for life.

In addition to taking pictures, I am: the owner of The Made Fest, a handmade + vintage festival; a co-founder of Smile Politely, a Champaign-Urbana local culture magazine and The Pygmalion Festival with my husband, Seth; a co-owner of The Accord, a live music venue; a master gardener; an epicurean; and a mother.

What brought you to the wedding industry?

I came to the wedding industry through working in concert photography. They are quite similar actually. The liveliness and the camaraderie between those in attendance is like nothing else.

What is your favorite moment at a wedding?

I love the huge burst of energy that happens during at the end of the ceremony with their kiss. Everyone is exhilarated and ready to celebrate. So, selfishly, when I get to finally celebrate with my clients is my second favorite moment. It means I can put down my equipment, go in for a big, sweaty hug, and hit the dance floor with them both.

Justine Bursoni - 501 Union Wedding with Allison and Beth Anne by Justine Bursoni Photography-6

What is the best part about your job?

Meeting new people with whom I might not have crossed paths. Celebrating (and dancing!) with my couple on the day of their wedding is absolutely the best.

Where do you draw inspiration from when preparing for each wedding?

I draw inspiration from the connection with my clients. Each couple I collaborate with brings a new dynamic to my proverbial table.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

I have no pretenses. I am who I am + you are who you are. I bet we have things in common that make us both laugh so hard, it hurts. And I lurve to laugh. (If you know the “lurve” reference, you’re tops in my book.)

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Presents: Alexis June Weddings

Alexis June Weddings is a husband and wife photography team based in NYC specializing in romantic, adventurous and authentic wedding photography that is full of heart and for ALL couples in Love.

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Meet: Brandi + Ryan

Meet Brandi: I was born and raised in a small farming community in Illinois. I got my start in photography as a journalist in the United States Air Force where I learned to shoot film. After moving all around the world the original contact sheets from my days at the Defense Information School are some of my most treasured pieces. I’m still obsessed with 35mm film photography and I carry it everywhere I go. I’m sensitive. A hopeless romantic. Fall in NYC is my favorite. My girls are my world. I love to travel and dream about living in Europe again. Pink is my favorite color, I love a good laugh and meeting new people.

Meet Ryan: I was born and raised in a Salt Lake City, Utah and have a completely different path to photography than Brandi. Opposites attract right? I got my undergrad at the University of Utah and my MBA from Notre Dame. I’m a sports guy – I watched the game with my dad growing up and needless to say, I can name 52,948,930 random facts about college football. Not really, but close. My favorite thing to photograph at weddings are the candid moments. Those moments when people don’t even realize the camera is around. The raw emotion on a wedding day gets me every time.

About us: We’re Brandi + Ryan, the husband-wife photographers behind Alexis June Weddings. So who is Alexis June? They are the two loves of our life, our daughters, Kierstyn {whose middle name is Alexis} and Kaija {who was born in June}. Two years ago we sold everything we own to pursue our dreams and move across the country to NYC. We’ve been married for ten years and still crazy in love. Ryan speaks Norwegian. Brandi loves everything about Norway. Ryan has his MBA from Notre Dame, but loves to cook. Brandi was a journalist in the United States Air Force and eats everything Ryan cooks. Together with our girls we live in Queens, NY and cherish every day together.

Being wedding photographers is an honor and a privilege, to be a part of one of the most important moments in a someone’s life is deeply personal. Capturing a couple’s love story together makes what we do even more special. We have laughed, we have cried and we have experienced those joyous moments when its more about two individuals joining as one and less about the details. It’s about the marriage. It’s about the future. Love is a gorgeous thing and we are truly passionate about what we do. We believe everyone has a story and it should be told.

This is our story, what is Yours?

What is your favorite moment at a wedding?

Brandi: My favorite moment is when a couple is pronounced married and they walk down the aisle together for the first time. The look, the excitement, the love. It gets me every single time!

What is the best part about your job?

Brandi: The best part of the job is getting to know the couples. I spent 15 years in Advertising and Marketing and pride myself on creating personal relationships. For us, it’s not about showing up on a couple’s wedding day and meeting them for the first time. We’re there well beyond that, from the maternity session to birth and even first birthdays. This is really the best job EVER!!!

Where do you draw inspiration from when preparing for each wedding?

We draw inspiration from movies, fashion, travel. To be able to just sit and observe the light, the sounds, the smells makes us better photographers and documentarians.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

We’re a husband and wife team and have been married for ten years.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Presents: Rima Brindamour

Meet: Rima Brindamour

I started photographing weddings in 2009 when all of my college friends started getting married. It started out as a side job and went full time in 2010 when I moved to NYC. Now I offer both photography and videography services and I launched my photo booth company (Brindamour Booth) earlier this year!

I seek the quiet, the simple, the soft.

Something I always try to do with my clients is give them a good 15 minutes where I’m not directing or interfering—but rather just allowing them to enjoy and appreciate each other on such a busy and hectic day. I want them to have some peace and quiet, a moment together where they can just breath and relax and think about what’s going on before it’s passed and they’ve missed it.

All that to say that I describe my style as intimate, calm, romantic, sensual, feminine, and most importantly, timeless. I love natural light, but I know how to use flash when the occasion calls for it. I like simple, non-distracting backgrounds that don’t take away from my clients. I am drawn to rustic, funky, crumbling spaces because I think they make my clients look shiny when photographed in front of them. My style is also very dependent on my clients—I like to learn as much about them as I can before and on their wedding day so as to ensure that their final images really reflect who they are as a couple.

What is your favorite moment at a wedding?

My favorite part of the wedding day is while the couple is getting ready. I love the anticipation and emotion in the room, and it’s an honor to be able to capture each little quiet moment.

What is the best part about your job?

Getting to be around people on one of the happiest days of their lives. I know we all say that, but it’s still true.

Where do you draw inspiration from when preparing for each wedding?

I like to get up early and find a spot near the venue where I can people watch and clear my mind of all the Pinterest-inspired poses. This helps to keep my portraits looking natural and authentic. I’ll then grab a coffee and walk around the area to familiarize myself with the way the light is hitting each tree, wall, or pathway so I’m prepared and know where the best spots are.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

I think my style is unique because I don’t follow trends and I choose to keep my work as timeless as possible. While some trends are tempting, I know in the end it’s going to make my work look dated in a few years and I prefer to offer my clients images that they will still be able to look at without cringing in five years.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Presents: Vessel Brooklyn

Menagerie has teamed up with Vessel Brooklyn for the #CreateLove campaign and we’re giving away the Ultimate Engagement Gift – Learn More! We’re excited to introduce the creative entrepreneur behind Vessel Brooklyn, Julia Burns-Alexander.


Vessel Brooklyn creates one-of-a-kind experiences and gifts that are curated to be both classic and sophisticated, yet unique & always on the cutting edge. Founder Julia Burns-Alexander brings over a decade of professional experience in planning, managing, and directing activities for public and private events to Vessel Brooklyn.

Meet: Julia Burns-Alexander

Julia Burns-Alexander brings over a decade of professional experience in planning, managing, and directing activities for public and private events to Vessel Brooklyn. She holds a BA in Theater Performance from The College of Charleston and then went on to hone her skills in NYC at venues such as The Bowery Hotel, The Park, and The Maritime Hotel, running functions for up to 1,400 guests. In addition to events, Julia’s inspiration for Vessel Brooklyn comes from a wide array of experience in production and the arts, through years of stage and costume design, theater direction, acting, visual artistry, and music video production. This multi-faceted background informs Vessel Brooklyn’s unique point of view, ensuring that all Vessels, Celebrations and Moments are thoughtfully curated with the highest attention to detail, yielding singular creations that are crafted with love and care. Each experience reflects her passion for the arts, and her expertise in marrying entertainment and the avant garde with true hospitality.

Julia

How did you get into your business? What inspired you to start your business?

When I was much younger, I was terrified of speaking in public. So, my parents forced me to take an acting class. It changed the trajectory of my life. Much to everyones surprise, my own included, I ultimately ended up falling in love with all aspects of theatre and the arts. I went on to study Theatre Performance at The College of Charleston, where I realized that not only did I love performance, but that production and design elements could be magical. I went on to direct shows, design costumes and sets, built props, and set lighting grids. Knowing that I wanted to pursue a life in the arts professionally, I picked up and moved to NYC with two suitcases and a dream.

Like many other young artists trying to build their careers, I always worked jobs in hospitality, quickly rising through the ranks of management and getting involved more and more in the events departments. Weddings and Special Events were the perfect fit for my varied skill set. Events started to feel like the greatest productions on earth, and when done well, created such a tremendous sense of joy for the participants that I couldn’t help but feel it myself. Weddings in particular really spoke to me and I loved being an instrument in helping a couple create some of their happiest moments.

As I became more heavily involved in events directorship, and working one on one with couples, I noticed that the items that they were looking for in terms of decor, styling, favors, and gifts, didn’t exist. They had to be imagined, designed, and built, based on what was important and meaningful to that particular couple. Once I started sourcing and producing these custom pieces, I came to feel that I could bring something truly unique and special to the table, by combining the various threads of my background experience with my own aesthetic point of view and Vessel Brooklyn was born.

What is your wedding must-have?

Authenticity. There is no one else out there like you, you are beautifully, wonderfully, exquisitely unique, so let’s celebrate that. My favorite weddings are weddings where the bride and groom have allowed their personalities and love for each other to shine throughout their day, leaving a lasting impression with their guests for years to come.

What recent or upcoming wedding trend are your most excited about and why?

A return to customization for sure! I see couples moving away from trying to recreate their version of a royal wedding or a picture perfect Pinterest page. I see more and more couples wanting a wedding that showcases who they are, while providing a fun experience for their guests that won’t look or feel dated. You see this in the evolving tablescapes. I’ve seen a real increase in the use of artisan ceramics and decor, with their raw, organic feel and textured surfaces, they work well in both modern and more industrial settings.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

I work with local artisans and craftspeople, sourcing small batch products as much as possible. By combining a keen eye for design with a genuine love of love, I strives to create gifts and experiences that are more than the sum of their parts. The vessels, and their contents, are treasures in themselves, meant to be reused or repurposed, always thoughtful, elegant, and full of whimsy.

What I consider to be the most unique aspect of my business was developed in the early stages of building Vessel. I created a series of simple questionnaires, based on the specified occasion, to give to my clients after they have placed an order for a custom gift or service. This is the absolute favorite part of my job. I find it fascinating. I can ask the same series of questions to 20 different people and get 20 different answers. No two questionnaires have ever been the same. The vessel that is curated is based 100% on the answers that are given to help me get a feel for the recipients likes and dislikes, possibly their favorite band, what they do for a living, or what their passions are.

I also love to integrate song lyrics, art work, or excerpts from a book or novel into these vessels . I want every vessel to tell it’s own story, in turn, ensuring that each custom vessel is just that, truly unique and one of kind, perfectly tailored to it’s recipient.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Partner: Kristen Poissant

Photography by Victoria Gloria

Kristen is a brand design stylist with over 10 years of experience in Creative Direction, Product Design, Creative Marketing and Photo Styling, under her sparkly belt. She has worked with a number of different clients from large multi-million dollar product based brands to small business owners. Kristen’s goal is to successfully build your business visually and cohesively through different means of product, services and social media.

Why do you believe design is becoming increasingly important for businesses?

Design and Brand Styling is a major player in the key to a successful business.

“Your brand identity should:
  • Authentically represent you and your business
  • Reflect your values & aspirations
  • Give you confidence
  • Resonate with the people that matter most
  • Be distinctive
  • Set you apart from your competitors
  • Help you get to where you want to be, faster
  • Be unique
  • Make your heart sing & your spirits sour
  • Embrace the power of color
  • Use type to add character & personality.”
– Fiona Humberstone

What design trends do you see becoming popular in the next few years? Which ones are your most excited about?

Personality in design is becoming increasingly important. This is done through color, pattern and texture. Branding is no longer just a logo but a suite of elements that leave a lasting impression.

Where do you draw inspiration from when working with each of your clients?

I love hearing clients back stories, most of the time this is where the heart of the company is born and creates the soul of what the branding can become.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

Having experience from large scale to small scale I’ve seen the full picture. I work from the bottom up, filling in holes my customers didn’t know they had in their branding to make them visually appealing and present a killer product.

What advice would you give small businesses and independent professionals?

Embrace social media! It has the potential to be your biggest social outreach and is a free marketing tool.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Partner: Nikki Nuckols

After many years of doodling all over every piece of paper I could get my hands on and even more years of rescuing every dog that I found roaming the neighborhood, no one was surprised when I created Doodle Dog Creative. With a background in strategic marketing, a history as an art director at various advertising agencies and a stint as an in-house webmaster I was able to offer my clients a one-stop-shop, and as they say the rest was history.

Today, Doodle Dog consists of a team of dedicated designers, developers and writers who have the capability to strategically design your brand identity and website, develop your web presence and help people find you online. We create smile-worthy concepts that capture personality and inspire brands.

Why do you believe design is becoming increasingly important for businesses?

A client no longer talks to someone as the first impression of a business. They no longer pick up the phone and decide whether or not they would like to work with you, they simply find your site online, browse a bit and in most cases, I believe have already made their mind up before contacting you.

The web has really changed the playing field, and put the power entirely in the clients hands.

What design trends do you see becoming popular in the next few years? Which ones are your most excited about?

I think classic, clean and crisp simplicity is really making a come back. Brides are in a hurry, browsing the work of a lot of different vendors. They want something that is easy to navigate, remember and understand at every touch point, from your website to your print collateral.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

Our in-house experience management technology. We provide each of our customers a login to their own personal account where they can always see the status of the project and notes we’ve included as well a place to list any revision feedback they may have for us and their photo and text content for their project.

We also provide all of our services in-house. All design, development, consulting, content generation and more is done with one of our team members.

What advice would you give small businesses and independent professionals?

Be true to yourself and your services. Don’t worry about constantly following the trends out there. This market is huge, and you’ll have more success working with the couples who you relate to and can be 100% comfortable with.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Partner: Kali Edwards

Kali Edwards is the founder and owner of June Mango, a boutique design studio specializing in branding, web design and wedding styling for creatives and couples. Kali studied Fine Arts in college and was always drawn to digital art. She spent several years as an agency graphic designer and art director, but knew she wanted to help others define themselves through intentional design. Kali has also launched her own Podcast: Engaged, the Podcast.

Why do you believe design is becoming increasingly important for businesses?

It’s the difference between looking professional and looking like it’s your hobby. And you deserve to make money doing what you love, and making sure you look the part is half the battle.

What design trends do you see becoming popular in the next few years? Which ones are your most excited about?

We’re in this amazing time of simplification. It’s really wonderful to see people stripping down to the core of what’s most important, and ditching the rest. This is so important for good design – it should tell a story or solve a problem clearly, without superfluous bells and whistles.

Where do you draw inspiration from when working with each of your clients?

I draw inspiration from my clients! If we’re working together, it’s because I am just as passionate about your business as you are. If I can get behind what you’re doing, the designs I create for you will be so much better, as they will reflect YOU!

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

June Mango offers a unique web design service that gets your website LIVE online in under a week! A customized SquareSpace website, which includes tailoring it specifically to your personal brand through fonts, colors, custom graphics and responsive, modern layouts. All without breaking the bank.

What advice would you give small businesses and independent professionals?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Your true self. People buy from people. This is why I feel so passionate about personal branding. A beautiful logo is great, but if it doesn’t reflect you and your business, you’re doing yourselves and your dream clients a disservice.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Partner: Eliza Gwendalyn

Photography by Jamie Lefkowitz

Eliza Gwendalyn is a full service design studio specializing in modern calligraphy and graphic design. Based out of New York with clients all over North America, Eliza combines a lifelong passion for type, beautiful hand lettering, watercolor painting & illustration that has developed throughout her life. She uses these skills to create unique embellished custom designs for weddings, events, and corporate clients. Eliza prides herself on being innovative and creative. She has a well-cultivated eye and finds inspiration from nature and the beauty that she discovers in everyday life. She is dedicated to crafting and producing products for weddings and events that are individually embellished with Swarovski crystals, heat embossed, and delicately glittered; that they become the gift themselves.

Since launching in 2012, Eliza Gwendalyn’s studio has morphed into a full service design house working with celebrity clients and fortune 500 companies to the everyday bride, bringing a unique handmade twist to all things paper. This expansion has allowed Eliza to take on more corporate jobs and licensing deals as well as hone in on her love for lettering and channel her ingenuity into logos, monograms, envelope addressing, and custom design suites for invitation companies and more.

Why do you believe design is becoming increasingly important for businesses?

Our society has become all about visuals. When I was a kid you would have to pick up a phone and dial your friends land line to see if they were available to hang out but now all you have to do is open an app and you can watch or see a photo of where they are and even what they are eating. Everything we do is based on what we see. Social media has a huge impact on majority of the world and the people who stay on top of the trends are the ones we consider ‘trendy’ i.e. the kardashians, sports players, fashion models, etc; with that being said, every brand has a tone and must keep their tone cohesive and strong or they fall behind the trend. To keep a following and increase your following you must create a consistent visual tone through design for your audience.

What design trends do you see becoming popular in the next few years? Which ones are your most excited about?

I can’t foreshadow the future I will leave that up to Anna Wintour, but what I can say is this, hand-lettering is VERY much on trend right now whether it is for a bar menu or a sweatshirt for nike or just simply for a wedding invite. Sadly, there is a lack of emphasis on design in school curriculums. I only hope we can continue to keep this special art of the past alive. I also hope pastels and sparkles take over the world because those two together or separate brighten up my day!

Where do you draw inspiration from when working with each of your clients?

I am very inspired by nature and the foliage around us. I would say my style is elegantly whimsical, modern and romantic.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

I specialize in a variety of art mediums which allows me to work with a bunch of different industries. I excel in graphic design, web site design, logo design, illustration, and calligraphy so when you come to me you aren’t just getting a calligrapher but a boutique agency. The possibilities are endless when it comes to achieving your wedding or event dreams. We aren’t limited to just paper. We can draw your dream and physically make it in to a 3D object.

What advice would you give small businesses and independent professionals?

First and foremost don’t give up on your dreams. If you are passionate about something, dream it, sleep it, breath it I truly believe you will succeed. Since I was 11 years old, picking out my bat-mitzvah invitations, I have been in awe of the stationery and calligraphy world. I was fortunate enough to come from a line of entrepreneurs and artist that pushed me in the direction I went in at a young age but people can only guide you so far. You have to want something so bad that you are willing to struggle before you succeed.

Everyone struggles in different ways, but most successful companies start with some sort of struggle may it be living on a friend or family member’s couch because you are broke for months or not buying that bag because your website isn’t up to par, do what you need to do to put your business first. If you want it to thrive, you have to treat it as if it is your child, ESPECIALLY in the beginning.

Secondly never stop learning and updating; you have to stay on top of trends even outside your industry and you ALWAYS have to continue to learn. I practice calligraphy on a weekly basis and even read books about it. I do the same with graphic design programs. If you don’t do it you won’t be able to stay on trend and someone else will come in and steal your thunder. I can go on with advice but I will end it with this, every business owner has dark days where they want to throw the towel in, whether they have been at it for 25 years or 25 weeks but if you truly believe in what you are doing or selling, take a deep breath, visit a spa, take a day off or go away for a week but NEVER feel like you are alone. We have all been there. One of my favorite quotes is ‘sometimes you’re flush and sometimes you’re bust, and when you’re up it’s never as good as it seems, and when you’re down you never think you’ll be up again, but life goes on,” and it is true. I’ve been in business for a while now and I still ride the rollercoaster of emotions but I must say the highs are worth the struggle and the struggle is real.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Presents: Judith Rae

“My passion for photography is rooted in the joy of telling global stories of hope, love, emotion, culture and the human experience.”

Judith Rae is a Brooklyn-based wedding photographer combining her love of fine art with her innate eye for storytelling to create a genuine documentation of people’s lives, love, culture and human experiences.

Meet: Judith Rae

I’m passionate about capturing images that illuminate the beauty of life, relationships and love. Ever since I can remember, photography has played an important role in my life, whether it was to relive moments past or to capture moments to come. When I discovered my passion for taking photos, the camera immediately became a vehicle in which I could share the world around me. Telling stories through photography is my heart’s desire.

What brought you to the wedding industry?

A chance encounter, years ago with an amazing photographer brought me to the wedding industry. I have since found that I can combine my love of fine art and photojournalism to create a genuine documentation of a wedding. I’m really fortunate to have such extraordinary clients who are a joy to photograph and genuinely in love. I truly feel honored to capture such an important day in their lives.

What is your favorite moment at a wedding?

I love photographing the bride & groom alone together, there is something so special about capturing these intimate moments filled with joy and their love for one another. Candid moments are a favorite of mine, moments that happen as the day progresses, in between formal portraits when people laugh and interact with each other, the reactions that come from guests and family as they watch the ceremony or enjoy the toasts are all part of what makes your day so much fun for me to photograph. Details are another favorite of mine to capturing the complete lifestyle documentation of your day. My ultimate goal is to tell a visual story of your day through timeless imagery that you can share for generations to come.

What is the best part about your job?

I really enjoy all parts but my absolute favorite is getting to know my couples and then being there to capture their wedding.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

I’m a boutique studio and I take personal interest in getting to know all of my couples. This enables me to capture their day in a unique and intimate way.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Presents: Stefy Hilmer

Stefy Hilmer is a contemporary, journalistic wedding photographer in the New York and the Tri State Area.  Photography has taken her around the world and allowed her to capture the stories of CEOs and scientists to beauty queens and models, but her favorite moments behind a camera are when she’s capturing love.

Meet: Stefy Hilmer

I studied photography in Europe (1995-1998) and then moved to Westchester County, New York. I come from a journalistic background, shooting for a German daily newspaper for 4 years, but ended up enjoying wedding photography the most. Professionally trained overseas, I worked and traveled the world as a photojournalist, event and wedding photographer. I draw on my wealth of experience from all my travels around the globe. It gives me great pleasure to capture life’s most exciting moments.

What brought you to the wedding industry?

During my 18 year career, I was privileged to photograph a wide range of diverse personalities. From street musicians to CEOs. Scientists to beauty queens, politicians to models. I just love to tell stories with my images. A wedding day is just perfect for that. You have a full day to capture the love and emotions between two people and their family and friends. Cannot think of anything better and more perfect to do this.

Where do you draw inspiration from when preparing for each wedding?

Every day life. As a photographer you live in images. Everything I see each day is captured in a frame. I know it sounds silly.. but it’s the truth!

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

We are specialized in journalist photography. We like to tell stories with our photographs. Let us tell your story. We take all our photo shoots in a relaxed setting and keep them candid and fun.

The moments you share with your future spouse are so incredibly intimate and emotional, in order to capture them, you need to be comfortable and at ease. From the elegant to the rustic to the extravagant, I like to capture the authentic. With a contemporary style, my photographs combine documenting the feelings and emotions of your journey including your engagement, preparation leading to the ceremony and celebration itself, where I will create a timeless piece of art to hang in your home.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Presents: Sarah Campbell

Photography by Kishana Highgate

Sarah Campbell lives and works in NYC and DC with her husband and two small yorkie-mixes! She spends most of her time running her DIY wedding and event planning business, Pollyanna Events. She thinks of herself as a creative entrepreneur and a driven feminist that loves to travel. When she isn’t working with her clients on creating a one of a kind wedding, she is working on her other company, District Bliss. Her District Bliss events also encompass a lot of DIY projects. So, you could say her apartment often times looks like an arts and crafts studio.

Meet: Sarah Campbell

My plan was to become an attorney but decided that was not what I wanted to do so I started planning my wedding as well as helping friends plan theirs and fell in love with it! I already have a creative side with taking lots of art classes throughout school and DIYing everything in my apartment so I thought this career would be the perfect fit. I started Pollyanna Events and love it! I also started another company called District Bliss. This is a social event company that plans social happy hour events for vendor and couples planning their wedding. I have been in the business for a few years now. I have met so many wonderful people and wouldn’t change it for the world!

What brought you to the wedding industry?

It was totally random! I went to school to be an attorney, started the whole process and was about to apply to law schools and threw it all out the window. I got engaged and started planning my wedding and had a blast! I decided I wanted to be a wedding planner so I just started my own company!

Tell us about District Bliss.

District Bliss is a social event company that hosts two types of events: Vendor Socials and Couples Socials. Both are happy hours where you can celebrate with people just like you! Our goal is to make wedding planning – and networking – laid-back and FUN!

Vendor Socials
Our goal is to make vendors + creatives FEEL like the event is really being thrown for them – with all the bells and whistles. Those of us in the events/wedding industry attend a lot of events, but none of them are FOR us! Our Vendor Social is a happy hour where vendors + creatives can cut loose – and to say thank you for all your hard work. It’s a night off! We want everyone to feel welcome and have a great time – because you deserve it!

Join us at our next NYC Vendor Social – Attend!

Couples Social
Wedding planning should be FUN! Our Couples Social is a pressure-free happy hour where couples can check out a dressed space, where vendors’ specialties and products are showcased, but without the vendors there! Say goodbye to booths and forced discussions! Our Couples Social is just for couples! All of our vendors will be in attendance and available for questions you may have. You’ll be able to gather all the info you need to plan your wedding in a casual environment with a drink in hand! And hopefully you’ll meet some awesome couples, too!

Join us at our next NYC Couple Social – Attend!

district bliss

What is your favorite moment at a wedding?

When I see the couple smile when they see everything come together. It definitely makes you relalize that all the long hours and hard work that went into planning each wedding, came together, turned out amazing, and the couple is overjoyed! Thats really what it is all about.

What is the best part about your job?

Getting to meet so many talented vendors and creatives in the industry and seeing my clients happy.

Photography by Jon Fleming
Photography by Jon Fleming

Where do you draw inspiration from when preparing for each wedding?

Attending social events, collaborating with other wedding professionals, and sometimes Pinterest!

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

Why Pollyanna Events? A “Pollyanna” is a person with an astounding sense of optimism that can find the good in everything. Our goal is to make every event more than our client could ever imagine. Each event is as unique as the individuals behind it and we are here to bring that creativity to life. I love it when my clients have some fun and think outside the box.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.

Menagerie Presents: Sascha Reinking

Sascha Reinking is a New York wedding and elopement photographer. He has been internationally published and featured in a number of publications, including Brides Magazine, Huffington Post, E! News, and more.

Meet: Sascha Reinking

I was born and raised in Germany, where I studied Architecture and Photography. After I graduated from the University of Applied Sciences, I moved to New York in 2003 where I met and married my beautiful wife Jackie. We have the most amazing daughter Lucy and share the house with our “super dog” Dexter (named after the ShowTime series). I specialize on proposal, engagement and elopement photography here in New York City and worldwide.

What brought you to the wedding industry?

What can I say? I’m a sucker for love stories. There is nothing better. I enjoy the connections I make with my couples. Finding out who they truly are and capturing their unique story is what I love the most about this work. That is probably one of the reasons I’m still in contact with most of my couples and why some of them became amazing friends whom I photographed many times after they got married. Elopements are intimate and I like that very much. They make for some of the most genuine photographs.

What is your favorite moment at a wedding?

I live for the excitement of the day. The anticipation and happiness that fills the room. I love to laugh with my couples and I love to take good care of them. But my favorite moments are not the big ones, but the little moments that happen in-between. The little smiles that no one else catches. The winks, the touches, the gestures. Those are the moments that are true magic.

Where do you draw inspiration from when preparing for each wedding?

I love to learn about the couple beforehand. I want to know their story. How they met, what they love, what they are passionate about. The more I know the couple the better I can form a connection. And that connections allows for trust. And once we trust each other we all can be creative together.

Share something that is unique to you and/or your business.

The last wedding I photographed is as exciting and fun to me as the first one I photographed. I am blessed with a job that I love more than anything. And I think once my clients meet me they understand exactly what I mean by that. I love the couples I work with and approach every session with love, respect and lots of fun.

 

Are you a wedding professional? Menagerie is free! Request an invite to join our community of wedding professionals below.