Weekly Instagram Roundup

HAPPY DECEMBER! As things speed up and the holidays quickly approach, we thought we’d share some of our favorite Instagram posts from the last week. Here’s a curated collection of some great ideas, unique vendors, and wedding picks for you … Continue reading

Pinterest Styled Shoots

Pinterest has revolutionized the creative industry by creating a designated space to be inspired and share your work. From quick recipes to seasonal decor, and cleaning hacks to wedding inspo, there’s content for every hobby and passion on Pinterest (because … Continue reading

8 Ideas for Ceremony Backdrops

Let’s talk backdrops. Whether you’re saying “I do,” in front of it or you’ll be dining with it behind your sweetheart table, you should never underestimate the power of a gorgeous backdrop! Here’s a few ideas that we hope will … Continue reading

Ceremony Program Perfection

We’ve all heard it said that, “It’s in the details.” For some, that can be referencing the flowers and the dress, but for others it goes so far to encompass the text on the programs. If you’re someone who understands that … Continue reading

Picture Perfect

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you’ll cherish the memories of it forever. All the planning, scheduling, and list making has been completed in preparation for your “I Do’s”, but you might consider making one more list before the day arrives. Creating a shot list of poses and pictures for your photographer is a great way to ensure you get all the pictures you want, and it provides a checklist for the photographer so that they are able to go above and beyond to take the pictures you want and more. Plus, sitting down and thinking about what you’re looking for in pictures will help you and your photographer better capture your big day. We love to help our clients out, so here’s some great picture ideas that you can add to your shot list!

Before the Ceremony

  • The dress
  • The bride getting ready
  • Mother of the bride helping her get ready
  • The bridesmaids getting ready
  • The bouquet
  • The rings
  • The accessories (shoes, jewelry, veil, garter, etc.)
  • The groom getting ready
  • The groomsmen getting ready


Photo: Courtesy of MODwedding.com


During the Ceremony

  • The venue before guests arrive
  • The details (flowers, programs, decorations, guestbook)
  • Guests and family
  • Mother or bride and mother of groom during their walks down the aisle
  • Bride walking down the aisle
  • Bride’s first look
  • Groom’s first look
  • Bride’s father giving her away, kiss on cheek
  • The vows
  • The rings
  • Important ceremony traditions/unique ceremony pieces
  • The kiss
  • Bride & groom during their walk down the aisle

Kathlyn Dragna Photography

Photo: Courtesy of Kathlyn Dragna Photography


After the Ceremony

  • Bride with her family
  • Groom with his family
  • Bride and groom with each family
  • Bride and groom with combined families
  • Bride and bridesmaids
  • Groom and groomsmen
  • Bride and groom with wedding party
  • Flower girl and ring bearer
  • Bride and groom


Photo: Courtesy of Kimbry Studios


At the Reception

  • The venue
  • Tables, gifts, and decorations
  • The cake
  • The food
  • The arrival of the wedding party
  • The newlyweds greeting guests
  • Toasts (best man, maid of honor, bride and groom to each other)
  • Father/daughter dance
  • Mother/son dance
  • The first dance
  • Entertainment
  • Reception events (cutting the cake, feeding cake, bouquet toss, garter toss, games)
  • Guests
  • Guests with bride and groom
  • The send off
  • The bride & groom in the send off car/carriage


Photo: Courtesy of weddingwire.com


Just for Fun

  • The bride and groom’s shoes
  • Wedding party reaction to bride and groom kiss
  • Props for bridal/bride & groom portraits (firefighter suit, baseball bat, basketball and whistle, Bible, superhero shirts under suit, lightsabers etc.)
  • Bride & groom praying together



Holloway-Murillo May 2015 Wedding

What a joy it was working with Ashley and Val to plan their May 2015 Wedding!  They are beautiful people inside and out and you can see their love for each other in everything they say and do.

Here are a few of our favorite memories from their wedding day.

AV_wed_0873 AV_wed_0301

AV_wed_0914_1 AV_wed_1617_1 

AV_wed_1757_1   AV_wed_2072

AV_wed_0935   AV_wed_0930

A very special thank you goes out to Annie Hall with Annie’s Culinary Creations for saving the day and making these amazingly beautiful and delicious cakes after Romano’s Bakery unexpectedly and suddenly went out of business.  Ashley had just paid her final payment to Romano’s when we learned they closed their doors.  Annie jumped in and made the Bride & Groom’s cake dreams a reality!

Having a videographer with a Drone was extra fun and it made for some incredible video.  Take a look at Ashley & Val’s Video Trailer here: 

We extend huge thank you’s to ALL of the amazingly talented vendors that made this day perfect for Val & Ashley and their families and friends!!!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Occasions at Stone River, Royse City, TX

Minister: David Hartley

DJ:  DJ Avenger, Erick Delcampo

Ceremony Musicians: Serenata Strings

Photographer: Harry Photo, Harry Harjabrata

Videographer:  Sparkys Video Productions, Sparky Sorenson

Photo Lounge:  Harry Photo

Florist:  Flor by Melissa, Melissa Morsinkoff

Cake:  Annie’s Culinary Creations, Annie Hall

Limo: Adam’s Limo Service, Abdul

Hotels:  Marriott Dallas City Center, Renaissance Dallas, Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Royse City

Wedding Planner/Coordinator:  Exceptional Events, Melanie Hill and Team

We hope you enjoy sharing in these beautiful moments as much as we enjoyed this wonderful couple. Please let us know if we can help make your wedding or special event exceptional!

Pikes Peak Proposal

Recently, I was traveling around Colorado on vacation. As any good tourist should, I made the trek (in a car, of course!) up to the summit of Pikes Peak to see some scenic views and stand on top of the world! Little did I know what was about to happen.

Upon reaching the top of the mountain, I climbed out of the car to walk around in the 50 degree weather and snap some photos of the miles of land surrounding me.

I had been taking pictures for about 30 minutes and was just about to head back to the car when I heard a scream and saw a commotion just a few feet away from me. “Oh my gosh!” I thought. “Someone just fell off of the mountain!” I quickly turned around to assess the situation when I realized that nobody, in fact, had fallen off of the mountain. Instead, I was looking at a sweet couple happily hugging. I noticed that there was something on her hand sparkling in the sun.

DSC_7214 copy

Photo: courtesy of Breck Faught Photography

Realizing that I had just MISSED a proposal, I jogged over to the newly engaged couple.

“Oh my god! Oh my god!” she kept saying, breathless for more reasons than just the thin, mountain air.

DSC_7233 copy

Photo: courtesy of Breck Faught Photography

After I introduced myself and explained that I as a photographer, the couple agreed to let me take their picture with the amazing Colorado backdrop behind them. Later, after a few laughs and a fun mini-photo shoot, we exchanged email addresses and parted ways. Flipping through the pictures on my camera, I couldn’t help but smile, knowing that I just captured a once in a lifetime moment for an unsuspecting couple.

DSC_7220 copyDSC_7224 copy

Photos: courtesy of Breck Faught Photography

To my newly engaged friends, thank you for letting me share in a day that you’ll never forget. On behalf of myself and the Exceptional Events Texas team, congratulations! We wish you the best.

DSC_7205 copy

Photo: courtesy of Breck Faught Photography

Wedding Photography Ideas and Tips

AJwed_0699     AJwed_1384        Custom Toasting Glasses on Cake Table    Brides dress w custom hanger

Each wedding is unique and are lots of prep work before that special day.  Many brides think that hiring a great photographer means they can check photos off the list…but that’s not true.  Before you count photos as done on your wedding to do list, make sure you have given the photographer a list of photos you want, and that you have considered order and timing to get all the photos you want.  Below are some ideas to get your juices flowing.  Remember you are unique and you may think of a shot you want for your own wedding, go for it!  It’s your day!

Wedding Photography Shot List

Prep Shots – Bride & Groom (don’t forget the shot of the dress being put on)
The Dress – Hanging or Draped
First look with Bride & Father
First look with Bride & Groom (if you are seeing each other before the ceremony)
Bride walking down stairs (if there are stairs)
Bride looking out (window or door)
Groom Checking the Time
Groom with Grooms Men & Fathers
Bride with Bridesmaids & Mothers
Bride with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
Groom with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
Groom waiting at altar
Bride walking down aisle ( Side Profile & Front )
Father giving away bride
Groom over the shoulder shot of bride ( & Vis Versa)
Holding hands – Bride and Groom
Bride & Groom Kiss
Bride & Groom Leaving Church ( Receiving Line)
Bride & Groom – Inside Limo Shot
Food Shots (Cocktail Hour, Drinks, Cake, etc.)
Shots of your guests (Photo Booths on site are a huge trend and I love it! They allow the guest to have pictures to take home as well as pictures for your own scrapbook)
Shots of Bride & Groom with & without family
Bride and Groom Portraits
Bride & Groom with Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
Bride and Groom Hand & Ring Portraits
First Dance
Bride & Father Dance
Groom & Mother Dance
Bouquet Toss
Garter Toss
Cake Cutting, Bride and Groom Feeding each other
Guests Dancing
Best Man & Maid of Honor Toast/Speeches
Bride & Groom Toast/Speeches
Centerpieces & Flower/Decorations
Small Children Dancing with Bride & Groom
Bride & Groom’s Parents Dancing (Plus Grandparents)
Groom Giving Coat to Bride (mostly in colder weather areas)
Bride & Groom “Just Married” Vehicle – Driving Away
Bride &Groom with “Thank you” sign to mail out (This is one thank you that is guaranteed to make it onto the fridge)

When planning pictures the day of the wedding, have the bridal party and possibly even some immediate family on hand to take pictures before the wedding.  This will allow for more time to celebrate at the reception.  Talk with your photographer and get a time estimate on how long it will take to get all the pictures you want before the wedding and after the wedding, an extra 30 minutes to an hour before the wedding, for lighting issues, dress fluffing and any impromptu ideas or delays that may occur.  Trust me, I’ve been in and to my fair share of weddings and that extra time has made the difference between a stressed out bride about to cry and a bride who was actually able to sit and relax and eat a little before the wedding.  Seriously consider getting as many photos on your list as possible before the wedding, no guest likes to wait an hour or more for the bride and groom to join the reception.  But, if you prefer to take pictures after the ceremony, make sure that your wedding guests are well taken care of at the reception with entertainment and food and drinks until your arrival.

Melanie Hill, Owner/Executive Event Planner
Exceptional Events