Remember when I told you about working with Jillian, my friend and extraordinary wedding planner from Mimi Nicole Events? Well, to give you an example of how she's going above and beyond the call of duty in every way, we have to go back to even before I realized that I simply had to ask her to help us in an official capacity.
Jon didn't propose until mid-May, but, as I wrote in an email to Jillian in early April, "It's not official yet because I don't have the ring on my durn finger, but we've told our parents and set the date and started planning." Because so much of our wedding is being organized from the States, I wanted to have the big pieces in place before I moved back - and one of the most important components of our celebration, from a personal perspective, is the photographer. So I emailed Jillian and asked if she had any recommendations for really great photographers in or around London who weren't yet household names. Amazing photography is worth its weight in gold but I knew that we couldn't afford anyone who was really established; I was hoping that Jillian might know a few incredibly talented and wonderfully enthusiastic people who are still in the process of making their mark publicly. She came through, as I knew she would, with five names. And, as promising as they all were in their own ways, I knew immediately which I wanted to work with when I pulled up her website. I also knew that you're not supposed to only meet with one potential vendor - after all, we did our homework on our venue and our caterer - but my heart told me that Tarah Coonan would make our wedding memories sparkle.
We met up with Tarah a few weeks after that for a drink, and almost instantly I knew I was right. Jon was running late from work, so we had half an hour to sit and gab before getting down to business. We connected over our views on wedding trends (Tarah said that she and her husband decided they wouldn't use anything in the wedding that they wouldn't then use at home, and I agreed that renting/buying a vintage dresser just to use for a dessert buffet is sweet in theory but impractical in real life) and over our boys' aversion to decent socks (I told Tarah that she wouldn't get that cute photo of all the men hiking up their trousers to show off matching socks because it would be a miracle if Jon himself wears matching socks, and she admitted that her husband forgot to put on socks when they got married) and over our guilty love of bunting.
When Jon arrived, we started discussing the specifics of our wedding, and Tarah was on board from the word go. We loved that she specializes in reportage photography, subtly capturing the most beautiful moments without shattering their intimacy and inconspicuously noticing the candid moments without making anyone seem like a caricature. Her portraiture is gorgeous, too. Both Jon and I appreciate that we'll want formal photos with our families but we want them to be relaxed and natural, and we are confident that Tarah will coax that out of even the stiffest in our party. Even the priest from a recent wedding that she photographed raved about her:
As a wedding celebrant I work with many photographers. Tarah is exceptional. She has a natural talent in capturing the special moments in a completely unobtrusive way. She is delightful to work with, and I hope there will be many more occasions where our paths cross.
We actually have our engagement session with Tarah scheduled for Friday, when I'm in London - I can't wait! Of course I'll share some sneak peaks when I get them, but do check out her blog in the meantime to see the magic. And if you're getting married in Engand in the near future, snap this girl up now! She's going to be huge soon - I know it.