Apr 142016
 

We’ve all been to a wedding where the food wasn’t exactly – let’s just say – memorable. In fact, you may have experienced the rubbery chicken, wilted over drenched salad and the rolls that had the consistency of a hockey puck. Not only was the food mediocre, but there’s a high probability that the food per person was incredibly high. Last year, the average cost of getting a wedding catered was between $51-$73 per person, which is A LOT. And at hotels, the cost per guest can be even pricier than that! If you’re a bride-to-be and you’re searching for ideas to save money on catering costs, but still want your guests to have an amazing food experience, just try a food truck…seriously! Food truck catering is not only a growing popular alternative, but it’s also less expensive and cooler.

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WHY A FOOD TRUCK AND NOT TRADITIONAL CATERING?

The answer is simple. It’s a one-stop shopping opportunity and comes with the personal touches truck operators are happy to make from personalized menus to creating menu items specifically for the event. In addition, when guests walk up to the truck, they can order a meal to their specifications ensuring they get what they want. Most, if not all, trucks can accommodate to meet the dietary needs per order, making it easier on you to not have to worry about Aunt Edna and her gluten free diet! Also, you’re not limited to one cuisine, you can have more than one truck so guests can savor different flavors of the world.

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While there are food trucks that still only offer the traditional walk-up window service, more truck chefs are getting creative by offering interesting and freshly prepared food and providing the traditional service options at a fraction of the price. The savings come from the fact that you get to eliminate costs on kitchen rentals and additional staffing that is normally required when using traditional catering services. That’s good news for the happy couple and probably the parents too. These chefs are also willing to think outside the box, customizing menus and working with clients to create a memorable meal guests will talk about way after the event is over.

WHAT ABOUT DESSERT AND LATE NIGHT SNACKS?

If you’re willing to move beyond the traditional wedding cake or if you want to have your cake and eat it too, dessert trucks are your best bet to bring a little twist to a timeless moment at a reception. Maybe opt for trucks that focus on mini custom desserts or let you create your own sundae. Who doesn’t love carnival treats?! Funnel cake, fried Twinkies, homemade ice cream sandwiches. Yum!

If you’re not looking for a dessert truck to replace the traditional wedding cake, maybe you’re just looking for a late night snack attack before your guests depart. Tacos, pizza, sliders and fries are always a hit to sober up those who maybe had a little too much fun at the party.

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WHAT ABOUT COST?

When breaking down the costs of what you are getting, you’re paying about $20 per person for having a food truck at a wedding for at least five hours (which includes preparation, travel, set-up, service and teardown). With a food truck, you don’t have to worry about rentals for a kitchen, service wares, staffing, clean-up, etc., is well worth it. Not only are you getting a killer deal to have a dedicated mobile restaurant drive up, service, pack up and leave, but it’s less stressful, less mess and more cost effective for your budget overall. Also, you don’t have to worry about having your bridesmaids, family member and friends count every last glass and plate the next morning (while hungover probably) so you don’t get stuck with a hefty bill, cutting into that honeymoon fund.

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To learn more about getting a food truck at your wedding in 2016, check out the Roaming Hunger site- the hub for all things street food and catering.

 

Post written by: Melissa Summers, the Director of New Business for Roaming Hunger in California. Roaming Hunger makes it easy to book the Mel Profilebest food trucks for any event, across the country. Whether it’s a wedding, birthday, or corporate gathering, they make food truck catering simple. Get your guests talking with a custom vehicle designed to deliver interactive experiences they’ll remember.

 

 

Apr 042016
 

Many have asked me “What exactly happens after we book with you….” It’s a great question so I thought I’d help define it here. Before you hire your wedding day photographer, here’s a glimpse of what goes into all, in order to guarantee that the memories created, on your most important of days, will live happily ever after…

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The Engagement Session:

When an engagement session is booked with your package, we schedule it as soon as possible. It’s a great way for you to get comfortable with the camera and with me, your lead photographer. It’s also a great way to gather photos for those “save the dates” that need to go out. Once the engagement photos are taken, they are then delivered to you within one to two weeks.

Review the Timeline: 

A Q&A is created by my team and sent over for thoughtful affirmation. These questions (with your answers) aid us in the telling of your story and help to ensure that your day flows the way you always intended. The more we know about you as a couple and your day, the more personal we can make your photography. Based off of your answers, I create a shot list, for myself as well as for the additional photographers. A family shot list is also created at this time so that we have a complete list of names for every individual needed for the family portraits.

Hire a 2nd:

All of our Packages include a second shooter. Once we reserve your day, we call out to our team in order to assign them. Our second shooters all come with years of experience, share a similar shooting style and have worked with me in the past. They all have a fantastic attitude and know exactly what to bring to the table. Our photographers spend anywhere from six to ten hours at each wedding, depending on the package booked, and our packages have included up to four shooters.

Phone Consultations:

There are definitely a few phone consultations in-between, not only with the bride and groom but with their family, coordinator, venue and sometimes a few of the guests as well. We work with everyone in an effort to aid in the day, the photography, and the gifts. We often work with friends and family to help create a registry towards gift certificates, albums, and/or prints. If there are certain items you’d like to add to your registry, let us know ahead of time. We’d be more than happy to custom design a page for all of your photography needs.

Scout the Venue:

Once booked, we immediately scout your chosen venue, researching each location- where you’ll be getting ready, where the ceremony will take place, and where the reception will be. We review it all & make sure we have it mapped out. We also take a look at ideal locations for the formal portraits and family portraits. A wedding moves uber fast so we do our prep beforehand.

 

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The Big Day:

Usually, the big day involves six to ten hours of coverage with eight hours being the average package booked. We make sure to get the traditional moments as well as the candid moments. Because there are two shooters, we cover a lot of ground and we capture a lot of moments. After each wedding, the photography is downloaded to three different storage devices so that every image is safe and sound, immediately.

Editing and Processing:

I call it our coat of varnish. Think of it like this, if you went to get a piece of furniture refurbished, you’d be upset if they didn’t seal it right? Well, same here. Most of the work is done within the camera however, some of the magic is done within the computer as well. Color correction, contrast, black and white copies are usually done after the wedding has been shot. If we handed you the images straight out of our camera (RAW) you’d probably need three hard drives just to transfer them! Once we complete our processing, we flatten them to jpgs and upload them to your online gallery. The photography is delivered to you online within three weeks and the USB drive is delivered directly, a week after that.

Photography Website Created:

Our custom designed websites are included with most of our packages. The website is designed by our team and is used to showcase your day. It’s user-friendly and allows your friends and family to peruse the images at their leisure. They can even order prints through the website, without ever needing to call you. We make it as easy as possible for them to view and order the photography. If you’d like an example, simply click on Gwen and Kurt’s website: http://www.gwenandkurt.jencastlephotography.com/

Images Uploaded to a Private Gallery:

The gallery is included in every package and serves as a compliment to the website. It is a full and complete gallery. Every. Single. Photo. The complete collection can be anywhere from eight hundred images to fifteen hundred, depending on the package booked. They are organized, numbered and arranged so that ordering prints and/or choosing favorites is super easy.

Slideshow Created:

Our custom designed slideshows are also included with most of our packages. We use these to commemorate and celebrate the “best of” moments from your day. Each slideshow is set to music and is usually comprised of twenty to thirty photographs, sometimes with a few video clips as well. We then post it within your personalized website, for all of your guests to view.

Album Design:

When an album design is included within your package, we set to work as quickly as possible. The first order of business is to obtain your list of top forty images. From there, we fill in with a few of our own favorites. Each album design goes through one client edit before the retouching of the images begins. From there, the albums can take anywhere from two to four weeks to build. The retouching for each image includes- the correcting of any blemishes, fine lines, stray hairs and the implementing of creative filters. We design the layout, retouch the photos and then send it out to get printed and bound. Once the book is finished, it comes back to us for the final approval and is then delivered to you.

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We Always:

We always make sure to keep tabs on all of our equipment- we have it professionally cleaned, consistently test it, immediately make any repairs needed, and always have backup gear. What’s in the bag exactly?… The bags of all of our photographers are pretty similar but my bag specifically contains- Three Canon Cameras from the Canon 5D Family, a GoPro, Three Canon Strobes, Three Pocket Wizards, a large variety of Light Diffusers, one Camera Trigger/Remote, a tripod, a 24-70mm Lens,  a 100mm Macro Lens, a 70-200mm Lens, a 10-17mm Lens, a 50mm 1.2 Lens, One portable Video Light and a whole lot of Batteries!

It’s important to understand what your wedding day photography packages consist of. With jcp, our time goes well beyond the wedding day itself. In fact, the wedding day capture is just a small fraction of the overall time spent. We work with you for at least a year, putting it all together and we take great pride in getting to know our clients along the way. In the end, it allows us to tell your story through an array of evocative and creative captures that will continue to convey your story for years to come.

 

Questions about the photography you see here? Or perhaps you’d like to make an inquiry regarding our wedding/ family photography packages. We can easily be reached by email:  info@jencastlephotography.com, social media, or by simply leaving us a comment on the blog. We always look forward to hearing more!

Mar 172016
 

Emily and Ryan’s wedding day was set between the soft rolling green of West Hills, at a little-known gem of a wedding venue called Orcutt Ranch. Framed within acres of wildlife, gardens, and farmland, it becomes obvious that this venue stands out from many. Add in one big red barn and suddenly your mind is blown. The entire wedding, from the ceremony to reception, was held outdoors, where 130 guests were able to enjoy warm breezes under tall oaks, a colorful sunset and an overhead canopy of lights, all while sipping your favorite beverage, dancing the night away or simply catching up with old friends.

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For this wedding, the bride and groom chose to see each other before the ceremony, in a private moment with my photographers capturing every glance, every smile, every tear. Their day was finally here and this is when it usually soaks in the most, the private moment. Emily and Ryan had met and dated for three years when he took her for a long hike one day, behind the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, (same location as their engagement shoot) and asked her to marry him. Their wedding day had finally arrived and as they took their first looks, recognition began to spread happily across their faces. Their wedding party was close at hand to witness it all, celebrate and then capture addition photography (of course). There were seven in the party including their dog Jack who stood in as the assistant to the ring bearer. In fact, many of their closest came together to help create the mood for this wedding and their work was exquisite. From the decor to the food, friends and family came together, covering as many bases as possible in an effort to create ease and comfort for the guests. Their Aunt officiated, the groom’s ring was handcrafted by the best man, a close friend coordinated, “Big Man Bakes” provided the delicious cupcakes and Emily herself created all of the floral arrangements (yep, she’s in the biz and she’s completely amazing). I mean, just look at these bouquets…!

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It was a beautiful montage of art and friends, collaborating all in the name of love.

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Their wedding took place at 3:30 with the cocktail hour soon to follow. Dancing began shortly after the meal. It was a dreamy layout, an intimate setting fit for any modern/rustic millennial couple. And her dress!… Definitely one of my favorites and can absolutely be worn again and again for a variety of different events thereafter. Their colors were charcoal and moss green, which readily blended with the rustic layout throughout this country-themed backdrop. Their final dance was to “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star, such a classic. Soon after the wedding, they flew off to Spain where they spent three glorious weeks together, as newlyweds.

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Congratulations again, Emily and Ryan! To view their engagement shoot, click HERE.

 

Questions about the photography you see here? Or perhaps you’d like to make an inquiry regarding our wedding/ family photography packages. We can easily be reached by email:  info@jencastlephotography.com, social media, or by simply leaving us a comment on the blog. We always look forward to hearing more!