earth friendly weddings features a cep event...

Jennifer over at Earth Friendly Weddings discussed serving vegetarian fare at receptions in her Healthy monday post. She featured photos from the vegetarian spread at Alisha and Lee's reception. Read her post here.


cep spotlight: neysa ruhl photography

I love our vendor spotlight posts! Not only do I get to put on my "journalist" hat (my original college major) & share the inside scoop on some of Cincinnati's most talented vendors, I also get to know the wonderful people I work with a little better. Neysa's work is remarkable & beautiful. I asked her a series of questions and then asked her to provide a few of her favorite photos (included below). Other than her answer to question #10 (j/k) - she's a pretty cool chick! Enjoy & Happy Friday!

[1] How did you get started in photography? I got my first camera, a Nikon FG-20, when I was 8 yrs old and my dad and I photographed life as it whirled around us. He taught me that through photographs you have the innate ability to stop time – to make one small moment in time last an eternity. This was a huge inspiration to me. At my young age, I thought of all the things … the real, everyday ‘moments’ that I wanted to last forever and I began photographing them. Sometimes this was just our family dog … and sometimes it was my mom in the kitchen or my dad mowing the lawn with our parrot on his shoulder. It was my life through a lens.

[2] In five words or less, describe your photography style I can only assume that you have limited me to 5 words … based on my answer to the last question J Let’s see … 5 words (and, yes, I’ll use all 5): capturing life as it unfolds

[3] In three words or less describe your personality Fun, passionate, and personal

[4] What inspires you? Everything inspires me. There is so much beauty in the world … all you have to do is look.

[5] Where is your favorite location to shoot for e-pics? Weddings? Receptions? I really love weddings that have a personal aspect to them – so ‘at home’ weddings are always a big ‘fav’ of mine. Unfortunately I don’t get to do them all that often. If I had to pick a favorite location (other than a home), I would say the French House (because it is a HOUSE). For engagement photos … my favorite place would be anywhere that I haven’t photographed yet. I love new places.

[6] What do you love most about what you do? I love the people. I meet some of the most amazing people in my job. As far as the wedding couples, I love that they trust me with such an important day in their lives.

[7] If you could photograph anyone who would it be? Wow … if I could photograph anyone? I think the Beatles would be fun to photograph.

[8] If you had three wishes what would they be? Wish #1: I want to see me father one more time. He passed away awhile ago … and I miss him. Wish #2: To live a long and happy life. Wish #3: Hmmm. Something selfish – maybe a 3 month (all expenses paid) trip to Europe.

[9] If you had to pick a theme song, what would it be? Theme song … New Shoes by Paolo Nutini (you can’t help but enjoy the beat and you can’t keep yourself from dancing) – and, did I mention that I have a shoe fetish?

[10] Skyline Chili or Gold Star Chili? Can I say neither? I am not from Cincinnati so I am not ‘married’ to either. Give me a salad any day of the week!

Some of Neysa's favorite photos.... and I'll share the titles she used when sending them to me as well!




portrait (recognize this bride?)


and just for fun a photo of Neysa....


eco-friendly ideas for your wedding

In honor of Earth Day... we'd like to share a few eco-friendly ideas for your wedding.

- Choose pieces in hemp silk & organic cotton (try olivia luca)
- Allow bridal party to wear items they already own (who doesn't have a little black dress?)
- Select jewelry that has been reconstructed/repurposed or vintage jewelry
- Borrow a veil, headpiece, comb, necklace from a friend or family member (it can be your something borrowed as well!)
- Buy your dress from a consignment store, ebay, or from Brides Against Breast Cancer.
- Find a vintage dress to wear or find a seamstress to modify the vintage gown into something even more beautiful.
- Repurpose your dress into a christening or baptismal gown or even pillows when you are finished or donate it to a charity.

Paper Products:
- Look for recycled paper products & those printed in a soy or other environmentally friendly ink
- Plantable invitations that are embedded with seeds. Guests can plant them after the wedding!
- Go paper free for the save the dates - send out an email with your wedding website.
- Use a wedding website or a toll free number for RSVPs instead of a paper piece

- Choose locally grown in-season flowers for your bouquet. Your florist can let you know what is available.
- Collect vases, jars & lanterns from thrift shops, flea markets & yard sales or buy recycled glass vases (alisha & lee's reception was amazing!)
- Donate floral arrangements to local nursing homes or hospitals
- Grow your own herbs in a terracotta pot & use as a centerpiece - then give to your guests to take home (check out cynthia & eric's reception)
- Use vintage wallpaper as an overlay - simply cut out various sized circles and place on top of the fabric tablecloths. (once again check out cynthia & eric's page)
- Opt for dried or silk flowers instead of the real thing (check out lindsay & phil's flowers)
- Use candles for ambiance lighting

- Rent a shuttle for your guests from the hotel to the church to the reception & back. It will reduce emissions by "carpooling" and your guests will appreciate the gesture.
- Use cloth napkins instead of having hundreds of custom printed cocktail napkins to waste. If you must have cocktail napkins, choose recycled paper ones
- opt for a vegetarian meal instead of the traditional meat options (alisha & lee had fabulous food!)

There are a ton of other ideas out there... please share yours!


crazy about clutches...

I am loving clutches lately. I don't know if it's size that forces me to carry only the essentially (cell phone, cash, ID, debit card & gloss) or how it can just pull an outfit together... regardless I'm a wee bit obessed lately. Below are a few of my favorites I've found online. The first two are seriously divine. For the every day or the special occasion, these bags are fab!



cep: cheap & chic

I love JCrew.... and it's time for their spring sale! I found the most gorgeous wedding worthy dresses.... starting at just $59.99. The first set of dresses would be perfect for a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, afternoon wedding or city hall nuptials. The second set of dresses could work for nearly any wedding. All available at Happy shopping & happy Friday!


PinMeUp Couture

What do you get when you pair a fab photographer and a brilliant make-up artist??? The fabulous PinMeUp Couture. PinMeUp Couture is the brainchild of the talented & amazing Tracy Abston of Pictures by Tracy and Michelle Richardson of a Vogue Idea. I'm so excited to blog about these gorgeous pieces! I asked Tracy & Michelle a couple of questions for the blog....

What was the inspiration behind PinMeUp Couture?

There are brides out there that arent the average bride, there are some that a regular veil just doesnt work for, and there are also those who dont want a veil at all. Pin Me Up Couture was created for those brides and also those ladies who love to rock a fun retro look. Pin Me Up isnt just a bridal company we also happen to love all the products and have been guilty of wearing them ourselves. Behind all the late night sewing are two girls who love to have fun and make other people feel great about how they look.

We also wanted to be sure that anyone could afford to have a couture piece for themselves, the prices range from $8 to $75 so there is something for every bride, no matter the budget. We also design custom pieces, we welcome brides to let their creative juices flow and we will work with them all the way to make sure they have everything they dreamed of. Nothing is too crazy or too simple - we love it all and the fact that everyone is different makes it that much more fun!

Do you have a favorite design?

The La Bella is a favorite. (first row below, first image) I love that it's so soft & full of whimsy. We love the birdcage hats & veils as well. Many brides are tired of the of the traditional veil. There is a vintage feel and it has an old Hollywood Glamour look that is amazing in photographs! "Vintage" is popping up everywhere, even in the bridal world... One unique and chic alternative to the tried-tested-and-true, is the birdcage veil. As opposed to the traditional tulle netting you see most brides donning on their big day.

Michelle & Tracy
PinMeUp Couture

Want more? Visit the PinMeUp Couture Etsy Store here!


Heavy Heart

Today, Lindsey's mother lost her battle with cancer & passed away at 1:12pm. She was among all of her family. Please keep the England & Bayer families in your thoughts.


Grace's 8th Birthday Party ideas

Grace, my almost 8 year old, decided she wanted to go bowling for her 8th birthday. So I came up with two options for her to choose from. The first question she asked was whether or not she would get to wear the exact outfits shown in the boards. She is my little fashionista! I thought for sure she would go for the bright bubbly #1 (it suits her personality) but I was wrong... she chose option #2 the more classic, retro bowling party. She is so excited. Amanda from handled with care designed the invitations (below) - we've received so many compliments on them! Looking forward to the party later this month.

Option #1

Option #2

Ari & John - Engaged

Amanda Egan did such a great job with Ari & John's engagement photos. Check out the cameo appearance by their dog Franny as well. I included a few of my favorites. Stop by Amanda's blog to see more!

Ari & John are getting married June 13, 2009 at the Cincinnati Nature Preserve. Not only will we be working with the talented Amanda E, but Ari chose the talented Katie Elfers as her florist and the brilliant Brian Childs for her DJ. Looking forward to working with such a great team!


cep covets: olivia luca designs

Olivia Luca will make you a custom made dress for a very reasonable price. I've spent more time than I'd like to admit in the design studio & I'm already married. It is beyond fun. Choose the bodice type, skirt type, fabric & embellishments if you'd like. It is perfect for the bride who can't quite find what she is looking for. Bonus -many of the fabrics offered are eco friendly like hemp silk. Think you can't afford a custom made gown, think again! You can also design bridesmaids dress or even a rehearsal dinner or special occasion dress... have fun playing in the design studio here.


Real Wedding - Alisha & Lee

There are barely words to describe this amazing wedding. This is (and will remain) one of my all-time favorite events. Alisha & Lee were married before we were really blogging, so this one is actually from 2007. The images are too beautiful to skip over. So I pulled the images & Alisha & Lee have proper blog feature. The bride, Alisha, is a good friend of Nancy of Brideface. Nancy hired me as a gift to Alisha. I am so glad she did. I think I had about as much fun as the guests. Alisha and Lee have impeccable taste & style. The ceremony & reception were held in the courtyard of their home in Mt. Auburn. The view of the Cincinnati skyline was the perfect background for their vows. Enjoy these stunning photos taken by the brilliant Tine Hofmann of TM Photography. The delicious cake was from Maribelle & the catering was vegetarian fare from Maggianos.

How stunning is she? And yes, this is in the couple's home.

One of my favorite shots!
love the red brick.

There were hundreds of candles. We put them anywhere there was semi-flat surface.

Alisha walking down the "aisle" - the cobblestone path from the house to the overlook.

Friends & family read poems & personal notes to the bride & groom.

love the emotion in both of these pics!

in the moments just after being announced husband & wife.

the food? divine.