I Do! (Not Know Where to Begin) Month 3: Photographer & Videographer


Welcome back friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. It’s crazy to me that we’re already in a new year. 2018 was quite the whirlwind for me, and I’m so thankful to be able to be planning a wedding with the best guy around. Today we’re going to be talking about one of my favorite pieces of the puzzle: the photographer and videographer! I’m breaking my usual mystique with this one, because I am so obsessed with these vendors that I have to give them crazy shoutouts. If you are in need of a photographer or videographer -- these guys are seriously the best! Honestly, I knew before we were engaged exactly who would be hired for these jobs.

Image Source: Melanie Zacek/Photo by Ashley Largesse

Image Source: Melanie Zacek/Photo by Ashley Largesse

Picking your photographer (and videographer if you’re planning to have one) is one of the most important choices, if you ask me. This person is responsible for capturing the essence of the day and making your memories last for years to come in the most beautiful way. I knew that we needed to have someone that we were comfortable with and trusted. That being said, there was no way anyone other than the extremely gifted Melanie Zacek would be shooting our wedding! I’ve had the honor of working with Melanie on multiple of our photoshoots here at Parsimony and guys, seriously, she’s amazing. The details she captures, her whole attitude and demeanor, I knew that I needed her at my big day.

In terms of videographer, I had been told by multiple people going into this planning that one of their biggest regrets was not having a videographer. It was something that I wanted to get into the budget if at all possible, and I’m so happy we’re able to make it work. Dmitry Gordievsky and his team over at Embark Films are crazy talented and once again, there was no contest in my mind. Dmitry shot the most epic movie trailer for our Love Lost at Sea photoshoot last year and I immediately became obsessed. I’m seriously like a kid in a candy store knowing that we have both of these incredible artists on our team.

Image Source: Embark Films

Image Source: Embark Films

I think one of the biggest things that most people don’t realize going into planning is how expensive it’s going to be to have a quality photographer and videographer at your wedding. I can’t emphasize this statement enough: you need to know that you’re paying for the quality in this situation! This is NOT an area that you want to skimp in. It WILL show in your end results! That being said, just because they are more expensive, doesn’t mean that they’re the right option for you. Really study their work and make sure that their style is something that meshes with yours and is something you really appreciate! These photos and videos are something that you’re going to look back on for years to come. When your memories have faded and you don’t remember those details on your own, you’re going to want to have these momentos to flood you with those feelings and help you relive the big day. These pieces are investments and you really want to take them seriously. I’ve yet to hear of someone who regretted hiring a great photographer or videographer, but I have heard plenty of stories from people who decided to go with cheaper options and quickly came to regret it.

Image Source: The Southern California Bride

Image Source: The Southern California Bride

Along the same subject line, Jaren and I have decided to have an “unplugged” ceremony. Meaning we don’t want any of our guests to have their phones, iPads, cameras, etc. out during the ceremony. I have seen many a ruined photo or video from someone stepping out into the aisle to try and get a great shot. While I appreciate that people want their own photos to remember the day by, that’s why we’re hiring professionals! We’ll be sharing all the photos and videos with everyone after the fact, but don’t want Uncle Bob’s iPhone blocking my face while we’re saying our vows (don’t worry, there is no actual Uncle Bob). As soon as cocktail hour hits, you can snap away, but until then, phones are away. I know lots of people have started trying this out and haven’t necessarily been successful, so my advice to other couples is to be extremely diligent about it. Not only will we have a nice sign reminding people, but we will also have the officiant make a reminder announcement before we walk down the aisle. Oh, and our vendors have all been given permission to tell anyone that they need to put their devices away should any be seen. Some may think that makes me a bridezilla, but if I’m going to be investing my time into creating a beautiful day and having it professionally photographed and videographed, you can put your phone away for a half hour.

Melanie Zacek Photography

As a fine art portrait and wedding photographer based in Amherst Massachusetts, Melanie travels throughout New England preserving memories and capturing clients' stories with thoughtfully crafted, luminous and romantic imagery. It was through her BFA in fine art photography from the Hartford Art School that she developed her timeless and light-filled vision for her work. With an approach that combines documentary and fine art sensibility, cherished and joyful moments are caught in all their beauty. 

We asked Melanie to give us a deeper look into herself and her work. Here's what she said.

Where do you get your inspiration?

My work is inspired by nature, literature, music and of course my amazing couples.

What's the newest trend in wedding photos that you are loving right now?

I’m absolutely loving the adventure elopement trend! This trend is an incredibly personal and romantic way to exchange vows as well as have photos taken in an epic landscape.

What do you recommend to couple's to best prepare for their wedding day photos?

In the beginning stages of your wedding planning it’s really helpful to go online and look up what time the sunset will be on your day. Many of my couples love to have sunset photos, so knowing exactly when the sunset will be helps us plan the time of their ceremony and portraits to get that beautiful golden light. 

See Melanie at Night at the Registry, enter a chance to win a free engagement photo session!

Keep checking back to meet so many more local vendors!


Inspiration came naturally for Rebecca & Chris. "My husband Chris and I knew we wanted our wedding to be held at my family's farm. It was a place where not only I grew up, but where our relationship grew as well. We spent a lot of time there together, taking in all that this beautiful property had to offer!"

It even helped them save on the decor! "Back in the day, it was a dairy farm, and is now home to the family's maple syrup operation. The barn was filled (and I mean filled) with 60+ years of antique milk bottles, jars, tools, and farm equipment."

This location is absolutely stunning! Every detailfits perfectly for this vintage/rustic look, but it took a little elbow grease, Rebecca explains. "Since this started as a blank slate, I would say majority of the budget went to "creating the venue". This was an old, cluttered and dirty barn that was still in current use! We spent the entire summer cleaning it out, repairing, fixing roads, driveways and landscaping." There were plenty of outside expenses, too. "We also rented a tent (with tables, chairs, lighting and dance floor) to provide a place for dinner and dancing. Another bulk of the budget went to food, which was appetizers for the cocktail hour, and the dinner itself. We made the desserts ourselves!"


Rebecca had a little piece of advice for future brides and grooms out there. "First of all, breathe and relax!! Come wedding day, just know that you have done all you could, and it is all going to be worth it. If something small didn't get done, don't sweat it, you will be the ONLY one who knows! But most of all, cherish every single second of that day. It goes by quickly. If you can, step away from the noise and be with each other for a few moments. Take it all in and embrace that beautiful moment with each other. You're really married now!!!

Photographer: Amy Brown Photography  //Wedding Dress: Davids Bridal  //Bouquet & Bouts : F as In Flowers  //DJ: Music Fantasy Weddings  //Officiate : A Hitching Place

Whimsical Bohemian Wedding: Francesca + Dennis

Francesca & Dennis, who met when they were 18 years old, chose a venue close to Francesca's heart, her childhood day camp Camp Massasoit at Springfield College, so she could incorporate her best memories from childhood. This August wedding captures the best elements of bohemian saturated colors and whimsical details. It all works together to create this magical day.

We asked Francesca where she got her inspiration for the wedding's style, because we are swooning over it! Francesca shares, All over the place!! Magazines, Pinterest, other weddings I've been to. At the camp they have this special spot in the woods called The Chapel of the Pines. The spot is so magical and ethereal it sparked inspiration in me and the next thing I knew the ideas were coming.

The budget talk! Paying for a wedding can be overwhelming so we asked Francesca and Dennis to give us their lessons learned during their experience. The biggest ticket item for us was the location and the food. There is never a time that you want to skimp on food. No one will have fun if they're hungry! But keep your budget in mind when you choose your venue and caterer. Have your budget worked out before you start the planning process, this way you know your budget for each part of the wedding. Things will be adjusted but at least you will be able to have a starting point that you are comfortable with.

The Botaniste captured Francesca's vision in this STUNNING, textural bouquet.

Francesca offers up advice to future brides and grooms. Enjoy the process. Start early so you get to have everything you want. It will give you a chance to shop around and save money. Most importantly, don't stress too much. The day is going to go so fast you won't even notice half the stuff you spent so much time worrying about- and your guests won't either! I wish I could go back and do it all over again.

Look at those favors! Details like this make an event but details mean work. Francesca and Dennis tell us about their decision to hire a wedding planner. We decided to hire a planners to help us through the process and it was the best decision we made. Our planner was our rock. She helped us from start to finish. From budget planning to site visits and rentals to decor and more importantly- execution of the decor- which is harder than one may think. She was my "day of" coordinator as well, which I think is necessary regardless of whether you decide to have a wedding planner or not. Otherwise, your friends and family are stressed trying to help get all the last minute stuff done rather than enjoying the day getting ready and being in the moment.

These pictures are amazing! Lydia Leclair of Lydia Leclair Photography captured every single detail of this amazing wedding. Even the dreamy night sky!



photography: Lydia Leclair Photography // wedding design: the bride and groom // venue: Camp Massasoit at Springfield College // dress: Daniel Faucher Couture // florals: The Botaniste // rentals: TJ's Taylor Rental // DJ: Chris Hamel Productions // catering: Springfield College Catering // cake: Cerrato's Bakery

Rustic Meets Glamour in a Winter Wonderland: Erin + Chase

Erin & Chase drew inspiration for their wedding from their life on their dairy farm in Salisbury, Vermont. Erin explains, My inspiration came from Chase and my lifestyle. We own a large dairy farm and I wanted to incorporate the country and rustic feel to the wedding. We knew we wanted a winter wedding due to it being a slow time for work for Chase. We played off of the winter theme as well, with lots of cozy ideas to warm up the space.

Carr's Florist captured the perfect balance of winter whites mixed with beautiful pops of blues and purple.  

A perfect match! Solos Salon created elegant mix of curls and braids and Paige Carrara of Mountain Top Spa gave the bridal party rose kissed cheeks, fresh dewy skin with a little pop of color on the lips. 

Elysa of Ever After Photography beautifully captures this touching moment.

What a location! This winter wonderland is breathtaking. Erin talked to us about budget, The bulk of the budget went to the venue itself. We loved the Mountain Top Inn because it's so beautiful and it was like a one stop shop for us. You could decorate it as much or as little as you wanted because it was a gorgeous location. Take note brides! Picking a location that you are in love with can help you save on the decor expenses, just like Erin, find a venue whose esthetic aligns with your vision for your big day.

ErinAndChase-Group2 (74).jpg

We asked Erin for her best advice for future brides and grooms on their big day. And she couldn't have said it better, To stop and enjoy the moment, it goes very fast. We spend so much time thinking about the little details and at the end of the day remember the only thing that matters is that you are marrying your best friend.



photography: Ever After Photography // DJ/Entertainment: Peak Entertainment // Makeup: Paige Carrara at Mountain Top Spa // Florals: Carr's Florist // Bridal gown: Essence of Australia gown from Lily Saratoga // Hair: Solos Salon // Venue: Mountain Top Inn