The Blog of Fred + Kate

REAL LIFE WEDDING :: Jamie and Anthony

October 31, 2014

Fred+Kate couple Jamie and Anthony tied the knot recently in a breezy oceanside ceremony at the Ihilani. We ADORE this stunning wedding party pic from Bianca Photography. Note to self: steal this photo idea! #jamieanthony2014 #fredandkateevents

Fred+Kate Presents :: First Look 101

October 29, 2014

We can’t even count how many times we’ve been mid-consultation and asked the question: “Will you be doing a First Look?” only to see pure confusion. Brides, we don’t blame you! With so much wedding jargon and nuptial talk floating around your ears from past brides, family and vendors, it probably sounds like we’re speaking another language!

Allow us to define this modern day wedding tradition for you with the five W’s. Who, what, when, where, why? As an added bonus, we’ve cracked open our files to show you the first looks of five Fred+Kate couples. We hope you have a tissue handy!

WHO has a First Look?

The two most important people on the wedding day...the bride and groom. However, sometimes her future hubby isn’t the only person the bride wants to WOW! Check out what Fred+Kate couple Misa and Sean did on their wedding day for a definite tear-jerker.

Photo Credit: Reflektions Photography

In a touching two-fer, Misa and Sean shared in their First Look before Sean led his bride down the stairs to her waiting father. The moment when daddy first sees his little girl in a wedding gown is unbelievably touching, and a quick addition to any photo timeline. Other First Look candidates: Wedding Party, Mom or Grandparents!

WHAT are you supposed to do?

Anything you want! The First Look can be filled with smiles, tears, laughs or all of the above. When thinking about putting your signature spin on this moment, go back to what makes sense to you as a couple. Are you sweet and romantic? Playful jokesters? 

Photo Credit: Dave Miyamoto & Co

If you knew our couple Lauren and Rishi, you’d know that this hilarious pair LOVES to goof around and laugh together. Their adorable First Look showed it from the moment Lauren made Rishi JUMP when she tickled him all the way to the “we-did-it!” high-five. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through...this is the perfect moment.

WHEN do you have a First Look?

The best time for a First Look is before the ceremony. If you see each other prior, you can take care of most or all of your formal pictures before your trip down the aisle. This frees up time for you to take a breather, mingle with your guests and enjoy cocktails before the reception begins!

Photo Credit: Kai Photo

Because Fred+Kate couple Sarah and Jonathan have SUCH a close-knit group of friends, they opted to have their wedding party participate in their First Look. We adore the unforgettable images of not only the groom fighting back tears, but the couples best friends tearing up right alongside him.

WHERE do you have a First Look?

This depends! It can be in a place that carries meaning for both of you, such as where he saw you for the first time (Bookmark that!). But if you don’t mind where your First Look is as long as your significant other is there, your photographer can be counted on to find a photogenic location with good lighting. 

Photo Credit: Mike Pham Photography

In these gorgeous images of our couple Stephanie and Matthew, photographer Mike Pham nixed the traditional photo-taking locations at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa in favor of the sweeping lanai of the couples top floor Presidential Suite. Thanks to his quick thinking, a sweet first look became an iconic series against sea, sky and modern architecture. The groom’s heart-wrenchingly emotional reaction to his bride didn’t hurt either!

WHY do some people say a First Look is bad luck? 

So you’ve heard this rumor! We’re happy to say it’s absolutely NOT TRUE, but does have a logical explanation. In the days of arranged marriages, the couple usually didn’t meet before their wedding day. Keeping the bride and groom from each other before the day decreased the chances that they might bolt if they didn’t like what they saw. Since we’re reasonably certain you know who will be waiting for you at the end of the aisle, there’s no need to stress. 

Photo Credit: Christina Heaston Photography

There you have it, brides! We hope we cleared up any confusion about the First Look and gave you some inspiration for your own big moment! 

Psst… if you want ANOTHER Fred+Kate bonus, you can check out a First Look in action with our couple Le-Ann and Russell. At 1:14 in 10th Letter Media’s awesome Same Day Edit, Le-Ann sneaks up on her groom with unforgettable enthusiasm. 


To find out more information on the TWC photographers who can capture these beautiful moments on your wedding day, check out our photographer directory HERE. Til next time and happy planning!

Fred+Kate Presents :: Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s With Wedding Calligraphy

October 22, 2014

You can’t beat the art of carefully crafted penmanship, and Kelsey Nishi of Hawaii Calligraphy is the resident expert on stamping a unique signature on your big day. She shared a few tips with our staff on how incorporate the elegance of calligraphy into wedding day details that are guaranteed to be unforgettable!

1. Addressing Invitation Envelopes

Let’s be real, no one wants to deal with handwriting hundreds of envelopes, but address labels can sometimes look impersonal. Ta-da! Enter a professional calligrapher, who will write out your guests' addresses in elegant loops and whirls. Bonus? Your guests will think it was your fantastic handwriting! #wewonttell

Photo Credit: Hawaii Calligraphy

2. Escort and Place Cards

What better way to help guests to their tables than with an escort card? One of our favorite takeaways from a wedding, it takes on a unique life of its own when it's calligraphed. Check out one of Kelsey’s favorite examples, this simple handwritten card attached to a seashell with twine.

Photo Credit: Hawaii Calligraphy

3. Menu Cards and Programs

If there’s anything we love more than eating, it's reading delicious menu cards describing the food we’re about to eat. We’re sure your guests feel the same, and will love the soft touch of penmanship. Talk about an appe-teaser!

Photo Credit: Hawaii Calligraphy

4. Photo Props and Signs

One of our favorite tricks for brides is to take a picture with their groom holding a “thank you” sign during formal photos on the big day. Voila! A quick print and you have a personalized thank-you card for after the wedding (we wish we could get a calligrapher to write all those!) Check out Kelsey’s handiwork on this stained wooden sign and don’t trip over yourself rushing to her Etsy shop to get one of your own!

Photo Credit: Hawaii Calligraphy

We hope you took notes on how to personalize your wedding day details with professionally pretty writing! To learn more about our suite of excellent invitation and calligraphy vendors, check out our directory HERE!

Fred+Kate Events Presents :: Why Your Centerpieces Cost So Much and What You Can Do About It

October 21, 2014

Brides, you’ve heard the whispers (or shouts!) of those brides who came before that the wedding day flowers were one of the most expensive parts. Of course, fresh flowers are costly to bring into the Aloha state, but you didn’t expect that price tag. Nine times out of ten, the number one perp on that invoice are your centerpieces.

Thankfully, Fred+Kate Events loves enlisting the help of experts, and what better way than to troubleshoot the cost of your precious petals. Chad Yamaguchi of The Floral Boutique was happy to debunk a few myths about centerpieces and give us some awesome tips along the way.

Myth: It’s Cheaper to Provide Your Own Containers

We just had to grill Chad on the cost of glassware and find out if it really was cheaper to provide your own. Hold onto those wallets because this was a big FALSE.Although there are varying factors like count of centerpieces, how many pieces and container size, the total cost will usually be equivalent (if not more) to what your florist would charge. Why, you ask? A florist like Chad will include the cost of the glassware directly into his quote, NOT just the flowers. Besides, he’ll be able to match your vision more clearly by providing all the components. Fred+Kate Tip: Inquire whether your florist is able to rent containers to pare down the price tag even more.

Fred+Kate couple Amanda and Brandon worked with Fong Tagawa of Floral Inspirations to find containers that would convey a charming homey feel. We love those terra cotta pots and mason jars! 
Photo Credit: John Hook Photography

Myth: All Blooms Are Available, All the Time

Sorry brides, but this one is a big FALSE!Seasonal flowers or rare exotics are hard to find from suppliers and will be MUCH more costly out of season. To avoid the pitfall of adorin’ what you just can’t have, Chad recommends not getting too attached to specific flowers, but rather focusing on overall texture and color. It’s going to be much easier for your florist to keep it in budget if you express interest in an organic, textured bouquet rather than “a cascade filled with hydrangeas, Juliet roses and anemones!” Speaking of which, did you know that your florist can sometimes recreate the look of off-season flowers for you? In a pinch when a supplier suddenly didn’t have any anemone blooms, Chad saved the day by spray-painting the inside of another in-season flower and GLUING another flower piece into each to recreate the brides treasured anemones. BOOM…everyone happy! Fred+Kate Tip: Pull a few inspiration pics from Pinterest to take to your florist and ask what they would substitute for the same look from IN-SEASON flowers.

Myth: All Vases Are Created Equal

FALSE!Just like your wedding, centerpieces are unique. Tons of factors can contribute to high costs, down to the size of your container. As Chad would say “the bigger the bucket, the more blooms needed to fill it.” To trim down, think about sizing down. Small arrangements can be just as impactful on your table. Fred+Kate Tip: Ask your venue if they have mirror bases available for your centerpieces. These mirror discs set in the center of the table can make a smaller centerpiece into a statement.

Fred+Kate couple Katherine and Craig worked with Sue of Su-V Expressions to find small arrangements with big impact. Their bud vases with single and double blooms conveyed a vintage Hawaiian garden party with ease.
Photo Credit: Sieber Studio

There you have it, brides! Some tips to minimize the cost of those flowers so you can invest in that photo booth or those juicy wedding shoes you’ve been lusting after. Above all, trust your florist and don’t be afraid to communicate about budget…everyone has one! For more information on The Wedding Café’s spectacular florists, check out our vendor directory HERE. Til next time...

Fred+Kate Events Presents :: 4 Common Reasons For An Uncommonly Early Wake-Up Call

October 20, 2014

You’ve heard the stories of late nights and all-too-early mornings. You’ve sworn up and down that you’ll sleep in if its the last thing you do, but how do you avoid the all-too-common pitfalls that guarantee the alarm to buzz too early on the Wedding Day? Rest easy, brides! Here’s the details on four exhausting circumstances from morning ceremonies to alternate photo locations, and what will help you hit the snooze button a little longer.

1. The Early Morning Ceremony

The single most common element of the day that will guarantee you rise before the sun? A morning ceremony. Just like its afternoon counterparts, an early wedding will often contain hair and makeup, dressing, first look and picture-taking before the ceremony begins. The difference is, the ceremony will begin around 10:00AM! 

Fred+Kate couple Elise and Andy enjoyed a 10:30AM ceremony followed by a brunch reception.
Photo Credit: Christina Heaston Photography

When Elise and Andy celebrated their wedding at Tiki’s Grill and Bar, they took all formal pictures before the ceremony to create more time with their guests. After adding together a first look, portraits together, wedding party pictures and pictures with immediate family members on top of getting ready, Elise found her hair and makeup call time at 4:45AM! #eek

If this up-and-at-’em hour just isn’t for you, never fear. Control your start time for morning weddings with this tried and true tip: Take the majority of pictures after the ceremony, during the cocktail period. You can further streamline this by creating a must-have photo list in order to cut downtime out of your photo sesh.

2. The First Look

We could list pros of having a First Look for days (Less photo taking time, letting you mingle with your guests, keeping the timeline of the day less rushed…) but one steep downside of the First Look is the one to three hours it can add onto the start of your day!

Fred+Kate couple Amanda and Brandon see each other for the first time before the ceremony.
Photo Credit: John Hook Photography

It may not seem like too big a deal at first glance, but consider how you’ll feel later when your poor eyelids are drooping and your guests are BEGGING you to do the electric slide with them! To combat bone-tired blues and create staying power at your party, try to balance by maximizing the time you have rather than adding on heaps more.

Amanda and Brandon are a great example of how to keep your timing balanced. Their number one timeline tip: Keep picture-taking before the ceremony as a time for the wedding party and JUST the Bride and Groom. Immediate Family pictures can be taken during cocktails with time to spare! 

3. Large Bridal Party 

There’s nothing better than being surrounded by your best friends for your trip down the aisle...but waiting in line for hair and makeup definitely leaves something to be desired. 

Fred+Kate Bride Sarah chose six of her closest friends to attend to her on the wedding day.
Photo Credit: Kai Photo

Most hair and makeup stylists will request 45 minutes to 1 hour to style your blushing bridesmaids so if you have more than a couple ladies your stylist will need a few more hours to make sure everyone is ready! Don’t believe us? Even with a team of three speedy stylists, Sarah’s seven-person bridal party took a whopping five hours to apply hair and makeup!

Thankfully, there’s always a way to get around this if you can’t make it without all of your girls. Consider hiring two separate hair and makeup teams to tackle the job.You and your Maid of Honor can be curled and coiffed by your stylist while your remaining bridal party is polished to perfection by another team. Voila! Everyone ready in half the time. 

4. Another Photo Location

We totally get it. You got an eyeful of a beach park or a garden paradise somewhere and just KNEW you had to have perfect portraits in that location. New backgrounds can add unique dimension to your wedding photo album or video, but they can also add hours onto your timeline AND a strain on your wallet!

Fred+Kate couple Becca and Reid headed to the East-West Center for a photo session.
Photo Credit: Perfekt Photo

Say it with us...travel time. Travel time is a cushion that your photographers and coordinators will use to make sure that you’re able to get where you need to go while accounting for things like traffic or closures. (We DO live in Hawaii, after all.) It’s a fool-proof plan that will keep you on track, but it’s also dead time. When Becca and Reid opted to add a location, it added an hour and a half to their photo-taking time - just for travel!

So how do you add another photo location into the fold without adding hours to your day? Easy. Strategize by selecting another photo location near your venue to cut down travel time, and opt for pictures of just the two of you rather than the entire wedding party or family.

So brides, are you feeling rested, relaxed and ready for beauty sleep? We hope so! To keep your timeline on point between pro stylists and skilled photographers, check out our list of all-star vendors HERE. As always... Happy planning!

REAL LIFE WEDDING :: Lauren and Rishi

October 19, 2014

Please meet :: Fred+Kate Bride Lauren... 


Photo Credit: Dave Miyamoto & Co Photography