Now that you have read our story and what it is we are striving to do, this post is dedicated to a few of our industry experts we cannot talk about enough. From venues to photographers to floral arrangements, these experts have you covered.
This resort & spa is a gorgeous venue in the rolling hills and showcasing a gorgeous view of Lake Galena, the finest destination for Midwest weddings. Eagle Ridge also offers 80 lodge rooms, along with one-to-six bedroom distinctive homes and villas that allow your group to stay together with the amenities of home.
Cathy & Jeff make an amazing photographic team, capturing those sweet quiet moments of your dream wedding and then being the life of the party to loosen up the guests to capture them having a great time celebrating the bride and groom.
Offering Photo Booths, Lighting and Décor, Special Moments is there capturing special moments just for you. Customizable graphics for the photo booth, unique lighting and décor designed specifically to show off your unique wedding.
If you are shopping for invitations for your special event, consider Ink & Paper! Their team will create a one-of-a-kind invitation just for you and still stay within your budget.
With 20 years of experience, Mari and Hillary are Fresh Floral Designers from the Dubuque and Tri State Area. They create unique and breathtaking fresh arrangements for your wedding day. They strive for nothing short of perfection.
Wednesday February 8th, 2012 marked the Kick Off for 2012 Celebration of Local Businesses. I was fortunate enough to get out and network with some of Rockford and Winnebago Counties best business owners. We were gathered at Rockford’s own Giovanni’s & Big Al’s Bar where we enjoyed a nice appetizer spread as well as drinks at the cocktail bar.
Winnebago Buy Local has been backed by Lauren and Skyler Davis, owners of Culture Shock here in Rockford. Lauren and Skyler have been local supporters since day one, and were committed to spreading the word about shopping local. Because they know how hard it is to keep a retail store growing in a low-economic growth city, they took on much of the responsibilities of Winnebago Buy Local from the get go to ensure that the exposure was getting out there and people were EXCITED about shopping locally.
I was so impressed by the amount of people that came to support our community and even brought potentially new members. While mingling within the crowd, I was able to chat with such great people such as Jason and Britney of Pirate Ninja Print Shop, Jody Marshall of The Rock River Times, and Ryan Rydell of Coupon Cocktail. I was able to really get to know Jason from Pirate Ninja, along with Ryan Davis the owner of Ryan Davis Photography, and Doug Campbell owner of hear.more.music while we were chatting about the gentleman who mistakenly places his walking cane atop of one of the cocktail tables near a candle and set it a blaze! Great ice breaker for networking, let me tell you! Telling people about being a business owner in Rockford was a great feeling. Also having such a unique business such as a photo booth, was a great way to get people interested in what I do. Aside from meeting new people, there were plenty of familiar faces in the crowd too. Dana from Laynie Bug’s Bows, Angie from All Paws Beauty Salon, Kristan from Grace Funeral & Cremation Services PC, and Tammy from 3G’s Clutter and Collectibles.
I am eager to be a part of the next meeting in March!
While the photo booth selection is growing, there are many different things you should look for while selecting the right photo booth company. It’s nice that there is such a wide variety of choices, however that does not mean you can just go with any company.
The best way to select your wedding photo booth is to do your homework. Ask your friends if they know of any reputable companies. Friends are a great way to start the assignment because most of them have been to an event where there has been a photo booth. Once you have a general idea check out their website. Have they taken the time to give you a nice, user friendly presentation? Do they offer different options for you to choose from? Have they made your time and experience as effortless as possible? Once you have found a few companies that you are interested in, try contacting them. Reputable companies will do their best to respond to you within 24 hours of your initial inquiry. Make sure you have a company that is not only reachable on the web, but also available via telephone.
Here is a quick guide of questions that you should be considering:
1) Are you licensed and insured? Reputable companies will operate their business legally with a business license as well as insurance. Watch for those companies that are asking you to make out a personal check or asking for cash payments.
2) Are you familiar with my venue? It is important to have a vendor that knows where they are going, and can understand that different venues have different expectations.
3) Is this your primary business? With the growing popularity for a wedding photo booth, other vendors such as DJ’s, and photographers are jumping on the band wagon and offering photo booths. Is your vendor really trying to deliver a quality product, or just trying to make is failing business a few extra bucks?
4) Is your photo booth really a photo booth? Are you looking for those private candid photos that people are going to be talking about months past your event? Some “photo booth” retailers are offering their own version of a photo booth. Most are constructed of a backdrop and a photographer standing there taking four photos of you and then photo editing them into a strip. Make sure you are getting a quality built photo booth, and not a shower curtain hanging from a pole.
5) What quality of prints will I get? Make sure to ask what type of cameras and printers will be used. Shy away from web cams, and inkjet printers due to poor quality and appearance
6) Do you have any referrals or references? If your prospective vendor can not produce at least a few nice words of praise, then I would beware.
7) Will I sign a contract? READ AND SIGN A CONTRACT! Too many times people will hire their entertainment without doing this, and it can come back to haunt you.
8) What happens if the photo booth does not work at my wedding reception? Reliable vendors will always have a back up plan! Ask your prospective what their’s is. See if they are able to bring you a back up device or if they have an on call technician.
9) Will you be at any upcoming events where I can see you in action? While it is not always easy for vendors to have someone show up at someone else’s private event, there are always alternatives. Bridal shows are one of the best ways to see your prospective in action. There you will be able to test out the equipment, see how the business operates, and ask as many questions as you need. Another way is to keep watch of their facebook. Good photo booth companies often donate their services to local charity and fundraising events which are typically open to the public.
10) How much do you charge? While this seems to be the most important to some people these days, you should do your best to avoid basing decisions on price alone. You may find a really unbelievable price that you think you cannot pass up, however ask the questions above, and see if it still that great of a deal to you. Check for fees such as setup and tear down, or travel fees.
Now that you have the tools to make an educated decision, it will make selecting your wedding photo booth rental vendor much easier. Once you have made your decision to book a photo booth, please feel free to contact Special Moments Photo Booth for any questions you may have. We have been serving the Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin, Quad Cities, Southern Illinois, Chicago and Rockford areas for over 5 years now. Providing quality customer service driven excellence in photo booths!
Now that Bridal Show season has arrived, I have wondered what will be 2012’s hottest trends. So after doing some research, I have compiled a list (not in any particular order) for all to review. I did come across a few interesting things that I would have never even thought of.
One trend that caught my eye was the “Outdoor Wedding”. It seems as though many couples have chosen to run off to a tropical paradise that best represents their personalities rather than staying close to home. The couples that wanted to stay close and still have their outdoor nuptials outside chose to do things like add a extravagant backdrop, chose venues that offer rooftop receptions, or even beautiful botanical gardens.
“Going Green” was another great trend that I am totally supportive of. Couples are choosing to skip the traditional snail mail for their invitations, and going directly to e-vites. There are also helpful tools on sites such as The Knot, and Wedding Wire that can help you with your organizing.
“Metallic Grey”! Apparently it’s taking over from it’s former friend the color black. Grey sems to be a color in which you can easily match up with almost any other color or shade. Combine it with a soft pink or yellow for a classic look or keep it modern and match it to black, navy or purple for a stylish fresh take.
Who is ready to talk about that oh so awaited late night snack? That’s right people, I have seen many different food ideas for an after dinner bite, such as Mc D’s, hot dogs, and The Castle. Now thanks to the reality circuit on TV we can add “Food Trucks” to that roster. Elaborate, five star meals are being prepared from these gourmet kitchens on wheels! Who would have thought?
One trend that makes me happy is the “Artful Photography”. Couples are adding something more than just the traditional posed photographs. They are choosing off site locations with non-tradtional shoots. Also they are trying to capture more candid photos of themselves as well as their guests. To accomplish these shots, they are adding such things like a photo booth to get their guests involved in their celebrations. Not only will they have these memories, but the guests walk away with a photo memory as well.
A trend in which I have seen creeping in is “The Vintage” wedding. Couples are looking to add an elegant and sophisticated look to their event by selecting such things as vintage patterns and monograms, as well as Hollywood style gowns and decor. Another great addition to the vintage look is a florist that knows what they are doing and can capture the true feel.
The next trend is one that I am thrilled about! “Donations”…..The idea here is rather than excepting wedding gifts themselves, some couples are now requesting that their guests bring a charitable donation. With the way the economy is these days, I can’t think a more selfless act coming form such a wonderful occasion!
“Ethnic” weddings is not something that I feel is all that new, however there seems to be a large upward trend. From the cultural decor and the native foods guests are really enjoying the “outside the box” planning. It is also a great way to keep cultural ceremonies fresh in the way of tradition and religion.
A great budget friendly trend for 2012 is the newly popular “Candy Station”. Brides and Grooms are filling these stations with goodies from their childhood along with some of their present favorites. The beauty of a candy station is that you can do almost anything with is from a design aspect.
Bring your Sexy Back! “Island Style Dresses and Shoes” are becoming increasingly popular for that fresh and tropical look. The open back gown with no straps is an island favorite. Letting the bridesmaids chose their own color dress and shoes will pull it all together to give you that beach look!
I hope I was able to spark your interest in a few ideas for this years wedding season. Thanks for reading 🙂
Okay, so the holiday party season is upon us. Now the big question is, what do we do to spice it up a bit. After researching this topic for a while, I did come up with a few interesting ideas. There are many different companies out there that are professional event planners that can offer you some really unique party options. If it is in your budget, I suggest finding a reputable agency to assist you. If that’s not something that your company has in it’s budget, there are still lots of ideas on the web that can help.
While searching I stumbled upon a few ideas that I liked, and a few that I could pass on. I also have been to quite a few holiday parties personally that were both successful and not. First, I personally experienced having a fortune teller/tarot card reader. I must say, the line for this attraction was never ending! She was a very friendly lady, and dressed the part very well. People were really excited to have her there. Another party I attended had a magician who would walk from table to table doing small tricks and gags. This was humorous and quite enjoyable by all, since he was able to entertain small groups at a time. Another great way to entertain people in groups is by having a photo booth. People get to gather their closest office friends or teams and jump into the booth for some candid and laugh out loud fun! It’s always good to have great music while enjoying your party, so make sure to get yourself a qualified DJ/Band. Again, if you can get an event planer to assist, you will have a much broader spectrum of ideas to choose from.
The music, the lights, the decor, and lastly the attitude…..WOW what an amazing evening! From the decorations of each individual vendor area, to the creative decor created by none other than Lisa Frost, there was an exciting buzz in the air last night at the 2011 Frost and Friends gala. While walking through the spacious Cliffbreakers, host of this years event, there was this enchanting echo of laughter filling the entire room. Whether at the bar sipping on one of the delicious blue frostini’s, sampling one of the cupcakes from Rockford’s finest Sugar Jones Bakery, or while getting their complimentary photos taken in the photo booth, provided by Special Moments Photo Booth, people were enjoying the beginning of this years holiday festivities.
This years event was sponsored by a great group of Rockford’s very best companies. Lexus of Rockford, Accent on Events, and Luxe Productions(who also did a breathtaking job on the lighting, and audio) just to name a few. While mingling throughout the night, I had the pleasure of meeting some new and wonderful people such as, the ladies of ColorLab Costume Cosmetics, and Bennie Gonzalez of EOTB Photography. I was also introduced to a great group of women who are a big part of some terrific organizations such as L.I.P.P. (Ladies In Professional Power), and Winnebago Buy Local.
I hope everyone got a change to stop by and see all that Lisa Frost is, and what she has done to help ring in the 2011 holiday season. The best part of this wonderful two day affair is that proceed’s from Frost and Friends sales, go toward scholarship funding! So if you didn’t get a chance to make it out this year, don’t miss out on next years event!
Frost and Friends is a two -day, upscale, holiday shopping event produced by Lisa Frost. Proceeds from the event fund art scholarships for local students. This event will be held at one of Rockford’s most well known venues, Cliffbreakers on Riverside Blvd. What better way to kick off the holiday season than by getting a large group of people together filling a room full of holiday cheer!
There are going to be some great local vendors on site to really make this event special. The musical entertainment will be provided by none other than Rockford’s very own Jordan Chance owner of Luxe Productions. Also, Sugar Jones Bakery, who in my opinion is absolutely delicious…. Accent on Events will be in attendance as well to share their expertise in event planning. Special Moments Photo Booth is setting up shop on Friday to let all of the patrons get a chance to get their pictures taken in the photo booth. Make sure to get there early so you have time to visit all of the exciting vendors that will be there showing off their stuff!
Over the past few years, there has been a new and exciting addition to many special events, weddings being the most popular of these events. People are choosing to compliment their function by adding a photo booth. Now some people may not know exactly what I mean by a photo booth, so I will explain. Remember back in the day, you could walk down Navy Pier in Chicago, and come across what is now considered an “Old Fashion” photo booth. You could also find these machines which weighed nearly 700 pounds in most larger scaled malls.
If you have ever tried one of these booths, you remember that the quality wasn’t exactly all you hoped, and the time that it took to print was just grueling! Thanks to technology, the world of photo booths have evolved. Digital photography has enabled us to capture stunning, crisp, and clear photos that will last you a lifetime. Not only can we create a great looking print, but the printing method has made major improvements as well. With the help of some really great printing manufacturers, we can now print photos in seconds!
Now that we have the printing quality and printing speed taken care of, there have been a few other upgrades. Old Fashion photo booths were typically two seaters taking only head shots. Special Moments Photo Booth, as well as a few other companies have decided to expand our photo shooting abilities. While keeping a sleek design in mind, we were able to create a photo booth capable of holding up to 10 guests at a time. While having two people in a booth can be fun, once you have 10 people there, the real PARTY begins!
Are you someone who likes to keep their color schemes running? Most photo booths have the capabilities of switching different parts of their booth to accommodate your color scheme. On top of that, most are also able to add different colored backdrops to ad a splash of color into your pictures. Don’t forget, while looking for your photo booth, to take a look at what add-ons your company offers.
I had the opportunity to host a photo booth for a lovely couple recently at the Ramada Inn, in Galena IL. The drive there was spectacular with all of the rolling hills and brilliant valley’s! This was my second trip to Galena, and I am always looking forward to getting out there.
The Ramada has a very large room that for hosting events, that is great for guest accommodations of at least 200 people. Not only is the room large enough for a nice sized reception, it also allows room for extra amenities such as a photo booth. There is a very beautiful landscaped view of a large lake in which many couples are attracted to for their actual ceremony. Jennifer and Chai were drawn to Galena for its wonderful view, as well as the perfect outdoor ceremony that the Ramada offered.
This was such a great reception, I honestly felt like family while hosting the photo booth. Jennifer’s mother was my actual contact for the event, and she was so great to work with! I got the pleasure to meet up with the family about 4 weeks before the event when they stopped into our office to finalized details. We laughed for quite a while after sharing a few stories before we actually began finalizing things. The unfortunate part of the whole meeting was that they had so much fun with our staff that they wanted all of us to be present on their big day!
I met some really great people that evening that I am really looking forward to seeing and working with again in the near future. Heidi Lee Photography (Heidi, Heidi and Drew) was there for the duration of the event taking lots of photos as well as video. I have to admit, they really did do a great job of capturing Jennifer and Chai’s wedding day. Not only did we take photo’s in the booth, but we also put together a great looking custom graphic’s for their photo strips, and their very own photo guestbook. I noticed while assembling the guestbook, that Chai’s family was not only leaving great messages in English, but they were also writing in Chinese! The combination of the two really made the book come together nicely.
All in all, I was very pleased with how their event turned out, and I was very happy to be a part of their big day. Thanks Jennifer, Chai, and mom Lori for making me feel like family. I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did.