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Interview an Expert

We ask experts in the New Braunfels wedding industry a series of questions that will help brides prepare for their big day, communicate their needs, and ensure everything runs smoothly!

New interviews will be added as more experts share their wedding advice with us. Stay tuned!

Click below to see who we’ve interviewed so far!

Jewelry Consultant

Expert Intro:
Jean Ann Knox, Jewelry with Jean Ann

 

1. What’s your story? How did you get into the jewelry business?

25 years ago, I took a chance and joined Premier Designs to pay back debt totaling $500/month. For the first 20 years, Premier was my side hustle. Then, in 2011, my sister and father were both diagnosed with cancer. Realizing that life is very short and extremely precious, I left my non-stop, high stress, high paying corporate career behind and became a jewelry stylist full-time. It was the best decision I ever made!

2. What is the best part of your job?

That’s a tough one because I love SO many aspects of my job! The relationships and personal/spiritual growth that I’ve gained through this career have been life-changing. I love having a flexible schedule and time to spend with my family and friends. The most rewarding part of my job is that I have the privilege of empowering other women every day. It is a joy to teach women how to accessorize, make great first impressions, and see the confidence birthed through this process.

3. What is unique about your business?

FREE jewelry opportunities for brides with a bridal shower jewelry party is one of my unique offers. Your host calls me, we arrange everything, and just like that, your shower gets a whole lot more sparkly and exciting! I have a traveling boutique, so location and crazy schedules are not an obstacle!

4. Outside of being a jewelry stylist, tell me a bit more about yourself!

I’m a people person. I love volunteering and am very active in the community. I host a monthly fundraiser via my business where 100% of the proceeds go to the cause, which is always a blast! I enjoy traveling, great conversations with friends, and spending time with those that I hold dearest to my heart!

5. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Have fun together! Smile, laugh, and go on dates. Life is so short, so cherish every moment.

Jewelry Consultant

Expert Intro:
Jean Ann Knox, Jewelry with Jean Ann

 

1. What’s your story? How did you get into the jewelry business?

25 years ago, I took a chance and joined Premier Designs to pay back debt totaling $500/month. For the first 20 years, Premier was my side hustle. Then, in 2011, my sister and father were both diagnosed with cancer. Realizing that life is very short and extremely precious, I left my non-stop, high stress, high paying corporate career behind and became a jewelry stylist full-time. It was the best decision I ever made!

2. What is the best part of your job?

That’s a tough one because I love SO many aspects of my job! The relationships and personal/spiritual growth that I’ve gained through this career have been life-changing. I love having a flexible schedule and time to spend with my family and friends. The most rewarding part of my job is that I have the privilege of empowering other women every day. It is a joy to teach women how to accessorize, make great first impressions, and see the confidence birthed through this process.

3. What is unique about your business?

FREE jewelry opportunities for brides with a bridal shower jewelry party is one of my unique offers. Your host calls me, we arrange everything, and just like that, your shower gets a whole lot more sparkly and exciting! I have a traveling boutique, so location and crazy schedules are not an obstacle!

4. Outside of being a jewelry stylist, tell me a bit more about yourself!

I’m a people person. I love volunteering and am very active in the community. I host a monthly fundraiser via my business where 100% of the proceeds go to the cause, which is always a blast! I enjoy traveling, great conversations with friends, and spending time with those that I hold dearest to my heart!

5. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Have fun together! Smile, laugh, and go on dates. Life is so short, so cherish every moment.

Massage Therapist

Expert Intro:
Ryan Lathe
Ryan Massage Therapy

 

1. Tell me your story: why did you become a massage therapist?

The way the human body works has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. As I got older, I became interested in holistic health and wellness as I learned more about how powerful the body is. I became a massage therapist in 2012 after graduating from St. Phillip’s College and founded Ryan Massage Therapy. It is my desire to enhance the therapeutic experience of every client based on their individual needs.

 

2. What is your favorite part of weddings?

The contagious joy and happiness that surround you during weddings is my favorite part!
 

3. What is the best part of your job?

Helping my clients achieve wellness and reduce stress!

 

4. What continues to inspire you?

My son, Logan, is my biggest and continual inspiration!

 

5. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Don’t forget to take care of yourself while planning your wedding! Stress takes a huge toll on the body.

DJ

Expert Intro:
Bruce Schwartz, Retro FX Mobile DJ

 

1. Tell me your story: why did you a D.J.?

Music is my passion, and I’ve been in the music industry for over 30 years. I’m a musician, and I own and operate Texas 46 Radio. I like to keep things interesting, so I added D.J. to the mix. It’s a lot of fun for me to bring music to people in whatever capacity they desire!

2. What is the best part of your job?

Becoming the unofficial Emcee for the evening is always a lot of fun for me! Narrating the excitement, keeping the energy up, and ensuring everyone has a blast is the best part of my job.

3. What continues to inspire you?

My family, fellow musicians, and radio fans are where I find my inspiration.

4. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Try not to stress too much. Listen to good music, and make having fun a priority on your wedding day and in your life.

DJ

Expert Intro:
Bruce Schwartz, Retro FX Mobile DJ

 

1. Tell me your story: why did you a D.J.?

Music is my passion, and I’ve been in the music industry for over 30 years. I’m a musician, and I own and operate Texas 46 Radio. I like to keep things interesting, so I added D.J. to the mix. It’s a lot of fun for me to bring music to people in whatever capacity they desire!

2. What is the best part of your job?

Becoming the unofficial Emcee for the evening is always a lot of fun for me! Narrating the excitement, keeping the energy up, and ensuring everyone has a blast is the best part of my job.

3. What continues to inspire you?

My family, fellow musicians, and radio fans are where I find my inspiration.

4. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Try not to stress too much. Listen to good music, and make having fun a priority on your wedding day and in your life.

Officiant

Expert Intro:
Shirley Trevino
Weddings by Shirley

 

1. Tell me your story: why did you become an ordained minister and wedding officiant?

First of all, I am a diehard romantic and absolutely LOVE love. I always root for love to win, and every time it does, my heart smiles! Celebrating a new chapter in a couple’s journey together is so special. Second, I had some friends who were getting married that really wanted me to officiate their ceremony. After giving it some thought, I decided to go for it! It’s the perfect gift! Third, I wanted to do something to spread joy in the world and also honor my late husband and love of my life. Every time I officiate a wedding, I am reminded of the love, joy, and happiness we shared together!

 

2. What is your favorite part of weddings?

My favorite part, hands down, is the vow readings. Hearing the bride and groom declare their love to each other and commit to a lifetime together is such a beautiful experience!
 

3. What is the best part of your job?

Being a part of love winning and bringing two people together through God and Love is an amazing feeling.

 

4. What continues to inspire you?

I’m inspired by love. In the words of The Beatles, “All we need is love. Love is all we need.” I truly believe that love has the power to change the world!

 

5. Tell me a bit more about yourself:

I enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories. I love great music and spent many years working in the music industry. I also enjoy dancing, spending time with my family, and watching chick flicks!

 

6. What advice would you give to engaged or newly married couples?

Love comes with continual forgiveness. Let go of your baggage, and allow yourself to start your marriage with a blank slate. Plan your wedding the way you really want it to be because you don’t want to have any regrets. Finally, choose your officiant wisely. They set the tone for your wedding!

Wedding Planner

Expert Intro:
Halima Hanneman, Lively Events

 

1. Tell me your story: why did you a wedding planner?

I’ve always loved weddings! I spent a lot of time over the years helping my friends plan their weddings, and it always felt like second nature to me. I started my career as a wedding planner in 2007 and started my own business in 2013. The push I needed to start Lively Events was my own wedding disaster. My wedding coordinator started my wedding ceremony before I was even in my dress. My poor husband was standing at the altar for over 20 minutes thinking I was going Julia Roberts in “Runaway Bride” on him! Meanwhile, I had no idea that she started the ceremony without me! Ever since then, I have been committed to helping brides make their wedding day perfect while helping them enjoy the journey to “I do”!

2. How long have you been in New Braunfels, and what brought you here?

I grew up in the New Braunfels area, and I absolutely love it! I know the ins and outs of the wedding industry here, and there is no place I would rather be!

3. What is your favorite part of weddings?

My favorite part of weddings is also the best part of my job. Seeing the bride’s expression as she experiences her dream wedding come true is such a rewarding experience!

4. Tell me a bit more about yourself:

I have a degree in education and originally planned to be a teacher! I’m married to my middle school sweetheart, and have 2 amazing children.

5. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Before you start diving into wedding planning, know what your budget is. A planner is worth the investment in stress relief alone. It’s so easy to get swept up in the busyness of life. Make quality time with your spouse a priority!

Wedding Planner

Expert Intro:
Halima Hanneman, Lively Events

 

1. Tell me your story: why did you a wedding planner?

I’ve always loved weddings! I spent a lot of time over the years helping my friends plan their weddings, and it always felt like second nature to me. I started my career as a wedding planner in 2007 and started my own business in 2013. The push I needed to start Lively Events was my own wedding disaster. My wedding coordinator started my wedding ceremony before I was even in my dress. My poor husband was standing at the altar for over 20 minutes thinking I was going Julia Roberts in “Runaway Bride” on him! Meanwhile, I had no idea that she started the ceremony without me! Ever since then, I have been committed to helping brides make their wedding day perfect while helping them enjoy the journey to “I do”!

2. How long have you been in New Braunfels, and what brought you here?

I grew up in the New Braunfels area, and I absolutely love it! I know the ins and outs of the wedding industry here, and there is no place I would rather be!

3. What is your favorite part of weddings?

My favorite part of weddings is also the best part of my job. Seeing the bride’s expression as she experiences her dream wedding come true is such a rewarding experience!

4. Tell me a bit more about yourself:

I have a degree in education and originally planned to be a teacher! I’m married to my middle school sweetheart, and have 2 amazing children.

5. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Before you start diving into wedding planning, know what your budget is. A planner is worth the investment in stress relief alone. It’s so easy to get swept up in the busyness of life. Make quality time with your spouse a priority!

Invitations

Expert Intro:
Shawn Phillips
Studio MSP

 

1. What’s your story? Why did you become a graphic designer?

As a kid, I was constantly doodling. When I wanted a challenge, I would ask my family and friends for an idea and then draw what they described. The more I practiced, the better I got at capturing the image in their mind’s eye. I was intrigued by the science of color and computers. When I discovered the world of graphic design, I knew I found my passion. Graphic design is the perfect blend of all of my favorite things. I’ve been a graphic artist for over 20 years now. Time flies when you’re having fun!

 

2. What is your favorite part of weddings?

My favorite part of weddings is seeing how the color scheme and décor come together to create the perfect environment. My other favorite thing is the food!
 

3. What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is sitting down with a client and really building a relationship with them. This allows me to sculpt an image that not only brings their vision to life but also incorporates their unique personality. It’s a very rewarding experience.

 

4. What continues to inspire you?

I’m inspired by good music, kindness in the world, and the imagination.

 

5. Tell me a bit more about yourself:

I’m known for wearing a hat and flip-flops year-round. My favorite pass times include listening to music and trying new restaurants.

 

6. What advice would you give to engaged or newly married couples?

Be very careful if you decide to D.I.Y. your wedding invitations. Color looks entirely different on paper than it does on the computer, and proper etiquette when wording your invitations is very important!

Videographer

Expert Intro:
Christoph Millett, New Vibe Productions

 

1. What inspired you to become a videographer? What’s your story?

I’ve had a passion for film as a vehicle for storytelling since I was a kid. Photographs are wonderful, but there is nothing like being able to re-experience the emotion and energy of the moment by seeing and hearing it again. I also found that it’s those in-between moments that photos often miss that have the most significant meaning. I decided to use my passion to give the gift of living memories to others.

2. What brought you to New Braunfels? How long has your business been here?

I am a New Braunfels native. I grew up here, graduated from New Braunfels High School, and then attended Texas State. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Directing for TV, Film, and Theater, I moved to California to further my education at the Brooks Institute of Santa Barbara where I completed my certification in Digital Cinema. While California was a great place to be, New Braunfels called me back. I founded New Vibe Productions in April of 2014.

3. What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is giving my clients the gift of memories they can treasure for a lifetime.

4. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Hire a videographer for your wedding. You’ll be glad you did. Those little in-between moments are more meaningful than you may think.

Videographer

Expert Intro:
Christoph Millett, New Vibe Productions

 

1. What inspired you to become a videographer? What’s your story?

I’ve had a passion for film as a vehicle for storytelling since I was a kid. Photographs are wonderful, but there is nothing like being able to re-experience the emotion and energy of the moment by seeing and hearing it again. I also found that it’s those in-between moments that photos often miss that have the most significant meaning. I decided to use my passion to give the gift of living memories to others.

2. What brought you to New Braunfels? How long has your business been here?

I am a New Braunfels native. I grew up here, graduated from New Braunfels High School, and then attended Texas State. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Directing for TV, Film, and Theater, I moved to California to further my education at the Brooks Institute of Santa Barbara where I completed my certification in Digital Cinema. While California was a great place to be, New Braunfels called me back. I founded New Vibe Productions in April of 2014.

3. What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is giving my clients the gift of memories they can treasure for a lifetime.

4. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Hire a videographer for your wedding. You’ll be glad you did. Those little in-between moments are more meaningful than you may think.

Jeweler

Expert Intro:
Rob Gwynne
Gwynne Fine Arts

 

1. What’s your story? How did you get into jewelry industry?

In 1963, as a native of Christchurch, New Zealand, I left high school and started working in a jewelry factory. I wound up working there for 9 years and then moved to an established downtown jewelry store to further my career. I specialized in fabricating high-line precious gemstone and metal jewelry, eventually becoming one of New Zealand’s top diamond setters.

 

2. What brought you to New Braunfels? How long have you been here personally/as a business?

My journey to New Braunfels came by way of California. I immigrated to California in 1979 and eventually wound up opening my own jewelry store in San Ramon and ran it for over 20 years. When I decided to close-up shop and formally retire, my wife and I decided to re-locate. We wanted a change of scenery, and Texas is lovely. New Braunfels is the perfect place between Austin and San Antonio, so we made it our home in 2015. I have continued my jewelry-crafting career by making custom pieces on a request basis.

 

3. What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is creating unique pieces of jewelry that tell a story. Seeing the excitement on the faces of my customers and knowing that their jewelry will always symbolize a special time in their lives together is absolutely the best feeling. The other aspect of my job that I enjoy is teaching my customers about metals and gemstones, particularly diamond grading. The science is fascinating but not many people are familiar with it. Jewelry is a big investment and giving couples the confidence that they will get the best quality product that their money can buy wherever they buy it from is important to me.

 

4. Outside of being a jeweler, tell me a bit more about yourself.

I enjoy listening to music and being involved in the community. My wife and I are very active in our church and enjoy volunteering. My favorite pastime is handcrafting miniature guitars. I carve the body out of maple wood, and the entire guitar is less than 9 inches long. I make the metal pieces myself out of various metals. They even come with a stand, jack, and cable. There’s no better way to bring my loves of music and art together than this!

 

5. What advice would you give to engaged or newly married couples?

Enjoy every moment together. Time flies when you’re having fun! Additionally, do not wear your wedding jewelry on your honeymoon, and educate yourselves before buying any piece of jewelry, particularly diamonds.

Makeup Artist

Expert Intro:
Kristy Feland, Glam on Demand

 

1. What inspired you to become a makeup artist?

I have a passion for empowering women by helping them feel as
beautiful on the outside as they do on the inside! I love seeing the
confidence and radiance that shines through when a woman feels her best. I love creating different looks and playing with colors to highlight your natural beauty while staying true to your personality and style.

2. What is your favorite part of weddings?

I love everything about weddings! My favorite part would probably be the groom’s reaction to seeing his bride coming down the aisle. It makes my heart melt!

3. What continues to inspire you?

I’m inspired by the beauty in the world around me and by my husband and children.

4. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Set up trial runs with all of your beauty vendors and ask for referrals.
Never go to bed angry, and celebrate every chance you get!

Makeup Artist

Expert Intro:
Kristy Feland, Glam on Demand

 

1. What inspired you to become a makeup artist?

I have a passion for empowering women by helping them feel as
beautiful on the outside as they do on the inside! I love seeing the
confidence and radiance that shines through when a woman feels her best. I love creating different looks and playing with colors to highlight your natural beauty while staying true to your personality and style.

2. What is your favorite part of weddings?

I love everything about weddings! My favorite part would probably be the groom’s reaction to seeing his bride coming down the aisle. It makes my heart melt!

3. What continues to inspire you?

I’m inspired by the beauty in the world around me and by my husband and children.

4. What advice would you give engaged and/or newly married couples?

Set up trial runs with all of your beauty vendors and ask for referrals.
Never go to bed angry, and celebrate every chance you get!

Dance Instructors

Expert Intro:
Rob and Diane van Haaran
Swing Junction owners and Break-out Dance Extraordinaires

 

1. How did the two of you meet?

Rob: Diane and I met at a dance competition in Ventura where she was performing. She was not only beautiful but extremely talented. I was swooning!

 

2. How long have you been instructing together?

Diane: Rob and I have been teaching collectively for over 25 years now! It’s been an exciting journey for sure!

 

3. Tell me your story!

Rob: We had a burning desire to learn everything about the swing dance, the history, the music and the culture that struck us both when we got to see the Lindy Hop for the first time. We were privileged to meet, work with, and learn from many of the original masters of Swing from New York to Los Angeles as we sought them out in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Those experiences led us to Europe where we wound up teaching in over 20 countries. We returned to the San Fancisco Bay area where we continued to teach and started “Swing Nights”, which were dance lessons followed by lots of dancing fun! Couples came to us for dance lessons for their weddings, and that’s where the idea for breakout dance choreography first started.

We moved to Texas several years ago now, and we’ve taught in San Antonio, Austin, and now, New Braunfels. We absolutely love it here! Our very wise and inspirational friend, Frankie Manning, once told us, “Rob and Diane, don’t stop teaching. Always keep passing on the passion you have for this dance!”. We took that to heart and coupled it with the realization that there was and is a huge need for an authentic sense of community and a break from the busyness we find ourselves so easily caught up in these days. What better place to do that then New Braunfels? Thus, Swing Junction was born!

 

4. What is your favorite part about teaching couples to dance?
Rob: Hands down. My favorite part is how much fun they wind up having after the typical awkward beginning!

Diane: I love the confidence and joy they have when they are dancing like they never imagined they would by the end of the night!

 

5. What advice would you give a couple who is hesitant about taking lessons?

Rob: Just try it!! You’ll surprise yourself. There is no judgment here, and you are not beyond hope! We are up for the challenge, and you will wind up having a blast!

 

6. Do you believe that anyone can learn to dance?

Diane: YES!!!!!

Rob: We have literally instructed hundreds of thousands of people in over twenty countries around the world. We KNOW without a doubt that ANYONE can dance!

 

7. What is the best part of choreographing and teaching a breakout dance?

Rob: The bonding that happens between the couple as they learn together, the level of confidence they gain together, the joy they share, the growth that happens between them, getting to know their story, and the faces of their wedding guests when they nail their dance is by far the best part.

 

8. What advice would you give an engaged or newly married couple?

Diane: Smile a lot, and dance often! Never stop having fun with your spouse. Life is too short to be serious all the time!

Photographer

Expert Intro:
Tammy Johnson, owner of TJ’s Photography

 

1. How long have you been a photographer?

I think I was born a photographer. It is something I have always been intrigued by and enjoy learning more about.

2. What brought you to New Braunfels, and how long have you been here?

New Braunfels was always my family’s home away from home. My father hunted on a deer lease on River Road, so I have fond memories of summers on the river. We often celebrated Thanksgiving here and ate at Krause’s during hunting season. Naegelin’s was my mother’s favorite bakery, and it was always something we looked forward to. After my parents passed away, I just felt like it was home. It is my happy place.

3. What inspired you to pursue photography?

My father always took photographs of his roofing jobs and architecture with his Polaroid camera. He told me it was magic, and I really believed it. He would swipe a “magic wand” over the snapshot, and it would appear before my eyes. I was mesmerized and determined to create “magic pictures” too. From that point on, photography became my passion!

4. What is your favorite place to shoot engagement photos?

I love taking photos in places that are sentimental for my clients. The genuine emotional connection to the location sets the mood, which helps bring out those candid expressions and interactions I aim to capture. I’m particularly fond of outdoor shoots, especially during the Golden Hours. The Golden Hours are shortly after sunrise and just as the sun is beginning to set. The colors of the sky are brilliant, and the sunlight is softer but magnificent. It’s breathtakingly beautiful!

5. What is the best part of being a photographer?

The best part of being a photographer…. is connecting with people and hearing their stories. This allows me to create an experience that is fun and memorable for them.

6. How far out do you think couples should take engagement photos/book a wedding photographer?

Couples should book their engagement session and wedding photographer immediately after getting engaged. Be sure the wedding photographer you choose has a style you can relate to and that appeals to you. Helpful tip: surprise proposals make great engagement announcements!

7. Do you think it is important for couples to use the same photographer for their engagement photos and their wedding photos?

In my opinion, it is always best to use the same photographer for both engagement and wedding photos. This gives you the opportunity to get comfortable with that person and ultimately, see if she/he is a good fit for your special day.

I think displaying engagement photos at the wedding are such a beautiful representation of a very special time in their relationship and just makes it more personable.

8. What are some things that couples need to know when scheduling a photo shoot that would make your life so much easier?

If you would like to get your hair and makeup done, don’t hesitate to ask for a referral! I work with some of the most talented and reputable pros in the industry and would love to share their information with you! Get plenty of rest and hydrate well at least 3 days before your photo shoot, and please do not consume alcohol the day/night before your session.

9. How should couples dress?

Outfits should be coordinated, comfortable, and styled according to the look you are going for and where the photo shoot is taking place. You can be superheroes in tights and capes, as long as your outfits are coordinated. If your makeup will be more natural, choose more bold accessories. Dangling earrings and statement pieces like a chunky necklace and bracelet set will stand out in your pictures and look great! If your makeup is more bold or dramatic, choose jewelry that is on the more classic and elegant side. Simple dangling earrings, pearls, or diamond studs paired with a matching necklace will bring your outfit together and accentuate your makeup without being distracting. Lip gloss is essential, even if you wear no other makeup.

10. How can a couple help you to ensure that their entire experience is as wonderful as possible?

This is your time to relax and forget about the stress and pressures of planning your wedding. Focus on the happiness and love you two share. By simply enjoying your time together, the love and happiness you two share will be captured perfectly.

11. Should the theme of engagement photos/save the dates be similar to the theme of the wedding?

To me, the most important aspect of your photo shoot is capturing the love, happiness, and commitment you have for each other. This happens best in an environment where you can be yourselves and feel comfortable.

12. Save the dates or just take engagement photos?

Use engagement photos for Save the Date cards.

13. Do you think couples should wait to announce their engagement on social media until after having engagement photos taken?

It is a personal choice and lots of variables to consider. Tell close friends and family in person or phone call and everyone else by Social Media. It is always fun to build the excitement with engagement photos sometime before the wedding day.

14. What advice would you give an engaged or newly married couple?

My advice would be to just enjoy your special day and soak up the joy and love from your family and friends. Things happen. Remember to enjoy yourselves and designate someone to make sure everything goes smoothly. Make your specific desires known ahead of time, and stand firm because it is your day. *Contracts and communication are a MUST!

 

 

Photographer

Expert Intro:
Tammy Johnson, owner of TJ’s Photography

 

1. How long have you been a photographer?

I think I was born a photographer. It is something I have always been intrigued by and enjoy learning more about.

2. What brought you to New Braunfels, and how long have you been here?

New Braunfels was always my family’s home away from home. My father hunted on a deer lease on River Road, so I have fond memories of summers on the river. We often celebrated Thanksgiving here and ate at Krause’s during hunting season. Naegelin’s was my mother’s favorite bakery, and it was always something we looked forward to. After my parents passed away, I just felt like it was home. It is my happy place.

3. What inspired you to pursue photography?

My father always took photographs of his roofing jobs and architecture with his Polaroid camera. He told me it was magic, and I really believed it. He would swipe a “magic wand” over the snapshot, and it would appear before my eyes. I was mesmerized and determined to create “magic pictures” too. From that point on, photography became my passion!

4. What is your favorite place to shoot engagement photos?

I love taking photos in places that are sentimental for my clients. The genuine emotional connection to the location sets the mood, which helps bring out those candid expressions and interactions I aim to capture. I’m particularly fond of outdoor shoots, especially during the Golden Hours. The Golden Hours are shortly after sunrise and just as the sun is beginning to set. The colors of the sky are brilliant, and the sunlight is softer but magnificent. It’s breathtakingly beautiful!

5. What is the best part of being a photographer?

The best part of being a photographer…. is connecting with people and hearing their stories. This allows me to create an experience that is fun and memorable for them.

6. How far out do you think couples should take engagement photos/book a wedding photographer?

Couples should book their engagement session and wedding photographer immediately after getting engaged. Be sure the wedding photographer you choose has a style you can relate to and that appeals to you. Helpful tip: surprise proposals make great engagement announcements!

7. Do you think it is important for couples to use the same photographer for their engagement photos and their wedding photos?

In my opinion, it is always best to use the same photographer for both engagement and wedding photos. This gives you the opportunity to get comfortable with that person and ultimately, see if she/he is a good fit for your special day.

I think displaying engagement photos at the wedding are such a Beautiful representation of a very special time in their relationship and just makes it more personable.

8. What are some things that couples need to know when scheduling a photo shoot that would make your life so much easier?

If you would like to get your hair and makeup done, don’t hesitate to ask for a referral! I work with some of the most talented and reputable pros in the industry and would love to share their information with you! Get plenty of rest and hydrate well at least 3 days before your photo shoot, and please do not consume alcohol the day/night before your session.

9. How should couples dress?

Outfits should be coordinated, comfortable, and styled according to the look you are going for and where the photo shoot is taking place. You can be superheroes in tights and capes, as long as your outfits are coordinated. If your makeup will be more natural, choose more bold accessories. Dangling earrings and statement pieces like a chunky necklace and bracelet set will stand out in your pictures and look great! If your makeup is more bold or dramatic, choose jewelry that is on the more classic and elegant side. Simple dangling earrings, pearls, or diamond studs paired with a matching necklace will bring your outfit together and accentuate your makeup without being distracting. Lip gloss is essential, even if you wear no other makeup.

10. How can a couple help you to ensure that their entire experience is as wonderful as possible?

This is your time to relax and forget about the stress and pressures of planning your wedding. Focus on the happiness and love you two share. By simply enjoying your time together, the love and happiness you two share will be captured perfectly.

11. Should the theme of engagement photos/save the dates be similar to the theme of the wedding?

To me, the most important aspect of your photo shoot is capturing the love, happiness, and commitment you have for each other. This happens best in an environment where you can be yourselves and feel comfortable.

12. Save the dates or just take engagement photos?

Use engagement photos for Save the Date cards.

13. Do you think couples should wait to announce their engagement on social media until after having engagement photos taken?

It is a personal choice and lots of variables to consider. Tell close friends and family in person or phone call and everyone else by Social Media. It is always fun to build the excitement with engagement photos sometime before the wedding day.

14. What advice would you give an engaged or newly married couple?

My advice would be to just enjoy your special day and soak up the joy and love from your family and friends. Things happen. Remember to enjoy yourselves and designate someone to make sure everything goes smoothly. Make yourr specific desires known ahead of time, and stand firm because it is your day. *Contracts and communication are a MUST!

Caterer

Expert Intro:
Christina Everett, owner of Creations Catering

 

1. How long have you been in the catering business?

For the past decade I have living my dream career as a chef. I have been the owner and executive chef of Creations Catering going on five years. I gained my experience working with various chefs and in the nutrition industry prior to finding my true passion with catering.

2. Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved cooking. My passion was first seen in the kitchen with my grandmother, Carol Everett. I spent my school nights and summers learning how to cook from her while my parents were working. As I grew older and was looking for a career path to take it was clear that the kitchen was where my heart was always drawn to. It was the place to express my creativity and enjoy spending my time. It’s the one place I have always felt comfortable because cooking came naturally to me.

3. How long have you been in NB and what brought you here?

I have been living a short distance outside of New Braunfels for most my life. I grew up in Seguin and still to this day I live in the area with my sons. I left my hometown after I graduated from high school to further my education in Culinary Arts. Due to a hardship and cancer with my now deceased husband, Scott Werley, we moved to be closer for family support. During this life altering change in our lives, I built my business in the town that built me.

4. Tell me a bit about your exciting new project!!

Since 2015, Creations Catering has been operating mostly from a food trailer. The food trailer became an instant hit with private parties, food truck events, and weddings. I am so thankful that my business has grown to the point where I can see my very first long-term goal come to fruition. Creations Catering is expanding to a location at Freiheit Village in New Braunfels. It will feature many new innovative opportunities for clients such as featured cooking classes, tastings, products and of course the catering service! The projected opening will be by March of 2019. Stay tuned for further details!

5. What is the best part about your job?

I absolutely love serving others as well as getting to know them! I feel that is the heart of the business. We truly want to serve and provide a great experience for every client on a more personal level. This requires building relationships. I absolutely love that aspect, because truly, a gathering with food brings people together.

6. What inspired you to create creations catering?

I have always felt a desire to serve others with the gift that God gave me to create, and Creations Catering was formed based on just that. It was a creative outlet of mine, that transformed with inspiration and passion for the culinary arts. I remember staying up countless sleepless nights working on my vision you see unfolding today. To see it come to its fruition is truly amazing, awarding, and exciting. I cannot believe I am living my dream. It encourages me to do more and to remain humble, kind, and grateful. As an entrepreneur, it gives me the freedom to spend time with what I feel matters the most – my family.

7. You help couples create a custom menu to fit their wants and needs, which is absolutely incredible! Any advice that would prepare them a bit better for your initial consultation/would make your job easier?

I think it really helps to have open communication with the couple/client(s). I love to hear their story, what their required taste are, and their family heritage and traditions. Getting to know my clients on a personal level helps me create the menu and experience they desire for their special day. It also helps if they are up-front with me regarding budgets, details, any allergies to be considered and their expectations. I really try my best to meet the criteria. I feel best if they allow my creativity to flourish in the dishes and presentations.

8. When it comes to booking your caterer, what questions should couples be sure to ask?

It’s best that they have a checklist of questions such as food pricing, staffing, food requirements and any alternate details. The tasting allows an opportunity to communicate and build trust. I understand you want to hire the right fit for your event! I also want to work with those that are the right fit for my team and me.

9. How far out should someone book their caterer?

I feel it is best to book at least 6 months in advance, because this allows time for preparations, budgeting, and you will ensure having your date saved. I want to make sure it’s done right to meet the client expectations. My schedule tends to fill up severalmontgs in advance, so planning ahead will ensure my availability. Plus, this will reduce stress for the both of us.

10. What is your favorite part of catering a wedding?

Love! Seeing a happy couple in love as they begin a new chapter in life together always feeds my passion in the kitchen. I feel it’s an honor to cater a wedding because this is a special celebration joining two people to become one in unity. Usually the couple has a wedding day vision, and I enjoy helping them bring it to life. That is part of the reason why weddings are my favorite to cater. They are such happy events because everyone is enjoying each other

11. Do you cook/attend all of your catering jobs?

So far, I have attempted to make all the events and caterings. I’m very hands on when it comes to the food, presentation and service. I want to ensure it’s done as the client wishes. However, there will be times in the future I may not make it to every single event. I trust my staff to do a great job. My goal is to focus on nonprofit work with “Catering for a Cause”, a mission project I’m developing.

12. What advice would you give engaged or newly married couples?

Just breathe, and enjoy living in the moment of your special day with each other. Let the professionals know what you desire, and then allow us to do what we do best. I think it’s also good that you let all the vendors know who you hired that way they can communicate to ensure teamwork. This will help you avoid stress and anxiety on your special day. I also like to make note that this is about unity for marriage, not just a wedding. So, this is truly an important ceremony. Relax and enjoy, you have the rest of your lives to be happy together with unconditional love!

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