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Featured Photographer: Iris Photography

We got the chance to reach out to Mike and Jane, a husband and wife duo that are the founders of Iris Photography. Jane focuses on the family and corporate clients while Mike is the lead on weddings. We asked Mike a little bit about his journey being a photographer and his experiences photographing weddings under our tents! 

How long he has been a photographer: 11 years

How he got started/ what made him choose to photograph weddings:

Photography is a second career for him--he got an MBA in the late 90s and was in marketing roles for Fortune 500 companies. His wife Jane left the corporate world before him and started a wedding photography business in metro Detroit. They started having children and made a plan for him to leave the corporate world too, to join the photo business with Jane.  In September of 2008, just before the financial crisis hit, he gave his notice and they started working together.  They've grown the business steadily since then, opening a physical studio in West Hartford, CT.  Their business is split between weddings and events, family portraits, and commercial work.  On the commercial side, they have photographed the NY Mets at Spring Training for 10 years!

Mike leads the wedding and event segment--what he love about it is the emotional impact and importance of the day and all the opportunities weddings present for taking honest, real photos that people value.

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Photograph by Iris Photography

The geographic areas Iris Photography services:

They are based in West Hartford CT, but photograph most weddings in Fairfield County CT, Westchester County NY and Litchfield County CT.  They have shot weddings from NJ to Martha's Vineyard to Vermont as well.

What he likes about photographing under our tents versus an indoor space: 

Many things...first, a tent is inherently more festive than a ballroom--it adds a youthful, fun element to the celebration.  A tent allows for people to come and go from the grassy areas easily for a relaxed, outdoor experience.

For photography, there are several advantages. First, a translucent canopy like the Sperry Tent sailcloth has a beautiful amber glow that looks great against the cobalt sky at dusk.  Then, inside the canopy allows for bouncing flash behind or to the side to soften the light falling on people. He mentions that even if it rains, a tent concentrates the wedding energy in one place--many of the memorable weddings were tented weddings in the rain.

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Photograph by Iris Photography
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Photograph by Iris Photography
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Photograph by Iris Photography

His favorite style of tent, Sperry or Clear top to photograph and why:

He really like Sperry's sailcloth series with open sides. The amber glow, the wooden poles, and graceful lines are a beautiful backdrop and accent to a celebration. The ochre sailcloth is close enough to a white to allow bouncing of light as well. Clear tents really make a statement and are very cool as well.

An event he has photographed under one of our tents that has created a lasting memory:

Yes, they photographed a really nice couple's wedding in Darien CT a few years back, held on her parent's yard. He loved the iconic image of everyone celebrating in the tent at dusk, with her childhood home in the distance...kind of says it all for launching your children into the world. (Photos throughout post)


If you want to see more amazing moments captured by Iris Photography follow them on Instagram!!

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Photograph by Iris Photography
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Photograph by Iris Photography
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Featured Planner: Ashley Douglass Events

Event Planners, or as I like to call them the fairy Godmothers of all things wedding and special events related, are really the glue to every single aspect of your wedding day/event. They help piece together your dream vision while giving you ideas and feedback through each decision from the catering, floral designs and guest experience! 

Ashley Douglass Events is the total package with the motto of "seamless planning for luxury events". We have worked with her and her team for the past few years and the work that they have done is stunning and we though you should see it for yourself!! 

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Her experience in this industry:

Her previous history is in the professional theatre both in NYC and regionally. She grew up in a professional theatre family and was a serious ballet student all throughout childhood so “production time” was just part of her life. While still in the theater as she got older she worked as a staff trainer for a larger NYC restaurant group. For her it was ideal because when she needed a job, be it for a month or four, she always had a restaurant to be placed into and sometimes was helping to open a new restaurant too. She moved to LA in her late 20s and did the same work on the side and eventually her name started circulated as a subcontracted wedding or event coordinator. That was when she first got the wedding bug. Ashley shadowed some designers as well, laying the groundwork for a future job all the while still performing. She then went back to school to become a therapist and in tandem started to book her own weddings. Without planning it a new career emerged and picked up speed prior to completing her training hours as a therapist so she went for it. That was about 9 years ago.

How she got started and what made her choose this career:

Ashley always wanted to work for herself. That was a must. She says she is for sure right brained but also love detail and a hard challenge. The harder the job the better she will do. With weddings and events, you see the final outcome which is the ideal reward. Ashley also has a few other business ideas up her sleeve but we will get back to her on that!

What geographic areas she services:

She works in NYC, Hamptons, Hudson Valley to the Berkshires, Vermont and Fairfield County CT. She also work where ever her clients take her. They have also planned in CA, CO, FL, TX and Mexico.

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Photograph by Nathan Smith
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Photograph by Nathan Smith
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Photograph by Nathan Smith

Her favorite part about being an event planner:

Happy clients make a happy planner. Ashley feels good to be in a job that you are good at, as silly as that may sound. She is good with people I believe, detail and design.

 What Ashley likes about working with a tent for a wedding reception versus an indoor space:

She finds that its important to have a tented event even if you are in a location that does not get much rain, having a main structure calls for guests to focus and you are able to do what you want aesthetically. You can be outside in the woods and have a formal event. She loves lighting and a barren tent gives you options! 

How she discovered Greenwich Tent and why she enjoys working with us:

She began working with us back when we were first only Sperry Tents Greenwich. You're a growing company that still feels and operates like a small family company. Clients value that! 

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Photograph by Sarma + Co
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Photograph by Sarma + Co

Some of her favorite events she has done with us!

A New Canaan wedding the night after the Supreme Court ruled same sex marriage as legal. Click Here to see the full story!

A wedding at Glenmere Mansion where the bride actually let her mother do a majority of the planning since she was busy with her career and wanted her mom to have some fun with it! 

And a wedding at The Country Club of Fairfield where her parents got married sixty two years before. Click Here to see the full story!

If you are equally as happy seeing their gorgeous events then pop over to their Instagram!

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Photograph by Christian Oath
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Photograph by Christian Oath
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Featured Photographer: Leila Brewster

When people say that a picture is worth a thousand words that couldn't be more true for a wedding day! Your wedding photographer becomes your second set of eyes on your big day, capturing all the personal details, moments and an atmosphere full of love. 

Having photos of the moment your bridesmaids seeing you in your dress for the first time, the moment you say I Do, the beautiful reception tables and your first dances are memories that you wish could last a little longer, well, that is exactly what Leila Brewster is going to capture on your magical day. 

She is a photographer that has been apart of a few of our favorite weddings over the past few years and we wanted you to meet her and see some of the amazing pictures she has taken! 

Leila has been featured on The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, Style Me Pretty, Harper's Bazaar Bride and Carats & Cake

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How long she has been a photographer:

She been a photographer for over 20 years, and 10 professionally! Her mom gifted her a camera when she was 15 for a trip to Paris and the love story started that day! 

How she got started photographing weddings:

About 10 years ago, she sat down and asked herself what she loves. Having two degrees and at the time was playing soccer in Denmark, Leila knew she didn’t want to work for anyone but herself and knew that her soccer career was ending. So she sat down and made a list. She love, LOVE people, travel, and photography. Seeing what she loved she kind of found weddings as the perfect combination of those three things! She then hung up her soccer cleats and never looked back! 

The geographic areas she services: 

She is really all over the place - Most of her weddings are in CA (up and down the whole state), NY, RI, CT, VT, with a few destination sprinkled in! She will go anywhere! 

What she like about photographing under our tents versus an indoor space:

She love photographing under your tents because of the dynamic lines! Instead of a flat ceiling, she loves how the tents curve upwards! And loves seeing the many ways you can dress the tents up - some prefer twinkle lights, while others do floral installs! So fun to see! 

Her favorite style of tent, Sperry or Clear top to photograph: 

 So! she do love a clear top for daytime because she has always loved nature and think that the clear top is the best way to be out in nature, but inside not worrying about bugs (the mosquito's LOVE her). She will say though that a Sperry tent is great for bouncing light - It helps create a more dynamic lighting situation under a white tent whereas the clear top is limiting on her flash angles.

Some events she has photographed under one of our tents that have created a lasting memory: 

Sammi and Rob's wedding a couple of years ago in Greenwich, CT. Pictures Below!

If you love these photos as much as we do, then you will love her Instagram!! 

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Photograph by Leila Brewster
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Photograph by Leila Brewster
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Photograph by Leila Brewster
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Photograph by Leila Brewster
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Featured Florist: Hana Floral

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Florals and greenery are one of the biggest focal points of any wedding starting from the brides beautiful bouquet, the complimenting bridesmaid bouquets, the ceremony alter and the wow factor of the reception table centerpieces. They are truly what make the wedding atmosphere feel dreamy and celebratory all at the same time. 

We thought it would be a great idea to share one of our favorite floral companies, Hana Floral! They have created stunning weddings under our tents over the years so we are giving you the chance to get to know the owner, Yumiko Fletcher a little better and show off how amazing and talented her and her team are!

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Photograph by Hana Floral
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Photograph by Leila Brewster

How she got her start in the floral industry:

 Yumiko got her start in the floral industry over 15 years ago after her mom passed away suddenly from cancer. She ended up taking a leave of absence from her NYC job and worked at a small flower shop that summer. Her boss at the flower shop told her that she was a natural and she then decided to take a few classes at the NY Botanical gardens as well. She continued to work with florals at another shop after she moved that focused on a lot of weddings and events and then in 2004 decided to start Hana Floral officially. Before finding her love of florals she was a classically trained opera singer and wanted a way to get back into creativity in a new form that could also end up being her livelihood!

What she likes most about working in the wedding/event industry: 

She loves meeting her clients and getting to be a part of one of the most important days of their lives.  It's still a thrill to her even after over 700 weddings!!  

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Photograph by Maggie Conley
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Photograph by Maggie Conley

Her favorite wedding she has done with us and why it was so special: 

She loved our Vermont wedding at the Hermitage Inn (photos below). She was fortunate to make a connection with the family and loved being a part of both of their daughter's weddings.

Does she prefer working with greenery or florals for decor?  BOTH

What she enjoys about designing florals for tents vs an indoor space and what are the major differences that clients would want to know: 

They love a tented wedding because it's a blank slate.  You can create your dream wedding without the walls of a ballroom confining you. She's also just a huge fan of any weddings outdoors. Nature is your background and that is always beautiful.


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Photograph by Leila Brewster

The geographic areas she services:

Her and her team will go wherever their clients ask them to travel however, their general area is all of CT, NY, New England.

Her favorite flowers to use for wedding bouquets/table centerpieces: 

Without a doubt, she says she is a peony lover. She also really love so many spring flowers, such as lilacs, hellebores, and ranunculus.

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Photograph by Rebecca Arthurs
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Photograph by Rebecca Arthurs

The process behind creating and designing floral décor for a wedding: 

She likes to hear about the couple story and the reasoning behind the venue/location for their wedding to get a vision of the overall day. From that she goes into more detail with the couples about where the florals are going to be weather its the bouquets, personal flowers, ceremony and reception. She always encourages brides to send her images of what they are envisioning or a Pinterest board full of ideas which then helps her and her team to pull common themes and colors for the florals.

For more incredible dreamy pictures go to their Instagram

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Photograph by Lindsay Hite
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Photograph by Lindsay Hite
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Photograph by Lindsay Hite
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