vendor spotlight! • wedding coordinator Jill Leven

I have been a full-time wedding photographer for 8 years now- shooting most of my weddings here in Lubbock, so I figured it was high time to start featuring some of the awesome people I have the pleasure of getting to work with wedding after wedding. It takes a special individual to feed off the unique mixture of stress and excitement that a wedding brings (I never thought I would love it so much, actually!)- and this is where you will find some of the people that make it all happen- the vendors! 

On a wedding day, there will be at least 1 thing not go as planned. This is normal, but it's not something that most brides put into consideration during all those months they spend planning their big day. Enter my personal hero of the wedding day- the wedding coordinator. And today, I am introducing you to one of the very best- Jill Leven, with Eat, Drink, and Be Marry. Jill also owns Little White Invite- where she creates beautiful custom stationery for her couples. I always love photographing her work!

I have had the pleasure of working with Jill on some of my favorite weddings ever. Why are they my favorite weddings? Quite possibly because of this wonderful woman. Jill is not only a very nice person (it matters!), but she is a true professional and always, always executes with excellence-- curating weddings that are special, creative, and fun. I asked her a few questions, so enjoy her responses below! 

What made you want to be a wedding planner?

I wanted to be a wedding planner because it was a good blend of the creative side of me and the organized side.  I always had a knack for taking a large amount of stuff, people, chaos (LOL), *whatever* and turning it into something that was organized and efficient for everyone.  I also wanted to own my own business.  I come from a long line of entrepreneurs and wanted that for myself.   

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm sure Jill had no idea I was shooting these images of her- I was most likely checking my light/exposure and happened to capture that face of PURE CONCENTRATION. :) Please know we'd all been on our feet for at least 8 hours at this point. Sorry, Jill- not a glamour shot but it does prove that you work your tail off!

 

How long have you been a wedding planner?

I officially opened my business in 2007, but I started out doing corporate event planning in 1999 (and organizing pantries, closets, etc. since birth--LOL!)

What is your favorite part about your job?

I actually have four favorite things:

1.  When I get to say "It's time!" before the ceremony starts to the bride and groom. Their reaction is priceless. Everything that we worked for has led up to that moment and it's at that time that it really "hits" them...this is really happening.  I LOVE getting to say those two words. 

2. At the end of the night, just before I open the doors to send the bride and groom out for their grand exit through their guests and give them a hug and thank them for letting me be a part of it all, they tell me that what just happened was the greatest day of their lives and they couldn't imagine anything more perfect!  How cool is that?!?!

3. When a random guest hunts me down at the reception to ask if I'm the wedding planner and they tell me that was the best wedding they've ever been to!  Woo hoo!!!  I love that!  

4. Telling whomever is paying for the wedding they are under budget.  LOL!  But seriously, it makes them really happy. 

 

What do you feel is the most challenging part of wedding planning for brides?

Hands-down, the guest list. It is so much work to gather addresses for everyone, make sure they don't overlook anyone, and if they have to cut guests for budget reasons/space reasons, it becomes a big challenge to have to pick and choose people that are close to them.

What is your favorite wedding trend this year in weddings and/or wedding stationery?

My favorite trend really isn't a trend; it is when something is consistently carried out throughout the wedding. Whether it's a monogram, design, pattern, etc.…little details like that that carry through from the Save the Dates all the way through to the favors at the end of the night, makes a big impact to me. I also like things are just a little bit different, like a dessert bar instead of just cake. Or a midnight snack to take home at the end of the night. Little unexpected details always make for a great event.

 

What is something that is on your wedding planning bucket list?

Well, a bride and groom departing in a helicopter was #1 on my list, but I got the pleasure of checking that off my list this past summer.  As for what's still pending...a HUGE (and I mean H-U-G-E fireworks display send off), a sky lantern release, a wedding in the woods where a sit down dinner takes place before the ceremony, a popular rock star/band surprising the bride and groom to perform their first dance song, to have (at least) one of my weddings featured in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, and to have my own reality TV show about my businesses and my life. Yeah, I dream big!  ;-)

(To check out the rest of the helicopter-exit wedding, click HERE.)

 

Anything else you’d like to share?

I want everyone to know that I take it as a huge honor when someone books me for their wedding. To me, it's a once-in-a-lifetime deal and I want to make sure every aspect of it is right in every way for the couple, their families, and their guests.  (And I love exclamation points!  Anyone that's ever emailed me or texted me knows this is a given!  See, there I go again!)

 

Thank you so much, Jill! And brides, PLEASE call her. You need her, I promise!

Jill Leven, CPWP

www.EatDrinkAndBeMarry.com

PICK MY BRAIN (AND A GIVEAWAY!)

For a while now, I've been wanting to schedule another How To Work It Workshop- a one-day workshop where I teach people the basics of photography. Each time I've hosted this workshop, it has been amazing to watch my "students" really understand their equipment and actually shoot the images they have been wanting to shoot. And once they've finished the course, it seems there is always more they want to know! 

On top of that, having two kiddos and two businesses to manage has really cut into any "free time" I  had, and so it's been tough to find a good time to do another workshop. So, enter Mentor Sessions! I am so super excited about these!

Pick My Brain Mentor Sessions are hourly, ask-me-anything-you-want sessions that we can schedule in-person (if you're in the Lubbock area), over the phone, or on Skype. I love to teach and help people, and this will allow me to really focus on what you need help with the most. What can we talk about? Here are some ideas:

shooting weddings // workflow // pricing // equipment // photography basics // running a profitable business // working with your spouse // how to photograph your kids // working with other vendors // creating and keeping consistent clients // lightroom and photoshop // designing albums // being a working mom // anything small business

Optional subjects may include:

best series on Netflix // how to make a killer playlist while you're editing // changing a diaper in 30 degree weather // caffeine addiction // learning things the hard way // God and faith // the lack of trees in lubbock // losing weight without dieting or exercising (still figuring this out) // donuts // personality profiles // donuts...maybe I'll just ask to be paid in donuts...

Haha, I am a pretty open book, so there is not much I wouldn't love to talk about!


Annnnnnnnnd, since this is a new thing, I'm going to GIVE AWAY 1 free hour! Here's what you need to do to be entered:

1) Share this blog post on Facebook and tag any friends you think might be interested. Here is the link to share: 

      http://lissaanglin.com/blog/pickmybrain

2) Follow @lissaanglinphoto on Instagram, and repost the Pick My Brain image on your Insta. Tag 3 friends. 

That's it!

I'll pick a winner on January 31 @ 10 pm!


If you're interested in booking a Pick My Brain Mentor Session, just use the contact form on my website or email me at lissa.anglin@me.com!

 

 

 

 

ross + kandace • engagement

I wish I could give this couple some sort of "you did it" prize, like a gold star or plastic trophy. Haha- I know that sounds silly, but really- they deserve something! It was literally FREEZING outside when we shot this session- so much so that we needed to take a break every 20 minutes or so because I couldn't feel my fingers anymore. And if I was cold, that only means these two were beyond cold. Yet, they smiled and listened and were up for snow and ice and freezing wind and did a lot of hugging since it was one of the only ways to stay un-frozen. The next time I get to photograph these two the snow will be long gone, so I was glad they were up for taking advantage of it now. Congrats you two! Thank you for an awesome session!



garnett + audrey • wedding • the watson building

Garnett and Audrey were married at one of my favorite venues in downtown Lubbock- the Watson building. One of the best things about the Watson is the huge windows they have in the second floor area. Garnett + Audrey did their first look there, and it was flooded with gorgeous fall light. These two were perfectly smitten with each other on their wedding day- which was such a pleasure to capture. They are clearly a team, and have a deep respect and appreciation for each other- all excellent beginnings to a great marriage. Southern Elegance Design totally knocked it out of the park on the florals, food and decor. Thanks for letting us tag along and capture it all, guys! 

2015 Christmas Card Templates

I always love creating custom Christmas cards for my clients- there is just something so special about a tactile card you can hold in your hand. The ones we receive stay on our fridge all year long!

These are the template designs I'll be using this year- of course, wording, colors and shape of the card can all be customized to fit the images you choose from your photoshoot!

CHRISTMAS SPARKLE:

JOY:

BELIEVE:

PLEASE NOTE: These designs do not feature gold foiling, but they look like it :). 

ethan + haley • engagement

I had such a wonderful morning with these two- and I can't wait for their wedding this spring! This shoot definitely had more of a "fall" feel, which was exactly what we wanted. I loved the outfits Haley put together, and though it was chilly that day, the clouds gave us all sorts of soft light. Congrats you two!

taylor • tascosa high school graduate

Ya'll, this is Taylor. She's gorgeous, smart, and has a plan for her future. Taylor is confident and comfortable with herself- unafraid to pose next to a cool old car we saw in a questionable alleyway...she's basically who I wish I would have been as a senior in high school :). I'm so glad she drove from Amarillo to let me shoot her senior portraits. Taylor, you are awesome, and congrats!

tj + stephanie • wedding • the historic baker building

I loved so many things about this wedding- how the historic, stately Baker Building transformed into this cozy, elegant space on a rainy day in October, how gorgeous those plums and purples from the bridesmaids' dresses and florals were- how incredibly thoughtful and kind and unselfish TJ and Stephanie were on their wedding day. It was such a pleasure to photograph this wedding. I had more than a few favorites- can't get over that rich combination of navy and gold! I hope you are ready! Thanks so much to the incredible vendors who made all the pretty I got to photograph.

Venue: The Historic Baker Building

Decor + Coordination: Wedding Solutions

Dress: Allure Bridals, Bella's

Bride's Earrings + Hairpiece: BHLDN

Hair: Kat Cook + Autumn Sanderson

Makeup: Gabbie Chairez

Groom + Groomsmen: Vera Wang, Jos. A Bank

Floral: The Fig & Flower

Cake: Market Street

Stationery: Miss Social Butterfly

 

trevor + megan • wedding • lubbock, tx

Shawn and I were so honored to shoot Trevor and Megan's wedding last month. These two are the kind of people you need to know. They are fun, easygoing, completely dependable and caring- and just straight up nice. Plus, they love Jesus and each other. Their wedding day was full of quirks and funny moments, which made it fun for everyone (including their photographers!)- and we loved getting to photograph it all. Here are some of my favorite images!

And here's this one, just because we love you guys...

kirby + shiane • engagement • south plains fair

When Shiane told me she'd considered shooting their engagement session at the South Plains Fair, I was ALL. IN. YESSS! The colors- food-excitement- everything...so perfect for an engagement session. And so perfect for this fun couple. These two smiled the entire time, and I loved photographing it. Thank you guys for an amazing time!