• Wedding Pros

    Interview with Heather Nguyen about Wedding Photography

    Heather Nguyen Wedding Photographer in action
    Heather "at work" with Kelly and Jimmy on their wedding day. Hannah Kate Fotographie

    Get to know Heather, Central Coast Wedding Photographer.


    I first met Heather of Heather Nguyen Photography at a local wedding professionals gathering in northern San Luis Obispo county. Taylor Street Favors was supplying some wedding favors for the event and Heather was shooting the event. Meet and greets are not my thing, but I am so glad I went that night! Not only do I love Heather’s wedding photography and her warm, easy going vibe, but she continues to be a big supporter of everything Taylor Street. Here is our interview with Heather.

    TSF: What is your favorite part of a wedding to shoot?

    Heather Nguyen | Love My Baby Photography

    Wedding Photography is so much fun! If I had to choose one part it would be when I am photographing the couple alone. To me, that is the most exciting part. Some see each other before with a first look and others have waited until their “I DOs”. That is the chance to really see how in love they are. That is the first chance they get to have a candid conversation and complement each other’s outfits.

    TSF: Most important question you rarely get asked by couples considering you for wedding photography?

    The most important part of the day, photography wise is sunset time. I have a long list of questions to ask but for couples that is usually the last thing they are thinking about. When you think of your wedding, the most important part would be the couple photos when the light is soft and flattering. I usually suggest sunset photos depending on their schedule.

    TSF: Tell us about yourself

    I have been a photographer for 9 years now. I am a wife of 9 years and a mother to a 6 year old and a 3 year old. They keep me busy during the week, which is why I love my job as a photographer. I am able to enjoy time with them during the week and work on the weekends.

    TSF: What is one favorite part of your photography business?

    Delivering the images to clients. I always send out the email and wait for their response. Hearing how much they love their images and how well their day was captured is such a pleasure to hear as their photographer.

    TSF: Best piece of advice you could give couples planning their wedding

    To take moments for themselves and keep dating. When I work with couples, sometimes stress gets the best of them and they forget the wedding is all about their love. After their big day, they will be left with the memories of the guests, their ceremony, and how much fun they had.

    TSF: What is your photography specialty?

    My specialty is wedding photography. Though I also photograph families, newborns, kids & couples, I spend most of my year on weddings. I love having clients stay with me from their engagement to their family photos years down the road. I really do have an amazing job!

    Fox and Plume Photography

    TSF: What inspires you professionally?

    I was inspired after my own wedding. I had such a amazing time planning our wedding. So when I meet a couple, I love discussing all of the fun plans they have started and the vision they have.

    TSF: 3 questions every couple should ask their wedding photographer

    1. Do you shoot in RAW? RAW images hold more information than JPEGS which help with post editing. All professionals shoot in RAW.
    2. How many weddings have you photographed? I shoot about 15-20 weddings a year on average, so 8 years and 15 weddings a year I would say I am around 120 weddings. It’s very important for your photographer to have lots of wedding experience.
    3. Do you edit the images? As for editing, I edit the lighting, bring up colors(especially your wedding colors), edit out anything that takes away from the image. Every image a client receives from me has been touched. I never send unedited images.

    TSF: Biggest pet peeve with modern technology in weddings today

    Cell phone and tablets. I have been a wedding guest many times and I personally have no problem with people taking photos during the day. When it comes to the ceremony, it makes my job very hard to have to ask guests to move (when they should be seated) or change my position because someone is holding their phone out in the isle. When a couple spends so much on their wedding photography, they don’t want cell phones in the way of their vows or first kiss.

    TSF: Weddings are stressful. How do you keep yourself relaxed and energized?

    I spend time with my kids during the week and usually get massages after a long wedding. I carry a backpack with all my lenses and gear so once the wedding is over, my back is usually sore.

    TSF: What one superpower would you want for your wedding photography work?

    That my legs would never get tired. After being on my feet for 12+ hours, I am usually exhausted. Legs that would keep going even into the late night hours would be marvelous!

    If you have a question to ask Heather about her wedding photography business, or her opinion on anything wedding photography related, please ask on our Facebook page or send us an email.

    Website: Heather Nguyen Photography
    Facebook: Like Her Page
    Instagram: Follow Heather

  • Gifts

    Monogram Rules

    Typewriter Monogram

    Monogramming adds a thoughtful detail to any item and is the perfect way to make a gift feel even more special & unique. One of the most important decisions in purchasing a monogrammed gift is selecting the monogram style and order of the initials. But, what is proper monogram etiquette exactly? Which initial goes first? How do different size letters effect the order of the initials? What is appropriate for same-sex couples, opposite-sex couples or singles? We hope we can calm your nerves and guide you in the proper direction to suit your individual needs. 

    A LITTLE HISTORY

    As the oldest form of identification in the world, monograms date back to as early as 350BC. They served many roles, from indicating social status, to serving as a signature for royals and artists, to being a form of currency in the barter system. The earliest known examples were used on coins. The Greek cities who issued the coins, often used the first two letters of the city’s name. Monograms were also used to identify property and were typically ornate, which makes them desirable when adding monograms to elegant gifts even today.

    SINGLE-LETTER TRADITIONAL MONOGRAMS

    Single-letter monograms, traditionally, represent the last name for both men and unmarried women. Rules for creating monograms for children are the same as those for unmarried adults. For a child it is important to consider where and how they will be using a personalized gift. For safety reasons you may not want to put too much information on something a child will have in public. Choose instead to use a monogram versus a name on something like a backpack.

    A single initial that can be either the first or last name initial. Example: Anne Masters or Magie Davies. Modern or traditional, you can’t go wrong. Consider who the gift is for and what fits them best.


    If you’re looking for a cool and custom gift to impress the ‘I do crew‘ in your wedding party go with a single initial monogram. It’s a modern twist – First name with first name initial above or just an initial only. Example: Andrew Michael or Michael Davis. Modern or traditional you can’t go wrong. As mentioned above, consider who the gift is for and what fits them best.

    THE INFAMOUS THREE-LETTER MONOGRAMS

    Traditional, three-letter Victorian monograms are the variety we use most often today. Letter arrangement depends on marital status and letter sizes within the monogram. Monograms add a special touch engagement, weddings and anniversary gifts. Something they will treasure for a lifetime and become family heirlooms.

    Single Men and Single Women

    Weekend Canvas Bag Shown with three initial monogram
    Example: Tina Nicole Smith – TNS or Terrance Nicolas Smith – TNS.

    Single men and single women use the first initial of their first, middle and last name, in that order.

    Large surname letter in the middle

    Three Letter Monogram with Large surname letter in the middle on a dopp kit
    Example: Jenny Lynn Mendoza or James Leonardo Mendoza.

    Single men and women would use the first initial of their first, last and middle names, in that order. The last name is always the centered, largest font.

    MARRIED THREE INITIAL MONOGRAM

    Same-Sex Couples

    Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins in Black Foil showing a traditional 3 letter monogram  for married same-sex couples
    Example: Rebecca & Brianna Winslow-Ford.
    Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins | Item No. 685

    For married same-sex couples who choose to use one last name, even hyphenated, the first initial of the first name on the left is up to the couple as to who would be first. Possibly setting a family tradition going forward with who is always on the left or right. The center initial will be the chosen last name initial. The same initials would be used on linens, glass and tableware.

    Opposite-Sex Couples

    Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins in Black Foil showing a traditional 3 letter monogram  for married opposite-sex couples
    Example: Anne & David Begor
    Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins | Item No. 685

    For married opposite-sex couples the bride’s first initial is on the left of the last name initial and the groom’s first initial is on the right, as in ladies first. (Often used on linens). Shown here on our Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins.

    Personalized 7 oz. Silver Rim Champagne Flutes (Set of 2) showing a three letter monogram
    Example: Benjamin & Sandy Hortense
    Personalized 7 oz. Silver Rim Champagne Flutes (Set of 2) | Item No. 1333

    A more traditional view is the groom’s first initial is first and the bride’s first initial is last. (Traditionally used on glass and tableware).

    TWO INITIAL MONOGRAM

    Different Last Names

    Modern Stacked Two Letter Monogram on a rose Gold Steel Wine Glass
    Example: Marc Jacobs & Jeremy Prince,
    Modern Stacked Two Letter Monogram

    For unmarried couples, and married couples who choose to keep their individual last names, both initials of each partners’ last names are used together as a 2-letter monogram. For a more modern twist on the two letter monogram stack initials or enter a horizontal line between them. Example: J|P

    Use First Names

    For all couples, married or unmarried, you may want to keep it simple and use the initials of each partners’ first names together as a 2-letter monogram. Example: Jenny & Perry Roberts

    MARRIED PERSONS INDIVIDUAL MONOGRAMS

    Women

    Three letter Monogram on a Universal wood monogrammed key chain.
    Example: Anne (first name) Cindy (middle name) Benson (last name),
    would be ABC, not ACB. 

    It is tradition for the woman to use her maiden name initial as the middle initial in three-letter monograms. Otherwise, she would use her first name initial, married name initial, and middle name initial. Shown above the monogram is in the traditional last name initial in the middle position format.

    Men

    Personalized polished stainless steel key chain shows the traditional last name initial in the middle position format.
    Example: Robert (first name) Edward (middle name) Hanson (last name),
    would be RHE, not REH.

    It is tradition for the man to use his last name initial as the middle initial in three-letter monograms. Otherwise for new-tradition men, he would use his first name initial, married name initial, and middle name initial. Shown above the monogram is in the traditional last name initial in the middle position format.

    While a highly decorative script font may look just fine on it’s own, it could be extremely difficult to read when used in traditional three-letter monograms. Also note that although these are the more “traditional monogram rules,” there are no right and wrong ways to create monograms. Most of the time, it depends on the person receiving the gift. Focus on fitting the design to their personality, and you won’t go wrong!

    We’d love to hear your thoughts on Monograms. Tell us how you’ve decided what monogram style works for you in the comments below.

  • Weddings & Receptions

    Guide to Finding Your Perfect Wedding Cake Topper

    Acrylic Gold Glitter Wedding Cake Topper

    It’s finally here – that time in the wedding planning process when you decide on your wedding cake topper. 

    Do wedding cakes need a topper?
    How tall should a wedding cake topper be?
    What do wedding cake toppers cost?

    Short answer, It depends…

    Just how do you decide on your perfect wedding cake topper when there are a ba-zillion wedding cake toppers to look through on Pinterest, dozens of ETSY wedding cake topper shops to ‘favorite’, and too many other wedding decisions competing for your attention.  And you can’t leave this decision to the last minute. Your wedding cake baker most definitely needs to know so she/he can make sure your cake can support your cake topper.  

    So what do you do?  

    Wedding Cake Topper Types: Traditional vs Modern vs Hobbyist

    What fits you as a couple? You could be a traditional couple who loves to play golf (hobby) or a modern couple that loves vintage materials  (traditional) or a mountain climbing couple that loves urban design (modern). It’s all in how you mix the match or match the mix. We are all a little bit of all three. Which one works for you? After that we’ll browse materials, colors and price ranges.

    Traditional Cake Toppers

    Traditional wedding cake toppers usually involve hand-painted porcelain – posed, dressed up and perfect for highly decorated white wedding cakes. These often are or can become family heirlooms and reused from one generation to the next. For same sex couples this may be an impossible find because it’s hard to find figurines that work without going whimsical, stereotypic, or cliche.

    Slightly less traditional, yet classic, are figurine pets and children to add to the top of the cake or on the tiers. Porcelain figurines also come in a variety of custom hair colors, skin colors, attire, and poses. If you see mostly toppers that are white and blond, don’t get discouraged. When you don’t see yourself represented – ASK – or let the owner know you are taking your business elsewhere. It’s a great opportunity to push and ask for more inclusivity and cultural diversity in the wedding industry.

    Photo: The Knot Shop
    Your Perfect Wedding Cake Topper is A Sweet Embrace Bride Embracing Groom Couple Figurine
    Photo: The Knot Shop

    Modern Cake Toppers

    Acrylic or wood Laser-cut words and phrases are cake toppers that can be used to display a quote, your names, or just your initials. These toppers take an updated approach to a traditional décor piece. There are some beautiful choices out there with acrylic colors in solids, glitter or with metallic finishes. There’s the option of stained wood cut calligraphy which adds an elegant and whimsical feel to any cake design. These are a great way to personalize your wedding day.

    Laser cut toppers are easily customizable to commemorate your special day with names, initials, or the date of your wedding.  Wood toppers and acrylic blocks can be heavy and require advance planning with the baker.  Acrylic cake toppers are often thin (1/4”), somewhat fragile, and will include cake stakes to hold them up.  Stakes can be designed to break off easily so that you can store or display your topper after.  

    A little less modern in the traditional sense – see what I did there – are Silhouette Cake Toppers. They are the ‘vintage’ modern and can be whimsical by adding silhouettes of balloons, words, pets or special items that relate to the two of you. Silhouette Cake Toppers are usually acrylic, but can also be found in wood.

    Wire Wedding Cake Toppers are also popular, particularly for brides and grooms wanting a casual, modern vibe.  These are not ‘hangers on’ from days-gone-by. These are modern toppers with-a-twist to spell out a variety of different words, monograms or just spell out your name(s) in a fun twisted script.  If you are having a dessert table full of trendy Bundt Cakes, a few of these trendy toppers certainly are a nice finishing touch your guests will notice

    A Perfect Wedding Cake Topper in copper wire bent to say Finally
    Finally Wire Cake Topper | ETSY – LeRusticChic

    Hobbyist Cake Toppers

    If you have a passion, or love doing a particular thing together, you can show that off on your cake top. There are custom and ready made topper designs for golfers, motorcyclists, dog lovers, beach lovers, and everyone in between! The more meaningful and personalized to your relationship, the better. Hobbyist cake toppers come in a variety of materials – porcelain, wood, acrylic and plastic.

    Creative Wedding Cake Toppers and Unique Cake Topper Ideas

    Having a Beach wedding? A pair of Adirondack chairs embraces that sun-kissed vibe and romance.  A woodland wedding? How about some antlers laser cut out of wood. A garden wedding? What about a topiary initial cake topper.  Maybe it’s just simply the BEST DAY EVER! in a custom acrylic color or a beautiful laser cut wreath cake topper for a rustic wedding.  If you have a particular theme, there is a cake topper for it.

    AMOR Wedding Cake Topper

    Cake Toppers

    Free

    Same Sex Cake Toppers

    When Derek and I were looking for a wedding cake topper we did not have as many choices when it comes to materials and expression. Same sex wedding cake toppers can be as simple as an acrylic Mr. & Mr. to a Bride and Bride Same Sex Wedding Cake Topper Set in Hand Painted Porcelain. Custom acrylic cake toppers with names and dates because they are easy to customize and also in a variety of colors, materials and designs.

    Mr & Mr Wedding Cake Topper in silhouette for a same sex couple
    Photo: Taylor Street Favors – Mr & Mr Silhouette Cake Topper
    Mrs & Mrs Wedding Cake Topper in silhouette for a same sex couple
    Photo: Taylor Street Favors – Personalized Mrs & Mrs Silhouette Cake Topper

    Themed Cake Toppers

    Cake toppers can also come in a wide range of themes. Disney, Game of Thrones, Vampires, Star Wars, Sports, Harry Potter, super heros, and on and on. Themed weddings with a wedding cake topper to match will take your event from cool to AMAZING. It’s your wedding – go for it. 

    Funny Cake Toppers

    Who doesn’t love a good laugh. Fun and funny cake toppers can range from Batman Legos, funny figurine wedding cake toppers, cake toppers that look like you with bobble heads, and some over-the-top expressive cake toppers.

    Lego Wedding Cake Topper
    Lego Minifigure Garden Wedding Cake Topper | ETSY – BareSockCrafts

    Floral Cake Toppers

    Boho Weddings are famous for amazing floral wedding cake toppers. Dahlias, Tropical leaves, Roses, Eucalyptus, Paper Flowers, Grapevine are all great features on your cake and make a beautiful ode to nature.  Check with your baker about whether your live toppers are edible, or ask for sugar versions instead.

    Materials and Size

    Wire, stone, acrylic, porcelain, wood, plastic, flowers, and paper are all available materials. It comes down to personal preference, keepsake value, cost and vision. I actually think this is the least difficult part of the decision. Once you have your look and feel of your wedding down you’ll know what material would fit best.

    Size is largely determined by the size of the cake.  If your cake is tiered, it is the top tier size you will want to consider. Most stand alone cake toppers are about 6 inches tall. The more custom your wedding cake topper, the more control you will have over the size, but know that a topper can easily look top heavy.  Weight also becomes an issue as size increases.  Get your cake baker or wedding planner involved to help you with your decision.  

    And you don’t need a cake topper for your wedding cake. Some cake designs are best left alone. 

    Wedding Cake Topper Pricing

    Wedding cake topper pricing varies widely.  Ready made cake toppers are generally less expensive than custom designs, but still will vary based on materials and personalization.  You’ll have to decide what makes sense to you on cost. At Taylor Street we have wedding cake toppers that start at under $30 and have custom wedding cake toppers that could cost you upwards of $100. We try to offer a variety of prices and materials. 

    Getting married is an incredibly magical and sometimes stressful experience. Wedding cakes are deeply rooted in tradition. Deciding on your cake topper is a little wedding decision with a surprising amount of pressure behind it. Whether you prefer a traditional, modern topper or something with a lot of glitter and flair, we’re sure that Derek and I can help you find that perfect fit here on Taylor Street

    Contact us if you need some help finding what you need. We can check our resources to see what is possible. 

  • Wedding Pros

    Wedding Planner: Maria Bartolome, Owner of By Your Side Events

    Wedding planners are amazing. They are on the front line and I love the absolute creativity and style that the best planners bring to each wedding. I’ve been following Maria at By Your Side Events on Instagram for a while. I love her work. I think you will too. Based in Napa, California, she also travels to wherever her couples are planning their destination weddings. Here’s our interview with Maria at By Your Side Events:

    TSF: Tell us a little about you.

    Hey everyone! So, this is my first blog post…EVER, I’m excited and a little nervous, but that’s usually the way all great adventures begin, right? I’m so excited that I get to share my thoughts and ideas with you and to hear what you think! I already have so much I want to talk to you about, but let’s start from the beginning.

    I am so lucky that I started my journey with a feeling. I didn’t set out to be a wedding planner in the beginning, in fact I thought I wanted to be a teacher. In 2006 I moved from my hometown of Ann Arbor Michigan to Santa Rosa California, I needed a break from the snow, and I guess I was looking for a new adventure. That “break” turned into a permanent residency, and 13 years later, here we are! My passion for events came from a seemingly unlikely source…lesson planning. IT turns out that teaching really wasn’t my thing but planning for my lessons and activities and scheduling out the day made my heart race. I didn’t know what do to with that feeling but I wanted to feel it more, so I kept finding things to do that made my heart happy, (or did they find me?). Lesson planning turned into BEO’s for winery events, which turned into Day Of Timelines which is where we are now. That feeling that I got from planning has now taken on a life of its own, when I get to work with someone on their most special event, and to see their faces on that day it fuels me. It fills my tank and gets me excited to do more.

    TSF: What’s Been Your Favorite part of being a Wedding Planner?

    I have been asked a few times over the years what my favorite part of the job is, and I can’t say that I do have a favorite part exactly, in fact, I have two. There is something so magical about watching a bride float down the aisle. After I give her dress one last fluff and whisper, “go ahead” she is off; all of the months of planning, phone calls, emails, texts, facetimes, schematics, laughs, sometimes tears and hugs is all happening, it is so cool to see it all come to life!

    Also, you know how they say to brides and grooms all the time that your wedding day will go by so quickly, don’t forget to enjoy it? I always tell them don’t forget to EAT and enjoy it, but it is true, and it’s also true for me and my team, just before the ceremony begins it is show time and it all fly’s by in a blink, thankfully we have photographers to help us remember how it all looked and the way we felt on that special day. When I get the pictures back from my couples’ events it’s almost like I get to experience the same feeling that I had with them on their wedding day all over again! I love being able to revisit everything – the getting ready shots, photos during cocktail hour, the first dance and all of the amazing faces that people make during toasts (those are some of my favorites 😊).

    TSF: Best piece of advice to give couples planning their wedding.

    Ok, well this is going to sound a bit bias and I really don’t mean it to be but hire a planner! I don’t necessarily mean your best friend’s sister or your co-workers friend’s daughter (unless they really are planners) but an actual licensed, educated, professional planner. Here’s why: chances are you have never done this before; planning a wedding is different than planning a birthday party or dinner party. This is the biggest dinner party you are ever going to throw; all of your family and friends are going to be there to celebrate with you and the last thing that you need or want is for something unknowingly preventable to go wrong. We didn’t order enough glasses – your planner would have warned you that you will need extra glasses if your venue doesn’t provide them. Our guests were running to their cars for jackets they were so cold – your planner would have reminded you that your cocktail hour would be outside after the sun set in March and would have added heaters to your rental order for you (and probably saved you 10% – 25% with your rental company because they are a preferred vendor). Our DJ was horrible and just talked the whole time and didn’t play any of the songs on our “play” list – your planner would have made sure that you were matched with the right DJ for your style they would have made sure that your DJ was playing what you wanted to listen to, not what they want to play.

    TSF: What is By Your Side Events specialty?

    We specialize in planning, coordinating and executing successful, magical events, while having fun along the way! I mean it when I say we will be by your side, we are going to be your wedding planning bestie, not just for the brides but the grooms too.

    TSF: Weddings can be stressful. How do you keep yourself relaxed & energized?

    My calendar reminders are my lifeline in staying organized, the second I schedule an appointment with someone – boom – it goes on the calendar. If I need a reminder to reach out to someone at a specific time – boom – it goes on the calendar, and most importantly, when I book an event! Boom – It goes on the calendar. I am super blessed that I get to live in such a beautiful area of California and I realize that I take it for granted sometimes, but driving up and down the Silverado Trail or HWY 29 through the vineyards and the hot air balloon parade in the mornings is one of the most relaxing things I never knew I needed! Then when I’m really feeling adventurous, I get to see the Golden Gate Bridge or the cliffs on the 1 after an hour in the car, or even snow after a few hours. Also, wine and just some good old fashion wine and girl talk do the trick too.

    TSF: What inspires you professionally?

    My couples do, every one of them is different and I have a special bond and unique experience with all of them to where no two events are the same. That means that I get to create or discover something new all the time! Making new discoveries, creating and learning is so inspiring and motivating and fun! It’s really cool to be a part of my couple’s ideas, and it is super interesting to see what is important to people and what their interest are.

    TSF: Biggest pet peeve with modern technology in wedding planning?

    Just when I feel like I am getting the hang of something, a different something will come up that is the newest, latest and greatest and I have to start all over again. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for evolving, just give me a minute to catch up please!

    TSF: What one superpower would you want for your work?

    Cloning. I want to be everywhere all the time, there are never enough hours in the day right? On a personal note though, I’ve always been jealous of Snow White, I would love to have conversations with animals!

    I do have some other favorite things that fill my tank. When I am not planning weddings or events you will find me in my other happy place, Disneyland (I’m a complete Disney Dork and I don’t care who knows it!) with my daughter, singing wherever I can, going on adventures or being crafty on the couch. Of course, living in Napa, I never pass up a chance to go wine tasting, R and D right?

    I can’t wait to share more of my thoughts about all things weddings, events, parties, life, and more with you and to hear some of your adventures too! Talk soon,

    -M

    By Your Side Events
    By Your Side Events

    There is no single route to finding the best planner for your wedding.  Both WeddingWire and The Knot have great lists of suggested questions.  If you have a question you’d like to ask Maria about her wedding planning business, or her opinion on anything wedding related, please ask it in the comments below or send us an email.

  • Wedding Pros

    Wedding Photographer & DJ: Cheetah & Cheetah

    This month’s spotlight is shining brightly on the husband and wife team Cheetah & Cheetah. The Cheetah’s, Nadine and Brian, were introduced in spring of 2000 by a mutual friend who recognized their mutual love of Cheetahs.

    Nadine, a fashion design graduate obsessed with all things cheetah print, and Brian, the loud and very friendly DJ Cheetah, discovered that besides Cheetah’s they also had a mutual love of music.

    Nadine: “We bonded over our love of music. Going to Melrose in LA was one of our favorite spots. We could spend hours digging through records trying to find that record we just couldn’t live without. After finding records we would go shopping on Melrose looking for that unique outfit no one else has.

    After dating for two years Brian proposed on a hill called “the top of the world” in Laguna Beach and on September 8th, 2002 we got married at the Hotel Laguna.

    In 2009 when their son was 4 years old and expecting their daughter, they decided to make the move to San Luis Obispo, the happiest city in America! SLO, to all the locals, really is the best place to raise a family.

    Starting over in a new location was a challenge, but after years of hard work they were back on top and booking most of their weddings together as a husband and wife team.

    Brian:Watching our business grow each year is such a rewarding experience. Especially knowing that we did this all on our own.

    Working together is their preference, always looking for ways to help each other out. As an example Brian will get on the mic and make an announcement to help me get the perfect shot. And Nadine, being out among the guests, will help pass around the wireless mic during toasts. Being a team the collaboration makes things run smoothly. Brides and grooms can be at ease knowing …

    Nadine’s love for photography started when she was a teenager.

    I had a pink film camera that I used to take photos of my friends and pets. I would drop off rolls of film to get developed. It was so exciting to get the photos back and see how good my shots were. I also loved to buy fashion magazines, tear out all the fashion photos that inspired me and put the images up all over my walls. The walls in my room were completely covered with beautiful Supermodels like Nadja Auermann, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Shalom Harlow, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista. In high school the book LaChapelle Land by David LaChapelle inspired me take photography classes. Which lead me to photographing the fashion section of my high school year book. Being a wedding photographer is the perfect fit for me. I get to photograph brides in beautiful dresses. Giving me that perfect mix of fashion and photography”.

    Brian’s DJ career started by seeing a ‘DJ wanted’ flyer while in college. 

    “I answered the ad, got the job and immediately knew this was my passion. Bad Boy Bill and Richard Humpty Vision inspired me with the way they mix music. I love to feel the music and bring energy to the dance floor by beat mixing, scratching and adding sound effects. I enjoy weddings because every client has different music requests for me to mix. It’s fun to find new songs that work well together inspiring me to create new mixes.I have so much fun at every wedding I DJ. It is so rewarding to keep the dance floor packed and watch my clients having a good time.

    In 2017 The family, together, made the decision to legally change their last names to cheetah. It is because of their mutual love of cheetahs Brian and Nadine met, married, started a business and a family.

    We all feel very proud to have the last name cheetah.

    Book the Cheetah’s for your next event.

    Follow the Cheetah’s on Instagram: @DJCheetah.CheetahPhotography

    LIKE the Cheetah’s on Facebook: @DJCheetah.CheetahPhotography

  • Real Weddings

    Jackie & Mireya’s Wedding in Paso Robles

    Jackie & Mireya were married on November 17th, 2018 at Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles. The event was filled with gold, deep reds, and creams with a few skulls placed around the venue. A simple, but elegant November wedding. Photographed by Nadine Cheetah of Cheetah Photography.

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    When did you know you were meant to be together? I knew before we were anything serious that she was the one. My soul genuinely felt calm and at peace anytime I was around her.

    Who Proposed To Whom? Mireya proposed to me. We had kind of tossed the idea back and forth for a while and almost eloped to Vegas (where else?!) the day she proposed.

    How / Where Did You Get Engaged? It was spur of the moment.We were enjoying a cup of coffee at our favorite local bakery, talking about being married and just decided to go for it! We went and picked out a ring together. When her daughter got out of school that day we had a picnic in a cemetery. It sounds creepy, but the cemetery had always been a special place to us. However, about a year before we were engaged my mom had passed from breast cancer. Visiting the cemetery had allowed me to feel close to her. Mireya dropped on one knee while we were there. It was as if my mom was also able to share that moment with me.

    What was your Wedding Date? November 17th, 2018

    Venue? Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles

    Did you have a Coordinator / Planner? Not really. My friend was our day-of coordinator.

    Did you have a Theme / Color Scheme in mind or did you wing it? I wouldn’t call it a theme. We had skulls around our venue and our colors were gold, deep reds, and creams. It was very simple, but elegant.

    Catering? The Vineyard did the catering and cake and was phenomenal! One less thing to worry about! We did the tastings in their restaurant and that’s what won us over on the venue. We planned our wedding from out of town so it was really convenient.

    Photographer? Nadine of Cheetah and Cheetah. Brian and Nadine were a sweet and groovy couple to work with.

    Dj? Dj Cheetah

    What was your song? Our First dance was Bad Habits by Maxwell

    Florist? Bloom N’ Grow Florist

    Hair/Makeup? Jacob Hernandez did our hair and FacebyFabe – Fabian Alexander did our make-up

    Any advice for couples planning weddings today? Find a quiet moment to have with your spouse right after the ceremony and before the party starts. That special moment, the “why” you decided to spend your life together, is what you will remember after the tequila and champagne hit!

    What was your favorite part of your wedding day? Our quiet moments with just the photograph before the party got started. I look back on those pictures and remember exactly how happy I was to have my forever.

    Anything Else You’d Like To Share? Enjoy the party and don’t sweat the small stuff!

  • Weddings & Receptions

    The Best Top 29 First Dance Songs For Your Wedding

    Finding that first dance song is never easy. Some songs may fit one personality, but you want something that represents you both. Maybe you have a song that you fell in love to, when you first met or had your first kiss. From classic to contemporary, romantic to sappy, rock and roll to country to rap – it’s your day, it’s your song. Below are our top 29 picks for a first dance – not 30, just 29.  Our first dance song was Love Me Crazy by Moonshine Collective and we were lucky enough to have them at our wedding. What song did you chose for your first dance?

    1. Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake

    2. “At Last,” Etta James – sung by Beyonce 

    3. You & I – John Legend 

    4. All of Me – John Legend

    5. Perfect – Ed Sheeran

    6. Simply the best – Noah Reid

    7. Stand By Me – Tracey Chapman

    8. Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole

    9. New York – Alicia Keys

    10. Love me crazy – Moonshine Collective

    11. Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha (feat. Florida Georgia Line)

    12. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri –
    13. Amazed – Lonestar

    14. One More Try – George Michael 

    15. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – George Michael

    16. You’re My Best Friend – Queen

    17. Better Together – Jack Johnson

    18. Yours – Ella Henderson

    19. You Are The Best Thing – James TW 

    20. Marry Me – Train

    21. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding 

    22. You Are The Reason – Calum Scott

    23. Home – Michael Bublé 

    24. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra 

    25. The Rest of Our Life – Tim McGraw, Faith Hill 

    26. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Haley Reinhart

    27. Someone Like You – Van Morrison 

    28. No one – Alicia Keys

    29. “Marry Me” – Jason Derulo

    Let us know in the comments below what song you chose for your first dance.

  • Weddings & Receptions

    The Wedding Registry: Exciting Places To Register For The Big Day

    Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

    If you’ve recently become engaged, congratulations! Check out our wedding registry guide below of exciting places for you to navigate and register for gifts, making gifting easy—for you and your guests. Don’t be shy, your friends and family want to give you whatever will make you smile. Keep checking back too, this list is continually updated with new and exciting places to register.

  • Gifts

    Cufflinks – Your No-Nonsense Guide for Buying & Wearing Cufflinks

    Confused about whether a bullet back, whale back or a fixed backing is best? Not sure whether metal or polished stone cufflinks are more formal? And are French cuffs really necessary to wear cufflinks? Our cufflinks guide answers these questions & a few more too.

    We’ve broken our guide into three sections so you can
    read what you need and get on with your day, and included some nifty info graphics too.

    Section 1: Anatomy of a Cufflink & How You Fasten It To a Cuff

    Section 2: Cufflink Types

    Section 3: Cufflinks for Every Occasion – Everyday, Business, Formal Wear, Weddings, Gifts

     

    A *very* BRIEF HISTORY of cufflinks

    Cufflinks, considered one of the most traditional pieces of male jewelry, were created to replace fabric ties or ribbons used to hold cuffs together. Cufflinks remained an upperclass status item, usually presented as a gift to mark a special occasion, until the industrial revolution allowed mass production of metal cufflinks, making them affordable to a much larger population. It wasn’t until the 1950’s, however, that cufflinks started to become a popular fashion accessory as designers and artisans began experimenting with an increasing number of materials and finishes.

    Today, you can find novelty cufflinks with your favorite pro team or
    Marvel comics character, and in every color, material and price range. You can wear cufflinks at your wedding, to the office and to celebrate the end of the week. Women increasingly are wearing cufflinks too.


    SECTION 1: Anatomy of a Cufflink

    Fastening a cufflink to a shirt cuff looks challenging, but is not when you start with the end in mind…you want the face of the cufflink to be facing up when you have your arm extended as though you are about to reach across a table. Check out our YouTube video on How to Fasten a Cufflink.


    SECTION 2: Cufflink Types

     

     

    We are often asked if there is a backing that is “best”? Generally the fewer moving parts there are in the design, the more durable and long-lasting your cufflinks will be.
    Fixed backings are the most durable — “knotted designs”, “ball return”, “stub & button” styles all fall into the “fixed” category.


    SECTION 3: Cufflinks for Every Occasion

    Casual “Everyday” Cufflinks.

    Though traditionalists would say there is no such thing as “everyday” cufflinks, we disagree. More so today than ever before, it is both stylish and fun to see a pair of cufflinks glinting at the base of your single cuff shirt sleeve while doing your everyday stuff. Here’s the deal though – keep everyday cufflinks colorful and/or whimsical. Cufflinks with flannel? Why yes, tailors can make any long sleeved shirt cufflink friendly. Cufflinks with jeans? Absolutely, but please avoid jeans with lots of distressing; because: a) it’s not 1980 and b) with fashion especially, less is often more. And because it’s a casual look, there is an endless assortment of cufflink colors, designs … and prices. Be guided by fashion’s golden rule – it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. Here are a few of our current favorites…

    HogWarts Shield Cufflinks

    Hogwarts Shield Cufflinks

    Take A Look

    Black Panther Cufflinks

    Black Panther Cufflinks

    Take A Look

    Superman Shield Cufflinks

    Superman Shield CUfflinks

    Take A Look

    These are all officially licensed, high quality cufflinks with iconic characters from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and DC Comics.  Or if sports are your obsession, there are NCAA and pro teams to proudly wear, like these officially licensed bullet back closure cufflinks.

     

    Business Cufflinks

    Here’s the only rule you need to follow when wearing cufflinks at work:

    Your cufflinks ought to work with the overall look and feel you’ve created, not compensate for it or compete with it.

    Your cufflinks can liven up a straightforward office look with your own personal style, but don’t over do it. If you are wearing French cuffs, you don’t want to dress down your look too much. Often, something refined and neutral like metal cufflinks with initials or a monogram, work well. Sometimes a small pop of color makes all the difference, like silk knot cuff links. But particularly in a business setting, you may
    not want to be remembered as “the guy with the crazy cufflinks”.

    Think Madmen, the right pair of men’s cufflinks can set you apart from the pack. Think confidence, and use your cufflinks as part of your signature style. Taylor Street has some beautiful stone cufflinks and precious metal cufflinks that will take your business attire to the next level.

    Stainless Steel Gold Tartan Plaid Cufflinks

    Stainless Steel Gold Tartan Plaid Cufflinks

    Stainless Steel Rectangle Engravable Framed Cufflinks

    Stainless Steel Rectangle Engravable Framed Cufflinks

    Formal Wear Cufflinks

    When it comes to formal occasions you need formal cufflinks, you just do. Is it black tie or white tie?
    White tie events are the most formal and have a relatively specific dress code. White tie events call for Mother-of-pearl cufflinks and studs; they are a must wear accessory. Sterling silver, platinum and white gold are preferred metals. Not sure? Check the dress code for the event.

    Mother of Pearl Cufflinks

    Mosaic Mother of Pearl Cufflinks

    Mother of Pearl Studs

     

    Mosaic Mother of Pearl Studs

     

    Black tie events, while requiring a black tuxedo or dinner jacket, are less formal and provide some room for personal fashion statements. There really are no “must haves” regarding cufflinks, but as a formal affair, classic materials that create a sophisticated look are expected. After all, if the host had wanted casual and eclectic, he or she would not have said “black tie”!

    Here are a examples of classic cufflinks that have beautiful details and won’t pull attention from your outfit.

    Classic Black Onyx Cufflinks

    Vermeil Classic Formal Onyx Cufflinks

     

    Stainless Steel Striped Onyx Cufflinks

     

    Stainless Steel Striped Onyx Cufflinks

    Getting Married?

    Many grooms want to give their groomsmen cufflinks they can wear and enjoy on the wedding day. Similarly, family members want to give newlyweds keepsakes to commemorate the day. You will have to decide, however, if the cufflinks are designed to be single use or a gift that can be worn on other occasions. “I Do Crew” or “Best Man” engraving on cufflinks limits their use to one pretty specific event, much like certain bridesmaid dress styles and colors limit future sightings.

    I Do Cufflinks

    I Do Cufflinks

    Pewter Best Man Cufflinks

    Pewter Best Man Cufflinks

    As an alternative, engrave a more subtle personalization, like a date or location, initials or a monogram.  Personalization ideas like these add significance without making them one-off’s. Whether you’re purchasing for a groom, best man, best friend, husband or dad, engraved cufflinks make a memorable gift with a lasting impression.

    Stainless Steel Round Engravable Framed Cufflinks

    Stainless Steel Round Engravable Framed Cufflinks

    Or, if you go the other direction, you can have some serious fun without spending too much. Increasingly, grooms have been getting creative with theme socks, ties and cufflinks as a fun and whimsical way to show camaraderie, treating cufflinks more as a keepsake to remember the day.

    When Pigs Fly Cufflinks

    When Pigs Fly Cufflinks

    Either way, Taylor Street Favors has cufflink ideas for you. We offer modern and traditional cuff links as well as unique designs that your ‘I Do Crew’ will love.

    Cufflinks as Gifts – Gemstone, Novelty, Seasonal and Semi-precious Stone Cufflinks

    Always an awesome gift choice, cuff links [and tie bars!] imbue confidence and add a subtle and sophisticated finish to a man’s or woman’s outfit.

    Women’s Cufflink Ideas

    Gemstone Cufflink Ideas

    Seasonal & Novelty Cufflinks

    Day of the Dead Skull CufflinksWonder Woman Action Cufflinks

    A great pair of cufflinks can become a family heirloom. A fun pair of cufflinks can become a bond to a moment. And while cufflinks make beautiful gifts to mark special occasions, you
    can buy cufflinks for yourself, too. Try out different options and eventually you’ll discover what works for you as you define your personal style. A friend, who is a brilliant artist, will jump directly into any project with a “I can figure that out, I can do that!’ attitude. That same attitude applies to creating your personal style. Confidence comes from trying, discovering and learning what style works for you.

    Style is putting your personality in what you wear and how you live.

    To paraphrase Coco Chanel, “Dress shabbily and they remember the clothes, dress impeccably and they remember you”.

  • Weddings & Receptions

    Signature Drink: Fig & Honey Martini

    Fig & Honey Martini

    Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

    Trivia: Did you know that 43 percent of weddings will take place from late September to November?

    That’s a whole lot of drinking! Wine and beer are fine, but couples increasingly are offering a signature drink at their reception, and creating yet one more wedding decision to make, ‘
    What signature drink should we serve at our fall themed wedding reception?’.

    Well, I can now offer a tasty solution. I was watching WeddingWire’s Creative Director, Jeffra Trumpower, on the
    Today Show and she mentioned a new fall favorite — the Fig & Honey Martini. Talk about ‘fall’-ing in love with fruit. – I am all over this one. One, I love figs and really, to be honest, any drink that sounds like dessert – I’m all in.

    Clearly I am no bartender, but I am so willing to jump in and give it a shake. Here’s a recipe I found that I thoroughly enjoyed…a few times…all trial and error for the sake of perfection.

    • 8 ounces vodka
    • 2 ounces elderflower flavored liqueur
    • 6 ounces apple juice
    • 1/4 cup honey thyme syrup (below)
    • 4 fresh figs, halved*
    • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

    Add the vodka, elderflower flavored liquor, apple juice, honey syrup and figs to a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler (A
    muddler is a bartender’s tool, used like a pestle, and mash—or muddle—the figs, and add to the shaker. Add ice. Replace the top on the shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into 4 martini glasses. Garnish with figs and fresh thyme.

    Honey Thyme Syrup

    • 1 cup honey
    • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

    In a small saucepan combine the honey, 1 cup of water, and the thyme. Bring to a low boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.


    *If fresh figs are not available, 2 teaspoons of fig preserves can be used. Just make sure to stir the preserves until incorporated and then strain.

    And on a healthy note, figs are nutritional powerhouses loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients like B vitamins, calcium and potassium. Figs and honey have been shown to do everything from calm stomach troubles to lower blood pressure (and don’t we all need to lower our blood pressure just a little bit). Figs are also thought to have a high amount of Vitamin B5 which makes them so amazing for the skin. So no matter how you slice the fig they make the perfect cocktail!

    I feel healthier already. Don’t you?

    Now, I bet you’re wondering ‘
    What am I going to pour this amazing martini into?’. Well, Taylor Street can help you with that. Below are a few suggestions that will take your martini up a notch. I’ve created a search link as well for a great selection of Martini Glasses. Click here.

    Stemless Martini Glasses by Viski | Item No. 7394 | $18.88 | The minimalist design of these lead free crystal glasses adds a modern vibe to an iconic drink. Available in sets of two, these also make an excellent gift to add to a home bar collection.

    Of course you’re going to need a napkin to place those Fig & Honey martinis on. Share the merrymaking with this Martini Glasses Printed Napkin, offered in multiple color options to add a pop to any party.

    Martini Glasses Printed Napkins | Item No. 438 | $19.98 | Foil Printed Personalized Paper Napkins. Cheers! Perfect for any festive occasion, this design features two martini glasses clinking in celebration.

    We’d love to hear about your Fig and Honey Martini experience. Send us a comment below, tell us on
    FacebookInstagram us your Martini (#TaylorStreetLife) or send us a tweet. Right now, I am off to shake up another good ol’ fashioned healthy fig & honey martini. You know, for my skin. Cheers!