Your Brand of Love

Image of a coastal city on the Mediterranean, in Villefranche Sur Mer.  There are tall palm trees and a port with mountains in the distance.

Jet-setting became normal for Ben and me.  It was bound to be a part of our story from the moment we were born in separate countries.  

He is from Ontario, Canada, I am from the eastern coast of Florida.  While neighboring countries, there were over 1,200 miles of varying terrain separating us the moment we entered the world. 

We began our relationship on a beach trip with friends.  Shortly after, I left to work in China teaching English.  He left Oklahoma setting up a finance system there.  


We missed each other so much!  But, we actually really enjoyed the travel.   It quickly became a part of our couple identity.  

While living a half a world apart, we would write books worth of emails back and forth.  At the end of every day, I would sit down and write about my day.  I would tell him if his day was about to be a good or a bad one based on my 12 hour advance on the subject.  He would write back, telling me about his day.  I longed to hear even about the boring things.

Later, we married and started life together in Canada.  Our marriage would take us to Malta, Barcelona, Italy, France, all over North America, and the Bahamas.  Travel.  Lots of travel.

It seemed so normal that we didn't even think about it as being a part of our "couple identity".  It was and it still is.  We love traveling every chance we can get.  We have a trip to Paris on the schedule right now for 2018.  Dreaming together is half the fun.  

Couple Identity


A wedding celebrates that new life together.  Two, unique, personalities coming together forming a stellar team.    

Often times we can't see our "couple identity" because we are too close to it.  Others can see it and can absolutely help in the discovery process. 

Those characteristics that make you so unique should shine on your wedding day.   Each detail you choose sends a message.  Little choices reveal the overall vibe of your day.  The hand painted sign, the signature drinks, the charming cake topper, all showcase your couple style.  

Understanding your couple identity helps in selecting your artist and vendor team. You can search for those who shine best with your vision.

This is a big part of my Photographic approach.  I look for the little details that speak to your personality and brand of love.  My editorial bent is motivated in story-telling.  I am striving for a cohesive gallery, from the moment I enter your day.  

Every detail that I capture on a wedding day will be captured in a way that reflects the mood of the day.  For example, that ring shot, if it's a rustic chic event, I will find some beautiful whitewashed wood.  If it's black tie glam, I will find a backdrop reflecting that elegance.  I'm always thinking about how everything will look in your album spreads.  Your own art gallery of wedding images.

Not sure what your couple personality looks like?  Here are some tips on discovering your "brand of love".



Here are some questions to get the brainstorm sesh started, have fun with it!

Picture of an engaged couple on a date.  They are sitting down together, facing each other, holding hands and smiling.
  • What is your favorite date?
  • What are your favorite color pairings?
  • What is your favorite atmosphere? 
  • What would you do if you had a free afternoon?
  • What is your ideal vacation?
  • What are your thoughts on pets?
  • Are you an Introvert, Extrovert, or Extroverted Introvert?
  • What is your Love Language?
  • How would you describe your fashion sense?
  • How would you describe your dream home?
  • What is your dream vehicle?
  • What is your living style?
  • What kind of music do you enjoy?
  • If you were playing tourist for a day, what would that look like?
  • What are his/her best qualities?
  • What does his/her dream job look like?
  • What is your proposal story?
  • How did you meet?


Still stuck?  Reach out to your bridal party.  Ask them what they think of when they think of both of you?  Is there any word or overall style that comes to mind?  What adjectives would they use to describe you, as a couple?



Discover any Overlap

Now it's time to look for that common ground.  Based on your answers, what are the similarities in your lifestyle?  

Did you fall in love over music?  Do you both love sports?  Are you a "dinner and a movie" couple or would you rather be somewhere with live music?  Much of the overlap is found in how you spend your time together.  What are you doing?  Even binge watching Netflix is a clue to your couple chemistry.  

Still stuck?  Draw on your story.  Special milestones, places, pets, even silly inside jokes, anything that brings you together.  



Create a Mood-Board

Drawing from what you love doing together, start a Pinterest board.  Fill it with anything that speaks to you couple vibe.  This can be any and everything that speaks to you.  Don't filter yourself.  It could be a literal fave (like a picture of your pet) or concepts like carefree, fun, or vaca dreams.

Still stuck?  Simply start pinning your literal favorite date locations and concepts.  For instance, if you are a couple who loves artisan coffee, live music, and history podcasts, then begin pinning pictures from those actual places.  Pin a picture of your local coffeeshop, your fave music lounge, historical landmarks you've visited, etc.  

Picture of a Pinterest board about engagement inspiration.  The board has many pictures of an engaged couple as well as Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower.



Let the Planning Commence!

Now that you have a confident mood for your couple identity, it's time to translate that to a wedding day.  

Sometimes it's a pretty literal correlation.  For instance, if you both love country living and white barns, you already know what venue you are looking for.  

If you love tennis, maybe incorporate that into your wedding logo and with your favors as something adorable like these tennis ball candies.  There are absolutely ways to maintain wedding elegance while embracing your interests.  

Now, it's time to create a list of themes you feel exemplify your look and feel.  Use descriptive words based on your inspiration board.  

Still stuck?  Use Pinterest to search your common interests in a wedding setting.  For instance, if you both love nature, but also modern conveniences, then look up themes like "rustic elegance, wedding".  Can you tell I'm a fan of Pinterest?  You guys, it's such a fabulous ideation tool.  


Hiring A Wedding Stylist


A Wedding Stylist is super helpful when it comes to translating your couple identity into a wedding vision.  It is absolutely worth the investment.  Take a look at what a stylist does by viewing my Amber Veatch Design's work.  I love working with her!

A Personal Example


Picture of celestial wedding details.  This is a collage of six images that show a stationary suite, hand lettering, candles, cake, and a globe.

In 2016, Ben and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary with each other.  In that season of life, getting away just wasn't an option. Instead, we opted for a private evening with cake, flowers, and pretty things on a gorgeous beach.

When Ed Sheeran's song released, "Thinking Out Loud", it struck such a rich connection with me. It is a modern song, with so much depth about the real kind of love. Love that is selfless, kind, and choosing to romance each other daily. 

So, I created an anniversary design with a celestial feeling.  My talented friends and colleagues brought the vision to life with hand lettering, a delicious two-tier mocha cake, custom stationary with wedding images, and my littles dancing around with star wands.  

Music has always played an important role in our relationship (starting with that mix CD he made for me when we were just friends).  We danced on the white sands of Ponce Inlet, Ben brought his guitar and serenaded me.  It was so incredibly special.  

Every time I look back at these images, I remember all of the thousands of miles we've traveled, while kissing "under the light of a thousand stars". 

Photography - E. M. Anderson Photography / Cake - Bliss Pastry / Florals - Arrangements / Hair + Make-Up - Amanda Hopcraft Makeup Artist / Globe - Jacqueline Biddle / Print - The Scribble Studio / Stationary Suite - Minted / Gown - BHLDN/ Confetti - A Crafty Studio

All right, Lovelies, start brainstorming!  I can't wait to see your custom couple brand in all of it's wedding glory.  


P.S. This Style Me Pretty Weddings book is super fun for discovering your brand of love.

It walks you through five types of bridal styles: 

  1. Classic
  2. Modern
  3. Rustic
  4. Whimsical
  5. Al Fresco


While you may not fit into one box, per se, it will definitely give you inspiration for defining your own look.  

My Wedding Day - Things I Would Do Differently

Ben and I sat on a bench at the new Citrus Park Mall in Tampa.  Well, it was new then.  It was February of 2005 and I was on winter break from teaching in China.  We were soaking up every moment together before half a world separated us again. 

We have an easy way with each other.  We were good friends before things became romantic.  Distance had a way of forcing a lot of communication in our lives. 

His tone changes, I look into his eyes.  He holds my hand asking what type of ring I might want – you know, should a proposal happen.  I immediately felt giddy (and a little nervous).   We soon began discussing theoretical wedding dates, asking how long I would need to plan a wedding.  

While unconventional to discuss wedding ideas prior to a proposal, our relationship wasn’t really typical.  We lived half a world apart and this was our last time seeing each other for the next four months.  We were young and in love, the months seemed like years. 

A proposal did come, during his first visit to see me when I returned home.  That’s a story for another day, but it involves a beach, a guitar, Beach Boy song, and lots of mushy gushy squeals of delight. 

I dreamed big over pages of Martha Stewart wedding magazines.  I cut out pages of inspiration for my ever-growing notebook. 

My color palette was a sea green with lots of white.  I’ve always loved simple beauty.  I opted to go for short bridesmaid dresses, they were the latest thing in 2006.  I liked that they didn’t feel too stuffy. 

I brought in coastal elements with chocolate seashells as favors and topping our white three-tiered wedding cake.

Probably my favorite reception décor piece came from a department store.  We were friends with the owner of the Bealls department store in our town.  He graciously lent us their tall white palm trees for the head table. 

Would I do things differently now?  Absolutely.  Now that I am past the trivial and immediate regrets, here are my bigger picture regrets.

Things I Would Do Differently Now



If I could do it over again, I would have been married on the beach somewhere.  I love the beach, and who cares about crazy logistics.  I should have just done it. 


Wedding Planning Team

I should have hired a wedding planner to help me with all of the logistics.   Leading up to the wedding, I did everything.  My bridal party and family were scattered all over and weren’t able to help. 

The two days before, and during, the wedding I used a lot of friends and family for projects.  While there were fun moments, I wish I would have been spending more quality time with everyone visiting me.  They will never be in one place, all together, again.


Guest List

We had 300 guests on our wedding day, far too many.  I wish now that we had been surrounded by our very closest friends and family.  Of course, this is totally personal preference.  I was trying to please too many people in the planning process.  We should have limited our guest list and put some of that budget towards other areas. 



While I feel good about my vision skills, having someone to help me execute that vision would have been super helpful.  A stylist would have been a huge asset for my wedding day.    That kind of expertise would have been worth every penny.



Dun, dun, dun.  Here it is.  I wish I’d looked for timeless photography.  You guys, I have selective color pictures in my album!  Ahhh.  I wish I had found someone I loved and flown them to my wedding and paid them well. 

I have about three images that I absolutely love from that day.  They are black and white images of Ben and me and I am so grateful for those few treasures. 

The biggest regrets are not investing in high quality professionals who could have made life easier (for everyone) and more beautiful. 

I was the kind of person who took great pride in coming in under budget, well under budget.  I wish I had used the difference to invest in a few key places.  A budget is very important, I’m a big believer in wise financial living.  But, a wedding planner can help you navigate that budget, maximizing your dollars. 

There you go, my top regrets for my wedding day.  Nothing earth shattering, because, really, the most important thing happened.  I married the love of my life. 

We still have that easy way with each other.  He is my happily ever after.