Boston & New England Wedding Photographer Deborah Zoe

Boston & North Shore Wedding Photographer creating timeless imagery for classic New England weddings with a fine art approach.

Tips From The Pros

As we near the end of a month long blog series created to help couples plan and prepare for the wedding day, I thought it would be lovely to hear from past DZP couples!! Today we're hearing from the PROS, couples who have planned and executed beautiful wedding days. They are sharing their best tips for those who are in the planning stages and they have some great advice to share!! Read on to gather your own nuggets of wisdom to apply to your wedding planning and wedding day. Take it away DZP pros!!

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Plan The Perfect Reception

The Reception is your time to let loose and celebrate!! It is important to thoughtfully plan out this part of the day and your DJ, caterer and venue coordinator will help walk you through how to best plan for the evening. As you bring together details with your team, there are several things to keep in mind as you map out the night’s festivities. In today's DZP Planning Series I'm sharing my favorite tips to help you plan the perfect reception.

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Make An Impact With Your Wedding Flowers

It's no secret that I love flowers -- they bring me so much joy!! If I could live in a house made of flowers, I probably would ;). While my love of all things floral may skew my opinions in some ways (bigger is always better!!), what remains true is that your wedding florals will make a huge impact throughout your day. Your florals will be one of the most photographed items on the wedding day and included in almost all of your images. Careful thought and attention should be paid to the style, look and feel of your flower choices. In today's installment of the DZP Wedding Planning series I share practical tips on how to make an impact with your wedding flowers!!

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How To Plan Stress Free Family Formals

In the fourth post of the DZP Wedding Planning Series, we'll be chatting about to plan stress free family formals. The success of family formals on the wedding day is in the planning. Often, the idea of photographing grouping after grouping can seem overwhelming, to you, your family and your photographer. While it may seem like this is an easy and quick part of the wedding day -- when you are working with larger groups of people things can quickly become confusing, complicated and down right stressful. Today I'll be sharing my best tips on how to make this time with your loved ones, easy, stress free and enjoyable. 

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Preparing For the Morning Of The Wedding

In the fourth post of the DZP Wedding Planning Series, I am sharing how to prepare for the morning of your wedding day and make the most of this precious time with your loved ones!! Months of planning and preparation have lead to this moment -- getting ready on your wedding day!! There will be lot swirling around you : people, questions and attention. Often it can be overwhelming and a lot to take in. Read on to learn how to reduce stress and enjoy every minute as you get ready for your wedding!!

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Making The Most of Your Wedding Party Portraits

In the third post of the DZP Wedding Planning series, I am sharing how to make the most of your wedding party portraits. Your wedding party portraits are a fun and exciting time to share with your best friends and loved ones. You’ll celebrate and honor those who have supported you over the years, first as individuals and now as a couple. Some choose a large wedding party while others simply pick a best friend or sibling to stand with them. Regardless of your wedding party size, I want this to be an incredibly fun time with your loved ones. Read on to learn how to make the most of this time with your loved ones.

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Is A First Look For You?

In today's post, the second the DZP Planning series, we're talking all about the First Look. What is a First Look? Is right for your wedding day? How do you plan for a First Look? I'll be answering those questions and more -- let's get started.

The First Look is a period of the day where the Bride & Groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony. This is an intentional period of time set aside just for the couple. Often this is the first and last time you’ll be alone together on an otherwise very busy day. It’s an opportunity for you to express all this day means to you in a safe and private atmosphere. 

With the hustle and bustle of the wedding day underway, the Ceremony does not provide much room to share heartfelt emotions. Often, the Groom may be standing in front of the aisle with all eyes on him watching for his reaction. That’s a lot of pressure and can often lead to a nervous face and stiff body language; not exactly the emotional response a Bride may have envisioned. Couples typically feel more at ease to share their feelings together for the first time alone rather than in front of all of their guests; a First Look provides the room and space to do just that.

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Romantic & European Inspired Wedding Shoot with Les Fleurs

This past spring I was honored to be asked to photograph an inspiration shoot with the talented ladies of Les Fleurs. Kerianne, director of Weddings and Events at Les Fleurs, envisioned an editorial shoot embracing old world romance paired with light and airy details, creating an effortlessly romantic vibe with modern and fresh touches. 

Kerianne shared, "Our inspiration for this shoot stemmed from the cool, tranquil tones of Serenity—one half of Pantone’s hybrid Color of the Year—and the natural lushness offered by crisp summer greenery." She continued, "We brought in ‘something old’ with the candleholders, which were handpicked local antiques, and the compotes, which belonged to my grandmother. "Sentimental pieces can add so much character to your special day.” (excerpt from Swooned feature)

This was such a fun project to shoot -- from the delicately created stationary pieces from Proper Paper to the perfectly styled gowns provided by BHLDN, everything came together beautifully!! I cannot say enough about the rock star team of creatives that participated -- if you're planning a wedding, check out the resources below -- they are simply incredible to work with.

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Wedding Love: Destination Weddings New England Style

Before last year if you had asked me what the first thing I thought of when it came to Destination Weddings was I would tell you, exotic, warm, palm trees, sand and tropical drinks. But thanks to my wonderful couples this past year, my idea of Destination Weddings had definitely expanded, or rather come home. Did you know that couples who are planning a destination wedding actually consider New England as a possible destination?! For someone who grew up here I am always looking for ways to travel to other parts of the world. I've forgotten that people actually travel HERE to experience New England and all that it has to offer. The old charm, the beach, the ocean, the rocky coast, the mountains, the woods, the farm lands. No wonder couples want to marry here! From couples who live out of the region to couples who call New England home, all are finding the draw to plan a wedding right here in New England!

That' exactly what Jared and Kristen did for their Block Island weekend wedding. While they only live one state over, they chose Block Island for their summery beach wedding. They wanted to give their guests the opportunity to spend the weekend at the beach and enjoy the sun and festivities without feeling like they had to rush back home. It helped to create a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere! And the best part is that while they felt like they were far away from normal everyday life, they were only an hour ferry ride back to reality!


For Brian and Lisa, they planned a weekend in Maine for their wedding guests and only live a few hours away in Boston. Lisa has spent many summers away in Maine so being able to bring that piece of her life into her wedding day was very important. Brian and Lisa also wanted to give their guests a wedding experience with a weekend full of events. They wanted to share with their guests what they loved about Maine. They were able to plan a wedding just two states away, in their own backyard, while still giving their guests a feel of a Destination Wedding.

Patty and Justin on the other hand live outside of New England and planned their very own Destination Wedding in Maine all the way from Washington, D.C.! Justin grew up in Maine and so it was fitting for them to plan their wedding there. They wanted to give their guests the opportunity to experience all that coastal Maine has to offer and again planned a weekend full of activities to give their guests a complete experience. This is a great example of choosing to marry in New England because of what New England has to offer. There really is nothing like being on the coast in the summer!

Ben and Kristen love the outdoors so Vermont was a natural choice for them for their Fall wedding. They chose a location three hours from their home. So while they had to travel to their wedding, they were close enough to come home and relax before leaving for their honeymoon. They had the feel of a Destination Wedding without the cost of airfare. Again, like the other couples above, they planned a weekend of events for their guests, giving them the opportunity to experience the best of what their location had to offer!


I hope that this post has caused you to rethink how you view Destination Weddings. Of course there really is nothing like sand, palm trees, warm breezes and an exotic location (are you planning that wedding, contact me;)) But that doesn't mean you should discount your own backyard, especially if you live in New England. With so many options and four distinct seasons to choose from, you can plan your own wedding weekend away right here while still being able to get away, without the expensive travel costs! I love traveling throughout New England so if you're planning a wedding here, let's chat! I want to hear all about your wedding, destination or not!






Wedding Love: Professional Makeup and the Joys of Fake Eyelashes

This my mom and I on my wedding day (I look like a baby!). It was the first time that my mom had ever had her makeup professionally done and she was nervous. I couldn't believe that someone wouldn't want to have their makeup done but she proved me wrong! My mom's a no fuss kind of person and so for her makeup was a luxury she didn't always indulge in. To spend a morning being pampered and done up was something outside of her comfort zone. But in the end she decided to just go for it and look at the results! She was beautiful! After all was said and done, she was very happy she chose to get her make up professionally done.

There can be all sorts of reasons against getting your make up done. You think you can do it yourself, makeup isn't your thing, you can't afford it. I've been there! As a person who doesn't wear makeup everyday, I find the whole thing very intimidating! And when it came to planning my own wedding, I had no idea where to start in regards to make up. And because we were on a super tight budget, professional makeup services were low on the budget priority list.

I just CRINGE thinking about that today, but six years ago as a 22 year old bride to be that was the stage I was at in life. There wasn't anyone encouraging me to get my make up done and I didn't know nearly as much as I know now, at least when it comes to makeup and photography:) The more I thought about it, I wondered if other Brides felt this way too. Where other Brides intimidated by makeup? Did other Brides considered not having their make up done? And so I thought I'd share what I've learned over the past few years. My hope is to equip you with more information about makeup and makeup artists and how working with professionals can have a dramatic impact on not only your wedding images, but also your confidence in your beauty!

Over the past few years, I've learned that makeup artists are trained to help you look your best. Beyond being professionals and trained in the art of makeup (yes, I believe it's an art form!), they have the ability to look at you in a completely different light than you may see yourself. As woman we are our own worst critics, especially when it comes to our looks. We often hold back or rule things out because we don't think it's the right fit for us. The great thing about makeup artists is that they are a sounding board when it comes to our appearance. With their trained eye, they can give us honest opinions on what would be best for our face shape, our complexion, our eye color and other areas where we may be blinded by our own opinions. Their goal is for us to look our best despite our insecurities, timidness or fear. Makeup artists and hair stylists for that matter, can be our champions to help build our confidence in our appearance.

I will often hear Brides saying that they'll just do their own makeup for their wedding. Often this is because people want to save money, especially when following a wedding budget. (Remember, I was the Bride that didn't even bother to budget in professional makeup, so if you're in this category, I understand!) What I think is key, is that the reason why I didn't budget in makeup services is that at the time I didn't place a high value on the service. But after a last minute decision to have it done, I quickly realized the importance of having your make up professionally done! Professional make up artists understand how to do your make up so that you photograph beautifully. They understand that certain facial features need to be highlighted, how make up photographs and what a photographer is looking for, so  together we can make the Bride look absolutely stunning. So, if you're trying to cut back costs, I'd encourage you to look at your budget and invest appropriately in the area of your appearance. Your are the star of your wedding day and deserve to look absolutely your best. You want to be able to look back on your wedding images years from now and remember just how stunningly beautiful you were!

Brides can also be intimidated by the whole process of make up. Maybe they are like me and don't wear makeup every day, so they feel to wear makeup on their wedding day would not be "them". You want to look natural, to look like yourself. The wonderful thing about makeup is, that when applied appropriately, is highlights your best features, allowing you to look like the best version of yourself. You still look like you, but with eye liner;)  Hiring a professional makeup artist ensures that your makeup will be done correctly, that you will indeed look natural and not like a circus clown. A professional makeup artist will always ask for your opinion and allow you to give feedback so that together you can create a look that best suites you. And while some of you might disagree with me, I've seen first hand the transformation of what well applied make up can do to a woman. Not only in her appearance but in the confidence she has in herself. And when you are confident you radiate from the inside out!

As a photographer, I am always happy to know that my Brides are choosing to invest in professional makeup. Think of it as an investment in your self confidence. Having my own makeup done has completely changed the way that I see myself. We recently had the chance to have our photographs taken and the confidence that I had in front of the camera was off the charts. I felt beautiful because I knew that my makeup artist had taken the time to make me look beautiful. She highlighted my best features so that I looked like myself, I looked natural. It's something that every woman should be able to experience at least once in their life (if not many more times!!:), and especially on their wedding day.

The last thing that I'll say about professional makeup is this: PLEASE GET FAKE EYELASHES!! I know people have all sorts of opinions on fake eyelashes but I am one of the BIGGEST lovers of the fake lash:) Often my Brides are concerned that they look fake, simply because they are not used to seeing their lashes that long. But trust me, they add a POW to your images, open up your eyes and add contrast to your face. Would you have known that all the woman in this post are wearing fake eyelashes? (Including yours truly below) Trust me, fake eyelashes are the best.  They are Husband approved;)

Here are some fabulous Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists that I have had the pleasure of working with over the past few years. These ladies will help you feel absolutely beautiful on your wedding day! *Lena did my hair and makeup for the shoot above:)*

Lena of Hair That Moves

Joanne of Joya Beauty

Erin of Simply Gorgeous by Erin

Andrea of Makeup by Dileto

If you have any of your own makeup stories to share, tips or tricks, or thoughts, please leave a comment below! I'd love to know what you think!

**EDITED TO ADD** I forgot about this link! I found this on Pinterest several months ago and thought it was so appropriate for this post. If you ever doubted the amazing effects of professional makeup just click the link!



Featured: Style Me Pretty & A Paper Proposal

I don't know about you, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that two days from now is Thanksgiving. And while I am probably more excited than anyone about the fact I'm going to get to eat some yummy turkey, stuffing and green bean casserole, I just can't believe how fast this year has flown by! It seems like yesterday that I first started talking with my awesome couples about their upcoming 2011 weddings. How far away it seemed at the time and yet here we are over a year later! I've had a great season with some of the best clients and couples a girl could ask for and I have been so blessed to be able to see some of their beautiful weddings published on the web! I'm so humbled when a blog chooses to showcase my photography and highlight the hard work of my couples. It's a super exciting experience both for me and for my clients. After spending typically over a year planning out all the small details that go into a wedding day, it sure is gratifying to see it highlighted on a wedding blog!

One of my deserving brides, Cassandra, who did ALL of the details of her wedding day by hand, had her beautiful wedding featured recently on Style Me Pretty. While super exciting for Cassandra, it was also a dream come true for me the photographer! Style Me Pretty is one of the top wedding blogs anywhere so be able to see my work there is quite the honor. I couldn't think of a better wedding to see featured on Style Me Pretty either. I mean c'mon, bouquets of paper flowers?! Gah, absolutely love. You can check out the feature here, and see their wedding in it's entirety here.

Another blog that I absolutely adore, A Paper Proposal also recently featured Wes & Emily's engagement at Appleton Farms in Ipswich. We had so much fun that spring morning walking the farm and the trails surrounding the property. We even got to feed some adorable, albeit, smelly cows! If you'd like to see their engagement click here. To view the feature click here. A Paper Proposal is a great resource for all you brides out there so make sure to scroll around for some inspiration!