Today is my third in a series of posts that highlight area wedding professionals. In this post I am highlighting Lingky Sugg of Flowers by Lingky. Flowers are always a centerpiece to any wedding, so choosing the right floral designer is absolutely imperative! As with all my posts in this series, I am highlighting area vendors who I know both personally and professionally and are very client-centered. Lingky has a unique ability to translate her client’s dreams into reality. She is among the best floral designers in the Charlotte area and her designs are simply amazing! I love how elegant her presentations are and how much of her talent goes into each arrangement.  Lingky’s clients love her and it shows.  She has won numerous awards from both The Knot and Wedding Wire!  Recently, I was able to catch up with Lingky at her studio in downtown Charlotte.  Here is some of what she had to say, including some great advice for couples looking for the right floral designer:

How did you get into floral design and weddings?

It started when I volunteered in my church when I was still in Indonesia. They then gave me a big responsibility, which was decorating the altar for big mass/services such as Christmas & Easter. People then started to come to me to do their weddings. When I moved to the US ( end of 2007), my boyfriend (now my hubby) noticed that every time I went to the grocery store, I always bought fresh flowers and made beautiful floral arrangements at home. He then asked me “why don’t you do it seriously like a business ?” I then said … “umm… I can do that!” So I started my business in 2010, and I designed 2 weddings. The following year I had 20 weddings, and 2012 I had 40 weddings, and it keeps on growing. But I am more concentrated on quality rather than quantity.

What was your first wedding like?  What stood out about it and what did you learn?

My first wedding in the US was in 2010. It was a very beautiful wedding at Providence Country Club. The bride was very fun to be around! It was a very pretty and large wedding. The color was Fuchsia, Orange & Lime Green. I learned how to secure an event and face obstacles.  From that wedding, I was able to book another wedding in 2010 and by 2011 I was booking many weddings!

I know it is hard to pick a favorite, but could you describe one of your favorite weddings?

I had one last year with 1000 guests!  We had to design 100 centerpieces for the reception.  I have had some weddings with 2,500 people, which meant quite a bit of work and lots of flowers.

How would you characterize your style as a wedding florist?

I would characterize my style as contemporary, but certainly not in a minimalist sense. I love luscious floral arrangements and I want the design to be very elegant.  My favorite flowers are Lily-of-the-Valley, Peonies, Japanese Ranunculus, and Poppies.

What trends are you seeing in wedding floral design, etc.?

It seems that cascading bouquets are back in trend, not necessarily the same style, but with modern improvisations.  Also, tall/elevated centerpieces are very trendy now.  We have been designing more floral arrangements that hang from poles, etc.

What advice would you give a couple who is looking for a wedding florist?

I would spend time looking at images of flowers and researching to determine your likes and dislikes.  You could even print some images to show your floral designer, or create a Pinterest page of what you like.  This way, when you meet with floral designer they can better explain the costs and have an understanding of your style.  Also, look for a florist that has an interest in YOUR wedding, that takes your wedding as her/his own event, is truthful, and is fun to work with!

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I’ve been busy shooting some really cool family sessions this Spring. This is a great time of year, what with the leaves and flowers returning and the wedding season in full swing. I love it! I am also excited to see familiar faces, as was the case this past Sunday when I had the chance to see one of my favorite families. The Cheek’s have twins and a new baby girl that I was very excited to photograph! Their kids are the absolute best and their smiles are contagious! We had a blast on this shoot, starting with some indoor shots before moving over to VanLandingham Estate for some outdoor portraits. I love the balance here between indoor/outdoor and Spring exudes from these photos! Take a look at the selection below from our shoot! So much fun!

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Sound!  Music!  Dancing!  Partying! These are but a few words that come to mind when I think of all the weddings I have had the pleasure of working over the last 10 seasons. When I meet with couples to discuss their wedding they often speak of how excited they are to party and let loose. Who can blame them, their wedding is the biggest celebration of their lives! But let me say this – if you want your wedding reception to be the party you dream of, you have to choose a DJ that can get your guests hopping! A professional DJ is ESSENTIAL to a wedding reception. Your DJ wears many hats. In addition to being the Master of Ceremonies, the DJ must feel the crowd, anticipate when to change things up, deliver pristine sound, mix music, the list goes on! As a photographer, I value working with DJs that are client centered and know how to keep a wedding reception hopping from start to finish. When a DJ is really good – the effects of their music will spill right over into the photography and everything else!

In my second in a series of vendor spotlights I am highlighting Todd Alexander of Spintastic Sounds. Todd started his career over 25-years ago and he is one of the most talented and experienced DJs in the Carolinas. In addition to great music, Todd can provide additional services like uplighting! His wife Jess is also a wedding professional, providing day-of coordination. Together, they are a 1-2 punch! What makes Todd stand out is that he really gets his clients, he understands and listens to what they want for their wedding reception – then he delivers!  Also, Todd LOVES what he does and that makes a big difference in any business. You can tell someone is good at what they do when you see them enthusiastically dancing and singing right along with the guests! I caught up with Todd recently and interviewed him about his business. Here is what he had to say:

How did you get into the business of being a wedding DJ?

Started in a Dance Club in college… Upon Graduation I started transitioning into weddings. I ultimately fell in love with it more than the Club scene! Weddings are now 90% of what we do.

What was your first wedding like?  What stood out about it and what did you learn?

To be honest… I can’t remember the first one was 20+ years ago!

Holy cow – Todd also provides uplighting for receptions! 


I know it is hard to pick a favorite, but could you describe one of your favorite weddings?

One of my favorites involved the Bride & Groom having the mascot Sir Purr show up during the dancing. He danced and hung out with the guests for about 30 minutes. It was an already hopping reception and that pushed it over the top!

How would you characterize your style as a wedding DJ?

Laid Back but not Lazy! I am very comfortable at the helm, making sure that all the vendors are equally informed of our next move. Taking care to involve all of the guests while focusing on the Bride & Groom’s wishes for their special day.

What advice would you give a couple who is looking for a wedding DJ?

Do your homework, interview THE DJ, not just the DJ Company if they have multiple teams. Require them to let you meet the one you are going to be assigned. Read the reviews & even call or email some of the past clients.  Do not base your decision on $$$! I know that may sound a little crazy. Cut out the veggie tray OR even the Champagne toast! You should not choose a DJ that wants the focus on them, but one that supports your day well. Your wedding reception is like in a concert, the DJ is the headliner for your day. They are the final act to the production and one of the most lasting memories your guests will have!

Where do you see your business going in the future, what trends do you see?

We have grown about as much as we can, meaning there are only so many Saturdays in the year. And because we will not hire other DJ teams it is limited to just Jess & I as day of coordinator & DJ. As far as trends, I see venues starting to require a professional planner OR day Of coordinator for ALL weddings. Too many events get led awry by use of “family friends” or the like trying to be the coordinator!

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So what is the best compliment a photographer can receive? Undoubtedly, it is when a former wedding client asks you to photograph their newborn baby! Morgan and David were married back in 2012 and they welcome the birth of their son – Hutch. Even before he was born I was able to shoot Morgan and David’s maternity session which you can see here. Hutch is adorable and I love how tiny he is. At the time of the shoot he was only 8-days old! I was using some new backdrops/flooring for this shoot, I love how the chevron pattern blends with the flooring I brought. What I did was use a combination of backdrops, basket/beanbag and incorporated some additional props that Morgan had prepared – like the baseball with Hutch’s birth stats. What a cool idea! Among my favorite in this grouping are the window lit shots that are in B&W. I think those look timeless and it was also great to capture these guys as a family – right down to their beloved dog Abbey! Congrats Morgan and David, you guys are the best and I was honored to photograph your son!

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