Emily + Jake Davenport Engagement Session | Quad Cities Wedding Photography | Rock Island Wedding Photographer | Chicago Wedding Photography

Miriam Bulcher

Emily and Jake met at a concert

They saw each other in the crowd and thought to themselves that the other was cute. She gave him his number and they went on a few dates after that Emily went abroad to study and didn't expect much of the relationship though joking that maybe Jake was *the one.* Well, lucky for us, he is the one!! 

Jake proposed at the same concert where they met, though to a different band as to not give it away completely. Emily was surprised though she had been anticipating his proposal for a while. I mean, Jake, that is an amazing proposal. I wish I could have been there! 

I am SO happy that I photographed this beautiful couple and I get to do it again for their special day at Quarters 1 mansion next June!! They are incredible people and I can't wait for your wedding!

Emily's hair and makeup are by me. 

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Contact me today to book your wedding and engagement photography! 2018 spots are going fast. 563.676.3980 | miriam.bulcher@gmail.com

Fall Family Clothing Guide | Quad Cities Family Photography | Quad Cities Children Photography

Miriam Bulcher

Mom is the rose

You know if you look at a bouquet of flowers and when there are roses in there but other simple flowers around it that accent it? That's what we want then dressing for family photos 

  • Mom should stand out a little more than the rest. This can be done using patterns, texture in the clothing or just color. 
  • Find mom's outfit first. 
  • Dress everyone else's outfits around mom. 

Choose a color palette

This is easiest done by creating a color mood board. You will see what colors can accent others and also not conflict with each other. 

This was our colour palette for our family photos last year. See photos below!

This was our colour palette for our family photos last year. See photos below!

Photo credit: Rachael Osborn Photography

Photo credit: Rachael Osborn Photography

Boys vs. Girls

  • Other than mom, if there are other girls in the family, they can wear a mixture of solids or another accent pattern that doesn't conflict with moms outfit. Or matching patterns can be worn - but no more than 2 matching patterns! 
  • Avoid all matching outfits. It can be very distracting and undermine the expressions in the photo. 
  • Men/boys look excellent in solid colors or very very simple, not loud patterns. These clothes are meant to balance the girls (if there are any) and compliment mom. 
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You can still look cute and be comfortable without jeans

This might come as a shock but I'm here to tell you, that you can be cute and comfortable and not wear jeans! 

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To book your fall family photos, contact me today! 563.676.3980I have limited spots available! 

Soiree Wedding Planning & Design | Iowa City Wedding Photography | Quad Cities Wedding Photography

Miriam Bulcher

Soirée Wedding & Event Planning

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I met Emily, who runs Soirée Wedding & Event Planning about 2 years ago through the Rising tide Society. She is based in Iowa City and is an incredible wedding planner! I asked her if she would be interested in doing a guest blog post for me and she was enthused to do so! 

I like to share information from amazing vendors

From time to time because I think it really helps brides see the other side of the industry and gain incredible useful information to help them in their planning. If you are considering a wedding planner for your special day, you will want to read the following! 



Where do you suggest couples start when looking for hiring a wedding planner? 

When a couple is looking for a wedding planner, they should look no further than www.soireeia.com and give me a call! Ha. No, but really, online is a great way of finding wedding professionals in Eastern Iowa. Sites like the CorridorWeddingGuide.com, theKnot.com, and WeddingWire.com are wonderful resources to learn about planners & coordinators in the area. You can view photos, blog posts, and can learn a bit about their style and capabilities.

I also encourage you to read reviews of planners, because it will give you great insight into the services that a planner can provide, plus you will learn a lot about the direct experiences that couples had working with them!

The next step would be to determine how much help you'd like from a planner.

Your planner can be very involved with all of the decisions related to the wedding, or they can be a bit more hands-off during the planning but handle all of the day-of coordination to ensure a successful event. Maybe you need something that is in-between and that's great too!

Prices will range based on how much time the wedding planner is spending on your date and some will have specific included services for their various packages. From there, set up a call or an interview with your favorite planner and if all goes well — move forward with booking! 

Wedding planned by Soirée | Image Credit: Stacie Ricklefs Photo + Design

Wedding planned by Soirée | Image Credit: Stacie Ricklefs Photo + Design

Why should you hire a wedding planner? 

There are hundreds of reasons why you should hire a wedding planner. But most importantly, its to make planning your wedding a lot less overwhelming and a lot more fun! They are experts who know the best ways to handle a variety of situations, they know who are the very best vendors, and they help make all your decisions a little easier to make. They don't "take over" everything — you'll still be very involved in all decisions.

He or she will do all the challenging, less glamorous parts of the planning and event execution, so its totally worth the cost — even if you're on a tight budget. Planners can even save you money! I personally just negotiated about a 20% discount with a caterer for one of my couples, which saved them thousands of dollars when you consider the per person cost being multiplied by hundreds of guests. Now I'm not saying I can do that for every wedding or change any vendor's prices, but there are situations where a little industry know-how and experience goes a long way on the couples' behalf. 

Wedding planned by Soirée | Image Credit: Stacie Ricklefs Photo + Design

Wedding planned by Soirée | Image Credit: Stacie Ricklefs Photo + Design

Additionally, it's really fun to work with a wedding planner who you can chit chat with about your big day. Your friends and family may not want to discuss the boring topic of something like getting the wedding party from the hotel to the church - but your wedding planner will! I love solving the logistic challenges to make sure no detail is forgotten. Your wedding planner will be the one to ask these questions that many couples forget about. In conclusion, every couple needs a planner!

What is the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding designer? 

A wedding planner is the logistic and organizer of your whole wedding day.

A wedding designer is the person that would organize your decorations.

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There are many different services that a wedding professional can provide. I offer three different planning packages to suit the different needs of couples:

  • a small amount of planning,
  • a medium amount of planning,
  • and a large amount of planning.

While I project manage all of the elements of a couple's big day, I work with other awesome wedding professionals like florists, decorators, and rental agencies to make the decor dreams come true for my couples. A wedding designer could be considered the vendor that is providing the decor items and handle the set up & installation; but they probably don't include services like planning a comprehensive timeline, budgeting, organizing the other vendors, negotiating your other contracts, helping with invitation wording, RSVP management, seating charts, and more.

Clearly, a wedding planner does a lot more than simply decide what adorable things to place where in your set up! 

Wedding planned by Soirée | Image Credit: Stacie Ricklefs Photo + Design

Wedding planned by Soirée | Image Credit: Stacie Ricklefs Photo + Design

Should couples hire both or just one or the other? 

It is very important to know what your wedding professional provides and what they don't provide to make sure you're getting everything you need.

I would wager a guess that if you hired a wedding planner for full wedding planning, they would handle the design and styling of the wedding in addition to their other services because they would either provide or know where to get all the items you'd need to complete your design vision. If you hired a wedding designer but didn't have anyone doing the planning - that part falls on you - so it's just good to know what you're responsible for yourself. 

Congratulations on your engagement, and best wishes in your wedding planning!   

Emily McMahon, Owner of Soirée


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To contact Emily for all your wedding planning, please visit her website at www.soireeia.com

To book your 2018 wedding for photography, please call me at 563.676.3980 to reserve your date today! 

Kelsey + Josh TPC John Deere Wedding | Quad Cities Wedding Photographer | Chicago Wedding Photographer | Madison Wedding Photographer

Miriam Bulcher

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5 years ago Kelsey and Josh met, Kelsey, says that it really was the first hello they exchanged that lit a spark between them. 2 years ago Josh proposed to Kelsey and then a little later on they welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world: Amelia. How adorable is she? They have been anticipating being married for a while now and as the morning went on Kelsey was a bit nervous because she just simply couldn't wait to be married to the love of her life, Josh. 

With the ceremony at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Colona and the reception at TPC John Deere run, it was a beautiful day. The weather sure did cause some stress, but I think you will see from these photos, that nothing but love and happiness was had on Saturday! 

Big thanks to all the vendors who made this day so beautiful:

  • TPC Deere Run 
  • Hair and makeup: John Taylor Day and Spa
  • Dress: Storybook Ending
  • Groom's Suit: Ducky's Formal Wear 
  • DJ: Anytime DJ Services
  • Rings: Kay Jewelers
  • Shoes: David's Bridal
  • Flowers and cake: Hyvee Silvis 
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    2018 Wedding dates are filling up fast, so if you are looking for a photographer for your 2018 wedding, contact me today!! 



    Figge Wedding Venue in Davenport, Iowa | Quad Cities Wedding Photographer | Davenport Wedding Photographer

    Miriam Bulcher

    There are many venues in the Quad Cities when it comes to choosing your wedding reception location. I want to share more and document receptions that I have been in that really truly do provide the best lighting = the best photos. 

    A photographer's eye perceives a room completely different than that of what may look appealing to the public. 

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    Lighting is everything

    Natural light is always the best option when it comes to your reception. If you can choose a location that provides you with the best natural light, you will be set. 

    The Figge is an amazing location because of the large windows that face the river. It lets in a tremendous amount of light and will provide you a nice setting during your reception. 

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    All decor done by Tamara Wendt Design.

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    Consider Cocktail Hour

    Cocktail hour usually takes place at the reception location, one thing to consider is the spaces your venue provides for where the cocktail hour will take place. 

    Another great option with the Figge is they have the outside landing/stairs facing the river. Guests love this option because they can still be part of the party whether it's at cocktail hour or later on in the evening, to get a breath of fresh air and enjoy their time with you at your wedding. 

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    Stay tuned for my next favourite venue location! 

    2018 wedding dates are filling up fast! If you are looking to book your wedding call me today to reserve your date: 563-676-3980

    Kelly + Mike Engagement Session | Quad Cities Wedding Photographer | Davenport Wedding Photographer

    Miriam Bulcher

    Last week I had the chance to photograph Kelly and Mike for their engagement session. They are getting married in November at the Mississippi River Distillery and I am so excited for their wedding!!

    Kelly was handed down her engagement ring from her grandmother. A family heirloom which Kelly truly treasures. How beautiful is it?? (Scroll down to the bottom to see!) 

    Of course, we wanted to capture some engagement photos so we started with their two absolutely adorable dogs which I am so happy we did! I mean, just look at them!! 

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    We started with some photos in Davenport and finishing off in Rock Island, Kelly and Mike are such a gorgeous couple. Kelly's makeup is by me. 

    Looking forward to photographing these two again in November for their wedding!! 

    My 2018 wedding dates are filling up fast if you or someone you know is in need of a photographer! Call me at 563.676.3980

    Leanne & Andrew TPC John Deere Run Wedding | Quad Cities Wedding Photographer | Iowa City Wedding Photographer

    Miriam Bulcher

    Saturday, September 9th was the perfect day, with the best weather you can imagine. Leanne and Andrew got married at TPC John Deere Run in Silvis, IL. 

    Leanne and Andrew met at Grumpy's here in Davenport and got engaged in Montana in May of 2016, they were obviously meant for each other and you'll see as soon as you start scrolling through these pictures. Leanne has an absolute heart of gold and Andrew is the kindest man you will ever meet. To document their special day and to be included in such a huge moment in their lives is such a special honour to me. 

    Thank you to all the vendors who made the day absolutely incredible!

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    If you or someone you know is looking for a wedding photographer, my 2018 dates are filling up fast! Call me today to book your wedding! 563.676.3980




    Fall Family Session Giveaway! | Quad Cities Family Photography | Davenport Family Photography

    Miriam Bulcher

    Family Session Giveaway!

    Fall is around the corner, you can feel it in the air, and we all know that between September - December, it flies by faster than you can blink! 

    Fall is one of thee most beautiful times of the year to get family photos, and not only that but the weather is the easiest to dress for! No better time than to set aside an evening with your family. 

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    The Details

    This year I am giving away one FULL family session valued at $950 and it includes: 

    • 1 Hour of time
    • Up to 6 family members
    • 30-50 digital images delivered via an online gallery and/or USB.
    • 1 16x20" Ready to mount Canvas of the photo of your choice
    • Online gallery to share with family and friends

    *If you are located outside the Quad Cities there may be a travel fee. 

    Enter below by subscribing to my email newsletter here!


    Giveaway ends September 14th! 

    Winner will be contacted via email! 

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    Ninwa + Ayman Engagement | Quad Cities Engagement Photography | Davenport Wedding Photography | Black hawk Hotel Wedding

    Miriam Bulcher

    Ninwa contacted me a few weeks ago for a photographer for their Engagement party. I got excited immediately and we met up. Ninwa has an absolute heart of gold! She told me that she and Ayman had just got engaged a week prior, except he was living in North Carolina and they wanted to throw a party and have it be a very special occasion! 

    I have a soft spot in my heart for long distance relationships as my husband and I were long distance for almost 3 years in total, so I knew exactly how special this was to her and Ayman.

    We did some Engagement Photos on Saturday here in Davenport and then the Engagement Party was on Sunday at Hotel Blackhawk. Let me tell you, this couple knows fashion, let me just show you:  

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    Ninwa and Ayman have an electric connection, when you are around them you can't help but just smile. They are so in love, I think my mouth hurt after the engagement party was over because I was smiling the whole time! 

    Here is a video showing how amazing their night really was: 

    DJ: Chris Carroll DJ

    Video: Diamond Label Films

    Cake: Oh So Sweet by Tiphanies

    Contact me to book your wedding photographer! 2018 dates are going fast!

    Blackhawk Hotel Wedding Photographer