lena mirisola

A Zambian-American Brookline Town Hall wedding

 
 

Aimee & Bruce tied the knot 5 minutes down the street from their home at Brookline Town Hall - but their love story started almost 5 years ago!⁣

Aimee was originally introduced to Africa when she was sent to South Africa with the US Peace Corps. She absolutely loved it, and moved a few countries over to Zambia for another job, where she met social butterfly lawyer Bruce. He showed her around his country, explaining the history and culture, and after that, they were inseparable. Bruce moved from Africa to Boston to attend BU Law school, and told Aimee that she was what he wanted for his future. They took her family jewelry and mixed it with emerald, one of Zambia’s largest exports. Aimee and Bruce both incorporated bright Zambian colors in their wardrobe and accessories - EPIC!!!⁣

Bruce revels in good beer and English soccer, and Aimee loves researching new places to travel to together and taking a relaxing (and intellectual) stroll through a museum.⁣ Their families from California and Zambia came to celebrate the new Mr. & Mrs. Mwauluka and pop some champagne in the city today - give these two some newlywed LOVE!!!

Want to see more Boston City Hall weddings?

You can’t miss these epic elopements, too!

 
 

A Boston City Hall Wedding on Valentine's Day

 
 

Amanda & Trent will tickle you pink with their Boston City Hall wedding on Valentines Day! They tied the knot in their favorite city before catching a flight just two hours later to their honeymoon in New Orleans!⁣⠀

Their ceremony and some of their portraits afterwards were actually filmed by an NBC news crew... not sure if we ever made it on TV, but you bet we were excited!

Amanda sported the FLUFFIEST pink coat with a perfectly matching lace belt and the most adorable vintage kitten heels. Trent came in blazing with maroon trousers, floral tie, and tan jacket. FASHION ICONS!!!⁣⠀

These two bonded over their love of vinyl records and live music three years ago, and now live together with their happy, quirky family.

Want to see more Boston City Hall weddings?

You can’t miss these epic elopements, too!

 
 

A botanical garden engagement at Tower Hill in Boylston, MA

A botanical garden engagement at Tower Hill in Boylston, MA

Christina & Wil left their home in Boston for a very colorful winter engagement session at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA! What do you do when the garden gives you lemons? Pop champagne!

A winter engagement in Seaport, Boston

A winter engagement in Seaport, Boston

This winter engagement session in Seaport, Boston will warm your heart! Confetti, rooftop snuggles, and a big pop of champagne for Jen & Mike’s perfect celebration.

A music inspired winter wedding at 1620 Winery in Plymouth, MA

A music inspired winter wedding at 1620 Winery in Plymouth, MA

Puppies. Milk bar. Wine barrels. Happy tears. An epic married singing duet. BROOKE AND DARREN ARE MARRIED!

Recipe: Lena’s Life-Changing Cookies

 
 
 
One time Lena gave me 7 of these cookies while we were out to lunch and I ate them under the table in the restaurant in under a minute and I don’t know if that says more about me or her bomb-ass cookies.
— Rachael M

There was once a time when I thought I would make Toll House cookies from the grocery store FOREVER.

I didn’t know diddly squat about baking. And when I rolled up my sleeves to make my first cookies from scratch… I forgot to grease the baking sheet and they were a hot, burnt mess that fused to the pan. RIP to that pan. Apparently you shouldn’t use the random baking soda that deodorizes your fridge for your batter either. Hey, I’m no Christina Tosi yet, so bear with me here.

As a newly married man, it’s important to keep your wife happy.
Nothing makes my wife happier than when I whisper those three magic words...
”Lena’s homemade cookies.”
— Jerad D
 

This is for a double batch, so you can enjoy some FRESH and freeze the rest. Go big or go home. You’re already doing the work, might as well get double the cookies!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups salted butter (4 sticks)

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 3 cups brown sugar, packed

  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 1/2 cups flour

  • 2 cups oats

  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

  • 1 cup chocolate chunks

  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1 cup mini M&M’s

  • 1-2 crushed handfuls of Trader Joes peanut butter filled pretzels, salted

 
 

INSTRUCTIONS

Makes ~6 dozen cookies (yeah, you’re gonna want that many)

1) Mix room temperature butter and sugar (2-3 minutes with hand mixer)

2) Add eggs and vanilla (beat for 1 minute)

3) Combine flour, baking soda, and oats in separate bowl

4) Add dry to wet, mixing one cup at a time until all mixed

5) Add extras, mix again

6) Use a cookie scoop to dole out onto a greased sheet pan

7) Bake at 350 degrees for ~10 minutes (every oven is different so just watch them ok)

 
 

TIPS

  • Don’t forget to grease the flippin’ pan! Or use parchment paper!

  • Dough is best baked when refrigerated, so after making the batter, either put the whole bowl in the fridge to scoop later, or scoop them all out onto a sheet pan immediately and chill those babies for minimum 1 hour, best 12-24 hours

  • I like to bake in bulk, so I save one batch for now and the rest for later in labeled freezer bags. Then, when I’m feeling like a delicious homemade cookie ASAP, I can pop them straight from the freezer into the oven WHAT A LIFE HACK FOLKS

  • If you use unsalted butter, add 2 tsp salt to the batter. If you use salted butter, don’t add extra salt #thanksjayme

  • Feel free to get creative with the toppings. Add your own mix-ins, do less of some and more of another, etc. I honestly forget SOMETHING every time I make these, so don’t worry, they’ll survive a little experimentation

  • The best way to store extra cookies its in a tupperware container with a piece of BREAD. Yes I said bread! White bread, wheat bread, bulkie roll, whatever. The cookies retain moisture from the bread and are even softer the day after you bake them. Replace the bread every 1-2 days as it gets hard. This is my all time favorite bake hack for sure!

They are like little discs of crack.
I ate 10 of them at once.
— Dan S.
 
 
They are fucking bomb dot com.
— Jules L.
 
 

A chic Boston City Hall + Public Garden wedding

A chic Boston City Hall + Public Garden wedding

This chic Boston City Hall wedding is one for the books - Carol Ann & Greg hit Faneuil Hall, the Custom House Tower, rode the T, and ended at the Boston Public Garden. This surprise elopement was nothing short of perfection!

A cozy, fall Birch Wood Vineyards wedding in Derry, NH

A cozy, fall Birch Wood Vineyards wedding in Derry, NH

Jax and Roo said I do! These best friends turned bashert (soulmates!) have been together six years, and today was the day they made it official... with cider donuts and a giant popcorn machine, of course. Rain couldn't stop their joy on this fabulous fall day at Birch Wood Vineyards!

A garden wedding on Martha's Vineyard at the Beach Plum Inn

A garden wedding on Martha's Vineyard at the Beach Plum Inn

A sunflower garden first look, a joyful seaside ceremony, a vintage VW bus photo booth, a romantic tree swing, rainbow macarons, a dance floor under the stars, and late night apple fritters from Back Door Donuts… yeah, Ana and Adam threw the perfect end of summer bash on Martha’s Vineyard.

A Bloom Meadows wedding in the Berkshires, MA

A Bloom Meadows wedding in the Berkshires, MA

Ice cream, home-grown hops, custom Converse, puppy love, and the rainiest day the Berkshire Mountains could offer: don’t miss Cass and Chris’s modern barn wedding at Bloom Meadows!

A chic museum wedding at the ICA in Boston, MA

A chic museum wedding at the ICA in Boston, MA

Ready to get weird at the ICA? Erin and Jack know how! Check out this modern, colorful wedding at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston!

An oceanside Beauport Hotel wedding in Gloucester, MA

An oceanside Beauport Hotel wedding in Gloucester, MA

A beautiful wedding at the Beauport Hotel on the beach in Gloucester? Yup, Haleigh & Adam know how to throw a summer party!!! Don’t miss oceanside kisses, a wild dance floor, and the cutest cuff links you’ll EVER see!

What no one tells you about being an entrepreneur

What no one tells you about being an entrepreneur

There are so many glamorous things about entrepreneurship. No boss! Flexible schedule! Work in pajamas! FREEDOM! But there’s a part of entrepreneurship that no one tells you…

What camera should I get?

What camera should I get?

Looking for an entry-level camera, but have NO idea where to start? This guide will help you find the perfect one for you!

Surprising tips for the perfect magazine submission

Surprising tips for the perfect magazine submission

 
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Now that you know how to get publishedit's time to learn how to craft the PERFECT submission! The process might surprise you!

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS.


Shoot the hell out of every detail at a wedding, vertical and horizontal. You’re doing your clients a favor by capturing the details they worked hard on, and you’re preparing for a magazine feature before the wedding day is even over. 
 

Submit lots of: Details, flowers, bridal party style, bride style, groom style, location

Submit less: Couple portraits, cocktail hour, ceremony

Submit none: Dancing, family portraits 

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CREDIT

Publications won’t accept weddings without a full vendor list. So, a month before the wedding, ask for a list of all vendors involved. That way, you can credit them in your own blog and social channels, plus you’re ready to rock and roll when you submit to a magazine.

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UNIQUE ELEMENTS

Editors want weddings that are unique and diverse, with photos that are clean, stylish, consistent, and look like they belong in a magazine. Think of the three most unique things about the wedding day and use those to pitch the story.

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DO YOUR RESEARCH

Don’t submit to a DIY magazine if the wedding was styled to perfection by a planner. Don’t submit to a Canadian blog when the wedding took place in North Carolina. Spend time researching these magazines and blogs and their social channels to really get a sense of the weddings they publish and who their reader is.

THE POWER OF NON-EXCLUSIVE

There are two types of publications - exclusive and non-exclusive. Exclusive means the wedding can not be pending or already published before (usually excludes your personal blog). Sometimes it’s exclusive forever, sometimes they ask you to wait 60 or 90 days before submitting to anyone else.

Non-exclusive means you can submit a wedding to 10 different publications and that’s ok! Don’t underestimate the power of going the non-exclusive route - it’s better for ONE of your weddings to be published 6 times, that’s 6x the reach of just submitting to one. Your work gets more life!

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Don’t get discouraged if your wedding isn’t accepted. They may have a full editorial calendar, have just accepted a wedding with a similar style to yours, there aren’t enough detail shots. I’ve been rejected as many if not more times than I’ve been published - it happens! There will usually be a better fit elsewhere.

Don’t give up - keep submitting!


If you do get published, remember to share the good news with all the vendors, say thank you to the editors, and re-post the hell out of it on your blog, website, and social media!

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I hope you enjoyed this two part series!
Email me if you get published, I can't wait to see!!!

(Link to part one if you need it)