Friday Fun-Day: Thanksgiving Gifts!

Give a little something during the season of giving to show those you love how appreciative you are of them for all they do and the role they play in your life! Why leave presents only for Christmas? Mix it up and surprise your family and loved ones this year with a little gift at their place setting at Thanksgiving dinner as a reminder of how thankful you are for them! Here are some little fun, creative and inexpensive ideas that we found via Pinterest (we LIVE for Pinterest)

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If you love baking sweets, make a small care package of cookies, brownies, or any other type of desert that your loved ones are known to obsesses over! Make a little customized tag and attach it to the package with a little bow and a cute message like the one pictured above!

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This is another cute idea with the same idea of the customized tags with a message on it saying “thank you” or “thankful for you!” Pictured above are bottles of sparkling cider, however you could use any bottle you’d like, and you could do different beverages for various different friends or family members depending on what their drink of choice is. For example, a bottle of craft beer for the men, or a bottle of wine or champagne for the ladies!  It’s an amazing way to thank them with something that they love and will DEFINITELY put to good use – probably right then and there!


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This idea might require a little more thoughtful planning ahead of time – but is still a perfect way to say thank you to the ones your spending Thanksgiving with!  Use a small box, or a small basket/container of any kind, and fill it with some of their favorite things! Candy, nips, books, photos of you two together, gift cards – anything you can think of that will appeal to them (Marshall’s or TJ Maxx is great for little things like that!) Get creative with it and attach a small message on the box as well for some extra flair and have it waiting for them at their place setting at the table when they sit down for Thanksgiving dinner – this will surely surprise your guests!

Mid Week Mix: Holiday Mini Sessions!

5 Diamond Photography is getting ready for the holiday season that’s sneaking up on us, and you should be too! Whether its for babies, your whole family, or just your kids, now is the perfect time to get family photos done in time for the holidays! These types of shoots are amazing for holiday greeting cards, or just as an excuse to get a family photo done and hang i your house! Whatever the reason may be, 5 Diamond Photography is ready to get you into our studio!

We’re offering holiday mini sessions (about 20-30 minutes) all day on Saturday November 28th for any families that get in touch with me quickly and book one of my available time slots!

Below are some ideas for your holiday shoot and some samples of shoots that we’ve done in the past of adorable toddlers, loving siblings, and families (and yes, pets are included in family as well)




We’ve done countless family holiday sessions, these are just a few of our favorites! Feel free to come to me with your own ideas, poses and props that you want included as well.  We LOVE creativity and are always open to new ideas that showcase your families personality!

For more information on holiday family sessions or my availability, contact me directly via email at or by phone at (860) 301-6359

xoxo – Lizz Riley at 5 Diamond Photography

Friday Fun-Day: Holiday Themed Cocktails – Starbucks Inspired

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So everybody has their own versions of holiday cocktails, but with Starbucks releasing their little red cups already for the holiday season, we thought it would be fun to give some cocktail recipes inspired by their holiday lattes that we all love so much!  With a naughty twist added onto these Starbucks favorites, we dare you to bring a batch of any of these to your holiday party this year and not be praised by everyone there!  Feel free to add your own little flair to any of these recipes. We’re using ingredients that we love, but everybody has their own taste. The amount of each ingredient used is also up to you; it all depends on what flavor you want more of in your cocktail. There are tons of different substitutes that can be used, just be creative!

Naughty Gingerbread Latte

ground up gingerbread cookie and dust on the rim of a chilled martini glass, add butterscotch schnapps, patron coffee liquor, whipped vodka & fireball

Naughty Peppermint Mocha

peppermint schnapps, vanilla vodka, Godiva chocolate liquor, peppermint creamer, top with whipped cream & a dusting of cocoa powder

Naughty Caramel Brulee Latte

drizzle caramel in a chilled martini glass, add caramel vodka, coffee liquor, vanilla creamer

Feature Monday: Luanne & Robin!


Alright – we’re finally back! And with a wedding feature that is to die for! Today were showing off one of our gorgeous fall weddings from this past weekend.  Luanne & Robin’s wedding was at The Riverhouse in Haddam, CT on November 6th.  With this being a second wedding for both the bride and groom, being able to capture the amazing moments of blending these two families together was absolutely beautiful, and I am honored that I was able to be a part of it and help them preserve the memories from their big night!  With fall colors incorporated into their color palate, including deep navy blue for the bridesmaids dresses, it was the perfect compliment to the crisp November weather this time of year. Check out the photos below of this stunning family of (now) 6 girls and their crazy in love parents!




















Vendors: Planners – Kelley & Hattie at the Riverhouse; Florist – The Root System; Baker – Kim’s Cottage Confections; DJ & Photobooth – 5 Diamond Productions; Photographer – 5 Diamond Photography; Hair and Makeup – done beautifully by friends

Friday Fun-Day: It’s Time for Fall Cocktails!

Want to unwind for the weekend? So do we! We don’t know about you, but at 5 Diamond Productions we need a cocktail at the end of a busy work week (right before our crazy wedding-filled weekends start up)!

With fall just starting a few weeks ago, and the crisp weather we’ve had this week, what could be a better time to whip up a pumpkin martini (or 2?) or a batch of fall sangria? Our very own Lizz Riley, 5 Diamond’s head photography and co-founder, is letting us in on two of her favorite recipes!

Pumpkin Smash Martini

Pumpkin liquor

Pumpkin vodka (or unflavored – optional)

Coffee liquor

Pumpkin flavored creamer

Graham cracker rim

To top it off– whipped cream, and a shake of cinnamon or nutmeg!

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Fall Inspired Sangria

Red wine (suggestion: burgundy wine)

Blackberry or cherry brandy

Triple sec

Black current vodka (any flavor, or unflavored, of your choice!)

Splash of nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)

Slices of orange

Stir, serve with cinnamon sticks & enjoy!

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(Measurements are totally optional – it all depends on what flavors you want most of in each cocktail!)

For fall weddings coming up, you could even use these cocktails as His and Hers Signature Drinks at the reception! They look gorgeous and taste even better – guests will absolutely adore these!

xoxo – The 5 Diamond Team

Mid Week Spin: Add Style to your Ceremony Music!

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Time to touch on the entertainment side again! Here are some tips for brides who don’t want to go the traditional route for music on their big day! We’re finding tons of brides are putting their own personal touch on ceremony music instead of using the traditional ‘here comes the bride’ tune we’re used to hearing! Below are some of the top songs we’re being asked to use for prelude, recessional and processional for the bridal party!

(FYI – for those who are wondering, ceremony prelude is what all of the guests hear when they’re arriving to the ceremony. It can also help direct guests to the right area for the ceremony if it’s being held at a venue with large grounds. Processional music is the music that the bridal party walks down the aisle to, and the recessional music is what the bridal party exits the ceremony to. Typically, the recessional music is more up-beat and celebratory – because the happy couple is FINALLY married!)

Prelude Songs

Michael Buble – Everything

Blake Shelton – God Gave me you

Tim McGraw – My Best Friend

Beatles – Here Comes the Sun

U2 – Beautiful Day

Processional Songs

Christina Perry – A Thousand Years

Train – Marry Me

Pachelbel – Canon in D

Israel ‘Iz’ – Over the Rainbow

John Legend – All of Me

Recessional Songs

American Authors – Best Day of my Life

Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Your

Bruno Mars – Marry You

Natalie Cole – This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)

Imagine Dragons – On Top of the World

For more tips and song ideas for all different aspects of the ceremony and reception, head over to our website and navigate using the click down tab, selecting the part of the wedding your searching for music for!

Xo – The 5 Diamond Team

Trending Tuesday: Pinterest Inspired EVERYTHING


With Pinterest being the go-to for brides when it comes to all things wedding inspiration, it can get easy for brides to go a little overboard when gathering inspiration for their vendors.  Florals, photo ideas, as well as color schemes (all depending on the season of your wedding) are things that brides tend to search for on Pinterest to get ideas that make their big day stand out against others.

As amazing as Pinterest can be for getting visuals together to explain to your vendors what you’re exactly looking for you, you need to know when enough is enough! You also need to be aware that photos and floral arrangements can not be duplicated! Use these ideas to inspire your own ideas, but don’t copy!  Every wedding day, engagement shoot, or event in general is different, and you want to have a twist of your own personality and preferences in everything you choose for your day! You also don’t want to overwhelm your vendors.  Find A FEW inspirational ideas for whatever your looking for, and have it be a guide for them to use.

For example, find two or three photos of floral arrangements that you love! That will give your florist an idea of the types of flowers and colors that appeal to you the most. Same goes when finding inspiration for you wedding photos.  Pick out some poses for your photographer to go off of, he or she will see the vibe your going for and the type of photographs that appeal to you and be able to come up with more ideas from there.

If your wedding has unique or specific characteristics of any kind, such as the way your bridal party is dressed or your venue, it’s a great idea to have some different poses that showcase those aspects. Pinterest is amazing when it comes to inspiration with photography. Haley and Zack’s barn wedding that we shot at Indian Meadow Farm is one that could be made into a Pinterest board! It shows off the bride and groom’s personalities and lends to the fact that their entire bridal party was dressed PERFECTLY to match the rustic & elegant venue.

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Vendors: Hair: Scott Corey at Salon Q; Makeup: Valerie Pac at Salon Q; Florist: Brittany (Price Chopper in Torrington, CT); Venue: Indian Meadow Farm in Winstead, CT

Feature Monday: Jess & Steve’s Gorgeous May Wedding!

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In light of all of the rainy weather we’ve had the past few days, we wanted to give some wedding inspiration and ideas on what to do it if rains on your big day, while showing off one our BEAUTIFUL weddings that used the rain to their benefit! By incorporating cute touches like the clear umbrellas into the details with the bridal party portraits, as well as the pink and white umbrella (that went perfectly with the rest of their color scheme) Jess and Steve were able to take the fact that the weather was less than ideal, and twist it to work out in their favor! With aspects of your wedding day that you can’t control, such as the weather, you need be flexible and open minded.  Just by looking at these amazing shots that we captured, you can see how despite the rain, this day turned out to be everything they (and we) hoped it would!

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Vendors: Venue: The Farmington Club; Florist: Harwinton Florist; Wedding Gown: Mariella’s; Bridesmaid Dresses: Mariella’s;  Groom’s Attire & Menswear: Joseph A. Bank; Hair: Samantha O’Conner; Makeup: Stacey Palencia at Blush Couture

Friday Fun-Day: Styled Shoot with our Girls at Mia’s Salon!

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With Fashion Week in Hartford wrapping up, we wanted to share with your one of our fabulous style shoots with the girls from Mia’s Salon in Cromwell, CT (which by the way – wait until you scroll down and see the rest of these photos, it looks like they should be walking right off of the runway! So featuring them this week during Hartford’s Fashion Week is literally PERFECT timing!)

There’s nothing more fun for us as photographers than doing playful style shoots that show off a person’s personality and playful side as well as, at times, channeling their inner Beyonce.  As you can see, these girls are clearly professionals at that!  These girls are always an absolute blast to work with and had me laughing the entire time, as usual!  It definitely helps that none of them could take a bad photo if they tried, but their talent with hair and makeup is out of this world.  These girls LOVE what they do, each other and their clients, so shooting them and working with them at the salon is always a fun time.  Whenever we can, we use Mia’s Salon for hair and makeup for our weddings, senior portraits, and other shoots as well.  At 5 Diamond Photography, we obsess over and appreciate fashion of any type and love incorporating it into our photography shoots wherever we can! Whether its bridal fashion, runway fashion, or just a client’s personal fashion, its something we adore. Check out the photos of these girls for some fun fashion inspiration to cap off CT’s very own fashion week!

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Vendors: Dresses: Windsor Store; Sunglasses: Opticians Unlimited Hair and Makeup: Mia’s Salon in Cromwell, CT