I’ve been meaning to do some more video blogs but finding the time to do so has been pretty difficult at the moment but Ali’s idea seemed like the perfect new mini-series for the blog.
Over the next 4 weeks, I’ll be sharing the 4 videos that we filmed, all covering different aspects of blogging. I hope you find some of my tips useful. We were both pretty nervous, I was sick (brilliant!), my hair looks…erm…windswept… and we had to rush a little bit due to unhelpful staff at the bar we were in. Self-deprecation over, I hope the content will be useful for all you budding bloggers and the whole (slightly traumatic) experience will have been worthwhile in the end.
Big thanks to Richard of FX Films for filming this for us.
In this first video we discuss:
♥ How to start your blog – the set up basics
♥ Finding your voice online & knowing what to write about
♥ Thinking about the ‘look’ of your blog and branding
♥ What information to include on your blog and how to write your About Me page
Be sure to come back next Wednesday for Part 2 – ‘The First Few Months of Your Blog’.
I honestly don’t know where to begin describing Emma & Pete’s wedding to you all. From the reaction to just the sneak peek post (epic) that I put up last week, I know pretty much the whole of blog-land has been eagerly awaiting to see this wedding too and so I’m pretty flipping honoured that not only was I invited (and let into the secret that it was a surprise wedding!) but that Emma & Pete have allowed me to share it with you all. I have the best job in the world.
So, in January I got a call from my friend Emma Case. Emma & Pete have been engaged for like…forever…since before we even met in fact, but still hadn’t made any plans for actually getting married. I guess that with Emma being a ridiculously busy and successful wedding photographer, all their weekends were always booked up with other people’s weddings! Also, the fact that Emma has quickly become so well known for shooting the raddest Rock n Roll weddings out there, the couple said they almost felt a bit of pressure to make sure their wedding was as ‘cool’ as the weddings they shot…as well as being different. No pressure then!
Anyway as I was saying, Emma called me at the beginning of the year to discuss her 30th birthday plans. She was having a big party on the 19th March and I had had had to be there. “Of course I’m there, I wouldn’t miss it for anything!” I replied. “Good,” Emma said, “cos me and Pete are gonna get MARRIED…and it’s gonna be a SURPRISE!”
Oh. my. God…
“Me and Pete had been happily engaged for about 3 years…” Emma told me this week, “but any time we talked about getting married we ended up arguing… we knew that we wanted something that reflected us but we’d start talking about who to invite, table plans etc and we were quickly getting fed up… the question ‘Why are we doing it if it’s such hard work?’ usually stopped any further discussion. Also we were shooting amazing and creative weddings pretty much every week so all of our concentration was on other people’s days… which was great but it meant that it was quite hard deciding on how ‘we’ wanted to do it… and without copying all of my couples who have flippin’ fantastic weddings!”
“In January a good friend of ours Anthony came round and we chatted about my 30th birthday party… Anthony joked that we could get married in the afternoon and have a party on the night… we all joked about it even mentioning a 50’s prom theme based on the ‘Enchantment Under the Sea Dance’ from Back to the Future and then when Anthony left we started to talk about it seriously and we weren’t arguing! But we wanted it to be a surprise. We get asked when we’re getting married a lot and people would then say how amazing it’s gonna be (because of all the gorgeous weddings we luckily get to shoot) so I started to feel a bit of pressure. I also didn’t want to be going on about ‘our’ wedding all the time… I kind of just wanted to get on with it without the fuss… a little bit like being behind the camera I suppose…”
Emma & Pete are one of those enviably and naturally awesome couples and I have to say I wouldn’t have expected anything less from them. Emma’s ‘birthday party’ was a 50’s ‘enchantment under the sea dance’ prom theme and guests were ask to come in their vintage finest…which we all did of course. Both Emma & I wore dresses from our favourite vintage dress shop, Fur Coat No Knickers (Em also wore a blue prom dress to keep the fact that it was a wedding secret, which she found at The Wedding Club in Birmingham.)
Halfway through the evening Emma disappeared and went to get changed into her wedding dress. Their friend Joe stood on the stage and asked us all to split onto either side of the room (making an ‘aisle.’) He then informed the confused crowd that we had all been brought to the party under false pretences. ‘Hide & Seek’ by Imogen Heap kicked in. Pete stepped on stage and 3 girls carrying bouquets walked down the aisle followed by a very nervous but excited looking Emma with her dad.
It was an incredible moment.
People were whooping and cheering and in front of me I could hear a gaggle of girls screaming “NO WAAAAY!” Our friend Chris turned to me and mouthed “OI! Did you know?!” and finally I was allowed to share that I’d been in on the secret the whole time!
Once the cheering had died down Joe informed us all that Emma & Pete had gone to the registry office earlier in the day and got hitched, followed by a canal boat lunch/reception with their family. They now wanted to say their vows, which they wrote themselves, in front of all of us. The short ceremony was beautiful.
All my friends around me cried.
The couple danced to ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe & The Magic Zeros and we all joined in. I ran to hug the couple as soon as I could (and Pete squeezed me so hard that one of my straps broke on my dress…he was THAT excited!) We danced like loons and I spent waaay too much time in the photo booth.
At 11pm taxis came to pick us up and the hardcore partiers headed to a nightclub in the city centre where we drank until 3am and sang karaoke (badly…) The night was rounded off by 6 off us in a curry house at 4am…I’m not sure who’s brilliant idea that was but it was kind of the perfect way to end a totally Rock n Roll night.
(More photo booth photos after the ‘jump’ – in the gallery. If you have the opportunity to do a photo booth at your own wedding that do it! It was HILARIOUS!)
Emma & Pete wanted to do their wedding their way. They didn’t want the ‘industry pressure’ of having the coolest or most out there wedding (yes there can be pressure even if you don’t want a traditional wedding!) Yet in getting married in the way they did, they inadvertently organised the coolest wedding of them all.
To Emma & Pete – seriously guys, words can’t express how happy I am for you. You are perfect for each other and I love you so bloody much.
Be sure to watch this short 16mm film by Cine8 too (with sound). I’ve already watched it about 5 times. I love our happy dance at the end!
This week I was asked to take part in Photo Night Live, a weekly web show all about photography (duh..) and making your business work for you. This week’s topic was ‘Blogging 101 – Showcasing your life online’ and I was interviewed by Ross Dean, alongside emerging photographer Ali Lovegrove, about our experiences.
I really hope some of the things I say can help you. Looking back, I do wonder if what I’m saying actually makes any sense (!) but I really do love sharing my knowledge of the medium that I adore so much.
Ali & I will be doing a part two to this interview as my next video blog. So if you have any further blogging questions then send them my way by next Thursday (31st March) and we’ll try and include as may as possible when we meet (in real life this time).
Extra love and thanks to Rachel Atwell of Luella’s Boudoir for organising such an incredible event and for asking me to take part, and to Kate Barbour – stylist de jour.
Big shout out to all the other models (who taught me how to ‘walk’ and kept me laughing) and our dressers from Rose Bruford College in Sidcup who saw me in my knickers a little to often…
I also have to share some serious love for Alica Barron and the whole team at One Marylebone for playing host and finally the awesome team of Clipso London and the girls at Benefit Cosmetics for working miracles on my hair and make up.
This sparkling red wine from GF Wines was so good… I bought two bottles!
I was sent Ali & Mike’s wedding video by their videographer Ryan Hinman, which I immediately fell in love with…so much so that I had to know more about the couple behind it and so asked Ryan if I could share their whole wedding story – photographs and all. Luckily he was more than thrilled to oblige.
The happy couple were wed at Red Butte Garden in Utah. Their ceremony was held in The Fragrance Garden and the reception in The Orangerie. Ali told me all about their day, “We really wanted the entire day to reflect our personalities and style, so we tried to add our own personal touches wherever we could. We served some of our favorite snacks at the reception, french fries, gelato cones and even had a self serve popcorn cart. We had a photo booth set up all night printing one copy for the guests to keep and one copy for our scrapbook that they could sign.”
“Since our colors were brown and red we decided to set an aluminum bottle of Coke on each table setting to add a splash of red to the tables. We ordered a custom stamp online with the letter T in a vintage font with our wedding date so we could stamp a small tag and hang them around the neck of all of the Coke cans. After looking at a bunch of traditional options for cake toppers I finally found something on Etsy that fit our wedding style. It was a small wood heart with the initials of the bride and groom burned into it. I decided to use that idea for my own DIY cake toppers and put my own spin on it. I headed to the craft store and got a couple of wood hearts, some red paint, a stamp set with the letters A and M and there I had it, my very own cake toppers that were just our style!”
“My favorite touch that we added to the wedding were some lights that we strung on shepherd hooks around the entire outdoor space for the reception. It added such a romantic feel, it was just what we were hoping for. I think the best thing we did during this whole process was to allow ourselves to think outside of the box. We didn’t stifle our imaginations by any of the “standard” wedding traditions. All in all I think we made the whole process really simple by just using the things we liked. I think our wedding was exactly what we were wanting, I really feel like it reflected our personal style and love for one another. We couldn’t have done it without all of the love and support from of our amazing family and friends, not to mention vendors. Everyone went above and beyond our expectations and made our wedding day truly magical!”
To keep in with their theme, the bride wore a very simple yet elegant dress by David’s Bridal. “I had my seamstress add straps for comfort and also to make the dress my own. I also wore Red Canvas Toms. Comfort was a big deal to us, we didn’t want to be sidetracked on our wedding day by uncomfortable clothes and shoes. I wore a Greek traditional headpiece that was passed down from Mikes great grandmother. All the women in his family have worn this headpiece in their wedding ceremonies, needless to say I was honored to wear it! I wanted to keep all the accessories pretty minimal, but I decided to wear a pearl bracelet that belongs to my sister.”
How are your emotions doing today? because I’ve got a wedding to share that will probably make you blub…there is just so. much. love right here!
N’tima & Steven’s love blossomed across the sea. The bride explained, “We lived in Okinawa, Japan when we met. He was 16, I was 14. We were kids. We were neighbours. We both were kinda dating people on & off here in America, so we were just friends.You see, my family had orders to be shipped to California in June. It was April, and Steven and I were starting to get close. We exchanged numbers, and everything moved so quickly after this point. Every day before I moved was spent falling in love with this beautiful boy. Although we denied it, and being together was scary to us. Distance obviously hadn’t worked previously, so we decided we’d be just friends. Everyone around us knew we were ridiculously in love, but we kept telling each other that we had to stay friends.”
“On May 26, 2008, Steven told me that he loved me, and that he would rather ‘try & fail with us, than not try at all.’ So June 6, 2008, I moved away, and we made the distance work for us. We lived through web-cam dates & 17 hour time differences. I visited November of that year, and April of 2009. By the end of 2009, Steven had joined the air force. He was sent to Basic & we lived through letters for 8 1/2 weeks. I visited for his graduation. He was then sent to Tech school across the country for four more months. I visited for Christmas. In January of 2010 he was sent to live 2 hours away from me here in California, completely by chance. How much luckier could we be, eh?”
“In May of this year, he proposed. We were riding the country roads in his 1977 pick up truck. He parked on the gravel road next to where we had carved our names into the bark during a previous visit. It was sunset, and the sun was sinking behind the mountains. He was holding me in the bed of his truck when he started a slew of compliments and promises & seconds later I look down and he’s holding my left hand in his lap with his right & a gorgeous ring with his left. And then he asked me to “please marry him.” I, clearly, and without hesitation, said “yes!”
Their DIY wedding was held at Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Salt Lake City, Utah. N’tima’s Grandpa performed the ceremony and her Grandmother was her matron of honour. She wore a vintage dress which she’d found in a thrift store and her Grandmother altered it for her. She hand-dyed her cute-as-hell peach pumps herself on the hotel stove the day before the wedding and wore these with cream patterned tights which she bought from Target.
I literally can’t get over how awesome and adorable this couple and their wedding are. I am so honoured that I get to share it with you today. Be sure to check out the beautiful video’ too (but get those hankies out – it’s a tearjerker…)