Our Labor of Love, Sharkpig, The Flashdance, Smilebooth.… oh boy did Kristi & Ben have the dream team behind their San Francisco wedding! With an Alice in Wonderland theme and a ceremony at the Golden Gate Park, they really did go all out to make their wedding day extra special. The reception was held at RF-80, a studio space in the city.
“Our inspiration was the eclectic city we live in combined with a love for all things imaginative”, began the bride. “We wanted a wedding that wasn’t cookie cutter and that reflected both of our personalities. There were a lot of DIY elements involved. I scoured wedding blogs for my ideas. I also got inspiration from magazines and store windows. I would recommend figuring out what is doable within your timeframe or it can all get overwhelming. Enlist your friends, buy or make some cake, pop open some champagne and get crafting. It saves you money and gives such a personal touch to your wedding. I’d also advise other no not listen to the masses, they will scowl at your ideas, mostly because they’ve either never seen anything like it before or can’t get the proper visual. It’s your day, do what you want.”
As the fourth Photography Farm drew near Lisa and I sat down with Hannah, stylist extraordinaire, to plan the shoots. I always look forward to this epic 3-day wedding photographers workshop as I know I’ll learn new things, make new friends and have a hell of a good time in the process. We do two styled shoots on the first day but the second, a bridal shoot, is always the most exciting and experimental. I’m so excited to come up with a new concept and work with the Farm dream team to make it a reality.
We first start by deciding on our model. After umming and ahhing over the people we could ask for a while (we prefer to use ‘real’ girls over professional models), it came to me – what about my sister Rachel? And yes, before you ask, we did name our cat after her!
With her long dreadlocks, nose ring and ginormous Disney princess eyes she has a really unique look… and hello? She’s effing beautiful to boot. The girls were really excited about working with her so we set to coming up with ideas to suit Rachel’s own personal style. That’s the great thing about planning shoots for The Farm. The sky’s the limit with what we can do, but we also like to start with the model and work outwards. It’s super important that whatever we come up with links back to the girl in the middle of it all, only that way does something so special and authentic result.
You may have seen me talk about Bitchless Bride before, especially on twitter. She is my new wedding industry hero! The alter ego of a wedding planner (and no, even I don’t know her true identity!) who was sick to death of crazy bridezillas and mental wedding vendors, she set up her blog to give it to us STRAIGHT. I loooove her. She’s a hoot. And hell, she rocks a pink wig. We’re definitely destined to be BFFs.
I just about wet my pants with excitement when her video guest blog landed in my inbox. Some exclusive Bitchless Bride on Rock n Roll Bride?! Hell. Yes. We are a match made in wedding heaven. Listen up brideys, listen up wedding suppliers, cos Bitchless is about to give it to you. No holds barred.
(FYI there are a few swears in here, if you’re at work… or you’re of a delicate disposition then you might wanna save this for later…)
It’s a huge cliché but I really have been truely blown away by the response to my School of Rock blogging workshops so far. Each event has sold out quicker than the last, with the most recent one being off the market within 8 hours! You guys really do know how to flatter me.
I know I keep saying this too, but the last event, at Curradine Barns in the West Midlands has got to have been my favourite yet. The venue was stunning, the group that attended were awesome and we even got fed an amazing 3 course meal (all made in house by their head chef) afterwards! Triple win!
I still get ridiculously nervous before each event and I always worry about getting my words out in the right order. I’ve got a secret to share… when I was about to start talking at this last event my mind literally went blank. Like… there was nothing there. NADDA. Somehow I managed to assemble some thoughts and get stuck in though. I hope no one noticed (although I’ve kinda given the game away now huh?)
I couldn’t do it without Gareth by my side. Not only to answer the techy questions that I suck at answering, but to pick up the slack when I start to babble (it happens!) Plus he pulls funny faces which amuses us all…
I don’t half make some funny faces myself when I’m talking though do I?! Emma said it’s because I’m ‘super involved and passionate’ about what I’m saying… I think it’s more likely that I’m just an over-expressive doof.
In January last year I made a somewhat controversial decision for a stills photographer – to venture over to the ‘dark side’. Yes, I wanted to see what film was all about and how I could use it to improve my wedding photography business. I had heard a lot of hype about DSLR cameras being able to record HD video and that had piqued my interest. With the two technologies being used side by side, was I missing a trick by not learning how to use film alongside stills?
Around this time a photography magazine, Photo Professional, released a mini magazine entitled ‘HDSLR Movie Maker’. The editor, Terry Hope, spoke about when photography moved from film to digital and how this shift was a huge change for businesses everywhere, as visual content became more accessible to everyone. Given the meteoric rise of digital photography, it goes without saying that many photographers who dismissed digital cameras as a fad and didn’t adapt were left on the shelf. Also in the article, Terry implied that we’re now at a similar point with the integration of film into photography. Photographers need to embrace the change or get left behind.
The timing of the article couldn’t have been better for me and I knew this was something I wanted to start thinking about seriously. I started playing around with filming in March of 2011 and I was very quickly hooked on the world of video.
Every wedding company should embrace video
In today’s fast moving and highly competitive digital marketplace, it is more important than ever that you and your brand make a good first impression on a potential client. It’s still true that nothing quite sells like a real person, so I started to think about how I could put the ‘real’ me across online. The answer was simple – video. If used properly, it creates a much more personal connection with your clients. Customers, particularly in the wedding industry, generally prefer to get a sense of who you are, as well as what you’re selling them. And instead of relying on a forced and formal ‘about me page’ or a faceless contact form, video can go a long way to make them feel like they know you before they get in touch.
Suzy & Dimtry gothic wedding was anything but traditional. They wanted their day to reflect them but also to have fun with it. Suzy told me all about it as well as sharing some of her favourite details, “We wanted our wedding to reflect who we are as people. So you can definitely say it was not very traditional. Our cake was inspired by a Charlie the Unicorn episode, and we added their own twist by having our cake bleed as we cut into it. My favorite animal of all time is the pot bellied pig, and I wanted nothing more than to have one bring out our wedding band. Keeping as far away from tradition, we also hired a beautiful contortionist to entertain down the isle instead of a trail of bridesmaids and groomsmen.”
Suzy wore a stunning black and white wedding dress by Max Chaoul. The skirt was removable so she could have a short dress for the evening! “I wore a black and white lace gown that had a removable bottom half to flip it into a cocktail dress for dancing. Dimitry wore a black and red gothic inspired tux with tails to the floor.”
“The ceremony was performed by an actor dubbing The Princess Bride ‘Mawage is whot bwings us twogweda..’ speech thru-out the whole ceremony,” she continued. “We had already eloped in Vegas, so we were legally married and able to hire an actor instead of a priest.”
“We are also very fond of Jagermeister…so we had a couple of Jager fountains flowing all over the venue. The night ended with a surprise performance by a mini Kiss cover band. It blew everything out of the water.