Category Archives: Los Angeles Weddings

Fun Idea Friday : Customized Wedding Hangers

Who doesn’t love seeing pictures of your wedding gown?  You have spent hours, maybe days or weeks picking out the perfect dress for you and you want to have beautiful pictures of your dress in all its glory.

Taking pictures of your wedding gown is one of my favorite things to do, but those generic plastic hangers that the bridal shop gives you aren’t exactly a thing of beauty.  This is where Customized Wedding Hangers come in!  There are several companies now that make adorable personalized hangers with your name on it that you can purchase.

We recently discovered WeddingHangerShop.com who make custom wedding hangers.  They have so many options to choose from and have been kind enough to offer our blog readers 10% off any purchase until the end of the month!  Here are some examples of their work:

Find the perfect personalized bridal hanger for you today, and use coupon code CAPTURED10 for 10% off your order until the end of April.  Thank you WeddingHangerShop.com! 🙂

Fun Idea Friday: Going Green

It seems to be the big trend these days, “going green” so we thought we would brainstorm some ways to make your wedding more earth friendly. Here’s what we came up with:

1. Use leaves collected in autumn as your “rice” substitute. Not only are they colorful, they are certainly biodegradable and add a touch of class to a fall wedding.

2. Instead of driving away in a limo – find a rickshaw, or take a bicycle built for two. We think this would be fabulous, as long as you don’t have far to go, and you change into your “going away” outfit. Poofy gowns and bicycles may not be a winning combination.

3. Make a unity candle holder out of recycled materials – like a log from your yard or some stones

4. Rather than cut flowers, consider having bouquets made from potted flowers that you can save and plant in your yard after the ceremony. Use potted trees, shrubs, and plants to decorate the church and reception site and use them all in your own landscaping. Why not keep them forever instead of just throwing them away?

5. Sew the garter from something you already own – a handkerchief, your mother’s wedding dress, your christening gown, etc.

Those are ideas we came up with. Leave us a comment and tell us if you have any more to add!

Something Old- Wedding Traditions in Binghamton, NY Wedding Photography

Someone once told me, “we stand on the shoulders of giants”. While I now know he was actually just quoting somebody else, at the time the idea struck me as brilliant. We all have the benefit of learning from those who came before us, and it is not that we are very tall or impressive, but our families and our friends provide the shoulders for us to stand on. Our past has made us who we are and made us strong.

So we wanted to highlight two couples who embraced their heritage by upholding or re-adjusting the traditions handed down to them by their forefathers (and probably their fore-mothers too!).

Recently, we photographed the wedding of a bride whose Christening bonnet had been turned into a handkerchief for her wedding day. It very neatly became her “something old” (you know the rhyme – something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue). What’s more, apparently she can turn it back into a baby bonnet in a few easy steps and use it again for her own children someday. It was accompanied by a cute little poem describing what it was used for, and a place to record the dates and events that hanky has participated in. What a great idea! For instructions, visit this website: http://bumblebeelinens.com/hankiebonnet.php

They also were able to incorporate traditional kilts into their reception, in order to uphold a tradition without compromising their wedding ceremony aesthetic ideals. This way they have plenty of pictures of the groom in his tuxedo, but he got to have a little family fun too.

Or take this couple who upheld their orthodox traditions by including crowns in their ceremony. Though traditional orthodox crowns are often made of metal, they chose to use flower crowns instead.

They also participated in the tradition of the bride taking off her veil during the reception and replacing it with a bonnet made out of her mother’s wedding dress.

Making a space for that “something old” is a great way to honor and preserve your heritage, and let your children know just whose shoulders they are standing on.

Fun Idea Friday: Performing for the guests

Fun idea friday is our way of celebrating new twists on old traditions, and this week is no exception. Today we are celebrating those fun wedding ideas that brides and grooms use to entertain their guests.

The first dance: last weekend Sarah and Alan really changed things up with the first dance. It started off like a typical, romantic, slow dance until the two of them broke out into fun choreography that added a special touch to the day and kept their guests smiling.

The newlywed game: for some reason, this is really popular right now, and it might just be that it is so much fun! The bride and groom each sit in a chair with their backs to each other. Each one is handed two rubber duckies on a stick – one groom duck and one bride duck. As they are asked questions, they each answer by holding up either the bride duck or the groom duck, but since they can’t see what their spouse’s answer is, its fun to see how well the couple know each other.

Singing together: every once in a while a couple will both be musically talented. This bride and groom took out the electric guitar and performed for the guests. We think this is so cool, as long as you really do have a gift for music.

Picture slideshow: projecting pictures of the two of you growing up during the reception helps your family remember the good times you have had together. This is especially beautiful if you grew up together. I met a new friend yesterday who had known her husband since the 3rd grade, and although they didn’t date until college, there are tons of pictures of them growing up together. Now that would make a great slideshow!

Whatever your level of comfort is being in front of people, adding that fun performative touch to your reception will help make your nuptials an evening for your guests to remember.

Its Like Rain on Your Wedding Day

 

You’ve made all your plans, sent all of your invitations, paid the caterers, the photographer (maybe even Captured Emotions?), the DJ, the florist, the cake decorator, and you wake up on the morning of your outdoor wedding, only to discover

ITS RAINING!

While Alanis may have been a little off on her definition of irony, it often still comes as a surprise when the world doesn’t appear to be as joyful as you are. But just because there’s a little rain in the air does not mean you can’t have that beautiful wedding of your dreams. In fact, rain is traditionally a sign of good luck for your nuptial day. After all, when you are tying the knot, what can make the knot harder to untie than getting the ropes wet? 

A few weeks ago we photographed a beautiful rain-filled wedding, and this Bride and Groom did not let a little moisture ruin their big day. We just had to be more creative about where we took the outdoor portraits! We waited for a break in the rain, found a tarp to put down so her dress wouldn’t get dirty, took some outdoor photographs standing inside the gazebo, and still took tons of indoor photographs too.

If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, here are some tips for when Mother Nature blesses you with some extra “good luck”. 

1. Consider having personalized umbrellas as favors at the wedding. If it’s sunny, folks can use them to provide a little shade. But if you are blessed with some showers, your guests will stay dry and fabulous and you will look ultra prepared. Plus they will remember your fabulous day every time they pull out an umbrella. Try www.4imprint.com if you need a place to price out personalized rain gear.

2. Buy a pretty tablecloth that coordinates with your wedding colors. If it stays sunny, you will have a tablecloth that reminds you of your special day. If it rains, you can use it to stand on damp ground without getting your dress and shoes muddy or wet. Odds are good it won’t be raining all day and you want to be prepared to get some portraits in between the showers. 

3. Bring a pair of back up shoes with higher/chunky heels. That way, your dress will be a few inches higher off the ground when you need it to stay nice while travelling between the ceremony and the reception. 

4. Rent or buy a cape. They are so beautiful over a dress. While more common at winter weddings, you can usually get one from your local wedding dress shop and it will keep the water off your dress. 

A little water on your wedding day, or even a tropical storm, is no reason to panic. Just be prepared and you can swim in your good fortune – no matter what the weather has in store.

Do you have your own rainy day wedding ideas? Leave a comment and let us know what you came up with.

Fun idea Friday – New twists on old traditions

 

We thought it might be nice every so often to pay some homage to those creative brides and grooms who wanted to put a new twist on an old tradition – creating something unique to their personalities. So here are some great ideas we’ve found for taking traditional wedding elements and changing them up a bit, for a quirky new take on old ideas.

The Unity Candle

Now a unity candle is a beautiful tradition. The bride and groom’s mothers each light a single candle, representing their respective children at the beginning of the ceremony. Then during the ceremony, the bride and groom each take their candle and together light one larger candle, representing that age old idea that the two have now become one through marriage. Its truly lovely, and plenty of brides still want this symbol as part of their wedding.

Potential Problem Number 1: You have to keep the candle, but you can’t keep lighting it after the wedding day or it will disappear into nothing as the wax melts.

Solution: Rather than have a candle you can’t light again or it will eventually melt away, why not consider using an oil lamp instead? Have members of your family or wedding party fill the lamp with oil while they share personal memories or readings of your choosing. Have someone other than the bride and groom carefully put the wick back in the top, and then bride and groom light the oil lamp together. Now you have a keepsake you can re-light again and again and hand down to your own children someday. Plus, every time you light it, you can remember how grateful you are for all those people who have helped to guide you and support you along the way. Oil comes in just about any color so it is easy to match to your wedding colors and then replace later with something that coordinates with your room decor. Added bonus, you have a lamp to use when there is a power outage!

Potential Problem Number 2: It involves fire – which might make you or your parents uncomfortable.

Solution: Consider a wine ceremony – mothers of the couple bring onto the platform two different bottles of wine. The couple pour their respective wines into a shared goblet, creating a mixture which they both drink. No fire involved, and it might just turn out to be your new favorite flavor of wine. This website has some other great ideas for unity events: http://rubyglen.com/wedding/unity.htm

Potential Problem Number 3: You can’t include friends and other family members who have helped to make you the person you are today (what if your stepmother raised you but you can’t insult your real Mom by not including her). This may be especially important to you if one or both of you have kids you want to include, or feel closer to non-relatives and want to honor them too.

Solution: Think about incorporating a sand ceremony. It’s a similar idea – have family or friends fill a beautiful vase with different colored sand. This has become very popular in the past year and is really great for people who have more complicated family situations. For more sand ceremony ideas and a place to buy vases, try visiting this website: http://www.unitysandceremony.net

First Look – Seeing each other before the wedding?

Something that is becoming more of a trend lately is the First Look – where the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day in a private moment between the couple (with a non-obtrusive photographer present to capture the moment of course).

This is fantastic because you don’t have all those eyes gazing at you. You have the privilege of taking each other in privately on one of the most momentous days of your life.

It is also incredibly practical, because it allows you to take your traditional posed portraits with the bridal party and your families, before the ceremony begins. Which means you can just ease on down the road (or just down to the church basement) to your reception directly after the ceremony.

Bad luck you say? Well, if you are superstitious, or a traditionalist, this idea may not be for you. But if you like to live on the wild side, step on cracks freely despite the risk to your mother’s back, walk under ladders, and have no trouble when black cats cross your path, you may find the first look is a treasured moment for you and your future spouse to have some time for quiet connection before the hustle and bustle of the ceremony takes over.

Does your wedding photography really matter?

Of course you expect us to say yes, since we make our living photographing weddings.  But before you simply click away, hear me out. When I got married almost ten years ago, I figured the photos wouldn’t matter much because I was also getting a video and friends would take pictures. After all, we have a lot of photographers in my family. I was wrong. In the last ten years, I can count on one hand the number of times we have taken out that wedding video (which by the way, was an actual video, not a DVD, so I no longer even have the means to play it!). However, our wedding album still frequently finds its way down from the shelf where it is prominently displayed whenever someone wants to talk about our wedding. Every friend getting married wants to know what our ideas were, and I love to share them because it was such a wonderful day.

Here’s the problem: because so many members of my family are photographers, no one wanted to work on my wedding day, so we chose a photographer we didn’t know who would give us the negatives when they were done.

Mistake number 1: I never bothered to look through her albums. I went online, looked at the 5 photographs she had on her website, imagined they represented thousands of similar photos, and signed a contract.

Mistake number 2: I did not request she attend the rehearsal. If I had, she would have known that the pastor did not want any flash photography during the ceremony. I’m not sure why that was important to him, but when a photographer can’t use their flash, they have to be prepared with a lot of fancy tricks in order to get you pictures that aren’t blurry or dark. This takes warning, preparation, and skill.

Mistake number 3: She was incredibly cheap. It should have raised a warning flag that she does not value her skill ability very highly when she was willing to shoot the whole wedding and give me the negatives (this was back before digital photography was as common) for less than $600.

Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, my photos were horrible, boring, dark, and out of focus. The only interesting poses she took were ideas other people had and requested she take. At one point a college friend posed everyone for a picture on his camera and she said “hey, that looks neat” and took a picture too. Every single ceremony picture was blurry or too dark. EVERY SINGLE ONE! We barely took any outdoor pictures, even though it was gorgeous outside that day. She never even took a picture of me with one of my brothers. When you only have two, it’s embarrassing to discover you missed one.

So please, even if you don’t choose Captured Emotions as your photographer, please take the time to choose someone who knows what they are doing. Your wedding album will come out again and again, and normally people put up wedding portraits on the wall. But , if you don’t have any good pictures to display, you can’t display them.

Cherish & Erik

Cherish and Erik’s wedding was a gorgeous affair from start to finish.  Cruising in Newport Harbor on this luxurious yacht from Pacific Avalon Yacht Charters was only one aspect of a beautiful night.  Every guest from the youngest to oldest had a grand time.  The love, devotion and support between Cherish and Erik as well as their family and friends was truly inspiring.  Every last detail was amazing and made for an exquisite evening.

Congratulations, Cherish and Erik!