Today is the fiesta of Madrid’s patron saint, San Isidro. To Madrileños, like my husband Guille, that means a day off work and a chance to celebrate their roots by dressing up in traditional costume as Chulapos and Chulapas and heading down to the Pradera de San Isidro.
As I sit here typing in rainy Manchester, I’m remembering a scorching day two years ago when we did just that. Our eldest son was 17 months old and had not long since learned to walk. He was fascinated by the colourful stalls that lined the esplanade and wanted to touch EVERYTHING! Maybe that explains why we only took photos of him and none of multitudes of Madrileñas in the traditional chulapa garb. I had to turn to Instagram and my sister with her fabulous drawing skills to reproduce what was etched on my memory: the fitted fishtail dress, accessorized by shawl and white headscarf, asserted by a trio of carnations in the middle of the forehead. It was a look that totally rocked! The guys were just as cool with their dog’s tooth print flat caps, waistcoats, and jackets with a red carnation in the lapel.
And herein lies the relevance of this post to all things bridal: this would be a marvellous theme for a wedding! The Chulapa dress is begging for a couture re-interpretation. The puffed sleeves, nipped in waist and fishtail skirt are incredibly flattering, and those vertical lines of lace delineate the contours of a curvy figure in a most affecting way! The headscarf could be ivory silk, voile or net, and with the right ‘do’ those three carnations could be quite rockabilly. Yes, I know it’s all about the Great Gatsby at the moment, but I’m thinking ahead. Get your sketchpads out designers, wedding planners, BRIDES! I’m seeing grooms looking handsome with flat caps worn at a jaunty tilt. Page boys and flowergirls would look incredibly cute in mini versions of the outfit.
And while you are feverishly doodling your chulapaesque confections, try this for a soundtrack: Pichi (pronounced Peachy!) a picaresque ditty about a cool Madrileño gangster who has all the chicas at his feet. It’s been the sonic wallpaper in our house this morning! Feliz San Isidro!
In Spanish they have a phrase: “En casa del herrero, cuchillo de palo” which roughly translates as: “In the blacksmith’s house the knives are made of wood.” Yes, I know, it still makes no sense! But the idea is that whatever your profession, you never do it for yourself. Hence we, husband and wife team with the expertise to make beautiful wedding videos, do not actually have our own wedding film, or indeed any professional photos of our wedding! We did get a friend to video it, but guess what? It’s still waiting to be edited! I’ve chosen to illustrate this post with some personal pics, which I hasten to add are NOT the work of Viva la Wedding. But just in case anyone out there is umming and ahhing about whether to have a video, here are ten good reasons why you should:
1. Wedding videos have moved on
We’ve all seen some cheesy wedding videos, all soft focus ,with terrible merge effects from one shot to another, and with the couple’s first kiss framed in some hideous heart-shaped lozenge. You may have sat through a three-hour extravaganza, having to smile and say “How lovely!” whilst simultaneously pinching yourself so as not to fall asleep. But guess what? Modern wedding films are a world away from all that.
A good wedding film should have your personality running through it like the letters in seaside rock. You want to see your humour, your warmth, your values; everything that makes you love each other. It should tell your unique story in a style that suits your taste, and most of all it should be fun to watch, even if it does make you shed the odd tear!
2. Your children will thank you for it!
Ok, they probably won’t actually thank you. They may even laugh at your hairstyle or choice of fashion, but they will love watching you! There’s something mesmerising about photos of our parents when they were young. I love looking at my mum and dad’s wedding album, and I can only imagine how much cooler it would be to be able to see them walking and talking in glorious technicolour! My mum used to have a scouse accent, my dad used to have hair, three grandparents and a great-grandma were there at the wedding; now only one grandma is still alive. We all change over the years and this kind of precious footage is a reminder of our roots.
3. You will hardly notice we are there!
You might be feeling camera shy. You might be worried about having a lens “in your face” or the cameramen obstructing your guests’ view. But the DSLR cameras used today are lightweight and not at all bulky, which makes cameramen less conspicuous. We can blend in with the guests and so capture more natural footage, as people are less conscious of being filmed. We can also use long lenses to get close-up shots from further away, so in general, technology allows us to be as unobtrusive as possible. Our cameramen, and most videographers we’ve met, are far from being pushy primadonna types who boss you about when you just want to enjoy your day. We are there to film the action, not be the action and we know our place!
4. You are going to look like a film star…
…so why not have a film of it? Seriously, you are investing a whole lot of time and money in looking as fabulous as possible and it would be a shame not to have a living, breathing record. A video is great for capturing every detail of your gorgeousness: the groomsmen walking towards camera looking handsome and trying to hide their nerves (speeches: aaargh!) the bride’s dress swishing as she turns, that cute way you tip your head back when you laugh. I could go on. You might not realise it yet but you are SUCH a babe! And why shouldn’t you enjoy it? (That goes for grooms too by the way!)
5. Weddings cost a fortune
So why would you shell out even more on a video? But then again, why would you miss having a record of all those gorgeous little details that you spent so long planning and that you worked so hard to pay for? A panning shot can take you right there, as if you are standing, surveying the room just before the guests come in for the wedding breakfast, or letting your gaze flow from the beautiful covered buttons of your dress to the lace of your train. A lot of couples have told us they consider the money they spent on the video to be the best investment of the whole wedding!
‘You are my best friend and my soul mate. You make me the happiest man alive!’
Steven created a mini video of his own for Emma to watch on the morning of their wedding!
So romantic… so we incorporated the homemade movie into the wedding feature film and it really has made the story of this lovely couple and their wedding day complete.
The romantic and picturesque Walton Hall was the setting for this Warwickshire (Midlands) wedding. The beautiful stone built hotel is an elegant, quintessentially English country house – it dates all the way back to the 1500′s when the Mordaunt family created their ancestral home here. The hotel still has loads of character with its original chandeliers and fireplaces. Outside there are fabulous grounds and spectacular views over to the lake. What a great location for a wedding!
There were lots of opportunities to film some visually stunning moments. The imposing stone facade with its corinthian pillars provided a great backdrop for striking images of the happy couple. Emma’s beautiful lace dress, Grace by Augusta Jones from Cicily Bridal, looked even more amazing in such impressive surroundings. Some of our favourite shots are of Steven and Emma in silhouette and backlit against the sky. We also loved the changing rainbow coloured lights on the dance floor.
Steven and Emma’s personality shone through in this wedding film and you can really see just how happy they both are. We’d like to thank them for asking us to be the wedding cinematographer for their Warwickshire wedding and wish them all the best for their future together.
Walton Hall, Warwickshire, Midlands
Cake That & Party
Wedding String Quartet
Nero String Quartet
Hipster (through Alive Networks)
Stems and Sashes
Little Luxury Islands
Music licensed by Music Bed
And of course the wedding cinematography and film was by us at Viva la Wedding. If you’d like to talk to us about wedding cinematography or wedding photography please phone Jo or Karen on 0161 241 2751 or email email@example.com
We’ve had so many lovely thankyou cards from our happy customers and thought it would be lovely to share some of them…
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for capturing our wedding day in a way we never thought possible! The DVD is amazing and captures all the main elements of our special day! Thank you for giving us memories to watch forever! Everyone loves the style and no doubt I will be recommending you to everyone I meet.
Best wishes, Anisha and Ajay
Thank you so much for being the best wedding photographer we could hope for. You made our day special.
Lots of Love Mr and Mrs Jarvis
Can we just say how extremely delighted we both are with our finished video. We both feel that it is the best memento we have of our special day, it is better than we had ever hoped and we have already watched it many times. The guest messages were brilliant and we are so glad you persuaded us to include them.
Mr and Mrs Day
‘When you walked down that aisle you absolutely took my breath away.’ Greg was really quite emotional when he saw his bride Charlotte!
Charlotte and Greg were married at Styal Lodge, Cheshire, an eco-friendly timber barn in the beautiful Cheshire countryside. The venue looked amazing all decked out with drapey fabrics, twinkly fairy lights and flickering candles. It was warm, cosy and romantic!
Charlotte looked amazing in her off the shoulder wedding dress and crystal-studded veil. The bridesmaids wore dramatic, eye-catching purple dresses with just one shoulder strap. It was a ‘purple’ wedding and the bridesmaids perfectly complemented the groom’s cravat, the pink, white and lilac roses and the table decorations.
Yummy cocktails were served after the ceremony but the thing we loved the most was the sweetie table – huge jars of multi-coloured candy displayed in big glass jars and bowls. There can never be too much sweetness at a wedding!
All these gorgeous little details were down to Charlotte’s meticulous organisation and planning – her skills were mentioned several times during the speeches! It was obvious that a lot of hard work had gone into making everything just perfect for the big day.
Outdoors the sun shone just enough for us to get some fab cinematography shots of the bride and groom gazing out over the lake. Autumnal colours of oranges, browns, reds and yellows were reflected in the water making for some visually stunning cinematography footage. As Styal Lodge is based in the grounds of Styal Golf Club the bride and groom were able to take a spin round the grounds in a golf buggy as a very unusual but special celebration of their marriage!
We really loved being the cinematographer on this Cheshire wedding film and wish Charlotte and Greg a lifetime of happiness.
Sense and Sensibility
Wedding Invitations, Flowers, Room Decoration
Emma at Special Days
Music licensed by Music Bed
And of course the wedding cinematography was by us at Viva la Wedding. If you’d like to talk to us about a wedding cinematography please phone Jo or Karen on 0161 241 2751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve been featured on Rock my Wedding’s Love Lust List blog!
At Viva la Wedding we love any romantic occasion, so we wanted to wish all our wonderful couples past and present a very happy Valentine’s day!
We are feeling especially celebratory today, as Guille has had one of his photographs featured in the prestigious Tiffany and Co’s true love Valentine’s gallery! Thank you to Ying and Qinan for this gorgeous shot from their pre-wedding shoot.
This Valentine’s day we are looking forward to a busy year! Already we have five weddings booked in March, a record for a month which is not typically our high season! We still have some availability for the summer and there is still time to take advantage of our fantastic Valentine’s offer. We are offering a special discount for photography or cinematography if you book before the end of February. Please get in touch to find out more!
Call 0161 2412741 or email: email@example.com
Lots of lovely couples asked us to film their big day in 2012. Guille has put together some of the best bits to make this moving short cinematography reel highlighting some of the most emotional and touching moments. Watch it and see if it doesn’t bring a lump to your throat and a tear to your eye!
This is a big thankyou to all the couples that chose our cinematography in 2012. Congratulations and we wish you all a long and happy marriage.
Our first international wedding and what a wedding it was! We had such a fantastic time filming Faraz and Negin wedding in the beautiful city of Stockholm, Sweden. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome – just like old friends.
We spent time with the couple before the wedding and filmed them out and about in the elegant and relaxed city of Stockholm. The footage was used in the main feature film and provided a rounded a story of the couple’s life as well as their wedding day.
The wedding took place in Såstaholm, a historic hotel in the outskirts of Stockholm. The venue has a fascinating and colourful history – it was a haven for many of Sweden’s retired theatre actors and actresses for over 60 years! The hotel takes its name from one of the theatre stars that lived here and celebrates its heritage by inspiration from its thespian past. We loved the basement dressing rooms – full of old theatrical costumes. The wedding guests had a great laugh dressing up in these while we filmed their messages of congratulations.
Såstaholm is in a peaceful area just outside the city and has fantastic views of the lake and surrounding countryside. Faraz took us there before the wedding to film the preparations as well as soak up the atmosphere of anticipation and excitement.
The wedding itself was heartfelt and emotional – a fusion of Swedish and Persian customs. Small spots of rain at the start of the day soon turned into sunshine and the service took place outdoors in front of the building. The Swedish registrar performed the legal marriage while Faraz’ father led the traditional Persian ceremony. Tradition requires that the bride makes the groom wait for her hand in marriage by not answering ‘I do’ right away. There was a very funny scenario where Negins’ mother yelled out hilarious reasons why the bride wasn’t available for marriage – on the third attempt Negin was finally allowed to say yes!
During the ceremony a scarf was held over Faraz and Negin’s head while a bridesmaid ground two sugar cones together – to shower the couple in sweetness! And more sweetness – once the couple were married they each dipped a finger into a cup of honey and fed it to one another.
The fun continued after the wedding. The bridesmaids performed a traditional knife dance and Faraz had to pay them money to get the knife to cut the cake. And then to start the party going Faraz and Negin performed the first dance – but surprise, surprise, they were joined by a Michael Jackson impersonator strutting his funky stuff!
Anyway, what a trip! …and how fun! enjoy!
The Wedding Venue
Music licensed through Songfreedom
Oh we do like to be beside the seaside! Especially on a gorgeous sunny day to film and photograph a wedding full of sunshine, joy and happiness!
Rachel and George were married in Lytham St. Anne’s, Lancashire at The White Church, followed by a reception at The Grand Hotel.
The day was full of special treats – from the vintage double decker bus which transported guests between the church and the hotel to the ice cream van that provided welcome refreshment. The ice-cream was particularly appreciated by Guille, our photographer!
We had already met Rachel and George for their pre-wedding photo shoot when we had been to the beach and taken photographs in, on, around and even underneath the pier! We love the urban-modern feel of the pre-wedding photographs – accentuated by Rachel’s leather jacket and George’s insistence on showing off his tattoos!
The White Church is an amazing building built of white stone and on this glorious day was gleaming like an iced wedding cake!