The engagement photography is a great opportunity for us to meet couples before the big day and have some fun capturing beautiful images. It helps us get to know you and how you like to be photographed and filmed and it’s great to help you feel at home in front of the lens. At best the engagement shoot can be a kind of oasis of calm amidst the hard work of planning your wedding; time out to enjoy each other’s company and remember why you are doing all of this! We took Carmina and David to Tatton Park and Knutsford in Cheshire on a particularly sultry summer day and captured these gorgeous pictures, which really showcase their filmstar good looks and the relaxed, happy vibe that is their trademark!
Prama and Andrew have been an amazing couple to work with. From initial meetings through the engagement photography and covering both photography and videography on their big day, we’ve really enjoyed their company, their positive outlook and their sense of fun. Their story is pretty special. Scroll down to share it in photos, words and video.
Andy and Prama knew from the start that they wanted to include both their cultures in their wedding day. Couples often choose to have their Hindu and civil ceremonies on two different days because the Hindu marriage ceremony can be up to six or seven hours long. Prama and Andy felt passionately that they wanted to incorporate both ceremonies into one special day, which would be a celebration of their roots as well as their love for each other.
For this reason they chose a Hindu priest who was able to perform the ceremony bilingually and condense it into an hour. “We really wanted a priest who would conduct the ceremony in both Gujarati and English so all guests present could get an understanding of the rituals and vows that are undertaken and why.” explains Prama. “Both our families and friends particularly enjoyed the Hindu ceremony. For my family it was different from the traditional Indian weddings they have been to before and for Andrew’s family and our friends it was something they had never experienced.”
So what was it like planning a wedding with two ceremonies in one day? “Organising the wedding was really stressful as I had just seven months to arrange everything. There were trips to Eccles, Bolton, Manchester, Oldham, Leicester and London to source everything. From the outfits, jewellery, makeup and henna artists to the décor for the big day. It was fun though, especially trying on all the wedding outfits. I’d always dreamed of being an Indian bride, dressed in the traditional reds and golds, but I was equally excited about having a fairytale white wedding dress,” explains Prama. Andy was just as enthusiastic about his two costumes, especially about dressing up in traditional Indian wedding attire, and you can see from the photos that he pulled it off with style!
If your parents are from the Isle of Skye, Turkey and Yorkshire; if one of you is Jewish and one Christian; how do you incorporate all those cultural influences into your wedding day? Fiona and Giles pulled it off with style! Even their favours were a humorous nod to the blend of cultures, with a goodie bag of Yorkshire fudge, Turkish delight and Scottish tablet!
Fiona recalls the ceremony as the most special part of the day, because it had so much meaning for both of them. The couple were very keen to honour Fiona’s Scottish Christian roots as well as Giles’s Jewish faith, so they wrote their own personalised ceremony for the wedding day, to include elements of both faiths. They had a Christian prayer and lit candles, and friends read out the seven blessings, translated from Hebrew, which are the keystone of the Jewish wedding ceremony. Then of course there was the magic moment when Giles stamped on the glass at the end of the ceremony to a cry of mazel tov!
Fiona particularly remembers coming down the stairs to see her twin brothers in their kilts, (more…)
“In everything you do I will support you one hundred percent. Your dreams will become my dreams. We will jump many hurdles together and get to where God wants us to be!” Isaac’s inspiring words to Ngozi show the strong foundation that the couple have built in their years together.
Their wedding on 30th March in Central London was an incredibly joyful occasion, as you can see from the infectious smiles of the bride, the groom and indeed the whole wedding party! It was a privilege to be part of these celebrations and we especially enjoyed having so many famous London landmarks as a backdrop; the view across the Thames from the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel as well as glimpses of the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and a host of other sights. (more…)
Chinese weddings are so cool! We’ve filmed a fair few now and I thought it was time we shared with you the intricate details of Chinese wedding traditions, from the fun of the door games in the morning, to the deep respect, love and gratitude expressed in the tea ceremony. Who better to explain than a Chinese bride? I caught up with Mandy a couple of months after her wedding to get the lowdown on Chinese customs and find out what it’s like to organise a wedding that embraces both Chinese and western culture.
So take a moment to watch Mandy and Sam’s wedding trailer, (have a packet of tissues to hand – I’ve watched it a lot of times and it still makes me shed a tear!) Then read what Mandy has to say…
What was it like planning the wedding?
It was stressful, but a lot of fun. The hardest thing was packing everything into one day. I felt very strongly that I wanted to respect the Chinese traditions such as the door games and the tea ceremony, but the civil ceremony was really important too. It was a day in three parts: the tea ceremony showed our love and respect for my parents, the civil ceremony was the more romantic part of the day; that was about our love for each other as man and wife, and then of course there was a big party!
The Door Games are so much fun! – Can you explain what they are about?
This is a tradition that goes back to ancient times. The idea is that the bride is a good girl from a nice family and the groom has to prove he is worthy of her. So when Sam arrived at my house in the morning he was blocked at the door by my bridesmaids and had to go through several trials to prove his love for me.
The first trial was a traditional one to make sure he understood that love is not always easy, but brings with it a whole range of emotions. (more…)
Prama and Andrew are to be married in Bolton tomorrow 15th June. It promises to be an intense and fun-packed day and we will be there to capturing every detail, from bridal preparation through to their Hindu and civil ceremonies and all the celebrations. We are very excited because we will be providing a full photography and videography service, with our team working seamlessly to cover all aspects of their day. We met up with Prama and Andrew back in April for their engagement shoot. We took to the streets of Manchester to capture some urban shots, then headed for Alexandra Park for a more picturesque backdrop.
The pre-wedding shoot is a great chance for us to get to know couples better. We can find out more about what you like, whether you enjoy posing or whether you like more natural shots, like the one below. It also helps you to feel more at ease in front of the lens on your big day, because you know what to expect. (more…)
Two windows, two exquisitely-crafted musical boxes play their tinkly tunes as a Mulberry bag rotates in the centre of the display; as delicious as the twirling ballerina in a child’s jewellery box. This is Mulberry, Vienna, but the musical boxes, brainchild of British design company, Section D, began life in humbler surroundings, and this film shows how they were made:
We were thrilled to be commissioned to film this “making-of”, not just because Mulberry is such a prestigious brand, but also because we loved the concept. The creativity, craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into the musical boxes echoed Mulberry’s own production values. It was a delight to film cabinet-maker, Jonathan Ingleby at work in his studio in Pately Bridge, Yorkshire and begin to understand how such beautiful furniture is made. The turning, planing drilling and tapping lent itself perfectly to the beat of the music, arranged by pianist Catherine Field-Leather and was a joy to edit. Artist Alan Graham’s perfectly pitched vintage style illustration added to the old world charm of the musical boxes and set the bags themselves in context: as utilitarian items, but also as objects of great beauty and longevity.
Mulberry were delighted with our film, which is featured on their blog
We hope you enjoy it too!
OK so this has very little to do with Weddings (except that it would make a fabulous wedding present!) I just bought this beautiful print! (excuse the poor quality of the photo taken on my iphone). I have never bought a work of art before, so I need to shout about it! I first saw Neil Dimelow’s amazing cityscapes in the passage between Piccadilly bus station and New York Street in the centre of Manchester; an unglamorous location for a work of art, but very appropriate given the subject matter.
Neil’s work (or should I say Dimelow’s work because I reckon he is soon going to be famous enough to be known by his surname!) really captures the spirit of Manchester. The freeness of the lines and the warmth of the colours breathe life into those buildings and say a lot about the creativity and vibrancy, hell the mancness of the community down below. This print is from a series of twelve drawings entitled: Home: a Manchester Panorama which Neil did from the 24th floor of City Tower. If you follow the link you can see the rest. Buy now before he hits the big time! (I am picturing my 10 month old daughter at The Antiques Roadshow in 60 years time. The expert is salivating over the signed Dimelow print. “And you say your mother bought it for£###…Well of course given the perfect condition and the fact that it’s signed you should be insuring it for somewhere in the region of £#######!” Aged daughter looks stunned, but of course she would never sell! ) Fantasy over, best get on with some work now!
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!