Digital Image Enhancement

Many of you will be familiar with digital photography and digital image enhancement. You might have used software, for example, to remove red-eye, or brighten up the picture a touch, or you might have used one of a number of packages available to perform a wide array of “post-processing” to your shots. Whatever your experience in this area, here are a few pointers to ensure that you get – and demand – the right results from your Wedding photographer.

When working with any digital image, best results will be obtained when the photographer is using a colour-calibrated monitor. Can you be sure that the colours on the screen will be matched by the printed photograph? The subtle colours and tones of modern wedding attire make it essential that your finished photograph captures the beauty and delicate hues of your Wedding day.

In my opinion, less is definitely more when it comes to image enhancement, although don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for something just that little bit different. In my opinion, a very subtle effect being asked for at the moment is the “focal black and white”: this is where the underlying image is black and white, but a focal part of the image – for example the bride’s bouquet – are left in colour.

Digital Image Enhancement

Another effect which really captures the timeless intimacy of a wedding is the duotone – basically, black and white but in a different colour. Of course the most common of these is “Sepia” – the light tan coloured photographs – however a number of other colours lend themselves to this technique. Think about the colour theme for your wedding perhaps, or choose a pastel blue or ivory to warm up the image.

In addition to altering the colour balance of the picture itself, digital enhancement techniques make it possible to add a number of “special effects”. For example, the addition of “lens flare” can give the image a magazine-like quality, or effects which would be difficult in practice – for example bubbles – could be added. Continue reading “Digital Image Enhancement”

Flowers for your Wedding

Flowers have been attributed with meaning for centuries. In Victorian times, it was popular to send small posies of flowers to express sentiments, to lovers and friends. This language of flower was quite complex, for example sending a friend a bouquet of begonias with blue hyacinths could be a warning message to beware of being unfaithful. Some of these traditional meanings are still used in popular culture, for example red roses signify love, while white heather is commonly used as a symbol of good luck.

Like all areas of weddings, flowers take their turn in being fashionable or passé. Large, open Stargazer lilies were popular for decades, to be replaced in the last few years with simpler, more elegant Calla lilies and a return to traditional roses. Colour is also now more popular in bouquets, reflecting bridesmaid dresses and overall wedding themes. The bride who is daring enough to make a statement can opt for tropical flowers such as orchids or bird of paradise for a striking and colourful bouquet.

wedding flowers

The shape of bouquets has evolved too, and there are now various styles of bridal bouquets to choose from. ‘Cascade’ bouquets include flowers and foliage which drape down from the main display, creating a large bouquet that is a large part of the bride’s look. ‘Hand Tied’ bouquets are a simple group of flowers, tied around the stems with ribbon. ‘Nosegays’ or ‘Tussie Mussies’ are a similar style of bouquet, but with a more structured feel where the stems are usually hidden. ‘Arm’ bouquets are a style of bouquet that is held laid across one arm and is a popular option for calla lilies.

The beauty and scent of real flowers is hard to beat, but in the hot Spanish summer, blooms can fade fast if they are not cared for properly. Another option is to have silk flowers. These can be just as beautiful as real flowers although don’t be fooled into thinking that they will be cheaper as this is not always the case, especially if you are buying high quality silk flowers. Silk flowers are ideal for decorating your venue, as they can be wired and attached almost anywhere without worrying about damaging them.

Bouquets are now frequently complimented by accessories, and this is the area where you can really jazz up your flowers. Fine wire with jewels can be woven around the arrangement, adding sparkle to your bouquet. Or you can add gems directly to the petals for a dazzling dewdrop look. Vibrant green palm fronds give a tropical feel to any bouquet, while large waxy leaves folded around the edges of a bouquet are a stylish way to frame flowers.

If you want a slightly more unique way to incorporate flowers into your wedding, why not use miniature rose bushes as centrepieces, or small Azaleas plants, which are the Chinese symbol of womanhood. These flower in abundance and you don’t have to worry about them wilting. They make great gifts for members of your wedding party, or a lasting addition to your garden to remind you of your special day when they bloom each year.

When your wedding day is over, you don’t have to throw your flowers away. Your bouquet can be preserved and framed in a stylish display. Your flowers are given to your florist or a specialist, who will dry and preserve the flowers and work with your requirements to create a framed piece of art incorporating your wedding bouquet. Keep a single flower for a simple but effective presentation, or preserve your whole bouquet to have on show for years to come.

Wedding Insurance

The main things that a good policy will cover are the following:

Cancellation of Wedding Reception

Possibly one of the most frustrating things to occur is the venue cancelling on you with little to no notice. This does happen, and has happened to this writer! There are various reasons a venue might let you down, one being that the company has gone under and are no longer in business, and if you paid upfront or even a deposit this can often be lost, and be rather costly.

Damage or Loss of Bridal/Ceremonial Attire

Your wedding and bridesmaids dresses can be covered, but different policies have different time frames for which they will cover. A good wedding insurance company will cover this for 3 months before the wedding and usually 48 hours after.

Damage to Wedding Gifts

Wedding gifts are usually one of the most valuable items in a wedding, and insuring them is a wise move. However keep in mind that most policies will NOT cover you for theft of your gift but only for damages, which is stock standard across all companies. Standard coverage for gifts is only 24hrs after your wedding, so make sure you get your gifts back home as soon as possible after your wedding day. However if you have a gift registry get longer, and usually get 90 days, but this can be extended to 12 months if you use John Lewis wedding insurance and also use their gift registry.

Loss or Damage to Wedding Rings

Wedding rings are another expensive item and not something you want to lose, although we all joke about the best man losing the rings, you would be surprised how often wedding rings go missing amongst the sometimes frantic lead up to the big day! Keep in mind that most wedding insurance companies will only cover wedding rings for about 7 days prior to the wedding day and only 24hrs after.

Wedding Cars

Wedding car companies sometimes run into problem, as any company does, common issues are double booking the cars out to two wedding by mistake and not having a car on hand for your wedding, or damage to the cars days leading upto your wedding. A good policy will also cover for this though.

Photography

One of the last things you want to hear from your wedding photographer is that the photos have been lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair, but it can and does happen. Sometimes the photographer may not even turn up. What the situation it is not pleasant but something you can get insurance for.

Suppliers

If the suppliers you are using for your wedding catering is not able to provide the service any longer due to bankruptcy or liquidation, your wedding insurance should cover this, but you need to read the policy carefully to make sure this is in there. A good company will reimburse you for any losses.

Wedding Invitations & Stationery

Wedding invitations can be surprisingly expensive, sometime into the thousands of pounds even. The main issue that people run into with invitations is when the wedding gets canceled or the venue changes and the printing has already happened. The cost of the printing and stationary can be covered though with good wedding insurance and you will be reimbursed this cost.

Legal Expenses

If something has occurred at your wedding that results in you wanting to take legal action against another party for damages or even death, then legal cover as part of your wedding insurance will cover your legal fees. However this is something you need to read the policy carefully for as it is not always covered.

This sites wedding insurance reviews covers everything you need to consider and the best companies to go with, good luck for your big day and hopefully you want need to make a claim!!

Getting Away From It All

There’s a lot to be said for choosing a special location away from home for your wedding. Although weddings traditionally took place near the bride’s parents’ home, many brides these days don’t feel any connection with this place, particularly if you left home years before. Or you may want a particular kind of wedding, which may not be possible in this location.

On the other hand, the place where you live now may not be feasible either for many reasons. For example, one or other of your families may live predominantly at the other end of the country – if you have elderly relatives it may not be practical to ask them to travel the distance. The ideal solution is to find a different destination.

There may be a great location equidistant from both your families. Alternatively, there may be somewhere special to the two of you that will really add a sense of occasion to your wedding. And by choosing such a destination, you can really make a weekend of it by finding accommodation where your entire wedding party can stay together. This way, you’ll really get to spend some time with your friends and family.

wedding location

At Home or Abroad?

Many brides are opting to celebrate their weddings in a range of exotic locations such as the Caribbean or Tuscany. Destinations such as these offer an incredible backdrop to the day, and with several specialist agents to choose from, the organisation and legal side of things shouldn’t be a headache. However, the disadvantage of going abroad may be that many guests will not be able to afford the additional costs of flights and accommodation, and you may end up with fewer of your friends and family there to celebrate your day with you.

Perhaps the best way forward is to find a location in Britain, which has both the scenery to make your wedding extra special, and satisfies the inevitable practical considerations. Cumbria and the Lake District, for example, offer everything you could wish for the perfect wedding. It is a location that provides an amazing and romantic setting, particularly when combined with the range of high quality venues available in the area.

You can opt for your own stately home for the weekend, or for a first rate hotel, all with views that will make your photographs especially beautiful. Added to this, the region is easily accessible by road and rail. There is also a wide range of accommodation options, so that all your guests will be able to find something to suit their budgets.

Practically Perfect

Of course, organising your wedding in a place you are not familiar with may pose some organisational difficulties, and it is a good idea to consider employing a wedding co-ordinator with specialist knowledge of the area. Although this may feel like a luxury, a good co-ordinator will save you money overall by finding suppliers and suggesting ideas which will be cost effective and still fit in with your theme. In this way, you will be in control of your wedding, while being confident that everything will be just as you wished.

If you have problems with you marriage, read following tips on how to save your marriage.

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Cake

The cake you choose for your wedding will be one of the lasting memories that your guests take away from the day, so it is very important that it reflects both your personality and the theme of your wedding. The days when a wedding cake had to be three tiers of royal iced and marzipanned fruit cake are long gone, but this move away from traditional cakes can leave a bride-to-be bewildered by the huge choice available.

What sort of wedding are you having?

The size and type of venue needs to play a part in your choice of cake. If you are having a small wedding at a country pub with a few close friends and family as guests you aren’t going to need an enormous six-tier confection, and a 6″ single tier would be dwarfed inside a grand castle venue with dinner and dancing for 200.

The time of year is also a factor. Wedding cakes are still food no matter how they are decorated, so the choice of cake needs to reflect the environment in which they are served. A marquee wedding reception in the height of summer is beautiful, but if you want the cake on display throughout the day, avoid a cake made with chocolate and fresh cream and go for something, which will not suffer in the heat.

How many people does the cake need to feed?

Bare in mind the number of people you want it to feed. This may include people, who couldn’t attend the wedding, so don’t forget to add these people to the number of wedding guests when calculating how much cake you need. Don’t forget that only needing a small number of slices of cake doesn’t necessarily mean that you can only have a small wedding cake – extra tiers can be made around a polystyrene dummy, and as long as you don’t forget which tiers are cake and which are artificial when you cut it, no one would ever know. Likewise, if you need 300 portions for your guests but don’t want a monster cake, ask for undecorated cutting cakes to make up the numbers.

wedding-cake

What type of cake do you want?

Some people love fruitcake, some people can’t stand it. Other people will eat chocolate cake until it comes out of their ears but won’t touch a crumb of carrot cake. And you can almost guarantee that what the bride loves, the groom can’t stand! The simple solution here is to have a bit of everything. Most cake makers will make different tiers from different types of cake for you, as long as it doesn’t make your cake structurally unstable (balancing a heavy fruit cake on top of a soft butter cream sponge in NOT a good idea…. have the fruit cake at the bottom.).

The type of cake you choose as a base determines the style of decoration that is possible. With their long shelf life fruitcakes can be used as the base for elaborate and heavy designs, while sponge cakes have to be made at the last minute so more simple decoration is the norm. A good cake decorator will be happy to tailor their recipes to your tastes and needs – if you can’t stand cherries in fruit cake, they will replace them with other dried fruit. It is important to make them aware of any requirements at an early stage, particularly with fruitcakes, made up to 3 months in advance.

What style do you want?

If you look in any wedding magazine or on any wedding website, the choice of cake styles is overwhelming. Fortunately, it can be surprisingly easy to narrow down all this choice to the perfect cake for your wedding. A formal wedding is the perfect setting for a formal cake, while a softer design or a novelty cake will compliment a more relaxed event.

Look at any themes running through your wedding: dress fabric, invitations and flowers are all good sources of inspiration for cake design, and matching the cake to the colour scheme you have chosen for bridesmaids and/or flowers can look beautiful.

Having individual cakes for your guests has become popular in the last few years. These can be a cluster of mini wedding cakes, each covered with marzipan and icing with piped or floral decoration, individual chocolate cakes or fairy cakes iced with a variety of designs. The best thing about these mini cakes is the flexibility, as the cakes can be made of pretty much anything you want, in any combination. They can, however, be an expensive option as there is a lot of work in decorating each individual cake, and the cake maker may have an upper limit on the number of cakes they are willing to make (about 100 fairy cakes is probably the upper limit unless you approach a specialist mini cake maker).

Choosing a cake decorator?

Unless you or as relative are making the cake yourself you’ll need to have a cake made by one of the following:

Your wedding venue – some venues offer the wedding cake as an extra in their wedding package. This is good as there is the minimum of stress involved, but the downside is that these cakes can be expensive, and you often have little choice of style. A bakery or sugarcraft shop – buying your cake from a larger company can work in your favour as they will have a wide range of designs to choose from at a reasonable price, but they can be more inflexible than a smaller designer.

A wedding cake designer with set designs – designs are usually customised to match your colour scheme and flowers, but choices are limited. Choosing a wedding cake from a range can be very cost effective if you don’t want something designed specifically for you, but would still like the attention to detail that a small-scale cake designer can provide. A bespoke wedding cake designer – a bespoke wedding cake designer will generally design each cake they make through face-to-face meetings with the wedding party. An individually designed cake can be whatever you want, no matter how extravagant or wild and wacky it may be. The price will often be higher than a standard design due to the extra work in designing them.

It is absolutely essential to look at some of your chosen cake decorator’s previous work – often websites are a good starting point, as you can get an idea of their style in the comfort of your own home. Don’t despair if the cake decorator who seems to offer the best service in your area doesn’t have an example of your dream cake on display, often they will be keen to try out new things. Watch out for hidden costs when you speak to the designer, as delivery, Stand hire and knife hire can add a significant amount to the bill.

Bridal Announcement Sites

A bridal announcement site, amongst other things, can be used as a valuable tool to assist in the planning of your wedding, as a resource of information for your guests and to involve those who can’t make it to the wedding. There are a number of various resources that can provide wedding websites. Some offer a custom website built specifically for you. Some offer DIY websites where you can choose a particular style, enter information about the wedding and ‘Hey Presto’ your website is created. Others offer both.

Custom sites will be designed and built by a web designer and should be a one off to meet your requirements. The main benefits are that you have a site that is truly unique, possibly complements your stationery and the work is all done for you. Disadvantage is cost, involvement with designer, cost for updates and the time taken to create the site.

DIY sites are designed so that you can enter details about your wedding, upload your favourite photos, choose a website style that you like and it will automatically generate the website for you. Advantages include; instant website, easy to create, flexible enough to customise, cheap, easy and instant updates. Main disadvantage is that it is not as flexible or unique as having a custom site created.

What should you go for Custom or DIY?

That is really your personal choice on what you want your wedding website to do for you and how much you are willing to spend. Before making your choice though you should have a look around to see what you could get for your money. Custom designers will in most cases have a portfolio of sites they have created in the past. DIY sites usually have demonstration sites and offer free trial periods, so you can create your own site and see exactly what you are getting.

Costs for wedding websites range from being free to potentially thousands. It all comes down to what you want! A standard DIY website with approx. 10 pages including a photo album, guest book, RSVP form, etc would cost £50 to £100 per annum. A custom website of the same size would cost approx. £300 to £1000 depending on the designer.

Top Tip

After care and support can make the difference. Ensure that the supplier you choose provides support and is easy to contact and won’t charge a fortune for their time. You don’t want to be left stranded with a half built website, or wanting changes made but can’t get a hold of anyone.

Scan through the supplier’s site and look for help pages and contact information. One way to test the level of support is to contact the supplier via email or phone with a question before buying. This can be anything, e.g. can I have my custom website designed to match my wedding stationary? or I was thinking of getting a DIY website, can you tell me if I can add short movies?

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

From all areas of professional photography, wedding photography has to be of the most demanding. The photographer has to turn everyday people into stars, making the most out of whatever locations, using natural lighting and a portable flash and working in various weather conditions and within a limited time.
Photographers work from a variety of locations including shops / studios, others work from home. On average, they will undertake 30 – 40 weddings per year; some will employ more photographers and will cover hundreds of weddings a year. Whichever photographer you decide to choose to capture your day, it is important that you are comfortable with your photographer. Ensure that you meet your photographer face to face; you wouldn’t want to find out on your day that you didn’t get on with your photographer. Are they friendly and relaxed, do they appear to be bossy?

The most important factor in choosing your photographer is to meet a number of photographers who specialise in the style which you are looking for. Some will only undertake work in the traditional or classic style, some will only work in the reportage, fun style, and some will cover both styles. The reportage style captures all of the fun and emotions of the day in a candid way. Most photographers will cover your day in a mixture of colour and black & white photographs.

Wedding Photographer

When making an appointment to view work, companies may send out a representative to discuss your package, some will be the photographers themselves, one golden rule is to make sure you are viewing work from the photographer who will be capturing your wedding day, and not just a good selection from various photographers. You must also ask to view a recent actual complete wedding. Is there a good mixture of groups, do the photographs show good detail in the faces and dresses, does the complete wedding picture tell the full story of the day? One thing you might consider when looking through samples, is there a mixture of photographs taken under different lighting conditions?

For most couples, the budget plays an important role into choosing the right photographer. Prices will vary and generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Some photographers will only charge a small amount, usually because they are not very good or are inexperienced, the more experience a photographer has, the more they will charge. There is nothing wrong with photographers with less experience, but they must still prove to you that they are still capable of doing the work that you require. The costs will vary on the number of hrs that the photographer expects to be at your wedding, the amount of photographs they estimate to take on the day, the quality and type of album offered to you within the package. Some photographers will include all of the proofs taken. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting for your money. Can the photographer offer reprints for the guests, albums for parents, and at what cost?

Checklist

•    Meet a number of photographers before making your final decision.
•    The samples, were they taken by the photographer who will cover your day?
•    Can they show you a complete wedding, and not just a sample of pictures?
•    Do the samples cover a variety of lighting conditions?
•    The complete album, does it tell the full story of the wedding
•    The complete album, does it show good detail in the dresses?
•    The complete album, does it show good expression in peoples faces?
•    Do the group shots look tidy with everyone looking at the camera?
•    Have they worked at your chosen venue, if not will they check it out beforehand?
•    Make sure you know exactly what the cost is and what is included within price.

Choosing a Wedding Videographer

Consider what you want, and why you want it?

You are planning a major day in your and your family’s life. Dependant on your financial circumstances, the affair will be modest, posh or even grand wedding occasion, but relative to your resources it is going to be expensive. Accept that and you’re well on your way. Of all the Major expenses, the greater part will expendables. The reception venue, clothing, flowers, drinks, transport, stationery – are all part of the set you are building. Don’t waste it.

A good videographer will see and capture the love and effort that has gone into the preparation of your wedding day. His or her job is not to make things happen (although he or she may guide you or offer a little advice here and there), the videographer should see all the little things that have gone into the wedding preparations and capture them on film to the best of his or her ability, along with the major events of your wedding day.

With a pocket full of tapes the videographer, will return to the edit suite where dependant on the scale of the production, they will face between 2 to 5 days editing the visual images and audio, together with the insertion of transitions, fades, composition of titles and backgrounds. Artwork for cassette covers, DVD cases and plus a few other things I may have forgotten.

So what are you looking for?

•    Ideally a recommendation is the best place to start.
•    Failing that, telephone around.
•    If they sound good on the phone – arrange a visit their studio.
•    Is the work you are seeing is the work of the people who will attend your wedding?
•    How many cameras will be used, and do they use professional equipment?
•    Where and when will filming start on the day, and at what point it will end?
•    What the total cost will be, is VAT chargeable, and is there a written contract?

If you like their work (you’re happy to have them as a guests at your wedding), ask for 7 days to make a decision (meet a few other videopgraphers), unless you get that YES feeling. My final thought for your big day (when you’ve chosen your videographer) – we respond well to the odd cuppa throughout this very demanding day.

Contemporary Wedding Photography

Things to Consider When Hiring Contemporary Wedding Photography Services

Contemporary wedding photography is more spontaneous and relaxed. And instead of using film, most contemporary photographers now use digital equipment. So when hiring a photographer, take note that you don’t only need portraits and but you need to capture the most important and the most emotional parts of the wedding too. In short, what you are really looking for are photos that will tell the story of your wedding.

Quantity versus Quality

In your search for contemporary wedding photography services you would normally be given packages. In every package, you would be told how many pictures the photographer is going to take and how many he is going to print. Then the size and number of albums would also be there. At times, the number of hours is also included in the contract. You may at first think that it would be best to have the most pictures printed. However, with budget constraints you would have to limit the number of photos in the end if you want to get quality photos. Quantity would have to take a back seat for quality. That’s because for a certain budget, you could end up with a less skilled photographer if you insist on getting as many prints and as many albums. Of course, a reasonable number of photos are also required in order to greatly capture the special moments of your wedding.

weddingkiss

Portraits versus Spontaneous Shots

The best contemporary wedding photography would consist of great portraits and more spontaneous shots. With the digital technology of today, a lot more possibilities are permitted. Professional photographers who are more equipped would have the capacity to take more photos at a given time. That is why it is now more possible to capture every blink and every movement of both the bride and the groom. But then skill is quite important in the selection of shots. The best contemporary wedding photographer would be able to get the shots at the best angles. He also would not forget to document the dress, shoes and other accessories of the bride, the groom and even the entourage as well. Then of course, he would be able to capture the sweet and emotional moments between the parents and the bride or the groom. Most of all, he would also be able to bag every emotion of the bride and the groom too. The series of events are as important as well.

Proof before Hiring

Before you decide on the kind of wedding photos you want, you need to see the portfolios of the photographers you are considering to hire. This will give you an idea of what kind of shots you want for your wedding. Of course, if you already have an idea of what you want viewing their portfolios would tell you which photographer would be able to produce the best contemporary wedding photography. Then as you talk with the photographers, you would also know which one you would be comfortable with. This is also important since this will greatly affect the kind of photos you will get in the end.

Indian Wedding Photography

Tips in Finding the Best Indian Wedding Photography

If traditional weddings are quite an event, so much more are Indian weddings. There is so much color in the outfits and there is so much ceremony to take note of. So if you want all of these documented, you need to get the best Indian wedding photography. On the other hand, as the couple you would want your special day to be remembered in the years to come. Your photos would be the only remembrance you would have of your wedding. So you really need hire the best Indian wedding photographer you can afford.

Find Photographers Who Specialize on Indian Wedding Photography

As mentioned, Indian weddings have a lot of ceremonies. That’s why you need someone who already knows what’s going on. Take note that your photos need to tell the story of your wedding too. And so the best Indian wedding photography would be that which captures every emotion and activity in the whole wedding ceremony. A photographer who specializes in Indian wedding photography would also have the experience in capturing the best angles and the most important parts of the wedding. He would even be able to play with the colors and capture the significance of every part of the ceremony as well. So in the end, you will really get a more meaningful remembrance of your wedding.

Check Portfolios

Aside from experience, you should also check the quality of Indian wedding photography you will be getting. One way to check this is to check out the portfolios of the Indian wedding photographers you are looking into hiring. After all, if they are truly Indian wedding photographers they would have great portfolios to show for their work. In their portfolios you would be able to get an idea how great your pictures will look. In meeting with the photographers you would also get to know them. This is an important part in the hiring process because your working relationship with your photographer would affect the kind of Indian wedding photography you would get. This could also be the chance to give your ideas on how you want your wedding photos to be as well.

Check Packages and Prices

After checking the quality, it would be time to check the Indian wedding photography prices. Depending on the experience and the skill of the photographers the rates could have a wide range. Of course, if you consider only topnotch Indian wedding photographers the rates would more or less be similar. Nevertheless, you should still look closer to every package offered to you. Packages from various photographers could differ in services so you have to take note what each offers. So even if the price of two packages is the same, one could be cheaper than the other. And even if one package is priced lower, it could still come out more expensive.

To choose the best Indian wedding photography, you have to balance not just the packages and the price but the quality as well. Once you choose which photographer to hire, you have to discuss your specific requirements with him. This would give the photographer an idea of your expectations so he can better serve you and you will get the best story of your wedding too.