Top 4 Wedding Essentials Not to Scrimp on

When it comes to weddings it often seems like there is an infinite number of ways to spend your money, but what are the things you really shouldn’t scrimp on?

The bling that becomes an heirloom

The rings represent your marriage for eternity. The wedding day will pass but your ring will stay on your finger for the rest of your life and pass down as an heirloom to the next generation. 

Bridal prep

Spend that bit more on your hair and make-up and you will look, and feel like a princess for a day.

It’s your day, and thou really do want to look utterly amazing! Having glowing, clear skin and hair that the curls don’t drop out will give you an added confidence on the day that will shine through in your images and video. Even if you’re not into makeup, and decide against false eyelashes, making the most of your features and ensuring you have flawless skin is what a professional hair and make-up artist is expected to do. 

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Images to die

This is the one day on your life that you want to capture every moment. It goes by in such a flash, and the looking through the photos and video in the future is the way you will stir those warm memories of the fantasy day you experienced. 

Dancefloor divas 

If you want your wedding to be remembered by your guests for the right reason then don’t skimp on the entertainment! No matter how much care you put into selecting the tracks a Spotify playlist creates precisely zero level ambiance, whilst a band, or experienced DJ will have everyone on the floor dancing. A band or DJ will also have some lighting and possibly special effects like fog machines that create a much better backdrop for your photos and video.

Images by Masterpieces Photography + Video

How to know when you’re hiring an amateur photographer

When budget restraints start to bite for your wedding, hiring an “emerging” or student photographer seem very appealing. However, when you add up the costs of everything that you’re spending money on your wedding day, it mightn’t be the best option to hire an amateur, especially when you consider that the one thing that truly lasts from your special day is the photography.
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With lots of amateur and hobbyist photographers now having websites and Facebook pages for their work it’s getting increasing hard to know if you are hiring a pro or someone who just does a few weddings on the weekend.
  1. No ABN – without an ABN, you really shouldn’t be doing business and if they don’t hold an ABN then it’s likely your photographer won’t hold the requisite liability insurance either. Make sure your contract, which any professional photographer will insist you sign, includes the ABN and company/partnership/sole trader details.
  2. Certified Professional Photographer status – Both PPAQ (Professional Photographer’s Association of Queensland) and AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) recognise the elite of the profession with the Certified Professional Photographer status. Both associations also have amateur categories too, so just make sure you ask to see your chosen photographer’s certificate and make sure they aren’t misrepresenting their true status.
  3. Hard to contact during work hours – anyone in business should be available during reasonable business hours and should respond to enquiries within a legitimate, business-like timeframe. Anyone who takes 3 days to respond to an email or phone call is likely a weekend-warrior who works another job during the week. So that means they can’t earn enough from photography and can’t necessarily devote all their time to the craft. Is that really the person you want shooting your wedding? And what happens after the day if they get busy at their other job – will your images be delivered on time?
  4. Limited samples – if your photographer can’t show you examples from at least 20-30 weddings then you should really consider if they have the requisite experience. And make sure that the samples are REAL weddings, not styled shoots! Shooting models in controlled environments is very different to shooting a live, real-time wedding!
  5. Novelty images, heavy use of filters and having just one “style” of photography – You will want a huge range of imagery from your day – some delightful candids, some pieces of art, some natural, some posed and lots of fun and creativity. Be very careful of the photographer who tells you what style of photography they shoot. A properly trained photographer can, and will, shoot whatever style his client wants, whereas an amateur will tell the client what style he, or she, can shoot! Your day will be fluid – it will evolve, ebb and flow and you need a professional who can adapt to every changing circumstance. Lots of “fauxtographers” talk about “natural light photography”, but only because most don’t know how to use flash and fixed lighting to generate their own lighting conditions. Likewise the over use of filters or novelty shots can indicate lack of skill or possibly generic processing by an overseas photoshop factory – do you want your precious memories on an Indian condom package? And one shot with motion blur is artistic, but lots of images with blur just means the person with the camera really doesn’t know what they are doing!

 

Photo credit: Masterpieces Photography + Video

Casino Royale

treasuryshowcase001-1There are few buildings in Brisbane as majestic as the Treasury Casino and Hotel and even fewer that have faithfully retained the colonial elegance and grace of the long bygone Edwardian era. Fortunately, for wedding couples seeking something a little more unique for their nuptial celebrations, the former Queensland Treasury buildings have lost none of their charm and sophistication and are the perfect place to host a spectacular formal wedding for parties of just about any size. With a location right in the heart of the CBD, close to the river and providing a stunning backdrop for photos the Treasury really is the perfect choice for city weddings. The range of beautiful, high-ceiling rooms replete with history are adaptable to host functions in a number of ways, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff along a true 5-star feel means this venue should be high on your list to check out.
Our friends at Masterpieces Photography + Video were invited along to the recent wedding showcase at the hotel and captured the stunning setups created by the events team as well as the awe-inspiring courtyard atrium which would be perfect to host a large cocktail wedding.
If you like what you see, make a time to meet with Wedding Coordinator Suelin.

Exhibitors involved:
Masterpieces Photography + Video
Event Letters
In the Booth
Taso – acoustic artist
Deliberately Delicious
Yes Entertainment
Grace & Style Wedding Hair and Makeup
Brush and Blush Wedding Hair and Makeup

WFML Glamorous Collection Launch

When Freddie met lilly Collection Launch

Hollywood-style glamour came to Brisbane last night with the glitzy launch of the When Freddie met Lilly Indianna Collection in the Valley. The night was filled with stunning gowns and equally gorgeous people, many wearing When Freddie met Lilly creations.

A full-on red carpet experience greeted the attendees with paparazzi snaps (by Masterpieces Photography + Video) on the stylish media wall (by Watermelon and Soda Design) outside Mirra Private Dining and Events. Attendees could get a wonderful dose of the ultra-hip vintage vibe at the Gathering Events caravan just outside the front door. Inside live music was being played by Savvy, while canapés and drinks were being served at a number of locations around this most flexible of venues, whilst fashion films projected in the courtyard, and guests could have the evening’s fun remembered at one of the two photo booths.

The standing room only parade commenced with a relaxed introduction by the beautiful and ever-so-accomplished Giaan Rooney, setting the scene for an evening of exquisite and sexy gowns.

As the lights came up the runway show was a veritable feast of sexiness with divine lace, luscious fabrics, sparkling embellishments along with lingering glimpses of décolletage, deep splits and low backs, all complemented by the spectacular headpieces from The Little Pack of Five. The luxurious green backdrop of the catwalk was highlighted by sparkling lights and lusciously draped with fresh native foliage by Kate Dawes Flower Design. The guys weren’t forgotten with suits, accessorized with bowties, and in a variety of seasonal colours. As always the flower girls managed to steal the show in the cuteness of frills, feathers and flower crowns.

Designer Vanessa Hoe should be justifiably proud of this collection, elements of which featured strongly last year in New York and at Sydney Bridal Fashion Week earlier this year. The When Freddie Met Lilly brand is an absolute powerhouse that continues to go from strength to strength and with standing room only this year, it’s exciting to think what next year’s collection launch might bring.

Photo Credit: Masterpieces Photography + Video

View Social photos on Masterpieces Facebook page.

Event Contributors:
When Freddie met Lilly | Mirra Private Dining and Events | Masterpieces Photography + Video | Watermelon and Soda Design | The Little Pack of Five | Kate Dawes Flower Design | Bella Brides Hair and Make up | Beautiful Wedding Australia | Event Letters | Gathering Events | In the Booth | Cakes by Judy C | Summer and East | Sofi Spritz | Enchanted Empire | We are Twine | Slow Motion Photo Booth | Tracey Moyle

 

Real Life Wedding: Sarah and Peter

PeterSarah035-35A chance meeting at the dog park led to love for Sarah & Peter who married recently in a surprise wedding at Eaton’s Hill Hotel.
This fun loving couple soon realised they had much more in common than just a love of Staffy x Ridgeback dogs and, in a romantic moment in a spa in the Whitsundays, Peter took his chance and popped the question to a delighted Sarah.
Of course, that meant it was time to plan the perfect wedding day, however, Sarah quickly realised that the big dream wedding wasn’t going to be her thing and the couple decided to think about alternative options. As Sarah rightly says “it’s all about you and your fiancé making a promise to each other for life”. The couple made the bold decision to hold a surprise wedding at what they had planned to be their engagement party with just a handful of their closest family and friends and then hold a big party for everyone else a little down the track.
As you will see from the gorgeous photos from the talented team at Masterpieces Photography + Video, the day turned out to be a massive success, with everyone having an absolutely wonderful time at Eaton’s Hill Hotel. Whilst a few people were in on the surprise, Sarah and Peter did a great job in keeping the majority of guests guessing until the very last minute. Sarah even jokes “Pete and I caught an Uber to the hotel and told the driver we were getting married in an hour but even he didn’t believe us!”.
The couple plan to honeymoon at Caloundra in early spring and are holding a big party to celebrate their nuptials at the same time. Sarah’s advice for other brides-to-be is quite simple “get married exactly how you and your partner want to and don’t listen to anyone else”. Sensible words we think!

Marriage means to us

Spending the rest of your life running amuck with your best friend.

 

Wedding suppliers

Wedding Location: Eaton’s Hill Hotel Brisbane
Bridal Gown: Alfred Angelo
Bridal Shoes: Guess
Bridal Makeup & Hair: Bek Robinson Makeup and Hair
Stationery: Kristen Dangerfield
Flowers: One Stop Wedding Shop
Celebrant: Louise Thompson

Wedding dance en pointe

TWA_Mirra_103Graceful elegance, flowing beauty, floating on a cloud. They’re all phrases we associate with wedding gowns, but they’re also words that apply equally to that most exquisite of art forms – ballet!
Ballet and weddings have a unique kind of synergy that appears to link them intrinsically. Perhaps it is the style of the dress, with many wedding gowns resembling ballet tutus, or is it the commonality of fabrics – lace, chiffon, tulle? Maybe it is the way ballerinas and girls in wedding gowns move, with a magical, flowing or floating appearance that draws similarities. Or it could just be that both demand perfection to achieve maximum impact. During our recent shoot at Mirra Private Dining and Events in the Valley we put a ballet dancer in a range a stunning, balletically inspired gowns and let the magic happen.

Photo Credits:
Gowns: When Freddie met Lilly and Darb Bridal Couture | Photography: Masterpieces Photography + Video | Venue: Mirra Private Dining and Events | Hair: Whisk Hair | Makeup: Jess Brailak Makeup and Tanning | Models: Laura Herden, Sharon (Boss Models) and Billy

Bridal Fashion from NY to Brisbane

WFML_PreLaunch114Coming soon is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the bridal and formal fashion year, with the Brisbane launch of the new collection from When Freddie Met Lilly (WFML).
This exciting and popular showcase has outgrown the WFML studio and this year to be held at the elegant and sophisticated Mirra Private Events and Dining in the heart of Brisbane’s party district, the Valley.
Head designer, Vanessa Hoe, will be showing a brand new range of gowns from the Indianna Collection, as well as giving Brisbane fashionistas the chance to see the full, Hollywood inspired, Hepburnesque collection that previewed to rave reviews at New York Bridal Fashion Week.
The Wedding Alley was lucky enough to have a sneak peek of some of the gowns at a pre-launch photo shoot last week and as you can see from the photos and video, captured by the talented team at Masterpieces Photography + Video, these are spectacular statement gowns with exquisite detailing.
Tickets available online. Believe me, you don’t want to miss out!

 

Photo Credits:
Gowns: When Freddie met Lilly | Headpieces: A Little Pack of Five | Photography + Video: Masterpieces Photography + Video | Hair and Makeup: Bella Brides | Model: Tayla

The wrap party

GoE_Wraps_Blog002-3Last Saturday our friends at Gowns of Elegance hosted an eagerly anticipated high-tea function to celebrate the launch of a new range of fabrics and styles of wrap dresses from designer Erika Coyle, who was on hand to demonstrate some innovative ways to wear these versatile outfits. As usual, Linda, Bella and their team had created a stunning atmosphere with their Chermside boutique stylishly decorated for the occasion by Annastasia from Grande Moments Weddings & Designs. The floral decorations were particularly beautiful, with fresh roses being a distinct theme. We loved the unique “rose ceiling” feature with individual stems suspended in glass tubes. Guests arrived to find the store looking exquisite, with gift bags waiting on white americana chairs and a celebratory glass of champagne on offer, together with a smorgasbord of sweet and savoury treats for attendees to enjoy.

Whilst the event was aimed at Bridesmaids, Erika’s new range includes some stunning white lace and tulle gowns that would be equally suitable for brides, especially those planning a destination or casual beach wedding. The new “uber-bling” sequin fabric range of gown was especially popular with the bridesmaids in attendance who could clearly envisage being able to wear the gowns to formal events as well as to a wedding. Wrap dresses, being so versatile, are extremely popular right now, and are available from a number of sources, but not all are created equal. Erika’s dresses have a wonderful quality and feel. The gowns can be made in different weight fabrics and are made locally in South East Queensland.

Dave from Masterpieces Photography + Video was lucky enough to be invited to capture the event and you can see some of the highlights below. If you weren’t able to get to the high-tea on Saturday then you should give the team at Gowns of Elegance a call and make a time to visit their showroom and take a look at their incredible range of both bridal and bridesmaid dresses.

Love me, Love my car

The leafy, semi-rural suburb of Brookfield proved a glorious backdrop for this divine couple and a very stylish Rolls Royce.

Whether you, or your partner, are complete rev-heads, or you simply want to arrive at your venue in style then classic cars can be a luxury well worth the money. The legends of the motoring industry make for fabulous props in your photos too, giving your photographer a whole range of additional creative opportunities.

Whilst the classics (think Rollers, Jags and Mercs), look the best, some modern motors look great too, and in the right location, especially in vibrant, urban locations, limousines can be the perfect choice, especially when you have a large bridal party to transport and parking is tricky.

Of course in Australia you can’t go past classic Holdens and Fords, particularly the muscle cars, but always be aware that many lack air-conditioning and that space in the back, particularly with a big dress, can be a little tight.

Whatever your taste, there will be a four wheel solution that complements your style and your budget and does so much more than just get you to the church on time.

Photo Credits:
Photography: Masterpieces Photography + Video
Gown: George Wu
Suit: When Freddie Met Lilly
Rolls Royce: Somerton Limousines
Hair: House of Zion
Makeup: Kelly Weavers
Lighting: AV Ideas
Flowers: Pollen Florist
Models: Boss Models

 

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Perfectly paired

A wonderfully fresh and natural approach to styling from the exceptionally talented team at Sugared Style incorporates fresh fruit and florals. The luxuriant surrounds of Mirra Private Dining and Events is the perfect backdrop for this fresh approach which utilises real pineapples as vases and pears as unique place card holders. When combined with stunning gowns from Darb Bridal Couture and Elizabeth de Varga Exclusive Fashions the end results are wonderfully modern and vibrant.

Photo Credits:
Backdrop: Sugared Style
Photography: Masterpieces Photography + Video
Gown: Darb Bridal Couture and Elizabeth de Varga Exclusive Fashions
Suit: When Freddie met Lilly
Hair: Whisk Hair
Makeup: Jess Brailak Makeup and Tanning
Venue: Mirra Private Dining and Events
Models: Laura and Billy

 

See more in the latest issue of The Wedding Alley