**WARNING...THIS POST IS LARGE IMAGE HEAVY** EXTRA DOWNLOAD TIME MAY BE NECESSARY
UPDATE: There's been some *controversy* over this post...not sure why...but just to clarify, most of the time a lot of the product & time of the vendors working is donated for these shoots and they do not necessarily affect the overall cost of your magazine, they are not shot to be deceptive...it's actuallyl in order to bring you very high quality inspiration for your wedding...something not seen before and unique. So, just enjoy the images instead of trying to disseminate it as anything other than what it actually is...beautiful work created with love.
Pretty often when I'm
stalking surfing my favorite websites and blogs, I come across some of our past work and maybe a few comments about it, where the wedding was and different design elements -- I love to see our work on blogs and websites (as long as it's not claimed as another event planner's work - but that's another rant). But I have to say that the one that has probably received the most attention is actually a photo shoot for Better Homes & Gardens Weddings. And boy, does it have legs. It was shot in 2003 and was first published in 2004 and they have reprinted it probably 4 or 5 times since it first ran -- and I even saw a copy of it in Chinese Better Homes & Gardens. *completely on accident, I don't stalk Chinese wedding blogs*
Photo shoots are one of my very favorite things to do and we're lucky to have been selected to do a number of them for magazines. We have a very exciting one coming up in September (but I don't think I can tell you who it's for...you'll love it though!). Just like when we are designing a wedding, we act as the stylist and photography right hand in getting the image as beautiful as possible.
But what I wanted to give you was some insight into the art of the wedding photo shoot. This was NOT a Real Wedding although it reads as if it were...instead, each photo was painstakingly styled, in some cases taking an hour or more for each individual shot. The photographer & stylist have to be a perfectionists checking and rechecking lighting, moving chairs even the tiniest fraction of a millimeter to make sure it looks like perfection, adding and removing props to garner the most amazing image. It doesn't happen easily but the results are amazing. Seeing the daily film previews was so much fun.
Better Homes & Gardens Simply Creative Weddings is the magazine and I think they have ceased original publication and are now in re-run mode...which is fine by me :)
The ceremony was actually a driveway and there were about 1500 roses used in the gate pave arrangement - and every single flower we use in our shoots is 100% real. See the light on the top pillar arrangement? We waited an hour for that to illuminate.
Sometimes the vendors who provide the product don't get their full credit. The escort card designer, Artistic Addressing, did not get credit and she did an AMAZING job.
Our food stylist spent a few hours straightening each and every chive to point the exact same way. The shrimp was painted with olive oil to give it the right sheen and toothpicks were used to make them stand up properly. It's all smoke & mirrors, baby. The table is made of 100% pure ice so we had to get it right within the first hour or two of delivery.
The most common photo I see is the one on the left of the dining table under the rose arbor. Originally it's part of a two page spread, but it's hard to get them to match up for this post...so I chose just the first half. I personally painted each of those orange lanterns -- I looked like an oompa-loompa for a week from spray paint. Note: You CANNOT buy those lanterns, we do not sell them, I do not know anybody who does them...but every time they publish this magazine, I receive about a dozen phone calls about the lanterns.
The second most common photo is the middle image. The square glass pieces can be found at almost any craft store, flower market or online seller of glass vases. The green foam is made by Oasis products and you can cut it to order. The chilled soup took 45 minutes to place the final dollop of creme fraiche on top and don't eat those tomatoes...they have motor oil and bug spray on them to keep the yellow jackets at bay & make them pretty.
You may recognize the gate from the previous day's shoot. It's formerly the ceremony area. And who is in the back of the car? It's me with a veil I happened to have with my from my wedding the previous weekend and the owner of the catering company with my sweater over his shoulders to look like a tux jacket.
Essentially what I'm getting at here is that these shoots are lovingly crafted and painstakingly photographed to bring you the most beautiful, lasting imagery and inspiration for your wedding. Enjoy them, use them in your inspiration boards and when you look at them, realize that those who do the work for it really want you to love it as much as they do.