Last night I ordered a new DMX light controller. This will give me more control over my LED par cans, enabling me to produce better quality light shows for my own band and performances, not to mention other performers I work with.
On Sunday, I set up a Facebook Page for my PA and Light Show Hire. I should have done it years ago, within 24 hours I received 1 booking, at Lynton Town Hall, for a Pink Floyde tribute band, and one very good enquiry for a festival in Bude. Looking good I think.
Please drop by and give my page a like https://m.facebook.com/PA-and-Stage-Lighting-Hire-133247160415564/
When people ask the question: ‘why spend so much money on one day?’ it’s easy to feel embarrassed with answers such as ‘I want to show the world how much I love that person’ or ‘the thought of some remote island with none to see me makes me feel sad’ or the most secretive of all ‘I want as many people as possible to see me in a beautiful dress and beautiful setting and tell me over and over again just how beautiful I look.’ But it’s your day, and you need it to make it what you want- you’re only planning on doing this once, so make it a day to remember!
At the point Iain (my husband!) and I (finally) got engaged none of those reasons applied. I just wanted to get married to my best friend, have his surname and see him with a ring, signifying our commitment to each other. It wasn’t until I started planning that I began dreaming up possible themes, venues, food choices, decorations and of course dresses! Of course the vows and the life-long commitment is the reason you marry and yes everything else is superfluous, but let’s be honest, you want the perfect day and a venue people walk into gob-smacked by how you managed to organize such an amazing event AND look as amazing as you do! You want your wedding to be the one guests rave and talk about for days, months-heck years afterwards!
So what makes a good wedding? Is there really a winning formula? Nope, but there are ways of making sure your day is perfect for you and your future husband. As an ‘unconventional’ bride-forced into heels, ear piercing, hair, nails and make-up I have a few ideas/tricks/pearls of wisdom to pass on in the build up to your special day.
Try on as many as possible- even ones that resemble your Grannie’s toilet roll holder, or something from ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’. You need to exhaust all possibilities- and let’s face it- dressing up is fun! Try and take a few different people, it’s important they’re honest and aren’t the sort of people who would let you walk down the aisle looking like you’ve made a Kirstie Allsop type attempt at making your own dress.
Don’t make it too tight! Yes it’s great to be fitted, but you must be able to breathe and food and drink must be able to enter your body and not have its journey cut off by a ribbon/bodice tied so tight your legs turn blue!
It has to be ‘wow’- you want every person in your wedding to hate you for looking so incredible, you want married women wishing they could get married again in YOUR dress, single girls to get straight onto match.com to find the man who’s going to get them into that dress, AND all the men wishing they hadn’t let you get away! BUT you must feel and be happy in your dress.
Choose one that reflects you and your partner- if you aren’t showy people, then don’t choose a stately home- sounds obvious, but once people start giving their 2 cents, the water can become a little clouded.
Hidden costs- don’t be drawn in by a hire price- there can be hidden catches such as the requirement to use their caterers, which can mean expensive bills and A LOT per head!
Find out about restrictions- what time is kick-out? How can you decorate? When can you get access? When do you have to clean away all your decorations?
Do you have a theme? Do you even want one?
If you are going to make it all yourself-consider time, stress levels, who can help? Sometimes it only works out a little cheaper to do it for yourself once you have bought materials etc. Don’t underestimate the importance of accepting help and getting the right people around you .
Research different suppliers and wedding companies- it’s nice to have kind, friendly people who understand what you are going through as a couple working with you and supporting you in the build up to your wedding and on your wedding day.
Ahhhh the dreaded guest list! It’s always been a tad tricky, with both parents forgetting whose wedding it is! Stay strong! No matter who’s paying the bill! You’re essentially taking all these people out for dinner and a dance- make sure you’d be happy to do that on any day- if you wouldn’t, maybe reconsider?
Allow each set of parents to choose four guests- that way they’re kept happy and you can stick them all on the same table!
When writing the seating plan and to avoid any altercations, tell no-one, then, when they see where they’re going to be sat on the day they won’t dare moan- not to the blissfully happy bride!
Take care of yourself and remember your groom proposed to you knowing what you look like in the morning and at 2am when your head is down the toilet and your mascara is halfway down your face- no radical changes hey?!
Yes! Your chance to relax- you’ll both be exhausted, so try not to plan an all action-packed trip- well not for the first few days anyway!
If you are interested in finding out more about me or want to have a chat (generally over a piece of cake!), then check out my website-http://homemadeevents.moonfruit.com/
‘It’s going to be great, because we are going to do it all ourselves, we want a beautiful wedding with everything homemade!’ It would be great if we all had the time to make our weddings as personal as possible by making the decorations, making the favours, spending weekends at car boot sales or rummaging in charity shops. But in all honesty you’ll still be working full time whilst planning your wedding and things can get tough and they can get stressful.
That’s where Homemade Events come in! We are a small wedding and events planning company based in Somerset and Devon. We understand just how important the ‘homemade touch’ is to any event, so we are here to give it that special touch. We can organise your whole event, or do snippets, basically we do whatever you would like us to do. We want to make your day and the build-up to your day as stressfree as possible. We endeavour to make every single event that we do as personal as possible. Personal = Special.
Want to know who is going to be planning your wedding or event?! Well two very lovely ladies that’s who! Two sisters who, having planned a very successful wedding in July 2014 got the bug and realised that this was what we wanted to do! So we did it! We realised that life is too short to not take the plunge and do what it is you want to do. So that’s what we are going to do.
If you are interested in finding out more about us or want to have a chat (generally over a piece of cake!), then check out our website- http://homemadeevents.moonfruit.com/
We can’t wait to hear from you!
Ellouise and Flo
My name is Jane and I am the owner of a small business called Those Little Bits. We are called Those Little Bits, because after you have sorted your photographer, chosen your cake and most importantly found THE dress, you may start turning your attention to all those other little bits. This is where we come in. We have everything from miles of bunting, to decorated jam jars, teapots and teacups to great big white umbrellas (just in case of course) Royal Mail post boxes, vintage suitcases, memory boards, chalk board signs and lots more too. We love all things pretty and cant help adding to our stock all the time.
Those Little Bits came into existence when I came home one day with one to many teacups to add to my collection, and my husband swiftly made a polite but strong point that he was very much a man, and cant play poker with his friends amongst so many flowers. I understood his point and made the further point that he better find me a showroom so others can borrow and share in my china flowered joy, and quick too as the boys were due that weekend. Internal struggles between manly-ness and bank balances took place inside his head, I smiled sweetly and handed him a beer and thus the birth of Those Little Bits ensued. Now I have a fully fledged business where I travel around Somerset and surrounding counties lending out beautiful items to some lovely brides with my Mum and business partner (or partner in convincing our husbands that our job isn’t nattering and drinking tea all day long). We have met some lovely people along the way, and are very excited for what is to come.
Jane and Mum
Thinking I would know exactly what to write I volunteered rather enthusiastically to ‘guest blog’ on Paul’s blog, without really considering what that entailed and what would appeal to his audience… however, here I am ready to impart a bit of knowledge on photographing weddings.
My name is Christina Dithmar and I am NOT a wedding photographer… I do however photograph the weddingsand I very much love doing so. Wedding Photographers spend their whole lives photographing weddings and some of them are utterly amazing at it. I spend my photographylife photographing families, children, adults, pets, horses and some product and commercial photography too. I have a project entitled The Essence of Woman, which I am really passionate about, as it seeks to empower women through the medium of photography, to feel great about themselves.I am NOT a wedding photographer, but if I ever get asked, I jump at the chance!
Photographing weddings is at once fabulous, fun, exciting, exhilarating, ridiculously stressful and a huge responsibility. What is there not to love? It is one day; the mostimportant day in someone’s life and you absolutely have to get it right. There is no going back and reshooting. So why is it such fun and what do photographers do to make sure that everything goes to plan? Personally, I plan and then Iplan some more. There will always be something you can’t plan for and that you have to respond to instead, but if you are careful and you plan for all eventualities, you will feel much more relaxed and at ease, so if something does come and bite you on the proverbial bottom, you will be ready!
Here is my list of 10 tips to ensure the wedding photography goes off without a bang…(in no particular order):
1. Communicate with the bride and groom! Listen, find out their hopes and dreams, pay attention to the details of the wedding, the preparations and the dress! Knowledge is power and the more you know about them and the day, the more prepared you will be. Always do an engagement shoot! It gets them used to you and you to them! Find out what they like and don’t like about themselves (noses, teeth, eyes, legs etc).
2. Remember your CANDID SHOTS are really important! Make sure that all guests are covered, bridesmaids, grannies, young children, old friends. Don’t miss anyone out. You often get the best shots when people don’t know you are there, so start with a long lens, stay inconspicuous and out of the way, and let the party unfold as you record the memories.
3. Alongside the couple, prepare a FORMALfamily/friends/bridesmaids/best man shot list. Prepare it well and in order of shooting so that the posed shots that you will be doing, will be quick and easy, so as not to keep the guests too long. Ensure you know who the people are in relation to the couple and call them by the right and appropriate names (MR/MRS rather than ‘um, excuse me - you there…). Make sure you have one person responsible for collecting the people for the formal family shots as you can’t be running in and out trying to find them. It is always good to ensure that this person is your responsible person all day, the person that makes sure you get to the first dance or the cutting of the cake. Sometimes the times change on the day so it is essential that there is always someone there that is in charge of making sure you are in the right place at the right time.
4. Visit the venue(s) in advance if you can or get there early. CHECK YOUR LIGHTING! Make sure you check the venues with the lighting on and if in a church, make sure that you check it with the heaters on or you could be in for an interesting surprise! Make notes and sketches of where you can do your shots, where to stand, where you can get creative!
5. One week before the wedding prepare your ALL DAY SHOT LIST. Write down EVERY shot you want to get from the time you arrive to the time you leave, at the right times. Break down the day according to what the couple have told you is going to happen, and slot the shot list in. (You can find a sample shot list here…) Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
6. The CREATIVE COUPLE Shoot. Sketch the shots you would like, write a list. Be prepared for all eventualities. You think the shots are going to be outside? Think again… the weather plays tricks! Be prepared to have to change the outside to the inside and know where you are going to shoot. Bring umbrellas!
7. Keep MEMORY CARDS safe - back pockets are NOT safe. Take lots, change them regularly (before they run out). Back up half way through if you can and have time. Don’t delete the images off your cards until you have backed up twice at home too! Batteries - have lots and make sure they are charged!
8. Get INSURANCE! Never, ever, ever do a wedding without insurance! Have personal indemnity insurance, public liability and contents cover - you never know! Insure your car for business. You will feel much happier making sure you are covered.
9. Shooting INDOORS. Most weddings happen indoors and outdoors - often switching between the two quickly - so the most important thing is to know your camera, know your lenses. Understand the camera settings you need when indoors, and use a monopod or a tripod to help reduce noise in your images. If you are really struggling with the lights, you can use a flash, personally I prefer not to. If you are still struggling and you just cannot get the effect you want or need, pop your camera on automatic. There is no shame in this - lighting can change quickly and rather than getting stressed and frustrated, just pop it on auto until you have calmed down and you are able to think clearly again. If your camera has an automatic ISO setting I recommend using that when spending a lot of time inside and out, so that you don’t have to worry about changing it all the time.
10. Remember, it is an immense honour for someone to ask you to photograph their wedding, so treat it as such and ENJOY IT! Be in control, because if you are not in control it will show. Stick to your timekeeping and be a little bit bossy if you have to, or you won’t get the shots that the bride and groom have entrusted you to get. Remember also that you are their eyes for the whole day, so don’t forget to shoot all the little important things like table decorations, the favours, jewellery, the bouquetsand never forget the cake!
Never ever stay for a drink afterwards. One drink can lead to two can lead to… and the last thing you want to do is lose your images, lose a card, have your camera stolen etc.
This one is something I have to do for my own sake so as not to be over critical… Whatever you do, don’t ever look at the images until at least 2 days later. Go home, back your images up, but don’t look at them. You need a break, so sleep and do something away from the computer the next day so you are not tempted. It is very easy to be over critical when you are still so close to the event and too easy to delete them all!
Another par can has arrived.
It will be used has a new addition to The Backtrackers stage lighting. It is also available to hire on it's own, or with other lighting effects.
PA and Stage lighting hire. Also great for parties.
I have ordered a new laser to add to the light show. It will be available to hire as a package or separately. Contact me for more information about your event.
See what it can do
I now have this lighting rig to add to my present set up.
If you would like to hire a lighting rig for you stage event or rock Or pop band, I have small light shows and smoke machine from only £25.
For more Information on PA and Stage Lighting hire http://paulclews888.weebly.com/pa-and-light-show-hire.html
Thanks to Alan for this fantastic blog post on his website about The Backtrackers. http://www.yourweddingyourmemories.com/live-music-wedding/