…Let the fun begin… …Elegant Decay {1}…

11 Nov

This is a pretty special post today and I hope you will enjoy the experience with us. We are the first of a long series of amazing wedding blogs to launch the Elegant Decay photo series. This is beyond just being part of an amazing collective of wedding bloggers and vendors (we’re the #TWIPS on Twitter and you find us on twitter under the #ElegantDecay hash-tag for this particular initiative.).

In fact, it means a lot to me as a bride looking for inspiration for my wedding.

I still have a few weeks to look forward to before the big day (99 days to be exact!). And for sure, I still look everywhere for inspiration on how to choose the perfect dress, pick the perfect colours, create the perfect centrepiece… but I would never want for my well-styled, hard-worked-on table setting to remain the perfect picture I have in mind, like a lifeless image – I want people to live it, enjoy it, turn it into a space, which experienced fun and laughs.

I don’t mind the wine stains, the candlewax, the breadcrumbs… Bring it all on!

For me, the photo below represents just that: the fun you will be having on your perfect day and the memories you will be creating with your guests and for your guests! This photo and those that you will find on all the other participating blogs represent the ‘perfectness‘ of a day that was enjoyed and lived!

So right now, I know I cannot wait for my own Elegant Decay on the 18th of February 2011!

But first, more about the shoot:
We’re  Aleah + Nick Valley of Valley & Co. and we’re so excited to partner with some of our most favorite blogosphere friends for this Blog Around the World: Elegant Decay post! Today you’re invited to a worldwide scavenger hunt on these awesome blogs where you’ll find snippets of our Elegant Decay photo shoot, designed to show off the after effects of a celebration: fun! We all spend so long putting together amazing designs and tablescapes for our couples, and this shows off the end result {and the most important element}: enjoyment. We hope you enjoy this – thank you to all of our friends for participating and be sure to visit these other fabulous blogs for more photos, ideas, tips, and fun!

Design + styling & JOY cards: Aleah + Nick Valley of Valley & Co. www.valleyandco.com
Photography: Jeremy Leffel www.jeremyleffel.com
Floral design: Anne Bradfield of Floressence www.floressencedesign.com
Crystal & marble decorative candle accents: vintage pieces from Nick’s mom
Venue, dessert, & drinks: Palace Ballroom by Tom Douglas www.tomdouglas.com
Linens: Choice Linens www.choicelinens.com
Chairs, silverware, and china: AA Party Rentals www.aapartyrents.com

Be sure to check out the other photos. They will be released every 15min from now! See below for links and order.

1: Bubble Rock @stephbubble
2: Magnolia Rouge @rubyandwillow
3: Cap Classique @capclassique
4: Brancoprata @brancoprata
5: The Demoiselle @The_Demoiselle
6: Engaged + Inspired @EngagedInspired
7: Postcards and Pretties @postcrdsprettie
8: Paper Garland @papergarland
9: Sparkle and Hay @sparkleandhay
10: Superburbs @superburbs
11: Every Last Detail @ELD_Lauren
12: Brenda’s Wedding Blog @weddingsites
13: Niche White @NicheWhite
14: Simply and Forever @KatieSaeger
15: Bride Goggles @BrideGoggles
16: Landlocked Bride @LandlockedBride
17: Forget Me Knot Weddings @forgetmeknotwed
18: Fabulously Wed @fabulouslywed
19: The Bride Suite @thebridesuite
20: Enchanted Dreams Wedding & Affairs @NaomiVGoodman
21: Marry You Me @MarryYouMe
22: Luna and Chloe Weddings @lunaandchloe
23: La Petite Coquin @lapetitecoquin
24: Glamour and Grace Weddings @GlamandGraceWed

100-day challenge

10 Nov

This is all I have. ONE HUNDRED DAYS.

The countdown to one of the most exciting times of my life is on. And I am sure those100 days will pass by in a flash.

So, for my 100-day-to-go post, I thought I’d just share about some amazing photography that I came about yesterday. I have always wanted to have photos in the water. Not close to it, in it! Jumping in a pool, underwater…

My favourite image of all times is one from Jessica Peterson. A-MA-ZING! It’s been around the web a bit but there is no issue in showing it again and inspiring some other readers with it.

These two black and white shots from Holladay Photo are brilliant too. Not in a swimming pool, but out there in the ocean and how I love my ocean (and we have plenty of it in NZ and around where we are getting married). This would be such fun to do something like this. (wink wink to my photographer out there)

And finally, there is the ‘on-the-water-edge’ photos. A bit more daring (but not that daring, surely) but oh so romantic and pretty. I am in love with those shots. It looks fun and intense at the same time. May as well have some fun with the water once you are soaked with it.

Credit: Studio Foto Blog

Need to shoot…

9 Nov

When I roam the blogosphere and see all my twitter friends being amazing and talented people, I wish I had the time and no day job to do what I love doing – design, photograph and film.

Tonight, I thought: let’s do a mini-session. I gave myself 10min to find props, set the scene and shoot! And here is the result. Nothing amazing but a start. But most importantly, it teaches me one thing or two.

  1. Have a concept. It’s hard to just pull props from around the house and hope it’ll just work.
  2. Take your time. No point trying to achieve grand things with only 10min – speed-shooting doesn’t necessarily bring inspiration
  3. Select your props and lay them out with the plan in mind.
  4. Choose a good location or a good time of day when you have plenty of natural light and no distracting background (oh I cannot wait for my home office to be revamped)
  5. Do it for yourself first. I love photography so it’s just fun to take the camera and shoot.

And maybe I should add: don’t be overly perfectionist or self-critical. I am not that bad!

Oh! And. I almost forgot. Keep your cats away from the set! Ah!… Enjoy.

Making progress…

8 Nov

I am making a book for our wedding invitation. That’s right! I like to complicate myself with unnecessary extra work or worries but, all in all, I am happy to do so!

I have been struggling coming up with a look and feel. A theme. A front and back cover. I have had trouble tying it all in. Until I created something, which now I love and I can see the vision coming together rather nicely.

I do not want to reveal the front cover (just yet) but I like the simplicity of the back cover so I thought I would share that, at least!

What do you think?

The big paradox

8 Nov

Well, I make this post sound very philosophical but it has to do with weddings! It is however something I guess we can apply to anything: travels, parties, …

What is ‘that’?
I realised this morning (really? only this morning?) that I cannot wait until our wedding in February. I have so many friends who are making the trip from Europe (and beyond) and being able to see them and have a holiday with them has been something I have wanted for years and it is all happening now. So I really cannot wait until February 2011.
But on the other side – when it’s happened, it’s over. It’s in the past. No more looking forward to it, no more planning, no more creating details for the day, no more excited expectations… It’s in the past. It will be certainly the best memories ever, but it is nonetheless in the past.

For me, this is the biggest paradox, contradiction, what ever you want to call it. You just cannot wait to be there but you are not looking forward to it being over. Heartbreaking situation.

But I still cannot wait, I will just have to make sure I enjoy the journey till that day.

Credit: Photography by Andre Teixeira / Branco Prata

Fun to be had

3 Nov

In French weddings, we don’t have speeches or bridesmaids and groomsmen. It is a different type of weddings altogether.
But what we have however is ‘games’. Generally organised by the friends, the bride and groom (and guests) are entertained by fun games, stories, mini shows and so on.

So when I looked at the La Belle Bride‘s blog the other day and come across this wedding and these tags (below),I though of how great it would be to incorporate some sort of games or activities during the dinner. I have been to a few weddings where you  have questionnaires on the couple, and so on and it is really nice to have something to entertain your guests and have fun. But what about having something that will last the distance. A dare or a task that you get given on the night (as part of your escort card) that you have to do with the bride and groom within their first year as a married couple.

So it gets me thinking and I would love to have your input in these. I already have some ideas, all surrounding the concept of old-school communications, keeping in touch and reminding each other how important we are for each other.

Examples:
– Write a letter to the bride and groom before their first year anniversary
– Take the bride out for a cocktail
– Take the groom to the driving range
– Send a photo to the bride and groom of your favourite place in your home town.

Who wouldn’t be up for the challenge?

Credit: Photography by Katie Day Photo (via La Belle Bride)

Sneak Peek – dressing your ceremony

2 Nov

Credits: A Cup Of Jo

It doesn’t have to be a flower

2 Nov

When I think about the bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets, I am thinking – it doesn’t have to be flowers. But mainly what I am thinking is – it doesn’t have to be a bouquet.

When you look for inspiration for alternatives to bridal bouquets, all you find is another bouquet but made with something else than flowers: lollies, papers, feathers, cloths, buttons,… You name it. But in my hunt for something different, I am not wanting to think bouquet at all.

If I were to have a bouquet, I want real flowers. I want something like babies breath, like cacti: something organic and different (although I see a lot of those on the blog market lately). But I am not after roses or lilies or other typical flowers from bridal bouquets.

Credits: Wild Flowers  | Succulent bouquet – Chris & Kelly by Erin Hearts Court (via Once Wed)

But in fact, I am trying to think a little different and have something that is not a bouquet, more like an accessory: fashion accessory or fun accessory. Something different.

An elegant, bright clutch could be fun. And you get yourself a present for your bridesmaids at the same time.

Credit: {AO3} Designs

Balloons are fun too but it doesn’t fit with our wedding vision.

Lanterns or fire logs would be great for a night time wedding but I don’t get one of those. Sad!

I like the idea of a nice sun umbrella – it is practical at the same time. It’s been done before but it doesn’t mean it’s not a great alternative.

Winter weddings can have muffs! I think that is really cool.

Credits: Unknown | Photography by The Schultzes (via Aislinn Events)

Basically, there are options out there. It is just a question to find the one that fits our vision, theme and personality. Whatever it is, it just doesn’t have to be flowers.

Credit: Photography by Natalie Moser

But here is the best!

31 Oct

Work fun! Halloween’s Faves.

31 Oct

Our work function last night was brilliant and I got some awesome shots of some of the best outfits ever, with the inspiration from the letter ‘M’… T’was a great night. Lots of laughs and fun times!… That was certainly a good Halloween!