Angels and Demons – Styled Shoot

A few weeks ago, a couple of us creatives in the wedding industry decided to do a styled shoot. For individuals like us, an occasion like this allows us the freedom to explore our personal tastes. We showcase the styles that we like and what we think work really well together.

Jo Ann from Jo Ann Stokes Photography, Fennec Deuchar from Fox and Co Event Styling, and myself sat down for coffee one day and came up with an amazing concept. These days, tattoos are the norm. They don’t carry as much stigma as they used to carry all those years ago. But even so, people tend to want to cover them up for special occasions or smart events. We wanted to showcase how amazing they really look.

You shouldn’t have to cover up who you are on the most special day of your life. If I fell in love with a tattooed guy, then I would want the world to see how handsome he looks in his suit, with his rolled up sleeves while he shows off his art.

I think weddings should tell a story, a story filled with whatever it is that you both love. (side note – I just happen to really appreciate and love tattoos, so I was overly excited for this shoot)

We were lucky enough to get Jonkershuis in Groot Constantia on board. This venue has so many different spots for photos and the light was perfect when we arrived.

Sarah Hoberman worked her magic on the ladies for their make up. Sarah is very talented when it comes to this and I can highly recommend her for any events or weddings.

Marite Crous was the hair stylist for the day and definitely knows her stuff. Pop over to her site for some more info.

As usual, Fen pulled out all the stops and really brought something different to the table with regards to the flowers and decor. Just because it is a wedding, it doesn’t mean you have to follow the trend or have a specific colour. I adore what Fen created and think it looks so amazing in the photos. Once the sun set, then the candles came out and everything was lit up and looked completely different to what it looked like during the day. Stunning!

All of these photos are courtesy of Jo Ann Stokes, her work is really incredible and she has a nack for helping the models relax and just enjoy themselves. Being super calm and chilled out on a wedding day is important, so look for a photographer that reflects that.

Shane Burnell is from Boss Models and was the obvious choice for the style we were wanting to achieve. He is a regular on the modelling scene and works amazingly in front of the lens.

Chrissie is just so gorgeous and she was the perfect contrast for our “Angel and Demon” look we wanted. Her smile is infectious and she is just such a joy to work with! I really love the photos of her in the lace dress on the motor bike, how different yet amazing does it look?

Matthew Murphy worked extremely well for this shoot. He was our groomsman for the day and I think the clothing worked really well for him. I love the look of this as it is something different to the usual suit, but it still looks smart enough for a wedding. Bringing in your own unique style can really make all the difference in your photos. (Pop over to his Instagram account for some tips on healthy eating and having an active lifestyle)

Lastly was our little gem of a bridesmaid, Aimee Ravens. I have known Aimee for years and those captivating eyes of hers are screaming to be placed in front of a camera. She made the models laugh all day long and she was a pleasure to work with.

Alex from The Wedding Boutique supplied all of the dresses. She has an amazing eye for bringing in exactly what brides are looking for. Her range is to die for, and every time I go into her store I just swoon over all of the beautiful dresses she has in there. Totally worth a look if you are looking for THE wedding dress!

We were at the venue for hours, but all most of us could think of was “when on earth are we going to be able to eat those chocolate cupcakes” Kerrith from Over indulgence Cupcake Creations dropped off a few different yet stylish looking wedding cupcakes for us to use… and then Chrissie landed up getting into the vibe of being a bride and poor Shane landed up with a face full of icing. Check out the pics for a good laugh.

All in all – a fabulous day was had and we showcased some serious local talent. Thank you to all of the models for your hard work, you are a talented good looking bunch and we couldn’t have done it without you. To all of the providers, thank you for bringing our vision to life. I LOVE what we did and I smiled the entire time I typed this!

I hope you enjoy the photos!

2015 Wedding Trends

Lots of couples ask me what the trends are for the up coming wedding season. Even though I love trends, I do love it when couples bring in their own sense of style. However, I decided to ask 3 of my wedding industry friends to help on this matter.

I first asked Fennec from Fox and Co Event Styling and Flowers:

Trends for 2015:

This is a topic often featured in bridal blogs and magazines, some offer advice on the ‘in’ flower or the Pantone Colour of the Year and how to incorporate it into one’s wedding. My honest advice to bridal couples is to rather look to themselves, don’t follow the trends. What are their hobbies, the things they enjoy doing with their friends and family and their own style and incorporate these elements into their wedding so that the day is genuinely about them and not a version of some designer’s vision who decided that mint or orchid-purple was the colour of the year. You aren’t obliged to have the traditional decorative items at your wedding just because someone, somewhere decided that they should be there.

One of the most genuine weddings I did this year was for a couple who decided to get married at Woodland’s Pizzeria in Vredehoek because that was where they had their first date. The ceremony was attended by a small group of their closest family and friends and afterwards everyone sat around a long table filled with yellow daisies tucking into gourmet pizzas, laughing and making impromptu speeches. The bride wore a short, blue dress because that’s what appealed to her, she looked stunning and better yet, she looked herself. Every time I have mentioned this wedding to people, there have been comments about what a great idea it was and how they would love to do something that is more in keeping with their own tastes and not just another production straight off the wedding industry conveyor belt. So my advice is, do it! And don’t worry about Granny So and So being put out by your ‘alternative’ choice, the mature crowd like something cool and authentic too you know.

FLOWERS AND DECOR:
Think about colours you actually like rather than colours you think will fit in with a wedding look or those that are on trend. Roses, orchids and peonies tend to be very popular wedding flowers but there are so many other varieties out there to choose from. Greenery or a mixture of leaves, seed pods and tendrils on their own can look amazing. Ask your florist for pictures of varieties that are in season in the colours you like and something weird and wonderful might jump out at you that you wouldn’t have thought of using. If you want to look for inspiration on Pinterest, don’t just search for wedding centerpieces, look at corporate floral arrangements too, these might appeal to those who have a preference for modern arrangements. If you’re a foodie, you could have pots of herbs on the table instead of traditional flowers and then plant them in your garden afterwards.

But don’t feel pressured to have flowers if they aren’t for you. A table setting can look beautiful with great linen or a good, wooden table, interesting or ornate cutlery and crockery, candles in quirky lanterns and pretty glassware. You could even have the food itself as decor if it’s served on platters on the table.

FOOD:
Whether you like a good braai or a spicy, Malay curry there are plenty of suppliers and venues in the food industry making really yummy fare that would go down a treat at a wedding, you aren’t limited to beef fillet with veggies. Go to a good neighbourhood market and you are bound to find a supplier specialising in what you’re interested in there, from chocolates to street food to ice lollies. These small businesses tend to concentrate on producing one thing or one variety really well, so taste what they have on offer and if you like it then ask if they cater to weddings (most of them do, I’m regularly asked by them how they can get their names out there).

My favourite vendors for really good food:

- Lotus Food Truck (www.lotusfoodtruck.co.za); these guys specialise in Asian street food and they’ll happily bring their quirky truck to your venue, their seared tuna on pickled slaw is the. best. in. town.
- Las Paletas Ice Lollies (www.laspaletas.co.za); we live in a country with great, hot weather and we all grew up eating ice lollies so if your version of dessert is frozen on a stick rather than sugary and on a platter then these lollies made only with fresh ingredients are for you. Their range includes pineapple and chilli, strawberries and cream and Lindt chocolate and they come served in a colourful fridge on wheels. I didn’t have five at the last function I did with these chaps…I had six.
- La Barista Coffee (https://www.facebook.com/Labarista.za): There are so many coffee lovers out there. La Barista have a crew of baristas (yes, they do the foam pictures!) who will come to your wedding with a mobile coffee bar and whip up great coffee using freshly ground Deluxe coffee. Add some good biscotti to the mix and you have an after-dinner option that appeals to most people more than a piece of cake (no, you don’t have to have that photo of you cutting a cake).
- Mucho Gusto (http://www.muchogusto.co.za) – Mucho Gusto provide Spanish dishes for functions. From paella served from a giant pan to yummy churros, these two chefs are putting out seriously impressive food that  will go down a treat at a wedding.

Next up was Cindy Horton, one of my absolute favourite hair and make up artists, who in fact, will be a 2015 bride herself!

Make-up:
We are seeing very fresh clean make-up looks for 2015. Flawless skin with lots of contouring to emphasise features. Playful bold and brightly coloured lips are playing a big part. It’s also all about the lashes this season! More and more ladies are opting for lash extensions or requesting full fake eyelashes, creating a dramatic effect.

Hair:
Hair is still staying quite relaxed and unfussy. The flower wreath trend will continue into 2015, which is paired with loose and tousled hair for an effortless Bohemian look. On the other hand we are seeing more contemporary and clean styles such as high sleek ponytails and buns.

Lastly was Alex Stewart from The Wedding Boutique:

Illusion necklines and long sleeves – beautiful lace or embellished detail on top of a mesh sleeve or neckline allows for a very welcome change to the usual boob tube wedding dress.

Colour – blush, greys and blues are huge this season. Gone are the days of only white and ivory… yay!

Tulle skirts – there is nothing more romantic that having layers of soft tulle making up the skirt if your wedding dress

Capes – Solange Knowles did it… and boy was she on trend! Beautiful, soft capes draping over your shoulders is such a statement! The best thing is you can take it off and then people will think you had two dresses!

Well – there you have it ladies! Above are loads of trends you can follow, otherewise, just do what you feel suits you and your groom to be. A wedding needs to reflect who you both are, as individuals and as a couple! Go wild with your imagination, a wedding day should be fun and full of all the things you love!

Enjoy the planning

Cara Lee xx

Eli and Julie say I Do

Eli and Julie contacted me last year December to help plan their wedding. They live in the UK with their beautiful daughter Ivy and needed someone in SA to help put everything together.

They wanted an intimate wedding with their closest friends and family.
Zevenwacht Wine Estate was the chosen venue for both their ceremony and reception.

It was a beautiful day and I was so happy that the sun played it’s part!
Eli and Julie are such a relaxed couple. They seem to have so much fun together and just take everything in their stride. When the ceremony time finally arrived, Julie was ready and waiting! Eli lit up when he saw her, it was so sweet.

The ceremony was special and romantic, Eli’s friend married them and he wore the outfit that they all wore when they were waiters together – how funny!

Kristi Agier Photography captured some of the best photos I have seen in a while. She has a serious talent and did an incredible job. The lighting is just perfect and I adore the couple shots.

The reception was a hit and everyone danced the night away to some good ol hip hop tunes! Quite surprising for  a wedding, but they requested it and they totally loved it! I love it when couples bring in their own unique style or taste to such a special day.

Eli and Julie, I wish you all the love and happiness in the world. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a special day.

Thanks to my amazing providers who helped pull this day together:

Wedding Planning – The Mosaic Wedding Company 
Photographer – Kristi Agier Photography 
Decor and Flowers – Fox and Co Event Styling and Flowers 
Cake and Cupcakes – Cakes by Carlyn
Make up and Hair – Cindy Horton 
DJ – Oh my Gosh Productions 
Venue & Accommodation – Zevenwacht Wine Estate