Thursday, February 10, 2011

Colin Cowie and Chocolate--Yum to Both!

Checked my computer this morning and read Colin's latest Wedding Notebook post on chocolate.

It just isn't fair to talk about molten chocolate cake and chocolate sorbet before noon, is it?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Simple Guide to Lighting--or--Why Have I Never Heard of This Before?

The answer is simple and it's also complex! The simple answer is that just a few years ago, uplighting and pinspotting just weren't available for any but the most expensive celebrity weddings!
An "uplight" is simply a lighting fixture that sits on the floor close to the wall, that shines up the wall in a fairly tight pattern. Uplights are usually placed strategically around a room to create a backdrop of lighting. Uplighting takes boring walls and turns them into decorative highlights that compliment your color scheme.
Just a couple of years ago, the lighting industry came out with LED uplighting fixtures. Because the LED's stay cool, they eliminate a lot of the risks associated with supplementary lighting. They also use a miniscule amount of electricity, and the LED uplighting doesn't require gels to make the colors (gels are very expensive and the colors possible were limited). These fixtures have little LED bulbs in red, blue and green (and sometimes amber, like the ones we have for our ballroom, which were more expensive, but greatly expand the possibilities of colors). The number of colors possible is infinite! Each fixture has a digital display for setting the color. So if you want the same color all the way around the room, we set all the lights to the same numbers. Then, to add to the fun, if you want to be able to change the colors of the lights, all at the same time, we connect them all together with cables and a DMX controller. This gives you the option of having the lights start out light blue, then fade to pale green, then fade again a few minutes later to a soft pink. Whatever you want, color wise, is possible, and all the lights change at the same time. This is called "intelligent lighting" .
I vividly remember Colin Cowie's program at the Association of Bridal Consultants Annual Conference in New Orleans in 1999. Nobody was allowed into the room until everything was set. When we walked in, there was dynamic music playing, the house lights were turned down, and there were uplights all the way around the room. It was breathtaking! Onstage there were 5 tables, decked out to the nines with awesome centerpieces, china, glassware and silver. Most of us had never seen anything like it before! Every attendee in the room was speechless!! He showed us how beautiful tables could be with pinspots on the centerpieces. In his delightful South African accent he told us "I would NEVER do a wedding without uplighting and pinspots on the tables! I put far too much effort in the centerpieces to have them be lost in the dark!"
Pin spots are little spot lights that are aimed at something, usually your table centerpieces, to highlight them and make them "pop". Pin spots can also be used to highlight a candy table, a gift table, a cake table, even the centerpiece on the head table. Pin spots make the difference between your guests actually seeing the centerpieces and having them blend into the overall low light situation in the room. When your guests walk into the room with pin spots on the tables, their eyes are instantly drawn to your stunning centerpieces!
Have you ever noticed how art museums either have spots in the ceilings that shine on paintings, or they might have a light fixture that actually attaches to the picture frame and illuminates the painting? Lighting is everything folks. It's the subtle difference between mediocre and spectacular.
Check out the post from last week of Kristin and Tony's wedding. Notice the uplighting (in fuchsia to match their wedding colors!) and pinspotting on their gorgeous centerpieces. You can bet that their guests are going to vividly remember the moment that they walked into the room! The WOW effect was huge!
Take a look at these two photos.

One is pinspotted, one is not, can you tell which is which? The second picture required flash because of the low lighting, it lost depth, and drama. Pinspots enable your photographer to get some amazing table shots! Think about it. Even a rose in a rose bowl is going to look spectacular if it is TREATED like it's special.
Come see us, and we'll talk about what we can do to create a lighting atmosphere for your wedding that is going to give it real "pow"! We have been working hard for the last several months getting things in place to offer you some fabulous options at reasonable prices.
Let's make it happen!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Same Day Edit--Kelly and Tom

While we are on the subject of wedding videos, here is another video that we thought was really impressive. This is by Memories Custom Videographers in Highland. This is what they call a "same day edit" clip. It was put together in a very short amount of time and shown to the guests at the reception before dinner. Granted, if you have your wedding and reception at the same location this might not be something you really need, simply because everyone is usually there for the ceremony, however if you have a ceremony at another location earlier in the day, where a lot of the guests at the reception haven't been in attendance for the ceremony, this would be a really nice touch! I really love how it is put together. It's short but beautifully done.
Of course, they received a full length video as well, and probably a "highlights" version too. Highlights are nice for showing to your friends that might not want to sit through a 2 hour presentation of your wedding. A 10 or 15 minute highlights video works great for giving them the high points of the day without boring them to tears or taking up the entire evening. It's kind of like home movies (for those of you that remember those! haha! I guess maybe home videos would be more appropo!) if you aren't in it, it isn't nearly as fascinating. Nevertheless, friends love to see the shorter version, and having one is awesome.
At the very least, consider having raw footage done at your wedding and reception. This can usually be done at a reasonable cost, and then if/when you want to have it edited into a more useable form, you have it. Once the day is over, you can't go back and get it; it's gone.

Here's their video:

Barns Wedding, Same Day Edit, Aberdeen Manor, Valpo, Indiana from Jeff Dildine on Vimeo.

New Year's Eve--Beautiful!!

What a wonderful day for an anniversary! Every year afterward the whole world would celebrate with you! Jacqueline and Jon certainly had a fabulous time at their reception! Here is the link her photographer sent to me with pictures of their event.

Take a look at how beautiful the ceiling and the "bliss lights" looked over the dance floor! This was a last minute decision that Jacqueline made. She told me later in the evening how happy she was that they had decided to do it. It really does make the dance floor magical! Megan and I found the bliss lights last fall at a conference. Back when Jim and I built the original building in 1998, I wanted to figure out a way to put a navy blue dome over the dance floor with fiberoptic "stars" to twinkle above it. Needless to say, that idea got just a little too pricy, and it never happened. So when we found these lights--well--there it was! My starlit ceiling!! The lights in combination with the "candles and crystals" ceiling decor looks absolutely amazing!

Think about doing something that will add a "WOW" factor to your reception. You know what they say about first impressions! When your guests walk into the room and are instantly wowed by the decor, the ambiance, the lighting, it's an impression that stays with them forever! It's the first thing that comes to mind when people ask them later "how was the wedding?" They instantly have that initial mental image of your reception, and that "WOW" moment as they entered the room. Years from now, your guests will still be talking about how beautiful your reception was!

Take a peek at Jacqueline and Jon's photos from their reception--beautiful!!! WOW!!!