Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wedding flowers: Tulips

Another staple in weddings is the tulip. Many brides opt for a bouquet of tulips because of its simple, delicate and elegant look.

Tulips come in different colors. And like the rose, each of its color also has a meaning. TeleFlora.com lists a few common tulip colors and their symbolism: Red tulips mean "perfect love," yellow tulips mean "cheerful thoughts," white tulips mean "forgiveness," and purple tulips mean "royalty."

Because they are basically grown in spring, one needs to know that tulips are sensitive to high temperatures. The Wedding Flower Guide site suggests that you should make sure it gets plenty of water by putting them in a vase or a wet foam prior to the ceremony. You wouldn't want photos of your wilted tulip bouquet, right?

Tulips look great as a bouquet when bunched up or tied together. But you could also combine them with other flowers to create a burst of color and varied texture. See the collection of tulip bouquets I found over the Internet and get inspired to create your own tulip bridal bouquet.

1st column, from top: Tulips, calla lilies, roses, and hydrangeas from BlueSkyWeddings.com; Purple tulips and anemone from EdelweissWedding.com; Tulips and white orchids at BuyFlower.com.sg.

2nd column, from top: Two dozen red tulips from TheBridesBouquet.com; Cream French tulips and stephanotis collar from RenaesBouquet.com; Spring Bridal Bouquet of tulips, roses, old fashioned stock, ranunculus, freesia, and hydrandias from BlvdFlorist.com.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Traditional or photojournalistic: What's your wedding photography style?

One of the most important aspects of weddings is the photography. It captures that special moment and makes your big day last a lifetime. It serves as the memory of your wedding day, a solid proof, and lasting memento when you want to look back at that special moment. That's why it's no wonder why couples choose to splurge on photography when allocating their wedding budget.

Couples nowadays have many options when it comes to wedding photography. And with the turn of the tide, varied wedding photography styles have emerged, each aiming to capture that special moment of your lives. Today, two different styles are popularly known in weddings: the traditional and the photojournalistic approaches.

As defined in Wikipedia, traditional wedding photography "provides for more classically posed images and a great deal of photographer control and interaction on the day of the wedding." This means the bride or the groom (and probably the entourage, too) take their cue from the photographer. He dictates the poses and the composition, how the images would come out.

More often than not, the traditional style is mainly about getting all the details in a single shot. Portraits and posed group shots fall under the traditional style of photography. Whether or not the subject looks at the camera, how he or she is positioned is directed by the photographer, and the subject has an awareness of the camera looking back at him or her.

Some couples may find this style to constricting or, well, traditional. Simply because it has been utilized for decades now. More adventurous couples nowadays seek a different kind of POV from photographers, and thus choose those who offer a photojournalistic style.

A photojournalistic wedding style, according to Wikipedia, "focuses more on candid and unposed images with little photographer interaction." It features more of a reportage style, capturing the essence of that particular moment.

Photojournalistic wedding pictures seem to have more drama in it, basically because the photographer shoots a very candid scene. Oftentimes, too, the shots are unobtrusive, as the photographer blends with the crowd that it enables him to snap a more sincere photograph without the subjects being aware of his presence.

Emotion is basically what the photojournalistic style captures. And for a lot of couples, that is more important than having a sort-of rigid "firing squad" pose. The composition is never forced. It looks less formal than the traditional style and describes more of the actual wedding rites or reception party.

Most photographers nowadays combine these two styles to strike a balance in their offerings. Not too much formal poses and enough candid shots. When you think about it, it's nice to have photos that capture the reality of the event, but it would also be good to see the faces of your loved ones smiling back at you when you look at those pictures once more.

Bottomline, your wedding photography style would depend on both you and your partner's preference and personalities. What's important to remember is that you choose a photographer you are most comfortable with and who will give you great value for your money -- and of course memorable shots that you will be proud to show even to your grandchildren.

Photo credits, from top to bottom: Thomas Bartler Wedding and Event Photography; BecauseYouLove Journalistic Wedding Photographer; Wedding Photography by Rhee Bevere; Edmonton Wedding Photographer Buffy Goodman.

Wedding photography styles definitions taken from Wikipedia.com.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On wedding rings

One of the most important symbols in a wedding is the ring. I consider it the most obvious sign of the couple's unending love for each other (hence, the circle shape, too). My hubby says it's also the first thing you should look for in a girl or guy you're eyeing, to know whether she/he is committed or not.

But I digress...

Anyway, to grant a request from Pinoy online buddy utotmopink, I'm sharing you some tips on helping you and your partner find THE wedding ring.

I'm pretty sure you've seen lots of wedding ring designs in magazines, over the Net, or even on your friend's ring finger. At this point, it can get very confusing as to what wedding ring you would really like to wear forever. So first up, you should know the basic considerations when searching for a wedding ring.

One is the budget. How much are you willing to spend for a pair of wedding rings? Below $100? Around $400? Or maybe up to a thousand? Knowing your budget range will surely determine almost everything else about your rings.

Which would also include the second consideration: design. Would you want a plain band? Or something with diamonds? Would you like the rings to be in yellow gold, white gold, tungsten or titanium? If you'd like diamonds, how many or how big would they be?

The aforementioned consideration will also depend on your style. Would you want it simple and not too flashy? Or would you want it to be the center of everyone's attention with those big blings?

Once you have an answer to those questions, you can now scout for the wedding rings of your choice, whether online or in jewelry stores. Of course, be sure to bring your partner along so you could both decide on the one.

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Here in Manila, there are many options where you can find wedding rings that would suit your budget.

During my wedding preparations, I was told that inexpensive wedding rings were sold at Ongpin St. in Binondo, in Manila's Chinatown. I must admit, I never went there because I didn't know how to get there. Anyway, I was told that plain gold bands may cost around Php5,000 only (around $100) or even less. But here's the tricky part: I was told to be careful in buying the rings there because some are made of fake gold (gold probably mixed with another metal, steel perhaps?). One of the shops recommended by past brides was Mayfair Jewelry, at 809 Ongpin St. Unfortunately, we failed to drop by there.

So the next step was to look for rings somewhere near to where we live. We landed at The Jewellery in Greenhills. It's basically an area of jewelry stores, so canvassing is pretty easy because you don't have to walk too far to get to the next shop since they're located beside each other.

I've also encountered some other stores recommended by other Manila brides:

Goldenhills Jewelry, which also has a store in The Jewellery in Greenhills. I believe they have branches in other malls, too. Some brides recommend this store for their add-on services (free cleaning, etc., though I know other jewelry shops offer this, too) and free arrhae.

Suarez Wedding Rings, which has a shop at Gateway, Cubao (near the LRT2 entrance) and SM Mall of Asia. I believe they're one of the big names in jewelry in Cebu.

Matus Jewellery, which has a new branch at the SM Megamall Atrium (5th floor, I think).

Miladay, which is also located in The Jewellery and in malls like Robinsons Galleria. Incidentally, this is the shop where we bought our wedding bands (the photo above are our actual rings).

These are just some of the names that are on the top of my head. There are many other jewelry stores out there, especially in malls. Just take time in going around, canvassing, and asking about their prices and offers before your purchase.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On wedding favors

Choosing your favors is also essential in wedding preparations. It's one of the things that will make your guests remember your special day.

I've always believed that wedding favors should tell something about the couple -- their personalities, their love story, something that would remind the guests about the two of you, the bride and groom.

Many wedding favors have sprouted through the years. The earliest I know of are the small bells which guests would ring if they want the couple to kiss. Another is a figurine of two doves or swans that symbolizes the couple. But today, more couples have been adventurous. And with the advent of new technology, a host of unique favors have surprised and delighted many guests. The rental of a photo booth is one example of a high-tech souvenir.

Sometimes the favors also depend on your wedding theme. For example, a couple who would have an Asian-themed wedding prepared chopsticks as souvenirs. Fans and parasols with the couple's names could be a great favor to get for outdoor weddings. Couples who would do a destination or beach wedding can give away flip flops or shell-shaped candles.

I've seen some weddings that have souvenirs with a 2-in-1 purpose, like place card holders or table napkins with the couple's monogram. Some choose functional favors, those that guests are likely to use even after the big day. Others choose edible ones, such as candies, chocolates and the like. And for those concerned with the environment, there are already "green" favors, such as plants or something recyclable.

When you look around the Internet, you will find many inspirations for wedding favors. I've collated some, which I have posted below. You may be overwhelmed by the options, but I guess what's important is that the favors you get speak about the both of you. And it should be both your choice, too. ;-)

Top row, from left: Silver Teapot Placecard Holders from HotRef.com; Heart-shaped Measuring Spoons from Beau-Coup.com; Scented Bath Salts from HansonEllis.com; Bendable Comical Bride and Groom Magnets from MomentsofElegance.com.

2nd row, from left: Hug Salt and Pepper Shakers from ProductWiki.com; Airplane Luggage Tag in gift box with Suitcase Tag from MyWeddingFavors.com; Seeds of Love Personalized Wildflower Favor from FavorIdeas.com; Chocolate Lollipops with print from Chocolography.com.

3rd row, from left: Love Chopsticks from ThingsFestive.com; Personalized Chocolate Favors from AmericanBridal.com; Custom Imprinted Wedding Napkins from CharmingWeddings.com; Photo Booth from RentPhotoBooths.com.