Ahhhh the money dance. I have always know it to be a dance that the male guests dance with the bride and the female guests dance with the groom. Traditionally a dollar was pinned to the bride by every partner, but in more recent times, I have seen the best man collect the dollars…so no pins. I come from an area of strong Italian decent and these are the weddings where I would see the dollar dance. Also, New York weddings seem to strongly favor the dance.
After witnessing more weddings as I go along; I don’t think the money dance is reserved for Italian descent, the Spanish, Greek and Polish seem to use this tradition as well! The dance does offer the bride and groom a chance to have a personal visit with all of their guests. So, instead of roaming around visiting your guests whilst they are eating, you can turn to the money dance. The best man and maid of honor will limit the time of the individual dances to a couple spins around the floor so that you, the bridal couple, have and opportunity to dance and visit with everyone. If the money dance feels awkward or tacky to you, how about the money collected goes to your favorite charity? Win, win, you get to visit all the guests and the money goes to a good cause. Or, if you are on a strict budget, then embrace the dance and keep the money for your honeymoon! …it is just a buck after all!
It turns out that the money dance seems to have originated in Poland in the early 1900′s. So, as customs and traditions go, it is a relatively new tradition. Many cultures employ the dance as it turns out and in the United States, there are areas where the dance is very popular, as well as areas that it is unheard of. Basically, in all the cultures, it is just a way to give and extra dollar to the bride and groom which represents a wish of good luck and prosperity, and, of course offers an opportunity for a personal visit.
I am going to go ahead and show you what is on wikepedia since there is such variety, and I would not want you to miss out on all of the potential origins! Here it is:
The money dance may have originated in Poland around the beginning of the 20th century. The dance takes place some time after the First dance, often once guests have had a chance to have a few drinks. The best man or MC or the disc jockey announces the event. Customarily, the best man begins dancing with the bride, pinning money onto her wedding gown or putting it into a purse, which she carries especially for the purpose, or into the pockets of an apron she dons over her gown especially for this dance. In a more contemporary version of this custom, the dance includes bridesmaids and other ladies who dance .
At Ukrainian weddings, the father of the bride usually begins pinning money on her dress. He is followed by the best man and groomsmen, and, finally, by the remainder of the male guests. Another variation is where the bride’s veil is removed and given to the maid of honor and an apron is placed on the bride. Money is then placed into her apron during the dance.
At Yugoslavian weddings, instead of pinning the money on the bride’s gown, the male guests give the money to the best man for safe keeping.
At Hungarian and Portuguese weddings, the bride takes off her shoes and puts them in the middle of the dance floor. Then the shoes are passed around from guests to guest and each deposits a contribution.
Relatives take turns dancing up to the bride and groom and pinning money on their clothes, which allows the couple to spend a few moments with each of their guests. After the money dance, the groom is ridiculed by his friends, tossed in the air while being covered with the veil, and given an apron and broom.
In America, practice of a money dance varies by geographic region and ethnic background of the families involved. It typically involves guests giving small sums of cash to the bride or pinning cash to her gown or veil. Even cultures that accept this may balk at paying the groom for his time and attention, so alternatives have developed, such as “paying” the groom with play money or a stick ofchewing gum. Some consider this a way for the bride and groom to have face time with their guests. Many, including traditional North American etiquette experts, consider the practice incorrect.
This has led to some couples calling it the honeymoon dance instead of a dollar dance or money dance. Some couples have even called it the dime dance and have put dimes under each person’s plate or in a small bowl on each table so that guests won’t feel obligated to ‘pay’ for a short dance with the bride or groom, while still giving them the opportunity to spend 30–60 seconds chatting and dancing with them.
At some Filipino weddings, the money dance is usually announced; males line up in front of the bride, pinning money on her dress or veil, then dance with her. Same with the male, only females line up instead. Money is pinned or taped onto the new married couple’s garments, representing the wish that good fortune is “rained” upon them, while also helping the couple financially as they begin their life together.
It was not until about 860 that the Christians used the ring in marriage ceremonies; even then, it was not the simple plain band as we know it. It usually was highly decorated with engraved doves, lyres, or two linked hands. The Church discouraged such rings as ‘heathenish’ and, around the 13th century, wedding and betrothal rings were considerably simplified, and given a more spiritual look. The spiritual aspect was conveyed by Bishop Durant when he declared that wedding bands were a “symbol of the union of hearts.” In the U.K., the people believed so strongly in the necessity for a ring that if a groom were too poor to buy one, he rented one for the occasion.
These rings were made of materials such as reeds, grasses, plants etc. and didn’t last very long and soon were substituted with rings made of leather, bone or ivory. The more expensive the material, the more love shown to the receiver; the value of the ring also demonstrated the wealth of the giver.
The Roman’s also eventually adopted this tradition but with their own twist. Rather than offering a ring to a woman as a symbol of love, they awarded them as a symbol of ownership. Roman men would “claim” their woman with the giving of a ring. It is also said that the Romans were the first to engrave their rings.
This research seems a little dry and uninteresting. But over and over, the same themes came up.
The Following Is A Brief History Of Engagement Rings According To Readers Digest:
Pre-History: The caveman tied cords made of braided grass around his chosen mate’s wrists, ankles, and waist, to bring her spirit under his control.
Circa 2800 BC: Egyptians are buried wearing rings made of a single silver or gold wire on the third finger of their left hands, believed to be connected directly to the heart by the vena amoris.
2nd Century BC: According to Pliny the Elder, the groom gives the bride first a gold ring to wear during the ceremony and at special events, then an iron ring to wear at home, signifying her binding legal agreement to his ownership of her.
1st Century BC: Puzzle rings first appear in Asia, where sultans and sheiks use them to tag each of their wives.
1477: In one of the first recorded uses of a diamond engagement ring, Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposes to Mary of Burgundy with a ring that is set with thin, flat pieces of diamonds in the shape of an “M.”
1800s: The highly sentimental Victorians make jewelry from human hair, and use gemstones to spell out names or endearments, such as a D-E-A-R-E-S-T ring set with a sequence of diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, etc.
1867: Diamonds are discovered in the Cape Colony (now a province in South Africa), the beginning of a huge increase in the diamond supply.
1880: Cecil Rhodes, who arrived in South Africa in 1873, founds the DeBeers Mining Company with other investors. Within the decade, they will control 90 percent of the world’s diamond production.
1886: Tiffany & Co. introduces the “Tiffany setting,” a six-prong ring designed to maximize a diamond’s brilliance by raising it up from the band.
1890s: Affordable wedding rings and diamond engagement rings appear in mail-order catalogs, such as Sears & Roebuck.
1920s: Manufacturers and retail jewelers try to launch the concept of men’s engagement rings, which sinks like a lead balloon.
Early 1940′s: Engagement rings become the leading line of jewelry in most department stores.
2000: Amid growing concern over human rights violations associated with their trade, the diamond industry creates the World Diamond Council to develop and oversee a tracking system that will “prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts.”
2002: According to a Fairchild Bridal Group Study, more than a third of couples buying diamond engagement rings spend at least two months’ salary.
This research seems a little dry and uninteresting. But over and over, the same themes came up. I think that the origin and tradition seems a little blurry to me….or maybe it just changed a lot from what it means now in 2012. I think that we (I will speak for us here in the U.S. only) wear wedding rings as symbols. They symbolize ever lasting, never-ending love and commitment, just like the ring has no beginning or end. The ring expresses something about our tastes in jewelry, for some it expresses status. For sure it is an outward symbol that demonstrates commitment and fidelity. And privately, the rings signify a symbol of love, promises and dreams that the couple will share for the rest of their lives
Are you going to smash that piece of cake onto your love’s face?
According to Mental Floss Magazine what may have been the predecessor to the very first cake smashing was: the breaking of bread over the bride’s head (circa Roman Empire). Back in the day, the groom would help himself to a bite of barley bread and then the remainder of the loaf was held above the brides head and then broken. She enjoyed a shower of crumbs and a soul-crushing message of her husband’s male dominance; as it symbolized the breaking of the bride’s virginal state and the subsequent dominance of the groom over her. If you were such a lucky guest, you could pick up a wayward crumb and your reward would be, more luck. Was there a lottery back then? The tradition evolved as cake emerged onto the scene as the preferred confection for a wedding celebration. Lucky for the bride, a cake doesn’t behave like a loaf of bread and so it was sliced on a table instead. Rather than scrounge on the floor for a crumb, guests would stand in line whilst the bride passed tiny, fortune-blessed morsels of cake through, yes this is correct, through her own wedding ring into the hands of the waiting guests. This tradition evolved (very quickly I would hope!) and thus began the tradition of slicing the cake and giving it to each guest. But wait, there is more, the guest did not eat the cake because it was to be place under their pillow for good luck. The ladies were to have sweet dreams of their future husbands. Who knew flour could produce so much luck!
The custom of tiered cakes emerged from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over an ever-higher cake without knocking it over. Something about the higher the layer, the greater the fertility?!
So, in the U.S. we have typically a white cake, sometimes a grooms cake of color. And according to Dummies.com the smashing of cake in the face has gone by the wayside; apparently, ‘in the past’, the cake cutting was anticlimactic and the bride and groom took this boring moment and livened up the place by acting out some aggression and smashing the cake onto the others face. Now a days it is all lovey dovey and a romantic moment, right? But, traditionally the cake cutting and eating, I did not say smashing, was a symbolic first meal as husband and wife.
I did not know this but Dummies.com states that in the past the cake cutting is used to signal the end of the wedding, the bride and groom would change and be off. Modern day, the cake cutting is a segue after which people who want to leave may do so. As a side note, Dummies adds that the band/DJ should be ready to begin as soon as the cake cutting ends, “— if the music ebbs now, your party is over.” I think that is some valuable advice!
If you would like to read more details about wedding cake traditions, I thought that Hudson Valley Weddings was very informative! Check it out if you have a minute.
Are you planning on wearing a veil to your wedding ceremony? I often like the soft romantic look that it gives to a bride.
Just as we are discovering with some other wedding traditions, the tradition of wearing a veil has a less than romantic birth. It is believed that the origin of the tradition dates back to Roman days when the bride would wear a full-length veil that was also used as her burial shroud. I read that veils had color once, Roman veils were red and in Greek, yellow. Also, Roman beliefs were that wearing a veil would throw off the evil spirits that were potentially stalking the bride. It seems that these spirits were envious of the couples happiness and the veil/disguise tricked them. So easily fooled! So, for Roman’s the veil was certainly dual purpose. We can also look to the days when capturing a bride was all the rage…the veil is a reminder of the act of the groom, or should I say abductor throwing a sack over the prospective bride’s noggin and then carrying her off to her wedding. I think these theories seem to conflict, back in Roman days, the spirits were jealous of the bridal couple’s happiness, and then what, marriage evolved to kidnappings and then business arrangements, and then back to the modern days of marrying for love? More research may be required on this subject.
Other traditions hold that a woman wore a veil because the groom in the arranged marriage wasn’t to see the bride until the marriage was official; this was done so that the groom wouldn’t back out based on her appearance. A nice invention after all, it lets the couple focus on the business deal at hand!
Modern day veils. According to OurMarriage.com ”Veils came into vogue in the United States when Nelly Curtis wore a veil at her wedding to George Washington’s aid, Major Lawrence Lewis. Major Lewis saw his bride to be standing behind a filmy curtain and commented to her how beautiful she appeared. She then decided to veil herself for their ceremony.” She was a trend setter here in the U.S.
There are themes of the bride’s veil demonstrating the male dominance over the woman, a willingness for the wife to obey her husband. Huh? My guess is that historically (but more recent history, not ancient), society looked at the history of kidnappings, arranged marriages etc., and when wearing a veil you were acknowledging the man as the dominant one in the situation’. But wait, didn’t I wear a veil because I liked the finishing touch that it offered to my ensemble? Maybe I liked the romantic, soft look that it gave to my face! But, I digress. Again OurMarriage.com states that; “The lifting of the veil (by the groom) at the end of the ceremony symbolizes male dominance. If the bride takes the initiative in lifting it, thereby presenting herself to him, she is showing more independence. ” So, with this bold act of the bride lifting her own veil, are we are seeing the birth of ending misogamy? …the birth of the women’s right act?
Are we women throwing aside the symbolic submission in a marriage, i.e., the veil, by not wearing a veil to our weddings? Are we wearing a veil to say “hey, I think this makes me look pretty and romantic; and, I may do your laundry from time to time, but don’t ask me to obey you! Honestly, when I got married, I did not know the history behind this tradition, I just thought the veil looked cool.
Something old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue,
and a silver sixpence in her shoe.
This saying came from England from the Victorian Era. Each aspect of the poem embodies an item of good luck, and a good wish for the bride. Out of the many traditions that we have surrounding weddings, personally, I really like this tradition. It doesn’t come with a weird background, like carrying a bouquet to cover your body odor, or not seeing the groom, so that he won’t run away leaving you at the altar because you are not attractive enough. This one has a very good well-wishing, loving energy to it. It is based in sending the bride off with positive pieces of her past, present, and future. And, you as a bride can have fun with it. If you agree read on!
The OLD represents the brides heritage of the past, continuity if you will. A time to reflect on the successful marriages that the bride/you have experienced in your life, and the desire to bring that success to your union. I once read on a post in The Knot that the traditions in the poem are not of great importance, just little tokens, and that you should not stress about them: feel free to go ahead and take the pressure off of yourself by wearing a used pair of hose. (Washed I am assuming?!) But, I like the idea of putting a little more thought into it. I do not see it as a stress, but perhaps a time to reflect on what is important in your upcoming marriage, and a way to privately express those thoughts. Perhaps you have a piece of jewelery from a grandparent, or I have witnessed brides redesigning and wearing their mother/grandmothers old wedding dress. Another bride wore an antique dress that was about 100 years old! So cool! I personally carried my grandmothers lace handkerchief, and it made me feel like her memory was present with me.
The NEW represents the optimism and success of the new life ahead. This is pretty easy, I am sure that every bride is excited and optimistic about their upcoming marriage, just as I am sure that every bride has something new in their wardrobe for the big event, the shoes, flowers, dress, veil, underwear, etc.. If not, fall back on The Knot’s recommendation of taking the pressure off, by buying a NEW pair of hose! And, there is that tradition of the groom buying his bride a gift. I have witnessed the groom giving his bride a watch, or piece of jewelry and she knew about the gift in advance, and planned on that gift being the ‘new’ item that she would wear.
The groom hands his bride a gift, she wears it to the ceremony and comply’s with the tradition of something new.
The BORROWED. It is a symbolic form of support from one of your happily married gal pals or relative. They are passing on their marital success, blessings and bliss to your marriage. You borrow an item and with it, its’ positive good marital energy and return it afterwards (otherwise it would change the poem to something old, something new, something kept, something….) It is also believed to symbolize that you can depend on that lending person; I think perhaps you depend on them, the lender, for marital bliss advice. It is the same as something old with respect to the item itself…a piece of jewelry, watch,dress, scarf etc. will suffice for the borrowed item. Borrow something that you like and feel comfortable with and presto; enjoy the well wishes that comes with it!
Something BLUE. Blue has been involved with weddings for many, many years. Ancient history is involved here. In Rome, blue was worn by the bride to symbolize loyalty, fidelity, purity, and love. Before Queen Vicky changed dresses to white, blue was a popular wedding gown color. In the past the bridal couple wore blue borders on their wedding attire to express the same ideas that the Romans expressed with blue (loyalty, fidelity, purity and love). I have seen the bride wear the following items in blue: shoes, nail polish, garters, flowers, rings, jewels, etc. to comply with this part of the poem. Be creative with it. Or, if you are stressed by this, just go for the blue hose, used preferably to kill two birds with one stone!
This bride wears a beautiful pair of blue suede ballerina flats, adding a lovely, colorful touch to her gown and complies with the tradition of something blue.
And…the part that we U.S.A. Citizens seem to have forgotten: …..and a silver sixpence in her shoe. So, the poem/tradition is British and the sixpence is a coin from Britain dating from 1551 to 1967. It was made of silver and worth six pennies. According to AskYahoo, a silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted, and many companies sell keepsake sixpences for weddings. And these days, who couldn’t use some reassurance on a future fortune?
This is a tradition that you can really sink your teeth into! If you are not the creative type, it is still easy to accomplish, think previously worn blue panty hose and three are knocked off the list! What I like most, is that you take time out from the hustle bustle of planning and, you stop and think about what is important from your past, (the happy influencing marriages from your past), and you look at your present day marriage mentors and then you look to your future dreams for your wedded life. How nice is that?!
Then you fly to England to collect for yourself a sixpence in an antique shop and you have got a nice trip to England out of that deal. Or skip the trip to England and put a dime in your shoe. It can be a very inexpensive tradition that you stick to (if you skip the trip to England), that brings around happy, positive, reassuring thoughts to your upcoming nuptials. Enjoy!
Nicole in the new version of her mother’s wedding dress.
Bethany’s gown is over 80 years old. The wedding theme was an ‘antebellum period wedding’, this dress was an amazing touch.
Why does the bride carry a bouquet? The origin of this tradition is a little blurred…. One of the reasons that brides carried bouquets was born out of the ‘necessity’ of covering odor, trying to smell pretty on that special day. Ever take a tour in one of the older cities in Europe, let’s say Edinburgh for example? It was a very odiferous lifestyle way back then! In the 1600′s and for a very long time afterwards, people bathed extremely infrequently. According to the Huffington Post, during the 15th century, people took their yearly baths in May and would generally get married in June. Just to be safe, brides carried bouquets to mask the smell of body odor. You will find this reason repeatedly if you research the tradition behind the bride carrying a bouquet. Another old and popular custom for carrying a bouquet, was to ward of evil spirits. Usually these bouquets were made from very pungent herbs, spices and yes, garlic could be involved. I am thinking that you could kill two birds with one stone with a garlic bouquet; evil spirits and evil odor could be knocked out with one bouquet! Oh the old days! Sometimes the spices/flowers that were included in the bouquet, for example; dill and marigolds (edible) were added and subsequently served up at the wedding feast to promote lust. So think about the fun that you can have with your bouquet! I will paraphrase what I recently read in “Herlife” Magazine with regard to the tradition. ”In ancient times, a bride was considered especially lucky on her wedding day. So, guest were compelled to tear off parts of her dress to obtain a good luck talisman for themselves! Not all brides cared for this activity, as it seamed unpleasant to have their clothing ripped from her bit by bit, compliments of the guests. So it evolved, that the bride outsmart her guest by giving an offering of herself; enabling a guest to obtain a lucky talisman and allowing herself to keep her clothing intact: she starting throwing her garter and bouquet in lieu of pieces of her dress.”
I was glad to find this article, because it now explains to me some of the crazy bouquet grabbing, or should I say tackling behaviour that I have witnessed at some of my family and friends weddings! Somewhere around the 1700′s brides started carrying pretty bouquets, because: bouquets are pretty! and, this tradition is still in style today. bouquets bring beauty, elegance, a touch of the color scheme, and a bit of the old custom to your day. There are many florist to shop for your flowers, if you are looking for a good florist here in the Evergreen, CO area, check out Stems, I simply must mention them here, because I have seen some really creative, elegant, and impressive flowers at some of the weddings that we have photographed, all compliments of this designer. But, I digress. So, bouquets: they also may be used to express yourself through the flowers themselves. Roses represent everlasting love, lilac is for first love, Stephanotis is good luck, ivy says fidelity and on and on. You can really add some beauty and say a lot about yourself with a bouquet. This custom seems to have evolved quite a bit from its origin, but todays tradition for the bouquet: added beauty and personal expression.
Why don’t the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony?
A hundred years ago or so, the bride and groom would put on their best clothing and walk together to the church or town meeting center to ‘make it official’.
And, years before that, when arranged marriages were the norm, the betrothed were never permitted to have a glance at one another. Marriage was business, and it meant acquiring land, property and other goods through joining two people. No father wanted to muck up a perfectly good business deal by having the groom see the potential bride and not like what he sees, thus backing out of the deal. That bride needed to be a 10 on the attractiveness scale for a dad to take such a chance of letting the groom see her before the ceremony. In some cultures, dowry’s were involved, ah the dowry, no father wants his son to lose that, so, again, no visual for the bride and groom. In other words, it was considered “bad Luck” for the groom to see the bride because the groom, back in the day, would leave the “visual unpleasing” bride at the alter, indeed bad luck for her.
In the last couple of years, there has been a trend for people to marry because they love one another, and also, they are usually very attracted to each other! Win, win!
In the U.S., arranged marriages are not very common nowadays, however, many brides still don’t allow their groom to see them before the wedding. Many brides believe it gives them a sense of excitement and longing, making their wedding day more memorable. And then many brides enjoy hanging out with their betrothed for a spot of time before their ceremony, allowing them to calm nervousness and share intimate moments together before the ceremony.
So, have you thought it through? Will you see each other before the wedding?
From a photographers standpoint, we will do whatever you wish; it is your day, but some of the best “first glance” photo’s are birthed out of the calm meeting of bride and groom before the spotlight of the ceremony. Again, I would like to restate, it is your day, so we will do whatever you would like with respect to seeing each other before the ceremony or not. With that said, Dave and I have had discussions about the difference that we see when a couple sees each other pre-ceremony versus when they do not. I personally think that is gives us a chance to capture the “first look” photos but something more; it gives the bride and groom a tender visit with each other. A time to calm each others nerves, a very intensely romantic time. The average couple will feel nervous before they walk down the aisle, let’s face it, it is not every day that you do this! Personally, I think it would be very romantic and very cool to see a tradition form, where the couple spends some time together before the ceremony, reaffirming their love, calming, soothing and celebrating their bond together before they make their grand entrance! After all, we are no longer talking about a business deal that might fail because of aesthetics…we are talking about the latest tradition of marrying for love. Below are some pics of a “First Look” from a recent wedding.
What are your thoughts?
So, why do we have a best man in a wedding? If you are in the mindset of a 2012 Groom, you would probably say: To hang on to the rings during the ceremony, make sure that the groom has the marriage license, to help the groom dress for the ceremony, legal witness to the marriage, or perhaps to single that man out as a very important person/friend to the groom.
This current role, evolved from a very different “best man” role. The best man, at one time, was there to support his best friend that was seeking and capturing a bride. In a situation where men greatly outnumbered women, this scenario was necessary. And since kidnapping, I meant to say, acquiring a bride could be so much work, it was too much for just one man, alas, his most trusted friend would be asked to help in this endeavor.
The best man role continued to evolve, and somewhere around 250 A.D. his task was to safeguard the bride, against the threat that the bride’s family would attempt to forcibly kidnap, and again, I meant to say; forcibly re-aquire the bride. The best man was armed and ready to fight for his friend, and the groom’s, bride. He also guarded the new couples home after the ceremony.
And, I recently read in the book “Common Phrases And Where They Come From” by: Mordock & Korach a similar, but different version. ”In feudal days a rival of the groom, if he was any kind of a gallant, took an oath to carry off the bride before or during the nuptials. Since marriages were arranged and the groom often wasn’t the brides first choice, romantic triangles were not uncommon. In order to avoid the rival, most nuptials took place under cover of night. fortunate was the groom who could get as a best man, a worthy and versatile warrior to defend him against his rival should he discover where and when the wedding was to take place.
A wise best man would enlist a coterie of ushers in armor who were expert lancers to accompany him to the ceremony. Behind the altars of many a feudal church were stored for emergency use by wedding parties; huge collections of long lances with torch socket. The lances were used both for defense and for illumination during a get-away. Only the bravest of the brave volunteered to attend a bridegroom at his nuptials, and the best man was truly the best man, for if he was unable to fight down the groom’s rival and his supporters, the groom would lose his bride.”
Sheesh. So much work for the best man back then! Now all he has to do is mind the ring, the marriage certificate, make a lovely toast and have some fun at the reception! Anyway, ladies, aren’t you glad that all of the kidnapping, weapons, and violence is out of the picture?
Long before Queen Victoria set the trend of wearing a white wedding dress, European brides bought a practical garment that would be worn on many occasions after the marriage. The lower class favored black as it made the dress more practical. I once read that author Jane Austen’s mother wore a red dress to her ceremony, this was typical for someone of her socioeconomic background. When a white dress was worn, it was a color of mourning, brides would don white when they had recently lost a close relative, that was of course until Queen Victoria came along.
Are we seeing a trend for colored wedding dresses? Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Gwen Stefani and other famous people chose to wear a non-white dress for their wedding. Or should I say; are we seeing fashion go further back into the tradition of a colored wedding dress…since historically gowns have had color for longer than they have not. The history behind gowns is rich and full of influence from fashion, social status, religion and culture.
The runway, 2012, is definitely showing more color this year than in many years past with colored wedding dresses or splashes of color on the wedding dress. It will be interesting to see if the trend takes hold. Do you have a prediction? Are you a bride that wants to set herself apart from the others, or are you more steeped in tradition? Did you ever know the background of why us girls choose white in the first place? I would love to hear from you!
One of the publications that showcased a departure from the white wedding dress was Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, but then again, it had many white dresses as well!
Whatever you choose: a pink dress, white, or white with a splash of color at the sash, you will look beautiful. Enjoy your special day, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
I would like to introduce my wife Peggy. As some of you may know Peggy is a second shooter that works with me, and foremost, she is my lovely wife. Having been through a wedding of our own and witness to many friends, family and client weddings, she has and avid interest in the art of putting together a wedding.
Often when we meet with clients, Peggy will go along. She’ll often speak her mind when it comes to what we see when people are influenced by traditions and customs. She would also tell you that she see’s many couples motivated by the objective of making their wedding different. Either way, the ceremony and celebration are always interesting and it is fun for my wife to watch the process unfold into the final day.
She will be writing a few blog posts on the subject of wedding traditions. Just in case you are interested on the background details of the customs and traditions that may be influencing your wedding.
I hope that you will enjoy her posts!
Trust me she’ll loves this pic! ha ha!:
Last week I met with clients at City O’ City restaurant in the Capital Hill neighborhood in Denver. As I was walking from my car to the restaurant, I was noticing how many great spots there were to shoot an Engagement session. Well… we put my observations to the test yesterday, when I met Megan and Joey to shoot their Engagement session. We met at City O’ City for a beer, then headed out to shoot in the alleys and streets of the ‘hood. I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time we shoot here. Check out their pics! We had a great time.
As always, comments are not only welcome, but encouraged! Leave them at the bottom of the blog post.
A friend of mine sent me a Facebook message, inquiring about the potential purchase of a DSLR. Since I have been asked this same question three times in the last month, I figured it might be a worth while blog post. Here is my response to my buddy:
I’m a Canon shooter, so I’m not too familiar with Nikon’s line up. Here’s a great site for unbiased reviews: DP Review. Near the top of the page, there’s a drop down menu for different categories of the review.
That said, Nikon and Canon are on top of the SLR game, and are so close in performance, quality, and customer service, that either brand (and model) will be a great choice. In most cases, the only reason people shoot what they shoot, is that it’s the brand they started with, and once you start buying different lenses you feel locked in, because of the investment. The other thing that people get so hung up on the megapixel game. They loose focus on the fact that they are, in some cases, paying WAY too much money because they feel they need a 21 Mega Pixel camera. Unless your blowing up pics for a Billboard, in MOST cases, you don’t even need close to 21 mp’s. Also, what does that do if your storing the pics from a 21 mp camera on your 1 gb laptop? Guess what? Your going to need more memory!
The quality out of the entry level camera’s blow me away lately, so don’t overlook a less expensive camera.
ALL camera’s will have very gimicky (in my opinion) options / features, that you will NEVER use (or sometimes never understand why you would use them in the first place). Become familiar with the features of different models, and ask yourself, “will I ever use / need that?”, and base your purchase on that. For instance, the D5000 has video capability. Cool feature, but will you actually use it??? You won’t go wrong with quality, so you can take that out of the decision making equation.
Let me know if you have any other questions!
One thing I didn’t mention above, is that there is fierce brand loyalty, that I would take with a grain of salt. In rare cases are there cause for concern, in regards to performance, or reliability of Canon’s and Nikon’s models. Whenever I am in the market for a new piece of equipment, I always check out DP Review. You can compare different models, and brands on their site. It’s an invaluable tool, especially if your about to drop serious coin on your next lens or camera!
I just tried out my new Mola Demi Beauty Dish on an engagement shoot yesterday. I am completely impressed with the light it puts out! I love the light fall off, and the harsher (than softbox or umbrella) shadows, giving a more defined shape to faces, while still remaining soft on the light side of the subject. I will be using this for weddings for sure!
- Light: Paul C Buff Einstien, fired with Cyber Sync, power by Vagabond Mini
- Light at Camera Left just out of frame, at about 2′ above subjects
- The sock was on the Dish
- Shot on a sunny, late afternoon
Here are a couple images shot with it:
Tis the season for Engagement sessions! Yesterday we met Jane Lee and Brendan at the Buffalo Rose, in Golden to discuss their wedding and get to know each other before we headed over to the Clear Creek History Park. I had never been there before, but I know I will be back. This place is full of cool old buildings that have amazing character and textures. We love shooting backdrops like this. Utilizing rough textures like stone, old wood, flakey paint… It ads a nice contrast to a great looking couple like Jane Lee and Brendan. Check out their pics. I’m sure you’ll agree!
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As with most of our wedding clients, they are referred to us by their friends that have already worked with us. In Dana and Drew’s case we met at a wedding we shot this past summer at Mary’s Lake Lodge in Estes Park, CO. It also seems like our wedding clients are like minded to Peggy and I. It is awesome to consistently work with such awesome people! Our original plan for their engagement shoot was to have a backcountry ski day. As most of you who live in Colorado know, our winter is not cooperating, and we ended up hiking on a half snow, and a half dirt trial on Vail Pass for some of our shoot! After Vail Pass, we went to Vail Village to shoot the rest. We hit the Tap Room for a beer or two, then got a few more shots in town. Check out their pics, and please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the post!
Our Engagement session with Lyndsay and Shawn, and their dog Luna, was the second session of the weekend, and I have to say, it was an awesome one. We had a ton of fun in a short amount of time. They live in (or near???) the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, in a cool old house. Anyone that knows the area can attest that is full of artistic areas to shoot. The area really fits our style of photography. Utilizing textures and colors of bricks, stone, trees, metal and wood buildings, is what we love shooting to contrast the fun, and sometimes dressy look of our shoots.
Lyndsay and Shawn have a great sense of fashion, and knew what they were looking for! For the last half of the shoot they got dressed up, with Shawn wearing dress clothes with a pair of classic wing tip shoes, and Lyndsay, in an over the top, formal gown, with combat boots (again… adding an awesome contrast to the look!). We did the shoot in less than a one block radius of their house! Hopefully you can see how much fun we had:
This weekend was a busy one, with two Denver Engagement sessions, for some of our awesome 2012 Wedding clients. For this session I met Michelle & Jimmy at the Denver Beer Co for a beer and chat about their wedding. If you haven’t checked out the Brewery yet, what are you waiting for? Amazing beer! The plan for the day was to follow the actual path of an elaborate Engagement that Jimmy planned, that included bar hoping across town, and finishing at the Oxford Hotel. Saturday’s session was the first of two sessions that we will be doing to fully cover replication of the Engagement day! Look out for Part Two in the Spring of 2012!
“To be continued”!!!
To start our Engagement session, I met Tyler and Alicia for a drink at The Sink, in Boulder. Add a beautiful couple, and the setting of the CU – Boulder campus, and you have the recipe for a really fun Engagement session. Check out some of the pics from the day:
Since Peggy and I live in Colorado, and our Niece and Nephews live in Rhode Island, until now, we had only heard about the “Farm”. Today, we got to see the operation first hand! Eric Camara (my nephew) is quite the Entrepreneur, with lofty goals of a rapid expansion!
Camara established the business a year ago, at the age of 9, and has been selling his eggs to friends and family. After starting the business, with three chickens, Eric plans on expanding the flock to six in early 2012. By the time 2013 rolls around, Camara plans on expanding to 18 chickens, and doubling the size of the coop. With a yield of 1 egg / day / chicken, Camara will be relying on word of mouth advertising to sustain the increased yield. With limited competition in the area, and the superior quality of the eggs, Camara feels that this should not be an issue for him!
According to Camara, the chickens are “very curious, and funny”. When asked what his favorite part of the job was, his reply was “making money”. In addition to “making money”, he also enjoys showing his animals at the 4-H fairs. To date, he has placed 1st and 2nd, including “Best in Poultry” in the regional 4-H Fairs!
Camara’s only employee is his sister, Sami (age 6). She is the acting office manager. She also fills in for Eric, at the coop, when he’s not “available”. ”Sometimes I pay Sami, and once I get more chickens, I will start thinking about paying taxes, but until then, I’m ‘flying under the radar’ with the IRS.”
A couple weekends ago we did two distinctly different Engagement shoots. The one below this post at the Clock Tower, with an urban feel, and this one at St Mary’s Glacier (and then into Idaho Springs) for Matt and Allison. I love mixing up the looks to match the personalities of our clients. Let us know what you think, by posting your comments at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
When we booked Tia and Justin’s wedding, and after seeing some of the Clock Tower wedding images on our website, they wanted to know if we could shoot their engagement session in the Clock Tower. Once I got permission, I started planning the shoot. Since Justin is the Midwest Director for GQ Magazine, they wanted a “GQ look” to some of their pics. Hopefully we achieved it! With the great fashion sense of Tia and Justin, and the ‘WOW’ factor of the Clock Tower, it was easy to make their images look great!
To date we have shot two weddings at the Denver Clock Tower, and we just booked two more weddings, for 2012. If you are interested in having your wedding at the Clocktower (and us shooting it, of course!), please don’t hesitate to contact us!
As always, comments (leave comments at the bottom of the blog post) are not only welcome, but encouraged.
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With a slight lull in our Wedding season, and wrapping up our X Games work, we shot Max and Nicole’s Engagement session here in Evergreen. We met at the Little Bear Saloon for a beer, and then headed over to Elk Meadow, then off to a secret location. We had a ton fun, and had the rare perfect light for Colorado.
Check out the pics. We would love to hear your comments! Please leave them at the bottom of the post.
I spoke with Ben days before the shoot, and he and Kelly wanted a quintessential Colorado look to their Engagement photos. After a couple f minutes of thinking about where to do the shoot, I came up with Mt Evans. It boasts the highest paved rd in the North America at 14,240′, and it’s right in our backyard near Evergreen, CO. We had such a great time, on such a beautiful day! Check out their pics, and feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the blog post: