The wedding day is undoubtedly one of the few special days in your life. You should plan to do it once, and do it right! Planning a wedding can be a tricky business. No wonder why people avoid this headache by employing the services of a wedding planner. You would not want the memories of such day to haunt you forever, as a result of bad planning.
So, let’s do the work of a wedding planner together here, as we thoroughly examine 6 important elements that make a wedding day unforgettable. :)
THE WEDDING DRESS
The wedding dress is a heart of the wedding. Every woman looks forward to putting on the wedding gown, as family and friends anticipate the sight of gracefulness. It is a matter not to be taken lightly at the very least - take your mind off renting or hiring. It is your special day, and I don’t think you intend to do 2 or 3 or 4 in your lifetime, so SPOIL YOURSELF! Get a befitting gown that will bring you out to the spotlight. Manage your budget so you can afford an elegant yet not too expensive gown.
As my plane takes off, I feel the drag of the jet engine as it pulls me back into my seat. Slowly, the cars and buildings on the ground become smaller and smaller. We're ascending. I feel a rush of energy overtake me as I think of the wild, crazy decision I've made. Then again, my life has been full of crazy decisions, but they have always given me treasured memories to take home with me and an amazing ride to enjoy.
After almost a year of frequent traveling Croatia - Cyprus and some countries in between, I have finally decided to stay for a month in my hometown Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Even tough my 2015 wedding season is still not finished, I needed to spend a day creatively and amongst gorgeous dresses...
Without any luck, my friend Ivana from I.J.Design had been trying to catch me for the past months to make a shoot of her new collection. No wonder that she managed to organize location, model, makeup and hair in just a few days to make sure I don't fly away again. :)
“With my knees in the sand, I ask for your hand...” -W.V.
The gentle lull of waves washes ashore on the beaches of Cyprus, stirring granules of sand in a silent swish that draws them back out to sea. The rising cliffs of Aphrodite's Rocks shine bright in the afternoon sunlight as gulls launch themselves off into the sky with a flourish of their wings. The two lovers on the beach notice none of this; they are too busy embracing in a flurry of tears and grateful sobbing.
Šarune and Matas have just gotten engaged, and neither could be happier. This happy meeting was arranged by my dear friend Ugne, an engagement planner who took the time to set up a picnic and guitar serenade on the beautiful beaches of Cyprus. Her attention to detail is unrivaled, and Matas could not have been happier with the results. Šarune was aware only that they would be stopping to look at Petra Tou Romini, otherwise known as the birthplace of Aphrodite. It was an incredibly fitting setting for a marriage proposal. Where else would you propose if you had the opportunity to do so in the birthplace of love?
It was a dawning realization that crossed Šarune's face as Matas pulled a custom engagement ring from his pocket; he had used his jewellery-making skills to craft it himself, and the love and care he put into it showed. How could Šarune resist so romantic a proposal? She fell to her knees to eye level with Matas, pressing her forehead to his as tears streamed down her face. The soft melody of delicately-plucked guitar notes played in the background as the two shared this moment together.
I would like to thank Andreas Nicolaou for his time and his guitar skills. The added touch of music to the scene made everything absolutely perfect. Ugne from Let's Be We-Marriage Proposals did a fantastic job with the picnic basket setup. Fresh fruit and wine by the sea helped the two fall deeper in love with each other that day, if that is even possible. Their romance is one that has a clear passion and depth that was so evident that I could hardly contain it in the pictures I took.
As she walked down the aisle, many faces felt tears stream down their cheeks. They had never before seen a more beautiful and graceful bride. Her serene expression gave away no nervousness, save for the gentle flush of her cheeks. The walk through the woods beforehand with her father had been a different story. As she clung to her father's hand, trembling breaths causing her to shake slightly, the only other sound was that of the birds chirping and the echo of waves crashing on the seashore. But she was ready. Upon approaching the last stretch of woodland trail, she leaned over and whispered in her fathers ear and saw a single tear roll down his cheek.
The wedding ceremony for Alice and Daniel took place at Gjorgjić-Mayneri park on island Lopud in southern Croatia amidst the tall pillars and fluttering leaves of the trees. The ceremony was in all ways beautiful, but no element shown more brightly than the loving glow on Alice and Daniel's faces. They simply couldn't take their eyes off each other as they spoke the words that would bind them for life. Then came the fist bump. It was an unexpected moment of hilarity between the two that let everyone know just how at ease they were with one another. It was funny, touching and a sign of the quirky type of love they shared.
The reception and after-party was at Villa on a hillside overlooking the bay. It's a gorgeous stone house with a large pool and spacious balcony, perfect for hosting the wedding party and their guests. Before the festivities got started, Alice and Daniel danced their first couples dance to Henry Mancini's “Moon River” in the silver moonlight drifting over the balcony. They leaned tenderly against one another, eyes closed to the moment. I don't think they were even aware of the guests around them as they slowly circled the dance floor.
I felt a little twinge as I watched them. The way they held each other and laughed with one another made me think of the phrase “two against the world.” They are each other's rock, a steadying hand when the storms of life threaten to wash them both away. When you find someone that understands you the way that no one else can, who accepts the crazy part of you by showing you their own, you know you've found your soulmate. I know that Alice and Daniel will stand by each other for their entire lives. Theirs is a love that will never die, come rain or come shine.
She has a look of innocence about her, soft and untouched, but beneath the angelic exterior lies the fierce spirit of next shining star. Victoria is walking along the sandy shores of Kouriom beach. I struggle to keep the sun out of my eyes as I take shot after shot, each one more beautiful than the next. I am able to use the natural light off of the waves, and the highlights on Victoria's cheeks make her expression simply glow.
I am mainly a wedding photographer, but sometimes I like to extend my reach beyond it. Model shoots are one of my favorite types of photo sessions because there is so much more I can capture in my images. The determination in Victoria's face as she gives this shoot her all is inspiring to say the least. She has such high hopes, such big dreams. She is young and fresh, still a bit shy, but she has a big heart and a spirit that dominates the epic white cliffs and beaten sand of the beach until it dims in the background around her.
I had the honor of working with renowned makeup artist Svitlana Koroleva for this shoot. She does amazing work with models, and Victoria was no exception. Every bit of makeup was perfectly in place and highlighted all of Victoria's already amazing features. After the beach, we took a few shots with the high-peaked sand dunes to really make Victoria's silhouette stand out. She has a perfect dancer's body, so we had her do a few spins until we got the second to last shot.
I did all of these shots with the Phottix equipment, by the way. I love it! :)
The very last picture, I believe, epitomizes who Victoria is. There is strength and femininity blended seamlessly together in every feature she possesses, and I can assure you that she is an amazing young woman. That fierce beauty that she has is matched by her equally stunning mind. Don't be fooled by her quiet facade; she is a chatterbox bursting with a vivacious personality. It is easy to see why she will go far in her career – much like myself, her passions is the driving force that will launch her to success, and hopefully, happiness as well.
Even in the photography business, it is a thrill to see an editorial about you in the paper. Photography magazines are an excellent way to get your name out there; it is even better to expose your art to the world in full-color spreads, where high definition lets your audience see even the tiniest of details where twisting of a sheer dress in the wind become sculptures through the lens of your camera.
I had the pleasure of photographing one of my lovely models at the beautiful Akrotiri salt lake in Cyprus at the end of past year; this photo shoot was picked up a year later by the Croatian bridal magazine Nova Vjenčanja.
The editorial team was a joy to work with. I have never worked with a more talented team; although there were a few moments during the shoot where things got tough, they and I powered through. I want to give a special thanks to Crina Barbu, whose make-up jobs are absolutely splendid. Osan Suzana Shirinian, who was our Litous designers assistant, was especially patient throughout the whole process, as was our model Alice Vuap.
Being published by this magazine has not just gained me a bigger audience. It's also provided me with the recognition and appreciation for my work that I and all photographers need. My work is my life, and I put every fibre of my being into each and every photo I produce. I am happy for getting that acknowledgement and validation to thrive me and be inspired to do more. After all, every appreciation and kind word means the world to me.
Greece is unspeakably beautiful. As a destination wedding photographer, my tours have been filled to the brim with breathtaking views in some of the world's most prestigious cities and jaw-dropping countrysides, but Greece is, by far, one of my favorite place to photograph. The glimmering azure seas and white sand beaches, coupled with the rustic metropolises clinging to the hillsides, fill me with wonder and inspiration.
With this photo shoot, my skills as a destination wedding photographer were put to good use as I took shots of this lovely couple, Aggeliki and Argiris. This Greek couple decided to stay in their native country for their holiday in the seaside capital of Chora on the island of Skopelos. I can not say I blame them... Every nook and cranny of this country is delightful, majestic and captivating, and Skopelos is no exception.
First off, I would like to say how beautiful this couple is. Their love is simple and pure. They look into each other's eyes without fear or embarrassment, and they are very open with how they feel about each other. Their level of comfort with one another made this photo session a breeze, and I managed to capture some wonderful shots that let their love shine through in the photos.
The first set of photos were taken at the Panagitsa of Pirgos, a widely-recognized landmark that sits on the coast of the Aegean Sea. The Panagitsa is a lovely white church that has become an attraction to tourists and locals alike, and it has been fondly named Eisodia tis Theotokou (Presentation of Mary) by residents. The Panagitsa has nestled itself into the outer edges of Chora's main port and is the first thing visitors see when they arrive. The brilliant ivory of the Panagitsa and the last of summer's warm rays simply lit up the scenery and cast a nice glow over Aggeliki and Argiris. It was like Heaven was shining down upon their love.
After the church, we moved on to the city streets of Chora, weaving our way through the cluster of houses with brightly painted doors and close-knit doorsteps. The bold blues and cobblestone paths made an eye-catching backdrop as Aggeliki and Argiris exchanged loving kisses and warm embraces. Their smiles are both so genuine. You could see they were truly happy, that they fulfilled one another.
As I took the final shots of them on a balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea, I told them how lucky they were to have found each other. I will admit, I was sad to leave them. Their cheerful conversation and complete oneness of heart will forever be in my memory.
I seem to make a habit of staying up all night in Cyprus. Not that there is anything shady going on, mind you; it is all about the photography. :)
Night shoots are by far the most difficult. Getting that perfect shot and timing the lighting of the flash just right can be a pain, but when you do get it, the shot makes for an amazing photo. That is why I was really excited to try out a new piece of equipment, the The Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash. Flashes are super important to photographers in order to properly illuminate subjects and maintain a good light balance, so I was eager to see what the Phottix could do.
As I am a Phottix Pro Photographer for Croatia, I opted to use it in a series of shots in our pool to test out the new equipment. The Phottix Mitros+ is a hot shoe flash that lets you use it either on the camera or, if you need your lighting elsewhere, you can detach it and use the Odin, Phottix’s award-winning TTL flash trigger.
For this shooting, I used Mitros off the camera, placed aproximatelly 45 degrees angle from the model, triggered with Odin for some close up shots. The weather was hot and humid (as usually in Cyprus), so thankfully my handsome model Wilco did not have to freeze to death in the pool. :)
With Phottix's high speed sync feature, I was able to use a higher shutter speed without sacrificing the flash needed for proper lighting. It is very simple to use, even for beginners, and the flash recycle time is absolutely amazing.
Wilco was very patient and understanding about the whole process. Photo shoots can sometimes take awhile, and this one took a little longer since I was testing brand new equipment. He splashed around in the pool for 5 minutes just to get the second shot right. Thank you, Wilco! You are amazing! :)
Overall, the Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash in a combination with Odin trigger was a huge success. You can see every crystal clear drop of water and every subtle ripple in the photos, and aside from the flash, the set was almost completely dark.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with this flash and would definitely recommend it to every photographer. It is an indispensable piece that should be in every photographer's toolkit.
Make sure you stay tunned for new shootings with Phottix equipment and lots of behind the scene materials! :)
If there is one thing I love about being a destination wedding photographer, it is getting to know my clients. Every couple has a story, ranging from the curious to the sensational to the totally romantic. I like to get a feel for what the couple's history is, as it helps me to get the mood of the photo session right. If they met while walking their dogs in the nearby park, an animal-friendly photo shoot at said park is a must. If they met over their mutual love of football, an engagement photo under the stadium lights and the stars is where it's at. I think you get the picture (no pun intended). :)
For Viktoria and Nick, it was those long walks along the bay that inspired me to have their photo shoot on the Molos promenade in Limassol, Cyprus. The evening hours give off the most beautiful orange-tinged light that casts itself all over the boardwalk. It is like something out of a movie scene to see the two lovebirds meet on the promenade. It reminds me of the first time they met.
Viktoria and Nick met at a barbecue hosted by a mutual friend in Cyprus. Viktoria, who was a native Hungarian living in Cyprus, and who is also a devout vegetarian, reached across the dinner table to get the salt. Nick reached for the salt at the same time, and the two touched hands ever so briefly. Think of all the movie scenes in romantic chick flicks where there is an instant spark, an energy and tension that forms from even the briefest of touches. The couple's eyes meet, and it is love at first sight. It must have happened for Viktoria and Nick, right? Isn't real life always like the movies? :)
Well, not this time... Viktoria got a little chilly after Nick tried to spark conversation by making fun of her vegetarian lifestyle, which didn't work out so well. Smooth move, Nick. ;) However, after seeing each other more and more through their mutual friends and seaside gatherings, a mutual attraction soon grew, and eventually, Nick and Viktoria made their relationship official. I guess he got over his girlfriend's love of leafy greens; love means leaving your life of steak dinners for “greener” pastures.
The two could not be happier. You can see it in their smiles, the firm way they grasp each other's hand as they walk down the promenade. There's no regret in their decision to forge a life together.
And to think, it all started over a shaker of salt... :)
As a destination wedding photographer, I have seen it all. From grandiose weddings streaming with expensive decorations, to the humblest of ceremonies with only a select number of guests, I have experienced every one differently. However, the blossoming love between soulmates Josipa and Josip had a depth which I find hard to describe. You could see the deep feeling they had for one another in every look, every touch, every gesture that they gave to each other.
The ceremony took place in a modest church with no more than 100 guests in attendance. As I took pre-wedding photos of the bride as I was arranging her dress, ensuring every finite detail was perfect, I listened as she spoke lovingly of her husband-to-be. Her blushing cheeks and tear-brimmed eyes shone as she expressed her nervousness at her fiance seeing her in her wedding dress for the first time. With as lovely as she was at that moment, I wished he could have seen her.
And then the moment finally came... As Josipa glided down the aisle in an ethereal vision of lace and light, I could see the tears forming in Josip's eyes as he walked alongside his beautiful bride. They arrived at the altar and embraced with a quiet fierceness that moved some in the audience to tears as well. I was able to capture so many reactions to this sublime romance, but my favorite picture out of them all is when Josipa bowed her head in prayer, veil floating around her still blushing cheeks as everyone said a prayer of blessing for their marriage.
After the ceremony, I was able to capture some truly romantic moments between the newlyweds as they paddled through the nearby lake in a canoe for two. The clear reflections in the lake and the surrounding lily pads made for a beautiful setting, and every shot seemed to have a magic to it.
Their wedding dance was equally enchanting, with sweeping curtain backdrops and a starlit ceiling glimmering above the first dance they would dance as husband and wife.
Many brides and grooms have pulled off their wedding day with style and more than a touch of charm and grace, but Josipa and Josip's wedding will always have a special place in my memory. Theirs is a love that will last through every year of their lives, and as the storms of life wash over them, I know that they will cling fast to each other throughout it all with the bright shining hope of true love.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, being a wedding photographer means that sometimes I end up playing other roles as well, a coordinator being one of them. However, I can not be everywhere at once. This is where a day-of-wedding coordinator comes in.
1) Having an experienced person running the show gives you peace of mind.
I have seen firsthand the results of brides having relatives or friends attempt to juggle the tasks a wedding coordinator. They end up feeling overwhelmed, and they are not able to enjoy the wonderful experience a guest should have at a wedding. For your wedding, you need someone who knows exactly what they are doing so that your big day is free of any hiccups or worries about things going wrong.
2) You'll have more time to spend with your guests.
Nothing is more stressful for the bride than constantly being called away every twenty minutes to fix yet another problem. Having a wedding coordinator means you don't have to lose time chatting and spending time with the ones you love.
3) No wrangling.
Leaving this task to a friend or relative is absolutely out of the question. When it is time to take group photos or have the maid of honor do her toast, no one wants to spend half an hour trying to find the missing persons. Your day-of-wedding coordinator will have everything well in hand; after all, it is their job to know where everyone is and have them at the right place at the right time. Leave the wrangling to the expert, and you won't have unnecessary stress, and neither will your guests.
4) Assist bride with putting on her wedding gown.
This can be very difficult to do, especially when the wedding dress is bulky or has multiple layers. Although family and friends can help the bride into her dress, adjusting all the little details to make sure it's put on correctly is sometimes over their heads. The wedding coordinator will help ease the process, making sure it is not time-consuming or stressful for the bride.
5) Making sure the dance floor is clear.
You want that first dance to be a glowing special moment. All eyes are on you as you gaze lovingly into your partner's eyes. The last thing you need are misbehaving children tripping you up or stomping around you, ruining this moment. The wedding coordinator will keep the dance floor clear and make sure that everyone, including the little ones, are respectful of this precious moment.
While I am capturing the precious moments of the bride and groom's big day, the wedding coordinator is orchestrating the smooth flow of events from behind the scenes. The day-of-wedding coordinator is an essential addition to your bridal team.
Here are five reasons not to skimp on your coordinator budget: