The florists who create those unforgettable bouquets...the baker artists who make spectacular and delicious cakes that set the tone of the wedding...the designers who create the beautiful gowns and jewelry and veils and hairpieces that complete the bride and her attendants. The hair & make up artists who put the finishing touches and change a beautiful lady into a photo ready model. And let's not forget the DJs and the bands who can transport a sedate, traditional wedding into an amazing, entertaining evening.
I've had the pleasure of working with some really wonderful people in the DC Metro Area over the last couple of years, and today's blog is to recognize them. In fact, every Friday I would like to give a shout out to at least one vendor. Small businesses should work together to help each other out whenever possible. :)
HAIR & MAKE UP
I have never been shy of expressing my love for the wonderful and amazing team of Best Face Forward. These talented ladies will travel to you and your wedding party and turn everyone into a picture perfect model. Their rates are reasonable and they could not be more professional, efficient, and fun. I recommend them to every bride & groom I have as well as for each one of my Feel Beautiful shoots. They make my editing life so much easier by creating flawless faces of light reflecting make up. They are also skin experts so don't hesitate to discuss your skin needs with them during your session. I don't just use them professionally, I use them personally...their make up, their skin products, and they also do my hair & make up for my weddings to keep me looking polished & professional during my often 12 hour wedding days. :) I recommend them to family & friends and basically anyone who will listen to me describing their awesomeness. :) Check out their Facebook page, too! Some highlights of their work with me include 80s bride, the infamous pin up calendar, the Mad Men styled shoot, and The Snow Queen's frosty persona.
I also really enjoyed the style team at Statements the Salon in Woodbridge, VA. They worked seamlessly with multiple stylists to create special looks for each one of the 7 bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and of course, the bride herself. Their salon is bright and airy, they use high end products, and they were personable and helpful. If you're looking for a traditional, chic salon to create beautiful looks for you on your big day, they are a terrific option.
I was plenty surprised to meet Norm Voss of Voss DJ at Paige & Bobby's wedding this January. Normally, when there's a DJ/live singer, the live portion of the singing isn't so hot. I'm especially picky as I'm an opera singer with a degree in music. Norm was WONDERFUL. He has a great look and personality, kept the dance floor positively crowded all night long, and had a terrific voice that fit the songs he chose perfectly. (Brian's pic of Norm in action is at the bottom of the blog!) :)
For OUR wedding DJ, we chose Carl Nubile, who has been a DJ and live singer for ages. You couldn't ask for a better, more charming guy. He is dependable, experienced, fun, and intuitive as well as talented. He has that old school Sinatra-esque charisma (and vocals) and is wonderful to have in your wedding corner.
At Jai n Ro's September wedding, which definitely had a club vibe, their DJ Loud Tone had his finger on the pulse of the evening. He provided not only great music but awesome and fun lighting that transformed the ballroom into a night club.
A woman who has been invaluable to me for my styled shoots is the incomparable Ann of Ann Leslie Designs. She creates the most gorgeous head/hair pieces for anyone stylish. Veils and tiaras and ornate combs for brides, birdcage veils & fascinators, vintage pillbox hats and headbands. Just a tremendous talent and a wonderful lady. Her work is also featured in the pin up calendar, the Mad Men shoot, Rhiannon the Welsh Goddess, and my absolute favorite, The Red Shoes ballet shoot.
If you've ever seen my styled shoots, and paid close attention to the bracelets, you'll find my deep love for Lindsay of Everistta in NY within. She creates these amazing heirloom brooch bracelets that every bride would want, plus custom pieces for the wedding parties. I personally wear her "skinny" bracelets in my signature colors and often give them as gifts to brides, friends & family. Her items are very unusual and special, and she's so efficient and terrific, especially when it comes to shipping your pieces out when you need them. Check out her work for my 80s shoot and the pin up shoot (her to die for heirloom bracelet is worn by Miss November!) as well as the Mad Men shoot. :)
Gateau recently won a Wedding Wire Couples Choice award. You haven't lived until you've seen one of their spectacular designs-they do things with florals, ruffles, crystals, and other materials that are absolutely exquisite. I am convinced that Lora, the owner, can do ANYTHING. She is a true artist, and even better...her cakes taste scrumptious! :) I'm not a chocolate fan, and she pretty much converted me after just a bite of one of her chocolate cupcakes. :)
Evan at Sweets by E is also quite the artist, creating whimsical and adorable cakes that also taste moist and light and memorable. She also has a kind & laid back personality that will really appeal to a lot of couples. She created a beautiful top layer cake and platters of cupcakes for Katie & Mike's charming wedding at Bristow Manor Country Club.
At Paige & Bobby's wedding, I did not taste the cake from The Icing, but I can admit to being absolutely blown away by the design. At first glance, it was a simple white tiered cake. Upon closer inspection, the intricate lace/crochet work was reminiscent of the bride's gorgeous gown. The cake was a mixture of pink champagne and chocolate truffle and I heard nothing but praise from the guests. (Pic at the bottom of the blog!)
Last but not least...if you're looking for a little something unique for your wedding, consider balloon art. This is not your kiddie's birthday party. Evelyn & David Cannon of Bella Flair make magic with their balloons...creating archways, bouquets, larger than life replicas of characters, etc. for weddings & events. It really adds a whimsical air and fun to any special occasion. They did the balloon art for my styled 80s pop princess shoot last year and I was blown away.
And that wraps up my vendor love for this week. If you're interested in being featured, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can arrange working together for a styled shoot and I can see your talent first hand! :) I am definitely on the lookout for a FLORIST willing to work with me to create bouquets/head garlands and other items for various styled shoots in exchange for publicity and photos for your portfolio/website/social media. :)
This weekend will be an easy one. Tomorrow I get to photograph sweetheart Shawn for his headshots, social media shots, and website material. Then we're meeting new potential wedding clients at a local place in Rockville. Sunday I am off to help get caught up on the editing hole I have dug for myself...it's a doozy! I am so excited for the photo shoots and weddings on the horizon. Each one is so unique. For my styled shoots this year, I have an interesting array of themes...Roaring 20s flapper girls, grunge glam classical musicians, whimsical bridal, a play on the hit tv show Once Upon a Time, Anne of Green Gables (the beloved series from my childhood), and my most challenging project to date-creating replicas of amazing John Waterhouse paintings. I have a series of gorgeous models that I think will bring each work of art to life in a special way.
Happy Friday & Have a Beautiful Weekend!