Archive for April, 2014

April 08, 2014
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As wedding photographers we would by lying if we didn’t say we love working with our grooms.  Dare we say they are never running behind due to a salon delay?  We seem to get extra time with them on the big day and this is where the magic happens.  There is nothing more awesome that the squirrel-y nature of a pack of men preparing for (and celebrating) a wedding.

One of our favorite calls was from a groom that wanted to stage a pic for his wedding album.  “Can you be in our room in a few minutes?”  Well, heck yeah.  We traveled to Eastern WA for this wedding so we had some extra time on our hands and were booked at the same hotel room.  The clock was set right before the ceremony was to begin and the debauchery of the moment was caught on film.

2014 will be filled with many more new grooms and their rat packs.  Often times cool or nerdy cool but always genuine – and always having fun.  As the husband and wife duo behind Firstlight Photography we just can’t get enough of our wedding dudes.  Here is to an adventure filled 2014 wedding season!

 

April 07, 2014
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Firstlight Photography is now booking senior portrait sessions!  We live in Puyallup, WA and do many sessions in the downtown core because there is the perfect balance of natural backgrounds and great city-scape backdrops.  Tacoma also offers great diversity.  What it will all boil down to is the look and feel that you and your senior are after.  We can travel to your city or specified destination for photos (think high school, Space Needle, Post Alley, Pike Place Market, etc).

We will work with you to make sure we get what you are looking for – after all, you only have your senior year once and these photos are a great way to document a very special time in life.  We will also help with wardrobe ideas.  You can get started by looking at our selection of ideas on Pinterest.

And, if you need a more formal headshot, we are fully equipped with a studio.

For $350 your senior will get the following:

  • Pre-shoot Consultation (where we work with you to plan your session’s details and chat about wardrobe, props, locations).
  • 2 Hour Shoot
  • $100 in  Print Credits
  • Private Online Gallery
  • Custom Mobile Gallery App

& For an additional $95 you get a DVD with all high resolution images.

Do you have a sophomore or junior? Firstlight Photography is accepting 2015 and 2016 senior reps now.

Contact us to learn how you might be able to get a free package for your senior rep!

This past year has been a whirlwind for us and we have not posted a few of our absolute FAVORITE weddings on our blog.  We cherish this wedding like the true gem that it is, but we are so excited to share with you since it does offer quite a satisfying dose of wedding porn.  Rock n Roll Wedding?  Uhm, yes please.

We know you will enjoy Alyson and Andy’s Rock n Roll Wedding.

Do You Come Here Often?
Like the perfect Seattle pairing, these two met at a café – Cafe Casbah to be exact.  The had been  traveling in the same circles for years but until that fateful day at the Casbah they just kept missing one another.

The Officiant
Who better to serve as officiant that the woman who was instrumental in these two getting together?  Angela, the Casbah barista that talked these two up to each other, performed the union.  Alyson recounts that during the early days, she provided just the perfect amount of meddling that made their intentions for each other clear without being awkward.

Wedding Inspiration
Let’s face it, every bride we’ve met is busy.  Alyson is no different.  She is a multi-tasker extraordinaire.  Without time or desire to sit around and read wedding magazines so she read the Offbeat Bride blog features on a weekly basis.  She also relied on Indie Bride and  Rock n Roll Bride to help build up confidence and to find inspiration.

The Wedding Theme – The Overall Vibe
Alyson and Andy wanted the whole day to be a really super awesome day in their lives.  The goal was to let their out of town guests, including the bride’s East Coast family, get a bird’s eye view and flavor of what this couple’s “Seattle thing” is all about.

It is Your Day – The Bonus Hour
After the getting ready and couple shots were done, Alyson and Andy were on the move to their venue.   We took off early to navigate through the Seattle Gay Pride Parade but thanks to a speedy driver, we busted through the city like it was nothing.  Like a good photographer Kier advised them to think about how long it was before their next meal.  Andy and Alyson asked to reroute to the Twilight Exit for a Manhattan and nachos.  They turned their phones off, shared a few laughs and even had time to play an old 80s table top video game.

Picking a Seattle Wedding Venue or Two
For the wedding, the couple wanted to select places from their Seattle community.  The wedding was held at Central Cinema where Alyson worked for nearly three years.

And, where do you go when you want your friends’ bands to be able to play three separate sets?  The Georgetown Ballroom offered a great mix of indoor/outdoor space and allowed for a structure to the party portion of the wedding.

Here Comes The Bride
Getting married at Central Cinema the couple thought they should have a slide show to take advantage of the theater venue.  So when Alyson told her friend, who just happened to be Clinton McClung, one of the program managers for the Seattle International Film Festival and former Central Cinema programmer, he said he could help.

Clinton brought her slide show concept to a whole new level.  He suggested he make a movie so they put down ideas like the gay marriage scene from Wet Hot American SummerBeetlejuicePrincess Bride and more.  They weren’t trying to be too in your face about their stance on marriage equality but thought it was a sly way to recognize it  – especially since they were married in the middle of Gay Pride Day.  The movie also featured Wayne’s World, and Billy Idol’s White Wedding video clips.

And How About that Wedding March Song
Making a grand entrance was accompanied by friends of the couple performing the song “Happiness”by Kasabian – a British band the couple had seen earlier in the year.  It is their only love song and it was perfect for this event.

Jessica Abbott accompanied by her boyfriend Trevor O’Dell on the cinema’s piano, during the processional. They are an established act that Andy and Alyson help manage bookings for now!

Alyson admitted there were a few times that she would put the song on and rehearse – after work.

Andy and Alyson met halfway down the aisle to the sultry “Boom Boom Boom” by former Seattle band Post Stardom Depression – one of the brides fave bands for many years. 


The Wedding Dress & that Amazeballs Reception Dress
To find the perfect dress Alyson started at a wedding shop but then went to Nordstrom’s  with her mom, her recently married friend and one of her “wingmen.”  The whole process took 3 hours.  They had one in her size and it was exactly what she wanted.

What a better way to top off her look but with some sparkle.  One of Alyson’s best girlfriends gifted her a fascinator from a Portland milliner friend.

To get the look perfected, Alyson’s wingman, Derik, styled her the day of the wedding (he is her stylist and colorist too).

After the wedding she changed into a  reception dress that was made by friend Pia Johns.  The dress was textural and full of movement and whimsy.  It looked great with her knee high Chuck Taylors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dapper Esquire Wingmen
Andy and the groomsmen looked dapper as all get out.  Most of this couple’s appointed wingmen had their own black suits.  Alyson asked her esquire wingmen to buy new shirts and ties and the ever important Converse Hightops.

Wedding Details Like No Other

The Wedding Logo
It all starts with your wedding logo (Alyson attributes the logo concept to Offbeat Bride).  The logo and ceremony invitation and program was designed by the bride’s aunt, Chris Winders. She lives on the East Coast, but is so talented she was able to nail the designs on the first try, exclusively communicating through phone calls and emails.

Once they had the logo they had a stamp made and put it all over their wedding items.  It is a great way to brand your wedding and gave the couple lots of ideas on how to use the logo.  They put it on matchbooks, invitation poster tubes and can use it for their thank you cards.  The logo was also featured on the paparazzi and security shirts made the couples had made for the wedding photographers (us!) and friends in charge of crowd control.

Rock ‘n Roll Poster Invites
Alyson and Andy got a real live rock star to do the poster invites for the party! Jefferson Angell (front man of Missionary Position, now touring arenas of the world fronting Walking Papers) makes excellent show posters, and nailed theirs.

Backstage Passes
What Rock n Roll wedding is complete without backstage passes.  The couple had laminated backstage passes on lanyards for the bride, groom, father of the bride, mother of the bride, wingmen, best man and the Reception Master of Ceremonies.   To continue with the rock and roll vibe, two of Alyson’s girlfriends were “doorguys” handing out flyers with musical guest information to incoming guests at the Georgetown Ballroom.

The Flowers
The flower inspiration came right off the blog pages of Offbeat Bride.  Alyson quipped she “didn’t know that duct tape had made such advances.”  There are many more colors than the utilitarian silver hue.  Now duct tape has an arsenal of colors and patterns.

The Favors
What do you get the guests of a rock n roll wedding?  The favors lined the tables in paper lunch sacks that were emblazoned with the couple’s wedding logo.  Inside guests found gourmet hard candy from the Stained Glass Candy Company.  The tasty treat looks like gemstones.  Every favor bag needs a beer coozie emblazoned with a wedding logo (Andy’s idea, since they were doing all canned beer, and, according to his wife, he is NEVER without a coozie!).  Also included were matchbooks with the couple’s logo and of course what every concert goer needs – earplugs.

And Now for Some More Music
Alyson and Andy have a lot of friends – and many of them are musicians.  Members of all 3 bands are some of their dearest friends and Alyson and Andy are very loyal fans.  They joked with the bands that they would be providing them with a captive audience.

The lineup:  MinirexBlue Star Creeper and The Missionary Position.

Their friends did not disappoint.  Hands down this was an amazing concert.

Pinball Wizard

Skill Shot, Seattle’s Pinball Zine, was a main feature of the reception. Since they were reporting on Andy and Alyson’s wedding the guys from Skill Shot donned backstage press passes.

The couple met the Skill Shot guys at Shorty’s, a local bar featuring a collection of sixteen pinball machines ranging from AC DC to the Wizard of Oz.   Skill Shots is the insider on the local pinball tournaments and they ran the tournament event at the wedding.  The pinball machine was a loaner from the friend’s private collection.

Making a Grand Entrance
One night when they were first dating the couple had plans to go to the 24 hour diner but were too lazy to get a cab.  Sacsha, owner of Greener Cab, was pedaling by and asked if they needed a ride.  He had his brother with him so they each got into pedi cabs going down 4th Ave at 1 in the morning.

Alyson had read the Offbeat Bride book and was really taken by the concept of having a walk or some private time where right after the wedding the couple walks alone.  She was trying to think of how to fit that into their ceremony.  And, lightbulb moment – they would pedi cab it to the 2nd location.

Sacsha took extra care to dress up the pedi cab and added a “just married” sign.  The entrance created a scene with people honking and cheering along their several mile ride.

They arrived into the courtyard of the Georgetown Ballroom where their adoring fans were cheering them on.  The pedi cab was left it in the courtyard and it was a great photo prop.

Fancy Date Night Pizza for Wedding Dinner & Strawberry Shortcake
For this couple they agreed that working in the food and beverage industry really paid off in spades when it came to planning and sourcing locations, supplies and catering for the big day.  They kept it local.

Alyson used to work at Zeek’s Pizza – and it is a common date night so selecting fancy date night fare for the wedding was a no brainer.  The couple sourced food from Cash & Carry for the salads.  And, Bitterroot,  a PNW BBQ restaurant in Ballard, did the strawberry shortcake.  Alyson worked there and came up with the idea since Andy doesn’t like cake but they both heart strawberry shortcake.

The couple picked The Upstairs, a local Belltown bar, where Andy used to bartend, to host their rehearsal dinner.

Hilliard’s Beer is a new brewery in Ballard they both love.  Both of the businesses Alyson and Andy used to work at serve their product.  To keep an eye on budget they mixed in this craft beer with a variety of other beers.

To make sure the night went off without a hitch they hired the Invisible Hostess to do all the catering, staffing and bartending.

 

The Wedding Reviews
What did the couple hear after the wedding?  For their friends in their social it was the best wedding ever – it had all the things they loved.  None of their families had ever been to anything so off the beaten path.  It was hard to explain their wedding concept in a cohesive way but now that they experienced it, family members felt like they knew Alyson and Andy a lot better and what their lives are like in Seattle.

Wedding Advice
Just let everything about your relationship and love shine through.  Know where to make compromises with your vision.  They had dreams of a photo booth, rock band competition, aerial artists and more but the couple wisely advises that you have got to be ok with saying goodbye to some of those grander visions if they don’t fit your budget or emotional capacity.  In other words, don’t bust your budget or your sanity.  Keep the big picture in mind.

The Show Must Go On…In Style
Alyson and Andy hired local comedian, burlesque host, and dear friend Vincent Drambuie as the evenings emcee. Not only did he introduce the entertainment, he ran around the venue like a madman, screaming announcements of upcoming reception events (gender neutral bouquet toss, cake cutting, toasts, departing shuttle buses) into an electric bullhorn.

Local boylesque performer, emcee, and singer EmperROAR Fabulous sang love classics between bands to keep the performance element going.

The Glue That Held it All Together
Megan Keller, of a Kurant Event, and her assistants absolutely smashed it, from setting up the cinema to breaking down the venue.  Alyson recounts that she barely saw her that day, but she sent her shots, kept the couple on track for the demands of family photos, had more pizza ordered when it ran out (The couple didn’t even know it happened until a month later!), and, in Alyson’s words, “just kicked ass all over the place.”  Megan was her rock via phone, email, and text the whole month of the event.

What to Do When Vendors are Friends and Refuse $
To show their gratitude for the talents’ time, travel, learning special songs (“Amzeah” from Minirex and Alyson learned a duet to “Oh!” by Sleater-Kinney, practiced in advance, and totally surprised Andy and everyone else!  Missionary Position learned “A Little Help from My Friends” in the style of Joe Cocker, and blew the roof off the house when they closed with it and everybody held hands and swayed).  The couple bought a $100 gift certificate to Guitar Center for each band.  They picked out a top-shelf turquoise eyeshadow for EmpeROAR and repurposed the venue’s “groom’s suite” as a green room for all the talent.

How Much Does an Epic 2 Venue, 3 Band Rock n Roll Wedding Cost These Days?
The couple tapped into local sourcing and rolled with their budget as the planning progressed.  This magazine worthy wedding came in at under $20,000.

The Honeymoon & Beyond
The couple decompressed in Portland for a few days after the wedding, but saved enough money, along with their wedding gifts to spend a month in New Zealand last spring as their big honeymoon. They skydived, rafted, sea kayaked, caved, hitchhiked, ate, and drank their way around a great country. The first of many journeys!

Alyson and Andy now operate a small home business called Hello Lucky.  Alyson practices waxing and skincare, and Andy crunches the numbers and writes her paychecks. An excellent partnership!

It took us a while to put this blog together.  It was such an epic day and the couple is just very special to us.  Many thanks to them for picking us – and for Alyson her time and talent making sure the blog details were just right.  She also gave us a great update.  Their friend Justin, who beat out his girlfriend Angela for the prize in the gender neutral bouquet toss, is going to be a dad!  The couple is happily engaged and expecting their first baby!

We met Jestina at the South Sound Wedding and Event Show at the Great Wolf Lodge earlier in the year.  When Jared and Jestina told us about their engagement shoot ideas we could not wait to work with these two!  How can you not adore this couple’s free spirit, sense of humor and show of love?

For their shoot we went to Riverbend Ranch in Tenino, WA.  Next year this will be the venue for this couple’s wedding.  It was great to get a sneak peek at this amazing venue – and it help set the stage for what they had planned.

As your wedding photographer Firstlight Photography will work with you to pick just the right location for your engagement shoot.  Many of our couples like to go to their venue for the shoot.  As the photographer it is a great opportunity to getting the lay of the land and we can talk with couples about specific locations for the day of the wedding photos.  As an engaged couple you get to see how your venue photographs.

If you have something else in mind we are your sounding board and work with you to cultivate your ideas.  Other locations that our couples like include downtown urban areas, an open field (we have our own vintage picnic basket and other fun elements), a graffiti wall, a meaningful to you place – you get the point…we’ll go just about anywhere!  We will work with you to plan out your vision.  Start looking around on Pinterest.  Create an inspiration board and share it with us.  check out our engagement ideas board while you are there!

Your engagement photos capture a very special time in your romance.  With a little planning we can help you suss out a vision and a plan of action.  As part of your wedding package, we will work with you to develop these into announcements / save the dates for your big day.

April 07, 2014
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Are you planning a Dr Who wedding?  How about a Star Wars wedding?  We want to photograph one of these events so we are actively recruiting.  We will be offering a 15% discount on wedding services for select Dr Who or Star Wars themed weddings.

Call us and tell us what you have in mind!  We are ready for travel so you don’t have to be located in Western Washington for our consideration of this special offer.

Be sure to visit our Pinterest board for nontraditional weddings too!

Do you really need a butter dish?
When we first started our wedding photography business we got the idea to create a wedding photography registry.  Many of our couples already have two toasters and had shared their struggles with the whole wedding registry process.  Everyone felt awkward asking for money but they all liked the idea of getting help funding wedding elements.

We knew couples that registered for their honeymoon and it got us thinking about our own registry.  We asked a few couples if a wedding photography registry would be helpful.  Since the beginning of our business this has been one of our most popular features.

Why register for photography?
A wedding registry is an excellent way to get your wedding photography package paid for by your friends and family.  You can add the elements you want to your big day and you can add on upgrades like a boudoir shoot or an album with a metal cover and additional pages.  Simply put it offers more flexibility with your overall wedding budget.

And how exactly does it work? 
With your invites and when people ask where you are registered you can provide them our contact information.  Your guests can contact us and we will send them an invoice for their contribution towards your package.  If they wish to remain confidential until the wedding we won’t let you know who has contributed. As gifts are added to your registry we notify you of your shrinking photography package balance.

Our couples love the option of a wedding photography registry.

As Seattle area wedding photographers we get to visit amazing wedding venues in Washington and beyond.  Wedding venues that offer a mix of outdoor and indoor spaces are the most flexible for couples – and they offer the most diverse backdrop for your wedding day photos.  Kalley and Eric were married at Green Gates at Flowing Lake in Snohomish, Washington.

This venue has a fantastic open bluff that overlooks the Cascade Mountain Range and shoreline.  The reception was held in the open air covered barn structure that, once night falls, literally glows with rustic romantic twinkly lights.

At every turn the venue offers great photo opportunities.  The owners have put a lot of thought into making sure that there are many vantage points for wedding pictures.  We were even given help in hoisting Kalley’s dress up for just the perfect setting.

The event went off without a hitch.  We coordinated our photo schedule with the couple’s wedding planner Jennifer of Elements NW Events and Weddings so we were all on the same page for the days’ anticipated events.  The wedding details were rustic and romantic.  The tablescapes included dahlias and a mix of in season flowers set atop marvelously rustic tree platters.

Looking for a different twist on your wedding cake?  Kalley and Eric have a love of brownies so they opted for a tower of brownies with all the fixin’s on the side.  There was also a decadent candy buffet that the adults frequented more than the children.

Congratulations to Kalley and Eric!  We absolutely loved your wedding and are so glad we could be part of the day.

 

 

 

Wedding Vendors
Photography – Firstlight Photography
Planning & Coordination – Elements NW Events and Weddings Jennifer Vandeventer
Venue – Green Gates at Flowing Lake
Spirits – BevMo
Catering – Barry’s Catering
DJ – “Nick at Night” Nick MacDonald
Transportation – Rainier Limousine