Archive for December, 2009

Stephanie Williams Photography – Wedding Photographer

Stephanie Williams is beautiful inside and out.  She is enjoying her passion alongside the person she loves most and can’t live without.   Every package she offers will include your engagement session, so that they can get to know you, your love story and how you interact with each other.  This will result in more creative images for you.  As you can see she has a beautiful style, you will feel comfortable in the presence of Stephanie and Issac as they capture the emotions of your wedding.

Stephanie Williams is one of our favorite Orange County, California wedding photographers. We are delighted  she gave us a few minutes of her time for an interview  - thanks Stephanie.

What’s your favorite trend in wedding photography at the moment?

I would say that my favorite trend is couples getting more creative and personal with their engagement session and wedding day, from bringing fun props (cameras, vintage bikes, balloons, lollipops, etc) to their engagement session to carefully crafting their wedding theme to match their personalities and getting out of the bounds of what a traditional wedding is “supposed” to look like.

What about your job still makes you smile?
Definitely witnessing love day in and day out, the sweet smile and gentle embrace – it still makes me giddy to capture it, and I hope that never fades!

What FireFly package would you pick for your bachelorette party? -
ooh, either White Water Rafting (it’s so much fun!) or Horseback Riding – I love the outdoors, and either of these looks like a great adventure!

Name 3 famous people you’d invite on your bachelorette party? Why?
Drew Barrymore – cause I just think we’d get along, Joanna Newsom – she’s brilliant, soulful and I love her music, and Alia Shawkat – because she’s hilarious and I also think we’d just get along

Which wedding are you: Beach, Mountain, Forest, or Countryside?
Oh, that’s a tough one! I love all kinds of outdoor weddings, but I guess I’ll have to go with Countryside…there’s just something about an open, expansive field that I love…..

Finish this sentence: *If I could give one piece of wedding advice it would
be…*
true to yourself and personality and style. Don’t go along with something if it isn’t “you.” Feel freed to bend the wedding rules and create an amazing day that celebrates truly who you and your fiance are as people and as a couple.

What’s your most outrageous wedding memory?
I do have a good one for this question…recently, I shot a wedding where the father of the bride forgot his pants! Everything was pushed back a bit because they had to send someone back to the hotel to retrieve them. The cool thing about it though, was that the bride and groom just rolled with it and didn’t freak out. We just got to shoot extra romantics and bridal party shots :)

You can view her website here: http://www.stephaniewilliamsphotography.com/.

And you can view her Blog here: http://stephaniewilliamsphotography.com/blog/

what’s your favorite trend in wedding photography at the moment?
I would say that my favorite trend is couples getting more creative and
personal with their engagement session and wedding day, from bringing fun
props (cameras, vintage bikes, balloons, lollipops, etc) to their
engagement session to carefully crafting their wedding theme to match their
personalities and getting out of the bounds of what a traditional wedding
is “supposed” to look like.

What about your job still makes you smile?

Definitely witnessing love day in and day out, the sweet smile and gentle
embrace – it still makes me giddy to capture it, and I hope that never
fades!

What FireFly package would you pick for your bachelorette party? -

ooh, either White Water Rafting (it’s so much fun!) or Horseback Riding – I
love the outdoors, and either of these looks like a great adventure!

Name 3 famous people you’d invite on your bachelorette party? Why?

Drew Barrymore – cause I just think we’d get along, Joanna Newsom – she’s
brilliant, soulful and I love her music, and Alia Shawkat – because she’s
hilarious and I also think we’d just get along

Which wedding are you: Beach, Mountain, Forest, or Countryside? Oh, that’s
a tough one! I love all kinds of outdoor weddings, but I guess I’ll have to
go with Countryside…there’s just something about an open, expansive field
that I love…..

Finish this sentence: *If I could give one piece of wedding advice it would

be…* true to yourself and personality and style. Don’t go along with
something if it isn’t “you.” Feel freed to bend the wedding rules and
create an amazing day that celebrates truly who you and your fiance are as
people and as a couple.

What’s your most outrageous wedding memory? I do have a good one for this
question…recently, I shot a wedding where the father of the bride forgot
his pants! Everything was pushed back a bit because they had to send
someone back to the hotel to retrieve them. The cool thing about it though,
was that the bride and groom just rolled with it and didn’t freak out. We
just got to shoot extra romantics and bridal party shots :)

Temple of Groom Operation: Get Ben Folds to Play our Wedding

benfoldsWe came across a desperate plea by Dave from Temple of Groom and thought we’d offer a hand.  He’s sincere(crazy devoted), woeful, hopeful(fanatical), and putting his pride on the shelf in the hopes that Ben Folds will play his wedding. This is a worthy goal in our eyes and we wish Dave the best of luck.  In the spirit of the long shot, the hail mary play, Tiger Woods staying faithful, and the ugly guy getting the hot girl we’re asking you to check out the letter he wrote to Ben. Here’s an excerpt:

On TV, I just watched Oprah surprise her best friend Gayle by having Josh Groban serenade her at work. I think you’re easily 10x cooler than Josh Groban. I’m not saying that we’re any better than Gayle, but between you and me…well, I just think you’d have a better time at our wedding than hanging with Gayle (although I hear that she makes an awesome spinach and artichoke dip).

Check out the rest of his letter here: http://templeofgroom.blogspot.com/2009/12/ben-folds-our-wedding-my-impossible.html

Also, don’t miss reading his wedding blog that approaches weddings from a male perspective: http://templeofgroom.blogspot.com

Bachelor Party Survival Guide – Submerge Magazine

the-hangover-01.jpgCome children and sit at the feet of Uncle Bocephus as he litters your consciousness with tales of bachelor party legend. =) He has delicately dissected the male wedding ritual that brides love to hate. He offer tips and tricks for all members of the party.  From the insightful:

…it should be noted that it is not possible to maintain any semblance of cleanliness when in the presence of so many men. In groups of any notable size, all men turn into wild animals after the second hour or so. Even the most germ-phobic man will reduce himself to food throwing by the end of first night.

To the practical:

Keep it simple. If anyone requires anything else, send that ass to the store. Remember, regular portions do not apply to men at bachelor parties. The binging doesn’t stop with the drink; so, always buy twice as much food as you think you’ll need.

Submerge Magazine, through the writing of Bocephus Chigger,  has turned out a great summary of our favorite man outing. They cover cleanliness(or lack of), feeding the pack, drinking, extracurricular activities, and how to destroy Al Qaeda. To read the full article, click here:

http://submergemag.com/blogs/the-bachelor-party-survival-guide/1077/

Holiday Wishes from FireFly Group Events

Happy Holidays to all you Best Men, Maids of Honor, Brides, Grooms, wedding industry professionals, friends, family, and occasional blow-up doll! Check out the card we sent out to our list this year:

holiday_card_blog

holiday_card_back_blog

Vendor Love – The Stylish Soiree

YelenaThe truly talented Yelena Johnson, is the Creative Director of The Stylish Soiree, they plan charming, unforgettable weddings and events for her style-obsessed clients. The Stylish Soiree is known for their passion and dedication for creating impeccably styled, detailed weddings that look natural and effortlessly beautiful, never overdone. Yelena’s background as a fashion editor gave birth to The Stylish Soiree’s signature offering,which is included in every full service package: personal styling for the bride and bridal party. From bridal headpieces to colorful coordinating socks for the groomsmen, their fashion expertise ensures that everyone arrives looking their absolute best. When planning new events, The Stylish Soiree utilizes details of the couples life and relationship as a springboard for inspiration and creativity.  Thanks Yelena for sharing.
What’s your favorite trend for weddings at the moment?

I love the soft, vintage trend for weddings. It’s timeless and romantic without being too heavy on a theme. Plus, if it looked beautiful 50 years ago and is equally lovely today, chances are you won’t regret the look ten years down the road when you bust out your wedding albums.

The Stylish Soiree

The Stylish Soiree

What FireFly package would you pick for your bachelorette party?
Hands down, I would have to choose the Grape Escape. I’ve been in love with the Napa Valley since I first stepped foot onto its picturesque, rolling vineyards. The food and wine selections in Napa are akin to nirvana for a foodie like myself, and I can’t imagine a better bachelorette party than a day spent indulging in delectable Napa foods, wine tasting and pampering.


Name 3 famous people you’d invite on your bachelorette party? Why?
If I could have invited three famous people on my bachelorette party I would have chosen Rachel McAdams, Audrey Hepburn and Whitney Port.  Completely random, yes, but my rationale is that each of these women have that rare mix of being genuine and down to earth yet fun, stylish and fabulous – just the type of people I would want to add to my already-amazing group of real life girlfriends.

What’s your most outrageous memory at a wedding?
One of the groomsmen was so inebriated that he ran smack into the glass entrance door to the hotel on the way back to his room, causing it to fall off the hinge and come crashing to the ground. Luckily the door was crafted from shatter-proof glass, but it was still pretty unbelievable.

The Stylish SoireeWhich wedding are you: Beach, Mountain, Forest, or Countryside?

Definitely countryside! Although I grew up by the beach my whole life, I’ve always been drawn to the natural beauty of the countryside – be it a quaint vintage farmhouse or a stately English manor with overgrown rose gardens, there’s an innately romantic allure with country weddings that can’t be duplicated in the middle of the city.  I’m a hopeless romantic at heart and live for flowers, animals and farm fresh foods, so the countryside it is.

Who would you rather deal with: The hungover Groom, Interfering Mother of the Bride or a Bridezilla?

The hungover groom is easiest to deal with, since I always carry powerful B vitamin energy drinks, Advil and Tums with me in my emergency kit. The Interfering Mother of the Bride would come next since I have a knack for diffusing stress and can get along with just about anyone. A true Bridezilla is always the hardest to please, since most Bridezillas are not acting from a place of rationality!

The Stylish Soiree

The Stylish Soiree

Finish this sentence: If I could give one piece of wedding advice it would be…
Find a gorgeous venue that already serves delicious food on site. A naturally beautiful venue ensures perfect photo backdrops and dramatically cuts the cost of decor and rentals, while a fabulous on-site restaurant saves the potential hassle of bringing in an outside caterer, waiters, bar staff, tables, dishes, glasses and cutlery. The venue hunt can be the most challenging and grueling part of planning, but finding the perfect spot for your wedding is really the most important step you can take… next to hiring the right event designer & planner, of course. ;)

San Diego Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties

San DiegoHands down, San Diego is one of our favorite locations to help the best man or maid of honor throw a party. It’s close to the ocean, has a great nightlife, and the people are friendly. Between the Gaslamp, Little Italy, Coronado, and Old town you’ll be able to find whatever you need for a bachelor party. When we look for new locations for our events we take a few things into account.

  • Transportation - is it easy to get around?
  • Proximity – Is everything ie. bars, clubs, hotels, etc close to each other? Are there some cool daytime excursions close to the area for the bachelorette party?
  • Saturation - Does the area have a strong selection of clubs, restaurants, bars, etc?
  • Safety – Would a group feel comfortable wandering around the streets at 2 in the morning?
  • Lodging – What’s the hotel or vacation rental situation?

In San Diego a bachelor party can easily ride ATVs during the day, take a brewery tour in the evening, and then party hard through the night. The bachelorette party won’t feel left out either because we have packages that chocolate tasting to trapeze lessons. So if you’re looking for the best southern California spot for a bachelor or bachelor party, our money is San Diego. Did we mention it’s on the ocean?

San Diego Bachelor Party Packages:

  • False Starts - High Performance Karting followed by a victory lap of local breweries.
  • Massage the Birdie – Round of golf followed by a 50 min massage. Try and avoid pulling a Tiger though.
  • Fried Fish – A private chartered boat for some deep sea fishing

San Diego Bachelorette Party Packages:

  • Stress Relief - relax on a sunset sail then head into town to a super cool cafe where you can smash plates and glasses against the wall.
  • Dangerous Beauty - Channel Charlie’s Angels as you fire handguns, swing from a trapeze, and learn some sexy moves in a pole dancing studio.
  • Miss Behave – Step in front of the camera and give your man a gift to keep him warm at night. This sexy boudoir session will unleash your inner goddess.

DIY: Eco Funky Fused Plastic Table Numbers

Recycled Table NumbersEco is chic. We asked James from Plasctic Rapt(yes, he’s the same as James from FireFly) to teach us how to make recycled table numbers from fused plastic bags. These are great for an eco friendly bridal shower, bachelorette party, or even your wedding. It’s time to dig out those bags sitting in that drawer in your kitchen!

We’ll be fusing the plastic bags together then cutting out the numbers. Half the fun of this project is finding some funky plastic to decorate them with. You can use almost any type of plastic bags for this project. I chose a regular grocery bag for my base and then prettied it up with a target bag. There are sooooo many possibilities with fused plastic. Especially, since you can sew the fused plastic sheets as though they’re fabric! Now keep in mind that “used” bags are more in the spirit of “econess”. So don’t go to the store and grab a few extra bags ’cause that kinda defeats the “eco” part of all this. =]

To prepare for this project you’ll need to find the materials below and spend a moment on the computer. Make a print out of the numbers you’re constructing that you can use as a template. I like to print them out in grey to save some ink. There’s also no reason (unless you’re not artistically inclined) that you couldn’t draw the numbers out by hand.

IMPORTANT: Do this in a well ventilated area

_MG_8479

Ingredients:

  • Tape (scotch or masking)
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Parchment paper
  • Number template
  • Wedding Magazine (or any other kind, heavier the better)
  • Spiffy blue Vespa key chain(optional)
  • Can Do Spirit (not optional)

Step 1: Take the grocery bag and flatten it out in front of you. Fold the bag in half so the handles overlap.Take your scissors and gather both handles together and cut them off. This is to square the bag up and helps keep it symmetrical.

_MG_8432

Cut the bottom of the bag off as well. This gets rid of the extra gathers and folds in the bag.

Step 2: Fold the bag in halves until you’ve gotten to a size just large enough to lay your number template on top of it. The size should be slightly larger than the number you plan to cut out since the plastic shrinks a little bit.

_MG_8433

Step 3: Tear off 2 sheets of parchment paper that are larger than the folded bag. Place the folded up plastic bag between the two sheets of parchment paper.

_MG_8436

Step 4: Set your iron on a mid-level heat setting. I use the Rayon setting on mine. Anything hotter at this stage will be too hot. If the iron is too hot, holes can appear in the plastic or it can shrink and distort. Using a steady back and forth motion, run the iron over plastic (which should be between 2 pieces of parchment) with a firm pressure. Do this a few times then turn the parchment/plastic over and repeat on the other side.

_MG_8437

Once you’ve done both sides turn up the heat on your iron a couple of clicks. Again run the iron over the plastic a few times. After you’ve ironed for a few minutes, take a magazine and place it on top of the parchment. This is to help the plastic lay flat as it cools. Cooling only takes a few moments.

Step 5: Check the plastic for adhesion. Are the different layers beginning to fuse together? If not, keep ironing and gradually raise the temperature. I wouldn’t go past the cotton setting at any point though.

Step 6: If your layers have fused together, grab the decorative plastic. In this tutorial we’re using a target bag. Those little targets are a great visual pattern. Place this on top of your fused plastic sheet. Cover them with the parchment and again, starting at Rayon, iron the plastic sheets. After the first few passes raise the heat and iron for a few more. Once fused, trim off the excess material.

_MG_8448

Step 7: If your sheets are now fused, grab your number template and tape it to the plastic sheet. Using the scissors cut the number out of the plastic sheet. Once the cutting is complete, peel your number template off.

_MG_8456

Step 8: Look at your new masterpiece with a heightened sense of self worth and accomplishment. Smile! Now calculate how many more you have to do and get to work.

_MG_8460

_MG_8461

The numbers aren’t incredibly stiff, but would look pretty cool if you hung them from a tree branch or used a bamboo skewer to hold them up. Get creative!

Recycled Table Numbers

Extra Notes: White plastic bags as a base make the colors you put on top of it more vibrant.  A great source of some colored bags are the pooper scooper bags the city puts in parks. I have found that the plastic in Target bags is very easy to work with.

Heres another number I did from the scraps on this project. I just covered it with a thin yellow bag I had in my bag stash.

_MG_8465

Bachelor Party – Deep Sea Fishing

I love fish and chips smothered in vinegar and served up in a newspaper….. agh I miss a good ole chippie!  In fact, I love most seafood.  I LOVED shark fishing in South Africa and Piranha fishing in Bolivia. However, I haven’t made it deep sea fishing yet. What?! I know, I know, it’s on my list. =) Luckily for you Best Main and Maids of Honor we have some friends that were able to make some solid recommendations for California fishing.

You can either go out on a private boat or on an open boat that accommodates up to 70 people.  The trips range from half days, to overnight trips.  It’s a great way to bond and literally catch a bite to eat.  Some boats, for a small charge, will even clean the fish for you (trust me its worth it, your fiance will appreciate it). Either choice will make for a bachelor or bachelorette party to remember. We offer fishing party packages in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco.

Check out our different ‘Open Boat’ packages:

  • Fish Fry – 3 Course Dinner & Half Day Open Boat Fishing
  • Fishy Pints – Beer Tasting & Half Day Open Boat Fishing
  • Fish & Fare – Half Day Open Party Boat Fishing
  • School Party – Half Day Open Party Boat Fishing & Party Bus

You can also ‘Charter’ your own boat, check out the following packages:

Vendor Love – Interview with Mint Photolounge

When we met Shea and Sarah from Mint Photo Lounge I was the Welfairey and Nadine was a FireFly. We were at an industry Halloween mixer and they had a super swank photo booth set-up. We jumped in line and within seconds of the flash going off we had a strip of goofy photos.  They had even added the name the event to the photos. Way too cool! We highly recommend adding a photo booth to your next party or event. Mint let’s you choose the photo layout, caption, and more.   After the party we caught up with the kids at Mint Photo Lounge and asked them some questions.

How did Mint Photolounge begin?

While planning for our wedding, we researched many different photo booth companies but were unable to find exactly what we were looking for. We wanted something that was sleek and modern yet still took great pictures, so they decided to go for it themselves and Mint Photo Lounge was created.

If you could have anyone in your photolounge from the present day or the past who would it be and why?

Shea: Michael Jackson. I could see him having so much fun in the lounge and laughing at all of his photos.

Sarah: Audrey Hepburn because she is FABULOUS!

20090718_102805Mint PhotoloungeWhat FireFly package would you pick for your bachelor & bachelorette party?

Shea: I think I would do a bachelor weekend.  We would do the “Shoot em up” paintball day and the “Platinum-15000ft to Dinner” with the Flight Stunt Maneuvers. That would be a full combat weekend of fun.

Sarah: I would pick the “Flirty Bubbles” package.  I am a big champagne fan and I think champagne tasting would be a ball.  The model pin up photo shoot would be fun too.

Name 3 famous people you’d invite on your bachelor and bachelorette party? Why?

Shea: Vince Vaughn, Kobe Bryant and Larry David.  Vince Vaughn would probably be so funny and might get a little crazy. Kobe because he is Kobe and one of the greatest basketball players of all time and I would love to pick his brain. I think Larry David would bring some interesting conversations/arguments to the group and whomever else we hang out with. He might get us in trouble though.

Sarah: None. Why would I want them there to steal my thunder? J

What’s your most outrageous memory at a wedding?

Shea: hummmm…This one wedding singer was cursing while singing at the reception…wait…that is in a movie….

Sarah: A bridesmaid/sister-of-the-bride at a wedding thought she took zanex before the wedding but accidently took sleeping pills. It made for an interesting ceremony and reception.

Your rich uncle Donald(trump) gives your $5 million dollars. How would you spend that on a wedding?

Shea: I would put it towards an unreal site and then have a few major musical artists come and play for everyone. Think about Jack Johnson singing some songs followed by a few crowd pleasers from Journey.

Sarah: Great food. Great champagne (and lots of it). A fabulous venue. I think I would have to invest the other $4.5 million because I don’t think I can spend that much on a wedding.

Mint Photolounge20091027_083955Which wedding are you: Beach, Mountain, Forest, or Countryside?

Shea: Beach for sure…no question.

Sarah: none…how about an ocean view from a private estate.

Who would you rather deal with: The hungover Groom, Interfering Mother of the Bride or a Bridezilla?

Shea: no comment

Sarah: any of them…they don’t sound that bad to me.

Finish this sentence: If I could give one piece of wedding advice it would be…

Shea: to enjoy the process and take time at the wedding to breathe and take it all in.

Sarah: to do what you want and don’t try and please everybody. And, yes, splurge on the shoes.

Thanks Mint Photolounge!

Looking for something unique and fun for your  birthday party, bachelor party, company party, or any other kind of party? Check out the photo booth from Mint Photolounge: http://mintphotolounge.com/index.html