How to Pick Your Wedding Photography Package – Puyallup Wedding Photographer

Getting married is a process that is filled with oodles of decisions.  We recognize it can be daunting.  As a husband and wife wedding photography team,  it our mission to help engaged couples sift through options and breathe.  After all, a wedding is a celebration.  We stand beside you and remind you of this along the way.

seattle wedding photographerEarly on we began sitting down with clients and what did we see?  Deer in the headlights. Lots of blank gazes.  When we start talking about the flow of the wedding we realized that for most couples this whole wedding planning world is a new and scary space.  We were not speaking their language…yet.

So to break it down we meet with couples over coffee and review our work via our books and tablets.  Most couples secure their venue and then find their photographer.  So, we come into the picture at the very early stages.  This is important because you typically secure your wedding photographer before a planner is even considered.

Couples want to figure out their overall budget.  Often times they come to us with a set amount of time they want us to spend at their wedding.  To ensure we don’t miss something important or are booked for too long, we like to ask a few questions and sketch out a very crude outline of the wedding day.  This sketch has become our best tool.  With it we have found that we are able to help couples figure out what they actually need for their day and it helps us ensure that things stay on track.

We realize that reviewing the day of events leads to a lot of procedural questions – it gets the couple thinking.  We strongly encourage couples to do what it is they want and expect from their day.  We tell them what traditional components are (some don’t know – which really shows how much weddings are changing) and then we share what new and creative ones we have seen over the years.  Wedding Wire offers a great perspective on The Top 10 Things You Don’t Have to do on Your Wedding Day.

Our initial meeting provides the chance to get to know one another and allows us to develop a feel for the wedding, the couple’s style and personalities.  We start with an estimated wedding ceremony time.  From there we can build an outline of the day.  Even if the couple isn’t sure, we can develop a very rough timeline.  Since we are in the early stages there is plenty of time for refinement.

We stay in contact with our couples and continue to refine the wedding day schedule.  We all go into the wedding day very prepared.  And the couple gets a custom fit package that meets their every need.

As the wedding plans progress we coordinate with a variety of wedding vendors.  We will have more on this in an upcoming blog that highlights the whole vendor/day of process!

We are currently booking consultations 2016 and 2017 weddings.

Seattle Boudoir and Pinup Photography |Firstlight Photography

You do NOT need to lose 5 more pounds!

Sometimes we hear that a client is just trying to lose 5 pounds and they want to wait for photos.  Even (or especially!) super models greatly benefit from Photoshop.  Firstlight Photography has worked with clients long enough to realize the poses that work to accentuate your positives and those that help disguise anything that you might be self-conscious about.  We work with size 2 clients to size 28 clients and they all tap into their inner sexy.

boudoir 2Getting Prepared for a Boudoir Shoot

If you are after the full Diva pampering session we work with very talented hair and makeup artists.  We have a variety of before and after images to show the true artistry that comes along with this service.   Lipstick, gloss and fake eyelashes make for amazing images.  These are some of the most impactful things you could do to prepare for a shoot.

It Truly is in the Details…

• You will want your makeup to work with your wardrobe choices so it is good to determine a theme prior to the shoot (more on themes below).
• Arrive with your hair down and with little or no product so we can have the most flexibility during the shoot.
• Treating yourself to a mani / pedi is a great way to dress up your shoot.
• Be sure to keep your skin well hydrated by drinking plenty of water several days before the shoot.  Also make sure you are moisturizing your body in advance.
• If you are going to get a wax, we recommend giving yourself several days to allow for the redness to disappear.
• And, if you are sunburned we recommend rescheduling the session.  Wear that sunscreen!

boudoir 3Strike a Pose…or Two

To get yourself ready you should practice your sexy looks in the mirror for a few days.  It will really help ease your nerves the day of the shoot.  Own your sex goddess stature for the day.  You deserve it!  Again, it is ideal to bring a friend along.  It makes you more comfortable and they offer tons of support!

boudoir 8General Theme

Do you feel like being a 50’s pin up?  A 20’s inspired hottie?  Or maybe you just want your makeup done with a little more emphasis.  Picking a theme will help you figure out wardrobe and it will help us get the images you want – even if you weren’t sure at first. We are here to consult with you on ideas well before the shoot.Boudoir Combo Dress Up Time

First off, shoes are always an important factor!  Once you have a theme we can help you build around them.  You should bring clothing that makes you feel sexy and beautiful.  Bras, panties (cheeky and beyond), teddies, corsets, stockings, garters, tank tops, knee highs, sports jerseys, spouse uniform shirts, and a white men’s shirt are all great ideas.  Remember a pair of jeans, a pencil skirt, a fitted V neck tank and other items can be paired with undergarments to make a very sexy ensemble.  It is your comfort level and what is sexy to you and your partner.  In addition we come with our bag of tricks which include a wide variety of jewelry and a range of props for you to use.

Shoot Location

Some clients like to book a luxurious hotel room, a bed and breakfast or even outside in a secluded location for the shoot and others prefer to have an in home shoot.  And then there are the clients that love the urban decay / high fashion shoots.  The choice is up to you.  We have many location ideas so we will help determine what location is right for your shoot.boudoir 7En Route to the Shoot

We recommend that you wear something non-restrictive to the shoot location. Elastic garments can leave lines and redness.

What to Expect at Your Boudoir Session

First off we realize getting boudoir photos can seem intimidating but honestly our clients get over the jitters early on and end up having a blast.  Boudoir sessions are tasteful images that show off your inner sexy.  Since each client has her own comfort level and an idea of what = sexy we will work with you before your shoot to get an idea of what types of images you want captured.  Our sessions produce fun, sexy, flirty, vixen images and you are always in total control of the direction of your shoot.  Again, this is where a friend really comes in handy to help get you over the initial nerves.

Retouching

Boudoir offers so many options for editing.  We edit your images and post them on your secure password protected online gallery.  We will edit our favorite photos with a variety of techniques (black and white, black and white with a punch of color, retro etc).  In addition we offer skin softening, teeth whitening and a variety of other effects to make your pictures even more fabulous.

boudoir 4Privacy

Privacy is a concern due to the intimate nature of boudoir sessions. All boudoir images are kept in strict confidence and no images will be shown without permission from the client in writing.  We use only professional labs and album companies that safeguard the privacy of our clients’ images.

Other

If you have any other questions about what to bring or how to prepare for your session, please let us know. It is totally OK to bring too much. We can pick out the most flattering items once you arrive to your session.  We offer a 15% military discount on services.

boudoir 5

Engagement Photography | Firstlight Photography

engagement 5

In between summer weddings we are having fun with engagement sessions.  Congrats Danelle and John.  We can’t wait for your wedding!

engagement 6

Engagements sessions are a great way for couples to get to know their photography team and to have the opportunity to become more relaxed in front of the camera.  When we arrive for your wedding you are more at ease since we have already worked together.

Wondering what to wear for your engagement session?  We will help you with wardrobe questions and we have visual guides thanks to Pinterest.

Interested in engagement photo ideas?  We have that too!

engagement 4

Snoqualmie Falls Seattle Area Wedding | Firstlight Photography

Here is a sneak peek of several wedding photos from Hally and Lou’s Salish Lodge wedding.  With a backdrop of the lodge and Snoqualmie Falls, Firstlight Photography knew this wedding would serve up amazing images.  Working with this couple and the wedding venue was a real treat.

Seeing both brides as they appeared in their gowns was a breathtaking moment.  Two elegant brides with the most amazing dresses – what is not to love about this day?  Their love shines through and it truly shows in their photographs.

We are honored to be able to photograph the weddings of some of the most amazing people.  It truly is a labor of love.  Thank you to all of our clients for letting us be responsible for capturing your wedding photography.  Truly this is a job we take very seriously.  We know we get but one chance to deliver and we work our hardest to exceed your expectations.

Contact Kier and Mitzi to schedule your consultation.  We will help you outline your wedding day schedule.

Seattle Theo Chocolate Factory Pop-up Wedding | Firstlight Photography

At Firstlight Photography we get invited to photograph amazing weddings, but this Valentine’s Day we experienced a first.  We felt like Charlie peeling back that golden ticket and gaining entrance to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.   Theo Chocolate was giving away a wedding to be set INSIDE the historic factory.  A pop-up elopement on Valentine’s Day – and we were able to photograph this one-of-a-kind wedding!

We got in touch with the Drew Zandonella-Stannard, the Marketing Manager at Theo Chocolate, and asked her just how this genius plot was developed.

Was this the first wedding at Theo? 
“We’ve had many proposals and a few weddings inside the factory, but this was the very first wedding giveaway we’ve done on Facebook especially for our fans. And it definitely was the first wedding to take place on Valentine’s Day and on our factory floor, no less!”

What was the inspiration for the Feb 14th wedding giveaway?
“At Theo, we believe in celebrating love in all its many forms. We wanted to do something different and fun for our social media fans on Valentine’s Day and thought that giving away an elopement inside of our chocolate factory with generous local partners like Firstlight PhotographyHotel 1000Terra Bella Flowers, and Westward restaurant would make for an amazing and unique experience.”

What stood out about the contest winners’ story?
“Each one of the couples who submitted their love stories to us were special.  It was extremely difficult to narrow it down to the final four!  In the end, our Facebook fans chose Brenda and Andrew.  It was such an honor to witness their commitment to each other as well as their love for their baby to be. Plus, the Seahawks jerseys they wore in their profile photo were a huge hit!”

Brenda, the beautiful bride, shared details of Andrew and her story and how she was able to secure a truly unique wedding.  

How did you learn about the Valentine’s giveaway?
“A friend of mine told us about the competition. Her mom had sent her the information.  Funny side note, she lives on the east coast – the power of social media and subscription lists.  I entered us and actually didn’t tell Andrew until we were selected!”

Your profile story garnered quite a following.  What did you do to rally the social media troops?
“We shared several times each day and sent messages to almost all of our facebook friends asking them to like and share. We had friends that took it upon themselves to do the same.”

What is the Andrew and Brenda story?  How did you two come to be?
“My fiancé and I met when we were in junior high. We were inseparable until senior year of high school when we parted ways as many young people do. I went to college, and he stayed around our hometown working. Four years passed and we both had been down some pretty broken paths filled with heartache. On July 4, 2009 we saw each other and all of those young love feelings came flooding back. We were again inseparable. Things moved pretty quickly for us and we ended up moving in together within a few months. We have spent the last (almost) six years rebuilding our relationship into the great thing that it is today.

We are that couple that doesn’t go a day without seeing each other.  We have two dogs, and a house and live in our hometown. Things have been great for us for a while. We have spent the last few years traveling being reunited. Last fall we found out we are pregnant with our first child – a boy! Our baby is due June 7, 2015.

We are so excited and basking in the fact that we have become so much closer already. Lucky for us, there’s more to come. While in Hawaii in December, Andrew proposed to me on the beach near a small lagoon. We were not sure when we would have a chance to have a wedding with a baby on the way, and were excited to win the Theo competition. We have always loved our story, but having the Theo Chocolate wedding makes it that much more unique and special. We are so thankful for the life that we have together.”

There were only a few days from being announced winner to saying your “I Do’s”  How did this play out for you? 
“On Friday of the competition, I took a risk and bought my wedding dress. It’s not returnable, but I figured that we planned to get married regardless of if we won the competition. Luckily, my dress was only $200. I am a planner. I can’t stand not having a plan. So, naturally, I planned everything out in my head as the competition was going on. If we win, this, this, this and, this needs to occur. Luckily, we didn’t have to do much because Theo took care of most everything!”

What will you remember the most from your wedding?
“I think what we will remember most from our wedding is the unique situation.  We have been hearing so much about it even a month later because people are just amazed at the situation.  It has, I hope, been a great advertising piece for Theo. I especially think this because we live in Kitsap County, so people do not know of all of the shops in Seattle.  We have an amazing wedding story, thanks to Theo. We were so grateful for the entire thing and were treated like royalty!”

The DETAILS

Dress & Shoes
The dress was purchased at Benita’s in Silverdale.  Since middle school Brenda has been shopping there for dance and pageant dresses.  Her dress had to fit over her pregnant belly so her sister and good friend met at Benita’s and the staff pulled five options.   Brenda knew at first sight which dress stood out.  She tried it on first because she fell in love with it immediately.  She did try on the other dresses, but went with the first dress of the day.

Jewelry
Brenda wore sparkling diamond hoops that were a Christmas gift from Andrew.  Her grandma asked her to incorporate a ring that belonged to her grandfather.  He found the stone in the mountains of Wyoming.  Brenda showcased the ring in the bow on the back of her dress.

She found her shoes at Benita’s and went with a sensible low heel since she was pregnant and wanted to be as comfortable as possible on her big day.

Flowers
Terra Bella Floral Design and Mercantile provided the wedding flowers.  Terra Bella Floral Design and Mercantile hosted a pop-up shop inside Theo Chocolate on Valentine’s Day.  Their selection of floral design is unique and artful.  They are a sustainable flower shop, sourcing local, organic and consciously grown flowers.

About Theo Chocolate
Theo Chocolate is proud to be the very first Organic, Fair Trade certified bean-to-bar chocolate maker in North America.  Since 2006, the company has been making mind-bendingly amazing chocolate.  Many people would be surprised to know that on a good day, they can make up to 55 THOUSAND chocolate bars at the Seattle factory!

Theo Chocolate has lots of exciting things brewing for the future, including exclusive tasting events, chocolate making classes, and special tours. Folks who are interested in keeping up with all of the latest happenings can follow @theochocolate on social media and check out the Events Page.

About Firstlight Photography
Firstlight Photography is a husband and wife team.  Kier and Mitzi spend their time doing work they both love.  Services provided include wedding photographyboudoir and pin up photography and corporate events.  The studio is located between Seattle and Tacoma with frequent travel throughout Washington, Oregon and California.  Call Firstlight Photography for a phone consultation or meet over coffee to talk about your photography needs.  Firstlight Photography works with each client to devise custom fit packages.  A 15% military discount is offered on all services.

Seattle Wedding Photographer | Bridal Magazine Photoshoot

You know there is never a dull moment in our work flow.  We are surrounded by wonderful clients and friends that are in the wedding industry.  And, we have a knack for finding the truly unique and energizing projects.

Recently we happened upon a very exciting new magazine called Rock Bride.  The first issue is under production and will release later in the Spring.  The magazine is also producing a wedding show in Bellevue this fall.  We are told the show will have live entertainment, vendor booths, cake tastings, wine and beer tastings, two fashion shows, a Men’s Zone and lots of  give-aways.

We met with the publisher and knew instantly that we must sign up for the show.  Serenity Armstrong, publisher extraordinare, had us from the moment she explained her concept.  “This is not your mother’s wedding” has become the magazine’s tagline.  BINGO.  Our enthusiasm helped land a few stylized shoots.  These are the types of shoots that THRILL us.  Trying new techniques, working with top notch wedding industry vendors, talented models all the while being able to create something that will hopefully help inspire engaged couples plan their unique wedding.

Our clients are looking for something different.  They want a modern twist on their wedding.  Granted, this modern wedding might include vintage flair with the height of elegance and sparkle or it might involve a Time Travel Theme or a combination somewhere in between.  So what makes something a modern wedding?  We are seeing couples that are making their own traditions.  We are seeing themed weddings emerge, destination weddings, hybrid elopements, weddings with unique entertainment for guests, pop-up weddings and lots of LGBT weddings – which makes our hearts sing.

While we eagerly await for the release of the first issue of Rock This Bride, we can only show very basic sneak peek photos.  Here are a few from our stylized shoots.  You can only guess what we were up to…because we can’t tell you!

The first image is of our models back in their street clothes.  The rest are hints.  But, our lips are sealed!

Boudoir Photography in Time for Valentine’s Day {Firstlight Photography}

Body Image – No, You Don’t Need to Lose 5 Pounds.  Promise.

Yes, we need to address this.  Oh and we are going there!  As a couple that has personally struggled with body image, we are no strangers to negative self talk.  If only I was thinner…if only I was 5 lbs less.  We are behind the lens daily and see our clients’ struggles.  Size 6 to size 32 – the concerns are the same.  We encourage you to express yourself and we will be there to help you pose and work your assets.  We will help you with wardrobe selections in advance of the shoot.  We are there to help you rock this out!

Our goal is to help empower you to let out your inner sexy.  Yes, it is in there!  And, your inner vixen is telling you to not worry about the number on the scale.  What is sexy?  Confidence.

What Does a Package Look Like?
Packages start at $450 (a $200 savings) and include full hair & make-up, private online viewing of photos & 5 retouched 8×10’s with digital copies. We can also produce great books for special gifts.

Location!  Location!  Location!
We have some amazing venues and locations scouted out for your sessions. We are heading to Centralia, WA because it is chock full of diverse, historic and amazing backdrops. Can you say train depot? Pool tables? Brick exposure? Vintage goodness?  Bring your trench coat and we can explore the outdoors.  There are so many different scenarios.  We will brainstorm with you to help figure out your vision.

Ready, Set Go!
Please call us for your consultation.  We are ready to talk about your ideas and answer questions.  You can reach us at 253.335.7958.

GROOMSMEN & WEDDINGS – THE SWEET SPOT | FIRSTLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

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!

 

SEATTLE ROCK ‘N ROLL WEDDING |FIRSTLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

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!

Engagement Photography Planning | Firstlight Photography

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.