We are delighted to share these beautiful pictures with you from the wedding of Emily and Ian, taken by Oscar & Rose Photography. Emily and Ian were married on 18th June 2011 in a civil ceremony at the Tithe Barn in Bradford-on-Avon, followed by a reception at The Beeches Farmhouse B&B. We just love the hand-stitched embellishment the bride gave to her dress, and the groom’s specially made Superman sporran…
Professional venue styling and wedding chair covers make a huge difference to any wedding or big occasion. Your chair cover and styling company should take their responsibilities to ensure your day is absolutely perfect, as seriously as you do! The difficulty we often have is trying to illustrate to brides and grooms the difference between a great set up and a bad set up (which can ruin even the most beautiful venue).
So, we have put together a few tips to help you tell the difference!
Meet with your supplier at your venue to make sure that their chair covers fit the chair. We carry a range of chair cover sizes and colours to ensure the very best fit. If you can’t meet at the venue, then at least meet at your home or the supplier’s showroom and look at photos of previous set ups at your venue – I put all of my photos on my Facebook page, which is a great way to keep brides and grooms up to date with all the set ups I do. The meeting will also give you the opportunity to view the colour and quality of the covers and sashes. If your supplier hasn’t done weddings at your venue before, and doesn’t offer to go to the venue and do a fit check, then be a little bit wary.
Take recommendations. Your venue will have seen lots of chair cover companies work in their venue and will know who has done a great job for them before and what/who works best in their venue. Listen to what they have to say – they do this all the time!
Listen to your friends who recently married. Again, they’ve been through the process and will be able to advise you on what they did and the people they spoke to. You don’t have to ‘copy’ them – each of our venue set ups is bespoke to each couple using their choice of colours and materials, but if people you know and trust have done some of the research already and found a great supplier – take advantage! We get lots of referrals from friends of happy brides and grooms who used our services – word of mouth and reputation are very important.
Don’t base your final decision on price. It is very tempting to make your judgment on price – after all, it is the common denominator and the basic thing you can compare the suppliers on. We understand budgets are sometimes tight, but the difference between a £4.00 chair cover and a £2.00 chair cover may well be very noticeable on the day. Check the quality, services and fabrics on offer, and make sure you’re comparing like for like.
Look out for hidden costs. Some companies may charge you for meetings, laundry etc. At Ambience we work with our clients to create their perfect look. Once everything is agreed, all items are quoted up front and recorded on an order form, so both parties have a record of exactly what’s been agreed, so there are no nasty surprises!
Check with your supplier that all covers are freshly laundered and ironed before every wedding – you’d be surprised…
Find out who will be setting up your room on the day. If you spend time getting to know your stylist, you want to know that they will at least be overseeing the set up on the day. Your stylist will be liaising with your venue and other suppliers beforehand so should know exactly what’s going on and you must be comfortable with them acting on your behalf.
Look at your supplier’s portfolio. Make sure you are impressed with what they have done previously, particularly at your venue; ask to see before and after pictures to see what a difference the covers have made.
It’s always good to check whether a supplier has done weddings at your venue before. But don’t immediately dismiss them if they haven’t. They might be looking for an opportunity to dress weddings at your venue and might offer you a deal in return for an ‘in’ with that venue. Just make sure you are comfortable with the work they have done elsewhere.
Don’t be tempted to cut costs by hiring ‘DIY’ covers you put on yourself. Remember…
- You may not have access to your room the day before your wedding if there is another function on, and you might end up putting the chair covers on, on the morning of your wedding – really not ideal for you or the guests who will be helping you.
- It is actually quite hard work! 100 covers should take at least two hours of bending, stretching and tying sashes to make it look perfect.
- You can never guarantee the condition of the covers and sashes when they arrive – they will have been boxed up and will probably need to be ironed (even if they just need freshening up) before you can use them. Ironing 100 covers and sashes is hard work (we should know as we freshly launder and iron every single cover before we use it!) and will take about five hours.
- Creating a beautiful feature of your chairs using covers and sashes or creating a beautiful backdrop against which your other styling items can wow your guests is a real skill – and one not everyone has. It really is better to leave it to the professionals. After all it is your big day!
Guest post by Kathryn King of Ambience Venue Styling.
Visit the Ambience Venue Styling Bristol supplier page on The Wedding Community.
Interview With: Martin Beddall
Company Name: Martin Beddall Photography
Location / Coverage: Based in West Sussex but will cover nationally and abroad.
How did Martin Beddall Photography get started and how long has the business been going? Have you always wanted to be a photographer?
Photography for me began at University shooting demos and the like for the student newspaper. I spent much supposed study time in the darkroom instead. After completing a Diploma in Photojournalism at the London College of Printing I began my career at The Times. Shooting weddings started about 12 years ago, as readers and colleagues asked me to shoot their weddings based upon my work they saw in the paper. I can’t imagine being anything but a photographer, and with my face I know which side of the lens I’m meant to be!
Who works for Martin Beddall Photography?
Just me – I prefer to work alone. I think a single photographer is more discreet and if they are good you’ve no worries about getting enough coverage.
Which areas of the UK do you cover?
Being based in West Sussex, much of my work is in the South East and London. However, as in the past, I am happy to work anywhere, here or abroad.
How do you think your service sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
Photography isn’t about having some letters after your name, it is about your eye, how you see and how you capture it forever, so I would hope it is my style and approach that sets me apart. Not being dependent upon Photoshop actions or effects, but capturing the day in an honest way that will make people smile many years from now when they look back at their album.
What are the best and hardest parts of your job?
The best thing for me is the satisfaction of having caught moments that many people missed and seeing the pleasure that gives people. The hardest – long days, hot days – a cold beer solves that though.
Does Martin Beddall Photography have a specialist area or style of photography?
Wedding photography is overloaded with jargon and terms, many of which you have to also use. So reportage/documentary/relaxed/informal/photojournalism – what it is not is contrived.
What is your view on engagement shoots?
These have become very popular recently, although not everyone wants them or has the time to do them. If they help people relax in front of the camera that’s great – if nothing else they are a chance to get to know the photographer you have booked and get some nice couple shots.
Random question… What are you most afraid of?
Baked beans – hate them!
Do you have a favourite picture you have taken (If you can choose!)?
This is one of my favourite weddings shots for two reasons. Firstly the expression – this is just after the couple’s first dance had finished, and as the guests rushed onto the dance floor I followed, and with a fast wide-angle lens got in close to catch this ‘quiet’ moment between the couple – I think the bride’s face says it all. Secondly, from a technical point of view, there is no flash. Such a shot would not have been possible before digital had matured as it has in the last two years. It did help that there was some ambient light on the dance floor and so wasn’t completely dark, as so many DJs are fond of doing.
What’s your top tip for choosing a wedding photographer?
Judge a photographer upon their vision, their manner and their experience. Look at the style of their work and imagine these being your wedding photographs – did they capture the day? If photography is important to you then don’t choose the lowest bidder, but the one who will capture the moments, the emotions and the character of your day – there is no second chance.
Where can I find out more about Martin Beddall Photography?
My website is www.mcbweddings.com or call me on 07973 407330.
Visit the Martin Beddall Photography supplier page on The Wedding Community.