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picture this!

October 11, 2009

a friend of ours went to a wedding recently and came back with a fantastic idea that we couldn’t wait to share with all of you. above the guestbook, hung a framed list…a list of what you might ask??? a to do list for the lovely newlyweds of adventures and things they want to experience together. we swooned over this nifty idea, not only because it makes a cute and fun read for your guests but also at the fun you and your lovie would have putting it together. a win – win!!!

2596860466_68782e3554 photo by Flickr

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real weddings: surf’s up sneak peek!

October 11, 2009

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we are so very excited to bring you our very first real weddings feature! even more excited because it celebrates my dear friend amy’s festivities! we will have a full run down on all the amazing details for this destination wedding but we didn’t want to keep you waiting so here’s your sneak peek! congrats amy and gabe! xx

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Destination Fun!

September 23, 2009

We just saw these on Nicole Goddard’s blog the other day and thought they were so much fun! This couple went to Maui for their destination wedding and decided to jump in the day before their ceremony. Don’t you love the frivolity of destination weddings?

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Wrapper’s Delight

September 22, 2009

We at Smitten are always on the lookout for new ways to reuse and recycle. When we stumbled upon this great tip from ReadyMade, we had to share it with you. Summer’s officially over and we’re moving into holiday season! which means lots and lots of gift wrapping. See below for a smart tip to reuse all of those plastic bags before chucking them away:

“ReadyMade publisher Grace Hawthorne knots her plastic into flouncy gift bows. Start with four bags of equal size (we used the blue New York Times sacks that land on our steps every day). Cut one of the bags lengthwise along both side seams. Wrap this long straight ribbon around the box, tying it off at the top. Now knot the remaining three bags around the ribbon piece. Snip off the ends of the bow bags. Fan out and fluff the raw edges for a full carnation effect.”

RM

Find more crafty tips at ReadyMade

Vendor Spotlight: Photographer Heather Kincaid

September 18, 2009

Photographer Heather Kincaid describes her work as “colorful, fun, vibrant with unexpected expressions.” We felt that those descriptions matched Heather’s personality too!

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Heather comes from a visual background. Her parents are both graphic designers so she grew up with design all around her.  It was an easy decision for her to leave her potential career in the entertainment industry to really follow her passion: photography.  Heather has only taken a couple of photography classes but she is an avid reader of blogs and has learned tricks of the trade by researching other wedding photographers. Along with research, Heather has had years of experience shooting weddings starting right after her high school graduation. She started shooting with a friend as a second shooter then went on to photograph weddings as the main shooter. From these weddings, word of mouth of her beautifully vibrant photos spread. She currently owns and operates her own wedding photography business full-time.

In her free time, Heather… well, shoots! Heather and her friend Meg Perotti, a fellow wedding photographer, hold impromptu photo shoots around town.

Heather also gets to flex her technical design skills while teaching a digital media and photoshop class at a local community college! A photographer, a graphic designer, and a teacher? Wow, we’re smitten with her multi-talents!

We asked Heather what inspires her when shooting. Heather immediately exclaimed unique environments were the main source. Unique fashion and the little details also catch her always probing eyes.

When speaking to Heather about shooting weddings, she stressed multiple times that her most important priority is capturing the couple’s essence, energy, and personalities. When asked which shoot was a favorite, Heather immediately chose Sam and Justin’s engagement shoot because the images are “so them.”

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She loved that the images completely reflected their personalities. This shoot was a perfect example of what she likes to show through her photography.

What are her favorite locations to shoot engagement photos? “Los Feliz because it has that urban feel that you can’t find anywhere else in Los Angeles.” Los Feliz also is a short walk from Griffith Park for that beautiful outdoor/garden shoot so you can access the best of both worlds. Heather also likes to find interesting walls where she can play with composition and most importantly, she emphasizes good light as her key factor in choosing the perfect location.

What does Heather love most about her job? Meeting new people! Heather is definitely a people person. Within 5 minutes of meeting her, you feel like you’ve known her for years! She utilizes her upbeat social attitude to reel in work. Whether its meeting new clients, vendors, or even her competitors, Heather’s ability to create fast friends helps her receive referrals and great word of mouth.

Who is her favorite photographer? Jesh De Rox is one of her favorites. A Canadian wedding photographer, Jesh De Rox exudes emotional connections and zen feelings through his photography. Heather describes De Rox’s work as “inspirational and unique.”

What is her tip to the bride on her wedding day? “Make sure you feel fabulous, beautiful, and are in a good state of mind.” If you’re stressed on your big day, it will show on your face when you are taking those wedding photos.

Heather provided us with a few photos from a close friend’s wedding she shot in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago. Her relationship with the lovely couple? Heather went to prom with the groom’s twin brother!

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The wedding took place outdoors at the rooftop of the Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara.

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Smitten loves the lighting, the details, and the beautiful simplicity in these photos!

Heather travels all over, so whether you’re in Los Angeles or in New York, Heather will come to you! She has more amazing photography on her website and blog. Check them out, they’re not to be missed!

Registry Ideas

September 15, 2009

Gearys

One of our clients just did her wedding registry with Geary’s and told us some great information about them, which we wanted to share with our readers. Geary’s is a gifts superstore that boasts a “unique blend of timeless classics and cutting edge contemporary” gifts, jewelry, wedding gifts, dinnerware, and tabletop/entertaining  accessories.

What’s so great about Geary’s? Geary’s has a great system for their wedding registry. Instead of mailing gifts to the couple’s house, Geary’s holds everything at their store and accumulates a bank account of all the money spent for the couple. If you received that lovely crystal pitcher you asked for but didn’t receive all of those 6 soup bowls you so desired, you can go to your Geary’s “bank account” and use the money spent for the pitcher and place it to the remainder of those soup bowls instead! This will ensure you receive your full set of china instead of having to purchase the remainder yourself.

How perfect!

Geary’s has two locations in Beverly Hills. They are also a great store to find gifts for anyone!

Flagship Store
351 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Rodeo Drive Boutique
365 North Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

800.793.6670

Vendor Spotlight: DJ Michael Antonia

September 11, 2009
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Creating mixed cassette tapes since the age of 9, DJ Michael Antonia describes performing as the “art of communication. It’s being observant, experimenting and understanding that communication.” These are keys to what makes Michael one of the most in demand DJs around. His right on the money, timeless taste in music for every moment and occasion has people clamoring to book him for their weddings and events!

For our first vendor spotlight, we were privileged to speak to Michael about his start, his love of music, and why he does what he does.

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Photo by Jesse of the Flashdance

Inspired by his father, Michael started collecting records at the age of 9. You can imagine how many are in his collection now – upwards of 10,000! And that’s just records! His love of listening to his favorite tracks on repeat inspired him to start making monthly mix tapes for himself.  Not before long, his friends caught on and started requesting copies. What started as a fun pastime, soon became a tradition and a signature marketing tool for his business The Flashdance. He still creates mixes of the songs he’s listening to each month and offers copies to his clients, industry folk, and, of course, his friends. We have made it a habit of checking his blog (http://www.theflashdance.com/index.cfm) religiously to sign up for a copy ourselves each month! He has an innate ability to capture the vibe and feel of each month and passing season that always provides the perfect soundtrack for those long road trips and even those quick trips to the store.

Michael started DJing at the age of 19 in Seattle where the music scene was bursting. At the age of 20, he received his first paying gig at a local bar using his fake ID. Befriending the booking agent, Michael asked for a job and when asked for his resume, Michael sat down at the bar and drew a picture on a napkin and handed it over. Becoming fast friends, the agent offered Michael his first recurring gig during Happy Hour at the bar. And a career was born!

The gig quickly turned into a full time profession and soon Michael broke out of happy hour and began DJing in large clubs in and around Seattle. He began to take his skills on the road touring all over the country and soon partnered up with some friends to open a string of nightclubs around Seattle. Eventually, Michael got involved in full event production and planning and became a principle creative for Neverstop, a “multidisciplinary creative agency specializing in brand strategy, custom music, experimental marketing and events, guerilla marketing, and multimedia development.” Living in New York City for a few years, he enjoyed producing and creating large, over the top events at amazing venues – one he remembers fondly is a party for Nike on the top floor of the New World Trade Center. However, he craved full creative control and grew tired of being held back by politics, slashed budgets, conference calls and the unpredictability of the corporate world. On top of his DJ touring that kept him on the road for 4-6 months of the year, it seemed like the time was ripe for a change.

A move to LA with his wife, a beautiful daughter Elodie (9 months), the inspiration to really make his talents his own, he teamed up with wedding photographers Our Labor of Love and Max Wanger and THE FLASHDANCE was born.

THE FLASHDANCE is a unique combination between the two photographers and Michael. They can be hired together or separately for weddings and events and are “inspired by rad style, timeless music, unique design and photography that captures the spirit of the subject.” Michael writes in his blog “we didn’t get into this business because we thought it would be an easy way to earn a buck, we did it because our weddings were the most amazing days of our lives, and so much fun, that we decided to trade in the grind of corporate events, music festivals, and nightclubs, to make love and happiness the biggest part of our lives. We think we made the right choice!” And we think he made the right choice too!

We asked Michael what he loves about his job. Michael answered that it’s collaborating with such wonderful groups of people that make his job worth it. “Everyone wants to be helpful and is incredibly kind in the wedding industry.”

What makes him so fantastic at his job you’ll want to book him for your wedding in an instant? It’s his ease of knowing his audience and reading the vibe of the crowd. The skills needed “are not complicated, but not easy. What makes it easier for me, is that I have experience playing in such a wide range of venues for a wide range of audiences from bars to large clubs, from 10 people to 10,000 people. So I know what works.”

What song always gets the best reaction? “Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ makes people go bananas, but it only works if you play the right song before it and the right song after it. You have to know when to play each song and for how long.” This is part of the art of communication that Michael refers to at the top of this article – he navigates his crowd with the music, leading from one song or mood to the next. Michael mixes records, layers songs on top of one another and really defines his craft by producing a nonstop flow that makes sense not only for his audience but the mood the audience should be experiencing – rocking 80s classics for dinner, hits from all decades for dancing. He’s open to playing all kinds of music and doesn’t rely on predetermined playlists – he walks in to each event with thousands of songs at the ready. A laptop, a crate of vinyl and CDs in hand.

Does he take requests? “I don’t think you can say ‘No’ at a wedding. So, yes if I have it and it’s going to work, I’ll play it. But what I’ve noticed with requests is that they stem from one point in that person’s life where they had the best time. If they are requesting ‘Nothing Compares to You’ by Sinead O’Connor because in college they have this amazing memory of this song, I have to question their motivation (he chuckles)…I’ll usually ask the couple for 8-10 songs they would like during dinner or for dancing. I won’t necessarily play all of them, but it gives me a good baseline for the event.”

What are his inspirations? Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, White Stripes, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and David Lynch. “Living and working in Seattle, I met everyone on the music scene and have gotten the chance to work with some of my idols – Grand Master Flash for one.”

On top of his incredible DJing skills, Michael has really embraced the ways and waves of digital marketing to get his name out there. He doesn’t spend any money on advertising, he would rather put it into marketing (creating and mailing out those awesome mix CDs!), He’s actively updating facebook and his blog and relies of course on word of mouth. How much has the digital sphere impacted his business? “It’s the only way I would be doing it. Otherwise it would be impossible.”

And it’s working. People are finding his blog and becoming active followers well before they are engaged and ready to book a wedding DJ! He shared an email from a 19 year old girl who sent him a note saying how much she loved his blog and hoped he would still be doing what he’s doing once she’s engaged and ready to plan her wedding! He was touched and we admittedly sighed from the adorableness as well.

What is he listening to in his car right now? The August mix of course!

What is his ideal/dream gig? “I’ve played with all my heroes, but I guess I would have to say playing at Coachella [Music Festival]. If Coachella called, I would say ‘yes!’.”

Does he make his own music? “I do but it’s mostly for me. I play the guitar, the drums and I stumble around on the piano.”

What makes working on The Flashdance so rewarding? “I’m working with my best friends and I can be at home around my baby. I love being able to hire my friends or recommend them and see them grow and achieve in their business. That’s a great feeling.” Sigh…we’re Smitten!

Michael’s next year is already almost booked up so we suggest you give him a call soon!

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Photo by Jesse of the Flashdance