Buffalo Wedding DJ Blog
Let’s face it. We’re suckers for a good celebrity wedding story. Whether it’s a real-life fairy tale or a trainwreck waiting to happen, celebrity wedding gossip is nothing short of fascinating. With seemingly unlimited budgets, the rich of famous can have the kinds of celebrations that most of us can only dream about. It’s no surprise the tabloids are on constant engagement-watch, and follow every lead to try and get a glimpse of the gown for the big day. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the most memorable celebrity weddings of years past…for better or for worse.
The Royal Wedding: Prince William and Kate Middleton. A worldwide television spectacle, the 2011 wedding between the now-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was declared a public holiday in the United Kingdom. A former worker in the world of fashion, Kate did her own makeup for the wedding. Her “something old” was the old-fashioned style of lace in her dress, her “something new” were the diamond earrings from her parents, her “something borrowed” was her tiara from the Queen, and her “something blue” was a ribbon sewn into her dress. It is estimated that tens of millions of people viewed this wedding around the world.
The “American” Royal Wedding: Kim Kardashian and Kris Humprhies. Many people considered these nuptials to be the American answer to the UK Royal Wedding. Unfortunately, the same fairytale storyline didn’t apply – the marriage lasted ony 72 days and was not without backlash from many who thought it was just a simple publicity stunt. Regardless, the ceremony was a similar television spectacle, as it was captured for a special presentation on the E! television network.
The Mystery Wedding: Beyonce and Jay-Z. When two of entertainment’s biggest stars tie the knot, you expect to at least see a photo or two. Not for the notoriously private megastar duo of Beyonce and Jay-Z, who married in secret over five years ago (in April 2008). The ceremony was not publicized at all, and for good reason – could you imagine the kind of media frenzy that would have surrounded it?
The Wedding That Wasn’t: Britney Spears and Jason Alexander. This wedding takes us back a few years in time – to a marriage so short that if you blink you might miss it. Britney Spears wed her childhood friend Jason Alexander on a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas back in 2004, and the marriage was annulled just 55 hours later. The mid-2000s weren’t too kind to Britney Spears, and this was one of the first steps on her downward spiral. Luckily, it is reported that she is currently happily engaged and in a loving, stable relationship with her former agent.
So there you have it. Celebrity weddings can range from the good, to the bad, and to the ugly. They’re a great source of inspiration for those brides who have more of a tighter budget to stick to, and a sometimes a great source of “glad that isn’t me” stress relief during the wedding planning process. One thing’s for sure – a good celebrity wedding story is a fascinating story.
Today in modern times, we seem to have the wedding traditions down to a science. We know it all – the white dress, the bridesmaids and groomsmen, the flowers, the big cake – everything. A wedding here in WNY isn’t that much different from a wedding out in California or Texas. But did you ever take a second to stop and think why weddings are the way they are? As it turns out, centuries of folklore and tradition have crafted today’s wedding into quite the spectacle that it is today. And the story behind these cultural icons may surprise you – read on to learn more about why such established wedding traditions are the way they are!
The Wedding Ring. This is a sweet tradition to start off with. Did you ever wonder why we wear our wedding rings on the third finger of our left hands? Well, ancient Romans believed that a vein ran directly from this finger to the heart – what better location for the ring, a never-ending circular symbol of love- to rest upon.
The Bridesmaids. These girls have always been just a group of your best friends to help you plan and share your big day, right? Wrong. Centuries ago, it was believed that the bride had to be protected from evil spirits milling about the ceremony that would try to sabotage the marriage to her groom. The bridesmaids were created to serve as a decoy to distract these bad spirits – they would dress similar to the bride so it would be hard to pick out which woman they should attack. This is very strange to think about today!
The Best Man. This attendant has an interesting history as well. Back in ancient history, sometimes a groom would steal his bride unwillingly from her family. The groom would select a literal “best man” – his biggest, strongest friend – to stand by his side and be ready to fight off anyone who might come chasing after the stolen woman. This is why the bride stands to the left of the groom, too – the right side (his sword arm) needed to remain free.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue. This is one of the more fascinating traditions in bridal history. Each of these items is intended to serve as a unique token for the bride. “Something old” represents the bride’s connection to her family, while “something new” refers to wishes for joy in the future. “Something borrowed” is supposed to be from a woman who is happily married, and “something blue” is a symbol of love and purity.
The Bridal Veil. Purity is a common theme in wedding history – the bridal veil serves as a symbol of the purity of the bride on her wedding day and, of course, as a protection from evil spirits.
From the sounds of things, it seems like brides today have it made – the days when weddings were an occasion to ward of vengeful family members and evil spirits are long gone. Now, what most associate with weddings are the feelings of joy and celebration as loved ones join together to wish a couple a happy life. It’s nice to know where these long-standing wedding symbols have come from – but even nicer to know that what they mean today is totally up to the new bride and groom.
The best way to make sure your wedding memories last a lifetime is to select a great photographer who will capture your day in the exact way it was meant to be captured. This is no easy task. Not all photography is the same – different styles and different perspectives can make all the difference when it comes to capturing your big day. This is why it’s important to select a great photographer who can capture your unique style and personality to create lifelong mementos. In this latest installment of our ongoing blog series highlighting WNY’s best wedding professionals, we sit down and talk with Neal Urban of Neal Urban Photography. As one of the area’s premier wedding photographers, he has a lot of great insight to share about the importance of wedding photography.
What is your favorite moment or element to capture at a wedding?
The moment after the bride puts her wedding dress on and sees her father for the first time. It’s the one moment that the father and daughter have been waiting their whole lives for. My eyes tear up behind the camera every time.
Are there trends in wedding photography? If so, what are some you’ve seen in the last few years?
When I started photography about five years ago the trend was selective color (photo in black and white, and an object or person in color) – thankfully that trend ended quickly. Anything and everything on Pinterest is trending and that changes on a daily basis. But one trend that will never change is that people want high quality images that are “original” and magazine-worthy.
When you work with a couple, do you find that the photography style is customized to their unique occasion, or is there more of a one-size-fits-all strategy?
Clients book us based on our personality, portfolio, and unique style. If we steer away from our style then they might be disappointed and that’s the last thing we want to happen!
What’s the most creative location you’ve ever done a photo shoot?
We’ve traveled to Nelson, Nevada for an engagement shoot. Nelson is an abandoned ghost town. We needed to sign a waiver before shooting there. It was like stepping into a time machine and travelling back to the early 1900s. The town had abandoned buildings, a gas station, convenience store, cars, trucks, school busses and a fire truck from that time period. The town even had a military plane that had crashed nearby. It was a photographers’ playground for sure!
If you have one tip for brides-to-be selecting a photographer, what would it be?
When you find the right photographer, book him or her! The best book up first and often – we book 12-24 months in advance. You’ll know it when you find the right one and when that happens, don’t wait! Photographers spend more time with the bride on her wedding day than the husband-to-be, so it’s a very personal decision and probably one of the most important. All of your details and memories will fade over the years, but the photography will last forever!
BONUS Question: How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working behind a camera?
I was going to say that my wife and I love to travel but I’m still behind the camera taking pictures! We also love wine. We have family in San Francisco so we visit Napa Valley 1-2 times per year. My wife and I chose to get married in wine country! We had a small and intimate wedding of 20 guests on top of a mountain overlooking the entire valley. It was beautiful!
It’s clear that Neal has a great eye for what is beautiful in this world, and there’s no better skill you can find in a photographer charged with the task of capturing all the beautiful moments of your wedding day. To learn more about Neal Urban Photography, make sure to check out his website and the photos below – it’s great work!
Choosing a song for the Mother/Son dance isn’t the easiest choice when it comes to picking out the songs that will serve as the soundtrack to the most memorable moments of your wedding. Many other big moments, like the Father/Daughter dance, have a much bigger song selection to choose from. But, this doesn’t mean the Mother/Son dance is any less important! The love between any parent and their son or daughter is something special and should be honored at a wedding. Here are a few song selections which are great options to serve as the Mother/Son dance soundtrack. What’s your favorite?
Shinedown, “Simple Man”: Most people know this classic song as it was popularized by its original artist, Lynryd Skynryd – but many think this version is as good as, if not better than, the original. The emotion in the lyrics is heartfelt, and magnified by the lead singer’s voice. With this song, there’s sure to be no dry eye in the house at the end of the dance.
Amos Lee, “Sweet Pea”: On a much more cheerful note, this song is much less popular but equally as fitting to represent the mother-son relationship. Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of pet names such as “sweet pea, apple of my eye” from their mother at one time or another in their life?
The Beach Boys, “God Only Knows”: If the classics are more your style, this song is a perfect fit for the Mother-Son dance at your wedding. It’s well-loved by all. In fact, Paul McCartney recently said it was his favorite song of all time, and U2 lead singer Bono said the melody was “proof of angels” on Earth. With such praise like that, you can’t go wrong with this selection!
Stevie Wonder, “You Are the Sunshine of my Life”: Another cheerful tune, this song has perfect lyrics for the Mother/Son dance. “You are the sunshine of my life, that’s why I’ll always stay around. You are the apple of my life, forever you’ll stay in my heart.” You don’t get much more motherly love than that!
One of the most challenging aspects of planning your dream wedding is settling on a budget. For many brides, this process can bring up nightmarish fears of family conflicts and living in a cardboard box for the next few years in exchange for having all that you want, and more, in your perfect celebration.
Luckily, when it comes to planning your wedding budget a little sense of perspective can go a long way. When it comes to deciding what you want to make wise investments in for your wedding, and what you can get away with doing a little on the DIY side (hello, pinterest!), it’s important to take a step back and reflect on what elements of your celebration will truly turn into your fondest memories for years down the road.
Think about this: when you’re crunching budget numbers down to dollars and cents, the word “value” is important and comes to mind often. You want to know what the worth is of the things you’re spending your hard-earned money for. Now think about the word “value” in a difference sense – what do you value when it comes to those elements of your wedding that directly contribute the joy and happiness you and your loved ones experience? This is where you should focus your budgeted investments.
Five, ten, or even twenty-five years from now your family and friends will remember the great experience they had at your wedding. Ask yourself: if you’re on a budget, what does that value mean to you? For most brides, there’s no 100% right or 100% wrong answer to that question. Does this mean you want each and every guest to have individual flower arrangements, uniquely personalized in your ceremony colors and embossed with your monogrammed initials, waiting for them as they enter the reception venue? Possibly. But more likely than not, this means that smart investments will be made in the big elements like photography, entertainment, and food and drink while leaving the other choices up to some creative thinking and ingenuity (and yet again, help from the all-knowing Pinterest experts). It may even help to rank all of your budget items in terms of priority from low to high to see where along the bottom you can make some changes.
This is a topic that is difficult to approach in the wedding planning process, but the time devoted to it will always pay off in the end. Until your big day has come and gone, take comfort in the fact that each bride is in her own unique situation – and there’s plenty of help along the way for the tough decisions up ahead.