Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The right type of Guest Book for you.

The days of the traditional guest book have come and gone.  Couple want something that is distinctively different, something practical and something they will really enjoy for years to come.  So with our quest to constantly be your resource to planning, tips and fun ideas this blog post is dedicated to you.  Our clients, wedding, party, business function or just social gathering.  We have lots of fun ideas for you, some more traditional and some more outrageous.

First things first, lets make sure that your idea flows with your theme of your wedding.  Having a beachy/summer event or wedding?  Try a message in a bottle for your guest book.  Get a clear bottle, a cork, custom label and some colorful strips of paper that match your wedding colors.  Have guests write you a message and drop it in the bottle (tip make sure the pens are acid free to prevent fading).  At the end cork it and you can have messages in a bottle from all your closest friends and family celebrating with you.

Maybe you are a very outdoorsy couple?  You are using very natural decor and items that remind people of how beautiful the great outdoors are?  You can do wishing rocks.  Get a beautiful basket and fill it with smooth rocks.  Make sure they are not too small as people need room to write on them.  Get some fine tip permanent markers and let people write you a message on the rocks.  You can display the rocks in a glass bowl or basket in your house where you can read and reread the messages daily.  Another option is to get a tree and have your guests write on leaves (made out of heavy paper) and hang the leaves on your tree in your house.  A great way to add decor to your house and be able to read and reread messages from your family and friends.

Having a vineyard wedding?  Order a magnum of their wine, create a custom label with a picture of the two of you on it. Then get some silver pens and have all your guest sign the bottle.  This is something you can display in your house for years to come and will be a constant reminder of how wonderful your special day was.

Are you and your husband the artsy/creative type?  Maybe you would like to have a photo booth at your wedding.  Have this double as your guest book.  Your guest can take fun pictures and leave half the sheet for you.  Leave them some colored acid free paper in different shapes.  They can write you a message on those sheets and later you can put them all together with the pictures in a scrapbook.  A super fun way for guest to really get involved and have fun.


Are you a couple that always has flowers in the house?  Maybe you like to entertain?  Have you thought about having your guest sign a vase or maybe a plate?  Create a unique way to display your memories from your guests and a way to be able to see it everyday.  the vases can be used in many functions throughout you house.  And the best part is when you have your friends and family visit they can see that you are proudly displaying your wedding guest book for all to see.

Looking for something a bit more traditional?  You can always have guest sign a photo frame, picture album or a traditional guest book.  The important thing to remember is that this is YOUR wedding.  You are the ones who will take the "guest book" home and display it, read it or utilize it in a way you feel the most significant to you.

Still need help with coming up with something that is specific to your and your wedding?  Give us a call.  We have lots of great way to incorporate your theme and personality into your wedding.  Initial consultations are always complimentary.

Events by Lisa Marie
Lisa Marie

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Who needs Film? Everyone!

As we work with each of our clients we like to put together a dream team that is perfect for their event.  Part of this is having professionals we can refer to who will match the style and personality of our clients.  Not all clients want the same things, however more and more are seeing the value of having a video of their special day or event.  Karyn with Black Label Films is one of our favorite filmakers.  Check out her answers to some of our questions below and get a chance to see her work. 

What is the Difference between a Traditional Videographer and a Filmmaker or Cinematographer?
The difference is mainly conceptual, videography is the term we apply to real-time , documentary-style wedding videos that are typically an hour or more in length. This is the product the industry has been producing since the 80’s. They remind of us of security footage, and you’ll end up fast-forwarding through the boring parts to get to the good stuff. The cameras are set up on a tripods and not much more effort is spent on capturing a story or emotions.
Cinematographers, on the other hand, are the up and coming new trend and eventually will be a mainstay at EVERY wedding, and I predict will become more popular than still photography as technology progresses. Cinematographers are basically the motion-imagery equivalent to fine-art photographers, assessing lighting, angles, and scenery in order to create beautiful imagery.
Modern Filmmakers differ from traditional videographers in that they spend time getting to know their subject.  During the shoot itself they make many technical decisions such as composition, lighting, lens selection, cinematic tool selection, and audio acquisition. In the editing studio, they will make careful sound score selections, and choose clips, pacing and color-grading (special effects) for an overall mood that fits the couple and event style. The final film is a time capsule of your day, taking you back to experience the event all over again, one moment after another.

Why Should I Hire a Photographer AND a Cinematographer?
Photographs are still moments, frozen in time. They are beautiful to look at and are the best option for enlargements to hang on your wall, and a quick and cheap option for passing out amongst family and friends.
Cinematography is the superior choice for preserving the actual EXPERIENCE of your day. The sounds, the sights, the movement, the emotions. Cinematography tells stories about the images it creates. You can see what’s happening, whether you caught it at the actual wedding or not.
Both art forms are important to remember your day by. But your film is the superior form of memory preservation because it can preserve movement, voices and sound. This is not only priceless for YOU, but it’s priceless for any family who couldn’t make it to the wedding, and to your children and grand-children.
Keep in mind also that you can take still images from your HD film and print them as 4x6 or 5x7 images, or share them in online photo albums such as Facebook, SmugMug, or Flickr. Have your film studio help you with this, if you can only afford to invest in one thing! An HD film still, is not as high-res as an original still image, due to camera limitations, so they aren’t useful as enlargements. However for regular-sized prints they are fabulous!

What Makes Black Label Films Different?
The fact that we are filmmakers and not traditional videographers sets us apart from 80% of the studios in Portland and nationwide. Of the remaining 20%, there are three things that make us the top studio to work with in Portland and one of the top studios nationwide. The summary is that we focus on your EXPERIENCE with us from start to finish.
Before the Wedding Service – we have an initial consultation with you and a separate consultation a few months before your wedding to discuss in-depth your d├ęcor plans, your concerns and questions, and a camera placement and lighting strategy discussion. We coordinate with your venue, planner and vendor team for flawless execution and NO STRESS for you or your bridal party! We have a monthly payment plan option for weddings 3 or more months out at no extra charge which many of our clients appreciate.
Day-Of Wedding Service – We focus on your wedding film as a fun adventure and inject laughter and fun everywhere we can. We always arrive 30-60 minutes before your paid coverage starts, and any footage we get after set-up is simply complementary. We only book ONE wedding each weekend which allows us to be creatively fresh. When you book Black Label, you will always be getting exclusive cinematographer Karyn Reohr who has trained under world-renowned studios such as Stillmotion and Ray Roman Films. We (of course) film only in High Definition using cutting-edge equipment, and we are fun and easy to be around, blending in and very discreet.
After-Wedding Service – Because we only accept a very limited number of events each year, we have an industry-leading turnaround time of 1-2 months. Most studios film like crazy in the summer and edit in the fall, winter and even into next year’s spring. We do our best to have ZERO backlog, which keeps our clients thrilled! We also are the most diverse studio in Portland. Glance at other studio’s portfolios and you will see a similar look and feel across their different samples. Black Label has consistency in superior imagery and editing. However, we can create a film that fits your style, from sentimental to vintage to country chic to punk rock. We LOVE the diversity of our clients and feel your film should reflect who you are.
Finally, I like to point out the rather obvious fact that I, the studio owner and primarily cinematographer and editor, am female. Why does this matter? While there are about 50/50 male vs female photographers out there, the video/film world is very heavily dominated by men. I believe this is the case because video is more technically challenging and technology is a traditionally male career. On the other hand, I have a Computer Science degree and spent 10 years at Intel so I love new technology. And my eye for fresh, modern aesthetics both in shooting and in the edit studio is one of the key strengths of hiring Black Label that you just can’t get anywhere else!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. 
Guest blogger Karyn Reohr can be reached at
Also check out her facebook page at

Monday, August 1, 2011

Royal Wedding or my Own Wedding?

Recently while chatting with one of our brides we were asked about music.  Our bride, Amanda, was talking about how she was trying to pick music for the ceremony and was getting lots of "help" from others.  They are not having a very typical wedding and taking out some of the more traditional elements to create a wedding that reflects their personality.  One of her questions was "Do I have to use the music everyone else says we NEED to play?"  my answer "NO"  and yes I did almost shout it at her. 

Your wedding day is about you, the two of you.  It should be a reflection of your love and desire to spend your life together, thus being a reflection of your personalities.  It is ok to deviate from what others have done, it is ok to NOT do what your parents did and it is OK to NOT have a trendy wedding or a wedding like the Royal Wedding.  What Will and Kate did is not what works for every couple.

Do I think some aspects of the Royal Wedding will become trendy, YES for sure.  Some people will want to have a wedding similar to what the Royal Couple had and some will fall in love with some of the elegant looks that were created for the wedding.  Such as the floral arrangements all white in color and smaller bouquets.  Or maybe they will like the sleek look of the dress Pippa, Kate's sister, wore, they may want their guests to wear fun hats.  Do I think these will be some of the popular trends? Yes I do but gradually and it may take time as I think many brides will take little aspects.  However, I will still tell my clients that it is ok to NOT do what is trendy, to instead do what you feel represents you, as a couple.  Afterall, its your wedding, your pictures, your video and your day to commit your life to the one you love.
Photo credit oregonlive 
Happy Wedding Planning
Lisa Marie