I married my high school boyfriend and starting planning my long before we were engaged. Thank goodness for my wedding bible, Martha Stewart Weddings, my go to source for everything chic and stylish! Who knew that 4 years after my wedding, I would be placing an advertisement for a wedding business in that same magazine I had relied on for so many years. It has been a lovely journey being with Martha Stewart Weddings and getting that very first order because someone had found my ad in the back of the magazine. Sparklers were something few people had heard about back then so through photographs, I tried my best to introduce the idea. And boy has it caught on!
I just wanted to update you all on our sparklers contest. We have been overwhelmed with amazing submissions – I have at least 30 to post tonight – and have received some mind blowing submissions. Here are the front runners to date…
PLEASE visit the website and vote on your favorites! Click here.
Before I really even understood what a blog was, I was an avid reader of Abby Larson’s Style Me Pretty blog. She first started showcasing her favorite images onto idea boards by theme, color etc and now has an empire of chicness and is the go to source for all things beautiful, fresh and new. We have been loyal advertisers on the site for years and think Sparkle and Style Me Pretty are a match made in heaven. This year the powers that be asked us to sponsor a give-away…our first ever. Not that we are stingy, we have just never found the platform. Needless to say, we jumped at the opportunity to showcase our sparklers to all the adorable Style Me Pretty readers. See the post here:
Please visit www.StyleMePretty.com for an opportunity to win 200 of our 36 inch sparklers (a $240 value).
I am beyond excited about this sparkler photo contest! We have been receiving submissions for the past 4 days and have over 200 photos from our customers. Not only are the photos amazing, the comments are lovely. Learning how much the sparklers meant to the bride and groom, how much fun the guests had, how it felt like the perfect way to start their life together as husband and wife has been amazing!
Please take a look on the photo contest page of the website. We have some amazing submissions and the prizes are amazing! First place wins $500 to the couple, $500 to the photographer and a feature in a national advertisement (Martha Stewart Weddings, Bride Magazine or Style Me Pretty). The remaining 4 finalists will win $100 each.
Here are some of the photos in the lead. Have one you want to submit? Click here!
We are always thrilled when someone posts about a sparkler exit – what could be better than ending your wedding under a sky full of lights? I love the people at Floridian Weddings and think they have some great ideas for those brides choosing a destination wedding, or who happen to live in Florida. This delightful blog has all kinds of ideas and even helps you find vendors by region. Check it out here. This couple makes me want to cry they are so cute. The white jacket, no tie and the brides smile…they are adorable! Soak it up, brides and friends, this is what sparklers are all about!
I soak up these features in magazines hoping to find a new product for myself or the perfect gift for a friend. What a treat to find Sparkle listed for our 10 inch adorable sparklers! And now I have a source for those super cute striped straws.
My dad loves Fox News. He might find this post as the crowning achievement for his daughter as he truly adores Fox News. It is how he wakes up in the morning – Fox and and a large cup of coffee…in styrofoam (please don’t ask) and how he ends his evening – Shep is recorded daily and watched before bed. Well Dad, this one’s for you!
Look at this fun feature by Fox New Magazine:
I talk on the phone to a lot of brides, and a lot of mothers of the brides. We are always in a debate about what size sparklers to get – the 20 or the 36 inch. I always say the 36 inch sparklers leave you with a little more wiggle room, more time to do creative photos. I am always trying to describe what I mean by a creative photo and I have found it, courtesy of my mom, below. IMAGINE these with sparklers!
So…get inspired, buy some sparklers and do these photos below! And be sure to send me a copy.
And this just makes me smile – so whimsical!
I started this business when I lived in Del Mar, California. We were there for two glorious years during a stint with the NAVY and could have not loved the area more! We lived in this adorable guest house on Bellaire Street (yes, sweet husband, I remembered the name of the street) next to a family with 5 children who are now teenagers and young adults. The family took us in as their own and we in turn fell in love with them too.
We could walk to the Del Mar Plaza and to our favorite restaurant, Sbicca. We made enough money that we could eat dinner and order appetizers and a bottle of wine…a huge step up from life in Florida where we were seriously penny pinching. I worked for a pharmaceutical company during the a blissful period and tried all the best restaurants in San Diego because of that job.
I first learned about June Gloom when we arrived in January. Apparently, when it is the prettiest all over the United States, near the beach in SoCal, it is not. Here is what wikipedia has to say: June Gloom is a southern California term for a weather pattern that results in cloudy, overcast skies with cool temperatures during the late spring and early summer. June Gloom in southern California is caused by the marine layer effect common to the West Coast. Well, we LOVE June at Sparkle because of the many many MANY brides planning for summer weddings.
Now anytime I talk to brides in Southern California, I am simply nostalgic. My husband and I would love Saturdays when we could go on an early run, cancel out the calories burned with a big seaside brunch and then pack a picnic and head to the beach (we could walk, by the way). It was incredibly amazing when we could watch a wedding taking place at the Del Mar public beach – and yes, we would stay and watch, at a respectable distance of course. You can get married at Seagrove Park in Del Mar for $1500 and the venue could not be more beautiful and simple.
We love all weddings featured on Style Me Pretty, but one featuring wedding sparklers always makes us smile. The sweet bride went for a natural feel with handmade favors of dried herbs, loads of natural materials including wildflowers, handmade paper and slate. The wedding took place high atop the mountain in Stowe, Vermont and ended with a sparkler send-off and a trip down the mountain via gondola ride as husband and wife.
I feel incredibly grateful to be passing along a truly amazing tutorial today from Corine Tran of Studio Tran, a talented photographer. I opened my emails a few weeks ago and found some of the most creative sparkler photos I have ever seen…you all will flip! I begged her to white a “how-to” and she happily agreed.
I am going to paste the information below, but please make sure to visit her blog here.
Sparkler pictures are fun and magical. I mean who doesn’t love sparklers? They have become more and more popular at weddings as an “exit” where the bride and groom run through. Ive received a lot of emails and facebook messages asking if I would share how I took the sparkler pictures I have been posting so I thought I would share some tips and tricks.
I’m sure there are many different ways you can do this, but this is what I have found works the best.
You will need at least 2 off camera flashes on stands, a tripod, camera, wireless remotes, sparklers and someone to take the picture (assistant, friend of couple).
I put my flashes on manual at 1/2 and point them directly at the couple. Since this is a long exposure picture you will need the off camera flash to basically “freeze” the couple and their movement. I like the bride to hold the sparkler and then I light another sparkler off of the brides already lite sparkler to write a word or make a shape. This makes it appear like the bride wrote the word, but in fact I am doing it. Since the bride is hold the sparkler and its rather close to her and this is a long exposure shot, you are getting a lot of light cast off of the sparkler on to the couple. The off camera flash and closed aperture will help with this. When I first tried this I did not take that into account and my flash strength was not high enough or close enough to the couple and my aperture was too wide. I got a lot of light and color cast off on to the couple and they were a little blurry. OK a lot blurry.
Next you will need to set your camera to manual so you can control both the aperture and shutter. I have found being around f/14 or f/16 works well. The higher your aperture the more your sparkler will be defined. If you are more wide open your sparkler will appear less defined and more like balls of light.
For the flash setting on the camera, you will want to set it to rear. If you leave it normal the flash will go off at the beginning of the exposure. We want the flash to instead fire at the end of the exposure, right before the shutter closes. So set this to “rear” This burst of light from the flash will help to freeze the couple and their movement. I usually have the couple look at each other, kiss or look at the camera. Whatever you are having them do it would be best if hey could hold as still as possible. The flash will help to stop their movement but it will not freeze them completely. So they still need to hold as still as possible.
Next you could do this two ways. You could set the camera on timer for the length of time you want your exposure. Since I don’t really know how much time I am going to need I have found setting the shutter to “bulb” works the best. You will need an assistant or someone to actually take the picture while you are doing the writing. What they will do is when you are ready they will depress the shutter button and hold it down to start the exposure. You will then write/paint with the light source (video light or sparkler) and once you are finished and have stepped out of the frame they release the shutter. The flashes will fire, the shutter will close ending the exposure and we will have our picture.
So now you are asking, where do we buy really cool sparklers? The sparklers used for the below pictures came from www.sparklersonline.com. Some were the 20 inch and some were the 36 inch. The 36 inch burn for almost four minutes and give you plenty of time to get more then one picture. If your client wants a sparkler picture I would recommend they at least buy the 20 inch sparklers. Anything smaller is well, too small.
So to recap…
- off camera flashes on a higher manual setting, 1/4 or 1/2. I used 1/2
If you have any tips or tricks, please add them!