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What Would They Know? Jeffrey Xiong of In A Maze Films

by | Cinematography Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Jeffrey of In A Maze films exudes a passion for his chosen career. With a childhood spent in Japan immersing himself in fine arts and calligraphy, Jeffrey showed prodigious talent in these areas and had his first exhibition in his primary school years. This talent is now being channeled into producing incredible wedding films that, in his words, take you to “a world filled with happiness and some teary moments that take your breath away. ” Add another view of your wedding day through a filmmaker’s lens. “You will find yourself engulfed in its sheer bliss” as you re-live your memories of the day.

What inspired you to start in the cinematography profession?

I started Fine Arts and Chinese Calligraphy since I was young. My mastery over art making gained me noteworthy attention in Japan where my work was showcased in an exhibition just when I was in primary school. My background in art making and film production fuelled my passion in this field and motivated me to take up a career in multimedia design and filmmaking in Australia. I have gained tremendous experience working with major brands in Sydney and worldwide. After gaining valuable experience in design and film making, I finally found the right direction for my passion. By capturing the intense, blissful moments of a wedding and producing artistic and emotional wedding films through that, I would like to give couples a wonderful, cinematic experience and allow them to relive their magical moments through these films.

In A Maze is an unusual name for a business why this name?

Everything is fresh, new and vibrating with life. And in all this confusion and emotion, you have to make a decision. A decision that has the power to change your life forever. This is what happens when you’re in a maze. Your life might give you two alternating path, but one of them can change your destiny forever because that one path offers you something that can fill your life with wonderment; it offers you the promise of one true love.

This is what you will feel when you help us reconnect you with your journey and the promise of hope renewed. You will find love and expectations and surprises and emotions. The film will be a roller coaster ride for you. We will take you through the beautiful moments that will put in a maze but at the end of it you will find your path entwined with your loved one. In a maze re-scripts your destiny for you and presents it in the most incredible way possible. This is why we call it ‘in a maze’ because nothing dazzles you more than seeing your life journey through someone else’s eyes. The bliss you feel when you see a perfect ending for yourself. The joy you experience when you have a partner for life. And the happiness that courses through you when your journey comes to a wonderful end. It’s all depicted beautifully in a maze!

How long have you been a cinematographer?

7 Years.

Why do you especially enjoy wedding cinematography?

I can feel the love around, meeting awesome people and places. To discover their beautiful stories.

How would you describe your film style?

Artistic, Natural and Emotional.

What can a cinematographer give a client that differs from a photographer?

We don’t normally shoot what the photographer shoots (except formalities), couples hire photographers and cinematographers for different purpose. The words people spoken, the reaction when the couple see each other at first time is unique. You never gonna get same reaction in two different weddings.

Do you plan the shots for the day, and/or do a look around the area before the wedding to plan for places to film the couple?

We always love to plan some shots and scout the location if we are not familiar with (it) to make sure we know what to do on the wedding day, and let our couples to enjoy the day.

Do you have two people filming on the wedding day, so that you dont miss a thing?

Most of our weddings are filmed by two people.

Typically when does the filming commence for the bridal couple?

We start early morning to film bridal preparations.

What are the first steps when a bridal couple contacts you? How do you get to know their particular style?

Everyone has different taste of how the film looks like. We ask what they like, which is their favourite movie, what music they listen to. Of course their love story.

Do you offer same day edits?

Yes. Our SDE has just won AVPA 2014 award.

Do you offer packages? What is your most popular package, and what does this include?

Our package is to cover all the important parts of the wedding, our signature package is not really a hourly based package. Telling  better stories by capturing every magic moment is way more important than asking our couple to extend our coverage on the day for extra $$$.

Creatively, where, and doing what, makes you feel most inspired?

Seeing people in love and put ourselves as part of the wedding to enjoy their celebrations. Apart from filmmaking, I love adventure and I travel around the world every year in search of invaluable stories that need to be showcased to the world.

What are some favourite destinations you have visited in the course of your work?

New Zealand.

In what ways do you regularly challenge yourself creatively with your film work?

We always challenge ourselves to tell better stories. As you can see, every new films we produced, you can tell there are always something fresh in it.

Do you always have a camera with you even on your days off?

Most time with my phone camera.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

Travel, Music and enjoy everyday with my baby Lynette and families.

Thank you Jeffrey for sharing your story. To find out more about In a Maze Films please visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of In a Maze Films

A Darling Affair Hits Brisbane

by | Event Reviews, Wisdom


Ms Chevron

Brisbane felt the love this January when A Darling Affair landed on our heat-drenched ground for the very first time. With soaring temperatures and committed vendors, the wedding fair saw more than 1000 people through the doors. We got the latest scoop from Emma at A Darling Affair as to how the day went:

“We had three fashion parades on the day which was a huge success, drawing really large crowds and lots of interest from Brides & Grooms-to-be.”


 Gown by Jennifer Gifford Designs, make-up by The Beauty Case, hair by Aleesha Darke


 Gown by Begitta, make-up by The Beauty Case, hair by Aleesha Darke


 Suit by Urbbana


Suit by Black Jacket Suiting, Dress by Anna Dutton Couture, make-up by The Beauty Case, hair by Aleesha Darke


 Gown by Anna Dutton Couture, make-up by The Beauty Case, hair by Aleesha Darke

“We also had a fantastic and very popular picnic/chill out zone in the gardens with lots of foodies filling bellies and some beautiful relaxed seating in the shade. We saw our guests chilling out, eating good food, and chatting about all the rad vendors they’d just met inside the fair.”

ADA-BNE-2015-VO-119 The Curious Caravan

 The Curious Caravan

ADA-BNE-2015-FS-292 Florido

Florido Weddings

ADA-BNE-2015-S2-052 Ryder Evans

 Ryder Evans

“We work extremely hard to keep the A Darling Affair brand to the high standard that it’s become known for. We carefully hand select the freshest and most creative vendors on the scene at the moment and we are always so proud of their hard work and at the incredible stalls they bring to life on the day of our fairs.  We like to put on a visual feast that leaves people’s jaws hanging open and we can proudly say that we achieved that again with our most recent Brisbane A Darling Affair Fair.”

 ADA-BNE-2015-S2-101 Perfectly Sweet

 Perfectly Sweet Lolly and Candy Buffets

ADA-BNE-2015-S1-056 Chase the Sun

Chase the Sun Calligraphy and Design

ADA-BNE-2015-VO-076 Fergus and the Cat

 Fergus and the Cat

We also spoke with some of the vendors to get their thoughts on emerging wedding trends for 2015:

There are some incredible food and beverage vans around at the moment and we were lucky enough to have some of them join us in Brisbane – The Curious Caravan, Chiptease, Yummi Fruit Ice-Creamery, I heart Brownies, Gathering Events, Pop Taco, Pizzacantica – our couples are loving the funky backyard vibe these guys bring to events. {Emma from A Darling Affair}

ADA-BNE-2015-VO-124 I Love Brownies

I Heart Brownies

This year we’re seeing a lot of copper and brass detailing coupled with cascading foliage and drop down pendant lighting. A winning combination if you ask us! {Natalie from Autumn Grove Events}.

ADA-BNE-2015-S3-043 Autumn Grove Events

Autumn Grove Events

I can definitely see more and more copper coming through to wedding stationery. {Ellen from Blushing Confetti}

ADA-BNE-2015-VO-008 Hansel and Gretel Cakes

Hansel and Gretel Cakes

We also saw the come back of the round reception table… except this time they are beautiful hardwood round tables which are a little smaller than your standard size and promote guest interaction. {Emma from A Darling Affair}

ADA-BNE-2015-S1-101 Lovestruck

Lovestruck Event Hire and Styling

It’s all about the Hamptons look with clean lines, crisp linens and lots of flowers and foliage. Bright, bold colours, with touch of geometric and a lot of interesting, creative light installations are also getting our creative juices flowing! {Amanda from Avé Events Wedding and Event Planning}

ADA-BNE-2015-S2-033 Hampton Event Hire

Hampton Event Hire


We are absolutely loving the trend for wild and unstructured bouquets that has begun to emerge over the last couple of years. It’s that boho type of bridal style paired with a statement bouquet in rich colours and luscious foliage that we just love! {Clare from Little Flower Company}


ADA-BNE-2015-S1-006 The Little Flower Company

Little Flower Company


I think that fresh, healthy and glowing skin; chocolate smokey eyes and soft lips; and romantic and effortless hair styles will be back for 2015. {Khesanh from The Beauty Case}



Gowns by Jennifer Gifford Designs, make-up by The Beauty Case, hair by Aleesha Darke

But in the end, perhaps it’s as simple as taking the wise words from Lindsay Carroll, celebrant, “My advice on emerging wedding trends is to take no notice, buck the trends and craft your day so that it reflects what you and your partner are all about!”


Image by The Photo Booth Collective

So, if you’re planning a wedding in the sunshine state, then make sure you don’t miss the next A Darling Affair:

Night time wedding festival on Friday 29 May 2015 at the Gold Coast

Relaxed market style day on Saturday 29 August 2015 at the Sunshine Coast

Images supplied by A Darling Affair.

What Would They Know? Petra Cremming of Pomp & Splendour

by | Flower Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Petra of Pomp & Splendour brings her own innate sense of style to wedding flowers and celebrates the natural world by bringing together the wild and the beautiful in botanicals, into seemingly just picked, casual arrangements. Preferring to work with local seasonal foliage and blooms, she lets the foliage and flowers dictate the final unique look – no tortured arrangements for her! And Petra also brings her ‘green’ aesthetic into her work preferring to use chemical free blooms  and an eco friendly ethos in her business – and don’t we love that for a principled and safe approach!

What was the catalyst for starting your floral design business?

I always liked the idea of working for myself. I had never been very good at having a ‘boss’, I’m far too independent and I really enjoy the freedom of dreaming up my own creations. After working in flower shops for the better part of the last 13 years, I knew it was time to do my own thing and just over three years ago I started Pomp and Splendour.

Image by Leo Farrell Photography

Why do we need flowers and nature in our lives?

Flowers and botanical materials always breathe a sense of life into things and can remind us that the vast world of nature is just right out side the window, outside the building, just outside the city….

How important is it (for you) to consider the environment in the course of your work? 

Right from the start I have had a focus on a more sustainable and environmentally conscious business practice. It makes perfect sense to have a respect for the environment when working directly with natural produce. More recently there has been a positive movement forward with florists and growers sourcing local and chemical free blooms. I try to encourage my brides and clients to opt for seasonal and local flowers over imported and pesticide laden blooms. In the studio all of our Green waste, plastics, recyclables get separated and we buy from lots of growers and foragers that share the eco friendly ethos.

Image by Lauren Campbell Photography

Where do you find inspiration?

Nature of course! The abundance of images on social media. Fashion. Art. Everything I rest my eyes on really.

How would you describe your style?

Carefree, spirited and a little wild. Beautiful but not too serious.

When you start to style a ceremony, bouquet or reception, do you let the flowers and foliage determine the flow of this, and how do you know when to stop?

No matter how much I plan, visualize and design before construction, the foliage, the flowers and the materials that I use all end up coming together in their own sweet way. You can never anticipate that special curve in a stem or the extra branch in a piece of foliage or the way in which a flower chose to open.

Image by Kate Berry Photography

To style a ceremony and reception, what do you like to use a lot of, for maximum impact?

Anything used en masse has tremendous impact, as does bright eye popping colour.

If I had a limited budget to spend on wedding flowers, how would you style my wedding?

I would suggest to keep the bouquets beautiful as they will be in most of the photo’s and can be reused somewhere again as a floral arrangement at the reception. There is a misconception that foliage is an inexpensive way to fill up a space, however these days we florists are spending around the same amount for a bunch of foliage as we do on a bunch of premium blooms. Plants are good as they can always be reused or given to guests to take home. If you are not fussy about flower type then seasonal abundantly available (still beautiful) blooms are the way to go.

What other botanicals do you use to add surprise to your arrangements?

The list is endless. Aside from the typical seed pod, berries, husks and fruits; succulents and stems of plants or leaves from less common plant species are always a beautiful addition to an arrangement. I’m loving Begonia and passionfruit vine at the moment. Last wedding season I was totally crushing on flowering herbs and Rosemary.

Do you see more brides following their heart, and how do you guide them to add the ‘wow factor’? 

I certainly see trends running through the inspiration of lots of my brides. Often it’s a popular colour palette or a style of bouquet, but each bride tends to want it to work in her own way. For me, meeting brides before their wedding is really useful for getting an intuitive sense of how the flowers can work for the individual. We go through all of the details, things like dress colours and style of the outfits etc, and by the time we’ve walked through the whole wedding, I’ve heard all the stories about the brides’ mum’s favourite flowers, or flowers that the grandmother had in the garden growing up etc. All of these elements bring out the uniqueness of every wedding.

Image by Lucy Spartalis Photography

What are the local seasonal flowers you most like to use?

Oh this is so hard!

Summer: beautiful garden roses, you just cant beat that smell!

Autumn: the colours in all of the deciduous foliage as it changes is stunning, especially Japanese Maple.

Winter: Daphne! Another smell you just can’t beat

Spring: My oh my…practically everything, but I have a soft spot for Lilac.

Image by cousin of the bride

What suggestions can you give us for disposing of the foliage and florals when you pack down a wedding?

Get all of the guests to take the flowers home. We can leave some brown paper behind for flowers to be wrapped up.

How do you sustain the pace during wedding season – early mornings, late nights and pressure to come up with the best for each wedding you do?

I often complain about being so tired and over worked, but I actually really thrive on the challenges, the fast paced nature of everything. I think I come up with my best innovations under pressure. I also have an awesome team of helpers that actually make it possible. And coffee. I always have coffee.

Image by LJM Photography

What do you love to do for relaxation?

Getting out of town and going for a beautiful cycle or a hike somewhere and ideally sleeping under the stars.

Thank you Petra for sharing your story. To find out more about Pomp & Splendour visit the website.

Headshot by Lilli Waters

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