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There’s a reason wedding season includes the entire stretch of Summer – long sunshiny days, balmy weather and celebrating outdoors!

Selecting the perfect venue for your big day is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the wedding planning process. The venue really determines the theme and aesthetic, the atmosphere, the dress code and the menu.

In Summer, the perfect venue almost always includes an indoor and outdoor space, and even better if there’s a spectacular view to soak in, whilst sipping on champagne! For this reason, venues like the Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club in Williamstown are perfect for Summer weddings – a large indoor space, complemented by an outdoor grass area looking out over the waterfront and some of Melbourne’s best views of the city skyline.

Summer venues also call for glorious Summer menus! Think fresh and seasonal produce to complement those bubbly cocktails. Particularly popular at this time of year is seafood. A simple offering of fresh chilled oysters with lemon wedges is always a crowd pleaser, or go for something more adventurous as part of a grazing board, such as applewood smoked ocean trout with caprioska apple slaw.

Another aspect to consider when selecting a wedding venue, is how the space will be organised for your reception. A flexible floor plan is key – look for a venue where cocktail and seated events can be easily accommodated with options for banquet tables or more traditional round tables. Always consider what the space has to offer before you bring in the décor and styling elements – for example, if the venue has a beautiful view, allow this to become part of the styling of the space. You don’t need to spend a fortune bringing décor into the venue, let the views speak for themselves!

Images of the Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club by Ben Christensen

Ms Zebra Says: A summer wedding is always a great idea – how can you compete with balmy summer evenings, seafood – and of course a million dollar view. Thanks Ed for sharing a venue not to be missed if you’re planning a Melbourne wedding!

About Ed Dixon Food Design: Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club is exclusively managed by Ed Dixon Food Design, an award winning boutique catering company. EDFD have over 17 years’ experience creating beautiful weddings and are renowned for their passionate staff and creative & delicious menus. Combine this with RVMYC’s sought after location and views, and engaged couples can rest assured that their wedding day will be everything they’ve dreamt of.

There is a beauty that wedding films bring to your story. Our wide brown land with pockets of colour from leaves, the oasis of green lawns dotted with majestic trees, a campfire’s blazing flames, the bark and leaves on the ground in a paddock. All give a sense of place and time, and adds another layer of atmosphere to the film of the wedding day. Brad of GMTMT Films uses the landscape and surrounds to give context to the day and a cinematic quality to his work. There is an authenticity to his work, reflective of the man behind the lens – real emotions, the eye contact between the bride and groom, the words of a speech that says everything – with Brad telling their story through his eyes and thoughts. Let’s join Brad as he tells us his story.

Interesting name for your business – what do the initials stand for and how did you think of it?

When we were growing up we’d listen to my Dad on the phone and at the end of every conversation he wouldn’t say “bye” or “see you” he’d always say “Good Mate, Thanks Mate, Tah” so the acronym GMTMT was born.

Where are you based?

Lucky to be based in Newcastle NSW.

In a creative sense, what do you love about making films?

For me it’s about the endless possibilities our couples provide me. Each wedding has its unique set of characters, locations and stories, so on the big day I’m inspired by these components. I’ve always been given creative license to bring it all together which is vital for me, and it gives our couples the freedom to be themselves by not worrying about what I’m capturing. It’s a dynamic.

What techniques do you use to give a sense of grandeur to your films?

A mixture of movement, stillness and audio would probably best describe my approach. It’s not just the filming but also the editing which makes my films stand alone.

Do you have a style of film making that defines you – or do you prefer not to be confined by a ‘style’?

I think all filmmakers have an approach to filming and will already have the story in mind. I never expect the same from every wedding or how the day will unfold. I anticipate. We can’t script a wedding, but we can adjust accordingly. My films are cinematic, romantic and honest. Some areas may be tweaked to suit the feel of the day, but the approach will always be the same.

Image by Gez Xavier Mansfield.

Has your style and techniques changed over the years?

I’m now into my 7th year as a full time wedding filmmaker. Styles and techniques have changed along the way with the introduction of stabilizers, drones and 4K. At this stage we have an award-winning format which I’m absolutely thrilled with and enjoy.

The landscape, aerial shots and the sky feature in your films. Is there something about the Australian landscape and light which attracts you – and how do you use it to tell the story of the day?

I’m always imagining our couples will have family or friends who weren’t able to make it to the wedding, and they may watch the film. It’s so important to describe the location and the weather in a creative way. I want the 4th and 5th dimension in my films – feel and smell. I will do whatever I can do to describe it. I’m a licensed RPA Pilot and Chief Pilot, which means I know the airspace above and am legally flying my drones. It also means I am insured for the use of drones. Very important!

Image by Gez Xavier Mansfield.

Do you work with a team and multiple cameras to ensure that you get shots from different angles?

Generally, it’s a 5-camera setup for Ceremony and speeches because I’m looking for reactions. Instant, real reactions. For example: My films will switch angles the very moment Bride and Groom first see each other. Eye contact is an amazing thing. Being a true creative I’ve never had a second shooter. I want the story told through my eyes and thoughts. Just as a writer wouldn’t have anyone else write a paragraph or a painter wouldn’t have anyone else add to their painting.

How do you ‘know’ what makes a great film shot? Is it instinctual?

Firstly, I visualize the shot. Secondly, it’s anticipation. Thirdly, a little planning. And finally, …… you wing it!

How do you get your couples to relax in front of the camera?

In a sense, I don’t want them relaxed, I want them to be them. You can’t force anything unless you want an awkward shot. Most of our couples have an amazing connection and my work seems to attract that kind of person.

How do you work around the photographer taking shots at the wedding? Is it a collaborative effort?

Obviously, we want to get our couple the best shot or angle but remaining professional is paramount. Never block each other and understand each other’s needs, easy!

What do your wedding packages start at – and include?

As a filmmaker I need everything, so we have just one package which covers the entire day. This allows me to create a 90-minute feature film and a short 3-minute teaser. My 2019 prices start at $5000 and at this moment have only 3 positions remaining. I shoot a maximum 25 weddings per year.

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

Never take the same footage twice. Have no expectations.

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

Being alone, observing people. Anywhere on this planet.

What’s next for your business?

In March 2018 I launched my photography brand, Chasing Bears Authentic. As my film bookings are limited to 25 per year this is a less demanding outlet I also love. We’ve taken a bunch of bookings already and looking forward to what it brings. Like GMTMT Films it’s dedicated to Weddings only!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Save your money!

What do you like to do for rest and recreation?

It’s all about Family. Being together with my Wife and Twins grounds me. Being a Papa to them is the most important thing in my life. Love riding my motorbike! It’s an incredible feeling when there’s just you, the bike and the road ahead. Nothing else matters.

Image by Gez Xavier Mansfield.

What is special about Newcastle and the Hunter Valley?

I’ve lived in Newcastle my entire life, and although I’ve travelled the World, this place always feels like home. The City is changing everyday and has so many pop up bars, café and restaurants it’s never difficult to find a little nook around here.

Films give us a lovely peek into the atmosphere and love of the wedding day – it’s almost as good as being a a guest! Thank you Brad for sharing your story. To find out more about GMTMT Films visit the website.

Headshot by Gez Xavier Mansfield.

Image By Sean + Danni Photography

Summer weddings are magical. Warm days make for a laid-back vibe and we love the bridal bouquets that are created. Summer is a time to play around with colour! It is a time to have lots of levels and depth within the bouquet.

As the weather changes so does the flower availability, each week different varieties can be in or out of season or their quality can be affected by extreme temperatures or heavy summer rainfall… This makes planning months in advance tricky. For our clients’ summertime bouquets we usually recommend focusing on a colour palette and a style/vibe, then we pick the specific flower combination the week of your wedding, factoring in your personal taste, the weather and the quality/abundance of the blooms.

Image By Elsa Campbell Photography 

Some tips for working with your florist for a summer bouquet are:

  • Come to your meeting prepared with a few images of what appeals to you
  • Keep an open mind when they make suggestions on size/style/colours
  • Don’t be afraid to play around with colour
  • Be open to the exact design being changed in terms of the weather and flower availability
  • Balance your flowers and your outfits. If you have detailed/patterned dresses, make the bouquets simple; if you have classic/plain dresses make the bouquets a feature
  • In summer you can get away with a larger bouquet, if the outfit and your build allows, don’t be afraid to go LARGE!

One of the biggest challenges as a wedding florist is that our “busy season” falls over the hottest months. To add to the irony, the softest, most delicate flowers are blooming during these months. This can make the logistics a little tricky. Howver, with some careful planning, we can ensure the blooms are at their best. The greatest thing you can do to ensure your bouquet goes the distance, is to give your florist creative freedom over the specific flower and foliage choices.

That way, depending on the weather, they can choose more appropriate blooms which will last throughout the day. We don’t know the forecast until the days leading up, so ideally we like to make last minute choices of what to omit, or we may add some extra foliage or “sturdy” flowers to hold these temperamental blooms in place, so we can still keep these amazing flowers, just with a little support.

Image by Agent 86 Photography

As all flowers are unique, we don’t know exactly what will work best until we have the flowers in our hands. Some weeks certain varieties will be sturdier than the week before.  We have no control over this (it depends on the growing conditions/weather in the weeks leading up to being picked), nor will we know what the best are until we are making each design. So, by having freedom over said design, it allows us to create the best overall bouquets without having to stress out our clients by communicating these changes the day before or day of the wedding.

Some popular summer items we use which can be temperamental include:

  • Hydrangea
  • Garden roses
  • Peonies
  • Dahlias
  • Queen annes lace
  • Veronica
  • Delphiniumn
  • Astilbe
  • Bouvardia
  • Jasmine foliage
  • Oak foliage

Something that may seem obvious, but can be easily forgotten on the big day is; FLOWERS ARE PERISHABLE! If it is a sunny 35-degrees, the flowers will not last as long as if it is an overcast 18-degree day. In warmer months, it is important to remember that if flowers are out of water and being paraded around in the sun for hours on end, they will be looking tired and there is no amount of careful flower choices that will change that.

A way I explain it to my clients, is to think about their bridal flowers like a cheese platter. At certain times of the year, you could buy your ingredients, leave it in the car whilst you do your shopping, put it outside for your friends and a few hours later it will still be good to eat from. On sunny days, you would not get away with this! Treat your bouquet, how you would a block of cheese!! My clients always laugh when I say this, but it sticks in their heads!

Image by The White Tree

Some tips for making your bridal party flowers hold up are;

  • Ensure your florist delivers your bouquets in a small amount of water
  • Keep the flowers in a cool spot out of direct sunlight
  • If appropriate, keep the bouquets in the water whilst you drive to the wedding
  • Avoid putting the flowers in the boot where the air conditioner does not reach
  • If you are having a pre-ceremony photo shoot consider just having one or two photos with your bouquet then return it to water and out of the sun for the remainder of the photo shoot
  • Have the buttonholes attached as late as possible (even just before the ceremony)
  • If you would like the buttonholes attached for a pre-ceremony photo shoot consider ordering double so they can be replaced halfway through the day
  • If you are having a flower crown consider ordering two or just having it for your reception as it will not last all morning, afternoon and evening on a warm day.
  • White flowers show browning and bruises before coloured flowers, so if you are particular about this go for bold coloured flowers where it is more difficult to notice
  • Remember flowers are perishable and they will move, open and wilt throughout the day, this is to be expected, but you can reduce this by following your florists instructions

Image By Perla Photography

Ms Zebra Says: Flowers are such a gorgeous way to incorporate colour and add freshness to your aesthetic! Wonderful tips to consider when having a summer wedding and wanting to your flowers to look their best. LOVE the cheese analogy!

About Gillian Pollard: Gill is the owner and founder of Gillian Pollard Flowers and is super passionate about what she does. Every job she takes no matter how big or small get the same amount of attention and dedication. Being able to have full creative licence over the vision has enabled her to build the brand the way she likes, select the team she wants and love what she does!