Films add another dimension to your wedding day memories and Shae at Love Storm Films captures those memories in such a joyful way. There is nothing like remembering the words of the vows and speeches and all the nuances of the jokes and guests’ expressions. The special words and the dance moves,  the father/daughter dance that you practised so diligently but forgot the steps to on the day, the in-jokes and the bad jokes – all captured with love and attention to detail. Not only do wedding films give you another perspective, they also reflect the style of a different person behind the camera and that adds just a little something more to your memories. Those memories are not only for you but for all that follow you – and that’s precious. Here is Shae’s story.

How long since Love Storm Films came into being?

We’ve been going for 5 years now… I started Love Storm after I went through the process of planning my own wedding. In the lead up to our wedding day we referred to it as “the love storm” because we knew the day would be full of love and intense, but over quickly! That’s why you need it all captured on video 😉

Are you still as passionate about film making as when you started?

Film and Television has always been my passion… since I was a kid I’ve been making short films (like when our family video camera had tape! Showing my age now, huh?) I think it’s pretty awesome that we get to make beautiful films that our couples cherish for a life time… it really doesn’t get any better than that.

What makes you get out of bed every day, in this business?

Our couples without a doubt. We have met the loveliest people who have welcomed us into their homes and treated us like part of the bridal party. We have been force fed by generous mums, thanked in speeches and challenged to dance battles by the best man. It doesn’t get any better than that!

What does a typical wedding filming day look like for you?

Usually we film the bride and groom getting ready before the ceremony and reception. Most couples book around 8 hours of coverage which usually gets them through all the formalities at the reception, the cake cut, first dance and around an hour of dance floor action. We don’t necessarily need to stay until the very end and this is a good way for our couples to keep costs down.

How do you help your bridal couples relax in front of the camera?

For most of the day we are just filming the natural moments that happen, people always say they barely noticed we were even at the ceremony. The only time we really need to give any kind of direction is during photo/video time with the bridal party. We have a few games we play to get the bridal party interacting and having fun. Then it’s just about making the couple feel super comfortable just hanging out with us and enjoying a bit of down time before the reception kicks off.

Do you have some tips you would share with us?

The big one for me is after the ceremony take 15mins to enjoy the moment with your guests, don’t just rush off for family photos. The hugs and kisses we capture during this time are some of my favorite shots of the whole day.

What makes your films stand out – do you use special techniques or do you naturally try to create a ‘feeling’ with your films?

When I started Love Storm, I wanted to make wedding films that are just about the pure joy of the day. Our videos aren’t about being super cinematic with slider shots, epic film scores and drone shots. They are about the people, the emotions, the happiness and fun. It’s about preserving the memories and being able to bring them all flooding back as soon as you press play on a highlights film.

Has this changed over the years as you’ve gained experience?

Not at all actually! Our philosophy hasn’t wavered. We shoot most things hand held so that we are portable to capture the smiles, laughs and happy tears. 

How do you ensure that you and the photographer are able to get the best shots as they happen – and don’t fall over each other doing it?

Communication! We always talk to the photographer before the ceremony about where we’d like to stand and how we’d like to move around… it’s a two way conversation to make sure we can both get the shots we need. A lot of the time we know and have worked with the photographer before.

You say you are a ‘teeny tiny team of filmmakers’. What advantages are there in having a small team?

We’re not a big studio pumping out weddings to make up some kind of sales quota. We meet with couples and make sure we are the right fit for each other before we book in a wedding.

How many weddings do you film per year?

We often see words expressed by couples who don’t book a cinematographer that they are subsequently disappointed in their decision. What is the X factor that films bring to the day’s memories?

Photos are awesome, you definitely need those too. But video brings back memories in a way nothing else can. We record all the audio during the ceremony and speeches and give absolutely everything to our couples to keep on USB. People say the most beautiful things in speeches… it’s once in a life time stuff and we just don’t believe in keeping this from our couples or charging extra for it.

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

My hubby and I have just had a little boy. I find going for a walk with Austin, even just around our street inspires me. Looking at him I feel so excited about the future for us as a family but also for all of our couples who will most likely be starting down a similar path in life. We’re not just creating a wedding film, we’re documenting their family’s history so they can show their kids.

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

My favorite wedding destination is the Southern Highlands, one and a half hours from Sydney. As soon as you step out of the car there, you relax. It’s surrounded by rolling green hills, quaint wineries and some of the best wedding venues in the country.

How do you achieve some balance between your work and personal life?

I’m very lucky that I can edit from home. At the moment there is a lot of very late night editing going on when our baby boy is asleep! I’m also lucky to work with a handful of amazing shooters who are passionate about creating beautiful vision for our couples.

What’s the best thing about living in Australia right now?

I think one of the best things about living in Australia at the moment is we’ve finally got marriage equality! Whoo-hoo! We’re yet to film a same sex wedding, the stars just haven’t aligned for us yet, but we can not wait. Also, we are so lucky to have so many beautiful outdoor wedding venues and great weather to be able to enjoy them.

Thank you Shae for sharing your story. Laughter, tears, all the emotions of the day wrapped up in a film that you will look at time and again. To find out more about Love Storm Films visit the website.

Headshot by James Day

Image by Sarah May of Stealth Photographics


Out there on “the Internet” there are a lot of articles about how awful it is to be a bridesmaid. Um, bridesmaid anxiety anyone? Over here at Sparkle Burlesque bridesmaids are our PEOPLE. We love to meet all of the lovely men and women who come and do a burlesque hens party with us! Why? Because everyone we meet, especially the maids of honour or the hens party organisers, are there because they want their friend to have a great night. But we also know that whole jam is STRESSFUL. Like, it’s a lot of pressure. It’s a pretty big deal to be entrusted with making your girl or boys’ night the BEST NIGHT EVERRRR (on how to do that, we have another blog post here at the Sparkle Burlesque website). Plus, it’s only one of your many responsibilities.

We get it. So for this post we want you to sit back, relax and take a deep breath so that you can practice some self care. You know how on planes they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others? That’s the vibe of this post. I want you to take a moment to chill out. This will help you be the best friend and bridesmaid you can be.

Image by Leslie Liu


Follow the guide below to make sure you look after yourself in the lead up to the big day (and hens night!). Don’t expect to find any friendship-torpedoing bridesmaid horror stories here. We are all about the sparkly, positive vibes.

  1. Get enough sleep

It goes without saying that you are probably feeling a little bit anxious about all of your bridesmaid duties as well as everything else in your life. There are more demands than ever before on bridesmaids, because there are also huge demands on brides! This can translate into lost sleep and ripple out effects on your health. Even though you love your friend and want the hens night, the organising and the big day to be as magical as possible, it’s just not worth sacrificing your mental and physical health.

In fact, if you get enough sleep you’ll find it much easier to handle any challenging tasks. There are no hard and fast rules on how much sleep you should get and individuals really do vary. Some people need to get a solid 9 hours to feel normal, while others can do just as well on 6 hours. It’s a good idea to sit down and write out a “sleep plan” by looking ahead to your week and the months leading up to the big milestone events that are part of your bridesmaid role. Aim for consistency above all, especially in the weeks with more than usual stress factors.

Of course, it’s easier said than done but writing it down is a great first step to giving you a restful night. It’s also good to develop a sleep hygiene routine – again, consistency is key. Perhaps have a shower or bath 1 hour before bed or practice yoga (there are plenty of free bedtime yoga classes on YouTube!) as a way to wind down. Make sure you turn off all of your devices as the light from screens can interfere with sleep. You may have to change things around but through trial and error you should find the right balance – you’ll be a dewy eyed bridesmaid in no time!

Image by Leslie Liu

  1. Let go of being perfect

Or at least, try to be perfect at things which are fun and low effort for you. Maybe it’s really easy, and even relaxing for you, to be the ‘planner’ of the group and get everything down in a spreadsheet. Perhaps you love to research party supplies and find great deals with a laser like intensity. Do those things to the best of your ability and let others take on tasks that they are better at or which they find low effort. You can always be there as a helping hand whenever anyone asks!

For everything else, aim for ‘good’. Everyone wants to have a beautiful and memorable day, which sometimes translates into perfectionism. The thing is, sometimes it’s actually the little imperfections that make for amazing memories. Try to keep things in perspective and to laugh at the small stuff! Remember that you are here for your friend and that’s the most important thing.

  1. Set boundaries

This is a tricky one because sometimes it is difficult to recognise when your boundaries are being crossed – especially when it’s a close friend or family member. It’s also hard for some people to say ‘no’ when you feel like you are obliged to do everything because you care about the bride. Like the oxygen mask, it’s much better for you not to feel overwhelmed.

Also, I would hazard a guess that being a bridesmaid is not your full time job. You are probably juggling your role with work, family, your significant other, a social life, maybe parenting responsibilities. To ensure that you can perform all of the other important roles in your life you should sit down with the bride to be and the other bridesmaids to talk about what you can and can’t do as part of the role. This will help everyone stay on the same page from the beginning and makes it easier for you to keep your boundaries in place.

Image by Leslie Liu

  1. Keep the communication lines open

Following on from the above, the whole bridal party should keep the communication lines open – “communicate until it hurts” – so that everyone feels like they have a say and understands one another. This also helps to set expectations and means you can clear up any issues as they come up more easily. Don’t forget that bridesmaids are often a mix of different special people in the bride’s life, who may not always know one another.

Each person has a different communication and learning style, which should be accounted for when you are working out who is going to do what. For example, some people in the group may be introverts and need a little bit of space. Others may be high energy extroverts who need a lot of people around them to get things done. Facebook groups, Whatsapp, WeChat, text messages or plain old email should be set up early on so that there is a consistent way of talking to each other. It’s great if everyone can feel like they can be open and trust that they are able to speak their mind.

  1. Choose to practice mindfulness

Finally, you’ve probably already got some self care practices in your life without even realising it. Things like going to the gym, doing yoga or having a dance lesson are all things which can help keep you grounded. Being a bridesmaid is something extra in your life and so you might need a bit of extra help during this time. I personally love listening to podcasts on mindfulness (The Mindful Kind is a favourite) and also trying to meditate for at least 10 minutes everyday. There are some great free resources out there which can bring you that little bit of extra calm throughout the day and during your bridesmaid duties. Who knows, you might even love mindfulness so much you decide to make it a regular part of your life!

Image by Leslie Liu

At the end of the day, everyone is there to support the bride and it’s not really about the big day – it’s about the journey and how you get there. Whether it’s a bumpy ride or smooth sailing is all about making sure you keep the big picture in mind: friendship, family and the love of two people tying the knot. It’s also about taking care of you and being gentle to yourself.

Ms Zebra Says: Thanks Ms Sparkles for this wonderful post to keep bridesmaids sane during a pretty hectic and stressful time! Although we love our brides, it’s definitely a good reminder to take time for yourself & aim for happiness, not perfection!

About Sparkle Burlesque: Sparkle Burlesque offers glittery burlesque parties and divine dance classes for groups large and small for all types of occasions. Ms Sparkles is a former Burlesque dancer and believes that burlesque can transform lives through body positivity and embracing diversity.




Image by Lana Ivanova via Charlene & Ginette’s Intimate Sydney Wedding

It’s no secret that wedding planning can be a stressful and emotional time. Between choosing a venue, booking a photographer and organising caterers, looking after yourself can often take a back seat. Self-care is such an important part of the planning process because we all want to feel relaxed and happy on the big day – both inside and out! With this in mind, we spoke to Sarah Pelham, beauty and wellness expert at Bookwell, for the best in-spa beauty and wellness treatments, to help you feel ready for a walk down the aisle.  

Image by Georgia Verrells via Emma & Mike’s Relaxed Blairgowrie Beachside Wedding

Body scrub

Body scrubs are an effective and inexpensive way to achieve that signature ‘blushing bride’ glow. Not only does a body scrub leave the skin squeaky clean and fresh it also increases blood circulation to help fight off bacteria, which can lead to breakouts. During the treatment, the scrub is applied to the whole body to both exfoliate and moisturise the skin. Creative body scrub treatments often include a wide variety of ingredients such as mud, clay, minerals, sugar, and herbs.

Price: $80 – $230


Microdermabrasion is perfect for brides looking for a non-invasive way to achieve flawless and blemish-free skin. The treatment uses tiny crystals to remove dead skins cells and minimise wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation. It also stimulates blood flow, which promotes cell production to improve the skin’s texture and elasticity. Monthly treatments are recommended to achieve the best possible results, but it’s best to leave at least three weeks between the treatment and your wedding day.

Price: $89 – $100

Image by Jernej Graj on Unsplash

Gold leaf facial

For a more luxurious experience, opt for a gold leaf facial before your big day. While this treatment has risen in popularity in the last few years, the use of gold to rejuvenate the skin is actually an ancient practice, originating in India. Typically, a gold leaf facial consists of 24K gold leaf massaged into the skin and followed by standard facial. The benefits of using of gold on the skin include treating sun damage, prevention of premature ageing and increased elasticity of the skin. A facial is also great preparation for your wedding day makeup, as it will ensure your skin is at its most smooth and radiant for the application.

Price: $115 – $300

Crystal massage

A crystal massage is a rejuvenating choice for those who want to focus on both their body and mind. The treatment aims to alleviate stress by combining meditation with the use of crystals during a tension-relieving muscle massage. The aim of a crystal massage is deep relaxation and greater self-awareness, while encouraging positive feelings and mental clarity.

Price: $265

Image by Sonja C Photography via Kayla & James’s Grand & Elegant Ballroom Wedding

With so many things to consider when planning your wedding day, it’s easy to forget what’s most important. YOU!  Every bride wants to look their absolute best for their big day so be sure to invest and pamper yourself. Choosing from what seems like an endless list of treatments may seem a daunting task, however, the ones above will ensure you’ll be glowing in confidence as you walk down the aisle.

Ms Zebra: Such a simple thing, book yourself in for a facial or massage. But then you’re busy and choosing which treatment seems all too hard. Thanks Sarah for making it super simple – now to make a booking!

About Bookwell: BookWell provides a quick and easy way to book your beauty and wellness appointments all over Australia. They are an Australian owned and operated business that aims to provide excellent coverage Australia wide. With you can book from your mobile, tablet or PC and have confirmation immediately!