Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Amazing 40% off wedding dance lessons offer!!!

Amazing 40% off wedding dance lessons for couples within 5 miles of Banbury!! This offer is valid for THIS WEEK ONLY! See our website to see all about us, videos and photos of dances and much more.  

Contact us by the end of Sunday to claim this fantastic offer! 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Ryan and Gemmas First Waltz

Routine learned in only two hours!

It was such fun working with this lovely couple. They wanted to go for a traditional waltz but to a quite modern song, and Gemma had fallen in love with the great Sam Brown song Valentine Moon. It is a great song!

I started by teaching them the basic box step (see earlier post here on how to do this.)  Once they had got the hang of that we started to play around with it and have some fun with the steps. We kept the first verse quite on the spot, then as they had space to work with at the venue, we began to use the floor for the second verse.

By the chorus the confidence was there so we tried some more fancy steps. After a slightly hesitant start they both were up for anything and really picking the steps up quickly.

I was really proud of them for what they achieved in just one session of 2 hours! Check out the video at the end of their rehearsal and also the beautiful picture of their first dance on the big day!

Congratulations Ryan and Gemma. xx


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Shoes Shoes Shoes!!!

Heels, Flats and More for your wedding and first dance!

So you have found the dress of your dreams! You feel like a princess, but there is one thing every princess needs - her glass slippers!

There are wedding shoes for every bride these days from kitten heels to killer heels and ballet pumps to basketball pumps! Even Wedding Wellies are seen in outdoorsy weddings (see below left by Weddington Boots) - they would be great for a wedding barn-dance!
Brides are not always going for traditional white either with an array of colours peeking out of the skirts sweeping the floor.
A unusual or statement shoe choice is a great way to add flair and quirkyness to the bridal ensemble without compromising on the traditional white dress. These Vivianne Westwood numbers (below centre) have a real flair whilst still being essentially bridal shoes - they even have the something blue!

Comfort must not be overlooked however in the dream for the perfect look. You are going to be in these shoes all day and the you dont want to be hobbling with blisters by the time you get to your first dance! A good rule of thumb is to go with a level of heel you often wear. If you never wear heels then a stiletto is not going to make you comfortable on your day however amazing it makes your legs look - a sprained ankle and a limp will not look so good! If you are not a heels girl there are still some beautiful options - I love these tiny heels (above right) by Irregular Choice.

A small platform is actually quite a sensible choice. It gives height and a great heel whilst raising the toe to keep a smaller difference in height ratio between toe and heel.  There are some fab bridal designs including these crystal encrusted ones (below left) by Crystal Couture. Be careful of killer heels for killing your new hubby's toes though whilst dancing!

A classic bridal shoe however, and probably my favourite, is the ballroom style shoe. There are some great designs and colours out there but they are designed for maximum movement and comfort as well as a flattering but manageable heel. They will stay on too with decent strap designs - no flinging the slingback across the dance floor!  I love these Mimi shoes by Rachel Simpson (below right). Available in pink too!

Overall, here are my pros and cons for both heels and flats:-

Heels - Pros
Brides look taller and more elegant
They lengthen the leg
They compliment most dress styles
They give the feel of special occasion!

Heels - Cons
If you are not used to wearing them they can be very uncomfortable.
If there is any outside activity ie photos the heel could sink into the grass making it awkward to walk.
Treading on the groom's toes during first dance could be painful!
Heels could catch on the dress and rip it.

Flats - Pros
No worrying about sinking into the grass outside.
A lot more comfortable.
You can dance all night!

Flats - ConsThey can make legs look shorter and thicker.
They are sometimes harder to find than heels.
They are not quite as effective in photographs.

A Bit Of Both!

This does seem like the ideal solution - to change half way through from heels into flats. 75% of the brides I have asked have said they intend to change them at some point in the day.  Do bear in mind though the length of your dress. If it has been fitted to touch the ground in heels you my be tripping over it in flats.
One last thing to remember is to practice your First Dance in your shoes! Whether the actual shoes (there is no actual rule about the groom not seeing the shoes before the day, although many would count shoes as part of the dress), or a similar style shoe and heel. It does help the groom to practice in his shoes too. Plus the added bonus of a little breaking in of the footwear to try and avoid new shoe blisters on the big day.

I love the quirkyness of these shoes! 

Friday, 3 June 2011

Capturing the perfect First Dance Photo

The post today is from Wedding Photographer Lesley Pattinson of Memories Thru a Lens. She takes beautiful shots and has very kindly shared her secrets of photographing the perfect First Dance shot with us. You can see more of her work or book her for your special day at

"This photograph was taken at a wedding reception in a marquee near Thame, Oxfordshire.
The documentary wedding photo was taken with my Canon 5D and my 70-200mm lens.
This image was taken at 200th sec @ f5 ISO 320.  I have used flash in this image.

The first dance is an important moment for lots of bride and grooms and it can provide some great photos that help tell the story of your wedding day.

It was a sunny summer day when this image was taken, but being inside a marquee meant it wasn’t all that bright… for my camera anyway.

So as I had been photographing inside the marquee during the reception and speeches I had already decided to up my ISO to 320, this helped lighten the shot to ensure the people in the background of the image could be seen.

My next decision was to set my shutter speed to 200th sec, this is because with the bride and groom dancing I needed a fast shutter speed to freeze them, this ensured I did not get movement blur.
I wanted a little depth of field in this shot, I wanted the focus to be on the brides face and although I wanted the guests behind her to be part of the shot they where the secondary subject, so I opted for f5.
With both the shutter speed, aperture and ISO I had chosen the image was still a little dark.  I did not want to increase the ISO so I decided to use flash.  I didn’t want the flash to be too harsh so luckily being in a big white marquee I had a lot of places to bounce off.   I dialed the flash down by one and then bounced it off the ceiling of the marquee this gave me just the right amount of soft light.

I love the happiness in this image, it captures the true essence of a wedding reception.  Everyone is merry and celebratory, including the bride and groom and that is what I wanted to capture in this particular documentary wedding photograph."