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Cocktail Hour Ideas that "Wow"

The cocktail portion of your wedding may not be at the top of your agenda, but for many guests, those 45-plus minutes spent sipping cocktails and nibbling on decadent hors d' oeuvres are one of the best times of the night.  This hour sets the mood and warms guests up for your reception.  To kick off your celebration, consider these fun ideas:


Tequila and Taco Pairing
This sip and bite duo is sure to keep your guests talking.  Pair taste size portions of tequila with mini tacos to include: fish, beef and chicken
Mini Tuna Tacos can also be paired with margarita shots.


Whiskey and Cheese Pairing 
If you have not tried this taste duo, you might be surprised at how exquisite the pairing when properly matched.  Something wonderful happens as the silkiness of scotch cuts through the creaminess of cheese and flavor notes of one accentuate the other.  Together they offer endless possibilities for intriguing taste combinations.


Micro-Beer Tasting 
Have a small jazz quartet set the tone with a micro-beer tasting, served with cheese selections.  The beautiful colors of the beers make the experience a rich alternative to a wine tasting.  Invite a local brew master to talk to your guests about the different flavors that welcome them with each sip.  You'll find that brewers of fine ale are just as passionate about the beer as the winemakers are about wine.  Besides, your guests will love this interaction.  Consider mini bass ale mugs with shrimp and corn beignets.


Sushi and Sake Tasting
Given the ever increasing rise in requests for sushi bars at weddings, it seems only natural that the demand for super premium sakes is also gaining in popularity.  Select nigiri and maki sushi, sashimi and rolls.  Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger and chopsticks.  A Sushi Chef can also be available upon request.


Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist

LED Lighting












Today's post is an excerpt from the book LED Lighting: Professional Techniques for Digital Photographers, by Kirk Tuck. It is available from Amazon.com and other fine retailers.

TWO PRACTICAL APPROACHES

As with any new lighting instrument, photogFont sizeraphers have had to learn how to leverage LEDs to maximize the benefits. I divide my use of the LEDs roughly into two approaches. The first approach uses LED to support or enhance the existing light; the second uses LED as the primary source of light.

Augmenting the Existing Light. Many assignments move quickly and call on me to improve the light I find on locations, not to totally replace it. In these situations, I depend on battery-powered units that are small and lightweight. Just as one might use a battery-powered flash to add fill light to a scene that’s predominantly lit by ambient light, I can use one small LED panel to add just the right amount of fill light or accent light to a scene.

Using this approach, a wedding photographer might want to use a tungsten-balanced, battery-powered unit in a ballroom to bring the light level on a bride up to the same level as the ballroom’s background so the contrast isn’t too extreme. A portrait shooter who does lots of outdoor portraits might need a little extra fill light in an open-shade location (to make sure that eyes look good and wrinkles are minimized) and find that a little LED panel—or two linked together—is a good match for daylight color temperature. Having an assistant hold one a few feet over to one side of the subject is a quick, convenient, uncomplicated, and aesthetically “just right” solution.

In fact, that’s just what I did with this portrait of Jana. She was standing under a covered patio with sun and trees in the background. To add soft light for fill and bring up the level of illumination, I used four small LED panels, covered with diffusion material, on a stand to the side of the model. These provided just enough illumination to make the photo work for me.

A corporate photographer might be tasked with capturing people at work. With the right small LED panel, she’ll be able to add just enough fill to counteract the unflattering top-light of the ubiquitous office fluorescent lights—without the unwanted attention caused by multiple flashes, extra cables, and battery packs. Anywhere that a little supplemental lighting may make the difference between a good photo and a great photo is a natural situation for smaller panels.


I started the setup by snapping together four of the DLC DV 60 units. I knew I’d need the power to get close to matching the sun. Note that they were covered with a very light magenta filter to match the daylight. Then I added a sheet of diffusion material over all four lights. This softened the light and made it easier on Jana’s eyes. I positioned the light as close as I could to Jana, as you can see in the overall view of the shoot setup.


LED as the Primary Light Source. The other way to use LEDs is to implement the larger panels that run off household A/C current in the same way that studio photographers now use electronic flash and softboxes. As portrait photographers, we’ve spent years sitting people down in a studio and aiming electronic flash units in large softboxes at them as main lights. We used additional small softboxes and flashes for background lights and hair lights and even fill lights. In most cases, all of these can be handily replaced by LED panels and modifiers.


Buy this book from Amazon.


Trend Alert - Tangerine Tango


Wondering what the hottest wedding color will be for 2012?
The color forecaster Pantone declared Tangerine Tango (Pantone 17-1463) the star of 2012, so expect to see the vibrant orange-red hue in everything from table linens and flowers to bridesmaid dresses.  Citrus colors are always refreshing and bright.  You can pair Tangerine with neutral shades like soft cream or slate gray.  The color is bold and playful, yet sophisticated.
The perfect pop of this sexy shade: A delicious shade of tangerine lipstick on your wedding day or a pedicure peeking out under the wedding gown.


Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist
 

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