BUDGET TELEPHOTO ZOOMS

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

Like the Nikon 55-200mm and Pentax 55-300mm lenses on test, this Canon telephoto is designed for DSLRs with APS-C format image sensors. It’s physically longer than both competitors, at least when not in use, because it doesn’t share a retractable design. On the plus side, it’s immediately ready for shooting without you having to first extend the barrel. It’s also fairly light at 375g, thanks in part to a plastic rather than metal mounting plate. Compared with the previous edition of this Canon lens, no longer rotates during autofocus and enables manual override, via an electronic coupling. Image stabilisation is rated at 3.5 stops.

 

 

GET STARTED WITH STUDIO LIGHTS

There’s a certain clarity and crispness that you get with

HOUR studio flash which simply can’t be achieved any other way – look at the detail in the model’s amazing tattoos here. For those just getting started, things can seem a little daunting. But studio flash is no black art, just a combination of basic lighting principles and camera skills.

You don’t necessarily need a studio – any fairly large room will do, so the best place to start is at home, with a home studio flash kit. A kit like this offers a range of benefits. It gives you full control over exposure, while the high flash power means you can use lower ISOs and consequently produce images with less noise.

A studio flash kit also effectively gives you control over depth of field, as increasing or decreasing the power lets you open or close your aperture.

The biggest advantage, however, is the control that studio flash gives you over the quality of the light. You can choose whether it’s diffuse or harsh, spread wide or in a narrow beam, and you can choose to have it emitting from any angle. Let’s get started…

ELEGANT WEDDING VENUES

From an intimate ceremony to the most lavish banquet, The Langham Auckland’s elegant venues provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding.

The Crystal Room The elegant and romantic Crystal Room is perfect for medium-sized weddings for up to 200 guests for dinner and up to 240 for cocktails. Four beautiful crystal chandeliers set a romantic tone while the private foyer creates an ideal space for pre-reception cocktails. Crystal also divides into two separate rooms and offers an elevated stage for the bridal table and a separate dance floor.

Chandelier Opulent Chandelier is perfect for more intimate weddings with stunning banquet-style seating for up to 70 guests and cocktail parties for up to 130. Sparkling chandeliers and classic furnishings create an exclusive and luxurious atmosphere. Chandelier also has its own private bar, making it ideal for receptions.

The Great Room This magnificent room is the perfect setting for a lavish wedding celebration, with seating for up to 900 guests or 1400 for cocktails, a private entrance for a grand arrival and a large pre-function room for pre-reception cocktails. The Great Room can also be divided into four smaller rooms, which when coupled with the latest technology, exquisite cuisine and distinctive service, easily sets the stage for great weddings.

SKY DREAM VILLA

KOH SAMUI, THAILAND

The 5 star Sky Dream Villa, is truly captivating. Located high up in the hills of Chaweng Noi, you will find yourself, surrounded by phenomenal views.

The Villa boasts four bedrooms, sleeping up to 8 people, and has the most relaxing, beautiful infinity pool for sheer bliss.

This impressive property opens up over two floors and has been perfectly designed with a very modern and stylish décor and natural light throughout. It’s a great place to be, up in the hills with breath-taking panoramic views of the ocean, of the islands and of Samui. There are glass panels which are positioned along one side of the property, ensuring you never miss those beautiful views.

Chawen offers so much for honeymoon couples. It is one of Koh Samui’s most popular locations with so many things to do. You can opt for a quiet restaurant, not too far away from the Villa, or you can hit the exciting nightlife that Chaweng has to offer. We recommend that you try out the cooking classes or, if you are really daring, there is the Chaweng Bungee Jump!

American breakfast is included, along with airport transfers, fully stocked mini bar and full-time staff. A Private Chef in your villa (from a Euro or Thai menu) is also available, on request.

Inside you’ll discover air conditioning, exquisite linens, wireless internet, satellite cable television, rainshowers and bathtubs and a ton more!

HONEYMOON WARDROBE

Let’s be honest, we all love an excuse to shop for clothes and, in reality, there’s no better time to purchase a completely new wardrobe than when planning your honeymoon.

From shorts and tees to lingerie and cocktail outfits, no one wants to pack up clothes they’ve worn for the past year or longer on such a special trip.

Your honeymoon of choice might be a ski lodge in Queenstown or Switzerland that offers up many long nights of sharing a red wine or two in front of a roaring log fire after a day of off-piste action. Or you may long for the warmer days and balmy nights of a getaway in the tropics perhaps Bali or Fiji – where you can swim, snorkel and sip cocktails till the wee hours.

No matter what style of honeymoon you’ve set your heart on, and whatever the destination, we’ve discovered the ease of replenishing a wardrobe at Ezibuy!

The selection is amazing, the quality great and the prices are incredible! Thus, over the next few issues, we’’ll bring you our picks of what’s on offer at Ezibuy – from lingerie and swimwear, through summer and winter, and even onto the home front and gift giving!

Happy shopping – simply click on an image and go directly to that featured product on the Ezibuy website!

ON TIME … EVERY TIME

Corporate Cabs provides both dressed and undressed bridal and wedding car hire. They have a group of drivers who have been specifically trained in bridal work who take great pleasure in providing a reliable, professional and fun service for the bridal party.

Whether it be calming the nerves of the bride or assisting with both planned and unplanned last minute events, they do it with a smile and considerable pride.

Their extensive fleet of wedding cars enables them to supply multiple matching vehicles, so no matter how many you need they will be able to help.

They can be booked by the hour for your special occasion, and they’re the best when it comes to picking up relatives and friends arriving at the airport. They also provide a tour service so that you can treat your guests to something truly special, whether that is a city highlights trip or a long distance out of town tour.

A Corporate Cab and professional driver is the perfect way to tour wineries, enjoy a chauffered shopping trip with the girls, or enjoy a round of golf with the lads. Tours are available on a hourly or daily basis.

When you need more than just a taxi company, we’d highly recommend Corporate Cabs! Contact any of their locations in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown or Dunedin for a quote on your wedding car service.

TEN EMBARASSING KISSES TO AVOID!

1. THE OVER-SNOG The one where it just goes on far, far too long. Hey, remember us? Your guests! You’re not on film now, but we’re all watching. Lessen the length for the sake of embarrassing us all (you included) … please.

2. THE BRIDGE SNOG The kiss just feels so right … but you’re 10 feet away from each other. This happened at my own wedding and the photos looked so bad. There should be no bridge. Build one and get over it. Closer together is all the rage.

3. COLOUR ME PINK There’s nothing worse than seeing smudged make-up over your partner. Or yourself for the matter. Think of the photos … tragic! Get yourself some lipstick that won’t ‘kiss off’.

4. THE PECK You’re not a bird, show some passion!

5. THE WATERFALL This refers to your eyes. Make sure you have a tissue handy and wipe away your tears (or your partner’s) before going in for the kiss. Drips falling from your mouth are not the waterfalls we want to see. Ever heard of the makeup finger sponge? Perfect to dab away those tears, lipstick and running mascara.

6. LICKETY LIZZARD This one speaks for itself. There’s no need to search for food down your partner’s throat. Remember … guests! If this is one you’re into,keep it for ‘business’ time!

7. THE SLEEVE For heaven’s sake, don’t wipe your hand across your mouth right after that first kiss! It’s kind of cute for the bride to lean in and wipe her lipstick off her groom’s cheek, but better to avoid that altogether by having the finger sponge ready or wearing that kiss-proof lippie!

8. THE HOLLYWOOD Planning on surprising your guests with the dip and full-on Hollywood snog for a laugh? Great, just follow it up with a passionate one, too.

9. THE OLD SHIFTY This refers to the eyes. If you’re an eye-open kind of kisser, make sure you’re not eye-balling your guests. Awkward!

10. THE BIG BITE Biting lips is cute – especially in Fifty Shades. But this is not Fifty Shades, it’s your wedding. Keep the biting for the cake.

Remember … the ‘Best Kiss’ is the one that has been exchanged a thousand times between the eyes before it reaches the lips.

MEET ERIN MARMONT

Born and bred in Howick, Auckland, Erin left New Zealand in 1996 to go on her big O.E.

While offshore, Erin had the pleasure of living in places as: Port Douglas, Perth, Melbourne, Queenstown, London and of working aboard superyachts in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Some ten years later, she returned home to settle in Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore.

Erin’s passion has always been in in the Events arena and, since returning home, she has successfully established herself as an Event Manager. This has involved organising expos, shows, functions, weddings and much more.

After taking time out to enjoy being a mum to Kobi and Arlo, her two sons, she started back part-time as an Events and Promotions Manager for the Outboard Boating Club in Orakei – a role that just happens to tie in nicely with weddings … I couldn’t have asked for two better jobs!

Erin has proven to be a popular marriage celebrant with her unique style of personalised ceremonies. Those in the industry often hear her couples and their guests raving about how ‘amazing’ and ‘memorable’ they are.

To get an idea of Erin’s style, pop along to her website, Facebook or Instagram pages.

Turn to the next page to read her take on that all important first kiss as husband and wife.

FUSION CEREMONIES

As a marriage celebrant, I am increasingly asked to prepare a ceremony that reflects cultural traditions. Weddings are often a fusion of cultures, with ceremonies that are individual celebrations that reflect the ethnicities and cultural and religious beliefs of both bride and groom, merging historic family traditions of cultural significance with a modern twist.

The ancient tea ceremony is a great example of a fusion element in ceremonies. Cross-cultural couples and second or third generation Chinese are merging this tradition within their western ceremonies. The Chinese tea ceremony shows a great level of love and respect to family. It serves to introduce the new couple formally to all family members and to express thanks and respect. The sweet tea symbolises sweetness, harmony, togetherness and the wish of bringing children into the family. The tea ceremony could take place at the conclusion of the western ceremony for all of the guests to witness, with a brief explanation of what it represents.

Couples often like to add a small cultural element or identity within their ceremonies. This can be included as a welcome in their language at the beginning of their ceremony such as “Huang Ying” or “Haere Mai Eng a Iwi Haere Mai Mauria Mai Te Aroha”.

Similarly, their families may have a Christian or religious identity and want to begin or end the ceremony with an opening or closing prayer or blessing in their native language.

At one wedding, I was asked to include some Hindi traditions within a western ceremony as the bride’s cultural background was Hindu while the groom was from Melbourne. Rather than a traditional Hindi wedding, they decided to break tradition and create a hybrid ceremony that was based on their values.

A few of the Hindu wedding traditions they included are:

1. Garland Exchange – Exchanging garlands presented from family, symbolising the spirit of partnership

2. Mangalphera – Circling a fire four times. The fire represents enlightenment happiness and knowledge. As they encircled the fire I read out four values : To be respectful and keep true to your beliefs; To strive for success whilst being mindful of the needs of others; For love and eternal dedication to one another; To liberate each other from pain and suffering with a marriage filled with love and happiness.

3. Seven Steps – They take seven steps representing their seven vows in marriage : May this couple be blessed with an abundance of resources and comforts; May this couple grow together in strength and complement one another; May this couple be blessed with prosperity and wealth; May this couple acquire knowledge and happiness; May this couple be blessed with a happy family life; May this couple live in perfect harmony; May this couple remain the best of friends.

4. Mangalsutra – A sacred necklace that is tied around the bride’s neck symbolising the inseparable bond between husband and wife.

The golden rule for ceremonies is that there are no rules. The key to a fusion weddings going off without a hitch is to make sure the ceremony reflects what makes the two of you unique and to make it fun.

YOUR CELEBRANT AND YOUR VOWS

Your wedding vows are the focus of your entire wedding ceremony – they’re an affirmation of your relationship and a declaration of the promises you make to your partner. Writing your vows can also be one of the most difficult parts of wedding planning.

If you’re not naturally gifted with words, it can be impossible to articulate your feelings without coming across like a bad romance novel. Don’t worry – writing your own vows doesn’t have to be as difficult as you thought.

Brainstorm with Your Partner Like every other major aspect of wedding planning, writing your vows should begin with a discussion with your partner. Grab a pen and paper and jot down some ideas. Talk about the principles and ideals that have guided your relationship, and the promises you want to make to each other. Write down all your ideas – even if they seem silly, cliché or soppy.

Writing the vows Go over everything you’ve written down and pull passages and fragments to incorporate into your vows. You could do this together, or separately, keeping your vows secret until the wedding day. Your vows don’t have to be a work of art. All that matters is that you’re sincere – and that you don’t waffle on for pages! You can express a lot with a few well-chosen phrases.

Ask your celebrant to look over your vows and help you express your ideas. They can fix clumsy wording and suggest alternative phrases to make your vows truly beautiful.

Exchanging Vows Most couples read them aloud during their wedding ceremony. When you declare your vows to each other in the presence of your friends and family, you’re making your commitment public and official. Ensure you give your celebrant a copy before the ceremony. It’s not recommended that you memorise your vows – with all the emotion of the day you’re liable to forget them! You’re better of reading them.

Writing your own wedding vows can be a tough creative challenge, especially if you’re not good at expressing yourself in words. But when you’re standing before your family and friends and looking into the eyes of your partner, you’ll be glad you took the time to create vows that reflect your own ideals and relationship.

And remember, your celebrant has good experience with this aspect and will be more than willing to help you!