Gorgeous photos are a must for any wedding. Wedding photographer Mike Gellerman studied photography in college and has a background in journalism. He began shooting weddings out of school for friends 25 years ago and pursued it as a successful side business. Originally from Southern California, Gellerman moved to Brentwood three years ago. Here he has continued his photography business with his wife, who assists him as his second photographer. He describes his style as photojournalistic with a touch of fine art. “My favorites are the non-posed shots, the reaction shots,” says Gellerman.
For the couple desiring great photography at a moderate price, Gellerman suggests booking less time with the photographer. His minimum is four hours, which is ample time to capture the important moments of the big day. Another suggestion for cash-strapped couples is to look at alternatives to traditional photo prints and books. Some couples are happy simply receiving digital copies of their photos on DVD rather than buying prints.
No wedding would be complete without flowers, whether adorning the bride’s bouquet or the ceremony and reception. Geraldine Stanton of Flowers by Gerry in Brentwood has more than 35 years of experience in providing flowers for weddings. She breaks down wedding flowers into different categories: personal flowers, ceremony flowers, reception flowers and cake table flowers. When choosing which flowers to use, Stanton urges couples to choose something that has meaning to them, such as a flower given to the bride by the groom while they were dating or a special flower from the bride’s childhood.
Stanton urges couples to hire a professional for their floral needs. “A professional knows how to take into consideration the flower, texture, color and ensure that the choice complements rather than overwhelms.” When it comes to saving money, Stanton urges using seasonal flowers and prioritizing where to spend your flower money. “Give the bride whatever she wants for her day,” said Stanton, emphasizing that the bride’s flowers “should be the most beautiful of all.”
The wedding cake
Wedding cakes are a sweet symbol of the beginning of a new life. Tena Parish has been baking cakes for over 29 years. She opened up TLCakes (Tena Loves Cakes) in Brentwood in 2007 and currently shares downtown space with A Fine Time for Tea. The majority of cakes done by TLCakes are for weddings. Parish says that June and July are usually her busiest months for wedding cakes. She notes that she can usually accommodate cake orders with notice as short as two weeks, but that many couples order their cakes months in advance.
The new trend in wedding cakes is to stack the tiers directly on top of each other rather than hold them with supports. Using supports “makes construction more difficult so that’s why they’re a bit more expensive,” explained Parish. For the bride on a budget, Parish suggests going with a less elaborate, tiered wedding cake. Another option is to go with a simple, small wedding cake for the cake cutting, and serving guests slices from a layer cake in the same flavor.
Though the bride’s gown is often the focus of the day and the budget, the groom and his groomsmen must also look their best. Tux of Class in Antioch just celebrated its 25th anniversary of selling and renting formal wear. Run by Judi Mori, the name Tux of Class was her daughter Gina Mori-Zbacnic’s idea. Mori-Zbacnic began working in the shop as a teenager and then returned as the buyer after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
In addition to offering its namesake tuxedos, the shop also carries dresses – although not bridal gowns or bridesmaid dresses. “We do a lot of mother-of-the-bride dresses,” said Mori, adding that the shop carries special-occasion and prom dresses.
For the budget conscious, Mori points out that Tux of Class products are the best quality at affordable prices. Tuxedos start at $49.95, and the shop always offers a respectable selection from its reduced rack.
The Go-To Guys
- Mike Gellerman Photography
925-597-2134, Web site
- Flowers by Gerry
4601 Orwood Road, Brentwood
925-634-1593, Web site
655 First St., Brentwood
925-628-5509, Web site
- Tux of Class
43 E. 18th St., Antioch