SPARKLE BRIDES AND FRIENDS REMEMBER LOVED ONES PASSED
Since opening SPARKLE, I always had a vision of having a Dia de Los Muertos installation in our window. Bright colored flowers, our lace gowns and family photos of our brides’ loved ones showcased throughout the display. Dia de los Muertos may seem like an odd visual pairing for a bridal salon (especially one called SPARKLE), but it actually coincides with what our SPARKLE team does and believes in for our brides. Weddings are one of the most important life moments a bride and her family will ever experience. Weddings are all about celebrating life’s moments with family and friends. And at SPARKLE we cherish and celebrate that everyday with our brides. We get to be a part of all the excitement during the wedding planning – choosing their SPARKLE gown, helping mom look gorgeous, fun plans for the girl’s night out…but we also are a part of sadness or struggles too. For some of our brides, parents have passed away before or soon after the big day, illnesses have resurfaced or family stresses take over. The good times and the bad times are what we share with our brides and it’s what makes us love and appreciate them and life. The tradition of Dia de los Muertos embodies this sentiment. That instead of focusing on the melancholy longing for our loved one passed, we will celebrate their spirit and the joy, lessons and memories they gave us. Their vitality lives on in each of us they touched and brings hope to all who knew them. This is why with the help of the amazingly talented Jennifer Ruiz of Lovely Paper Flowers, we are celebrating the life of our loved ones passed by having a Dia de los Muertos-inspired design in our October window. Jennifer took on this challenge open-arms and gave it all the love and respect is deserves. We are so grateful for her creativity and for taking on such a heartfelt project. Christina Best Thomas of Christina Best Photography, not only captured all the details, but she also contributed a photo of her own grandparents. We’re lucky to share in several life moments with Christina – she and her partner Anne are both SPARKLE brides and will be celebrating their wedding Spring 2018, and we’ve seen her photography business flourish, so we are fortunate to have her partner with us on this window display. Life takes many twists and turns, but by celebrating ALL of life’s biggest moments, we can learn to find joy and love in even the saddest moments of them all. If you would like to contribute a photo of your passed loved one, feel free to stop by and drop it off, we will put it in a frame and place it in our window display. We’d love to honor and celebrate your family and friends.
Jennifer was a make-up and hair stylist for about 8 years part time. While taking about 3 years off, (around the time she met my husband and got married) she started doing paper flowers for events. One of her favorite things about being a paper flower artist is the WOW factor – when people see the flowers and are like WOW, that’s Gorgeous!
Jennifer advises brides use photos when communicating what they want for thier special day. “Pictures speak a thousand words, pictures help you and whoever is helping you be on the same page. It doesn’t have to be exact but it always helps.”
Though she loves being outdoors and takes inspiration from nature’s flowers, going to see the Egyptian pyramids and visiting Vietnam are on her wish list. She can’t be without her wedding ring, eye glasses, phone, car and comfy sweats! And when she’s not listening to everything from gospel music to pop and country, Jennifer can be found hanging out with her husband watching stand-up comedy on Netflix or playing pool.
Her words of advice? “Doing what you enjoy is worth more than money, its awesome to make money doing what you enjoy, you should still do it even if you don’t.”
CHRISTINA BEST THOMAS
Christina has been a wedding photographer since 2015 and was inspired to pursue wedding photography full time when gay marriage was legalized, because love is for everyone! She’s had a camera at her side since 2005. From 2005 to 2015, she studied photography at Sacramento State, and ran a copy center. So as a result, she loves photos and prints! In 2007 she studied abroad and brought her camera with her to England, Scotland, and Italy. Chasing light and being on a big adventure got her hooked on documenting life and it’s beautiful moments. Capturing all the fun and details is a blast, but her most favorite part is documenting love stories. “It’s so fun to get to know couples and capture all their love and commitment to each other.” Right away, she notices the way couples interact with one another and make each other smile and laugh.
We asked Christina what was one of her most memorable photography moments: “Last year I shot an Assyrian wedding. It was a 14 hour day with over 650 guests! After that, I knew I wanted to be apart of all types of weddings, and could handle anything from huge crowds to quiet elopements.”
When she’s not photographing, Christina’s planting flowers or succulents, swimming (she’s a total water baby and loves the water!), or listening to Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty”. She’s also planning her Spring 2018 wedding and having lots of fun with that! “I’m so
excited to meet fellow SPARKLE brides. I’m not only a wedding photographer, but got THE DRESS at SPARKLE, which I will wear in April next year when I marry my love! I would LOVE to connect! Especially if you have any questions about photography, want to talk dresses or details or need a photographer!”
Christina’s Pro Advice:
Hire someone whose work you love and that you mesh with. You are with your photographer practically all of your wedding day. It’s important to have someone that focuses on you! 😉