People who submit their weddings to me often describe the theme as ‘them’ – a collection of things that they love or that they feel represent them as a couple. Amanda and Andre, who were married in Cologne, Germany, were no different. “We had some Rock n Roll, lots of colour and a slight industrial vibe for our wedding”, Amanda explained. “Our wedding was held in the middle of Cologne central market at ‘Alte Versteigerungshalle‘ which means Old Auction House. It was difficult to find a venue that was outside of the norm. We didn’t want a farm, a castle or a hotel. Because of the lack of alternatives we picked somewhere that we could make our own and decorate ourselves.”
“Our place cards were made from this vintage fashion doll tutorial that I found online and our paper flowers were all based on this YouTube video“, she continued. “The glitter stars and hearts were cut out of plastic tablecloth which sounds easy but took forever and wasn’t very fun – they looked great though! I ordered handmade shabby chic frames from etsy in rainbow colours which held our table numbers. We bought vinyls to use as place-mats from eBay.”
Over the past few years I’ve heard hundreds of stories from brides about searching for their dream wedding dress. Some have been fantastic experiences, others not so, but the resounding overall message was that finally finding ‘the one’ was an amazing feeling.
One of the names that seems to pop up again and again with the American brides that I interview is David’s Bridal… and today I have some good news – they’re coming to the UK!
With over 300 stores all over the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, America’s largest bridal retailer is finally opening it’s doors to UK customers. Boasting 11,000 square metres of bridal heaven, including wedding gowns; bridesmaid, mother of the bride and special occasion dresses; handbags; shoes and jewellery, the brand spanking new branch of David’s Bridal is opening in Westfield, Stratford City on October 3rd.
Sure to be a go-to destination for any discerning London bride, they are throwing a massive party to celebrate… and you are all invited! Festivities throughout the day will include a fashion show, an official ribbon cutting by the mayor of Newham and an after party with live music, wine and canapés galore! They’ll even be a raffle where you can win some amazing prizes including an all inclusive 7 night stay at Rendezvous in St Lucia and jewellery from Ernest Jones.
One of the questions I get asked over and over again is what would Gareth and I do differently if we were getting married today. Of course my answer is always “so much!”. Both of us have changed considerably over the last five and a half years and our styles and tastes couldn’t be more different to how they were back in 2008.
As many of you will have read last week, Lisa asked if we would model at the two year anniversary of her Photography Farm. During every workshop she organises a styled shoot for her students to practice what they’ve learnt, but more than just that, she always pushes herself and her team to come up with something creative that reflects the real-life couple who are modelling.
When we started chatting about the kind of shoot Gareth and I might have, we began by discussing the whole “how would you do your wedding differently?” question. And then Lisa had a brainwave. Photography workshops are supposed to be all about teaching aspiring wedding photographers how to book, shoot and process weddings, but they only ever give the students the chance to practice these things in an unnatural situation – i.e. a styled shoot. Sure, the couple might be real and the styling authentic, but getting the shot when you have two hours to work with the couple is a totally different beast to needing to nail it first time and getting creative within your ten minute allocated time-slot for couple portraits.
When Wendy and Alex started looking for a venue for their July wedding, they were stuck. They wanted somewhere quirky and creative but also somewhere that didn’t break the bank. Luckily they stumbled across Asylum Arts in London, a disused chapel that is now hired out for weddings and events. The space has a crumbling almost derelict vibe which they loved. The dramatic backdrop meant they didn’t need to decorate much, so they just added candles, tea lights and simple flower arrangements around the room.
“We wanted to do something that signified the city we love, our home, London”, Wendy began. “We wanted urban, relaxed, but chic, with something people could take away in a visual way, that wasn’t too ‘try hard’. As a creative mind, I had a real vision from the beginning about how I wanted the day to look, and more importantly; feel. Both for us and our guests. We didn’t want stuffy, formal or sombre… We wanted people to smile and be put at ease. Its this reason I chose to have the bridesmaids clap along in time to the piano piece my musician friend played me down the aisle to; ‘Dog Days Are Over’ by Florence and The Machine, I didn’t want to walk down the aisle in a silent, stiff, uncomfortable way with everyone gawking at me with an odd atmosphere! So we lightened the mood with some hand clapping!”
Bego and Sergio wanted a non-traditional wedding that didn’t cost a fortune. They wanted their day to be fun and informal, and for their guests to have a really great time. The venue was a warehouse and they had a subtle theme of electricity and lights with their DIY décor items.
“We wanted an informal wedding in a place where we could be really comfortable”, began the bride. “We didn’t want the traditional banquet with all people sitting in a table, we want a cocktail style party. Sergio also wanted to play with his band. After going over a lot of options, we decided that a warehouse would be the best place for us as we could really put our own stamp on it. The décor was all related to a theme of electricity.”
Rain on your wedding day is a big worry for a lot of couples, but today I’m here to prove to you that it can actually be pretty amazing! Yes, Helen and James’ outdoor festival wedding was a wash-out, but they definitely didn’t let it ruin their day. Check out the amazing photographs their photographer Neil Thomas Douglas was able to capture… of course shots like this requires a couple who aren’t afraid to get a little wet and muddy, but these guys went all out! They even went out in a boat on the river during the downpour!
The ceremony was held at The Secret Garden of Kingston Bagpuize House in Oxfordshire, which it actually stayed dry for. Their festival style reception was in a field in Crowmarsh. “The ceremony was perfect, so intimate and emotional, all of the people we love, in the sunshine in the secret garden”, Helen began. “A little shower cut the group photos short, and the sun came out again for our couple shots. We were due to arrive at the reception in our gorgeous little boat, it started drizzling as we got in, thinking it was another brief shower, we decided to pursue. The best man had gathered all the guests on the river bank and we set off down river. The rain got heavy, like we never see in England! The heaviest downpour ever! Initially it was funny, we got wet, then… The heavy rain caused the engine to cut out! With no choice but to row to the riverside and abandon the boat on the bank; we called our bridesmaid to rescue us and we finally arrived at the reception in the car!”