The Rock n Roll Bride Venue Guide – London

I get loads of emails from you lot asking me advice on all manner of wedding planning related matters and while I’m easily able to reel off a long list of fantastic photographers I know or recommend some awesome dress companies, when it comes to wedding venues…well I’m as clueless as you are!

We had a massive drama with our wedding venue (they cancelled three months before our wedding day – but that’s a story for another time!) so needless to say finding the perfect venue for your Rock n Roll wedding is not my speciality! However luckily for me (and you!) I know someone who knows all about the very best and coolest venues in the country. I asked my good friend Mary Herrington of Forever & Ever Events if she’d be able to start up a feature for me, showcasing some of her favourite and most Rock n Roll wedding venues all over the country, First up London…

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I can’t tell you how cool I felt when Mrs. Rock n Roll herself approached me about guest blogging on the topic of Rock n Roll venues in London.  Seriously felt like I had gotten the official seal of cool approval.  My mind started racing through the mental rolodex, considering all the many amazing venues in my books, and I realized that I needed to stop and think about what makes something Rock n Roll. As you all know, a Rock n Roll Bride wedding can be punk rock, hip hop, down home, urban chic, tattooed, but at the same time, Rock n Roll Bride is also about beautiful weddings –every single featured wedding is full of jaw-dropping photography, romance, high style and just the pretty.  And that’s just it: what makes everybody stop and take note is the fact that every single one is different and unique.  So rather than assume that all of you want the same kind of venue that evokes rustic elements or architectural design or a space you can DIY, I knew the best way to approach this mammoth task was to think of unique qualities about each venue that stand out, that will get guests talking, that will be awesome for a rock band, or a jazz band, or a venue that will provide the outdoors indoors, or exude laid back cool, or that will give you a wicked setting rife with kick ass photo ops. It was clear I needed to give you a wide range in both style, size and economy, but all of which have something extra-ordinary.

Without further ado, here is a list of 10 wedding reception venues that should satisfy your different Rock n Roll sensibilities.

1.  Shoreditch Town Hall

You can’t get more Rock n Roll than Shoreditch.  Right off the bustle of Old Street, the Town Hall, while situated in the thick of uber hipsterdom, does not attempt to be trendy.  Far from it, the building’s interior harks back to Edwardian times, with gilt-edged walls, stained glass windows as well as an orchestral bay, all preserved in its historic state. However, staying true to Shoreditch’s alternative energy, the motto speaks quietly to the venue’s Rock n Roll spirit: “More Light, More Power”, a motto etched on its crest and in the stained glass windows (check out the photos of me in the venue below!).  The main Assembly Hall has its own elevated and built-in stage, perfect for your wedding band and holds 350 comfortably for a dinner and dance set-up, while, for smaller weddings, the Council Chamber downstairs can hold 80+ comfortably for dinner and dance.  Licensed for civil ceremonies, it is also entirely flexible – no on-site caterers or furniture, so you are free to bring in whatever and whoever you want.  Hire charges range from £3,000-4,000 + VAT.  And the most Rock n Roll of all: readers with any Forever & Ever wedding planning service will get a 10% discount on hiring Shoreditch Town Hall on bookings made prior to 1st February 2011.  For more details on this special offer, contact me directly at info@foreverandeverevents.com and make sure to refer to Rock n Roll Bride.

Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT, 0207 739 6176.

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A Sparkly, Opulent & Extravagant Marie Antoinette Themed Rock n Roll Wedding

I’m afraid there’s no Photography Friday today and all the photography was done by other people this week! However not only do I know you’ll forgive me when you see this amazing wedding I’m putting in it it’s place, but you will also all be pleased to here that I’m going to be blogging the full Paris photo shoot on Monday!

Danielle & Ed’s wedding should certainly help you to get into that Marie Antoinette vibe. I knew I’d love their wedding as soon as I saw their engagement session (which I featured in July) With a penchant for crystals, skulls, fashion & shoes (!) this pair really couldn’t have anything but a ridiculously opulent and extravagant Rock n Roll wedding. Prepare you have your breath taken away…

Danielle wore four…yes FOUR different outfits (full list below!) – a different one for the ceremony, cocktails, dinner and dancing. A lot of the incredible decor and styling  was also a DIY effort from Danielle who owns Curtsy Bella, a boutique that sells all things sparkly. She made the crystal bouquets, the men’s steam punk-esque boutonnieres, the pom pom princesses tiara & bucket and the table signs. She also put together all the photo booth props.

The opulent and glamorous Marie Antoinette theme was a true reflection of the things the couple love in their daily lives.

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Julie & Chris Sweet ‘n Simple Philadelphia Wedding

Julie & Chris got married on a hot and sunny rooftop in Philadelphia city centre. They handed their guests colourful parasols to keep them cool which they got from their local Chinatown. Following their intimate ceremony they hired out the second floor of their favourite restaurant Noble which they decorated with DIY flower arrangements, sweet treats and vintage style postcards.

The bride wore Dolce & Gabbana and the Groom looks dapper in DKNY. “In general, we wanted to keep the wedding simple and memorable,” Julie explained. “Great food, plentiful booze, and our closest friends there to bear witness.  We had thirty guests total.”

“We hired a fantastic guitar player to perform our favorite songs at the ceremony–I walked down the aisle to “I Summon You” by Spoon and afterward it was a great mix of White Stripes, Vampire Weekend, and Arcade Fire as we enjoyed a champagne toast.  We had our friend and brother-in-law Richard ordained to perform the ceremony–he was fantastic.  I decided against bridesmaids, but had my sisters read poems by Ogden Nash throughout the ceremony.  The groom’s father held our rings.” 

“The next morning, we attached our “Just Married” sign to our car and headed off to Lake Placid NY for a quick honeymoon.  We had a beautiful time.”

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The Good Life – An English Countryside Engagement

Getting down n dirty at their allotment was the name of the game for Vonney, Tristan and Boo’s (the dog) pre-wedding shoot. A reflection of how they live their lives on a daily basis, photographer Caroline was keen to bring this realism into their session.

“When I first came up with the idea to include the pre-wedding shoot into my wedding package I knew that I didn’t want to offer my couples the standard posed pictures in front of yet another garage wall, holding a vintage camera etc,” Caroline explains. “I believe that we ‘normal’ people aren’t models. If we are told to do something, to stand in a way that we don’t usually stand it doesn’t look natural, does it?! And I also don’t think that this tells me much about the couple themselves and I came to the conclusion that I wanted my clients personalities to shine through in every pre-wedding shoot picture.”

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Thursday Treats – 14th October 2010 (+ Another Paris Sneak Peek + a Southern Weddings Magazine Giveaway!)

Photography Credit: David McNeil Photography

So this week has been a busy one. I went to Paris, I dressed up, I wore more pink hair extensions than I ever have in my life and paid taxi drivers in mini wedding cakes. We teased you with a live tweet from the shoot and I added to the anticipation by posting 3 highly secretive images yesterday. So today I thought I’d give you some more by including another exclusive image in this here Thursday Treats. You like? Full info on who and what I’m wearing/holding etc to come when I blog the full set of images (soon!)

I was also featured in the latest issue of Southern Weddings Magazine (full post here) and to celebrate I’d like to give away a copy of the magazine to one lucky reader. This magazine is GORGEOUS! To enter simply comment below saying why you think you deserve a copy. The winner will be picked at random and announced in next week’s edition of Thursday Treats.

I was also interviewed by Channel 4 for their website (you can check it out here) to tie in with the promotion for the new series Wedding House.

Phew! So needless to say I have been BUSY and I haven’t had a huge amount of time to scour the interwebs for the usual mammoth list of pretties. However I ain’t gonna leave you hanging – oh no, Thursday Treats is my favourite post of the week!

Enjoy!

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Joan & Tim’s Musical English Country Garden Wedding

Oh I have yet another fabulous British wedding for you to le swoon over today. Joan & Tim’s English country garden theme was sure as hell given a Rock n Roll twist with the infusion of some seriously rad and personal touches. Not least of all, Joan’s incredible dress (actually a corset, skirt, bustle & train) from designer Jane Bourvis. It was all Vintage Couture. Jane was actually the designer behind Carrie Bradshaw’s famous ‘green seafoam ballerina dress’ that she wore in the final episode of Sex and the City (photo here) “Her shop is a wedding wonderland with vintage dresses and corsets dangling above you so you don’t know where to look at first,” Joan explained. “It was the first dress I tried on and within 5 minutes I knew that I wanted it.”

The bride made all the decorations, invites, place cards, table names, pom poms (from a Martha Stewart tutorial), and the seating plan by herself. ” We transformed the village hall, which was very much a black canvas, into a really beautiful room using the cream & caramel colour scheme which we got from my dress. We also carted around lots of picture frames, candelarbras and engagement congratulation cards from home to dot around the hall and make it more homely and personal to us. ”

They had tipi’s and campfires and everyone camped for 2 nights. They set up makeshift portable showers for everyone – complete with posh toiletries! In the toilets they put photos from the hen and stag (bachelor & bachelorette) parties!

“We both love music so we added this to the wedding with table names being famous duets. Our table place cards were our faces super imposed into duets and we had “Rockaoke” our band so that our guests could live the dream for a night and get up and belt out some tunes with a live band. All the music throughout the day was chosen really carefully by us….we had Irish music in the church for ceremony to go village old (robin hood) feel of church, we walked out to O’Carolan’s concerto which is an irish jig. The reception music was a mixture of reggae/brazilian beats etc – feel good holiday music and it did briefly coax the sun out for us!!Music during dinner was 40’s and 50’s feel good music which we knew parents and their friends and grandparents (who sadly are no longer with us) would love. The dancing playlist after the Rockaoke was a compilation of requests from our guests.”

Be sure to check out their fab music themed engagement session here too!

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