Lola’s Bad ASS, Punk Rock Bridals

Lola’s bridal shoot revolved around the amazing skirt she wore. It was originally an 80’s wedding dress that was found on sale at GoodWill for just $10! “Kayrene Kelley, artist and Leather Worker for Leather Girl Kelley, chopped off the top of the dress, dyed it gray, added some pickups and sent it to Arizona for us to work with,” stylist Alexandra told me. “It was truly perfect because a full wedding dress would have been just too pretty for the gritty, Rock n Roll vision I was going for. Kayrene Kelley also sent us some wonderful leather goodies such as cuffs, a corset and a belt. From there, I styled Lola with all of her own clothes and accessories. A lace black bra, white tank top, gray tank top, gloves, earrings, layered necklaces, another corset and Lola’s very own motorcycle vest were swapped in and out to take this bride through all of her different moods – some more feminine and some more casual. We kept the shoes simple and classic by using mostly black shoes owned by Lola.”

“This shoot was born out of a desire to create something different,” she continued. “Everywhere around me in the photography world I saw utterly picturesque bridal shots, full of softness and pastels and vintage loveliness.   And they were beautifully perfect, but they were not me.  For better or worse, I don’t find my inspiration in ‘pretty’.  I’m more comfortable downtown, and what excites me artistically is the opportunity to juxtapose beauty and energy against the harder edges and urban decay of the cityscape.  That’s when my vision gets hopping and things come to life for me.  And so, with a few emails to some like-minded folks – the bad-ass bridal shoot was born.  This year has been all about collaboration for me, and this team had an incredible energy, grabbing onto my original vision and taking it to amazing places.  This was seriously the most fun I’ve ever had as a photographer.”

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Rom & Will’s DIY, Humanist, 1970’s Vintage Wedding

You might recognise the gorgeous Rom & Will as I featured their engagement session back in August. I knew their wedding would be awesome as soon as I saw those shots so you can imagine my excitement when I got an email from photographer Steve Gerrard asking if I’d like to feature their wedding that took place a few weeks ago in Somerset.

The couple had two ceremonies – a legal ceremony at Hestercombe Gardens, followed the next day by a humanist ceremony and reception at Huntstile Organic Farm (a humanist ceremony isn’t legal in England at present.) Rom wore a different dress for each part of their day. For the civil service she wore an original 70s Ossie Clark dress which she had hunted high and low for. She finally found in a treasure trove of a shop called Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. “The owner Lou has original vintage dresses and she also makes bespoke vintage replicas,” Rom explained. “With this is also wore Gold cork platforms by Miu Miu and a vintage garland headband from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company.”

For the humanist ceremony and wedding reception, Rom wore her Mother’s wedding dress which was an original Janice Wainwright dress, also from the 70s. “I had it altered and updated for me by Rachel at Heirloom Couture who did me and my mum proud. Shoes this time were by Beatrix Ong and were reduced from £700 to £100 in the sale! Possibly the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen” Rom continued.

To keep in with their humanist and Rock n Roll theme, the couple omitted a lot of wedding traditions. They didn’t have a wedding cake, favouring afternoon tea and cupcakes made by the venue. They also didn’t have a traditional wedding band or DJ, opting for a punk rock n roll band from Exeter called The Computers.

Rom asked her bridesmaids to pick their own dresses. Her only requirements were they were long and they each picked a different colours. The groomsmen looked similarly relaxed and cool in skinny black suits, white shirts, black ties and Vans trainers.

“We DIY’d a lot of things ourselves, stole ideas from wedding blogs and roped in friends and family to help too”, the couple concluded. “It’s amazing how the effort that goes into the little details can make your whole day more personal. One thing that worked really well was a ‘lucky dip’ where instead of getting us gifts, we asked everyone to bring something under a tenner for a lucky dip. It meant everyone got a funny present from another guest and was a great way to get people mingling to find the person their gift was from.”

“We really just wanted the wedding to be the best party we could ever organise. We did away with any traditions that we didn’t like – first dance, cutting of the cake, wedding list, seating plan, wedding favours, matching bridesmaid dresses etc and focused on what we thought was important. The best advice we were given was to ensure guests are never hungry, thirsty or bored. It served us well.”

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Rock n Roll Bride : WEDDING Magazine Columnist – Mix & Match

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you some very exciting news! A few months ago I was offered a regular column in one of the UK’s biggest bridal magazines, WEDDING. Catherine, the editor, asked me to inject a bit of Rock n Roll into the magazine and to share with their readers some new Rock n Roll wedding trends. My pleasure! You lot make my job easy with your fabulous and unique ideas!

Words can’t express how excited I was to hear a thud as the magazine, featuring my first column, landed on my doormat this morning. How bright, colourful and fabulous does my article look? Double page spread too!

Huge thanks to Catherine, Julia and all at WEDDING Magazine for having me and of course to all the photographers who allowed me to use their photographs in this issue. Can I also just say that I am stupidly proud that they billed me as “Cult wedding Blogger, Kat Williams” (!) and the fact that Catherine mentioned me in her editor’s letter at the beginning of the magazine. Jumping for joy I am!

The Dec/Jan issue of WEDDING Magazine for is in shops now so why not go check it out for yourselves!?

Jesikuh & Chris’ Day of the Dead & Graffiti Trash the Dress

Photographer Michelle met recent bride Jesikuh through a mutual friend. Jesikuh had always wanted to do a trash the dress/bridal shoot as she and her husband Chris didn’t have professional photographs taken at their wedding and – in fact she didn’t even have her own wedding dress! Luckily a good friend was happy to give her their dress to do what she wanted with it for the shoot. 

Jesikuh just wanted some amazing pictures of her and husband that really told a story about them as well as showcasing their edgy style.  After discussing locations, the team decided that the Pala de Luz Mission in Pala, CA would be cool as their was an old cemetery there. Both Jesikuh & Chris are big fans of the”Day of the Dead” styling so they brought a mask they had made themselves to pose with.  The shoot concluded with Chris graffiting the dress!

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Mia & Matt’s Super Kitsch, Super Gorgeous 1960’s Wedding

I think I possibly have one of the cutest weddings ever to round of today’s posts. When I first laid eyes on Mia & Matthew’s 60’s inspired wedding, I kid you not, I literally squealed with delight. How happy do these photos make you feel?! I KNOW! Adore…

The wedding took place in Devon at St Gregory’s RC Church in Kingskerswell. The reception then followed at Colehayes Park in Bovey Tracey, a Georgian House in beautiful grounds. As soon as the couple got engaged they knew their wedding would have a 60’s theme. Mia is obsessed with everything from this era and even had her dress made by a friend to an authentic 1960’s dress pattern. Mia explained, “I’m obsessed with vintage so it had to be that way! I also wore a floral headband of golden coloured alstroemeria which was made by our florist, gold t-bar sandals which I found in the Miss KG by Kurt Geiger. I wore yellow plastic daisy earrings from Spitalfields Market, a silver engraved locket which Matt gave me on the morning of our wedding and an amazing wedding cartoon bracelet which I bought from Da Da Dreams on Etsy. My sister also gave me a lovely bluebird bracelet and matching garter on the morning of the wedding, which she’d had handmade for me. They’re amazing! In the evening I changed into a 1960s lace mini dress with cape which I found on Ebay and borrowed a vintage faux fur cape from my sister.”

They hired two 1960’s Rolls Royce’s and at the reception they played nothing but 60’s music. The bridesmaids even wore authentic 1960’s vintage dresses. “Finding the bridesmaids dresses was a real mission,” Mia told me. “I wanted them all in vintage pastel maxi dresses and we searched high and low to find the perfect ones. We got there eventually! My sister Becca, friend Emma and friend Corinne all found dresses on Etsy but and my friend Daisy was really struggling to find anything right when my grandma donated a dress which happened to be sitting in the back of her wardrobe! It’s the blue bridesmaid dress and it fitted her perfectly. I love that my grandma used to wear it. To make the dresses all work together I bought some white daisy trim from Ebay to add to the edges.”

The rest of the wedding was all DIY including the cake, with each layer being made by a different person. “My sister and chief Bridesmaid, Becca, made the main cake – a 2 layer chocolate sponge with yellow buttercream icing and iced orange butterflies, and my Grandma made matching vanilla cupcakes. And my mum made a fruitcake too. I was chief kitchen assistant!” Mia laughed.

To get everyone talking, the couple hosted a quiz all about themselves. The bought some old trophies in a junk shop and decorated them with their faces to give out as prizes! They also made personalised snowglobes to act as super kitsch placenames. “We bought a job lot of DIY snowglobe kits from Baker Ross Educational Supplies and put a photo of Matt and I inside with all the guests names printed on,” said Mia. “It took me, Matt, my mum and dad about 6 hours to make them but it was worth it as everyone had something cute to take home!”

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Alice in Weddingland ~ The Hunt for the Perfect Photographer

It’s time for post number two (well three if you count our impromptu trip to the Designer Wedding Show last month) in the series that is proving to be quite a hit with you lot! This month Alice went on the hunt for the perfect photographer to document her wedding…

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Photography Credit: Lisa Devlin

When I sat down and wrote my wedding wish-list, getting a top-notch wedding photographer was right up there.  Think what you will, a good photographer was even higher up on my list of priorities then a wedding dress! I figure a dress lasts a day, but the photographs are the memories that will be shared with friends and family alike, and will last forever.  In my eyes a securing the photographer of your dreams is the best wedding investment a bride can make…but where to begin?  If you google ‘wedding photographer Brighton’ you are given hundreds of results, but I found this list to be pretty useless as I really didn’t know what I was looking for.  What are the merits of negotiating a copy-write-free deal on your images?  Reportage or traditional style?  Ten minutes in and I was freaking out; finding the photographer for me seemed like an impossible task.  Then I came across rocknrollbride.com!

Photography Credit: Emma Case

Finding a wedding blog that tapped right into the style of wedding I envisaged was like a breath of fresh air.  I found myself reading the credits at the end of the shoots Kat features and going on that photographers website (fyi: all the british weddings/photographers Kat has featured can be found here).  This way I was able to see the style of photography that I liked, full weddings on their blogs and found myself able to make firm decisions based on whether a particular photographers style would suit what I had in mind.  I also checked out Rock n Roll Bride’s sponsors, as I knew Kat only accepted sponsorship from companies and photographers that she feels are keeping in line with the style of her blog so I felt this was also a good place to look.  This little fact can save you hours of trawling the internet, as effectively she’s done all the hard work for you!

Another top tip I discovered is hitting up the wedding chat-rooms.  Now I know I mentioned this gem in my first Alice in Weddingland piece, but it is one that should not be underrated!  Through following other people’s conversations about photographers in their areas/how much they were being charged etc I got a clear idea of what was a good deal and what wasn’t (however beware of some unfounded bridezilla bitching in some of these chatrooms!)  In fact I actually came across one of my favourite wedding photographers Emma Case this way; I found a link to a male photographers website in the chatroom, so I contacted him and outlined my vision for the wedding.  He then very honestly emailed me saying that he thought his friend Emma would be better for a wedding like mine as it was right up her street!  Lots of Emma’s work has been featured of Rock n Roll Bride (a fact that pleased me A LOT) and I contacted her immediately.

Photography Credit: Emma Case

Now as a bride on a teeny tiny budget I looked at the figures all over the internet about how much wedding photographers charge and I literally gulped.  It’s not that I think they are over-priced (the pressure of having to immortalise a couple’s big day flawlessly is surely equal to the amount they charge?) but I just couldn’t see how I would be able to afford one.  Then I put my business head on!  I emailed my top three photographers – Emma Case, Lisa Devlin and Sassy from Assassynation with a brief outline of my wedding.  I also asked that was there any way of having them shoot for half the standard time and if so would this cost me less?  As I’ve said, I really wanted a great photographer, so figured having my dream photographer for a few hours was infinitely better then having an average one for more.  I got some great quotes back and after much toing and froing finally decided to go with Sassy.  I think it is important to have a natural raport with the person who is going to be right by your side for all the important bits of your wedding, and Sassy and I hit it right off.  Some of her work has been featured on Rock n Roll Bride too, so I was able to check out her work and the style of weddings she shot best before committing to anything.

Photography Credit: Assassynation

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