Free Wedding Photography Contest Winners – Gaelyn & John’s English Country Picnic with a Mexican Flair

I have been waiting over a year to see Gaelyn & John’s wedding – a year! Long term readers of Rock n Roll Bride may recognise this couple as the lucky pair who won free wedding photography by Love me Do Photography from a contest I ran back in October 2009. It was one of the closest contests I’ve ever ran but needless to say, I know these two totally deserved to win! And now I get to share their awesome wedding photographs with you today. EXCITED!

The theme for the wedding was “English country picnic with a Mexican flair”. The couple described their vision perfectly in their winning entry and it’s so awesome to see it come to life now! “I like to refer to our wedding as English country picnic with a Mexican flair,” they explained. “A ‘marriage’ (if you will) of both our backgrounds. There will be gingham and tea as well as hand cut papel picados (Mexican paper banners) by yours truly, and tamales from a small family run bakery.”

The wedding took place at John’s parent’s 1920’s beach cottage in Carpinteria California. “We have shared many good times there and really love the place and thought it would make an amazing location for both the wedding and the reception,” explained Gaelyn. “We love that it is beautiful, intimate, charming, vintage and rustic. The small beach town has another well known original beach cottage down the street that is a vacation house known as the Linden house, we rented it for myself and my bridesmaids, and took a few photos there as well.”

“Our personal aesthetic is that we tend to like things that seem to have a history to them or an evidence of hand, we are drawn towards vintage and craft but like for things to still feel modern. Our wedding was very collaborative and hands on. We have so many talented friends and family, and we really wanted to showcase their talents as well. They helped do everything from the flowers, silk screening invites, baking desserts, building our website, embroidering our groomsmen’s pocket squares, sewing…the list goes on and on. It really was amazing to have them all involved. It really was great to look out on your big day and not only think “hell yes, this looks awesome” but also be reminded of all of the amazing people who have supported you along the way.”

“I designed the invites, save the dates and thank yous myself. I had a friend silkscreen the art side, and then I had custom rubber stamps made for the info side, and sealed the envelopes with a red heart wax seal, and hand addressed them myself. I spent countless hours spray painting things white ( you really can make anything look good when you spray paint it white!) For example, countless empty pickle jars (I cant explain John’s love for pickles and I wont even try, but lets just say I was able to save up A LOT of pickle jars), when spray painted with a candle inside they looked like porcelain, I also painted an ugly wood/brass 70’s chandelier to hang in the tree, some photo frames, an old mirror I found discarded on the streets of SF, mismatched crystal candelabras (made them look entirely new and modern) etc. It was a great cheap way to not only tie things together, but really make use of things, that one might otherwise overlook.”

“I pulled fabric over embroidery hoops and hand painted our wedding crest logo as well as each of our silhouettes, it looked great as decoration hanging on the front fence at the wedding and made an awesome keepsake. I also hand cut the papel picados (Mexican tissue paper banners) that hung at the front of the house myself with two love birds and our wedding date. We did the entire wedding ourselves, it was a lot of hard work, but in the end we loved ever detail and wouldn’t have changed a thing.”

The bride wore a vintage dress from Timeless Vixen Vintage on etsy which she bought for just $380! “I started looking really early on, knowing that I wanted vintage, and that finding what I wanted, in my size, might take some time,” she continued. “Surprisingly I found the dress right away, it was just what I wanted and the measurements happened to match mine exactly. I bought it, without the option of trying it on first, crossed my fingers and waited for it to arrive. Amazingly enough, the dress fit like a glove and didn’t even need any alterations!”

What a fabulous wedding! I am so pleased that Carina & Amanda from Love Me Do Photography and I were able to help these guys get the awesome photographs they deserve too. Enjoy the photos! Do I have the best readers or what!?

Gealyn & John run their own video company, What We Do Films, be sure to check out their adorable video (after the jump) which they played out at their reception. What an awesome idea! 

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The Rock n Roll Bride Venue Guide – Manchester

Following the popularity of the first The Rock n Roll Bride Venue Guide, written by wedding planner and stylist Mary Herrington of Forever & Ever Events, I was keen to ask her if she’d be willing to do a bit of travelling for us and do some venue guides for the rest of the country. This month, Mary visited Manchester to bring you her reviews of the most kick ass venues for your Rock n Roll wedding!

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Following the great response to my first venue post on London’s Rock n Roll reception venues, I now take you up north to Manchester, where the city and surrounding areas offer a truly eclectic mix of inspiring venues for a Rock n Roll wedding.  As I did in my London venues post, my approach here is to recommend a variety of venues across the spectrum of budgets and aesthetics, from very cool historical architecture to vintage modern interior design to contemporary and modern dance halls.  Remember that no matter where you have your wedding, if you put your personal stamp on it, the venue will come alive.

So here are 10 Rock n Roll venues in Manchester that I highly suggest you check out:

1. The Deaf Institute

Any Mancunian with an interest in live music will already know of The Deaf Institute.  What they may not know is that this music hall and café can be hired for a wedding reception and that the summer months – when most couples are wanting to get married – are the slower months for this music venue and therefore the time when they have greater availability for weekend hire!  This isn’t some smoky dive pit of a music venue – rather, The Deaf Institute is known for its extremely stylish interior: damask and Dolly Parton wallpaper, cuckoo clocks, parrot-patterned walls, velvet seats, chandeliers and vintage modern furniture.  The Music Hall has a huge disco ball, its own bar, stage, sound equipment, glass balcony, and theatre seating area. The Basement Bar is great for more intimate weddings and can also be hired out for private parties – great for hen night karaoke or a private cocktail bartending class.  Prices vary depending on the date, but you can either hire out individual rooms (from about £1,000 for weeknights to about £2,000 for weekends) or hire out the entire venue at about £2,850 and host up to 600 guests!  And being fans of Rock n Roll Bride themselves, they will offer a free meal to couples interested in booking their wedding reception – simply email info@foreverandeverevents.com for more information.

The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE, 0161 276 9350.

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Sheila & Austin’s Small & Intimate Peacock Themed Destination Wedding

Mis-matched jewel tones and a peacock theme were the order of the day for Sheila & Austin’s small and intimate wedding. The couple  found the planning of their destination wedding in St. Petersburg difficult and enlisted the help of the bride’s Mother with all the organisations but really put their hearts and souls into creating the prefect wedding.

There were mishaps and hilarious moments but at the end of the day Sheila told me that none of that mattered as they were just so pleased to be getting married. “Don’t sweat the small stuff when it gets close to the wedding,” she told me. “That being said if you have the time customize your wedding, for me it was a great creative outlet. We handmade everything except for the food really. The hardest being we hand made our beach reed, peacock centerpiece wreaths. Luckily I only needed 6! As far as centerpiece tools I got the peacock feathers from eBay and reeds from TJMAX. Just dismantled other decorative house pieces. And my menu holders were picture frames. Really look everywhere for inspiration!”

“Basically we did things our way. We had non-traditional readings, video game music for ceremony music (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collection), sneakers for the grooms, a blue prom dress as a wedding dress, only 56 people attending (did an earlier dance for all our other friends), DJed it ourselves, had a honeymoon registry, had people RSVP via online (greener and cheaper!), designed everything ourselves & honestly didn’t give a care what people thought! But everyone loved it because it was us, and they were here to support us. And we were so happy to have done it.”

“Really as I see my other friends in their wedding processes, and it was a piece of advice someone gave me, all I have to say is this is the one party that you throw that is about you and your husband not everyone else. Have fun, don’t feel ashamed for your tastes & just have a blast!”

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Photography Friday – Kat & Gareth = ♥

This is a bit of a cheat on my part this week as I didn’t actually take this photo myself. My friend Emma Case came to visit us this week and while she was here we did an impromptu photo shoot in our garden and bedroom. I can’t wait to see and share the rest, but to whet your appetite, here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come really soon!

How sexy is my husband?!?

Photography Credit: Emma Case Photography

Lauren & Tim’s DIY, Budget-Friendly Seaside Wedding

“We both decided that although we wanted our wedding to be amazing, we weren’t going to spend a stupid amount of money on it,” explained bride Lauren when I asked her about her big day. “We weren’t prepared to pay more just because it was labelled as a “wedding product”.  Plus, most of the wedding-related stuff that’s available isn’t really “us”.  I bypassed the usual wedding dress shops and went straight to the high street, and found everything exactly as I wanted at a price I was willing to pay.  Tim wore a suit he already had from Next because none of the hire places had slim fitting suits.  We wanted invitations with skulls and studs and splattery writing but didn’t want to pay a professional to design and make them for us, so I did it.”

“Neither of us wanted to do something just because it was expected.  I didn’t want bridesmaids (ALL of my friends are awesome, not just those wearing matching dresses), we got married on a Thursday (much cheaper!), my Mum walked me down the aisle as I don’t know my Father, we had a unity candle (which is something our registrar had never heard of…?), we didn’t have a receiving line…  We kept the traditions that we liked, or that family requested, and ignored everything else. We didn’t get caught up in the idea of the day being perfect, and of me being a pretty princess for the day, and prepared ourselves for the fact that in life, things go wrong, and weddings aren’t any different.  When things went wrong (venue closing down with five months to go, registrar taking ill on the morning of the wedding and the replacement not having copies of our readings, etc) we took it in our stride.”

“It didn’t occur to us to change the way we look for the wedding.  There was no way I was going to dye my hair, take out my lip ring or get contact lenses (no disrespect to anyone who does this – each to their own), and Tim wanted to wear all black despite it not being a “traditional” way for a groom to look.  We wanted to feel like us, and for the day to reflect us and our tastes.  I guess we’re just naturally Rock n Roll!”

Lauren & Tim really did keep themselves at the centre of their wedding plans. As she explained, they didn’t do anything just becuase it was expected at a wedding. I love their attitude and I love their wedding!

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Thursday Treats – 11th November 2010

Photography Credit: Jonas Peterson. He is incredible. Fact.

Christy + Kyle’s gorgeous yellow wedding
♥ Renee + Randy’s Fashionable Wedding
♥ Halloween Goth Wedding – thanks for the mention La Carmina!
Loc & Cassie
Pink Flamingos + Yellow Candy Anthony Dress
A Ra-Ra Skirt Wedding Dress for an 80’s Loving Bride
Memphis Bonding
Seeking Rainbows
How To Throw A Surprise Wedding
Beau + Alex married!

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