Tag Archives: Circus

Roll Up! Roll Up! For The Alternative Wedding Circus

Mwah haaa haaa…are you ready for The Wedding Circus? A creepy fright-fest where the alternative wedding elite came together to create something truly magical? Well that’s exactly what happened on a freezing February morn in a Birmingham Warehouse.

I recieved a phone call from photographer Sassy of Assassynation telling me all about her latest and greatest photo shoot idea – a ‘Wedding Circus’ filled with some of the freaks most alternative wedding suppliers in the UK. Of course Gareth & I were thrilled to be asked and so bright (OK not so bright) and early one morning we dragged ourselves out of bed and battled the snow to drive up to Birmingham for our 9am call time.

With nine models all with very distinctive looks (and hair colours – I’ve never felt like the one with the boring hair before!) a team of 7 hair stylists and make up artists worked their socks off to transform us into circus acts.

The shoot was pulled together by photographer Sassy of Assassynation and Jo of The Couture Company & Rawhide Corsets. “We were actually brought together by Rock and Roll Bride, where I had long admired Sassy’s work,” Jo explained. “I commented on one of Sassy’s amazing weddings, Sassy dropped me an email saying thank you for my comment and then asked if I fancied collaborating! Of course I said HELL YES!”

“Sassy’s idea was to get a warehouse in the urban metropolis of Birmingham, with access for a big truck. When I asked why she said “Well…don’t think I am crazy but I like the idea of a horse in a warehouse!”

“My original idea for this shoot was just to pop up to Birmingham and take a couple of nice piccies of gorgeous dresses,” Sassy took over, “but it didn’t quite work out like that. My mental brain took over and the horse in a warehouse idea grew a life of it’s own. I love the circus and thought wouldn’t it be fun to do a dark circus theme. I wanted the crème de la crème of alternative wedding providers on our project so I set about speaking to the best people I could think of to see if they would represent their area of weddingness…they all said yes thankfully!”

“It was freezing on the day and everyone was so incredible, I don’t think we would have had that level of professionalism from paid models and creative…everyone just got on it and for that I am eternally grateful! There were 29 people and a horse there on the day…this was a huge shoot! All the behind the scenes team need a huge amount of praise as they were amazing and brought my idea to life.”

The first look was the more subdued and ‘classic bridal’ of the two – we all wore white dresses and corsets from The Couture Company & Rawhide Corsets and the boys looked incredibly dapper in their smart vintage military-inspired outfits. After a few shots in the remarkable circus set (complete with graffiti elephant on the wall and actual circus props from Russell’s International Circus) inside the warehouse it was time for the biggest surprise of the day…that there was a horse waiting outside for us to pose with!

Now I’m not normally scared of horses but jeez this horse was ginormous! He was beautiful as very well behaved but I certainly wasn’t brave enough to get on him! Well done to Charlotte for being the first to do so and to Gareth for keeping on brand with his hand gestures!

The second look was the all-out freaky, creepy circus look…complete with fire-breather! The make up was piled on heavy – eyes darkened, lines painted and hair made even bigger! Gareth was even made up in Crow-inspired make up which although was kinda weird to begin with seriously started to grow on me near the end of the day (Brandon Lee? yes please!) The outfits got a little more risqué too thanks to Jo at The Couture Company. We could tell she was in her element when creating these weird and wonderful ensembles!

Can I also please publicly announce that I need one of Jo’s corsets in my life permanently! They literally took me down a couple of dress sizes…my waist has never looked so tiny (believe me, it ain’t nothing like that in ‘real life’). In this second look I’m wearing a black version of one of Jo’s tattooed wedding dresses. I loved it so much!

The day was hard work, freezing, but a serious amount of fun! I’m so excited to have been involved in this shoot and to be working with such an amazingly talent group of people. I hope you enjoy the results as much as we did making them. Could a spooky circus wedding theme be the next big thing?!

Show the team some love in the commnets won’t ya?!

Oh and a spooky shoot needs a spooky video does it? The fabulous Frank of Sassy n Frank was there to capture exactly what went on that day. Click through to watch the full video…

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A Swedish Vintage Circus Wedding: Frida & Richard

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Frida & Richard were married at Hagaparken, a nature reserve just north of Stockholm, Sweden. The beautiful ceremony took place under a carefully selected tree and the reception was in The Copper Tent, also in Hagaparken, which was originally built by one of the Swedish Kings to house his horses, but which looks a little like a circus tent. The couple based their celebration around this tent, creating a vintage circus theme.

The bride designed her own dress and the couple DIY’ed as much of the day as possible including the flowers, the stationery and all the reception decor and props.

“My sister married us, something we decided to keep from the other guests,” Frida told me. “Despite a short line about guests being welcome to add their own touches to their outfits, we were took by surprise when everyone turned up with personal touches to match our wedding theme. Even the most unlikely of our family members really took to the task, which was ace. My personal favourite, the groom’s Uncle who appeared in a top hat, weilding a riding crop! We also had the pleasure of an assortment of fine shoes, hats and sparkles.”

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“As we spent a little time with the photographer after the ceromony, we gave guests a few games to play outside the venue while having a tipple including a photobooth with props, vintage circus games and ’the infuriating hammer game’, which was our take on the strong-man. Our chum Gus played records on a little portable record player.”

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“We really wanted to give ourselves and everyone else a day of merriment,” the bride concluded. “More of a cheeky flow of surprises and smiles rather than stiffness and formality – almost make it a bit like our little journey as a couple. Our start point was simply taking full advantage of wearing good clothes for a day, for one day just being a little bit more extravagent than we have ever been. We had no real outside influence, in that Richard’s family are all in the UK and Frida’s scattered across Sweden, so we just got to immerse ourselves in the process and take our time with it.”

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“The whole outcome was pretty satisfying – like everything from the little signs indicating the table groupings (strong men, ring leaders, mine artists, tattooed ladies, bearded ladies…) to the little trinkets around the venue were things that we found or made. There was also a train of thought that we wanted to blend the English/Swedish side of things so that some elements would be surprising to the relevant nationalities.”

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Darren & Naomi’s Vintage Circus Wedding

The theme for Darren & Naomi’s romantic wedding was Vintage Circus. “We wanted a day packed full of fun, totally relaxed and whenever anyone thought back on it they would smile,” the groom told me. “The theme was a total surprise for all 200+ that were invited, with the first clue being as we walked down the aisle together as man and wife, and Entry of the Gladiators (the traditional circus theme tune!) was played by the organist.”

The ceremony was held at Clifton Cathedral, which with it’s dramatic architecture had been described by many as “a monstrosity of a building” in the past. However in recent times this building style has come right back in vogue and the building has  even just been used used for British design store Habitat’s most recent photo shoot.

“Following the Catholic ceremony (where we snuck in some Fatboy Slim by the organist), we travelled in a vintage Hillman Imp to the reception to be welcomed by a 11ft tall ringmaster,” Darren continued. “On arrival, guests were greeted with pomegranate Mojitos, English afternoon tea sandwiches and home made scones with lashings of clotted cream and strawberry jam. Each guest also had a welcome bag containing a red nose, home made moustache-on-a-stick, kazoo, fortune fish, popping candy, an invite to an after party and a CD with the soundtrack of the day.”

“Next to the main hall we created a ringside retreat with old black and white circus movies played on a projector, hay bails, typewriters to write us a message, cupcakes, home made lemonade, Original Viewmasters with circus 3D images and a suitcase full of circus props and toys. In the main hall, we made our own popcorn and candy floss stand, which was next to our own Face Cut out stand for people to poke their head through and have their photo taken. We also projected on to the wall the table plans, which included a picture of every guest which we had a red nose superimposed on their face.”

“As the evening went on, an old photobooth arrived for every guest to have their photo taken as our guest book, retro cocktails were made with glowsticks and slices of pizza and cake pops were served. Our first dance ended with all 220 guests joining in a mass conga round the room and finishing on the dance floor where people danced the night away, and then a magician did close up magic while our entertainer juggled knives.”

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Pierre & Christine’s Circus Themed, French Wedding

Part two of today’s continental invasion comes from French photographer Davidone who sent over Pierre & Christine’s Circus themed wedding just last week. Christine is a famous illustrator and Pierre is a photographer himself, so needless to say their wedding was going to be super creative and beautiful captured.

Christine wore a Pronuptia dress while Pierre wore Vivienne Westwood. Their fun and quirky nature really does come though in all these images, especially the fun portrait session. As photographer David explained,

“… Alice in Wonderland ….this is the first feeling that came when I began to view images from the photo shoot of Christine and Pierre. A colourful session, with energy, humour, a touch of poetry … and above all a great morning of “laughter”.  The shoot tool place on the morning of their wedding day, but Christine and Pierre were as motivated as ever. In a word, I would call this morning: TOP!”

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Alena & Geoff’s Circus-Themed Costume Party Wedding

Alena & Geoff were married at The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara. Their fancy dress, circus themed day was certainly a show-stopper, especially as the majority of their guests really got into the swing of it and made a real effort with their outfits. “We invited our guests to dress up, and that made them fully participate in all aspects of the circus/carnival wedding,” they told me. “We had 2 guests as ‘door clowns’ who checked people in, gave them clown noses and flags. We had a popcorn man in the lobby of the ceremony giving out popcorn bags. We borrowed huge circus banners from other friends and used them to decorate for the reception.”

The couple made a number of DIY items to go with their theme, but were keen to pass on to the readers of Rock n Roll Bride that there is no need to stress about the ‘little’ things on the run up to your big day. “We made flags for our guests, our own centerpieces, and other decorative touches. Don’t waste time on gifts or things you and others won’t care about though.” they explained. “We filled large vintage popcorn boxes with bottles of water, snacks, local things to do in town and directions to the event and had them given to our guests when they checked in at their hotels.”

Alena wore a custom made dress from Skingraft, Fluvog boots and a hair piece that she made herself from feathers, copper wire, a piece of gold veil and a costume jewellery blue brooch from her great grandmother.

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Annette & Chris’ Fancy Dress Victorian Circus Themed Wedding

Annette & Chris had a fancy dress/steampunk themed wedding in Liverpool. The bride wore a corset purchased from Corsets UK and a skirt from MTCoffinzUnderground on Etsy. “My dress wasn’t technically a ‘dress’ as it was a Corset and a separate skirt,” the bride told me. “I bought the white and black steel boned corset for around £60 and the skirt, which was described as a ‘Victorian Lace Gothic Ball Gown’, cost around £100.” She also wore Victorian-style black ankle boots which she hired from a fancy dress shop! Chris hired his unique outfit from a fancy dress shop too.

“The groom came up with the whole idea of a Victorian Circus themed wedding,” explained Annette. “We’re not ‘average’ kind of people and didn’t want to settle on an ‘average’ wedding, so it had to be fancy dress! Although we took our vows to each other seriously, we don’t believe a wedding should be a completely serious affair. It’s a great excuse to get dressed up and have a massive party with all of your friends and family, which is what we did! I think that’s what makes us so Rock n Roll. Everyone said it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to, including their own!”

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