Shane and Melissa didn’t want to spent a lot to get married so they decided to have a small ceremony, with just a few friends and family in attendance, at the derelict St. Agnes Church in Detroit. Amazingly, they managed to do this for just $1000. They didn’t have a reception and they only booked their photographer for a couple of hours.
Melissa wore a borrowed dress and shoes that she already owned. She did her own hair and make up and made her veil herself. Shane’s outfit was from Zara. The church was decorated with just candles and a few vintage props which were kindly lent to them by a family member.
“I was originally planning to wear a simple black and white cocktail dress, until I showed it to my step-mother”, Melissa began. “She made a point to let me know that it is my wedding, and so special that I should get a dress. I wasn’t opposed to getting a wedding dress, just opposed to spending more money than we intended. However her niece had just gotten married the past Fall so I was able to borrow her dress, and it fit fantastically! What a blessing.”
I’ve featured a few weddings at Asylum Arts in Peckham before, but I couldn’t resist sharing another with you today. Melissa and Yoni took that crumbling chapel and made it come alive with colour! They used the de-consecrated church as the venue for their ceremony and wedding breakfast, and moved to The Big Red Pizza Bus in Deptford for their after party.
“We moved to Mexico for a year to teach English ten days after the wedding so we tried to tie in travel and Mexico”, Melissa replied when I asked about their theme. “Our cake was Day of the Dead themed, the place names were glider planes, the orders of service were paper planes, and each table placename was a scene of a place we’ve travelled to so far. Yoni’s family also surprised us with a mariachi band performance during the speeches which was fantastic!”
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!”
Hold on one second… Now I know I always say that I have the coolest readers but OMG I SERIOUSLY HAVE THE COOLEST READERS! I have four words that will prove it to you too… Zombie. Apocalypse. Engagement. Shoot.
So back in January, wedding photographer Rebecca Litchfield of Rebecca L Weddings used this little wedding blog of mine to host an amazing photography contest. She wanted to give away 10 free engagement shoots, with the most epic of them all winning their wedding photography as well! While I couldn’t share all 10 engagement shoots I knew I had to post this one… and in case you were in any doubt, yes these guys won the grand prize. Hello, ZOMBIES. Zombies trump everything.
“The idea of a zombie engagement shoot was exciting enough, but I cant even tell you how much effort Nicola and Simon put into pulling it off”, Rebecca told me. “Because zombie engagement shoots have been done before they wanted to stage a full zombie apocalypse. We hired a zombie army of 13, an abandoned building on Syon Lane and the wonderfullly talented hair and make up artist Elbie van Eeden who transformed everyone into epically amazingly looking zombies.”
“We also had a huge array of props to play with. Three pints of fake blood, an axe, a hedge trimmer, replica guns, a Zombie Survival Guide, a real lamb heart, a ‘the end is nigh’ sign. I also had the help of amazingly talented Odin Raven who is the master of photographing abandoned buildings and processing HDR photos.”
“The day was great”, Nicola took over. “Lovely Elbie helped us with the make up and Rebecca mobilized a few of her friends to be our undead army. I can’t believe how many people took the day of work just to help us. We had the best fun ever running around the huge factory, jumping over dead pigeons and swinging axes about. We couldn’t wait to see the pictures and when we did we were stunned. Rebecca had done an awesome job! I love the fact that in years to come we can show our kids pictures of us being kick-ass.”
“Bridal shoots don’t have to be boring!” We’ve heard this all before but it’s even better to see shoots illustrating that point don’t you think?!
“I just loved this shoot”, wedding photographer Kathryn Edwards told me of her shoot with Beth. ”I wanted to give it a lonely isolated and fragile feel, with a dark edge.”
“Beth is a fellow photographer in Nottingham and was keen to do a rock the frock shoot with a difference. When she sent me a picture of her dress, I immediately wanted to give the shoot a gothic feel in a crumbling run down derelict location. However to describe the disused old RAF buildings in Syerston as ugly would be misleading. Although there are boarded up and broken windows, graffitti everywhere and rubbish dumped in the grounds, there was a haunting beauty about the place. Especially the caved in roof; it made for a beautiful backdrop to the shoot.”
“It was Beth’s pale skin and the beautiful fragile dress that made want to show a real contrast in the location of this shoot. I also had the idea of placing butterflies around the rubble and on Beth’s skin, to really show up the juxtaposition of the fragile and beautiful amidst the ugly and neglected, and to give the shoot a feeling of vulnerability and isolation.”
So part one was spooky, part two was cute and part three is just…well…a whole other level! Could an abandoned fairground in Belgium possibly be the coolest photo shoot location ever?
“The day after our tea party reception we went on a adventure to an abandoned fairground that I used to visit as a child when it was still open,” Regula told me. “I suddenly thought about it a few months ago and wondered what had become of it. I have some vivid childhood memories of it. Bruno and I wanted to go there as we love the creepy and romantic forgotten world feeling about it. We have a thing for the strangeness of old fairgrounds and fairs, hence the rock candy and candy apples at our reception. When I told our photographer Sassy of it she was so excited we decided to make a trip together.”
“We drove up to the old parking area, the sign and everything was still there, yet in decay.The rusty gate was closed but not locked. As we walked in I tried to reconstruct the fairground like it used to look. Everything was still there, the attractions, the ticket booths, even the tickets were still scattered around. A lot of it was vandalized and destroyed. We past the ghost house, the dolls used to be still here but were now all stolen. Nature was taking back it’s territory as all the big squares with souvenir stalls were now becoming woodland. Strange feeling knowing that you came here to have fun for the day and that now, it’s still there but fading away in time.”
“It’s been closed for over 10 years but I’m surprised how quick nature is taking over the grounds. There was something peaceful and beautiful about it, we felt like we could wonder here for days. I’ve never had this strange feeling before, decaying beauty yet frozen in time.”
“You could almost still hear children playing … not being creepy now, there were actually kids running around as the children from the villages around were still playing here. In a different way, the fairground was still ‘a children’s paradise’ which was it’s tagline, like it used to be in the 1950′s.”
“It closed never to open again after an accident, but in a way it never did close. It just became a place out of this world, did we find the real wonderland after all?”