Quay & Jory were married under a giant tree, on the beach in Maui, Hawaii. “The wedding was very non traditional,” photographer Molly Marie told me. “It was a gay wedding, almost everything was DIY, both girls love tattoos, and planned the entire wedding themselves. The wedding was not for anyone else but them, pure love. However they knew family wouldn’t be able to attend easily as they are from Eau Claire, WI, so photography was a very important part of the wedding to them.”
The eagle-eyed amongst you might remember Ashley & Ray. Ashley was the lucky Rock n Roll Bride reader that won all that lovely booty for filling out my reader’s survey over the Summer. Needless to say I was pretty excited to then see how it was all used in their wedding!
The couple were married in January and had their photographs taken by friend of the blog Kim Hawkins. The venue they chose was The Mayfair Hotel in London and their theme was old school glamour. Ashley was keen to tell me all about their big day and I’m thrilled to share it all with you here – especially as a lot of the suppliers they used are my friends!
“I suppose what made us Rock n Roll was that we had to think on our feet. There are no rules for civil partnerships; there’s no tradition and no etiquette to follow. It sounds liberating but it can also leave you a bit ‘at sea’. We wanted it to be an occasion but the last thing we wanted was to end up mirroring a ‘straight wedding’. With gay weddings there is such a risk of turning one person into the bride and one into the groom and then just applying all the rules of weddings thereafter. No thanks. I was always going to wear a dress and Ray was always going to wear a suit but we both got our walk down the aisle and neither of us wore white. We also wanted it to be about more than me and Ray committing ourselves to each other. I have an 11 year old daughter, Edie. Marrying me means that Ray also makes a commitment to Edie and we wanted that reflected in our day. After Ray and I had made our promises to each other the registrar asked Edie to come forward. Ray promised to love, encourage and care for Edie and gave her a charm bracelet with a charm representing each of those promises on it. It was a beautiful way of saying that not only were we committing ourselves to each other as a couple but that we were all committing ourselves to this new family. People cried. I cried.”
I’d like to start this Friday off with a little confession…I have been officially RUBBISH at keeping up to date with my Photography Friday posts. For the last 2 or 3 weeks I’ve missed it, mainly because I’ve been a little bit on the busy side and have been happy to leave all the picture-taking to the professionals! I ain’t gonna beat myself up about it…however these posts may be a bit thinner on the ground that I would have liked. If you knew what I had in the pipeline over the next few months I think you’d forgive me. I say the word ‘epic’ a lot right? Well the stuff I have planned is gonna be EPIC on a whole other level!
Anyway, I’ve kind of hijacked this post a bit there…the actual reason for this article is to share a gorgeous new bridal shoot sent in by the fabulous Gemma Williams Photography (who I was lucky enough to meet at The Designer Vintage Bridal Show.)
“This was a ‘Vintage Valentines’ Rock The Frock shoot, with a castle and cupcake!” Gemma told me. “I had photographed Alex’s wedding back in September, and she had a gorgeous vintage-style dress to change into for the evening – short so that she could dance properly! The dress had been a fabulous find on Ebay. Alex was really excited when I suggested we do a ‘Rock The Frock’, giving her the chance to wear it again. We decided to go for a quirky vintage theme that was a little bit different and a lot of fun, inspired by the amazing Rock n Roll Bride!”
“We did the shoot on Valentines weekend, so we had beautiful roses from Posies and a heart-cupcake from Emily Rose Cakes for our props. I styled the shoot with other vintage items from my collection including bunting, a tea-set, and a fur jacket. The ‘story’ I wanted to tell was the bride arriving at the castle to stay for her fairytale wedding, stopping for a picnic by the lake on the way, and then having adventures exploring the castle rooms as she awaits her knight in shining armour!”
“Huge thanks to the local suppliers who let me borrow items for the shoot. Biggest thanks to top Herefordshire wedding venue Hampton Court Castle for letting us have this gorgeous location, and to Alex for totally rocking her frock. Alex and I had loads of fun doing the shoot, and Alex loves her pictures! A ‘Rock The Frock’ is a great excuse to wear your wedding dress again and jazz it up with cool & quirky styling and props, so I’d definitely recommend it!”
Amy & Manny were married in the bride’s parent’s back garden which they decorated themselves in an eclectic and fabulously ‘them’ style. ” I actually didn’t really intend for my wedding to be all Rock n Roll, and it turned out that way anyway,” explained the bride. “It was kind of Moroccan/Rock n Roll… a Morocc’ n Roll style! I think the fact that it was a Rock n Roll wedding without trying… that makes it ROCK N ROLL! Plus the awesome leopard party booth couch, the fact that my Dad plus the groom & all the groomsmen wore chucks…”
Oh yes that party photo booth couch? How rad it that!? I was keen to hear all about how that came about, “The famous leopard “party booth” couch: We literally found the couch on the side of the road (sorry if that’s a shocker to everyone who sat on it… but we did clean it!) So, one day Manny calls me & tells me he saw this cool leopard couch by Manny’s work on an industrial street sitting outside of a building on the sidewalk. I don’t think anything of it, but my Mom & I went jogging in that area the next day & saw the couch he was talking about. Then my Mom & I started joking around about how we could use it in the wedding… So my Dad came with the truck, we picked it up & we all decorated it with fringe & flowers & fabric. Everyone loved it!”
The rest of the reception décor was just as much a DIY effort. Again, Amy told me all about her favourite details. “We couldn’t find a cake that A: “wowed” us and B: justified spending $700 plus on flour & sugar… so we got individually boxed cupcakes in 4 different flavors (decadent dark chocolate, ravishing red velvet, very vanilla & razz matazz razz berry) from “Casey’s Cupcakes” in Riverside. We had gone on a couple dates there when we first started dating, and it turned into one of “our” places, so it was perfect & everyone loved them. Our cake for cutting was a small 6 inch round strawberry cake from the Wal-Mart bakery that was $8 and delicious! We wouldn’t have done it any other way.”
“Table cloths: all fabric we just bought from LA & cut into table cloths. We tied the corners to keep them from blowing away. The runners were the same fabric in alternating colors placed loosely in the center of each table.”
“Place card frames: I went to Michaels & bought wooden frames & painted each of them a different color. Then I just printed out fairy tale phrases & put them on each table”
“The Moroccan style lanterns on each table were my inspiration for Moroccaning. I saw them at Ross & my parents bought them for me that Christmas.”
“Bridesmaid Dresses were found in downtown L.A for $91 each. They were the perfect color & style but they were calf length & looked very bo-peepish. So on the day of the wedding, we cut the dresses to knee length. We used the extra fabric in the centerpiece for our table (pillows, fabric & a crown). All the girls picked out their own silver shoes. The girls wore necklaces that say “Gorgeous” which was a gift from me.”
“Ed and I got engaged at the edge of the grand canyon (aaww) a couple of days after an American friend of mine got married in Phoenix on Feb 2nd 2010 (a year ago today). Little did I know it but after a ‘couple’ of beverages Ed spent the end of her wedding telling our friends he was going to propose, luckily I was too drunk to notice and so when he produced a HUGE Swarovski crystal surrounded by snakes from his backpack I was suitably dumbfounded. From that moment we promised each other that we’d do it like us. I would look like the best me I could be not like an idendikit bride, we would send invites that we loved, we would do it in a cool venue, we would not dance to Abba but we would dance – complete with knee slides and ties around foreheads.”
“So the plan was, find a great venue and take it from there. We found The Trafalgar Tavern in London, a pub with a fabulous upstairs area with lots of gold chairs, chandeliers and red velvet curtains, we both have cabaret sidelines (he as a compere, escapologist and fire artist, me as a burlesque stripper) so the wiff of the stage made us fall for the Trafalgar, it had the ‘us’ factor.”
“We also decided early on that we would like to give each other a present. Some of our married friends had given each other jewellery, we decided to give each other tattoos. For years Ed has wanted a full sleeve of a phoenix (the fire thing …) and I’ve wanted something large and floral on the base of my back. After a painful month or two I now own 2 large chrysanthemums covering my lower back and Ed, well Ed has a pretty fabulous arm, both done by Rodrigo Souto, he’s a fabulous artist and I’m so glad we decided to do it, although it turns out I don’t like getting my spine tattooed much.”
“For us it was important that our wedding was perfect for ‘us’. That meant a wedding that was a little bit Rock n Roll. It started with the invitations which I cross stitched and framed, they were then beautifully designed into invites and RSVP cards by a friend and we asked our guests to nominate songs they’d like to dance to from which Ed made probably the most eclectic wedding playlist ever which promoted much hilarity, dancing, ties round heads and knee slides on the dance floor.”
“Finding my dress was eventually but not always lovely, my Mum is an amazing seamstress and we intended to find something she could copy but I just couldn’t find anything I liked or that worked on my 4ft 10 frame. Then I found Fur Coat No Knickers, I know Kat, you already love those girls, but seriously they made me feel like a star and I cannot thank them enough for pulling me out of the ‘I’m never going to look like me on my wedding day’ panic. I tried on white but it didn’t work and then I fell for this printed number which they added a halter strap too, made smaller (result), made me bound edged petticoats and a floral hair piece to match and made me a little bolero too –it was too hot in the pub to wear the bolero but I reckon without the head piece and with the bolero I might just get away with wearing the dress to a party so that’s the silver lining. Luckily my Mum loved it too and instead of making my dress made me a fabulous black coat to wear over it as outside was distinctly less toasty warm than inside the pub.”
The couple DIY’ed the majority of their wedding décor – from the flowers which they collected from the flower market at 6am; to the candelabras, table centres and large displays that Torie and her army of helpers put together the day before; to the bouquet and buttonholes that they made the morning of the wedding. “My family kept me calm and panic free (sort of),” continued the bride. “I loved it so much that I have finally set up the business I’ve been promising to own for years, Victoria & Florence, flowers and cakes for every occasion. World domination (or at least the flower market) here I come.”
“It was such a wonderful day and our friends and family helped so much with emotional support, glasses of wine when needed, order of service folding and generally being fabulous”, Torie concluded. “All together it was exactly what we had wanted; a day where we looked like us and felt like us and where our friends and family could celebrate our love and have a good party. Getting married is great but being married is better and if it was a little bit Rock n Roll, all the better.”
Nicole & Aaron eloped at the Santa Ana Courthouse and straight after had photographer Kristin Rogers on standby to shoot a ‘Just Married’ session with them and their adorable dog! I am seriously smitten with the cuteness of this whole session. The guitar shots just slay me!
Nicole wore a dress from Anthropologie and a custom made necklace from etsy seller Make Pie Not War. She also carried a fabric bouquet that matched Aaron’s buttonhole, both of which she’d made herself.