As soon as a saw Catherine & Kev’s fabulous 50’s style wedding, my attention was drawn to one thing – that amazing Stephanie James Couture dress! I have been a superfan of the designer ever since I found and fell in love with this amazing multi-coloured tulle creation and OMG Catherine’s had a similar underskirt. She too fell in love with this dress when I featured in a while ago. “My maid of honour, Kirree, found a dress on Rock n Roll Bride made by Stephanie James Couture” Catherine explained. “It was the ‘Lustful’ or ‘Tame Fifi’ dress you featured a while back, as soon as she sent me a link to the pictures I knew that was the dress I needed to get married in! I quickly got in touch with Stephanie and asked if she could make me a similar version and she said yes!”
An excitable email from a newly married reader always brightens my day and LeeAnn’s may have been one of the most excitable I’ve received in a while! I just had to share the story behind her and husband David’s gorgeous 1950’s influenced wedding with you today.
“After gorging my eyes on a ga-jillion bridal mags and internet images, I felt I was living a white-out groundhog day” LeeAnn began. “I quickly became downhearted about organising my own BIG DAY, the no-fun casting my eye over “traditional” gowns (this one? no, that one? no, repeat), the vanilla-ness of invites, pink-and-white themes to the power of 42,000! Where did the love go?”
“I think it was a Wednesday and my heart stood still….stopped, popped, blew up and nearly burst with love at the teeniest tiniest little picture of a 50’s style wedding dress! The simplicity, the classic lines, the Frou-Frou…No other designer, strapless, flowing, ruched, lace, beaded, train or no train gown was going to be the winner! This was IT for me! Even better than this, the prospect of “ankle-age” (showing off one’s ankles) and the Shoes! The Shoes! (Oh! Heart! Don’t fail me now!) Enter, stage left, Lisa of Dragonfly Dress Design in Glasgow, who put my ponderings to paper and really really listened to all my wishin’ and hopin’ that I could pull off such a beautifully timeless gown, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps? And so began my love affair with tulle…the gown she handmade for me, words just cant explain how awesome I felt wearing it, and I just adored the teeny little birdcage veil she also worked her magic on. What a woman!”
“Soon came the realisation that a bridal gown like this went hand-in-hand with songs of yesteryear that I love, Dion’s ‘Runaround Sue’ and Little Anthony’s ‘Tears on my Pillow’ being two of my all time Top 10. They may not be specifically linked with the 50’s, but the images they evoke in my mind when I hear them and singalong, I think I had a major Light-bulb moment when I pictured myself in my dress. The Jigsaw came together relatively easy after that. David was cool with all I suggested and put forward (I did give him some input, honest), the look of horror on parents and grandparents faces when I explained I was doing something “a wee bit different” to the norm. It actually became a delight to seek out the alternative.”
This quirky, laid back British wedding with a cool festival vibe was sent over to be last week and you guessed it, I couldn’t wait to feature it. Rachel & Dan really did it their own way and I love the idea of a chilled out party in a tent to celebrate a wedding.
The couple were officially married at a registry office but has an ‘unoffical’ church blessing at St Peter’s Church, Weston, Suffolk. They didn’t make a big deal about the registry office part as they didn’t want this to feel like their actual wedding – in fact Rachel was still at work half an hour before their appointment! The reception was held at Marsh Farm which was just a holiday property when they found it. However since the couple got married there and Rachel published an article in The Guardian newspaper about the wedding, the owner decided to change it to a wedding venue.
The couple were pretty much given free reign at the venue and were able to organise however they wanted. They hired two kata tents and they supplied the furniture and tables. They also diy’ed everything from the flowers (which they bought at 5am on the morning of the wedding from New Covent Garden Flower Market) to the centrepieces and the cake. “We got up at 5am to get decent blooms and we chose flowers that were in season, luckily for me these were peonies and sweet peas which are my FAVOURITES!” Rachel told me. “We went back home on the bus with these massive brown boxes of flowers and got funny looks from all the early morning commuters in London! We collected mismatched vases from charity shops and interesting glass bottles to put them in. My mum made the cake – the lace cases were made out of doilies. She spent a long time with scissors and a Pritt Stick doing those. Catering was courtesy of a friend of a friend of a friend called Sylvain Jamois. He used to work as sous chef at a restaurant called Moro in London and he came highly recommended. He did a great job – the poor man had to contend with cooking a 60 kilo pig on a stick over an open fire in strong wind and occasional showers. He did it from 5am to 7pm. It must have been a nightmare yet he delivered what the bride and groom had requested: crispy crackling.”
I always wonder, when a photographer gets married, how the hell do they decide who to shoot their own wedding? Well Laura & Dave of Blissed Photo had just this conundrum when they got married recently, but chose the amazing One Love Photo as they knew Heather & Jon would capture it perfectly. Being surrounded by all things wedding in their day to day lives, the couple had seen loads of brilliant ideas (and knew some to avoid!) in their own planning.
However they still knew what was important to them, music and poetry, and wanted to make sure this was brought into their day. “Dave plays sax in a few bands, so a trio of his best friends played during cocktail hour, and we hired an amazing funk band, Emerald City Throwdown, that had everybody dancing” Laura told me. ” We also wanted everyone to mingle, so we skipped the seating assignment and also had couches (from Bella Rugosa) to make the vibe more casual and open. I’m not really a poet, but I LOVE spoken word poetry, so I asked my 3 favorite poets if they would read at our reception. Everyone went nuts because these poets are some of the best in the world (truly- they constantly travel and compete internationally). I surprised Dave with a poem I wrote, and then he surprised me by having a good friend of his perform a new Pearl Jam song, Just Breathe, for our first dance. ”
I’ve got yet another bit of retro rockabilly lovin’ for you today, in the form of Nick & Jamie’s Santa Barbara wedding. The ceremony and reception took place at The Rockwood Womens Club which proved to be the perfect backdrop to their day. Jamie looked stunning in her Maya dress by Michelle Roth, but it had a bit of a story behind it! “”Ohhhhh the dress….it was almost a nightmare! It was a Michelle Roth “Maya” that I bought used on Oncewed. I took it to a local alterations lady who cut it too short and messed up the top! Luckily I have a dear friend in the fashion industry, Denice Dir who saved the day by not only adding the black tulle underneath, sewing in a petticoat and took 45 minutes to carefully seam rip the top and fix what the other lady had messed up. She even made my dog’s collar piece out of my dress trimmings and surprised me on the day of my wedding with the special stitching she did inside!”
I loved Matt & Brandy as soon as I read their email to me last week. “We are f***ing rock n’ roll because we had the balls to call off a wedding.
We originally got engaged in April 2009 and shortly thereafter set the date for April 2010. We wanted a simple affair which of course spiraled out of control. It became about every one else. We lost sight of what the day meant to us as a couple. The guest list kept getting longer…which meant more money…and more problems. In November it hit us…wtf are we doing????
We ended up calling off the wedding…and calling off our engagement. We became a bit disenchanted by the whole wedding planning and wondered if it was something we ever wanted to do. We absolutely became victims of the wedding stress monster. We never thought it would happen to us!”
See? love them?! Lucky for them (and us!) they did decide to continue down the wedding path, but only if they could do it their way! “Months passed and we still loved one another. We still planned on spending the rest of our lives together so what now?” they continued. “We couldn’t imagine planning another wedding. Ugh. Well…Matt ended up winning free tickets to anywhere within the continental U.S. that had to be used before May 31st 2010. We decided on San Francisco and then we decided…hey…lets elope while we’re there!”