Tag Archives: DIY

Elbie’s Bridal Shoot in Regent’s Park

Many of you will know who Elbie van Eeden is. She’s my hair & make up artist of choice, I utterly love her and use her for pretty much all my shoots now! Elbie was married earlier this year in South Africa (I featured the wedding here) and when she returned to the UK, photographer Natalie J Watts asked her if she’d like to do a bridal shoot with her.

“I know Natalie through her amazing fashion work, and when she asked me to do a shoot with her, I jumped at the chance,” Elbie explained. “Little did I know that I would end up being a subject!”

“Natalie was looking for brides who recently got married, and after a while I realised that she intended on using me as a model, and not the make up artist that I thought I’d be! I quickly rushed to Beyond Retro to get a skirt for me to wear with the corset top of my dress, as my full wedding dress would have been way too big to get to the UK!”

“Off we went to Regents Park, and although it was quite an experience running around in a massive dress on a hot day, surrounded by shocked onlookers, I had such a great time, she made me feel right at ease.”

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A New England Fall Wedding: Joe & Carrie

Beautiful Autumn touches were the theme for Joe & Carrie’s New England wedding. Although it rained on the day, there were no damp spirits, with the couple embracing the location in every way they could.

“Originally the ceremony was supposed to be outside on a hill but in true New England style it was one of the rainiest weekends in months,” photographer Zac Wolf  told me, “but when their back up plan was to have the ceremony in an beautiful rustic barn rain wasn’t the end of the world. Toward the end of the wedding they even braved the rain to get some photos of them feeding the goats!”

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A Ceremony With Elvis at The Rhinestone Wedding Chapel: Colin & Sage

Colin & Sage were married by Elvis. But this wasn’t a shotgun or tacky Vegas wedding, oh no, these two are pure Rock n Roll!

“We take our anniversaries very seriously,” Colin wrote. “When I proposed on our 9 year anniversary, I already had every intention of getting married the day of our 10 year anniversary. Unfortunately, the calendar had other plans as October 3rd, 2011 fell on a Monday. Speaking with our bridal party, we were coming to find out we were going to be fairly inconvenient to keep that date. Finally, we agreed to move the wedding to another date, but only if we still got legally married on October 3rd.”

“We originally planned on just marching down to the courthouse but where’s the fun in that? We decided to look for a cheap little chapel and hit the jackpot when we stumbled across Rhinestone Wedding Chapel on Music Row. It was exactly what we were looking for and – What!? An Elvis impersonator at no additional charge? Sign me up! Once we knew we were being married by Elvis, every other decision was obvious. We needed to match the decor with some 50’s inspired duds.”

Sage wore a yellow dress by Steppin’ Out at Marshalls. “The whole day was just so much fun,” concluded the bride. “I spent the entire day laughing and feeling lucky. I have been through a few weddings and watch a lot of bridal shows and all I can say is I wish every bride had it as easy as I did that day.”

“Having a personal wedding without the big crowd was extremely liberating. Since we knew we were going to have a more traditional wedding a week later for the rest of our friends and family, we knew we could do whatever we wanted without worrying about accommodating anyone but ourselves.”

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‘Lola the Bird’: An Art Deco Photo Shoot

This beautiful shoot was set up by headpiece designer Natasha Jane to promote her amazing ‘Lola the Bird’ headpiece (I’ve seen it in real life and it is an amazing piece, I’d love to see a real Rock n Roll Bride wearing it!)

The shoot took place at the UK’s oldest cinema, Birmingham’s Electric Cinema, which has been open for over 100 years. The art deco cinema is even available to hire for weddings so it really was the perfect venue to show off this new wedding collection.

Model Anna wore two stunning dresses, the first cream ruffled skirt and dress from The Wedding Club; and the second black dress by Justin Alexander.

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A Gothic Masked Ball: Debs & Sean

Sean & Deb’s masked ball wedding took place at the beginning on November at Brownsover Hall Hotel, Brownsover, Rugby. “We stumbled on the venue by accident after previously reserving two other venues”, the bride told me. “We were on our way up to my parents for christmas and made a detour to see the hall – it was amazing! Gothic, yet romantic. We fell in love with it as soon as we saw the giant Elk’s skull in the entrance hall!”

The venue fitted their wedding theme perfectly – slightly gothic and masqueradey (I’m pretty sure I just made up that word) with a 1920’s/30’s vibe.

“We were never going to have a conventional wedding – it’s just not us,” Debs continued. “Our original idea was to have a viking themed wedding, but we knew that we would have to agree on something that guests would be happy to take part in (and I really couldn’t see my Dad wearing leather and horns to walk me down the aisle!) I am obsessed with the 20’s/30’s/40’s, I think I must have been a wartime wife in a past life so when Sean presented me with my 1920’s engagement ring everything just seem to slot perfectly into place.”

“The 20’s and 30’s were so glamourous, it would give guests the perfect opportunity to dress up without feeling uncomfortable. We decided it would be like a country house party with a touch of romantic gothic…and then we decided we wanted to make it mysterious so added the masked ball element to the day and night. We just had to have the ceremony in masks! One of the best men did phone up one night though and said he had been thinking and the wedding would be like the upper deck of the Titanic in the day, and the lower deck in the evening….he wasn’t far wrong!”

Asking the guests to dress to fit their theme was something the couple thought long and hard about as they knew it would make their wedding really special. “I know some guests found it difficult knowing what to wear, so after a conversation with Sean’s Mum stating his gran was coming dressed as a goth, I knew I had to try and help those who were struggling,” Debs laughed. “I did my own blog, updating it everyday for the three weeks running up to the wedding, suggesting outfits, accessories, make up and inspirations. It worked! The wedding wouldn’t have been half as good without all the effort our guests made with their outfits. When I walked down the aisle and everyone had their masks on I was awestruck, and after the ceremony, when we were greeted by all our guests I turned to Sean and said ‘It really does look like a 1920’s houseparty…the guests look incredible’.”

Debs wore a dress made for her by Liliia. Having a custom made gown really doesn’t have to be an expensive option is you do your research. After the ceremony the bride crowd-surfed over the guests (in her full wedding attire) which certainly made for some much more Rock n Roll photographs than the traditional confetti shot!

Despite the opulent outcome, the wedding cost the couple less than £6000. “So much of our wedding was DIY as we wanted to put our stamp on it as much as possible. We are quite quirky and artistic so we did have loads of fun dying tags with tea bags, making button holes with feathers, drying out rose petals for months on end…plus we got to spend lots of time in antique shops, vintage stores and car boots which is a favourite past time! I would warn DIY brides that handmaking everything is very time consuming, but worth every second! I think another important factor is the venue. Be aware of your budget and barter! Also, we wanted a venue that looked authentic throughout so we wouldn’t have to spend too much on decorating the place.”

“We knew we wanted 20/30’s events for the table names so I decided to do a little explaination as well so guests knew how they were relevant to the wedding. The keys and luggage name tags added a touch of gothic to the tables. We made the confetti cones out of stained music sheets and we dried all the rose petals ourselves (donated by friends and family throughout the summer!)”

I adore this couple and this wedding don’t you? I’m so excited to share it with you today so thank you to the amazing Sassy of Assassynation for sending over her photos this week. Of Sassy, the bride said, “I found Sassy by accident on a bridal chat room and from the moment I met her I knew she was the photographer for us. She was totally on our wave length and we booked her even before we had found a venue and named a date! I would truthfully have chosen a wedding date based on Sassy’s availability as we were so confident she was the photographer for us!”

They also had Frank of Sassy ‘n’ Frank on board to shoot their fabulous wedding video…

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A Homemade Back Garden Wedding: Philip & Katie-Jane

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Philip & Katie-Jane had a handmade wedding in the bride’s parent’s back garden. They hired a tipi and decorated the whole garden with the things they love – creating a really magical looking space. They even converted the shed into ‘The Poppy Red Shed’ (Poppy Red is a bar in Birmingham which the bride and groom first met) which they stocked with local ales, spirits and liquours.

“With the bride being in fashion (Senior footwear designer for KG for Kurt Geiger) it was always going to be different kind of wedding,” the couple told me. “We wanted to make sure there was less formality and more personality. Using personal inspiration and the bride’s vision we focused on what the guests would experience and how that would make us feel. The sun came out as soon as the wedding couple stepped into the garden and the day just got better and better.”

There were so many DIY elements of this wedding, as the couple continued to explain, “All the invites were handmade, handkerchiefs stamped with the details wrapped in a doilie posted with a portrait stamp of the bride and groom. We also made the teacup chandelier hovering over the top table. The cake table was brought together by several guests bringing their own cakes to share although the main wedding cake nearly got eaten before it had even been cut!”

“The bride made all the ‘winecup’ favours herself, a wineglass stem with a teacup on top. The women guests (and some men) were in awe and the race was on to ensure they all got to take one home. The pewter tankards were a massive success, again collected from car boots, family and friends. It took the men about 10 minutes to get them and that was it for the rest of the night. We had a flipcam passed round the tables and it was one of the happiest hours ever after the wedding watching all the guests enjoying the food, drink and each other.”

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Katie-Jane wore two dresses – the first by Vera Wang and the second, a vintage gown from Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. She also wore Miu Miu shoes and vintage jewellery.

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