Dani and Liam always wanted a small wedding. There was no grand proposal either, in fact they decided that they wanted to get hitched when they were driving to Reno last August. They chose 11/12/13 as their wedding date – just three months away!
“I knew I wanted a vintage-inspired, tea length dress, so we headed to San Francisco to begin our search2, began Dani. “My dress came from Bettie Page, a pin up clothing shop, and it was love at first sight. It was the first and only dress I tried on! I purchased it immediately and brought it home that same day. I found a crinoline at a vintage thrift shop that perfectly matched the bottom of my Betsey Johnson heels.”
“Once we found that dress, I knew the rest of the wedding had to have that vintage vibe. I found an awesome rockabilly salon and boutique where we got our hair and make up done in the morning. The last arrangement to be made was our venue. The date crept closer and we were still unsure as to where we’d hold the ceremony, until we found the wedding album belonging to my husbands’ parents. They had gotten married at a beautiful Swedish church in the Pacific Heights district of San Francisco, which was built in the 1800s and has been named a Historical Landmark. My Mother in law passed away a few years back and we felt it would be a wonderful way to honor her memory. We were able to book the venue just one week before the ceremony!”
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.”
When I featured Ainsley and Sebastien’s engagement shoot in September I dubbed it “the coolest engagement shoot to date”. I was pretty sure that their wedding would be suitably kick ass too but nothing (and I mean nothing!) could have prepared me for this.
While I was hanging out with their wedding photographer Janneke Storm in Queensland, she started to tell me more about their upcoming elopement in Las Vegas. I made her promise then and there to send me the photos to blog afterwards. Luckily for me (and you!) she did.
Today my mind has been blown. What a way to start the year!
“Sebastien started making coffee at a local organic cafe that I go to a lot and it was love at first sight,” began Ainsley. “Then when he opened his mouth and I realised he was Canadian my love grew even stronger. Here was a guy on the Sunshine Coast that didn’t know anything about me. We live in a small place, or at least it was back then, and it was so refreshing to date someone I didn’t go to school with! We used the L word by the third date, moved in together after three weeks and five years later we got hitched.”
It’s no secret that I am completely obsessed with Made U Look‘s photography. I know I’m not supposed to have favourites and all, but if I was forced… well, they’d be way up there. They just kill it every time. Which is why, when Vicki and Lee sent me the photos of their elopement at a church in the Californian desert, shot by Made U Look, I didn’t hesitate for one second when I replied saying “Yes, yes, yes I want to feature you!”
Quite apart from the stunning photographs, this is the kind of wedding that I truly adore. I’ve written before how much I love low key, simple and intimate weddings and this one completely encompasses that – no stress, no stuff, just the two of them, their son and their witnesses. The ceremony was followed by a jam session on guitars with beer and cake by the roadside – I mean, what could be more perfect than that?
Sarah and Mason have a secret for their friends and family… they eloped in New York! Yes, that’s right, no-one knows this, or will know about it until this feature is published! So – er – surprise! They decided to run away to be married in Central Park with a photo shoot around the park and Brooklyn afterwards.
“We had already planned a holiday to New York”, wrote Sarah. “I had just watched a cheesy film called The Vow with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum where they got married guerilla-style with just the two of them there. I phoned Mason and said how cool would it be too do it in a few months in NYC, and he said ‘lets do it!’ So within a week we had it all booked!”
No matter how many weddings I feature, or how many cool, quirky and original décor and details I see, it is always the simple and emotional, small weddings, that really slay me. Elopements, intimate ceremonies, the great outdoors. Anna and Jarrah did exactly this, travelling from their home in Australia to a beach in France, with just their parents and very best friends in attendance.
“We wanted to include the elements of nature in our wedding”, began the bride. “Jarrah grew up in Margaret River and has surfed since he could walk and I’m a Perth girl who loves the beach and nature. We also wanted to make everyone feel a part of our day and we didn’t want the stress of a normal wedding. If we had the wedding at home it would have had the stress of inviting guests we don’t know. This way the parents were just happy to be a part of it and no stress was put on us.”