Ben and Samantha met at a gig. Ben’s English accent caught Sam’s attention and they started chatting. Ben is in a band himself, Asking Alexandria, and so music was a big part of their wedding theme. They nicknamed the wedding ‘Asking Samantha’ and there were musical and British references throughout. Ben wore a jacket with the Union Jack on the back, and the groom’s cake was Big Ben!
“Our inspiration came from me wanting it to show our personalities”, wrote Samantha. “He’s in a rock band and I’m a yoga teacher. I thought it would be cool if we had a rocker theme but kept it elegant as well. I was right. It was absolutely perfect! It was an evening wedding so the ceremony was at sunset and the reception was all dark but with red lights and candles everywhere. The dark red flowers next to white and black candles was what made it dark and mysterious, hence, rocker theme.”
Tyson and Allie’s Florida wedding had a music themed wedding with touches of Halloween, New Orleans and vintage. They didn’t want a stuffy and regimented wedding, they wanted a wedding that was a massive celebration of all the things they love. “Halloween is my favorite holiday however I didn’t want to make that the main theme”, explained the bride. “I wanted to add a touch of elegance. My first inspiration was our favorite place, New Orleans. We went on our honeymoon there and instead of making the wedding really obviously Halloween themed, we added the vintage New Orleans spin. It turned out to be the perfect mix!”
“We spared no detail in designing our theme. We were Rock n Roll because almost the whole bridal party was (ourselves included) or is either in a band, plays music or is affiliated with it. Tyson and I even got a coordinating tattoo on our first tour with the band to honor our love and commitment to each other.”
Shot in the Gothic paradise of Whitby, North Yorkshire (they have a famous twice yearly gothic weekend festival) photographer Michelle of SilverStar Photographic had long wanted to shoot here. However her initial idea didn’t become a full blown vision until she met Michelle from Victorian Gothic Clothing.
“I always imagined doing a photo shoot in Whitby, but it is nearly four hours away from where I live so never thought it would be possible”, photographer Michelle began. “Then I met (the other) Michelle. She shared my vision and instantly we became excited about the dresses which were inspired by the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker. My vision for the shoot was to have the models pop out of the background but still being able to see significant details in the background. The whalebone arch was a gorgeous location as you could just see the Whitby Abbey in the background and really added depth to the photos.”
“The dresses were deliberately designed to be big statement pieces, with an emphasis on couture designer elements whilst still incorporating hints from the past bringing them full circa to the present”, took over Michelle of Victorian Gothic. “I wanted to capture a glamorous, gothic vision encapsulating alternative fashions, so tattoos, piercings and brightly coloured hair were all a definite yes from me! The dresses were named after the four lairs of Dracula (there is still one to come) as mentioned in Bram Stokers novel; The Carfax Gown (blue and black), The Piccadilly Gown (black and red) and the Mile End Gown (bright red). I also created all of the millinery. The ship hat (‘Demeter’) recalls the ship that arrives at Whitby during a storm and brings with it Dracula.”
Katie & Eric didn’t have the wedding they’d originally planned, but when circumstances changed, so did their wedding. However being able to have the people there that meant a the most to them was more important than waiting for a big wedding. ”When we got engaged last summer, we started to plan a big wedding for October 2013 that we could invite all of our friends and family to”, began Katie. “A few months after we became engaged we found out that my Dad had liver cancer, and everything changed. The most important thing was to have our family members at the wedding, and have them all attend in comfort. With that in mind, we changed almost every aspect of the wedding and planned it in four months.”
They chose Jekyll Island, GA as the spot where they would say ‘”I do”. Not only was it very close to where Eric proposed, it was where they spent their first day as an engaged couple while adventuring with a group of close friends. The ceremony was held on Driftwood Beach and the reception at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. “My favorite part had to be the ceremony. Eric’s sister, Laura, was our officiant, and she composed a ceremony specifically for us. I made our handfasting cords, and our friends and family set up the ceremony site. It really felt like a group effort and was truly magical. Laura scooped up the sand that was under our feet as we said our vows and gave it to us in a heart shaped jar as a wedding present.”
I’m not going to lie, I’m a little freaked out by this shoot… in fact I’m downright scared. I don’t think I’d like to get stuck in a dark alley with this pair, as lovely as I bet they are when they’re not covered in fake blood. Amy & Paul went all out with this post-wedding shoot - murder, fake blood, suicide and all!
Warning: this baby is not for the faint hearted. I’m under no illusion that not everybody is going to like or ‘get’ this. But Paul & Amy do and isn’t that all that really matters?
“Paul and I decided on going for trash the dress shoot because we were disappointed with our wedding pictures (not taken by Sassy who shot this for us!),” began Amy. “We went for a gothic steampunk feel that fit in with the theme of the day…. Halloween!! In the evening reception, we had a fancy dress theme and we dressed as Mrs Lovett and Sweeney Todd. Because we felt that the official wedding pictures didn’t do our wedding justice, we decided to have a photo shoot afterwards with a similar theme. We had seen Sassy’s work on Rock n Roll Bride and particularly loved Toni & Colin’s wedding and really felt that Sassy would get where we were coming from, so I contacted her straight away.”
It feels weird to start a real wedding post with a disclaimer of sorts but this is just one of those weddings that I share with a small sense of trepidation. Without wanting to sound like anybody’s mother, let’s just remember that this is two people’s actual wedding day and their way of expressing their love. I am under no disillusion that parts of the wedding may well divide opinion, but as always, let’s keep the comments constructive and remember what Rock n Roll Bride is all about…
Kristen & Joe were married at Mountain View Cemetery Oakland, CA. “I knew before Joe and I even got engaged that I wanted to be married in a cemetery”, Kristen explained. “We searched multiple cemeteries from Sacramento to the Bay Area, and Mountain View was perfect for us. It was welcoming and alive with people enjoying the beauty and history of the place. It was challenging to find a place to hold a ceremony and have 150 guests without them feeling uncomfortable by ‘sitting’ on people. We had almost scoured the entire place and given up when the main crypt came into view. We had found it!”
“The path to the ceremony site was long and we spent ages thinking of different ideas on how to get me up to the ceremony without having to walk forever as well as how to keep me hidden from view until the right moment. We originally planned on using a car, so I told Joe that my mother had a friend who would use their classic car for the ceremony without charging us. Yes, I admit I started our marriage out on a lie… but I was working on a surprise for my groom and all of the guests.”
“I decided I wanted to show up to the ceremony wheeled up in a coffin. There was only my mother, her husband, my mother in law, and the man who built the coffin in on the secret. An hour prior to the ceremony I had the photographer grab the groomsmen for photos with the bride. Little did they know, that they had been chosen as the pallbearers. They practiced picking up the coffin, wheeling it on the gurney, setting it up and dropping the front door for me to walk out. They only had one shot to make it happen and there was no turning back. The ceremony started and the bridesmaids made their walk alone, to Joe’s confusion until he saw a coffin being wheeled up the hill by his groomsman. At that point he knew…”