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…”
When logistically it just wasn’t possible for Ann & Martin to marry on Halloween as they’d originally planned, they still knew they wanted their wedding to have a spooky gothic theme. The whole day was heavily influenced by Tim Burton.
“We never gave up the thought about having a Tim Burton theme for our wedding”, wrote the bride, “even when doing it on Halloween wasn’t possible for us. I just love the spirit and all his movies. I am a Rock n Roll girl and I am crazy to my bone. I wanted this wedding to be weird, classy, beautiful, strange, unusual, happy, in good spirit and all about us and who we are.”
“I grew up with Tim Burton movies, I take inspiration from him in my work and in my life. I like his way of seeing things and I like the craziness around him. I was born on October the 29th so I have always loved Halloween, pumpkins and Jack Skellington. I have seen Edward Scissorhands about a thousand times. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is so great and I get really happy when I think about Beetlejuice. Corpse Bride is sad but also romantic so I am a real sucker for that movie as well. Then we have my love for rock.music. I like going to concerts to rock my head off and my over all style is very Rock n Roll, steampunk and industrial.”
The New Jersey wedding of Lauren & Justin took place in October and had a vintage gothic theme. Red, black and white were the colours of choice and everything, although mostly handmade by the bride and her mother, had a really elegant twist.
“My mother and I planned this entire wedding ourselves” wrote Lauren. “We had help here and there from my father, husband and even my mother in law. I think I should also mention I work six days a week so all planning was crammed into my only day off.. Sundays… and the little bit of time after work if I had energy!”
“My inspiration was to have some awesome traditions of a wedding, with my crazy twist of life added to it. Our theme was classy and twisted, crazy and beautiful! I wanted to wedding to be beautiful and classy and yet crazy and different like me and my husband. We did dark dresses, intense red accents and creepy Nightmare Before Christmas music that was covered by an orchestra. I wanted my dress to showcase all of my beautiful tattoos. I pretty much wanted a vintage inspired gothic traditional wedding and that’s what I got.”
“We handmade our wedding invitations and our card box which was one of those big fake looking books that you can buy from craft stores. I printed some of our gorgeous engagement photos onto sticker paper and customized our box to look like the story of our beginning. The back of the book even had a picture of us walking away from the camera.”
Winter weddings don’t have to be all scatter crystals and snow sprinkled twigs. They don’t have to have holly or ivy and you don’t even need to wear faux fur. Honestly, there are many other options out there, you just need to dream them up! Just like wedding photographer Kait Winston did after one too many trips to the cinema. Inspired by the movie Snow White and the Huntsman, Kait decided that edgier was better and so wanted to showcase a more dramatic twist on the classic winter wedding.
“Snow White and the Huntsman is by far the most beautiful cinematic film I have ever seen”, wrote Kait. “I saw it in theaters five times. After I realized I had developed an unhealthy obsession, I knew the next step was to develop a series of inspired shoots based on the film. So in one weekend we shot a queen inspired session and a Snow White session. The queen’s session was on my birthday (I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than recreating my favorite film!) What was really incredible about this shoot was the ingenuity behind everything – the majority of items featured are all handmade!”
Starting with rich in shades of plum alongside black and gold, The Photography Smiths and stylist Anthomanic, created some regal wedding inspiration with an edge of Tim Burton. The dramatic and quirky set design included odd shaped vintage furniture, lace wedding dresses with dramatic mermaid silhouettes, black & white stripes, mini top hats and milk & cookies as favours.
The milk bottles were sprayed gold and wrapped in pieces of lace and ribbon, and the bouquet was accented with plums.
Tim Burton is a popular starting point for Rock n Roll Brides but I love how this shoot shows the idea with a more regal and elegant look. What do we think? The perfect twist for a gothic wedding maybe?