This Alice vs evil queen shoot took place on Hampstead Heath in London. The shoot was set up to promote the new collection of wedding dresses by Beyond Burlesque. The collection has a range of both sweet white and ivory gowns as well as more dramatic dark coloured pieces, hence the Alice vs evil queen/good vs evil theme of the shoot.
With a penchant for the dramatic, is it any wonder that I went a little gaga over Brie & Leonard alpine wedding? The black wedding dress, the intimate ceremony, the epic mountain top photographs…I love it all! The bride even had a rams skull (yes really!) instead of a bouquet.
“Basically our story goes like this,” the bride began, “Leonard and I are not really conventional people and despite a few failed ideas to do things more traditionally we quickly discovered that your wedding is not the time to be what you are not. So we followed our hearts to our dream wedding in New Zealand. Leonard proposed to me on the top of a New Zealand mountain in the snow, which was just magical, so we decided that a snowy mountain would make the perfect place for our wedding. We had no guests so we decided to use a helicopter to travel to a completely isolated place with no road access.”
The bride wore a black wedding dress which she made herself. She also made her own headpiece and even her shoes! “I had tried on about 100 different white/cream/ivory dresses but regardless of the style or how beautiful they were they just didn’t feel right,” Brie continued. “Black is what suited me so I ignored tradition. I had a design idea and I wanted my dress to be unique so I decided to make it myself. The only problem was I didn’t know how to sew! I had a sewing machine and a lovely lady in the local fabric shop with advice, somehow I stumbled my way through the rest. A strapless dress in the snow probably wasn’t wise but I put heat pads in my shoes and gloves, wore three pairs of stockings and survived on adrenalin.”
With such an intimate wedding (just the two of them!) it was important to the couple that they had an amazing wedding photographer to capture their day. That way all their friends and family back home could see how wonderful their wedding was. “Other than us, the most crucial thing about our wedding was our photographer. We chose to use Anna from Alpine Images because her work stood out as art rather than mere photography. When we asked if she would do our photography for us, we asked that she ignore the fact that it was a wedding and look at creating individual pieces of art. We gave her a few guidelines about the mood we wanted to create and left the rest to her. We are so glad we did because combining her imagination and talent we ended up with magnificent photos. It also gave us a fantastic day, sneaking up to Sunday church sessions to pose with a rams skull, down dirty alleyways, in concrete car parks, and in the back doors of unattended bars – all Anna’s ideas! Everyone who has seen our photos asks about the rams skull and why we had it.”
“Our wedding was all about us and our love for each other,” Brie concluded. “It was very romantic and I’m so glad we rocked it out in our own way!”
For Tressa & John, the most important thing for their wedding was that their guests were entertained and had a great time…and their Halloween 80s carnival theme complete with an costume party dress code made sure of that!
“John and I knew we didn’t want anything traditional in terms of wedding other than a declaration of love for each other,” the bride told me. “We have a fantastic, eclectic, diverse group of friends who have high expectations of us when it comes to throwing a good party so we knew we couldn’t disappoint! We both spent our most formative years in the 80s and wanted to recreate the tubular vibe while also celebrating our most favorite holiday – Halloween!”
“One of the most amazing moments was looking out over the crowd before we began the ceremony and seeing all of our guests in their amazing costumes drinking our signature cocktails – Poprockatini’s and One Night in Bangkokaritas. What a way to kick off the night! And nothing personifies Rock n Roll like an 80s band! We had Mister Miygai who were fantastic!”
To decorate their venue the couple reused their vast collection of Halloween props. “We wanted to add a touch of spooky to the otherwise glamorous nightclub setting. We also employed the fabulous baking talents of my family for some fun different desserts! Caramels, popcorn balls, whoopee pies and candy apples to name a few.”
“Not only were guests entertained all night by a charismatic drag queen, a duo of aerialists dancing from the ceiling, and a rocking live 80s band, but they were also given the opportunity to play our favorite games that have become a standby at our annual Halloween bash,” John took over. “The Newlywed Game and the infamous Costume Contest with prizes are always a hit with our friends. The prizes consisted of 80s swag: classic 80′s games, Swatch watches, Rubik’s cubes, and 80s movies!”
For the ceremony the bride wore a white gown but for the costume party changed into pink and black number while John transformed himself into Tom Cruise from Risky Business!
Mwah haaa haaa…are you ready for The Wedding Circus? A creepy fright-fest where the alternative wedding elite came together to create something truly magical? Well that’s exactly what happened on a freezing February morn in a Birmingham Warehouse.
I recieved a phone call from photographer Sassy of Assassynation telling me all about her latest and greatest photo shoot idea – a ‘Wedding Circus’ filled with some of the
freaks most alternative wedding suppliers in the UK. Of course Gareth & I were thrilled to be asked and so bright (OK not so bright) and early one morning we dragged ourselves out of bed and battled the snow to drive up to Birmingham for our 9am call time.
With nine models all with very distinctive looks (and hair colours – I’ve never felt like the one with the boring hair before!) a team of 7 hair stylists and make up artists worked their socks off to transform us into circus acts.
The shoot was pulled together by photographer Sassy of Assassynation and Jo of The Couture Company & Rawhide Corsets. “We were actually brought together by Rock and Roll Bride, where I had long admired Sassy’s work,” Jo explained. “I commented on one of Sassy’s amazing weddings, Sassy dropped me an email saying thank you for my comment and then asked if I fancied collaborating! Of course I said HELL YES!”
“Sassy’s idea was to get a warehouse in the urban metropolis of Birmingham, with access for a big truck. When I asked why she said “Well…don’t think I am crazy but I like the idea of a horse in a warehouse!”
“My original idea for this shoot was just to pop up to Birmingham and take a couple of nice piccies of gorgeous dresses,” Sassy took over, “but it didn’t quite work out like that. My mental brain took over and the horse in a warehouse idea grew a life of it’s own. I love the circus and thought wouldn’t it be fun to do a dark circus theme. I wanted the crème de la crème of alternative wedding providers on our project so I set about speaking to the best people I could think of to see if they would represent their area of weddingness…they all said yes thankfully!”
“It was freezing on the day and everyone was so incredible, I don’t think we would have had that level of professionalism from paid models and creative…everyone just got on it and for that I am eternally grateful! There were 29 people and a horse there on the day…this was a huge shoot! All the behind the scenes team need a huge amount of praise as they were amazing and brought my idea to life.”
The first look was the more subdued and ‘classic bridal’ of the two – we all wore white dresses and corsets from The Couture Company & Rawhide Corsets and the boys looked incredibly dapper in their smart vintage military-inspired outfits. After a few shots in the remarkable circus set (complete with graffiti elephant on the wall and actual circus props from Russell’s International Circus) inside the warehouse it was time for the biggest surprise of the day…that there was a horse waiting outside for us to pose with!
Now I’m not normally scared of horses but jeez this horse was ginormous! He was beautiful as very well behaved but I certainly wasn’t brave enough to get on him! Well done to Charlotte for being the first to do so and to Gareth for keeping on brand with his hand gestures!
The second look was the all-out freaky, creepy circus look…complete with fire-breather! The make up was piled on heavy – eyes darkened, lines painted and hair made even bigger! Gareth was even made up in Crow-inspired make up which although was kinda weird to begin with seriously started to grow on me near the end of the day (Brandon Lee? yes please!) The outfits got a little more risqué too thanks to Jo at The Couture Company. We could tell she was in her element when creating these weird and wonderful ensembles!
Can I also please publicly announce that I need one of Jo’s corsets in my life permanently! They literally took me down a couple of dress sizes…my waist has never looked so tiny (believe me, it ain’t nothing like that in ‘real life’). In this second look I’m wearing a black version of one of Jo’s tattooed wedding dresses. I loved it so much!
The day was hard work, freezing, but a serious amount of fun! I’m so excited to have been involved in this shoot and to be working with such an amazingly talent group of people. I hope you enjoy the results as much as we did making them. Could a spooky circus wedding theme be the next big thing?!
Show the team some love in the commnets won’t ya?!
Oh and a spooky shoot needs a spooky video does it? The fabulous Frank of Sassy n Frank was there to capture exactly what went on that day. Click through to watch the full video…
Without wanting to start off this blog post by sounding inappropriate…How smokin’ hot does Gwen look her her Fairy Goth Mother corset and skirt combo? VERY is the answer to that. Have you seen her teeny tiny little waist!?
Anyway, enough perving…let’s get along with the formalities shall we?
Gwen & Ali wanted a unique and personal wedding, and to achieve this they chose to hire tents from Beautiful World Tents which they erected on the grounds of Knepp Castle in West Grinstead. “After looking online at lots of venues and land hire this place looked perfect,” Gwen told me. “This was actually the only venue we went to see and the decision was made! Woodland, a lake, less than an hour from Brighton where we live, full kitchen facilities and more importantly stunning! The other added benefit was free roaming animal, pigs, deer and much more besides. It was incredibly beautiful and also very reasonable on costs. We found the location through the tent company and added bonus this being their headquarters which meant no delivery costs to get the tents to the venue. On the land we had 2 giant hat tents joined together facing down to the lake. You hire the land and facilities for the whole weekend, really handy for set-up and take down.”
“Also essential to the day was we wanted a very special friend of ours to marry us. Being so important to us we asked our friend Steve to perform the ceremony. OK it wouldn’t be legal but having someone you love perform the ceremony has to be better than a stranger, the words were personal to us and spoke directly to us as people rather than the one size fits all traditional ceremony. So we decided to get married at Brighton registry office in the week and then throw a big party with our friends at the weekend. Having the wedding this way did mean we had 2 weddings to plan as we had to legally get married at the registry office. At first we were apprehensive that the registry office wedding would detract from the big day, but actually when it was all over to quickly we were delighted at the prospect of doing it all over again! It did mean 2 weddings, 2 dresses (which is no bad thing), 2 dinners etc! Double the work but 10 times the enjoyment.”
“Before we even thought about where or when to get married thought about food!” the bride continued. “Being massive foodies there was no other choice than a hog roast, this helped shape the plan for an outdoor wedding, somewhere beautiful in the countryside that was relaxed and inspiring.”
“I’m also personally not a fan of cake (I also appreciate that makes me a total freak in the eyes of the world!). Ice cream on the other hand is my favourite desert. So instead of a wedding cake we had an old fashioned ice cream bike with loads of tasty flavours and toppings. Desert was provided by a Sideshow Snacks, the beautifully decorated bike and decadent ice creams were the perfect way to end the meal.”
“We wanted something unique and special to us, something that really epitomised our characters and relationship,” Gwen concluded. “Not being traditional or religious we were really seeking a day that was truly of our making. Having not been to many weddings personally a lot of the normal wedding traditions have passed me by, which in a lovely way left the vision free of constraint. The plan was to create something quirky and original and totally unique to us. Most important of all was for it to be fun, stress free and a wonderful way to spend the day celebrating with friends and family.”
“We are both crafty, artistic and creative,” the pink haired bride told me. “We wanted a mix of romantic gothic, neo-Victorian, vintage and steampunk for our wedding. We really wanted to make it our own and original with still trying to keep a little tradition for our families. We decided we just wanted hints of each. That’s why we decided to DIY as much as we could.”
After an 11 year relationship, Jasmine & George were married in The Greenhouse at The Foundry, NY by groom’s cousin, John Russo. “We got our wedding rings from Gemvara,” Jasmine continued. “My ring has black and white diamonds and his had black diamonds added to it. The inscription says ‘True Love Waits’ after a Radiohead song because we waited 11 years before we got married.”
The reception was held in the main hall at The Foundry. “Our centerpieces were made by us,” the bride explained. “We collected wine bottle corks and dried out lots of red roses upside down on a laundry line at home at least 3 weeks before putting them all together. The tops of the apothecary jars had a black ribbon tied around with a different steampunk and vintage-themed trinkets attached.”
“The cake toppers were from blimpcat on etsy. They were wooden cameos of us that we used on our Save the Dates. All the paper goods were handmade by my maid of Honor including the programs, menus, table cards, our table banner and the wedding entrance sign. She also made the signs that the entire wedding party and parents held up for the photos. We got our wedding invitations made by Royal Steamline.”
The couple also made a huge effort with their outfits, DIYing and accessorising with vintage and steampunk details. “George and his groomsmen had time piece lapels were made by us using mini metal gears, chains, a mini key & a watch face. We had the florist attach the black calla lillies to the pieces we made.”
“The hats that my bridesmaids wore were made by us as well. We bought simple tear shaped hats and added black & red striped feathers, dark red birdcage tulle, time pieces and mini vintage keys. I made my veil/mask with white birdcage tulle and Swarovski crystals. The feather was from Claire’s Accessories that I just clipped on the side. For the reception, I changed my headpiece to a headband which I also made myself. I bought the sequin trimming and a brooch from etsy which I simply put together.”