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.”
Well that’s something you don’t read often is it?! And what a travesty because Luke & Wout’s wedding is one of the coolest I’ve seen in a long time. Talk about doing things their own way, stuffing tradition and bucking all the wedding expectations. These seriously awesome dudes were adamant that their wedding would reflect them… and it does – in spades!
The wedding took place at their own home in Melbourne, Australia. “We first met through the internet when Luke was still living in Australia and Wout in Holland”, they began. “We then met in person by chance at the Christmas Market in Brussels in 2003.”
“Given our attractions to bears, bikes (and bikers), gothic and dark electronic music and celtic/viking mythology, we brought a lot of those elements to the day. We didn’t really have a theme, it was just an evolution of ideas based on things we like. To us it was all very normal, but it’s a matter of perspective. Most of our friends, particularly the straight ones, found it unlike any wedding they had been to before. But all of them loved it so it cannot have been too out-there!”
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…”
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.”