January can be a slower month for those of us that work in the wedding industry. Less people get married in winter and so for many industry professionals this is the time when they can stretch their legs and do some experimenting. This is exactly what my friend Lisa Devlin wanted to do when she started to plan this gothic wedding shoot.
“I feel that as a photographer it is important to step back from your busy working photography life and just shoot for fun every now and then”, she wrote. “It did take me the best part of a year to make time for this but in the meantime, I had started a Pinterest board called ‘Shits and Giggles’ of images that I found inspiration but not necessarily wedding related.”
“I have collaborated with Laura Kate O’Rourke before in her role as a stylist but she is also a musician and I find her look fascinating. So we agreed to just pull together a few outfits, head to a location and see what we came up with.”
Mark and Clare were married at The Jacob Henry Mansion in Joliet, Illinois. With a church on-site it was not only the perfect backdrop for their Victorian vintage wedding, but somewhere they could have both their ceremony and reception. They loved their venue and styled the whole wedding around it’s gothic elements.
“We got the idea for theme of the wedding, Victorian Vintage, from my engagement ring”, began Clare. “My ring is a very art deco in style with the diamond sitting deep in the setting, and very unique filigree designed metalwork. We love the antique look of the ring and decided to find the attire, venue, stationery, and other decorations that would go with the theme. Antiques and antique-looking things are so classic that they will never go out of style, and we were hoping to find a theme that we could look back on in 30 years and still fawn over our choices.”
Peacocks were the inspiration for Steph and Jo’s army barracks wedding. Their favourite colours are green and purple so it worked out perfectly! They used peacock feathers throughout their wedding – on the cupcakes, as the centrepieces and as motifs on the stationery.
“We cut out quite a lot of traditions that we didn’t feel were necessary, and we wanted to keep it all as informal as possible”, Steph began. “There were no big speeches, no seating plan, no first dance, no bridesmaids and no real formalities other than the ceremony itself. Our reading was ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton and we walked down the aisle together to ‘Zelda’s Theme’ from the Nintendo game ‘Skyward Sword’. Instead of having one big cake, we had some GORGEOUS cupcakes that a friend of Jo’s baked for us as our wedding present.”
“Our DIY efforts included me trimming my top hat with feathers, making my own veil, all the buttonholes and the card box. I wired up and assembled all of the jewellery to make my bouquet too. The centrepieces for the evening venue were homemade, and the ‘prototype’ was made by me, but the credit for that goes to Jo’s sister, brother-in-law and best friend as they put them all together. Jo’s brother-in-law also made the backdrop for the dance floor out of fabric and fairylights on a wooden frame, and decorated the entrance with balloons, ribbon and more twinkly lights as an amazing surprise. I cried when I saw it all, it was so beautiful.”
It’s not often that I feature styled wedding shoots these days, quite simply because I have so many incredible real weddings to share with you! However when photographer Gary of Marshal Gray sent over this ‘three brides’ editorial that he shot at Belt Craft Studios, I had to bend my rule. I love the style of this session, especially how odd and slightly creepy it all is. This is certainly not something I see very often in wedding photography.
“As a photographer who primarily shoots weddings, it’s important to me that I mix it up and challenge myself as often as possible”, wrote Gary. “This concept shoot was undertaken with three of my real brides. Michelle Oakley, Laura Tannenbaum and Sam Earp.”
OK so it might seem like an odd place to find inspiration for your wedding, but Stanley Kubrick’s more than a little weird movie does have some killer style ideas. If you skip over the orgies and secret society-weirdness, the mask ball scenes were pretty darn beautiful.
“Maureen and Patrick got married in Renvylle House in Ireland on 14th June this year”, wrote photographer Julia from Wonderfulife Productions. “They both share a love for video games and Stanley Kubrick films. When they got married they didn’t hire a professional photographer and so I was very excited to get involved afterwards as their style was so unique! Their wedding hinted an ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ movie theme, where all the guests were told to wear black and white and given black and white masks at the reception as a token. For our post-wedding shoot, we basically re-created the look from the wedding and went to the same location, but with the added benefit of less stress and time pressure.”
Oh I do love when I get to blog both the engagement shoot and wedding of such an awesome couple. I actually don’t post too many of the former, but Jesse and Chris’s cemetery session really stood out so I just had to! I made their photographers, Sarah and Rachel of Sugar and Spice Weddings, promise that she’d send me their wedding pictures after it happened too, and I’m thrilled to share them with you all today. You’ll see why…
The wedding was held at their own home. They didn’t have a set theme, only that they wanted it to be very ‘them.’ Their colours were black, pink and purple. “Our wedding was very intimate and small”, explained Jesse. “All of our guests all have a very close relationship to us so it was very emotional and happy. We never felt so much happiness and love. The fact that it was at our home made it so intimate and everyone we loved was together at the same time to share and celebrate our love for each other.”