Do you watch the BBC Three show Don’t Tell the Bride? When I was engaged I was pretty obsessed. Gareth and I would sit together to watch it every week and my favourite game was quizzing him over what he’d do if he had to plan our whole wedding himself.
Like many of you, I always wondered what everyone got up to behind the scenes – Did the bride really not have anything to do with it? (SURELY you’d be dropping hints like mad before you signed the contract?!) How much influence do the production crew have? And why do the boys always pick the wrong dress?!
This is not the first time I’ve featured a DTTB wedding. Mike and Becky’s wrestling wedding has graced these pages previously but by their own admission they didn’t really enjoy the process. However when I saw Lauren and Perry’s big day, and read that they really did enjoy doing it, I was keen to speak to them about it. Plus what could be more Rock n Roll than a gig themed wedding at one of the most iconic music venues in London!?
“We knew that we wanted to get married but that after having a baby and buying a flat there was never going to be a time when it was financially possible”, Perry began when I asked what made them want to go on the show. “Lauren was going to apply for The Great British Bake Off but saw the application for Don’t Tell The Bride and decided to do that instead. I didn’t think we had much chance of being picked but when she read me her entry email I started to get really nervous. It was GOOD!”
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.”
I’ve featured a few weddings at Asylum Arts in Peckham before, but I couldn’t resist sharing another with you today. Melissa and Yoni took that crumbling chapel and made it come alive with colour! They used the de-consecrated church as the venue for their ceremony and wedding breakfast, and moved to The Big Red Pizza Bus in Deptford for their after party.
“We moved to Mexico for a year to teach English ten days after the wedding so we tried to tie in travel and Mexico”, Melissa replied when I asked about their theme. “Our cake was Day of the Dead themed, the place names were glider planes, the orders of service were paper planes, and each table placename was a scene of a place we’ve travelled to so far. Yoni’s family also surprised us with a mariachi band performance during the speeches which was fantastic!”
Agnes and Liam’s Balham Bowls Club wedding was full of budget-friendly DIY details. “We did everything we could to not have a theme – if we liked something, we used it, regardless if it went with anything else or not!” the bride began. “We said from the outset that we wanted everything to be a joint decision, and Liam to be as involved as me in our choices.”
“We wanted our wedding to be an excuse to get all of our favourite people in the world together in the same room, without everyone feeling like they had to be on their best behaviour. We made an active decision to do things that we wanted to do, regardless of whether they were the done thing or not, so I walked down the aisle to the theme to Carry On Loving, and we walked out to the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark (making it seem suitably epic).”
Evelynne and Evan were married in Kings Cross St Pancras station. A weird place for a ceremony you might think, but it meant a lot to them as a couple. “With me being from Brazil and Evan being from America, travel is very much a recurring theme in our lives”, wrote Evelynne . “We decided to get married at St Pancras Station as it is just a stunning building and we wanted the place to speak for itself without too many props.”
“We decided to take on the traveller theme, Evan did train tickets for our invitations, a seating chart that looked like a departures and arrivals board and everything just fell into place — not to mention the huge image of a train on the back wall of 6 St Chad’s Place where we had our reception.”
Eleanor and Nick were married at Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho. Their wedding had an urban, city feel with DIY throughout. The bride wore a gorgeous Roland Mouret dress with Jimmy Choo shoes but they saved money by homemaking most of the décor themselves.
“Most of all we wanted to have a really fun and informal day so that everyone could really relax and enjoy themselves”, the bride began. “We spent a lot of time planning the personal touches – we tried to get photographs of as many of our guests as possible and arrange them around the venue so that they would be good conversation starters. We also themed the tables according to places that were significant for us, made our own table decorations and included a quiz and some games (in a box on each table). My mum and her partner made the jam pots that were on each of the ladies’ place settings and Nick’s dad scanned and printed all the photos for us.”