It’s not everyday you see an insect themed wedding, so needless to say I was both grossed out and super excited (in equal measure!) when Tessa and Matthew’s wedding landed in my inbox. The bride is an artist, known for her work consisting of insect carcasses, plant roots and other found materials. So, clearly, her wedding was never going to be ‘normal’. Even the wedding cake had sugared caterpillars and insets crawling all over it and one guest even showed up with real ants and beetles stuck to his bald head!
“Our wedding theme was entomological – inspired by insects!”, explained Tessa. “It probably seems a bit weird to have an insect inspired wedding, but it seemed fairly normal to Matt and I. I don’t think anyone was particularly surprised. I’ve been using insects in my sculptures for many years and am pretty obsessed with them… this has rubbed off on Matt who has learned to love (i.e. tolerate) my collections of dead things too. I always thought I’d get married dressed as a wasp (my favourite insect), and Matt already has a pretty convincing fly costume but when it came to it I wanted to look like a bride, not a giant wasp.”
They met in Manchester in 2001 while they were both at University. He asked her to join his band even though he didn’t have one yet. At their Islington wedding, 12 years later, many of the friends they made during this time were there as witnesses. “We considered many themes briefly but decided in the end just to try to make the day as relaxed and informal as we could while still making it feel like a special event”, explained the bride. “We just wanted to get everyone together for some good food, wine and dancing and worked the rest around that. We did sneak a few sci-fi and superhero references in though!”
Katy wore a Jane Bourvis dress with shoes from Topshop that she’s had since she was 16! In her hair she wore a homemade wreath of gypsophila from Dave’s mum’s garden. The day started with a ceremony at Islington Town hall, continued with a pub lunch at The Duke of Cambridge and concluded with an after party at the Candid Arts Centre.
Cassandra and Howard were married at The Roost in Dalston, London, a photographic studio and shooting location. Because it wasn’t a traditional wedding venue it meant their whole day was really chilled out and non-traditional, but also that they could completely plan it the way they wanted. “We’d had a really small and intimate wedding ceremony in Cornwall with just our immediate families so we wanted to throw a vintage wedding tea party for friends and relatives here in London”, began the bride.
“The Roost was an amazing find. It’s a former Victorian pub in deepest, darkest Dalston converted into a four floor photographic and film shoot location. My heart skipped a beat the first time we viewed it. It was perfect. I just loved the eclectic vintage vibe and ‘out there’ style of the place. From the gorgeous House Of Hackney wallpapers, to the giant props, old film posters and quirky paintings on the wall. We were just blown away.”
The majority of this wedding was DIY. The bride homemade all the cakes, bought flowers from Columbia Road Flower Market and designed and screen printed the invitations herself. “Well, it wouldn’t be a tea party without cake would it?” Cassandra laughed. “I do a bit of part time baking at Lily Vanilli’s East London bakery, and was determined to do all my own cakes – I’m always up for a challenge (although everyone thought I was mad). For the cake table I made a mixed berry vanilla sponge cake, devil’s good cake, cherry bakewells, moustache cookies, mini chocolate Guinness bundt cakes, marmalade loaf cakes, brownies, rocky road squares, scones and a cupcake tower with cupcakes bejeweled with pomegranate seeds and edible crystalised flowers.”
When Wendy and Alex started looking for a venue for their July wedding, they were stuck. They wanted somewhere quirky and creative but also somewhere that didn’t break the bank. Luckily they stumbled across Asylum Arts in London, a disused chapel that is now hired out for weddings and events. The space has a crumbling almost derelict vibe which they loved. The dramatic backdrop meant they didn’t need to decorate much, so they just added candles, tea lights and simple flower arrangements around the room.
“We wanted to do something that signified the city we love, our home, London”, Wendy began. “We wanted urban, relaxed, but chic, with something people could take away in a visual way, that wasn’t too ‘try hard’. As a creative mind, I had a real vision from the beginning about how I wanted the day to look, and more importantly; feel. Both for us and our guests. We didn’t want stuffy, formal or sombre… We wanted people to smile and be put at ease. Its this reason I chose to have the bridesmaids clap along in time to the piano piece my musician friend played me down the aisle to; ‘Dog Days Are Over’ by Florence and The Machine, I didn’t want to walk down the aisle in a silent, stiff, uncomfortable way with everyone gawking at me with an odd atmosphere! So we lightened the mood with some hand clapping!”
This shoot is certainly going to appeal to all you Whovians out there. Come on then, tell me, who’s having Dr Who influences in their wedding? “Ever since I became a fan of Doctor Who I’d wanted to do a styled shoot and combine it with one of my other favourite things in life: weddings, of course!” explained photographer Kat Forsyth. “I’d seen a couple of Who-themed shoots around, but I always felt that none of them got it quite right; they were either really pretty, floral and sparkly, or a little too much like a cheesy costume party. I was sure that by assembling a hand-picked team of Doctor Who geeks (read: experts), we could come up with a shoot that not only captured the quirky and fun aspect of the show, but also the atmosphere.”
“There was one important aspect we had to get right”, she continued,” and that was was the venue. Because Doctor Who travels so much through time periods, I wanted somewhere that looked timeless, so that it could appear to be anything from an old Victorian building to a futuristic space in New New London. The Tobacco Dock in East London proved to be perfect for our needs, with its concrete walls, brick archways, and glass ceilings.”
Be sure to check out the fun video too. It documents the story the suppliers come up with for the shoot!
Lorna and Nigel described their May wedding as “like your Nan’s 1940s wedding, where family and guests all lent the couple their best china and vases and donated homemade cakes” and I think that couldn’t be more perfect! The wedding was held at St Peter & St Paul’s Church and Orford House Social Club and was full of fun and quirky 1940s and 50s details.
“I could not see us having a traditional wedding in a hotel or posh country house”, explained Lorna “the thought of that scared me actually! We wanted something that was relaxed and based around a live band. We love swing and Lindy Hop dancing and the more we got into the dancing, the more important the music and the dancing became I also wanted somewhere I could do my own décor and not be dictated to, so we had to find a venue that would allow us to do that. We go dancing at Orford House regularly so it was the ideal place for us!”