Chloe and Hamish were married in London in April. They wanted their wedding to be fun, silly and totally non-traditional. They were thrilled at how everything went down, starting with their ceremony at Hackney Town Hall. “Hamish is obviously not Hamish’s given name, and it hasn’t been legally changed”, began Chloe. “The registrar was happy to refer to her as Hamish throughout the ceremony, but had to use the given name once. I won’t say what it is, but it doesn’t suit her at all and it always makes me laugh. I thought I’d probably have to suppress a grin, but when the moment came I absolutely collapsed in fits of laughter and couldn’t compose myself, which set all the guests off too. I think that set the tone for the entire day!”
“We wrote personal vows, which included me promising to shoot Hamish in the head in the event of a zombie apocalypse, and ended with us both vowing to ‘love, honour, and annoy’. We didn’t have best people or bridesmaids, but we had a flower boy and three friends who acted as sort-of bridesmaids and sort-of ushers, who sort-of colour co-ordinated with us in shades of pink and grey.”
The couple wanted a DIY and laid back wedding but they spent a lot to make sure Hamish looked good! “Hamish’s outfit cost 1/8th of the budget!” Chloe laughed. “It’s very difficult to find appropriate wedding attire for the butch woman or masculine-identified, female-bodied person, particularly if that person is not into traditional men’s suits. A kilt suit was perfect and having it bespoke meant we could get something that was exactly right. It was worth it for Hamish to feel as fantastic as I did, and as fantastic as anyone should hope to on their wedding day. However I got my All Saints dress on eBay for £180!”
It’s no secret that I have a ‘thing’ for ridiculous headwear, and my obsession with ears in particular is completely unfaltering! So I was thrilled when I saw this cute ‘bunny love’ photo shoot by South London based wedding photographer Ellie Gillard. This world needs more brides wearing ears that’s what I say. Why not be brave and do something quirky like this for your wedding day portraits… go on, I dare ya!
“I’ve wanted to pull together some form of styled shoot for a while”, wrote Ellie, ” something to showcase my work and something that had a different angle to the weddings I shoot. I wanted to shoot something where I could create my own story. I was also keen that, rather than just being a showcase for lots of lovely things, that there should be some kind of tangible emotion in the photos, so that real couples planning their wedding could see something in it.”
When wedding photographer Emily Johnson ran a trash the dress competition on Rock n Roll Bride, she hoped she might find some cool babes to shoot. And, oh boy, did she! One of the first winners was Ruth Power, a musician from New Zealand. Ruth wanted a shoot that reflected her love of music, showcased her personal style and took place in and around Brick Lane, London, which she now calls home.
“Ruth lives with her husband Kane in London and plays in their band Death In Texas“, explained Emily. “When Ruth entered the competition she said she would love to save her wedding dress from the far reaches of Narina (AKA the back of her closet!) and swap the great teetering heels she wore on her wedding day for her chucks. Her vision was to be photographed browsing through a record store and busking on Brick Lane, wearing her Halston Heritage wedding dress.”
I always get really excited to feature a super-budget wedding because I love to show you that, with a bit of clever engineering, a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to cost £20,000. Ruth & Steve spent just £700 on their day and it was perfect. They also planned the entire thing in just two months – sheesh, why can’t we all be such overachievers?!
This thrifty couple were very clever with how they spent the money that they did have to spend. Firstly the opted for an East London pub for the reception venue. Without extortionate rental rates, The Water Poet in Spitalfields was just the ticket. “The wedding took about two months to organise”, the bride began. “We booked the reception first, as I thought that would be the trickiest part of the operation. Then we booked our ceremony at Islington Town Hall and gave our Notice of Intent to Marry about four weeks before the ceremony.”
“Choosing a reception venue was probably the most challenging part of the wedding! I wasn’t too particular, but knew that I didn’t have the budget to hire a private venue. I started searching around for pubs with free room hire – most places could only reserve a couple tables at most. As the ceremony took place on a Friday, I knew most pubs would be rammed, which would have been too much for our parents to handle! We decided on holding the reception at The Water Poet in Spitalfields. It wasn’t too far from Islington Town Hall and they had a private room where we could set up the food, cake and decorations. My hens and I handmade all the paper flowers on the tables from a fab tutorial that I found on Rock n Roll Bride! The best thing about the room was its own sound-system – we plugged in our iPhone with our wedding playlist and just let it run all night!”
Ruth wore a dress from Topshop, and her shoes, also Topshop were an eBay bargain at just £10. Her headpiece was, amazingly, from Primark and her jewellery was a gift from Steve’s sister. The cake and flowers were both DIY efforts from helpful friends and family, the venue provided a buffet spread and they forgoed a DJ for a Spotify playlist.
I was more nervous than usual for The Blogcademy‘s London leg. Not only did we have two sold out classes to do (oh the added pressure!) but being on my own turf I really felt like it was little old me that had to make sure it delivered – like if it wasn’t as awesome as the New York event it would all be my fault. Oh and the weather decided to go all kinds of cray cray two days beforehand too. That’s always fun.
But I need not have worried. With my fellow headmistresses by my side and 60 eager bloggers waiting in the wings we had the best time ever! The English, Irish, Scottish & Welsh contingent all turned out in force and, yet again, we had many an international babe flying in especially for the occasion. Vienna, Estonia, Sweden, Canada and New York were all represented and they were eager to laugh and learn with us all weekend!
I could bang on and on about how amazing the two workshops were for an age, but honestly, our graduates did it so much better than I ever could. So instead, I’m handing the reigns over to them…
“Well I have to say that it was officially the greatest weekend I’ve ever experienced! I have never in all my days, felt so inspired or excited in my life. My head is jam packed with ideas, my notebook is full and my head is now covered in sparkly bows and bunny-ears”. Emma Rose Black
“Something inside has clicked. I’ve done B-School, I’ve read numerous books & listened to countless voices, but the bringing together of like minded souls is something really special. So for now I just wanted to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the time, energy & love you put into The Blogcademy. It truly feels like a gift that will keep on giving and one that will enable me to grow and pass on the gifts I have for the benefit of others.” Jayne Rusby
Red flowing locks, a faux fur coat, deep red flowers in her hair… as soon as I spied the beautiful Lauren on photographer Emma Case’s blog I knew she was definitely a Rock n Roll bride. And then I saw the entire wedding and I literally couldn’t wait to get it up on these pages – as soon as possible!
Lee & Lauren were married in November at Stoke Newington Town Hall. They has their reception at The Artisan of Clerkenwell, a pub/restaurant in North East London. They did things their own way. They picked a non-traditional venue, they homemade as much as possible and only invited people that they really wanted to be there. This wedding was every bit the modern fairytale.
“Our inspiration just came naturally from the things we like; granny vintage, proper food, indie/rock n roll music, London, cameras, beer and above all a good ol’ knees up with our friends and family”, began the bride. “We didn’t set out to do anything ‘different’ really, but by knowing ourselves and what we really like, we knew that we wouldn’t shy away from things that might be considered a bit different either. We just wanted to do things that we thought would make for a really good day for everyone. The atmosphere was the most important thing – we wanted people to drink lots, dance like mad and have a great time. We didn’t invite children partly because of the venue, but mainly because we wanted everyone to let their hair down. This decision possibly caused a few ripples but we both believe it was the right one.”