There’s nothing that evokes childlike wonder quite like mermaids. I don’t think there’s any girl who watched The Little Mermaid as a kid and afterwards didn’t wanted to be one… So when this shoot, although not strictly wedding inspired, landed in my inbox, I knew I wanted to share it with you. It’s pure fantasy but that doesn’t make it any less fabulous.
“I have a real love of fantasy shoots because you can completely let your imagination run free and bring your ideas to life”, wrote photographer Heline Bekker. “Gwenda, who played our mermaid, and I both work in the wedding industry and we do a lot of styled bridal shoots together. But we often talk about doing shoots just for us, something different, something not at all wedding-related, so we can spread our creative wings. Most of the time though, it just finds its way back to weddings…not this time though!”
I have something really beautiful and unusual for you today, I just know you’re going to love it! Kristin and Ky were hitched at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Florida. Their outdoor wedding was made as colourful as possible with the addition of paint… lots of paint!
The bride wore a full face of geisha-style face paint, her dress was splattered with it (which she did herself), they painted each other as part of the ceremony and they had an artist on hand to do their guests too!
“Our wedding theme was just paint!”, began the bride. “Ky was a face painter when we met and I have been a long-time artist. We both love ink and paint. All of my recent tattoos are to celebrate the love of paint. We made paint our theme because it brought us together. Since we got together, I have now started a face painting company myself! It continues to be a main theme in our life and keeps us connected to each other; we love making our life a life of art.”
Pink haired brides always have a special place in my heart (it’s not difficult to see why!) and so when wedding photographer Chris Barber submitted Cat and Craig’s October wedding I didn’t hesitate to say yes! The wedding took place on Sunday 20th and was held at New Hall Hotel and Spa in Birmingham.
“Our wedding theme was based around Alice in Wonderland”, explained Craig. “Our waiting music consisted of instrumental pieces by the films of Tim Burton and the guest tables were named after famous Alice in Wonderland characters. Each centrepiece was individual to each particular character from the book and items were sourced from vintage fares, car boot sales, charity shops, second hand shops and eBay.”
“We selected the iconic moments from Alice in Wonderland for the tables. For instance, the mad hatter table was themed around a tea party and the caterpillar table was themed around his hookah pipe.”
When I featured Ainsley and Sebastien’s engagement shoot in September I dubbed it “the coolest engagement shoot to date”. I was pretty sure that their wedding would be suitably kick ass too but nothing (and I mean nothing!) could have prepared me for this.
While I was hanging out with their wedding photographer Janneke Storm in Queensland, she started to tell me more about their upcoming elopement in Las Vegas. I made her promise then and there to send me the photos to blog afterwards. Luckily for me (and you!) she did.
Today my mind has been blown. What a way to start the year!
“Sebastien started making coffee at a local organic cafe that I go to a lot and it was love at first sight,” began Ainsley. “Then when he opened his mouth and I realised he was Canadian my love grew even stronger. Here was a guy on the Sunshine Coast that didn’t know anything about me. We live in a small place, or at least it was back then, and it was so refreshing to date someone I didn’t go to school with! We used the L word by the third date, moved in together after three weeks and five years later we got hitched.”
One of the questions I get asked over and over again is what would Gareth and I do differently if we were getting married today. Of course my answer is always “so much!”. Both of us have changed considerably over the last five and a half years and our styles and tastes couldn’t be more different to how they were back in 2008.
As many of you will have read last week, Lisa asked if we would model at the two year anniversary of her Photography Farm. During every workshop she organises a styled shoot for her students to practice what they’ve learnt, but more than just that, she always pushes herself and her team to come up with something creative that reflects the real-life couple who are modelling.
When we started chatting about the kind of shoot Gareth and I might have, we began by discussing the whole “how would you do your wedding differently?” question. And then Lisa had a brainwave. Photography workshops are supposed to be all about teaching aspiring wedding photographers how to book, shoot and process weddings, but they only ever give the students the chance to practice these things in an unnatural situation – i.e. a styled shoot. Sure, the couple might be real and the styling authentic, but getting the shot when you have two hours to work with the couple is a totally different beast to needing to nail it first time and getting creative within your ten minute allocated time-slot for couple portraits.
Danny and Victoria didn’t have a grand plan or theme in mind for their wedding. They started with the colours red and purple and then simply picked things they liked – luckily it all came together brilliantly. The bride even dyed her hair purple to match!
“I had always said that I would have a purple wedding dress and right up until I walked down the aisle Danny still thought it was going to be purple”, Victoria began. “However I couldn’t find a purple dress that wasn’t tacky so I ended up with a white one. Although I loved my dress I wanted to add a non-traditional spin so I wore a skull tiara, bracelet, earrings and necklace from Mikey.”
“I also bought studded shoes for me and the bridesmaids too. Danny thought I was mad but I wanted to show something of my personality and I was really pleased with how it all looked together. I knew what I wanted as the bridesmaids dresses but couldn’t find anything suitably unusual anywhere. In the end I bought a 1950s Vogue pattern from eBay and had the dresses handmade. Everybody thought I was mad choosing red and purple as a colour theme too but it really worked. We also had a casino at the evening reception which was really fun.”