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.”
Tina and Dave were married at The Grand Pier, Weston Super Mare. Their wedding was a colourful mix of all the things they love. “Tina and I met in the summer of 2010 on a booze cruise organised by our workplace”, wrote Dave. “She arrived with her pink hair in curls wearing a 50s polka dot dress, tattoo print shoes and red lipstick. I fell in love that night.”
“We called our wedding ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats’ and the theme was Rock n Roll meets the seaside”, Tina continued. “I’m a great fan of music of the 50s and when I met Dave I was surprised that he knew all of the songs as well. Dave was brought up by parents who love Rock n Roll and grew up in this era. After we watched the stage show Dreamboats and Petticoats we agreed that if we ever got married we’d love to have this as the theme for our wedding. After Dave proposed in 2012, we couldn’t wait to start planning our themed wedding.”
“Not sure how we were going to make it work we began looking for venues that would bring our theme to life and after we’d taken our first look around the Grand Pier we knew it was the one We wanted to be as true to our theme as possible, and as we both like to be different we didn’t mind if this meant sacrificing a few wedding traditions I used the Pier train to take the bridal party and myself down the length of the Pier, which was so much fun as members of the public waved and took photographs. The bridesmaids wore cotton candy striped dresses and Dave designed his 50s inspired suit online.”
It’s no big secret that I’m obsessed with pink hair (duh!) but it’s unusual that the object of my affection is the groom and not the bride. It goes without saying that this bride looks incredible, but God damn, her groom looks awesome too! Cyn and Stan were married in Los Angeles. Their ceremony was at Club Nokia, on the stage (the first ever wedding there) and the reception was held at the incredible Sunset Marquis hotel.
“Our wedding was inspired by Hedwig and the Angry Inch by way of the Princess Bride!” explained Cyn. “We were the first couple ever to get married on the stage of Club Nokia. We kept looking at various wedding venues and nothing clicked or felt like ‘us’. We are both very much into music and then Stan got this crazy idea about getting married on the stage of a cool music venue. Throughout our life together we’ve enjoyed many Rock n Roll shows around the world so it seemed fitting that our wedding should be a Rock n Roll themed wedding. It sounded interesting but we didn’t know if it would be doable. Through Stan’s music connections we were able to make it happen.Things fell into place as one favor lead to another and Club Nokia consented to letting us get married on their stage. We had to plan the wedding quickly to fit into their schedule so we ended up organising everything in less than 2 months!”
Last October I was honoured to be asked to act as a judge for the bridalNEXT! awards which were taking place as part of A Most Curious Wedding Fair. Alongside fellow judges Peta Hunt, fashion editor of You & Your Wedding Magazine, Rachel Atwell, owner of swanky London wedding boutique Luella’s Boudoir, and Hazel Holtham of vintage store & blog Rag and Bow we selected Veronica Dearly as our overall winner, and the one to watch for 2013.
As part of the prize Veronica and the three runners up were invited to take part in an editorial fashion shoot. Now I don’t know about you, but if this is the caliber of bridal talent coming out in 2013, it’s going to be a very exciting year indeed.
“We were so thrilled that Veronica was named the winner by our judges last year”, writes Rebecca, the genius behind the show and awards. “In her we feel we have found a graphic designer and stationer kindred spirit as her work stands apart from the vintage crowd and is influenced by everyday lifestyle trends and pop culture, not necessarily just weddings.”
“This is a very special photo shoot to promote bridalNEXT! put together by Gemma Goodwin or Gemma Most Curious as we call her. Gemma is always a huge creative force in the team and steers the visual side of our brand amazingly- but this is her first shoot as art director and as you can see, I better watch my back.”