Throwing out as many wedding traditions as they could, Dano & Holly planned their wedding with one golden rule – to have nothing cookie cutter. “I have strong aversions to anything cookie cutter, so we threw out a lot of wedding traditions,” the bride began. “We wanted our wedding to be a party that we would never forget. Our theme was something along the lines of ‘vintage, woodsy & DIY’. I wore green. We cut the pie (no cake) with a machete. Our friends built the biggest bonfire that any of us had ever seen and we danced in the rain under the stars.”
“We got engaged about a week after I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. I knew that Dano had the ring, but he was dragging his feet because he was nervous about asking my dad. I finally put my foot down. I was recovering from the surgery to remove the tumor, and I told him that I wanted the ring on my finger before my staples came out!! Needless to say, we were officially engaged a few days later. Having a wedding to plan and dream about made chemotherapy a little bit more tolerable!”
“My favourite part of our wedding was the ceremony”, she continued. “We took a lot of wording from the handfasting ceremony, and I was a blubbering mess through most of it. Dano’s brother Jeffrey (the officiant) was probably more nervous than either of us. At the very end, Jeffrey closed his book (which was actually a dictionary that we picked up at a thrift store the day before!) and he said, ‘I now introduce to you… MRS. and MRS. Nylund!’ We were all in stitches…and we’ll never forget that moment!”
Paul proposed to Angela on an idyllic deserted beach in Galicia, Spain. This set the tone for their wedding day. Firstly a map of Galicia became the backdrop of their seating plan. They also had a polaroid theme with the table names, place names, cake toppers and invitations. They used images of their favourite places in Galician on the polaroids including palaces, fortresses and monasteries, and used them throughout the wedding.
“We didn’t set out with the intention that we wanted perfection but we certainly felt that our wedding day was perfect in every way”, began Angela. “And our pictures have perfectly captured the REAL soul, emotions and reactions of the day. In each picture, we can clearly sense the nervousness, excitement or sheer happiness. And not mentioning our photographer Lisa Jane‘s eye and talent for spotting and taking those quirky pics that really capture the mood and essence of everything else. Paul and I are so incredibly grateful and lucky that Lisa was available to capture our special day. We now have a treasure trove of pictures that we will absolutely cherish forever.”
I’ve had my Instax camera for a few years, but recently I’ve fallen head over heels in love with it again! From Omaha to LA and from Vegas to New York, my trusty Instax has traveled with me to document my friends and frolics along the way.
Will & Keri’s Richmond, VA wedding was simple but effortlessly cool. The ceremony was held at Maymont Park, with the reception that followed at The Boathouse Restaurant at Rocketts Landing. “We really didn’t want to over do it on the decorations since both venues we’re so beautiful on their own,” Keri told me. “We found a lot of things on Etsy, and the rest we made ourselves. The heart on the tree at our ceremony was a grey chalkboard heart purchased from Urban Outfitters, we painted our initials on it with white paint and tied it to the tree with rope.”
“After the ceremony we took it around the city taking pictures at our favorite spots in Richmond. We decided for the ceremony to just add small bundles of dried lavender to the chairs, it was really beautiful and simple. We also had a little table set up with hot apple cider for the guests after the I Do’s.”
“I always envisioned our wedding to be more of a casual gathering of the people we loved rather than a formal meeting where people watched us exchange vows,” she continued. “I wanted our guests to feel comfortable and welcome to stay as long as they liked especially since we had so many guests from out of town. At the Boathouse, since it’s such a modern venue we wanted to keep the decorations simple and just let the architecture speak for itself.”
“Our florist, Alexis at The Green Flamingo was absolutely amazing, when we told her where we were getting married and how we just wanted to complement the venues with simple yet elegant floral arrangements she knew exactly what would work. It was like she was inside my brain and could see everything I was imagining. We just kept it simple with white linens and mason jars filled with all different kinds of wild flowers, it really helped pull the two venues together. And we found these awesome chalkboard labels at michaels for $1, we painted on table number and tied them to the mason jars with ribbon.”
Keri wore a beautiful Jenny Yoo gown with antique jewellery. Her simple ensemble made her feel comfortable and like ‘herself’ which was another thing that both she and Will wanted to make sure was prevalent throughout their wedding. They explain, “When trying to decide what we wanted our wedding to be like we had two very different ideas. Keri wanted a simple kitchy outdoor wedding while Will wanted an modern indoor wedding. So we decided to morph both ideas together and made it so prefect, it really felt like we were being true to ourselves and our own personal styles.”
“Maymont was an easy choice for the ceremony, it has always been one of our favorite parks in Richmond and is super close to our house. Normally Maymont holds their wedding ceremonies at specifically built spots throughout the park, but we really loved this tree that stands isolated in the middle of a field. It’s so gnarly and unique it just fit us perfectly.”
“The Boathouse was a really perfect find. It’s located in a newly built up area downtown right along the river that runs through Richmond and had the most amazing view of the city. It was an old factory converted into a 3 level restaurant, it’s super modern but with an old Richmond flair with exposed brick and an old smoke stack kept as a significant part of its architecture. The building itself is so beautiful we didn’t want to really over do it on the decorations.”
“One of the best things we took away from our wedding is that you should always stay true to who you are, don’t let anyone try and convince you to do something you don’t want to,” the couple concluded. “Who cares about etiquette? Weddings are all about starting your lives together, having fun and celebrating with the people you love most!”
Being a child during the 90’s (yep I rocked a shell suit and everything) I have an instant affinity to this styled shoot put together by photographer Chelsea Nicole and stylist Brit Bertino. However I’m pleased to report that there’s not a troll doll in sight…
Brit explains, “I’ve noticed recently that a lot of couples want something different from the latest trends of garden, rustic, and or vintage themes. They want something that reminded them of their teen years when everything was carefree, fun and memorable.”
“I wanted to design something where I could envision a bunch of childhood friends playing out on the streets with their friends after school – either hitting the basketball courts, dancing in the streets to their boom boxes or playing Nintendo. I decided to design this shoot off of an early 90’s urban era that would bring back the soul in street hip hop, urban beats and just plain being a cheery kid again!”
I honestly don’t know where to begin describing Emma & Pete’s wedding to you all. From the reaction to just the sneak peek post (epic) that I put up last week, I know pretty much the whole of blog-land has been eagerly awaiting to see this wedding too and so I’m pretty flipping honoured that not only was I invited (and let into the secret that it was a surprise wedding!) but that Emma & Pete have allowed me to share it with you all. I have the best job in the world.
So, in January I got a call from my friend Emma Case. Emma & Pete have been engaged for like…forever…since before we even met in fact, but still hadn’t made any plans for actually getting married. I guess that with Emma being a ridiculously busy and successful wedding photographer, all their weekends were always booked up with other people’s weddings! Also, the fact that Emma has quickly become so well known for shooting the raddest Rock n Roll weddings out there, the couple said they almost felt a bit of pressure to make sure their wedding was as ‘cool’ as the weddings they shot…as well as being different. No pressure then!
Anyway as I was saying, Emma called me at the beginning of the year to discuss her 30th birthday plans. She was having a big party on the 19th March and I had had had to be there. “Of course I’m there, I wouldn’t miss it for anything!” I replied. “Good,” Emma said, “cos me and Pete are gonna get MARRIED…and it’s gonna be a SURPRISE!”
Oh. my. God…
“Me and Pete had been happily engaged for about 3 years…” Emma told me this week, “but any time we talked about getting married we ended up arguing… we knew that we wanted something that reflected us but we’d start talking about who to invite, table plans etc and we were quickly getting fed up… the question ‘Why are we doing it if it’s such hard work?’ usually stopped any further discussion. Also we were shooting amazing and creative weddings pretty much every week so all of our concentration was on other people’s days… which was great but it meant that it was quite hard deciding on how ‘we’ wanted to do it… and without copying all of my couples who have flippin’ fantastic weddings!”
“In January a good friend of ours Anthony came round and we chatted about my 30th birthday party… Anthony joked that we could get married in the afternoon and have a party on the night… we all joked about it even mentioning a 50’s prom theme based on the ‘Enchantment Under the Sea Dance’ from Back to the Future and then when Anthony left we started to talk about it seriously and we weren’t arguing! But we wanted it to be a surprise. We get asked when we’re getting married a lot and people would then say how amazing it’s gonna be (because of all the gorgeous weddings we luckily get to shoot) so I started to feel a bit of pressure. I also didn’t want to be going on about ‘our’ wedding all the time… I kind of just wanted to get on with it without the fuss… a little bit like being behind the camera I suppose…”
Emma & Pete are one of those enviably and naturally awesome couples and I have to say I wouldn’t have expected anything less from them. Emma’s ‘birthday party’ was a 50’s ‘enchantment under the sea dance’ prom theme and guests were ask to come in their vintage finest…which we all did of course. Both Emma & I wore dresses from our favourite vintage dress shop, Fur Coat No Knickers (Em also wore a blue prom dress to keep the fact that it was a wedding secret, which she found at The Wedding Club in Birmingham.)
Halfway through the evening Emma disappeared and went to get changed into her wedding dress. Their friend Joe stood on the stage and asked us all to split onto either side of the room (making an ‘aisle.’) He then informed the confused crowd that we had all been brought to the party under false pretences. ‘Hide & Seek’ by Imogen Heap kicked in. Pete stepped on stage and 3 girls carrying bouquets walked down the aisle followed by a very nervous but excited looking Emma with her dad.
It was an incredible moment.
People were whooping and cheering and in front of me I could hear a gaggle of girls screaming “NO WAAAAY!” Our friend Chris turned to me and mouthed “OI! Did you know?!” and finally I was allowed to share that I’d been in on the secret the whole time!
Once the cheering had died down Joe informed us all that Emma & Pete had gone to the registry office earlier in the day and got hitched, followed by a canal boat lunch/reception with their family. They now wanted to say their vows, which they wrote themselves, in front of all of us. The short ceremony was beautiful.
All my friends around me cried.
The couple danced to ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe & The Magic Zeros and we all joined in. I ran to hug the couple as soon as I could (and Pete squeezed me so hard that one of my straps broke on my dress…he was THAT excited!) We danced like loons and I spent waaay too much time in the photo booth.
At 11pm taxis came to pick us up and the hardcore partiers headed to a nightclub in the city centre where we drank until 3am and sang karaoke (badly…) The night was rounded off by 6 off us in a curry house at 4am…I’m not sure who’s brilliant idea that was but it was kind of the perfect way to end a totally Rock n Roll night.
(More photo booth photos after the ‘jump’ – in the gallery. If you have the opportunity to do a photo booth at your own wedding that do it! It was HILARIOUS!)
Emma & Pete wanted to do their wedding their way. They didn’t want the ‘industry pressure’ of having the coolest or most out there wedding (yes there can be pressure even if you don’t want a traditional wedding!) Yet in getting married in the way they did, they inadvertently organised the coolest wedding of them all.
To Emma & Pete – seriously guys, words can’t express how happy I am for you. You are perfect for each other and I love you so bloody much.
Be sure to watch this short 16mm film by Cine8 too (with sound). I’ve already watched it about 5 times. I love our happy dance at the end!