I think a lot of you will know Sassy already. She is an amazing wedding photographer and I’m really lucky because I get to share her incredible weddings all the time. A few years ago she also wrote an article for me about her own wedding photography experience which went kinda viral (read: it was one of my most popular articles of all time!)
So, when she told me that she and her gorgeous husband, Ian, were renewing their vows in Thailand I was really, really excited. Excited for them because they’d finally have the epic photographs they deserved, but extra excited for me and you because I knew she’d let me blog it!
Not only are these photos (by Emma Lucy and Neil Douglas), and the accompanying video (Chris Koch), some of the most incredible I’ve seen in a long time, but the love, emotion and THAT RAINBOW DRESS by The Couture Company (who else?) have completely blown me away!
“I’m not going to dwell on the reason we first considered a vow renewal on our 5th wedding anniversary”, began Sassy. “Yes, people did raise an eyebrow as if to say ‘It’s only 5 years!!’ but hell, you know what, why shouldn’t we celebrate every year!?”
“We decide to renew our vows at the one place we both love equally. Ian and I are quite different people (as chalk and cheese!) and don’t often have the same opinions on anything, so when we both totally fell for Chieow Laan lake and Koh Sok national park I knew this was the perfect place for the renewal… after all it’s paradise! It’s hard to explain how this place gets in to your soul but when I haven’t been in a while I start feeling homesick. Its special and magical!”
Sam and Stu met at college and bonded over a mutual love of video games, “primarily how to get the knights of the round summon in Final Fantasy 7!” Sam laughed. So needless to say, when it came to tying the knot, the very thing that brought them together was to be the theme of the wedding. ” We’re game geeks to the core! We wanted sleek quirky bright design with our gaming interest being the centre of it. We play tabletop RPG’s, board games and regular old video games.”
The day was held at aBode Chester, the modern setting was perfect for their day. “When you first delve into ‘wedding planning world’ its overwhelming”, she said. “All the old photos of your parents, the old traditions that have formed your opinion of weddings are shattered, especially when you find out about Pinterest (which is a blessing and curse). We didn’t want a ‘safe’ wedding. Plain white dress, veil, only roses bouquet with diamanté etc. It just wasn’t us. We had a few traditional elements to appease my new husband’s silver spoon needs (except chair covers! I won the battle on that one!) but everything else was free game to our artistic license.”
Amanda and Briar were married at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. Their ceremony was in the local chapel and their reception at a nearby barn. Their whole wedding was bright and colourful! From their flowers to the bridesmaid’s dresses (all from David’s Bridal) and shoes, this was an awesomely bright love-fest!
“Before our engagement we would spend hours hiking in Balls Falls”, they explained. “During our hikes we would talk about the future and envision our wedding in the quaint chapel. The beauty of nature and the historical buildings provided a gorgeous backdrop to our day. We wanted simple beauty in our choice of venue. We complimented the subtle colours of nature with our vibrant colour palette. The wild flower bouquets created a stunning display against the colourful bridesmaids dresses, tying in with our natural theme.”
Jo and Tony were married by a small lake on a friend’s property in Denmark, on the south coast of Western Australia. The bride wore a dress from an op shop (she actually only decided the morning of the wedding what she would be wearing, after several changes of clothes!) and clear wellington boots! Tony wore an outfit also put together that morning from things he already owned or could borrow from friends. As you can probably tell this was the lowest of low key weddings!
“Originally there wasn’t really a set theme”, began Jo. “On the invites we asked people to be colourful and flamboyant if they wanted. A week out from the wedding we emailed everyone and strongly recommended gumboots as the weather forecast was looking grim and the ceremony site was outdoors around a small lake. If anything the theme was one of merging ritual and theatre. A marrying together of our different aspects, one of quiet sensitivity to ritual and acknowledging presence of spirit, and the other a desire to engage with the theatre of life and laugh loudly.”
Ellen and Rory were married at Cottiers, a bar, restaurant and theatre venue in the West End of Glasgow. Their day had a bit of a Mexican fiesta feel with the oilcloths and paper banners from Viva la Frida. They also had hand stitched bunting and dried chillis hanging from the ceiling! Most of all though they just wanted a fun day to celebrate with their friends and family.
“We basically planned the wedding before we let anyone know we were engaged!” began Ellen. “We wanted to know we could do what we wanted before deciding on a big wedding. We had looked around a lot for a good venue, with no joy until we found Cottiers. We wanted somewhere laid back and relaxed, where we could choose how to do things, not have things follow a proscribed pattern. Cottiers had only just started doing weddings and were very open to our ideas. Obviously the setting is absolutely stunning, but it was the relaxed vibe that was most important.”
I’ve featured a lot of colourful brides in various coloured dresses in my time, but I think Lauren might be the brightest! I mean any bride with the kahoonas to rock a multi-coloured Betsey Johnson dress with a homemade bright blue veil is a-OK in my book!
This day was the epitome of a low-key backyard wedding. It took place in their own garden, in their Brooklyn home and the bride’s mother officiated the ceremony. Once the formal part of the day was done the atmosphere quickly switched into party mode! Sparkling rose and beer were served, a band consisting of friends of the couple played, and 6-foot sandwiches from Defonte’s Sandwich Shop were devoured!
“We wanted our wedding to be comfortable and true to our personalities”, Lauren began, “a real celebration of Erik and Lauren. I think the way it all came together was kind of patchwork. It took a village to build something so strong. Erik and I are so different from each other in so many ways that a traditional white classical wedding just isn’t our kind of union. It needed to be odd and surprising, happy, romantic and a little ridiculous to reflect our relationship.”
The couple did do a lot themselves, with the help of lots of friends and family. Their biggest expense was getting their garden ready to hold all their guests! “My only advice on having a DIY wedding could be: necessity is the mother of invention. Whether its budget or time or space that’s got you in a bind, remember to keep an open mind and pull a couple of late nights and memorable creative ideas will emerge.”