I have a love/hate relationship with the BBC Three show Don’t Tell the Bride. On the one hand, I love a voyeuristic nosey at other people’s weddings (hello! Wedding blogger criteria number one) but on the other, the obvious sensationalism of shows like this can often get a bit much. I usually sit watching the show wondering if the groom really plans the whole thing himself and if the real truth of the matter is that the production company tell him exactly what to do so they can have the usual drama that seems to follow the programme around. But mostly I wonder if the brides really have no say on ANYTHING. I mean surely you’d give him a few subtle hints beforehand, right?!
A few weeks ago I was contacted by wedding photographer Alistair Veryard who has just shot a ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ wedding. He asked me if, after it was aired, I would like to blog it too. After seeing a few sneak peeks and I instantly knew I loved the wedding, but I said that I had one condition – that I could ask the couple all those nagging questions that I know everyone else wants to know the answers to too.
So guys, meet Mike & Becky who’s wrestling themed wedding was aired on Don’t Tell The Bride last night.
Hi Mike & Becky! So, how did you get on Don’t Tell The Bride & why on Earth did you want to do it?
We were sat at home watching the show. I remarked that I could do better than the guy on it so Becky picked up her laptop and after a quick Google, found an application form. They were in the last week of casting so we didn’t hold out much hope but applied anyway. We got an email back the next day asking us to go to their offices for a interview.
The question everyone seems to want to know the answer to is: Did you discuss any ‘ground rules’ about what you wanted/didn’t want beforehand?
It was in our contract that we don’t plan anything in advance at all. If the production team suspected that we might have discussed anything or made any plans, then those plans would have to be scrapped. Plus it all happened so quickly that we wouldn’t have had time to make any plans, even if we wanted to. Becky loves surprises so it worked out better to just not plan anything in advance together anyway.
Did you get any criteria from the producers or crew about what you should pick or how you should go about planning the wedding? There always seems to be a drama over something the groom chooses!
I wasn’t given a ‘criteria’ per-say but everything had to be booked through the production team and all shops I wanted to visit or services I wanted to use had to be cleared for filming by the team first.
A photo shoot featuring the Rock n Roll Bride planning notebooks!? Oh yes that’s one sure-fired way to get my attention!
“We styled the whole shoot ourselves using items from eBay (and of course the Rock n Roll Bride notebook,” photographer Jaye of Tux & Tales Photography told me. “We decided we would do a few styled shoots ourselves on a shoestring budget. I think it is a great way to show brides that they can have a fun and fab style with a little pocket change and a lot of elbow grease. I hope you enjoy my ultra-rad millinery. Picture me sitting on the living room floor, feathers flying everywhere whilst my cat tries to run off with the hat in his mouth every time I turn around to get another feather. The bouquet I made myself out of crepe paper. Boo (our model) is a burlesque performer so she did her own hair & make up!”
“As for inspiration – we were really dedicated to a shoot which was going to demonstrate the beauty of the North,” Jaye continued. “Although we had a brief stint in Essex, we are really Northerners at heart and I wanted to do something fun and sassy that shows Yorkshire at its best. The photos taken in front of Drax (the coal fire plant) are particularly special to me. People often complain about the North of England being ‘too industrial’ but that is exactly what we love about it. There is something so optimistic about industry. The big factories are where hard working people go to create the fabulous things we use and eat every day.”
“We stopped and took the pictures with your amazing little planner when we were on our way to the power plant shoot. We were at a park near our house and there are a few really rad, grotty little buildings which we thought made a pretty Rock n Roll backdrop. Ever the northern lass, Boo only needed to be told ‘act like a rockstar’ and I just had to be around to press the button!”
The Rock n Roll Bride planning notebooks and wallplanners are available to purchase exclusively through notonthehighstreet.com. For prices and further info, clicky here.
Laura & Nils were married at a vineyard in The Neatherlands. The laid-back nature of their venue was reflected throughout their entire day. It was important to the couple to put their own stamp on their wedding and so they DIY’d a lot of the details including the bride’s dress, the favours (a sweetie table), the cakes and the flowers.
“My dress was ordered from www.dressilyme.com, style number WWD005HV,” Laura told me. “It was a plain white poofy dress, with beads all over the bodice when it arrived. I then altered it myself, by removing the beading, and applying another layer of ruffled fabric and a piece of antique lace over the top to add a personal touch. The fabric and lace were bought at the Albert Cuijp market in Amsterdam. I had wanted to have the white dress because I normally never wear white, and thought that would make it extra special.”
“My personal favorite part of my outfit was my headpiece; a combination of antique lace and an antique brooch.The lace came from the Albert Cuijp market, and the brooch was bought on Etsy from seller HighHorseVintage, based in the UK. The brooch was made in the Victorian era, and symbolises light in the darkness, which I thought was a beautiful thought.”
“We opted for cupcakes!” continued the bride. “And everyone loved them! A friend of ours was kind enough to make them (she loves baking), and did a fantastic job. They were white, with a silver and a red heart on top, very cute and exactly what we wanted. My mum really wanted us to have a ‘ proper’ cake, so we could do the cake-cutting ritual, so our friend made a small white cake that had the same decorations on it as our homemade invitations, which was perfect!”
“I had a bouquet of red and white roses, as Nils always buys me roses on our anniversary, the same number of roses as the years we’ve been together. The girls had smaller versions of my bouquet.Those were the only flowers we had, we had balloons, streamers and confetti for our other decorations.”
Oh Debbie & Jamie how I heart thee! This Belfast couple had their very own rockabilly wedding at Belfast City Hall, followed by a suitability rockin’ reception at The Printers Café.
“My name is Debbie and I run a vintage nail salon in Belfast called Dazzle Me With Your Tips,” the bride emailed me. “In my spare time I sell vintage clothes, accessories and homewares at vintage fairs and arts and crafts markets and also work as a stylist with several photographers. Jamie my now husband is a Maintenance Manager for a cleaning services company and his passions outside of the 9 to 5 are Skating, and BMX and Metal Sculpture. We both love getting inked going to rockabilly nights and festivals and most of all touring around Ireland in our beloved VW camper van Burt with our daughter Ellie.” I loved them already.
“The ceremony had a very intimate feel: each wedding guest received a handmade order of service, acoustic versions of our favourite songs were played throughout,” Debbie continued. “After the vows we revealed surprise tattoos we had gotten for each other! I got a Volkswagen symbol as a private joke and the groom got ‘Always and Forever’ in an old skool sailor-style on his heart.”
“Our bridesmaid, Milene Fegan, and our daughter both wore rockabilly-style dresses made from tattoo print material and carried smaller versions of the my bouquet. The guests dressed in their vintage finest. The reception had a cosy rockabilly theme with handmade gingham bunting, fairy lights, candle jars decorated with mismatched ribbon, antiqued paper flowers, and hand-written menus on vintage paper, all made by the myself. The homemade decorations were matched with classic Cath Kidson napkins and big bundles of kitsch balloons.”
“There was a tattoo-yourself station and a dress-up box, which both went down a storm. You could get your picture taken with a cardboard cut-out of Elvis when you signed in the guest book! The food served consisted of homemade Irish beef burgers with hand cut chips and salad, with a selection of relishes, followed by cakes and cream with tea. A local band, The Stetz, played some classic rock tunes, which was followed by an ipod disco of the bride and groom’s favourite tracks.”
“My dress was designed by myself and my friend Rose helped me put it all together….we aren’t dress makers we just winged it with her sewing machine! I made my veil as well! My shoes were by a northern irish designer called Minette. My leopard print coat was from Next.”
I’ve got another killer South African wedding to share with you today. Jess & Matt’s amazing individual style and totally out-there wedding may even make you squeal a little bit. This creative couple pulled off a wedding that was nothing short of spectacular in every way!
“We met at Burn (alternative nightclub in Durban) one night,” the bride told me. I spotted him at one point during a night out with friends and told my them that I thought he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I asked my friend, Sam (bridesmaid at our wedding), to play wing girl for me. A little while later she introduced herself to him then said that she knew someone who wanted to meet him (me) so she introduced us and we chatted for the rest of the night. I fell in love with him from the moment I met him.”
“Our relationship was quite a strange one, we were on for a few months at a time, then broke up, then got back together and so on….But throughout it all we were always best friends and always living our lives together. The last time we got back together was on a new years eve. The very next new years eve (at a friends house party) Matt decided to surprise me and at 12 o’clock he asked for the music to be turned down. In front of the entire party he made a beautiful speech and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”
Despite how incredibly polished their wedding turned out, the couple actually did everything themselves. Both of them are artists and they were blown away by people who offered to help to make their vision a reality. “As we were doing everything ourselves and trying really hard to do it on a budget, from the décor to organising the food. We went to hundreds of different places and met hundreds of new and interesting people. I found that along the way we met some amazing people.”
“So many people were willing to help, who also had really good advice. We met people who were genuinely happy to give of themselves for us, who really were strangers to them, I felt so deeply touched by this. We were so disorganised (as artists generally are) and some of the people we met along the way really worked hard to pull together things for us at the last minute. Not only were we impressed by the generosity of complete strangers, but our family and friends pulled together and all worked like crazy to help us create our dream wedding. We still cannot believe the willingness and complete selflessness of all the people involved in this…We made many new friends along the way as well. THIS is what has made this wedding the most special for us (besides actually getting married!)”
Inspired by the Rock n Roll shoots & weddings he saw on Rock n Roll Bride, South African photographer Adrian Shields wanted to emulate the style and passion he saw coming from the US and the UK.
Rag ‘n Bone was born.
“After many blog searches, and a little bit of hunger for inspiration I stumbled across what you all know as Rock n Roll Bride” Adrian explains. “Finally, a glimmer of individualism. For 12 years I had shot weddings every weekend hoping to find a bride that would go the extra mile and not be happy with mediocrity and finally I found where this was… over in the UK and America. I just had to bring this to Durban, SA before anyone else would.”