Agnese & Iveta’s DIY shoot was set up with the help of Jaye from Tux & Tales Photography. Jaye has been doing a DIY inspiration shoot series, to show brides that they don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful wedding (I featured one of her first ones here).
“For this shoot we decided to focus on a civil partnership. We decided early on to go for a ‘rustic’ theme that focused on the colours and tones of late summer,” Jaye told me. “Each of our DIY shoots was styled (including the dresses!) on less than £250. This shoot was particularly fun because we got to recycle and upcycle a lot of items which is really a great way to save some cash. Plus, we scavenged for items from ‘the wild’ to help create our top table.”
“I am an absolute nut for using fruit and veg as part of a design (c’mon, beautiful and edible!) and so we loaded the table with fresh fruit from our local green grocers. The confectionery and baked goods were all top shelf varieties from local supermarkets and just looked amazing mounded up with the fruit. A little macaroon to go with your cold grapes? Yummy!”
“We decided that we would use a same-sex couple for this shoot because we couldn’t think of any civil partnership inspiration shoots that we had seen before. There are so many considerations that go into a civil partnership that are different from those of a traditional wedding (such as clothing choices and who gets a bouquet!) that we think they deserve a little separate attention. That said, we really hope that brides and grooms of all makes and varieties find a little rustic inspiration in our images.”
Shavonda & Naomi both wore white for their elegant but funky wedding in Sacramento, CA. Shavonda actually wore two dresses – the first, a customised gown from WToo (loving the short front!) and for the reception a sexy short number from BCBG Max Azria. Naomi’s suit was a mix of trousers from New York & Co, a vest from Bebe and a shirt from Express.
The wedding was held at Beatnik Studios, an amazing studio space in downtown Sacramento.
“Our wedding was completely and utterly ‘us’,” Shavonda wrote. “The things we agreed upon when we first began the planning process was that we had to have the following criteria: 1. Our wedding must be reflective who we are as a couple. 2. No churches, chapels or traditional wedding venues such as country clubs, ballrooms, etc. 3. We wanted our guests to have a different experience and didnt want them to feel like they’ve already been to our wedding a thousand times before. 4. We wanted to honor and incooperate our support for the LBGT community in as many ways as possible. 5. No weekend wedding. 6. No seating arrangements, sit-down meals, or buffets. 7. It had to be FUN!!”
“I think we did a really good job of making sure all of those criteria were met. We ended up with a purely Shavonda & Naomi experience. Every detail that went into planning our wedding kept our guests in mind. We asked everyone what their favorite and least favorite parts of weddings are and then we made sure to include and avoid those things. We took all of our photos prior to the ceremony so that there was no awkward time in between the ceremony and reception. This also allowed people to start eating right away. We also made sure that guests were greeted with wine and champagne as they arrived so they could unwind after work since our wedding was on a Thursday night. We didn’t have seating arrangements so guests were welcome to wonder and mingle among themselves. We also included them in our ceremony by have a ring warming so they could bless our rings and feel as if they are a tangible part of our marriage.”
“We live in California so having a taco truck was a must! Plus everyone loves street tacos and they were a huge hit with our guests. We made sure to have plenty of alcohol so there was beer, wine and 3 different cocktail options. As an interior design student, the decor and aesthetic of wedding was incredibly important to me. We wanted things to be very streamlined and modern so we only used one type of flower throughout the venue other than the florals in my bouquet. I wanted my girls in cute cocktail dresses and awesome accessories. I gave them 7 dress options to choose from and though they all live in different cities and states, they all chose the exact same dress! I didnt want them to carry bouquets because its too expected so we went with clutches instead.”
“My dress was my design as well. I found a style that I liked from WToo and edited to my specifications with the help of the designers at the bridal shop. I wanted to wear designer jewelry, but knew I could never afford it, so I borrowed it at a fraction of the cost, only $40 for the week from Bag Borrow or Steal! My wife’s ensemble was much more difficult because she didnt want to wear a man’s suit so it took us a while to piece together her wedding day garb. In the end our wedding day was full of love, beauty and creativity. From the venue, to the taco truck, to the attire, to the photography, I’d say our wedding was a breath of fresh air when compared to your traditional wedding. I’d say that’s pretty darned Rock n Roll!”
Lara & Thilde were married in Copenhagen City Hall, Denmark followed by a laid-back reception on their own roof terrace. “We bypassed the usual registry office and managed to get married in the council chamber, where we were married by the Mayor of Environmental and Technical Affairs, Ayfer Baykal,” the couple explained.
“Choosing her over the registry office meant that we could be married anywhere in the City Hall, and that we had more time for the ceremony, making it more personal and intimate. We had always wanted an different day and to avoid the usual wedding clichés. We really wanted the day to reflect us, and who we are, so we had decided to hold the reception at our home. That way, we could really relax, and our guests could feel at home. Of course, the spectacular view over Copenhagen didn’t hurt!”
Lara is English, so the following week the couple headed to England to have a party at her parent’s house. “It was a real English country garden party;” they continued, “this time with more bunting, vintage china, festoon lighting, sweet peas on the table, and an oil drum BBQ.”
Christina & Sybrina were married in their own back garden in Vegas. Christina wore a beautiful dress by Ouma Clothing and Sybrina wore a sharp suit. The couple are pretty active in their local LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and so wanted to use their connections to do it ‘right’ and create a wedding that was perfect for them and their friends.
“We worked very hard in making it a comfortable environment to accommodate our diverse attendees,” the couple explained. “Most of the vendors we used were close friends. We wanted to integrate them throughout the wedding while supporting local small and new businesses. Our close friend, Jeff Hames, even did a mural on our backway that matched the wedding invitations.”
“We tried to stay as true to our queer feminist roots as possible. We made our wedding our own by only using things we felt comfortable with.”
Quay & Jory were married under a giant tree, on the beach in Maui, Hawaii. “The wedding was very non traditional,” photographer Molly Marie told me. ”It was a gay wedding, almost everything was DIY, both girls love tattoos, and planned the entire wedding themselves. The wedding was not for anyone else but them, pure love. However they knew family wouldn’t be able to attend easily as they are from Eau Claire, WI, so photography was a very important part of the wedding to them.”
The eagle-eyed amongst you might remember Ashley & Ray. Ashley was the lucky Rock n Roll Bride reader that won all that lovely booty for filling out my reader’s survey over the Summer. Needless to say I was pretty excited to then see how it was all used in their wedding!
The couple were married in January and had their photographs taken by friend of the blog Kim Hawkins. The venue they chose was The Mayfair Hotel in London and their theme was old school glamour. Ashley was keen to tell me all about their big day and I’m thrilled to share it all with you here – especially as a lot of the suppliers they used are my friends!
“I suppose what made us Rock n Roll was that we had to think on our feet. There are no rules for civil partnerships; there’s no tradition and no etiquette to follow. It sounds liberating but it can also leave you a bit ‘at sea’. We wanted it to be an occasion but the last thing we wanted was to end up mirroring a ‘straight wedding’. With gay weddings there is such a risk of turning one person into the bride and one into the groom and then just applying all the rules of weddings thereafter. No thanks. I was always going to wear a dress and Ray was always going to wear a suit but we both got our walk down the aisle and neither of us wore white. We also wanted it to be about more than me and Ray committing ourselves to each other. I have an 11 year old daughter, Edie. Marrying me means that Ray also makes a commitment to Edie and we wanted that reflected in our day. After Ray and I had made our promises to each other the registrar asked Edie to come forward. Ray promised to love, encourage and care for Edie and gave her a charm bracelet with a charm representing each of those promises on it. It was a beautiful way of saying that not only were we committing ourselves to each other as a couple but that we were all committing ourselves to this new family. People cried. I cried.”
“In terms of the style of the day we decided what we really wanted was a ball. We both LOVE getting dressed up and going to black tie dos. We love the formality and the glamour and we loved the idea of giving our friends the opportunity to dress up to the nines and spend the evening in the type of hotel most of us would never get to go to. We wanted old school glamour with a bit of old library thrown in. We also wanted to make sure there were a few elephants around. Years ago I asked Ray out for dinner by sending her a note and a small plastic elephant in a jiffy bag to her work. She was a journalist on an online news site at the time and her editor thought she was being stalked and was going to call the police. From then on we found that wherever we went there was always an elephant somewhere. I found a bag of 10 tiny grey elephants on ebay and we scattered them about the tables for people to find.”
“We actually had TWO wedding days. We wanted a huge posh wedding but the budget wouldn’t allow it so we had a medium sized posh wedding in London and then a week later we had a massive party at The Kursaal
in Southend with live music and a DJ. We had to make sure all the flowers and decorations would last the week in between and cart them all back from London in our Ford Fiesta so we could use them again. I also had to bake another 120 cupcakes!”
“So how do you get a fancy dan wedding that looks like it cost an absolute fortune without spending a fortune? You call in the favours and you DIY like mad. That’s how! We splurged on the things that were most important to us: The venue and food, The clothes, the photos and the music. Having won the amazing Rock n Roll Bride giveaway it was an absolute Godsend to have a whole pile of beautiful things that we could use for the wedding.”"We gave the pearl and marcasite necklace from The Vintage Sparkle Company
to my Mum and gave earrings from Chain of Daisies
to Ray’s Mum and Alfie our bridesmaid. All the female ushers got cupcake soaps from Naturally Made Soaps
and I wore the Silver Sixpence in her Shoe garter
and Luella’s Boudoir knickers
under my frock! We used the Lucy Ledger Designs
‘Rock and Romance’ caption board in our engagement shoot
and I wore the stunning Rachel Simpson shoes
and the Victorian Bridal Mini Top Hat
by Two Back Flats on my hen do. We are using all the thank you cards as well to thank people for their gifts to our honeymoon fund.”
“Everything else was DIY; The invites, orders of service, menus, the orchid table centres, the cakes, the decorations, everything. I am also an utter control freak so I HAD to do all the DIY myself. I got a 1929 German typewriter for the guest book off ebay for £13 which delighted me no end. Everyone thought I was mad. ‘So do you get to relax before this wedding or do you just scrape the icing sugar out from under your nails and walk down the aisle?’ As it turned out doing almost everything ourselves was indeed chaotic. We were so rushed on the day I didn’t even have time for a bath. I had to have a stand up wash on my own wedding day! It was worth it though. Friends helped out and decorated cheese and laid out ikea vases with candles in and stuck silk orchids back onto willow sticks with double sided sticky tape and it all looked like perfection to the naked eye! Never mind that we had to pile it all back into a Ford Fiesta and drive it back to Essex ourselves afterwards.”