A wacky, fun and rainbow themed wedding is always going to be a winner with me, and seeing Melanie & Michael’s day, at Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, was no different. I mean what’s not to love?! “When we first began planning our wedding, we started with a list of things we didn’t want to do”, began Melanie. “We had been to enough impersonal ceremonies and stereotypical receptions in the past few years to have acquired a pretty substantial list! We wanted the event to be as engaging for the guests as for us, we wanted it to be silly but meaningful, and we wanted it to be the most fun wedding anyone had ever attended.”
“I’m a production manager for a theater company, and he’s a writer and director, so we began to think of the wedding as ‘the show we’re doing this summer’. We wrote a script which included a variety of movie music cues, kids in Halloween costumes throwing confetti instead of flower petals, and ‘readings’ by members of the wedding party. These ‘readings’ included the ‘Mawage’ speech from The Princess Bride, the Donny Eulogy from The Big Lebowski, ponderings on the nature of the Force by a fully-costumed Yoda, and a commissioned poem on the importance of love comprised completely from popular song lyrics.”
There was no doubt in my mind that I had to share this wedding with you. My heart skipped a beat as I clapped eyes on the beautiful Sarah and her stunning movie starlet-esque red wedding dress from The Couture Company and I flicked through Toast of Leeds‘ photographs holding my breath. What an utterly beeeeeeeautiful wedding.
“Our venue was Buckland Hall in the Brecon Beacons National Park, a country house in the Welsh mountains, that we could personalise and make our own for a long weekend”, Sarah began. “We had free reign of the house and grounds, which we decorated with family photos and personal belongings that we’ve collected during our time together. Sixty of our guests stayed on the night of our wedding and close family the night before. The ceremony was held in a room with views of rolling park land, the River Usk and snow capped mountains beyond.”
“We held a drinks reception immediately after the ceremony with vegan canapés, cherrytree Cola and cocktails we’d designed ourselves: Pimms #6 (made with fresh strawberry puree) and passionfruit mojitos (with organic fair-trade rum and sweetbird syrup). This was followed by a three-course sit down’vegan meal, with starter created by Steven (wild mushroom empanadas with fennel cream sauce).”
Two rockabilly babes, tattoos and seriously cute wedding dresses – what’s not to love about this adorable set of images, shot in and around The Custard Factory in Birmingham? “This shoot came about from my vastly growing obsession with polka dots, in all their multicoloured forms”, wrote button bouquet creator Emma, who masterminded the whole thing. “Actually, not just mine, but also many of my brides who often want a bit of dottiness in their bouquets! I wanted to create a look that would appeal to and inspire my clients so I set about this little collaboration with some wonderfully talented wedding peeps.”
Emma asked Annie’s Antics, the most fabulous pistachio green, old school style ice cream van to join in the fun and obviously she created the button bouquets herself. “My range of button and felt bouquets that I created for the shoot explored the bolder pastel tones that sum up spring”, wrote Emma. “I used sherbet lemons, candy pinks and palma violets as my inspiration.”
I think by now, we’re all aware of my feelings about styled shoots in general. But rules are nothing if meant to be broken, and when I clapped eyes on this stunning tattooed couple and their quirky yet attainable wedding styling ideas, I couldn’t help but want to blog it – so shoot me!
“We’re not really big on ‘inspiration shoots’ but we got sick and tired of shooting stuff that everyone else wanted”, agrees photographer Lucy who runs her photography studio with partner Steven. “Being from the South, we have found it a huge challenge to get couples to think outside the box and just go for it.”
“It was important to us to stay true to ourselves and use real people who aren’t models but people who are engaged and really like each other! We met Maria & Chris through my husband. Maria is a salon owner and cuts his hair and Chris is a world renowned tattoo artist. They are both awesome people and awesome looking…..WINNING. They got engaged a while back and plan on just going to the court house so we thought this would be perfect for them. They get pictures out of the deal and we get models…”
This laid back couple met online and spent their first dates huddled on Laura’s sofa, watching movies and eating food that she’d cooked. So needless to say when it came to their wedding they wanted to keep it as low key as possible too. “We have always been such an easy couple, lots of love and not much hassle of going overboard with things”, Laura explained. “His proposal a year after we met was perfect. We were in the mall and he pulled me into a photo booth and he proposed while the photos were being taken inside. It was perfect!”
“Zack and I have wonderful families”, she continued. “His family is from Ohio, and mine from Florida, and without their support on our choice to marry alone I don’t think it would have gone so smoothly and stress-free as it did. We wanted to focus on us and our love rather than put together a big wedding. It all worked out perfectly for us. We love you family!”
The ceremony was held in front of Kehoe House in Columbia Square, Savannah, and afterwards they had a meal, just the two of them, at Olde Pink House. “They welcomed us and treated us like royalty!” Laura said. “We sat in huge leather chairs in front of a fireplace in the tavern as a piano was being played in the background!”
Caroline & Ben, who live in Shanghai, had a destination wedding in Verona, Italy. The bride’s father is from Northern Italy and so they wanted to have a wedding that reflected that heritage. “The idea of getting married close to my roots really appealed”, began the bride, “especially for the fact we could make a holiday out of it for our guests (and for ourselves!). Living abroad, we don’t get to see our friends and families as much as we would like, and this way we got to spend a few days with everyone. We had our ‘stag’ and ‘hen’ parties the night before for all our guests, and after the wedding a group of about 20 of us went up to the Dolomites for some skiing over New Year.”
“I originally thought that with the overseas wedding planning, I wouldn’t need to or want to worry about all the little details, but I had a very wise friend who knew I would care in the end… And I did care! The little details ended up being the things that we most enjoyed spending time over. I loved all the paper bits and pieces especially (and the aeroplanes escort cards made for good competition over dinner!)”
One of the most important thing to this couple was the photography and they booked the ever-fabulous Sassy of Assassynation Photography to shoot the day. “Photography was very important to us and Sassy’s eye and imagination really worked with what we wanted”, Caroline continued. “Her style was as far away from the soft focus and stilted shots that seemed to be preferred by the Italian photographers we could find. We’re lucky she fancied the trip over to Verona!”