Elvis’ Blue Hawaii mixed with a little Endless Summer and a touch of Mad Men inspired Candice and Charlie’s San Diego wedding. They wanted their wedding to feel like a retro beach party and their venue, The Pearl Hotel, was the perfect setting for this.
“Our intention the entire time was to throw the best celebration of love, ever“, said Candice. “We wanted it to be a party, not some stuffy wedding. People ate, drank, danced, laughed, and partied all night. We aren’t really the type to follow the typical wedding do’s and don’ts, so we had a surfboard for a guest book, the flower vases on the tables were made from pineapples, and of course the Mr. and Mrs. Signature drinks. We had the movies Blue Hawaii and Endless Summer playing throughout the night for fun. Oh and a hula-hoop came out at some point!”
Having your wedding in a disused swimming pool might not be the obvious choice of venue for most couples, but for Natalie and Liam it was the most perfect setting for their day.
The venue was Victoria Baths in Manchester, a grade two listed building that opened in 1906 and has since been restored. “We had a non-religious ceremony in the Pineapple Room (so named because of the pineapple in the stained glass – it originally housed the Male 1st Class wash baths)”, began the bride. “From there we had a drinks reception in the Turkish restrooms before our wedding breakfast and reception in the Male 2nd Class pool which now has a dance floor!”
Natalie found her unique bridal gown at The Mews in Notting Hill. “I spent over a year trying on dresses that weren’t quite right”, she said, “but as soon as I walked in to The Mews, I knew ‘the one’ was there – and it was. The dress was Flemming by Rime Arodaky.”
I find it so interesting to see how different the same venue can look depending on the wedding. I’ve featured a wedding at the amazing Victoria Baths in Manchester before, but apart from the obvious similarities (like the big empty swimming pool!) it could be a totally different venue. Lynsey and Greg added lots of greenery and overgrown foliage to the mix, creating a completely different vibe from the cute, quirky and colourful wedding I’ve shared from here before.
“Our wedding was a secret garden meets Alice in Wonderland, indoor garden party wedding”, began the bride. “We wanted faded glamour, swimming pools and mirror balls! We did everything our way including ending the night by going to a kebab house in full wedding attire (including bouquet!) Nothing felt like a compromise, it was everything we wanted, we made every decision and it was totally ours.”
Oh I love a surprise wedding! And a surprise wedding + pool party!? EPIC!
But this wasn’t actually a real wedding, it was set up as a recreation of the wedding of some friends of the photographer who were married 30 years ago. Jessie & Kenny had a wedding just like this one, in the exact same spot, in 1982 (some of their wedding photos are at the end of the gallery – how amazing are they?!) So to celebrate, and to have an their anniversary party with a difference, they decided to relive the whole thing. This is a styled shoot unlike the rest and, yes, they really had the big party afterwards!
Styled shoots have been wedding blog favourites for a few years now. I do like to feature them to share new wedding ideas with my bride & groom-to-be readers but I’ve always really preferred to publish real weddings. It’s not that I don’t like styled shoots, but I know real life examples always go down better than a ‘concept’ set up but a bunch of wedding industry professionals who think that it’s a quirky, cool (or in recent times – trendy) and very ‘blogable’ idea for a wedding.
Which is why I love this shoot. It is a new concept. It’s a recreation of a wedding, being sympathetic to the original inspiration while showcasing some awesome new ideas. Just like with Whit & Colby, I was initially disappointed when I realised that this wasn’t an actual wedding, but again like with Whit & Colby I love it because of the amazing creativity behind it. On reflection I congratulate the creative team for doing something that I wish everyone else would… actually being creative.
What is it was all the exotic weddings I’m getting submitted recently? I think the universe must be telling me I deserve a long, sunny holiday!
Well when Myles & Barbara’s Bali wedding landed in my inbox I just about spat out my cuppa with the anticipation of blogging it. Have you ever seen a wedding party so a) cool, b) expressive, & c) hilarious? No, me nigher. I couldn’t wait to hear more…
“Myles proposed whilst sitting on the toilet, pants around his ankle. In Elfish,” explained Barbara. “It really was very romantic… I promise you. We just wanted our wedding to be a big party, fun and happy with a little bit of looseness mixed in.”