Amanda and Keith wanted a small wedding on their own terms, so they headed up to Juniper Hotel & Bistro in Banff National Park for an intimate ceremony followed by a great meal with their small number of guests.
“Our wedding was inspired by our flare for tattoos and being our crazy selves”, said the bride. “We wanted something small that reflected our love of being outside and of being different to other people.”
“We loved doing a first look. Cassie, our photographer, had us hide out in the woods behind the Juniper. She instructed Keith to stand facing the tress and not turn around. I could tell he was nervous. I was giggling the whole time I was walking up to him, excited and nervous. Then he opened his eyes and all of a sudden my nerves went away. We were both laughing hysterically. We were finally getting married!”
Dave and Laura both grew up by the sea, so although they got married in the middle of London, they wanted to bring this into the day. They had a church ceremony followed by an informal party afterwards.
“We are both from coastal cities and we wanted to bring the sea to central London”, said the bride. “We fed our guests with fish and chips and picked a beautiful venue on the water that looked like the inside of a ship. We did everything ourselves, from Dave grafting to set up the venue with his groomsmen and me investing weeks into making all the table decorations and finishing touches.”
Harnaam Kaur has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which meant she started growing a beard from aged 11. Battling to remove her hair every day, and bullied at school, she started to self harm and considered suicide. Harnaam is now a body-confidence and anti-bullying activist and she fully embraces her unique look and hopes to encourage others to do the same. So when this bridal shoot using Harnaam as the model was submitted to me I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement!
“I am a British born female living in Slough”, Harnaam told me. “I am a little different from other women. “I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries from a really young age, around the time I hit puberty. PCOS is a condition in which there is an imbalance in hormones within the female body, this has led me to have more male hormones then female ones, and it is also the reason to why I have a beard. I used to have my face waxed 2 to 3 times a week, and on the days I couldn’t bare the pain I would simply shave.”
“I had a great upbringing and a really happy family life but I was severely bullied all the way through school, starting from nursery right through to my late secondary school days. I even got beaten up a few times. I became very aggressively suicidal and I even resorted to self harm.”
“At the age of 16 I hit my biggest low. I had been suicidal all year due to immense bullying from school and people in society. I hid away and did not want to venture out into the public. My bedroom was my only safe haven. I was hugely depressed. I remember sitting on my bed and thinking about taking my own life. But instead, as I sat there, I started to counsel myself. I told myself ‘The energy you are putting into ending your life, put all that energy into turning your life around and doing something better’.”
“At that point I decided I wanted to be me. I decided to keep my beard and step forward against society’s expectations of what a woman should look like. Today I am not suicidal and I do not self harm. Today I am happy living as a young beautiful bearded woman. I have realised that this body is mine, I own it, I do not have any other body to live in so I may as well love it unconditionally.”
Amy and James’ aim was to spend as little as possible on getting married. They had a small ceremony at Boho Cornwall, a venue specifically designed for elopements, on May 13th.
“The inspiration for our wedding was just to be an intimate, family occasion, just us and our baby girl”, explained Amy. “We had no guests, no speeches, no cake, seating plans or first dances. We wanted it to be as environmentally friendly as possible too so my bouquet was from locally grown flowers, my dress was homemade and our rings were recycled. Plus, rather than asking friends and family for gifts or money, we set up a JustGiving page to help our local animal sanctuary.”
The bride’s gorgeous green dress was made by the groom’s mother. “I was adamant from day one that I wanted an emerald green dress”, she explained. “People tried to talk me out of it but I know my own mind and I stuck with it – and it was splendiferous.”
“We had both been to weddings before where all the ‘extras’ seemed, in our opinion, to detract from the core meaning of the wedding”, said James. “The union of two people was the most important thing to us. It all too often got lost after the ceremony in the endless photo line ups, welcomes, dances… not to mention it being a massive expense and headache to plan. We wanted it to also be nice and relaxed, intimate and simple.”
Patrick and Chris were planning to get married in October 2015. In fact they still are having a wedding then, but when the opportunity came to adopt their foster son, they didn’t want to wait a moment longer. So they flew to Vegas and eloped!
“Our wedding was very spur of the moment”, Chris told me. “We have a more traditional wedding planned for October (although we’re still only going to have 15 guests!) but Patrick LOVES Elvis and always wanted a Vegas wedding so when the opportunity came up we moved our wedding date and eloped!”
Do you believe in fairies? Then you’re going to utterly adore Kirsty and George’s engagement shoot. Who says fairy tales can’t be Rock n Roll?!
“The shoot was based on the idea of stories opening a whole new world and that being in love is a fairy tale”, said photographer Andreea of VeVi Photography. “Since Kirsty absolutely loves fairy tales and their wedding is going to be Disney themed, we wanted to create a dreamy fantasy environment for their engagement shoot too, just like they were in their own fairy story!”