Amy & Manny were married in the bride’s parent’s back garden which they decorated themselves in an eclectic and fabulously ‘them’ style. ” I actually didn’t really intend for my wedding to be all Rock n Roll, and it turned out that way anyway,” explained the bride. “It was kind of Moroccan/Rock n Roll… a Morocc’ n Roll style! I think the fact that it was a Rock n Roll wedding without trying… that makes it ROCK N ROLL! Plus the awesome leopard party booth couch, the fact that my Dad plus the groom & all the groomsmen wore chucks…”
Oh yes that party photo booth couch? How rad it that!? I was keen to hear all about how that came about, “The famous leopard “party booth” couch: We literally found the couch on the side of the road (sorry if that’s a shocker to everyone who sat on it… but we did clean it!) So, one day Manny calls me & tells me he saw this cool leopard couch by Manny’s work on an industrial street sitting outside of a building on the sidewalk. I don’t think anything of it, but my Mom & I went jogging in that area the next day & saw the couch he was talking about. Then my Mom & I started joking around about how we could use it in the wedding… So my Dad came with the truck, we picked it up & we all decorated it with fringe & flowers & fabric. Everyone loved it!”
The rest of the reception décor was just as much a DIY effort. Again, Amy told me all about her favourite details. “We couldn’t find a cake that A: “wowed” us and B: justified spending $700 plus on flour & sugar… so we got individually boxed cupcakes in 4 different flavors (decadent dark chocolate, ravishing red velvet, very vanilla & razz matazz razz berry) from “Casey’s Cupcakes” in Riverside. We had gone on a couple dates there when we first started dating, and it turned into one of “our” places, so it was perfect & everyone loved them. Our cake for cutting was a small 6 inch round strawberry cake from the Wal-Mart bakery that was $8 and delicious! We wouldn’t have done it any other way.”
“Table cloths: all fabric we just bought from LA & cut into table cloths. We tied the corners to keep them from blowing away. The runners were the same fabric in alternating colors placed loosely in the center of each table.”
“Place card frames: I went to Michaels & bought wooden frames & painted each of them a different color. Then I just printed out fairy tale phrases & put them on each table”
“The Moroccan style lanterns on each table were my inspiration for Moroccaning. I saw them at Ross & my parents bought them for me that Christmas.”
“Bridesmaid Dresses were found in downtown L.A for $91 each. They were the perfect color & style but they were calf length & looked very bo-peepish. So on the day of the wedding, we cut the dresses to knee length. We used the extra fabric in the centerpiece for our table (pillows, fabric & a crown). All the girls picked out their own silver shoes. The girls wore necklaces that say “Gorgeous” which was a gift from me.”
When Ed & Torie’s beautiful wedding landed in my inbox last week, I was immediately drawn to the bride’s beautiful ensemble – in particular her stunning vintage dress from my favourite girls, Fur Coat No Knickers. The couple were married in November at The Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich, London and Torie was keen to tell me all about their quirky and fabulous wedding day,
“On November 20th 2010 I got to marry my best friend, my pirate, Ed. Ed and I met 4 and a half years ago through his workmate / my flatmate at a pirate fancy dress party at our house – hence the nickname. Ed turned up, breathed fire (seriously) and then mysteriously left. As it turned out his appendix had burst and he went home and then to A&E. After recovering we got in touch and the rest, as they say is history.”
“Ed and I got engaged at the edge of the grand canyon (aaww) a couple of days after an American friend of mine got married in Phoenix on Feb 2nd 2010 (a year ago today). Little did I know it but after a ‘couple’ of beverages Ed spent the end of her wedding telling our friends he was going to propose, luckily I was too drunk to notice and so when he produced a HUGE Swarovski crystal surrounded by snakes from his backpack I was suitably dumbfounded. From that moment we promised each other that we’d do it like us. I would look like the best me I could be not like an idendikit bride, we would send invites that we loved, we would do it in a cool venue, we would not dance to Abba but we would dance – complete with knee slides and ties around foreheads.”
“So the plan was, find a great venue and take it from there. We found The Trafalgar Tavern in London, a pub with a fabulous upstairs area with lots of gold chairs, chandeliers and red velvet curtains, we both have cabaret sidelines (he as a compere, escapologist and fire artist, me as a burlesque stripper) so the wiff of the stage made us fall for the Trafalgar, it had the ‘us’ factor.”
“We also decided early on that we would like to give each other a present. Some of our married friends had given each other jewellery, we decided to give each other tattoos. For years Ed has wanted a full sleeve of a phoenix (the fire thing …) and I’ve wanted something large and floral on the base of my back. After a painful month or two I now own 2 large chrysanthemums covering my lower back and Ed, well Ed has a pretty fabulous arm, both done by Rodrigo Souto, he’s a fabulous artist and I’m so glad we decided to do it, although it turns out I don’t like getting my spine tattooed much.”
“For us it was important that our wedding was perfect for ‘us’. That meant a wedding that was a little bit Rock n Roll. It started with the invitations which I cross stitched and framed, they were then beautifully designed into invites and RSVP cards by a friend and we asked our guests to nominate songs they’d like to dance to from which Ed made probably the most eclectic wedding playlist ever which promoted much hilarity, dancing, ties round heads and knee slides on the dance floor.”
“Finding my dress was eventually but not always lovely, my Mum is an amazing seamstress and we intended to find something she could copy but I just couldn’t find anything I liked or that worked on my 4ft 10 frame. Then I found Fur Coat No Knickers, I know Kat, you already love those girls, but seriously they made me feel like a star and I cannot thank them enough for pulling me out of the ‘I’m never going to look like me on my wedding day’ panic. I tried on white but it didn’t work and then I fell for this printed number which they added a halter strap too, made smaller (result), made me bound edged petticoats and a floral hair piece to match and made me a little bolero too –it was too hot in the pub to wear the bolero but I reckon without the head piece and with the bolero I might just get away with wearing the dress to a party so that’s the silver lining. Luckily my Mum loved it too and instead of making my dress made me a fabulous black coat to wear over it as outside was distinctly less toasty warm than inside the pub.”
The couple DIY’ed the majority of their wedding décor – from the flowers which they collected from the flower market at 6am; to the candelabras, table centres and large displays that Torie and her army of helpers put together the day before; to the bouquet and buttonholes that they made the morning of the wedding. “My family kept me calm and panic free (sort of),” continued the bride. “I loved it so much that I have finally set up the business I’ve been promising to own for years, Victoria & Florence, flowers and cakes for every occasion. World domination (or at least the flower market) here I come.”
“It was such a wonderful day and our friends and family helped so much with emotional support, glasses of wine when needed, order of service folding and generally being fabulous”, Torie concluded. “All together it was exactly what we had wanted; a day where we looked like us and felt like us and where our friends and family could celebrate our love and have a good party. Getting married is great but being married is better and if it was a little bit Rock n Roll, all the better.”
Nicole & Aaron eloped at the Santa Ana Courthouse and straight after had photographer Kristin Rogers on standby to shoot a ‘Just Married’ session with them and their adorable dog! I am seriously smitten with the cuteness of this whole session. The guitar shots just slay me!
Nicole wore a dress from Anthropologie and a custom made necklace from etsy seller Make Pie Not War. She also carried a fabric bouquet that matched Aaron’s buttonhole, both of which she’d made herself.
My inspiration for this shoot came from the fact that I had seen a lot of big brands in The States using fashion bloggers to model for and promote their new lines. I loved the idea and thought it could really work for the UK wedding market. After all, wedding blogs are the new wedding magazines right?! I approached Rachel at Wimbledon-based Luella’s Boudoir if she’d be up for letting us run wild in her shop and thankfully she loved the idea!
“OMG Huge congratulations!” I squealed, remembering how she’d once told me that winning a photography award was on her list of things she wanted to achieve in her career. “I know” she replied, “and the best thing? I’ve won my DREAM kit from Hasselblad who sponsored the awards…and we can use it for our shoot!” (and they even offered a wind machine…Lisa didn’t have to ask me twice whether I wanted to use it for my shot!)
For those non-photography geeks out there, getting lent a Hasselblad is kind of a big deal. Not only is this a camera worth about £30,ooo (and that’s not including the lights, wind machine and Mac that they also let us borrow!) but it pretty much blows any other DSLR out of the water in the quality of image!
Lisa explained all the techy goodness to me, “In layman’s terms, Hasselblad is a medium format camera and its all about the increase in image quality due to its massive sensor. The files are much bigger than 35mm DSLR and there are a lot more pixels. This is a camera for high end fashion and advertising work, the detail is phenomenal even when you crop in a lot. You get a lot more in the shadows and highlights and if you need to do any image recovery (if you’ve shot too light or dark) there is a whole lot more there to work with. The latest camera, which is what they gave us has a fancy focus system called True Focus which allows you to lock focus on any part of the image then recompose your shot. Once you get the hang of it, it is pretty useful especially when shooting at wide apertures which I do most of the time.”
“You can also shoot straight to computer into their dedicated processing software, which is what we did. This is very useful as you see exactly what is going on and can even control everything from the screen. So if you wanted to, you can shoot from a directors chair with a flunky doing the camera work! It has an eye-level viewfinder and can be held pretty much in the same way as a 35mm DSLR so I found it surprisingly easy to handle.”
Everything seemed to be falling nicely into place. Now all I needed was willing models.
It was important to me to pick bloggers who really stood out – bloggers with a strong sense of identity, both in themselves and their blog themes and ideas. Then I thought that having each of them styled to match the genre of their blogs would work really well. Not only then would the images be authentic, but we could use them to show some different bridal style ideas.
You absolutely MUST head over to all these girl’s blogs to see their full set of images and to find out exactly what they are all wearing…(you can get a sneak peek in the behind the scenes video below, but be assured, you will want to go check out all of their images. These girls are SMOKIN’) Click the links below to see their full sets…
But wait! There appears to be a certain pink haired blogger missing from this list! Well, as you all know I am always well up for a bit of posing. Oh I do love a good photo shoot. For this shoot I (obviously) still wanted to share some alternative/Rock n Roll Bridal styles… but I had to do something different.
First up I decided to add some more colours to my hair – I have been lusting over rainbow hair for months now and I was so excited when my hairdresser, Elbie Van Eeden said she’d be over the moon to do it for me! We dyed bits of my own hair (my base colour is Baby Pink by Stargazer and the highlights are Crazy Colour – Peacock Blue, Violette and Cyclamen) as well as adding clip in extensions dyed with the same colours.
Pretty awesome huh?!
In a similar way, we wanted me to wear something different to anything you’d seen me in before. I have to admit, it took a little bit of persuasion from stylist Kate Barbour that I looked OK in a slinky number but after looking at these images, I might have to admit that she was right! The dress is by Caroline Atelier and is called Emmy (available through Luella’s Boudoir) and I wore it with a Camelia Organza Flower by Victoria Fergusson.
For the group shot I wore an original blush vintage dress, created by Marilyn Monroe’s favourite designer, a gold shooting star band by Jane Taylor Millinery and shoes by Emmy (full list of what everyone is wearing below the gallery.)
But wait…there’s more! I also asked my friend Richard of FX Films to do the honours and film some behind the scenes action for us. I think you’ll agree the result is amazing! This man is a video genius (and I guarantee you will be humming this song all day now)
At the end of the day, we got together for one final group shot. Being a blogger and working from home alone, can sometimes be a very lonely career path. However having these girls on the end of the phone/hanging about on Twitter/eager to respond to an ‘omg I need your advice’ email, makes being a wedding blogger the absolute best job in the world.
I love these girls for their individuality, for their spark and for their passion for their jobs.
I love these girls for the support they give me and their genuine attitudes. These are the girls that make the UK wedding blogging industry great…and they’re all pretty foxy too!!
Rachael was married a year ago and fell pregnant right away so wasn’t able to do her bridal shoot straight after the wedding. These shots were taken a few months after her baby was born, and just over her 1 year anniversary.
“She is in love with vintage, 50’s style and we carried this theme into the feel of the shoot,” explained photographer Kat. “Between her half-veil, pin-up style curls and 2 vintage dresses, the feel of the session was designed to capture the fun, daring side of their love. Best of all, these photos were used as a gift to her husband for their 1-year honeymoon celebration.”
“The session was taken near the slums of San Antonio, TX – a perfectly unique side of town full of rebellion that mirrors her personality. Everything about this was designed to stand out and overflow with happiness and joy. We started the photo shoot in a hotel, where she got ready – a hotel appropriately called Hotel Indigo. The hotel has an antique-modern feel to it, it’s a gem that stands out in a city filled with commercialized hotels. She was wearing a vintage, 1950’s Sak’s Fifth Aveneue dress, as well as the original veil, jewellery and flower from her wedding day.”
“First off, Rachael is SUPER athletic! She was a pole-vaulter in her school years, and it was her idea to climb into the window for a few photos before jumping onto the bed. She got some damn good air – huh?? After that, she changed into another amazingly beautiful vintage dress (a green A-line) and we started our trek out to the streets. Before heading out, we stopped at the “indigo wall” at the hotel, where the sun was shining through the window just perfectly. We started the 2nd half of our session with some balloons and headed to Broadway St – by the landmark (and VERY old) Rodeo Motel. We would have gone inside but we were shooed away by the owner (haha!!).”
“The next stop was another very old building, which was recently purchased and renovated with some fantastically bright colors. The building is always a showcase for local graffiti artists, which the city promptly covers up with more paint. It was nice to see some of the graffiti faintly show through in the photos – mainly because Rachael and I both live in a very “uptight” part of Houston where tattoos and pinkish hair is most certainly frowned upon… And yet, Rachael stands out as a diamond in the rough… Just like the graffiti – no matter how much you try to cover up beauty, it always finds a way to shine. For the last leg of our session, we headed to some back alleys. Here, she really stood out with her bright dress and hair matched up against the dull and washed out city-buildings. Every part of the shoot was meant to celebrate her uniqueness, and to highlight how amazingly fun of a woman she is.”