Tag Archives: UK

Tommy & Katie’s Bunny Engagement

Photographer Lisa Devlin told me about her plans for this shoot when we met up to discuss my initial ideas for The Big Fat Wedding Blogger’s Photo Shoot. She was keen to use the Hasselblad that we’d been lent for the shoot with one of her couples, and Tommy & Katie (and their bunny suits!) were the obvious choice.

“I saw some pictures of these two on Facebook dressed in big fluffy bunny suits at a fancy dress party and that sparked the idea for this quirky shoot,” Lisa explained. “Tommy is the singer in the alternative rock band Slaves to Gravity and Katie is a gorgeous 50’s chick so we were aiming for something a bit vintage and a bit dark. We shot a day in the life of them as this fantasy bunny couple and had a lot of fun. Well, it is the Year of the Rabbit!”

How fun! You can also check out the behind-the-scenes goodness on Lisa’s blog here.

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Alice in Weddingland – The Engagement Session

This month Rock n Roll Bride intern and columnist, Alice headed out with her fiance Graham for their very first photo shoot together – their engagement session with photographer Sassy of  Assassynation. The engagement session can often be a bit of a nervous time for a soon-to-be-wed couple, as for the majority of people it’s the first time they’ve had a processional photo shoot. So, this month I asked Alice to tell us all about her experiences and why, when you’ve got your perfect photographer on the job, there really is  nothing to be afraid of!

I am seriously chuffed to share Alice & Graham’s engagement session with you today…seeing these is making me super excited to see their wedding photos too! Also…is is weird that I’m a little bit proud of my Alice when I see these? Awww love…

♥  ♥  ♥

A couple of weekends ago Graham and I ventured into the heart of the Cotswolds, for our engagement shoot.  We drove to Sassy’s house, where she settled our nerves by cooking us bacon sandwiches with cups of tea!  After Graham got to know her a bit (I had met her for the first time the day before at the Designer Wedding Show) we discussed possible ‘venues’ for the days shoot.  Thankfully the weather was beautiful, and we decided that outside would be best, so we could make the most of the natural light.  Sassy explained that the shoot would last around a couple of hours, and that what we did in that time was pretty much up to us.  When she mentioned an abandoned RAF watchtower and runway a few miles from her house I was beyond excited: I am a bit of a War History buff so the thought of being able to include that element in our engagement shoot was amazing!  We got in her car and drove to the tower.

Now all I can say is boy am I glad that I wore ‘proper’ shoes (well, Converse!) as we hiked our way over mud piles and through crop fields to find the watchtower!  When we got there I felt quite nervous and awkward; unsure of what I was expected to do, and uncomfortable at the thought of having my picture taken.  However I soon discovered that the mark of a good photographer is not just based on their technical ability, but rather also in their ability to give artistic direction.  Sassy talked us through each shot, and by the end it became a collaborative effort, with both Graham and myself piping up with suggestions for shots!  I also found that a natural direction evolved, in that I needn’t have been worried about being awkward in front of the camera.  Some couples are great at smiling for the camera, and are comfortable from the word go.  Well, I wasn’t, yet it didn’t compromise the quality of the photographs.  Sassy said that our shoot took more of a ‘moody model’ direction, which I found so funny as I am so far removed from a model its unreal!  It just goes to show, that with the right photographer even someone as camera-shy as me can get great images!

When I was emailing my top three photographers (Emma Case, Lisa Devlin and Sassy) I found that all of them offer engagement shoots in some form or another, either as part of their standard package, or for a couple of hundred pounds extra.  I really urge you all to consider investing a bit more money and going down this route, for a number of reasons.  One, the more comfortable you can become in front of the camera before the W-day itself, the more natural your wedding photos will look.  Secondly, it is an awesome way to get to know your photographer on a personal level, and learn how they work, and what to expect on the big day itself.  Finally, we are having some of the images blown up and mounted to display on easels around the reception venue, making for a lovely talking point for our guests, and a unique way of decorating your reception space.

All of these reasons, in my eyes, are super valid reasons to have an engagement shoot, but above all others, it was so fun! I really felt like Graham and I became friends with Sassy on that day, and when it ended with us sitting by a river outside a pub in a quintessentially chocolate-box village in the Cotswolds it was a perfect ending to a perfect day.  We’re even going to stay with Sass and her husband in April for a mini-break!

So I’m going to let the photos do the talking for themselves.  For a girl who was so nervous and felt awkward in front of a camera I think they’re pretty darn rocking!  And I must stress, that when looking at other people’s engagement shoots its easy to sit there and think “yes this is awesome, but I know ill never look like that in a photo”.  Well, you couldn’t be more wrong! This is exactly what I thought, but I discovered that each couple has their own style and personality, and with the right photographer that style and personality can be translated into truly personal and beautiful photographs. Go for it, I say!!

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Rock n Roll Bride Prize Winners – Ashley & Ray’s Old School Glamour Wedding

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.”

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The Luxury Wedding Showcase

Everyone loves sweeties right? Well Rock n Roll Bride favourite (and provider of the sweetie table at the Rock n Roll Party in April…eeek!) Hannah of Sweet Dream Events sent over this vintage-inspired shoot she was a part of. The idea for the shoot was to promote a new bridal show she is involved in…and from the look of these images, the show is sure to be a good one.

“This is what happens when a group of talented women get together to create a wedding fayre with a difference,” Hannah told me. “Hannah (Sweet Dream Events), Carrie (Carrie Bugg Photography) and Natalie (Exquisite Bridal) met when they decided that the personal touch was severely lacking in the wedding industry in their area. And so, The Luxury Wedding Showcase was born. This shoot was to give those wishing to attend an insight into all their talents.”

“I had a huge rush of excitement when Carrie arrived with Tori and Natalie. This was actually happening and within the next 6 hours we were engrossed in the scene we were setting for the day. The sun was shining all day, which helped give the Southern California feel to the shoot, we all had so much fun together and found ourselves bouncing inspiration off each other.”

The Luxury Wedding Showcase will be taking place over two days and in two locations. On Thursday March 10th from 6-8pm at Exquisite Bridal Boutique, Lymington and on Thursday 17th March from 6-8pm at Di Lusso Interiors, Canford Cliffs. For further information or to book your place drop Hannah an email to hannah@sweetdreamevents.co.uk.

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A Vintage Valentine’s, Rock the Frock

I’d like to start this Friday off with a little confession…I have been officially RUBBISH at keeping up to date with my Photography Friday posts. For the last 2 or 3 weeks I’ve missed it, mainly because I’ve been a little bit on the busy side and have been happy to leave all the picture-taking to the professionals! I ain’t gonna beat myself up about it…however these posts may be a bit thinner on the ground that I would have liked. If you knew what I had in the pipeline over the next few months I think you’d forgive me. I say the word ‘epic’ a lot right? Well the stuff I have planned is gonna be EPIC on a whole other level!

Anyway, I’ve kind of hijacked this post a bit there…the actual reason for this article is to share a gorgeous new bridal shoot sent in by the fabulous Gemma Williams Photography (who I was lucky enough to meet at The Designer Vintage Bridal Show.)

“This was a ‘Vintage Valentines’ Rock The Frock shoot, with a castle and cupcake!” Gemma told me. “I had photographed Alex’s wedding back in September, and she had a gorgeous vintage-style dress to change into for the evening – short so that she could dance properly! The dress had been a fabulous find on Ebay. Alex was really excited when I suggested we do a ‘Rock The Frock’, giving her the chance to wear it again. We decided to go for a quirky vintage theme that was a little bit different and a lot of fun, inspired by the amazing Rock n Roll Bride!”

“We did the shoot on Valentines weekend, so we had beautiful roses from Posies and a heart-cupcake from Emily Rose Cakes for our props. I styled the shoot with other vintage items from my collection including bunting, a tea-set, and a fur jacket. The ‘story’ I wanted to tell was the bride arriving at the castle to stay for her fairytale wedding, stopping for a picnic by the lake on the way, and then having adventures exploring the castle rooms as she awaits her knight in shining armour!”

“Huge thanks to the local suppliers who let me borrow items for the shoot.  Biggest thanks to top Herefordshire wedding venue Hampton Court Castle for letting us have this gorgeous location, and to Alex for totally rocking her frock. Alex and I had loads of fun doing the shoot, and Alex loves her pictures! A ‘Rock The Frock’ is a great excuse to wear your wedding dress again and jazz it up with cool & quirky styling and props, so I’d definitely recommend it!”

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“The Pirate & The Stripper got Married” – Ed & Torie’s Quirky London Wedding

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.”

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