Tag Archives: UK

Find Your Wedding Photographer with Specialens

Struggling to find a wedding photographer? After something very specific that you haven’t been able to find? Well give Specialens, a website that specalises in sharing wedding photographers, a try?

“We are solely focused on helping brides-to-be find their special wedding photographer in as fun and easy a way as possible.” they say. “When we first had the idea of Specialens, the main thing we had in mind was to create a unique approach. We tried to incorporate all the questions and criteria a newlywed couple could possible ask when searching for their wedding photographer.”

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A Colour Pop Bridal Shoot

“Waking up to a dark sky and torrential rain, the day started with two long suffering, bare foot models scampering through puddles and sheltering under crochet blankets”, photographer Becky Mitchell wrote.

Luckily for all involved the shoot was to be held indoors, in an old school building. The inspiration for this shoot came from wanting to create something simple but delicate, pretty and soft – pastels juxtaposed with a bold and bright and neon edge.

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A Picnic Wedding: Alex & Denise

The inspiration for Alex & Denise’s Brighton wedding was for it to be “just like a big picnic”. They used local suppliers (including the caterers who used local produce and supplied locally produced champagne) where possible and DIY’ed the rest! “Our inspiration was for it to be like a big picnic – although without having to sit on the floor!” Denise told me. “I found mini picnic baskets that were used as the centrepiece on each table. These were filled with chutney, pickles and breadsticks. We wanted the wedding to be really relaxed – I’ve always disliked formal situations. I also wanted there to be lots of colour. For the meal we had a blanket set up on the floor for any children that got bored of the adults. We also did a play area with a wigwam, dress up box and colouring books. Although on the day they mainly opted for running around the field like lunatics.”

“The second (and very crucial) driving force for the wedding was the belief that it needn’t cost a fortune. Apparently the average wedding costs around £19,000 which to me is just a ridiculous amount of money (and was totally out of the question – we had nowhere near that amount of money to spend). We had less than £5,000 for the wedding and honeymoon but I didn’t want to compromise on the feeling of it being a special day. It was time to stick it to the man and beat the system.”

“There was a lot of DIY with this wedding. I gave myself the challenge of making 100 metres of bunting. I had my own mini production line! I sewed the bunting on to paper ribbon (which was much cheaper than using bias tape). I also made our sweetie favour bags (full of lovely sweets: pink shrimps, parma violets and flying saucers being my favourites). I really liked the look of the old fashioned paper sweetie bags – each table had a different colour (they looked great and they were as cheap as chips – sweet). They also doubled as name places. I tied them up using raffia. The raffia came in handy for lots of things – you can buy a massive bundle from floristry suppliers. This was much cheaper (and was far nicer raffia) than buying it anywhere else. Floristy suppliers were also a great place to go for decorative items (eg baskets, enamel buckets etc).”

“Another friend made great signs for the bar, camping area and toilets. This friend also made our tennis table bat table plan. Alex’s family are big fans of table tennis so it seemed like a good way to go! Each table was named after top table tennis players of the 1990s – I think that might be a wedding table plan first! I also made moustaches on sticks because I think they’re funny.”

Denise wore a wedding dress which she bought from Oxfam Bridal and then has customised and shortened by Erika Langley Bridal Alterations. “Wedding dress shops scare me so I never actually set foot in one,” the bride continued. “I’m not a girly girl and the idea of all the attention on me made me feel a bit ill. I knew I wanted a short dress – I’m only 5ft 1 and thought a meringue would drown me. Also, as we would spend the majority of the day in a field (and possibly a wet, muddy one) I didn’t want to be dragging a dress behind me. Plus, if I did need to don my yellow wellies, I wanted everyone to see them! I scoured the high street but nothing was right. I eventually went to Oxfam Bridal – perfect for me, I love a charity shop! The dresses were mainly quite extravagant but I did stumble across one that was nice and simple. It was also long with a huge train. Nothing that a dress maker couldn’t sort our though. I loved having such a simple dress – I felt really relaxed in it all day! My heels got replaced by some nice flat yellow sandals as soon as I got to the farm. A farm is no place for heels.”

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A Vintage-Inspired Walled Garden Wedding: Carina & Chris

Carina & Chris chose The Walled Garden at Cowdray, West Sussex as the venue to host their March wedding. “It was a fantastic venue where we were really able to personalise for our day,” the bride told me. “They were very relaxed and the venue’s informal spaces were perfect for us and our guests.”

“We spent the last year since getting engaged planning all of the details of the day”, she continued. “We spent our weekends rummaging in charity shops collecting china and glassware. We spent a long time making all of the bunting, menus, paper flags and lots of other items ourselves and needed someone to make it all look pretty on the day so that I could relax and enjoy getting ready! For this we worked with Lucy at Love Lane Vintage. We met her at the venue and she worked closely with our plans and our items, as well as my many sketches to style the venue! We also hired her vintage china teacups and cake stands to style the table and serve our mini afternoon tea – in place of canapés – for the drinks reception! The macaroons and mini scones looked stunning, as did the piles of teacups and teapots for guests to use!”

Spriggs Florist in Petworth also immediately understood the vintage feel of the day – really relaxed, seasonal flowers arranged in the jars and a mix of vintage glass bottles we had collected – as if freshly picked and placed on the tables and around the venue. My bouquet had the 50s wow factor – full of sweat peas and big blousy peonies. Bridesmaid’s flowers complimented these using sweat peas again. Fresh rose petal confetti was supplied for guests to throw – handed out by our bridesmaid form a pretty vintage wicker basket.”

“Everything we used on the windowsills and sweetie tables we had collected, been given by family or friends or made ourselves. It was so much fun to see it all looking so beautiful! The cups, plates and bonbon dishes we collected looked amazing full of sweeties and flowers on the cake/sweetie table. As well as the bunting and vintage china, we designed and made all of the stationery for the day, guests really embraced the fabric covered badges and name tags on the tables and wore them during the evening dancing! It was great seeing friends and family collecting ‘souvenirs’ of the day to take home at the end of the evening!”

The bride were a short vintage-inspired wedding dress which she’d had designed and made by the fantastic House of Mooshki. “They make amazing vintage-inspired wedding dresses and they were fantastic to work with. Olivia, the designer, really understood what I was after and the dress was not only beautiful but and comfortable (amazing for dancing in the evening!)”

“We wanted a very relaxed day where friends and family could come along and fully enjoy the day without feeling formal,” Carina concluded. “We knew we didn’t want it to feel too ‘wedding-y’ with the same old things you see in a lot of magazines and wedding shows!  We did exactly what we wanted to do at every step of the way and only worked with suppliers who ‘got’ this including the amazing Lisa Devlin. After we had seen her work, we knew she’d be perfect to capture all of the detail of our day.”

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An Eclectic London Wedding: Kate & Jon

Kate & Jon were married in March in London. After a ceremony in Battersea Arts Centre they headed to Balham Bowls Club for their eclectically decorated reception. “The most important thing for us when planning the wedding was that it should consist of things that we normally like to do – reception in the sort of pub we would normally drink in, the style of dresses both I and the bridesmaids would normally wear (although a bit nicer of course!), the sort of food we would normally eat,” Kate told me.

“This was also reflected in the ceremony, with a reading from Captain Corellis Mandolin (one of my favourite books) and everyone singing along to ‘Sunshine of my life’ by Stevie Wonder rather than a more traditional song.  Also, our first dance was ‘You never can tell’ from Pulp Fiction – a favourite film of Jon’s. It was important to us that it was in London, which is where we and the vast majority of our friends and family live. Like most of the couples on Rock n Roll Bride, we didn’t concern ourselves with what was expected of us traditionally and instead thought of it more like we were just planning a big party!”

The couple had help from friends & family with organising the wedding, especially April from Rhubarb & Rose (who I’ve actually featured on the blog before – I’ve eaten her cake pops too, they’re YUM) “We am very lucky that the wonderful April is a friend of ours, and she did the cakes and dessert table. The centrepiece was a six layer chocolate Guinness cake with chocolate fudge and salted caramel buttercream icing, decorated with paper flags.”

“There were also mini fruit tarts filled with custard, blackberries, raspberries and pomegranate, mini Victoria sponge cakes and mini cupcakes in rhubarb and rose, choc raspberry, salted caramel and lemon with a lemon curd filling. We also had cake pops decorated with red lips and moustaches!” (YUM I’m literally salivating, thanks for that Kate!) “The illuminated letters were made by our friend Jack as a wedding present. He is a prop designer and has since started his own company, The Little Big Letter Company, to make them for other couples.”

“I searched the internet for old fashioned typewriter style fonts and used one of these for the orders of service. I had them printed on to thin brown Kraft paper and then bound them together using red and white striped bakers twine. We didn’t have a theme really but as I was wearing red lipstick and red nail varnish, we tied things together by using splashes of red throughout – red and white stripes for the favour bags and punch straws, red lips on the cake pops, as well as the giant red illuminated K and J.”

The bride wore two dresses, a ivory number during the day and a sexy black number for the evening which were both bought from Whistles.

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A Day of the Dead Shoot for Madeleine Bride

I have a feeling this is another one of those bridal shoots that you’re going to either love or hate. Me? Well I love it! Pushing the boundaries of bridal fashion and taking influences from things that inspire you outside of the wedding world excites me greatly. It’s shoots like this, set up by millinery & headpiece designer Madeleine of Madeleine Bride, that reinvigorate my love of the alternative and remind me that yes, it’s not for everyone, but oh boy is it exciting to see something different!

“In 2010 I went travelling to the US, Mexico and central America for four months,” Madeleine explained. “The whole trip was centred around being in Mexico for the Day of the Dead celebrations which is something I have wanted to experience for years. I love the concept of the Dia de los Muertos – it’s a celebration of death where people remember their loved ones with happiness, bright colours, lovely food and amazing fancy dress parties. We spent time in cemeteries where all the graves were decorated with pink and orange flowers and even helped a family build a day of the dead alter decorated with sugar skulls and flowers.”

“When I got back to England I decided I just had to do a creative hat project based on this festival. I spent a while working out exactly what I wanted to do and when I was designing my bridal veils and headpieces last year I decided to continue the theme with a bridal day of the dead collection. Usually the festival is very colourful but I thought that it would look really beautiful in white and pale tones of bronze, gold and pale mint. The headpiece designs were inspired by Mexican icon and artist Freda Kahlo with lots of silk and organza flowers and Spanish style lace mantillas.”

“I approached Lydia from Lydia Stamps Photography about the shoot as I knew she was the right photographer for this project. With a background in theatre, she has a great eye for creating strong theatrical images. She was as inspired and excited about the concept as I was. We had a fun evening trying out the make up and decided to pull through the same muted tones, making it quite subtle, but still referencing the Day of the Dead Concept. Together we found an amazing white chalk pit for the location again keeping the muted white tones and we used smoke bombs which combined with the location created an ethereal, ghostly atmosphere.”

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