Tag Archives: UK

A Black Wedding Dress, A Traditional Church Wedding & A Burlesque Themed Reception: Scarlet & Craig

Scarlet & Craig’s wedding wowed me as soon as I spied that dress. I was so excited to be able to share this incredible Goth extravaganza and luckily for you lot, so were the newlyweds. In fact Craig’s reply when I emailed him back saying ‘Yes yes, hell yes (ps your wife is hot)’ was something along the lines of ‘OMG so excited that you’re going to feature us!!! Squeeee’.

“I’d never really thought about my wedding day growing up, so when Craig proposed on a trip to Amsterdam (with a tattoo that simply said ‘Marry Me’ on his wrists!) I was thrown into a bit of a panic!” Scarlet explained. “But as soon as we started planning we knew we wanted to do things our own way. Luckily we found Rock n Roll Bride, which made us realise there really are no ‘rules’ for a wedding, and then we just went all out! We didn’t start out with one, but as we went along we developed a kind of pink and black gothic fairytale theme, pink being my favourite colour, and black being Craig’s!”

“We didn’t have a huge budget, and didn’t want to waste money on things that people ‘expect’ to have at weddings which arent really necessary (for us, flowers were one of these things!) It took some convincing my parents that the bridesmaids would look great in £35 high street dresses and Primark shoes, and that the best men didn’t need buttonholes! Wherever possible we enlisted the help of friends and family, from the dress to the cake to the reception decor and catering. I’m a make up artist so I did my own hair and makeup, and I let the bridesmaids have free reign with their looks as I didn’t want them to look to ‘matchy’.”

As I said above, Scarlet’s dress was what really caught my attention when I first saw this wedding…and it turns out I wasn’t the only one! “The theme for the wedding really revolved around my dress, which was designed and handmade by the amazingly talented Kim Denman,” the bride continued. “I knew straight away that I would never find anything in a bridal dress shop, so didn’t even bother looking! Kim is a family friend who is based in LA, but also has a house in Hastings. I approached her about making the dress, and after an initial brain storming session, we decided on a kind of 50’s underwear themed colour scheme of dusty pink and black, with plenty of feathers, beads, and netting thrown in! Oh, and a massive stuffed pink bow on the back! I travelled to Hastings several times for fittings, but unfortunately didn’t get to accompany the dress on it’s trips to LA and back! Several times during the fitting process I wondered whether I’d taken it too far (my Mum was particulaly against the idea of a black dress) but in the end everyone loved it, even our most conservative guests and (suprisingly) our Vicar!”

After a ceremony at St Mary’s Church, the reception as held at The Suffolk Barn. “We instantly loved the idea of having the reception in a barn, and wanted a venue where we could create exactly what we wanted. Luckily we found the amazing 14th Century Suffolk Barn in Hawstead. The owner only allows a handful of events to be held there each year, and it has pretty much been left with all its original features, meaning it was a blank canvas for our ideas. My Dad is a production designer for film and TV, and without him, we could never have created anything so magical as our reception decor. From the fairy lit trees guiding the way to the entrance, to the handmade globes of foliage and pink ribbon hanging from the ceiling, to the enormous gilt frame that made our stage look absolutely surreal, he worked so hard (along with my brother and cousins) to make the venue look like something from a fairytale! The colour theme from my dress popped up everywhere: the beautiful cake made by my extremely talented cousin Maddie even had the lace design from the dress incorporated into it.”

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Messing About on the River: Emma & Tony

Emma & Tony had an intimate wedding of just 40 guests in Henley on Thames. Coincidentally this is where I went to college and I have a lot of fond memories of chilling out by the river, most probably while I was supposed to be in lectures – which maybe one of the reasons I love this wedding so much! Anyway, I digress…

The wedding was held at The River & Rowing Museum, a modern wedding venue situated right on the river Thames. A friend of Emma’s is a registrar and it was really special to have her marry them. “The museum was exactly what we were looking for,” Emma told me. “The staff at the museum were fabulous, nothing was too much trouble. Laura, the events planner for the museum, coordinated the wedding and it was great having her their on the day to make sure everything ran to plan so I didn’t have to think about a thing and just enjoy the day. Jeff from Digby Trout Catering with his team delivered the most delicious food that wowed even the London foodies. The seating plan was titled ‘Eat, drink & Be Merry’ and we all certainly were thanks to Jeff and his team – what a gem.”

The museum has its own jetty, right onto the Thames, and so for the evening reception/party, the couple hired the ‘Hibernia’ from Hobbs of Henley. “Sailing down the Thames in the evening watching the world go by while we partied into the night was the perfect end to a wonderful day,” Emma continued. “Michele and the whole team at Hobbs of Henley gave us an evening to remember.”

The bride wore a cappuccino dress made from Italian duchesse silk satin and sparkle tulle. It was designed for her by a friend. Georgina at Atelier Millinery make her a bespoke headpiece to perfectly match her dress. The bride also opted for a corsage instead of a traditional bridal bouquet. “We decided to do a mixture of professional and DIY for our flowers,” she explained. “As it was a simple, modern wedding I realized I didn’t want a wedding bouquet so I opted for a red rose wrist corsage and Tony had a matching buttonhole.”

“We wanted the day to feel like a big dinner party just enjoying the good company, great food and endless wine,” the bride concluded. “It was an informal day with everyone just mingling. I missed half the food as I was busy chatting at the tables and soaking in the atmosphere – it was wonderful. From the flower arranging, to putting together the stationery, to the bunting on the boat and setting up the cheese wedding cake, using family and friends meant it was a muck-in day rather than a manicured affair.”

“It was great to be able to thank everyone for making the day so special. Instead of a champagne toast we decided to go Rock n Roll and give everyone a half bottle to pop the corks and celebrate which was a wow.”

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A Budget-Friendly Autumnal Themed Couple Shoot: Rob & Jayne

Rob & Jayne used a mix of high street and vintage items for their shoot with Don from The Mottleys. I love how these images show that you really don’t need to spend a fortune on props and designer outfits to look beautiful in your wedding portraits.

“We were inspired by autumn and tried to incorporate this through the colours and textures: the mustard knitted tie, the soft peach, lace wedding dress, the wheat in the bouquet, the pinks and brass in the table setting. We set up our shoot in the garden. To keep off the autumn chill we had a hot chocolate bar with a variety of treats.”

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A Halloween, Day of the Dead & Bonfire Night Themed Wedding: Jennifer & Ian

Jennifer & Ian were married on Halloween so their day had a distinct theme to fit the time of year. “We wanted the wedding to have all the components of a ‘normal’ wedding but be personal to us,” the bride told me. “We both love Halloween, Day of the Dead and bonfire night and so decided to incorporate all three into a super-theme!”

“We wanted to make as much as we could ourselves, and to make the day as relaxed and enjoyable for everyone else.,” she continued. “We wanted a bonfire with jacket potatoes and toffee apples. The rest of the wedding was built up around that.”

“I made most of the decorations myself, but had some help from my friend Sharon and my Mum on the tissue paper Mexican picado’s. They were very time consuming to cut as the designs I chose were very intricate! But they were well worth the effort as they transformed a traditional bland-ish room into a Mexican festival!”

The couple booked Hannah Millard to photograph their wedding after seeing her featured on Rock n Roll Bride. “Hannah was absolutely amazing, she breezed in at the crack of Dawn and it was like I had known her for years,” Jennifer said. “After talking to her over emails I knew we would get on as we share the same ideas and principles on photography and weddings! What I didn’t expect was for Hannah to integrate with everyone else so easily, and to be a constant reassuring comfort to me throughout the day. She was so unobtrusive and took spectacular shots of our day.”

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A DIY Cornish Wedding: Angie & Jack

Angie & Jack’s Cornish Wedding was a wedding of three parts – with the ceremony at Devoran Parish Church, drinks and afternoon snacks at Devoran Village Quay and finally the main reception, with dinner and dancing, at Devoran Village Hall.

“We didn’t stick to the standard ‘wedding rules’ and just wanted our wedding to be fun and to show our personalities,” the bride told me. “We wanted everything to be as unique and as personal without spending a fortune.”

The couple DIY’ed as much of their wedding as they could including the guest labels (old jam jar tags decorated with japanese masking tape), the cake toppers, the bunting, the centrepieces, the table runners, the pew ends and the guest book.

“What we did spend on were important things to make the day enjoyable for our guests, like lots of booze, food and our band,” Angie continued. “It was an important venue because Devoran is the village that Jack grew up in – the church, the quay and the village hall are all minutes from each other and they all hold lots of sentimental value and memories. We didn’t want some grand, faceless venue that didn’t mean anything to us.”

“We had the best day ever and had lots of fun putting it all together – and our friends and family say they had a blast. The other amazing thing is that it was raining EVERYDAY all week in the lead up to the wedding but on the day it was glorious – as you can see from the pics – but from the time the night was over (close to midnight) and all throughout the following days it was raining again! So we were very very lucky and blessed with good weather on the day!”

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A Village Fete Meets Tattoo Parlour Wedding: Jess & David

Jess & David were married in All Saints Church in Kirby and they had their reception in the bride’s parent’s back garden. Jess wore a Candy Anthony Dress, Upper Street shoes (which she designed herself) and Vivienne Westwood jewellery. The lucky couple had Shell De Mar there to capture their day.

“We met at school and had been together 12 years when David proposed at sunrise on the beach in Mexico,” Jess told me. “Initially I’d been reluctant to get out of bed so early but something told me it might be worth it…and it was!”

“We always knew we wanted to get married in Pocklington, the small Yorkshire town where my parents live and where the school at which we met is. But finding a venue was a big problem as everything just felt too formal and wedding-y. In the end, it made perfect sense to do it in my parents garden as we had the space and freedom to do everything exactly as we wanted. We felt really strongly that if we were going to have all the people around us that we cared most about, we didn’t want to be standing on ceremony. That was one of the reasons we put our table in the middle of the room, because we didn’t want that us and them separation.”

“I knew immediately I wanted a 50’s style dress and as soon as I clapped eyes on Candy Anthony’s dresses it was love at first sight. The polka dots were just perfect and the red sash was brought everything together. I was worried that David would be disappointed that I hadn’t gone more traditional but the look on his face when I walked down the aisle told me I had nothing to worry about. The right shoes were proving extremely difficult to find and it was my Mum who eventually found Upper Street’s website. I designed exactly what I wanted and six weeks later they arrived and couldn’t have been more perfect.”

“My biggest thing throughout the planning was that I didn’t want to settle just because something was easier and I spent many hours trawling websites for ideas on how to do things,” the bride continued. “There were times, I think, when my Mum struggled with the idea that it wasn’t going to be a traditional, fluffy, sugar coated wedding, but she soon got what I had in mind and was amazing in helping everything come together. We couldn’t have done it without my Mum and Dad.”

“In the end the theme was a celebration of all things kitsch – or village fete meets Rock n Roll tattoo parlour as one of our guests described it. The biggest compliment at the end of the day was the number of people telling us how the whole wedding was totally ‘us’.”

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