Tag Archives: UK

Jim & Katy’s DIY-Fabulous Whimsical Beach Themed Wedding

I hosted a very special offer from Willow Tree Photography a while ago for free wedding photography to any lucky 2010 couples who maybe hadn’t planned to, or couldn’t afford a professional photographer. While I got a bit of stick on certain photography forums (apparently I was encouraging newbie photographers to undercut the market…well, anyone who read the post I published on Saturday will know this is certainly not the case!) I am over the moon that through running this very special offer I, and photographer Kathryn, were able to offer some awesome couples without the budget to spend on photography, the chance to have professional wedding photographs.

One of the first couples who took up this amazing offer were Jim & Katy. The pair had a whimsical seaside theme which started with an intimate ceremony at Harbour Community Church, Folkestone. “The wedding happened in our local church, its very near the harbour of our little town, its quaint but village-hall like (with a sloping floor) it helped to inspire the bunting and seaside/village fete theme”, the bride told me. “As we and our guests were outside the church after the ceremony doing the photos, a crack team of our friends re-arranged the church into a buffet for the reception, the chairs were moved from rows into circles and it was a very informal reception but with amazing food prepared by members of the church.”

“The church was decorated in hundreds of metres of bunting that was around the front and back of the church, ran down the aisle and spilled out to the rails outside, making everything look very happy and inviting. We then had an evening party downstairs at a local bar, informal, good atmosphere.”

The bride wore a custom made dress, which she had designed and created especially for her by a local seamstress. To this she added those amazing and awesomely bright Irregular Choice shoes (she also had white pumps from Schuh for the evening.)

The couple, who are both recent art graduates didn’t have much money to spend and so DIY-ed a lot of their wedding – the flowers, all the decor, the favours, the buttonholes, the cupcakes – everything was made by the couple or their friends and family members.

Katy concludes,
“Our inspiration was based on three things…

1. wanting an honest reflection of ourselves and the aesthetic
preferences that are likely to hallmark our marriage, not the packaged
ideal of a modern ‘wedding’.

2. We didn’t have much money.

3. The venue, we let that dictate somewhat. it wasn’t the prettiest
building but had charm that we used our theme and decoration to bring
out. We wanted to get married there because it is our local church and
so it was an emotional choice.”

“We knew we had this village hall-like building and we were right by the sea. Also we love bunting, so to ignore our actual surroundings would be absurd. My recommendation to anyone trying to think of a theme is to not only be true to yourselves but also to the architecture and geography of where you are getting married. That way everything will gel and fit, plus that location will become even more strongly associated with your special day.”

“We also new that lots of our friends have toddlers and we didn’t want to exclude them. We felt that our theme allowed everyone to be able to enjoy the day and have fun.”

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A Sunday Kind of Love – Working Together, Rocking Out & Making Love Not War

When you run your own business it’s incredibly easy to become fiercely competitive and secular without even knowing it. I’ve found that especially in the wedding industry there are so many of us trying our hardest to be successful that a lot of the time, it can all get rather bit bitchy and competitive. That sucks.

I’m happy to say that although I’ve had my fair share of niggles with others in the same field as me in the past that I’ve come out the other side and brought a few of my favourite other bloggers (shock horror – shouldn’t they be my competitors!?) along for the Rock n Roll ride. I’m now happy and thrilled to call them my friends and colleagues.

The Photography Parlour does the same thing for photographers here in the UK. In a similar way to other sections of the industry, wedding photographers can often see each other (especially when they work in the same area) as competition. This is why I love The Photography Parlour, a site which brings all these photographers together so they can learn from each other and work together to make something really great.

This particular shoot was set up by some members of The Photography Parlour themselves for those exact reasons. Below is a list of everyone involved with the shoot and all the photographers that took part.

…Oh and quite apart from the reasoning behind this shoot and this post, how damn gorgeous are these images? I am totally swooning over the oh-so-very British setting and quirky and fabulous vintage styling. I approve muchly.

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Sarah & James’ Rockin’ Rockabilly Wedding

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Sarah & James’ 1950’s rockabilly wedding was inspired by Sarah’s Grandparents who got married on September 12th 1953. “We wanted to get married as close to this date as we possibly could, hence the choice of 11th September 2010,” Sarah told me.  “My Grandparents celebrated their 57th Wedding anniversary the day after our wedding – the rose tattoo’s on my feet (by Sam Ricketts) have their names ‘Alice’ and ‘Mervyn’ in recognition of how special they are to me.”

“We were keen for the day to reflect our personalities,” continued the bride. “We chose a civil ceremony which was held at Pittville Pump Room, a Grade one listed building, as it is a big part of Cheltenham’s history, pumping the famous ‘spa water’ to the town (and it makes for some pretty awesome pictures!)  There was a ‘swallow’ theme running throughout (as I have swallow tattoos on my stomach) – As James is a Graphic Designer, he designed all of the wedding stationary for us – from invites, to place settings.  As wedding favours we decided on plectrums (which we ordered from the internet) as James is a guitarist, with the ‘swallow’ design and our names and the date on the back.”

“There was also a colour theme of red, black and white running throughout the day (as these are our favourite colours!) Rather than ‘table names’ we identified the tables with movie stars and singers from the era. From Marilyn Monroe, to Audrey Hepburn and Frank Sinatra.”

Sarah wore a ivory 1950’s style swing dress from Vivien of Holloway (her bridesmaid’s wore the same dresses in black or polkadots) and the new Vivienne Westwood Melissa shoes (eeek cherries!) Her hair was done in a rockabilly style, adorned with Diablo Jo’s handmade rockabilly accessories.

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The Rock n Roll Bride Venue Guide – London

I get loads of emails from you lot asking me advice on all manner of wedding planning related matters and while I’m easily able to reel off a long list of fantastic photographers I know or recommend some awesome dress companies, when it comes to wedding venues…well I’m as clueless as you are!

We had a massive drama with our wedding venue (they cancelled three months before our wedding day – but that’s a story for another time!) so needless to say finding the perfect venue for your Rock n Roll wedding is not my speciality! However luckily for me (and you!) I know someone who knows all about the very best and coolest venues in the country. I asked my good friend Mary Herrington of Forever & Ever Events if she’d be able to start up a feature for me, showcasing some of her favourite and most Rock n Roll wedding venues all over the country, First up London…

♥  ♥  ♥

I can’t tell you how cool I felt when Mrs. Rock n Roll herself approached me about guest blogging on the topic of Rock n Roll venues in London.  Seriously felt like I had gotten the official seal of cool approval.  My mind started racing through the mental rolodex, considering all the many amazing venues in my books, and I realized that I needed to stop and think about what makes something Rock n Roll. As you all know, a Rock n Roll Bride wedding can be punk rock, hip hop, down home, urban chic, tattooed, but at the same time, Rock n Roll Bride is also about beautiful weddings –every single featured wedding is full of jaw-dropping photography, romance, high style and just the pretty.  And that’s just it: what makes everybody stop and take note is the fact that every single one is different and unique.  So rather than assume that all of you want the same kind of venue that evokes rustic elements or architectural design or a space you can DIY, I knew the best way to approach this mammoth task was to think of unique qualities about each venue that stand out, that will get guests talking, that will be awesome for a rock band, or a jazz band, or a venue that will provide the outdoors indoors, or exude laid back cool, or that will give you a wicked setting rife with kick ass photo ops. It was clear I needed to give you a wide range in both style, size and economy, but all of which have something extra-ordinary.

Without further ado, here is a list of 10 wedding reception venues that should satisfy your different Rock n Roll sensibilities.

1.  Shoreditch Town Hall

You can’t get more Rock n Roll than Shoreditch.  Right off the bustle of Old Street, the Town Hall, while situated in the thick of uber hipsterdom, does not attempt to be trendy.  Far from it, the building’s interior harks back to Edwardian times, with gilt-edged walls, stained glass windows as well as an orchestral bay, all preserved in its historic state. However, staying true to Shoreditch’s alternative energy, the motto speaks quietly to the venue’s Rock n Roll spirit: “More Light, More Power”, a motto etched on its crest and in the stained glass windows (check out the photos of me in the venue below!).  The main Assembly Hall has its own elevated and built-in stage, perfect for your wedding band and holds 350 comfortably for a dinner and dance set-up, while, for smaller weddings, the Council Chamber downstairs can hold 80+ comfortably for dinner and dance.  Licensed for civil ceremonies, it is also entirely flexible – no on-site caterers or furniture, so you are free to bring in whatever and whoever you want.  Hire charges range from £3,000-4,000 + VAT.  And the most Rock n Roll of all: readers with any Forever & Ever wedding planning service will get a 10% discount on hiring Shoreditch Town Hall on bookings made prior to 1st February 2011.  For more details on this special offer, contact me directly at info@foreverandeverevents.com and make sure to refer to Rock n Roll Bride.

Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT, 0207 739 6176.

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The Good Life – An English Countryside Engagement

Getting down n dirty at their allotment was the name of the game for Vonney, Tristan and Boo’s (the dog) pre-wedding shoot. A reflection of how they live their lives on a daily basis, photographer Caroline was keen to bring this realism into their session.

“When I first came up with the idea to include the pre-wedding shoot into my wedding package I knew that I didn’t want to offer my couples the standard posed pictures in front of yet another garage wall, holding a vintage camera etc,” Caroline explains. “I believe that we ‘normal’ people aren’t models. If we are told to do something, to stand in a way that we don’t usually stand it doesn’t look natural, does it?! And I also don’t think that this tells me much about the couple themselves and I came to the conclusion that I wanted my clients personalities to shine through in every pre-wedding shoot picture.”

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Joan & Tim’s Musical English Country Garden Wedding

Oh I have yet another fabulous British wedding for you to le swoon over today. Joan & Tim’s English country garden theme was sure as hell given a Rock n Roll twist with the infusion of some seriously rad and personal touches. Not least of all, Joan’s incredible dress (actually a corset, skirt, bustle & train) from designer Jane Bourvis. It was all Vintage Couture. Jane was actually the designer behind Carrie Bradshaw’s famous ‘green seafoam ballerina dress’ that she wore in the final episode of Sex and the City (photo here) “Her shop is a wedding wonderland with vintage dresses and corsets dangling above you so you don’t know where to look at first,” Joan explained. “It was the first dress I tried on and within 5 minutes I knew that I wanted it.”

The bride made all the decorations, invites, place cards, table names, pom poms (from a Martha Stewart tutorial), and the seating plan by herself. ” We transformed the village hall, which was very much a black canvas, into a really beautiful room using the cream & caramel colour scheme which we got from my dress. We also carted around lots of picture frames, candelarbras and engagement congratulation cards from home to dot around the hall and make it more homely and personal to us. ”

They had tipi’s and campfires and everyone camped for 2 nights. They set up makeshift portable showers for everyone – complete with posh toiletries! In the toilets they put photos from the hen and stag (bachelor & bachelorette) parties!

“We both love music so we added this to the wedding with table names being famous duets. Our table place cards were our faces super imposed into duets and we had “Rockaoke” our band so that our guests could live the dream for a night and get up and belt out some tunes with a live band. All the music throughout the day was chosen really carefully by us….we had Irish music in the church for ceremony to go village old (robin hood) feel of church, we walked out to O’Carolan’s concerto which is an irish jig. The reception music was a mixture of reggae/brazilian beats etc – feel good holiday music and it did briefly coax the sun out for us!!Music during dinner was 40’s and 50’s feel good music which we knew parents and their friends and grandparents (who sadly are no longer with us) would love. The dancing playlist after the Rockaoke was a compilation of requests from our guests.”

Be sure to check out their fab music themed engagement session here too!

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