Tag Archives: UK

A Rockabilly, Psychobilly Wedding: Claire & Lee

I love weddings like Claire & Lee’s. Not just because the rockabilly theme is awesome, but because they put their heart and soul(s) into creating a wedding that reflects how they are in everyday life.

“We’re both very much in to the whole rockabilly and psychobilly scenes and have been for quite some time, so it only seemed natural to extend this to our wedding day,” Claire told me. “One thing we set out to do from the very beginning was to make our wedding day for us. It seems all too often that people try and tailor their wedding day around their family and other guests, where as for ourselves we tailored it around us and guests had to fit in; which they did wonderfully.”

“We sourced everything ourselves to fit our style perfectly; the clothes, cars, venues, music and decorations had to be just right; and although at times it was a nightmare of a challenge to get every thing perfect (antique teapots are notoriously hard to find) we managed it and wouldn’t have changed anything for the world.”

The wedding ceremony was held at Manor by the Lake, Cheltenham. After a moving service the couple were greeted by Morris Dancers as they departed. “As Lee is a Morris dancer he had his side (The Gloucester Morris Men) waiting outside of the venue ready for when we walked out as husband and wife, their sticks raised in an arch for us to walk through. They then preformed a few dances for us, including Ladies Pleasure, a one man jig, for Claire. Lee also joined the side for one dance.” The couple were then whisked off to their DIY styled reception at The Lower Lode Inn, Tewkesbury in a 1959 Black Cadillac.

“All of the decorations for the reception I made myself, including 80 meters of bunting and the green and purple polka dot table cloth centres,” Claire continued. “The bunting ran diagonally across the room and was coupled up with strings of fairy lights, which came together to form a heart on the wall directly behind Lee and I. The table decorations were antique tea sets, with flower arrangements in the teapots and the tea cup and saucers had floating tea lights in them. There were also cut glass candle stick holders and candles which we collected ourselves.

Both the bride and groom wore two outfits, one for the ceremony and one for the reception. Claire changed from her Fairy Goth Mother corset and a skirt (made by a local seamstress to which Claire added – by hand – 500 pearls!) to her Forever Unique reception dress. Lee switched from a black 1950’s sharkskin suit (made in Las Vegas and bought on eBay) to a silver sharkskin suit which he found at Moss Bros of all places!

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An Origami Wedding: Ceri & Terry

Ceri & Terry didn’t really plan to have a theme for their November wedding, however once they started with the origami they found it hard to stop! Ceri told me all about their beautiful wedding, “When we first started planning the wedding, we were determined to do our best to be relaxed about the whole thing. We decided that, if we could find the right venue then even if everything else went wrong, we’d be ok – we could turn up in jeans and order pizza, if necessary, as long as we could get all our loved ones in the right place. After a couple of months of looking, we found it: Great Wilbraham Hall Barn. It was perfect – big enough for our guests, fairly isolated, licensed for weddings (we wanted everything in the same place), ideal for the winter months with lots of warmth and character, and within 30 minutes drive of Terry’s grandparents.”

“A few weeks after we had booked, we got the call – the barn had burnt down. Ah. So, onto plan B. We saw the marquee which was put up in place of the barn, and liked it – it was light and airy, and still had all the things about the location that we had loved initially. The only problem was that, whereas the barn was full of its own character, the marquee would definitely need decorating. We spent a lot of time going for walks and kicking ideas about, until I remembered the Senbazuru – an ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish. It is a traditional wedding gift, or something done together by the prospective husband and wife to prepare them for married life together – it does take a lot of time and patience. I love origami, but Terry had to learn – which he did, and the next few months were spent folding cranes together in the evenings. We also went on to fold tiny cranes for all the place cards, and decided to carry the theme through, picking origami animals to be our table names and I even folded my own origami bouquet.”

The couple spent months collecting different types of paper for all the origami – from comic book patterns (Terry is a big fan) to headed paper from their work! “It was really exciting getting the paper for the cranes,” Ceri continued. “Every time we got a new batch in we’d sit and fold one of every colour just to see what they looked like!”

“The thing which we found most difficult about planning a wedding was the assumption from other people that things would always be done a certain way,” the bride concluded. “We wanted to start from scratch and do things because they felt right, rather than just because they were traditional. Our two best friends are guys, so no bridesmaids, but two best men. Because the marquee wasn’t licensed for weddings, we were legally married in a very small, very quick ceremony in the billiard room, and then had a public ceremony in front of all our guests, so we personally adapted both ceremonies to make them right. Neither of us were particularly interested in wedding flowers – so we didn’t have them, using flower-pots filled with Love Hearts to stand our origami animals up in in the centre of each table.”

“Also, music is really important to both of us, so we chose the songs that make us think of each other for background music throughout the reception, and picked a complete set-list for the DJ so we were sure that every song was one that we would want to dance to! Looking back on the day, it feels like every bit of it was very much ‘us’ – we didn’t have a wedding, we had our wedding. That’s what made us Rock n Roll.”

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Under the Spotlight: Neil Thomas Douglas Photography

Glasgow based photographer Neil Douglas prides himself on his composition and use of light. In fact he cites his main inspiration as Martin Parr, a social photographer, who is well known for his exaggerated style. “I love the way he uses colour and composition to really bring out the personality of his subjects,” Neil writes, “Henri Cartier Bresson is also massive influence for me – his candid photography really paved the way for us who favour a reportage style.”

“I picked up my first camera in my teens, and from then on it’s never really left my side,” Neil continues. “I combined my love of music and photography by running around gigs in skinny jeans shooting bands which was lots and lots of fun. It soon became apparent that it wasn’t really about the music, I was more interested in capturing ‘people’ and the human element so when I was asked to be a second shooter for a wedding tog friend I jumped at the chance.  And I never looked back.  I truly believe that great photography equals great art. It’s emotive, immediate and perhaps most importantly, accessible.”

“I’d describe my photography as fun, creative and a little bit unusual. I love strong composition, framing and really interacting the couple with their surroundings. I’d say its timeless, which means in 20 years it will remain just as striking, without being dated.”

“I think it’s fair to say that any couple in love make my job fantastic, but it’s always good to meet clients that are willing to try something a little bit different and move away from ‘traditional’ style posed photography. I love couples who come with their own idea’s too – it really does make the finished collection of pictures a true partnership between those in front of the camera and behind. I guess having a similar sense of humour helps, especially for those times when I’m asking the bride and groom to climb trees and lay on disused railway tracks!”

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A Vintage Festival Wedding…in the Rain!: Natasha & Charlie

Natasha & Charlie are the kind of couple that wedding photographers dream of – creative, unique in their inspiration and totally in love. The bride told me all about their vintage festival wedding. It may have rained for their outdoor ceremony, but it certainly didn’t damper their spirits!

“Even though I had prayed for months for sun on our wedding day, it still rained! I thought that this would ruin the day as everything we had planned involved being outside – including the ceremony. Just before we were due to go down, the wedding organiser at Maunsel House said that it was raining and tried to convince me to move everything inside. But I couldn’t bare the thought of not getting married under the beautiful bandstand as this had been my dream from the start – so I made everyone stand outside with umbrellas! It actually turned out really well and everybody loved it – the pictures of everyone with umbrellas looked great as well!”

“Even though we are from London we both knew that we wanted to celebrate our big day somewhere further afield,” the bride continued. “We are also huge music festival fans so the idea of a festival-style, open air wedding was really appealing for us. We saw about 5 places before we finally settled on Maunsel House. With a licensed bandstand set in the grounds for wedding ceremonies and a roofed Pergola for outside dining, it totally fitted the bill for our outdoorsy festival theme.”

“We really wanted the wedding styling to reflect our personalities and our love of vintage things, so we began trawling car boot sales for trinkets and props to start creating the look.” Natasha continued. “As an alternative to the standard marquee uplighting, we bought loads of cheap old lampshades in different colours and shapes to hang from the centre of our marquee. We lit some with bulbs and others with fairy lights creating a vintage living room effect.”

“I also found a beautiful 1950’s record player on eBay which we set up in the main hall playing ‘The Sound of Music’ soundtrack to guests as they arrived. Instead of a table and traditional guestbook, we hired an old 1920’s bureau from The Little Wedding Helper and put a typewriter on there with a typed welcome letter to our guests. Kirsten, our wedding helper styled it beautifully with our vintage books and telephone as well as some flowers and luggage tags for our guests to write messages to us.”

“We used old scrabble sets to create our table names which were all based on the different festivals we had been to over the years and the walkways were adorned with hundreds of metres of vintage style bunting made by myself, my mum and my mother-in-law. We also made satin bows from the left-over bunting material to decorate the wedding cake (a delicious cake of cheese!) and little jars of home-made chutney for our wedding favours. My mother-in-law sketched a lovely drawing of the garden bandstand (where we had the ceremony) for the cover of our Order of Service booklets and we included poems and readings, as well as the words to our our Elton John and Kiki Dee Sing-a-long.”

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A Pretty Vintage Islington Wedding: Cecilia & Robert

Cecilia & Robert’s pretty London wedding took place at Union Chapel and Union Hall, Islington.

“At first we had to decide where to have our wedding as I’m from Italy and Robert London,” Cecilia wrote to me. “We soon realised that London was the perfect place, as it’s where we’ve chosen to live and where we definitely wanted to start our life as a family. We started looking at a few venues, but they all looked a bit impersonal and soulless to us, we definitely wanted somewhere that would have a meaning for us and our relationship. And so that’s how we “stumbled” upon the Union Chapel. Rob had been there several times to see gigs, and we had been together to see a very special acoustic performance by Editors. Many people think it’s not an actual church, but it actually is – and it made perfect sense to us to get married there!”

“We were also delighted to find out that – apart from the main auditorium – they have several spaces for hire that can be used for all sorts of events. The Upper Hall fitted the bill perfectly, as it’s a completely blank canvas that we would be able to personalize according to our own taste.”

Cecilia wore a vintage dress from Fur Coat No Knickers. “Being only 5 ft 1’ and quite curvy, I was dreading the idea of going wedding dress shopping as I knew what is available in ‘traditional’ wedding dress shops simply wouldn’t look good on me and would undoubtedly knock my confidence. Then one day in a shop just off Brick Lane I saw a beautiful prom-style short dress and that’s when I knew that would be the style I would go for. But it wasn’t until I went to the National Wedding Show at Earl’s Court and discovered Fur Coat No Knickers that the whole ‘vintage’ thing started to incredibly appeal to me, so I went to see the fabulous Laura & Emma about 9 months before the wedding. Laura insisted we had ‘a little play’ and she picked a dress for me to try on first. As soon as I saw myself in the mirror I went ‘oh my god!!!’– I simply couldn’t believe how amazing it made me look!. I also picked a stunning necklace from FCNK, which complemented the pearl earrings my mum gave me for my 31st birthday.”

“We had quite a few DIY projects that we completed thanks to the invaluable help of our friends and family”, the bride continued when I asked about their reception details. “We did our wedding invites ourselves, Rob designed the London skyline that became a sort of ‘fil rouge’ throughout our wedding, and created the actual invites around it. We also handmade our jam jar wedding favours and the little sugar almonds bows. Rob’s brilliant sister Anne (who also made my hair on the day!) and her husband Kevin made most of the plum and peach jam, whereas the jars were provided by my mum, who works for a glassware manufacturer. Anne and Kevin also made the spiced apple and onion chutney that was served together with our cheese cake!”

“We were on a tight budget so we knew we could not afford a traditional seated meal for all our 80 guests. This, combined with the vintage feel we wanted to give to our wedding after I chose my dress (and, I admit it, my love of cakes), convinced us we should go for a traditional English afternoon tea party. After all the cakes and sweet treats, we thought that having a traditional wedding cake would not make any sense. That together with Rob’s absolute love for cheese convinced us that we had to go for a cheese cake! We purchased the cheeses (Cornish Yarg, Stichelton, Italian Caciotta, Coeur Neufchatel and Crottin de Chavignol) from the fantastic La Fromagerie in Highbury – a real treasure trove for all cheese lovers!! The cake was decorated with cherry tomatoes on the vine and black grapes, and was served with our homemade chutney and artisan bread sticks.”

“I have to say,” concluded the bride, “that although we put all our efforts into organizing this wedding while being on a budget, trawling all the wedding blogs out there and trying to do as many things as possible ourselves, we couldn’t have done anything without all the amazing suppliers we met along the way, who really surpassed themselves on the actual day.”

“Although the months of planning were quite stressful, we were very absolutely over the moon with the result, because we managed to stay true to ourselves and incorporate all the things that really mattered for us in our day. We wanted our guests to experience something personal and different, and we wanted those who had travelled across Europe to be there to really feel it was worth it – and their happy faces were the best reward for us! So my advice to those planning their wedding now is just this – be true to yourself and do things with your heart!”

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A Food Fight Engagement Shoot: Kim & Phil

Kim & Phil were the lucky couple who won an engagement and video shoot with AssassynationSassy n Frank and  Elbie Van Eeden. Their idea for a crazy shoot was a food fight as Kim explained in her entry,

“We got engaged on 1st April 2011, yes you heard right, April Fool’s Day, and with this in mind we would like to continue our personalities and character traits in an engagement shoot. The theme I see is a food fight, with bright and colourful food such as cupcakes, hotdogs, condiments (almost American food style) between myself and my fiancé.”


“We could be dressed in black so the bright colours would show up. I’d like some bright colour extensions in my hair (it’s brown at the moment) and bright make up to create a bold look.”

I’m thrilled to share the results with you today. Aren’t these two totally brave!? This is one messy shoot and I love it!

The video by Sassy n Frank which the couple will use as their Save The Date for their Vegas wedding is just genius…

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