Tag Archives: UK

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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A DIY Church Hall Wedding: Zoe & Richard

Sometimes I see a wedding and I literally can’t wait to learn more about it and (hopefully if the photographer and couple agree) write it up to share it with you lot too. Luckily for me, in this instance both parties were more than thrilled to share this wedding with us today, particularly because newlyweds Zoe & Richard found wedding photographer Joanna Millington on this very wedding blog. Hurrah!

Their DIY, family-central wedding was held at Christ Church in St Albans. “When we were first engaged I asked Richard if he knew where he wanted to get married,” Zoe explained. “He said he didn’t want to get married anywhere but Christ Church St Albans. It was my childhood church on the estate where I grew up and where Richard and I went to school. We knew it wasn’t exactly the idyllic wedding venue – a flat-roofed, slightly tired and drab looking carpeted church with very green curtains – but it was home. We had our reception in the same place. Luckily they had just built a shiny new hall attached to the old church building, which was very handy. No one (apart from us) had to venture out into the rain!”

The reception hall was decorated with the help of friends and family. They didn’t have a concrete ‘theme’ per-say, they just made the space warm, welcoming and fun! “My Nanny had valiantly made 150 meters of bunting with bits of fabric donated by people from the church, friends and other family members,” continued Zoe. “It was so lovely because people at the wedding said things to us like, ‘that piece there was the material I used to make a dress for my honeymoon’ and ‘that fabric was my old kitchen curtains’, so it was like all of these stories were tied together, and all the people who came together for our wedding, with all of their histories, were connected in some way. It was also very colourful indeed!! We used the left over odds and ends as table cloths.”

“Richard and his Dad had also made the most amazing Alice in Wonderland comic foregrounds. Richard had proposed to me amongst the seagulls on Brighton Beach and right at the beginning of our preparations we’d talked about how amazing it would be to have one of ‘those things you put your face through at the sea side’, but I never imagined we’d actually have them!! Although now what to do with two huge comic foregrounds is another matter…We also had sparklers as we left, which was very entertaining indeed!”

Pretty much everything else was DIY as well including the cake which was made by the bride’s aunt, the fake pom pom flowers which were put together by the bride’s parents and grandparents, and all the entertainment and music that was performed by various talented friends. The catering was also put on by some of the women who worked at the church. “My Mum had found a team of helpers from the church, who selflessly doled out and washed up after us all. We really couldn’t have done it without them, and yet they all thanked us for inviting them. People’s generosity was just astounding. After the service we ate ginger biscuits lovingly made by both of our mothers and drank mulled wine. We were really keen that everyone could come to every part of the day. We didn’t want to send some people away for the reception and then drag them back for the evening, so we decided to have curry from the place across the road. We could literally see their shop from the window in the hall where we ate. They were just so wonderful and insisted that we couldn’t possibly have onion bhajis, because they are just onion! They would make us their speciality, which was very tasty indeed. Richard and I are both vegetarians, so there was no meat, but no one seemed too phased by that! We had asked guests to bring a pudding along, and so we were not short of choice!! In fact we didn’t even get to see half of them! Thank goodness for photos! For drink, my Nanny and Poppa had bought every last Cobra from Tesco when they were on offer, and my Dad got a deal with a mixed load of wine. So we ate, drank, and were very merry indeed!”

The bride wore a short dress which she found at Whistles. “Being a fan of recycling, hand-me-downs, charity shops and vintage shops (when I’m feeling flush) I had been looking for something second hand. I knew I wasn’t a meringue bride, and I had no desire what-so-ever for a strapless floor-length number with diamante tiara and shoes to match. One friend said to me ‘You win either way, if you turn up in something outrageous, everyone will be shocked, if you turn up in something classic, everyone will be shocked.’ I contemplated dressing up as a Power Ranger for the occasion (just think of everyone’s faces!) The dress I ended up in, however, even caught me by surprise.”

“My Grandma wanted to buy my dress for me, and so for a laugh we went to the bridal bit of a large department store, just so we could fake puke all over them. The sales assistant was horrified when I told her I was getting married in only four months time. We quickly left. We ended up buying my dress from Whistles. I saw it one day when I was mooching around waiting for a friend, I was certainly not looking for my wedding dress, and I phoned my Grandma and Mum that night and we arranged to head to Selfridges, where they had the last one in my size, the next day. When my Grandma used the word ‘vivacious’ to describe it, I knew I had to have it. On our wedding day, when I arrived at the front of the church, Richard said to me ‘You did it, you surprised me.’ I think he would have been less shocked by the Power Ranger costume!”

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The Secret Glamour of Hollywood: A Styled Shoot for Alexandra King’s 2012 Bridal Collection

Secret Hollywood glamour was the inspiration for this shoot, set up to promote the new range of wedding dresses from British designer Alexandra King. “The shoot was originally based on the morning after the Oscars, a hazy, sun kissed feel with the soft prettiness of the dresses against the cold concrete and run down beach,” Alexandra told me. “As if an Oscar/wedding party traveled down to the beach in Lost Boys and here was the morning after. The shoot then developed to two more locations. To shoot the look book, we found a village hall which had the perfect school play feel to it with a velvet curtained stage and lighting that gave the models the appearance of being a puppet show.The abandoned 1960s caravan images gave a trashy contrast against the dresses again and I love the way some of the images have a romantic gypsy feel to them.”

Each dress is made to order and prices start from just £650. For more infomation be sure to check out her website or drop Alexandra a line!

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WIN One of Five Free Trash the Dress Bridal Shoots with Photographic Blonde

Don’t worry you don’t literally have to trash your dress (well unless you want to!) to enter this contest with wedding photographer Photographic Blonde! Photographer Emily would like the opportunity to shoot some kick ass Rock n Roll Brides and what could be a better way to do that then to ask you lot if you’d like to model for her? Not only will you have a great day but you’ll have some really fun and unique photographs to keep forever.

“Hey I’m Emily aka Photographic Blonde. I set up my wedding photography business three years ago after working in the photography industry for seven years, and I was adamant that I wanted to offer couple something different for their weddings.”

“I am passionate about the concept behind ‘trash the dress’,” Emily continues. I think it is a crying shame that so many stunning wedding dresses are packed up & pushed to the back of a closet after the big day. My aim is to celebrate the beauty of both the dress & the bride by creating images that capture their style & personality. The word ‘trash’ tends to put some people off the idea so be rest assured that you don’t actually have to ruin your dress to get some great shots! However if you’re willing to dance in a fountain, run through a field of flowers, have a food fight or cover your self in paint then I’ll be by your side all the way & ready to hand you a towel at the end!”

The Prize

Emily would like to offer FIVE lucky Rock n Roll Bride readers a day long (or however long you need to make your vision happen!) trash the dress/rock the frock photo shoot. The prize includes a hair & make up artist to make sure you’re looking your best as well as approximately 30 high resolution, print quality images for you to keep, delivered via online download.

To Enter

For your chance to win one of these five free photo shoots simply email Emily on info@photographicblonde.com with the subject link ‘Trash the Dress’ and include:

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A Barbie & Breakfast at Tiffany’s Inspired Wedding: Anna-Marie & Paul

Anna-Marie & Paul had a simple, down-to-earth and beautiful wedding. Barbie pink accents sat perfectly with their eclectic styling ideas and Breakfast at Tiffany inspiration. The reception was held at The Grand Café in Oxford, as the bride explained, “We went for a high tea affair in a beautiful 1920s style café. It is a special place for us as we started our dating years visiting Oxford and The Grand Café. In fact Paul proposed in Oxford too. We were aiming for a relaxed and informal atmosphere. No cutting of the cake, no first dance – just tea, cake and friends. We created a playlist of all our favorite songs and put it on shuffle throughout the night. It isn’t a wedding venue, partly why we picked it, we didn’t want anything typically wedding style. We aren’t crazy party animals so we only hired it for 4 hours, (5pm – 9pm). We wanted maximum impact, and minimal drunk people (the latter bit didn’t work out, It seems people cram more in a short space of time!!) All in all, it was the perfect choice for our wedding reception.”

Anna-Marie asked a friend from art college to make her wedding dress for her. She was inspired by the dress Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “I wanted an exact replica of the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress but in ivory. I also designed a top to go with the dress and decided 3 days before the wedding to cover the collar in pearls…it was stressful but often the best ideas come to me last minute! She did an incredible job, she is a pattern cutter for Coast, so I knew she was good, but I had no idea she was that good until I saw the dress for the first time! She even made me a cute label inside with my college nick name embroidered in ‘Annabell’. It’s finishing touches like this that made it even more special!”

As well as the pink colour scheme, Barbie dolls were featured throughout the wedding, making it a really girly but cute affair. “I collect Barbie dolls, and was determined to feature them in the wedding somehow, so I had the flower girls carry a Barbie doll each and the page boy carried a Thomas the tank engine toy. That way they had something to keep them occupied during the ceremony. I didn’t want all my closest friends walking down the aisle with me, as there were 7 of them! I had a corsage made for each of them to wear on the day and I attached tags to each corsage with a scrabble ring tied to it. Each ring spelt out the word ‘Friends’ and I wrote on each tag the reasons why they were special to me. Even though they were not official bridesmaids (we wanted to keep it informal), funnily enough when I got to the church I asked my sisters and best friend to walk down the aisle before me, it’s funny how tradition creeps up on you, but Im really glad I did, it made it more special.”

The couple added DIY touches where they could including making their own personalised stationery. “I’m a printer and designer by trade, so the stationery had to be amazing!” continued the bride. “The pressure was on! I created a Rob Ryan style laser cut invite, with a really lovely poem about marriage and love intricately cut out to form the shape of a lighthouse (we call our house the lighthouse, it has become our own special theme!) I made a fun spiral bound long thin Order of service, to be different and included a double page spread of pictures of all our friends and family. Printed on all my favourite papers, all 50% recycled stock. Then I made tissue slip cases for the church with the words ‘Tears of Joy…or a runny nose’ printed on each one. Each guest had a packet of tissues and an order of service on their seat.”

“The reception stationery include tea bag tags personalised with each guest name. We made our table plan a compilation of guests faces on a Polaroid picture in random countries around the world as backgrounds and each table was named after a different tea.”

“I created our own logo using the Tiffany’s & Co. logo, but then crossed out with Hughes scribbled above Tiffany’s. I printed it onto large luggage tags with questions on the reverse for each guest to fill out, this was instead of a guest book. We asked guests how and when they first met us, what we should call our next dog and what their advise for our marriage would be. We got some hilarious responses! We then tied each one to the willow tree that we took from the ceremony (saves on cost). We gave each guest a free drink voucher, entitled ‘fancy a drink?’ and placed in a tiny gold envelope on each place setting. I also made round disks with ‘the legend of afternoon tea’ printed on for our tea cup candle wedding favours.”

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