I’d like to start this Friday off with a little confession…I have been officially RUBBISH at keeping up to date with my Photography Friday posts. For the last 2 or 3 weeks I’ve missed it, mainly because I’ve been a little bit on the busy side and have been happy to leave all the picture-taking to the professionals! I ain’t gonna beat myself up about it…however these posts may be a bit thinner on the ground that I would have liked. If you knew what I had in the pipeline over the next few months I think you’d forgive me. I say the word ‘epic’ a lot right? Well the stuff I have planned is gonna be EPIC on a whole other level!
“This was a ‘Vintage Valentines’ Rock The Frock shoot, with a castle and cupcake!” Gemma told me. “I had photographed Alex’s wedding back in September, and she had a gorgeous vintage-style dress to change into for the evening – short so that she could dance properly! The dress had been a fabulous find on Ebay. Alex was really excited when I suggested we do a ‘Rock The Frock’, giving her the chance to wear it again. We decided to go for a quirky vintage theme that was a little bit different and a lot of fun, inspired by the amazing Rock n Roll Bride!”
“We did the shoot on Valentines weekend, so we had beautiful roses from Posies and a heart-cupcake from Emily Rose Cakes for our props. I styled the shoot with other vintage items from my collection including bunting, a tea-set, and a fur jacket. The ‘story’ I wanted to tell was the bride arriving at the castle to stay for her fairytale wedding, stopping for a picnic by the lake on the way, and then having adventures exploring the castle rooms as she awaits her knight in shining armour!”
“Huge thanks to the local suppliers who let me borrow items for the shoot. Biggest thanks to top Herefordshire wedding venue Hampton Court Castle for letting us have this gorgeous location, and to Alex for totally rocking her frock. Alex and I had loads of fun doing the shoot, and Alex loves her pictures! A ‘Rock The Frock’ is a great excuse to wear your wedding dress again and jazz it up with cool & quirky styling and props, so I’d definitely recommend it!”
When Ed & Torie’s beautiful wedding landed in my inbox last week, I was immediately drawn to the bride’s beautiful ensemble – in particular her stunning vintage dress from my favourite girls, Fur Coat No Knickers. The couple were married in November at The Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich, London and Torie was keen to tell me all about their quirky and fabulous wedding day,
“On November 20th 2010 I got to marry my best friend, my pirate, Ed. Ed and I met 4 and a half years ago through his workmate / my flatmate at a pirate fancy dress party at our house – hence the nickname. Ed turned up, breathed fire (seriously) and then mysteriously left. As it turned out his appendix had burst and he went home and then to A&E. After recovering we got in touch and the rest, as they say is history.”
“Ed and I got engaged at the edge of the grand canyon (aaww) a couple of days after an American friend of mine got married in Phoenix on Feb 2nd 2010 (a year ago today). Little did I know it but after a ‘couple’ of beverages Ed spent the end of her wedding telling our friends he was going to propose, luckily I was too drunk to notice and so when he produced a HUGE Swarovski crystal surrounded by snakes from his backpack I was suitably dumbfounded. From that moment we promised each other that we’d do it like us. I would look like the best me I could be not like an idendikit bride, we would send invites that we loved, we would do it in a cool venue, we would not dance to Abba but we would dance – complete with knee slides and ties around foreheads.”
“So the plan was, find a great venue and take it from there. We found The Trafalgar Tavern in London, a pub with a fabulous upstairs area with lots of gold chairs, chandeliers and red velvet curtains, we both have cabaret sidelines (he as a compere, escapologist and fire artist, me as a burlesque stripper) so the wiff of the stage made us fall for the Trafalgar, it had the ‘us’ factor.”
“We also decided early on that we would like to give each other a present. Some of our married friends had given each other jewellery, we decided to give each other tattoos. For years Ed has wanted a full sleeve of a phoenix (the fire thing …) and I’ve wanted something large and floral on the base of my back. After a painful month or two I now own 2 large chrysanthemums covering my lower back and Ed, well Ed has a pretty fabulous arm, both done by Rodrigo Souto, he’s a fabulous artist and I’m so glad we decided to do it, although it turns out I don’t like getting my spine tattooed much.”
“For us it was important that our wedding was perfect for ‘us’. That meant a wedding that was a little bit Rock n Roll. It started with the invitations which I cross stitched and framed, they were then beautifully designed into invites and RSVP cards by a friend and we asked our guests to nominate songs they’d like to dance to from which Ed made probably the most eclectic wedding playlist ever which promoted much hilarity, dancing, ties round heads and knee slides on the dance floor.”
“Finding my dress was eventually but not always lovely, my Mum is an amazing seamstress and we intended to find something she could copy but I just couldn’t find anything I liked or that worked on my 4ft 10 frame. Then I found Fur Coat No Knickers, I know Kat, you already love those girls, but seriously they made me feel like a star and I cannot thank them enough for pulling me out of the ‘I’m never going to look like me on my wedding day’ panic. I tried on white but it didn’t work and then I fell for this printed number which they added a halter strap too, made smaller (result), made me bound edged petticoats and a floral hair piece to match and made me a little bolero too –it was too hot in the pub to wear the bolero but I reckon without the head piece and with the bolero I might just get away with wearing the dress to a party so that’s the silver lining. Luckily my Mum loved it too and instead of making my dress made me a fabulous black coat to wear over it as outside was distinctly less toasty warm than inside the pub.”
The couple DIY’ed the majority of their wedding décor – from the flowers which they collected from the flower market at 6am; to the candelabras, table centres and large displays that Torie and her army of helpers put together the day before; to the bouquet and buttonholes that they made the morning of the wedding. “My family kept me calm and panic free (sort of),” continued the bride. “I loved it so much that I have finally set up the business I’ve been promising to own for years, Victoria & Florence, flowers and cakes for every occasion. World domination (or at least the flower market) here I come.”
“It was such a wonderful day and our friends and family helped so much with emotional support, glasses of wine when needed, order of service folding and generally being fabulous”, Torie concluded. “All together it was exactly what we had wanted; a day where we looked like us and felt like us and where our friends and family could celebrate our love and have a good party. Getting married is great but being married is better and if it was a little bit Rock n Roll, all the better.”
In November I received an email from Bran Cook (PR extraordinaire) to ask if I’d be interested in being one of the attractions at a brand new wedding fair she was helping Rachel of Rachel Simpson Shoes and Clare Guest of The Wedding Club (a fabulous bridal boutique in Birmingham) to organise. At first I was a little confused. What would they want me there for? Who would want to come see me at a wedding fair? What would I even put on a wedding fair stand?! However I bit the bullet and said I’d be there with bells on…big pink ones.
Over the next few months I received regular updates (both via email and on The Designer Vintage Bridal Fair blog) about all the amazing suppliers that were getting involved with the show and my initial uncertainty and nerves turned to utter excitement! I had basically signed up to hang out at the beautiful Highbury Hall in Birmingham with a load my favourite wedding suppliers for a WHOLE WEEKEND…woohoo road trip! I even booked into a hotel with my girls Lucy of Lucy Ledger Designs and Debbie of DC Bouquets which further transformed the weekend from a ‘business trip’ into a fabulously giggly and gossipy girls weekend (and yes we did lie in bed until 3am chatting and laughing uncontrollably!) And I call this ‘work’ right?!
My girls, room-mates and gossip buddies – Debs & Lucy!
I literally couldn’t wait to get there…especially when I was informed that a) my stand was right next to photographer Emma Case (who I love more than life itself…not just because her work is amazing but because she has fast become one of my very best friends and b) that our room was the one with the bar in. BONUS. Then, when I arrived I was informed that there was even a football table in the corner or our room (great for all the poor grooms-to-be who weren’t so interested in all the vintage prettiness.) Also in the bar area were the super rad It’s a Wind Up, vintage 78 DJ’s who constantly kept us entertained us with their classic record collection (and they even played some Elvis just for me!)
Spring may be on it’s way (apparently!) but I’m still lusting over the prettiness of snowy winter weddings…although would you believe, there was actually some snow in parts of the UK this weekend!? Ridiculous.
There was quite a bit of snow-induced drama surrounding Peri & Ryan’s wedding. The ceremony was supposed to start at 3pm, but due to the weather the bride didn’t arrive until 5pm. Also, a lot of guests couldn’t make the day for the same reason and after the ceremony they couldn’t physically get from the church to their reception because of the snow dump and road closures. However a lovely local pub opened their doors to the couple and provided an impromptu reception to remember! I have to say, from these gorgeous shots by Shell de Mar I’d like to think they made the best of it (and I personally LOVE the pub venue – what great ‘art’ on the walls!)
“I can’t really say I am really a quirky person because I’m not but I have always liked to be a bit different in the way I dress,” explained the bride. “Nothing to crazy but just not like most of my friends, I don’t do brands and If I like something I will wear it! I love all things vintage and always have done! When we were planning I had originally wanted a vintage bunting, candy floss, ice cream type wedding in May but Ryan bless him couldn’t get his head around it so when he said how about a winter I thought it sounded lovely. However I still really wanted all the polka dot and vintage feel to it, so instead of doing the traditional long dress and winter colours we went for red and white colours.”
“Our centrepieces were red and white xmas baubles with led lights going through them with polka dot doilies on the tables and silver baubles as place name holders. Sadly no one got to see any of that due to the snow but it look stunning and transformed the room. Ryan’s Mother had made a 3 tier polka dot wedding cake that no one saw either, but we did enjoy it after the wedding! We had chosen Delilah the Beetle to transport us because we own a 1970’s green 1300 Beetle ourselves, but is at the moment being lovingly restored by Ryan so we knew that we had to have one as our wedding car. However again it don’t turn out like (in the end we were transported in a Land Rover! The good news is that we get to use him again for our Summer blessing! Similarly the lovely vicar and the church where we were married will also perform a blessing for us later this year…so in the end I’ll get to have the summer bunting, candy floss, village hall wedding I wanted in the first place!”
My inspiration for this shoot came from the fact that I had seen a lot of big brands in The States using fashion bloggers to model for and promote their new lines. I loved the idea and thought it could really work for the UK wedding market. After all, wedding blogs are the new wedding magazines right?! I approached Rachel at Wimbledon-based Luella’s Boudoir if she’d be up for letting us run wild in her shop and thankfully she loved the idea!
“OMG Huge congratulations!” I squealed, remembering how she’d once told me that winning a photography award was on her list of things she wanted to achieve in her career. “I know” she replied, “and the best thing? I’ve won my DREAM kit from Hasselblad who sponsored the awards…and we can use it for our shoot!” (and they even offered a wind machine…Lisa didn’t have to ask me twice whether I wanted to use it for my shot!)
For those non-photography geeks out there, getting lent a Hasselblad is kind of a big deal. Not only is this a camera worth about £30,ooo (and that’s not including the lights, wind machine and Mac that they also let us borrow!) but it pretty much blows any other DSLR out of the water in the quality of image!
Lisa explained all the techy goodness to me, “In layman’s terms, Hasselblad is a medium format camera and its all about the increase in image quality due to its massive sensor. The files are much bigger than 35mm DSLR and there are a lot more pixels. This is a camera for high end fashion and advertising work, the detail is phenomenal even when you crop in a lot. You get a lot more in the shadows and highlights and if you need to do any image recovery (if you’ve shot too light or dark) there is a whole lot more there to work with. The latest camera, which is what they gave us has a fancy focus system called True Focus which allows you to lock focus on any part of the image then recompose your shot. Once you get the hang of it, it is pretty useful especially when shooting at wide apertures which I do most of the time.”
“You can also shoot straight to computer into their dedicated processing software, which is what we did. This is very useful as you see exactly what is going on and can even control everything from the screen. So if you wanted to, you can shoot from a directors chair with a flunky doing the camera work! It has an eye-level viewfinder and can be held pretty much in the same way as a 35mm DSLR so I found it surprisingly easy to handle.”
Everything seemed to be falling nicely into place. Now all I needed was willing models.
It was important to me to pick bloggers who really stood out – bloggers with a strong sense of identity, both in themselves and their blog themes and ideas. Then I thought that having each of them styled to match the genre of their blogs would work really well. Not only then would the images be authentic, but we could use them to show some different bridal style ideas.
You absolutely MUST head over to all these girl’s blogs to see their full set of images and to find out exactly what they are all wearing…(you can get a sneak peek in the behind the scenes video below, but be assured, you will want to go check out all of their images. These girls are SMOKIN’) Click the links below to see their full sets…
But wait! There appears to be a certain pink haired blogger missing from this list! Well, as you all know I am always well up for a bit of posing. Oh I do love a good photo shoot. For this shoot I (obviously) still wanted to share some alternative/Rock n Roll Bridal styles… but I had to do something different.
First up I decided to add some more colours to my hair – I have been lusting over rainbow hair for months now and I was so excited when my hairdresser, Elbie Van Eeden said she’d be over the moon to do it for me! We dyed bits of my own hair (my base colour is Baby Pink by Stargazer and the highlights are Crazy Colour – Peacock Blue, Violette and Cyclamen) as well as adding clip in extensions dyed with the same colours.
Pretty awesome huh?!
In a similar way, we wanted me to wear something different to anything you’d seen me in before. I have to admit, it took a little bit of persuasion from stylist Kate Barbour that I looked OK in a slinky number but after looking at these images, I might have to admit that she was right! The dress is by Caroline Atelier and is called Emmy (available through Luella’s Boudoir) and I wore it with a Camelia Organza Flower by Victoria Fergusson.
For the group shot I wore an original blush vintage dress, created by Marilyn Monroe’s favourite designer, a gold shooting star band by Jane Taylor Millinery and shoes by Emmy (full list of what everyone is wearing below the gallery.)
But wait…there’s more! I also asked my friend Richard of FX Films to do the honours and film some behind the scenes action for us. I think you’ll agree the result is amazing! This man is a video genius (and I guarantee you will be humming this song all day now)
At the end of the day, we got together for one final group shot. Being a blogger and working from home alone, can sometimes be a very lonely career path. However having these girls on the end of the phone/hanging about on Twitter/eager to respond to an ‘omg I need your advice’ email, makes being a wedding blogger the absolute best job in the world.
I love these girls for their individuality, for their spark and for their passion for their jobs.
I love these girls for the support they give me and their genuine attitudes. These are the girls that make the UK wedding blogging industry great…and they’re all pretty foxy too!!
Jennie & Mark’s country casual wedding took place at St. Andrew’s Church, Prestwold and Quorn Village Hall in Leicestershire in January. Jennie found her perfect dress at a boutique that was closing down so she got it for a great price.
The couple gave their guests the loose dress code of ‘country casual’ for the men and ‘tea dresses’ for the ladies. I’ve heard both sides of the story when it comes to asking guests to dress to fit a theme, but I do think the overall result is quite a beautiful one!
The majority of the reception décor was a DIY effort. Jennie had spent the week before decorating with birdcages, wild flowers, chinese lanterns, paper chains, handmade cushions and vintage knick-knacks which she’d collected herself (Jennie is now hiring out her beautiful collection to other brides, if you are interested in hiring any of the items for your own wedding, be sure to drop Jennie an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
The day was a windy one (it was January after all!) so guests were treated to a warming hot chocolate on arrival at the hall. The couple served a hog roast in lieu of a traditional wedding breakfast and instead of dessert, everyone was asked to bake a cake to share! They even had a ‘Judge the Cake’ competition to finish the meal off! After the speeches and cake judging there was an enormous game of ‘Pass the Parcel’ among the 80 guests before the evenings entertainment kicked off with Leicester based Rock n Roll group ‘Daddy Longlegs’.