Tag Archives: UK

Annette & Chris’ Fancy Dress Victorian Circus Themed Wedding

Annette & Chris had a fancy dress/steampunk themed wedding in Liverpool. The bride wore a corset purchased from Corsets UK and a skirt from MTCoffinzUnderground on Etsy. “My dress wasn’t technically a ‘dress’ as it was a Corset and a separate skirt,” the bride told me. “I bought the white and black steel boned corset for around £60 and the skirt, which was described as a ‘Victorian Lace Gothic Ball Gown’, cost around £100.” She also wore Victorian-style black ankle boots which she hired from a fancy dress shop! Chris hired his unique outfit from a fancy dress shop too.

“The groom came up with the whole idea of a Victorian Circus themed wedding,” explained Annette. “We’re not ‘average’ kind of people and didn’t want to settle on an ‘average’ wedding, so it had to be fancy dress! Although we took our vows to each other seriously, we don’t believe a wedding should be a completely serious affair. It’s a great excuse to get dressed up and have a massive party with all of your friends and family, which is what we did! I think that’s what makes us so Rock n Roll. Everyone said it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to, including their own!”

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Emma & James’ Wedding of Love & Laughter

Emma & James had a wedding filled with love and laughter. With help from their family & friends, the couple pretty much handmade everything for their special day. The cake was made by James’ brother who has a family bakery, The Cherrytree Bakery, the bridesmaid dresses were made by a family friend and Emma, her Mum and her sisters made all the bouquets and buttonholes.

The couple designed their own invitations and their RSVP cards were drawn by their daughter Lily (aww.) “We wanted to be able to have something to hand out to our guests as they came in to the civil ceremony so made these little fans which listed the members of the bridal party, the names of the people doing readings and what they were reading, ” Emma explained. “These proved very useful on the dance floor later in the evening!”

The majority of the reception details and décor were also handmade. The bunting was crafted from paper doilies which Emma bought from a local £1 shop, cut into triangles and sprayed gold. They were then stapled onto red and white polka dot and gingham ribbons and were used to decorate the entrance marquee where the afternoon tea party took place. The seating plans were mad from Ikea frames, the table cloths and napkins were cut from fabric purchased very cheaply and the centrepieces were recycled tin cans that Emma knitted little jackets for (omg seriously dying over how cute these are!) Lily then made lots of little button and beaded hearts which they decorated the woolly jackets with.

Also on the table was vintage mismatched crockery and table numbers made from bottles that Emma and her Mum collected in the run up to the wedding. They were filled with homemade schnapps! Finally, Emma and Lily made moustaches and lips from Fimo and put them on sticks, “It was a lot of fun and much easier than I thought!” Emma said. “For favours each of our guests got a novelty gift on their chair we had stick on moustaches, masks, false teeth, funny glasses and lots of glow in the dark accessories as we wanted our room filled with laughter and ridiculous behaviour. These were picked up from pound and novelty shops and online.

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Star & Kane’s Adorable Floral Engagement

I’m a sucker for adorable florals. Who isn’t in fact? The concept of the shoot was formed by Thaoski, who told me all about Star & Kane’s gorgeous photo session came about. “The first time I met Star was at a Christmas party last year. It was the first time I had seen her with Kane and I remember thinking she had this old fashioned vintage sweetness about her. Kane is actually a guitar player in a rock band so together they just formed a ridiculously gorgeous ‘rock-vintage’ couple.”

“The theme of their shoot was ‘vintage sweetness’. Their wardrobe was full of vintage pieces but Kane bought Star a sewing machine for Christmas so she wanted to sew something for the shoot (very sweet!). She bought and old vintage dress and transformed it into the lovely green skirt you see in the picture.”

“The old bikes are also owned by them and we added the vintage camera (Canon 7) with the 1965 “dream lens” to the shoot because of Star’s love for photography. The gorgeous sparkly accessories were provided by the lovely Madame Moi Boutique and outfits were also co-ordinated by Madame Moi.”

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Tommy & Katie’s Bunny Engagement

Photographer Lisa Devlin told me about her plans for this shoot when we met up to discuss my initial ideas for The Big Fat Wedding Blogger’s Photo Shoot. She was keen to use the Hasselblad that we’d been lent for the shoot with one of her couples, and Tommy & Katie (and their bunny suits!) were the obvious choice.

“I saw some pictures of these two on Facebook dressed in big fluffy bunny suits at a fancy dress party and that sparked the idea for this quirky shoot,” Lisa explained. “Tommy is the singer in the alternative rock band Slaves to Gravity and Katie is a gorgeous 50’s chick so we were aiming for something a bit vintage and a bit dark. We shot a day in the life of them as this fantasy bunny couple and had a lot of fun. Well, it is the Year of the Rabbit!”

How fun! You can also check out the behind-the-scenes goodness on Lisa’s blog here.

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Alice in Weddingland – The Engagement Session

This month Rock n Roll Bride intern and columnist, Alice headed out with her fiance Graham for their very first photo shoot together – their engagement session with photographer Sassy of  Assassynation. The engagement session can often be a bit of a nervous time for a soon-to-be-wed couple, as for the majority of people it’s the first time they’ve had a processional photo shoot. So, this month I asked Alice to tell us all about her experiences and why, when you’ve got your perfect photographer on the job, there really is  nothing to be afraid of!

I am seriously chuffed to share Alice & Graham’s engagement session with you today…seeing these is making me super excited to see their wedding photos too! Also…is is weird that I’m a little bit proud of my Alice when I see these? Awww love…

♥  ♥  ♥

A couple of weekends ago Graham and I ventured into the heart of the Cotswolds, for our engagement shoot.  We drove to Sassy’s house, where she settled our nerves by cooking us bacon sandwiches with cups of tea!  After Graham got to know her a bit (I had met her for the first time the day before at the Designer Wedding Show) we discussed possible ‘venues’ for the days shoot.  Thankfully the weather was beautiful, and we decided that outside would be best, so we could make the most of the natural light.  Sassy explained that the shoot would last around a couple of hours, and that what we did in that time was pretty much up to us.  When she mentioned an abandoned RAF watchtower and runway a few miles from her house I was beyond excited: I am a bit of a War History buff so the thought of being able to include that element in our engagement shoot was amazing!  We got in her car and drove to the tower.

Now all I can say is boy am I glad that I wore ‘proper’ shoes (well, Converse!) as we hiked our way over mud piles and through crop fields to find the watchtower!  When we got there I felt quite nervous and awkward; unsure of what I was expected to do, and uncomfortable at the thought of having my picture taken.  However I soon discovered that the mark of a good photographer is not just based on their technical ability, but rather also in their ability to give artistic direction.  Sassy talked us through each shot, and by the end it became a collaborative effort, with both Graham and myself piping up with suggestions for shots!  I also found that a natural direction evolved, in that I needn’t have been worried about being awkward in front of the camera.  Some couples are great at smiling for the camera, and are comfortable from the word go.  Well, I wasn’t, yet it didn’t compromise the quality of the photographs.  Sassy said that our shoot took more of a ‘moody model’ direction, which I found so funny as I am so far removed from a model its unreal!  It just goes to show, that with the right photographer even someone as camera-shy as me can get great images!

When I was emailing my top three photographers (Emma Case, Lisa Devlin and Sassy) I found that all of them offer engagement shoots in some form or another, either as part of their standard package, or for a couple of hundred pounds extra.  I really urge you all to consider investing a bit more money and going down this route, for a number of reasons.  One, the more comfortable you can become in front of the camera before the W-day itself, the more natural your wedding photos will look.  Secondly, it is an awesome way to get to know your photographer on a personal level, and learn how they work, and what to expect on the big day itself.  Finally, we are having some of the images blown up and mounted to display on easels around the reception venue, making for a lovely talking point for our guests, and a unique way of decorating your reception space.

All of these reasons, in my eyes, are super valid reasons to have an engagement shoot, but above all others, it was so fun! I really felt like Graham and I became friends with Sassy on that day, and when it ended with us sitting by a river outside a pub in a quintessentially chocolate-box village in the Cotswolds it was a perfect ending to a perfect day.  We’re even going to stay with Sass and her husband in April for a mini-break!

So I’m going to let the photos do the talking for themselves.  For a girl who was so nervous and felt awkward in front of a camera I think they’re pretty darn rocking!  And I must stress, that when looking at other people’s engagement shoots its easy to sit there and think “yes this is awesome, but I know ill never look like that in a photo”.  Well, you couldn’t be more wrong! This is exactly what I thought, but I discovered that each couple has their own style and personality, and with the right photographer that style and personality can be translated into truly personal and beautiful photographs. Go for it, I say!!

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Rock n Roll Bride Prize Winners – Ashley & Ray’s Old School Glamour Wedding

The eagle-eyed amongst you might remember Ashley & Ray. Ashley was the lucky Rock n Roll Bride reader that won all that lovely booty for filling out my reader’s survey over the Summer. Needless to say I was pretty excited to then see how it was all used in their wedding!

The couple were married in January and had their photographs taken by friend of the blog Kim Hawkins. The venue they chose was The Mayfair Hotel in London and their theme was old school glamour. Ashley was keen to tell me all about their big day and I’m thrilled to share it all with you here – especially as a lot of the suppliers they used are my friends!

“I suppose what made us Rock n Roll was that we had to think on our feet. There are no rules for civil partnerships; there’s no tradition and no etiquette to follow. It sounds liberating but it can also leave you a bit ‘at sea’. We wanted it to be an occasion but the last thing we wanted was to end up mirroring a ‘straight wedding’. With gay weddings there is such a risk of turning one person into the bride and one into the groom and then just applying all the rules of weddings thereafter. No thanks. I was always going to wear a dress and Ray was always going to wear a suit but we both got our walk down the aisle and neither of us wore white. We also wanted it to be about more than me and Ray committing ourselves to each other. I have an 11 year old daughter, Edie. Marrying me means that Ray also makes a commitment to Edie and we wanted that reflected in our day. After Ray and I had made our promises to each other the registrar asked Edie to come forward. Ray promised to love, encourage and care for Edie and gave her a charm bracelet with a charm representing each of those promises on it. It was a beautiful way of saying that not only were we committing ourselves to each other as a couple but that we were all committing ourselves to this new family. People cried. I cried.”

“In terms of the style of the day we decided what we really wanted was a ball. We both LOVE getting dressed up and going to black tie dos. We love the formality and the glamour and we loved the idea of giving our friends the opportunity to dress up to the nines and spend the evening in the type of hotel most of us would never get to go to. We wanted old school glamour with a bit of old library thrown in.  We also wanted to make sure there were a few elephants around. Years ago I asked Ray out for dinner by sending her a note and a small plastic elephant in a jiffy bag to her work. She was a journalist on an online news site at the time and her editor thought she was being stalked and was going to call the police. From then on we found that wherever we went there was always an elephant somewhere. I found a bag of 10 tiny grey elephants on ebay and we scattered them about the tables for people to find.”

“We actually had TWO wedding days. We wanted a huge posh wedding but the budget wouldn’t allow it so we had a medium sized posh wedding in London and then a week later we had a massive party at The Kursaal in Southend with live music and a DJ. We had to make sure all the flowers and decorations would last the week in between and cart them all back from London in our Ford Fiesta so we could use them again. I also had to bake another 120 cupcakes!”

“So how do you get a fancy dan wedding that looks like it cost an absolute fortune without spending a fortune? You call in the favours and you DIY like mad. That’s how!  We splurged on the things that were most important to us: The venue and food, The clothes, the photos and the music. Having won the amazing Rock n Roll Bride giveaway it was an absolute Godsend to have a whole pile of beautiful things that we could use for the wedding.””We gave the pearl and marcasite necklace from The Vintage Sparkle Company to my Mum and gave earrings from Chain of Daisies to Ray’s Mum and Alfie our bridesmaid. All the female ushers got cupcake soaps from Naturally Made Soaps and I wore the Silver Sixpence in her Shoe garter and Luella’s Boudoir knickers under my frock! We used the Lucy Ledger Designs ‘Rock and Romance’ caption board in our engagement shoot and I wore the stunning Rachel Simpson shoes and the Victorian Bridal Mini Top Hat by Two Back Flats  on my hen do. We are using all the thank you cards as well to thank people for their gifts to our honeymoon fund.”

“Everything else was DIY; The invites, orders of service, menus, the orchid table centres, the cakes, the decorations, everything. I am also an utter control freak so I HAD to do all the DIY myself. I got a 1929 German typewriter for the guest book off ebay for £13 which delighted me no end.  Everyone thought I was mad. ‘So do you get to relax before this wedding or do you just scrape the icing sugar out from under your nails and walk down the aisle?’ As it turned out doing almost everything ourselves was indeed chaotic. We were so rushed on the day I didn’t even have time for a bath. I had to have a stand up wash on my own wedding day! It was worth it though. Friends helped out and decorated cheese and laid out ikea vases with candles in and stuck silk orchids back onto willow sticks with double sided sticky tape and it all looked like perfection to the naked eye! Never mind that we had to pile it all back into a Ford Fiesta and drive it back to Essex ourselves afterwards.”

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