Tag Archives: UK

A Brightly Coloured Floral Explosion of a Wedding: Sam & Dave

OK so don’t hate me…but there’s no Thursday Treats or Post it Notes this week or next week as I’m off galavanting in the US of A. However I hope I can make it up to you with today’s beautiful wedding (and the promise of a MASSIVE bumper edition of Treats and some extra special wedding and business tips on my return!)

Sam & Dave were married in London in July. After a church ceremony the couple and their guests all walked down the road to Wanstead Golf Club. “I wouldn’t say we were that Rock n Roll really. We just did what we wanted and tried not to think about what we ‘should’ be doing and people’s expectations,” the bride explained. “We tried to do it on the cheap and make what we could ourselves. I even just called a cab to take me to the church as I didn’t see the need to waste money on something that was just dropping me up the road!”

“We found it a bit annoying when people in the lead up to the wedding asked what the ‘theme’ was. I hate ‘the theme’. The ‘theme’, we explained to them, was that we were in love and getting married. And that was it. We just wanted to be surrounded by things we loved or thought were funny, whether they went together or not. But I guess if there was a theme it was a bit of an indoor fete feel. There was lots of bunting and fun stuff. Lots of colour (it was a bit like Gay Pride had thrown up all over it) and pretty much everything we’d done ourselves.”

Sam wore a vintage dress from Elizabeth Avey with leopard print, peep-toe Louboutin’s and a flower head garland, “I tend to wear quite flamboyant stuff, so my choice of dress was extremely modest for me – so I knew I wanted a bit of a statement on my head,” Sam continued. “When Rihanna appeared on X Factor last year she wore a big flowery headband and I really wanted something similar. So my Mum and I spent an afternoon together with lots of red wine and we made it from a load of old silk flowers she’s had stuffed at the back of her cupboard for years, which we wired on to a 99p Superdrug hair band! I was a bit unsure of whether to wear it as I was worried it looked a bit ridiculous and perhaps as if I’d just stepped off a carnival float, but I’m glad I did.”

The groom looked dapper in his bespoke green suit and oversized red bow tie, and the bridesmaids wore pink. “I had three main bridesmaids: my god-daughter Amber (14) and my nieces Rebecca (13) and Charis (8). The two elder ones wore shocking pink, 50’s style A-line dresses (I got the pattern from eBay and then my Mum made them) with a bright red sash with a huge bow on the back (bought from H&M.) I bought Charis a different dress – a sparkly red sequined party dress from eBay with a big tulle hooped skirt, which she wore with a pair of sparkly red Dorothy shoes that she chose from Accessorize (like me, she’s like a magpie when it comes to party dresses and sparkly stuff!) I just wanted her to have as much fun as possible and it to be a bit ‘fancy dress’ as opposed to having everyone matching.”

“I also had 5 older sort-of-bridesmaids – or wing-women, if you like (my best friends.) I asked them to buy any dress as long as it was a really bright block colour, and to team it with red shoes. So they looked a bit like a rainbow! Paula (canary yellow), Kate (red), Ash (pink), Nat (bright blue) and Caroline (orange.)”

They wanted to keep their reception casual and fuss-free. They served bangers n mash for the meal and  sparkly cupcakes for afters which were a part of the centrepieces on each table. They’d made cake stands out of mismatched crockery bought from charity shops. Like her headband, Sam wanted the flowers to be eclectic and not over-styled either. “The brief I gave to the local florist was that I wanted bright flowers – anything – but for them to be a bit messy and to look as if they’d been grabbed from a Nanna’s garden on the way. I was a bit worried that it might all look really wrong, especially with the cake flowers and the silk flowers on my head, but I loved it. It was just an over-the-top mess of colour. A bit like me.”

“We’d made up red and white striped candy bags with old school pick ‘n’ mix for our favours,” Sam continued, “and attached a personalised vintage-style temporary tattoo to each (either a heart with a dagger or a swallow – but both said ‘Sam and Dave’). Also, everyone got one of those squealing rocket balloons in their sweetie bag, which NEVER fail to make people laugh. There were rocket balloons squealing all over the place which was exactly what we’d anticipated.”

“Dave painted our wedding invites too. We wanted to have a royal crest, as a bit of a joke because of the royal wedding – so we made our own. It’s got the Wanstead herons on (as this is where we live) wearing our bow-ties, the cat at the top is our cat Fidget and he’s holding the Brazilian flag, because this is where we met. Our friend Tim drew the pictures of us to drop in. We wanted something really different and personal, and don’t like to take ourselves too seriously.”

How awesome are these guys?

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Bohemian England Meets Mexican Fiesta: Francesca & Iain

This time last week I blogged a wedding at the beautiful Fforest Farm Campsite in Wales. I loved the location so much that when Francesca & Iain sent me their wedding at the same venue I didn’t hesitate to want to share it too! I think it really interesting to see two different weddings at the same place actually and to see how different a venue can look with a different couple’s aesthetic and vision stamped on it.

Francesca described her wedding theme to me as “Bohemian England meets Mexican Fiesta.” I just love how they brought this out with ideas such as the decorations from Lisa Piercy, the paper goods by Thunderwing Press and the amazing screenprinted napkins personalised by Leonie Flower. I’m also swit-swooing over the flower garland head wreaths worn by Francesca and her bridesmaids. This is a wedding trend that I hope doesn’t go away any time soon. I love it!

“We knew early on that we wanted to make a weekend of it, not just a day, and we couldn’t have found a better venue – in the middle of the Welsh countryside,” the bride explained. “Within an hour of people arriving they were tobogganing down hills in push-carts and sinking the local ale in our on-site pub. We had the whole place to ourselves and it felt really magical – the trees lit with fairy lights and big communal brunches and campfires.”

“We wanted an unforgettable experience that everyone could be part of, and so many people helped with decorating, flower arranging – even bringing and cooking me a special bridal champagne breakfast on the outdoor stove whilst I got ready. It was important to us that things be personal and that as many friends be involved as possible in bringing our vision together.”

Check out the beautiful video, made for the couple by Francesca’s brother…

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Feather Love Photography Workshops in London & Belgium (with Special Guests Emma Case & Me!)

Look who’s being a workshop whore this year? Yep that’s me!

So Jasmine Star, Lisa Devlin and now (OMG) Feather Love Photography have all enlisted the help of yours truly to be involved in their UK photography workshops in recent months. Again, I’m honoured beyond belief and so excited to be involved in fun and enriching projects like this. I literally can’t wait to get stuck into more.

So, what’s this latest workshop about then and why should you come to this one with me?

Photographer Noa says, “I run an artist workshop, focused primarily on understanding yourself as an artist, increasing your connection to your creativity, staying inspired & innovative etc. I cover blogging, the wedding industry, getting featured, getting clients you want, artistic integrity, artistic philosophy, breaking rules, and branding yourself along with your work.”

Photography Credit: Shoot of Noa & her friends at her studio by Braedon Flynn for Rue Magazine (more on Noa’s blog here)

How hot is Noa?! Yes very…

Noa has been one of my favourite wedding photographers for a long time. In fact she was one of the first US photographers to give my blog the time of day and support Rock n Roll Bride. I remember when I first learnt that Noa has been thrown of of “Speidi’s” wedding (remember them!?) It totally made me love her even more. What a rockstar.

Talking of celebrities, Noa has been honoured by being asked to photograph a number them. Particularly awesome was the fact that she photographed Emily Deschanel & David Horsnby’s wedding (Emily stars in the show ‘Bones’ and is Zooey Deschanel’s sister and David is a producer.) Although she hasn’t been able to publicise these images (except the one below which was published in People Magazine in the US), I have a feeling she might share some more of the images from Emily’s wedding in her portfolio slideshow at the workshops. I’m not a huge celebrity worshipper but I’m pretty excited to see this wedding. From what I saw on Noa’s blog it was achingly cool.

These workshops are also going to be extra awesome because my bestie Emma Case has been invited along to both events (London and Belgium) to give a talk about her business and what makes her approach to wedding photography unique. You can read more about what Emma will be talking about here. I’ll also be at the London workshop to answer any blogging-related questions.

Look where we are going to be hosting the London workshop?! I can’t wait to hang out in this amazing apartment. You just know the photo shoot portion of the day is going to be incredible with a location like this!

The Belgium workshop will be taking place at this beautiful private property in Halle, Belgium (near Brussells). Just you try and convince me you don’t want to go there and hang out with Noa & Emma! The location of this event is perfect for my European photographer readers and Noa has chosen this location specifically so her fans in Germany, France, Italy and Holland can attend.

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An Organic Farm Wedding: Elisha & Russell

When I saw Elisha & Russell’s wedding I knew they’d made the perfect choice in their photographer Joanna Brown. If you follow Joanna on twitter you’ll know that she loves her garden and grows her own veg, so the fact that this wedding was held on Magdalen Farm on the Dorset/Somerset border…well she must have been in her element! “The staff of The Magdalen Project at Magdalen Farm are amazing and even joined us on the dance floor and around the campfire at the end of the evening,” the newlyweds told me. “We loved that our wedding was helping to support the Wessex Foundation who encourage active learning in and about the outdoors.”

“I have a background in informal education with young people,” continued Elisha, “and Russ set up www.rocknrolladventures.com to encourage people to spend time in the outdoors which has evolved to organise activity and educational travel for schools and colleges as well as training camps and other holidays. We hope to provide a quality of service and a similar conviction shown by the staff at Magdalen.  We found they really did walk the talk as they claim to do which meant excellent, tasty fresh local food and a friendly and happy staff team. And a deliciously relaxed weekend wedding for us in a beautiful place!”

The bride wore a two dresses – the first which she bought from ASOS and customised by adding some crochet lace hand-sewn by Great-Grandmother. “My Auntie Margaret is a creative wizard and offered to make a dress to my design as she had done for my cousin and bridesmaid Siobhan,” explained the bride. “Looking around for ideas of shapes and materials I found this dress on ASOS that the catwalk video showed to have a great flowing skirt that I thought would be a lot of fun on the dance floor!  I showed it to my Aunt and described the changes I hoped to make.  She found some lovely cotton, crocheted lace in her textiles cupboard which her grandmother had made and said we could use it.  She used natural tea-dye to bring it to the same colour as the dress which was reshaped.”

Liss & Russ-100a

The bride’s second dress came from Damsel in a Dress. “Closer to the wedding I was worrying that I might prefer to wear something more sophisticated (than my usual style!) for the ceremony and while looking for bridesmaid dresses on John Lewis website found the Damsel in a Dress dress – very different to anything else I’d seen and within budget! So the two dress wedding was decided.  I felt sleek walking up the aisle in the Damsel in a Dress number and had a lot of fun skanking to the ska band and cosying up round the campfire until early hours in my free flowing skirt of my ASOS dress.”

It was the little and fun touches that made this wedding brilliant. For example, after the ceremony they had the Street Heat Samba Band to entertain their guests and playing late into the night were Skar Wars. The couple asked a number of their guests to make a cake instead of having a traditional wedding cake and they were helped by their friends and family with making and displaying the reception decor.

“We didn’t really identify a theme,” concluded Elisha, “other than we knew we wanted to create an informal event with as much time outside as possible. You could say our theme was evolving! I grew up loving the Dorset countryside and felt closest to my family when there, where our time spent together was focused on getting muddy in streams or eating picnics on the beach.  Russ had enjoyed similar times with his family and it was his determination not to feel part of a ‘wedding machine’ of many, more formal venues, but focus on finding somewhere that we wanted to spend time with family and friends to celebrate our happiness and excitement for the future.  We felt very lucky to find that in the venue and staff of Magdalen Farm.”

Liss & Russ-106b

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A Laid-Back Beach Wedding at Camber Sands: Fiona & Rob

Fiona & Rob were hitched right by the beach at The Gallivant in Camber Sands (formally called The Place). The style of the beautiful hotel suited their beach theme perfectly. “I was quite keen for it not to look too wedding’y – or formal or too orchestrated” newlywed Fiona told me.

“We didn’t consciously go with a theme but it kind of happened!  We live on a beach and both my husband and I are kitesurfers so it had to feature strongly and in the end it made it easier to have a focus shaping our creative decisions!  I think always try and make stuff, not only to save money but to make it more personal and make your loved ones feel involved.”

“Many of the homemade elements were made with thanks to my Mum who worked hard on all this stuff. We made our own table displays.  We bought glass bowls from Argos and filled them with stones, seaweed and shells form our local beach. We all now have one in our houses as nice ornaments!  We made shell garlands, buying large shells from a seaside tourist shop and drilling holes in them to then thread onto thick string. These were hung up around the venue – adding to the beach theme!”

“Finally, we collected large pebbles from our local beach, wrote names on them using liquid craft pens and used them as place names.  We also put together kids packs including a colouring book, plastic bangles & bucket and spade.  Rather than having ‘favours’ we had big bowls of hairdo and love heart sweets dotted around.”

The bright sunflowers were also really important to the couple as they added some sunshine to their day, “It was all about sunflowers being my favourite flower and perfect for a sunny beach wedding,” Fiona said. “My parents and in-laws all grew some in their gardens over the summer which we used as extras in a few ceramic jugs and vases around the venue (which were all bought from Ikea.)  We then ordered a few tall glass displays from brilliant flower shop in Rye near to the venue called Cafe Des Fleurs. They also provided smaller sunflowers to put in small glass vases on the tables (bought from Ikea again), the little flowers for my hair & the button holes and finally my absolutely beautiful bouquet. We all had sunflowers in our houses for weeks afterwards!  The little flower girls also had baskets of yellow petals which they spread down the aisle as I walked in – very cute!”

The bride wore an informal tunic style dress from Phillip Lim. “I always imagined my wedding style to be a bit 60’s hippy love child – no idea why…I literally searched online for ‘short cream tunic dress’ and found it! The lace just made it look more delicate and special although I had to have a new under layer made as the previous one was a bit see through! I was nervous about the length but it wasn’t a church wedding and I am so happy I went with it as it looks awesome with our venue and theme.”

The couple certainly didn’t take themselves or their wedding too seriously which was reflected in the fact that after dinner they had organised a salsa class as entertainment for their guests! “It was very funny, not everyone loved it but we did which is the main thing!” continued Fiona. “We also asked my husband’s brother and wife to sing ‘All I Want is You’ by Barry Louis Polisar during our ceremony to a backing track, placing a song sheet on everyone seats to join in.  It was funny as they’re not professional singers (!) but its small things like this that make it way more personal and much less formal than a reading.”

The next day all the guests were invited back for a celebration BBQ on the beach.

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Regula & Bruno’s Abandoned Fairground Wedding Portraits (Part Three)

So part one was spooky, part two was cute and part three is just…well…a whole other level! Could an abandoned fairground in Belgium possibly be the coolest photo shoot location ever?

“The day after our tea party reception we went on a adventure to an abandoned fairground that I used to visit as a child when it was still open,” Regula told me. “I suddenly thought about it a few months ago and wondered what had become of it. I have some vivid childhood memories of it. Bruno and I wanted to go there as we love the creepy and romantic forgotten world feeling about it. We have a thing for the strangeness of old fairgrounds and fairs, hence the rock candy and candy apples at our reception. When I told our photographer Sassy of it she was so excited we decided to make a trip together.”

“We drove up to the old parking area, the sign and everything was still there, yet in decay.The rusty gate was closed but not locked. As we walked in I tried to reconstruct the fairground like it used to look. Everything was still there, the attractions, the ticket booths, even the tickets were still scattered around. A lot of it was vandalized and destroyed. We past the ghost house, the dolls used to be still here but were now all stolen. Nature was taking back it’s territory as all the big squares with souvenir stalls were now becoming woodland. Strange feeling knowing that you came here to have fun for the day and that now, it’s still there but fading away in time.”

“It’s been closed for over 10 years but I’m surprised how quick nature is taking over the grounds. There was something peaceful and beautiful about it, we felt like we could wonder here for days. I’ve never had this strange feeling before, decaying beauty yet frozen in time.”

“You could almost still hear children playing … not being creepy now, there were actually kids running around as the children from the villages around were still playing here. In a different way, the fairground was still ‘a children’s paradise’ which was it’s tagline, like it used to be in the 1950’s.”

“It closed never to open again after an accident, but in a way it never did close. It just became a place out of this world, did we find the real wonderland after all?”

AAAAMAZING!!!

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