This styled shoot was set up by photographer Andrea Ellison who wanted to get together with some of her favourite wedding industry companions and create something great. She told me all about it last week, “I had been speaking with Mandy from Saddleworth Shindigs for a while about arranging a shoot “just for the pure hell of it ” The time was never right and we couldn’t find anyone suitable….and then Amelia Rose Wheeler walked past me in a pub dressed to the nines like she had just walked off a 1940’s film set…I set off in hot persuit leaving my hubby chewing his own leg off with embarrassment as I picked up our model…she is a burlesque dancer called be_bop_ a_lulu who also owns a vintage clothes store and she is just aceness itself.”
“I am like you. I totally agree that just because you have someone nearby who has the same business as you do that doesn’t mean you have to hate each others guts,” Andrea continued. “I have two other photographers, Claire Penn Photography & Jo Rutherford Photography, both hugely talented and both on my doorstep, and the best work we do is when the three of us get together and share ideas and shoots. We support each other, we pass bookings to each other and we never see each other as competition. There is a photographer for every bride and if your true to your style they will find you if they like what you do”
OK so I am one lucky wedding blogger. My friend and photographer Assassynation sends me the very best weddings to feature! It helps that so many of her brides are readers of Rock n Roll Bride anyway (yeey!) but I just have to say that her work and new video project (with cinematographer Frank) is on FIRE right now. Today’s little gem comes in the form of the adorable backyard wedding of Nic & Mike.
After getting ready at the home they shared, Nic & Mike were wed at Exeter register office – which they travelled to together in their own car. After the ceremony and some portraits in and around the town, the couple and their guests headed back to their house for a casual and gorgeous reception in their back garden.
“Being true to ourselves was really important,” the bride told me. “The main thing was always that we did things our way, with the people we love (for who we are) around us to share the celebration. If that’s Rock n Roll then ace but truly that’s just us being ourselves. We’re both pretty creative people and I’m not especially good at delegating so it made sense to do it ourselves, that way we made sure we got what we wanted but we tried not to be too precious about anything.”
“In our humble opinion being Rock n Roll isn’t something to aspire to, or something to try to create-it’s about being true to yourselves-whatever that may be. Don’t try to do things for your wedding to please others or because it’s what you think you ought to-do what you want and enjoy being yourselves.”
The bride wore a dress which he bought online at Unique Vintage. “It was a scary optic white when it arrived but I soon sorted that by first tea staining it and later coffee staining to get the vintage finish.” With this she wore a bolero House of Fraser (which she again tea stained herself) an old scarf as a belt and Irregular Choice shoes.
“You’ll recognise my shoes Kat, as it was on Rock n Roll Bride that I saw them first, on that shoot you did on Whistable beach” Nic explained. “They were my first wedding outfit purchase, I kinda worked upwards from the shoes! I knew from the outset that I wanted a fifties inspired dress and for it to be tea length. Our budget was tight plus there was no way even if we had the money that I wanted to spend over £150/£200 on my outfit, so I searched online for something.”
“I saw some gorgeous Candy Anthony dresses so used those as a reference point. I saw Kat feature this dress by Unique Vintage on another bride in America so I checked them out and when I saw this one there on the screen again I knew it was right. I was a bit shocked at the whiteness of it when it arrived but I soon sorted that out. My eleven year old daughter thought I was mad dunking my brand new wedding dress in the sink full of Earl Grey but it didn’t really surprise her!”
As you can imagine, the majority of this wedding was homemade. The bride made all the cupcakes, and she bought all the flowers beforehand and put them together, in jam jars, herself.
“We collected all of the vintage china in the months before the wedding, from our local recycling centre,” Nic continued. “I made the cake stands myself and the tablecloth were bits of fabric from eBay. We colour-coded the ribbons on the frames with the table plans in them to the tablecloths. The old suitcase cost £14 from a local junk shop which we then used for our cards to be put into. We had said on our invites that we’d rather not have gifts as we have all we need in our home, but if people wanted to contribute to our honeymoon then that would be lovely.”
Don’t forget the video! How could you really when it’s as stunning as this?
As some of you may already know, before I was a full time wedding blogger I was a producer for bid tv, a shopping channel here in the UK. Whilst I loved this job and the people I worked with, once Rock n Roll Bride got really popular and busy I simply couldn’t do both jobs anymore so I had to leave.
Shopping channels can get a bit of a bad rep, but I have to say the crew at bid tv are some of the nicest and most hard working bunch of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing (erm…most of the time!) plus…and this is a big plus….you really can get some bargains!
Assistant presenter Gemma & I prepping for our show…Honestly, most of the time we really did work very hard!
“We knew we didn’t want to look like every other bride and groom and wanted to be ourselves,” the bride told me. “We took our inspiration from the 1930’s and although it wasn’t a theme it had a definite feel. One of the most important things for me as a make up artist was how to wear my make up which I did myself on the day. I love a strong rock n roll lip so I went for a dark 30s look using MAC Current lip liner all over with MAC Ruby Woo lipstick on top.”
“I saw the skull bag 6 months prior to the wedding and desperately wanted it but it sold before I could get it and so I spent the next few months trawling the internet to find it. In the end due to desperation I emailed the sales department on the website to find out if they knew how I could get hold of one. Although they don’t sell through the website they ended up sending one to my house from Paris for the wedding. Brilliant service!”
“Our wedding had 1930’s vintage feel,” she continued. “We used champagne coupe glasses that were popular in the 30’s. My dress had a bit of an Art Deco feel to it along with the cut glass perfume bottles that we used as favours for the ladies. We filled them with Jo Malone perfume to make them extra special.”
“My Mum, sister and I made and sourced quite a few of the objects at the wedding. My mum found the perfume bottles at a little shop near where she lives. We filled them, hand wrote the labels and tied with lace ribbon. The table planner was made from an antique frame that we added legs to to make it stand. We printed the names for the tables on card and as a weight hung crystals from an antique chandelier. Instead of a guest book we wanted something different and I little more magical so we had a wish tree. We put Corkscrew Hazel into on old bottle and asked people to write their wishes on labels and tie them to the tree. It looked so pretty by the end and everyone really enjoyed doing it.”
The theme for Darren & Naomi’s romantic wedding was Vintage Circus. “We wanted a day packed full of fun, totally relaxed and whenever anyone thought back on it they would smile,” the groom told me. “The theme was a total surprise for all 200+ that were invited, with the first clue being as we walked down the aisle together as man and wife, and Entry of the Gladiators (the traditional circus theme tune!) was played by the organist.”
The ceremony was held at Clifton Cathedral, which with it’s dramatic architecture had been described by many as “a monstrosity of a building” in the past. However in recent times this building style has come right back in vogue and the building has even just been used used for British design store Habitat’s most recent photo shoot.
“Following the Catholic ceremony (where we snuck in some Fatboy Slim by the organist), we travelled in a vintage Hillman Imp to the reception to be welcomed by a 11ft tall ringmaster,” Darren continued. “On arrival, guests were greeted with pomegranate Mojitos, English afternoon tea sandwiches and home made scones with lashings of clotted cream and strawberry jam. Each guest also had a welcome bag containing a red nose, home made moustache-on-a-stick, kazoo, fortune fish, popping candy, an invite to an after party and a CD with the soundtrack of the day.”
“Next to the main hall we created a ringside retreat with old black and white circus movies played on a projector, hay bails, typewriters to write us a message, cupcakes, home made lemonade, Original Viewmasters with circus 3D images and a suitcase full of circus props and toys. In the main hall, we made our own popcorn and candy floss stand, which was next to our own Face Cut out stand for people to poke their head through and have their photo taken. We also projected on to the wall the table plans, which included a picture of every guest which we had a red nose superimposed on their face.”
“As the evening went on, an old photobooth arrived for every guest to have their photo taken as our guest book, retro cocktails were made with glowsticks and slices of pizza and cake pops were served. Our first dance ended with all 220 guests joining in a mass conga round the room and finishing on the dance floor where people danced the night away, and then a magician did close up magic while our entertainer juggled knives.”
Katie & Michael glamorous 1920’s wedding was held at East Close in the New Forest. The couple knew it was the venue for them as soon as they saw it – they didn’t even look elsewhere! Katie’s beautiful vintage dress came from Fur Coat No Knickers and she wore it with a marabou feather shrug from Queens and Bowl. The groom looked just as dapper with his bespoke King and Allen suit. Michael even sourced his own vintage buttons for his outfit from Button Queen and a haberdashers in Brighton. His vintage pocket watch was a gift from Katie.
“We wanted our wedding to be very ‘us’ and for everyone to have a really great time,” Katie told me. “It was brilliant – we just had all the stuff, the people and the music we love around us all day. We love art deco, the 1920/30’s swing era, mismatched stuff, sparkle… We’ve both worked in theatre and like a bit of drama. We made all our invites, place names, table names etc. Michael is a photographer so we tried to use lots of photography throughout. We just kept everything very casual and relaxed and friendly. We ignored everything people told us we should do and stuck to what we like – I think every wedding should be personal. We also wanted to make sure that everyone looked like themselves and felt really good. Michael hadn’t seen my dress but had said to me that he wanted to be marrying me as he knew me and not me looking like somebody different!”
The couple loved the mismatched look and so all the bridesmaids wore different dresses and the groomsmen wore different suits. The girl’s dresses all came from Coast, but each wore a different style and colours to individually suit.
The couple used to live in Brighton and has spent many a day lusting over the display in the Choccywoccydoodah cake shop. So when it came to planning their wedding, there really was no other choice for who they wanted to make their cake!
“Our tables were named after wine regions we had visited on our travels,” the bride continued. “Michael took me away to the Yarra Valley when he proposed and we sourced Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir for our wedding breakfast – this was the winery he took me to the night before he proposed and it is the most delicious Pinot Noir I have ever tasted. The tables were filled with antique pieces that we had collected from antiques markets and charity shops.”
“We wanted the tables to sparkle so they were filled with cut glass, silver and copperware. We also had photos on each table of our older relatives (who are no longer around) on their wedding days – the outfits they wore are incredible and there are some great hairstyles! I love pearls so I wanted strings of pearls and flowers to tie everything in together. I’m also quite obsessed with buttons and have a huge collection so our favours were small collections of vintage buttons.”