It’s no secret that I have a ‘thing’ for ridiculous headwear, and my obsession with ears in particular is completely unfaltering! So I was thrilled when I saw this cute ‘bunny love’ photo shoot by South London based wedding photographer Ellie Gillard. This world needs more brides wearing ears that’s what I say. Why not be brave and do something quirky like this for your wedding day portraits… go on, I dare ya!
“I’ve wanted to pull together some form of styled shoot for a while”, wrote Ellie, ” something to showcase my work and something that had a different angle to the weddings I shoot. I wanted to shoot something where I could create my own story. I was also keen that, rather than just being a showcase for lots of lovely things, that there should be some kind of tangible emotion in the photos, so that real couples planning their wedding could see something in it.”
Sometime late last Summer I strolled into my favourite wedding boutique to visit my friends, Laura & Emma, who own it. Whenever I’m in central London I always pop into Fur Coat No Knickers to see their latest pretty vintage wedding dresses, to drink some Cava and to catch up on all the latest gossip. But this fateful day in August was different. I was greeted at the door with squeals from Laura, “I’m engaged! Tom Proposed last week!” she shrieked. More Cava was popped and we started to discuss all things wedding – but this time not other people’s – hers!
Working in with wedding industry, Laura had quite a good idea about what she did – and did not – want for their March wedding. She knew Emma Case was the girl to shoot it and that obviously she’d be wearing a dress from Fur Coat No Knickers. She also knew they wanted something casual, low-key, fun and stress-free.
“To Have Emma Case to snap our big day was amazing”, Laura began. “She and husband Pete are so cool and so chilled and they capture everything. They are like two little meerkats popping up and down throughout the day and they are such a laugh. We love our photos so so much. The photo shoot bit of the day was awesome fun and they made us play lots of games to keep us relaxed. I loved this part of the day because Tom & I got to spend some time together. Emma & Pete made us feel so comfortable and it was so fun. I can’t recommend them enough. They totally rocked our day.”
Dan & Charlotte had a two-day wedding celebration in Wales. They started off planning just the Saturday wedding by the beach with a pagan blessing, as this was what Charlotte really wanted. However they soon realised that legally, and for family reasons, they would need to have another ceremony with a registrar present, in a venue sanctioned for wedding ceremonies. “I did view having to have both ceremonies as a bit of a compromise”, Charlotte explained, “But rather than just doing the legal bit in a quick service on our own in a registry office or something, we set about finding somewhere just as beautiful for that part and made it into it’s own distinctive day. We also really wanted our wedding to last a bit longer than the usual one day which is why we split it into two. I would advise anyone planning their wedding to think about spinning things out a bit! It’s all over so quickly on the day and we really treasured the extra time we gave themselves over the weekend to spend quality time with everyone that came to celebrate with us.”
The first ceremony, on the Friday, was held right by Pistyll Rhaeadr, the highest waterfall in Wales. Afterwards they had a small reception at The Plough Inn - local pub in the Welsh village of Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant (!) They kept it informal with a roaring fire, a simple buffet, and a cosy, intimate and very laid back atmosphere. “We run our own business and dare to do things differently on a daily basis”, explained the bride. “Our shop was recently voted the ’7th Most Unusual Shop in the UK’ by the Guardian, so I suppose it was it was inevitable that our wedding would be a bit different! In terms of inspiration we both love nature and being out in the countryside, and I felt really strongly about being married as ‘outside’ as possible. We started visiting this waterfall a couple of years ago, so as soon as we realised we could get married at there it made complete sense. It’s a really special place, a lush green Welsh valley with the mighty fall like a hidden gem. There’s a calmness there, a natural spiritual feeling.”
Two rockabilly babes, tattoos and seriously cute wedding dresses – what’s not to love about this adorable set of images, shot in and around The Custard Factory in Birmingham? “This shoot came about from my vastly growing obsession with polka dots, in all their multicoloured forms”, wrote button bouquet creator Emma, who masterminded the whole thing. “Actually, not just mine, but also many of my brides who often want a bit of dottiness in their bouquets! I wanted to create a look that would appeal to and inspire my clients so I set about this little collaboration with some wonderfully talented wedding peeps.”
Emma asked Annie’s Antics, the most fabulous pistachio green, old school style ice cream van to join in the fun and obviously she created the button bouquets herself. “My range of button and felt bouquets that I created for the shoot explored the bolder pastel tones that sum up spring”, wrote Emma. “I used sherbet lemons, candy pinks and palma violets as my inspiration.”
When wedding photographer Emily Johnson ran a trash the dress competition on Rock n Roll Bride, she hoped she might find some cool babes to shoot. And, oh boy, did she! One of the first winners was Ruth Power, a musician from New Zealand. Ruth wanted a shoot that reflected her love of music, showcased her personal style and took place in and around Brick Lane, London, which she now calls home.
“Ruth lives with her husband Kane in London and plays in their band Death In Texas“, explained Emily. “When Ruth entered the competition she said she would love to save her wedding dress from the far reaches of Narina (AKA the back of her closet!) and swap the great teetering heels she wore on her wedding day for her chucks. Her vision was to be photographed browsing through a record store and busking on Brick Lane, wearing her Halston Heritage wedding dress.”
I always get really excited to feature a super-budget wedding because I love to show you that, with a bit of clever engineering, a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to cost £20,000. Ruth & Steve spent just £700 on their day and it was perfect. They also planned the entire thing in just two months – sheesh, why can’t we all be such overachievers?!
This thrifty couple were very clever with how they spent the money that they did have to spend. Firstly the opted for an East London pub for the reception venue. Without extortionate rental rates, The Water Poet in Spitalfields was just the ticket. “The wedding took about two months to organise”, the bride began. “We booked the reception first, as I thought that would be the trickiest part of the operation. Then we booked our ceremony at Islington Town Hall and gave our Notice of Intent to Marry about four weeks before the ceremony.”
“Choosing a reception venue was probably the most challenging part of the wedding! I wasn’t too particular, but knew that I didn’t have the budget to hire a private venue. I started searching around for pubs with free room hire – most places could only reserve a couple tables at most. As the ceremony took place on a Friday, I knew most pubs would be rammed, which would have been too much for our parents to handle! We decided on holding the reception at The Water Poet in Spitalfields. It wasn’t too far from Islington Town Hall and they had a private room where we could set up the food, cake and decorations. My hens and I handmade all the paper flowers on the tables from a fab tutorial that I found on Rock n Roll Bride! The best thing about the room was its own sound-system – we plugged in our iPhone with our wedding playlist and just let it run all night!”
Ruth wore a dress from Topshop, and her shoes, also Topshop were an eBay bargain at just £10. Her headpiece was, amazingly, from Primark and her jewellery was a gift from Steve’s sister. The cake and flowers were both DIY efforts from helpful friends and family, the venue provided a buffet spread and they forgoed a DJ for a Spotify playlist.