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.”
Darren & Taryn were married on 03/03/13 and 3 minutes past 3… and although they had a limited budget, they created a wedding that was both sweet and beautiful but edgy and fun! “We chose all the 3′s because we loved the symbolism of the energy surrounding the number”, explained the bride. “In numerology the energy of the number 3 is optimistic and fun-loving, and strives to uplift and colour its surroundings. They tend to be the ‘joker’, have a wonderful sense of humour and are very charismatic.”
“We try not to take ourselves seriously and so when it came to tying the knot after a year of engagement bliss and totally stress-free planning, we knew our day would be filled with the people and things that reflected our separate personalities and us as a couple. We chose a beautiful venue off the trodden path of wedding venues in the Muldersdrift area of Johannesburg, which could not have been more perfect for what we had envisioned for us. Since we are of different faiths (my husband is Jewish and I am Catholic), the little quaint brookylaced gazebo, complete with bunting, on the edge of the picturesque dam was absolutely ideal for the intimate ceremony. We had it performed by a non-denominational minister in the presence of our immediate family and closest friends.”
Ashlea & Joel’s wedding was a mash up of everything they love and they actually found it quite difficult to narrow their wedding down to one particular ’theme’. “We found it really difficult to come up with a theme or concept to tie everything together, because we really weren’t fussy and just loved everything we saw!” explained Ashlea. “Eventually we decided to give it a garden and green theme, and felt our reception flowers made the room feel beautiful and lush just like we wanted. Siglo, the terrace bar at The European, where we had our ceremony, was a great place as we were overlooking some gardens and we had garden boxes lining a grass aisle.”
The wedding had lots of personal touches, the most special of them being the fact that Ashlea wore her grandmother’s wedding dress, which she had made for her own wedding in 1950. “My Nan (Muriel) made it in 1950 and wore it when she married my grandfather, Jack. They had a very happy marriage, but Grandpa died when my mum was only 15. Their relationship has always been up on a pedestal to us, so when I found Nan’s dress, it was the easiest decision in the world to wear it. Nan died just a few days after we found it, so it was nice to have a part of her with me on the day. I had a dressmaker line the dress and alter the neckline, but we didn’t change much (she did amazing work as it was made entirely from lace and was falling to bits in her hands). Joel and I had Nan & Grandpa’s wedding photo up on the wall at the reception too. I hope we have as happy as marriage as they did.”
Following on from yesterday’s trip down memory lane, today I wanted to share the Polaroid fantasy of wedding photographers Julius & James. When Stephen (James), who has a passion for old film cameras, gave Julius a modified Polaroid 250 land camera for his birthday they immediately started to think about how they could use it in their wedding and fashion photography. So they started to experiment with 4X5 film in their Toronto studio.
“We’ve added three cameras, a Polaroid SX-70, which shoots the new Impossible Project film, and two Fuji Instax cameras”, Stephen explains. “Because this was going to be a studio shoot, we really felt free to play and have fun, so we decided to shoot a vintage bride, wearing authentic 1950s and early 1960s outfits. Our inspiration came from looking at a lot of original advertising from the Mad Men period. We re-used several period poses and compositions, and for about 12 hours only, it even became permissible, in fact obligatory, to smoke on set. We took multiple shots of the same pose using different cameras and film to demonstrate the variety of looks that are achievable with the instant film available today.”
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.
For their June wedding, Julieta & Christian wanted a day that was laid-back, fun and stress-free. They opted for a garden setting and a party late into the night. The couple both have a passion for music, but Christian particularly who is in a band and loves nothing more than to go to gigs or play one of his nine guitars with his friends. Clearly the music and the entertainment was going to play a big role in this celebration.
The wedding was held at La Masia Blanca Can Badia, a few kilometres from Barcelona and right on the coast. The bride, a chef, had a very strong idea of how she wanted the wedding to look and feel. Obviously she took control of all the food and drink but instead of doing everything by herself she asked her friends who are set designers and stylists to help. Mary & Lydia of Malgenio Workshop pulled together all the décor and paper goods.