Tag Archives: vivien of holloway

A Musical & Modern Wedding: Katie & Adam

“Without wanting to sound too sucky I’ve read Rock n Roll Bride for years, even before I was engaged”, wrote newly-wed Katie, who married Adam in Leicestershire in September. “I loved looking at the photography and the different styles & ideas out there. So as soon as Adam popped the question I had a great starting point!”

The entire wedding had a music theme – from the vinyl motifs, the homemade posters, the guitar pick favours and the concert venue table names, “Music was a really big inspiration for us, from the background music to the first dance & church music”, the bride continued. “Everything was carefully planned and picked to fit our theme. The vinyl theme continued all the way from the invites to decorations around the venue.”

This wedding wasn’t without elements of tradition though, with a church ceremony being really important to both he bride & groom.”We really wanted a church wedding and so the service started very traditionally with ‘Here Comes The Bride,’ hymns and a bible reading. Then as the service went on, more of our personality started to shine through. Our second reading was ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton and we left the church to ‘All I Want Is You’ by Barry Louis Polisar while everyone clapped along. The reception was where we could run wild and the venue was great with letting us do anything and everything we wanted!”

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A Rainbow Wedding inspired by their Living Room: Ruth & Alex

I think green is a totally underrated bridal colour. We see brides in white, red, even black, quite often, but rarely in green – and doesn’t Ruth show us how wrong this is? She looks incredible! “I remember looking at photos of my Gran in her wedding dress from 1960 which was blue with a pink petticoat and telling myself that I was going to wear my favourite colour when I got married too”, Ruth began, “and so the green dress was born. My something old was my Gran’s actual pink underskirt from her wedding dress.”

“Finding a green dress was hard work though. At first I tried on bridesmaid dresses but I never really felt myself or special enough. I was also being pushed into trying on white dresses by everyone but I didn’t recognise myself. I’m a total tomboy at heart and the concept of being feminine for the day felt alien to me. I still don’t understand the concept of feeling like a princess on your wedding day. The most important thing was to feel like me. I found Vivien of Holloway online after looking at the adverts on Rock n Roll Bride. After three trips trying on various Vivien of Holloway dresses, I ended up ordering from a limited run of only 4 (!) plain green circle dresses. I love the fact that I can and will be able to wear my dress again and that I’m only one of 4 people to have bought it!”

Oh but the colour doesn’t stop there, even the boys got in on the action – I’m totally dying over those rainbow ties from Me and Matilda on etsy. I guess you can see where this is going… Ruth & Alex had a rainbow wedding – woohoo my favourite!

The wedding was held at Keele University, where the couple both studied and met. “We met each other whilst at Uni,” Ruth explained. “It turned out that we were at the same socials as freshers without meeting each other but we had a mutual friend. The year after we both applied for private halls (back in the day everyone lived on campus in their 1st and 3rd years) and were put together in the same flat as we shared an interest Guiding and Scouting. It seemed only right that we would start our married life back at Keele just as we had started our adult lives back there too.”

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A Kitsch & Pin Up Inspired Vintage Wedding: Matt & Bek

I’ve got a little bit of vintage kitsch for you this morning, in the form of Matt & Bek’s Birmingham wedding. The couple were married in June and chose Elly Mac  to capture their special day. Inspired by all things pin up, the bride wore a pin up style wedding dress from Pin Up Girl Clothing while her gorgeous bridesmaids rocked it in a variity of different dresses from Collectif and Hell Bunny.

The official ceremony was at Birmingham Register Office but the couple also had a handfasting and ‘broom jumping’ ceremony at their reception venue, The Rose Villa Tavern. “Although neither of us is overtly religious we wanted to make our wedding special and symbolic, more than just a legality”, explained Bek. “One of our closest friends, Hannah, performed the handfasting for us with a cord made from braided ribbons – each coloured ribbon representing a member of our families. By binding our hands together we symbolically bound our two families together. We also included jumping the broom, a Celtic tradition where the couple jump over a besom broom to symbolise a sweeping away of the past and a leap into the future together as husband and wife.”

“Both of us had worked in the cabaret and burlesque scene for quite a while so when we announced we were getting married everyone seemed to think that we would be having a big over-the-top burlesque themed wedding”, Bek continued. “The groom’s mum even worriedly asked us if we were having strippers as entertainment! However we didn’t want out wedding to be just another show, it was a celebration of a special event and we wanted people to see who we really are – a little bit vintage, a little bit geeky and a whole lot of down to earth and chilled out.”

“After reading the millionth wedding magazine and seeing so many ‘vintage styled’ cookie cutter weddings for ridiculous budgets we were about to give up in despair when I discovered Rock n Roll Bride. The weddings were all quirky and unique and really opened out eyes to what was possible. After that the DIY and quirky wedding blogs became our go to material – so much so that Bek’s colleagues at work even memorised the Rock n Roll Bride website address by osmosis!”

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Button Moon, Moomins, Rainbow Petticoats and a Wedding in a Cave: Caroline & Johnny

When wedding photographer Sassy of Assassynation told me she’d booked a wedding through a feature on my site last year I was super thrilled. However my excitement was pretty much quadrupled when she them told me the bride was wearing a short dress… with a rainbow petticoat… with glittery turquoise leopard print wedges and ankle socks… oh yes and that they were getting married in a cave. I think died and went to wedding heaven right about then.

Caroline & Johnny were married on a Monday, on the 14th May this year. The ceremony was small – just the two of them, the celebrant and Sassy and her husband Ian, who not only photographed the event but acted as witnesses. The ceremony was at Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall. “One fabulously weather proof venue!” the bride laughed. “Subterranean lake, 500 candles and really dangerous steps for the clumsiest bride. What could possibly go wrong?”

“We had to wear hard hats in the cave. Instead of using the ones provided we decided to make our own. We made ones for Sassy and Ian with their names and the date out of buttons, glitter glue, feathers and wiggly eyes. I think I described them as a 5 year old with ADHD being let loose in Hobby Craft. Johnny painted my hat black with a yellow rim for Button Moon. Johnny then made all the Button Moon characters out of Fimo – including the rocket, painted them and stuck them to the hat. He also made a Clanger which he stuck to the front. Johnny hand painted his own hat, again inspired by HR Giger. He then made a Fimo female figure from one of his own artworks of painted glass. It was just brilliant.”

“As we had no best man or ring bearer we created one. I had bought Johnny a giant Zippy a while back and his mouth opened so we used him as a ring cushion! I bought Zippy a crazy bow tie for the occasion and we put our wedding rings into his mouth. He also wore Johnny’s steampunk goggles we’d bought for our engagement shoot. Zippy took pride of place on the registrars table together with some Clangers and a Moomin. We even covered the registrars table with Moomin fabric we found online. We are now going to get a shirt made out of it for Johnny.”

After the ceremony the couple and Sassy headed to Bodmin Jail for some portraits. “We knew that we wanted the pictures done in the dilapidated Naval Prison part of the jail,” Caroline continued. “A mini trash the dress on the wedding day. Perfect. We booked a cab to be on hand all day to ferry us around as we were going to various places. Turned out to be the best idea we could have had. Barry the driver was brilliant. He suggested a bridge we might want to have a photo on. We weren’t sure but went anyway and it was a really quirky little bridge giving us a photo with a slight optical illusion which we love.”

“We arrived next at East Looe Beach. Johnny and I live by the sea and knew that it had to feature in the day. I even bought a tide timetable booklet last year to see if it would be low tide so we could get some piccies in the sand.”

After the photo session came a small reception at Squid Ink Restaurant in Looe. “Johnny surprised me with a weekend away to Looe in Cornwall not long after we’d got engaged. We fell in love with it straight away. We found Squid Ink and we had just the best food and service in such a fabulous environment. When we’d decided to run away to Cornwall to get married, we knew instantly that we’d stay in Looe and Squid Ink was where we wanted to have our reception. Catherine and Warren who own the restaurant (and Warren is also the chef) were just brilliant. They really engaged with what we wanted to achieve – even our little nod to a Mad Hatters tea party from our original wedding ideas.”

“Johnny and I made tea cup wineglasses and had our wine served out of a teapot. Catherine out did herself with decorating our table with the bits and bobs we’d brought with us. Instead of scatter crystals we had scatter buttons to tie in with the button moon theme. Moomin character napkins and our piece de resistance cake with buttons and Clangers. The food was amazing and the service impeccable. I can’t recommend this place enough. It’s just awesome.”

“Our colour scheme came about from Alice in Wonderland. I’ve got an Alice mug and one day looking at it, Alice was there with her blue and white dress and bright yellow hair with a flamingo. That was it. Our colour scheme would be the brightest version – turquoise, yellow, fuchsia with white.”

Caroline’s dress was from Vivien of Holloway. She customised it herself with the multicoloured petticoats (bought from Vivien of Holloway and Swingtime) and the rainbow feather accessories. “I’d seen a wedding dress made completely out of feathers”, she explained. “It was just stunning. This inspired the addition of feathers to my dress. It added texture and was just so tactile. Adding the coloured feathers to the neckline and to the fascinator just brought them alive. I also made the belt out of ribbons, buttons and feathers.”

“Johnny and I have planned and compiled numerous budget spread sheets for countless weddings”, Caroline concluded when I asked where their ideas and inspiration came from. “From a balloon over the Masai Mara to a full blown Alice in Wonderland extravaganza. From the Giger Museum in Switzerland to Central Park New York. I don’t think there was idea that we didn’t look at. Nothing was really us. I was envious of couples who just picked venues and sorted out their day. We just couldn’t find us.”

“Through the loss of loved ones and reality checks, the thought of putting our life on hold to try and save for a couple of years to afford one day, elopement was born. We really would have our day the way we wanted it. I know that everybody says that they want their day to be about them and ours really truly was. We got it to be about us to the ultimate. Every detail from all the crafty DIY bits to the readings and vows, the venues, the whole day in fact, everything had a reason or meaning to be included and reflected of us as a couple. Because it was just the two if us, we had carte blanche to do it exactly as we wanted without having to worry about anyone else. We can truly and honestly say that we really did marry our best friends. We know things about each other that only friends share not couples. We got it all.”

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A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock n Roll: Abby & Ian

Vivien of Holloway dresses are so beautiful, and many of the lucky bridesmaids in the weddings that I feature get to wear them…however when Abby got married she thought “why should they have all the fun?” and so she opted for a pink floral 50s inspired dress from their collection for her wedding dress! Pairing it with awesome cowboy boots and a faux fur jacket, she looked incredible.

The rainy wedding (it certainly didn’t dampen their spirits - like it could with the bride in a dress like this!) was held at Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, and after a horse drawn carriage ride, the reception took place at East Dean Village Hall, East Dean.

“We really wanted to avoid anything too stereotypically weddingy,” Abby told me, “we just wanted the day to be a reflection of how we think about each other – just lots of fun! Neither of us feel particularly comfortable with formality and stuffiness – laughing, messing about and being childish are much more important! We wanted it to be something which could be enjoyed by everyone – from toddlers to our older relatives. We decided to give the some of the more traditional elements such as speeches, cutting of the cake and first dance a miss. However, we did do a spot of jiving to get me spinning and twirling around in my dress…it was too hard to resist!!”

The couple injected DIY elements wherever they they could, “Not only were we lucky to get a lot of helping hands setting up, but so many people helped in the run up to the wedding. My mum really is the star DIY pupil though as she made so much cool stuff – including all the cakes, the vinyl record cake stands and bowls, the bridesmaids dresses, the windmills and felt hearts! She even planted spring flowers in troughs (that she made herself nonetheless!) to stand outside the village hall. We made ribbon flowers to add to the tables as we thought these would be an interesting and unusual decoration. Ian decided that, having made some ties in a high school project many years ago, that he would hand make the ties for him, the bestman, the ushers and his dad – it turned out to be more time consuming than expected (and he wonders if any of them managed to still have them by the next morning….)”

The wedding had a really relaxed vibe and the ‘hoedown’ theme really got the party started! “I guess our theme was country and bluegrass,” the bride concluded, “from the Johnny Cash inspired ceremony music and readings, mixed with the rustic and rural charm of the US deep south – gingham, jam jars, JD bottles, banjos, barbequed meat and wild west lettering and signs. And of course, some cowboy boots thrown in there for good measure!”

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Desperate Housewife: A Personal Project by Joanna Brown

I love wedding photographer Joanna Brown. LOVE. I’m always blown away by the weddings she submits to me, and I’m thrilled to feature her work on these pages whenever I can. So imagine my unadulterated joy when she asked me if I’d be willing to model for a personal project she was working on.

“You may just know me as a wedding photographer,” Joanna Brown writes, “and while this is true, this is just one element of my photography work. I have been taking photographs for 18 years, since my A-Levels. I have 1000s of photographs in my archive featuring numerous projects. When I am not shooting weddings I love to shooting personal work. I do not rest; the desire to create imagery is too strong. I shut my eyes and see photographs. I have a sketch pad on me at all times including by my bed for the moments of clarity I have as I nod off to sleep.  Photography is my passion and everything about it motivates my work and my fascination with storytelling and the everyday.”

“I love visiting my boyfriend’s Mother’s house,” she continues, “and not for the reason you would think (even though her cooking is ace!) I love it because it is such a nostalgic place. It reminds me of an age gone by. As a child visiting relatives houses like hers, I became fascinated with the objects in them - acres of net curtains, mantelpieces, pot plants, carpets that would make me dizzy, picket fences and shrubs.”

“I guess this is what has driven this project -the combination of a house, my memories and a fascination with the idea of a housewife and the desire to discover the truth and scratch beneath the surface of the everyday life. I have always felt a tension between the banal of the everyday, the comfort of the home yet also the claustrophobia that this also brings with it. It all kind of came together in my mind and I knew that I wanted to do a shoot in this house. I just needed to find the right model.”

“It was only a matter of time until all the pieces slotted into place. The ‘housewife’ had to be authentic and the lightbulb moment came when Kat tweeted something about trying to cook Gareth dinner and then just dialing for a takeaway because it went wrong.” (Kat: sounds like me alright!)

So early one March morning, Elbie & I headed out to her Mother-in-law’s house which would become my character’s for the day. With me I brought a number of vintage dresses as well a huge bag of swag from the amazing Vivien of Holloway. Their 1950s inspired clothes were the perfect accompaniment to the theme of the shoot. I also brought with me the pink wig that I’d picked up in Vegas… just in case. I’m so glad I did though because I think it ended up becoming the star of the show. It certainly helped me get into character!

When these landed in my inbox on Friday afternoon I actually felt a bit emotional! I literally can’t believe that’s me right there. “Holy effing sh***ing crap you are amazing Jo” was my actual reply. No joke. If this makes me sound big headed then whatever…sorry and all that…but I look HOT. I’m not an especially pretty girl, but Jo managed to bring it out of me. In spades.

Jo told me that she really wanted to show a different side to me with her images. Apparently I can do ‘fierce’ and ‘strong’ very well (!) but she said she’d never seen me looking demure and soft. I think she achieved that don’t you?

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