Category Archives: British Brides

A Vintage Valentine’s, Rock the Frock

I’d like to start this Friday off with a little confession…I have been officially RUBBISH at keeping up to date with my Photography Friday posts. For the last 2 or 3 weeks I’ve missed it, mainly because I’ve been a little bit on the busy side and have been happy to leave all the picture-taking to the professionals! I ain’t gonna beat myself up about it…however these posts may be a bit thinner on the ground that I would have liked. If you knew what I had in the pipeline over the next few months I think you’d forgive me. I say the word ‘epic’ a lot right? Well the stuff I have planned is gonna be EPIC on a whole other level!

Anyway, I’ve kind of hijacked this post a bit there…the actual reason for this article is to share a gorgeous new bridal shoot sent in by the fabulous Gemma Williams Photography (who I was lucky enough to meet at The Designer Vintage Bridal Show.)

“This was a ‘Vintage Valentines’ Rock The Frock shoot, with a castle and cupcake!” Gemma told me. “I had photographed Alex’s wedding back in September, and she had a gorgeous vintage-style dress to change into for the evening – short so that she could dance properly! The dress had been a fabulous find on Ebay. Alex was really excited when I suggested we do a ‘Rock The Frock’, giving her the chance to wear it again. We decided to go for a quirky vintage theme that was a little bit different and a lot of fun, inspired by the amazing Rock n Roll Bride!”

“We did the shoot on Valentines weekend, so we had beautiful roses from Posies and a heart-cupcake from Emily Rose Cakes for our props. I styled the shoot with other vintage items from my collection including bunting, a tea-set, and a fur jacket. The ‘story’ I wanted to tell was the bride arriving at the castle to stay for her fairytale wedding, stopping for a picnic by the lake on the way, and then having adventures exploring the castle rooms as she awaits her knight in shining armour!”

“Huge thanks to the local suppliers who let me borrow items for the shoot.  Biggest thanks to top Herefordshire wedding venue Hampton Court Castle for letting us have this gorgeous location, and to Alex for totally rocking her frock. Alex and I had loads of fun doing the shoot, and Alex loves her pictures! A ‘Rock The Frock’ is a great excuse to wear your wedding dress again and jazz it up with cool & quirky styling and props, so I’d definitely recommend it!”

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“The Pirate & The Stripper got Married” – Ed & Torie’s Quirky London Wedding

When Ed & Torie’s beautiful wedding landed in my inbox last week, I was immediately drawn to the bride’s beautiful ensemble – in particular her stunning vintage dress from my favourite girls, Fur Coat No Knickers. The couple were married in November at The  Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich, London and Torie was keen to tell me all about their quirky and fabulous wedding day,
“On November 20th 2010 I got to marry my best friend, my pirate, Ed. Ed and I met 4 and a half years ago through his workmate / my flatmate at a pirate fancy dress party at our house – hence the nickname. Ed turned up, breathed fire (seriously) and then mysteriously left. As it turned out his appendix had burst and he went home and then to A&E. After recovering we got in touch and the rest, as they say is history.”

“Ed and I got engaged at the edge of the grand canyon (aaww) a couple of days after an American friend of mine got married in Phoenix on Feb 2nd 2010 (a year ago today). Little did I know it but after a ‘couple’ of beverages Ed spent the end of her wedding telling our friends he was going to propose, luckily I was too drunk to notice and so when he produced a HUGE Swarovski crystal surrounded by snakes from his backpack I was suitably dumbfounded. From that moment we promised each other that we’d do it like us. I would look like the best me I could be not like an idendikit bride, we would send invites that we loved, we would do it in a cool venue, we would not dance to Abba but we would dance – complete with knee slides and ties around foreheads.”

“So the plan was, find a great venue and take it from there. We found The  Trafalgar Tavern in London, a pub with a fabulous upstairs area with lots of gold chairs, chandeliers and red velvet curtains, we both have cabaret sidelines (he as a compere, escapologist and fire artist, me as a burlesque stripper) so the wiff of the stage made us fall for the Trafalgar, it had the ‘us’ factor.”

“We also decided early on that we would like to give each other a present. Some of our married friends had given each other jewellery, we decided to give each other tattoos. For years Ed has wanted a full sleeve of a phoenix (the fire thing …) and I’ve wanted something large and floral on the base of my back.  After a painful month or two I now own 2 large chrysanthemums covering my lower back and Ed, well Ed has a pretty fabulous arm, both done by Rodrigo Souto, he’s a fabulous artist and I’m so glad we decided to do it, although it turns out I don’t like getting my spine tattooed much.”

“For us it was important that our wedding was perfect for ‘us’. That meant a wedding that was a little bit Rock n Roll. It started with the invitations which I cross stitched and framed, they were then beautifully designed into invites and RSVP cards by a friend and we asked our guests to nominate songs they’d like to dance to from which Ed made probably the most eclectic wedding playlist ever which promoted much hilarity, dancing, ties round heads and knee slides on the dance floor.”

“Finding my dress was eventually but not always lovely, my Mum is an amazing seamstress and we intended to find something she could copy but I just couldn’t find anything I liked or that worked on my 4ft 10 frame. Then I found Fur Coat No Knickers, I know Kat, you already love those girls, but seriously they made me feel like a star and I cannot thank them enough for pulling me out of the ‘I’m never going to look like me on my wedding day’ panic. I tried on white but it didn’t work and then I fell for this printed number which they added a halter strap too, made smaller (result), made me bound edged petticoats and a floral hair piece to match and made me a little bolero too –it was too hot in the pub to wear the bolero but I reckon without the head piece and with the bolero I might just get away with wearing the dress to a party so that’s the silver lining. Luckily my Mum loved it too and instead of making my dress made me a fabulous black coat to wear over it as outside was distinctly less toasty warm than inside the pub.”

The couple DIY’ed the majority of their wedding décor – from the flowers which they collected from the flower market at 6am; to the candelabras, table centres and large displays that Torie and her army of helpers put together the day before; to the bouquet and buttonholes that they made the morning of the wedding. “My family kept me calm and panic free (sort of),” continued the bride. “I loved it so much that I have finally set up the business I’ve been promising to own for years, Victoria & Florence, flowers and cakes for every occasion.  World domination (or at least the flower market) here I come.”

“It was such a wonderful day and our friends and family helped so much with emotional support, glasses of wine when needed, order of service folding and generally being fabulous”, Torie concluded.  “All together it was exactly what we had wanted; a day where we looked like us and felt like us and where our friends and family could celebrate our love and have a good party. Getting married is great but being married is better and if it was a little bit Rock n Roll, all the better.”

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Peri & Ryan’s Snow-Drama Wedding!

Spring may be on it’s way (apparently!) but I’m still lusting over the prettiness of snowy winter weddings…although would you believe, there was actually some snow in parts of the UK this weekend!? Ridiculous.

There was quite a bit of  snow-induced drama surrounding Peri & Ryan’s wedding. The ceremony was supposed to start at 3pm, but due to the weather the bride didn’t arrive until 5pm. Also, a lot of guests couldn’t make the day for the same reason and after the ceremony they couldn’t physically get from the church to their reception because of the snow dump and road closures. However a lovely local pub opened their doors to the couple and provided an impromptu reception to remember! I have to say, from these gorgeous shots by Shell de Mar I’d like to think they made the best of it (and I personally LOVE the pub venue – what great ‘art’ on the walls!)

“I can’t really say I am really a quirky person because I’m not but I have always liked to be a bit different in the way I dress,” explained the bride. “Nothing to crazy but just not like most of my friends, I don’t do brands and If I like something I will wear it! I love all things vintage and always have done! When we were planning I had originally wanted a vintage bunting, candy floss, ice cream type wedding in May but Ryan bless him couldn’t get his head around it so when he said how about a winter I thought it sounded lovely. However I still really wanted all the polka dot and vintage feel to it, so instead of doing the traditional long dress and winter colours we went for red and white colours.”

“Our centrepieces were red and white xmas baubles with led lights going through them with polka dot doilies on the tables and silver baubles as place name holders. Sadly no one got to see any of that due to the snow but it look stunning and transformed the room. Ryan’s Mother had made a 3 tier polka dot wedding cake that no one saw either, but we did enjoy it after the wedding!  We had chosen Delilah the Beetle to transport us because we own a 1970’s green 1300 Beetle ourselves, but is at the moment being lovingly restored by Ryan so we knew that we had to have one as our wedding car. However again it don’t turn out like (in the end we were transported in a Land Rover! The good news is that we get to use him again for our Summer blessing! Similarly the lovely vicar and the church where we were married will also perform a blessing for us later this year…so in the end I’ll get to have the summer bunting, candy floss, village hall wedding I wanted in the first place!”

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Jennie & Mark’s Country Casual Wedding

Jennie & Mark’s country casual wedding took place at St. Andrew’s Church, Prestwold and Quorn Village Hall in Leicestershire in January. Jennie found her perfect dress at a boutique that was closing down so she got it for a great price.

The couple gave their guests the loose dress code of  ‘country casual’ for the men and ‘tea dresses’ for the ladies. I’ve heard both sides of the story when it comes to asking guests to dress to fit a theme, but I do think the overall result is quite a beautiful one!

The majority of the reception décor was a DIY effort. Jennie had spent the week before decorating with birdcages, wild flowers, chinese lanterns, paper chains, handmade cushions and vintage knick-knacks which she’d collected herself (Jennie is now hiring out her beautiful collection to other brides, if you are interested in hiring any of the items for your own wedding, be sure to drop Jennie an email to jennie.preece@monsterenergy.com)

The day was a windy one (it was January after all!)  so guests were treated to a warming hot chocolate on arrival at the hall. The couple served a hog roast in lieu of a traditional wedding breakfast and instead of dessert, everyone was asked to bake a cake to share! They even had a ‘Judge the Cake’ competition to finish the meal off! After the speeches and cake judging there was an enormous game of ‘Pass the Parcel’ among the 80 guests before the evenings entertainment kicked off with Leicester based Rock n Roll group ‘Daddy Longlegs’.

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Jazelyn & Darren’s Modern Vintage London Wedding

Jazelyn & Darren’s modern vintage wedding took place in London in November. Their inspiration came from the fact that they are a young city couple, who somehow fell in love in London through chance.  “He’s originally from Nottingham, England and I’m from the other side of the pond in Seattle, WA USA,” explained Jazelyn. “Our invitations had a London skyline and the top of it read: “Northern Lad and West Coast Lady”. Darren bought my engagement ring from Bentley and Skinner. And it’s a beautiful old-cut platinum solitaire from the 1920’s. Very vintage and unique. So that really was the start. We wanted a wedding that was very “us”. We planned it ourselves, down to every detail. Even the guest book… We wrote down personal questions on index cards and had friends answer them (ex: where do you see us in 10 years? what’s your favorite memory of us?) We wanted a mix of vintage and modern, mix of British and American, because that is us!”

The wedding day started at Chelsea Old Town Hall to sign their legal papers, they then moved to their religious ceremony at our Kingdom Hall off of Westbourne Grove. The reception was held at The Commander Porterhouse and Oyster Bar.

“I had two dresses,” continued the bride. “My first dress, a short Oscar De La Renta inspired dress (custom made by a seamstress I know) was used for our registry appointment and a photo shoot with Lauren straight after. And then I changed into my long dress for our religious wedding and reception. The long dress was made from 2 vintage dresses (circa 1920’s) I had bought on a trip back home to Seattle, WA USA from a charity shop. I brought them back to London and had my amazing seamstress put them together!”

“I wanted a really sweet fur cape or jacket and looked everywhere. I found such a sweet vintage fox cape in the Portobello Market (just around the corner from our house), for such a bargain! And I still wear it when we go out sometimes! It’s gorgeous. I found amazing Jimmy Choo (super sparkly) shoes that were perfect and just what I had been looking for for months (and my amazing fiancé bought them for me!). Can you believe it was actually HIS idea to go into Jimmy Choo to look? haha! Good man. But I wore my trusty uggs while tromping around the street hailing cabs.”

Emmaline & Guy’s Two-Day Cross Country Wedding

Emmaline & Guy had a 2 day wedding – the first, a modern urban ceremony, which took place in London at The Soho Hotel and the second, a more classic and countryside reception, at Gayhurst House, Milton Keynes. “We had contemplated getting married close to where we live in London, but Gayhurst was too much of a beautiful location to miss out on, so I think this made us love our civil ceremony at Soho House even more”, explained Emmaline. “Since the hotel opened we have spent many evenings there with friends and because of my job in PR I have been to lots of private screenings in the cinema there too. With just our parents and ourselves, we had a really special day, carrying out all the legalities of the marriage before Guy and I boarded a flight to Dubai for a 5 day ‘mini-moon’, making sure we had time to relax in the sun just before the big day.”

“Because a wedding had never been hosted on the croquet lawn on the grounds before, we had a lot of additional logistics to sort, for example there was no running water for the caterers and in the days running up to the wedding we had to have a bridge erected from a neighbouring field so that the marquee, caterer and furniture could be delivered. Understandably this added a whole other dimension of stress during planning and on the day (especially when the groom and father of the bride were still trying to fix the spurting water supply 2 hours before the ceremony! However looking back, everything worked out so well and this feeling of achievement adds to the feel good factor when we reflect on our day.”


Emmaline’s wedding dress was created by Sarah Treble. She wore this with Christian Louboutin shoes and A Handmade silk hydrangea flower hairpiece to match those on the wedding dress created by Bailey Tomlin. ” The dress really was one of the most important things to me when I thought about the big day – I always had a vision of what I wanted. I spent a year ripping out pictures from catwalk shows and fashion magazines and eventually found Sarah Treble. After our first meeting I was convinced she could bring my dream to life. We then realised Sarah would be moving to Devon, a 7 hour round trip from London which would make fittings trickier than usual, but I just couldn’t imagine anyone else being able to help.”

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