“We got engaged on 1st April 2011, yes you heard right, April Fool’s Day, and with this in mind we would like to continue our personalities and character traits in an engagement shoot. The theme I see is a food fight, with bright and colourful food such as cupcakes, hotdogs, condiments (almost American food style) between myself and my fiancé.”
“We could be dressed in black so the bright colours would show up. I’d like some bright colour extensions in my hair (it’s brown at the moment) and bright make up to create a bold look.”
I’m thrilled to share the results with you today. Aren’t these two totally brave!? This is one messy shoot and I love it!
The video by Sassy n Frank which the couple will use as their Save The Date for their Vegas wedding is just genius…
Sean & Deb’s masked ball wedding took place at the beginning on November at Brownsover Hall Hotel, Brownsover, Rugby. “We stumbled on the venue by accident after previously reserving two other venues”, the bride told me. “We were on our way up to my parents for christmas and made a detour to see the hall – it was amazing! Gothic, yet romantic. We fell in love with it as soon as we saw the giant Elk’s skull in the entrance hall!”
The venue fitted their wedding theme perfectly – slightly gothic and masqueradey (I’m pretty sure I just made up that word) with a 1920’s/30’s vibe.
“We were never going to have a conventional wedding – it’s just not us,” Debs continued. “Our original idea was to have a viking themed wedding, but we knew that we would have to agree on something that guests would be happy to take part in (and I really couldn’t see my Dad wearing leather and horns to walk me down the aisle!) I am obsessed with the 20’s/30’s/40’s, I think I must have been a wartime wife in a past life so when Sean presented me with my 1920’s engagement ring everything just seem to slot perfectly into place.”
“The 20’s and 30’s were so glamourous, it would give guests the perfect opportunity to dress up without feeling uncomfortable. We decided it would be like a country house party with a touch of romantic gothic…and then we decided we wanted to make it mysterious so added the masked ball element to the day and night. We just had to have the ceremony in masks! One of the best men did phone up one night though and said he had been thinking and the wedding would be like the upper deck of the Titanic in the day, and the lower deck in the evening….he wasn’t far wrong!”
Asking the guests to dress to fit their theme was something the couple thought long and hard about as they knew it would make their wedding really special. “I know some guests found it difficult knowing what to wear, so after a conversation with Sean’s Mum stating his gran was coming dressed as a goth, I knew I had to try and help those who were struggling,” Debs laughed. “I did my own blog, updating it everyday for the three weeks running up to the wedding, suggesting outfits, accessories, make up and inspirations. It worked! The wedding wouldn’t have been half as good without all the effort our guests made with their outfits. When I walked down the aisle and everyone had their masks on I was awestruck, and after the ceremony, when we were greeted by all our guests I turned to Sean and said ‘It really does look like a 1920’s houseparty…the guests look incredible’.”
Debs wore a dress made for her by Liliia. Having a custom made gown really doesn’t have to be an expensive option is you do your research. After the ceremony the bride crowd-surfed over the guests (in her full wedding attire) which certainly made for some much more Rock n Roll photographs than the traditional confetti shot!
Despite the opulent outcome, the wedding cost the couple less than £6000. “So much of our wedding was DIY as we wanted to put our stamp on it as much as possible. We are quite quirky and artistic so we did have loads of fun dying tags with tea bags, making button holes with feathers, drying out rose petals for months on end…plus we got to spend lots of time in antique shops, vintage stores and car boots which is a favourite past time! I would warn DIY brides that handmaking everything is very time consuming, but worth every second! I think another important factor is the venue. Be aware of your budget and barter! Also, we wanted a venue that looked authentic throughout so we wouldn’t have to spend too much on decorating the place.”
“We knew we wanted 20/30’s events for the table names so I decided to do a little explaination as well so guests knew how they were relevant to the wedding. The keys and luggage name tags added a touch of gothic to the tables. We made the confetti cones out of stained music sheets and we dried all the rose petals ourselves (donated by friends and family throughout the summer!)”
I adore this couple and this wedding don’t you? I’m so excited to share it with you today so thank you to the amazing Sassy of Assassynation for sending over her photos this week. Of Sassy, the bride said, “I found Sassy by accident on a bridal chat room and from the moment I met her I knew she was the photographer for us. She was totally on our wave length and we booked her even before we had found a venue and named a date! I would truthfully have chosen a wedding date based on Sassy’s availability as we were so confident she was the photographer for us!”
They also had Frank of Sassy ‘n’ Frank on board to shoot their fabulous wedding video…
Philip & Katie-Jane had a handmade wedding in the bride’s parent’s back garden. They hired a tipi and decorated the whole garden with the things they love – creating a really magical looking space. They even converted the shed into ‘The Poppy Red Shed’ (Poppy Red is a bar in Birmingham which the bride and groom first met) which they stocked with local ales, spirits and liquours.
“With the bride being in fashion (Senior footwear designer for KG for Kurt Geiger) it was always going to be different kind of wedding,” the couple told me. “We wanted to make sure there was less formality and more personality. Using personal inspiration and the bride’s vision we focused on what the guests would experience and how that would make us feel. The sun came out as soon as the wedding couple stepped into the garden and the day just got better and better.”
There were so many DIY elements of this wedding, as the couple continued to explain, “All the invites were handmade, handkerchiefs stamped with the details wrapped in a doilie posted with a portrait stamp of the bride and groom. We also made the teacup chandelier hovering over the top table. The cake table was brought together by several guests bringing their own cakes to share although the main wedding cake nearly got eaten before it had even been cut!”
“The bride made all the ‘winecup’ favours herself, a wineglass stem with a teacup on top. The women guests (and some men) were in awe and the race was on to ensure they all got to take one home. The pewter tankards were a massive success, again collected from car boots, family and friends. It took the men about 10 minutes to get them and that was it for the rest of the night. We had a flipcam passed round the tables and it was one of the happiest hours ever after the wedding watching all the guests enjoying the food, drink and each other.”
Katie-Jane wore two dresses – the first by Vera Wang and the second, a vintage gown from Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. She also wore Miu Miu shoes and vintage jewellery.
Scarlet & Craig’s wedding wowed me as soon as I spied that dress. I was so excited to be able to share this incredible Goth extravaganza and luckily for you lot, so were the newlyweds. In fact Craig’s reply when I emailed him back saying ‘Yes yes, hell yes (ps your wife is hot)’ was something along the lines of ‘OMG so excited that you’re going to feature us!!! Squeeee’.
“I’d never really thought about my wedding day growing up, so when Craig proposed on a trip to Amsterdam (with a tattoo that simply said ‘Marry Me’ on his wrists!) I was thrown into a bit of a panic!” Scarlet explained. “But as soon as we started planning we knew we wanted to do things our own way. Luckily we found Rock n Roll Bride, which made us realise there really are no ‘rules’ for a wedding, and then we just went all out! We didn’t start out with one, but as we went along we developed a kind of pink and black gothic fairytale theme, pink being my favourite colour, and black being Craig’s!”
“We didn’t have a huge budget, and didn’t want to waste money on things that people ‘expect’ to have at weddings which arent really necessary (for us, flowers were one of these things!) It took some convincing my parents that the bridesmaids would look great in £35 high street dresses and Primark shoes, and that the best men didn’t need buttonholes! Wherever possible we enlisted the help of friends and family, from the dress to the cake to the reception decor and catering. I’m a make up artist so I did my own hair and makeup, and I let the bridesmaids have free reign with their looks as I didn’t want them to look to ‘matchy’.”
As I said above, Scarlet’s dress was what really caught my attention when I first saw this wedding…and it turns out I wasn’t the only one! “The theme for the wedding really revolved around my dress, which was designed and handmade by the amazingly talented Kim Denman,” the bride continued. “I knew straight away that I would never find anything in a bridal dress shop, so didn’t even bother looking! Kim is a family friend who is based in LA, but also has a house in Hastings. I approached her about making the dress, and after an initial brain storming session, we decided on a kind of 50’s underwear themed colour scheme of dusty pink and black, with plenty of feathers, beads, and netting thrown in! Oh, and a massive stuffed pink bow on the back! I travelled to Hastings several times for fittings, but unfortunately didn’t get to accompany the dress on it’s trips to LA and back! Several times during the fitting process I wondered whether I’d taken it too far (my Mum was particulaly against the idea of a black dress) but in the end everyone loved it, even our most conservative guests and (suprisingly) our Vicar!”
After a ceremony at St Mary’s Church, the reception as held at The Suffolk Barn. “We instantly loved the idea of having the reception in a barn, and wanted a venue where we could create exactly what we wanted. Luckily we found the amazing 14th Century Suffolk Barn in Hawstead. The owner only allows a handful of events to be held there each year, and it has pretty much been left with all its original features, meaning it was a blank canvas for our ideas. My Dad is a production designer for film and TV, and without him, we could never have created anything so magical as our reception decor. From the fairy lit trees guiding the way to the entrance, to the handmade globes of foliage and pink ribbon hanging from the ceiling, to the enormous gilt frame that made our stage look absolutely surreal, he worked so hard (along with my brother and cousins) to make the venue look like something from a fairytale! The colour theme from my dress popped up everywhere: the beautiful cake made by my extremely talented cousin Maddie even had the lace design from the dress incorporated into it.”
Emma & Tony had an intimate wedding of just 40 guests in Henley on Thames. Coincidentally this is where I went to college and I have a lot of fond memories of chilling out by the river, most probably while I was supposed to be in lectures – which maybe one of the reasons I love this wedding so much! Anyway, I digress…
The wedding was held at The River & Rowing Museum, a modern wedding venue situated right on the river Thames. A friend of Emma’s is a registrar and it was really special to have her marry them. “The museum was exactly what we were looking for,” Emma told me. “The staff at the museum were fabulous, nothing was too much trouble. Laura, the events planner for the museum, coordinated the wedding and it was great having her their on the day to make sure everything ran to plan so I didn’t have to think about a thing and just enjoy the day. Jeff from Digby Trout Catering with his team delivered the most delicious food that wowed even the London foodies. The seating plan was titled ‘Eat, drink & Be Merry’ and we all certainly were thanks to Jeff and his team – what a gem.”
The museum has its own jetty, right onto the Thames, and so for the evening reception/party, the couple hired the ‘Hibernia’ from Hobbs of Henley. “Sailing down the Thames in the evening watching the world go by while we partied into the night was the perfect end to a wonderful day,” Emma continued. “Michele and the whole team at Hobbs of Henley gave us an evening to remember.”
The bride wore a cappuccino dress made from Italian duchesse silk satin and sparkle tulle. It was designed for her by a friend. Georgina at Atelier Millinery make her a bespoke headpiece to perfectly match her dress. The bride also opted for a corsage instead of a traditional bridal bouquet. “We decided to do a mixture of professional and DIY for our flowers,” she explained. “As it was a simple, modern wedding I realized I didn’t want a wedding bouquet so I opted for a red rose wrist corsage and Tony had a matching buttonhole.”
“We wanted the day to feel like a big dinner party just enjoying the good company, great food and endless wine,” the bride concluded. “It was an informal day with everyone just mingling. I missed half the food as I was busy chatting at the tables and soaking in the atmosphere – it was wonderful. From the flower arranging, to putting together the stationery, to the bunting on the boat and setting up the cheese wedding cake, using family and friends meant it was a muck-in day rather than a manicured affair.”
“It was great to be able to thank everyone for making the day so special. Instead of a champagne toast we decided to go Rock n Roll and give everyone a half bottle to pop the corks and celebrate which was a wow.”
Rob & Jayne used a mix of high street and vintage items for their shoot with Don from The Mottleys. I love how these images show that you really don’t need to spend a fortune on props and designer outfits to look beautiful in your wedding portraits.
“We were inspired by autumn and tried to incorporate this through the colours and textures: the mustard knitted tie, the soft peach, lace wedding dress, the wheat in the bouquet, the pinks and brass in the table setting. We set up our shoot in the garden. To keep off the autumn chill we had a hot chocolate bar with a variety of treats.”