As soon as photographer Eliza Claire told me that she had a bride wearing a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress I was excited. So excited. Anyone that knows me will know that I’m a bit of a Vivienne obsessive so I really couldn’t wait to see the wedding of the bride who was rad enough to rock it out!
Anna & Ian were married in February in London. Eliza tells us all about the day, “Anna & Ian got married at the start of London Fashion Week. So it was only right that Anna picked an amazing British Designer – Vivienne Westwood – dress to wear. I think you know already how excited I was about Anna & Ian’s London Wedding. Anna got ready at her gorgeous Mews home in Hackney, before heading to St Etheldreda’s, Hatton Garden for their beautiful wedding ceremony. Anna wore Vivienne Westwood’s Lily gown and had flowers from Rebel Rebel in London.”
“Anna’s best friend and bridesmaid, Poppy, was so poorly on the day of the wedding but held up like a trooper, and looked gorgeous despite feeling awful, in her very stylish black bridesmaid’s dress.”
“We stopped off at Smithfield’s Market and at Soho Square on the way to the reception venue, The Union Club in Soho, where they treated their guests to a fantastic tasty meal, before enjoying The Paul James Band‘s fantastic music into the early hours.”
Oh Debbie & Jamie how I heart thee! This Belfast couple had their very own rockabilly wedding at Belfast City Hall, followed by a suitability rockin’ reception at The Printers Café.
“My name is Debbie and I run a vintage nail salon in Belfast called Dazzle Me With Your Tips,” the bride emailed me. “In my spare time I sell vintage clothes, accessories and homewares at vintage fairs and arts and crafts markets and also work as a stylist with several photographers. Jamie my now husband is a Maintenance Manager for a cleaning services company and his passions outside of the 9 to 5 are Skating, and BMX and Metal Sculpture. We both love getting inked going to rockabilly nights and festivals and most of all touring around Ireland in our beloved VW camper van Burt with our daughter Ellie.” I loved them already.
“The ceremony had a very intimate feel: each wedding guest received a handmade order of service, acoustic versions of our favourite songs were played throughout,” Debbie continued. “After the vows we revealed surprise tattoos we had gotten for each other! I got a Volkswagen symbol as a private joke and the groom got ‘Always and Forever’ in an old skool sailor-style on his heart.”
“Our bridesmaid, Milene Fegan, and our daughter both wore rockabilly-style dresses made from tattoo print material and carried smaller versions of the my bouquet. The guests dressed in their vintage finest. The reception had a cosy rockabilly theme with handmade gingham bunting, fairy lights, candle jars decorated with mismatched ribbon, antiqued paper flowers, and hand-written menus on vintage paper, all made by the myself. The homemade decorations were matched with classic Cath Kidson napkins and big bundles of kitsch balloons.”
“There was a tattoo-yourself station and a dress-up box, which both went down a storm. You could get your picture taken with a cardboard cut-out of Elvis when you signed in the guest book! The food served consisted of homemade Irish beef burgers with hand cut chips and salad, with a selection of relishes, followed by cakes and cream with tea. A local band, The Stetz, played some classic rock tunes, which was followed by an ipod disco of the bride and groom’s favourite tracks.”
“My dress was designed by myself and my friend Rose helped me put it all together….we aren’t dress makers we just winged it with her sewing machine! I made my veil as well! My shoes were by a northern irish designer called Minette. My leopard print coat was from Next.”
Photographer Lisa Devlin told me about her plans for this shoot when we met up to discuss my initial ideas for The Big Fat Wedding Blogger’s Photo Shoot. She was keen to use the Hasselblad that we’d been lent for the shoot with one of her couples, and Tommy & Katie (and their bunny suits!) were the obvious choice.
“I saw some pictures of these two on Facebook dressed in big fluffy bunny suits at a fancy dress party and that sparked the idea for this quirky shoot,” Lisa explained. “Tommy is the singer in the alternative rock band Slaves to Gravity and Katie is a gorgeous 50’s chick so we were aiming for something a bit vintage and a bit dark. We shot a day in the life of them as this fantasy bunny couple and had a lot of fun. Well, it is the Year of the Rabbit!”
How fun! You can also check out the behind-the-scenes goodness on Lisa’s blog here.
The eagle-eyed amongst you might remember Ashley & Ray. Ashley was the lucky Rock n Roll Bride reader that won all that lovely booty for filling out my reader’s survey over the Summer. Needless to say I was pretty excited to then see how it was all used in their wedding!
The couple were married in January and had their photographs taken by friend of the blog Kim Hawkins. The venue they chose was The Mayfair Hotel in London and their theme was old school glamour. Ashley was keen to tell me all about their big day and I’m thrilled to share it all with you here – especially as a lot of the suppliers they used are my friends!
“I suppose what made us Rock n Roll was that we had to think on our feet. There are no rules for civil partnerships; there’s no tradition and no etiquette to follow. It sounds liberating but it can also leave you a bit ‘at sea’. We wanted it to be an occasion but the last thing we wanted was to end up mirroring a ‘straight wedding’. With gay weddings there is such a risk of turning one person into the bride and one into the groom and then just applying all the rules of weddings thereafter. No thanks. I was always going to wear a dress and Ray was always going to wear a suit but we both got our walk down the aisle and neither of us wore white. We also wanted it to be about more than me and Ray committing ourselves to each other. I have an 11 year old daughter, Edie. Marrying me means that Ray also makes a commitment to Edie and we wanted that reflected in our day. After Ray and I had made our promises to each other the registrar asked Edie to come forward. Ray promised to love, encourage and care for Edie and gave her a charm bracelet with a charm representing each of those promises on it. It was a beautiful way of saying that not only were we committing ourselves to each other as a couple but that we were all committing ourselves to this new family. People cried. I cried.”
“In terms of the style of the day we decided what we really wanted was a ball. We both LOVE getting dressed up and going to black tie dos. We love the formality and the glamour and we loved the idea of giving our friends the opportunity to dress up to the nines and spend the evening in the type of hotel most of us would never get to go to. We wanted old school glamour with a bit of old library thrown in. We also wanted to make sure there were a few elephants around. Years ago I asked Ray out for dinner by sending her a note and a small plastic elephant in a jiffy bag to her work. She was a journalist on an online news site at the time and her editor thought she was being stalked and was going to call the police. From then on we found that wherever we went there was always an elephant somewhere. I found a bag of 10 tiny grey elephants on ebay and we scattered them about the tables for people to find.”
“We actually had TWO wedding days. We wanted a huge posh wedding but the budget wouldn’t allow it so we had a medium sized posh wedding in London and then a week later we had a massive party at The Kursaal
in Southend with live music and a DJ. We had to make sure all the flowers and decorations would last the week in between and cart them all back from London in our Ford Fiesta so we could use them again. I also had to bake another 120 cupcakes!”
“So how do you get a fancy dan wedding that looks like it cost an absolute fortune without spending a fortune? You call in the favours and you DIY like mad. That’s how! We splurged on the things that were most important to us: The venue and food, The clothes, the photos and the music. Having won the amazing Rock n Roll Bride giveaway it was an absolute Godsend to have a whole pile of beautiful things that we could use for the wedding.””We gave the pearl and marcasite necklace from The Vintage Sparkle Company
to my Mum and gave earrings from Chain of Daisies
to Ray’s Mum and Alfie our bridesmaid. All the female ushers got cupcake soaps from Naturally Made Soaps
and I wore the Silver Sixpence in her Shoe garter
and Luella’s Boudoir knickers
under my frock! We used the Lucy Ledger Designs
‘Rock and Romance’ caption board in our engagement shoot
and I wore the stunning Rachel Simpson shoes
and the Victorian Bridal Mini Top Hat
by Two Back Flats on my hen do. We are using all the thank you cards as well to thank people for their gifts to our honeymoon fund.”
“Everything else was DIY; The invites, orders of service, menus, the orchid table centres, the cakes, the decorations, everything. I am also an utter control freak so I HAD to do all the DIY myself. I got a 1929 German typewriter for the guest book off ebay for £13 which delighted me no end. Everyone thought I was mad. ‘So do you get to relax before this wedding or do you just scrape the icing sugar out from under your nails and walk down the aisle?’ As it turned out doing almost everything ourselves was indeed chaotic. We were so rushed on the day I didn’t even have time for a bath. I had to have a stand up wash on my own wedding day! It was worth it though. Friends helped out and decorated cheese and laid out ikea vases with candles in and stuck silk orchids back onto willow sticks with double sided sticky tape and it all looked like perfection to the naked eye! Never mind that we had to pile it all back into a Ford Fiesta and drive it back to Essex ourselves afterwards.”