Category Archives: Wedding

A Pirate Wedding & A Rock Gig Reception: Lou & Jürgen

Is there anything cooler than a pirate wedding? I was pretty hard pushed to think of anything…that was until I saw Lou & Jürgen’s pirate wedding with a rock gig themed after party! OH YES.

The pirate themed ceremony was held on a beach in Malibu, CA. After the intimate ceremony in front of only their closet friends and relatives they headed to the HMS Surprise (from the movie ‘Master and Commander’) for portraits.

“So we are huge geeks – for music, movies and traveling – it seems like we are always going somewhere,” Lou told me. “We got engaged on a cliff overlooking the Irish Sea on a peninsula close to Dublin, Ireland, and when we discussed wedding venues, we felt that our travel bug needed to be reflected in that. As a movie geek I had said at some point in the past that I wanted to get married on a beach in Elizabeth Swann’s island gown from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (I’m madly into POTC – I even have Jack Sparrow’s sparrow tattoo inked into my arm). We didn’t really consider it at first but after a while we came back to that and thought ‘why the hell not?’. So we went with that and it got a bit crazier and more piraty than we initially thought but everyone had a great time, and that is the most important thing.”

The couple are from Austria so they traveled pretty far with their 8 ceremony guests for the big day. “Since we both love Los Angeles and almost eloped there one year earlier, we decided to get married in LA. We were able to choose from gorgeous beaches, go see movie locations, venues from rock history, work ourselves into a shopping frenzy and show our closest friends and family the city we both lost our hearts to (and ultimately want to live in). Additionally, we found out that Chris, our wedding officiant, also officiated Milla Jovovich’s wedding, among others, which we thought was extra cool because Milla is rad. We chose Point Dume State Beach because we had been there before and loved it. It’s simply gorgeous, and it helped that numerous movies were shot there (for example the famous ending of Planet of the Apes with the head of the Statue of Liberty).”

Lou wore a custom made gown by Brielle from Brielle’s Costume Wardrobe which, as she always wanted, was inspired by Elizabeth Swann’s island gown in Pirates of the Caribbean. Instead of a headpiece she added tie-in dreadlocks to her own hair which she bought from Cleo Wolfus Designs on etsy. Jürgen wore a pirate style shirt which he’d bought from a medieval fair a few years ago and trousers from Lip Service. They also both wore matching sashes & bandannas that were custom-made by Penny Marks. These were then reused as part of their Celtic handfasting ceremony in Vienna.

On returning to Austria, the couple wanted a huge celebration party so they could invite all their friends and family who couldn’t make it to America with them. They choose Arena Wien in Vienna as their venue. “Since we got married in a very small ceremony with only 8 people in attendance, we felt the need to party with our friends upon returning to Austria,” Lou continued. “We played a rock concert with our own band, ‘Mead‘, repeated our vows on stage and had a Celtic handfasting ceremony (a literal tie-in with our Irish engagement – done with our pirate bandanas from LA). At this point I should probably say that we first met at a rock concert that Jürgen was playing, he was in a band with one of my closest friends. We became a couple a few years after that but music has always played a huge part in our lives.”

“We chose one of Vienna’s most important concert venues – Arena Wien. Before the Arena became a concert venue, punks squatted there in the 70s, and originally it was a slaughterhouse. We attended countless concerts there and it is probably the place we spend the most time at outside of home and work.”

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An Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Wedding in Vegas: Tiffany & Ryan

After originally planning a massive wedding for nearly 300 guests, the stress all got too much for Tiffany & Ryan and they were forced to cancel the wedding. When it came to planning it for the second time, they decided to scale it all down and focus on what really mattered – them.

“Three years ago I was planning a wedding inspired by what every magazine and television show told me it should be,” Tiffany told me. “Like most couples, our guest list had exploded, tilting at nearly 300 people. The stress of pleasing everyone was becoming too much, we were way over budget and the fun was non-existent. My fiancé and I loved each other very much, but we both hated what getting married was doing to us. A few months prior to the wedding we suffered two personal tragedies back to back so we threw our hands up and called it quits. Less than three months prior to the big day we sent out cancellation notices to our guests.  We lost nearly $25,000 in the process, and most of our sanity.”

However luckily this story has a happy ending. In May last year, the couple decided to plan a simple and quirky wedding in Las Vegas. The day had a vintage and Alice in Wonderland theme and went off without a hitch.

“After investing so much, not just monetarily, but emotionally, I had a newfound hatred for all things matrimonial,” Tiffany continued. In the two years that followed, we were invited to more than two dozen weddings, and we attended five – only because I couldn’t find the words to disappoint a few. While others in the pews blotted tears, I made personal wagers with myself and reveled in my cynicism. I complained to my few remaining single friends as I endured each of my ‘ugly-dress obligations,’ which is how I lovingly referred to the honor of being asked to stand up as a bridesmaid for my closest friends.”

“However flash forward to 1-1-11 and imagine my surprise when Ryan proposed again, just after midnight on New Year’s. The word ‘yes’ came out without hesitation, but my excitement was quickly overshadowed by feelings of worry and fear. I was terrified that I’d get sucked back in, that another wedding would destroy us. This time it has to be about us.”

“After we told the families and friends, one of my girlfriends was joking and told me that we should send out save-the-dates that say ‘We’re late, we’re late, for a very important date!’ She was right, and it happened – I got excited! I want to have a tea party wedding. I wanted it to be bright, breezy, silly & fun! I want the quirkiness of a mad hatter’s tea with more class and a little less cartoon.”

“Looking back on the wedding, it could not possibly have been any more us,” the bride concluded. “Things went right, and things went wrong. The 60 mile per hour wind gusts weren’t helpful. The maid of honor forgot the ring in her car and we all had a laugh while we waited for someone to run and get it. But we were surrounded by people that we loved, we laughed, danced and played croquet. The food was wonderful, and the drinks were better. We did a lot of the work ourselves and that made it even more worthwhile, more personal, more ours. We had fun and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.”

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A Modern Black, White & Green Wedding: Jessica & Ty

Jessica & Ty’s wedding was all about having fun, throwing and great party and entertaining their guests. They didn’t have a concrete theme per-say, they just included things they loved and thought people would get a kick out of! Jessica explains,

“I’m the kind of person to go OVER THE TOP! On my son’s birthday for example, I hired a bouncy house that took up the entire backyard! So basically that’s what happened for our wedding. I had so many ideas but wanted to try and balance it all that it didnt end up looking to much like a circus or a mish mash of ideas all thrown together. I still wanted the event to be formal and still look like a wedding.”

The couple wanted their wedding to be fun for all their guests and for there to be something for everyone. So they added surprises, and things people might not expect, at every opportunity. These included the ‘Til Death do Us Part’ cake, the hand folded origami cranes, the high school band, the custom cocktails, the ice luge (!), the cotton candy machine, the belly dancers and the fact that the bride wore 3 wedding dresses! “This was decided way before Kim Kardashian did it!” she laughed “I couldn’t decide and I wanted to change it up throughout the night. Obviously 3 dresses meant lots of alterations & lots of cash but it was worth it… although I could barely move in dress number 1!”

“We just did what we wanted, and took no notice of anyone’s negative comments about our ideas,” Jessica concluded. “We didn’t really have any drama with anyone but there were a few comments here and there about it being a little out of control, but this did nothing to stop us doing our wedding as we wanted. It was our vision and actually not really about all the stuff, but about us as a couple. It was our way to express ourselves. I would not change anything about the day except maybe hiring the fortune teller who never showed up!”

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An Emotional East Meets West Wedding: Aneesha & Ed

Back in February 2011 I was at exhibiting at the first Designer Vintage Bridal Show, Birmingham. Luckily for me the organisers plonked my stand right next to one of my ultimate besties, wedding photographer Emma Case. On the second day of the show in walked bride-to-be Aneesha, who had decided she wanted Emma to capture her 2012 wedding. After chatting about wedding planning, blogging and photography Annesha went upstairs to try on wedding dresses. Always one to get excited about this part of wedding planning Emma & I followed to see what the bride-to-be would pick. Aneesha & Ed were having a traditional Indian ceremony in the morning, but for the evening reception they wanted to change into western wedding attire. As soon as Aneesha tried on the slinky Yevonde by Jenny Packham the tears started to fall and we all knew it was the dress for her (photos nearer the end of this post).

I’m honoured that I was allowed to witness this experience and I’m even more thrilled that today I get to share their full wedding story with you.

The ceremony was held at Shri Ravidass Temple in Walsall, with the after party/reception going down at Berrow Court, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

“As our day was a mixed cultured wedding it was so important to us that our guests felt comfortable at all times”, Aneesha told me. “The only way I could do that was to keep them well informed. I did this by our wedding website, emails and Facebook messages. We also invited friends and family to the temple before the wedding day so they knew what to expect, I even had printouts made about what the meanings were was behind each parts of the ceremony.”

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A Multi-Coloured South African Wedding: Mark & Manilla

When Mark & Manilla’s colourful wedding landed in my inbox I just about burst with excitement. There’s nothing quite like a rainbow wedding in my opinion!

The South African wedding was held at The View Boutique Hotel, a glamorous hotel in the heart of Johannesburg. “I felt that the ceremony should be the serious part of the day but I wanted the rest to be a very relaxed and festive carnival style celebration!” the bride told me.

“My final wedding for last year was an instant favourite,” wedding photographer Rensche Mari wrote. “As soon as I walked into Manilla’s home I knew it was going to be one of those weddings where I was just going to be wowed the whole way. The wedding had a carnival feel to it, the bridesmaids all dressed in different shades of green and each outfit was unique. Manilla’s whole look was so refreshing and just a lot of fun, her dressed popped with the beautiful colours and her dress even had the same green velvet as her shoes.”

Manilla’s stunning dress was made by Arwen Corsetry. The colour scheme she chose was complimented beautifully by all the wedding details – including bunting handmade by some ladies in an retirement home and all the DIY stationery and reception decor. The couple designed and handmade everything they possibly could. I’m loving the multi-coloured balloons on the ceiling!

Their wedding car was their own, which they decorated with brightly coloured ribbon and streamers.

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