Category Archives: Wedding

Arnold & Melissa’s Festive Old World Carnival Wedding

Hold onto your knickers ladies (and gents!) because Arnold & Melissa’s South African wedding is gonna make you squeal with delight.

“We wanted to keep the wedding personal, real and down to earth,” the bride told me. “I am a wedding photographer myself, so I’ve been to so many weddings that the last thing I wanted was a traditional wedding. We love the outdoors and being out in nature, so we wanted the wedding to be outside, but also in a natural setting. We went to look at Beloftebos and immediately knew it was the right venue.”

“We both liked the idea of a festive old world carnival with lots of fun and playful elements, oh and with a Karoo (a bit like the outback in Australia, just more pretty and more magical) farmyard feel to top it off! We thought about the things we loved most and incorporated it into our wedding. We had stalls with gingerbeer, candyfloss, popcorn and ice cream. There was lots of picnic blankets and places in the forest for our guests to sit and relax, and even play with games like “kettie skiet” (catapult) – the guys made a stand with some old cooldrink cans that can be shot, this made for excellent fun and great photographs. The dancefloor was outdoors, under the stars with lots of bonfires and the whole forest was lit up by fairy lights. Our guests all dressed in “festive” clothes which also made the wedding much more relaxed.”

Melissa’s dress (complete with detachable bottom half for dancing at the reception) was by Gelieft. I’ve just been on their website and fallen in actual love with all their designs, be sure to check them out. Her bridesmaids wore dresses hand made by her Uncle. The couple really stamped their personalities onto their reception. They chose a cake made of cheese (which they put together themselves) instead of a traditional wedding cake, and the bride’s mother, aunt and a friend put together all the flowers and décor.

“Our wedding was special because everything was personal and reflected our personalities,” Melissa continued. “We did not do anything by the book but rather tried to be as creative as possible. We made the menu’s, tableplans, sighposts, games, tablenumbers etc. My mother, aunt and her friend Maurice did all the flowers. I ordered the ostrich feathers from Outshoorn for a bit of extra drama.”

“My dress was very special and I could not have asked for better designers than Theresa and Stephen from Gelieft. I told them that I wanted something amazing, different and dramatic and I don’t want to look like a bride. They made my dream dress and I felt like a princess in it. It was two dresses in one. For the ceremony I had a long dress and then I took the skirt off for the reception and had a whole different look.”

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A Johanna Johnson Bride – Belinda & Joel’s Rainy Australian Wedding

Belinda & Joel’s wedding is exciting to me for a number of reasons. Not only was it sent over by one of my favourite dress designers, Johanna Johnson (Belinda’s dress and headband were by the designer) but the wedding was shot by photographer Marcus Bell, who has just been included in the top 10 photographers in the world by American Photo Magazine (alongside a load of other Rock n Roll Bride favourites including Jonas Peterson, The Image is Found and Our Labor of Love.) So needless to say, this wedding is a crash! bang! smack-you-between-the-eyes-with-awesomeness of a wedding. “Once I found my beautiful Johanna Johnson dress the inspiration came from there!” the bride told me. “I didn’t want to be a traditional bride with the big dress and veil or have my bridesmaids in all the same dress, I wanted the wedding to be unique and individual – to be me.”

The couple were married at The Plantation in Queensland. The planning wasn’t always plain sailing, but in the end the wedding went ahead without a hitch (despite a lot of rain…which I actually think looks pretty darn awesome in the photos!) “We live in Sydney and decided that because we both love Noosa so much that we should get married in Queensland,” the bride continued. “We booked The Plantation in Cooroy a year before the date and were very happy. A couple of months before our wedding we were advised by the plantation that our wedding may have some problems as neighbours surrounding the area were complaining about noise issues.”

“Three weeks before the wedding we were told that we should look for an alternate location for our wedding. Joel and I were devasted to say the least. We had planned and booked everything for this wedding a year ago and already had 80 guests flying from around Australia. I am so proud of my husband as he was on to every newspaper and website he could find to tell our story so hopefully our wedding could go ahead. We were featured in a local paper in Qld telling our story.

“To cut a long story short we talked to the neighbours pleaded our case and asked them to consider how we felt, after the matter was taken to court between The Plantation and the neighbours. We were so blessed that only 3 weddings were allowed to proceed and ours was the first. I think that this experience made our relationship stronger and I couldn’t imagine what I would have done without Joel’s help he truly was amazing. On the 12th of March 2011 I married my best friend in front of all our closest family and friends, we had an amazing day!”

So beautiful!

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Sarina & Wayne’s “Spectacular! Spectacular!” Rock n Roll meets Moulin Rouge Wedding

Sarina & Wayne were married on their own estate in Denmark, West Australia, where they farm large crayfish (lobster!) Their gardens made the perfect setting for their ceremony and Moulin Rouge inspired after party.

Sarina wore a dress by Collensione which she rocked up herself by adding a vest by Dada & Co. The bride also designed and made the junior bridesmaid’s dress from black satin. She also gave it a black bustle of tulle at the back to really give it a Rock n Roll edge. Her adult bridesmaid wore a dress by Wheels & Doll Baby.

Sarina told me all about their day. “Wayne proposed to me after we’d been together for almost 18 years (“I had to be sure!” he said). I wanted a Spectacular Spectacular – Rock n Roll meets Moulin Rouge wedding. During the 7 months between Wayne’s proposal and the wedding, we landscaped our garden, renovated and extended our house and created almost everything for the wedding ourselves.”

“To create the Rock n Roll / Moulin Rouge theme we used black and red velvet and red roses throughout,” the bride continued. “We created a stage area on the deck and surrounded it with red velvet curtains which I made. I also made throws and cushions in red and black velvet for the kids to sit on for the ceremony and to put around the lawn area for people to sit on. Instead of spending a fortune on chairs for the ceremony we collected vintage chairs from our friends (it is so cool we all have the same taste) and we saved a heap.”

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Sarah & James’ Deep Purple, One Mayfair Wedding

I was actually really excited about Sarah & James’ wedding before it even happened. My friend Alicia Barron, events manager of One Mayfair, told me about this fabulous wedding she had coming up at her venue – a bride in a purple dress, loads of dramatic lighting…ie right up my street! I told her to try and find out who the photographer was so I could beg them to let me feature it afterwards. But low and behold, would you believe that the lucky photographer was actually my friend Annamarie Stepney! I saw these images pop up on her blog last week, but before I could even email her with my request, she’d already sent them over…and told me that the bride had read Rock n Roll Bride throughout her planning too. Woo! Happy faces all round.

The ceremony was held in the vaults of Vinopolis World of Wine by London Bridge (One Mayfair is currently in the process of getting it’s licence so you will be able to actually get married there soon.) After cocktails in the great halls the couple headed out with Annamarie for some portraits around London. The second part of the reception was held at One Mayfair. The venue is a deconsacrated Roman Catholic Church right in the centre of London with all of the original features still intact (you can see more of this awesome venue on my blog here) “We were dancing in the alter and the speaches took place in the pulpit,” Sarah told me. ” It was massively gothic and we had really dramatic lighting which picked up alot of the features in the building.”

Sarah wore a purple dress by Britta Kjerkegaard from The Couture Gallery, YSL shoes and a black diamond necklace. Her bridal look was anything but traditional! Her bridesmaids wore 1950’s style swing dresses from swing dresses and birdcage veils from Honeypie Boutique and the boys were in gold, black and purple outfits to also matched the dramatic theme. “The theme was black, gold and purple and all guests were asked to dress in accordance with the colour theme.  All the lighting was done in these colours too, and even the cocktails followed the theme: Black Russians, Raspberry mohitos and passionfruit bellinis,” the bride explained.

“The thought of being a bride in white made my stomach turn and the notion of a traditional ceremony or party in a country house practically bought me out in hives for starters,” Sarah continued. “My favourite colour is purple and I love the ‘Rock n Roll-ness’ of black and gold so I just had to have those three as the colour theme which is where a lot of the details evolved from.  I really wanted to get married underground orginally but couldnt find anywhere that held 120 guests, and so found the vaults under London Bridge in Vinopolis served as a striking alternative. We looked at loads of venues for the party and the only one that really captured our imagination and could deliver on the key components of drama and individuality and was also completely untraditional was One Mayfair.  We also couldn’t resist the Rock and Roll irony of getting married in a wine museum and having the party in a church! The day basically was all about informality, hi-jinx, drama and indulgence.”

“The wedding invites were an extremely tongue in cheek take on the Royal wedding which was happening the week after our wedding.  Each guest received a ‘commerative royal wedding mug’ in the post which had a very cheesy soft focus pose of James and I, with our cats posing as lions on the side and the venue details printed on the other side!! I am cat mad so the cats featured quite heavily in the details. We had a massive ice vodka luge in the shape of the cat too.  This helped administer the the punishment for those who got questions wrong in the very risque  ‘how well do you know Sarah and James Quiz’ that we had in between courses.”

“At the cocktail party we had table centrepieces that were massive wine glasses that had black and gold goldfish swimming in them. The table names all represented various ‘firsts’ of ours; some were fairly standard such as first gig, first pets, first holiday, whereas others represented our slightly more saucy firsts (ie venues of).  As part of the quiz they had to match up which was which, which proved both surprising and taxing for the guests!”

Wow. Just wow…

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Carly & John’s Laid Back, Offbeat Wedding

Carly & John’s wedding had a laid back and simple vibe. It was important to them to keep their day genuine, and all their planning and thematic ideas really came about organically. The ceremony took place in Edogawa Japanese Gardens, East Gosford, Australia.

“We didn’t really have a theme, everything kinda just happened organically with us making decisions about venues, outfits and decorations as they came up,” Carly explained. “In the end it was a blend of colour, asian themes with a Rock n Roll twist. The wedding fully represented us as a couple. The ceremony was completely hand crafted for us by our celebrant Sarah Tolmie (love and life inspirations). Instead of the traditional ceremony Sarah started the ceremony with acknowledging aboriginals as the the traditional custodians of the land where we were married, followed by her sharing our story of how we met and how our love grew. She then read out why both of us love the other to our guests, and then instead of vows we used askings that would be the foundations of marriage and how we would strive to behave through out it.”

“Our reception was at Lizottes Restaurant, which is a local dinner/music venue,” the bride continued. “It was perfect for us, relaxed but still quite quirky and funky. I didn’t need to decorate the place too much as it already had awesome artworks on the walls.  We just added handmade table runners from this really cool asian styled material. No white table cloths for us! We used Lucky beer bottles as the vases and a friend of mine who is a florist created a bunch of native Australian flowers. All the flowers were native australian plants/flowers and even included gum drops. I wanted ther flowers to be natural and bright looking and definately wanted to steer clear of white roses.”

Carly wore a dress by Chrissy Wai-Ching, an offbeat designer from Seattle. Carly was able to help with the design process and Chrissy even made John’s tie to match.

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Hannah & Tom’s Shabby Chic, English Charm Wedding

Hannah & Tom’s shabby chic, English country garden wedding had so many adorable details that I simply couldn’t turn down the opportunity to feature it. I love how the term ‘Rock n Roll’ can be applied to so many different styles of weddings don’t you? ‘Rock n Roll’ is an all encompassing love of expressing yourself and your individual quirks though your wedding (well, and real life too!) Anyway, mini-morning lecture over, let’s get on with sharing all these beautiful touches shall we?

“Getting married was obviously something I have hoped to happen but I was not ones of these girls who had the whole day planned,” bride Hannah told me. “So when Tom and I got engaged we both knew 2 things… 1st we didn’t want a long engagement, after 11 years together what is the point of waiting? And the 2nd thing was we wanted a relaxed wedding! I then started to build the ideas in my head of what I envisaged the day to look like and Tom and our parents didn’t get it at first, so I started a mood book, it became my bible.”

“I entitled it “English Charm” when people asked what my theme was, I replied with ‘rustic, relaxed and the thrown together look’. 
 We had viewed quite a few country houses and golf clubs but I just hated the fact you were just on a conveyer belt of weddings, stuck in one room. We wanted our own stamp and personality to come though in our wedding, which is then why we decided to go fro the marquee option! As it was spring I loved the idea of having loads of our own flowers around which is a great/relatively cheap way of having the impact of colour.”

“We had talked about hiring in the vintage crockery, then we found a few bits in charity shops and decided that it might be just as cheap to buy it all ourselves and Tom and I and my Mum loved buying all the bits and pieces, we went to car boots, charity shops, relatives cupboards and we then come across this Aladdin’s cave of vintage crockery in south Wales were we ended up buying a lot of our bits from. I then sourced all the fabric for the floral runners, which Tom’s mum made up for us.”

“I didn’t enjoy the whole wedding dress shopping experience at all, I thought I would as I love clothes and fashion but there was nothing I liked around, they were all to safe and same looking. I decided to keep my eye on eBay and Tom was actually sat next to me when I was bidding on my dress (although he was completely unaware of this fact!)  I found this vintage dress on there and brought it for just £40. I then decided because it was a bit tatty around the edge to have the exact dress re-made after choosing my own lace, pearls etc by my dad’s Cousin who is a dressmaker. When I walked into that church and I heard gasps and murmurs of “wow” I knew I had definitely got the right dress. I also loved the fact it had a split up the front so was perfect for dancing in the evening.”

“When we went out to quote for the catering of the wedding, we had a very clear idea on what food we wanted, for starter we had a picnic hamper per table with cold meats, pork pie, scotch eggs, pickled onions, gherkins, rustic breads and much more. This just got every one on the tables talking. For main course we went for a traditional British food – local bangers and a colcannon mash which went down a treat with everyone. For the desserts we wanted people to be able to get up and have a wonder around before they sat again for another hour or so for the speeches and due to Tom being a tree surgeon we thought it would be a nice idea to use tree trunks as cake stands and it worked brilliantly. It all felt very rustic with the summer berry parabola, lemon tart and chocolate brownies. The catering team really exceeded our expectations and did such a fantastic job.”

“We have had so many comments from friends and family since all saying the same thing, what a relaxed and unique wedding to remember which was exactly the wedding I wanted, we couldn’t have asked for much more.”

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