When Dianne & Andrew’s wedding landed smack bang in my inbox, alongside the email from their awesome photographer Jonathan Canlas which read “I think this wedding is RIGHT up your alley, 7 month’s pregnant bride and SUPER Rock n Roll” I was a little bit excited. Was I right to be? Hell YES baby!
I have to say, I’m actually a little bit honoured to feature this wedding. Not just because clearly the photographs and the wedding are gorgeous, but because the family appear to have gone through so much, yet come out happier and healthier on the other side. The bride explained;
“Wow, this turned into a huge undertaking answering all the questions. I am glad that you asked them, because while you only will take the links from the answers, it forced me to write about my wedding which I had been putting off due to taking care of my baby and frankly, being so damn tired, this was the last thing I wanted to write about. Which is sad, because the fact that my husband and I made it to a wedding day is no small feat.”
“In the last year, we have dealt with drug addiction, rehab, an accidental pregnancy, sobriety, a wedding, and a few weeks later, our son. I loved answering all these questions because it reminded me that just because our situation is far from what is typically considered ideal, it is ideal for us, and I would not have changed a thing about it. I will be sure to mention you on my blog, your site is a righteous reminder that where love and beauty can be found is not always on a magazine stand in the check out line.”
Humbling. So humbling.
Jill & Neil’s wedding is vintage “Englishness” in every sense of the word. The whole day – from Jill’s floral Fur Coat No Knickers vintage gown, to the London bus that transported them and personalised vintage postcards used as invitations and then re-used as the table-plan – was an authentic representation of the theme they loved so much. “We took vintage inspiration from our own families, finding old frames in charity shops for lots of photographs of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparent’s weddings,” they told me. “These filled the fireplaces of the Lodge and meant we were surrounded by reminders of our ancestors as well as being beautiful pictures.”
“Also, to entertain our guests on our bus trip we had a picture quiz to guess who the couples in the old photos were – with the answers on the back of the original at the venue. These were in bags made by a charity from recycled newspapers from The India Shop and we also included bus related gifts to keep the children amused – mostly from the London Transport Museum, and old fashioned sweets and goodies. On the tables we used luggage labels from the Post Office for place names, which my nieces helped stamp with butterflies and tied to mini jars filled with old fashioned sweets from Hope and Greenwood.”
The day also had a lot of very personal and emotion feelings behind it. As Jill had been previously widowed, the couple knew that is would be a particularly emotional day so wanted to make it extra special and beautiful. The service itself was very important to them as they had actually met at the Cathedral where they chose to marry.
Mindy & David got married at The Stanley Hotel in Colorado, the hotel that provided the inspiration to Stephen King for The Shining.
“Our first thoughts about what we wanted our wedding to look and sound and feel like were all over the board” the couple told me. “Our first decision was the location. We had stayed at the Historic Stanley Hotel the summer previous, and while we were familiar with much of the folklore of the place, we were delighted to find character that goes far deeper than “haunted joint.” We had a wonderful time and felt a connection to the Stanley.”
“Touring possible locations in Denver and the surrounding area, we visited many nice places with good things to offer. When we returned to the Stanley to consider it as a wedding location, though, it was immediately evident to both of us that we found our place. Other locations offered beautiful wall finishes or breathtaking views, but no other option had the richness about it that the Stanley oozed. The often cracking paint (new paint jobs last less than a year there) and imperfections added to the individual nature of the building that really resonated with us. The main downside to the Stanley is the fact that they host multiple weddings every weekend in the summer, and we didn’t want to be ‘just another wedding.’ In the end, it just inspired us to create something individual and extraordinary.”
When Chris & Colleen contacted their photographer Jonathan, they described their wedding theme as ‘Medieval Arabic’, he knew he was in for a real treat. “When I heard that, I knew we’d be in for a ton of FUN!” he told me. The couple certainly didn’t disappoint, putting their all into their unusual and utterly gorgeous ideas.
On the 14th August, the couple got married in the beautiful rural setting of Verona, NY. The groom is in a band call Blood Ceremony (and will be on tour in Europe next Spring) so as you can imagine this was one truly authentic Rock n Roll wedding! “With a band name like Blood Ceremony, one may expect certain aesthetic details in its Bass Guitarist’s Wedding Ceremony,” Jonathan continued. “As the photographer, I came with an open mind and a wild imagination fueled with thoughts of what I read online regarding the band. Most notably, the Toronto based band is self described as being “anti-war, but pro-horror”. The description of the music was cryptic and engaging; ‘Now we slay the stages of the universe with heavy riffs, paranoia-inducing trills and 1970s fills.”
“I did further research and discovered that their influences were rooted in bands that I knew like Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, and The Who. But they were also inspired from things that I wasn’t so familiar with, like mystical forests, candlelit chambers, gothic castles, and Euro-horror films. Needless to say-this Wedding had the potential to be very Rock and Roll!”
Dave & Kirsten’s kooky and personal wedding was created as a perfect reflection of them as a couple. Their love of tattoos, fashion and all things vintage was their inspiration and what really shone through on their day.
The bride knew she wanted a flattering tea-length dress but after a fruitless search in dress shops and even online, she decided the best way to get her perfect gown was to create it herself. She went to the drawing board and drew out her ideal dress which she then brought to a seamstress who worked with her to make it. She accessories with a blue birdcage veil which she picked up from a vintage shop in Chicago. She picked the colour to match her bridesmaid’s dresses. Finally, to complete her look she wore one of a kind jewellery all made for her by friends.
As wedding gifts to each other, the tattoo-loving couple both got matching bird tattoos and as an extra special gift to his bride, Dave restored a 1968 Lincoln Continental which he surprised Kirsten with on the day! How amazing is that?!
As a final, super personal touch, instead of favours, the couple made a donation in their honour to Mia’s Children – an orphanage that educates and houses homeless children in Bucharest, Romania. Kirsten used to work for this foundation and so this was something very close to her heart too.
Taking inspiration from music festivals and garden parties, April & Alex wanted to create a laid back, personal wedding. They loved creating a lot of the details themselves and really wanted to make something that not only reflected them but was fun for their guests.
The bride made all the wedding stationary herself – from the invitations to the luggage tags. “I designed the postcard sized invitations on photoshop, lined the envelopes with floral paper and stamped the backs with an old fashioned address stamp,” she explained. “The orders of service were hand stamped, bound with a sewn spine and decorated with mismatched fabric hearts. We stuck to kraft paper and the same font to pull everything together. I didn’t like the idea of picking one colour as a ‘theme’ but stuck to hot and dusky pink, peach and greens as my colour palate. The confetti packets were a project from Martha Stewart and made by sewing together tracing paper and a handstamped label. For the table plan I stretched some floral fabric over a wooden frame and pinned everyone’s names on hand stamped parcel tags in alphabetical order, each with their table number. I painted cheap frames from Ikea backed with fabric for the table numbers and the place settings were also hand stamped parcel labels. I used inexpensive different sizes glass cosmetic bottles bought online to use as vases.”