Author Archives: Kat

Jess & Brian’s Backyard Holga Wedding

I spied Jess & Brian’s wedding, shot almost entirely on Holga, on one of my regular scouts around Flickr. I was not only blown away but the stunning photography by Laura Burlton (who doesn’t love a bit of Holga magic?) but the actual wedding itself, and all the love and attention to detail that the couple put into it made it super duper Rock n Roll worthy. “I didn’t want the standard cheesy wedding photographs,” Jess explained when I asked about her decision to have her wedding shot on a toy camera. “I am a photographer myself and I have a love affair with my Holga. I went searching for a photographer who shared the same love, but also did weddings. No easy task! I found Laura Burlton though and she’s won quite a few awards with her Holga work. And joy, she also does weddings! My parents and I are both happy now and I love the way the Holga shots perfectly portray the feeling of the day.”

The wedding was held in Jess’ parents back garden and the reception was in their garage and driveway! Jess wore her Mother’s wedding dress which she had altered to suit her better for the ceremony and changed into a Betsey Johnson number for the after-party. “I had always said I wanted to wear my Mom’s wedding dress as a girl,” Jess continued. “Once I hit my early twenty’s I looked at it again and was like oh God no! Then when it actually came time for me to get hitched, my Mom pulled it out and I knew I had to wear it. Plus she gave me free reign to do anything I wanted to it so I knew I could make it my own. We altered the neckline from a turtleneck and removed the full length satin sleeves.”

“I hadn’t thought about having  a second dress, but my Aunt suggested it about 2 weeks before the wedding.  I decided if I found THE dress I’d do it. One week before I found the Betsey Johnson dress and knew this was the way a bride was supposed to feel in her dress, it was the perfect dress for me. I love both of my dresses and really think they fit my personality and the look I was going for.”

As the wedding was a small one, the couple decided not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen and opted for two flowergirls instead. “Madison is 7 and Rian is 5. I found Rian’s dress on eBay; it was handmade in 1949 and the seamstress’s niece inherited it and was selling it. I thought I’d be able to find another girl’s vintage dress that obviously wouldn’t match, but wouldn’t clash either. No such luck. My Aunt again came to the rescue and offered to make Maddie’s. She found the exact same color tulle and satin under slip all these years later. Literally the only difference in the dresses was Rian’s was slightly more faded. I loved the way they turned out, and the cool story behind them.”

The wedding had a Rock n Roll edge with a nod towards music and photography – something the couple both love. “Brian is a drummer in Venomous Maximus and he pinstripes and rebuilds old cars and motorcycles. I’m a photographer and lover of all things vintage so we knew we wanted the wedding to represent us and the things we’re into. All the details were born from this foundation and then kind of evolved into the look it became.”

“We have a pretty big record collection and people are always giving us their old boxes of records that have been sitting in the garage for the last 30 years. We had lots of junky ones and thought it’d be cool to do something with them and so the record amoeba was born. We just started hanging them up on a wall at home and it turned out pretty awesome. We were at one of our local record stores and they had boxes of records for sale for $8. I had been trying to decide what to do with the fences in the backyard and thought it’d look cool to recreate the records amoeba there, especially since our Save the Dates were little 7” records. ”

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Leah & Peter’s Red + Black Rockabilly Wedding

Leah & Peter had a red & black themed rockabilly wedding. They kept the fact that they had got married earlier in the day a surprise from a lot of their guests but made sure all the most important people were in attendance…including their two (very well dressed!) pugs.

“We were never officially engaged (Peter bought my my black pug Ziggy instead of an engagement ring!) we just always knew we would get married and with both of us turning 30 in June 2010 was as good a reason as any,” Leah told me. !We never wanted to be the kind of people who let the real reason for getting married to be overshadowed by stressing about table placings etc so we focused on what would make us have a good time at the party and turned the tables so people were leaving with things that we had bought!”

“We spent a lot of our budget on the sweet buffet/ice cream sundae bar and also put 125 little bottles of shots on the tables (Peter hand painted them with different designs) and had free champagne and cardboard cadillacs on the tables filled with all kinds of things like bubbles, lipglosses, toys, games, sunglasses, badges, mirrors, mexican jumping beans. We also made 100 cd’s of songs that we liked and we called it “Cats, Pugs and Rock n Roll!” We also had a lot of 1950’s pictures and we let everyone take them away with them. Someone even got the cardboard Marilyn Monroe cut-out, we just wanted everyone to have a good time.”

“When we made the announcement that we got married, most people were very happy for us and some asked us what we wanted for a wedding present and our response was (the same to the people) who knew about the wedding “nothing”, we’ve been together a long time, we have our own house, we don’t need anything, we just wanted to have a really good party and celebrate our way plus people will always remember it. We didn’t want people to get hung up on the wedding details or pay a lot of money out. All we wanted to do was get married our way and luckily we had my family who were slightly bemused but very accepting and some good friends who were sworn to secrecy about the day time but really helped! It was a real team effort and we got out of it what we put in! Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be hard and there are no rules that you “must” follow! My best advice is to go for what you both love!”

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Alternative & Non-Strapless Wedding Dress Ideas for a Rock n Roll Bride

Hi Kat,

I have a question about wedding dresses and I am super curious if you could help me out. My friend is getting married and she is having a really difficult time finding a dress. I mentioned to her how frustrated I would be if I were her because it feels like 95% of wedding gowns are “tube top” style. I find this incredibly weird considering MOST of my girlfriends hate their arms, yet all of them ended up wearing a tube top dress for their wedding. My friend flipped out (in a good way) when I said that because she said that is exactly the problem she is running into.

My question is….do you know of ANYYYYY websites/blogs/companies that sell UNIQUE, FUN DRESSES THAT are short, long, medium length, has sleeves, off the shoulder style………….JUST DIFFERENT! I feel like if I can help her find the perfect dress then the universe will be friendly to me when it’s my turn….and helping her is SO MUCH FUN 🙂
Love,
Deanna

I get emails like Deanna’s all the time to this week I thought I’d tackle the problem head on and share some of my favourite non-traditional wedding dress companies with you all. I have to apologise in advance that I’ve gone a little over the top here…I enjoyed fantasy wedding dress shopping a little too much!

Fur Coat No Knickers (UK)

Based just off Carnaby St, London, Fur Coat No Knickers is my ‘go-to’ shop for all things gorgeous and vintage. Dresses are one-off vintage piece and Emma & Laura will customise each gown to your requirements, including adding or altering straps/necklines. Check me out in one of their dresses here and here!

You can see more of Fur Coat No Knickers on the blog here

Jacqueline Byrne (UK)

Photography Credit: Shell de Mar Photography

I fell in love with Jacqueline’s designs when I was lucky enough to wear one down the catwalk at the Luella’s Boudoir Wedding Fair. Based in Islington, North London, Jacqueline’s gowns can be custom made to your exact requirements.

Unique Vintage (US & Online)

Unique Vintage have a vast selection of both authentic vintage and vintage-inspired wedding dresses to suit every budget. Prices start from just $68!

You can see more on Unique Vintage on my blog right here.

Vivien of Holloway (UK & Online)

Based in Holloway, North London but doing a roaring trade online, Vivien of Holloway offer vintage-style dresses at fantastic prices. Their iconic 50’s halterneck swing dress is always popular with Rock n Roll Brides! each style comes in a huge variety of fabrics and colours and the prices are unbelievably affordable!

You can see more Vivien of Holloway dresses on the blog here.

AriaDress (US & Online)

Prices for these beautiful bespoke gowns start from just $500. The quality and design is superb…and I would know, I’ve got one of my own!

You can see more of AriaDress on the blog here.

Knot Couture (Online)

Based in Atlanta, but selling their dresses online, Knot Couture pride themselves on beautifully crafted dresses that are perfect for the alternative bride.

You can see more of Knot Couture on the blog here.

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Amanda & David’s Stonehenge Handfasting Wedding

Photographer Penny McKinley-Rodgers told me about Amanda & David’s Stonehenge handfasting wedding when I met her a few weeks ago. Quite apart from the location, one of the main things that really made me fall in love with this wedding was that the couple got married at 8am and had an actual wedding breakfast – pancakes and all! I am so excited to share this one with you today because Amanda & David really did do things their own way, making them perfect for Rock n Roll Bride!

“Our wedding was incredibly informal but was honestly the nicest most relaxed and meaningful wedding” the bride told me. “We also only invited 20 people, who were all our nearest and dearest and that made it utterly special. We both wish we could bottle the day and go back and live it again whenever we wanted as it finished too soon.”

Stonehenge was our wedding venue. We had been visiting it (in the normal way) in the first year we’d been going out (2009) and had commented that it would be the best place ever to get married – if you could. Then, looking it up in the car park on our phone, we discovered that you actually could do a handfasting there – which pretty much sorted out that decision well in advance.  The theory being that if you got married at Stonehenge, the universe was pretty much likely to pay attention and the ceremony was definitely likely to work in full. We wrote out own handfasting ceremony to make it really personal. Our wedding breakfast was at Fairlawn House Hotel in Amesbury, who were incredibly helpful and lovely. Their cellar venue was decorated with fairy lights and they put out all our tablecloths and vases of flowers for us.”

“The wooden swords are martial arts training swords, but were bought off eBay to stand in for metal ones. The reason is that it is an old anglo-saxon tradition where the groom hands over his ancestral sword to the bride so she can use it to protect her new assets, herself and any children they have; in return she gives him either a new blade or her ancestral blade so he can protect himself and them. The antique sabre was a gift from David’s best man, and a really nice inclusion as this provided a proper sword even though neither of us have ancestral swords (although we do now!). The keys were bought on eBay and are symbolic of the sharing of property and possessions, and by giving them to me it symbolised that nothing was hidden any more and that everything that was his is now open to me. I also see it as symbolic of me becoming head of our new family and household”

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Free Wedding Photography by Xanthe Roxburgh ♥ The Winners! ♥

Photography Credit: Xanthe Roxburgh Photography

Wow huge response or what?! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for their favourite couple to win Free Wedding Photography by Xanthe Roxburgh Photography. It was pretty damn close at times, but I’m sure excited to announce that the winners are…

Jessie & Toots!

Huge congratulations guys! As you can see from the results chart it was a pretty close contest. Xanthe will be in touch with you really soon to sort all the formalities out. I can’t wait to see your wedding photographs already!

A Sunday Kind of Love – Photo Night Live

This week I was asked to take part in Photo Night Live, a weekly web show all about photography (duh..) and making your business work for you. This week’s topic was ‘Blogging 101 – Showcasing your life online’ and I was interviewed by Ross Dean, alongside emerging photographer Ali Lovegrove, about our experiences.

I really hope some of the things I say can help you. Looking back, I do wonder if what I’m saying actually makes any sense (!) but I really do love sharing my knowledge of the medium that I adore so much.

You can check out Photo Night Live every Friday from 7pm (GMT). If you would like to be considered for a future show, please drop an email to info@rossdeanphotography.com

Ali & I will be doing a part two to this interview as my next video blog. So if you have any further blogging questions then send them my way by next Thursday (31st March) and we’ll try and include as may as possible when we meet (in real life this time).