Oh I love a surprise wedding! And a surprise wedding + pool party!? EPIC!
But this wasn’t actually a real wedding, it was set up as a recreation of the wedding of some friends of the photographer who were married 30 years ago. Jessie & Kenny had a wedding just like this one, in the exact same spot, in 1982 (some of their wedding photos are at the end of the gallery – how amazing are they?!) So to celebrate, and to have an their anniversary party with a difference, they decided to relive the whole thing. This is a styled shoot unlike the rest and, yes, they really had the big party afterwards!
Styled shoots have been wedding blog favourites for a few years now. I do like to feature them to share new wedding ideas with my bride & groom-to-be readers but I’ve always really preferred to publish real weddings. It’s not that I don’t like styled shoots, but I know real life examples always go down better than a ‘concept’ set up but a bunch of wedding industry professionals who think that it’s a quirky, cool (or in recent times – trendy) and very ‘blogable’ idea for a wedding.
Which is why I love this shoot. It is a new concept. It’s a recreation of a wedding, being sympathetic to the original inspiration while showcasing some awesome new ideas. Just like with Whit & Colby, I was initially disappointed when I realised that this wasn’t an actual wedding, but again like with Whit & Colby I love it because of the amazing creativity behind it. On reflection I congratulate the creative team for doing something that I wish everyone else would… actually being creative.
Mark & Ania didn’t particularly want a theme for their wedding, but what they did want was a relaxed and laid back wedding with all their friends and family. They chose Islington town hall as their ceremony venue as the north east of London is one of their favourite areas of the city. For their reception they headed to AK Rowing Club which is right on the bank of the Thames in Hammersmith.
“We went from not wanting a wedding at all to toying with an idea to run away and get married in secret”, began newlywed Ania. “But as the planning went on, the guest list grew bigger and bigger and we ended up with the project of organising a proper wedding. We really wanted for our big day to be as simple and relaxed as possible. We didn’t have any particular theme in mind when planning the day other than wanting a simple, informal day.”
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Felicia & Ariel wanted to plan a wedding with a nod to their heritage as well as the place they grew up. The wedding was held at The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, a non-profit education and research organisation, owned by the groom’s parents. “As born and raised Austinites and the children of hippies, we knew from the get-go that we didn’t want to have the ‘usual’ wedding,” began Felicia. “Ariel and I both love being in nature and so it seemed like a easy choice to have the wedding at the site of his family’s home and non-profit organization. We wanted the wedding to have a lot of color and reflect our passions and cultures. I’m Mexican-American and loved the idea of embroidered Mexican dresses for my bridesmaids, delicate papel picado banners, and bright paper flowers.”
“The funky architecture and homages on the property also added a lot of unique touches. We loved that our wedding was truly a family affair – from the location to the favors and the cupcakes, both our families were very involved. My mother is an artist and designed the invitations and streamers and my father, a musician, asked some of his bandmates to play during the cocktail hour. Our friends and family also had the choice of dancing or playing volleyball right next to the stage.”