Tag Archives: bridesmaids

Patti & Frank’s Tattoo-Heavy, DIY-Crazy, Totally Rock n Roll Wedding

Patti & Frank are just the epitome of Rock n Roll Bride! Whenever people ask me what my favourite type of weddings are, weddings like this one are what I describe – tattoos, DIY, short wedding dresses, fabulous bridesmaids and happy, smiling faces!

Patti wore an original 1950’s vintage dress, awesome shoes by Harajuku Lovers and feathers in hair.  “I originally spent $2,000 on a custom made dress which I had designed myself,” the bride told me. “Well I had someone who specialized in wedding dresses make it  (first problem) and I guess our vision was not the same and I didn’t like what she made at all! I went to Cambridge Antique market looking for some vintage brooches to jazz it up and the first thing I saw see when I turned the corner was this dress. I think it had a light shining on it with my name! It was meant to be and just a week before the wedding and it fit like a glove! Oh and the best part? It only cost me $150!”

Not wanting to completely ignore the original dress that she had spent so much time and money on, Patti asked her friend Kara to cut the custom made dress shorter. To this she added some black bows and voila! it became her after party dress!

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Under the Spotlight – AriaDress

When it comes to looking for your perfect wedding dress, a lot of Rock n Roll Brides are now heading online to see if they can get their dream gown at a fraction of the price. My worry with this has always been that you might end up with a substandard ‘knock off’ dress that isn’t of the quality that you deserve for your big day. You know what they say, “pay cheap, pay twice…”

However I’m excited to say that I’ve found an exception to this rule! I was contacted by AriaDress a few weeks ago and I have not only been blown away but the quality of work and design that goes into every one of their bespoke gowns, but at prices significantly less than you’d expect! Can you believe you can get a dress as gorgeous as these for under $500!?

I got chatting to designer Tak Hau last week about his passion, his inspiration and his love of creating simply stunning gowns for brides and bridesmaids. I hope you enjoy reading all about it. He really is a wonderfully talented man and I’m so thrilled to be showcasing his brand new Spring 2011 collection on Rock n Roll Bride.

Who are you and what do you do?
I am Tak Hau, the designer and creative director of AriaDress, a company I started nine years ago to bring style and sophistication where it was really needed – in the bridesmaid dress category. Now, we also do wedding gowns. I started out designing cocktail dresses in the 1980s, under my own label and others, which were sold in boutiques and the top department stores in the USA.

What made you want to get into Bridal fashion?
Being a designer in the dress business for a long time, I began to think of a category that I could build into a new and viable business. I started to be more aware of bridal fashions, and noticed there was a lack of modern bridesmaid dresses that were affordable, or that didn’t look like the truly awful bridesmaid dress Melanie Griffith wore in the film, Working Girl. Remember that, with all the powder blue chiffon? It didn’t seem much had progressed since then.

Before I started AriaDress, you either had to pay a lot of money for bridesmaid dresses or they were that ugly! So I discovered this niche that needed modern, affordable, high quality dresses – there were none 10 years ago – and we took off almost as soon as we were on the web.

Someone who is asked to be a bridesmaid can dread the experience because of the dress. I decided to make AriaDress as close-to-custom as possible, so each bridesmaid could choose what fits her best and the dresses could be made all in one color. It’s really very easy to switch a bodice with a skirt, for all different sizes, and make a bridesmaid feel really great to appear in the dress.

That was my goal. We just introduced wedding gowns this year, for Spring 2010, and use the same concept of allowing our brides to choose any neckline to go with any skirt silhouette, using the same designs from the bridesmaid’s collection. In pure silk, fully lined, with the quality of made in the USA construction, a bride with more style than cash can have a really pretty gown for under $500 – and use the thousands of dollars that seem be the cost of a one-day wedding gown, towards a house, or a honeymoon, or sometimes, a baby.

I’m happy to make that possible!

What are your influences?
Audrey Hepburn is my muse – she’s a classic. I’ve never seen her in an outfit that looks bad or silly at any point in time. You can see her in the 70s, the 80s and she always looks right.

That’s what dresses from AriaDress are all about. I want my dresses to never look silly at any point in time.

I get a lot of ideas from watching old movies. Movies from the ‘20s and ‘30s give me many ideas, and put me in a world where I start conceptualizing a design. I was watching a movie about a woman that was a showgirl, and had this beautiful dress with a fishtail mermaid skirt, all ruffley, very girly and pretty. And it gave me the whole idea for my new designs for Spring.

Our dresses have been very structural, very linear – which was necessary to tone down the overdone styling in these kinds of dresses. But that movie, and the times, made me think of doing something more organic and more flowing for next season, Spring 2011.

For us, it’s new. I’m softening up the look to be more feminine, girly, and body conscious. I love using a single ruffle, never overdoing it, to jazz up the dress, and I’ve brought in a Short Trumpet skirt, which is very flirtatious and works beautifully at knee-length, or even a little longer.

Color, of course, is a big influence. I’m drawn to purples and blues, greens, and the cooler shades this season.

Whose work do you really admire?
Donna Karan. I like her aesthetics and point of view. She’s very modern. Her clothes are never trendy. I don’t like trendy things. She’s a true artist and her clothes reflect that – every piece of clothing she makes is a piece of art.

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Emma & Morgan’s Wonderfully Sustainable & Crafty Welsh Wedding

Emma & Morgan’s Welsh wedding has really put a smile on my face today. Everything about the day was personal, was sustainable and was perfect for them. The couple got married at The Hive and Ice Cream parlour in Aberaeron. They actually had two ceremonies through the course for the day. Firstly a smaller and more personal ceremony at The Hive, joined by just close family and friends. Then, once they got to the reception, they had a second ceremony amongst all 120 of friends. Their DIY heavy reception was held in a marquee in “Charlie’s Field” that looked out across New Quay Harbour, Wales – the exact spot that Morgan had proposed!

Emma wore two dresses on the day and in keeping with their sustainable, salvaged and recycled vibe, both were vintage.  Dress number one was from Vintage Vixen, and the second she found on Etsy. Her shoes were a stunning pair of Louboutins, bought for her by her Mum as a special treat for the day! Emma kept her accessories to almost a minimum with her shoes and dresses stealing the show.

Locally sourced flowers, a cake made by the Mother & Aunt of the bride and fabulous and sustainable vintage and second hand finds really made their day unique and perfect for them. “As much as possible we wanted to have a sustainable approach to our wonderful day, but we don’t think that needs to be a conspicuous decision (highlighting to everyone how ‘green’ you are) or compromise your dreams for the day – luckily it meant salvage/reuse/vintage were more than firmly on the table!” the bride told me “As much as possible all our suppliers were local to the area, with the hope the money stayed in, and benefited, the local economy. Our invites were designed by my brother, the card from a UK paper mill specialising in post consumer recycled card and printed by a wonderful friend at her home. We spent a year collecting items from charity shops (people need to know about Oxfam’s online shop!) ebay, etsy and the odd overpriced vintage shop in the east end of London. The tea tins were from ebay – I quickly discovered it’s quite a competitive collectors interest in the UK, so old milk bottle and beer bottles as flower containers also made a great addition to the table centres – slightly less competitive than tea tins, but they too have their hard core followers on eBay!  Food was sourced locally by a local caterer (a delicious veggie buffet proving you can go without meat, but a Welsh, organically reared hog on the roast if you couldn’t resist!) and all our wine was from France minimising air miles on what was the biggest volume of alcohol on the day. Desserts were made by family and friends. We mini-mooned in Wales too, doing our best to support local businesses and independents.”

The week before the wedding Emma spent time with family and friends at a rented cottage nearby the reception venue where they crafted to their hearts content. They created most of the stunning decorations that filled the marquee –  from the brightly coloured felted hearts to the hanging pom poms. Emma’s Man of Honour and her Mum even patiently stitched the fabric coasters that were given as favours to each guest. Every detail was hand created by Emma, her family and friends.

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Sophie & Jonny’s Burlesque Themed Rock n Roll Wedding

This is one of those posts that’s going to have a lot of photographs (hello, burlesque Rock n Roll wedding – there’s no way I could leave any out!) When photographer Marianne Taylor showed me a sneak peek of Sophie & Jonny’s wedding a few weeks ago, I knew straight away that they were right up my street…you’ll see why!

The couple got engaged in Paris on Sophie’s Birthday. “It was a dream come true,” the bride told me “Jonny had booked us into a plush Moulin Rouge themed hotel.  We sat on the steps of the Sacre Coeur and drank pink champagne and then he surprised me some more with tickets to the Moulin Rouge that night! I had no idea that he had not only secretly booked the trip but also tickets to The Moulin Rouge. My favourite film and as a burlesque fanatic, this was perfect. At the end of the show, on the red carpet, I was surprised with a box which I unwrapped to find a smaller box. Upon opening the small box and finding my Princess cut platinum ring (perfect!) he got down on one knee in front of everyone and asked me to marry him, to which I screamed and replied yes!”

The Paris proposal and Sophie’s love of all things 1940s and 50’s (she is a burlesque dancer herself) inspired the entire wedding which was a real DIY effort. She sourced the white ostrich feathers for a burlesque theme and the ‘Eiffel tower’ vases herself and set everything up for the reception. She also designed and made all the stationary and paper goods as well as helping out to make the cake. Instead of a guest book they dressed a vintage looking birdcage (found in a boutique shop) with feathers and pearls and had little black and white cards for people to write messages on and post them in the birdcage.

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Sophie & Jonny’s Burlesque Themed Rock n Roll Wedding

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This is one of those posts that's going to have a lot of photographs (hello, burlesque Rock n Roll wedding - there's no way I could leave any out!) When photographer Marianne Taylor showed me a sneak peek of Sophie & Jonny's wedding a few weeks ago, I knew straight away that they were right up my street...you'll see why! The couple got engaged in Paris on Sophie's Birthday. "It was a dream come true," the bride told me "Jonny had booked us into a plush Moulin Rouge themed hotel. We sat on the steps of the Sacre Coeur and drank pink champagne and then he surprised me some more with tickets to the Moulin Rouge that night! I had no idea that he had not only secretly booked the trip but also tickets to The Moulin Rouge. My favourite film and as a burlesque fanatic, this was perfect. At the end of the show, on the red carpet, I was surprised with a box which I unwrapped to find a smaller box. Upon opening the small box and finding my Princess cut platinum ring (perfect!) he got down on one knee in front of everyone and asked me to marry him, to which I screamed and replied yes!" The Paris proposal and Sophie's love of all things 1940s and 50's (she is a burlesque dancer herself) inspired the entire wedding which was a real DIY effort. She sourced the white ostrich feathers for a burlesque theme and the ‘Eiffel tower’ vases herself and set everything up for the reception. She also designed and made all the stationary and paper goods as well as helping out to make the cake. Instead of a guest book they dressed a vintage looking birdcage (found in a boutique shop) with feathers and pearls and had little black and white cards for people to write messages on and post them in the birdcage.

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A Lewis Carroll Gothic Wonderland Wedding

Amanda & Steph’s wedding is one of those that as soon as I saw a sneak peek on their photographer’s blog I immediately emailed asking (well…demanding!) that I be allowed to blog it! If this isn’t a perfect Rock n Roll wedding, well I don’t know what is! The couple loosely based their wedding around Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland – i.e. Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. They loved the almost dark and sinister twist this theme gave their wedding.

“We took the mad-hatter’s tea party idea and the magic of the ‘eat me’ cakes and ‘drink me’ potions, and linked it to Carroll’s poem Jabberwocky,” the couple explained. “This nonsensical but menacing poem appeared on our order of the day, and provided the inspiration for our table names. We wanted the wedding to have a fun party atmosphere and not be too ‘themed’, so we combined a ‘bring a hat’ dress code with teapot centre-pieces and little bottles of alcoholic shots on the tables labeled ‘drink me’. We wanted it to feel darkly comic, fun and quirky, whilst still being an emotional and special day for us.”

The colour theme that ran throughout the day was a dark purple and the bride wore a stunning Ian Stuart sample dress which was a pale blue/grey silk with a dramatic deep purple bolero which she bought from Bonzie on. To this she added a fabulous hat that she made herself by stitching together various bits and pieces which she had collected – including feathers, fabric, pearl beads and netting. Finally she added purple ‘Mini Magic Floral’ Irregular Choice shoes which she bought from Schuh. “I bought my dress at a wedding fair in London for £1,400, which was half price . It was far too big, so I had a dress-maker take off about 3 inches either side until it fitted. It was made in a pale blue/grey silk. I was quite pleased to think that because it was a sample it was completely unique and no one else would ever have one like it. The dress wasn’t what I thought I’d ever go for at all – quite traditional really with a huge train, but the colour made it unusual, and I accessorized it in quite an unusual way. I love Victoriana, which it reminded me of, and in the end I thought ‘when am I going to get the chance to wear something like this again’ so I went for it. My accessories were chosen to be in keeping with the Victoriana feel of the dress, and the idea was to make the outfit appear less bridal and more edgy.”

Steph wore a custom made suit that actually ended up costing more than the bride’s dress! “He wanted to keep it casual (he’s hardly worn a suit in his life being an advertising designer, and usually goes to work in his shorts and a t-shirt), so he decided to go without a tie and just wear a simple white shirt,” Amanda explained. “However, having made my own hat, I decided he ought to have some exciting DIY head-gear as well (to fit in with our mad-hatter’s tea party, Lewis Carrol theme). I therefore bought a cheap black top hat on ebay (I think it was about £25) and then trimmed it with some purple fabric to match my outfit. As we are big fans of Tim Burton and Steph likes all things dark and scary, I decided to go a stage further and I made a small purple fabric skeleton in the style of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ with odd buttons for eyes and attached it to the hat with a glue gun. I then used spray paint to make the hat seem a bit more old and battered, and flicked it with purple and blue paint on a tooth brush to give it a more punky look. He was very pleased luckily!”

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Under the Spotlight – Priscilla of Boston

Denise wears “Drew”
Photography Credit: Jeremy Lawson

Every girl (no matter how Rock n Roll!) wants to feel like a princess on her wedding day, and when a company states their reputation on making you feel just like that, no matter what your style taste, well that’s got to be one worth considering. If you really want to be spoiled, then Priscilla of Boston wedding dresses are certainly one to consider.

We have created the most unique and exclusive bridal experience to ensure you discover the perfect dress so you not only look beautiful, but feel beautiful for all of life’s special moments.

Join an exclusive circle of brides and become a part of our 65 year heritage by allowing the most revered name in bridal fashion to create The Look of a Lifetime just for you.

We invite you to discover why we are unlike any other bridal company in the world…

Dena wears “Madison”
Photography Credit: Sarah Miller Photography

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