There are so many things to be obsessed with in Britani and Matt’s wedding. The bride’s black dress/ rainbow petticoat combo, the Dia de los Muertos masks, the mixed gender bridal parties, the colourful wedding cake and flowers and ALL THAT AMAZING DECOR. It’s enough to make even the most hardened of us well up and get really over excited all at the same time.
The Denver natives wanted a wedding that was colourful, fun and a little bit dark. “Our theme was ‘Rainbow Vintage Macabre Fiesta'”, explained the bride. “My dress started it all but also we both both really like macabre things, Halloween and skulls but I also absolutely adore vibrant colours”
Colour loving babes listen up! If you’ve been wondering if rocking a coloured gown on your wedding day was the right choice or not then I’m pretty sure today’s incredible photo shoot will help you make up you mind. I mean WOW.
Inspired by the colours of Dia De Los Muertos, photographer Christina Sanchez, dreamt up this incredible shoot. “We shot in Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano in California”, she said. “I love collaborating with amazingly talented people to create unforgettable imagery. We created this to share with everyone who loves these same things as much as we do!”
Adam and Cathy’s wedding took place in November and had a Dia de Los Muertos theme as a nod to the bride’s Mexican heritage. She wanted a way to incorporate lost loved ones.
“To many people our wedding looked really different, but to us it seemed perfectly normal!” said the bride. “We had some women in the groom’s party, and some gender fluid friends as well. We did try to steer away from the Americanised version of Dia de Los Muertos, which is the red/ black macabre design. The holiday is a joyful celebration full of love and colour and happiness, and we wanted to be true to that. Also, we had karaoke at our reception!”
“Our ceremony was very personal”, she continued. “We wrote our own vows, played one of my most favourite songs, Make Me a Channel of Your Peace, and had a reading from the book The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman. Our officiant also wore a sparkly jacket. It was magical!”
The couple did so many DIY projects and homemade all the décor. “We made all of the paper flowers that were used throughout and we made the table centrepieces. Luckily I have some very crafty friends!”
Juliana and Forrest were married at the bride’s parent’s home in California in October. Their inspiration was the time of year, so they had Halloween and Day of the Dead references mixed in with other things they both love such as the theatre and music from the 1920s-40s. They also wanted to play homage to their Latin heritage.
The ceremony was particularly special and important. “We had an ancient Viking tradition in our ceremony, in honour of the other half of our common heritage”, Juliana explained. “We also had some friends that performed a cleansing ritual before the event got under way, which was a great idea. The whole vibe of our wedding was super chill.”
Getting married in October, Kaylee and Todd knew quickly what they wanted their theme to be – Day of the Dead! ” We were best friends in high school and started dating soon after”, said the bride. “The inspiration for our wedding was the fact that I’ve always really liked sugar skulls, and skulls in general. I also knew I wanted to incorporate a bright colour palette.”
The wedding took place at Swan’s Trail Farms in Snohomish, Washington. The couple completely transformed the place with all their brightly coloured décor ideas which were executed by their coordinator, Manette Gracie Events.
“We made our ’till death do us part’ signs ourself and with a lot of help from Todd’s family we made all of the paper flowers too. We planned a relaxed reception, and only included the elements that were most important to us. We skipped any traditions that didn’t feel like us. Everything was so relaxed and special, and the traditions we did decide to include were so much fun.”
The variety of amazing weddings I get to feature really does make my job the best in the world! This morning I posted a sweet little jazz themed wedding and now I’m sharing an all-out colour, DIY, Mexican inspired explosion. Epic!
Tania and Kyle were married at the Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool and all the décor was DIY! “We made over 300 tissue paper pompoms, which ended up being strung, covering windows and staircases”, the bride began. “We doubled up our ceremony backdrop later for the photobooth! My nails were done by a good friend of mine, Janine Scott. She designed the most gorgeous nails with rose tips and the ‘I do’ on my wedding finger was just amazing.”
“The centrepieces were pompom flowers in tequila bottles, with coloured sand and spray painted skulls, cacti (which were favours), painted birdcages with Chilean bluebirds on top and Mexican Loteria cards for table numbers. We chose the wool pompom flowers as we were able to do these as brightly coloured as possible. We decided to make a lot of it ourselves as getting things like the papel picado shipped over from the US or Mexico was very expensive.”
Happy Halloween! I hope you have something suitably spooky planned? I’m actually out and about shooting all day, but I’m hoping I can get home in time to catch some trick or treaters later!
To get you well and truly into the spirit of things, I’m going to share not one, but two, amazing Halloween-inspired wedding photo sessions today. Now, I know I said on Facebook recently that I was kinda over styled shoots, but there are always exceptions, and two I have for you today are definitely worth breaking my self-imposed rule. Pop back at 3pm for the second one. It’s totally worth it, I promise!
This was sent over by the amazing April and Paul Photography, who are based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. “We wanted to pull together a styled shoot that captured a darker side while still remaining very elegant and timeless”, they wrote. “We were avoiding the Halloween store approach and running after the idea of a place once luxurious and glamorous, now dark and mysterious with tale tale signs of what used to be. Like a mansion once filled with dinner parties and laughter now only with the echo’s of the past. The location helped execute the vision perfectly with the vines and spider webs already being part of the setting.”
Lauren and Ralf had a Dia de Los Muertos themed wedding in a goth club. Both the bride and groom even wore face paint! “Our wedding was unique not only because of the theme, location and decorations, but because we went with a mixed wedding party. I did not have a maid-of-honor; I had a man-of-honor. Ralf had a best man and a groomswoman. Also, due to the small size of our wedding party, we all go ready together in the same space at our venue. I’m not superstitious, so it didn’t matter to me if I was seen in my dress before walking down the aisle. But getting ready together made things all the more fun.”
“The visuals of everything defined the wedding. The lighting and the décor that the club already had meant we had very little to do when it came to decoration, and the things we did have were handmade. Also, the music was great. I came down the aisle to ‘Treasure’ by The Cure and for the recessional, we had ‘We Are The Champions’ by Queen.”
Yep, you read that right – Carla & Nicholas spent just $800 on their intimate fiesta elopement. In fact I had to double check they didn’t mean $8000 when I received their submission and that it wasn’t just a typo!
The elopement took place on 28th December at Madison County Courthouse. After they got engaged, the couple immediately started planning a big wedding, but after some time decided to instead elope the weekend after Christmas. All their family was in town for the holidays so it meant they could all be there to celebrate with a big family meal afterwards. The bride’s sister-in-law, Melanie, secretly hired wedding photographer Ashley Vaughn of White Rabbit Studios as a gift to capture their day. Everything else came in under the $800 budget.
“Our family gathering after our ceremony was inspired by fiesta with a kick of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)”, Carla explained. “When we decided to do a courthouse wedding with a small family reception, I knew exactly where I wanted the reception. I love the look, the colors, the details, and atmosphere at Rosie’s Mexican Cantina. A fiesta theme just fit perfectly. Nick and are a little off the beaten path when it comes to what we enjoy and love in life and I have always been intrigued by and enjoyed the Mexican celebration Dia de los Muertos. We already had the family gathering together so why not honor loved ones who had passed on while we were at it?”
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.”
“Almost 2 years ago I saw a beautiful Día de los Muertos painting”, photographer Ashley Forrette writes. “It was the first time I really looked at anything Day of the Dead-related that was not a kitschy nicknack or halloween costume sold at Hot Topic, but actually a really beautiful piece of art. It was soft, and feminine, and dark… romantic even. I fell in love and immediately I knew I wanted to someday shoot a bridal photo session inspired by that painting.”
After some big plans that were nigh-on impossible to pull off, Ashley decided to just keep the shoot simple and make it happen! “The ideas I had for it in my head were too grand and overwhelming to actually think about pulling off. I wanted to go to the desert during a windstorm, I wanted a $7000 dress, and a herd of wild horses… etc. etc. All things that seemed too big to coordinate for a shoot without a budget and for no real reason other than fun. One morning I woke up and realized not doing the shoot just because it couldn’t be as big as my imagination wouldn’t help me at all. It wasn’t a good excuse anymore. Why not do the shoot here in Portland with what I have and try to make it the best I can with my available resources? Why not start somewhere and see where it goes? Why not go for it, just for the experience, for the process, and for creativity rather than letting the fear of failure keep me from doing anything at all?”
And so she did. She pulled together an incredible team of creatives (credited at the bottom of this post) and made her dream become a reality. I love it!