Tag Archives: emma case

Simple & Cozy London Knees Up: Lee & Lauren

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Red flowing locks, a faux fur coat, deep red flowers in her hair… as soon as I spied the beautiful Lauren on photographer Emma Case’s blog I knew she was definitely a Rock n Roll bride. And then I saw the entire wedding and I literally couldn’t wait to get it up on these pages – as soon as possible!

Lee & Lauren were married in November at Stoke Newington Town Hall. They has their reception at The Artisan of Clerkenwell, a pub/restaurant in North East London. They did things their own way. They picked a non-traditional venue, they homemade as much as possible and only invited people that they really wanted to be there. This wedding was every bit the modern fairytale.

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“Our inspiration just came naturally from the things we like; granny vintage, proper food, indie/rock n roll music, London, cameras, beer and above all a good ol’ knees up with our friends and family”, began the bride. “We didn’t set out to do anything ‘different’ really, but by knowing ourselves and what we really like, we knew that we wouldn’t shy away from things that might be considered a bit different either.  We just wanted to do things that we thought would make for a really good day for everyone. The atmosphere was the most important thing – we wanted people to drink lots, dance like mad and have a great time. We didn’t invite children partly because of the venue, but mainly because we wanted everyone to let their hair down. This decision possibly caused a few ripples but we both believe it was the right one.”

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Colourful Manor House Wedding with just 34 Guests: Amy & Ray

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I’m seeing a huge shift in a lot of the weddings that I’m being submitted of late. While large and lavish detail-heavy weddings were, and in many cases still are, wedding blog perfection, I am noticing that these days it’s the smaller ones that a catching my eye. It seems that lot of my readers are completely swinging the other way and are planning small, intimate and personality-heavy nuptials. I know what it is though – my readers are rebels, just like me! You don’t want to do what everyone else is doing – you want your weddings to be different and to be a perfect reflection of your love and your relationship. And that, dear readers, is why I friggin’ love each and every one of you!

I’ve known Amy for a while now. She is one third of Ava – a wedding styling company based in Birmingham, and we’ve actually worked together on many occasions. The biggest collaboration we’ve done has got to be my Rock n Riot shoot where she even commissioned a graffiti artist to paint me on a giant wall!

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Amy spends her life styling other people’s weddings and events, so when it came to her own special day, she wanted to make sure it was really theirs and that it didn’t just feel like another day at the office…

“I’ve collected coloured glass since I left home and it does make be truly happy, weird but true,” Amy explained. “I look at it everyday and everybody that knows me likes to take the mick for my collecting obsessions. I would have bought along all of my chairs if I could have! I am a florist so obviously I’m used to working with flowers all the time but for our wedding I wanted something simple – I didn’t want to over complicate anything. I basically just plonked all of my favourite flowers in the coloured vases. We used Gloriosia, Vanda Orchid and Tassel Flowers, then Love Lies Bleeding with Dahlias which were home grown by a friend. I love colour too so if anything our theme would have beeb a ‘rainbow of bonkersness’ against the quite formal manor house.”

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An Emotional East Meets West Wedding: Aneesha & Ed

Back in February 2011 I was at exhibiting at the first Designer Vintage Bridal Show, Birmingham. Luckily for me the organisers plonked my stand right next to one of my ultimate besties, wedding photographer Emma Case. On the second day of the show in walked bride-to-be Aneesha, who had decided she wanted Emma to capture her 2012 wedding. After chatting about wedding planning, blogging and photography Annesha went upstairs to try on wedding dresses. Always one to get excited about this part of wedding planning Emma & I followed to see what the bride-to-be would pick. Aneesha & Ed were having a traditional Indian ceremony in the morning, but for the evening reception they wanted to change into western wedding attire. As soon as Aneesha tried on the slinky Yevonde by Jenny Packham the tears started to fall and we all knew it was the dress for her (photos nearer the end of this post).

I’m honoured that I was allowed to witness this experience and I’m even more thrilled that today I get to share their full wedding story with you.

The ceremony was held at Shri Ravidass Temple in Walsall, with the after party/reception going down at Berrow Court, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

“As our day was a mixed cultured wedding it was so important to us that our guests felt comfortable at all times”, Aneesha told me. “The only way I could do that was to keep them well informed. I did this by our wedding website, emails and Facebook messages. We also invited friends and family to the temple before the wedding day so they knew what to expect, I even had printouts made about what the meanings were was behind each parts of the ceremony.”

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A Homemade Whitstable Wedding: Sinead & Dan

Sinead & Dan were married in Whitstable at Beacon House, with a reception afterwards at the groom’s parent’s house. The great thing about Beacon House is that it’s one of the only wedding venues in the UK that’s licensed for an almost outdoor wedding, on the porch of the house, overlooking the beach. However it’s a small venue, hence why like a lot of couples Sinead & Dan moved to another venue for their reception.

Beacon House is the most beautiful house, we fell in love with it and Katrina the owner as soon as we arrived for the first visit,” the bride told me. “We married on the veranda with just 20 of our closest friends and family, with the beach as our backdrop. Instead of an aisle, I walked along the seafront to meet Dan at the top of the stairs, while a guitar and sax played. It was perfect, even if there was a 70yr old man in teeny tiny Speedos sunbathing on the beach while the ceremony took place! Our reception was in Dan’s parent’s garden. We found that a lot of venues imposed a lot of rules, you had to use their caterers, their bar service, corkage charges, end times, car parking etc. Having it at home gave us so much freedom and it felt so comfortable being there.”

The couple made their wedding their own with all the personal touches and details. Most things were collected over the years by trawling car boot sales and second hand shops and were things they already owned. They also found a lot of items on etsy or were handmade by friends. “We wanted a small intimate handmade wedding and an amazing reception – great music, great food with exciting and interesting decor. We are so lucky living in Whitstable, with a close-knit community of amazing businesses, I was keen to source everything as local as possible.”

“We wanted our friends and family to come to our wedding and feel as they would if they were on holiday; relaxed, comfortable and ready to have fun,” Sinead explained. “We had a marquee in the garden, but I was keen to make it less marquee like, so we covered the walls of the marquee in deck chair fabric and dotted some choice 1950s style furniture around. I absolutely loved the detail in the planning, and sourcing just the right things…we served the bubbly in Babycham glasses that I had collected over the year and I used lots of 50s children’s annuals and board games as centre pieces and to decorate the furniture and it just wouldn’t have been right without the ‘Kiss Me Quick, Squeeze Me Slow’ hats for the photobooth.”

“We had sticks of rock and cones of fish and chips as favours with a raffle in the evening! Our friend made us our very own seaside peep board as a wedding present, which provided hours of entertainment. I loved looking around and seeing our friends and family smiling, laughing and taking pleasure in all the detail, the details that me and Dan had so much fun gathering and putting together.”

Sinead wore a Candy Anthony wedding dress and it was the first wedding dress that she tried on! “As soon as it was on I knew I had to get married in it,” she continued. “I always knew I wanted a tea-length dress, that 50s look is just so feminine and pretty. I wanted a huge petticoat underneath, it just felt so much fun and really girly. It was also important to me to have a dress that gave me freedom to move, I wanted to cuddle people and I wanted to dance the night away. The slightly shorter length was perfect for that. I’ve heard about a lot of brides that looked amazing on their day but couldn’t move a lot or sometimes even breath very well – I don’t understand that logic. The Candy Anthony dress also allowed me to create a different look in the evening, I took off the sash and lace overlay. I had a tiny bow belt to put on and a matching pillbox hat, I found a blue cashmere cardigan to put on top. I love my dress so much and the girls at Candy Anthony are so lovely!”

“Someone said to me recently, that they wondered if homemade weddings like mine and the weddings that feature on blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride, put pressure on brides to make everything themselves and find newer and more creative ideas,” Sinead concluded. “I felt quite pissed off about this (particularly as the person works in the industry) because in my experience it was the exact opposite. I think there is so much pressure on brides full stop, but particularly at the beginning when everyone is offering their ideas, hopes and sometimes expectations of your wedding. I felt a certain amount of pressure to do things a certain way – the traditional way. Blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride reassured me and encouraged me to make our wedding exactly how we wanted it. Having the freedom to be able to put our personality into our wedding was incredible and I think forums that showcase these weddings, simply inspire and reassure other brides. It’s not about keeping up with others it’s about realising it’s ok to put your stamp on your wedding and a great place for idea sharing!”

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The Inspirations: Emma Case (in Your Face)

There are a few things you need to know about Emma Case before you read today’s Inspirations interview. Emma and I met about 2 years ago when she submitted this wedding to me. It was only the second wedding she’d ever shot. This was before the whole ‘vintage’ editing that you now see, like, everywhere was popular and I fell instantly in love with her unique style. A few months later we decided to meet up in London. We went for sushi and I fell instantly in love again, only this time with her.

I really don’t have enough words to express how much I love this girl or how bloody talented she is. I heard her speak about her work for the first time at the Featherlove workshop this summer and I wanted to cry because she’s just so damn inspirational. Needless to say, she was the obvious choice to be included in this series…also because she’s just as obsessed with her cat Max and I am with Henry & Rachel. If you have’t heard of Emma before this then my dears, you are in for a treat.

…oh and the (in your face) thing? Yeah private joke, sorry about that…I can’t really remember where it came from but it was something to do with making everything in a conversation rhyme. I now can’t say her name without adding it onto the end now though. I’m pretty hilarious no?

Photography Credit: Emma Case by Anna Hardy Photography

So go on then, what’s the Emma Case story? How did you get into photography and how did you make the transition from that to being the all encompassing wedding photography force that you are now… in I might add, a dauntingly short amount of time?

Over the past 10 years I’ve worked as an actress.  I’ve always hated saying that (but that’s what it says on my Self Assessment form) because when you tell people that they say “What you been in?”….. well nothing actually… on TV anyway. I’ve done a lot of theatre work in schools and have travelled the country teaching kids about sex, drugs, puberty, healthy eating – you name it.  Most of this sort of work gets a bit of a bad reputation but I’m immensely proud of it and have absolutely loved every second.  I’ve got to see the whole country, worked with some fantastic people, had an absolute ball at work every day and it probably sounds corny but maybe made a small difference, somewhere, maybe.

I then started to learn Sign Language in 2008.  I volunteered for a Deaf and hearing drama group and then started working as a Support Worker for Deaf Adults in between acting jobs.  I completely fell in love with the language, the culture… everything.  I then got an acting job with Deafinitely Theatre (a Deaf led Theatre Company) touring a play called ‘Double Sentence’ at The Soho Theatre in November 09. It was the biggest job I’d ever had and when I think back to when I was at college… this sort of job was what I had dreamed about doing… so in a weird way I felt that I had accomplished what I had set out to do.

Meanwhile Pete, my now husband, gave me my first DSLR on Christmas Day 07.  Thinking back now, I’m not actually sure why I asked for a camera… I’d had a polaroid camera for a few years and cheap film cameras when I went on holiday but I wasn’t one of these people who had a camera in their hand from the age of six or anything.  The following day, Boxing Day, me and Pete went for a walk (with my new camera) and he proposed.  I began to research things for our wedding and started with the photography but I couldn’t find the kind of wedding photography that I had in my head. However what I did find was a world of American weddings and photographers that just completely blew me away.  They were natural and fun and relaxed and completely exciting and full of emotion… I wanted to take photos like that.  So I became a complete photography nerd – reading blogs, watching tutorials, staying up til 3am playing with Photoshop… just soaking up as much as I could.

In May 2009 I decided to start a flickr account.  I’d been taking pictures of Pete’s band and my friends’ children so it was a good place to put my pictures. About 6 months later some friends of ours, Ruth and Dan got in touch to say that they were getting married and would I take pictures. It was going to be a relaxed wedding at a Youth Hostel, Ruth was wearing a vintage dress, lots of wild flowers in jam jars, cupcakes etc. It’s funny, writing that now it seems pretty normal, but back then it was pretty different to what was out there.  I photographed the wedding and put some images up on Flickr and and my own little photography blog. I was blogging about our life, our cat and my breakfast.  It’s funny as I can distinctly remember getting my first comment and how happy I was… and slowly I started getting a few friends who would check in regularly. At the time I’d been devouring Rock n Roll Bride, looking at all the amazing photography, so I decided to pluck up the courage to send the wedding to Kat.

Kat blogged the wedding the end of Oct 2009 and I remember just staring at the page, looking at my photos among all those others I’d admired.  It all then went a little bit nuts.  I started to get enquiries from like-minded couples who wanted something different, couples who were stamping their own personality on their wedding.  I had no idea about setting up a business, no idea about what photographers charge etc so I started out really cheap.  I was learning with each wedding I shot and before I knew it I was booked up with about 30 weddings in my first year.  The whole thing was pretty daunting and I remember getting a comment from Steve Gerrard on one of my pictures (the wedding photographer not the footballer!) so I emailed him, pretty much a ‘help!’ email and he invited me to his studio for a cuppa. We chatted and from then on he was a constant source of help and advice and I’ve learnt so much from him.

Once I started shooting more and more weddings, my confidence grew and because they were all alternative weddings a lot of the wedding blogs would get in touch to feature them.  This meant that very quickly I was reaching a wide audience and without having to pay for any advertising I was getting more and more enquiries from couples that wanted something different.  The down side to this was that I booked myself up for pretty much 18 months on a very low price, so financially, the business didn’t necessarily flourish as quickly as it should and also I was learning very publicly Anything I did was being watched and although I’d pretty much only just started I felt quite a bit of pressure.

Once I’d finished my first year I had picked up quite a bit of a following through Twitter, my blog and Facebook and this just seemed to keep growing. Pete & I (he joined the business full time this year) have just finished our second year and have shot another 40 weddings and managed to get married ourselves (some where in the middle of it!) and the support from the very beginning has been incredible.

What is Pete’s role in the business and how is it working with your husband? Do you ever want to kill each other living and working together?

We’ve been working together for nearly a year now and it’s great.  Pete’s always been the kind of person that has been interested in what I’m doing so even before we both worked on the business he knew the in’s and out’s, knew all my friends etc.  But now we get to share it all.  He comes with me to all the weddings so he gets to know all the couples and we get to go on little road trips every weekend (he makes a mean bap for the journey) and then we get to be together all week.

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Giant Teacups, A Homemade Bouncy Castle & Elvis – A DIY Wedding to the Extreme!: Caroline & Stuart

Caroline & Stuart were married at St. Annes Church in Littleworth Common, Burnham. They held their reception in a field right opposite the church. Their wedding was a super creative affair with them making and styling the whole thing themselves, they even renovated some giant funfair teacups!

“Bizarrely we had in our minds a vision of an abandoned set from an old Elvis film for our wedding ‘theme’,” Caroline told me. “We did things differently by building almost everything ourselves and loving doing it! In the end we made…
The stage (old fashioned wooden with footlights, which several guests sat/ fell on when drunk!)
4 giant funfair teacups for sitting in (we renovated them ourselves)
1 giant funfair teacup cake table
Giant wooden light up initials
Old fashioned funfair stall drinks bar
An oversized cake stand for every table
Giant lollypop table numbers
Maypole wedding cake stand
The light up frame for the table plan
All the other signage
Old fashioned style high striker to play on (now that was a challenge!)”

“We even designed the bouncy castle ourselves! Any wedding ones we could find were too trashy, and not in a good way!”

Phew….(and yes dear reader, I have asked Caroline if she’d like to do some DIY tutorials for the blog, let us know in the comments which ones you’d like to see the most!)

Caroline’s wedding dress was made by her Mum from an original 1960’s pattern. She also wore a beautiful original 1960’s headpiece. She bought herself some plain shoes and added all the swarovski crystals (all 2400 of them!) herself.

Caroline & Stuart now hire all their wedding props out through their company Vowed and Amazed.

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