Tag Archives: fancy dress

An Undead Steampunk Wedding: Renee & Ian

So where do I begin trying to explain the awesomeness of Renee & Ian’s undead steampunk wedding? I think maybe the title gives away just how amazing this wedding is going to be doesn’t it?

The couple were married at Catalyst, a private live/work artist community in Chicago. “We actually had to ‘audition’ for the space,” Renee told me. “The members have a delicate relationship with the community and can’t risk any trouble. We had to prove to them over several months that we talented and responsible enough to be able to use their space. We had to foster a personal relationship with them before they would even consider us. It was tedious, but worth it in the end.”

“We gained some more wonderful friends for our already stellar collection, and the space allowed us freedom that traditional venues could not (like staying until 6am and coming back later in the week to help clean up).”

The bride made her dress herself from a 1880’s corset pattern. She tea stained dupioni silk and lace and designed the skirt and blouse herself. Her headpiece was a pair of vintage goggles that she bought from a flea market which Ian ‘steampunked’ by using random pieces including a magnifying glass that belonged to his Grandmother.

“We love Halloween and costumes!” the bride continued. “It’s truly the only time of year that we have any pictures together. We plan all year for it! We’re not really big on the institution of marriage. We partly decided to ‘make it official’ (though our love and commitment was official enough for us) because Ian’s dad was diagnosed with cancer, and the outlook was grim. We knew he would love to see us married. On a lighter note, Greg is doing very well these days in remission.”

“Our choice of theme started a bit of an uproar in our families. We were made fun of, called sacrilegious, and many of our family from WI didn’t show up (some for financial reasons, but I assume many of our very catholic family members just didn’t approve). We were asked to have a separate ‘family wedding’ in WI, but refused. Our wedding was going to be a celebration of our love, our way and a way for us to show our families that we are proud of who we are. We didn’t WANT to dis-include or hurt them, but we didn’t want to compromise ourselves on our day! In the end, the family that did show up really seemed to enjoy themselves.”

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A Woodland Creatures Fancy Dress Wedding: Toby & Isa

“The theme for our wedding began as a circus/carnival inspiration and grew to encompass woodland creatures, feathers and various fancy dressed individuals from badgers to unicorns, not forgetting the now infamous family of bears!” newlyweds Toby & Isa told me.

 “We did things differently, just simply because that’s how we are and to have had any other style of wedding or traditional ceremony would have not been true to us as we are not religious. However we did have a beautiful blessing with Sally our Interfaith minister and we wrote our own wedding vows.”

Toby & Isa were married in September at Silver Rill House, Overbury with a reception at Overbury Village Hall. The bride wore a custom made dress by Annie Mochnacz and shoes by All Saints.

“I think our day was so great because we were surrounded by people who truly love us,” the bride concluded. “I think you could feel this energy and the laid back flow of it all throughout the day. Also the honesty of Toby’s and my love. I was so happy that my friends from Switzerland all made it and my cousin from Canada.”

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An Eclectic Nightclub Wedding: Ant & Lou

Ant & Lou were married in Chianti, Italy but had a massive reception party at The Kazimier nightclub in Liverpool on their return. “We wanted to get married abroad and bring with us all of the people we love dearly,” Lou told me. ” It was important to both of us to have our friends and family there, but to also have a very personal wedding, something that was exactly us.  We found a beautiful castle in Chianti, Italy and started our wedding process from there.  Everyone came on different flights at different times on different days and even though there was an ash cloud, an unexploded WW2 bomb found in Pisa airport and severe winds causing planes to be diverted, everyone got there eventually.  One group of friends were travelling for 26 hours just to get from Liverpool to Tuscany! but they made it and their positivity was beautiful.”

The couple asked photographer Assassynation to photograph their reception in Liverpool. I’m actually really good friends with Sassy and she emailed me the day after this wedding to excitedly tell me all about it and that I was going to love it…and she was right!

“We knew we wanted to have a party at home to be able to invite all of out friends and family that couldn’t make it to Italy,” continued the bride. “We also knew we had to have it in the The Kazimier – what an AWESOME venue. We took our inspiration from everything we love… I think that was why it was so eclectic.  We didn’t have a specific theme and we probably wouldn’t have stuck to one anyway as I’m a bit scatty. We wanted our wedding to be enjoyable for us and for everyone we love whilst still maintaining our personalities. An off the shelf wedding was definitely not for us.”

“Everything was so natural, nothing was contrived, we just arranged things that we would enjoy and tried to make it as fun as possible. A friend at the reception actually said ‘If you could get inside Ant and Lou’s heads, this is what it would be like!'”

The couple set everything up at the venue themselves the day before. Their DIY decor included a kissing booth; countless sets of fairy lights, tea light holders, lanterns and a collection of jam jars and Chianti bottles (collected over a year) to house wild flowers and candles; a washing lines with photos from the wedding pegged to them; a gypsy caravan; a ‘big fat gypsy wedding’ cake; a huge shark’s head bursting out of the venue into the garden; an old popcorn cart. They even employed an entertainment team comprised of a clown, a circus master, a ballerina, a mime artist and a lion to greet the guests. They also gave out roses, champagne and canapes as well as made for some pretty incredible photographs!

Lou wore a dress from Monsoon and a vintage veil from the 1980’s which she found in a charity shop. Her bridesmaids also all wore Monsoon dresses but they were told to pick any one they liked and felt most comfortable in.

Whoa visual overload! Don’t you just love Ant & Lou? Now this is a Rock n Roll Bride….

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A Batman Engagement Shoot: Crystal & Darren

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Gratton of Ophelia Photography while she was over in London on vacation. Amongst many things, we spoke about Lisa’s desire to create something a little different and fun around her engagement shoots and this Batman-inspired session proves her point nicely!

Lisa told me how the groom, Darren, who was initially quite nervous in front of the camera really came to life as soon as he put on this Batman suit! Well it is every little boys dream to be a superhero isn’t it?

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A 1940’s Military Themed Wedding: Sierra & Jake

Sierra & Jake met while in the music store where Jake worked, “I shopped at the music store he worked at for a long time,” laughed the bride. “I had the biggest crush but was way too shy to talk to him much. I always thought, “I want to end up with a guy just like him!” but certainly this one was out of my league. One day I was pretending to be interested in harmonicas, of all things, to get his “assistance” and he told me casually that he was joining the Marine corps. I panicked! I was running out of time to scoop up my dream man so I had to act fast. A few days later I finally got the nerve to ask him out. I decided for sure on that first date that he was the one for me. Two weeks later we started talking about marriage… crazy, I know! But here we are and he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

The couple wanted their wedding to reflect their interests and so it ended up being a bit of an eclectically themed day with military, vintage and wartime themes. Their guests even dressed up in 1940’s attire! “I have always had a bit of a vintage touch in my everyday style, my husband is in the Marine Corps, and our country is at war… so I thought it would be fitting to have a wedding in the style of the WWII era,” explained Sierra. “Although my dress did have a bit of a modern touch, being that it was strapless.”

“We requested all the guests show up dressed to our 1940’s theme. Most of them actually did and it really added to that old vintage feel. It was really neat having our guests all matching our decorations we worked so hard on.”

“The car we drove away in was a project my dad and I started when I was 15. It’s a kit car of a 1929 Mercedes Gazelle Convertible. We spent a lot of time restoring her from the ground up, just the two of us,” the bride concluded.

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Hannah & Carlos’ Full Moon, Movie-Themed Fancy Dress Wedding

Hannah & Carlos’ full moon/supermoon/autumn equinox/fancy dress/movie themed wedding rocks my world. I’m kind of blown away by the whole thing! The couple put so much love and attention in creating their perfect wedding that I didn’t want to miss one detail…so, over to the bride…

“We had a fancy dress wedding, the theme being movies. A big part of Carlos and my time together has been spent watching movies…we love them! We’ve shared many hours snuggled up together, going on journeys through film.”

The ceremony took place on Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay, New Zealand (spectacular!) and the reception afterwards was held at Wharariki Beach Holiday Park which was owned by one of their friends. Carlos went dressed as the Mad Hatter and Hannah wore a beautiful tutu style dress, made for her by her sister.

“Our friends Jade, Dion and their daughter Willow helped make the whole wedding possible. On the day, when we were all ready, they transported us down to the far end of the beach in their jeep, all dolled up just for us. We clambered down onto the beach after a short jaunt through the bush, and then I got into my tutu there. Then we had a short journey through rocks and tidal pools from the sea, onto the big stretch of beach. We arrived together, with our Best Man, Bridesmaid and Flowergirl, all coming down the beach from the opposite end to everyone else. All our guests were waiting at the entrance to one of the beach caves, with an aisle made of flowers and surrounded by colourful flags on bamboo poles. When we got there, Carlos and I walked up the aisle together, totally together, ready to meet our Fairy Celebrant.”

“We wrote the whole ceremony ourselves, with help from our Celebrant and dear friend, Lolly Dadley-Moore. We wrote our own vows, which we each repeated after Lolly. However we both started with a little message, written on a paper heart. That was a surprise to each other. Both of us totally bawled as soon as I started speaking, as did most of the guests. Sigh. How emotional! We were completely connected, eyes blazing hard into each other, with everyone else falling away, disappearing…all I could see was Carlos. All he could see was me. But how amazing to be surrounded, so close, by all our friends and family! I love that everyone was right up close and personal, throughout the ceremony.”

“Afterward, the bubbly was popped and we proceeded to be hugged and squeezed by everyone that was there on the beach, all kitted out in costume, surrounded by colourful flags. It was quite surreal to see all these characters on the beach, like a different world. Like a movie. Perfect.”

“The guests then headed up the beach, carrying the flowers and flags back up to our friend’s campground. Carlos and I headed back down the beach for a few photos with our friend Pete, then Dion and Willow drove us back to the camp. We were trailing cans, rattling around, announcing our arrival. The campground had been totally decorated by our friends in the days leading up to this…Anand set up his Moroccan Tent, friends brought out tables and chairs from the local High School, Ricki let us borrow his huge sound system, Natalia made a dreamcatcher that hung above the dance floor, as well as setting up all the white lycra decorations, the gold hanging stars, the lights…there were fairy lights and black lights and spotlights, borrowed from a range of friends. There were psychedelic wall hangings surrounding the DJ booth. There were drum fires dotted around the place. The place looked so incredible…and it was only to get better as the sun went down.”

“We had a huge potluck meal, provided by everyone. There was a cleaning crew already at work that night, and all the next day. We retreated back to the Moroccan Tent to eat and drink, there were toasts and we were sung to…I cried. Again. And then the moon came up, full and huge and blazing a light so clear and bright all night long…”

“Our first dance was to Nina Simone’s ‘My Baby Just Cares’. It rocked. Then we were treated to a stunning bellydance performance by my big sister and two dear friends – more tears flowed. Then the dancing continued, as we all hit the dance floor for a trance party…our friends DJ’d for hours, we had such a blast! Somewhere in there we cut the cake, but I totally forgot to throw the bouquet…it was such a crazy event, so much going on that I completely forgot!”

“Carlos and I crashed out late late in the night, exhausted and spent. Our little caravan had been set up with gold hanging heart decorations and rose petals were flung everywhere…it was so beautiful. The following day, once the entire thing was packed down and cleaned up, we drove away to spend the night at another beach…staying awake just long enough to open all our gifts, cry some more, then watch the moon rise over the ocean. Waking just in time to see the sun rising in the same spot, we were back to the real world, but married now…united…totally, gloriously, magically happy.”

“My Mum had bought us a beautiful little handmade journal/book and left it on the main table at the reception, by the cake for the whole night. We invited people to write us messages…when we read the book the following night, we were in tears because of all the beautiful heartfelt messages our friends left for us. We will treasure that book forever.”

“Our wedding was so much fun – it was light and colourful, there was much laughter and tears…it was so heartfelt and powerful, everyone noticed that and was moved by that. Neither of us are mainstream conservative people…we are unique, we love to have fun, and we love to dress up. We didn’t have much to spend, so we did everything as cheaply as possible, but that took nothing away from this event – it was AMAZING! I was shocked by how much power we weilded just in being open and expressing our deep love for one another, in front of everyone else that we love. So many friends pitched in to help create this wedding, I am still blown away by that. All of that, for US. For LOVE. Far out.”

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