Tag Archives: Fire

Ritual Union: A Wedding Shoot With A Difference

I think we can agree that this styled shoot is what the word ‘fierce’ was always destined for. From the bodycon lacy red dress worn with golden spiked crown, to the hot shower scene, to the flaming ring of fire drawn around the couple in the ceremony shots!! Photographer Jamie Allio wanted to shake things up a bit in the world of weddings when she devised this photo session.

“Essentially, the wedding industry can sometimes rub me up the wrong way, and rarely does ‘traditional’ or ‘normal’ inspire me”, she explained. “More then that, I really just want to see more people following their hearts when they’re planning their wedding day. I think it should be a representation of who they TRULY are, not whatever is trending at the moment.”

Enter ‘Ritual Union’: The shoot that delivered Jamie’s wish and then some! “We have the couple getting ready together in a shower filled with flowers, a wedding party made up of a fortune teller, a witch doctor and a high priestess, and of course a ritual in place of a traditional ceremony with a ring of fire around the couple. Fire was the very first thing on the drawing board, and everything else was created around that. The symbolism of the couple creating that ring around themselves, followed by the man crowning his bride was very powerful.”

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A Baa Baa Bad Bridal Shoot: Trash the Wedding!

Weddings are elegant. Weddings a pretty. Weddings are a time to be a princess and feel at your most beautiful. Well not always…

Granted this shoot organised by a team of UK wedding professionals won’t be for everyone..in fact I guarantee that some people will be either shocked or even appalled by it, but oh boy is it creative and different!

Stylist and florist Mat of Red Floral Architecture told me all about their idea for this shoot, “We wanted to do a shoot that was both fun as well working with a team of people who weren’t too precious about achieving a conventional, marketable image. We wanted to see where that would take us. This was the result – unstructured, crazy, unadulterated mayhem! The day began as it ended, with torrential rain. Some would have called the whole thing off. My vision of new born lambs and blossoms juxtaposed with a burning bouquet and beautiful girls was in danger of being washed away but we carried on regardless. A 30ft gazebo was assembled the day before in case of ‘showers’ and this provided the structure for a luxury table setting, festooned with freshly cut blossoms, chandeliers and enough crystal and flowers to almost bring the whole thing crashing down! Props and poles were brought in for extra support and we carried on.”

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A Shamanic Wedding Ceremony in Guatemala: Daniela & Mark

How utterly beautiful is today’s real wedding? This is the kind of wedding that makes my heart sing – no fuss, no details, no over-the-top-bridezilla-stresses – just the most important thing…love.

The bride, Daniela, told me all about their special day. “There were only the two of us at the ceremony, the lady who married us, the lady who owned the land and our photographer. The ceremony itself lasted about 1.5 hrs and consisted of several parts: lighting the fire, being cleansed with special leaves and incense, hearing the 20 nahuales of the Mayan Calendar being read out, telling each other our love and exchanging our rings, being wrapped in a green shawl which represented Gaia. We began and ended the ceremony with chocolate, a block of which was also burned in the fire. Chocolate is sacred in Mayan culture.”

“We chose to get married in Guatemala as we got engaged there last year and it’s our favourite country. Neither of us knew much about Mayan beliefs, but after doing some research we decided to tie the knot in a Mayan fire ceremony because we felt like we should honour the traditions of our chosen wedding location. Organising everything was extremely easy – we found our photographer via Tripadvisor and our shaman, the amazing Aum Rak , via a quick Google search. She then got us in touch with Terri, the owner of a local hotel in Lake Atitlan who offered us to get married on her land.”

“I knew that I wanted to wear a vintage (or vintage-looking) dress and briefly considered one by BHLDN, but it would have been almost criminal to shove such an expensive dress into my backpack for 3 weeks (we were travelling through Mexico and other locations in Guatemala before the wedding). So I chose a Gunne Sax dress instead, which I could just roll up and carry around with me without it getting creased. As for shoes, they had to be Swedish clogs!”

“Some might think we’re bonkers for getting married in this way,” she concluded, “but our parents fully understood, and for us it couldn’t have been more perfect or more emotional and meaningful (I was crying so much throughout the ceremony!). We had such a relaxed, blissful day as we didn’t have to worry about anything. No guests, no reception, no cake, no make-up or hair appointments… It was completely stress-free! Afterwards we had our honeymoon in the middle of the jungle in Honduras!”

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A Bohemian Hoedown Wedding: Reenie & Edwin

As soon as I saw bride Reenie in that incredible floppy hat I knew I had to feature her wedding. I love seeing brides that make really unique styling choices and I don’t know about you but I can remember ever seeing a bride in a hat like this before. With her fabulous head wear she wore a 1970s style dress, which was the very first thing she bought, from Nataya for just $199!

The October wedding was held at Hampton Hall Farm, Jefferson City, TN and their laid back hippy vibe makes me wish I was there. I love how homely and cosy it all looks and that the whole family got involved. The photos of them all having a pre-ceremony sing-along on the porch are just the best!

“I couldn’t come up with ‘wedding colors’ or a particular ‘theme’,” Reenie told me. “I didn’t want to be one of those brides that stuck my girls in my favorite colors knowing that not all of them can pull of chartreusse. One day I noticed these really cute retro aprons in the window of Bliss, and it all kind of fell into place. My wedding colors were ‘quilt.’ I picked out about 20 fabric patterns and had them pick the three they wanted incorporated into their dresses.”

“I wanted everything to be comfortable, inviting, and informal. When folks arrived, there was wine on the tables and little plates of goodies to tide them over. The party started when you arrived. In fact we were all so laid back I forgot to carry by bouquet to our ceremony! I only noticed it was missing on the way back up the aisle!”

“The ‘quilt’ idea continued into our ceremony. Edwin and I stood one that my sister had made for my Father after our Mom passed away. It was made from all of Mom’s pajamas. Since both my Mom and Dad have passed, it was a way of having them there, under our feet.”

The couple wanted an ‘outdoor/indoor’ feel and so set up little outdoor rooms for people to congregate comfortably and naturally. They had hay bales covered in fabric and a makeshift bar and lounge area in the barn.

“I like kids at weddings”, the bride concluded. “When I was a kid, we always went to our huge clan’s Cathloic weddings. The receptions always tended to be informal garden parties. Us kids ran around and had a ball. My friends, Chris and Candice, who own Hampton Hall Farm, have a 5-year-old by named Will (he was my ring bearer). So there was lots of play-stuff around for the kids. Lots of trees to climb, places to hide. I have fun watching kids having fun.”

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Kelly & Dani’s Same-Sex, DIY, Fire Dancing Wedding

I am friend’s with a lesbian couple who hope to get married one day (you should check out their cool video blog Niche Girls by the way!) so whenever I get sent beautiful same-sex weddings I always send them over to them to inspire them…and to make them cry! Kelly & Dani’s beautiful Californian wedding certainly hit the spot on the tears stakes by the way…there were floods I’m telling ya! Anyway I digress.

Kelly & Dani were married at Highland Ranch in Philo in a beautiful and intimate ceremony followed by a DIY reception at the same venue. Both brides wore Siri dresses and Fluevog shoes. The venue provided all the food but the cake was made by friends. For décor the couple chose wild flowers. “What makes Kelly & Dani Rock n Roll is that they’re both very beautiful ladies who are not afraid to profess their love to each other,” explained photographer Caroline. “They included their closest family and their dog, Trout in their celebration. They also had fire lanterns and Kelly’s sister fire danced as well as officiated the ceremony! They had a hand fasting ceremony and I personally love their coordinating dresses!”

Much love indeed. Hold back the tears everyone…

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Archery, Tractors & Tents – A British Summertime Wedding with a Twist

Architects Sybil & Jon planned an outdoors, Robin Hood style wedding – complete with campfire, archery and tents – at the bride’s parent’s house, for July 30th this year. Jon explained that they wanted the ‘feel’ of the wedding to be similar to the scene in the woods from the original film of Robin Hood.  They wanted everything to be relaxed and very informal and so had tractors as their transport, a folk band and a rustic, natural style of flowers. “Sibyl was very keen to use English flowers and wanted them to look like they had been picked from the garden.” their wedding planner, Kate told me. ” Anne Bell sourced the flowers from a walled garden in Hertfordshireand created beautiful colourful arrangements in jars on each of the tables along withbouquets for Sibyl and her bridesmaids.  The church was decorated witha stunning candle stick display and pew end arrangements tied with raffia.  As an added touch the couple also quickly decorated the tractor!”

Sybil wore a dress that had originally belonged to her Grandmother and that her Mother had actually worn for her wedding as well. It was a ‘day dress’ which was made from embroidered linen that she brought in Jamaica when she lived there in 1948. The bride’s mother then altered the dress into a top and skirt and wore it on her wedding day in 1973. The bride’s mother then altered the dress again with a slightly different mid-drift section for Sibyl to wear. Sybil teamed this very special gown with a Jenny Packham headpiece and sandals by Charlotte Olympia, in Lois leopard print. She also wore an antique watch which her Mother had given her as a gift as which had also belonged to her Grandmother.

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Fiery Wedding at Sloss Furnaces

My last wedding from Bob Miller (for now! – if you missed them here’s one and two) is the gorgeous relaxed but energetic wedding of Beverly & Neil.

Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham AL (apparently one of the most haunted places in the US!) was suggested to the pair by their friend and eventual wedding coordinator, Sarah Crawford.  After visiting Sloss, they both agreed this location would provide the unique, relaxed, and energetic atmosphere they wanted.  Working within a very limited budget, they felt that choosing an unconventional location would allow them to bypass some of the traditional wedding etiquette.  “The location also said a lot about our interests” the groom told me. ” I’m an Architect (student) and Beverly is a Graphic Designer.  The soaring smokestacks and steel columns and beams (all decades old) provided an amazing setting.  In addition, much of Sloss consists of beautiful greenery sprouting out of the old steel in various spots.” 

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Incredible

I literally couldn’t think of a more apt title for this post as when I saw Mary & Adam’s 1930s/40s themed bridal shoot I squeeeeealed in my email reply to photographers Jessica & Chelsea , ‘Oh these are so incredible, I can’t wait to blog them!’

“We had been planning this shoot for months but just needed the right two people to do it” the guys told me. “As you can see, Adam and Mary were perfect for the shoot.  We actually had the wedding dress made for Mary by a local seamstress for $100 (including the cost of the fabric).  So, we loaded up and headed to Denison, TX.  Our plan was to shoot at the Old Dennison Hotel, but when we got there we found some other amazing places to shoot as well.  The town is so weird.  It seems like it once was a booming little town (like in the early part of the 1900’s), but then as it started to crumble, no one ever fixed it or tore down the old buildings; instead they just built all these modern structures around it.  It just feels kind of forgotten, but it was really perfect for our shoot. One of the places we shot was this adorable little 50’s diner and malt shop complete with old gas pumps, a juke box, and checkered floors! It’s called Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner and Ice Cream Parlor.  As for the Denison hotel…

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Incredible

We had been planning this shoot for months but just needed the right two people to do it" the guys told me. "As you can see, Adam and Mary were perfect for the shoot. We actually had the wedding dress made for Mary by a local seamstress for $100 (including the cost of the fabric). So, we loaded up and headed to Denison, TX. Our plan was to shoot at the Old Dennison Hotel, but when we got there we found some other amazing places to shoot as well. The town is so weird. It seems like it once was a booming little town (like in the early part of the 1900's), but then as it started to crumble, no one ever fixed it or tore down the old buildings; instead they just built all these modern structures around it. It just feels kind of forgotten, but it was really perfect for our shoot. One of the places we shot was this adorable little 50's diner and malt shop complete with old gas pumps, a juke box, and checkered floors! It's called Peggy Sue's 50's Diner and Ice Cream Parlor. As for the Denison hotel... Supposedly, this hotel burned in 1929 and when it did all of the people who were in it were killed in the fire. I have to say, it was a very creepy. Kind of reminded me of The Shining. Some of the rooms have been remodeled, but many of the rooms are still as they were after the fire. The owner was so sweet to let us use one of the rooms to do the shoot. As you can see in the pictures, the walls are black from the fire and what little furniture that was in the room was definitely old. The cat in some of the picture is an old cat with a glass eye who jumped up on the window sill just in time to be in this series of pictures. Mary was amazing. She has never modeled before but she knew how to position her body and we think she perfectly pulled off the vintage look we were going for (especially considering it was 25 degrees all day and she didn't have a whole lot covering her. All of the clothes (including the furry jacket) and jewelry (with the exception of the wedding dress), we brought from my mom's awesome little boutique called funky at heart boutique (which is in side her gift store called Cheerful Heart Gifts). We always use stuff from her store for our concept shoots! It really goes perfectly with our style. Adam actually brought his own clothes for the shoot. In fact, that's how he dresses on a daily basis. It's almost like they were born in the wrong era. They totally rocked this look...I think because it is a pretty good representation of who they are on a daily basis. I just don't think we could have found better people to do this. As for our inspiration for this shoot... I really wanted to do a shoot that I felt best represented who we are as photographers. I had seen a picture in a magazine one time and loved it and wanted to do something like it but with our own twist on it (hence, the amazing balloon picture that resulted). We basically built the whole shoot around this 30's-40's theme (with the added set from the diner which we just had to do when we found the place). I really love the glamorous look of that era and we really wanted to capture that in this shoot.

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Three-Fold

My love for this wedding is three-fold. It’s in the UK, Amalia’s Temperley London dress is so damn gorgeous and unique and Simon proposed with a tomato skin (!) which he then had gold plated for Amalia to wear around her wrist.
Cute!

Credit: DP Photography

Anything Goes

Kim & Christian’s wedding certainly didn’t fit any kind of traditional mould. The bride wore two stunning dresses, the red one for the ceremony and the gorgeous green ‘princess dress’ for the reception, where they danced and hula hooped on the beach into the wee hours of the morning.
Kim’s bridesmaids wore dresses that she’d made especially for them and stunning custom hairpieces from Etsy. The handmade invitations and wooden flower bouquet also really added to the uniqueness of this wedding.

You’re going to love these. Thank you so much to Kristen of LanierStar Photography for sending them my way!

Credit: LanierStar Photography

Burnt Down House Engagements

Tina & Derek’s engagements in a burnt down house are so. damn. cool! I am loving the fireplace, the awesome chair and the feather. These have such an intense beauty to them…much love! Photographer Jen Arthur also shot some post wedding portraits as the couple eloped so didn’t have pro wedding photographs, which I can’t wait to see too.

Thanks to Jen.

Credit: Jen Arthur Photography

Snow White

I am sure we all remember this gorgeous couple’s engagements and Disney themed (but totally rock n roll!) wedding. We all loved her tattoos and the amazing photographs right?  Well the very lovely Michelle of Oeil Photography knew how much we all adored them and so send me Tina’s bridal shoot as well….wooooohoooooo!

I can not even begin to put into words how much I love these shots – the location, the sexy poses, the Snow White-esque image! Just aaaamazin’!

Thank you thank you thank you Michelle! I am forever in your rock n roll debt!

Credit: Oeil Photography