Katie & Michael glamorous 1920’s wedding was held at East Close in the New Forest. The couple knew it was the venue for them as soon as they saw it – they didn’t even look elsewhere! Katie’s beautiful vintage dress came from Fur Coat No Knickers and she wore it with a marabou feather shrug from Queens and Bowl. The groom looked just as dapper with his bespoke King and Allen suit. Michael even sourced his own vintage buttons for his outfit from Button Queen and a haberdashers in Brighton. His vintage pocket watch was a gift from Katie.
“We wanted our wedding to be very ‘us’ and for everyone to have a really great time,” Katie told me. “It was brilliant – we just had all the stuff, the people and the music we love around us all day. We love art deco, the 1920/30’s swing era, mismatched stuff, sparkle… We’ve both worked in theatre and like a bit of drama. We made all our invites, place names, table names etc. Michael is a photographer so we tried to use lots of photography throughout. We just kept everything very casual and relaxed and friendly. We ignored everything people told us we should do and stuck to what we like – I think every wedding should be personal. We also wanted to make sure that everyone looked like themselves and felt really good. Michael hadn’t seen my dress but had said to me that he wanted to be marrying me as he knew me and not me looking like somebody different!”
The couple loved the mismatched look and so all the bridesmaids wore different dresses and the groomsmen wore different suits. The girl’s dresses all came from Coast, but each wore a different style and colours to individually suit.
The couple used to live in Brighton and has spent many a day lusting over the display in the Choccywoccydoodah cake shop. So when it came to planning their wedding, there really was no other choice for who they wanted to make their cake!
“Our tables were named after wine regions we had visited on our travels,” the bride continued. “Michael took me away to the Yarra Valley when he proposed and we sourced Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir for our wedding breakfast – this was the winery he took me to the night before he proposed and it is the most delicious Pinot Noir I have ever tasted. The tables were filled with antique pieces that we had collected from antiques markets and charity shops.”
“We wanted the tables to sparkle so they were filled with cut glass, silver and copperware. We also had photos on each table of our older relatives (who are no longer around) on their wedding days – the outfits they wore are incredible and there are some great hairstyles! I love pearls so I wanted strings of pearls and flowers to tie everything in together. I’m also quite obsessed with buttons and have a huge collection so our favours were small collections of vintage buttons.”
Charlotte is the genius and super lovely lady behind Restoration Cake – my favourite cake maker – FACT. She is also someone I consider to be a friend so when she told me she was marrying Chris in March I was so excited. Unfortunately I was unable to attend as it fell on the same day as Emma Case’s wedding, but luckily for me (and you!) Charlotte was still really excited to let me share her day with on my blog…and before you ask, yes she did make her own cake!
The couple threw themselves wholeheartedly into planning their big day and groom Chris was particularly enthusiastic. Charlotte made me laugh when she would tell me that throughout their planning Chris would constantly email her links to things he liked on Rock n Roll Bride!
Charlotte & Chris were never going to have a traditional wedding. Both really into music, a gig wedding at the iconic Bush Hall in London was the perfect idea for them! “We had known for ages that we wanted to get married but could never quite figure out how to do it in a way that was right for us,” Charlotte told me.”We knew that we did not want the whole traditional nine yards but could not reconcile the idea of a Vegas elopement leaving behind all of our family and friends. In the Summer of 2010, we went to a gig at Bush Hall and fell in love with the venue. We decided that our Wedding would be a gig, with our friends’ bands playing, and a massive party. We booked the venue before we told anyone that we had decided to get married!”
“We met at a gig and regularly go to gigs. We seek out new bands and listen to all kinds of music from past and present. Music had to be a central part of our day. We decided that a DJ would not allow us the control that we wanted over the music so we spent the 5 months leading up to the Wedding working on a killer playlist. The playlist was even divided into sections to fit around our 4 performers of the evening. We even arranged a separate playlist to be played 15mins before the venue was due to close, so that we could ensure that Lovecats by The Cure and God Gave Rock n Roll To You by KISS were our final songs of the night.”
They had a number of performers at their monster wedding gig including electric cellist Jo Quail, singer Evi Vine, burlesque dancer Vicky Butterfly and The Mark Gamble Band (Charlotte’s Dad’s band!) “People were probably a bit sceptical about the Father of the bride’s band performing but he really was outstanding,” the bride continued. “The setlist was classic rock and blues. Loads of guests danced. Dad was even joined on stage by his sister, my auntie Angela, who he used to be in a band with when they were teenagers! As a part of Dad’s set, he played my favourite song from my childhood… Postman Pat, with the latter verses rewritten especially along the lines of ‘Mr. White has a brand new wife’. He also read out messages from all of our favourite rock stars, with their best wishes and apologies for not being there.”
“Then I got up on stage with Dad and we sang Crossroads together. It meant the world to me to perform with my Dad. I also play bass guitar so I played the next two tracks – I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders, which perfectly expresses everything that I would have said in my bride’s speech were I more eloquent, and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga, which I performed in a raw rock style.”
“I don’t get stage fright but I found it much easier to relax if I just focused on Chris. After all, I was singing to him and seeing him smiling at me let me know that the show was going OK! Lots of my friends have not known me as a musician – as I left my last band around 5 years ago – so lots of people were quite shocked. Chris knew that I was going to do the Gaga track but the other two songs were a surprise for him too.”
I honestly don’t know where to begin describing Emma & Pete’s wedding to you all. From the reaction to just the sneak peek post (epic) that I put up last week, I know pretty much the whole of blog-land has been eagerly awaiting to see this wedding too and so I’m pretty flipping honoured that not only was I invited (and let into the secret that it was a surprise wedding!) but that Emma & Pete have allowed me to share it with you all. I have the best job in the world.
So, in January I got a call from my friend Emma Case. Emma & Pete have been engaged for like…forever…since before we even met in fact, but still hadn’t made any plans for actually getting married. I guess that with Emma being a ridiculously busy and successful wedding photographer, all their weekends were always booked up with other people’s weddings! Also, the fact that Emma has quickly become so well known for shooting the raddest Rock n Roll weddings out there, the couple said they almost felt a bit of pressure to make sure their wedding was as ‘cool’ as the weddings they shot…as well as being different. No pressure then!
Anyway as I was saying, Emma called me at the beginning of the year to discuss her 30th birthday plans. She was having a big party on the 19th March and I had had had to be there. “Of course I’m there, I wouldn’t miss it for anything!” I replied. “Good,” Emma said, “cos me and Pete are gonna get MARRIED…and it’s gonna be a SURPRISE!”
Oh. my. God…
“Me and Pete had been happily engaged for about 3 years…” Emma told me this week, “but any time we talked about getting married we ended up arguing… we knew that we wanted something that reflected us but we’d start talking about who to invite, table plans etc and we were quickly getting fed up… the question ‘Why are we doing it if it’s such hard work?’ usually stopped any further discussion. Also we were shooting amazing and creative weddings pretty much every week so all of our concentration was on other people’s days… which was great but it meant that it was quite hard deciding on how ‘we’ wanted to do it… and without copying all of my couples who have flippin’ fantastic weddings!”
“In January a good friend of ours Anthony came round and we chatted about my 30th birthday party… Anthony joked that we could get married in the afternoon and have a party on the night… we all joked about it even mentioning a 50’s prom theme based on the ‘Enchantment Under the Sea Dance’ from Back to the Future and then when Anthony left we started to talk about it seriously and we weren’t arguing! But we wanted it to be a surprise. We get asked when we’re getting married a lot and people would then say how amazing it’s gonna be (because of all the gorgeous weddings we luckily get to shoot) so I started to feel a bit of pressure. I also didn’t want to be going on about ‘our’ wedding all the time… I kind of just wanted to get on with it without the fuss… a little bit like being behind the camera I suppose…”
Emma & Pete are one of those enviably and naturally awesome couples and I have to say I wouldn’t have expected anything less from them. Emma’s ‘birthday party’ was a 50’s ‘enchantment under the sea dance’ prom theme and guests were ask to come in their vintage finest…which we all did of course. Both Emma & I wore dresses from our favourite vintage dress shop, Fur Coat No Knickers (Em also wore a blue prom dress to keep the fact that it was a wedding secret, which she found at The Wedding Club in Birmingham.)
Halfway through the evening Emma disappeared and went to get changed into her wedding dress. Their friend Joe stood on the stage and asked us all to split onto either side of the room (making an ‘aisle.’) He then informed the confused crowd that we had all been brought to the party under false pretences. ‘Hide & Seek’ by Imogen Heap kicked in. Pete stepped on stage and 3 girls carrying bouquets walked down the aisle followed by a very nervous but excited looking Emma with her dad.
It was an incredible moment.
People were whooping and cheering and in front of me I could hear a gaggle of girls screaming “NO WAAAAY!” Our friend Chris turned to me and mouthed “OI! Did you know?!” and finally I was allowed to share that I’d been in on the secret the whole time!
Once the cheering had died down Joe informed us all that Emma & Pete had gone to the registry office earlier in the day and got hitched, followed by a canal boat lunch/reception with their family. They now wanted to say their vows, which they wrote themselves, in front of all of us. The short ceremony was beautiful.
All my friends around me cried.
The couple danced to ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe & The Magic Zeros and we all joined in. I ran to hug the couple as soon as I could (and Pete squeezed me so hard that one of my straps broke on my dress…he was THAT excited!) We danced like loons and I spent waaay too much time in the photo booth.
At 11pm taxis came to pick us up and the hardcore partiers headed to a nightclub in the city centre where we drank until 3am and sang karaoke (badly…) The night was rounded off by 6 off us in a curry house at 4am…I’m not sure who’s brilliant idea that was but it was kind of the perfect way to end a totally Rock n Roll night.
(More photo booth photos after the ‘jump’ – in the gallery. If you have the opportunity to do a photo booth at your own wedding that do it! It was HILARIOUS!)
Emma & Pete wanted to do their wedding their way. They didn’t want the ‘industry pressure’ of having the coolest or most out there wedding (yes there can be pressure even if you don’t want a traditional wedding!) Yet in getting married in the way they did, they inadvertently organised the coolest wedding of them all.
To Emma & Pete – seriously guys, words can’t express how happy I am for you. You are perfect for each other and I love you so bloody much.
Be sure to watch this short 16mm film by Cine8 too (with sound). I’ve already watched it about 5 times. I love our happy dance at the end!
When Ed & Torie’s beautiful wedding landed in my inbox last week, I was immediately drawn to the bride’s beautiful ensemble – in particular her stunning vintage dress from my favourite girls, Fur Coat No Knickers. The couple were married in November at The Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich, London and Torie was keen to tell me all about their quirky and fabulous wedding day,
“On November 20th 2010 I got to marry my best friend, my pirate, Ed. Ed and I met 4 and a half years ago through his workmate / my flatmate at a pirate fancy dress party at our house – hence the nickname. Ed turned up, breathed fire (seriously) and then mysteriously left. As it turned out his appendix had burst and he went home and then to A&E. After recovering we got in touch and the rest, as they say is history.”
“Ed and I got engaged at the edge of the grand canyon (aaww) a couple of days after an American friend of mine got married in Phoenix on Feb 2nd 2010 (a year ago today). Little did I know it but after a ‘couple’ of beverages Ed spent the end of her wedding telling our friends he was going to propose, luckily I was too drunk to notice and so when he produced a HUGE Swarovski crystal surrounded by snakes from his backpack I was suitably dumbfounded. From that moment we promised each other that we’d do it like us. I would look like the best me I could be not like an idendikit bride, we would send invites that we loved, we would do it in a cool venue, we would not dance to Abba but we would dance – complete with knee slides and ties around foreheads.”
“So the plan was, find a great venue and take it from there. We found The Trafalgar Tavern in London, a pub with a fabulous upstairs area with lots of gold chairs, chandeliers and red velvet curtains, we both have cabaret sidelines (he as a compere, escapologist and fire artist, me as a burlesque stripper) so the wiff of the stage made us fall for the Trafalgar, it had the ‘us’ factor.”
“We also decided early on that we would like to give each other a present. Some of our married friends had given each other jewellery, we decided to give each other tattoos. For years Ed has wanted a full sleeve of a phoenix (the fire thing …) and I’ve wanted something large and floral on the base of my back. After a painful month or two I now own 2 large chrysanthemums covering my lower back and Ed, well Ed has a pretty fabulous arm, both done by Rodrigo Souto, he’s a fabulous artist and I’m so glad we decided to do it, although it turns out I don’t like getting my spine tattooed much.”
“For us it was important that our wedding was perfect for ‘us’. That meant a wedding that was a little bit Rock n Roll. It started with the invitations which I cross stitched and framed, they were then beautifully designed into invites and RSVP cards by a friend and we asked our guests to nominate songs they’d like to dance to from which Ed made probably the most eclectic wedding playlist ever which promoted much hilarity, dancing, ties round heads and knee slides on the dance floor.”
“Finding my dress was eventually but not always lovely, my Mum is an amazing seamstress and we intended to find something she could copy but I just couldn’t find anything I liked or that worked on my 4ft 10 frame. Then I found Fur Coat No Knickers, I know Kat, you already love those girls, but seriously they made me feel like a star and I cannot thank them enough for pulling me out of the ‘I’m never going to look like me on my wedding day’ panic. I tried on white but it didn’t work and then I fell for this printed number which they added a halter strap too, made smaller (result), made me bound edged petticoats and a floral hair piece to match and made me a little bolero too –it was too hot in the pub to wear the bolero but I reckon without the head piece and with the bolero I might just get away with wearing the dress to a party so that’s the silver lining. Luckily my Mum loved it too and instead of making my dress made me a fabulous black coat to wear over it as outside was distinctly less toasty warm than inside the pub.”
The couple DIY’ed the majority of their wedding décor – from the flowers which they collected from the flower market at 6am; to the candelabras, table centres and large displays that Torie and her army of helpers put together the day before; to the bouquet and buttonholes that they made the morning of the wedding. “My family kept me calm and panic free (sort of),” continued the bride. “I loved it so much that I have finally set up the business I’ve been promising to own for years, Victoria & Florence, flowers and cakes for every occasion. World domination (or at least the flower market) here I come.”
“It was such a wonderful day and our friends and family helped so much with emotional support, glasses of wine when needed, order of service folding and generally being fabulous”, Torie concluded. “All together it was exactly what we had wanted; a day where we looked like us and felt like us and where our friends and family could celebrate our love and have a good party. Getting married is great but being married is better and if it was a little bit Rock n Roll, all the better.”
“Oh Le. Swoon!” was my first thought when I saw Amelia & Gareth’s gorgeous vintage wedding a few weeks ago. The bride wore a genuine vintage dress from one of my most favourite bridal shops, Fur Coat No Knickers too! The couple were married at Bow Registry Office and had their reception The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, London.
Their reception was pretty special, with the food they served taking centre stage. “It was really experimental – Heston Blumenthal kind of stuff,” photographer Matt told me. “The Town Hall Hotel has a fairly famous chef who makes up all sorts of weird concoctions.”
Rachel & Daniel got married at The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, a modern building that gave their vintage styled wedding an unusual twist. The bride wore a gorgeous dress from Rock n Roll Bride favourite Fur Coat No Knickers. To keep things personal, they made their own cake (“It looked fine as long as it wasn’t in a strong light!” the bride laughed. “The ribbons were held in place by satay skewers – all we could find the night before we delivered it to the venue!”)
The day got off to a stressful start (to say the least!) when The Pope decided it would be a nice day to come and visit the UK (first visit since 1982 and the first *state* visit since Henry VIII!) so as you can imagine London was pretty much gridlocked! However apart from the meal being served a little late and a bit of a nightmare getting to the venue it all turned out perfectly in the end. “Daniel plus his best man, his girlfriend and Jo (our photographer) had to traipse across the west end, through an anti-Pope demo, while I had to trek across St James’s Park in my dress and shoes!” the bride recounted. “Unbelievably, we both got there in time for our ceremony, which was conducted to the sound of police helicopters overhead. The Pope’s visit itself made for quite a unique event – the venue were great and let us move our meal back by 30 minutes so we could all watch the Pope go past from the balconies. Daniel’s mum also managed to get interviewed by the News of the World newspaper who were keen to find out why she was all dressed up!”
Well that’s certainly a story to tell the Grandkids!