Tag Archives: lisa devlin

Somewhere Over the Rainbow at The Photography Farm – Preview

So this week I spent most of my time hanging out with a bunch of amazing wedding photographers at The Photography Farm, hosted by photographer Lisa Devlin. We drank (way to much) wine and (too many) cocktails, some brave souls swam in the pool or hung out in the jacuzzi…oh and we even threw in a bit of learning too!

Lisa referred to her 20 years of experience to teach the students about every aspect of running their wedding photography businesses and I was there to talk to them about how to publicise themselves, get their websites and blogs up to scratch, how to use social media and what to do to get featured on wedding blogs and in magazines. I was super nervous but I ended up wittering on for quite a while!

We also did two styled shoots. The first was an engagement shoot with the gorgeous Heather & Rob who are getting hitched next April; and the second, a ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ styled shoot with yours truly…

…and yes I even held a chicken (there was also a horse and a ‘Toto’ but more of them later!)

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A Darkly Dramatic Gothic Wedding: Alix & Zach

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Some of you may remember Alix & Zach from their gothic tea party engagement shoot. Well I’m thrilled to be able to share their wedding with you today – and guess what, the smoke came with them!

After getting ready at The Rookery Hotel (somewhere which I’ve actually stayed – its a beautiful hotel!) the couple were married at Lauderdale House in Highgate. The reception was held at somewhere that’s fast becoming one of my favourite London venues, The Metal Works in Islington.

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Newlywed Alix told me all about it. “We wanted everything to have a very lush, maturely decadent, and darkly dramatic feel.  Our theme was more romantic from a by-gone age than modern Goth. We were inspired by all that is dark and whimsical…a fusion of Victorian vamp, fanciful garden beauty and Old-World luxe tweaked with flavours of Rock n Roll and Carnival/Circus…elements included mismatched French style furniture, vintage silver ware abound with roses and ostrich feathers and candelabras all in a rich palette of blood red, deep plums, black and white.”

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“There were many elements that made our wedding a little bit different and very Rock n Roll,” she continued. “I walked down the aisle to Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses – and when guests arrived at the ceremony we had string quartet versions of Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Aerosmith and Metallica playing.  We wanted to incorporate an ancient Celtic handfasting ceremony as a nod to my Irish heritage which our celebrant was happy to do.  We added a paragraph to the program to explain what it was about so it wasn’t lost on the guests!”

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As part of their day, the couple went away with their photographer Lisa Devlin for a photo shoot in a nearby cemetery. They brought along smoke pellets and the photos are quite frankly stunning! Certainly worth some time away from their guests I reckon. “We loved doing the photo shoot in a beautiful ivy covered Victorian cemetery – it started to rain and I had to clamber over brambles in 4” heels but it was totally worth it and I cannot believe Lisa managed to get such an amazing smoke effect from the smoke pellets – ever since we did our engagement shoot I feel nothing looks right without a little bit of smoke wafting into view!”

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“We weren’t too fussed about doing a first dance as we totally ran out of time to do any choreography/come up with an original idea/figure out something funny to do.  Speaking to The Metal Works venue a few weeks before the wedding they described the time the circus came to the venue. My jaw dropped with excitement as this worked perfectly with the carnival twist that was creeping into the wedding.  So for the first dance to “Without You” by Motley Crue Zach and I twirled around on the dancefloor for about 20 seconds and then the aerial silk performers took over to finish the dance!  It looked great and was the last thing anyone expected.”

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“As I am Vegan and Zach is vegetarian it was important to us that the food we had at the wedding reflected that.  We worked with the very Rock n Roll and super talented Jake from Octopus Food on creating a menu that everyone couldn’t help but love because it was just so damn tasty – even if it was completely meat free! It was a bit of a gamble especially for the evening BBQ – but everyone said they loved the food so that was awesome!”

“One of many funny bits of our wedding was when one of the evening guests arrived, dressed in drag as Nancy Spungen, along with his friend dressed up as Sid Vicious!  The dress code for the evening was Rock n Roll Royalty so this was hysterical.  But even better was the look on my Dad’s face!”

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The couple DIYed a lot of their wedding with some extra help at the last minute with on-the-day-styling from Josie from Savoir Weddings. “We DIYed a huge amount for the wedding mainly because I couldn’t find in shops or on the internet the things I envisaged for our wedding.  My Mum and Dad made jam using fruit from their strawberry farm in the Cotswolds for the favours along with a ‘love potion tea’ complete with love spell.  My Dad also made the wooden A and Z letters which he painted white, covered in black lace and then attached to black and white striped ribbon to hang – they worked out to cost about £20 for the 2 which was much so cheaper than buying something similar and turned out way more on-theme. I designed the pin badges, programs and flags, with a huge amount of help from my friend & graphic design guru, Colin.”

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“We weren’t allowed to throw confetti at the ceremony venue so instead we got the guests to wave flags and streamers.  The streamers were made again by my Dad and me by screwing small metal hooks into wooden cake dowels and then threading black and white ribbon and lace through the hook. I got everyone to collect jam jars which I covered with black lace, these then became candle holders and vases. I wanted to have a guestbook that also doubled up as a decoration so it would catch the guests’ eyes so they wouldn’t leave without signing it!  I cut out some red and white hearts some I covered with some of our favourite bands’ album covers in corresponding colours like Guns N Roses, T Rex, New York Dolls, Black Sabbath etc.  The hearts were attached to bakers twine with pegs so guests could write their message and peg it back on – by the end of the night we had touching messages graffiti-ed all over the hearts and an interactive wedding decoration to boot!”

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“The place cards were made from black bracket gift tags which I bought from etsy I then printed the guest’s name and added 2 metal studs for a bit of punk attitude. Finally, I made the wedding cake, and wedding cupcakes –which of course I HAD to baring in mind I own a bakery. We also hired quite a lot too, obviously not many venues provide black tablecloths and black studded plate chargers as the norm!  This bumped the décor cost up a bit but was totally worth it.  We hired the French lounge furniture from Prop Solutions – who were really helpful and eager to work within our budget unlike some other hire companies I approached.  The furniture looked great against the cobbled street in the group shots.  I bought some battery operated fairy lights which we cellotaped into the shade so it could be switched on when it got dark.”

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Ahh there’s just so much to take it but I love it. Alix & Zach really certainly have released my inner goth. I love everything.

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A Reclaimed, Relaxed & Fun London Wedding: Caroline & Lewis

Caroline & Lewis wanted a relaxed and fun London wedding which would reflect their loves and inspirations – reclaimed items, Caroline’s love of fashion and vintage and quirky DIY elements all played a massive part in their wedding.

“The whole day felt so perfect, not in the sense that everything went to plan, but it felt good that all our hard work was finally coming to fruition,” Caroline told me. “Amazingly we didn’t feel nervous at all, we just felt excited. It gave me a huge sense of achievement knowing that I made my own wedding dress, made the bouquets, the cake, the invitations and all the decorations. I’m not saying that I did a better job than the professionals, but it was fun to have a go and it keeps costs down. You don’t need a massive budget to have a London wedding. There are lots of pubs, bars and restaurants that would jump at the chance to host a wedding and don’t charge a hire fee.”

“We wanted the day to be relaxed and fun with a few quirky surprises.” the bride continued. “The hardest thing was finding venues that didn’t feel too formal and were within our budget. The decorations and other details were the fun part. We didn’t have a particular theme, era or colour palette, we just collected things that caught our eye. We scoured wedding blogs for inspiration and then worked out how we could recreate them on a budget. We hired a lovely vintage ice cream van instead of having a sit-down dessert. We kept it a secret, so watching our guests faces as the little Honda ice cream van pulled up outside was priceless. Our main aim was to have an intimate ceremony that was personal to us, followed by an amazing party for our closest family and friends.”

As a fashion designer it was important to Caroline that she found her perfect dress…or two dresses actually. She wore a 1930’s dress which she customised herself for the main part of the wedding and a vintage floral dress which she found on Etsy in the evening. To her day dress she added a belt which she bought from New Look for just £1.50 and a floral crown which she made herself with guidance from her florist.

“My mum made her own wedding dress so I thought it would be nice to follow in her footsteps,” she explained. “The original 1930’s dress was bought for £95 from Annie’s Vintage in Angel, the dress then sat in a brown envelope for the next 6 months whilst I hunted for a suitable lace. As the dress was vintage, it was slightly off-white so finding a lace in the same colour proved very difficult. I tried to find another vintage lace dress that I could deconstruct, but it was difficult to find anything that had enough fabric. I finally found a French Chantilly lace in Macculloch & Wallis 10 weeks before the wedding. Many hours were spent sat behind a sewing machine, cramped in a tiny box room in our London flat. Listening to people gasp ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe your dress isn’t finished yet!’ just added to the pressure so I just pretended it was all finished if anyone asked. The final hand stitching on the dress was actually done on the morning of the wedding, I found it quite therapeutic.”

I simply love love love the Oreo cake! It was also made by the bride and her family the day before the wedding. They even added a cute bird cake topper from Etsy to complete the look. “We made the cake the day before the wedding from Oreo biscuits. The biscuits are kept in place with chocolate icing. The whole cake took about 25 packets of biscuits to make. The smell of the biscuits and chocolate icing was divine but I had to resist temptation until the wedding diet was over!”

“I believe that you can do anything if you set your mind to it,” concluded the newly-married Caroline. “The best thing about our wedding was all the DIY touches, they’re the things that give the day some personality. There are tutorials online for just about anything so I just gave it a go and hoped for the best. I really enjoyed being busy on the morning of the wedding, it was a welcome distraction and prevented any nerves from creeping in.”

Simply wonderful. I know you’re going to love this one guys! What a cool couple….

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An Outdoor Ceremony & A Summer Fete Themed Wedding: Emily & Oliver

Emily & Oliver were legally married at Brighton Town Hall with only their immediate family in attendance. Then two days later they celebrated with all their friends & family Ridge Farm in Surrey. They started the day with an outdoor ceremony (not currently legal in England, hence the register office ceremony.)

“I first went to Ridge Farm a couple of years earlier to a music festival called Firegathering organised by a friend of my sister, they had got married there themselves,” Emily told me. “It came to mind as a venue to look round and when I took Oli he feel in love at first sight.  A big advantage was we could have the venue for 4 days!  We have always enjoyed the day after a wedding as the much as the wedding day itself, all ice has been well and truly broken and its just fab to carry on the party when you have all your loved ones together.”

Ridge Farm has 11 bedrooms, plenty of land to camp on, a huge bonfire site (great for late night chats), there is a pool house which is covered for the wedding breakfast and then uncovered the following day so that we could have a very informal BBQ and pool party.  The venue has amazing rock history and used to have a studio on site, the walls in the house are covered with albums that have been recorded there – artists include Sade, Ozzy Osbourne, James, Pearl Jam, Roxy Music etc.”

“The Ridge Farm ceremony was performed by Peter at Light on Life,” Emily continued. “We knew that Ridge Farm was the venue for us and they do not have a license to perform legally binding marriages, we didn’t want to spend the day traipsing round the countryside, so decided to have a very intimate ‘legal’ wedding with immediate family and a ceremony in the Orchard all our guests could enjoy.”

“Peter wrote a bespoke ceremony for us and ran with all my partner’s crazy ideas such as parents making and exchanging family flags/pennants during the ceremony.  We hired some fete style games such as a coconut shy and splat the rat for people to enjoy/mingle round over the two days – it was Peter’s idea to cut a red ribbon after the ceremony to declare the ‘fete’ open.”

The festival and fete theme of the wedding was brought together by some subtle and cute details. These included bunting from Beautiful Bunting, a tent from The Arabian Tent Company and fete games hired from Carousel Events.

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A Sunday Kind of Love – Angelberry Lipstick Winner & Welcome to the Photography Farm

This Week’s Love List…

♥ husband’s who paint their wives nails (and ahem do an awesome job!) ♥ impromptu dinners at un-fancy restaurants ♥ lazy Mondays ♥ facials and massages (it’s a hard life) ♥ rockstar photographer friends ♥ invites to Spain (!) ♥ invites to New York (!!!) ♥ sparkly new shoes (thank you Terri!) ♥ Gala’s wedding ♥ Bad Girls marathons ♥ fluttery eyelashes ♥ twirly dresses ♥ rediscovering my love of film photography ♥ spending time away from my desk (!) ♥ effing exciting new projects ♥ chalkboard skulls ♥ best friends and giggles ♥ glitter in your hair

I also wanted to let you all know that the winner of the Angelberry Lipstick giveaway is…

Kat’s Meow

Congratulations to Pip who came up with this awesome name. This lipstick will forever be called Kat’s Meow and it’s all down to you and your fabulously creative idea! Chistine will be in touch soon to get your address to ship out your very own tube of lippy!

Best of the Rest…

But the main reason for excitement this week is that I’m here to announce the launch of The Photography Farm that I’ve been invited along as a special guest and to model for! There will also be a real life couple modeling for the engagement shoot portion of the workshop. Woooo. Hoooo.

Brainchild of the fabulous Lisa Devlin, The Photography Farm is a 3 day photography workshop focussing on an intimate and totally Rock n Roll approach to learning. The first Photography Farm will be taking place on the 27th – 29th September and will revolve around engagement and wedding photography. The price of this fabulous event is just £750 (this will increase to £1000 after the first workshop) and you’ll get accommodation (the farm is located close to Gatwick Airport), all food including a celebration dinner on the last night and fun provided. I’ve also been reliably informed that there is a pool, a hot tub and tennis courts…

This will be a small workshop with only 10 students. At the time of publishing there are currently only 5 spaces remaining for this first event.

For more info and details or to book your spot, email Lisa on lisa@devlinphotos.co.uk or call 01273231047

I’ll see you there!

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