Rock n Roll Bride was built on sharing alternative, inspirational yet attainable real weddings. When I started blogging in 2007 there was no other platform showcasing weddings that sauntered off the beaten path. However through many long hours of trawling wedding forums, Flickr groups and good old fashion Google, I was able to uncover many, MANY incredibly creative, super unique real weddings that weren’t being shared anywhere else – I assume because they didn’t fit the picture perfect, traditional wedding mould that was so popular a decade ago.
The industry has moved on a lot in the past eleven years (thank goodness!) and now finding the most creative and alternative weddings to share with you all is pretty easy! Which is why, these days, one of my very favourite things to do is come up with shoot concepts and wedding ideas that we haven’t seen over and over again. Doing an editorial shoot for every issue of the magazine is such an amazing creative outlet for me and my team and I love seeing your reactions to them too.
For us, the key thing is that the concept is something new, that we haven’t seen over and over in other shoots or real weddings that are already happening. We also like to keep things as simple and attainable as possible. This is why we never include things like enormous cakes or tables capes or elaborate florals. Yes, they’re beautiful but are real brides or grooms going to be able to incorporate them into their own weddings on their real budgets? To me, there’s no point showcasing a table that would cost thousands of pounds to put together in the real world because for an actual wedding it’s completely unrealistic! Plus, there are many many other wedding pros and magazines putting together shoots like that already. You know me, I like to be DIFFERENT ‘TIL I DIE (LOL).
This shoot, that was featured inside issue 22, probably had the best reaction from our readers so far. That really does solidify my belief that wedding shoots should be simple – this concept was one of the most stripped back we’ve ever done! We wanted to use clean lines in the clothing, to play around a bit with mirrors and to incorporate one single pop of colour with the flowers, shoes and accessories, in each look.
Our model, Charlie, was fierce as hell too – the perfect representation for the Rock n Roll Bride brand – those tattoos give me life!
I am so excited to finally be publishing this bridal fashion editorial in full today! If you grabbed yourself a copy of the last issue of Rock n Roll Bride magazine you will have already seen a lot of this shoot inside, but today I wanted to take the opportunity to not only share more images that didn’t quite make the spread (when 10 pages just isn’t enough!) but to tell you all about Walthamstow Wetlands, one of London’s coolest new wedding venues, who we partnered with for this shoot.
The Walthamstow Wetlands is the newest venue to be added to Forest Venues‘ portfolio (which also includes William Morris Gallery, Vestry House Museum, Chingford Assembly Hall and Walthamstow Assembly Hall). All the venues are very close to each other so you can even mix and match if they want, using one for the ceremony, another for the photos, and another for your reception and/ or after party!
The Wetlands is Europe’s largest urban nature reserve at 211 hectares and offers some of the most stunning natural beauty just 15 minutes from central London. In short it’s the perfect spot for your nuptials if you love nature but don’t want to venture too far outside of the capital.
For this shoot we wanted to juxtapose this natural beauty with some truly fierce models and high fashion inspired bridal looks. While a boho or nature-inspired wedding theme might be the more obvious choice for a setting such as this, as you know Rock n Roll Bride is ALL about throwing what’s expected or obvious out of the nearest open window!
Dress: Ritual Unions
Headpiece & Earrings: Halo & Co
Boots: Dr Martens
Nothing says ‘spring wedding’ quite like a pastel colour scheme, but the idea doesn’t have to result in something syrupy, wishy-washy or overly traditional. Those delicate, girly hues can still be Rock n Roll – all it takes is an injection of fun! So throw on a buttery soft biker jacket, some chunky accessories and your favourite kicks, but most importantly always remember to rock a carefree ‘this is my wedding and I’m going to have a damn good time!’ attitude!
I was so thrilled when the utterly beautiful Natalie AKA Style Me Sunday agreed to model for us for this shoot, which was first published inside issue 19. In fact we loved her and the shoot so much we put her on the cover. It ended up being our best selling issue EVER and I don’t think that’s at all a coincidence.
Natalie is beautiful (inside and out) and a truly genuine, inspiring, spunky, opinionated babe. If you don’t already you need to follow her on Instagram now! Her about page on her blog sums what she does up brilliantly:
“The aim of this blog is to inspire mums to celebrate their uniqueness, share their struggles and experiences, and to show that there’s no such thing as perfect and anyway perfect is boring. We love curves, wrinkles, realness, anything that doesn’t pretend to fit into a cookie cutter mould. You’ll never see any photoshopping here.”
HELL YES QUEEN.
OK, on with the shoot:
Dress – TH&TH
Veil (worn as head scarf) – W Collective
Top – Otaduy available from Rock The Frock
Skirt – Milamira available from Rock the Frock
Necklace – Diana Broussard via The Folly Boutique
Shoes – Faber Novella
Ballet Wrap Cardigan – Collectif
Skirt – Marco & Maria available from Morgan Davies
Shoes – Faber Novella
Veil – W Collective
I visited Dreamland, in all its kitsch, rainbow glory, for the first time on Sophie’s hen do last summer. As soon as we walked in Lisa (our photographer) and I both said we’d LOVE to shoot there one day. When coming up with the concept for our editorial shoot for issue 18, I remembered Dreamland and decided to contact them to ask if they’d be up for having us there – not only did they agree but they gave us total run of the place, allowing us to shoot when it was closed to the public!
The amusement park was popular in the 60s and 70s but entered into decline and closed in the early 2000s. After a public campaign to restore the park, it re-opened in June 2015 – they now even host weddings in their glamorous ballroom. Imagine getting married, then going on the UKs oldest rollercoaster (which first operated in 1920) to celebrate!
While the fun fair thing has kinda “been done” a lot in bridal, we really thought Dreamland would provide a brilliantly unique spin on the idea, especially with the addition of the heavily sequined outfits.
This shoot, as you can see, is all about the sparkle. You can cleverly use sequins as the main attraction or as a stylish accent in your wedding day look. So, whether you choose a glittering wedding dress, a statement jacket or just some sparkly jewellery, you can easily and effortlessly step outside what is expected and shine like the star that you are!
Happy New Year’s Eve! As the January/February issue of Rock n Roll Bride magazine is now available for pre-order (grab yours here! It goes on general sale on January 4th) I thought today would be the perfect time to share some of my favourite (unpublished) shots from the Come As You Are editorial in our November/ December issue.
This shoot was put together by me and my fashion team in collaboration with the incredible New York based jewellery company, Iz&Co. It’s always such an amazing opportunity for us when a brand puts their trust in us to create something for them. Iz not only gave us 100% creative freedom on this shoot but being able to play with her amazing skull and diamond pieces was a dream come true. I was very sad we had to send it all back believe me!
Jewellery is a very personal yet powerful adornment, an outward expression of who we are. Iz & Co’s mission is to create pieces that are edgy, bad ass and make the wearer feel sexy and confident. Each piece is designed and crafted with high attention to detail, quality and craftsmanship made to last for generations.
With over 19 years of experience and an obsession with skulls, Iz & Co. are the perfect choice for a Rock n Roll bride or groom who wants something different, and a piece of jewellery that truly feels like them.
We decided, in order to really make a statement on this editorial and to showcase the alternative jewels to their full potential, that we needed a really edgy, heavily tattooed model. Turns out finding babes like this who are represented by model agencies is a hard task so I took to Instagram instead. After stalking Martha‘s profile for just a few minutes I knew she was the only babe I wanted to ask. She’s not a professional model but did the most amazing job and didn’t bat an eyelid when I told her the concept was underwear and nakedness, what a trooper!
All the jewellery featured in this shoot is by Iz&Co.
As the brand new issue is now available for pre-order, I thought today would be the perfect time to share this photo shoot, which was originally featured in the September/October edition the magazine. Creating the fashion editorials for the magazine is one of my favourite parts of my job. I have a fantastic team of incredible talented babes behind me and we have SO MUCH FUN doing them.
I’ve wanted to do an all-black, gothic bridal shoot for a while, but one that avoided cliches and anything airing on the side of tackiness. I wanted it to feel high end yet achievable, glamorous and gorgeous yet featuring clothing that a real Rock n Roll bride might want to wear. I love how it turned out so I really hope you love it too!
With print of course we can’t always share as many images as I might like (damn not having unlimited pages to play with!) so I’m really happy to be able to share some shots that I really loved, but didn’t quite make the cut.
If you love lace, skulls and black nail polish… If you have a penchant for the dramatic… If you would rather wear a studded choker than pearls and diamonds… If you’d never be seen dead in a white wedding dress…. Then it’s time for you to embrace your inner goth and paint it black!
Just because you’re walking down the aisle, doesn’t mean you have to abandon your gothic heart. A dark, dramatic colour palette can be just as romantic and stunning as a pretty, pale one.
Dress: Lesley de Freitas
Dress: Sophia Kah
Dress: Sophia Kah
If you’ve picked up a copy of issue 7, you will have seen the Skin Deep photo editorial that I partnered with Nova of the Nu Bride on. Today I wanted to share a few extra shots with you all that didn’t make the magazine spread (it turns out 8 pages just isn’t enough ha!)
The idea behind this shoot was simple, and it was sparked from an email that Nova received after an article she wrote for issue 4 about cultural representation in the wedding industry.
“As a woman of colour who loves weddings and all things pretty, the cover of [and your article inside] Rock n Roll Bride is just heart warming to see and it is encouraging. Of course, I want to see people that look like me in wedding magazines, and it is nice to see a blog and person I respect featured in the magazine. Kudos to Nova and Rock n Roll Bride. Keep up the good work!” – Heather
I’ve always wanted to showcase different wedding inspiration to the mainstream on Rock n Roll Bride. Whether that be with the style of weddings or the people getting married. Rock n Roll Bride magazine was the first nationally available UK print magazine to feature a same sex wedding inside, and I’m pretty sure no other wedding magazine would ever publish a photo session with a bride rocking a beard!
When Anthropologie announced the were introducing their own wedding dress line, BHLDN, in 2011, I looked enviously over at my American friends who were able to buy them. The dresses were everything the UK wedding dress market was missing – super feminine and delicate heirloom-quality wedding gowns with an elegant and modern twist. Some of the most incredible and sought-after designers were creating collections for the brand too including Catherine Deane, Vantana Watters, Tadashi Shoji, Badgley Mischka and Nicole Miller.
While British brides were always able to order the gowns online, I for one have been desperately waiting for the opportunity to see and try on these dresses in person. That time has finally arrived!
I’m sure you can imagine my immense elation when BHLDN got in touch with me recently to not only let me know about their first ever UK trunk show with. I was over the moon! But even more so when they invited me to come in and try on some of the dresses for myself. Needless to say, I hopped on a train to the city just as soon as I possibly could!
Trying on and being photographed in these stunning Catherine Deane dresses in an Anthropologie store is my idea of heaven. I mean, talk about a Pinterest-perfect location!
With a plunging neckline, embellished illusion back and silk tulle skirt, Winnie was the first dress I tried on. This intricate gown blends modern details with a sense of vintage nostalgia. I was instantly obsessed with the embellished neckline and I teamed it with the Winter Daisy headband.
When the initial email from Celeste at Tourism and Events Queensland came into The Blogcademy inbox asking us if we’d consider an all-expenses paid trip to Queensland I nearly deleted it, assuming it must be spam. I mean, this kind of opportunity doesn’t exactly come knocking on your door everyday. After verifying that Celeste wasn’t, in fact, just playing a rather cruel prank, we started to plan our epic adventure down under!
Skip forward eight months or so and we were finally there. Celeste and her team had pulled out all the stops and scheduled an action packed five days for us including koala cuddles, surf lessons, boutique hotels and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef! I’m so excited to share some of my highlights with you guys over the next few weeks. This new Honeymoon Travel Guide feature of mine is working out quite nicely don’t you think?
Queensland isn’t somewhere I’d ever really considered visiting before, but after this trip I can say with the utmost sincerity that I will be going back, only next time I’m bringing Gareth with me – this tropical paradise is just made for lovers!
I’m not going to pretend for one second that I’m some kind of expert in the world of travel or honeymoons. BUT you may have noticed that I’ve done rather a lot of globe-trotting over the past 12 months. And as we’re about to launch our 2014 Blogcademy world tour in a couple of weeks it would appear that it’s not really going to change any time soon!
So I figured, why not share some of the places I’ve visited and the experiences I’ve most enjoyed with you lovely lot? First up is a honeymooners paradise – Santorini.
For her 30th birthday Gala decided that she wanted to whisk us away to the Greek Islands. Of course Shauna and I weren’t complaining! Ever the travel guide, she organised most of it (so I can’t take any credit!) but what I can do is share the things we loved on our trip. Hum… it’s my 30th in April, I wonder if we can top this?
Whenever I travel, an apartment rental service like Air B&B or GowithOh! are my hosts of choice. Not only are the houses and apartments usually much cheaper than staying in a hotel, I personally think you get a much more authentic and interesting experience not being hauled up in tourist city.
For this trip we stayed in this apartment, in Oia. I kid you not, it had the best view on the whole island and the private balcony overlooking the ocean completely sold it to us. Our host, Nicolas, was also amazing. He and his porter Vasilis, (who carried our 25kg bags up and down those stairs with ease!) were attentive, helpful and made our stay a total pleasure!
One of the questions I get asked over and over again is what would Gareth and I do differently if we were getting married today. Of course my answer is always “so much!”. Both of us have changed considerably over the last five and a half years and our styles and tastes couldn’t be more different to how they were back in 2008.
As many of you will have read last week, Lisa asked if we would model at the two year anniversary of her Photography Farm. During every workshop she organises a styled shoot for her students to practice what they’ve learnt, but more than just that, she always pushes herself and her team to come up with something creative that reflects the real-life couple who are modelling.
When we started chatting about the kind of shoot Gareth and I might have, we began by discussing the whole “how would you do your wedding differently?” question. And then Lisa had a brainwave. Photography workshops are supposed to be all about teaching aspiring wedding photographers how to book, shoot and process weddings, but they only ever give the students the chance to practice these things in an unnatural situation – i.e. a styled shoot. Sure, the couple might be real and the styling authentic, but getting the shot when you have two hours to work with the couple is a totally different beast to needing to nail it first time and getting creative within your ten minute allocated time-slot for couple portraits.