Tag Archives: something borrowed something roo

Something Borrowed, Something Roo: Finding Our Perfect Wedding Photographer

Something I am always keen to promote through Rock n Roll Bride is the importance of hiring a professional wedding photographer to document your wedding (the photos are the only thing – well except the marriage of course – that lasts after the wedding day etc etc) However not only that, I also think it is crucial to hire a professional wedding photographer that gets you. It may be all well and good that a photographer has won a gazillion awards or has shot some fantastic weddings that have been featured in magazines and on wedding blogs, but if you don’t like them as a person or they don’t understand your vision for your wedding… well they aren’t the guy/gal for you.

It warms my heart when I hear from photographers that they feel that’ve made ‘real life’ friends with their clients and that they’re going to ‘miss them’ now their wedding is over. Sure, you want to find a photographer to capture you’re day fantastically, but having a wedding photographer that can also become one of your best friends is pretty amazing. Plus…and this is a big plus…unlike a lot of wedding suppliers, this person will actually be attending your wedding. You’ll have to hang out with them for a lot of the most important day of your life. I sure as hell wouldn’t want someone I didn’t like at my wedding!

Anyway, that’s my mini-Monday afternoon rant over. Roo’s story on her hunt for her perfect wedding photographer/new best friend echos my ideals exactly. Come on then lady, spill…

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A couple of months ago, my Dad said to me, “whatever you do, make sure you have a good photographer – we had a friend do ours” – “but Dad,” I replied, “I’ve never really seen any of your wedding pictures”. He smirked and said simply, “that’s because they were sh*t”.

The UK alone is awash with incredibly talented photographers, so we figured that it would simply be a matter of leisurely scrolling through some online portfolios and choosing our favourite. Having been a successful photography student through college, I would say that I’m acutely aware of the style of photography that I like – ethereal, experimental, from the hip (see also: Lomography).

Photography credit: Samuel Higginbotham

For me, good photography is all about capturing and representing your subject in an honest way, whether it be animal, mineral or vegetable. Everything has its own personality, but personality is something that can rarely transcend to a photograph – unless, of course, you find a good photographer.

This little epiphany taught me the valuable lesson that plucking a photographer from the ether just wasn’t going to cut it. We needed someone talented, sure, but there was more to it than that; we needed someone who could understand us both as people, and what it is about us as individuals that makes us work as a couple.

I have a few very talented photographer friends, but none of them had ever wandered into wedding territory before, and this phased me. I am incredibly blessed that this internship has opened up many doors of opportunity to us that were previously off limits – namely, meeting the most talented of wedding photographers both up and down the country, and from across the pond. I’m a strong believer in fate, and I don’t consider it an accident or coincidence that the first photographer I met was Lisa Jane Brown.

Photography credit: Lisa Jane Photography

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A Sunday Kind of Love: We’re Going Through Changes…

This Week’s Love List…

♥ Berocca ♥ first g&t in 34 days. For the record, it was bloody lovely ♥ Starbucks Christmas coffee ♥ getting website bugs fixed ♥ getting my bugs fixed ♥ Pan Am & Christina Ricci’s bottom ♥ Wah nails ♥ charity shop browsing ♥ wine ♥ giggles and gossip ♥ having a Roomance ♥

Best of the Rest…

Gareth has been a busy little bee this week. We have some pretty exciting new ideas for the blog (it’s just a matter of him now implementing these grand plans, so watch this space over the next few months!) but this week he’s been thinking about the bottom of the blog. Scroll down and take a look…

Firstly, he’s added page numbers for easier archive surfing (which I’m not entirely sure is actually a good thing, most of my early blog posts are SHOCKING!) He’s also added social media links (now including Pinterest) to the footer of the blog. We’ve also added the much overdue subscribe/RSS button.

The QR barcode will take you to the mobile version of the site if you scan it with your phone. Fancy huh?

Hopefully these new changes will make your surfing of Rock n Roll Bride that much easier. You’re welcome. Happy Sunday!

Roo’s Favourite Finds: Terrariums

Roo is pretty awesome you know. So she called me last week with an idea for a blog post which I loved so much I asked if she’d like to make it a monthly addition to the blog. Which I’m pleased to report she did.

As a bit of a charity shop/thrifting fiend, Roo’s idea was to share some of her favourite charity shop finds as well as showing you how she is using said finds in her wedding. These posts are going to be the perfect antidote to a wedding industry that tries to convince you that you have to spend a bomb to have a beautiful wedding. All you really need is a little imagination and not a lot of cash. Hurrah!

I just know you guys are gonna love this…

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When I say I love charity shops, it is purely with conviction and entirely without shame. I don’t know when it started, but I do know that having a very vintage-savvy mother helped in launching the love affair. My first charity shop-owned item was bought for me by her; a pair of calf-high, low-heeled tan boots costing just £3, from a very unknown shop in our suburb that supported the local Christian community. I wore those boots with everything, all the time; eventually, I wore those boots until they literally caved in on themselves. I don’t think I could say that those boots got me addicted, but seeing my mum come home with vintage suitcases full of antique lace and fabric samples certainly stirred my interest. I’m twenty-four now, and the stirring continues – dizzying, you might think, maybe even nauseous, but I’ve never stopped loving or being excited by it. I’m so pleased to share my best finds of these upcoming, pre-wedding months with you – not to mention a few “how-to” guides on finding your own dream buys. But first, a little prequel…

When I was twenty years old, going on twenty-one, I lived in Exeter for a brief period and fell in love with an antique shop called Otto Retro. I spent hours haggling with the owner (or, more accurately, she spent hours haggling with me – she would never let me pay full price for anything) and I ended up furnishing half my bedroom with some truly amazing pieces – take, for example, this desk and chair set – complete with globe, Anglepoise lamp, bird cage (plus mechanical birds) – all for £120.

With each visit, my interest in antiquing was sent skyrocketing, but after I peaked, I started to feel like I wasn’t getting enough out of it. Antique shops as a rule are independent stores, and I will never stop supporting independent stores and their respective owners, but I started to draw the conclusion that I would be far more satisfied supporting a larger/wider demographic – i.e. the target groups of charitable foundations. I am totally supportive of independent sellers and would choose them over the high street 80% of the time, but I can’t shirk the pure and simple fact that for me, nothing beats the feel-good ethic of charity-shop-shopping (charity shopping? I’ve never worked out the right phrase).

I was once described by a friend as “bargain-bin chic”, mostly because every time someone complimented me on my new jumper/shoes/handbag I’d say “oh, this old thing? It’s only from Scope”. Only? Only!? The charity shop veteran that I am today is disgusted by my conduct, because as you will learn (if you don’t know already) it is highly rude to be so dismissive of a good piece of tat.

I’ve always been overly fond of homeware – china, blankets, lamps, houseplants, and so on, etc, etc, and recently my thrifting focus has shifted from threads to trinkets. I do still look for clothes, but since we started planning our wedding I’ve become horrendously obsessed with picking up bits and bobs that we can use as table decorations. One of my very most favourite weddings featured here ever is Alix & Shawn’s Natural History Museum Wedding; for so many reasons, but the most relevant to our topic right now were their terrarium table decorations.

Photography credit: Liesl from Photo Pink NYC

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Something Borrowed, Something Roo: The Hunt for the Perfect Venue

My lovely intern Roo (oh I do love her so) had, to say the least, quite the drama with the search for the perfect wedding venue. So she’s here today to share her woes and in turn reassure those of you that might be going through the same hell, that it’s all going to be fine and that you will come out on the other side!  I personally found the venue hunt the most stressful part of my wedding planning. Why are wedding venues such a pain in the…ahem.

Over to you lady…

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Like so many modern-day women, I often find that the most apt precursor to the soundest advice can only come from an episode of Friends. In this instance, I’ll refer to “The One With Ross’s Wedding, pt. I”. Open your DVD inserts to chapter 4, and we’ll begin.

So, Emily (Mrs Ross Gellar-to-be) has her heart set on getting married in the same church that her parents did, in a nod to family tradition – which is all well and good until they get there and find that it’s in the process of being knocked down. Ross suggests putting off the wedding until they can schedule a different venue; easy peasy, except for the fact that Monica gently informs him that while he’s only been planning this wedding for a month, Emily has probably been planning it since she was five years-old – “ever since the first time she took a pillowcase and hung it off the back of her head”. (Don’t panic, by the way. Ross jumps a hackney down to Homebase to buy their entire range of fairy lights, and all is saved.)

You could suppose that this impossible situation is a fantastic work of fiction, however, it saddens me to inform you that the real spectrum of wedding venues is just as fraught with disaster. You needn’t expect demolition, but you ought to expect a fair amount of difficulty and a shedload of compromise. In my experience, I thought that the search for the perfect venue was going to be easy; I was wrong.

Lamb and I don’t practise any religion to speak of (unless McDonald’s milkshakes are considered divine in other parishes besides ours). Therefore, getting married in a holy place could never really be an option for us as a couple, since it would feel wrong to exchange vows in the eyes of someone/something that we’re not entirely sure we believe in the complete existence of. We thought that this would considerably cut out the clutter that we weren’t interested in, and fling open doors of opportunity elsewhere. Again, we were wrong.

Not unusually, we’d had that initial gush of: hey honey, we like to frolic amongst flora and fauna, right? – So why not get married outside? followed by a bit of research, then: oh wait, that’s not even legal in England. The law in England and Wales states that a wedding venue “must have a roof, be moored to its foundations, and licensed by the local registrar” (a summary of our laws courtesy of The Any Campaign, who are petitioning for the right to get married any time, any place. Please, please take two minutes to sign their petition and make the dreams of an outdoorsy future bride & groom come true).

We didn’t have anything set in stone, but I’d seen the wonderful Hannah & Landon’s beach-ceremony-followed-by-boat-reception (also featured on Rock n Roll Bride here) when they first got hitched in 2006, and it always stuck in my mind. After the initial disappointment in the restrictions of our country, we took a moment to consider our options, and our first real dream was realised. We figured out that our dream wedding would be one ginormous celebration – no fannying around a dusty registry office only to arse about with traveling to a reception destination later; no need for taxis or waiting around; just one big hoedown. Our venue had to offer us the legalities of a civil marriage ceremony, plus grub and dancing to boot. With that idea written in permanent marker on the metaphorical planning whiteboard, we got our teeth into it. So where would we begin looking?

This is my unhappy-with-venue-hunting face

It had been our dream to get married in Brighton; we fell in love here, we’ve made all our memories together here, and we’re quite certain that we want to settle here with our future buns in the oven. It all seemed so simple enough, but naturally it wasn’t. For starters, we had no idea what we were looking for. Sure, we knew what we wanted, but we didn’t know how to tell Google what we wanted. I’m not much of a search engine maestro, which became extremely telling as I found myself going around in circles until I’d ended up looking at places I wasn’t even interested in and thinking, will that just have to “do”?

I took my search to Twitter, throwing in a few cheeky hashtags to get the biters biting, and soon enough I was kindly directed towards a couple of promising links. To name my shortlisted favourites, I was shown an eco house (too small), Britain’s longest running aquarium (too fishy), and the Duke of York’s Picturehouse (too “themed”). The last is a particularly interesting tale, since it only obtained its wedding license after a couple so wanted to get married there that they bought the license for the building. At first, the idea of getting married in such a beautiful place so rich with heritage was really something else. Despite everything that it’s got going for it (I’m looking at you, can-can legs) it just didn’t feel very “us”, you know? And it has to. Above all else, it has to feel very you; both of you.

Photography Credit: Janet Cameron

 

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Taxidermy, Skulls, Vintage Furs & THE Most Awesome Apartment Ever = The Feather Love London Workshop

Oh my…where do I even begin? I feel so terribly ineloquent as it comes to writing the experience of the Feather Love London Workshop. Like the words don’t know how to clump themselves together in my mind to make coherent sentences…So you know what, I’ve decided not to go through the teeny details of the day. Instead I plan to inwardly digest everything I soaked up from Noa & guest speaker Emma Case that day and (probably) come back to you later with a grand old revelation.

If not, I know you’re going to just die over the styled shoot we put together as part of the workshop. Bet you haven’t seen a wedding like this before!

The whole event was a visual feast (hello, the apartment we rented was amazing and the Ava Event Styling team did a bad ass job with our table for the photo shoot.) We also drank beer, danced, ate amazing Turkish food and put the (photography) world to rights. It was quite simply a day of true inspiration and one I was honoured to be asked to be a part of.

Some of my utter favourite suppliers came on board to help Emma Case and I pull this little event together (be sure to show them some love – linked at the end of this post) and my looovely lovely intern Roo and her just as adorable fiance Lamb came to act as our models. This was their first time being professionally photographed so I thought I’d ask Roo to write a few words on her experience because I bet many of you brides and grooms-to-be a nervous about having your photos taken right?

Well after looking at the amazing (seriously I need a thesaurus) job Noa & Emma did in shooting our lovely couple I know that if you get the right photographer for you, you ain’t got nothin’ to worry about babydoll!

Ps Roo you are the cutest ever. I love this photo of you so so much beautiful girl!

Roo writes, “I am one of those irritating women that sees a photo of herself – any photo of herself – and finds something wrong with it. There’s a page on Facebook called “de-tagging photos of yourself because you look like a goat” – and you can bet that I’m a proud member. I’ve never felt comfortable posing for photographs, or even being anywhere near a camera. My mind can’t fathom anybody wanting to commit my image to print, digital or otherwise. I felt that this didn’t bode so well for me on my wedding day, so when Kat offered Lamb and I the opportunity to model for Noa & co. at the Feather Love Artists’ Workshop, I figured that practice would/could make perfect.”

“I wasn’t wrong; I dote on both Noa and Emma’s work for totally different reasons, and I do think that fact helped me loosen up for the lens. When you admire the person shooting you, you trust them implicitly to make you look f*cking fantastic – and the results speak for themselves. It’s worth duly noting this, because if you’re not bowled over by a photographer’s portfolio, then you’re not going to be a bowled over bride (or groom). There’s no getting around the voyeurism of photography, but in this instance it didn’t feel intrusive, it felt right. There was an unspoken connection between us all that bound us striving for the same artistic result. Noa and Emma let their personalities ooze into their shoots, and instead of feeling overwhelmed, we felt involved. We felt beautiful, important, and as was documented so perfectly, we felt more in love than ever.”

So…Is your mind blown yet? This has got to be another one of my favourites from the day. Ahhh it’s all just so beautiful!

The workshop attendees and suppliers. What a good looking bunch we are. I love you guys!

More photos of the styled shoot after the jump!

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Wedding Dress Shopping at Charlotte Casadéjus

I’m very excited to share Roo’s first guest post as the Rock n Roll Bride intern with you all today. A couple of weeks ago I took Roo dress shopping (to one of my favourite designers Charlotte Casadéjus) and asked her to write about her experience. Just call me the fairy wedmother!

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Maimuna

Walking into Charlotte Casadéjus‘ unassuming South-East London studio, I felt mostly like my usual old self. Fluffy, flyaway hair, a bloke’s jumper, a flick of eyeliner applied on the train – nothing special. But then, it’s not often that I feel special.

Vintage

I’d always had this vision in my head of what trying on wedding dresses would look and feel like. A montage of me stepping out from a double-door changing room in a series of puffball dresses, meeting the disapproving stares of my girl friends, all to the tune of Destiny’s Child’s Independent Women – until, of course, we found the one. Cue squealing, high-fives and nods all ’round. Almost wistfully, I can’t say that this American prom idea of a dress fitting was at all what I experienced in the presence of Charlotte and Emma, her adorable assistant.

Cecile

Not only is Charlotte a talent with a needle and thread, but she has a marvelous eye for vintage – from sourcing to selecting, from beading to repairs. Some people have a negative preconceived idea of vintage, particularly that it has once belonged to someone else and therefore isn’t technically your own. This isn’t a view that I’m on par with, but if you are, never fear. Charlotte can nip and tuck and tweak till the cows come home, to make one of her vintage gowns uniquely you. This is a talent that should be wholeheartedly respected by dressmakers and appreciators of dressmakers alike, particularly because it takes a special eye for someone to see a dress on you and instinctively know what could be improved to suit you better (she hit the nail on the head with me every time).

Vintage

Above all else, I cannot describe how tactile her bridal collection is. It should come as no surprise to you, then, that in nearly all of Lisa‘s photos from the day I am in one way or another copping a feel of the pieces that I tired on for size. Our collective favourite was Audrey – met by sighs from all in the room once I’d stepped from the changing screen, I felt as though I was wearing something from the fantastical recesses of my imagination – picture a skirt of flower petals tickling your ankles, and a waistband of reassuring hands gently holding your waist. I’m known to be fanciful but this isn’t an exaggeration – a silk habotai lining made the gown feel invisible against my skin.

Audrey

My equal favourites were found in Maimuna, along with a couple more vintage pieces in the same understated, short-sleeved ilk. I am a sucker for antique lace, in that it is special enough to maintain all its elegance without the need for accessories, but in the same light it is simple enough to dress up with just the right touches. Although not to my personal taste, Coco hints at the simple glamour of the 1970s with its tuxedo cut and opaque sleeves, shunning the need for any other sparkle besides the smile of the bride and the glint of her wedding ring.

Coco (also available in black)

And sparkle I did – at least, sparkle I felt. Looking at myself in the mirror, I thought about my mum helping me with an unreachable zip or an impossible button. I imagined the look on Lamb’s face if he were to see me almost float down the aisle in one of Charlotte’s dresses. I pictured doing over-pronounced spins on the dance floor so that those silky skirts billowed all around me. I let those images collate, and beyond everything else I felt in that moment, I felt special.

Vintage feather jacket

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Feather Love Photography Workshops in London & Belgium (with Special Guests Emma Case & Me!)

Look who’s being a workshop whore this year? Yep that’s me!

So Jasmine Star, Lisa Devlin and now (OMG) Feather Love Photography have all enlisted the help of yours truly to be involved in their UK photography workshops in recent months. Again, I’m honoured beyond belief and so excited to be involved in fun and enriching projects like this. I literally can’t wait to get stuck into more.

So, what’s this latest workshop about then and why should you come to this one with me?

Photographer Noa says, “I run an artist workshop, focused primarily on understanding yourself as an artist, increasing your connection to your creativity, staying inspired & innovative etc. I cover blogging, the wedding industry, getting featured, getting clients you want, artistic integrity, artistic philosophy, breaking rules, and branding yourself along with your work.”

Photography Credit: Shoot of Noa & her friends at her studio by Braedon Flynn for Rue Magazine (more on Noa’s blog here)

How hot is Noa?! Yes very…

Noa has been one of my favourite wedding photographers for a long time. In fact she was one of the first US photographers to give my blog the time of day and support Rock n Roll Bride. I remember when I first learnt that Noa has been thrown of of “Speidi’s” wedding (remember them!?) It totally made me love her even more. What a rockstar.

Talking of celebrities, Noa has been honoured by being asked to photograph a number them. Particularly awesome was the fact that she photographed Emily Deschanel & David Horsnby’s wedding (Emily stars in the show ‘Bones’ and is Zooey Deschanel’s sister and David is a producer.) Although she hasn’t been able to publicise these images (except the one below which was published in People Magazine in the US), I have a feeling she might share some more of the images from Emily’s wedding in her portfolio slideshow at the workshops. I’m not a huge celebrity worshipper but I’m pretty excited to see this wedding. From what I saw on Noa’s blog it was achingly cool.

These workshops are also going to be extra awesome because my bestie Emma Case has been invited along to both events (London and Belgium) to give a talk about her business and what makes her approach to wedding photography unique. You can read more about what Emma will be talking about here. I’ll also be at the London workshop to answer any blogging-related questions.

Look where we are going to be hosting the London workshop?! I can’t wait to hang out in this amazing apartment. You just know the photo shoot portion of the day is going to be incredible with a location like this!

The Belgium workshop will be taking place at this beautiful private property in Halle, Belgium (near Brussells). Just you try and convince me you don’t want to go there and hang out with Noa & Emma! The location of this event is perfect for my European photographer readers and Noa has chosen this location specifically so her fans in Germany, France, Italy and Holland can attend.

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And the Next Rock n Roll Bride Intern is…

It was a hotly contested battle but I’m pleased to announce that after 20,000 votes (!) that the next Rock n Roll Bride intern is…

Congratulations Miss Roo, I very much look forward to getting to know you and sharing your (sure to be) awesome wedding planning story with the readers of Rock n Roll Bride.

Roo & her fiance Lamb are right at the beginning of their wedding planning so I know we’re going to have loads of good stuff to read about! I have to say I’m super excited to see which suppliers they book and all the awesome DIY projects that I’m sure they’re going to get stuck into too…

Roo & I are actually going to meet in actual real life on Wednesday too (and I’m bringing a photographer friend with me to capture it.) I’m so excited!! From what I know about her so far I think she’s all kinds of awesome and we’re going to be BFF’s for sure.

Roo will be writing a monthly column for the blog (for now…maybe more if y’all want it or she comes up with any extra ideas!) which will be posted on the first Monday of each month…and as today is the 1st August I thought I’d throw her in at the deep end by sharing her first post right now.

We are also yet to come up with a nice catchy title for Roo’s posts…like how Alice became Alice in Weddingland…Can you help? Comment below if you’ve got any bright ideas. My idea of “Roo says I Do” made even me want to die inside with it’s cheesiness.

Welly, welly, well. When I sat and wrote my application to Kat a few weeks ago, I of course had hoped, but certainly not expected to be sat addressing you all now as her brand new intern. Lamb actually asked me, “aren’t you excited to have your words and thoughts read by thousands of people?” Let me tell you, the only word for it is ludicrous. Last week’s voting process was both stomach churning and exhilarating, and I’m certain that I’ve accrued several more grey hairs than usual (plus, it wreaked havoc with my quitting-smoking regime).  Besides reading some fabulous words of support from total strangers here on the blog (thank you, each one of you, you gave my ego a fantastic boost) my favourite part of last week by far was getting to “meet” and have a natter with some really outstanding individuals. To name them outright would merely omit the many other outstanding individuals who took the time to read and vote for my application, so I hope my powers of e-telepathy are working today and that you simply know who you are.

Of course, I simply must extend my gratitude first and foremost for Kat. When we heard that the voting had ended, I wrote my immediate impressions on the whole experience to date over at my blog. There, I expressed being humbled by everyone who had faith in me and the vision that Lamb and I have for our wedding; that warm, fuzzy feeling started with Kat from the moment she shortlisted me, and has been an unstoppably-spreading force ever since. I am excited by the prospect of making a new friend in my new “boss”, and by all the doors, windows and cat-flaps of opportunity she could open up for me as I share this dizzying experience with you.

All that remains for me to do is give you a little heads-up on my not-so-distant future posts, and introduce our story properly.

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