I was really inspired reading the winning entry to your Knot Couture dress competition recently,” photographer Bethan of Haywood Jones Photography told me. “It was hard to picture how it would feel to be made so uncomfortable in a shop who were clearly disapproving of you, thinking we live in a properly modern society (!) until it happened to me last weekend (not because I have beautiful body art sadly, but much more because I was dressed a bit scruffily and went into a very posh art shop. They actually got another member of security to stand in the shop while me and my friend walked around!!) It suddenly became clear that you really can’t judge a book by its cover and that even though the *mainstream* wedding industry is becoming more accepting of the *alternative* side of peoples wedding creativity and gorgeousness, there are still many blinkered people out there who wont look past stereotypes and make you feel less than worthy of their attention.”
“The story spurred me to organise a tattooed bridal shoot with an absolute star of a gal called Chi Chi Revolver. Chi Chi is a professional hula hooper and circus performer and as part of her large and varied CV teaches Hula-ing (is that right?) to children who have had behavioural issues at school (again talk about not judging books by their covers!)”
“I really wanted the aim of the shoot to show that tattooed brides are just as beautiful, awesome and down right gorgeous as any. I used a vintage 1950’s wedding dress which I found on etsy and Chi Chi’s own wedding shoes. She had just celebrated her first wedding anniversary a couple of weeks before the shoot so it seemed like a good time to get her to don another wedding dress. Chi Chi was a hero braving the (very!!) windy beaches of Brighton and slightly rainy streets in the little floaty dress and a pair of heels, but I’m so glad she did.”
I love the idea and the story behind this shoot, even if it was only done to ‘stick it to the man’ (Yeah!)
I don’t feature a whole load of engagement or couple shoots on the blog, preferring to share all the incredible real weddings I get sent instead. However sometimes, just sometimes, a session stands out so much that I’d be mad not to share it. Remember the bunny suit session I featured recently? Or the awesome wolf-head shoot? (also by Love Me Do Photography)
Yeah, things like that are what rock my boat, not vintage picnics and balloons and cupcakes…not that they aren’t cute as hell, but I just don’t get very excited about shoots styled that way anymore. You see them everywhere and they’ve kind of been done to death huh? …and really, let’s be honest, what does a shoot like that really tell us about the couple as individuals? Diddly-squat that’s what.
Anyway mini-rant over (!) I was sent Kim & Matt’s photo shoot by the fabulous Carina & Amanda of Love Me Do Photography and lets’ be honest, any couple that are happy to dress up as fast food are freakin’ awesome in my book. “We wanted to have fun with this,” Carina told me. “Both of us felt like we’ve been seeing a lot of the same images show up in wedding photos; trends and whatnot. We know it’s hard to look at other people’s wedding photographs and not get influenced by them, but we really wanted to take things as far away from all of that and really go outside the box. We wanted to show that we can make a joke, be ironic, and still be artistic.”
“The costumes were designed and hand made by Carrie Collins of Fabric Horse. She had exhibited them a couple of years ago at a Halloween party I photographed. A few months ago I brought up the idea of having a bride/groom shoot with the costumes. She agreed and we got to brainstorming. Right off the bat I thought of having a school bus in the background. Friends of mine owed one which they painted black and had it parked in a lot about 30 minutes away. While Amanda, Carrie, and I brainstormed about other ideas, we collectively came up with the idea to have them be in natural surroundings. My mind went to this greenhouse in Fairmount park. We liked the idea of the hamburger/milkshake representing processed fast food, and the green house being the opposite and representing nature.”
“We started thinking of endless scenarios to put the burger and milkshake in. A fast food adventure if you will. Next up, honey moon pictures on the beach, a night out on the town, chicken nugget babies??! Carrie also wants to possibly make more of these types of costumes in the future, in which case we will be photographing them also.”
How happy do these make you? Happy or hungry – it’s gonna to be one or the other right? I can’t wait to see more tasty fast food-inspired photo shoots from these guys in the future.
Leah & Peter had a red & black themed rockabilly wedding. They kept the fact that they had got married earlier in the day a surprise from a lot of their guests but made sure all the most important people were in attendance…including their two (very well dressed!) pugs.
“We were never officially engaged (Peter bought my my black pug Ziggy instead of an engagement ring!) we just always knew we would get married and with both of us turning 30 in June 2010 was as good a reason as any,” Leah told me. !We never wanted to be the kind of people who let the real reason for getting married to be overshadowed by stressing about table placings etc so we focused on what would make us have a good time at the party and turned the tables so people were leaving with things that we had bought!”
“We spent a lot of our budget on the sweet buffet/ice cream sundae bar and also put 125 little bottles of shots on the tables (Peter hand painted them with different designs) and had free champagne and cardboard cadillacs on the tables filled with all kinds of things like bubbles, lipglosses, toys, games, sunglasses, badges, mirrors, mexican jumping beans. We also made 100 cd’s of songs that we liked and we called it “Cats, Pugs and Rock n Roll!” We also had a lot of 1950’s pictures and we let everyone take them away with them. Someone even got the cardboard Marilyn Monroe cut-out, we just wanted everyone to have a good time.”
“When we made the announcement that we got married, most people were very happy for us and some asked us what we wanted for a wedding present and our response was (the same to the people) who knew about the wedding “nothing”, we’ve been together a long time, we have our own house, we don’t need anything, we just wanted to have a really good party and celebrate our way plus people will always remember it. We didn’t want people to get hung up on the wedding details or pay a lot of money out. All we wanted to do was get married our way and luckily we had my family who were slightly bemused but very accepting and some good friends who were sworn to secrecy about the day time but really helped! It was a real team effort and we got out of it what we put in! Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be hard and there are no rules that you “must” follow! My best advice is to go for what you both love!”