Tag Archives: Top Hat

An Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Wedding in Vegas: Tiffany & Ryan

After originally planning a massive wedding for nearly 300 guests, the stress all got too much for Tiffany & Ryan and they were forced to cancel the wedding. When it came to planning it for the second time, they decided to scale it all down and focus on what really mattered – them.

“Three years ago I was planning a wedding inspired by what every magazine and television show told me it should be,” Tiffany told me. “Like most couples, our guest list had exploded, tilting at nearly 300 people. The stress of pleasing everyone was becoming too much, we were way over budget and the fun was non-existent. My fiancé and I loved each other very much, but we both hated what getting married was doing to us. A few months prior to the wedding we suffered two personal tragedies back to back so we threw our hands up and called it quits. Less than three months prior to the big day we sent out cancellation notices to our guests.  We lost nearly $25,000 in the process, and most of our sanity.”

However luckily this story has a happy ending. In May last year, the couple decided to plan a simple and quirky wedding in Las Vegas. The day had a vintage and Alice in Wonderland theme and went off without a hitch.

“After investing so much, not just monetarily, but emotionally, I had a newfound hatred for all things matrimonial,” Tiffany continued. In the two years that followed, we were invited to more than two dozen weddings, and we attended five – only because I couldn’t find the words to disappoint a few. While others in the pews blotted tears, I made personal wagers with myself and reveled in my cynicism. I complained to my few remaining single friends as I endured each of my ‘ugly-dress obligations,’ which is how I lovingly referred to the honor of being asked to stand up as a bridesmaid for my closest friends.”

“However flash forward to 1-1-11 and imagine my surprise when Ryan proposed again, just after midnight on New Year’s. The word ‘yes’ came out without hesitation, but my excitement was quickly overshadowed by feelings of worry and fear. I was terrified that I’d get sucked back in, that another wedding would destroy us. This time it has to be about us.”

“After we told the families and friends, one of my girlfriends was joking and told me that we should send out save-the-dates that say ‘We’re late, we’re late, for a very important date!’ She was right, and it happened – I got excited! I want to have a tea party wedding. I wanted it to be bright, breezy, silly & fun! I want the quirkiness of a mad hatter’s tea with more class and a little less cartoon.”

“Looking back on the wedding, it could not possibly have been any more us,” the bride concluded. “Things went right, and things went wrong. The 60 mile per hour wind gusts weren’t helpful. The maid of honor forgot the ring in her car and we all had a laugh while we waited for someone to run and get it. But we were surrounded by people that we loved, we laughed, danced and played croquet. The food was wonderful, and the drinks were better. We did a lot of the work ourselves and that made it even more worthwhile, more personal, more ours. We had fun and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.”

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A Lewis Carroll Gothic Wonderland Wedding

Amanda & Steph’s wedding is one of those that as soon as I saw a sneak peek on their photographer’s blog I immediately emailed asking (well…demanding!) that I be allowed to blog it! If this isn’t a perfect Rock n Roll wedding, well I don’t know what is! The couple loosely based their wedding around Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland – i.e. Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. They loved the almost dark and sinister twist this theme gave their wedding.

“We took the mad-hatter’s tea party idea and the magic of the ‘eat me’ cakes and ‘drink me’ potions, and linked it to Carroll’s poem Jabberwocky,” the couple explained. “This nonsensical but menacing poem appeared on our order of the day, and provided the inspiration for our table names. We wanted the wedding to have a fun party atmosphere and not be too ‘themed’, so we combined a ‘bring a hat’ dress code with teapot centre-pieces and little bottles of alcoholic shots on the tables labeled ‘drink me’. We wanted it to feel darkly comic, fun and quirky, whilst still being an emotional and special day for us.”

The colour theme that ran throughout the day was a dark purple and the bride wore a stunning Ian Stuart sample dress which was a pale blue/grey silk with a dramatic deep purple bolero which she bought from Bonzie on. To this she added a fabulous hat that she made herself by stitching together various bits and pieces which she had collected – including feathers, fabric, pearl beads and netting. Finally she added purple ‘Mini Magic Floral’ Irregular Choice shoes which she bought from Schuh. “I bought my dress at a wedding fair in London for £1,400, which was half price . It was far too big, so I had a dress-maker take off about 3 inches either side until it fitted. It was made in a pale blue/grey silk. I was quite pleased to think that because it was a sample it was completely unique and no one else would ever have one like it. The dress wasn’t what I thought I’d ever go for at all – quite traditional really with a huge train, but the colour made it unusual, and I accessorized it in quite an unusual way. I love Victoriana, which it reminded me of, and in the end I thought ‘when am I going to get the chance to wear something like this again’ so I went for it. My accessories were chosen to be in keeping with the Victoriana feel of the dress, and the idea was to make the outfit appear less bridal and more edgy.”

Steph wore a custom made suit that actually ended up costing more than the bride’s dress! “He wanted to keep it casual (he’s hardly worn a suit in his life being an advertising designer, and usually goes to work in his shorts and a t-shirt), so he decided to go without a tie and just wear a simple white shirt,” Amanda explained. “However, having made my own hat, I decided he ought to have some exciting DIY head-gear as well (to fit in with our mad-hatter’s tea party, Lewis Carrol theme). I therefore bought a cheap black top hat on ebay (I think it was about £25) and then trimmed it with some purple fabric to match my outfit. As we are big fans of Tim Burton and Steph likes all things dark and scary, I decided to go a stage further and I made a small purple fabric skeleton in the style of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ with odd buttons for eyes and attached it to the hat with a glue gun. I then used spray paint to make the hat seem a bit more old and battered, and flicked it with purple and blue paint on a tooth brush to give it a more punky look. He was very pleased luckily!”

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And so we Danced

How exactly am I supposed to find the world to accurately describe these images and do them justice? I’m not sure I’m up to the challenge. The gothic glamour, the sense of feeling you get from these is just..well…amazing. The images certainly do all the talking here. They tell their own story.

Photographer Annie told me:
The idea for this shoot wasa real mix of rock n’ roll and art.  We incorporated Tom Petty’s song, “Last Dance with Mary Jane” into a photo shoot with 2 agency models (Mirela Paraganglija, and Nima Nezhad) and a fantastic bridal gown designer.  We shot it as though it was Mary Jane’s wedding day/last dance…as though it was her final send off. 

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Sleepy Hollow(een) Wedding

I don’t get to feature enough gothic style weddings so when Carmel & Drynn’s rustic yet opulent gothic affair landed on my desk I jumped at the chance to share these.

The Bride told me…
I found my dress at Gothic Wedding Dresses and our flowers were done by Punch Portland. The inspiration for our theme was based on Tim Burton-esque Sleepy Hollow, classic Victorian but with a dark feel. We are kind of “darker” individuals so we wanted that reflected but wanted to do it in a classy tasteful way. We didn’t want to scare our guests too much! We picked Drynn’s hat up at a vintage store the feather piece & my headpieces were done by Cricket Quills.

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Topsy Turvy Bridal Shoot

After the great response both here and on my twitter to Melissa & Phil’s fabulous ‘Day of the Dead’ wedding, I thought it only right to share Melissa’s amazing bridal shoot too. She is wearing her Maggie Sottero dress and Topsy Turvy Designs little top hat again of course. This girl is one serious hottie right?

Credit: Emily Gualdoni Photography