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

A Topsy Turvy, Day Of The Dead, Mexican, Skull Spectacular

I swear sometimes I am overwhelmed by the greatness of the submissions I receive for my little blog. I have many people say to me that I must not sleep due to the amount of blogging I do, but I really only wish I could do more!

When I saw Melissa & Phil’s wedding I knew I’d be getting these bad boys up asap! The couple went for a ‘Day of the Dead’, skull and Mexican theme – complete with an awesome brightly coloured skull encrusted cake made by The Bleeding Heart Bakery (plus custom skeleton cake topper from Claylindo.) The couple have matching skull tattoos that they got after only 8 months of dating so there knew it was pretty much the perfect theme for them. When they started to plan their wedding they only had two things they knew they wanted – skulls and tacos!

Melissa explains:
I heard about a Mexican custom for the newlyweds’ cake to have a skeleton bride and groom perched atop it.  This symbolized the couple will not only be together until death, but even after death for all eternity.  We liked this concept so much, we extrapolated upon it and made it the theme and focus of our entire wedding.

The Dia De Los Muertos theme was a perfect fit! It is a custom that is spiritual, quirky, morbid, and unique – just like us!

The couple also incorporated a quirky, retro feel to the day. As Melissa went on to tell me:
I wanted a “vintage” feel for the attire, but also knew that I NEEDED to wear a cute top hat. Or I would possibly die. All the maids had pinup-style dresses and hairdos with skull feather fascinators in their hair. I wore a long A-line dress by Maggie Sottero with a custom made top hat from Topsy Turvy Designs, and had a slight steampunk look happening. I tried to make the guys look a teensy bit vintage with their vest and sans-jacket look. And Phil wore a lovely long suit jacket that looked almost pall-bearer-esque and complimented his long hair nicely.

A huge Rock n Roll Bride thank you to Melissa & Phil for sharing their day…and a even bigger thank you to every single one of you that takes the time to send your wedding gorgeousness my way! I ♥ you all…

Credit: Emily Gualdoni Photography

A Topsy Turvy, Day Of The Dead, Mexican, Skull Spectacular

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I swear sometimes I am overwhelmed by the greatness of the submissions I receive for my little blog. I have many people say to me that I must not sleep due to the amount of blogging I do, but I really only wish I could do more! When I saw Melissa & Phil's wedding I knew I'd be getting these bad boys up asap! The couple went for a 'Day of the Dead', skull and Mexican theme - complete with an awesome brightly coloured skull encrusted cake made by The Bleeding Heart Bakery (plus custom skeleton cake topper from Claylindo.) The couple have matching skull tattoos that they got after only 8 months of dating so there knew it was pretty much the perfect theme for them. When they started to plan their wedding they only had two things they knew they wanted - skulls and tacos! Melissa explains: I heard about a Mexican custom for the newlyweds’ cake to have a skeleton bride and groom perched atop it. This symbolized the couple will not only be together until death, but even after death for all eternity. We liked this concept so much, we extrapolated upon it and made it the theme and focus of our entire wedding. The Dia De Los Muertos theme was a perfect fit! It is a custom that is spiritual, quirky, morbid, and unique – just like us! The couple also incorporated a quirky, retro feel to the day. As Melissa went on to tell me: I wanted a "vintage" feel for the attire, but also knew that I NEEDED to wear a cute top hat. Or I would possibly die. All the maids had pinup-style dresses and hairdos with skull feather fascinators in their hair. I wore a long A-line dress by Maggie Sottero with a custom made top hat from Topsy Turvey Designs, and had a slight steampunk look happening. I tried to make the guys look a teensy bit vintage with their vest and sans-jacket look. And Phil wore a lovely long suit jacket that looked almost pall-bearer-esque and complimented his long hair nicely. A huge Rock n Roll Bride thank you to Melissa & Phil for sharing their day...and a even bigger thank you to every single one of you that takes the time to send your wedding gorgeousness my way! I ♥ you all...

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Theological

A scholoristic wedding with a Best Girl rocking it in a top hat is something to be shared. Sharon & Dan definitely went all out to make sure their wedding was truly original, even so far has having the one of a kind 1925 Studebaker as their wedding transport. They also had a theologian conduct their ceremony which was written with the work of Lord Byron, William Morris and Walt Whitman in mind.

If you want to know more about this highly intellectual wedding, check out the Groom’s Blog!

Edit: I just recieved an emaiol from the Groom with some great bonus info about their wedding..check it!
We wanted to include a little of all our favourite things in our wedding – thankfully, it all worked together! Sharon’s an artist and curator and I’m a historian and philosopher, so it was only appropriate to hold our ceremony at Villa Alba – a historical house turned museum preserving amazing examples of Aesthetic mural art.

We went for a peacock theme overall – blues, greens and violets – and couldn’t have been happier with the result. Peacocks are associated with empty vanity, but I find them philosophically compelling; it’s been scientifically demonstrated that a peacock’s display is a genuine reflection of its overall health – that’s the evolutionary advantage. Really, they’re a symbol of beauty as the product of abundant life, the kind of happy and creative life we have together.

We both designed our own outfits – each is a mix of early and late 19th century design, Regency and Belle Époque – and our respective dressmakers did amazing work. Most of the accessories  are vintage or from independent designers, on Etsy or around Melbourne.Our Bridesmaid and Best Girl, Nix and Charis, are both long-time dear friends. Nix’s dress was by the same dressmaker as Sharon’s, and Charis’s suit and waistcoat from the same vintage shop and tailor which provided my brooch and outfit. Charis’s mother – indeed a leading Doctor of Theology – agreed to conduct our ceremony, for which we are eternally grateful!

Special thanks to photographer Jessie for sharing this wedding with me.

Credit: Studio J

International Goth

I really really love these! A little bit of international charm for a snoozy Sunday afternoon. What is it with those Europeans making everything looks so damn arty!?

Katya & Andrey are from St. Petersburg in Russia and after getting married, flew that very day to Prague for their Honeymoon and wedding day shoot! They also purchased many of their wedding items from here in the UK…I told you they were truly international!
Katya’s dress was from Gothic Wedding Dresses and her hat was from no other that Primark! (If you have never heard of Primark then you are seriously missing out..high street fashion but so ridiculously cheap that you don’t feel guilty filling a basket with a whole wardrobes worth of clothes on each visit…think £2 for s t-shirt, £5 for a pair of shoes, £8 for a bag – oh yes!) Andrey’s suit was made to measure at a shop in Camden Market.

Thanks so much to Tomasz for sharing these with me.

 

 

Credit: Tomasz Slota