There’s no denying our bride Ana Paula is an absolute stunner, and looks absolutely incredible in her Anne Barge bridal gown with plunging neckline and lace long sleeves.
In fact the whole destination wedding in the heart of Miami’s art district will leave you utterly speechless. Captured beautifully by the fabulous Sara Lobla Photography, who not only documents all the love and happiness, but chooses the most fabulous backdrops and compositions for all those moments and memories for you to treasure forever.
Firstly a ‘sharing basket’ starter full of crisps & dips during the speeches – er yes please – genius idea! I bet it was like watching a film at the cinema only way better!
And secondly I’m loving all high street savvy wedding attire and budget friendly, DIY decor. Everybody looks totally gorgeous and the fabulous rustic barn reception is literally an explosion of colour & creativity. The top table backdrop of bright streamers & giant initials is a great focal point and those festoon lights *sigh* so magical. I bet Ruth was a very busy lady in the run up to the wedding sourcing & creating all that fabulous decor!
Our Bride & Groom are part of a string quartet and are huge music lovers so of course the entertainment put on for guests was top notch. There was a fiddle & harpist, their own string quartet and a ceilidh band to really get the party pumping. All the antics were kindly helped along by the spectacular Gin cocktail bar!
As Charlotte and I get asked more and more for our expertise or opinions on weddings, we are required to choose ‘favourites’ of every kind. Depending on the context, our favourites can be very different on each occasion, but it is through doing this that I have begun to appreciate the things that I really love. True to myself, my choices can’t be pigeon holed but I am starting to sense a theme of clean, pared back design, regardless of the references.
Todays wedding, despite the vintage vamp lip and birdcage veil has a decidedly modern slant, with clean lines and simple but effective style throughout. Needless to say, it is going straight to the top of my ‘favourites’ list. 😉 It’s all beautifully complemented by the strong photography from Elemental Photography. I could have stared all day at these images…
Katie and Stevie got married on 30th April 2011 in a ceremony outside at Chapel Green Earlsferry, a ruin which overlooks Elie Bay in the small coastal village on the East Neuk of Fife, where Katie grew up.
Sandra Cormack at SC Make Up Artistry did both my and my bridesmaids hair and make up. She was recommended by a colleague at work. Sandra was lovely, made us feel totally at ease and has years of experience having done London fashion week, film and TV work.
We had airbrush make up which has a much lighter coverage and suited me, as I tend usually not to wear heavy make up.
A Story of Two Dresses
I had two dresses as the first would have been impossible to dance in!
My ‘ceremony’ dress was from Emma Roy in Edinburgh and was Allure Bridal. It was a fishtail gown and was the first I tried on. Verity at Emma Roy had, in addition to the few I had picked out from the rail, chose 10 others so I had the opportunity to try on lots of different styles which I wouldn’t have chosen myself. It was a useful exercise in that I knew what I wanted and wasn’t swayed by any of the other, albeit beautiful gowns. As it turns out I think the style I chose is discontinued now. Subsequently, I only ventured into one other shop on the same day while looking for a dress. I had the dress customised by sourcing bridal buttons which were sewn down the back of the dress over the zip. The bustle was also arranged by the seamstress at Emma Roy.
As we were engaged in Iceland beneath the Eyjafjallajökull volcano the preceding March, my ‘holding’ engagement ring which Stevie bought me there was silver and Icelandic kalcedon. I love chunky silver jewellery and Bethsy Gray (a lovely Danish lady) in Glasgow is my favourite jewellery designer. I contacted Bethsy and commissioned her to make some cufflinks as a surprise for Stevie on our wedding day in a similar style to my engagement ring.
In addition, I had bought a couple of pieces for my Bridesmaids as gifts (silver and boulder opal ring, necklace and opal earrings). We found the silver orb necklace which Steve wanted to buy as a wedding gift for me in St Andrews.
I made my birdcage veil myself – I had found a pair of silver 1950s Danish clip earrings from Abernyte antique centre, which Steve gave as a birthday gift. I sewed them onto some white widow’s veiling sourced online.
Being new to this wedding malarky, we had forgotten about wedding rings until about two months before the wedding! Thankfully several people recommended Claire McDonald from No. 5 in Cupar. She was so lovely when we visited her shop we knew we wanted her to make and source our rings.
Red Soled Love
I love shoes and I love red so it was an easy choice. I figured that this would probably be the only time I would buy a posh pair of shoes and I would want to wear them again after the wedding, so red Louboutins it had to be!
I had some difficulty sourcing them in Scotland as I was aware of only a few stockists, none of which had the shoe I had spotted online. After e-mailing the Louboutin London store the lady very kindly passed my details on to Selfridges who posted them up to me when they arrived in February.
I was very lucky that Steve’s mum used to be a florist and I knew I could trust her with the ideas we had. I knew I wanted quite sculptural flowers and as Steve has always liked cacti and succulents, I wanted to include those in the flowers we had.
My bouquet released my ‘inner goth’ and contained cream calla lillies and akito roses, cream lisianthus, white tanacetum, grey brunei, dried nigella seed heads, tillandsias, echevaria and semperviva.
Steve’s button hole had elements from my bouquet; semperviva and grey brunei.
I knew I didn’t want my bridesmaids dresses to match but as it turned out although the styles were very different, both shades were pretty close.
I had spotted the shorter Dessy dress some time ago and loved the teal colour. The longer dress which my bridesmaid chose was from Reiss. I knew I wanted them in red shoes too which they chose themselves. And red fingernails were a must!
A 21st Century Kilt
Steve’s kilt was his own which he has had for 12 years in his family tartan, ancient Gordon. He contacted Howie at 21st Century Kilts who made a beautiful waistcoat and jacket which was lined in airforce blue fabric – the detailing on the jacket was very special.
Howie also detailed Steve’s existing kilt to tie in better with his jacket and changed the leather straps to brown. He bad brown brogues from Jones the Bootmaker. His tie was also airforce blue sourced online. The best man hired a kilt from Slanj and Steve’s brother’s who were ushers wore their own kilts.
Both our wedding rings are silver. My ring was inspired by Danish design of the 1950s and 1960s which I liked which Claire redesigned and made. Steve chose a simple silver wedding band.
During the ceremony, we had music played by friends who Steve has known since school and university. They had agreed to form a band especially to play at the ceremony. As we wanted full on electric guitars, we had to hire a generator and hide it behind the ruin! Unusually for Scotland, we had had a bit of a spring heat wave which allayed fears we previously had of torrential, horizontal rain, and thankfully our wet weather contingency was not required.
As we were having a humanist ceremony which we had written ourselves, our story was told well by our celebrant Duncan McKenzie. The guys played the first song Steve and I danced to in the Glasgow Garage the night we met, which was Buddy Holly by Weezer.
The second song they played was Everlong by the Foo Fighters. Given two of the guys stay in London, one in Glasgow and the other in Fife it was a huge effort on the guys’ part to make the performances so incredible.
Without fail the best days at Rock My Wedding HQ are the days we get thanked. We love your comments in the comments box below, (they come a close second,) basically we just like to hear from you!
However, when we got this email from Gemma before she jetted off for her Aussie big day, it was the first time I actually almost cried big fat tears of pleasure, that what we do here is worthwhile. It’s a such a lovely email, I struggled to cut it down, but I hope you don’t all mind… it makes us feel so proud. (And I think you’ll all laugh out loud reading some of it ;). )
Dear Charlotte and Rebecca,
I just wanted to email you girls before I head off to get married in Australia on the 13th of November. I’m a Tasmanian girl who moved to London in 2008 to do my masters in Fashion Journalism, but along the way fate intervened, I met Mr S, and after a heartbreaking 9 months of long distance due to visa issues (in essence, my visa was shorter than the length of my course and the law changed so I was pretty much deported…) he proposed on Boxing day last year. In his words – ‘I wanted to do it as soon as you were back on Scottish soil’ because he’s a Glasgow lad and we were there for Christmas. In his rucksack (he’d dragged me up a mountain in the snow) was a bottle of champagne, now frozen, and the tiffany schlumberger platinum, sapphire and diamond band I’d spotted in Selfridges months before we’d even talked of marriage, while buying a present for someone else.
Come January there I was, back in London, staring at my beautiful new ring, miles away from family and friends at home, and Mr S sprung on me that he’d booked the cathedral where my mother and father, and both sets of grandparents, were married. For the 13th of November. As in, within 11 months. And we weren’t going to be back in Australia before then, but surely it wouldn’t be a problem for me to plan a wedding? From here?
I’m blessed with a tight knit, lovely, ‘call in the middle of the night, ask them to do anything and they will without asking why’ group of girlfriends here in the UK but I’m not only the first to be engaged, I’m really the only one who’s even remotely at that stage. So much as they all joyously congratulated us, showered us with well wishes and love, and all offered to do anything they could – no-one really knew what that ‘anything’ was going to be. There was no ‘go-to’ gal who’d weathered her own wedding before to reassure me when the planning went awry, and as I lost my mum to cancer when I was 4, I didn’t have her support either. I wanted our wedding to be very DIY, not slick or formal – basically a repeat of like we had our school leavers deb dance – everyone there was in black or red strapless gowns and I wore a green and pink floral number and pimped out my shoes with ribbons.
Mr S really wanted to be married in 2010, for a number of reasons, and put it to me so sweetly and so heart-thumpingly romantically that he didn’t want a long engagement because he wanted me to be his wife for as much of his life as possible, that I agreed. I mean, he’s from Glasgow. Those guys aren’t renowned for flowery prose.
I put my head down and started the process of making our day via remote control, assessing reception venues I’d never heard of, let alone set foot in (one of them, when we looked at the photos, prompted Mr S to say ‘I don’t want to get married there, I think it’s where they had Tupac’s funeral’) and began the epic struggle of dealing with the main problem of planning something in Hobart from abroad: no-one, that’s no-one, from venues to florists to make-up artists to suit hire places, seemed to have websites which had been designed post 2002. The task would have been much easier when I was studying here and had a arts student’s free time (not to mention access to supplies like fixative, guillotines, paint, etc etc when hand-making our invites) but as it is I’m working for a big bank in the city to pay the bills until next September when I’m back to school. (Incidentally I have become a real aficionado of the ‘rock’ engagement ring – watching all the trading-floor girls out-do each other with diamonds has been a real eye-opener. One in particular would easily have doubled as a tin-opener.)
I decided on a floral-y, art-deco-y type theme, and after a myriad of disasters, we get on the plane next Thursday to fly out to Hobart – arriving a week before the big day to organise the final details.
I’ve just looked over this email and it’s massive, for which I apologise and hope that you two are schooled in skim-reading. The reason I wrote was to thank you both, so much, for Rock My Wedding. It has been the ‘clued up wedding girlfriend’ I’ve needed, and I check it, religiously, every day. I actually cried when Jenny married Duncan from blue. It’s been like reading notes from a big sister with the exact same taste who has done it all before, and I don’t know how I’m going to wean myself off it once I am Mrs C-S.
Thank you girls, really. I probably won’t get a chance to thank you in my wedding speech, but then again, I just might. I always knew I had the perfect man in Mr S, and RMW has helped a lot in planning what may not be the most perfect wedding the world has ever seen (or even of a comparable RMW standard) but will be utterly perfect for us.
So lets get on with showing you what came out of Gemma’s ‘pimped out shoes and floral-y art deco-y theme’ with a little RMW magic…
I am Gemma and I am a self-confessed RMW addict. It actually became a bit of a running joke at the office where I used to work that I constantly had the website open, even if it was sneakily minimised in the corner of my screen. Raymond and I were married on the 13th of November, 2010. Despite the fact that we met and were living in London, Raymond is Scottish and I am Australian, and we decided to get married in my home town of Hobart, Tasmania.
One of my biggest pre-wedding fears was that I’d have a bad breakout and I really wanted a fresh, natural look that I didn’t think I could manage myself, however as we flew in just a few days before our wedding, I didn’t have time to do any trials and my original hair and makeup artist fell through.
Enter Rosa, whose business is called ‘Simply Flawless’ – and she was. She gave me a makeup trial the night before, called in another hair and makeup artist to help with my maids and family, and managed to do the full makeup for another wedding in the morning before coming to ours.
No ‘Tizzy’ Tiaras
Once I had the dress, I wanted an art-deco style headpiece, but I didn’t want it on a headband, and I didn’t want a ‘tizzy’ tiara. (I wanted to look like an Alphonse Mucha girl, not a my little pony) I nearly gave up and then I saw it on Glitzy Secrets – exactly what I had been searching for high and low, and sold out. I looked elsewhere for similar things but nothing matched up and so one day on a whim, I called the Glitzy Secrets phone number. The lovely man who answered told me that, in a stroke of complete and total serendipity, there were 3 of the sold out headpiece I wanted, coming back to the GS headquarters that very afternoon.
He said they’d be up for sale on the website at 5pm that night, and that they’d been very popular, so it was first come first served. From 4.30 onwards I sat at my desk at work, credit card in hand, clicking ‘refresh’. At 6 minutes past 5 I had the perfect headband in my shopping cart . When it arrived, it was very art deco and vintage, so much that it was too heavy to pin into my hair! I ended up weaving thin strands of pale blue, pink and beige ribbon together and winding it through so I could get my hairdresser to tie it in my messy updo.
My dress was Maggie Sottero destinations, style RD1044. I bought it from Sarah Louise Bridal in Glasgow, and found the girls there very helpful and understanding – they worked around me because they knew I had an 8 hour ‘Megabus’ journey from London for fittings! I’ve always like Grecian style gowns, but originally I had seen a dress that I thought would be the one, and it was nothing like the Maggie Sottero. The dress that wasn’t the one was a heavy silk, structured, high fashion, Sarah Jessica Parker-esque creation from Halo Bridal in Australia, and when I finally tracked one down to try on in the UK, I looked, well, a bit like a giant piece of whitebait to be honest, and nothing like the statement bride I’d hoped to be. The RD1044 on the other hand looked fairly plain on the hanger, but once I had it on I knew it was perfect, feminine, floaty and quite timeless.
The train was long enough for our cathedral wedding but the dress wasn’t going to make me look like an out of work cocktail singer in the bright daylight of the garden floral reception we were planning. The other one, really, probably would have. I also bought a cream sundress with pale gold spots from Anthropologie to dance our ceilidh in (I had visions of the last of the Tasmanian evening sunlight catching the golden threads as I flitted about in the garden barefoot in between the dinner and dancing stages, and of course it rained.)
Shoes for your Wedding or your Marriage?
I had originally decided on Loubotin Fortitia sandals in cream. I thought I had justified the expense, and then one day had a moment of realisation of precisely what else could be done with the shoe fund, namely, quite a lot of travel and aid work in Asia: and for me it was a simple equation – the Loubotins were for our wedding day, but the aid work would be part of our marriage.
My nieces-to-be, who were also our flower girls, dragged me into Barratts one day to look for their shoes, (naturally they were hoping they’d get high heels, and equally naturally, they didn’t) and I emerged with not just my shoes but shoes for my bridesmaids (my two gorgeous sisters) as well. I have to say too that the assistant in Barratts was beyond helpful, and far more imbued with the spirit of ‘wow you’re getting married that’s wonderful’ than a lot of other people in other, far more expensive and ‘geared towards weddings’ shops.
The Bridesmaids dresses came from Oasis, and were reduced to £18 in the sale! They were just what I wanted, wedgewood blue with a vintage lace trim. I ordered their headpieces from Etsy (seller Bethany Lorelle) and their shoes were from Barratts. The little flower girls wore dresses from Debenhams, and wore mismatched ballet flats due to a delivery mix up with LaRedoute.
As it turned out the jumbled pastels looked better with their wraps, which we had made, last minute, the night before the wedding because we had heard the weather might turn. With all the girls with floral shawls on and the little boys in matching kilts (which we bought from the Glasgow Vintage Co. on Great Western Road) It all looked a bit like we were the Von Trapp Family singers in the cut up curtains – I loved it.
If we were going to have a ‘film moment’ in the day better to have The Sound of Music than National Lampoon do a wedding – in the morning when there were 30 odd people at the house trying to get ready, I commented to our photographer that the latter was a distinct possibility!
We looked into hiring suits for our groomsmen, but in the end it was easier fit and logistics wise to buy them. If we’d been able to hire kilts we would have, but that wasn’t an option in Hobart, and the charcoal suits from Marks and Spencers were cut beautifully and the grooms looked incredibly dapper.
Raymond found some waistcoats in Uniqlo in London with a very faint red check in the wool – and both grooms also wore pale blue silk cravats the same as his which came from McGregor and McDuff in Glasgow.
Raymond got his kilt, ‘Prince Charlie’ style jacket, cravat, sporran, kilt hose, flashes and shoes from McGregor and McDuff in Glasgow. He chose Ancient Douglas tartan and wore a double cuffed shirt from Zara with some cufflinks that were a present from close friends who were unable to be there.
Drum roll please… because we are kicking off fairytale fortnight with a stunner of a wedding. And in true Rock My Wedding style, this fortnight isn’t necessarily going to be about the things you would expect to see in a Fairytale fortnight… the predictable things you might see elsewhere. Repeating our Mantra, this about making it your kind of fairytale.
We occasionally get a little bit of stick for pushing the boundaries, encouraging you guys to be unique, individual, but ultimately do it your way and this wedding is here to show you that you can kick every single bit of wedding tradition to the curb that you don’t like and still have the most ridiculously pretty but rockin’ day.
And that’s what we’re all about folks.
Shona and Luke were married this September at Boconnoc House, Cornwall. All the stunning photography (you might remember that I got a little bit excited about his lady in her introductory post as a sponsor) is by Especially Amy and totally lives up to the hype!
My dress was from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company. I knew I wanted something with a 20s dropped waist but loved their decades range which bring an updated look to vintage styles. I also love the creamy lace they used for my dress and the palm tree lace at the bottom had an art deco feel to it which I loved.
I wore an Alyssa Norton piece of jewellery which ran from my finger to wrist and was made from vintage pieces. My necklace was a present from my bridesmaids, an Anina Vogel heart charm.
In my hair I wore a simple cream veil and a vintage diamante hair clip. My shoes were Miu Miu kitten heels with diamante bows. I wanted a little bit of party glamour under the dress!
As I work at Harvey Nichols I was lucky in having my hairdresser, Ryan from Daniel Hersheson and make up artist, Scott from Shu Uemura in Knightsbridge Harvey Nichols.
They understood the look I wanted – really soft, feminine 20s style hair, and for make up I wanted something with a touch of glamour but again with a soft, feminine finish.
My bridesmaids (my little sister and my best friend) have very different styles so I wanted them to wear something they feel comfortable in and I can’t bear matching dresses for bridesmaids so they chose dresses within the colour palette I was working with.
My super talented friend who is an ex florist, Marcus, helped with the flowers. I wanted lots of herbs so we used rosemary, wild mint, yellow and white dill with roses and hydrangeas. They smelt delicious and were the right balance of looking a bit country house and still very chic.
Luke wore a midnite blue Richard James suit with Oliver Sweeney tan shoes and Kilgour silver blue tie.
What a super cool, yet super pretty bridal party… And this bride totally rocked out her kind of fairy tale for the decor…