The collaborative nature of weddings is so timeless - it makes me nostalgic for the theatre environment I grew up in, for the romantic rush of ‘anything can happen’, for the beautiful chaos that centers and comes together when a team of creatives is entrusted with bringing beauty to life, each of us working together towards one vision with the only goal of keeping our couples deliriously happy, that we were able to create a memory that will last a lifetime. And it’s my job as the documentarian, the archivist, the sometime secret-keeper to visually imprint these memories and all of this work. I’ve spoken a lot on this blog about how I see my job as almost one of a time-machine - the images will bring life to the memories and remind you of the flowers that eventually dried and crumbled, the dress before the hem turned black from dancing, the lights and the the glee and the way you looked at your partner’s face when it was the beginning of your very greatest adventure yet.
So it’s up to me to regularly flex these creative muscles and work in collaboration with other wedding suppliers - to play and to practice outside of the pressurised wedding environment and to really show off what we’re creatively capable of. I’m so inspired by the many other people who work in the wedding industry in their various fields and will always do everything I can to find new ways to capture their genius designs. My very favourite way of doing this is to work on editorial wedding shoots. It’s been a good 18 months since I’ve had the chance to work on one but to say that I chose the right project would be the understatement of the year. I have never felt so creative and bold and brave and trusted by a team. And we all were brought together by a new force of nature in North West wedding scene - the indomitable Kate Bader of Florence & Vera Events.
The Top Wedding Suppliers in the North West (Vendors, Assemble!)
Kate initially got in touch with me through the wonderful Ali & Bec of Diddibox Flowers - who coincidentally are located just around the corner from my home and are the base for many an afternoon wedding natter after the school run. But funny enough we had a family connection even before this - Kate’s sister is close with my sister-in-law and apparently the girls for YEARS had been saying that Kate and I should meet! Turns out our ‘business blind date’ was actually ingenius and once we started discussing the possibility of a styled shoot with the Diddibox girls we just hit the ground running. Kate suggested the iconic Stockport Plaza for a modern take on a vintage wedding shoot, using dresses by the INCREDIBLY talented Gemma of Elsie Vee vintage. I was sold - this was EXACTLY the end-of-season project I was look for! Once Kate had assembled a mood board and we had a concept, we brought in the amazing Stacey of Love Lights the Way for some dramatic lighting and backdrop structures (the aim was maximalism to really dig into the venue’s rich theatre history), plus the wonderful Sarah of Pink Cocoa cakes and Frain & Grain for some custom Plaza-inspired stationary. After a weekend spent at the National Wedding Fair, I managed to wrangle some GORGEOUS suits and groom accessories from the Vintage Suit Hire Company. The team was READY. We just needed our models.
Crazy in Love
I shot Nina and Zakk’s wedding in 2017. From the moment we met, we had an incredible connection and I knew that they were the PERFECT couple for our shoot. Whilst the styling of the shoot and the outfits were very much vintage, we wanted a balance with a very modern looking couple to keep it from looking too much like a period piece. Tattoo artist Zakk and his Swedish goddess of a wife Nina were that exactly what we needed. They had recently moved back to England from Sweden with their two beautiful children and when I emailed them to see if they would be interested in modelling, it was a HELL YES. These two are silly and fun and SO. IN. LOVE. - not to mention EXTRAORDINARILY photogenic and I cannot express how amazing their energy was on the day. I LOVED every minute of their wedding and it was even more fun to really spend some time together taking our time to play!
Alternative Wedding Photography
With some 90s R&B blasting through the venue’s sound system, every supplier was at the very top of their game. Towards the end of the day, I looked around the room and realized that, with the exception of Zakk, every supplier present on the day was a woman - women who work their asses off, running their own businesses whilst raising children and maintaining friendships and marriages and partnerships - lugging equipment and creating art and donating their time and vision and resources to collaborate on something so fleeting. But the inspiration I felt from these wonder women and the amazing men who support them made me feel infinite and I was humbled by my task - to take all of this hard work and preserve it, to capture it in a way that evokes that energy brought by Nina & Zakk’s passion, the lush wildness of the flowers, the bold drama of the lights, the timelessness of a wedding cake. An alternative wedding is still, at it’s core, just the same as any other - it’s about LOVE. And about JOY and about creating a memory with the people closest to you to share with future generations.
And what’s more timeless than that?
Venue - Stockport Plaza https://stockportplaza.co.uk/
Styling - Florence & Vera Events https://www.florenceandvera.co.uk/
Florals - Diddibox https://www.diddibox.co.uk/
Lighting and Backdrops - Love Lights the Way https://www.lovelightstheway.co.uk/
Cakes - Pink Cocoa http://pinkcocoa.co.uk/
Dresses & Hair - Elsie Vee Vintage http://elsieveevintage.co.uk/
Shoes - Rachel Simpson https://rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk/
Suits & Groom Accessories - Vintage Suit Hire https://www.vintagesuithire.co.uk/
Stationary - Frain & Grain https://www.frainandgrain.co.uk/
Makeup - Beth C. Makeup https://www.facebook.com/BethCMakeup/
Tableware - Whitehouse Crockery https://www.eventcrockeryhire.co.uk/