While I love a celebrity wedding as much as the next person I have to admit that many of them are pretty ho hum affairs. They follow a pretty set formula, for example:
Celebrity A and B got married in stunningly expensive location C surrounded by x hundreds of their closest friends and family, the dress was by designer D and the lovely couple honeymooned at E. They are beautiful affairs with big dresses, smart tuxes, expensive cakes and huge venues but their rarely anything unique. Basically they are exactly what we would expect the sickeningly wealthy to do. But every so often a wedding comes along that bucks the trend, and one reasonably recent wedding that did this was that of Kate Moss and Jamie Hince. Kate Moss may well be fashion royalty but her wedding was refreshingly free of fashion pretence and felt like it would have been a genuinely fun event to be a part of.
Kate’s gown was what every bride who ever wanted a vintage gown could dream of; ethereal and ornate but still edgy enough for the modern day (it was sheer after all), designed by none other than John Galliano. Her veil looked like it had been stolen from the 1920’s without looking dated or old. The bridal party were not forgotten with lovely children’s outfits in cream and white (military page boy coats!). Married in a beautiful stone church and a reception in a country field setting (but with marques) the word ‘perfect’ comes to mind with this wedding more than once.
While unconventional the use of white and cream for all the outfits for the girls with floral crowns to top them off, really amplified the summery vibe for this July 1st 2011 wedding. But there were other surprises as well, from Teepee’s for the kids to Kate’s stunning glitzy red coat/cape which just dripped glamour and rockstar sex appeal (note: the couple had a pre wedding shoot in which they wore different clothes but it still counts as far as I am concerned, if i could afford more than one set of wedding clothes I would have been up for it as well!).
Their wedding photos were also unique which is to be expected from Mario Testino, fashion photog extraordinary. Whoever came up with bringing in red into the pre wedding shoot pics was a genius, it really brought out the green of the scenery and is something more brides should be open to – white is beautiful but adding some bright spots of colour can only serve to enhance its brilliance.
I also adored the group photos of the bridal party (which do look like a Vogue setup when I think about it) and have been guilty of trying similar setups when time, location and props allowed. Their casual and fun and its clear that no one was too obsessed with making all the kids look 100% perfect (although they do come close!). I loved the mostly natural processing that also allowed for rich dramatic colours which again suits Kate fashion background. Truly an inspiration for our profession.
I am sure many brides have taken inspiration from this wedding!
Till next time!
All images by Mario Testino for Vogue
Perhaps one of the most iconic objects of a wedding, second only to the white dress, is the bridal veil. Once upon a time a veil was a must have item but these days many brides choose not to have a veil; for some it is too old fashioned or too uncomfortable to bother with but for many it is an integral part of their wedding outfit. As a photographer I can say that I love veils! Even when misbehaving (i.e. frolicking with the wind and whipping all in the vicinity in the face) veils look beautiful. Whether they are cathedral length or a sassy retro chin scraper, veils are the ultimate romantic emblem of the wedding day. its not unusual for the putting on the veil to be the moment when brides and mums etc. will get all teary eyed (much to the consternation to any makeup artist!).
When brides ask about whether they should have a veil or not I always say ‘yes!’. Lets face it, your wedding day is probably not the last day you will wear a beautiful big dress on but there are few occasions, save a fancy dress party, that you will have an opportunity to wear a veil. In photography veils tend to soften the light creating sort of soft hallow around bride and softening skin tones when doing close up portrait shoots, in full length shots they can extend the silohouette if long in length and (if the wind complies) be used for dramatic effect. Some of my favorite shots are of a veil playing with the wind, generally being a nuisance but producing the most stunning shots in the end.
If you have reservations, remember you don’t have to have a veil that covers your face, and even if you do you can have your dad (or whoever walks you down the aisle) to pull it back right at the beginning of the ceremony so you are not watching everything through a gauzy filter. Neither do you have to wear the veil the whole entire day, take it off at the reception if you found it annoying (just make sure a bridesmaid knows hot to take it out so your hairdo stays intact).
If a veil still seems a bit ‘ugh’, you can always go for a fascinator like head covering but I always caution people not to get anything that covers a great part of the face. I know some brides love a little bit of netting just over one eye (its very vintage), but having hundreds of photos where part of your face is always obfuscated may not be ideal, so really think about it from both a photographic and comfort perspective (I am not saying don’t have one, I am just saying make sure you can see clearly through it and !).
Long or short veils are wonderful romantic symbol of the day and I highly recommend having one.
Till next time!
Our lovely bride Sarah Henneveld has entered the Bride of the Year competition over at True Bride. We had a fabulous time doing her wedding which was relaxed out of town affair and beautiful shots taken on the beach and vineyard. A gorgeous and fun loving couple! Click here to vote for her!
For a bride, shoes are an interesting and perplexing area. Most bridal dresses are super long so it almost seems inconsequential what shoes are worn, but, on the other hand shoes, are often what makes a woman feel sexy, desirable and glamourous. So what to do? You love 6 inch sillettos because you feel you can take on the world in them but also realise existing in them for 12 hours + may well turn your most special day into a torture fest worthy of the Saw films? Well, as a self confessed shoe addict I have some tips culled from years of experience wearing shoes that most pediatrists would faint at the sight off. So here are my 8 tips! fee free to add more on our facebook page.
1. Break in those suckers!
Wear your shoes BEFORE the day. Do not, I repeat DO NOT try to break in your shoes on your wedding day, it will only lead to tears and not of the good kind. This also applies to flat shoes.
2. Make like a ballerina!
Some brides choose to go flat, some are tall and feel more comfortable that way, some just like the look and some want comfort (I went flat for the look, I am not that tall at only 168cm) but even if you don’t want flats to be your main shoe, have a flat pair of shoes that you can wear after the ceremony for the photo shoot (if you have much walking to do) and also for dancing the night away. Ballet flats are so pretty these days, or if you can’t find anything sparkly/unique enough buy plain ones and jazzy them up with diamontes etc (ebay is a good cheap source for gems, ribbons, buttons). Some go even more casual and get jazzed up thongs!
3. Take it down a level
Consider a slightly lower heel. I know, Blasphemy! But before you start cursing my name many shoes are available that are just a little lower and look fabulous. A lot of retro inspired styles fit into this category.
4. Wedge it
One of my height challenged friends on Facebook said “God only lets you grow until your perfect, some of us reached perfection far earlier than others!” so if you don’t like ballet flats or are not willing to sacrifice height loss for comfort on your wedding day, what about wedges? There are some gorgeous wedge styles out there and they are far more comfy then stilettos (plus they don’t sink into the grass or sand).
5. Size does matter
Make sure they are the right size! I know its painful to walk away from the perfect pair of shoes because they just don’t quite fit but its not worth trying to squeeze your poor toes into a shoe thats just not made for them and then hoping you will survive the entire day and night in them. Or, if you can’t let them go go a size up and use gel heel liners, insoles etc to get them to fit nice.
6. With a little help from my “friends”
Use insoles, heel pads, heel liners, toe pads whatever you need! And please realise that many of these options do make the shoe fit snugger, so take that in account when your shoe hunting. Also go see an expert, the shoe repair guy can make shoes more comfy and heels last longer etc, he/she is more than just a pretty face. Mad Tip: sometimes I get ballet flats that fit but are a bit high near my ankle, so I put in a heel lift to make my foot sit higher in the shoe. I have found that this also makes snug ballet flats more comfortable plus I am also just a little taller which can’t hurt 🙂
7. Its custom, honey.
Custom make your shoes. I know sounds outlandish to some but these day you can custom order your shoes in a variety of widths, colors and requirements all online. Try Shoes of Prey for a start, which are awesome.
8. Don’t forget your entourage
All of this goes double for your bridesmaids! They are glorified slaves after all and will have to walk at least as much as you do.
To help you on your journey here are some web links:
Wishing you a foot friendly, comfy shoe wedding day!
Most Fridays I will be covering a celebrity wedding. As you can see from this post I am quite loose in my use of the term of “celebrity” to cover historic personalities as well.
I thought Queen Vic’s wedding was an appropriate beginning because, well, she started the trend that nearly all brides follow to this day: The white dress. Before Queen Victoria married Prince Albert (a match based on Love more than anything else *) women generally wore their best gown to be married in. Of course, for those who came from noble and aristocratic backgrounds this gown would be especially made for the occasion but it was almost never white. The gown would often be made of gold, silver, silk, brocade; heavy and rich and denoting the status of the wearer and what bounty she brought to the marriage. Poorer women could never dream of such riches but they would wear their best gown.
Queen Victoria, the first ruling queen England had had since Queen Elizabeth, sought to break this trend. She wanted a dress that would suit her romantic imagination and hence a dress was made of white satin and silk with lace and orange blossoms. Queen Victoria was not the first to wear a white wedding dress but her example inspired a nation and beyond. Funnily enough she was criticised by here choice, as “At the time, Victoria’s choice was criticized for being too conservative, since she did not wear jewels, velvet, ermine furs, or a crown, and the color was unusual”(Wikipaedia). Clearly she was a woman ahead of her time.
Within a decade wearing white at the wedding was so common that “The Godey’s Lady’s Book, wrote: “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one””(Wikipaedia), even though it was a really recent innovation!
Times may have changed since then but brides still wear white on their wedding day and most love a puffy princess dress, although we are less into puffy sleeves than Queen Vic’s version!
I love the shoes she wore, you can still imagine a bride today choosing those sweet ballet flats with ballet like lacing.
Enjoy the pics below from her wedding! I love how the artists “airbrushed” her in their illustrations – somethings never change!
Till next time!
* After his untimely death Queen Victoria went into permanent mourning for her beau. If you visit Osborne House in the Isle of Wight and go to her bed she actually had “on the headboard of the bed …Prince Albert’s pocket watch and alongside it … a tinted photograph of the Prince after his death. Queen Victoria always had these two objects hanging on the headboard in each of her royal residences…Beside the bed is the Queen’s favourite painting of her husband as a young medieval knight.” (Open Learning)