I'm thrilled that Becky and her show co-founder Sara Smyth of the Ruby & Diva Bridal Boutique asked if Love My Dress would feature this photoshoot. These images were curated to promote the inaugural One Love Show, and we love them! We pride ourselves on being a wedding blog that does not exclude, and supports all those in love and looking for wedding inspiration, so we hope you enjoy looking through these photographs. You might also want to hook up with the One Love Wedding Show on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the buzz.
All Images Copyright (c) Robbins Photographic
When you spend everyday running a business which is geared around the wedding industry it can be easy to become desensitized to what weddings are really about. If your facebook news feed is a long list of beautiful bouquets, styled marquees, veils and bowties along with lots of creative people, let’s face it, looking to make a bit of moolah along the way (myself included) shouting about the wedding they supplied things for last week it can certainly lose its sparkle.
There are also a lot of wedding fairs now, all calling for our attention, trying to find their niche in an over saturated market. When you are part of that, it is easy to forget what it is really about.
So when Sara Smyth from Ruby & Diva Bridal Boutique approached me about putting on a design and fashion led Gay Wedding Show with her, it seemed like an important thing to do. This would be an event that wasn’t about being the quirkiest one, the vintagest one or the most alternative one. This one would be one that truly would go back to the essence of weddings, LOVE.
Gay people have had a hard enough time fighting to get their commitment to each other to be validated and recognised in the eyes of the public (let’s not even go there!) that it’s not about whether people drink out of jam jars or champagne saucers, whether the table plan is on a blackboard or in a vintage suitcase, it is about celebrating their decision, their love, how far they have come as a couple and how far they will go.
So a gay wedding fair seemed utterly refreshing to me and something that actually needed to happen. And thus, the One Love Wedding Show was born.
That all said, everyone wants their wedding to look cool right? And this was a collaboration between Ruby & Diva and A Most Curious Wedding Fair, both champions of new design, beautiful things and chic wedding suppliers. So this would be the aesthetically driven gay wedding event. Because they just isn’t another one like it. And well, we all need a liiiittle bit of a niche don’t we? Hence the taglin; 'Unique, Gay & Lesbian, Inspirational'.
70 of the most innovative and style aware wedding suppliers under one roof and of course the other key criteria for our supplier selection is that they 110% support gay marriage, we are hoping that they can offer a specific product or service to same-sex couples but it is their support and understanding which is the only must. Alongside their total awesomeness of course.
So we knew this shoot had to nail the concept. No cheeseyness, no amateur feel, it needed to be aspirational and inspirational. It almost needed to not look like a wedding shoot, it needed a little edge that wouldn’t look out of place in any fashion, art or cultural magazine.
There were certain people I knew would be great to collaborate with on this. The first was Lee Robbins of Robbins Photographic. I called him up to see if he could lend his fashion and editorial eye and ability to capture the quiet, cool moments to the shoot. He said on one condition that the men had beards and tattoos [a mutual passion] and there were no pink kravats. Done. He suggested a big flash look that would create pronounced shadows, not something usually seen with the soft, milky, instagram style wedding imagery we all know so well. It could come across quite harsh but the more we talked about it we knew it was right for this.
Secondly Groom’s Sammy Aki. Aki has a 10 year background in Saville Row tailoring, now consulting for Collections:Men for London Fashion Week and turning her hand to styling grooms, she is the go-to girl for making anyone in a suit look incredible, especially men together. Again, she said the men needed to be handsome.
Well duh? She commissioned some specific pieces for the shoot and when I told her about the inspiration words – Palm Springs – she texted back ‘I’ve already called in the pastels so it’s going to work well ;)’ We love it when a plan comes together.
Things in the straight wedding world have gone very floral in the past
12 months. Big flower crowns, lots of blooms and lush greenery. Pretty
and muted colours. Ever wanting to push for new ideas and indeed
represent a masculine (or even neutral rather than completely feminine)
look, I wanted to put together something that went in a different
direction. So I looked to lifestyle trends rather than wedding trends,
in this case a mid- century feel. 1960s, Palm Springs to be exact. So
lots of dry floral elements, palms and cacti-esque fauna and suits in
vibrant California sun drenched colours.
We went to two midcentury interior shops, Committee of Taste for a classic Scandinavian style wooden chair who also happened to have a strange staghorn fern and then onto Fandango Interiors for the 1960s rosewood cabinet and red desk lamp.
Michelle Claire, also a photographer, runs a vintage wedding shop, so supplied the wonderful dresses and veil. We picked dresses that were not so stuffy, again they had a slight 60s edge to them. The chemistry been the girls was really great. The big netted cloud head piece is by LaBo by Mimi.
Nina Fay Robinson turned up the eyebrows for that fashion look and also kept the make up feel quiet purposefully toned down as well as giving the men a little grooming too.
We also had a slightly more androgynous girl couple, one of whom wore a knockout tailored suit from highly regarded designer Corrie Nielsen. We felt it was important to represent the woman who would feel most comfortable in trousers and a shirt on her wedding day, but of course a unique and fashion-led one.
The shoot was a manic day, taking place at the beautiful high ceilinged Institute of Contemporary Art on the Mall. A hot July day, light streamed through the windows but our concept was high flash and lots of shadow, so we were out in the corridor while hair and make up and dressing took place in the sun drenched rooms!
Dora Kovacs Event and Floral Design
created an amazing cluster of bouquets, with dry grasses, cacti and
succulents, and even a man-bouquet – which got a few sniggers at the
shoot, but I think it looks great with the model. Man-bouquets –
everyone’s gonna be doing them in 2014. Dora also created a centre piece
display of succulents, who needs flowers? And cute button holes with
berries and beans – amazing!
PJ of Emily Harmston
rose to the challenge of creating a ‘geometric’ cake, again the idea of
a cool designed object rather than something overly decorative or
pretty. We loved it was perfect, so graphic and cool.
Styling eight models and shooting the detail shots meant little chance to sit down but there was a super creative feel to the day. Emma Mills florist assisted, as did Leanne of Ruby & Diva Bridal Boutique, alongside Sarah of The Bungaloo blog. P-J of Emily Harmston Cakes helped out too and Michelle Claire was steaming dresses and snapping behind the scene shots all the while. It was a full house from 10am to 4pm. After that some people left and the air cooled a little and we captured the final shots, which was of our tattooed, bearded man.
With no pink kravat in sight.
We very much look forward to Love My Dress readers being able to join us at the One Love Wedding Show – please don't hesitate to drop us a line if you have any questions about the show at all – full details including timings and location can be found in the poster at the top of this page.
Photography – Robbins Photographic
Poster Design – Folk & Form
Styling – Becky Hoh-Hale A Most Curious Wedding Fair
Coordination – Ruby & Diva Bridal Boutique
Men’s styling – Sammy Aki Grooms Style Consultant Sammy Aki
Floristry – Dora Kovacs Event and Floral Design
Cake – Emily Harmston Cakes
Women’s tailored suit – Corrie Nielsen
Women’s white trouser and top – Zara + Michelle Claire, Vintage Wedding Shop
Cloud headpiece – LaBo by Mimi
Rosewood Desk + 1960s Lamp – Fandango Interiors
Midcentury chair+houseplant via Committee of Taste
Hair, make up and grooming – Nina Fay Robinson
Venue – Institute of Contemporary Arts