An Alternative Purple Wedding

alternative wedding

Michelle and Rich are back on WWW this morning after i featured their amazing engagement shoot back in July and their wedding is just as awesome as their shoot.

Michelle and Rich were married at St Patricks Church in Earlswood followed by a reception at Coombe Abbey in Coventry. Being wedding photographers themselves they wanted their wedding to be totally unique with all the things they love, rock music, classic American cars, rockabilly and 50’s style. Ekk!!

Michelle looked simply stunning in her Ian Stuart cappuccino and black lace gown while Rich went for a traditional morning suit in black with purple accents. Michelle’s amazing orchid bouquet was made from silk flowers and they had a show stopper of a wedding cake. I so love this wedding.

Thanks so much to the brilliant Steve Gerrard Photography for sharing his images with us today.


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Names…. Michelle and Rich

Wedding Date…. 3rd June 2012 (Jubilee Weekend!)

The Proposal…. As you guys featured our engagement shoot you may remember he proposed to me in the Thai Cottage in Henley in Arden. On one knee and everyone clapped! (I said yes of course!)

The Vision for the day…. We are wedding photographers, so we wanted a wedding that no-one has ever been to before or ever will go to! We knew what we liked and what we didn’t like in a wedding and wanted it to be totally ‘’us’’! We love Rock music, classic American cars, rockabilly style, 50’s style…We ultimately wanted people to say “That’s so Rich and Shel!”

The Planning process…. We got married 18 months after the proposal so had plenty of time. We booked everything in advance because if you don’t do that you don’t get what you want! Steve Gerrard Photography was the first thing we booked, after meeting him a few times and being a part of Birmingham Live I knew he would be the right photographer for us. We booked him before we even set a date! Then it was all pretty chilled to be honest, went to wedding fairs, snapped up some offers and had the best time!

Budget…. We were quite lucky in the fact that my parents paid for the venue, so we just had to buy everything else, which was tough but we managed it!

The Venue… We got married at St Patricks Church in Earlswood, that’s where I got Christened so it was nice to have that connection. And the reception was the beautiful Coombe Abbey in Coventry. We looked around a few venues but none of them were right until we walked in the front door of Coombe, we looked at each other smiling from ear to ear!

The Dress + Accessories….. I didn’t try that many dresses on, I knew what I wanted. Initially I wanted a purple or a black dress (that’s what everyone expected me to wear I think!) I wanted a designer gown because of comfort mainly, I knew if it was made well I would be comfortable in it all day. I was looking for a few purple/black dresses online but nothing floated my boat! Until I discovered the master that is Ian Stuart. Now he knows how to make a unique wedding dress. I tried a few of his on, including the ever popular Cartland and Flower bomb but came to Mokalita. This dress fit me perfect, and I was allowed to adapt it to whatever colour I wanted! I thought about having purple/grey/silver… but thought I’d stick with the colour it came in which was Cappuccino but I changed the lace to black instead of gold. I had black buttons down the back, and it was perfect. It took 9 months to be made (I could have had a baby in that time!) but it was totally worth it! As for accessories I didn’t know weather to have a veil or not, and decided against it when I found my Halo and Co headband. It went so well, I adapted it a bit by putting some black beads through it. The shoes were from Office, I got these very early on and again matched so well, I couldn’t believe my luck! As for jewellery, Me and Rich go to Whitby in Yorkshire a lot and he had bought me a ring a few years previous. It has Whitby jet and Marcasite in it, and I loved it. So we ventured back up to Yorkshire to find me a necklace! Needless to say I found one from W.Hammond. On the wedding day Rich bought me the marcasite earrings to match and a lovely feather bracelet from Aspire (a small boutique in Solihull).

Groom’s attire… He initially wanted a tailor made suit but that sort of went out the window when I bought my dress! Hehe! We ended up hiring his and the ushers suits from Formal Affair. They had black tails, a black shirt, grey waistcoat with purple swirls and a purple cravat. I thought this went well with our purple and black theme! I bought him his accessories for on the day, these included handmade day of the dead skull cufflinks from a company called Wiked Minky in New York, a Fossil watch, a Nomination link for his bracelet and some new boxers!

The Readings + Music…. In the church I asked my cousin Dave to read out a poem that I had written about me and Rich. It went down very well and he read it beautifully. We also had Rich’s Sister Michelle do a reading, I think they were lyrics from a Bryan Adams song! As for the music, I had two of my best friends Rob and Drew who are in a band called ‘Light you up’ play ‘Here comes the bride’ on electric guitars as I walked down the isle, it was IMMENSE! As for hymns we had catchy ones that everyone knew, ‘All things bright and beautiful’, ‘Give me Joy’ and ‘Lord of the dance’.

The music in the day and during the meal was pretty chilled out, we had Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and nice mellow tunes where as in the evening, it was rockin! Our first dance was by a band called ‘Atreyu’ “I’ll Wait for you” It was very fitting as when we were first going out I was only 15 and he was 19 so he had to wait a very long time before my parents would accept him plus we love the band anyway! It was then shortly followed by ‘New found glory’s “Hit or Miss’. Everyone was dancing and having a good time, I think this probably shows in the photos!

Beautiful bridesmaids….. My best friends Tash and Erica were my bridesmaids. Tash I have known since I was 12 and Erica I met on the bus at college! They were AMAZING on my hen do, they thought of literally everything, and I can’t thank them enough. I saw their Bridesmaid dresses very early on in Blue Banana in Birmingham, they were purple and black, mid length swing dresses, with bows on them! Not only that but they also had patterns of roses, swallows, anchors – just perfect! That sort of set the tone for the whole wedding really, I knew I couldn’t have a purple dress if they had them! They were only £30 each which was a bargain so I bought myself one too because I was too jealous! I’m sure I’ll find an occasion to wear it! Their shoes were also from Office and were the same as mine but all black. Their hair bands were from a little shop in Yorkshire.

The Flowers… I had a real ordeal with the flowers…we are not ‘flowery’ people really so I couldn’t decide weather to have real or artificial. I saw a few people and just was not happy, they were just so expensive. So I met Debbie from Simply Silk flowers at a wedding fair and we did a swap. I did some photography for her and she did my wedding flowers! She did an amazing job, I absolutely love orchids and they couldn’t look more real! Now I get to keep them forever.

The Cake… The cake again I had trouble finding the right person, I came across Caryn at Elite cake designs. We had met when we were both exhibiting at a wedding fair, and she was just so lovely! We had a meeting with her and she made us LOADS of different flavoured little cakes for us to try. It was quite amazing! We couldn’t decide on the design until about 2 weeks before the wedding day. She asked us to bring round invites, the postbox that we had decorated and anything which represented us and the wedding. We then gave her the freedom to do whatever she wanted to it, I knew she would do a good job and we were not disappointed! The venue said it was the best cake they had ever seen, as did most of our guests!

Your Photographer…. well… Steve was booked before the venue nearly 2 years before the day! We knew he was the one, with his wicked awesome style and outgoing personality (he’s going to get a very big head if he reads this!) I knew he would love it at our wedding. Needless to say the photos were amazing and we can’t thank him and Hannah Webster the 2nd shooter) enough.

The Details + Decor…. As I said previously we wanted everything to be ‘us’ and all related in some way. I had arrived in a 1960’s white Cadillac Fleetwood so we decided that our love for American cars had to come in to play somewhere. So for the favours we bought everyone a hot wheels car that was old and American! Everyone seemed to love it. We also had little purple and black ‘just married’ sweets in the bag as well made out of rock, all adding to the theme. I didn’t like place cards as such, so I put all of these onto the favour bags as everyone’s car was personalised to them. Other details were… I bought some plain white bunting with cut out hearts on it and here I put photos of me and rich through the ages! As we had been together 9 years we had a lot of photos to go through but we chose our favourites. The postbox we decorated ourselves with old school tattoo designs and things which meant something to us, this took ages by the way! We had empty jack daniels bottles all over the place as well because everyone knows rich for his love of JD so we put black candles in these which were lovely. We really wanted black chair covers as this was a bit different and the purple sashes went really well with our scheme.

The Honeymoon…. We went to Thailand. 3 nights in Bangkok and then 14 nights in Koh Samui. Bangkok was mental! We went to a restaurant which Steve Gerrard had recommended called ‘Cabbages and Condoms’ we were a bit curious so we went and it was fantastic, the food and atmosphere was so lovely, you got a condom at the end which was a bit strange but funny! We visited lots of temples and did a lot of shopping getting our barter on! We then headed to Ko Samui for 14 nights in the Bandara resort and Spa, it was the nicest hotel I had stepped foot in, perfect for a honeymoon. We did Scuba diving, swam in waterfalls, rode the elephants, everything you could want in a Honeymoon.

Memorable moments… My bridesmaids faces when they saw me in my dress for the first time, walking down the aisle and seeing the most important people in my life, seeing the room at Coombe Abbey which we were having our Wedding breakfast in, it was so perfect I cried my eyes out! The final song of the night was ‘Time of your life’ by Greenday this song means a lot to a lot of my friends who were there and we were both in the middle of a circle of crying people! It was so emotional but so beautiful at the same time.

Advice for other couples… You will know when you find your soul mate, don’t rush into things, get married when your ready. Don’t let anything bother you in the run up to the wedding, if things go wrong just take it and keep going, if companies let you down just smile and find someone new. If you have to spend a bit more money to get that extra nice thing just go for it. Eat healthy before the day, drink plenty of water and have your hen do about a month before how annoyed are you going to be with that annoying spot on your nose! If it rains on your day deal with it, tell your guests to bring funky umbrellas – you can’t control the weather. Don’t be afraid to get your dress dirty you are only going to wear it once so if the photographer wants you to stand in a muddy wet field just do it he/she knows what they are doing to get the perfect shot for you. Enjoy every moment, a few times during the day stop and take it all in.

Credit where credit is due…

Venue –
Photographer –
Cake –
Dress shop –
Dress Designer –
Headpiece –
Suits – – would not recommend
Chair covers –
Flowers – Debbie Hughes at Simply Silk – [email protected]
Car –
DJ –
Rings – and
Ice Cream stand –
Bridesmaids dresses –
Bridesmaid Jewellery –
Bride Jewellery –
Shoes –
Honeymoon –


What a fantastic wedding! And such great advice from Michelle in her wedding report too. Thanks so much to Michelle and Rich for sharing their amazing wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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