Words by:Eleanor Mollie
One of the things I love most about weddings is how you can make them totally your own. With this in mind, I wanted to create a styled shoot that encourages you to focus on what you want to do, and no-one else! This East London elopement shoot, in the form of an uber cool elopement in Victoria Park skatepark, is the result – and I hope you love it as much as I do. Styled by R and R Weddings and Events and featuring a kickass team of wedding superstars, it’s bursting with alternative wedding ideas and inspiration for you to take away.
…or not, as the case may be! Of course, it’s definitely quirky, and it’s definitely in East London, but we chose a setting that isn’t quite a venue: Victoria Park Skatepark.
Legalities and licensing permitting, you can – and should – get married wherever you want. Is there a spot that means a lot to you and your partner? Maybe somewhere you always used to go on dates, or where you got engaged? If somewhere jumps out at you, investigate having your ceremony there.
Or maybe there’s somewhere that’s always stood out to you just because it looks incredible – that’s also an excellent reason! That was the case for Victoria Park Skatepark, which I’ve always thought would make an excellent East London elopement spot. Not only has it got the cool, industrial feel with the concrete ramps, but it also has that incredible colourful structure which made for a sensational photo background.
There are currently some pretty tight regulations on where you can legally get married in the UK, so you might want to have your civil, legal or religious ceremony beforehand, and then work with a celebrant on a symbolic ceremony in a place that means something to you. (These rules are due to change, though: sometime soon, hopefully.) This could be in the company of all your loved ones or, as in this case, could be a super chill, relaxed city elopement: whatever floats your boat.
Another of the alternative wedding ideas we wanted to showcase was epic wedding florals in a bold, edgy colourway. So much of the wedding flower world is light and picked from pastel colour palette; whilst I love those, we wanted to break the mould with something a bit different.
The super talented Teb from Moema Floral Design created oversized arrangements bursting with fuschia, yellow and turquoise flowers. They featured in the bouquet (tied with multicolour ribbons that fluttered in the wind as the brides skateboarded!) and the asymmetrical ceremony columns. These were not only jaw-dropping, but versatile too: meaning we could pick them up and move them to a different spot. This makes them ideal for transitioning between ceremony and reception.
Plus, where greenery is often used to create texture and depth, she chose a dark-hued grass instead, to further create a daring contrast. Not only did it look banging, but it also tied in with our couple’s outfits (which you can read more about below)…
Peach Wolfe also brought straight fire with the stationery suite, which continued this unique, edgy colour palette. Neon orange and pink details contrasted with the black background, accented by turquoise and finished off with white to really make it pop.
Wedding stationery doesn’t just have to be a save the date card and an invitation. One of my favourite alternative wedding ideas is the idea of wedding branding. It may sound boring, but we wanted to show here that it could look brilliant! Sarah repeated the edgy, gothic font and super cool lightning bolt motif into other elements of the wedding design, like beer bottle labels and pizza boxes. This continuing theme, running throughout the day, is a brilliant way to text your wedding to the next level.
Sure, some people have dreamed of wearing a white wedding dress since they were little – but just as many, if not more, people haven’t. If the idea of the traditional white wedding dress feels a bit alien to you – whether it’s the dress element, the white element, or the heavily ‘bridal’ look – then chuck it out of the window.
Our couple both sported jumpsuits, perfect for their achingly cool East London wedding style. Shiraz wore a silky black wide-legged jumpsuit from Velvet Hearts, and Lauren wore an embellished white jumpsuit by House of Ollichon with a black leather jacket on top. Both jumpsuits were quite different – Shiraz’s was understated, whereas Lauren’s was ornate – but they both looked incredible.
With their jumpsuits, both brides wore trainers. Whilst this is a fairly practical choice, considering we were shooting their elopement in a skatepark (!), it’s also excellent inspiration to take away wherever you’re getting married. If you’re most comfortable in trainers, why not wear them with your outfit? Comfort is key, even on your wedding day: because this will help you feel like the best, happiest version of yourself. Less time worrying about aching feet and uncomfortable underwear equals more time to enjoy pizza…
The thing about alternative wedding ideas is that they’re only alternative to the tradition: they’re not alternative to you. In fact, a great way of planning your wedding is to include all of your favourite things! Ask yourself: in an ideal world, how would you spend your wedding day? What does your ideal day look like? Can you take some (or all) of these elements and include them in your wedding plans?
If your dream day includes pizza: have wedding pizza. If your dream day involves a trip to the skatepark: you should totally make it part of your itinerary. A day that celebrates you both should pay homage to all the things that make you, well, you! Plus, this might even become a new tradition: maybe you could have pizza every anniversary (not that anyone needs an excuse to eat pizza, really…)
Are you planning an East London wedding or elopement that breaks with tradition? Or maybe you’re getting married elsewhere but have loads of alternative wedding ideas you want capturing in a fun, relaxed, creative way? Then I’d love to chat about being your photographer – you can get in touch here!