2018: Year in Review

2018: Year in Review

Woooooooo weeeeeeeee WHAT A YEAR?! So 2018 was the first full year for Parrot and Pineapple, and I can hand on heart say it’s been ALL KILLER NO FILLER. I’ve absolutely loved every wedding that I’ve photographed. And, just as I planned for, they’ve all been different and unique in their little ways. But there’s been one over riding common theme – couples that just wanted to get married without any of the traditional patriarchal bull shit that is all too often associated with weddings.

Here’s a tiny fraction of the images that I took from all of the weddings I photographed. All of these images are my absolute faves. I got a little bit emosh putting this video together. Because these images are exactly what I set out to capture. Little moments. Joy. Strength. Love. Big fun.

Sit back, relax, hit full screen and most importantly turn up the volume.

 

Thank you to every couple that booked me to shoot their wedding. You made 2018 an absolute blast for me and that’s exactly why I do this job. If you’re thinking about booking me for your wedding in 2019, you can read what these couples say about me here and contact me to enquire about availability here.

Pssst – cool light up sign used in the header image is from Locke & Busby.

The Tab Centre Wedding | East London | Grace & Graeme

The Tab Centre Wedding | East London | Grace & Graeme

When Grace and Graeme told me they had a cat named Peggy Mitchell I was dead set on shooting their wedding. First of all, I love cats and secondly I love Eastenders. And who was the greatest character is Eastenders histroy? Only East End Queen GETOUTTAMAPUB Peggy Mitchell. Which is a fitting name for a cat owned by a couple who had a lovely East London wedding. The were a dream come true for me! 

Scroll down to see all the photos and read how they planned their perfect wedding. They had eclectic bridesmaids in yellow, dried flowers, a couple of hundred green beer bottles, A DOG and Grace chose to wear her glasses (because as a fellow specs wearer it’s lovely to see a bride in glasses!).

What’s your love story? How did you meet?

We met back in 2011 when Graeme started work at the group of recording studios where Grace worked. After a year of hanging out and after-work drinks we got together after a fateful Elton John gig in 2012!

What was the proposal like? 

Super laid-back. Grace was studying for her finance exams on a Saturday, and as soon as she got through the door Graeme proposed in the flat with Belle & Sebastian playing in the background. We hastily had a cup of tea then headed out for a celebratory dinner.

How did you find planning your wedding? Anything funny/interesting happen along the way? 

We did nothing for about 6 months, then took it pretty steadily over two years. We knew from the start that we wanted to get married in London, and spent a long time looking at lots of venues, primarily in East London. We were trying to find a venue that would fit in our budget, was in a location we were likely to visit again, and would allow us a fun and informal party that was still felt a bit fancy.

We tried to plan things so that there wouldn’t be any last-minute stresses or too much to do at once or on the day. Dried flowers meant we had all the bouquets, button-holes and flowers for decorating the venue over a month in advance. Using beer bottles as vases meant that they could go in the bottle bank at the end of the night, rather than worrying about bringing lots of vases home at the end of the night, or hire collections.

We had a lot of fun getting through all the beers for vases in the couple of months leading up to the wedding. Anyone visiting our home in those couple of months could only drink beer, which I don’t think anyone particularly minded. We managed to finish the 120 with a couple of days to spare before the wedding. I don’t think we will be drinking any Biere D’or in the near future.

Which venues did you choose and why?

We chose Islington Town Hall for the ceremony and The Tab Centre in Shoreditch for the reception. The Council Chamber in the Town Hall is a beautiful venue, and we needed somewhere that could fit all of our guests for both ceremony and reception. The Tab Centre is a lovely old hall right in the middle of Shoreditch. It’s a not-for-profit venue and anything they make goes back into supporting the local community too which appealed to us, and being dry-hire we had the freedom to do what we wanted in there. We live in East London and knowing that we’d wander past the venues from time to time after the wedding appealed to us too.

What was your ceremony like?

The ceremony was a bit of a blur! The Council Chamber at Islington Town Hall is a beautiful venue so we didn’t need to do any decorating in there. We had a carefully curated selection of Belle & Sebastian songs playing while guests arrived, then for the ceremony music we had an acoustic band made from 4 of our friends. They are all trained musicians so the music was fantastic. We had one short reading by Grace’s sister Hannah- “That Still & Settled Place” by Edward Monkton. It spoke to us because we’re most relaxed and content when we’re together in our home in Plaistow. In an other slight break with tradition we had our Mums as witnesses, and Grace walked down the aisle solo behind her parents. For the music we had Blackbird by The Beatles as Grace walked down the aisle, then during the signing of the register we had When I Go by Slow Club and Fairytale Lullaby by Bombay Bicycle Club (a John Martyn cover), then Two Of Us by The Beatles as we left.

 

What did you both wear? Why did you choose those outfits?

Grace wore a dress by “Sweetheart” from a wedding outlet near Graeme’s home village in Yorkshire (Bridal Factory Outlet). I had been to a couple of dress shops, and found the experience a bit terrifying, as I’m not really one for getting dressed up.
The outlet felt a lot more chilled out, and there was loads to chose from which you could buy off-the-peg there and then. A couple of married friends had also recommended the dress outlet, as it was where they had bought their dresses. I was pretty sure I would be having a good dance and flinging wine around by the end of the night, so it was important that my dress allowed dancing, and I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if it was a bit stained by the end of the wedding. I bought flat blue leather sandals and jewellery from a selection of Etsy shops. The sandals were super comfortable, which also enabled a lot of dancing, and I think having a bit of colour made my outfit look a bit more fun than classic white shoes. My hair and make-up was done by Anita Stevens, she was great! I knew very little about what I wanted, so she was fantastic at making suggestions, and I felt so glamorous once she was finished.
Graeme wore a suit by Alexandre of England after a long afternoon of suit shopping on Oxford street with his slightly more fashion-conscious friend, shoes and accessories were from Ted Baker.

 

What sort of theme did you go with for your wedding decor?

We were going for a more informal, colourful theme than your classic high-end wedding. Seat covers were banned for a start. We used dry flowers throughout the venue and for the bouquets and button-holes, all coloured blue, purple and yellow. We spent the months prior to the wedding drinking 120 little green bottles of beer to put the flowers in on the tables, which actually worked out cheaper than buying glass bottles or hiring vases, and meant they could all go into the bottle bank at the end of the night. For favours we used succulents, adding to the green vibe of the venue. We went with rustic looking tables and decorated them with the flowers, succulents and fairy lights. The venue had coloured down lighters, so after a few bay trees and a giant light-up “MCALLEN” sign that’s about all the decorating we had to do! One of our favourite items was the guestbook and polaroid camera – we’ve been enjoying looking through the hilarious messages and photos after the wedding!

 

What was the plan for your reception?

Aside from feeding and watering everyone we didn’t have much of a plan for reception! Our caterers were PieMinister. We had a drinks reception with canapés on the balcony at The Tab Centre, followed by a main meal of pie and mash, after which Grace’s Mum, Graeme and his head groomsman Graham gave speeches, then it was straight into the party for the rest of the night. The most important thing for us was that we had all our friends and family in one place having a great time, and I think it’s safe to say we achieved that.

What is your advice for other couples getting married? What would you do differently?

I think my (Graeme) advice would be to try and relax and enjoy the day. Try not to focus on all the tiny details, and trust that you and your friends and family will have a fantastic time regardless of the colour of your napkins for example. If you don’t fancy running around on the morning of the wedding go for decorations like dried flowers that you can get well in advance. We were able to set up the venue the day before too which was incredibly helpful. I think my advice (Grace), is pretty similar to Graeme’s.

Only bits I would add, is that I’m really glad we spent the night together the evening before the wedding. I think you can feel quite stressed the night before about everything running smoothly on the day, and that all your guests are going to get there. I imagine we both would have felt a lot more stressed if we hadn’t have been together to chill each other out. My only other advice is about hair and make-up.

I had been in two minds about spending what felt like quite a lot of money on getting my hair and make-up done the morning of the wedding, as I don’t really do much dressing up. I’m so glad I did, as I felt super glamarous and fancy all dolled-up. To reiterate, I think dried flowers was a great move, my bouquet still looks lovely in a vase at home!

What was it like to work with me?

Rowan was fantastic! We didn’t appreciate before the wedding that you’re not just looking for someone who can take fantastic photos (which Rowan can), but it’s also really important that they can organise people and arrange great group photos without being bossy, blend into the crowd when needed, and generally be great fun and get along with all your guests. Rowan absolutely smashed it and all our guests have commented on how great she was and how lovely the photos are. She was also brilliant at finding little spots around the venue to take photos, for example some street art in a church yard near The Tab Centre, and a great big yellow door that went perfectly with the bridesmaids’ dresses, all without taking us away from the party for too long.

East London Wedding Photos

East London Wedding Suppliers

Bride’s dress: Bridal Factory Outlet, Northallerton

Grooms Suit : Alexandre of England from House of Fraser

Ceremony venue: Islington Town Hall

Reception venue: The Tab Centre

Entertainment: Signature Sounds DJ

Transport: London Retro Bus Hire

If you’re planning your own East London wedding and looking for a photographer that’s not going to make you do boring and cheesey stuff then get in touch with me! You can see my prices here, read what other people think of me here and contact me here.

Love the details of this wedding? Pin them to your Pinterest for inspiration ( click here to follow me on there too.

Shoreditch Platform Wedding | East London | Shan & Rob

Shoreditch Platform Wedding | East London | Shan & Rob

Shan and Rob tied the knot at Camden Registry Office, and afterwards took a canal boat ride down to their Shoreditch warehouse wedding venue Shoreditch Platform.  This wedding oozes chic style and I love the use of Gold in the little details. Shan and Rob wanted to have a really fun wedding that was all about having a great time with the people they loved the most. They weren’t afraid to just go with whatever they wanted as a couple for their wedding day. Equality is important to both of them and they broke a lot of traditions and got creative with what felt right for them. Shan walked down the aisle by herself, gave a speech and invited her Maid of Honour and mum to give a speech at the reception. I really love it when women take active parts in a wedding day

Wedding ceremony at Camden registry office followed by a Shoreditch warehouse wedding reception. Image by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography.

Tell us how you met and got engaged…

I met Rob through friends of friends at a small festival in Wales called Free Rotation. We’ve been together a few years and then just decided to get engaged after a chat together. We were on holiday in Amsterdam at The Vondel Park, there was no ring but it was still magical!

How would you describe your wedding theme?

Urban, city wedding with low fuss and maximum vibes!

Gold bridesmaids and a Vera Wang bride outside an East London Warehouse. Shoreditch warehouse Wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography.

What were your favourite details?

All the details that our friends and family did for us. My very talented friend Natalie made gorgeous invitations and wrote each invite by hand using her calligraphy pen. I loved the wedding cake as my Mum made it, and being big but rival foootball fans had a little fun by having Thierry Henry & Dimitar Berbatovas cake toppers. My maid of honours mum decorated the venue with her beautiful simple flowers and vases. Last but not least the DJ sets! My husband being a DJ certainly made the music.

Football wedding cake toppers - Arsenal and Tottenham figures.  Shoreditch warehouse Wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography.

Was your favourite part of the day?

Being on a canal boat sailing through central London, champagne in hand, eating the empanadas my bridesmaid had made whilst surrounded by close family and friends. My father also painted four canvases of places that were special to myself and Rob, which were displayed behind the bar.

Bride and guests on a canal boat heading to a Shoreditch warehouse Wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography.

How was your day unique?

Equality played a big part in our day – we wanted a variety of people to speak so I asked my mum, dad and Maid of Honour to deliver a speech as well as my husband and his brother (best man).

What made you choose Shoreditch Platform for your wedding venue?

The fact that there was no corkage charge, we could have our own caterer, it has a super sound system and it was open until 3am. We wanted somewhere that wasn’t “weddingy” and we found it!

Bride and groom stroll through Kings Cross en route to a Shoreditch warehouse Wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography.

Tell us about your wedding outfits and why you picked them…

I knew I wanted plain, plain, plain! Originally I was desperate to have long sleeves but luckily I chose against the idea seeing as it was 28c on the day. Rob has dark hair and blue eyes so a navy suit was the way to go. I love gold so we went for a few gold touches – my shoes and Robs tie.

Bride, bridesmaid and groom laugh and smile on a London street.  Shoreditch warehouse Wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography.

What was your biggest expense?

There was no big expense really. Considering we have free booze and food and 110 people we think we did pretty well ok our budget.

How did you save money?

We worked backwards from the total and simple set an amount to save each month. We knew we wanted to get married within a year so we decided to reduce our extravagances for a year. Our parents were very kind and each gave us the same amount to avoid any money awkwardness.

What was it like working with me?

You were absolutely incredible! Both commanding and relaxed all at the same time. You helped us to organise the day excellently and the end result was stunning! We love our photos.

Bridesmaid delivers a speech at  a Shoreditch warehouse Wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography.

Advice to any couples about to get married?

Put your hands out in front of you count your fingers – that is how many people who you are probably going to piss off! So just accept that people will get upset and annoyed and stick to the plan that you and your partner want!

Ensuring people don’t have to spend a lot of money to be with you on your special day makes the whole thing more relaxing! So go for free food and drinks rather than overpriced details that no one notices.

If you’re planning your own Shoreditch warehouse wedding and looking for a photographer that’s not going to make you do boring and cheesey stuff then get in touch with me! You can see my prices here, read what other people think of me here and contact me here

Shoreditch Warehouse Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Venue: Camden Registry Office

Wedding Reception: Shoreditch Platform

Wedding Dress: Vera Wang

Make up: Jules Daniels MUA

Grooms Attire: Paul Smith

Bridesmaid Outfits: Zara

Transport: Canal cruise

Food: Paella Inc.

Personalised paintings: Brides Father

Décor: Handmade

Cake: Brides Mother

Flowers: Family friend

Want to pin the details of this Warehouse Wedding? Pin this poster to your Pinterest board (and click here to follow me on Pinterest)

Shan and Rob's ultra cool Shoreditch warehouse wedding. Click through to see more photos and details of this East London industrial chic urban wedding.
Greenwich Yacht Club Wedding | South East London | Grace & Jiten

Greenwich Yacht Club Wedding | South East London | Grace & Jiten

Greenwich Yacht Club is a true hidden gem of a London wedding venue. It’s nestled on the Greenwich peninsula, just downstream from the O2 and literally built ON the Thames. The clubhouse venue is an architecture lovers dream, standing up high on stilts over the river and built from glass. So when Grace and Jiten got in touch and asked me to photograph their Greenwich Yacht Club wedding I was chomping at the bit to take up their offer! They filled their day with bright colours, mountains of delicious food, two heartfelt ceremonies and a lot of laughter. Scroll down to read all about it and see the snaps.

Bride and Groom stand in Hindu wedding outfits outside Greenwich Yacht Club. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

What’s your love story? How did you meet?

We met on a night out in South London. I overheard Jiten talking about someone I went to school with and butted into his conversation. He then proceeded to call me Georgina for an evening and persistently asked if he could pass for Mexican … the rest is history!

Bride waits to see her husband to be during hindu wedding at Greenwich Yacht Club. Image by Parrot and Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

What was the proposal like?

We didn’t really have a traditional proposal as such. We had lots of conversations about whether or not marriage was for us and eventually mutually agreed it was. I was then browsing vintage engagement rings online and found the perfect one in a shop near where we live. Jiten just said ‘lets go and get it!’ but we had agreed it was too soon to be planning a wedding so he hid it from me for 6 months! When the time was right we took it to our local park with a bottle of wine (and a packet of chips from the chippie) and sat under a tree and Jiten gave it to me then.

Bride and groom kiss after delivering wedding speeches at Greenwich Yacht Club. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

How did you find planning your wedding?

Mostly it was fun and we enjoyed doing some of the tasks but there were definite moments of stress and we had to remind ourselves that we were consciously trying to make this a low-key and fun wedding and not to get wrapped up in things that did not feel like us or were just doing to meet others expectations.

Bride and colourfully dressed wedding guests look at butter cream wedding cake. Greenwich Yacht Club. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

Why did you chose Greenwich Yacht Club?

We wanted somewhere where we could have all elements of our wedding in one place to minimise travelling about and having to pay extra for transport – so we were looking for somewhere suitable for civil ceremony, Hindu ceremony (let us have a fire!) and a party. We wanted it to be local to us so only looked in South East London and wanted it to be relaxed, a bit different, low key and informal. We found the perfect place in Greenwich Yacht Club which ticked all the boxes and immediately just felt fun and relaxing!

Brightly coloured flowers in jam jar vases at Greenwich Yacht Club wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

What did you both wear?

I wore a 50s style tea-dress because I have always loved vintage clothing and wanted something less formal than a more traditional wedding dress but still to feel special in it. I had a pair of gold heals for the ceremony but abandoned them for the Hindu ceremony and went bare foot, and then just wore sandals in the evening. I wore my grandma’s earrings for a personal touch and they were 60s esque so went well with my dress. I was given a gold mangalsutra (wedding necklace) during the Hindu ceremony so wore that for the rest of the day. I had a dried flower crown first for the civil ceremony and replaced that with a 60s headband in the evening. Jiten wore a blue suit with a peacock lining and bright yellow tie as he wanted something colourful and fun.

Bride wears 50s style tea length wedding dress at Greenwich Yacht Club wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

We both wore traditional Indian wedding outfits (red, white and gold) for the Hindu ceremony, though I went for an Anarkali rather than sari as it was more comfortable and I could dress myself. Though in reality it took three bridesmaids and my sister in law to get me in and out! Jiten abandoned the turban as he felt it was too much.

Bride and groom at hindu wedding ceremony taking place at Greenwich Yacht Club. Image by Parrot and Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

What sort of theme did you go for with your decor and styling?

We wanted the wedding to be as colourful as possible and that was our only theme really. We just went for brightly coloured bunting etc… and let the beautiful flowers do the talking. We had some traditional hindu elements (like a religious mandap) but made these ourselves so just made them as colourful and bright as possible. I really wanted natural, meadow type flowers and our florist made bouquets more amazing then I had ever imagined and really were the centrepiece. We also had a giant poster of Sly Stallone in Cobra as Jiten has always loved him and all things 80s and its a film we both love – that was definitely a talking point- we did actually tweet Sly a photo of this but alas he didn’t reply.

Brightly coloured wedding flowers in jam jars at a Greenwich Yacht Club wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

What were your ceremonies like?

We decided to have our ceremonies (civil and Hindu) with only immediate family and a very small handful of close friends as we felt it would be more intimate and less intimidating! this was great as it felt like all of our guests were in the wedding and afterwards they all said they felt very included in such an intimate wedding. Civil ceremony: we had both been milling around with our guests before the ceremony so we didn’t have a grand reveal and then walked down the aisle together. I did not want to be given away and we felt like it was a good symbol of how we want our marriage to start – we were also nervous so it was nice to be there together.

Bride and groom stand listening to ceremony reading at Greenwich Yacht Club wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

We chose a ‘This is the place’ by the talking heads to walk down the aisle to as it is a fun, romantic (and most importantly 80s) song that we both already loved and has a light hearted feel to it. We contemplated the Rocky Theme tune but decided it was too out there! we kept the ceremony short and sweet and avoided the very traditional parts and public vows. My two sisters did readings, one read an extract from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ which was one of my childhood favourite books and the other wrote a poem which made everyone cry! The ceremony felt really special and remains a definite highlight because it felt really personal.

Female pandit Chanda Vas leading hindu wedding ceremony at Greenwich Yacht Club. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

We then had a Hindu ceremony which was a complete contrast. We found the UK’s first female Hindu priest, Chanda, which was great as it felt really feminist and she was amazing. she is really kind and funny and put us all at ease whilst keeping the service spiritual and meaningful. The ceremony was really colourful and fun to do. Jiten had to present me a mangal sutra (wedding necklace) which he couldn’t do up and was busy strangling me with it until his sister in law rescued us!

Female Pandit Chanda Vyas - Greenwich Yacht Club Wedding by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

What was your plan for the reception? 

In contrast to our tiny ceremonies we wanted a massive party with all of our friends and family. We had 150 guests for an informal buffet meal of Indian food and drinks, speeches, cake and dancing. The speeches were a definite highlight, we had Jiten, the bestman, bridesmaids and me doing speeches. Everyone was quite merry by then and they were a really funny part of the day. Jiten even got his entire family doing a Leeds football chant!

Bridesmaids deliver a wedding speech. Greenwich Yacht Club Wedding by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

Did you have a first dance?

We avoided this like the plague as we felt it was too traditional for us (and too intimidating as neither of us can dance!) – our friends more than made up for this on the dance floor.

Guests dance at a fun wedding. Greenwich Yacht Club Wedding by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

What entertainment did you have?

We had a vintage style juke box as we don’t always agree on music and thought it would be fun to let people choose their own music – which turned out to be a very eclectic mix! this was great as it was a great talking point. It also looked really good and was a fun edition to our décor.

Bridesmaid and bride dance around wedding jukebox. Greenwich Yacht Club Wedding by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

What is your advice to other couples getting married?

Go for it and enjoy it as much as possible. We had a bit of stress in the run up but not too bad, and the day itself more than made up for it – we had the best day ever (far better than we imagined) and it all felt worth it! My only real advice would be not to get swept up in other peoples expectations and stick with what feels right for you as a couple and make sure it reflects your personalities.

Bride and groom clink glasses at Greenwich Yacht Club wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

What was it like to work with me?

AMAZING from start to finish. We were both really worried about having our pictures taken as we are both a bit self conscious but you made us both feel so at ease and it ended up being a really fun experience. The pictures are great and so many friends and family have commented that they are the best wedding photos they have seen. More than that though it was like having another friend at the wedding and we had loads of fun with you. THANK YOU.

Bridesmaids raise glasses to toast bride and groom at Greenwich Yacht Club wedding. Image by Parrot & Pineapple. Click through to see more brightly coloured wedding photos.

Such nice words from Grace!!! I’m feeling all flustered and bashful now. Keep scrolling to see all the fun photos from Grace and Jiten’s Greenwich Yacht Club wedding. 

If you want me snapping at your wedding, you can check out my prices and packages here. Or if you want to get in touch to enquire about your date and set up a meeting to chat further, fill out my contact form

Scroll down to the bottom to see the list of suppliers to this mega fun, brightly coloured Greenwich Yacht Club wedding.

Greenwich Yacht Club Wedding Suppliers

Venue – Greenwich Yacht Club

Bride’s white dress by Cutting Edge Brides

60s Style Headband from Anthropology

Groom’s blue suit from Ted Baker

Groom’s Hindu suit from Bollywood Borrowed

Flowers by Katie at The Flower Hut

Make up by Ivona 

Hair by Anna at Box Hair in Deptford

Catering by Satkeer Catering

Hindu ceremony led by Pandit Chanda Vyas

Pin this image to remember this blog post! And follow me on Pinterest here

How to plan a feminist wedding: 21 Feminist Wedding Ideas

How to plan a feminist wedding: 21 Feminist Wedding Ideas

If you’re currently planning your wedding, then congratulations! Whether you describe yourself a feminist or not, planning your wedding together with your partner and including some feminist wedding elements is a great way to set the scene for a lifelong equal partnership.

Last year I shared some feminist wedding ideas on planning a wedding day around equality and inclusivity. Since then I’ve been inspired by even more clients and friends who have planned a unique day that included personal touches to emulate their individual personalities and feminist beliefs. So I’ve combined them all in this ultimate list of feminist wedding ideas!

Of course planning your own wedding is about cherry picking what feels right for you. I hope this list is a source of inspiration that gets your creative juices flowing. Most importantly have fun planning your wedding day!

feminist wedding bridal party battersea arts centre

1 Feminist marriage

Who says you can’t be a feminist and get married?! OK so we know the whole tradition of marriage used to be about ownership and property. But times have changed and modern feminist weddings are simply about celebrating love. Nova Reid from diversity based wedding blog Nu Bride wrote a great blog post about this.

2 Getting engaged

Women who want to take the lead on the engagement can find inspiration from these eight women who proposed. Or this feminist who wanted both herself and her partner to experience the proposal. And sod waiting for the 29th February to come round, you choose the timing!

feminist wedding photographer newly engaged couple

3 The engagement ring

Some say they signify possession, to ward off other suitors. Others believe they show a giver’s commitment to a proposal. (Here’s why one woman will be passing on an engagement ring.) Either way, the choice of giving or receiving an engagement ring is all yours. Personally I think it’s great to see more modern couples choosing or designing bespoke engagement rings together. For feminists, the expectation that a man will spend two months salary on a diamond now looks out-dated. And with so many better things to spend money on together (hello wedding party knees-up or honeymoon travelling!), a Haribo ring or Hula Hoop crisp ring might be more your cup of tea! Find out more about the interesting history of engagement rings on Rebel Circus.

feminist wedding engagement ring

4 Feminist bridal party

Ditch the Bridesmaids and groomsmen gender roles and choose who you want to be at your side for the parties on the day. You’re a guy and your best mate is a girl? You’re a hetero girl and your bestie is a gay man? Great! Choose the people who know you best and will keep you relaxed and happy on your big day, regardless of their gender: best woman, man of honour, wedding squad, usherettes and bridesmen all work the same. Even your dog could get involved!

5 Who pays?

If you have family who want to contribute, that’s great. To keep all things equal, why not split the cost of your wedding 50:50 or crowdfund your wedding instead of receiving gifts?

6 Equal wedding planning

There has been much recent discussion about the mental load of household planning and chores that falls mainly on the shoulders of women. A truly equal partnership shares tasks, and this goes for wedding planning too. Divvying up the wedding to do list means you can both be equally involved in planning a day that best represents both of you.

7 Feminist hen and stag parties

If a giant fluffy pink penis or “LADS LADS LADS” holidays and strippers aren’t your thing, what about a joint party where everyone gets together for a knees up? Most people socialise in mixed groups with their mates and their partners nowadays. Some of my friends organised “Hagfest” – a “hen and stag festival” for all their friends with a marquee, DJs and camping in a field. Perfect!

8 Choosing the venue

The venue is probably the first thing you tick off the list. But it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or an onerous task. Not religious? You don’t need a church. Keeping it simple? Sign the registry office paperwork and celebrate in the pub with your friends and family (FYI pub weddings are my fave!).

north london wedding venues canonbury tavern islington

9 Wedding dress colour

Hands up who’s still a virgin when they get married? OK we know nowadays that most couples live together before the big day and so the traditional wearing of white to signify virginity is pretty dated. If you want to wear a red, purple, turquoise or black dress on your big day then why the hell not. Floral wedding dresses and big splashes of colour on wedding dresses will be on trend in 2018. Or don’t wear a dress, wear a jumpsuit or two-piece outfit instead – it’s entirely up to you.

10 Guest sides

Are you from the bride’s or the groom’s side? Which side guests sit on in during the wedding ceremony has never been less relevant. You probably met at a mixed social event with mutual friends anyway, so picking a side seems silly. Forgo the formalities and let your guests sit wherever the hell they like. Alternatively, have your guests sit in the middle of the room with an aisle at each side rather than down the middle, walk down the opposite aisle to your partner and meet in the middle.

11 Giving you away

If the idea of your dad handing you over to your betrothed like a property transfer doesn’t appeal, then you don’t need to do it. Perhaps your mum, both parents, a step-parent or your best friend could give you away. Or the groom’s squad could give him away to his bride. Whatever works for you!

pub wedding photography bride brother and bridesmaids stand outside camberwell registry office

12 Walking down the aisle

Who will accompany you down the aisle? You might decide to walk down the aisle together as a couple, or with both your parents. You might both walk in at the same time from either side. Or you might want to strut your stuff down the aisle alone while high fiving all your mates along the way!

feminist wedding photography bride and groom enter ceremony

13 Bride on the left

And talking of sides, why should the bride stand on the left during the ceremony? You might not have even noticed this before. But according to The Knot, the groom traditionally stood on the right so he could keep his right hand free to grab his sword and avoid “marriage by capture” should he need to defend his bride from “other suitors who may wish to whisk her off at the last minute”. Of course, you can handle yourself and make your own decisions, so stand on whichever side you want!

14 Feminist wedding vows

The whole spiel to complete the official part of your nuptials is packed full of gender role assumptions that frankly should have disappeared with the dark ages. Honour and obey? No thanks. Write your own vows with personalised promises or take inspiration from these feminist wedding vows that show you and your partner are true equals.

15 Feminist wedding readings

Wedding readings are a lovely way to include some of your favourite people in the ceremony. But choosing the right words can be tricky. Here are some feminist wedding readings to inspire you.

16 Feminist wedding speeches

Traditional wedding speeches don’t allow for any female voices. Yet often it’s the women who have the best stories to tell. Why not let any parent give a speech, or ask both parents to collaborate. Both parties in the wedding couple give a speech. Or don’t have any speeches.

“I did a speech because my husband didn’t want to. When I spoke about my bridesmaids, I said more than just how pretty they looked, but also why they were awesome people and friends.” – Lizzie

Feminist wedding brides wedding speech

17 Wedding cake

From cupcake trees to blocks of cheese, your cake doesn’t have to be traditional. One of you has a sweet tooth and one prefers savoury? One likes chocolate cake, one likes like Victoria sponge? Have a half and half wedding cake or a tier each.

18 Cutting the cake

Alternatively, what about having two cakes and cutting one each?

19 Bouquet toss

The idea of your female mates scrabbling to be the next to symbolically “put a ring on it” might be ludicrous to you. Here are some fun alternatives from The Feminist Bride and Bustle.

20 Surnames

If your surname is important to you, keep it. Pick the surname you both prefer, make up a joint family name, hyphenate or just make up an entirely new family name. There are no rules here.

21 Elope

Don’t want to spend a load of time planning? Elope instead! Registry office, paperwork, DONE. No fuss.

London elopement photography

However you both choose to celebrate your love, I hope you have a ton of fun doing it! And if you want colourful documentary-style photos that capture the action and emotions of the day, I’d love to chat to you.

Find out more about my relaxed wedding photography style here. Rowan is a UK based feminist wedding photographer. Read more about Rowan here or find out about her prices and packages here.

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Feminist wedding ideas

Feminist wedding ideas

So you’re a feminist and you’re getting married?! Good for you! I love that modern feminism and modern marriage have now come together to give people the choice of entering in to an equal marriage contract. I’ve asked around and linked to some helpful articles that will go a little way to help you to plan your ideal feminist wedding.

Get Informed

The best place to start is to get informed about what the general wedding traditions are, where they come from and make some decisions about how you want your day to unfold. I’ve included lots of useful links at the bottom of this post for further reading. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there is no committee ready and waiting to declare your wedding feminist approved. Go with what feels right for you knowing that you have made an informed decision.

feminist wedding - bridal party enter ceremony

Be Inclusive

Whilst your wedding day is primarily about you and your loved one celebrating your relationship, ultimately you will have family and friends that have some ideas, and will want to be involved in your wedding. Ask those people early on how they see themselves involved in your wedding. If there is something that you are really not comfortable with, your research can explain why that is the case. Be prepared to negotiate and compromise with some creative alternatives.

feminist wedding bride groom enter ceremony

Change traditions to work for you

This is the fun bit! Now that you probably know what you don’t want you get to make the rules on what you do want. Some ideas for a feminist wedding that I have seen, or read about are:

  • Have a mixed gendered wedding party; best woman, man of honour, wedding squad, usherettes and bridesmen all work the same.
  • Walk down the aisle together as a couple
  • Walk down the aisle with both of your parents
  • Walk down the aisle by yourself
  • Have your guests sit in the middle of the room with an aisle at each side rather than down the middle, and walk down the opposite aisle to your partner and meet in the middle.
  • Write your own vows with personalised promises
  • Let any parent give a speech, or ask both parents to collaborate
  • Both parties in the wedding couple give a speech
  • Don’t have any speeches
  • Elope
  • Sign the paperwork and celebrate in the pub with your friends and family
  • Split the cost of your wedding 50 : 50
  • Crowdfund your wedding instead of receiving gifts
  • Have a half’n’half wedding cake, one side for you, the other side for your partner
  • Have two cakes and cut one each
  • Wear whatever colour you like, plain or patterned, the big trend for 2017 is floral print wedding dresses
  • Don’t wear a dress, wear a jumpsuit or two-piece outfit
  • Keep your surname
  • Make up a new joint family name

feminist wedding - Mother of the bride wedding speech

Some ideas from other feminist brides

As an avid listener to The Guilty Feminist podcast I recently asked my fellow listeners, and presumably feminists, what they did when they got married. Here are some ideas:

Lizzie: “We didn’t do anything traditional we didn’t want to – first dance, cutting cake etc. My husband doesn’t like being the centre of attention. However when other people really wanted to be involved we let them; my dad gave a speech because he wanted to. I did a speech because again, my husband didn’t want to. When I spoke about my bridesmaids, I said more than just how pretty they looked, but also why they were awesome people and friends. The biggest thing for me was that we planned our wedding together- my husband has much better taste than me and was much better at the design side of things. He also made all the favours (which people kept giving me credit for!) We both love hosting people and celebrating. We had a really lovely party with all our favourite people. It was ace “

Jen: “I felt uncomfortable with the idea of being “revealed”, or staying hidden until having to walk in … so I arrived early (driven by mum!) and my husband and I were both there to greet guests and hang out before the ceremony. It was great because I got more time to chat to people and it took some of the pressure off. My dad did walk with me down the aisle (more like a little path as it was outdoors), because it was something he really wanted to do and it was important for me to give him that moment.”

Katie: “I had the least feminist wedding ever! I did the whole catholic mass, with 200 people invited, all the traditional elements and made the traditional vows.  Our mothers made it very clear the wedding was for the family. This was fine with me because i was there for the marriage, not for the day.”

Katie S: “We eloped because he is a muslim and my family are devout christians and both of our parents were very disapproving. So we didn’t tell anyone and were married in a private ceremony in a garden at night with just the celebrant and two witnesses. I didn’t wear a white dress, I wore a pink sun dress. I do have a ring but I hardly wear it, my husband has no ring at all. He bought me a ring because I asked for one, because he works away 8 months of the year and I like it to wear it when I’m missing him. We had a dinner afterward, which was the best steak of my life! We both danced a bit in the evening. Then we had a two day honeymoon in a cottage in the country. It was great. My husband and I are not romantic people at all, but when I read that back it actually sounds quite romantic! Haha.”

Sarah: ” I wore a big white dress because i wanted the chance to spend a grand on a dress and look amazing. The promise is what matters and it was a feminist wedding to me.”

feminist wedding bridal party walk secret river garden

Final note

I hope that after reading this you have some more ideas for your feminist wedding. Ultimately I hope that you realise that having a feminist wedding means picking and choosing what you want as a couple, and what you’re both comfortable with as individuals. There is no benchmark or approval committee. What I love most about feminism is that it is striving to give women choice.

If you’re planning a feminist wedding and looking for a photographer who is sympathetic to your principles then get in touch!

Further reading:

Catalyst Wedding Co: Love, sex, weddings, and marriage for feminists, the LGBTQ community, & woke folk

Grazia Daily: The sexist origins of six time-honoured wedding traditions

Offbeat Bride: Ten gender neutral and feminist friendly wedding readings

Everyday Feminism: How can a wedding be feminist?

The Guilty Feminist Podcast

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Feminist quote on marriage by Gloria Steinem