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Alternative Britannia creative bridal shoot – you have been warned!

alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (15)Back in the very beginning of English Wedding Blog I wrote my ‘About‘ page to introduce myself. I love pretty things: I adore edgy, provocative and rebellious things as well. My response to the diamond jubilee and Olympics marketing-fest has been halfhearted… until Mat Hepplestone of Red Floral got in touch. Mat’s flower designs are always a revelation – and his flair for the alternative and cutting edge in flower design is unrivalled. With such a top creative team behind this shoot, I’m convinced: Britannia rules!

This is a wedding industry shoot which stands out from the crowd of red, white and blue-bedecked blog features. And while I might sample a cupcake and wave a bit of bunting come jubilee weekend (I’ve moved back to a little Cumbrian village – my Dad will make me!), inside my heart this is the Britannia I can relate to. The story behind the shoot is just as inspiring – over to Mat to tell you more.

Alternative patriotic wedding inspiration – Britannia

alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (16)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (1)Back in February, my good friend and design collaborator Ann McKavney and I began planning an idea with the whole Diamond Jubilee/Britain/ Olympic theme in mind. What we didn’t want was an image that would be instantly forgettable with flags, bunting and cupcakes. We came up with the idea of Britannia after Abigail James Herbert spoke with Ann at the Tatton Park Wedding Show where we were all exhibiting.

Abbie was sporting her usual beautifully coiffed mohawk hairdo and exuding her own unique style. Instantly the idea of Britannia, who has controversially been sidelined in British culture and removed from our coinage, was born. We thought it through for a week or so and asked Abbie if she’d like to be involved. She agreed, thought we were mad, and before she knew it was being measured for a specially commissioned dress by bridal couturier Erica Stacey.

Clare Arden from Harry Jon came on board to provide some crazy hair and makeup and Damian Hall was the man who was going to capture it all on film.

alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (19)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (20)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (21)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (22)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (23)alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (2)Another Bank Holiday in Manchester was bookmarked for the shoot and knowing our luck with the weather the decision was made to shoot it all in my unit in Hyde. This building houses all kinds of industrial machinery and would provide the perfect backdrop. As we are all from the North of England, it was right and proper to go with an industrial, creative vibe using all the raw, unstaged and random equipment as our props.

A banqueting table, fit for a Queen, was set up with a Union Jack hastily spray painted on the wall behind. As a floral and venue designer I indulged all my favourite pleasures, masses of flowers, crystal, glass, candles and as much detail as I could fit in with the Britannia theme coming through.
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (9)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (10)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (7)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (8)alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (11)alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (3)alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (4)alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (5)
Abbie rocked it as a strong warrior princess, ruling the northern waves. Clare used Mad Max style hair extensions, lip tattoos and a variety of different looks throughout ranging from Boudica to punk to rock star. British bulldogs made an appearance and a Bichon Frisee came along as a nod to our multiracial society!

Ann designed two headpieces and a several items of jewellery including a bracelet made from old sixpences, drilled and hung from a British sterling silver chain. Britannia stood resplendent with a designer silk gown, joke shop trident and a dustbin lid shield, heavily covered with flowers, of course. Several themed bouquets were made with seasonal flowers, red leather barbed wire, official Ministry of Defence Jubilee ribbon and old 50p pieces, the only coins left in circulation with Britannia still on them.

Abbie and her husband Darren constructed an amazing Britannic white chocolate cake, with hand painted detail and Damian and his wife Charlotte used some very clever lighting techniques to add to the mood of the day.

alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (12)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (13)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (14)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (17)
alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (18)As a creative collective, we made a great team and hopefully put Britannia back in the picture.

Creative shoot by Manchester wedding suppliers

 

alternative royal wedding inspiration photo credit Damian Hall (24)

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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12 COMMENTS
  • Sonia @ Gioia Mia
    7 years ago

    Oh my word…what an incredible shoot! It’s stunning x

  • Fabulous shoot, well done to all involved!

  • Claire
    7 years ago
    AUTHOR

    Thanks for the comments – glad you like the shoot!
    Sara I’m glad you like the book, thanks so much for saying so. I’ve spent so long wrestling with various WordPress dilemmas and learning about SEO and content writing, it’s good to be able to share and help people!
    I still have two copies of the book here somewhere, but since I had to move house I have lost them in a box. So… many… boxes…
    Claire xx

    • About to move blog from .com to .org – bit daunting. I copied and pasted your two pages on that subject and emailed it to my website designer (husband) V. V. helpful. I’m worried about losing my SEO during the move I don’t suppose you know any tips? – anyway thought the book was brill – i’m going to recommend it on my blog at some point when I get 2 mins…

      • Claire
        7 years ago
        AUTHOR

        Hi Sara,
        I know: it’s daunting but the flexibility you get long-term is priceless.
        My first tip would be don’t forget to install an Analytics plugin or tracking code on the new domain. I do this every time: move a site or blog, check stats a week later and it’s zero – no visits whatsoever. I panic, then remember I forgot to set it up to track visits – I just couldn’t see them. Honestly, I’ve done this about 5 times.
        You will lose a bit of traffic initially – put something on your .com to redirect search traffic to your .org for now, and just make sure the content and keywords are good on your new domain. If you go quiet for a few weeks it just means you need to work harder on the promotion until stats are back up.
        Good luck! Email if you get stuck – if I’m not moving house I’ll help 🙂 info@english-wedding.com xxx

  • Gary
    7 years ago

    Wow, what a bold shoot. Yes, very bold!

  • Taylor
    7 years ago

    I’m just amazed by these pictures…so colorful! and yet they’ve managed to keep the elegance.

  • Lana Butters
    7 years ago

    What a great shoot.
    Amazing props and accessories..
    RULE BRITANNIA!!

  • Nikoay Mirchev
    7 years ago

    Wow so artistic and colorful session, very good work on the off camera flash quality lighting.
    Amazing work!!!

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