Liz & Simon’s vintage inspired Brighton Pavilion Halloween wedding was the most creative of winter weddings and from the moment I arrived that morning to cover Liz’s preparations at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, I was taken by surprise! It wasn’t just a wedding planned for Halloween, but they had a full on Halloween themed styling and incredible details… with a twist!
Bridal Preparations at the Grand
Liz was having her hair and make up done when I arrived at the Grand Hotel on the seafront, where she was getting ready with her sister Beck. Just the two of them, calmly preparing for the big day ahead. Let me say from the onset, Liz has impeccable taste. She really went out of her way to get exactly what she wanted for her big day, not just aesthetically speaking but explaining how each choice had been carefully chosen for very specific reasons and had great meaning for her. From her Candy Anthony 50’s dress, to her chic killer heels from Paper Dolls by Lipsy, custom made rings by Baroque bespoke jewellers in Brighton, other sentimental jewellery and skulls and gothic detailing popping up in places – real care was taken for each choice. Leather roses had featured in their relationship from early on, so her purple leather bouquet was super special.
Wedding Ceremony in the Red Drawing Room
On with her gorgeous 50’s dress and make-up done, we headed off to the Royal Pavilion for their late afternoon ceremony. Simon was waiting with his best man in the Red Drawing Room whilst Liz who arrived in a vintage Rolls Royce was drawing quite a crowd outside. After her big entrance with Dad, Liz & Simon’s simple ceremony took place with them reading their personal vows to each other, and exchanging hand-made rings. It was a serenely quiet moment and you could really feel how much emotion was behind their vows – that was something quite special. And before we knew it, they were married and we all headed outside on the King’s Terraces in the late sunshine to take a few family photos and some photos of the newly weds.
The Pavilion is a bit of a tricky venue to shoot in, particularly during the winter because of its low lighting and lots of dark areas. But having shot there a lot over the last few years, its not an issue for me and it really helps to have worked there before. Here’s an earlier blog post about the Pavilion if you’re thinking of having your wedding there – I’d love to hear from you.
With just 30 guests, most of whom had come down from the midlands, Liz & Simon’s wedding was very personal and had a very intimate feel to it. Chatting with some of their families during the day, it became apparent that they had no idea what to expect from a Halloween wedding but they knew Liz & Simon’s would be different, eclectic and one to remember! One thing that made a big difference was their wish to dispense with most wedding traditions as they didn’t want to do all the obvious things. No giving away of the bride, no big speeches, bouquet tossing or first dance. Instead, what they were left with was what’s really at the core of a wedding day – the celebration of two people making a heartfelt commitment to each other.
A Halloween inspired wedding reception
So the twist was 1950’s meets Halloween – red 50’s hair styling and 50’s style dress with fluffy purple petticoats clashing beautifully with their halloween details. Spiders, bats, bottles of poison, skulls, trick or treat cake boxes and other fabulous gothic details. And a touching ancestry tree overlooking Liz’s home made wedding cake, which held small black & white photos of their long gone but not forgotten loved ones, on the tree’s branches. So why Halloween I hear you ask? Because Simon had proposed to Liz on Halloween the previous year and that was the only day they wanted to marry on. Ahhh!
After their celebrations, we walked back though the streets of Brighton, to the Grand taking a few shots on the way. Liz and Simon were true to themselves and had the wedding they dreamed of, and I was delighted to have been there to capture their phenomenal day. All the very best to you both xxx