I’m inclined to think of rustic or vintage boho as very much an American thing but our beautiful D&L bride, Lauren, and her hubby, Nick, are here to prove that moody vintage and rustic boho weddings go down just as much a treat in the chilly UK and judging by these gorgeous pics, the genre feels right at home…. anywhere in the world!
The Hunt for her Long Sleeves Lace Wedding Dress from the UK
When it came to picking the perfect dress, bohemian goddess, Lauren, had already run the gauntlet of boutique appointments but with no luck. Lucky for her, she’s an Internet savvy diva and came across Dreamers and Lovers on one of the many wedding blogs she followed. Obviously skeptical about ordering online, Lauren requested 2 sample dresses for the home try-on, one of them being the lovely Valentina boho wedding dress.
She instantly knew it was far more her style than any of the boutique try-ons and she sent in her measurements, along with a request for a few customizations. Lauren was swept away when it arrived, with add-ons, perfect to the last stitch and fitting like a laid-back boho wedding gown glove! She was absolutely pumped about having something that wasn’t readily available in her area and even more excited by just how chill and comfy she felt in it the whole day!
The bridesmaids were all shapes and sizes, including Lauren’s preggo sister-in-law, so they opted to match the floral pallet as near as dang and ordered a selection of boho bridesmaid dress styles from ‘Boohoo’ and ASOS’ online. Even the groom opted for the online route, sending his measurements in to Oliver Wicks for his sexy threads.
Their Dreamy Outdoor Venue – Perfect for a Bohemian Bride + Groom
Now, both Nick and Lauren knew that a run-of-the-mill wedding venue just wasn’t going to cut it for them…as serious lovers of the outdoors, their dream had been a woodland wedding but being in the heart of England, they had to consider, weather, access and protecting their beloved guests from mudslides and frostbite (lol). Luckily for them, Nick discovered the Wild Garden at Hyde Estate in West Sussex online, a large pond, plenty trees and a labyrinth of picturesque little bridges were more than enough to capture both their imaginations.
Lauren and Nick weren’t about to let the details slow them down either. The venue wasn’t licensed, so they finalized all the legalities at Guildford Registry Office a few days prior, who allowed them to have Lauren’s Uncle Glen marry them on the day, as special treat as he put together all the best bits from Internet ceremonies and the couple wrote their own vows! Undaunted by the lack of ablution facilities, they hired loos! They even hired a generator, since the venue had zero power!
They rented a couple of giant white teepees from Makatipis, complete with mirror ball, lighting and dance floor. Indeed, everything had to be rented… tables, chairs, crockery, glassware…one thing was certain, this DIY boho wedding turned out a little more expensive than expected, what with all the extras made necessary by the unique venue but y’ know… even though they’d expected a manor house wedding with all the necessaries included to be the pricey option, it was all well worth it in the end!
Now, in spite of the fact that the Wild Garden venue was beautiful in and of itself, this boho bride had been keeping a sneaky Pinterest wedding board for years prior to the proposal, you go girl!! Meaning, there was a wedding vision well in place, a boho décor vision as well and, come hell or high water…those visions were going to be met! There was to be a vintage/DIY/botanical theme and the couple, who share the same tastes, had to scour a good number of car boot sales before the time to gather all the bits and bobs they needed. Some things were also bought on Gumtree, while others were bought new.
The venue was split up into sections, which made it more interesting for the guests to sit or stand around and chat in different sections or explore. They had a bar area, with a borrowed drinks trough and everything displayed on a table with big drinks dispensers. Nick made a big ‘Bar’ sign and a clever ladder with shelving to keep the glasses in!
For the chill out section, a green leather chesterfield couch was found on gumtree, as well as a convenient bar trolley! Creative Nick even made the dream-catchers himself! The pair made a ‘family-tree’ with old family pictures as a tribute to family members who’ve passed on. And speaking of trees, they used a natural aisle of trees for the ceremony and lined it with glass flagons filled with flowers and with giant white balloons tied to them, all signs were hand painted on stained plywood and doors, benches and archway were crafted by DIY extraordinaire, Nick!
Remember those tipis they hired, well, those needed decorating and they were pretty big! Luckily for the couple, their family members were feverishly engaged in setting everything up a few days prior. They had giant clear balloons filled with confetti and ferns hanging from the tipi apices, one of which popped during a speech, showering confetti all over the place, unplanned but seriously cool!!!
They had long tables full of flowers for the sit down meal, the table setting had been planned in advance, so they knew what they wanted on each one. They had collected lots of old jars, bottles and vases of different sizes and colors to put flowers in, as well as little terracotta pots filled with wax flower and eucalyptus. The tea light holders were jars from Nicks parents that Lauren had painted gold, while table names were vintage bird postcards from Etsy set in little Rose Gold wire stands, also found on Etsy.
To get the party started, Nick came up with the idea of playing ‘Hook A Duck’ to find your seat…they found their ducks online, wrote the bird names on the bottom and stuck guests names on top. Nick made a huge barrel for the pond and he also made the sign, Nick turned out to be seriously handy, and handsome as well…score! Not only did the game help folks kill time during photo hour, it broke the ice and guests had crazy fun doing it!
DIY Floral Arrangements
When it came to the all important floral aspect, the couple knew they were already spending a lot and that florists can be seriously pricey, so they ordered all their own flowers and foliage and did all the arrangements, centerpieces and bouquets themselves, with the help of Becky the bridesmaid for bouquets and flower crowns! Lucky for the ladies, the hen-do had actually been a flower crown-making workshop so they didn’t have to count on the Internet for all their how-tos and inspiration!
Speaking of Becky, who is also Lauren’s cousin…, she turned out to be hella useful during preparations as she also happens to be a professional make up artist who even works on West End productions in London. In between her London shows they got together for a little trial with Lauren showing some of her favorite hair and make up Pins. While Lauren isn’t big on make up, she trusted her cousin to get it just right and that’s exactly what she did on the day, with a bunch of giggles to boot. When the gals were ready, Nick surprised them with a vintage car pickup from the hotel to the beautiful venue!
Food was a vegetarian BBQ (since Nick is a vegetarian), courtesy of Jonathan’s Catering near Cirencester, although it was a sit down meal it was served buffet style, with folks getting up to dish by table…which added to the relaxed atmosphere. Everyone enjoyed the munchies and Jonathan managed to get all their requests in within budget!
The gorgeous 3 tier, blueberry and lemon sponge cake with ombre icing, gold leaf and edible flowers was thanks to the baking talent of Nicks own brother, Dom……They were, of course, thrilled with the result!
So you see, with a little help from friends and fam, a handy hubby-to-be and some original thinking, you can turn even the most unequipped venue into the perfect boho-wedding spot.
We wish the stunning couple all the best and decade upon decade of love and laughs to come!
Check out this other amazing UK bohemian wedding we just looove.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Louise Scott Photo
Featured on UK Wedding Blog Rock My Wedding
The Mind of the Boho Bride on her Wedding Day
You saw him from afar, the guy of your wildest dreams, you made a friend, you got a little closer than friends, you started to realize you couldn’t do without him, then he proposed. So you conquered the uncharted coasts of (insert name here), pretty much! Engagement ring on finger, preparation for the bohemian wedding of those same wildest dreams under way, it strikes you hard …there’s the wedding night to come, the moving in, the MARRIAGE, the walk into the sunset, it’s deep, it’s vast, it’s real life and it’s yours. You’re stoked.
Clearly, you’ve zoned in on the ‘ONE’ or maybe even the ‘TWO’ (bridal separates), as far as your gown is concerned, you’ve opted for a few customizations to make it just right and can’t wait to try on the final product. There’s no time to play the waiting game though, since a sweet ton of things need doing, including all your cray-cray DIY projects…and you’re more than a little worried about enlisting enough help from your busy collective F&F for that.
The fact is, you chose a laid back wedding, a boho wedding and a beautiful, simple wedding dress because you’re chill as a freakin’ ice cube…well, usually. At the mo, a strange panic is setting in, especially since you’ve given yourself exactly 3 months to plan absolutely everything, plus your boss decided to hit you with an extra couple of tasks, with a smile: say whaaaat?!
The fact is, you’re usually so chill that you half expect it’ll ice your windshield over, but now, your system is awash with a totally odd compilation of hormones, neurotransmitters and a trance party of conflicting emotions, What The Actual F? You feel like a walking sweating teepee. Um…are you seriously getting married?
The months before the wedding are jam packed, the feelings unusual, sorta like…premenstrual. Still, when the day finally arrives, it can be really intense, your laid back persona might even seem to have gone underground when you wake up from that nervous, probably pretty disrupted sleep. Let’s talk about some of the things that go through a bride’s mind on her wedding day: a day so full of action that it often speeds by far to fast to be fair. Maybe, knowing what to expect will help that special, once in a lifetime day tick by a little slower. Maybe, reading this will help you make the most of it, instead of stressing.
#1: “Okay, checklist item A, OMG, B, Oh no, C, what was it again?” The longest night of your life
Remember those December 24’s as a kid, biting your nails in almost unbearable anticipation…or the same, before your finger-displayable birthdays? There might only be one night, post-childhood, that could compare to that sort of insane sleeplessness. There’s one night that may well make you feel like an 8 year old again, exhausted as you are from a week of work, final, mad preparation dashes and nervous tequilas with the crew…and that’s the night before your wedding.
That totally necessary, desperately craved beauty slumber will likely be standing somewhere near Jupiter, laughing at you hysterically, no sheep in sight, just a still standing pasture fence and a gate… the gate to the rest of your life.
The night before your wedding, you will be running over every single aspect on your wedding schedule, looking at every corner of your ideal image to try to find something amiss. You’ll be wasting your time, that much goes without saying but the fact is that you won’t be able to help yourself.
Boho diva or no, remember, stress is a leading cause of outbreaks and God forbid you wake up after a 3 hour snooze with a whopper on your chin, your forehead, or even…your NOSE! Meditate, watch a movie that’ll draw your attention, drink some red wine but for goodness sake, get some sleep and eat so you don’t look like the boho chic walking dead.
#2 “No thanks, I’m too excited to eat.” The champagne pain
Girl, don’t be cray. Studies have shown that the brain is responsible for burning 20% of your body’s energy. What happens when you’ve been stressing and worrying obsessively and you wake up with about 82 voices in your head is that that number goes up.
Even if you’re a careful eater and hunger is the very last thing on your mind; even if you’re terrified of bloating your tummy and being gaseous at the altar (just imagine), the fact is, now more than ever, you need a bigger than usual, high energy breakfast, along with about an hour to let it settle before you get too active.
No doubt you’ll be quick to accept that second champers and OJ but on a stomach that’s got no more than a small yogurt in it, all that you’ll get in return is a feeling of being wind-blown, in a place with no wind and legs that feel disinterested in the idea of keeping you moving.
#3 “It’s too much, it’s all too much!” The panic attack
It matters not how much you disapprove of time wasting, fluttering, near terminal glee, hugs and freakin’ expectations…that’s because, this morning, however many people RSVPed, well, that’s how many people will have you at or pretty dang close to their center of attention and there will be no escape.
What I’m saying is, basically, you just gotta chill like you’ve never chilled before and let folk fuss over you, don’t let them make you do anything unthinkable like wear a shade of pink lippy that makes you look 20 shades feminine-er that yourself . Otherwise, what’s gonna be going through this bride’s head is a whole lotta: “It’s too much, it’s too much…OMG, WTF?!!”
And seriously, bridechillas aka (dreamers & lovers brides), ladies of the times, don’t do panic attacks…how you gonna wear a laid back wedding dress, a totally groovy bohemian wedding dress and act like a high strung nut-case? That type of foolishness is for cupcakes, hello!
The Bohemian Wedding Day..and Dress
#4 “I feel ridiculous, walking slowly down this aisle like an airhead.” The princess parade
The aisles walk; okay, think about this one. Try it out with whoever is handing you over, do rehearse. Don’t parade yourself for the guests, walking at the pace of a song which makes you feel constipated, in front of a smiling, awkward audience.
Choose music with a pace that’ll get you there in just enough time to think: “Well he is looking fine, and so am I, and this is really happening in 3, 2, 1.” The aisle walk is a special thing and too much of: “this is taking ages, I feel stupid smiling at everyone, oh shoot he must be wondering why he’s here” is gonna leave you flustered when you arrive at the altar.
You should be looking at your man all the way, making eye contact even, thinking “SCORE, SCORE!”
#5 “Um………………………………………….” Terror in virgin territory
Believe it, there are still a great many boho sistas who, for religious, cultural or moral reasons, will be getting their cherry picked for the first time on their wedding night. For those chaste chillitas, there will likely be one of two tracks of thought traversing their minds pretty incessantly all day (with variations, depending on what kind of intel they have, from whatever sources, about the Birds, Bees and things like Man-bottoms).
Track 1: I hope he still likes me once he’s seen my nipples, my lady bits and my extensive (and possibly not as bad as you think) cellulite…and I hope he doesn’t expect me to act like a porn star…oh, oh and …I hope I still love him once I’ve met Walter (ahem).
Track 2: Oh My Word, Can We Hurry This Reception Up Or What? As in, look how fine he is all clad in his blue suit, I cannot cope any longer?!
Not every girl grows up imagining every detail of her ideal wedding celebration, day in and day out. In fact, a good many sistas, especially those of the free-spirited, hair in the wind, soulful, boho persuasion…they get caught with a serious case of romance, unexpectedly and from the stars enough to have the whole idea of floral crown, crying moms and all the wedding proverbials be really, truly, fully, awkward…and every little traditional fluff can end up feeling a task for, depending on just how much of a hippie spirit you are: unless of course, you learn from our D&L brides, run over your bridechilla mantra at least every hour or so…
“Let me just, make the guy proud, instead of making him wonder”
“an easy wedding portends an easy marriage”……. or something to that effect, just relax, put your hands in your boho wedding gown with pockets, thank goodness this is 2018 and such things are possible….breathe, and savor the miracle of it all.
Wishing you love and freedom. xx
All photos of Bride Carolina + Groom Nate’s wedding was taken by the freakin talented Katie Edwards Photo
Interested in reading the details of Nate’s & Carolina’s laid-back Tulum boho wedding see it here
The Boho Bride & Her Flowy Wedding Dress
Paige and Tyler’s story is one of patience, friendship and two people who took the time to get to know one another before deciding to spend their lives together. It was Paige’s freshman year when a friend told her about a great looking guy who shared her love for God and before she knew it; he was knocking on her door, inviting her for a game of sand volleyball, one of his favorite pastimes. Flops, socks and a cheetah print bikini and Tyler was obviously hooked…the road to a romantic relationship, however, was going to be a long one, in spite of the fact that they both had strong feelings for one another from the get go.
They became close friends, even journeying to Spain together to study during their junior year. Some people have a lot of patience…I certainly don’t know if I would make it as far as they did before calling it like it is. The plus side is that, by the time they got together, they would know for sure whether or not it was meant to be. Six months after their stay abroad, they began spending more one on one time together and soon, that one on one time turned into dates.
After spending their last school year, at Cal Poly, as a couple, college loomed and a forced separation was imminent. Paige got a job in Southern California, while Tyler stayed on an extra year to finish his degree. They got together during holidays and some weekends, counting down the days to when they’d be living in the same city again. That day would be a long time coming, as Paige moved to Texas for graduate school and Tyler remained in California, working and applying for medical school.
Three years of long distance later, their paths finally took them to the same city again. Tyler began medical school in California and Paige landed a job close by. It was only a month later that Tyler asked her to be his wife…he’d had plenty time to think things through. Paige was, of course, well and truly surprised. Paige’s mom had been in town visiting and for some reason she’d thought he’d definitely not pop any big question while her mom was so close at hand.
One morning, Tyler nonchalantly invited Paige to join him on a hiking trail he’d heard about from a classmate. Since she loves exploring new places, she was keen as can be but she certainly wasn’t prepared for what Tyler had planned. Arriving at the hiking spot, there was a choice of two paths to take, one of which was paved and full of people, the other a little more rugged and definitely more intriguing to Paige. Tyler had thought she’d need convincing to take that particular path with him but, that day, he was in luck as she lunged, determine to take THAT path and no other.
On reaching the top of the hill trail, he wrapped his arm around her and a few moments later Paige was greeted by a sight she’ll never forget. There before them was a table set up with flowers and a card, overlooking a breathtaking lakeside vision. Paige had waited years for that day and couldn’t hold back the tears as he ushered her to a spot between two trees and got down on one knee. She later learned that there had been GoPros positioned in the trees and that a stealthy friend had flown in to take sneaky photos of them from a distant hiding spot. It was more romantic than she ever could have dreamed.
All about her Laid-back Flowy Wedding Dress
When it came to finding her perfect, laid back boho wedding dress, Paige knew what she wanted. She was very particular, she loved lace but was very picky about what kind of lace she wanted; she also planned to steer clear of bedazzlement, tulle, poof and the dreaded outcome of walking down the aisle like a heavily decorated cupcake. More than anything, Paige wanted to feel comfortable on her wedding day.
After many a long afternoon and night, scouring Instagram and Pinterest, she became aware of the fact that she had saved multiple pictures of different brides, all wearing the same boho flowy wedding dress, the Lisa. Not only was Lisa the epitome of her wedding dress dreams, the About Us page on the D&L website made her fall even more in love, Dreamers & Lovers and the laid back Lisa dress spoke to her, they WERE her!
Despite the fact that she’d already found ‘the one,’ Paige booked appointments at local boutiques so that her and her mom could do the ‘girl thing’ when her mom came to visit. She’d tell the assistants that she wanted long sleeves, comfortable, no glitter and preferably soft lace. The thing is, she couldn’t get the Lisa out of her mind. A short while later she ordered Lisa and Aurora to try on from Dreamers & Lovers but dreading the idea of not having her bridesmaids close at hand for the big try-on, she decided to fly up to Northern California and convince the gals to skip work and join her for an impromptu appointment. The choice was clear, Aurora, which was brand new at the time, was to be the one. Paige couldn’t have been happier in a million years.
Details of her Chic Bohemian Wedding
Location was of the utmost importance to the couple, who ended up getting married on the lawn at Paige’s aunt and uncle’s house in Northern Michigan, overlooking the most magnificent lake. When Paige was in high school she’d spend a few weeks there each summer and she’d always envisioned a wedding there. When her family offered, she jumped at the chance and looked forward to spending the day with 95 nearest and dearest, many of who had to catch a plane flight to get to the enchanting Michigan venue.
Jamie, at Pontius Flowers, helped Paige bring her imagination to life with organic, boho blooms and tons of fresh greenery. Because the planning was long distance, the couple enlisted the help of friends and family who lived closer to the destination during planning. Her cousin built a beautiful bar by hand, along with corn hole boards made out of pallet wood; her uncle made a birch wood arch and easel and Paige and her bestie worked together with watercolors and love to make original wedding stationary. Before the couple’s send off, another one of Paige’s beloved cousins treated the couple and guests to the ultimate firework show. It’s those details, which required the help of loved ones that the couple will remember the most.
Tyler and Paige are big on pie, so they visited a local bakery and ordered an assortment for the reception, while a friendly neighbor on the lake contributed some of her famous raspberry pies. On top of that, since Paige’s gran is somewhat traditional, a small, semi-naked, white wedding cake with raspberry filling was ordered for the two lovebirds to cut together.
Vows were self written, with Paige’s favorite from Tyler being: ‘You are my priority on this earth and I vow to rely on the strength of our Heavenly Father to shoulder the challenges we will face and always protect you and our marriage.’ Tyler’s favorite line from Paige’s was: ‘You bring laughter and joy into our loves and you always know how to make me smile. I feel so proud I get to call you my husband and so honored that you would call me your wife.’ Readings were Genesis 2:18-24, Matthew 19:4-5 and Romans 11:36.
“if you can’t afford a wedding planner, find a way to afford one! Even if you’re a control freak, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by letting someone smooth out details in the last week and especially on the day”
Paige’s advice for boho brides to be is that, “if you can’t afford a wedding planner, find a way to afford one! Even if you’re a control freak, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by letting someone smooth out details in the last week and especially on the day”. 2500 Miles away from the wedding venue, with a 3 hour time difference, Paige found herself having to wake up extra early to call vendors before work. Another challenge was choosing vendors based purely on internet searches, especially with Northern Michigan being a little behind California in terms of wedding resources…actually, with some vendors, there was only one choice available!
At the end of the day, the pair loved everything about how the wedding turned out. It was an unforgettable celebration, especially for all the loved ones who flew in for the event. They were blessed with perfect weather all weekend and spent the days boating and swimming in the lake. It wasn’t a stretch for friends and family to understand exactly why the couple had chosen that particular, far away venue.
Now, with Tyler half way through medical school and Paige working in public health as a registered dietician, the couple is looking forward to their long future together. They live in Northern California now but are both ecstatic about their planned move for Tyler’s medical residency. Little ones are surely on the cards but no time soon, for now it’s all about enjoying their time together and appreciated uninterrupted sleep for a few years, if they can help it. We wish them years of adventure, romance, friends and family!
Wedding Photographer: Jenna Borst Photography
To see other boho brides wearing the Aurora and other Flowy wedding dress styles see our Photo Album
For a listing of our complete lineup of bohemian wedding dresses go here
Now, I’ve come across a good many photographers who are light crazy, meaning…there snaps are always clear and crisp and more often than not heavily posed in order to make the most of LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT. Haley Nord is not one of those, in fact, her use of shadow and her ability to capture the magic in situations of natural shadow and just about any light is no less than inspiring.
Looking through a portfolio of her shots of happy couples with their friends and family, it’s hard to believe that these are just ordinary people and not seasoned fashion models being paid megabucks to look awesome. This is a wedding photographer that Dreamers and Lovers just couldn’t pass up recommending.
Haley’s had a camera in her hand since she was a teenager but it was on leaving school that she started to realize that this was the path she wanted to follow for the rest of her life. Editorial and fashion photography emblazoned itself upon her heart, she fell in love with her ability to manifest mood and drama with no more than a camera and an understanding of light. I say ‘no more than’ but really, Haley’s understanding of light is clearly a God given talent, her wedding work is quite extraordinary…
Her motto of ‘fear is a liar’ shines through in her work, with images that are real and glorious, she manages to communicate the beauty in angles and scenarios that the ‘traditional wedding photographer’ would, perhaps, walk away from. The result is that raw bohemian enchantment that D&L brides were born for.
The only advice she has for brides when she’s on the job, ‘breath in, sink in, relax!
Haley maintains that it was no specific event, which triggered her to embrace the wedding photography industry. She sincerely finds joy in documenting that which is sacred and dear to the parties involved…she’s touching lives and she loves that. The only advice she has for brides when she’s on the job, ‘breath in, sink in, relax!’
It’s clear that Haley’s no stranger to love and she may even be something of a serious, die-hard romantic. Reading through Haley’s unmistakably boho website, www.haleynordphotography.com, I discovered that her beloved boyfriend is behind her every step of the way and that she credits him with teaching her how to find the beauty in life’s ‘little things.’
One of the other things, which make Haley such a perfect boho wedding photographer, is her preference for story-driven, editorial style work. She’s no fan of posting one photo at a time, for Haley it’s about seed…to a bud…to a rose…to a windstorm of stunning petals and a very, very happy ending! She wants people not just to see but also FEEL the story from start to finish and she gets it right every single time.
Haley’s photographic stories exude the feelings of the people captured in them; she’s not shy about getting close and personal, about getting real. For the couples who’ve left compliments on her website, they can hardly express their joy at being able to truly relive those moments, so much feeling has she captured in her work.
Haley’s style is really a mixture of just letting things unfold, anticipating moments and influencing outcomes
Haley’s style is really a mixture of just letting things unfold, anticipating moments and influencing outcomes. She’s more hands-on during formal shoots but beyond that she manages to create that million dollar editorial quality out of just about anything that happens during the day. There are artists who’ve inspired her during her life but not all of them are photographers…to name a few, Stevie Nicks, Theo Gosselin, Cormac McCarthy and Wong Kar-wai, specifically his film, “In the mood for love.”
Like many ‘meant to be’ photographers, Haley has a soft spot for shooting on film and because she, herself, learned in film, she always encourages others to experiment with it…in order to capture the extraordinary scenes she does at weddings though, she always shoots digital.
…that time a particular mother of the bride approached her to say thank you for showing her daughter how beautiful she is, not in a superficial way but for real
We’ve no doubt Haley receives plenty of heartfelt thank-you’s and compliments on her outstanding and inspired work but one that’s definitely stuck in her mind is the time a particular mother of the bride approached her to say thank you for showing her daughter how beautiful she is, not in a superficial way but for real. Haley says she’s never felt more flattered in her life because she always aims to show people the little beautiful things about themselves.
CREDITS: All photos here are by Haley Nord. The second and third photo, is of real bride Beth wearing the Dreamers & Lovers Azalea dress and Cindy veil.
Untameable Tessa Tadlock: Boho Wedding Photographer, Grover Beach, CA
Let’s face it…we’re not all photogenic. Some of us couldn’t look pretty in a pose even if you paid us a million. We’d end up feeling awkward, tense and possibly looking a little ridiculous. So…why is it that every one of Tessa Tadlock’s brides looks like she belongs in a magazine? There’s a secret to Tessa’s success, talent.
Wedding photographers, the good ones, don’t attempt to create something out of nothing.
Wedding photographers, the good ones, don’t attempt to create something out of nothing.
They eavesdrop on real life, capturing moments that are beautiful on their own, real moments of love, family and happiness. When that avenue’s temporarily exhausted, they need to step in and create ‘real’ situations out of the love that’s already there…that’s what Tessa does.
It’s no easy task, a wedding photographer has to know the clients, know the venue, know the timetable and be someone who makes people feel comfortable, feel free and feel at home.
Looking at Tessa Tadlock’s portfolio of blissful boho images that capture not only tender moments of love and laughter but also perfect landscapes and moody vibes…it seems Tessa does all of that and more, catching a shared joke, making the most of the light shining through the trees, anticipating a gust of wind and using it.
Tessa is a Grover Beach, CA, based wedding photographer who shares an office with her inspiration, boyfriend and wedding videographer, Jimmy (jfinnmedia.com). It was Jimmy who started the fire in Tessa when he told her he was thinking of becoming a wedding photographer. Although she’d never thought about it before, she found herself overcome with jealousy at the notion of someone doing it before her and went out to buy herself a camera.
it was Jimmy who’d gotten her past her worries, told her not to care what people think, that everyone starts somewhere
She didn’t use it for 6 months…concerned about what people would think of this sudden decision but when she finally did do her first shoot it was much like love at first sight. Butterflies in the stomach and a feeling that this was going to be forever. And it was Jimmy who’d gotten her past her worries, told her not to care what people think, that everyone starts somewhere. He’d told her not to let anyone get in the way of something that could become her passion. That’s exactly what it did.
Tessa’s a ball of joy who’d be an asset, I think, at any party…her exuberance overflows from the page when she writes, in a fountain of exclamation marks, words like loooovvvveee!!!! Bohoooooo!!!! and sooooo grateful!!! Gratefulness is Tessa’s motto in work and play, which are actually the same thing for her, she’s living her deepest passion.
“Have fun and roll with the punches, no matter what happens-cause something always happens! Remember that this day will end and you’ll be married to your best friend. You’ve put in so much work to make this day come together, now it’s time to enjoy it!”
Tessa is clearly obsessed with boho and it shows in every image. Her work is the epitome of what you’d look for in a boho photographer, unapologetic, natural. And that’s what Tessa asks her clients to be when she photographs them, just themselves. “Have fun and roll with the punches, no matter what happens-cause something always happens! Remember that this day will end and you’ll be married to your best friend. You’ve put in so much work to make this day come together, now it’s time to enjoy it!”
You’d have to describe 24 year old Tessa’s photographic style the same way you’d describe boho, adventurous…free-spirited and romantic. She favors emotion over perfection and she loves to capture her couples’ true personalities in beautiful outdoor locations. Judging by this portfolio, Tessa never falls short of doing what she sets out to do.
When asked about her MO, Tessa says she does a mix of blending in or eavesdropping and creating situations. So it’s kinda like telling someone to pose but keeping the situation dynamic so that they never feel awkward or silly or in the air. She poses people in a way that gets them laughing, interacting with each other and livinnngggg. Also, Tessa shoots everything digital so that she can shoot wherever and as much as she wants, as fast as she wants.
Becoming friends with her clients is one of Tessa’s favorite aspects of the job. One of the most rewarding experiences she’s had on the job happened when the same wedding party booked her for photographs and her man for video without knowing that the two were connected. After shooting the engagement session Tessa and her BF hit it off like a house on fire with the clients and they remain friends to this day, with backpacking adventures, game nights and actual airplane flights to visit each other.
You’ll recognize her by her sarcasm, her infectious smile and the fact that her lipstick is always on regardless of dress code or atmospheric conditions
Tessa has a tendency to emit a high pitched squealing of delight whenever things are going well at a wedding.
You’ll recognize her by her sarcasm, her infectious smile and the fact that her lipstick is always on regardless of dress code or atmospheric conditions. Tessa says lipstick stops folk from thinking she’s 16 and also makes her feel like she’s got her life together. Which she does anyway, blessings Tessa!
Bohemian Wedding Dresses featured here are: Dreamers & Lovers Aurora Dress, Catherine Dress and the Julia Dress
Check out more of Tessa’s work at www.tessatadlock.com
Sadie And Joel Love Story + Chic Bohemian Wedding
How She Became a Part of the Gang of Guys
The story of how Sadie and Joel got together is really cute, to say the least. They’d met at the age of 11 when they attended the same church and they grew up seeing each other across a room full of students. Conveniently, Joel has his birthday on Valentine’s Day and when that day came in 2015, Joel’s buddy decided to have a little fun…or maybe Joel was behind it all along, we’ll never know.
His friend told Sadie it would be great if she could join them because the whole Gang was going out for his birthday celebration. Little did Sadie know she was the only girl they’d invited (awkward) and it was, she later discovered, completely intentional.
Finally no more silent acknowledgement from across a crowded room, after that they were on speaking terms, plus more. So, one year when Joel was on Spring break and Sadie was set to leave on a trip the following week, they decided to spend a Saturday together. He picked her up after lunch and they spent the rest of the day discovering new coffee shops, picking through old records and scouring the shelves of quaint treasure trove libraries.
It was getting close to sunset when Joel announced that they should find a park to settle down in and read for a bit. They soon found a lovely park to stop at but Joel seemed put off by he abundance of activity, bubble kids and basketball players. They made their way to a second park which, annoyingly, was just as crowded. Joel seemed slightly frantic when he pulled up at a nearby field, pulling out the blanket and announcing: “This will do!”
After reading quietly for a short while he pulled out a scrap book with chronologically highlighted milestones and special moments in their relationship in it for her to look through. When she made it to the second last page, she found an arrow and the words: “The Next Chapter,” scrawled there and on flipping the page she found four Polaroids that Joel had taken of himself holding signs that said: “Will you marry me?” As if that was not enough, when she looked up, he was on one knee, ready to ask her in person.
Finding the Wedding Dress
As for the dress, finding Dreamers & Lovers wasn’t too difficult because back when the couple had been dating, Sadie had happened upon an Instagram picture of one of their laid back gowns and had made a mental note of how beautiful it was…just in case she’s be needing a similar one down the road. A year passed and there she was, looking like a bohemian princess in the exquisite Lisa boho wedding dress.
Planning a Wedding in 2.5 Months
The biggest challenge for Sadie was the fact that she was in her last year of college, had just started a new job and had only 2.5 months to plan. Yet, in spite of the crunch factor, she still recommends a short engagement.
Sadie says that she was concerned with burdening people by asking for help but soon realized that her friends and family actually wanted nothing more than to be a part of the planning process. Sadie was blessed to have friends and family members who ended up making her vendor list and making the day of her dreams possible, hairdresser, florist, coordinator, photographer and baker!
Sadie and Joel invited 40 people to the ceremony, just their immediate family, and 175 to the reception.
Some scriptural readings were done during the ceremony and then the couple read their own, self-written vows. Sadie’s favorite line from Joel’s was: “I vow to love you every day for the rest of our lives, unconditionally, no matter how you change or what life brings our way.” Her favorite line from her own vows was: “Here and now, I choose you, forever, until death do us part.”
The Wedding Vendors Who Created Magic
Since Sadie used to work as a florist’s assistant and knew the florist well, all she had to do was tell her the colors and theme and she ran with it. She knocked it out of the park with simple yet stunning white roses, baby’s breath and eucalyptus. Also one of Sadie’s favorite features on the day was the huge floral wreath positioned as an altar. It rounded everything off and made it look so beautiful.
Cake was French Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream and everything was enjoyed on tables that Sadie felt were decorated to absolute perfection.
Next on the cards for this sweet couple, Joel is prepping for grad school and Sadie is now working full time. Little ones are definitely in their future but they’re going to wait to get settled first. We wish them all the best of life and love!
The Lisa has been featured several times on a variety of brides, see a few of them here and another here