Sweets for my sweet anyone? That was what inspired this particular shoot. Rachel, the owner of Chocolate Ape an american retro sweet store in Afflecks Palace, very kindly let us use her store as the inspiration behind the shoot. We really wanted to do this justice and hoped at the end of the shoot we would get the Sex in the City street shot I have always wanted to get since I started the blog.

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For those new to Manchester, Afflecks Palace, once a department store in the early 1940’s, is home to some cool, hip independent businesses. Now for those who probably don’t know me, I first dipped my then young entrepreneurial toes in a little shoe shop called “sole shoes” (don’t laugh I was 21, but that’s a whole other story for another time !), and my first actual Afflecks purchase, age 13, was a pair of black smiley shoes…. the original emoji, again no laughing! Anyway enough of the nostalgia, I have many more proud but embarrassing purchases, which we wont go into (hooded tops, Joe Blogg jeans,my Rebel MC African badge even though I’m half Mauritian, you get the picture!), but my point being that Afflecks for as long as I can remember, has always had this cool vibe and edge and was the place to go if you wanted something quirky and different….nothing has changed there then.

A few Afflecks facts:

  • Affleck & Brown was started in the 1860s as a drapery business
  • Afflecks Palace first opened in 1981 by James and Elaine Walsh with an ethos of offering a safe environment for entrepreneurs to start out with affordable rent and no long term contracts.
  • During the 1990s ‘Madchester Summer of Love’ period – when local bands like the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets were at the height of their popularity. Afflecks Palace was a fashionable spot to get oversized flared jeans and tie dyed T-shirts and ‘Eastern Bloc’ was a popular record shop as it dealt in all the latest underground dance tunes of the time.

Now that enough about the why, lets see how it all turned out…

As ever my muse and fun loving model bride was Sam. Always on point and ready to deliver the fun element of any shoot we do, I really enjoy and love working with her. We started off in Chocolate Ape getting some images with the sweets and candy. This shoot was always meant to be fun and poppy. Putting a different spin on tradition I wanted to showcase independents work, and show brides a different way to get some really cool images for their wedding pictures.

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Wearing a dress made by Laura from Ella Moore and shoes by Charlotte Mills Bridal it finished the look off perfectly. I originally took inspiration from this Pinterest image I had seen.


(pin image / Laura’s dress in the making)

I asked Laura if this tulle and lace dress was something she could recreate. With confidence and a 2 weeks notice period this was what she created. Once again it was based on the measurements from Sam with no dress rehearsal and it fitted like a glove…..I mean that to me is pure skill. Sam had loads of fun trying different ways to create scene and its really not for the shy and retiring type this particular shoot. Twirls, spins and big smiles were the order for the day, Sam did not disappoint.

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Making some cute little cake pops to add some fun to the imagery was Claudias Sweet Creations. Sprinkled with hundreds and thousands in all colours these chocolate sparkly treats looked the biz. A new start up Claudia asked us if we would feature her sweet treats and of course we were happy to support. They went down a storm after the shoot especially by my little boy and his friend….tasty pops all round. If your feeling the love then click the link and like her Facebook page ….booyah!

pops 1

Imagine a sweets for my sweet wedding cake adorned by cupcakes, marshmallows and midget gems………#retro & #yummy


Creating the overall look was hair by Vicky from V12 Hair Boutique. The inspiration was plaits and updo to showcase the back of the lace dress and big curls. We never got to do the big curls as it wouldn’t have done the dress justice. Our inspiration board  was below ( I really need to do the slicked big afro hair one day!)


The end result a big curled fringe with loose curls pinned up with a secret plait underneath.
Vikki @V12hairboutique “Creating a hairstyle for this look was mainly decided by the dress. With all the detail on the back which was a central opening meant the back NEEDED to be on view. This then mean the models beautiful long hair needed to be put up, also with the dress having a high neck line a hair up was our decision. We created 2 looks, by hiding an upside down braid central to the back of the dress we used the tousled hair to cover the braid so we then could re pin the hair to create a more fun look by exposing the braid. I wanted to create a classic wedding hair up with a little bit of fun. With the long length of the models hair we had lots of ideas and it was tough to decide which option would be the best, looking at these images I think the hair suits this dress and look completely. ”

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afflecks palace

The Make up was applied by Jenni from Soiree MakeUp. The brief pink, pink a lil’ bit more pink….  😉


The finished article….absolutely executed the brief to a tee. They worked very proffesional and quickly as we were under some time constraints. Working for the first time after meeting on instagram and Facebook it was a real pleasure to work with the team. The girls went with pink eyes with a black liner and lashes, pink blush not too overpowering, finished off with bright pink lipstick…..perfick.
Jenni says, “I used mainly Illamasqua and Mac Cosmetics. After looking at the mood board and under the time constraints/working whilst hair was also being done I went for a really quick, super pretty eye with a wispie lash. I focused on perfecting the skin by using Khiels skincare to prep and then Illamasqua Satin Primer and Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation to get a gorgeous dewy fresh face finish! Knowing we were going to be moving to several locations and working quickly I wanted the lip to last so I layered up a pink gel to stain the lips whilst making that colour pop”


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I Heart Buttons bouquet, another social media hook up. Always looking to collaborate I was super chuffed when Leesa wanted to send this awesome bouquet all the way from The Isle of Wight. Unique and different this is definitely a keepsake, crafted with love and perfection the attention to detail is spot on.
Bit of bio, “In 2010 Lesa moved from London to the Isle of Wight with her family to enjoy life by the sea. Whilst there, she happened to see a button bouquet on the internet and it was love at first sight.  Since starting out, her work has been featured in an array of bridal publications and blogs such as Brides Magazine, Perfect Wedding,  Rock n Roll Bride, Love my Dress and also Kirstie’s Handmade Britain.  Her work has won Wedding Industry Awards and in 2014 Theo Paphitis chose I Heart Buttons as a Small Business Sunday Winner.”
Check this amazing shot of her bouquet it totally fitted the theme and style of the shoot….#inlove

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Sex in The City – Kenny Brown Photography
As you know we have worked with Kenny on many a project. This particular shoot has been long time in the planning. Organising a shoot is like trying to get all your mates together in one place at the same time ie. a challenge. This came together all of a sudden after months of trying, quiet quickly. Kenny will be exhibiting at some of our showcases this summer but in the meantime feel free to contact Kenny if you like his work, click the Facebook link above. From the front entrance of Afflecks, to the bustle of Oldham St we had fun yelling “BUS & TAXI” when Kenny was clicking away and Sam was twirling whilst a bus was coming through …lol
I hope you enjoy the images as much as we enjoyed shooting them….now go and have a look.

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Black and White……sweeeet!

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A Cheeky behind the scenes shot…

image by Soiree Makeup)

The finished look, well as you can see it totally fits in with the Bridal Chic in the City brand #citybride
Manchester you rock! #BOOM