An edgy and playful Valley of the Dolls inspired styled shoot

The gorgeously kitsch surroundings of Hotel Pelirocco in Brighton are the perfect setting for this edgy and playful Valley of the Dolls inspired styled shoot.

The book turned movie tells the story of three young women who become fast friends in the post-war worlds of Broadway and Hollywood, and follows the rise and fall of these would be starlets in New York who rely on their ‘dolls’ (a.k.a. pills) to get them through this turbulent time.

The striking 1960s styling and vibrant pastel shades, compliment the vibe of the venues rock n roll and vintage roots and the concept of the shoot shares an insight into the post ceremony celebrations when the couple and their guests are ready to get a little crazy.

Images were captured by PhotoMadly with styling & production by Kelly of Truly Quirky Wedding Venues & Cecily of The Emperor’s Old Clothes

Kelly | Truly Quirky Wedding Venues

“To say I was excited when Hotel Pelirocco decided to become a Truly Quirky Wedding Venue is an understatement.”

“Having spent a long time coveting this totally ‘Rock N Roll’ venue and spending many an evening sipping cocktails in their bar, I was thrilled.”

“Brighton was my home for a long time before I had a family and moved down the coast but I visit weekly and never tire of the sense of excitement and variety it offers.”

“Hotel Pelirocco is, without a doubt, the edgiest hotel in Brighton, many a star has stayed or drank at this bolthole and why would they choose anywhere else?”

“The decor is something to behold, you could spend entire days staring at the artwork having on the staircase walls which are adorned with spectacular wallpapers, not to mention the bedrooms. Sigh! Oh to stay in one and have a night off from the family.”

“Within a stones though of Hove’s seafront and the bustling Laines, the hotel is situated on Regency Square so you’re in the perfect location to get married nearby in any number of mega situations, like the Bandstand, the i360 or the Town Hall and then bring the party to the place to be.”

“The entire hotel can be yours for the entire day and night so you can eat, drink and party in the bar and visit karaoke room before you send everyone off to their awesome bedrooms in the early hours.”

“Every room is different and based on a theme. Too cool for words.”

“This shoot was thought up my the venues manager Cecily, myself and Erika of Photo Madly who has been waiting to shoot here for a while. ”

“So, a few months ago we got together over a coffee and the creative juices started to flow. Over to Erika, who came up with the Valley of the Dolls theme . . .”

Erika | PhotoMadly

“Every styled wedding shoot I’ve ever done before tends to follow the same storyline and the same basic rules: everything exists in a state of “before”, each detail is pre-wedding perfect and untouched.”

“It’s always the story of what happens leading up to the wedding and on the wedding day itself: all of the preparations like hair and makeup and dress, the ceremony and its attendant details like bouquets and invitations, the couple’s portraits, etc.”

“Undeniably the results of those shoots are always beautiful, yet for this shoot we wanted to find ways to subvert that same old narrative, lovely as it is.”

“All of the vendors involved in this shoot are interested in the quirky and the alternative, so we wanted a concept that would illustrate that, and we realised none of us had ever seen a photo story on what happens after the wedding.”

“Of course weddings are sweet, romantic, elegant events, but do you know what else they are? They’re the best party most of us will ever throw.”

“So they’re also mad, fun, messy affairs. Thus our story starts once the wedding ceremony has already concluded, and our couple and their guests are ready to let loose.”

“The couple arrives at the hotel for their wedding breakfast and a party with their friends. They share an intimate dinner with their guests, and then playfully sneak upstairs together for their wedding night romp including a sexy celebratory soak in a giant bubble bath in their suite.”

“And they’re not the only ones having a good time in the hotel — we get a glimpse of a couple of their friends in their own hotel room before they go to bed themselves.”

“We see the bride and groom going to bed, having breakfast in bed on the morning after their wedding, and finally leaving the hotel a little bit disheveled (and let’s be honest – a bit hungover) but heading out into their honeymoon and married life together as Mr. and Mrs., for better or for worse.”

“I often shoot hen parties and events in the Sing Star Room and lobby at Hotel Pelirocco, but had never had the chance to shoot in their rooms, though I have long coveted the opportunity because of the uniqueness of each and every one of them.”

“When it comes to a visual aesthetic, for me, more is more and the funky rockin’ décor of Hotel Pelirocco is the ideal setting for adding style, fun and vintage authenticity to photographs.”

“So as you can imagine, when Kelly of Truly Quirky Wedding Venues and Cecily of the Emperor’s Old Clothes asked me to join them in creating this shoot, I jumped at the invitation.”

The Concept…

Aesthetically we went with a pastel 1960s Valley of the Dolls look to complement the vintage vibe of our venue.

To that end our bride is not in white but in a bespoke mint green dress to compliment the pastel dresses worn by her guests, all made by the Emperor’s Old Clothes.

Overall we really liked the idea of juxtaposing the madness and messiness of the after Wedding party with the buttoned up glamour of the 1960s,

Of course there’s a lot of bad behaviour in that story, so it’s a fun cultural reference for our story of our “imperfect” bride and groom.”

Supplier list

Photography & Production: PhotoMadly

Styling & Production: Truly Quirky Wedding Venues & The Emperor’s Old Clothes

Venue: Hotel Pelirocco

Cake: Choccywoccydoodah

Flowers: Tigers to Lilies

Bridalwear & bridesmaids dresses, yellow dress, turquoise coat & accessories: handmade by The Emperor’s Old Clothes

Hair & make-up: Betty Lou Vintage

Shoes: Irregular choice

Menswear & men’s accessories: Gresham Blake

Men’s vintage dressing gown, vintage perfume bottles & hand mirror: Hearts and Guns

Vintage pale pink silk slip: Picks Up Sticks Vintage

Models: Laura Hunter (Bride) / Angus Greenhalgh (groom) / Simone Jane Piper (MOH) / Simon Drinkwater (best man) / Ella Gilchrist (bridesmaid)


UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow


  1. Reply

    Oh my gosh, Alison, this post looks so great! I absolutely loved working on this shoot — thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Reply

    LOVE the bath shots :-).

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