A Perfectly Imperfect Sailor Jerry Inspired Wedding: Sadie & Marie

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

Sadie and Marie were married at Calke Abbey Riding School, a National Trust venue in Derbyshire. They were the first same sex couple to marry here and they fell in love with it’s less than perfect appearance. It was the ideal setting for their alternative wedding.

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

“Our wedding day was perfectly imperfect”, explained the brides. “We were adamant we did not want a prefabricated, immaculate wedding and opted for a laid back, rough round the edges kind of day. We chose the amazing venue, not for the grand unstately home (yes it’s really called that!), but for the rustic, flaking paint and quirky riding school, owned by the National Trust. We also made history by being the first same sex couple to have a ceremony there! We visited the venue on several occasions and it was transformed every time. We wanted a blank canvas where we could truly make our mark.”

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

“Not being a traditional kind of couple we decided to arrive at the venue together and have a first look photo shoot at the beautiful cottage we hired with a gothic summerhouse”, they continued. “This was booked through The Landmark Trust and was located in Ticknall, Derbyshire.”

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

“The day had a hint of 50s inspiration, with a dash of Sailor Jerry thrown in,” they replied when I asked about their theme. “We wanted the day to reflect us and opted for ‘stuff we like’ such as skulls, swallows, flamingos and pineapples! It really was mismatched and a case of anything goes. We wanted splashes of colour and went for shades of pink, red and blue, contrasted by the natural tones of wood and hessian.”

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

“One of our favourite moments was our first dance to the theme tune of one of our favourite shows, True Blood, We also got everyone to put masks on and dance with us which was pretty cool but surreal after a few glasses of fizz!”

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

“Our other favourite thing was our selfie photo! Feeling inspired by the Ellen’s Oscar selfie, we decided to do our own version using masks of our own faces! This took place at the end of the ceremony and we absolutely love the result. The guests were rather confused seeing our faces everywhere when taking their seats, which made it even funnier!”

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

“Our biggest expense was our photography”, they concluded. “We wanted a unique photographer that thinks outside the traditional wedding box. Our images definitely have the wow factor and have received so many positive comments from friends and family. In contrast we saved money with home grown flowers for the tables. We also saved on décor, relying on friend’s generosity and borrowing bottles, jars and kitsch ornaments. We also used items from home and upcycled a discarded wooden palette for our table plan.”

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

Supporting Cast

3 comments

  1. Thanks so much Kat for featuring Sadie & Marie’s wedding. They found your site very inspirational when planning the wedding and that is how they found me. I had an utter blast with these two so thanks for hooking us up :-)

  2. Eileen Leavers

    This is so gorgeous! I love everything! Massive congratulations to the couple, what a beautifully fabulous wedding. xx

  3. Kate

    This looks gorgeous! What a fun day. Love that lace dress, and the bridesmaids and flower girls. And the stationery is lovely too!

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