Thea and Cody both struggle with anxiety, so not wanting to be the centre of everyone’s attention, they decided to elope on their own. They had a small reception for their friends and family a month later.
“We knew we wanted our wedding to be small”, began the bride. “When we found out that we could have our ceremony at the House on the Rock, a location mentioned in one of our favourite books (American Gods by Neil Gaiman) and the site of our first vacation together, we knew it was the perfect spot.”
“We wanted our wedding to be a true reflection of who we are as individuals and as a couple. We focused on what we love about one another, and the promises that we knew we could keep. We also bucked the system a bit by only letting 12 other people in on our secret before the ceremony, and 9 of them were invited. We only invited our very closest friends and family, because we didn’t want to feel like we were there to impress or entertain anyone. I think what made our wedding unique was our dedication to making it ours. We only included the things that were important to us, and we ignored the rest.”
When Anthropologie announced the were introducing their own wedding dress line, BHLDN, in 2011, I looked enviously over at my American friends who were able to buy them. The dresses were everything the UK wedding dress market was missing – super feminine and delicate heirloom-quality wedding gowns with an elegant and modern twist. Some of the most incredible and sought-after designers were creating collections for the brand too including Catherine Deane, Vantana Watters, Tadashi Shoji, Badgley Mischka and Nicole Miller.
While British brides were always able to order the gowns online, I for one have been desperately waiting for the opportunity to see and try on these dresses in person. That time has finally arrived!
I’m sure you can imagine my immense elation when BHLDN got in touch with me recently to not only let me know about their first ever UK trunk show with. I was over the moon! But even more so when they invited me to come in and try on some of the dresses for myself. Needless to say, I hopped on a train to the city just as soon as I possibly could!
Trying on and being photographed in these stunning Catherine Deane dresses in an Anthropologie store is my idea of heaven. I mean, talk about a Pinterest-perfect location!
With a plunging neckline, embellished illusion back and silk tulle skirt, Winnie was the first dress I tried on. This intricate gown blends modern details with a sense of vintage nostalgia. I was instantly obsessed with the embellished neckline and I teamed it with the Winter Daisy headband.
Maria and Graeme wanted their wedding to reflect what was most important to them – family and having fun. They also wanted their day to have minimal fuss and stress and planned the whole thing in just eight weeks!
“Although we got engaged on NYE 2011, and had a lot of ideas, they all fell by the wayside last year when my brother died suddenly”, Maria explained. “He would have played a very big role on our special day, and it was very hard coming to terms with him not being with us. However in August last year, we decided to just go for it. We saw the venue on August 17th, and were married there on October 18th!”
The wedding took place at The Tithe Barn at Symondsbury Estate. “We managed to do tons of DIY in that time”, she continued. “We made the button bouquets, cake, buttonholes, spray painted bottles for the flowers, place cards, table plan, order of the day, and music playlists. We had a lot of help from our very brilliant and talented friends too. I loved making my own bouquet and it also saved us money. Not only did it feel like a massive achievement, but it was lovely to carry something so special and unique. We collected buttons from friends and family (including some from my late brother) as well as lots of pink ones from eBay!”
Jana and Denis were married in 2006, just two months after meeting. With the bride being Brazilian and the groom American, there were lots of complications post-wedding. When it was all finally sorted out they travelled to Chile to renew their vows, just the two of them.
“Denis and I met in 2006”, began Jana. “We were both backpacking in Brazil and we ended up on the same bus going to a psy trance festival. Sixty-eight days later we were married in a simple ceremony and three days after that Denis had to return back to the States since his Brazilian visa was expiring. The next few years were extremely hard for us, as we were dealing with immigration issues and a custody battle over my daughter with her Brazilian father. More than a year later, when I was finally able to go to the United States, we just had an intimate dinner reception just to introduce me to his family and few friends. The custody battle was still ongoing and we could never plan anything, just waiting for the court process to decide the future of our family. Finally, seven years after all of this got resolved, we decided to go to Chile, travelling for the first time together as husband and wife, to renew our vows.”
“The renewal of vows was actually surprise to Denis from me and he only found out when we got to the desert!”, she continued. “In the beginning we were just planning a trip, but I knew that travelling to this special place, I could not let the opportunity pass of celebrating our love and confirming our vows in an intimate way. I knew that Denis would not be too enthusiastic about this idea if I planned a staged ceremony with a script. He is extremely introverted and hates to pose for pictures. Also, our budget was pretty tight, so I decided to follow my heart and let something evolve on its own while we are there.”
The inspiration for Jana’s outfit was ‘Patta Hoiri’, which means ‘Mother Earth’. ” I felt an extreme connection with the Mother Earth while I was in Chile”, she said. “When we were married seven years ago I wore black, so this time I wanted to wear white. I did not want be too colourful or glamorous, I wanted some way that I could blend myself with the desert. I painted my face with ‘Urucum’ which is the plant seed that Indians in Brazil use during ceremonies, and wore a custom made ‘Cocar’, a headpiece worn by indigenous tribes. I wanted to honour my ancestors and feel connected to the ancient tribe.”
A power cut the morning of the wedding might be most couple’s worst nightmare, but Tyler and Jodi embraced it! The wedding was held at a private beach house in Malibu and the lack of power actually made their wedding even more special. Sure, they they had to get a bit creative with some aspects, such as the bride having to air-dry her hair, serving a BBQ for the meal and having no entertainment or music, but it really worked out so well! They even had candles and sparklers at the table which looked amazing!
“We both have very big families, but neither of us have ever wanted a huge wedding.”, they began. “We went back and forth on the idea of a big wedding and finally decided to stay true to ourselves. We even considered eloping, but realised we still wanted to party and celebrate with the people we love. In the end, we decided to invite only our parents, siblings, and closest friends to share the day. It was stress free, drama free, and ultimately so filled with love!”
Patty and Dani were married on their 13th anniversary at Château de la Grande Riedera in Switzerland. “The Inspiration for our wedding was to spend a relaxed day with our family and friends, where everyone would feel comfortable”, Patty began. “The original plan was a quiet BBQ somewhere close to a lake, but that seemed to be a very difficult task. Somehow the venue, budget and date never fit together. As that didn’t work out, we looked for something different and found the Chateau de la Grande Riedera, which was perfect. We loved that all parts of the wedding could take place at the same location, which made it a very relaxed atmosphere. It also allowed us to organise the caterer we wanted to have which brought us back at least parts of the BBQ idea.”
“Compared to a typical Swiss wedding ours was probably very different”, she continued. “We had an outdoor ceremony with a friend of ours officiating, and a rockabilly band playing. This actually influenced the retro style of the whole day. I had seen so many great weddings featured on blogs like Rock n Roll Bride and wanted to do so many different things, none of which seemed to fit together. However in the end it all came together great!”
The couple did a few simple bits of DIY including the invitations and the tissue paper flowers. “We designed all of our cards on our own. It was important for us to do this because we both like to design and this way we knew that they would turn out exactly as we wanted them. We also had plastic flamingos everywhere! I knew all along that I wanted to have flamingos at our wedding. Unfortunately, they all seemed too expensive until I found some on eBay about two weeks before the wedding!”