Alex and Maddy had different ideas about what their wedding should be like, but luckily they learned to compromise! “When we first started discussing the type of wedding we wanted, we realised we were on opposite ends of the spectrum”, explained the bride. “Alex would have been more than happy with a simple registry office with minimal guests whereas I wanted something where we could celebrate with all of our friends and family, where I could feel a bit like a princess for the day! In the end we agreed on a rustic woodland theme and kept to a relatively small budget considering the size of our guest list. We had 105 people (big families!).”
“We decided to throw out all of the typical conventions and plan a wedding that was ‘us’. Alex didn’t want much to do with it (events aren’t his forte) so he gave me a list of his requirements (which were pretty much ‘Hog roast’ and ‘No hats or fascinators’) and I set to work with making the rest of it fall in to place.”
“I don’t feel our wedding was particularly unique or cutting edge, but it was completely right for us and our family and friends. It was a relaxed chilled out day with LOADS of personal details. Having our three year-old daughter involved in the ceremony was really special. She helped tie the knots around our hands during the handfasting part.”
For a lot of ‘normal’ brides and grooms, getting married on Halloween would be super weird. But for most Rock n Roll brides and grooms its the best idea ever! Liz and Si picked October 31st for their big day which took place at the iconic Royal Pavilion in Brighton.
“We knew that we wanted a Halloween wedding, with purple as the main colour, and plenty of skulls”, began the bride. “Everything evolved very organically from there. As well as Halloween we took inspiration from the things we both liked – the 1950s, skulls, bats, poison bottles and Brighton.”
“We made poison bottles and apothecary jars for the centrepieces ourselves. We made the labels for the favours and assembled them. We also made ring-books to hold our rings during the ceremony and the place-cards. We even made our own cake and the memory tree we used to honour people who couldn’t be with us on the day.”
“Something else that was significant was my leather rose bouquet”, she said. “Leather roses have been a part of our relationship from the start, and we wanted the flowers used on the day to reflect that. We also decided to keep real flowers to a minimum, and matched the bridesmaid’s wrist corsage to the flowers being used in the centrepieces.”
One of the things I was most looking forward to on our recent trip to Japan was that we were going to take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to a few different cities. The transport in Japan is so fast and reliable and it really wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. (I wrote about our itinerary and all the ins and outs of getting the bullet train in my Japan 101 article.)
After Tokyo, the next city on our tour was Kyoto which is less than a three hour journey away. We opted to spend five nights, and although it was beautiful and peaceful, any longer and I think we would have struggled to fill our time. I must prefer to be busy and occupied when I travel. I’m terrible, I know, I literally do not know how to switch off!
There are way more people in traditional clothing in Kyoto which was so cool to see. These colours!
If you enjoy history, castles, palaces, gardens and museums, you’re going to LOVE it in Kyoto.
Castles and shrines
Being an older city there are plenty of castles (many of which have been converted into museums) for you to explore. Doing touristy things really isn’t my idea of a brilliant time, but Gareth particularly enjoyed our visits to Nijo Castle, the Silver Pavillion and Osaka Castle (which is in Osaka, obviously! More on that below). The Golden Pavilion, which unlike its silver counterpart is actually covered in gold, was also on our list, but we were feeling a bit Pavilion-ed out by the time we came to visit so we gave it a miss.
There are also SO MANY shrines in Kyoto. It’s hardly surprising that the city’s nickname is ‘the city of ten thousand shrines’! I’m pretty sure that’s literal too. Nearly every corner you turn its like “Oh hey, there’s another one!”
Happy Sunday gorgeous! I just wanted to pop by today and share some exciting news. I’ve been asked by Closer Magazine to be a regular columnist!
Once a month I’ll be writing something for them (and you!) which will help you with your (alternative) wedding planning. My first article is live on their website right now and its about one of my favourite (or should that be LEAST favourite?!) topics – the pressure on brides to lose weight for their weddings. Oh I do love the chance to rant about this one.
Graphic by Veronica Dearly for Rock n Roll Bride magazine, issue 6
I’m so excited that Closer have asked me to do this, what a dream job! If you enjoyed the article it would be awesome if you’d send them a tweet or comment on Instagram to let them know too.
Weddings like Suzy and Steven’s make my job so easy. They were married in November at a stables in Birmingham, Alabama. They were inspired by all the things that showed their personalities.
“Our wedding was a modern and well-conceived version of the rustic wedding traditions sans the wagon wheels and the cowboy boots”, said the bride. “We figured since we were already doing the field/stable combo and were dressing the bridal party with fall colours, that some reasonable departures into modern minimalist design with some stark whites and simple decorations would work well to give it a more stoic feel.”
“One of our favourite personalisations was that the wedding party was in charge of performing all the music at the ceremony. We picked of few of the groomsmen to play the songs on given instruments (banjo, ukulele, mandolin, violin and guitar). Steven is very musical and ALL of his friends are too. We also had another groomsmen and a bridesmaid singing over the top.”
“It also rained throughout our (outdoor!) ceremony but this ended up being one of the most enchanting and favourite details of the wedding”, said the groom. “It sets our day apart and makes it more intimate and beautiful to us.”
There’s something so extra special about tiny weddings and Hannah and Calum only invited very close friends and family to their December wedding. They were married at private house by Loch Lomond. They hired it for the full weekend and everyone stayed there with them.
“We wanted a relaxed weekend with friends and family with a wedding in the middle”, said the bride. “From the beginning we knew we wanted to do a lot of it ourselves with all of our guests pitching in. Everybody helped out, from baking the wedding cake, to creating the ceremony room, to arranging the flowers, to keeping everybody fed for the weekend. Our inspiration was that we just wanted to have lots of delicious food and spend the weekend with our favourite people.”
The bride wore a silvery grey dress (which she designed herself with the help of a dressmaker) and a green cloak that was over 100 years old and had belonged to her grandmother. “We had grand plans to whisk Hannah and Calum off and make the most of the stunning Loch Lomond scenery”, took over photographers Tino & Pip. “However that was scuppered somewhat by the raging storm! We did get a few cracking shots of them standing together braced against the wind and rain inches from the water’s edge. Hannah’s dress and cloak certainly looked dramatic against the landscape!”