For their late summer wedding Sarah & James wanted something relaxed, quirky and quintessentially English So they opted for a tea party style reception in the Suffolk countryside. The wedding was held at Otley Hall, a 16th Century moated hall surrounded by 10 acres of gardens and which has been voted one of the top 20 Historic Houses in the UK.
“We don’t like conform to the traditional”, began Sarah, “so we didn’t go for the big bank busting do to show off and invite hundreds of people we didn’t know. We wanted a day to celebrate our love for each other and to share it with the people we cared for. It was a day to show who we were as a couple in a setting that suited our individuality and to have a celebration! I suppose you could say our inspiration came from a collection of things we liked; we wanted it to be a celebration of us.”
“Our theme was English country garden party with a vintage homemade feel. There wasn’t a specific colour palette, but we decided to go with blue scale for the wedding parties’ attire. We decorated the space ourselves including a sweet stand for jars of sweets made by James’ dad, with handmade doily cones (made by James!) I customised the stand with bunting to match the bunting around the room and outside space made by my sister Aime.”
A colourful country fête wedding with a 1950s flair? What’s not to love in Steph & Dale’s wedding?! The day took place in Essex, kicking off at St Giles Church with the reception at Pledgdon Barn.
This wedding was a real DIY love affair and a project of passion. The couple made as much as possible including (deep breath) the bunting (both triangle and heart shaped), their stationery and all the paper goods, cocktail stirrers from laser cut card, the cake flags, the acrylic cake toppers, the wooden signs, the blackboards, the paper hearts for decorating the tables, the bridesmaids earrings, the buttonholes, the bow ties for their dogs and the cupcakes!
“I really wanted most things to be handmade because I like to be creative, plus this allowed things to be personal to us and also it can keep costs down”, Steph explained. “The bunting and stationary took the longest to make. If anyone says that bunting is quick then they would be lying!! The amount of man hours it took to make 200m of bunting was ridiculous!! I was still making up until a couple of days before but it turned the barn from something ordinary to something really special and it was definitely worth all the blood, sweat and tears.”
Sarah & Paul and were married in September at the royal observatory - Queen’s House in Greenwich. They went for a English vintage theme with a twist. It reflected the things they love in their everyday lives.
“The wedding theme was English vintage as I am big into my vintage clothing and music so things needed to be pretty but with an eccentric twist”, wrote the bride. “I didn’t want it to be a Cath Kidston wet dream and neither did I feel that an out-and-out rocking festival would have suited us so we went for something in between! I love typography and so that was instantly worked into our invites and other paper goods (I made the majority using pretty parchment card and downloading fonts from the internet).”
Ian & Chrissie were married in October in London. Their ceremony was held at Islington Town Hall and their reception took place at The Britannia pub in Victoria Park, Hackney. The two venues helped to set the tone for their quirky, quintessentially ’London’ and vintage-inspired day.
“We knew we wanted to have our wedding in London where we live and met and the town hall was perfect”, began the bride. “The room we chose for our ceremony was circular which made it feel really inclusive. We have since found out the room in which we got hitched was used as the court room in the video for Culture Club ‘Do you really want to hurt me’ – which in our minds only adds to his awesomeness! Having a good old knees up in a pub was what we really wanted for our reception. The Britannia ticked all our boxes of being a lovely old victorian building with a lot of quirky details and also doing fab food. The landlord Andrew was very flexible in terms of how we decorated the pub which was music to my ears.”
Chrissie wore a 1950s vintage inspired dress from Dolly Couture with Rachel Simpson shoes and a hair comb which was made from a 1960s blue rhinestone brooch. “I would describe myself as a fully card carrying vintage dress enthusiast!” Chrissie explained. “I knew I definitely wanted to go down the 1950s route for my bridal style. My dress was the first one that I tried on and I fell completely in love with it. I had my dress customised from the original design by a seamstress, adding longer sleeves, a more open neckline with a lower V back with covered buttons. I also wore a short petticoat to add more of that all important 1950s swing. I wore a gorgeous vintage fur cape to add some old school glamour to my dress. I found the cape at a vintage fair, and I think it wins the prize for my best bargain find for the wedding at £35!”
Her bridesmaids’ looks were also vintage-inspired with each girl being styled to suit a different era. “I knew I wanted my bridesmaids to have vintage frocks but I didn’t have a set idea of what style of dress, which is half the fun of vintage shopping! The idea then evolved in to them all having dresses and hair and make up with a nod to different eras – 20s, 40s & 60s. All the bridesmaids dresses were bought from retro stores and vintage fairs with the exception of the light green fringed flapper style dress worn by my bridesmaid Ursula which was from Traffic People.”
I’m seeing a huge shift in a lot of the weddings that I’m being submitted of late. While large and lavish detail-heavy weddings were, and in many cases still are, wedding blog perfection, I am noticing that these days it’s the smaller ones that a catching my eye. It seems that lot of my readers are completely swinging the other way and are planning small, intimate and personality-heavy nuptials. I know what it is though – my readers are rebels, just like me! You don’t want to do what everyone else is doing – you want your weddings to be different and to be a perfect reflection of your love and your relationship. And that, dear readers, is why I friggin’ love each and every one of you!
I’ve known Amy for a while now. She is one third of Ava - a wedding styling company based in Birmingham, and we’ve actually worked together on many occasions. The biggest collaboration we’ve done has got to be my Rock n Riot shoot where she even commissioned a graffiti artist to paint me on a giant wall!
Amy spends her life styling other people’s weddings and events, so when it came to her own special day, she wanted to make sure it was really theirs and that it didn’t just feel like another day at the office…
“I’ve collected coloured glass since I left home and it does make be truly happy, weird but true,” Amy explained. “I look at it everyday and everybody that knows me likes to take the mick for my collecting obsessions. I would have bought along all of my chairs if I could have! I am a florist so obviously I’m used to working with flowers all the time but for our wedding I wanted something simple – I didn’t want to over complicate anything. I basically just plonked all of my favourite flowers in the coloured vases. We used Gloriosia, Vanda Orchid and Tassel Flowers, then Love Lies Bleeding with Dahlias which were home grown by a friend. I love colour too so if anything our theme would have beeb a ‘rainbow of bonkersness’ against the quite formal manor house.”
“Louise & Colin are one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever photographed”, wrote Scottish wedding photographer Caroline of Candysnaps Photography. “They have such an amazing chemistry and are so very much in love. It is such a joy to work with a couple like this. They just opened up and really let me in and totally forgot about the camera.”
This gorgeous couple didn’t want a big fuss for their wedding so they had a really small and intimate day with just their nearest and dearest in attendance The two of them got ready together at 15 Glasgow and after the ceremony at Glasgow’s Park Circus registry office they had a very small (not photographed) reception at the Malmaison hotel. They did allocate the time for an urban photo session around the city with their photographer Caroline though which resulted in some pretty spectacular shots!