I love weddings like Claire & Lee’s. Not just because the rockabilly theme is awesome, but because they put their heart and soul(s) into creating a wedding that reflects how they are in everyday life.
“We’re both very much in to the whole rockabilly and psychobilly scenes and have been for quite some time, so it only seemed natural to extend this to our wedding day,” Claire told me. “One thing we set out to do from the very beginning was to make our wedding day for us. It seems all too often that people try and tailor their wedding day around their family and other guests, where as for ourselves we tailored it around us and guests had to fit in; which they did wonderfully.”
“We sourced everything ourselves to fit our style perfectly; the clothes, cars, venues, music and decorations had to be just right; and although at times it was a nightmare of a challenge to get every thing perfect (antique teapots are notoriously hard to find) we managed it and wouldn’t have changed anything for the world.”
The wedding ceremony was held at Manor by the Lake, Cheltenham. After a moving service the couple were greeted by Morris Dancers as they departed. “As Lee is a Morris dancer he had his side (The Gloucester Morris Men) waiting outside of the venue ready for when we walked out as husband and wife, their sticks raised in an arch for us to walk through. They then preformed a few dances for us, including Ladies Pleasure, a one man jig, for Claire. Lee also joined the side for one dance.” The couple were then whisked off to their DIY styled reception at The Lower Lode Inn, Tewkesbury in a 1959 Black Cadillac.
“All of the decorations for the reception I made myself, including 80 meters of bunting and the green and purple polka dot table cloth centres,” Claire continued. “The bunting ran diagonally across the room and was coupled up with strings of fairy lights, which came together to form a heart on the wall directly behind Lee and I. The table decorations were antique tea sets, with flower arrangements in the teapots and the tea cup and saucers had floating tea lights in them. There were also cut glass candle stick holders and candles which we collected ourselves.
Both the bride and groom wore two outfits, one for the ceremony and one for the reception. Claire changed from her Fairy Goth Mother corset and a skirt (made by a local seamstress to which Claire added – by hand – 500 pearls!) to her Forever Unique reception dress. Lee switched from a black 1950’s sharkskin suit (made in Las Vegas and bought on eBay) to a silver sharkskin suit which he found at Moss Bros of all places!
Colin & Sage were married by Elvis. But this wasn’t a shotgun or tacky Vegas wedding, oh no, these two are pure Rock n Roll!
“We take our anniversaries very seriously,” Colin wrote. “When I proposed on our 9 year anniversary, I already had every intention of getting married the day of our 10 year anniversary. Unfortunately, the calendar had other plans as October 3rd, 2011 fell on a Monday. Speaking with our bridal party, we were coming to find out we were going to be fairly inconvenient to keep that date. Finally, we agreed to move the wedding to another date, but only if we still got legally married on October 3rd.”
“We originally planned on just marching down to the courthouse but where’s the fun in that? We decided to look for a cheap little chapel and hit the jackpot when we stumbled across Rhinestone Wedding Chapel on Music Row. It was exactly what we were looking for and – What!? An Elvis impersonator at no additional charge? Sign me up! Once we knew we were being married by Elvis, every other decision was obvious. We needed to match the decor with some 50’s inspired duds.”
Sage wore a yellow dress by Steppin’ Out at Marshalls. “The whole day was just so much fun,” concluded the bride. “I spent the entire day laughing and feeling lucky. I have been through a few weddings and watch a lot of bridal shows and all I can say is I wish every bride had it as easy as I did that day.”
“Having a personal wedding without the big crowd was extremely liberating. Since we knew we were going to have a more traditional wedding a week later for the rest of our friends and family, we knew we could do whatever we wanted without worrying about accommodating anyone but ourselves.”
Angie & Jack’s Cornish Wedding was a wedding of three parts – with the ceremony at Devoran Parish Church, drinks and afternoon snacks at Devoran Village Quay and finally the main reception, with dinner and dancing, at Devoran Village Hall.
“We didn’t stick to the standard ‘wedding rules’ and just wanted our wedding to be fun and to show our personalities,” the bride told me. “We wanted everything to be as unique and as personal without spending a fortune.”
The couple DIY’ed as much of their wedding as they could including the guest labels (old jam jar tags decorated with japanese masking tape), the cake toppers, the bunting, the centrepieces, the table runners, the pew ends and the guest book.
“What we did spend on were important things to make the day enjoyable for our guests, like lots of booze, food and our band,” Angie continued. “It was an important venue because Devoran is the village that Jack grew up in – the church, the quay and the village hall are all minutes from each other and they all hold lots of sentimental value and memories. We didn’t want some grand, faceless venue that didn’t mean anything to us.”
“We had the best day ever and had lots of fun putting it all together – and our friends and family say they had a blast. The other amazing thing is that it was raining EVERYDAY all week in the lead up to the wedding but on the day it was glorious – as you can see from the pics – but from the time the night was over (close to midnight) and all throughout the following days it was raining again! So we were very very lucky and blessed with good weather on the day!”
Jess & David were married in All Saints Church in Kirby and they had their reception in the bride’s parent’s back garden. Jess wore a Candy Anthony Dress, Upper Street shoes (which she designed herself) and Vivienne Westwood jewellery. The lucky couple had Shell De Mar there to capture their day.
“We met at school and had been together 12 years when David proposed at sunrise on the beach in Mexico,” Jess told me. “Initially I’d been reluctant to get out of bed so early but something told me it might be worth it…and it was!”
“We always knew we wanted to get married in Pocklington, the small Yorkshire town where my parents live and where the school at which we met is. But finding a venue was a big problem as everything just felt too formal and wedding-y. In the end, it made perfect sense to do it in my parents garden as we had the space and freedom to do everything exactly as we wanted. We felt really strongly that if we were going to have all the people around us that we cared most about, we didn’t want to be standing on ceremony. That was one of the reasons we put our table in the middle of the room, because we didn’t want that us and them separation.”
“I knew immediately I wanted a 50’s style dress and as soon as I clapped eyes on Candy Anthony’s dresses it was love at first sight. The polka dots were just perfect and the red sash was brought everything together. I was worried that David would be disappointed that I hadn’t gone more traditional but the look on his face when I walked down the aisle told me I had nothing to worry about. The right shoes were proving extremely difficult to find and it was my Mum who eventually found Upper Street’s website. I designed exactly what I wanted and six weeks later they arrived and couldn’t have been more perfect.”
“My biggest thing throughout the planning was that I didn’t want to settle just because something was easier and I spent many hours trawling websites for ideas on how to do things,” the bride continued. “There were times, I think, when my Mum struggled with the idea that it wasn’t going to be a traditional, fluffy, sugar coated wedding, but she soon got what I had in mind and was amazing in helping everything come together. We couldn’t have done it without my Mum and Dad.”
“In the end the theme was a celebration of all things kitsch – or village fete meets Rock n Roll tattoo parlour as one of our guests described it. The biggest compliment at the end of the day was the number of people telling us how the whole wedding was totally ‘us’.”
Meeting through a love of 60’s girl bands and 50’s Rock n Roll, it was inevitable that the wedding of Laura & Daniel would be made for this little blog of mine. Combine this with a penchant for vintage clothing and you’ve just about created the perfect Rock n Roll Bride wedding.
“It seemed natural for us to reflect the way we met in our wedding,” Laura told me. “I’m an artist, designer and one half of 50’s Rock n Roll DJ duo The Truckin’ Laura’s, and Daniel is guitarist in The Special Needs, so music was a big part of the wedding. I walked down the aisle to a piano version of ‘Sea of Love’ by Phil Phillips played by our friend Galia. Our friend Anna and her all singing all dancing Ronettes played a beautiful ukelele version of Phil Spector classic ‘Be my Baby’ at the end of our ceremony which set the tone for the day perfectly. Another really special moment was Daniel singing The Tempations ‘My Girl’ after his speech and all our guests joining in with the chorus. After our first dance to The Ramones ‘Baby I Love You’ our DJ friends took turns on the decks and kept the guests dancing all night!”
“We wanted to create a fun, down to earth day with lots of heart and some personal touches”, she continued. “As we didn’t have a huge budget we enlisted the help of our incredibly talented & kind friends and family! Everything from our cake, to the flowers, decorations and all the wonderful food (including some particularly cute pink coconut mice) were made by us, our friends and family. It was a huge amount of work but worth every moment. We felt so honoured to have so many people involved in making the day so individual and special.”
“For our table names we took our two carved Liger cake toppers (our favourite animal) and photographed them in the places around the city that were special to us. Each location was used as a table name and the photographs were placed in frames on the table. Guests really enjoyed chatting about them, especially the ‘Tufnell Park Kebabs’ table!”
“The day not only reflected our love for each other but also all the amazing creative people we are lucky enough to have in our lives. In honour of Daniel’s Polish heritage the guests toasted us with traditional double vodka shots when we entered the reception which was blamed for a lot of rowdy behaviour later in the evening. Rock ‘n’ Pole!”
Laura’s vintage dress was bought from Elizabeth Avey in London. “It was the first place I went with my Mum and we came away two hours later with my perfect frock,” Laura explained. “I always wanted a 50’s lace dress, but hadn’t considered anything backless until I came across this beauty. My friend Lizzie who owns Mishka Vintage gave me my jewellery and very kindly let us get ready for the day in her beautiful shop.”
Sally & Clifton’s city wedding had a classically elegant but quirky vintage vibe. The wedding was held at Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue, London, which really set the relaxed tone of the day.
“We didn’t really have a theme to start with, we just went with what felt right and what would make us happy,” Sally told me. “We just wanted a really great party with only our closest family and friends and for it to be relaxed, informal and fun. So it ended up really personal and fortunately all the styling came together very nicely too. Our outfits had a 1950’s vintage vibe and my dress was from Fur Coat No Knickers.”
“I think I was really lucky with the people I hired to help too – they all really made a huge difference and all came to it with a very similar relaxed, personal, professional approach which made it easy. There were no outlandish over the top bridezilla moments (my best ladies made sure of that), nothing was over-organised so there was plenty room for spontaneity, and I didn’t go anywhere near any bridal magazines. And the result was that we loved every minute of it.”
The couple chose some of my all time favourite wedding suppliers to be a part of their day. As well as a Fur Coat No Knickers vintage dress, they employed the expertise of Elbie Van Eeden for Sally’s hair and make up and Charlotte of Restoration Cake who made their yummy heart-shaped cake.