Tag Archives: 1950s

A Homemade Whitstable Wedding: Sinead & Dan

Sinead & Dan were married in Whitstable at Beacon House, with a reception afterwards at the groom’s parent’s house. The great thing about Beacon House is that it’s one of the only wedding venues in the UK that’s licensed for an almost outdoor wedding, on the porch of the house, overlooking the beach. However it’s a small venue, hence why like a lot of couples Sinead & Dan moved to another venue for their reception.

Beacon House is the most beautiful house, we fell in love with it and Katrina the owner as soon as we arrived for the first visit,” the bride told me. “We married on the veranda with just 20 of our closest friends and family, with the beach as our backdrop. Instead of an aisle, I walked along the seafront to meet Dan at the top of the stairs, while a guitar and sax played. It was perfect, even if there was a 70yr old man in teeny tiny Speedos sunbathing on the beach while the ceremony took place! Our reception was in Dan’s parent’s garden. We found that a lot of venues imposed a lot of rules, you had to use their caterers, their bar service, corkage charges, end times, car parking etc. Having it at home gave us so much freedom and it felt so comfortable being there.”

The couple made their wedding their own with all the personal touches and details. Most things were collected over the years by trawling car boot sales and second hand shops and were things they already owned. They also found a lot of items on etsy or were handmade by friends. “We wanted a small intimate handmade wedding and an amazing reception – great music, great food with exciting and interesting decor. We are so lucky living in Whitstable, with a close-knit community of amazing businesses, I was keen to source everything as local as possible.”

“We wanted our friends and family to come to our wedding and feel as they would if they were on holiday; relaxed, comfortable and ready to have fun,” Sinead explained. “We had a marquee in the garden, but I was keen to make it less marquee like, so we covered the walls of the marquee in deck chair fabric and dotted some choice 1950s style furniture around. I absolutely loved the detail in the planning, and sourcing just the right things…we served the bubbly in Babycham glasses that I had collected over the year and I used lots of 50s children’s annuals and board games as centre pieces and to decorate the furniture and it just wouldn’t have been right without the ‘Kiss Me Quick, Squeeze Me Slow’ hats for the photobooth.”

“We had sticks of rock and cones of fish and chips as favours with a raffle in the evening! Our friend made us our very own seaside peep board as a wedding present, which provided hours of entertainment. I loved looking around and seeing our friends and family smiling, laughing and taking pleasure in all the detail, the details that me and Dan had so much fun gathering and putting together.”

Sinead wore a Candy Anthony wedding dress and it was the first wedding dress that she tried on! “As soon as it was on I knew I had to get married in it,” she continued. “I always knew I wanted a tea-length dress, that 50s look is just so feminine and pretty. I wanted a huge petticoat underneath, it just felt so much fun and really girly. It was also important to me to have a dress that gave me freedom to move, I wanted to cuddle people and I wanted to dance the night away. The slightly shorter length was perfect for that. I’ve heard about a lot of brides that looked amazing on their day but couldn’t move a lot or sometimes even breath very well – I don’t understand that logic. The Candy Anthony dress also allowed me to create a different look in the evening, I took off the sash and lace overlay. I had a tiny bow belt to put on and a matching pillbox hat, I found a blue cashmere cardigan to put on top. I love my dress so much and the girls at Candy Anthony are so lovely!”

“Someone said to me recently, that they wondered if homemade weddings like mine and the weddings that feature on blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride, put pressure on brides to make everything themselves and find newer and more creative ideas,” Sinead concluded. “I felt quite pissed off about this (particularly as the person works in the industry) because in my experience it was the exact opposite. I think there is so much pressure on brides full stop, but particularly at the beginning when everyone is offering their ideas, hopes and sometimes expectations of your wedding. I felt a certain amount of pressure to do things a certain way – the traditional way. Blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride reassured me and encouraged me to make our wedding exactly how we wanted it. Having the freedom to be able to put our personality into our wedding was incredible and I think forums that showcase these weddings, simply inspire and reassure other brides. It’s not about keeping up with others it’s about realising it’s ok to put your stamp on your wedding and a great place for idea sharing!”

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A Sweet Day-After Shoot with Betsy Beetle: Leia & Brad

For their day-after photo shoot Leia & Brad wanted to get someone else involved – Betsy Beetle! “I love this vintage VW beetle that drives by my house everyday with a cute little luggage rack,” wedding photographer Katherine O’Brien explained, “so I asked Terry, her owner, if we could borrow her for the afternoon.”

“It’s still a little chilly in Austin where we live so Leia wore her own vintage faux leopard wrap and turquoise pumps, ” she continued. “Leia had wanted a vintage 50s style wedding dress, but couldn’t find the right one that wasn’t stained yellow from age at the thrift stores. So her awesome Mom offered to make her one! After finally picking a lace and fabric, her Mom used one of her old sundresses as a pattern. She spent months sewing, ripping, and resewing. What an incredible gift to have your Mother make your wedding dress!”

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A Rainbow Rockabilly Wedding: Jennifer & Jon

If you’re a long-time reader of this ‘lil wedding blog of mine, you’ll be well aware that I’m a huge fan of the rainbow wedding trend. I even modeled in an ‘Over the Rainbow’ themed shoot last October. So you can imagine my glee when Jennifer & Jon’s wedding landed on my desk.

The couple wanted a huge party, and with 200 guests and only a $10,000 budget they were determined to not spent a fortune to do so. “We honestly would never have been able to pull of any wedding without our friends and family,” Jennifer told me. “It was truly a DIY wedding with everyone helping out days beforehand by shoveling, raking and baking in the hot sun to make my friend’s ranch into a kick ass outdoor wedding venue. Caitlin & Michael Burns, owners of Rebar Ranch were gracious enough to make our vision come true (or turn our lack of vision into something amazing!)”

Everything from the ceremony to the after-party was personal to the couple. “Our inspiration was simply to have a wedding that represented ourselves completely in every aspect,” the bride continued. “I had to throw out the wedding books in order to stay sane. We just told each other no matter what it would be what we wanted and to not make things to serious. I walked down the aisle with my brothers –  two of the most important people in my life. One of the highlights of our wedding was we wrote our own vows as all the vows we found online didn’t really feel very ‘us’.  It took us awhile but after a few margaritas we incorporated some of our favorite song lyrics into every part of our vows”

“Our theme was simply ‘Party!’ All we wanted to do was celebrate with those closest and have as much fun as possible. Our guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been to. We danced all night! The band was able to play some Johnny Cash songs as well as their original songs.”

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A Pop of Neon: A 50s Meets 80s Styled Bridal Shoot

When wedding blogger and stylist Sonia of Want that Wedding send me this neon inspiration shoot I fell in love immediately. I’m a bit of a colour fiend (no duh!) and neon is a trend that I’m love love loving on the high street right now. I’m super excited to see it filter down into bridal styling and I’d love to see some real Rock n Roll Brides rocking out this look on their wedding days. What do you think?

The shoot took place at the beautiful One Marylebone, London. Their bright white ‘galleries’ room made the perfect backdrop for the shoot. The white setting really makes the neon accents pop!

“The inspiration for this shoot came about during a brainstorming session with Kat Hill of Kat Hill Fotographie,” Sonia explained. “We were discussing various themes for a shoot when this idea just suddenly popped out ‘how about a 50s shoot with an 80s twist?’ I’m not even sure who said it first but we both fell in love with the idea.”

“During my research that followed I became utterly captivated with a neon wedding shoot and I just knew I wanted to incorporate neon bursts of colour. I love the near total whiteness with the pops of bright colours and neon, it’s really edgy and cool and it’s a pretty way to incorporate this ‘in your face’ colour palette into your wedding day.”

“I wanted to create a cute candy cake station. I thought it’d look adorable to display yummy treats with bold pops of colour and neon detailing. It’s easy to order neon food colouring and neon sprinkles off the net. I ordered a few neon knick knacks to get into the creative flow and I particularly adore the LOVE sign, it’s so retro and cute!”

“The wedding bouquet is a statement piece, pretty and bold with the neon edges on the rose petals. It’s a nod to the dip dye trend and is an incredibly easy thing to recreate. The cake was purchased from good ole’ M & S and was decorated with some of the dipped rose heads. All you need is a can of neon spray paint!!”

“I also love that the bright make-up, 50s hairstyle and accessories, neon beads, cuff and earrings plus the beautiful 50s wedding dresses with brightly coloured underskirts pull the whole look together. It shows what you bridestobe can achieve if you put your minds to it! Who says neon can’t be used in your wedding?”

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A Blue Burlesque Wedding with a £900 Budget: Sally & Mark

To say that I’m excited to be sharing Sally & Mark’s wedding with you this afternoon would be an under-exaggeration of HUGE magnitude. Not only is their wedding freakin’ awesome on so many levels, but they pulled the whole thing off for £900!

Let me repeat myself to make sure you got that, because I didn’t quite believe it when I read it on Sally’s submission either – the whole wedding cost just £900!!

“We had approx 6 weeks and a budget of around £900 for our wedding,” Sally wrote. “Where we could we handmade items or got friends to help us out. We were lucky that our photographers, performers, DJ and cake makers were all friends so did us special deals. We were also able to get both our venues (the afternoon reception was held at William Steads Pub and the evening afterparty at the Tap and Spile Pub, Darlington) for free as we didn’t hire them exclusively.”

“Our inspiration came from our love of burlesque and the fact we wanted a fun day loosely based around the 50’s,” Sally continued. “Once we’d found the dress then we built from there. I had searched and searched for a perfect dress but couldn’t find one in my size. I very luckily stumbled across Pixie Pocket who hand makes dresses for amazing prices. I really wanted to add colour and we managed to find most things that matched my hair!”

The couple decorated their evening reception venue themselves, mostly using items they found in their local £1 shop! “Our sweets, table confetti, table gems and sequins all came from the £1 shop and we made the bunting ourselves from off cuts of old material.”

“It was a small intimate event (just 33 guests) but it was just what we wanted and we were able to incorporate our two children in with the day. The day was exactly what we wanted. We started at 9.30am (we had been told that the registry office was fully booked but one morning I decided to call them and BEG them to fit us in! Eventually they relented and said we could have a 9.30am wedding and they opened an hour and a half early for us!) Then we went to our local pub for bacon sandwiches and a full English breakfast. From there we came home for cocktails and popped to our local park for pictures. Our photographer was amazing! Just what we wanted nice and laid back with no pressure and added to the fun.”

“After my parent’s had taken our kids back to theirs, we had the evening upstairs at our local pub. An evening of booze and burlesque! The whole day was amazing fun. My face hurt from laughing and smiling!”

Sally & Mark have also been kind enough to provide a breakdown of what they spent for their day, as I know a lot of you are on the look out for money saving tips for your own weddings. Check out the ‘Supporting Cast’ credits list below the gallery for the amounts they spent on each item.

More loveliness in the gallery below. FYI, a few of the following images may not be safe for work…

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A Rockabilly, Psychobilly Wedding: Claire & Lee

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!

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