Ben and Kate were married in August at Flaxton Gardens, Queensland, Australia. They wanted a romantic wedding but one that was a little bit different, to reflect their personalties. “ I struggled to begin with to decide what to do and how to do it”, began the bride. “I read a lot of magazines and blogs but it wasn’t until I found Rock n Roll Bride that I realised that it really didn’t matter what everyone else was doing, we should do what represents us best. So we did what made us happy, didn’t worry about tradition so much and did things that weren’t so ‘wedding’. I kept my hair short (I always thought I’d grow it), I kept it coloured (blue) and we wrote our own vows that made everyone laugh as they really reflected us.”
“We named our tables after cities we visited on the trip where Ben proposed. As it happened in New York, we used apples to hold our menus to represent the ‘Big Apple’ and our seating plan was inspired by a vintage map. We also had a local artist draw a picture of us to use as our guest book, guests signed red dots that we attached after to create a big bunch of balloons. I dyed doilies black and used them to create centrepieces. I used big round ones for our round guest tables and stitched a whole heap together to make a long table runner for the bridal table. We placed the black doilies over plain tan burlap and they looked beautiful!”
You know when you meet someone and you can instantly tell that they’re your kind of person? You talk non-stop about everything and anything and five hours later you wonder where all the time went? Well that was exactly what happened to me when I met up with photographer Lakshal Perera last week. Based in Australia, Lucky (as he’s known to his friends) is without a doubt one of the biggest talents coming out of Oz right now. His work never fails to blow me away and the fact that he’s literally one of the nicest people I’ve ever met makes his talent even more exciting to me.
Anyway, enough gushing, onto the wedding in hand..!
Kylie and Greg were married in Victoria. Their ceremony was held at Westgarth Theatre, and their reception at Normanby House, a fully restored house originally built in the 1900s. “The wedding began with our ceremony at an art deco theatre where we have been on many hot dates”, began the bride. “It was local, it was out of the ordinary, it was a beautiful setting, and the venue said yes!”
“Once guests were seated in the theatre, a stop motion video played on the big screen telling our 10 year story. We thought we would have some fun with the ceremony rather than bore people with the facts of our relationship that already knew. Barb, our celebrant, did a stellar job of convincing some guests that we did in fact meet on a speed dating night, and Greg won me a meat tray on our second date. These embellished facts made for an unexpected, hilarious ceremony, setting the mood for the day.”
Natalie & Paul chose to marry on the same day as the groom’s parents. Having lost his mother a few years previous, having the wedding on such a significant date meant a lot to the family. Having this nod to their family was important to them both, as was putting their own stamp on their day. The wedding had a retro B-movie theme and they really had fun with it!
“I decided from the beginning that I wanted to source as much of our wedding stuff from small businesses and crafts people”, Natalie began. “My short, 50s style polkadot wedding dress was made by one of my fabulous bridesmaids who is a skilled costumer and bespoke dressmaker. We had so much fun coming up with the design together and I knew that she would do me proud, I absolutely loved it! Our wedding rings were made by Rockcakes, a wonderfully quirky jewellery company based in Brighton. Again, we came up with the design together by emailing ideas back and forth until we decided on a simple band with a ruby heart and two little skulls engraved either side with tiny black diamond eyes – it’s so cute!”
Kathryn & Tim were married in the small historic village of Puhoi, New Zealand. Their ceremony was held in the tiny local church and their reception at Puhoi Centennial Hall. The day had quintessential Rock n Roll elements including the bride’s 50s/ 60s inspired wedding dress, her rockabilly hair do and the dancing late into the night. “We practiced Rock n Roll dancing for a few months before the wedding and had heaps of fun performing our routine to Big Hunk O’ Love”, Kathryn explained. “Afterwards our dance instructors Clint and Christine took to the floor to show everyone how it’s really done before doing a ‘snow-ball’ and bringing the guests up onto the dance floor. It was great seeing our crazy families dancing like lunatics with all our friends. I swapped my killer heels for some white bowling shoes and lace-topped bobby socks for the dance.”
The reception space was decorated by the couple themselves. “We’re known for hosting games nights so we made sure the wedding reception had the same sense of fun”, the bride continued. “Neither of us had been to many weddings but we figured that with a diverse bunch of guests we’d need some ice-breakers. I used to put on music shows and promote them with hand-drawn zines, so I brushed up my skills to make an activity book with a word search, maze, ‘dress the bride’, dingbats and other activities. We also turned the tables into quiz teams to give the guests something to do as they waited for their tables to be called up to the delicious Cajun buffet. Other activities included a raffle and ‘guess the lollies in the milk bottles’.”
Lorna & Dave were married in Southend in April. Their ceremony took place at The Culture Centre, right on the pier, and their reception was at Ocean Beach, a restaurant on the beach. “The theme for our wedding was British seaside with a touch of vintage”, wrote Lorna. “The beautiful blue sky and sunshine really made the day that extra bit special. It was amazing! The children were able to run about and play on the beach at the reception and the view from the decking at Ocean Beach was incredible.”
“I run a vintage business, Latham Street Vintage, and we live by the sea in a lovely little fishing town called Leigh”, she continued. “These were our two main inspirations. Getting married on Southend Pier was amazing, especially having to get the old train up to the Culture Centre. Our guests loved that part and it made the whole day really quirky and fun. We were only the second people to ever get married at The Culture Centre too which also made it even more special.”
Ashlea & Joel’s wedding was a mash up of everything they love and they actually found it quite difficult to narrow their wedding down to one particular ’theme’. “We found it really difficult to come up with a theme or concept to tie everything together, because we really weren’t fussy and just loved everything we saw!” explained Ashlea. “Eventually we decided to give it a garden and green theme, and felt our reception flowers made the room feel beautiful and lush just like we wanted. Siglo, the terrace bar at The European, where we had our ceremony, was a great place as we were overlooking some gardens and we had garden boxes lining a grass aisle.”
The wedding had lots of personal touches, the most special of them being the fact that Ashlea wore her grandmother’s wedding dress, which she had made for her own wedding in 1950. “My Nan (Muriel) made it in 1950 and wore it when she married my grandfather, Jack. They had a very happy marriage, but Grandpa died when my mum was only 15. Their relationship has always been up on a pedestal to us, so when I found Nan’s dress, it was the easiest decision in the world to wear it. Nan died just a few days after we found it, so it was nice to have a part of her with me on the day. I had a dressmaker line the dress and alter the neckline, but we didn’t change much (she did amazing work as it was made entirely from lace and was falling to bits in her hands). Joel and I had Nan & Grandpa’s wedding photo up on the wall at the reception too. I hope we have as happy as marriage as they did.”