Sam and Mike got married in Vegas. They eloped and only told their parents they were doing it. Their friends had no idea, in fact they thought they’d gone to Greece on holiday! The couple didn’t have any professional pictures taken of their Vegas elopement (they just snapped a few on their phones). When they returned home, they decided that they did really want to celebrate with their families too. So they decided to have a party in Manchester, with Tandem Photo there to capture the magic.
This was a super budget-friendly wedding, with the couple spending just £2000. The bride’s dress was £28 from eBay and her headpiece was £3! They bought and arranged their own flowers, designed their own invites and decorated the space with help from their army of besties.
“The inspiration for our Manchester party was retro vinyl, the sixties and the seventies and festivals,” said Sam. “Our invite was a rip off of the original Woodstock poster. Mike is really into 70s rock, prog and southern rock and I’m a bit more mod and psychedelic 60s. I guess the theme was ourselves with a nod to Vegas.”
“We didn’t want the day to be too formal”, she continued. “We didn’t want to be taken too seriously or too stylised. Hence the ‘bad album cover’ theme for the tables with vintage teapots and glass jars. The decoration was all done by us and friends. We had fairy lights, pendant lights and bunting from eBay and lanterns from Ikea. The table markers (vintage vinyl) were from our own record collection as well as some from my bridesmaid Dani who has the best collection of horrendous album covers known to man.”
Demelza and Andy were married in Stoke Newington Town Hall followed by a reception at The Mildmay Club in Newington Green. Their wedding was inspired by the kitchen sink dramas of the 60s.
“We wanted a really personal wedding so we made sure as much of it as possible was designed and made by either ourselves or our friends”, wrote the bride. “We also wanted a local wedding which is why we got married at our local town hall and had the reception in the working men’s club at the end of our street. We are very lucky to have two such amazing buildings so close to us. The inspiration just came from us, our home and what we love, we basically wanted to have a massive party with all our friends and family, great food and dancing all night!”
“Andy designed a font for our names and we had a large rubber stamp made with the idea of gold foil embossing each of the 130 invites by hand”, she continued. “This was a lovely idea and looked fantastic but each one took about half an hour to make and involved special powder, potions and a hair dryer!! Hence only half our guest received foiled invites, the rest got gold paint.”
“Our biggest expense, but also our biggest highlight was the band, The Tamla Motown Sound. Live music is really important to us so we knew we had to have a band playing. We absolutely love Motown and so do all our friends so we knew they would keep everyone dancing all night, they were fabulous.”
Kerry and Andrew were married at Mythe Barn in Birmingham. Their wedding was full of lovely rustic, home made touches. The bride wore a stunning 1960s vintage wedding dress which she found at Luxe Bridal and instead of a traditional bouquet, she carried dried flowers (!!) from The Artisan Dried Flower Company. All the rest of the flowers they arranged themselves.
“Our wedding was DIY, vintage, industrial and recycled with stag motifs and wood everywhere!”, Kerry explained. “It was basically a mixture of everything we love whilst keeping the theme of the venue in mind. As serious as a wedding is, we wanted to say our vows and basically have one big party with all our family and friends. A lot of weddings that we have been to have been very traditional but it’s just not us.”
Gena and Lea were married on the beach in front of The Shoosh Club in Brighton. They wanted a fun and relaxed wedding and so after lunch and milkshakes at JB’s Diner they booked the VIP area of the club for their after party! Neither venues needed decorating and he whole thing was cost effective and chilled out for the couple and their guests.
“Our wedding was a beach wedding with a 1950s and 60s twist!” wrote the bride. “My whole family travelled over from Belgium, France, Sweden, Finland and so we really had a three day wedding, with late dinners and early breakfasts with everyone all week. We were over the moon to have everyone around us for three entire days! Our friends and family made the wedding awesome. We had a dress code and most of them respected it.”
Fiona and David’s Kent wedding was influenced by the style of the 1940s through to the 1960s. “I think the whole day was defined by it really being a reflection of us as a couple”, Fiona said. “We really didn’t want an identikit, faceless, corporate feel. Also, we wanted it to be as relaxed as possible. We didn’t want anyone to stand on ceremony or feel uncomfortable. We just wanted all the people closest to us there and to eat, drink, dance and have a lot of fun.”
The day was held at Kent Life, a heritage farm in Maidstone. The space was decorated from top to toe by the couple themselves. “I’d always imagined a street party type feel for our wedding but that proved to be quite difficult to organise so we were really pleased when we found this original 1940s village hall at Kent Life”, she continued. “The fact that we could decorate it ourselves was a massive incentive for choosing the venue. Neither of us are fans of doing things as tradition dictates and the idea of having chair covers and white tablecloths foisted upon us made me very anxious! The venue was great and the fact that the village hall is surrounded by farmyard animals somehow made the whole idea of a wedding seem less pretentious and not too grand.”
Louise and Pete’s Belfast manor house wedding was full to bursting with cute, quirky and retro DIY details. The bride wore a polka dot Candy Anthony wedding dress and looked every but the mid-century starlet with her beehive hair do and classically gorgeous make up. “We definitely had a retro themed wedding”, Louise explained. “I took inspiration from Hairspray (especially when it came to my hair!) and had a pink polka dot 50s style dress. Pete had a teddy boy-esque suit. We played 60s garage songs during the drinks reception and 60s girl groups afterwards. We asked all our male guests to wear bow ties, which they did, including my 5 month old nephew!”
“In the year leading up to our own wedding Pete and I attended 13 weddings (including an amazing 5 day affair in Rajasthan), so we ended up with a really good idea of what we felt was important”, she continued. “It all centred on making sure our guests were having fun and that the food and alcohol was plentiful. We wanted to get everyone up and dancing. We knew from the outset that a hotel wedding wasn’t for us and we discarded elements that we didn’t feel mattered on the day, like having a top table or a cake cutting ceremony.”