Natalie and Katie were married at the Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire. They chose it as they wanted a place that they could be for the whole weekend and that all their family and close friends could stay there too. The wedding was a real team effort, with lots of people pitching in to make it perfect. One of Natalie’s friends, Hayley Neil of Glory Days Vintage, made both dresses, another friend did the flowers, another the cake, and they hand crafted the stationery themselves.
“We wanted a very casual wedding with an outdoorsy feel where everybody could feel very relaxed”, wrote Natalie, “In fact it was so relaxed that Katie’s dad, Kev, had his shorts on within an hour of the ceremony! The casual theme was reflected in everything from the style of the meal to the photography and the camping guests!”
Carla and Chris wanted their wedding to be a reflection of them but also to be laid back and enjoyable for their guests. They weren’t bothered about following tradition and mainly wanted to make sure that they threw one hell of party!
“We hate the big white wedding and the whole cut-and-paste experience so we wanted to do something different”, began Carla. “No white wedding dress, no cutting of the cake, absolutely no bunting. Just us, relaxed and simple. I guess we set the scene when we sent out wedding invitations with a picture of two skeleton hands with their wedding rings on (till death do us part!)”
The celebration was held at Cripps Barn, a converted barn. ”I always wanted to get married in a cider orchard but after investigating we realised this would be tricky as we didn’t’t know anyone who owned one. Instead, we began to look at venues that were either in or near a woodland. We both immediately knew that Cripps Barn was going to be our wedding venue when we saw it for the first time. It was rustic, unpretentious, beautiful, in the middle of nowhere and we had the option to get married outside. And most importantly for Chris, they served hog roast! Perfect.”
Alex and Dan were married in September and spent just £7000 on their southern american themed wedding. The celebration took place at Allington Manor in Lincolnshire and the bride wore a prom dress with Dr Martens boots. Their amazing wedding cake featured dragon’s eggs and was based on their favourite TV show, Game of Thrones.
“We drew our inspiration for our wedding from various things that we love”, wrote the bride. “The rustic, country, southern american feel came from our love for bluegrass, country and roots music. I had never dreamed of a white wedding and have never imaged myself in anything other than a colourful dress. I went for a peacock themed dress because of the amazing range of colours within a peacock’s feathers. Getting married in Dr Martens was a perfect nod again to the music in our lives and how big a part of us it is. My shoes were bloody great!”
British babe Nicole met Canadian Jon at us stop in Byron Bay, whilst both travelling in Australia in 2006. He was a skateboarder and so she tired to impress him by going on it… he nudged her and she broke her ankle! Far from being a disastrous first meeting though, Jon then changed his travel plans to be with her, aww!
A laid back couple, they wanted this to be reflected in their September wedding. Although they say they didn’t really have a theme, they definitely included things that defined them such as their cats, skateboarding and their mutual love of travel. “We included anything we loved such as a big photo of our kittens at the ceremony, a half pipe and a trampoline at the reception venue”, explained Nicole. “We also did some photos at the local Sainsburys!”
“Everything was very personal. We painted the name of each of our guests on stones we had collected from Fistral Beach near our home in Newquay. We tied ribbons on 100 jam jars we had collected from our cafe, The Beached Lamb Cafe. Instead of traditional champagne or Pimms as welcome drinks we had bath tubs full of beer.”
Peacocks were the inspiration for Steph and Jo’s army barracks wedding. Their favourite colours are green and purple so it worked out perfectly! They used peacock feathers throughout their wedding – on the cupcakes, as the centrepieces and as motifs on the stationery.
“We cut out quite a lot of traditions that we didn’t feel were necessary, and we wanted to keep it all as informal as possible”, Steph began. “There were no big speeches, no seating plan, no first dance, no bridesmaids and no real formalities other than the ceremony itself. Our reading was ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton and we walked down the aisle together to ‘Zelda’s Theme’ from the Nintendo game ‘Skyward Sword’. Instead of having one big cake, we had some GORGEOUS cupcakes that a friend of Jo’s baked for us as our wedding present.”
“Our DIY efforts included me trimming my top hat with feathers, making my own veil, all the buttonholes and the card box. I wired up and assembled all of the jewellery to make my bouquet too. The centrepieces for the evening venue were homemade, and the ‘prototype’ was made by me, but the credit for that goes to Jo’s sister, brother-in-law and best friend as they put them all together. Jo’s brother-in-law also made the backdrop for the dance floor out of fabric and fairylights on a wooden frame, and decorated the entrance with balloons, ribbon and more twinkly lights as an amazing surprise. I cried when I saw it all, it was so beautiful.”
When wedding photographer Michael of My Beautiful Bride told me that Craig and Melanie were one of his most adventurous couples yet, I took it with a pinch of salt. But then I saw their wedding day portraits where they got into a bath of water – fully clothed – with their dog! Not that’s something you don’t see everyday. If, like Melanie, you’re not bothered about keeping your wedding dress pristine, you totally need to do something like this. How fun!
“Our wedding was 1950s chic with a homemade slice of psychedelia”, began Craig. “We really wanted the whole party to feel relaxed and personal for both us and our guests, so we did as many things as possible to make this happen. This included the name badges we made, the games on the tables and in the gardens, the caterers, the music and the dress policy. Everything was always focused on fun and having a good time and not being too regimented.”