There are some weddings I see which (forgive me, I know this is terribly unpatriotic) I instantly think, “damn, that’s SO COOL, it can’t be a British wedding”. It’s nice to be completely wrong though, especially with this wedding. In fact “SO COOL” doesn’t even cover it a little bit… April and Dennis are off the richter scale!
The Dutch/Kiwi groom and his American bride met in Amsterdam while they were both travelling around Europe. Long story short, they fell in love and settled in London. They were hitched on the roof of Rockwell House, a studio space in east London that comes complete with epic views of the capital’s skyline.
“When we started planning the wedding we knew we wanted Something completely different than any wedding we’d ever been to”, April began. “In searching for this we really found truly alternative was hard to come by. It all still seemed to be a tweak of the same old thing.”
“It was important to us that everything we did on the day was considered beforehand, that we didn’t do anything automatically just because it’s what you do at a wedding. I think we ended up with a really different, really special, really representative of us, day. We got wedding tattoos instead of rings – two halves of one tattoo actually – a Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skull with the words ‘hasta la muerte’ beneath (until death).”
Childhood sweethearts Lisa and Damien met in school. They then attended the same 6th form, college and university! Being together so long, they really wanted their wedding to represent them as a couple.
“We wanted our wedding to be laid back, intimate, family orientated, and where possible, hand made”, explained Lisa. “Our ceremony venue turned out to be a bit of nightmare and at the last minute so we had to quickly find an alternative. We both knew from the beginning that we wanted to get married in a church, and even though we had to change churches last minute, we didn’t regret it one bit as St Mary’s was beautiful and was a perfect start to our day.”
“We also knew we wanted a small, relaxed reception venue somewhere in the countryside so we decided to book the beautiful old pub The Black Horse in Beamish, County Durham. Our reception was held in the oldest part of the pub with original fireplaces and beams, and had a roof terrace that overlooked the beautiful countryside. This was the perfect back drop for our handmade wedding.”
The bride wore a Cymbeline dress which she wore with a yellow flower crown (made from real flowers). Her bridesmaids were in floral dresses from Topshop.
Clare and Stuart didn’t want a big wedding. In fact they wanted their wedding to be so small that they went to Belfast City Hall for their ceremony with just 10 witnesses! Still wanting an awesome celebration with their loved ones though, they held this colourful party the following day at Brookhall Barn in Lisburn.
Clare explained, “We knew what we didn’t want – no white dress, no bridesmaids, no church, no rings, no walking down the aisle, no giving away, no big ceremony, no speeches, no first dance, no hotel reception, no florist arrangements. None of that stuff was ‘us’. Once we found the right venue, somewhere where we could do our own thing and where some of our friends could stay, everything else fell into place.”
You might think that there’s nothing more traditional in English weddings than a country garden setting, but Abby and Hoi’s big day was anything but quaint! They took the traditional elements and turned them on their head. From the bride’s short polka dot dress and purple hair, to the Hello Kitty cake and the vintage ice cream cart for dessert, this was a wedding that was quintessentially ‘them’.
“The inspiration for out wedding was to tell the story of how we met”, began the bride. “As well as to share the memories we have made with our family and friends. Some of the props we used were personally belongings from my granddad. We used his seeder plant boxes and Wellington boots to put flowers in.”
With Halloween just a few weeks away, what could be a better wedding to share with you than Steph and Lee’s epic Corpse Bride inspired day!? You are going to LOVE this one!
They were married in Birmingham, with their ceremony at St Johns church and their reception at Hamstead Social Club. The church setting also offered the most perfect place for their spooky couple portraits – a graveyard!
“Lee proposed in the pub where I work!” began the bride. “It was our first valentine’s day and we had been out for a posh meal and thought we’d pop in the pub for a few pints to end the night. When we got there, there was a duet singing, so after some dutch courage, Lee wandered over to the singers, snatched a mic (whilst they were mid song) drops to one knee and asked me to be his wife. Of course I said yes! That was six years ago and now we have our two daughters together. We have four gorgeous kids between us!”
Bella and Matt were married at Cowparsley, a wedding venue in Somerset. They wanted a relaxed, outdoorsy day with a festival feel, a picnic lunch and a meaningful ceremony.
“We searched for a long time for a venue that would give us free reign to do what we wanted, (at an affordable price!) and we had nearly given up when we discovered Cowparsley”, the bride began. “The whole day; ceremony and reception, was spent in their delightful farmhouse country garden. We had our ceremony in a lovely little orchard, saying our vows in front of a tree that we decorated with Mexican flag bunting, flower garlands, paper petal strings, and paper birds. We drank Pimms and played croquet and skittles on the neighbouring lawns, where we also relaxed on blankets for our picnic style feast. There was a lovely big antique canvas marquee, in which we danced in the evening, before sitting round the bonfire back in the orchard at the end of the night. Everything being in one place allowed everyone to kick off their heels and make themselves at home, rather than standing on ceremony. This informal atmosphere was very important to us.”
“We wanted to get married outside, under a tree, in the sunshine”, she continued. “Sadly, it is not currently possible to have a legal marriage service outdoors in England, so we went to a register office in the morning with Matt’s mum and my step-mum as witnesses. In and out in 20 minutes, no fuss. For what we considered the proper ceremony, that afternoon, with our family and friends, we considered hiring a Humanist minister, as we are not at all religious. However, we felt that it would be a little odd to have a stranger preside over such a personal event, especially as we had quite an intimate wedding, with just 70 of our closest friends and family. So we asked a close friend to be our celebrant. Esh is an actor, so very confident with public speaking. He has also shared a flat with us in the past, so knows us both very well, and has a unique insight into our relationship! He did a wonderful job, creating the relaxed, fun tone we wanted, and giving a brilliant speech in which he logically proved that our relationship was a good one, with reference to a theory by philosopher Bertrand Russell!”