Jessika and Brett’s October wedding had a small budget, but that didn’t hold them back! They were married in their local park and had their reception in the bride’s father’s back garden. Both these things saved them a lot of money and meant they could transform the spaces to fit the rainbow wedding of their dreams!
“Our Mexican fiesta theme came about because we wanted a low key wedding with a party atmosphere”, explained the bride. “We both knew that we didn’t want a sit down wedding and this allowed us to focus our money and design efforts on the music, food, drinks and decorations. Collecting all the decorations was actually easy as it seemed as soon as we sent out the save the dates we just saw Mexican themed things everywhere we went!”
Sequoia and Andrew were married outside, in the Oakland Hills. Their wedding was a true DIY affair and they did everything themselves including all the décor, flowers, stationery and the catering. Even the band was made up of the bride’s step-dad and step-brother!
“Our wedding was a DIY Mexican boho wedding”, explained the bride. “More than anything we wanted to have an intimate setting to exchange our vows. It was really important to us that we be surrounded by love and support. We know that with marriage comes struggle and hardship at times, and we wanted to be reassured by our loved ones that they would be there to remind us of our wedding vows. The way we looked at each other. The promise that we made.”
“Having my step-dad, and step-brother play the music was really special”, she continued. “I didn’t want the traditional wedding music, we are far from traditional. I asked them to play ‘Sleepwalk’ by Santo & Johnny as I walked down the aisle, and they learned it and nailed it.”
“Instead of chairs we laid out Mexican blankets in the middle of a Redwood grove, forming a circle with us at the top. We felt like it really connected us with our friends and family. After the ceremony, we had a champagne toast and some snacks before heading to the venue for an all out PARTY.”
Meghan and Andy planned their wedding while travelling around Australia so they really relied on their friends and family pulling together to help them out. That being said, they did an awesome job by keeping things relatively simple.
The inspiration for their reception space was a photograph of another wedding filled with balloons that Meghan saw on Rock n Roll Bride! “I saw a photo once on Rock n Roll Bride of a wedding filled with balloons… and after seeing it that one time I could never find it again” [is it in here?], she explained. “But as soon as I saw it I knew this was what I wanted. Our wedding began to look a bit like like the movie ‘Up’. We attached 375 multi-coloured balloons to 100 chairs.”
“We really wanted our wedding to be relaxed,” she continued. “We are late for everything so time didn’t really control anything on the day. We weren’t really bothered if things went wrong either. I was actually sick the whole day! To me, our wedding was unique because we did it all ourselves. I would think of something and Andy would make it come to life. People had said they never had been to a wedding like it and they had so much fun… That to me alone is a success.”
For flowers they bought heaps of babies breath online and arranged it themselves. “We used it for everything and it looked amazing”, she said. “For bouquets, headdresses, and to decorate the ceremony area. It was also a more affordable option than elaborate flower arrangements.”
Ben and Helen had a casual wedding in Tooting. “We wanted to throw a wedding for our families as much as for us, to celebrate life and love and enjoy a special day together”, Helen said. “It was important to us to celebrate all the years we’d already had together (and all the ups and downs, joy, growing up and hard work in that!) rather than acting as if the wedding was the start. So that was part of the message on our invitations, and we got the Registrar to frame the ceremony that way in her welcome – a celebration of 8 and a half happy years and the witnessing of our next step together.”
The ceremony was held at Merton Registry Office and their reception at Tooting Tram & Social. They got the tube between the two! “We threw out any of the traditions that didn’t suit us, and built our day from the ground up to make sure it was personally meaningful”, she continued. “Traditions we ditched included the top table, cutting of the cake, fancy tired wedding cake, bride given away by father, bridesmaids, best man, receiving line, just men doing speeches. We included lots of creative and soppy details, and prioritising fun! Guests say they were still feeling the love and humming the tunes weeks later! Our venue was an old tram shed turned gig venue – a stunning reclaimed industrial space with gorgeous natural lighting, chandeliers, industrial piping and vintage tiles.”
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.”
Chris and Kimberley wanted an unconventional and small wedding in the city where they met: Belfast. “We knew we didn’t want a religious service or a big wedding”, began the bride. “We didn’t want to spend our wedding day talking to people we didn’t know or didn’t want to! We had 38 guests, which was perfect.”
The couple also knew they didn’t want a traditional venue, so the wedding was held on Holohans: The Belfast Barge. “It was the first place we looked at and the last. We had the ceremony and the meal on the top deck and then we moved downstairs below deck for the evening. Calvin, the owner, is such a great host. We had so many people telling us how brilliant he was and how much they loved the staff (and food!). It was a small intimate wedding and the location lent itself to that perfectly.”
“Our wedding was relaxed and fun, will no bullshit!” she laughed when I asked about their theme. “We also did a lot of DIY. We designed and printed all the stationery, invites, table plan and name settings. We also created a ‘wedsite’ for our guests with useful travel info etc. as a lot weren’t from the area. We made the bridesmaid’s flowers, men’s buttonholes, and pom pom flowers that we placed in old beer bottles. Also a few hundred metres of bunting! Chris also made his own beer for the toast, so each guest had a bottle.”