Spring has very much sprung over here in the UK. And as the daffodils start to line streets and parkways, I usually forgo featuring any obviously winter weddings. After all, who want to be reminded of the cold and bleak mid-winter when it’s so glorious outside?! Well Meghann & Nathan’s wedding was different. They were married in the Colorado Mountains, where snow is a pretty regular feature. They also had a steampunk theme and only spent $2000 on the day, making it a wedding that I just knew you guys would flip out about. So, yet again, my self-imposed rules are being broken today. Oh well!
The wedding was held at Brush Creek Pavilion in Eagle, Colorado, and was planned by the mother of the bride, Jen, who runs her own wedding planning company, I Do Weddings. Jen did pretty much everything for this wedding, even so much as designing and making Meghann’s dress and headpiece herself! Nathan wore an outfit made up of things he already owned alongside a few items rented from a costume shop, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen were invited to wear anything they liked, as long as it fit them steampunk theme of course!
“Meg & Nathan decided to marry in a simple, local winter wedding in February and announced their plans to our friends and family shortly before Christmas”, wrote Jen, mother of the bride. “I wanted to find a way to help them host an event that really reflected their personalities. The steampunk theme allowed us to honor the love of drama that they share, and the result of the theme was a colorful, joy filled event.”
Have you ever heard of a couple deciding to get married and do so within 12 short hours? And, no, a couple in a movie don’t count! Well that’s exactly what Thomas & Kimberly did whilst on holiday in Belize. They were married, just the two of them, in the middle of the ocean, on a sandbar in Ambergris Caye.
“We like to be laid-back, relaxed and chilled”, explained the bride. “We wanted to avoid any wedding planning stress, and to instead spend our time enjoying the sand, water, and each other. We wanted an event that would set the bar high for our life together, and we were very lucky to find Keli Engleson from “I Do” Belize Weddings. Keli coordinated the whole wedding in less than 12 hours. We were so excited about the location she suggested and she was great to work with. The ceremony itself was beautiful and touching.”
What first attracted me to this story though was their amazing and dramatic wedding photographs, taken by local photographer Leonardo Melendez. While the trend for a lot of wedding photography is still very (sorry but there really is no other word to describe it…) vintage-inspired, his work is bold, daring and as far removed from vintage as possible! “We had a great time having our pictures taken with Leonardo,” Kimberly continued. “He is the best in Belize as far as far as we are concerned. He came up with some really creative ideas.”
I always get really excited to feature a super-budget wedding because I love to show you that, with a bit of clever engineering, a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to cost £20,000. Ruth & Steve spent just £700 on their day and it was perfect. They also planned the entire thing in just two months – sheesh, why can’t we all be such overachievers?!
This thrifty couple were very clever with how they spent the money that they did have to spend. Firstly the opted for an East London pub for the reception venue. Without extortionate rental rates, The Water Poet in Spitalfields was just the ticket. “The wedding took about two months to organise”, the bride began. “We booked the reception first, as I thought that would be the trickiest part of the operation. Then we booked our ceremony at Islington Town Hall and gave our Notice of Intent to Marry about four weeks before the ceremony.”
“Choosing a reception venue was probably the most challenging part of the wedding! I wasn’t too particular, but knew that I didn’t have the budget to hire a private venue. I started searching around for pubs with free room hire – most places could only reserve a couple tables at most. As the ceremony took place on a Friday, I knew most pubs would be rammed, which would have been too much for our parents to handle! We decided on holding the reception at The Water Poet in Spitalfields. It wasn’t too far from Islington Town Hall and they had a private room where we could set up the food, cake and decorations. My hens and I handmade all the paper flowers on the tables from a fab tutorial that I found on Rock n Roll Bride! The best thing about the room was its own sound-system – we plugged in our iPhone with our wedding playlist and just let it run all night!”
Ruth wore a dress from Topshop, and her shoes, also Topshop were an eBay bargain at just £10. Her headpiece was, amazingly, from Primark and her jewellery was a gift from Steve’s sister. The cake and flowers were both DIY efforts from helpful friends and family, the venue provided a buffet spread and they forgoed a DJ for a Spotify playlist.
A simple and low-key wedding at home was just the ticket for Katie & Michael, who were married in October last year. The day was held at Katie’s parent’s house and the entire thing was planned by the couple themselves.
Katie put her own wedding outfit together from an American Eagle cream crochet top, a matching crochet skirt and vintage cowboy boots. Each piece only cost $25 each and were sown together to create a dress by Michael’s mother.
In fact pretty much the whole wedding was a DIY effort. The wedding party picked their own outfits, Katie’s grandmother made the cake and the couple designed their own stationery. They picked seasonal wildflowers for decoration and the bride’s bouquet and they scoured thrift stores and borrowed from friends for the rest of the décor items. “We begged friends for any and all mason jars”, Katie laughed. “Using some rusty wire from my grandfather we turned them into centerpieces with a beautiful rustic feel and wrapped vintage lace around them that I found at a thrift store. We also wrapped about 10 trees in white lights which made the whole backyard glow. Another thing we searched for were nice vintage wood frames. We took a ton of family pictures, some of Mike and I when we were little, some of us as we were awkward teenagers and others of us with our parents or siblings or nephews. Then we added a bunch of together that had been taken throughout the last couple of years. We hung them from twine and had them throughout the dinner tent on the walls and they looked great!”
When it came to planning their wedding, Nicole & Tom knew they didn’t want a big fuss. In fact a private elopement at home was just the ticket. They did everything themselves from the decor to the food for their small number of guests and the music. They set up a video camera for the ceremony to be livestreamed to their friends & family that couldn’t attend.
“The main inspiration for our wedding was my dad”, Nicole wrote. “We actually weren’t planning on getting married until 2013 but when my dad got sick, we decided not to wait and planned it all in three weeks. We had it in my parent’s backyard so he didn’t have to travel anywhere and it made for a nice backyard venue. Because he was so sick, we didn’t want to bombard him with all of our family and friends flying in so we came up with the idea to stream the wedding live on the internet for everyone to watch. We had our guests take pictures of themselves watching our wedding and they did fun things like dress up and drink champagne and such. It turned out fantastic and my dad was actually able to walk me down the pathway.”
Bryce & Josie were hitched in October at As You Like It restaurant and bar in Newcastle. They budgeted £5000 for the wedding but ended up over-spending a little with the whole day coming in for a still very impressive £8000.
Wearing a vintage dress from eBay and a Topshop mini lace dress in the evening, Josie carried a vintage feather bouquet that had belonged to her mother. Her bridesmaid wore dresses from Hobbs and carried homemade crepe paper bouquet. Her groom was decked out in an Oliver Spencer suit.
“We met in 2005 in a bar in London, my last night out in Kew before moving to Islington”, began Josie. “A few weeks later Bryce followed my lead and moved down the road to Highbury. What can I say, his persistence paid off, 7 years, 3 cities and 2 kiddies down the road we got married!”
“This wasn’t the original wedding we planned,” she continued. “At first it was going to be a country village, marquee in the garden affair in May 2011. But various life events cropped up and meant that that was no longer to be. Never mind, who’d want a smooth running wedding plan anyway..!? Where are the stories to tell in that?! So we began to construct a plan for the North East.”