Samantha and Gary’s destination wedding was held at Casa Monte Cristo on the Western Algarve coast. They hired a villa where they stayed for the week before the wedding too.
“We had always wanted an outdoor wedding but me being from Ireland we knew that would be too much of a risk to do it there!” explained the bride. “We decided very early on in planning we would have a destination wedding. We choose Portugal as it has always been a favourite family holiday for me growing up and we also wanted to pick a place that wasn’t too expensive for guests to travel to and stay.”
“As the wedding was going to be completely outdoors, we decided on a picnic party theme with blankets and balloons and games for the guests play. It was also important to us that the whole day be held at the same place, so that guests could really enjoy the day and not have to worry about getting from one place to the next.”
Cat and Andrew’s September wedding had no theme other than them wanting it to pay homage to the West Country, where they live. A lot of things were found cheaply or homemade. The bride wore a dress by La Redoute, the groom was in Topman and the bridesmaids, ASOS. The cake was made by the bride’s mum and they also arranged all the flowers themselves.
“While we have nothing against a good theme, I don’t think we consciously went for anything too specific”, said Cat. “Our love of the West Country definitely shone through, but we basically just took all our favourite things and put them together in a tumbledown barn! Wildflowers, candlelight, a massive full moon, camp fires, live music, locally sourced food and drink. Cider With Rosie meets bohemian gin palace? Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Wurzels gig?!”
“I love wild swimming and have been visiting Farleigh River Swimming Club, next door to our venue, since I was a kid”, she continued. ” The vague idea that a morning dip would be a good way to shake post-wedding hangovers led us to check out the neighbouring farm. It’s stunning setting and reputation for excellent cream teas sealed the deal. From that point on, the surroundings dictated the direction the wedding took. The barn was a ‘proper’ barn, with swallows in the rafters and piglets in the yard, so it was never going to be a white linen and fine china kind of a do.”
Ione and Will wanted their wedding to be bright, fun and homemade. It was also really important to them that all of our friends and family were there so they kept to a strict budget so they could accommodate everyone.
“We met just under seven years ago on Brighton seafront at a club night called Club NME!” the bride began. “I was 18 and he was 23. I was his first girlfriend so we feel like high school sweethearts.”
“For the wedding we wanted to combine both my Cuban heritage (I’ve also lived in Spain) and Will’s love of Sussex, where he’s lived his whole life. We felt we had lots of little odes to each one. We wanted a village fete type feel and had 120 people from 2pm for our reception. We kept it simple with a vegan paella and a chicken paella with baguettes and some salads that I made to keep costs down. Everyone was so happy with a simple feel to the day, we personally didn’t feel like we needed more than one sit down course.”
Lizzie and Louie’s incredibly detailed big top wedding, unbelievably, only cost them £6000. The bride even had two dresses!
“The theme was ‘anything goes!’. We didn’t have a colour scheme, we just wanted to have as much fun as possible!” the bride explained. “We wanted our wedding to truly represent us as a couple, and as so many friends and family helped us out, we wanted it also to represent them too. So if someone wanted to contribute in any way, we just let it happen. By doing this the wedding evolved into a beautiful eclectic mix of everyone’s talents and energy.”
“The flowers were bought and arranged by my grandmother. We also had dried flowers, which I made by collecting and drying discounted flowers from supermarkets! The catering was all done by my mum and grandmother. They made Devon pasties and salad and a buffet of cured meat and cheese for the evening. All the decorations were made by us including the table plan which had a Game of Thrones theme. We also made the place names which were butterfly origami with a raffle ticket hidden inside for raffle after the meal. My mum made the bunting and chair covers. I made the sequin lampshades and collected all the teapots, plates, glassware and cutlery from charity shops! Our band was my brother’s band.”
Ben and Lori’s London wedding was held in a coffee shop. They had a laid back, bohemian theme that worked really well with their urban location.
“I suppose the most unique part of our wedding, that sets us apart from most weddings we have been to, is that we did not have the same sense of formality”, explained the bride. There were no bridesmaids, or groomsmen for example. We didn’t feel attached to those traditions. Also, we Skyped in some of my family members and closest friends from Canada, so it was a little funny seeing an iPad in the corner of our eye with six tiny squares of my favourite people from overseas, smiling and crying from a screen.”
“I would say our theme was confused rustic bohemian. The best bit of the day, and the part that still gives me the most exciting rush of emotions, is our ceremony. Our venue had stairs that led from a loft down to the main area where we had set up our ceremony area. Before most people arrived, close friends all worked together to decorate; hanging the ribbon backdrop, laying out confetti bags, and clearing the area. It was a bit rushed, but so lovely for everyone to work together like that. Ben worked some magic on the music and used the instrumental from LCD Soundsystem’s Dance Yourself Clean for us to walk down the stairs together to and it was absolutely wonderful. I love that we walked together. For us, it was important to show the unity between us before we were married, as well as the further commitment we made on that day.”
A $5000 budget, a family cabin and a whole lotta love went into creating Cory and Ailsa’s dream wedding. Their beach ceremony comprised of a homemade arch and the ceremony itself was officiated by one of the bride’s mother’s oldest friends.
The family cabin and barn that served as their venue is located at the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. “Our wedding was completely DIY”, said the bride. “We wanted to focus on having everything made for the wedding. We didn’t want to have anything ordered or hire anyone we didn’t know to do anything.”
“The cabin has been in our family since 1930 so it was really special to get married there. We used trees from the property to make the benches. The entire wedding party camped with us the night before and the night of the wedding, and all of the 57 guests helped with something.”
“The ceremony was on the beach. Our friend built an arbour for us to stand in front of out of massive branches from driftwood and trees on the property. The benches were chainsawed into shape where they sat. The ceremony was beautiful and the weather was perfect. The Bay of Fundy has the biggest tides in the world and we let the tide wash everything away when the ceremony was done.”