Zoe and Peter wanted an unconventional wedding… just like them! They had their reception at a tea room, wore what they felt comfortable in, and made everything they could themselves!
“In many ways, we don’t really consider ourselves to be ‘normal’,, so our wedding was never going to be conventional”, said Zoe. “Even P’s proposal wasn’t exactly usual: we were lying in bed and he asked me, ‘so when are we getting married then?’. I said something like ‘well you need to propose first’. So he did. And he called both my parents the following morning, which made it suddenly, very real!”
“Having been together for so many years before deciding to get married, we believed that getting married was more of a formality than a declaration of commitment or anything like that. However we appreciated that there would always be certain expectations that would have to be met. Much though the idea of running off and eloping appealed, my mother would never have forgiven me if she couldn’t be there! As you can imagine, we saw no point in a prolonged engagement either, so we set the date for the soonest we could book with our local Registry Office and took it from there.”
Carolin and Benny, from Germany, eloped at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. They wanted their wedding to be completely on their own terms. The bride wore trousers from Topshop with a cropped top from Free People because she wanted to feel comfortable and like herself on the most important day of her life!
“Our wedding was very spontaneous and just for us”, said Carolin. “The day before we got married we chilled at the Ace Hotel pool and in the evening we met Sam and Josh, our photographer and videographer, for dinner and then Ron, our reverend, for a pre-wedding chat.”
“We didn’t had any stress. The Ace was the perfect place for us, we really loved how relaxed and cool it was. We are really into mid-century style. We bungalows and clean furniture. Neither of us like to be the centre of attention so we didn’t want to have any guests because we wanted to have this special moment just for us. We love the vibe in California so it was the perfect place for us to have our very private ceremony.”
They never wanted a big, extravagant wedding. In fact Jade didn’t think she’d ever get married at all! “I never pictured myself as the marrying type and it was a bolt out of the blue when Aaron asked me!” she laughed.
So they wanted something decidedly intimate for their March nuptials. They were married at Southampton Registry Office, and after a meal with just a few guests, hosted a large after party at The Talking Heads, a live music venue in the city.
“We already had a daughter, Aurora, and we both felt that being married would really cement us as a proper family”, she continued. “Because I had never pictured being a bride, I had no real expectations or specific plans in mind. I think this made it a whole lot less stressful when it came to the planning. It was a very organic process, evolving naturally as we came up with more ideas and discussed our likes and dislikes. The theme wasn’t planned but our mutual love of leopard print came across pretty strongly with lots of little features. Our budget was small, just £3000, but we saw this as an exciting challenge rather than an obstacle and it didn’t stop us from having the DIY, intimate, personal wedding we were after. We both knew we didn’t want to spend a fortune and that cost wouldn’t detract from how beautiful it could be.”
I’ve got a really adorable, totally joyful wedding for you this afternoon and I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re going to love it! Rhodri and Eimi decided to get officially married at the registry office the morning of the wedding, but then had a non-legal, blessing at their venue, The Hospice at Llawhaden Village Hall, officiated by a friend.
“Our venue was an 11th century ruin of a mediaeval hospice chapel”, Eimi told me. “We initially thought it would be too small for all our guests, but we decided the day before the wedding, just to go for it. We put out chairs for a few people, and asked our more able-bodied guests to stand. Our good friend Luke officiated. It was so special to have such a close friend lead our wedding ceremony. He made it so personal and meaningful, and we will never forget what he has done for us. The acoustic of the stone building was incredible and when our guests sang Guide me O thou great redeemer in harmony. The sound echoed around and sent the shivers down our spines.”
The bride wore a vintage gown from 1946 which she belonged to her Nan who passed away the year before. “It had been ruined by mice so I had to have it restored”, she said. “The dress fit me perfectly, but it was covered in huge holes and stained with mouse urine! More than a few tears were shed when so many seamstresses told me it was beyond hope. Thankfully, someone pointed me towards the textiles conservators register, which is where I found Janie Lightfoot Textiles. They did a fantastic job and gave me a real ‘Cinderella’ moment. In the morning ceremony at the registry office, we dressed quite casually. I wore a Free People folk style dress that I bought from TK Maxx, and Swedish Hasbeens I got for £3 in a charity shop!”
Caroline and Jason’s wedding had a vintage and nautical theme. With the bride loving all things pretty and pink and the groom being in the Navy, it was the perfect combination!
“The inspiration for our wedding was to have things that best represented us both as individuals”, said Caroline. “I am very much into 50s vintage and love the colour pink, whereas Jason being in the Navy helped tie in his influences. We named our tables after ships he has served on and our seating plan was in his navy issued suitcase.”
“Our other ideas were pretty much restricted to our budget, which meant we made a lot of things ourselves with help from my mother. My mum made the cake, my evening dress, and bridesmaid dresses. I also made the centrepieces, my birdcage veil and the origami boat name places. The bouquets and buttonholes were also made by me from artificial flowers which saved us a fortune! Jason played a big part in planning and making things for the wedding too including the invites, table plan and other stationery.”
“We also had a temporary tattoo stand for people to adorn their bodies with artwork, like the bride and groom – this went down very well with the guests, especially my mother!”
After being set up by mutual friends, Kim and Richard quickly realised they had a lot in common, first and foremost their appreciation of the macabre and all things gothic. So when we married, five years later, they decided this had to be the theme of the wedding.
“We went for a 50s rockabilly aesthetic but with touches of goth and lots of mentions of a shared love of classic horror films”, Kim said. “All the tables were named after Hammer Horror actors. We also had a splash of kitsch glamour because I love leopard print. Like, really love it.”
Both the ceremony and reception were held at Stockport Town Hall. “One of the reasons we chose our venue was due to the gorgeous marble staircase that, as an option, couples could get married on”, Kim continued. “We both embarked on our own DIY projects for the wedding too. Richard made the seating plan and centrepieces. The skulls candles were purchased at Asda over Halloween and the candelabras were an exceptionally impressive eBay deal! I made three button bouquets and a number of buttonholes. As it transpires, that was easier said than done but I managed it and I think I did a pretty good job too!”