Planning a wedding is bloody hard work and sometimes it can all get a bit too much. I’m sure you’ve stressed a little over flower arrangements, worried if your bridesmaids will like their dresses or navigated your way through more family issues than you even knew you had. Big weddings are wonderful occasions but I’m yet to meet a couple who haven’t wondered at some point if that crazy idea to elope was really so crazy after all.
Simon and Leanne wanted to skip all that fuss and drama and so when they married in April, they decided to do just that – to elope on a beach with just a few witnesses in attendance. The ceremony was held on Saligo Beach, a private beach, on the Isle of Islay. “Raymond and Katherine are the kind couple who gave us the use of their own private beach for our ceremony and ‘after party’ picnic”, began the groom. “They treated us like close friends while we were there. Dr Rev Rob Barlow performed the ceremony. His wife Gwen was also there, and alongside Pete, our photographer, was the other witness. We had a truly spiritual service with an enigmatic magnetism that we couldn’t have wished more for.”
Gena and Lea were married on the beach in front of The Shoosh Club in Brighton. They wanted a fun and relaxed wedding and so after lunch and milkshakes at JB’s Diner they booked the VIP area of the club for their after party! Neither venues needed decorating and he whole thing was cost effective and chilled out for the couple and their guests.
“Our wedding was a beach wedding with a 1950s and 60s twist!” wrote the bride. “My whole family travelled over from Belgium, France, Sweden, Finland and so we really had a three day wedding, with late dinners and early breakfasts with everyone all week. We were over the moon to have everyone around us for three entire days! Our friends and family made the wedding awesome. We had a dress code and most of them respected it.”
Pete and Leila had a modest budget for their Southsea wedding, just £5000, but that didn’t stop them having the wedding of their dreams! After meeting Leila at The Blogcademy in London last January I already know what a resourceful and all-round fabulous babe she is, and so I’m thrilled to share this gorgeousness with you all today.
Leila wore a dress which she designed herself and had a local seamstress bring to life. Her headpiece was also home made. Pete’s outfit was from TK Maxx and the bridesmaid’s rocked vintage dresses. Pretty much all the décor was DIY and they even catered the event themselves (although the owners of the venue kindly offered to make the sandwiches on the day). This wedding really does prove that you can have the most amazing day without breaking the bank.
“My dress was definitely a bargain”. Leila began. “We totally saved money by me designing it myself and then asking a local seamstress to draw the pattern and make it. In total it only cost around £200! We really wanted to have afternoon tea as our wedding breakfast, as its kind of a tradition we have that whenever we go on a trip away together we treat ourselves to tea in a fancy hotel or quirky tea-room. We even named our tables with places we’ve had the best tea at. Delegating sandwich making to the owners of the venue meant there was no rushed bread-buttering on the morning, thank goodness. That simple choice, that might be ever so slightly more expensive than doing everything ourselves, was a really good idea and made the whole day less stressful.”
With names like Maayan & Maxim, their wedding was never going to be boring. This Israeli couple were married at Hamirpese, a bar in Ramat Ishay, North Israel. Their wedding was laid back, fun and quirky as you like.
“One of our guidelines for our wedding was to find vendors who we could connect with and who understood our vibe and the feeling we wanted to create”, Maayan explained. “Good chemistry and communication were really important to us. We got all our vendors through friend recommendations.”
“In terms of budget we didn’t go overboard. We waned to maximise our money and get the best of it. For example my wedding dress only cost $230 but still I was overrun with compliments about it on the day! It seemed excessive to spend so much money on a custom made dress just for a single day. I didn’t buy any special jewellery. I used earrings that I already had. The most important things to us were good food, lots of alcohol and a great venue.”
Anna and Timmy were married in Brighton. Their ceremony took place in the iconic Royal Pavilion and their reception at The Latest Bar. This budget friendly, DIY wedding was full of unusual and fun details including dinosaurs, zombies and anatomically correct heart cakes!
“Timmy and I met due to our mutual love of vintage VW cars”, Anna began. “We chatted online first on a national VW forum, Volkszone, and met for the first time at a show in July 2012. I had the strangest feeling looking at a photo of him prior to us meeting and said to my daughter, ‘I am going to marry Timmy’. She told me not to be so silly! In September, he proposed, we both lost our previous spouses who died young and we knew life is too short not to grab each moment. Whilst on a romantic weekend to Brighton we decided to look round the pavilion to see their ceremony arrangements. We are lovers of kitsch and romance and were bowled over by the setting. We were surprised to learn that the ceremony and registrar inclusive were £1,100. We didn’t think that was too bad for such a spectacular setting plus the staff were lovely and so obliging.”
Anna wore a stunning vintage dress from Hope and Harlequin, a vintage wedding dress shop, also in Brighton. “That same weekend I popped into Hope and Harlequin ‘the’ dress. It was a lovely original 1920s number with a sumptuous beaded bow sewn on in sequins. I excitedly went to try it on to find it wouldn’t even go over my head. I was determined to get into it by the wedding and had been following the Cambridge weight plan since before I met Timmy in an effort to get both my life and weight under control, so I bought it anyway. It was the first dress I looked at. We got Timmy’s vintage suit a few doors down at Rob the Dog.”
Jessie and Joby’s Nebraska wedding was held at Apothecary Lofts in Downtown Lincoln. Their wedding had a day of the dead theme which some of their older relatives thought was a little morbid but the couple thought was perfect, “but we got into this UNTIL DEATH, right?” Jessie laughed.
“My favorite part of our wedding was our ceremony”, she continued. “We wrote our vows together, incorporating super personal and meaningful things for each of us (like me pledging to be sensitive and respectful of Joby’s collections, and Joby pledging to be sensitive and respectful of my chickens). It was also super meaningful to me to have my daughter, Stella, be apart of our ceremony too. We made vows as a family to always be loving and respectful of each other. We also presented Stella with a locket that serves as a momentum for her of the promises that we all made that day. Don’t get me wrong the dance party and reception were fun, but the meaningful mushy stuff was my favorite.”