I’m coming over all Français today, with not one but two real wedding features with a French flavour. The first, Candice & Dave’s, took place in South Africa but had a distinctive Parisian infusion.
Photographer Jacki Bruniquel explained, ”They were on a tight budget and really made the best of what they had and made their wedding ‘their own’. They had a Parisian theme running through the day as this is where they got engaged, but through in a bit of local flavour too. Friends pulled in to help and Candice made many of the details herself.”
“Candice and Dave live in Umhlanga, a seaside village near Durban South Africa, so they had their creative shoot and reception in their home town and included the icon of Umhlanga – the big red and white lighthouse. The boys all surf so we started the day with some surfing pics. On the actual day this crazy storm came up and instead of getting into a sulky panic we just embraced it and let the wind take them away! Who says an Armageddon like storm is all bad on your wedding day?”
The wedding was held at The Breakers Resort at Umhlanga Rocks. The tight budget meant that the wedding was full of fantastic DIY elements, as Candice explained, “We did a lot of DIY! It was a good opportunity for all the bridesmaids to get together and hang out a bit. We made the: 1. hand fans, adding lace and tassels 2. the candy apples 3. the ring pillow 4. the aisle runner – This was so easy! We just bought a long piece of white fabric, stitched the edges and stenciled a pattern along the sides using fabric paint. We saved a lot of money and had fun in the process! The best part was creating the table centerpieces to look like Parisian street lamps. We sourced a whole lot of lanterns and had “lamp post” stands made for them. We then named each table after a street in Paris and had the street names hanging from the arms of the lamp post – It looked awesome, and each street was one that we had actually visited when engaged in Paris!”
“Because we were working to a budget, we had to decide what we couldn’t skimp on and what we could – priorities! One thing on top of the list was that we wanted all of our friends there to celebrate with us, as that is what this day is all about! So we needed a big venue, and our numbers were quite high. We managed to find a great venue that looked beautiful and had a great menu, but was really reasonably priced. Also we knew that the one thing you keep after your wedding day are the photos! We knew that a brilliant and talented photographer was the only way forward – Thanks to Jacki Bruniquel (Who is the best in our opinion), we now have the most beautiful memories to last a lifetime, capturing our characters so brilliantly and truthfully – wow. There were other things we could save costs on, hence all the DIY elements! But the result was that we got to have a wedding within our budget that was everything we wanted it to be!”
Bride Aimee and photographer Naomi Kenton connected through Rock n Roll Bride. They both got talking via facebook about some weddings they’d both seen and liked on the blog and so after getting to know each other well in this informal way, Naomi shot her vow renewal to Ben.
Can we also just please stop for one minute and share some love for Aimee & Ben’s ink?! Seriously…wow. “Tattoos are a big part of both our lives as Ben is a tattooist,” explained Aimee, “and we are both really into all things rockabilly, hot rods and VW lovers so that’s what we wanted for the day. We are just ourselves and we do things the way we want and are happy as a result.”
The handfasting ceremony was held at Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire in April. “We wanted to celebrate our relationship and our two children, so we decided to renew our vows – we chose a handfasting as it was a lot more personal to us and was performed by a good friend Caroline Johnson.”
“I made the flowers myself and also used Jack Daniels bottles as decoration on the buffet table,” Aimee continued. ” I gave all the guests a favour bag that we got a couple of ‘meet & greet’ girls to hand out – which were white paper bags lined with tissue paper, in each I put a little spell bag, some heart bath fizzers for the women and skull shaped soaps for the men. For the children I gave duck shape bath fizzers and rhubarb & custard soaps.”
Fleur & Alexander’s Brighton wedding took place on the 29th April, although Fleur was keen to tell me that the royals had nothing to do with their choice of wedding date! “Al proposed to me on a beach in Pollensa, Majorca at midnight on July 8th last year and we booked the date in September, long before the Royals!”
“We chose the Unitarian Church for our ceremony venue because we aren’t religious,” the bride continued. “They have the belief that if you’re in love and want to get married they’re happy to perform the ceremony. I’d sang in the church so knew how lovely it was. We could have our friends band play, The Miserable Rich, which was wonderful, our hymn was Old Man by Neil Young, we walked down the aisle with our friends to The Throne Room by John Williams from Star Wars & left the church to Les Fleurs by Minnie Ripperton (very apt!)”
“We wanted to make sure our wedding was very much about us. Alex is a massive fan of Star Wars, hence the music, and has collected comic books ever since he was a child so our order of service had a Spiderman cover. I’ve sang all my life so wanted the band & everyone singing along to Neil Young (who we saw twice in concert & loved, the song means a lot to us). We’ve been to tons of weddings where it could have been anyone, nothing really spoke to us about the couple themselves. We really wanted to make sure that the day was very much ours. I had looked at Jacqui’s website and loved the work i’d seen from previous weddings she’d done. The pictures looked relaxed, happy & like people were really enjoying themselves! Some wedding photos can look so stiff & boring which we definately didn’t want! We had an engagement shoot with Jacqui a few months before the wedding which was so much fun! We loved her ideas, the way she made us both feel so relaxed in front of the camera and the end result was just fantastic, we knew that out wedding would be great. Everyone had such a brilliant time & we have hundreds of gorgeous pictures to treasure forever.”
Fleur wore a David Fielden dress, the first and only dress she tried on.
Katie & Tim were married in August 2010, after being together for nearly 12 years! “We got married in Batcombe Old School Hall, a tiny listed building nestled within the rolling countryside of Somerset,” Katie told me. “I was getting overwhelmed by the size and price tag of large stately homes. The Old School was £120, at this price we were able to hire it for the day before to decorate it too!”
For their reception they took over an old manor house in Wiltshire (which is no longer doing weddings unfortunately) for 4 whole days with all their friends. A few people even camped in the grounds. “We loved it because it had a barn attached so we didn’t need to spend extra on a marquee plus our guests paid us to stay there which bought the cost down considerably,” the bride explained.
The couple and their friends made pretty much everything else for their wedding themselves. “We’re both from creative backgrounds and with so many talented friends it was impossible not to make our wedding ‘everyone’s wedding’” the bride continued. “We made a wedding website with our gift list on, and put on it things that we needed for the day… We had all the major things covered but really wanted people to feel involved so we played to everyone’s strengths.”
“My aunties all made cakes for the buffet as our wedding presents. Rachel and Gemma made pimms. Our friends Maisie Broadhead a jewellery designer her partner Jack Cole (a Director) are great photographers, they set up the MoonCam photobooth. Rachel also made vintage teacup candles that looked so pretty on the tables. Syreeta is a props buyer and had just broken down a film set, she was able to lay her hands on loads of old lace tablecloths and hankerchiefs which looked great on the haybales, she was an amazing resource for buying things leading up to the wedding. Tim’s dad bought us a webber BBQ which we used on site the next day. Aunty Brenda also bought us a tug of war rope which was fun the next day.”
I’ve got a slightly different kind of post for you today, sponsored by Sandals and Martha Stewart Weddings. I have to say, I got pretty darn excited when I received the call from these industry giants wanting to work with little old me!
Sandals have put together a series of three videos, following the story of a couple getting married in Jamaica using their service. The incredible Martha Stewart Weddings are working alongside them to style the weddings of their lucky clients too. The company were keen for me to be the lucky blog to share these fabulously made videos and I have to say my mind has certainly been changed as to what a ‘package destination wedding’ can really be. Doesn’t the whole wedding looks just totally divine? The couple were able to escape from it all and plan the intimate wedding they wanted – just for them – and that dear reader, is what being Rock n Roll is all about!
But what about the price? Well unbelievably having a wedding as luxurious as this one doesn’t have to rival the cost of the royal wedding. Sandals state that the price of the average destination wedding is just £6,585 but incredibly a Sandals wedding can actually be complimentary! They explain,
“Sandals Resorts, the Caribbean’s leader in destination weddings, have broadened their existing ‘complimentary wedding’ offer, meaning that for a limited time, couples who book their WeddingMoon in a Premium room category at any of the 14 Luxury Included Sandals Resorts will receive a free* Beautiful Beginnings wedding by Martha Stewart! This fantastic offer replaces the previous requirement for the free wedding, whereby couples needed to book a Concierge room category or above to be eligible.”
They offer a wide range of locations including Jamaica, Bahamas, St. Lucia & Antigua. Each location offers you something different so you really can plan the destination wedding of your dreams!
Isobel & Dave’s incredible vintage-inspired budget wedding gives me butterflies! I am so excited about sharing all the beautiful personal touches that they put into their day. The whole wedding is a testament to the fact that you don’t need to spend a fortune to have your perfect wedding.
“The two things we had in our heads from the start were; that we didn’t have a very big budget and that we wanted our wedding to reflect us,” Isobel told me. “We started by approaching it as a really big party where we’d just happen to get married. The important things for us were that our favourite people were there, our favourite music was playing, and everyone would have fun! We aren’t particularly conventional and there was never any question of following rules or doing things because we ‘should’. I didn’t buy a single bridal magazine or visit any bridal shops during the whole process!”
“Rock n Roll Bride and DIY Bride were my only ‘go to’ blogs for inspiration and ideas! We just did things because we wanted to (if we could afford it)! With the little touches – the badges, the teapots as vases, teacups full of sweets, the birdcage for cards and messages, the photo booth (definitely a Rock n Roll Bride idea-steal!), and the bunting – I think we created a wedding that was fun, unique, and best of all, exactly what we’d imagined.”
The bride wore a dress that she had made from a vintage Vogue pattern. She was keen to wear something that was ‘her’ and something that she felt comfortable and beautiful in. “My dress was ade by a friend of a friend from an old Vogue pattern I found on the Internet,” she continued. ”I wanted long-sleeves as I assumed (wrongly) it would be cold in April and I wanted to cover my arms! I also wanted a dress that was ballerina length to show off my gorgeous shoes! The cream lace and nude lining it was made from were from Victoria Market in Nottingham. I chose lace because I wanted it to look like a wedding dress (you only get to do this once, right?!) but mostly because I love it. The woman who made the dress added the bow and the buttons on the sleeves, which I think were really good calls and one of the many reasons why I’m glad I didn’t attempt to make the dress myself.”
The DIY theme continued through out the wedding. The bride’s Mum made her birdcage veil and her bouquet from faux flowers (from Hobbycraft.) They also bought the majority of their decor ’things’ that they weren’t able to make themselves from Etsy and eBay, including the invitations, the birdcages, the lanterns, the napkins and the Lego cake topper.
My favourite detail has got to be the bunting. When they sent out the invitations they included a template for a piece of bunting and asked their guests to send them one made from any material they wanted. “Lots of people did and we got some lovely and very creative pieces (metres of it in some cases!) which we put together and used to decorate the reception venue. I think this really added to cosy, handmade feel of the reception and reflected what we wanted the wedding to be – a celebration with our friends and family.”