Rain on your wedding day is a big worry for a lot of couples, but today I’m here to prove to you that it can actually be pretty amazing! Yes, Helen and James’ outdoor festival wedding was a wash-out, but they definitely didn’t let it ruin their day. Check out the amazing photographs their photographer Neil Thomas Douglas was able to capture… of course shots like this requires a couple who aren’t afraid to get a little wet and muddy, but these guys went all out! They even went out in a boat on the river during the downpour!
The ceremony was held at The Secret Garden of Kingston Bagpuize House in Oxfordshire, which it actually stayed dry for. Their festival style reception was in a field in Crowmarsh. “The ceremony was perfect, so intimate and emotional, all of the people we love, in the sunshine in the secret garden”, Helen began. “A little shower cut the group photos short, and the sun came out again for our couple shots. We were due to arrive at the reception in our gorgeous little boat, it started drizzling as we got in, thinking it was another brief shower, we decided to pursue. The best man had gathered all the guests on the river bank and we set off down river. The rain got heavy, like we never see in England! The heaviest downpour ever! Initially it was funny, we got wet, then… The heavy rain caused the engine to cut out! With no choice but to row to the riverside and abandon the boat on the bank; we called our bridesmaid to rescue us and we finally arrived at the reception in the car!”
A lot of you will no doubt remember Whit and Colby’s ‘Non Wedding’ shoot by the incredible Brooke Davis. It was one of my most popular wedding features of all time, and weirdly, sparked quite a bit of debate. But to those that said it was an irrelevant shoot with no real meaning to actual brides and grooms – today I present to you Alicia and Phill. After seeing those images not only booked Brooke to shoot their elopement, but went for their very own ‘Non Wedding’ theme – a secret ceremony and a party in their own back garden. Inspiration is everywhere.
Having a small and personal wedding was important to these two and they only invited people that mean a lot to them and their relationship to take part in the day. “We were inspired by Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain’s wedding in Hawaii and of course the ‘Non Wedding’ shoot by Brooke!” Alicia began. “Everyone that was invited have either lived with us at one point or was there for the hardest parts of our relationship.”
“We had a secret ceremony. It was a Wednesday and we didn’t really care at all about traditions, we just wanted to be true to who we are as a couple, and not make a big stressful deal about it. We just wanted to peaceful say our vows without any nervousness of who would hear them.”
This two-day wedding in a forest in The Netherlands is sure to take your breath away… if it doesn’t then I’m really not sure what else I can do for you! Celebrations like Eva and Jean’s make me feel so ecstatic that my job is sharing such gorgeousness with the world. I just know you’re going to love this one.
They kicked off the weekend with a their legal ceremony on the first day – a low key affair with their closest family and friends. But it was day two when the real magic happened. The ceremony was held at a ruined chapel in the woods, called St. Walrick in Overasselt, the Netherlands. The bride explained, “A long time ago this spot was a popular hide out for criminals but today there’s a wishing tree where everybody can hang a ribbon in the tree to make a wish (which we all did of course). We all camped at a tree lined field in the nearby scouting area.”
Jake and Amanda spent just $4000 on their amazing wedding. Everything, bar the catering, was either homemade or donated by friends and family. The location was a friend’s estate in Chatsworth, California. They chose a secluded clearing amongst the trees with breath taking views as their ceremony spot.
“The décor was modern bohemian and eccletic”, began the bride. “Our theme was kind of rustic American mixed with moroccan and indian influences. The backdrop of our friends property really helped frame a western fairytale. Our intent was to stay true to ourselves while providing friends and family a meaningful ceremony and a fantastic celebration. We felt by having so much help from our family and friends, we brought back an older tradition of a community coming together to truly celebrate the union of their newest family.”
Lauren and Red’s Pennsylvania wedding was a real team effort. It planned by the bride, her mother and their neighbour Patience. The wedding was held on the couple’s own farm. “Patience taught us how to make homemade limoncello and smoked salmon and helped so much during the wedding making sure things ran smoothly”, Lauren explained. “My mother is a crazy collector of beautiful dishes, as well as ideas. She is also a food connoisseur so she helped add tons of vision and plan the menu. Patience’s daughter got married the weekend before so we were able to share a lot of supplies and ideas which worked out very well as well as work trade. My mother in-law Eva planned the rehearsal dinner which also happened to be my birthday. She created a picnic outdoor super with barbecue chicken for 45 two days before the wedding. She also helped decorate!”
This wedding was full on DIY with the bride and her helpers making everything from the decor items to the clothes. Lauren made her own wedding dress from vintage and upcycled materials and the bridesmaid’s dresses were made using hand dyed vintage handkerchiefs which matched the invitations.
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.”