Tag Archives: budget wedding

48 Couples Marry at Bestival in the Big Love Inflatable Church

Taking place on the Isle of Wight for the past 7 years, Bestival music festival has fast become sinimomous with crazy antics, fancy dress…oh and a big dollop of awesome music thrown in for good measure! Each year it also plays host to the Big Love Inflatable Church, where couples can go to tie the knot. This year wedding photographer Chris Cowley was there to catch all the action!

He explains, “A grand total of 48 weddings took place over the 3 day festival, Reverend’s ‘Nickerless’ and ‘Randy Johnson’ preformed ceremonies with the help of dishevelled bridesmaids, a mother in-law and a maid of dishonour.”

“Those wanting to get married booked up early on Friday to prepare themselves and their partner or partners, for a wedding they would never forget! Before the ceremony the bridesmaids dressed the groom and groomsmen in a variety of wedding dresses and suits of their choice. They then dressed the brides, who got to fulfil their fantasy of a semi traditional white wedding. When the groom, best man and any wedding crashers not in the bridal party were ready – they were taken to meet the Vicar who would be performing the ceremony.”

“In the meantime the “Pamper Posse” looked after hair, makeup, face painting and offered calming massages to the bridal party. Each bride was pampered and made to look stunning for their special moment as they were given away down the aisle of the Big Love Inflatable Church.”

“At this point, this is where the similarity to a traditional white English wedding ends and the uniqueness of a Big Love Inflatable Church begin! The ceremonies themselves were far from conventional! The Reverend’s took it in turns to conduct each service where anyone and everyone was welcome. The congregation packed tightly into the church with the bridesmaids kneeling below the Vicar. At the end of each very risqué service music played and the congregation danced in celebration whilst the bridesmaids encouraged everyone to create an archway for the couple to exit through under their arms.The wedding certificate was then signed outside the church, whilst the bridesmaids gathered the congregation together for one big wedding photo as the group shouted ‘BIG LOVE!’.”

“A wide variety of ceremonies took place over the weekend including numerous blessings, vow renewals (one only a week after the couple were legally married), civil partnerships and a stand-in wedding for a couple who couldn’t afford the one they initially planned.”

“Whilst every wedding was memorable for its own unique reason, a few in particular services stood out for me, including an Island group who have gotten married every year at the Big Love Inflatable Church for the last 7 years. A pirate wedding who were getting married for their 3rd time in a row (this time in the presence of their new-born daughter), another wedding who were led down the aisle by Edinburgh brass band ‘Horndog’ and the grand finale which was a special wedding for the Inflatable Church company director Tristram (a former Inflatable Church vicar) and his partner Sophie.”

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A South African Winter Wedding at A Private Game Reserve: Jaimi & Adrian

Jaimi & Adrian are wedding photographers themselves so when it came to planning their own big day the photography was obviously a very important part for them. “Adrian and I met through a photographic project he did back in 2008 and we fell in love,” Jaimi told me. “He asked me to marry him on a misty morning in October 2009 in the Drakensburg Kzn. We got married on January 10th, 2010 and had a small ceremony at Tala. We renewed our love for each other and had our wedding celebration on June the 24th this year at our special love place … Tala Private Game Reserve.”

“As Adrian has been in the wedding industry for over 12 years now as a wedding photographer. We really wanted our day to be ‘us’ and a bit more rocker than the weddings we shoot every weekend of the year. We took all the ‘stuff’ we loved and piled it onto one day – from the clothes we love, to the passion we have to the fun we wanted for our family. It turned out awesome, it was personal, full of love, non stressful and just super rocking.”

“We had the most intense African storm at about 2pm in the afternoon and we almost thought our shoot would be hindered but we had the most awesome day thereafter, the sky cleared and Sam (our photographer) literally shot us in one location rotating us in a 360 degrees.”

“Our whole playlist scared our DJ, David just a little, but he trusted us and played it anyway and Adrian (not a big dancer) and I (love dancing) ended up being the last couple on the dance floor. Our first dance song was ‘Monuments and Melodies’ by Incubus and everyone just stood around us and we attempted a dance. It was incredible – I felt like it was just us.”

“As mentioned earlier, this was a renewal of our love from a year and a bit back, and we loved every second. We are so glad we had a videographer  (Lauren & Andrew) and Sammi Babe did a super job of the photos. Everything was just an overwhelming blessing having the most important people either side of us and everyone we loved at our long single banquet dinner table. We chose our own wine for the evening and a shooter table. We also had a DIY photo booth that made the party start on a high note.”

“Our theme was all about being us,” the bride concluded. “Adrian and I got together under rough circumstances and got married just 4 days after deciding we wanted to. We just needed this. This solidarity with our family. It was evidence of our love for all to see. Being a winter wedding in South Africa we had a sort of vintage-autumn theme. I did not like the idea of flowers so we did black candles, different height and size crystal candle stands and real autumn leaves across the whole length of gold taffeta table cloths.”

Beautiful…and check out the video too!

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A Day of the Dead Art Gallery Wedding: Angie & Adam

Angie & Adam were married at Manchester Art Gallery, a fitting venue as the bride went to Manchester Metropolitan University to study art where she met her future husband. Angie wore a bespoke purple dress made for her by a friend who works in a theatre wardrobe department (currently with We Will Rock You!) They designed it together so Angie got just what she wanted.

The couple chose not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. They entered their ceremony together. “We wanted to start as we mean to go on – together,” they explained. “We walked down the aisle holding hands and remained holding hands through the service. Also Angie’s a bit of a feminist and didn’t want to be given away.”

The reception had  Mexican/Day of the Dead Festival theme. They continued, “We wanted a colourful festival feel that would make the day fun for all our guests.  Also, we’re both creative people who like to get our hands dirty – so making the decorations was a must for us! Angie’s final exhibition for her art degree was also based around Mexican folk art and the day of the dead festival.”

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A Brooklyn Party & Parade: Kristy & Patrick

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Kristy & Patrick were married at Scottadito, a traditional Tuscan restaurant in Brooklyn. After lunch together, the whole wedding party paraded down the street to their reception venue, The Rock Shop, where they partied into the night. They planned their wedding in just two months and were adamant that they would have their day their way.

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“On one level, we are just a little bit quirky and I definitely did not want the standard wedding affair,” Kristy told me. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we just figured that plenty of other people do it, so it might be fun to shake things up a little! On another level, my Dad is deceased and I didn’t want to feel any sort of absence on the day of my wedding, so we cut out the aisle so I didn’t have to walk down one by myself (instead I ran in the restaurant shaking a tambourine – so fun!) and forgot the parent dances.”

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“Our wedding was fun and filled with love (and parades!) Our idea of a wedding was definitely different than most peoples’ and we got the sense that people either loved it or thought it was a bit strange. But we pushed forward and figured that we’re only getting married once and wanted to be totally happy with it. In the end, our wedding was exactly what we wanted and more than we could have imagined. It was perfect.”

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A Backyard Handfasting & Rock Festival Wedding: Becca & Gary

Becca & Gary’s wedding looks like it was a lot of fun, dispite the rain! The first part of the day was a handfasting ceremony and morning reception in the bride’s Gran’s back garden. Afterwards the couple went to the registry office for the ‘legal bit’ and the day was rounded off by them going to Nozstock Festival and staying in their very own honeymoon suite – a tipi!

“We knew straight away that we didn’t want a traditional wedding and we both loved the idea of running away together to get married in secret but at the same time we wanted all our friends there too,” the bride told me.”We’d both been to weddings that felt impersonal and where we’d both felt nervous and out of place so our mission was to try and make the day as chilled out and as comfortable for everyone as possible. Gary came up with idea of going to a festival instead of a wedding reception and it all sort of fell into place.”

“My Gran’s garden was 5 minutes away from Nozstock and as soon as Noz confirmed the festival dates we started to organise a wedding. Everything we did we did because we wanted to. We didn’t have a hen or a stag do because we didn’t want one, we didn’t have speeches at the wedding because neither of us wanted to make one and we fed everyone muesli and prunes because we like muesli and prunes!”

“Some ladies want to feel like a princess on their wedding day but I’ve got an obsession with 80′s hair metal and all I wanted really was to feel like a rock star for the day! I didn’t plan to wear aviators at all, I grabbed them at the last minute with the vague idea that by wearing them I might encourage the sun to come out… Looking at the photos I’m soooo glad I did though as they looked incredibly cool. Turning up at the registry office with muddy boots, slightly trashed wedding dress and tattoos with our two witnesses felt pretty Rock n Roll and then arriving at the festival with Sassy our photographer definitely fulfilled some of my rock star dreams.”

Becca wore an Ian Stuart dress which she bought second hand on eBay. “I was gutted when I woke up and it was raining but in the end we were glad that it did as the mist added to the magical atmosphere and meant there was no option of being precious about my dress,” she told me. “I think we well and truely rocked the outdoor rainy wedding with no plan B.”

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A Heavy Metal, Karaoke Party: Julia & Steve

Julia & Steve found their photographer Hannah Millard after seeing a feature on her on Rock n Roll Bride. It’s always so extra special to me to share weddings that my blog has ‘helped’ in some way and I’m really excited that this gorgeous couple were able to get such great wedding photographs because of Rock n Roll Bride. Happy face!

Hannah clearly agrees. “Woahhh,” she writes. “This wedding was just… wow. I mean. Just… OK, I’m having trouble putting it into words, it was just pure Rock n Roll. Julia & Steve are an awesome couple and they definitely know how to party. There was vodka and tattoo artists and rock band karaoke and Julia’s brother DOVE INTO A CAKE. It was amazing.”

The wedding was held at the University of Nottingham, where the couple had met when living in halls, almost exactly 10 years to the date of the wedding. It was also where Steve proposed in December 2010, by the frozen lake, so needless to say the location was a very special one to them. “It was awesome being able to hold the reception back in one of the halls of residence, as everyone was able to stay in the student rooms so it was just like old times for us and our friends from University,” Julia told me.

“Although our wedding followed the traditional format for the day, we just tried to make everything as personal as possible – we saw the day as the biggest chance we would ever get to celebrate with all our friends and family, and we just wanted the day to reflect all the various aspects of our personalities,” the bride continued.  “We also wanted to make sure that our guests felt relaxed and able to wear whatever they wanted, drink and eat as much as they liked and go a little bit crazy! We were very lucky in the sense that our families are both open-minded and so we didn’t have any pressure on us to do things by the book or in a certain way.”

“We took inspiration from a variety of places – ideas from festivals and award ceremonies we’d been to, plus Day of the Dead and skull themed websites and blogs. I think what maybe made us Rock n Roll was that we didn’t have a formal feel to the day, and tried to create an ‘anything goes’ atmosphere so that people could just have a really good time.We tried to focus our budget on things that we actually wanted at the wedding and things that would contribute to a big party atmosphere rather than things like chair covers, posh cars and silver service food.”

“We did as much as we could ourselves and cheaply – from making decorations to buying things from Etsy to getting a close friend to drive me to the ceremony instead of hiring a car. And by the end of the night there was stage diving a-plenty and crowd-surfing across the dance floor (by both the bride and groom, plus guests), which turned the disco into a pretty Rock n Roll affair! We are really lucky to have such amazing friends and family (some of whom are into the rock and metal scene, many not at all) who all really got into the spirit of the day.”

Putting their personal stamp on their wedding was clearly very important to the couple, and they also wanted their friends & family involved where they could be. So, the weekend of the Royal wedding, they hired a cottage and had a big ‘wedding DIY party’ to make all the decorations and favours.

The entertainment was one of the most important things to this couple. On the day, the couple hired a temporary tattoo artist to inject something different into the day – that’s not something you’d usually see at a wedding but I bet the guests were queuing up to have a go! They also had a rock karaoke band called One Night Standeoke who played in the evening.

“As the wedding had a ‘Rockstar’ theme we thought it would be awesome to let people unleash their inner rockstar on stage (especially me, as I love rock karaoke and will use any excuse to get up and sing),” Julia remembered. “It seems we had more people with inner rockstars at our wedding than we thought, including aunts and uncles who leapt at the chance. The DJs were friends of ours who are rock/metal DJs that we met through our involvement with Download Festival (where we had out joint hen and stag do’s!) and who were fortunately happy to play our whole, long range of song requests, from thrash metal to power ballads and Lady GaGa. The band and DJs were all awesome, and really helped create the party atmosphere we wanted.”

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