Tag Archives: budget wedding

“Punk Rock is in Your Soul” – A DIY City Hall Wedding….and a Bride in PINK: Lenore & Ryan

I don’t say this lightly, but Lenore & Ryan’s wedding may be my wedding of the year! I simply love everything about it – from the bride’s incredible pink ensemble, to the family-central cuteness of the whole thing. I’ve also realised that I definitely need to add some more giant bows to all my outfits.

I don’t know about you but I kinda want to live in this wedding…

“Ryan and I met through a LDS church dating site,” Lenore told me. “We both were recently divorced with small children, he has two and I have three.  We dated for a year and then put our family together in a legal ceremony at City Hall.  Latter Day Saints weddings (Mormon) are typically performed at temples and are extremely sacred simple ceremonies without any of the typical wedding flare (no walking down the aisle, etc), but Ryan and I had both been married in the temple the first time around.  We wanted our children to feel like they were included and involved in our families joining together.  We were tempted to hold a large wedding and even planned an event at a local theater, but in the end we decided that in order to preserve the sacred nature of the LDS temple we would be married at the courthouse instead.”

The couple didn’t have a reception and their ceremony was open to anyone who wanted to come along, “The San Francisco Courthouse happens to be a beautiful building,” Lenore continued. “Typically the Commisoners only allow six guests to witness the wedding and they are usually performed in small courtrooms.  It’s a ten minute ceremony – no frills.  You stand there with the commissoner and he or she marries you.  When we showed up in all our pink glory with hoards of children and about forty relatives (I’m from a family of 10, he’s from a family of 8 – typical Mormons!) the Commissoner had mercy on us and married us in the Rotunda in front of all our surprise guests.  We didn’t send out invites, we just posted on our blog and facebook the when and where and people showed up.  It couldn’t have been a more casual and romantic affair, centered on family.”

I know you’re all dying to know about Lenore’s outfit right!? Well she bought a vintage prom dress from etsy and customised it herself. She gathered up the layers of tulle and picked some of them up with clips. She then cut the top off to make it into a skirt, and wore it with a white tee-shirt and a big (awesome) pink bow! She even made her own veil by gathering up a load of tulle and tying it in a bow.

Similarly she bought some plain silver shoes and punk-rocked them up with studs, rhinestones, and broken mirrors. The good news is though that she’s now set up her own etsy store to sell them. Erm I WANT!!!!!

“Mormons dress very modestly:  they have to cover their shoulders and reach the knees.  This makes finding a wedding dress a real challenge,” she explained. “When I saw Lola’s Bad Ass Punk Rock bridal shoot on Rock n Roll Bride I thought:  I can make that work for me.  A fabulous skirt with a simple modest shirt ($12 from Marshalls — a discount retailer).  My mother can sew and we watch a lot of Project Runway together — we knew we could cobble together a dress ourselves.”

“Our wedding theme was ‘punk rock is in your soul’,” Lenore concluded. “We’re Mormons. We’re parents. We’re suburbanites. We’re professionals. And that is as hardcore as any lifestyle.”

“The second time around was so much more fun.  There was none of the pre-wedding day freakout.  We didn’t waste a bunch of money on food for other people.  Nobody was obligated to come and chat with strangers.  No stress.  People get so caught up in the Wedding Machine.  They think they need the expensive dress, the expensive location, the super fancy cake. What brides don’t realize is that two things last:  the pictures and the new family relationship.  Other than that, a wedding is just a day.  It can be done beautifully without breaking the bank.  The only thing we splurged on was our amazing photographer, Rachael McCall.”

I just DIE. I know you guys are gonna love this as much as I do.

You HAVE to click through to the gallery to see more of these babies…

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A Relaxed & Low Key Portrait Session: Leesa-Marie & Stew

Leesa-Marie & Stew wanted a relaxed and low key wedding with just their closest friends and family in attendance. They were hitched in Southampton, and after their ceremony they wondered round Ocean Village and Mayflower Park for their photos with Amy Radcliffe (they didn’t have their ceremony or reception photographed but wanted to portraits to remember their day.)

The bride wore a short dress by Honeypie Boutique, shoes from New Look and a veil by Field and Fallow.

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A Simple Brighton Wedding: Holly & Patrick

Holly & Patrick were married in Brighton. They didn’t really stick to a particular theme for their wedding, they simply included things they love. They wanted to keep the day simple and stress-free, as the bride explains, “We didn’t have a theme, and we didn’t say anything had to be a certain way. My dress was handmade on me, through chatting, drawings and ideas, by my friend Aimee who trained at London College of Fashion. Patrick chose his suit because he was definite that he wanted a ‘mod’ suit. It was all done very organically, and it was perfect. Somebody suggested I wear a long sleeve, high necked dress to cover my tattoos but I declined the suggestion and went for as low a back as possible.”

“I handmade all the invitations and the place names/wedding favours. This was to cut out unnecessary costs and because I love being creative. I used Brighton beach pebbles and decorated them with 3D copper paint with guests names on. As a treat we both also had a complimentary pre-wedding pamper (facial) from Elemis in their Brighton Spa-Pod – which was a gift from our photographers Horse and Carriage Wedding Photography.”

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A DIY Wedding at a Youth Hostel: Antonia & Stuart

Antonia & Stuart what can I say? You two are clearly waaaay to awesome for me!

The couple were married in Canterbury at Wellington House, followed by a reception at a youth hostel (OK genius idea…) The bride even made her own dress (see didn’t I tell you? Too cool for me!)

Antonia told me all about their wedding ethos, “We went to a friends wedding that was super-relaxed and very low budget and decided to go down that road as we did not want a commercial wedding that would leave us in debt, and wanted everything on our terms. We were on a tight budget but collected everything we wanted/needed over a long period of time to spread out the cost, managed to get a lot of things for free or very cheap, and made loads of things ourselves. We ended up with no debt or loan.”

“Everything was decided on by us (long meetings with loads of lists in the pub!). The youth hostel gave us complete freedom, we could do everything how we wanted it (instead of having to use a venues catering/bar etc. like at a hotel).”

“For our table decorations we got lanterns from ikea and glasses with name-stickers made by us. Also we made badges with our faces on, a wedding dress fabric bow for each guest, and decorated the car with ivy (property of the groom – that promptly broke down after the ceremony!)”

“I would describe our wedding theme as natural – natural colours, recylable decoration. We just wanted to have a massive PARTY with all our friends, and disguise it as a wedding!”

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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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