Simple weddings are often the best, and for Feng & David, doing something low-key and ethical was important. So they had a super tiny civil ceremony with only their closest friends and family in attendance, and hosted the reception at their own house! Yes, Feng put on an apron and served all the food herself!
“Our wedding budget was £1500, but we went over this with our photographer and our rings”, began the bride. “Our rings were pretty expensive as they were custom made using fair-trade gold, recycled gold & conflict-free gems by Amanda Li Hope. We were married at Oxford Registry Office and our reception was in our tiny house in East Oxford.”
“To decorate the house we scoured the markets, car boot sales and charity shops, and raided my parent’s hoard of strange wooden objects”, Feng continued. “I made paper pompoms out of retro dress making patterns and flowers from David’s ‘Physics World’ Magazines – combining the two things that we both do. One of our best finds was a 50p Readers Digest atlas on which we printed all of our invites & turned into paper flowers. Although David didn’t take part in the DIY, he let me cut up his physics magazines and was a constant source of support and sage advice. He came back one day surprised that I’d painted chevrons all over the dining room wall! I was addicted to reading wedding blogs (especially Rock n Roll Bride) as a source of inspiration.”
Being massive foodies, Kat & Ton knew that serving a fantastic meal was high on their list of wedding day priorities. So for their reception venue they selected their favourite French restaurant in Brisbane, Montrachet. “In my opinion Montrachet is the best French restaurant in the city, and has been a family favourite for years”, Kat told me. “Feeding our families and friends good food and wine was very important to us. The staff, both kitchen and front of house, made sure the night was perfect with superb food and exceptional service.”
They kept their reception decor simple, arranging their own flowers bought from the flower market with little clusters of jars and tea lights. “I didn’t want to clutter the tables up too much”, she continued, “so the Thursday before the wedding my parents and I went to the Brisbane Flower Markets and pretty much winged what we bought. Along with the baby succulents, I ordered some larger rosettes from The Succulent Garden a month before. We were up until midnight putting together two bouquets – one to carry and one as decoration in the restaurant. To finish off my bouquet I used leftover fabric from my dress and petticoat, and tied a Lapis Lazuli silver pendant onto it. The pendant was an engagement gift from my grandmother’s husband who does silversmithing as a hobby and made the pendant himself.”
Sonia & Balthazar‘s wedding was anything but typical. This casual couple turned up late, got ready in minutes, sailed off on a boat for the ceremony and had a meal at a Russian restaurant for their reception.
“My husband and I are in love with the sea – the smell, the mystery and the expansiveness”, began the bride. “We feel most comfortable near large bodies of water, so the idea of getting married on a boat seemed like the most appropriate. We had sailed on the Red Witch in 2009 with Balthazar’s aunt and uncle in Port Washington during a tall ship festival. We overheard the Captain saying that they host parties and weddings and looked at each other simultaneously, with the same thought in mind: this is our vessel of love.”
“Pretty much the last word you could use to describe me or my immediate family is ‘traditional'”, she continued. “My parents and I were all born with pretty stubborn independent and individualist streak, so getting married after a long and thoughtful courtship probably constitutes its own act of rebellion. That said, Balthazar and I weren’t interested in most of the corporatist, patriarchal overtures of many modern weddings. Also, money was definitely an object, both in principle ($25,000 for an average wedding? WHAT!?) and in practice. We wanted an event that celebrated our love, had a meaningful spiritual component, honored our community of friendship and family, and gave everyone a memorable, joyful experience.”
An eclectic mix of rustic, shabby chic and DIY, Marcus & Whitney’s wedding was held in a lumber yard in Huntsville, AL. “We just wanted everything to reflect our personalities”, wrote the bride. “We both rock to the beat of our own drum and knew we didn’t want a super traditional stuffy wedding because that is far from anything we’d ever enjoy.”
Whitney wore a Justin Alexander wedding dress with Kate Spade shoes and a pearl necklace that her grandmother had given her. She handmade her brooch bouquet. “My favorite project was my brooch bouquet”, she explained. “The majority of my brooches were passed down or gifted from family and friends so it is very special to me. It took forever to wire and stem each brooch, and I ended up taking it apart and completely redoing it three times. It was finished with my late great grandmother’s handkerchief and my best friend Shannon’s late mother’s engagement ring brooch. It will be on display in my home and cherished FOREVER! Also, Marcus and I had a lot of fun making our CD favors together – picking the music and putting them together. We did a lot of stuff together as a couple when planning the wedding and it was great to share that.”
Being parents to seven children, Sam & Brendan were always going to have a huge family-focused wedding. Their magical day was held in their backyard in Brisbane surrounded by their family and friends. The colourful wedding was laid back and fun and had a theme of kewpie dolls running throughout. They had them as favours, for the flowergirls to carry, nestled into the ceremony backdrop and even on the front of the wedding car!
The groom and his groomsmen had dinosaurs incorporated into their buttonholes and the bride’s bouquet was made out of brooches that she’d collected for years. Most of them also had great significant meaning to her and the family. The family also made the rainbow ceremony backdrop themselves. “We decided to have everything we love without worrying if things matched or were ‘tasteful’”, Sam explained. “Our aim was to have fun! I guess our theme was kitsch, confetti and fun!”
Sarah & Tzevai chose to marry in Cornwall as it’s where the bride grew up. Their wedding was a chilled, beachy, DIY wedding with yellow touches throughout.
“We knew from the start that we didn’t want a ‘traditional’ wedding”, explained Sarah. “Neither of us are religious in the slightest so a church wedding didn’t appeal. Most of the venues in Falmouth are hotels or a really expensive castle, but as soon as we saw the Maritime Museum we knew that it was the one for us. My shoes were yellow, my dress was short, Tzevai didn’t even wear a full suit! Everything about it was casual, fun, and very, very us.”
“Our main thought that was that our wedding would be an amazing day, but that it was just a day and that we really wanted to concentrate on having a happy marriage, which we seem to be managing so far! We picked the traditions that we wanted and left out the ones that didn’t feel like they’d represent us very well.”