If cute, quirky, outdoor weddings are your idea of heaven then prepare to stand at those pearly gates, because Phillip and Elena’s Colorado wedding is a beauty!
“Our inspiration was just love and our relationship”, said Elena. “All the things that brought us to that point. We had games instead of dancing because we got to know each other over UNO and Monopoly.”
The bride wore a dress from BHLDN, the bridesmaids picked their out outfits and nearly everything else was handmade by the bride or thrifted. “We made the bunting, table runners and the stationery”, said the bride. “We arranged every flower ourselves and I also made the cake toppers, escort cards and signs. It was so worth it.”
Ben and Roo wanted their big day to feel like ‘them’. So they enlisted the help of friends and family to hand craft the wedding of their dreams! “Our theme was ‘nature meets colorful meets elegant meets comfortable!” began the bride. “I was a circus performer for ten years and Ben has been a rigger for his whole professional life. Our friends are eclectic and multi-skilled and they all pitched in. It made a blank slate of a venue become a colorful tapestry of strings of circus lights, people on stilts, colorful guests, chandeliers hanging from trees and an amazing electro-swing dance party!”
“It was ALL DIY”, she continued. “We had a small team that helped make our visions a reality. We made close to 50 pennants, shopping for the fabric, cutting it and gluing each triangle to rope. We also sourced recycled wood and hand painted all the signs. My mother, Chris, planned all the flower arrangements and lead a team in cutting and arranging thousands of flowers around the expansive venue grounds. Even our Save the Date cards were designed by a friend and laser cut for free due to a friendly favor.”
Rachael and Rob wanted to get away from the city for their wedding. So they rented a camp ground, just outside of Philadelphia where they could say “I do” and stay all weekend with their friends and family.
“We live in the heart of Philadelphia and wanted to find a place that all our friends and family could get away from the city of Brotherly Love while sharing in their Union of Love”, wrote Rachael. ” Maple Treehouse Camp on the Appalachian Trail in western Maryland proved just the place, offering an escape of fun where guests could spend the weekend celebrating. Since we have both lived all over before settling in Philly, we wanted to be able to spend more than a few hours with those special friends who made the journey. Friends travelled from all parts of the country to bunk together in tree houses, cabins, and in their own tents or campers.”
“The whole wedding was really community inspired! Since our relationship started with community and travelling adventure, we thought it perfect to find a place where all of our friends and family could get away from the city and everyday lives to find a little R & R and celebrate the love of R & R! The whole wedding came together with the community stepping up into different roles but also making sure they were able to have fun and not.”
“Upon arrival each was greeted by a ‘camp counsellor’ at the welcome table with a cabin assignment, a hand-crafted watercolor camp map, and a field guide with fun for the weekend. The whole affair, with the exception of the local organic farmer/pig roaster, Bev Egglesteine, was put on by family and friends. Dogs and kids were welcome with most wearing bow ties!”
Festival and tipi weddings have been big in 2012… like huge. Like they’re the wedding trend that just won’t quit. And that not necessarily a bad thing, because hell, who doesn’t love a festival and camping and toasting marshmallows over an open fire?
When Amy & Chris set to planning their July wedding, they decided that the groom’s family home, Laskey Farm in Thelwall, was a more than perfect spot. After a humanist ceremony performed by Kate Gee came a various bands and performances with the evening being rounded off with a silent disco!
“Our ceremony was totally unique because of the lack of legal and religious stuff every minute of it was about us”, explained the bride. “My sister and I read Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII in English and Spanish which sounded amazing even though I couldn’t understand what she was saying! My cousin Tom, who’s an actor, read a ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ which I’d chosen as a surprise for Chris because we tease him about looking like an owl! His friend Tom played some Beatles songs for the beginning and end of the ceremony, and in the middle we had an ‘alternative hymn’ – The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” which worked really well, everyone joined in and sang along! We both felt quite strongly about being atheist and not having a church wedding, so after a little research we found Kate Gee, a humanist celebrant and all round fantastic lady. She totally understood the way we felt about our wedding and took lots of time to get to know us both so that she could write and talk about us in detail and on a personal level throughout the ceremony. It was the ultimate way to personalise our wedding! She suggested the handfasting involving the colourful ribbons and it worked beautifully – we tied the ribbons to random chairs and at the end of the ceremony anyone with a ribbon was asked to come up and tie it around our hands, and wish us well. My mum had stitched my buttons from the collection I’d inherited from my Nana to the ends of the ribbons to weigh them down so that they hung beautifully and didn’t get tangled in the wind; after the ceremony we tied them into a tree on the lawn.”
I ain’t gonna lie… I harbor a certain level favoritism for pink haired brides… hum, I wonder why!? So when I saw Josie & Nick’s camping themed wedding I was very excited indeed. The couple didn’t spend a bomb on the day, utlising things they already owned (hello, look at Jodie’s awesome Antaina boots!), by having the reception in Nick’s parent’s back garden and by making as much of it as they could themselves.
“We DIY’ed everything”, Jodie told me. “It can be really easy to bite off more than you can chew though so my advice would be to decide on a cohesive theme early on. Select projects you know you can complete both skill wise and in the time you have. And start early! Anything you can do well in advance is great.”
For the reception they set up tents and and sign posts which is where the ‘glamping’ theme started. “Our wedding was planned long distance. We had to drive 250 miles to Kent the week before the wedding and do 80% of the work and projects that week! We took the seats out of the back of our (quite large) car and piled stuff to the roof. We still had to leave things behind! If you have to travel with your wedding stuff I would definitely say pick small but effective items – bunting, food flags, fancy tablecloths. You will save yourself a lot of stress trying to cram picnic baskets, fruit crates and wedding dresses in your car!”
The inspiration for Alex & Denise’s Brighton wedding was for it to be “just like a big picnic”. They used local suppliers (including the caterers who used local produce and supplied locally produced champagne) where possible and DIY’ed the rest! “Our inspiration was for it to be like a big picnic – although without having to sit on the floor!” Denise told me. “I found mini picnic baskets that were used as the centrepiece on each table. These were filled with chutney, pickles and breadsticks. We wanted the wedding to be really relaxed – I’ve always disliked formal situations. I also wanted there to be lots of colour. For the meal we had a blanket set up on the floor for any children that got bored of the adults. We also did a play area with a wigwam, dress up box and colouring books. Although on the day they mainly opted for running around the field like lunatics.”
“The second (and very crucial) driving force for the wedding was the belief that it needn’t cost a fortune. Apparently the average wedding costs around £19,000 which to me is just a ridiculous amount of money (and was totally out of the question – we had nowhere near that amount of money to spend). We had less than £5,000 for the wedding and honeymoon but I didn’t want to compromise on the feeling of it being a special day. It was time to stick it to the man and beat the system.”
“There was a lot of DIY with this wedding. I gave myself the challenge of making 100 metres of bunting. I had my own mini production line! I sewed the bunting on to paper ribbon (which was much cheaper than using bias tape). I also made our sweetie favour bags (full of lovely sweets: pink shrimps, parma violets and flying saucers being my favourites). I really liked the look of the old fashioned paper sweetie bags – each table had a different colour (they looked great and they were as cheap as chips – sweet). They also doubled as name places. I tied them up using raffia. The raffia came in handy for lots of things – you can buy a massive bundle from floristry suppliers. This was much cheaper (and was far nicer raffia) than buying it anywhere else. Floristy suppliers were also a great place to go for decorative items (eg baskets, enamel buckets etc).”
“Another friend made great signs for the bar, camping area and toilets. This friend also made our tennis table bat table plan. Alex’s family are big fans of table tennis so it seemed like a good way to go! Each table was named after top table tennis players of the 1990s – I think that might be a wedding table plan first! I also made moustaches on sticks because I think they’re funny.”
Denise wore a wedding dress which she bought from Oxfam Bridal and then has customised and shortened by Erika Langley Bridal Alterations. “Wedding dress shops scare me so I never actually set foot in one,” the bride continued. “I’m not a girly girl and the idea of all the attention on me made me feel a bit ill. I knew I wanted a short dress – I’m only 5ft 1 and thought a meringue would drown me. Also, as we would spend the majority of the day in a field (and possibly a wet, muddy one) I didn’t want to be dragging a dress behind me. Plus, if I did need to don my yellow wellies, I wanted everyone to see them! I scoured the high street but nothing was right. I eventually went to Oxfam Bridal – perfect for me, I love a charity shop! The dresses were mainly quite extravagant but I did stumble across one that was nice and simple. It was also long with a huge train. Nothing that a dress maker couldn’t sort our though. I loved having such a simple dress – I felt really relaxed in it all day! My heels got replaced by some nice flat yellow sandals as soon as I got to the farm. A farm is no place for heels.”