Chris and Kimberley wanted an unconventional and small wedding in the city where they met: Belfast. “We knew we didn’t want a religious service or a big wedding”, began the bride. “We didn’t want to spend our wedding day talking to people we didn’t know or didn’t want to! We had 38 guests, which was perfect.”
The couple also knew they didn’t want a traditional venue, so the wedding was held on Holohans: The Belfast Barge. “It was the first place we looked at and the last. We had the ceremony and the meal on the top deck and then we moved downstairs below deck for the evening. Calvin, the owner, is such a great host. We had so many people telling us how brilliant he was and how much they loved the staff (and food!). It was a small intimate wedding and the location lent itself to that perfectly.”
“Our wedding was relaxed and fun, will no bullshit!” she laughed when I asked about their theme. “We also did a lot of DIY. We designed and printed all the stationery, invites, table plan and name settings. We also created a ‘wedsite’ for our guests with useful travel info etc. as a lot weren’t from the area. We made the bridesmaid’s flowers, men’s buttonholes, and pom pom flowers that we placed in old beer bottles. Also a few hundred metres of bunting! Chris also made his own beer for the toast, so each guest had a bottle.”
Sadie and Marie were married at Calke Abbey Riding School, a National Trust venue in Derbyshire. They were the first same sex couple to marry here and they fell in love with it’s less than perfect appearance. It was the ideal setting for their alternative wedding.
“Our wedding day was perfectly imperfect”, explained the brides. “We were adamant we did not want a prefabricated, immaculate wedding and opted for a laid back, rough round the edges kind of day. We chose the amazing venue, not for the grand unstately home (yes it’s really called that!), but for the rustic, flaking paint and quirky riding school, owned by the National Trust. We also made history by being the first same sex couple to have a ceremony there! We visited the venue on several occasions and it was transformed every time. We wanted a blank canvas where we could truly make our mark.”
When Kirsty and Steve planned to marry they knew they wanted tradition to play no part in it. This started with their surname. Instead of keeping their own names or one of them taking the other’s they decided to merge their two names to create a brand new one. So Kirsty Foster and Steve Pate became Mr & Mrs Fate!
When it came to capturing their wedding day they wanted photos that were bright, romantic, playful, with a little kooky edge. They found We Heart Pictures through Rock n Roll Bride and couldn’t have been happier with their choice! They wedding took place on June 7th at Hoxton Hall, London.
“It meant a lot to us to do everything ourselves so we could add the personal touches and details that had meaning for us”, began the bride. “We lived and breathed the wedding for months leading up to it and became entirely consumed by rainbow ribbons, bottle gardens, lobsters, life size skeletons and balloon garlands – and so did our friends! I couldn’t tell you how many hours of wedding planning was spent in front of our TV watching Murder She Wrote.”
Louise and Pete’s Belfast manor house wedding was full to bursting with cute, quirky and retro DIY details. The bride wore a polka dot Candy Anthony wedding dress and looked every but the mid-century starlet with her beehive hair do and classically gorgeous make up. “We definitely had a retro themed wedding”, Louise explained. “I took inspiration from Hairspray (especially when it came to my hair!) and had a pink polka dot 50s style dress. Pete had a teddy boy-esque suit. We played 60s garage songs during the drinks reception and 60s girl groups afterwards. We asked all our male guests to wear bow ties, which they did, including my 5 month old nephew!”
“In the year leading up to our own wedding Pete and I attended 13 weddings (including an amazing 5 day affair in Rajasthan), so we ended up with a really good idea of what we felt was important”, she continued. “It all centred on making sure our guests were having fun and that the food and alcohol was plentiful. We wanted to get everyone up and dancing. We knew from the outset that a hotel wedding wasn’t for us and we discarded elements that we didn’t feel mattered on the day, like having a top table or a cake cutting ceremony.”
Sarah & Paul and were married in September at the royal observatory – Queen’s House in Greenwich. They went for a English vintage theme with a twist. It reflected the things they love in their everyday lives.
“The wedding theme was English vintage as I am big into my vintage clothing and music so things needed to be pretty but with an eccentric twist”, wrote the bride. “I didn’t want it to be a Cath Kidston wet dream and neither did I feel that an out-and-out rocking festival would have suited us so we went for something in between! I love typography and so that was instantly worked into our invites and other paper goods (I made the majority using pretty parchment card and downloading fonts from the internet).”
Ralph & Carly love all things Americana and retro and so the theme for their wedding was easy to decide on. They wanted to incorporate the feeling of driving through America in an open top car – something they love to do in real life. Ralph had even proposed on a road trip through Arizona, one of their favourite places in the USA. “We love Americana and we feel that there is a big difference between what is retro and what is vintage”, Carly explained. “We wanted our wedding to be all things that we love. We love nothing more than booking a flight and a car in the US and then exploring, although sometimes we end up in very peculiar places and cannot wait for daylight to arrive so that we can head out! For the most part though it’s the way that we have discovered some of our favourite places. Each table was named after a hotel or motel that we have stayed in on our trips, there have been many others but these had the coolest signs.”
The wedding was held at The Chainstore in Trinity Buoy Wharf, at the London Docklands, a venue they originally found when going to an American themed diner in the area! “Went to visit the diner there, Fatboys, and after eating more than we could handle we felt that it would be best to walk it off so we went exploring”, Carly continued. “This is when we discovered the lighthouse which turned out to be The Chainstore. We fell in love with the building and its surroundings and I immediately pictured our wedding. When we looked into it we found that it is a complete blank canvas which was music to our ears as we had visited other, more traditional, wedding venues that were dictating everything to us. That, to us, sounded like hell!”