Maria and Graeme wanted their wedding to reflect what was most important to them – family and having fun. They also wanted their day to have minimal fuss and stress and planned the whole thing in just eight weeks!
“Although we got engaged on NYE 2011, and had a lot of ideas, they all fell by the wayside last year when my brother died suddenly”, Maria explained. “He would have played a very big role on our special day, and it was very hard coming to terms with him not being with us. However in August last year, we decided to just go for it. We saw the venue on August 17th, and were married there on October 18th!”
The wedding took place at The Tithe Barn at Symondsbury Estate. “We managed to do tons of DIY in that time”, she continued. “We made the button bouquets, cake, buttonholes, spray painted bottles for the flowers, place cards, table plan, order of the day, and music playlists. We had a lot of help from our very brilliant and talented friends too. I loved making my own bouquet and it also saved us money. Not only did it feel like a massive achievement, but it was lovely to carry something so special and unique. We collected buttons from friends and family (including some from my late brother) as well as lots of pink ones from eBay!”
Being big foodies, Billy & Laura knew they wanted to serve up an amazing feast at their wedding. But they wanted to do it in their own way, so a Full English Breakfast it was! “Overall we just wanted our wedding to be the best party anyone had ever been to”, wrote the bride. “We wanted great food, music and laughter. We definitely wanted our food to be different as we’d attended 8 or 9 weddings the year before and had (albeit very tasty) the same meal over and over.”
“One of the reasons we chose Skipbridge as our reception venue was that we could hire our own caterers and we weren’t stuck with a cookie cutter hotel wedding menu. We really wanted a Full English for our wedding breakfast but I found it difficult to find a supplier that would do exactly what we wanted that wouldn’t charge us an extortionate amount. Eventually I contacted House of Hog and he delivered exactly what we wanted for a great price. We had a fruit starter, followed by a buffet of sausages, bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, hash browns, eggs and veggie alternatives. Dessert was a selection of pastries, pancakes and muffins.”
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.”