Barbara & Mark were married in one of the coolest venues I’ve seen in a long time – MC Motors in Castle Gibson, East London. The couple were keen to make their wedding all about them and what they love, and so they spent money on the things they valued (namely the awesome venue, The Wedding Smashers (DJ’s) and Barbara’s Candy Anthony dress) and ignored the things they didn’t.
“A friend bought me a wedding magazine when I got engaged in December. I opened it up one night and never looked at it again – or any other mag for that matter,” Barbara told me. “I just wanted it to be a proper knees up with lots of music, booze and all our favourite people. Some things we spent money on – like the venue – other things, we just didn’t feel as strongly about – like having the perfect cake or millions of flowers. We just didn’t want to have to follow any rules – and did things exactly as we wanted.”
Barbara’s bridesmaid’s wore beautiful yellow dresses which the bride made herself. With each girl having very different looks (and one being pregnant!) it was important that the style suited them all. The 60’s inspired pattern of the dresses worked beautifully and the polka dot & yellow fabric was both playful and flattering.
Emma & James had a wedding filled with love and laughter. With help from their family & friends, the couple pretty much handmade everything for their special day. The cake was made by James’ brother who has a family bakery, The Cherrytree Bakery, the bridesmaid dresses were made by a family friend and Emma, her Mum and her sisters made all the bouquets and buttonholes.
The couple designed their own invitations and their RSVP cards were drawn by their daughter Lily (aww.) “We wanted to be able to have something to hand out to our guests as they came in to the civil ceremony so made these little fans which listed the members of the bridal party, the names of the people doing readings and what they were reading, ” Emma explained. “These proved very useful on the dance floor later in the evening!”
The majority of the reception details and décor were also handmade. The bunting was crafted from paper doilies which Emma bought from a local £1 shop, cut into triangles and sprayed gold. They were then stapled onto red and white polka dot and gingham ribbons and were used to decorate the entrance marquee where the afternoon tea party took place. The seating plans were mad from Ikea frames, the table cloths and napkins were cut from fabric purchased very cheaply and the centrepieces were recycled tin cans that Emma knitted little jackets for (omg seriously dying over how cute these are!) Lily then made lots of little button and beaded hearts which they decorated the woolly jackets with.
Also on the table was vintage mismatched crockery and table numbers made from bottles that Emma and her Mum collected in the run up to the wedding. They were filled with homemade schnapps! Finally, Emma and Lily made moustaches and lips from Fimo and put them on sticks, “It was a lot of fun and much easier than I thought!” Emma said. “For favours each of our guests got a novelty gift on their chair we had stick on moustaches, masks, false teeth, funny glasses and lots of glow in the dark accessories as we wanted our room filled with laughter and ridiculous behaviour. These were picked up from pound and novelty shops and online.
Shalma & Leo are what I like to call friends of the blog. Not only did they find photographer David McNeil though a feature on Rock n Roll Bride, but I featured their gorgous A Bout de Souffle engagement session over the summer AND myself and the bride have exchanged regular emails ever since they got engaged about all things wedding! So when David asked if I wanted to feature them …well he didn’t have to ask twice!
“I am so pleased that you think my wedding is Rock n Roll enough for your website,” Shalma wrote. “I would love for you to blog it! I have to say this again, but your blog has been such immense help over the past year. When I got engaged every childhood dream I had of the full Indian wedding just wasn’t an option anymore. To find a wedding site which thrives on individuality and the boldness to do what you want is refreshing and fun.”
Shalma wore a Candy Anthony dress – the first one she laid eyes on! “My dress was the first one I saw in the shop and I knew that was the one,” she explained. “I tried on about 5 before hand (even the leopard print one which is gorgeous) but I kept going back to that one. They also made my fascinator in the same fabric. To keep with the 50’s theme, my Mother in law very kindly gave me her Mother’s vintage 50’s pearl necklace with a diamante clasp. It’s stunning I was really honoured that she wanted me to have it. At my hen party all the girls pitched in and brought me my Tiffany pearl earrings to match. I was so touched that they all did that for me I couldn’t believe it. Luckily I had the shoes already which made the whole outfit complete!”
However for this Rock n Roll wedding it wasn’t just the bride who stole the show. The super stylish Leo was also certain that he didn’t want to look like every other groom. “Its so difficult for grooms to find something that isn’t your generic penguin suit,” Shalma said. “He also can’t buy anything off the rack so finding somewhere that does cheap tailor made suits was hard. He wanted a herringbone textured 3 piece suit in a brownish colour. There’s a great website called A Suit That Fits. They are brilliant. You pick the fabric, style, lining, everything and its made to measure.”
The couple didn’t want an obvious theme for their wedding, they just wanted to keep it simple, beautiful and perfect for them. “We both wanted to do things our way. We had a small budget and we’re both very creative so a lot of the design work was done by us. We basically wanted to incorporate all of our favourite things. I made my own bunting and cushion covers out of Indian silks brought from Southall. That was so much fun. I love Southall. I probably made 4 trips there in total and brought yards of coloured fabric, ribbons, jewellery. It was an epic task and so much fun. Leo designed our invitations and he also designed the cocktail menus. We made a photo guest book using funny pictures of everyone. We gave the kids little party bags so they had stuff to play with on the day. We painted glass jars different colours which were used for the flowers and candles. Leo’s sister made our red velvet wedding cake which tasted amazing! We had a playlist on our ipod made up of our guest favourite songs which worked really well. We only had 1 bridesmaid and groomsmen each. My bridesmaid’s wore a dress from Coast which matched my petticoat, shoes from Carvela and the sash was brought from Candy Anthony. The groomsmen wore his own suit.”
“We knew our wedding was going to be slightly different but I guess thats what you get when you try to incorporate cars, music and food, emphasising the feasting and dancing with friends and family rather than the actual ceremony” began bride Louisa. “We both have an affinity with old cars, cars that have been around a while and have a tale to tell so we had no problem finding a wedding car – I had the perfect excuse to use my hotrod, a 1928 Model A Ford. Not wanting to leave his cars out of the fun, Rob decided we should include a mini car show where he and our friends could park up their old cars and in some cases, their beds for the night.”
Yep, that’s right – Louisa & Rob’s guests were invited to their homespun music and car festival wedding complete with the invitation to camp over afterwards. The wedding was a combination of a registry office ceremony, a tea party at the bride’s Grandmother’s house and finally a massive celebration in two yurts, set up in the bride’s Dad’s field.
Some eagle-eyed and long-term readers may recognise Nicola, who’s ‘Do It Yourself’ wedding I featured way back in May 2009. Nicola decided that she wanted to rock her gorgeous Candy Anthony wedding dress just one more time, so got in touch with photographer Caroline to see what she thought. Luckily, when Caroline heard ‘Candy Anthony, cupcake tattoos and pink Converse trainers’ she was totally up for it and they planned this fun and fashionable shoot.
Caroline also persuaded Nicola to bring a few more outfit changes (does this girl just live in gorgeous 1950’s style dresses or what!?) and they were good to Rock n Roll!
I’ve branded this the ‘Quadrophenia wedding’ because of all the fabulous retro British details. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to be English doesn’t it?
The couple embarked in a lot of diy to make it all super personal and everything from the pub they held it in being called The Britannia to the pork pie ‘cake'; from the Vivienne Westwood shoes (a national treasure in my eyes!) to the red, white a blue throughout were put together to make their theme perfect. The bunting had a union jack vibe, the table plans were quintsentially British themed and the guests were even transported in a open top double decker routemaster red bus.
The day was rounded off by traditional English games including an egg and spoon race and a impromptu kick around with a rugby ball!