Kat and Matt wanted anything but a traditional wedding. They started the day by having their ceremony at Old Wardour Castle in Salisbury. “The inspiration for the wedding was everything we enjoy: computer games, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, swords, horses, cats, dragons and castles!”, said the bride. “We love looking around castles and historical sites, so finding a ruined castle licensed for weddings was amazingly perfect!”
“The inspiration evolved throughout planning and it got more adventurous as we went on. The clincher was Matt asking if I would arrive on horseback, something which I had dreamed of but initially dismissed as way too risky and over the top. Our friend Heather spent at least a day bathing her lovely horse Millie and let her be my horsey bridesmaid. I think it was the icing on a rather eccentric cake…. Oh and the swords! I had ‘Longclaw’ Jon Snow’s sword from Game of Thrones and Matt had ‘Narsil’ from Lord of the Rings!”
Ali and Steven were married at Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. The whole wedding party stayed there from Friday-Sunday which made it feel more like a holiday away with friends!
“We had the place to ourselves it felt really homely and relaxed”, Ali explained. “We had an afternoon tea on arrival on Friday and the bridesmaids and I decorated the space. Then we all went out for a lovely dinner at the Minishant Inn. We relaxed back at Culzean in the big cosy lounge. On Saturday we all had breakfast together then did some finishing touches to decorations, got ready and had canapes and champagne in the round room with a beautiful view out to the sea. After the ceremony there were drinks in the armoury with the musical trio before dinner in the Georgian kitchen.”
The couple planned the whole wedding themselves, and loved doing so. “We enjoyed doing it ourselves”, she continued. “It felt like a more special day and we were proud during the weekend looking at and experiencing our handiwork.”
“The wedding was inspired by my love of colour and basically anything we saw and liked online. We looked through the A-Z of having a wedding, tore out what we didn’t like and scribbled all over the rest. We kept in anything traditional that we really wanted. For example, Steven didn’t want to see me in my dress until the ceremony and he wanted to cut the cake and I wanted to do the confetti bit – its always a great picture and a fun moment for all to get involved in.”
Jane and Andrew were married in Lissanoure Castle in Loughguile, Northern Ireland. Their day was eclectic from the start which began with the most unusual, but weirdly perfect, inspiration! “Jane found a couple of starting points for the visual style of the wedding early on”, Andrew explained.
“Firstly this photo of Gram Parsons wearing his amazing white cowboy suit with bold coloured leaves and flowers, and an Alice Temperley dress called the Long Eliah Flower Show Dress. Things evolved a long way from there. We used Pinterest to develop ideas with Jane’s sisters and our lovely designer friend Kat Flint. In the end we had a lovely jumble of different bold colours, with some white and neutral tones from brown paper and hessian.”
“The main thing we wanted was for the whole thing to feel relaxed, friendly and personal”, they continued. “We tried to keep it all quite informal with lots of friends and family helping with different parts of the wedding. Music is really important to us too. Andrew spent a lot of time planning all the different musical elements of the wedding (and sang a song at our afternoon open mic).”
It’s not often I get to feature such grand weddings, but that doesn’t mean my heart didn’t skip a beat when I laid eyes on Christina and Richard’s epic Eastnor Castle celebration. Three wedding dresses, a custom Choccywoccydoodah cake, elaborate vintage styling and an impressive fireworks display really made this a wedding to remember!
“Vintage weddings are so popular these days but both myself and Richard have a love for 1940s music and lindy-hop dancing so decided this was the perfect theme for us”, Christina began. “We had a 1940s vintage theme with a touch of 1930s in the wedding attire for bride and groom, and vintage Hollywood style over dinner. We kept the details of the day secret from most guests, so the element of surprise as lots of different things happened throughout the day kept guests excited and entertained. The fireworks reflecting over the lake was the winning highlight for the guests as well as an extra hog roast as second dinner.”
Struggling to find the kinda of clients they really wanted to work with in Yorkshire where they’re based, photographer and videographer Lorna Lovecraft & Darryl Forrester decided to take matters into their own hands and show these kinds of alternative couples why they should be booking them.
“Although we have both been in business for a while, we have been struggling to book the kinds of clients who are having the style of wedding that we really want to shoot”, Lorna wrote. “We really want to work with couples who have a very individual style and are not afraid of doing things their own way on their wedding day. We decided whilst business was quiet in January we would do an alternative styled bridal fashion shoot to try and highlight our skills to our ideal clients.”
“I took inspiration from Kat’s article which appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine about future trends in weddings for 2013. One of the items that leapt out at me was bold colour and where she wrote ‘The vintage trend that dominated the wedding industry for the past few years is finally starting to wane. Instead of pretty and pale, 2013 will be the year of daring colour choices… And I’m talking bold colour baby! Colours that contrast and complement like black and yellow, or teal and grey, will be popular selections, but for the more daring couples it’s all about the clash! I’m thinking pink and orange, or yellow and green! Delicious’.”
If there’s one type of wedding I don’t see a lot of, it’s one with a medieval theme. So when Ben & Victoria’s wedding – set in a castle and featuring owls, hawks and a castle shaped wedding cake – landed in my inbox I was thrilled to be able to feature it.
The wedding was held at Castle Ladyhawke in Tuckasegee, North Carolina in November. “Ben proposed on a camping trip to the mountains in North Carolina”, began the bride. “He conspired with my bridesmaid and photographer best friend to surprise me by proposing on top of a mountain with her taking photos. He also planned two surprises for me for our wedding that were really special. The castle had a tower with a flag pole on top and with the help of his best man he came up with a coat of arms flag for us as a new family together. He used our wedding colors and an owl sigil, to tie in with the bird that brought us our rings, our love for Harry Potter and the mascot of the university where we both met and graduated. It looked really cool at the castle and is something I’m happy to keep always.”
“For my wedding present, Ben contacted a cartographer to create a custom map for us. Considering my adoration for maps and especially ancient or fantasy maps like those of Middle Earth, Westeros, etc, they worked together to create a similar map that had fictional places that represent people, places and events that are meaningful to us. He had it framed and it’s so beautiful and unique. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift.”
“I really didn’t care about a lot of the more traditional or classic things many people do for weddings”, Victoria continued “I didn’t want anything to feel too formal or stuffy. I just wanted us to make the commitment to each other in a way that was meaningful for us. Neither of us like being the center of attention, so we just wanted to make sure everyone had fun.”