Sara and Marc were married in a castle. Their day had a gothic feel and the bride wore purple! Their budget was just $8,000 and they saved money by DIYing the décor, not having a DJ or band, and by avoiding using real flowers or having a traditional wedding cake. They were also very lucky to win their wedding photography in a competition!
“If I had to choose a theme for our wedding id say it was ‘gothic chic'”, explained the bride. “It was dark and beautiful, classy, and feminine. We wanted the wedding on Halloween but the venue was already booked so we went with the 10th October instead. However it turned out to be better than if we’d done it on the 31st because the weather was perfect!!
“Still, we kind of went with a Halloween theme. We had bats hanging off the centrepieces which were made from branches, skull garlands hanging behind our seats and black glitter pumpkins on the tables. Marc wanted to have a modern day Lestat look for his outfit, which I think work out perfect for the look of the wedding.”
Kelly and Thom wanted their wedding to be inspired by their love of travel, but with fun little unexpected touches. They weren’t constrained by a particular theme, they just picked things they liked, such as having a ‘Herbie’ Beetle as their transport! The ceremony was held at Old Wardour Castle and the reception at Spitfire House Farm, private farming estate owned by family friends.
“We looked for every opportunity to pour ourselves into the décor”, said Kelly. “Most of the decorations were handmade by us or things we already had. As part of the invitations we sent postcards of Wiltshire and Boise for RSVP, using the returned cards as bunting decoration. The flower bunting flags were handmade by a family friend and surrounded the entire marquee. We had small frames all around with quotes from some of our favourite books and every table had a small tower of books from our own collection. Thom designed the table numbers, each featuring a different lyric from The Beatles. Thom also has a collection of vintage cameras we placed around the tables. The trains were all from the Brio set that Thom and his brothers grew up with. And I designed the little iSpy cards. For fun we got a whole bunch of the foam flying gliders for every place setting. Thom’s dad also made the large sized Jenga!”
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.”