High school sweethearts don’t always go the distance, but Tori and Dillon bucked that trend. They met during sophomore year and have been together ever since. They wanted a wedding that felt like them, and they didn’t care about being too specific about colours and trends.
“Neither Dillon or I are big on dancing so I think something a bit alternative about our wedding was that our reception didn’t focus on dancing as the sole entertainment”, Tori said. “Our venue had a huge property so we were able to have yard games as a dancing alternative. My sister and brother-in-law made us a custom Jenga set, we had ring toss, as well as sets of corn hole.”
Anda and Paul had a nature themed wedding in the Transylvanian countryside. They love all things rustic and are fanatical about DIY so it was the obvious theme for their big day. They were married at a church and afterwards they both jumped onto a home made chariot (a chair strapped to a board attached to the back of Paul’s bicycle) to head to their outdoor reception.
“We wanted to go to the church on two separate bikes and to come back on a tandem bike”, began the bride, “but because I couldn’t ride my bike while wearing the wedding dress, Paul found the solution: the chariot! He made the project himself and built it with the help of his father. We had so much fun with it and it was actually our favourite moment from the day.”
After their small legal ceremony at Bletchley Registry Office, Hannah and Craig hosted their wedding in Craig’s parent’s back garden. They had a blessing followed by a marquee reception. The bride wore two dresses. The first, which she also wore again for dancing at the end of the night, was a bodice and skirt from BHLDN. Her second, more traditional gown was from Trudy Lee.
“Our wedding was a country rustic day but with modern touches”, began the bride. “When I was younger I didn’t have that picture in my head of my perfect wedding, I think it was probably because I had never seen one like ours before (!!) – outside in the open, garden ceremony and fields behind us. I think because we had that space to use that defined what our wedding was going to be like.”
“We were engaged for 3 years before we married. Craig proposed when we’d only been together 7 months so we didn’t make plans straight away. Bur during the spring of 2012 we were looking out across Craig’s parents garden and land and we decided it would be the most perfect venue. It was from then on the wedding plans went into full steam ahead! The ‘venue’ we had was certainly the lighting out of the blue inspiration we needed to kick start the plans. That’s what made the wedding so unique, Craig’s parents have a stunning home and we are so deeply grateful to them for allowing us to hold our wedding at their house.”
Beckie and Nick were married in Devon and wanted a day that focused on the things they loved the most. They had a limited budget but made sure they prioritised the things that mattered while putting their own stamp on everything. The bride’s mother made her dress and they handcrafted the majority of the decorations.
“We focused our budget on the things that mattered to us most – a gorgeous venue, fantastic food and a free bar – and dispensed with the frivolous things that we didn’t particularly care about”, the bride began. “People never remember these things anyway, I mean is a fancy wedding car or elaborate flower arrangements really key ingredients for a great party? My main sources of inspiration were Rock n Roll Bride and Pinterest. I didn’t attend any wedding fairs or buy a single wedding magazine as I didn’t want to get sucked into buying personalised umbrellas!”
For their late summer wedding Sarah & James wanted something relaxed, quirky and quintessentially English So they opted for a tea party style reception in the Suffolk countryside. The wedding was held at Otley Hall, a 16th Century moated hall surrounded by 10 acres of gardens and which has been voted one of the top 20 Historic Houses in the UK.
“We don’t like conform to the traditional”, began Sarah, “so we didn’t go for the big bank busting do to show off and invite hundreds of people we didn’t know. We wanted a day to celebrate our love for each other and to share it with the people we cared for. It was a day to show who we were as a couple in a setting that suited our individuality and to have a celebration! I suppose you could say our inspiration came from a collection of things we liked; we wanted it to be a celebration of us.”
“Our theme was English country garden party with a vintage homemade feel. There wasn’t a specific colour palette, but we decided to go with blue scale for the wedding parties’ attire. We decorated the space ourselves including a sweet stand for jars of sweets made by James’ dad, with handmade doily cones (made by James!) I customised the stand with bunting to match the bunting around the room and outside space made by my sister Aime.”
A colourful country fête wedding with a 1950s flair? What’s not to love in Steph & Dale’s wedding?! The day took place in Essex, kicking off at St Giles Church with the reception at Pledgdon Barn.
This wedding was a real DIY love affair and a project of passion. The couple made as much as possible including (deep breath) the bunting (both triangle and heart shaped), their stationery and all the paper goods, cocktail stirrers from laser cut card, the cake flags, the acrylic cake toppers, the wooden signs, the blackboards, the paper hearts for decorating the tables, the bridesmaids earrings, the buttonholes, the bow ties for their dogs and the cupcakes!
“I really wanted most things to be handmade because I like to be creative, plus this allowed things to be personal to us and also it can keep costs down”, Steph explained. “The bunting and stationary took the longest to make. If anyone says that bunting is quick then they would be lying!! The amount of man hours it took to make 200m of bunting was ridiculous!! I was still making up until a couple of days before but it turned the barn from something ordinary to something really special and it was definitely worth all the blood, sweat and tears.”