“Basically our tastes tend towards simplicity and we’re blessed to be surrounded by loving, creative people who helped the wedding feel very ‘us.’ …very down-home, cornfields & college towns… us” explained newlywed’s Kelly & John when I asked them about their wedding inspiration.
The couple were married at St. Patrick Church, Urbana, IL. “We grew up in neighboring suburbs, went to undergrad together, and then Kelly moved to the city for a grant while John continued studying at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign,” they continued. “As our future home, at least for a few years, Urbana was perfect for the wedding. Central Illinois was far enough from home to be out of the often over-commercialized urban wedding market, yet close enough for our family to make a day trip. Plus, we really liked the Irish influence at St. Patrick, a small, beautiful church in our neighbourhood.” Following the service, the wedding party headed to their reception at Silvercreek Restaurant, the couple’s favourite restaurant. The chef prepared three richly paired dinners from some of their favourite seasonal food.
Kelly wanted to be comfortable and untraditional in her wedding day look and she found her dress on her very first try, soon after she got engaged from Mikaella Bridal. “On a whim, I visited a bridal shop near my hometown with John’s Mom and sister. Certainly not one for strapless, cupcake dresses, I asked the owner to recommend something simple. I definitely wasn’t expecting to find my dress, let alone have it be the first one! I tried on a few more afterwards, but ended up choosing this super-light, taffeta gown…which turned out to not even need alterations!” With her perfect dress she wore flat shoes as Kelly said she wanted to be comfortable!
To keep in with their simple theme, the couple chose to DIY a lot of their wedding. They designed and printed their own Save the Dates & invitations using Vistaprint, created their own wedsite using sites.google.com to manage the RSVP’s and provide their guests with extra information on their day, and home made all other paper goods like the order of services and table numbers. Kelly’s Dad even built a display frame for the place cards which were caligraphied by her Mum. Finally the couple tasked members of their families also collected small personal items for the reception which also really made the day a perfect reflection of them.
Spring may be on it’s way (apparently!) but I’m still lusting over the prettiness of snowy winter weddings…although would you believe, there was actually some snow in parts of the UK this weekend!? Ridiculous.
There was quite a bit of snow-induced drama surrounding Peri & Ryan’s wedding. The ceremony was supposed to start at 3pm, but due to the weather the bride didn’t arrive until 5pm. Also, a lot of guests couldn’t make the day for the same reason and after the ceremony they couldn’t physically get from the church to their reception because of the snow dump and road closures. However a lovely local pub opened their doors to the couple and provided an impromptu reception to remember! I have to say, from these gorgeous shots by Shell de Mar I’d like to think they made the best of it (and I personally LOVE the pub venue – what great ‘art’ on the walls!)
“I can’t really say I am really a quirky person because I’m not but I have always liked to be a bit different in the way I dress,” explained the bride. “Nothing to crazy but just not like most of my friends, I don’t do brands and If I like something I will wear it! I love all things vintage and always have done! When we were planning I had originally wanted a vintage bunting, candy floss, ice cream type wedding in May but Ryan bless him couldn’t get his head around it so when he said how about a winter I thought it sounded lovely. However I still really wanted all the polka dot and vintage feel to it, so instead of doing the traditional long dress and winter colours we went for red and white colours.”
“Our centrepieces were red and white xmas baubles with led lights going through them with polka dot doilies on the tables and silver baubles as place name holders. Sadly no one got to see any of that due to the snow but it look stunning and transformed the room. Ryan’s Mother had made a 3 tier polka dot wedding cake that no one saw either, but we did enjoy it after the wedding! We had chosen Delilah the Beetle to transport us because we own a 1970’s green 1300 Beetle ourselves, but is at the moment being lovingly restored by Ryan so we knew that we had to have one as our wedding car. However again it don’t turn out like (in the end we were transported in a Land Rover! The good news is that we get to use him again for our Summer blessing! Similarly the lovely vicar and the church where we were married will also perform a blessing for us later this year…so in the end I’ll get to have the summer bunting, candy floss, village hall wedding I wanted in the first place!”
This shoot was organised by photographer Jennifer Whalen who wanted to showcase a different style of valentine’s shoot (note: I know valentine’s was over a week ago, but I loved the punky style of these images so much I still had to still share them!)
The idea was to show a gorgeous alternative girl celebrating the day by causing a bit of chaos and enjoying her own company with wine and chocolates…something you wouldn’t normally see when looking for ideas of inspiration for the international day of love! However it’s this point of difference that made me love the shoot in the first place.
They didn’t spend a fortune on the styling or outfits, choosing to DIY the set design and clothes. The tights were created using plain white tights with red hearts drawn on them, the tutu was also handmade and the tee-shirt was from Target, “I wanted the outfit and the whole shoot to have a graphic, quirky look that was also valentine’s themed without being too cute,” explained Jennifer.
Jennie & Mark’s country casual wedding took place at St. Andrew’s Church, Prestwold and Quorn Village Hall in Leicestershire in January. Jennie found her perfect dress at a boutique that was closing down so she got it for a great price.
The couple gave their guests the loose dress code of ‘country casual’ for the men and ‘tea dresses’ for the ladies. I’ve heard both sides of the story when it comes to asking guests to dress to fit a theme, but I do think the overall result is quite a beautiful one!
The majority of the reception décor was a DIY effort. Jennie had spent the week before decorating with birdcages, wild flowers, chinese lanterns, paper chains, handmade cushions and vintage knick-knacks which she’d collected herself (Jennie is now hiring out her beautiful collection to other brides, if you are interested in hiring any of the items for your own wedding, be sure to drop Jennie an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
The day was a windy one (it was January after all!) so guests were treated to a warming hot chocolate on arrival at the hall. The couple served a hog roast in lieu of a traditional wedding breakfast and instead of dessert, everyone was asked to bake a cake to share! They even had a ‘Judge the Cake’ competition to finish the meal off! After the speeches and cake judging there was an enormous game of ‘Pass the Parcel’ among the 80 guests before the evenings entertainment kicked off with Leicester based Rock n Roll group ‘Daddy Longlegs’.
Jemima & Jacko’s vintage wedding took place in Australia in January. They wanted to create a wedding that was a true reflection of them as a couple and the vintage theme just fitted! “We started out wanting to have a feel that was uniquely ourselves. We wanted to do things differently but didn’t know how to go about it. In the end, we chose everything by our own taste and the whole vintage/antique theme just fell into place purely by accident,” Jemima told me.
The bride wore a genuine vintage dress and jewellery which she was gifted by a friend who owns a vintage store after she’d modelled for her. Her reception dress was by Fleur Wood. Jemima’s bridesmaid also wore a vintage dress from Ruby Lane and to keep the theme going, the couple made all their invitations using a vintage typewriter on hondmade paper, “Time consuming but really a joy to type up. Also cost effective” Jemima concluded.
Aren’t these just stunning?