Chris and Allison’s handfasting witch doctor wedding in the woods was completely homemade. The bride made her own dress and wore shoes from eBay, which she decorated herself. She also made her own headpiece. The flowers were put together by the couple themselves, they created their own invitations, they even self-catered the whole event!
The couple met online in 2011. Alison was living in South Africa at the time and in April 2012 she took a leap of faith and moved over to the UK to be with Chris. Their meeting was unconventional, so their wedding had to be too!
“It has to be recognised, right from the start, that this was never going to be a normal wedding”, said the bride. “Discovering the cultural differences between us and integrating them into a life together was often surprisingly more difficult that you might imagine. Add to that a determination not to follow the crowd and ‘do everything right’ drove things in an unusual and joyous direction from the start. Throw a group of mildly lunatic friends into the mix, determined to make things work for us despite there being no cash whatsoever available and a very firm direction was set.”
Seth and Lauren’s wedding had a laid back vibe, a budget of just $4000 and lots of lovely homemade details. They planned the day in just three and a half months with lots of help from their friends and family! “I love gold and feathers”, said the bride. “I had seen some gold tipped feathers and I took that as our initial idea and ran with it. I have also done some events at work where we covered the tables with butcher paper and used very simple yet beautiful decor like succulents, twine, and tins. It all fit together very well.”
They out together all the flowers (the feathers were from Etsy and the flowers themselves came from Walmart), a friend made their cake, and instead of a band or DJ they created their own Spotify playlist. “We had a craft party where we made ALL of the decor. We made boutonnieres and bouquets, cleaned tins and glued lace and burlap on them, and hand-painted all the signs. We did everything ourselves. The wedding really wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the selfless friends and family who were willing to come out for a craft day, prep all of the food/cake and freeze it, let us use tables and chairs. The decorations I paid for were purchased in bulk and we spent very little on them. For example: the butcher paper rolls were $12 and we only used half of one roll.”
Jacques and Emma’s summer wedding took place in Rondekuil, a farm venue in rural Durbanville, Cape Town. They had polka dots, jewel tones and woodland touches throughout their decor.
“We had two main objectives: for it to be a true reflection of who we are and for it to be a fun celebration of our love surrounded by our loved ones”, said Emma. “We didn’t want anything formal and traditional. I knew that I wanted colour, but it began with knowing what we didn’t want and through the process we began to realise what we actually wanted.”
“Jacques and I are not traditional people and we wanted our wedding to be an extension of who we are. We didn’t believe in following the supposed rules and didn’t want to spend a fortune. I am the DIY queen, I love creating things. This had two major positives for us. We saved a lot of money and we were able to create the exact decor we wanted. Every weekend was spent creating something for the wedding. I sewed over 100 metres of polka dot table runners, we planted our own wedding favours and even baked our own thank you ornaments out of clay. I bought hundreds of inexpensive plastic animals and spray painted them gold. Nothing was safe from my gold spray paint! I found light up bunny lights which we had all over the tables. I decided to forgo the normal bridal and bridesmaid bouquets and instead made giant paper flowers out of crepe paper.”
Heather and Iggy’s wedding took place in St Omer Park, Queenstown. Their lakeside ceremony was intimate and perfect for them. “We chose to have a short ceremony in a Queenstown park on the edge of Lake Wakatipu ($35 hire fee to the council – yeah!) We narrowed down the precise location the day before, and then updated everyone via our prepared contact lists. The set-up was easy – a few chairs for those that needed it, strings of cranes placed in the willow trees by the best man and Iggy, and a few well-coordinated meet-ups with the celebrant and my brother that played our music from a portable speaker.”
“We had prepared the ceremony format weeks before, and it ran for 10-15 minutes. The weather was great on the day, which was lucky as our wet weather alternative wasn’t really feasible. As the ceremony location was in public, the wedding party consisting of me, my bridesmaid and my father found a way to subtly sneak up behind a huge oak tree (me with a sheet around my dress!) and emerge without being seen.”
Chloe and Craig described their August wedding as being inspired by “Batman, Star Wars, birds, nature, unicorns, mermaids and sparkly stuff”, aka all the things they love! They were married at Blackbrook House in Derbyshire.
“We just did what we loved and had fun”, Chloe said. “There was no pressure to have matching chair sashes, or a grown up theme or any sense of seriousness. From the dresses to the decor to the food and dancing – it was all fun and full on and all of our guests embraced it and partied so hard.”
The bride’s incredible dress cane from eBay! “I found a picture of my perfect dress on a search engine and did some web trawling. Turned out it was from a Chinese eBay website so I took a punt and just hoped that it wouldn’t arrive and be total garbage. Luckily it wasn’t and a few alterations later I felt like a mermaid princess in it. My glittery flamingo daytime footwear was by Miss L Fire; I’m already a big uncoordinated lady so heels were out of the question. For our first dance I changed into my even comfier dancing shoes – white LED light up trainers!”
Their Super Mario cake was made by the bride’s aunt and the flowers were all fake and arranged by the bride. “The table decorations and name places were done in the week running up to the wedding. My dad helped me glue plastic figures to dog bones while my best woman helped me sand the log candle holders. She also helped make the buttonholes and corsages while I made the hair accessories and bouquets for us all. Craig also spent three days hand-etching over 100 beer jugs with a love heart containing our initials. They were used for toasts and the guests got to take them home as their favours. I know a lot of our friends use them as their bedside water vessel!”
Shoshanna and Zak’s brightly coloured, boozy, big kid wedding took place in Brighton in March. They set a budget of £4000 but actually managed to spend a bit less than that. Their reception venue was free! “Our reception was at OhSo Social on Brighton beach and it was FREE! We paid them £1500 for food and drink but they then deducted what we actually spend and gave us the rest back – amazing saving!”
“Our only big expense was our photographer. Photos so so important to me, and after a few weeks of fighting with the other half over the cost, we booked Marianne Chua. I fell in love with her photography and her craziness! Her passion and and love for wedding and people was spot on for us and we are SO happy with out photos! I don’t even want to imagine having crap wedding photos, you cant ever go back and re-do them. It’s an investment of beautiful and hilarious memories and the best thing we did for our wedding was book her.”