Ellie and Ed wanted their June wedding to not only reflect them – their likes and loves – but to be a fun day for everyone, full of DIY details. The day started with an emotional ceremony at Aldenham School, Elstree and the reception was in tipis on Buckettsland Farm, Well End. ”We said the whole way through the planning process that we didn’t have a theme but looking back it was essentially junk and glitter”, began the bride. “If you ever saw our flat, you would know that we’re not matchy-matchy people in the slightest. I love tack and have a big collection of oddities, plus I have an obsession with the stars and the moon and anything glittery, so I always knew they would end up making an appearance.”
“I wanted everything to have a life after the day itself, whether that meant being re-purposed, sold on or given away”, she continued. “Some things were donated and I collected second-hand vases, old bottles, candelabras, blankets, books, tablecloths, favours and all six of the bridesmaid dresses in the run-up. It wasn’t necessarily about saving money but about taking away the anonymous and disposable aspect of the day.”
“I love Le Voyage Dans La Lune, a very early silent film by George Melies, so that inspired our paper moon prop and the hundreds of stars we scattered about the tipis and garden. Pastel lace for the bridesmaids was the first decision I made when we originally got engaged and it took a while to find each dress in the right shade. Seeing the girls together in them for the first time was one of my proudest moments.”
It’s not everyday you get to see a wedding on a steam train so I’m super excited to share Sarah and Gareth’s fun wedding with you today. “Our wedding was randomly retro, vaguely vintage and a bit of a mish-mash adventure!” began the bride. “I grew up going on steam trains as a treat as my Grandpa was a big fan! So I was straight on the blower to The Great Central Railway as soon as we got engaged. We were lucky enough to be able to hire a fancypants Pullman rake, which is a bit ‘Orient Express’ – my Grandpa would be proud!”
“Some of the boys were especially pleased as they got to have a go at driving. Apparently, we helped fulfil some boyhood dreams! Gareth always wanted a barn and a rockin’ band to party on down with and nowhere touched Donington Park Farmhouse for its rustic, fairy-lit charm. So, we decided what the heck, let’s do both and get everyone on a Routemaster to keep the party going in-between! It. Was. Mega!”
Sometime late last Summer I strolled into my favourite wedding boutique to visit my friends, Laura & Emma, who own it. Whenever I’m in central London I always pop into Fur Coat No Knickers to see their latest pretty vintage wedding dresses, to drink some Cava and to catch up on all the latest gossip. But this fateful day in August was different. I was greeted at the door with squeals from Laura, “I’m engaged! Tom Proposed last week!” she shrieked. More Cava was popped and we started to discuss all things wedding – but this time not other people’s – hers!
Working in with wedding industry, Laura had quite a good idea about what she did – and did not – want for their March wedding. She knew Emma Case was the girl to shoot it and that obviously she’d be wearing a dress from Fur Coat No Knickers. She also knew they wanted something casual, low-key, fun and stress-free.
“To Have Emma Case to snap our big day was amazing”, Laura began. “She and husband Pete are so cool and so chilled and they capture everything. They are like two little meerkats popping up and down throughout the day and they are such a laugh. We love our photos so so much. The photo shoot bit of the day was awesome fun and they made us play lots of games to keep us relaxed. I loved this part of the day because Tom & I got to spend some time together. Emma & Pete made us feel so comfortable and it was so fun. I can’t recommend them enough. They totally rocked our day.”
Unique wedding venues can be hard to come across in the UK, but Fiona & Jonny weren’t going to take that lying down. They knew they wanted a memorable space for their union and so selected Victoria Baths in Manchester. “Victoria Baths is an Edwardian swimming baths (which is no longer used as baths, now a restoration project and arts/community venue)”, wrote Fiona. “It was originally three big pools. Two of them remain and are empty – we got married in the deep end of the biggest one and had our reception on top of the other! It was boarded over with a sprung dance floor in the fifties (my granddad used to teach ballroom dancing in that room). The remaining smaller pool and the rest of building, which is pretty vast, was left for people to wander around and explore.”
“The venue played a huge part in our thinking. We found Victoria Baths quite quickly. We knew straight away we didn’t want the ‘Bronze package’ at a conveyor belt wedding venue so we looked at locations used for other stuff – filming, fashion, music, fairs etc – places with a bit of character or history and where we wouldn’t be restricted or forced to use ‘their people’ for our food, bar and so on. Neither of us wanted to blow stupid money either. Lots of our friends have had wonderful, really personal and brilliantly happy DIY-style weddings so we were definitely inspired by them too.”
Red flowing locks, a faux fur coat, deep red flowers in her hair… as soon as I spied the beautiful Lauren on photographer Emma Case’s blog I knew she was definitely a Rock n Roll bride. And then I saw the entire wedding and I literally couldn’t wait to get it up on these pages – as soon as possible!
Lee & Lauren were married in November at Stoke Newington Town Hall. They has their reception at The Artisan of Clerkenwell, a pub/restaurant in North East London. They did things their own way. They picked a non-traditional venue, they homemade as much as possible and only invited people that they really wanted to be there. This wedding was every bit the modern fairytale.
“Our inspiration just came naturally from the things we like; granny vintage, proper food, indie/rock n roll music, London, cameras, beer and above all a good ol’ knees up with our friends and family”, began the bride. “We didn’t set out to do anything ‘different’ really, but by knowing ourselves and what we really like, we knew that we wouldn’t shy away from things that might be considered a bit different either. We just wanted to do things that we thought would make for a really good day for everyone. The atmosphere was the most important thing – we wanted people to drink lots, dance like mad and have a great time. We didn’t invite children partly because of the venue, but mainly because we wanted everyone to let their hair down. This decision possibly caused a few ripples but we both believe it was the right one.”
I’m seeing a huge shift in a lot of the weddings that I’m being submitted of late. While large and lavish detail-heavy weddings were, and in many cases still are, wedding blog perfection, I am noticing that these days it’s the smaller ones that a catching my eye. It seems that lot of my readers are completely swinging the other way and are planning small, intimate and personality-heavy nuptials. I know what it is though – my readers are rebels, just like me! You don’t want to do what everyone else is doing – you want your weddings to be different and to be a perfect reflection of your love and your relationship. And that, dear readers, is why I friggin’ love each and every one of you!
I’ve known Amy for a while now. She is one third of Ava - a wedding styling company based in Birmingham, and we’ve actually worked together on many occasions. The biggest collaboration we’ve done has got to be my Rock n Riot shoot where she even commissioned a graffiti artist to paint me on a giant wall!
Amy spends her life styling other people’s weddings and events, so when it came to her own special day, she wanted to make sure it was really theirs and that it didn’t just feel like another day at the office…
“I’ve collected coloured glass since I left home and it does make be truly happy, weird but true,” Amy explained. “I look at it everyday and everybody that knows me likes to take the mick for my collecting obsessions. I would have bought along all of my chairs if I could have! I am a florist so obviously I’m used to working with flowers all the time but for our wedding I wanted something simple – I didn’t want to over complicate anything. I basically just plonked all of my favourite flowers in the coloured vases. We used Gloriosia, Vanda Orchid and Tassel Flowers, then Love Lies Bleeding with Dahlias which were home grown by a friend. I love colour too so if anything our theme would have beeb a ‘rainbow of bonkersness’ against the quite formal manor house.”