There really is no other way to explain Lucy and Benjamin’s wedding. There are Alice in Wonderland weddings… and there are festival weddings… but mash them both together and imagine everyone in attendance has dropped acid and you’re maybe halfway there to how bonkers this wedding was! Their wedding photographer Lee Allen described it as the maddest wedding he’s ever been involved with… and you know what, I can totally see why!
“We met at a friend’s BBQ and the week after went to Reading Festival together so we wanted our wedding to have a festival feel”, explained the bride. “We wanted people to feel like they had been on a weird acid trip that couldn’t have been real when they left! It sort just took shape over time. We met Hamish Guerrini, the Druid Minister who officiated our ceremony, at his stage, The Rabbit Hole, at Glastonbury two months before the wedding. After we met him we completely changed the wedding theme to include him! We added the tunnels and different rooms for guests to be led into.”
David and Molly were married at Testbed1, a creative and experimental art space in Battersea, London. Opened in spring 2010, the architecturally distressed storage area of an old warehouse and office building was love at first sight for this pair!
The couple met in school and finally got married 15 years later! “After a short run of just 15 years together, we decided it was finally the right time to get hitched!”, Molly laughed. “I’m so glad we waited though, despite so many years of ‘will you guys every get married?’ from friends and family! Knowing each other for so long meant we had the confidence to make the wedding perfectly, and completely ‘us’.”
The theme of their wedding was an indoor festival and the unusual venue really helped to set the overall tone. “David and I love going to gigs and music festivals together, so what better way to celebrate our marriage than throwing our own music festival for all our loved ones!?” she continued. “We definitely didn’t want to do the field-barn-vintage-festival thing that’s been done loads and loads (super cute, but that’s just not rock enough for us) so we wanted to find a more urban vibe, a warehouse close to home to rock out in. Ideally we wanted an outdoor feel, but indoor enough to not have to think twice about weather!”
If you’re sad about the fact that your wedding day will be over in a flash, why not do what Mark and Alex did and have a two-day celebration?! They wanted both parts of their wedding to have their own unique personalities, so day one was a casual fancy dress festival party, and day two had a more glamorous, sparkly theme.
“We held our wedding over the August bank holiday”, began the bride, “with the fancy dress festival day on Saturday and the wedding on the Sunday. We hired Colehayes Park in Dartmoor for the whole week (oh yeah!) and over 25 family and friends stayed with us. We actually continued the celebrations until the following Friday. Greedy aren’t we?!”
“We always knew that we wanted to drag the wedding celebrations out for as long as possible, so finding a venue where we could stay and party for longer than a day was our pre-requisite in choosing where we were going to get married. Our plan was to always have a festival day and wedding day, we decided to have the festival day first so that all the guests could mingle and were familiar with each other before the wedding. This worked out really well and we had an 12pm curfew so that people were still fresh the next day!”
“The main thing we wanted was an incredibly relaxed, fun and friendly wedding”, she continued. “We’re not huge fans of serious, formal and traditional weddings as just not our style, and so wanted to go as far from that as we could while still ensuring we were getting legally married.”
“The festival day was an incredible, sunny day. The theme was Willy Wonka which meant that a lot of oompa loompas turned up! Mark went as Willy Wonka in lilac and purple suit, and I went as the golden ticket in a metallic sequin jumpsuit! Our friends made such an amazing effort with one group coming as confectionery – so we had the Milkybar kid, a Fried egg, a Fruit Salad, a Loveheart and Strawberry Shortcake. We had face paints, a lemonade stand where we served chilled cocktails. We also had someone dressed as a Jagermeister bottle, handing out shots of Jager!”
Sam and Mike got married in Vegas. They eloped and only told their parents they were doing it. Their friends had no idea, in fact they thought they’d gone to Greece on holiday! The couple didn’t have any professional pictures taken of their Vegas elopement (they just snapped a few on their phones). When they returned home, they decided that they did really want to celebrate with their families too. So they decided to have a party in Manchester, with Tandem Photo there to capture the magic.
This was a super budget-friendly wedding, with the couple spending just £2000. The bride’s dress was £28 from eBay and her headpiece was £3! They bought and arranged their own flowers, designed their own invites and decorated the space with help from their army of besties.
“The inspiration for our Manchester party was retro vinyl, the sixties and the seventies and festivals,” said Sam. “Our invite was a rip off of the original Woodstock poster. Mike is really into 70s rock, prog and southern rock and I’m a bit more mod and psychedelic 60s. I guess the theme was ourselves with a nod to Vegas.”
“We didn’t want the day to be too formal”, she continued. “We didn’t want to be taken too seriously or too stylised. Hence the ‘bad album cover’ theme for the tables with vintage teapots and glass jars. The decoration was all done by us and friends. We had fairy lights, pendant lights and bunting from eBay and lanterns from Ikea. The table markers (vintage vinyl) were from our own record collection as well as some from my bridesmaid Dani who has the best collection of horrendous album covers known to man.”
Rachel and Luke were married in a field at Fernhill Farm in Somerset. They had their ceremony outside and their reception and after party in she sheep shearing barn! “Our legal ceremony was very low key at a registry office in Bristol the day before the wedding so we could have a personal ceremony at the wedding venue”, began the bride. “We asked our friend Doug Francisco, Ringmaster of the The Invisible Circus, to guide our unofficial vows.”
“It was important for us to create a party for all of our friends. We have so many people that are important to us in our lives – especially because of Luke’s festival work – we wanted to find a way to involve as many of them as we could. Creating a festival style wedding seemed the perfect solution, enabling us to use our contacts. I guess lots of people would consider this alternative, but to us it is quite normal.”
Rachel wore a 1920s style sequinned, beaded dress which came from a high street store. Her shoes were from New Look and in her hair she wore simple silk flowers. Luke dressed very casually, in his favourite hat, jeans and a black jacket. They both wanted to feel comfortable and like themselves.
Bella and Matt were married at Cowparsley, a wedding venue in Somerset. They wanted a relaxed, outdoorsy day with a festival feel, a picnic lunch and a meaningful ceremony.
“We searched for a long time for a venue that would give us free reign to do what we wanted, (at an affordable price!) and we had nearly given up when we discovered Cowparsley”, the bride began. “The whole day; ceremony and reception, was spent in their delightful farmhouse country garden. We had our ceremony in a lovely little orchard, saying our vows in front of a tree that we decorated with Mexican flag bunting, flower garlands, paper petal strings, and paper birds. We drank Pimms and played croquet and skittles on the neighbouring lawns, where we also relaxed on blankets for our picnic style feast. There was a lovely big antique canvas marquee, in which we danced in the evening, before sitting round the bonfire back in the orchard at the end of the night. Everything being in one place allowed everyone to kick off their heels and make themselves at home, rather than standing on ceremony. This informal atmosphere was very important to us.”
“We wanted to get married outside, under a tree, in the sunshine”, she continued. “Sadly, it is not currently possible to have a legal marriage service outdoors in England, so we went to a register office in the morning with Matt’s mum and my step-mum as witnesses. In and out in 20 minutes, no fuss. For what we considered the proper ceremony, that afternoon, with our family and friends, we considered hiring a Humanist minister, as we are not at all religious. However, we felt that it would be a little odd to have a stranger preside over such a personal event, especially as we had quite an intimate wedding, with just 70 of our closest friends and family. So we asked a close friend to be our celebrant. Esh is an actor, so very confident with public speaking. He has also shared a flat with us in the past, so knows us both very well, and has a unique insight into our relationship! He did a wonderful job, creating the relaxed, fun tone we wanted, and giving a brilliant speech in which he logically proved that our relationship was a good one, with reference to a theory by philosopher Bertrand Russell!”