Lauren & Matt started their wedding planning knowing exactly what they wanted: something relaxed, stress-free and fun. They were lucky enough to have a friend whose parents own a farm, so everything else really stemmed from that. Lauren told me all about it. “As soon as we got engaged we knew how we wanted our wedding to be, we just didn’t know how to do it! The first and most important thing was to find a photographer. Being a enthusiastic photographer myself, I spent weeks searching for one that she liked, we finally came across Sassy of Assassynation and sent an excited email straight away. She immediately told us to phone her for a chat as we hadn’t set a date yet, but when she told us she only had 2 Saturdays free in the 3 months that we were looking at we booked her there and then! Everything else was then planned around her.”
“I knew I didn’t want a traditional ‘wedding dress’ as I didn’t think I would feel comfortable in one, plus I knew it wouldn’t fit in with our wedding ideas”, Lauren continued. “I did try a few on, but although they were nice dresses I just hated being in them! In the end I wound up buying 6 dresses, all from eBay, all cheap and all not right! My last hope was a woman I had found on Etsy but I had to wait 4 months for it to arrive, considering we only had 5 months until the wedding I kept my fingers crossed the whole time that it would be right! Luckily it was perfect, and even more so at just £80! It was so comfortable and light.”
Layla & Daniel were married in Rusper, Sussex in St Mary Magdalene’s Church, followed by a festival style wedding at Ridge Farm. I’ve featured weddings at this iconic wedding venue before – why so iconic you ask? Well the farm has a recording studio where Oasis, Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody was written here!) Roxy Music, Thin Lizzie, Black Sabbath and many many others have recorded albums! AHHHMAZING.
“The wedding was all personalised by me & Dan”, wrote Layla, “including the wine glasses, the moustaches & lips, the heart decor, the table plan & numbers, the ‘LOVE’ sign and the bunting. We had a two-day wedding. From the start we knew we didn’t want everything to be over with in just one day! Ridge Farm was the PERFECT venue as we were able to hire it exclusively from Friday to Monday which meant our parents, brothers & sisters, bridesmaids and best men could share the whole time with us. We also had some friends of ours camping on the grounds. Friday was set-up day, with everyone mucking in; Saturday was the wedding; and on Sunday we had about 100 of our guests returning for a Hog Roast, DJ’s and dancing till the wee hours!”
When the Summer rolls round what’s the first thing many of us get excited about? Festivals! So it’s hardly surprising that so many Rock n Roll Brides (and grooms!) are taking wedding inspiration from their favourite past time. Warm beer, dodgy food, mud & sleeping in a tent… What’s not to love!? Haha joking!
Becci & Tom favour the UK’s biggest rock festival, Glastonbury, and so started here with their ideas including their wedding cake that was inspired by the Ribbon Tower and the song lyric centerpieces. This wedding was pure music festival gold. Tom even proposed to Becci while at a gig in Oxford!
“We love music and the unique atmosphere and goings on of a festival”, began the bride. “We hated the idea of having a formal, soulless, plain wedding where people couldn’t let go and have a great time! And so, Glastombecci was born! We wanted to get the essence of Glastonbury; we had tickets, wristbands, signage, lots of great music, fancy dress, cider, a BBQ and a silent disco!”
The couple picked Flaxbourne Gardens for their ‘camp site’ which was perfect not least because of all the interesting extra features, “The gardens have a grotto, a castle, waterfalls and ponds, a windmill, Roman arches and some beautiful flowers”, Becci explained. “We loved the character of the Tipis and the open space they gave us, plus they were pretty much a blank canvas for us to decorate however we wanted.”
After dating for four and a half years, Matt proposed to Alice on the long drive home from Glastonbury Festival in 2011. So needless to say, the couple decided they wanted a festival themed wedding… or more specifically a homage to their favourite festival. “It had been an amazing weekend of music, love and cider-fuelled reveling,” began the bride. “It was pretty much an unspoken agreement from the off that our wedding would be an homage to Glastonbury. The festival has played a massive part in both our lives and running around in the mud, dressed like loons, dancing until dawn is high on our favourite things to do list. As soon as we’d verbalised the words ‘festival’, ‘camping’ and ‘fancy dress’ the thought occurred that it might be worth a punt asking the Eavis family (who own the land Glastonbury Festival is held on) if they would consider letting us use Worthy Farm. The family are great friends of my parents and scrumptious people. Amazingly they were really excited about the idea and more than happy to help (although they have since decided they don’t want to host further weddings – we might have put them off for life…eek!! – that’s not their bag). Glastonbury was having a year off so we chose to wed on Saturday 23rd June, a date which anyone who knows anything about Glastonbury will know understand to be highly significant!”
Alice wore ‘Eden’ by Jenny Packham. She originally wanted to try and find it second hand but it proved impossible. “I fell in love with the Jenny Packham Eden dress”, she continued, which was way beyond our means. But after much agonising and many months of searching for second hand ones I came up empty handed and decided to bite the metaphorical budget-busting bullet. If Matt’s reading this, you should know I haggled like a trooper and managed to make significant savings and freebies along the way!”
With her perfect gown she wore a beautiful cathedral length veil (FYI, I don’t see enough full length veils these days, where are all my veil-donning readers?) and a homemade headpiece. “The veil was chosen partly due to being fabulous and creating the effect of a train I wanted and mostly down to it’s name. As soon as we discovered the veil was called ‘the golden shower’ and my bridesmaid Jess fell off her stool laughing, we proclaimed it was the one. Some things are meant to be! I also found a fabulous Jenny Packham headdress which I also fell deeply in lust with, but at £450 and with an increasingly agitated groom, I decided it was a step too far and to try and make my own version. My Mum came to to the rescue using a £12.50 Accessorize sequinned headdress as a base to which she added years worth of broken jewellery and a marquisite brooch to create a one of a kind look-a-like.”
Nic & Will hired the gorgeous Cliff Barns in Norfolk for the entire weekend (and then some!) for their wedding. The venue sleeps 20 and with family coming from far and wide they decided having the space from the Thursday to the Tuesday would make for a nice mini break for everybody with a wedding thrown in to boot! “We decided to make a long weekend of it, and invited our family (from NZ, NYC, Canada) over to stay in the house with us for 4 days”, Nic told me. “It gave everyone a chance to get to know each other and meant that we didn’t feel like we had to squeeze all our ‘hellos’ into one day.”
“We were looking for a relaxed and intimate vibe for our wedding and liked the idea of a festival style wedding, and Cliff Barns leant itself perfectly to that. You can’t help but be relaxed and playful in a venue surrounded by such treasures. I was particularly fond of the tipi and fancy dress outfits!”
“Although there were some traditional elements to our wedding, we wanted to keep the day as informal as possible,” began newlywed Anna. “We wanted a traditional wedding ceremony, but for the reception we just wanted to create a space for our friends and family to enjoy themselves. We had music all day, put out games and a fancy dress box, and left a jar of moustaches on the bar. The fancy dress box was well-used and our wedding became the chaotic festival-party we always wanted!”
“We didn’t really plan a theme, our wedding was just a collection of all the things we love – The English countryside, camping, festivals, folk music, food, beer and Fancy Dress! We’re big campers, and love going to festivals in the summer so our wedding loosely followed that.”
Anna & Jonny were married in April in Hampshire. Their ceremony was held at St Mary’s Church and their marquee reception was in the grounds of Gilbert White’s House & Museum. “We both grew up around Selborne village and wanted to celebrate our wedding somewhere that was close to our hearts”, the bride continued. ” Johnny used to work in the gardens of the Gilbert White Museum when he was younger, and we wanted our wedding day to have a real English-country garden feel to it so the beautiful setting and history of the place was perfect for us! The museum has only just started making itself available for weddings so we felt very lucky to be able to hold our wedding there.”