Tag Archives: Festival

Giant Teacups, A Homemade Bouncy Castle & Elvis – A DIY Wedding to the Extreme!: Caroline & Stuart

Caroline & Stuart were married at St. Annes Church in Littleworth Common, Burnham. They held their reception in a field right opposite the church. Their wedding was a super creative affair with them making and styling the whole thing themselves, they even renovated some giant funfair teacups!

“Bizarrely we had in our minds a vision of an abandoned set from an old Elvis film for our wedding ‘theme’,” Caroline told me. “We did things differently by building almost everything ourselves and loving doing it! In the end we made…
The stage (old fashioned wooden with footlights, which several guests sat/ fell on when drunk!)
4 giant funfair teacups for sitting in (we renovated them ourselves)
1 giant funfair teacup cake table
Giant wooden light up initials
Old fashioned funfair stall drinks bar
An oversized cake stand for every table
Giant lollypop table numbers
Maypole wedding cake stand
The light up frame for the table plan
All the other signage
Old fashioned style high striker to play on (now that was a challenge!)”

“We even designed the bouncy castle ourselves! Any wedding ones we could find were too trashy, and not in a good way!”

Phew….(and yes dear reader, I have asked Caroline if she’d like to do some DIY tutorials for the blog, let us know in the comments which ones you’d like to see the most!)

Caroline’s wedding dress was made by her Mum from an original 1960′s pattern. She also wore a beautiful original 1960′s headpiece. She bought herself some plain shoes and added all the swarovski crystals (all 2400 of them!) herself.

Caroline & Stuart now hire all their wedding props out through their company Vowed and Amazed.

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A Farm & Festival Wedding: Roisin & Paul

Roisin & Paul’s Somerset wedding makes me ache for those long Summer days again. The Apple Orchard at Brook Farm played host to their August nuptials – a celebration of love, life and all things good. The couple opted for a humanist ceremony led by Alison Orchard, “She was so crucial to the success of the ceremony, which was such an emotional and wonderful experience,” the bride told me. “I think lots of people thought it might have a been a hippy-dippy, tree-hugging, fingers down-your-throat service, but instead found it was a lovely and romantic experience. We wrote our vows and kept them quite similar to the traditional ones. We sang, ‘A little Help from My Freinds’ by the Beatles and I cried all the way through it.”

After the moving ceremony, came cocktails and games on the lawn and in the marquees hired from Abbas Marquees, “This was very much a DIY wedding,” Roisin continued. “All of my friends and family got involved which made it a lovely and personal wedding, along with being quite a lot cheaper. We picked stones from the beach for name places and brought ‘Brighton rock’ as favours. I also made lots of little clay hearts.”

“Our theme was, ‘Festival’ which was fitting as the site of the farm is less than a mile from the Glastonbury Festival site. My bridesmaids and the Best Man were incredible. It was quite an organizational feat and they took it totally on board. In fact we had a ‘hand-over’ on the Thursday evening. They then became in-charge and only came to me if they really needed to. This made me be able to really enjoy the day and not worry about all the details that had been prepared.”

“My sister organsied games in the field of ‘Welly Wanging’ and ‘scissors, paper stone’. It was one of the highlights of the wedding! It was a really relaxed affair, full of love, romance and fun. People dressed how they wanted to and children were very much allowed to run around and have loads of fun. At my hen-do, the girls hired a hoola hooping instructor and we learnt a routine that we performed at the wedding. Everyone loved playing with the hoola hoops and it added to the festival feel.”

“My favourite ‘home-made’ bits were the clay hearts that we made and put in the orchard. We just bought heart shaped biscuit cutters, rolled out the clay and hung them from the trees using ribbon. It made the ceremony feel so magical.”

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A Vintage Festival Wedding…in the Rain!: Natasha & Charlie

Natasha & Charlie are the kind of couple that wedding photographers dream of – creative, unique in their inspiration and totally in love. The bride told me all about their vintage festival wedding. It may have rained for their outdoor ceremony, but it certainly didn’t damper their spirits!

“Even though I had prayed for months for sun on our wedding day, it still rained! I thought that this would ruin the day as everything we had planned involved being outside – including the ceremony. Just before we were due to go down, the wedding organiser at Maunsel House said that it was raining and tried to convince me to move everything inside. But I couldn’t bare the thought of not getting married under the beautiful bandstand as this had been my dream from the start – so I made everyone stand outside with umbrellas! It actually turned out really well and everybody loved it – the pictures of everyone with umbrellas looked great as well!”

“Even though we are from London we both knew that we wanted to celebrate our big day somewhere further afield,” the bride continued. “We are also huge music festival fans so the idea of a festival-style, open air wedding was really appealing for us. We saw about 5 places before we finally settled on Maunsel House. With a licensed bandstand set in the grounds for wedding ceremonies and a roofed Pergola for outside dining, it totally fitted the bill for our outdoorsy festival theme.”

“We really wanted the wedding styling to reflect our personalities and our love of vintage things, so we began trawling car boot sales for trinkets and props to start creating the look.” Natasha continued. “As an alternative to the standard marquee uplighting, we bought loads of cheap old lampshades in different colours and shapes to hang from the centre of our marquee. We lit some with bulbs and others with fairy lights creating a vintage living room effect.”

“I also found a beautiful 1950′s record player on eBay which we set up in the main hall playing ‘The Sound of Music’ soundtrack to guests as they arrived. Instead of a table and traditional guestbook, we hired an old 1920′s bureau from The Little Wedding Helper and put a typewriter on there with a typed welcome letter to our guests. Kirsten, our wedding helper styled it beautifully with our vintage books and telephone as well as some flowers and luggage tags for our guests to write messages to us.”

“We used old scrabble sets to create our table names which were all based on the different festivals we had been to over the years and the walkways were adorned with hundreds of metres of vintage style bunting made by myself, my mum and my mother-in-law. We also made satin bows from the left-over bunting material to decorate the wedding cake (a delicious cake of cheese!) and little jars of home-made chutney for our wedding favours. My mother-in-law sketched a lovely drawing of the garden bandstand (where we had the ceremony) for the cover of our Order of Service booklets and we included poems and readings, as well as the words to our our Elton John and Kiki Dee Sing-a-long.”

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48 Couples Marry at Bestival in the Big Love Inflatable Church

Taking place on the Isle of Wight for the past 7 years, Bestival music festival has fast become sinimomous with crazy antics, fancy dress…oh and a big dollop of awesome music thrown in for good measure! Each year it also plays host to the Big Love Inflatable Church, where couples can go to tie the knot. This year wedding photographer Chris Cowley was there to catch all the action!

He explains, “A grand total of 48 weddings took place over the 3 day festival, Reverend’s ‘Nickerless’ and ‘Randy Johnson’ preformed ceremonies with the help of dishevelled bridesmaids, a mother in-law and a maid of dishonour.”

“Those wanting to get married booked up early on Friday to prepare themselves and their partner or partners, for a wedding they would never forget! Before the ceremony the bridesmaids dressed the groom and groomsmen in a variety of wedding dresses and suits of their choice. They then dressed the brides, who got to fulfil their fantasy of a semi traditional white wedding. When the groom, best man and any wedding crashers not in the bridal party were ready – they were taken to meet the Vicar who would be performing the ceremony.”

“In the meantime the “Pamper Posse” looked after hair, makeup, face painting and offered calming massages to the bridal party. Each bride was pampered and made to look stunning for their special moment as they were given away down the aisle of the Big Love Inflatable Church.”

“At this point, this is where the similarity to a traditional white English wedding ends and the uniqueness of a Big Love Inflatable Church begin! The ceremonies themselves were far from conventional! The Reverend’s took it in turns to conduct each service where anyone and everyone was welcome. The congregation packed tightly into the church with the bridesmaids kneeling below the Vicar. At the end of each very risqué service music played and the congregation danced in celebration whilst the bridesmaids encouraged everyone to create an archway for the couple to exit through under their arms.The wedding certificate was then signed outside the church, whilst the bridesmaids gathered the congregation together for one big wedding photo as the group shouted ‘BIG LOVE!’.”

“A wide variety of ceremonies took place over the weekend including numerous blessings, vow renewals (one only a week after the couple were legally married), civil partnerships and a stand-in wedding for a couple who couldn’t afford the one they initially planned.”

“Whilst every wedding was memorable for its own unique reason, a few in particular services stood out for me, including an Island group who have gotten married every year at the Big Love Inflatable Church for the last 7 years. A pirate wedding who were getting married for their 3rd time in a row (this time in the presence of their new-born daughter), another wedding who were led down the aisle by Edinburgh brass band ‘Horndog’ and the grand finale which was a special wedding for the Inflatable Church company director Tristram (a former Inflatable Church vicar) and his partner Sophie.”

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A Backyard Handfasting & Rock Festival Wedding: Becca & Gary

Becca & Gary’s wedding looks like it was a lot of fun, dispite the rain! The first part of the day was a handfasting ceremony and morning reception in the bride’s Gran’s back garden. Afterwards the couple went to the registry office for the ‘legal bit’ and the day was rounded off by them going to Nozstock Festival and staying in their very own honeymoon suite – a tipi!

“We knew straight away that we didn’t want a traditional wedding and we both loved the idea of running away together to get married in secret but at the same time we wanted all our friends there too,” the bride told me.”We’d both been to weddings that felt impersonal and where we’d both felt nervous and out of place so our mission was to try and make the day as chilled out and as comfortable for everyone as possible. Gary came up with idea of going to a festival instead of a wedding reception and it all sort of fell into place.”

“My Gran’s garden was 5 minutes away from Nozstock and as soon as Noz confirmed the festival dates we started to organise a wedding. Everything we did we did because we wanted to. We didn’t have a hen or a stag do because we didn’t want one, we didn’t have speeches at the wedding because neither of us wanted to make one and we fed everyone muesli and prunes because we like muesli and prunes!”

“Some ladies want to feel like a princess on their wedding day but I’ve got an obsession with 80′s hair metal and all I wanted really was to feel like a rock star for the day! I didn’t plan to wear aviators at all, I grabbed them at the last minute with the vague idea that by wearing them I might encourage the sun to come out… Looking at the photos I’m soooo glad I did though as they looked incredibly cool. Turning up at the registry office with muddy boots, slightly trashed wedding dress and tattoos with our two witnesses felt pretty Rock n Roll and then arriving at the festival with Sassy our photographer definitely fulfilled some of my rock star dreams.”

Becca wore an Ian Stuart dress which she bought second hand on eBay. “I was gutted when I woke up and it was raining but in the end we were glad that it did as the mist added to the magical atmosphere and meant there was no option of being precious about my dress,” she told me. “I think we well and truely rocked the outdoor rainy wedding with no plan B.”

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A Weekend-Long Family Festival Wedding: Emily & Stef

If you’re a blog addict like me you may have seen some of the following images from Emily & Stef’s incredible festival wedding around the interwebs already. Emily is a wedding photographer herself and so a lot of the suppliers they used for their wedding weekend were friends as well as being exceptionally talented wedding industry peeps!

After proposing to Stef, Emily set to work planning a unique and quirky wedding to suit them and their family. Being a wedding photographer herself Emily had seen a lot of things she didn’t want for her own big day. It was important to them to have a wedding that reflected them, was chilled out and laid-back and fun for all their guests. “We had a bright, colourful, happy wedding that was all tied together with buttons,” Emily began. “We have shot weddings together for the past 5 years and wanted to have something that didn’t feel like we were at work. We also wanted an environment that was going to work well for our three children and lots of other little ones who would be at the wedding (about 27!) We both love music and festivals, so we wanted a lovely big party where everyone could relax and have fun. Someone described it as a mini summer holiday. That was the vibe.”

“There was craft, games, cake decorating, a tuck shop, two DJ set-ups, BBQ breakfasts, a sushi brunch, a hog-roast, falafel, a BYO bar, face-painting and balloons. We also really wanted to get married outside and have a humanist ceremony (something important in our lives), so Billycan Camping offered a perfect space for that too. The dress-code for the wedding was ‘please wear whatever you want so that you are comfortable in a field for a weekend but please can all the guys wear a bow tie.’ And people did just that! It was fabulous!”

The couple were legally married on the Thursday before their wedding weekend. You can see more info, photos and a cute video of this day on Steve Gerrard’s and O & C Photography‘s blogs. They photographed this part of the wedding for them.

However the day the couple consider to be their actual wedding day took place at Billycan Camping in Sussex. Emily actually found this venue after seeing this wedding on Rock n Roll Bride! As the wedding had a festival vibe, the majority of the guests camped over the nights before and after the wedding, making the whole thing a big massive weekend celebration!

Emily wore a bespoke dress made with vintage cotton lace from 1976 (the year she was born!) by Mr Christian. In the evening and for the after-party she changed the underskirt and bow from white to bright pink. Stef wore a pink suit from Aubin and Wills, but he had no idea that Emily had planned to add some pink to her outfit in the evening. It just all worked out perfectly you could say!

Almost all of the wedding decor was DIY and they bought a lot of items (crockery, picnic baskets, jars, board games) from charity shops. Emily explains, “I made lots of things before the weekend from corsages and ribbon wands to ceremony programmes and the guest book. Then on the the Friday I showed a few guests how to make the big paper flowers hanging in the yurt and they spent Saturday morning making them. We had a craft area so all the guys could make a bow tie (I really wanted all the guys to wear a bow tie!) and the ladies could make a pretty hair accessory or a corsage. My friend Charis and I made everyone a pinwheel corsage from felt and a button. There will be lots of DIY inspiration on our new lifestyle site New Homely over the next few weeks.”

“We had a do-it-yourself wedding with friends and family giving a huge amount of their help instead of traditional wedding presents. This is exactly how we wanted it to be but it’s not for the faint hearted. You have to really want a wedding like this as it takes a huge amount of planning, logistics (we hired and organized everything ourselves from the hog roast company to the main yurt, even the generators, everything apart the cake table, which we hired from Billycan Camping.)”

“I definitely couldn’t have done it without the amazing help from Paige of Paige One Events and Charley of London Bride. Paige helped me so much with making phone calls and sending emails, creating timelines and spreadsheets (with a three children under 5 this was tricky for me to do all by myself!) Both Paige and Charley were amazing on the day making sure that everything ran smoothly and co-ordinating all my friends and family so that everyone could join in and help to create the weekend of our dreams without me having to worry about a thing.”

Their wedding was photographed by the fabulous Polly Alexandre, someone who’s work both Emily & Stef have admired for a long time. “We had a first look before the ceremony by a lake near Arundel Castle. Completely amazing and perfect walking up to meet my husband-to-be through long grass in my flip flops, tapping in him on the shoulder and him turning round and seeing me for the first time in my dress. Amazing and intimate. It gave us some really special time together that we knew we wouldn’t get later with our three young children and lots of family and friends. Polly photographed it beautifully and we also took the opportunity to do our couple portraits then too, so that after the ceremony we could just go with the flow.”

The couple also employed The Wedding Reporter to come and write their wedding story for them. If you want to read more about how the day went and what it was like to actually be there, then be sure to go and check out her report on her blog (part one and part two.)

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