When Rob and Laura told me they had a fancy dress Alice in Wonderland/ Mad Hatter’s tea Party wedding I thought “Wow that sounds cool, but I bet I’ve seen it all before…” Oh how wrong I was! Never in my life have I seen a wedding where everyone – the couple, the wedding party and the guests – threw themselves into it so much. These costumes are just off the hook awesome!
The wedding took place in September in a marquee on a field at Hodore Farm, East Sussex. It was decorated from top to bottom with balloon teapots and playing cards, oversized playing cards, papier-mâché mushrooms, giant paper flowers, giant paper clocks, blow-up flamingoes, blow-up bananas, giant bean bags and a black and white tiled dance floor!
“We had our first (and actual) ceremony at Burning Man in Nevada – the theme for that one was Mad Max vs Barbarella,” began Rob. “Laura had never been before but knew how much the place meant to me, having been the previous four years, so we decided we should get married there! Oh, and it was blogged by Buzzfeed!”
“This was our second (unofficial) wedding two weeks later. It was proper fancy dress as we love to dress up. I was the white rabbit, Laura was Alice, and all the people to do with the service were allocated characters. Laura had nine bridesmaids (and made the hats for all of them), a flower girl and a little drummer boy. I had Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee as my best men, whilst Laura’s best men were the Walrus and Carpenter. Of course, some people went completely off piste and we ended up with all sorts turning up, including Santa himself.”
Laura and Matt’s wedding was simple, personal and perfect for them. When they started planning they were encouraged by their parents to do whatever made them happy – so that’s exactly what they did!
“We just wanted a very relaxed ceremony with our immediate family, and then a great party for our friends and family”, explained the bride. “We had 15 guests at Manchester Museum where we had out ceremony. It took place under their T-Rex and then we had our drinks reception in the fossil room! The staff were great and took the children on a tour around the museum while we were having photographs. After drinks, taxis took us to Room Restaurant for a meal. The food and service were excellent, and the bill was surprisingly modest.”
Antonia and Harvey had a three day wedding at Roskilly’s Ice Cream Farm in Cornwall. Their wedding was a true labour of love, with the couple and their friends and family working hard to create the wedding of their dreams. The weekend happened to be the hottest of the year which couldn’t have been more perfect for their outdoor, ice cream farm celebration!
“Ultimately we wanted something that we would enjoy going to and to have a festival style, laid-back feel to the whole party”, began the groom. “Being the most expensive party of our lives, we didn’t want it to be over in a day so we had three days!”
“The retro caravans made for a great backdrop to the festival theme and allowed us to create our weekend jamboree. We dragged our friends to the far end of the country, and in return gave them a church overlooking a Cornish fishing village, magnificent tipis and hippy buses. We had smoke bombs instead of confetti, original 1950s Monte Carlo pin-up glamour playing cards as place cards and table runners made from old public WC roller-towels. Our bunting was Mexican Day of the Dead bunting, we had a piñata ‘first dance’ and lucked out on finding an incredible caterer, celebrating the best of Cornish food. Antonia’s Fur Coat No Knickers dress was a theme unto itself – it was supremely glamorous, laden with historical allure. Yes it was vintage, yes it was rural, but the day sparkled with lavishness.”
Ali and Ben met while they were both working at PlayStation. This mutual love for all things techy and geeky was a recurring theme throughout their festival inspired wedding. Instead of using lots of paper they sent out digital invitations and had an online gift list, their seating plan was animated and they had pacman references everywhere. Each tier of their homemade wedding cake was a different PlayStation symbol, and they even the meme style table names!
“The best way to describe me is ‘Digital Hippy’ because while I am very much a child of the Earth, I also do love a good gadget!”, began Ali. “Ben is similar, and we had a problem picking a ‘theme’ because we like so many things! So it was just one big jumble of awesome. I suddenly thought about a festival theme, because Ben and I both love going to festivals and then everything fell into place. The thing I love most about festivals is that anything goes and that was perfect for our wedding. I’d never been to a wedding in a tent before, and with our beautiful individual bridesmaid dresses, face painter, dapper Groomsmen outfits, glow bands, giant sparklers, live music and fancy dress elements…I think we hit the festival vibe nicely on the head!”
Rain on your wedding day is a big worry for a lot of couples, but today I’m here to prove to you that it can actually be pretty amazing! Yes, Helen and James’ outdoor festival wedding was a wash-out, but they definitely didn’t let it ruin their day. Check out the amazing photographs their photographer Neil Thomas Douglas was able to capture… of course shots like this requires a couple who aren’t afraid to get a little wet and muddy, but these guys went all out! They even went out in a boat on the river during the downpour!
The ceremony was held at The Secret Garden of Kingston Bagpuize House in Oxfordshire, which it actually stayed dry for. Their festival style reception was in a field in Crowmarsh. “The ceremony was perfect, so intimate and emotional, all of the people we love, in the sunshine in the secret garden”, Helen began. “A little shower cut the group photos short, and the sun came out again for our couple shots. We were due to arrive at the reception in our gorgeous little boat, it started drizzling as we got in, thinking it was another brief shower, we decided to pursue. The best man had gathered all the guests on the river bank and we set off down river. The rain got heavy, like we never see in England! The heaviest downpour ever! Initially it was funny, we got wet, then… The heavy rain caused the engine to cut out! With no choice but to row to the riverside and abandon the boat on the bank; we called our bridesmaid to rescue us and we finally arrived at the reception in the car!”
Laura and Toby were married at Glastonbury Town Hall over the festival weekend so they could have their reception at the festival itself! “For us getting married at Glastonbury Festival was the obvious choice”, Laura explained. “We love Glastonbury as a town and of course the festival is the ultimate Rock n Roll party location. We have been attending for many years, it is the highlight of our summer. I don’t think there are many people who can say that they had the Rolling Stones play at their wedding reception! Despite wanting to keep it a simple and quiet wedding we certainly had a huge party, we think about 180,000 people attended!”
Laura wore a French Connection dress, Hunter wellies and a floral head garland which she bought from a stall at the festival. “I wanted to wear something that I could relax in at the festival and of course I had to consider if it was going to be muddy – therefore I had to ensure it was a short dress! I still wanted it to look traditional in colour but other than that I just went for something I could wear again and again.”