Anna and James were married in Anna’s parents’ garden. After the ceremony they hosted their village fête inspired reception at Elham Village Hall.
“Above all we wanted a celebratory feel, and for everyone to have a fun and relaxed day”, began the bride. “We wanted a combination of natural, relaxed, homely, village fête style, and also some really heartfelt bits with personal vows and our love story during the ceremony.”
“There were quite a few musical performance elements throughout the day. For example, dancing entrances by the groom and groomsmaids (to the track Whatta Man), and the bridespeople (to the track I’m Every Woman). We also also sang during our vows to our favourite duet, Islands in the Stream. We also put on a surprise choreographed dance to Gett Off by Prince to kick off the dancing later! Plus we had a walking New Orleans-style jazz band to take us from the garden to the village hall. Lots of people from the village came out to watch, which was really lovely.”
I’m always so impressed when I hear that a bride made her own wedding dress, I mean damn girl, that’s some skill! When Tess married James she knew she wanted to have a go at making it herself so she’d have something completely one-of-a-kind to wear.
“Practically every part of our wedding was done by us”, said Tess. “Making my own dress was probably the scariest decision but I’m so glad I did it. It was the biggest DIY project of the wedding, a ridiculous idea in itself, but I was also pregnant for most of the planning and raising a new born for the latter part of it! It really was a mad thing to even attempt. Having said that, I’m so pleased with the way it turned out and that it was completely unique.”
Their wedding theme was a country fete, vintage tea party. “We really just focused on family, children and fun”, she continued. “We didn’t do a receiving line, table plan or sit down dinner as that just isn’t us. We tried to include a lot of quirky and fun details throughout and everything was personal reflected us. I’m a country girl so having hay bales as seating was a necessity and the wooden cable reel drums as tables was James’ inspired idea!”
I often get asked what the most alternative wedding I’ve ever featured is. As while there are some that always stick out in my mind (killer Vegas elopement, bride in a coffin, surprise ceremony!) that’s not really what Rock n Roll Bride is about. Yes, I love the crazy, unique stuff, but I equally adore the cute little weddings where it’s clear the couple have put their heart and soul into it, and planned a wedding that truly reflects them. That’s exactly what Kieran and Sarah did and the result was gorgeous.
They were married at Oakdale Workmen’s Institute in the National History Museum in Wales. “We wanted the day to be as laid back as possible so the first thing we decided was that we didn’t want a seating plan and that we wanted big long tables”, began Sarah. “We also wanted it to be as DIY as possible too, so I took to my sewing machine and tried to make as much as I could.”
Sam and Sarah were married at Hornington Manor Farm, York in August. They hired their venue for five whole days so they could have a week-long celebration with their loved ones. “From the moment Sam asked me to marry her we were adamant that we wanted a really personalised wedding which was about us as a couple”, began Sarah. “We wanted to do all the food, drink and decoration ourselves and to involve our closest family and friends in all of the preparations. We wanted our guests to feel like they were coming to our house for our wedding which we were able to do as we rented the house for five days. A summer fete theme emerged as we planned lots of activities for people to do during the day.”
“We had the legal ceremony on the Thursday before and pondered for ages about what we were going to wear”, she continued. “On a dog walk one day with Sarah’s parents we decided on a Hawaiian theme. So off 10 of us went to the registry office (myself and Sam in an old black beetle) dressed in Hawaiian shirts. When we returned to Hornington Manor we had a big Hawaiian themed BBQ party where all of our guests dressed up too!”
A colourful country fête wedding with a 1950s flair? What’s not to love in Steph & Dale’s wedding?! The day took place in Essex, kicking off at St Giles Church with the reception at Pledgdon Barn.
This wedding was a real DIY love affair and a project of passion. The couple made as much as possible including (deep breath) the bunting (both triangle and heart shaped), their stationery and all the paper goods, cocktail stirrers from laser cut card, the cake flags, the acrylic cake toppers, the wooden signs, the blackboards, the paper hearts for decorating the tables, the bridesmaids earrings, the buttonholes, the bow ties for their dogs and the cupcakes!
“I really wanted most things to be handmade because I like to be creative, plus this allowed things to be personal to us and also it can keep costs down”, Steph explained. “The bunting and stationary took the longest to make. If anyone says that bunting is quick then they would be lying!! The amount of man hours it took to make 200m of bunting was ridiculous!! I was still making up until a couple of days before but it turned the barn from something ordinary to something really special and it was definitely worth all the blood, sweat and tears.”
We may be well on our way towards the depths of winter (waah!) but I thought I’d just cling onto those hazy Summer days for just a little while longer by sharing Lynne & Stevie’s June wedding. The quintessentially British vibe perfectly accompanied by vintage and retro touches was just too good to pass up.
“I think the first thought we had was ‘it has to be different’,” wrote newlywed Lynne. “We LOVE vintage and retro things in our day to day lives, so it had to have that sort of feel to it… it had to be very ‘us’. I loved the idea of an old fashioned spring fete with an old English tea party so that’s what we went with. It was important to us to make the day personal to every guest, as well as ourselves, so we put a great deal of effort into the little touches for everyone to remember. The idea of the wedding photos behind the top table was to symbolise how lucky we are to have such great role models in marriage and that we have the support of experienced couples behind us. Everyone enjoyed looking at the old photos too!”