Charlie and Barney wanted a fun and laid back wedding that was all about being themselves. Their dress code was ‘come as you are’ and their invitations made it clear that it was going to be a party wedding! “We got everyone drunk by 3pm because of the Jagerbombs”, Barney wrote. “By the time the DJ started in the evening, it felt like a giant house party, which is what we always wanted.”
“Almost everything was unusual”, he explained “and the most important thing for us was to make it a true reflection of our personalities (we are somewhat known amongst our friends for throwing parties, for always being the last ones standing on a night out, and for enjoying a Jagerbomb or five). We were also determined that no one should be bored. Charlie wanted it to be a handfasting ceremony, which started to shape the day because it meant we would have two ceremonies. The first was a small, very intimate and very secret civil ceremony in the morning, attended by a handful of immediate family, just sat around the library of Oxon Hoath, casually perching on the sofas. It was meant to be as relaxed as possible, and despite Charlie turning up half an hour late, it was surprisingly stress free!”
Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, had always fascinated Shawna and Kevin. They flew over from the US to marry there. “It is nearly impossible to describe how it felt to walk among stones that have stood there for millennia”, Shawna wrote. “They have seen empires collapse, civilizations come and go, and yet, there they stand. And while they are not as perfectly placed as they once were thousands of years ago, they are still there and will be for a long time to come. We were, and are, in awe.”
Their setting really defined this whole wedding and the ceremony was conducted by Druid priests. “Other than our attire, there was nothing normal about the wedding”, she continued. “We did everything out of order. First, we flew to the UK to get married at Stonehenge on September 16th inviting only the druids and our photographer to take part. After the ceremony, we honeymooned through Scotland for over a week. When we returned to the US, we invited our family and friends to celebrate our marriage on October 5th at an authentic North Carolina BBQ joint called The Pit – it was here that we made our marriage legal.”
Bex and Scott had a two day wedding, on 16th and 17th September 2013. They wanted a long celebration so they could get married twice! The first day was the legal ceremony followed by a low-key after party. On day two they went all out with a handfasting ceremony, a tractor ride for the guests and a facepainter!
“We hired Huntstile Farm from Sunday to Wednesday so it turned into a mini break event”, began Bex. “The first wedding day was a small and intimate wedding party (the legal bit!) at Bridgewater Registry office then a causal meal with BYO drinks back at the farm. This allowed us to have the exact wedding we wanted on our second wedding day, which was the big party fun day with all family and friends and Missy Dog (our lemon beagle!)”
“We had a trailer tractor ride, handfasting at the stone circle on the edge of a woodland, rain, mud, wellies and brollies galore. There were rainbows, cream teas, Pimms, face painting and fresh organic home grown food. Many guests stayed on site in rooms or camping, and the kids got to collect the eggs from the chickens ready for breakfast the next morning. The facepainter had so many adults queuing to be painted, even Scott’s gran! Scott being Spiderman and doing his speech was fairly surreal!”
Lucienne and Peter wanted a wedding day that perfectly reflected their own personal style. It was held on Fairoaks Farm in West Sussex and was a laid back day full of fun details. “We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, so that shaped how the whole day felt and how we planned it”, began the bride. “We wanted it to be fun, colourful, relaxed, rustic, in tune with nature and handmade!”
“We had a Pagan handfasting ritual ceremony which was very much in line with our surroundings and with the place itself. We wanted it to be more inclusive and welcoming than a regular church wedding so the ceremony itself involved our friends and they had parts to play within it. The four bridesmaids called the elemental corners and the groom’s sister carried incense to cleanse the sacred space. It was very much a new but welcoming experience for our guests. We also jumped a besom (broom) at the close of the ceremony, this is a tradition that signifies the couple leaping into their new life together. The photos from this part are breathtaking!”
When a bride is a wedding dress designer you just know she’s going to rock something truly incredible on her own wedding day. Getting married to John at the spectacular Westonbirt School, Gloucestershire, Vikki wore two stunning gowns, both of which she made herself. She also handmade her bridesmaid’s dresses and accessories.
The day had two ceremonies, the first, a humanist handfasting blessing outside followed by the legal one right afterwards. The couple opted to do this as they really wanted to get married outside to fit in with their nature theme, but it is unfortunately still not legal in England. “We had two ceremonies rolled into one, a personal and intimate hand-fasting ceremony in a woodland clearing in the grounds and then immediately afterwards a short legal ceremony in the library”, Vikki explained.
Katie & Eric didn’t have the wedding they’d originally planned, but when circumstances changed, so did their wedding. However being able to have the people there that meant a the most to them was more important than waiting for a big wedding. “When we got engaged last summer, we started to plan a big wedding for October 2013 that we could invite all of our friends and family to”, began Katie. “A few months after we became engaged we found out that my Dad had liver cancer, and everything changed. The most important thing was to have our family members at the wedding, and have them all attend in comfort. With that in mind, we changed almost every aspect of the wedding and planned it in four months.”
They chose Jekyll Island, GA as the spot where they would say ‘”I do”. Not only was it very close to where Eric proposed, it was where they spent their first day as an engaged couple while adventuring with a group of close friends. The ceremony was held on Driftwood Beach and the reception at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. “My favorite part had to be the ceremony. Eric’s sister, Laura, was our officiant, and she composed a ceremony specifically for us. I made our handfasting cords, and our friends and family set up the ceremony site. It really felt like a group effort and was truly magical. Laura scooped up the sand that was under our feet as we said our vows and gave it to us in a heart shaped jar as a wedding present.”