Chris and Allison’s handfasting witch doctor wedding in the woods was completely homemade. The bride made her own dress and wore shoes from eBay, which she decorated herself. She also made her own headpiece. The flowers were put together by the couple themselves, they created their own invitations, they even self-catered the whole event!
The couple met online in 2011. Alison was living in South Africa at the time and in April 2012 she took a leap of faith and moved over to the UK to be with Chris. Their meeting was unconventional, so their wedding had to be too!
“It has to be recognised, right from the start, that this was never going to be a normal wedding”, said the bride. “Discovering the cultural differences between us and integrating them into a life together was often surprisingly more difficult that you might imagine. Add to that a determination not to follow the crowd and ‘do everything right’ drove things in an unusual and joyous direction from the start. Throw a group of mildly lunatic friends into the mix, determined to make things work for us despite there being no cash whatsoever available and a very firm direction was set.”
Lizzie and Louie’s incredibly detailed big top wedding, unbelievably, only cost them £6000. The bride even had two dresses!
“The theme was ‘anything goes!’. We didn’t have a colour scheme, we just wanted to have as much fun as possible!” the bride explained. “We wanted our wedding to truly represent us as a couple, and as so many friends and family helped us out, we wanted it also to represent them too. So if someone wanted to contribute in any way, we just let it happen. By doing this the wedding evolved into a beautiful eclectic mix of everyone’s talents and energy.”
“The flowers were bought and arranged by my grandmother. We also had dried flowers, which I made by collecting and drying discounted flowers from supermarkets! The catering was all done by my mum and grandmother. They made Devon pasties and salad and a buffet of cured meat and cheese for the evening. All the decorations were made by us including the table plan which had a Game of Thrones theme. We also made the place names which were butterfly origami with a raffle ticket hidden inside for raffle after the meal. My mum made the bunting and chair covers. I made the sequin lampshades and collected all the teapots, plates, glassware and cutlery from charity shops! Our band was my brother’s band.”
Kirsty and Mike were married on Friday 31st July at Barmbyfields Barn in York. They chose that date because it was a Blue Moon (the 2nd full moon in a month which only happens every three years) which is said to be a very powerful and magical time to get married.
“Our wedding theme evolved as we went along, but I guess you could describe it as boho hippie goes to a metal gig!”, the bride began. “It was a very eclectic mix of ideas from ourselves and our children. We collected things and recycled stuff and we kind of wanted the barn to feel like our house rather than a wedding. We even took a fireplace there and set up some logs and some trinkets and we hung a picture of My Dad it. We set our head table in front of the fireplace and we brought our own chairs from home to sit on.”
Alex and Steve’s wedding was all about being thrifty but also not being wasteful. They had a £3000 budget, had their reception at a community hall and the bride wore a dress made by her mum from organic cotton an bamboo. The flowers were all picked on the day and the cake was made by the mother of the groom.
“Our inspiration was our friends, their creativity, and nature”, began the bride. “Most of the decoration was made by friends and family. Our ‘theme’ was handmade, simplicity and local. Steve’s mum crocheted over 100 flowers that were on guests’ plates to wear as corsages. We organised a day of willow weaving (run by a friend) in the run up to the wedding to make the willow hearts and flowers. Alex’s niece and nephew collected and painted stones from the beach for the place names.”
“All the food was local: we got the meat from a local organic small holding, the veg was grown by friends who run an organic veg box scheme, the rest was bought at our local independent health food shop. Alex’s Dad made a barrel of homemade cider, and a friend brewed two barrels of ale for us. We made a big batch of elderflower champagne for guests as they arrived at the hall. Alex’s school friends brought a dessert each to share with everyone. The night before about 20 friends and family helped us set up the hall, and more came in the morning helping us do the final touches. It was a lovely way for people to meet each other and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Cherry and Marco had a pagan wedding at Furtho Manor Farm near Milton Keynes. The bride’s grandmother officiated the ceremony.
“All we really knew was that we wanted a handfasting ceremony and we wanted it outside”, began the bride. “We also wanted it to be personal and fun. The rest kind of just fell in to place. We love Mexican food, we love ice cream, and we love being outdoors – turns out so did all of our guests! We didn’t do a lot of the traditional wedding stuff, after the ceremony we just had a big party. It was awesome.”
“We didn’t consciously have a theme either, we just wanted to make the place look magical. I suppose it was sort of rainbow festival-y in a way, not sure how that happened, but it did! You won’t find colours anywhere in my wardrobe but our wedding was super colourful!”
“We also DIYed loads! Pretty much all of our décor was homemade or bought from Etsy. My bridesmaids were brilliant and we had a couple of really funny afternoons making paper pinwheels and other hilarious Pinterest bits. The day before the wedding we had a production line going of us six girls and Marco, all cutting and folding fabric to make covers for 60 hay bales. It was mental and I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. I highly recommend DIY’ing your wedding, it’s way more fun.”
I don’t really get that excited by celebrity weddings, but when wedding photographer Woz of Howelljones Photography emailed me and told me he’d shot the secret wedding of Nicolas Cage’s son on an organic farm in Somerset, I was intrigued to say the least! The whole wedding was very low key, super intimate and shrouded in secrecy to avoid the press.
DanielleDawn and Weston had a pagan ceremony followed by a English pub reception. “I got a call from Nic’s agent saying that there will be a wedding on Monday morning in Huntstile Organic Farm, Bridgwater and I need to be there for 10am”, Woz told me. “I didn’t know who it was I photographing until I got there as they didn’t want the press to get hold of it.”
“We all had breakfast in the barn then boarded a tractor and it took us to a stone circle high on a hill near Bridgwater. The pagan ceremony lasted an hour, everybody had to drink from the cup and jump over the sacred sticks.”