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.”
Lauren and JP’s Glasgow wedding was based on their mutual love of Scotland and literature. “Our inspiration was really just stuff we like”, Lauren wrote. “Medieval mixed with Scottish mixed with books mixed with 50s mixed with tattoos mixed with pumpkins! It was lucky that our mish-mash just worked in the space together! There’s nothing like that moment when you see your vision for the day come together so well.”
“If I had to describe the theme to someone I would say ‘fantasy and fiction’ as books really ended up as our main theme. We had the tables named after our favourite authors, bookmark favours and many other little nods to authors like the card box in the shape of the luggage from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld book series.”
“The cake was made by my brother and was decorated with spines of books we have read and loved. It was a chocolate and whisky sponge and looked amazing! The cake was my big surprise on the day as he kept his plans a secret. My brother is a pastry chef and has worked in some pretty prestigious places so a lot was expected of him, and he certainly delivered! After the wedding he tweeted pictures of his cake to some of the authors featured on it and they responded!”
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.”