Sam and Mike got married in Vegas. They eloped and only told their parents they were doing it. Their friends had no idea, in fact they thought they’d gone to Greece on holiday! The couple didn’t have any professional pictures taken of their Vegas elopement (they just snapped a few on their phones). When they returned home, they decided that they did really want to celebrate with their families too. So they decided to have a party in Manchester, with Tandem Photo there to capture the magic.
This was a super budget-friendly wedding, with the couple spending just £2000. The bride’s dress was £28 from eBay and her headpiece was £3! They bought and arranged their own flowers, designed their own invites and decorated the space with help from their army of besties.
“The inspiration for our Manchester party was retro vinyl, the sixties and the seventies and festivals,” said Sam. “Our invite was a rip off of the original Woodstock poster. Mike is really into 70s rock, prog and southern rock and I’m a bit more mod and psychedelic 60s. I guess the theme was ourselves with a nod to Vegas.”
“We didn’t want the day to be too formal”, she continued. “We didn’t want to be taken too seriously or too stylised. Hence the ‘bad album cover’ theme for the tables with vintage teapots and glass jars. The decoration was all done by us and friends. We had fairy lights, pendant lights and bunting from eBay and lanterns from Ikea. The table markers (vintage vinyl) were from our own record collection as well as some from my bridesmaid Dani who has the best collection of horrendous album covers known to man.”
When it comes to me accepting submissions to feature on this blog, I always ask myself the same two simple questions: Will my readers like this? And are there ideas in here that people can actually apply to their own weddings? More and more these days, I’m only able to answer yes to both these questions with the real weddings I’m sent. However sometimes, just sometimes, a styled wedding shoot fits the bill as well.
I’m thrilled to share this gorgeous shoot with you today because it is just that – totally gorgeous – but all the fun, colourful details are very much DIY and budget-friendly. You could take what you see here and apply the ideas to your own wedding without too much fuss (or expense!) and that makes me very happy indeed.
Mark and Chai both love everything about the 1970s, so it was clear that this had to be their wedding theme. They were married in Manilla in March. “Our wedding was a DIY 70s hippie-themed day”, began the bride. “We jokingly called it ‘hippy ever after!’ We love all the elements of the 70s: the music, colours, vibe, and art, and having all these in our wedding made it very unique, unpretentious, and very ‘us’. Both of us wish we were born in the 70s and our wedding actualised that dream!”
“Of course rocknrollbride.com definitely inspired us to be immensely fun, creative, and playful when organising our wedding without spending too much. Aside from this, the excitement and enthusiasm of all of our suppliers, friends, and families had further energised us to organise such ‘breath of fresh air’ – most of them were more excited than us!”
“We were blessed being married at Mary Immaculate Parish by Fr. JP Sescon who was cool enough to allow us enjoy our wedding day with this unusual theme – which not all Catholic churches in the Philippines permit. Our guests were saying that they liked how light and fun the ceremony was. One of the best things as skateboarding with our friends after the church ceremony! We love to skate so being able to do that was so awesome.”
Chris and Emmy were married early in the day, so they wanted to lay on lots of entertainment for their guests. “We wanted a day that was relaxed, fun and family-friendly”, wrote the bride. “We had our humanist hand fasting ceremony at 10:30 in the morning, so we wanted to make sure there was plenty for our guests to do throughout the day. We go to a lot of festivals and run a dance tent with my family called the Griffin Tent, so we used that as a starting point, using the marquee and having a pub quiz and live bands in the afternoon.”
“The river running through Loudwater Farm is the same river we both played in as children (we’ve known each other since we were 11!), so we had fishing nets and wellies for everyone to paddle. We added archery, circus toys, dreamcatcher making and an art and crafts den, and finished up with a silent disco.”
Emily and Bernard were married at Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island in Washington. They wanted an intimate, special day and didn’t want to spend a lot of cash so they also thrifed wherever they could. Emily’s dress was by Free People, her shoes were from Goodwill and her jewellery was all vintage. Bernard’s outfit was also second-hand and all the flowers were picked from a nearby wood!
“We wanted the ceremony to reflect our natural and spiritual beliefs”, wrote the bride. “We made an alter of little things that are special to us: our dog’s collar (who is no longer with us), dried rose buds from my Grandmother’s youth, and a photo of us and our daughter. I also made all the flower arrangements using plants and flowers from the area.”
Jo and Tony were married by a small lake on a friend’s property in Denmark, on the south coast of Western Australia. The bride wore a dress from an op shop (she actually only decided the morning of the wedding what she would be wearing, after several changes of clothes!) and clear wellington boots! Tony wore an outfit also put together that morning from things he already owned or could borrow from friends. As you can probably tell this was the lowest of low key weddings!
“Originally there wasn’t really a set theme”, began Jo. “On the invites we asked people to be colourful and flamboyant if they wanted. A week out from the wedding we emailed everyone and strongly recommended gumboots as the weather forecast was looking grim and the ceremony site was outdoors around a small lake. If anything the theme was one of merging ritual and theatre. A marrying together of our different aspects, one of quiet sensitivity to ritual and acknowledging presence of spirit, and the other a desire to engage with the theatre of life and laugh loudly.”