Gary and Traci love Halloween. So much so that they decided the best place for them to get married would be at their Halloween party in their own home. The coolest part of this wedding was that it was a complete surprise for all their guests! After telling everyone they were getting married then and there, they then assigned each attendee a roll in the celebration.
“We were trying to figure out how to do a ceremony and reception for our families that live in New York and California when we live in Alaska”, explained the bride. “We wanted our ceremony to be meaningful and something we could share with family at a later date, but we also wanted to focus on the celebration part of marriage and do that with friends that we know will be there to support us in the future with our families not geographically close.”
“I am a BIG fan of Halloween and we knew we were going to throw a party at our house”, she said. “It was a dream come true when Gary came up with the idea of doing a surprise wedding ceremony during the party for our friends. In Alaska, any person can marry you, so we came up with a plan to choose ‘characters’ to fill the traditional and not-so traditional roles during the wedding. We had roles for an officiate, maid of honour, best man, slutty bridesmaid, drunk uncle, father of the bride, ring bearer, flower girl, and wedding singer. The best part was, not knowing which friend would get selected to play each role.”
Check out the incredible film, made by Lauren of Beauty Board Media, and all will be explained…
Adorable couples with budget-friendly weddings make my heart soar! Sarah and Matthew were married in London in June. They spent just £2000 and had their reception at home.
“Matthew and I met on OkCupid”, Sarah told me. “I’d started online dating when I moved to the UK from Canada in 2013; it was a great way to meet new people and see different parts of the city. However, I also found it could be extremely boring when you don’t click with someone and spend the evening pulling teeth trying to make conversation. Once I’d settled into London life a bit more and found myself busy with work and new friends, I decided to throw in the towel, but I’d already set up a date with Matthew. We clicked right away! We broke all of the first date taboos by chatting about everything from politics and religion to feminism and pop punk. We’d been dating for 8 months when we got engaged and 4 months after that, we got married. I used to think people were daft when they’d say ‘When it’s right, you’ll just know,’ but for us, that was completely true.”
Their ceremony was held at Wandsworth Town Hall. “We had a town hall ceremony followed by a garden reception at our home later in the afternoon. Things wrapped up in the evening so we could head to a hotel for our mini-moon, so it was much shorter than many weddings. Everyone commented on how laid back and fun it felt. I think a big part of that was only incorporating traditions that felt meaningful for us. For example, we exchanged rings, but there was only one speech, no bridal party, and no feeding each other cake! We focused on the things that were important to us: good company, good food, good drinks, and good music. Everyone mingled in our back garden; it was very relaxed.”
It’s an undeniable cliché that I love all things surrounding weddings: the love, the family, the pretty dresses, the flowers… but I also love to hear the real stories behind these magical looking days. It’s all very well and good sharing the perfectly edited highlights online, but what really went down? Were there injuries? Was one supplier an utter nightmare? Did someone jump on a bouncy castle and end up with a bloody nose? Well, actually, now you come to mention it…
Jack and Krysten were married last July at the groom’s family home. “We wanted it to feel like a playground”, the bride told me. “One of the starting points was having the venue as Jack’s family home, a six-hundred-year-old farmhouse with outbuildings and a pond. There was also the fact that many guests were travelling for the wedding: I am Californian and had friends and family coming in from all across the states. In addition, both of us had friends flying in from various other countries; Canada, Israel, Korea. We felt that because people were travelling such distances, we should really give them a trip to remember, which led to the idea of having it over two days – the ceremony and reception on the Saturday, then a barbecue/ garden games/ recovery day on Sunday.”
Happy Friday! I think this colourful and fun wedding all the way from Chile is the perfect way to head into the weekend, don’t you? After their chapel ceremony, Trini and Fe hosted their reception at the bride’s parent’s home. They had a small budget, $7000, so they did practically everything themselves.
“We had a very small budget but we wanted to do something very cool”, wrote the bride. “It was totally DIY. The groom’s family all came over from Brazil to Chile for the wedding and so we wanted the whole day to be very chilled out.”
When TV presenter Layla Anna-Lee married Richard, they both knew they wanted to do something different. They wanted their wedding to feel like them, to be easygoing and fuss-free. They had their ceremony at Artington House and their reception was afternoon tea at home with just their closest friends and family.
“We’re not big party people, we like quiet quality time with friends so we had a small ceremony then high tea at our home”, explained Layla. “It was all a little last minute despite having six months between getting engaged and getting married. I had to fly to Brazil for six weeks for work and then when I returned we were just really chilled out about it all. We only really started planning three months before the date.”
“We knew the date we wanted, and we were super excited to get married but all we were interested in was the actual getting married bit. When we spoke about wanting to marry each other we were attracted to the beautiful promise and a future together, we never uttered the words ‘I want to have a meeting with a florist and check out venues with you!’ These things were just not on our minds at all. We both wanted something warm, modest and homely. We saw many lovely venues online, but we kept wanting to just have it at home. We only bought our house together very recently and we got engaged here – it feels so special.”
For Roxane and Pierre, a relaxed homespun wedding was perfect. Their small ceremony was held at city hall, and they hosted the reception in the bride’s house. “Pierre and I met in Qatar, where we both work as airline pilots”, the bride began. “Everything happened very fast and after eight months together we decided to move in together. The only problem was that you are not allowed to live together without being married in Qatar so we decided to get married!”
“We organised everything in 6 months”, wrote the bride. “We wanted to do a picnic in a field very close to my house in Belgium, because it’s a place that I love and we both love nature. For that reason, everything had to be simple, especially as we both live so far away. Our priorities were having our families and close friends there, and lots of cheese, wine and champagne!”
Roxane wore two beautiful lace dresses, both super affordable. Her long sleeved ceremony dress was, unbelievably, from H&M and her reception one was from Lookbook Store. “I wanted a short dress that looked simple”, she said. “I found one in H&M that I liked, but at first it didn’t feel like ‘the one’, and then I found another one on Lookbook Store. I loved both of them and I didn’t know which one to wear so in the end I wore both!”