Helen and Jamie are also planning a big, elaborate wedding with all their friends and family in Spain, but organising the legal bit over there was a huge headache. So they decided to have their official ceremony in a teeny tiny church called St Gobbans in Port Braddan, Northern Ireland.
“We live and work in Thailand and therefore getting back and forth to Spain and organising everything from far away wasn’t straightforward”, explained the bride. “As we are UK citizens and all our families live there, the least complicated way to officiate our marriage was in the UK. My mum’s cousin, Connel Auld, is a minister and has the most incredible cottage with tiny church up in the North Coast of Northern Ireland and we thought it would be really personal to get married there. Connel really only officiates for friends and family so when he offered to conduct our ceremony, we felt very privileged. He is such a great character and really made the day for us.”
“His house is like a museum with relics from WW2″, she continued, “Pieces of furniture, including the porthole windows that feature in some of the photos, were made for but didn’t make it onto the Titanic! The church is the smallest in Ireland and one of the smallest in the world and we just about managed to squeeze the 11 people in! This made it all the more intimate and special.”
Amanda and Keith wanted a small wedding on their own terms, so they headed up to Juniper Hotel & Bistro in Banff National Park for an intimate ceremony followed by a great meal with their small number of guests.
“Our wedding was inspired by our flare for tattoos and being our crazy selves”, said the bride. “We wanted something small that reflected our love of being outside and of being different to other people.”
“We loved doing a first look. Cassie, our photographer, had us hide out in the woods behind the Juniper. She instructed Keith to stand facing the tress and not turn around. I could tell he was nervous. I was giggling the whole time I was walking up to him, excited and nervous. Then he opened his eyes and all of a sudden my nerves went away. We were both laughing hysterically. We were finally getting married!”
Hannah and Allan chose Bath Brew House for their wedding reception. After a small ceremony, with just their closet family and friends, they all walked to the pub for a meal together.
“There wasn’t an inspiration as such for our wedding, we’re quite impulsive and tend to do things on a whim”, began the bride. “Even though we’re in our 14th year together, and have been engaged for half of that time, we gave ourselves about six months to get it all planned. We didn’t have loads of time to think on stuff and it was actually great to just make decisions and get things booked.”
“From the start we both agreed we didn’t want to spend a fortune either. We wanted the day we wanted – not what others wanted or would enjoy. At its most basic, our wedding was a registry office and a pub ‘do’. Allan was really firm with this ethos though thank goodness otherwise we could have ended up with unnecessary additions or a bigger wedding altogether. In total we spent around £8000.”
Roy and Tabi’s wedding was a real family affair. The guest list was small, just 36 people, and they were married at the bride’s family home. The ceremony was even officiated by her grandfather.
“Our main inspiration for our wedding was that we wanted to have it at my parent’s place, on the beach”, said Tabi. “Of course this limited the number of guests we could have due to the size of the venue, but early on we both agreed that we really liked the idea of having a small, intimate wedding with just our immediate families. It created a really relaxed and special atmosphere where we, and our guests, could just enjoy ourselves. No pressure, no fuss, just an amazing day.”
“Our wedding theme focussed a lot on homemade things”, she continued. “Roy and I spend a lot of time together on projects and hunting for bits and pieces at op shops that we can renovate or upcycle and add to our home afterwards. We also agreed that we wanted our wedding theme to be somewhat simple, so we chose just a few ideas and spread them throughout the details of the day to bring it all together. The DIY included the outdoor canopy/ marquee, a custom-made bar area, all the indoor furniture, the kid’s crafts table, the cake, the photo wall and wooden frames, the favours and the flowers.”
Jamie and Mat’s intimate wedding was held by the marina in Carins, a tropical paradise in the north of Queensland. Their ceremony was right by the water, and their reception was held at Salt House restaurant. “We met while I was working at the Cairns night markets airbrushing hats”, began the bride. “I noticed Mat walk into the markets and prayed he didn’t come to my booth as I was covered in paint… but over he came to order some hats. I stumbled through conversation with him, discovering we were both originally from the small rural town. It was definitely lust at first sight! Two weeks later we went on our first date and we haven’t spent a single night apart since! He proposed after just three months and we were married three months later!”
“Our wedding theme vintage but with a touch of modern”, she continued. ” We had vintage chairs and teacups but also with glass skull centrepieces! Our wedding was small, just 30 guests. We haven’t regretted this decision for a second.”
The bride’s super glam dress and headpiece were by Aussie bridal designer Johanna Johnson. “We had no real budget as such, we just wanted things to be how we wanted them but without spending a fortune. Honestly, there isn’t a thing I’d change now. We had everything we wanted and more. Our main cash splash would have to be my headpiece actually! At $800 I definitely considered leaving it out, but I think our portray why I just couldn’t!”
If the idea of a huge guest list fills you with dread, why not keep things simple and intimate, just like Fran and Ray did? The couple wanted to get married in a way that felt right for them. That meant keeping things small. They had just 15 guests for their ceremony, and their reception was held in their favourite restaurant.
“Ray and I met through our mutual love of weightlifting (hence the cake!)”, began the bride. “We actually spent the first year of our relationship apart – Ray on Guam and me in Australia. We spent a lot of time in airports and on planes. It was hard but we knew our future was worth it. He proposed on a beautiful tropical beach on Guam, New Year’s Eve 2013.”
“We didn’t want a big wedding”, she continued. “All that mattered was having our very closest people around us in a beautiful setting. One of the highlights for me was that my mum surprised me by coming over from the UK for the wedding, and Ray’s parents came all the way from the USA! I was extremely nervous about meeting them for the first time the day before the wedding, but they were incredibly sweet and loving to me.”