Amanda and James were married in Derry, Northern Ireland. The day started with the bride getting ready at her parents’ house and a catholic ceremony, but that’s where the tradition ended! Their reception, at Thatched Cottage in Craft Village, was a true reflection of them as a couple. Casual, laid back and thrifty. They spent just £1500 in total!
“Our wedding was bohemian, handmade and vintage inspired”, began the bride. “We didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen (just two witnesses) and chose to keep thing as simple as possible. We wanted a low key wedding, something special and intimate to share with family and friends… no fuss! We also wanted the wedding to reflect who we are and not get lured into the circus and stress that often surrounds weddings. We aimed to create an artistic, homemade, bohemian atmosphere.”
A bar brawl at a wedding isn’t usually something I’d encourage, but that’s exactly how Sarah started to tell me about her Irish pub wedding! The event took place in The Fly’s Tie Pub in Atlantic Beach, Florida.
“Devon is of Irish descent”, she began, “and I am from New Orleans. Since we couldn’t afford a destination wedding in either location, we decided to keep the wedding local but have a Celtic and Creole ‘fusion’ inspired day. We chose March 15th because it was a weekend between Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day!”
“Instead of a tiered white cake, we had a tower of beignets (creole doughnuts) and instead of cutting the cake, we poured an Irish whiskey caramel sauce on top. Some of the other items on our menu were corned beef and cabbage po-boy sandwiches, low country boil including Louisiana crawfish and local Mayport shrimp, and Irish soda bread pudding. We didn’t really get too bogged down by details, but the details we did pick meant a lot to us. The main color accents were black and gold, which are New Orleans Saints’ colors as well as the colors of Devon’s college fraternity. Our handfasting cords reflected the colors in Ireland’s flag as well as the Hash House tartan.”
Jane and Andrew were married in Lissanoure Castle in Loughguile, Northern Ireland. Their day was eclectic from the start which began with the most unusual, but weirdly perfect, inspiration! “Jane found a couple of starting points for the visual style of the wedding early on”, Andrew explained.
“Firstly this photo of Gram Parsons wearing his amazing white cowboy suit with bold coloured leaves and flowers, and an Alice Temperley dress called the Long Eliah Flower Show Dress. Things evolved a long way from there. We used Pinterest to develop ideas with Jane’s sisters and our lovely designer friend Kat Flint. In the end we had a lovely jumble of different bold colours, with some white and neutral tones from brown paper and hessian.”
“The main thing we wanted was for the whole thing to feel relaxed, friendly and personal”, they continued. “We tried to keep it all quite informal with lots of friends and family helping with different parts of the wedding. Music is really important to us too. Andrew spent a lot of time planning all the different musical elements of the wedding (and sang a song at our afternoon open mic).”
Rowena and Cain were married in Dingle, Ireland. They only had €7000 to spend but still managed to create a gorgeous and meaningful day with a little imagination and a lot of elbow grease!
“Our theme was Dia de Los Muertos meets the Owl and the Pussycat”, explained the bride. “Bright, vintage, musical, quirky and memorable. This theme ran throughout from the vintage style Save the Date cards complete with his ‘n hers skulls, the wedding invitations which were made from real 7inch records, the Sailor Jerry style wedding programme which had old style tattoos on it, the wedding cake and bridesmaids’ dresses. The reception tables had painted sugar skulls on with ladybird books, filled tea cups, birdcages and flowers in jars.”
Rowena bought her dress second-hand from eBay and had it customised into a 1930 style. She fell in love with the dresses of that time period after watching one too many movies set in that era!
“In Ireland, weddings still tend to be quite traditional and never really deviate from each other”, she continued. “We wanted to have something different and therefore memorable, one of those weddings that stands out and looks like something from a film or from a magazine. I decided early on that I would not follow any of the ‘rules’ that brides and grooms feel compelled to adhere to. I never went to any wedding shops, I didn’t have fresh flowers, we didn’t have a DJ or a first dance, there was no set seating and nobody gave me away. The whole day was very off the cuff yet totally relaxed.”
Louise and Pete’s Belfast manor house wedding was full to bursting with cute, quirky and retro DIY details. The bride wore a polka dot Candy Anthony wedding dress and looked every but the mid-century starlet with her beehive hair do and classically gorgeous make up. “We definitely had a retro themed wedding”, Louise explained. “I took inspiration from Hairspray (especially when it came to my hair!) and had a pink polka dot 50s style dress. Pete had a teddy boy-esque suit. We played 60s garage songs during the drinks reception and 60s girl groups afterwards. We asked all our male guests to wear bow ties, which they did, including my 5 month old nephew!”
“In the year leading up to our own wedding Pete and I attended 13 weddings (including an amazing 5 day affair in Rajasthan), so we ended up with a really good idea of what we felt was important”, she continued. “It all centred on making sure our guests were having fun and that the food and alcohol was plentiful. We wanted to get everyone up and dancing. We knew from the outset that a hotel wedding wasn’t for us and we discarded elements that we didn’t feel mattered on the day, like having a top table or a cake cutting ceremony.”
With steampunk and a contemporary twist on Victorian fashion as their influences, Amy & Adam planned their Glenarm Castle wedding to totally reflect them. They homemade as much as possible and hired tipis that were put up in the walled gardens of their venue for the reception. They had a humanist ceremony which included personal readings by friends, one of which was inspired by quotes from Einstein, Darwin and other scientists and philosophers. Amy designed her own wedding dress and had it made by dressmaker Lynne Gregg. Her shoes were Irregular Choice and her accessories were all DIY.
“We always knew we wanted to have a party that was all about style and fun, and encouraging our friends and family to embrace the idea of the day”, explained the bride. “The laid back atmosphere was the main goal; we felt it was so important to not have an uptight, stuffy, traditional day.”
“A lot of our wedding was DIY That’s what made it so true to us and although stressful at times (at 1am the morning of the wedding making buttonholes!) it was always our aim to do as much ourselves to make sure our stamp was clearly upon it all. We loved every moment. I particularly remember the afternoon before the wedding organising my dad and his friend assisting me with flower arranging and decorating the tables with strawberries whilst Adam was up a ladder stringing bunting and fairy lights! We decorated the tipis with a customised gramophone, which was a gift from the groom’s cousin who is an art director for films. We also bought duelling pistols, hot air balloon models, birdcages, an antique typewriter and decorated tables with old family photos. We got extra props and help with décor from Grace and Saviour.”