Anna Lee & Paul were married in London in September. Their ceremony was held at Saint Etheldreda’s Church, and their reception – in two parts – took place at The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell and All Star Lanes in Brick Lane. “We dined on a mouthwatering fusion menu for dinner, and mini burgers, hot dogs and classic American cocktails at the after-party”, wrote the bride.
Anna Lee looked stunning in her gold gown by by Roland Mouret. Called ‘Wallis’ and inspired by Wallis Simpson, the opulent diamond-embossed design looked amazing on her. Clearly Anna Lee wasn’t going for a traditional bridal look. She wore Beatrix Ong shoes and instead of a veil or any jewellery, she had pearls glued down the nape of her neck. I just LOVE this idea. “I didn’t wear jewellery or a veil”, she explained, “but wanted pearls in my cropped hairstyle. So Angela, my hairdresser, had the idea to fix pearls down the back of my neck using super-strength wig glue! They held fast all, and were a real talking point.”
“Right from the start, doing things differently was really important to us,” she continued. “We wanted to do what felt natural for us, rather than what’s often expected or ‘the norm’. So, Paul met the guests in the pub for a pint beforehand, I chose to wear gold rather than white, we got up and did a speech together, had ten-pin bowling at our after-party and honeymooned in Texas. If we were to have a theme it would have been ‘A dash of cool London, a splash of kitsch Americana… and a whole lot of fun.’ We met playing five-a-side football in Shoreditch, so – although neither of us is from London – it felt right to have an East End wedding. The city is a part of our history and set the scene and vibe for the day’s celebrations.”
Being parents to seven children, Sam & Brendan were always going to have a huge family-focused wedding. Their magical day was held in their backyard in Brisbane surrounded by their family and friends. The colourful wedding was laid back and fun and had a theme of kewpie dolls running throughout. They had them as favours, for the flowergirls to carry, nestled into the ceremony backdrop and even on the front of the wedding car!
The groom and his groomsmen had dinosaurs incorporated into their buttonholes and the bride’s bouquet was made out of brooches that she’d collected for years. Most of them also had great significant meaning to her and the family. The family also made the rainbow ceremony backdrop themselves. “We decided to have everything we love without worrying if things matched or were ‘tasteful’”, Sam explained. “Our aim was to have fun! I guess our theme was kitsch, confetti and fun!”
I’ve got a little bit of vintage kitsch for you this morning, in the form of Matt & Bek’s Birmingham wedding. The couple were married in June and chose Elly Mac to capture their special day. Inspired by all things pin up, the bride wore a pin up style wedding dress from Pin Up Girl Clothing while her gorgeous bridesmaids rocked it in a variity of different dresses from Collectif and Hell Bunny.
The official ceremony was at Birmingham Register Office but the couple also had a handfasting and ‘broom jumping’ ceremony at their reception venue, The Rose Villa Tavern. “Although neither of us is overtly religious we wanted to make our wedding special and symbolic, more than just a legality”, explained Bek. “One of our closest friends, Hannah, performed the handfasting for us with a cord made from braided ribbons – each coloured ribbon representing a member of our families. By binding our hands together we symbolically bound our two families together. We also included jumping the broom, a Celtic tradition where the couple jump over a besom broom to symbolise a sweeping away of the past and a leap into the future together as husband and wife.”
“Both of us had worked in the cabaret and burlesque scene for quite a while so when we announced we were getting married everyone seemed to think that we would be having a big over-the-top burlesque themed wedding”, Bek continued. “The groom’s mum even worriedly asked us if we were having strippers as entertainment! However we didn’t want out wedding to be just another show, it was a celebration of a special event and we wanted people to see who we really are – a little bit vintage, a little bit geeky and a whole lot of down to earth and chilled out.”
“After reading the millionth wedding magazine and seeing so many ‘vintage styled’ cookie cutter weddings for ridiculous budgets we were about to give up in despair when I discovered Rock n Roll Bride. The weddings were all quirky and unique and really opened out eyes to what was possible. After that the DIY and quirky wedding blogs became our go to material – so much so that Bek’s colleagues at work even memorised the Rock n Roll Bride website address by osmosis!”
Vintage weddings are still all the rage right now, but sometimes it’s nice to see this trend in a different style. Which is why this shoot sent over by some Dallas based wedding suppliers and Nine Photography got me very excited indeed. They wanted to share the more retro, kitschy and quirky side of the vintage trend… and I love it!
“The shoot was instigated by Rita Rent my Dust and inspired by all of her amazing rental pieces”, photographer Kelli told me. “She has 100s of vintage radios and old record players, and she wanted to do a shoot that was fun and featured her very cool collection. So we took this shoot back to when Rock n Roll was born.”
The thing I love most about this set is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously… and having fun is what weddings should be all about!
On a warm day in March, Jennifer & Ryan married in an Americana inspired wedding. “We have always had a bit of an obsession with America,” the bride told me. “It all started after we first visited New York together five years ago and fell hard-and-fast in love with the people, the shopping, the bars, and the food (hello blueberry pancake stacks!) We had originally planned to get married in New York, but when we found out that not all of our guests would be able to make it across the pond we decided to bring a slice of New York to the wedding!”
“All of our tables were themed after our favourite places in NYC – Trash & Vaudeville, Fun City Tattoo, the Trailer Park Lounge, Rodeo Bar, Big Daddy’s Diner, and the Velvet Lounge. We made miniature menus for place cards on the ‘Big Daddy’s table’, and one of our close friends spent several hours painstakingly engraving names into a hefty piece of wood for the ‘Rodeo Bar’ table plan!”
The couple handmade a lot of the details in order that they would perfectly fit into the vision they had for their day. “It has always been our dream to drive from New York to San Francisco in a beat up old 1950s caddy, stopping off at every diner, dive bar and motel on Route 66, so we decided that is exactly what we would do for our honeymoon,” Jennifer continued. “We thought we’d play on this for our wedding post box, and fashioned a DIY US mailbox from a chrome breadbin, some red foam (for the flag) and some old off cuts of wood (for the post and stand). As we have a habit of always taking things too far, we also invested in some astroturf for the ‘lawn’, an armful of plastic flowers for decoration, and (of course) a miniature white picket fence! We also flew a flock of pink plastic flamingos in from Baltimore to complete the set-up! As an alternative to a traditional guestbook, guests were handed postcards we’d collected from the states which they wrote on and then popped in the mailbox! I also made brooches for all of the ladies using red glitter fimo which I shaped into hearts, baked, and then edged with ivory pearls (all 1500 of them were glued on individually!)”
The bride wore a custom made dress from The Couture Company in Birmingham, with Vivienne Westwood shoes. However it wasn’t only the bride who looked the rockabilly part. The couple asked their guests to come dressed to fit the wedding theme too. Jennifer explained, “We told all of our guests that the theme of the wedding was ‘rock n roll with a kitsch twist’, and suggested watching ‘Cry-Baby’ for outfit inspiration! Everyone rocked up dolled up to the nines and looked incredible!”
You can’t help but fall in love with Heidi & Jim’s Southend-on-Sea wedding. The cherry theme is just so cute and perfect for a retro, quirky and kitsch seaside wedding. “Our inspiration was most definately ourselves, our loved ones and where we live, sunny Southend-on-Sea!” Heidi explained. “We wanted a wedding that was totally personal to us, that involved everyone close to us as much as we could and that was totally full of fun and unstuffy. We knew we wanted good food and a venue that was ours, where we could do what we wanted, decorate it how we wanted, drink the drinks we wanted and eat the food we wanted!”
“We wanted to incorporate the seaside and beloved beach huts and achieved this through our wedding photographer Sam Gibson‘s wonderful photos and the beautiful view from our favourite restaurant, Toulouse, where we had a four course meal before our after-party at Red Brick Barn, Rochford. We wanted as much as possible to be homemade, thoughtful and unique and to give those close to us the opportunity to do something they love doing towards our big day.”
The bride wore a Vivien of Holloway circle dress and cute cherry Vivienne Westwood/Melissa shoes. Her incredible headpiece was actually homemade by the bride and was inspired by a very expensive (and way out of budget) Piers Atkinson piece.
The couple decorated Red Brick Barn themselves with handmade bunting, vinyl cake stands and bowls bought on eBay and hundreds of coke bottles with flowers in them. “We would just love to say how much of an amazing time we had,” concluded the bride. “We would hugely recommend doing everything yourself. Yes, it’s hard work but the result is amazing! It’s so easy to get swept along into a carbon copy package wedding with no personality or originality, but break that mould and do what you want! If other people don’t like it that’s their problem not yours.”
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day. We had some wind and a spot of rain but it all added to the character of the day and without it we wouldn’t have had the beautiful rainbow! Now that’s something you can’t choose out of the bridal magazines!”