Kirsty and Michael’s wedding had lots of lovely kitsch details with a strong helping of Scottish heritage. “We wanted the day to be a big love affair of tartan and colour”, said the bride. “We started with the tartan and worked from there. Our house is full of retro finds and bits and bobs and we wanted our wedding to be the same. Our main aim was for our guests to have a brilliant fun day.”
“I wanted to do as much DIY as I could, to save money and make it personal. I purchased each bridesmaid two necklaces. One to wear in its original state and one to dissect for parts. I used the bits to add to the shoes and hat bases. Using my trusty glue gun, obviously. I also made them each a hanger with their name on and I painted the invitations and programmes using watercolours.”
Shannon and Mark’s Byron Bay wedding had a 60s influence with just a touch of kitsch. The bride wore a custom made dress with a full blue skirt and a polka dot veil.
“The night Mark and I met we danced, drank a lot, ran amok and had thumb war battles”, she said. “We wanted the wedding to feel the same! We had giant lawn games and hired a double decker hippy bus to take the guests on a Byron Bay adventure on the way to the wedding. We chose a band that were so fantastic it felt like we were at a live venue, and everything from the ceremony to the pool at the end of the night were all about having fun.”
“The styling was all done by me with a kitschy, sixties and pin up twist. There was astroturf table runners on the one long table and bright red perspex scroll signs. I made the favours which were pink vending machine capsules that I filled with salted caramels, a magnet, a toy animal figurine and an illustration of Mark and I drawn by my very talented sister. By the end of the night people were trading and stealing them like kids in a playground.”
Ben and Rosie’s fun-filled July wedding has a summer festival and retro kitsch vibe. “Above everything, we wanted our day to be fun,” said the bride. “It hard to pick one theme because it just turned out being everything that was rattling around in my brain! However we were inspired by the 1950s and 60s and anything cute and handmade.”
“I upcycled plenty of things including the celebrity coconut shy, and the table decorations. My mum and I also spent 18 months collecting vintage bits and pieces like embroidered hankies and tablecloths from car boot sales. We also collected vintage plates from which I made the cake stands. During the planning I learnt that people are only too willing to help if you ask.”
The iconic Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California, was the perfect setting for Jasmine and Kyle’s retro wedding in August. They wanted their wedding to reflect the 50s and 60s – an era that they both love – as well as to be colourful, pastel, kitschy and easy-going.
“The main source of inspiration was the venue, The Madonna Inn”, said the bride. “The place is extremely colourful and playful in its design, and for the most part they’ve retained the charm that drew people to it in the 50s and 60s. My mom took us kids to the hotel a lot on our way to Disneyland and southern California, so there was a comforting feeling about being in a place that felt like from before I was born. I’m also German and there is something Bavarian and classic like a retro children’s fairytale book that I loved. I was inspired to incorporate marbled paper because of the dramatic rocks and minerals and gold rush theme of the hotel as well.”
Caris and Steve were inspired by everything they love for their wedding. So that meant flamingos, kitsch, traditional tattoo designs, Mexican day of the dead, 1950s B movies and octopuses – it was quite an eclectic day!
“We both love colour and knew we wanted it to feature strongly throughout the day, along with a sense of informality, fun and fiesta”, said the bride. “After visiting a few potential venues we realised that we would not be able to do exactly what we wanted at any of them (which were also way over our budget) therefore we would need to start from scratch with a blank canvas.”
“We fell in love with a large 42ft event yurt made by Yurt Maker so we hunted around for somewhere to put it and eventually approached a local wildlife charity who owned the perfect field just five miles from where we live! They were totally up for the idea of having a wedding reception on their land, despite never having done anything like this previously and charged us a really reasonable hire rate and were just fantastic throughout. We were thrilled that rather than our money going to a corporation it was supporting a local charity.”
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.”