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.”
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!”
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!”