Agnes and Liam’s Balham Bowls Club wedding was full of budget-friendly DIY details. “We did everything we could to not have a theme – if we liked something, we used it, regardless if it went with anything else or not!” the bride began. “We said from the outset that we wanted everything to be a joint decision, and Liam to be as involved as me in our choices.”
“We wanted our wedding to be an excuse to get all of our favourite people in the world together in the same room, without everyone feeling like they had to be on their best behaviour. We made an active decision to do things that we wanted to do, regardless of whether they were the done thing or not, so I walked down the aisle to the theme to Carry On Loving, and we walked out to the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark (making it seem suitably epic).”
Evelynne and Evan were married in Kings Cross St Pancras station. A weird place for a ceremony you might think, but it meant a lot to them as a couple. “With me being from Brazil and Evan being from America, travel is very much a recurring theme in our lives”, wrote Evelynne . “We decided to get married at St Pancras Station as it is just a stunning building and we wanted the place to speak for itself without too many props.”
“We decided to take on the traveller theme, Evan did train tickets for our invitations, a seating chart that looked like a departures and arrivals board and everything just fell into place — not to mention the huge image of a train on the back wall of 6 St Chad’s Place where we had our reception.”
Eleanor and Nick were married at Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho. Their wedding had an urban, city feel with DIY throughout. The bride wore a gorgeous Roland Mouret dress with Jimmy Choo shoes but they saved money by homemaking most of the décor themselves.
“Most of all we wanted to have a really fun and informal day so that everyone could really relax and enjoy themselves”, the bride began. “We spent a lot of time planning the personal touches – we tried to get photographs of as many of our guests as possible and arrange them around the venue so that they would be good conversation starters. We also themed the tables according to places that were significant for us, made our own table decorations and included a quiz and some games (in a box on each table). My mum and her partner made the jam pots that were on each of the ladies’ place settings and Nick’s dad scanned and printed all the photos for us.”
It’s not everyday you see an insect themed wedding, so needless to say I was both grossed out and super excited (in equal measure!) when Tessa and Matthew’s wedding landed in my inbox. The bride is an artist, known for her work consisting of insect carcasses, plant roots and other found materials. So, clearly, her wedding was never going to be ‘normal’. Even the wedding cake had sugared caterpillars and insets crawling all over it and one guest even showed up with real ants and beetles stuck to his bald head!
“Our wedding theme was entomological – inspired by insects!”, explained Tessa. “It probably seems a bit weird to have an insect inspired wedding, but it seemed fairly normal to Matt and I. I don’t think anyone was particularly surprised. I’ve been using insects in my sculptures for many years and am pretty obsessed with them… this has rubbed off on Matt who has learned to love (i.e. tolerate) my collections of dead things too. I always thought I’d get married dressed as a wasp (my favourite insect), and Matt already has a pretty convincing fly costume but when it came to it I wanted to look like a bride, not a giant wasp.”
They met in Manchester in 2001 while they were both at University. He asked her to join his band even though he didn’t have one yet. At their Islington wedding, 12 years later, many of the friends they made during this time were there as witnesses. “We considered many themes briefly but decided in the end just to try to make the day as relaxed and informal as we could while still making it feel like a special event”, explained the bride. “We just wanted to get everyone together for some good food, wine and dancing and worked the rest around that. We did sneak a few sci-fi and superhero references in though!”
Katy wore a Jane Bourvis dress with shoes from Topshop that she’s had since she was 16! In her hair she wore a homemade wreath of gypsophila from Dave’s mum’s garden. The day started with a ceremony at Islington Town hall, continued with a pub lunch at The Duke of Cambridge and concluded with an after party at the Candid Arts Centre.
Cassandra and Howard were married at The Roost in Dalston, London, a photographic studio and shooting location. Because it wasn’t a traditional wedding venue it meant their whole day was really chilled out and non-traditional, but also that they could completely plan it the way they wanted. “We’d had a really small and intimate wedding ceremony in Cornwall with just our immediate families so we wanted to throw a vintage wedding tea party for friends and relatives here in London”, began the bride.
“The Roost was an amazing find. It’s a former Victorian pub in deepest, darkest Dalston converted into a four floor photographic and film shoot location. My heart skipped a beat the first time we viewed it. It was perfect. I just loved the eclectic vintage vibe and ‘out there’ style of the place. From the gorgeous House Of Hackney wallpapers, to the giant props, old film posters and quirky paintings on the wall. We were just blown away.”
The majority of this wedding was DIY. The bride homemade all the cakes, bought flowers from Columbia Road Flower Market and designed and screen printed the invitations herself. “Well, it wouldn’t be a tea party without cake would it?” Cassandra laughed. “I do a bit of part time baking at Lily Vanilli’s East London bakery, and was determined to do all my own cakes – I’m always up for a challenge (although everyone thought I was mad). For the cake table I made a mixed berry vanilla sponge cake, devil’s good cake, cherry bakewells, moustache cookies, mini chocolate Guinness bundt cakes, marmalade loaf cakes, brownies, rocky road squares, scones and a cupcake tower with cupcakes bejeweled with pomegranate seeds and edible crystalised flowers.”