Dan & Charlotte had a two-day wedding celebration in Wales. They started off planning just the Saturday wedding by the beach with a pagan blessing, as this was what Charlotte really wanted. However they soon realised that legally, and for family reasons, they would need to have another ceremony with a registrar present, in a venue sanctioned for wedding ceremonies. “I did view having to have both ceremonies as a bit of a compromise”, Charlotte explained, “But rather than just doing the legal bit in a quick service on our own in a registry office or something, we set about finding somewhere just as beautiful for that part and made it into it’s own distinctive day. We also really wanted our wedding to last a bit longer than the usual one day which is why we split it into two. I would advise anyone planning their wedding to think about spinning things out a bit! It’s all over so quickly on the day and we really treasured the extra time we gave themselves over the weekend to spend quality time with everyone that came to celebrate with us.”
The first ceremony, on the Friday, was held right by Pistyll Rhaeadr, the highest waterfall in Wales. Afterwards they had a small reception at The Plough Inn - local pub in the Welsh village of Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant (!) They kept it informal with a roaring fire, a simple buffet, and a cosy, intimate and very laid back atmosphere. “We run our own business and dare to do things differently on a daily basis”, explained the bride. “Our shop was recently voted the ’7th Most Unusual Shop in the UK’ by the Guardian, so I suppose it was it was inevitable that our wedding would be a bit different! In terms of inspiration we both love nature and being out in the countryside, and I felt really strongly about being married as ‘outside’ as possible. We started visiting this waterfall a couple of years ago, so as soon as we realised we could get married at there it made complete sense. It’s a really special place, a lush green Welsh valley with the mighty fall like a hidden gem. There’s a calmness there, a natural spiritual feeling.”
Are you ready for some drama and pure unadulterated elegance this morning? Well you’d better get ready, because oh boy am I gonna give it to you…
Hollie & John were married in Maui in April. The couple had a big hand in everything they planned. Although they hired suppliers to fulfil their wedding dreams, they were both there from start to finish. “John and I planned every detail”, began the bride. “We made amazing friends with our vendors and were able to experience the entire process from start to finish. I highly advise, if you have the organizational skills and enjoy sleepless nights, to plan your own wedding. We both carry an invaluable connection having survived the process and a feeling of self-gratification and accomplishment as we watched our wedding grow from conception to birth. I personally would not have done it any other way.”
The one thing they didn’t make themselves, though, was Hollie’s incredible Vera Wang wedding gown, which set the elegant tone for the entire day. “Our inspiration all started with the dress”. she continued. “I tried on the white version of Vera Wang’s ‘Hayley’ and knew I absolutely did not want a white dress (boring and not me) and when I found out it also was available in nude I jumped on the opportunity and ordered it blind. Vera’s inspiration and vision of the ‘Hayley’ gown had me hook, line and sinker. She said that the dress embodied ‘the pageantry of the Paris Opera’ and I was SOLD!! I admire textiles and ‘Hayley’ has major textiles. Vera used fabric manipulations in place of sparkle in order to give the dress vavoom.”
Darren & Taryn were married on 03/03/13 and 3 minutes past 3… and although they had a limited budget, they created a wedding that was both sweet and beautiful but edgy and fun! “We chose all the 3′s because we loved the symbolism of the energy surrounding the number”, explained the bride. “In numerology the energy of the number 3 is optimistic and fun-loving, and strives to uplift and colour its surroundings. They tend to be the ‘joker’, have a wonderful sense of humour and are very charismatic.”
“We try not to take ourselves seriously and so when it came to tying the knot after a year of engagement bliss and totally stress-free planning, we knew our day would be filled with the people and things that reflected our separate personalities and us as a couple. We chose a beautiful venue off the trodden path of wedding venues in the Muldersdrift area of Johannesburg, which could not have been more perfect for what we had envisioned for us. Since we are of different faiths (my husband is Jewish and I am Catholic), the little quaint brookylaced gazebo, complete with bunting, on the edge of the picturesque dam was absolutely ideal for the intimate ceremony. We had it performed by a non-denominational minister in the presence of our immediate family and closest friends.”
Simon & Amonné were married in Auckland, New Zealand in December. They chose Bethells Beach Cottages as their venue, with it’s stunning views and perfectly unassuming laid back vibe. “After looking at several venues on Waiheke Island, we found a beautiful venue. But the day before we went to formalise the booking it was snapped up”, explained the bride. “Heartbroken, we came home, I went to sulk and Simon jumped online and found this little slice of heaven. Not only was it breathtaking, but it also looked out over the beach where we had our first kiss. The venue became the canvas on which an unforgettable day was painted. The wildness of the Auckland West coast and the black sand beaches made for a memorable sunset and was our view from where we said ‘I do’. The venue had three cottages and we stayed on before and after along with close family.”
“Our theme was ‘casual’”, she continued. “As this was the second time around for both of us, we did not just have a wedding, we involved both our children in the ceremony and we became a real family. With several kids in our circle of friends we decided to make this day as family friendly as possible. We had no seating plan, no aisle to walk down, no cutting of the cake or place cards. We had our friends and family involved and mos of them played some role in the day’s proceedings (amazing flowers, wonderful celebrant, music, photographer). We had child minders, a bouncy castle and the ceremony started early in the day, which meant almost all our friends were able to be part of our day.”
A simple and low-key wedding at home was just the ticket for Katie & Michael, who were married in October last year. The day was held at Katie’s parent’s house and the entire thing was planned by the couple themselves.
Katie put her own wedding outfit together from an American Eagle cream crochet top, a matching crochet skirt and vintage cowboy boots. Each piece only cost $25 each and were sown together to create a dress by Michael’s mother.
In fact pretty much the whole wedding was a DIY effort. The wedding party picked their own outfits, Katie’s grandmother made the cake and the couple designed their own stationery. They picked seasonal wildflowers for decoration and the bride’s bouquet and they scoured thrift stores and borrowed from friends for the rest of the décor items. “We begged friends for any and all mason jars”, Katie laughed. “Using some rusty wire from my grandfather we turned them into centerpieces with a beautiful rustic feel and wrapped vintage lace around them that I found at a thrift store. We also wrapped about 10 trees in white lights which made the whole backyard glow. Another thing we searched for were nice vintage wood frames. We took a ton of family pictures, some of Mike and I when we were little, some of us as we were awkward teenagers and others of us with our parents or siblings or nephews. Then we added a bunch of together that had been taken throughout the last couple of years. We hung them from twine and had them throughout the dinner tent on the walls and they looked great!”
Sana & Derek were married on an island. Artscape Gibraltar Point is located in the former Toronto Island Public and offers 35,000 square feet of affordable retreat space, artist studios and accommodations for artists and creative thinkers. The tranquil and idyllic setting was perfect for their intimate and artistic wedding. The day started with the entire wedding party taking the ferry over to the island together. “We knew immediately that we wanted to hold the wedding on the island – it’s the perfect escape from Toronto, and a place where we have spent countless summer days swimming, biking and hanging out on the beach,” wrote Sana. “Artscape had the perfect laid-back and nostalgic feeling that we wanted in a venue, and they even let us have a bonfire outside on the beach!”
Sana opted for an untraditional bridal look, choosing to wear a blue dress by Betsey Johnson and Dr Martens, while Derek wore a tartan kilt. “We wanted the wedding to reflect who we are as couple, and the things that we love to do”, the bride continued. “Almost everything was handmade or vintage, and there were tons of things that came straight from our home. Derek’s parents picked all the flowers from a local wildflower farm and we used craft beer bottles that we’ve collected over the past couple of years as vases. The pine cones in the centre pieces were gathered on a camping trip and the crystals and little vintage animals were from our shelves at home.”