On a sunny Saturday in July, Natasha and Tom said “I do” under the summer house at South Farm. The bride wore a stunning Jenny Packham gown and headpiece and the groom looked dashing in his Mr Start suit.
“We didn’t really have a theme”, Tom began. “We knew we wanted to make it down to earth and styled to reflect us… that turned into a part-Festival, part-Country Fete. Picking a farm to get married on only led us down this path further as we wanted everything to look very natural, simple and relaxed.”
“In the barn for the reception we had bunting, large deco paper balls, Polaroid and Holga cameras for the tables and canvas tote bags that we designed ourselves filled with silly little things from joke shops and Etsy. On our ceremony chairs we tied colourful ribbons and the sign post made by Natasha’s Dad. We used my Grandma’s 1920s suitcase for cards and had old watering cans from my parents for the flowers.”
Sigh! I just adore weddings liked Mark and Erika’s. Chilled out, not at all matchy-matchy and where everyone looks like they had a total blast. The couple didn’t wait a ‘tick the box’ wedding, instead they pulled inspiration from all over – their heritage, their home and their friends. “We didn’t really have a theme or colours that matched”, Erika wrote. “I have always been a mis-match kind of girl so we had elements of our backgrounds so Japan / Yorkshire / countryside / Autumn / vintage/ boho!”
The reception was held in a tipi in their own back garden. Erika wore a stunning 1920s vintage dress from Jane Bourvis and flowers in her hair. Her simple aqua necklace was a family heirloom and had been handed down by her mother.
“It was such a wonderful day, just having everyone there to share in our special day and to have all the love and support given to us”, she continued. “We just couldn’t define our wedding with one story – it was a complete day from start to end! The people around us made our wedding day interesting and unique. I have never done anything all that normal – I like being different and I like to have things relaxed. There was no pressure to have fun, we just wanted people to be in the moment and enjoy it. It was a home grown event where everyone was involved, like a little community. It was perfect for a tipi wedding!”
Following on from yesterday’s trip down memory lane, today I wanted to share the Polaroid fantasy of wedding photographers Julius & James. When Stephen (James), who has a passion for old film cameras, gave Julius a modified Polaroid 250 land camera for his birthday they immediately started to think about how they could use it in their wedding and fashion photography. So they started to experiment with 4X5 film in their Toronto studio.
“We’ve added three cameras, a Polaroid SX-70, which shoots the new Impossible Project film, and two Fuji Instax cameras”, Stephen explains. “Because this was going to be a studio shoot, we really felt free to play and have fun, so we decided to shoot a vintage bride, wearing authentic 1950s and early 1960s outfits. Our inspiration came from looking at a lot of original advertising from the Mad Men period. We re-used several period poses and compositions, and for about 12 hours only, it even became permissible, in fact obligatory, to smoke on set. We took multiple shots of the same pose using different cameras and film to demonstrate the variety of looks that are achievable with the instant film available today.”
I always get really excited to feature a super-budget wedding because I love to show you that, with a bit of clever engineering, a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to cost £20,000. Ruth & Steve spent just £700 on their day and it was perfect. They also planned the entire thing in just two months – sheesh, why can’t we all be such overachievers?!
This thrifty couple were very clever with how they spent the money that they did have to spend. Firstly the opted for an East London pub for the reception venue. Without extortionate rental rates, The Water Poet in Spitalfields was just the ticket. “The wedding took about two months to organise”, the bride began. “We booked the reception first, as I thought that would be the trickiest part of the operation. Then we booked our ceremony at Islington Town Hall and gave our Notice of Intent to Marry about four weeks before the ceremony.”
“Choosing a reception venue was probably the most challenging part of the wedding! I wasn’t too particular, but knew that I didn’t have the budget to hire a private venue. I started searching around for pubs with free room hire – most places could only reserve a couple tables at most. As the ceremony took place on a Friday, I knew most pubs would be rammed, which would have been too much for our parents to handle! We decided on holding the reception at The Water Poet in Spitalfields. It wasn’t too far from Islington Town Hall and they had a private room where we could set up the food, cake and decorations. My hens and I handmade all the paper flowers on the tables from a fab tutorial that I found on Rock n Roll Bride! The best thing about the room was its own sound-system – we plugged in our iPhone with our wedding playlist and just let it run all night!”
Ruth wore a dress from Topshop, and her shoes, also Topshop were an eBay bargain at just £10. Her headpiece was, amazingly, from Primark and her jewellery was a gift from Steve’s sister. The cake and flowers were both DIY efforts from helpful friends and family, the venue provided a buffet spread and they forgoed a DJ for a Spotify playlist.
Oh rainbow weddings, how I adore you. To me, there’s nothing more exciting than getting a wedding just like Brianna & Alex’s in my inbox on a drizzly November morning. Talk about brightening up my whole week!
The outdoor location is like a dream, and one that this gorgeous pair completely decorated themselves. They literally hand made everything – all the decor, the paper flowers and even the bride’s and bridesmaid’s dresses! Everything just works so well. The wedding was held at Canungra Valley Vineyards in Brisbane, Australia.
“We really thought about the kind of atmosphere we wanted to create”, Brianna explained. “We were expecting about 170 people so we knew it had to be a big space. We wanted everyone to mingle and to have activities for people to do so that they were entertained. The atmosphere had to ooze colour, love and creativity. Lots of fun was essential and lots of room to move. Most of the decorations were made us and our wedding party. We had a very long ‘crafternoon’ full of making paper things! The bride and groom picnic chair covers were made by my mum as was the bride and groom picnic rug. She’s a very talented lady!”
Throwing out as many wedding traditions as they could, Dano & Holly planned their wedding with one golden rule – to have nothing cookie cutter. “I have strong aversions to anything cookie cutter, so we threw out a lot of wedding traditions,” the bride began. “We wanted our wedding to be a party that we would never forget. Our theme was something along the lines of ‘vintage, woodsy & DIY’. I wore green. We cut the pie (no cake) with a machete. Our friends built the biggest bonfire that any of us had ever seen and we danced in the rain under the stars.”
“We got engaged about a week after I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. I knew that Dano had the ring, but he was dragging his feet because he was nervous about asking my dad. I finally put my foot down. I was recovering from the surgery to remove the tumor, and I told him that I wanted the ring on my finger before my staples came out!! Needless to say, we were officially engaged a few days later. Having a wedding to plan and dream about made chemotherapy a little bit more tolerable!”
“My favourite part of our wedding was the ceremony”, she continued. “We took a lot of wording from the handfasting ceremony, and I was a blubbering mess through most of it. Dano’s brother Jeffrey (the officiant) was probably more nervous than either of us. At the very end, Jeffrey closed his book (which was actually a dictionary that we picked up at a thrift store the day before!) and he said, ‘I now introduce to you… MRS. and MRS. Nylund!’ We were all in stitches…and we’ll never forget that moment!”