Sometimes the simplest weddings really are the best. Cumi and Jake decided to have their ceremony at an art gallery, and their reception in a shelter in a park. They got married on a Tuesday, the bride’s mother walked her down the aisle and the most important thing to the pair was that they felt like themselves.
“Our theme was rockabilly”, said Cumi. “We had very different ideas of what we wanted in a wedding (Jake wanted traditional and I wanted anything but). Jake’s idea to have a rockabilly theme was the first that we immediately agreed on and were excited about. We didn’t go into our wedding planning with the goal of being unique. Instead, we asked ourselves what we wanted and not what weddings traditionally look like.”
Patrick and Hazel love the 1950s and rockabilly style so they wanted to bring this into their day. When watching Grease one day, the bride also decided she needed a carousel at the wedding! Luckily they found Blists Hill Victorian Town at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Shropshire which came complete with a fun fair!
“Our day was mainly about everyone having fun, so we made entertainment a priority for all ages to join in with”, began the bride. “We love our family and friends and wanted our day to be as memorable for them as it was to us. The other factor we took into account was that it had to be based on who we were. We started planning to the usual traditional path and quickly realised it was to normal to resemble our everyday life, so we scraped the planned and started from scratch.”
“We’ve always loved 1950s rockabilly style and that became our new basis for the wedding, Then one day I sat and watched Grease and did a bit of a bridezilla by demanding that I had a carousel! We started researching and found that it would be far too expensive until we found out that the museum down the road that had a Victorian fun fair with a carousel held weddings! It was perfect. Having the fair there was actually great for our guests too. We’ve been to lots of weddings and have noticed that there is always a quiet lull for the guests while the couple go to have their pictures taken. We wanted to fill the gaps by keeping the guests entertained and having the fair was perfect!”
Josh met Emma at a burlesque club in London. Both being performers, when they came to marry on April 5th this year, they wanted their day to reflect their entertainment backgrounds.
“As I’m a burlesque dancer and Josh plays guitar in a rock band we wanted to incorporate these loves into our wedding”, Emma told me. “Although we didn’t really set out to have a theme, we just picked things we both liked so the day ended up having a sort of vintage-rockabilly-burlesque-rock theme.”
“We had three burlesque performances by our lovely friends, we had a vintage jazz singer, we had a psycho-billy band and we had the amazing eclectic playlist created by Josh. Our first dance was a mash up of Elvis Presley’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You and Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti and we walked out of the ceremony room, as newlyweds, to the Star Wars Throne Room music complete with a Wookie roar from one of the congregation!”
There was also plenty of DIY in this wedding – in fact nearly all of the wedding was home made! “So much of the wedding was DIY that I don’t know where to start!”, Emma laughed. “This was initially in order to save money however it soon became clear we weren’t particularly saving money by doing it! It did, however, make our wedding personal and individual.”
Kirsty met Oz when she went to work in his tattoo studio. “We’re both tattoo artists and after several months of working together it became apparent that we were meant to be together”, she told me. “Two years in, Oz popped the question. We spoke about our big day regularly, and we saved and saved like mad. After 12 months we decided to bite the bullet and book a date and venue. We continued to save and had some generous donations from loved ones to help us on our way.”
The wedding was held at Rowton Castle in Shropshire. “Our main inspiration was tattoos”, she continued, “since that’s how we met and is such a huge part of both our lives. Oz’s motorcycle club colours are black and white so those are the colours that we chose to go with and I love polka dots so we threw that in there as well. We also chose to go with a vintage, rockabilly style, which goes hand in hand with the tattooing and polka dots. Everything right down to the wedding favours, which were the temporary tattoos, screamed ‘us’. People were blown away with the attention to detail.”
Becky and Dave budgeted £5000 for their 1950s wedding. They wanted a really special and unique day, but they didn’t want to spend a fortune getting it! They were inspired by everything they mutually love for their retro theme.
“We’re both quite heavily tattooed and share a huge love for music, Marvel comics, Star Wars, vintage cars and all things American – especially the 1950s”, Becky said. “We knew from the start we wanted an alternative wedding. I wanted a tea length dress and a celebration filled with the things we loved and that was ‘us’ instead of working to impress guests! With a tight time-scale of six months to to plan everything, two kids (one newborn!) to raise and returning to work in between, I did find it really hard going. We contemplated a Marvel and Star Wars themed wedding but I was too reluctant to put our ever-growing collection of figures and comics out for table displays in case of anything getting damaged.”
“So we based the entire thing on another love of ours – 50s America! I found it really easy to get things flowing from then on and based the colour schemes around the bridesmaids dresses (which were an absolute bargain at £40 each!) I had a beautiful bead bouquet made to match the dresses with a few old school tattoo style buttons thrown in for good measure, and we made the bridesmaid bouquets ourselves with giant paper roses. We booked a 1953 Chevrolet BelAir as our wedding car and I then came up with the idea of basing our table decorations on this. I spent hours searching eBay for 12” die cast muscle cars and managed to get the right amount in the perfect colours (although this has now set off a bit of a hobby of collecting vintage model cars, oops!) We had a TBird, a BelAir, an Oldsmobile Super 88, a Corvette and a Cadillac. They worked so well!”
Patty and Dani were married on their 13th anniversary at Château de la Grande Riedera in Switzerland. “The Inspiration for our wedding was to spend a relaxed day with our family and friends, where everyone would feel comfortable”, Patty began. “The original plan was a quiet BBQ somewhere close to a lake, but that seemed to be a very difficult task. Somehow the venue, budget and date never fit together. As that didn’t work out, we looked for something different and found the Chateau de la Grande Riedera, which was perfect. We loved that all parts of the wedding could take place at the same location, which made it a very relaxed atmosphere. It also allowed us to organise the caterer we wanted to have which brought us back at least parts of the BBQ idea.”
“Compared to a typical Swiss wedding ours was probably very different”, she continued. “We had an outdoor ceremony with a friend of ours officiating, and a rockabilly band playing. This actually influenced the retro style of the whole day. I had seen so many great weddings featured on blogs like Rock n Roll Bride and wanted to do so many different things, none of which seemed to fit together. However in the end it all came together great!”
The couple did a few simple bits of DIY including the invitations and the tissue paper flowers. “We designed all of our cards on our own. It was important for us to do this because we both like to design and this way we knew that they would turn out exactly as we wanted them. We also had plastic flamingos everywhere! I knew all along that I wanted to have flamingos at our wedding. Unfortunately, they all seemed too expensive until I found some on eBay about two weeks before the wedding!”