Ben and Helen’s biggest priority for their May wedding was that it wasn’t stressful. “I found being engaged very, very intense. I was the ultimate nervous bride”, Helen wrote. “In the end I decided I really just wanted to keep it as simple as possible but still be our perfect day. Our 1950s look evolved naturally and really suited our venue, Stockport Plaza. We loved that the venue didn’t need much extra décor too. It really took the pressure off.”
“Ben is a massive Back to the Future geek so we played the first film in the cinema between the ceremony and the meal. Other than that we had a slight moustache and lip theme because we thought it was really fun. Ben’s sister and one of my friends made all the moustache and lips lollipop favours and pretty much everyone we know collected jam jars for us for the tables.”
“A lot of our family and friends did think our venue was a bit ‘out there’ but we loved it. We served our wedding meal of pie and mash in their already set up café diner and then for the evening we just headed back downstairs to the theatre for dancing.”
Victoria and Rob were set up by mutual friends. They were clearly on the right track too because they moved in together within two weeks and were engaged four months later! They were married in London at Stoke Newington Town Hall. Their reception was held at The Londesborough Pub.
“We both had a really clear idea of the sort of wedding we wanted from the onset”, explained the bride. “We’re not particularly traditional so we wanted to avoid anything too stuffy or formulaic, opting instead for something much more relaxed and informal with personal touches that reflected our personalities. We love anything and everything vintage, so we also wanted to incorporate that into the styling and decoration but ultimately, we really just wanted to throw a kick ass party for our nearest and dearest!”
“Being a Londoner myself and with Rob having lived here for over seven years, we were certain we wanted a London wedding. It also meant I could get ready at my family home where I was born and raised and I’m so glad I did – it felt very significant! I work in Stoke Newington and we live about three miles away so both the Town Hall and the Londesborough were familiar stomping ground and I loved the idea of being able to walk past the venue where we were married every day at lunch! Before I had even met Rob, I had decided I wanted to have my wedding at the pub (how presumptive!) as it is such a warm and welcoming venue with real personality and character.”
Tore and Mari didn’t have a huge wedding budget, in fact they had less than £5000 to spend. However they knew they wanted fantastic photographs, so in order to fit him into their budget, they hired Eirik Halvorsen for just a few hours to cover the ceremony and some quick portraits afterwards.
The wedding took place in Sola, in the very south west of Norway. “We were really determined to make it a casual and relaxed summer wedding”, said the bride. “We both also have a thing for vintage, in particular art deco, so we wanted to bring that in too.”
The bride made her own dress and the bridesmaids wore outfits from H&M. “Almost everything in the wedding was more or less homemade”, she continued, “the dress, the food, the décor… The wedding was held in a little house/ camp-site area by the beach, which gave it a very laid back atmosphere as well.”
“There was no favourite moment in the day, it was ALL our favourite!! It was perfect from start to finish. However the ceremony at church was magical, we had live performances including I Got You Babe and This Guy’s in Love With You. Our photo shoot afterwards was also really cool. We went straight from the ceremony and it was very nice to Just be in love an fool around taking pictures.”
Las Vegas: A magical land of excess, fun and awesome weddings! It was the perfect location for Jacky and James’ April nuptials because they wanted all of those things!
“James and I met when we used to work at Sainsburys in our teens!” Jacky began. “We both left and went our separate ways but were friends on social media. We bumped into each other in our local pub one Christmas Eve, he asked me out on a date and here we are now!”
“The inspiration for the wedding was basically how expensive it is to get married in the UK and how much more for our money we could get in Vegas. We wanted it to be a holiday for all our friends and family, really chilled out and relaxed and different from the other weddings we have been to over the years.”
“We didn’t have a particular theme, it all just ended up coming together. Because I wore blue, it made it a bit difficult to theme everything else hence why the bridesmaids are wearing ivory! Walking through the hotel lobby in the morning everyone thought I was a bridesmaid and the bridesmaids were brides because I was wearing blue and they were wearing white!”
Their ceremony was held at The Grove and their reception was at Sinatra restaurant at The Encore. “I don’t have a particular favourite part to the day”, she continued, “The whole thing was amazing and probably couldn’t have gone any smoother. The food at Sinatra was a huge highlight – it was amazing! We did our speeches outside on their veranda which was lovely as it was just us. After dinner we went to a jazz bar in the same hotel and the in-house band sang our wedding song so we actually got a first dance and was a great addition to the day that we weren’t expecting.”
Adorable couples with budget-friendly weddings make my heart soar! Sarah and Matthew were married in London in June. They spent just £2000 and had their reception at home.
“Matthew and I met on OkCupid”, Sarah told me. “I’d started online dating when I moved to the UK from Canada in 2013; it was a great way to meet new people and see different parts of the city. However, I also found it could be extremely boring when you don’t click with someone and spend the evening pulling teeth trying to make conversation. Once I’d settled into London life a bit more and found myself busy with work and new friends, I decided to throw in the towel, but I’d already set up a date with Matthew. We clicked right away! We broke all of the first date taboos by chatting about everything from politics and religion to feminism and pop punk. We’d been dating for 8 months when we got engaged and 4 months after that, we got married. I used to think people were daft when they’d say ‘When it’s right, you’ll just know,’ but for us, that was completely true.”
Their ceremony was held at Wandsworth Town Hall. “We had a town hall ceremony followed by a garden reception at our home later in the afternoon. Things wrapped up in the evening so we could head to a hotel for our mini-moon, so it was much shorter than many weddings. Everyone commented on how laid back and fun it felt. I think a big part of that was only incorporating traditions that felt meaningful for us. For example, we exchanged rings, but there was only one speech, no bridal party, and no feeding each other cake! We focused on the things that were important to us: good company, good food, good drinks, and good music. Everyone mingled in our back garden; it was very relaxed.”
Helen and Jamie are also planning a big, elaborate wedding with all their friends and family in Spain, but organising the legal bit over there was a huge headache. So they decided to have their official ceremony in a teeny tiny church called St Gobbans in Port Braddan, Northern Ireland.
“We live and work in Thailand and therefore getting back and forth to Spain and organising everything from far away wasn’t straightforward”, explained the bride. “As we are UK citizens and all our families live there, the least complicated way to officiate our marriage was in the UK. My mum’s cousin, Connel Auld, is a minister and has the most incredible cottage with tiny church up in the North Coast of Northern Ireland and we thought it would be really personal to get married there. Connel really only officiates for friends and family so when he offered to conduct our ceremony, we felt very privileged. He is such a great character and really made the day for us.”
“His house is like a museum with relics from WW2”, she continued, “Pieces of furniture, including the porthole windows that feature in some of the photos, were made for but didn’t make it onto the Titanic! The church is the smallest in Ireland and one of the smallest in the world and we just about managed to squeeze the 11 people in! This made it all the more intimate and special.”