The submission I received for Jessica and David’s wedding began “If Wes Anderson was a wedding planner…” so instantly my interest was sparked. The Philadelphia wedding was a quirky Southern BBQ with retro touches. “I never knew what to say when people asked what the theme was”, explained the bride. “I’d reply with ‘It’s a wedding… isn’t that the theme?’ I guess it was more about the color and the mood we wanted to create. I love retro fashion and I also love all those farm/ garden weddings all over wedding blogs. I also had our budget in mind and keeping in the budget helped make a lot of decisions about said theme… so maybe we can call it a budget retro summer garden party!”
The couple didn’t want a big, fancy or over the top wedding. The bride took a lot of ideas and inspiration from wedding blogs but she knew she wanted to put her own spin on things. “I always liked Liberty Lands Park where we had our ceremony”, she continued. “The gardens are beautiful and the platform stage was perfect! A lot of my planning was starting with a grand idea and breaking it down to what was easy, local and on budget. We could not have amplified music at the park so I didn’t want to hire strangers to play. Instead I called on my music making friends. Same thing with the ceremony. We did a self-uniting marriage since we are not religious, so rather than hire a stranger to perform our ceremony, we called on a close friend.”
Abbie and Daniel were married at The Paintworks in Bristol, a converted industrial building in the city’s creative quarter. They didn’t set out to have a theme but the bride’s outfit was quite 50s, they served fish n chips and had an ice cream tricycle for desert, and they had a DJ who played only 90s music – so I guess you could say the wedding was all the things they liked!
“We knew our wedding had to have a few vital things – a fun, a relaxed atmosphere, the best DJ ever, a 50s prom dress as a wedding dress, hot-rods and friends and family”, Abbie explained. “This was the inspiration for how we wanted our day to look and feel.”
“We made the details quirky to match our personalities. For example we had a bottle of orange squash on every table because Daniel doesn’t drink and we had tea cups and saucers from charity shops which we made into candles to light up the tables. I also found a broken typewriter in a charity shop, fixed it and it became our guest book. We used our childhood Lego toys as cake toppers and had enough sweets to send everyone crazy on sugar. We invited all our family and friend’s children so made sure they were well occupied with a giant Jenga, hula hoops, space hoppers, connect four and a bouncy castle.”
They met online and with a mutual love of all things nerdy (their first date was eating cheese toasties and watching Dark Crystal) they connected instantly. They were married in August at Sole Street House in Kent. “Our theme evolved into a relaxed, geeky garden party”, wrote Kirsty. “Vintage touches and having the full day to relax into the venue meant that it felt very natural and laid-back. We picked a colour theme of teal and asked all of our guests to wear something to match. As time went on, it became green and blue in all of the shades but it meant that we could relax about a ‘theme’ and still have everything come together.”
“Our dress code was ‘relaxed but smart’ and everyone looked fab. There were small geeky touches throughout the day, we served Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters and the ‘table’ plan featured Team Zissou, the Scumm bar and number of other geeky gatherings.”
The ceremony was held up a tree house on the grounds with their guests watching from below. “One of our favourite moments was our ‘first look’ which is where we saw each other before the ceremony”, she continued. “We had the time to just relax with each other and enjoy the moment. Stepping out onto the balcony of the tree house was pretty special too. We were hiding inside with the registrars whilst all of our friends and family gathered below us. We could hear them laughing and chatting and then when we stepped out together, in full regalia, there was an audible gasp. Pretty good for the ego. It was wonderful to look down and see everybody smiling back at us.”
Antonia and Harvey had a three day wedding at Roskilly’s Ice Cream Farm in Cornwall. Their wedding was a true labour of love, with the couple and their friends and family working hard to create the wedding of their dreams. The weekend happened to be the hottest of the year which couldn’t have been more perfect for their outdoor, ice cream farm celebration!
“Ultimately we wanted something that we would enjoy going to and to have a festival style, laid-back feel to the whole party”, began the groom. “Being the most expensive party of our lives, we didn’t want it to be over in a day so we had three days!”
“The retro caravans made for a great backdrop to the festival theme and allowed us to create our weekend jamboree. We dragged our friends to the far end of the country, and in return gave them a church overlooking a Cornish fishing village, magnificent tipis and hippy buses. We had smoke bombs instead of confetti, original 1950s Monte Carlo pin-up glamour playing cards as place cards and table runners made from old public WC roller-towels. Our bunting was Mexican Day of the Dead bunting, we had a piñata ‘first dance’ and lucked out on finding an incredible caterer, celebrating the best of Cornish food. Antonia’s Fur Coat No Knickers dress was a theme unto itself – it was supremely glamorous, laden with historical allure. Yes it was vintage, yes it was rural, but the day sparkled with lavishness.”
Tina and Dave were married at The Grand Pier, Weston Super Mare. Their wedding was a colourful mix of all the things they love. “Tina and I met in the summer of 2010 on a booze cruise organised by our workplace”, wrote Dave. “She arrived with her pink hair in curls wearing a 50s polka dot dress, tattoo print shoes and red lipstick. I fell in love that night.”
“We called our wedding ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats’ and the theme was Rock n Roll meets the seaside”, Tina continued. “I’m a great fan of music of the 50s and when I met Dave I was surprised that he knew all of the songs as well. Dave was brought up by parents who love Rock n Roll and grew up in this era. After we watched the stage show Dreamboats and Petticoats we agreed that if we ever got married we’d love to have this as the theme for our wedding. After Dave proposed in 2012, we couldn’t wait to start planning our themed wedding.”
“Not sure how we were going to make it work we began looking for venues that would bring our theme to life and after we’d taken our first look around the Grand Pier we knew it was the one We wanted to be as true to our theme as possible, and as we both like to be different we didn’t mind if this meant sacrificing a few wedding traditions I used the Pier train to take the bridal party and myself down the length of the Pier, which was so much fun as members of the public waved and took photographs. The bridesmaids wore cotton candy striped dresses and Dave designed his 50s inspired suit online.”
Pete and Leila had a modest budget for their Southsea wedding, just £5000, but that didn’t stop them having the wedding of their dreams! After meeting Leila at The Blogcademy in London last January I already know what a resourceful and all-round fabulous babe she is, and so I’m thrilled to share this gorgeousness with you all today.
Leila wore a dress which she designed herself and had a local seamstress bring to life. Her headpiece was also home made. Pete’s outfit was from TK Maxx and the bridesmaid’s rocked vintage dresses. Pretty much all the décor was DIY and they even catered the event themselves (although the owners of the venue kindly offered to make the sandwiches on the day). This wedding really does prove that you can have the most amazing day without breaking the bank.
“My dress was definitely a bargain”. Leila began. “We totally saved money by me designing it myself and then asking a local seamstress to draw the pattern and make it. In total it only cost around £200! We really wanted to have afternoon tea as our wedding breakfast, as its kind of a tradition we have that whenever we go on a trip away together we treat ourselves to tea in a fancy hotel or quirky tea-room. We even named our tables with places we’ve had the best tea at. Delegating sandwich making to the owners of the venue meant there was no rushed bread-buttering on the morning, thank goodness. That simple choice, that might be ever so slightly more expensive than doing everything ourselves, was a really good idea and made the whole day less stressful.”