Pearce and Angela love all things vintage and retro, so their 1950s wedding theme came easily to them. They wanted a theme that their guests could be a part of (with fancy dress!). The celebration was held at Craig Y Nos Castle near Brecon Beacons in South Wales. “We loved the venue because it was quirky, wonky and theatrical so it suited us down to the ground”, Angela said. “It was once owned by a very famous opera singer, Madam Patte, in the 19th century, who used to throw lavish parties and entertain the great and good back in the day. It was actually completely different to what we initially had in mind for a venue, but when we walked in we just knew it was perfect!”
The bride wore a vintage dress from the 1950s which she bought from Rachel’s Bridal Boutique. “Even though the dress had lovely details, it wasn’t too fussy, which appealed to me”, she explained. “Like a lot of things that I wear, I really wanted to have fun with it and make it my own by incorporating colourful accessories. I added a flower and beaded wedding belt that I made with my Auntie Katherine, and a colourful 50s style petticoat. Colour is such an important part of my life – it makes me so happy, I wanted to build as much colour into my outfit as I could get away with whilst still keeping traditional with a white dress and veil.”
Ben and Helen had a casual wedding in Tooting. “We wanted to throw a wedding for our families as much as for us, to celebrate life and love and enjoy a special day together”, Helen said. “It was important to us to celebrate all the years we’d already had together (and all the ups and downs, joy, growing up and hard work in that!) rather than acting as if the wedding was the start. So that was part of the message on our invitations, and we got the Registrar to frame the ceremony that way in her welcome – a celebration of 8 and a half happy years and the witnessing of our next step together.”
The ceremony was held at Merton Registry Office and their reception at Tooting Tram & Social. They got the tube between the two! “We threw out any of the traditions that didn’t suit us, and built our day from the ground up to make sure it was personally meaningful”, she continued. “Traditions we ditched included the top table, cutting of the cake, fancy tired wedding cake, bride given away by father, bridesmaids, best man, receiving line, just men doing speeches. We included lots of creative and soppy details, and prioritising fun! Guests say they were still feeling the love and humming the tunes weeks later! Our venue was an old tram shed turned gig venue – a stunning reclaimed industrial space with gorgeous natural lighting, chandeliers, industrial piping and vintage tiles.”
Chris and Kimberley wanted an unconventional and small wedding in the city where they met: Belfast. “We knew we didn’t want a religious service or a big wedding”, began the bride. “We didn’t want to spend our wedding day talking to people we didn’t know or didn’t want to! We had 38 guests, which was perfect.”
The couple also knew they didn’t want a traditional venue, so the wedding was held on Holohans: The Belfast Barge. “It was the first place we looked at and the last. We had the ceremony and the meal on the top deck and then we moved downstairs below deck for the evening. Calvin, the owner, is such a great host. We had so many people telling us how brilliant he was and how much they loved the staff (and food!). It was a small intimate wedding and the location lent itself to that perfectly.”
“Our wedding was relaxed and fun, will no bullshit!” she laughed when I asked about their theme. “We also did a lot of DIY. We designed and printed all the stationery, invites, table plan and name settings. We also created a ‘wedsite’ for our guests with useful travel info etc. as a lot weren’t from the area. We made the bridesmaid’s flowers, men’s buttonholes, and pom pom flowers that we placed in old beer bottles. Also a few hundred metres of bunting! Chris also made his own beer for the toast, so each guest had a bottle.”
Laura and Tom were married in Liverpool in September. They wanted a fun-filled wedding that everyone would enjoy. That meant ditching many of the traditions that they didn’t like the idea of, and only keeping the parts that they did!
“When we first sat down to work out what we wanted from our wedding we realised that there were certain aspects of traditional weddings that, as guests, we found boring”, said Laura. “At the end of the day we just wanted to have fun at our wedding! So we skipped out the bits we didn’t like and picked the bits we did. We made a list of all our favourite things in the world and tried to see if we could incorporate them into our day. Most of all we just wanted to make sure that it was relaxed and laid-back, a lot like us.”
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been looking forward to featuring Anna and Adam’s wedding for a while. Anna is a wedding photographer herself, and I’m a big fan of her work, so I knew her own wedding would be something special. The wedding was 100% DIY. They picked a venue that wasn’t specifically for weddings, but meant a great deal for them. They didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so did most things as frugally as possible. Their main concern was that the day involved all the special people in their lives.
The wedding took place by the sea in Anglesey in May. “We didn’t have a wedding theme as such”, began Anna, “we just wanted it to be colourful, relaxed, fun, full of laughs, unpretentious, family-focused and very much DIY and personalised to us and the people and things we love. We wanted everyone there to feel special and comfortable and get involved as much as they wanted to. Lots of weddings focus just on the bride and groom, but to us it was also very much a day about our wonderful group of friends and family. We’re both incredibly close to them and it was really important to us to celebrate the fact that we weren’t just coming together as a couple, but also as part of a precious larger community.”
Both big lovers of Lego, Harry Potter and tattoos, Zak and Emma wanted to incorporate them all into their wedding. They were married in June in Bray. near Maidenhead.
“The inspiration for our wedding was basically a weird amalgamation of all the things we wanted, with all of the awesome stuff we love!” wrote the bride. “We wanted to have bright colours, swinging dresses and sharp suits. We both love all things Lego and Harry Potter, so we wanted to include little nods to these things in as many ways as possible. Our priority was to have a relaxed and fun day and not to take it all too seriously. We decided that we wanted to get married on the Summer Solstice and our ‘must have’ was the handfasting ceremony, as we love the symbolism and meaning and history behind it.”
“We’d wanted to get married this way, but as it is not legally binding in the UK so we decided to get married in the church around the corner from our house first”, she continued. “It is the oldest church in our borough and as I am a history nerd, I loved the idea of getting married in a place with medieval walls, Elizabethan beams and a Victorian roof.”
“One of my wedding day highlights was that the bar staff at our reception venue heard that there would be wedding with Harry Potter table names and being big fans themselves, created different Harry Potter themed cocktails to surprise us with!” she continued. “We had no idea until one of our guests handed me a Goblet of Fire! I also really loved receiving our final photos after the wedding.”