Robert and Kerri wanted to marry on their own terms. That meant no big, flashy party or extra expense – just the two of them and a few witnesses. They chose to elope at Phoenix Municipal Court last April and spent just $1000 to do so.
“I wanted a 1960s style courthouse elopement”, wrote the bride. “I’ve always adored pictures of my grandparents courthouse wedding, particularly my grandmother’s mod above the knee dress. Both of us are atheist so a church wedding was out of the question, and I’ve never envisioned a large wedding with lots of family and friends. We wanted something quiet and private.”
“We each invited our closest friends to be our witnesses and didn’t tell any other friends or family until a few days later. We wanted it to be a day that celebrated our relationship and do away with all the big wedding plans that can add stress and anxiety. It was really wonderful having my best friend as our wedding photographer. She came over early in the day and took photographs of us in our house getting ready together, it was so special and intimate and we’re lucky that she could capture that for us.”
James and DevAnn chose a ranch in Southern Colorado as their venue for their summer wedding. They wanted somewhere that would reflect their rustic, vintage theme and one where they could have the whole day in one place.
“We both have a love for vintage and antique items so we decided to thrift for each and every one of our centrepieces and other various décor”, explained the bride. “We also did lots of DIY such as the stationery, the bar, all the signs and the picture display. We also did the favours ourselves which were a CD with our favourite love songs on.”
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!”
Blyth and Jeff chose Blair Castle in Scotland at their wedding venue. With the groom loving all things Scotland and the bride actually being Scottish, it was the perfect place for them. “Jeff and I met online”, Blyth told me. “We contacted each other at the exact same time and agreed to meet a few weeks later. On our first date we discovered we shared a birthday, as well as some real chemistry. One year later, he popped the question on a deserted beach in Antigua, complete with sunset and horses swimming in the ocean. We decided on a castle venue and searched high and low to find the right one. When I viewed St Brides Kirk, the roofless ruined chapel on the grounds of Blair Castle, I fell for it immediately and knew we had to be married there.”
“Our theme was a Scottish highland romance mixed with chillies!” She laughed. “Our table theme was different species of chilli plants (we are both crazy about spicy foods) and our florist was given the brief to make table arrangements, buttonholes, and my hair circlet with chillies in them. Also heavily featured in the flowers were wild Scottish raspberries and cream thistles.”
Kelly and Trish chose the Analogue Gallery, in Toronto for their elopement last September. Exhibiting at the gallery was a music photography show and they both wore 1950s inspired dresses made by British designer Oh My Honey.
“At the point when we finally decided to take the plunge, we had been engaged for a few years”, Trish told me. “Our long engagement had become a long-running joke amongst our friends who presumed we were never going to go through with it. The main reason for our supposed trepidation was that, at the time, same-sex marriage was not legal in England – where we are based – and we felt that although we do not have anything against civil partnerships, we wanted to have the option to get married. Little did our friends and family know that we had decided to combine our wedding with our dream holiday in Canada!”
“For two years, we planned our secret Toronto wedding and the month-long RV road-trip honeymoon”, she continued. “For a split second we considered keeping it very low key and contemplated tying the knot at City Hall given that it was just the two of us. However, after a Skype session with our photographer, Tara McMullen, we quickly discarded the idea as she reminded us that it was still our big day and we had the right to celebrate our love in style. So City Hall became a Rock n Roll photography gallery and plain clothes became 50s inspired dresses. Our quick elopement became the wedding we never knew we wanted.”
Roxy and Shaun met online. He was in America and she was in New Zealand. After three months of chatting he packed his bags and moved to Wellington so they could be together! Ten years later they finally married.
Their wedding had a circus freakshow theme! ” Shaun and I both love vintage circus, freakshows and curios”, wrote Roxy. “The whole aesthetic we find really appealing. I’m also involved in the body suspension and performance communities and frequently joke that my life is just one big freakshow circus so it completely made sense for us to theme our wedding around that.”
“We had free, live tattooing on the day for our guests, as well as a fortune teller, carnie games with a spinning wheel, pole dancing performances, angle grinder burlesque and a fire show as well as a surprise performance of Roxanne by my new husband, his brother and his band.”
“Our sons were the ring bearers and they dressed as Ringmasters, as did our celebrant. Our guests dressed up to theme as well – we had bearded ladies, conjoined twins, strong men, marionettes, painted ladies, dapper gents and the usual menagerie of fantastic freaks and misfits. There really wasn’t much tradition about our wedding at all, which is just the way we wanted it.”