Tag Archives: UK

A Two-Day Hindu & Catholic Wedding: Lucy & Vish {Part One}

This afternoon’s wedding is being split into two parts. I’m not usually a huge fan of the two-parter, but there’s just so much going on in Lucy & Vish’s  weekend-long wedding I did’t want anything to get overlooked! On Friday 28th October they had a Hindu wedding ceremony and reception, and then the following day, they had a catholic ceremony and another reception! First up, the Friday…

The day started with a ceremony at St Peter’s Hall, Manchester. “We always knew we would have a wedding of 2 parts as we wanted to honour both of our cultures and religions,” Lucy told me, “so we chose to have a traditional Hindu Blessing on the Friday followed by a Church wedding on the Saturday, an epic 2-day wedding!”

“The first problem we came up against was finding a venue that could cater for both an Indian wedding and a big party! We needed a space to hold the Indian ceremony and reception, which would let us bring in our own Indian caterers, there are very few places that actually offer this and the ones that did were very traditional, very expensive, Stately homes or big hotels and definitely not the sort of place we had in mind for our wedding! Initially I started looking at marquees, but again, this was a very expensive option and we had the small problem of no land to pitch a marquee! This led me to go down the route of more alternative venues such as village halls, theatres etc, which is how I came across St Peter’s Hall, a former church in the Ancoats area of Manchester City Centre which has recently undergone a huge restoration project by the North West Development Agency. We live in London but decided to get married up North as it was close to both our families, it was just by chance that we found this venue and we liked the idea of an urban city centre wedding as we are a city girl and boy at heart!”

“As soon as we stepped foot in St Peter’s, we both knew it was perfect for our wedding, we instantly fell in love with the space. Inside was still unfinished so it was a little rough around the edges, but we liked the contrast of the unfinished warehouse feel with the beautiful church interior and stained glass windows. It also had an east-facing altar, which was perfect for the Indian ceremony to be performed! In our eyes it really was the perfect venue, but sadly our dreams were almost shattered when we discovered that the building was not going to remain empty for long and that the new tenants were unlikely to be in a position to hire out the space when they moved in at the start of November.”

“The only option was to get married before the new tenants moved in, but this was at the start of May so it didn’t exactly give us a huge amount of time! Could we realistically organise a 2-day wedding in less than 6 months? Everyone thought we were mad, but we decided to just go for it, we have been together for 10 years so we figured that we didn’t need a long drawn-out engagement!  We chose the latest possible date in October which luckily also coincided with Diwali (Indian New Year) which also meant it was a good/auspicious time for a new marriage to take place!”

For the Indian wedding Lucy wore a traditional sari which was a gift from Vish’s parents, “The Indian tradition is that the groom’s family buy the bride’s outfit and the bride’s family buy the groom’s. Vish’s Mum and sister went on a mammoth shopping spree in India to buy all the wedding saris and outfits. Thankfully they have great taste and came back with the most beautiful outfits, I felt like a Bollywood princess, especially when I was carried down the aisle.”

“I was carried into the ceremony on a traditional wedding Doli by my Uncles, my Brother and my Best Man. We actually had this made by Kirti (Vish’s sister’s) builder, Kirti and I decorated it with Indian material and flower garlands. You can’t tell from the photo’s but I was absolutely terrified that they were going to drop me, Thankfully they did me proud and got me to the altar in one piece!”

“As the wedding was held during Diwali the Indian festival of light, we decided that the theme should be a celebration of Love & Light,” the bride concluded. “This actually worked well as both the ceremonies involved elements of light, from taking 7 sacred steps around the wedding fire to the catholic candle ceremony. To keep with the theme we filled the venue with candles, we had tea-lights in jam jars on all the tables and gave personalised candles from mdb weddings and events on Etsy to guests.  We also released fire-lanterns and ended the Friday night with a firework display – a Diwali and Indian wedding tradition.”

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Affordable Bridesmaids Dresses & Accessories from Girls of Elegance

Launched in 2004, Girls of Elegance are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of affordable bridesmaid dresses, wedding shoes and bridal accessories. After trading solely online for the past 8 years, in August last year they launched their first dedicated wedding shoe showroom in Dorset, and this February will see them taking Charlotte Balbier wedding gowns into their boutique.

Girls of Elegance pride themselves in the extensive range for bridesmaids, including dresses of all shapes and colours – all for under £100! My favourite has got to be this adorable polkadot dress which comes in at amazing £74.99 and is available in 6 colours. I love it so much in fact that I just nabbed it myself in the mint colour! I love the look of bridesmaids in the same dress but different colours, and wouldn’t this one just be perfect for a country garden themed wedding?

FYI the stock on this particular dress is limited so buy now to avoid missing out!

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A Black & White, Boutique Hotel Wedding: Abbi & Jools

After a cliff top proposal, Abbi & Jools, who met while working at the Cadbury factory, planned their 5* boutique wedding at The Hempel Hotel, London.

“Jools and I met 8 years ago, when we both started working for Cadbury. Clearly, having a Cadbury chocolate/sweetie bar at the wedding was obligatory!” Abbi explained. “We got engaged in Australia, on a cliff top on the Great Ocean Road, while sitting on a bench and eating some delicious cake. When Jools said ‘I’ve got a question to ask you’, I replied ‘Do you want the rest of my cake?’ Usually he would have jumped at the opportunity – but instead went down on one knee… to which I responded ‘oh my God oh my God oh my God… where shall I put the cake?’ I put it on the ground. It was fine. I ate it later.”

“Our wedding day was the best day of my life. I thought I would be nervous, and I was worried I would cry (I’m a bit of a blubber at other people’s weddings), but as soon as I started walking down the aisle with my Dad, I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. I just wanted to throw my arms around Jools – but when I reached the front and tried to kiss him, he refused because we weren’t married yet! By the end of our wedding day, my face was aching with grinning so much. When we got our beautiful wedding photos back, you can see the exact expression I was pulling all day!”

“I’m not terribly creative, but I did a little bit of DIY,” Abbi continued. “I made all the name tags we used for place settings. My favourite wedding purchse may have been the heart-shaped hole punch I used before tying on the ribbons. At dinner, I went round pointing out the heart shaped holes to everyone. No one else had noticed. I did. They made me happy.”

“Jools and I have been lucky enough to be invited to a LOT of friends’ weddings – about 19 in the past few years.” she concluded. “I’ve been bridesmaid at 5, witness at 2, a reader at one, photographer at one… basically, we’re wedding pros! We’ve been to all different types – churches, castles, country houses, barns, hotels…but mostly fairly traditional. We just wanted ours to be a bit different – so we decided on a city chic, boutique hotel, slightly quirky feel. Basically, we just wanted it to be a really fun party with great food, great booze and great music!”

“Colour-scheme wise, I guess it was black and white with flashes of colour. The guests were all in black tie, the venue was fairly monochrome, the bridesmaids dresses were all different versions of the little black dress… and then there was my dress. The most fun dress in the world. God I love that dress. Clearly I couldn’t tell Jools about the dress beforehand, but I just knew it was perfect for the feel we were going for. The 50s style, the black and white…. Wearing it blew me away – and everyone else fell over themselves to say how much they loved it. I felt like a movie star. And it was great to dance and spin around in, unlike the more traditional, restrictive long dresses I tried on. Plus it gave me a genuine excuse (as if I needed one) to buy some Christian Louboutins… you could see my feet! I was nervous that my outfit would look too OTT, that Jools would fall about laughing when he saw me – but it was the best decision I ever made.”

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A-Rockin’ & A-Rollin’, Bushy Park Engagement Shoot: Theo & Lisa

Hold the phones! This might be one of the cutest engagement shoots I’ve ever seen. Theo & Lisa are rockers at heart who love charity shop and vintage shopping, hip hop music and hanging out…and that’s exactly what they wanted for their engagement session – a simple shoot that shows the real them. I flippin’ love it.

I’ve also been informed that they’re trying to get Craig David to play at their August wedding (!) I’ll be sure to keep you guys in the loop on that one! Haha I love them already. I just know their wedding is going to be hella awesome.

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A Music & Literature Themed Wedding: Claire & Scott

Claire & Scott chose an old movie theatre in as the setting for their ceremony, The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. Although they hadn’t even thought about marrying in a theatre, after seeing one in Whitby they loved the idea. “We’d originally planned to marry in Whitby, as it’s a special to place to us both,” Claire told me. “Whilst looking at venues there, we were shown a theatre hidden away at the back of the sea front community centre. We hadn’t thought about marrying in a theatre, but we both fell in love with the idea. In the end, we decided that we’d rather marry closer to home in Sheffield, but the idea of marrying in a theatre stayed with us.”

“After an afternoon on Google, Scott emailed every theatre within a fifty-mile radius of us to ask if they did weddings. The Lantern Theatre was one of the few that replied and it turned out to be barely a mile from our house. When we arrived we fell in love with the place. It’s an old 84-seat Victorian theatre with anaglyph wallpaper and red velvet seats. The staff there were so flexible and open to all our ideas. They even bought a mirrorball so that I could walk down the aisle in spiralling light. They served cocktails in teapots, put together a lighting and music programme so that the ceremony ran without a hitch and Keith – the volunteer who ran the bar – even dressed up in a dapper waistcoat and tie.”

After the ceremony the couple and their guests boarded a old London bus to The Countryside Centre. “We chose The Countryside Centre because it gave us a blank canvas to work with,” Claire continued. “There are no staff there on the day itself so you have complete freedom to use whichever suppliers you want. Though there’s a converted barn and grain store, we chose to hire a marquee to make the most of the beautiful grounds and asked our caterers to set up a steak and fish barbecue, which was fantastic.”

The couple chose a music and literature theme for their day. “Literature and music have always been important to us and during the planning it soon became apparent that though we hadn’t intended to have a theme for the wedding, words and music were a recurring motif. Our invites were designed to look like classic orange and white vintage Penguin paperbacks, with library tickets inside for the RSVP (we’d stamped the wallet in which the library ticket sat with the key dates of our relationship). We used the Smiths’ song title ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ as the title of the paperback/invite.”

“Our place settings followed the Penguin theme, with the guests’ names replacing the author’s and a lyric we’d individually chosen for each guest replacing the title. Inside the place settings were CDs with the key songs from the wedding day. The orders of service that were handed out at the theatre were designed to look like vintage Penguin Plays paperbacks, with the title on the cover taken from a Velvet Underground song. Our readings were taken from books, except for one, which was the lyrics of the Pulp song, ‘Something Changed’.”

“During the service, we exchanged copies of our favourite books, around which the rings were tied on a ribbon. Even the confetti followed the literary theme. Using a heart-shaped holepunch, we punched confetti from the pages of our favourite books.”

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How about a Tattooed Wedding Dress?

When wedding dress designer Jo of The Couture Company first told me about her idea to design a tattoo themed wedding dress I was excited. Super excited. I’ve certainly never seen anything like it before! Whether you’re a tattooed goddess and you want your dress to reflect your own ink, or you’re not quite brave enough to go under the needle but you love the idea of being a tattooed bride, these dresses are just perfect for you.

Designer Jo says, “I have always tried to design gowns that are different and unusual – using unusual colours, doing a traditional victorian bustle gown in fuschia pink, or a big meringue dress but in black. I love the idea of a bride having something totally unique and bespoke to them.”

“I have been a Rock n Roll bride addict for about 2 years and have been totally blown away with the diversity, creativity and individuality of each wedding featured – even if some of the brides wear the same dress, the weddings always look totally different. So that got me thinking about creating a dress that could be customised and unique and symbolic to that bride and her wedding.”

“I have seen so so many beautiful wedding ‘bits’ that are tattoo inspired over the last few months – cakes, jewellery invites, place settings, even couples who get commemorative tattoos on each other to celebrate getting hitched. However I’ve never seen a tattoo themed wedding dress so I thought, ‘why not?'”

“The truth is that the Rock n Roll Brides inspired me, and for this gown I was inspired by the old school sailor tattoos. Don’t forget the dress in these pictures is just an example and we can customise the tattoos on every dress order to the style the bride wants. She can also have the dress in any colour. We are open to brides bringing tattoo ideas to see if it is possible to incorporate their ideas into the gowns. All our tattoos are created using silk embroidery and are accented and highlighted with beads and crystals.”

Don’t you just love it ladies? Also pictured is Jo’s super cute daisy design wedding dress…I am totally gaga over the colour and that massive bow at the back!

Prices for the tattoo dress varies depending on the number and size of ‘tattoos’ wanted as well as what fabric you want the dress made in. However as a starting point, the blank canvas gown pictured – made from silk dupion and is overlaid with silk organza – is £1000. For more info on this, and any of Jo’s wedding dresses, be sure to drop her an email to joanne@the-couture-company.co.uk or call 0121 608 4445. The Couture Company are based in Birmingham, UK, but orders can be completed via email correspondence if you are unable to make it to her studio for fittings.

Exclusive Reader Offer

Jo would like to offer any reader of Rock n Roll Bride who gets in touch, the first two tattoos on her dress absolutely free. Simply quote ‘Rock n Roll Bride’ when you contact her to qualify.

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