Tag Archives: UK

A Rock n Roll London Wedding with Rockaoke!: Chris & Natalie

When photographer Annamarie Stepney slipped Chris & Natalie’s wedding my way, I just about squealed with joy. Not only was Natalie an avid Rock n Roll Bride reader throughout her wedding planning, but I could see a few little ideas that she’d gotten from my blog snuck in there – hello purple wedding dress and Butler & Wilson skull crown! “I fell absolutely head over heels for the Butler & Wilson skull crowns after seeing photos of Kat in one so I checked them out,” wrote the bride. “It was great as no one realised it was made up of skulls until they got close. I also wore it for my 30th birthday a month later.”

The wedding was held at Shoreditch House, London – a private members club which comes complete with a bowling alley. “Shoreditch House was the only venue we went to visit,” Natalie told me. “We knew it was the right place straight away. We loved the urban/warehouse feel to it and reminded us of New York where we had met. The bowling alley was an awesome addition too!”

Natalie found her incredible dress in a charity shop in Newbury – OMG talk about an amazing find! “I LOVE MY DRESS!” she squealed. “I had been on two wedding dress shopping trips and tried on a number 1950s style dresses. We were planning a party and I wanted a dress I wouldn’t have to worry about dancing in, bowling in and general stomping about in!”

“I then went and spent the weekend with my Mum in Newbury. The shop assistants were a wee bit bemused when I took my pewter, studded galore shoes out of the box. It kind of went something like this a few times – ‘Yes the dress has to match my shoes… yes these shoes… no, these shoes… no I am not going to buy other shoes…. sorry I seem to have got your dress stuck on the stud of my shoe!’ I tried on dress after dress in white, ivory, off white, antique gold, magnolia (that may be just a paint colour!?) and so on whilst my Mum cooed and ahhed I totally felt like a kid playing dress up! I have never dreamt of wearing a traditional white dress.”

“On the off-chance we popped into some local charity shops in my Mum’s town and as soon as we walked in I was in love with a dark purple dress. It was beautiful and I couldn’t believe it when I tried it on that it was perfect fit, never been worn and I knew my shoes would match perfectly (and rumoured to have been originally bought for a potential dress for Katie Price…although this may be rubbish). I was sold!”

The groom looked just as dapper in his Boland & Banks bespoke grey glen plaid suit, “I have to give Mark Banks a massive plug!” Chris wrote. “He was an absolute star and a true gent. He asks that you trust his judgement I’m really glad I did. He convinced me to go for the grey glen plaid patter over a more straight laced navy blue. He also give me the nod for the Oliver Sweeney shoes.”

Having a great big party for all their guests was really important to the couple, so instead of hiring a traditional band or DJ, they had Rockaoke! “Chris would make an excellent front man or guitarist!” Natalie laughed. “We used to go to rock karaoke at Arelene’s Grocery when we lived in New York. We had seen Rockaoke perform at festivals and in London and although we looked around for other bands we both really wanted to book them. The guests loved the band and so many people got up and sung. And we ended the night singing Motorhead together.”

“Music is a big part of our lives so it became a big feature,” the couple concluded. “From the table names, the place names – written on the discs from mini discs, with a band badge to suit each guest and a mini guitar. Rockaoke for our band and all the music throughout the day was chosen by Chris.”

“I guess we did things differently by doing exactly how we wanted and planned the day as if we were planning a party for our friends and family and not so much planning a wedding. This worked out perfectly as the wedding was all about us, the things we love and things that make our relationship special to us. Chris’ Dad wrote the reading that his Mum read during the ceremony – it was all about us and had people in hysterics! In fact we all spent the whole day in hysterics.”

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A Personal Preston Court Wedding: Gideon & Dara

Gideon & Dara described their wedding as not really having a particular theme. What was important to them was that their wedding was full of love and that the whole day felt very personal.

The wedding was held at Preston Court in Kent (I love this venue, just check out the reception room with the carousel wall!) which the couple decorated with all manner of things which they had collected themselves. These included paper place mats from Anthropologie, table numbers from Dear Emma Stationary, pom poms from Paper Pom Poms, Mustaches and Lips on Sticks from Mister Mustache and many other props from Amazon and various fancy dress stores.

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A Quirky Afternoon Tea & Library Themed Wedding: Ney & Phil

Ney & Phil’s DIY wedding was loosely based around the theme of a books and libraries.

“We wanted a literary theme and thought using vintage books as invites would be a lovely idea,” Ney told me. “We met at University studying English Literature and just love books, in particular old Penguin classics. We found some companies that can make them for you, but they’re expensive so we decided to do them ourselves.”

“We spent weeks to-ing and fro-ing all the vintage bookstores on Charing Cross Road (they do great bargain deals like hardback books for a pound).  I sourced a template for library card sleeves online, used an embossed gold paper to make them and then slotted our wedding invites inside to complete the book.  As much as possible, we tied our book choices to our guests’ interests, e.g. a Portuguese travel guide for my Mum, classic English poems for friends who studied literature with us, and a Guide to British Birds for Phil’s old-charmer Dad.  I love the idea that the invites had a life after the wedding, and it’s great knowing that they’re sitting on our friends’ bookshelves as part of their collection.”

“I used websites like Rock n Roll Bride and many, many (OK, hundreds of) wedding blogs for ideas and inspiration.  We have quite a taste for old vintage things and are constantly rummaging around in markets so used these trips for inspiration on how to display things or what to buy.  Things like the idea of covering books with vintage-style wrapping paper for the centrepieces we got from passing an antique shop in Chelsea, for example.”

It was also really important to the couple to incorporate their different heritages and cultures and so the second part of their wedding theme was based around this. “Throughout the day, we tried to make sure that the wedding was representative of our families’ cultures,” the bride continued.

“Phil’s got an English/Australian background – hence we started the day with afternoon tea, but made sure there were little ethnic touches (like Portuguese custard tarts on the cake stands).  As for my side, the Angolan culture is very celebratory – we make lots of noise, eat lots of food and dance like crazy, so we ended the night with a great big knees-up.”

“One of our favourite moments on the day was after the first song (Jamie Lidell’s Another Day).  As soon as it finished, my Mum made the DJ play an old Brazilian love song we’d never heard before.  Our bemusement turned to wonder as she led my entire family – almost 50 of them! – in a serenade en masse as we danced the, er, second first dance.  What a wonderful memory!  Also memorable was my lovely husband taking secret Portuguese lessons for his wedding speech.  The family went wild!”

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A Patriotic Red, White & Blue Wedding: Julia & James

Julia & James had a handmade and patriotic Great British theme for their September wedding – red, white & blue. “I knew from the moment we started to plan the wedding that I wanted it to be DIY,” the bride told me, “and to be able to keep all the aspects to decorate our home. We had so many great comments on the day from the registrar and venue that they had never seen a wedding like ours before. I am a avid follower of Rock n Roll Bride, Ruffled blog & Green Wedding Shoes so I scrapbooked a lot of ideas from them all over the past 2 years!”

Julia wore two dresses, the first was made by her Mother which she wore with Union Jack Irregular Choice shoes. In the evening she changed into a dress which she bought from eBay. “I saw it one evening when looking for a joke dress to wear to a friend’s hen party and my heart stopped,” Julia continued. “It was the one! I bid as far as my purse would let me, and I didn’t win. I was tweeting away and some of my followers suggested I contact the seller directly.”

“So I did, and asked her how much she wanted for it. I was devastated when she told me the amount as it was more than I could pay at that time. Anyway, I kept tweeting my dismay and had resigned to the fact that the dress wouldn’t be mine. I had a DM from one of my friends saying that I could start a group on facebook asking all our mates to donate some money and that it would be a wedding present from them all. I didn’t think anything would come of it but not long after the same friend DM’d me saying ‘check your email’ and there was a PayPal amount awaiting me – to cover the WHOLE amount for the dress. As you can imagine I cried and laughed and jumped for joy!”

The reception decor was all DIY including the bunting, 400 pinwheels (which they had instead of flowers on the tables as well as instead of traditional bouttonierres for the boys), the string ball decorations and all the table decorations. Instead of a traditional wedding cake, they had a cake competition where they asked their guests to bring a homemade cake. They had all kinds of entries including a barbie doll cake, apple and cinnamon muffins and sparkly cake pops.

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WIN with the Zankyou £500 Cash Giveaway!

Alternative gift list specialists Zankyou have just launched a contest which I think you’ll all want to know about – who wouldn’t want to win some lovely cash to spend on themselves? You could put it towards your wedding, something for your marital nest (aww) or just that new pair of shoes you’ve been lusting after!

To enter simply register with Zankyou between now and the 30th of October and you will be automatically entered into the draw for your chance to win one of five £100 cash prizes to spend as you wish!

You can read more about Zankyou and why I love love love them and their service on the blog here, and you can read more about this contest on their website here.

ZY cash giveaway cash note large

Ts & Cs

How to enter: Create an account with a valid email with Zankyou during the promotional period and you will be automatically entered in to the draw.
How to Win: 5 individuals with Zankyou accounts created during the promotional period will be selected at random. Limit of one prize per account or individual (as two persons can be associated with one account).
Expiry Date: 11:59 PM (23:59), 30th of October 2011
Prize: £100 cash provided in the winner’s Zankyou gift list account and transferred to their personal bank account on request with no fees or charges. There is no obligation to use the Zankyou wedding list gift service to receive the prize. Entrants must live in the UK and have a valid UK bank account. Winners will be chosen by Zankyou.com on the 30th of October 2011 and contacted via email. All winners will also be announced on the Zankyou website. Prize Draw Rules apply*

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A British Wartime Wedding: Lisa & Ric

After a church ceremony at St Peter’s & St Paul’s Church in Hampshire, Lisa & Ric had a very British wartime themed wedding at Broad Half Penny Down Cricket Club, Hampshire  – the world’s oldest cricket club.

“Life never goes the way you plan it,” the bride wrote. “I always dreamt of finishing uni, finding love, getting married and starting a family. The conventional family – we are not! I am 12 years younger than Ric, and also about 12 inches taller! Ric is frequently away with work and moved me to the south of the country, away from all my friends and family. Oh and how could I forget our 2 year old son – Bear. This was definitely not what I had planned.”

“When Ric finally proposed, I was on cloud 9 and I knew that our wedding day wasn’t going to be a ‘normal’ one. For example – I couldn’t decide what engagement ring I liked, so I have three! We also had a best woman instead of a best man, we ‘high fived’ at the altar instead of the kiss, and our son screamed through most of the ceremony then was racing his toy cars down the aisle with chocolate down his nice white shirt.”

The couple wanted a home made/DIY feel to their wedding. “Ric always jokes about me being a ‘stay at home’ wifey or being a ‘Yummy Mummy’,” the bride continued. “With Ric being in the military, it sometimes feels like we should have belonged to the 1940’s era…and I wanted to become a ‘pin-up’ for the day!”

Lisa wore a Candy Anthony dress, a hat from Jane Taylor Millinery and shoes from Aruna Seth. “I absolutley loved sourcing every part of my outfit and Rock n Roll Bride played a huge part in this. My 1950’s dress was so flattering and gave me loads of confidence with my post baby body! Walking into Candy Anthony was felt like being a kid in a sweet shop. Vicky Trainor‘s Vintage drawer stationery was also a huge inspiration, it’s so so so pretty! Our inspiration for the catering came from our son, his favourite foods include cakes, ice cream and fish n chips. Being from Yorkshire, we of course had to have a grand cup of Yorkshire Tea and I insisted on having Pimm’s on arrival. We made it a bit more glamorous by using The Tea Party‘s gorgeous vintage crockery and cut glass bowls.”

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