Tag Archives: UK

A Reclaimed, Relaxed & Fun London Wedding: Caroline & Lewis

Caroline & Lewis wanted a relaxed and fun London wedding which would reflect their loves and inspirations – reclaimed items, Caroline’s love of fashion and vintage and quirky DIY elements all played a massive part in their wedding.

“The whole day felt so perfect, not in the sense that everything went to plan, but it felt good that all our hard work was finally coming to fruition,” Caroline told me. “Amazingly we didn’t feel nervous at all, we just felt excited. It gave me a huge sense of achievement knowing that I made my own wedding dress, made the bouquets, the cake, the invitations and all the decorations. I’m not saying that I did a better job than the professionals, but it was fun to have a go and it keeps costs down. You don’t need a massive budget to have a London wedding. There are lots of pubs, bars and restaurants that would jump at the chance to host a wedding and don’t charge a hire fee.”

“We wanted the day to be relaxed and fun with a few quirky surprises.” the bride continued. “The hardest thing was finding venues that didn’t feel too formal and were within our budget. The decorations and other details were the fun part. We didn’t have a particular theme, era or colour palette, we just collected things that caught our eye. We scoured wedding blogs for inspiration and then worked out how we could recreate them on a budget. We hired a lovely vintage ice cream van instead of having a sit-down dessert. We kept it a secret, so watching our guests faces as the little Honda ice cream van pulled up outside was priceless. Our main aim was to have an intimate ceremony that was personal to us, followed by an amazing party for our closest family and friends.”

As a fashion designer it was important to Caroline that she found her perfect dress…or two dresses actually. She wore a 1930’s dress which she customised herself for the main part of the wedding and a vintage floral dress which she found on Etsy in the evening. To her day dress she added a belt which she bought from New Look for just £1.50 and a floral crown which she made herself with guidance from her florist.

“My mum made her own wedding dress so I thought it would be nice to follow in her footsteps,” she explained. “The original 1930’s dress was bought for £95 from Annie’s Vintage in Angel, the dress then sat in a brown envelope for the next 6 months whilst I hunted for a suitable lace. As the dress was vintage, it was slightly off-white so finding a lace in the same colour proved very difficult. I tried to find another vintage lace dress that I could deconstruct, but it was difficult to find anything that had enough fabric. I finally found a French Chantilly lace in Macculloch & Wallis 10 weeks before the wedding. Many hours were spent sat behind a sewing machine, cramped in a tiny box room in our London flat. Listening to people gasp ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe your dress isn’t finished yet!’ just added to the pressure so I just pretended it was all finished if anyone asked. The final hand stitching on the dress was actually done on the morning of the wedding, I found it quite therapeutic.”

I simply love love love the Oreo cake! It was also made by the bride and her family the day before the wedding. They even added a cute bird cake topper from Etsy to complete the look. “We made the cake the day before the wedding from Oreo biscuits. The biscuits are kept in place with chocolate icing. The whole cake took about 25 packets of biscuits to make. The smell of the biscuits and chocolate icing was divine but I had to resist temptation until the wedding diet was over!”

“I believe that you can do anything if you set your mind to it,” concluded the newly-married Caroline. “The best thing about our wedding was all the DIY touches, they’re the things that give the day some personality. There are tutorials online for just about anything so I just gave it a go and hoped for the best. I really enjoyed being busy on the morning of the wedding, it was a welcome distraction and prevented any nerves from creeping in.”

Simply wonderful. I know you’re going to love this one guys! What a cool couple….

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A 1950’s Rock n Roll Wedding: Laura & Neil

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Laura & Neil 1950’s Rock n Roll wedding was inspired by the thing that brought them together – music. They explain, “Music was the thing that brought us together – Neil’s Dad played the Cavern in the early 60’s – and we’ve both always had an interest in classic Rock n Roll.”

“We definitely enjoyed searching – Laura liked sourcing her own dress on the internet and having the bespoke accessories made to personalise the look. We didn’t want to look like anyone else and we didn’t want the wedding to be traditional. We choose Sassy of  Assassynation as our photographer because of her unusual and unique style.”

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“Guests were greeted with vintage gramophones, radios, antique tins and Rock n Roll and motown music,” they continued. “We placed framed pictures of classic films and 50’s movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe all around the venue and we decorated the outside area with vintage bunting. Laura walked down the aisle to Brian Fallon’s (The Gaslight Anthem) version of the Johnny Cash classic ‘I Walk The Line’. Guests found out the seating arrangements from a poster Neil created in the style of a 1950’s Rock n Roll bill and our tables were all named after classic hits such as ‘At Last’, ‘Be Bop A Lula’ etc.”

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“Our centrepieces were stacks of classic 50’s and 60’s crime fiction novels with vases of fresh red roses and every guest had a little record sleeve with our faces on it that Neil had created with a cookie inside, wrapped to look like a record.”

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“The Black Cat Trio were a really cool band and Neil lost over a stone dancing to them!” the bride concluded. “Sassy made us both feel really comfortable and had some amazing ideas that we would never have thought of. But Neil would have liked her to have air con in her car! We had the best day of our lives with all of our friends and family and we were so pleased that we did it our way. With the photos, it will be a day we can look back on for the rest of our lives.”

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Under the Spotlight – Kjrsten Madsen Photography

Today I’d like to introduce you to the photography of Kjrsten Madsen who shoots entirely on film and with her Holga. Over the past few months I’ve been rediscovering my love of film photography and so it really is an honour to share these images with you all. Our wedding photos were shot on film, and although this wasn’t really a concious decision at the time, looking back there really is a huge amount of joy that I get from knowing that these images were imprinted on a physical roll of film and developed by hand in a darkroom.

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There is just something so raw and emotional about film photography, as Kjrsten agrees. “At the ripe old age of 11 my mother enrolled me into a darkroom course. I was ‘by the rules’ too young to be in the class, but they made an exception with some sweet talking on my Mom’s part- which I will forever be grateful for her determination. I remember being so amazed watching my images appear like magic in the tray of developer. From that summer on, I was hooked on photography. It is no surprise that I strictly shoot film and still work in the darkroom. Film is so naturally beautiful I rarely have to retouch or edit my images. This allows me more time with my children (3 little girls) and less time behind a computer screen.”

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“The darkroom is my inner sanctum. It is a peaceful respite from a crazy world and a busy life. I go there to slow down and create, I can spend 6 hours in the dark and not know where the time has gone, and come out feeling completely revitalized. While I document all manner of events, places, and faces, my real cup of tea is shooting weddings. The love, emotion and joy of a wedding day is unparalleled. It is wonderful to be a witness of, and marvelous to participate as a documenter. Nothing compares to it!”

Originally from Portland, Oregon Kjrsten has just relocated to London and would love to shoot some creative Rock n Roll weddings here in the UK. Prices start from just £1000 for wedding coverage. For more information on Kjrsten, her work, her passions and her prices be sure to check out her website, her blog and drop her an email through her contact page.

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An Eclectic 1970’s Influenced North London Wedding: Sally & Alex

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I fell head over heels in love with Alex & Sally as soon as I laid my peepers on Sally’s Ossie Clark-inspired wedding dress. She had it made especially for her by local dressmaker Barbara F Pellumbi.

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And just like the dress, the entire wedding was a unique and eclectic representation of the couple. Sally explains, “We were going to go for a Miss Saigon feel meets a tattoo-esque style but in the end it was anything that looked pretty or hard!”

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“Birds became a bit of a motif, featuring on the invites, cake and place names. We even had a lovely little stuffed bird in a cage which is where the table places were hung. We were keen to make the club (The Islington Metalworks) looked relaxed, in one area we tried to create an old skool 70’s living room complete with Hilda Ogden flying birds on the wall.”

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The lucky couple have a number of very talented friends who they called on to help out in various areas of the wedding. For example the stationery was all designed by a friend, Heather, who runs her own card design company called Homeloves. Their friend Lara helped them to source all the table decorations and another friend Georgina, who is an artist, lent them a number of her own paintings to decorate the venue.

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A Brightly Coloured Floral Explosion of a Wedding: Sam & Dave

OK so don’t hate me…but there’s no Thursday Treats or Post it Notes this week or next week as I’m off galavanting in the US of A. However I hope I can make it up to you with today’s beautiful wedding (and the promise of a MASSIVE bumper edition of Treats and some extra special wedding and business tips on my return!)

Sam & Dave were married in London in July. After a church ceremony the couple and their guests all walked down the road to Wanstead Golf Club. “I wouldn’t say we were that Rock n Roll really. We just did what we wanted and tried not to think about what we ‘should’ be doing and people’s expectations,” the bride explained. “We tried to do it on the cheap and make what we could ourselves. I even just called a cab to take me to the church as I didn’t see the need to waste money on something that was just dropping me up the road!”

“We found it a bit annoying when people in the lead up to the wedding asked what the ‘theme’ was. I hate ‘the theme’. The ‘theme’, we explained to them, was that we were in love and getting married. And that was it. We just wanted to be surrounded by things we loved or thought were funny, whether they went together or not. But I guess if there was a theme it was a bit of an indoor fete feel. There was lots of bunting and fun stuff. Lots of colour (it was a bit like Gay Pride had thrown up all over it) and pretty much everything we’d done ourselves.”

Sam wore a vintage dress from Elizabeth Avey with leopard print, peep-toe Louboutin’s and a flower head garland, “I tend to wear quite flamboyant stuff, so my choice of dress was extremely modest for me – so I knew I wanted a bit of a statement on my head,” Sam continued. “When Rihanna appeared on X Factor last year she wore a big flowery headband and I really wanted something similar. So my Mum and I spent an afternoon together with lots of red wine and we made it from a load of old silk flowers she’s had stuffed at the back of her cupboard for years, which we wired on to a 99p Superdrug hair band! I was a bit unsure of whether to wear it as I was worried it looked a bit ridiculous and perhaps as if I’d just stepped off a carnival float, but I’m glad I did.”

The groom looked dapper in his bespoke green suit and oversized red bow tie, and the bridesmaids wore pink. “I had three main bridesmaids: my god-daughter Amber (14) and my nieces Rebecca (13) and Charis (8). The two elder ones wore shocking pink, 50’s style A-line dresses (I got the pattern from eBay and then my Mum made them) with a bright red sash with a huge bow on the back (bought from H&M.) I bought Charis a different dress – a sparkly red sequined party dress from eBay with a big tulle hooped skirt, which she wore with a pair of sparkly red Dorothy shoes that she chose from Accessorize (like me, she’s like a magpie when it comes to party dresses and sparkly stuff!) I just wanted her to have as much fun as possible and it to be a bit ‘fancy dress’ as opposed to having everyone matching.”

“I also had 5 older sort-of-bridesmaids – or wing-women, if you like (my best friends.) I asked them to buy any dress as long as it was a really bright block colour, and to team it with red shoes. So they looked a bit like a rainbow! Paula (canary yellow), Kate (red), Ash (pink), Nat (bright blue) and Caroline (orange.)”

They wanted to keep their reception casual and fuss-free. They served bangers n mash for the meal and  sparkly cupcakes for afters which were a part of the centrepieces on each table. They’d made cake stands out of mismatched crockery bought from charity shops. Like her headband, Sam wanted the flowers to be eclectic and not over-styled either. “The brief I gave to the local florist was that I wanted bright flowers – anything – but for them to be a bit messy and to look as if they’d been grabbed from a Nanna’s garden on the way. I was a bit worried that it might all look really wrong, especially with the cake flowers and the silk flowers on my head, but I loved it. It was just an over-the-top mess of colour. A bit like me.”

“We’d made up red and white striped candy bags with old school pick ‘n’ mix for our favours,” Sam continued, “and attached a personalised vintage-style temporary tattoo to each (either a heart with a dagger or a swallow – but both said ‘Sam and Dave’). Also, everyone got one of those squealing rocket balloons in their sweetie bag, which NEVER fail to make people laugh. There were rocket balloons squealing all over the place which was exactly what we’d anticipated.”

“Dave painted our wedding invites too. We wanted to have a royal crest, as a bit of a joke because of the royal wedding – so we made our own. It’s got the Wanstead herons on (as this is where we live) wearing our bow-ties, the cat at the top is our cat Fidget and he’s holding the Brazilian flag, because this is where we met. Our friend Tim drew the pictures of us to drop in. We wanted something really different and personal, and don’t like to take ourselves too seriously.”

How awesome are these guys?

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Bohemian England Meets Mexican Fiesta: Francesca & Iain

This time last week I blogged a wedding at the beautiful Fforest Farm Campsite in Wales. I loved the location so much that when Francesca & Iain sent me their wedding at the same venue I didn’t hesitate to want to share it too! I think it really interesting to see two different weddings at the same place actually and to see how different a venue can look with a different couple’s aesthetic and vision stamped on it.

Francesca described her wedding theme to me as “Bohemian England meets Mexican Fiesta.” I just love how they brought this out with ideas such as the decorations from Lisa Piercy, the paper goods by Thunderwing Press and the amazing screenprinted napkins personalised by Leonie Flower. I’m also swit-swooing over the flower garland head wreaths worn by Francesca and her bridesmaids. This is a wedding trend that I hope doesn’t go away any time soon. I love it!

“We knew early on that we wanted to make a weekend of it, not just a day, and we couldn’t have found a better venue – in the middle of the Welsh countryside,” the bride explained. “Within an hour of people arriving they were tobogganing down hills in push-carts and sinking the local ale in our on-site pub. We had the whole place to ourselves and it felt really magical – the trees lit with fairy lights and big communal brunches and campfires.”

“We wanted an unforgettable experience that everyone could be part of, and so many people helped with decorating, flower arranging – even bringing and cooking me a special bridal champagne breakfast on the outdoor stove whilst I got ready. It was important to us that things be personal and that as many friends be involved as possible in bringing our vision together.”

Check out the beautiful video, made for the couple by Francesca’s brother…

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