Tag Archives: UK

An Oxfordshire Tipi Wedding: Saskia & Paul

Weddings don’t have to be detail heavy or complicated to be Rock n Roll – Saskia & Paul’s stunning Oxfordshire tipi wedding proves it! The Swedish tipi was erected in Paul’s father’s back garden, the bride had no bridesmaids and the groom had no groomsmen. For this couple, ticking things of the proverbial wedding list was of no regard – what mattered was them, their love and celebrating with their friends and family.

“The wedding planning revolved around our laziness”, the bride told me, “no bridesmaids or best men, no cars, no place settings, no hair trial, no fancy wedding cake… We wanted to have the least amount of stress as possible in the lead up to and on the day of the wedding. We had less jobs to do by cutting out lots of the traditional weddingy things. In the end, everything was awesome! My dad and I spent the day before playing badminton in the garden, and although the hairdresser was dubious about me not having a practice, it turned out great! We really enjoyed the day because we fit it to suit our personalities.”

“We ate a lot of soup in preparation for the wedding to collect tin cans for our flowers,” Saskia continued. “Instead of ordering flowers, Paul, my dad and I went to the flower markets in London a couple of days before the wedding. We got lots of pretty flowers for more than half the price I was quoted by a flower farm. We bought some florist block to weigh down the cans and spent a couple of hours arranging them. They fit the rustic vibe of the tent and it was a great father-daughter bonding experience!”

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Pastel Colours for a 1950s Inspired Wedding: Emily & James

As soon as I laid eyes on Emily’s incredible silver embellished 1950s inspired wedding dress I was smitten. What an utterly gorgeous bride and a completely beautiful wedding. I couldn’t wait to get it on these digital pages of mine! The couple were married at Edes House, Chichester and had their reception at the groom’s father’s house in Bosham.

“We wanted our wedding day to completely reflect James and me”, Emily told me. “This was something we kept in mind during the whole process, as I think it is easy to lose sight of what and who weddings are for, when you are surrounded by so many people in the wedding industry telling you that you absolutely need this and definitely need that. 
We both adore the 1950s and the pastel shades, and I really feel like these things were very present in the whole day. We also chose from the beginning which things would be the most important to us – these ended up being the food/drink for James and the flowers for me. We chose a catering company who were very local and produced the most delicious food. We hand picked each of the types of alcohol we chose, with Arundel Ales coming from Sussex and the cider coming from Appledram which is just around the corner from the reception.”

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My biggest advice to future brides is to always keep a clear idea of what you want the overall feel of the day to be. Use Pinterest as it will really help you to channel your style of the day and keep you focused. And don’t be afraid to delegate. I was terrible at this and had to really be coaxed into it by my lovely Dad, who was concerned I would end up having some sort of bridal breakdown with the amount of work I was taking on. As soon as I began to delegate the smaller jobs, I found it so much easier to relax and enjoy the bigger jobs. Lean on your family and friends who offer to help – they do genuinely want to be a part of the process!”

“I’m a very creative person and always have some sort of project on the go, so we always knew our wedding would be DIY heavy”, Emily continued. “Little did our wedding party know just how much they would be getting involved as well! 
I had seen beautiful ‘doily bunting’ on a couple of blogs, which involved taking a large doily and folding it in half over a pieces of cotton tape, and repeating to create bunting. This had the quaint look I was going for, but I was eager not to have them in white as I wanted to bring as much colour as possible into the blank canvas of the marquee. So, after much looking, it seemed near impossible to find doilies in the right shades of blue and pink, and it was then that I decided we would have to make them ourselves! 
I fashioned a template which worked, and my parents got stuck in at home, with various family members, creating a production line of doily bunting. They were fantastic and I think we ended up with approx. 300 metres of it!
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“The choice of paper lanterns came about when I hit a stumbling block with lighting. I originally wanting ‘festoon lighting’, conjuring up images of old fairgrounds, like the one out of The Notebook. Sadly, the ones which our marquee company had were only allowed to be used outdoors. That was when I found some stunning photos of paper lanterns inside marquees with dimly lit bulbs inside. I sourced mine through eBay and was so pleased with the outcome. One friend said ‘It looks like the wedding in 500 Days of Summer’ – it was the perfect compliment!”

“
James and I both love all things whimsical and retro, and we’re big readers. So, I chose to use old books as our table centres. These were relatively easy to source through eBay and old book stores. I loved picking out ones with quaint and quirky covers! The flowers were then dotted around them in old jam jars and bottles. I love using these around my house, as it has the lovely ‘just from the garden’ feel, so I knew straight away that this was how they would be displayed. With the help of some kind friends and family, we quickly gathered together around 150 jars to be used as vases and also lanterns in the evening, which were painted a light rose pink colour and gave off a beautiful, warm glow.
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“I wanted to add some colour to the tables, so I used the same 5 patterns of fabric which we used on the chutney jars, and made 70 placemats to go in each guest’s place. They were a little labour intensive as the pinning and sewing of the hems was fiddly, but I was so pleased with how they looked when we laid them out.
 The ‘Mr and Mrs Dall’ banner originated from my Hen Weekend. My wonderful bridesmaid, Penny, had made a lovely ‘Mrs Dall’ banner from card, paint and ribbon. I took it home with me after the weekend and realised how fantastic it would look with ‘Mr &’ added to it, and then hung behind us at the top table.”

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Working in theatre, I saw a great opportunity to go wild in the Chichester Festival Theatre props store and hire plenty of old bits of furniture and the odd trunk and suitcase to give a truly whimsical and old fashioned feel to the day. We used two suitcases and one hat box on the cake table to tier the cake levels and display them a little better. We used another suitcase for the presents and cards table. We also had a small ‘lounge’ area near the photobooth, where people could relax and feel like they were a little further away from the dance floor action if they wanted. For this we chose a couple of large, wing-backed armchairs, a nice big trunk as a coffee table, and a few little side tables with mismatched wooden chairs dotted around them. It gave a really lovely cafe style atmosphere and was very popular with all the guests, particularly the littlest ones who liked the big chairs!



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‘So what about that amazing dress?’ I hear you cry! “My dress was designed by Emily Garrod“, the bride told me. I realised quite quickly that I would not find my wedding dress in a bridal shop. I adore vintage style dresses and have a few 1950s style prom dresses with big petticoats. I knew I needed something in this style, rather than the classic long wedding dress. 
I found Emily by chance through a friend who worked in a shop and enquired about Emily’s dress which she was wearing when she wandered into the store. It turned out she had made herself. She is a wedding dress maker who is relatively fresh to the industry but absolutely fantastic and keen to fulfill your brief but also aid you with understanding what designs work with your height, shape etc. I gave her a brief of ‘1950s MGM musical meets ballet dancer’ and I was over the moon that she managed to make a dress which looked entirely as I had imagined it would.
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A Quintessentially British Wedding on the Queen’s Birthday: Jess & Dan

Jess & Dan’s wedding was quintessentially British with the theme carrying through from the attire to the cake to the DIY reception decor. Why the theme you ask? Well the wedding was held on the weekend of the Queen’s birthday!

The couple were married at Edes House, Sussex and had two reception venues, both of which were within the grounds of Chichester Cathedral. Their afternoon wedding breakfast was held at Vicars Hall and the evening party was at George Bell House.

“For us, our wedding was all about having fun and celebrating with those closest to us, we didn’t want a typical wedding and very quickly built a list of all the things we didn’t want!” the bride told me. “We even discussed having Sambuca shots for after the speeches but the venue felt that this maybe too much at 2.30pm in the afternoon. Considering we were having 4 speeches they were definitely right. Although we personalised our day with the things we like what really surprised us in the end was how traditional we actually were.”

“My Mum gave me away as my Dad passed away some years ago and in light of this my sister did the ‘Father of The Bride Speech’ which was very well received.  I too did a speech, as someone who likes to chat the lure of a captive audience was too great! The best man had put together a Powerpoint presentation with images, videos graphics and even props. Half way through the presentation it developed an IT malfunction, the best man recovered well by breaking out into a rendition of ‘Hakuna Matata’ (the song relates to something that happened on the Stag) while the staff fixed the problem.”

“For the meal we had steak and ale pie which people are still talking about. If our guests remember anything from our wedding it will probably be the pie. Our compliments go to the chef as it was a pretty spectacular. We had cupcakes for dessert which were a gift from the Best man and his wife. In the evening we had a BBQ and a sweet table followed by a cheese wheel cake; we even got the DJ to announce that we were ‘cutting the cheese’! This was served with a selection of chutney and crackers.”

“We wanted to create most of the wedding details ourselves partly to save money but to also give our wedding a personal touch” Jess continued. “Dan is a graphic designer so created all the stationery and printed materials. We spent many hours cutting and sticking our invites together.”

“Inspired by a recent trip to Tokyo, Dan created the flowers out of paper using an origami pattern for a kusudama flower and the buttonholes were made in the style of a rosette. I made all the wedding favours using buttons, the boys got cufflinks and the girls rings.”

“Our theme was definitely ‘Eclectic, British and most defiantly us’. We went for a British, red, white and blue theme as we got married on the weekend of the Queens Birthday. It’s also a very patriotic year in the UK with the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics.”

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Button Moon, Moomins, Rainbow Petticoats and a Wedding in a Cave: Caroline & Johnny

When wedding photographer Sassy of Assassynation told me she’d booked a wedding through a feature on my site last year I was super thrilled. However my excitement was pretty much quadrupled when she them told me the bride was wearing a short dress… with a rainbow petticoat… with glittery turquoise leopard print wedges and ankle socks… oh yes and that they were getting married in a cave. I think died and went to wedding heaven right about then.

Caroline & Johnny were married on a Monday, on the 14th May this year. The ceremony was small – just the two of them, the celebrant and Sassy and her husband Ian, who not only photographed the event but acted as witnesses. The ceremony was at Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall. “One fabulously weather proof venue!” the bride laughed. “Subterranean lake, 500 candles and really dangerous steps for the clumsiest bride. What could possibly go wrong?”

“We had to wear hard hats in the cave. Instead of using the ones provided we decided to make our own. We made ones for Sassy and Ian with their names and the date out of buttons, glitter glue, feathers and wiggly eyes. I think I described them as a 5 year old with ADHD being let loose in Hobby Craft. Johnny painted my hat black with a yellow rim for Button Moon. Johnny then made all the Button Moon characters out of Fimo – including the rocket, painted them and stuck them to the hat. He also made a Clanger which he stuck to the front. Johnny hand painted his own hat, again inspired by HR Giger. He then made a Fimo female figure from one of his own artworks of painted glass. It was just brilliant.”

“As we had no best man or ring bearer we created one. I had bought Johnny a giant Zippy a while back and his mouth opened so we used him as a ring cushion! I bought Zippy a crazy bow tie for the occasion and we put our wedding rings into his mouth. He also wore Johnny’s steampunk goggles we’d bought for our engagement shoot. Zippy took pride of place on the registrars table together with some Clangers and a Moomin. We even covered the registrars table with Moomin fabric we found online. We are now going to get a shirt made out of it for Johnny.”

After the ceremony the couple and Sassy headed to Bodmin Jail for some portraits. “We knew that we wanted the pictures done in the dilapidated Naval Prison part of the jail,” Caroline continued. “A mini trash the dress on the wedding day. Perfect. We booked a cab to be on hand all day to ferry us around as we were going to various places. Turned out to be the best idea we could have had. Barry the driver was brilliant. He suggested a bridge we might want to have a photo on. We weren’t sure but went anyway and it was a really quirky little bridge giving us a photo with a slight optical illusion which we love.”

“We arrived next at East Looe Beach. Johnny and I live by the sea and knew that it had to feature in the day. I even bought a tide timetable booklet last year to see if it would be low tide so we could get some piccies in the sand.”

After the photo session came a small reception at Squid Ink Restaurant in Looe. “Johnny surprised me with a weekend away to Looe in Cornwall not long after we’d got engaged. We fell in love with it straight away. We found Squid Ink and we had just the best food and service in such a fabulous environment. When we’d decided to run away to Cornwall to get married, we knew instantly that we’d stay in Looe and Squid Ink was where we wanted to have our reception. Catherine and Warren who own the restaurant (and Warren is also the chef) were just brilliant. They really engaged with what we wanted to achieve – even our little nod to a Mad Hatters tea party from our original wedding ideas.”

“Johnny and I made tea cup wineglasses and had our wine served out of a teapot. Catherine out did herself with decorating our table with the bits and bobs we’d brought with us. Instead of scatter crystals we had scatter buttons to tie in with the button moon theme. Moomin character napkins and our piece de resistance cake with buttons and Clangers. The food was amazing and the service impeccable. I can’t recommend this place enough. It’s just awesome.”

“Our colour scheme came about from Alice in Wonderland. I’ve got an Alice mug and one day looking at it, Alice was there with her blue and white dress and bright yellow hair with a flamingo. That was it. Our colour scheme would be the brightest version – turquoise, yellow, fuchsia with white.”

Caroline’s dress was from Vivien of Holloway. She customised it herself with the multicoloured petticoats (bought from Vivien of Holloway and Swingtime) and the rainbow feather accessories. “I’d seen a wedding dress made completely out of feathers”, she explained. “It was just stunning. This inspired the addition of feathers to my dress. It added texture and was just so tactile. Adding the coloured feathers to the neckline and to the fascinator just brought them alive. I also made the belt out of ribbons, buttons and feathers.”

“Johnny and I have planned and compiled numerous budget spread sheets for countless weddings”, Caroline concluded when I asked where their ideas and inspiration came from. “From a balloon over the Masai Mara to a full blown Alice in Wonderland extravaganza. From the Giger Museum in Switzerland to Central Park New York. I don’t think there was idea that we didn’t look at. Nothing was really us. I was envious of couples who just picked venues and sorted out their day. We just couldn’t find us.”

“Through the loss of loved ones and reality checks, the thought of putting our life on hold to try and save for a couple of years to afford one day, elopement was born. We really would have our day the way we wanted it. I know that everybody says that they want their day to be about them and ours really truly was. We got it to be about us to the ultimate. Every detail from all the crafty DIY bits to the readings and vows, the venues, the whole day in fact, everything had a reason or meaning to be included and reflected of us as a couple. Because it was just the two if us, we had carte blanche to do it exactly as we wanted without having to worry about anyone else. We can truly and honestly say that we really did marry our best friends. We know things about each other that only friends share not couples. We got it all.”

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Brighton Cinema Wedding: Vicky & Ted

With Ted proposing to Vicky at the Duke of York Picturehouse in Brighton, the wedding theme and location were pretty much a given. They are both huge movie buffs so it suited them perfectly.

Vicky explained, “The proposal was amazing and a huge surprise. It was 25th February 2011 (the day after my birthday) and we had the day off for food and fun. I knew Ted had a surprise up his sleeve, but it wasn’t unusual (we often surprise each other with treats on birthdays), so I didn’t suspect a proposal. We got to the Duke of York Picturehouse at about 12.30 and Ted told me to go straight upstairs without looking at what film was showing. I assumed this was going to be a random screening of a Marilyn Monroe movie or an 80s classic. The place was dead (it was a Friday afternoon, so nothing strange about that) and when we took our balcony seats I turned to Ted and joked ‘You haven’t booked the place out have you?’. He smiled awkwardly and fretted about me turning my phone off.”

“The trailer for Shaun of the Dead started, ‘Wow, cool, the original trailers… are we seeing something from 2004?’ I said. I was also thinking how funny it was, as it was the trailer to one of our favourite films. Then the When Harry Met Sally trailer came on ‘What are the chances!?’ I thought, ‘Both our favourite films as the trailers!’. Then the third trailer came… ‘hold on’, I said, ‘that’s Brighton… that’s our road… that’s our building…!’ Ted had made a film trailer which was a camera running down the street, him doing a movie voice saying ‘one man… one woman… half a decade…’ and at the end a Spiderman card on our front door opens to read ‘one question’. At which point Ted was down on one knee and ‘our song’ was playing. We came out to the bar and a bottle of champagne on ice. It was amazing, I was so surprised! The story of the engagement has made women cry, but men mostly growl ‘Cheers for raising the bar, Ted!’. All in all it was a pretty fantastic and very personal proposal, which is exactly what I had hoped for.”

So they were engaged, and the Duke of York Picturehouse was to be the venue for their ceremony. Of course the wedding had to have a movie theme, and before Vicky walked down the aisle, they played this trailer on the cinema screen (watch it, it’s brilliant!) Then, after the ceremony came the reception at The Hove Club.

“I love a wedding, but we had been to so many where the main difference was the colour of the bow on those annoying chair covers!” Vicky continued. “Ted and I discussed the fact that we really didn’t like the traditional wedding suits from Moss Bros etc. and were just not big on ‘standard’ wedding stuff. We had also been to a lot of weddings where the Cheeky Girls, the Macarena and various other dire tunes were gladly played out, so we were looking forward to the chance to have some good tunes for the dancefloor (don’t get me wrong, Footloose is one of my favourite dancing songs. There is a fine line between cheese and mouldy cheese!) So our starting point was already all about trying to avoid those dislikes, but then I discovered wedding blogs! Oh the joy! So most of the inspiration came from blogs like Rock n Roll Bride. Just being able to see other people doing amazing weddings that were about personal touches and fun, silly stuff inspired us. I saw someone serving cola with striping straws and decided I wanted bottled drinks with stripey straws… but went for Babycham… saw the heart bouquet on Rock n Roll Bride I think and stole it, but with a twist.. picking different fabrics and coming up with the idea of large hearts on sticks for the bridesmaids.”

“Although we wouldn’t like to think we had a ‘themed wedding’ it was blatantly a movie themed wedding, with a vintage edge. I love all the vintage weddings I see online (with lace, dainty things and hay bales etc), but I knew that Ted and I were definitely more… cartoon/comic book vintage than dainty vintage! So we wanted more colour and humour. When I stood outside the cinema with the bridesmaids on the red carpet, I felt so glamorous and happy, I thought we looked like we had stepped out of an Elvis film! Ted asked if I was disappointed he didn’t dress up as Elvis but I wasn’t! I loved his tweed suit – it really was ‘him’ and people said he looked like a matinee idol!”

To continue the movie theme, the couple had a friend photoshop their faces onto various movie posters for all the wedding stationery. “I have work friend who often creates crazy birthday cards for people at work, photoshopping their faces onto other people and things. I found the Bride and the Beast poster online and my friend made it into our invitation. When it came to the order of service and table names he had to do a mammoth photo session with us to get all the right angles etc, and bless him he worked very hard to get those all done in time.”

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Gothic Butterfly Inspiration

“Bridal shoots don’t have to be boring!” We’ve heard this all before but it’s even better to see shoots illustrating that point don’t you think?!

“I just loved this shoot”, wedding photographer Kathryn Edwards told me of her shoot with Beth. “I wanted to give it a lonely isolated and fragile feel, with a dark edge.”

“Beth is a fellow photographer in Nottingham and was keen to do a rock the frock shoot with a difference. When she sent me a picture of her dress, I immediately wanted to give the shoot a gothic feel in a crumbling run down derelict location. However to describe the disused old RAF buildings in Syerston as ugly would be misleading. Although there are boarded up and broken windows, graffitti everywhere and rubbish dumped in the grounds, there was a haunting beauty about the place. Especially the caved in roof; it made for a beautiful backdrop to the shoot.”

“It was Beth’s pale skin and the beautiful fragile dress that made want to show a real contrast in the location of this shoot. I also had the idea of placing butterflies around the rubble and on Beth’s skin, to really show up the juxtaposition of the fragile and beautiful amidst the ugly and neglected, and to give the shoot a feeling of vulnerability and isolation.”

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