Tag Archives: UK

Becci & Chris’ Funky, Retro, London Wedding

The slinky, sparkly vintage-inspired Topshop (yes really!) dress was what grabbed my attention when I first laid eyes on Becci & Chris’ retro styled London wedding. However when I saw the rest of their day I was utterly smitten. The pair, who never wanted a traditional wedding, were set on creating something within budget and to suit their funky London lifestyle.

I spoke to Becci about their wedding and I’m so thrilled to share their amazing wedding and all their quirky details with you today.

“Chris and I live and love London, so it was always going to be our number one location for getting hitched,” she began. “Budget constraints – and the fact that a meringue dress, tiara and dainty white kitten heels were my idea of hell – meant that we had to be inventive while planning our big do. We wanted something that represented us as a couple, and our personalities, and felt strongly that we wouldn’t follow wedding procedure just because.”

“We decided on Islington Town Hall for our ceremony and quickly fell in love with The Vine as our reception venue. It’s cool retro interior, gorgeous Italian grub, intimate conservatory and super-calm landlord, James, meant it won over Chris and I as soon as we walked in. We work in the magazine publishing industry, so we strongly agreed that our photographer needed to be super talented and super creative. Enter Ian Johnson. After meeting up for a few pints and a briefing, we both knew that we’d got the right man. Ian did not let us down. Despite the time constraints of us marrying fairly late at 4pm, he achieved all the money shots.”

“For the dress I wanted a slinky evening number. Never did I think that, while browsing Topshop’s website, would I stumble across my dream dress – antique silver, sequinned, slight fishtail, deep V front, backless… I was in love. Yes, it was high street but I couldn’t afford anything designer and I received so many compliments from guests thinking it was vintage… I just kept my mouth shut! A veil was never going to suit my style but I still wanted a wow-factor headpiece. I turned to milliner extraordinaire Louis Mariette who understood completely my vision and created something truly special. As for Chris, he wanted a fitted suit with a Mod influence so he took a trip to Jump the Gun in Brighton. For my bridesmaids, I wanted them to look drop-dead gorgeous (no peach taffeta, ta very much). To complement my dress and Chris’s suit, I was after a navy, corseted, strapless style – the All Saints Freja dress came up with the goods.”

“We all stayed at Hoxton Hotel the night before and, on the big day, our wedding cars consisted of a duck egg VW camper van– the bouncy suspension and a bottle of fizz nearly ruined mine and the bridesmaids dresses on the drive to the Town Hall! – and the obligatory cheesy Routemaster. For my flowers, I wanted simple and elegant so I went for a cala lily bouquet and a pared-back white and green theme. Personal touches included haggling over a massive shabby chic mirror at Portobello Road then writing the seating plan on this; and my mum kindly baking glitter-sprinkled heart biscuits as favours for everyone to dip in the yummy dark chocolate mousse dessert (we vetoed a traditional wedding cake as it just wasn’t what we wanted). What else went down well with our guests? Well, our party photo booth from Snappabox had a queue all night, while our ‘Love story’ booklet, complete with cartoon Chris & Bex, brought everyone up to speed on our relationship history.”

“And the final Rock n Roll moments? How about the groom not getting to bed until 6am on the morning of the big day (still a sensitive topic around the Hodgson kitchen table) or us newlyweds heading to East Village in Hoxton for a post-wedding clubbing session. Well, I was wearing Topshop after all…”

Incredible! I am so chuffed to have these guys rocking all over the blog today.

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Mel & Mark’s Rule Britannia Rock n Roll Wedding

I’ve got another authentic Rock n Roll couple for you today…and by authentic I mean actual readers of Rock n Roll Bride. My favourite weddings to feature are those of couples who actually read and loved Rock n Roll Bride throughout their wedding planning. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

Melanie & Mark, who were lucky enough to find their photographer’s McKinley-Rodgers Photography via a feature on this here blog, got married Burgh House followed by a Rule Britannia style reception at The Britannia Pub in London.

Mel’s dress was a really family heirloom made by her Great Great Aunt a couple of years before WWII and also worn by her Great Aunt and Grandmother at their own weddings. With this vintage classic gown she accessorised with Mark’s Grandmother’s engagement ring, earrings from Tatty Devine and a “yes” necklace from Zoe and Morgan.

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Sarah & Pete’s Classy Vintage-Inspired Wedding

Sarah & Pete’s classy, vintage-inspired wedding took place at Stoke Newington Town Hall and The Tab Centre, Shoreditch. The bride, who originally didn’t even want a wedding dress wore a gorgeous Temperley number that she found in Bicester Village outlet mall just outside of Oxford. “I don’t really like wedding dresses!” she told me. “I was nearly going to buy a nice party dress in a bright colour after trying on quite a few wedding dresses which were just ‘ok’. I then spotted this one in Bicester. It is quite vintagey in style but still flattering (and not tiny weeny sizes like a lot of original vintage dresses!)”  With this she wore a hair piece by Jenny Packham and vintage Gina shoes from Urban Outfitters.

A lot of DIY elements went into the reception decor, including the hand made candles in vintage tea cups which were not only gorgeous, but acted as favours for the guests to take home.

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Sammy & Ian’s Modern Romantic London Wedding

Sammy & Ian went for a quirky, modern and London theme for their Soho wedding. Being a costume designer, the bride made her own dress based on the late 50’s early 60’s silhouette of tight and knee length, with a bit of Vivienne  Westwood influence. “It was made from red silk Dupion, and the corset was white duchess satin with red silk ribbon stripes sewn on top,” she explained. 

Sammy also designed Ian’s unusual and fabulous suit which was made out of venetian wool and was based on a 1960’s design.

The couple hired a red London bus to take their guests from Marylebone town hall, where their ceremony took place, through London to Century on Shaftesbury Avenue for their casual and fun reception. They didn’t want a sit down traditional meal and so instead had barbecue style finger food. They drank raspberry champagne cocktails and pink punch.

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The Rock n Roll Bride Venue Guide – Manchester

Following the popularity of the first The Rock n Roll Bride Venue Guide, written by wedding planner and stylist Mary Herrington of Forever & Ever Events, I was keen to ask her if she’d be willing to do a bit of travelling for us and do some venue guides for the rest of the country. This month, Mary visited Manchester to bring you her reviews of the most kick ass venues for your Rock n Roll wedding!

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Following the great response to my first venue post on London’s Rock n Roll reception venues, I now take you up north to Manchester, where the city and surrounding areas offer a truly eclectic mix of inspiring venues for a Rock n Roll wedding.  As I did in my London venues post, my approach here is to recommend a variety of venues across the spectrum of budgets and aesthetics, from very cool historical architecture to vintage modern interior design to contemporary and modern dance halls.  Remember that no matter where you have your wedding, if you put your personal stamp on it, the venue will come alive.

So here are 10 Rock n Roll venues in Manchester that I highly suggest you check out:

1. The Deaf Institute

Any Mancunian with an interest in live music will already know of The Deaf Institute.  What they may not know is that this music hall and café can be hired for a wedding reception and that the summer months – when most couples are wanting to get married – are the slower months for this music venue and therefore the time when they have greater availability for weekend hire!  This isn’t some smoky dive pit of a music venue – rather, The Deaf Institute is known for its extremely stylish interior: damask and Dolly Parton wallpaper, cuckoo clocks, parrot-patterned walls, velvet seats, chandeliers and vintage modern furniture.  The Music Hall has a huge disco ball, its own bar, stage, sound equipment, glass balcony, and theatre seating area. The Basement Bar is great for more intimate weddings and can also be hired out for private parties – great for hen night karaoke or a private cocktail bartending class.  Prices vary depending on the date, but you can either hire out individual rooms (from about £1,000 for weeknights to about £2,000 for weekends) or hire out the entire venue at about £2,850 and host up to 600 guests!  And being fans of Rock n Roll Bride themselves, they will offer a free meal to couples interested in booking their wedding reception – simply email info@foreverandeverevents.com for more information.

The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE, 0161 276 9350.

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Lauren & Tim’s DIY, Budget-Friendly Seaside Wedding

“We both decided that although we wanted our wedding to be amazing, we weren’t going to spend a stupid amount of money on it,” explained bride Lauren when I asked her about her big day. “We weren’t prepared to pay more just because it was labelled as a “wedding product”.  Plus, most of the wedding-related stuff that’s available isn’t really “us”.  I bypassed the usual wedding dress shops and went straight to the high street, and found everything exactly as I wanted at a price I was willing to pay.  Tim wore a suit he already had from Next because none of the hire places had slim fitting suits.  We wanted invitations with skulls and studs and splattery writing but didn’t want to pay a professional to design and make them for us, so I did it.”

“Neither of us wanted to do something just because it was expected.  I didn’t want bridesmaids (ALL of my friends are awesome, not just those wearing matching dresses), we got married on a Thursday (much cheaper!), my Mum walked me down the aisle as I don’t know my Father, we had a unity candle (which is something our registrar had never heard of…?), we didn’t have a receiving line…  We kept the traditions that we liked, or that family requested, and ignored everything else. We didn’t get caught up in the idea of the day being perfect, and of me being a pretty princess for the day, and prepared ourselves for the fact that in life, things go wrong, and weddings aren’t any different.  When things went wrong (venue closing down with five months to go, registrar taking ill on the morning of the wedding and the replacement not having copies of our readings, etc) we took it in our stride.”

“It didn’t occur to us to change the way we look for the wedding.  There was no way I was going to dye my hair, take out my lip ring or get contact lenses (no disrespect to anyone who does this – each to their own), and Tim wanted to wear all black despite it not being a “traditional” way for a groom to look.  We wanted to feel like us, and for the day to reflect us and our tastes.  I guess we’re just naturally Rock n Roll!”

Lauren & Tim really did keep themselves at the centre of their wedding plans. As she explained, they didn’t do anything just becuase it was expected at a wedding. I love their attitude and I love their wedding!

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