Tag Archives: UK

Jessica & Forbes’ Retro Rockabilly Brighton Wedding

Brighton was the location for Jessica & Forbes’ rockabilly wedding this summer. They chose May 1st as their date as it was Jessica’s late Grandmother’s birthday and having it on this day was their way of inviting her to the wedding. All the guests were invited to dress up in their finest retro get-up,” Absolutely everyone joined in,” the bride told me, “We were so convincing a hotel guest asked if we were a convention!”

“We also wanted the ultimate Brighton wedding,” she continued, “and we lucked out getting booked in to the Royal Albion Hotel right in front of the pier for our ceremony and reception. The pier was our backdrop for the entire day and night. It was awesome when it lit up at night!!”

Jessica wore a 1950’s replica dress from Unique Vintage, Vivienne Westwoodshoes and a vintage pearl necklace that had belonged to her Grandmother. The bridesmaid wore bespoke dresses made by Jessica’s Mum and Forbes wore a genuine 1950’s suit that had belonged to his Grandfather.

DIY played a big role in this wedding, from the cake (made by Jessica’s Mum) to the decor. The bride’s sister made the fabulous bird cake topper and her husband made the awesome ‘picture frame wall’ photo booth, complete with extra picture frames filled with photoshopped retro photographs of the couple! Jessica also designed and made all the invites and stationary. As a final, super personal, touch, every table had a pin up picture by Gil Elvgren and a family wedding photo from the 50’s from guests families.

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Rom & Will’s DIY, Humanist, 1970’s Vintage Wedding

You might recognise the gorgeous Rom & Will as I featured their engagement session back in August. I knew their wedding would be awesome as soon as I saw those shots so you can imagine my excitement when I got an email from photographer Steve Gerrard asking if I’d like to feature their wedding that took place a few weeks ago in Somerset.

The couple had two ceremonies – a legal ceremony at Hestercombe Gardens, followed the next day by a humanist ceremony and reception at Huntstile Organic Farm (a humanist ceremony isn’t legal in England at present.) Rom wore a different dress for each part of their day. For the civil service she wore an original 70s Ossie Clark dress which she had hunted high and low for. She finally found in a treasure trove of a shop called Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. “The owner Lou has original vintage dresses and she also makes bespoke vintage replicas,” Rom explained. “With this is also wore Gold cork platforms by Miu Miu and a vintage garland headband from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company.”

For the humanist ceremony and wedding reception, Rom wore her Mother’s wedding dress which was an original Janice Wainwright dress, also from the 70s. “I had it altered and updated for me by Rachel at Heirloom Couture who did me and my mum proud. Shoes this time were by Beatrix Ong and were reduced from £700 to £100 in the sale! Possibly the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen” Rom continued.

To keep in with their humanist and Rock n Roll theme, the couple omitted a lot of wedding traditions. They didn’t have a wedding cake, favouring afternoon tea and cupcakes made by the venue. They also didn’t have a traditional wedding band or DJ, opting for a punk rock n roll band from Exeter called The Computers.

Rom asked her bridesmaids to pick their own dresses. Her only requirements were they were long and they each picked a different colours. The groomsmen looked similarly relaxed and cool in skinny black suits, white shirts, black ties and Vans trainers.

“We DIY’d a lot of things ourselves, stole ideas from wedding blogs and roped in friends and family to help too”, the couple concluded. “It’s amazing how the effort that goes into the little details can make your whole day more personal. One thing that worked really well was a ‘lucky dip’ where instead of getting us gifts, we asked everyone to bring something under a tenner for a lucky dip. It meant everyone got a funny present from another guest and was a great way to get people mingling to find the person their gift was from.”

“We really just wanted the wedding to be the best party we could ever organise. We did away with any traditions that we didn’t like – first dance, cutting of the cake, wedding list, seating plan, wedding favours, matching bridesmaid dresses etc and focused on what we thought was important. The best advice we were given was to ensure guests are never hungry, thirsty or bored. It served us well.”

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Mia & Matt’s Super Kitsch, Super Gorgeous 1960’s Wedding

I think I possibly have one of the cutest weddings ever to round of today’s posts. When I first laid eyes on Mia & Matthew’s 60’s inspired wedding, I kid you not, I literally squealed with delight. How happy do these photos make you feel?! I KNOW! Adore…

The wedding took place in Devon at St Gregory’s RC Church in Kingskerswell. The reception then followed at Colehayes Park in Bovey Tracey, a Georgian House in beautiful grounds. As soon as the couple got engaged they knew their wedding would have a 60’s theme. Mia is obsessed with everything from this era and even had her dress made by a friend to an authentic 1960’s dress pattern. Mia explained, “I’m obsessed with vintage so it had to be that way! I also wore a floral headband of golden coloured alstroemeria which was made by our florist, gold t-bar sandals which I found in the Miss KG by Kurt Geiger. I wore yellow plastic daisy earrings from Spitalfields Market, a silver engraved locket which Matt gave me on the morning of our wedding and an amazing wedding cartoon bracelet which I bought from Da Da Dreams on Etsy. My sister also gave me a lovely bluebird bracelet and matching garter on the morning of the wedding, which she’d had handmade for me. They’re amazing! In the evening I changed into a 1960s lace mini dress with cape which I found on Ebay and borrowed a vintage faux fur cape from my sister.”

They hired two 1960’s Rolls Royce’s and at the reception they played nothing but 60’s music. The bridesmaids even wore authentic 1960’s vintage dresses. “Finding the bridesmaids dresses was a real mission,” Mia told me. “I wanted them all in vintage pastel maxi dresses and we searched high and low to find the perfect ones. We got there eventually! My sister Becca, friend Emma and friend Corinne all found dresses on Etsy but and my friend Daisy was really struggling to find anything right when my grandma donated a dress which happened to be sitting in the back of her wardrobe! It’s the blue bridesmaid dress and it fitted her perfectly. I love that my grandma used to wear it. To make the dresses all work together I bought some white daisy trim from Ebay to add to the edges.”

The rest of the wedding was all DIY including the cake, with each layer being made by a different person. “My sister and chief Bridesmaid, Becca, made the main cake – a 2 layer chocolate sponge with yellow buttercream icing and iced orange butterflies, and my Grandma made matching vanilla cupcakes. And my mum made a fruitcake too. I was chief kitchen assistant!” Mia laughed.

To get everyone talking, the couple hosted a quiz all about themselves. The bought some old trophies in a junk shop and decorated them with their faces to give out as prizes! They also made personalised snowglobes to act as super kitsch placenames. “We bought a job lot of DIY snowglobe kits from Baker Ross Educational Supplies and put a photo of Matt and I inside with all the guests names printed on,” said Mia. “It took me, Matt, my mum and dad about 6 hours to make them but it was worth it as everyone had something cute to take home!”

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Alice in Weddingland ~ The Hunt for the Perfect Photographer

It’s time for post number two (well three if you count our impromptu trip to the Designer Wedding Show last month) in the series that is proving to be quite a hit with you lot! This month Alice went on the hunt for the perfect photographer to document her wedding…

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Photography Credit: Lisa Devlin

When I sat down and wrote my wedding wish-list, getting a top-notch wedding photographer was right up there.  Think what you will, a good photographer was even higher up on my list of priorities then a wedding dress! I figure a dress lasts a day, but the photographs are the memories that will be shared with friends and family alike, and will last forever.  In my eyes a securing the photographer of your dreams is the best wedding investment a bride can make…but where to begin?  If you google ‘wedding photographer Brighton’ you are given hundreds of results, but I found this list to be pretty useless as I really didn’t know what I was looking for.  What are the merits of negotiating a copy-write-free deal on your images?  Reportage or traditional style?  Ten minutes in and I was freaking out; finding the photographer for me seemed like an impossible task.  Then I came across rocknrollbride.com!

Photography Credit: Emma Case

Finding a wedding blog that tapped right into the style of wedding I envisaged was like a breath of fresh air.  I found myself reading the credits at the end of the shoots Kat features and going on that photographers website (fyi: all the british weddings/photographers Kat has featured can be found here).  This way I was able to see the style of photography that I liked, full weddings on their blogs and found myself able to make firm decisions based on whether a particular photographers style would suit what I had in mind.  I also checked out Rock n Roll Bride’s sponsors, as I knew Kat only accepted sponsorship from companies and photographers that she feels are keeping in line with the style of her blog so I felt this was also a good place to look.  This little fact can save you hours of trawling the internet, as effectively she’s done all the hard work for you!

Another top tip I discovered is hitting up the wedding chat-rooms.  Now I know I mentioned this gem in my first Alice in Weddingland piece, but it is one that should not be underrated!  Through following other people’s conversations about photographers in their areas/how much they were being charged etc I got a clear idea of what was a good deal and what wasn’t (however beware of some unfounded bridezilla bitching in some of these chatrooms!)  In fact I actually came across one of my favourite wedding photographers Emma Case this way; I found a link to a male photographers website in the chatroom, so I contacted him and outlined my vision for the wedding.  He then very honestly emailed me saying that he thought his friend Emma would be better for a wedding like mine as it was right up her street!  Lots of Emma’s work has been featured of Rock n Roll Bride (a fact that pleased me A LOT) and I contacted her immediately.

Photography Credit: Emma Case

Now as a bride on a teeny tiny budget I looked at the figures all over the internet about how much wedding photographers charge and I literally gulped.  It’s not that I think they are over-priced (the pressure of having to immortalise a couple’s big day flawlessly is surely equal to the amount they charge?) but I just couldn’t see how I would be able to afford one.  Then I put my business head on!  I emailed my top three photographers – Emma Case, Lisa Devlin and Sassy from Assassynation with a brief outline of my wedding.  I also asked that was there any way of having them shoot for half the standard time and if so would this cost me less?  As I’ve said, I really wanted a great photographer, so figured having my dream photographer for a few hours was infinitely better then having an average one for more.  I got some great quotes back and after much toing and froing finally decided to go with Sassy.  I think it is important to have a natural raport with the person who is going to be right by your side for all the important bits of your wedding, and Sassy and I hit it right off.  Some of her work has been featured on Rock n Roll Bride too, so I was able to check out her work and the style of weddings she shot best before committing to anything.

Photography Credit: Assassynation

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Sophie & Barney’s Silly & Fun, Vintage & Rock n Roll North London Wedding

I sneak peeked Sophie & Barney’s wedding on Twitter and Facebook as soon as their photographer Lisa Devlin emailed me to ask if I wanted to blog them – hello!? Look at these two…Like she even had to ask!!

The best bit though? Sophie & Barney found Lisa via Rock n Roll Bride – I love love love featuring the weddings of bona fide Rock n Roll Bride readers! Oh I can hardly contain my excitement over this one…

“We did everything we wanted do and didn’t care if anyone else thought it was right,” the couple explained. “We put together all of our loves and didn’t worry about a colour scheme or any thing particularly weddingy, we love autumn and Halloween and London and glamour and silliness and fur and penguin books and skulls so we chucked them all in. Is that Rock n Roll??!”

Simple answer – yes!

Sophie looked every bit the Rock n Roll princess in a genuine vintage dress which she bought from My Sugarland in North London. “It was the first and only dress I tried on,” said Sophie “and its beyond special having been a museum piece and nearly 100 years old! It was covered in mould and little rips, I owe Zoe at My Sugarland a massive thank you because she helped my Dad see beyond the grubbiness of it and talked him into buying it for me! She also passed me on to the wonderfully stern but kind Jacqueline Byrne who used to be a seamstress for the Queen no less (!) who tidied the dress up perfectly, even recovering all the buttons on the sleeves.” With her perfect dress, Sophie wore a custom made headdress from Lilly Lewis which she customized with a brooch belonging to her Mother. She also also wore her Mother’s silver fox fur jacket which was a gift from her Dad on the day she was born!

On the morning of the wedding, Barney surprised his bride with a Vivienne Westwood handbag as a wedding present (my kind of guy – Gareth take note!) Sophie told me she almost walked down the aisle with her flowers in it but her Mother said no! hehe (ps best photo ever! Reminds me of some photos Lisa took of me when we met up…)

Sophie dressed her bridesmaids in different high street and vintage dresses to keep in with the laid back vibe. Vintage touches were added with their accessories, including an amazing 20’s pearl collar necklace and brooches from different decades collected by the bride ever since she got engaged. She also collected antique lace and made hairbands for them all.

The couple saved money by decorating the venue themselves. The collected 115 old penguin books from charity shops and Sophie’s Mum covered them. A lot of work but totally worth the effort – they look fantastic dotted around the venue don’t they? Before the wedding both Barney & Sophie went down to a local market and bought pumpkins and pomegranates to decorate the venue with. Everyone they know had also been collecting glass jars for the humbugs that we covered with black lace and put on the table. They also screen-printed the cameos to put on the back of the chairs. Originally Sophie had planned to not have any flowers at all, but at the last minute she feel in love with some “mouldy looking bruised roses” and her Mum bought them for her and made them into her bouquet. The finishing touch to the decor really is the incredible ‘Til Death Do Us Part’ cake by Brighton based Choccywoccydodah. Magnifique!

Music was a big part of this couple’s day with a number of entertainers lined up for the evening reception, “It was started by the wonderful Ellen playing tunes from the 30’s-60’s. Honky Sausage, a fantastic Ska and Swing covers band that do the most original sausage based meat raffle in the world! Next came the Fantastic Ryan Knowles with some dancey beats, followed by the effervescent Miss Sami Fitz who closed the party with some absolute classic party tunes!” the couple explained.

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Sarah & Chris’ Handcrafted Tipi Wedding

Sarah & Chris got married at Croft Castle, Herefordshire followed by a Tipi reception in Sarah’s Father’s field. I have a serious wedding crush on this ‘venue’!

The whole wedding was a locally-sourced and handcrafted affair as this was very important to the couple. The tipi was decorated top to toe by Sarah and her Mother (her Mum is the lady wearing the fabulous handmade patchwork coat!) “We wanted our wedding to have a handcrafted feel and it was important that our friends and families were as involved as they could be” Sarah explained. “My inspiration for the feel of the day came from that, from getting those peoples input and spending time with them. My mother made the amazing patchwork coat that you can see her wearing, from thousands of small squares of lovely fabric, and she announced just after we got engaged that she was going to turn it into a quilt for our first baby after the wedding – this pretty much encapsulates the feel I wanted of the wedding.”

“I wanted to make as much as I could myself and took immense pleasure in spending hours stitching and crafting, using old family photos or random things picked up over the years to make everything as unique as it could be – it was so important to me that it all came, well, from the heart. Is that too cheesy? I don’t care, it was my wedding day and I loved every second of it.”

The flowers were all picked from the surrounding fields and local gardens (with permission of course!) and the bride made the bunting and 100 pots of jam! The linens and lace table runners were all found at local charity, antique and vintage shops and Chris built the campfire which everyone gathered round at the end of the night.

The bride made all the stationary and paper goods from the invites – which were little books made from wallpaper and hand stitched together, to the  save the dates, the table plan – which was made with ribbon and luggage labels and service sheets – which were hand printed and hand stitched. Sarah has since decided to start her own wedding stationary company and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. This is some seriously gorgeous and creative stuff!

Another thing that was really important to the couple was charity. After dinner, they held an auction to raise funds for ZAMCOG. They included included art from the brides art gallery www.blackrat.com, a hamper from Scotland and a dance with the bride. For their honeymoon, the pair plan to cycle across Africa, also in aid of this charity.

“For our not so romantic honeymoon we plan to cycle across Africa, from coast to coast – starting on the East coast of Tanzania, biking through Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and ending on the West coast of Namibia,” Sarah told me. “This covers about 5,000 km and we aim to do it in 30 days. Given that we haven’t done much cycling before (not counting the 12 minutes it takes me to get to work, and the 12 minutes it takes to get back) this could be quite a challenge!”

“Chris and I are fundraising for a school in Zambia that provides education, care and shelter for orphans, street kids and other vulnerable children. Through a stable and caring environment Shitima school aims to build a self sustaining route for children to create a better future for themselves and their community. There are at present 230 children in the school and it costs approximately £300 a year to feed, clothe and educate a child. The charity that funds the school also runs a feeding programme at a nearby drop in centre for street kids. The website explains it all in full but in short its a wonderful place where children are cared for and given new opportunities. We are aiming to raise £25,000 to contribute towards new facilities that would mean that the school could take on more pupils and which would also create more jobs within the local community.”

If anyone wants to donate to help Sarah & Chris, their charity site is: http://www.justgiving.com/africacoast2coast

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