Anne-Marie met Jonny at a gig 5 years ago, “I was 35 and old enough to know better. He was 23 and had no excuse,” laughed the bride. “Within a year we’d shacked up together and had our first child, with a second one following 19 months later. We got engaged on New Year’s Eve 2010 (lots of fireworks!) and married on my 40th birthday and it was better than any present could ever be.”
The couple planned their wedding on a shoestring, making as many beautiful details themselves as they could. They also had a lot of help from their friends and families. “We wanted to get married in the same way we live our lives, e.g. low-fi, low-budget, and surrounded by lots of lovely, creative friends and family,” Anne-Marie continued. “Everyone collaborated to make the day happen: my friend Frances made the cakes for the champagne reception at my house, my friend Sam made yards of bunting, my sister Lisa made the ‘AMP & JOHNNY’ sign and the little swallows and fabric baubles that decorated the hall for the party, lots of people DJed and my friend Soshanna made the most exquisite sugar-flower-strewn, three-tier wedding cake I’ve ever seen.”
Their day was casual and perfect for them, “We didn’t really have a theme: in fact we barely thought about it until we realised it was less than a month away. It was then a mad dash to arrange everything. The invites (coming from the US) were held up at UK customs and didn’t arrive until a week before the big day! For the reception I wanted a village hall feel, with lots of bunting and a cake display, but that was the only bit that was planned. Otherwise it was just… ad hoc vintage.”
“The theme of our wedding ended up as a sort of mish-mash of Mad Hatters tea party, 1940’s/50’s and Camden weirdness (Camden is an area of London known for it’s alternative culture – great for people watching!), which fitted our personalities perfectly” newlywed Melissa told me. She married Jonathan at Islington Town Hall and afterwards had their reception in a hotel in Camden, where they first met.
“My inspiration firstly came from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland,” Melissa continued. “Jon and I went to see the film when we were dating and I fell in love with it, I’d always been a fan of the book as a child but the film had me hooked. As soon as Jon proposed I knew I would want a touch of Alice involved somewhere within the wedding, the only difficulty was going to be fitting the theme around our tiny budget.”
“We’re not one for tradition and we tend to follow our own rules in life so we thought ‘well why should our wedding be any different’ Although the venues were booked around 6 months in advance everything else was left to the last minute, our decorations and centre pieces were DIY and we had an awful lot of help from our bridesmaids.”
“I totally recommend making centre pieces yourself and decorations. It saves so much money (which was crucial for us as we were on an amazingly tight budget) and gives the wedding a real personal feel. I really couldn’t have done any of it without the support and help of my family and bridesmaids.”
Anthony & Collette were married at South Farm in Hertfordshire. They wanted their day to be laid back and timeless, so a matchy-matchy or strong theme really wasn’t for them. “We took our inspiration from a few different sources,” the bride told me. “We wanted it to be quite understated but not boring.”
“We didn’t so obviously want to have a things match or have a recognisable theme. We did, however, want everything to complement each other. Kind of like how my wedding ring and engagement ring contrasted but complemented each other – a traditional white diamond engagement ring with a black diamond ‘eternity’ wedding ring.”
Collette wore a dress by Temperley which she found in the flagship store in Notting Hill, London. It was ready to wear but she had the sleeves shortened to suit her more. She accessorised with Chie Mihara shoes which she had sent over from Spain (as she couldn’t get the colour she wanted in this country) a hair clip from Anthropologie in Kings Road London and a beaded Vintage bag from antique fair held at Hammersmith Town Hall.
Alice & Graham were married on Tuesday in sunny Brighton. The imtimate wedding had only 30 guests and I was one of the lucky few to be invited to join in the celebrations. We ate ice creams, drank champagne and Pimms and wore silly glasses on the beach…
Alice will be writing up her full wedding report when she returns from her honeymoon to Florida in a couple of weeks, but for now…here’s a little teaser for you. How cute?!
Congratulations Mr & Mrs Clark!
You can see the rest of Alice’s adventures in weddingland here.
This styled shoot was set up by photographer Andrea Ellison who wanted to get together with some of her favourite wedding industry companions and create something great. She told me all about it last week, “I had been speaking with Mandy from Saddleworth Shindigs for a while about arranging a shoot “just for the pure hell of it ” The time was never right and we couldn’t find anyone suitable….and then Amelia Rose Wheeler walked past me in a pub dressed to the nines like she had just walked off a 1940’s film set…I set off in hot persuit leaving my hubby chewing his own leg off with embarrassment as I picked up our model…she is a burlesque dancer called be_bop_ a_lulu who also owns a vintage clothes store and she is just aceness itself.”
“I am like you. I totally agree that just because you have someone nearby who has the same business as you do that doesn’t mean you have to hate each others guts,” Andrea continued. “I have two other photographers, Claire Penn Photography & Jo Rutherford Photography, both hugely talented and both on my doorstep, and the best work we do is when the three of us get together and share ideas and shoots. We support each other, we pass bookings to each other and we never see each other as competition. There is a photographer for every bride and if your true to your style they will find you if they like what you do”
OK so I am one lucky wedding blogger. My friend and photographer Assassynation sends me the very best weddings to feature! It helps that so many of her brides are readers of Rock n Roll Bride anyway (yeey!) but I just have to say that her work and new video project (with cinematographer Frank) is on FIRE right now. Today’s little gem comes in the form of the adorable backyard wedding of Nic & Mike.
After getting ready at the home they shared, Nic & Mike were wed at Exeter register office – which they travelled to together in their own car. After the ceremony and some portraits in and around the town, the couple and their guests headed back to their house for a casual and gorgeous reception in their back garden.
“Being true to ourselves was really important,” the bride told me. “The main thing was always that we did things our way, with the people we love (for who we are) around us to share the celebration. If that’s Rock n Roll then ace but truly that’s just us being ourselves. We’re both pretty creative people and I’m not especially good at delegating so it made sense to do it ourselves, that way we made sure we got what we wanted but we tried not to be too precious about anything.”
“In our humble opinion being Rock n Roll isn’t something to aspire to, or something to try to create-it’s about being true to yourselves-whatever that may be. Don’t try to do things for your wedding to please others or because it’s what you think you ought to-do what you want and enjoy being yourselves.”
The bride wore a dress which he bought online at Unique Vintage. “It was a scary optic white when it arrived but I soon sorted that by first tea staining it and later coffee staining to get the vintage finish.” With this she wore a bolero House of Fraser (which she again tea stained herself) an old scarf as a belt and Irregular Choice shoes.
“You’ll recognise my shoes Kat, as it was on Rock n Roll Bride that I saw them first, on that shoot you did on Whistable beach” Nic explained. “They were my first wedding outfit purchase, I kinda worked upwards from the shoes! I knew from the outset that I wanted a fifties inspired dress and for it to be tea length. Our budget was tight plus there was no way even if we had the money that I wanted to spend over £150/£200 on my outfit, so I searched online for something.”
“I saw some gorgeous Candy Anthony dresses so used those as a reference point. I saw Kat feature this dress by Unique Vintage on another bride in America so I checked them out and when I saw this one there on the screen again I knew it was right. I was a bit shocked at the whiteness of it when it arrived but I soon sorted that out. My eleven year old daughter thought I was mad dunking my brand new wedding dress in the sink full of Earl Grey but it didn’t really surprise her!”
As you can imagine, the majority of this wedding was homemade. The bride made all the cupcakes, and she bought all the flowers beforehand and put them together, in jam jars, herself.
“We collected all of the vintage china in the months before the wedding, from our local recycling centre,” Nic continued. “I made the cake stands myself and the tablecloth were bits of fabric from eBay. We colour-coded the ribbons on the frames with the table plans in them to the tablecloths. The old suitcase cost £14 from a local junk shop which we then used for our cards to be put into. We had said on our invites that we’d rather not have gifts as we have all we need in our home, but if people wanted to contribute to our honeymoon then that would be lovely.”
Don’t forget the video! How could you really when it’s as stunning as this?