The most important thing to Zoe and Tom was that they brought both their families together to celebrate their wedding. “All we wanted was a completely inclusive and family-based wedding that everyone (big Irish and Geordie families!) was invited to and welcome at”, Zoe said. “We wanted everyone to mingle and mesh together in one big happy muddle. I think this was probably the thing that most people commented on too which was nice.”
“One of the best moments of the day was actually when our immediate families all clubbed together and performed How Sweet it is to be Loved by You in the evening. They took over the band’s stage area and were playing guitars and drums and tambourines! It got everyone joining in with the singing. It was amazing.”
Ben and Helen’s biggest priority for their May wedding was that it wasn’t stressful. “I found being engaged very, very intense. I was the ultimate nervous bride”, Helen wrote. “In the end I decided I really just wanted to keep it as simple as possible but still be our perfect day. Our 1950s look evolved naturally and really suited our venue, Stockport Plaza. We loved that the venue didn’t need much extra décor too. It really took the pressure off.”
“Ben is a massive Back to the Future geek so we played the first film in the cinema between the ceremony and the meal. Other than that we had a slight moustache and lip theme because we thought it was really fun. Ben’s sister and one of my friends made all the moustache and lips lollipop favours and pretty much everyone we know collected jam jars for us for the tables.”
“A lot of our family and friends did think our venue was a bit ‘out there’ but we loved it. We served our wedding meal of pie and mash in their already set up café diner and then for the evening we just headed back downstairs to the theatre for dancing.”
Victoria and Rob were set up by mutual friends. They were clearly on the right track too because they moved in together within two weeks and were engaged four months later! They were married in London at Stoke Newington Town Hall. Their reception was held at The Londesborough Pub.
“We both had a really clear idea of the sort of wedding we wanted from the onset”, explained the bride. “We’re not particularly traditional so we wanted to avoid anything too stuffy or formulaic, opting instead for something much more relaxed and informal with personal touches that reflected our personalities. We love anything and everything vintage, so we also wanted to incorporate that into the styling and decoration but ultimately, we really just wanted to throw a kick ass party for our nearest and dearest!”
“Being a Londoner myself and with Rob having lived here for over seven years, we were certain we wanted a London wedding. It also meant I could get ready at my family home where I was born and raised and I’m so glad I did – it felt very significant! I work in Stoke Newington and we live about three miles away so both the Town Hall and the Londesborough were familiar stomping ground and I loved the idea of being able to walk past the venue where we were married every day at lunch! Before I had even met Rob, I had decided I wanted to have my wedding at the pub (how presumptive!) as it is such a warm and welcoming venue with real personality and character.”
An almost completely DIY wedding is impressive enough, but when you have such a theme as steampunk then I think it’s doubly so! Alys and Stu were hitched last October in Manchester. The reception was held at the Museum of Science and Industry.
“We both love the steampunk and neither of us was particularly keen on a traditional white wedding”, said Alys. “We are also not religious we fancied doing something a bit different. We both love the Museum of Science and Industry and have been going since we were kids so it was quite a poignant place to get married. I can’t quite remember which came first, the theme or the venue, but either way they complimented each other really well!”
They shunned tradition in plenty of ways, not just with their inedible outfits! “We did a joint speech as we were not keen on a lot of the gender specific obligations. Likewise, I had both my parents walk me down the aisle. We let the cake bakers have first ‘cut’ of their own cakes rather than just us being up there doing it. My sister also did a speech as well as the best man and I had ‘bridesmates’ instead of bridesmaids (don’t really like the word ‘maid’).”
Helen and Jamie are also planning a big, elaborate wedding with all their friends and family in Spain, but organising the legal bit over there was a huge headache. So they decided to have their official ceremony in a teeny tiny church called St Gobbans in Port Braddan, Northern Ireland.
“We live and work in Thailand and therefore getting back and forth to Spain and organising everything from far away wasn’t straightforward”, explained the bride. “As we are UK citizens and all our families live there, the least complicated way to officiate our marriage was in the UK. My mum’s cousin, Connel Auld, is a minister and has the most incredible cottage with tiny church up in the North Coast of Northern Ireland and we thought it would be really personal to get married there. Connel really only officiates for friends and family so when he offered to conduct our ceremony, we felt very privileged. He is such a great character and really made the day for us.”
“His house is like a museum with relics from WW2″, she continued, “Pieces of furniture, including the porthole windows that feature in some of the photos, were made for but didn’t make it onto the Titanic! The church is the smallest in Ireland and one of the smallest in the world and we just about managed to squeeze the 11 people in! This made it all the more intimate and special.”
Kelly and Benjamin knew what they wanted for their wedding right from the start. They wanted an informal day with a festival vibe and lots and lots of colour! “The inspiration for our wedding was just ‘let’s be ourselves'”, Kelly said. “We’ve been to so many weddings over the years that all feel the same; a lot of people try and have this fancy formal affair when it really doesn’t reflect who they are as people.”
“As soon as we started planning, the main focus was that we wanted a relaxed and informal atmosphere. We were adamant we didn’t want a fancy sit down meal instead we wanted a party atmosphere with everyone tucking into burgers and sausages. Everyone that we spoke to after our wedding spoke so fondly of the day and how relaxed and fun it was. There was so much laughter from start to finish, exactly like we wanted. Our budget was just £8000 and we only really spent money on the things that guests enjoy at weddings – the venue, good food and the music!”