Oh I do love a wedding with a lot of COLOUR and Anya and Karl’s purple and turquoise celebration makes me very happy indeed! They were hitched at The Church Restaurant in Northampton in March.
“We just wanted to celebrate everything we have with the people who have been there for us”, began the bride. “We took inspiration from the things we love and who we are as a family. We had about seven months to plan the wedding. Our son, Grayson, was five months old at the time and it had been a challenging couple of years. Going through IVF, finally being able to meet him and finding out he was sick was really hard (he’s made a full recovery now) and then moving house! We had a moment when we realised that we are so lucky to be here as a family and while we’ve been engaged for five years, the time finally felt right!”
“We didn’t want a white wedding or a wedding that was too big”, she continued. “I particularly love purple, have a thing about buttons and collect ribbons to re-use in my hair or for packaging! Karl loves anything unusual and bright, and as a couple we’re generally quite quirky with our choices.”
I don’t really get that excited by celebrity weddings, but when wedding photographer Woz of Howelljones Photography emailed me and told me he’d shot the secret wedding of Nicolas Cage’s son on an organic farm in Somerset, I was intrigued to say the least! The whole wedding was very low key, super intimate and shrouded in secrecy to avoid the press.
DanielleDawn and Weston had a pagan ceremony followed by a English pub reception. “I got a call from Nic’s agent saying that there will be a wedding on Monday morning in Huntstile Organic Farm, Bridgwater and I need to be there for 10am”, Woz told me. “I didn’t know who it was I photographing until I got there as they didn’t want the press to get hold of it.”
“We all had breakfast in the barn then boarded a tractor and it took us to a stone circle high on a hill near Bridgwater. The pagan ceremony lasted an hour, everybody had to drink from the cup and jump over the sacred sticks.”
Baby always wanted a Hello Kitty themed wedding but her fiancé, Simon, wasn’t so keen on the idea! Instead she added a few subtle touches (like her adorable bouquet) to their July wedding, while the rest of the styling suited both their tastes. “I think the idea we were going for was mainly rustic but with a few really cute touches, such as Hello Kitty, a candy buffet and animal balloons for the kids”, the groom explained. “Baby wanted just a Hello Kitty theme, but I wasn’t too chuffed about it, so it ended up as a mix!”
With the bride being from Hong Kong, and the groom from Poland, the wedding day was the first time their families actually met. “As everyone was coming a long way from Hong Kong and Poland, we decided to rent our venue for a full five days and have a mini holiday, while getting married on one of the days. It didn’t turn out to be much of a holiday, as me and Baby were especially busy, but it was still a blast for everyone and everybody got to know each other better.”
Zoe and Peter wanted an unconventional wedding… just like them! They had their reception at a tea room, wore what they felt comfortable in, and made everything they could themselves!
“In many ways, we don’t really consider ourselves to be ‘normal’,, so our wedding was never going to be conventional”, said Zoe. “Even P’s proposal wasn’t exactly usual: we were lying in bed and he asked me, ‘so when are we getting married then?’. I said something like ‘well you need to propose first’. So he did. And he called both my parents the following morning, which made it suddenly, very real!”
“Having been together for so many years before deciding to get married, we believed that getting married was more of a formality than a declaration of commitment or anything like that. However we appreciated that there would always be certain expectations that would have to be met. Much though the idea of running off and eloping appealed, my mother would never have forgiven me if she couldn’t be there! As you can imagine, we saw no point in a prolonged engagement either, so we set the date for the soonest we could book with our local Registry Office and took it from there.”
They never wanted a big, extravagant wedding. In fact Jade didn’t think she’d ever get married at all! “I never pictured myself as the marrying type and it was a bolt out of the blue when Aaron asked me!” she laughed.
So they wanted something decidedly intimate for their March nuptials. They were married at Southampton Registry Office, and after a meal with just a few guests, hosted a large after party at The Talking Heads, a live music venue in the city.
“We already had a daughter, Aurora, and we both felt that being married would really cement us as a proper family”, she continued. “Because I had never pictured being a bride, I had no real expectations or specific plans in mind. I think this made it a whole lot less stressful when it came to the planning. It was a very organic process, evolving naturally as we came up with more ideas and discussed our likes and dislikes. The theme wasn’t planned but our mutual love of leopard print came across pretty strongly with lots of little features. Our budget was small, just £3000, but we saw this as an exciting challenge rather than an obstacle and it didn’t stop us from having the DIY, intimate, personal wedding we were after. We both knew we didn’t want to spend a fortune and that cost wouldn’t detract from how beautiful it could be.”
Nikki and Lee wanted a laid back and informal wedding where they didn’t have to spend a fortune to have a great time! “Our budget was £5000 and we stuck to that like glue”, Nikki wrote. “We initially wanted to elope and just have a little ceremony somewhere on a mountain, but then, one sunny August afternoon in the pub with our friends, we just looked at each other and agreed it was too much fun not to have everyone we loved there!”
“I’ve always been crafty and big on saving money”, she continued. “It took months to find a venue that would let us bring in our own food and drink and that didn’t cost the earth and had a bar. Mycenae House, which is a community centre, fit that perfectly. The only catch was that it was used for yoga the following morning, so everything had to be cleared out by 12pm, meaning everything had to be disposable and we had to be SUPER organised.”