With just £5000 to spend, Ali and Andrew knew they had to get creative for their wedding. They decided to skip the traditional wedding venue, instead bravely hosting their day completely outside at a camp site by the beach in East Lothian, Scotland.
“Initially when we thought about what we would do for our wedding we thought we would go back to St Andrews, where we met, and have a huge party on the beach”, said Ali. “However this proved to be out of our budget, so we decided to downsize to East Lothian, which is much more reasonably priced. We wanted to make the wedding reflective of us, so there were nods to our shared interests of writing and comics, to Andrew’s love of Doctor Who and my fondness for bright colours!”
“The main thing was we wanted it to be fun for our guests”, she continued. “We didn’t want anyone to get cold and bored, particularly in the ‘standing around waiting for formal photos to be over’ portion of proceedings, so we instructed everyone to bring a jumper, and brought along tennis rackets, swingball and various board games.”
Lauralei and James, known to friends and family as Frog and Weasel, were hitched in St Ives in June. They rented a gorgeous cottage for the week and were married on a Wednesday. Their ceremony was held at St Nicholas Chapel and they had lunch at The Rum and Crab Shack where they had a huge crayfish buffet for everyone to dig into. Finally, the evening reception was at Porthmeor Studios, a mid-century built artist studios.
“I wouldn’t say we had any particular inspiration, we just followed our hearts to make it reflect us perfectly!” began the bride. “We really struggled to find the right venue initially. We knew we wanted to be in our favourite part of Cornwall, but could not work out exactly where. We wanted something low key and relaxed like a village hall, but just couldn’t find the right thing. We visited lots of small venues, but none could cater for our needs to the whole thing and a price we could stretch to. After visiting Porthmeorʼs open studios, I had a random brainwave. Thinking it would be a long shot I immediately emailed to see if there was any way we could hire a studio. We were amazed when we found out we could! Realising it wouldn’t be right for the whole day we decided we would mix and match all of our favourite venues and that is how we ended up with the chapel and the Crab Shack. Why settle for something when you can have everything you want!? Plus it lead us to our very loose theme: Frog & Weaselʼs Big Day Out in St Ives!”
Amy and Rob spent just £4000 on their quirky film inspired wedding. They did a lot of things themselves and saved the pennies by making unconventional choices, like serving fish n chips for the main meal.
“Our wedding was casual, fun and a little bit vintage, with a dash of film references thrown in for good measure”, said Amy. “We also both love the 1950s so there was some influence from there as well, particularly in my outfit. We are both big film fans so we wanted to embrace our love of cinema by including our favourite characters in the wedding invites to give a hint at what the day had in store.”
“Our local cinemas kindly donated posters which were used to decorate the walls of the reception venue, and my back catalogue of Empire magazines really came in handy as they were used to make decorations and confetti! When the guests were tucking into their food (fish n chips!) they were treated to our favourite scores and songs from our favourite films.”
I don’t think it’ll come as a massive surprise to any of you that the vast majority of newly-weds I interview say that they wanted their wedding to reflect them. They took their mutual passions and combined them to create a wedding that felt individual, authentic and unique. But it might shock you to hear that a lot of brides I chat to pre-wedding tell me that they’re really worried about whether their mish-mash of ideas will work together. I mean, when you have a set theme it’s pretty easy to know what’s going to go… but Halloween, Lego and sparkles? Do those things work side by side?
I say hell yes and so do India and Rab who had those exact things at their October 31st wedding in Edinburgh! “Our wedding was a Lego Hallowedding!” began the bride. “We mixed Halloween with old Hollywood glamour and all the things we love including Lego, horror films and sci-fi. We wanted our day to be as fun as possible and reflect our own personalities. Since getting together weave enjoyed some big Halloween parties, and had lots of fun planning costumes, decorations, and food so the wedding was a bit of an extension of that.”
Claire and Lou wanted a relaxed wedding that all their guests would enjoy. “The inspiration for our wedding came quite naturally”, Lou told me. “All we wanted was to feel comfortable in our outfits and for our guests to feel comfortable too. We wanted people to socialise as much as possible and for everyone to have an amazing time with us. We wanted a nice flow on the running order and our priority was to ensure that no-one was hanging around waiting for the next part of the day feeling hungry or bored!”
The wedding was held at Southend Barns in Chichester. “The minute we saw our venue we knew that it was perfect”, she continued “I walked around the grounds and imagined certain props in certain places and got an idea of what would work and what wouldn’t. I got a lot of my décor inspiration by simply standing in the middle of the venue and looking around and thinking about what I could do.”
There were parts of Becky and Stewart’s wedding that were traditional – the grand manor house, the toastmaster, the order of the day, and others that couldn’t have been more Rock n Roll. The bride wore an incredible blush pink wedding dress and veil, their portraits featured smoke bombs, and there were nods to their mutual love of music throughout. This wedding goes to prove that you can intertwine the wedding traditions that you like with the alternative elements that you crave and it will still totally work!
The day was held at Wrenbury Hall, Cheshire. “The inspiration for our wedding was our favourite artists”, said the bride. “Our wedding was also truly about us! My sister Hannah is a DIY Queen and she made the table plan themed around records and our favourite artists including the Chemical Brothers, David Bowie and Kasabian. We used vinyl LPs from a charity shop instead of a guest book and on the Blondie one we’d swapped Debbie Harry’s head with mine and the other heads with Stew!”