With just £3000, a mountain of ideas and a hell of a lot of hard work, Abby and Liam planned their DIY village hall wedding for August this year. The day was held at Eccleston Village Hall, with the ceremony in the garden. They saved a lot of money by not going for traditional wedding stuff. Abby’s amazing dress was vintage, bought at Pillbox Vintage Wedding Fair, which she then had reworked by Carla at Mon Ami. Liam’s outfit was from River Island. The flowers were all grown in the bride’s mother’s garden and their transport for the day was their own vintage yellow Beetle!
“We were very, very keen on not having any kind of concrete theme”, Abby began. “Simply because it was too much hassle. I couldn’t be bothered matching a napkin to someone’s shoes and other silly things. I knew we could obsess over this and see costs soar. Our life and general belongings are quite random – and that’s why it all works! We literally chose something if we liked it, and hoped it wouldn’t look like a jumble sale on the day.”
Fiona and David’s Kent wedding was influenced by the style of the 1940s through to the 1960s. “I think the whole day was defined by it really being a reflection of us as a couple”, Fiona said. “We really didn’t want an identikit, faceless, corporate feel. Also, we wanted it to be as relaxed as possible. We didn’t want anyone to stand on ceremony or feel uncomfortable. We just wanted all the people closest to us there and to eat, drink, dance and have a lot of fun.”
The day was held at Kent Life, a heritage farm in Maidstone. The space was decorated from top to toe by the couple themselves. “I’d always imagined a street party type feel for our wedding but that proved to be quite difficult to organise so we were really pleased when we found this original 1940s village hall at Kent Life”, she continued. “The fact that we could decorate it ourselves was a massive incentive for choosing the venue. Neither of us are fans of doing things as tradition dictates and the idea of having chair covers and white tablecloths foisted upon us made me very anxious! The venue was great and the fact that the village hall is surrounded by farmyard animals somehow made the whole idea of a wedding seem less pretentious and not too grand.”
A village hall reception venue, a bride who designed her own dress and a groom who found his entire outfit in charity shops – oh I am so excited about Laura & Mike’s amazing wedding! Is it just me or are the low key, budget friendly and full of love weddings winning over the high-maintenance, super detail heavy weddings right now?
“I am a huge geek and one of the things I am most geeky about is design, craft and making things”, wrote newlywed Laura. ” So when Mike proposed at a picnic in Kensington Gardens just after our 6 year anniversary, the mother of all craft projects was born! We hadn’t really been to many weddings before which I think actually helped as we had very few pre-conceived ideas of what a wedding ‘should’ be. Don’t get me wrong, our wedding wasn’t hugely wacky - there was still a ceremony, some food and some dancing – but hopefully a few bits and pieces on the way made it ‘our’ day.”
“I knew I wanted to do a lot myself, because making things is what I do”, she continued, “and after some pretty soul destroying wedding venue searching, we came across Rotherwick Village Hall who hire out the venue from 1pm on a Friday until 11am on a Sunday for a bargain price – perfect! Once this was locked down, we looked for the ceremony venue.”
Not being able to find what she wanted in a dress for a price she could afford, Laura decided to design her own wedding dress with the help of dressmaker, Rosemary Pitkin. ”Rosemary made my drawing a reality. I then embroidered the back and sleeves of the dress. I made my headpiece out of vintage brooches and earrings – it was my something old, and Mike’s suit was £15 from a charity shop!”