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.”
Tim and Scarlett were married on 8th August, their five year anniversary. They had a church ceremony followed by a tea party reception in the gardens of Baxby Manor, a gorgeous 705 year old Manor house. “We knew that we wanted somewhere beautiful, and Baxby ticked all the boxes”, Scarlett began. “It even came with a glamping site down the lane for all our guests to stay over! Baxby isn’t a wedding venue, just a luxury holiday letting, but the owners were amazing and let us create a beautiful day there, as if it were our own house.”
The bride used to work at a wedding venue so she had a strong idea beforehand about what she didn’t want! Most of the wedding was DIY from the cake to the flowers and the stationery to the catering.
“I didn’t want a theme. After working in a wedding venue where I saw the same style of weddings every week, I knew I wanted ours to be different. I also have quite a strong style. While I am not trying to claim I’m something so different, or so cool or anything, I know what I like and I don’t care what other people think. Tim is a fashion designer and this drives him crazy – he wants to style me all the time!”
Cassandra and Howard were married at The Roost in Dalston, London, a photographic studio and shooting location. Because it wasn’t a traditional wedding venue it meant their whole day was really chilled out and non-traditional, but also that they could completely plan it the way they wanted. “We’d had a really small and intimate wedding ceremony in Cornwall with just our immediate families so we wanted to throw a vintage wedding tea party for friends and relatives here in London”, began the bride.
“The Roost was an amazing find. It’s a former Victorian pub in deepest, darkest Dalston converted into a four floor photographic and film shoot location. My heart skipped a beat the first time we viewed it. It was perfect. I just loved the eclectic vintage vibe and ‘out there’ style of the place. From the gorgeous House Of Hackney wallpapers, to the giant props, old film posters and quirky paintings on the wall. We were just blown away.”
The majority of this wedding was DIY. The bride homemade all the cakes, bought flowers from Columbia Road Flower Market and designed and screen printed the invitations herself. “Well, it wouldn’t be a tea party without cake would it?” Cassandra laughed. “I do a bit of part time baking at Lily Vanilli’s East London bakery, and was determined to do all my own cakes – I’m always up for a challenge (although everyone thought I was mad). For the cake table I made a mixed berry vanilla sponge cake, devil’s good cake, cherry bakewells, moustache cookies, mini chocolate Guinness bundt cakes, marmalade loaf cakes, brownies, rocky road squares, scones and a cupcake tower with cupcakes bejeweled with pomegranate seeds and edible crystalised flowers.”
Rebecca and Bentley’s low key and relaxed wedding was held at Celebrations in Moseley, Virginia. They had a full weekend of festivities, starting with a picnic on Saturday, a brunch together on the Sunday morning and the wedding ceremony and main reception on the Sunday afternoon.
“We wanted a wedding that was laid back, light and airy, so we tried to reflect that in the decorations, music and food”, explained the bride. “It also happened to fall on Bastille Day, so we had a sort of French theme as well. We loved the whole vibe of our day. Everyone had such a good time and still talks about how much fun they had. We have friends and family who are still telling us it’s the best wedding they went to, and that’s because we wanted to make sure our guests really had an awesome time. We made a whole weekend out of it so by the time of the wedding, people who had never previously met were hanging out, dancing, and having a great time!”
After their small legal ceremony at Bletchley Registry Office, Hannah and Craig hosted their wedding in Craig’s parent’s back garden. They had a blessing followed by a marquee reception. The bride wore two dresses. The first, which she also wore again for dancing at the end of the night, was a bodice and skirt from BHLDN. Her second, more traditional gown was from Trudy Lee.
“Our wedding was a country rustic day but with modern touches”, began the bride. “When I was younger I didn’t have that picture in my head of my perfect wedding, I think it was probably because I had never seen one like ours before (!!) – outside in the open, garden ceremony and fields behind us. I think because we had that space to use that defined what our wedding was going to be like.”
“We were engaged for 3 years before we married. Craig proposed when we’d only been together 7 months so we didn’t make plans straight away. Bur during the spring of 2012 we were looking out across Craig’s parents garden and land and we decided it would be the most perfect venue. It was from then on the wedding plans went into full steam ahead! The ‘venue’ we had was certainly the lighting out of the blue inspiration we needed to kick start the plans. That’s what made the wedding so unique, Craig’s parents have a stunning home and we are so deeply grateful to them for allowing us to hold our wedding at their house.”
Antonia and Harvey had a three day wedding at Roskilly’s Ice Cream Farm in Cornwall. Their wedding was a true labour of love, with the couple and their friends and family working hard to create the wedding of their dreams. The weekend happened to be the hottest of the year which couldn’t have been more perfect for their outdoor, ice cream farm celebration!
“Ultimately we wanted something that we would enjoy going to and to have a festival style, laid-back feel to the whole party”, began the groom. “Being the most expensive party of our lives, we didn’t want it to be over in a day so we had three days!”
“The retro caravans made for a great backdrop to the festival theme and allowed us to create our weekend jamboree. We dragged our friends to the far end of the country, and in return gave them a church overlooking a Cornish fishing village, magnificent tipis and hippy buses. We had smoke bombs instead of confetti, original 1950s Monte Carlo pin-up glamour playing cards as place cards and table runners made from old public WC roller-towels. Our bunting was Mexican Day of the Dead bunting, we had a piñata ‘first dance’ and lucked out on finding an incredible caterer, celebrating the best of Cornish food. Antonia’s Fur Coat No Knickers dress was a theme unto itself – it was supremely glamorous, laden with historical allure. Yes it was vintage, yes it was rural, but the day sparkled with lavishness.”