Dani and Mark mat three years ago at Balham Bowls Club in south London. So when it came to choosing a venue for their October wedding, nowhere else could have been more perfect! “The night we met I was quite hungover and was out for a friend’s birthday, Mark was out for some drinks with his friend (and best man) Paul. Depending on who tells the story, I apparently gave Mark ‘the eye’ as he walked into the pub, which prompted him to start talking to me later in the evening, OR (my version) I don’t remember looking at Mark as he came in and wondered why he was staring at me all night. Either way, he bought me a rum and coke and we were inseparable ever since.”
“The idea behind our wedding was that we really just wanted a big party with all our friends. In a way it was easier knowing what we didn’t want (chair covers, fruit cake, pastel colours), which helped us find what we did want – lots of bright colours and for everyone to have a really good (boozy) time!”
“One of my biggest worries about the wedding was that I would just cry the whole way through the ceremony, not get any words out and generally look disgusting”, she said. “In the car on the way my bridesmaids Googled ‘techniques to stop crying’ and discovered that apparently if you recite song lyrics it can help. We ended up singing Bon Jovi ‘Living on a Prayer’ at the top of our voices all the way to the ceremony – I think the driver thought we were drunk! And I managed not to cry through the ceremony (mostly)! We were actually both quite surprised at how much we loved the ceremony part, even all the photos outside beautiful Wandsworth Town Hall. Walking into the reception to cheers from our friends and family was pretty amazing too. It was really overwhelming to see everyone in there!”
Maria and Graeme wanted their wedding to reflect what was most important to them – family and having fun. They also wanted their day to have minimal fuss and stress and planned the whole thing in just eight weeks!
“Although we got engaged on NYE 2011, and had a lot of ideas, they all fell by the wayside last year when my brother died suddenly”, Maria explained. “He would have played a very big role on our special day, and it was very hard coming to terms with him not being with us. However in August last year, we decided to just go for it. We saw the venue on August 17th, and were married there on October 18th!”
The wedding took place at The Tithe Barn at Symondsbury Estate. “We managed to do tons of DIY in that time”, she continued. “We made the button bouquets, cake, buttonholes, spray painted bottles for the flowers, place cards, table plan, order of the day, and music playlists. We had a lot of help from our very brilliant and talented friends too. I loved making my own bouquet and it also saved us money. Not only did it feel like a massive achievement, but it was lovely to carry something so special and unique. We collected buttons from friends and family (including some from my late brother) as well as lots of pink ones from eBay!”
Jamie and Mat’s intimate wedding was held by the marina in Carins, a tropical paradise in the north of Queensland. Their ceremony was right by the water, and their reception was held at Salt House restaurant. “We met while I was working at the Cairns night markets airbrushing hats”, began the bride. “I noticed Mat walk into the markets and prayed he didn’t come to my booth as I was covered in paint… but over he came to order some hats. I stumbled through conversation with him, discovering we were both originally from the small rural town. It was definitely lust at first sight! Two weeks later we went on our first date and we haven’t spent a single night apart since! He proposed after just three months and we were married three months later!”
“Our wedding theme vintage but with a touch of modern”, she continued. ” We had vintage chairs and teacups but also with glass skull centrepieces! Our wedding was small, just 30 guests. We haven’t regretted this decision for a second.”
The bride’s super glam dress and headpiece were by Aussie bridal designer Johanna Johnson. “We had no real budget as such, we just wanted things to be how we wanted them but without spending a fortune. Honestly, there isn’t a thing I’d change now. We had everything we wanted and more. Our main cash splash would have to be my headpiece actually! At $800 I definitely considered leaving it out, but I think our portray why I just couldn’t!”
Being big foodies, Billy & Laura knew they wanted to serve up an amazing feast at their wedding. But they wanted to do it in their own way, so a Full English Breakfast it was! “Overall we just wanted our wedding to be the best party anyone had ever been to”, wrote the bride. “We wanted great food, music and laughter. We definitely wanted our food to be different as we’d attended 8 or 9 weddings the year before and had (albeit very tasty) the same meal over and over.”
“One of the reasons we chose Skipbridge as our reception venue was that we could hire our own caterers and we weren’t stuck with a cookie cutter hotel wedding menu. We really wanted a Full English for our wedding breakfast but I found it difficult to find a supplier that would do exactly what we wanted that wouldn’t charge us an extortionate amount. Eventually I contacted House of Hog and he delivered exactly what we wanted for a great price. We had a fruit starter, followed by a buffet of sausages, bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, hash browns, eggs and veggie alternatives. Dessert was a selection of pastries, pancakes and muffins.”
Laura and Aidan were married on the stage at Wakefield Theatre. They had a small wedding budget, spending just £3,500, but their wedding was every bit as special as one with 10 times the money in the pot!
“The stage was set up to have a starry night backdrop and tea lights in jam jars scattered over it”, began the bride. “Someone has commented it was very midsummer’s nights dream, which wasn’t the theme but it did look like that. It felt very romantic and special and because we were on stage away from people it felt actually very intimate. It was exactly what we wanted in a venue; laid back, not overdone, faded but glamorous.”
The bride wore a vintage wedding dress which she found on eBay, “My dress was a stunning princess style gown with a touch of Audrey Hepburn. My shoes were vintage Manolo Blahnik with a kitten heel in a brogue style in pale blue and white. My bridesmaids were my daughters, aged 6 and 8, and they were orange jumpsuits from Monsoon and stripy black and white pointy shoes. My cousin, Alice, was also a bridesmaid but wore whatever she wanted. She looked great and helped out so much.”
Sian and Nathan’s wedding was a celebration of ‘them’. They wanted to put their own spin on everything so they handmade all the decorations for the reception, had their dog in attendance and, just for fun, had little Lego men on the groom’s buttonholes!
“We met in February 2009 and spent our first date playing Guess Who and chatting about our mutual love of Spaced, which 5 years later inspired the name of our miniature schnauzer Colin!” wrote the bride. “Colin was always going to be a part of our wedding as he’s such a big part of our lives (although we heard rumours that he snored through the ceremony!)”
“We didn’t exactly know what we wanted our wedding to be like at first, but we knew what we didn’t want, so we tried to steer clear of traditional ‘wedding’ styles by reading Rock n Roll Bride and scouring Pinterest for inspiration. We pretty much just chose things that we loved so we had quite a mix of ‘styles’ or ‘themes’. The Lego (Nathan’s favourite thing), the day of the dead cake toppers, and the wristbands (my hen was at a festival).”