For their late summer wedding Sarah & James wanted something relaxed, quirky and quintessentially English So they opted for a tea party style reception in the Suffolk countryside. The wedding was held at Otley Hall, a 16th Century moated hall surrounded by 10 acres of gardens and which has been voted one of the top 20 Historic Houses in the UK.
“We don’t like conform to the traditional”, began Sarah, “so we didn’t go for the big bank busting do to show off and invite hundreds of people we didn’t know. We wanted a day to celebrate our love for each other and to share it with the people we cared for. It was a day to show who we were as a couple in a setting that suited our individuality and to have a celebration! I suppose you could say our inspiration came from a collection of things we liked; we wanted it to be a celebration of us.”
“Our theme was English country garden party with a vintage homemade feel. There wasn’t a specific colour palette, but we decided to go with blue scale for the wedding parties’ attire. We decorated the space ourselves including a sweet stand for jars of sweets made by James’ dad, with handmade doily cones (made by James!) I customised the stand with bunting to match the bunting around the room and outside space made by my sister Aime.”
With family flying in from England, Thailand and the USA for their Scottish wedding, Bex & Santi really wanted to make their wedding something special. So they started with having a weeklong event, hosted at Crear, a farm house near Tarbert in Argyll. “We actually got married on 20th January but with our families travelling from all over we rented the house for a whole week (18th-24th) and everyone stayed there with us”, Bex began. “We wanted to spend as little as possible, which ended up being about £10,000 but that did include the rental of Crear for 19 people for a whole week! I think my amazing mother needs a special mention here as she was ‘head of catering’ for the entire week at Crear and did all the menu planning and shopping for up to 30 people every day!”
Bex wore a 1950s style wedding dress from Just Gorgeous Bridal Studio in Crawshawbooth which was actually two dresses made into one. “The dress and the lace overlay top were actually two separate pieces made by different designers.The dress was made by LouLou and the lace top was made by Ellis. I then took the dress and the top to a fantastic seamstress, Natalie Murphy, based in Rawtenstall, Rossendale (01706223132) who carefully beaded the lace top, added some layers of silk organza to the skirt and made various alterations to make it all fit perfectly. Combining two separate pieces and having alterations made by Natalie gave me a unique dress that was exactly what I wanted.”
Despite not having any Scottish connections himself, Santi wore a kilt. Bex’s bridesmaid was her best friend – her dog Luna! “She said she didn’t want a dress and that her beautiful brindle coat was enough of a statement”, she laughed. “But I did lovingly craft her a wedding collar on a new cream lead. Oh and diamanté encrusted name tag!”
I know having favourites is bad… especially in my game… but, honestly, if I was held at gun point and asking to choose, I might be swayed towards Made U Look Photography. They are, without a doubt, some of the sweetest and most talented babes about. I love them endlessly and their photography fills my heart with joy.
So obviously getting a submission from Christina, Alie & Marielle is a red letter day in my book. I feel like all my Christmases have come at once when I first clap eyes on stunning wedding images like this:
UGH, girls. You killed it!
Heidi & Nathan’s beautiful outdoor wedding was held at Grand Oaks Ranch in Tehachapi, Ca.
“Nathan and I have been together for over 6 years so we wanted our wedding to be not only a celebration of our love for each other but also for our family and friends”, wrote Heidi. “They have been there for us throughout the years and have watched us grow into the people we are today. We wanted our day to be filled with love, laughter, tears, and lots of dancing… which was a total success of course!”
A colourful country fête wedding with a 1950s flair? What’s not to love in Steph & Dale’s wedding?! The day took place in Essex, kicking off at St Giles Church with the reception at Pledgdon Barn.
This wedding was a real DIY love affair and a project of passion. The couple made as much as possible including (deep breath) the bunting (both triangle and heart shaped), their stationery and all the paper goods, cocktail stirrers from laser cut card, the cake flags, the acrylic cake toppers, the wooden signs, the blackboards, the paper hearts for decorating the tables, the bridesmaids earrings, the buttonholes, the bow ties for their dogs and the cupcakes!
“I really wanted most things to be handmade because I like to be creative, plus this allowed things to be personal to us and also it can keep costs down”, Steph explained. “The bunting and stationary took the longest to make. If anyone says that bunting is quick then they would be lying!! The amount of man hours it took to make 200m of bunting was ridiculous!! I was still making up until a couple of days before but it turned the barn from something ordinary to something really special and it was definitely worth all the blood, sweat and tears.”
I’m not an expert of the history of weddings, but when you think about it, many wedding traditions are really quite odd. A tiered cake, putting your best friends in ill-fitting in matching dresses, an awkward dance in front of everyone you know, throwing a bouquet of flowers at people’s heads… odd.
So I was presently surprised to receive Kelly & Toby’s wedding from their photographer Joanna Millington and see that it had none of that. In fact isn’t this the perfect example of what weddings should really be about? A ceremony declaring your intention to be together forever followed by a celebratory gathering with your nearest and dearest? So so awesome.
The day started with a ceremony at Islington town hall, followed by a stroll and casual drinks at the Drapers Arms, and concluded with an intimate dinner for 14 at The Wapping Project.
“We didn’t want to spend a fortune on the wedding and really tried to keep costs a minimum without spending a lot on unnecessary paraphernalia”, began the bride. “We kept it intimate and stripped it way back and put more money into different areas – namely a big bar tab and really great food. We also split the event into two days (we had a party on the second day for 70 people which wasn’t photographed) which helped reduce costs as it meant we didn’t have to put on dinner for 70 people (which would inevitably have ended up a bit naff on that scale).”
This shoot, inspired by both vintage and vinyl elements was pulled together by wedding photographer Sarah Gormley. “I wanted to create a wedding shoot that would be relevant for passionate musicians on a tight wedding budget, so this vintage vinyl shoot features an array of DIY touches”, she writes. “For a guest book, we used silver sharpie pens on vinyl records, framed to make hangable mementos for the happy couple. We also took small black-rimmed DVDs and printed stickers for their center to make handmade vinyl-themed table number signs. As decoration for the bride and groom, we hung 3×3 black and white photos on an all-black clothesline.”
So what do you think? Would you ever had vintage records as part of your wedding decor? I love that although this shoot is described as having vintage elements, there’s also some bang up to date modern touches with the strong black & whit colour palate, and the model’s deep red lip. I approve!