I love Lucy & Adam’s wedding SO MUCH. Not only did it take place in my home town of Reading (yey!) but they hired a big top to host their reception! But this wasn’t any old circus wedding, oh no these guys went all out. An airstream stage, a granny’s living room and musical performers a-plenty!
“We knew our priorities pretty early on – lots of people partying late into the night”, explained the bride. “We put lots of effort and thought into the wedding being fun and no thought towards ‘impressiveness’. We didn’t care about the venue being fancy – we just wanted a patch of land which had a 24-hour license (preferably with no charge). We found it with Rivers Health Club in Reading and we hired our big top tent from BigTopMania. Amazingly, it was only a little further down the Thames from the church, so we loved the idea of having a boat get the guests from one to the other.”
Having visited East Anglian Railway Museum since she was a little girl (and in more recent times, every September for their beer festival), Emily always knew it was the place she wanted to get married. In her own words, they chose the Town Hall for the reception, and the pub for the lunch “out of necessity”, but luckily for them the sun shone for the whole day and in the end all venues were equally stunning. “People loved that we had three venues throughout the day”, she explained. “We even had the miniature railway running for the children at the railway museum.”
Emily got her dress, headpiece and jewellery from vintage wedding dress shop Fur Coat No Knickers in Central London. “I discovered the shop through Rock n Roll Bride and loved it the second I set foot in the shop. I only visited two other shops but everything else felt synthetic and swamped me in comparison to my gorgeous 50s dress.”
“A lot of Essex weddings can be quite princessy!” Emily laughed when I asked her about the details of their day. “We just wanted to share a magical setting with our friends and family and bring together all of the things we enjoy without any pretentiousness – simple delicious food, beer and an indie disco. We certainly had a few converts by the end. I didn’t DIY very much to be honest as I don’t have the patience and I really didn’t want things to end up looking over-done with signs and decorations everywhere – a 1950s train carriage is a pretty good decoration! But I’d like to think I am skilled when it comes to delegating!”
Recently I dubbed 2012 the year of the festival wedding. I’ve been seeing them all over (particularly on my own blog’s pages!) and loving it. I used to be a huge festival kid. I live in Reading and we have a pretty famous rock festival every year, so I’ve always been a bit of a fangirl. I have fond memories of dancing til dawn, getting soaking wet in the rain and not giving a damn and waking up in stranger’s tents …(I’d like to point out this was before Gareth by the way!)
Anyone who doesn’t love a good music festival might think it’s a bit of a strange idea to base your wedding on, but oh boy how wrong they are. There’s no more perfect a moment than when your favourite band comes out and starts bashing out your ultimate track…
My love of music festivals is why I’m more than thrilled to share Charlotte & Josh’s nuptials with you today. They also had picnic baskets for their wedding breakfast. Heaven.
The DIY wedding of Tom & Jenny took place in Kent in July. After a church ceremony, their low key reception was held in Tom’s parent’s back garden.
The bride wore a short wedding dress from Yours Truly Bridal Shop in Maidstone which cost her just £180 with a gorgeous headpiece was by a Rock n Roll Bride favourite, Crown & Glory. Alongside her lucky bridesmaids, she wore Vivienne Westwood/Melissa Lady Dragon shoes and instead of bouquets they all carried a single giant faux flower stem, bought from Hobbycraft costing just £2 each!
“We tied the knot in our local parish church and had a wonderful DIY reception in a marquee on the lawn of Tom’s childhood home”, began Jenny. “Our theme was of a country garden party or fete so we had pétanque, jenga, croquet and a coconut shy that Tom and his best man Nick made for me in secret! We also wanted to make the garden decor a bit of a surprise for our guests, so we had loads of garden gnomes and pink flamingos dotted around that we had collected. In fact of of my favourite parts of the wedding was seeing people continually surprised and excited and commenting about all the little things we had spent so long thinking about and planning for. Whilst it was our day, we wanted to give our friends and family from over the years a great knees up, and seeing all our efforts come off was very humbling. There was no colour theme at all, the brief was simply: ‘colourful!’ And, as can be seen from our bunting, the more mismatched the better!”
Jo & Lal worked together but only realised they both liked each other when at a 1940s themed work party at The Picturedrome, Northampton. When they were engaged 6 months later they decided that having their wedding at this same venue would be pretty cool. There wedding theme also happened to suit the surroundings perfectly.
“The emphasis on our wedding was inclusion of all our friends who contributed massively” Jo told me. “From the registrar to the DJ, the favours and the cakes, we had out friends involved as much as possible. The emphasis of our wedding was not to spend ridiculous amounts of money but to create a fun and relaxed day, which reflected our personalities. We did not allow ourselves at any point to become influenced by other people’s opinions. What we really set out to achieve was a fun day for all! Our budget, although limited, did not prevent us in anyway from having exactly the kind of day we wanted.”
Jo wore a short 50s style tulle wedding dress with a dramatic red sash from Brides of Wellingborough and bright red shoes to match.
I don’t see enough brides with dreadlocks. Where are you hiding my dreadlock wielding readers?! My sister and her boyfriend have them (his are down past his waist!) and I find them very intriguing and totally beautiful…
So you can imagine my exuberance when Gavin & Hollie’s wedding landed on my lap. “My good friends Gav and Hol got married in April”, wrote wedding photographer Anna Clarke. “They are a beautiful and too-cool-for-school couple who had a yellow and green wedding. They did everything themselves including all the printed stuff, going to the flower market to get the flowers, decorating the village hall etc etc. I just love all the colours and Hollie’s dreads piled into a big beehive. Her shoes are amaze-balls too…”
I was hooked.
After a church ceremony, which included a Love Actually style choir/congregation flash mob of Bjork’s ‘All is Full of Love’, the wedding reception was held at Maxstoke Village Hall. “We were a bit unsure what we wanted when we first started thinking about venues”, began Hollie. “We knew we wanted something that wasn’t run of the mill and we could make personal to us, but that was about it. Therefore we started out with our only stipulations being that we wanted ale to be served as Gavin is a big ale drinker, and that we wanted a barbecue. We quickly realised many of the venues we liked were either way over budget, or very inflexible. That’s when we considered alternatives and taking a more DIY approach. After considering a few local village halls, we settled on Maxstoke due to its rustic charm, beautiful views, and friendly, accommodating staff. We were pretty much able to do whatever we wanted with it. The two ales on tap at the bar may have played a slight role in this decision for one of us.”