If you’re sad about the fact that your wedding day will be over in a flash, why not do what Mark and Alex did and have a two-day celebration?! They wanted both parts of their wedding to have their own unique personalities, so day one was a casual fancy dress festival party, and day two had a more glamorous, sparkly theme.
“We held our wedding over the August bank holiday”, began the bride, “with the fancy dress festival day on Saturday and the wedding on the Sunday. We hired Colehayes Park in Dartmoor for the whole week (oh yeah!) and over 25 family and friends stayed with us. We actually continued the celebrations until the following Friday. Greedy aren’t we?!”
“We always knew that we wanted to drag the wedding celebrations out for as long as possible, so finding a venue where we could stay and party for longer than a day was our pre-requisite in choosing where we were going to get married. Our plan was to always have a festival day and wedding day, we decided to have the festival day first so that all the guests could mingle and were familiar with each other before the wedding. This worked out really well and we had an 12pm curfew so that people were still fresh the next day!”
“The main thing we wanted was an incredibly relaxed, fun and friendly wedding”, she continued. “We’re not huge fans of serious, formal and traditional weddings as just not our style, and so wanted to go as far from that as we could while still ensuring we were getting legally married.”
“The festival day was an incredible, sunny day. The theme was Willy Wonka which meant that a lot of oompa loompas turned up! Mark went as Willy Wonka in lilac and purple suit, and I went as the golden ticket in a metallic sequin jumpsuit! Our friends made such an amazing effort with one group coming as confectionery – so we had the Milkybar kid, a Fried egg, a Fruit Salad, a Loveheart and Strawberry Shortcake. We had face paints, a lemonade stand where we served chilled cocktails. We also had someone dressed as a Jagermeister bottle, handing out shots of Jager!”
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.”
Cat and Harry are an easy-going kinda couple, so they wanted that reflected in their August wedding. Their ceremony was held at Islington Town Hall, and their reception at The Peasant pub down the road. “We met at a drum & bass night at Fabric nightclub, which is where we would both frequent back in the day”, Cat began. “Harry lived around the corner from it and we spent many a night there in our early days of dating. When having a chat with Steve and Jo, our photographers, before the wedding we discussed different backdrops we could use for our photos which were local to our reception venue. It turned out was just around the corner from Fabric so we did some photos outside it! The finished photos really speak for themselves and we absolutely love them.”
“The inspiration for our wedding was just that we wanted a low-key, relaxed and easy, good old knees up with our nearest and dearest”, she continued. “We had been engaged for almost two years and having a baby in that time had meant we didn’t want to get married any sooner but when we did, we wanted to pull it all together relatively quickly, fuss free without any ‘wedding planning’ stress. Islington Town Hall is a beautiful building and seemed fitting for our ceremony as we used to live in Islington. On researching pubs nearby for the reception, The Peasant is just down the road, so it seemed like the perfect choice. It’s also a beautiful old London boozer and the décor means that nothing really needed to be added to it. It had a fantastic restaurant upstairs and the landlord, Nick, was such a lovely guy and incredibly helpful throughout so it all seemed to fall into place quite effortlessly. I think our wedding was a little different to the norm as we didn’t want it to feel too formal, we just wanted it to feel like a fun night out celebrating with all of our friends and family, with great food and good music.”
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.”
Aynhoe Park might be one of the weirdest and most wonderful wedding venues in the UK… because it’s stuffed (boom boom!) full of taxidermy! Everywhere you look the walls are adorned with animals. They even have a full sized giraffe being held up by balloons! Rosie and James wanted somewhere unusual to host their alternative wedding and Aynhoe Park was just perfect.
“We really just wanted our wedding to totally reflect our personalities and us as a couple”, explained the bride. “We didn’t want to be restricted by following traditions. Instead, we wanted everybody to be involved and for it to be a celebration of all our family and friends coming together as well as our love for each other. We chose two long banquet-style tables for this reason, forgoing the tradition of a top table, and included our family and friends in the ceremony with readings. James and I also wrote our own vows, something that was very important to us, as we could include some personal, silly and soppy touches.”
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).”