I feature many, many weddings on this blog of mine, but every so often a wedding lands in my inbox that literally stops me in my tracks. That’s exactly what Jamie and Sarah’s amazing day did to me! They were married in December and so wanted a wintery Christmas theme, but without the cheese. It had to also feel like ‘them’, and oh boy did it!
The day was held at Fonmon Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. “We both wanted the wedding to be in-keeping with the castle and keep to a winter theme”, said Sarah. “We didn’t want it to seem stuffy, so our main aim was to make it feel like a big family gathering. Luckily with it being so close to Christmas the castle was already decorated beautifully, so we just added our own touches with things like the antlers, pine cones, teacup and saucers and lots of bell jars!”
Zoe and Peter wanted an unconventional wedding… just like them! They had their reception at a tea room, wore what they felt comfortable in, and made everything they could themselves!
“In many ways, we don’t really consider ourselves to be ‘normal’,, so our wedding was never going to be conventional”, said Zoe. “Even P’s proposal wasn’t exactly usual: we were lying in bed and he asked me, ‘so when are we getting married then?’. I said something like ‘well you need to propose first’. So he did. And he called both my parents the following morning, which made it suddenly, very real!”
“Having been together for so many years before deciding to get married, we believed that getting married was more of a formality than a declaration of commitment or anything like that. However we appreciated that there would always be certain expectations that would have to be met. Much though the idea of running off and eloping appealed, my mother would never have forgiven me if she couldn’t be there! As you can imagine, we saw no point in a prolonged engagement either, so we set the date for the soonest we could book with our local Registry Office and took it from there.”
They never wanted a big, extravagant wedding. In fact Jade didn’t think she’d ever get married at all! “I never pictured myself as the marrying type and it was a bolt out of the blue when Aaron asked me!” she laughed.
So they wanted something decidedly intimate for their March nuptials. They were married at Southampton Registry Office, and after a meal with just a few guests, hosted a large after party at The Talking Heads, a live music venue in the city.
“We already had a daughter, Aurora, and we both felt that being married would really cement us as a proper family”, she continued. “Because I had never pictured being a bride, I had no real expectations or specific plans in mind. I think this made it a whole lot less stressful when it came to the planning. It was a very organic process, evolving naturally as we came up with more ideas and discussed our likes and dislikes. The theme wasn’t planned but our mutual love of leopard print came across pretty strongly with lots of little features. Our budget was small, just £3000, but we saw this as an exciting challenge rather than an obstacle and it didn’t stop us from having the DIY, intimate, personal wedding we were after. We both knew we didn’t want to spend a fortune and that cost wouldn’t detract from how beautiful it could be.”
Caroline and Jason’s wedding had a vintage and nautical theme. With the bride loving all things pretty and pink and the groom being in the Navy, it was the perfect combination!
“The inspiration for our wedding was to have things that best represented us both as individuals”, said Caroline. “I am very much into 50s vintage and love the colour pink, whereas Jason being in the Navy helped tie in his influences. We named our tables after ships he has served on and our seating plan was in his navy issued suitcase.”
“Our other ideas were pretty much restricted to our budget, which meant we made a lot of things ourselves with help from my mother. My mum made the cake, my evening dress, and bridesmaid dresses. I also made the centrepieces, my birdcage veil and the origami boat name places. The bouquets and buttonholes were also made by me from artificial flowers which saved us a fortune! Jason played a big part in planning and making things for the wedding too including the invites, table plan and other stationery.”
“We also had a temporary tattoo stand for people to adorn their bodies with artwork, like the bride and groom – this went down very well with the guests, especially my mother!”
After being set up by mutual friends, Kim and Richard quickly realised they had a lot in common, first and foremost their appreciation of the macabre and all things gothic. So when we married, five years later, they decided this had to be the theme of the wedding.
“We went for a 50s rockabilly aesthetic but with touches of goth and lots of mentions of a shared love of classic horror films”, Kim said. “All the tables were named after Hammer Horror actors. We also had a splash of kitsch glamour because I love leopard print. Like, really love it.”
Both the ceremony and reception were held at Stockport Town Hall. “One of the reasons we chose our venue was due to the gorgeous marble staircase that, as an option, couples could get married on”, Kim continued. “We both embarked on our own DIY projects for the wedding too. Richard made the seating plan and centrepieces. The skulls candles were purchased at Asda over Halloween and the candelabras were an exceptionally impressive eBay deal! I made three button bouquets and a number of buttonholes. As it transpires, that was easier said than done but I managed it and I think I did a pretty good job too!”
Nikki and Lee wanted a laid back and informal wedding where they didn’t have to spend a fortune to have a great time! “Our budget was £5000 and we stuck to that like glue”, Nikki wrote. “We initially wanted to elope and just have a little ceremony somewhere on a mountain, but then, one sunny August afternoon in the pub with our friends, we just looked at each other and agreed it was too much fun not to have everyone we loved there!”
“I’ve always been crafty and big on saving money”, she continued. “It took months to find a venue that would let us bring in our own food and drink and that didn’t cost the earth and had a bar. Mycenae House, which is a community centre, fit that perfectly. The only catch was that it was used for yoga the following morning, so everything had to be cleared out by 12pm, meaning everything had to be disposable and we had to be SUPER organised.”