There really is no other way to explain Lucy and Benjamin’s wedding. There are Alice in Wonderland weddings… and there are festival weddings… but mash them both together and imagine everyone in attendance has dropped acid and you’re maybe halfway there to how bonkers this wedding was! Their wedding photographer Lee Allen described it as the maddest wedding he’s ever been involved with… and you know what, I can totally see why!
“We met at a friend’s BBQ and the week after went to Reading Festival together so we wanted our wedding to have a festival feel”, explained the bride. “We wanted people to feel like they had been on a weird acid trip that couldn’t have been real when they left! It sort just took shape over time. We met Hamish Guerrini, the Druid Minister who officiated our ceremony, at his stage, The Rabbit Hole, at Glastonbury two months before the wedding. After we met him we completely changed the wedding theme to include him! We added the tunnels and different rooms for guests to be led into.”
Becky and Dave budgeted £5000 for their 1950s wedding. They wanted a really special and unique day, but they didn’t want to spend a fortune getting it! They were inspired by everything they mutually love for their retro theme.
“We’re both quite heavily tattooed and share a huge love for music, Marvel comics, Star Wars, vintage cars and all things American – especially the 1950s”, Becky said. “We knew from the start we wanted an alternative wedding. I wanted a tea length dress and a celebration filled with the things we loved and that was ‘us’ instead of working to impress guests! With a tight time-scale of six months to to plan everything, two kids (one newborn!) to raise and returning to work in between, I did find it really hard going. We contemplated a Marvel and Star Wars themed wedding but I was too reluctant to put our ever-growing collection of figures and comics out for table displays in case of anything getting damaged.”
“So we based the entire thing on another love of ours – 50s America! I found it really easy to get things flowing from then on and based the colour schemes around the bridesmaids dresses (which were an absolute bargain at £40 each!) I had a beautiful bead bouquet made to match the dresses with a few old school tattoo style buttons thrown in for good measure, and we made the bridesmaid bouquets ourselves with giant paper roses. We booked a 1953 Chevrolet BelAir as our wedding car and I then came up with the idea of basing our table decorations on this. I spent hours searching eBay for 12” die cast muscle cars and managed to get the right amount in the perfect colours (although this has now set off a bit of a hobby of collecting vintage model cars, oops!) We had a TBird, a BelAir, an Oldsmobile Super 88, a Corvette and a Cadillac. They worked so well!”
Blyth and Jeff chose Blair Castle in Scotland at their wedding venue. With the groom loving all things Scotland and the bride actually being Scottish, it was the perfect place for them. “Jeff and I met online”, Blyth told me. “We contacted each other at the exact same time and agreed to meet a few weeks later. On our first date we discovered we shared a birthday, as well as some real chemistry. One year later, he popped the question on a deserted beach in Antigua, complete with sunset and horses swimming in the ocean. We decided on a castle venue and searched high and low to find the right one. When I viewed St Brides Kirk, the roofless ruined chapel on the grounds of Blair Castle, I fell for it immediately and knew we had to be married there.”
“Our theme was a Scottish highland romance mixed with chillies!” She laughed. “Our table theme was different species of chilli plants (we are both crazy about spicy foods) and our florist was given the brief to make table arrangements, buttonholes, and my hair circlet with chillies in them. Also heavily featured in the flowers were wild Scottish raspberries and cream thistles.”
Gillian and Stephen eloped at Scarborough Registry Ofﬁce in October. They had a minimal budget, no formal reception and no guests bar their photographer, Laura. After the I dos they went for afternoon tea at Francis Tea Rooms.
The couple met in America when Stephen’s band were on tour. Despite living on opposite sides of the world they decided they just couldn’t let each other go! “We eloped because of a visa process and all the costs that and an international move racked up”, began the bride. “We spent about two years doing long distance between England and America. I then decided I wanted to pursue a ﬁancée visa so I could ﬁnally settle in England with Stephen. It was supposed to take about six weeks but it ended up taking seven months! The visa process also required both of our passports so we weren’t able to make visits to each other the whole time! Without knowing when (or if) the visa would return to us, we couldn’t plan a proper wedding. We eventually got the visa and I planned my return to the UK, but we were only given six months to get married, so we went ahead with an elopement.”
“We decided on Scarborough because we had spent some time here together while Stephen was doing a guest lecture at his old university”, she continued. “It was such a special, quiet day where we could focus just on each other after so much time apart. Before we got married we always spoke about getting matching tattoos, but never followed through with it. Stephen has some old friends he met at university still living in Scarborough, so on a whim we tracked down a mutual friend who is a tattoo artist and got matching moons on our ring ﬁngers and he got our wedding date on his knuckles.”
The bride wore an Alice Temperley dress with a flower crown made from spray roses and gypsophila. “We didn’t choose a theme, but it ended up feeling that was somewhat vintage. My dress was 1930s in style. After the ceremony we went to an amazing little tea room that used to be a hair salon and the building has been preserved and feels like something out of that time period.”
David and Molly were married at Testbed1, a creative and experimental art space in Battersea, London. Opened in spring 2010, the architecturally distressed storage area of an old warehouse and office building was love at first sight for this pair!
The couple met in school and finally got married 15 years later! “After a short run of just 15 years together, we decided it was finally the right time to get hitched!”, Molly laughed. “I’m so glad we waited though, despite so many years of ‘will you guys every get married?’ from friends and family! Knowing each other for so long meant we had the confidence to make the wedding perfectly, and completely ‘us’.”
The theme of their wedding was an indoor festival and the unusual venue really helped to set the overall tone. “David and I love going to gigs and music festivals together, so what better way to celebrate our marriage than throwing our own music festival for all our loved ones!?” she continued. “We definitely didn’t want to do the field-barn-vintage-festival thing that’s been done loads and loads (super cute, but that’s just not rock enough for us) so we wanted to find a more urban vibe, a warehouse close to home to rock out in. Ideally we wanted an outdoor feel, but indoor enough to not have to think twice about weather!”
Ross and Gem were married at the Medieval Banquet Hall at the Park Hall Hotel, which set the theme for the day. “Our inspiration came from our love of ‘old’ England”, began the bride. “We adore its majesty and history. We weren’t particularly taken by the ‘average’ wedding with pastel colours, white linen, paper straws and sugared almonds, ans we wanted something people would remember. I also wanted to do loads of DIY in the run up. We spent a lot of time making sure that everyone would be entertained throughout. Not many weddings have fire eaters and King Arthur as the toastmaster!
The bride wore a retro inspired dress by Alan Hannah and shoes from Iron Fist. Instead of carrying real flowers, she made her own bouquet from red and black foam roses. “Our theme was medieval, with a hint of sparkle!” she continued. “Ross is very much into black metal music and so anything frilly or girly would have been immediately veto-d. Luckily, we both have very similar tastes when it comes to aesthetics so we had loads of fun planning how the room was going to look. We asked everybody to dress according to the colour scheme (red, black and white) and the result was fantastic! Everybody looked like they should have been on a film set!”