Category Archives: British Brides

Tory & Joel’s Two-Day Vintage & Rock n Roll Wedding

Tory & Joel’s two-day wedding makes my heart sing. These two totally different days worked so brilliantly for the couple. Both had a vintage and Rock n Roll vibe and I’m utterly thrilled to share them both with you today.

The couple were married at Marylebone Town Hall, London in an intimate ceremony on Friday 27th May. Tory wore a vintage dress by Armstrong Vintage and Joel wore a suit from Next . The couple chose not to have their reception directly after as they were dreaming of eloping, and having the ceremony separate to the reception party gave them this feeling without upsetting their family and friends!

“Part of us wanted to run away together and have a romantic eloping story to re-tell but in reality we both wanted our parents and siblings there at the ceremony,” the bride told me. “It turned out to be exactly what we wanted: incredibly romantic, very intimate and with our nearest and dearest there to squeeze our hands when things got a bit emotional.”

The reception was held on the 29th at West End Farm, Bedfordshire and certainly had the Rock n Roll vibe. The bride wore a second vintage dress from Love Miss Daisy and the event was a detail-perfect party for all their friends and family.

“Sunday was a flipping blast!” she continued. “We were very clear on this day: Get a barn. Fill it with fun. Have a party. We’d seen some beautiful wedding ideas (some of which we borrowed from Rock n Roll Bride in fact!) so took inspiration from them and added our own Very English twist. Highlights for me were the pony rides, watching our dear friend Miss. Jayne Hardy sing the Joel + Victoria mini musical and feeding our dog Glory a Mr+Mrs ice cream sundae. Woah fun!”

“Our theme for the reception was vintage village fete, so we really put our families to task in order to get that community feel about our day! My aunty made all the bunting, napkins and jam jar toppers. The whole family spent 6 months prior collecting jam jars, sourcing vintage lace to wrap around them and finishing with twine to give it a farmyard look. The card basket is actually my grandparent’s picnic basket found in their loft 2 months prior. And all the old couples pictures were gathered together to celebrate couples we’ve known in the past and present who represent marriage success stories. We wanted something to aspire to!”

“The drinks dispensers and Pimms beermat were great finds on eBay and Amazon had some irresitable red and white paper straws that we fell in love with. The cake was all about positivity and saying yes to each other, yes to the good and bad times and yes to the life ahead. Just say yes!”

Wow. I have serious wedding admiration right now. How about you? Check out the beautiful video from Sassy ‘n’ Frank too!

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Ronnie & Craig’s Cooler than Cool, Multi-Coloured DIY Wedding

Did you ever look at someone’s wedding pictures and know instantly that you would be friends if you met in real life? Well that’s kinda how I felt when photographer Emma Case sent me Ronnie & Craig’s wedding last week. I know it sound superficial and a bit weird but these guys have got style…and there ain’t nothing cooler than a couple that bring that unique style into their wedding. See what I mean….?

Let me lay a few things out for you to try and explain my obsession with these guys. So Ronnie & Craig were married at Trunkwell Mansion House, in Reading (READING!? You know that’s where I live right?!..And Reading isn’t a huge town or anything. This excites me.) They pretty much DIY’ed anything and everything they could including the reception décor, the cake, the flowers, the car (yes, really – Craig restored it for the wedding) the stationery (Be sure to check out Ronnie’s website to see more of her work) and the bride and bridesmaid’s dresses! Ronnie’s Mum who made the dresses from Ronnie’s design also just so happens to have trained Ian Stuart, who is arguably one of the biggest bridal designers in the country right now.

Ronnie even wore a plastic and sparkly “Mrs Dearsley” necklace. You get the picture right…?

“I am an artist and wanted to hand paint what I could,” Ronnie told me when I asked her about all these DIY projects. “I started with the invites and slowly developed a retro tattoo theme which continued throughout the wedding with the escort cards, table numbers and welcome sign. Now the wedding is over I intend to paint our vows into where there were numbers etc and display the work in our home. I really enjoyed working on everything and would love to work with other couples who might want custom artwork for their invites or any other aspect of their day.”

“We had a huge wedding DIY project with a difference. When we got engaged Craig said basically I could do what I wanted with the wedding as long as we could use his 1971 camper van. Unfortunately, after being screwed over by a restorer, the camper van was a (beautiful) shell and needed basically a new everything putting in. Our engagement was around 18 months long and I think Craig spent every weekend working on the van to get it going, it finally made its first journey 3 days before the wedding, but was AMAZING and gorgeous and I’m so proud of Craig for getting it together.”

“Our wedding was by no means wildly controversial but it was a true reflection of us,” she continued. “When we first got engaged I spent hours browsing wedding venue sites and freaking out about food as us and about 99% of our family are mad fussy eaters. To be honest, I had only attended one wedding as an adult so I was totally out of my comfort zone and was totally taken in by the prescribed way of doing things that seems to fill most of the wedding magazines.”

“It wasn’t until I snapped out of this and thought, “Hang the hell on – what do WE like to eat?” that I realised the wedding should be about US instead of set menus. When we got engaged we’d celebrated with a cream tea, and we are hard-core BBQ fans, and I know now both of these things might be pretty standard in the wedding industry, but they are totally what I’d eat everyday if I could and we shaped our day around them.”

“So we found a venue that would accommodate our wishes for less than a billion pounds (seriously what is that all about?) and went from there. Eventually (way too late!) I discovered blogs like Rock n Roll Bride and the endless sources of inspiration out there for alternative weddings and our wedding started taking shape. The one thing we did get from bridal magazines was our colour scheme. We were pretty uninspired by the limited colour palettes we saw in most wedding pictures, until we saw an Indian themed wedding full of rich, vivid colours and we knew that was something we’d like. It evolved during the planning to pink, purple, yellow and turquoise, I had to spray paint the bridesmaids shoes to coordinate!”

“Also I mentioned that we’d like mismatched china and my mum immediately went on a madcap mission around every boot sale in the country until basically her whole house was full of old crockery. A few days before the wedding we glued together some homemade cake stands after I’d see a tutorial on GMTV. Our ceremony was very us, our vows were from some of our favourite songs, our readings were daft and we walked out each of us carrying one of our kids, they were wriggling all the way but it was lovely to have them with us.”

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James & Charlie’s Intimate Registry Office Ceremony

You may have seen Andrew’s own wedding around blog-land as it was photographed by the awesome Emma Case. Inspired by his own wedding experience, Andrew wanted to try his hand at wedding photography himself…and can I be so bold as to say, for a first attempt he pretty much nailed it!

One to watch? I think so!

He explained, “Meeting Emma had a huge impact on me. I’ve always felt quite a creative person and used to be able to channel that through music and film making. That just seemed to fizzle out through my mid twenties and left a massive void in my life. I never took time to fill it. When I met Emma she inspired me to pick up my camera and find a totally new passion. I’ve not looked back. I am so grateful to her and we still keep in regular contact. I find weddings and couples the most amazing thing to photograph as there is nothing but love and positivity in every frame. I am completely engulfed now and have taken the leap of faith to see if I can follow my own photography path.”

James & Charlie had a small registry office wedding with just Andrew and his wife Emily in attendance. “Although James and I were having another, larger ceremony on the Saturday, we wanted to make sure that the day we actually ‘did the deed’ would be just as memorable,” explained newlywed Charlie. “We decided not to have family and friends with us, to make sure the Saturday felt like our actual wedding day. But this intimate ceremony was incredibly emotional and special, just for different reasons.”

“Keeping with tradition, James spent the night before with his best friend Andy, and Emily, Andy’s wife, spent the night with me. In the morning, both the bride and groom enjoyed a champagne breakfast….. the girls enjoyed a bowl of Branflakes, washed down with sparkles, and the boys treated themselves to a bacon sarnie! We decided to meet at Brighton train station, and to add to the romance and suspence… neither of us knew what the other would be wearing. It was really lovely, as James came up to me while I was queuing for coffee and it was like the first time we’d ever clapped eyes on each other – a very beautiful and special moment. We picked up another bottle of sparkles for the 15 minute journey to Lewes (we must have looked like lushes at 10 am in the morning!)”

“When we arrived in Lewes, the rain which had started the day, began to clear. We were lucky enough to have Andy as our personal photographer along with us. He took a few photos of us before we went in. I was still wearing my big coat, so James had no idea what I was wearing. But after we spoke to the registrar I took it off and revealed my dress, and James said how beautiful I looked. We walked in to the ceremony together holding hands, and nerves started to set in!I didn’t realise how choked both James and I would get – even though we opted for the shortest ceremony and didn’t exchange rings, have readings or music, just saying those words to each other was truely amazing – we both blubbed!”

“After signing the all important documents, Andy took us both outside to have some photos in the glorious sunshine. The grounds of the register office are absolutely stunning, and there was a wealth of photo opportunities. Then it was off to Bill’s for a champagne lunch. Sitting outside, watching the world go by was a lovely way to spend the afternoon and the staff at Bill’s were so welcoming and made the whole experience extra special. We were given a bunch of flowers, a free bottle of sparkles and a selection of special treats from Bill’s grocery store as a gift!”

“After lunch we took a wander and stumbled across a really cool shop called Union Music Store – we were drawn in by the quirky interior and Andy took some wicked shots inside. Andy and Em also bought us a lovely little wedding momento – a picture which says ‘I love you like biscuits and gravy!’ Then it was back to Brighton for a final drink (we had to pack for our honeymoon!). A perfect end to a perfect day.We decided on a low key start to married life with two of our best friends and, while it wasn’t the big day that many people might dream of, it was more than perfect for us. It gave us the chance to really take it all in and spend some intimate moments together without the worry of trying to get around all the rellies in one day!  If you get a chance – why not have two weddings – we’d thoroughly recommend it!”

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Jonathan & Zoe’s Wedding Festival

For their ‘Wedstival’ (wedding festival!), Jonathan & Zoe threw traditions completely out of the window and planned the wedding that they wanted.

As the bride told me, “Having been together for a (very!) long time we really wanted to steer away from a traditional wedding and do something that completely reflected us as a couple – we love the outdoor life, our Airedale terriers, our family and music festivals. Thus we came up with the idea of our “Wedstival” – a weekend that saw pretty much all 150 guests camping at the farm (in a mix of tents, VW campers, caravans and even a 36 foot luxury RV!!).”

“We took massive inspiration from our amazing venue, York Maze. It meant we could literally have everyone and their dog there! The kids enjoyed two adventure playgrounds, an animal farm, a jumping pillow and go kart track. All eleven dogs had their own special dog park and to top it all off we had a three table casino and the most amazing live band!”

“Guests were welcome to wear whatever they wanted, so long as they brought a pair of wellies to enter the Best Wellie competition!” Zoe continued. “We lavished attention on the guests to make sure they were more than suitably fed and watered and entertained – we provided a drinks reception with barrels of West Country cider (few early casualties – would perhaps recommend other brides rethink serving free 8% cider at 2 in the afternoon!!) and jugs of Pimms, lashings of canapés including fish and chips on a stick, a posh BBQ dinner, sweet station, cheese tower (complete with imported heart shaped brie) followed by a traditional pie and pie evening and topped off with a full Yorkshire breakfast on Sunday morning.”

The festival theme was pulled together with a lot of hard work and a DIY details. They included, “The vinyl Save the Dates; invitations of gig style poster and tickets; guest passes issued to all attendees detailing the running order, site map etc; my customised wedding wellies; seating plan of vinyl records, table centrepieces of vinyl records and kids wellies filled with flowers, place name of customised beer mat with menu choice reminder to reverse; individual gift bags based on age of child (30 in total!). We even published our own “Wedstival Times” newspaper complete with personalised crossword to keep guests occupied while waiting for the bride to turn up!” Zoe explained. “We even made banners and lawn signs for things like the Beer Barn and the Dog Park, and set up portable showers for the guests complete with hospitality baskets and a toiletry gift set for each camper.”

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Laura & Rob’s Bowling Alley Wedding

Laura & Rob were married at The Bloomsbury Hotel, London and had their reception in The Kingpin Suite at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, London. The wedding was unintentionally a day of two halves, and the bride even wore two dresses for each event.

She explains, “As soon as we started planning the wedding, I had already set an agenda – no white, no normal wedding dress. It just so happened that the dress that made me cry like a baby was in Berketex Brides and was ivory! Even though I didn’t want to wear a ‘normal’ dress, I still bought wedding magazines and hoped that I would find something super in there. Out of about 15 magazines, I had dogeared the page of only one dress, but forgot about it. After trying on about 6 dresses, the lady said what about this one – I put it on and couldn’t stop crying – it was the one from the magazine.”

“I still think it was a different dress; it’s got a vintage feel and I loved the lacy train as I had never seen it on any other dresses that didn’t cost a fortune. But with the reception in a bowling alley I was worried that it was really impractical. So I trotted off to Vivien of Holloway, found a fabulous white lace 50’s style number and bought a pink poof to go underneath.”

After their ceremony the couple were transported to Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes in a pink taxi. “Rob had bought the girls tickets to a show (which was awful) the day before the wedding, but it did mean that when we left the hotel to go to Soho we found our ideal wedding transport right outside the door; a pink cab!” Laura continued. “There are only 2 in the world and it was it was a complete surprise. Gee (the taxi driver) didn’t normally work on Sundays but she was an absolute star and came and ferried us and all of our guests to the Kingpin Suite.”

The guests were treated to a laid back reception complete with bowling, dancing and transfer tattoos. “Rob and I always said that we didn’t want a conventional reception, we wanted people to be able to do what they wanted and not feel like their only options were sitting down or dancing. The Kingpin Suite at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes was the only reception venue we saw, we knew we loved it straight away. We didn’t need to add any decor, so we made sure we had personal touches around the space. Our favourites were the ‘Pimp Your Drink’ stand, where people could add umbrellas, mermaids, giraffes and spangly straws to their drinks, and our Tattoo Parlour, a book of tattoo transfers so people could get inked for the night with The Cattoo (that’s right – a cat tattoo), The Hello Sailor and others. And Rob was inspired to get the Hello Sailor (anchor) tattoo as a permanent reminder of the day 2 days after the wedding.”

“For our favours we decided to give our guests little jars of sweets, and rather than buying them we decided to make them ourselves. A successful trip to Ikea (not Rob’s idea!) meant we bought the jars at 6 for £2, meaning our favours turned out to be a total bargain. To give the jars our own special twist we decorated the lids with Japanese scrap booking tape. Our place cards doubled as part of the favour too; we chose some of our favourite books, Twilight, Microserfs and P.S. I love you, and cut out passages to make into name tags.”

“The amazing thing about the reception is that we are still finding out what people got up to – tales of man-love duets in the karaoke room, serious table football tournaments and harassing the servers for slices of the 26″ pizzas! Everyone had their own experience of the night and that makes us happy.”

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Barbara & Mark’s MC Motors Wedding

Barbara & Mark were married in one of the coolest venues I’ve seen in a long time – MC Motors in Castle Gibson, East London. The couple were keen to make their wedding all about them and what they love, and so they spent money on the things they valued (namely the awesome venue, The Wedding Smashers (DJ’s) and Barbara’s Candy Anthony dress) and ignored the things they didn’t.

“A friend bought me a wedding magazine when I got engaged in December. I opened it up one night and never looked at it again – or any other mag for that matter,” Barbara told me. “I just wanted it to be a proper knees up with lots of music, booze and all our favourite people. Some things we spent money on – like the venue – other things, we just didn’t feel as strongly about – like having the perfect cake or millions of flowers. We just didn’t want to have to follow any rules – and did things exactly as we wanted.”

Barbara’s bridesmaid’s wore beautiful yellow dresses which the bride made herself. With each girl having very different looks (and one being pregnant!) it was important that the style suited them all. The 60’s inspired pattern of the dresses worked beautifully and the polka dot & yellow fabric was both playful and flattering.

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