Category Archives: British Brides

A Country Vintage, Festival Inspired Wedding: Nichola & Jay

I’m loving the fact that the gorgeous country vintage/ festival-inspired wedding of Nichola & Jay is brightening up Monday morning on my blog! Talk about heading into a brand new week with some gusto!

The August wedding was held at New House Organic Farm in Derbyshire. The farm is not a wedding venue (the couple were legally married at the resister office after their handfasting ceremony in the field) but they chose it to host their celebration here because it’s a place that’s very special to them. Their theme was chosen to not only compliment the farm setting, but because they love Glastonbury music festival – they met there and were engaged there (not in the same year!)

“We spend a lot of our time camping during the summer months and the farm is our quick getaway place,” Nichola told me. “We’ve spent many happy weekends there and I always imaged getting married to Jay in the top field looking over the most amazing views of the Derbyshire countryside. We wrote to the farmer (a proper handwritten letter!) asking if we could hire the field for our wedding. Being a farmer and very busy he didn’t get right back to us. I looked at many other venues but none matched my idea of our farm. Eventually Jay called him and asked the question… He agreed although I don’t think he quite understood why we wanted a bare field when he’s surrounded by traditional wedding venues!”

The bride wore a genuine vintage wedding dress which she bought from The Vintage Wedding Fair, a fair that travels all around the UK. “I love vintage clothes, I literally have over a hundred vintage dresses and we regularly go to vintage fairs,” the bride continued. “That being said I didn’t think I wanted a vintage dress for my wedding but I did the usual bridal places and got more fed up with each dress I tried on. Nobody understood my style or what I wanted. We’d planned to visit The Vintage Wedding Fair for a look round and immediately I realised I had been kidding myself and I wanted a vintage dress. I tried on a couple and then found my dress. It was the dress I had in my mind, I went to the fitting room (a room full of other vintage brides…very different to the bridal shop experience) and the dress fit perfectly. I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. A friend’s aunty did a couple of little alterations but it was always perfect.”

To compliment their countryside festival theme, the couple decorated the field and their marquee with bunting, vintage crockery and even vintage floral napkins and wooden cutlery tied in brown string. They managed to find many items in charity shops, car boot fairs and even in their local pound shop. “Never underestimate the local pound shop,” Nichola laughed, “we found little windmills, seeds, rainbow umbrellas (luckily not needed) and hooks for the aisle etc!”

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A Casual London Wedding with a Bride in Yellow Tights: Annick & Robert

Any bride that rocks yellow tights and teal shoes on her wedding day is instantly awesome. Are we in agreement?

When Annick & Robert’s London wedding landed in my inbox from wedding photographer Marshal Gray, I literally couldn’t wait to share it with you! The whole wedding was planned in just 6 weeks. The ceremony took place at Sutton House, and after an emotional service the couple walked to London Fields for a hotdog lunch and some portraits. “On the way we met a friend who was coming to the evening event,” Annick told me. “It was a wonderful walk to really reflect on the day and our personal journey. We use to live near London Fields so the walk had real emotional significance to us.”

After the photos, including a few outside the St Pancras Hotel where the couple were spending that night, they headed to Smithy’s Wine Bar in Kings Cross where they met back up with their guests. “Smithy’s was a cozy place for our winter evening wedding,” the bride continued. “It has two spaces within it which was perfect for what we needed – one for talking and one for music. It was great to have a live jazz band to entertain our guests.”

“We didn’t really have a theme apart from slightly retro and wanted to have fun,” the bride concluded. “We wanted people to be relaxed and for our day to be easy for all which is why we did it in London. We were also able to show our out of town guests places in London that we enjoy.”

So fab! As a side note I have to say that Annick’s vintage feather jacket from Charlotte Casadejus is just divine! I actually know Charlotte very well myself and I’ve visited her fab studio a number of times. I always lusted after that jacket (and put it on and pranced around!) and so it’s really exciting to me to see the bride who finally bought it!

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An Emotional East Meets West Wedding: Aneesha & Ed

Back in February 2011 I was at exhibiting at the first Designer Vintage Bridal Show, Birmingham. Luckily for me the organisers plonked my stand right next to one of my ultimate besties, wedding photographer Emma Case. On the second day of the show in walked bride-to-be Aneesha, who had decided she wanted Emma to capture her 2012 wedding. After chatting about wedding planning, blogging and photography Annesha went upstairs to try on wedding dresses. Always one to get excited about this part of wedding planning Emma & I followed to see what the bride-to-be would pick. Aneesha & Ed were having a traditional Indian ceremony in the morning, but for the evening reception they wanted to change into western wedding attire. As soon as Aneesha tried on the slinky Yevonde by Jenny Packham the tears started to fall and we all knew it was the dress for her (photos nearer the end of this post).

I’m honoured that I was allowed to witness this experience and I’m even more thrilled that today I get to share their full wedding story with you.

The ceremony was held at Shri Ravidass Temple in Walsall, with the after party/reception going down at Berrow Court, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

“As our day was a mixed cultured wedding it was so important to us that our guests felt comfortable at all times”, Aneesha told me. “The only way I could do that was to keep them well informed. I did this by our wedding website, emails and Facebook messages. We also invited friends and family to the temple before the wedding day so they knew what to expect, I even had printouts made about what the meanings were was behind each parts of the ceremony.”

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A Homemade Whitstable Wedding: Sinead & Dan

Sinead & Dan were married in Whitstable at Beacon House, with a reception afterwards at the groom’s parent’s house. The great thing about Beacon House is that it’s one of the only wedding venues in the UK that’s licensed for an almost outdoor wedding, on the porch of the house, overlooking the beach. However it’s a small venue, hence why like a lot of couples Sinead & Dan moved to another venue for their reception.

Beacon House is the most beautiful house, we fell in love with it and Katrina the owner as soon as we arrived for the first visit,” the bride told me. “We married on the veranda with just 20 of our closest friends and family, with the beach as our backdrop. Instead of an aisle, I walked along the seafront to meet Dan at the top of the stairs, while a guitar and sax played. It was perfect, even if there was a 70yr old man in teeny tiny Speedos sunbathing on the beach while the ceremony took place! Our reception was in Dan’s parent’s garden. We found that a lot of venues imposed a lot of rules, you had to use their caterers, their bar service, corkage charges, end times, car parking etc. Having it at home gave us so much freedom and it felt so comfortable being there.”

The couple made their wedding their own with all the personal touches and details. Most things were collected over the years by trawling car boot sales and second hand shops and were things they already owned. They also found a lot of items on etsy or were handmade by friends. “We wanted a small intimate handmade wedding and an amazing reception – great music, great food with exciting and interesting decor. We are so lucky living in Whitstable, with a close-knit community of amazing businesses, I was keen to source everything as local as possible.”

“We wanted our friends and family to come to our wedding and feel as they would if they were on holiday; relaxed, comfortable and ready to have fun,” Sinead explained. “We had a marquee in the garden, but I was keen to make it less marquee like, so we covered the walls of the marquee in deck chair fabric and dotted some choice 1950s style furniture around. I absolutely loved the detail in the planning, and sourcing just the right things…we served the bubbly in Babycham glasses that I had collected over the year and I used lots of 50s children’s annuals and board games as centre pieces and to decorate the furniture and it just wouldn’t have been right without the ‘Kiss Me Quick, Squeeze Me Slow’ hats for the photobooth.”

“We had sticks of rock and cones of fish and chips as favours with a raffle in the evening! Our friend made us our very own seaside peep board as a wedding present, which provided hours of entertainment. I loved looking around and seeing our friends and family smiling, laughing and taking pleasure in all the detail, the details that me and Dan had so much fun gathering and putting together.”

Sinead wore a Candy Anthony wedding dress and it was the first wedding dress that she tried on! “As soon as it was on I knew I had to get married in it,” she continued. “I always knew I wanted a tea-length dress, that 50s look is just so feminine and pretty. I wanted a huge petticoat underneath, it just felt so much fun and really girly. It was also important to me to have a dress that gave me freedom to move, I wanted to cuddle people and I wanted to dance the night away. The slightly shorter length was perfect for that. I’ve heard about a lot of brides that looked amazing on their day but couldn’t move a lot or sometimes even breath very well – I don’t understand that logic. The Candy Anthony dress also allowed me to create a different look in the evening, I took off the sash and lace overlay. I had a tiny bow belt to put on and a matching pillbox hat, I found a blue cashmere cardigan to put on top. I love my dress so much and the girls at Candy Anthony are so lovely!”

“Someone said to me recently, that they wondered if homemade weddings like mine and the weddings that feature on blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride, put pressure on brides to make everything themselves and find newer and more creative ideas,” Sinead concluded. “I felt quite pissed off about this (particularly as the person works in the industry) because in my experience it was the exact opposite. I think there is so much pressure on brides full stop, but particularly at the beginning when everyone is offering their ideas, hopes and sometimes expectations of your wedding. I felt a certain amount of pressure to do things a certain way – the traditional way. Blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride reassured me and encouraged me to make our wedding exactly how we wanted it. Having the freedom to be able to put our personality into our wedding was incredible and I think forums that showcase these weddings, simply inspire and reassure other brides. It’s not about keeping up with others it’s about realising it’s ok to put your stamp on your wedding and a great place for idea sharing!”

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Stripes, Pumpkins & Mean Looking Cars: Emma & Ross

Emma & Ross’ black & white, vintage themed wedding was, above all, a day to celebrate their love with their friends and family. The couple wanted a relaxed atmosphere and one where their guests would really enjoy themselves.

“We wanted our wedding to be personal to us, we didn’t want guests to walk in and think they could be at just anybody’s wedding,” Emma told me. “We have been to a lot of weddings, which were lovely but we knew that traditional just wasn’t for us. We just had our day, our way and it was brilliant! It was the best day of our lives so far, I just wish I could do it all again as it went so quickly!”

Emma wore a black & white 1950s dress from Fur Coat No Knickers. “The wedding dress I chose was the first one I’d tried on, ever. I went to Fur Coat No Knickers because I knew I wanted a short 50s dress and I love vintage! I didn’t really have any colours in mind I was open to trying on anything but I did want something I could wear again, so it was a bit of a shock that I chose the first dress I tried on, I was expecting a big epic search! Obviously I tried on lots of others after that one too, they are all so nice that it would be silly not to! I really enjoyed going back for fittings, especially to nose at all the other dresses. Their shop and they are lovely, they make you feel so comfortable, I want to live there!”

“I ended up having three pairs of shoes to wear on the day (I’m a little bit of a shoe addict!)” the bride continued. “They were always going to be red, I have a thing for red shoes. I saw the Stuart Weitzman‘s when I went to Selfridges shoe land (I want to live there too!) I went to buy a completly different pair but fell in love with those ones, luckly I got last pair left in the country and they were my size, so it must have been fate! As they are quite high I was also forced to buy the Melissa/Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon’s too. Finally, as I was planning on doing a lot of dancing I bought a pair of Converse that I designed myself on their website, they had skulls on and I got our wedding date embriodered down the back.”

The wedding didn’t have an obvious ‘theme’ but the couple made sure they included the things they really loved and wanted in their day. “One thing I always knew I wanted was a cool car, not a wedding car, I wanted something mean,” Emma explained. We both like American cars, especially muscle cars so it was a no brainer when I saw the Dodge Charger and the owner lived in Watford! We used to own a big yellow American truck but we had to sell it to fund the wedding, so having the Charger went some way to ease our loss. Ross wasn’t happy that I got to have the car and he didn’t as he stayed at the venue but the owner took us both out after the ceremony and went rather fast down the country lanes which was excellent!!! Its quite noisy, Ross said he knew that I was on my way to the venue because he could hear the car coming from about a mile away!”

“Most of our wedding was handmade by us or by family and friends, anything I or somebody we knew couldn’t make we mainly bought from Etsy which I’m VERY addicted to, I’m on there about 10 times a day, its like my drug! A lot of the stuff I did myself was made with about two months to go because we didn’t really get our colour scheme down until we decided to make our table flowers out of tissue paper, this was slightly stressful as we had only a small amount of time to make a lot of things! It kind of added to the stress when I decided three days before the wedding to not give the bridesmaids real flowers as they were too expensive and to make them myself from felt and buttons!”

“I made my own bouquet out of vintage brooches which I really enjoyed as it involved shopping for the brooches too! Ross and his Mum made all of the tissue paper flowers, pom poms and painted the inside of the jars aqua. My Mum made the younger bridesmaid’s dresses (the adults wore vintage and one from Coast) and the table runners and my Sister made our lovely wedding cake, cupcakes and all the wreaths.”

“The day before the wedding, with the help from the best man Dan and his girlfriend, we scooped, carved and drilled about 40 pumpkins! I’m still finding bits of pumpkin in my kitchen now! I’m also still finding black glitter everywhere from where we covered the table letters, it didn’t help that one of our cats kept rolling in it!”

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Roll Up! Roll Up! For The Alternative Wedding Circus

Mwah haaa haaa…are you ready for The Wedding Circus? A creepy fright-fest where the alternative wedding elite came together to create something truly magical? Well that’s exactly what happened on a freezing February morn in a Birmingham Warehouse.

I recieved a phone call from photographer Sassy of Assassynation telling me all about her latest and greatest photo shoot idea – a ‘Wedding Circus’ filled with some of the freaks most alternative wedding suppliers in the UK. Of course Gareth & I were thrilled to be asked and so bright (OK not so bright) and early one morning we dragged ourselves out of bed and battled the snow to drive up to Birmingham for our 9am call time.

With nine models all with very distinctive looks (and hair colours – I’ve never felt like the one with the boring hair before!) a team of 7 hair stylists and make up artists worked their socks off to transform us into circus acts.

The shoot was pulled together by photographer Sassy of Assassynation and Jo of The Couture Company & Rawhide Corsets. “We were actually brought together by Rock and Roll Bride, where I had long admired Sassy’s work,” Jo explained. “I commented on one of Sassy’s amazing weddings, Sassy dropped me an email saying thank you for my comment and then asked if I fancied collaborating! Of course I said HELL YES!”

“Sassy’s idea was to get a warehouse in the urban metropolis of Birmingham, with access for a big truck. When I asked why she said “Well…don’t think I am crazy but I like the idea of a horse in a warehouse!”

“My original idea for this shoot was just to pop up to Birmingham and take a couple of nice piccies of gorgeous dresses,” Sassy took over, “but it didn’t quite work out like that. My mental brain took over and the horse in a warehouse idea grew a life of it’s own. I love the circus and thought wouldn’t it be fun to do a dark circus theme. I wanted the crème de la crème of alternative wedding providers on our project so I set about speaking to the best people I could think of to see if they would represent their area of weddingness…they all said yes thankfully!”

“It was freezing on the day and everyone was so incredible, I don’t think we would have had that level of professionalism from paid models and creative…everyone just got on it and for that I am eternally grateful! There were 29 people and a horse there on the day…this was a huge shoot! All the behind the scenes team need a huge amount of praise as they were amazing and brought my idea to life.”

The first look was the more subdued and ‘classic bridal’ of the two – we all wore white dresses and corsets from The Couture Company & Rawhide Corsets and the boys looked incredibly dapper in their smart vintage military-inspired outfits. After a few shots in the remarkable circus set (complete with graffiti elephant on the wall and actual circus props from Russell’s International Circus) inside the warehouse it was time for the biggest surprise of the day…that there was a horse waiting outside for us to pose with!

Now I’m not normally scared of horses but jeez this horse was ginormous! He was beautiful as very well behaved but I certainly wasn’t brave enough to get on him! Well done to Charlotte for being the first to do so and to Gareth for keeping on brand with his hand gestures!

The second look was the all-out freaky, creepy circus look…complete with fire-breather! The make up was piled on heavy – eyes darkened, lines painted and hair made even bigger! Gareth was even made up in Crow-inspired make up which although was kinda weird to begin with seriously started to grow on me near the end of the day (Brandon Lee? yes please!) The outfits got a little more risqué too thanks to Jo at The Couture Company. We could tell she was in her element when creating these weird and wonderful ensembles!

Can I also please publicly announce that I need one of Jo’s corsets in my life permanently! They literally took me down a couple of dress sizes…my waist has never looked so tiny (believe me, it ain’t nothing like that in ‘real life’). In this second look I’m wearing a black version of one of Jo’s tattooed wedding dresses. I loved it so much!

The day was hard work, freezing, but a serious amount of fun! I’m so excited to have been involved in this shoot and to be working with such an amazingly talent group of people. I hope you enjoy the results as much as we did making them. Could a spooky circus wedding theme be the next big thing?!

Show the team some love in the commnets won’t ya?!

Oh and a spooky shoot needs a spooky video does it? The fabulous Frank of Sassy n Frank was there to capture exactly what went on that day. Click through to watch the full video…

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