Category Archives: British Brides

A Sweet Sussex Barn Wedding: Fiona & Ben

“We didn’t want a run of the mill wedding”, explained newlywed Fiona. “Ben’s a bit of a control freak and likes things done his own way. We both love anything vintage so enjoyed lots of weekends trawling through flea markets and car boots collecting bits and bobs to decorate the barn. We really wanted a party atmosphere with all of our family and friends. We collected/ borrowed lots of hats, sunglasses and various other items of fancy dress for the evening and encouraged people to be a silly a possible – our guests fully embraced the dressing up and pretty much everyone was wearing some kind of fancy dress at the end of the night.”

“It was very much a DIY wedding,” she continued. “The barn was an empty shell when we arrived on the Friday to set up. I made all of the bunting, tea cup candles, and collected vintage bottles, table cloths and made hessian runners for tables. Ben is a graphic designer and made all the signs, artwork for the walls and all the paper goods (order of service, table plan etc). With the help of our wonderful family and friends we managed to turn the empty barn into a wedding venue.”

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A Modern Art Themed Wedding & a Bride with Dreadlocks: Chris & Angela

“Arty & creative” replied Chris & Angela when I asked them to describe their wedding theme. “Lots of people on the day used words like ‘informal’ and ‘relaxed’ as well which was nice as it was what we kind of wanted. We were glad they picked up on it.”

The June wedding was held at Underley Grange Cottage in the Lake District. The couple homemade as much as possible, including all the reception decor. “Where do I begin with explaining the DIY?” laughed Angela. “Pretty much everything in the reception room was homemade. One of our favourite things was decorating parasols in the style of modern artists and hanging them from the ceiling. We made our own invitations – including hand making the actual paper! It turned out to be quite a saga; that and folding a hundred paper cranes for the RSVPs was quite a lot of work! On the plus side, as a milliner, the wedding was a great excuse to make lots of fun hats and fascinators for everyone.”

“I loved the parasols”, took over Chris. “The string chandeliers also looked great, but they consumed our kitchen and garage for about two months! I loved getting help from friends and family at each stage. Everyone saw little bits in the run up, but so many people said that on the day they couldn’t believe how it all fit together.”

“I don’t know that we ever thought we were doing our wedding ‘differently’,” the groom continued. “We just wanted to do it… ‘us’. We always knew we wanted more control over our wedding than the standard ‘here you go, Mr. Hotel…’ so we found a venue that could accommodate us doing our own catering and decorations. Once we saw Underley Grange, we just fell in love with the place and all the ideas seemed to flow naturally from there. The modern art idea was just so fun! We needed something to bring it all together and it just seemed right. Exploring all the artists to come up with the various designs was awesome!”

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“Glastombecci” – A Music Festival Wedding: Becci & Tom

When the Summer rolls round what’s the first thing many of us get excited about? Festivals! So it’s hardly surprising that so many Rock n Roll Brides (and grooms!) are taking wedding inspiration from their favourite past time. Warm beer, dodgy food, mud & sleeping in a tent… What’s not to love!? Haha joking!

Becci & Tom favour the UK’s biggest rock festival, Glastonbury, and so started here with their ideas including their wedding cake that was inspired by the Ribbon Tower and the song lyric centerpieces. This wedding was pure music festival gold. Tom even proposed to Becci while at a gig in Oxford!

“We love music and the unique atmosphere and goings on of a festival”, began the bride. “We hated the idea of having a formal, soulless, plain wedding where people couldn’t let go and have a great time! And so, Glastombecci was born! We wanted to get the essence of Glastonbury; we had tickets, wristbands, signage, lots of great music, fancy dress, cider, a BBQ and a silent disco!”

The couple picked Flaxbourne Gardens for their ‘camp site’ which was perfect not least because of all the interesting extra features, “The gardens have a grotto, a castle, waterfalls and ponds, a windmill, Roman arches and some beautiful flowers”, Becci explained. “We loved the character of the Tipis and the open space they gave us, plus they were pretty much a blank canvas for us to decorate however we wanted.”

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A Black, White & Red Wedding in a Windmill: Suzie & Andrew

Suzie & Andrew wanted a really unique venue for their unique wedding and so chose a Willesborough Windmill in Ashford, Kent. They had just 47 guests (including 13 bridesmaids!) and they really did things their own way. From the DIY catering, to the ice cream van dessert, and the chocolate favours to the lady bug bouncy castle, the day was planned around the things they love. “My main goal for our wedding was that I wanted a day that wasn’t strictly structured,” began newlywed Suzie. “I wanted a laid back afternoon and evening filled with fun, laughter, eating, drinking and general enjoyment for everyone. All my close family & friends wanted to help which was great and they are contributed so much to our day.”

They went for a black, white & red colour scheme and even all the guests dressed to match the theme! “Our favourite colours are red, black & white,” the bride continued. “We have red cars, red and black sofas, a black and white checkered kettle and toaster…. I also love the style of the 50s rockabilly and the short wedding dresses and polka dots & hearts – very cute and sexy. I always wanted a bright red wedding dress and everything else stemmed from that. As soon as we decided to get married I knew the exact location (the windmill just minutes from our own home) and how I wanted everything to look – black, white & red! I wrote on the invitation ‘come dressed in your best red, black and white’ and everyone did! It looked amazing.”

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A Black & Red, 50s Rock n Roll Wedding: Hannah & Lewiss

Hannah & Lewiss’ small and sweet wedding was held at St Fagans Castle, the National History Museum of Wales. For their evening party they moved to the trendy Jolyons at No.10, a boutique hotel in the heart of Cardiff. The venue choices were important to this couple and they both wanted places that stood out. Hannah explained, “We both didn’t believe in long engagements so we set a date for 9 months after we got engaged. Finding a unique venue was important to us, but this was harder than we imagined. Living in Cardiff, we wanted somewhere in South Wales but it seemed to be flooded with chain hotel venues or vast historic buildings which were too big for the small wedding we had dreamed of. After overlooking it a couple of times we went to visit St Fagans Castle. St Fagans is the National History Museum of Wales, an outdoor museum full of historical buildings from all around the country. The Castle is a Grade 1 listed Elizabethan Manor House set in the most fabulous gardens. Even though it wasn’t what we originally had in mind, we knew straight away it was perfect. Also it’s in the area where Lewiss grew up and his parents still live, so it being local meant a lot to him.”

For their wedding theme, they oped for a subtle 50s theme, but really, they just included anything they loved. “The last thing we wanted was a one colour themed cookie cutter wedding”, Hannah continued. “We are both really creative so we did pretty much everything ourselves. Not only did this help us stamp our personality on the whole day, but it worked well with our smaller budget too. We started off with quite a strict theme idea, but over time, we stopped thinking about it too much and just let our natural style and quirkiness shine through. I love the classic look of the 1950s so that inspired what I wore as well as some of the decor; we went for a simple black white and red approach. I was very specific about what decorations I wanted so ended up making a lot of it myself. I did a lot of sewing with the table runners and tablecloths, and we designed and printed the stationary ourselves. We both LOVE rock music, I’m all about 1970s classic rock, and Lewiss is obsessed with 1980s metal, so we threw a bit of that in too with the table names and some of the decorations. We filled the day with music we love; I walked down the aisle to Joe Satriani, we signed the register to Led Zeppelin and we walked out of the ceremony to Creedence Clearwater Revival. During the day reception we had on Free and more Led Zeppelin while everyone was enjoying their lunch and our DJ in the evening loved British Punk music so we danced to a lot of The Clash which was amazing!”

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A Backyard Pool Party Wedding: Kate & Doug

Kate & Doug’s backyard wedding took place in Kent, in June. Kate designed her own dress, hand-crafted the decor and played in a band with her husband at the reception! She told me all about their magical day. “We have been together for 10 years so we really wanted to have a proper big wedding to cement our relationship and have a blast with our friends and family. I really wanted to get married in the garden of England, Kent, where I grew up and have a proper English country wedding. So we started looking at venues and found Ratsbury Barn, a beautiful 17th century Kentish barn in Tenterden for the ceremony. Then, my Mother’s boyfriend who lives down the road very kindly offered to let us use his amazing place for the reception! We got a marquee and extended his pool house area, it was perfect.”

“I had our good friend Adam who works as a designer at Penguin books help me design a fun tea towel wedding invitation with a matching rsvp postcard”, she continued. “I really enjoyed designing it with him and we were so happy with the result, we love the fact our guests got to have a little pre wedding favor to get them in the mood for the big day! We went with a red white and blue colour scheme to tie in with the Queen’s Jubilee which was the weekend before our wedding.”

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