Category Archives: British Brides

A Picnic Wedding: Alex & Denise

The inspiration for Alex & Denise’s Brighton wedding was for it to be “just like a big picnic”. They used local suppliers (including the caterers who used local produce and supplied locally produced champagne) where possible and DIY’ed the rest! “Our inspiration was for it to be like a big picnic – although without having to sit on the floor!” Denise told me. “I found mini picnic baskets that were used as the centrepiece on each table. These were filled with chutney, pickles and breadsticks. We wanted the wedding to be really relaxed – I’ve always disliked formal situations. I also wanted there to be lots of colour. For the meal we had a blanket set up on the floor for any children that got bored of the adults. We also did a play area with a wigwam, dress up box and colouring books. Although on the day they mainly opted for running around the field like lunatics.”

“The second (and very crucial) driving force for the wedding was the belief that it needn’t cost a fortune. Apparently the average wedding costs around £19,000 which to me is just a ridiculous amount of money (and was totally out of the question – we had nowhere near that amount of money to spend). We had less than £5,000 for the wedding and honeymoon but I didn’t want to compromise on the feeling of it being a special day. It was time to stick it to the man and beat the system.”

“There was a lot of DIY with this wedding. I gave myself the challenge of making 100 metres of bunting. I had my own mini production line! I sewed the bunting on to paper ribbon (which was much cheaper than using bias tape). I also made our sweetie favour bags (full of lovely sweets: pink shrimps, parma violets and flying saucers being my favourites). I really liked the look of the old fashioned paper sweetie bags – each table had a different colour (they looked great and they were as cheap as chips – sweet). They also doubled as name places. I tied them up using raffia. The raffia came in handy for lots of things – you can buy a massive bundle from floristry suppliers. This was much cheaper (and was far nicer raffia) than buying it anywhere else. Floristy suppliers were also a great place to go for decorative items (eg baskets, enamel buckets etc).”

“Another friend made great signs for the bar, camping area and toilets. This friend also made our tennis table bat table plan. Alex’s family are big fans of table tennis so it seemed like a good way to go! Each table was named after top table tennis players of the 1990s – I think that might be a wedding table plan first! I also made moustaches on sticks because I think they’re funny.”

Denise wore a wedding dress which she bought from Oxfam Bridal and then has customised and shortened by Erika Langley Bridal Alterations. “Wedding dress shops scare me so I never actually set foot in one,” the bride continued. “I’m not a girly girl and the idea of all the attention on me made me feel a bit ill. I knew I wanted a short dress – I’m only 5ft 1 and thought a meringue would drown me. Also, as we would spend the majority of the day in a field (and possibly a wet, muddy one) I didn’t want to be dragging a dress behind me. Plus, if I did need to don my yellow wellies, I wanted everyone to see them! I scoured the high street but nothing was right. I eventually went to Oxfam Bridal – perfect for me, I love a charity shop! The dresses were mainly quite extravagant but I did stumble across one that was nice and simple. It was also long with a huge train. Nothing that a dress maker couldn’t sort our though. I loved having such a simple dress – I felt really relaxed in it all day! My heels got replaced by some nice flat yellow sandals as soon as I got to the farm. A farm is no place for heels.”

Continue reading

A Book-Themed Glasgow Wedding: Jane & Mike

They met while they were both working for their University newspaper, and although Jane said she only joined for ‘the hot boys’, it would appear her joining was worthwhile! The couple planned their wedding for March 2012 and were married at Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow. Their love of writing inspired their wedding decor, particularly the ammmmazing book vases. I had to know more…

“The DIY book vases (we got the tutorial via Ruffledblog) were definitely more of an ordeal than I’d realised,” explained Jane, “but we used the offcuts to make matching confetti and decorate the table plan which made quite a nice book theme. The slight fail on my part was that the books – bought from charity shops – were a high proportion of Jackie Collins or similar so there was quite a bit of filth in the confetti and some vases had to be strategically placed to avoid family and younger viewers!”

“I think we realised early on that we would both look totally out of place at a more formal, traditional wedding so we wanted to go for something a bit more relaxed – we’re both also quite food-obsessed so we wanted a day with lots of good foods and drinks,” she continued. “Mike and I named the tables after some of our favourite Seinfeld episodes as we bonded early on over a mutual love of watching Seinfeld and eating sandwiches in our pants. My sister and I made the favours (chocolate covered pretzels, mini apple pies and red velvet cookies – which turned out to be brown velvet cookies due to a food colouring fail on my part) as Mike’s family are from America and we wanted to add a little hint of that.”

“Apart from the books, we didn’t really have a theme as such, we just chose things that we liked and I developed a bit of an obsession with patterned tape,” concluded the bride. “Yes that’s right,” chipped in Mike, “”She really did develop an obsession with patterned tape.”

Continue reading

A Vintage-Inspired Walled Garden Wedding: Carina & Chris

Carina & Chris chose The Walled Garden at Cowdray, West Sussex as the venue to host their March wedding. “It was a fantastic venue where we were really able to personalise for our day,” the bride told me. “They were very relaxed and the venue’s informal spaces were perfect for us and our guests.”

“We spent the last year since getting engaged planning all of the details of the day”, she continued. “We spent our weekends rummaging in charity shops collecting china and glassware. We spent a long time making all of the bunting, menus, paper flags and lots of other items ourselves and needed someone to make it all look pretty on the day so that I could relax and enjoy getting ready! For this we worked with Lucy at Love Lane Vintage. We met her at the venue and she worked closely with our plans and our items, as well as my many sketches to style the venue! We also hired her vintage china teacups and cake stands to style the table and serve our mini afternoon tea – in place of canapés – for the drinks reception! The macaroons and mini scones looked stunning, as did the piles of teacups and teapots for guests to use!”

Spriggs Florist in Petworth also immediately understood the vintage feel of the day – really relaxed, seasonal flowers arranged in the jars and a mix of vintage glass bottles we had collected – as if freshly picked and placed on the tables and around the venue. My bouquet had the 50s wow factor – full of sweat peas and big blousy peonies. Bridesmaid’s flowers complimented these using sweat peas again. Fresh rose petal confetti was supplied for guests to throw – handed out by our bridesmaid form a pretty vintage wicker basket.”

“Everything we used on the windowsills and sweetie tables we had collected, been given by family or friends or made ourselves. It was so much fun to see it all looking so beautiful! The cups, plates and bonbon dishes we collected looked amazing full of sweeties and flowers on the cake/sweetie table. As well as the bunting and vintage china, we designed and made all of the stationery for the day, guests really embraced the fabric covered badges and name tags on the tables and wore them during the evening dancing! It was great seeing friends and family collecting ‘souvenirs’ of the day to take home at the end of the evening!”

The bride were a short vintage-inspired wedding dress which she’d had designed and made by the fantastic House of Mooshki. “They make amazing vintage-inspired wedding dresses and they were fantastic to work with. Olivia, the designer, really understood what I was after and the dress was not only beautiful but and comfortable (amazing for dancing in the evening!)”

“We wanted a very relaxed day where friends and family could come along and fully enjoy the day without feeling formal,” Carina concluded. “We knew we didn’t want it to feel too ‘wedding-y’ with the same old things you see in a lot of magazines and wedding shows!  We did exactly what we wanted to do at every step of the way and only worked with suppliers who ‘got’ this including the amazing Lisa Devlin. After we had seen her work, we knew she’d be perfect to capture all of the detail of our day.”

Continue reading

An Eclectic London Wedding: Kate & Jon

Kate & Jon were married in March in London. After a ceremony in Battersea Arts Centre they headed to Balham Bowls Club for their eclectically decorated reception. “The most important thing for us when planning the wedding was that it should consist of things that we normally like to do – reception in the sort of pub we would normally drink in, the style of dresses both I and the bridesmaids would normally wear (although a bit nicer of course!), the sort of food we would normally eat,” Kate told me.

“This was also reflected in the ceremony, with a reading from Captain Corellis Mandolin (one of my favourite books) and everyone singing along to ‘Sunshine of my life’ by Stevie Wonder rather than a more traditional song.  Also, our first dance was ‘You never can tell’ from Pulp Fiction – a favourite film of Jon’s. It was important to us that it was in London, which is where we and the vast majority of our friends and family live. Like most of the couples on Rock n Roll Bride, we didn’t concern ourselves with what was expected of us traditionally and instead thought of it more like we were just planning a big party!”

The couple had help from friends & family with organising the wedding, especially April from Rhubarb & Rose (who I’ve actually featured on the blog before – I’ve eaten her cake pops too, they’re YUM) “We am very lucky that the wonderful April is a friend of ours, and she did the cakes and dessert table. The centrepiece was a six layer chocolate Guinness cake with chocolate fudge and salted caramel buttercream icing, decorated with paper flags.”

“There were also mini fruit tarts filled with custard, blackberries, raspberries and pomegranate, mini Victoria sponge cakes and mini cupcakes in rhubarb and rose, choc raspberry, salted caramel and lemon with a lemon curd filling. We also had cake pops decorated with red lips and moustaches!” (YUM I’m literally salivating, thanks for that Kate!) “The illuminated letters were made by our friend Jack as a wedding present. He is a prop designer and has since started his own company, The Little Big Letter Company, to make them for other couples.”

“I searched the internet for old fashioned typewriter style fonts and used one of these for the orders of service. I had them printed on to thin brown Kraft paper and then bound them together using red and white striped bakers twine. We didn’t have a theme really but as I was wearing red lipstick and red nail varnish, we tied things together by using splashes of red throughout – red and white stripes for the favour bags and punch straws, red lips on the cake pops, as well as the giant red illuminated K and J.”

The bride wore two dresses, a ivory number during the day and a sexy black number for the evening which were both bought from Whistles.

Continue reading

A DIY Church Hall Wedding: Zoe & Richard

Sometimes I see a wedding and I literally can’t wait to learn more about it and (hopefully if the photographer and couple agree) write it up to share it with you lot too. Luckily for me, in this instance both parties were more than thrilled to share this wedding with us today, particularly because newlyweds Zoe & Richard found wedding photographer Joanna Millington on this very wedding blog. Hurrah!

Their DIY, family-central wedding was held at Christ Church in St Albans. “When we were first engaged I asked Richard if he knew where he wanted to get married,” Zoe explained. “He said he didn’t want to get married anywhere but Christ Church St Albans. It was my childhood church on the estate where I grew up and where Richard and I went to school. We knew it wasn’t exactly the idyllic wedding venue – a flat-roofed, slightly tired and drab looking carpeted church with very green curtains – but it was home. We had our reception in the same place. Luckily they had just built a shiny new hall attached to the old church building, which was very handy. No one (apart from us) had to venture out into the rain!”

The reception hall was decorated with the help of friends and family. They didn’t have a concrete ‘theme’ per-say, they just made the space warm, welcoming and fun! “My Nanny had valiantly made 150 meters of bunting with bits of fabric donated by people from the church, friends and other family members,” continued Zoe. “It was so lovely because people at the wedding said things to us like, ‘that piece there was the material I used to make a dress for my honeymoon’ and ‘that fabric was my old kitchen curtains’, so it was like all of these stories were tied together, and all the people who came together for our wedding, with all of their histories, were connected in some way. It was also very colourful indeed!! We used the left over odds and ends as table cloths.”

“Richard and his Dad had also made the most amazing Alice in Wonderland comic foregrounds. Richard had proposed to me amongst the seagulls on Brighton Beach and right at the beginning of our preparations we’d talked about how amazing it would be to have one of ‘those things you put your face through at the sea side’, but I never imagined we’d actually have them!! Although now what to do with two huge comic foregrounds is another matter…We also had sparklers as we left, which was very entertaining indeed!”

Pretty much everything else was DIY as well including the cake which was made by the bride’s aunt, the fake pom pom flowers which were put together by the bride’s parents and grandparents, and all the entertainment and music that was performed by various talented friends. The catering was also put on by some of the women who worked at the church. “My Mum had found a team of helpers from the church, who selflessly doled out and washed up after us all. We really couldn’t have done it without them, and yet they all thanked us for inviting them. People’s generosity was just astounding. After the service we ate ginger biscuits lovingly made by both of our mothers and drank mulled wine. We were really keen that everyone could come to every part of the day. We didn’t want to send some people away for the reception and then drag them back for the evening, so we decided to have curry from the place across the road. We could literally see their shop from the window in the hall where we ate. They were just so wonderful and insisted that we couldn’t possibly have onion bhajis, because they are just onion! They would make us their speciality, which was very tasty indeed. Richard and I are both vegetarians, so there was no meat, but no one seemed too phased by that! We had asked guests to bring a pudding along, and so we were not short of choice!! In fact we didn’t even get to see half of them! Thank goodness for photos! For drink, my Nanny and Poppa had bought every last Cobra from Tesco when they were on offer, and my Dad got a deal with a mixed load of wine. So we ate, drank, and were very merry indeed!”

The bride wore a short dress which she found at Whistles. “Being a fan of recycling, hand-me-downs, charity shops and vintage shops (when I’m feeling flush) I had been looking for something second hand. I knew I wasn’t a meringue bride, and I had no desire what-so-ever for a strapless floor-length number with diamante tiara and shoes to match. One friend said to me ‘You win either way, if you turn up in something outrageous, everyone will be shocked, if you turn up in something classic, everyone will be shocked.’ I contemplated dressing up as a Power Ranger for the occasion (just think of everyone’s faces!) The dress I ended up in, however, even caught me by surprise.”

“My Grandma wanted to buy my dress for me, and so for a laugh we went to the bridal bit of a large department store, just so we could fake puke all over them. The sales assistant was horrified when I told her I was getting married in only four months time. We quickly left. We ended up buying my dress from Whistles. I saw it one day when I was mooching around waiting for a friend, I was certainly not looking for my wedding dress, and I phoned my Grandma and Mum that night and we arranged to head to Selfridges, where they had the last one in my size, the next day. When my Grandma used the word ‘vivacious’ to describe it, I knew I had to have it. On our wedding day, when I arrived at the front of the church, Richard said to me ‘You did it, you surprised me.’ I think he would have been less shocked by the Power Ranger costume!”

Continue reading

The Secret Glamour of Hollywood: A Styled Shoot for Alexandra King’s 2012 Bridal Collection

Secret Hollywood glamour was the inspiration for this shoot, set up to promote the new range of wedding dresses from British designer Alexandra King. “The shoot was originally based on the morning after the Oscars, a hazy, sun kissed feel with the soft prettiness of the dresses against the cold concrete and run down beach,” Alexandra told me. “As if an Oscar/wedding party traveled down to the beach in Lost Boys and here was the morning after. The shoot then developed to two more locations. To shoot the look book, we found a village hall which had the perfect school play feel to it with a velvet curtained stage and lighting that gave the models the appearance of being a puppet show.The abandoned 1960s caravan images gave a trashy contrast against the dresses again and I love the way some of the images have a romantic gypsy feel to them.”

Each dress is made to order and prices start from just £650. For more infomation be sure to check out her website or drop Alexandra a line!

Continue reading