Category Archives: British Brides

An Urban & Eclectic Community Wedding: Stevie & Nick

Stevie & Nick’s eclectic city wedding took place in Mile End, East London. The bride described the day to me as “eclectic retro community chic,” with so many of their friends and family pitching in to help. “So many people said ‘that’s how weddings used to be’ and ‘this is how it should be, family and friends mucking in’. It meant a lot to us that this was how we did it – it wouldn’t have happened without all of the support we received.”

The wedding day started with the ceremony at Bromley Public Hall and concluded with a rockin’ party reception at The Victoria Pub, “Old man pub heaven” as the bride described it! “They’d never hosted a wedding before, but we were there for a jumble sale and afternoon pint and fell in love with the place,” she explained. “We started chatting to Jo and Martin, the amazing couple who own the pub with their son Alfie and couldn’t believe how genuinely excited they were by it. It made me realise that experience of weddings only gets you so far – real passion and enthusiasm was a lot more important in the end. When we wanted to bring in our own flowers, cakes and decorations – including nailing things to the wall – they were all for it!”

Stevie wore a short wedding dress which she bought on lightinthebox.com. “I know this website received mixed reviews, but it was the only place which had the style I wanted for the budget I had,” she explained honestly. “It worked for me and I would recommend it to anyone how has an eye for a bargain. Visiting weddings shops didn’t even enter the equation! I found this far less stressful. I didn’t try on any dresses or partake in the crazy wedding industry world for a second – people thought I was really weird for wanting to avoid the meringue monstrosity outlets.”

The couple brought their own cake, flowers and decor items and dressed their reception themselves (well with help from a friend on the morning of the wedding). This way, they were able to have the pub exactly as they wanted for a fraction of the price. “Our cake was made by my food-obsessed bridesmaid and usher. They were mini Victoria sponges filled with lemon curd (Nick’s favourite) with a big cake topped with little handmade versions of us. They came on vintage cake stands and looked amazing. Who needs 14 tier fruit cakes? No one eats it and it costs a fortune. These were made with real love and every one got eaten. Our 1950’s waitresses handed them round to the guests at their seats like a little (drunken) tea party!”

“We also bought all the flowers wholesale from Covent Garden Flower Market the day before the wedding (at 5am. Ouch.) Two of my incredible bridesmaids then spent the entire day putting them together. Everything was a surprise for me – including my bouquet. For a control freak like me, it was amazing. I only found out later that 3 bouquets had got stuck to the back of the fridge they were stored in, meaning lots of emergency flower re-arranging on the morning! I didn’t even notice!”

“The rest of the reception decor and props came from Deptford Market, every charity shop in Essex and Kent, eBay and our house. We were engaged for 18 months and we spent the whole time collecting little bits here and there. The whole family was involved. My sister put together the most amazing candy buffet using cut glass cake stands, jars and vases from my home. My childhood friend made 20 metres of blue and white bunting to go across the garden and Nick used our collection of second hand photo frames to put together a little photography exhibition of photos since we met. The gingham tablecloths were made by my Mum and we all sat around making our birds nest favours the day before the wedding.”

“No one in my family does big weddings,”Stevie concluded. “They either elope, or live quite happily without getting hitched. I had no family pressure so we were really able to do what felt right. Both of us were brought up going to jumble sales, hunting for bargains and being suspicious of anything which demanded a whole heap of money. I guess what made it different was that the idea of ‘impossible’ didn’t exist. We had a London wedding with 70 all day guests, 30 more in the evening, 7 bridesmaids and 7 ushers, beautiful food, drink and decoration all for around £7000. If we wanted something, we made it happen. It was really hard sometimes but we knew it was what we wanted.”

“Being Rock n Roll for me was about ignoring the ‘advice’ we read in magazines and pig headedly carrying on! No one believed me that a Victorian pub could be transformed into a sit down dining reception venue, but I knew it could. You can have the wedding you want on the budget you have, it just takes a lot of love and support from everyone around you and anything is possible.”

This is all just so utterly gorgeous! And did you spy Stevie’s nails? LOVE!

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A Fashion Forward London Wedding: Courtney & Charles

Courtney & Charles were married at Marylebone Town Hall followed by a reception at The Union Club in Soho, London. The fashion forward bride wore a short wedding dress by David Fielden and incredible gold shoes by Charlotte Olympia. Not only do I love that she had a bridesman as well as bridesmaids, but I’m going gaga over his shirt and bow tie combo, made in the same Laura Ashley fabric as the girls. Doesn’t it look fabulously chic?

“Being in London, the whole day felt really informal and fun,” Courtney explained. “We didn’t want a load of wedding protocol getting in the way of a good party. A few days after the wedding we had a post-wedding shoot in our wedding attire, at some of our favourite spots around the city.”

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An Eclectic & Colourful DIY Wedding: Amy & Andy

As a regular Rock n Roll Bride reader, Amy booked some of my ultimate favourite wedding suppliers for her October wedding to Andy. Annamarie Stepney photographed the day and the bride wore a Candy Anthony wedding dress with the gorgeous ‘cherry’ Vivienne Westwood/Melissa shoes. She also dressed her lucky bridesmaids in Vivien of Holloway dresses.

“We looked at lots of wedding blogs to find a photographer and saw lots of examples of some beautiful and really cool photos but when I saw some of Annamarie’s work on Rock n Roll Bride we just loved them,” Amy explained. “After meeting her knew she’d be great. She made the day go really smoothly too so it was a good choice!”

“I also knew I wanted a Candy Anthony dress from the start, they’re such beautiful dresses and I knew would be best to compliment my curves. The thought of trying on or wearing a traditional full length dress was scary, it’s just not me and I don’t think it would have been very flattering for my shape, and I wanted something fun! I knew I didn’t want a plain white or ivory dress and I love pink so I chose the polka dots and sash and the MASSIVE raspberry petticoat which was amazing, it made me feel like a princess! People couldn’t stop touching it and making me twirl!”

The wedding was held at Gate Street Barn, Surrey “We wanted a relaxed, pretty venue with space to drink and dance so this was perfect,” the bride continued. “I looked at lots of wedding blogs and magazines whilst planning but my favourite was always Rock n Roll Bride which I looked at every day. I picked up lots of tips and inspirations from it, but mostly the idea that we could have our wedding, our way, whilst keeping a few nice traditions in there too.”

The couple decorated their colourful reception space themselves. Many items were found on eBay or Amazon and Amy painted all the jam jars herself. Her Mum also handmade the napkin rings and the embroidered hearts that hung on the back of the chairs.

“The jam jars were really easy to decorate, I made them all different because I wanted a riot of colour and didn’t want anything to ‘match’,” Amy explained. “I painted flowers, polka dots, stripes etc in lots of different colours. I used acrylic paint and a varnish so they’re waterproof. Quite a few friends took them home at the end of the night, otherwise I would be overrun with them now! Making the favours was really easy too (if time consuming), we put some chocolates in some pink and purple netting (from John Lewis haberdashery) and tied it up with a ribbon.. it saved such a lot of money as favours can be really expensive!”

“We wanted to add our own twist onto everything including the invites, decorations, readings and clothes.. it was just everything we wanted rather than trying to be refined and classic like a lot of (admittedly beautiful) weddings. Everyone said the wedding was very ‘us’ which was lovely as we did want it to feel personal. There was lots of laughter during the ceremony and then the speeches and the dancing. We had the best day, to me, being Rock n Roll is all about having fun and doing things your own way, so what could be more Rock n Roll than that?”

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A Autumnal Vintage Cinema Wedding: Holly & Robert

Holly & Robert were married at The Electric Cinema in Birmingham. After walking down the aisle to Billie Holiday ‘It had to be you’, the bride with her groom, headed to Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath for a casual and DIY reception.

“Rob asked me to marry him in NYC in October last year he got down on one knee in Central Park and gave me a beautiful 1920’s pearl engagement ring,” Holly wrote to me. “It was the happiest day of my life everywhere was just bursting with Autumn colour, strolling through the park was so romantic I wanted to capture the feeling of that day at our wedding.”

“I collected some leaves from the park that day and kept them to use on our wedding day, they became part of our buttonholes. We go to The Electric Cinema every Valentine’s Day, it’s a truly old style kinda romantic place, we didn’t want to get married in a hotel or registry office we wanted it to be memorable. We both have a shared love of classic films and we chose to play a segment from Casablanca whilst we signed the register, it really is romance at its best! I decorated the cinema with simple candle light and rose petals from our garden, as it was such a unique venue it didn’t need much to create an intimate atmosphere.”

“Our reception was at a small cafe which we eat breakfast at all the time,” Holly continued. “We only had around 80 people at the wedding so I wanted somewhere which would feel cosy and intimate. Its a real eclectic place full of art work and furniture for sale we wanted everyone to feel relaxed and we love the informal nature of the venue. We had an open fire for toasting marshmallows, sparklers, fire lanterns, toffee apples, spiced apple pie and frosted carrot cake, I wanted to really embrace the feeling of Autumn.”

“I styled the venue myself with help from my friends I had over 100 pumpkins which sat on tree stumps, I used antique bottles, tins, an old typewriter for our guestbook. Many of the Autumn decorations came from our garden and woodland so they didn’t cost us anything. It took a long time to collect everything and carrying logs out of the woods was pretty intense but so worth it! I am lucky that I have a styling business (Cabinets of Curiosity – cabinetsofcuriosity@hotmail.co.uk or call Holly on: 07712101446) and I have a huge collection of vintage china, antiques and so on, but you would be surprised at what you can find down the local park for free!”

“I made all the labels, table runners, bunting, banners even sliced the logs up with a chainsaw myself! We went back to NYC this October for our honeymoon as husband and wife and it was just as beautiful as I remember, I felt really proud of what we achieved with our big day.”

“I think our wedding was Rock n Roll because it was creative, unique and honest it was a true representation of us as a couple and not just a generic template for what a wedding should be like. Your wedding should be about you as people and not how much cash you can flash.”

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An Intimate Wedding of Just 16 Guests: Jasmine & Piers

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Jasmine & Piers had only 16 guests for their intimate wedding which meant they were able to have a really relaxed and personal celebration. “We wanted it to be simple and pretty, and most of all…relaxed,” the bride told me.

“We didn’t really have a theme, but if I had to pick a work to describe it, I say Love. Everything involved in the day are things (or people) we love. Piers had his Father as his best man, which was very sweet. One of my very dear friends, and her boyfriend, from NYC spent the morning with me, helping me get prepared. During the ceremony, our friends and family sat in a circle around us in the “Lady Chapel” of All Saints West Dulwich. It was exactly what we invisioned and felt so special. We all had so much fun. I don’t think either of us have ever smiled that much in one day!! It was perfect.”

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Their reception was held at Luigi’s Italian Restaurant which they decorated with items they already owned. “We had a vintage bottle collection, so it seemed natural to utilise these for the dinner table…especially since there are a mix of bottles from the US and England (Piers is from London and Jasmine from NYC). I had seen the handkerchief invites on Etsy and loved them. They seemed so thoughtful and sweet. Allie from Allie Ruth Design was very sweet to take the handkerchiefs and vintage London postcards I had collected and put together the wedding invites. Thankfully it was really easy to work with her from so far away and luckily I have some very sweet friends that helped to ship everything to me as it was ready….invites, my dress and the favours!”

Jasmine wore an Elizabeth Dye wedding dress which was bought at Lovely Bride, NYC. Her stunning shoes were from Kate Spade and her headpiece from BHLDN.

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A Blue Burlesque Wedding with a £900 Budget: Sally & Mark

To say that I’m excited to be sharing Sally & Mark’s wedding with you this afternoon would be an under-exaggeration of HUGE magnitude. Not only is their wedding freakin’ awesome on so many levels, but they pulled the whole thing off for £900!

Let me repeat myself to make sure you got that, because I didn’t quite believe it when I read it on Sally’s submission either – the whole wedding cost just £900!!

“We had approx 6 weeks and a budget of around £900 for our wedding,” Sally wrote. “Where we could we handmade items or got friends to help us out. We were lucky that our photographers, performers, DJ and cake makers were all friends so did us special deals. We were also able to get both our venues (the afternoon reception was held at William Steads Pub and the evening afterparty at the Tap and Spile Pub, Darlington) for free as we didn’t hire them exclusively.”

“Our inspiration came from our love of burlesque and the fact we wanted a fun day loosely based around the 50’s,” Sally continued. “Once we’d found the dress then we built from there. I had searched and searched for a perfect dress but couldn’t find one in my size. I very luckily stumbled across Pixie Pocket who hand makes dresses for amazing prices. I really wanted to add colour and we managed to find most things that matched my hair!”

The couple decorated their evening reception venue themselves, mostly using items they found in their local £1 shop! “Our sweets, table confetti, table gems and sequins all came from the £1 shop and we made the bunting ourselves from off cuts of old material.”

“It was a small intimate event (just 33 guests) but it was just what we wanted and we were able to incorporate our two children in with the day. The day was exactly what we wanted. We started at 9.30am (we had been told that the registry office was fully booked but one morning I decided to call them and BEG them to fit us in! Eventually they relented and said we could have a 9.30am wedding and they opened an hour and a half early for us!) Then we went to our local pub for bacon sandwiches and a full English breakfast. From there we came home for cocktails and popped to our local park for pictures. Our photographer was amazing! Just what we wanted nice and laid back with no pressure and added to the fun.”

“After my parent’s had taken our kids back to theirs, we had the evening upstairs at our local pub. An evening of booze and burlesque! The whole day was amazing fun. My face hurt from laughing and smiling!”

Sally & Mark have also been kind enough to provide a breakdown of what they spent for their day, as I know a lot of you are on the look out for money saving tips for your own weddings. Check out the ‘Supporting Cast’ credits list below the gallery for the amounts they spent on each item.

More loveliness in the gallery below. FYI, a few of the following images may not be safe for work…

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