Category Archives: British Brides

An Intimate & Laid-Back Lunchtime Wedding at The Savoy: Anna-Maria & Sakhi

Anna-Maria & Sakhi had a low key, intimate wedding at The Savoy in London. A small ceremony was followed by a lunch at the hotel with only their closest friends & family in attendance.

Anna-Maria wore a beautiful dress from Traffic People which she’s only decided on wearing that morning, talk about laid-back bride! Her headband was from H&M and her cute vintage-inspired gloves and amazing feather cape were from ASOS.

For wedding rings, both the bride and groom wore claddagh rings – a traditional Irish ring that is given as a token of love or in the past was often by worn as a wedding ring. Sakhi’s ring was bought from Ireland whereas Anna-Maria’s was a family heirloom. “My Dad is  from Connemara which is where the Claddagh ring is believed to originate from, so it was a way to tie in my Dad’s heritage,” Anna-Maria told me. “The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown).”

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A DIY Heavy Seaside Wedding with a Paper Trail: Clare & Paul

Clare & Paul’s fabulous seaside wedding had a whole lot of DIY love and the bride told me all about it, “I had such a fabulous time organising our wedding.  I usually work as a community artist and I often work on exciting glittering and decorative carnival costumes, so this was an opportunity for me to bring some sparkle into our day!”

“Paul and I wanted our wedding to be special to us and to reflect our personalities and our interests in art and music. I wanted to be part of the designing and making of as many different parts of the wedding as I could. We love colour so when my daughters chose their ivory and black beautiful dresses I added hot pink and red to the mix.  Although there is so much to do and you can go on a mad spending spree, we set a budget (which we slightly exceeded – oops!) but I loved every minute of it.”

The wedding reception took place at The Hayling Island Sailing Club in Portsmouth. “Our guests arrived on a red double decker London bus,” Clare continued. “My two daughters and my niece were my bridesmaids, they had their hair in Audrey Hepburn inspired buns with beautiful orchids and Gloriosa in their hair to match our bouquets.  I wore an Ian Stuart asymmetrical dress.  We arrived at the ceremony in Trevor Howard’s (Brief encounter) beautiful red alvis sports tourer and a candy pink london taxi!”

When I first saw Clare & Paul’s wedding, my eyes were immediately drawn to their incredibly unique table numbers, crafted out of vintage books. I had to know more! Can you believe the bride made these herself?! “We used paper cuttings from vintage books to decorate our table plan and our table numbers,” she said. “We scattered plectrums around on the table with our names and the wedding date on. I made a huge table plan using a large frame I had resprayed and cut out leaves and origami roses made by Paul.  I made my table numbers with a set of 7 vintage books in which I made little scenes of Paul and my life! My shop on Etsy ohlalovely is selling/taking commissions for these books if anyone wants some made.”

Incredible huh? I don’t know about you, but I’m off to check out Clare’s Etsy store right now!

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A Mad Men Inspired Vintage Wedding: Rowan & Neil

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Rowan & Neil were married at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Renfrew followed by a Mad Men inspired reception at 29 Private Members Club in Glasgow. “The wedding ceremony was particularly special to us,” Rowan explained. “My Dad is an Episcopal minister and it was a great honour to have him conduct the service in his own church. My Mum walked me up the aisle – it was lovely to have them both involved in the duties of ‘giving the bride away’.”

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The couple knew as soon as they got engaged that they didn’t want a traditional wedding. They met when working at a local hotel in fact so had seen a lot of what they didn’t want! The bride has also had a bit of experience planning a Rock n Roll wedding before as she helped her sister-in-law plan her wedding which was featured actually on Rock n Roll Bride last year! (You can see it here) “I had really enjoyed the creative aspects,” said Rowan, “so when I got engaged a few weeks after their wedding, I was soon sucked into the world of wedding blogs – checking Rock n Roll Bride everyday!”

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An Old-Fashioned Tea Party & Vintage Inspired Wedding: Dan & Rach

Dan & Rach didn’t think too hard about the theme of their wedding, they simply went with what felt perfect for them. This evolved into a village fete/old-fashioned garden party with 1930’s touches.

“It’s so easy to fall into the big fluffy trap when you start planning a wedding,” Rach told me “but then I discovered Rock n Roll Bride – yay! – and it was inspirational to see all those couples doing it their way.  We moved from Brighton to Shropshire a month before the wedding, so a lot of it was done at the last minute. We managed it, thanks to our families and friends rallying round. We also found the truly splendid Bethan of Haywood Jones Photography through Rock n Roll Bride . We were nervous about being photographed but soon relaxed into it and it was like having an old friend there on the day.”

The ceremony took place at St Mary’s Dudleston, Shropshire. The bride’s Mother is a retired vicar so she performed the ceremony, making it extra special. After the touching service, the couple and their guests headed to Plas Warren, a B&B in Dudleston, Shropshire. “We had afternoon tea using vintage china and vases collected from charity shops,” continued the bride. “Dan made a load of cake stands using old plates and bits off eBay. We covered the tables with vintage tablecloths that had belonged to my Grandmother.”

The bride’s vintage-inspired dress was made by a friend and it turned out just as she wanted, “My bridesmaid Sally designed and made my 30’s-inspired frock. I’m very lucky to have such a talented friend. We bought the silk on Berwick Street in London. I knew I didn’t want white and when I saw the grey silk I fell in love with the colour, it had an old Hollywood look. She finished it off with a belt using an art deco dress clip for the buckle.”

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Film Wedding Photography – Sophie & Robert’s Quirky Vintage Countryside Wedding

There’s something about film photography. Something magical. Our wedding was shot on film in fact, and while at the time this wasn’t even a conscious decision (digital wedding photography wasn’t as popular then – wow I sound like we got married in the dark ages!) it’s a choice I’m pretty happy we made. There’s just a certain quality with this format, that no matter how hard it tries, digital images simply can’t compete with.

So when photographer Ashton Jean-Pierre sent me Sophie & Robert’s wedding last week, shot 100% with film, I jumped at the chance to share it with you.

“I grew up wanting to be different and loving quirky & unusual things,” newlywed Sophie told me. “I just don’t have a thing for traditional weddings and get excited whenever I see an alternative wedding on the internet. I knew that was what I wanted after getting engaged.”

“Robert and I knew we didn’t want to look traditional. Although I initially wanted to wear a vintage dress, I ended up falling in love with the quirky David Fielden dress! It was, in fact, the first dress I tried on and only took me 8 more dresses to decide it was the one for me. The back of the dress was initially short and I asked the dressmaker to make it longer as I wanted it to look a bit dramatic. Robert absolutely loves vintage-looking suits, so he got a beautiful bespoke brown suit made at Dress2Kill and it suited him perfectly! He also got this fabulous pink & cream striped bow-tie from Hackett.”

The couple wanted to put their personal stamp on their wedding, and so took it upon themselves to DIY wherever they could. “Due to my creativity, I wasn’t frightened to make my wedding ideas come real,” Sophie continued. “The unusual table plan display and the confetti cones were among the things Robert and I made. I also ordered favour badges, which went down well with our guests!”

“My lovely Mum made the pink/cream/light brown bunting and and the confetti cones were made by myself and Rob. We got the vintage vases & containers from charity shops and family members.”

“The other decorations came from Etsy – Pom Queen, FunOnAStick, Victorianstation – and Folksy – The Lime Garden.  I got the paper mache table numbers off Lainesworld.co.uk and sprayed them with gold paint! The invite, RSVP postcard,  menu and order of service were designed by myself, and Rob and I created the unusual table planner!”

And as I imagined from seeing Ashton‘s incredible images, the photography was also very important to this stylish pair. “As I am a photographer myself, choosing a wedding photographer was going to be a very easy task! Actually, Ashton was the only wedding photographer I considered hiring as we are friends and I absolutely love his style. We both have a thing for vintage things & alternative weddings and prefer to use film, so he knew exactly what I wanted. He was fabulous on our wedding day!”

Beautiful! I’m laying my blogging claim to all of Ashton’s weddings from here on in. I love his photography SO MUCH. Who’s with me?

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Jo & Oli’s East End Knees Up!

When I asked Jo & Oli to descrive their wedding, they simply called it an “East End knees up!” I love that and think the description cetainly matches the party vibe of their wedding photographs from Rosie Parsons.

“We knew that we didn’t want a hotel reception (we couldn’t have afforded one anyway!) because we wanted to put our stamp on our day: we wanted it to be really about what we like: tea and cake; Rock n Roll; dancing and cocktails!” Jo explained. “I dragged my Mum around every hall in the East End of London before deciding on St Peters in Bethnal Green. It had so much character whilst being a blank canvas at the same time. It was really important to me to get married in the East End as I grew up in Stepney and we now live in Bow. The hall was within walking distance of the hall and traffic was quite bad along Valance Road that day so Oli and I got to ride to the hall in our Morris Minor and chat to our guests as they walked along!”

The ceremony was a very special party of the day and took place at St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church. “Oli isn’t Catholic so it was really important to me to make sure that the ceremony was as relaxed as possible while still being prayerful,” Jo explained. “I’ve know Father Tony for a while and knew that he would be able to put Oli at ease as well as perform a ceremony that would be personal and meaningful. Father Tony sat us facing our guests which made the ceremony more intimate and something we could really share with out family and friends. The ceremony was perfect and Rosie really captured our happiness as we left the church. We decided not to spend money on decorating the church due to our budget and the fact that it’s such a beautiful church, so full of character.”

“A lot of what we achieved was due to the help of family and friends, everything from the bridesmaid’s dresses made by Oli’s mum to the flowers by my bridesmaid’s mum to the catering and cocktails by my dad’s friends at Drinks Fusion. The search for the perfect dress was the most fun part of the whole preparation. I knew that I wanted a short dress because I wanted to be on the dancefloor all night: I’m really clumsy too so just knew that I would tear a long dress. As it turns out I somehow managed to slightly tear the scalloping at the bottom anyway – Oli’s mum to the rescue! I went to Melanie Potro with a specific idea about what I wanted and I couldn’t have been more thrilled with my dress. Going to see Melanie for fittings was so much fun. It’s so exciting seeing your dress being made from scratch, choosing the silk and lace and making the decisions. Melanie even out a little blue bow on my petticoat!”

“Oli and I love to go for afternoon tea (you can’t beat the Dorchester!) and thought that it would suit the hall which had an art deco feel. The vintage china was amazing – our caterer Jason spent a lot of time searching for the best in terms of quality and price – and was a real talking point with our guests as they arrived.”

“Oli and I had our own table which we felt was a bit different, although our nieces pulled up their chairs and joined us! The table names were made up of the record sleeves of our favourite singers and we had our favourite 50’s music playing throughout the afternoon tea. In the evening we had a huge buffet that quickly became the talking point of the evening as was the cocktail bar. Our guests drank over 400 cocktails!”

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